Knights of the Old Republic EP50: Zombie Sith Vampire Nazi

By Shamus
on Feb 11, 2016
Filed under:
Spoiler Warning


Link (YouTube)

I suspect that Jorak Uln here must be voiced by someone who did a lot of voice work in the 70’s. When I hear this voice, I get this strange flash of memory for Saturday morning cartoons, back when Hanna-Barbera was one of the giants of the medium, before they become a light snack for Turner Broadcasting. The voice is strikingly familiar, yet I can’t picture a single specific character associated with it.

So mid-way through the previous paragraph it really started bugging me. So I looked him up. This character is voiced by Frank Welker, a man I’ve been listening to my entire life without ever noticing his name. Check out just a partial list of his voices: Scooby-Doo, Fred (From Scooby-Doo), Megatron, Soundwave, Dr. ClawHey! I can do this voice!, Curious George, some Smurfs, some G. I. Joes, a bunch of mid-period Marvel superheroes, Schlepcar and Wonderbug, and – as I suspected – a healthy dose of Hanna-Barbera stuff. He has literally been voicing characters since before I was born.

Which makes me wonder: Welker is the man of a thousand voices. And yet, the creative director chose THIS as the voice of their ancient Sith Lord? Not the Megatron voice? Not something the the Dr. Claw range? None of the other villain voices Welker has done? No? They went with “goofy, overly nasal voice?” That’s an… interesting creative decision.

I can only assume this was deliberate. This “captured in a cutscene” stuff can really irritate players, and maybe making it slightly comic took the edge off. Maybe making him too menacing would run the risk of making this one-off troublemaker into too big a threat. We need Darth Malak to loom large over this story, and we can’t do that if you run into too many other Very Bad Dudes in your journeys. I mean, they already made this guy a Zombie Sith Vampire Nazi. If he also had a cool voice then they might as well dump this Revan clown and make Jorak Uln the main character.

Enjoyed this post? Please share!

Footnotes:

[1] Hey! I can do this voice!



201939 comments. Hurry up and add yours before it becomes passé.

From the Archives:

  1. Cinebeast says:

    Welker also voices Garfield these days, and continues to voice Fred despite the fact that Fred seems to get younger and younger with each incarnation. Of the original voice cast from the first Scooby-Doo cartoon, Welker is the only one who remains.

    • Lachlan the Mad says:

      Also, Frank Welker is generally regarded as the guy to voice any animal characters your show might have. His animal impersonations are absolutely fabulous. My recommendation; watch one of the Futurama episodes where Nibbler speaks. Welker does both the cutesy little animal noises and the highly dramatic English voice.

      • Mortuorum says:

        Welker is pretty much a god in the voice acting business. I first became aware of his work because of Superfriends (back before there was IMDB or an Internet, really). I would watch the credits of every cartoon I watched looking for his name, and it seemed like he was in everything.

        Looking over his IMDB credits, I guess he was.

      • Wide And Nerdy ™ says:

        So basically you hire Billy West, Frank Welker and Tara Strong and you need no one else (maybe a huskier voiced woman as a fourth, very few of Tara’s credits seem to be for womanly sounding characters.)

  2. skulgun says:

    Also- we could dump Bastila and insert Sexy Voice Purple Twi-lek as the Dark Love Interest

  3. Gruhunchously says:

    You did the droid quest wrong, Josh…you did it soooo wrong.

    Or maybe you did it exactly right. I guess I’m not in a position to judge.

    • skulgun says:

      If he had only waited a little longer to replace the NCC-1701D on Regina’s head…

    • Viktor says:

      Yeah, that quest is decently interesting if you use stealth, and you get a very fun dark side resolution if you do. I’d have loved to see Josh make them sit through the entire logic puzzle(with Rutskarn reading the wiki and SHOUTING the right answers at Josh while Josh ignores him) and then just kill the droid in the end anyway.

