Wednesday, July 28, 2010

3951 BBY: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords

I tried not to let the grass grow under my feet while encountering the source KOTOR II from Obsidian Entertainment. KOTOR I took me entirely too long to play through, and I did not manage my time well while trying to complete it. However, I learned my lesson, and took a more aggressive approach to playing through KOTOR 2. Of course it does help that I have 2 months off in the summer – being a teacher and all.

I got through the game in 34 hours, and woke up at 5am every morning since the start of my summer vacation to play as much as possible before my wife and son woke up. I would usually get in approximately 2 hours of playtime a day, with some stretches of no time at all, and other days where I would have either an entire afternoon or evening to myself.

Needless to say, I think I have passed the second greatest obstacle in the SWCP: a Star Wars RPG that swallows time like a leviathan swallows fish.

I’m nearly at the end of another era in Star Wars history, and I’m looking forward to diving into the remaining saga of the Old Republic epoch in the Star Wars story.

KOTOR II was very fun to play, and I think I enjoyed it more than KOTOR I, only because I dealt with it in a more cohesive manner. My experience with it was less disjointed than my experience with the first one. Though, I think if I had played KOTOR I in the same manner I played KOTOR II, I might have enjoyed it a little more.

Consequently, there are a great many things which I would like to discuss after having gone through such an encyclopedic source, but for the purposes of this post, I have boiled my reactions down to five talking points: the first being Obsidian Entertainment, the second being the settings of Iziz and Dxun, the third being the battle of Malachor V, the fourth being the destruction of the first Jedi order, and lastly, the topic I will spill the most ink on, the phenomenon of Gray Jedi.

At first I was a little disappointed that Bioware did not take up the second KOTOR game, but was instead handled by Obsidian Entertainment. Bioware did such an excellent job with the first installment of KOTOR, I’m not surprised Lucas Entertainment went back to them for the new Old Republic MMO scheduled for release next spring. That being said however, I think Obsidian did an awesome job with this title, and most certainly filled the excellent example initiated by Bioware.

I think Obsidian took some flak with its handling of the KOTOR story, since one level had been deleted from the game, and many cut scenes had been taken out as well. There is even an organization called Team Gizka which restored the lost content of the game. I haven’t looked into how one recovers this content, but from what I’ve briefly read it can be done. It was said that Lucas Arts put some pressure on Obsidian to complete the game for a holiday release in 2004, and therefore, some aspects of the game had to fall to the cutting room floor.

I myself did not really miss this lost content, but then again, I would not classify myself as a hard-core gamer (not anymore anyway), who would miss such game play.

Putting game development aside, and focusing on the game itself, I was very excited to see the planet of Onderon, and its moon Dxun. These setting were prominently featured in the stories of Ulic Qel-Droma and the Beast Wars of Onderon, along with the Sith War. It was very cool to walk around the city of Iziz, and see the great towered turrets, which once battled off the Beast Riders of Dxun lead by Oron Kira. There was even a point in the game where Captain Riiken, in conversation with the Jedi Exile (you as the main protagonist) mentions the marriage of Oron Kira to Princess Galia. What struck me about this piece of dialogue was that Captain Riiken mentions that the marriage took place nearly 50 years ago. This struck me because as an amateur Star Wars historian, 50 years ago seems like a really long time to me. It was as if one was to mention the events of World War II in 1995 – such an event was just out of reach, memory wise, to those that came a generation after the occasion. Being born in the late 70’s myself , WWII seems like such a long time ago, like I’m sure the mention of such a historical marriage in the Star Wars universe was to the Jedi Exile, who presumably was born a generation after this event. This little piece of dialogue made me appreciate how deep this universe is, and it reminded me of why I love the Star Wars universe so much. Indeed, intertexuality is one of the main features of Star Wars storytelling.

Moving on, like KOTOR I, there were times in KOTOR II where I had to ask myself: ‘did I miss something?’ The ‘something’ in this case, was the battle of Malachor V.

The battle of Malachor V was a momentous affair in the Star Wars universe, and an event that does not have source text depicting its happenings prior to KOTOR II. The battle of Malachor V is mentioned only briefly in the first KOTOR, and for a while there was a “historical article” on the battle put up by Lucas Arts on its KOTOR II website, but apparently it contained so many continuity errors it was removed.

