Lit The Official The Old Republic: Revan Discussion Thread (Spoilers Allowed)

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Rogue_Follower, Nov 23, 2011.

  1. Charlemagne19 Chosen One

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    I do admit that "greatest strategist in the galaxy" had the plan of attacking the Sith Emperor with two other guys. I mean, that's the plan for killing Malak but COME ON.
  2. Havac Some Guy Who Moderates Lit

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    "Love is okay!"

    "No it's not!"

    "Well . . . okay. I'll just shut up then, if you don't make a fuss about my marriage. Because Revan starting a light-side ideological crusade within the Jedi that gets him on the outs with the leadership would be far less interesting than Revan and bastila deciding to spend the rest of their lives sitting in their apartment playing gin rummy and eating pretzels."
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  3. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

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    I found it annoying when KOTOR decided to emulate the prequel Jedi despite Tales of the Jedi being so completely different just a generation earlier. Because Exar Kun and Ulic Qel-Droma turned to the dark side because they were married.

    Edit: And I mean, the idea that there was a centralized component able to enforce this change, because that wasn't present either.
    Last edited by DigitalMessiah, Sep 5, 2013
  4. Charlemagne19 Chosen One

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    I dunno. It's not like he has much ideological credibility.

    He sort of burned that bridge.

    Anakin *survives Endor*: So, kids, I have some GREAT ideas about reforming the Jedi Order.

    Leia: *glare*
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  5. Havac Some Guy Who Moderates Lit

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    Oh, yeah, I forgot about how stupid Scourge is. Why does he keep refusing to just deflect blasts, and takes them on his armor instead and keeps getting injured? That's got to be some asinine TOR class gameplay mechanic Drew is taking stupidly literally, right?

    Plus Revan is such a bland dweeb. "Let's not and say we did, T3! I actually said that! Hee hee hee!"
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  6. instantdeath Force Ghost

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    Jul 22, 2010
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    Personally, I don't mind that as a concept at all, assuming it's done well. Which, y'know, in this case it isn't done well at all.
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  7. Normal_Nerds Jedi Master

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    Aug 21, 2013
    star 1
    I've been thinking of rereading this book as I've recently started a replay if the first KotOR.

    Then I reread my review of it from when it came out and it all came flooding back.

  8. AlyxDinas Force Ghost

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    star 4
    "He focused on the pain, transforming it into anger to fuel the Force for a savage counter attack. At the same time, instinctively, he drew upon his opponent's fear, adding it to his own passion and further amplifying the power he was gathering."

    The book sort of makes a point that Scourge fights by literally using the pain he feels as his main motivator, as the main thing that he draws upon. So, he fights recklessly. Now, that might be a silly explanation (and I think it is) but it most certainly isn't anything to do with justifying game mechanics.

    "Instead of charging forward, he opened himself to the Force, letting both the light and the dark side flow through him like twin rushing rivers. But instead of focusing or channeling the Force, he released it in its purest form."

    I don't really get the implication that's balanced, even from the narrative's wording. It comes more back to the notion of "raw, unrestrained Force" than "perfectly in tune". He's basically pulling whatever he can find and letting it go without bothering to give it shape.

    Drew helped right the Revan meta arc for SWTOR and when Revan talks about balance and such in that game, the player is supposed to see him as demonstrably insane and misguided, even discounting his time imprisoned. "Feel the power of the Force in balance!" ends up as part of his rantings. "I was Sith, I am Jedi!". We've plenty of reason to think that DK doesn't think that Revan's approach to the Force is something healthy. Or that Revan's really engaging in some type of Light/Dark fusion technique.

    As a side note, one of the bigger problems of the book is Drew's understanding of wounds in the Force. He rationalizes that the Exile is uncomfortable on Nathema because she literally feels nothing; for Drew, Malachor is something where there's still an echo that one can feel.

    "On Malachor she'd felt the echoes of unimaginable pain and suffering-but at least she'd felt something...On Malachor she had felt the echo of great destruction.."

    "The events on Malachor had left a mark on the Force; a wound that would not heal. Here, however, the Force was simply....gone."

    I can see what he's going for. Basically, it's the difference between a tear in some fabric compared to an actual hole. That is, the difference between something left with fraying and something that doesn't exist. Conceptually, it's interesting. But it's not really how it works. Malachor was already a void.

    Surik should not necessarily feel too shocked at what's occurring on Nathema unless Karpyshan wanted to imply that her connection to the Force had come back in a way such that the planet's nature would affect her. Maybe that's subtext but if it is, it's not really clear.

    He wants Nathema to be this big example of what the Emperor is going to do, so he want his protagonist to feel it strongly but he's already got Scourge feeling it once. He doesn't need the Exile to feel it again. Clearly, he wants to play up the threat but there's no harm in having the Exile realize what has occurred and still be horrified by it.

    As it stands, we're sort of stuck with the vague handwave that Malachor was like, say, a festering limb, while Nathema is like an amputated one. And it might be a passable handwave but not really one that's needed. Just have Scourge be affected and have Surik be appalled that destruction like Malachor can be repeated.

