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mouthymerc

Sith are not Pure Evil?

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The Clone Wars-era Jedi Order was messed up, for sure, but we have yet to see a Sith that is not a willing participant in outright evil.

 

In theory you could have someone who follows the Sith Code without doing terrible things, but I think it's intended to be a trap like other forms of "calling upon dark powers" in other settings. Sure, you go in with good intentions, but soon enough you're justifying torture and fomenting war to achieve those "good" ends.

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When you consider the wars, the murders, the torture, the planetary annihilation, the lying and manipulation, the fact that they fuel themselves with hate, the terrible dental work... saying they weren't evil is kind of blind. From Canon POV, the small number of known Sith aren't exactly nice people; other Dark Siders aren't much better. Legends POV shows that a Sith is just as bad, and the few who aren't either die pretty quick or are redeemed.

 

You can debate philosophy and poor writing as much as you want, but the Jedi didn't blow up Alderaan.

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The Sith are evil because they are trained/taught to take by force and subjugate others. The Sith Code is not inherently evil, because it doesn't teach that specifically. Application of a philosophy is everything.

 

Democracy can equal mob rule which tends towards unpleasant results for minorities.

Communism as implemented by the Soviets reduced everything to the lowest common denominator instead of raising everything to the highest common denominator.

 

Neither is inherently good or evil, both can results in positives, negatives, and middle of the road results based on applications.

 

I personally view the Jedi Code and the Sith Code to be unbalanced. Ignoring the realities of the vast grey in-between and view neither order as teaching their adherent how to deal with and lead balanced lives.

 

As I've said before, I go back to the earliest version of the Jedi Code, which for all I know may have existed before the split between Light Jedi and Dark Jedi

 

Emotion, yet peace.

Ignorance, yet knowledge.

Passion, yet serenity.

Chaos, yet harmony.

Death, yet the Force.

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Sith vs. Jedi is like dictatorship vs. Democracy.

Sith want power in the hands of a single strong leader.

Jedi want that power shared by a council of Jedi.

Both consider themselves as natural leaders over non-force sensitives.

In the clone wars era the Jedi had their biggest temple just across from the Senate, so they could use their mind powers to subvert the democracy.

Even a child Jedi outranked an experienced non-jedi officer.

Without any military experience all the jedi were promoted to general's, presumably by use of their mind control.

The Jedi styled themselves as peacekeepers but their weapons of choice had no stun setting, the only reason to choose a flaming sword as your signature weapon is to inspire fear. Jedi peacekeeping meant that they placed themselves as judge, jury and executioner over other non-force sensitives.

The only reason Jedi are seen as the good guys is because they wrote the history books.

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Emotion, yet peace.

Ignorance, yet knowledge.

Passion, yet serenity.

Chaos, yet harmony.

Death, yet the Force.

 

This is the canon version of the Code taught in the era of the Clone Wars.  It was in the latest issue of the Kanan comic book.

 

 

There are two canonical versions of the Jedi Code's mantra. Trust Christie Golden to unnecessarily complicate a situation  :P

http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Jedi_Code/Canon

 

(although, to be fair, her book was published first. Anyway, the two differing mantras, when viewed together, offer clarity. The Jedi Code shouldn't be taken to be literally saying that "there is no death," but rather that the Force supercedes death. And it's not that there is no passion, but rather the Jedi are to strive for serenity. Not that there is no emotion, but that they are to remain at peace even in the midst of the storm of emotions that living beings constantly live in)

Edited by awayputurwpn

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In the clone wars era the Jedi had their biggest temple just across from the Senate, so they could use their mind powers to subvert the democracy.

Even a child Jedi outranked an experienced non-jedi officer.

Without any military experience all the jedi were promoted to general's, presumably by use of their mind control.

 

The Jedi styled themselves as peacekeepers but their weapons of choice had no stun setting, the only reason to choose a flaming sword as your signature weapon is to inspire fear. Jedi peacekeeping meant that they placed themselves as judge, jury and executioner over other non-force sensitives.

 

I seriously doubt that the Jedi blatently and abusively used mind control to put themselves in positions of authority. They had been around since since the Republics founding 25000 years prior to the Clone Wars and Palpatine wanted them in military control so he could engineer their defeat.

