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Introduction: Explaining the Name and Other Things


"You shoulda seen what I cooked up in muh lab on Fest. Muh new weapons are gonna put a lotta plot holes in a lotta Rebel scum!"

Aside from commenting on canon and fan-made Star Wars stories from my considerably changed perspective, one of the purposes of my Looking Back essays is to reflect on my own fan works, the majority of which are unfinished and will probably remain in such a state. Because I'm a chronic procrastinator and have been for years, the majority of these incomplete stories and never-begun ideas ended up producing a sizable collection of outlines, character notes, scraps of prose, brainstormings, and other scribbles. All these sit together on my hard drive in a single folder which I eventually named the "Rebus File", after the eccentric Moff from Dark Forces who spends his days tinkering with nondescript machinery in the depths of a labyrinthine sewer. So as a supplement to my Looking Back reflections, I will be copying selections from the Rebus File and leaving them here, to which they will be linked when appropriate in my essays. The extracts will be for the most part unedited (format adjustments excepted) though I may put in some in-line commentary, which will be in bold text and brackets or something like that to distinguish it. -MPK, Free Man 14:45, January 3, 2016 (UTC)

Extract 1: Dark Order.txt

The much-bloated and monotonously military-centric Dark Order continuity was supposed to be accompanied by a series of novel-length stories, chronicling various events of the war with an excessive focus on the villains. At one time I had a series of detailed but nevertheless mismatched and incomplete outlines, as well as snippets of prose that I produced and poked at whenever I fancied. Several times I found my preparatory writings to be unsatisfactory and re-did everything. Since then, however, all has been lost except for the very last and sparsest of these outlines, which follows and describes the basic shifts of focus and point-of-view that the story would have taken as it developed. Apparently I never got around to finishing the outline this time. Again, in-line comments are indicated by bold text. -MPK, Free Man 14:45, January 3, 2016 (UTC)

Section A

First arc: The first main protagonist is Jaden Korr, and the saga proper begins toward the end of the events of JKA. Jaden's character direction is to be established in these final missions. Kyle Katarn and the other Jedi colleagues of Jaden's are starting to see how he's slowly turning darker after Vjun. The friendship between Jaden and Kyle starts to get strained as he focuses more on building his power and reclusive meditation, and that phase of the character arc ends with Korriban, Jaden's fall, and the founding of the Dark Order. [Here we see what I talked about in essay 1: the crappiness of Jedi Academy's story and of the post-Endor EU in general provoked me into needing to fix the backstory of everyone and everything.]

Second arc: After the capture of numerous Jedi apprentices from Yavin, Jaden takes an interest in Jorus Kuun, whom he considers to be among the strongest of them. The two share much of the narrative as the two leading villain protagonists, with Jaden's part focusing on what he has to do to keep control over the Dark Order and the nature of his beliefs about the Force, and Jorus' being about how he adjusts to his new life as a Dark Jedi and redefine his identity. Darth Persia should be introduced as a supporting character, but his true nature is to be obscured at first.

The "hero" side of the story would at this point be supplied mostly by Kyle Katarn, who is trying to deal with Jaden's fall as he hunts down his fallen student. Jorus' former master, Devereus Addes, can provide another perspective, since he is also being forced to deal with the loss of a student. The two will find themselves working together on occasion. [I don't think I ever got much of anything fleshed out about this Master Addes character. Again, you can see throughout this outline that, even in the late period of my interest in this whole storyline, I still couldn't find much of any place to fit some actual heroes in. Kyle Katarn pretty much stops being relevant after Jaden's death, and Luke Skywalker never became relevant until it was his turn to get killed off some time later.]

Third arc: After realizing Jorus' power, Darth Persia secretly takes him as a Sith apprentice. This complicates things for Jorus, who will have to deal with being taught by both the Sith and Jaden while simultaneously trying to purge himself of his lingering Jedi restraints. Meanwhile, Jaden finds his control over the Dark Order slowly deteriorating while the competent military leaders (such as Persia) are earning more respect.

This will eventually culminate in the Second Battle of Bakura. Up to that point, Persia finds training Jorus a bit frustrating, as the inferior teachings of the Order are starting to bleed over onto the Sith teachings, so Jorus' final test is to kill Jaden once and for all. This event ends as it did in the original version, with Jaden's death, the destruction of Bakura, and Persia's control over the Dark Order beginning.

Section B

Fourth arc: After settling on Eriadu, declaring the Greater Sith Empire, and launching the First Expansionary Campaign, Persia turns his attention to refining his apprentice, whom he has bestowed with the title of "Darth Imperious". He sends Imperious on a series of assignments designed to test his command of the Force and his ability to lead soldiers and fleets in battle. Imperious generally succeeds, and Persia is satisfied for the moment, though he knows that the training is only beginning. [Can you imagine Darth Maul leading fleets and armies on his own? Yeah, I didn't think so.]

On the other side, the arcs of Kyle and Devereus are continued, with the latter man getting more coverage since Jaden is dead. Deverus holds out hope that he will somehow be able to find Jorus, but his zeal to do so starts to become an obsession. [Aaaaaaand then at some point Imperious kills him. The end. That's all I can ever remember hammering out.]

Fifth arc: Much further along in his training, Imperious is put up to the task of advancing his skills in other areas which he is lacking: teaching and leading others. To start him off on this, Persia pairs him up with a less-experienced Sith acolyte named Danik Kalnar as part of an informal apprenticeship. Imperious, however, is a bit more eager than Persia knows, and has in fact been pursuing a Jedi Knight whom he plans to turn and take as a secret apprentice. Imperious and Danik are somewhat like-minded, but any chances of the two getting along are destroyed when Danik kills Imperious' target. [The Force Unleashed had somewhat recently come out, so I unimaginatively latched onto that. Not that "secret apprentice" stuff was an idea invented by TFU, but it was in the air at the time, so all the kiddies were goofing around writing fanfic for it or being directly influenced by it.]

Frustrated, Persia terminates the partnership and advises his apprentice to seek out ways of putting his power to better, more specialized use than simply winning the war. Prompted by repeated questioning from Imperious, Persia reveals his origins and says that he has seen a lot of his past self in both Jaden and Imperious, and cautions his student to avoid neglect of the more practical, down-to-earth aspects of the Sith legacy. [The outline ends here. Overall it seems to represent my first serious attempt to conceptualize how the Dark Order storyline would appear as an actual narrative, but as you can see, this effort didn't go very far.]

Extract 2: KotOR: Burning Fronts, Book 1 Dramatis Personae.txt

Knights of the Old Republic: Burning Fronts was the title of a novel-length fanfic that I wanted to write. An essay explaining it is forthcoming, as are further extracts from my outlines, notes, and so on. There isn't much that can be gleaned from this extract here, but right now it's all I can be arsed to upload. -MPK, Free Man 20:05, August 18, 2016 (UTC)

[Characters affiliated with the] Jedi Order

Revel Sienan; Jedi Knight (human male) Lightsaber (single-bladed, purple); Forms V, III, IV, Telekinetic lightsaber combat Unarmed Combat: Teras Kasi Force powers: Telekinesis (lightsaber proficiency), Farseeing, Concealment (Presence), Mind Trick/Illusion, Psychometry, Force Body, Valor, Speed, Stasis Field, Blinding, Healing (fails as his alignment shifts), Grip, Rage

Derek Sienan; Jedi Knight (human male) Lightsaber (single-bladed, purple); Forms III, I, V, VII Unarmed Combat: Tae-Jitsu Force powers: Farseeing, Concealment (Presence/Alignment), Mind Trick/Persuasion, Force Body, Valor, Speed, Stasis Field, Lightning, Grip, Rage

Kerria ____ ["____" as in, I couldn't think of a last name for her.]; Jedi Knight (human female) Lightsaber (single-bladed, blue); Forms V, III, I Force powers: Sense (advanced range), Empathy, Concealment (Presence), Mind Trick/Persuasion, Valor, Speed, Stasis Field

Bastila Shan; Jedi Padawan (human female) Lightsaber (single-bladed, yellow); Forms VII, III, VI Force powers: Battle Meditation, Healing, Valor, Speed, Mind Trick/Persuasion, Stun

Vima Sunrider; Grand Master of the Jedi Order (human female) Lightsaber (single-bladed, green); Forms II, III, VI, I Force powers: Absorb/Redirect, Force Body, Valor, Speed, Stasis Field, Blinding, Healing

[Characters affiliated with the] Sith Empire

Darth Revan; Dark Lady of the Sith (human female) Lightsaber (single-bladed, red); Forms VII, II, III, V Force powers: Farseeing, Concealment (Presence/Alignment), Lightning, Drain, Destruction, Grip, Mind Trick/Persuasion, Stasis Field, Drain Knowledge

Darth Malak; Sith Lord (human male) Lightsaber (single-bladed, red); Forms II, V, IV, III Force powers: Grip, Lightning, Drain, Stasis Field, Healing

Darth Voren; Sith Lord (human male) Lightsaber (single-bladed, red); Forms VII, IV, II, V Force powers: Lightning, Absorb/Redirect, Drain, Grip, Rage

Sett; Sith Master & Instructor (male, species unknown) Lightsaber (double-bladed, red); Proficient in all seven classic forms Force powers: Drain, Grip, Speed, Stun, Force Slow, Rage

Drevveka Hoctu, Headmaster of Thule Academy (human female) Lightsaber (double-bladed, red; capable of separation); Jar'Kai, II, IV, III Force powers: Lightning, Grip, Blinding, Farseeing, Concealment (Presence/Alignment), Mind Trick/Illusion/Persuasion, Psychometry, Force Body, Healing, Rage

Krennel, Sith acolyte (Chistori male) Lightsaber (double-bladed, red); Forms V, I Force powers: Rage, Speed, Absorb, Grip

HK-50; Protocol/Assassination droid (masculine programming) Weaponry: Blaster rifle (concealed in leg), Light wrist blaster (left wrist), Cluster anti-infantry rocket launcher (right wrist), Grenade launcher (left torso), Flamethrower (right torso), Medium blaster pistol, Energy shield, Stun mines Other Skills & Equipment: Fluent in 6,000 languages; Capable of mimicking voices

Extract 3: KotOR: Burning Fronts, Outline.txt

Knights of the Old Republic: Burning Fronts was the title of a novel-length fanfic that I wanted to write. What follows is the novel-length outline I had for it, relatively unedited. As usual, in-line comments will be in bold/brackets. -MPK, Free Man 00:47, August 20, 2016 (UTC)

Section A

The introduction will be as I originally remember it; the destruction of a small Republic scouting party by Darth Malak, who is subsequently summoned by Revan to the headquarters at Ord Radama. This scene sets the backdrop for the story, namely this major campaign of the Jedi Civil War. After some blistering defeats, the Republic is throwing a huge portion of its fleet and best leaders together for a major offensive into the heart of the Sith Empire's territory, cutting into the Outer Rim through Ord Radama, where one of the Empire's major military headquarters is located, and culminating at Korriban and Thule, where two of the major known Sith academies are located.

