After reading This question, I wondered if Barriss fell to the Dark Side in order to frame Ahsoka Tano. In order to do it, she force-choked the witness from a far away distance, which is something we have only watched powerful Dark Side users like Sidious and Vader perform, and at the time she was only a Padawan.

This question lists her among the Jedi who fell to the Dark Side during the Clone Wars, but I don't remember if it was clearly stated by anybody in the council.

So, pretty straight forward. Was it stated anywhere that Barriss fell to the Dark Side? Or did was she just disappointed by the Jedi's actions during the war?

  • I recently watch one of star wars : clone wars episode. and I notice that Bariss was member of dark side and also she was behind Ahsoka tano's prison. Also she use red saber as only sith ware use that. So may be she fall to dark side May 5, 2015 at 11:18
  • The red lightsabers were stolen from Ventress, as part of the framing.
    – tilley31
    May 5, 2015 at 14:28

4 Answers 4


At first I too thought that Bariss had fallen to the dark side, but upon further investigation I believe it is at best inconclusive to say anything about the matter. Let's look at her actions.

Actions part 1: She Force-choked a suspect, fought with red lightsabers etc.

Those lightsabers were stolen from Ventress to frame Ahsoka earlier, and she hid them away. She used them only because they were conveniently within reach and useful for attempting to flee the Temple now that it appears she had been discovered and Anakin has her original lightsaber.

Force choke does not appear to be an exclusively dark side power, contrary to popular belief. It is merely using telekinesis - a basic neutral ability - to push in on all sides of a target's neck. Jedi such as Luke Skywalker had been known to use it as well, although usually but not restricted to non-lethal effect. So using Force choke isn't evidence of falling to the dark side either.

Actions part 2: She attacked the Jedi, isn't that because she has fallen to the dark side?

That's not a sound argument. Mandalorians had attacked the Jedi Temple in the past, and they can hardly be called dark siders. More to the point, Bariss had this to say while on trial:

"I did it. Because I've come to realize what many people in the Republic have come to realize, that the Jedi are the ones responsible for this War. That we've so lost our way that we have become villains in this conflict, that we are the ones that should be put on trial, all of us! And my attack on the Temple was an attack on what the Jedi have become: an army fighting for the dark side, fallen from the Light that we once held so dear. This Republic is failing! It's only a matter of time."

This seems to suggest that Bariss merely had twisted (or correct?) beliefs of reality and justice, and all this time she had merely been serving the light side in what she believed is the right way.

Falling to the dark side generally means allowing her emotions to rule her actions fully, especially in fear and anger, as opposed to complete discipline and control etc. as the light side instructs. Personal quest for ultimate power vs. selfless pursuit of what is right. Did this happen to Bariss? Nothing was decisively mentioned in this regard. The bombing of the Temple, the killing of the witness and the framing of Ahsoka are elaborate plots to combat what she believes is an order fallen to darkness, and her clash with Anakin is more survival than anything else, imo. Perhaps her fate after the trial sheds more light: After the events of the bombing, she appeared to have remained in the order, eventually taking a Padawan of her own and heading to Felucia on a mission before falling to Order 66. This suggests that she had either been perceived as misguided as opposed to fallen, or she had been turned back to the light. However, the source for this is unconfirmed Legends, and may very well be non-canon, so ultimately we've nothing conclusive about Bariss to judge her on.

  • Hmm. Have to see if Star Wars rebels throws up any changes- if Bariss is a new inquisitor, that would mean that she was serving the dark side of the force.
    – Mikasa
    Sep 11, 2015 at 17:53
  • According to Disney canon, her last known whereabouts is being prosecuted by the Republic. If she was to take Ahsoka's place, I expect her to be expelled from the Jedi Order too. If she wasn't executed, then she is definitely a candidate for Palpatine's future plans to "bring her out of retirement". She does hate the Jedi Order enough to be turned. Sep 19, 2015 at 4:11
  • On the point of force choke not being exclusively dark side it's worth remembering that Yoda states in episode 5 that Jedi use the force only for defence, never for attack. When Luke force chokes a pair of Gamorreans in episode 6 it's intended as emphasis that he is at risk of falling to the dark side. Force Choke is not a Jedi technique.
    – sevvack
    Feb 21, 2020 at 23:49


Barriss’s actions were motivated by her own sincere belief that the Jedi Order had fallen. She thought that the Jedi had become pawns of the Dark Side themselves:

BARRISS: Because I’ve come to realize what many people in the Republic have come to realize, that the Jedi are the ones responsible for this War. That we’ve so lost our way that we have become villains in this conflict, that we are the ones that should be put on trial, all of us! And my attack on the Temple was an attack on what the Jedi have become: an army fighting for the Dark Side, fallen from the Light that we once held so dear.

