The Jedi and Sith orders have probably fascinated you for years because you’re a student of the force who is grappling with the choice between the light and dark path. Or more likely you’re a massive Star Wars geek like us whose just fanatically obsessed with the the Jedi and the Sith like we are. We are going to break down the differences between using the Star Wars Audiobooks ,and you’ll know which path to follow after you read this. Why audio books you might be wondering? Well because they are so much more dramatic the reading the novels as well as setting the scene much more effectively and vividly in one’s mind. They’re also great for those who simply can’t be bothered to read the novels!They come with all the cool sound effects and the readers do all the voices and make them sound as ridiculously dramatic and silly as possible. They’re even better for those who’ve read the same novel because you get hear how things were actually meant to be said,which can be really funny at times. So let’s get to it!
In order to understand the difference between the Jedi and the Sith you must understand their origins first. For those who didn’t know what have now we know as the Sith were actually part of the original Jedi order. In the Darth Plagueis Star Wars audiobook Darth Plagueis explains to his young apprentice Sidious that the ancient Jedi referred to the light side of the force as Ashala and the dark side of the force as Bogan. The older masters believed that using both ashala and bogan would lead to the dark side and therefore that only Ashala should be used.Where as many of the younger Jedi knights believed that both ashala and bogan should be used to keep the peace. This schism within the original Jedi order escalated when an argument between master and apprentice ended in violence,with the master being killed by his own apprentice. That event is what started the hundred year darkness which was a great war between the mainly older masters who fought for the lightside and the younger Dark Jedi knights who wanted use the full power of the force. Despite the creation of large monsters like the leviathan by the Dark Jedi,the light side Masters prevailed and the war ended.
In stead of executing the Dark Jedi however, the masters decided to exile them to far and uncharted regions of space. The dark Jedi eventually landed on a planet which was steeped in the dark side energy , was inhabited by a red skinned primitive species who were strongly attuned to the dark side called the Sith. The Dark Jedi quickly dominated the Sith species using their advanced dark side powers and became worshipped by the Sith almost as gods. Sith apprentice Vestara khai explains to Luke and Ben Skywalker in Legends the fate of the jedi series audibook asecion. That the dark Jedi proclaimed themselves the Dark Lords of the Sith not because they were Sith but because they were their masters. The human Dark lords began to interbreed with the native Sith using genetic modifications because human DNA was not compatible with that of the red skinned Sith. A hydrid race of Dark lords became the rulers of the first Sith empire which had a golden age that lasted thousands years,far beyond Republic hyperspace roots. The red skinned Sith eventually became extinct after many wars with the Jedi and the republic ,and the rise of humans as the dominant species in the Star Wars galaxy saw most of the dark lords of the Sith being human in the end.
The way Jedi and Sith are selected and trained is next the step along your path. Jedi initiates in the old republic were surrendered by their parents to the order when they were infants. The Darth Plagueis audiobook novel explains that the Jedi Order had first claim to all force sensitive children, Adegan crystals for their lightsabers and the cortosis mineral because it was highly resistant to light sabers. After the fall of the old republic and the galactic empire after that the New jedi order in the Legends canon , the Jedi order could only take infants with the consent of their parents at all times. On the other hand the Sith Order took force sensitive infants by force and punished any families that tried to run away with death. This process was explained by Darth Chratis explains to his apprentice eldon axe in the Legends audiobook fatal alliance . Where Chratis tells Axe that Lema Xandret was one such parent who was being hunted by the Sith because she tried to escape with with her child. After all Jedi initiates were selected they were usually sent too the Jedi academy to learn the basic ways of the force. In some rare cases however an initiate would be trained without going to the academy if that master found that initiate on a remote world, the selection and training of Asajj Ventress before she fell to the dark side is an example. The Sith orders before the rise of the empire era Sith order started by Darth Bane would also send selected initiates to their academy before assigning them to a master. Darth Malgus in the legends novel Deceived was proudly sent to Sith academy by his adopted father after he killed a twi’lek servant for a reason he had long forgotten.
