Lit Beyond the big two: lesser Force traditions in the GFFA

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Gamiel, Dec 12, 2013.

  1. Dawud786 Force Ghost

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    The problem with the metaphor is that the Jedi Order has it's origins in people of a variety of species and their respective religions and philosophy were brought together specifically to study the core truth of all those religions and philosophies... the Force. What they know for certain, and since this is now established on a higher plane as true and potentially handed down from higher, discorporeal, beings to mortals... the Force has, objectively, a light side and a dark side. Both have certain qualities, and those qualities cause certain reactions in the beings that can sense them and work with them. So that basic knowledge is objectively true, and thus the base Jedi metaphysics of the Force is objectively true. Terming it "the Force" is actually a kind of a recognition that they don't really know what it is. It's kind of like Tao, which is a very sort of general name that is inherently suggestive that it cannot be truly known... and indeed Tao Teh Ching says that is explicitly why it is being called "Tao." Or, for instance, YHWH.

    What I'm saying is that the Jedi Order started by mystics, clerics, philosophers, shamans, martial artists etc being brought together and saying "we know there's this thing underlying all existence, let's call it the Force, and here's what we know definitively about it." They can't really say much more than that. They just know the implications there of. It also doesn't mean the Aing-Tii are incorrect in saying the Force is a spectrum.... they are identifying different parts of the Light in doing so. The problems arise when you have a group like the Potentium that says there is no dark side, period. That becomes a problem.
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  2. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

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    The Potentium is rather interesting and has become rather distorted over time as to what their beliefs really were. I think at their core, their view of the Force was that the Force was an entity. The discovery of Sekot coincidentally seemed to reinforce their belief system, because Sekot represents on a smaller scale their view of what the Potentium was. And I think that in the New Jedi Order series, that Sekot was intended to be something of a metaphor for the Force -- an emergent property of the symbiotic ecosystem of the planet and the combined Force energy. Yuuzhan'tar was another -- the Yuuzhan Vong didn't kill Yuuzhan'tar by destroying the physical planet, and they weren't literally stripped of the Force by Yuuzhan'tar like Ulic was by Nomi -- Yuuzhan'tar was the emergent property of the Yun-Yuuzhan Vong's lifestyle in which they had "been group-minded, living in a world where the boundaries between self and other were permeable. By cutting that bond they had isolated themselves from the Force." They stripped themselves of the Force and killed Yuuzhan'tar by abandoning their symbiotic lifestyle and becoming the Yuuzhan Vong, and as life forms they had become so ingrained in that symbiotic accord with the emergent life Yuuzhan'tar, that its dissolution resulted in them becoming absent from the Force seemingly entirely.

    I'm curious though why the Potentium is necessarily a problem -- none of its adherents ever fell to the dark side, and the Potentium was the de facto religion on Zonama Sekot, even after Sekot rejected it. The Potentium believes the Force is an entity that consciously gives direction, and as an inherently good entity, can't and won't give evil direction, and that the Jedi order with its hierarchy is a self-serving institution because each individual is capable of hearing direction from the Potentium and doesn't need a "clergy" to know what that is.
  3. Gamiel Force Ghost

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    I don't see the problem with the Potentium. You give them their warning, let them continue their stuff and if they don't head the warning you come in and clean up when they have created a mess

    I don't understand what the jedi being right have to do with non-warrior based Force traditions?

    When did the jedi work as "clergy" for the Force? And don't the jedi always say things like "the Force guided you" and "may the Force be with you" that don't sound like they clame to be the only one who can hear it
    Last edited by Gamiel, Jan 28, 2014
  4. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

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    "The Potentium had meant a great deal of trouble for the Jedi a hundred years before. Advocates of the concept had believed that the Force could not push one into evil, that the universe was infiltrated by a benevolent field of life energy whose instructions were inevitably good. The Potentium, as they called it, was the beginning and ending of all things, and one's connection with it should not be mediated or obscured by any sort of training or discipline. Followers of the Potentium insisted that the Jedi Masters and the Temple hierarchy could not accept the universal good of the Potentium because it meant they were no longer needed.

    "But in the end, those Jedi apprentices who had been caught up in the movement had left the Temple, or were pushed out, and dispersed around the galaxy. As far as Obi-Wan could remember, none of the believers had actually succumbed to the dark side of the Force -- something regarded as a prodigy by Jedi historians. From time to time, young Jedi caught up in their first experience of the Force broached the Potentium philosophy and had to be patiently retutored in the history of the Force, in the many and various reasons why the Jedi understood there were definite divisions and pitfalls in life's tenure in space and time."

    The adherents to the Potentium thought that the Jedi introduced unnecessary dogma into the study of the Force, and that one's connection to the Force, or Potentium, was innate and knowledge of its will achieved purely by insight rather than instruction.

