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the Star Wars Saga

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Author Topic: the Star Wars Saga  (Read 1779 times)
Darth Maul
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Posts: 110

« Reply #90 on: July 22, 2007, 07:38:16 pm »

Darth Sidious (Emperor Palpatine) using the Force, or more specifically, the Sith technique of Force Lightning.

Dark Side of the Force (Sith code)

Peace is a lie; there is only passion.
Through passion, I gain strength.
Through strength, I gain power.
Through power, I gain victory.
Through victory, my chains are broken.
The Force shall free me.

The dark side of the Force is innately tied to the distinctly negative ethical paradigm of the Sith. It is largely based on emotions and passion rather than peace and serenity which are preached by the light side of the Force. The dark side of the Force comes from the hate, anger, fear, aggression, vengeance, and malice in all living things. In the Star Wars movies, the practitioners of the dark side are Darth Sidious and his successive apprentices Darth Maul, Darth Tyranus, and Darth Vader.

One might compare the Sith code to Existentialism, as many aspects such as the quest for passion and freedom, and the concept of defining one's own destiny, are shared by the two. Other similarities between the two beliefs include awareness of death (the Jedi do not believe in death, they believe there is only the Force) and the absence of peace due to the role emotions play in life. Existentialists focus on anger and despair as major emotions, and these have been shown as aspects that help define Sith lords such as Anakin Skywalker. However, the appeal to responsibility as tied as one with freedom, at least as appears in Sartre's writings, makes this comparison difficult, as dark siders clearly lose regard for others as they pursue their ends.

Negative emotions increase the strength and abilities of a dark side practitioner. As a result, the dark side of the Force is extremely addictive: every time one calls on its power, one becomes more and more attached to it. Darth Vader desired to use this to his advantage during his time trying to turn his son, Luke Skywalker, to the dark side. If he could convince the young Jedi hopeful to call on the dark side enough times, the boy would find it more difficult to resist in the future. The Dark Side can also strongly affect the user physically, as the intense emotion and rage required to fuel it usually corrupts the user's body; this is demonstrated by Darth Sidious, Darth Vader, Darth Traya, Revan, a dark-sided Jedi Exile, and in extreme cases, Darth Sion.

The corruption also extends to the personality and soul of the Sith, as the emotions called upon eventually become the only emotions the Sith truly feel. Eventually the original purpose for using the Dark Side is forgotten as the emotions drive them to seek absolute power. The soul also suffers, as in death the emotions burn out and leave them empty. This is seen in Ajunta Pall, the first Dark Lord of the Sith who, even centuries after his death, lingered in his tomb, unable to join the Force because of the evil he caused and his inability to forgive himself.

The Sith also believe that instead of living alongside the Force, one must master it and use it as a tool. This is shown in the novelization of Revenge of the Sith, on page 72:

"They (the Jedi) allowed the Force to direct them; Dooku (a Sith) directed the Force."

Overall, dark side relationships and organizations are inherently unstable. For instance, the pupil-master relationship of the Jedi is perverted under the Sith, as both the apprentice and the master naturally plot against one other, and one will eventually kill the other. For the Sith, this in-fighting is a positive: it guarantees that the strongest (and thus most fit) will rule. However, every time a Dark Side Force has risen in the galaxy, it has collapsed from inevitable instability due to this practice. The Empire is no exception. When Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader discovered that Luke Skywalker was Vader's son, both wanted to turn Luke to the dark side. Vader wanted his son to help him kill Palpatine and rule the galaxy together, but Palpatine wanted Luke to take Vader's place as his apprentice.

This phenomenon of constant internecine warfare indicates that the Dark Side may in fact be weaker than the Light Side, since even by the Sith's own beliefs their inability to maintain power marks their rule as unworthy. This instability due to in-fighting is in line with George Lucas' characterization of the Dark Side as "cancer" and is likewise one way of arguing that evil is slightly weaker than good in Abrahamic religions; it was no doubt seized upon by proponents of the Potentium theory of the Force (see below).

Darth Bane considered the Force to be finite, and thus best restricted (ideally) to the use of a single Sith Lord. After the Battle of Ruusan, he eliminated the practice of having vast numbers of Sith at the same time and concentrated the dark side of the Force into two individuals: a Sith Master and Apprentice. This tradition, or "rule of two," remained in practice throughout the Star Wars Extended Universe. One might argue that the corrupted Jerec was an exception, as he had seven apprentices/fellow Dark Jedi on his command when he sought the power of the Valley of the Jedi, but Jerec was not a Sith, but rather, a Dark Jedi.

The Dark Lords Sidious, Tyranus, and Vader had each trained some followers with dark side abilities and occasionally inducted a member deeply into Sith lore and powers, but none of these followers were given the full Sith rites and training; thus the "rule of two" was consistent during the era of Darth Sidious.


"Fear is the path to the dark side..."

All sentient creatures experience fear at some point in their lives; it is a defense mechanism designed to impel creatures away from danger. One feels fear when they believe they may lose something valuable to them. Fear for one's own life is the most common motivator, but the fear can be for the lives or friends of loved ones, or even something as trivial as the loss of a possession or opportunity.

One acts out of genuine fear when they abandon reason and logic in order to eliminate or escape a threat. Unreasoning fear is characterized by desperation and frantic attempts to escape the danger at any cost. People who use the most lethal weapon available (regardless of their proficiency with it), attack all-out without first determining the actual degree of danger, or abandon threatened allies to save their own lives are almost certainly acting out of fear. Their journey to the dark side has begun.


