Character Analysis: Count Dooku

Count Dooku… Darth Tyrranus… immortalized by Christopher Lee…

Easily my LEAST favorite Sith Lord. I severely dislike the character in a bad way. I mean, Palpatine is horrible… but I love him. Dooku just annoys me. Maybe it’s the name? Maybe i’m ageist?

But my own dislike of the character annoyed me. I don’t like to hate anything in the Star Wars universe. So I decided to take a close look at the character and find something that was interesting about him. And what I discovered was interesting enough for me to justify his existence.

Sith use lies and deception to get what they want. The interesting and unique thing about Dooku is that in Episode II he does so with complete truth.

Dooku- 
It’s a great pity that our paths have never crossed before, Obi-Wan. Qui-Gon always spoke very highly of you. I wish he were… still alive. I could use his help right now.

Kenobi
Qui-Gon Jinn would never join you.

Dooku
Don’t be so sure, my young Jedi. You forget that he was once my apprentice, just as you were once his. He knew all about the corruption in the senate but would would never have gone along with it if he had learned the truth as I have.

Kenobi
The truth?

Dooku
The truth. What if I was to tell you that the Republic was now under the control of the Dark Lord of the Sith?

Kenobi
No that’s not possible. The Jedi would be aware of it.

Dooku
The dark side of The Force has clouded their vision, my friend. Hundreds of senators are now under the influence of a Sith Lord called Darth Sidious.

Kenobi
I don’t believe you.

Dooku
The viceroy of the Trade Federation was once in league with this Darth Sidious. But he was betrayed ten years ago by the Dark Lord. He came to me for help. Told me everything.
You must join me, Obi-Wan. And together, we will destroy the Sith.

Kenobi
I will never join you, Dooku.

 

I believe three things were going on in this conversation. The first and most basic was he was spreading misinformation and confusion amongst the Jedi while protecting the plans of the Sith. This would have been at his master’s orders. Basic standing orders for any Sith, really.

But after analyzing, I think he had ulterior motives of his own. His second motive, I believe, is he was testing the Jedi Order, and affirming his decision to leave. Count Dooku left the Order because he became disenfranchised with the Senate, The Corruption of the Republic, and that the Jedi Order served such things. Perhaps there was a part of him that still hoped the Order and the Republic he had dedicated most of his life to could be redeemed.
So he told the truth. The WHOLE truth. He gave them a chance to redeem themselves, to cleanse their ranks. And it was rejected out of hand. Proving to Dooku once and for all that the Jedi and the Republic were beyond redemption.

His third is similar and simultaneous to the second. He was telling not just the Jedi and the Republic the truth, but Obi-Wan Kenobi specifically. If the Council and the Republic refused to have their eyes opened, perhaps his grandson in the Force would join him. The novelization of Episode III proved that he felt a connection to Obi-Wan through their link to Qui-Gon, and he wanted to bring Obi-Wan to him.  It wasn’t necessarily the Dark Side that drove him from the Jedi though Palpatine definitely lured him in with it. Still. I don’t think Dooku was completely loyal to Darth Sidious yet. After all, he learned that Palpatine was A HUGE PART of the corruption of the Republic that he so loathed. So perhaps Obi-Wan would join him and they would overthrow both the Sith Lord that was eating at the heart of the Republic, and then destroy the corrupt Republic by controlling the Seperatists, instead of just using the Seperatists as a pawn for Palpatine’s power grab.

Alas the Jedi were too blind. KENOBI was too blind.
To blind to discern the lies of Palpatine. Too blind to see the truth in Count Dooku.

Anyone devious can lie. But it takes a completely different sort who can lie and tell the truth, while only speaking the truth. Guess Count Dooku is kinda interesting. Definitely his own man, his own Sith, and one of a kind.

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The Death Star Council Room

If you ask Star Wars fans what the most important and far-reaching scene of saga is, you will get so many responses. In fact, I did ask my friends and family and I got answers such as:
“I am your Father”
Obi-Wan not killing Anakin on Mustafar
Mace Windu not killing Palpatine
Darth Maul killing Qui-Gon
“Promise me you will train the boy”
“Use the Force, Luke”
When Luke first uses the Force on the Millennium Falcon
Kylo Ren killing Han Solo
“So this is how Liberty dies. To thunderous applause.”
“I am a Jedi, like my father before me”

But in my opinion, the single most important, most valuable scene, is the Death Star Council Room.

