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Did Yoda succumb to Dark Side Temptation?

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In slowly writing my Yoda's Master fiction (shameless plug), i started a rather heated debate with some friends about my interpretation of the Senate Arena battle.


At the very end of the fight, just before Yoda is flung to the floor, he struggles against Sidious's powerful lightning and I think it was pretty evident that he couldn't block it much longer.


However, the camera focuses in on Yoda and in a final burst of strength he repels the lightning and makes his escape......However on thing about the scene bugs me...and give rise to my interpretation.


The camera focus on Yoda's eyes and then flashes to Sidous who in mid cackle makes a choking cry of pain. Most see this has his surprise at Yoda's last ditch efforts...I see it though as Yoda succumbing ever so slightly to the Dark side. I see it as Yoda initating a Force Choke.


I think it's suiting in a way, showing that not even the mightiest escaped the darkness tainting the Republic, and it makes Yoda's words to Organa all that much more sad and poigant, in addition adding a deeper reason for going into solitary exile.


What are your thoughts?

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Yoda is the epitome of incorruptible good in the Star Wars universe. Sidious and Yoda are on exact opposite extreme sides of the spectrum of good and evil; they are foils. So Yoda is as likely to do the least bit of evil as Palpatine something benevolent.

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Does it really matter whether you kill/hurt someone with a lightsaber/Force Push or by using "Dark-side" powers?


Some EU says that the powers themselves are not good or evil, it's how you use them.

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To the Opening Poster:


Yoda is as capable of any Jedi at being "tempted." I think that's an easy enough assumption. Anakin, Luke, Count Dooku.... but not Yoda? I mean sure he's old and powerful, but so is Palpatine.


Write your fan fiction and do whatever you want. Honestly that moment never had me pegged as a "Dark Side moment" but who knew what he was thinking? To my mind the scene with him and Dooku in the hangar in AOTC is a stronger candidate, but who knows, write what you want. Lucas isn't telling you what to do in your story... right?


People have written crazier fan fics out there, so if you can do it, I say do it.


The thing is, so many of us have been trained by the "brain bug" of the video games, to think that certain powers are only usable by "Dark Jedi" (or Sith) and others only by "Lightside" Jedi. Luke chokes two Gammorean guards in Jabba's palace. Did he get tempted by the Dark Side in that moment? The movie leaves it wide open and never tells us (though the books might have said a thing or two, I'm fairly sure the novel says he did indeed choke them, not just "make them fall asleep" or something).


Likewise, Yoda uses lightning in AOTC, according to the movie. People refuse to believe this, insisting that lightning is only a darkside power, which they've learned from the video games and RPG's. Sure, the ROTJ novelisation calls it "evil lightning" (iirc) and something Luke thought was a "corrupt use" of the Force. However remember how many "rules" we thought we knew were overturned in the prequels. Look at what a warrior Yoda was, despite his apparent disdain for the use of violence except in self defense in ESB. Look at how fast the old Jedi move in battle, despite Lucas' previous explanation that Ben and Vader had to fight slowly on the Death Star because they were "old Jedi, and one of them was a cripple... so it was a hard fight."


And Yoda himself isn't infallible or all powerful. Remember the mistakes he made? Remember how he misjudged people, and ran away from combat? He looked a bit angry when he killed those troopers on Kashyyyk too, now that I think of it... and who wouldn't be, there had just been a purge of the Jedi generals, and he was next. Yoda thought nobody could come back from the Dark Side, but Anakin did. He thought Luke facing Vader on Bespin would "destroy all for what they had fought and suffered" (the Rebellion), but that didn't happen either.


The EU writers have long looked for ways to find "loopholes" to get "good" Jedi to use force lightning. So they invent stuff like "electric justice" (or whatever its called) and have people be "tempted" but come back after they've used their power, etc.


If using Force Push in combat against a foe is "Dark Side" then tons of the Jedi are guilty. If using force choke on a living foe is "Dark Side" then Luke is guilty. If attacking somebody first is "Dark Side" then lots of the Jedi are guilty. Etc...


Is this a "what if" story? Again, if so, no problem there at all.


I mean, let's face it, you could write a story in which Obi-Wan Kenobi is a closeted homosexual. As long as it's well written, even if the idea seems silly, why not, right? Unless you start selling it, or Lucas sends you a Cease and Desist Order, all's fair...

Edited by Kurgan
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When did Yoda use force lightning in AOTC? I thought he only reflected Dooku's bursts. guess I need to watch it again.


In any case you are right the force powers themselves aren't necessarily good or evil, but there is such a strong and vastly differing intent that in sometimes the difference becomes almost invisible.


Case in point force choke/lightning the intent of these powers is to take life a painfully as possible. While both sides take life in the course of fulfilling duty, a pure Lightsider strives not to inflict anymore pain than absolutly necessary. Which makes it unlikely that for Lightsider to use such a power unless they are so estranged from normality that they fell it necessary. Which opens the gateway to toehr things, enjoying the release of power, the joy of inflicting harm on such a hated enemy, etc, which could turn them to the Darkside.


Or at least that's my interpretation.. Maybe i have been working at my stories too much :p. My story...assuming i ever get it finished, is mroe about Yoda, as it is about his Master. The part of the story that brought the whole debate was my fictionalizing the Arena battle, with Yoda's memories about His Master and his gray teachings.


In that moment of desperation when the entire fate of the Republic rested upon his shoulders, he saw truth in what his master said and gave into his anger, Force choking Sidious....but only briefly before shock at his actions set in, opening him completly to the burst.


