Many different things were said in the storyline of Star Wars, but one of the things that stuck with fans was what Yoda said about hatred. He once said that hate leads to suffering and could lead a person to the dark side. Yoda said this when he first met Anakin, as all of the Jedi Masters could feel the young boy’s feelings before him. So, what did Yoda mean when he said that hate leads to suffering?
When Yoda said that hate leads to suffering, he meant that hatred could be just as destructive to the one who hates as it is to the people he hates. Hatred has a destructive power that can breed more hatred and suffering in the world. As such, it is one of the things that can lead a person to the dark side.
There is no doubt that Yoda and all of the other Jedi were very cautious about negative feelings due to how they can lead a person down the path of the dark side. Hatred was one of the things that they were always cautious about, as they knew what it could bring to a person and the people around him. Now, let’s talk more about what Yoda meant when he said hate leads to suffering.
‘Hate Leads to Suffering’ Explained
The storyline of Star Wars would never be complete without the words of wisdom that have become some of the most memorable things said throughout the entire nine-movie saga. In that regard, one of the most memorable moments in Star Wars was when Qui-Gon Jinn allowed the Jedi Masters to meet Anakin to test whether he was as powerful in the Force as Jinn said. Yoda felt so much fear in Anakin, and that was when he told the young Skywalker this memorable quote:
“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”
The last line in that quote is one of the most memorable because it says that hate leads to suffering. Of course, no one wants to suffer. But what did Yoda mean when he said that hate leads to suffering? Let’s look at this quote in greater detail to understand what Yoda truly meant.
Hatred Breeds More Hatred
When someone is full of hatred or if someone were to allow hatred to govern the things that they do in life, what happens is that it only leads to more hatred around that person. We often see this whenever hatred can lead to many negative results, such as violence and war. After all, no one would try to antagonize anyone in the worst way possible if they didn’t hate that person.
So, when we look at hate, there’s no doubt that someone who allows hate to govern their lives would only breed more hatred in the world. Someone hating another person would only pass that hatred on to that other person. And this becomes an endless cycle of hatred that could last for hundreds or even thousands of years, as seen in the real world when wars for the sake of religious beliefs have continued for countless generations.
In the context of Star Wars, when a Jedi hates, it would only lead to more hatred within that person or in the world around them. The Jedi promote peace between different people in the galaxy. And a Jedi that has hatred in their heart wouldn’t be promoting peace but breeding hatred.
This is why hatred has always been the avenue of the Sith, as the Sith only believe in absolute power through negative emotions. After all, the Sith wouldn’t grow stronger if they didn’t allow hatred to govern their actions. And the more hatred there is in the galaxy, the stronger the Sith will get because they thrive off conflicts that would make them more powerful in the long run.
Hatred Is Self-Destructive
There’s also the fact that hatred is self-destructive. As much as hatred is harmful to the people around a person, it is just as harmful to the person. That’s because a person with hatred would only be breeding negative feelings. Hatred destroys a person from within because that person would only be thinking about negative thoughts and emotions.
This is why Yoda said that hatred leads to suffering. A person with hatred in their heart would only suffer because of how much they hate the people and the things around them. And, of course, a person full of hatred and negative thoughts would only end up alienating the people around them.
In the context of Star Wars, hatred is something that the Jedi never teach to their younglings because how it can also be destructive to the thoughts and emotions of the Jedi. A Jedi that uses hatred as fuel for strength and power would be using the power of the Force for all of the wrong reasons. After all, no one would ever use hatred for the sake of good.
Hatred is self-destructive to the Jedi because it can open up inner thoughts and feelings that could alienate the Jedi from the people they should be protecting. And we’ve seen how hatred allowed some of the best Jedi to fall to the dark side, as was the case for Count Dooku, who bred suffering throughout the entire galaxy due to how he hated the current system of the Republic and how the Jedi Order allowed such as system to continue to prosper.
How Hatred Caused Anakin’s Downfall
As mentioned, Yoda mentioned that hatred leads to suffering in the context of the feelings of fear that Anakin felt at that time. He feared his mother, whom he had to leave behind in Tatooine. And, later in life, he felt fear for Padme’s death, which he foresaw in his visions.
In Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, we saw how Anakin’s hatred surfaced. His fears of his mother’s death allowed him to go to Tatooine, where he learned that Tusken Raiders tortured his mother. Anakin’s hatred consumed him and allowed him to murder all of the Tusken Raiders, including the women and children.
Meanwhile, in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, this hatred surfaced again when he was desperate to save Padme’s life. He gave himself up to Darth Sidious and joined the Sith to find a way to uncover the secrets of life and save the one he loved from dying. As a result, he developed feelings of hatred in his heart when he found out that not one of the people he once cared for actually supported his decisions.
Anakin’s hatred was self-destructive emotionally and physically when he alienated both Padme and Obi-Wan, the two most important people in his life at that time. His hatred broke Padme’s heart, and he even tried to Force-choke her to death. Of course, we know how his hatred culminated in a duel against Obi-Wan.
The duel destroyed Anakin physically and made him suffer throughout his entire life when he lost his limbs and got burnt to a crisp due to his loss to Obi-Wan. Who could ever forget how he uttered the words “I hate you” while suffering from the wounds he received from the man he once regarded as his brother?
As such, while Anakin’s hatred did indeed make him strong in the Force, it only made him suffer emotionally and physically. He alienated the people that he loved and caused Padme to give up on life. Of course, throughout his entire life, he suffered from the injuries he received due to his hatred.