 

I am ambivalent about the "child jedi" statement. First, since I doubt any of them were actual children and were actually adolescents for their species, and second because assuming adolescents cant be military leaders is really something we have only embraced as a modern culture in the last 150 years or so. Children as soldiers/military leaders no, but adolescents are entirely possible and were considered appropriate and the norm throughout much of history and I don't necessarily see this being different for a galactic society with billions of cultures. (Although to be clear, I don't think any of the Jedi should have been military leaders)

 

I also don't have a problem with the lightsabers on a moral/ethical  basis. Yes they are intimidating, but that is a byproduct of Jedi using them, not the purpose. Many people train with weapons with the understanding that if they use them, they use them solely with the intent to kill. The one and only gun safety course I took make that clear and is one of the reasons why I don't use guns. Training still provides many other benefits, and in the Jedi context is supposed to strengthen/hone their connection to the Force.

Edited by ckobbe

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There are two canonical versions of the Jedi Code's mantra. Trust Christie Golden to unnecessarily complicate a situation  :P

 

I have no idea the history of the versions and haven't read any of the books or comics, so I have no idea which version Christie Golden wrote, but since the longer version is in the Jedi Path, I am assuming she wrote the shorter one?

 

As far as the Kanan comic, I'll keep it in mind, but the long version seems more in tune with the Dogma of the Clone Era Jedi.

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For me I consider the story structure of Star Wars. The setting sets out to tell a good vs evil type story. As such the Jedi are good and the Sith are evil. You could make it more complex of course, but I think on the face of it Star Wars is a universe where it's easy for a 5 year old to figure out who the good guys and bad guys are. I know you can take all the added material and construct a scenario where in the Jedi aren't as good and the Sith aren't as evil but at the end of the day .... Lucas (and now Disney) want a simple story. Star Wars is like that in a lot of ways. Alliance is good, Empire is evil. Republic is good, Separatist are evil. 

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It's not that the Sith are evil, but that they honestly believe themselves above any measure of morality. Sith typically think that they are above the common people of the universe and far more enlightened than the Jedi. To them the Jedi purposefully handicap themselves and hold themselves back for the sake of morales and humility. To a Sith these ideas are useless and for the uninitiated/unenlightened.

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Both variants are older than the new Star Wars Canon. The Jedi Path is non-canon (ie, Legends), and is really only of marginal significance, given that the conception of the Jedi Code was a good 19 years previous, and it had existed in both forms (and was purported in-universe to have existed in many more variegated forms) for a long time in various video games, books, and comics before the Jedi Path was published.

You can read the Wookieepedia articles I linked above if you want to know more about the origins of the Code. Golden didn't actually create the mantra, she just brought it back from out of the older Legends material. Both "versions" now co-exist, canonically, in Clone Wars-era material; just like they existed in older Legends material.

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It's not that the Sith are evil, but that they honestly believe themselves above any measure of morality. Sith typically think that they are above the common people of the universe and far more enlightened than the Jedi. To them the Jedi purposefully handicap themselves and hold themselves back for the sake of morales and humility. To a Sith these ideas are useless and for the uninitiated/unenlightened.

Hence sith are not evil for the sake of being such, but rather they can never be good because their core tenants require the subjectation of common people. People who bore the force are destined to occupy a position none can take, the difference is that the Jedi guide, as advisors. The sith rule over the cattle.

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It's not that the Sith are evil, but that they honestly believe themselves above any measure of morality. Sith typically think that they are above the common people of the universe and far more enlightened than the Jedi. To them the Jedi purposefully handicap themselves and hold themselves back for the sake of morales and humility. To a Sith these ideas are useless and for the uninitiated/unenlightened.

Hence sith are not evil for the sake of being such, but rather they can never be good because their core tenants require the subjectation of common people. People who bore the force are destined to occupy a position none can take, the difference is that the Jedi guide, as advisors. The sith rule over the cattle.

 

There core tenets do not require the subjugation of people. Trouble is their core tenets also do not preclude the subjugation of people. They also have the nasty habit of kind of feeding the ego of the type of people who would do so. 

Kind of like the whole power corrupts absolute power corrupts absolutely. But in reality it is more that power attracts the corruptible. So no Sith teachings are not necessarily inherently evil. But they do attract those who would do evil with those teachings.  Jedi teachings will often push people to be better people. But their teachings can also lead to a disconnect. The whole no attachments philosophy ends up with Jedi who have no connection to the very people they are trying to help. 

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Force sensitives are always more fun when they are not written as being pure good or evil.

