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"Balance" in the Force and the dark side.

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > STAR WARS Discussion
"Balance" in the Force and the dark side.

Darth_Advent's Avatar

08.27.2012 , 12:23 AM | #1
Wasn't sure if this belonged here or in Story and Lore, but I'll hedge my bet here since I'll be citing non-TOR Expanded Universe sources.

It's been a common misconception among Star Wars fans for years that the so-called "balance" in the Force referred to the equal, counteracting dichotomy of light and darkness. Many mistook the Force for some Taoist yin-yang concept in which good and evil, peace and passion, and serenity and violence had to be in some kind of metaphysical equilibrium. The lore does not support this analysis, and in fact portrays the dark side as an unnatural corruption that eats away at the Force from the inside like a cancer. It's not supposed to be there and the galaxy would be better off without it gnawing away at the Force and life itself. Anakin Skywalker brought balance to the Force by destroying the Sith Order and vanquishing the darkness, not bringing light and dark into parity.

And then early last year there was an story arc in the Clone Wars cartoon about a planet called "Mortis" in an alternate plane of reality inhabited by creatures called "Force Wielders." They are former Celestials who became living embodiments of the light side, dark side, and the "Force in balance." Considering that originally there was no "light side", and this was a fan term created to contrast the corrupt and unnatural dark side within the Living Force, it's kind of surprising to see avatars of darkness and light. The dark being is called "The Son", the light being is "The Daughter", and balance is "The Father." Basically, The Father keeps his children on Mortis because it's the only way he can assure that their powers remain in check. He says during the course of the story that too much darkness or light will destroy reality and doom the galaxy, so he needs to make sure that The Son and the The Daughter don't overpower one another or fight too harshly.

That's pretty much the exact opposite of what the Force was portrayed as being up until that point. The Jedi believe, and their belief is canonically the "most right" perspective on the Force according to LucasArts, that the dark side is what unbalances the Force. This would indicate that the Jedi are completely wrong about something pretty important and that destroying the dark side is ultimately a bad idea.

The Mortis characters and ontology get revisited in a book titled "Apocalypse", which was the most recent book in the "Fate of the Jedi" series and hit stores about a year after the cartoons aired. In the book, Luke Skywalker and his Jedi allies team up with Sith to stop a potent space aberration doing what ancient interstellar abominations do. Luke concludes that Anakin's decision not to replace The Father as the one to keep equilibrium between the light and the dark caused ripples in the Force that lead to most of the conflicts 60 years after Anakin went to Mortis in the Clone Wars cartoon. He also decides that the Jedi and Sith orders themselves must become the new Daughter and Son to maintain balance in the Force.

I then considered that the words of characters are not essentially canon. Characters are not necessarily correct nor are their opinions representative of lore facts unless affirmed by the creators. Then I learned that in the DVD set for the 3rd season of Clone Wars, Lucas says, "The Core of the Force. I mean you got the Dark Side, the Light Side, one is selfless, one is selfish, and you want to keep them in balance."

So does this mean that big G has swung 180 degrees to the other side an changed the Force back from a black & white medieval morality play in space to Lao Tzu in space? I'm finding it pretty hard to reconcile this conflicting data, unless I'm missing some Leland Che spin-doctoring.
May the Force serve you well.

Eillack's Avatar

08.27.2012 , 09:36 AM | #2
Everything was a metaphor.

The Father, Son and Daughter existed, but didn't exist. The daughter was everything and everyone who was and would be connected to the lightside and the Son the opposite. The two of them fighting was another metaphor for the galaxy in a civil war, something that didn't truely occur on this scale sinse the days of The Old Republic (how the Father got codes from that time period who knows.....future end-game content?).

As far as the EU books go, their just BS things. I think George Lucas was ok with the Mortis arc because it was really just a metaphor and existed, but didn't exist. The Force Nexus seemed more like a foreshadowing to the ships from Dawn of the Jedi and even that seemed iffy at first.

Anakin in a way did fill his role as Father by destroying both Orders for the most part. If anything, Luke should have tried to bring better balance after he restored the Jedi Order.

pudim's Avatar

08.27.2012 , 09:58 AM | #3
or... that means Anakin really brought balance by allowing the Sith to return
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Aurbere's Avatar

08.27.2012 , 10:22 AM | #4
Quote: Originally Posted by pudim View Post
or... that means Anakin really brought balance by allowing the Sith to return
Umm.... No. The Force is brought out of balance when the Sith oppress the Light by their use of the Dark Side. The Dark Side causes death and destruction, the exact opposite of the Light. The Force strives for peace, influencing events to achieve said peace. Palpatine's rise to power and the formation of the Galactic Empire, as well as the destruction of the Jedi Order, forced The Force to seek an alternative method to restore peace. Due to the galaxy's primary peace-keepers being out of commission, the Force sought out the Emperor's enemies influencing their actions and decisions to lead to one outcome: The Formation of the Alliance to Restore the Republic.

Now this begs the question: how is war creating peace? The Empire did not create peace. At least, not true peace. The Empire created a force peace. They oppressed those who would speak against Palpatine and more than likely killed them. Under Palpatine, there was no peace. Just a sick delusion. So the Force had to stop Palpatine and restore peace to the galaxy and restore balance to the Force.