Jedi training was about making it while Sith training was about surviving. Darth Howl explains to Sith apprentice Eldon Axe in Fatal Alliance that ” first you survive the academy and then you survive your master”. Sith Training was about weeding out eliminating the weak to follow the dark path so only the strong could survive, it was therefore much harder than Jedi training. A Sith apprentice could actually be killed by their master for pretty much anything. In legends fatal alliance it was pointed out that only one in three of apprentices trained by Darth Chratis survived. His apprentice Eldon Axe lived in constant fear of being killed by her master.During their Jedi Training Apprentices often died with their masters while on dangerous missions, experience was how they learned. A close bond often developed between a Jedi master and their apprentice. They often saw each other as family even after the apprentice became a full Jedi knight. In the legends Star Wars audiobook “The old republic novel Deceived” Jedi knight Aryn Leneer referred to her old Jedi Master Venn Zalo as her father after he was killed by Darth Malgus during the destruction of the Jedi temple. On the other hand Sith apprentice Vestara Khai described an apprentice being seen as not only their master’s pupil but also their servant. Sith apprentices often killed their masters, Darth Howl explains to Eldon Axe that it was a something of an unofficial tradition or those on the dark path. In the Order of the Sith Lords Sith Order started by Darth Bane thousands of years later under the rule of two ,the apprentice was actually required to kill their master to become worthy of the rank of Dark Lord Master. Darth Sidious killed his master in his sleep before he became the Dark Lord Master. To wield the Dark Power of the darkside one must prove they are worthy through Strength and sacrifice.
The Jedi order and the Sith Order also had different ways of granting the rank of Jedi Knight or Sith lord to their apprentices. A Jedi apprentice usually became a full Jedi when they achieved full mastery after passing the Jedi trials. An apprentice on the light path could only be deemed ready for the trials by their master or the Jedi council. In the novel fatal alliance Star Wars Audiobook padawan Shigar Konshi‘s Master’s grand Master Satele Shan was overruled by the rest of jedi council even though she felt Shigar had completed his Jedi training and was ready for the trials. The Jedi trails were a trail of courage, a trial of skills, a trial of the flesh and looking in to the mirror. Once an apprentice passed the trials they became a full Jedi Knight of the republic with the privileges and rights that all Jedi came with it. There were some exceptional cases where an apprentice could become a knight without having passed the trials in the old republic jedi order, although this was extremely rare. Obiwan kenobi was promoted to Knight by the council after he killed the Sith Lord Darth Maul , as no Jedi master not even Yoda had killed a Sith in over a thousand years. Anakin Skywalker was also promoted to Knight without the trials during the clone wars. Obiwan explained to the council in the Jedi Temple that Anakin had been through things that were much more difficult than the trials and that he therefore had earned the rank of Knight. A Sith apprentice in Darth Bane’s Sith order however was only granted the rank of dark lord after they killed someone close to them, this was referred to as their Sith sacrifice. Anakin Skywalker had to kill Mace Windu before he became a Dark lord and Count Dooku had to kill his best friend Jedi Master Syfo Dias before he became a Sith Lord. Other Sith before the Sith Order of Bane were promoted after they were deemed worthy by master or the ruling body of the Sith Order. A Jedi knight is the rank equivalent of a Sith Lord or Sith Saber (Legends lost tribe of Sith) Jedi Master is the equivalent of a Dark Lord of the Sith or Sith Master. The Jedi council was the equivalent of the Dark council (resurgent Sith Empire ) and the Circle of Lords (Lost Tribe of Sith)The Jedi Grand Master was the equivalent of THE Dark Lord of the Sith who was also the Emperor of the various Sith Empires.
