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Reasons for being a Light-sided or "Grey" Sith

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Story and Lore
Reasons for being a Light-sided or "Grey" Sith

EAFSAMWISE's Avatar


EAFSAMWISE
04.15.2021 , 09:09 AM | #1
Before I begin this thread, I know I'll probably receive endless comments of "make what choices you want, its up to you," or "it's just a game, who cares?" Those who aren't serious about discussing this should best leave the thread alone. But for those who would be concerned or interested, I'm curious what the best justification is for being light-sided or "Grey" as a Sith, or to put it a better way, what is the most plausible or realistic way or reason for leaning this way as a Sith in the context of the game. I'd personally rather not play all dark-side decisions or options because frankly I'd rather not just be a murderous psychopath and have some emotional investment in the plot as a genuine story. On the flip-side, it makes no sense in a lot of cases for a Sith to be a "goody two-shoes" and it just seems out-of-character. Thus it would seem to a Sith would need to have selfish or "sith-like" motives that would somehow translate into relatively moderated or light-sided actions. Here are the following motives I'd propose:
1) Those weaker than you are more useful alive--don't wantonly just murder everyone. Those targets aren't honorable kills. I would look to Lord Praven from Jedi Knight story as an ideal on this
2) Peace is a temporal necessity--this doesn't make it my absolute goal but according to Darth Thanaton, "without tradition, the Sith would be so awash in their own blood that they wouldn't see their enemies coming." Obviously some of his other motives were idiotic but I see his point and concern here. A form of peace is in some ways partly necessary in order for people to be able to learn from each other and gain strength, power, freedom, etc (Lana Beniko echoes this too when speaking to Gnost-Dural in Onslaught)
3) Too dangerous to be left alive--some people simply need to be killed because they're a threat to you and/or others and can't be contained. I killed Darth Baras rather than spare him, and I also killed Lord Paladius in the Inquisitors story on Nar Shadaa when I usurped his cult. I also killed Thana Vesh at the end of the Taris story arc due to her unethical behavior.
4) Those stronger than you are a worthy challenge--this is who you seek to rise above and eventually kill. As Lord Kallig says, "beware your master, beware your apprentice." Always be vigilant and ready to strike if you are threatened by either those stronger than you and those below you who seek to match your strength. After all, the Empire isn't safe and you need to be ready for those who would seek to take you down. In either case, power must be cautiously respected for its deadly potential.

Please share your thoughts

SteveTheCynic's Avatar


SteveTheCynic
04.15.2021 , 10:15 AM | #2
Quote: Originally Posted by EAFSAMWISE View Post
1) Those weaker than you are more useful alive--don't wantonly just murder everyone. Those targets aren't honorable kills. I would look to Lord Praven from Jedi Knight story as an ideal on this
As a variation of this, there's always how I justify my Sith, who are mostly goggley-eyed maniacs, when they keep Senya and Arcann alive. There's an aspect of "keep them alive because they are useful alive", but there's also the question of what they are useful *for*. The goggley-eyed maniacs do it out of *spite* against Vaylin.

Well, and there's Yerka Kolar, who is about as goggley-eyed as they come, who released (light-side) a certain someone in KotET Chapter VII even though keeping that someone is more useful. She gets occasional episodes of creepy-crawly paranoia, and keeping that someone captive seriously triggered a new episode.
Quote: Originally Posted by EAFSAMWISE View Post
3) Too dangerous to be left alive--some people simply need to be killed because they're a threat to you and/or others and can't be contained. I killed Darth Baras rather than spare him, and I also killed Lord Paladius in the Inquisitors story on Nar Shadaa when I usurped his cult. I also killed Thana Vesh at the end of the Taris story arc due to her unethical behavior.
Funny. I killed her because she's an insufferably petulant *brat*. (That fits with the generally "go with your passions" theme of the Sith code as well.)

Then again, much of what you see from the less maniacal Sith is driven by *pragmatism*. The two main examples that I could cite are Darth Marr and Lana Beniko, but they aren't the only ones.
Something you find difficult is a lesson on how to play better, not a punishment for playing badly.
To go to Belsavis, you must go to Belsavis.
Latest patch notes at http://www.swtor.com/patchnotes

Hadsil's Avatar


Hadsil
04.15.2021 , 10:46 AM | #3
I find Lana Baniko to be a good example of a "good" Sith. She abides by using emotion to empower her use of the Force, but she controls her emotions. She does what she thinks is necessary, no more, no less. I also like her take on power: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L4Evda9rFyY

rashencyberspeed's Avatar


rashencyberspeed
04.15.2021 , 12:04 PM | #4
The Empire is home to plenty of perfectly good people who didn't ask to be born under the government of the bad guys. All it takes is a little imagination to think of how someone who was born in the Empire could develop moral values.

