Light Side VS Dark Side

Light Side VS Dark Side

What is the Force in Star Wars?
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At the time of writing this, Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens has been out for 13 days. In that time, it's made $1 billion in record time, topping Revenge of the Sith for the highest-grossing Star Wars film of all time. Fans across the world got to enjoy the film on the same release date and have been talking about it ever since.

Star Wars is the fairy tale of my generation. It is the journey of heroes in the face of insurmountable odds, of grand clashes of good and evil, and of the ties that bind us all: the Force. It's described as surrounding us and holding us together, within and without everything in the galaxy. Not only that, but it has a Light and Dark side, constantly balancing and checking one another.

But what is the difference between the Light and Dark sides? What do they stand for, and what do they practice?

And don't worry - no spoilers here! Consider this a guide to helping you better understand what exactly is awakening in Episode VII. Train hard, and may the Force be with you.

The Light Side

"How am I to know the good side from the bad?"
"You will know, when you are calm. At peace, passive."
―Luke Skywalker and Yoda

Who used it: Individuals able to sense and use the Force, the largest number of whom belonged to the ancient order of Jedi Knights. They used their abilities to gather knowledge and keep peace in the galaxy.

What it represents: The light side of the Force is the side aligned with honesty, compassion, mercy, self-sacrifice, and other positive emotions. One who uses the light side will never draw a weapon on an enemy in fear or anger and will always strive to stay calm in any situation. Many who used the light side meditated to help maintain that inner control.

Known powers: These techniques are typically harder to use and master than those practiced by those on the dark side. But because of this, they are infinitely more rewarding and become more powerful over time. They're almost all defensive or passive in nature, and while they can incapacitate enemies, they usually choose not to. Some specific powers include:
  • Telekinesis (pushing and pulling objects or people)
  • Precognition
  • Persuasion ("Jedi mind tricks")

  • Notable users: Luke Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda


    The Dark Side

    "The dark side of the Force is a pathway to many abilities some consider to be unnatural."
    ―Palpatine

    Who used it: The dark side of the Force was primarily used by the Sith Lords. A number of Sith were former Jedi who were seduced by the strength they could gather from the dark side and thus turned against their old practices. They used their abilities to gather more power for themselves.

    What it represents: Darker emotions such as fear, anger, hatred, and aggression are the hallmarks of the dark side. Because of its highly corrupting nature, those who used the dark side quickly became twisted versions of their old selves, They seek to acquire as much power as possible by any means necessary, and are not afraid to use underhanded tactics to get what they want.

    Known powers: Using the dark side allows Force users to use techniques they normally would not be able to. It was the "quick and easy path" promising rapid gains and quick victories. They are almost all aggressive in nature, including:
  • Force lightning
  • Force choking
  • Temporary healing

  • Notable users: Darth Vader, Darth Sidious, Count Dooku
    Cover Image Credit: starwars.com

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    A Senior's Last Week Of High School

    The bittersweet end.
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    Well, this is it. This is what we've worked so hard the last four years - who am I kidding - basically what seems like our whole lives for. This is the very last week we will set foot as a student in our high school's hallways. As most schools are getting ready to set their seniors free at last, it all begins to set in - the excitement, the anxiousness, and also the sentiment and nostalgia.

    For seniors, the years since our first day as a freshman at the bottom of the high school totem pole have seemed endless, but as we look back on these last few weeks, we realize that this year in particular has gone by extraordinarily fast. It was just yesterday that we were sitting in our classrooms for the very first time, going to our 'last first' practice, and getting our first taste of the (very real) "senioritis". With all that's going on in our lives right now, from sports and clubs, finals, and the sought after graduation ceremony, it's hard to really sit down and think about how our lives are all about to become drastically different. For some it's moving out, and for some it's just the thought of not seeing your best friend on the way to fourth period English; either way, the feels are real. We are all in a tug of war with the emotions going on inside of us; everything is changing - we're ready, but we're not.

    THE GOOD. Our lives are about to begin! There is a constant whirlwind of excitement. Senior awards, getting out of school early, parties, and of course Graduation. We are about to be thrust into a world of all new things and new people. Calling our own shots and having the freedom we have so desperately desired since the teenage years began is right around the corner. Maybe the best part is being able to use these new things surrounding you to grow and open your mind and even your heart to ideas you never could before. We get the chance to sink or swim, become our own person, and really begin to find ourselves.