Understanding the different powers you could wield as a Jedi or Sith will also help you further your understanding of the force. Since we have already established that the Sith were part of the original Jedi order it follows that many of their powers and abilities are similar too. In the phantom menance when Kwigon Jin recounts his battle with Darth Maul to Obiwan Kenobi . He tells Obiwan that he fought a warrior skilled in the “Jedi Arts” even though he was convinced that Maul was a Sith. This is because the basic abilites of a Jedi and a Sith are pretty much the same since the Jedi arts were the basis for powers of the original Dark Jedi who became the dark lords of the Sith . These abilities include what Jaina Solo refers to as the academy basic Legends Legacy of Force Revelation which are, telekinesis, jedi mind tricks along with force enhanced speed, strength and agility. Various psychic abilities including telepathy, empathy, precognition and danger sense were also part of light side arts used by both Jedi & Sith . There were also more advanced abilities used by both like the technique for detoxifying poisons which was used the Darth Sidious in the legends Darth Plageius novel and by Luke Skywalker the legends heir to the empire novel series. These arts also allowed force users to enhance their physical bodies and their senses. Jacen Solo in the legends legacy of the force series novel betrayal uses the technique for enhancing vision to see from distance. While Darth Plageius in the legends novel named after him uses his dark power to give him night vision. When Darth Bane begins his Sith training in Legends path of destruction novel, he notices how the force has made him physically fitter and more muscular in very short space of time. In a nut shell the Jedi arts allow both all Jedi and Dark siders to become super humans.
Now that we’ve explained the similarities between their powers, we will now explain the differences to help you along the path to making your choice between the path of the light and the dark path. Battle meditation or battle meld was a technique used almost exclusively by the Jedi order, it enabled all Jedi to co-ordinate in a battle as if they were fighting with one mind. This made The order’s strike teams far more effective and deadly in a battle. The New Jedi order made regular use of the battle meld technique in the legends legacy of the force series novels especially in the Inferno novel. Battle meditation can also be used to enhance the fighting power of an entire fleet, a Master does this in a battle against a Sith fleet in the legends Darth Bane path of destruction novel. The Sith Order’s dark power version of this ability is full Sith battle awareness. Sith battle awareness gives a Sith Lord a very detailed picture of a battle and allowed a Sith to predict almost very event in a battle. A Sith lord could basically predict the future of a battle with up to 99% accuracy. This ability was fare more powerful and effective than the lightside battle meditation, even the most powerful Jedi masters could not wield that dark power without falling to the dark side themselves. Darth Caedus used Sith battle awareness extensively in the legends legacy of the force series novels Inferno,Revelation and Invincible.
Healing abilities were light-sider territory for the most part because of their principles of selflessness and compassion among all Jedi. Jedi healers were a key part of the Order and were often used to heal members of the order and others who needed it. Master Cilghal and Jedi knight Tekli who was trained to be a healer by her former Master Cilghal were the top healers in the Legends New Jedi order. Tekli uses her healing abilities to heal Admiral Pellaeon in the Legends novel The New Jedi Order: Force Heretic I: Remnant. The Jedi healing trance was another technique used by all Jedi in the Legends the new order after they were injured in battle. Healing did not come naturally to those who followed the dark path because their use of the force required negative emotions like fear and hate to give them power. Darth Bane struggled to heal himself and had to get a force sensitive healer Caleb to heal him by force in Legends Path of Destruction. Hiding your force presence was a rare ability among the Jedi, however for all Sith it was standard practice . A Sith could completely hide their force presence from a Jedi and even another Sith. Some Sith like Darth Sidious as Palpatine and Vader as skywalker had the ability to hide the fact they were force users even from both Jedi and Sith. This ability appeared in the Legends Darth Plagueis novel where Plagueis as hego demask was shocked that he had failed to sense that young Palpatine was a force user until Palpatine chose to reveal it to him.Darth Sidious was so powerful that he managed to hide plane sight as a powerful force users among powerful Jedi like Yoda,Dooku and Mace Windu for decades. Luke & Ben Skywalker, Jacen Solo & Jaina Solo(legends cannon) were among the few Jedi that could hide their force presence from other force users. Force lightening is the most well-known dark power commonly used by the Sith. Although Jedi also had access to knowledge of wielding this power in the Jedi temple they were advised against using since it required the channel of dark emotions like anger, hate and fear. Jedi Grand Master Satele Shan counselled her apprentice Shigar Konshi against it’s use in the fatal alliance novel. Darth Plagueis explains to Darth Sidious in the novel Darth Plagueus that a Jedi who was powerful enough could learn a version of it but not full Sith Lightening. Darth Plagueis goes further and explains that the Sith version could not only cripple or kill but it could also permanently disfigure the victim.
