The Dark Side is a Choice

Posted on 08/02/2012 by

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While I was wrestling with yet another version of a synopsis for Path the other day (this one encapsulating the series as a whole rather than just the first book) I realised there’s a recurring narrative element I hadn’t been fully aware of previously.

It’s about the different flavours of dark side you can go.

I know I have a sort of ambiguous relationship with the concept of evil and villainy. But this isn’t that exactly. This is… You start of with… not a hero, perhaps, a protagonist. And they’re not a bad person. By default, I don’t create anyone as evil. (My absurd optimism showing itself there, probably. Good until proven nefarious.) So, character. Theoretically good.

But then I push. Because that’s what you do. Take your characters to their limits. Or over them. See how they respond. And that’s fine. That’s… what we do. But in this book… they fall. Over and over again.

The first is easiest — madness. There’s no true responsibility in that. It’s fairly clean cut, easy to write. Fun to explore. And I’m not sure it even counts as evil. Evil is a choice.

The second steps over the line in self defence. He’s not dark side, per se, just dark. This is ‘hard choices for the greater good’. Morally dubious decisions with good intent.

The third is the hero who makes a choice.

And the last… The last is the truly good man faced with one too many walls.

Am now trying not to feel like Palpatine, luring the Jedi over to me.

Playing card showing Emperor Palpatine and 'statistics' of his corruption powers