George Lucas’ Star Wars has always had the duality of dark and light integrated into its central themes, and the Light side and the Dark side of the Force embody this. These two aspects of the Force can’t exist without each other, but as Sheev Palpatine says, “The dark side of the Force is a pathway to many abilities some consider to be unnatural.” Those abilities and the power that turning to the dark affords mean that many Force sensitive fall to its temptations.
Despite the implication, the Dark side of the Force isn’t inherently malevolent but rather a natural aspect of the Force that must be overcome to maintain balance.
Like the Light side, the Dark side is essentially a way that the Force can be channeled through Force-sensitive beings. Generally, those who channel the will of the Dark are Sith, and those that channel the Light are Jedi. Naturally, this makes the two enemies.
To access the power of the Dark side of the Force, Force users would have to tap into raw emotions like fear, anger, greed, and hatred. The power and the ease of giving in make it more tempting than the Light side, and it has to be constantly overcome for those who are Force-sensitive to walk the Light path. It’s a big reason that the Jedi Order places such importance on not giving in to your emotions and not forming attachments.
Despite the implication, the Dark side of the Force isn’t inherently malevolent but rather a natural aspect of the Force that must be overcome to maintain balance. It’s the darkness that is prevalent in every soul, and is an important part of the Force, just like the Light side is. It’s when you give yourself over to the darkness completely that things get messy.
As mentioned, devoted Dark side users are known as the Sith. The power that the Dark side gives users would lead them to believe that these Force wielders would be able to rule the galaxy through pure brute force alone. However, the greed and lust for power that it instills made it so that there was constant in-fighting amongst the Sith.
Even when Sith lord Darth Bane implemented the Rule of Two, there would still be struggles for power and in-fighting. The Rule of Two was meant to bring some semblance of order to the Sith, with there only being two Sith Lords at any given time. But Sith will be Sith, and that doesn’t always work out so well.
The powers of the Dark Side also show the fearsome power of the Force. Users are able to master powers like Force lightning and Force choking, which are too brutal for Light side users. Additionally, Sith, like Darth Plageius and Darth Sidious believed that the midi-chlorians that connect the Living Force to the Cosmic Force could be used to access immortality or evade death.
While many have fallen to the Dark side of the Force, the most notable example is undoubtedly Anakin Skywalker, who was prophesied to be the Chosen One and bring balance to the Force. Anakin Skywalker was one of the most powerful Jedi of all time and was said to be conceived by midi-chlorians, along with having the highest midi-chlorian count ever recorded.
However, Anakin was manipulated by Chancellor Palpatine to walk away from the Light.
Sith will be Sith, and that doesn’t always work out so well.
Anakin Skywalker is a perfect example of how a Jedi can fall to the Dark Side, as he formed an attachment with Padme Amidala. Anakin was convinced by Darth Sidious that he could use the Force to prevent Padme from dying, and he fell to the temptations, leading to his eventual transformation into Darth Vader.
Anakin also embodies the idea that those who fall to the Dark can come back to the Light, as he eventually fulfilled his prophecy to bring balance to the Force by killing his Sith master and saving his son before dying.