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PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2005 2:15 pm 
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Why does Corran so rarely use the Force? And why are Jedi superhumans so annoying?
My view on Corran as a Jedi in the Plot and my theory on what generally makes the best writing of Jedi in the Plot, as opposed to the depictions of many comic books, games, and some novels. Oh, and the general uneducated pop culture view.

I tend to subscribe to a more classic trilogy view. Not because I'm obsessed with the past, but because, as Mish would put it, "Hey, it's the Holy Trilogy."

Taking only the truest source into account, the Classic Trilogy, we have several examples of what a Jedi should really be like.

-Obi-Wan, who was a Jedi Master, but only displayed small tricks on the weak-minded.
-Vader, the second most powerful Sith, who mainly choked people.
-Yoda, who had 900 years to develop his power, and all we see him do is lift an X-wing.
-Palpatine, the most powerful Sith, who only displays one ability, Force lighting.
-Luke, the most powerful Jedi, who shows a range of powers, but fairly limited ability in each

That's a much more diminished view of Jedi than we see anywhere else, yet it's the one I like the most. I think it's the easiest to work with in the Plot.

The problem when Jedi are turned into these mega superhumans is three-fold. One, they're hard to relate to. Two, they seem to have an unfair advantage over everyone else, which makes them no fun. Three, they're hard to write about because with every power a Jedi has comes the questions, "Well, why didn't they use it there? Why didn't they use it in this situation? Or that one?"

In essence, the power of a Jedi is very limited and constrained to just a few personal abilities.

None of the Jedi in the Plot could ever be up to the level of the five Jedi I listed above since they don't have the training and the experience and aren't "the chosen one."

Every time they use a power, Jedi are also tempted to use it for the Dark Side, thus encouraging a Jedi to use the power as little as possible. It's such a dangerous thing, and something even the most powerful and experienced Jedi are not immune to.

Using the Force takes an incredible amount of energy. The bigger the power, the more the energy consumption, which could be very dangerous in the midst of a battle. Usually when a Jedi is having to employ a lot of the Force, they know they are likely to die in that battle, and are doing it for a self-sacrificing cause.

Jedi abilities are like talents and skills. What a Jedi is strong in in one area, they're weak in in another one. Jedi don't have more abilities than non-Force-users. They just have unique ones that come in handy in certain situations where conventional abilities don't fare well. This does not at all diminish the role of those with more conventional abilities. It actually puts the Jedi in a worse place because their unique abilities probably means that they'll have to go at it relatively alone without the direct support of colleagues.

Jedi abilities come in all forms. Fighting, telekinesis, healing, instructing, prophesying, mind altering, sensing, scratching that little itch in the middle of your back, etc. There are no standard abilities. Except for the scratching one. Every Jedi has that by default ;-)

Light Jedi, by nature, have to be self-sacrificing. To take the mantel of the Jedi is to place the priorities of others above one's own. To do otherwise is to become a Dark Jedi. A Jedi does not seek fame, rewards, or prestige. They do what they do because they have to. It is the mandate they are given when gifted with the Force, and they only have two choices. Follow the lightside and sacrifice their wants, needs, and, if it comes to the point, lives for others (unless their wants and needs happen to not conflict with their calling). Follow the darkside and serve oneself. It is this huge responsibility that can often make the Force more of a curse than a blessing.

This, I believe, is the true nature of the Jedi. It is the one represented in the Classic Trilogy and the one I wish to ascribe to in the Plot for stories that are interesting for me to write and interesting for everyone else to read.


Are lightsabers all-powerful? And 10 top recipes best prepared with sabers.
My view on whether sabers can cut through anything, and their weaknesses.

As for lightsabers, I again ascribe to the Classic Trilogy and even the Prequels in some points. Here is what I believe to be the true nature of the lightsaber and the one I wish to ascribe to in the Plot to make it the most interesting for me to write and the most interesting for everyone else to read.

Unlike what the novels say (especially the Jedi Academy Trilogy), lightsabers cannot cut through any surface but cortois ore. The classic trilogy never says that. In fact, the movies don't say much more about the saber than that it's "an elegant weapon for a more civilized age."

Sabers are very powerful, but the denser the substance, the longer it takes to get through. Considering how long it took for Qui-Gon to get through the bridge doors, I'd rule out cutting through the exterior walls of ships. We even see the saber blade "bouncing" off objects, like Vader's shoulder in ESB.

Sabers short out in water.

Sabers run out of juice. They've only got one power cell, and a tiny one at that. It takes an incredible amount of energy to produce a meter-long blade that powerful, thus usage would have to be conserved. Use your saber too much in battle or on too dense of substances and risk needing a recharge in the midst of battle. As with the Force, if a Jedi starts using their saber a whole lot, it means they're likely going to die, and are using it for a self-sacrificing cause.

Sabers are conspicuous. It's not wise to carry one when undercover.

Sabers that are too powerful can have the same three problems as mega superhuman Jedi. One, they're harder to relate to and understand than a good ol' blaster. Two, they seem to have an unfair advantage over other weapons, thus making them no fun. Three, they constantly beg the question, "Why didn't they use it then?" Believe me, it's no fun to write (or read about) about a group of Rogues or Wraiths infiltrating an Imperial base/ship with a Jedi in the front blocking all the lasers and slicing through every locked door.

