Who’s Who In The Galaxy

January 7, 2011

Three new biographies were added on the Star Wars: The Old Republic site today, which I’d normally just take at face value, until it was pointed out in the forums that we’ve actually heard of one of the entries, Jewl’a Nightbringer, more than a year ago in a Developer Walkthrough video when she was mentioned by the NPC Mako.

First of all, even though the article does mention her winning the Great Hunt, I don’t think I would have remembered to make the connection, so kudos to Aeterno, whose post was the one that caught my attention. Second, I thought it was worth pointing out because it really confirmed what I’ve always thought about these biographies and other similar updates — that they’re not trivial for those who really want to get into lore of the game. These characters aren’t just innocuous names thrown in for filler; presumably, each person with a biography page has his or her own story and a place in the galaxy, even the ones we figure are less significant and have never heard of. But like in the case of Jewl’a, maybe we have, and just forgot or plain didn’t notice.

I’m a big fan of using history and character lore to construct a sense of immersion, and like I’ve said before, these aspects contribute in making our virtual worlds richer and fuller places to be. There’s a lot of potential in these new entries — for example, I have to wonder if perhaps Darth Jadus has already personally infiltrated the Republic under a secret and influential identity, based on some of the keywords in his description. It could explain why they’re not letting us see his face for now. And regarding the political rivalry between Supreme Chancellor Janarus and General Garza of Republic Special Forces, come on, who doesn’t like a good old government leader vs. military honcho story? Last time we had a Biographies update, I said I would love to learn more about the NPCs in-game, and now I more confident that we’ll have the opportunity.


  1. I loved the update, especially Darth Jadus since I plan on working for him in the game. 🙂
    But I really can’t help but wonder on the name choice. I know its completely different times but it’s sounds too much like Darth Caedus. There is some speculation on a certain board that is was a melding of Jacen and Caedus. hmmmmmm

    • Wow, I didn’t even notice that and, hey, I wouldn’t be surprised it is indeed a nod to Jacen/Darth Caedus!

  2. Considering that Bioware is holding up SWTOR as a story-driven game, characters are pretty important. And since they need a world (galaxy?) full of characters, the more the better. Glad to see that they are doing more to connect some of the dots between all the plot points they are hanging out.

    • I love it when they do that. It’s even more awesome because it’s Star Wars, and you already have that epicness of an expanded universe. This gives me that same feeling, but on a smaller scale, almost like having an “expanded” Old Republic.

  3. Among the aurabesh for Jewl’a Nightbringer, one says “Ice Queen”. I’m going to guess she is not going to be the most expressive character of all time–well, not gentle expression, anyway.

    That may not be a bad thing, though. I’m sure there will be enough of the other kinds of personalities in the game, but I’m glad to see the more hard-edged personality should be represented well. Jewl’a kind of gives off a Domino Harvey-vibe, at least to me.

    I’m sure I will enjoy crossing paths with Jewl’a ingame. I only hope some of her appearances and quests cross paths with other classes.

    I remember hearing Darth Jadus’ name awhile back and thinking ‘whoa, that sounds pretty cool.’ It is also sweet to get some more elaboration on him, and what his role is within the Dark Council. His personality, combined with his involvement in the espionage aspect of the Imperial military, really makes me look forward to whatever interaction I get with his character in the game. I’m sure IA’s will get his best quests, but I could see there being some SW & SI quests involving him—perhaps given by other members of the council who want to keep tabs on him.

    Damn, I love how the story is shaping up.

    As for Supreme Chancellor Janarus and his rivalry with General Garza…well, come on…I bet there will be some awesome scenes involving him & General Garza in the game. Hell, there might even be other kinds of tension between those two besides just plain tension (they look roughly the same age). Either way, I hope the differences in philosophy are fleshed out and very apparent as you go through the game. Judging by how BioWare has done story in the past, I don’t doubt they will give this aspect of the story the proper attention and development it deserves.

    As a lore hound, I enjoy these kinds of updates. Yes, I will, at times, end up just aimlessly wandering for the sake of exploration in this game. But I also want to feel immersed in this world. It is freakin Star Wars. I want to feel like these characters are tangible, flavorful personalities, not just a sprite/character model that I know nothing about waiting there to give me a quest. For that reason, I thoroughly enjoy getting to know a little more about the various personalities I am likely to meet ingame.

    Open beta can’t get here fast enough.

    • I’m hoping as a bounty hunter, I’m going to be encountering Jewl’a a lot. She may think she’s hot little miss bounty hunter of the galaxy, but she hasn’t met me! 😉

      Anyway, I love your speculations about Janarus and Garza. I’d love to experience a dramatic rivalry between the two, something akin to the one between Fandral Staghelm and Tyrande Whisperwind in WoW. That was something they really played up, and really worked. And LOL, some other kinds of tension between the Supreme Chancellor and our dear general, you say? Damn, Jara, you’re scandalous! I love it, haha!

  4. I love feeling immersed in the lore behind MMOs and their characters. The trick, IMO, is to keep it simple though as, for instance, I have no fricking idea what’s going on in WoW and why one moment the Horde and Alliance are buddies and then the next moment they’re fighting each other 😛

    • I’ve realized after reading the new WoW book The Shattering that so much of the lore actually happens outside the game, especially with the franchise branching out into things like roleplaying games and comics. I think I would have been even more confused over the aftermath of the Cataclysm if I hadn’t read that book 😛

  5. Oooooh Jewl’a Nightbringer ^_^ *swoons* Your ultimately hard ass life and bad attitude…and kill streak that accompanies it has compelled me to sass, harrass, and scoundrel you to death when this game comes out, marriage is TOTALLY in the cards :D.

    • That would make for a very, very interesting marriage 😛

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