“Being a sith doesn’t make me a monster, however.”

In Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic, the player travels to Korriban. You encounter a Twi’lek sith instructor named Yuthura Ban. She attempts to justify the dark side and the Sith way of life. Explaining that it is not evil, but simply adheres to the laws of nature. Yet, when tasked with explaining the sith code, her body language indicates regret.

She escaped slavery, was discovered and trained by the Jedi. She wanted to use the force to fight against slavery. When the Jedi “restrained” her, she left the order and instead trained with the Sith. Her intention being to become powerful enough to fight slavers throughout the galaxy. But while supposedly hating slavers, she barely blinked when I described my companions as slaves. She maintains that the day will come where she will finally be strong enough to fight back against slavery. Only her compassion stands in her way. Quite reminiscent of someone trying to get into an exercise regimen.

Bioware missed an opportunity here. An idea that would go on to be explored by fellow RPG developers Obsidian Entertainment, in both the KOTOR sequel, The Sith Lords, and Fallout New Vegas. Yuthura Ban could have made a fine addition to the player’s party selection, in both story and gameplay.

Advertisement

Yuthura’s logical equal would have to be the once fallen Jedi, Juhani. The player is tasked early on to face Juhani and can either attempt to turn her back to the light side or kill her. Yuthura Ban can also be turned to the light side. Once you do, she travels to the Jedi Academy and stays there.

She had what it takes to fill a potentially empty Juhani slot. She had personality, a backstory, and was seeking redemption. It would have supplied the player with someone to recruit on Korriban. Providing all planets with at least one new potential party member, like KOTOR 2 ended up doing. Having alternative party members would have added extra replayability, like KOTOR 2 ended up doing. It would have added a character that used to be a member of the very order they are fighting against. Say it with me: Like KOTOR 2 ended up doing.

Yuthura’s homeworld of Sleyheron was supposed to appear in the game. It was written into her backstory since a lot work was put into the planet. Her personal quest would logically have to be set there. Perhaps to find the planets star forge, the player would have to deal with a hutt slaver on the planet. Better yet, have the slaver be an ex Twi’lek slave who broke away but instead of leaving, became what she hated, much like Yuthura. This deal could allow the player to reach the star forge, but would also give the slaver the power to enslave others. You can build up from there. Is there another way? Could you trick the slaver somehow? Perhaps once the star forge is found you can go dark side and murder the slaver, or have Yuthura truly commit to the light side and walk away.

Advertisement

Fallout New Vegas was supposed to feature something similar. The character Ulysses was originally supposed to be a follower. He was a member of Caesar’s Legion. With him in the party it would have filled the roster with at least one member associated with several major factions, past and present. Craig Boone, NCR; Veronica Santangelo, Brotherhood of Steel; Arcade Gannon, Followers of the Apocalypse / Enclave. With Ulysses being Legion, it would have given the player that contrasting viewpoint. Alas, he didn’t make it into the main game, but I suspect much of what he was supposed to impart to the player was instead given to Caesar himself to talk about.

If war doesn’t change. Men must change.

It could be that Bioware also liked this idea. Mass Effect one featured the geth as being the main force that Shepard fought, under the control of Saren and eventually Sovereign. Mass Effect 2 introduced Legion, who completely changes the player’s opinion of the Geth. Batarian squadmate somewhere in the andromeda series?