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 PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 9:11 pm Reply with quote  
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  Crash Override
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Reepicheep wrote:
To be honest, I'm trying to ignore the EU right now and just focus on the six movies (speaking of which - it should be interesting to see how the new movies portray the Force, dark side etc.). What did you think of the Anakin/Palpatine dialogue scene I mentioned in my previous post?


I think that both Jedi and Sith lay claim to the idea that they're following the Force and the other faction is only looking at part of the whole, but the idea that the Jedi aren't embracing the whole implies that the will of the Force is equivalent to the dark side. The Jedi have shown that they are invested in the will of the Force.

The fundamental difference between the Jedi and the Sith is explained by Anakin in a prior scene with Palpatine, in which he states that the Jedi are selfless while the Sith are selfish. The Jedi surrender to the will of the Force while the Sith force their will onto the Force. Is there a correlation ever made in the films about these factions being aligned with particular sides of the Force? Certainly Vader is said to use the dark side, as is the Emperor and Dooku. But what does that mean? I doubt it's simply a matter of choosing the dark side. No one chooses evil.

Practically speaking, when a Jedi levitates an object, is that Jedi using the light side or the dark side or both? In the films, the only two abilities that we see or hear about that seem to be aligned with a particular side are Force lightning and Plagueis' alleged ability to induce the midi-chlorians to create life. The latter sounds like it would be a light side ability, especially since its desired purpose by Anakin is for healing, but it's a Sith ability that's said to be unnatural. If it is a light side ability, what does that say?

Perhaps Force abilities that use the Force out of balance in and of themselves are something to be avoided.


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 PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 8:41 am Reply with quote  
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  Reepicheep
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Again and again characters are warned against using the dark side and/or the dark side is regarded as evil.

e.g.

"Vader was seduced by the dark side of the Force."
"Beware the dark side."
"Is the dark side stronger?"
The cave: strong with the dark side = a domain of evil
"This is a dangerous time for you, when you will be tempted by the dark side."
"Don't give in to hate; that leads to the dark side."
"You don't know the power of the dark side." (If Jedi use the dark side, why would Vader say this?)
"Fear is the path to the dark side."
"The dark side clouds everything."
"Dooku has joined the dark side; lies and deceit are his way now." (I seems Dooku did choose the dark side. No one chooses evil it's true, but evil can be chosen as a means to an end or it can be mistaken for good)
"The shroud of the dark side, has fallen. Begun the Clone War has."
Fear of loss = path to the dark side
"The dark side of the Force is a pathway to many abilities some consider to be unnatural." (It's not "Sith abilities" that are termed unnatural, but "dark side abilities")
"He had such a knowledge of the dark side he could even keep the ones he cared about from dying." (reinforcing the idea that Plagueis's power was indeed a dark side power)
"The dark side surrounds the chancellor."
"Even the nature of the dark side." "You know the dark side?" (Implying the Jedi don't treach the dark side)
"I do not fear the dark side as you do." (Why would Obi-Wan fear the dark side if Jedi use it?)
Yoda tells Palpatine his faith in the dark side is misplaced.
"Anakin has turned to the dark side."

I never get the sense that the Jedi use the dark side and I do get the sense that the Jedi shun the dark side because of all the quotes I listed above.
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 PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 10:41 am Reply with quote  
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  Crash Override
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And yet not a single mention of the light side.


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 PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 2:26 pm Reply with quote  
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  Reepicheep
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Very true, but you have to admit the dark side doesn't seem to be open to the Jedi. The Jedi are characterized by the opposite qualities as the dark side (calmness, peacefulness, passivity to the dark side's fear, anger, and aggression). Even if the "light side" is never mentioned, a similar concept isn't that much of a stretch. Personally, I find the forbidden nature of the dark side harder to reconcile with the Taoist view than reconciling the lack of "light side" naming with the Manichean view.

A couple things should be remembered:

1) I fear we're dropping into dichotomy mode. Lucas almost certainly drew inspiration from both Taoism and Manicheanism. I highly doubt he was trying to replicate a real world philosophy exactly.

2) Lucas is notorious for being inconsistent in his story-telling. Details like Obi-Wan not recognizing Threepio, Leia remembering what Padme looked like etc. I watched a behind-the-scenes video for the TCW episode "Cat and Mouse" and Lucas approached Dave Filoni with the idea of a relatively small ship with a cloaking device. When Filoni reminded Lucas that "No ship that small has a cloaking device", it sounds like Lucas just kind of waved it off. It's a small detail, but I think it's significant. Even things like DVD/Blu Ray edits (e.g. Greedo shooting first) show the fickle nature of Lucas's imagination. I wouldn't be surprised if Lucas flip-flops, changes views of the Force between films, TCW etc.
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 PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 2:38 pm Reply with quote  
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  Crash Override
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You need to qualify what the dark side is or what it means to use the dark side before saying the Jedi don't do it. The films are pretty clear that the Jedi use the Force. The dark side is disbalanced use of the Force. When the Jedi use the Force they're using just the Force, not splitting it into sides. Whereas when a Sith uses lightning he's using the dark side. So yeah, Jedi don't use the dark side out of balance in the Force, but they don't use the light side either.