    The Potentium is probably the most misunderstood thing in the entire Expanded Universe, and I suppose it doesn't help that some of the authors during the NJO -- and afterward -- misrepresented it and presumably misunderstood it themselves.

    It was intended to be a belief system that would mistake Sekot for their Potentium -- an intellect that was "good" and would give directives to its followers. I suppose under the correct conditions, it's swell, considering that intellects such as Yuuzhan'tar and Sekot arise only under pre-existing planetwise symbiosis and presumably are "good" as a reflection of that origin, and when that symbiotic framework falls apart the intellect "dies," so it seems that it would be self-limiting against "evil planets."
    Last edited by DigitalMessiah, Jan 28, 2014
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  5. Dawud786 Force Ghost

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    It's a problem because it sort of just outright rejects the idea that evil exists, and even in rejecting the notion of the dark side of the Force it is essentially rejecting the entropic aspect of the Force. I don't think the Potentium viewing the Force as an entity distinguishes them from the Jedi, really. The Jedi often make reference to the Force in ways that entifies it to a great degree.

    I think it's interesting that Luke essentially takes the Potentium and works it into his view of the Force that marries it with a traditional Jedi understanding of the Force. Comes back around to what we were saying about Tao and the Force in a previous thread. The Potentium could conceivably be what the Unifying/Cosmic Force is, and this is simultaneously the primordial state of the Force and the transcendent reality. Unfortunately, I don't think it would make much sense as a philosophy for dealing with the galaxy... it seems to only work in a very specific set of circumstances i.e. Zonama Sekot. These are a people that have basically absented themselves from the galactic scene, much like the followers of the White Current. Coming face to face with the very things they reject existentially would be too much.

    I'll have to look up Luke's stuff from TUF later. I can't find it anywhere right now. I remember him saying something about the dark side coming with the emergence of sentience.
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  6. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

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    I was thinking the same thing re: Potentium and the Cosmic/Unifying Force, if you view it as some sort of monopsychism or world(cosmic) soul. In that sense I think Sekot is supposed to be a microcosm of the Force, although realistically anyone could serve such a role -- and I think that's part of the point in Traitor. Sekot is the inverse of the midi-chlorians, and we see the symbiosis on its surface -- we can't see this in the interaction between midi-chlorians and eukaryotic life, so in a sense it is a better metaphor than what Lucas did.

    From an in-universe perspective, I think the potentially problematic part of the Potentium is the expectation of receiving directives, insofar as that it opens someone to manipulation -- e.g. the theory that Palpatine was inducing in Anakin the visions of Padme's death. But the Force itself isn't going to inherently drive someone to do good or evil. Here's a small snippet of Luke's speech I posted a while back:

    "On Ithor I surrendered guardianship of the Jedi. That doesn't mean that I can't still serve as a mentor and guide to some of you. Yoda instructed me to pass on what I have learned, and I mean to do just that. But others here are as equipped as I am to teach, and I encourage them to do so, should they choose to pursue that path.

    "But here's what I wish to say to all of you: if I have learned anything from the events of the past five years, it is that the Force is more all-embracing than I ever realized. Light and dark do not always stand opposed, but mingle with each other in curious ways. More important, the Force seems to have a will, and it's when we're acting against the will of the Force that we can get into trouble. Anger by itself is not of the dark side unless it is accompanied by a desire to dominate. When we act in harmony with the will of the Force, we disappear into it. When we struggle against it, we not only sever our ties with the Force, but also feed the needs of chaos."
    Last edited by DigitalMessiah, Jan 28, 2014
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  7. Gamiel Force Ghost

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    So do we know anything about the Potentium beside their philosophy? How did they dress; what species were members; from where were they operating; how did they recruit?
  8. Gamiel Force Ghost

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    Were is that quote from?
  9. Tinwe Jedi Master

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    Oct 20, 2012
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    The quote comes from Rogue Planet if I'm not mistaken.
  10. Gamiel Force Ghost

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    Dec 16, 2012
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    I have in my hands Coruscant and the Core Worlds (thanks library) and in there we are introduced to a new Force tradition: the Seyugi Dervishes.

    The Seyugi Dervishes don’t seem to share anything but their name with the Sufi Muslim Dervish tradition and are described as this –

    By the time that CatCW cover – the ‘Rise of the Empire’ to ‘Yuuzhan Vong War’ eras – they have been gone for ca. five hundred years except for one hidden fortress on Recopia, whose members put themselves away in carbonite, to be awaken for a later date. By “now” the public levels of their fortress, on the island Mallif Cove, has been turned into a monastery for a religious order, that CatCW call the Mallif monks.

    The Mallif monks are not giving any real description except that they wear green cloaks and are, unknowingly, descendants to the Seyugi Dervishes and that they are “[…]given to pondering the mysteries of the galaxy, muttering about surges in the universal field, and broadcasting eccentric religious programs on as many local holovid bands as they can pirate.”

