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Sanguinia
Jan 1, 2012

#RXT REVOLUTION~!
2000





KOTOR 2 is one of the best Star Wars stories ever written but I can never forgive it for spawning a generation of idiots who thought its message was "You should just pick the best stuff from Light and Dark and follow your own beliefs instead of do8ng Jedi OR Sith, bing bong so simple setting forever solved by Grey Jedi," because they weren't smart enough to understand it

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Sanguinia
Jan 1, 2012

#RXT REVOLUTION~!
2000





StashAugustine posted:

Death of the author and all but I often wonder exactly how full of poo poo Kreia was intended to be

Like I said in the other thread, I think its pretty relevant in weighing how full of poo poo she was intended to be that Kreia's solution to the conundrum of the Force's nature can't be described as anything but nihilistic in a game where the main box antagonist is Darth Nihilus.

Sanguinia
Jan 1, 2012

#RXT REVOLUTION~!
2000





Lt. Danger posted:

I don't think "nihilism" is an accurate read of Kreia's philosophy. her whole deal is that she has this fully fleshed-out ideology and ethical system and she's mad as heck no one else thinks her ideas are good. she yells at people because none of them (apart from Revan and maybe the Exile) live up to her standards, up to and including the Force itself. that's kinda the opposite of nihilism

obvious comparison point is Nietzsche, who himself wrote a lot about the imminent crisis of nihilism and its dangers. the same concepts recur: the "will to power", the aristocratic Uebermensch, more loosely the idea of an oppressive cosmos. I don't think Kreia would have any problem with people helping each other out so long as it's Very Cool and Intelligent radical philosopher-warriors actively Choosing to Cooperate in the face of the yawning void, rather than an unknowing network of herd-based guilt/shame social obligations for stupid idiots

libertarianism is also not a great fit though that's more because contemporary libertarianism is more concerned with property rights - propertarianism, if you will

ultimately trying to place Kreia somewhere on the binary of "the author's mouthpiece who is correct and we must agree with" or "the villain whose every word is wrong" is the wrong way to go about it. every character is the author's mouthpiece, the game as a whole is the author's mouthpiece - the conflicts and events of the game are the interplay of the different ideas of the author. it's us as readers that must decide, individually, what it means

Its kind of hard for me to read her ultimate solution to the problem of the Force being "destroy the Force and who cares if millions die as a result of that clearly necessary action" as anything but Nihilism, personally. Obviously she's not nihilistic in terms of seeing life and morality as meaningless, but there's sort of an inherent nihilism to concluding that the only solution to a permanent existential struggle is to just kill everyone that participates in the struggle.

Sanguinia
Jan 1, 2012

#RXT REVOLUTION~!
2000





StratGoatCom posted:

I have a lot of sympathy toward her view of the force, considering the thing make a bunch of megadeaths every few thousand years when it gets a tummy ache and empowers some lunatic. With the proliferation of planet killing arms in the sequel trilogy, the end of galactic civilization is probably inevitable over the next few cycles of darksider lunatics, barring of course, someone trying and succeeding where she failed.

She was 100% right about the force and nothing else.

Brace for a long post:

I don't agree that Kreia was right about the Force. It's true that the Force's will and those who's destinies are influenced by it in Star Wars have been at the center of galactic scale destruction, but Kreia is so eager to lay the blame for those things on The Force itself rather than the humans who ultimately make the choices. Its ironic that she gets so angry at the Hand Maiden for so "oversimplifying," the question of where the Force's influence ends and Human influence begins by putting human agency in primacy over its pressure. She's so extreme in her view that ANY amount of influence by the Force in unacceptable she's willing to kill most life in the galaxy to put an end to it if she can't find a better alternative in the form of the Exile's "full potential:" a Force User who can use the power but is totally free of its influence and thus can truly forge their own morals without the pull of Light and Dark on their actions.

Its pretty funny that Kreia was the leader of the Sith TRIUMVERATE, because Fallout New Vegas uses another Roman Empire analogue, Caesar's Legion, to illustrate the notion of Hegelian Dialectic which is at the core of Kreia's beliefs. Thesis, Jedi. Antithesis, Sith. The only way to resolve them and end the destruction the conflict wreaks is through Synthesis, this post-Force's Will Universe where Randian Superjedi rule all Space on their own terms because God Is Dead.

My problem with that is the perspective is so fixated on the notion that the Force is the root of this eternal conflict and that things would work out of you removed its will, when I really side with the Hand Maiden: the real conflict is Good vs Evil as a result of HUMAN will, not in the Force's will to delete Dark Siders through the tool of Light Siders. There are after all other examples of Synthesis between the Jedi and Sith Dichotomy in Star Wars Canon, and they never resolve the conflict either. There is no One Weird Trick to "solving," the conundrum of the Force, and Kreia is just another in a long line of people in the setting who aren't as smart as they think they are when they concluded there must be because the only alternative is Eternal Vigilance, and that sounds, you know, hard.

This is why I'm really hard on the notion of Grey Jedi and how a lot of fans who don't really get Kreia or KOTOR2's plot venerate the notion of them. Whether it's Father from Clone Wars, Jolee from KOTOR1 or Benduu from Rebels, Grey Jedi consistently show up in Star Wars to seem like they have everything figured out, and then for events or characters to slap them for their foolishness, which leads them to die, get defeated, or evolve to return to a more Light-oriented direction.

