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Balance the Force? What a terrible idea

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > STAR WARS Discussion
Balance the Force? What a terrible idea

Unutterable's Avatar

03.09.2012 , 03:33 PM | #11
#1 GL's grasp on his own IP is inconsistent at best and berserk retconny as a norm, so even though this is "his" universe, subject to his insanity and hamfisted sand castle-building, anyone who plays in his universe will still try to make sense of it. Hence, the view that dark and light should be balanced, and not that balance is the absence of one in favor of the other.

#2 (the spoilers for Darth Plagueis) Apparently that darkness that nerfed the Jedi's ability to do anything useful at all was a deliberate act by Plagueis and a young Sidious. The ripped into the force to create an effect that muzzled Jedi precognitive and sensitive abilities, which is how both were able to explicitly manipulate the Senate without discovery.

#3 As an aside, considering the view that life=light side and death=darkside, you'd have thought that meat-grindering millions of clones would have an a far more adverse affect on the force than a pair of universe-equivalent neckbeards in a basement launching ddos attacks on Jedi sensitivity.

CelticMutt's Avatar

03.09.2012 , 07:28 PM | #12
Lucas' idea that the Dark Side is a cancer and destroying it brings balance is thankfully ignored by everyone that matters. IE every single writer involved in Star Wars.

The current Dawn of the Jedi comics series, which explores the original founders of what would eventually become the Jedi have a much more logical view - balance is actually balance - too much Light or Dark is equally bad.

BrandonSM's Avatar

03.10.2012 , 04:10 AM | #13
Quote: Originally Posted by QuiJonPed View Post
I'm not argusing with you, I appreciate you're quoting someone else. it's just that balance implies postive and negative. Darkside and the Lightside.

For their to be balance, the two must be as close together as they can be.
But Lucas says Light-Side is Balance. Dark-Side is cancer.
Hapan: "This creature has information that could lead us to a woman who has been kidnapped. We will get that information."
Luke: "This woman is a citizen of the New Republic, and if you do not take your hands off her, I will take your hands off you."

ErikModi's Avatar

03.10.2012 , 11:40 AM | #14
Balance doesn't necessarily mean the balance between Light and Dark.

Balance can be viewed as the "natural order of things." Life and death, order and chaos, that sort of thing. The Dark Side is often described as the perversion of that which is natural. It's not simply "death," but death in heinous ways for horrible reasons. Nor is it life, but it can twist life into unnatural mockeries. It can be a force of chaos, but it can also be oppressive, stifling order. It is, in essence, the unnatural reflection of everything in the universe, twisting what it touches into things unnatural.

Eliminating the Dark Side would allow things to return to a "natural" balance. Order and choas are neither good nor evil in and of themselves, but both can be made to serve the Dark Side. By eliminating the Dark Side, order and chaos return to their natural states, as forces with both positive and negative qualities, with the optimum being the balance between the two. Likewise, life and death can return to a natural balance, wherein everything dies, as it is naturally meant to, but the taking of a life can still lead to dangerous consequences, as can the preservation of life beyond its cause, or the "use" of life in ways for which it was never intended. The "unnatural" influence of the Dark Side is gone, preventing the twisting and perverting of life and death that the Sith have been famous for.

Viewing "Light" and "Dark" as the ONLY kind of balance is a rather narrow perspective.

Now, that having been said, I do prefer the idea that the Dark Side lives on after Palpatine's death, because it creates more interesting stories (sadly, most EU authors have told crappy stories about it.)
Jedi vs. Sith, Page 97, column 2, paragraph 4, line 1:

Prior to the Battle of Ruusan, the Jedi used crystals from many different sources, and ignited lightsabers in every known hue, including purple, orange, and gold.

pixieish's Avatar

03.10.2012 , 02:57 PM | #15
Prequels? What prequels? There's only the Star Wars trilogy, and nothing more.

*runs around with fingers in ears and shouting LALALALALALA!*

joechengyu's Avatar

03.10.2012 , 03:48 PM | #16
I actually 100% agree.

