Anakin and Count Dooku are battling each other:

Count Dooku: I sense great fear in you, Skywalker. You have hate. You have anger. But you don't use them.

How can a Jedi fight without hate and anger?

  • 3
    "Love your enemies"
    – Valorum
    Apr 11 at 15:19
  • 4
    In the real world, doing anything in hate or anger can cloud your judgement and lead you to make unforced mistakes.
    – Peter M
    Apr 11 at 15:37
  • 2
    The guys who are (almost always) raised from birth to restrain and control their emotions, and understand giving into them exposes you to the dark side? Apr 11 at 15:38
  • 2
    I always assumed the goal of the Jedi order is not to fight. Apr 11 at 21:37
  • 1
    This is tricky because you're really asking a philosophical question instead of a question about Star Wars. In universe, the Jedi obviously do fight without hate or anger. The Jedi themselves claim that and Dooku seems to confirm it. So we kind of have to take them at their word or assume they're all liars. But what you really seem to be asking is if it's possible for a person to engage in violence without any anger/hate/other emotion driving them to fight. I'm not sure if that's on topic here or not.
    – Alarion
    Apr 12 at 1:48

This boils down to the basic philosophy difference between the Jedi and the Sith.

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The Sith (correctly) believe that emotions give them more (raw)power in the force, but due to lack of control of their emotions (and by extension their power) they can't use their full power.

The Jedi on the other hand avoid emotion and focus completely on discipline. To them combat is not something enjoy or want to do but just do. Jedi when fighting are basically machines running a program that is designed to complete a purpose. This makes their strikes less wild and more precise then that of a Sith, but Dooku is ultimately right that this makes them weaker then the Sith.

From the original six movies we have several Sith/Jedi encounters.

Phantom Menace: Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan, a Jedi master and Padawan against a single Sith and they were losing. Qui-Gon who clearly has more years of experience (Due to the ages of the characters and assuming they were both trained from a young age onward) get's defeated in single combat against Maul. BUT shortly after, a Padawan manages to defeat Maul after getting fueled by rage after seeing his master fall giving him the edge to defeat Maul. (You can also see that after Qui-Gon dies Obi-Wans's combat style becomes more wild and unhinged.

Attack Of The Clones: Anakin and Obi-Wan both defeated by Dooku, the entire Padawan and Master VS Sith Lord all over again with the same result, the Sith Lord winning. It's only when Yoda comes the Jedi manage to win (a testament to Yoda's power and experience).

Revenge of the Sith: A rematch of the previous fight with Obi-Wan being disposed of rather early on in the fight. Yet the less experienced Anakin manages to defeat Dooku, and during his fight you can see that Anakin get's more and more enraged (due to Dooku taunting him and probably the manipulations of Sidious).

But here we also see it's weakness in the battle between Anakin and Obi-Wan, Although it gave him the power to face a more experienced fighter like Obi-wan it made him reckless focusing more on getting the kill then following a more logical and tactical approach like what a Jedi would have done.

A New Hope: Well here there isn't a big fight other then Obi-Wan vs Vader, but again the sith ends up on top.

Empire Strikes Back: Vader VS Luke shows that Vader is much more experienced then Luke but he taunts him and tells him to let his anger go, knowing that this would show Luke's real strength.

Return of the Jedi: Probably the best example, Vader is far more powerful then Luke and winning the battle forcing Luke to hide. But once Vader threatened Leia you can see Luke's anger and see him suddenly become much mower powerful (And wild) in his fight against Vader and is able to defeat him. Shortly after this we see the same when Vader is able to defeat a much more powerful Palpatine (although he dies himself in the progress) thanks to his emotions, the only difference being that it's the love for his son that makes him strong instead of the hatred for his enemy.

So yea a Jedi can fight without emotions, but they are less powerful in doing so. This is partially because they seem more predictable due to them just following a logical approach like a machine would, in contrast to the wild and unpredictable style of a Sith. But if the Jedi would embrace his emotions (even if it's for a short time) they will become much more powerful and be able to defeat a otherwise superior opponent.

  • I would note that in ANH, the whole purpose of the battle (Obi-Wan vs Vader) was to distract Vader from Luke and allow the latter and his party to escape. That part was fulfilled. Obi-Wan died on purpose, letting his defence go. So it is not an example proving the pont, because in a military sense, he won - he accomplished the task by sacrificing his life.
    – TimSparrow
    Apr 12 at 7:52
  • @TimSparrow yet this distraction tactics was a bit of a last resort move... a preferable outcome would have been for Obi-Wan beating Vader and escaping with Luke.
    – A.bakker
    Apr 12 at 11:08
  • According to the novelization, Obi-Wan felt that he cannot defeat Vader, through the force. In the movie, he already hints that when he states that this journey is for someone younger.
    – TimSparrow
    Apr 12 at 16:56
  • Also, Obi-Wan was ready to die, knowing that he will join with The Force in death.
    – TimSparrow
    Apr 12 at 16:57
  • Listing ways that Sith are better at fighting than Jedi is going outside the scope of the question into an opinionated tangent
    – IG_42
    Apr 12 at 18:07

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