I believe strongly that the thematic heart of Star Wars in ALL its incarnations, including KOTOR2, is that the true measure of heroism is not inhuman detachment from emotion or impossible selflessness, as fans and sometimes the fiction itself criticize the Jedi for demanding. Rather, true heroism is the will to never give up and always hold to a moral life, without indulging in shortcuts or evil even in the face of hopelessness. For example, the knowledge that you can never REALLY win even if you defeat this generation's Sith Lords because there WILL be more.

To again point at KOTOR 1, Jolee was a coward who hid rather than attempt to confront the problems of the universe because he just felt like there was no point in good triumphing since Evil would just come back... until he found the strength to go back into the breach DESPITE his personal misgivings and apathy. As he says to Carth, he recognizes that this war against Malak is just another war, and the idea that it's somehow more important than any other is arrogance. But he also ultimately recognizes that the evil Malak represents must still be opposed NOW despite that truth.

To talk a little more broadly, one of the key criticisms of the Jedi as heroic figures which helps engender more negative views of the Light Side and its philosophical champions often revolves around a refusal to act against evil on the grand/systemic scale, like Slavery for example. Jedi refuse to mold the galaxy in a better image despite having the power to, restraining themselves to fight within often corrupt systems like the Republic or their own Temple teachings and to generally limit their efforts against injustice only on the personal scales. Does that make the Jedi's version of morality wrong? Well, KOTOR1 takes that criticism in a cool direction by introducing a "Grey Sith," a Twi'lek who embraced the Dark Side specifically because the Jedi teaching forbade using her powers to create a universe without such evil, but ultimately never got around to actually creating justice through her Sith philosophy either because not only is the Dark Side inherently corrupting, the act of power seeking is inherently corrupting. Just like with Grey Jedi or full Dark Siders like Revan, disillusionment with the Light Side tends to create moral failure and leads to worse outcomes than if the person in question had simply found the fortitude to hold to the Light Side.

But if the Jedi aren't freeing the slaves EITHER, doesn't that leave us with a pretty morally bankrupt setting? I say no, because there's one other aspect of the Jedi and Light Users in general aside from Sisyphean Conviction that gets overlooked a lot but holds through in a lot of Star Wars fiction: their ability to inspire betterment in flawed humanity.

Look no further than A New Hope itself for the Ur Example of the setting - Han Solo is a criminal, a killer, greedy, selfish. But Luke and Leia are paragons of a better, more moral outlook on life, and they inspire him to change. Because they do this, the Death Star is destroyed, and the fall of the Empire begins. Luke, the champion of Light the Force raised up to shepherd the fall of Sidious and the redemption of Vadar, would not have succeeded if he had ONLY held to his own convictions despite loss and hardship. He also needed to convince a bad person to become better to succeed. The very thing that he would later do with Vader to the ultimate triumph of good.

This is one of the reasons why I love Last Jedi so much: Luke's bitter rejection of the Jedi and his own legacy is born from a perception that his own "legend," was the root of his failure, and that a "deified," Jedi served no purpose when analyzed objectively. The Light will continue to exist even without them after all. But the Jedi, through their relatively small acts of heroism as mere Knights who fight injustice and evil within a strict code of conduct rather than shapers of the universe through their vast powers, inspire others to better themselves and therefore help bring about a more positive universe WITHOUT forcing their will upon innocents.

Human Nature IS selfish, DOES lead to the Dark Side, and Slavery, and all the other ills of the Star Wars universe. But I believe the franchise's real message is that we can rise above Human Nature even if we are not trained to be inhuman machines from an age so young we are without attachment. We do that by allowing ourselves to be inspired by things that are better than we are. Sometimes that inspiration comes from an institution or specific paragons in a society that stand for ideals we believe in, like the Republic or the Jedi. Sometimes it comes from a general connection to others, compassion and empathy. Sometimes it comes from a more personal connection, love and friendship. Sometimes it comes from a story, a legend that we want to live up to, like Luke Skywalker returning from exile, staring down an entire First Order army and dueling Kylo Ren so the Resistance can live to fight again. Or, if you want to get meta, a legend like Star Wars itself.

So I don't accept that the ultimate message we have to take away from a story like that is that there's nothing you can do to fix the REAL problem and the universe's inherent state is one where the energy created by life simply existing means there is no hope unless the will behind that energy is destroyed, as Kreia apparently believes. Rather, we should take away that even in a situation that SEEMS objectively unresolvable, the true SOURCE of that hopelessness, human frailty, is not absolute. People CAN be better, especially if they allow themselves to be inspired.

Sanguinia
Jan 1, 2012

#RXT REVOLUTION~!
2000





Personally I think Kreia is a metacommentary on Videogames, the SA Mod.

Sanguinia
Jan 1, 2012

#RXT REVOLUTION~!
2000





Bogus Adventure posted:

You might know him better as that "E chu ta" droid

MODS?!

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Sanguinia
Jan 1, 2012

#RXT REVOLUTION~!
2000





Defiance Industries posted:

Yeah too bad it's the only interesting thing the first game's story has going for it

The first games character stories are pretty good though. Its really just the PLOT that's kind of iffy.

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