May 17, 2011

Posted by in News | 12 Comments

Ask A Jedi: What Would The Jedi Be Without The Sith?

If you spend any time on the official Star Wars: The Old Republic forums, you are sure to have seen his passion and prose regarding all things Jedi. You know him as Professor Walsh. Each week (or thereabouts,) Professor Walsh will answer a few reader-submitted questions in order to enlighten us all with the ways of the Jedi. You can submit your own question at the end of the article!


Greetings and welcome! I am the Professor and, as always, here to answer your questions about all things Star Wars.

This week we have a question which I have seen mirrored before by many posters. This question is one that spans tens of thousands of years. This is the truth of Star Wars.

Okay… Maybe not. But we do have a whopper of a question this week.

Akrida asks:

I was wondering how many milenia will it take for Jedi to understand that they can not exist without the Sith around?

This one I can really sink my teeth into. The answer is deceptively simple but requires quite a long explanation. So without further delay lets dive into this particularly vexing conundrum.

First of all… It didn’t take the Jedi long at all to learn this lesson. In fact the Jedi seemed to learn this the first time that they ran into the Sith during the Great Hyperspace War. Now, yes, the Jedi had faced the Dark Jedi who later became the Sith before, but that technically is a different thing entirely.

After the Great Hyperspace War ended, the Jedi and the Republic sought to cripple the Sith Empire. The Jedi were willing to take surrenders but the Sith didn’t really believe in surrendering. The Sith engaged in acts of horror, like killing allies who surrendered or even engaging in suicide attacks against the Jedi and the Republic.

After a long period the Jedi simply believed that the Sith were gone.

This is where lore gets a little dicey.

You see, originally in lore that was the end of the Sith, meaning the true Sith were wiped clean from the Universe and never did return. The Brotherhood of Darkness was actually started by Darth Ruin, who was just a Dark Jedi and not technically a Sith. Darth Bane descended from that line.

There were later survivors of the aftermath of the Great Hyperspace War. There are the Sith of TOR, which we can only assume are eventually purged completely, and then there are the survivors known as the Lost Tribe of the Sith. Both the Sith of TOR and the Lost Tribe survived largely because nobody knew that they were there.

While I don’t see the Jedi engaging in genocide, as some people claim, I have no problem with them destroying the Sith teachings and their artifacts and taking in any who can be redeemed. As horrifying as some people seem to find that behavior we have to remember that these are Sith that we are talking about and the Sith are an entire culture of pretty evil people.

Now I know that people are going to come in and try to pull the moral relativism card here and tell me that I am wrong for seeing the Sith as evil and that they culturally don’t see themselves as evil and what not…

To that I can say, (and thank God that this isn’t the TOR forums because if it was I’d get an infraction for this,) shove that line right up the same hole that your excrement comes out of because moral relativism is the largest pile of bantha poodoo I have ever seen and anyone who actually believes it and is trying to use it to justify the actions of the Sith seriously needs mental help. Plus, Daniel Erickson agrees.

Note: The opinions presented here are solely the opinions of Professor Walsh and not necessarily reflect that of Ask A Jedi.

The Sith, as a whole, are baby eating, child killing, murderers. They are as evil as they get. Seriously the only way that they can possibly get more evil is if they all grew Snidely Whiplash mustaches and started reading Supervillains Weekly. The Sith are, without a doubt, evil within the context of Star Wars.

Basically in Star Wars the Jedi never believed that they could co-exist with the Sith… Mostly because the Sith want to kill every Jedi and then rule the Galaxy. They were never fooled by the offer of peace in TOR and only went along with it because the Republic said to.

So there is your answer.

How many millennium? None. They knew it the whole time.

Lego Luke

  1. Thalick says:

    Thanks but I’m still a little confused.
    The question is (I’m dropping the double negative) “When will the Jedi realize they exist only because the Sith do?” Tell me if I’m reading the question wrong.
    You start to answer the question, but then you go off on a tangent about the Sith being evil and not to argue with you on the matter (I won’t). But you never seem to get back to the root of the question of how it is necessary for the Sith to be around in order for there to be Jedi.

    The only conclusion I can make with this is that the original question was a typo and ‘without’ was really supposed to be ‘with’…
    And if that is the case, then I think the typo question is much more interesting than the intended one.

  2. Agreed, you never really answered the question. Also, I would guess that the person asking the question didn’t mean just the Sith from the Great Hyperspace War and TOR, but Sith in general, or more accurately the Darkside and Darksiders. Throughout history, the Jedi, seem to be constantly caught off-guard by the return of the Darkside, in one form or another. They then attempt to eradicate it(which again, doesn’t seem to indicate that they have accepted that it must exist), with less than positive results. They refuel the hatred and destruction so that it can return again and again.

