Nerd rage, thy name is Freeman_MPK.
“When I write a book, I put everything I have into it; so the more I have, the more the books become. Some people get freaked out by them: mostly the people who believe, mistakenly, that fantasy is about escaping reality. To them I say: If you have a problem with reality, you should be spending more time dealing with your life, and less time reading popcorn fantasy.”―Matthew Stover[src]
NOTE: It is categorically imperative that the reader understands that everything on this subpage was written a long time ago, and as such does not necessarily represent my present state of mind and opinions, nor my Perfect, True, Great, Grand Vision of How Star Wars Actually Ought To Be. -MPK, Free Man 22:00, December 16, 2015 (UTC)
Second Introductory Note, July 27th, 2015
For those who don't or shouldn't have time to read all this, here are the CliffNotes.
- Dark Empire is stupid. DO YOU HEAR ME? A COMIC BOOK IS STUPID! CALL THE NATIONAL GUARD!!!
- I'm a fanboy of a certain video game called Dark Forces which came out when I was three, and anyone who is less obsessed with it than me is wrong.
- I never read the New Jedi Order series, but it sucks.
- I truly am appreciative of and devoted to the great storytelling of Knights of the Old Republic and especially its sequel - and you can tell I like it so much because I get so angry at other people over it.
- I read the TFU novel and liked it back in like 2008, and that means it's a good story.
Worst of all, it invalidates the sacrifice of Anakin Skywalker in ROTJ and makes his journey sort of pointless. Did he 'Really' kill the Emperor? No. Six iconic movies so that he could sacrifice himself to inconvenience the old f**k and make him come back with powers no Jedi/Sith has ever seen. I'm sure that's what the prophecy meant by bringing balance to the Force.
—Stravo of stardestroyer.net
1. The insane force powers. Luke Skywalker deflects canon fire from an AT-AT with the force, and then crushes the damned thing on his own. Palpatine uses "force storms" to destroy entire fleets (gee, wouldn't that have been handy during the Battle of Endor?).
2. It follows the plot device entitled "When in doubt, resurrect the old main villain".
3. Palpatine returning and reunifying the Empire with a gigantic amount of overpowered ships and superweapons in practically the blink of an eye completely destroys the sense that the heroes ever accomplished anything in Episode 6. It's even lamer that he can resurrect himself over and over with the clone bodies junk.
4. The drawing style almost put Chuck Norris into a coma when he tried to read it (true story).
5. The unneeded load of overpowered superweapons that Palpatine whips up like popcorn. The best example is, of course, the "Galaxy Gun", which is basically the concept of the Death Star, but on enough crack and steroids to run a smuggling ring with.
6. Palpatine becomes an absolute idiot in Dark Empire. The idea that he would seriously want Luke as an apprentice after Episode 6 is an insult to his character. He himself saw firsthand that Luke's family has a history of treachery. Why would he take such a chance again when he really doesn't need to?
7. Palpatine acts like gigantic flaming moron throughout Dark Empire, but the magnitude of his idiocy doesn't hit full force until the climax, where he decides that his best course of action is (in order to escape death from his current degenerating body) to transfer his mind into the body of an infant. Just what the hell was he thinking?
Black Armor: An Editorial on Dark Troopers
- Published May 4, 2008 for the Completely Unofficial Star Wars Fanon Newsletter
Star Wars: Dark Forces, the first game in the Jedi Knight series, put the player in the shoes of a rebel agent named Kyle Katarn in his battle against a secret weapon being developed by the Galactic Empire. Although technologically a primitive game by modern standards, Dark Forces is a great FPS game and I highly recommend it to anyone who doesn't already have it. It even has a modding community to this very day, even though it's over a decade old. Now that is saying something.
Dark Forces was made back in what many people view as the Golden Age of Lucasarts— back when they always made their own games, when they almost always kicked ass, and when they weren't always Star Wars games. Other products of the Golden Age include adventure games such as Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis and TIE Fighter, the second in a series of fighter simulation games and the only game in the entire Star Wars license which I believe beats KOTOR 2 hands-down.
Of course, at this point I'm sure I appear to be rambling on about "the good ol' days", which is true, but believe it or not, this is relevent to the topic that this section is devoted to. The point I'm trying to make here is that back when Dark Forces was made, Star Wars was in many ways a lot more consistent with itself than it is now. You'll see what I mean in a minute.
Dark troopers were first introduced to canon in the game Dark Forces as a project run by an Imperial general named Rom Mohc, to develop battle droids for the Empire to use to reinforce their stormtrooper ranks. Dark troopers came in three phases. The first was thin and skeletal in appearance, armed with a shield on one arm to deflect laser fire, and a vibroblade on the other arm. I suppose they would be effective in close-quarters, but I'm kind of surprised at how little similarity it has to the other kinds. Anyway, Phase II dark troopers were designed to look similar to actual stormtroopers, but larger and with armor that was darker in color (kind of surprising, considering the name). The Phase IIs were heavily armored, capable of flight with jetpacks built into them, and armed with assault cannons specifically designed for the droid to use. A small amount of Phase II troopers decimated a rebel base on the planet Talay, and it's a small wonder. Although not invulnerable, dark trooper armor was capable of taking heavy punishment from small-arms fire, and their assault cannons were capable of killing people in one shot. It is also evident that the dark troopers could be used to combat vehicles, since the assault cannon also possessed a rocket launcher. Needless to say, a single dark trooper would easily be enough to f*** up quite a lot of rebel scum.
The Phase III dark trooper is a fricking beast. Imagine Mr. T, but encased in POWER steel. The Phase III is nearly identical in appearance to the Phase II, but the main difference in the design is the high quantity of steroids used in the droid's construction and operation. To be more accurate, it's actually a POWER suit that a person climbs into, rather than a droid, with a jetpack and an assault cannon with four barrels. Forget the above comparisons; that's easily worth two Mr. Ts.
All right, that's enough. Chances are, anyone who's ever heard of Dark Forces already knows all that stuff I just recited. Why did I recite it? Well, the reason is to point out what has happened to dark troopers since Dark Forces game out in 1995. The thing is that they changed. They were brought back after the project's total destruction in Dark Forces with no explanation and with almost no resemblances.
If I recall correctly, the first incorrect appearance of Dark troopers is in Star Wars: Battlefront. While they do have the properly colored armor as well as jetpacks, the DTs in Battlefront don't really have any other similarities. They don't have the assault cannons or heavy armor they should have. Sure, I know it might be for gameplay purposes, but if they weren't going to do it right, then they shouldn't have at all. Although it's only loosely faithful to its original appearance (with them not only being substantially weaker but not even being droids), the dark trooper in Battlefront can be argued to be the most faithful to the original than any other portrayal.
Now we move on to the dark troopers as seen in the infamous Star Wars: Galaxies. I'm actually not sure which one came first (Battlefront or Galaxies), but I suspect they happened around the same time. Anyway, in the days before the Combat Upgrade, I remember walking around Bestine (a city on Tatooine), and in addition to the regular patrols of stormtroopers (along with ridiculously out-of-place storm commandos), I see these weird-looking troopers walking around, with significantly different helmets, among other things. Since my in-game options were set to only show NPCs' names rather than what they were (I was unaware of this at the time), all I knew what that he was RAR-095 (or whatever). That left me to wonder what the hell they were. I often thought that they were actually wookiees in special stormtrooper armor, but that still didn't make any damn sense.
It was not until some time later that I realized that RAR-095 was a Triumphant-class dark trooper. This didn't make any sense, so I looked them up at the only place which seemed to have a shred of information: Wookieepedia.
The Triumphant-class dark trooper was a variant of the dark trooper, a deadly next-generation stormtrooper/battle droid used by the Galactic Empire. In 1.5 ABY, a unit of Triumphant-class dark troopers escorted Darth Vader aboard his shuttle ST321 during the operations Molecular Clamp, Sieve, Green Light, and Take Down in the cities of Bestine on Tatooine, Coronet City on Corellia, and Theed on Naboo.
So, in other words, they're dark troopers. That tells me a lot. As you can see from the images, these dark troopers bear no resemblance whatsoever to the ones seen in Dark Forces. They don't even have the right colored armor! This is just like in Battlefront, where the only reason they put the dark troopers in was so that there would be dark troopers, no matter how different they are. Since SWG is the only place where these types of dark troopers appear, there is no information anywhere as to what sort of combat role they have, what weaponry they used, where they came from, or why they were made. I've never really seen a dark trooper in SWG use the same weapon twice. I've seen them use anything from carbines to rifles, and even batons. As if Galaxies wasn't confusing enough, they have to introduce three types that look the exact same: the Triumphant-class, Exogen-class, and Glory-class. There is no information on any of these, either. According to the redlinks at Wookieepedia, there's also Oppressor 9, Oppressor 7, and Victory-class troopers as well.
That's not all, either. There's also Black hole dark troopers and dark novatroopers (pictured). The Black hole dark troopers are (as the name suggests) probably supposed to have something to do with the Shadow stormtroopers (nicknamed Black hole troopers), which, although they're kind of cool, also have no information pertaining to what they specialize in. The actual function of the Black Hole stormtroopers is already ambiguous and confusing enough, but this is just overkill. The dark novatroopers are probably supposed to be related somehow to the Novatroopers, but I haven't a clue what their role in relation to them is. I don't even know what the hell the regular novatroopers do. There's just as little information about the novatroopers as there is about these dark troopers.
Well, at least they're starting to get the color right. I guess the word dark in the phrase dark trooper wasn't enough for them to immediately catch on.
The last dark trooper "variant" in Star Wars: Galaxies is the "Inquisitorium dark trooper", which I guess is intended to be related to the Inquisitorius in some way. Again, it's never explained how; they're just there, sticking out like a sore thumb. Inquisitorium dark troopers are easily the stupidest of the SWG variants, due mostly in part to two factors. The first is that they carry double-bladed lightsabers, and the second is that their general appearance looks like it was modeled on what would happen if Darth Vader spent the last twenty years squatted in a chair in front of a television drinking beer and scarfing KFC. That's the dynamic duo of Lucasarts and SOE for you.
The last appearance of dark troopers that I am aware of (so far) is the ones seen in Empire at War: Forces of Corruption. When I first heard that not only would they be in the game, but also they would have the three phases, I thought for a while that Lucasarts had wised up and that would this time around, they would actually figure out what the f*** a dark trooper looked like before they put it in a game.
As it turned out, they got the dark troopers in FoC about 39% right. While the Phase I had basically the same weaponry that it was supposed to do, the appearance didn't really match what there was in Dark Forces. Not at all, in fact. It's like they just read a description of what they were instead of actually looking at them. Either that, or they went with the bogus illustration from the New Essential Guide to Droids, which appears to be identical. The thing isn't even properly colored, either.
