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The dark side: Sith philosophyEdit

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A human male deeply immersed in the dark side

"The dark side of the Force is the pathway to many abilities some consider to be unnatural."
— Palpatine
The dark side of the Force was the element aligned with fear, hatred, aggression, and malice towards all living things. A practitioner of the dark side of the Force sought to increase their own personal power and destroy or rule those who opposed them.
BanesRitual

Immersion in darkness

Followers of the dark side usually acted only for themselves. The negative emotions of the dark side increased the strength and abilities of a user, and as a result use of the dark side of the Force was extremely addictive. Every time a follower of the dark side called on its power they became more and more attached to the corruption it brought.

The dark side of the Force was innately tied to the negative ethical view of the Sith. Known practitioners of the dark side included the Sith Lords Darth Sidious and his successive apprentices, Darth Maul, Darth Tyranus, and Darth Vader. While the Jedi believed that emotions such as fear, uncertainty, doubt, anger, deception, treachery, and attachment were "inevitably" self destructive and lead to the dark side, the Sith philosophy was to use such emotions to fuel their willpower, ego, and selfishness. Sith philosophy saw no need to rationalize or apologize for the destruction and conflict to which it lead; they believed that using the dark side gave them enough power to take that which was rightfully theirs. Striking down a living creature with the Force out of anger or fear was both a tool of and a path to the dark side.

The path of the dark side was both mentally and physically corruptive: just as use of the dark side of the Force lead to further use over time, the raw power caused the body of a dark side adept to waste away. This happened to Senator Palpatine. A well-known characteristic of a dark side user is that his/her irises will become a sickly fiery yellow. And sometimes, it will mottle and disfigure the flesh into a corpse-gray color, as seen in Darth Revan. Many dark side relationships and organizations were also inherently unstable. The pupil-master relationship of the Jedi, for instance, was perverted under the Sith, as both the apprentice and the master began to plot against one other. Most apprenticeships ended when one side killed the other, and every time a dark side force rose in the Galaxy it eventually collapsed from within due to its own unstable nature; internecine would follow. The Empire was no exception: if there were no enemies (mainly Jedi) for Sith Lords or Dark Jedi to face, the practitioners of the dark side often consumed themselves. Palpatine, for example killed his master, Darth Plagueis, in his sleep. Darth Vader also used the addictive and corruptive nature of the dark side to his advantage when he tried to turn his son, Luke Skywalker. Vader thought that if he could convince the young Jedi hopeful to call on the dark side often enough the boy would find it more difficult to resist in the future.

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