Writing Jedi in Danger: How do YOU do it?

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by brodiew, Feb 28, 2007.

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  1. brodiew

    brodiew Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Oct 11, 2005
    This is something I've struggled with recently. I'm not sure why, but all of a sudden I feel like writing a Jedi in any dangerous circumstance not related to other Jedi is impossible. The only way a non force user can get the drop on a Jedi is either to have a ysalamiri or have the Jedi unconscious. I hope this doesn't seem narrow minded, but I'm having trouble coming up with anything that a Jedi can't do, in a physical sense, anyway.

    What is the point of pitting a Jedi against a nonForce user? This leaves the Jedi only other Jedi to fight or to be overwhelmed by greater numbers.

    If there is a link out there...or the Parthenon touched on this at some point, please let me know.

    Otherwise, I'd like to hear what you've done.
  2. Luna_Nightshade

    Luna_Nightshade Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jan 25, 2006
    I think that, if you want to "weaken" a Jedi, the easiest way to do it besides unconsciousness or ysalamiris is to go for the moral code.

    Would acting in a particular way be off-limits to your Jedi character? i.e., would reacting make Qui-Gon scream out Noooooo?

    If so, your non-Jedi user could exploit the pause it takes for the Jedi to ponder.

    Moral codes can be both their greatest strength and their greatest "weakness," in battle terms.
  3. Jade_Max

    Jade_Max Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Jun 28, 2002
    I tend to think that not all Jedi, especially newer Jedi, have a Danger Sense. Yes, they might get a warning, but only a split second before the danger happens, because they don't see the future, they simply get a flash that something is coming their way.

    I tend to think of that as the ability to surprise and I've done fics where that's played a key role. Also, if you use an innocent (ie: a child) who's without guile or intent to do harm to assist in a plot, you can take Jedi by surprise.

    I think there are a lot of ways, those just being a few. Jedi are powerful, yes, but they don't have the same abilities Jedi to Jedi; they're all different. So maybe play on that aspect a bit, with the idea that Jedi, while powerful, all have their flaws and search instead for those flaws.

    Ie: Toxins - not all Jedi can purge toxins from their systems. Leaves them open to poisonings and stuff.

    hope it helps!
  4. DarthIshtar

    DarthIshtar Chosen One star 9

    Mar 26, 2001
    Don't forget that Qui-Gon did not sense danger over Naboo. I think that the proverbial Danger Sense has a lot more to do with where they are focusing their senses and what they view to be earmarks of a threat.
  5. Valairy Scot

    Valairy Scot Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 16, 2005
    Jumps and down! My problem too - make them sick, injured...probaby my readers always expect my Jedi to find themselves in poor health just so that they can be in danger (and that is no joke - I do overuse that).

    I agree with the above, but even already knowing much of what has been posted, I find it hard. Why doesn't the Jedi just free themselves? See it coming? Heck, even call for backup?

    I try to keep my (human) Jedi human on some level, like highly trained elite troops or something. They're better than ordinary humans but they aren't these all powerful beings.

    Bind them: they break the binders. Poison them: they neutralize the poison. Hurt them, they heal themselves.
    Where's the story?

    One approach that can be used sometimes: the Force may be limitless but a Jedi's use of it tiring. The body can only take so much. That has been suggested as a reason that Qui and Obi sped away from the droidekas on the Trade Federation ship but Obi didn't use Force-speed to catch up with Qui in Theed while battling Maul.

    If they were all-powerful, there would be no stories to tell!

  6. Jade_Max

    Jade_Max Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Jun 28, 2002
    Valairy brings up some interesting points - so I'm going to go about giving ideas for how to get around them

    Depends, can they enhance their strength? Not all Jedi can. Can they use telekenetics - Horns can't. Can they manipulate the metals and molecules of the binders?

    If the answer is no to any of these - and I think concentration and other factors can be brought in - then you can in fact restain a Jedi. Jedi, like Luke and the Solo/Skywalker clan, are fortunately the high end of the power scale.

    Take Tionne for example. She's a weaker Jedi whose skills fall into areas not conductive to combat. Cigal, as another example, is a Jedi Healer, trained to use a lightsaber but whose specialties lie in healing, not aggression or destruction.

    Brings up the question - is the Jedi trained to do so?

    Again, has the Jedi been trained to minimize their wounds, or even heal them completely.