In KOTOR II, the Jedi Exile was present at the battle, and his actions at that battle were the reason why he was expelled from the Jedi order. Like Revan and Malak being hailed as heroes of the Mandalorian Wars in one text (the end of the KOTOR comic series), and then being presented as villains in the next chronological text (Iridonian Darkness), I was left scratching my head at the mention of the battle of Malachor V. Needless to say, I played through the game knowing that the battle would be explained in more detail, and I then went to wookiepedia to fill in any blanks.

The battle of Malachor V is important to Star Wars history for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it was important because many Jedi were killed in that battle. And secondly, the battle of Malachor V preceded the first destruction of the Jedi order – the destruction of the very few Jedi that did managed to survive the battle.

The battle of Malachor V brings me to my next point of discussion: the first destruction of the Jedi Order in recorded Star Wars chronology.

The six-page comic Unseen, Unheard, which depicts the destruction of Katarr, now makes sense to me. After the battle of Malachor V, a council was called by the Jedi order to convene on the planet Katarr. The council needed to discuss amongst its members how to begin to rebuild the Order, after it had taken such heavy losses. While on Katarr though, Darth Nihilius, a powerful Dark Lord of the Sith who feeds on the Force, was drawn to the planet to destroy and consume the force users present on the surface. Darth Nilhius destroyed the planet and all its inhabitants, save for his apprentice, Visas Marr, and approximately 100 Jedi who managed to somehow escape the genocide.

The council of Katarr reminds me of the council called by Nomi Sunrider in 3986 BBY, 35 years prior. I remember in that particular source text thousands of Jedi met at Exis station to discuss the future of the Republic after the devastation of the Sith War. If there ever is a time to deal a striking blow to the Jedi order, it’s when it meets at a council. Darth Nihilius took his opportunity, and Force-Fed on the many Force sensitive beings meeting on the planet’s surface. I’m interested in seeing how the Jedi Order rebuilds it’s numbers from this point in time, and makes the Order strong once again.

Digressing for a moment, the character of Visas Marr and the Handmaiden were interesting. I thought the sexual tension between the Jedi Exile (a male avatar this time around), Marr, and the Handmaiden was an interesting sub-plot to the larger story.

The most interesting character in this game however, was Darth Traya: otherwise known as Kreia – which brings me to my last point of discussion regarding my reactions to KOTOR II; Gray Jedi.

Gray Jedi, for me, represent an extremely interesting and problematic phenomenon in the Star Wars universe. I have mixed feelings regarding the existence of Gray Jedi in Star Wars. I’ve managed to articulate and organize my feelings into two camps: one camp focuses around the concept of story-telling, while the other camp focuses on my own personal feelings towards “grayness”.

First, I want to provide some perspective on the concept of Gray Jedi, and what this actually means. A quick look at Wookieepedia defines the term Gray Jedi: “The term Gray Jedi, or Gray, had two meanings. First, it was used by Jedi and Sith to describe Force-users who walked the line between the light and dark sides of the Force without surrendering to the dark side, and second, it described Jedi who distanced themselves from the Jedi High Council and operated outside the structures of the Jedi Code.” (Wookieepedia – Gray Jedi).

Wookieepedia then goes on to list some of the more famous Gray Jedi in Star Wars history (non- chronological mind-you) Jolee Bindo from KOTOR I, Qui-Gon Jinn, and the Imperial Knights to name a few (Imperial Knights are found in the far distant future of Star Wars history).

Gray Jedi feel that the Jedi High Council do not have a monopoly on truth and morality and what the will of the Force may be for beings who are gifted with the usage of the Force. They operate outside of the Jedi Order: “The term dated back as far as the Old Sith War, when the High Council attempted to consolidate their power and centralize the Order. Some Jedi felt that the Council did not have the authority to reinterpret the Jedi Code, and considered themselves beholden only to the Force. These early Gray Jedi clashed with the Council over new strictures of the Code, such as those barring attachment or restricting training.” (Wooieepedia – Gray Jedi). It’s Martin Luther at Wittenberg and his 95 theses transplanted into the Star Wars universe.

