… the term “Light Side” never felt right to me, even before it was used in any official media; The Force always struck me more like an ocean than a binary concept: the deeper you go, the darker and more crushing it gets — at a certain point becoming an effectually consistent darkness — and while light filters down and fades for some distance, if there is a truly light “side” it’d be the surface.
Which isn’t to say “the Force is evil unless you flounder about near the top” — just that it’s a natural force, and as such is something you need to respect and be adequately prepared for. (Take electricity, for example: super awesome and pretty dang useful, but OH HOLY SMOKES don’t try and harness it unless you REALLY know what you’re doing!)
In this sense, being tempted by the Dark Side is less a case of “Hey, I wonder what’s on the other side of this coin it looks pretty cool haha oh whoops I’m Space Walter White now,” and more one of “The deeper into this thing you go, the harder you’ll need to fight to resist the ever-increasing pressure, to remain whole, even to just see whatever the heck you’re actually doing.”
(which is why Jedi training is so important: those padawans gotta build themselves a mental Deepsea Challenger!)
Okay but let’s suppose, for a moment, that the Force is actually malevolent.
That would make a lot of sense.
Consider, for a moment, an eldritch parasite. This ancient being feeds off of the life-force of other creatures. Not that unusual, as most living things also consume other living things, to various degrees. But this one is technically somewhat removed from the usual structures of biology. It is a passive and opportunistic predator, for the most part. Whenever a living being that is connected to it – however weakly – dies, it consumes part of its energy, and gets bigger.
As life in the galaxy flourishes, and time passes, this singular entity gets bigger, and bigger, and bigger. Like a catfish; the only limit to its growth is how much it can consume to fuel it. The larger it gets, the more it is able to sink its invisible claws into other living beings, until eventually there is hardly any life out there which hasn’t been ‘infected’ by it, and slated to become its spiritual dinner as soon as its biological form gives out.
And here we actually come to – of all things – the midichlorians. Which, the Jedi use to measure someone’s sensitivity to the Force, which works because midichlorians are the vehicle for the predatory parasite to infest living beings. The immune systems in some people begin to develop a certain degree of resistance to them, which is why some folks have more, and some have less, and this directly correlates to their Force sensitivity. The more midichlorians you have, the worse your immune system is at fending off the parasite.
The Force counters the risk of being bred out of subsequent generations by developing camouflage, and adapting itself into a more seemingly-symbiotic relationship with its prey.
What the Jedi see as the ‘light side’ of the Force, is a reflective layer that this predator has created via its connection to all living things. This network is the honey trap that encourages the beings still strongly connected to it, to spread that connection, because it affords them advantages while they are still alive. But its elements are comprised mostly of echoes and reflections of their fellow prey organisms. Force Ghosts that resemble the departed. Emotions that are transmitted along this layer and between individuals. Small amounts of power that can be siphoned off to impact the environment, and can also spread the Force to whatever living thing it comes into contact with.
This being is huge now, it needs a lot of juice in order to maintain its existence, let along continue to grow. And like most predators it’s willing to expend a certain amount of energy in order to guarantee a bigger pay-off.
The deeper you go into the Force, the more the Force starts exerting its own will through you. And the less you see of the reflected camouflage of it, and the more apparent it becomes that the Force wants large swaths of death to feed it. Which is why Dark Siders often become so preoccupied with things like Death Stars.
But it’s a balancing act. A large population of relatively peaceful Force sensitives, like the Jedi, cost more than they’re worth, because beyond a point they take too much energy from the Force and don’t kill enough people to pay for it. A single individual abusing their powers for self-gain and murdering left and right, though, accomplishes the goal of feeding it. The Force obviously doesn’t want its food supply to die out completely, but this explains the persistent cycles of the Star Wars universe – as a soon as a group of peaceful Force users becomes prominent, they get wiped out by a few Dark Siders who have tread too deeply past the reflective surface of the Force, and become actual vessels for its will.
And then when the Dark Siders have finished killing a whole bunch of people, it’s time for them to go, too, so that they don’t wipe out the entire populace and kill off the Force’s food supply beyond its ability to reasonably recover. The peaceful types then see an upswing, as they are more adept at spreading the Force. So the cycle goes – Jedi spread the Force, Sith kill the Jedi and feed the Force, Jedi kill the Sith and resume spreading the Force. It’s a planting and harvest cycle, and the galaxy is populated with the Force’s living spirit crops. Anakin Skywalker, who was arguably one of the beings most closely connected to the Force, and had an extremely high midichlorian count, basically lived this cycle in its entirety as an individual – he spread the Force as a Jedi, he killed people as a Sith, and then he ended it all in order to preserve his progeny for the next round.