Section B: Part I

War's a funny thing. It makes you do things you never thought you'd do.
—Saul Karath, Admiral of the Sith Navy

Some short time, probably a few chapters, is spent introducing Revel, Derek, and Kerria where the Jedi Council dumps some exposition on them and the readers, filling the reader in on any remaining details concerning the state of the war, and more importantly what their assignments will be. They first are sent to fighting among the front lines, starting on Serenno, where how they (especially Derek and Revel) work together as a team and such. This will allow greater contrast between what they're used to and the challenges that ensue later on.

[ . . . ]

On the other side of the war, Revan is hanging around on Ord Radama, which houses one of the main Sith Naval Headquarters for the entire Outer Rim. She has called both Darth Malak and Darth Voren to join her in campaign planning (and they know that some serious shit is going on, because she almost always keeps her apprentices away from each other). [Voren's a canon character who appeared in an RPG scenario or something. One of the ideas of my fanon was that Revan had six head honcho apprentices under her, each of them having more or less equal authority. She was only ever actually friends with Malak, though, and the others all got killed by the beginning of KotOR. This is actually consistent with the game, whose opening crawl calls Malak the last surviving apprentice of Revan.] She tells them that she's been having visions that notably imply the presence of some threat within the Empire, and tells them to be on guard.

Just after Serenno is mostly stabilized, Derek is whisked away by Republic Intelligence to work with an operative of theirs named Allen Jester, [Played by Nicholas Cage. Seriously. It's in my notes that his appearance is Nicolas Cage. His character was never properly developed, though. He's a living plot device.] whom they are sending behind enemy lines to gather reconnaissance data at Vaal, Mirial, Thule, and eventually Korriban. Meanwhile Revel and Kerria join the main Republic fleet and meet Bastila Shan, whose skill with Battle Meditation has resulted in her being tied to the front of the campaign.

The Republic Navy is continuing its push into the Radama sector, one of the critical points of which is the planet Toprawa, where Revel and Kerria are deposited with reinforcements to assist in driving insurgent Sith forces from the planet. The two fight there for some time (their primary goal being to find and neutralize the group of Dark Jedi who are leading the insurgency), assisted by an HK-49 protocol/intelligence droid assigned to their unit. [Move along, intended audience who has obviously played the games and will have no idea what will happen with this droid. Nothing to see here.] The tide is turned against them, however, and Revel's company is forced into a retreat and then ambushed. In the resulting battle, Kerria is either killed or captured (which would be worse) and all of the troops are lost. Revel momentarily loses his self-control and slaughters a squad of Sith troopers in a rage before withdrawing, eventually making it back to his base.

Behind enemy lines, Allen and Derek have several close calls [Another part of the story I never bothered to develop.] until Thule, where they are somehow detected and ambushed; Allen narrowly escapes, while Derek is stranded on the surface. Seeing no other choice, he decides to try and infiltrate the Sith Academy there by posing as a disgruntled Jedi Knight (it will be established well before this point that he is skilled at masking his thoughts and Force alignment), his ultimate goal being to find out one of the key secrets of the Sith Empire (such as where its massive fleet came from, or information on the rumored Jedi conversion facilities in the Unknown Regions [As in, the places where people like Atton Rand would "work on" Jedi prisoners.]). His bluff works after he kills the gate guard (and takes said guard's Sith lightsaber), but he is immediately recognized as a Jedi war hero by Master Set, a visiting instructor from Korriban, as well as by Headmaster Drevveka Hoctu, who was once the Jedi Master of both Derek and Revel. [Hoctu is a canon character, having only a few details about her revealed in some sourcebooks or something. There's like six secondary villains in this story, and no final confrontation with the main one.] She wants to resume training of Derek (though she already has a student), but Set quickly manipulates Derek into a duel with Hoctu's current apprentice, Krennel, which results in the latter Sith being maimed. [If I remember correctly, Krennel was little more than an archetypal bully/asshole minor antagonist. He was to be a Chistori (same species as Desann) and use a saberstaff.] Master Set then uses the duel's results as an excuse to take him to Korriban. This enrages Hoctu, but Set gets away with it because he's under Darth Voren's protection. Hoctu eventually decides to leave the academy and seek out Revel.

On Korriban, Derek spends some time training in the Sith academy. His fellow students and superiors alike view him with much doubt, but are elated at the possibility of genuinely converting a Jedi Knight as powerful as him. When not training and studying, he tries to keep to himself as much as he can, for fear of giving away his insincerity. He learns a few Sith powers and techniques and can put up a decent facade for the time being. Before long, though, Set decides to induct him into his personal class of Sith, which is essentially one reserved for especially powerful and experienced students who do more "on the road" training. Also, with the war escalating further, Darth Revan has ordered that all Sith academies contribute their best students to reinforce the front lines, which results in Set and his class being transferred to the Obsidian, the Dark Lady's flagship.

^^^Above events concerning the timing of Derek's arrivals at Thule, Korriban, and the Obsidian are to be re-examined. [Yeah, not a bad idea. As I reread this outline years later, I get the impression that I was really interested in getting Korriban into the story without really being able to properly justify it. After all, the need for a Sith academy is already fulfilled by having Thule. Among other nebulous things, I think I wanted to be able to work in cameos by Jorak Uln and Uthar Wynn.]

Back at Toprawa, Revel has been assigned to a different army and now fights under the command of Grand Master Sunrider. It is soon discovered that Darth Malak himself is leading the Sith insurgents on the planet. Unknown to them, his objective is to stall the Republic advance and bait them into diverting more forces there to catch him. He is also secretly being fed information by the HK-49 droid, who is a mole sent by the Sith to identify Jedi in the advancing Republic fleet. [Big, unexpected twist there, am I right?] Revan sent it to find Bastila Shan in particular.

A bunch of stuff happens, and the droid ends up at a small Republic outpost where Revel and a small group of soldiers are guarding Bastila, who just got wounded and is comatose in the medbay. Malak orders the HK droid to kill Revel, capture Bastila, and haul arse. Most of the soldiers are killed, but Revel survives destroys the droid, [I had a kickass boss battle in mind here. It was going to end with the droid shooting these mini-rockets at Revel, but he telekinetically catches them, turns them around, and blows it the hell up.] and then joins the last assault on Toprawa. Perhaps nursing a secret death wish from his recent experiences, he briefly duels Malak himself, but is beaten by the Sith Lord before being saved by Grand Master Sunrider. [This, too, was a fight scene that I had played out in my head to a considerable amount of detail. I had this bit where Malak disarms Revel, then beats the shit out of him with his bare hands.] After a short duel with Sunrider, Malak escapes with half of his Dark Jedi.

^^^Above events need to be modified. Recall that Drevveka Hoctu is after Revel. So I figure she goes to Malak asking for help with finding him; Malak points her in Revel's direction but ends up ordering the HK unit to kill him anyway because Malak's an asshole.

Back aboard the Obsidian, Derek is continuing to train as a Sith acolyte. He is growing in power and starting to wrestle with the dark side's influence, and his highly solitary nature is earning the suspicion of his peers and superiors. Set pulls him aside during a stroll on the ship and tells him that despite his power, neither he nor his masters (Revan and Voren) are convinced that he is truly dedicated to the Sith cause, and will call upon him to prove it soon. The conversation is interrupted by a disturbance in a detention area, where a Jedi makes an escape attempt. [Mighty inconvenient that it just so happens to coincide with their conversation.] The Jedi turns out to be none other than Kerria, who kills several Sith before being subdued by Set. Set is pissed off at Derek for not trying to stop her. Darth Revan then enters the scene with a group of Sith students in tow and orders Derek to prove his loyalty once and for all. [I also wrote somewhere that she bitch-slaps Set with Force lightning as she enters. Mostly just cuz she can.] Derek's options are to either murder one of his best friends, or refuse and die with her, making his infiltration of the Sith for nothing. Despite his horror, he chooses the former. This appears to satisfy Revan, and she and the spectators leave.

Meanwhile with the Republic fleet, Revel is freaking out over his shitty time on Toprawa: he lost Kerria and an entire company of soldiers, he used the dark side, and he may have been trying to get himself killed by Malak. He is nearly driven over the edge when Allen [Remember that guy?] brings word that Derek and the rest of the team [Wait, what team..?] appears to have been lost, and takes to spending nearly all of his free time training. When symptoms resembling PTSD start to appear, he finds Bastila and spills his guts about what he's done. He is afraid that a Jedi Master would send him back to Coruscant. Aside from that, he finds Bastila more relatable than anyone else around, since she also has to be responsible for a lot of power for her age. At his urging, Bastila agrees to keep his secret, keep an eye on him, and help him to stay on solid ground.

Section C: Part II

Tell me what you regard as your greatest strength, so I will know how best to undermine you; tell me of your greatest fear, so I will know what I must force you to face; tell me what you cherish most, so I will know what to take from you; and tell me what you crave, so that I might deny you.
—Darth Plagueis, Dark Lord of the Sith

Derek is faring no better than his brother. Murdering Kerria earned him the respect of most of the other Sith students, and he is now celebrated as a true convert by many. He is now even more withdrawn and vows that he will avenge his friend's death (having secretly taken her lightsaber). Meanwhile, Darth Revan discusses recent events with Darth Voren and tells him that Derek is still not truly devoted to the Sith, and likely never will be. [Revan is supposed to basically be the equivalent of Palpatine in this part of history. More powerful and devious than anyone else, but also more perceptive - a lot of Force Farsight in her spare time. And like Palpatine (not to mention Kreia) she's a consummate liar, which allows her to see right through Derek.] Despite this, she forbids Voren from moving against Derek and orders only that he and Set stay with and keep an eye on the Jedi. With the war escalating, she also decides to have the Dark Jedi she called for dispersed throughout the fleet; Derek, Set, and Voren are transferred to the Fury, a vessel in Malak's fleet. After discussing a way to strike back at the Republic (and also confirm the loyalty of one Admiral Saul Karath), Revan dispatches Malak to Telos. [So in my headcanon, Revan's ultimately responsible for Telos' destruction, not Malak. And I think this is told somewhere in the cut content of TSL.]

Revel is assigned to a small Republic flotilla and sent to Telos to await the arrival of a transport of Jedi Knights from Dantooine. Not long after his arrival, the advance Sith attack catches the planet off-guard, crippling a large portion of docked capital ships and including the defending fleet's flagship. Revel is left to coordinate the defense himself, [Because he's one of the main characters.] reinforced by a small group of ships stationed nearby. Though they manage to cripple the Fury, Revel's forces are soon overwhelmed and forced to retreat, and Telos' surface is devastated by a savage bombardment.

