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Star Wars: Is the Dark Side Stronger?

Updated on April 6, 2016
Jeremy Gill profile image

Jeremy hopes the Force is with him as he pursues a forensics career in the swamps of Louisiana.

Darth Vader votes yes.
Darth Vader votes yes.

Dark Vs Light

For decades, in of history and my own personal life, Star Wars has mystified us with its epic conflicts, intense fight sequences, and breath-taking worlds. Within this wondrous universe, an energy force called, well, the Force, binds all living organisms together in an elusive way. We do know that Jedi use the light side of the Force while Sith use the dark. Watching the films, it may seem that the dark side offers greater power. After all, (spoilers) Luke Skywalker only beats Vader when Vader infuriates him, and Anakin Skywalker conquers Count Dooku only when provoked. But is the dark side really superior?

You want the short answer? Okay. Nah, dark side's not stronger. Thanks for reading!

.. What? You want to know why? Alright then, lets take a look at several pieces of evidence that provide clues that the dark is not, in fact, stronger than the light.

Eternal Life

Near the climax of Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith the strongest Jedi Master, Yoda, battles against the Sith Lord, Darth Sidious. These two represent light and dark themselves, the pinnacles of Jedi and Sith. The fight ends in a sort-of-tie, sort-of-Sidious wins manner. So if the dark Force user won, how is this evidence that dark is not stronger?
Well, the novel of Episode 3 (which I highly recommend reading) has a conversation between Yoda and Qui-Gon Jinn's Force spirit that the movie didn't include. A shame, since the words the two Jedi share offers some insight as to why evil was able to win that day.

Force spirits, a light-sight only ability
Force spirits, a light-sight only ability

You see, Yoda basically admits the reason the Sith have temporarily won is because they have adapted and evolved throughout the last millennium; contrastingly, the Jedi have grown stuck in their traditions. Qui-Gon's spirit reassures Yoda that eternal life, what the Sith seek, is ironically only within a light user's grasp. Qui-Gon offers to teach Yoda the secret to forever retaining consciousness, long after the body has decayed.

Do you remember Obi-Wan's death in Episode 4 and Yoda's in 6? Their bodies disappear; they join together with the Force. That's because Qui-Gon's spirit taught Yoda how, and Yoda taught Obi-Wan. Even Darth Vader learns this technique; when he killed Obi-Wan, he realized what had happened to his old master's body, and trains himself to do the same when his time comes. Vader is a Sith, but eventually redeems himself, returns to the light, and thus is capable of joining with the Force when he passes. We see his spirit, along with Obi-Wan's and Yoda's, at the end of Episode 6, redeemed and capable of life after death as a Force spirit.
So, to summarize, light users can gain eternal life. That's something pretty powerful that dark siders can't do.

Emotion = Power

That's not all; we have more proof. In the prequel movies (1,2,3), we see Jedi taught to restrict their emotions and cut themselves off from their feelings. They are forbidden to marry or even date. Part of their Jedi Code states, "There is no emotion, there is peace." This is limiting. As Yoda discovers at the end of Episode 3, full access to the light side comes not from restricting oneself of emotion, but embracing it. It makes sense; emotions are a part of life, and life stems from the Force. The catch is if you don't tame your anger, you'll fall into blind fury. Regardless, part of why the Sith could triumph in the prequels is because they did not cut of a piece of their ability to access the Force.

If you read the novels set after the movies (admittedly, they no longer qualify as canon material), Luke Skywalker eventually establishes a new Jedi Order, and makes some welcome improvements. He allows Jedi to marry, even taking a wife himself, and encourages expressions of love and emotion.This enables his Jedi Order to become far more diverse and powerful than the one seen in the prequels. A better version of the previously mentioned Jedi Code reads "Emotion, yet peace." This iteration allows for feeling, but warns Jedi to not give in to anger.

Yoda's Answer

Our last and simplest clue comes from Star Wars Episode 5, the second Star Wars movie made. About halfway through the film, Yoda is instructing Luke in the ways of the Jedi, and mentions how Darth Vader was seduced the by the dark side.
Luke asks, "Is the dark side stronger?"
Yoda responds, "No, no. Quicker, easier, more seductive.."
There you have it from, straight from the mouth of the strongest muppet you'll ever meet. The dark side is easier, but not stronger, than the light.
Thanks for reading!

Your Input

Do you believe the light or dark side is stronger?

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Hope you enjoyed our examination of the Force. For more Star Wars investigations, check out the five best pilots within the movies! Or, continue researching the Force with obscure and powerful Force Abilities.

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    • Anate profile image

      Joseph Ray 

      3 years ago

      Considering what J. J. Abrams did with Vulcans in Star Trek, I doubt that we will be getting the emotionless platitude spewing Jedis of 1,2, and 3

    • Jeremy Gill profile imageAUTHOR

      Jeremy Gill 

      3 years ago from Louisiana

      Agreed, the Jedi reach new plateaus pretty quickly under Luke's guidance, where he allows passion and feeling (as long as it's not selfish). It'll be interesting to see how the Jedi are portrayed in Episode 7.

    • Anate profile image

      Joseph Ray 

      3 years ago

      Yeah, the entire no emotion thing with the Jedi really annoyed me in I, II, III. That I think is far in away one of the best explanations for it. The Jedi in seeking to avoid the Dark Side limit themselves, which is why Anakin task was actually destroy both the Old Jedi Order and the Sith so that a New Jedi Order could be founded.

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