    IMHO, the real answer is that the Jedi, as a whole, have never learned that lesson, and probably never will.

    Now, onto the rest of your “opinion” on moral relativism, and genocide. First, meta-ethical relativism is much more than just saying there is no good or evil. It suggests standards come from society and the individual, not some universal truth. Indeed it is more likely that the Jedi prescribe to this thinking, since they believe that genocide, under some circumstances is warranted. Same for the Sith, growing up in a society where “might-makes-right” and if you are weak you will not survive, means that what you do to survive is right for you. Calling it bantha-poodo or claiming that its false because some people use it to validate their Sith choice, are all fallacies and poor arguments.

    If the Jedi truly believed what they say they do, then genocide would always be wrong no matter the consequences. Its important here to define what genocide means in this situation. The Jedi participated in destroying the Sith civilization, and all those within it, without attempting to save those that could be turned to the lightside or sparing their subjects/slaves or anyone. They attributed the actions of the leaders to the entire civilization and agreed they must all be destroyed. A real world example would have been if the Allies had decided to kill every German because of the Nazis and Hitler. This, is perhaps even more profoundly evil, because it is so far from what the Jedi are suppose to believe. Even Master Gnast Dural believed it to be a mistake, so I don’t see how you can defend it. If the Jedi and Republic had bothered to disassemble without wholesale slaughter, they might have prevented the second Sith Empire from being as powerful as it is, or having as loyal a people as it does.

    Remember, the Jedi are not infallible, they’re not gods, and they don’t always do the right thing. Its not necessary to defend every action the Jedi have ever taken. Also, could I get some sources for your info, because some of the info about the genocide you provided I don’t recall from the Timeline video, so I would be interested to see what I’m missing. Thanks!

  3. Hi guys! This is my first post on AAJ so let me start by saying I really appreciate all the work you’re doing and love this website!
    English isn’t my first language so forgive any mistakes I make (and please do correct me, I need to learn!)…
    My views on the subject are the following (get ready for a long one ;) ):
    1)Thank you for proving once again Godwin’s law is accurate.:D
    Though the comparison is correct in this instance!
    2)True Jedi (and I speak here of individuals and not the Order as a whole) do not need the Sith in order to justify their existance, their belief system is fundamentally very close to that of the Stoics (sp?) and so they would tend to be ataraxic. As such they really don’t need anything, anyone nor even a purpose to be what they are: Jedi. So no, Jedi do not need the sith to exist.
    3)I don’t believe orthodox Jedi condone genocide (if it did take place it was not according to the Jedi way, IMO at least).
    The Jedi inevitably find themselves fighting the Sith:
    -in self defense, for the Sith will always long to destroy any who oppose them especially if they are ,to their eyes, heretic force users with whom there is a score to be settled.
    -in their role of defenders of justice, freedom and the Republic(again things Sith just hate by definition)
    Still it is not the goal of the Jedi to fight Sith as such, they fight against evil in general. So in a sense yes, Jedi have always known they need to oppose the Sith.
    Sorry if my post was a long one! Hope I didn’t bore you too much… Thanks again you guys and hope this comment wasn’t complete nonsense!

  4. Well…

    That was my fault… I read the question wrong.

    I read the question as: “Will the Jedi realize that they can’t live with the Sith?”

    If the question is: “Will the Jedi realize that they can’t live without the Sith?”

    They certainly can exist without the Sith. The Sith are not required for the Jedi to exist.

    This is what I get for not proofing my articles I guess.

    • Thalick says:

      But then we wouldn’t have Star Wars, it would just be:
      “Stars! (not the TV kind!)”

      Why do you think we have 3000 year gaps in the story? Because the Sith weren’t around to f*** shit up, there was an era of peace, and nobody writes about it. If no one writes the canon then the timeline doesn’t exist and therefore the Jedi don’t exist!
      Mind.Blown.

      But really, easy mistake was easy. No worries dude.

    • Shadi Kewey says:

      I certainly could be way off but I believe what the question was trying to lead you to was the whole idea of balance in the Force. If the Sith are destroyed then there is a huge imbalance.

      I believe that the Force will always balance itself. Would Luke ever have been as strong in the Force as he was if his father hadn’t nearly eradicated all the Jedi, leaving an imbalance of having the most powerful Sith ever with nothing but a few Jedi hiding out to balance it out? It actually just came to me that you could argue that all the Jedi dying just before Luke and Leia’s birth could be the reason they (mostly Luke of course) are so strong in the Force.

      Looking at the prophecy I always felt that Anakin fullfilled it by turning to the darkside. How would destroying all the dark side users bring balance?

