The galactic universe in Star Wars is split into the light and dark sides of the Force. While subjects such as good and evil (light and dark) aren’t always black and white, the light and dark side of the Force attempts to make their division as clear as possible.
Naturally, the light and dark sides would have contrasting ideals, values, fighting techniques, and rules, among other things. With this in mind, the Star Wars community has been divided with regards to which side is stronger; the light or the dark side.
That said, let’s compare the two and draw our own conclusion.
Table of Contents
The Light Side of the Force is rooted in calmness, peace, and a submissive mind. Those who follow the light side are expected to be empty vessels for the light force energy to fill.
If we take a look at the Jedi (the primary Light Side Force sensitives), they have created a set of rules (known as the Jedi Code) for this very purpose.
A Jedi must not take the life of any living being, according to the Jedi Code. They are only to use their weapons in self-defense, and even then there will be consequences.
The Jedi are to keep themselves calm and meditate to ensure their minds are blank slates, waiting to be filled with the knowledge of the light side. What’s more, the Jedi are to remain devoid of any attachments and all emotions.
It was believed that emotions, or the attachments often associated with them, were a sure-fire way for someone to open themselves up to the Dark Side.
You see, the Jedi rationalized that even if they allowed positive emotions to fester, they could serve as a gateway for negative feelings to creep in.
For instance, if a Jedi were to fall in love, at first, the influx of happiness and excitement could boost the Jedi’s mood and overall performance. However, it could also give way to jealousy, rage, self-loathing and other negative emotions.
These feelings and the attachments they surrounded themselves with were a one-way ticket to the Dark Side for them. As a result, the Jedi naturally avoided them.
Instead, they remained neutral, impartial vessels ready to protect and serve the Light Side of the Force. Of course, their selfless sacrifices did not go unrewarded as the Jedi’s essence got to live on in the afterlife as a Force Ghost.
While the Light Side is technically the “good” side of the Force, it is not without fault. The most significant one is how restrictive it is.
These restrictions have mainly been put in place by the followers of the Light Side, not by the Light Side itself. Still, many have seen some of them as unreasonable and a stripping of freedom.
Specifically, if we take a look at the Jedi Code’s rules about emotions, we’ll notice that they are highly restrictive. It suppresses one of the few things that separate humans from animals.
This rule meant the Jedi could not fall in love, hold on to familial bonds, or even form meaningful friendships.
Yet another way the Light Side restricted its force sensitives was in the techniques and combative skills they were allowed to use.
Since the main focus of the Light Side was on peace and the protection of life, there were a large number of Force techniques that the Jedi (and other Light Side Force users) could not practice.
This was not because they didn’t possess the knowledge required to execute these techniques. Rather, they did not use them because they were deemed too “evil” or “dark” for Light Side Force users.
As such, those on the Light Side of the Force could not freely use powerful techniques such as Force Lightning or even the most lethal power, Force Crush.
The Dark Side of the Force is the “freer” side of the Force. Despite their fear, aggression, and seemingly insatiable thirst for power, Dark Side Force sensitives had more freedom than their Light Side counterparts.
Just as before, we will take a look at the Dark Side’s primary Force user, the Sith. Just like the Jedi, the Sith have a set of rules created to draw them further into the Dark Side.
The ultimate goal of the Sith worked in tandem with the overall lure of the Dark Side, which was the quest for galactic power.
The Sith Code allowed for the absence of peace. Instead, the Sith were generally free to do whatever they wanted, so long as they hungered for power and acted as a unified front.
The Sith were free to feel whatever emotions they wanted. Furthermore, the Sith could have used whatever force techniques they wanted, even if it was a Light Side Force Power or one native to the Dark Side.
In fact, the Sith were well known for using excessive powers like Force Lightning and Force Choke. They are excessive because of their brutality and high fatality potential.
To that end, the notorious Darth Vader was well known for using Force Crush to obliterate the organs of his victims.
Even though the Dark Side allows its users to essentially do whatever they please, that comes with a downside. That is, this opens the door for chaos to take place. Let me explain.
Without the regulation of emotions such as rage and hatred, it’s quite possible for a person (particularly a Sith) to not be able to think clearly and make rational decisions.
A case in point is Anakin Skywalker’s descent to the dark side. He was emotionally driven by the death of his mother and his desperation to save his loved ones. Because of this, he fell prey to the manipulative lure of the Dark Side.
Then there was Darth Malgus, who killed his wife (Eleena Daru) because he believed she could one day be used as a point of weakness for him. This is yet another indicator of irrational thinking based on emotions.
Is the Dark Side Stronger Than the Light Side?
Now, when it comes to which side is actually more powerful, fans are divided.
Some agree with Jedi Grandmaster Yoda, when he said the dark side was not necessarily more powerful, simply easier. However, I have to side with those who believe that the Dark Side is stronger.
As mentioned above, the Dark Side allows for its Force sensitives to fully embrace whatever emotions they’re feeling at the time. It is well known that emotions (especially the negative ones) can drive a person to a point of unimaginable rage.
In that they would end up doing things they usually would not if they were thinking clearly.
Ergo, the Dark Side being driven by aggression as well as its unrestrictive nature meant it had the potential to be theoretically more powerful than the Light Side.
The Dark and Light sides are two halves of the same coin. Although they are polar opposites, the one could not successfully exist without the other.
Without the Light Side there would be a surplus of darkness and vice versa. Therefore, one being more powerful than the other is subjective.
Still, it appears as though the Dark Side is more powerful because it is rooted in one of the strongest, most unstable emotions, aggression.