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A bit confused about the nature of the "dark side"

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Story and Lore
A bit confused about the nature of the "dark side"

JennyFlynn's Avatar

03.09.2016 , 06:49 PM | #11
I haven't been lucky enough to read the works you're referring to so I can't say much to their situations really. It's also just really dependent on how a writer wants you to perceive things and how they themselves feel about it. If you're dealing with a writer who believes the Dark Side is a force so corrupted and strong that it alters someones personality and characteristics then that's how they'll tell the tale of their protagonist. There's also those who believe it's hereditary, based on where you're born and who you're born to. And then there's those who believe that the level of corruption or it's effects depends entirely on the personality of a character rather than blaming the dark side. I guess in the end it all just really comes down to perspective and opinion.
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ZanyaCross's Avatar

03.09.2016 , 09:01 PM | #12
One of the reasons I love Clone Wars is that they showed Anakin's fall in baby steps, rather than the sudden whiplash-inducing moment you get in RotS. His fall was gradual and took years, something the movies couldn't really convey properly.

Yeah, the part where he snaps in AotC was the start, but that was one moment of anger. The series showed all the dozens of little moral compromises he made between movies.

Spetulhu's Avatar

03.10.2016 , 05:46 AM | #13
It does seem to depend on the person and the circumstances too. Like Jaesa's master, Nomen Karr - he's always been proud of his accomplishments but kept it tightly in control until the Sith Warrior tries to win Jaesa over. That's his breaking point. He reaches for any power that could help him win the battle, even the Dark Side.

Maybe his fall is harder because of the desperation he feels, the inevitable loss coming closer?

SteveTheCynic's Avatar

03.10.2016 , 08:44 AM | #14
Any time this comes up I'm struck by parallels with Stephen R Donaldson's First Chronicles of Thomas Covenant. That's the first three books. I can't really explain the parallels without giving substantial spoilers, but they aren't spoilers about SWTOR so I'll just leave them in open text.

Consider yourselves warned.

When Thomas Covenant enters the Land, he is taken to see the Lords who govern there. They are powerful in the ways of the magic of that world, but bind their power by binding their emotions in a way similar to what the Jedi do in Star Wars.

Prominent among their enemies are the Viles and their chiefs, the Ur-viles, servants one and all of Lord Foul, the head enemy. They, too, are powerful magic-users, and their power is, in a Sith-like way, bound by very little.

So, why do the Lords bind up their power in a mesh of repressed emotions? Because an ancient Lord, Kevin, almost destroyed the Land when he was in the midst of his "Despair", letting his emotions run wild and drawing on the power that let him access. He was defeated, and the remaining Lords handed down to their successors an injunction against allowing emotions to intrude into the use of power.

Part-way through the third book of the trilogy, as the Lords are steadily losing the battles they are fighting, their head realises that Kevin's Despair happened not because Kevin allowed emotions into his use of power, but because he allowed it to run wild, and sits down with the other Lords, saying, "Let me tell you about a secret of power." Meaning, let me tell you how to access the power locked away in your emotions without losing control of them.

Here, of course, the parallel ends, because the implication is that that sort of emotional control cannot bind the Dark Side of the Force.
To go to Belsavis, you must go to Belsavis.
> @"Biff.5312" said:
> Exercise your whimsy.

Joachimthbear's Avatar

03.10.2016 , 11:34 AM | #15
The Dark Side corruption issue is a bit complicated and confusing. For a start, we don't know if the physical corruption and the mental/spiritual corruption associated with Dark Side users are strictly the same thing. They're probably related, but the degree to which a person has the physical corruption may not be an indication of how much their mind has been affected. Darth Marr may prove this point: reputedly, the physical corruption made his face horrific, but he's relatively balanced mentally.

I can see a couple of different theories for understanding these different corruptions. The physical corruption may just be a result of the energies associated with the Dark Side (such as Force Lightning and whatever form Dark Side "healing" takes - the discipline in-game is called "corruption) having some kind of harmful effect on living tissue; the lesser symptoms may also have something to do with self-neglect due to emotional stress. The mental corruption may have the character of an addiction or dependency, so that each use of the Dark Side makes its pull harder to resist next time until you lose all self-control, or it may have to do with "poisoning" your connection to the Force, thus losing your fundamental empathic connection with other life.

Both of those latter effects would be less pronounced on a person of great willpower, so that someone like Marr could be deeply immersed in the Dark Side but still able to shrug off its addictive pull in most cases and/or assert his own personality even in the face of maddening feedback from the Force. But that would be a very dangerous game for anyone to play, and even the likes of Marr who keep some self-control are clearly not good people. And with one possible (so far ambiguous) exception, dying while in the grip of the Dark Side seems to mean your soul/spirit will remain anchored to the physical world, unable to become one with the Force or achieve any kind of peace unaided.