Meanwhile, as the crew of the Fury begins to evacuate, Derek goes postal, being unable to keep up his facade while Telos is destroyed. He suits up kills his way through the ship's corridors toward one of the hangars. Darth Voren is informed of his rampage and moves to cut him off, but is blocked by some convenient hull breaches and ends up taking an escape pod. As he does so, he phones Master Set and tells him to deal with Derek, or else. They fight, but Derek steals a shuttle and escapes the system. After reaching safety, he contacts Allen and begs him to give some information that will point him in the right direction (though out of shame, he does not say that he has infiltrated the Sith, only that he is working alone and without supervision). Allen tries to convince Derek to return to the fleet, but Derek refuses, so he tells him that the Republic is preparing for an all-out assault on Ord Radama at any day - Revan and Voren are both there. If he's crazy enough, he could break into the Naval Headquarters there and find some critical information if the Sith don't wipe the databanks first. [See what I mean about Allen being nothing but a living plot device?]

At Ord Radama, Darth Revan is expecting an attack and bolstering the planet's defenses, as well as sending Interdictor flotillas to delay the Republic's gathering forces. One such party intercepts Revel and Bastila over the planet Antared III, and they end up being forced to land on the surface near a Sith military base.

Set arrives at Ord Radama soon after to report his failure to kill Derek. Voren nearly strangles him to death, but is restrained by Revan.

Despite Darth Revan's best efforts, she is not quite prepared for the attack. Admiral Cede feared the worst when Bastila failed to report in, and at Grand Master Sunrider's urging, launched the attack three full days ahead of schedule. The battle is vicious, and while the Sith headquarters are badly damaged, both sides' fleets are nearly destroyed and withdraw, except for a few capital ships which prowl the system waiting for reinforcements. Derek is able to land on the planet after the battle and infiltrates the Sith base, where he runs into Revan and Voren, who appear to have stayed behind to ensure that the facility's archives are erased. Derek duels Voren, who outmatches and defeats the younger Jedi, but Darth Revan orders that he be spared, claiming that she has just seen a vision of his future and knows that he will no longer pose a threat to the Sith. Though he thinks Revan a fool to leave Derek alive, Voren obeys and the two depart. [Yeah... This was a bit contrived as well. Though it would've made for a great boss battle. I think the general idea of it was that Derek tries to beat Voren using the dark side (Sith lightsaber training, Force lightning, etc), but since he's not really a Sith, he can't win that way.]

^^^Above events regarding Bastila and Revel are to be altered, as it seems contrived and evidently does not cause anything useful to happen with the plot or character development. [Yeah, I'll say. It's literally just an excuse for Revel and Bastila to have something to do in the story. Why didn't I just have Bastila be at Ord Radama, so it'd be her Battle Meditation that wins the battle?]

At Antared III, Revel and Bastila's ship is attacked and destroyed by Sith scouts, forcing them to fight into the base and escape with a shuttle there; the orbiting Sith warship levels the base just after they take off. A sizable Republic fleet then enters the system in search of Bastila, and they are able to leave. Revel is elated to hear from Allen that his brother is alive. [You know, I almost can't decide whether I spent way too much time writing this outline, or not enough.]

Back on Ord Radama, Derek checks the Sith base's files for anything useful, just in case Darth Revan missed anything. To his surprise, he finds two things of interest: an image of a massive unidentified space station, and a list of five planets with mysterious surface coordinates for each (Dantooine, Tatooine, Kashyyyk, Manaan, and Korriban). He knows that according to all sense this is almost certainly a trap of Revan's, but this is his only lead, so he's gonna follow it (after all, traps work both ways).

Meanwhile with the Republic fleet, Revel's relief is shattered by resurging PTSD (can't eat, sleep, or meditate), as well as new Force visions in which he sees the wreckage of the Fury at Telos and an inescapable feeling that his brother is in severe danger (and during the battle there, he was in fact a bit suspicious that Derek might have been present). [One thing recurring in the story would be implications that since Revel and Derek are both falling the dark side, they're starting to lose control over the powers that they had mastered as Jedi. For instance, they have blind spots in their Force Sense, which among other things prevented them from fully recognizing each other at Telos.] Revel ultimately steals a shuttle and departs in search of Derek. He also leaves behind a message for Bastila in which he thanks her for her help and says he wanted to asked her to go with him, but the Republic fleet needs her and her place is there.

Section D: Part III

There be dragons...
—Jaden Korr, Jedi Knight

Derek himself returns to Korriban, the closest of the planets on the list, and finds that the coordinates bring him to the Tomb of Naga Sadow in the Valley of the Dark Lords. Managing to remain undetected, he makes it to the end and finds an ancient Star Map, [Oh, right. Now I remember why Korriban was in here earlier.] which in addition to highlighting the other planets on the list provides a portion of a set of galactic coordinates. From this information Derek theorizes that the other Star Maps will help him find the rest of the coordinates, and lacking a datapad, memorizes them. [This is super-contrived - because if I was gonna keep this thing where Derek starts to go find the Star Maps, I had to find some way to make it absolutely air-tight certain that the information he gathers can never possibly make it back to the Republic or Jedi. At the very least, couldn't he just write the numbers on the floor of his shuttlecraft with his lightsaber?] Before finding the others, however, he decides that it would be best to send what he has back to the Republic, and heads to the planet of Arda Prime, which he knows houses several recently-abandoned relay stations. While the hyperroute there is complex and will take some time, trying to get back to the Republic fleet would run the risk of being caught by a Sith interdictor (of which he knows there are many in the area), and he doesn't want to chance it. [I always hated having to figure out why characters go where they go, and how, given they're in a science fictional universe - faster-than-light travel, navigational routes, and all that stuff that wasn't clearly thought out and explained but we're supposed to pretend they were.]

At the Telos system, Revel boards the crippled hulk of the Fury and travels to the Sith acolytes' quarters, occasionally having to dispatch still-active security droids in the corridors (though his carelessness leads to his lightsaber being destroyed [Whoops.]). He eventually comes to Derek's chambers, though he doesn't know they belonged to Derek, where he finds Kerria's corpse, stored in some kinda preservation tube. [The idea was that medbay had some of these lying around, and since Derek was a Sith acolyte they wouldn't question him if he asks to use one.] which unknown to him Derek had ordered preserved so that he could give her a proper burial later. Disturbed and enraged, Revel extensively searches the rest of the chambers, finding only a Sith lightsaber (Derek's one, which he left behind), which he takes. Using Psychometry on it, [The Force power where you touch an object and can get a vision of where it's been and who's used it. From the beginning of the story it was going to be established that this is something Revel had a knack for from his early training. But since he's been corrupted, his use of the power is corrupted, so it fails to tell him that Derek is the one to whom this lightsaber last belonged.] he discovers that it is the weapon that killed Kerria, and he is shown a vision of a place he recognizes: Arda Prime. The Fury is then boarded by a group of Sith assassins, whom Revel finds are led by Drevveka Hoctu. They duel, and though Revel's anger grows when Hoctu tells him that Derek is alive (but refuses to say where he is), he resists her efforts to convert him and defeats her. He spitefully explains that she isn't worth killing, and that he wants her to limp back to her academy on Thule, wounded and empty-handed, to wait for the Jedi and Republic to come and destroy it. Revel then leaves.

While Derek and Revel simultaneously head for the Arda system, [Because I HAVE TO GET THEM IN THE SAME ROOM TOGETHER SOMEHOW, DAMMIT!] the Republic fleet has regrouped and prepares for another assault. A Sith mole has revealed that Revan, Malak, and Voren are gathering a fleet in the Ziost system in preparation for a counter-offensive, and the entire remaining armada moves in to take the three of them down in one swoop. Unfortunately it was a set-up, and the Republic is caught off-guard. Despite Bastila's Battle Meditation, Revan has an astonishingly large fleet of warships in reserve, and the sheer numbers overwhelm and devastate the Republic forces, though most of their leaders including Cede, Sunrider, and Bastila are able to escape. [Plainly this whole fleet battle royale thing was an afterthought of mine.]

On Arda Prime, Revel senses Derek arriving at one of the abandoned relay stations and follows him there. The two finally meet, and Derek is left scrambling to explain himself and his actions. Revel senses the dark side within his brother (though ignores it in himself), and is extremely skeptical of Derek's claims of having stumbled upon something big. Thinking that his brother is at best extremely deluded and at worst fully corrupted and seeking to deceive him, Revel intends to capture Derek and turn him over to the Jedi Council. Derek resists, confessing his weaknesses, sacrifices, and crimes, and insists that he cannot allow anything to stop him from finishing his quest, or else all of it will be in vain. Neither one will budge.

Derek finally pulls a lightsaber, which Revel recognizes as Kerria's, and Derek admits that he is the one who killed her. He's quick to note that he had no choice and that he hates himself for it, but this doesn't really do much to smooth things over, and sure enough they duel. By this point it should be clear that both have descended into the dark side, though in different ways. Derek, while initially unwilling, eventually decides that if he could kill one friend in the name of stopping the Sith, he can kill even his own brother and accept the consequences when his mission is completed. However, Revel's fury, less clouded by doubt, is stronger than Derek's, and he strikes his brother down. Immediately realizing what he has done, he then declares himself to be no more worthy of being a Jedi than Derek was. Worse, he realizes that though he was too blind to see it, there is a chance that Derek was being truthful about having found a key to defeating the Sith, but now it's too late. (Revision after revision, I know, but I think this is a better way: have Revel be in control of himself until the end. Don't have him be, "You're a traitor and I'm gonna fucking kill you," but more like, "You're a monster and I'm not letting you go free." He surprises himself when he kills Derek.) [Yes, that would've been a much better way of doing it.]

Revel briefly wrestles with himself, trying to decide what to do. He quickly rules killing himself, and he's not going to join the Sith just because he's fallen to the dark side. He considers returning to the Jedi Order, briefly holding out hope that if Derek could seek redemption, so could he. But then he reasons that Derek had something to show for his evil acts, but he does not. Worst of all, he can't bear the thought of admitting his failure to the rest of the Order, most importantly Bastila, whom he fears would blame herself if she ever finds out what he has done. In the end, Revel vows to live out his remaining years in exile on Arda Prime.

The Republic [Yeah, remember them?] is still reeling from the aftermath of the campaign. While many Sith battle fleets were defeated and the loss of Ord Radama greatly destabilized the Empire's operations in the Outer Rim, the Republic losses were immense, and much of the territory gained in the campaign is likely to be taken back by the much larger Sith armada.

After the battle's end, a defeated Drevveka Hoctu returns to the Thule system, where she is summoned (presumably by Darth Revan) to Sivvi, the planet's moon, to a Sith shrine there. The summoner turns out to be Darth Voren, who reveals that her sudden absence has thrown the Sith Academy into a frenzy of infighting that he had to use military force to suppress (Krennel, having very stupidly been left in charge, is dead). Confident that no one else will know that Hoctu returned from her journey, Voren kills her for her failure. [Force Crush, baby.]

Meanwhile at Korriban, Set is summoned by Darth Revan to the Valley of the Dark Lords. She informs him that the Force has told her in a vision that both Derek and Revel are dead, and she is certain that they will not concern the Empire any longer (citing the possibility of the vision being symbolic). They then have a discussion about why she saved Set from Darth Voren, and what sort of Sith Lords will be needed to guide the Empire into a future golden age.

