Lit C'baoth Theory (Prepare for clone madness!)

Discussion in 'Literature' started by GreatBeyonder, Dec 6, 2013.

  1. GreatBeyonder Jedi Master

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    Okay, as many of you know, the (other) chief antagonist in the Thrawn Trilogy was Joruus C'baoth, who was in fact a clone of Jorus C'baoth, whom we met in Outbound Flight. Both characters are extremely powerful Jedi masters with extremely skewed idea about how a Jedi should use his power. Now, what I find rather peculiar is this...

    I can accept that the clone somehow inherited the original's powers, but how could he also inherit his memories, his beliefs, his entire personality? Certainly, Palpatine would not RAISE such a powerful adversary with such strong loyalties to the Jedi. Then, as I was rereading the original, I found some rather fascinating passages.

    "Tell me more about the Outbound Flight project," Luke said, determined not to get dragged off the topic. "You set off from Yoga Minor, remember, searching for other life outside the galaxy. What happened to the ship and the other Jedi Masters who were with you?"

    C'baoth's eyes took on a faraway look. "They died, of course, he said, his voice distant. "All of them died. I alone survived to return." He looked suddenly at Luke. "It changed me, you know."

    "I understand," Luke said quietly. So that was why C'baoth seemed so strange. Something had happened to him on that flight : "Tell me about it."

    For a long moment C'baoth was silent. Luke waited, jostled by the bumps as the carriage wheels ran over the uneven ground. "No," C'baoth said at last, shaking his head. "Not now. Perhaps later." He nodded toward the front of the carriage. "We are here."

    Notice that C'baoth somehow remembers events that occured after his genetic template was taken.

    Now, I have to stress that Joruus is unaware he;s a clone and is indeed treated as as insane for the entire story. Thrawn believes (wrongly) that this makes him easier to exploit and Luke will. in the last confrontation, attempt to treat and heal C'baoth's madness, which leads to another key clue.


    "No," Luke said, shaking his head. This was, perhaps, his last chance to bring the insane Jedi back. To save him, as he had saved Vader aboard the second Death Star. "You aren't in any shape to build anything, Master C'baoth. You're not well. But I can help you if you'll let me."
    C'baoth's face darkened. "How dare you say such things?" he demanded. "How dare you even think such blasphemy about the great Jedi Master C'baoth?"
    "But that's just it," Luke said gently. "You're not the Jedi Master C'baoth. Not the original one, anyway. The proof is there in the Katana's records. Jorus C'baoth died a long time ago during the Outbound Flight Project."
    "Yet I am here."
    "Yes," Luke nodded. "You are. But not Jorus C'baoth. You see, you're his clone."
    C'baoth's whole body went rigid. "No," he said. "No. That can't be."
    Luke shook his head. "There's no other explanation. Surely that thought has occurred to you before."
    C'baoth took a long, shuddering breath . . . and then, abruptly, he threw his head back and laughed.
    "Watch him," Mara snapped, eyeing the old man warily over the throne's armrest. "He pulled this same stunt on Jomark, remember?"
    "It's all right," Luke said. "He can't hurt us."
    "Ah, Skywalker, Skywalker," C'baoth said, shaking his head. "You, too? Grand Admiral Thrawn, the New Republic, and now you. What is this sudden fascination with clones and cloning?"
    He barked another laugh; and then, without warning, turned deadly serious. "He does not understand, Jedi Skywalker," he said earnestly. "Not Grand Admiral Thrawn—not any of them. The true power of the Jedi is not in these simple tricks of matter and energy. The true might of the Jedi is that we alone of all those in the galaxy have the power to grow beyond ourselves. To extend ourselves into all the reaches of the universe."
    Luke glanced at Mara, got a shrug and puzzled look in return. "We don't understand, either," he told C'baoth. "What do you mean?"
    C'baoth took a step toward him. "I have done it, Jedi Skywalker," he whispered, his eyes glittering in the dim light. "With General Covell. What even the Emperor never did. I took his mind in my hands and altered it. Re-formed it and rebuilt it into my own image."


    Now, both versions of C'baoth are best known for their abilities in telekinesis and telepathy. Indeed, neither version seems to own a lightsaber. Even other Jedi Masters in Outbound Flight are astonished by the sheer level of what the man can do just by thinking really hard.

    So it has occured to me... what if Jorus and Joruus are NOT separate entities, but rather the same Force presence echoing into an identical body. Palpatine did the same trick in Dark Empire, and his powers were never as mental-based as C'baoth's were. I don't think there was a master plan involved, simply Palpatine cloning a powerful Jedi and accidentally drawing in the original. Consider this encounter between Luke and his own clone.