    • John says:

      There’s more to the droid-tomb than you might suspect from watching Josh play, but it’s not great quest design. First, you have to wear a sound-dampening stealth field generator (there’s one on the corpse by the door on the way in) when you enter the chamber with the droid. Then the droid tells you that he is an assassin droid who has decided that killing is wrong. (HK-47 thinks that is very sad.) Then you have to solve a logic puzzle before the droid goes berserk and tries to kill you again. But the so-called logic puzzle really seems like a trial-and-error, reload-from-your-last-save puzzle to me. I made a sincere effort once, got nowhere, and have been implacably hostile that accursed droid ever since.

      • Viktor says:

        Ask him for clues repeatedly and have a pen and paper handy. Copy everything he says down, then just start putting options in order. The possibilities get eliminated fairly fast, and if done right, you shouldn’t need to reset at all.

  4. SL128 says:

    Since it’s not in the post, here’s the RLM video about Darth Vader’s suit which was referenced: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FVzc20Bm8Xo

    • Funklewrinkler says:

      So I decided to look into some other videos these guys did, and I’m currently in the middle of The Star Wars Holiday Special discussion. Quite honestly, I can imagine this being what it would look like if Shamus and the rest met up and filmed themselves recording a Diecast. Except these guys are embracing their reflexive avoidance of the terrible thing they’re talking about.

    • The most hysterical thing for me (apart from the renamed recovery center they mention) is how many times Darth’s costume, armor and prosthetics are affected by budgetary limitations on the part of the Empire.

      They can build two moon-sized battle stations, the second larger than the first, along with fleets of ships, but they can’t seem to get decent components for the number two guy in the command structure.

      • Well, Palpatine doesn’t want his apprentice to kill him, so crippling him is better. Then he wants to change him for his completely healthy son. I guess in his old age he was starting to be senile.

        “Advantages. But the suit had advantages. The obvious is how well it works as an armour… then the lists of failures in it continue”.

        LOL

        • If they’d decided on that and the entry reflected the concept, I’d buy it. They mention the Emperor using the threat of Darth’s systems being shut down via Force Lightning, but they also mention that the droid doing some of the surgery wanted to distract Palpatine from some of the cost-cutting it had done (the droid was apparently also an accountant).

          How do you distract Palpy? By shining Vader’s helmet with some kind of alien creature’s hide. I didn’t know Sith Lords were like cats, easily distracted by shiny objects.

  5. SlothfulCobra says:

    I think it works. Jorak Uln ain’t no powerful Sith lord, he’s basically the retired Dean who decided to hole up in a tomb and bother any passing students instead of going to space-Florida.

    He’s just a loser hermit lording his power over you the one chance he gets.

    • John says:

      I think the voice works. I mean, the line “Detention! Permanent detention!” calls for a certain amount of camp. If Jorak had a less silly voice, it wouldn’t work at all.

  6. Pyrrhic Gades says:

    Maybe the purpose of his voice was to demonstrate the generational shifts within the Sith’s ideology, which is partly represented by the four tombs – each built within a different era (yet kept to the same stonemasonry methods, as per Star Wars’ usual technological frigidity.)

    The first sith lords were filled with passion and idealism. But passion is fleeting as it comes to regret over how their order would become.
    Then came the brutes, whom tried to quash everyone with their strength.
    To survive the brutes, some sith grew wit which evolved into a Chronic Backstabbing disorder. Such backstabbing resulted in an arms race of connivivity.
    Amidst the armsrace of connivivity, the sith develop into Cartoonish Supervillains. Cartoonish being the result of any sufficiently advanced absurdity… This, is the era of Jorak Uln

    Then, and only then, does the next generation of Sith invent pragmatism.

  7. Pyrrhic Gades says:

    4:26 Clearly this is Bioware at it’s worst railroading. They won’t even let you answer the question correctly.

    • Gruhunchously says:

      You actually can get an option to correctly answer that last question, but only if you have sufficient Dark Side points and know your true identity. Mister Uln is quite surprised.

  8. James says:

    [You Must Gather Your Party Before Venturing Foward] or in twliek runda dee huh dunga…

  9. Benjamin Hilton says:

    I always liked that when you infiltrate korriban it’s possible to “reform” nearly half the named people you meet. hell you can even reform the ghost of a dead Sith. I appreciate that from a role playing standpoint.

  10. Lachlan the Mad says:

    “What do you think of this frag mine?”

