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  • Howdy! I was reading through the other entries of the 2020 short story contest, and so far The Other Outcast is the only one I haven't read yet, though I noticed it said that it was currently a rough draft. Would it be okay for me to leave a review now? Or do you plan on fixing it in the near future? 

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    • MPK

      I'm planning on putting out a more polished draft this month (this weekend if God wills it). For the most part it'll just be fixing grammar and format gaffes, screwy tense, and things like that. The story itself will be much the same, but I think you'll enjoy the read more if you wait.

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    • Okay, then I will later! Good luck on your story, and God bless! 

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    • MPK

      For once things are on schedule; the revision is done. Hope you enjoy it.

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    • Great! I should have a review up tommorow! 

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  • 15WA Congratulations! Torchbearer won Best Fan Fiction in this year's edition of the annual Star Wars Fanon Wiki Awards! As such, you are entitled to the use of the 15WA userbox on your userpage & the {{Eras|waw}} era icon on the winning article(s) if you so choose. On behalf of the Star Wars Fanon community, well done and keep creating!

    Two years' hard work paid off! Congratulations, friend.

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    • MPK

      Thanks. Fittingly, it just recently got its second review at FF.net - from a slightly less rough part of the crowd there.

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  • I've started reading this story and, three chapters in, I'm quite intrigued. A your compositions hew away from the narrative of canonical (Legendary? Whatever.) KotOR and KotOR II and into more original character territory, I feel my ability to offer suggestions is less bounded by the need to conform to those games' characterization and storyline. So hopefully I will be more useful here.


    Narrative:
    I'm very much enjoying the story. The state of the galaxy at the onset is quite dismal. With DS Revan and DS Exile, the bad guys "won" except somehow Atton Rand broke away and is now trying to save Jedi. He picks up a half-starved Jedi Padawan on Dantooine who's invested her presumably single point of skill (to use the video game term) into possibly the most useless power. I'm already pulling for the scrappy underdogs and wanting to read what happens next! I'm also intrigued that Atton didn't answer the question of how he found her in Chapter 2. We also don't know who the master is, if she exists, so the hidden agendas here add to the suspense as well. Anyway, I will stop espousing praise lest it get to your head, but from what I've read of the narrative, it's a gripping plot that I am excited to read more of.


    Technical:

    On the whole, it's well written as usual, though for you personally, I would offer that you could set your personal bar higher in this area. One suggestion I might make is watching the number of filler words in the prose like "some" and "just." The former occurs 640 times and the latter occurs 412 times in the novel, which seems a mite high. (As a single point of comparison, I'm at just over 100K words in Convergence and use those two words each about 200 times fewer). Used intermittently, they can add flavor; too much of any one seasoning generally ruins a dish. Similarly,  my perception is a large number of verbs are simplistic and more conversational -- put, get, been etc.. For example "and put his face in his hands" could have been written "and buried his face in his hands." " when she came to within a stone’s throw" could have been written " when she approached/encroached to within a stone’s throw" These are small polishing things overall; it is well written. Here are some specific notes on grammar things:


    Chapter 1: "the feeling of a noose tightening around her gut. " This strikes me as an unusual turn of phrase given that nooses are broadly thought of as being used on necks.
    Chapter 1: "and the whines of vibroblades and they cleaved through exoskeleton and flesh." Second 'and' should be "as"
    Chapter 2:
    "The laigreks are—They were my pets" I would not capitalize they.
    "He may have felt stupid, but merely stupid was still he’d felt in six years" Missing a word or something here.
    "with the due." -> duo
    Chapter 3:
    "It dawned on Silbus then that he had been responding to the Miraluka’s insolence as foolishly as a whip-smelt snapped at bait" -> Possible tense confusion here?



    Cheers. Atarumaster88 (Talk page) 18:12, April 11, 2020 (UTC)

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    • Chapter XXII-end

      Narrative:
      It's interesting to note that Kaevee tells Mira she hates her, which is surprisingly heretical for her to vocalize aloud. I don't believe she's even admitted to hating the Sith, though I could be wrong. It's interesting to note she attempts to wield the dark side while fighting Silbus, and yet her use of it is hardly resolved, setting you up for a possible sequel.
      Overall, I like how you ended the story. There was a solid resolution, but enough dangling threads left yet to pick up where you started in another work. The battle was well-written; I could visualize it well and thought you finished it out appropriately.  My only minor note with Chapter 30 was that you could have ended it a little more concisely.


