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Author Topic: To Gray or not to Gray....  (Read 2241 times)
Karmack
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Light side points please.


« on: October 18, 2019, 10:29:10 AM »

At the risk of offending the Forum Masters, I am posting this here as well as in the video section.

This is a YouTube video from a site called Spacedock.   They usually deal more with the hardware side of things, but I thought this was a very insightful essay into the nature of the force, light vs dark, and why the concept of "Gray" that many of us embrace and even write about may not in fact be compatible with the concept of the Force as presented in Star Wars canon.

So ...   watch and we can discuss!   What do you think?  Is he right?  Or is this just more retcon gobble-de-gook to make the recent movies work?

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4azz0ujlY4M&amp;list=WL&amp;index=38&amp;t=0s" target="_blank" class="aeva_link bbc_link new_win">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4azz0ujlY4M&amp;list=WL&amp;index=38&amp;t=0s</a>
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JNovaarii
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« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2019, 10:58:53 AM »

Whether gray or not gray.  I think we can agree that thw jedi were to passive and the Sith were too self serving

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current saber : Initiate v4 with fire orange blade, soon to have Obsidian v3 sound and av switch installed

wishlist dream saber:  Dark Initiate v5 with gold claws, with most of the black anodizing removed to create a custom look

"I am neither a servant of the light or the dark, but a servant of the balanced will of the Force. and serve the greater good of the galaxy"- Jeskaaro Nova'arii, Suva'arii Knight and Elite Guardian of the Fi'arii Empire

Light or dark points appreciated as warranted, My alignment will remain more or less neutral

TheDutchman
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« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2019, 12:09:04 PM »

OK, first off I categorically disagree that there can be NO Gray Jedi (obviously; it is the crux of my writing).  That being said, I DO agree that the Force IS a quasi-sapient concept, presenting itself on a galactic stage to sentient species in the form of a diametrically arranged duality, one that both influences and is influenced by the lives of said Forceusers.  I would say that I DO agree that people by their very nature are NOT neutral...and neither are Gray Jedi.  Consider: most Gray Jedi Codes even offer the perspective as to WHY Gray Jedi CAN be an integral part of the SW mythos in that they wish to maintain the Balance.  In this setting, what happens to GOOD in the extreme?  It becomes intolerant and zealous.  What happens to EVIL in the extreme?  Anarchy and destruction.  The Gray come and offer a balance between the two, best epitomized IMO by this Code:

"Flowing through all, there is balance
There is no peace without a passion to create
There is no passion without peace to guide
Knowledge fades without the strength to act
Power blinds without the serenity to see
There is freedom in life
There is purpose in death
The Force is all things and I am the Force
"

It is the Code that I use in my stories.  And taken as such, there IS not only "room" for the Gray orders in the SW universe but indeed a natural function between Jedi and Sith.

Now, the video brings up the point that a person cannot be neutral.  I agree; however, that does NOT mean that there canNOT be Gray Jedi.  Point of fact: the Gray orders have various bents to their ideologies that lean towards either the Light Side or the Dark Side.  Case in point: the Mak'Tor Gray Jedi are DEFINITELY Light Side, ESPECIALLY given their collective belief in the Maker.  I feel that the Maker and the Force are NOT incongruous with one another; rather they are one and the same.  If the Force is anthropomorphized, then the Maker is DEFINITELY the Light Side.
Another example: the Vhal'Dan are also Gray BUT they are NOT as "Light" as the Mak'Tor.  Indeed, some of them are VERY close to skirting the Dark Side (especially in upcoming stories).  However, as they also collectively believe in the Maker, I would also identify them as "Light Side" Gray Jedi.  Again: the concept of the Gray orders are NOT to have access to "cool Dark Side powers" while being a hero.  No, it is to maintain a Balance, a Harmony within the galaxy.  To wit: if the pendulum swings to far to either extreme, Disharmony occurs.  Which I mention as a direct refute to the video's metronome example.