    The clone. His clone. Was that what was causing this strange pressure in his mind? The close presence of an exact duplicate that was itself drawing on the Force?

    Notice the supposition that a physical duplicate does indeed draw from the same part of the Force as the original. What would happen if you did the same thing with a Jedi master who had already passed, one who very specifically specialized in manipulating the Force's energies?

    My answer: You accidentally resurrect the original, who in this case was already unstable. What do you think? Is it concievable Zahn intended them to be the same Jedi Master in different bodies? Most people only ever ask him about Thrawn, not his other great villain, so I've found no real canon proof either way. Still, I'm curious what you think.
    Last edited by GreatBeyonder, Dec 6, 2013
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  2. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

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  3. Revanfan1 Force Ghost

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    What I want to know is how Joruus was created to start with.
  4. Gorefiend Chosen One

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    Properly as the Guardian of Mountain in one of Palpatine's Clone Force User experiments (of which there were a lot). Outbound Flight makes it kind of obvious that Palpatine already sees the original as a useful tool and something small like him getting killed would not stop the Emperor from tormenting him some more. ;)
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  5. Vthuil Force Ghost

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    Interesting theory. As a supplementary element, what if it's possible that C'baoth's consciousness actually took over the clone's body sometime after its activation, thus explaining why he was so convinced he had killed the Guardian of Mount Tantiss?
  6. Gorefiend Chosen One

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    Possible, of course there really is no definitive answer, as the sources do not actually agree, some say that he is the original Guardian others claim, like he does, that he killed the Guardian. The main problem with him not being the original is that it would be hard to explain how he ever learned of the Mountain Vault. It is of course also possible that he actually was created by the Guardian after the Death of the Emperor and that just went terrible wrong for the Guardian.
  7. Vthuil Force Ghost

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    All of the sources I've seen indicate that C'baoth was the Guardian and his belief that he had "killed" the Guardian was just a delusion.
  8. GreatBeyonder Jedi Master

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    I hear this question a lot, and its never addressed directly but the implication is that he was cloned there. He never found it, he was created there. Pellaeon comments that there's no way he could've entered the storehouse himself... UNLESS he was already inside. C'baoth knows nothing of galactic events outside of the stories told by explorers, and it IS the Emperor's personal cloning facility where we know Palpatine sent his genetic template in Outbound Flight.

    Whether or not he was the original Guardian is an interesting question. The novel's text gives no indication Joruus is lying, and even Thrawn takes him at his word. Normally, I would outright declare they were seperate characters, but after studying C'baoth's knack for possession, it can be an interesting conundrum. Zahn himself is slightly ambiguous on the subject.

    "My original reasoning was just what’s laid out here: that whomever Palpatine had left to guard his storehouse had been killed by Joruus C’baoth when he somehow stumbled on the place."―Timothy Zahn[src]

    The key word is 'original', but again, both Zahn, and the Thrawn trilogy sourcebook he cowrote specifically state they're separate entites. The locals (admittedly unreliable after five years under C'baoth's influence) also clearly remember the duel itself. However, its clearly stated in Outbound Flight and heavily implied in the original that, Guardian or not, he was cloned there and either A) somehow activated and killed a surprised Guardian or B) directly possessed what may have actually been a C'baoth clone acting as Guardian.

    Either way, its an interesting concept. I had not considered the idea of combining the 'C'baoth is the Guardian' with 'C'baoth is single entity' theories until just now..
    Last edited by GreatBeyonder, Dec 6, 2013
  9. Havac Some Guy Who Moderates Lit

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    C'baoth doesn't remember anything that happened after his mental template was taken. That's why any attempt to get him to talk about it ends up in basic information, vague generalities, vaguer murmuring, and changing the subject. It's clear from his far-away look and vagueness that C'baoth himself is confused because he doesn't know. And, as a mentally ill man, he responds to that confusion with a simplistic story that he survived, and then when pressed changes the subject because he refuses to confront these feelings of confusion he doesn't like. Either he, when activated, was given a fake cover story ("Everyone else on Outbound Flight was killed and it was destroyed. You survived, but you have amnesia and that's why you don't remember the events. Now guard this warehouse."), or he's making up a cover story himself because he would never admit he doesn't know and he's mentally ill and inclined to weave his own reality already ("Yeah, uh, Outbound Flight, I remember that. I, uh, survived. All the other people, they must be, must be dead, though. I, uh, I survived because of my greatness, obviously. It, uh, changed me, yeah, made me different, that must be the explanation for why I'm not quite the way I remember being. Point is, I'm great. Now stop making me feel confused. I don't like it.").
  10. GreatBeyonder Jedi Master

