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What does it mean to balance the Force?
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What does it mean to balance the Force?
 PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2013 2:47 pm Reply with quote  
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  Crash Override
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I wasn't sure which forum to go with, since it seems primarily a film concern but the EU might also provide input, as well as TCW.

Given the ambiguity around this, I'm curious what people think.


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 PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 2:09 am Reply with quote  
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  DarthMRN
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Obi-Wan: "You were the Chosen One! It was said that you would destroy the Sith, not join them. Bring balance to the Force, not leave it in darkness".

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 PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2013 2:57 pm Reply with quote  
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  Darth Skuldren
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I think the prophecy was a sham. It never said "The Chosen one will bring balance to the Force for all time." So, at any conceivable point in his lifetime, Anakin might have balanced the Force...for a moment. Laughing
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 PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2013 3:19 pm Reply with quote  
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  Crash Override
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Darth Skuldren wrote:
I think the prophecy was a sham. It never said "The Chosen one will bring balance to the Force for all time." So, at any conceivable point in his lifetime, Anakin might have balanced the Force...for a moment. Laughing


They've been pretty coy about the content of the prophecy.

I suppose that it's worth noting that on the "Secrets of Mortis" feature on TCW Season 3 blu-ray, George Lucas says: "The core of the Force, I mean you got the dark side [and the] light side. One is selfless, one is selfish, and you want to keep them in balance."

How does one reconcile this with destroying the Sith?


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 PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2013 3:51 pm Reply with quote  
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  Werehunter
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It may not mean destroy the Sith completely. But rather destroy the Emperor, who was unbalancing the force through his actions of destroying the Jedi.

I'm perfectly fine with the Jedi Council coming to the wrong conclusion of what the prophecy actually entitled. One of my favorite novel trilogy of all times ended with the group figuring out at the last possible moment that they prophecy they were following wasn't about them but rather the bad guy. Throughout the entire three books, the heroes will actually helping the bad guy come to, or return to, power.


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 PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2013 4:20 pm Reply with quote  
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  Caedus_16
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Apparently according to Lucas it means that the Light Side has to be winning or more prominent.
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 PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2013 4:48 pm Reply with quote  
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  Crash Override
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Caedus_16 wrote:
Apparently according to Lucas it means that the Light Side has to be winning or more prominent.

Where did he say that? That sounds contradictory to the quote about the two sides being in balance.


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 PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2013 6:10 pm Reply with quote  
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  Caedus_16
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Crash Override wrote:
Caedus_16 wrote:
Apparently according to Lucas it means that the Light Side has to be winning or more prominent.

Where did he say that? That sounds contradictory to the quote about the two sides being in balance.


Its not a quote, its based off of my watching of the films. Balance means both sides existing in the same measure, but in harmony and none gaining advantage over the others.

Then he slaughters the Jedi, then the remaining Sith, and at the end the Light is the only thing in power. At the end of his 6 film trilogy his prophecy is fulfilled, but balance just means Light side winning I guess.

This kind of thing is why I had a problem with that prophecy thing.
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 PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2013 10:37 pm Reply with quote  
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  Dog-Poop_Walker
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We've discussed this before elsewhere, but it seems like a conflation to think the prophecy has anything to do with the Sith.

If the Force truly has two sides and it exists in all living things, then the number of Force manipulators is irrelevent. EG destroying all the Sith does nothing to diminish the Dark Side because it exists independantly from them. The EU mythos seems to confirm this since the Dark Side of the Force was known to exist prior to the existence of the either the Sith or the Jedi.

The movie only mythos doesn't make it clear. Bu following the novel Darth Plagueis it states that the Sith somehow create "more" Dark Side, so eliminating them will return the Force to it's balanced state of equal parts Light and Dark and that seems to be keeping with Lucas' idea.

A stupid idea, IMO, that doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but there it is.

I personally think that there is no Dark or Light side, there is only the will of the Force and those who corrupt the will of the Force by using it for thier own will. In that sense eliminating the Sith creates balance and it doesn't have to explain how you can have more or less of the Force.
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 PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2013 11:03 pm Reply with quote  
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  Crash Override
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The idea that the Sith create more dark side would seem to originate from the idea that life creates the Force and makes it grow. The Jedi don't attempt to become more powerful while the Sith do, and the supposition that would follow would be that a Sith becomes so powerful and thus generates so much more Force energy -- dark side energy -- that it disrupts the balance of the Force. This would seem to be supported by the massive rush of energy when Palpatine falls down the shaft.


I don't recall where that idea appears in the novel Darth Plagueis though.