On Coruscant, Bastila is disheartened by the disappearance of Revel and apparent loss of Derek, but vows to remember them and remain ever vigilant. [I guess this was supposed to be character development for her. She looks back on Revel as a sad example of what happens when a Jedi fails to live up to his duty, which pushes her further toward being the arrogant perfectionist we see her as in KotOR.]

Later, Darth Malak is visited aboard the Leviathan by Darth Voren, who expresses concern about Darth Revan's mental fitness to lead the Empire. He recounts the events that transpired regarding Derek Sienan, and how Revan spared the Jedi infiltrator's life multiple times for seemingly no good reason. Cryptically alluding to the time in the future when they all will eventually have to deal with "Revan's Master", [Vitiate, obviously, though he wasn't canon yet back when this was written.] Voren suggests to Malak that it might be in the best interests of them both to engineer a change in leadership - "The strongest must rule if we are to survive." Malak realizes that his comrade has a point, but does not compromise, declaring that if he will cast Revan from her throne, then he will neither need nor ask for Voren's help.

Extract 4: Outline, Starkiller.txt &c

That which follows is the notes, ideas, and outline, mostly unedited and with some present-day comments, of the alternate timeline story mentioned in Essay IX. -MPK, Free Man 21:49, September 4, 2016 (UTC)

Section A: Brainstorming and World-Building

Thenorthernman's idea of an alternate timeline, except not sucking. [I'm a "say it loud and proud" kinda guy.]

World-Building: The Neo-Confederacy

There ought to be something for the Empire to fight. Rather than an anachronistic Rebel Alliance, say that there was a relatively high-ranking member of the Imperial Navy who had served in the Clone Wars but harbored a growing sympathy for the Confederacy of Independent Systems. Over time this Admiral began seeking out and gathering like-minded people from the Imperial Navy and surviving Separatists, secretly making preparations to build a fleet.

Say therefore that in the "Normal" timeline, this traitorous Admiral and his co-conspirators were discovered and killed by Darth Vader barely a week after the Declaration of the Rebellion. However, since in this timeline Vader is dead, the Admiral and his lackies were able to break away from the Empire, taking the majority of the Empire's remaining confiscated Separatist war materiel along with some of their own Imperial ships (crewed either by defectors or untrained recruits). Altogether they possess a fleet and army (of both droids and organics) significantly stronger than the canon Rebellion's, but are still too weak to confront the Empire directly.

  • Also, being less good guys than the canon Rebellion, these Neo-Confederates are far less hesitant to utilize outright terrorism to fight the Empire, and will pirate non-Imperials for supplies and materials.
  • Neo-Confederates are divided on the topic of accepting help from surviving Jedi. The more hardcore leaders and veterans would probably hate them, but the newcomers, grunts, and ones who simply hate the Empire probably wouldn't, however.
  • The Leader: It is Moff Kalast, who held that post since the last year of the Clone Wars. He was a wealthy and respected man with a large extended family, but he had a cousin who with his (the cousin's) family joined the Confederacy and tried to convince him to go with them. He refused and they all ended up being killed, but he was secretly tormented by the affair and grew to regret staying with the Republic. He began to resent the Empire and delved into writings about the philosophies of the Confederacy and, agreeing that even the reformation into the Empire could not fix the Republic, used his connections to gather captured Confederate war materiel and several like-minded powerful people to stage his breakaway with. [Kalast was an EU character who appeared in Empire at War. He defected to the Rebel Alliance, got killed, and th-th-that's all, folks! So I took him and slapped together a fast-and-loose backstory for him as the leader of this Neo-Confederacy.]
  • Admiral Harkov: Desensitized by a long life in the naval tradition without many challenges, Harkov grew bored, and then simply corrupt, selling arms and equipment to underworld organizations. The Neo-Confederacy quickly became his biggest customer, and when he became afraid that his treachery would be discovered, he agreed to overtly defect. [One of the characters from the old flight simulation Star Wars: TIE Fighter, which I'm unashamedly a freakish fanboy of. That game easily defined Star Wars for me as a kid just as much as the movies did.]
  • Grand Admiral Demetrius Zaarin: Becoming power-hungry from his life as a successful Grand Admiral, he assembles a personal armada of advanced warships crewed by experienced officers, and tries to pull a fast one on Palpatine much like in TIE Fighter. When it doesn't work and keeps running into setbacks, he turns to an alliance with the Neo-Confederacy. The rebels know that he isn't trustworthy, but they agree because their combined strength would easily double their total military power. From then, it turns into a game of shadow chess between Zaarin and the Confederate leadership, because both are planning to betray and wipe the other out, but they're not sure how or when. [Really, though, I'm not sure I thought this out entirely. I'm not sure you can really justify the Confederacy being resurrected twenty years after its death by a couple of ex-Imperials. Where are the Geonosians, Neimoidians, and the other groups who actually had something to do with the old government? I never figured that out.]

World-Building: The Normals

We need at least two characters to serve as recurring, sympathetic people on the side of the Neo-Confederacy. Maybe add more people to the band later, but two would probably be a good number to start with.

Brainstorming: People to Use?
  • Col Serra: Canonically some bullshit Han Solo-type stock character with an eyepatch. He almost definitely has no backstory, however, and just enough intrigue in him that he might be a good candidate.
  • Cecil Noone: Leader of a small band of criminals. The son of two members of some paramilitary Jedi-replacement organization from the Clone Wars.
  • Jez (Human): A dude from Alderaan. Canonically became a criminal to survive after the planet's destruction.
  • Nas Ghent: Former Confederate ace pilot who became a smuggler after the war's end. Canonically was recruited into the Empire's Black Eight Squadron a year after the Battle of Yavin.
  • Turland Hack: I really want to use this guy at some point, just so I can have a regular character called "Hack". Canonically he was a guy who tried to become a Rebel pilot, but didn't cut it and became a mission control guy before getting blown up in a botched Rebel Assault. In other words, no backstory, so it'll be easy.

We're gonna go with Col and Hack.

Brainstorming: Who Are These People?

Mere backstory ideas. We'll see what sticks.

Col Serra

  • Born on Anaxes, a rich core world with a history of naval prestige. At the urging of his pro-Empire family, Col enrolled in the Imperial Naval Academy there. Despite graduating and becoming a competent TIE Bomber pilot, he eventually grew tired of his structured, disciplined life. His disillusionment was cemented when, during an attack on a rebel/terrorist facility, a fellow pilot performed a ridiculous bombing maneuver that wiped out most of the enemy resistence plus several nearby civilian buildings; Col was shocked when the pilot received commendations for decisively ending the engagement.
    • Col deserted afterward to become a smuggler.
  • "Working for the Confeds pays the bills and keeps things from getting too boring. Besides, they're not as bad as the Empire."
  • After they get properly acquainted, Col gives a blaster pistol to Luke, "in case [that Force thing] stops working for ya."

Turland Hack

  • Born somewhere in the Outer Rim. Used to somewhat passively approve of the Empire seeing as it's a government and whatnot. Wanted to also become a pilot, but didn't do too well and dropped out of flight school after several friends of his were arrested unjustly (or so he figured). Fearing that he would be next, he fled.
  • "I sure am glad someone's trying to topple the Empire. They deserve our help."

[In retrospect, this is really one of the only good parts of my brainstorming, because it involved actually rubbing a few brain cells together. I wanted to come up with a few ordinary people as supporting characters, and for some reason I made up my mind that they'd be obscure EU characters who I would take and expand and alter as I saw fit. I knew almost immediately that one of them would be Hack, because Star Wars: Rebel Assault was another childhood-shaping video game of mine. In the game, Hack gets killed early on Tatooine when his base gets blown up by TIE Fighters. In an homage to that, I wanted to kill him off in book five or something by having him be part of a commando team sent into some Imperial transmitting station, only for it to be blown to bits by a TIE Bomber.]

World-Building: Other Stuff

  • The Vor'Na'Tu is an ancient Jedi holocron dating back to the time of the First Great Schism. Passed through several dozen generations of Jedi Masters before being lost, it contains extensive studies on the mechanics of Force bonds, knowledge of certain obscure powers (such as kinetite), and limited information on spirit transference. [The Vor'Na'Tu was to be a persistent MacGuffin in this series. It served much the same purpose in the Rebel campaign of Galactic Battlegrounds - yet another old game that I fondly remembered and wanted to include nods to.]

Section B: Incomplete Outlines and Such

(I) The Rise of Starkiller


Picks up after TFU's dark ending, and somewhat like Luceno's "Rise of Darth Vader" book, will give focus to Starkiller's first trials as Palpatine's apprentice - and thus his character development and set the stage for later events of the saga. Thus, there will be these principal character arcs set up:

  1. Starkiller's journey from the subservient apprentice to the beginning of self-reliance, rejection of his past friendships and allegiances, and acceptance of his Sith destiny.
  2. The development of Col and Hack's relationship from strictly irritating business-as-usual to a partnership in which they can begin to trust and rely on each other.
  3. Echuu Shen-Jon's flight from the Empire with the Vor'Na'Tu after Starkiller discovers him eventually convinces him that, no matter his past decisions and mistakes, he is still a Jedi and therefore must accept that fact until his last breath.
  4. The Dark Jedi (really need a name for her) doesn't really need to have any character development. [Says freaking who?] As the main antagonist, she's an evil, unfettered scoundrel with no loyalty to anything except her desire to become a Sith Lord.

