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  1. #16
    The Superior One Celgress's Avatar
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    I think Anakin is a bad example of a Sith. Anakin was driven by fear. Palpatine was driven by greed. If you are a selfish person who only cares about power then you'll be happy as a Sith. If you are becoming a Sith to keep people safe so you won't lose them, then you'll more than likely end up miserable; the people likely won't understand and you'll lose them anyway (even if they survive the maelstrom your violent actions set off).

    Personal Note - As a Buddhist, I think being a Jedi is far better than becoming a Sith but that's because I prefer to help people, do the minimum amount of harm, and seek enlightenment. The selfless Jedi philosophy is more in line with my goals than is the selfish philosophy of the Sith.
    Last edited by Celgress; 08-06-2022 at 11:11 PM.
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  2. #17
    Ultimate Member Ascended's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frontier View Post
    Of course I guess that also sounds like "from my perspective, it's the Jedi who are evil."
    Precisely. Everyone is the hero of their own story and everyone does what they do for reasons they *believe* are righteous. Hel, even hitler thought he was doing the right thing, but nobody would say he was anything but a horrific monster. Not unless one were a monster themselves anyway.

    Thrawn is a villain. He can be sympathetic, the lesser evil, relatable, he can be all kinds of things, but he's still a villain. By nearly every possible metric in both the fiction of Star Wars and virtually every major philosophical school of thought, the guy is responsible for crimes both legal and ethical. The fact that we still like him and find him compelling and maybe we agree with him a little bit about some things? That just makes him a good villain.

    Lex Luthor can also be sympathetic, the lesser evil, and relatable. He's no less an evil douchebag because of it.
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  3. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrNewGod View Post
    Said it better than I could.

    Attachment 123545
    Ostensibly speaking, Vader isn't miserable because he chose the Dark Side. He's miserable because he failed to preserve the relationships he valued during the rise of the Empire. If Padme were alive and his children hadn't been kidnapped and conditioned to hate him, he could have had a very happy life as a Dark Sider.

    It's just a general fact of life that genuinely evil people are happier than genuinely good ones. Being and doing good is a burdensome act that demands reflection and self-sacrifice. The evil don't care about any of that crap and just do whatsoever they please.

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Handsome men don't lose fights View Post
    Ostensibly speaking, Vader isn't miserable because he chose the Dark Side. He's miserable because he failed to preserve the relationships he valued during the rise of the Empire. If Padme were alive and his children hadn't been kidnapped and conditioned to hate him, he could have had a very happy life as a Dark Sider.

    It's just a general fact of life that genuinely evil people are happier than genuinely good ones. Being and doing good is a burdensome act that demands reflection and self-sacrifice. The evil don't care about any of that crap and just do whatsoever they please.
    But choosing the Dark Side is why he lost his wife and children and, thus, why he is so miserable. Even if he had beaten Obi Wan and had not lost his limbs and been reduced to a life support suit that kept him in constant pain, he would not have been happy, or even semi-conent. He could never be happy while in the Dark Side because his wife and children would reject him because they were good and he had chosen evil. Had he stayed good, Padme would still be alive. Luke and Leia would not have hated him for even a moment. They would have had no reason to. And that was the real thing. Luke and Leia had every reason to hate him, which is why it was so important that when Luke found out Vader was his father, he tried to save him and showed him that he still loved him, that there was still hope. And no, evil people are not happier than good people; not in Star Wars, and not in real life. Even the Emperor was not really happy. He may have disguised it well, but he was by no means happy at all, even in his darkest triumphs. To say nothing about real life evildoers, especially the more famous ones.

  5. #20
    Astonishing Member chamber-music's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starter Set View Post
    Sith are so laughably over the top, it boggles my mind that anyone can take them seriously for being honest.
    Aren't the Sith constantly murdering each other in the Star Wars universe? Not sure what is cool about joining a group in which your likely to get murdered by your allies.