    Things we don't even know yet are in the works with new people we haven't even met yet. These friendships we find will be the ones to last us a lifetime. The adventures we experience will transform into the advice we tell our own children and will become the old tales we pass down to our grandkids when they come to visit on the weekends. We will probably hate the all night study sessions, the intensity of finals week, and the overpowering stress and panic of school in general, just like we did in high school... But it will all be worth it for the memories we make that will outlive the stress of that paper due in that class you absolutely hate. As we leave high school, remember what all the parents, teachers, coaches, and mentors are telling you - this are the best times of our lives!

    THE BAD. The sentimental emotions are setting in. We're crying, siblings are tearing up, and parents are full-out bawling. On that first day, we never expected the school year to speed by the way it did. Suddenly everything is coming to an end. Our favorite teachers aren't going to be down the hall anymore, our best friends probably won't share a class with us, we won't be coming home to eat dinner with our families...

    We all said we wanted to get out of this place, we couldn't wait, we were ready to be on our own; we all said we wouldn't be "so emotional" when the time came, but yet here we are, wishing we could play one more football game with our team or taking the time to make sure we remember the class we liked the most or the person that has made us laugh even when we were so stressed we could cry these past few years. Take the time to hug your parents these last few months. Memorize the facial expressions of your little sister or brother. Remember the sound of your dad coming home from work. These little things we take for granted every day will soon just be the things we tell our college roommate when they ask about where we're from. As much as we've wanted to get out of our house and our school, we never thought it would break our heart as much as it did. We are all beginning to realize that everything we have is about to be gone.

    Growing up is scary, but it can also be fun. As we take the last few steps in the hallways of our school, take it all in. Remember, it's okay to be happy; it's okay to be totally excited. But also remember it's okay to be sad. It's okay to be sentimental. It's okay to be scared, too. It's okay to feel all these confusing emotions that we are feeling. The best thing about the bittersweet end to our high school years is that we are finally slowing down our busy lives enough to remember the happy memories.

    Try not to get annoyed when your mom starts showing your baby pictures to everyone she sees, or when your dad starts getting aggravated when you talk about moving out and into your new dorm. They're coping with the same emotions we are. Walk through the halls remembering the classes you loved and the classes you hated. Think of the all great times that have happened in our high school years and the friends that have been made that will never be forgotten. We all say we hated school, but we really didn't. Everything is about to change; that's a happy thing, and a sad thing. We all just have to embrace it! We're ready, but we're not...

    Cover Image Credit: Facebook

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    The 7 Best Food Places Near UCLA You Need to Try ASAP

    We have great dining food AND restaurants around us? Wow, we are #blessed.

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    Westwood is the home to UCLA and offers plenty of interesting and diverse dining options for students and locals alike. Since the area is firmly Bruin territory, you will find lots of on-the-go, affordable eats along with a mix of more modern and upscale restaurants.

    Though I definitely haven't had all the food Westwood occurs, being here two years now (omg already!?), I think I can safely recommend certain places to eat.

    1. Shamshiri Grill

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    South Westwood Boulevard is often referred to as Little Tehran, so most of that area is just Persian restaurants. Shamshiri Grill just makes the best meat and whenever I go there, I always order my meal with their special hot sauce, that is to DIE for. A must try.

    2. Gushi

    I can not tell you how many times I've been to this place. Located near Fat Sal's, you may be tempted to just miss it but let me tell you that is a mistake. I always get their Gushi Bowl which is just heavenly and the right amount to make me feel satisfied without being too filling. Be generous with the Teriyaki and Sriracha sauces on your meat and you are guaranteed to have a good time.

    3. Pinches Tacos

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    I know Mexican food is very common wherever you go but Pinches Tacos is aesthetically pleasing and their food? Even more so. It just tastes so good! I definitely recommend the Asada fries and any tacos.

    4. Saffron and Rose

    Saffron and Rose is a Persian ice cream parlor like 10 minutes away from Shamshiri Grill and the quality and variety of ice cream is truly impressive. I would not have known my weakness for Jasmine ice cream if I hadn't tried this place and as always, the Saffron and Rose (it's namesake) deserves to be the name of the restaurant because of how rich in flavor it is.

    5. Maharaja

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    I am very particular about my Indian food but the buffets in the afternoons at Maharaja definitely passes my checklist. I actually went there for my birthday so that just tells you how the food doesn't disappoint.

    6. Nekter Juice Bar

    I found out about this place very recently and I'm so glad I did because their bowls are so good. They also serve smoothies which I haven't had the pleasure to taste yet but I expect the same kind of quality. I am very partial to the Bruin Bowl and the Dragonfruit Bowl.

    7. BJs

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    They have $3 Pizookies on Tuesday.

    I am always there on Tuesday.

    Are these two facts connected? Maybe.

    What can I say? I just love the restaurants here.

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