Luther felt that the central authority of the Church did not properly interpret the bible, and he too also went against the mandate “barring attachment” and was a priest with a wife (which honestly wasn’t unheard of in Europe in that time period). Moreover, Luther, and later Protestants in general felt that they themselves were only beholden to God (re-the Force), and that they themselves could interpret the bible (re the Jedi Code) to fit their lifestyles as how they saw fit; What is more, some Protestants believe that there isn’t in fact, a “correct” interpretation, there was just your “personal opinion”. Similarity in the Star Wars universe, Gray Jedi feel that the Jedi Code is just simply a “certain point of view”, and not the height of proper moral living for a Jedi. But I’m letting my personal views get in the way now. Let me explain why I like Gray Jedi.

From a story telling and role-playing perspective, Gray Jedi are compelling. Gray Jedi open up a whole litany of possibilities for a writer may wish to explore how a character may pursue insight into the Force. Jolee Bindo is interesting; Qui-Gon Jinn is interesting; Kreia is interesting; all because they have that independent, “I don’t need some moral authority telling me how to live my life” attitude. As Frank Sinatra says “they did it their way”. What’s not to love about the rugged independent soldier, who works as ‘the rebel’, ‘the anti-hero’, or the ‘malcontent’? I myself am attracted to all these points of view, as I want to see myself like this in aspects of my own life.

Before I wrote this post I had my own personal ideas on the concept of Gray Jedi, but I wanted a little more insight into what other Star Wars fans thought about it. So I went to my favorite Star Wars discussion board at, and asked what fellow Star Wars fans thought about Gray Jedi. That discussion can be found here, and it’s from that discussion that I’ve pulled some of the ideas I present here.

Again, from a storytelling perspective, one poster by the name of Roda said something I thought very interesting: “A disenchanted Jedi is also a very real possibility in this setting (that of the Old Republic timeframe). A Jedi may not agree with the decisions of the Jedi council during this period of war (for various reasons), so this could prompt a Jedi to distance themselves from the order while he or she chooses his or her own path in these confusing and turbulent times.” I couldn’t agree more with this sentiment, as I find the idea of Gray Jedi an interesting avenue to explore, but ultimately as an avenue as a character whose view of the Force from a Gray philosophy may be noble, but deeply flawed. It is here we get into my own opinion of Gray Jedi.

I don’t like the concept of Gray Jedi because of the idea that Gray Jedi are somehow more “balanced” than other Jedi. Take the character of Kriea for example. In KOTOR II, on the character sheet screen, the player is presented with a sliding scale of the ‘lightness’ or ‘darkness’ of the character. Kreia sits in the middle of this scale, proffering the view that either strict adherence to light or dark one becomes narrow-minded or “unbalanced”. And using the sliding scale at the visual for such a philosophy, one can see how the viewpoint that Jedi that follow the Jedi Code, and are ‘light’ Jedi are indeed somehow unbalanced, and vice-versa for ‘dark’ Jedi.

I think this is a product of our morally pluralistic society. In the discussion post I alluded to earlier, one poster by the name of Rougee touched upon this notion: “People want their cake AND ice cream at the same time. They want the "structure" and power of the Jedi but don't want to be bothered with their moral code, since humans have no moral code in real life anymore anyways”. I found this comment quite profound because I do think that much of Western culture is operating without a moral code, and view institutions and authority suspiciously. If we transplant this suspicion and bring it into our gaming and fantasy life where we indulge ourselves in the Star Wars universe, we begin to see that the Jedi Order is, most certainly, a religious order, and that the Jedi High Council is basically the Star Wars equivalent of the Magesterium of the Roman Catholic Church – and I think that this does not sit well with people. A lot of people don’t like the idea of an institution that sets itself up as a moral authority telling people what to do – in real life or the place they run to in order to escape real life. “I like the idea of being a “lightside” Jedi, but I want to explore this character on my own terms, and not be “restricted” by others ideas.”