Something that is so amazing about the Star Wars movies is that with each new movie, they reinvent themselves. Sure there are some continuity issues, and people like to complain about them. But I think that the pieces that do fit so wonderfully together are amazing, and outweigh the ones that don’t.
Quite frankly, I think it speaks to the knowledge of the writers.

When Episode IV came out, so much of it was just words. Especially the Death Star Council Room scene. Have a watch:
Council Room Scene

I was somewhat unsure on how to approach this, but I have decided on going line-by-line, instead of movie order:

TAGGE
Until this battle station is fully operational we are vulnerable. The Rebel Alliance is too well equipped. They’re more dangerous than you realize.
MOTTI
Dangerous to your starfleet, Commander, not to this battle station!

This line just begs the Rebels to prove them wrong, and they do. It nicely sets up how much of an underdog the rebellion is. And these two lines pretty much stayed this way for 39 YEARS. 
But then Rogue One came out, and we see just how well equipped that Rebel Alliance is. We see exactly what they can do to a Star Fleet. And now, Tagge isn’t worried about some vague threat and rumors of the Rebellion, he is referencing the spectacular defeat and loss of plans that happened not even a day beforeRebel-Fleet-Rogue-One

TAGGE
The Rebellion will continue to gain a support in the Imperial Senate as long as…

A small line, but it does have its implications. I feel like the biggest inspiration this had here was, again, Rogue One, but also Star Wars: Rebels. In R1 we see that they are at least pretending that they intend to work through the Senate. They want Galen Erso to testify before the Senate. There is still the idea that the Senate might possibly be able to overrule the Emperor.

And in Rebels there are instances of Senators speaking out, trying to use what little influence and power they have.
mon-mothma-star-wars-rebels-s3-1-222813

TARKIN
The Imperial Senate will no longer be of any concern to us. I’ve just received word that the Emperor has dissolved the council permanently. The last remnants of the Old Republic have been swept away.
TAGGE
That’s impossible! How will the Emperor maintain control without the bureaucracy?

Ok. This is the one I was MOST EXCITED to discuss. Did anyone else have their mind opened after seeing the prequels, then going back to this? When Episode IV came out, THESE WERE JUST WORDS. Maybe there was a vision in the mind of George Lucas. I’m sure he always knew the scope of the Galaxy Far, Far Away. But how many of us normal people gave a second thought about the Senate that was mentioned and so casually disbanded? No one either knew nor cared about those “last remnants of the Old Republic.” Those are no longer simply words. They tell stories.  In fact, it’s amazing what the writers did with that line. What was interesting dialogue fill became entire worlds, cultures, and images.  All of which look NOTHING like what we see in the Originals, which makes sense because the Emperor has been systematically destroying everything about the Old Republic to build a new system of uniformity and order. It all makes the Emperor SO MUCH WORSE. And the storytelling SO MUCH BETTER.

And the Senate! How many people came even remotely close to imagining THIS :

Republic-Rotundaf8e

Surely those who worked on the Prequels, and designed this set (well, the graphics), read and re-read these lines. Because of these lines, they had to come up with a concept of a Senate so vast that ruling the galaxy without it would be considered “Impossible” that the Emperor, powerful though he is, couldn’t possibly maintain control. And they hit the nail right on the head. They even make a nod to the Death Star Council Room Conversation in Episode 3, when Bail Organa is ordered to attend a special Senate hearing. Bail says “It could be a trap,” but Obi-Wan responds “No, I don’t think so. The Chancellor will not be able to control the thousands of star systems without keeping the senate intact.” Continuity, y’all. It’s the best.

TARKIN
The regional governors now have direct control over their territories. Fear will keep the local systems in line. Fear of this battle station.

This, again, we see realized in Star Wars Rebels. Granted, at this time the Senate is still functioning. But you do see the Governors have more and more control. In fact, increasingly, the Senators are simply figureheads, for the Empire or the Rebels, and the governors have the authority and take the orders from the Empire, ensuring that their people obey. In Rebels, they refer to the Senate building as “The Old Senate Building” and it has been completely abandoned. The Emperor’s decision to disband the Senate was not sudden. It was a long time coming.

maxresdefault

 

TAGGE
And what of the Rebellion? If the Rebels have obtained a complete technical readout of this station, it is possible, however unlikely, that they might find a weakness and exploit it.
VADER
The plans you refer to will soon be back in our hands.

If you haven’t figured it out by now, this is the scene that inspired Rogue One. If I have to explain how this became even more relevant than it already is to you, then you need to watch Rogue One a few more times.
Tangent – Rogue One fixed so many loopholes in Episode IV. Like WHY having a complete technical readout would expose a weakness. and WHY the weakness was there in the first place.