The Galactic Civil War was fought on two fronts. While the rebels fought with their weapons and Starships, another war was being fought in the Force. This war was waged between Obi-Wan and Vader, primarily. But after Obi-Wan's death, the fate of the galaxy fell on the shoulders of Luke Skywalker. The final battle to decide the fate of the galaxy and the Force took place on the Death Star II. Here Luke aided Anakin Skywalker in restoring balance to the Force by redeeming the former Sith Lord. We all know how ROTJ ended, the Emperor was defeated and peace was restored to the galaxy. More importantly, Anakin's redemption and sacrifice led to the Force being brought back into balance.
Added Chapter 66 to The Shadows Fall
"Your only hope to survive is to give in to the rage boiling within you, to acknowledge the Dark Side you deny, and tap into it!"--Darth Tyranus

Darth_Advent's Avatar

08.27.2012 , 11:37 AM | #5
Lucas is more than merely "okay" with the Mortis arc. The Clone Wars aren't like the EU, where he just skims things over for anything outrageous and waves it off otherwise; he personally supervises each episode. That story didn't get through without his full sanction. I also reject that it happened but it didn't happen, because it's clear that it wasn't any more of a metaphor than anything else in greater story. The Ones inhabited a world existing in another dimension created through the Force specifically so that the Father could keep his children from wreaking havoc. It wasn't all a dream that Anakin had because he drank too much blue milk, and even it were a Force vision, then it shouldn't have shown him something completely opposite of the nature of the Force. Mainly, The Father wouldn't have been the agent of balancing the scales between light and dark, yet he was just that.

I'm not going to dismiss the EU books because some call them BS, because that doesn't change the fact that LA considers them a part of canon. EU material is only not canon if overruled by LA or Lucas himself, and the man in charge is pretty serious about correcting anything that messes with his vision too much. In the past, they've had to write books where the Potentium was discredited so that there could be no doubt that the light and dark side are physically real and not just a flawed way of categorizing powers. The Potentium and theories like it were in direct conflict with Lucas' vision and how he wanted the Force to be portrayed. If Apocalypse had Luke Skywalker, probably the most important Jedi in Star Wars, saying something totally off about how the Force works then I'd expect Lucas or Leland Che to veto it in the draft phase.

And yet they didn't. It seems like they're going back to the Western overview of certain Eastern notions and saying that the dark side has to be a part of the Force somehow.
May the Force serve you well.

grandmthethird's Avatar

08.27.2012 , 12:33 PM | #6
first off, the clone wars is not some maveric EU experiment that will be retconned very soon, its LAs new baby, so if this is what they want the force to be, then, by the power invested in george, i now pronounce you canon.

also this idea that the jedi have to wipe out the darkside to bring balance has a major flaw anyway. there is a difference between the darkside and a darkside user. you can't get rid of the darkside in the same way you can't get rid of the light, the two are omnipotent. force users need the force to use the force ability's, the force does not need force users to exist, it just flows anyway. and for this reason the jedi wage war against darkside user and not the darkside

the problem is, and i have said this before. "the force in balance" and "the chosen one" only ever really made sense (and in a funny sort of way didn't) with the 6 films. i believe the whole thing was sposed to be a bit obscure to give the audience a talking point, something to debate for years to come "what was the meaning behind it all?" and it would have worked a treat if not for a pesky little thing called EU. as EU expands and grows things need to be explained more to make sense. and its for this reason we have so many conflicting views of what is meant by the force.

but now we have the final word from LA with the son, the daughter and the farther representation of the force
"Hope has a vicious enemy called fate"

Reynaga's Avatar

08.27.2012 , 12:47 PM | #7
I have to agree with grand here, not only did they make it canon, so did Lucas. Perspectives change, and just because they get rid of all the sith, even if they could, that still leaves force sensatives/ force witches and force adepts that run around willy nilly without the formal training of the Jedi or sith doctrines. And they may pull on the light or dark sides, not all force users get picked up and trained. So it would stand to reason that both would be natural even if it may not be appealing. The same way that people would like to think that order and peace are the natural ways of the universe when how can you know hot without knowing cold, or light without darkness? Go ahead and pick what I said appart. ^_^ I love you guys anyways.
The Korbin Legacy B.C.
"When fighting monsters, one must take care not to become a monster themselves." F. N.

Aurbere's Avatar

08.27.2012 , 01:16 PM | #8
The topic of balance in the Force is a very confusiong one. GL has changed his opinion on the subject multiple times. I think we have to look at this from a more realistic perspective. If balance means having an equal number of Sith to Jedi, then that would mean that balance would be say 10000 Jedi and 10000 Sith. Taking into account how the Sith act and their hatred of the Jedi, I don't see that happening.

I prefer the old view of balance, when the Jedi kept the Force in balance through their peaceful nature, while the Sith bring it out of balance by using the Dark Side.
Added Chapter 66 to The Shadows Fall
"Your only hope to survive is to give in to the rage boiling within you, to acknowledge the Dark Side you deny, and tap into it!"--Darth Tyranus