I want to challenge the notion that “middle of the road” somehow equals “balanced”. Again, in the discussion thread, a poster by the name of JacenHallis had this to say: “The Force by itself is harmonious, at peace, balanced. Obi-Wan described the Force as an ‘energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together.’ Yoda concurred: ‘Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us. Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. You must feel the Force around you; here, between you, me, the tree, the rock, everywhere’. The Sith philosophy of "power above all" throws The Force off balance. It is a perversion of the Force, using it to do things that it is not meant to do. They use the Force to maliciously harm others. They use the Force to kill. They disrupt the harmony that is the Force's natural state.”

Growing in the knowledge of the lightside of the Force is balance. The lightside of the Force is the balance all Force users should strive to achieve. Following the Gray path means that “balance” has not been realized, and following down the dark path one becomes even more “unbalanced”. To be truly balanced, one must necessarily follow the Jedi Code, as properly interpreted by the Jedi High Council.

I’m being polemic now, so just make sure to take me with a grain of salt.

In my opinion, “grayness” on the part of a Jedi is just a prelude to a fall to the darkside. Kreia offered gray Force philosophy to the Jedi Exile, but the ‘middle of the road’ philosophy spewed by Kreia was just a set-up to candy coat in a layer inclusive wisdom the Jedi Exile’s fall to the darkside. She says to the exile: “One quickly learns the Jedi Code does not give all the answers. If you are to truly understand, then you will need the contrast, not adherence to a single idea.” She presents following a “single idea”, regardless of how good and trustworthy that idea may be, as a silly notion. Palpatine famously used almost the same line on Anakin. In episode three, when Palpatine finally revealed himself to Anakin, he says to him: “Anakin, if one is to understand the great mystery, one must study all its aspects, not just the dogmatic narrow view of the Jedi. If you wish to become a complete and wise leader, you must embrace a larger view of the Force.” It all sounds too rational, too scientific, too “balanced”.

The ‘middle of the road’ gray Force philosophy proffered by Jedi who think the multiple- millennial wisdom the Jedi Order can be bent to suit their own worldviews are sorely mistaken. As Kreia says towards the end of the game: “The Mandalorian wars were a series of massacres that masked another war, a war of conversion”. This conversion is the conversion of the galaxy to the darkside; a world stripped of the moral compass of the Jedi Order, to be replaced by nihilism and apathy. And the galaxy applauds at the new wisdom they have been handed by “the wise” while they gleefully trod down a path of miserly, pain, and loneliness that they have yet to realize.

Man! I really enjoyed KOTOR II!

For my next post I’ll be taking a look back at what I’ve accomplished in the Star Wars Chronology Project thus far, and do a ‘year-in-review’ type post to see where I’m headed from here. Until then my friends, may the Force be with you.


  1. Hello.

    I am an account holder on the TOR forums (Dilucolus Vismus), as well as an avid TSL player, and I would like to point out something in your review.

    Team Gizka has faded off the map, as has their Restored Content Mod. The TSLRCM that everyone refers to was done by DStoney64 and Zbyll, and can be found here:;115177

    I have given you the most recent version. Loved your review and I hope you enjoy the game with the restored content

  2. Hello Dilucolus,

    Thanks for the update on the status of Team Gizka. I had no idea they folded.

    I'm glad you enjoyed my reactions to KOTOR II. Feel free to follow my blog and add your insights. The more the merrier.


  3. In your post, you refer to the Exile as "he." In case you aren't aware, canonically, the Exile is a woman (you can see her canonical appearance at

  4. What the?!?

    So I got it wrong twice?

    Man, that's irritating!