    Extra side note while we're at it: The book does have one implication that's really nice and actually diminishes Vitiate in my eyes:

    "A grim theory passed unbidden through Scourge's mind: was it possible all those that had been consumed by the ritual on Nathema still existed in some form within the Emperor himself? Nyriss said he'd devoured them, but what is she was only partially correct? What if he had imprisoned their spirits inside his own corporeal form, slowly feeding on their life energy over a thousand years to keep himself young and strong?"

    I greatly enjoy the idea that much of Vitiate's power is not his own. That's he's basically the Sith Lord version of Ermac or that he's basically a living Philosopher's Stone like Hohenheim. That and I've always enjoyed the notion that some of Nyriss' fable about Vitiate is overstated fable, with some of it overlapping with what Surik finds (ie. Vitiate was indeed ruler of Nathema at the time of the GHW, etc).

    It's always made Vitiate more palatable to because while he's powerful as an amalgamation of Sith souls, Sidious is singular, the perfect, distilled product of Bane's line.
    Last edited by AlyxDinas, Sep 6, 2013
  9. Havac Some Guy Who Moderates Lit

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    Well, so far the book has made the point that the main thing he actually draws on is his opponents' emotions, and he doesn't draw on his own enough. But if he's trying to get hurt because he can't think of a better way to fight, that's a different kind of stupid. But is there seriously no Sith Warrior heavy-armor low-deflection tank class? Because "Drew is taking a tank class really super literally" immediately came to mind as soon as I started reading Scourge.
  10. Charlemagne19 Chosen One

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    Nope.

    I think he's just illustrating Scourge is different.
  11. AlyxDinas Force Ghost

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    I don't particularly think it likely that Karpyshan made Scourge's behavior exist as a means to justify or reflect any mechanic from TOR. It's more of an unintended association that comes from a game writer writing a game tie in book. Scourge is a tank companion in TOR, yes but I don't think that DK's going out of his way to emphasize that particularly. Sure, tanking in any game, mechanically, is about taking damage. But Force Users have a premium on the Defense stat, which is about avoidance/deflection. Particularly Shadows and Assassins who don't have heavy armor. Compare this to Troopers and Bounty Hunters, where it's all about Shield absorbing damage.

    That's sort of an aside though since I don't think we should ever take into account game mechanics in such ways. I'd say that Karpyshan's trying to find a way to differentiate Scourge as a Sith character and because he's an author that's very much about action, he does it through how the character fights. Scourge is supposed to be impulsive; it's the driving force behind his major decision at the end of the novel. So, he fights in an impulsive way as well.

    Now, that might sound like giving DK a lot more credit than I should given the general caliber of his work but the guy's not a complete fool. And I'd definitely say it's far more likely that he's doing it as a means of characterization or, at worst, a way of making Scourge "kewl!" than because he wants to write Scourge as a "tank".
  12. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

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    Wookieepedia decided to name this power "Balance of the Force," and I haven't read the novel so that's all I had to go on. But I found it troubling in the sense that it's not so much that I think Karpyshyn is trying to express that Revan is misguided, so much as it's an expression of Karpyshyn's own view of the Force as a mutually exclusive duality in which combining the two sides is something unheard of, which is also present in his Bane novels. I suppose that you could just explain it by the fact that in both cases he's writing about characters whom have issues, but even other Sith lords written by other authors don't literally view the Force as two separate entities like Bane does.

    It was my basic understanding that, say, when Obi-Wan is force pushing some battle droids in Episode I, he's not actually doing anything functionally different or calling on the Force or the "type" of Force differently than when Darth Maul is force pushing Obi-Wan into the pit. When you use the Force for telekinesis or in general, you are using the Force "in balance," because you're using the Force, period, and it has a light side and a dark side, and you're using both in equal measure. Obi-Wan isn't calling on the "light side" to force push the droids in contrast to Darth Maul calling on the "dark side" to do it; they're both using the Force which has both sides.
    Last edited by DigitalMessiah, Sep 6, 2013
  13. AlyxDinas Force Ghost

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    Yeah. But Wookiepedia is an idiot. ;)
  14. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

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    Yeah but when the next Essential Guide to the Force variant or RPG sourcebook or novel comes out they'll use that name since writers seem to just copy stuff from Wookieepedia and it will be 'canon.'
    Last edited by DigitalMessiah, Sep 6, 2013
  15. AlyxDinas Force Ghost

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    Meh. I'm young and I'm still too old to worry about that kind of stuff. You're right that it's mostly a symptom of DK's more rigid separation of the Force that we see these sort of description but it's more the fault of overzealous people frittering away on some wiki that we get stuff like this treated as a Force power and not a breakdown of language in the narrative. Regardless of anything else, it does seem clear (for me, at least) that even Karpyshan doesn't believe that someone suddenly is balanced in the Force because they shoot lightning and then use some type of "light" power.