    About the Seyugi Dervishes training, philosophy and traditions we get little but that they are “[…]trained to be patient and hide their emotions from their enemies,” and that –

    The new Seyugi Dervishes did come with three new Class features that represented Force powers: Smite; Improved Alertness; and Uncanny Speed.
    Smite: gave the Dervish a bonuses in close combat damage and expanded the critical hit rage.
    Improved Alertness: gave you a bonus on Spot and Listen roles
    Uncanny Speed: is the ability to “[…]tap into the Force to move at lightning speed for a bief period of time (usually to close with a opponent)”. Role technically it meant that the Dervish for a short time multiplied his speed by five and doubled his jumping distance at the price of fatigue or even damage because of the stress when they have finished.

    Personally I have to say that I find the Seyugi Dervishes, at least as they are presented in CatCW, boring. To me their lack of any real history, culture, philosophy and/or traditions make them very generic. As they are presented in CatCW they could with out any problem be replaced with assassins droids, cyborgs or gland warriors and it would make no real difference.
    I know that the Dervishes are expanded on in later material but I do not have those books and I have not read wook’s page on Seyugi Dervishes before making this post.

    What do people think of the Seyugi Dervishes and do anybody know how they are expanded upon in later material? And in what way would people want to se the Dervishes used in the EU?
    Last edited by Gamiel, Feb 5, 2014
  11. Dawud786 Force Ghost

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  12. Gamiel Force Ghost

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    So there is nobody out there that have any of the books that mention the Seyugi Dervishes and are willing to share the information? @Contessa @MercenaryAce you sounded like you hade some information, are you willing to chare? Or have I to risk losing SAN as I read the dreaded Wookepedia?
  13. Gamiel Force Ghost

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    @Thrawn McEwok in the Jensaarai, Force Witches, Fallanassi representation thread you said that
    and I was wondering what you mean with the bold part?
    Last edited by Gamiel, Feb 10, 2014
  14. Zeta1127 Force Ghost

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    @Gamiel, I am quite certain Thrawn McEwok was referring to the Nightsisters and more recently the Nightbrothers, especially Asajj Ventress and Darth Maul's new backstories.
  15. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

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    That's quite interesting considering he posted it long before the Nightsisters appeared on TCW.
    Last edited by DigitalMessiah, Feb 10, 2014
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  16. Zeta1127 Force Ghost

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    Well, TCW is a part of the trend he was clearly referring to and is the best example I can think of at the moment.
  17. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

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    Uh, no he wasn't talking about TCW at all.
  18. Zeta1127 Force Ghost

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    Not directly, but the Nightsisters overshadowing the Witches of Dathomir in recent years is exactly what he was getting at, only for TCW to take it to another level.
  19. Mia Mesharad Force Ghost

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    That is what I would assume he was referring to. The prevalence of the Nightsisters in the EU has certainly eclipsed the other clans of the Witches since Courtship first came out, and TCW's apparent disinterest in acknowledging the existence of the other Witches in any significant fashion certainly highlights that underlying focus on new, non-Sith dark side foes for the Jedi rather than exploring truly diverse cultures of Force-users.
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  20. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

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    Well, their appearances after TCOPL seem to be: YJK and Tamith Kai, Star by Star with Lomi Plo and Welk, and Infinity's End which I think gave them a fair treatment. Are there any which I'm forgetting?
  21. Contessa Jedi Grand Master

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    Nov 28, 2013
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    Agreed. We get way more appearances by the Nightsisters in novels, comics, reference books, games, TCW, RPG stuff, etc than we *ever* got with the good Witches. I think you nailed it with them just looking for bad guys who have the Force but aren't Sith, so the Nightsisters get blown up. The other Witches just kind of get swept aside since if you're just going to have good guys who have Force powers, it might as well be Jedi.
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  22. Gamiel Force Ghost

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    Dec 16, 2012
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    @Zeta1127 I have to agree with @DigitalMessiah that @Thrawn McEwok did not refer to the tCW since that discussion was from mars 2010.
    A link http://boards.theforce.net/threads/jensaarai-force-witches-fallanassi-representation.30793373/

    Really?



    Also: the witches of Dathomir appear in the Star Wars: Galaxies and I was wondering how do they differ "culturally" in the game compared to their earlier appearances?
    Last edited by Gamiel, Feb 11, 2014
  23. Iron_lord Force Ghost

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    The Last Jedi novel, at least, has returned to depicting "Good Witches" (the Singing Mountain clan).
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  24. Gamiel Force Ghost

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    There is also Empire at War: Forces of Corruption

    But if we are counting Tamith Kai we should count Tenel Ka as a witch and then there is also Kirana Ti; both who appear in many stories without the nightsisters
  25. Contessa Jedi Grand Master

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    Yeah, that was cool. I like how they integrated some TCW Zabrak-hybrid witches into the clan too, so they don't all go down in canon as evil Nightsisters.
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