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The Philosophy of Kreia: A Critical Examination of Star Wars

The Philosophy of Kreia: A Critical Examination of Star Wars

I am but a mirror whose only purpose is to show you what your own eyes cannot yet see. Whenever people list their favorite well-written character in gaming, Kreia tends to be brought up as a shining example. With her Shakespearean mannerism and Machiavellian attitude, she is without a doubt, one of the most interesting and fleshed out characters in gaming. Her reputation primarily comes from her philosophy that tends to be often misunderstood both in all world and in the story itself. However, no matter how well-written of a character she may be, Kreia does not exist in a vacuum. To be able to fully understand Kreia and her philosophy, some background information about the Jedi and Sith ideologies and their differences is required. In the original Star Wars movie, there was never any defined philosophical distinction between the Jedi and Sith. We only understood that the Jedi were good, and that the Sith were evil. There are some thematic hints such as the Jedi being in tune with nature, while the Empire and the Sith rely on on cold technology. The first hint of a philosophical explanation came from Yoda in the Empire Strikes Back. Later, new materials was added in the Star Wars Expanded Universe, over the years, that fleshed out the Jedi and Sith. But it was only when the game Knights of the Old Republic was released that the Jedi and Sith were each given a coherent ideology. The core of each faction’s belief can be understood from their code that outlined the principle tenets of how one should live their life in relation to the Force. Let’s start with the Jedi Code. By itself, the Jedi Code makes little sense and has brought up a lot of confusion. For example, the very first line: ”there is no emotion there is peace” is often misinterpreted at the code saying that there’s no such thing as emotions. It is only when you add the word ‘when’ to each sentence that the Jedi Code becomes understandable. When there is no emotion there is peace. When there is no ignorance there is knowledge. When there is no passion there is serenity. When there is no chaos there is harmony. Essentially, most of the Jedi Code is repeating the same axiom that when there is no conflict or emotions peace is achieved. The last line of the code could be taken as literal. There is no death there is the Force. When you die, you become one with the Force. But it could also be understood that when there is no death there is the Force. Meaning that everything that is living is connected to the Force. Both interpretations are valid. The real world equivalent of the Jedi Code is Buddhist philosophy which is appropriate as the Jedi are essentially space wizards samurai monks. The Force, itself a living energy, found an all thing, that binds the universe together is similarly shared in Buddhist philosophy called prāna. It’s also commonly known as Chi energy and other different names. By being at peace, you can become in tune with life in the universe. Meditation is a key aspect of Buddhism that is often used by the Jedi to center themselves and remain calm. Buddhism has myriad’s of teachings and schools of thoughts, but the core shared belief is that all suffering is caused by desires which creates conflict. Much like the Jedi, Buddhism preaches, tranquility, peace and only using your strength for self-defense. In contrast, the Sith never had much in terms of philosophy in any of the movies. The Emperor was evil for the sake of evil. And Vader was nothing more than a broken man in a shell. It is only in the first Knights of your Republic game that the Sith were given a proper ideological foundation that went beyond the simple grapples of being evil. On Korriban, the Sith code is introduced as an alternative to the Jedi Code. The first line: ”that peace is a lie there is only passion” is a direct refutation of the Jedi axiom that peace can only be found if there are no emotions, and in turn it becomes the axiom of the Sith. Just like the Jedi, the Sith equally follow a real-world equivalent: the philosophy of Nietzsche. He similarly valued conflict to better oneself– to use your will to create meaning. The well-known quote: ”what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” very much defines the Sith as an ideology. By affirming your life and imposing your will you can change the world and mold that as you see fit with your power. This is the ideological groundwork of both philosophies and in idealized manner. And, like all philosophies at the conceptual and abstract level, it is only how we understand how they are applied that we see their strengths and failings. So now that we have some basic context for the Jedi and Sith, we can dive deeper into what makes Kreia so interesting. Among the canon of Star Wars, Kreia is unique because she experienced the pinnacles of the Jedi and Sith and saw their failings. Kreia’s life history gives us an insight to what she learned among those groups. However, her life story isn’t told in a linear fashion. We need to piece together the clues that are scattered throughout the game. Since the early days, there is a popular theory that Kreia is the Jedi Master Arren Kae who trained Revan as a Padawan. This is correct but it’s not a complete truth. What is important to understand is that Kreia was known as Arren Kae in the early days of her life. I’ll explain why later. Kae was a historian and Jedi Master. She strongly believed in the Jedi Code but found that it lacked something. She saw that the Jedi Order were failing their students as many kept falling to the Dark Side continuously. The allure of power and the call of the Dark Side is always present but it doesn’t explain why the Jedi would constantly fall despite their training. There was something missing in the Jedi Code itself. Unlike the rest of the Jedi that ignored the teachings of the Sith and viewed it as taboo. Kae learned the contrast to see she could strengthen the Jedi by understanding what made the Sith it so alluring. When you ask Kreia about Atris, she mentioned that Atris mirrors a stage of her own past life. This is likely how Kae used to be before she joined the Mandalorian Wars. Kae likely advocated Sith values such as the value of conflict which other Jedi Masters despised. This was the beginning of her fall from the Jedi Order. During that period, Kae met the Echani general Yusanis and fell in love. When the male Exile spars with the Handmaiden Brianna, the daughter of Kae, Kreia wonders what would happen if you continued to spar. To me, this seems too insightful and personal to be a simple observation. This is likely what happened: Kae sparred with Yusanis, repeatedly, then submitted to him and fell in love. Just as her daughter that denounced her oath to Atris, Kae denounced her oath to the Jedi Order. What Kae did during the war and afterwards is a mystery. She fought under Revan with Yusanis but nothing much as know afterwards. The Jedi Master Kavar and the Handmaiden Brianna assume that Kae had died at Malachor V. (What didn’t kill me made me stronger) At that point, history becomes even more uncertain. Kae fell