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Why do people join Dark Side?

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Story and Lore
Why do people join Dark Side?

Xilizhra's Avatar


Xilizhra
12.30.2013 , 08:43 AM | #101
Quote: Originally Posted by Kyneris View Post
Well, they are. The Sith is an organization which plays into what the Dark Side encourages and it's not by coincidence that the people such a system produces are pretty much all psychopaths. The very few who can refrain from such actions would indeed be considered oddballs by Sith standards.

One thing I'd like to add is that even though Force Lightning and other Dark Side powers are inherently corrupting when used, a one-time (or at the least, very rare) usage does not always result in an instant fall ot the Dark Side. It would depend on the circumstances such as the emotional state and the intention of the Lightsider using such a power.

A Lightside Sith (or a lightsider in general) can feasibly use a Dark power under certain conditions and get away with it.
That may be applicable for the Warrior, but the Inquisitor is spraying out lightning at a nigh-constant rate.

BradTheImpaler's Avatar


BradTheImpaler
12.30.2013 , 02:54 PM | #102
Quote: Originally Posted by Xilizhra View Post
Can't you point out to her that she's starting to deliberately reject compassion, which is the reason she began her crusade in the first place? That's the real issue with the dark side: for most people, it sucks you in and starts to change you, making you feel that anything can be solved with the right application of negative emotions.
Yeah but that misses the point---that it might do that in time, but not all Sith are necessarily motivated the same way and fallen Jedi typically have different motives than, say, Zannah or even Malgus others born pretty much raised as Sith.

It doesn't change that there's something arguably sound to what she said/her motives. Compassionate people can get angry too, and we have plenty of canonical cases of Force users brushing with the dark side while not being twisted...just not of fully immersing themselves in it. We never really saw that play out for Yuthura anyway because Revan redeems her.
In the Imperial Army, it takes more courage to retreat than to advance.

Xilizhra's Avatar


Xilizhra
12.30.2013 , 06:49 PM | #103
Quote: Originally Posted by BradTheImpaler View Post
Yeah but that misses the point---that it might do that in time, but not all Sith are necessarily motivated the same way and fallen Jedi typically have different motives than, say, Zannah or even Malgus others born pretty much raised as Sith.

It doesn't change that there's something arguably sound to what she said/her motives. Compassionate people can get angry too, and we have plenty of canonical cases of Force users brushing with the dark side while not being twisted...just not of fully immersing themselves in it. We never really saw that play out for Yuthura anyway because Revan redeems her.
Her motives are sound, but the dark side is playing with fire; not everyone has the fortitude to use it and not be warped by it, and I don't know how one can really select for that kind of thing.

FabulousDoctor's Avatar


FabulousDoctor
12.30.2013 , 08:35 PM | #104
Quote: Originally Posted by Xilizhra View Post
Her motives are sound, but the dark side is playing with fire; not everyone has the fortitude to use it and not be warped by it, and I don't know how one can really select for that kind of thing.
This was, I think, sort of the thing that made Revan so special in lore, post-mindwipe but pre-emperor meeting. He could perfectly balance light and dark force, without being corrupted.

However his time with the emperor proved that even someone renowned as being one of the only people capable of doing so couldn't withstand constant contact with something pure Dark Side, not without some... instability.

Edit: As for why, the Dark Side is typically portrayed in lore to be a quicker path to power - the Starwars D20 game supported this by having darksiders level faster early on.

The Jedi channel the force through meditation and thought - in some parts of the EU, they actively become weaker when they lose themselves to emotion, and it's also why they cannot use the force while being tortured. In comparison, the Sith use their emotions, their anger at their enemies, or at themselves, or at the world, and funnel power straight through that. It means their power is more reliant on their instability - this is, in the EU, one of the explained reasons why Sith always are looking for fights or challenges - to rest and allow yourself to become complacent is to lose the emotions that help power you.