      Technical:
      Chapter XXIX " Before Malachor, she may have hoped that the challenge of a real battle with the Sith" may->might

      Final review

      MPK, I think this might be your most complete and most impressive work overall. All in all, I very much enjoyed this work and am glad you brought it to my attention. I tore through it because it was a gripping story and think overall it is of a very high quality. It fit well within the established alternate framework of dark side KotOR I and KotOR II ending yet didn't try to deluge the reader with unnecessary backstory or rely overly on familiarity with those games' plots. Overall, I like how you ended the story. There was a solid resolution, but enough dangling threads left yet to pick up where you started in another work if you choose to. The battle was well-written; I could visualize it well and thought you finished it out appropriately. Narratively, I have no major complaints, even if the last chapter was a touch overdone. Even the use of Lord Syllabus, err...Silbus the Professor whom I found a relatively dull character was fitting for his role and worked within the story. i found both Atton and Kaevee compelling protagonists with validity to their perspectives at varying times. On a technical note, the repeated use of colloquial/informal vernacular--almost to the point of tedium--and numerous capitalization errors as noted in previous reviews does cause me to rate this slightly lower in that category. Final verdict: 5/5 narrative, 4/5 technical. If you are interested in doing some cleanup, I'd be willing to FWN this for you.



      Thanks again for the read!

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    • MPK

      Ataru, I could hardly overstate my gratitude for your reading and feedback, or my relief that you enjoyed it.

      I have responses to a few of your points, for the sake of clarification or minutiae:

      1. Things like Kaevee admitting she hates Mira, and trying to play the dark side card toward the end (particularly the way it's portrayed), those are all consequences of how little she actually knows about what it means to be a Jedi - either because she's forgotten, or she was never taught. She can't remember the Code, and she literally doesn't really know that the dark side of the Force is (hence her ineptitude when she argues with Atris on Belsavis). Up until the end, all she has to guide her actions is her feelings and her vague, half-formed faith in Providence (that is, the will of the Force).
      2. I'm not particularly surprised about your mixed feelings about Silbus. I admit I enjoyed writing his POV a lot, probably too much. For most of the story he's mainly there for exposition about the Sith Remnant, Trayus Academy, and so on. But that was boring to write, so I figured I might as well throw in a bunch of (to me) more interesting continuity porn about his backstory going back a decade, and his relationships with various side-characters from KotOR and TSL. And then I figured since most of this is useless information, I may as well make that the point for comic relief - that Visas is the one trying to chase down the heroes and deal with real problems, while Silbus is just dicking around in his academy.
      3. Again, the grammar and style stuff is boring, but necessary, so thank you for all that. As for the prolificity of "colloquial/informal vernacular," as you call it, I suspect at least some of that was sort of intentional, as I made an effort to alter the prose's style depending on whose POV it followed. So when the prose follows Silbus, it mimics his absurd loquaciousness, and it's more sarcastic and base when it follows Atton, and so on. This was mostly an experiment, though, and I don't think I ever really found my footing with it.

      As for the FWN thing - perhaps sometime in the future. I spent about two years writing this story (if you can believe that), and I'm still just a little sick of looking at it.

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  • 15WA Hello, I'm Sakaros, Star Wars Fanon Administrator and host of the Fifteenth Wiki Awards! Since you've been an active contributor here on Star Wars Fanon in the last year, I'd like to invite you to take part in this year's Wiki Awards in celebration of the best fanon & fan fiction our wiki has to offer!
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  • I finally finished this and have some comments. First, let me stress as emphatically as I can that I am not your target audience for this work. I haven't touched KotOR II in over five years, much less remember the intricacies of the storyline. As a companion work to KotOR II from someone who played through the game, I think it's an interesting psychological exploration of a DS Female Exile. Reading it as a standalone work from someone who played through the game once years ago, it took me re-reading most of it to follow the storyline. So, I will give you my thoughts as someone not really qualified to judge it as a companion work. You can decide whether or not those lack of qualifications invalidates my rational.