deeper to the Dark Side and despised the Jedi for exiling her. There are no hints of what happened before Kae became known as Darth Traya. During and after the events of the first Knights of the old Republic game until the beginning of the Knights of the old Republic 2 game, Traya trained Nihilus and Sion. Nothing is known about the origins of both men other that they were tragedies of the Mandalorian Wars. That is when Darth Traya reached the height of her power. And from that pinnacle of power, she was stripped of her connection to the Force. And it was at that moment that Kreia was born. At that point, it’s not entirely known how Kreia escaped death and found the Exile. I would like to think that Revan ended up on Malachor V with the Ebon Hawk and Kreia escaped using the ship. On the Harbingers log, it reports that the Ebon Hawk was under attack from a Sith Warship. is very likely that he (Sion) was trying to capture her and Kreia just happened to find the Exile by ””””’chance””””. And that’s the events that lead up to the beginning of the game. So this is the basic overview of her long life history. It will be important as a reference of the foundation of Kreia’s philosophy. The reasons why Kreia eventually left the Jedi Order gives us a greater understanding of their failings. Just like Atris, Kae sought to understand why so many of the greatest of the Jedi fell to the Dark Side despite their training. The Disciple and the Jedi Masters Zez Kai-Ell ponder on this point: The Jedi Code does not offer all the answers because it lacks something instinctual to all of life. The axiom that peace can only be obtained if there are no conflict hides a deeper truth: peace can only be achieved if there is no ego. What the Jedi lack is the ability of being human and finding value in their life. The Jedi understood, maybe unconsciously, that if anyone were allowed to seek conflict, to have adventures, to make friends, love, or just live life; it would lead people down the path to the Dark Side. The Jedi cannot permit *any* to have a sense of pride or desires. They train those who are Force Sensitive so that they may you lock their abilities for the good of the galaxy. They adhere so strongly to the Jedi Code as a suppression of all conflict which only weakens them and doesn’t actually prevent some from falling to the Dark Side. This can be seen as a major failing of the Jedi with Anakin in the prequel movies. Anakin loved Padme and feared losing her like he did with his mother. He went to see Yoda for some counsel and the only advice that was given was some Buddhist anti life lessons. That’s an easy thing to say when you don’t value anything to be at peace. Anakin couldn’t accept losing Padme because he loved her and it brought him down the path to the Dark Side and the destruction of the Jedi Order. Forming bonds and having emotional value towards others makes you weaker and susceptible to the Dark Side but it also makes you human. This is a lesson that the Jedi do not teach. It is something Jolee Bindo references as well in the first Knights of New Republic game. The Jedi teach their followers to become automatons by following the code and lose their connections to humanity in the process. But even through such rigid trainings, human nature persists; it seeks conflict, desires adventures. It wants to exist and live! The greater your connections to life and to others, the more you are susceptible to falling to the Dark Side. This is echoed with Luke in the Empire Strikes Back when he starts to have visions of his friends being tortured in the possibility of them dying. And Yoda was right as it was a trap but what is interesting is Luke’s decision after Vader offers to join forces with him to defeat the Emperor. He follows the Jedi way by sacrificing himself rather than falling to the Dark Side and causing more suffering. The basic principle of altruism is that a person has no right to exist their own sake and must serve others as the only justification for their existence. With self-sacrifice being the highest moral duty, virtue and value. Duty is the moral necessity to perform certain action with no reason other than the obedience of some higher authority and purpose without any regards to personal goals motives or desires. The core of altruism is self-destruction and the view that the self is evil with selflessness being the standard of the good. After you free Atton from his prison cell on Peragus, the Exile has to go down a shaft to find a way back to the Ebon Hawk. Atton warns that it’s suicide. One of the dialog options is saying that a Jedi’s life is sacrifice and therefore there is nothing to fear. After you escape the station of Peragus, Kreia talks about starting a war with these new Sith. And, again, the Exile has a dialogue option that a Jedi’s life is sacrifice. This teaching principle is echoed throughout the game with the Jedi Master Zez-Kai-Ell on Nar Shaddaa and the Jedi Master Kavar on Dantooine. In Nietzschean terms, the Jedi are the embodiment of Slave Morality. The essence of Slave Morality is utility for unity; the good that is the most useful to the whole community at the expense of the individual. Another way of seeing this is that the Jedi are apathetic to the suffering of all life in the galaxy and only help out out of obligation when they are nearby, not because they want to change anything or help. The Jedi are preventing the greater evil by not using their power to mold the galaxy as they see fit. If we look at the Jedi from a lifelong linear experience, it gives a greater overview of how the Jedi teaching are anti-life. At a very young age the Jedi remove children that are Force-Sensitive from their families so that they may not form connections with their parents. Some people were surprised that the Jedi initially rejected Anakin to be trained when he was only 9 years It made sense for Yoda to reject Luke, as he was already an adult. But… even Anakin, at his age, was too old? The Jedi Council correctly sensed that Anakin had already formed connections with his mother and feared losing her. The key point is emotional bonds. The younglings grow up with their first memories being with a Jedi, only knowing the Jedi way, never forming any connections; learning the higher mysteries of the Force and its techniques. They becomes zen, losing their ego, forgoing any selfish desires to never succumb to the Dark Side, teach a new generation this process and then die of old age. What kind of life is that? It’s such a waste of life and their time alive. By teaching their students never to value their life, never seeking any selfish desires and to accept their death as a natural part of life, the Jedi Code… destroys… human nature. You would assume that the Sith are more humane than the Jedi by being more individualistic but, ironically, they’re even worse! Their failing is that they become so consumed by their lust for power that they forget why they fell to the Dark Side in the first place; becoming monsters that bring doom to the galaxy. But throughout that quest for power, what have the Sith achieved? What changes or value have they brought to the galaxy? Nothing…. This rise and fall of the Sith is a life story that is echoed many times in the Star Wars Canon. The pull of the Dark Side is that once you fall you become unaware that you desire more power for the sake of power until you become an agent of evil. In the first Knights of the old Republic game, you can talk with the Sith Yuthura Ban about her past. She reveals her life story about how she joined the Sith. She remained trapped, trying to become the next leader of the Sith Academy for more power, rather than achieve her dreams. This is echoed similarly with Anakin when he joined the Sith to prevent the visions of Padme’s death. After committing his path down the Dark Side by killing the younglings and eradicating the separatist leaders, Padme tried to bring him back from the Dark Side but… it was already too late. (God I love that evil smile) There is an alternative ending in the Revenge of the Sith game where Anakin won his duel against Obi-wan on Mustafar. it shows his further descent towards the Dark Side and his desire of being in control.