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The Dark Side of the Force, or Bogan, was an aspect of the universal energy field of the life known as the Force. The dark side and those who drew upon its power used the strength of their intense and aggressive feelings, such as anger, fear, greed, hatred, and passion for guidance. The usage of the dark side was addictive and all consuming which most often lead its users down a path of destruction.
Effects of the Dark Side
Using the Force to attack in the course of battle as was common in war opens up even a virtuous user of the light to the influence of the dark. This influence was subtle and unassuming at first, eventually becoming an overwhelming drive distorting the users perceptions through rage and fear.
While the Dark Side enhanced the potential of Force users that accessed it, its use invited mental, emotional and eventually physical corruption. Notable signs of such corruption was a transformation in the eyes, which turn a distinct, fiery orange, yellow or reddish color and the irises sometimes developing fiery red rims. The transformation could also affect the whites of the eyes, as well as the skin around the eyes, blackened or reddish. The most severe transformations turned the user's skin pale and mottled with black veins and eventually could severely deform them.
However, not all who used the Dark Side, such as Asajj Ventress and Count Dooku, experienced such a transformation, although Dooku's eyes would occasionally change color during the very rare times when he experienced great amounts of rage and pain, such as during his torment by Mother Talzin, as he was usually calm and collected. Ventress seemed to not experience transformation due to her lineage to the Nightsisters, who discipled a control over the Dark Side that did not involve channeling it through themselves.
Dark Side Applications
Force abilities which drew exclusively on the power of the Dark Side include all those techniques designed to manipulated the Force to cause suffering and pain. Skilled and powerful users of the Force could boost their physical and telekinetic strength through the use of intense and aggressive feelings, such as anger, fear, pain, passion and desperation, though this lead a person down the path to the Dark Side. Force Lightning used by Sith Lords like Dooku and Palpatine was one such ability. Even telekinetic abilities which were commonly used by the Jedi, such as a simple Force Push, could become dark and sinister, turning into the Force Crush technique in which one crushed the vital organs within the target causing severe discomfort and even death. However, Force Crush was still a telekinetic technique, making any Force user capable of performing it and it was only noted as a dark ability when it was used on living beings, as it could also be used on non-living objects. It could be said that the Dark Side's most potent ability was to shroud and mislead even the strongest Jedi Knights, as Sidious did masking his evil presence and intentions from the entire Jedi Council allowing him the power and freedom to start the Clone War and even destroy the Republic.
Force Lightning was a Dark Side fueled ability in which a user channeled their aggressive intentions into deadly bolts of electric current. The lightning most often emitted from the hands could leap out from the user's fingers and palms to cause significant damage to both organic and nonliving targets. These bolts depending on the aptitude of the caster was known to branch out in forks allowing the user to target multiple enemies at once. The devastating effects of the lightning was obvious causing seizures, burns, and severe pain on those who were unlucky enough to be targeted. Force Lightning adepts could control the intensity of their bolts allowing them to kill a target with a single touch of this energy or simply use it to incapacitate and cause physical pain. Count Dooku was known to use the latter on Savage Opress during his training as a form of "motivation".
Although Force Lightning was traditionally associated with the Sith Lords there was a potential for this ability or at least knowledge surrounding this technique to be used by Jedi. Master Plo Koon was one of the only known individuals to do that calling his version "Electric Judgement", which is used to incapacitate and potentially kill the target rather than to torture them. However, this latter version of the power is not considered to be true Dark Side lightning, as the true power is accessed by rejecting compassion, pity and remorse and fueled by hatred, ruthlessness and cruelty. Electric Judgement, however, was not known to be fueled by such aggressive and intense feelings and the user could still be calm and in control of their emotions while accessing it.
Force ChokeA telekinetic application of the Force often to intimidate or punish those who the user might feel should be shown a lesson, as well as to kill targets by restricting blood circulation or airflow long enough or by crushing and breaking their necks and throats. The force choke ability involved using the Force of clutch the throat of a living being and often raising them off the ground by the neck, thus restricting their field of motion. To maintain a force choke it was vital that the user did not lose focus or else the intended or targets would be freed from the caster's grasp. Force choke's effectiveness came from the fact that once an individual was ensnared they could not move without risking harm to their airway. Since this ability was a technique of telekinesis, any user of the Force had the potential to utilize their power to grip and even crush the neck of an opponent, though it is mostly associated with users of the Dark Side specifically due to its violent nature and potential for torture and intimidation.
Force Camouflage and Stealth
This masking techique was a commonly seen power of many darksiders. In short force stealth involved the user cloaking themselves from others like Jedi with the force. This cloak allowed them to remain undected as Palpatine did as Supreme Chancellor. The individual would could use the Force to hide one's actions or whereabouts allowing a user to go undetected when needed. The caster might do this by affecting the ripples and changes in the Force that their actions caused and using this knowledge to manipulate it to their benefit as was the case with Palpatine. It should be noted by the Clone Wars period many of the masters of the Force Stealth technique were adepts of the Dark Side however the ability in itself did not require the user to draw upon the Dark Side and thus could be used by Jedi. Master Quinlan Vos was known to use this skill on his numerous espionage missions but one should also note that Vos' mission was to infiltrate the C.I.S. as a Dark Acolyte, a testament to the power's inexplicable link to the Sith.
Dark Side Rituals
Ancient Sith learned to use rituals, incantations, and objects imbued with the the Dark Side's power to achieve almost magical effects , similar to the Nightsisters of Dathomir. While the full capabilities of this Sith magic are unknown, it is known that it could be used to interact with the Dark Side of the Force, especially in areas where its presence was strongest, such as Moraband. This allowed Darth Sidious and Count Dooku to project a telepathic illusion to Yoda, who was on Moraband, while the two of them were on Coruscant. Their illusion was manifested by a ritual that required a cauldron, Force Lightning, an chanted incantation in the Sith language, Balc speech, and a drop of blood from Dooku to establish a connection to Yoda, who held great significance to Dooku for being his former master. With this illusion, the Sith Lords tried to tempt Yoda and break his will, resulting in Yoda's illusion putting him in a scenario of being able to discover the identity of Sidious and giving him a chance to stop his future plans, though Yoda refused to submit to the Dark Side and the ritual failed.
The Dark Side aligned witches of Dathomir known as the Nightsisters were able to use a unique culturally influenced system to manipulate the Force. The sisters unlike Jedi or Sith would use specific phrases and or objects to control the Force where as the aforementioned groups simply used their own emotions and thoughts as the to focus their Force abilities. Using magic spells and rituals the Nightsisters have been seen to able to manipulate the corpses of their fallen and use them as an undead army. The elder Nightsister Daka was able to raise and control dozens of undead warriors simultaneously during the Battle of Dathomir against the CIS droid forces. The Nightsister clan leader, Mother Talzin, was shown to be able to inflict deadly curses on individuals across the galaxy using something which once belonged to the target as she did with Count Dooku's hair also during the Battle of Dathomir. Talzin could seemingly appear out of nowhere through a portal or perhaps an illusion of green mist and Dark Side energies. The green mist in particular could in fact could be seen in nearly every instance of Nightsister magic and was identified at least by Count Dooku as the primary sign of their craft.
These witches in addition to being deadly alone appeared to be even more dangerous in groups and were capable of amazing feats of physical transformation being able to turn Savage Oppress into a fleshed out weapon of the Dark Side or making Ventress, Na'leth, and Karis invisible during their assassination attempt on Count Dooku.