I also don't think that your idea is incorrect either, as I think the truth lies somewhere in-between. There's a deliberate modelling of the Force upon the Taiji


which would be your Force -- or as called elsewhere, the Cosmic Force or Unifying Force. But though the Force is one, it is necessarily expressed through complementary opposites. As Lucas says, one is selfless, one is selfish. The dark side, as embodied in the individual, such as a Sith Lord, is selfish, and thus does as you say, imposing his or her will on the Force. A selfless individual does not pose a threat to balance.

But I think it might be worth considering what the will of the Force is, and what that may imply. Are all the characters slaves to a predetermined destiny set for them by the Force, and if they wish to exercise free will and reject their destiny then they are selfish and aligned with the dark side?

Is the Force a sentient, or sapient? Remember, it's an immanent power that is omnipresent throughout the galaxy, not a transcendent being, which is something Matt Stover pointed out back in 2002:

"I've often been a little bit bothered by the "deification" of the Force in the EU. The Force is not God -- it's not something "out there," a unitary entity with its own will and intention. It's right here. A Jedi is part of it -- and so is everything else. Its "will" (to use an inadequate word) is expressed in existence itself."

I have my answer to what the will of the Force is, an example of which is something that Luceno draws upon in Darth Plagueis with what Darth Plagueis believes that Anakin is: enantiodromia. But I like to be cryptic.


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 PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 9:30 am Reply with quote  
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  DarthMRN
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Dog-Poop_Walker wrote:
If the Force truly has two sides and it exists in all living things, then the number of Force manipulators is irrelevent. EG destroying all the Sith does nothing to diminish the Dark Side because it exists independantly from them. The EU mythos seems to confirm this since the Dark Side of the Force was known to exist prior to the existence of the either the Sith or the Jedi.

I'm not sure SW qualifies for that sort of realism. I think it is sorta implied that the GFFA in any relevant sense never existed without the Jedi. From a Lucasverse perspective, naturally. Even if realistically it would have to have been a dark side before the Sith, it is a non-issue that isn't going to be relevant to the plot. Certainly not so relevant that it can undermine the prophesy like you suggest.

But in any case, Sids did cast the shroud of the Sith which clouded the vision of the Jedi. To my mind at least, this qualifies as an A-grade strengthening of the dark side. Any individual powerful enough to do that would be a major dark side pillar. And since this particular pillar was strong enough to beat Yoda, and cunning enough to bring down the Jedi and conquer the Republic as well, a prophesy (and subseuqent divine intervention) devoted to his death seems justified all on its own. Even to the point of being called a balancing of the Force.

Somewhat contrived? Oh yes. That is what you get trying to shoehorn a Chosen One space Jesus onto the established OT.

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I personally think that there is no Dark or Light side, there is only the will of the Force and those who corrupt the will of the Force by using it for thier own will. In that sense eliminating the Sith creates balance and it doesn't have to explain how you can have more or less of the Force.

If Luke can empirically sense the cave on Dagobah as being cold and stuff, with Yoda explaining this to be a place strong with the dark side, how can there not be an objective, energetic dark side, independent of individuals?

Crash Override wrote:
The idea that the Sith create more dark side would seem to originate from the idea that life creates the Force and makes it grow. The Jedi don't attempt to become more powerful while the Sith do, and the supposition that would follow would be that a Sith becomes so powerful and thus generates so much more Force energy -- dark side energy -- that it disrupts the balance of the Force. This would seem to be supported by the massive rush of energy when Palpatine falls down the shaft.

I find this a bit tricky. You'd think, if it was that easy, that the Sith we got in the movies would have been more easily able to win fights they lost. Since there is no similar implication that the good guys they lost to grows the light or whatever to a similar magnitude.
It does help to explain Palp's power, which otherwise remains rather inexplicable, but it doesn't seem to fit the other Sith very well at all.
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 PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2013 1:10 am Reply with quote  
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  Dog-Poop_Walker
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If "life" creates the Force than the Sith should have just as "much" as anyone else.. in fact they should have less because there is less of them. There isn't an explanation for why the Sith are able to generate "more" Dark Side. If that were possible and the Jedi are good then they too should be able to generate "more" Light Side and that would be a sort of balance. I don't see anything forbidding the Jedi from putting out "more" Light Side if they are somehow capable of doing so.

I like your idea DRM about Palps merely blocking out the Jedi from the Force. That fits nicely with the idea of balance and doesn't have to account for the odd notion of unequal quantities of "Force."

The phenominon of "Disturbing The Force" might factor into this. The Force is tied to life, but does death actually diminish or erase the Force? If not, if the Force is merely drawn to life and not dependant on it, death might simply repel The Force and a Jedi will note it's absense or it's withdrawal.

