I Will Not Be Seduced By The Dark Side, Bioware

March 22, 2010

I was browsing Massively.com earlier today and saw that they had linked to an article on Ars Technica titled “Genocide and Jedi: Why the Sith May be Right in Old Republic.” In it, the lead writer of Star Wars: The Old Republic basically talks about how the Sith could actually be seen as the “good guys,” and that it’s all just a matter of perspective.

I call BS. I mean, I generally eat up anything Bioware’s writers come up with, but I’m naturally a bit iffy on this one. Isn’t this just the same old rehashed argument we go through every single time a new MMO comes out to justify playing ball for the bad guys? You can pitch the “matter of perspective” argument all you want, but it’s going to be a little tough to do with an IP like Star Wars. Even when you consider the ambiguous nature of the force and the meaning of being light-side-aligned versus being dark-side-aligned versus being gray, those are arguments made on the individual level, whereas I’m talking the overall nature and distinction between the two factions. After decades of being exposed to the movies, books, comics, cartoons and other related media, the world has accepted the status quo of “Jedi = good, Sith = bad”; it’s pretty much been firmly established.

Perhaps this is related to the string of “Sith-centric” updates we’ve been getting about SWTOR? Are the devs trying to make the Sith more appealing to players so the numbers on both sides will be more balanced come launch time? Granted, what Star Wars fan has never had Jedi fantasies about saving the galaxy as one of the good guys? On the other hand, I’m sure there are a ton of us out there who are enamored with the Boba Fett or Darth Maul types too! I for one am still planning on rolling a Bounty Hunter as my main…so, er, I guess you can just ignore the post title and think of it more as a matter of principle.

“From my point of view, it is the Jedi who are evil!”

“Well, then you really are lost!”

— Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi, in Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith

Yeah, you tell him, Obi-Wan. One of the more cringe-worthy lines of the new movies and it’s a pretty lame excuse too, even for the likes of whiny-ass Anakin.


  1. obi wan: “your new empiaah!?!?”

  2. all that and you’re playing a bounty hunter.

    i got to say, for an IP that is almost solely identified with jedi, there are going to be a lot of people playing non-jedi.

    I’m going smuggler or imp agent. Han Solo or James Bond. Can I even go wrong with that choice?

  3. Yep, the bounty hunter intrigues me most. The way it’s going to be with this particular game though, when I play I’ll actually want to be bad just for the sake of being bad, and I don’t particularly want to justify it, if that makes sense.

    And no, you can’t go wrong with either smuggler or imperial agent. The dashing roguish Han Solo archetype especially…who can say no to that?

  4. The crazy thing is that in the same conversation, Obi-Wan threw out this self-defeating, illogical statement:

    Only a Sith deals in absolutes!” – Obi-Wan Kenobi, Jedi Knight

    Bravo, Star Wars prequels. Bravo….

    Back on topic, though, I think that maybe they can make the Sith side more appealing by injecting some independent, idealistic-types as people who are siding with the Sith. Or if they can tarnish the Old Republic’s agenda, some how. Make the leaders of the Old Republic do something that helps set the stage for Palpatine in the future. Even if it’s something indirect or done with the best of intentions. Then you can create a reason for people to “go rogue” or become insurgent. (Not that I necessarily approve of Sarah Palin and/or Al Qaeda)

    • Also, the completely out-of-place political commentary was, well, terrible.

      • Well, once I committed to using the phrases “going rogue” and “insurgent”, I felt I had to explain myself… 😛

        And I did say, “not necessarily“, so maybe I do approve of Sarah Palin? (it’s safe to say I don’t approve of Al Qaeda. Although, I’m sure some fraction of their ideology has merit. Uh oh, I hope I didn’t just trigger Echelon).

      • @Paulman, pretty sure AH was commenting about the movies, at least that’s how I viewd it. Your last comment would hardly count as a political commentary 😛

      • Yes, the movie! The movie was what I was commenting on!

        I can’t help but remember the fight on Mustafar, with Obi-Wan and Anakin arguing about the Republic. arrrggghhhhh

      • Oh, yeah, I forgot about that. George W. Bush is the emperor. AH’s post actually makes a lot more sense now, lol 😛 (well, it made sense before, too. In my mind…)

        AH’s new post, though… what do you have against arguing with Republicans!? Why does everything have to turn political with you? 😉 (jk)

    • The prequels were just a train wreck. If I’m a kid I just want to watch some good old fun times, not political crap. I accept episodes I, II, III because they’re part of the Star Wars legacy, but watching them always makes me feel dirty.