Zeratho's Avatar

03.10.2012 , 04:07 PM | #17
Wait, are you actually saying that there is something in prequels that doesn't make sense?

Yeah George shouldn't have used the word "balance" to descripe that prohpecy, but rather say something like "it is foreseen that this boy will destroy the sith once and for all" or something like that.

Invictos's Avatar

03.10.2012 , 04:59 PM | #18
Quote: Originally Posted by ErikModi View Post
Viewing "Light" and "Dark" as the ONLY kind of balance is a rather narrow perspective.

Now, that having been said, I do prefer the idea that the Dark Side lives on after Palpatine's death, because it creates more interesting stories (sadly, most EU authors have told crappy stories about it.)
I wish the movies were more clear on the whole Dark-Side-as-cancer theme. As you point out, it would have made the extended universe more difficult to conceive, but it also would have made for less of the lazy logic that pervades the limited amount of EU content to which I've been exposed.

For instance, the main thing that bothers me about the KoTOR-verse (including, perhaps even especially within, SWTOR), is the frequent and nearly consequence-free switching between Fallen and Redeemed. Anakin is redeemed in the movies, but the huge cost of his fall (and his redemption, which he fails to survive) is exhaustively documented for the audience. He's also the only example.

In the games? Too often the Dark Side's influence is a transparent plot device, excusing the heinous acts of some characters when it's convenient. "You slaughtered 1,000 people, but it's ok because you're all better now." At other times, the Dark Side's (apparently) exculpatory properties are totally ignored for no obvious reason. The subtext is pretty unattractive when you think about it: the Jedi apparently have the (self-serving) authority to excuse their comrades for any bad act. In theory, you could have Jedi running around robbing people blind and they could resort to the Dark-side-made-me-do-it defense. Johnny Cochran, eat your heart out.

In real life, if we had a class of super-human beings whose very source of power could at any moment make them homicidal maniacs, then they'd not only get locked up after they turned bad no matter what apologies they offer; we'd have a real dilemma about how to treat them even pre-corruption. In any case, it'd be a very uncomfortable situation, a situation that the games don't adequately explore, IMO:


TL;DR - Obviously there are inconsistencies in any story that the audience can and should overlook. I don't mean to say that the DS/LS plot quirks ruin the games, just that they represent one area of the story that cause a little cognitive dissonance. The idea that the movies describe a temporary abnormality in the Force, induced by a great villain, makes sense to me. The idea that the Jedi are champions of a Force that can randomly turn you into Hitler (and back again) as a rule? Not so much.

* - A small added disclaimer: My criticism is limited to the games because they're the only EU material with which I'm immediately familiar. The last time I read an EU book was about twenty years ago (Zahn's first Thrawn trilogy). From what I've heard, I haven't missed much. The intent here isn't to single Bioware out. If anyone deserves blame here, I think it's George Lucas, for introducing the redemption theme without qualifying it in a plausible way before authorizing the production of countless movie-spin-off products.

Girdeux's Avatar

03.10.2012 , 05:02 PM | #19
As evil begins to take over, it pushes the Force out of balance. It's easier to succumb to evil than it is to be a hero and try to work things through on the good side. Evil is inherently more powerful- it doesn't have the burden of worrying about other people. What Luke sees in Darth Vader at the end of ROTJ is something that I thought was worth understanding: the idea that Darth actually was a very good person. Except he's slightly more powerful than other people and when you get into that situation, your ability to do evil is much easier to come by."

--George Lucas

Unutterable's Avatar

03.10.2012 , 05:28 PM | #20
Quote: Originally Posted by Girdeux View Post
: the idea that Darth actually was a very good person. ."

--George Lucas
Willingly exterminated a room full of children who trusted him.

Exterminated a roomful of heads of state, likely leaving their cultures to plunge into chaos.

Presided over the annihilation of Alderaan.

Attempted to kill his extremely pregnant wife with virtually no provocation.

Pursued a campaign of terror and oppression against nonhumans.

Killed people at the slightest provocation with force choke, anyone around him without regard to rank or position.

But it's totally cool because he saved his son after watching him be tortured for several minutes.