Jedi Fallen Order Part 13: The Lightsaber Tease

By Shamus Posted Thursday Nov 12, 2020

Filed under: Retrospectives 156 comments

Earlier in this series I pointed out how Fallen Order didn’t make us endure one or two chapters of the story before allowing us to have a lightsaber. But here we are nearing the endgame and suddenly the writer feels the need to slam on the brakes and have us spend a couple of hours working to re-acquire a lightsaber.

To a certain extent, I can understand the need for this sequence within the story. Cal has just reached his crisis point and confronted his inner demons. The skeletons are out of his closet, and he’s finally unleashed the emotional outburst he’s been bottling up for the last five years. Having him construct a new lightsaber is a really good way to symbolize his internal struggle. His old self is broken, and to get over his emotional baggage he needs to build something new. Star Wars has always been great at literalizing internal struggles like this.

Cal is wrong. And vulnerable. And so very human. He's so much more interesting than the Blando Calrissian I originally took him for. This is great. It's just that this is pretty late in the story to finally get to know our protagonist.
Cal is wrong. And vulnerable. And so very human. He's so much more interesting than the Blando Calrissian I originally took him for. This is great. It's just that this is pretty late in the story to finally get to know our protagonist.

On the other hand, this timing is a little weird. We’ve now been rejected at the doorstep of the Dathomir temple for the third time. Cal’s breakdown feels like something that should happen at the end of a temple. What I’d expect is that the “treasure” inside the temple is some kind of knowledge that transforms him. The way this is structured, it feels like he has his personal crisis on his way to something else.

This isn’t inherently wrong or anything, it’s just a little odd. I can’t escape the notion that we’re looking at some seams left behind by cut content or last-minute rewrites. I’ll come back and pull on this thread of cut content later in the series, but for now let’s just head for the Jedi world of…

Ilum

In this part of the story, both the scenery and the pacing are glacial.
In this part of the story, both the scenery and the pacing are glacial.

(Not to be confused with Illium or Ilos from Mass Effect.)

This snow world was apparently a major Jedi stronghold. It’s where they mine the Kyber Crystals used to construct lightsabers. I’m a casual movies-only fan, so I’ve never heard of it, but according to the Wiki this place is a big deal in the EU. The core of this planet was made of Kyber Crystals, which were mined to construct the first two death stars. Then the planet was converted into Starkiller Base in The Force Awakens.

Which suggests that – at this point in history – this planet should be crawling with Imperial forces. There should be an extensive mining operation here since they’re currently building Death Star 1.0. Also, unless the Empire is made entirely of idiots, there ought to be some troops keeping an eye on this place in case a few Jedi stragglers wander inSpoiler: There are. Kinda..

But for whatever reason, the place seems deserted. This is lucky, since Cal doesn’t have a lightsaber.

Confusingly, Cere gives Cal her lightsaber as he disembarks. Now, it’s natural for the player to assume that she’s loaning us her saber so we can get through the caverns ahead. But this doesn’t seem to be the case. Cal very obviously puts her lightsaber in his pocket, and then for the next forty minutes of gameplay when you hit the attack button he looks down at his belt in confusion because he seems to think he doesn’t have one.

Why? Why doesn’t he just use Cere’s saber until he can get his own fixed?

Is That a Lightsaber in Your Pocket?

Here is my lightsaber, but you can't use it because I can't find any fresh D batteries.
Here is my lightsaber, but you can't use it because I can't find any fresh D batteries.

This wouldn’t be a problem, but the game throws a couple of probe droids at you and you need to fight them with only force powers. I wouldn’t mind doing this, but I feel stupid doing it when I know I have a working lightsaber in my pocket. Did the story explicitly say that Cere’s lightsaber is broken and I somehow missed it? I went through the game three times and I like to think I wouldn’t miss a detail like that, but I have no idea why Cal couldn’t use it on the way.

At the end of a lot of platforming and puzzle-solving, Cal finally gets a fresh crystal. He then combines his lightsaber with Cere’s, so he can switch between normal saber mode, dual-saber modeLike Dath Maul had in Phantom Menace., and twin saber modeLike Anakin used briefly in Attack of the Clones.. That explains why he brought Cere’s lightsaber, but it doesn’t explain why he wouldn’t use her lightsaber on the way here.

(I have this personal headcanon that Cere lent him the lightsaber to defend himself on the way, and facepalmed when he didn’t use it and instead came back with their two lightsabers stuck together. She didn’t have the heart to tell him how stupid he’d been or that he owed her a lightsaber.)

I’m very curious what color Cere’s lightsaber would have been if Cal had bothered to turn it on. We have to assume that her original lightsaber was confiscated when she was captured. Did she recover that lightsaber? Did she build a new one? Is this a red one she acquired during her escape? I’d love to know. It’s wrapped in leather straps and looks a bit “earthy”, so I suspect that this is intended to be her original lightsaber. A Sith saber would no doubt be gleaming polished metal. Earth tones are for those hippie Jedi types. So the odds are good that this saber would have been green or blueI remember that in some works, the green / blue lightsabers denote what KIND of Jedi you are. Is that still a thing, or was that idea killed in the purge when Disney took over?

Anyway, you also get to pick your lightsaber color. There are lots of choices, but like 90% of players I just choose Mace Windu purple. Windu wasn’t the coolest character in the movies, but he was played by the coolest actor in the entire franchise. 

Well, we have a lightsaber again. I guess it’s time for us to have yet another go at the temple on Dathomir. Except, it’s actually time for another silly conversation with Holo-Cordova. BD-1 begins playing this message just before Cal builds his new saber.

Cordova Strikes Back

Thanks for the pep talk, but you're still terrible at this.
Thanks for the pep talk, but you're still terrible at this.

This is a pep talk where Cordova talks about how much he trusts BD-1 to find the right person to go on this ridiculous scavenger hunt and by extension, how much he believes in Cal. This is a final affirmation that Cal is the right person for this job. 

So… is this message tied to a specific location as the others have been? Did Cordova know that our journey would feature a detour that takes us specifically to this place? If Cordova knew we were going to end up here, and if he knew he would trust us implicitly, then why didn’t he just leave the holocron here? Or back on Bogano? But if he didn’t, then who is this pep talk for? Was he trying to inspire his robot?

Yes, it’s true that we can’t obtain the holocron without the Astrum, but that’s only because Cordova put it in a location that required the Astrum. If he was prescient enough to foresee this particular branch in the story, then he also should have been able to foresee that most of his plan was a risky, violent, and nonsensical diversion.

He could see the future well enough to know that his successor would stand here at some point in their journey, but not enough to see that the journey itself was pointless? 

That is a very specific level of prescient.

I get the intent here. Back on the ship, Cal and Cere had a big conversation about resisting the Dark Side. Cal ended the conversation by saying he’s finally going to figure out who he really is. (By going on this lightsaber pilgrimage.) At the end, things looked bleak and it seemed like he was about to freeze to death. But then he got a fresh dose of hope and finished the job. This is who he is. I suppose this is equivalent to the moment when Luke threw away his lightsaber at the end of RotJ. He’s passed the test, and found his true self.

So now that Cal has passed his internal test, I guess BD-1 has decided that he’s really THE ONE? But that doesn’t unlock any memories that are useful to this quest.

I like the writer’s intent here, but it doesn’t work for me because I always spend these scenes trying to figure out when Cordova recorded these messages, in what order, how he intended this to work, and what triggers them in the present. I realize we’re in a drama-first setting here, but come on.

A Needless and Petty Gripe

Ugh. Look at all these Force-nerds.
Ugh. Look at all these Force-nerds.

Since the story slammed on the brakes an hour ago, I figure I may as well use this time to air a grievance that’s too trivial and small-minded to be worth discussing while the plot is moving. Specifically, I dislike how this author has named their characters. 

Don’t get me wrong, the names themselves are fine. They mostly follow the familiar three-syllable pattern. It doesn’t apply to all names in this universe, but a fast-and-dirty way to generate Star Wars names is to have two names that add up to three syllables. Say a bunch of them together and you can feel the rhythm of the naming style: Mace Windu, Count Duku, Han Solo, Darth Vader, Kit Fisto, Jyn Erso, Nute Gunray, Rune Haako, Swoo Jeffo, Boba Fett, Jengo Fett, Qui-Gon Jinn, and Jimmy Smits. 

This game gives us lots of names that fit the patternParticularly our leads Cal Kestis, Cere Junda, and Greez Dritus.. My problem is that too many names start with the same letter.

This is something I strive to avoid in my own novels. If you’re going to be throwing a lot of names at the audience, then you can really help them to keep everything straight by having the names begin with different first letters. Sauron / Saruman is the classic violation of this idea, and the world is full of first-time readers that were confused by having two major villains that had such similar-looking names.

In this game, the good Jedi are Cere, Cal, and Cordova. The only two named characters on Dathomir are Malicos and Merrin. The secondary Jedi characters are Tapal and Trilla. Greez and Sorc Tormo are the only two people that don’t have easily-confused namesBD-1 is also easy to remember, but if you’re getting droid names confused with people names then I think you’ve got problems that can’t be fixed by changing letters.. I didn’t get the names confused while playing, but I did have a hard time remembering anyone’s name. I feel like using more unique first letters would have been a big help.

Cere could have been Sere. Merrin could have been Nerrin or Zerrin. Cordova could have been named Stoop Doltor to reflect his special style of obstructionist stupidity.

The Empire Strikes Again

Find a weak point? Dude... in terms of story, I think we're there.
Find a weak point? Dude... in terms of story, I think we're there.

The Empire attacks the Jedi temple. Cere worries that they’re being tracked or followed somehow, but I like to think that the Empire left those two probe droids behind to keep an eye on the place, and this invasion is the result of us blowing them up. That makes the Empire feel smart in a way that, “The magical technology that everyone uses and has no firm rules has decided to screw us today” does not. 

Although, if I was running the Inquisition and someone informed me that we’d lost a couple of probe droids at the sacred Jedi lightsaber-building temple, I wouldn’t just send a bunch of troopers. I’d pound the big red SITH AGENTS button until every single person in a black cloak and an impractical helmet was headed for Ilum. 

