Jedi Fallen Order Part 5: Crazy Cordova

By Shamus Posted Thursday Sep 3, 2020

Filed under: Retrospectives 128 comments

BD-1 and Cal are on the tutorial planet Bogano. There’s some sort of ruin / temple in the distance, and Cal figures that’s where he’s supposed to go. We get the rest of our tutorials out of the way, fight some local wildlife, and do some extremely gentle puzzles. 

These levels are interesting. While the traversal system is very much in the lineage of Prince of Persia / Uncharted / Tomb Raider, this game sets itself apart with its sheer verticality and complexity. The Tomb Raider games usually feature a linear path through an environment. They might branch a bit for cul-de-sacs with secrets, and sometimes you’ll climb up or down, but the main path can usually be visualized in a straightforward manner. 

This is the sacred historical temple we've come here to revere / plunder.
This is the sacred historical temple we've come here to revere / plunder.

But here in Fallen Order, even the tutorial planet is thick with multi-level layouts and multiple criss-crossing paths. Your goal is supposedly to reach the mystery temple in the distance. At first it looks like you could just walk there. But then you see the entire landscape is sliced into tiny islands by a series of bottomless ravines. To reach the temple in front of you, you’ll need to go down, down, down through various layers of tunnels and narrow catwalks to reach the very bottom, then turn around and climb up a different way. Your path actually zig-zags up and down quite a bit, and more than once I climbed to the top of a cliff and thought, “Wait, I’m way over here? How did I get here without crossing that other path? I thought that slide would take me to that other zipline over there. But then where does this other one go?

And this is the simplest (although perhaps longest in terms of distance) trip across Bogano. Later in the game we’ll come back here with more abilities unlocked and lots of new branches will be open to us, Metroidvania-style.

It’s not bad. (At least, not yet.) And I really appreciate how the game didn’t feel the need to coddle the player with a too-simple introductory zone.

Also, these constant up-and-down navigation moves serve an additional purpose. Whenever you climb up to ground level again, you’ll find the camera naturally frames yet another spectacular scene for you. Sometimes your ship will be framed in the distance. Or the temple. Or a gorgeous piece of scenery. The game doesn’t do anything crass like grabbing your camera; the angles just work out that way based on where the path leads you. This is clearly deliberate, and shows that the level / gameplay folks were working very closely with the scenery / artwork folks. It’s really impressive. 

Anyway, let’s get to that temple…

The Temple of Exposition

Not yet it doesn't, you unhelpful geezer.
Not yet it doesn't, you unhelpful geezer.

Once we’re inside, BD-1 turns on a little holo-recording of Jedi Master Eno Cordova. He apparently recorded this message years ago, before the fall of the Republic. He doesn’t know who is going to see this message, but he assumes that you’re a fellow Jedi. He says he has a holocron – basically a thumb drive that only Jedi can use – that reveals the location of all of the force-sensitive youngsters in the galaxy.

His plan isn’t entirely clear up front, and it’s actually a bit muddled in places where the timeline doesn’t totally make sense, but in broad strokes he plan goes like this:

  1. Hide the holocron in a temple.
  2. The temple will be supernaturally(?) locked using a gizmo called an Astrum. So to get MacGuffin #1, you need MacGuffin #2.
  3. Create a bunch of holo-recordings that will gradually lead some future person through a series of alien tombs. Apparently Cordova went on a temple-hopping pilgrimage across the galaxy, reading old stone tablets of ancient Jedi shit, as you do. At the end of the journey, this future pilgrim will obtain an Astrum.
  4. Place these recordings into a droid with encrypted memory, so that the droid will only play back these recordings when it’s brought to the correct location.
  5. Place the droid on the same world where the holocron is hidden.
  6. Have the droid wait for a Jedi to show up and befriend it and go on the pilgrimage.

This scene is here to show us what a holocron LOOKS like. This is a recording of Kenobi's memo from five years ago where he let everyone know we didn't win.
This scene is here to show us what a holocron LOOKS like. This is a recording of Kenobi's memo from five years ago where he let everyone know we didn't win.

So we need to meet a droid to go on a journey to see recordings to find an Astrum to reveal a holocron to discover the identities of a bunch of force-sensitive children. But now that I’m thinking about this too much, are we really looking for kids at this point? Everyone in the story refers to the list as such, even though this would no longer be the case. We don’t know how old the list is, but we do know that it comes from the Republic era because Cordova hid this list based on a premonition of the fall of the Jedi order. That means the list is – at bare minimum – 5 years old, and is possibly several years older than that[How long was it between his premonition, his half-baked scavenger hunt idea, his pilgrimage, and the fall of the Jedi Order?]. I think a majority of these children would be teens by now, but whatever.

This process is supposedly to vet people so that the holocron doesn’t fall into enemy hands, but there’s nothing about this journey that performs any vetting. I don’t see any reason that Darth Vader couldn’t do this just as easily as a Jedi. Is the droid able to tell if you’re a Sith? If so, then the droid itself is the vetting mechanism and the pilgrimage is pointless. 

Great plan, Cordova! Travelling to ancient temples and getting inside of them is definitely something a massive galactic Empire with unlimited resources would never be able to pull off! If the holocron can only be opened by Jedi, when why the rest of this faffing about? Is Cordova being an obstructionist jackass for no reason? 

And hang on… can’t people hack / brainwash droids in this universe? It seems like getting this holocron would be hardest for a lone Jedi and effortless for the Empire. 

All of this comes off as incredibly self-serving on the part of Cordova. He seems to be working from an assumption that there’s something inherently virtuous about his journey. He was really into ancient temples, and so he decided to make you do the same because he thought it would be good for you.

It’s like if I needed to create a test to see who is wise and worthy enough to possess some valuable artifact, so I decide that someone needs to write a 150,000 word book that exhaustively nitpicks every aspect of the Mass Effect series. Obviously I’m a wise and virtuous person, so only someone who is capable of my AMAZING feats of nitpickery is worthy!

This entire line of thinking reveals a lack of humility that borders on narcissism. 

The Fallen Order 

Cordova, is there any particular reason you didn't TELL SOMEBODY about your vision? I mean, we know from the events of Revenge of the Sith that the Jedi were too inert to save themselves, but I feel you sort of owed them the professional courtesy of telling them.
Cordova, is there any particular reason you didn't TELL SOMEBODY about your vision? I mean, we know from the events of Revenge of the Sith that the Jedi were too inert to save themselves, but I feel you sort of owed them the professional courtesy of telling them.