  5. Thoughts of the Gray Jedi
    The ideal of the Gray Jedi is that while the Jedi have the right idea, the council does not know everything there is to know about the Force. To know all of the Force is to have knowledge of both sides of the Force. But, for the most part, the Gray Jedi chose to follow the light. The path to the dark side may be shorter but, the Gray would gain the knowledge of why one would choose the light over the dark. Jolee Bindo had chosen to leave the Order because he had been forced to kill his own wife who had fallen to the dark side. Jolee did not claim to be better than the order, but simply more open minded about those on the other side. Jolee understood that, “There is no passion, there is only the Force,” meant that passion is not the same as love. Love is freely given, agape if I may. So, if one can understand that while love can be mistaken for passion, it is not in itself a path to the dark side. The ideal that many of the Grey hold is that while the dark side is closer, so the light is also within their grasp. To be Grey is to know that while the Jedi have the ideal of peace, light, and so on and so forth, the Jedi are in themselves tainted. The council of Jedi, say that while they are in charge, everything will be alright. But, when the council rules, power is taken advantage of. So, can any of either the Sith or Jedi be trusted? The Grey are what lay in between the two sides, fighting for good but while also never allowing themselves to become a power in the galaxy. Keeping the galaxy balanced is the nature of the Grey. The Grey Order carries no Code, only simple laws that must be abided by all in the Order. Now, one may argue that the Jedi are truly balanced, but I argue simply, how are they completely balanced and free of emotion? The Jedi, have been told to feel nothing, but are yet compelled to protect and feel for the people of the Republic and everywhere a Jedi may journey. How can one accomplish one without the other? Is the perfect Jedi, one who feels no attachment to people, or one who feels everything? The Gray acknowledges that this cannot be. The Grey understands that to one of these pictures of perfection, one is truly closer to the dark side than ever. To feel nothing is to only obey laws clearly without morals is to follow a darker road. To feel everything and connect with everyone is to become attached to everyone, how could one not love then? The Grey chooses that while the Jedi have a beginning the Jedi know not everything, but rather only a small piece. The Grey do not flaunt their knowledge as the Jedi do, but are as the Jedi were first intended, peacekeepers, not scholars who sit in their temples all day and night bickering over politics. No, the Grey move throughout the galaxy doing what need be done without hesitation for politics, only the future of the people they protect. Grey Jedi have always understood that balance must be kept stable, not in favor of the light. Qui-Gon Jin was in essence a Grey Jedi. Qui-Gon understood that the Council was capable of making mistakes, but obeyed the Council to a point, at which Jin made his own choices. Jin studied under one of my favorite and in my opinion one of the most interesting characters, The Count Dooku who was one who realized that, like Kreia in KOTOR 2, one cannot simply walk the path of the light and claim to know all that there is to know about the Force. Qui-Gon learned much under Dooku’s tutelage, most of all when the pair was on a mission to protect a senator, but while the pair was captured by one of Dooku’s childhood friend s, whom was expelled from the Jedi Order. The lesson that Qui-Gon learned that while one can trust a person, the absence of the force can change a person greatly. Qui-Gon was part of the Grey, because while he could have been a member of the Council and sat in the temple all day talking about arguing of foolish issues, but rather Qui-Gon chose to leave the temple of a regular basis, trying to make the galaxy a bit better.
    There you go MKB
    That's my end of the deal.

  6. Student,

    I think you presented well the popular understanding of Gray Jedi, along with the Gary Jedi’s own particular worldview with some interesting examples. However, it’s a worldview I disagree with. My following thesis in response to you is this: Gray Jedi are dangerous, and are not “balanced” force users; indeed, their philosophy and worldview are unbalancing.

    I’ve broken down my reaction to your own thoughts into three categories: The idea of balance and Gray side morality, the Jedi Code and the Jedi Council, and problematic examples of Gray Jedi in history (up to 32 BBY).

    Firstly, many defenders of Gray Jedi philosophy claim the Gray Jedi are more “balanced” than either lightsiders or darksiders, equating their “middle of the road” philosophy to some sort of proof that this means that they are “balanced”, but I don’t think this is the case. From what I’ve gathered in my readings of Star Wars, only the lightside of the Force is where true balance can be achieved. Master Yoda said it best to Luke when he was training him on Dagobah on how he can recognize the darkside from the light: “You will know. When you are calm. At peace”. Being calm and at peace is the balance Master Yoda is making reference to. Believing the idea that Grayness equals balance is the first step into a darker world, and frankly, the beginnings of a dangerous worldview.

    Also, you say that: “The ideal of the Gray Jedi is that while the Jedi have the right idea, the council does not know everything there is to know about the Force”, which I think reveals the Gray Jedi philosophy’s own arrogance. Implied in this statement is the idea that the Gray Jedi are the ones who do know everything – that because they are Gray they do know everything there is to know about the Force. “So certain are you, that everything of the Force you know?” I can hear Master Yoda questioning a young Gray Jedi acolyte.