Cal carves up a couple of metric tons of stormtroopers, followed by a couple of AT-STs. The combat is pretty dense and I could tell the developer was really encouraging me to go to town after the long no-saber drought. That’s a nice gesture, but I was eager to get back to the temple on Dathomir. Which means that all of these cannon fodder mooks felt like more unwelcome distractions. I guess your mileage may vary.

A Temple of Caves?

Man, you guys are guarding the hell out of this snow.
Man, you guys are guarding the hell out of this snow.

I will say that this section of the game is the least immersive of them all. Like I said earlier in this series, troopers are sometimes stationed on platforms that can be accessed via doors or elevators, but all too often they’re guarding a position that has no strategic value and is unreachable without jetpacks or Jedi powers.

Here on Ilum, not only are the troopers guarding unreachable nothing, the environments themselves don’t make a lick of sense. Check out this image:

What is this supposed to be? What am I standing on?
What is this supposed to be? What am I standing on?

On the other planets, we’d encounter these narrow twisted beams that look like tree roots. At the time, I assumed they were tree roots. That makes sense on Dathomir and Kashyyyk, since knotty roots are a big part of the style in those locations. But here on Ilum, there aren’t any trees visible anywhere on the landscape. And even if there were, it doesn’t make sense to have them coming out of the walls of a cave inside a temple. But if these things aren’t roots, then what the hell are they?

The whole thing just feels sort of thoughtless and none of it feels integrated with the world. It’s like the level designers were just told to make trooper-infested obstacle courses and we’d texture them later once we found out where the game was going to be set.

Did the Jedi really bring busloads of padawans to balance on frozen tree roots over bottomless pits so they could wall-run over to a narrow ledge? I get that they were always massively irresponsible with the children in their care, but this is ridiculous. Even ignoring the inevitable casualties, getting a large group through one of these rooms would take bloody ages. The front of this place looks like a temple, but the inside is just natural caves and crumbling ice. It doesn’t feel sensible or lived-in. It’s also lacking the serenity and grandeur that I would expect from a “Jedi Temple”.

I'm not annoyed that I can't go in the front door, I'm annoyed that there doesn't seem to BE one.
I'm not annoyed that I can't go in the front door, I'm annoyed that there doesn't seem to BE one.

Did every single pilgrim have to scale the face of the building? I don’t mind the idea that the place is frozen over in a way that makes traversal difficult / interesting for our protagonist, but there’s no hint that this place was ever navigable on foot. It made the whole place feel very videogame-y.  This Jedi temple just doesn’t have the Star Wars “feel” I’d expect from a Jedi Temple.

But hang on, what is that supposed to mean? What is the Star Wars “feel”? Are we talking story tropes? Music? Art style? Themes? Would I like this section more if the writer added the cantina music and Leia in a metal bikini? What am I asking for here?

We can talk about that, but these days we can’t get anywhere near the topic of the “Star Wars feel” without having a long, bitter, and needlessly hostile argument about The Last Jedi.

Since the plot is currently spinning its wheels, I think now is a good time to stop and explore this question. Hopefully without so much rancor.

 

Footnotes:

[1] Spoiler: There are. Kinda.

[2] Like Dath Maul had in Phantom Menace.

[3] Like Anakin used briefly in Attack of the Clones.

[4] I remember that in some works, the green / blue lightsabers denote what KIND of Jedi you are. Is that still a thing, or was that idea killed in the purge when Disney took over?

[5] Particularly our leads Cal Kestis, Cere Junda, and Greez Dritus.

[6] BD-1 is also easy to remember, but if you’re getting droid names confused with people names then I think you’ve got problems that can’t be fixed by changing letters.



From The Archives:
 

156 thoughts on “Jedi Fallen Order Part 13: The Lightsaber Tease

  1. MerryWeathers says:

    I remember that in some works, the green / blue lightsabers denote what KIND of Jedi you are. Is that still a thing, or was that idea killed in the purge when Disney took over?

    That is indeed still a thing in canon. Despite being “purged”, a lot of stuff from the EU still ended up getting brought back anyway.

    1. Jabrwock says:

      They purged it so they could use it as a repository of ideas for the new EU, while allowing them to ignore the stuff that didn’t work, or conflicts with stories they’re planning.

      See the ending of the first episode of the new season of the Mandalorian for example.

      1. Radkatsu says:

        You’re taking a very charitable view of things. The real reason is nothing more than being unwilling to pay royalties to the original authors.

        1. Lavamelon7 says:

          The original authors of the EU never owned any aspect of Star Wars. It is a prestigious intellectual property that requires a license to work with. Anything an author ever created in that universe has always been owned by the franchise owners, Lucasfilm and now Disney.

          1. Alex says:

            There’s currently a legal battle between Alan Dean Foster and Disney over Disney’s refusal to honour his contract, which included royalties.

  2. Joe says:

    In current continuity, your moral character turns your crystal either blue or green. Or if you use the dark side, you can turn it red. Mace Windu’s is purple, because he’s close to the dark side. However, if a light side user gets a hold of a red crystal, they can turn it white. I don’t know why Rey’s at the end of TROS is gold.

    Anyone ever stop and ask themselves why they know some bit of useless trivia? Yeah, I just had one of those moments.

    Next week will be… interesting. I already have a defence of Luke lined up. I think it’s a good one, but there’s only one way to find out. :)

    1. MerryWeathers says:

      Yellow lightsabers are for Jedi Consulars, who hone their skills in a balance of combat and scholarly pursuits.

      1. Daimbert says:

        Isn’t it more for Sentinels than Consulars? Consulars in most works — including TOR — are the scholarly class, while Sentinels were always the mix and always had the yellow lightsabers. I don’t know much about new canon, but that’s how all the old stuff used to work.

        1. MerryWeathers says:

          Ah shit, you’re right. My mistake, I confused the sentinels with the consulars.

          1. Liessa says:

            In KOTOR the lightsaber colours were explained as follows:

            Blue = Jedi Guardian (focus on combat and lightsaber skills).
            Green = Jedi Consular (focus on diplomacy and Force powers).
            Yellow = Jedi Sentinel (balance between combat and Force powers, focus on tech skills).
            Red = Sith.

            No idea what purple was supposed to mean, apart from “I’m cool and special so I get this awesome purple lightsaber.”

            1. Zaxares says:

              In KotOR2 I always picked the Silver Lightsaber so I’d feel EXTRA special. ;)

            2. beleester says:

              KOTOR gave you one crystal based on your class, but it immediately gave you access to the crystal caves to find more. Finding red crystals required you to break open the spider eggs in the crystal cave, which was a Dark Side act, which explained why only Sith used them.

              You could also just kill a Sith and take their lightsaber, so you really weren’t limited at all in your color choice.

            3. Radkatsu says:

              “apart from “I’m cool and special so I get this awesome purple lightsaber.””

              I mean… that’s literally the real reason ;p Sam Jackson said to George ‘can I have a cool purple lightsaber’ and George gave him one. Simple as that. There’s no doubt some silly canon reason as well, but this was the actual reason behind it.

    2. Joshua says:

      Sounds like some of the same silliness that infected the Dragonlance wizards.

      One would then wonder why Mace was on the Jedi Council if he’s obviously that close to the Dark Side.

      1. MerryWeathers says:

        I guess the fact that Mace was able to utilize the dark side in his lightsaber and force abilities without ever actually falling was one of the reasons why he was accepted into the council in the first place.

        One of the old EU (no longer canon but still adds an interesting layer to the character) revealed that underneath his stoic demeanor, he actually loves the thrill of fighting and maintaining a Jedi’s serenity instead of simply kicking the asses of everyone involved in the problem he has to solve is a great deal of effort for him. Made the point clearer that Mace represented everything wrong with the Jedi in the prequels.

        1. BlueHorus says:

          Also makes (a bit) more sense that he’s the one who storms into Palpatine’s office half-cocked in Revenge Of The Sith. Had Anakin gone to Yoda or one of the other members of the council with his findings…
          As retcons go, it seems like a pretty good one.

          Still, I will say that the idea that your moral character is reflected in a colour-coded laser sword is terrible. Sure, it can happen because something something magic crystals and space magic – but if it’s true, you don’t bother investigating anything. Just get people to show you their laser sword.
          I suppose that might be inappropriate?

          I know that if I were a Sith I’d want a blue or green lightsaber, in order to fool people.

          1. Henson says:

            Man, it’s really weird to see all this interesting post-hoc lore for a purple lightsaber that exists because Samuel L Jackson wanted that colour. Funny how a simple aesthetic decision can prompt fascinating character and world building.

            1. BlueHorus says:

              I’d say the only fascinating thing is that it’s an example of the dangers of multiple writers building on each other’s work.

              1. Liessa says:

                Agreed, I think it’s a terrible decision (like most of the EU, tbh). Did they really need any explanation beyond “I decided to put purple crystals into it”? Purple crystals exist in real life!

                1. GloatingSwine says:

                  Tediously over explaining every fiddling detail was 90% of the point of the EU back in the day.

            2. John says:

              I like the phrase “post hoc lore” and I’m jealous that I didn’t think of it first.

            3. Crimson Dragoon says:

              That’s pretty much Star Wars in a nutshell. Come up with a neat idea or aesthetic, then explain how it works at some point later down the line in a different medium. Not that I’m complaining; Star Wars seems like the only property that can pull that off.

              1. Thomas says:

                That’s what I love about Wookiepedia. Pages of explanation for why the milk is blue and how you can have a moisture farm in a desert.

                If it exists, someone has written lore to explain it.

              2. Khwarezm says:

                I don’t think it does pull it off honestly.

                1. BlueHorus says:

                  I’d go even further than this – it’s one of the setting’s biggest flaws, to me (though that doesn’t mean it’s always bad). Star Wars cares far, far too much about its own past and canon.

                  The new films are a great example: while there were new ideas, the stories just couldn’t quite pull themselves away from the OT. They had to have the Millenium Falcon, the old cast brought back, near-identical story beats, stormtroopers and evil empires in them…can’t make it too different, now!
                  Then the spin-offs focussed on past events, like Rogue One or established characters like Han Solo*.

                  There is – in theory – a whole universe out there, full of new Star Wars stories…that we’ll never see, because the franchise is, I’m not sure, maybe ‘too popular to innovate’?