Having said all that, this setup actually plays into the ideas of nu Star Wars. As the prequels revealed, the Jedi order is comprised of – and entirely run by – a bunch of clowns that are deeply dysfunctionalThe scale on which they got collectively punked by Palpatine is incredibly embarrassing for a group of people that can supposedly see the future. Like, he wasn’t even subtle about it. It’s like he was trying to get them to notice and they couldn’t take the hint., frequently obliviousNot one of you noticed that Anakin Skywalker was a walking time bomb? You don’t even need the Force! Just LOOK at the dude!, morally compromisedQui-Gon Jinn’s never-ending chain of lies, cons, and rash promises., hilariously irresponsibleLet’s have hot young maverick Anakin go off on a holiday to space-Paris with hot young Padme even though it’s forbidden for them to hook up because reasons., and prone to violenceAren’t you people MONKS? When was the last time any of you meditated? How come we only see you stabbing shit? Why is the lightsaber your first answer to every problem?. In Traditional Star Wars, it felt like the fall of the Jedi was like the fading of the Elves in Tolkein’s Middle Earth: Something mysterious, comforting, and magical has left the world. But then Nu Star Wars reveals that it was more like a bunch of smug meddlesome pricks got punked by someone smarter. They’d lost their edge and were coasting on the reputation of their order, and as soon as they got in a real fight they got mowed down like chumps. 

I’m not a fan of this idea, but that’s what the lore says. Fallen Order was designed to be consonant with the established universe. I can whine about that lore all day, but making the story fit extant lore is usually far better than throwing away the parts you don’t like so you can tell a different story. I’m going to grumble about it because I’m petty and I like Traditional Star Wars better than Nu Star Wars, but I want to concede that regardless of my feelings, there’s nothing incorrect about portraying the Jedi as a bunch of self-serving dumbasses. 

Overthinking The Plan

I can only entrust this data to someone who's into the same hobbies as I am. Anyway, I sure hope none of these locations are destroyed or captured in the coming conflict! Good luck!
I can only entrust this data to someone who's into the same hobbies as I am. Anyway, I sure hope none of these locations are destroyed or captured in the coming conflict! Good luck!

Still, this is a hell of a convoluted plan, even by dumbass Jedi standards. Really, the whole thing falls apart if the Empire excavates the temple where the holocron is kept. And they might do that anyway in the process of looking for Jedi in hiding. Or they might do it just to be dicks. 

Actually, I guess this planet doesn’t appear on any charts, so the Empire will never come hereWe’ll find out later this isn’t true, but that just opens up ANOTHER line of questions we don’t have time for right now. We’ll come back to this much later in the series.? But then why have all of these extra steps that involve going to other worlds? If only Jedi know about this world and only Jedi can read HolocronsActually, I suspect that any force user can read them, not just Jedi., then that should be more than enough security to keep these secrets safe. These extra steps about going on a pilgrimage just increase the risk of exposure. Really, the LAST thing anyone should do is embark on an adventure with BD-1 in tow, because he’s the one with all the secrets hidden in his databanks. He’s one good hack from telling the Empire everything. 

Of course, this is a very trope-heavy plot. We’ve got your classic MacGuffin Hunt, which takes the form of visiting a bunch of planets to find clues. Star Wars is basically one big Movie Trope Extended Remix ft. Joseph Campbell, so  you can’t fault any of this as being off-brand. In fact, the opposite might be true. I don’t know if it’s possible for a story to be too Star Wars-y, but if it is, then this game is guilty of it. The writer is clearly working hard to fill in their great big bingo card of Star Wars references, tropes, and plot devices.

So now we have a couple of leads. We can go to the planet Zeffo, which was the homeworld of the lost civilization that built these particular ruins, or we can go to Dathomir, which is some sort of spooky Dark Side place. Zeffo is the easier of the two planets, and the game gently suggests that’s the best place to start, so that’s where we’re headed next.

(Also, this is actually a false choice because Dathomir is a bit of a dead-end until we unlock a new power later in the story.)

Totally Seamless

Are we there yet?
Are we there yet?

There’s an important thing to note here about how we move from planet to planet. SWJFO is the first game since the original Mass Effect in 2007 to feature spatial continuity between planets. You can walk aboard your ship, choose a destination, take off, fly across the galaxy, land on a new world, and walk back down the gangplank onto the surface, all without losing control of our protagonist, going through a visible loading screen,  or having your avatar abruptly change position. There’s usually a brief cut-away shot as we arrive at the new worldJust like the little Mass Effect animations where the Normandy flies through a relay., but when we cut back Cal is right where we left him.

The ship isn’t a pocket dimension hiding inside of a loading screen, and the ship doesn’t teleport from the surface of one planet to another behind a canned video. It really feels like you’re boarding a ship and leaving the planet.

I don’t know if anyone else cares about this, but I appreciate it so much. I can’t believe we had to wait 13 years for another game to pull this off.

 

Footnotes:

[1] The scale on which they got collectively punked by Palpatine is incredibly embarrassing for a group of people that can supposedly see the future. Like, he wasn’t even subtle about it. It’s like he was trying to get them to notice and they couldn’t take the hint.

[2] Not one of you noticed that Anakin Skywalker was a walking time bomb? You don’t even need the Force! Just LOOK at the dude!

[3] Qui-Gon Jinn’s never-ending chain of lies, cons, and rash promises.

[4] Let’s have hot young maverick Anakin go off on a holiday to space-Paris with hot young Padme even though it’s forbidden for them to hook up because reasons.

[5] Aren’t you people MONKS? When was the last time any of you meditated? How come we only see you stabbing shit? Why is the lightsaber your first answer to every problem?

[6] We’ll find out later this isn’t true, but that just opens up ANOTHER line of questions we don’t have time for right now. We’ll come back to this much later in the series.

[7] Actually, I suspect that any force user can read them, not just Jedi.

[8] Just like the little Mass Effect animations where the Normandy flies through a relay.



From The Archives:
 

128 thoughts on “Jedi Fallen Order Part 5: Crazy Cordova

  1. Daimbert says:

    I can’t believe that they didn’t pull out the old trick of simply having it be the case that you need to learn a new ability, which is what requires you to follow his path to learn the same ability. You could have it as the only way to read BD-1’s message is with that ability — learning a new language or an ability to understand specific languages — which also justifies taking him with you and not worrying about him being hacked. In a number of Star Wars sources such pilgrimages are done precisely to learn new abilities, and that fits in with the statement that you have to follow his path because you have to understand what he understands in order for it to work.

    Of course, the list, as you noted, is problematic itself. A genealogy would make more sense, enabling you to more easily find those families. Or an ability to sense them from much further away and without it being “activated”. But a simple list is, as noted, likely to be out of date at this point, doesn’t help that much in the future, and is very dangerous in the hands of the Empire.

    1. I was under the impression that it was a much more complex device that *finds* force-sensitive children, not just a static list. Which would explain why it has to be this special device that is related to the Force. The idea of compiling a list drawing from an entire galaxy worth of planets with populations in the millions and billions is just ludicrous–you’d need hundreds of Jedi per planet just to conduct the surveys to compile the list. There would be hundreds of thousands of copies of this list floating around with the people responsible for compiling the list.

      Much more sane would be that the Jedi have a special holocron that is a map of new force disturbances which point to new force sensitives.

  2. Geebs says:

    Honestly, I can’t think of any McGuffins in any of the first six movies. They only started appearing in the series when Disney decided that rescuing princesses was a bit sexist*.

    * not that the princesses in question ever particularly needed rescuing, even back in the seventies.

    1. ElementalAlchemist says:

      Uh, Death Star plans? Where do you think they got the idea for BD-1 from? He’s basically a puppy-fied version of R2-D2 that serves exactly the same role. He carries the plot within his innards, and needs to be escorted on a series of adventures before reaching the climax of the story.