[ . . . ]

  • Perhaps we could have something about the so-called Fresian campaign, where in the canon four X-wing prototypes were stolen from the Empire. Have the Confederates try to get ahold of them, and Starkiller stops or almost stops them?
  • In one of the "Star Wars: Empire" comics there was an unnamed "Dargulli Dark Jedi" who was killing stormtroopers on that planet in order to attract Vader, wanting him to take her as an apprentice. We could potentially build up this person as a much more cunning and long-lived antagonist for the book. She wants to kill Starkiller and thereby convince Palpatine to take her as a Sith apprentice. [Yeah, I had a thing at this time for starting with obscure EU characters and finding stuff to do with them. And I figured that, if written right, she'd make a decent antagonist for us: a villain who we won't mind seeing killed by Starkiller at the end.]
  • Starkiller is simply not as good a leader as Vader, having no military or leadership experience. As such, his approval rating should be significantly lower, especially at first.
  • Two interesting possibilities: One, there is a three-sided game of cat-and-mouse between Starkiller, Echuu, and the Dark Jedi, or Two, Echuu and the Dark Jedi end up in an uneasy alliance. Maybe both, one after the other?
  • To serve as non-Jedi recurring good guys through the saga, we will have Col Serra and Turland Hack, a pair of agents who work for the Neo-Confederacy on Krant. Starkiller and Imperial troops show up looking for the Confederate base and the Jedi, and they barely escape notice as the stormtroopers sweep one of the native settlements.
  • How about we show a Star Destroyer as it defects to the Neo-Confederacy? The captain sneaks a buncha battle droids on board and they wipe out the crewmembers who won't defect.
  • I see it ending with a Confederate assault on an Imperial base which wipes out both armies, and Starkiller facing off with the Dark Jedi among the wreckage. Despite the loss of his remaining organic hand, Starkiller finally decides to completely accept his new life as a Sith Lord and kills the Dark Jedi via Force crush.
    • Building off of that last statement, one of the main plot arcs of this story ought to be Starkiller's acceptance of his predicament. For most of it he still thinks of himself as "the apprentice", a shackled hound, but at the end he embraces his name of "Starkiller" and resolves to adapt to his circumstances, like Vader once did.
    • It's sort of a victory for both sides. Starkiller has actually accomplished something, Echuu, Col, and Hack have escaped, and the Confederacy begins the Galactic Civil War.
An Actual Linear Recounting of [Part of] the Plot

+The prologue follows none other than Darth Sidious himself an unspecified number of years in the past, likely during his apprenticeship to Darth Plagueis. On one of his assignments or personal voyages into unknown space, the Sith Lord happens across a small settlement on an unknown planet that is home to a very small sect of Force users. Sidious, unaware that he is being followed by a curious young girl, concludes his business there before being attacked by several of the Force sages. Sidious uses his Sith powers to easily slay the attackers, which in the process unexpectedly jogs the Force-sensitivity of the girl, who is terrified but also captivated by the sight of the skirmish. It is then that Sidious notices her, but as she poses no threat and is of no importance, he allows her to escape. (Umaren'k?) [This is one of the bits that I still do like.]

The proper story begins with Col and Hack near a hidden Confederate base on Krant, doing something. The scene needs to allude to stuff that has changed in the timeline, including the existence of the Neo-Confederacy and some of the things they "might" be doing later. Col and Hack also should stumble across Echuu who is surveying the Jedi ruins there, beginning his involvement with the coming war.

Four weeks after Starkiller is rebuilt, he is sent to Krant to investigate reports from the local governor, Moff Yittreas, that suggest activity of a previously unknown resistance movement operating on the planet. To motivate the apprentice, Palpatine also mentions that during the Clone Wars, the Jedi Master Echuu Shen-Jon was last seen on Krant, and sends Starkiller off.

Starkiller eventually finds that there are several secret outposts on the planet, controlled by some kind of Confederate loyalist group, possibly a large and dangerous one. After Ghost Base is destroyed by Starkiller and Yittreas' forces (a battle which Col and Hack barely manage to escape), he comes across the ruins of a Jedi Temple permeated by dark side energy. There he finds Echuu Shen-Jon, who has been searching for a Jedi holocron called the Vor'Na'Tu. The two do battle, but due to Starkiller's lack of adjustment to his suit, the Jedi Master is able to escape with the holocron.

Later, Starkiller finds himself at Fresia on what is essentially a glorified guard duty; there, four prototype X-wings and the schematics to the proper ship are being held in a secure facility. (Starkiller figures that the assignment is punishment for failing to kill Echuu or secure the holocron, though Palpatine assures him that the Jedi are of little concern, and he has other operatives who will find Shen-Jon) The facility is soon attacked by Neo-Confederates, and though the Imperials fight them off with Starkiller's help, the attack is used as a diversion by the aforementioned Dark Jedi from Dargulli, who sneaks inside the facility and makes off with the plans.

[The outline of the first book ends there. As mentioned above, the book would've ended with a battle on Turkana and the Dark Jedi's death at Starkiller's hands.]

(II) Jedi Shard

Begins at the same time as The Force Unleashed 2, with Vader's place being taken by Starkiller, and the clones of Starkiller by clones of Anakin Skywalker himself. Starkiller runs into some of the same problems as the cloners did in the canon, culminating in the escape of a rogue clone of Skywalker. [In my own defense, remember that I specifically set out to do what Thenorthernman did, but to do it "right". In retrospect, keeping the whole clone business was my biggest mistake here.

  • Ultimately, this story is more the personal story of Anakin, as he struggles with his mental instability and find out what his destiny is, or if he even has one.
  • Col, Hack, and Echuu are present, but they will not get as much focus.

We also want to avoid the exact same stuff as canon, so [his] journey ought to take him to different places and people... but where? And who?

(Kota is dead, so there is no reason to go to Cato Nemodia. Where can he go instead, and why? Where can Anakin visit that isn't Dagobah? Korriban, perhaps.)

- What Went Down In the Canon: Kamino - Cato Nemodia - Dagobah - The Frigate 'Salvation' - Kamino - Maybe Instead: Kamino - Danuta - Tatooine - Confederate Warship? - Kamino

Kamino (beginning): Training, succeeds through rage. [I myself have succeeded at many things through rage.]

Danuta: First assignment: Kill Echuu Shen-Jon, who is on-world with a Neo-Confederate team trying to infiltrate the facility and steal the Death Star plans. [Yeah, that's a reference to Dark Forces too.] Anakin is mind-raped by false memories during the duel, and the wounded Echuu escapes. Anakin escapes the facility too (Confederate mission foiled). Anakin finds Col and Hack [And this section cuts off mid-sentence there.]

  • The Confederate side of the war needs to be given time as well, especially seeing as a similar thing was done in the actual novel for TFU 2. We can use Col and Hack for that, as well as (perhaps) Echuu Shen-Jon and the Confederate leadership. [The Confederate leadership which I totally never figured out at all.]

[ . . . ]

  • Likewise we ought to come up with a different way to begin Clone!Anakin's part of the story. If it's essentially the same as Clone!Starkiller's in the actual game, then there's no point in us actually seeing it. [Right now as I compile this I'm listening to "The End" by the band The Doors.]
    • Suppose his part of the story begins with the Kamino training sequence as planned, but it goes quicker and instead of completely freaking out, he manages to pass, and so is sent on a mission to kill Echuu Shen-Jon, who has been found on some planet other than Cato Nemodia.
      • Thusly Clone!Anakin's encounter with Echuu, which ends with the Jedi Master's escape, will somehow shake him and convince him to leave Starkiller's service, culminating in his visit to Tatooine. [I'm tired and it's the middle of the afternoon. And I'm drinking coffee, but it's not working. It's not freaking working. I just want to finish compiling this so that I won't have to do it later.]
  • We need some planet or other location that will replace the role of Cato Nemodia as something in Clone!Anakin's journey that will not have to do with a whole lot of revelation and introspection (we'll save that for later). At this place Anakin runs into Col and Hack and decides to help them escape from the Empire. Their interaction will be the first thing that leads toward the Confederacy's eventual attack on Kamino. [The killer awoke before dawn.]
  • Tatooine will be the "substitute" for Dagobah. Clone!Anakin, realizing that the planet was a significant place for the original Anakin, will go there and run into Obi-Wan Kenobi. At Kenobi's urging, he agrees to stay on Tatooine for a time to meditate and think his way through the current predicament. [He put his boots on.]
    • Clone!Anakin at first is hopeful that his unofficial training will benefit him until he goes to the ruins of the same tusken camp that was slaughtered by the original Anakin decades earlier. There, he has a disturbing Force vision, plus a fresh dose of unwanted memories. [HE WALKED AWN DOWN THE HALL, AN' HE...]
      • After that, he refuses to wait any longer and wants Obi-Wan to go with him so they can fight the Empire together. Kenobi insists that he can't leave Tatooine and when he is unable to explain why (he doesn't dare mention Luke and risk allowing his discovery), Anakin interprets it as cowardice and strikes out on his own. [This bit where Anakin's clone essentially shows up on Obi-Wan Kenobi's doorstep, asking to crash on his couch? Another bit I think had some potential.]
  • Clone!Anakin eventually is able to re-establish contact with Col and Hack, and through them is able to convince the Confederacy to attack Kamino (possibly by claiming to be the real Anakin Skywalker). [Who hasn't aged a day since the Clone Wars. Right?]
  • The "fate" which is suffered by every imperfect Anakin clone is to be thrown into some nigh-impenetrable dungeon far underneath the rest of the cloning facilities. There are a handful who escape their bonds and cells, but they are still trapped in the prison itself, and they eventually go mad. ["Pavlove" by Fall Out Boy.]
  • Using knowledge from the Vor'Na'Tu holocron, Starkiller has learned how to imbue Force-sensitive individuals with power and in the process create a Force bond between himself and them. He uses this to accelerate the training of each "current" clone apprentice and to increase the chances of obedience; he possesses a direct telepathic link to them similar to Palpatine's with his Emperor's Hands, and he can sometimes even see where they are through Farsight.
  • Two major side-effects are consistently frustrating Starkiller's efforts. First, the clones are for unknown reasons repeatedly tormented by fragmented memories of their template. Second, they all possess limited, imperfect bonds with each other, which causes them to have random visions of each other's experiences, detect emotional distress, and in some cases be affected when one of their number dies. The whole thing is extra-mind-screwy for them because they don't know about each other's existence. [This shit is all way too complicated. I was trying to make the original plot more intricate and shit here. And in case I haven't mentioned it before, I think that (story-wise, certainly) Force Unleashed 2 was a big mistake. At best, a step sideways. Starkiller's story finished on a strong note with the first one, and it was fine. If they were gonna make a sequel, it should have been one where you play as General Kota. Or Darth Vader. That would've been kickass, either one of those.]
    • Starkiller uses the whole dungeon thing because he wants the strongest to survive; some of the clones have remained stable for a time before succuming to madness, occasionally when one of their brethren died below. Starkiller doesn't entirely understand the mechanics of the clones' bonds, so he uses the dungeon to keep a stock of failed ones alive in order to study the problem (there's no limit on the number of clones he can make, after all). Setting them all against each other in a grand melee is also likely to weed out all but the strongest. ["Swim In Silence" by Paramore.]
      • Throughout the story there will be a number of little "snippet" scenes of Anakin doing things, training and such (and perhaps even on a mission on one occasion). The reader will likely assume them to be prior experiences of Clone!Anakin (and he himself will not be sure whether it's a memory that belongs to him or not). Some of them are of him, but no more than a third - another third will actually be experiences of Owen or the "dark apprentice", and the other third will be ambiguous (and even some of them will depict possible futures).
  • The story should be told in a few instances from the POV of Starkiller, who among a few other things will spend time using his psychic link with Clone!Anakin to try and convince the apprentice to return, to extract information from him, etc. His remaining bonds with the failed clones (which weaken somewhat over time as their minds degrade) sometimes exhausts him and forces him to enter deep meditations in order to recover.
  • The so-called "dark apprentice" likewise exists, and his training is begun when the first Clone!Anakin goes rogue. He, too, is tormented by the original Anakin's memories and by his connection to his brethren, though less so over time by the first. When the memories are entirely overcome, Starkiller is convinced that he is the perfect one, and tells the rogue clone via their link that his fate is sealed.
  • Will Starkiller hire anyone to go after the rogue clone? It can't be Boba Fett, and he might not know of any bait that he can use to draw Skywalker back to Kamino.
  • Will Palpatine have any influence in this story? Probably not directly, but it is conceivable that he has suspicions about this extra dark-sider who might be running around the galaxy unsupervised, and send some of his spies to investigate. Then again, we probably ought to save that for later. Have him perhaps appear communicating with Starkiller once, but no more.
  • One hint to the existence of the "dark apprentice" will be the mention that each successive clone is taught at least one power that none of the predecessors had. Owen's was Force persuasion, the rogue's was Sith lightning, and the final one's was Concealment. [You hear that? That is the sound of me flailing desperately trying to save this entire story idea from being redundant as shit.]
    • The dark apprentice was able to overcome the memories of his clone template, and they stopped showing up, but he still for some reason never lost those that he originally had. Most of them are memories of Anakin as Vader, including some from his earliest times in the suit. ["Shoplifter" by Green Day.]