                  *It even tells us HOW he got the name ‘Solo’! My god, how I desperately wanted to know that!

                  1. Liessa says:

                    One of the things I hate most is the way all the main characters keep turning out to be related to one another or previously involved in some way. The series is supposed to take place across an entire galaxy, but it feels like a small village where everyone is constantly bumping into each other. The writers, including Lucas himself, are obsessed with fanservice at the expense of believable worldbuilding.

                  2. Khwarezm says:

                    I tend to agree with the Rich Evans view on Star Wars, its actually shockingly limited in a lot of ways despite the theoretical vastness of the universe and the result is constantly referring back to the same plot points as the original trilogy as well as the same iconography constantly repeated, there’s not really anything else you can do and the expanded universe stuff always comes across as particularly corny and stupid even by sci fi standards, to me anyway.

                    Its a well worn point of comparison, but when contrasted with Star Trek it kind of highlights a lot of the problems, Star Trek, at its best, is a universe connected by broad thematic elements and the overall world, but it can spin off into all kinds of things comfortably without having to return to the same characters, settings or even archetypes. For example, The Next Generation is set more than a century after the original series with completely different characters, Picard has a totally different personality and approach to Kirk, then you have Deep Space 9 with another totally different set of characters with a structure having very little similarity to either of the two previous series’s, being set in a static location with the drama coming from long term political and diplomatic developments in a slow burning plot instead of weekly self-contained episodes, and it all fundamentally works and still feels like Star Trek.

                    Even the shitty Star Trek shows and movies have mostly been let down by plainly bad writing and a jarring tone shift towards dumb or cynical action schlock, something like Picard or Voyager could have done very well with the right approach. Not so sure about Into Darkness though…

                    1. MerryWeathers says:

                      I tend to agree with the Rich Evans view on Star Wars, its actually shockingly limited in a lot of ways despite the theoretical vastness of the universe and the result is constantly referring back to the same plot points as the original trilogy as well as the same iconography constantly repeated, there’s not really anything else you can do and the expanded universe stuff always comes across as particularly corny and stupid even by sci fi standards, to me anyway.

                      Maybe not in mainline SW movies but original stuff can still be done, you just have to lessen their scope. Just look at The Mandalorian. I think even Rogue One could have been truly unique if they had removed the fanservice and put more effort into writing the characters.

                      Not so sure about Into Darkness though…

                      You can actually, it’s called Wrath of Khan.

                  3. Joshua says:

                    Yeah, you take a name like “Star Wars”, and there could be ALL KINDS of different stories involved. It’s like having a set of stories called “Medieval Battles”, and yet everything is tied around the same half-dozen individuals.

                2. MerryWeathers says:

                  Depends, some tidbits about the planets and the locals are genuinely interesting but then there are those times when the EU or canon takes these elements too literally and even applies it to everything else.

                  An example being Dr. Evazan and Ponda Baba, who were probably just supposed to be a bunch of drunk shit talkers, are now genuinely infamous criminals in expanded material. Another is Jabba, who was a gangster lord who owned slaves and was a Hutt therefore all Hutts are gangster lords that dominate the entire criminal underworld of the galaxy and run the slave trade.

                  There’s no variety or change in the galaxy, it makes the setting feel stagnant.

                  1. Khwarezm says:

                    You know I actually don’t mind the ‘Hutts are gangster lords’ as much as other people because in real life there is a precedent for fairly small ethnic or other insular groups having outsized dominance in certain areas, in that regard Jabba is kind of like some combination of Italian Americans having a disproportionate control over American crime in the 20th century and a small colonial upper crust in somewhere like British India lording it over a much larger population.

                    They also kind of reminds me of something like the Mamluks in places like Egypt where it ended up being a very insular, carefully controlled elite that carved out immense political power for themselves.

              3. Radkatsu says:

                The spoiler warning crew discussed this during the FO4 season. In Star Trek, it’s an in-joke, in Star Wars it’s an important piece of lore no one needed or asked for. Like the GNDN you see in Jeffrey’s Tubes in Trek, which just means Goes Nowhere, Does Nothing. It’s a joke. But in Star Wars some author would’ve turned that into half a page of detailed lore on something utterly pointless, heh.

          2. Mr. Wolf says:

            Lightsabres are just Jedi mood rings!

            They work on the same principle as blasters don’t they? So are all the Rebels using red lights actually evil?

      2. Moridin says:

        At least Dragonlance has(or had? I have no idea what the current state of canon is) an actual justification in that all wizards are devoted to one of three gods, which determines the school of magic they specialize in as well as the colour of their robe.

        1. Joshua says:

          Sad to say that I probably read over 40 of the books in my youth 30 years ago or so, and I’m sure there are several hundred more I’ve never read by this point. I have no idea what current canon is. I do think it’s funny that it tried to codify so much of the D&D rules into its actual lore, and then had to constantly ret-con as editions changed.

          1. Moridin says:

            That’s pretty much all of the D&D settings(that have been updated), which is a large part of why lore for AD&D 2e and earlier tends to be better(as earlier edition changes didn’t really change that much in terms of things that impact lore).

          2. Fizban says:

            I don’t know how it may or may not have interacted with edition changes, but the Dragonlance wizard color-coding was essentially all an in-universe conceit, IIRC. The Wizards of High Sorcery organization says that any wizard at least this tall must join the club and pick a moral philosophy which determines the color of robe they wear and the magic they’re allowed to learn, and if you don’t they’ll totally hunt you down because unstoppable wizards. The colors and spells and morals are arbitrarily assigned, but so are all definitions of pretend magic schools. But the weaving of mechanics and lore to justify each other is kinda what should be going on anyway. The problem isn’t that the wizards are color-coded, it’s that the wizard organization fails to connect to the world significantly in any way but the lore: the towers are unreachable, but apparently also have money and food, everyone fears and respects them yet they barely exist, there are apparently enough black robes to do whatever the bad guys need but I don’t think there are any white robes even in the original trilogy- the “Wizards of High Sorcery” are a plot device rather than a fully realized piece of the setting, lore be damned.

            If they ever tried to make 4e or 5e Dragonlance, I didn’t hear about it. Forgotten Realms is the setting that’s been eating shit from edition change after edition change over and over and over. It actually comes off as clever in the 3.x era, the idea that while 3.x puts so many mechanical/simulation details in player hands, there are things in the history of the world (from previous editions) which just can’t be done anymore (and if you turn it around, the implication that the next chunk of history could and should be shaped by the new possiblities of the 3.x system). But then they go and completely gut the massive pantheon and entire magic system to drag it into 4e, which is so different it’s obvious the setting never should have touched that system at all. Even just ramming in entire new base PC races, like, didn’t they say that tons of people just spontaneously mutated into dragonborn so new players could write “dragonsomething” on their character sheet?

            And then they do it *again* for 5e, as they hilariously backpedal into a system that could have progressed from the 3.x Forgotten Realms setting with nearly no change (aside from cutting off the magitech proliferation/revolution that 3.x could have implied). The timeline at the end of 3.x already suffered a bit from the over density of a whole catalogue of modules and novels suddenly detailing major events and disasters all in just a few decades, which are now followed by two back to back edition changes. Maybe for someone who started with 4e or 5e it might look reasonable, but I don’t see how anyone who knew a decent amount of the 3.x setting firsthand could ever take what they’ve done with it seriously.

            1. Joshua says:

              If they ever tried to make 4e or 5e Dragonlance, I didn’t hear about it.

              Well, one of the rules codification I was referring to was limiting magic to either these Towers of High Sorcery, or being a cleric of the true gods. I remember when 2nd Edition came around they said that Paladins and Druids didn’t exist (or have powers anyway), and IIRC Bards just didn’t get access to spells (or maybe the Towers of High Sorcery would be constantly chasing them down?). I never looked at how they adapted to 3.X, where there were even more flavors of magic. I think it would be funny in 5th to see their response, because virtually any class can get access to magic through their subclass one way or another. I’d also like to see how the setting can retcon spells not just mysteriously disappearing from memory after being cast.

              Of course, even back in the day their justifications for rules weren’t necessarily matching their current editions. Even though you had to memorize spells to cast them, the rules allowed you to memorize the same spell multiple times which contrasted with the series lore. There was explicit lore that stated why wizards were allowed to use daggers, but no other weapons. Then you had Gilthanas, a “dabbler”, who definitely used more martial weapons and whose class progression more closely matches what could be done in 3/4/5 than what was available as either multi-class or dual-classing in 1/2.

              As far as alignment, I’m curious if they would have done anything for Dragonlance in 4th Edition, where the Neutral alignment temporarily disappeared to become “Unaligned”.

              1. Fizban says:

                I remember when 2nd Edition came around they said that Paladins and Druids didn’t exist (or have powers anyway), and IIRC Bards just didn’t get access to spells (or maybe the Towers of High Sorcery would be constantly chasing them down?). I never looked at how they adapted to 3.X, where there were even more flavors of magic

                I don’t have a problem with restricting classes- that, and the modification of spell lists, are actually the most powerful tools for re-defining a world that exist mechanically. It’s a mark of what I’d normally call “3.x internet forum entitlement” to expect that an actual setting would allow *everything*. None of the books I read even had any bardsong that I recall, allowing the class at all was unneccesary.

                I think it would be funny in 5th to see their response, because virtually any class can get access to magic through their subclass one way or another. I’d also like to see how the setting can retcon spells not just mysteriously disappearing from memory after being cast.

                It should be simple, again just removing the subclasses that hand out magic like candy. Since they’ve abaondoned spell memorization entirely they’d probably just pretend it never existed, gaslighting style. But if they’d actually done it, they’d probably have done the same thing as they did to FR, trying to gut the setting and force it to match the new PHB, alignment mangling included.

                1. Joshua says:

                  I don’t have a problem with restricting classes- that, and the modification of spell lists, are actually the most powerful tools for re-defining a world that exist mechanically. It’s a mark of what I’d normally call “3.x internet forum entitlement” to expect that an actual setting would allow *everything*. None of the books I read even had any bardsong that I recall, allowing the class at all was unneccesary.

                  I don’t necessarily disagree. I think Dark Sun did a decent job with this by restricting races and classes, while adding a lot of options to make the world it’s own special thing.

