Posted Wed, Jun 13, 2007 by Cody Bye
Since the New Game Enhancements went live, there has been a colossal debate concerning the existence of Jedi in the current time line of Star Wars Galaxies. One side involved in the argument contends that Jedi were hunted to extinction long before the events in SWG and shouldn’t be so prominent in the current game. The individuals on the flip-side of the debate voice the notion that while there was no mention of other Jedi in the original trilogy (Episodes 4-6), it is inferred that they are in hiding and do have a place in Star Wars Galaxies.
Should a Jedi be a part of this picture?
As an example of my credibility on the subject, I should note that I have played a Jedi in SWG since September 2004, when I unlocked my Jedi character slot. For those that aren’t familiar with the history of SWG, this was pre-Combat Upgrades and was typically looked on as quite the accomplishment. That said, I’ve had experience with the pre-CU and post-CU Jedi, and how they’ve been interpreted in SWG throughout the years.
Let’s take a look at some of the details included in the original trilogy movies, which make up the majority of the content in Star Wars Galaxies. The opening for Star Wars: A New Hope rolls by and we are quickly introduced to Darth Vader who, at the outset, is merely a very imposing and sinister villain. As the story unfolds, Obi-Wan Kenobi enters the fray, explains the basics of the Force, and divulges that Darth Vader killed Anakin Skywalker and uses the Dark Side of the Force. Now we see one Jedi, one Sith, and one potential Jedi. Empire Strikes Back joins the mix, and we now have a new Jedi and Sith in the jumble: Yoda, a Jedi Master in exile, and the Emperor, Darth Vader’s master. Both parties want Luke for their own agenda. Return of the Jedi comes along and now Luke is a Jedi. In the flow of the movie it turns out Leia is Luke’s twin sister which there is another potential Jedi running around.
Based on the movies alone, there were a lot of Jedi and potential Jedi running about for a group that was supposed to be extinct. They kept popping up out of nowhere! Given all this potential Jedi and Sith action going on, its safe to assume that the other weaker Jedi who survived the purge were out teaching or just hiding.
The Emperor is one example of a Force-sensitive
character in the current SWG timeline.
The expanded universe from the original trilogy timeline is also a torrent of activity for Jedi-type characters. Mara Jade, the Emperor’s Hand was a fully trained Sith under Emperor Palpatine’s command. While not as important as Darth Vader, she did a lot of dirty work for the Emperor before Luke even knew of his own importance in the scheme of things. She was eventually given the mission of killing Luke, which would not have been an easy thing to do. There are the stories of Darth Vader taking an apprentice to try to overthrow the Emperor prior to Luke becoming a Jedi. We could also include the Nightsisters on Dathomir, which was pretty much a whole planet of Force wielding evil witches along with their good counterparts the Singing Mountain Clan.
After reading some more into the lore of the Star Wars Universe, we see that Jedi were hunted even during the movies. It’s just by the time the Tantive IV screams across the screen the Jedi who thought - "Hey I am a tough guy!" – had already become one with the Force. Thus, the Jedi who remained realized if they revealed themselves too often the Empire would dispatch the inquisitors to dispose of you. Many would have just put down the lightsaber and entered a life of solitude while waiting for their opportunity to fight back. Finally, many of Luke’s expanded universe adventures involve old masters who are in exile and his attempts to bring them back so they could help establish the new Jedi Academy.
Now that we know Jedi were everywhere in the movie timeline, we can dive head first into the argument. Should Jedi be in SWG with the current time line?
Yes, Jedi has a place in SWG. However, there are some problems with the current system that, if corrected, would make more sense for the timeline.
First and foremost no Jedi in their right mind would go tearing through any public place wielding a lightsaber or wearing the robes of the Jedi. If the Empire caught wind of a rebel Jedi, Darth Vader would be on the first Lambda-Class Shuttle to find this golden child. Jedi should not just be a profession; it should be the alpha class of the game. Not necessarily a “win” button, more a class that stands out above all the rest.
Jedi should not be caught in encounters like this one.
The problem that occurs when this is the basis for the Jedi is that with these new powers, a whole slew of problems start to emerge. There shouldn’t be a reversion to the days where four Bounty Hunters could not take out a single Jedi. Instead, when a player Bounty Hunter takes a mission and finds his mark, a group of NPC Stormtroopers or Imperial Jedi Hunters appears to help you take out this rogue Jedi. Jedi should always find themselves against impossible odds in this time line. Even a Dark Jedi who aligns themselves with the Empire should have enemies like other Dark and Light Jedi chasing them down from all corners of the universe.
Another idea with merit is in the past Jedi had a visibility factor and after you generated enough visibility you went up on the Bounty Hunter terminals. Instead of player bounty hunters coming after a Jedi when they generated enough visibility, why not send a group of Jedi hunters to take you out. You could start off small, maybe three NPC’s, and each wave gets worse. If you defeat all the waves Darth Vader himself appears in a little one on one action with your Jedi. Of course you would lose this battle but you could get some sort of badge or title - “Has Dueled Darth Vader, Lord of the Sith".
With all the updates and changes, the sense of fear and accomplishment has been removed from SWG. When I had my pre-NGE Jedi, I remember getting stopped by a random patrol of Stormtroopers in the wild and thinking, “OMG! I hope they don’t pop my covert status!” They did and I did not even think of staying and fighting. Your survival instincts kicked in and you ran because you knew you would live to fight another day.
If SOE could find a way to reintegrate the accomplishment of becoming a Jedi and the fear of being found out and hunted down, they would have the perfect system on their hands. The Jedi need to be massaged and tweaked a bit, if they are truly going to fit into the gameplay of SWG.
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