    For a character, especially an OC, there are a lot of ways that you can mold them into not being the all powerful Jedi we expect them to see.
  7. brodiew

    brodiew Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Oct 11, 2005
    But most of what were are talking about is once you've already got the drop on a Jedi? How did you do that in the first place? I would say that all Jedi do have a danger sense. Some sort of basic connection to the Force that enables them to know something potentially bad is coming. Telepathy? Not necessarily.

    Still stumped.

    Perhaps there is an issue of timing that challenges the Jedi? They can't be everywhwere at once.

    Say, I wanted to put a Jedi in a diner robbery? Does the idea even make sense? It would be too easy for the Jedi to diable the robbers.

    We've seen how easily Jacen handles terrorist plots.

    I don't want a weak Jedi. I want a strong one that is challeged by something other than another Jedi.

    What challenges a Jedi?

    What is dangerous for them?
  8. DarthIshtar

    DarthIshtar Chosen One star 9

    Mar 26, 2001
    Oh, anything goes. I once had Jedi foil a robbery of a 7-11 by pouring a slurpee down the guy's back and then choking him on fire cheetos.
  9. Alley_Skywalker

    Alley_Skywalker Jedi Master star 4

    Sep 27, 2005
    I think poisonous gas or some other chemical is a good use here if someone wants to sneak up on a Jedi. True that they have the ability of purging bit to what extent? IDK maybe there?s something specific in the EU about it but I think something strong could be used that would knock a Jedi out before they could really realize what hit them in order to purge or utilize a re-breather.

    As for a physical fight?well we do see Jango fighting Obi-Wan in AOTC and doing rather well at least for a rather decent amount of time. Something like that could work?

  10. Rau_Fang

    Rau_Fang Jedi Master star 2

    Mar 28, 2005
    I think the bounty hunter angle is the perfect antithesis to a jedi. I hope I used the word antithesis right. The bounty hunters tracked down all the strangler jedi in the purges right? Well Vader and Order 66 had a big hand in the whole purges thing...

    I seem to remember Jango Fett firing three (or two) well aimed shots at that one green jedi, with lightsaber drawn, in AotC and killing him. I sincerely believe that Jango Fett could have made a stand against Mace Windu if it hadn't been for that stupid animal. In fact, I was extremely disappointed when it wasn't Boba who killed Mace in the end. (I'm planning to write an AU where Boba does just that) I know it would have to be a long time after RotS... but still wouldn't it have been awesome?!

    In one of my stories I have a bounty hunter throw a vibroaxe at a Jedi (who dodges it) then shoots a wireline (which the jedi dodges again) only to have the wire grapple the vibroaxe instead. Then with a swift movement the axe boomerangs back at the jedi, killing him. I'm sure Yoda could dodge a third time, but not every jedi is Yoda. I think Obi could be stumped by a move similar to that.

    The Emperor is different... I have my charries using a ysalamiri ;) Perhaps it would be more dramatic if I were to find a way to overwhelm the Emperor without a ysalamiri [face_thinking]

    However, bounty hunters are properly equipped to kill jedi. Jedi have their lightsabers... and a few other tricks, but not as many. In a fist fight the jedi might have the advantage.

    About the poison purging... I seem to remember Obi and Qui-gon using small gas masks of sorts. Although my memory of that one is fuzzy. It could be I'm remembering when they went under water.
  11. Fanficfan

    Fanficfan Jedi Master star 3

    Jul 12, 2005
    Obiwan & Qui-gon used the masked when they went underwater. When they got gassed I'm pretty sure they just held their breath till they got out.

    As for fighting Jedi, play KotOR 2, there's some funky ideas about defeating Jedi in that. You don't necessarily need to face them in combat, attack their allies, friends or family (if appropriate).
    And there are techniques to shield the mind from Jedi probing, they are probably quite an effective way to surprise a Jedi too. If the Jedi doesn't sense the intent to harm then there's just that much less time for him/her to react to the danger sense when it does flare up.
    Also, some species are naturally resilient to the Force. The Vong obviously, but also Noghri, Hutts, Toydarians, some Mandalorians and (I think) Chiss are a few. Any of those could potentially take on a Jedi if they were well trained.
  12. Luton_Plunder

    Luton_Plunder Jedi Knight star 3

    Jun 15, 2006
    I think its all a question of plausibility. Jedi are not (and in my opinion, cannot be) infallible.