                  Dragonlance, though, seemed like it took away a lot more than it gave up. Discussing all of the classes/subclasses above that you can’t play, and in return, you have the singular ADDED option of Knights of Solamnia (which are just kind of reskinned Paladins). Race-wise, players lose Half-Orcs, Tieflings, (regular) Gnomes, Halflings, Dragonborn, Drow, etc., and gain…….Kender, Gully Dwarves, and Tinker Gnomes. Yay! /sarcasm. Oh, and I guess Irda, which were hysterically broken in 1st Edition and have little lore support. For the DMs, like half of the monsters in the manual just don’t seem to exist, and the main new option is Draconians.

                  I remember even as a teen reading the novels and getting into AD&D that the books seemed fine as stories, but the gameplay setting was just so damn limiting.

                  1. Fizban says:

                    It’s sure been a week, but-

                    I’d say this is an unsuprising result of adapting adventures written based on earlier versions with fewer classes. The setting isn’t so much a Game Setting as it is an extension of a particular campaign- one which only used certain monsters, so that’s all there is, and which was written before all the wacky new classes started being written, so that’s all there is. Looking at it from a newer edition perspective it requires a bunch of “cuts,” but the setting was written before that stuff existed, so why should it suddenly have to update? If you’re there to play in the Dragonlance setting, you shouldn’t be demanding new stuff.

                    But originally you were saying it was funny how Dragonlance struggled to update things- I actually find it’s updates quite reasonable and conservative. Unlike the butchering of FR’s entire magic system and Eberron being only half-written so it can claim to have “room” for any published material, 3.x Dragonlance basically just incorporated one change, and did one better than the PHB: spontaneous casting. The books do have an awkward arbitrary “this stuff happens and suddenly Sorcerers exist,” and “the gods are gone for a while but it’s cool we gave you a replacement class” but it’s a tame kitten compared to FR’s tossups, and many people prefer Mystics rather than the extremely finicky spontaneous divine casters found in Complete Divine. The setting books actually expect you to not be playing during the War of the Lance (there’s a separate splat for that), but instead afterward, as the books expand and toss up the setting and generally make room for new weird monsters and the addition of new classes.

                    Though I haven’t actually read the books covering the alien uber dragons which seem to serve as the big “reset button” that ensures the Alliance and Horde are always at war (to mix a metaphor), and which didn’t really settle with me reading about them in the setting books. Dragons of Summer Flame and the War of Souls arc are such downers in literally just undoing everything the previous heroes accomplished that from a novel perspective who gives a damn.

            2. Moridin says:

              The Wizards of High Sorcery organization says that any wizard at least this tall must join the club and pick a moral philosophy which determines the color of robe they wear and the magic they’re allowed to learn, and if you don’t they’ll totally hunt you down because unstoppable wizards. The colors and spells and morals are arbitrarily assigned, but so are all definitions of pretend magic schools.

              At least in the novels there are some wizards who aren’t part of the club and aren’t being hunted down, they’re just not allowed to wear robes of official colours or claim to be part of it. The magic schools and the limitations on the spells they’re able to learn come straight from AD&D rules – it wasn’t until 3e that you could pick your banned schools.

              The problem isn’t that the wizards are color-coded, it’s that the wizard organization fails to connect to the world significantly in any way but the lore: the towers are unreachable, but apparently also have money and food, everyone fears and respects them yet they barely exist, there are apparently enough black robes to do whatever the bad guys need but I don’t think there are any white robes even in the original trilogy- the “Wizards of High Sorcery” are a plot device rather than a fully realized piece of the setting, lore be damned.

              They’re wizards. Why would they have trouble getting enough money or respect?

              It’s been a while since I read the original Chronicles, but the head of the tower is a white robe(as is Raistlin’s mentor, though I don’t think he’s mentioned outside the prequels?) and there are barely any wizards even mentioned apart from Raistlin and the black robes at Takhisis’ temple.

              1. Henson says:

                there are barely any wizards even mentioned apart from Raistlin and the black robes at Takhisis’ temple.

                Yeah, I think that’s kinda the point Fizban (the commenter, not the character) is getting to. In the War of the Lance, Takhisis has a whole bunch of black-robe mages working her nefarious schemes, but for some reason, none of the white robes seem to show up to fight for the good guys. However, you could also argue that this double standard is also the point of the setting, that the bad guys often care more about gaining power than playing by the rules, like when they hold the good dragon eggs hostage but then destroy them anyway in secret.

                I sometimes wonder what the black-robed wizards of the Tower of Wayreth think of the black-robed mages fighting in the war. It might have been nice to get some worldbuilding on this difference, but I can’t say I remember anything substantial.

                1. Joshua says:

                  However, you could also argue that this double standard is also the point of the setting

                  That certainly seems to be the case with the gods. The “gods” got upset with the balance between good and evil all being out of whack, so threw down a mountain of fire and caused hundreds of thousands to die and suffer. And then it seems like it was only the GOOD gods that seemed to care about the balance going their way- the evil gods seemed perfectly fine having the balance skewed their way during the War of the Lance. So, you have this setting that a lot of people thought was a little weird because the gods of Good are kind of dumb, and YMMV, kind of jerks as well.

                  1. Fizban says:

                    IIRC, In the first of the Twins trilogy it is revealed (or retconned depending on perspective) that the Kingpriest was basically the definition of hubris. Not so much a balance thing, as a Vengeful Old Testament Santa thing, where this one obviously corrupt leader(who presumably used to be a decent enough bloke and so hadn’t had his magic revoked yet) made one too many demands of the gods, so they wrecked the place out of spite because if the humans let this guy be in charge then they deserved it. Which is still a bogus set of jerkface gods making things worse without any “cosmic balance” figleaf, but at least it’s not the “cosmic balance” figleaf.

                    As for the evil gods, barely any except Takehsis are ever mentioned, but the War of Souls arc starts with her literally stealing the planet and hiding it from the other gods to make herself the one true god (the plan fails in the end, obviously)- so she not only doesn’t care about “balance,” she actively tries to cheat to win. And the funny thing is, amidst that downer story, one of the better characters is Mina, the girl Takhesis saves and makes her new priestess in a world now devoid of divine magic and sends to conquer the place in her name. Mina has pure motivations and actual agency and success, but is tied to the bad crowd and destined to fail, way more interesting than watching all the old characters get wrecked.

              2. Fizban says:

                They’re wizards. Why would they have trouble getting enough money or respect?

                there are barely any wizards even mentioned apart from Raistlin and the black robes at Takhisis’ temple.

                Why indeed? But as you say yourself, barely any wizards are mentioned, even when there’s a war on and it would be really, really useful if some of those capital G good wizards with money and respect would show up. Instead there are sufficient black robes to make bad things happen, and no significant support for the heroes from the other wizards that supposedly exist and should rather have a vested interested in stopping the forces of capital E evil from taking over the world.

                As for wizard=money and power, well that always comes down to what magic actually does. Which in a story depends on the writer and their world-building chops, but in a setting ostensibly based on a set of game mechanics instead comes down to those mechanics- which are focused on combat, not the generation of money. Outside of obvious exploits (and if you tell me Dragonlance officially runs on 3.x Wall of Iron or Fabricate shenanigans, ha), wizards make money the same way as anyone else: get paid for your work, or kill monsters and take their stuff (or be in charge enough that people pay you taxes just for existing) no more, no less. These wizards don’t seem to control territory to generate taxes, the setting is not portrayed as a monster farm/ten thousand ruined civilizations to pillage, and with there apparently being barely any rulers that can keep their butts together I don’t see who’s paying out the big bucks. (Later books do start mentioning more wizards, including at least one specifically running a magic shop, but it comes off to me as super revisionist history.)

                To recap- responding to commentary on the sillyness of color-coded lightsabers, Joshua compared them to Dragonlance wizards. I bring up the shakiness of their place in the “world,” or rather, the Chronicles, as a contrast: Dragonlance wizards are color-coded, but it’s actually part of the original fluff that was wrapped around their game mechanics, which I think is better than lighsaber sillyness, and instead I say the biggest problem with Dragonlance wizards is that the Dragonlance “setting” fails to properly integrate them. Which is unsurprising given that it’s written based on game mechanics and storytelling that never seriously built their worlds with the existence of magic from the bottom up. They’re from the more “Tolkien” era of wizards and magic, where there is as much and it means as much only as the author says, narrative first, which clashes immediately with the reality of game mechanics (and expanded universes that attempt to extrapolate based on canon) that are by definition details first.

  3. MerryWeathers says:

    We can talk about that, but these days we can’t get anywhere near the topic of the “Star Wars feel” without having a long, bitter, and needlessly hostile argument about The Last Jedi. Since the plot is currently spinning its wheels, I think now is a good time to stop and explore this question. Hopefully without so much rancor.

    While TLJ debates on this site are very long, it’s not as bad as Reddit or any other site I’ve seen. Might have something to do with the no p-word rule. It will be very interesting to see how it plays out.

    1. Smith says:

      What P-word?

      Oh, right, Ph*ntom M*nace.

      1. DeadlyDark says:

        I knew it. It’s all P*c-man’s fault!

    2. Dreadjaws says:

      Might have something to do with the no p-word rule

      What the hell does Paul Feig to do with this? He’s from the Ghostbusters reboot, not the Star Wars sequels.

  4. Mortuss says:

    Who the hell is “Swoo Jeffo”?

    Hopefully without so much rancor.

    I personally think TLJ would be better with a Rancor in it

    1. Smith says:

      I think the fanbase supplied more than enough rancor for anyone.

      /rimshot

    2. ContribuTor says:

      One slice of TLJ without so much rancor in it later….

    3. Philadelphus says:

      I think Swoo Jeffo was a tongue-in-cheek pronunciation of the acronym for this game, SW™JFO™EA™.

      1. eldomtom2 says:

        Yes, it was mentioned in the first post. Oh Shamus, you and your subtle callbacks!

    4. Radkatsu says:

      Only if the rancor went on to eat every single character in the whole thing. None of those idiots deserves to survive.

  5. Baron Tanks says:

    Typoparol:

    But here on Ilum, there aren’t and trees visible anywhere on the landscape.

    Pretty sure you were going for the word any there.

