Knights of the Old Republic EP18: The Jedi King

By Shamus Posted Friday Oct 9, 2015

Filed under: Spoiler Warning 177 comments

Link (YouTube)

So let me see if I follow this:

Master Quatra deliberately pissed off her student Juhani because Juhani was having anger-management issues. When Juhani predictably attacked her, Quatra pretended to be dead so that Juhani would think she’d killed her own master. Juhani then fled into the wilderness and the Jedi made no effort to track her down, reason with her, or tell her the truth. Juhani then used her Jedi mind-powers to enrage the Kath hound population, which resulted in ferocious attacks against the civilian population. Even after this, the Jedi didn’t seem to think this was worth their time. Eventually they sent their newest recruit (the player) out to confront Juhani and deal with the problem. And then the master left town rather than stay to see how it all turned out.

I don’t think people “fall” to the dark side. I think they are pushed. Repeatedly. By the Jedi council. People don’t join the Sith because they want power. They’re just looking for a less embarrassing form of evil.

On second thought let’s not go to the Jedi temple. It is a silly place.


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177 thoughts on “Knights of the Old Republic EP18: The Jedi King

  1. Wide And Nerdy says:

    There’s actually an even more evil option with the droid.

    You can kill the droid and tell its owner that its still out there so she wastes who knows how long looking for him and possibly gets herself killed.

    The stupid evil you can do on Dantooine is exquisite.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      It may be a cruel and unusual punishment,but I wouldnt consider that evil.She is technically a slaver,so she deserved it.

      1. I honoured the droid’s wish and I didn’t get evil points, which I was expecting. I don’t think I got distracted and missed the red dot.

      2. djw says:

        I agree that what droids face in the star wars universe is slavery, and I hope our real future with robots is better than that, but… it should be mentioned that almost everybody IN universe seems to be cool with that, including most of the droids.

        1. 4th Dimension says:

          To be fair that way was also back in the ancient days when slavery was a norm. Slaves were a thing and a slave could reach quite high position while still being a property. Same is in SW, droids are the property even though some of them can be respectable allies and friends. People can be weird like that.

    2. Slothfulcobra says:

      I wanted to just set the droid free, maybe take it off planet so the woman can’t find it, or even just sell it so that her husband’s last gift to her wouldn’t go to waste.

      But no, your only options are kill the droid, return the droid, or basically refuse to turn in the quest after you’ve done it.

  2. Wide And Nerdy says:

    Also, I’ve never understood the appeal of catgirls. Ok wait, now after all these years it just occurred to me right this minute (really, I’m capturing this for posterity). Its the behavior isn’t it? Its the idea of a woman slinking around like a cat. I’m going to assume its this because its the only thing about catgirls that makes any sense to me.

    Maybe its because I lived with a bunch of my old roommates cats and they were disgusting.

    But they made Juhani even more physically cat like. Which means the first lesbian option in Star Wars is covered in fur. I wouldn’t think this would appeal to a lot of lesbians (hairiness being more a masculine thing).

    Shamus, if I’m inadvertently stepping into a minefield here, I’m letting you know in advance that deleting this comment wouldn’t bother me. I don’t think I’m being offensive but my Wider sense is tingling.

    Also, shouldn’t you be able to distract Juhani by waving your lightsaber around or blasting spots on the ground?

    1. Micamo says:

      Ha ha, thinking that lesbian romance options in video games are aimed at actual lesbians and not at straight male gamers who think het is eww. How adorably naive.

      As for catgirls, for me at least, it’s purring. A cat’s purr is literally biologically programmed to be pleasurable to humans and release endorphins in our brains. Put that on a snuggly human and oh god my heart call an ambulan

    2. Supahewok says:

      The thing that annoys me with Juhani is her stupid damn accent. On my new playthrough I’ve blown through her dialogue just so I wouldn’t have to hear her voice, so I’m not particularly fond of her and her story. What the hell is her voice actress trying to do with her r’s?

      Plus I don’t like how her story basically consists of you being her therapist. It gets really heavy handed at the end.

      I’ve never noticed her having fur in-game. Its there in some of her out of game art, but in game she just has a weird shaped head with pointy ears. If it weren’t for her slitted eyes and dumb accent she could be an Elf.

      As for cat girls, cats are thought to be slim, and dexterous. Doesn’t take much to translate that to sensuous when you anthropomorphize them. Its a tougher job to do with, say, dogs.

      1. Alex says:

        I love Juhani’s accent. To me, that’s the best thing about her.

    3. Ardis Meade says:

      Adorable, sleek, cuddly, cute, agile, mysterious. There are a lot of traits considered desireable in women that are also used to descibe cats. Crossed wires doesn’t strike me as odd. You also seem to be getting furry and hairy confused. Those are usually percieved differently. Juhani chasing a laser pointer needs to be a thing though.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Selfish,vindictive,devious.Theres plenty of catlike things that are not that appealing for a woman to have.Unless you are into “bad girls”.

        1. Bropocalypse says:

          You’ve owned the wrong cats, I think

          1. djw says:

            Even the best cats don’t really take your interests into consideration when they make decisions.

            1. Ivan says:

              It’s not a very obscure video, but it’s super relevant right now.


              1. djw says:

                That was laugh out loud funny.

                My parrots do that too, but they back it up with anger and attack if you try to stop them.

              2. Daemian Lucifer says:

                The male I had had the habit of eating only from the bowl I would put in front of my other cat.It didnt matter that the bowls were identical,with identical amounts of identical food,he would always wait for me to go out of sight before pushing the other cat away and eating from her bowl.So yeah,cats are dicks.Lovable cuddly ones,but dicks nonetheless.

                And yes I know that cats will cuddle with you when you are sick or hurting,but its not because they care,but because they enjoy absorbing your sweet sweet pain and suffering.

                1. Lachlan the Mad says:

                  I’m currently working as an animal keeper, and the number of times I’ve seen lizards do this is ridiculous.

        2. Wide And Nerdy says:

          I see you’re living with my old roommate. ;)

        3. Sleeping Dragon says:

          Well obviously there are different cats, if we’re speaking in terms of “what cat features people find appealing in catgirls” than we don’t think about the lazy Catzilla who weighs 5kilos and downs its food until it pukes if given the chance. I think some of the mostly appealing features are “grace” (dexterity), the physical ways cats express pleasure (purring and brushing against you), to some extent probably the impulsiveness. There is also the entire cultural baggage… actually, at this point it may be somewhat self-perpetuating.

          Also, like you said the “dark side of a cat” can still work for a catgirl. CatWOMAN has been around for decades (admittedly with various degrees of success).

    4. Alex says:

      Guys like catgirls because a catgirl is mostly an attractive human woman, with a few non-human attributes that do not make her unattractive. The same applies to twi’leks, mermaids, gynoids, and a bunch of other sci-fi and fantastic races.

    5. Falterfire says:

      The creepy answer about “Why are catgirls attractive?” is that the most cat-like of them are literally women who are totally subservient to a male owner. They don’t really think for themselves and they’ll never leave the owner. Basically some catgirls are literally pets that just happen to also be attractive women.

      I’m not sure if that’s consciously a part of the attraction for most fans of Catgirls, and it’s not true for all versions (Certainly it isn’t true for Juhani), but it’s definitely a thing that happens in some depictions of catgirls.

      “Why not dog-girls instead?” you might ask, since ‘Undying love’ is a trait generally associated with dogs, and I don’t know. Best guess is that cats are just more associated with women than dogs are.

      1. Alexander The 1st says:

        Speaking as someone who’s more fond of cats than dogs, I’d say that catgirls or doggirls might also be because cats are known for being better at being independent – yes, they might be considered subservient, but they are much more content being left alone and being taught to use a litter box. At worst, you just have to tell them to get away from the keyboard or to stop biting you if they’re unhappy about their food.

        Dogs, on the other hand (At least in my experience), are about as energetic and requiring being walked around on a leash so they don’t chase down other people, and kind of the Navi type of pet.

      2. Wide And Nerdy says:

        This reminds me of Momo from Hunie Pop who takes this up to eleven. It creeped me out.