    “Eh, it’s average. 5/10.”

    Shamus, I thought you were a video game reviewer! Everyone knows that 8/10 is average, and 5/10 is WERST GAEM EVAR!!!

    [/sarcasm]

  11. Artyom says:

    I’m sad that in the end of Korriban plotline you can’t recruit Juthura in your party. She has much more believeable “came back from the Dark Side” story than Juhani. The former is sympathetic, but misguided, and the latter… has nothing more than “sometimes i can get VERY angry”.

    • Henson says:

      No, but you can talk to her on Dantooine afterwards. Provided it hasn’t already been Malak’d.

      But yeah, the Yuthura story is great. I think it’s largely because you don’t necessarily expect there to be any possibility of redemption; she’s just a sith, she’s the enemy, ergo you’re going to kill her. The rethinking of her character is a nice progression of story.

  12. Exetera says:

    Why is Josh still playing for light side points? He’s already wearing the headphones. Is it just that Korriban makes the dark side seem so unattractive?

    • Henson says:

      My guess is he’s building a safe reservoir so that he can do silly Dark Side actions later without losing his headgear. Though since this is the last major planet…

      • ehlijen says:

        If the cast are still serious about chasing Juhani’s tail, then Regina Revan is now stuck on the light path.

        Juhani won’t confess her love till just after the point where the player either commits to the light or is forced to kill her.

        If that’s the case, trying to grind LSPs to make the light side powers cheaper to cast isn’t a bad plan.

    • John says:

      If Josh can max out his Light Side points he’ll get a bonus of +3 to his wisdom stat. If he were to max out his Dark Side points he’d get extra Force Points. Being Light gives you a class-dependent stat bonus. The Dark Side gives you a different class-dependent bonus of some sort. Dark Guardians get bonus damage, for example.

  13. Majere says:

    Well that’s certainly one way to approach Marko Ragnus’ tomb. It’s much less interesting but I guess it gets the job done.

  14. Zekiel says:

    Wow Frank Welker! His Soundwave is probably my favourite voice ever. Of any media.

  15. Grudgeal says:

    The Average Gas Mine is filled with an Average gas.

    This gas is completely average compared to the atmosphere around it, and therefore does nothing (except for the colouring agent added).

  16. Blackbird71 says:

    If you recall, when Michael Bay did the first of his “Transformers” movies, Peter Cullen was cast to reprise the voice of Optimus Prime. But instead of bringing back Frank Welker, Hugo Weaving was cast as the voice of Megatron. Having grown up on the cartoon, I was curious about this so at the time I looked it up. I recall reading an explanation which claimed that the studio had originally considered Welker, but that they discovered “his voice hadn’t aged well.”

    I wonder if this could be part of the reason for the voice he used for Jorak Uln.

  17. ? says:

    “Why can’t Mynocks be native to Korriban?”

    Why do they need to be native to Korriban to show up there in great numbers? Why does Tatooine have four native domesticated beasts of burden (one of which has giraffe like neck to eat leaves of highest branches of sand dunes I guess) ? Why Tauntauns are native to Hoth (by the way, rebels domesticated them faster than they were able to unfreeze their SNOW speeders; also species native to Hoth cannot survive a night on Hoth and freezes to death like an idiot)? One of these days I’ll beat Star Wars writer to death with a book about invasive species (or maybe a datapad).

  18. Daemian Lucifer says:

    The sith all died out?Nooo.Really?Im shocked.

Leave a Reply

Comments are moderated and may not be posted immediately. Required fields are marked *

*
*

Thanks for joining the discussion. Be nice, don't post angry, and enjoy yourself. This is supposed to be fun.

You can enclose spoilers in <strike> tags like so:
<strike>Darth Vader is Luke's father!</strike>

You can make things italics like this:
Can you imagine having Darth Vader as your <i>father</i>?

You can make things bold like this:
I'm <b>very</b> glad Darth Vader isn't my father.

You can make links like this:
I'm reading about <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darth_Vader">Darth Vader</a> on Wikipedia!

You can quote someone like this:
Darth Vader said <blockquote>Luke, I am your father.</blockquote>