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    I agree, this is the most obvious explanation, but there's still zero reason to tell him these things. It would be much simpler to tell him "You're a Dark Jedi and you will follow the Emperor's will" not "You're the greatest Jedi Master to draw breath, the Emperor is a moron grasping at your robes, and oh yeah, you were killed at his behest." This is NOT appropriate training for a Guardian in charge of the Emperor's personal storehourse, and Joruus denies he's a clone when directly confronted. Either someone botched his creation or (as I believe) it was a terrible idea to make a Force sensitive copy of a Jedi Master like C'baoth whose specialty is mindhopping.
  11. Cynical_Ben Force Ghost

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    It's like Bioshock Infinite: The mind adapts and re-writes its own memories of reality to keep from utterly destroying itself in confusion. C'boath in TTT goes to the Occam's Razor solution, that he killed the guardian, because that's what he thinks happened. Any other solution, such as being a clone, would ruin him. That's part of what clone madness is: the inability to adapt to the reality of being a clone, especially if they possess the memory patterns of their genetic template.

    As DM said before departing, the study of this phenomena was covered... kinda... in The Force Unleashed II. It really didn't answer anything definitively, but it did ask a lot of the same questions.
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  12. VanishingReality Jedi Grand Master

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    I think that Outbound Flight and TTT C'boath act far too similar, and that was one of the best parts of Outbound Flight. The PT wasn't even in consideration when TTT was written, so instead of taking the easy way out and saying his personality changed completely through the cloning process, Outbound Flight perfectly showed how an over-the-top maniac in-character C'boath could have possibly fit into the stoic Jedi Order.

    This theory works for me because I don't like the idea of force-sensitive clones thanks to the infinite plot holes. (Why not make more C'boaths? How can the clone have the same force powers as the original? Why does the clone have a stupidly stretched out name?)
  13. Havac Some Guy Who Moderates Lit

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    Tell him what things? He needs an explanation for why his last memory is whatever, a great Jedi Master going for a doctor's visit, and now he's stuck in a warehouse in Nowheresville making sure nobody touches the Emperor's LEGO collection. So you'd use the actual history he can potentially dig up, and tell him, "Hey, you were on Outbound Flight and it disappeared because of an accident. You survived and we saved you but things are really different and now you're going to live here and guard this place."

    But honestly, I'm not even sure that he has C'baoth's memories. The Devist brothers don't show any signs of having Soontir Fel's memories. Flash-training appears to have the potential to implant selected skills, knowledge, and personality without bringing the whole thing, including memories, over. I don't believe we see Joruus exhibiting any coherent memories of anything. Part of the nature of clone madness seems to be the dissonance created by the imperfection of flash-training, which probably can't scrub out every memory when it's bringing over personality and training, and the mind's attempts to bridge those gaps and make sense of its fractured information base and heal itself. Of course you're going to come out of that mentally ill. Thus Joruus knows he's a Jedi and has a little idea of what that means but it's pretty distorted, and he knows he's Joru(u)s C'baoth and he's a great Jedi Master and there are a few things about himself that could just as easily come from googling himself on the Mount Tantiss HoloNet, and he knows he must have, uh, come, and uh, killed the Guardian . . . because how could he be the Guardian when he's a Jedi . . . Outbound Flight? . . . ugh, thinking about the past is hard and weird, he should just go back to demanding obeisance from the locals.
  14. GreatBeyonder Jedi Master

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    I agree, Havac, that your supposition is correct regarding standard clone procedure, but cloning one of the most powerful but mentally unstable Jedi Masters of the Old Republic is entirely different from just a cloning a really good pilot. The rules are simply thrown out the window, as thusfar, only Palpatine and C'baoth are the only two successfully cloned Force sensitives on record, neither of whom were 'ordinary' examples.
  15. Gorefiend Chosen One

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    Except... just less stupid and more entertaining. :p


    There are others though no more "successful" then C'boath or Palpatine, though http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/X2 seems to actually be the exception.
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  16. GreatBeyonder Jedi Master

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    I admit, I never played that game, so I can;t really comment. Still, it is interesting to see a stable Jedi clone. Then again, X2 was made by Kaminoans, not the Empire. 'Clone madness' is explained in the Zahn books as what happens when clones are grown too fast, and the Kaminoans ARE professionals.
  17. Revanfan1 Force Ghost

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    I'd argue Starkiller is stable except for his kill-everything-in-sight tendencies...which, really, is normal for him, since it's what Galen Marek did, too.
  18. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

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    I look at a thread like this, and I think to myself, "I could derail this thread so badly."