"...fear leads to anger..."

Like fear, anger is almost unavoidable for sentient beings. It is symptomatic of frustration- stress without a suitable means of release. Such tension results in violent behavior, aimed at relieving the frustration all at once. It can be brought on by a variety of factors, but most commonly relates to fear. The fear of the consequences of failure can create tremendous surges of anger in sentient beings.

Someone acting out of anger loses the ability to show mercy; the target of his anger must feel his wrath. One gripped by anger often takes unnecessary risks in order to punish or destroy the target of his ire. Victory is not good enough if the foe is still moving. The angry do not wish to address the situation when they are rational; she needs to vent her fury now, while her blood is boiling and her enemy is within reach. Such a person deliberately gives her anger free rein, and thus gives in to the dark side.


"...anger leads to hatred..."

Stress can also result in a more subtle kind of anger: hatred. Hatred is a simmering resentment, the outward expression of which may start small but gradually escalates into full-scale acts of violence. Hatred festers inside someone until eventually they come to believe that the target of their hatred somehow has less right to exist than they do. In their own mind, they reduce their enemy to a nebulous menace, the source of all the things they despise and of all the ills that plague them. To their thinking, the target of her hatred consciously attempts to thwart them. But it is not a personal vendetta; their enemy clearly threatens all that they touch. The hateful person has a right and even a duty to destroy their enemy and, what's more, to undo all that their enemy has wrought.

Hatred is often identifiable by an accompanying sense of righteousness; the person feels that he is morally bound to eliminate the thing that he hates. For him, considerations and mitigating circumstances are not a factor. Lenience is not an option. Justice is his to administer, and he does so with the assurance that anyone can plainly see the correctness of his decision. But whether he is right or wrong, the very fact that he acts out of his belief and nothing else brings him one step closer to the dark side.


"...hate leads to suffering."

Hatred often springs from a sensation of inferiority. What one cannot control, one frequently hates. But when a person has the power of life and death over the object of his hatred- a single individual, or even an entire galaxy- he can cause suffering. Mental, verbal, and physical abuse are his tools; through these methods, the person denigrates and depersonalizes his victims- making them no more significant than objects, to be used or destroyed as he likes.

Malice is the ultimate expression of hatred, because the object of such hate invariably suffers. A person who wishes to cause suffering has no sense of pity. He callously causes pain, injury, and anguish, because he knows no one has the power to stop him- he is in command. But he has graduated beyond the need to destroy what he hates; to him, keeping his victims alive but always in fear of death reminds them of his authority over them. As long as he can continue to exert control over them, they feed his contempt for them. But should they challenge him, they present a threat, and he must destroy them. Thus, he returns to fear, and trances his path to the dark side all over again.

[edit] Potentium and unitary views of the Force
The Potentium view of the Force, considered heresy by Old Republic Jedi, holds that the Force, and the galaxy in general, was inherently good, and that there was no evil side to the Force. Also Luke states in "The Unifying Force" that "the force doesn't flow from us but through us" which strongly suggests that the Force creates life and not the other way around. This view gained greater acceptance under the New Republic, mostly due to the influence of Vergere, a surviving Jedi from the days of the Old Republic.

Palpatine (Darth Sidious) tells Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith that one must study the entire Force, including the dark side, in order to truly understand it. In the Expanded Universe, he later states there is only one Force: the only difference worthy of note is that the Sith see the Force as a means to an end; the Jedi see it as an end in itself.

This is echoed by what Vergere teaches Jacen Solo in the New Jedi Order series, (part of the Expanded Universe of Star Wars). She tells him that there is no light side nor dark side of the Force—only The Unifying Force, and that the "dark side" is actually a reflection of the intentions of the wielder.

Kyle Katarn also seems to embrace the Potentium view of the Force, or something similar, when he instructs his padawans Jaden Korr and Rosh Penin in the computer game Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy. Here, he tells them that no particular Force ability is inherently good or evil- the intention behind the ability is what matters. He further demonstrates this by employing Force Lightning in combat, an ability universally considered to be on the Dark side of the spectrum.

These thoughts are also shared with the Grey Jedi Kreia, when she tells the Jedi Exile, "One quickly learns that the Jedi Code does not give all the answers. To truly understand the Force one mustn't simply adhere to the Jedi Code". She also says that one cannot truly understand or comprehend the Force by following one of the two Jedi religions. Both the Jedi Exile and Revan (although he was exposed to many masters' opinions by seeking them out) may also share these thoughts, since Kreia trained them.

Belief in the Force waned after the fall of The Old Republic and the destruction of the Jedi, to the point that most of the galaxy's inhabitants viewed Force users as sorcerers and magicians. Many did not even believe that the Force existed.

Two such examples occur in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. Smuggler Han Solo scornfully explains to Luke Skywalker that he had "flown from one side of this galaxy to the other" and seen nothing to make him believe there was "one all-powerful Force controlling everything," contemptuously adding that no "mystical energy field" controlled his destiny.

The second example of this viewpoint was voiced, quite loudly, by Admiral Motti aboard the Death Star. When Darth Vader explained that the Death Star's ability to destroy a planet was insignificant compared to power of the Force, Admiral Motti, who did not believe in the Force, proceeded to brazenly mock the Sith Lord's "sad devotion to that ancient religion." Vader swiftly proved Admiral Motti wrong about the Force's existence, when he used its power to telekinetically strangle the arrogant officer (see below), stating, "I find your lack of faith disturbing."

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