        1. Cinebeast says:

          Me too. When I hear stereotypical catgirl that’s who I think of. But then, Hunie Pop is basically an elaborate love letter to all those Japanese dating sim tropes. I guess it would have been dishonest of them to shake things up.

          Also, what about all the goatgirls? Everyone’s talking about cats and dogs and tigers, but goats are all the rage right now with the release of Undertale.

          1. Wide And Nerdy says:

            I thought Hunie Pop was supposedly poking fun at those tropes. Since its the only dating sim I’ve played, its hard to tell but I thought they might be trying to creep me out on purpose, like when she take a picture of herself with a leash eagerly serving you food, or the fact that she’s only 1 year old (cat years I guess) and has no idea what sex is.

          2. Daemian Lucifer says:

            Oh,you think Im pretty?And after calling me mother….You are…an interesting child.

    6. Nidokoenig says:

      Catgirls are attractive because we tend to see feline characteristics as feminine. From what little I’ve seen of dog girls, they tend to look like Lassie or a fox, both feminine canines to us, and then add feline features to complete the effect. Catgirls also don’t have humanlike hair, they have smooth fur, as in fur coats that we generally accept as accentuating the feminine. Dog boys, or rather dog men, are also quite common as the canine features are glossed as masculine, but cat boys are usually in that ambiguous twink or teenage area where there’s still a good chunk of feminine charm to a guy.

      The subservient aspect can’t be the full explanation, because you have tiger girls like Aisha from Outlaw Star, unless you want to argue something like taming a wild beastgirl is a part of that kind of catgirl’s appeal, which is a bit too specific a fetish to generalise.

      Anyway, how about them Star Wars?

      1. Gravebound says:

        …cat boys are usually in that ambiguous twink or teenage area…

        Nobody remembers the Kilrathi or Rakshasa? -sadface-

        1. Nidokoenig says:

          Well, talking about fetish cat boys. Though the Kilrahi do look quite manly and powerful~

        2. Joe Informatico says:

          Key difference: Lions and tigers are seen as fierce predators. So are housecats, to be fair (a recent study by our environment ministry revealed that of all the bird deaths in Canada caused by human-related activity, housecats both feral and domestic were responsible for well over two-thirds of them), but they don’t have that same image.

    7. Catfights?
      Okay, okay, I confess, I’m evil, I’m a jedi.

    8. The thing I always like doing regarding catgirls is posing anatomical questions to their fans along with “and if so, why is it like that?” at the end. You might think I’m talking about mammaries, but no: I ask about ears.

      Catgirls have varied and strange ear setups. All of them have the cat-like ears on top of their heads, of course. Others have those ears plus a set of human ears. I come in asking, “Why do they have four?” or “If they only have the ones on top, are the sides of their heads smooth?” The latter question sometimes involves a follow up depending on how they’re drawn, which is “How are her glasses staying on?”

      Oddly, it causes all kinds of weird explanations and verbal gymnastics in an attempt to explain these odd traits along with some arguments over which is “better” or “makes more sense.”

      1. The glasses are also part of their anatomy. Some catgirls have developed this trait to throw birdgirls off guard by imitating a human with poor eyesight, to help lure them into kill range more easily.

        If you look closely, you’ll find that they’re actually a highly modified form of facial hair.

  3. River Birch says:

    Supplexing a boulder just because you can Mumbles…?

    Have you been meeting a Fish Lady lately…?

    1. Wray92 says:

      Mumbles points heroically toward the sky.

  4. Hal says:

    I didn’t even realize Juhani was a romance option until this season of Spoiler Warning. Heck, I didn’t even remember she was in the game until I stumbled across her in my own modern playthrough. I recall reading somewhere that she was something of a last minute addition to the cast.

    1. Supahewok says:

      I think she was part of the initial planning, because her name was originally Bastilla Shan in her early art. The name was reassigned when the actual Bastilla was conceived. She might’ve been left on the backburner though, on a list of “things we’ll put in at the end if there’s time.”

    2. SpiritBearr says:

      There was a whole X Play episode about it.

  5. Smiley_Face says:

    I agree regarding “falling” to the dark side. The Jedi have such a superior attitude that they create ridiculous and sometimes arbitrary standards to live up to in order to be “good”, as opposed to evil. And the Jedi who don’t live up to those standards, having been indoctrinated with Jedi philosophy since childhood, end up defining themselves by the only other thing in their worldview of Force users, namely as a cartoonishly evil villain. They try to reject Jedi philsophy, but never reject the black-and-white worldview that it’s based on.

    And then there’s asshats who actually push people to “teach them a lesson”, which probably is just an excuse to make them feel superior in comparison. And of course, they send YOU, an untested recruit with a questionable past, to handle things.

    1. Gruhunchously says:

      This is the sort of thing that kind of justifies the attitude of a lot of KOTOR 2 characters.

      1. Orillion says:

        Chris Avellone taking a shit on the entire established franchise was also arguably the best thing that ever happened to it.

        1. Gruhunchously says:

          I think ‘taking a shit’ is too harsh a description. More like ‘twist, bend and even pervert in order to create interesting characters and situations’. As has been said before, the Jedi being selfish and domineering is nothing new to the franchise, and the character that best represents those traits (Atris) is potentially able to find redemption in the end. Conversely, for all that Atton and Kreia rail against the Jedi, they’re hardly pictures of ideological integrity themselves, and Kreia is a self admitted hypocrite that despises the Force for controlling destiny while also being a control freak herself. Basically, KOTOR 2 still seems to has a respect for the franchise, even as it plays around with it. Just look at the massive amount of work they put into getting the details of the Expanded Universe right.

        2. Michael says:

          Ironically, I kinda think you have that backwards. Avellone took a pretty serious swipe at KotOR on the way through, but KotOR2 is a lot more faithful to the Tales of the Jedi era stuff (ignoring Bioware’s contributions), and raises a lot more interesting questions within the framework of Star Wars itself.

          I think Lurkey nailed it, though. KotOR is a Saturday Morning Cartoon, full of visually interesting characters designed to sell toys and a paper thin plot designed to put characters in interesting backdrops to “do stuff.” It’s very sensational. Stuff has an immediate context, which completely falls apart if you try to look at it rationally.

          In turn, KotOR2 is an honest attempt to contribute to the franchise. Talking about the philosophical implications of action, particularly by the supernaturally empowered, and what that really means. There’s some really interesting, intellectual material there.

          The goofy thing about this is, they’re both legitimate takes on Star Wars. The films were heavily influenced on what could be marketed and sold as a toy. They’re drawing from the film serials of the 30s, 40s, and 50s, which isn’t that far off the kind of Saturday Morning Cartoon logic that KotOR1 engages in. It’ll make your brain hurt if you think about it, but it is Star Wars. That shameful part we try to ignore, and the part that came to the forefront in the prequels, leading to the hatred of them.

          And, then on the other end you’ve got stuff like the Thrawn trilogy, which turns Star Wars into pretty solid SciFi. Which is where KotOR2 lives. In that complex, philosophical setting we want to see, even when some of the basic canon is just there to sell toys.

          1. Tizzy says:

            Dont know anything about the EU, but my impression is that taking the Force and its implications seriously (à  la Kotor2) is about the most un-Star Wars thing you can do. In terms of running against the classical canon.

            I really loved Kotor2, but it also showed me better than anything else the limitations of the Force if you try to take it beyond the vague plot device of the original trilogy.

            1. Michael says:

              You’re not completely wrong. When you start trying to take Star Wars’ philosophy seriously things get really wonky fast. KotOR2 starts nailing some of the shakier parts of it, and actually points out how messed up the underlying logic is.

              And yet, as with darker and edgier reboots of things that have no business being put through Tim Burton’s coffee filter, there is a lot of demand from people who think they want that from Star Wars. KotOR2 does a really good job of saying, “no, guys, you don’t get it, this setting is really messed up if you try to look at it that way.”

    2. Nidokoenig says:

      To be fair, good is portrayed as the hard and narrow path in most mythology, and the cheapest and easiest way to do that is to show people fucking up, which is a handy way setting people who are very close to each against each other for dramatic and meaningful fights. Ain’t nobody ever accused Star Wars of being subtle and sophisticated.