    What is more, you say: “To know all of the Force is to have knowledge of both sides of the Force.” Spoken like a true Sith Lord I’d say. Does the name Darth Sidious ring a bell? But again, a deep arrogance in Grayside philosophy is revealed here. To know the whole Force you imply that a Jedi needs to walk the dark path – killing, hurting, stealing, and oppressing, to really understand that these things are wrong. A lightside Jedi, or anyone else with a functioning moral compass, can know these things are wrong without experiencing them or enacting them on others. Because a lightside Jedi has not tread the dark path does not mean their knowledge of what it is is inaccurate or untrue. Lived experience of evil does not mean a fuller understating of evil. The reality of evil can be fully understood while walking in the light of the Force.

    Moreover, in my opinion a Gray Jedi is the beginning a fallen Jedi, because they are unable to properly ground their morality. If someone claims they are their own measure of morality (as you imply the Gray do) alarm bells start to ring in my head, because how can they objectively measure their moral actions if they reject any sort of authoritative moral claim? How do they know their actions are bad or good? Because they themselves say so? Very slippery moral reasoning if you ask me.


  7. Secondly, the Jedi Council is a positive authority in the universe, and not an organization that seeks to take advantage of their power, as you claim. To quote Obi-Wan Kenobi: “For over a thousand generations the Jedi Knights were the guardians of peace and justice in the old Republic. Before the dark times. Before the Empire”. It was Sidious and his slow and methodical assault on the Jedi Council that undid them. “The Darkside clouds everything”, Master Yoda says time and again in The Clone Wars. To somehow lay blame on the Jedi Council because of their institutionalized structure dismisses the darkside's real and persistent attack on that structure. Jedi Councils fail only when Gray Jedi philosophy is allowed to worm its way into their heats, thereby setting up a fall into darkness. Moral relativism is the central idea of Gray Jedi philosophy, and a one that falsely claims there are no objective moral truths. You ask: “…can either of the Sith or Jedi be trusted?”. Yes, the Jedi can, and they were, for thousands of generations, until the Sith come along and “unbalanced” things.

    To continue, I want to briefly talk about this notion of authority and how it relates to the Jedi Council. The Gray Jedi carry with them a certain “coolness” factor – the lone wolf striking out on their own, defending peace and justice, all the while being tough enough to kick butt and take names. They’ve got it all. And most importantly, they are beholden to no one. There is no authority to call into question their thinking, someone to tell them that maybe, just maybe, they are wrong. No authority like the Jedi Council can tell them what to do, because, after all, who likes authority? People like Gray Jedi because people, who do not properly appreciate the need and wisdom behind a legitimate authority, feel like the Gray Jedi are true rebels.

    Furthermore, I think in your response you’ve presented the common, although inaccurate, understanding of the Jedi Code. The Jedi are not these emotionless automatons. They are a group of religious who feel deeply – though they endeavour to not let emotions cloud their judgement. The original script of the Jedi Code went: “Emotion, yet peace. Ignorance, yet knowledge. Passion, yet serenity. Chaos, yet harmony. Death, yet the Force.” The first half acknowledges the existence of these intangible experiences, and the second half offers guidance on how to best tread them.


  8. Thirdly, the examples you have provided of Gray Jedi in history, Jolee Bindoo, Qui-Gon Jinn, Count Dooku, and Darth Traya, and all problematic examples. I’ll bookend my comments on these four with the most commonly referenced “champions” of the Gray Jedi way of life: Jolee Bindoo and Qui-Gon Jinn. I’ll deal with Darth Traya and Dooku in the middle.

    If you look at Bindo’s life he’s constantly at odds with the Jedi Council. Now, because he disagrees with the Council does not necessarily make him a Grey Jedi, but every time he dismisses the wisdom of the Jedi Council to follow his own path things go wrong for him *every single time*. Bindo said as much in KOTOR: “Bindo believed that he was unlucky in his life and just had, "So many bad memories, some you never want to think about ever again." By following his own will (that of the Gray Jedi) and not the will of the Council Bindo did not fall to an external darkness; rather, an internal one. Also, he did not kill his wife as you claim. Though I don’t remember in detail the dialogue of KOTOR, Bindo’s write up at wookieepedia says: “Unable to kill his own wife, Bindo let her go; this would ultimately lead to the deaths of many Jedi at her hands before she was finally struck down in battle.” Bindo cannot be made to take responsibility for his wife’s actions. He was right not to kill her. It’s not the Jedi way.