The roles that a Jedi and Sith play in society is the next peace of the puzzle along your path to choosing between the light and the dark. This matters because you need know what perks and responsibilities you will have as a Jedi or Sith. To what extent you can use the status that comes with being a powerful force user who’s role is legally recognised by society in most cases. In a nut shell heroes serve and villains rule. The Jedi are the guardians of Republic society and are pledged to keep the peace and be the ultimate protectors of the Old republic. The Jedi temple was fortress protecting the heart of the Old Republic . The Jedi are warrior priests who enjoy wide ranging power influence and have access to virtually unlimited funding. George Lucas actually based them on the real life historical Knights Templar who played a similar role in western society during and after the Christian crusades. All Jedi basically had the privileges and responsibilities of law enforcement, military and high priests all on one. The Sith however were the completely totalitarian rulers of their societies. The Sith empire and it’s citizens were merely tools to further Sith objectives and needs, unlike the Jedi who were there to serve objectives of the republic’s elected leadership and it’s citizens. Ula Vii explains that the then Republic and the Sith Empire were similar because they were both dominated by high priest casts whom he further describes as militarised religious cults in the Fatal Alliance Star Wars audiobook. Lord Scourge mused that an ordinary being could be imprisoned or executed by law for disrespecting a Sith Lord in the Revan novel. We will go into much deeper detail on this in our up and coming podcast on this same topic.
Darth Plagueis explains to Darth Sidious in the novel Darth Plagueis that the only real difference between a Jedi and a Sith was in how they approached the force. Revan elaborates on this in the Legends Revan novel by explaining that the Sith and those who followed the dark path saw the force as a tool to further their selfish desires while the Jedi see themselves as tool of the force’s will. The Sith’s approach basically a short cut to achieving great dark power by unnatural means however it comes at a high price to not just the Sith but those around them and the wider galaxy. The flip side to this is that the Sith have the satisfaction of actually enjoying their power and status. They don’t have to feel guilt about expressing the deepest darkest desires and aggressive impulses unlike a Jedi. Darth Plagueis goes further in explaining that the Jedi are shackled by empathy and compassion while the Sith” reject compassion and accept consequence”. The Jedi on the other hand believe in surrendering to the force to give them power rather than bending it to their will. Master Luke Skywalker muses in the Fate of the Jedi ascension novel that the for a Jedi how you won was far more important than winning it self. The Jedi’s approach to the force means that they are trained to respect life, protect the weak and to only fight in self defence or to defend others. There is a flipside to how the Jedi and Sith approach the force, Revan muses in Legeds Revan that the Jedi and Sith won’t admit that the light and the dark sides of the force are actually closely interviewed. Revan used this understanding of force to be able to use both the light and dark power while still following the path of the light. This put him at odds with the Jedi council and he was banned from spreading these teachings. Understanding these differences will force you to face your true nature and help you decide whether to be a Jedi or a Sith.