    Curious to see what’ll happen next week in the discussion, the narrative is running a bit long in the tooth here again, it’ll be nice to have a change of pace. How far along are we in the story anyway? Is station McGuffin also the endpoint of the game, or will it be the start of the next act as it invariably gets stolen or some such? I sure hope not xD

    1. The Wind King says:

      “Typopa(t)rol”

      I’m not poking fun, I just found it brilliant that in pointing out a typo you have committed such sin yuorself.

      1. Joe Informatico says:

        I’m not poking fun, I just found it brilliant that in pointing out a typo you have committed such sin yuorself

        .

        If this was an accident, it was a happy accident. And if it was intentional, kudos!

        1. Paul Spooner says:

          Reply is on topic, but contians no typos. (2/5 stars)

        2. Baron Tanks says:

          This is my new favorite discussion line and yes, I definitely made a faux-pas myself. In a three line comment no less, as opposed to a full article! For my sin* I should probably give up my typopatrol and will for the foreseaable future be on typoparole.

          *although rather than seeing it as sins, I move that typopatrols are more about helping out the stragglers that swim through the net, rather than declare the author to have sinned xD

          1. The Wind King says:

            I just like the word “sin”, although to be fair “taboo” is also a good one.

            “You have breached *dramatic pause* taboo.”

  6. Gautsu says:

    I can’t fucking wait.

    Literally

    1. Christopher Wolf says:

      I can’t fucking wait. Literally

      I do not want to picture or conceive of what that would mean!

      1. Gautsu says:

        Neither did my wife

        But seriously, for the most part, the people who read Shamus’ blog are respectful and can have conversations where they disagree without talking past each other. Every time I try to discuss this movie in the real world the person either talks past me or completely agrees with me

  7. MerryWeathers says:

    Speaking of lightsabers and Jedi, originally Lucasfilm wanted SW™JFO™EA™ to be one of those Star Wars criminal underworld games that seem to constantly run into the misfortune of getting canceled.

    I thought this tidbit was amusing because Lucasfilm was essentially trying to get 1313 or a game like it made.

    1. baud says:

      Star Wars criminal underworld games that seem to constantly run into the misfortune of getting canceled.

      At least we’re getting a slice of that with the Mandalorian TV series.

  8. Hal says:

    It doesn’t apply to all names in this universe, but a fast-and-dirty way to generate Star Wars names is to have two names that add up to three syllables.

    By this logic, “Shamus Young” is a Star Wars name. Congratulations!

    1. BlueHorus says:

      Now, there is an obvious question here:

      What colour is Shamus’ lightsaber?

      1. RFS-81 says:

        In light of the comment thread about Mace Windu above, and Shamus’s blog post on Dark Souls, I deduce that it must be purple! Also fitting his choice in Fallen order.

        Why are we using spoiler tags?

        I did not intend for the link to be visible through the spoiler tag, but you know, I think it improves my comment.

        1. Hal says:

          I think because there’s an obvious double entendre at play here.

          Now, let’s continue speculating about Shamus’s purple lightsaber.

          1. BlueHorus says:

            Hmm, do you think it needs someone to use the Force on it before it exten-

            – you know what? I don’t know Shamus NEARLY well enough for this. I’ll stop.
            Shame, because there’s a rich, rich vein of double-entendres here.

            1. RFS-81 says:

              I never thought that an upstanding member of this community could stoop so low!

      2. Brendan says:

        Don’t be silly. Obviously, Shamus Young is a hotshot slicer from a Star Wars RPG. Tabletop, possibly.

  9. John says:

    Bah.

    I still hate the idea that there’s only one place in the galaxy you can go to get the arbitrary space-tokens you need to build your lightsaber (or your Death Star, which is a whole ‘nother stupid kettle of stupid fish). To steal from another, sillier sci-fi franchise, space is big. It’s also full of planets. The idea that the particular crystals needed for lightsabers can be found on just one planet is ridiculous. The idea that Star Wars characters, for whom cross-galactic travel is usually trivial, can’t just as easily go get some crystals on one of those other planets is maddening. And, while I’m at it, the idea that the crystals can’t be synthesized in a lab is also a little far-fetched. Synthetic diamonds are a real, actual thing, along with any number of other synthetic gemstones, and have been for ages.

    But what I really object to is the treatment of lightsabers as sacred objects. They aren’t sacred objects, and there’s nothing in either the original or prequel trilogies to support the assertion that they are. They’re tools, just like blasters. They aren’t even all that different from blasters. One is a handgun that shoots green, glowing bolts. The other is a big flashlight that emits a green, glowing blade. And yet, if various spinoffs are to be believed, the one can be constructed from common, everyday sci-fi parts but the other requires a space-pilgrimage and a special space-token. No. I don’t buy it. I could maybe accept the proposition that the Jedi treat lightsabers as sacred objects and that they send young Jedi on space-pilgrimages to get lightsaber components as a matter of tradition, but I will never accept the proposition that lightsabers are sacred objects.

    So, what should Fallen Order have done? I dunno. I haven’t played the game. I suppose that if the player needs to go to Ilum anyway to complete Cordova’s scavenger hunt, then having him stop and pick up a couple of lightsaber crystals while he’s there isn’t too egregious. And maybe the game doesn’t make a big deal about lightsaber crystals and Ilum in the first place, in which case my ranting and foaming at the mouth has been mostly for nothing. But if I were in charge of the Star Wars universe, I’d have made Cal and company stop at another planet on the way to Ilum, go to the space-hardware store, pick up some space-parts, and build himself a functional weapon before he got to Ilum. It wouldn’t even have to be a lightsaber. A blaster was good enough for Luke Skywalker in the corridors of Bespin, and he had a lightsaber at the time, so I figure that a blaster is more than good enough for the likes of Cal Kestis.

    Actually, speaking of blasters, why doesn’t Cal have one? I understand that the real reason is that this is a lightsaber combat game, but is there some in-story reason as well?

    1. MerryWeathers says:

      Illum isn’t the only planet that has Kyber Crystals but it’s the one chosen by the Jedi to hold their ceremonies for when it’s time for a youngling to construct their own lightsaber so that’s why Cal went there, since it’s the planet that had kyber crystals that he was probably the most familiar with.

      I do agree a lightsaber isn’t a sacred object in of itself and they weren’t what made Luke a Jedi but they are very rare by the time of the OT and in ANH, represented Luke’s call to action.

    2. Dreadjaws says:

      I could maybe accept the proposition that the Jedi treat lightsabers as sacred objects and that they send young Jedi on space-pilgrimages to get lightsaber components as a matter of tradition, but I will never accept the proposition that lightsabers are sacred objects.

      I’m sorry, but… what is the difference? Any object that is considered sacred in any religion is because people chose to treat it that way.

      1. John says:

        Sacred is perhaps not quite the right word, but I can’t think of a better one. Supernatural or mystical might have made my meaning a little clearer, but I don’t think that they capture quite the same feeling. As I see it, if you have to (a) go to a special, unique place, (b) get a special, unique crystal, and then, I don’t even know, (c) achieve mystical communion with that crystal before you can build a lightsaber, then that lightsaber is a sacred (or supernatural, or mystical) object. If none of those steps actually matter, if you could just as easily have ordered some parts and assembled the lightsaber at home, then you are only treating the lightsaber as a sacred object. You may regard it as sacred, but in point of fact there’s nothing supernatural or mystical about it.

      2. Daimbert says:

        I’m sorry, but… what is the difference? Any object that is considered sacred in any religion is because people chose to treat it that way.

        Well, it’s the difference between them being built individually and forming a unique connection with the user and Obi-Wan’s admonishment to Anakin on AotC that he should take better care of his lightsaber and not lose it because it represents his life. The latter is something being treated as symbolic because of what it symbolizes, while the former is making a direct and in this case supernatural connection. So a lightsaber could be a tool but be held sacred because it more than anything else symbolizes a Jedi and what they stand for, which is how I think John is taking it. The other sense is that the lightsaber in and of itself is of the Force and forms a unique Force bond with the Jedi.

        A real-world example is a crucifix. Christians treat the individual ones they wear as sacred because of what it represents, but don’t usually claim that it in and of itself has supernatural power. This differs from other things that they consider sacred simply for what they are.

    3. Bubble181 says:

      Building a lightsaber has been made more and more mundane over time, but it’s really supposed to be something special. Lightsabers have also been normalized in games (what with lightaxes, lightdaggers, lightwhips, light….ugh), but they were supposed to be special and rare – Padawans were sometimes given the lightsaber of their mentor, lightsabers were buried with their owner – much like a knight’s or samurai’s sword.
      Lightsabers *couldn’t* be made out of regular items – making them required rare and special stuff only found in McDoohickey. It may seem similar – blasting green bolts or creating a focussed and constrained laser effect – but one is trivial even today and the other is still technically impossible. We don’t have any way of making a light beam just stop in mid-air (technically, we do. But you’d need to cart around the whole CERN to do it).

      Lightsabers are a special badge of honor. EU wise, most (all?) lightsabers required the Force to activate – there was no external button to power it on. This seems to have gone the way of the dodo, though.

      Anyway, making a lightsaber is a Quest for a young Jedi. There aren’t artisanal lightsaber makers on every planet. Needing specifically attuned crystals (though, no, it doesn’t need to be kyber – there are a few different options in the EU) is…well, Space Magic.

      1. Syal says:

        EU wise, most (all?) lightsabers required the Force to activate – there was no external button to power it on.

        That’s directly contradicted by Han Solo turning on Luke’s lightsaber in The Empire Strikes Back.

        1. BlueHorus says:

          Plus, Finn using a lightsaber in TFA.
          Which I quite liked, because he was very much desperately flailing around, showing the difference between a Force user and a normal guy.
          AFAIK I know that was the original point of the laser sword: Jedi used it because it was distinctive, fiddly and dangerous. It was a sign of skill, not because the damn things were magical.

          1. Joe Informatico says:

            I remember seeing very early concept art for Star Wars suggesting that lightsabers were originally conceived as common sidearms, and their exclusive association with the Jedi came at some point between preproduction and shooting (probably because the effects weren’t cheap in 1977 so the fewer sabers in play the better).