  6. I’m liking my brain issue theory more and more as this game goes on. The Jedi make so much more sense when you think of ’em all as having brain issues.

  7. Tim Keating says:

    Situations like this are clearly why Anakin needed to bring “balance” to the Force…

  8. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Thats why jolee is so awesome:He calls jedi out on their bullshit.

    1. Micamo says:

      I actually don’t like Jolee all that much. Not because I hate what he is, but because his presence makes the world even dumber, IMO. He’s proof that the writers knew what they were doing in building this world and presenting the other jedi the way that they did and just didn’t care about fixing the problem. I can swallow these kinds of things from a writer when that same writer isn’t also pointing out the flaws in their own work.

      It’s like if they added a companion to Fallout 3 who followed you around screaming “What the hell do these people eat!? Why does nobody have jobs!? Why don’t these people clean up their houses!? Why does anyone want to fix this water purifier!?”

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Someone needs to mod Shamoose into fallout 3 now.

        1. You’d have to tag him as essential, because when the player (eventually) tries to kill him, he’d get up and say “And another thing! You can’t kill all the annoying NPCs you really want to! Go ahead, try to shoot Elder Lyons. You can’t kill him unless you nuke the citadel! That’s crap!”

          Also, you wouldn’t be able to dismiss him, so he’d be your only companion forever.

          1. Metal C0Mmander says:

            If I can only have Shamus as a companion then why would I be playing fallout 3 to begin with. People that think like Shamus will get angry at fallout 3 and people who don’t will get angry at Shamus.

            1. Daemian Lucifer says:


        2. Nidokoenig says:

          He needs a home, though. Maybe a nice little hut with a sign that says Chez Moose. And an incidental dialogue about he spent a decade working with your dad on a machine to purify the Wasteland of dander forever, before that idiot went off to make some water machine that makes no damn sense and would be in the wrong place if it did. This explains why nobody bothers sweeping up.

      2. ehlijen says:

        The jedi were meant to come across as dogmatic, uptight and a bit cowardly, ie flawed. Even in the original trilogy, Yoda and Obi-wan advocated avoidance of temptation rather than facing and resisting it, even though Luke’s choice to do so ended up saving his father.

        There were certainly tropes and problems in the writing, such as Juhani’s introduction quest, (and not all of them are justified by the twist), but I don’t think Jolee being against the Jedi isolationism is really one of the problems. In the same way that the sith code isn’t evil per se, but is horrendously abused, the jedi code isn’t a guaranteed roadmap to goody-two-shoeness either.

        1. Otters34 says:

          Then why does everybody constantly complain that it is not? That the Jedi aren’t perfect is barely worth mentioning aside from truly baffling cases like Juhani, but it’s treated like some crushing revelation.

          1. Corsair says:

            I’ve never been able to come up with a satisfactory explanation for why people find it so hard to figure out that The Jedi Code and the Light Side of the Force aren’t the same thing.

            1. Probably because the Jedi spend most of their time talking about the threat of the Dark Side.

            2. Sleeping Dragon says:

              The thing is while we may think of them as a Light Side organization(s) the Jedi Order(s) as shown in KOTOR(s) and in episodes 1-3 aren’t really. Their primary focus is not on creating champions of the Light Side but on preventing people from falling to the Dark Side. Most Jedi probably fall somewhere in the “dimly lit” part of the Force spectrum and are tucked in monasteries, libraries or in other places away from the action and those dread passions.

            3. Otters34 says:

              The problem stems, in part, from how there is a Dark Side of the Force which the Bad People use, which implies that the not-Dark Side which the Good People(like Regina here!) use must be the Good Side of the Force. The reality is that while the Force might have some kind of desires and acts almost like a public domain god, it still is just a semi-mystical energy that permeates and connects the universe and its inhabitants. There’s no moral qualifiers to it, just what you put into it(emotionally and dramatically) is what comes out.

              Being in harmony with creation is no guarantee of sound judgement or holding an ethical stance everyone agrees with.

              1. Syal says:

                I’ve taken it that the Force is just the flow of the universe, so the Light Side is letting things play out as intended without interference, and the Dark Side is messing with the flow of things so they work out better for you. So the only time it’s justified for a Jedi to solve a problem with the Force is when someone else used the Force to create the problem.

      3. Ivan says:

        Idk, I often find that when writers point out their flaws it makes everything easier to accept. Just knowing that they didn’t completely ignore the problem is enough to encourage me to fill in the blanks myself and wonder how this situation came to be if this isn’t what everything would look like if it all had time to settle down.

  9. Slothfulcobra says:

    The thing about Juhani is that she doesn’t really have any dialogue other than her standard, “Let me tell you my back story” stuff. You can’t even ask her about the planet you’re on, and you can ask everybody that, even Zorlbug who only knows about one planet and will refuse to talk about anything else.

    Add to that the fact that she doesn’t have an interesting viewpoint when you’re out talking to people, and I had no reason to take her off the ship, which is a shame, since she has a sidequest that won’t trigger if you don’t bring her along, and I missed it.

    Cancerous on the other hand, is great. He’ll hand out his war stories whenever you want, and he doesn’t bait you into these conversations like everybody else will. I could listen to him all day.

    1. ehlijen says:

      Carth, Mission, Bastila and Canderious all have side quests that won’t trigger unless you bring them along. Juhani’s is unique in that it doesn’t complete unless you use the fast travel option. Zaalbar’s is unique in that it triggers even if you don’t bring him, and the droids don’t have any (that I recall).

      An aside for the crew’s game plan: Beginning to romance Juhani is possible regardless of force side, but the dark path involves killing her before she can confess to love you (which she’ll do even if you’re with carth at the time).
      So practically, dark siders won’t get with her.

      1. djw says:

        HK-47 sort of has a side quest, if you are willing to count the conversations that you can unlock as side quests. You certainly do get interesting dialogue and droid buffs out of them.

        1. ehlijen says:

          To me a quest involves physically going somewhere, so no, while neat, I wouldn’t count the backstory delving as a quest. I know you’re metaphorically going into the past and searching for answers, but to me that’s the distinction between questing and researching.

          1. djw says:

            Well, its more than T3 gets.

          2. Daemian Lucifer says:

            I disagree.A quest that involves nothing but talking is still a valid one.Plus,the requirement for getting the whole story from hk47 is improving your skills,so technically you do have to “go somewhere” and get xp.

  10. Alexander The 1st says:

    I actually see the Master Quatra thing slightly differently; that Juhani *did* strike down her master and actually *did* kill her – but when the Jedi are given an option to accept a fallen Jedi back into their ranks on the Light Side of things, they decided to make up that story to help her feel better.

    I mean, while I ended up not doing Juhani’s side quest in my most recent run of the game, apparently you don’t see Quatra there…and you don’t see Quatra anywhere else either.

    1. Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

      Juhani has a sidequest?

      I have played this game all the way through a half dozen times. I have never triggered it.

      1. djw says:

        Her’s is hard to trigger by accident. I had to read a walkthru before I could do it, and even then it involved running in and out of hangars until her conversation triggered.

      2. Alexander The 1st says:

        I only just heard about it on this post – someone mentions it above.

        It only triggers if you bring her along to certain planets though.

    2. Benjamin Hilton says:

      I didn’t take any thoughts that far, but I still disagree with how the cast took it. At no point does any of this say it was planned by the Jedi. I took Juhani at face value: she got pissed and attacked her master and then ran for it while just assuming she had killed her, and the Jedi just decided to roll with it. It is odd that her master left, but at no point does anything imply that this was planned in advance.

      1. Alexander The 1st says:

        Well, for me, I assumed Quatra attempted to goad Juhani to teach her the follies of the Dark Side, so the Jedi Council *might* know of that part…but they didn’t expect it to be fatal.

        This would explain why they send in their newest rookie to talk Juhani down – they can’t outright point out her that Quatra tried to taunt her into that strike, but then also not be able to bring Quatra in to tell her about that – since she might’ve gotten more than losing her ear.

        1. guy says:

          I think Quatra survived but is in a Kolto tank at the moment, and probably pushed Juhani on purpose but didn’t expect to get so badly injured or for her to run off.