    How does a non-force user plausibly take out a Jedi? In one of my fics it's the simple matter of using a sniper rifle so that the Jedi can't see the attack coming. There are a myriad of ways in which a Jedi is just as vulnerable as a non-force user. Put a bunch of jedi on a transport freighter, blow it up with a few torpedoes and see how helpful a lightsaber is ;)

    Jedi have become, in my opinion, too powerful for the good of the story. I loved their representation in the OT - they had the Force, but it didn't make them invincible. The PT and EU have alot to answer for by elevating them to the status of demi gods with powers that make them near invincible to mere mortals. That's why I have an unwritten rule in my stories - a Jedi cannot be the solution to a battle or problem. They can take part, but in the end the battle/problem has to be won/solved by a regular person with more smarts than midichlorians.

    To counteract an overpowered Jedi, I think its a matter of stepping away from the well-rounded, all-powerful archetype that seems to have arisen. Only the most powerful of Jedi are good at everything. If a Jedi character has great swordsmanship, why not bust down his telekinesis or mind-manipulation skills to compensate and give that character a weakness? Corran Horn had absolutely no Telekinetic power, but was good with mind tricks. That's the key, I think. Balance out the power to give the mortal pawns a chance to hold their own.

    Just sleepy thoughts to add to the discussion :)
  13. lazykbys_left

    lazykbys_left Jedi Padawan star 4

    Feb 17, 2005
    brodiew: The only way a non force user can get the drop on a Jedi is either to have a ysalamiri or have the Jedi unconscious.

    Pfft. You need to change the batteries in your creativity, methinks. It's not a matter of skill on the villain's part, but ingenuity.

    1a. Take hostages

    Not in the conventional, villain-puts-a-knife-to-the-heroine's-neck way, of course. Kidnap a hundred people. Put them in an sealed building with a holocam. Threaten to kill them if the Jedi doesn't chop off his legs. Important note: do not go anywhere near the Jedi to do this.

    1b. Threaten the hostages

    Kidnap a dozen families. Give the kids blasters with no stun settings and tell them you will kill their mommies and daddies unless they shoot the Jedi. For extra thrills, put small explosives in the kids' bodies and trigger them by remote control.

    2. Clones

    Clone the Jedi a few times. Bring the clones with you when you fight the him. The psychic resonance should be distracting, if nothing else.

    3. Mass torture

    Get your henchmen to torture as many people in the vicinity as they can when you fight the Jedi. Be sure not to kill them, since the deaths of all those Alderaanians didn't seem to have that much of an effect on Obi-Wan.

    4. Get the Jedi addicted

    Be sure to start out with just a few micrograms. Do it slowly over a long period of time, then force the Jedi to go cold turkey and wait for the withdrawal symptoms. Go for the Jedi's friends and family if this is not possible.

    5. Frame the Jedi

    Put together a bunch of evidence pointing to the Jedi's "crime" and make sure the law learns about it.

    The above are ways the villain can use. Now let's see what the writer can do . . . [face_devil]

    6. Allergies

    Take whatever species the villain is, and make the Jedi violently allergic to it. Or to the cologne the villain uses. You can't fight effectively when sneezing all the time.

    7. A moment of doubt

    Have the Jedi ask himself, "Am I really doing the right thing?" Or, "Hold on, how do I know this isn't a path to the dark side?" Be sure to use previous scenes to maximize on this.

    8. Useless sidekicks

    Burden the Jedi with a wannabe who plunges headfirst into danger without thinking of the risks - and also without the skills to survive them. A variation of this is someone the Jedi must protect, who keeps trying to escape the Jedi for a breath of fresh air.

    There's probably more, but that's all I can think up at 11PM. :D

    - lazy
  14. RebelGrrl

    RebelGrrl Jedi Master star 4

    Jan 13, 2006
    There are species out there that are immune to some of the things Jedi can do. Hutts, Darshades, and whatever Watto was for three examples. I've always assumed that it's because their minds are so alien in their processes to what the majority of the galaxy's species are.

    There are also things that not even Masters have learned how to do. A singular Jedi is not a master in all areas of the Force. Healers may be less skilled in combat but still legitimate Masters or strong Jedi. Corran is a Master of some power but cannot levitate so much as a pebble. When I create a Jedi OC, I sit down and decide what their strengths and weaknesses are in the Force, and what their primary area of speciality is. That's going to say alot about how they choose to handle situations that come their way. I also decide where they are on their path from Padawan to Master.