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 PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 5:24 pm Reply with quote  
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  DarthMRN
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Lots of assumptions in that post, not really fit for the context of movies-only.

It isn't very likely that the Jedi use the dark side as well as the "good" just because they use the Force, not when they caution about it as much as they do. In that case it sounds like a rookie mistake or a serious fail to be regretted. In fact, the lack of a dedicated Lucasverse term for the light side, neatly explains why the Jedi claim to use the Force, when clearly they are supposed to use just a part of it.
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 PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 6:04 pm Reply with quote  
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  Crash Override
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If that was true then they wouldn't want the Force to be balanced, they'd want the light side to dominate the Force.

We see dark side powers in the films, but no light side powers and no mention of the light side. The idea itself is fan or EU created and not represented in the films at all. Vader levitating objects to throw at Luke is not drawing upon a different part of the Force than Luke levitating rocks on Dagobah, and there's nothing in the films to suggest that it's different.

And at this point, I really don't feel like proving a negative, and I don't really think I have a burden of proof because there's nothing in the films to say that the Jedi use the light side or that when Luke uses the Force he uses it differently than Vader (barring dark side abilities). The Jedi order is demonstrated to desire balance, never speaks of the light side, and there are no light side powers or abilities in the films. I really think I've said all that I need to say about it.

It's become an argument of supposition, and I'm not the one arguing for something that's not in the films, or accusing Lucas of not putting something in the films when it clearly should be in there, or some such.


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 PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 8:52 pm Reply with quote  
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  Reepicheep
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Hold on. I think I'm getting what you mean, for the most part. The only problem I have is the idea that the Jedi use the dark side. I can't agree with that, given the evidence from the films. Honestly, from what I can see, the idea that the Jedi use the dark side is as much "not in the films" as the "light side". Otherwise, I'd be open to your interpretation. For some reason your last post made something click, but I'll have to think about it for a bit.

I really do wonder if Lucas himself has an answer though.
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 PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 9:07 pm Reply with quote  
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  Cerrinea
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What you're not including is what George Lucas says about the Force. These are included in G Canon and have to be included in any dialogue on the Force.

"I wanted to have this mythological footing because I was basing the films on the idea that the Force has two sides, the good side, the evil side, and they both need to be there. Most religions are built on that, whether it's called yin and yang, God and the devil—everything is built on the push-pull tension created by two sides of the equation. Right from the very beginning, that was the key issue in Star Wars."

There you go. The Force has two sides, good and evil.
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 PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 9:23 pm Reply with quote  
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  Crash Override
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Are you talking to me or Reepicheep? I think Mortis establishes definitively that there's a light side, it's just that the Jedi are past the duality of the Force and are interested in it holistically. They use the Force in moderation and in the films, at least, don't seem to use the Force tailored toward either side.


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 PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2013 3:24 pm Reply with quote  
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  Reepicheep
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Crash, I'm a little confused. Do you think there is a "light side" of the Force or not? Sometimes you seem to affirm that there is a light side:

Crash Override wrote:
There's two dualities going on: between the two sides of the Force, which need to be balanced, and the duality of man, in which the shadow needs to be integrated, rather than denied and projected onto the other.


Crash Override wrote:
I think Mortis establishes definitively that there's a light side, it's just that the Jedi are past the duality of the Force and are interested in it holistically.


...and other times you seem to deny the light side:

Crash Override wrote:
The light side isn't mentioned in the films, so the EU is the *only* place to get that interpretation.


Crash Override wrote:
And yet not a single mention of the light side.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Crash Override wrote:
I think the problem people have is that they project a Manichean duality onto the Force, when the dark side of the Force itself is natural: the Sith use of it is what is unnatural.


Could you explain how you get this idea from the films, because I get the idea, very strongly, that the dark side is evil and is forbidden for Jedi use (from all the quotes I listed). Is there any reference to the dark side in a way that makes it look like the Jedi are open to it? From the films - no EU, no essays, no psychological theories etc.

Seriously, ask people if they think the Jedi are allowed to use the dark side and I guarantee you 90% or (probably) more will say, "No".
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Where the waves grow sweet,
Doubt not, Reepicheep,
To find all you seek,
There is the utter east.


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 PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2013 6:52 pm Reply with quote  
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  Crash Override
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I didn't deny the light side, I deny that it matters to the Jedi, because the Jedi follow the Force, and don't follow its constituent sides, and are only concerned with ensuring that they are balanced within the Force.