      1. Geebs says:

        The Death Star plans aren’t a McGuffin, because the Rebels need them to blow up the Death Star. If you replaced them with, say, an apparatus for capturing lions in the Scottish Highlands, the plot wouldn’t work.

        1. ElementalAlchemist says:

          Of course they are. This is a world of faster-than-light interstellar travel with real-time communication from one side of the galaxy to the other. But the only way the Rebels could get hold of the plans was to email a single copy to Leia, who then transferred said single copy onto R2’s internal memory to physically transport to an aged care resident in the middle of a backwater desert planet who then somehow had to find a way to get it to the Alliance’s secret base (apparently without an address in case the planet the next step in the chain was on blew up)?

          1. Fizban says:

            Last I checked, the “official” definition of McGuffin states that such an item specifically has no practical connection to the plot (otherwise it would be called something else)- hence, Death Star plans aren’t a “McGuffin,” because they make sense for what they do and the role they play.

            But most people actually use the term to mean any sort of plot item (for the usual reasons of not having been given the proper definition, forgetting, expediency, etc). I suspect this may be the root of many arguments about “McGuffins.”

            1. Echo Tango says:

              Is there a different word for things which are actually useful? Even Shamus here appears to be using the term, without the requirement of the item being lacking a direct usefulness to the plot. (The locations of all the young Jedi is useful for combatting evil.)

              1. John says:

                Ah, but is the Big List of Younglings actually useful–i.e., does it get used?–or is it merely valuable? Would the plot of the game be substantially affected if the Big List were replaced by some other arbitrary scavenger hunt treasure? I haven’t played the game, but so far it sounds to me as though any object that were valuable to both the Jedi and the Sith would serve the same purpose. If so, then the Big List is a MacGuffin, or might as well be, and we don’t really need another word.

                There are a couple of factors that would lead me to change my opinion, however. If, say, Cal or Cal and his mentor person spent a lot of time debating the significance of the list and its proper use, then I’m not sure that it’s still fair to call the list a MacGuffin. The contents of the list might not matter to the plot, but they would matter to the characters in the plot. The list would have thematic significance even it didn’t have plot point significance. I would also say that the list is more than just a MacGuffin if there were a sequel to Fallen Order in which somebody actually used the list for something important.

                1. Sleeping Dragon says:

                  Getting way ahead but that is pretty much what they do. I mean, YMMV on the “at length” but it is a central decision (of the characters, not the player) as to whether the list should be used.

              2. Joe says:

                TV Tropes says that if thing actually does something, it’s a plot coupon. https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/PlotCoupon

              3. Kammerer says:

                Plot Device is a good term. Chekov’s Gun is a Plot Device, and Death Star plans is almost a Chekov’s Gun.

            2. Abnaxis says:

              The Death Star plans aren’t the McGuffin, R2-D2 is. There’s no real reason why you should have to have a droid courier for the Death Star plans.

              Similarly here, the list of force sensitives isn’t the McGuffin, BD-1 and the Astrum are. They have no reason to exist other than to be an obstacle for the good guys

              1. Jabrwock says:

                Yeah, there’s no reason why he couldn’t have spat the disk out at Obi-Wan. We get shown Leia sticking the disk into R2 (and thanks to Rogue One we know it’s the copy of the plans, but in ANH it’s implied because we see her inserting it before recording her message), and it never gets taken out, not even when he’s delivered to the Rebel base.

          2. John says:

            No, Geebs is right. The essential quality of a MacGuffin is that it doesn’t matter what a MacGuffin is, only that everybody wants it. The Maltese Falcon is a MacGuffin. The briefcase in Pulp Fiction is a MacGuffin. The Death Star plans aren’t a MacGuffin because the contents of the Death Star plans are important to the plot of A New Hope, which is not about acquiring the Death Star plans but rather about blowing up the Death Star.

            1. Jabrwock says:

              The wiki even uses Lucas’ quote about MacGuffins, and he specifically calls R2 the MacGuffin.

              1. Geebs says:

                Lucas says a lot of stupid things. By this definition, Frodo is a MacGuffin.

                1. Jabrwock says:

                  Depends whether you consider R2 a character or a container for the plans.

            2. The Puzzler says:

              Even by this more restrictive definition, the Death Star plans are a MacGuffin… in Rogue One.

              1. Jabrwock says:

                I agree, in Rogue One, the plans are a MacGuffin. Because they don’t anything with them other than fetch them and hand them off to someone else.

  3. Christopher says:

    It’s like if I needed to create a test to see who is wise and worthy enough to possess some valuable artifact, so I decide that someone needs to write a 150,000 word book that exhaustively nitpicks every aspect of the Mass Effect series.

    LMAO

  4. ElementalAlchemist says:

    all without [ … ] going through a visible loading screen

    That’s arguably a matter of perspective and/or personal preference. The Normandy’s decontamination airlock and the various elevators across different maps were all loading screens, and very obviously so (especially on the 360). That’s ultimately why they took them out for ME2/3, because an actual loading screen presumably generated less backlash (or a different kind anyway).

    1. Echo Tango says:

      It also mattered how good your computer was. I think when I first played ME1, I either didn’t have an SSD, or had a very early SSD, so the loading screens took quite a while. :)

      1. ElementalAlchemist says:

        On the 360 it was always being streamed off the DVD, so it was pretty dire.

        1. Abnaxis says:

          The PS4 elevators are pretty painful too, let me tell you, though I find the Mantis loading charming. It’s much better to be stuck in something interactive, like the Mantis, with character banter in the background.

    2. Chad Miller says:

      It’s a matter of opinion whether you liked Mass Effect’s elevators or not, but it’s not a matter of opinion that they were part of the game universe where traditional loading screens like those of ME2/3 are not.

    3. Jabrwock says:

      Sometimes it makes sense to teleport you for gameplay reasons. For example, having to traverse an entire capital ship, going through multiple decks/elevators/hallways/airlocks, with no side-paths available, that are just there because the ship is big, can become a pain to go through every single time you arrive.

      Sometimes you can put the loading transition part-ways through, like visiting the armoury before you get to the teleporter room in a Star Trek game. Or transitioning between the bridge and the hanger. But it does have an immersion break, even if it’s small.

      However if the ship is just a big elevator (is the ship small enough to make this work?), then being able to go in, push the button, wait for the doors to open, and then walk out on a different floor, is a great immersion moment if you can do it seamlessly. There will always be a tradeoff analysis.

  5. Asdasd says:

    So we need to meet a droid to go on a journey to see recordings to find an Astrum to reveal a holocron to discover the identities of a bunch of force-sensitive children.

    As someone who has worked in a patient records library at a hospital, I would describe this as a comparatively streamlined information governance system.