    In my current stories, I have three Jedi. One was Knighted during the Clone Wars and hasn't developed much of anything besides fighting techniques. Too many Seperatists, not enough Jedi to me means some training got short-shrit with hopes to catch up after the fighting was over. The Order needed to field commanders and quick. He's a strong Jedi, but hampered by a lack of training in some areas and that's going to make things difficult, especially in normal society or whatever passes for it during the Dark Times. The other starts as an infant, and the third I use is Qui-Gon Jinn, who's obvious flaw is that he's discorporal. ;)

    This is Star Wars, it's a fairy tale, the good guys are going to win. But I make it hard for them. My OCs have gotten grief from a Dashade to a pack of hurrtons, to a vengeful Imperial officer and they had to use more than the Force to get out of the situations.
  15. KILIK

    KILIK Jedi Master star 4

    May 21, 2005
    Well if you played KOTOR 2. Atton guies good tips for non force user to kill jedi.

    One thing to keep in mind is, not all jedi are great with the force.

    Some suck with it, ie throwing this object or what not, they are better with a lightsaber.

    And some lightsaber forms are week and don't work well when blasters are used on them.

    Also the non jedi could throw up strong walls of emotions around them the jedi may not even sense them at all.

    And some you can play mind, games with, if the have a student with them ie a padawan.

    Have the OC wound the padawan, it well mess up the bond the master and padawan have and there you go. Kill away.
  16. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Chosen One star 6

    Aug 21, 2006
    use of a Force-supressor can work against Jedi and some healers have done that in stories Ihave read. And I have written one that is using that.
  17. thesporkbewithyou

    thesporkbewithyou Jedi Master star 4

    Feb 13, 2005
    I like this thread. Seriously. A lot.

    6. Allergies

    Take whatever species the villain is, and make the Jedi violently allergic to it. Or to the cologne the villain uses. You can't fight effectively when sneezing all the time.

    This right here is, perhaps, one of my favorite suggestions because I used it so recently in a fic that has no name and will never be published. But in it, I had Kyp Durron encounter an old inmate from Kessel who used a particular paralyzing spray he happened to be allergic to, and this inmate knew this for whatever reason. This took care of three things: one, it immobilized Kyp, two, it made him sick, and three, the fun lasted for days!

    But in my humble opinion, the best way to take out a Jedi would be to throw him in a pit of lava. It worked for Obi-Wan.
  18. dianethx

    dianethx Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Mar 1, 2002
    Well, Obi-Wan is allergic to hoi broth.

    Lazy, that was quite a list. Great job.
  19. ardavenport

    ardavenport Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Dec 16, 2004
    When going up against the Jedi I start at a more fundamental level. What does you Jedi-opponent want to accomplish? That will drive the whole story. Are they:

    -- fighting the Jedi to kill? Capture? Why?
    -- trying to kill something else?
    -- trying to steal something?
    -- invading a planet?
    -- something else that the Jedi will object to?

    Always keep in mind what the Jedi-opponent wants. Then work on how they will get it. Establish what the Jedi opponent's resources are and how much accurate information they have about Jedi. They may have bad info about Jedi, or be over-confident in their abilities. Are they a massively powerful warlord, space pirate or just a single assassin?

    Then establish what the Jedi has. Alone on a planet? With a ship? With or without communications?

    Palpatine used brute force (pun intended). He established that you CAN defeat Jedi with overwhelming numbers. And remember, in the beginning of TPM, Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon were stuck in a standoff because the droids they were fighting had shield generators. And Grievous captured Anakin and Obi-Wan with ray shields. Obviously you can stop and capture Jedi with force fields.

    Jedi have their own type of 'spider sense' with the Force, but it mostly kicks in when something fatal might happen. A Jedi might 'sense' that something bad is going to happen, but it may not be a very specific warning or include what needs to be done. For milder threats, they can be surprised AND if they are busy fighting/escaping/whatever then they just might not be able to respond to anything other than immediate mortal threats.

    But does your Jedi-opponent want to kill the Jedi, or just get them out of the way while they do their business? You CAN delay and trap Jedi for awhile as well.

    Say, I wanted to put a Jedi in a diner robbery? Does the idea even make sense? It would be too easy for the Jedi to diable the robbers.

    What is the motive of the robber? Just money? To rob the patrons? Does the robber care if people are hurt? Does the Jedi care if people are hurt? That could be a limiting factor for the Jedi. Does the Jedi know the robber? Is there more than one robber? If there are multiple things going on, the Jedi MUST choose which thing to protect or fight against. That could be a difficult choice.