    For example, the prologue. It's an interesting hook, but not having the scene where she confronts the Council or any scene shortly there after is in a way diminishing. There are many momentous events that happen to the character offscreen as it were--mostly within the game--that don't need to be explicitly written--but I wonder if that is one jump too many to go straight from pre-KotOR II to Telos. Even more inline references to all of the events that transpired would help smooth over the transition. For someone intimately familiar with the game, it's redundant. You already know how the Exile got to Peragus.

    I also think you set up an interesting dynamic where Meetra pulls in the personal loyalty of those in her circle (especially Atton). In that sense, if the scenes on Dantooine are supposed to be the emotional fulcrum, I found it a little lacking. She believes and comes to the realization that the Jedi are misusing her and there will at best be an alliance of convenience. What throws me off is that she found these people thinking she needed them to fight the Sith. Sure, in Home she decides that she won't serve them or even help them and she's going to treat them as enemies. However, the reader never sees her rationale for why she doesn't need them, whether it's because she's strong enough to face the Sith on her own, doesn't care, etc. Any of those responses, irrational though some might be, makes sense. What is harder is when no reason is given.

    A few chapter-by-chapter comments:

    Quickening - it is interesting to me that 1) Meetra did not know why red blades were disfavored and 2) that she chose to do it out of sheer defiance. She didn't strike me as being contrary for the sake of being contrary, except possibly to Kreia. Similar with hating kinrath. It seems irrational for a Jedi to hate a simple nonsentient being driven purely by instinct.

    Condemned - Meetra goes from being too caring on Nar Shaddaa to being so callous on Dxun that she doesn't care about one Mandalorian. Of course, the difference could be that the Mandalorian is a (weak) threat whereas Lootra was helpless. Her being caring on Nar Shaddaa is the outlier. I could understand her being too caring and attached to those in her circle and distant to those without. Of course, by the end of the work, I wonder how that Meetra would react to Lootra. It would be interesting for her to reflect back on that incident after the fact and remark with a changed perspective. Home - Her relationship with Atton is so see-sawing, but I also think it works. She is disinterested in him, then reluctantly agrees to train him, then distances herself from him on Dantooine only to fall for him sort of? A lot of it is handled offscreen, perhaps too much, for my taste. I also understand your reluctance to write My KotOR II Playthrough, the Novel. Spirits - Who is the little light that Kreia senses?Hopefully these semi-coherent thoughts have some capability to spark thought, though I am doubtful. I must again stress my inadequacy in reviewing something so heavily dependent on a game that is a distant memory, but maybe there's something here. I look forward to reading the Torchbearer.

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    • MPK

      Alas, poor Ataru: no lover of KotOR II, yet I have nothing for you to read that isn't involved in it. :P

      Originally I was going to include Meetra's trial on Coruscant, but what I came up with just seemed redundant, and not distinct enough from the game's version of the scene to be worth including. There were more than a few other chapters that I ended up cutting for similar reasons.

      (Home) Meetra's initial reasons for finding the Jedi Masters are the same as in the game (unless the player goes dark side and hunts them from the get-go), so I thought that goes without saying. As for why exactly she decides she no longer needs them, I had thought that was also self-explanatory, though I may indeed have been mistaken there.

      (Quickening) You're right to be confused about the whole red blade thing. My own headcanon notion of where red lightsabers come from and what their associations were in this time period is not what you'd get from the EU (it's not Sith-related, as Tales of the Jedi established that even Sith as recent as Exar Kun didn't care what color blade they used, but I won't waste your time explaining it all here); naturally, I'd forgotten that it's entirely inside my own head.

      As for your other point, you're mistaken; I dare say that if you were to pick up either KotOR game and give it another play-through sometime, you would have no trouble at all believing that even a good and well-balanced Jedi (which Meetra is not) would have a loathing for kinrath. :P

      (Condemned) Meetra's ethical calculus is that she only really cares what happens to you if (1) you're one of her friends/companions or (2) you're an absolutely helpless schmuck like Lootra (which, as Atton is able to guess, is largely a way for Meetra to salve her own guilty conscience). Her indifference to people outside those two groups is typified by her scene with Kiph on Onderon.