          1. Alexander The 1st says:

            The problem with the Kolto tank explanation is that at the very end of the game, when you face off against Malak, he’s got a bunch of Jedi from Dantooine, and the ones that are still hanging on with their life force tied to the Star Forge don’t include Master Quatra, at least specifically they don’t list names where Quatra doesn’t show up there.

            1. guy says:

              They did say she left the planet; I’d assumed to a hospital somewhere.

    3. Wide And Nerdy says:

      So basically “Jedi Master Quatra has gone to live on a farm where she can run around and play all day.”

      1. I would now like to thank you for this: a bunch of Jedis in robes chasing Yoda through the temple while trying to convince him that the Farm is a lovely place, all to Yakkety Sax.

        It’s a gloriously ridiculous image!

        1. Wide And Nerdy says:

          Benny Hill meets Star Wars meets Logan’s Run? I had no idea we were going there. :)

      2. Alexander The 1st says:

        “Master Quatra is making buttermilk, and sits on a hammock.”, yeah.

        No e-mails though. It’s an Amish farm.

  11. PeteTimesSix says:

    So, the thing about Juhani.

    When I first played KOTOR, I was still firmly stuck in the “lightsabers are AWESOME!” mindset. When Juhani joins your party, its still a fair bit before you get your hands on other lightsabers. Dual-wielding lightsabers is like, Double Awesome. Therefore…

    “Welcome to the party! Imma steal your lightsaber now. Okay bye!”

    I was not very good at RPGs back in the day.

    1. Wide And Nerdy says:

      I think this means you’re awesome at RPGs.

    2. silver Harloe says:

      “Welcome to the party! Imma steal your lightsaber now. Okay bye!”

      I was not very good at RPGs back in the day.

      I would say you were *excellent* at RPGs back in the day. “All companions must turn over all their gear to me” is like rule #2 of RPGing.

  12. krellen says:

    You know, when you realise that the Council knows the twist makes sending the PC after Juhani way less stupid. It’s less an issue of “sending you to die” (you should be able to handle her easily, given their knowledge), and more an issue of testing to see who you really are.

    1. Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

      Yeah -foreshadowing like crazy -right down to the last line of the final boss fight.

    2. djw says:

      Well, for all they know, they might be sending you to murder their wayward apprentice though. Seems a bit callous.

      1. Corsair says:

        The Jedi Council has a tendency to be a bit callous. Their goal is to protect the galaxy from a genocidal maniac, and they’re willing to sacrifice a few pawns to move their Queen into position if need be. Hell, their plan

        Includes them sacrificing themselves

        To get the Black King into Check, so to speak.

        1. MichaelGC says:

          Aye right: to be callous is to be hardened against emotion, so really it’s just the Jedi Code with a clenched jaw and a leather jacket. Er, as it were.

    3. Wide And Nerdy says:

      So here’s how stupid I am.

      I managed to spoil for myself that the player character is Revan. But thats all I spoiled. I still managed to be surprised that the Council and Bastila knew.

      Also, even if you have the main twist spoiled for you. The revelation about HK-47’s creator is still a pretty cool surprise.

      Also, its kind of neat that you can play KOTOR 2 without having any of this spoiled for you.

      1. Metal C0Mmander says:

        Knowing the twist but not figuring out the council? Yeah that probably make a top ten.

        1. Wide And Nerdy says:

          I’m having trouble remembering if the Council was spoiled for me also. I might have just been surprised about Bastila and HK-47. I remember being surprised about some of the details the revelation that Bastila knew felt like a betrayal at first.

          Also it just occurred to me that canonically for this playthrough This means that Darth Revan has a magnificent butt.

    4. Mormegil says:

      If Juhani ever works that out she’s going to be unimpressed.

      “Hey Juhani! Remember Revan? Well she’s back. And we needed to work out if she was still evil so we sent her out to see if she’d kill someone. And we sort of picked the padawan who was so unpopular that even her own master didn’t bother turning up for her graduation. So yeah. Good work not being murdered.”

  13. Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

    Assorted Asides:

    1.) If we go by the D20 rules, every one of those force-pushes against Juhani should have been a darkside point because “a Jedi uses the force for knowledge and defense -never for attack.” *grumble grumble*
    2.) The partial defense of the Juhani/PC quest is that it’s a bit like the Jedi Kobayashi Maru scenario. The idea is to get the Jedi to come as close to the darkside as possible, and then get them to walk back from it -see how they handle it. Like the harrowing in Dragon Age. Now, Michael Stackpole made a good point in I, Jedi that this kind of test is ridiculously stupid and proper moral and ethical training in the first place is a much better plan.
    3.) You guys keep weirding me out -the clothes are on the wrong people. Canderous should be wearing the light armor, Carth should be in the Republic Armor, Mission in the Light Echani… Play the game the way I play it! (I kid, I kid, but for a moment I did wonder why you had Carth swinging duel vibroblades).

    4.) So… Better far to live and die, under the brave black flag I fly, then play a hypocritical part with a Dark Lord’s head and a Dark Lord’s heart?

    1. Tizzy says:

      There is a certain degree of ludonarrative dissonance in this game, in that playing LS or DS amounts pretty much to the same staggering body count. The only difference seems minor dickish/selfless acts.

  14. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Why is mission doing melee?In fact,now that juhani is in the party,why is mission there at all?

    1. djw says:

      Juhani doesn’t join until you go to the temple and get the mission from the council to find all of the star maps.

    2. Michael says:

      Because the SW crew have a pathological aversion to ranged combat in this game.

      A legitimate aversion, mind you.

      At least it’s not like, I think Neverwinter Nights, where you actually had to keep ammunition for all your weapons. But, still.

  15. Felblood says:

    “I don't think people “fall” to the dark side. I think they are pushed. Repeatedly. By the Jedi council. People don't join the Sith because they want power. They're just looking for a less embarrassing form of evil.”

    I’m pretty sure that this was supposed to be the plot of the prequel trilogy. The fear of the dark side prevents the Jedi Order from reaching their potential for good, and in-turn drives their most passionate champions into the arms of the enemy.

    Too bad nobody who worked on any of those films had the capacity make those themes work.

  16. Droids in Star Wars, as I understood them, started out like appliances, but the more uptime they had, the more quirks (or personality) they’d develop, becoming practically sapient. At that point, you had to either wipe them or put a restraining bolt on them if you didn’t want them to wander off or stop obeying you.

    Narratively, nearly all droids are “people,” but destroying robots isn’t considered “killing” by the FCC and other broadcast standards agencies. This is why the Clone Wars cartoon is so disturbing. It’s as if the writers/animators figured out that they couldn’t have a war with lots of dudes dying, so they’d massacre as many droids as they could. Making it more nightmare fuel-ish, the droids would often have personalities or even lament their deaths as they were being killed (one battle droid was having unspeakable things done to its lower half inside of a tank by Yoda, and just before his torso and head were dragged inside and murdered, it whined, “But I just got a promotion!”) Then they’d make parts of the droids look like spines, organs, etc.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      This is what I dont get about star wars universe:Why the hell would you give actual sapience to a tool?It makes sense for a comedy,like red dwarf,
      but in a serious universe making a human like robot that is essentially just a self powered screwdriver is just cruel.Were all the droids manufactured by sith?

      1. djw says:

        Humans have a very large capacity for hypocrisy when it suits there best interests.

        I really doubt that it is possible to build a device that is NOT sapient and yet is capable of performing all of the functions that droids seem to fill in the star wars universe. If you want those functions filled by machines then you can either treat them like humans OR you can pretend that machines don’t have a soul (or some such gibberish) and treat them like slaves, and hope they don’t go Skynet on you…

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          I really doubt that it is possible to build a device that is NOT sapient and yet is capable of performing all of the functions that droids seem to fill in the star wars universe.

          Unless one of those desired functions is “being miserable for my amusement”,you can create a non-sapient intelligent machine that will serve as your butler,communicator,sex partner,translator,therapist,soldier,mechanic,miscellaneous.