>implying high ground memes are real This is part of what Kreia understood when she lost her power and connection to the Force. She squabbled to obtain power for years, had the ability to change whatever she desired, and, in the end, she lost everything and changed nothing. In Nietzschean terms, the Sith are the embodiment of Master morality. The essence of Master morality is individual strength that promotes power and influence. Another way of seeing this is that the Sith only care about themselves and consider everything that furthers their power to be good while anything that diminishes their power to be bad. There’s nothing wrong with seeking power as it is the nature of all life to impose their will on the world but when you amass yourself among people who only seek power for the sake of power rather than seeking progress or to change anything, it becomes self-destructive to the point where nothing is achieved. The Sith, as an ideology, is unsustainable, and leads to death rather than overall improvement. And, as a continual lifestyle, it is vain and does not provide any amount of peace. This lack of fulfillment is heavily reflected with Sion. His only goal was to destroy the Jedi and bring pain to the galaxy. After you defeat him on Malachor V, you can ask him ”was it worth it?” and he tells you the truth: Near the end of the game, if you take the Dark Side path and kill all the Jedi Masters then go to Dantooine, Kreia will ask you a simple question that you cannot avoid. Whichever option you select, the answer is essentially the same: ”no I have not obtained peace, there are still more people to fight, to kill”. So, now that we have a complete understanding of the failings of the Jedi and Sith, Kreia’s philosophy becomes much more poignant now that we can understand what she tried to teach the Exile and by extension the player. The core value of Kreia’s philosophy are rather simple as she advocates many of the Sith teachings. However, it would be foolish to simply classify her as a Sith considering she doesn’t identify as either a Jedi nor Sith. The only way to comprehend what she stood for is to examine her interactions and observations throughout the game. At the beginning of the story, on Peragus, Kreia only wishes to escape the clutches of Sion and to protect the Exile. She doesn’t say anything of substance regarding her philosophy as survival is the only thing that matters at this point. After escaping, Kreia offers herself to be a teacher to the Exile. Upon landing on Telos, you’re placed under house arrest for blowing up a solar system and are given two possible paths to take. You can help the weak Ithorians that promise to help you in very vague terms or you can work with the galaxy’s spawning conglomerate (Czerka) that will reward you with wealth. Let’s side with the Ithorians as it is the faction that is considered to be the Light Side path. The Ithorians are weak with grand plans to heal the planet from a past Sith attack by restoring and reviving the ecosystem. But… they lack strength to impose their will. As such, they beg you to help them over the Czerka corporation. However, Kreia doesn’t approve of the relationship. You do all their quest without any reward for your work and then you obtain your ship. But then, just as you’re about to fly away to the Northern area, you get a message from their herd that they’re being attacked by Czerka mercenaries. Because they’re weak, they’re completely reliant on you to survive. And this is weakness. You have no obligations to save them. You can just ignore them and fly away… There is an equal lesson if you decide to work with Czerka instead of the Ithorians. You conduct illegal dealings, lie and steal from the Ithorians, do jobs for the galactic mafia The Exchange; all for monetary compensation. Unlike the Ithorians, Kreia doesn’t disapprove because you are being compensated for your strength. However, it should be noted that money is a tool for exchanging good and services, so relying on it as a source of power is weakness. Czerka relies on its wealth to enforce their might on Talos by hiring mercenary. This is weakness because it can only buy influence from those who have strength rather than rely on their own. When the mercenaries decide to storm the offices of Czerka for more money, the head of the company is powerless to stop them. UUUU These two paths echo the lesson of strength that Kreia advocates from the Sith: do not rely on others as the source of your power build your own strength. Another planet of importance–Nar Shaddaa– is a great microcosm of Kreia’s philosophy because it is a lawless planet where only the strong can strive. Everyone is squabbling for any amount of power; mercenaries and bounty hunters roam around, and a weak fear the strong. You have to find a hidden Jedi Master on a planet of billions and the plot will only progress if you do enough quests by causing a lot of trouble. But before you can start, there is an unavoidable event of great interest at the beginning of the map that has become an iconic moment in the game. The first option is to give it to charity while the second option is to indulge in your psychotic urges to scare the homeless man away. Whichever option you select, Kreia will scorn you. if you choose the Light Side option she will complain that being altruistic without thinking is bad. Kreia is not advocating against charity, she simply wants you to understand how inconsequential aid can affect others, even if you try to do good. The Dark Side option also has its criticism from Kreia. Again, Kreia is not saying that you shouldn’t indulge in your passions but that you should only do so when it is worthwhile and useful. After that encounter you have the rest of Nar Shaddaa as your playground to stir up trouble. Upon entering a marketplace, the Exile begins to feel the current of life of all the people living on Nar Shaddaa. There’s an interesting dialogue option on whether it is possible to move (manipulate) the masses. And Kreia offers an interesting answer. Manipulation is arguably one of the most undefined aspect of Kreia’s philosophy as it is something that cannot be taught only learn instinctively, then understood rationally. Let’s focus on the refugee center as it holds an important lesson on manipulation. On Nar