Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic will celebrate its 20th anniversary today, July 15, 2023. Below, we take a look at how it challenges and overturns some of the most popular War antics. among the stars.
Star Wars is haunted by what machines and memories create, selves fading at the intersection of metal and flesh. Darth Vader is the most obvious example of this. Anakin’s descent into the dark side of reality in his disfigured body. Obi-Wan says he’s “more mechanical than human”, a fact motivated by his stated inability to redeem himself. The Demon of Star Wars is associated with a crippled body, specifically one that used to have flesh, muscles, and nerves, but is now connected to electrical circuits.
Droids cannot be “force sensitive” in the way that humans can, and therefore they cannot withstand the moral weight of metal. But they are still considered less. Droids provide slave labor and are owned by heroes as well as villains. A new hope is established within the first 20 minutes that the robot’s memories are regularly erased. Luke’s uncle Owen suggested it by casually asking Luke to take out the trash. In the Star Wars universe, there’s a whole class of people whose memory abilities are entirely dependent on their possessors. Both inside and outside of its fiction, the perceived humanity of sentient beings depends on whether you are made of metal or not.
While much of the narrative engine of Knights of the Old Republic revolves around simple binaries between good and evil, machines and humans, it also drives them. That might seem odd, since in retrospect, KOTOR was like an attempt to go back to the good old days of Star Wars. That way, it’s clearly not subversive. It offers much of the same suspense and plot points as the original movies. An evil empire rises to threaten a group of resistance fighters on the run. Your hero picks up two brave cyborgs: an astrology robot and a protocol robot. The climax involves the destruction of a powerful space station. The most famous, of course, is the plot that revolves around a turning point in identity.
However, KOTOR still plays according to the established formula. The game is set in Han Solo as a teenage girl, its C-3P0 is not a weird coded housekeeper but a killer robot obsessed with killing: HK-47 is fan-favored by fans. favorite grave. Its identity is not about its heritage, but about itself. The player’s own identity is revealed to be Sith Lord Revan whose memory has been erased. Previously presumed dead, Revan was actually brainwashed by the Jedi, in the hope that they might be the key to defeating the Sith Empire.
This twist has an obviously weird character. Revan is a chosen name, separate from both the Jedi and the Sith until they turn to the dark side. Consider Revan’s mask, a device that allows KOTORs to twist, but also makes them invisible, unrecognizable, until the Jedi remove it. The game can’t take that into account.”weird horror“to borrow a phrase and framework. A light-faced Revan leaves no room for feelings of betrayal, nor is a dark-faced Revan’s motivations for anything but petty revenge. Revan is between reintegration into the system that rejected them or becoming the viper head of the space empire.
It’s hardly an attractive choice, as the difference between light and shadow is almost imitative. Threaten sellers with lower prices or no, trade peace with the Tusken Raiders or slaughter them all, pledge allegiance to the Empire on Korriban or allegiance to the fractured Republic. However, hidden deep in the game’s subtext, the difference between darkness and light can be a bit small. In one of the many seeds for the game’s turning point, one team member described “Dark Jedi interrogation techniques” that “can wipe your memories and destroy your identity.” But only the average Jedi would actually use these methods in KOTOR’s story. Later, when her companion Bastila was tortured to join the dark side, her memories and sense of self remained intact. Both sides, however, used their power mercilessly to reshape the others, unafraid to bolster their ranks by coercion.
The equivalence between darkness and light is something it shares with the prequels. Both the stormtroopers (in A New Hope) and the Jedi (in The Phantom Menace) appear on Tatooine for their own mysterious purposes and then disappear. Neither of them intended to free the slaves. Mace Windu insists that the Jedi are not warriors; he leads the battalions an hour and a half later. The binary between flesh and metal is similarly questioned. Both clones and droids serve the same purpose: Both are manufactured and both die for their creators. Attack of the Clones delivers one of the franchise’s most striking visual poetic moments: Meat clones are created in a completely cold and unnatural environment while the droids battle built in the center of a mountain, enclosed in the ground.
Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic Remake Update | PlayStation Showcase 2021
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Although Star Wars offers the most logical logic of human conduct, it also constantly equates machines with humans. In Return of the Jedi, Luke recognizes his father’s humanity in his severed, sparkly hand, a robotic limb resembling his own. In KOTOR, Revan restores HK-47’s memories just as they later restore their own, although they never fully regain their memories. Revan’s mind is as malleable as a robot. In a similar tactic, both of KOTOR’s endings are essentially the same, with Revan in front of the crowd, celebrating their victory. The main difference is the colors of the flags flying and the music being played.
Lately, Star Wars has all gravitated toward the most conservative and restorative elements of its fantasy. The Mandolorian and The Book of Boba Fett take the lead in terms of the same empty myth and action figure pose. Even The Last Jedi, which sparked massive, misplaced rage and received somewhat outrageous praise for its subversiveness, ultimately asserts mythical power, yet remains consumerist. use of the series. The film ends with children playing one of the movie’s scenes with a handmade Luke Skywalker toy.
It’s easy to think of Star Wars as a wonderful, sparkly trap. The massiveness of cultural imports, the often dry aridity of the world, and its recalcitrant but recalcitrant approach to easy binaries can make it feel self-contained. The popular sci-fi fantasy, whether it’s titled Star Wars or not, it’s impossible to actively question and shatter its assumptions. Revan makes me crave it. I want a better world for them, for all the Star Wars cyborgs, where memories and egos are unfettered and cannot be stolen. But for Revan, like everyone else, there is only one destiny: to play the role others give you and to do what has to be done.
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