The Phase II in Forces of Corruption was, to my disgust and bewilderment, extremely similar to the ones from Galaxies. The things are even white. There are some minor differences in the helmet, among other things, but that's it. They don't even give them the assault cannons, but instead some weirdo-chaingun thing. Interestingly enough, the FoC appearance matches that of the New Essential Guide to Droids. What were they thinking? Is it too much to ask for some consistency?
While the Phase III in FoC is (out of the three) probably the most faithful to the originals, it isn't by much. They got the color half-right, by having it black instead of white, when it's supposed to be dark gray. Instead of the assault cannon, it has wrist-mounted lasers. And yet, the thing moves slower than molasses for no apparent reason. Upon closer inspection, it really doesn't resemble the original Phase III from Dark Forces that much except for the color.
What exactly is Lucasarts' problem with this? How is it so hard to get a screenshot from Dark Forces to see what dark troopers look like, rather than fumbling around in the dark without even caring if you find what you're looking for? So much for continuity. I guess it'll be answered in another canon source (such as Leeland Chee's blog) soon enough.
New Jedi Order
I have only a few things to say on this. First of all, they followed the cliché that there should always be an ultra-uber-1337 enemy introduced to fight the good guys. What was wrong with the Imperial Remnant? Why did they have to replace it with a bunch of poorly contrived bug-like humanoids? And what's with this B.S. about them being outside the force? There's no good reason for it.
NJO paints the Jedi as super-ultra powerful, with ridiculous powers like "emerald lightning" which kills people instantly, using the force to fly around like Superman, ect. As if that wasn't bad enough, the NJO series spawned the horrid creation known as Star Wars: Legacy. So the Sith have returned again with another empire. And there's this off-spring of Luke Skywalker. I wonder if he will eventually end his rejection of the Jedi and rediscover his legacy. Nahhh, they wouldn't do that. Essentially, Legacy is what happened when they decided to spend a few years pissing on Star Wars canon with the NJO (among other things); after they were done, someone said "Whoops! Missed a spot!"
Knights of the Old Republic
“And how, exactly, does this list of accomplishments make Mr. Revan as mighty and lofty as he is all too often said to be? A great list of accomplishments, to be sure, but they do not quantify him much. After all, Anakin Skywalker, before becoming a Knight, easily slaughtered an ENTIRE Tusken tribe alone while Revan did so with the help of his comrades. Before anyone raises the inevitable claim 'It's not fair, Anakin's a Chosen One!' I'll point out that many KotOR fanatics seem to be at least partially convinced that their vaunted amnesiac flip-flopper is stronger than Skywalker (and the opening post mentions at least one person of questionable intelligence who had the nerve to claim that Revan [is equal to] Palpatine, Skywalker [and] Yoda combined). One cannot look at invidual incidents and proclaim "X did Y, therefore X is better than Z!" It is the bigger picture that matters and frankly, Anakin Skywalker did much what Revan did, only earlier and quicker (without the humiliating parts, mostly). Remember the context and analyze the available information.”―Tiriol of stardestroyer.net[src]
KotOR I: Taris
To get off Taris, find Bastila. To find Bastila, get to Lower/Undercity. To free Bastila, win the swoop race. To win the swoop race, get entered into it. To get entered in the race by the Beks, steal the Vulkar's Speeder-MacGuffin. To steal the McGuffin, get inside their base. To get inside the base, find Mission Vao. To convince Mission to help you, you gotta free her wookiee friend. To free her friend, you gotta find him in the Undercity Sewers. After you've freed Zaalbar and gotten Mission to help you break into the Vulkar base and stolen the MacGuffin for the Beks and won the swoop race and freed Bastila, you need to get a ship, and there's only one ship on the planet who can outrun the blockade, the Ebon Hawk owned by Davik Kang. To get to this ship, you need to get inside Davik's estate. To get into his estate, you have to steal the magic Sith launch codes. To get the codes, you need to break into their base. To break into their base, you need a magical T3 droid. After you've gotten T3 and he's done the only thing he ever does in the entire game by breaking you into the base and you've stolen the codes and given them to Canderous and gotten inside the estate, you need to find the codes to the Ebon Hawk's defenses or whatever, and THEN you can escape. Taris: FUCK THIS PLANET.
Characteristics: A Reference Guide/Crazy Rant Hybrid by MPK
- Published January, 2009 for the Completely Unofficial Star Wars Fanon Newsletter
“yes, I AM glad they're dead.”―Web Rider of Lucasforums.com[src]
“I second that, and anyone who believes that they should have succeeded with few or no casualties on the part of them and their party members (predictable sacrifices on the part of Atton, Bastila, Carth, and any other potential sacrifice-ees notwithstanding) officially has no imagination.”―TKA-001 of Lucasforums.com[src]
Foremost among my many talents are my abilities to make lists and recall humongous loads of useless information. They say that when you put two birds together, you get a stone, and with that stone you can kill two more birds for food. Therefore, if you will accept the analogy, I will proceed to make a stone, using the two birds in my possession, namely the aforementioned list-making and information-recalling abilities.
This list which I have made should be a useful resource for you if any of the following statements describe you:
- You are a fan of the game Knights of the Old Republic or its sequel, The Sith Lords.
- Every few months you get a craving for KOTOR or TSL and feel that you must play it even though you've practically memorized both games and there hasn't even been any new mods released for it since your last playthrough.
- You frequent internet forums where rabid fans of the KOTOR series dwell, finding yourself both drawn to the possibility of interesting discussions and simultaneously repulsed by the stupidity of everyone around you.
- You frequent internet forums where rabid fans of the KOTOR series dwell, finding yourself drawn to the possibility of fascinating discussions about Revan, Darth Revan, the Exile, Lady Revan, and Lord Revan.
- You are a repressed, mildly reclusive individual who writes Star Wars or KOTOR fan fiction.
- You keep seeing people on forums talking shit related to KOTOR and feel an uncontrollable urge to prove them wrong. You are also a person who tries to create holes in brick walls with your teeth.
- You are a repressed, socially awkward recluse and spend a significant amount of your free time writing KOTOR fan fiction and writing reviews for other peoples' fan fiction, never saying anything negative unless it involves something bad happening to characters you like.
- You are a fan who seeks a better understanding of the KOTOR series and/or the "culture" that surrounds it.
- You think anything negative said about something you like is automatically invalidated by the fact that it is negative.
- You are a repressed, socially retarded dullard who writes KOTOR fan fiction, and you spend every waking moment of your free time slobbering all over yourself and your keyboard while writing hundreds of pages of angst and romance stories about Revan and Carth, or the Exile and Atton (or the Exile and Bao-dur, if you're really f***ed up). You think that both KOTOR games are better than any or all of the Star Wars movies and have no interest in Star Wars outside of KOTOR. You reject the canon gender of Revan (insisting that George Lucas is a misogynist) and ignore most of canon anyway, preferring to look at Star Wars through your personal fan fiction-dominated view of the timeline. In short, you are a resident of kotorfanmedia.com.
- You have a few minutes to kill.
If you fit into one of the above characteristics, you probably fit into most of the others, but if you don't want to read all that shit, then you can condense it all down into "If you've played both KOTOR games and have a reasonable interest in them". That serves more than one purpose - it means that I don't have to waste two paragraphs telling you who Revan and the Exile are (once again we're back at the "two birds" analogy. Speaking of which, I've just finished reading Daphne du Maurier's The Birds this morning).
Throughout my pointless travels across the internet, I've encountered numerous people belonging to a group which I refer to as the "Dumbass Revan/Exile wankers". The name itself is rather self-explanatory: a group of people who drastically overrate virtually (and often literally) everything about the player characters from KOTOR and TSL.
I made this list mostly for those of you who frequent forums where KOTOR-related discussions occur. In places like that (such as Lucasforums.com, to name an example) you are bound to run across a number of members of this faction. If you feel that you must charge into verbal battle with these individuals, it is important to know your onions. But it is just as important, in fact, perhaps more so in this case, to know your enemy's onions as well. As such, I have compiled a list of common characteristics of these blighters.
This list could be used for many things. For example, if you need a way to know if any of your friends or neighbors are Revan wankers, this list will prove invaluable. Knowing your opponent's beliefs in an argument is also a good way to undermine him or her as you argue, allowing you to snatch a clear victory (even though both of you will still be retarded). This list is probably most suitable for the KOTOR debaters, but whatever your stance is on KOTOR, if you have any interest in the series at all, this handy reference guide can be quite an asset.
I imagine that not everyone who exhibits one or two of these characteristics is a Dumbass Revan/Exile Wanker, but take it from me, I've been plenty of places on the internet, and I have encountered nobody (that's right, nobody) who fit into more than one but less than 89% of these mannerisms. If I find anyone who exhibits any of these conditions without also meeting most of the others, I'll be absolutely amazed.
As you may know by now, since everything ever said is someone's opinion, I don't put "in my humble opinion" in front of everything I say. However, in this case, none of it is my opinion, all of it is fact and if you disagree with me, you are wrong and deserve to be punched.
Characteristics of Dumbass Revan wankers:
- 1. Believing that Revan is the [or close to the] most powerful Sith Lord of all time and/or his/her era, despite an immense load of evidence to the contrary; inflating statements from Kreia about "Revan being power" and so on as justification.
- 2. Believing that Revan never really fell or was corrupted by the dark side, despite the fact that this is completely incompatible with established, material facts concerning the fundamental nature of how the Force works. Also believing that any of Revan's actions and/or his/her fall/turn were partially, completely, ultimately, penultimately, antepenultimately, directly, and/or indirectly the fault and/or responsibility of the evil meanie cowardly manipulating Jedi Council / manipulating shadowy mysterious menacing True Sith / Totally Unstoppable Mandalorians / Corrupt Stagnant Republic / Corrupt Republic Senate / Irrelevent Fanon Theory / Malak Stealing His Lunch Money and/or that he/she was moral in his/her actions, which include deliberately killing tens or hundreds of thousands of his/her own soldiers and deliberately allowing the Mandalorians to slaughter millions of citizens in order to use the massacres to rally his/her own troops and corrupt his/her Jedi to the dark side, and murdering political officials, not to mention starting another completely unnecessary war against the Republic after ending the Mandalorian Wars.
