But there’s always been something, for want of a better word, extremist about the Pure Light Side approach to life. Take for example, in Star Wars Episode III, when Anakin Skywalker tries to work through his grief over the loss of his mother. Instead of understanding Anakin’s emotions, the Jedi Philosophy of
There is no emotion, there is peace
rules over Yoda’s reply: “Mourn them do not, Miss them do not.”
This denies the fact that grief is a real emotion that needs to be grappled with, rather than denied. Incidentally, in my faith, we have this quote to go by:
[There is] A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; Ecclesiastes 3:4
It is an extreme viewpoint which causes divergence, a division of one thing from another – reality vs the apparent ‘ideal’.
A Balance in the Force
Repeatedly in the prequel movies, the reference to a prophecy that a Chosen One will bring balance to the Force is referred to. The Jedi in their blinkered way assumed that this meant the elimination of all Dark Side forces. This means Obi-Wan Kenobi fails to reconcile his Padawan’s descent into darkness, because he was ‘supposed to be the Chosen One’.
Step back a second and look at how the galaxy looked just prior to the Jedi Purge. The Galaxy is at war. The Jedi have trained an amassed many Knights and Masters. How many overt Dark Siders are shown through the movies? Three: Darth Sidious, Darth Maul and Lord Tyrannus (Count Dooku). I know others are mentioned in Expanded Universe and into the Clone Wars movies, but even if you add in a few others, the reality is that the number of Jedi far outweighed the number of Sith.
Ironically, the Jedi Purge left a tiny number of Jedi pretty much equal to the number of Sith, especially with Skywalker falling to the Darkside. Surely that left the Force more in balance than it was before the Purge?
The Shadow Jedi – Balance in Action
I have no doubt there are loads of writings I could dig up on the Shadow (or Grey) Jedi. In SWTOR, the Voss are Force-users who embrace the Force as a whole, taking neither extreme of Light or Dark.
For balance to be struck, you need to choose the right tools in any given situation. For balance to exist both Light and Dark must both exist. How can you tell ‘good’ if you cannot contrast it with ‘evil’? What power has ‘Light’ if it cannot shine in the ‘Darkness’.
Both the Jedi and Sith Codes are part of the puzzle but they are not a complete story and that’s where I think a Shadow Jedi must draw his or her strength.
There is emotion, and you can feel peace through it.
The existence of passion does not deny peace.
Passion is not the only way to strength.
Victory, yet serenity.
There is only the Force
I know that’s badly written, but I hope it illustrates a point. For the Force to be truly in balance, both sides need to accept that they need each other. Even in our own world, the rock we call Earth, daylight and night-time support different forms of life, but one form is not greater than another.
The Shadow Jedi does not swing from one extreme to the other, but seeks a balance of both. Aggression can be required to bring peace. Power can be brought with gentleness. Serenity can break chains as much as victory. This has led to my own take on the Shadow Jedi
For Life to exist, there must be Death.
For Strength to exist, there must be Weakness.
For Light to exist, there must be Darkness.
There is only the Force.
Balance in (Real) Life
Our world is rocked by extremism. And it is rife on all sides. Be it terrorist extremism, or so-called ‘white’ cultures taking an extremist stance against ‘non-white’ cultures. You can be accepting of people’s differences without agreeing with them and even without trying to convince people to your point of view.
Losing weight can lead to a healthy lifestyle, but go too far as you end up under-weight and suffer malnutrition. Food is necessary for survival, but too much of it can you can get heart problems.
Maybe we human being should aim to be more like the Shadow Jedi – accept that the world has both Light and Dark and all the billions of shades of grey in between. Seek peace and pursue it and do our best to demonstrate a careful balance in our lives. Maybe peace exists only when all elements of life are in balance?