    Moving on to the two darksiders: Dooku and Traya; however, there really isn’t much to say about them. Traya is the one darksider who likes to wrap up her allegiance to the darkside in the morally relevant philosophy of the Gray Jedi point of view. She did this as a technique to lure the Jedi Exile into her trap of lies. She was only a Gray Jedi in disguise. But perhaps at one point she really did believe the Gray Jedi philosophy, and if that is the case, it makes sense that she fell. Grayness is just a step closer to darkness. The lie of Gray Jedi philosophy is that it is possible to straddle the two worlds.

    Take as evidence Dooku and his former padawan Qui-Gon Jinn. Dooku was once a Jedi, but not a Jedi who really embraced the light. He always carried with him a cynical arrogance. As I said of him in my write up in Legacy of the Jedi: “What’s interesting about Dooku as a boy is that when we first meet him he’s already working without a moral framework. It seems Dooku’s actions are not defined by what is “right” or “wrong”, but by the perceived rewards or punishments such actions would produce. When talking about the plot to steal the Sith holocron, Dooku’s ‘frienemy’ Lorian rightly points out to the star padawan: “ ‘If you could do it without the risk of getting caught, you would do it’. Lorian said. ‘So the fact that it’s wrong isn’t really the reason you won’t. Maybe you’re not the true Jedi you think you are’” (pg 7).”


  9. Take as evidence Dooku and his former padawan Qui-Gon Jinn. Dooku was once a Jedi, but not a Jedi who really embraced the light. He always carried with him a cynical arrogance. As I said of him in my write up in Legacy of the Jedi: “What’s interesting about Dooku as a boy is that when we first meet him he’s already working without a moral framework. It seems Dooku’s actions are not defined by what is “right” or “wrong”, but by the perceived rewards or punishments such actions would produce. When talking about the plot to steal the Sith holocron, Dooku’s ‘frienemy’ Lorian rightly points out to the star padawan: “ ‘If you could do it without the risk of getting caught, you would do it’. Lorian said. ‘So the fact that it’s wrong isn’t really the reason you won’t. Maybe you’re not the true Jedi you think you are’” (pg 7).”

    Dooku’s grayness rubbed off on his padawan Qui-Gon Jinn, and most adherents of the Gray Jedi philosophy point to him as the champion who could straddle both worlds, but they’d be wrong to do so. In my opinion, given enough time and encouragement, Qui-Gon would have fallen into darkness much like his old master. I’ll site two reason why I think this. Firstly, in Attack of the Clones, when Dooku had Kenobi captured, he said to the Jedi Knight: “It's a great pity that our paths have never crossed before, Obi-Wan. Qui-Gon always spoke very highly of you. I wish he were still alive. I could use his help right now… he was once my apprentice, just as you were once his. He knew all about the corruptions of the Senate, but he would never have gone along with it if he had learned the truth as I have.” Obi-Wan protests Dooku’s assertions of his fallen Master, and when I watched this scene back in ’02, I was right there with Obi-Wan. Dooku’s delusional, I thought. There is no way Qui-Gon would follow Dooku to fight with the Separatists. But I’m no longer convinced that is the case. In the comic short Life, Death, and the Living Force, Qui-Gon goes on a mass murdering spree following the “will of the Force”, which culminated in his murder of the Silan, an ancient and rare creature, even at the protestations of his padawan. The presentation of Qui-Gon in this comic was definitely “gray”. Secondly, in the comic series Star Wars: Jedi: The Dark Side Qui-Gon killed in cold blood what I would call a confused and wayward young man. You can read my post on that comic to get a fuller sense of what I mean. I bring these examples up because they go into the larger picture of the Jedi Master. Maybe Dooku was not so off-base in his comments to Obi-Wan. Maybe it was a great mercy of the Force that Qui-Gon was killed by the Sith acolyte Maul on Naboo. Maybe if he had lived longer, he’d be fighting with the Separatists alongside his old Master.