SteveTheCynic's Avatar


SteveTheCynic
04.15.2021 , 01:55 PM | #5
Quote: Originally Posted by rashencyberspeed View Post
The Empire is home to plenty of perfectly good people who didn't ask to be born under the government of the bad guys. All it takes is a little imagination to think of how someone who was born in the Empire could develop moral values.
It's worth bearing in mind that if the Empire is the bad guys, the best the Republic can offer is being the other bad guys, and the hypocritical ones at that.
Something you find difficult is a lesson on how to play better, not a punishment for playing badly.
To go to Belsavis, you must go to Belsavis.
Latest patch notes at http://www.swtor.com/patchnotes

EAFSAMWISE's Avatar


EAFSAMWISE
04.15.2021 , 02:15 PM | #6
Quote: Originally Posted by SteveTheCynic View Post
It's worth bearing in mind that if the Empire is the bad guys, the best the Republic can offer is being the other bad guys, and the hypocritical ones at that.
Definitely worth considering but the average person would probably prefer the Republic in the end despite it's hypocrisies. They abuse their power sometimes but that's not the norm and/or doesn't affect the average citizen on a daily basis. By contrast, the Empire practices slavery and is controlled ultimately by a cult of impulse-driven sadists who manipulate things at will. The only bulwark against this is Sith "traditionalists" like Thanaton and Tremmel who believe in pragmatic restraint but also support hereditary discrimination on the basis of lineage and species. The main downside of the Republic is its hypocrisy & corruption in the military and the fact that it seems to benefit criminals and the underworld more, as is shown in the Smuggler story

coruscantdweller's Avatar


coruscantdweller
04.15.2021 , 03:10 PM | #7
The Sith Code mentions "passion" explicitly but says nothing about fear, anger or hatred. I have always interpreted Sith philosophy as harnessing emotions to use the Force, as opposed to the Jedi philosophy of rejecting emotions for the same purpose. I have never seen an explicit rule applicable to all Sith mandating or prohibiting the harnessing of specific emotions.

Most Sith seem to rely on the usual defaults of fear, anger, and hatred, but it is plausible for a Sith to instead harness love, compassion and/or empathy instead, which does not appear to contradict Sith doctrine. I don't think it matters where the passion comes from or what emotions are amplified.

The Jedi in SWTOR always come across to me as pretentious, deficient in empathy and unavoidably hypocritical. In real life, a person who feels a limited range of emotions and lacks empathy is usually a psychopath. I'm not demonizing the Jedi or saying that they're psychopaths, but they seem far too cold to be as morally wholesome as one might assume.

EAFSAMWISE's Avatar


EAFSAMWISE
04.15.2021 , 03:30 PM | #8
Quote: Originally Posted by coruscantdweller View Post
The Sith Code mentions "passion" explicitly but says nothing about fear, anger or hatred. I have always interpreted Sith philosophy as harnessing emotions to use the Force, as opposed to the Jedi philosophy of rejecting emotions for the same purpose. I have never seen an explicit rule applicable to all Sith mandating or prohibiting the harnessing of specific emotions.

Most Sith seem to rely on the usual defaults of fear, anger, and hatred, but it is plausible for a Sith to instead harness love, compassion and/or empathy instead, which does not appear to contradict Sith doctrine. I don't think it matters where the passion comes from or what emotions are amplified.

The Jedi in SWTOR always come across to me as pretentious, deficient in empathy and unavoidably hypocritical. In real life, a person who feels a limited range of emotions and lacks empathy is usually a psychopath. I'm not demonizing the Jedi or saying that they're psychopaths, but they seem far too cold to be as morally wholesome as one might assume.
I'm not saying you're wrong about the Sith code itself but my criticisms are directed more at how it plays out and is practiced

theUndead's Avatar


theUndead
04.15.2021 , 03:59 PM | #9
I like this thread.

So, to answer your question I can be a Grey Sith by virtue of what ties into my own personal morality. More so, alot of Empire light sided options are not by virtue of them being Lightside, good options. Instead, they are pragmatic options that would ultimately help the Empire in the long run.

I will further explantion, I don't like the some of the light sided options within the Sith Inquisator storyline because I do not believe in reforming the Empire, I rather believe the Empire should use its resources better. I also play my characters with my own headcannon in mind and as such being Grey can work to that.

However with all that I have mentioned, I do have some characters where I stick completely to the Darkside or the Lightside because those characters were built that way. I know I rambled a bit, but thats my thoughts on the matter.
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As theUndead mentioned, I can't exactly spell out all of our policies in depth, but that should hopefully cover your concerns.

Hadsil's Avatar


Hadsil
04.16.2021 , 12:10 AM | #10
Quote: Originally Posted by theUndead View Post
I like this thread.

So, to answer your question I can be a Grey Sith by virtue of what ties into my own personal morality. More so, alot of Empire light sided options are not by virtue of them being Lightside, good options. Instead, they are pragmatic options that would ultimately help the Empire in the long run.

I will further explantion, I don't like the some of the light sided options within the Sith Inquisator storyline because I do not believe in reforming the Empire, I rather believe the Empire should use its resources better. I also play my characters with my own headcannon in mind and as such being Grey can work to that.

However with all that I have mentioned, I do have some characters where I stick completely to the Darkside or the Lightside because those characters were built that way. I know I rambled a bit, but thats my thoughts on the matter.
Even the Darkest NPCs accept some of your Light choices. Obviously the script forces the outcome of the choice, but rather you'll get spoken approval or acceptance. They don't see it as a Light choice, only how it benefits the Empire or at least defer to your Judgment out of respect.