Again, this is entirely my own opinion but I think that the Jedi, the Gray, and the Sith ENRICH the SW Universe, all three overarching Orders necessary for Creation.  And, of course, speaking strictly as a writer, it makes for incredible pathos and conflict.  Not to shamelessly plug my own story, but one of the reasons that I liked writing Schisms is because of the NUMEROUS conflicts, plus the fact that BOTH sides had a distinct point, neither of which was totally right nor totally wrong.  I guess that's why Kazic is one of my personal favorites: he is DEEPLY flawed...but not without redeeming qualities (or so I hope  Wink).

Regardless, FANTASTIC thread Karm!!
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Karmack
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Light side points please.


« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2019, 01:27:04 PM »

No surprise I generally agree with Dutchman.   I think that shows up clearly in the stories we write.  :-)

One thing I did notice in the video comments:  In the EU, Gray Jedi were usually identified as light-siders that did not follow the tenents of the Jedi RELIGION.   In many ways this fits the Mak'Tor to a "T" - light-side force users trained in the Jedi arts that reject Jedi Orthodoxy.  In fact, that rejection is the reason they end up exiled when the Jedi crack down on their own internal belief systems and enforce that orthodoxy.  One of the great ironies of LSG's epic cycle of stories with the Aethans was that Kimar, the Grand Master responsible for the orthodox purge of the Jedi ranks, was very much a "Gray" himself.  He just hid it. 

And we've had discussions here and elsewhere about how some tenants of Jedi beliefs are just wrong.   Like the separation of force-sensitive children from their families, often forcibly. I have often wondered how much the Psi Corp from Babylon 5 was actually based on the Jedi...

As for passivity...   One of the down-sides of being the "good guys" is that you often give up the initiative when it comes to fighting evil.   As much as you might want to, you simply cannot punish someone for having strong desires to do something, even planning to do it.   If you wonder what I'm talking about I highly recommend the movie "Minority Report".   :-)

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Lord_S_Gray
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« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2019, 08:43:41 PM »

An interesting discussion for sure, great find Karm,
Some initial thoughts…

Assuming the Force has a dual nature is in itself limited, Light and dark are moral concepts that I think are reflections of sentient beings upon the Force that don’t necessarily apply to all parts of the force.  If the Force is as Obi Wan says an energy field created by all living things then that must include say single cell organisms for whom the traditional light/dark debate are an irrelevance.

Limiting the Force to a light dark duality, I think is just that limiting the scope. In the EU the Aing Tii describe how they view the force as a Rainbow, you also have the Dathomiri, White Current Fallanassi who eschew this kind of duality – that doesn’t mean the duality of Light and Dark is not there, just that it is not the only aspect of the force.  In additional morality is not universal, the moral dimensions that perplex the Jedi/Sith and such may not apply at all to some just as advanced species.

I think the Force is bigger, deeper and more comprehensive than the Light/Dark fight, which is a part of it, yes it is, is it the only part, no.  So can there be Force users who eschew this battle, I think yes. 

Now I’ll admit having a slant on this, this is something I have explored in my writings, notably the Aethans who have, due to their society and genetics almost no concept of light or dark in how they use the Force, and in The Way it Wasn’t where the ‘Prophet’ views the increase of the Force as an energy field binding living things as an end in and of itself with no moral dimension. So can one be perfectly ‘Gray’, yes, could a human do it given their emotional range, probably not, another species yeah sure why not.

In my view the Light and Dark battle and semi-sentient nature of the Force is in a feedback loop with its users and sentient beings – consider this a planet with only microscopic single celled organisms, the Force is present because it is present in all life – but would it have light and dark dimensions? Is a cell that consumes other cells in this case Dark, and an autotroph light? I think that is stretching it. Now as evolution leads to life forms with emotions and moral dimensions the Force itself develops those characteristics as it is itself comprised on the nature of those beings.