    EDIT: Looking at the Force push example, I'd say that entirely possibly that someone might push something using the"dark side". It's a matter of "how" they call upon the Force. If I'm using anger as my conduit to the Force and use that to push someone...well....you see where I'm going with that, I'm sure.
    Last edited by AlyxDinas, Sep 6, 2013
  16. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

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    Maybe from the littered perspective of the EU with its million interpretations -- my caveat is that when I try to interpret the Force I try to do so from the lens of the films first and foremost because there's mutually exclusive interpretations that flow out of that in the EU. And in the films, I'm not given any indication or sense that the Jedi or Sith draw upon the substance of the Force differently, save for when Sidious or Tyranus shoot lightning. I don't see the purpose in making a distinction between Obi-Wan's Force push on the battle droids at the start of the film vis-a-vis Darth Maul's Force push of Obi-Wan at the conclusion -- it's phenomenologically the same "power" and there's no reason to believe that it's powered by different "substances" to the Force, as it were.

    If I was to accept this idea that Obi-Wan is pushing with the light side and Maul is pushing with the dark side, what does that say about the Force that the substance of these two things, in experiential reality, look identical?

    Personally, my take on it is that you can't separate or sieve out a side of the Force for something like telekinesis -- and when you do that, you get something like Sith lightning, and it's something which requires a certain level of mastery over the Force. And I'm not even sure of that -- the Force is a philosophical substance and I'm not yet sold that it can be reduced to its two sides.
    Last edited by DigitalMessiah, Sep 6, 2013
  17. AlyxDinas Force Ghost

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    Not that this is really much the proper thread for this type of discussion, I'd think but I'd simply say that the nature of the Force "used" is a reflection of the emotional state of the user. What does it mean that someone using the Force in a harmonious fashion and one using it in a chaotic manner end up pretty much doing the same thing (ie. moving a rock)? I'd say it means nothing. Remember that we're talking in hypotheticals about a bullcrap fake energy entity thing from a bunch of generally subpar novels and an handful of pulp movies. Not everything must have a deeper meaning or significance. Or even consistent rules.
  18. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

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    I know, and it doesn't. I'm just giving my impression off of viewing the films. It would be my way of depicting it inconsistently with the rest of the EU, as is par for the course. But I think I've been pretty clear elsewhere about my dislike for this idea of depicting the light and dark sides as separate entities.
  19. Iron_lord Chosen One

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    Sep 2, 2012
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    As Mara puts it in conversation with Corran in I, Jedi:

    Mara: "My Imperial training directed me toward dark side techniques for tapping the Force. I let emotions fuel what I did. I came here thinking Luke would show me new things I could do, new abilities to learn, but what he did instead was show me how to use the light side. I'm still doing the same things, but I have a new fuel source."
    Corran: "One that runs a bit leaner, isn't as easily accessible ... "
    Mara: "Right, but one that won't burn the engine out."

    Of course, at some point between then and Vision of the Future she decides she wasn't actually "on" the Dark Side (maybe because she was never selfishly motivated), but the basic principle applies.

    So, when Maul pushes, he's making use of his anger- but Obi-Wan is not- drawing on his own serenity or compassion.
  20. Havac Some Guy Who Moderates Lit

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    Well, Karpyshyn has made a habit of writing to game mechanics before; he does it extensively in the Bane books. If you're telling me that Scourge is a tank in TOR and then Karpyshyn writes him like a tank . . . it's not because Karpyshyn is trying to subtly express his impulsiveness through his armor-reliant fighting style. It's because Karpyshyn's writing is replete with literalized gameplay mechanics.
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  21. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

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    It's somewhat eyebrow raising that Stackpole and Zahn are supposed to be the buddies of Bantam collaborating and yet they have Mara reach opposite conclusions.
  22. AlyxDinas Force Ghost

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    Why not both? I'd say that he wanted to have combat reflect the character's personality (as well as give him some sort of differentiating "power") and that was conceptualized in something that resembled a tank. My point isn't that he doesn't take game ideas and place them into his writing. He does. I'm only saying that I'm not convinced that, in this case, it was his starting point. I don't think he saw that Scourge was a tank and said "Well, I will write him as a tank.", it was more "I want my character to have special powers/traits that fit him!" which then took on a gameplay mechanics-esque expression.

    EDIT: I suppose I'm suggesting, basically that the writing was done inside out and not outside in. That is, not looking at mechanics and then wanting to find a way to explain/express them in writing. Rather, in attempting to express his writing or his point about said character, he went to his comfort zone.
    Last edited by AlyxDinas, Sep 6, 2013
  23. Havac Some Guy Who Moderates Lit

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    I'm not convinced.

    Anyway, lol at Darth Xedrix the Entertainer losing his power because he's old. Yeah, being old makes you suck at the Force! Just like Palpatine, and Yoda, and Dooku!

    Also, I'm pretty sure wife-killing shouldn't be so unintentionally hilarious.
  24. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

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    And why does he have so much trouble dealing with large droids? Size matters not, right?

    ...right?

    [face_laugh]
    Last edited by Arawn_Fenn, Sep 6, 2013
  25. Darkslayer Force Ghost

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    IDK about eveyone else, but I loved this book. This and Darth Plagueis are my 2 favorite SW novels.
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