Depending on the source, you'll find Lightside groups who channel emotions that aren't negative (Look at New Jedi Order, where Luke points out that love isn't a path to the darkside, and that it can power the Light) and Darkside groups that use meditation and 'prayer' (the witches whose name I forget).

An important distinction is that while the Jedi are Light, and the Sith are Dark, Light does not mean Jedi, and Dark does not mean Sith. Throughout the universe there are many force wielding cultures who do not take part in either order of thought.

Aeneas_Falco's Avatar


Aeneas_Falco
12.30.2013 , 09:35 PM | #105
One thing that I think needs to be addressed, since it has been brought up in this thread, is whether or not the dark side is more powerful than the light.

Many dark-siders obviously believe it is, but are those characters infallible? There are many different religious sects in the real world with their own sets of beliefs, each of which thinks it is in sole possession of the truth. Who is right and who is wrong? Just because a person believes in something fervently, doesn't automatically render it true.

Just taking a quick glance at the history of the Star Wars galaxy, I'd say those Sith characters preaching the supposed superiority of the dark side are most definitely fallible. If the dark side were more powerful than the light I'd expect to see dark siders reigning supreme over the galaxy more frequently, and for longer periods of time than those who revere the light side. Instead the opposite is true.

I see the aspects of the force as a kind of yin and yang. Eternally in opposition, one also can't exist without the other. Because the very dark side of the force is both self-destructive and chaotic however, no empire ever built by dark siders can ever last. The dark side however is more seductive, and perhaps in the short term, offers a means to achieving personal power. But its all built on sand.

Girdeux's Avatar


Girdeux
12.31.2013 , 02:39 AM | #106
Quote: Originally Posted by Aeneas_Falco View Post
One thing that I think needs to be addressed, since it has been brought up in this thread, is whether or not the dark side is more powerful than the light.
Its already been addressed many pages back in sources that the dark side is more powerful. Read the entire thread next time.

Xilizhra's Avatar


Xilizhra
12.31.2013 , 05:32 AM | #107
Quote: Originally Posted by Aeneas_Falco View Post
One thing that I think needs to be addressed, since it has been brought up in this thread, is whether or not the dark side is more powerful than the light.

Many dark-siders obviously believe it is, but are those characters infallible? There are many different religious sects in the real world with their own sets of beliefs, each of which thinks it is in sole possession of the truth. Who is right and who is wrong? Just because a person believes in something fervently, doesn't automatically render it true.

Just taking a quick glance at the history of the Star Wars galaxy, I'd say those Sith characters preaching the supposed superiority of the dark side are most definitely fallible. If the dark side were more powerful than the light I'd expect to see dark siders reigning supreme over the galaxy more frequently, and for longer periods of time than those who revere the light side. Instead the opposite is true.

I see the aspects of the force as a kind of yin and yang. Eternally in opposition, one also can't exist without the other. Because the very dark side of the force is both self-destructive and chaotic however, no empire ever built by dark siders can ever last. The dark side however is more seductive, and perhaps in the short term, offers a means to achieving personal power. But its all built on sand.
That would imply that the thing that's most necessary to keep and hold the galaxy is raw power, which simply isn't true. Darksiders do tend to be more powerful, but lightsiders tend to have more of the qualities that are actually necessary for keeping the galaxy running, such as calm, foresight and ability to work together. Darksiders do seize power relatively frequently, but they can't keep a hold of it.

FabulousDoctor's Avatar


FabulousDoctor
12.31.2013 , 03:30 PM | #108
Quote: Originally Posted by Xilizhra View Post
That would imply that the thing that's most necessary to keep and hold the galaxy is raw power, which simply isn't true. Darksiders do tend to be more powerful, but lightsiders tend to have more of the qualities that are actually necessary for keeping the galaxy running, such as calm, foresight and ability to work together. Darksiders do seize power relatively frequently, but they can't keep a hold of it.
This is the basics of it - the way the Jedi 'encourage' rule and influence the Republics, with meditation, thought on the outcome, foresight and planning is just better than the Darkside way of 'deal with it yourself, **** consequences'.