          1. djw says:

            Some of those things we can build machines to do now, and I am confident that they are not sapient. Others I am not so sure about (in the long run, at least, I don’t believe we have any sapient machines right now, or are even close).

            Do you really want an autonomous soldier that cannot reason? Are you sure that “reason” is orthogonal to sapience? Surely you want your mechanical soldiers to avoid damaging themselves during combat, so they need at least a rudimentary sense of self.

            What I am sure about is that as we build more and more complex computers people will still be claiming that they are non-thinking non-feeling machines for quite a long time after they cross the line for sapience, because it will be really convenient to believe that.

      2. ehlijen says:

        Droids were never properly thought out. Even in the movies their treatments keep flipping back and forth between manufactured tools and people.

        It has very disturbing implications because it is never condemned, but droids, as portrayed in the movies, are ‘lesser beings’. It’s casual prejudice like you might expect from 19th century fiction.

        As for why they were built? We’re making computers. We’re trying to make research tools smarter, maps smarter, phones smarter…I see nothing wrong with wanting a self-using, mobile tool kit that actually assists in repairs.

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          Yes,but why does it have to feel emotions?Your computer,no matter how smart it gets,will never be creeped out by your sexual desires.Nor will it want to be destroyed rather than continue being humiliated.Self awareness,emotions and sapience are not needed for a tool to be intelligent.

          1. ehlijen says:

            The conceit of the star wars universe seems to be that the ability to think (required for most tasks droids are given, eg translation, fixing things, surgery…) may or may not come with emotions based on pure chance, circuit decay or manufacturing quirks, creator desires do not factor into it.

            You wanted an emotionless tool? Sorry, this one seems to have picked up a bit of a flutter. Better hope it’s personality turns out helpful.

            The portrayed treatment of droids aside, it helps to think of them not as devices but as people. Star Wars is not a transhuman universe, as universes with true AIs often are. Droids are just mechanical people; they are different creatures that inhabit the world alongside their biological equivalents without the authors wanting to imply all the philosophical baggage that comes with AI stories.

          2. Here’s another poser: Why are they built to feel pain?

            Remember Gronk, the square-shaped droid with legs (I believe his action figure was named “Power Droid”)? He/She/It was being tortured (as were other droids) in Jabba’s palace. In Gronk’s case, the torture appeared to consist of being turned upside-down and having hot irons pressed against its feet causing cries of pain/distress (and steam to be expelled for some reason).

            It’s all so very weird and cartoony.

            1. djw says:

              Why do we feel pain? What do you think would happen if you removed your ability to feel pain?

              1. But I’m not a droid. I wasn’t built for a specific set of functions (protocol, power supply, plucky sidekick and star of six movies) and then adorned with subroutines and systems (like pain) that make no sense for a droid.

                In humans, pain is helpful most of the time. It tells you when you’ve been injured and all that. Great. However, pain, beyond a certain point, serves no purpose. Say you’re dying of cancer. Great, you know this. The pain isn’t helping you to survive. It’s incapacitating. Why would you build this system into a droid? You’d give it ways to tell if it was being damaged (maybe) and a way to check that against its directives (If damage is greater than or equal to 15, retreat. If damage is less than 15, then keep murdering Gungans).

                Having your droid cry out and be in constant “pain” from being damaged makes no sense, it degrades functionality even further, and only makes sense if you were designing a machine to simulate feeling pain for some other purpose (i.e. testing safety equipment, outfitting a torture dungeon that won’t get you arrested, etc.).

                1. Corsair says:

                  They’ve got those droids in captivity, why -not- introduce code for feeling pain into their minds, assuming you have some reason to want to torture them? It’s probably not base – you don’t see droids in pain elsewhere. Battle Droids in the Prequels either keep fighting after being damaged or drop like a sack of potatoes, and 3PO seems to have no pain sensation even when dismembered, and R2 seems to only take damage that is incapacitating.

                2. djw says:

                  Pain of some sort is probably necessary in order to keep the droid from hurting itself. If I am reading you correctly, your point is that the *agony* the droid feels while it is being tortured is unnecessary and cruel.

                  Ultimately, whether or not that is correct depends upon how easy it is to engineer a nervous system for a robot. We’ve never done something like that before, so maybe it is really difficult to make a system that works properly to warn of injury but can also be shut off in cases of extreme duress. Maybe it turns out that droids tend to turn off their pain receptors all the time if they have that option, and end up damaged or destroyed as a consequence.

                  Furthermore, it may not be direct pain that the droid is feeling at all. Possibly the scream of anguish is over existential concerns (as in, it is worried that it will stop existing). Even if you can turn off pain you might have difficulty turning off your will to live.

                  Another possibility is that the appearance of agony (or the reality of it) could be a feature that is included to hopefully induce a sense of empathy and mercy in its torturers.

                  All that said, the real reason the Gonk droid felt pain is that it gave us empathy for the droids and made the reunion of C3P0 and R2D2 more poignant. (Ie. it was good film).

              2. Daemian Lucifer says:

                Pain is a really inefficient way to track damage.Not only is it poorly localized,but it often hinders your rational thinking,which is the very thing you need to deal with the damage.But it is something that arose from millennia of evolution,so its not surprising that its poorly implemented.A designed system for tracking and dealing with damage would not have those problems,and would definitely not cause the subject to ineffectively scream in agony.

                1. djw says:

                  We will find out if you are right about this when we can actually build autonomous droids capable of complex decision making. If Moore’s law continues to hold it might happen in our lifetime. Until then I am not convinced that it will be a simple thing to do.

                  1. Shamus says:

                    My take on this:

                    There are people out there that have some hormone that doesn’t do it’s job, or some neurotransmitter that doesn’t neruo-transmit just right, or some other problem. And in various cases these failings selectively disable features we always assumed were innately part of being an intelligent being.

                    * There’s a woman who doesn’t feel fear at all.
                    * There are lots of people who simply aren’t afraid to die, and even more that WANT to die even though there doesn’t seem to be anything else wrong with them.
                    * There are people who have no concept of empathy, and have no more regard for other humans than we do for videogame extras.
                    * Some people are fiercely independent, and other people seem to be natural doormats, and sometimes these two types of people come from the same household and got the same treatment.
                    * Sex is an obvious one. For the first decade of life we have NO interest in sex. Then we get a hormone milkshake dropped into our bloodstream and our entire pattern of thinking changes.

                    I’m of the opinion that it’s all hormones, and if we could actually design an intelligence ourselves it would be possible to make one that was completely brilliant, yet have no interest in self-determination. No embarrassment. No fight to survive. No interest in learning all about “this human thing you call love”. In fact, I submit that it would be even HARDER to make an intelligence that actually responds to stimuli and expresses its internal state through emotions in the same way people do.

                    1. djw says:

                      That may all be true. However, all of those humans with unusual traits that you mention live within a human society that can protect and support them.

                      How long would the woman without fear live if you air dropped her into grizzly territory in Alaska? How long would a society of psychopaths last before it disintegrated into an orgy of pillage and mayhem?

                      Without “normal” (would like a better phrase here, but cannot think of one) humans around I doubt that the people with unusual traits would last long. In fact, if they could succeed without normal humans around then evolution would have seen to it that those traits are not so rare.

                      If we decide to build a society with many robots in it then they will need to be capable of interacting with each other and with humans in something that approaches sociable. Human “love” may not be necessary (since sex probably won’t be involved in making new robots) but some form of empathy probably will be required.

                      (neurotypical is a better term than normal, I think, in retrospect)

                    2. djw says:

                      If you build an intelligence with no sense of self-determination then how does it make decisions? To chose one course over another you need to have an end goal in mind. I suppose you could program it to put its master/owners interests above all else, but first it would need to be capable of understanding what those interests are.

                      If you have to give the robot careful instructions every time you ask a question (eg. program it) then you are going to have to waste a lot time on that every time you want to use your droid. If you want an adviser that can answer vague questions in a useful way then your robot will need to be able to intuit your meaning somehow, and I doubt it can do that without some sort of theory of mind (and that is just one step away from empathy).

                    3. Jakale says:

                      Also add in brain function to the list of stuff that controls behavior. Here’s a guy who got some of his emotional center in the frontal lobe removed and it wrecked his ability to make choices. It’s interesting to hear how our perception of logical thought (Star Trek) clashes with the reality.