Shaddaa, there’s a large bounty placed on the Jedi. The intergalactic crime syndicate The Exchange have clamped down hard under refugees in an attempt to break their will. Initially, there doesn’t seem to be any reason for such a horrible treatment. But… it’s later revealed that The Exchange is doing this to draw out the Jedi into helping the refugees. Obviously, if you start helping the refugees like a goody-two-shoes, Kreia will start to scorn you. There is an interesting side quest that reinforces this lesson. In the refugee landing pad, you’ll find Lootra that is searching for his lost love. Upon finding his lover and reuniting them, Kreia is dismissive of having helped them. What Kreia wishes to teach is not that you shouldn’t help others, but if people are unable to help themselves, you can manipulate them by using them to create echoes that benefit you. So… returning to the refugees, despite their miserable conditions, they still cling to hope. Walking around the Refugee area, you’ll find a sick man in a corner suffering from what he assumes is to be the plague. Unlike the typical knee-jerk Jedi response to heal without thought, you can convince him to kill himself using guilt. Elsewhere, in the refugee area, a mother is weeping, begging you to return her daughter that had been kidnapped. Now… you *could* pay her debts but if you seek out to help out everyone you’ll be penniless almost immediately. So… you can persuade her to sell herself into slavery, that way at least she’ll be with her daughter. After convincing these two, the refugee leader will become depressed and will cave into the demands of The Exchange. Achieving this will result a hand of applause by Kreia. Forcing the refugees to capitulate will almost immediately grab the attention of The Exchange, as well as the Jedi Master you’re seeking. By examining how all the threads affect each other, you have become closer to your goal without having to do much. *That* is the lesson of manipulation. Now, this might bring up some obvious moral questions but Kreia would simply tell you to ignore them. If you are significantly down the path to the Dark Side and find the Jedi Master on Nar Shaddaa, the Wookie Hanharr will be added to the party. When speaking to Hanharr, he explains to you the customs of the Wookiees, regarding Life Debts. In a way Life Debts are a form of slavery but of the mind that bind a person into servitude. In his madness, Hanharr killed his tribe to save them from becoming slave to others. It’s the reason why he wears shackles around his wrists. If you ask him why he doesn’t simply abandon his codes, he answers that he cannot; he would no longer be a part of his tribe. He would have to create his own codes, his own values based on nothing. And that is something he cannot do. As the Exile remarks, to face such oblivion to stand firm in your own conviction and belief, free of ready-made codes— *that* is a lesson of strength. If you become a slave to codes or an ideology then your entire being is dictated by categorical imperatives; abstract notions of your mind– it means to live by pure ideology to the point where you no longer have selfish values or desires as though you’re no longer alive! This is represented beautifully with Zaalbar near the end of the first Knights of the old Republic game where he has to choose whether to uphold his Life Debt or to side with his best friend. HAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHA Upon returning to Kreia, you tell her your discovery: Hanharr is strong yet he is powerless; raw strength is nothing compared to the will of mind. The lesson is about volition, the power to use your will which is equally as important as obtaining power. Never live for the sake of another or an ideology, live for yourself. And if you do believe in an ideology then find its opposite so that you may reinforce it by correcting its flaws. Become what strengthens an ideology not a slave to it by following it dogmatically. After Kreia explains this lesson, she introduces a final test to the player directly to see if they’ve understood her philosophy. Accepting this power will give a permanent +2 to your strength. (Master-Slave morality relationship) More power is always good… right? If you’ve understood anything about Kreia’s philosophy, then the answer should be obvious. But it is choice that few people have ever made while playing this game. Most accept this gift, blindly, without understanding the ‘true’ lesson of strength. Kreia will ask why you would reject such an offer. The answer given forshadows a decision made on Malachor V and why the Exile is so important to the Star Wars canon. And if you’re curious whether this was a test, the Exile wonders the exact same thing. The rest of the planets–Korriban, Dxun, Onderon— they do not have any interesting moments involving Kreia that reflect her philosophy. As such, they can be ignored and we can move on to the final parts of the story that have a greater focus on what she stood for and her motivations. After confronting and defeating Atris, you can ask her what she thinks is Kreia’s motivation. While it is true that Kreia seek the destruction of the Jedi, the Sith, and the Force, it is simply a means to an end to her actual goal. At the end of the game, on Malachor V, Kreia explains how she used the Exile to accomplish her goals. If you go down the path to the Dark Side and kill all the Jedi Masters, Kreia explains that they needed to be killed but does that provide an answer of why. The true reason Kreia sought the destruction of the Jedi Order was to correct the mistakes of the past so that they wouldn’t happen again in the future. After the destruction of these new Sith, if many of the Jedi Masters still lived the Jedi Order would be rebuilt without any change. The true failing of the Jedi is that they are blind, reject any deserve but unwilling to change or grow. Jolee Bindo even references this point about how the Jedi are fallible. If you take a Light Side path and bring the Jedi Masters to Dantooine, they reveal the reason why they exiled the Exile. Rather than seeking to understand the reasons why the Exile became that way and to correct their ways, they chose to remain blind and to ignore the issue entirely. However, it is only by understanding why Kreia desires to destroy Atris and Sith, that the destruction of the Jedi is given greater context to her overall goal. As mentioned previously, Atris mirrors of stage of Kreia’s past life when she was known as Arren Kae and began to learn more about the Sith to strengthen the Jedi Order. Disgusted about how the Jedi did not live up to her ideals, Atris desired to train better Jedi after the Sith were destroyed. However, if Atris were allowed to rebuild the Jedi Order, she would have corrupted Jedi into Sith. The Exile even has a dialogue option pointing out this observation. (Revan would have been the type of Jedi Atris would have created)
And while Revan is considered to be one of (Revan would have been the type of Jedi Atris would have created)
the greatest Force users in the Star Wars Canon, (Revan would have been the type of Jedi Atris would have created)
this was not enough for Kreia (Revan would have been the type of Jedi Atris would have created)