However, the Lightside is also to blame for every single darksider who has ever taken power - nearly every Dark Jedi was originally a Jedi. Almost every SIth Lord was originally a Jedi. Even at times with an academy like in KOTOR, the two most powerful sith were former Jedi.

Why this is can depend based on a lot of facts - but it mostly points to the idea that the Jedi way is hard.

Playing on Begeren Colony, I can say a lot of people RP Jedi really badly - I've seen multiple people RPing 'children' to other characters, who are still in full contact with their parents. The way of the Jedi is to have your child taken from you, and you forbidden from ever seeing them. Any ties to your previous life are an emotional tie that could lead to the darkside (as Anakin displays with his mother's death), so any child in the Jedi Order has likely not seen their parents past when their force abilities first manifested.

This is probably the least difficult of tasks - a Jedi must learn to discard their emotions, to work towards the good without working rashly. A Jedi has to realize that even if they could murder the head of the slave trade on Nar Shaddah, that would mean chaos as hundreds of other evil people try to take his place. Even more - a Jedi cannot become enamored with the idea of 'removing evil'. They are obligated to offer aid and healing to anyone who will take it, even if said person killed their padawan or something similar.

The Dark Side is much easier - if you have might, you're right. Your power comes to you, and you take whats yours. This is why the Dark Side so often manages to overthrow the Light to take the galaxy.

But in doing so, you encourage others to seek power and what is theirs. Which is to say - you get the current Sith, where over the course of the various TOR storylines like 4 of the dark council end up trying to take over the Empire on their own.

The Dark Side is easier and quicker ways to power, but it also encourages feasting upon itself. The way the academy is set up proves that - those who are force sensitive but not powerful enough get used as target practice or enslaved as training dummies, killed to empower the powerful few further.

The Light Side takes longer, but it encourages working with each other - even those who don't have the potential to be Masters are trained and given tasks that they can do, taught and taken care of and encouraged.

This extends beyond just Sith and Jedi - the Empire itself is very violent and favors only those with power, though it may be monetary or political (though any Sith can strip you of any of that power if they wish), while the Republic tries to encourage even the common man, giving them rights and liberties. They fail because they're too big, but they try.

So the Empire will collapse under its own weight, and the republic will continue to try and fail to be perfectly free.

WickedDjinn's Avatar


WickedDjinn
12.31.2013 , 04:28 PM | #109
It's not just that the Jedi way is hard, but that the Jedi way, at least the way the council teaches, is *broken*.

The rift between Jedi and Sith isn't simply Good vs Evil, it is a battle between two extremist views that are equally flawed.

Take the Jedi civil war in the original games as an example. Everything that transpired was ultimately due to the cowardice and inaction of the Jedi council. Had the Jedi leadership actually done something to stop the Mandalorans wanton slaughter as they reaved a path through the galaxy, Revan would have been following THEM instead of going off on his own and, well, the rest is history.

It's often metioned how the Empire and the Sith are always doomed to fail... but the Jedi have the exact same problem. They are repeatedly brought to the edge of annihilation throughout the history the starwars universe, and almost always their problems begin. ironically with the councils paralyzing fear of corruption.

Sadishist's Avatar


Sadishist
12.31.2013 , 06:22 PM | #110
Quote: Originally Posted by GibsonMcCoy View Post
If you've ever played the old table top West End Games Star Wars RPG, the Dark Side was more powerful because for every Dark Side point you had, you got to roll and extra die when using Force Powers.

You could easily give into using the dark side abilities and gaining more and more dark side points, thus, in that game's rules, giving you more power as a follower of the Dark Side.

But if you've read Annihilation,
Spoiler
I don't think Gnost was very light side in that book.
A fearful enemy is at his most dangerous.

The Fallen Lords of The Bastion
Juggernaut: Sadishist Sorcerer: Drellion