I'm really feeling it!
I'm really feeling it!
Illustration for article titled Kreias Conundrums - Too Human

In KoTOR 2 the Jedi Exile eventually makes their way to the Jedi Enclave on Dantooine. If the Exile chose to avoid violent confrontations upon meeting any of the Jedi council members, then they will be there to reveal things to the Exile and cut her off from the force. Kreia puts a stop to it and explains why it was the Exile deafened herself to the force when the Mass Shadow Generator was activated at the Battle of Malachor V.

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Whether you’re light side, dark side, or neutral in force alignment, the Jedi master confrontation scene remains largely the same, except for one line that Kreia uses to explain why the Exile did what she did. If the exile is light side or neutral, Kreia says: “It is because you were afraid.” If the exile is dark side, Kreia says: “It is because you had no choice.”

I give many more examples and scenes to buttress my arguments in the video

What we need to keep in mind is that in either case, at the time of Malachor V, the Exile was a Jedi Knight, adherent to the religion’s teachings. She defied the council and went to war against the mandalorians. But that was her defying the Jedi council, and not necessarily her understanding of the Jedi teachings. Regardless, in that moment at Malachor V, in one way or another, she ended up defying one of its teachings.

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In either case, the situation was that the force bonds that she created with all those thousands of people, who were all dying at once, was going to kill her. The Exile decided to hold on to life at all costs, even if it meant severing herself from the force. Nothing is more valuable than life. While her motivation was the same, her reasoning was slightly different.

I’m going to examine and give my thoughts on both the light side and dark side versions, and I’m going to use Sigmund Freud’s structural model of the psyche to help. In psychology the structural model of the psyche defines three distinct aspects of the mind. The Id, the Ego, and the Super-Ego. People like to use an iceberg to illustrate the amount at which each one functions subconsciously and consciously.

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Illustration for article titled Kreias Conundrums - Too Human

As you can see, the Id is completely subconscious. That’s because, as a simplified explanation, the Id is your animal instincts. The Super-Ego is mostly subconscious, but not entirely. That’s because that’s where things you’ve learned throughout life, that shaped your personality, like religious teachings, reside. The Ego is the one that functions the most consciously, because that’s the part of you that tries to mediate between the Id and Super-Ego extremes.

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In order to understand what happened to the Exile at Malachor V, much like the Exile herself, we have to disconnect ourselves from the force. In a Star Wars universe where there is no force, there wouldn’t be any people on the light or dark side. There would simply be decent people and not so decent people.

Due to the force not being able to control the Exile, this is what the player was determining throughout the game. Through the choices you made, you and you alone decided what kind of person the Jedi Exile is, not the force.

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Let’s say that the Exile was a light or neutral type personality. Kreia says that the exile was afraid. She was afraid to die. It sounds simple, but it’s more significant than you may think. A Jedi isn’t supposed to feel any emotions, let alone fear.

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But all emotions, fear, and yes, even hate, are perfectly normal human things to do, and we need our entire range of emotions. Despite they’re obvious drawbacks, fear and hate can also be beneficial. Whether hate or dislike, general disapproval of something comes from the same place. So if you’re going to fight against something, you’re going to need a modicum of this emotion that we’ve attached many different names to.

For example, I hate war and the effects it has on people. I refuse to support anyone who sees it as the be all end all solution to all of life’s problems. I’m also not going to investigate any dark, abandoned mansions, in the dead of night, by myself. I’m afraid to. Fear has heavily contributed towards the survival of the human race.

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The greatest fear of all is fear of the unknown, and the greatest unknown is what happens after death. In the Star Wars universe, it’s said that when you die, you’re absorbed by the force and you become one with it. No one really knows what that means.

Okay, I’m one with the force, now what? Am I conscious? Do I float around? Am I in pain? Am I just fuel to keep the force alive and that’s why it’s perpetuating these wars? So many questions that can never be answered. Not even by force ghosts, I’d argue.

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The Exile defied the Jedi teachings because she was afraid. In other words, the Exile defied the Jedi teachings by simply being human. Revan said that to kill Jedi you have to be a human being. Perhaps in order to kill the Jedi within yourself, you would have to do the same. Revan returned to Kreia to learn how to shed himself of the Jedi mentality. It could be that part of what it takes to do it is to reconnect with your emotions. Effectively reconnecting with your humanity.

Let’s say that the Exile was more a dark type personality. Which for a Jedi, that may sound weird. But like I’ve mentioned before in previous Kreia’s Conundrums, being part of any religious organisation doesn’t necessarily make you a good person. Through the Jedi you can attain power, and status. These things inevitably attract the kind of people who, by their nature or psychology, are power hungry.

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If you roleplay a Jedi Exile that is like this than you can make the argument that she did not want to give up the force because of the power it gave her. But like Kreia said: “She had no choice.” Technically there was a choice. She could have chosen to hold on to the force, like the Jedi Council eventually did at the enclave confrontation.

But this would have resulted in her death. To which many would say that: making a choice that would result in you never being able to make choices again, is no choice at all. Thus, if the exile wanted to survive, she had no choice but to cut herself off from the force. She made it very obvious that, whether light or dark, she valued the power of her life more than anything else. A very human thing to do.

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Which is a parallel between this game and the anime, Rurouni Kenshin. After killing so many people, Kenshin Himura took his own life for granted, and didn’t care whether he lived or died. This rejection of his humanity was limiting him. But this is an idea that’s been explored in many works of media, including anime. From Rurouni Kenshin to Code Geass.

People can consciously stop caring about their well-being, but like it’s been argued in films like Ghost in the Shell, DNA might just be programming that stresses survival. Your body does everything it possibly can to keep you alive.

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That’s why people can sometimes be so difficult to kill. It’s mostly done subconsciously, just like with your Id and Superego, which could explain why the Exile didn’t even remember cutting herself off from the force. What happened at Malachor V can be seen as a clash between the Exile’s Id and Super-ego. A clash between her nature and how she was nurtured.

If the Exile’s Ego could speak, and she was a dark type personality, it might say something like: “Power is a spectrum and comes in many forms. I know you want to hold on to the power of the force. The force grants you great power, but it’s worthless if you’re dead.”

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If the Exile’s Ego could speak, and she was a light or neutral type personality, it might say something like: “Yes, you killed a lot of people. But you dying here, isn’t going to bring any of them back, or keep this from ever happening again. The force certainly isn’t worth holding on to if you’re dead. You’re magical powers, your lightsaber, or the Jedi community isn’t worth a damn thing in death. Your life is the most valuable thing you will ever have. So live.”

Papito Qinn is into the whole YouTube thing, is the winner of the 2016 SpookTAYcular Scary Story Contest, and a twitter incompetent. “Be human. No more. No less.”

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