- 3. Believing that the Jedi Council's reprogramming of Revan's mind was evil, immoral, amoral, and/or completely or in any way unjustifiable, ignoring the facts that:
- Α) Revan was the Dark Lord/Lady of the Sith at the time and therefore their worst [and most dangerous] enemy, so they had no reason to let him/her off easy
- Β) Revan would have done the exact same thing if he/she were in their position and would have no qualms about it
- Γ) It was the only way they could ever have any hope of finding the Star Forge and ending the war that Revan him/herself started in the first place, therefore meaning that they would be morons not to do what they did
- Ε) If the Jedi Council really was as short-sighted, self-centered, cowardly, corrupt, malevolent, and/or bent on screwing Revan over as the dumbass wankers think they were, then they would have just killed him/her either when they had him/her imprisoned after his/her capture, or after he/she helped them destroy the Star Forge
- 4. Believing that Malak was the true evil one, even though both games show him as the more innocent one who was corrupted after Revan, such as in KOTOR 1 when Revan and Malak both admit that the former is the one who led Malak down the dark path.
- 5. Believing that Darth Malak was short-sighted, cowardly, and/or idiotic simply because:
- Ζ) He ordered the destruction of Telos by the Sith fleet
- Θ) He ordered the destruction of Taris by the Sith fleet
- Ι) When he tried to sieze the title of Dark Lord of the Sith from Revan, he didn't challenge him/her directly, deciding instead to blast his/her ship apart while he/she was distracted
- ...even though:
- I) Malak had Telos destroyed in order to test the loyalty of one of his highest-ranking subordinates, which is exactly the sort of thing Revan would do
- II) Malak had Taris destroyed because he didn't want so spend the next thirty years searching a city the size of a planet for one Jedi (Bastila) when he could be doing good elsewhere; the target literally could have been anywhere. Destroying the planet's surface was the only reasonable way to neutralize the Jedi. Again, Revan would probably have done the same thing. Malak didn't destroy Taris because he was an idiot; he did it because it was the only practical thing to do.
- III) The last time they fought, Malak lost his jaw, which understandably might make him reluctant to risk himself in a duel against his master again. Besides that, the method of attacking Revan's ship when an ideal opportunity presented itself is (again) the exact same thing Revan would do if he/she were in Malak's position.
- ...even though:
- 6. Believing that Revan is significantly stronger than any and/or all of the Jedi Masters or Sith Lords seen in KOTOR 1 and/or TSL, despite a total and complete lack of evidence. Also, believing that he/she wouldn't be killed instantly if he/she ever tried to fight Darth Nihilus.
- 7. Believing that leading his/her group of Jedi dissidents to the Mandalorian War, killing an uncountable number of his/her own troops, civilians, and Mandalorians, corrupting his/her Jedi followers to the dark side, and starting the Jedi Civil War was less evil than the Jedi Council refusing to participate in the Mandalorian Wars and believing that they had little or no good reason for refusing, despite the facts that:
- Κ) Even if the Council could be held responsible for the civilians that were killed before the Jedi joined the war (which is inane because they didn't do anything), there's no possible way that they could be responsible for as many deaths as Revan, since it is clearly stated in KOTOR 1 that leaving planets defenseless against the Mandalorians in order to use the subsequent genocide for propaganda purposes was a basic strategy in Revan's mind and as revealed by Kreia in TSL, Revan used the entire war as a tool to corrupt his/her men (particularly the Jedi) to the dark side by staging civilian massacres and other atrocities in order to influence his/her subordinates, meaning in conclusion that the Council's supposed body count could never even hope to come close to approaching that of Revan
- Λ) The reasons that the Council didn't want to join the war are not only plainly stated in KOTOR 1, but also shoved down the player's throat, in the player's ears, and up the player's arse in TSL
- 8. Considering it an established, obvious, and/or indisputable fact that Revan was a strategic and/or tactical genius possessing capabilities approaching, close to, rivaling, and/or superior to Grand Admiral Thrawn of the Galactic Empire despite a total and complete lack of any evidence whatsoever of this idea, by inflating a handful of statements made by several characters in KOTOR 1 or TSL which are either too vague to draw any conclusions from (an example being the Jedi Dorak on Dantooine) or are from openly biased sources (Canderous Ordo and Kreia being the most prominent). By extension, considering it an established, obvious, and/or indisputable fact that the Republic could not and/or would not have won the Mandalorian Wars if not for Revan.
- 9. Believing that Revan was in his/her early or mid twenties when the events of KOTOR 1 take place, even though this would mean he/she would be a teen-ager at the oldest during the Mandalorian Wars.
- 10. Considering it within the realm of possibility that if Revan were a female, she may have had a romantic relationship with Carth Onasi at any point in her life.
- 11. Believing that if Revan was male (canon gender), then he must have married and/or had children with Bastila, rules of the Jedi Order, commitments to the Jedi Order, and possibilities of their bond and/or relationship being one-way or temporary be damned.
- 12. Believing that Revan may have had a romantic relationship with Malak and/or the Jedi Exile at any point in his/her life.
- 13. Believing that Revan is in any way related to any characters in the movies.
- 14. Believing that Revan began the Jedi Civil War entirely out of necessity and that there was truly little and/or no alternative to it.
- 15. Holding to the inane belief that the Jedi Council are the ones who split the Jedi Order, rather than Revan, even though Revan is the one who led an open rebellion against them, not the other way around. Also believing that they [the Council] contributed to the split, which is also ridiculous because nobody made Revan do what he/she did except him/herself. By extension, believing that the Jedi Council (and/or Vrook in particular) is biased, hateful, and/or spiteful toward Revan simply because they were cautious about dealing with a traitor and sworn enemy who for all they know could have already regained his/her memories and therefore be lying to and preparing to turn on them at any time for who-the-hell-knows what reason. By further extension, hating Vrook just because he's distrustful of and "speeks meanly" to Revan, no matter how legitimate his reasons for doing so are.
- 16. Insisting or believing that Revan's gender is unknown or female, or that his/her alignment is unknown.
- 17. Believing that Revan should not have a canonical gender, alignment, programmed name, or appearance by regurgitating bullshit arguments like "it's an insult to the player base", "they have no right to tell us what OUR characters are", "those big meanies at Lucasarts are in on an evil sexism conspiracy", et cetera, even though canonical information regarding Revan puts no restrictions whatsoever on their self-insertion fantasy fulfilment fan fiction, especially since they disregard most canon anyway and LFL has already made a mockery of all KOTOR-related canon information by not stating anything other than his gender and alignment.
- 18. Using statements from Kreia to support their arguments, but when other people use statements from Kreia when arguing against them, trying to invalidate the opponent with the excuse that "Kreia is a liar", even though they take everything Kreia says about Revan, the Exile, and the Jedi Order as fact. Also refraining from considering whether or not Kreia had a reason for lying when saying that she lied about something.
- 19. Using Zez-Kai Ell's musings about the possible flaws of the Jedi Order to support their arguments (and/or believing them to be fact), but ignoring everything he says elsewhere about the Jedi Council's reasons for going into hiding.
Characteristics of Dumbass Exile wankers:
- 1. Considering it an indisputable and/or nearly indisputable fact that the Exile joined the Mandalorian Wars for no reason other than to protect the innocent. Also, believing that the Jedi who stayed (often the Council in particular) were not and/or did not deserve to be "true" Jedi, even though this ignores the perfectly reasonable objections they had to the war.
- 2. Considering it an indisputable and/or nearly indisputable fact that the Jedi Exile did not fall to the dark side during the Mandalorian Wars, for no reason other than because that was what Atris believed due to a bias against Atris and/or the Jedi Council in general.
- 3. Believing that the Jedi Council's banishment of the Jedi Exile after the Mandalorian Wars was wrong despite the facts that...
- Α) Their official reason, which was ignoring her/his leaders' reasoning and orders to join the war was perfectly legitimate, since Revan commited quite a fair deal of atrocities and turned all of his/her other surviving followers to the dark side, which spawned another war. Some even suspected the Exile of being a spy.
- Β) Even if their official reason was in no way legitimate, then their true reason (being a wound in the Force who may lead to another split within the Jedi Order due to her/his automatic Force bonding ability) definitely was at the very least a reasonable precaution
- 4. Believing that the Jedi Council (and/or Vrook in particular) is biased, hateful, and/or spiteful toward the Exile simply because they were very cautious when dealing with an extremely dangerous individual who could and actually did lead the Sith to them which resulted in their destruction. By extension, hating Vrook just because he's distrustful of the Exile and "speeks meanly" to her/him, ignoring his fairly legitimate reasons for doing so; and/or thinking Vrook hates the Exile based on the recording of the conversation regarding the Exile between Vrook and Vandar in TSL even though it is entirely possible that everything he said was correct at the time, since there is no evidence against it. Also ignoring the fact that if the Jedi Council really was as short-sighted, self-centered, cowardly, corrupt, malevolent, and/or bent on screwing the Exile over as the dumbass wankers think they were, then they would have just killed her/him after her/his trial on Coruscant; also using Vrook's in-game alignment as a way to "prove" that he's a jerk (or whatever).
- 5. Believing that the Jedi Council had no right or good reason to attempt to strip the Force from the Exile on Dantooine, even though their reasons for doing so are not only completely logical, but also screamed in the player's face throughout the entire conversation with them. By extension, believing that they shouldn't have because the Exile was the only Force user who could stop Nihilus, even though not only did they not know anything about Nihilus, but also even the Exile her/himself didn't know until the duel aboard the Ravager.
- 6. Believing that Atris was corrupt, a false Jedi, and/or a Dark Jedi even as far back as the end of the Mandalorian Wars for no reason other than the fact that she gives the Exile a few "meen wurds" at her/his trial. For that matter, believing that Atris became and/or believed herself to be a Sith and/or took the title of Darth Traya at any point in her life, using inane arguments that usually include references to cut content and/or taking lines from Kreia and/or Atris herself out of context.
- 7. Believing that Atris arranged for the Conclave on Katarr specifically so that Darth Nihilus would kill all the Jedi who attended it, despite a total and complete lack of evidence for this ridiculous presumption other than their own bias, and the fact that it is specifically stated that she intended to draw Nihilus there so the Jedi could kill him, not the other way around.
- 8. Believing that the Jedi Council members were cowards, manipulators, immoral, and/or amoral because they went into hiding after their entire order was all but annihilated; Believing that if they revealed themselves, they would not be wiped out by Darth Nihilus; Also, believing that they did not believe or know this. Alternatively, believing that the Jedi Council members would have stayed overt, tried to help the Republic, and ultimately died in the process if they were true Jedi, even though by the same logic, Yoda, Obi-Wan, and all the other Jedi who survived Order 66 should have thrown themselves on Sidious' blade; Believing that the the Jedi Council members revealing themselves would allow them to make any significant difference before they were killed by the Sith, even though being killed by the Sith is exactly what happened to them when they finally did gather again. Also, believing that they were hiding for no good reason, even though their reasons are repeated and stressed over and over during the conversations with all three of them.