MOTTI
Any attack made by the Rebels against this station would be a useless gesture, no matter what technical data they’ve obtained. This station is now the ultimate power in the universe. I suggest we use it!

Seeing is believing, no matter what galaxy you live in. These are Imperial Officers who have risen to the top. You don’t do that on belief that your peers will actually accomplish what they say they will. And a man saying he can build a space station that can disintegrate a planet? You say “Ok sure. Meanwhile, I’m going to go build a Starfleet that can ACTUALLY accomplish the Empire’s goals.” Han, who has an incredible knowledge of the Galaxy, of starships, and (if the EU version is applicable. Guess we’ll see when “Solo: A Star Wars Story” comes out) knowledge of the Empire. And he believes it is impossible. To be honest, I say Rogue One sorta fixed this line. Motti should not be so adamant that the Death Star is the Ultimate power. Personally, I’d be worried that the darn thing exploded the first time it was fired. But Motti has SEEN the Death Star destroy two cities with his own two eyes. He’s on a power high.

Darth Vader
Don’t be too proud of this technological terror you have constructed. The ability to destroy a planet is insignificant next to the power of The Force.

I believe this line shaped the creation of Anakin Skywalker.
Anakin Skywalker is a creation of the Force.
He is strong in the Force. He believes in the Force, even if it is the Dark Side. When he feared for Padme’s life he turned to the Force, not technology and medicine.
Vader cares very little for the Death Star. He is completely indifferent to it in Episode IV. He is eager to hunt down Rebels. He is ordered to get the plans back, so he makes efforts in that area. But he is perfectly happy to leave all decisions about the Death Star to Tarkin.
I didn’t actually realize this until Rogue One, when Vader is generally pissed that the whole thing is causing so many problems, and more or less takes it out on Krennic. I don’t think Vader ever bought into the idea that Mass Slaughter solves problems better than the Force. Perhaps he is still dealing with his guilt of mass slaughtering the younglings.
Force Choke

MOTTI
Don’t try to frighten us with your sorcerer’s ways, Lord Vader. Your sad devotion to that ancient religion has not helped you summon up the stolen data tapes. You given you clairvoyance enough to find the rebels hidden fortress- *FORCE CHOKING*
DARTH VADER
I find you lack of Faith disturbing.

So much I could write about this. In fact, I HAVE written a whole lot about the idea of the Jedi Order being a RELIGION at heart. If you want to read about that, click HERE.

TARKIN
Enough of this! Vader, release him! This bickering is pointless. Now, Lord Vader will provide us with the location of the Rebels hidden fortress before this station is fully operational. We will then crush the rebellion with one swift stroke!

Well, I suppose this line doesn’t say much except it now highlights how much better of a leader Tarkin is than Krennic.

But lets wrap this up. I doubt many have actually read all the way to this point. But if you have, hopefully I have convinced you that this is the single most far-reaching scene of the saga. Maybe not from a story line point of view. But definitely from a… certain… point of view 😉

The Dark Side and the Light: Arguing with Yoda

Yoda: Yes, a Jedi’s strength flows from the Force. But beware of the dark side. Anger, fear, aggression; the dark side of the Force are they. Easily they flow, quick to join you in a fight. If once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny, consume you it will, as it did Obi-Wan’s apprentice.

Luke: Vader… Is the dark side stronger?

Yoda: No, no, no. Quicker, easier, more seductive.

Luke: But how am I to know the good side from the bad?

Yoda: You will know… when you are calm, at peace, passive. A Jedi uses the Force for knowledge and defense, NEVER for attack.

Truthfully, I’d say Yoda is only halfway right. The Dark Side IS stronger.

Here is the thing: The Light Side NEVER wins a single fight. Obviously Jedi win multiple fights. But never against a Dark Side user when wholly under the influence of the Light Side. Yoda is right when he says it is to be used for knowledge and defense (I feel I must note here that I am talking about physical confrontations. It is hard to analyze other aspects of the Force from the movies).

The best the light side can do is defend the Jedi into a stalemate.
Examples:
Episode 1: Qui-Gon Jinn vs Darth Maul – Round 1

qg-vs-dm

Another stalemate by virtue of Qui-Gon being able to jump to his rescue. It was a short fight, and Darth Maul was only using half of his lightsaber. Realistically, if Darth Maul was a master at the two-sided, he would probably be better at it than with one side. Yet the very short fight almost took down Qui-Gon, and left him winded.