  6. #21
    Astonishing Member David Walton's Avatar
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    It seems like JJ Abrams literalized the concept of a fan not realizing Darth Vader was the bad guy with Kylo Ren, though Rian Johnson pretty much tanked that direction by romanticizing the boy who wanted to be a space nazi.

  7. #22
    Astonishing Member David Walton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Celgress View Post
    I think Anakin is a bad example of a Sith. Anakin was driven by fear. Palpatine was driven by greed. If you are a selfish person who only cares about power then you'll be happy as a Sith. If you are becoming a Sith to keep people safe so you won't lose them, then you'll more than likely end up miserable; the people likely won't understand and you'll lose them anyway (even if they survive the maelstrom your violent actions set off).
    It's all rooted in fear, I think.

    Greed is the fear of not possessing, lust for power is the fear of not being in control.

    It's impossible to be happy as a Sith because if they achieve a blissful state they can no longer utilize the Dark Side. There was a great moment in SHADOWS OF THE EMPIRE where it's revealed that Vader tries to use the Dark Side to heal his injuries when he's in his meditation chamber. The catch is that whenever it starts to work he loses his edge and thus his access to the Dark Side. So he always reverts back to his original state of being physically and emotionally broken.

  8. #23
    The Superior One Celgress's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chamber-music View Post
    Aren't the Sith constantly murdering each other in the Star Wars universe? Not sure what is cool about joining a group in which your likely to get murdered by your allies.
    pretty much

    Even pre-Rule of Two you advanced up the ranks by killing your superiors. If you're a Sith Master you best sleep with one eye open.
    Last edited by Celgress; 08-11-2022 at 09:35 AM.
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  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Walton View Post
    It's all rooted in fear, I think.

    Greed is the fear of not possessing, lust for power is the fear of not being in control.

    It's impossible to be happy as a Sith because if they achieve a blissful state they can no longer utilize the Dark Side. There was a great moment in SHADOWS OF THE EMPIRE where it's revealed that Vader tries to use the Dark Side to heal his injuries when he's in his meditation chamber. The catch is that whenever it starts to work he loses his edge and thus his access to the Dark Side. So he always reverts back to his original state of being physically and emotionally broken.
    During the fight scene between Qui-Gon and Darth Maul, there was a moment where they were temporarily separated by force fields and had to wait for the fields to cycle down to continue their fight, and Qui-Gon sat down and meditated, while Darth Maul paced angrily and slashed at the air, growling.

    I felt like that little detail really highlighted the difference between Jedi and Sith. One accesses the Force through serenity and contemplation and inner harmony, while the other has to be filled with anger and so-called negative emotions, like hate or fear. And Jedi training seemed to bear this out, all about controlling one's feelings, not surrendering to fear or hate or anger. If the Acolyte show gives us a better view of Sith training, perhaps we'll see the difference, although Anakin's 'training' by Sidious seemed to be all about building up feelings of resentment and self-entitlement, flattering with false praise to build up the ego, while also turning him against / isolating him from any more positive influences.

    My fanwank as to the whole notion is that the Force responds to both. Sith who surrender to their strong emotions, and Jedi who control them. But it's more receptive depending on the 'psychic atmosphere' of an area. If the land is peaceful and harmonious and filled with mostly cooperative content people, it might be easier for Jedi to 'tune in' to the Force, while if the area is filled with angry, fearful people, it might get 'riled up' or turbulent and easier for Sith to access, which might explain part of why any territory influenced or controlled by Sith turns into a complete pesthole of treachery and violence and oppression. Keeping the pre-dominant emotional tenor of the area on the razor edge of violent revolt and open riot keeps the Force riled up and easier for the Sith to tap for power.

    I'm not sure if this is the case, canonically, or just something from the back of my brain, but it *feels* like the direction many portrayals of the Sith and Jedi and their relationship with the Force have been leading.