Emotions of beings alter the Force itself, pool in it, and then the Force feedbacks onto other beings (hence places ‘tainted’ by the darkside can infect others) on a galactic scale this creates the Light/Dark polarities, but like much in nature and imbalance is rejected, it pushes toward equilibrium. Its quasi sentient nature may be the accumulated influence of all the beings that use it in light and dark ways, creating a kind of over consciousness based on the Force ‘memory’ of all those beings which it draws on to correct itself. (In that sense I argue sentient use of the Force changes the nature of the Force itself and vice versa, which could make anthropomorphizing accurate, in the SW galaxy at least, the effect may not apply to other galaxies for example where there are no sentient or ‘moral’ life forms, or indeed different types of life forms beyond imagining) This can occur at both a cosmic and individual level, and seems to be the dominant form of the Force explored to sate in Canon and the EU, but I think is only once aspect, very prominent absolutely but not the only one.
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Lord_S_Gray

Surik: "Kreia, what are you—are you a Jedi, a Sith?"
Kreia: "Does it matter? Of course it does, such titles allow you to break the galaxy into light and dark, categorize it. Perhaps I am neither, and I hold both as what they are, pieces of a whole."

JNovaarii
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« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2019, 03:39:16 AM »

It is basically the same thing as in real life, humans are the only organisms on earth that have a moral compass.  The main difference in Star Wars universeis that it also contains hundreds of sentient alien species

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current saber : Initiate v4 with fire orange blade, soon to have Obsidian v3 sound and av switch installed

wishlist dream saber:  Dark Initiate v5 with gold claws, with most of the black anodizing removed to create a custom look

"I am neither a servant of the light or the dark, but a servant of the balanced will of the Force. and serve the greater good of the galaxy"- Jeskaaro Nova'arii, Suva'arii Knight and Elite Guardian of the Fi'arii Empire

Light or dark points appreciated as warranted, My alignment will remain more or less neutral

Karmack
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Posts: 5594


Light side points please.


« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2019, 07:54:37 AM »

LSG that's an interesting concept.

I think what it comes down to is this:  Is it The Force, or just the force.   :-)  I strongly suspect that the original intent was that the Force was at least semi-conscious itself, its own entity with duality.  Sort of a Ying/Yang concept.  So, while it doesn't have Intent like we would ascribe to God, it DOES have its own drive, its own "moral compass" as it were.

How that compass interacts would differ depending on the level of awareness and sophistication of the life form.   A sentient being would react to the Light side by reinforcing its own "good" and "moral" behavior.   The same being would react to the Dark side by acting in a way that would be "evil" or maybe just generally selfish and/or destructive.

Perhaps some, like the Sith, would view the "Dark" as the "good" side, and the "Light" as the 'bad' side.

But there would always be struggle between the diometrically opposed sides of the force itself.  Even on single-celled critters, where it might manifest as high reproduction (Light) vs predation (Dark).

Hmm.   This sounds like a contemplation for a Jedi Mystic....   :-)
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« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2019, 09:21:38 AM »

Whether gray or not gray.  I think we can agree that thw jedi were to passive and the Sith were too self serving

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"Evil is never the opposite of good, but rather its destroyer."

Karmack
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Light side points please.


« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2019, 09:54:40 AM »

LOL
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Master Singer of the Mak'Tor

Karmack
Forumverse Loremaster
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Force Alignment: 1148
Posts: 5594


Light side points please.


« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2019, 10:03:51 AM »

So this begs a question:   Is it possible to follow the Dark Side of the force ... and still live within the moral constraints of a just society?

For example:  A Dark Jedi that will not commit murder, will not steal, refuses to violate other's rights, etc. 

Or the opposite: A Light Side practitioner willing to break laws, violate rights, kill, steal, etc.

For myself, I would say that it would be possible to live within the constraints of legality ... but morality would be a whole different matter.

So...   What would we do with someone who is a Dark Jedi ... but lives within the constraints of legality?

Oh, wait..    Nimman Cha...   ;-)
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Cern
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« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2019, 11:15:35 AM »

i think the problem is that the Dark Side is inherently corruptive.  The more you use it, the more you want to use it.
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JNovaarii
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« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2019, 11:30:54 AM »

I think the Force is simply an energy that binds all the elements of the universe.  Those that are sensitive to the Force are meant to be guardians of that binding.  However, just as in real life there are those that would rather exploit it for their own purposes.