      There's another layer to what goes on in the Dxun chapter, though - and I suppose it may be a case of me doing my characterization so "subtly" that what I want to portray doesn't actually make it into the story. The real reason that Meetra accepts Davrel's challenge is not simply that she doesn't care whether he lives or dies - if that's all there was to it, she might well have just told him to piss off and gone on with her day. It's really that, in him, she sees herself as she was after Malachor: someone useless, doomed to be left behind by the people he once belonged with. So when Meetra insinuates to Mira that it would be wrong to "condemn him to live," she's really talking about herself at least as much as about Davrel.

      (Spirits) Who the "little light" is will be clear when you read Torchbearer. Which tells me that I probably shouldn't have written that reference in if I wanted people to read Critical Points first.

      I must profusely thank you for your feedback. Some of it was indeed helpful. It's considerate of you to include the caveat about your distance from and/or disinterest in KotOR II, and it means a lot to me that you'd take the time to read this story and give your thoughts on it anyway. Whenever you have the time to get through Torchbearer, I'll be most eager to hear what you think of it; that was a much more ambitious and laborious project than this one.

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  • Nothing but applause for your latest essay. It encapsulates many of my feelings, especially about the place of deconstructionism in current Star Wars. I'd be curious as to your opinions of how the Big Three (Luke, Han, and Leia) have been used in the two movies thus far. I have my own opinions on the matter, but I doubt they're as eloquent as yours.

    Cheers.

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    • MPK

      I appreciate your reading and your feedback most sincerely.

      Since you ask...

      Obviously I cannot give a complete opinion on the trilogy whilst said trilogy is not yet completed itself. Looking at it so far, though, the most succinct way I can put it is this: though I do like some of the things that the Sequel Trilogy did with the Big Three, overall I am stunned by its incompetence in this regard.

      May as well go in order - so Han Solo first. In many ways his character, like so many other things in The Force Awakens, was strangled at least half to death by the film's absolutely gluttonous appetite for cheap nostalgia tricks. It's so damn scared that people won't recognize it as Star Wars if it has too many original thoughts - so instead of Han and Chewbacca being part of the Resistance or looking for Luke on their own or whatever, they're right back where they were when we met them in A New Hope - two scoundrels, dodging other scoundrels, who end up as reluctant do-gooders after crossing paths with the main protagonists.

      Though I have mixed feelings about it now, I thought initially, and still think at least in part, that killing Solo off in TFA was one of the only genuinely daring and impressive things that movie did - along with Kylo Ren's arc, to which it is connected. Having him die while trying to save his son's soul is an honorable way for him to go out. And though killing Han off so early in the trilogy has unfortunate consequences for the rest of it (which I'll get to eventually), to this day I still think it's an absolutely bone-chilling moment when he sees Kylo on the catwalk and goes out to confront him.

      As for Luke... The basic idea of him giving up and going into exile after the failure of his Jedi academy, and it being up to Rey and/or the other characters to bring him back onto the Jedi path - I'm not as dead-set against that premise as some are; I don't think it's "character assassination", as I've heard it called. But the way they did it, most of all the exact reason for his giving up? Karohalva helped me figure this out (dunno if you remember him, but he and I still correspond) - it gets Luke's character exactly backwards.

      The way I see it, what makes Luke Skywalker so beloved as a hero, both in terms of popular culture and the Star Wars fandom, is what we see of him in his personal quest in RotJ, which in turn is what makes him an apex of the Jedi ideal: more than his ability to face and kill evildoers, he has a kind of moral perception: he's able to see when it is possible to turn an enemy into a friend, to convince an evildoer to come back to the light, and he believes in this with a faith that is anything but naive. Both of his mentors think that Vader has gone too far down the dark path to ever return, and given what Obi-Wan saw Anakin do in RotS, it's easy to see why. Yet Luke is able to see and know that even a monster like Vader has a chance to redeem himself.

      Aside from the movies, this trait of Luke's comes through pretty much perfectly at several points in Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor. It also showed up, surprisingly, in EA's Battlefront 2 game here, where Luke saves an Imperial from some giant space bugs right after killing the guy's squadmates. When the Imperial incredulously asks "Why'd you help me?", Luke just looks at him and says, "Because you asked."