- 9. Believing in the bullshit theory that Darth Nihilus is actually a rejected splinter of the Exile's soul, the dark side within her/him that was forced out and possessed another Jedi/person's body/corpse, or believing in any variant of said bullshit theory, which is formed by taking random statements from [automatically invalid] cut and uncut content alike and stringing them together with random dotted lines, culminating in a ridiculous fanon conclusion. By extension, believing this inane [and needless to say, stupid] theory to be an established, canonical, indisputable, and/or nearly indisputable fact by claiming that a person who was involved in the creation of the game originally intended for it to be that way, even though what did happen is infinitely more important in the endeavor than what didn't happen, and also despite the fact that the identity or position of said developer is irrelevant.
- 10. Insisting or believing that the Exile's gender is unknown or male, or that her/his alignment is unknown.
- 11. Believing that the Exile had a romantic relationship with Revan and/or Malak at any point in her/his life.
- 12. Believing that the Exile is in any way related to any characters in the movies.
- 13. Believing that the Exile should not have a canonical gender, alignment, name, or appearance by regurgitating bullshit arguments like "it's an insult to the player base", "they have no right to tell us what OUR characters are", "those big meanies at Lucasarts are in on an evil sexism conspiracy", et cetera, even though canonical information regarding the Exile puts no restrictions whatsoever on their self-insertion fantasy fulfilment fan fiction, especially since they disregard most canon anyway and LFL has already made a mockery of all KOTOR-related canon information by not stating anything other than her gender and alignment.
- 14. Using statements from Kreia to support their arguments, but when other people use statements from Kreia when arguing against them, trying to invalidate the opponent with the excuse that "Kreia is a liar", even though they take everything Kreia says about the Exile, Revan, and the Jedi Order as fact. Also refraining from considering whether or not Kreia had a reason for lying when saying that she lied about something.
- 15. Believing that the Exile ceased to be a wound in the Force at any point during or after the events of TSL, despite a total and complete lack of evidence.
- 16. Using Zez-Kai Ell's musings about the possible flaws of the Jedi Order to support their arguments (and/or believing them to be fact), but ignoring everything he says elsewhere about the Jedi Council's reasons for going into hiding.
- 17. Believing in the ridiculous fanon theory that Kreia is or was the Handmaiden's mother, or believing any variant of said theory.
- 18. Believing that the Exile had a romantic relationship with Kavar at any point in her/his life.
Matthew Stover once said that a candle can hold back the darkness. If that's true, then a cup of water can put out a forest fire and bring the darkness back, so it's better to have water than candles when you're in a desert, because you can't drink candles. That's why I compiled this list: so you have something to drink when you're in the "desert", if you will, of a KOTOR-related forum.
It is hard to say for sure what single thing, if any single thing, caused so many fans to start worshiping Revan and the Exile as if they're somehow more significant and important than the main heroes/villains of all the other parts of the Star Wars timeline. Some people say that KOTOR I coloured Revan as a flawed, interesting character, and Chris Avellone is the one who tried to make Revan into Kyle Katarn when he wrote KOTOR 2. This idea is plausible, but while his writing certainly did contribute to the defilement of Revan's already poorly-maintained character, I think that, more than anything, it was caused simply by the fact that Revan and the Exile are the player characters. Think about it - you are the player character. Do you want to think of yourself as being responsible for a countless number of genocidal incidents? Of course not. Nobody likes to think of themselves that way. Therefore, since most of the player base thinks of the player character as themselves (this is known as self-insertion), they believe that anything spoken against Revan or the Exile is something spoken against them, and they therefore instinctively feel that they have to defend themselves. In reality, they defend the characters, and are standing on very steep ground.
Steep? More like a Katarn-damned cliff. In the end, the Revan/Exile wankers are inexhaustible in numbers; as long as there are people interested in KOTOR, there will be wankers.
I have to say, I find myself torn by the recent announcement that Bioware is making an MMORPG, The Old Republic, instead of KOTOR 3. On one hand, I wanted the plotline of Revan, the Exile, and the True Sith to be resolved more directly, but on the other hand, by stating that SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT BWOO BWOO BWAA Revan never returned from the Unknown Regions and the True Sith invaded the galaxy 300 years later (which means Revan did not succeed in stopping them), they're forcing the wanker crowd to accept the fact that at some point, their favorite self-insertion characters die. And why shouldn't they?
To be honest, I don't see how TOR ruins KOTOR's story that much at all. I don't see what people are getting so grouchy about. Personally, I think that no matter how this turned out, the player base was going to be disappointed with how Revan's story ended, because even Lucasarts isn't stupid enough to have the True Sith plotline end up like the sort of shit that the fan fic authors write all the time; they're not going to have Revan and the others make some ridiculous land stand like the Battle of Thermopylae, where they die but manage to delay the Sith invasion; nor will they have Revan and the Exile kill off the Sith leadership before returning victorious or vanishing once again.
Hopefully, the outcome of Revan's mission against the True Sith will be detailed in an indisputable, non-bullshittable EU source - a novel, for instance. In the end, it won't cause anything bad. I don't know why people whined so much about Revan and the Exile's genders and alignments being canonized - it's not like they were putting reservations on their fan fiction (they think it does, which is the only reason they ever gave a flying dewback's arse).
The Old Republic doesn't take anything away from the KOTOR series, because if it does, then so does all of the literature that takes place after TSL. We already know that the Sith return later with the Brotherhood of Darkness. Does that cheapen KOTOR?
We already know that the Jedi are destroyed and the Sith rule the galaxy thousands of years later when the First Galactic Empire rises. Does that cheapen KOTOR or the literature concerning the New Sith Wars?
By the same logic, KOTOR itself cheapens its predecessors, and those in turn cheapen their predecessors as well; In KOTOR I, Revan's victory over the Sith in the Jedi Civil War is cheapened by destruction of the Jedi Order in the First Jedi Purge afterward. Exar Kun's defeat by the Jedi in the Great Sith War is cheapened by the Sith's return when Darth Revan arises. The victory of the Jedi and Republic over the Sith in the Great Hyperspace War is cheapened when Exar Kun becomes the Dark Lord of the Sith and continues the cycle. The Jedi victory over the Dark Jedi in the Hundred-Year Darkness is cheapened by the arrival of the Sith in the Great Hyperspace War, the First Great Schism is cheapened when Xendor and his followers are succeeded by the Dark Jedi of Ajunta Pall when the Hundred-Year Darkness begins, and the Force Wars are cheapened in turn when the followers of Bogan are succeeded by Xendor and his followers centuries later.
Why are we giving special consideration to the KOTOR series? Why is Revan any more important than Naga Sadow, Exar Kun, Ulic Qel-Droma, Nomi Sunrider (uh-oh, lawsuit), Lord Hoth, Yoda, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, Count Dooku, Darth Sidious, Darth Vader, Galen Marek, Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa, Kyle Katarn, Wilhuff Tarkin, Grand Admiral Zaarin, Ysanne Isard, Grand Admiral Thrawn, Jerec, Desann, and all the rest? He isn't better than Luke Skywalker (or whoever). He serves as Luke Skywalker's equivalent at his location on the timeline. And even Luke died at some point. So should Revan. The people who want him to go out in some other way have forgotten what this is; Sparta is what this is. Not Revan's Sparta; it's Everyone's Sparta. Everyone else in canon shared Sparta with Revan. Revan should share Sparta with them, in turn.
Neutral Rain: An Essay on Morality in Knights of the Old Republic II - The Sith Lords, and how it relates to Star Wars in General
- Published May 19, 2009 for the Completely Unofficial Star Wars Fanon Newsletter
This essay was written as part of a venting process that I went through after wasting an hour or so in a pointless argument with some damn idiot on some stupid forum somewhere. I submitted it to the SWFanon Newsletter on May 19, 2009 to help fill out their "Star Wars Media" section. And yes, I do write too much shit about the KOTOR series.
This document contains what I hope to be some insight, providing a glimpse into what went into the story of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II - The Sith Lords, what it produced, and what it means in regards to the rest of the Star Wars mythos, as well as its effects on the Star Wars fandom as a whole. It also includes a bonus mini-essay about Karen Traviss and a crazy "what-if" theory I made up while writing it.
This essay can be compared to one of the Rakatan Star Maps seen in the first KOTOR game. It doesn't really make complete sense, but it could be useful if you look at it in the right way. That's because I wrote it mostly to vent, not to inform. It doesn't say precisely what it argues against, it lacks a proper beginning and end, and it's incomplete in more ways than one. I never finished it because of how disgusted I was with myself after getting this far.
In any case, I hope the reader finds a nugget of interesting information somewhere in here. All I know is that I wrote a bunch of letters that happened to form into words, and then into coherent sentences. You decide what to make of them.
“In part, Kreia was supposed to be aspects of Ravel that I didn’t have time for in Planescape: Torment. Also, as much as the nature of the Force frustrated me in some respects, Kreia was the personification of that frustration – the fact that some arbitrary force would feel the need to “correct’ the human species at times with mass slaughter in Episodes 1 through 3, and the hypocrisy of the Jedi that took place in IV and V. I’ve never really forgiven Ben Kenobi for his lies in Episodes IV and V, and Kreia definitely echoes that. Her one redeeming feature is that for a (former) Sith Lord, she loves the player and what he/she represents. She sees in the player a chance to turn away from predestination and destroy that which binds all things, giving the galaxy back its freedom.”―Chris Avellone, September 24, 2007[src]
So there you have it. That's the big revelation of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II - The Sith Lords: Its creator, the architect of this vaunted "masterpiece" of the Expanded Universe... Is full of shit when it comes to Star Wars. Kreia lying to the player and manipulating the party members countless times for her own purposes with no regrets in TSL being comparable to Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Original Trilogy saying that Anakin was killed by Vader? I must say, though, it's quite a new one on me, for a Star Wars revisionist to think that "Jedi hypocrisy" is so apparent in the Original Trilogy.
Reading the above passage from an old interview with Chris Avellone, who is credited with being responsible for KOTOR II, sort of reminded me that he's not the only person with a screwed-up view of Star Wars. There's plenty of people floating around that don't like the black and white morality of the franchise and try to put a more "realistic" spin on it, a process which usually includes putting a spin on Star Wars that turns it into a crapsack world.
Attempting to do so simply doesn't work.
You see, one of the main reasons that Star Wars became so popular in the first place is the fact that it is the perfect escapist fantasy: good versus evil, with none of that "grim and gritty, grey morality" shit.