  6. John says:

    So at what point in development do you think that they started worrying about the plot? My personal guess is their first priority was combat mechanics, their second priority was level design, and that plot was sort of a distant third. “We know more or less how we want the fighting to work and we know more or less what we want the Jedi to do between fights, and so now we need to figure out why the Jedi is fighting in the first place.” I’m not saying that to demean the developers; it’s a perfectly legitimate–and practical!–game development strategy. Sometimes mechanics practically imply a story and you end up with a plot and themes that resonate nicely with the gameplay. Other times, however, you end up with a plot that could be any plot and themes that have nothing to do with the mechanics; the story just sort of sits on top of the gameplay without being informed by it. I haven’t played Fallen Order and know very little about it beyond what Shamus has told me. Nevertheless, the impression I’m getting is that the game’s story falls into the latter category. “We want various diverse and colorful locations, therefore scavenger hunt.”

    1. Javier says:

      Given the level of time, money, and effort put into hiring, scripting, modeling, face-scanning, motion-capturing, and directing live actors for all the cutscenes, I’d say they cared pretty damn high about the plot.

      You can try really hard and still make something pretty mediocre.

      1. BlueHorus says:

        Given the level of time, money, and effort put into hiring, scripting, modeling, face-scanning, motion-capturing, and directing live actors for all the cutscenes

        Sadly not on your list: ‘writing’. It’s not the first time I’ve seen this a game, or a TV show for that matter*.

        For me everything you’ve listed there isn’t actually plot, per se. But YMMV.

        *COUGHpretty much all nu-Star TrekCOUGH. Good actors hired, lots of effort put into costume, set design, action scenes, CGI…but the bare minimum put into writing. They just strung together good-looking setpieces, ‘awesome’ lines, epic fights with the loosest effort.
        A lot of effort put into what, but not how and why.

        1. Javier says:

          It’s a fair point, but by scripting I meant to encompass writing.

          I suppose it depends on what job you want your writing to accomplish. If you want a plot with logical progression, they failed. But if you want dramatic scenarios to emote and express personality, they more or less accomplished it. I’d say everyone except for Cal Boring is written pretty well and did an excellent job.

          The real question is whether a big-budget cinematic action-setpiece Uncharted-style design is congruent with a slow-paced, methodical, challenging combat/puzzle/exploration game. The style of blockbuster plot they wanted does not fit with the style of game they made. Compare it to say the recent God of War (and Fallen Order was made by a former God of War director) where the slow-paced, methodical, combat/puzzle/exploration game was matched with a story of self-discovery, character development, and father-son bonding focusing square on the protagonists, not some race to get a macguffin before the bad guys.

      2. ccesarano says:

        It’s a bit of a mixture. According to this report from Variety, it was first pitched as a Star Wars game, then it was being prototyped as its own thing, then went back to being a Star Wars game. Which itself seemed to be met with issues from LucasFilm at first.

        So they likely began with prototyping and combat alphas, then when they had a decent concept of what the gameplay would look like started working on the story bit by bit. Probably the planets and setting and different enemy factions before figuring out the story set-pieces. I have no evidence, but the motion-capture and acting is actually some of the last stuff you can do in a game’s development, so it’s possible they set everything up and then used the narrative as the connective tissue.

  7. Dev Null says:

    “so only someone who is capable of my AMAZING feats of nitpicky is worthy!”

    I believe the noun form of “to nitpick” is actually “nitpickery”.

    (Get it? Get it? Geez I crack myself up. Move along; nothing to see here…)

    1. BlueHorus says:

      Nah, it’s ‘nitpicking’ ;)
      Still, Shamus can consider his nits picked!

      …wait…

      1. Bubble181 says:

        Better than his pick knitted!

        1. Abnaxis says:

          Future internet denizens: DO NOT skim this comment!

          1. Levi says:

            I think you mean “scan.” :)

        2. BlueHorus says:

          Better than his pick knitted!

          True. Also, it’s far better than him having his pits nicked as well…

  8. krellen says:

    This entire line of thinking reveals a lack of humility that borders on narcissism.

    So, just like Jedi then.

    I know you don’t want to hear this, Shamus, but my “The Jedi Were Wrong” theory isn’t based off nu Star Wars at all. It’s based off Return of the Jedi. Luke appealed to emotion, and that’s what saved him and defeated the Emperor. It was a father’s love for his son that defeated the Emperor, not the Jedi’s vaunted dispassion. Yoda wasn’t even right that Luke going to confront Vader would lead him to the Dark Side.

    The Jedi were always smug, incorrect dumbasses, even in the original trilogy.

    * * *

    On the note of planetary transitions, SWTOR does the effect you’re talking about, though there is a loading screen between planet and ship. But the ship can travel to a new planet seamlessly; the display outside your cockpit even changes.

    1. Joshua says:

      I do agree to some extent. Luke going to Cloud City wasn’t destructive to his friends, and his only mistake there was electing to confront Vader, as he wasn’t near ready. In RoJ, Yoda and Obi-Wan told him that his only path forward was to defeat Vader (and there was no hint of “it’s all part of their master plan to have Luke defeat Vader with love”), and yet he proves them wrong. Of course, even as a kid I thought it was kind of messed up that Yoda’s like “You don’t need any more training. Just kill Vader and you’re good to go!”.

      1. BlueHorus says:

        I laughed, when I rewatched that scene as an adult.

        ‘No, don’t go! You haven’t finished your training!’
        ‘But I must!…
        …Alright. I’m sorry, you were right. Train me.’
        ‘Never mind, you don’t need any more training. Bye!’
        [Line cut from eventual edit of the movie] ‘WHAT? Are you kidding me?! Do you know how far I’ve just flown in a goddamned X-WING to get back here just so you could send me away again?!’

        1. Jabrwock says:

          I think it was because Luke ended up learning the lesson through his confrontation with Vader, only Luke learned it the hard way, and it cost him his hand and emotional trauma. Yoda would have preferred to teach the lesson himself, where he could guide Luke through it.

          Difference between learning how to climb a cliff by going to an instructor who rigs you up with a safety harness and uses increasingly difficult climbing walls, vs just climbing up a cliff on your own. Both might teach you the ins and outs of climbing, but one is more likely to leave you bloody and broken along the way, and you only survived through sheer luck.

          1. Sleeping Dragon says:

            This. Aside from Luke somehow somewhere mastering his use of the Force between the two movies the greatest threat was that Luke would learn that Vader was his father and, possibly feeling lied to by his former teachers and in an attempt to reach out and understand, would let himself be lured to the dark side. This was something that Luke faced and overcame, even if Vader attempts the temptation again in RotJ.

            In fact I think it’s one of the few things that might make more sense in light of the prequels. Yoda and Obi Wan would probably prefer to basically indoctrinate* Luke into the light side to the point where he could entirely ignore his personal bond and just see Vader as an agent of the dark side. This makes sense if you think they come from the old “no attachments” school. Heck, they could argue that this is exactly where they made a mistake with Anakin (the exact handling of this in the prequels aside).

            Of course whether we take prequels into account or just read it as the masters not trusting Luke not to fall, not only does he prove them wrong, it is thanks to these emotional bonds that he manages to redeeem his father which leads to the emperor’s destruction.

            *The term may seem counter to “light side” but if the shoe fits…

        2. baud says:

          Wasn’t Yoda on his deathbed when Luke sees him in RotJ? Perhaps Yoda realized that Luke’s training wasn’t finished, but knowing he was about to die, he preferred to give Luke a confidence boost: “You can do it Luke!”.