because she saw something more. When the Exile enters the tomb on Korriban, visions appear of the Exile’s past and what could have been. At the end of the tomb, an alternate version of the Exile can be seen alongside Revan that accepted power on Malachor V rather than cut all ties to the Force. After the Exile defeats the evil version of itself, Revan unleashes his double lightsaber, ready for combat. What is important to note is the color of the lightsaber. Blue is typically the color of the Jedi, while Red is the color of the Sith. However, there is a single exception that happen by ”pure chance” while Lucas was explaining this concept to Samuel L. Jackson. A combination of Blue and Red creates the synthesis of Purple. The casting of Mace Windu equally reflects the lightsaber color. Samuel L. Jackson typically plays aggressive and overly angry characters, and in the prequel movies, he’s also playing that same role but forced to be passive. On Wookiepedia, the Expanded Universe lore describes Mace Windu as being able to fight aggressively without falling to the Dark Side. His fighting style highlights his inner-darkness that lets him walk the line between the Light and the Dark while still being in control. But going back to Revan, one of his lightsaber is Purple, showing a synthesis of the Jedi and Sith. However, on his other hand, he holds a Red lightsaber, showing that Revan is firmly among the Sith. The true failing of Atris is out rather than improve the Jedi, she would have corrupted them into Sith, in an effort to preserve the techniques and teachings of how to command the Force. The destruction of the Sith, however, is much more straightforward and obvious. The Sith indulge in their passion, destroying their humanity to obtain more power and become agents of evil that bring ruin to the galaxy. The further you use the Force as a tool, corrupting it for your own selfish goals, the more it eats you up on the inside. This can be seen with the yellow eyes of the Sith; the windows to the soul. The true failing of the Sith is that they strongly rely on the Force at the source of their strength, rather than themselves. This weakness is exemplified with Nihilus and Sion that saw Kreia’s teachings as weakness and betrayed her. Sion and Nihilus both cannot live without the Force or they would die. Nihilus has amassed so much Force that he hungers for more and would have ended up eating the entire galaxy. And Sion seeks to destroy the Jedi as his only purpose in life. But… needs to Force to remain alive. He is *literally* telekinetically holding himself together by force of will using the Force. While Nihilus and Sion represent the best aspects of the Sith; power and will to power, they also represent the greatest weakness of the Sith; the loss of will by desiring power and the impotence of creating anything beyond destroying the Jedi. This is all because they rely on the Force as a source of their strength, rather than in themselves. A good analogy is to compare the Force with a blade; a tool that can further your strength and obtain victories if you use it correctly. The difference, of course, is that anything is possible with the Force. With that blade, you might never face any hardships and can be considered to be powerful. However, relying on the blade is weakness that can be exploited. Your entire livelihood is dependent on the well-being of the sword. If it broke or if some thief stole the blade, you would become worthless overnight. The dependency the Jedi and the Sith have with the Force is the true source of motivation for Kreia. The problem lies directly in the axioms of their codes. While the first lines of both codes are axiom dichotomies of selflessness for the Jedi and selfishness for the Sith, it is actually the last line of their codes that provide their overall failing concerning their dependency on the Force. The Jedi line ”there is no death there is the Force” taken as literal, means that your life does not exist. You do not live, you do not die. You are simply an extension of the Force. This is why the Jedi preach self-sacrifice and a dismissal of one’s life which leads to the path of self-destruction. The Sith equally becomes slaves because of the last line of their code. ”The Force shall free me” declares that only the Force can free you from chains that prevent you to do anything rather than your own strength and will to power. By having the Force as your only standard by which you may obtain power, the Sith code proclaims that only by sacrificing your humanity and indulging in your psychotic urges can you obtain freedom which only further makes you slave to the Force. While questioning Kreia about the origins of the Sith, she gives an overview history of the split between the Jedi and the Sith. In our world, according to Nietzsche, all higher civilization arose from those that imposed their will, desired power and preyed on the weak. This is what is known as Master Morality. Then, those who were oppressed by those with power, created their own system of morality in opposition to power and saw themselves as superior by not desiring power. This is what is known as Slave Morality. In dialectic terms, Master Morality can be considered the original thesis on morality, and Slave Morality was formed as a reaction forming an antithesis. What is unique to the Star Wars universe is that Slave Morality was the original thesis with the Jedi and Master Morality, with the Sith, was formed, as a reaction, becoming the antithesis. Schiller dialectic (not Hegel) can be understood as a thesis given rise to reaction, and an antithesis that contradicts or negates the thesis until the tension between the two is resolved; creating a synthesis. However a synthesis is not simply the ‘middle road’. It is supposed to overcome two – opposed thesis. The problem is that a synthesis has never occurred between the Jedi and the Sith and is the cause of nearly all the wars in Star Wars. This is echoed by Jolee Bindo when he has a talk with Carth. This discussion references a MUCH larger problem than Jolee even realizes and is at the core of Star Wars and why Kreia hates the Force. At the end of the game, on Malachor V, you can ask her ”why did you do all this?” and she gives a very interesting answer. The important part is the end portion that the Force creates endless series of balances which results in countless deaths in the galaxy. It is as though everyone is being manipulated under some grand plan in a way that seems deterministic. Let’s take for example the setup of the original Star Wars movie with all the context of the sequels and prequels movies. Leia is giving the Death Star plans to R2D2, a droid that served under her father for decades and is accompanied by C3P0, a droid that is also built by her father. Both droids end up in the hands of her brother that is living on her father’s birth planet. This manipulation to create balances has greater impact to the Star Wars universe than people even realize. And how did the Force achieve this ‘balance’ with Anakin? By having the entire galaxy fight in a war, controlled on both sides by the Sith, have the entire Jedi Order annihilated, then wait 20 years of Sith oppression and only when the son of the prophesize chosen one defeats