And then so on and so on.. It going very very very slowly.

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i don't think Luke felt any joy in choking those 2 gammoreans. he just did that to get them out of his way. If he was planning to bust everyone out, he could have just strode in the palace with his lightsaber and killed everyone.

and do you remember the Mace-Sidious duel? sidious' lightning was arcing back on himself off of Mace's saber. the same thing might have happened if you really stick by Yoda doing something to Sidious, but i say he was just surprised that Yoda could survive under the assault.

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I should make a distinction between "tempted" and "fell to the dark side."


There's a difference. I'm saying Yoda could and probably was tempted. I never said he actually became evil/darkside or a Sith. But write your fan fic anyway you want to.




Yoda blocking lightning:




Yoda throwing lightning:


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o.0 Oy. I wasnt trying to make Yoda fall to the darkside. I was just exploring making him less perfect, showing that even he had foibles but overcame them. Which i think makes him a better character.


About the lightning...unless I'm looking at it wrong. Yoda doesn't use Lightning in the Dooku fight. He absorbs Dooku's burst into a orb and then redirects it away. He doesn't make it himself.

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try seeing Yoda as a Dark Lord of the Sith? he would pwn the frikin' galaxy!


"Kill you , i will," is just not imaginable from him.


That would make a cool non-canonical web comic.....only I'd skip the religion factor and have Yoda simply convert because the dark side "awesome it is" :)

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  • 3 months later...

I know this was posted a long time ago, but... :)


Likewise, Yoda uses lightning in AOTC, according to the movie.
That is your interpretation of what you see. However, in the novelization, which is just as high g-canon, we are told that this isn't the case:


"More lightning poured forth from Dooku's hand, but Yoda continued to catch it and turn it, and seemed to become even more settled in his defensive posture...Dooku disengaged his futile lightning assault."


and in the similar case from ROTS:


"The shadow could feel how much it cost the little green freak to bend back his lightnings into the cage of energy that enclosed them both; the creature had reached the limits of its strength."


People refuse to believe this, insisting that lightning is only a darkside power
Which we are flat out told in the AOTC commentary.


which they've learned from the video games and RPG's.
and from Lucas directly.


Sure, the ROTJ novelisation calls it "evil lightning" (iirc)
"Sith Lightning" and "dark side power" are the terms Lucas used, and he mentions that he had Dooku display that power to make it clear to the audience that he was now indeed a user of the dark side and member of the Sith, and not just a Jedi who disagreed politically from the Jedi Order.
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In the book Yoda Dark Rendezvous, A Clone Wars Novel, by Sean Stewart, Count Dooku actually does attempt to turn Yoda to the dark side. Whether intentional or not Yoda reveals a 'dark side' to himself and Dooku realises that if Yoda was ever to turn to the dark side Sidious would be annihilated.


I personally believe that Yoda didn't turn to the dark side when confronting Sidious, although this may give another reason why after fleeing Yoda exiled himself in disgrace. I was under the impression also that Yoda was merely stopping the lightning and then forcing it back at its creator. This may be why Sidious was surprised, because Yoda was able to force the lightning back at him with such strangth.


Another note towards Luke choking the guards is that at the time ROTJ was created force powers hadn't yet been divided to 'light' and 'dark' sides. Also, Luke hadn't had proper jedi training so may have just been using the force to his benefit, not thinking that some actions may have been considered 'dark'.

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  • 1 month later...

I would say no. even though i havnt seen the battle in awhile I would

wish to give some of my oppinions. Firstly Yoda is considered the leader of

all that is good and sidious the big baddie of evil.

So to prove this while yoda and obi were at the temple obi saying that he

didnt want to face anikan but instead wanted to face sidious yoda replies

somthing like that you are not strong enough to face him either in the force

,pyhsical or both. So yoda goes and faces him but even yoda couldnt have

beaten him. Heck if he was younger than he was sure I can see him beating him

but idk if age was the factor. You saw yoda reflect the force with his hands

a ability that none of the other jedi did. So obviously yoda was there best

chance if any to defeat sidious. I tend to think that sidious was in utter

horror of yoda stopping his attacks of lightning in the end. And besides

how can yoda grip him if both hands are tied up reflecting or

stopping sidious' lightning attacks? Besides even though some1 frowns doesnt mean he was doing anything evil. When we saw yoda in each battle he was what you can see as frowning. This scene this utter determination

that was shown of yoda was his last ditch effort to defeat sidious and

it didnt work due to sidious being to good. didnt work maybe for a variety of reasons. 1 because the sequals. 2 age could deffinatley be a factor. (Imagine when yoda was younger ;) Its an old guy taking on hmm idk how old sidious is but he deffinately had agility. Not saying yoda didnt but cmon yoda was old im pretty sure he had some nice aches after that battle. So when senator organa showed

yoda sounded disapointed because he couldnt stop him which equals

no one could thus the republic ended.

I tend to think the jedi went in hiding because they couldnt stop the threat

even with how good they were. You can say they thought ahead of

some events which needed to happen and if didnt the galaxy would be

forever lost.

On Lukes choking incadent. Hey cmon these are gamoreans to stupid to persuade.

so first thing on there minds would be to anihalate the intruder so waht he gonna

do. Im pretty much sure Luke had to show an impression to that twilak so

he will take him to jabba.

On considered light darkside powers. Hey can you possibly imagine a light side

person use lightning? or choke? lightning and choke can be considered

bad powers due to there intent. Choke and lightning mean to do harm to

a living being. So I guess you can say im a its how you use them type.

LIght doesnt use them as tools for power etc while darkside does.

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