          Also maybe the time skip between episodes V and VI could explain that Luke got some on-hand experience, building on his existing knowledge and alleviating any gaps in his training?

          1. Jabrwock says:

            They did imply that Luke was a lot more “mature” since we last saw him.

            1. Syal says:

              Eventually Disney will make an in-betweener movie revealing Luke found a completely different Jedi master and learned everything from them.

          2. Daimbert says:

            Luke clearly did more practicing and training while on Tatooine, he builds himself a new lightsaber, which Vader takes as a sign that his skills are complete and so his training is also complete. Essentially, Yoda’s point is that he doesn’t need to work on his Jedi and Force skills to become a Jedi, but needs to overcome the internal issues caused by his running off to face Vader before being fully trained. Ben flat-out says this immediately after.

    2. John says:

      That’s an odd reading of the original trilogy. I don’t think either Obi-Wan or Yoda were particularly smug. If anything, they seemed pretty beaten-down in both The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Nor do I think that they considered appealing to emotion–which, for the record, is not how I would characterize what Luke did–as bad. Instead, I’m pretty sure that they just thought it wouldn’t work in this case. If anything, the original trilogy Jedi always struck me as touchy-feely types: “reach out with your feelings”, “your feelings do you credit”, etc. I’d throw in “search your feelings”, but that one’s from a Sith–although he used to be a Jedi so maybe it still counts. Now, were they wrong about Darth Vader? With the benefit of hindsight, yes. Although I’d point out that Vader took his sweet, sweet time before he picked Luke over Palpatine, so they were perhaps not as wrong as you seem to believe.

      1. The Puzzler says:

        Feelings are good, emotions are bad. Even though my thesaurus lists them as synonyms.

        1. Jabrwock says:

          Trust your feelings, but use them as a guide, don’t put them in control.

          1. Daimbert says:

            Or use your feelings as references, but don’t let them dictate your actions.

            1. Philadelphus says:

              I tried using my feelings as references in my latest paper, the referees didn’t seem to like that.

              1. Nimrandir says:

                Try calling them ‘personal correspondence’ next time.

      2. Alberek says:

        Just from the original trilogy, I would say Obi-Wan didn’t expect Luke to have much chances with turning Vader to the “light side”. They fought together during the Clone Wars and Vader didn’t show any doubts killing his old friend.
        And to be fair, if Vader captured/killed Luke in Bespin… they would be in a terrible spot trying to stop the Empire.
        In the original trilogy the Force wasn’t some sort mutant power, you needed to train in order to master it… as far as we know, Force Spirit Obi-Wan couldn’t show up in front of Leia and train her.

        1. The Puzzler says:

          Taking into account the prequels, I wonder whether it would have made a difference if Obi-Wan had told Luke the whole story. “Wait, he killed how many children? OK, he’s clearly way past redemption.”

    3. Jabrwock says:

      Yoda meant that rushing off unprepared meant you were vulnerable to the unexpected, like say getting emotionally steamrolled by the revelation that Vader is in fact your father. Which then could lead to an out of control emotional response, which is Dark Side.

      Vader also goaded Luke into succumbing to his emotions again, when he taunted Luke about Leia. Only after he had a moment to pause to think about his outburst did Luke realize he had done exactly what Vader wanted him to, which was to lash out based on an emotion.

      The emotion wasn’t the problem, it was letting the emotion control him.

    4. Boobah says:

      Yoda wasn’t even right that Luke going to confront Vader would lead him to the Dark Side.

      The Bioware SWTOR story definition of ‘Dark Side’ is basically using your emotions to reach the force, rather than being dispassionate. And it seems by that definition, Luke did ‘fall’ to the Dark Side. It’s just that ‘Dark Side’ =/= ‘evil, puppy-kicking scumbag.’

      The latter is certainly Bioware’s gameplay mechanic definition of Dark Side, for added confusion.

      1. krellen says:

        The Sith Code is not the same thing as the Dark Side, which is the confusing bit.

        And of course the legendry suggests that the Jedi Code is wrong, because it was supposed to be about duality, not denials. Passion yet serenity. Ignorance yet knowledge.

        Everyone sucks here.

  9. Joshua says:

    This sounds like the Jedi version of the Sith plot from RoS.

    Also, did you mean to say “consonant”, or constant/consistent?

    1. Kathryn says:

      He meant consonant. It’s meaning #3 on dictionary.com.

      (Yes! A question I can answer!)

  10. Crimson Dragoon says:

    Dathomir is still worth going to first, provided you’re willing to get through a couple tough fights (those night brothers don’t mess around). Even though you hit an early roadblock, it gives you access to the double-bladed lightsaber much earlier than you would normally get it.

    But still, it was such an odd choice for the game to make it out like its a valid, if not difficult, planet to go to first, when you can’t actually advance the story once you get there.

    1. Abnaxis says:

      It seriously pissed me off when I hit the dead end in Dathomir. The Night Brothers fights are brutal on Jedi Grand Master settings, especially the very first ones you run into that gank you as a pair when you don’t have the double blade. Then after three hours of painstakingly trying to get the perfect run down to see what’s at the end of it there’s a smug jackass old guy and a “come back when you have double jump” dead end? After the game very explicitly told you you could do Dathomir or Zeffo?

      I was mad enough I just quit until Shamus started his series.

      1. Crimson Dragoon says:

        I came in from a different approach, both being on an easier difficulty setting (that fight still took a handful of tries), and knowing ahead of time that it was a dead end and about the upgrade. But I can definitely see your frustration there. Saying “you can go here first but it will be difficult,” and “you can go here and maybe there’ll be some nice bonuses for the challenge, but you won’t be able to get far” are two very different things and the later should have been communicated.

  11. Javier says:

    I don’t see why they just didn’t make the story about saving the last remaining Jedi from the Inquisitors. Cal has zero reason to find ‘force kids’ but every reason to stop the people who are hunting him.

    1. BlueHorus says:

      Also, that would have added to a sense of actual (story) achievement to the game. Pretty much anyone who cares about/knows Star Wars will be able to tell that Cal’s quest is going to fail, because it’d mess with canon too much if it didn’t.

      If he’d had a smaller, more personal goal, he could have actually won at the end.
      ‘The Empire keeps finding you because they have a record of surviving Jedi stored on a base somewhere. We can help you find it and destroy it, thereby helping you and all other Jedi live in peace.’
      ‘We know an information broker/people smuggler who can get you properly hidden. Help us extract people important to us and we’ll take all of you to them so you can be safe again.’
      ‘The person who killed your friend is [name]. She’s got a Force Tracking spell on you, you’ve have to find a way to remove it and/or kill her or she’ll always be one step behind you.’

      …would all have been far better goals, because Cal could actually have achieved them.

      1. Sleeping Dragon says:

        I will admit throughout the game I wasn’t sure how canon and how AU it’s meant to be.

  12. Darker says:

    I always thought the plot would make more sense if it was the Zeffo civilization that made a device that can locate force sensitive children and we had to retrace Cordova’s steps to find it. But I guess then it would feel too much like KOTOR.