    To conclude, it is my assertion that Gray Jedi are dangerous, and are not “balanced” force users; indeed, their philosophy and worldview are unbalancing. Hopefully my unpacking of the idea of balance, the problematic nature of Grayside morality, the Jedi Code, the legitimate authority of the Jedi Council, and an examination of Bindo’s, Traya’s, Dooku’s, and Jinn’s worldview and actions have all demonstrated just how dangerous the Grayside really is. Grayside Jedi are dangerous, and know no more of the Force than a lightside Jedi. Indeed, I’d say their knowledge and insight of the Force is more clouded than a Jedi who walks in the light. If a lightside Jedi were to come across a lone-wolf Graysider, he would need to convince him of the errors of his ways, and invite him back home to the Temple.

    As it is Student, I sincerely enjoy our Star Wars discussions, and I look forward to a continued dialogue with you.

  10. I both agree AND disagree with you. I think while the Jedi are far less evil then the Sith they do however have definite problems. For example in the Mandalorian Wars the Jedi gave me a feeling of "fiddling while Rome burns." They are supposed to be the protectors of the innocent. But they let innocent people die when they could help. They were clearly wrong to do nothing. BUT Revan was wrong as well. When you are fighting in a war you must me necessity to terrible things to survive. And so two things are paramount, one must spend time whenever possible to meditate on what they have done and crawl back as far from the line as possible and do your best to not get any closer to it then you have to. Second it is NOT enough to ONLY trust yourself put you you need to talk to family, friends, loved ones, therapist, pastors :) and anyone else about what you do and how you feel, and remember both that we are our own worst judges of our hearts, and that while it can sometimes be the case that it was a necessary evil that was done, that does NOT change the fact that it was STILL EVIL.

    P.S. I have more thoughts but I will save them for another post.

  11. Thanks for commenting Veronica (Great name btw – ‘Veronica’ was shorted listed as one of the names for my daughter). I think for the most part we’re on the same page regarding the notion of grey Jedi. I agree with your characterization of the Jedi “fiddling while Rome burns” during the Mandalorian war, that’s a great way of putting it.

    Any kind of large scale conflict will always put the Jedi Order in a difficult situation. I think of all the material I’ve read to date, the Jedi Order’s actions in the Yinghorri invasion of Mayvitch 7 as depicted in Jedi Council: Acts of War, was the most balanced, in that they were able to bring their martial prowess to bear in a convincing manner, all the while trying to, and I think succeeding in, protecting the common good.
    It’s my impression that the Jedi don’t follow a utilitarian philosophy when trying to navigate the “fog of war”, but rather cling to ideals such as “the ends DO NOT justify the means”. I wonder if the Jedi council has a formal teaching on warfare similar to the Catholic Church, notions such as war is only justifiable when:

    “In self-defense, as long as there is a reasonable possibility of success. War is justifiable when it is a preventive war against a tyrant who is about to attack. War to punish a guilty enemy. A war is not legitimate or illegitimate simply based on its original motivation: it must comply with a series of additional requirements; namely: It is necessary that the response be commensurate to the evil; use of more violence than is strictly necessary would constitute an unjust war. Governing authorities declare war, but their decision is not sufficient cause to begin a war. If the people oppose a war, then it is illegitimate. The people have a right to depose a government that is waging, or is about to wage, an unjust war. Once war has begun, there remain moral limits to action. For example, one may not attack innocents or kill hostages. It is obligatory to take advantage of all options for dialogue and negotiations before undertaking a war; war is only legitimate as a last resort. Under this doctrine, expansionist wars, wars of pillage, wars to convert infidels or pagans, and wars for glory are all inherently unjust.”

    I imagine that the numerous scholars of the Jedi Order have come to some similar type of teaching on when the Jedi Order can rightly go to war.

    I also liked your comment that when trying to figure out what to do in a situation it’s incumbent upon us to look outside ourselves for justification, but to also turn to family, friends, loved ones, therapist, and pastors. I couldn’t agree more.

    I look forward to your additional thoughts.