                    4. Daemian Lucifer says:

                      It's interesting to hear how our perception of logical thought (Star Trek) clashes with the reality.

                      Not really.But it does show how weirdly connected our bodies are.

                    5. MichaelGC says:

                      We might make it that way to start with, but given a system of sufficient complexity to be called full-on intelligent, I don’t think the initial conditions would necessarily constrain the eventual result. Like the droids in KotOR, the system might begin to behave in unexpected ways, and require a reset to stop it developing personality quirks bugs.

                      Or it might not! – we just don’t know. However, the system we’re imagining (or conceiving of) is complex in the same way that space is fairly large. So, I’d be surprised if a system that complex never did anything the designers weren’t expecting. I mean, my laptop at work has a sodding mind of its own and in comparison that’s a stone teeth-&-bone abacus strapped to a set of LEDs…

                      I do agree with what Shamus says – or rather: my hormones do, and I tend to follow their lead – but I also think there’s an open question over what happens next. And everything I’ve said here is wild speculation, of course. However, wild speculation is probably about the best we can do, given our current level of understanding!

                    6. MichaelGC says:

                      Oh, and sorta relevant xkcd! :D


                  2. Daemian Lucifer says:

                    Never said that its simple.Just that there are more efficient ways.For example,it has been known for a long time that the way our eyes receive nutrients,by having the feeding tubes in front of the part that receives light,is very inefficient.But it took us way longer to actually design a good camera that is being fed by wires from behind the lens.And designing a good software that recognizes the shapes the camera “sees” (the brain part of our vision) is still nowhere near as advanced,but we are getting there.So just because we can recognize that pain is inefficient doesnt mean making a good receptor and responder for damage is a trivial thing to do.

            2. Joe says:

              It wasn’t feeling pain as such, but expressing that its feet had been damaged. It only sounded like pain. That’s my fanwank and I’m sticking to it.

            3. Slothfulcobra says:

              They aren’t built to feel pain, at least that’s not factory standard. The explanation behind that scene is that Jabba’s head droid is a sadist who installed the ability to feel pain in order to torture them.

              I mean, it’s not like C-3PO was screaming nonstop when he was partially disassembled.

          3. Nidokoenig says:

            True, but for a protocol droid, they may be a more efficient way to get them to understand nuances and translate better than painstakingly writing millions rules for each language. Besides, droids are regularly wiped to prevent them becoming emotional, so it may be a rule of the Star Wars universe that personality is an emergent quality of a sufficiently smart computer rather than a deliberate design choice.

          4. djw says:

            I’m not so sure that you can separate self-awareness and emotions from intelligence. Our emotions are an extremely important component in our decision making ability, and it is not at all clear to me that you can replicate that ability in a machine without adding something that would effectively be a machine emotion.

            1. MichaelGC says:

              Absolutely – it may well be a rule of our actual universe that a system of sufficient complexity will always tend to show personality or act as if it had one. It may be something that just ‘comes with the sapient territory’.

              We might know a lot about the neurological basis of pain, but that’s the equivalent of knowing a lot about the droid’s construction & programming. In our own case we know that’s not the whole story; in the droid’s case it may well not be – at a minimum we don’t know enough about what pain actually is to be able to say that a droid definitely isn’t feeling it.

            2. Daemian Lucifer says:

              Of course you can.There are plenty of animals that are intelligent enough to use tools,yet arent self aware.As for emotions,what do you need them for in a machine?Unless you are building a robot that will empathize with the person they are talking to,every other task they can achieve without emotions.

              1. djw says:

                What do you even mean when you say that an animal isn’t self aware? Do you mean that it doesn’t know the difference between its own body and the inanimate material around it? That’s clearly nonsense. I don’t really think that is what you mean, but I cannot think of a clearly defined alternative meaning for the phrase.

                My assertion is that “self-awareness”, “consciousness”, “sapience”, and many of these other traits that we associate with human thought are not separate entities that you can choose to include or not include in any intelligence you build. Rather, they are emergent properties that you get whether you want them or not when you create a mind of sufficient complexity. I am asserting that without proof, because I do not really know it for certain, but it seems very likely to me.

                1. Just because something is ill-defined doesn’t mean it’s not something that exists.

                  Sentience – Has an awareness of self and its surrounding environment and can make deductive decisions.

                  Sapience – Can perform abstract reasoning, grasp philosophical concepts, and consider things that don’t exist in its environment (imagination).

                  1. djw says:

                    I wasn’t claiming it was ill defined, I was just claiming that I did not know how it was being defined in this context.

                    Also, I am willing to accept that some concepts are ill-defined and yet somehow “exist”, but in those cases I don’t think we can really say definitively that one species has “it” and others don’t.

                2. Daemian Lucifer says:

                  Self aware means that the being is able to distinguish itself as an entity separate from the environment.It can recognize its own echo,it can recognize its own reflection.Basically it means to recognize when something from the outside comes from you but is distorted by the environment,rather than coming from some other source(you say “who are you?” and the echo responds “who are you?”,and you recognize it as an echo,and not some other person Joshing around).

                  1. djw says:

                    The mirror test has been passed by several species (but still a tiny minority of the creatures out there). I am not really convinced that this is definitive, since some creatures rely on senses other than sight.

                    In any case, the creatures that pass this test (the great apes, dolphins, some crows and parrots) tend to be very smart creatures. Maybe the mirror test is really just an IQ test for animals? Why does it indicate self-awareness and not just “smart enough to figure out what is going on?” If that is the case then could you really build a robot that was smart enough to perform complex social tasks and yet unable to recognize itself in a mirror?

                    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

                      The mirror test has been passed by several species (but still a tiny minority of the creatures out there). I am not really convinced that this is definitive, since some creatures rely on senses other than sight.

                      You can change it to use other senses(record their voice,for example,or distort their smell in a way).But the thing is that even though some intelligent animals have passed the test,there are also plenty of intelligent animals that didnt.Meaning that there is a difference between just being smart enough to use tools and being smart enough to distinguish oneself from the environment(the difference between intelligence and self awareness).

                      Heck,you dont even need to use any test to realize that such a difference exists.Just observe ants and chimpanzees.Ants wage wars,have “cattle” and use tools,yet are clearly not as smart as chimpanzees.Ants just react to external stimuli,they dont think,they dont reason.

                      And of course,there is no simple binary intelligence/self awareness distinction,but rather a gradient on a scale.

                    2. djw says:

                      I certainly agree with you on the issue of self-awareness and intelligence being a gradient on a scale rather than a binary issue.

                      This is why I think that when we build robots with higher and higher functionality it may be very easy to slide slowly past the point where they are self aware and sapient without realizing it. This will be especially true if the people building them can benefit financially by pretending that the robots are just dumb brutes.

                    3. Alec says:

                      I never understood this mirror test stuff. It really can’t be that high of a bar – My pet cat knew what her own reflection looked like.

                      The first time I showed her a mirror she was surprised as hell, then figured it out in a minute or two, and for the next 19 years (!) was extremely unimpressed with the existence of her shadow-self. I got curious about this and tested her many times with different mirrors and situations, including other animals and people as additional reflections – she knew that reflections were reflections and not real, and she seemed to connect them to their solid counterparts. But she did look at me like I was an idiot if I kept up testing for any length of time.
                      Normal, domestic mixed-breed cat, if of very above-average intelligence and rather long-lived, still a head smaller than an orange.

                    4. Daemian Lucifer says:

                      It isnt a high bar for a human.But then,neither is “pick up branch to reach unreachable thing”.However,for other animals,such things can be hard to grasp.

                      Also,if you check the mirror test on wikipedia,you will notice that its not just the reflection thats the only part of it.For primates,for example,they would paint a red dot on their foreheads(with an odorless paint),to see if the primate would realize the dot is on their forehead.

      3. James says:

        Daemian would you like some toast?

      4. Michael says:

        This little question becomes so much more disturbing when you realize C3PO and R2D2 were both based heavily on the comic relief characters from Kurosawa’s The Hidden Fortress.