    1. Biggus Rickus says:

      Well, it already feels like KOTOR, so what’s one more little similarity?

      1. Nimrandir says:

        I’m not even sure how big a deal it is to feel like a 17-year-old game in a different genre. According to Wikipedia (via the LA Times), KotOR had sold 3.2 million units by 2007. Even if we’re generous and bump the to-date sales to four million, that’s less than half of SWTMJFOTMEATM’s 10 million (or more) copies sold. The majority of the player base won’t be able to make the comparison.

        This feels like Rutskarn’s assertion regarding old Elder Scrolls fans complaining about the direction taken by Skyrim, or an analogous argument from Interplay-era Fallout fans.

        1. Biggus Rickus says:

          Also a fair point. Plots are recycled all the time in cinema, and nobody much seems to mind. Hell, Bioware themselves recycled elements of KOTOR in Jade Empire, Mass Effect and, to some extent, Dragon Age: Origins.

          1. John says:

            Knights of the Old Republic itself is basically Neverwinter Nights but shorter and with a coat of Star Wars paint on top. Don’t get me wrong, Knights of the Old Republic is a better and more ambitious game than Neverwinter Nights, but it lifts its structure and even certain plot elements straight from Neverwinter Nights.

            1. Biggus Rickus says:

              I believe it. I just never played Neverwinter Nights.

            2. Nimrandir says:

              Yeah, I always thought of Neverwinter Nights as the first appearance of what I called the ‘BioWare Branch’ episodic structure that popped up again in KotOR and Mass Effect. I didn’t play enough of Baldur’s Gate II to say if it was in that game first.

  13. ccesarano says:

    Referring to the Variety piece I linked in an above comment, I wonder how much of this narrative is Respawn’s and how much is LucasFilm’s. These are all now characters in the greater Star Wars universe, which as mentioned last week might be one of the reasons they also went with television and film actors for some of these roles. That way they can cameo or appear in other media (so we could see Cal in a film or live action show on Disney at some point and it be the same actor).

    That makes me wonder where this idea of the list of force-sensitive children came from.

    Regardless of its origin, I feel like some of these questions could have been dealt with if you just modified your approach some. However, it requires some spoilerific talk, so:

    That the “friend” Cordova is speaking with the whole time is actually BD-1 I recall as being some sort of “reveal”, but if we tap into that Jedi vision-of-the-future stuff I feel like it would have worked better if, perhaps, Cordova was speaking to Cal directly, knowing he’d be the one to embark on this quest. He’d have seen Cal’s internal struggle, and know that the roundabout quest would not only help him restore his connection to the Force, but perhaps the lesson of the prior civilization would help him learn the important lessons required to be entrusted with the list. And that list, perhaps, is something that Cordova never felt confident enough to make a decision on. Would he seek the children and repeat the mistakes of the past? Or would he destroy it and perhaps destroy the opportunity of reviving the Jedi after all? “I am sorry, friend, to place this burden upon you. It is both my gift to you and a curse. Yet I trust in the Force, and the Force has guided me to place this decision in your hands…” Something like that.

    Not the best improvement, but I feel like you are able to get away with it by leaning into the magical cure-all reliance of the Force and all that junk.

    1. MerryWeathers says:

      That makes me wonder where this idea of the list of force-sensitive children came from.

      That was introduced all the way back in the Clone Wars show where the Holocron list was used to kidnap several force sensitive children for Palpatine in one of the episode arcs, presumably to set up the Inquisitor program in advance.

      I’m actually surprised a lot of people managed to understand the story of Jedi: Fallen Order since it assumes you’ve already watched Clone Wars and Rebels and just casually uses concepts and story elements from those shows without proper introduction.

      1. ccesarano says:

        Admittedly, I found a lot of stuff here silly, such as the Sisters being a way to include Sith without them being full-blown Sith because we can’t have Star Wars without lightsabers. But at this point I’m so far beyond taking Star Wars canon seriously that I’m just glad it’s not as bad as Unleashed was.

  14. Jabrwock says:

    But then Nu Star Wars reveals that it was more like a bunch of smug meddlesome pricks got punked by someone smarter. They’d lost their edge and were coasting on the reputation of their order, and as soon as they got in a real fight they got mowed down like chumps.

    Old SW EU goes this route too. Luke tries to rebuild the Order, and gets chided for trying to build a group of secluded monks who will meditate in isolation, only coming out for Grand Causes ™, because then they get pigeon holed as a Deus Ex Machina, summoned out of their ivory tower to fix everything before going away again.

    Instead he gets told that it’s better to treat the ability more like a tool. Jedi doctors, Jedi police officers, Jedi diplomats, Jedi gardeners, etc. Use the Force to enhance your other skills instead of using it in isolation. Basically form an Order that can do both philosophical research (meditate on the nature of the Force) but also figure out ways to apply it in a practical way.

  15. Chris says:

    I think it is a pretty interesting idea that the late jedi order in the prequel triology are a corrupt, egotistical, dysfunctional order that long lost its way. Kind of like the praetorian guard. But I don’t think making them the bad guys that deserved to be destroyed for their greed would be something that would go down well.

    1. Joshua says:

      Are you suggesting that’s what the PT was hinting at, or what their portrayal could have been? I would agree that they are egotistical, dysfunctional, and lost their way, but they’re not corrupt. They’re simply stuck in their ways and full of hubris. Of course, I may be misremembering because I’ve never gone back and watched any of the PT a second time.

      1. John says:

        Having watched the prequels fairly recently, I’d say that the prequel Jedi’s problem isn’t hubris. Instead, I’d say it’s some combination of inertia and cluelessness. The Jedi order can barely muster the energy to be reactive, let alone proactive. There’s very little sense in the prequels that any Jedi but Obi-Wan (and, to a lesser extent, Qui-Gon and Anakin) ever actually do anything. It seems to take an immediate and overwhelming crisis for the order as a whole to actually get up and move and by the time they do it’s always too late.

        1. Biggus Rickus says:

          That leads to the matter of the writing. Was it intended that they were portrayed as such, or was it just three awful scripts? I mean, the scripts are awful regardless, but I’ve never seen or heard anything from Lucas that his intent was to portray the Jedi as clueless and complacent.

      2. Chris says:

        I think the PT tried to make them look like the good guys but they just got outmaneuvered by the sith. But this happened because of the skill of the sith, not because of the weakness of the jedi. What i suggested was an alternative take that plays up the jedi’s shortcomings and complacency more.

  16. Scampi says:

    That means the list is – at bare minimum – 5 years old

    Um…am I the only person who obsesses over the weirdness that is measuring time in years in adventures that span galaxies, home to many species on a plurality of planets with distinctly different understandings of how much time would constitute a year, while spending lots of time on ships where the entire idea of measuring time in a unit dependent on the revolution of a planet around a star or itself and thus years or days doesn’t really apply in any useful fashion?
    I always find it really confusing because I never understand what the relevant framework is in such media.
    If the list is 5 years minimum, that implies (to me) either 5 years relative to human age, the aging process of the author’s species (in relation to human age, possibly), their home planet, the planet where the document was written, some galactic standard time code or whatever other way to measure time might be applicable to the situation.