            The skill argument makes the most sense to me. I remember in the old West End Games tabletop RPG rules, your ability with a lightsaber didn’t depend on your Melee weapon skill, but your Force Control skill (one of the three Force Power skill trees in that system, along with Sense and Alter). So non-Force users could attempt to use a lightsaber, they just were always pretty incompetent with them.

        2. The Puzzler says:

          Which just proves that Han Solo had access to the Force. How else would he have beaten Boba Fett while blind?

          1. John says:

            You speak as if defeating Boba Fett is supposed to be hard. I say that if you lose the only fight you’re ever in, and to a blind man and an immobile sarlaac no less, you can’t possibly be that tough.

      2. John says:

        Building a lightsaber has been made more and more mundane over time, but it’s really supposed to be something special.

        Since when? We never actually see anyone build a lightsaber in the movies. As far as you or anyone else knows, building lightsabers has never been anything but mundane.

        1. Paul Spooner says:

          Well, in RotJ, Luke making a lightsaber impresses even his judgmental father, so “mundane” might be stating the case a bit too strongly.

          1. John says:

            A bit, perhaps, but the significance of that remark is often exaggerated. Note how it receives no follow-up or elaboration. Luke, at this point in the conversation, doesn’t care about the lightsaber, and there’s no particular indication that the movie expects the audience to care either. Luke is trying to have a serious conversation with Vader, trying to save him, and Vader, who may not want to be saved and probably does not believe that he can be, is trying to connect with his estranged son by means of inoffensive small talk.

            In any case, when I said mundane I meant non-supernatural rather than commonplace. There may not be many people in the Star Wars universe who can build lightsabers, the demand for lightsabers having mostly collapsed following the Jedi purge, but that doesn’t mean that building lightsabers is magical or necessarily even difficult, only that it’s rare.

            1. Daimbert says:

              It sort of makes it look like it turned out to be in KotOR: something that took skill and specifically Force skill to do, but not something that really made the lightsaber so personal or so attuned to the Force. That’s why Vader comments that it proves that Luke’s skills are complete, but neither of them really seem to care about it personally.

              Vader’s lightsaber that Luke started with has importance because it is a link to the father Luke never knew, not because it has some kind of great Force link or Force power.

    4. Joe Informatico says:

      Jedha, the moon with the Jedi temple ruins on it from Rogue One was another canonical location of khyber crystals the Empire was mining, but the Death Star destroys it to test the superlaser.

    5. Khwarezm says:

      Its a side effect of the way that franchises like Star Wars get hijacked by their own iconography.

      If you are going off the original movies there isn’t much to suggest that Lightsabers were a uniquely important item, they were associated with Jedi in the same way that a sword is associated with a knight, and certainly Obi-wan appreciates them on the level of being an elegant throwback to a more civilized time. In the same way that a knight learned how to use and fight with a sword, so does a Jedi with a Lightsaber, but a knight was never defined by the mere use of a sword and its never really suggested that a Jedi was either. Like in the original movies Yoda never even hints that he uses a lightsaber and his training of Luke has nothing to do with it at all, being entirely about use of the force and the overall outlook one should approach life with.

      But of course, in the decades since everybody remembers how cool lightsabers are and what a cool concept it is to have a laser sword that can cut through anything and deflect any attack, so popular culture elevates lightsabers to the most iconic aspect of the whole Star Wars franchise and the primary thing that means Jedi. That bleeds into the expanded universe stuff that was created by a lot of people who were in that mindset of Lightsabers being super, uniquely awesome, so now they can’t just be treated as a useful tool within the universe of Star Wars, oh no, to reflect their real life fetishisation they become sacred objects within the ‘canon’ as well, a kind of holy relic which is stupendously important to a Jedi’s path and gains all this overly complex backstory to continually underline how amazing and unique these objects are, even if doesn’t actually make all that much sense, doesn’t really benefit the plot and universe very much and perhaps even undermines some of the thematic elements they seem to have been going for in the original series.

      I think Lucas started to buy into this kind of thing himself in the Prequels, and of course Disney has been far worse about it too, like in TFA Luke’s lightsaber is critically important object with mystical properties that’s a center-point of the movie, and they’ve maintained and expanded on a lot of this onerous lore with the Kyber crystals and stuff.

      I know that The Last Jedi discussions will last till the end of time, but it was one of things that I kind of liked about the movie that Luke hints at how lightsabers are ultimately just a tool that can be discarded, and doesn’t really mean all that much at the end of the day.

      1. John says:

        I think Lucas started to buy into this kind of thing himself in the Prequels.

        I think you’re right. At the very least, he was willing to do a fair amount of pandering to fans in the prequels. It would certainly explain the existence of, for example, Jango Fett, who has no good reason to be named Jango Fett or to be Boba Fett’s father except that people really, really like Boba Fett.

      2. Gethsemani says:

        Star Wars is probably the Ur-example of what happens when fans become writers for a property they love. As one of the old White Wolf managers once said about the problems of finding good freelance writers for Vampire the Masquerade: The problem was that all the potential writers were long time fans of the franchise and they kept talking about how they couldn’t wait to have Hardestadt [the most powerful Vampire in the game] do X, not have the player characters do it. The problem was that these people wanted to write their own official fan fic, not create campaign settings for other players to roleplay in. Star Wars is much the same with the old EU, where so many die-hard fans with mediocre storytelling ability got their fan fics enshrined as canon. The end result is a terrible mess that only ever understands Star Wars at the surface level but stomps on the deeper meanings and themes that made Star Wars so compelling to begin with.

    6. Topher Corbett says:

      It’s not the only one, it’s just one where they’re really plentiful.
      You can make synthetic ones, that’s what red ones are.

    7. KillerAngel says:

      Desann and Admiral Fyaar try and artificially replicate the crystals in Jedi Outcast.

    8. Radkatsu says:

      Guessing you didn’t want Clone Wars then. An episode of that went into why the crystals are important. tl;dr it’s Force-related. You don’t just go pick up a random crystal, you have to specifically find YOUR crystal, which is one of those vague ‘you’ll know it when you find it’ deals. Jedi are all about the Force, so having your lightsaber’s crystal be heavily tied to your Force power makes perfect sense in-universe.

      1. John says:

        Guessing you didn’t want Clone Wars then.

        I’m fairly certain you meant watch there, and, no, I didn’t. But, as luck would have it, I didn’t want it either, so you’re right either way. I’ve heard from enough people that parts of it are good that I believe that parts of it really are genuinely good, but I also know that it’s full of stuff–magic lightsaber crystals, for example–that I can’t stand.

        1. MerryWeathers says:

          Despite the magic crystals, lightsabers aren’t really treated as sacred in Clone Wars, quite the opposite in fact. They feel expandable with lightsabers constantly getting lost (only getting retrieved because it’s the only weapons the main characters have), stolen, and switched. Even in the latest season, Anakin gifts Ahsoka with a pair of fresh blue lightsabers like they’re a new shiny blaster he bought in a shop.

        2. Radkatsu says:

          Dammit, yes, watch. I’m normally pretty good at catching typos before hitting the post comment button, but not always.

          And it’s really not full of stuff like that. It’s just a damn good show with solid writing and characterisation. It also retroactively helps make the prequels less terrible, which is a feat in and of itself.

  10. Thomas says:

    How does rebuilding your lightsaber fit with all the lightsaber customisation you could do up to that point? Does it default to rebuilding whatever you had set before you lost it?

    1. sheer_falacy says:

      Luckily, the lightsaber customization is completely irrelevant because your lightsaber handle is basically invisible during gameplay so you don’t really need to worry about this.

    2. The Despot says:

      It mostly does, but adds the ability to have two separate emitters instead of duplicating the same one on each end. It then sets one of them to Cere’s emitter by default.

  11. evileeyore says:

    “Since the plot is currently spinning its wheels, I think now is a good time to stop and explore this question. Hopefully without so much rancor.”

    Hopefully a little Rancor, else what is Luke going to fight in the pit under Jabba’s throne room?

  12. Steve C says:

    If only the setting had something like Force Ghosts. Then it wouldn’t have to be a prerecorded message. The ghostly holo-image effect but present tense. Too bad that’s from a Lucasfilm property; The Secret of Money Island.

  13. skaybay says:

    Fallen Order is pretty faithful to the way the Ilum temple was depicted in The Clone Wars (Season 5, EP 6 – The Gathering). You should know that under both Disney canon and old canon TCW is considered equal to movies (thus Maul’s inclusion in Solo) so designers didn’t really have much wiggle room.

    My understanding is that imperial presence on Ilum was mostly focused on the equator, where they were strip mining kyber crystals. You can see the trench while landing.

    1. zackoid says:

      Did the Jedi really bring busloads of padawans to balance on frozen tree roots over bottomless pits so they could wall-run over to a narrow ledge? I get that they were always massively irresponsible with the children in their care, but this is ridiculous. Even ignoring the inevitable casualties, getting a large group through one of these rooms would take bloody ages

      And in that episode, not only are the small children falling into pits, there’s a physical time limit to the whole thing where if they don’t find their crystal in a few hours they’ll be abandoned to freeze to death. Apparently the Jedi have decided that the real problem with the Sith is that they are insufficiently committed to social Darwinism.

  14. Dreadjaws says:

    Did the story explicitly say that Cere’s lightsaber is broken and I somehow missed it?

    Funny. That is exactly what I thought had happened at that point in the story. Now that you’re saying the game doesn’t actually ever say her lightsaber is broken, I’m confused.

    1. Dawn says:

      It’s shown in the prequel comic to the game that she pawned off her lightsaber’s crystal sometime after escaping in order to get some funds. Why the game itself felt it could get away with not relaying this information, I can’t say.

      1. Radkatsu says:

        Ugh, people REALLY need to stop relying on external canon for this kind of thing :/

      2. Duoae says:

        I also had this same problem. It’s actually mentioned in the game but i think it’s in one of those text entries in the menu system, IIRC.

        But yeah, this was either a huge oversight or a link back to that cut content Shamus keeps referring to. I’m looking forward to that discussion because though i can agree there seems to have been at least one big rewrite, i can’t place exactly what it entailed or what was cut…

  15. MerryWeathers says:

    but according to the Wiki this place is a big deal in the EU.