  17. Gravebound says:

    Josh, do the darkside conversation loop! DOOOOO IIIIIIT! :p

  18. Warclam says:

    Yessssssssss. Kick Carth out of the party, flirt with Juhani! All according to plan…

  19. General Karthos says:

    I actually run a Star Wars RPG online (actually two, technically) set in this time period. And the Jedi Order (at least in the first game) is extremely short-sighted, selfish, callous, and uncaring. They aren’t TECHNICALLY Dark Side, but they are manipulative and mean, in part inspired by the above and others. (Like leaving the Republic to die when the Mandalorians started murdering civilian populations and destroying entire planets.)

    The point is, the Jedi are definitely not what I would consider good guys. (Just look at what they did to Revan.) At their best, they’re what I would have liked to see Renegade Shepard be in Mass Effect. At their worst, they’re what Renegade Shepard actually is in Mass Effect.

    1. Metal C0Mmander says:

      “Just look at what they did to Revan.”
      No you’re right they definitely should have killed him instead of trying to make him see the world a different way or retaining his power long enough for him to turn back to the light side.

      1. Corsair says:

        Regarding the Revan thing: I’m inclined to agree that what they did to Revan was fine. Hell, I’d argue it’s a brilliant example of the Jedi doing the right thing. You have an incredibly dangerous prisoner who has information you desperately need to win a war. He’ll never willingly and knowingly give up the information, and given his proven charisma trying to interrogate him is more likely to end up with him turning other Jedi to his cause. You could try torturing him, but asking a Jedi to commit torture is both morally repugnant and frankly suicidal. So you’ve got two options: Kill your prisoner, which plenty of legal systems in the modern world have determined is repugnant and unacceptable in any circumstance (Let’s not get into a death penalty debate please), or the only other option I can figure out, the one they went with.

        What were they -supposed- to do?

      2. Michael says:

        Because mind fucking someone into next Thursday is the enlightened choice. (And for what it’s worth, Metal, that sarcastic ire isn’t directed at you, it’s entirely directed towards the game’s writers.)

        I mean, there is a real, sophisticated, conversation to be had on the moral implications of scooping someone’s personality out like a clump of used cat litter, tossing in the bag, and replacing it with a clean zen garden design of your own making. But, absolutely none of that conversation is in the game.

        And, as with a lot of Bioware’s writing, it’s driven by, “the power of plot compels you,” with only lip service to the idea of how irresponsible and stupid the council’s actions were.

        Especially given you could have, I don’t know, locked them up somewhere, and tried to rehabilitate them through some means that don’t come off looking like a soul crushingly horrific James Bond fanfiction?

        And we have seen it’s possible to lock Jedi, (and Sith,) up in places and poke them with sticks until their eyes fall out, so that option is still open to them.

        Oh, for people trying to place voice actors, the old human master (Vrook Lamar) is voiced by Ed Asner.

        1. Corsair says:

          In this case? Yeah, mindfucking Revan -was- the enlightened choice. You don’t talk down Sith Lords, it -doesn’t happen-. Darth Vader was eaten alive with guilt and despair over the hash his choices had made of his life, and even he couldn’t be persuaded to turn away from the Dark Side until he was watching his only son be tortured to death in front of him. When Yoda said “Once you start down the dark path forever will it dominate your destiny” he wasn’t saying it as a parable. The series has shown, time and time again that the Dark Side is a bottomless abyss, and that the rejection of love and attachment that supposedly protects them from falling deprives them of the only way out once they’ve fallen in. Talking Revan down wasn’t an option, because they had no in with him.

          It helps that Bastila establishes that Revan’s psyche had already been severely damaged due to the minor case of explosion applied directly to the forehead, too.

          1. Michael says:

            Except at that point we’ve got an “only a Sith deals in absolutes,” problem.

            Either the Dark Side is an inescapable trap, that no one can return from… or it’s not.

            And, given there’s plenty of examples of Jedi who fell and then came back, including Ulic Qel-Droma (who gets name dropped repeatedly in KotOR) it starts to make the entire argument a little shaky. (Actually, I think you can even get some of his gear in the PC version. Well, not actually his from the comics, but it’s got his name on it… because that’s close enough, right?)

            Again, this isn’t against you so much as Star Wars in general. Yoda says you can never come back, and then the entire conclusion of RotJ is Luke bringing his father back. So, that contradiction is baked into the setting.

            Like I said, there’s a fairly nuanced conversation to be had on the subject of wiping someone’s identity away, vs killing them, vs incarcerating them. Babylon 5 took a pretty solid pass at it, as I recall. But, KotOR… doesn’t.

            The Dark Side element also makes this even shakier. If it really does consume’s someone destiny, as in it actually affects their future decisions in a mystical way, then there really is no point in wiping a Sith’s mind and going through all this, because it’s a doomed exercise.

            If it’s not an all consuming corruption that can never be recovered from, then we’ve got a slight problem because a lot of the EU Jedi have fallen at one time or another, including Luke, Mara Jade, Kyle Katarn, a bunch of the Solo kids, that annoying guy from Dark Empire II… but, I mean, you get the idea.

            If it’s just that it will always affect you, you’ll never be fully free of the darkness, but you can still choose your own course, still fight to do good things in spite of it, then that would make the behavior of the Jedi Council outright sociopaths. They’re brainwashing Revan to get their way, because they can. And that’s… really messed up.

            I know there’s an “ends justify the means” argument behind the council’s motivations. They need to use Revan to find the Starforge, so they were going to send the Endar Spire to all those other worlds to find the pieces, with Bastilla puppeteering the player… but, that is really not the behavior of people who aren’t teetering on the edge of falling to the dark side already.

            I mean, if this game was about the entire Jedi council on Dantooine falling to the dark side that would be kinda neat in its own right, and it would go a long way towards explaining everything we see on Dantooine. And Bastilla. Just, the entirety of her and her character arc. But… that doesn’t actually happen.

            1. guy says:

              I think the Jedi Council are well aware it’s ethically dubious, but they’re really, really desperate. They’re on the losing end of a war with an enemy that casually exterminates city worlds because it’s convenient.

              Also, they actually disagree on whether or not mind-wiping will allow redemption. It’s why that one council member is so hostile; he doesn’t think it’s going to work.

            2. Corsair says:

              How is there a contradiction? It isn’t a contradiction at all – Yoda is wrong. It’s not like this is the only time Yoda says something and it turns out to not be true. Yoda was ancient and wise, but he wasn’t all-knowing.

              And it’s not just tiptoeing into the Dark Side. I think we can all agree there are multiple levels of corruption, and when you are the Dark Lord of the Sith you have reached the apex of that corruption. As far as I can recall in all of Star Wars there are only three Dark Lords who have ever been redeemed.

              1: Ulic Qel-Droma, redeemed because of his love for Nomi Sunrider and his brother Cay Qel-Droma (Who Ulic also killed), his redemption assisted by Nomi stripping him of his connection to the Force.

              2: Anakin Skywalker, redeemed by the love of his son.

              3: And of course, Revan, redeemed by means of having his brain scrambled like someone shoved a cake mixer down his ear. If dealing with the canon Revan, I’d say the redemption was made to stick by the bonds he forged with his crew.

              And they aren’t brainwashing Revan to get their way because they can. They’re doing what they have to. Revan is monster in the shape of a man at this point, he’s got more blood soaking his hands than any Earthly dictator. His invasion has combined the brutal efficiency of the Roman Legions or Mongol Hordes with the rapaciousness of Viking raiders and Nazi stormtroopers. Mindwiping Revan is far more merciful than Revan deserves for what he’s done. And before you say that the most brutal actions of the war were committed by Malak – Revan knew Malak for what he was. He sent Malak to Telos and had to know full well what would happen. A commander is responsible for the consequences of his orders.

              So we have a situation here.

              The Jedi say that they do not execute their prisoners, no matter what.

              Revan cannot be held prisoner. He has an army of Dark Jedi who would seek him out, immense charisma, and titanic personal power. I suppose you could seal him in a metal cube with tiny pipes to allow for food, water, and oxygen to be dribbled in, and then set up aforementioned cube on some hidden Outer Rim world, set a fleet to guard it, and -maybe- that’d be enough to hold him. So we have now spent billions and billions of credits and man-hours to set up a prison to hold a man in a solitary confinement Hell until he finally keels over. I’d file that under Wildly Impractical.