What I'm getting at is that such a Disturbance could be found in the Dagobah Cave. That could also tie into Balance in the sense that there could be a Force that is always existing and never changing in totality but it's physical distribution in the Galaxy can be altered so as to appear that some people and places have more or less of it.

As to the will of the Force and Destiny I tend to think that the Force only directs it's will unto certain situations, but it does not dictate all things and the fate of everyone in the universe. The Prophecy would obviously be one of those situations. Whether a person would be able to NOT fulfill that destiny... I think that's another discussion. Or is it? Does the Balance of the Force mean that the Force MUST be balanced and will be no matter what? If so, then how can it ever be unbalanced in the first place? Hm.
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 PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2013 3:06 am Reply with quote  
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  DarthMRN
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Dog-Poop_Walker wrote:
If "life" creates the Force than the Sith should have just as "much" as anyone else.. in fact they should have less because there is less of them. There isn't an explanation for why the Sith are able to generate "more" Dark Side. If that were possible and the Jedi are good then they too should be able to generate "more" Light Side and that would be a sort of balance. I don't see anything forbidding the Jedi from putting out "more" Light Side if they are somehow capable of doing so.

Agreed. Without some exposition to the contrary, the Sith should have no more potential to affect the Force than anyone else, or at least a Jedi. I know the EU provided such exposition so it is in the clear, but since becoming a Lucasverse purist, I don't much care.

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I like your idea DRM about Palps merely blocking out the Jedi from the Force. That fits nicely with the idea of balance and doesn't have to account for the odd notion of unequal quantities of "Force."

Oh. Um, I can't much take credit for that. All I was referring to was that the Jedi vision of the future was clouded, with Yoda referring to the shroud of the Sith having fallen, both in AotC and made more explicit in the RotS novelization.
But your idea isn't bad at all. Maybe this same shroud prevents Jedi from balancing out the Force in whatever magical way Palp is able to unbalance it, making him literally unbalance the Force with his powers. Only without any evidence for it, it remans pure fanwank. There is also the problem that he presumably would have switched it off once the Jedi were gone, yet still his death is required for balance, suggesting the shroud isn't the reason.

Quote:
The phenominon of "Disturbing The Force" might factor into this. The Force is tied to life, but does death actually diminish or erase the Force? If not, if the Force is merely drawn to life and not dependant on it, death might simply repel The Force and a Jedi will note it's absense or it's withdrawal.

"Life creates it, makes it grow", per Yoda.
By that logic, death would cut off Force growth, a bad thing on its face. The problem is just that if taken too far, this line of thought gets nonsensical. Where does the already created Force go? Does total population growth create a surplus of Force for lean times? Death is clearly a bad thing for the Force, but without knowing anything else than that a commodity is produced, without knowing what it is for, its impossible to understand why loss of life matters.
Personally I don't think GL thought it through very well. He just wanted some spiritual mumbo jumbo that would give depth to his movie, and we are playing right into it.
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 PostPosted: Sun Oct 27, 2013 2:05 pm Reply with quote  
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  Arawn_Fenn
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Crash Override wrote:
Is the Force a sentient, or sapient? Remember, it's an immanent power that is omnipresent throughout the galaxy, not a transcendent


It doesn't have to be an either/or situation. As many have argued it may be both immanent and transcendent, as is the case in certain real-world views on theology, especially in light of the living/unifying dichotomy.

Dog-Poop_Walker wrote:
EG destroying all the Sith does nothing to diminish the Dark Side because it exists independantly from them.


Correct, in that the dark side is not diminished beyond its "in balance" state, and is never destroyed. But if the Sith, as seen in the Darth Plagueis novel, have developed the ability to more or less directly shift the balance of the Force in favor of the dark side, removal of the Sith equates to the restoration of this balance by reversing the dark side's advance.

We know from the timeline alone that just being a Sith is not enough to unbalance the Force, since there were Sith around before the Force went out of balance. But with the "generation" of Sith that we see represented by Plagueis and Palpatine, things are different.
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 PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 2:35 am Reply with quote  
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  Dog-Poop_Walker
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I just read a cracked article that talked about this and no one in the comments had any idea what it was about either, haha. But the consensus of most movie only watchers is that the prophecy was an ironic twist where the Jedi thought it meant destroying the Sith, but it meant destroying the Jedi to equalize the two.

We know that was not Lucas' intention, but could that indirectly be true? If the Prophecy was fulfilled by Anakin destroying Palpatine, could he have been able to do so if he had not become Vader? And would the Jedi still have accepted it if they knew that it required their destruction? Just some food for thought.
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