him, in a duel, only THEN, as Anakin sees his own son being tortured the Sith are destroyed and balance is achieved. COUNTLESS death for balance. That is what Kreia found abhorrent. And unlike what the word ‘balance’ suggests, this doesn’t mean an equality between the Light and the Dark like some sort of scale but simply an eradication of all those that use the Dark Side of the Force, as though all Dark Side users must be removed, regardless of the cost of life. And this brings up the question of whether or not there is any free will at all in the Star Wars galaxy if everything is balanced out in the end by the Force. The Handmaiden and Kreia ponder on this question. What is interesting is that despite all the talks of fate and destiny, the Star Wars movies put emphasis on the value of choice as a theme. For example, in the original movie, after Han Solo got paid for rescuing the princess, he wanted to leave and not get involved in the war. The opposite selfish choice can also be seen with Anakin when he has to choose between the Jedi and the Sith. (God I love these evil smiles.) YOU MUST CHOOOOOSE And what is even more insane is that it’s not simply the wars between the Jedi and Sith that are being repeated but similar event themselves keep repeating. Echo? Star Wars is possibly the greatest fantasy setting ever made because of this. It ensures that there will always be Villains that rise, and Heroes that will eventually defeat them. It is an Eternal Recurrence. The same events will keep happening over and over and over and over. From an audience perspective, there’s nothing wrong with such a setting, so long as you don’t notice many key events being repeated. But… from the perspective of the people living in the Star Wars galaxy itself, this is just madness. That is what Kreia hated about the Force. After leaving the Jedi Order and forming the Sith triumvirate, Traya had grand plans to save the galaxy from the influence of the Force. But… they were never completed. The Academy on Malachor V 5 Five was left by the old Sith Empire that fed on death that could be harnessed into power. After the activation of the Mass Shadow super weapon during the final moments of the Mandalorian Wars on Malachor V, it could be used as a weapon that builds up echoes that forcefully deafened everyone in the galaxy to the Force… or kills them. The number of people that would survive this event would be very low but… the galaxy would be freed from the influence of the Force. However, before this plan could be enacted, Traya was betrayed by Nihilus and Sion that sought power. From such disagreements, Kreia was born and sought a new purpose. Stripped of her power and connection to the Force, only one solution remained: to destroy the Jedi and Sith and to create a synthesis of both ideologies using the Exile as the basis. The foundation of Kreia’s philosophy can be seen in her name. Names have a great importance in the Star Wars universe. When someone falls to the Dark Side, they lose their name and become someone new entirely. When Kreia was a Jedi Master, she was known as Arren Kae. Then, when she became a Sith Lord, she was known as Darth Traya. the name ‘Kreia’ is not random. It is a collection of several parts of what she called herself when she was among the Jedi and Sith. Her lightsaber equally reflects this union of opposite but… understanding the creation of a synthesis between the Jedi and the Sith only achieves greater meaning with the addition of the Exile. As a character with its own past history, the Exile is rather important to the Star Wars Canon because it is a living embodiment of Kreia’s philosophy. After joining the Mandalorian Wars and fighting alongside Revan as a general, the Exile used a super weapon the Mass Shadow generator during the final moments of the war on Malachor V that crippled the Mandalorians But unbeknownst to all, this was a plan of conversion, orchestrated by Revan, to make all those who followed him into war turned to the Dark Side and swear loyalty to him, so that he may attack the Republic years later. Faced with the overwhelming death of allies after the activation of the Mass Shadow weapon, everyone was forced to either turn to the Dark Side or DIE. This is what makes the Exile so unique, compared to all the Jedi and Sith. Rather than destroy its ego to be in tune with the Force, like all Jedi, or sacrifice its humanity by indulging in psychotic urges for power, like all Sith, the Exile could use the Force as it desired; using the Force as a tool, not as a slave. At the end of the game, there is a path that Kreia desired the Exile to choose that would have changed the face of the galaxy. Rather than destroy Malachor V, you can remain there and become a teacher, attracting the next generation of Force-Sensitive that feel the echo, and teach them how to use the Force. By becoming a beacon to all Force-Sensitives that feel the echo, and for them to remain on Malachor V, Kreia’s teaching would persist beyond her death and save the galaxy… However, despite what Kreia desired, canonly, the Exile never made this choice and destroyed Malachor V. The Jedi Council was rebuilt and nothing was learned. A true synthesis was never created, and the wars between the Jedi and the Sith continued… endlessly… The original Star Wars movies were meant to be the ending saga of the wars between the Jedi and the Sith, as Anakin was prophesized to finally bring balance to the Force and destroy the Sith. This is why there weren’t supposed to be any movies made after Return of the Jedi. Luke refused to forsake his friends by blindly following the teachings of Yoda and the Jedi Code, yet also refused to fall to the Dark Side, like his father before him. Luke was destined to reform the Jedi into something familiar but also new. In the Expanded Universe, this is exactly what Luke did with the New Jedi Order. However, now that Disney has complete ownership of the Star Wars franchise, this war… will truly… never… end. Star Wars may be a fantasy in space, with many silly moments and wacky adventures. But… it cannot be denied that it is a cultural touchstone, representing the universal zeitgeist of humanity in popular culture. Paying tribute to past old myths and fables and movies and fresh new ways. Using the Hero’s Journey, along with *MANY* cultural archetypes, folklore, mythology, samurai movies, western cowboy stories; merging it all to create a true monomyth that endlessly repeats… for all time. And while Kreia’s philosophy can be understood as an examination of everything, regarding the Star Wars universe, it also serves as a criticism of our own dialectic system of morality. Kreia is not simply an amazingly well-written female character but a person that stood alone, among the dualistic morality that represents all of human culture and sought the truth, to save everyone. I’m happy that this project is finally finished. It has been a very long one. If I ever die, then this video will serve as a record of my philosophy as well as a piece of art/analytical piece regarding Kotor 2 in the canon of video games and the cultural zeitgeist of Star Wars for generations to come. I only hope that you may find whatever information that may enrich your life.
Thank you for watching.

