SWTOR: Father Of The Modern Imperial Military

December 10, 2010

Today’s Star Wars: The Old Republic Friday update is a new timeline video, focusing on the Rebirth of the Sith Empire.

Maybe it’s just me, but Master Gnost-Dural sure seems to have a major hard on for the Sith Emperor. Every other word out of his mouth seems to be about his “dark genius” or his “visionary planning”. Just whose side are you supposed to be on, “Master Jedi”? Nevertheless, Lance Henriksen’s voice acting was as excellent as always.

Hey, I never knew James Marsters was a Grand Moff...

Lore junkies aside, I’m starting to think that these timelines are geared more towards Star Wars fans than actual gamers. But as someone planning on playing a Bounty Hunter, I appreciate any update featuring the Sith empire, especially when it has to do with imperial military strength.

This particular timeline seems to throw us non-force users a bone, with the introduction of Odile Vaiken, first Grand Moff and founder of the modern imperial military, who became an adored symbol to the imperial citizenry. Yes, such an important character, and we haven’t heard a smidgen about him until now because he’s the product of Bioware retconning, obviously. Even to me, this feels a little extreme. Still, given time and a little attention, he may have the potential to establish himself within the lore. After all, I can’t imagine the writers spending so much time fleshing out his character in a longer than average timeline record, only to have him fade into the background again. I expect to see many mentions of him and his legacy in the game, especially for the Sith.

Great music for the video too. Dun da da dun da da dun da da da!


  1. o/~ I’m the very model of a model imerial general…. o/~

    • Unfortunately my typing is sometimes as bad as my singing. 😦

    • With many cheerful facts about the square of the hypotenuse!!!

  2. i wonder how much of a role gnost-durall will have in the game. He’s practically the star at this point.

    • It would be hilarious (and awesome) if right before the game launches, he turns out to be an infiltrator all along and becomes integrated with the game quest lines. God knows a mole problem isn’t a new thing for the Jedi anyway.

      • I think that would be incredibly awesome. Especially given the fact that — like you said — he ‘ seems to have a major hard on for the Sith Emperor’.

        And of course, the Jedi Council will be like ‘How did we not see this coming?!’

      • Haha, I guess we can hope. This being Bioware, I guess it’s not entirely impossible… And hey, I always did get that creepy vibe from Gnost-Dural!

  3. You said hard on, I had to chuckle.

  4. I love the lore, it’s a testament to Bioware. In particular for Star Wars is the fact that nothing is fleshed out in the IP before the prequels. The only knowledge of it, is that The Republic used to exist, and it was always in the middle of….a star war.

    Bioware has pretty much single handedly made a character, a story, and prequel all it’s own in just 2 games. Iconic figures, characters who exemplify what a throwback mandalorian is ‘supposed to be’ etc.

    I mean, one can look at this story and say, “Meh, Grand Moff’s aren’t important, didn’t Vader kill like 8 or 9 in two movies alone?” Yes, but behind the curtains, someone has to run the military while two Sith handle their force business, the fact that a story, tale, and history leading up to a game with MORE untold, unknown, unscripted, unwritten by the creator of the enterprise of Star wars.

    It’s amazing the job they’re doing and it speaks to the depth of it altogether. This is completely from scratch and i’m nothing short of compelled. And very much chomping at the bit to see any and everything storywise in the game, it’s NOT going to be for the quest-text skippers, or grinders imo, but it’s not like it’ll force feed you something dull that you can’t truly care about.

    • Bioware did the right thing to focus on the Old Republic era. They’ve shaped much of it anyhow; many of the best and most well known stories from this period are courtesy of Bioware anyway. Here they can really flex their creative muscles and have a lot of freedom to implement the stories they want. Normally, I’d be wary of anybody or any company taking on a big IP, Star Wars or not, but I think history has shown that Bioware is up to the task. They do seem to have a talent for creating very iconic heroes that stick around for a long time, and people actually like their characters and are fascinated by them.

  5. Master Gnost Dural thinks the Emperor is FABULOUS.

    I have to admit, this timeline really got me, particularly the importance of Odile Vaiken, a non-force user, to the grand scheme of the Empire.

    I dig the characters in stories that get overshadowed by the main character(s)–yet without whom the story would never come together completely.

    What would Frodo & Samwise be without Merry & Pip, who helped to fell Isengard and cripple an important part of Sarumon’s army?

    What would Liu Bei be without Zhuge Liang (Romance of the Three Kingdoms, ftw), the strategist responsible for some of the greatest victories of the era?

    Hell, what would Luke be without R2 & Threepio–except maybe infinitely less exasperated (in Threepio’s case)?

    I love hearing about different aspects of a machine. The engine doesn’t run without the fuel; your car may be pimped out with shiny, new tires, but see how far it will get if it doesn’t have engine belts.

    The Sith Emperor didn’t build his empire alone, which is why I’m glad to see new faces come to light that were instrumental in setting the foundation for the Empire we will see in the game.

    I could see Odile Vaiken coming up in IA quest lines. I certainly hope there is, at least, a quest chain that deals with his story. Color me curious.

    P.S. – It may just be me, but I’m getting a James Marsters-vibe from Odile Vaiken. Just something I noticed…

    • Lol, just noticed your James Marsters caption. I guess I’m not the only one.:P

    • Odile Vaiken had better come up in the game! 😀 I have no problem with completely brand new characters being introduced into an established IP, but I’d like to see them fleshed out. Knowing Bioware, they’ll probably have something more planned for his character, because I can’t see them throwing him in there just for the sake of a cool timeline video. I know I’d be disappointed if we don’t see more of him, particularly since he’s made such a huge impact on the empire and apparently has left one hell of a legacy. It would be a little strange if he was only mentioned so minimally 😛

      And haha yes, the moment I saw the picture on the website, I was like, “Er, Spike?” LOL

      • Heads up, in case you didn’t see it yourself, but Darthhater posted up a ton of stuff on the two Jedi classes.

        Looks like LucasArts decided to hold some kind of reveal specifically for the Jedi classes–“Jedi Immersion Day”.

        …Damn…that’s all I can say. So many new screens and quest footage.

        I may have to rethink my decision to hold off rolling a Jedi class until last.

      • Yep, I saw that 😀 My Darth Hater feed went nuts today!

  6. I’m usually not a fan of retconning, but as best I can tell, this area of Star Wars lore is simply without any canon in the first place. Regardless, I’m really like that we had a piece focusing on the non-Force wielders, especially a promoted-from-the-ranks Imperial moff.

    If you ever get around to finishing KOTORII, I’m definitely in Kreia’s camp when it comes to the Force.

    • Your comment made me think that perhaps Bioware may be using these lore updates to influence the balance of players faction-wise and class-wise once the game launches. They seem very in tune with the overall feelings of the community on their forums. Like for a few weeks there would be bitching about too many sith-centric information and BAM comes an awesome republic update. Then there would be a poll showing overwhelming numbers of people planning on playing force users and BAM comes a really amazing video on the smuggler or imperial agent. In fact, I haven’t heard much from the force classes lately.

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