Likely ending: As the Confederacy attacks, Clone!Anakin is able to infiltrate the cloning facility where Starkiller awaits. They duel briefly, during which Starkiller reveals the existence of the other clones before throwing Anakin into the dungeon with the others, telling all of them to fight, and the single survivor will be spared. Down there, Anakin meets the clone that immediately preceded him, thus making him the most mentally stable of them. And for our convenience, he named himself Owen (he suffers from the real Anakin's memories like the other clones, but in an attempt to retain his individuality, he chose the name of some random person from those memories and identifies himself as it). [Owen was another idea that had a kernel of potential. Or something. Shoplifter, you'll never learn...]

After explaining a bit about the dungeon, Anakin and Owen agree to try to escape together, and they fight through other failed clones. For good measure, Starkiller also sends a crapton of either stormtroopers or droids down there to clear the place out. Clone!Anakin doesn't know it, but the "dark apprentice" is fighting through the failed clones as well.

The melee becomes more and more brutal, and as the clones are killed off Clone!Anakin is driven half-mad with fury, lashing out at and nearly killing Owen before his ally snaps him out of it. After that, the two escape the dungeon and ascend the facility together.

Anakin and Owen go after Starkiller, but Owen, wounded and somewhat more mentally degraded, dies. Not sure how. Maybe he commits suicide, forces Clone!Anakin to kill him, or gets killed by Starkiller (possibly lets him or possibly not). ["American Pie" by Don McLean.]

Anakin finally confronts Starkiller on the roof, where they battle all-out. Starkiller is somewhat drained by the severing of his links with the final clones, and is defeated by the enraged clone. Perhaps shortly before this point the dark apprentice's existence is explicitly delivered to the reader in a cutaway segment; he has just killed the last clone besides himself and the rogue (and possibly Owen, depending on what I do there) and, only lightly trained, is almost completely exhausted from the entire ordeal. Despite the severing of the Force bonds, however, his mind is still intact, and he rushes to his master's aid.

Per the original version, Anakin is killed by the last clone, [Surprise! The asspull twist ending that this alternate universe fic based on another guy's alternate universe fic of the alternate ending of the video game HAPPENS ANYWAY HERE TOO! And it's better explained in this version - that makes it worth it, right?] ending Starkiller's search for an apprentice, and the Confederate assault is turned back. The hope remaining for the good guys is that the Confederacy itself is not defeated, Col and Hack are still alive, and the Jedi still live via Obi-Wan, Yoda, Echuu, and most importantly Luke. [Yeah, hooray.]

(III) Jedi Crucible

This one begins at the same part of the timeline as A New Hope. Seeing as the perfect Anakin clone has been introduced and Luke Skywalker himself has to be introduced early on here (or perhaps in the epilogue of II), I think a good sort of focus for this story would be their growth as apprentices, and how they are similar and different. [Again, I sort of think keeping the re-telling of TFU 2 strangled this AU fic idea. I had no idea what the Anakin clone would do in the plot until two or three books later.]

  • The Death Star construction is completed, and the Neo-Confederacy likely doesn't know that the superweapon exists. Alderaan has no reason to be destroyed by it.
  • I'm starting to imagine Anakin as an unfettered Sith who, with nothing in his life except his training, is very impulsive and overconfident, with a habit of quickly improvising in situations and doing random things even when it's a bad idea, but still escaping and/or eventually succeeding due to his power.
    • As the secret apprentice, he should arguably stay in the shadows during III, IV, and V. He's doing plenty of things to help Starkiller out, but pretty much always just manages to stay "offscreen" from the perspective of most of the good and bad guys.
  • Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi enter the story in earnest early on when Anakin is sent to Tatooine to retrace his predecessor's steps using Psychometry. He encounters and kills Luke's family, but before he can find Luke, the boy is rescued by Obi-Wan. [You both kicked off your shoes...]
    • Perhaps the story starts this way. Luke is standing in shock in the ruins of his home, the bodies of his aunt and uncle still smoking, when Kenobi appears from the desert.
  • Would it do for Maris Brood to have a cameo (offscreen or otherwise) here or later on in the series? [I always hated her.]
  • I want the role of the "droid sidekicks" to be filled - if not by 3PO and R2, then by a B1 battle droid. [What is this note doing in the middle of the outline?]
  • Since I'm a sucker for "TIE Fighter", I want to work Harkov and Zaarin into the story at some point, likely defectors who will boost the strength of the Neo-Confederacy. Zaarin will arguably just be in it for himself, however.
    • Introducing the two earlier on will really help boost the credibility of the Neo-Confederacy actally standing a chance against the Empire. As a bonus, we can make references to people within the Empire selling arms to the rebels early in the series, and then later reveal that it was them.
      • A good part of the plot should concern a serious concern in the Confederate leadership regarding Harkov and Zaarin: Few believe that either of them have defected for noble purposes and don't trust them, but even fewer want to turn down their help due to their valuable information and resources.
  • Luke's big "I'm a Jedi" moment should involve him taking an AT-AT down with the Force - probably not just straight-up pushing it over, but something that isn't the same as how he does it in ESB.
  • There absolutely has to be a serious fight between Luke and Starkiller. They must be the two big nemeses.
    • They fight, in a confrontation that's all built up and shit, and Starkiller wants Luke dead - he has his own apprentice, so Luke is of no use alive.
      • Luke's more of a badass here than in the movies due to the accelerated training, but Starkiller mentally disarms him by revealing that Darth Vader was his father (and that as his apprentice he knew Luke's father more than Luke himself), and cuts off his hand. Echuu arrives on the scene to get him rescued, though, and gets captured himself. [Yawn. Whatever.]

(IV) The Emperor's Will


After several major Confederate strongholds in the outlying regions are destroyed by the Death Star, the rebel leaders are on the run, and their fleets have scattered across the Outer Rim. Their fleets are large and pose a serious threat if directed toward the right targets; their main strategy is to destroy Imperial targets, salvage, and move on, as they don't possess the resources to capture and hold more than a handful of planets.

  • In light of the dire situation, Kenobi will accelerate Luke's Jedi training, but it is likely that he will be killed by Starkiller or his apprentice. Luke himself will end up going to Dagobah to find Yoda. [Because this is supposed to show what would have happened instead of ESB, right guys?]
  • Introduced to the story will (I think) be Jerec, who is tasked by the increasingly suspicious Emperor with investigating the apparent existence of a powerful independent Dark Jedi who is not accounted for. [Oh, come on. I know I have no shame about throwing in everything from all the classic Star Wars games I played as a kid, but I think even Jerec could see his appearance as gratuitously pushing it.]
  • The Battle of Hoth will be kept in for the coolness factor of a big "Empire vs Confederacy on Hoth" smackdown. Might or might not include snowspeeders. ["Message in a Bottle" by The Police.]
  • A boost to the rebel power is the huge joint defection of Zaarin and Harkov; with their help the Confederacy's industrial capacity is greatly increased, and they begin constructing several Subjugator-class heavy cruisers (because I say so). [Screw you, no I don't.]
  • Inevitably there must be an assault on the Death Star with fighters and such. Say the trench run goes as it does in the "AHN Infinities" comic, where the torpedoes detonate prematurely and while severely damaging the battle station's power systems (or something), it is still intact.
    • This can culminate in the Confederacy later launching an insanely large assault on the damaged behemoth as it repairs somewhere. Maybe there the Confederate fleet can get crushed for good.
  • Starkiller wants Luke dead, since he has an apprentice. But Palpatine, who needs to come back into the main story at some point, manages to capture Luke and pulls what he does in ROTJ, pitting him against Starkiller on the Death Star.
    • This event can coincide with the all-out Confederate attack on the battlestation, and the remaining Jedi good guys (consisting of Obi-Wan, maybe Echuu if he breaks out again, and one or two others from the list above) storming the Emperor's throne room succeeding in busting Luke out, but Obi-Wan and the ones other than Echuu are killed by the Emperor.

(V) The Sith Order

Set at RotJ time. Begin with Luke Skywalker who is aboard a Neo-Confederate warship when it is ambushed by the Empire. The crew is virtually wiped out by boarding parties, and Starkiller himself comes after Luke in a truly furious duel; though Luke does escape, we pause before that happens to flashback to what led to the attack occuring.

  • If Yoda's still alive, he needs to get offed by Starkiller and Anakin in this one (or maybe he just dies of old age as in the canon). [I hope that someone gets my- I hope that someone gets my- I hope that someone gets my-]
  • Starkiller is more like his first master than one might suspect. [MPK's story is more like Thenorthernman's than one might suspect.] His ultimate plan is to destroy the Emperor, but not with his apprentice. Instead, he wants to find the perfect clone and transfer his essence into him, taking over the body. Thus whole again and controlling the body of a Force user potentially even stronger than his old self, he wants to kill the Emperor alone.
    • This won't end up working, though. Anakin, frustrated and thinking he's being held back, impulsively leaves his master's side to go on a sort of retrospective/self-finding journey and decide what his own destiny is. While Starkiller is accelerating his plans in fear that the Emperor has found him out, Anakin discovers his treacherous master's plans and decides that he will not return to Starkiller's service.
  • Starkiller is viewed by the Empire as a violent, bloodthirsty hound of the Emperor (and while he knows battle, he doesn't know war like Vader did), and he soon fears that that reputation is unshakable. When Echuu Shen-Jon escapes his capture and destroys the Vor'Na'Tu, his plans to possess his apprentice are ruined, as it is the only actual repository of knowledge on spirit transferance that he has access to. He finally kills Echuu after the latter destroys the artifact, and promises that he will kill Skywalker next in revenge.
    • One way or another, Starkiller does fail at that (or give up, seeing as he doesn't really hate Luke like he does the Emperor). Deciding that he has nothing to lose, he moves to strike at the Emperor, and if he survives, will kill his apprentice as well.
  • To attack Palpatine, Starkiller ends up smuggling a bunch of Confederate battle droids and having them assault the Imperial Palace while he heads to the throne room to fight the Emperor mano a mano (it is possible that he has a death wish at this point). Anakin gets wind of this and heads to the palace himself and arrives on the scene just before or after Starkiller is beaten. He considers becoming the Emperor's Sith apprentice, but declares for himself that he is tired of being a servant. He believes that his destiny is to destroy the Emperor, and not even the promise of Starkiller's seat in the Empire is enough to change that.
  • After Palpatine is killed, The dying Starkiller trades words with Anakin. Seeing that all of his plans have come to nothing except the training of an apprentice, his final words are ones of contempt for the lonely path of a Sith and for his wasted life. Speaking of his fatal mistake on the Death Star, he declares that he ought to have died there.
    • Anakin retorts with equal hatred. He has recently discovered that Starkiller planned to possess his body and berates him for his vices. He realizes the reason why Starkiller has, despite having years to prepare, done nothing to ensure that they will actually be able to rule the Empire: all this time, he has only been concerned with avenging the injuries he has sustained and the destruction of what he once cared for, not furthering the Sith legacy. ("Foolishly you still cling to the life you once had.") [Foolishly you cling to the fan fic premise that you once thought was a good idea...]