There have been a few occasions however when Jedi and the Sith have been forced to work together against an even bigger mutual threat. We know this might come as a big surprise to you, but yes have a worked together before even as bitter enemies. They were forced to work together in Legends fatal alliance against the threat of the “hex droids”. These droids were so dangerous that they could have destroyed the entire galaxy if they weren’t stopped in time. Darth Chratis and his apprentice Eldon axe were forced to work together with Grand Master Sateele Shan and her apprentice Shigar Konshi along with along with republic and imperial troops. The Jedi and the Sith Order were also forced to work together in Legends fate of the Jedi Allies against Abeloth. Abeloth was an extremely powerful, hideous and dangerous dark side force entity that terrified Jedi and Sith alike. Master Luke Skywalker and his son Jedi Ben Skywalker ,were forced to work with the Lost tribe of Sith Strike team against the dark side entity with immense dark power . So in a nutshell the hatred between a Jedi and Sith disappears when they need each other!
The final key you need to make your choice between the light and the dark is to understand how the Jedi and Sith Order contradict themselves, and what they are in denial about. The Jedi vowed to serve the light side by honouring the Jedi code,but they also pledged to uphold the republic which ultimately a political institution. This contradiction has meant that the Jedi have often gone against their principles by supporting the often short-sighted and selfish policies of the republic senate. Darth Plaguies explains to Sidious in Legends Darth Plaguies that the Jedi implement the Republic’s business as if it were the business of the force. He explains further how he and Sidious were going to force the Jedi face these contradictions by starting a war,this also explains some of the reasons for the clone wars. The Old Jedi order banned attachments and marriage because it was felt that losing loved ones,and jealousy would lead to the dark side. Revan muses in Legends Revan that controlling emotion was a fools game, he recognized that emotions and attachments were part of being human and that denying them would ultimately lead to ruin. This was demonstrated when Anakin’s Skywalker’s fear of revealing his marriage to Padme Amidala and her pregnancy eventually lead to the fall of the Old Jedi order and the Old Republic with it. In the Legends New Jedi Order however,this changed. Jedi were allowed to allowed to marry and have children and the Order was a more like a network or extended families who embraced their emotions. The Sith Order also generally frowned on marriage and having kids because they saw them as weaknesses that could be exploited by their enemies. Darth Malgus was criticized by Lord Adras in Legends Deceived for allowing his feeling for his Twil’ek girl friend to cause him to make mistakes during battle. Darth Plagueis also explains to Darth Sidious that he agreed with the Jedi that force users should not marry and that his “bride” was the dark side of the force. The Lost Tribe of the Sith however appeared to contradict this because marriage and children were allowed in their Sith Order and several of them had spouses and children. Sith apprentice Vestara Khai and her father Sith Saber Gavar Khai in Legends Fate of the Jedi Omen appear to be part of a happy family along with Vestara’s mother.
The Sith are in deep denial about the Darkside and the cost of wielding dark power. They foolishly think that they control the darkside when in fact the dark side ends up ultimately ends ups controlling them. They are often driven to madness and their lust for power and they ultimately end up destroying themselves while often taking many other innocents lives along with them . The Sith’s greatest fear is losing their power hence the creation of weapons of mass destruction like the death star in order to hold on it. Emperor vitiate who was believed to have lived a thousand years is perfect example the Sith’s denial. In legends Revan emperor vitate was discovered to have become insane after he annihilated and absorbed all the life of an entire planet just to feed his power and to eliminate all other rivals. This madness went even deeper when lord scourge warned revan and mitra that the emperor was so mad that he was willing to rule over an empty and lifeless galaxy just to make sure his power and immortality could never be taken away. The Sith are also in denial about the Power of the light side and the Jedi, they are taught that the Jedi preach weakness to their disciples. In Legends Fatal Alliance Sith apprentice Eldon Axe was shocked at the power of Jedi Grandmaster Sateele Shan when they fought side by side against the hex droids. Axe was amazed by how the Jedi fought while being completely calm and serene and utterly destroying the hexes at the same time.
Now that you have consumed the knowledge of the force in this holocron you can make an informed decision about which path to follow. If you’re still unsure and want more details on the differences between the Jedi and the Sith we are creating a podcast for you, sign up to our free newsletter here to get notified as soon as the podcast drops.
That’s it from us for now
May the force the force be with you