    Funny story, I actually once saw a bunch of fans getting offended at Illum getting taken over by the Empire in the canon whereas in the EU, it was left mostly alone and treated like the wall from GOT but for imperials.

    It was cited by that particular bunch as an example of Disney not respecting SW lore as if the Empire totally wouldn’t scourge the planet for it’s resources and further desecrate the memory of the Jedi.

    1. Dreadjaws says:

      (Not to be confused with Illium or Ilos from Mass Effect.)

      Man, you were literally warned up there. I’m gonna have to fine you 5 space bucks for this. They would have been 10, but thankfully you only placed an extra letter.

      1. pseudonym says:

        I want to note here that sans serif fonts suck. They. Are. Ill-conceived. Especially in words such as Ilum, Illum, Illium and Ill-conceived.

        1. Radkatsu says:

          They’re fine for things like title fonts on books and similar things. But for actual reading, yes, they suck.

    2. ChrisANG says:

      In the (first?) EU, the Death Star had nothing to do with lightsabers, and you could use pretty much any (sufficiently high-quality) crystal in a lightsaber. Lightsabers were a little magical, but it was because the Jedi used the Force during the construction process to make the whole thing work better than it should based on the components that went in to it.

      Ilum existed, but was mostly used to explain why Jedi lightsabers were all green and blue, if other colors are possible. It’s explained that the Jedi mostly got their crystals from Ilum for convenience and ritual reasons, and Ilum crystals are blue and green.

      The whole “the Empire is strip-mining Ilum” thing is therefore annoying to me for all the reasons people have been mentioning in these comments: it doesn’t make sense that they’re so rare given the huge size of a galaxy, lightsabers being so magical and irreplaceable doesn’t fit well with the movies, etc.

      1. MerryWeathers says:

        Kyber Crystals are rare but they’re not super rare to the point that they can only be found on Illum (though it does have the crystals in abundance). Illum are just one of the many planets in the galaxy being strip mined for it’s crystals.

        1. ChrisANG says:

          That is better, though it does raise the question of what the authors think the relative size of a galaxy’s worth of strip-mined planets is to the Death Star’s reactor :D.

          At least there, it’s always been clear that Star Wars planets are about the size of a small town.

  16. Dreadjaws says:

    On the other planets, we’d encounter these narrow twisted beams that look like tree roots. At the time, I assumed they were tree roots. That makes sense on Dathomir and Kashyyyk, since knotty roots are a big part of the style in those locations. But here on Ilum, there aren’t any trees visible anywhere on the landscape. And even if there were, it doesn’t make sense to have them coming out of the walls of a cave inside a temple. But if these things aren’t roots, then what the hell are they?

    I have to say, I grew tired of the similar architecture of every place long before reaching this planet. Every place I went, whether a stone temple, an underground ice cave, a factory, a spaceship, a forest or a prison happened to have random tree roots/steel beams/pipes to balance yourself on, weird growths to climb on the walls, vines or cables with the same level of elasticity, super long slides, etc. At some point it started to look like all places were the same but with a different paint job.

    Yeah, I know this is a normal thing for videogames, and to be fair the game spices things up with different puzzles, different fauna and the ocassional different environmental tool (like those bouncy flowers on Kashyyyk), but I would have still prefered if they didn’t make it so obvious. Like, maybe restrict all the walkable beams to be just that, beams, by making them only exist on places with broken constructions rather than naturally-forming scenery. You’re not fooling anyone by replacing the ice slides with mud slides and trying to pretend it’s a whole different thing.

  17. BlueHorus says:

    I have this personal headcanon that Cere lent him the lightsaber to defend himself on the way, and facepalmed when he didn’t use it and instead came back with their two lightsabers stuck together. She didn’t have the heart to tell him how stupid he’d been or that he owed her a lightsaber.

    I LOLed at this. What would make it even better is if BD-1 actualy knows exactly where the Macguffin is, but is just indulging Cal’s ‘vision quest’.
    He doesn’t have the heart to tell Cal that there never was a Jedi called Cordova, they’re just running around the galaxy because he feels like they wanted to for some reason.

  18. Darker says:

    Having padawans balance on narrow ledges is totally on par with the rest of the setting. Empire doesn’t bother to install handrails on the bridges over bottomless shafts either.

    1. Melfina the Blue says:

      Is anyone else starting to think the Empire/Jedi hired the same architects that the dwarves from Moria and Erebor did (and possibly Sauron, but he at least had the excellent excuse of lack of depth perception)?

      There’s some sort of all-encompassing conspiracy against basic health and safety run by Sheogorath because, well, Sheogorath, isn’t there? I suppose it could have been Cthulhu, but nah, seems much more like Sheogorath.

  19. Syal says:

    My problem is that too many names start with the same letter.

    I was a juror in a case involving a Sheri, a Shauna, a Shawn, and a Shane. Also a Whitney and a Whiteside. Even the cops had gotten confused; they hadn’t investigated Shane because they thought he was Shawn.

    1. Smosh says:

      I write short stories as a hobby. I’ve written nearly a hundred of them by now, and most of them only have two or three characters. Exactly two of my stories have characters with matching first name letters. In one, it’s a man and a woman, and the names are very distinct otherwise. In the other, it’s two women. I think I got more criticism by (non-beta) readers for that one problem in that one story than all other criticism combined.

      Don’t give your main characters easily confused names. It’s the dumbest mistake you can possibly make while writing.

    2. Christopher Wolf says:

      That got a legit LOL out of me.

  20. BlueHorus says:

    (Not so) fun thought: wait, if the two Death Stars (and the Starkiller Base) were made out of magic crystals from Ilum…

    …how the hell did the First Order get hold of it after the Empire fell? Did the new Republic just forget about that rare resource that makes weapons of (galactic) mass destruction? Did they let an organisation of rabid fascists who look nearly identical to the Empire settle there without complaint?

    Hell, the mere fact that someone let this guy near the equivalent of an enormous stockpile of nuclear weapons is…well…

    Yeah, that idea is stupid and hilarious in equal measure.

    1. MerryWeathers says:

      Illum is in the Unknown Regions which is essentially “Here be dragons” territory in Star Wars, knowledge about and the coordinates to the planet was kept to a limit by the Jedi (because it was sacred to them) and the Empire (because they were using it’s resources for a superweapon).

      The data about the planet may have been lost or purged when the New Republic took over or more likely, it was taken by the Imperial Remnant fleeing to the Unknown Regions which would later on grow to become the First Order.

      1. BlueHorus says:

        Oh, okay. Space is big and all.
        Still, it’s seems like someone patching holes in unnecessary extra lore by adding MORE unnecessary extra lore…the films never bothered to explain how lightsabers or the Death Star are/was made.
        And the fact that they BOTH came from the magic crystals on the sacred Jedi planet seems like a great example of Star wars making itself a tiny universe by ensuring everything is linked.

        1. MerryWeathers says:

          That’s basically the EU. Since Star Wars became big, everyone wanted to know the ins and outs of how the setting worked and Lucas capitalized on it by allowing media to get made. A lot of holes start popping up when you try to make sense of something that just acted as visual backdrop to what the movies were really about: the characters.

          That said, I don’t mind that kind of stuff getting connected. To me, the universe starts becoming small when every character in the saga has met each other at some point or when you look in the history and find out that almost every conflict has just been Jedi vs Sith in some form or another.

  21. Joe Informatico says:

    Although, if I was running the Inquisition and someone informed me that we’d lost a couple of probe droids at the sacred Jedi lightsaber-building temple, I wouldn’t just send a bunch of troopers. I’d pound the big red SITH AGENTS button until every single person in a black cloak and an impractical helmet was headed for Ilum.

    I think that alleged Raymond Chandler quote, “In writing…when in doubt, have two guys come through the door with guns,” is leaned up upon heavily by Star Wars screenwriters and video game writers generally.

  22. Paul Spooner says:

    The callbacks are strong with this one.
    I’d have stooped to “Bland Solo”, so I’m happy you’re putting the work in for this.
    Now excuse me while I tab back to my latest DMotR binge.

  23. Warclam says:

    Wait, Cere Junda has three syllables? This whole time I thought Cere was pronounced like KEH-ray. How do they say it in the game? Sear? Care?

  24. OK I laughed with Jimmy Smits.

  25. Decius says:

    My headcanon is now that Cordova brought the droid everywhere and made encrypted recordings on hundreds of planets, hiding dozens of quests for various McGuffins, and if you made a detour to the shards of Alderrann or to the Wasteland Moon of Endor, or the City Planet of Coruscant, or any other planet, you’d end up getting a cutscene from a different game in the series.

    1. Henson says:

      “I sure hope my Jedi pupils don’t sequence break.”

      1. Philadelphus says:

        A true Jedi would never stoop to something so dastardly!

  26. pseudonym says:

    As a warm up I am going to make a very controversial statement about the last jedi. I watched it and this is what I think:

    I don’t have strong feelings about it.

    1. BlueHorus says:

      Unacceptable. Only strong feelings are allowed with TLJ!

      You’re on the internet, remember.

    2. Biggus Rickus says:

      I never watched it, because The Force Awakens was kind of dumb, and I didn’t really care what happened after it.

  27. Topher Corbett says:

    Lightsaber colors don’t really mean anything. The natural ones are usually blue and green. The red ones bad guys all use are synthetic, which is why they’re red. Mace Windu’s is purple because Samuel Jackson thought it would be cool. The stuff about him being “closer to the dark side” or whatever is all fan theory with some EU backing, but the EU backing doesn’t say anything about his lightsaber being purple.
    At the time of Return of the Jedi people thought Luke making his own saber green was to show that he was his own man now, but then the prequels had green ones just as plentiful as blue so that went out the window. Then people thought green was for masters and blue was for apprentices/knights but Luke and plenty of other characters don’t follow that pattern.
    KOTOR established the Jedi “classes” of Guardian (uses blue,) Sentinel (uses yellow,) and Consular (uses green.) This is a video game thing that doesn’t necessarily mean anything for anything else.

    So again, other than bad guys using exclusively red, they don’t mean anything and never have.

    1. Fizban says:

      Having the Sith all use the same red crystals where the Jedi are free to choose between other colors that don’t include red, does suggest a difference in access, and declaring they use synthetic crystals both fits an idea of getting around the monitored natural sources and goes with the tendency towards mechanical limbs.