      • Darths and Droids is the best take on the new trilogy I’ve ever seen. It’s a table-top RPG that… well, you should just read it from the beginning. And if you do, check out the news beneath each issue.

  5. I completely agree with you, but…

    Granted, what Star Wars fan has never had Jedi fantasies about saving the galaxy as one of the good guys?
    I think there’s a growing trend of people wanting to save the galaxy as one of the bad guys. I mean, Revan is a total badass, and for good reason.

    But, like I said, I agree with you. I mean, it sounds to me like the BioWare Sith writers have fallen to the Dark Side – because that’s the thing about the Dark Side. You’re always quite certain you are doing the right thing.

    Which is why I’m more interested in playing a Jedi. Because it’s as one of the “good guys” that those sorts of morally grey decisions actually mean something. One of my friends, when playing KOTOR, said that he wished that there were better choices than “Save all the kittens!” and “Murder them all!” He pointed out that if the Dark Side was more like “Hey, I need to get through this door to save the Republic, and I will kill anyone who gets in my way,” it would be alot more seductive.

    • Oh yeah, Revan was totally bad ass! But in the end, the canonical ending of KOTOR was still him redeeming himself as a light-sided Jedi, of him denouncing his dark past.

      But anyway, to follow up on your comment, I can absolutely understand your reasons for wanting to be a Jedi. I want to be a bounty hunter for similar reasons, though I’m motivated by other things. That class as well as the smuggler class are different, imo…they’re not so strongly associated with their factions like the other classes. It allows for a little more wiggle-room when it comes to making the loaded decisions, and a chance to be a little more self-serving, no matter where my moral compass points. I look forward to possibly doing things like sparing a republic target because he’s got a family, or he offers to bribe me…or just for the hell of it, like maybe I like his clothes.

    • Arg, forget my Revan comment, I completely missed the point, which was regardless of what the true ending is, you could be an evil bastard and still save the galaxy, yes? In which case, yes, I’m sure there were many who drooled at the prospect of being able to do that. Not to mention in the end you also get a hot, evil Bastila as part of the deal, or so I’ve heard.

      • Wait a sec, Revan was a he!? Ha ha, maybe in the canonical version…

        Anyways, what happened to Bastila in KOTOR 1? I always had trouble remembering, because I remember fighting her and I wasn’t quite sure why she turned in the first place, plus my KOTOR 1 character was a female, so that probably changed the ending as well…

      • That’s close to what I was getting at – regardless of the ending, KOTORII makes it clear that…

        … well, you’ve not played it, have you? 😛 You’re missing out big time!

      • I played them both! I can’t remember what happened in I and II irt Bastila, though.

        On a side note, I remember reading somewhere that Obsidian had to rush the last part of development on KOTOR II, and I think the polish and story execution (or lack thereof) really showed near the end of the game. Although, I think the story execution and plot twist in KOTOR 1 would have been very hard to top, regardless 😛

      • Well, I don’t think GeeCee has played the second, which is a crying shame. SO GOOD. Kreia is the bomb.com.

        Yes, the second was suppose to be rushed, but there are several projects on the web – one actually fully completed – where fans have poked around in the game and restored it to its full release. It’s suppose to be really awesome, but I’ve not had a the chance to play it.

      • Do you know if they changed the actual plot line? Because that was what I was most disappointed with 😛

      • Sacrilege! Kreia was freakin’ awesome! THAT MAKES UP FOR EVERYTHING

        They fleshed out the places that were cut, like the HK producing factory. It’s suppose to add alot.

      • Wow, a lot of KOTOR love here.

        1. Pretty sure Revan was a man in the canonical version. It was the Jedi Exile in KOTOR II who was female, canonically.

        2. Bastila was a little twit who thought she could handle the Sith by herself…instead, she manages to get herself captured and turned by Malak. In my playthrough I talked her back to the light side, but apparently you can join her if you wish. I was a female so I never had the option to romance her, but male Revans were totally free to mack on that.

        3. No, I haven’t played KOTOR II yet and not for the lack of trying! To date, I haven’t found a solution to running that game on Windows Vista…Microsoft screws me over once again.

        4. Yes, Obsidian did rush KOTOR II, so I’ve heard…hmm, maybe I should look into that fan restored release, on the off chance it will work on my computer.

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