Star Wars has stuck to this since the beginning. It might not look like it has, but it has. It's always been the light, the Jedi, the Galactic Republic, the Rebel Alliance, the New Republic, the New Jedi Order and the Galactic Alliance against the dark, the Exiles, the Sith Empire, the Mandalorians, the Sith Triumvirate, the True Sith, the Brotherhood of Darkness, the Trade Federation, the Confederacy, the First Galactic Empire, the Order of the Sith Lords, the Imperial Remnant, the Yuuzhan Vong, the Confederation, Lumiya's Sith, and the One Sith.
People have tried to change this, but Chris Avellone was probably the first one to take a stab at it in canon. He introduced Kreia, with her "Insidious God Force" theory, and her "Revan never fell" bullshit theory. Chris did what he could to destroy the fundamental bedrock that Star Wars was built on. And he failed.
Star Wars is black and white. It always was. The only difference between now and then is that the fanbase now has people like Chris, who never realized it. Chris never introduced a "new way of looking at Star Wars". He didn't "expose the true nature of the Force". He only introduced a character who thinks so.
Confused? I'll give you a run-down. Check Wookieepedia if you're still confused. Kreia says that everything Revan did is justified, and that he never really fell. Kreia says that the Force has a will and that it's some sort of malevolent god that controls everything. Kreia says that the Jedi Order is completely wrong. Kreia says that the Force controls people and plays an endless game of light against dark while the galaxy burns.
Needless to say, Kreia is full of shit.
Black and white morality goes from the beginning of Star Wars continuity to the end. No part of Star Wars is immune to it. Revan was a genocidal extremist. Darth Traya was extremist, malevolent, and dishonest, not to mention probably insane. There's nothing about Traya that isn't Sith. And while one might think I shouldn't need to say this, the Jedi are the f****ING GOOD GUYS.
All of the "moral relativism" bullshit that Avellone supposedly introduced in TSL is only the in-universe opinion of an amoral, paranoid control freak. Nothing more. The Force is just the Force, and the reason Kreia thinks so highly of Revan is simply because he was her student, and she refused to believe that her greatest student could be a failure, because that would mean she was a failure as well. "Revan never fell! He was above the Force's evil influence!" Nobody is "above" good and evil, Chris.
Chris was not the only one with a completely perverted view of Star Wars. But what he and those of his ilk didn't realize is that his idea of the Force is completely incompatible with Star Wars itself. Their ideas are contrary to everything that Star Wars stands on. They try to rewrite Star Wars itself in their minds. It's fictional revisionism.
Darth Onasi: “As a side note, it's a good thing KT wasn't writing for him then, or not only would Fett have escaped the Sarlacc without any consequences, he would've gained super Sarlacc powers making him 40x stronger and have Sarlacc acid breath.”
―Two residents of Stardestroyer.net
FA Xerrik: “Except... that would be f***ing awesome. Makes me want to write a preposterous fanfic on the premise.”
Not unlike Karen Traviss, come to think of it. Her "Mandalorians are noble and innocent and Jedi are spoon-bending liars" shit is only a stone's throw away from the Avellone fanboy crowd - the main difference is that for the latter, Revan and Revan ALONE is innocent and justified in contrast to the Jedi and Sith, whereas for the former, all Force users are cowardly bastards and the Mandalorians are all superior. Also, Traviss doesn't seem to think much about the Force itself - just that its users are "elitist rulers" who just "won the genetic lottery".
Imagine what the story would be like if Traviss and Avellone had written KOTOR 2 together, with their interpretations both being forced to coexist. We would be getting the "Jedi and the Force are evil" bullshit from TWO perspectives, plus a dose of Revan bashing from the Mandalorians. And we'd also have a good chance of getting Darth Traya complimenting and/or secretly admiring the Mandalorians instead of dissing them, begrudgingly respecting their non-Force-related strength like the lobotomized Count Dooku in The Clone Wars movie novelization. It would be revealed that the Mandalorians were dying from starvation and overpopulation, and they begged the Republic and Jedi for aid, who refused, and that the reason they started the Mandalorian Wars was for desperately needed food supplies and population space, which were denied them by an uncaring galaxy.
If Canderous Ordo would appear at all as a party member, then he would hold no respect for the Exile or for Revan, unless it is later revealed that Revan got Mandalorian training to help him win the war... And Canderous, instead of being manipulated by Kreia into staying in the Exile's service, would blackmail her into serving the Exile or something. Canderous would be Traviss' primary device for her pro-Mandalorian propaganda, and he'd be a mandatory party member in more places. Canderous and Kreia would frequently be at odds, but it would be a stalemate, thanks to the former's "Mando'a" training and linguistic skills. The player's visit to the Mandalorian camp at Dxun would involve her running around doing petty errands for the great Mando'as who do the real work, making fun of her behind her back for being a Force-using pansy in a bizarre recreation of Jaina Solo's time on Mandalore in the novel Revelation.
The game would end in the Trayus Core, as it does with the real game, but instead of two long dialogues and a one-on-one duel with Kreia, it would be a long dialogue followed by a mexican standoff between Darth Traya, Canderous, and the Exile. Kreia would try to sell her interpretation of the Force to the player one last time, but thanks to Traviss' meddling, the Exile would end up mandatorily rejecting Kreia's philosophy to follow her own destiny, which would be either the Jedi way, the Sith way, or the "f*** you I'm my own boss I'm an emo badass biker Dark Jedi loner" way. In other words, the Exile is just a tool instead of an individual.
Meanwhile, Canderous would throw out his "all Force users are bastards" crap, which would be very reminiscent of the speech that Atton Rand regurgitates to the Exile about Jedi and Sith being the same. That's basically the one place where Traviss and Avellone have common ground: they both think that the Jedi are no better than Sith and that the Force is evil, albeit with different reasons for believing those things.
The three of them would then kill each other - Kreia would die because she's a Force-using Sith bastard (Traviss propaganda), the Exile would die because she's a Force-using bastard who killed Mandalorians and rejected Kreia's "evil Force" bullshit (Traviss and Avellone propaganda), and Canderous would die in a "heroic sacrifice of self-defense to save the galaxy from the Jedi and Sith" which would inspire the party member Mira, who is actually his daughter, to rebuild the Mandalorians (Avellone propaganda because no one kills his mouthpiece character without his permission and gets away with it, and Traviss propaganda for the heroic sacrifice bit).
It's rather sad, to be honest, that such a brilliant character as Kreia is in the end nothing but a mouthpiece that Avellone used to try to shoehorn his crackpot interpretation into Star Wars. One of the most well-written characters in the entire Star Wars EU... is just a Mary Sue. A "Fixer Sue", to be more specific - a character that is used to "fix" canon in the eyes of the writer.
At least she's wrong.
The viewpoint of the Force being an evil god that uses an endless war of dark-siders against light-siders to keep itself alive is simply wrong. This isn't the f***ing Cthulu mythos, people. There's no enormous evil space-god that pulls all the strings behind everything. This theory is f***ing stupid. It is against everything that Star Wars is about. It makes EVERYONE into a bunch of ignorant misfits - every person is a Xanatos Sucker. It makes Palpatine himself into a tool, and that alone makes it idiotic.
This theory is fine when presented as the in-universe opinion of Kreia, but when taken as fact out-of-universe, it's simply disgusting. The Kreia philosophy is the bastard son that was produced when Star Wars got raped by one too many fan fiction writers who favored "darker, edgier, and more realistic" writing over the "childish cookie-cutter black and white morality" that is Star Wars' foundation. They think that they're giving a breath of fresh air by introducing some "moral ambiguity".
There's a difference between introducing moral ambiguity and making everything suck. It's like a much more extreme version of the fan fic writers who say that they're trying to "show a few flaws in the Jedi Order so that people see they're not totally perfect", and instead end up completely demonizing all of them.
Bottom line: The Force, like it does in-universe, binds Star Wars together. Take all of the Jedi, Sith, and everything else Force-related out of the continuity, and you've got an AT-AT without its legs. The Force is not the dealer of the Xanatos Roulette, either. Good versus evil isn't some game that the Force sets up. Black and white is all it ever will be in Star Wars, and no matter what anyone tries to sell you, black and white isn't a straight-jacket that restricts a story and keeps it from becoming interesting. It doesn't mean there can't be anti-heroes or anti-villains, or interesting characters with complex motivations or character development. It only means that you can't piss on what the franchise was built on.
Kreia's Quote of Interest
It is good that you have never wondered what lay beneath her robes, if her alabaster skin was as white and unblemished as her face. Or if perhaps she bore the scars of slavery... and if that would stir you more. Perhaps her deferent tone would change once you held her by the throat, and showed her how far a Jedi can fall.
Emphasis mine. Just what the f**k is that supposed to mean? Is Kreia insinuating that the Exile is into bondage or something? -(MPK's Talk Page) 20:34, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
The Force Unleashed
I'm afraid that you're off on your literary terminology, Mr. Blackman. Starkiller, aka Galen Marek, was not an anti-hero who evolved into a "super-hero". An anti-hero is a character whose goals are ultimately good, such as the defeat of the villain, but who uses immoral or amoral actions to take him there (they also usually have selfish motives, such as revenge and the like). Most anti-heroes also fight on the side of the "morally clean" good guys in some form or another. For example, Jango Fett in Star Wars: Bounty Hunter is an anti-hero, because he's fighting against the Bando Gora, which is threatening the galaxy, but until the beginning of the story's climax, he's doing it only for the money. He also does a fair deal of "necessary" evil along the way.
Starkiller was not an anti-hero. He used the dark side, worked for Darth Vader, and was actively killing good guys. And he's not any kind of hero after the Executor Incident, either, just because he gets a lightsaber that's good and blue instead of evil and red. He's helping the rebels only to use them as a distraction, after which Vader would kill them all off. Although he starts to distance himself from the darkness somewhat, Starkiller is indisputably a villain until after Corellia. Even then, he's motivated partly by revenge until he sees Vader defeated and realizes what he might become if he returned to the dark side again. After this, his transition from villain to hero which began full-force at Corellia is complete.
Bottom line: Galen Marek, aka Starkiller, began as a villain protagonist. As the story continued after the Executor Incident, he started to shift away from villain status somewhat as he began to develop good guy qualities. After Corellia, he dropped his villain status altogether and took a very steep slide into good guy territory, which was completed after he defeated Darth Vader.
Unnamed Anaylsis Review by MPK
- This essay was published in the November, 2008 edition of the Completely Unofficial Star Wars Fanon Newsletter, in response to a similar essay written by Squishy Vic. To see the entire segment, click here.
