In the Clone Wars when Count Dooku first encounters Asajj Ventress and she claims to be Sith, he rebuffs her claiming that Sith do not feel fear and he senses fear in her.

However when Yoda is evaluating Anakin in Episode 1, he indicates that to avoid the dark side the Jedi must conquer fear because:

Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering. - Yoda

Does this mean that Dooku was bluffing or do Sith really not experience fear? It seems that they would learn to use it to fuel their passions and thus their power.

  • Sounds like the kind of crap they tell each other in all militant cults. "A true ____ knows no fear" and such.
    – Misha R
    Commented Mar 16, 2016 at 7:53
  • 1
    It's difficult to notice the fear amongst all the anger, hate, and suffering. Commented Dec 15, 2022 at 15:14

3 Answers 3


Yes, the Sith experience a wide range of emotions that the Jedi deny themselves. Notably, Sidious was able to rise to power (at the expense of his former master) due to Darth Plageius' fear of dying.

PALPATINE: He became so powerful . . . the only thing he was afraid of was losing his power, which eventually, of course, he did. Unfortunately, he taught his apprentice everything he knew, then his apprentice killed him in his sleep. (smiles) Plagueis never saw it coming. It's ironic he could save others from death, but not himself.

As far as the accusation against Ventress is concerned, it seems to be part of Dooku's standard repertoire to accuse his opponents of feeling fear in order to rattle them before a lightsaber fight, a technique known as Dun Möch (h/t to @null)

COUNT DOOKU: (continuing) I sense great fear in you, Skywalker. You have hate, you have anger, but you don’t use them.

Anakin regains his composure and attacks COUNT DOOKU as the Dark Lord continues his spin to meet him head on. Their fighting becomes even more intense.

  • Dooku's taunting is called Dun Möch.
    – Null
    Commented Nov 23, 2014 at 22:32
  • Yoda said it best: "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.”
    – rwking
    Commented Dec 17, 2014 at 20:07

The novelization of Revenge of the Sith suggests that Mace Windu considered fear to be the Achilles heel of the Sith:

He could feel the end of this battle approaching, and so could the blur of Sith he faced; in the Force, the shadow had become a pulsar of fear. Easily, almost effortlessly, he turned the shadow's fear into a weapon: he angled the battle to bring them both out onto the window ledge. Out where the shadow's fear made it hesitate. Out where the shadow's fear turned some of its Force-powered speed into a Force-powered grip on the slippery permacrete. Out where Mace could flick his blade in one precise arc and slash the shadow's lightsaber in half.

Mace puts his victory down to Sidious' own fear.

Now the shadow was only Palpatine: old and shrunken, thinning hair bleached white by time and care, face lined with exhaustion.

"For all your power, you are no Jedi. All you are, my lord," Mace said evenly, staring past his blade, "is under arrest."

"Do you see, Anakin? Do you?" Palpatine's voice once again had the broken cadence of a frightened old man's. "Didn't I warn you of the Jedi and their treason?"

"Save your twisted words, my lord. There are no politicians here. The Sith will never regain control of the Republic. It's over. You've lost." Mace leveled his blade. "You lost for the same reason the Sith always lose: defeated by your own fear."

Palpatine lifted his head.

His eyes smoked with hate.

"Fool," he said.

He lifted his arms, his robes of office spreading wide into raptor's wings, his hands hooking into talons.

"Fool!" His voice was a shout of thunder. **"Do you think the fear you feel is mine?"+*

Lighting blasted the clouds above, and lightning blasted from Palpatine's hands, and Mace didn't have time to comprehend what Palpatine was talking about; he had time only to slip back into Vaapad and angle his blade to catch the forking arcs of pure, dazzling hatred that clawed toward him.

Because Vaapad is more than a fighting style. It is a state of mind: a channel for darkness. Power passed into him and out again without touching him. And the circuit completed itself: the lightning reflected back to its source.

Palpatine staggered, snarling, but the blistering energy that loured from his hands only intensified. He fed the power with his pain.

"Anakin!" Mace called. His voice sounded distant, blurred, ; if it came from the bottom of a well. "Anakin, help me! This is your chance!"

He felt Anakin's leap from the office floor to the ledge, felt his approach behind - And Palpatine was not afraid. Mace could feel it: he wasn't worried at all. "Destroy this traitor," the Chancellor said, his voice raised aver the howl of writhing energy that joined his hands to Mace's blade. "This was never an arrest. It's an assassination!"

That was when Mace finally understood. He had it. The key to final victory. Palpatine's shatterpoint. The absolute shatter-point of the Sith. The shatterpoint of the dark side itself.

Mace thought, blankly astonished, Palpatine trusts Anakin Skywalker...

  • Well damn, that's tragic. Also seems way more compelling than the movie at this point.
    – Wolfie Inu
    Commented Oct 13, 2015 at 5:05

Sith do experience fear, they just deal with it differently. They use it to fuel their power and connection to the Dark Side. In essence, it makes them stronger. They turn the fear into anger and hate and use it to feed their hunger for power which can give them the upper hand, ie When Luke goes ballistic on Darth Vader after threatening Leah. He does tap into the Dark Side allowing him to overpower Vader, but quickly regains his composure.

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