Star Wars: The Last Jedi is the confirmed title of the hotly-anticipated follow-up to The Force Awakens, and it brings to mind a question all fans have contemplated at one point or another: would I be a Jedi, or a Sith? That burning ember of anger (or even hate) might not be strong enough to warrant turning to the dark side, but equally how many of us really want to be a goody-two-shoes Jedi? These outstanding fan films should help you decide which side is for you - or whether you’re more inclined to follow Qui-Gon Jinn down the path of the grey Jedi.
If you suffer from a severe lack of patience, might resonate with you more than you’d expect. The tale of an over-eager Padawan who can’t help herself from grabbing a lightsaber from her Jedi master, Hoshino shows that Jedis aren’t always saints. After losing her sight in an incident, she has to find other ways to use a lightsaber, even becoming so patient as to piece together her weapon without using her hands. How does she do that, you ask? Well, you’ll have to watch the video to find out. All that impatience is channeled into devastating Force-wielding ability and shows the perseverance of the Jedi, even in the face of massive change.
The Last Padawan
A bit more sombre than you’d expect, is the tale of (surprise surprise) one Jedi hunting for kyber crystals after order 66 was executed. Bandits, a lightsaber duel, some righteous anger over most of the Jedi Order being massacred: The Last Padawan has it all. There’s also a nice reference to the folklore surrounding the Jedi too, with them being wandering, magical monks who punish evil-doers, giving you an idea of how ordinary people see the Force-sensitive knights. Unlike Hoshino and Emergence this Jedi isn’t afraid to show his harder side, as he deals with those who wrong him pretty swiftly and let us see just how ruthless the light side of the Force can be.
Hoshino shows the before and after of being a blind Jedi, whilst gives us insight into those first panicked moments when vision fails and everything you once knew is new and terrifying. Emergence also shows the potential of the Force, going far beyond pushing things out of the way to using it to levitate a lightsaber, to sensing heartbeats through the rock. You definitely get a sense of the fear Alenna feels, but at each scare her instinctual use of the Force kicks in, showing just how deep it runs in Jedi’s veins. This tale of betrayal, loss, and incredible mental fortitude is enough to inspire anyone to choose the light side of the Force.
Darth Maul: Apprentice
With over 11 million views, this film is an essential watch for anyone who loves Star Wars. Seeing Darth Maul’s red and black face is enough to scare anyone silly, but shows that this Sith didn’t always find it easy to be merciless. Documenting a mission he was given when he was an apprentice to Palpatine/Darth Sidious, it’s filled with lightsaber duels, showing Maul’s overwhelming combat skills. He might not speak a single word until the very end, but the amount that the actor communicates with his eyes is astonishing. Hesitation, a brief inclination towards mercy, then steeling himself towards hate - I don’t think we see even a glimpse of this kind of emotional depth in The Phantom Menace. Showing a lot more than the boundless hate Sith are famous for, Maul demonstrates the inner conflict that comes with relentless brutality.
One Sith taking on two Jedi deserves some kind of recognition. An interesting one to read into, in this orange-lightsaber-wielding Sith doesn’t go for the killing blow immediately and even gives a disarmed Jedi his lightsaber back. So he can get a fair fight, presumably. Who ever said Sith are without honour? The dark side doesn’t entirely eclipse the notion of a fair fight, indicating that you don’t have to be a massacre-loving maniac to wield a red lightsaber. The ending is nicely ambiguous as well, as it looks like one of the Jedis might have turned to the dark side as we don’t see the colour of his lightsaber… either that or he really likes intense looks and dressing entirely in black.
Wrath of the Sith
One cool lightsaber says a thousand words, but in there’s a lot more to this dark-sider than their double-bladed weapon. Demonstrating two different ways to wield the dark side of the Force - brute strength or quick and agile - you can’t deny the power demonstrated here. Especially considering the Jedi seem to have very similar fighting styles. His fellow apprentice to the dark side might not have a fancy blade, but his fighting style more than makes up for it. Wielding the lightsaber backwards might seem impractical, but it shows how the Sith challenge and change the accepted way of doing things, whilst the Jedi can sometimes be a little too respectful of tradition. Qui-Gon Jinn’s irreverent approach to the council was enough to brand him an outsider, after all.
Or... Grey Jedi?
Or maybe you’re like , who’s undecided and seems to have enough hate in her to turn to the dark side… if it weren’t for the dratted good influence of her father and a rebel pilot. Preventing stormtroopers from being air-choked by Kara only to shoot them after freeing them suggests that the rebels can sometimes be hypocrites. Maybe if Kara was given the opportunity to find her own path instead of being recruited to the Rebel Alliance we could glimpse a moderate use of the dark side, combined with a sense of justice. After all, there must be a middle ground between bloodthirsty world dominion and selfless defenders of the weak.