What is the Dark side?

We are all going to have our definitions. For some, Darkness may be classified fully as “Evil”. But in the Star Wars fiction, that was too one-dimensional to capture fully what the Dark Side of the Force was. Sure, some people committed evil when they accessed it, but you could commit an evil act without actually engaging with the Dark side too – such as sacrificing many for one person you believe is more important (a point that Mace Windu and Billaba discussed/contemplated in-depth at one point, as outlined in “Shatterpoint” by Matthew Stover). This is because morals and values are taught by a culture, they are not informed by this concept of understanding the Dark side of the Force.

In Kenobi, we kind of see just how grey the area is on being evil. A man picks up Obi-Wan and Leia, only to carry them to the Empire. He thinks he’s doing the right thing, because the Empire has been good to him and his people. In the fictional universe, that’s not Darkness which carries him to do this action, it’s a sense of duty to his people and the Empire which he has judged as a good law-enforcement source for his people. Similarly, the Storm Troopers aren’t carried by the Sith and Jedi understanding of the Dark Side of the Force when performing their duties.

Are they evil though? That’s a subjective question- in that one side would view them as evil because they both work for the Empire and do not question it. Another may only count the driver as evil, while the Storm Troopers get a pass because they were engineered to listen only to the Empire. While yet another counts neither as evil.

At their core though, both are simply honor bound, and executing what they have been led to believe is the right course of action. They are wielded by a people whom use the Dark Side- of course wielded and actively engaging the Darkness are two different things.

If you want to read up more on the fiction’s understanding of Darkness is, I encourage you to read up on the Wookieepedia article here:

All that fiction aside, the real world Jedi have an opportunity to explore and determine for themselves what the Dark Side of the Force represents. Is it Evil alone? Is it something other than evil? Is it emotion based? The list can go on and on. But at the core, we Jedi have to answer these two questions:

  1. What is Evil?
  2. What is the Darkside?

And not just in a way that can be defined for ourselves as being enough, but one that can be challenged and withstand a Socratic Inquiry.

For my own part, Evil can be found within the Darkside. But the Darkside is not necessarily evil. It is that which causes us and our community damage. Not all things that do this are evil in and of themselves. It is not evil for someone to be addicted to a drug, but the things which cause someone to maintain their addiction are found within the Darkness of themselves. Which is harmful to them, and ultimately to the people around them in some measure.

But what about you? What are your own thoughts on the matter? What is the Darkside of the Force? What is evil?  Your answer must be a minimum of 100 words. 


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