Unlike Count Dooku, who used insinuations about the Republic’s corruption in an attempt to sway Obi-Wan to the Dark Side, Barriss was acting out of genuine conviction. She may even had a point: the Jedi had accepted a clone army of dubious freedom, engaged in constant bloodshed, tried to employ assassination, and, in the end, were fighting for a Republic led by a Sith Lord.

Even Ahsoka Tano, whom Barriss had tried to frame for her own crimes, admitted as much, and with the benefit of hindsight. She even thought that if Barriss had been heeded, the Order might have had a chance of stopping Palpatine:

“Barriss Offee was wrong about a lot of things. She let her anger cloud her judgment and she tried to justify her actions without considering their wider effects. She was afraid of the war and she didn’t trust people she should have listened to. But she had a point about the Republic and the Jedi. There was something wrong with them, and we were too locked into our traditions to see what it was. Barriss should have done something else. She shouldn’t have killed anyone, and she definitely shouldn’t have framed me for it, but if we’d listened to her—really listened—we might have been able to stop Palpatine before he took power.”


Also, when Ki-Adi-Mundi mentions her, he describes her as "a Separatist terrorist.”

“We weathered a storm such as this poorly with the treachery of Barriss Offee. None of us could have imagined such a seemingly ideal Padawan turning into a Separatist terrorist.”

Dark Disciple

Surely if she had fallen to the Dark Side, he wouldn’t have described her as “turning into a Separatist terrorist.” He’d just say “falling to the Dark Side.”

With all this in mind, I’d say that she certainly did not fall to the Dark Side. On the contrary, she was trying to fight against it. She did not cause suffering for the sake of it, nor did she let her passions rule her. Nor did she seek to dominate others. Had she truly fallen to the Dark Side, she would not have spent her last few seconds out of jail trying to convince people that the Jedi had been corrupted.

That said, I do think she was tempted by the Dark Side. There’s two pieces of evidence. First, in the previous quote Ahsoka describes Barriss as letting “anger cloud her judgment.” Whenever a Jedi lets themselves be influenced by anger to such an extent, they are in danger of being influenced by the Dark Side. Being so angry that one kills innocents…this surely is enough to be tempted by the Dark Side. It is for Anakin, anyway.

The other bit of evidence is this dialogue:

ANAKIN: Funny. Those belonged to Ventress. You should have gotten rid of them!

BARRISS: I think they suit me.

Fighting with red lightsabers is no sign of the Dark Side. Obi-Wan once borrowed one of Ventress’s lightsabers, for example. But purposely taking them and keeping them? Keeping them in one’s room, when one has a lightsaber of one’s own? Keeping them even though, as Anakin says, it would have been smarter to get rid of them? And then she says that they “suit her.” I can’t imagine that she was talking about red being her favorite color. I think she kept the lightsabers because she was feeling some degree of attraction to what they represented: the Dark Side.



There's an argument that says what she did is not that she acted not out of evil, but out of her convictions.

To quote Luke Skywalker's conversation with Ben Skywalker (now Legends).

Ben: Does falling to the dark side feel evil?

Luke: No, it's the most righteous thing you will ever feel. That's what makes it so dangerous.

Anakin didn't become Darth Vader to serve the Emperor. He didn't become Vader to rule the galaxy. He fell to the dark side to save the person he loved most in the galaxy. For him, the ends justified the means. Those means were embracing the Emperor, turning on the Jedi to the point he killed younglings.

Now juxtapose that with Barriss Offee. Her conviction was that the Jedi had lost their way and she needed to take action to show them how far they have fallen. To reach that goal she:

  • Convinced a woman to feed her husband nano-explosives throwing suspicion to him as a former explosives expert.
  • As the Jedi close in on the wife she leaves Ahsoka's contact information in case she is ever captured.
  • Which leads to Ahsoka visiting the woman in prison where Barriss Force chokes her framing Ahsoka for murder and the entire plot.
  • She disguises herself as Ventress in order to attack Ahsoka as she begins to unravel the mystery. Leaving Ahsoka to be captured and face execution.

Were it not for Anakin's intervention Ahsoka would have been executed for Barris' crimes. Falling to the dark side isn't about using Force lightning or Force choke or even a red lightsaber. It's about continuing to use the Force at all costs and using your convictions to justify the use. The falling is the slippery slope.

  • Hi, welcome to SF&F. This is a well-reasoned and consistent argument and stands nicely in opposition to the one above. Is there any evidence that any of the Jedi saw it this way too? (Bonus if you can find any quotes to back up the main points of your argument, maybe something from Yoda about passionate feelings being a gateway to the dark side.)
    – DavidW
    Feb 21, 2020 at 21:15

Bariss, I believe, was influenced by the Dark Side, but did not join it. I think she believe that she was doing what was best for the Jedi and the Light Side of the Force

  • 1
    A good answer would explain not just what you think, but why. What did she do that proves to you that she did not fall to the Dark Side?
    – phantom42
    Jan 26, 2016 at 13:57

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