Thanks for the essay, Vic! Here's where MPK gets his freak on. Disclaimer: The entirety of this essay is just my opinion. I placed this disclaimer here so that the reader understands that I'm not a guy who puts "In my humble opinion" at the beginning of every sentence, because everything that everyone says is their own humble opinion. With no further ado, here is my own analysis.
I admit, I was skeptical of whether the story of The Force Unleashed was going to deliver. They promised a "next chapter" of the Star Wars saga, which would expand upon the character of Darth Vader, tell the story of a secret apprentice trained by Darth Vader, as well as flesh out the beginnings of the Rebel Alliance, and that raised quite a few alarms. Lucasarts has made quite a few continuity problems in the last few years with their games. Take for example, if you will, a major event of the Galactic Civil War which was alluded to a little before the very beginning of Episode IV: the theft of the Death Star plans. It started out as an event just mentioned en passant during the title crawl as follows:
"Rebel spaceships, striking from a hidden base, have won their first victory against the evil Galactic Empire. During the battle, Rebel spies managed to steal secret plans to the Empire's ultimate weapon, the DEATH STAR, an armored blah blah blagg bla-nah."
It started out pretty simple. Rebel spies managed to steal the secret plans during their first victory against the evil Galactic Empire. Then the EU decided to explain exactly how those plans were stolen. Over and over again. In a number of years, we got X-wing, Dark Forces, and Rebel Dawn/Jedi Dawn to "explain" how the plans were taken by the Rebels. None of these sources mentioned the other, and the wackos in charge of canon have never explained which is right, or how they were connected. More recently, we got three more depictions of the event to complicate matters: Lethal Alliance (puke), Battlefront II, and Empire at War. That mucked stuff up so bad, giving the EU so many dots to connect, that I suspect that humanity will go extinct before it learns who the hell stole the Death Star plans. I say Kyle Katarn is the one that did it, but that's just me.
Why did I bring this up? Because when the supposed geniuses at LA announced that TFU would be the "next chapter", the expansion of Vader, the revelation his secret apprentice, and the expansion of the Rebel Alliance's birth, I had next to no doubt whatsoever that with this installment, LA would create another irrevocable paradox, regardless of whether the story was good or not. And, of course, I thought the overdone Force powers were completely unneeded and cheapened the whole thing, but I'll get to that later.
We begin the story shortly after the end of Episode III on Kashyyyk, and already we get a minor continuity error. There's a battle going on between the wookiees and Imperial forces. There is no exposition given on this battle, which is rather annoying since Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader already had a battle on Kashyyyk between wookiees and the Empire that takes place right after Episode III, so this is kind of odd. It's also notable that said battle resulted in an Imperial victory, so how this Second Battle of Kashyyyk came about is a mystery. The cutscenes of the game itself imply that this battle is the first time the Empire attacked Kashyyyk, which is obviously an error. So where did this second battle come from? Did the defeated wookiees start a rebellion or something? No explanation is given, unfortunately.
Darth Vader is sent to Kashyyyk by the Emperor on a routine mission to kill a Jedi who was hiding there. So he lands and starts carving up wookiees as he strolls down through the forest, apparently sure of where he's going. Before long, he comes across the fugitive himself, Kento Marek, and goes medieval on the Jedi. Just as he is about the finish the Jedi off in his home, he mentions that he senses "someone more powerful nearby", which is ridiculous since the person he's sensing is a kid standing behind him, who can't possibly have any serious powers (why not just have Vader say he senses someone else nearby?). Unexpectedly, the mystery man pulls Vader's lightsaber out of his hand from behind and turns out to be a kid, Kento's son.
Vader finishes off Kento and approaches the kid, who is still holding his lightsaber, at which point an Imperial officer and several stormtroopers run into the room. The officer then reveals himself to be a grade-A moron because he orders his men to open fire on the boy (I can understand it looking weird that he's holding a lightsaber, but come on). Anyway, Vader takes his saber back and executes the Imperials in the room, then tells the kid to follow him. Flash-forward, "many many years", to a secret hideout of Vader's, where he is with the former kid, now Galen Marek, code-named Starkiller. Galen, after years of training as Darth Vader's apprentice, now essentially has to jump through a bunch of hoops by killing Jedi. The whole purpose of Vader training him is for them to overthrow Emperor Palpatine together, since Vader can't take him on his own.
I know this essay isn't supposed to be a direct response to Vic's in the traditional sense, but he does raise one interesting point which I hadn't considered before: The statement that Luke was the supposed to be one Vader wanted as his apprentice, not this new guy, and that this new guy's existence cheapens the Luke Ultimatum. His logic makes sense, but the problem with it is that Vader didn't even know Luke existed until after Episode IV, so I don't find it unreasonable that Vader would be on the lookout for someone else to fill this role. Both sides make sense on this front from my perspective, so whether the reader agrees with his point or not I think depends on whether the reader wants to go by what is shown in the movies, or accepts the extra layer that TFU adds onto the story.
After Galen proves himself to Vader by killing several Jedi, the apprentice returns to their hideout, which is actually the work-in-progress Star Dreadnaught Executor. Once he heads to the bridge, Vader tells him that Palpatine has arrived, at which point Palpatine arrives. Galen spins around as soon as the door opens, at which point Vader stabs Galen in the back and says that the Emperor's spies followed him back to the Executor. Palpatine is understandably pissed off that Vader has been training this kid behind his back to kill him with, so he tells Vader to cut the shit and finish him off or he'll waste both of them. Vader does as he is told, and slams Galen into the steel bulkhead a few times (probably for fun), and then smashes him through the ship's viewport out into space, apparently killing him. Palpy then leaves.
Surprisingly, Vic is the first person I've come across who has seen what was wrong with this scene. Believe it or not, absolutely nobody at YouTube seemed to notice what was wrong.
First off, I'm pretty sure getting stabbed right through the gut with a lightsaber is supposed to pretty much guarantee that Galen would die within minutes. There's no rational way to deny that. Second, if the lightsaber stab wound didn't kill him, then being left in a vacuum certainly would. Third (and strangely, this annoyed me more than the second problem), Vader shouldn't have been able to smash him through the window because it's not made of freaking glass. It's transparent durasteel, which is just about as strong as the regular durasteel that lines the ship. I'm not sure what LA was thinking when they decided to have this breakable starship windows business, because it's ludicrous. Don't understand? Let me clarify: You design starships in a universe where warships possess firepower capable of obliterating the surface of planets, and you build a starship with viewports made out of a material that can be shattered by hitting it with a baseball? What the hell is wrong with you?
Moving along, it is soon revealed that Galen survived... somehow. Galen wakes up onboard an Imperial ship, where Darth Vader (communicating via hologram) tells him that he faked Galen's death in order to save them both. On this topic, while I think that in the end TFU turned out much better than I expected it to (more on that later), I absolutely hated the way they pulled off the "faked death" part. In theory there wasn't anything wrong with it, but the problem is that LA completely failed to come up with a believable way for Galen's death to be faked. Anyway, Vader goes on and says that the Emperor's spies are keeping his activities under watch, and unless they are distracted, they won't be able to move against the Emperor. To accomplish this, he instructs Galen to raise an alliance of rebels and dissidents to distract them, providing an opportunity to strike.
So Galen goes about this quest. He starts by tracking down Rahm Kota, one of the Jedi he was sent to kill who escaped. With Kota's help, he organizes three leaders to form the Rebel Alliance: Bail Organa, Garm Bel Iblis, and Mon Mothma. I let out something of a "meh" when I realized that TFU was trying to convince me that there were only three founders of the Rebel Alliance, but I suppose that isn't too major in the grand scheme of things. Anyway, Mothma, Iblis, Organa, Galen, and Kota meet on Corellia, where they officially form the Rebel Alliance. Unfortunately (and in a way somewhat humorously), the Empire arrives and breaks into their building literally seconds after the Alliance is formed, and capture the Rebels. Vader himself is leading them and when Galen confronts him, the Sith Lord reveals that the whole affair with Galen raising an alliance against the Emperor was all just a trap to gather the most prominent opposers of the Emperor together. Vader and the Imperials then leave Corellia, and the Rebel leaders are sent as prisoners to the work-in-progress Death Star. Galen follows them there, intending to rescue the Rebels if he can.
I admit that when I first heard about it, the entire "takes place on the Death Star" idea sounded stupid, but once I remembered that canon has already established that the work-in-progress Death Star was used as a maximum-security prison of sorts, it didn't sound so bad, except for one plot hole, the biggest one in TFU: How the hell did Galen know where the Death Star was and/or that it was where the Rebel leaders were taken?
Moving on. Galen arrives at the Death Star, transported there by a former Imperial pilot named Juno Eclipse (If you want information on her and how she fits into the story, read it at Wookieepedia. Since Vic's essay didn't talk about her, neither will mine) in a cloaking device-equipped vessel (that he had since the story's beginning. Again, if you want to know about that, Wookieepedia's the man to talk to). Galen fights through the station's guards toward the throne room (medium-sized plot hole: how does he know where it is?), where Palpatine himself has the Rebels (with Vader standing guard next to him). Palpy explains that they will be interrogated, tortured, mind-f***ed for the names of any allies they have, and painfully executed in public somewhere (in that order). He is then informed of Galen's approach, and sends Vader to "deal with the boy" (his words).
Galen fights Vader in a rather spectacular battle (if the gameplay footage from the PS3/360 version is of any indication), and manages to overcome the Sith Lord and beats him by performing the following feats in the following order:
- Smashes three huge metal ceiling things that into Vader, damaging his suit. It takes much of the fight out of him, which is understandable, since this alone would certainly kill him if not for his armored suit.
- Performs several lightsaber strikes on his armor, but doesn't cut any limbs off (Vader's armor is resistant to lightsaber blades).
- Cuts Vader's mask off after battering at his defenses ala Luke in Episode VI.
- Uses the Force to smash him through a wall/window (some of both).
This leaves Vader pretty f***ed up. Vic has in his own essay expressed his dislike for this ordeal, and I know for a fact that plenty of others have as well, reasoning that Galen should not be able to defeat Vader, because it makes the latter look like a wimp. Personally, I don't think it's that unrealistic. After all, Luke managed to defeat Vader in Episode VI simply by drawing on the dark side (and I don't care what anyone says, Luke was not even close to the peak of his power at that point in time). Besides, just because Galen defeated Vader does not mean that he is stronger. One has to remember that according to this game, all Force users' powers are on steroids, so logically if Galen can throw TIE Fighters around with ease (according to the game, anyway), then so can Vader (and Palpatine, by extension and by default). If you study the whole duel closely (in the game, anyway), it is never implies that Vader is weaker than Galen. And quite frankly, I don't see how "power" has as much to do with who wins a fight as people say it does. Mace Windu defeated Palpatine. Does that mean he's stronger? No. Mace doesn't need to be more powerful than Palpatine to kick him in the face. Therefore, Galen does not need to be stronger than Vader to smash him into with three metal ceiling things. As I see it, the fight could easily have gone either way.