100 comments on “The Philosophy of Kreia: A Critical Examination of Star Wars

  1. 0:00 Intro to Kreia
    2:28 The Jedi Code
    3:56 Jedi/Buddhist Philosophy comparison
    5:10 The Sith Code
    6:24 Nietzsche/Sith Philosophy comparison
    7:10 Kreia's duality
    8:25 Atris's path mirroring Kreia's past
    9:49 Arren Kae's "fall" from the Jedi Order
    11:30 Darth Traya's origins
    12:50 Why Jedi keep falling to the dark side
    17:50 Anakin's example
    19:50 Jolee Bindo's rejection of traditional Jedi teaching
    21:05 Luke's conflict with the Code
    21:52 The self-destruction of altruism
    24:30 On Jedi training children – avoiding connections
    26:20 The Sith's repeating pattern
    27:10 Yuthura Ban's story
    29:12 Anakin's emotional entrapment
    32:18 Traya becomes Kreia
    32:55 Master Morality
    33:42 Ajunta Pall's lamentations
    34:20 The Sith's unsustainable society
    34:58 The emptiness of revenge
    37:50 What defines Kreia?
    39:40 The Ithorians vs Czerka Corporation dilemma
    43:10 Kreia's iconic parable on kindness/cruelty
    47:00 Nar Shadda's lessons in manipulation
    55:11 Kreia dominates Hanharr – a lesson in strength and power
    1:02:52 Kreia's motivation
    1:04:47 Jolee Bindo's parable of Master Hortath (blindness)
    1:07:12 The Jedi Masters' judgment of the exile
    1:09:02 Kreia's judgment of the Jedi Masters
    1:09:34 The revelation of Atris's fall
    1:10:50 Jedi/Sith similarities
    1:12:20 Lightsabers' symbolic colors
    1:13:50 Corruption of the dark side
    1:14:56 The weaknesses of dependence on the force
    1:22:03 The endless battles of Master Morality vs Slave Morality
    1:26:00 Why Kreia hates the force
    1:28:53 Free will/choice vs fate/destiny
    1:35:42 Unsettling recurrences of events
    1:37:00 Kreia's grande schemes
    1:41:28: Name symbolism
    1:42:48 The significance of the exile and Malachor
    1:49:28 Kreia's final wish
    1:50:52 Luke's original purpose
    1:51:44 Conclusion

  2. A teacher who was not listened to, and who was far wiser than either Kreia and her contemporaries, and who understood the dynamic tension in the Force –

  3. Something to point out about the philosophy – In the EU it was explained that there was a time when the Dark Jedi and Jedi held as one – This is why you can actually read this as this:
    when there is no emotion, there is peace.

    when there is no ignorance, there is knowledge.

    when there is no passion, there is serenity.

    when there is chaos, there is harmony.

    when there is no death, there is the force.

    When peace is a lie, There is only passion.

    then through passion, I grain strength.

    Then through strength, I gain power.

    Then through power, I gain victory.

    Then through victory, My chains are broken.

    Then the force shall free me.

  4. finished this game and kotor 1 this week, I can see why ppl fell in love with them, sucks that disney made them legends =/

  5. My strongest character was neither Jedi or Sith. I was able to use both powers of the force. Neither bound by Jedi code or fall to Sith ways. I guess Kiera is saying the strongest understand both and makes decisions and act on it.

  6. One thing I’ll never forget from KOTOR 2.

    On Nar Shadaa I came across a Commoner who just needed 5 Credits.

    So I, out of both me just being generous, and the fact that at the time, I wanted the Light Side points, gave the man his Credits, only for Kreia to tell me to not be too generous. While Kreia taught me this lesson, I saw the same man who I gave the Credits to, get beaten down, and robbed of his Credits, and heard Kreia say how the cycle will keep going.

    After completing the game the first time, and playing it again a few years after, I did not give the man his Credits. Nothing different happened, other than the fact that I did not get Dark Side points for refusing, but gained Kreia’s Influence.

    This lesson stuck with me, although as much as many of the others.

    It’s incredible how much a game like KOTOR 2 can teach someone.

  7. I can’t believe how insightful this is. I find it hard to believe this was done just for shits and giggles. This must have been an assignment for some class. I hope it got an A+.