  10. #25
    Extraordinary Member ChrisIII's Avatar
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    How about Dooku? Read JEDI LOST deals with that a bit.
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  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by chamber-music View Post
    Aren't the Sith constantly murdering each other in the Star Wars universe? Not sure what is cool about joining a group in which your likely to get murdered by your allies.
    Yeah, but the ambitious and avaricious do it all the time. Politics and high finance seem like Hunger Games environments on the best of days, but folks clamber over broken glass to get into each.

    One of the things I liked about Clone Wars' Asajj Ventress was a certain ambiguity about what Darth Tyranus had in mind for her. Was she really just to be Darth Sidious' grooming tool for Anakin Skywalker, or was DT holding some hope that she might be his apprentice when he finally made his move for the top spot? Luke was also played in such a way between DS and Darth Vader; The Emperor's reaction to DV's suggestion that Luke might be turned takes on a whole new meaning in retrospect.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sutekh View Post
    ...My fanwank as to the whole notion is that the Force responds to both. Sith who surrender to their strong emotions, and Jedi who control them. But it's more receptive depending on the 'psychic atmosphere' of an area. If the land is peaceful and harmonious and filled with mostly cooperative content people, it might be easier for Jedi to 'tune in' to the Force, while if the area is filled with angry, fearful people, it might get 'riled up' or turbulent and easier for Sith to access, which might explain part of why any territory influenced or controlled by Sith turns into a complete pesthole of treachery and violence and oppression. Keeping the pre-dominant emotional tenor of the area on the razor edge of violent revolt and open riot keeps the Force riled up and easier for the Sith to tap for power.

    I'm not sure if this is the case, canonically, or just something from the back of my brain, but it *feels* like the direction many portrayals of the Sith and Jedi and their relationship with the Force have been leading.
    I see The Force much as you do. Light and Dark are merely references for how the sensitive accesses it, but accessing it one way probably diminishes the ability to access it the other.

    I'm not sure I'm onboard with the psy-atmosphere angle. I'm pretty sure a Sith Lord can turn a place into a pest hole by the usual means of oppression, although I suppose they find it easier to do in places that are already at least a bit sketchy. Still, it's an interesting take on it.

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Walton View Post
    It seems like JJ Abrams literalized the concept of a fan not realizing Darth Vader was the bad guy with Kylo Ren, though Rian Johnson pretty much tanked that direction by romanticizing the boy who wanted to be a space nazi.
    Yeah, Kylo in TFA comes off as a Vader fanboy who doesn’t realize he shouldn’t emulate Vader and it drives him into self-harming insanity - and Abrams, even directed Driver to play his maskless persona as a more fragile, and grotesquely loathsome persona (and Driver did it well there.)

    But in TLJ… you can tell that Johnson is at least treating Kylo like a “social” power fantasy - a sort of lonely introvert’s wish fulfillment story, where the hot chick is automatically attracted to someone who show’s no attractive personality traits and never actually invested time trying to befriend pr flirt with her, and where the cool teacher was the one who screwed up in teaching the introvert and now feels sorry about it.

    It’s part of the reason why some of TLJ’s narrative, themes and messages are so unclear - it’s hard to see earth where Johnson may have consciously chosen to make a point, and where he subconsciously wanted to give lonely, nerdy but still privileged white kids a character they could empathize with.

    On a better note, that Lost Stars book actually does a great job making the anti-villainous protagonist’s life suck as a consequence of her loyalty to the Empire, and it works great to flesh out both her flaws and virtues -arguably to the extent it shows how her “loyalty above all else” virtue could become a vice if not paired with critical wisdom and curiosity. She’s a faithful, obedient soldier to the Empire, as is her family - and in return, she loses most of her friends, witnesses her mother’s humiliation and imprisonment under false pretenses, and gets locked into a waking nightmare of being a cog of a monstrous machine….

    …As does her Alderaanian friend, who instead embraces denial so hard he becomes one of the most disturbing Imperials in the franchise.
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