    There's so many angles to take! Zahn's intent? The absolute inconsistency afforded cloning by the Expanded Universe? Why Starkiller in TFU2 has undesirable memories if flash-learning makes them unnecessary? The Kemp clones?

    I honestly don't think Zahn had any deeper metaphysical thoughts with regard to C'Baoth being the original essence of the individual in the clone. He said there was a guardian that the clone killed. Zahn in general writes the Force as dry as everything else he writes and it's all very technical and that's really all that there is to it in his mind. It doesn't strike me as something that interests him as a writer and it's something he begrudgingly includes when he has to -- look at what he's written lately. But does it matter if Zahn really didn't care all that much about it to even formulate that idea if it's left ambiguous enough to support it? The idea doesn't contradict what's there.

    I'm honestly not really a fan any longer of this idea of taking these disparate and inconsistent concepts and trying to transmogrify them into this universal law concerning the concept. Starkiller, Kemp's clones, Palpatine's clones, Attack of the Clones, Crimson Empire II's clones, Stackpole's clones, the X clones, and Zahn's clones aren't reconcilable. Yeah, sometimes they use different cloning methods, sometimes they use the same, but it's the same as cortosis, where, when introduced was a brittle mineral easily destroyed by blaster fire that shut off lightsabers for the duration they contact it, and now it does whatever the author wants it to do: block lightsabers, shut them off for minutes at a time, require a hydraulic jack and terrible mining conditions to extract and used as armor against blasters, I dunno.
    [IMG]
    Last edited by DigitalMessiah, Dec 7, 2013
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  19. Revanfan1 Force Ghost

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    Pretty much this. Cloning in Star Wars is something that has almost as many different variations as the Death Star's plans or the discovery of Hoth by the Rebel Alliance. Seriously, everyone has their own ideas on this thing, and nobody's is 100% to be taken as gospel. Some of them are similar–Zahn's and Kemp's for example, are at least a little similar, as are Starkiller's and Palpatine's. The X clones are just way out of left field, and it's amusing that in those games Kota is so friendly with X2, knowing full well he's a clone of Falon, while he refuses to believe Starkiller is clone, but who's to say they're any less important than anyone else's? And this all stemmed from one random mention of "the Clone Wars" in ANH. The funny thing is, while Star Wars popularized human cloning in modern culture, it (cloning) already existed at least as long ago as ANH outside Star Wars, before anyone knew what Clone Wars meant, in the form of Marvel's comics.
    Last edited by Revanfan1, Dec 7, 2013
  20. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

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    It's really a case by case thing, but I think it hurts the narrative on occasion when we try to inform our reading of it based upon a completely different take of the same subject which bears no relation at all to the narrative we're currently reading. This is one of the downsides to continuity -- it's great when it's designed but when multiple authors are all giving the same subject their own take and they're all mutually exclusive it quickly escalates into this massive mess that there's simply never going to be a satisfying "fix." Sometimes there are satisfying fixes, but I think those are dwarfed by issues that aren't fixed at all, or fixed poorly -- but like gambling we remember the hits and forget the misses.
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  21. VanishingReality Jedi Grand Master

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    Force Unleashed II was a horrible abomination of an ooc-fest, and there's no use pretending otherwise. Dark Empire also makes me genuinely enraged for how OOC Clone Palpatine is, but the plot device of Sith soul transferring is at least slightly passable. My favorite use of it is in the Inquistor storyline in Swtor.
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  22. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

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    How could Palpatine be OOC in Dark Empire when all we got of him was Trolpatine from ROTJ?
    Last edited by DigitalMessiah, Dec 7, 2013
  23. CT-867-5309 Force Ghost

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    I call this "discontinuity".
  24. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

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    Well, Star Wars has a lot of discontinuity.
  25. GreatBeyonder Jedi Master

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    I actually agree with this statement, even though it slightly hurts my argument. But I'm still only concerned with Zahn's writing as context, and perhaps Dark Empire as they were written together. (Though Zahn himself refused to incoporate references to it... hence the hesitation.) But I agree, for the purpose of this theory, it is best to ignore Galen Marek,, Starkiller, the Fetts, etc. and just focus on what Zahn himself put down. And yes, I acknowledge Timothy Zahn himself might find it silly... but I seriously think it might actually be intentional, and a kriffing cool idea as well.