Not for me. People always have motives. Some of the best evil characters are the ones that think they are doing good or right. A villain, at least the really good ones for me, are the ones that don't think of themselves as evil. That is too on point for me and strays into comic evil for me. One of the reasons I enjoyed Maleficent so much is that you got to see her story. Or the movie Law-Abiding Citizen where a good man's life is taken away leaving nothing but vengence in his soul.

Edited by mouthymerc

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I'm frankly a little tired of people trying to make 'excuses' for the Sith or claim they're somehow 'better' than the Jedi. I see a lot of memes and such talking about how when we're kids we want to be Jedi, but when we grow up we realize the Sith are cooler... why, yes, they are. That is quite the point. They are seductive, that's why they are generally designed to look cooler than the Jedi. You aren't more 'mature' for some weird theory that Sith aren't the bad guys or aren't evil or whatever. We should all strive to be Jedi, not Sith.

 

The Jedi are good. The Sith are evil. End of story.

 

...I realize none of you probably feel this way, but obviously, I have a lot of feelings on the subject!  :P

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The Jedi are good. The Sith are evil. End of story.

 

...I realize none of you probably feel this way, but obviously, I have a lot of feelings on the subject!  :P

I agree with you on this.

 

Star Wars is, at it's utter core, a fairy tale in space.  And fairy tales quite often have fairly strict views on good and evil, with the shades of grey tending towards the very light (Han and Lando) or the very dark (Boba Fett).

 

Vader is probably as close as you'll get to a not-purely evil Sith, but he still did some pretty nasty things all in the name of ensuring/enforcing the Empire's view of order on the galaxy, and he'd seen what a galaxy torn apart by war looked like and wanted to avoid that sort of mess (while clearly ignoring the fact that the reason things got so bad was because of his current boss' manipulation of events).

 

But on the same spectrum, being good doesn't always have to mean being nice.  Mace Windu was certainly one of the good guys, but he was also willing to play it a bit rougher than a more purehearted Jedi like Luke would if the situation called for it.

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I'm frankly a little tired of people trying to make 'excuses' for the Sith or claim they're somehow 'better' than the Jedi. I see a lot of memes and such talking about how when we're kids we want to be Jedi, but when we grow up we realize the Sith are cooler... why, yes, they are. That is quite the point. They are seductive, that's why they are generally designed to look cooler than the Jedi. You aren't more 'mature' for some weird theory that Sith aren't the bad guys or aren't evil or whatever. We should all strive to be Jedi, not Sith.

 

The Jedi are good. The Sith are evil. End of story.

 

...I realize none of you probably feel this way, but obviously, I have a lot of feelings on the subject!  :P

No, I'm down with that. Sith are the bad boys that dress in things other than robes, so of course they seem cooler. Being the boring person who builds society isn't as exciting even if they're the kind of people that you really need. Ultimately all the Sith and Dark side characters we've seen have been selfish, cruel, and just generally bad people. That isn't to say they aren't effective people, they can be very good at getting what they want. But it's always at the expense of others, and they relish their power over everyone else, who they obviously consider their lesser.

 

Of course I started playing Star Wars with WEG, where if you got too many dark side points you didn't become a bad boy, you became an NPC.

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For me the interesting thing is not who is evil or who is good. It is the shades of gray the things people do and justify. I think a "pure evil" villian is boring you know this villian will run a quick checklist and do the most vile thing. It is when you look at a villian who is willing to do these horrible things for what they see as the greater good, that you find an interesting character. Did palpatine assume power just because he was a horrible person? Or did he take on the responsiblity that he saw everyone around him shirk. Was he the one person willing to make the hard choices so that he could bring order and law to this chaotic galaxy. Knowing that he would have to kill not only people but maybe worlds to bring about this order and the resulting peace. This is more interesting to me than he this guy does horrible things just because well he is evil.

 

The Jedi are the same way they have these nobel ideals but they do not always mesh well with reality. Sometimes you need to give an ambassidor a subtle push in the right direction. Maybe you are manipulating his mind but he is just too blinded by his attachment to the situation to logically think it through to the best resolution so just a little influence, just this one time and well maybe the next time his judgment is clouded.

 

People in fiction and in the real world do evil acts for good causes and vice versa and in fiction or an RPG we can explore those decisions and see just how tempting they can be and just how hard it is to always do the right thing.

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Force users can be good or evil. When a person desires to be a Sith, he is usually performing deeds which are perceived as evil. To be a Sith is to be evil in the eyes of the good. Also, logic breakdown is silly when talking about subjective terms like evil and good.

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