Star Wars: If the Force Were Real, You’d Be a Sith (and That's OK)

Ever since the release of the first Star Wars film, fans of the ever-expanding space opera franchise have fantasized about possessing the powers of the Force. From pretending to open automatic doors with the wave of a hand to waving sticks in backyards while humming as is they were lightsabers, Star Wars has firmly embedded itself into the imaginations and cultural zeitgeist of millions worldwide. The thing is, if we were actually able to tap into the powers of the Force, most people likely wouldn't follow the path of the virtuous Jedi Order, but would instead fall under the tempting sway of the Dark Side.

Jedi powers made possible by the Force have been extensively displayed by films (with even more variety in the now-defunct Expanded Universe). Force users possess heightened senses and reflexes through the Force, as seen by Luke and Anakin Skywalker's prodigious piloting skills; Luke making the tricky shot to destroy the original Death Star without the use of targeting computer, for example. The supernatural senses also lend to an element of premonition, as seen in Anakin being able to foresee Padme Amidala's eventual death. The enhanced reflexes also lend themselves well to combat, granting superior acrobatic ability and the speed required to deflect laser blasts with the wave of a lightsaber.

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Additionally, Force users have a degree of telepathy which can be used to read minds, sense feelings, communicate through mental links and even control the minds of the weak-willed. And, of course, there's the telekinesis, allowing Jedi to move objects with their minds, sometimes with immense power, with Kylo Ren even displaying the ability to stop blaster bolts to a complete standstill while Darth Vader and Count Dooku use their telekinesis to choke their opponents without laying a finger on them. There is also the ability to create an astral projection of one's self but, given that the technique kills Luke Skywalker from the sheer strain, that power is probably best left underutilized.

Of course, these gifts are saddled by the Jedi Order's strict, monastic guidelines to use them selflessly, and only when absolutely necessary. Anakin recounts to Padme in Attack of the Clones instances of Obi-Wan Kenobi chastising him for utilizing his powers for day-to-day activities, his mentor attempting to ensure his apprentice would never use his abilities as a showboating shortcut. The training itself to become a Jedi is a lengthy, rigorous one. Traditionally, it pits young children against training bots and studying the ancient text, while Luke's less orthodox regimen involved swamp workouts with Yoda in Empire Strikes Back. In short, becoming a Jedi is strenuous, difficult work.

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Likely the biggest dealbreaker in becoming a dedicated member of the Jedi Order is the required vow to never fall in romantic love. It serves as the crux for Anakin's eventual fall from grace, leading to him joining the Sith after falling in love with Padme. Similarly, Obi-Wan's own failed romantic relationship is revealed over the course of The Clone Wars, the normally unflappable Jedi Master haunted by the personal relationships he was forced to give up in pursuit of Jedi enlightenment. While the original incarnation of the Expanded Universe featured Jedi that would develop romantic relationships and start families of their own, most of these stories and characters have been summarily discarded by LucasFilm since its acquisition by Disney, effectively rendering the Jedi as solitary, celibate figures. That's an incredibly strict commitment, one involving a tremendous deal of personal sacrifice and accepted isolation.

With its apparent lack of extraordinary responsibility, the Sith offer a more liberated, alluring embrace of the possibilities of the Force. Viewing a strong connection to the Force as a gift to be taken full advantage of rather than a galactic responsibility, there's a reason why the Dark Side has always been presented as an extremely tempting proposition across the entire history of the franchise. Additionally, the Dark Side's embrace and devil may care attitude gives powerful Sith the ability to project deadly lightning bolts from one's hands like a Star Wars-tinged version of Shazam, a power not readily available to Jedi, but one that (admit it) we'd all love to have.

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As an iconic character from a completely different Disney property commonly expounds, with great power, there must also come great responsibility. While, hopefully, most who would choose to operate outside of the Jedi Order would not go around force-choking subordinates on a regular basis or attack children with red lightsabers, they would be considered rogue by the rigidly disciplined peacekeepers. Most people wouldn't completely leave their personal lives behind to join a monastic organization, and, despite its esteemed reputation, the Jedi do boast a higher level of commitment than most would be willing to undertake for the rest of their lives. While most of us would likely not descend entirely down the path of the Dark Side, its temptation of using the powers of the Force for one's self without the vaulted pretension and sense of duty would make it considerably more enticing to the majority than the Jedi alternative.

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