The character, Kreia from Star Wars Knights of the old republic 2: the sith lords, has very little respect for almost anyone she interacts with. Even so, I was brought to a realization that made me see beyond her words and it made me tear up a bit.
A viewer of my humble YouTube channel sent me an email asking for my opinion on how Kreia views Atton Rand. Kreia uses pejorative terms for every one of the Jedi Exile’s crew. The miraluka Visas Marr is “the blinded one”, the echani handmaiden is “the servant of Atris”, the zabrak Bao-Dur is “the alien”, and so on. Atton she flatout calls “the fool” and said that his potential lies downwards, not upwards. But my viewer points out that Atton learns the ways of the force, and becomes one of the lost jedi. Does this mean that Kreia was wrong in her assessment?
I tell him that I don’t believe Kreia’s opinion of someone changes one way or another based on an ability to use the force. Kreia respects self empowerment and power that comes from within. The lengths that someone might go to improve their force powers, for what purpose, and how they use it, are things that she can respect. What she respects the most is a person’s inherent skills and talents disconnected from the force. Force powers themselves don’t come from the individual. They come from an external source who in the case of the light side, allows it to be used, and in the case of the dark side, it is demanded of it. But either way, it’s not truly yours.
Imagine you’re going to build a birdhouse. So you gather the wood, nails, hammer, and so on. Then you go about your day building the birdhouse with your own strength, ingenuity, and intelligence. The force is the equivalent of hiring a carpenter to build the birdhouse for you. You got it build, but it wasn’t you that really did it. But if you were able to trick the carpenter into building it for you without paying him, or even better, getting him to pay you, well that’s a different story.
The only people that we know of that Kreia ever wholeheartedly respected was Revan and Meetra Surik, the jedi exile. Not for their abilities in the force, but for who they were as individuals. What they stood for, what they believed, and what they were able to do without relying on the force. Meetra Surik especially, for doing something that I’m sure Kreia thought was near impossible. To reject the force so completely that she wounded it. If you ask me, one of, if not the most important achievement in Star Wars universe history, that is no longer canon.
All this isn’t what my humble viewer made me realize. He replied with an email explaining that he thinks that Kreia was referring to Atton’s usefulness. Despite all the disrespect and even resentment that Kreia shows for other people, what I realized was that she never thinks of anyone as being worthless. To her, even the lowest of low-lives have purpose. Everyone has a place.
When travelling to Nar Shaddaa, the player encounters two thugs, shaking down a man who owes them money. The man gets you involved and you’re given several choices. One thing you could do is use force persuasion to convince the two thugs to commit suicide by jumping off the platform and according to Atton, “fall for hours”. Many people would say: “Well, the world would be a better place without them.” Kreia doesn’t see it that way. Instead she’s infuriated.
This is exacerbated by the fact that the exile is a wound in the force. The force can’t control her. There’s no way to know for certain if these thugs, in some round about way was set to make something disastrous be avoided or something. Kreia is saying that in your shoes she would do her best to take everything into account before performing such an action. In a universe where everything is connected by a force, who knows what kind of far reaching consequences this could have.
Think of it like time travel. If you were to ask people if they would go back in time and kill a baby Adolf Hitler in his crib, most people would probably ask you where they have to go to sign up for the mission. But what kind of possibilities do you create by removing him from history? Someone else would take his place. Someone potentially worse. What if Germany’s economy never recovered from World War one? This is the kind of thing Kreia is talking about. That’s why you can’t go around killing people for no reason.
To Kreia, everyone has worth. Whether it’s someone who becomes a great leader that leads civilization into a golden age or a tool to be used. Kreia uses people as tools all the time and instructs the Exile to do the same. But this does not make them worthless. Even as a tool you’re helping someone achieve greatness. Greatness that could end up benefiting countless others. The smallest cog in a machine can break and make it all grind to a halt.
I have issues with this. There’s lots of days I wake up and think, what’s the point? If I off myself today, who’s really going to miss me that much? Who’s life is really going to be affected in any way shape or form, in the long run, by my absence? But remember that even to someone like Kreia, you are not worthless.
Papito Qinn is into the whole YouTube thing, is the winner of the 2016 SpookTAYcular Scary Story Contest, and a twitter incompetent. “Blood before Love. I coined that as I was washing testicles in the shower. You heard it here first.”