You haven't qualified how you define how the Jedi would "use the dark side." The Jedi use the Force. The Force has a dark side. They aren't "filtering" the Force when they use it. Yoda doesn't tell Luke to use the light side, he tells him to use the Force. When you use the Force, you're using both sides of it because it has two sides. The Sith use the dark side out of balance. The Jedi use the Force as it exists naturally, which has a light and dark side in balance. So no, the Jedi don't use the dark side out of balance, or filter the Force to use the dark side, or however you want to phrase it -- like the Sith do -- but they use the Force, which consists of the two sides in balance (ordinarily).

The Jedi are about surrendering to the will of the Force and letting go of the self. In doing so, they serve the Force. The sides of the Force don't even come into play because the Jedi look at the whole picture.

The Sith are about subverting the Force with their will. This is what the warning about the dark side are about. If Luke is fighting while angry or filled with hate, he's putting his desires ahead of the Force's flow. He's not subsuming his ego into the flow of the Force, but is redirecting the flow to suit his desires and passions.

Edit: Let's put it this way. The Jedi can fall to the dark side, as we've seen with Anakin. But he's not motivated to fall to the dark side by using the dark side. He's motivated by personal reasons. When a Jedi uses the Force, s/he draws upon the dark side in equal measure as light. Yoda's warning to beware the dark side isn't about being afraid that when you use the Force you might use the dark side, or that you need to only use the light side, it's to avoid Anakin's fate in being tempted by the power that using the dark side brings. And it's not just the dark side of the Force that brings the power. When Luke defeated Vader in a fury, he wasn't drawing upon the dark side as if it gave him enhanced combat prowess, he was just really pissed off, and he almost killed his father that he was trying to save as a result. His mind wasn't clouded by the dark side of the Force. It was clouded by his anger.

So, do Jedi "use the dark side"? It's a complex question with a complex answer. No, they don't use it for dark side powers like Force lightning or to cheat death. But they do use the Force, and in using the Force, they use both sides of it. "The Force is what gives a Jedi his power." "For my ally is the Force." Would I define that as using the dark side? I think the Jedi transcend the duality of the Force.


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 PostPosted: Sun Jul 21, 2013 2:00 pm Reply with quote  
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  Reepicheep
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Crash Override wrote:
Edit: Let's put it this way. The Jedi can fall to the dark side, as we've seen with Anakin. But he's not motivated to fall to the dark side by using the dark side.


In that case there seems to be two terms called the "dark side" then. One is the yang opposite to the light's yin, in your definition perfectly open to the Jedi. And then the other is a side (a "team" for lack of a better word) that uses the Force out of balance. Wouldn't it make more sense if those who are on the dark side use the dark side? It would be pretty confusing to have two homonymous terms not necessarily related to each other.

Crash Override wrote:
His mind wasn't clouded by the dark side of the Force. It was clouded by his anger.


But anger leads to the dark side. I would think that things like Force powers and anger are interconnected. For example, Anakin only uses dark side powers when he's angry.
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Where sky and water meet,
Where the waves grow sweet,
Doubt not, Reepicheep,
To find all you seek,
There is the utter east.


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 PostPosted: Sun Jul 21, 2013 2:07 pm Reply with quote  
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  Crash Override
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Reepicheep wrote:
Crash Override wrote:
Edit: Let's put it this way. The Jedi can fall to the dark side, as we've seen with Anakin. But he's not motivated to fall to the dark side by using the dark side.


In that case there seems to be two terms called the "dark side" then. One is the yang opposite to the light's yin, in your definition perfectly open to the Jedi. And then the other is a side (a "team" for lack of a better word) that uses the Force out of balance. Wouldn't it make more sense if those who are on the dark side use the dark side?

Crash Override wrote:
His mind wasn't clouded by the dark side of the Force. It was clouded by his anger.


But anger leads to the dark side. I would think that things like Force powers and anger are interconnected. For example, Anakin only uses dark side powers when he's angry.


I think there's a huge difference between drawing on the yin yang, and drawing on the yin. The Jedi draw on the yin yang. They don't draw on the yin alone. And there's nothing in the films to indicate that they draw on the yang alone. No one says "use the light side Luke," "feel the light side flow," etc. No one mentions the light side. The dark side is the selfish side, and consequently is the side in which the individual is prone toward imbalance. Passions cause one to prevent the self from subsuming into the flow of the Force, which is why Luke is warned against them. But the Jedi use the whole Force.


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 PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 2:31 pm Reply with quote  
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  Reepicheep
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Alrighty, I think I'm finished with this discussion for a while. You mentioned ending sooner, but I wasn't quite done, but I feel like I've said all that I want to now.

My conclusions are that the Taoist and Manichean views both have problems (though, given the evidence from the films alone, I still back the Manichean interpretation if I had to choose - mainly because the dark side is nearly always spoken of as if it's plague to the Jedi and there really is nothing direct about bringing both sides of the Force into balance or about using the dark side correctly). Thanks for the discussion. I learned some things. Smile
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Where the waves grow sweet,
Doubt not, Reepicheep,
To find all you seek,
There is the utter east.


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