Sabers can't block all lasers. Only Jedi as powerful as Luke could have a great success rate at that, and it's especially dangerous to do when your friends are nearby. Controlling a deflected laser is like controlling an angry two-year-old who's wielding a tommy gun.

As for the top 10 recipes, that's what Google is for.


How to be Corran. And how to write about Corran if you feel unworthy of actually being him.
In case you want to employ Corran's Jedi abilities or lightsaber skills, here's what you need to know about them in order to be accurate.

Normally, Corran has no telekinetic abilities. He can't levitate or move anything. The only time he can is if he draws in an incredible amount of power (like shooting himself in the leg with a blaster). You can imagine how rarely he'd do that. In fact, he'd probably only do if it he knew was going likely going to die, and was just giving one last ditch effort to save someone else.

Corran really only has a couple Jedi powers. One is the ability to influence the minds of others. He can make them think they heard or saw something. However, it only works on the weak-minded, and Corran has only employed it a few times, so his ability is very limited.

A second ability Corran possesses is the only one he really believes is important. It's a heightened awareness. A perception or intuition, you could call it, or even a sixth sense. A clearer ability than most people to sense good and evil, pain and pleasure, as well as other strong emotions. This has helped give Corran direction in his life, and has helped him know when to use all of his abilities (Force and non) in service to a certain cause. It also gives Corran a heightened ability to sense what people are going through (except when it comes to love ;-)), and thus he's often served as a counselor and mentor to his fellow Rogues.

Corran's saber is golden. He's rummy good with it, and transfers that skill (which he worked very long and hard to attain) to other weapons like swords and staffs. He mostly saves his saber for battles against Sith, or battles in which a saber would actually be an advantage over a trusty blaster. He takes the responsibility and symbolism of a saber seriously, and would never use it lightly. In fact, in order not to advertise his role as a Jedi (useful in more than just undercover work), he often keeps his saber hidden away in his R2 unit Whistler (much like Luke did with Artoo).


Last edited by General Corran Horn on Mon Sep 04, 2006 10:16 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2006 8:22 pm 
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Can non-Jedi use sabers? And why didn't my Jedi buddy whip out his saber in that last gun battle?
A deeper look at my theory of how sabers work in the hands of Jedi and non-Jedi and how they best work in the Plot

Sabers don't only turn on in the hands of a Jedi, but they're extremely dangerous to wield. And to actually pull them out in battle instead of a blaster is extremely foolhardy unless you have some special ability to block laser bolts flying at you until you can get close enough to chop the dudes up. Few people could ever find the saber to be an effective battle tool.

I think it's also the reason you don't see Corran and Tyria and Deven charging into every battle out in front with a saber out in front of everyone. Generally, it's a stupid thing to do unless you're the right kind of situation. Or you've lost your blaster.

In today's world, if you had a sword that could slice through human flesh with ease and block bullets, I still don't think you'd be running across a battlefield at your enemy. You'd reserve the sword for really close quarters, ambushes, and such, but mainly, for battles against the other guy with the sword.

There might be a few extreme martial arts experts out there who have become skilled with a saber for the pure art of it...and not lost all their limbs. As for in battle, the non-Jedi, non-extreme-martial-arts-expert-who-has-studied-it-for years would find very limited usage for it when they have a good gun. Even the martial arts expert would find it impossible to stay alive by blocking lasers.

It's the Jedi senses that give Jedi the ability to use a saber without injuring themselves and blocking blasters bolts with it and such. Anyone could still pick up a saber (in the extremely unlikely chance they happen to find one lying around) and carve up a wall with it.

"Mommy, look what I found in the gutter!"
"Look, mommy, I can turn it on."
"No, Billy, noo-URK."


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2006 8:36 pm 
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Something very useful to know. If you download the Star Wars D20 Corebook thought certain channels. *cough* Or the Power of the Jedi Sourcebook. *cough* The both go in great detail about these things, and of course the rules of being a Jedi.

These, as being published by WotC (a branch of Hasbro Inc.) with consent from Lucasfilm Limited are canonical and very, very useful for understanding the roles of Jedi both in the new and old Galactic Republics.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2006 8:53 pm 
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Sounds like a pretty extensive source, Zak, but far too technical and detailed for my tastes, hehe. Written by pure SW geeks, no doubt, but the Plot is a bit more casual and less canocal than that.

Still might be interesting to take a look at. Just to see what the approved source says.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2006 8:55 pm 
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It's fairly obvious, at the same time that you're having trouble keeping the reins tight on the issue of the Jedi. So this would at least let people know what is expected of them from their characters.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2006 8:57 pm 
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*copies of above books are avaliable in PDF format on request*


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2006 9:38 pm 
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I could hold the reins very tight on Jedi and write my own set of very strict guidelines or tell the Jedi writers that they have to follow what's in that book. But we've become increasingly busy and rely on the Plot as a place where we can indulge in something fun and creative. I try to maintain a balance between keeping up standards, so the Plot stays good, and not hounding writers, so they're more creative.

However, if the writers in general think the standards of Jedi in the Plot should be more clearly defined and enforced or if they think they should be less clearly defined and enforced, then please IM/e-mail me. I know the views of at least a couple people, but I can't rely on just a couple of views for the general thoughts of the writers.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2006 10:13 pm 
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Essay way up top tweaked a little for humor and clarity.


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