Anyway, since Vader just got whooped, this places Galen in a new light in the Emperor's eyes, or so I judged from how he slinks across the room toward Galen, goading him to finish Vader off and take his place (ala himself in Episode VI). This is interrupted by Kota, who runs toward them from across the room screaming his head off, since he doesn't like the idea of Galen becoming a Sith and all that. Kota steals Palpatine's lightsaber, but everyone knows that Palpatine doesn't really need a lightsaber, so he bitch-slaps the Jedi with Force lightning for a while. Galen rushes to help Kota and roughs the Emperor up a bit, tossing him around with a couple pushes before forcing him, stunned, to the ground.
As was the case with Vader, I've seen plenty of people say that this makes Palpy look like a wuss. But again I say, Mace Windu didn't need to be stronger to kick him in the face in Episode III, so Galen doesn't need to be stronger to Force push him here. Palpatine then goads Galen to give into his anger and strike him down (which is obviously a trick since he didn't actually want Luke to kill him in Episode VI, either). Kota tells Galen not to give into his anger (mirroring more than one scene from previous Star Wars literature). People have said that it was stupid for him to hesitate killing the Emperor, but Kota never says not to kill him; he specifically says not to "strike him down in anger", because if he does that, he'll probably turn to the dark side (and history has shown many times that lots of shit can be caused to hit the fan when a single person turns to the dark side).
Galen tells Kota to get the Rebel leaders away (just as his ship comes into view), at which point Palpatine stops playing dead and blasts Kota with lightning again. Galen then steps between them and appears to start absorbing the lightning, and after seeing a bunch of stormtroopers coming their way, tells Kota and the others to get the hell out. He continues to take the Emperor's attack, but I seriously doubt that it wasn't hurting him. Anyway, the Senators run with the stormtroopers in hot pursuit, who proceed to shoot at and miss them again and again.
I don't care what anyone says. Stormtroopers CAN shoot properly. They slaughtered the rebel troops onboard the Tantive IV, and the reasons they keep missing the heroes on the Death Star and later at Bespin in Episode V are that (1) The script protects the characters with names and (2) In both cases, they were supposed to escape. With that in mind, why did the LA people have them just keep missing and missing as the Rebels rush to the ship? Was this some kind of joke? It's not like they couldn't have an explanation. Here's several:
- Galen starts redirecting some of the Force lightning into the stormtroopers, preventing them from getting a shot off.
- Kota undoes his handcuffs with the Force and uses Galen's lightsaber to kill the stormtroopers before leaving.
- Kota uses the Force to throw a big chunk of leftover debris (or something) at the stormtroopers, smashing several and blocking the rest.
There. In about twenty seconds I came up with three perfectly reasonable alternatives to having the stormtroopers' accuracy suddenly go to hell. Is it that hard, LA?
Galen continues to take Palpatine's barrage of lightning until he unleashes a huge blast of Force energy that sends the stormtroopers all over the place (a little late for him to worry about the troopers, as they're apparently harmless). The Rebels then escape in the ship. When the smoke clears, Galen is dead and a huge question mark is left suspended above my head while Palpatine and Vader are standing over him. Palpy chews out Vader for indirectly starting this mess in the first place and leaves. The Force explosion thing that supposedly kills Galen has been criticized, and I admit that it didn't make much sense to me until after I thought about it. The conclusion I came to is that the Force explosion was probably a result of Galen's death, not the cause of it. I figure that the lightning eventually killed Galen, and the explosion of Force energy resulted. It may seem random, which it is, but it's not completely unreasonable; both Palpatine and Joruus C'boath released a Force explosion in a similar fashion when they died, so why not Galen?
Of course, that is a reasonable theory, but that doesn't change the fact that I shouldn't freaking have to spend half an hour trying to rationalize what I just saw. It would've been better if he was specifically shown to be killed by Palpatine's lightning, or alternatively shown making a Force repulse one last time before the lightning gets him (in fact, that probably is what it was, considering the visuals). Yes, it shouldn't have been so difficult to understand, but I don't think it's bad, just wounded (but I can easily understand why other people just write the whole thing off as ridiculous).
A short time later on Kashyyyk, the Rebel Alliance is (again) formed, and they select Galen's family crest as their emblem. Some people have objected to this, saying that they should've kept it as it was before (canon previously implied that they got their symbol from that of the Jedi Order) but I don't think it's unreasonable. Taking his family symbol is actually kind of like how Christians use the cross as their emblem. In any case, that's where the story is wrapped up.
Overall, I was surprised with how TFU turned out. Half of me genuinely expected it to be simply horrible, but I think it delivered pretty well overall. Granted, the overdone Force powers were completely unnecessary and outright contemptable in many places (such as Galen pulling a f***ing Star Destroyer out of the sky in one of the missions), there were several sizable plot holes, and there are the expected conflicts with previously established canon, but I still don't think any of these problems ruined the story. Wounded for certain, but the rest of TFU kept it on its feet in my eyes.
One last note: Some people have mentioned that Galen ought not to exist, since he wasn't mentioned in the movies, but this doesn't make sense to me. If he was to be mentioned in the movies, where would he be mentioned? Nowhere in the Original Trilogy does anyone anywhere say a single word about the formation of the Rebel Alliance. Therefore, even if the story of Galen did somehow exist early enough to be mentioned in the movies, he still wouldn't be.
My essay is finished, and I hope these two pieces of work from Vic and myself have made an interesting read. However, since I tried to not let my essay stray too far from the ground that Vic's essay covered, I was unable to fully express my opinion of The Force Unleashed and I was also forced to leave out certain things which I wanted to say, so for the sake of setting my views straight and clear (and for making my segment as long as I possibly can to eclipse Vic's [no, I'm only kidding]), below is a list of all plot points that I can think of and my rating of them individually.
- Not very long after the end of Episode III, Darth Vader goes to Kashyyyk, where Imperial forces are in a battle with the wookiee inhabitants, to hunt down a fugitive Jedi on the planet. - This already happened, in the novel Dark Lord: Rise of Darth Vader, but if they bothered to give some exposition on the battle, like stating that it was a recent rebellion or whatever, it would've held up better.
- There, Vader finds and bests the Jedi in a duel, at the end of which he finds the Jedi's son, whom he senses has immense Force potential. - No objections.
- He kills the Jedi, immediately after which... - No objections.
- several Imperials rush to the area. The stormtroopers prepare to open fire on the young boy, but Vader kills them all before they can do so... - Overkill.
- ...and takes the boy with him to train as an apprentice in secret with which to overthrow the Emperor. - Sounds neat. This ought to be resolved, though, so that he doesn't appear in the movies for a reason.
- On his first major assignment years later, he is sent to a TIE Fighter Construction Facility on Nar Shaddaa... - Ooh, I like Nar Shaddaa and TIE Fighters!
- ...to kill a fugitive Jedi named Rahm Kota, who was a former general in the Clone Wars and survived Order 66 due to his distrust of the clones. - Nice backstory.
- Kota and his band of followers have captured the facility and intend to sabotage it, so Galen is sent to eliminate them. - No objections.
- Galen fights his way through the facility and confronts Kota. The two duel... - No objections.
- ...and Kota eventually uses the Force to split their section of the station off from the rest of it, sending them both down toward Nar Shaddaa's surface. - Ridiculously over-done Force powers.
- At the end of the duel, Kota predicts something about Galen's future... - Unnecessary and not particularly original, but nohing wrong with it per se.
- ...and Galen blinds Kota with his lightsaber before throwing him out of the station thing to his apparent doom. - If you want a character to appear to die but survive, don't make the circumstances of their fake death impossible to survive. The blinding part was badass, though.
- Galen then leaves. On his next mission, he is sent to Raxus Prime... - No objections.
- ...to kill a Jedi who is insane and obsessed with machines. - Cool.
- Later, Galen is sent on another mission, this time to Felucia... - No objections.
- To hunt down Shaak Ti, another fugitive Jedi... - No objections. It's about time we gave her a canonical death.
- ...who for some reason dresses like a prostitute. - Completely unnecessary. This move I do not understand at all. I can't even call it fan service because no sane fan can say that Shaak Ti is visually attractive.
- Ti has an apprentice named Maris Brood... - No objections.
- ...who also dresses like a prostitute... - Again, completely unnecessary, and again, since she's not even attractive, it can't be fan service, and I therefore don't know what the hell else to make of it.
- ...and uses stupid-ass tonfa lightsabers. - Totally unnecessary. The regular, curved, and double-bladed sabers are the only kind that Star Wars ever needed.
- Shaak Ti tells Maris to go into hiding to escape Vader's apprentice... - No objections in theory. In the end, I think Maris Brood was the weakest character in the story.
- ...but she objects and says that Shaak needs her help, but she tells Maris that she won't be able to help and that her survival is more important, but her subsequent death at Galen's hands turns Maris to the dark side. - The most blatant, and [surprisingly] by far the most annoying cliché in the story.
- Shaak Ti dies after a duel with Galen near a really freaking huge sarlacc... - Badass.
- ...that is used by the natives as a place where they sacrifice people and stuff. - Double-badass.
- During all of the above missions, Galen is assisted by a female pilot named Juno Eclipse... - No objections, but this may turn into a canned romance plot later on.
- ...whom Galen does not have any romantic interactions with until the very end of the story. - Good call.
- He is also assisted by a droid called PROXY who can use hologram projectors to disguise himself and periodically attacks Galen in order to test him, and also provides comic relief that is not forced or a rehash of any droids from the movies. - My hat's off to LA for this one.
- Juno transports him to his mission sites via a specially-built ship called the Rogue Shadow that has a cloaking device. - I'm not very fond of cloaking devices, but as long as this doesn't start a trend of personal ships having cloaking devices, fine by me.
- After killing Shaak Ti, Galen returns to his and Vader's hideout, the WIP Executor, when an angry Palpatine suddenly appears. - Fun Force Fact: Did you know that Palpatine did not appear at all in LA's first draft of the story? They added him when Lucas himself said that Palpy needed to have a bigger presence in the story.
- In order to save his plan for overthrowing Palpatine, Vader fakes Galen's death... - Good idea.
- ...by stabbing him in the back... - Bad idea.