      Now, in light of this, what we see in The Last Jedi about what went on between Luke and Ben Solo makes no sense. The Luke Skywalker we see there, who has a powerful premonition of the darkness and evil growing in his nephew, and is affected in such a way as to pull a lightsaber on him, to even consider killing him to preempt an evil future? That has nothing to do with the Luke Skywalker we saw in Return of the Jedi. What would have made sense is the exact opposite of what we got. Suppose what we had instead was that Luke sees Ben's moral corruption or vulnerability (by whatever means) and chooses not to take action, or enough action, against it. Suppose he keeps seeing warning signs and turns a blind eye to them, or underestimates their seriousness, always reminding himself that he can feel the good in Ben Solo, always falling back on his faith that Ben will make the right choice because, after all, even Darth Vader was able to do so after a lifetime of crimes and atrocities. So then, when Ben actually turns to the dark side, that would be what destroys Luke's confidence in the Jedi way and drives him into exile; he was so confident of the good in his nephew that he failed to take seriously the possibility that Ben might still choose evil anyway.

      But, obviously, that isn't what we got. Taken in isolation, I liked some of the other things to do with Luke. His Force Projection gambit at the end, I thought that was clever. The moment where he sees a vision of the twin suns of his home world before he becomes one with the Force, that was kinda beautiful. And again, him being despondently in exile and the heroes needing to restore his faith (as it were), that basic premise was a good one. The devil's in the details.

      I have very little to say about what they did with Leia because they hardly did anything with her so far in these movies. She's thoroughly wasted in The Last Jedi. One of the only things that she could have done in that train-wreck of a plot was to butt heads with Poe Dameron like she does early in the film, but then they put her in a coma for most of it and give that role to... How does Poe introduce her? "You mean Admiral Holdo? The Admiral Holdo, who led the Resistance fleet to victory in the Battle of Wikkit Gate? Of course I know who she is! Everyone does!" Everyone but the audience, but too damn bad for them, I guess.

      I feel I've given you far too much to read already, but to sum it up... There's something very ironic about how Episode 7, and to a slightly lesser extent all these new Star Wars movies, are so gluttonous for moments of sterile, shoehorned-in nostalgia. I think of all those moments. Finn bumping into the Falcon's holochess board and turning it on in the middle of a conversation. Han and Rey bantering about how many bloody parsecs he made the Kessel run in. R2-D2 replaying Leia's message from ANH to Luke. Jyn and Cassian in Jedha City, bumping into those two guys who're going to hassle Luke in Mos Eisley Cantina, and the freaking guy even drops the exact same line. Poe Dameron flying down a trench in Starkiller Base to get to the oscillator.

      I could go on and on, but you get the idea. All those bloody moments that took people, or took me, anyway, out of the experience of watching these movies, because they're so bloody self-conscious about being Star Wars, all for the sake of nostalgia. And yet they wasted the opportunity they had for the most obvious nostalgia thing of all, which would have been to bring the Big Three back together as a team to help fight the bad guys, or even just to celebrate their victory at the trilogy's end. That's what sucked about killing off Han in The Force Awakens, and to me it further underscores how terribly unplanned this trilogy was, and how badly disconnected its parts are from each other.

      Roughly speaking, you can put me in the camp that prefers what the old EU did with the Big Three. It had plenty of its problems. I honestly never got really invested in the stories about their kids - Jacen and Jaina and the rest. The post-RotJ timeline got really bloated, and to its detriment could never bring itself to move on from these characters. They ostensibly wanted to make a fresh start with the Legacy comics, set a century later, but then it still comes down to some Skywalker and his Big Damn Jedi Destiny. But warts and all, I'd take the old EU. Among the cornballs and hacks who brought us things like Darksaber, Legacy of the Force, The Jedi Prince, and everything by Karen Traviss, you also had at least a handful of authors who really got these characters, and had enough sense to actually develop them.

      That's all I've got. Tangentially, I'm still gonna watch Episode IX, but purely for the spectacle, and I think it'll be the last new Star Wars movie that I'll bother to see.