    What challenges a Jedi?

    What is dangerous for them?

    Anything that is dangerous to whatever species the Jedi is. But always start with why the Jedi-opponent wants to challenge the Jedi in the first place.

  20. Courtney_Solo

    Courtney_Solo Jedi Master star 4

    May 23, 2005
    Good question!

    I generally have Jedi who really aren't ... y'know ... that experienced facing non-Force sensitive yet powerful villians.

    I basically have the villain attack the Jedi's loved one. :D
    That always seems to get a reaction...
  21. AnakinsFavorite

    AnakinsFavorite Jedi Knight star 5

    Apr 10, 2006
    [face_laugh] My danger usually involves some torture device (curling irons or pregnancy suits) or insanely evil Sith Lords.

    As you can see, I go either way on that... comic... horror!

  22. LeatherNeck

    LeatherNeck Jedi Youngling star 3

    Mar 24, 2006
    Jedi are constantly in danger when you think about it. IN the Old Order, they send two to do the job of an entire Army, and can be killed off with swarm tactics. In EU there's so few of them(though the quality of force strength is far higher than the old order) that they are difficult bu not impossible prey. Also, force sensitivity when used carefully can become a weapon(constant kidnappings of the SOlo children. But aside from swarms and orbital bombardment, there isn't much that Jedi cannot contend with.
  23. The_Face

    The_Face Ex-Manager star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 22, 2003
    I have to echo the others who have suggested giving your Jedi weaknesses. There are a lot of things that Jedi can do, but the Jedi who can do all of them should be rare.

    Separating them from their lightsaber is a primo tactic. What were those things that caught Anakin and Obi-wan in the Invisible Hand? Since this is Star Wars, you can always invent some obscure technology, as long as things don't get too deus ex machina.

    I don't use very many Force-users in my stories; I tend to stick with the regular folks and shady underworld types. But when I do, I make sure to limit them. For instance, I just finished a short story The Other Side, in which a former Jedi who doesn't care much for the Dark or the Light found herself up against a serial killer targeting Force-users. Because of her opinions, she's not very good at either side's special abilities. Furthermore, she's bad at the mind stuff. All that really leaves is telekinesis and enhanced speed/reflexes. That is much easier to handle for non-Force-sensitive villains. And on top of that, I gave her a homemade lightsaber that doesn't even work properly half the time. :p

    There are a lot of good ideas in this thread. Hostages are always a good one. Sure the diner robbers may not be able to take out the Jedi, but can the Jedi really kill them before they shoot an innocent customer? You can be as strong and fast as you want, but you're still fallible when it comes to the mind, emotions, etc. Why else would Lex Luthor give Superman such headaches?
  24. ZebulaNebula

    ZebulaNebula Jedi Master star 5

    Feb 10, 2005
    Jedi are also susceptible to physical disorientation - think of the Jedi trap in Specter of the Past. Alternately, even their healing abilities can be used against them - if you make them enter a healing trance, you can do all sorts of things to them while they're recuperating.
  25. drevan1138

    drevan1138 Jedi Youngling star 1

    Apr 7, 2006
    I'm only partway though my first fic but here are the techniques I've used so far:

    1. Law of large numbers.

    Think Geonosis. There are only so many blasts a single lightsaber can deflect. Try pinning the Jedi against a large group of mercenaries or stormtroopers. (I tend to overuse this one.) Not all Jedi can be Mace Windu in the first season of the Clone Wars cartoons.

    2. Keep the action coming.

    Somone mentioned this in an earlier post. If you can have a Jedi drawing on the Force for a prolonged period, their abilities can start to diminish.

    3. The bigger machine the better.

    Jedi can be taken out by tanks, walkers, starfighters.

    4. Space battles.

    Combine 1 & 3. Jedi can become vulnerable during space battles where their Force options are more limited.

    5. Give them a physical limitation.

    Have a mission where they are required to wear a restrictive spacesuit or other gear. (Think KOTOR and the obsessively slow spacesuit sections). Also if they become injured earlier in your fic that can provide opportunities for dangerous situations.

    6. Impossible tasks.

    Have them lead or coordinate huge battles where they are using their mind more than the Force.

    7. The always convenient friend in danger.

    Just my two credits of advice.
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