Episode II: Count Dooku vs. Yoda

yoda-1

Another battle that ends in a draw. I suppose there will be those that argue that Yoda would have won if Count Dooku had not escaped. But if the Force is guiding both of their actions, it makes no difference. Yoda’s main objective would be to stop Count Dooku. Count Dooku’s main objective would be to escape with the Death Star plans. One strength of the Dark Side is that it is uninhibited. If the best way to achieve his objective is to drop energy cells on top of Anakin and Obi-Wan to distract Yoda he will and does do it without a blink of hesitation. Yoda could have allowed him to do it in order to stop Dooku. Yet the Light Side held him back. He could not sacrifice Obi-Wan and Anakin for a winning blow. The idea that the ends justify the means is a Dark Side idea, and if Yoda had allowed that sacrifice, he would have won, but it would not have been solely with the Light Side.

Episode IV: Darth Vader vs Obi-Wan Kenobi

vader-vs-obi

We typically call Obi-Wan the winner of this fight, merely because of his statement that: “If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.” But I honestly don’t know I would call that a win. Obi-Wan had more powerful knowledge, but Vader’s dark side was stronger. I’d call this one a draw.

~~~

So that is it for the competitions ending in a draw. Now lets look at times the Dark Siders straight up win. Get ready for some of the most painful moments in the Star Wars Universe :}

Episode I: Qui-Gon Jinn vs. Darth Maul – Round 2

qg-v-m2

This is honestly the saddest moment in all of Star Wars for me. Qui-Gon is my favorite character (even have a whole blog post devoted entirely to his awesomeness). But in all honesty, his death is not surprising. Qui-Gon is the embodiment of the Light Side will of the Living Force. He may not hold to the code, but he is the perfect Jedi, and the perfect Jedi would be a Light Side user. In a physical confrontation, he has no hope of winning against a Sith.

Episode II: Obi-Wan and Anakin vs. Count Dooku

episode-2-anakin-and-obi-injured

Count Dooku might be my least favorite Sith… Ok, he’s probably my least favorite character period. Toss up between him and Grievous. But he destroyed the great Obi-Wan and Anakin. In the case of Obi-Wan, Dooku straight up beat him. Dark beats Light. In the case of Anakin, there are a lot of parallels with the Luke/Vader fight of 5 (ooh, I’m feeling a future post on parallels!). You can chalk it up to Anakin’s inexperience, or the strength of the Dark Side. But either way, Dooku has a resounding victory over these two Jedi.

Episode III: Anakin and Obi-Wan vs Dooku – Round 2

obi-vs-dooku

We’ll discuss the Anakin portion of this fight later. But just like in Episode II, Count Dooku destroys Obi-Wan. In record time, no less. Dark Side for the win.

Episode III: The Confrontation of Palpatine

palpatine-confrontation

I know a lot of people hate this scene. Somehow, in a matter of seconds, Palpatine manages to absolutely destroy a good handful of Jedi Masters like it is nothing. It is quick, I’ll give you that. But you have to realize just how powerful Palpatine really is. A Sith Master and an Apprentice are a match for the ENTIRE Jedi Order. Quite frankly, the Jedi Masters were not expecting it. I think they figured their sheer force of numbers would intimidate Palpatine, or that an old man they have known for decades would not brutally cut them down. But that proves just how little the light comprehends the dark. This scene may be too quick for some, but in the story itself it shows just how powerful the Dark Side really is.
Then we cut to the match between Palpatine and Mace Windu. Windu may think he is winning, but that just shows exactly how much power Palpatine has. He controlled that entire fight. In fact, I would be ready to argue that Palpatine would have kept that fight going indefinitely until Anakin showed up. And he only appeared to be losing to force Anakin to act.

Episode V: Darth Vader vs. Luke Skywalker

vader-luke

This is obviously a Dark Side win.  Darth Vader owned him from beginning to end of that fight. There is more to discuss about this scene, but it will come later.

Episode VII: Luke Skywalker vs. Emperor Palpatine

palpatine-luke

Luke: Never. I’ll never turn to the Dark Side. You’ve failed, your highness. I am a Jedi, like my father before me.
Emperor: [angry] So be it… Jedi!
Emperor: If you will not be turned, you will be destroyed!
[shoots Luke with Force lightning]
Emperor: Young fool… Only now, at the end, do you understand…
[the Emperor shoots at Luke with more Force lighting]
Emperor: Your feeble skills are no match for the power of the Dark Side.
[shoots Luke with another burst of Force lighting]
Emperor: Now, you will pay the price for your lack of vision!
[shoots more Force lighting]

Light Side Luke wins, right? Well, on spiritual level I suppose. The Emperor does fail to turn Luke to the dark side. But the Emperor wasn’t wrong when he told Luke “Your feeble skills are no match for the power of the Dark Side.” Even Yoda could only intermittently counter Palpatine’s dark side powers. Luke would have died a very painful death at the hands of Palpatine, if not for Vader, which I will discuss in a minute.