    1. Jabrwock says:

      In Weber’s Harrington series, everywhere has two time measurements. Local time, and Earth time. T-years for example is used to refer to the standard, but it’s not unheard of for someone to just drop the T in certain context because everyone knows they mean the standard time measurement.

      In SW universe it’s probably based on a Coruscant day/month/year because that’s the seat of government, but it could also be based on an older standard.

      1. Scampi says:

        Which would then amount to a specific planet’s time code. Now imagine someone on a different planet having to use a clock/calendar combination that has no relation to their experienced life to refer to their time. If the other planet (arguably coruscant) has a year of 312 days but they have a year of a significantly different time, the calendar will not map to their seasons. Even more: If a day has a different duration, they will need to calculate this into their time and it influences everyday occurrences. Imagine having to look up working hours for every shop every time you need to visit them because they are completely unrelated to daily times except vague ones like dusk and dawn/sunrise and sunset or such. It would be like having daily daylight savings time adjustments.
        How much would an empire running on this logic inconvenience everyone else not living on the capital world? I can’t imagine how much everyone would despise them for this level of galaxy wide annoyance.

        1. Jabrwock says:

          It’s a pain, and in Harrington they mention having to adjust when arriving at a planet if they plan to do anything coordinated with local entities.

          Some navies sync themselves to “HQ time”, which is usually their home planet. But they’ll still standardize things like “travel time” in T-time, because that’s the standard across commerce, so it’s easier to use the same for naval travel time as well.

          There are several moments where a ship arrives and someone is basically dragged out of bed to deal with it because of time differences.

          Although I guess in Harrington the travel times are much longer for shorter distances. Jetlag in SW must be a hell of a thing. Leave one planet at “7am local”, arrive at another 5 minutes later and it’s 7pm. Even the shortest travel distances in Harrington are measured in days or weeks, except for the few locations where there is more than one habitable planet in-system, and those are rare.

        2. Alons says:

          Actually, that is not unrealistic at all. That is how our world used to work until very recently.

          In the old days, each town adjusted their clocks in accordance with the motion of the sun (when the sun was at its highest, the clock marked 12:00). This meant that each town had a slightly different time than the nearby towns.

          With the advent of trains, and the need to keep a train schedule consistent across several towns, these time differences were standardized in very wide timezones. All towns in the same timezone would have “exactly” the same time and differ an “exact” amount from towns in other timezones.

          You can check more in wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_zone#History

          1. Scampi says:

            That’s actually not the same problem, because people on earth generally have the same length of days and years with some variation. Using the same calendar and even time of day will still result in rather uncomplicated daily lives for people who don’t regularly travel from one place to another.
            The worst we could have on the same planet are 2 places that are exactly half a day apart in time and half a year apart in seasons, i.e. it would be midnight at one place and noon at the other or winter at one place and summer at another.
            Still, if they used the same calendar, they would always know that (given a regularly occuring sequence of seasons), for example, December it would be summer at one place and winter at another.
            This just won’t translate to different planets revolving around stars at different velocities, spinning faster or slower etc.
            2 planets with wildly different day-night cycles can’t exactly match their times in any meaningful way if one is to adopt the timeframe of the other. Suddenly, people who do not travel a lot in one place inconvenience everyone else with the need to make daily extra efforts to adapt their time stamps to a time that has absolutely no relation to theirs.
            Place A has a day cycle of 24 hours.
            Place B has a day cycle of 36 hours. (hours being in both cases relative to one of the places)
            If A dominates the time at B, B will not only have a planetary day that doesn’t match up with its “clock-day” but also a day where some business may one day close shop at (clock-)noon, the other day at (clock-)midnight. This can of course (in that case) be circumvented by creating a day-night cycle that operates on a duodecimal system and where one of the places has a time cycle using 2 of those units with the other using 3, but that’s only because I randomly created a case where that solution would work. It would also not grant us any useful information in the given case when referring to the ages of children of different species that possibly don’t all share the same life cycle. Some of those children might have happened to have died of old age in 5 years while others could have grown into adults who can defend themselves well on their own and don’t need anyone to protect them and yet others might have barely developed at all.
            I just can’t help but realize the issues arising from the fact that in galactic level sci-fi any timespan measured in years and days doesn’t just inconvenience people on a (inter-)galactic scale but is also possibly very useless in conferring information without a proper frame of reference.
            Especially for intergalactic travellers, I’d probably try to invent some common denominator-basis time reference that would then specifically applied in settings where interplanetary coordination is necessary. And I’d definitely not refer to any such frame as a “year” or “day” because those are to me very specific frames of reference that imho just don’t apply to the problem in any meaningful capacity.

      2. Sleeping Dragon says:

        According to Wookiepedia it indeed is (or was) based on Coruscant time. Also according to the same entry it was a mess at the best of times even without accounting for different planetary cycles.

    2. Christopher says:

      Between this and the MacGuffin chat up there I think there are many young padawans who could prove their worth on the Twentysided nitpick pilgrimage.

    3. Asdasd says:

      I mean, everyone in the galaxy also talks English..

      1. Decius says:

        You mean Basic.

        1. Scampi says:

          No, only droids speak Basic.

  17. SidheKnight says:

    But then Nu Star Wars reveals that it was more like a bunch of smug meddlesome pricks got punked by someone smarter. They’d lost their edge and were coasting on the reputation of their order, and as soon as they got in a real fight they got mowed down like chumps.

    More like they became complacent and dogmatic, as sometimes happens when the forces of good become The Establishment.

  18. Mersadeon says:

    I gotta say, I was pretty annoyed that Dathomir was such a dead end. If you don’t WANT me to do the optional hard path anyway, why let me go there only to hit a wall?

    You might now say “ah, but that’s where you get the double-bladed lightsaber!” but that was such an odd-pacing choice anyway – putting one of the biggest upgrades in the game on the dead-end-for-now path the game suggests you don’t take. Most importantly, though, it has absolutely *zero acknowledgement* from the game, which felt really odd. It’s a random workbench like a dozen other standing around, why is THIS the moment I get a huge upgrade (by repairing the saber, no less, so there should have been emotional significance there that was just missed)?

    Also, just as a lore nitpick, I might have actually appreciated a little cutaway during travelling for lore reasons – even the best hyperspace engines aren’t supposed to be that fast between planets, and we at least know the distance between Dathomir and Kashyyyk so we know this is weirdly instantaneous.

    Why do I know that Kashyyyk has three “y”. Just why.

    1. Ninety-Three says:

      Why do I know that Kashyyyk has three “y”. Just why.

      It’s actually a clone of another planet called Kashyyk.

      1. Henson says:

        Ruled by a Wookie named Chewbaaacca.

      2. Mersadeon says:

        This is such a specific joke, and it’s really damn good

        1. SidheKnight says:

          Thrawn Trilogy reference?

    2. ccesarano says:

      Funny thing about the double-bladed lightsaber is that I got it on my second trip back to Bogano. So at most, you get it earlier at Dathomir, but it’s not the only place you can get it. The game seems to remix some upgrades for you in order to create some of that replayability with freedom of choice.