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current saber : Initiate v4 with fire orange blade, soon to have Obsidian v3 sound and av switch installed

wishlist dream saber:  Dark Initiate v5 with gold claws, with most of the black anodizing removed to create a custom look

"I am neither a servant of the light or the dark, but a servant of the balanced will of the Force. and serve the greater good of the galaxy"- Jeskaaro Nova'arii, Suva'arii Knight and Elite Guardian of the Fi'arii Empire

Light or dark points appreciated as warranted, My alignment will remain more or less neutral

Lord_S_Gray
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« Reply #12 on: October 22, 2019, 02:31:19 PM »

But there would always be struggle between the diometrically opposed sides of the force itself.  Even on single-celled critters, where it might manifest as high reproduction (Light) vs predation (Dark).

Hmm that is an interesting, take, arguably then the Force evolves more refined versions of Light and Dark as the species interacting with it also evolve morality.

So this begs a question:   Is it possible to follow the Dark Side of the force ... and still live within the moral constraints of a just society?

Your problem here is the question is predicated on a just society as a base against which to compare behavior - given the expanse of species and cultures there is never going to be such a thing that is universal - in one species consuming ones parents for food may be perfectly just and right (e.g. an arachnid species) and resisting that may be selfish and dark, of course in a mammalian species this would be the opposite case. would then the Force flip light and dark in this context to make eating the parent Light and resisting Dark.

So...   What would we do with someone who is a Dark Jedi ... but lives within the constraints of legality?

I think this is more a question about individual limitations - given infinite power and resources everyone would live as hedonistic as possible (according to their definition of pleasure), but given beings are not all powerful a Dark Jedi or Sith has to be patient in what they do, not because their desires are limited by the law or morality, but because their ability to overcome resistance to enacting those desires is. Such a Dark Jedi is just another member of the society basically, unwilling to test the coercive powers of the State until they have sufficient power to do so - Darth Lucovis in my tales is a good example of that, he played the game as a Vigo for a long time, but once he thought he had the power to overcome any resistance to his will, he went straight for it.

I think the Force is simply an energy that binds all the elements of the universe.  Those that are sensitive to the Force are meant to be guardians of that binding.  However, just as in real life there are those that would rather exploit it for their own purposes.

A straight forward proposition, reminds me of the old 'with great power comes great responsibility'
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Lord_S_Gray

Surik: "Kreia, what are you—are you a Jedi, a Sith?"
Kreia: "Does it matter? Of course it does, such titles allow you to break the galaxy into light and dark, categorize it. Perhaps I am neither, and I hold both as what they are, pieces of a whole."

JNovaarii
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Force Alignment: 2
Posts: 87



« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2019, 08:03:40 PM »

A smart tactician knows when to press his or her advantage

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current saber : Initiate v4 with fire orange blade, soon to have Obsidian v3 sound and av switch installed

wishlist dream saber:  Dark Initiate v5 with gold claws, with most of the black anodizing removed to create a custom look

"I am neither a servant of the light or the dark, but a servant of the balanced will of the Force. and serve the greater good of the galaxy"- Jeskaaro Nova'arii, Suva'arii Knight and Elite Guardian of the Fi'arii Empire

Light or dark points appreciated as warranted, My alignment will remain more or less neutral

Cern
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Force Alignment: 12
Posts: 68



« Reply #14 on: November 12, 2019, 06:11:37 AM »

"There are many interpretations about the Force, what it is, and how it interacts with life, both sentient and non-sentient. What it the truth?

The truth is all of them are the truth. From a certain point of view.

The Force is so much bigger than what the Jedi knew. Or the Sith. Or the Aing-Tii, Matukai, Baran-do, Fallanassi, and all the rest.

I'm not sitting here, telling you I know the Great Truth of the Force. Anyone who tells you that it either lying or suffering from delusions of grandeur. "
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"Evil is never the opposite of good, but rather its destroyer."

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