- "But beware of the dark side. Anger, fear, aggression…the dark side of the Force are they, easily they flow… If once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny. Consume you, it will…"
The dark side of the Force, also known as Bogan, was an aspect of the Force. Individuals who used the dark side drew their power from more intense, raw and darker emotions such as fear, anger, hatred, passion, and aggression. The Sith were perhaps the most well known practitioners of the dark side, and were the mortal enemies of the Jedi Order, who served the light side of the Force. There were others, such as the Inquisitorius and the Knights of Ren who, though not Sith, could draw upon the power of the dark side.
Despite the leanings of its practitioners, such as the Sith, the dark side of the Force was so-named because it was secretive. The Sith kept their knowledge and identities secret because they believed it would make it easier for them to impose order.
- "The Dark Side of the Force is a pathway to many abilities some consider to be unnatural."
- ―Darth Sidious, to Anakin Skywalker
Although Jedi were taught to follow the light side of the Force, the dark side was considered seductive, and a Jedi had to maintain vigilance in order to avoid falling to the dark side. Anakin Skywalker was a powerful Jedi who, partly through the machinations of the Sith Lord Sidious, succumbed to temptation and began practicing the dark side, becoming the famous Sith Lord known as Darth Vader. Even a Jedi raised in the traditions of the Jedi Order from birth could quickly be corrupted by the lure of the dark side in certain situations. Despite this, while the Jedi often described the dark side as a "quick and easy path," drawing upon its power did not necessarily come with ease or without cost to those who possessed strong compassion and were not used to drawing upon feelings such as hatred.
Use of the dark side of the Force granted certain abilities that wielders of the light side had no access to, such as possession and the ability to manipulate Force visions. Other dark side powers were purely offensive in nature like Force Lightning and given the fact that Yoda emphasized that using the force to hurt or destroy was of the dark side, at the least using powers like Telekinesis to directly harm someone (as when Darth Vader choked people) draws one to the dark side even if it isn't a strictly dark side ability. Dark side power could also be used to alter life and could, according to legend, be used to manipulate midi-chlorians to create life or keep someone from dying. The dark-side historian and Sith cultist Yupe Tashu told Wedge Antilles on Akiva that some Sith Lords were able to siphon the Force from their captives in order to extend their own lives for centuries beyond their natural expiration. Dark side abilities were considered by some to be "unnatural".
The power of the dark side was penetrating and pernicious. The Jedi Temple was built on top of an ancient Sith shrine and, unbeknownst to the Jedi, the power of the dark side seeped upwards through the Temple from the shrine, slowly weakening the Jedi over a millennium.
The dark side of the Force was considered highly corrupting. The Jedi Grand Master Yoda, for example, believed that a Force adept who had embraced the dark side would be fated to forever continue down the path of evil, a view he espoused despite having personally witnessed the redemption of at least two individuals who were at one time deeply steeped in the dark side. Anakin Skywalker also proved an exception, as he overcame his past actions to save his son, Luke, and kill the Sith Lord Darth Sidious. Yoda taught that the dark side of the Force was not stronger than the light side of the Force but rather merely "quicker, easier, more seductive." He also stated that the dark side stemmed from emotions such as anger, fear, and aggression and that these emotions were quick to join one in combat.
Additionally, the use of the dark side by somebody with generally good intentions in a moment of weakness could leave that individual feeling weak and shivery, with a general feeling of wrongness. This was once experienced by Jedi Padawan Ezra Bridger when he once unconsciously drew upon the power of the dark side to summon a massive fyrnock to attack the Grand Inquisitor.
If the presence of the dark side was significantly powerful, nearby Force-sensitives often feel the sensation of cold. This happened on several occasions to Ezra Bridger and Kanan Jarrus in the presence of Darth Vader, and also occurred when Luke sensed the dark energy emanating from the Cave of Evil on Dagobah. Extensive use of the dark side could leave an entire planet corrupted by its energy. Dathomir was one such place that was heavily steeped in the dark side.
- Revenge of the Sith: Episode III (LEGO Star Wars)
- Star Wars Epic Yarns: The Empire Strikes Back
- Star Wars Epic Yarns: Return of the Jedi
- Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes
Notes and references
- Star Wars Rebels: Steps Into Shadow
- Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope
- Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace
- Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
- Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back
- Star Wars Rebels: The Visual Guide
- Star Wars: The Force Awakens: The Visual Dictionary
- Doctor Aphra 32
- Dark Disciple
- Star Wars Rebels – "Visions and Voices"
- Darth Maul—Son of Dathomir 4
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Sacrifice"
- Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi
- Ezra's Duel with Danger
- Star Wars Rebels: The Siege of Lothal