      So you didn’t have to go to Dathomir at all.

      1. Mersadeon says:

        Wait, what? I had absolutely no idea that you can get it in more than one place. That really does make an early trip to Dathomir entirely useless.

    3. Philadelphus says:

      “Y? I don’t know!” “Third base!”

    4. ElementalAlchemist says:

      Also, just as a lore nitpick, I might have actually appreciated a little cutaway during travelling for lore reasons – even the best hyperspace engines aren’t supposed to be that fast between planets, and we at least know the distance between Dathomir and Kashyyyk so we know this is weirdly instantaneous.

      The mechanics of hyperspace travel has always been inconsistent. The movies, especially post-OT, pretty much all lean towards it being semi-instantaneous, whereas the novels variously described extended travel times of hours, days, or even weeks. I think in both cases it’s for plot/pacing convenience more than anything else.

  19. Paul Spooner says:

    That seamless transition stuff sounds really cool! But, doesn’t No Mans Sky do this?

    1. Shamus says:

      I was originally thinking of just AAA story games for some reason, but you’re 100% right. NMS does this better than any of them.

      1. Philadelphus says:

        Astroneer does this as well, come to think of it.

      2. Pink says:

        Neither does it as well as Outer Wilds.

    2. OldOak says:

      NMS was also my first thought, although it’s not on the “same level” (i.e. the game experience _is_ related with piloting the ship). I’d guess what was initially planned for ME: A (“manually” pilot Tempest) would’ve been closer to what Shamus is talking about.
      My other bet would be the _yet to be released_(TM) StarCitizen.

  20. Mr. Wolf says:

    I’m confused, what did this Master Cordoba want you to do with this list of Jedi potentials? Train them? Hide them? Throw them to the wolves? What potential advantage is there to finding these kids? It seems that anonymity grants them safety and making a list is just begging for the Empire to find and capture them all.

    1. Thomas says:

      The set-up from the start sounds like the classic “cause the problem you’re meant to solve” game / b-movie plot.

    2. Mersadeon says:

      There’s a similar plot in Star Wars Rebels. I feel like the idea was “the Jedi didn’t think it would get this bad” – that they could secretly recruit and train them. They just didn’t expect to get wiped out so thouroughly.

      1. Biggus Rickus says:

        Cordoba’s motivations make sense from a place of ignorance. Cere’s don’t. She knows what the situation is. Logically, her story makes more sense if she’s an agent for the Empire using Cal to get the information. Of course, that would require an overhaul of her character. At minimum, they’d need to remove the broken Jedi background.

    3. Syal says:

      You’re supposed to find all the kids, then use your vampire powers to drain the Force out of them and turn yourself into a Force Godzilla.

    4. SidheKnight says:

      In theory, I think you’re supposed to recruit all these kids and bring them to some remote planet (Bogano perhaps?) to train them in secret and rebuild the Jedi Order.

  21. Raygereio says:

    SWJFO is the first game since the original Mass Effect in 2007 to feature spatial continuity between planets.

    Mass Effect 1 didn’t have seamless transitions. It had loading screens everywhere. Admittedly, lot will be so fast on modern PC hardware you’ll barely notice them. Also several were “hidden”, but if you’re stuck in a little room waiting for the game to load assets beyond that room, it’s a loading screen.

    1. Shamus says:

      SPATIAL continuity.

      Meaning, the spaces were connected. I am familiar with the game and I’m aware of the loading screen problem, but I’m talking about games not teleporting you through travel scenes.

      1. Nimrandir says:

        I was really hoping you would use ‘bamf’ instead of ‘teleport,’ but I suppose you were more into Spider-Man than the X-Men.

        Technically, Mass Effect breaks its continuity in a few places, but those are definitely in service of game feel. I don’t think any of us wanted to lumber back to the Normandy from the Thorian’s lair or Peak 15. A cutscene of the Normandy picking up the Mako off random planets would have been nice, too.

      2. ElementalAlchemist says:

        It’s interesting that you are so keen on it. Clearly that doesn’t appear to be the case for whatever groups they did focus testing on for the sequels, because they swapped them for “real” loading screens. They became so meme-worthy that the games themselves lampshade it.

        I can see where you are coming from, but I personally found being trapped in a broom cupboard more aggravating than a simple loading screen. Although I will admit that it does fit in perfectly with classic Bioware Illusion of Choice™.

      3. Raygereio says:

        ME1 still had plenty of moments where it broke your definition of spatial continuity though?
        Every Mako ride starts with a teleport for instance.

        But it is an interesting concept. I actually can’t think of many games that try to maintain that spatial continuity. KotOR comes to mind (and ME1 was basically Bioware going “We wanted to make KotOR again”). I guess games like Dark Souls and Soul Reaver 1?

        1. ElementalAlchemist says:

          KOTOR has no real continuity in the way that Shamus illustrated using Mass Effect. It is full of loading screens. Yeah you fly your ship to a planet and hop out, but you do so via a loading screen, not an in-game load like in ME1. Maybe what you are thinking of is the pre-rendered videos, but those are just there to hide the loading screen underneath (if you skip the video, you’ll see the loading screen).

  22. Decius says:

    How can a star system “not be charted”? Does that just mean that the official charts say “no planets here”? Because that would be a prime place for criminals who want a lonely place to hang out to gather. Do the charts say “no star here”? Because anyone with access to a sky can see where stars are.

    1. The Puzzler says:

      It could also be, “We have no idea if there are any planets here, as no-one has bothered to check, despite us having had access to convenient hyperspace technology for thousands of years, and our ability to scan for planets from a distance is implausibly poor.”

      1. Decius says:

        That sounds as good as “listed as having no planets” for illicit activities, suggesting that a smuggler is going to stumble across it.

  23. Khazidhea says:

    I don’t doubt you’ll raise this later (or have already and I missed it) but as my favourite mechanic pops up on Bogano I’ll mention it now: using your lightsaber as a torch. It’s a really simple touch, but for some reason it stands out to me as inherently star wars in feeling, that I can’t recall seeing in other games.

  24. SidheKnight says:

    Cordova, is there any particular reason you didn’t TELL SOMEBODY about your vision?

    According to the game*. He tried to warn the Council. They didn’t believe him.
    I’m getting serious Mass Effect flashbacks here..

    * There’s an audiolog when you get the double lightsaber, IIRC.

  25. Khazidhea says:

    Picked up the game just for this series (would normally wait til it’s a bit cheaper on PC). Not quite finished, but nearly there, thought I’d add in this comment while it’s still in my mind rather than waiting til it’s relevant (and delete if it falls outside your no religion rule):
    The force wears many of the trappings of religion, but ultimately fails. Cere says something along the lines of ‘I gave into hate and killed many, but with this 5 years out of date phonebook (Holocron) I now have hope, that I can move on’ (badly paraphrasing, relying fully on memory) That just seems so unconvincing to me, nothing to give life meaning after tragedy, no comfort to offer in hard times, or driving force beyond a vague fuzzy feelings that things might get better.

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