“Only a Sith thinks in absolutes.”
When I first heard that line, I thought it was completely the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. Weren’t the Sith the moral relativists who twist anything they can into benefiting themselves? Weren’t the Jedi the ones who saw everything in terms of good and evil, light and dark, and the Sith the ones who just didn’t care about that, because it didn’t matter like power? Didn’t the fall to the dark side start when you started skirting on the shades of grey?
Then I started thinking about it some more. Don’t you need to see those shades of grey to be a good person? Don’t you need to understand that the universe is so much more complex than just us vs. them to empathize with people, and through empathy, to show compassion? And not just the easy sort of compassion, the hard kind that you need to show to those who are very different from you, and might even be opposed to you.
A Sith doesn’t think in absolutes. Only the dark side thinks in absolutes. And the dark side is a greater thing than the Jedi and the Sith. One of the things I like about SWTOR is that it shows that loyalty is a much different beast than how you demonstrate those loyalties. It can cause you to do monstrous things, but it can cause you to do great deeds. It all depends on the person you are inside.
Oloolma was a fundamentally corrupted person because she thought in these absolutes. The Sith are irredeemably evil. If you truly believe this in your heart, then you’d be willing to go to any lengths to see them wiped from the face of the galaxy, be willing to sacrifice anything, to commit any atrocity, because what you do can’t possibly be worse than what the Sith would do. Can it?
I guess I’m beginning to see why the Jedi focus so much on redemption. It drove me nuts during this story. Why the hell would the Council think that redeeming the Emperor was a good idea? Why did they still think it was a good idea when he turned out to actually be the immortal god-king the Imperial propaganda says he is? What purpose would that serve, other than making them feel great about being Jedi and how awesome and morally superior they are? Did they really think the reason he was so evil was because he’d just never really heard the Jedi way? That he’d be like “Oh, thank you for showing me this, maybe now I won’t murder the entire galaxy!”
But now that I’m thinking of it, it’s important to still have compassion for your enemy, even when they’re the worst. One of the things I do when I’m feeling extra depressed and want to mope around some more and feel even worse is read the last statements of prisoners right before they’re executed. More often than not they apologize to the families of the people they killed, they talk about God and hope for forgiveness. People can do awful things and truly feel sorry for it and truly want to turn over another leaf. Maybe there are people like the Emperor, who would keep on committing atrocities, but you still need to have compassion for that Sith Lord who may not be as bad a person as you think, who honestly believes in the good of the Empire, because there is good in the Empire as surely as there is good in the Republic and even in the Hutts.
Oloolma had compassion for nobody. She followed the Jedi code to the letter, but not to the heart. That is where she fell.