I was reading 'The Clone Wars-Wild Space' the other day and the book depicts how hard it was for Obi Wan to even go near a Sith temple which contained ancient Sith artifacts including a holocron, and Obi Wan was nearly driven mad.

But Sith lords like Palpatine didn't even feel discomfort at being so near the Jedi Temple, which was a concentration of light side power.

Is this explained in the EU?

  • While this is Disney canon rather than Legends, don't forget that Kylo Ren in The Force Awakens does say that he feels the pull of the light side (or something to that effect). He actually has to fight to remain on the dark side. Feb 4, 2016 at 18:39
  • @JanusBahsJacquet It seems to me more of the internal struggle regarding how to act for Kylo Ren, while the question is focused on auras created by/through the force which affect you ability to control yourself.
    – Trisped
    Feb 5, 2016 at 1:29
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    @Trisped True; but I doubt the two are completely unrelated. If it weren't for the auras, the internal struggle wouldn't happen, essentially. Feb 5, 2016 at 1:46
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    @JanusBahsJacquet I subscribe more to the "two different selves" concept used by Obi-Wan, maybe due to my introductory exposure to the philosophy of the self in university. It's like how cartoon characters carry the angel and devil versions of themselves. Two moral voices debating in your mind what to do, each trying to pull you to their side, and they're both you. In this case, from Vader's point of view, Ben is trying to prevent Kylo from killing him. Not so much the work of the Force but rather two different identities that have always existed within you. Feb 5, 2016 at 1:54

2 Answers 2


The answer depends on which version of the Force you subscribe to - even in-universe, there are two largely different interpretations of the nature of the Force.

The first, and the in-universe historical interpretation of the nature of the Force is that there is no "light side". Before the Jedi and the Sith, there were only Je'daii. The Je'daii's ancient name for the light side - Ashla - was originally used as the name of the Force in its entirety. This led some to believe that there is only the neutral Force - mistakenly called the "light" - and the dark side, an unnatural corruption of the neutral, natural Force. As such, dark side practitioners will not feel discomforted by the presence of the natural Force - the neutral Force is a fundamental part of all that exist.

Edit: An analogy is to imagine your own body as the neutral Force. Sometimes, aged cells will mutate and become cancerous (falling to the dark side - die a hero or live long enough to become the villain). It continues to exist within your body (the neutral Force) unharmed while progressively corrupting the cells around it and turning them cancerous too, until the body naturally reacts and creates macrophages (the Jedi) to destroy these cancer cells (bringing the Force back into balance).

The second, more recent (in-universe-wise) interpretation, as demonstrated by those such as the Father and his Children, is that the Light Side is distinct from the Dark Side, the two required to be in balance as counterparts to collectively make up the neutral Force. In this aspect, the light side has clear properties defined:

  • Passive
  • Defensive
  • Improves resistance to the dark side

Edit: The implications of the second interpretation to a dark sider needs correction.

Light side energy is indeed capable of countering the dark side, but it requires an active effort. Two examples are described in Luke Skywalker's biography:

  • When Luke fell to the dark side in servitude to a reborn Emperor Palpatine, he was unable to resist it until Leia arrived and used her bond with him to actively pull him back using the light side, reawakening the light in him to resist and throw off the darkness.
  • A more solid example: After the above event, Palpatine conjured a Force Storm to destroy a New Republic fleet, but Luke and Leia's combined efforts created a wave of light energy to break Palpatine's dark side control of the storm.

Without active effort from its practitioners, however, naturally occurring light side energy will not passively "purify" any dark sider present, while the dark side does passively tempt and corrupt any light sider present. That's where the light side comes into play - to guide and help its followers to resist passive and active attempts by the dark side to corrupt.

So we establish that a dark sider is unaffected while in a place strong in the light unless it is being actively directed at him. This can only happen if said dark siders, like Palpatine, can pass through unnoticed by light siders around him - your enemy will not actively target you if you don't pull aggro, right? This can be achieved through Force Clouding:

There where two methods of Force clouding. The first and most common method was channeled through the mind. This was done by the individual being him or herself and allowing those around him to take them for granted. The practitioner would submerge themselves in the unified pattern the Jedi were attuned to; visible in the Force but not as a Sith. In this method of hiding, a Sith would be able cloak himself but still be able to attack without warning if needed.

The second method was accomplished through the use of Sith Sorcery and involved the user casting a complicated spell on themselves. Force clouding by this method required achieving a balance between strength and delicacy. This method was used when a Sith wished to project an aura of light-side energy so they could pass themselves off as being a Jedi.

In other words, there are two levels of "potency" to Force Clouding:

  • Don't draw attention, sense the flow of the Force around you, blend into it (Assassin's Creed style), and hide in plain sight. Darth Sidious used this.
  • Cast some Sith magic. Now you look like a light sider. Darth Zannah used this.

Off-topic sidenote: These two differing interpretations in-universe is one of the key roots of out-of-universe debate over what Anakin's role of "bringing the Force back into balance" really means - is he meant to destroy the power of the unnatural dark side completely (what George Lucas intended), or is he truly meant to bring both the light and the dark back to square one (what EU is implying in the long term)?

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    wow. the second explanation is way lamer. i love the ambiguity of the first one.
    – user428517
    Feb 4, 2016 at 23:35
  • @sgroves I made some significant changes, especially to the second part which involves correction. Feb 5, 2016 at 2:17

Using only legends sources -

In the New Jedi Order book Traitor by Matt Stover it is revealed that the Jedi temple was built atop a "wellspring of dark energy"

This would have corrupted the power of the light side and clouded the vision of the Jedi who lived there, this would most likely make it less painful for Sidious to be there.

It is also mentioned in the book Darth Plagueis by James Lucerno how Palpatine is able to shield himself so he doesn't show any force sensitivity.

One might conclude that this talent would work the other way and shield him from any effects the light side might have on him. It would also explain why the Jedi council could not sense him.

  • Judging by the OP's last sentence, though, I suspect he is looking specifically for a Legends-only answer. Feb 4, 2016 at 17:46
  • @thegreatjedi Darth Pelagius is legends though. I'll find some legends references for the temple - one of the later new Jedi order books has it Feb 4, 2016 at 17:52
  • Do you mean Plagueis? He exists in canon. Anyway, I double-checked: The Clone Wars-Wild Space is strictly Legends. So I don't think Disney canon sources are relevant here at all. Feb 4, 2016 at 17:54
  • @thegreatjedi no the book which is not Disney canon Feb 4, 2016 at 17:56
  • ah, ok. I feel adding Tarkin in will just confuse things here though. I suspect Disney is not the canonicity he is looking for. Feb 4, 2016 at 17:59

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