Even though ABC’s Once Upon a Time is set in the land of fairy tales, Adam Horowitz and Eddy Kitsis the creators of the series are unabashed Star Wars fans, and it’s influence shows in many places throughout this magical TV series.
Written by Jeff Roney and Brad Pogras
Mr. Gold: “…Magic is power.”
Rumpelstiltskin: “Magic always comes with a price.”
Regina: “(Magic) This is a way of life.”
In Once Upon a Time, magic is a central element to the story. Magic and the use of magic is explored like a morality tale throughout the series. Magic is feared by some (like Baelfire and Henry) and even the strongest magic wielders warn against it’s use at certain times (Maleficent, Rumpelstiltskin and the Blue Fairy). Magic is also yearned for and chosen instead of important things like family and love (Cora, Rumpelstiltskin, Malcolm). Magic also is considered Power, and to some the power of magic is strength, but love is considered a weakness (Cora).
Some learn to use magic without a wand or other magical item (Rumpelstiltskin, Cora, Regina, Zelena), some require a wand (The Blue Fairy, Astrid, Tinkerbell), some use the Dark One dagger (The Dark One, Zoso, Rumplestiltskin, Zelena). In Neverland, Henry needed to believe in the power of pixie dust in order to fly.
There are also times when an individual may need a little kick start to bring their magic back, like a spell book or touching another person who has magic (Regina). Magic can also be harnessed and protected, as was the case with Zelena’s emerald pendant. Once the pendant was removed, so was her magic.
There are items that have magical properties as well, such as magic beans or mirrors that have the power to open portals to other realms. Mirrors can also be used to find a person, even in another land (Ariel).
It is never explained why some posses magic abilities and others do not. A couple with no prior history of magic can have a child with tremendous power (Snow White & Prince Charming). Some realize they have power when their young (Zelena) while others may not even know they posses any kind of power (Emma). It remains dormant inside of them until they have awakened it.
Magic must also be taught and learned. The more training you have, the better you become. Rumpelstiltskin taught both Regina and Cora that it takes great focus and concentration to yield it.
Normally, Rumpelstiltskin would seek out those who had the aptitude for using Magic and train them. As Regina stated that Rumpelstiltskin was a “bully,” and his training methods were sink or swim. Regina was chosen for advanced training by Rumpelstiltskin over Zelena. Regina trained Emma, but patterned her methods after Rumpelstiltskin.
Forms of Magic
Magic has multiple forms. There is Light Magic (Wielded by Emma) and Dark Magic (Wielded by Rumpelstilskin, Cora, Regina, Zelena). It would seem that Light Magic has no dangerous side effects, but Dark Magic is different.
Dark Magic has the capability of corrupting the user. Whatever the user’s reason to use Dark Magic, most of the time the Dark Magic ends up corrupting and eventually controlling the user, and that is why many fear it. Dark Magic appears to be more powerful because nothing stands in it’s way. The cost of the dark curse that Regina cast was sacrificing the thing you love most. Love, family, morality and goodness must all be given up to yield dark magic. This is why Cora removed her own heart, Regina killed her father, Malcolm gave up his son, Zelena plotted against her only sister and Rumpelstiltskin lost Bae.
“Find your anger and use it to focus” – Regina
“There has to be a way (To use Magic) without going dark” – Emma
It is interesting to note that even a wielder of Dark Magic can, if even for a time, find the capability of finding and using Light Magic as well. An example of this is when Regina tapped into the Light Magic within her and defeated Zelena by using it against her.
Cora believed that love was weakness but Emma knew it was strength. Regina’s love for Henry is what gave her the motivation to change and choose the path of love instead of anger. Who you are inside will define what type of magic you yield.
The battle between dark and light magic is a struggle because one is fueled by Anger (Rumpelstiltskin, Cora, Regina) and the other is Love (Emma).
“Well, the Force is what gives a Jedi his power. It’s an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us; it binds the galaxy together.” Obi-Wan Kenobi
In Star Wars, the Force is a metaphysical power that gives certain people the power with the ability to use the Force (Many times a seasoned Jedi, Sith or a group will spot, find and let a person who would be a good candidate become aware that they should pursue learning to use the force) to sense things, see visions, manipulate physical objects and communicate with some people that have died.
The Force has two sides; The Light side and the Dark side. The Jedi focus on using the Light side and the Sith focus on using the Dark side.
The Light Side of the Force
“A Jedi uses the Force for knowledge and defense. Never for attack.”
When a person is chosen by the Jedi council to learn the Force from a seasoned Jedi, they must follow the teachings given to them, live a life of sacrifice and let go of attachments (physical and emotional) Younglings (young children found to have strength or aptitude in using the force), Padawans (Those who agree to join the Jedi Order and follow the Jedi Code (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Jedi_Code)), Jedi Knights and Jedi Masters.
In the Star Wars films, we have seen Luke trained by Obi-Wan, then Yoda. Obi-Wan was trained by Qui-Gon. Anakin was trained by Obi-Wan.
The Jedi uses the Light side of the Force to settle disputes and intervene in certain situations deemed necessary by the Jedi Council.
The Dark Side of the Force
Yoda warns against the use of the Dark Side, “Yes, a Jedi’s strength flows from the Force. But beware of the dark side. Anger, fear, aggression; the dark side of the Force are they. Easily they flow, quick to join you in a fight. If once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny, consume you it will, as it did Obi-Wan’s apprentice.”
In the Star Wars films, we are introduced to many Sith Lords (Darth Vader, Darth Maul, Darth Tyranus and Darth Sidious) that drew their power from the Dark Side of the Force. Darth Sidious was trained by Darth Plagueis. Darth Maul was trained by Darth Sidious. Darth Vader was trained by Darth Sidious. It is interesting to note that some (Darth Tyranus, Darth Vader) initially learned the Light Side of the force, then where lured to follow the path of the Dark Side.
Conversely, Darth Vader (Anakin Skywalker) began learning the Light Side of the Force, then lured to learn the Dark Side of the Force, then because of the hope, love and belief of his son Luke, Vader let the Dark Side of the Force go and returned to the Light Side of the Force before his death on the second Death Star.
The Sith uses the Dark side of the Force as an individual. The wielder draws power from raw emotions like anger, rage, hatred, fear, aggression, and passion. There is also an addictive portion of the Dark side which can lure the the wielder and take them over.