~~~

So the numbers we currently have are 6 Dark Side wins, and 3 Draws. But what about those instances where the Jedi win, you ask? Well, let’s list them. Obi-Wan beats Darth Maul, Anakin beats Count Dooku, Obi-Wan beats Anakin, Luke beats Darth Vader, Rey beats Kylo Ren. So, that is 5 Jedi wins, but I would not say that they are Light Side wins. Shall we take a look?

Episode I: Obi-Wan Kenobi vs Darth Maul

kenobivmaul

Tell me what you see on Obi-Wan’s face. Is the the calm, cool, serenity of the Light Side? No. That is the face of a man who has just lost his teacher, his mentor, and for all practical purposes, his father. That is a man feeling heartbreak and rage. Powerful emotions. Emotions that fuel the Dark Side. A good cause, yes. But this win came because the Dark Side gave Obi-Wan strength.

Episode III: Anakin Skywalker vs Count Dooku

dooku_scared_to_death

Is there anyone willing to argue that this was not a Dark Side win? Anakin has been working hard to control his emotions. He was made a Jedi Knight, so the masters must have thought that he had made enough progress in that respect. But Count Dooku had just taken out his master, mentor, father, brother. Not to mention, there is the revenge aspect. Dooku did take his arm. And Palpatine was sitting there practically feeding Anakin Dark Side energy.

Episode III: Obi-Wan Kenobi vs Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader

kenobi_mustafar

I know Obi-Wan Kenobi is considered the perfect Jedi. If Yoda was the Heart of the Jedi Council and Mace Windu was it’s Head, Obi-Wan Kenobi would be its Right Hand. Yet we have already seen Obi-Wan succumb to the Dark Side of the Force for a victory. He grew so much since then. But the loss of Anakin Skywalker would be at least as traumatizing as losing Qui-Gon, if not more so. Obi-Wan’s final words to Anakin are absolutely full of Heartbreak, Anger, and Despair. Things a Jedi should never feel.

Episode VI: Luke Skywalker vs Darth Vader

lukevaderrotj7

Luke is all over the place in this battle. The true war is not Luke vs Vader or Palpatine. It is Luke vs. the Dark Side. Every time Luke attacks or gains the upper ground he is under the influence of the Dark Side. Even Luke knows that he cannot win without the Dark Side because when he is trying to be a good Jedi, he straight up refuses to fight. It takes the Emperor goading him about losing his friends, and Vader threatening Leia to break that resolve. He destroys Vader with the Dark Side, which is why he throws away his lightsaber as soon as he realizes what he is doing. He let the Light take back control, which opened the door for Palpatine to destroy him.

Episode VII: Kylo Ren vs Rey

rey-v-ren

Rey is still hard to figure out. One more year and we may get some insight. I’m not going to speculate on her origins here. And honestly, the force is so mixed up right now anyways. Kylo Ren is the reason I have had to switch from saying “Sith” to “Dark Side User” because I don’t think that he and Snoke are Sith. But I suppose we will find more out about that in future movies. What we do know is that Rey is strong in the Force. So is Kylo Ren. Kylo Ren takes the necessary steps to plunge himself into the Dark Side, to all our tears and laments. He is actually trained. He has been training since he was young. Yet Rey beats him. Granted, he took a freaking bowcaster bolt to the side. And he never wanted to actually kill Rey, just have her join him. But she beats him. She wants to kill him. She might have, if the planet hadn’t started breaking up. And what brought about this great strength and intense emotion? Loss. She lost Han. She might have lost Finn.

Have you sensed a pattern yet?

I hope you have stuck with me up to this point. I do have a flair for the dramatic. I tend to want to lay all the pieces out and then make my point. I am an English Teacher, and I can force my students to note down all the parts before the final piece is put into place, and watch the minds be blown. However, I cannot force anyone to actually read a blog post all the way to the end. If you have, here is my real argument:

In a battle between straight Light Side and straight Dark Side, the Dark will win. It is Stronger. The best the Light can hope for is escaping alive. But there is something that is more powerful than the straight Dark Side:

The balance between the two.
A typical Light-Sider/Jedi taking his first steps into the Dark is stronger than the Dark Side.