      These aren’t protoss psi-blades, so the only justification I would accept involving the Force determining color would be as part of construction- as in you literally use the Force to make the crystal, and thus your use of it affects the color, by what sort of pressure you apply etc. Which could tie into a whole samurai “this weapon is your life/ten thousand fold steel/lose your weapon and commit sudoku” thing.

    2. Radkatsu says:

      I thought Sith just poured all of their hatred into a regular crystal, which turned it red? They weren’t synthetic.

      But then the lore in this franchise is more tangled than a ball of yarn after a cat got access to it, so…

  28. ccesarano says:

    I believe I mentioned it last week, but I recently watched Attack of the Clones, and there is a part where Obi-Wan thrusts Anakin’s dropped lightsaber against his chest and says “This weapon is your life!” It was the first time I really thought about it, because it seemed like another contradiction to how the Force was portrayed in the original films. While Obi-Wan mentioned the lightsaber being a weapon from a more civilized age, the training with the blast shield Obi-Wan had Luke undergo had little to do with the lightsaber itself and all about the mystical connection to the Force. The whole “feelings” bit. What wins the day at the end of A New Hope? Not a lightsaber, but Luke trusting in the force to make the kill shot from his X-Wing rather than the targeting computer. When Luke goes to Dagobah to train, the only time a lightsaber is even used is when he goes under the ground to face off against a manifestation of his inner darkness. I didn’t think of it, but as you yourself note, Luke throws away the lightsaber at the end of Return of the Jedi, and even says “I am a Jedi, like my father before me” after tossing it (or so I believe he does. That’s the line that came to mind as the visual popped into my brain).

    So why would George suddenly throw in a clunky line like “This weapon is your life” when it clearly isn’t? Is it because he’s a bad writer? Well, yes. Is it because of merchandising? Maybe indirectly. Is it because the fans get uncomfortably excited from the very sound a lightsaber makes and have, in fact, ruined Jedi forever? Possibly. But to circle back to the point of George being a bad writer, I imagine he’s trying to convey the sort of respect and romanticization of a lightsaber that you would see for a katana blade in a samurai flick, or when Conan’s pop gives him a spiritual lecture on the Riddle of Steel. George wants to convey this same attitude towards the lightsaber in his film, and because writing has never been his strong suit he grabs a cliché and says “This weapon is your life”. The statement is inaccurate, however, and fails to convey that deeper meaning.

    I actually thought back to Jedi: Fallen Order after I’d watched the film a few weeks ago, and this part in particular, as it does a better job of conveying that spiritual element the lightsaber is intended to represent. Unfortunately, it really does come at a point where the story comes screeching to a halt. While in other media you might be able to forgive jumping from planet to planet in order to have a character moment, Fallen Order requires you to go back and trek through Dathomir again. A film or television show can just cut back to the important locations. Jedi: Fallen Order could have done that if they included fast travel checkpoints or multiple docks per planet, but they do not. Dathomir at least has some shortcuts, but you basically take the moment Cal has his personal revelations and then disperse the atmosphere with all that travel back to the ship.

    Did the Jedi really bring busloads of padawans to balance on frozen tree roots over bottomless pits so they could wall-run over to a narrow ledge? I get that they were always massively irresponsible with the children in their care, but this is ridiculous. Even ignoring the inevitable casualties, getting a large group through one of these rooms would take bloody ages. The front of this place looks like a temple, but the inside is just natural caves and crumbling ice. It doesn’t feel sensible or lived-in. It’s also lacking the serenity and grandeur that I would expect from a “Jedi Temple”.

    You didn’t mention them, but if I recall there are narrative collectibles that follow a group of padawans going through for their first crystals, and one child does in fact get lost and I believe dies in there. It reminds me of The Lookouts from Penny Arcade in what it’s going for, though it works a bit better for The Lookouts given that the setting is clearly a wild world they live in where average life expectancy isn’t very high.

    1. Syal says:

      When Luke goes to Dagobah to train, the only time a lightsaber is even used is when he goes under the ground to face off against a manifestation of his inner darkness.

      And he only had it there because he ignored Yoda telling him to leave it behind.

    2. Moridin says:

      So why would George suddenly throw in a clunky line like “This weapon is your life” when it clearly isn’t? Is it because he’s a bad writer? Well, yes. Is it because of merchandising? Maybe indirectly. Is it because the fans get uncomfortably excited from the very sound a lightsaber makes and have, in fact, ruined Jedi forever? Possibly. But to circle back to the point of George being a bad writer, I imagine he’s trying to convey the sort of respect and romanticization of a lightsaber that you would see for a katana blade in a samurai flick, or when Conan’s pop gives him a spiritual lecture on the Riddle of Steel. George wants to convey this same attitude towards the lightsaber in his film, and because writing has never been his strong suit he grabs a cliché and says “This weapon is your life”. The statement is inaccurate, however, and fails to convey that deeper meaning.

      I’d give George more credit here. The line was given in the context of Anakin chasing an assassin and losing the lightsaber during the chase. He could very well have gotten killed for not having his lightsaber on him in a situation like that.

      1. Fizban says:

        Indeed- I wouldn’t be surprised if there was some romanticizing behind it, but with the focus on swordfighting it also comes off as practical advice and I never really questioned it.. Heck, do we even see any Jedi survive a fight *without* a lightsaber? Training montages sure, but blasters-> saber, sith with saber-> saber, wall->saber. With no choke or lightning, mind trick presumably not working mid-combat, that leaves jumping away as the Jedi’s only “weapon.” Thrown objects never seem to do much.

        1. ccesarano says:

          Eh, I don’t really thing that all works as well with the spirit of the original trilogy, still. However, the original trilogy also wasn’t working with this concrete, character class style set of Light Side/Dark Side powers. As Shamus mentioned, Luke force choked a pig man at the start of Jedi, and the only thought in our minds was that it was a force power we’d only seen Darth Vader use. Did we immediately assume it was exclusively a Sith Only power? Maybe some did, but…

          Additionally, I’m pretty sure Luke managed to beat the Rancor by throwing a rock? Again, been a while since I saw it, but I feel like over-reliance on a physical object would also go against the same teaching that demanded Luke judge Yoda not by his size.

          Again, though, I feel like this all comes back around to the fans, expanded universe, and prequels fetishizing things like the lightsaber and hobo robes way too much and losing the thread.

          1. John says:

            Luke beats the rancor by sticking a big bone in its mouth and then dropping a heavy portcullis-style gate on it. He may have used Force to hit the button that dropped the gate. I forget the exact details. Regardless, he doesn’t use the Force directly on the creature.

            1. ccesarano says:

              That’s right, forgot about the bone. I just remember there being a rock thrown at a panel at some point. Still, another example of no lightsaber use.

              1. Radkatsu says:

                The rock was thrown at the controls for the door, lowering them to crush the rancor.

  29. Zeritol says:

    I swear it was explicitly stated that Cere sold off the Kyber crystal in her lightsaber awhile ago to pay keep the trip going before they found Cal. I thought it was mentioned at the same time she gave him her saber, but looking at some footage of that scene online it isn’t there. I know im not imagining it as I can find references to it online so it must have been in one of the travel dialogues that happen when you change planets or some other missable thing like that if you didn’t hear it. Weird that it isnt mentioned when she hands you the saber, as it does look like she is just giving you a functional weapon.

    1. The Puzzler says:

      That appears to be canonical, though I’m not sure of the original source.
      https://starwars.fandom.com/wiki/Cere_Junda's_lightsaber
      “This lightsaber was originally owned by Cere Junda. Sometime after escaping torture, she removed the kyber crystal and sold it to help pay off Greez Dritus’ debts, but kept the hilt. She later gave it to Cal Kestis on Ilum for him to create a new lightsaber with its parts.”

  30. Chuk says:

    “Stoop Dolto” is a great fake Star Wars name.

  31. Mark says:

    I’m glad I wasn’t disappointed by expecting a DM of the Rings link.

  32. Mersadeon says:

    Which suggests that – at this point in history – this planet should be crawling with Imperial forces. There should be an extensive mining operation here since they’re currently building Death Star 1.0. Also, unless the Empire is made entirely of idiots, there ought to be some troops keeping an eye on this place in case a few Jedi stragglers wander in[1].

    The reason I made up in my head is that they were already mining Kyber on Jedha, and that planet has a population you can incentivize/exploit to do the mining for you, whereas Ilum is empty, has terrible climate for workers and is out of the way. Also, I think the roleplaying books by FFG have something about the Empire being weird about Ilum, knowing it’s important to Jedi but not really figuring it’s Kyber crystals, and Stormtroopers believe there’s hallucinatory gases in the caves.

    I actually didn’t know that it’s Ilum that got converted into Starkiller Base. Frankly, that makes it a little bit cooler to me, I don’t really dig the idea of Starkiller Base (“let’s just make a Deathstar Shotgun”), but it being made from Ilum kinda works.

    I remember that in some works, the green / blue lightsabers denote what KIND of Jedi you are. Is that still a thing, or was that idea killed in the purge when Disney took over?

    It’s always been a dubious EU thing, anyway. I think the “official” explanation is that during the time of the Old Republic, like, waaaay back, colour denoted your Jedi class (green, blue and orange, though I don’t remember which one was which) and then that changed. But it was already such a tiny detail that seriously lowers how individualized your Jedi-Fantasy/Fantasy-Jedi might be, so I’m kinda glad it’s gone.

    Also, in the new continuity, I think they still haven’t hammered out how red crystals come to be. In Legends canon, it was because Sith crystals were synthetic, symbolizing how the Sith don’t care about growth and bond that natural crystals can have, for them it’s just a tool. Now some comics seem to imply that red crystals are corrupted crystals coming from killed Jedi, but that runs into weird issues where EVERY sith must have killed at least one Jedi before even having a red crystal, and that’s just odd.

    1. Mersadeon says:

      Just going to continue here since I ran out of time to edit my comment.

      That is a very specific level of prescient.

      Oh man that is defintiely the DMotR strip I think about the most. There’s so many times where it pops up in my head because something is bullshit-y specific.

Thanks for joining the discussion. Be nice, don't post angry, and enjoy yourself. This is supposed to be fun. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*

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>

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *