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Baldur's Gate as Star Wars

BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,456
edited October 2012 in Off-Topic
Hi, friends, probably my most personally influential mythos ever is George Lucas' Star Wars universe. To me, his is the broadest, most universal, encompassing system of story and gaming archetypes ever created.

So, very often, I attempt to become a "Jedi Knight" in almost any game I play.

I am interested in starting a discussion about what people think are the most Star Wars-like character classes and other choices.

As most who are cross Star Wars-D&D geeks, I always imagine myself as a Jedi.

I'll get the discussion started by saying that I think that the druid class is the closest to Jedi. The reverence for "nature" seems very analogous to reverence for "the Force". A lot of the spells, like Flame Blade, resemble the preference for lightsaber as a weapon. The druid's ability to call upon all life in the environment, as well as upon wood, metal, fire, and stone to suit her ends, also strikes me as very Jedi-like.

You could argue that the neutral alignment is a problem, as the SW universe sees the Jedi as peacekeepers and enforcers of law and order. Which would make them lawful good paladins, clerics, and fighter-mages. (Or lawful evil for Sith). However, if you study closely their decisions and actions in the movies and books, they are rather opportunistic and even ruthless in seeking their goals, which moves them toward lawful neutral, and maybe even finally toward true neutrality (harmony in the universe is more important than ANYTHING else, i.e. balance between the good and dark sides of the Force).

I guess it's a no-brainer that Han Solo and his ilk are rogues, and that Princess Leia, Queen Amidala, and their like are paladins or clerics.

Anyone care to join in and argue a class, alignment, or npc as the perfect Star Wars character analogue?

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Comments

  • KosonKoson Member Posts: 284
    I only got in touch with the Star Wars universe by playing KotOR, KotOR2 and SWTOR so don't know what the "canon" lore states and if it was changed while being implemented into the games. However my impression was that the Jedi Order on the whole is LG, not LN, and quite strict about it. I see Jolee Bindo from KotOR as neutral / LN and he's an exile from the order which allows him his neutrality. And his exile is proof of their intolerance.

    However, if you study closely their decisions and actions in the movies and books, they are rather opportunistic and even ruthless in seeking their goals, which moves them toward lawful neutral, and maybe even finally toward true neutrality (harmony in the universe is more important than ANYTHING else, i.e. balance between the good and dark sides of the Force).

    You are right that they are ruthless in seeking their goals but I never got the impression that they were trying to maintain a balance between the light and dark side - rather they tried to vanquish the dark force users (justifiably in most cases) and if the dark-siders would not submit and repent/relent they would not rest until defeating/killing them.

  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,456
    edited October 2012
    @Koson, if you are saying that you actually have never watched the movies (gasp), then you might have a point. However, the movies trump everything else in canon. In the movies, especially starting with Episode I, there is a running theme of "balance in the Force". Supposedly, Anakin Skywalker has a virgin birth-by-the-Force to a slave woman on Tatooine, who is mystified by her motherhood, but loves her son nonetheless. The child Anakin's destiny is to "restore balance to the Force", but, over the well-known story arc leading to the first three movies in Episodes IV-VI, he forsakes his destiny for a chance to save the life of his romantic, erotic love interest, and turns to the dark side.

    Then, his fraternal twin son and daughter, Luke Skywalker and the hidden, adopted Princess Leia Organa, take over the destiny to "restore balance". Luke fulfils his destiny of balance by redeeming his fallen Father to the goodside.

    Every action by every other character in all six movies, especially the two wise mentor characters Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda, are motivated by restoring balance to the corrupted Force. There is a parallel running theme of "destiny vs. free choice."

    EDIT: btw, KOTOR is set 1,000 years before the movies. The Jedi order throughout all the games, books, and movies is assumed to be a most ancient order with thousands of years of history. There will of course be significant alignment and philosophy drift over such huge time spans.

  • KosonKoson Member Posts: 284
    @belgarathmth Well, I only saw the original 3 movies, not the new episodes about Anakin's early life so don't know what happened there. From what you say, I'd have chosen the same and screwed light-sidedness in order to save someone I loved. And this bugged me always about the Jedi Order - their refusal to accept love. A perfect Jedi would pretty much be a biological, force-wielding droid. Lol this is the reason I played Sith in SWTOR, I just couldn't abide all the restrictions imposed by the Jedi Code, and am not sorry. Was fun being a light-side Sith Inquisitor :).
    And when you are a threatened minority fighting for your survival, all is well and good to go preaching about restoring a balance between your minority and the majority opposing you. Of course you reach that by annihilating your opponents, and balance is served :). As I said, I haven't read any SW books, haven't seen the new 3 episodes of the movie series and my experience from the games is limited. But to me it seems like the conflict at core is an ideological dispute and because of this the Jedi and Sith orders are at each other's throats, not to keep the balance and harmony of the universe.

    BelgarathMTH
  • KenjiKenji Member Posts: 249
    I am a SW/D&D nerd, but I have a strong dislike on Paladins or Jedis.

    I like the roles of thieves, bounty hunters, or smugglers better, they have so much freedom in either RP setups or gameplay.

    Brude
  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,456
    edited October 2012
    @Kenji, should I call you "Han"?

    @Koson, interesting ideas. You really should watch those second three movies, since they can be gotten very cheaply through Netflix or a similar service.

    The "ideological dispute" between the Jedi and the Sith actually does have to do with "balance". The Jedi believe that balance is achieved by dispassionate detachment from passionate emotion, much like Buddhism. The Sith believe that balance is acheieved by embracing passion and wielding personal Will to control the chaotic universe, much like Nietzscheism.

    The one thing they have in common is the desire to overcome chaos. I don't think anyone would argue that either a Jedi or a Sith would have "chaotic" in his or her alignment description. But neither are either of them particularly concerned with "good". The Jedi believe that "good" will come from balance, while the Sith don't care one way or the other. For both of them, we are down to neutral, lawful neutral, or lawful evil, or, in a very few extreme cases like Luke Skywalker, neutral good. For all Jedi, "neutral" has to be in there somewhere, just as with the D&D druids.

  • KosonKoson Member Posts: 284
    I disagree - to me the Jedi Order seems and sounds like it's LG (can easily make parallels with the Order of the Radiant Heart, and as @Kenji said, from many points of view jedis are just like paladins) while the Sith Order on the whole is LE. I said on the whole as sith have more freedom to pursue their own interests (or their masters') and there are (or were in SWTOR) some who can be only described as CE.

  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,456
    @Koson, well, I can certainly see your point of view. I have also often identified the Jedi with LG paladins, though not when I posted this thread.

    If you are given your point of view as far as alignment, and that you don't think they can be druids, then, what class do you think they are?

    They seem to me to have far too much magic at their disposal to be paladins, unless maybe we divide them into the KOTOR consulars, sentinels, and guardians.

    Then, I guess that the consulars would be clerics or fighter/mages, the sentinels would be mage/rogues, and the guardians would be either fighter/mages or fighter/clerics. Which would be which, in your opinion, and why?

  • KosonKoson Member Posts: 284
    Is quite a lot of years since I played KOtOR 1 and 2 so don't remember exactly how force powers went there. With SWTOR's classes, Jedi Knights divide into Guardians and Sentinels, and Consulars into Sages and Shadows, while similarly Sith Warriors become Juggernauts and Marauders, and Inquisitors Sorcerers and Assassins. IMO JG are paladins (they are the only force-users wearing heavy armor) and SJ would be blackguards - both classes (which mirror themselves like all the other SWTOR classes) have limited access to force powers and use the force mostly to augment their combat. Similarly, JS and SM would be a mix of fighter and swashbuckler - they wear medium armor, are masters of dual-wielding, but being same base class as the former again have limited access to the force. Jedi Sages and Sith Sorcerers are cleric-mages, they can be healers or offensive casters and wear light armor, while Shadows and Assassins are a mix of rogues (stealth) and druids (alignment aside, and without the healing spells) using their saber-staves.

    BelgarathMTH
  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,456
    edited October 2012
    @Koson, since Jedi can divide into so many specialties in either lightsaber combat or in using the Force, which is even shown in the movies (to a lesser degree than in the games they inspired), I guess they can represent a variety of analogues to D&D caster and fighter-caster classes, as well as paladins.

    I've found that I can roleplay a "Jedi Knight" if I want to in almost any swords and sorcery game. Great fun!

  • KosonKoson Member Posts: 284
    :)

    I personally don't like rigid-code goody-two-shoes characters, so I try to stay away from paladin / knight types, but if you enjoy playing them, go for it.

  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,456
    @Koson

    :)

    I personally don't like undisciplined, selfish, greedy, evil-hatemonger characters, so I try to stay away from blackguard/Sith types, but if you enjoy playing them, go for it.

  • WinnickWinnick Member Posts: 8
    "The child Anakin's destiny is to "restore balance to the Force", but, over the well-known story arc leading to the first three movies in Episodes IV-VI, he forsakes his destiny for a chance to save the life of his romantic, erotic love interest, and turns to the dark side. "

    This depends on how you look at it. At the time of Anakin - the light side of the force was far superior than the dark side. So him bringing down the Jedis is actually bringing balance to the force - so he IS fulfilling his destiny - it was just wrongly interpreted. He is never meant to be the saviour.

    diggerb
  • KosonKoson Member Posts: 284
    @belgarathmth Lol I usually play neutral characters, having / adhering to a moral code, and having as much freedom as possible. If that makes me an undisciplined, selfish, greedy, evil-hatemonger, so be it ^^.

    I don't defend or justify the Sith, is just that I found it more fun / rewarding to play as a free-willed light-sided Sith Sorcerer than as a righteous Jedi Guardian.

  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,456
    @Koson, "light-sided Sith Sorcerer" sounds interesting and unique. Wouldn't the other Sith sense that, and see it as weakness, and start attacking, trying to bring you down?

    @Winnick, that's certainly one way to look at it. I was going by Qui-Gonn's and Obi-Wan's expressed point of view. The Jedi are far from infallible in their interpretations of the Force. But they tend to think they are, and they can come across as kind of fanatical, which is probably why @Koson doesn't like them.

    I like to play that I am a lot like Luke Skywalker, and work for reform from within, without going all-out darkside. That prohibition against using attack magic sure is inconvenient. I/my characters really have to struggle with that one. Sometimes, you just really need lightning bolts and fireballs.

    Dragonspear
  • KosonKoson Member Posts: 284

    "light-sided Sith Sorcerer" sounds interesting and unique. Wouldn't the other Sith sense that, and see it as weakness, and start attacking, trying to bring you down?

    Well, it was sensed / found out / commented on. Fact is, the Sith Empire respects power and has certain rules of conduit, and anyone attacking you has to obey them if they want their actions to be sanctioned. As long as you obey the rules (you may even twist them a little to your advantage :) if you can) and are powerful enough / manage to secure enough backing to defeat those attacking you, you're relatively safe. Of course, you have to be able to defend yourself also from rogue, unsanctioned attacks.

  • mlnevesemlnevese Member, Moderator Posts: 9,704
    Wasn`t there a third neutral tradition that defended that the Force didn`t have a dark side or a light side and that its use would only reinforce the character of the force sensitive wielding it? I remember reading something about it in The Knights of Old Republic, I think.

  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,456
    @mlnevese, it's been so long since I played KOTOR, I don't remember. I do remember an npc who could use the Force who was living on a remote planet as a hermit, and he came with his Force-slider in the grey (the middle).

    I always used to make a game of getting that slider up far into the blue and becoming a "Force-saint", so I didn't pay much attention to any lore aimed at neutrals. I remember the dialogue choices usually being pretty clear-cut between saintly and totally cruel, as in "Of course I'll find food for you and your child, you poor woman!" or "You are weak. You and your child deserve to die."

    I think I need to play KOTOR again one day soon.

    mlnevese
  • mlnevesemlnevese Member, Moderator Posts: 9,704
    edited October 2012
    @belgarathmth I'm playing it now while I wait for the EE.... And my BGT run as well. But I'm quite sure I read something about it and they could use powers from the "light" and "dark"sides without being pushed by the force to become saints or devils... They thought that both Jedis and Siths were wrong, the Jedis for denying their emotions and the Sith for allowing themselves to be controlled by them. But I can't remember their name at all :)

    Found it. They were called Gray Jedis and were never organized. They were proof that both Sith and Jedi training were the causes of radical views and are thought extinct :)

    BelgarathMTH
  • KosonKoson Member Posts: 284
    @belgarathmth That NPC was Jolee Bindo and he was an exile from the Jedi Order.

    Fact is all Star Wars games I've played or read about you were encouraged / pointed to go either full dark or full light, even if rewards were sometimes minor / just cosmetic. There was never an incentive to be / stay neutral, which is a bit odd. Not everybody wants to be / is cut out for being a saint or a villain.

    mlneveseBelgarathMTH
  • WinnickWinnick Member Posts: 8
    True - there is some "we know it all" about the order

    Yes, I don't recall ever playing a game where being neutral was something you could strive for and be awarded. It was always the journey towards the two extremes that triggered progress

    BelgarathMTHmlnevese
  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,456
    Interesting points being raised - for all their talk about "balance in the Force", and "don't give into anger...once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny - consume you it will!", the Jedi seem pretty invested in a "one right point of view" mentality, and very "fundamentalist", "black and white only, one or the other", sort of mentality, which seems pretty "consuming" on its own, not to mention its desire to purge emotions, especially erotic love. (Ahem, christian catholicism, ahem.)

    A similar theme can be seen in Star Trek with the Mr. Spock/Dr. McCoy dichotomy of logic/passion, where the captain is supposed to balance that tension. Interestingly, Kirk does it by being understanding of Spock yet just as passionate as McCoy, while Picard balances the equivalent between Riker and Data, (or maybe Worf and Data), by leaning toward logic and dispassion. And there is yet another equivalency in the Odo/Quark dichotomy on Deep Space Nine, again to be balanced by the longsuffering Captain Sisko, who must also seek balance between Bajoran religious politics and Federation practical/democratic/military politics.

    (Deep Space Nine was very prescient about this theme - our current political leaders of the free world are struggling to balance our way of life and point of view peacefully with the peoples of the middle east who have developed powerful, religion-based societies, who are much more passionate, reactive, and, unfortunately, prone to violence and war, than we are.)

    The Jedi and Sith seem neither understanding nor sympathetic toward *anything* about each other. They are extremes of archetypes. In the movies, Luke Skywalker was the balancing point of view, as he always exercised understanding and compassion towards people who had invested themselves into either "side of the coin." So, perhaps, in the movies, Luke would be our paragon of "neutrality/balance", tempered with a heavy sense of compassion and love.

    Which ties back into my original point that I think that the D&D druids would be the perfect Jedi. They would still have their own internal dichotomy between circle druid/shadow druid, but they would all deplore the fanaticism of the Sacred Heart, and just as much the fanaticism of the Iron Throne, seeing both entities as threats who seek to exploit nature and destroy balance and harmony in the world, thus bringing horrible, unecessary suffering into the world.

  • scriverscriver Member Posts: 1,824
    Winnick said:

    "The child Anakin's destiny is to "restore balance to the Force", but, over the well-known story arc leading to the first three movies in Episodes IV-VI, he forsakes his destiny for a chance to save the life of his romantic, erotic love interest, and turns to the dark side. "

    This depends on how you look at it. At the time of Anakin - the light side of the force was far superior than the dark side. So him bringing down the Jedis is actually bringing balance to the force - so he IS fulfilling his destiny - it was just wrongly interpreted. He is never meant to be the saviour.

    I have my own version of this theory. Anakin were supposed to bring balance to the force, and the Council misinterpreted it, as you say. But not just by killing a lot of Jedi (and "levelling the field" (which doesn't necessarily balance anything, really). But the Council was also right. The Council thought he would "bring balance to the Force) by eradicating the Sith once and for all. And guess what? He did. In the end, it is not Luke who defeats the Emperor. It is Vader himself that kills him, and in the attempt causes the injuries that he himself dies of soon after. Luke was simply the motivator, the actor in the Sith's demise was Anakin.

    But about his actions with decimating the Jedi Order? That is part of the "balancing" as well. Not because it makes the Jedi fewer and thus more numerically balanced, but because the Jedi Order is, at that point perhaps not corrupt, but definitely bloated. It is a fundamentalistic institution strictly adhering to a dogma without thought, and by acting a certain way because it is dogma rather fun because you have thought it over deprives the Jedi ideology of the wisdom and reflection that is supposed to run through it.

    So, Anakin causes the fall of the bloated Jedi Order and ends it's decadence. Vader then causes the demise of the Sith by killing the Emperor and himself. What does this leave? A young, idealistic Jedi, who believes in the Jedi way as it is supposed to be, who can recreate a new society of Jedi who is truer in spirit than the old Order was. It is an eradication of the Old Bloat and a rebirth of new, fresh thought. Purification through fire, the phoenix from the ashes, etc etc.

    BelgarathMTHKilivitzlolien
  • LadyEibhilinRhettLadyEibhilinRhett Member Posts: 1,078

    Anyone care to join in and argue a class, alignment, or npc as the perfect Star Wars character analogue?

    . -c .
    Xan is Threepio, class be damned. I really don't think I need to explain this one.

  • LordsDarkKnight185LordsDarkKnight185 Member Posts: 615
    Jedi are cheddar monks >.>

  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,456
    @LadyEibhilinRhett, you know, I've made that same connection. They're analogues, right down to their role in the story as comic relief. Threepio's favorite catchphrase line: "We're doomed!". Xan's favorite catchphrase line "We're all doomed." Yup, definitely a connection here.

    @LordsDarkKnight185, I've heard one or two people before draw a connection between Jedi and the monk class, because of the similar philosophies. I think that the analogy breaks down a bit, though, because, what's a Jedi without his lightsaber, where monks use primarily unarmed fighting, and also, Jedi force powers seem pretty magical, (healing, telekinesis, telepathy, lightning), whereas the monk's Chi powers are more subtle and tied into hand to hand fighting.) Maybe 3rd edition monks with their kamas would be a little closer.

    Paladin/cleric/mage combos seem like better analogues, in my opinion.

  • LordsDarkKnight185LordsDarkKnight185 Member Posts: 615


    @LordsDarkKnight185, I've heard one or two people before draw a connection between Jedi and the monk class, because of the similar philosophies. I think that the analogy breaks down a bit, though, because, what's a Jedi without his lightsaber, where monks use primarily unarmed fighting, and also, Jedi force powers seem pretty magical, (healing, telekinesis, telepathy, lightning), whereas the monk's Chi powers are more subtle and tied into hand to hand fighting.) Maybe 3rd edition monks with their kamas would be a little closer.

    Its a joke/reference to Darths & Droids (which is a comic using 3e rules)

    http://www.darthsanddroids.net/episodes/0004.html

  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,456
    edited November 2012
    @LordsDarkKnight185, LOL, the perfect webcomic, directly addressing my topic with humor! Wonderful! Thank you so much for the link. Now I have another great webcomic to read.

    EDIT: I'm curious - how do the webcomics get away with using the movie images, both this one with Star Wars and also DM of the Ring with LotR, without triggering legal issues? Do you know any links with info about "the making of"?

  • LordsDarkKnight185LordsDarkKnight185 Member Posts: 615

    @LordsDarkKnight185, LOL, the perfect webcomic, directly addressing my topic with humor! Wonderful! Thank you so much for the link. Now I have another great webcomic to read.

    EDIT: I'm curious - how do the webcomics get away with using the movie images, both this one with Star Wars and also DM of the Ring with LotR, without triggering legal issues? Do you know any links with info about "the making of"?

    ugh, too mugh legal iblith to decide what the best is to link to. just google "Parody and fair use"

  • mlnevesemlnevese Member, Moderator Posts: 9,704
    edited November 2012
    @belgarathmth Parody is considered fair use and can't be flagged as a copyright infringement. As long as the authors of the parody webcomics do not declare themselves the authors of the images they use and recognize the original authors, they're safe. It also applies to music and any other copyrighted material. That's the reason Saturday Night Live can do parodies of TV commercials and shows, Wierd Al can record parodies of well known songs, etc.

    Post edited by mlnevese on
    LordsDarkKnight185BelgarathMTH
  • scriverscriver Member Posts: 1,824
    Considered fair use in the US, I would like to clarify. Us other country-ists might have different rules.

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