(VI) Armageddon

  • I now think that the whole saga, or at least as far as it concerns the original big players, ought to lead up to a very "There Can Be Only One" sort of ending: with Anakin thus remaining as the sole Lord of the Sith, Luke must remain as the only Jedi who can kill him.
  • One of Anakin's plans will involve him impersonating the "good" clone who died in Jedi Shard. [ALLLLL ABOOOAARRRRD, HA HA HAA HAA HAHHHH!...]
    • I think his ultimate plan is to throw the galaxy into a dark age by, through assassination, manipulation, and sabotage, bringing about the destruction of the major Imperial factions and of the Neo-Confederacy, grinding every major political power in the galaxy down to the verge of annihilation. With the playing field thus level again, the Sith Order will build a new Empire from the ashes, one world at a time. ["Crazy Train" (cover) by Bullet For My Valentine].
  • If Anakin is going to be built up over the course of four books as the last major villain of the series, then he and Luke need a scene where they can simply talk, without fighting. [MILLIONS OF PEOPLE]
  • Mara Jade. Palpatine's dead, she's out for revenge. Have her be like Kell & the Umbarans in the Jaden Korr novels, i.e, a side-villain who *just* stays out of the sight of the main players till close to the end. [LIVIN' AS FO-OOEEESSS]
  • Anakin is able to begin building a power base for himself by consorting with a major galactic crime boss (either Prince Xizor or Tyber Zann) and essentially becoming the organization's right-hand man. This is how he is able to avoid working completely alone in his agendas.
  • Around or before the halfway point in the story, Luke and Anakin face off. Because Skywalker knows that the Sith Lord is too powerful to take in a straight-up fight, however, he beforehand arms himself with the power called Force Light, which he uses to badly weaken Anakin's connection to the dark side (almost to the point of severing it entirely).
    • Though he escapes, the Dark Lord is desperate and clearly enraged to the point that his judgement [I still can't always remember how to spell this word.] is being affected (for him, being cut from his power is an unmatched type of agony). He thus attempts to execute his plans more quickly, and makes several pilgrimages to dark side nexuses in attempts to regain his power. These trips only work slightly, but their effects combined with his slight mental instability make him still extremely dangerous.


Extract 5: Legends of the Jedi Worldbuilding.txt

Section A: The Jedi Councils

The Jedi Order does not have a single centralized authority, though the Council of Tython is the most respected one. Rather, the galaxy is divided into territories of jurisdiction with a Jedi Council presiding over said territory. Nearly all Jedi belong to one of these Councils and primarily serve the interests of said Council.

However, it took several thousand years for this system to develop. Beforehand, when the Jedi were very small in numbers, Tython was one of a small handful of Jedi training centers in the galaxy, and Jedi were wanderers who lived a variety of differing lifestyles, not often in contact with one another beyond other Jedi whom they traveled with. The Jedi Masters were looked up to and obeyed, but more out of respect than written authority.

Jedi enjoyed somewhat less freedom under the system of Councils; they were usually required to enlist for "tours of service", during which they were required to carry out a certain number of assignments for their Council, though they could refuse an assignment if they wished. Failure to serve to the Council's satisfaction could result in demotion or lesser disciplinary measures.

Even under the Councils, however, Jedi faced only a handful of restrictions (except in certain periods of history), such that many held jobs other than being a Jedi when they could. It wasn't until around the times of the First Great Schism and Hundred-Year Darkness that many Jedi Masters began pushing for a more centralized system of authority, in order to curb the alarming number of Jedi turning to the dark side with violent results.

Council Locations: Tython, Ossus, Caamas, Coruscant, Rhen Var, H'ratth, Alaris Prime

Section B: The Path of a Jedi

There were no age restrictions on potential Jedi recruits, though most Jedi Masters preferred young adults. People who suspected that they were Force-sensitive (or, in their own words, had peculiarly heightened senses or other such abilities) could ask a Jedi to test them for suitability for training.

Before the formation of the Councils, Jedi Masters could typically appoint an apprentice at will and supervise their training as they saw fit. After the Councils were established, lower-ranking Jedi Masters would sometimes have to receive clearance from a higher-ranking Master or from at least one member of whatever Council territory the would-be apprentice was located in. Additionally, Jedi Masters began drafting manuals and guidelines on the topic of training apprentices.

Jedi apprentices (not called Padawans until shortly before the Hundred-Year Darkness) travelled with and assisted their Masters on whatever assignments they undertook for some years. When the apprentice was deemed worthy, the Master would send him on either a special assignment or some type of trial; if passed, the Master would promote the apprentice to the rank of a Jedi Knight. After the formation of the Councils, the trial would have to be given by the appropriate Council, authorized by a Council member or senior Master, or allowed at the Master's discretion (depending on the Council). Before the multitude of Councils was established, a Knight seeking promotion would have to appeal to the head of a Jedi academy (as many considered the ability to teach to be the most important mark of a Jedi Master), and would likely be put through a similar test.

Jedi who were not on tours of service were free to pursue whatever intellectual or private pursuits they wished, such as business or politics.

A fully-trained Jedi Knight was free, as were Jedi of earlier times, to travel the galaxy and seek out knowledge and end injustice as they judged fit, but the surest way to achieve promotion to higher privileges or to Masterhood was to serve diligently on multiple tours of service.

Pre-Council Era Jedi Knights and Masters traveled the galaxy freely and some took to appointing followers called "Jedi disciples". Disciples were individuals who had chosen to travel with and assist a Jedi with his or her duties, following similar moral precepts but not usually receiving Jedi training. As such, Jedi disciples were not necessarily Force-sensitive. The practice of appointing Jedi disciples waned in between the first and second Great Schisms, and it was entirely gone by the end of the second.

Section C: The Weapons of a Jedi

The predecessors of the Jedi, who fought among each other in the Force Wars on Tython, primarily did battle with Force-imbued swords and other melee weapons. After the Order was formed, these became the signature weapon of the Jedi. Jedi who had proven themselves as apprentices were issued swords which were then empowered in a Jedi Forge ceremony. Through this process (also called "the Forging"), the weapon was made many times stronger, sharper, and in most cases significantly less heavy than it normally would be. Some empowered weapons eventually proved themselves capable of blocking or even deflecting laser fire, as well as lightsaber blades. Weapons that had been through a Forging could also be given other unique properties, such as a tendency to channel extreme heat or cold into the blade during combat.

Even after lightsabers became adopted by the Jedi Order, they were rarely seen for some time, as the weapons had to be linked by a cable to a belt-mounted power pack and had a limited lifespan. As such, even while the technology was slowly refined and started to increase in popularity, most carriers of lightsabers were very experienced duelists or high-ranking Jedi. Even then, most of them also carried a sword. By the Hundred-Year Darkness, however, nearly as many Jedi used lightsabers as metal-bladed weapons.

Wireless lightsabers were invented early in the Hundred-Year Darkness, but were considered impractical by most due to their even more pitiable power supply; such lightsabers could only sustain themselves for several minutes. To countermand this, they came with disposable batteries that could quickly be loaded into the lightsaber to sustain the blade. While the batteries were lightweight, wireless lightsabers were widely considered more trouble than they were worth, the sole exception being certain master swordsmen of the Order. Due to repeated failures to improve the technology and lack of interest in the subject, it wasn't until after the Great Hyperspace War that the modern lightsaber would be perfected and entirely replace the weapons of old.

Lightsabers and swords were returned to the Order if a Jedi was exiled or stepped down from his or her position.

In the earlier centuries of the Order's history, Jedi would sometimes swear vows upon their swords, entrust them to others in gestures of confidence, and even sometimes trade with fellow Jedi temporarily.

Section D: The Gray Jedi

Interestingly, use of the dark side of the Force was not expressly forbidden by the ancient Jedi Order, but it did carry its price. During the Era of Councils, Jedi who channeled the dark side or dark-aligned emotions to significant effects could evade exile if they were found in the eyes of their Council to have caused positive results. In other words, if the Jedi in question had used the wrong means but achieved the right end, they were given the title of Gray Jedi.

Gray Jedi were allowed to serve the Jedi Order, but with many restrictions placed upon them; they were forbidden to take apprentices who were not also Gray Jedi, as well as to conventional means of promotion. Additionally, full Jedi were highly discouraged from associating themselves with the Gray ones, and most Councils forbade Gray Jedi Masters from applying for Council membership. "Dark Jedi" and "dark-sider" also came into heavy use by Jedi Knights and apprentices as a derogatory term, although most Masters and Jedi Councils insisted that those terms refer only to dangerous renegades who in no way served the common good.

Furthermore, Gray Jedi were forced to identify themselves visually by wearing dark robes, usually gray, black, or a darker shade of whatever they previously wore. They would also be issued new weapons; a Gray Jedi's sword would have red or black markings painted on it, which depended on their reason for being a Gray Jedi. If the individual had unjustly killed an enemy, for example, the name or initials of the one killed would be placed on the hilt, and a single stripe would travel vertically up the blade. If the Gray Jedi wielded a lightsaber, then he or she would simply be issued one with a red blade.

Gray Jedi serving the Order were few and far between, and many Jedi Councils were extremely wary of them; the emergence of their small sect within the Order led several jurisdictions to pass stricter rules to dissuade Jedi from following the dark path. For example, the Jedi Council of Ossus decreed that no Jedi belonging to their territory would deliberately kill an enemy with any Force power; rather, any death blow was to be dealt with the sword.

After a certain number of years of holding the title, depending on the jurisdiction, a Gray Jedi could appeal to the appropriate Council for a special assignment in which they would be required to prove that they could master whatever vices had earned them their current position. If they passed, the Gray Jedi would be returned to their former rank, and while they no longer had to wear their dark robes, they were required to keep their marked weapons as a reminder to always stay vigilant.