- ...slamming him face-first into a steel bulkhead... - Fun to watch, but I don't like where this is going.
- ...and finally throwing him out into space. - Someone bring me the head of whoever approved this detail.
- However, since Galen's death was faked, he soon wakes up and Vader tells him that in order to distract the Emperor's spies so that they can move against Palpatine once they're ready, he tells Galen to raise an enemy large enough to draw their attention. - So Vader starts the Rebel Alliance? Sounds pretty stupid to me, but they better rationalize this before the story ends, or else Vader will look like a total dumbass.
- In order to find someone to help form a rebellion, Galen tracks Rahm Kota to Bespin... - Ok, presumably he somehow figured out that Kota survived their battle, but that really should have been explained.
- ...where Kota is now a pessemistic drunkard who lives in a bar. - Sweet.
- Galen eventually convinces Kota to help him, however, and they set out to gather future leaders of the rebellion. - No objections.
- Through a series of missions, they unite the three founding leaders of the Rebellion: Garm Bel Iblis, Bail Organa, and Mon Mothma. Galen, Kota, and these three meet on Corellia to found the Rebel Alliance. - The only problem I see is that they're telling us the rebellion only had three foundings leaders. With only five people (not including PROXY) sitting at the table, they look badly in need of staff. There's not even any rebel troopers standing guard; it's just a few people meeting together in a room that looks like someone's basement. Still, it's nice to see a prominent EU character (Bel Iblis) among them, even though his hair is grey when it's not supposed to be.
- After the meeting begins, Imperial forces led by Vader himself bust in on the meeting and capture the Rebels. - Badass.
- Vader uses the Force to throw Galen out of the building, where he lands in the snow, because it's a blizzard out. - I like the blizzard part.
- Galen is pissed off at his master, but Vader reveals that it was all just a ploy to bring the rebels together so they could be captured. - Very nice. If not for this detail, the whole thing about Vader having the rebellion formed would've been as stupid as hell.
- Galen is left hanging over the edge of a cliff. As Vader is about to kill him, he is attacked from behind by PROXY... - Sounds fine.
- ...who gets his ass kicked. - Good call.
- Galen has fallen apparently off the cliff at this point, so Vader leaves. - Ehh, this is straining my suspension of disbelief somewhat.
- However, Juno (the pilot) recovers Galen, and they leave Corellia as well. Galen feels like a total dumbass after being played like this and resolves to help the rebels somehow, but he has no idea where Vader took them. - No objections.
- Hoping to find where they went, Galen does some kind of funky meditation thing... - No objections.
- ...and he discovers that the rebels are being taken to the work-in-progress Death Star. He then sets out to the stations location to save them. - This is probably the biggest and most annoying plot hole in the game for me: How the hell did he know where the Death Star was? It's the most secret project the Empire had yet undertaken. He has no way of knowing where it is or even what it is. It wouldn't have been too hard to explain how he knew where it was, but they just didn't bother. Aside from that, this is fine with me. I admit that at first I thought it was really stupid that the showdown would occur on the Death Star, but looking back, it's not all that implausible. After all, it's been previously established that the Death Star was used as a prison for certain enemies of the Emperor, and the three rebel leaders (four, if you count Rahm Kota) definitely fit into that category.
I'm not going any further - I've already said my piece on the ending, so that's a wrap.
Empirical: An Essay on one particular Myth pertaining to the plot of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed
Published April, 2009 for the Completely Unofficial Star Wars Fanon Newsletter
I know it may seem like I'm beating a dead horse by writing another essay about Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, since the game itself was released half a year ago. However, it had since then come to my attention that there are several major misinterpretations about the plot of the game, and have therefore taken it upon myself to address these errors directly, personally, and most importantly, in my trademark humourous manner.
Since it's been half a year since The Force was Unleashed (hurf durf, get it? That's like what the game is called, hurf durf), there's no such thing as a spoiler for TFU anymore. You already know the drill. The main character is a Dark Jedi, who as far as I know is never actually named in the game by anything other than his code name, Starkiller, which, while reasonable on its own, actually looks slightly cheapened when you consider the fact that elsewhere in canon, we've got a friend of Luke Skywalker, a starship, a superweapon that was destroyed but not actually destroyed because it was something else, a Mandalorian who used to be named that but isn't anymore, a Rodian, a rebel scum, and some idiot from Marvel Star Wars who nobody cares about.
In any case, Starkiller's real name is Galen Marek. 19 BBY the events of Episode III, Darth Vader paid a visit to Kashyyyk, where he found Galen, and took him to train as a secret apprentice, which he hopes to use to overthrow the Emperor once he's grown up. Two years before the Battle of Yavin, however, Palpatine discovers them and Vader is forced to fake Starkiller's death. After the apprentice wakes up, Vader tells him to find a bunch of enemies of the Empire and convince them to form an alliance against Palpatine, which they will use as a cover to move against the Emperor. After he does, this, Vader says "psych!" and captures the rebel leaders, revealing that Starkiller's mission was just a ruse to round up the Emperor's biggest enemies. Vader takes the rebel leaders to the work-in-progress Death Star, but Starkiller follows them there. Due to his efforts, the rebels escape, but Starkiller himself is killed by the Emperor.
Got all that? I hope so, because I hate writing exposition.
The misconception that I write this in order to address appears to be the growing belief that Palpatine and Vader were in cahoots in regards to Galen practically from day one, and that the plan never changed; that from the beginning, he was supposed to round up a bunch of potential rebel leaders for them. While it is true that some of the source material appears to support this notion, it should not be considered fact.
The chief reason for this is personified by a cutscene in the game which I term "The Executor Incident". After killing the Jedi Master Shakk Ti, Galen returns to the Star Dreadnaught Executor, which was being used as the headquarters of Vader and himself before its completion. He notices as he flies in that the ship is surrounded by a fleet of Star Destroyers that weren't there when he left, but he arrives at the bridge, where Vader awaits, without incident. Since he doesn't ask Vader what the armada is doing there, it's probably safe to say that he simply assumed that they were the Imperial cleaning crew or something. However, Vader tells him that the Star Destroyers are not a cleaning crew of any sort, but rather the symbolically-named Emperor's fleet.
Galen takes this as an indication that Vader lured Palpatine into a trap or something, but his delusions of grandeur are interrupted when the door opens behind him, revealing none other than the Galactic Emperor himself. Finding this to be alarming for some reason, Galen turns around, alarmed, at which point he notices a peculiar red object protruding from his gut. This turns out to be a lightsaber blade. There is also evidence to suggest that Vader placed the blade there himself. Since it is common knowledge that lightsaber blades hurt, it probably doesn't need to be said that Galen hits the floor soon after. Meanwhile, Palpatine walks toward them across the Executor's bridge, at which point the viewer notices that this version of the bridge is actually much larger and cooler-looking than the one from the movies (or it would be, if it was finished and there weren't jets of steam coming out of the walls).
Since Vader essentially was caught in the act of breaking the first rule of the club, Club President Palpatine is understandably pretty upset, so he tells Vader to knock it off and kill Galen. After a few tense seconds of indecision, Vader grabs Galen with the force, slams him face-first into two of the bridge's steel bulkheads, and then crashes him through the window in the bridge, where he apparently meets his end. Throughout this spectacle, Palpatine can be heard laughing hysterically and cheering Vader on, sort of like a young Darth Malak on a sugar rush or something. Fortunately, an emergency airlock panel comes down as soon as the window is broken, which is lucky for Vader because he would look pretty stupid if he had caused all three of them to get sucked out into space. As soon as Galen is gone, however, Palpatine stops slapping his knees and gagging on his own saliva and glares at Vader for a moment, as if to say "thanks for spoiling my fun, asshat" before he oozes out of the bridge through the way he came in, still chuckling to himself.
The reason this is relevant to whether Palpatine and Vader were always in cahoots about Galen ought to be pretty obvious. What they propose is that Palpatine knew about Galen and that everything Vader did with him after his abduction was under either his orders or his supervision. The problem is that if this was true, then there would be no point in this entire scene existing in the first place.
I'm not even looking at the effects this theory has on the story's overall coolness factor, either. I could argue that TFU was supposed to be about Vader getting some boldness points and becoming more badass, and that that badassness is hurt by the "Palpy-was-always-in-charge" theory, which proposes that it took Vader twenty years of being the Emperor's bitch before he decided that he wanted to kill him. Nor am I arguing that it makes Palpatine look somewhat incompetent. Some have argued that TFU makes him look incompetent anyway, since his whole plan backfires, but if everything Galen did from the beginning was ultimately because of the Emperor, it makes Palpy look even more sloppy than some already claim he is. I personally think that he looks stupid only if one believes that he was always in charge throughout TFU. Either way, one has to admit that no matter how you look at it, Palpy in TFU beats the hell out of his batshit-too-crazy-stupid-to-live self in the Dark Empire trilogy. Of course, the entire above paragraph is neither here nor there.
Before I explain, I think I need to place the fact that transparisteel is actually just about as strong as durasteel, the concept that Galen somehow knew a technique that allowed him to survive lightsaber impalement (too bad Qui-Gon didn't know that trick), and the whole vacuum of space thing aside. Normally I support the Rule of Cool, which states that awesomeness suspends disbelief, and although I think they took the rule way too far when writing this scene, I also think it needs to be said that the circumstances of Galen's death being faked (no, he wasn't brought back to life) ultimately don't have any bearing on the overall plot.
Galen was willing to obey Vader's orders essentially without question. If Vader had told him to begin gathering rebel leaders, he would have done it, no matter when he was told to do it. The simple question is that if Palpatine really had Vader and Galen under his thumb the whole time, then why did the Executor Incident happen? What purpose did it serve to risk killing Galen? According to this theory, both Vader and Palpatine were in on the whole Galen thing, so there was no point in it. There was no point in putting it on as an act, because it didn't serve to reduce Galen's suspicions, because he didn't have any suspicions in the first place. Simply put, if the theory was true, then Palpatine and Vader decided to risk killing Galen, bank on the assumption that if they managed to stab and throw the Dark Jedi into space without killing him, he wouldn't want revenge, and most of all, for no reason.
Vader took Galen because he genuinely wanted the kid to help him kill Palpatine. Palpatine found them out, so Vader faked his death (somehow) and later told Palpatine that he could be used to round up some of Palpatine's opposition in the Senate. The Emperor gave him a green light, and the rest is history. If Palpatine knew about Galen all along, then the entire Executor Incident makes no sense.
Star Wars: Legacy of the Force
Rest in peace, Jacen Solo, Darth Cadeus. We'll miss your lame jokes and stupid ideas for making everything better.
—MPK on the Legacy of the Force series