Saturday, May 2, 2015

31 Day Star Wars Challenge, Day 2: Which Side Am I On?

If you can believe it, the HusFriend and I have very deep and philosophical conversations about nearly everything, and yep, Star Wars is one of those topics. So when I say that I've had a lot of time to think about how I would answer this question, know that I am not exaggerating. However, I will ask that you bear with me here, since I'm almost going into academic levels of examination here.

Ahem, so if you look at the world that the Jedi and Sith inhabit, it's in a constant state of flux, and whenever one has an overwhelming amount of power, it is easier for one or the other to take over. Even though the character of Palpatine had a great deal of power, it was arguably simpler for him to orchestrate the downfall of the Jedi; they might have felt a disturbance but were ultimately powerless to stop the destruction of their millennia-long rule. Then a mere twenty or so years later, the Emperor was felled by his own minion. It's a very destructive cycle, and one that will never end as long as the two sides oppose one another.

And this is why I have to go with the gray Jedi.
I know it sounds like a cop out, but hear me out. Either side is an extreme, and extremes are rarely beneficial for the long term, even if you appear to be benevolent like the Jedi. Adhering to such strict policies produces someone like Darth Vader, but eliminating all structure except for what you want at the moment entices an apprentice to kill his master for power. It just asks for constant upheaval, violent downfalls and astronomical rises; but if the role of a Force wielder was to maintain balance, to keep the Light and Dark in check, there would be peace.

But it's much more than that. There has to be a certain degree of agreement to allow Dark and Light to exist without placing values on them. Both Dark and Light, Chaos and Order, Destruction and Creation have their purposes in this universe, and they exist at the same time. Take reproduction: in order to make a baby, the sperm and egg are destroyed. Do we view the baby as the antagonist? I don't, although I can't make that assertion for everyone. Or when we eat, the nutrients are broken down to create energy, but we don't call our stomach acid evil. We accept both of these instances as natural occurrences, so why not look at Dark and Light through their natural roles. We just have to make sure that one doesn't overwhelm the other.

Via Star Wars Wikia
That's where the Gray Jedi comes in. Sometimes, a dark act is required in order to keep the balance. At other times, a light act is. You just have to keep yourself aware enough to be able to determine which one you should do, which of course would need a ton of training, self-discipline, and time-place awareness, much like the above Qui-Gon Jinn**. It also doesn't hurt that the Gray Jedi are basically like, "Fuck you, rules." They'll use Dark Side or Light Side powers if it means saving a life, but they must maintain neutrality to make sure they don't fall to either pole.

The path of the Gray Jedi isn't necessarily the easiest, even if they do have both sides to draw from. More often than not, you would be considered suspect, ridiculed, or disallowed from higher levels of responsibility, but you do what you want, which makes it totally worth it.


* In case you can't read the small print: "Grey Jedi Code: There is no Dark Side, nor a Light Side. There is only the Force. I will do what I must to keep the balance. The balance is what keeps me together. There is no good without evil, but evil must not be allowed to flourish. There is passion, yet emotion. Serenity, yet peace. Chaos, yet order. I am the wielder of the flame, the protector of balance. I am the holder of the torch, lighting the way. I am the keeper of the flame, soldier of balance. I am a guardian of balance. I am a Gray Jedi."
** This is how I'm able to keep within the confines of the rules I established for myself, seeing as Gray Jedi weren't really discussed in any of the movies or tie-in novels. But Qui-Gon embodied it so well that it's not technically cheating. 
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