      There is no light without darkness.

  5. Emeka Uwazurike says:

    My 2 cents:

    There would be Star Wars without Jedi and Sith. It would just be very boring. There were wars that didn’t involve them and wars that shouldn’t have but required their power to keep the peace, as conflicting as that statement is.

    Also, as for the Jedi committing genocide. The jedi did not ask the dark jedi to do what they did. They did not ask the sith to commit the atrocities that they committed. The jedi went to the lengths they had to in order to stop that evil. Yes, two wrongs dont make a right, but who else in the galaxy could have the power to stand up to that? Plus the jedi have a personal responsibility to stop the sith empire because it was their failures that led jedi to become dark jedi and eventually enslave and mate with the sith race.

    Lastly i think the real question being discussed is more dark vs light than sith vs jedi. The sith can exist without the jedi and the jedi can exist without the sith. They are groups who have a connection to, yet different understanding of, the force. They will always clash but the organizations themselves dont need to exist. If we are going back to dark vs light, the simple answer is that they cannot exist without the other. The whole fascination with “balancing the force” is stemmed from this argument and that is where the jedi’s ignorance shines brightest. The attempt to balance the force thru the destruction of the sith is ridiculous.

    This leads to my own question: If the sith didn’t believe that the jedi are trying to control the galaxy, thus making them lash out to get control themselves, and the jedi remained in their famous overly passive role, would the non activity of both sides result in a balance of the force? Or do people see the balance as a numbers game?

  6. Hello,

    Thanks for the answer to my question. Since my native language is not English , perhaps i should have elaborated more into my question in order to avoid double meanings.
    What i meant was the following.
    There is a universal power called “the Force”.
    There are many disciplines studying this power (Sith and Jedi are only two among them, albeit the most famous).
    But, (and i am now going to use a simplistic analogy), when you see a river, the jedi/sith see only the west and east bank (as in shore) where in fact others see the river itself.
    By the above analogy i believe that the Jedi are blind to the fact that they only see one side of The Force.
    But time and time again (as Turel mentioned) they didnt see the “dark” side of the force until it was too late.
    The question is why despite the accumulated knowledge (and perhaps wisdom) the Jedi have blinded themselves to the fact that no matter how many years go by, the Sith will always be around even as a spark, just as the Jedi will be always around as a spark when the Sith are in full force?
    Could it be that this self inflicted blinding of the Jedi was done on purpose by the Jedi themselves?

    Long post and confusing . Sorry:)

  7. Phirefly says:

    I think Walsh answered the question indirectly. Moral relativism, in his opinion, is garbage. Hence the question does not have an appropriate answer. The answer would be the moral imbalance with the removal of the Sith and the Darkside wouldn’t do anything to him.

    And as such regards he again destroys the magic that is Star Wars. The story development of every Star Wars story develops around moral relativity. It’s always about a plot between the Dark Side and the Light Side in some way shape or form.

    The Jedi realize that their existence is based on a paragon stance on society. They protect the society from chaos and renegades. While the Sith realize that through rebellion and brute force they can bully the world and rape the galaxy with greed.

    Now do the Jedi realize without the Sith or Dark Side they would have no existence? No. It’s impossible for a person inside of fiction to realize that they are developed around a medium for pure story. Could in the fictional universe they still exist? Absolutely. However if they told that story it would be absolutely boring.

    The question asks something about a fictional universe within itself. However the conundrum is that the element you speak of is not developed within the universe, but outside of it. It’s a factor that creates emotions from the story. If the Light Side existed, but no Dark Side it would be like an episode of friends. While this can work in some cases, it wouldn’t work in most Star Wars cases. I would expect the comedy show being developed for star wars would be similar to this.

  8. dontclassify says:

    Hey guys, i love the site. I’m just curious since we’re on the topic of Star Wars History, my question is:

    Since TOR is set in the distant past, what is the outcome of TOR Saga? As in, what Star Wars History happens after TOR. Essentially, I can’t seem to justify playing Sith, if I know historically, they will lose. does that make sense? I know it’s a game, but the end outcome just seems pointless if the Sith eventually lose. Or is there a gap after TOR’s history that has not been written yet? Thank you.

    • Phirefly says:

      Well there is 3000 (I may have that number off) of fairly unknown time period. We do know after TOR is the Darth Bane trilogy. So we have a lot of open time which can be filled.

      I think Walsh or another could be more perceptual about what will happen. And we all know sooner or late Sith loose, Republic wins.

      • dontclassify says:

        ok good. I was hoping there would be this ‘unknown’ history gap, so anything can happen in between. I remember reading that somewhere,but i tried to find it and now it’s no where to be seen.Thanks Phirefly.

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