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Up to date as of February 04, 2010

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Followers of the light, Yoda, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker
"A Jedi uses the Force for knowledge and defense. Never for attack."
Yoda

The light side of the Force, also commonly known as the Ashla or simply the Force, was the side of the Force aligned with honesty, compassion, mercy, self-sacrifice, and other positive emotions. For the most part, the Jedi simply referred to this as the Force.

Contents

Definition

"It is simple enough to know the light. A Jedi must feel the tension between the two sides of the Force; in himself, and in the universe."
Thon

The largest group of proponents and teachers of the light side were the Jedi Order, who strove to maintain peace and justice throughout the galaxy. The Jedi were well aware of the dangers of the dark side of the Force and were dedicated opponents of its use, as it represented corruption and a disregard for the natural order of the universe. The dark side was considered the domain of the Sith, whom the Jedi attempted to destroy in order to keep the Force in balance. The Force played a large part in the Jedi use of a lightsaber, giving them the ability to foresee events in the future giving the impression of heightened awareness and amazingly quick reflexes that kept them from accidentally injuring themselves in combat and allowing them to perform other feats, such as using a lightsaber to deflect incoming blaster fire. A Jedi would use the Force to help the construction of their lightsaber, both to assemble its intricate innards and, initially, to charge its power cell.

With experience, there were a seemingly infinite number of things a Jedi could achieve through use of the light side. This did not only apply to Jedi, of course, but indeed any Force-sensitive. The Jedi used their powers to gain greater knowledge, in contrast to their ancient enemies, the Sith. Whereas the Sith would use their powers to try to rule the galaxy, the Jedi would use their power to fight in its defense and to guide its direction, although this difference did not always appear so clear-cut. Many people were distrustful of the Jedi Order's great influence on the leaders of the Old Republic.
A Rodian Jedi centers himself in meditation

Nature of the light side

"Attachment is forbidden; possession is forbidden. Compassion, which I would define as unconditional love, is essential to a Jedi's life."
Anakin Skywalker

The light side of the Force was aligned with happiness, joy, love, and benevolence, which some believed nurtured the light side and provided insight into its ethical uses. It was generally concerned with the ideas of good, generosity, healing, and wisdom, as opposed to evil, harm, and hasty judgment. In order to achieve harmony with the light side of the Force, its practitioners would often meditate to clear themselves of emotion; particularly negative emotions such as aggression, anger, and hatred, since these were shown to open a Jedi to the possibility of acceptance of the dark side.

Strangely enough, and despite obvious contradictions, the light side was treated as being both a semi-intelligent entity with definite intentions and a nonsentient essence of good. Which view was embraced appears to have been a personal decision. According to the self-aware interpretation, the light side was held to actively influence events to the degree that some Jedi thought of themselves as mere "tools" of the Force. Though this implied a lack of choice regarding an individual's fate, the Jedi, as leading proponents of the light side, insisted that it was, rather, "the ultimate free will." This they explained as being because the Force (at least the light side) did not compel anyone. A destiny could be accepted or spurned. And all choices along the way were free to make.

Since Ashla was also the name of the Force itself, before referring only to the light side, it could mean that the light side is also the "normal" nature of the Force; this view was shared by the Potentium followers who, according to Jedi orthodoxy, misinterpreted it by stating that since the Force was not inherently good, the dark side was not evil, either.

Known light side Force powers and techniques

The light side of the Force was generally harder to use than the dark side, this being because dark side Force powers are all aggressive and easily fueled by anger or hatred. This allowed dark-siders to advance faster, but they were not inherently more powerful than the light-siders. Light-sided Force abilities are virtually all defensive and passive in nature. While there are light side abilities for increasing ones strength or courage, or incapacitating an enemy, none of them are truly aggressive (with the notable exceptions of Electric Judgment and Sever Force).

For a possibly fuller list see Force powers

Characteristics of light side users

"How am I to know the good side from the bad?"
"You will know, when you are calm. At peace, passive."
Luke Skywalker and Yoda

Most beings who have used the light side of the Force have known its calming abilities. The Jedi try to maintain calm at all times, even in situations which would normally cause intense stress. They had the ability to calm animals, including people, and increase morale using only their minds. Almost every light-sider felt the tempting call of the dark side of the Force at some time or another, but most used the light side's abilities to restore their normal tranquility. Some Force users that used these abilities are as follows.

The Chosen One

Anakin Skywalker, the Chosen One
Main article: Chosen One

An ancient prophecy foretold of a being who would bring balance to the Force and destroy the Sith. This being was believed to be Anakin Skywalker as his blood contained the greatest amount of midi-chlorians ever measured by the Jedi Council. Found on Tatooine by Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn, Anakin proved to him that he had extensive Force abilities without prior training. The most obvious indication was his ability to compete in podraces which required tremendous reflexes, reflexes which could only be employed by a Human if he was Force-sensitive. Joining the Jedi Order, Anakin sped through his training due to his strong affinity with the Force but, due to the machinations of Darth Sidious, fell to the dark side as Darth Vader. However, Anakin did eventually fulfill his role as the Chosen One when he re-embraced the light side and destroyed his master in order to protect his son. Anakin was mortally wounded in the act and died shortly afterwards. With his death, he had restored balance to the Force by destroying both Sith: Palpatine and himself.

Light side organizations

Notable light side users

Behind the scenes

Ashla was the name given to the light side of the Force in early drafts of Star Wars and was established as canon in the Expanded Universe by the Power of the Jedi Sourcebook. It was also said to be what the ancient Jedi and Sith called the light side in Darth Bane: Rule of Two.

The Power of the Jedi Sourcebook states that the Potentium (the view that the Force is one, and its sides are just a matter of choice of Force powers) is a corrupt, misguided philosophy, thus being the first source to establish from the official perspective that the Jedi Orthodox philosophy reflects the true nature of the Force.

Throughout the films, the "light side" of the Force was never directly named, rather it is considered the Force itself. It is only mentioned by name in other sources from the expanded universe. In all six films the actions of the Jedi and the Force itself can be interpreted as the "light side". However, from an in-universe philosophical standpoint, this can be debated.

It is notable that the word Ashla is reminiscent of Asha. Asha is a Zoroastrian word, roughly expressing "truth" and "righteousness", and involved in the belief that the purpose of all creation is to sustain asha through the exercise of good thoughts, words and deeds. Whether George Lucas was aware of this word, or the similarity is a coincidence, is not known.

Appearances

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This article needs to be provided with more sources and/or appearances to conform to a higher standard of article quality.

Sources

See also

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This article uses material from the "Light side of the Force" article on the Starwars wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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