In Focus: Is the Jedi Consular a Sith?

Written by Clive Webster

August 10, 2011 | 11:03

Tags: #analysis #class #discussion #in-focus #jedi #mmo #reaction #sith #star-wars #swtor #the-old-republic #trailer #video

Companies: #electronic-arts

Is the Jedi Consular a Sith?

The latest trailer for Star War: The Old Republic is out (see below) and the disparity between the cinematics and gameplay footage continues. However, I think the newly revealed Jedi Consular might actually be a Sith. And might be woefully boring despite that deception.

Let’s start with the more damning of those claims. At various points throughout the trailer (1:04, 1:11 and possibly 1:22) the Jedi Consular is seen healing, and even resurrecting, fallen comrades. But consider the conversation between Palpatine and Anakin from Episode III (I know, I know, but bear with me):

Palpatine to Anakin: It's not a story the Jedi would tell you. It's a Sith legend. Darth Plagueis was a Dark Lord of the Sith, so powerful and so wise he could use the Force to influence the midi-chlorians to create life ... He had such a knowledge of the dark side that he could even keep the ones he cared about from dying.

So isn’t Force-resurrect a Sith power? Even Force-heal might be a Sith power – it’s not something that any Jedi talks about at any point in any film, and yet is surely a rather handy skill. Even Master Yoda seems to know nothing of healing via the Force and he has the highest midi-chlorian level after Anakin (too far with the prequel guff?).

Perhaps SW:TOR is ignoring the near-heretical prequels, but it seems more likely that Force-heal abilities are a clunky way to introduce healing into a video game at the expense of consistency with the source material. This is a shame, because Star Wars has already dealt with the idea of rapid healing: the bacta tank on Hoth and the excellent prosthetics to name the two obvious examples.

Wouldn’t it have been better to just have make-do med-kits during fights, and then after-battle scenes of your character in a bacta tank surrounded by medical droids to handle the real healing? If you really got mangled, maybe you’d have to choose a prosthetic to replace a missing limb. These mechanical additions could even have perks – a natural hand could give +1 strength, while a machine-like hand might give bigger bonuses for -1 charisma, or whatever attribute system SW:TOR uses.

Force-heal and Force-resurrect look like lazy and incongruous additions to a Star Wars game, even if the former has been used in previous Star Wars games. As it is, SW:TOR looks like a typical MMO with a Star Wars skin, rather than a genuine addition to the canon.

*In Focus: Is the Jedi Consular a Sith?
This is some concept art from SW:TOR - I wish the game looked more like this.

Even worse, the newly revealed Jedi Consular class seems to reinforce the worst aspects of the Jedi circa Episode I. The blurb for the class says, ‘Introducing Jedi Consulars, who channel the power of the Force for strength in combat and wisdom in diplomacy.

Essentially, the Jedi Consular is an intergalactic diplomat – how dull. Is the next Jedi class going to be the Jedi Trade Negotiator, with the reveal trailer featuring a bloke who looks surprisingly like Liam Neeson in a beard and wig? Or maybe it’ll be the Jedi Filibusterer? Jedis used to come in three flavours: Master, Knight or Padawan. This was perfect for the original portrayal of the Jedi as an esoteric religious order with heavy militaristic leanings. Since when did they become the intergalactic Foreign Office?

This latest trailer (in fact, all of the gameplay trailers to date) hardly fills me with excitement for Star Wars: The Old Republic. I've got a bad feeling about this…

In Focus is a regular discussion and analysis of the latest games trailers
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