So while there are certain "degrees" of corruption by the Dark Side, that doesn't mean you can just stop and stay at a degree you think you can manage. Whatever it is about the Dark Side that corrupts, it will always try to pull you in deeper unless you reject it entirely. And even if your will holds out, your body may eventually fail from the strain you're putting on it.

Aeneas_Falco's Avatar

03.10.2016 , 11:35 AM | #16
I think it is safe to say there is a definite corrupting influence to the dark side, and there are multiple examples of it in the lore, including the films. Actually I'd go a bit further and say that both sides of the force heavily influence and shape the minds of the user. The most light side Jedi Masters for example are far more zen-like and fearless than any real world person would ever be.

That said the force (light or dark) probably impacts people differently. That might explain why some dark sider users are more reasonable / less psycopathic than others.

SteveTheCynic's Avatar

03.10.2016 , 01:53 PM | #17
Quote: Originally Posted by Aeneas_Falco View Post
That might explain why some dark sider users are more reasonable / less psycopathic than others.
Example: Lana Beniko. She's dark side, no doubt about it ("The Force serves me!") but also chillingly calm except when roused by e.g. a pair of Zakuul Knights who keep trying to give your character flying lessons in Chapter III.
To go to Belsavis, you must go to Belsavis.
> @"Biff.5312" said:
> Exercise your whimsy.

Khevar's Avatar

03.10.2016 , 04:43 PM | #18
Quote: Originally Posted by SteveTheCynic View Post
Example: Lana Beniko. She's dark side, no doubt about it ("The Force serves me!") but also chillingly calm except when roused by e.g. a pair of Zakuul Knights who keep trying to give your character flying lessons in Chapter III.
Yeah, she is an interesting example of a "light-sided Sith" from the viewpoint of the SWTOR game rules.

if one were to take her personality and story at face value, she doesn't seem to be corrupted by the dark side to any noticeable degree.

I'm starting to feel that the Tales of the Jedi representation of the "fall to the dark side" was poorly handled by the authors. Kevin and Tom seem to have taken a short-cut -- flips a switch and suddenly "I'm nao badguyz!" and blames it on the force, rather than giving the reader a more interesting character arc.

TalonVII's Avatar

03.10.2016 , 05:20 PM | #19
Well because of the back and forth, we really don't have an answer.

If you go by the gospel of George Lucas, there is no middle ground. Good, evil, no shades of grey but there is redemption. And being seduced to fall.

If you read say "Unifying Force", there is only the force and it's not good or evil, it simply is. But it reflects good in evil in the pera on using it.

I mean let's look at it. Force lightning, Considered completely evil by most. But what if a force user used it to jump start a heart in cardiovascular failure? Is that evil?

I honestly think and this is my 2 cents it's a combo of what I just said and something Kyle Katarn said in Jedi Knight, Jedi Academy. Force powers are inherently good or evil, it's how you use them that determines good or evil.

You can use a force telekinetic throw and snap someone's neck just as easily as you can electrocute them with lightning.
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FlameYOL's Avatar

03.10.2016 , 06:14 PM | #20
My Opinion Is The Same As Darth Plagueis's Opinion And That Of His Master Darth Tenebrous,The Force From My Point Of View Is A Mere Energy Conduict,Just Like If You Take More Energy Than You Can Get At That Time Your Body Suffer From It The Dark Side Works That Way,If You're Not Ready "Let Your Hate Flow"But Not Let It DOMINATE You Then The Dark Side Will Affect Your Mind And Even Your Body(Darth Sidious And Darth Zash Are Perfect Examples Of This)Now If You Are Ready To Control It And Not Let It Dominate You You Will Use A Very Poweful Energy Conduit While Not Allowing To Be Used Against You,A Good Example Of Sith Who Aren't Dominated By Their Emotions But Rather ARE Rulers Of Them Are:King Adas The Sith'ari,Maybe Tulak Hord And Marka Ragnos,Valkorion The Immortal Emperor AKA The Sith Emperor,Freedon Nadd,Exar Kun(Yes He Coudn't Draw To The Light Side After His Fall But I Think That Had Something To Do With His Master,Freedon Nadd),Darth Revan(Yes Revan Always Commited Atrocities,Even Going As Far As Genocide With The Mandalorians),Darth Traya,Darth Malgus,Darth Marr,Darth Jadus,Darth Bane,Darth Plagueis,Dark Lady Lumiya And Darth Krayt.
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