Following the First Great Schism, nearly half of the Jedi Councils ended their leniency toward the dark side, and although they did still allow Gray Jedi to redeem themselves, the Grays became more shunned by the Order than ever before, driving many to leave it entirely. At the Hundred-Year Darkness' end, the Jedi Councils met in a great conclave on Tython, where the practice of sanctioning Gray Jedi was abolished - any new Jedi who committed such offenses would face exile. It was also agreed that a training center would be established on Tython for Jedi Sentinels, whose job it would be to keep an eye on any signs of the dark side within the Order. This is cited as one of the first major steps toward the centralization of authority in the Jedi Order.

Section E: The Jedi Trials

For centuries, the trials a Jedi must complete in order to be promoted from an apprentice to a Knight were issued at the discretion of their Master, who was free to direct the tests as they saw fit. Around the time of the First Great Schism, however, it was a very widespread practice for an apprentice to be put through five trials of different general themes; while they were chosen and directed by the Master, they were still given considerable freedom in their exact content. Different trials could sometimes overlap.

Trial of Skill: Focused on strength, speed, and proficiency with the Force in combat and other pressuring situations.

Trial of Courage: Consisted of facing and conquering an external challenge, fear, or other type of opponent that would require the apprentice to draw on personal strength of will to combat.

Trial of the Flesh: Required the apprentice to overcome extreme physical pain or hardship. Sometimes substituted with the presentation of a specialized task to complete alone, without any assistance from someone who would normally be heavily relied upon (for "a Jedi has no flesh but his own, and therefore cannot stand on anyone else's feet"). Jedi apprentices who survived severe injuries in the line of duty were commonly proclaimed to have passed this trial.

Trial of Insight: Placed emphasis on looking at a situation and determining the true nature of a person or situation. Could take many forms, ranging from an actual mission to a mere riddle.

Trial of the Spirit: Required the apprentice to face one's own self in a sort of test of self-discovery. Frequently, it would involve the apprentice delving into a deep meditative state in order to combat inner fears and demons. Ideally performed while inside a Force nexus.

Section F: Brainstorming, Dark Side Organizations

Sons of Tython

As the united Force wielders of Tython began to be polarized by the Ashla and Bogan, conflict became inevitable, and the dark-siders took the name of the Order of the Sons and Daughters of Tython. The light-siders, simply called the Ashlans (or *maybe* the Je'daii), feared the damage that might be done if the Sons were to dominate the planet, so they were the side who attempted to subjugate the other; the Sons of Tython resisted, and the Force Wars began.

Brotherhood of the Night

Operating during the Unification Wars, the Brotherhood was the first order of dark side users to pose a galactic threat. Following the teachings of the original followers of Bogan who were defeated on Tython, they were lead by Aelar Darkvold, a Jedi apprentice who had spent years delving into the dark side in secret before striking down his Master. The Brotherhood's membership included a few converted Jedi apprentices, but consisted primarily of recruits from other sources. It was a small, tightly-knit, and disciplined organization that mostly struck from the shadows.

The Brotherhood was highly organized, with most members serving as "specialists" in certain fields. Most of the top members were beings in influential positions such as politicians, military officers, corporate personalities, or criminal overlords who used powers of mind manipulation and (in rare cases) farsight to achieve their goals. The majority of the rest of the Brotherhood reported to them, and each "high profile" figure usually had a handful of lower-ranking members under their command. Said low-rankers were mostly spies, assassins, saboteurs, and informants.

While the Brotherhood kept a number of acolytes in reserve at several hidden monasteries, it was said that all members of the order were called to have two identities.

The ultimate goal of the Brotherhood was to gain control over each of the warring factions in order to unite them into a single powerful government that would dominate the galaxy, under the firm but unseen guiding hand of the Brotherhood. There was some disagreement throughout the Brotherhood regarding the place of the Jedi Order in this plan; some said that they should be destroyed, while other maintained that the Jedi could be used to protect their new galactic superpower without ever even discovering the Brotherhood.

(Keep this part?) The first major operation initiated by the Brotherhood was a mass-assassination attempt targetting Jedi Masters and Seers. It was largely a failure and revealed to the Jedi that there was a dark-sider organization, but Aelar resolved to be far more careful and meticulous from then on, and to not let his anger get the better of him again.

By the final year of the Unification War, the Brotherhood had inserted high-ranking members into all three of the major galactic powers, and managed to exert influence over a score of non-members; the most notable of these was General Balfur Ravenlocke, a major figure in the Thyferran Alliance, who had a personal connection to Aelar Darkvold himself. [The Brotherhood and the characters mentioned in this section were unashamedly stolen from an old forum RPG that my brother was in, called "Birth of the Old Republic" or something.]

Legions of Lettow

Xendor was a powerful and charismatic Jedi Master who eventually came to protest many of the universal teachings of the Order, which by this time had become excessively dogmatic and restrictive; many Jedi Masters utterly shunned the dark side along with numerous other Force-using sects, and Jedi Knights were frequently required to take oaths of denial of personal attachments and material possessions.

Unable to come to a compromise, he led an initially non-violent rebel movement that split the Jedi Order in half by opening his own Jedi enclave far from Ossus, where numerous other Force traditions were studied. Though the two sides coexisted for a time, the tensions mounted rapidly as they undermined each other, and the conflict turned to bloodshed after two years when Xendor launched a pre-emptive strike against Ossus.

Xendor's organization, called the Legions of Lettow, originally wishing merely to study alternative views of the Force, soon became intent on utterly destroying the old ways of the Jedi Order.

Though Xendor had no quarrel with the Republic, the Jedi Councils who opposed him were able to convince its military to assist them against the "dangerous heretics". Despite severe pressure from his lieutenants, however, Xendor commanded that his followers were not to attack Republic forces except in self-defense. This (along with an early preference for taking enemy Jedi alive) was one of many early displays of "honorable warfare" that both sides of the Great Schism displayed, but the war inevitably became bloodier and bloodier as resentment grew.

Ultimately, both sides of the Schism had noble and ignoble members. While the Lettow as dark-siders generally had more evil Jedi, the loyalists eventually found many of their members (even Masters) being vicious against the Lettow and wanting to utterly destroy the Legions ("Suffer not the heretics to live").

Bolstered by the support of the Republic military, the Jedi Order gained the upper hand against the Lettow, and Xendor himself was killed in the Battle of Columus. Following this, the leadership of the Legions fell to his second in command and lover, Arden Lyn. Lyn won several battles before being ambushed and slain by the Jedi Master Awdrysta Pina; after her death, the few Lettow remaining scattered or surrendered. The majority of the latter were exiled.

Extract 6: Two Miscellaneous Story Ideas

Section A: The Tourists

An ordinary spacer travels to Lok with a small group of friends and relatives for some general business. While there, they get conned by some locals into travelling to a "beautiful oasis" which turns out to be an abandoned mining outpost, where they are all killed by komogilas except for the protagonist. Stranded halfway across the planet with nothing but a blaster and some random supplies, he has to make his way back to the spaceport and get revenge on the thugs who sent him to die.

In the end, he survives numerous deadly hazards - bandits, predators, Imperials, indigenous conflicts, a volcanic eruption and more - and makes it back to the city, only to find that the three conmen he's after have left Lok, fleeing the pursuit of some crime lord or another. After learning this, he stumbles outside to look up at the stars, wondering what he'll do with the rest of his life. [This whole story's setting being an homage to Star Wars Galaxies, which I used to play a lot.]

Section B: The Hierarch

I just have this image in my mind. It's a Super Star Destroyer, adrift near some planet - probably a gas giant. And there's something terrible that happened to the ship. Virtually the entire crew is evacuated or dead, and the vessel is slowly and inevitably going to crash into the planet and be destroyed. And our protagonist has to get aboard, find something or someone, and then escape in time.

  • Perhaps our hero is a former crewmember of the warship - a stormtrooper, navy trooper, technician, worker, whatever - and against most people's ideas of sanity, he's going back because he's left some object of sentiment, like a family gift or memento or something, in his quarters. It would therefore be a sort of philosophical or character piece, at least in part.
  • If the protagonist is a former crewmember, make him someone who *isn't* a really tough guy - like one of those Imperial Workers from Jedi Outcast.

Potential subjects to explore:

*Social isolation, marginalization, disappearing among the hundreds of thousands of crewmembers

*Anonymity, dehumanization, wondering why so many imperial personnel wear helmets

*Man-Machine relations - humans symbolically turned into droids

*Class conflict, factionalism - interactions, rivalry, and resentment between different departments & up and down the chain of command

*Sense of sublimity

*Super Star Destroyer as metaphor for civilization

*Tension between collectivity and individuality

*Attachments to personal possessions, nostalgia

*Arbitrarily granted privileges, fragility thereof - in some ways he is favored, but those favors are only relevant in certain situations

Possible Backdrop

After Endor, the Super Star Destroyer Hierarch participated heavily in the Imperial Civil War. When the New Republic began to take the Core Worlds, the Hierarch gradually lost all of the ships in its escort fleet, but her captain, Admiral Veller, refused to leave the Core or surrender to the Republic. The dreadnaught spent two years engaging in hit-and-run attacks against incoming Republic forces. After the Battle of Coruscant, task forces began relentlessly hunting the Hierarch. For four more years the ship resisted, hitting and fading, isolated from adequate repair facilities and supplies. Finally Admiral Veller ordered the ship, nearly depleted of fuel and low on power, to the Prakith system in the Deep Core, his plan being to call a supply ship for assistance from there. When no help came, three mutinies occurred, the last of which resulted in the Admiral's death. After this, Veller's successor sabotaged the Hierarch's engines (being unable to trigger a self-destruct), leaving it to drift and eventually crash into the gas giant Delanoth. After this was announced, the war-weary and beaten-down crew abandoned ship.

Brutus Gren is an Imperial worker who served aboard the Hierarch, stayed out of the way of the mutineers, and abandoned ship with the rest. Soon after, however, he realized that he forgot something of family significance in his quarters, and he resolves to return to retrieve it before the Republic finds its way to the Hierarch or the ship is lost.

Brutus has a couple of relatives in relatively high places in the Imperial military. As such, his starship is an Escort Shuttle - it's illegal in the Empire for someone in his lowly position to privately own such a vessel, but the thing runs in the family, and so he is given an exception. Thinking of this, he muses that while the laws of the Empire are many and strict, all of them have exceptions floating around somewhere; the entire Imperial bureaucracy is an exercise in exceptions and contradictions.

As far as Brutus knows, nobody is still aboard the ship. All the corpses from the mutinies have been jettisoned. In keeping with some sloppily-implemented and optional Imperial protocol, all droids designated as containing sensitive data have been memory-wiped or self-destructed, but many of the non-essential droids remain, and some of the former are sure to have slipped through the cracks anyhow.

Extract 7: Excerpts from Trollfics


Warning! Danger! Matter of life and death!

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Section A: Knights of the Old Republic - A Sucker's Ideas

Section B: THE REVAN: Jaden Amnesia

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