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    • I agree 100% with your thoughts on Luke in TLJ--his reaction is completely out of character with ROTJ Luke. The amount of character assassination done to Luke Skywalker is IMO the biggest flaw of a film filled with them. Leia is critically under-used, and then without any setup, can space-Mary Poppins her way out of the cold vacuum of space? It's farcical. Otherwise, she does nothing but act as a figurehead for the Resistance who spends most of the movie sidelined except for stunning her best pilot.

      IMO, all of the Big Three have been horrifically misused in DisneyWars. I agree that much of the old EU was cornball-insane (Yes, I too have read The Crystal Star.) I also still prefer it to everything Disney has done. At some point, I may be sufficiently annoyed to point out a number of physics and tactics-related screwups in DisneyWars, but honestly, I'm almost devoid of interest in the new trilogy to even devote vitriol towards its many, glaring errors. I personally do not plan on watching Episode IX, because the current state of the GFFA is nothing I care to support. I only saw TLJ because the tickets were offered to me by a friend and I left the theater appalled and angry.

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    • MPK

      I saw it.

      Can't say I recommend it. It's got no attention span at all.

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  • MPK, no hard feelings whatsoever. It's no secret that I was a middle schooler (ages 13-14) when I was most active on this site—I'm sure you could have guessed that based on the quality and content of my stories. Your reviews were clever and my articles certainly deserved them. In fact you and other members of this site helped me grow in terms of taking criticism for things I created, even if I thought it was over-the-top at times. 

    I doubt I'll go back to writing stories, but you might see me around every once in a while looking for other members of this site I used to know well.

    Hope you're doing well too MPK. Godspeed. And no worries.

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  • 14WA Hey there! I'm Sebolto, a host of this year's edition of the annual Star Wars Fanon Wiki Awards! You are receiving this invitation because you are an active contributor here on Star Wars Fanon or because you participated in last year's event. On behalf of the hosts, I'd like to invite you to take part in this year's Wiki Awards in celebration of the best fanon & fan fiction our wiki has to offer!
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  • Not sure if you'll get this notification, but I did reply (on my wall) with a more detailed review of The Betrayal. Cheers and Happy New Year!

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  • I would never have expected such a surprising Christmas gift from you, but it's a delight all the more because of the surprise. Unsurprisingly, I quite enjoyed your analysis of Anakin's failure to exercise his will, although—for better or for worse—I come down slightly differently from you on the matter of Jedi celibacy: rather than "There is Jedi celibacy, therefore Jedi should be celibate, and therefore Anakin should decide whether to be a Jedi," I kind of wish they would have had Anakin give a real rationale for why Jedi celibacy has no basis. While I agree that "you can't give one hundred percent of yourself to two different persons or ideals or causes," I do think having something, or in this case someone, to fight for could make one better at their service as a Jedi. Ultimately, even a Catholic priest is "married" to the Church in a way that the celibate Jedi has no analogue. I highly doubt Mace Windu would say he loves and cares for the Force the way a Catholic priest would for the Church. Without that distinction, there's no reason for choice. If Lucas wanted a story about a man failing to make a choice, he should have given the Jedi something else to "love." But that's just one man's thoughts. Have a very Merry Christmas!

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    • MPK

      Thanks for reading. There's a lot more that I could have put in the essay, but I got sick of expanding the thing. For instance, I had an entire several paragraphs talking about how fangirls' justifications for Anakin's misdeeds were often very similar to the justifications offered for Revan's, but I scrapped that, as it didn't really add anything new. And I've written KotOR stuff to death in these essays.

      As to your comments, I'm sure Lucas had his own ideas for what Anakin's story was really about. The essay is simply what I make of the morality of the situation, and some of the reasons that I see it the way I do.

      It's interesting that you mention Mace Windu as an example, though, because the Revenge of the Sith novel has a passage set inside his head, in which it is said that his great love is the Republic and the civilization which it makes possible. But you're somewhat correct, in that Jedi celibacy seems to be without basis (nobody offers a reason or origin for it), particularly in the movies themselves, but the movies are in many ways quite vague when it comes to what the Jedi religion is all about, and why. As a matter of fact, one could debate about whether the Jedi teachings, as they are presented in the actual films and books, can properly be called a religion, since it doesn't seem to concern itself with such things as worship, prayer, or divinity (some make a similar argument with regard to Buddhism, I am told).

      Anyway, glad you read it. Merry Christmas.

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