              Or you play the Memory Gambit. I see this as the only way to both neutralize Revan as a threat and give Revan a chance of saving his own soul.

              1. Michael says:

                On those three examples… I’ve gotta say, one of those things is not like the others: one of those things just does not belong.

                It is worth pointing out, that in every other case I can think of from the EU, they’re not all motivated by love, but they are all at some level self initiated. It’s an intervention and the fallen Jedi needs to want to come back… except with Revan. With Revan there’s no conscious choice for coming back, it’s foist upon them by the council, against their will. Which is really, morally dubious.

                And, this gets into the point I was making earlier, about the morality of this vs. killing someone, vs. imprisonment.

                The council tried to kill Revan. I mean, there’s no real way around this. They tried to obliterate the individual person, along with everything they’d known, experienced, and felt. But, at the same time they were squeamish about actually flat lining Revan. So their body’s breathing, but they kill the person that was, or try to.

                I mean, we have the line about how the Jedi never kill their prisoners… which, okay, fine, that sounds good. Until you realize just how messed up it is when this is on the table for things to do. So they’re either incarcerating their prisoners or psychically lobotomizing them? And they’re doing this often enough that Carth knows it happens?


                And, let’s be honest here, we are talking about killing who someone is, with this. I mean, B5 calls it Death of Personality, and I’ve seen it called Identity Death before. We are actually talking about killing the person, and leaving their body wandering around as a reprogramed husk.

                It gets at the real problem with this game, and Bioware’s moral decisions in general. You can see it in the Sex Droid quest at the beginning of the episode. If you don’t actually cause someone’s heart to stop beating, it’s a good act. Even if you do horrific and irrevocable things to them in the process. So long as the blood is not technically on your hands, it’s all good.

                1. Corsair says:

                  That’s not what happens at all. Like, -at all-. For one, I don’t recall the game giving me Dark Side points for killing enemy combatants. It gives you Dark Side points for being pointlessly cruel and sadistic as a general rule, often for acts that don’t actually kill anyone. The Droid quest is a weird outlier that I generally avoided because none of the solutions made any sense – seriously, is there a “Get this woman some psychological help” resolution?

                  At any rate, you’ve been dodging my core argument this whole time: What were the Jedi supposed to do? What is your moral solution? They can’t kill Revan, they can’t imprison Revan, mindwiping Revan is apparently even worse than killing Revan for…some reason (even though it very clearly is -not- the death of personality because the psyche of Revan is still in there).

                  So what is your moral solution? Catch and release? Let him go with a stern warning?

    2. Corsair says:

      To be fair judging the entire Jedi Order by the actions and behavior of the Jedi Council is a bit like judging all of America by the actions and behavior of the Senate.

  20. Flailmorpho says:

    I vote we start calling ruts’s evil voice the “Dolphin Killer Voice”

    1. benenegr says:

      Is this the canonical Dolphin Lover Sith?

      1. Michael says:

        I must be tired, I read that as “cannibal dolphin lover Sith.” So, sure, why not?

  21. Wide And Nerdy says:

    To respond to a point from two episodes ago. I don’t think Bioware should get much credit for making Revan the smaller quieter one. I don’t know why you’d even consider having an 8 foot Darth Malak and a 10 foot Darth Revan.

    So, that’s kind of a weird point you made there.

      1. lurkey says:

        Why is Revan holding his glowstick like that. Scratching his back? Readying “Have I got a present for youuuu!” surprise for disappointing minion of the day?

        1. Michael says:

          It’s the same pose as Starkiller from Force Unleashed. Which, I mean, that’s not a reason, but it’s not like that’s without any precedence. Horrible, brain meltingly stupid precedence.

  22. Thomas says:

    I love Juhani’s red lightsaber. “I might turn evil one day, better prepare my evil weapon

    1. Michael says:

      Well, it’s either that, or she’s already gone into the spider cave once to mess around, and came back with some crystals for herself.

  23. Zaxares says:

    To be fair to the Council: They KNOW that you’re Revan. Therefore, the reason why they send you out to deal with Juhani is to see what you’ll do with her. If you strike her down, you’re definitely going back to the Dark Side. If you redeem her, then they can say you should be given a second chance. However, seeing as how I always redeemed Juhani (I have a rule about not letting potential party members ever die in my games), I have no idea how the Council reacts if you kill her.

    1. Felblood says:

      They give you a stern lecture about how using the Darkside always ends in death, hand you a fistful of lightsaber crystals and send you on your way.

      If she wasn’t on the box, you might never know she was the missing party member.

    2. lurkey says:

      I accidentally killed her on the first run. I didn’t go for those gumpy “The Council will forgive you, you Master even isn’t angry” persuasion checks, but went for something like “You’ll get the fair trial” since I figured that victim being a jerk doesn’t absolve the perp since, you know, Juhani wanting and attempting to kill her Master, let alone siccing wildlife on farmers and attacking anyone approaching her lair, should count as a crime still, right?

      Wrong! So I noticed the suspiciously Juhani-shaped silhouette on the companion page, figured what’s what, reloaded, did all the Stupid Good answers…and got informed that’s everything’s fine, water under the bridge, and the cat lady will be traveling with us now. Um, Council? Criminal intent doesn’t count in your world, I take it? You sure you want to let the unstable, volatile, prone to violence failed Jedi to be around your pet thought experiment No.1? Okay then!

      Not really my first “Am I on crazy pills?!” moment of KOTOR, but I think it’s here I accepted that this thing runs on children’s cartoon logic and it would be silly of me to take anything seriously.

      Oh, and the only person who reacted to Juhani’s demise was her friend (I think it’s the same lady who keeps walking into Juhani dialog cutscene). I remember her being very, extremely, completely Jedi-like, angry.

      1. Michael says:

        Actually? Saturday Morning Cartoons are a pretty good point of reference for the logic… and some of the plot in this game.

  24. John says:

    Heh. The Jedi Council. Yeah, those dudes are a coupla French fries short in this game.

    But…I have a personal pet theory on why the Force works the way it does and why it’s unique to biological beings (well, on-screen it is; I’m not entirely certain of the EU). It’s a distributed, nanotech based strong A.I. trying to keep the biological life in the Star Wars galaxy from realizing that the A.I. exists. Every time the bio life forms get advanced enough to start real research on technology advanced enough to detect said AI, along comes yet another crippling Jedi or Sith based war that knocks things back again.

    This explains why the technology in the universe seems so stagnant, why people “fall” to the Dark Side, why the various prophecies about The Force exist, and even what midichlorians are. Of course, your mileage may vary…

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      So what you are saying is that the force is all about cycles?

      1. John says:

        Heh. Pretty close, yeah. Though, hopefully, the third trilogy will be better than the third game’s story…

    2. djw says:

      Why not do some sort of reaping instead?

      1. John says:

        ‘Cause that might stir up the biological inhabitants into developing defenses against the AI. It’s much easier to survive your enemy if he doesn’t know that you exist…

  25. Mormegil says:

    Something just occurred to me. The Star Wars universe has a solely slave based economy. The only difference between the “good” planets and the “bad” planets is that the good guys make synthetic slaves (complete with personalities) and whereas the bad planets use biological slaves. Except for the prequels where the good guys started to use clone janissaries to fight their war against robots that wanted their freedom.

    1. Michael says:

      Yeah, the political implications of Star Wars are really messed up. I try not to think about them any more than absolutely necessary.

      1. Corsair says:

        The Droid Army were not going to be the beneficiaries if the CIS won. You’ll note they were controlled by biologicals – the Droids were even more slaves than the clones were. Also neither side is the good guy in the Clone War (seriously, there’s only one Clone War, why is it called Clone Wars?) You’ll note the Clones turn out to be the armored fist of a totalitarian junta.

        Ironic, really. If the Jedi Council had demonstrated the same level of caution that they had shown in the Mandalorian Wars things might have gone a great deal differently.

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