Fear is the path to the Dark Side. Fear leads to Anger. Anger leads to Hate. Hate leads to Suffering.

When a Jedi takes those first steps they become incredibly powerful. But not fear for oneself. In fact, the Jedi would lose fear for oneself at a very early age. It is the fear and anger of loss. Did you notice that loss is a part of every Jedi Victory over a Dark Side user?

Obi-Wan lost Qui-Gon.
Anakin feared he had lost Obi-Wan.
Obi-Wan lost Anakin and the Jedi Order.
Luke feared losing the Alliance and his Sister.
Rey lost Han and feared losing Finn.

Fear and Anger can be a Jedi’s ally. When a Jedi can balance the Dark Side and the Light they are incredibly powerful. Which does lead to a Bonus Round:

Episode VI: Darth Vader vs Emperor Palpatine

vader-palpatine

Luke’s struggle between the Dark and the Light were exactly what made him so powerful against Vader. However, when he decided to turn his back on the Dark, he made himself vulnerable to Palpatine’s immense Dark Side power. But the street goes two ways. Just as a Jedi is stronger taking his first steps into the Dark Side, so too would a Sith be stepping into the Light.
Granted there wasn’t much to this fight. It was mostly just Vader chucking Palpatine into one of the universe’s infinite number of bottomless pits. But if the Force not only obeys commands but controls actions, it is definitely in control here. Palpatine is far stronger in the Dark Side than Vader is. He took out most of the Jedi Council by himself. But the Force was strong with Vader. He was finally and completely fulfilling the prophecy after all.
And notice, it is once again fear of loss that is the driving force. Vader feared losing his son. Not just physically, but to the Dark Side. Vader took a step into the Light in his final moments.
So add another score to the balance.

Counter-Argument and Proof

I know the counter-argument right now. If this is so, why does Anakin lose to Count Dooku in Episode II and to Obi-Wan in Episode III? Why does Luke lose to Vader in Episode V?
Balance.
In both instances with Anakin, he was too far gone down the path to the Dark Side. In Episode II he had just given into his hate for the Sand People and slaughtered them. He turned that hate towards Dooku for the friends and family Dooku had taken from him. He was stronger in the Dark Side than he had ever been. But without the Light to give him strength he was not strong enough to beat Count Dooku.
Come Episode III, however, Anakin had actually learned to walk the Balance, which is why he could beat Dooku this time. Even Dooku commented “You have hate. You have anger. But you don’t use them.” Well Dooku, he still beat you. Because he walked that line. Killing you, however, tipped him over the edge. By the end of Episode III, Anakin had pledged himself to the Dark Side. He slaughtered everyone in the Jedi Temple. He hated the Jedi and Obi-Wan for every loss and every perceived insult to his power. Anakin was stronger in the Dark Side than he had ever been. But Obi-Wan walked the balance this time and won.
And back to Luke in Episode V. You can chalk his loss up to inexperience if you want. It does play a role and we could leave it at that. But also remember the theme throughout Episode V. Luke has been struggling with the Dark Side the entire movie. His impatience with Yoda, his failure with the ship, and his failure in the cave all portray Luke warring with his fear, which weakens his resolve in the Light and doesn’t give enough power in the Dark. But by the time he faces Vader, he does have the necessary fear and anger of loss – Han and Leia were the reason he came. But he stepped too far. He hated Vader. Vader was the reason his Aunt and Uncle were killed. Vader killed so many of his Rebel friends. And most importantly, Luke believed that Vader had killed his father. Like Anakin, Luke had fallen too far into the Dark Side and he just was not powerful enough.

Conclusion

So what does all this mean? What was the purpose of compiling a comprehensive list of Force-User Fights? Honestly not sure.
Except to say that Yoda is not completely accurate when he says the Dark Side isn’t Stronger, because in a fight, pure Dark Side beats pure Light Side. A Balance will beat both. Balance is an incredibly important concept in the Star Wars ethos, and I covered the prophecy of Balance pretty thoroughly. But Balance does not mean all Light as the Jedi are wont to believe. It is an actual Balance between the two.

Does that mean every Force User ought to walk the Balance? No. There are different paths. There are powers in the Force that can only be obtained through study of the Light or the Dark. No Force User can master every power and discover every secret. And truthfully, I do not believe that anyone who walks the balance could ever be at peace.

But in terms of Strength: Balance, then Dark, then Light. Sorry Yoda.