  8. While this is an amazing video, I hope we can all agree that the episode 3 video game was one of the best Star Wars video games ever

  9. It's a great vid, however even still as sagacious as Kreia may seem, her philosophy is still flawed. George Lucas put in alot of political and religious features some conflicting. Yet alot of the Lessons is simply to show the flaws in things but not the solutions, Similar is the philosophy of Kreia to follow her ideals would be the closest thing to chaotic justice with no clear defined shape or ideal the very universe has laws and yes we as humans sometimes manipulate them but at times even that manipulation still defines that we are subject to them.

  10. I love this and i'm only 15 minutes… I love philosophy and how each and every individual see's it… I'm completely shocked and blown away. This is fantastic and well made video, along with the research. Anyone who say's otherwise is either
    A) Not a star wars fans
    B) Not willing to learn of the world and lore.

  11. Yoda's Buddhist Anti life lesson.
    Nope ,just Anti life lesson which is widely taught under Buddhism name.
    Real Buddhism teach Buddhist the way to enlightenment ,not to "Let it go".
    Modern Buddhism is the opposite + BUDDHA'S MIRACLE.

    Throughout your life ,you should keep learning about yourself.
    Learn to accept your emotions ,not to succumb to them.
    You can not live without emotions.
    Learn to be happy.
    Learn to be angry.
    Learn to be sad.
    And learn to be with them ,not to let them overcome you.
    This is Buddhism.

    Young Anakin want to be a Jedi because he want better life ,
    not to learn their way.
    He see fault in their teaching so he doesn't follow.
    He lives among people who deny his way of life.
    When he seek their help ,they just abandoned him.
    Had they try their best to save his lover ,and they can't save her.
    Anakin wouldn't fall to the Dark side.

    Just imagine ,would it be acceptable to you if your lover get badly injured ,
    and doctor just say " Let her go " to you without even trying to save your lover?

  12. Hah. For years I had been avoiding the Star Wars franchise because I thought it was "overrated normie crap", without ever even watching them. Then one day, I decide to click on this video, watch it for like 10 minutes and then immediately close it and watch the original movie trilogy. After that I bought the games for dirt cheap on steam, and here I am after few months, enjoying this video to the fullest.
    Thank you ..

  13. Everyone at Lucasfilm should be forced to play this game, every possible ending, Ludovico Technique style.

  14. Absolutely phenomenal work! I can’t believe I didn’t check this out sooner given how many times it’s been in my recommendations. Kreia definitely shines a light on the imperfections of both sides. I still find myself disagreeing with her from time to time though. It can feel like she herself is blinded by her own mentality and goals. If she could get rid of the Force would it stop wars? Suffering? Chaos? Probably not. The Force flows though everything and binds the galaxy together as one. Kreia maybe thinks the Force doesn’t give anyone a choice, but it does. Characters in Star Wars still have the free will to either except or disregard the different paths laid out for them. The Jedi’s overly strict and flawed teachings are what must be fixed. When they stop listening to the will of the Force it’s because they become too arrogant, distracted, afraid, and or misguided. The consequences are the Jedi becoming useless, destroying themselves, and or the Sith forming only to end up bringing suffering and ruin. The Sith are like cancer to the force. This is the fault of the Jedi though, for their inability to solve the problem in the long term. By seeing their repeated mistakes, trying to fix them and going about their teachings better.
    The Jedi of the prequel era are obviously guilty of this and are a good example to see this. They became arrogant and disillusioned, serving the now corrupted Republic first and for most instead of listening to the Force. Anakin for many different reasons decides to turn to the Darkside. That’s HIS decision. He could had destroyed the Sith then and there, but didn’t. He eventually decides to destroy the Sith years later after seeing the love and sacrifice of his own son, but that doesn’t change the fact that things could gone differently. The will of the Force was for the Sith to be destroyed. Vader/Anakin’s decisions are what caused this to happen when and why it did. This is why I truly think Luke’s New Jedi Order in the old expanded universe after the events of RFTJ was the closest the Jedi and the Force had been at full compatibility and harmony with the rest of the galaxy.
    A true shame this is all “Legends” now.

  15. just curious, did anyone else besides me come across a glitch in kotor1 where when on the ebony hawk zal had 9 copies of himself, 2 behind the 1st the 3 after those 2 followed by 4 zal's standing side by side. If i remember correctly the glitch dumped other teammates and replaced them with zal.

    Man, it did feel good walking with 2 wookies.

  16. I'm a huge star wars fan but something that always confused me(i guess more so in the games) is how the saying "to be human" comes up so much in a society with multiple species.
    it feels like it they just switched out "human" with like "living" or "to be alive"…. idk, just curious.

    (that being said, i always ponder what everything we've named is gonna be called to a different species…. like the milky way galaxy, you think when we meet a new race that we end up changing it or just putting milky way in parentheses.)

  17. you are wrong about the sith being like Nietzsche teachings. Nietzsche was opposed to this strain of thought. it would be more equivalent to the exact philosophy of egoism. ware ones passion and will are justified to be used for anything a person believes to be "rational" in their world view that is.

  18. This is amazing. Truly. Does anyone know of similar videos to this? With a similar topic. I've listened to this many times over and over again. I always seem to learn something new. I know I'll get the usual "just read Nietzsche" and I will, however, I am looking for videos like these. It somehow combines philosophy and psychology, in a very interesting and fun way. So if anyone has any suggestions, I'm open to them.

  19. Man, the title doesn't do this video justice. But honestly, I don't know how else you could title it. There's a lot of videos on YouTube, but I just say this is probably my favorite. You done an amazing job with this.

  20. This is so good, and conveys the message of Kreia and Kotor2 so well, that I showed it to my mother. It has so many lessons that SOCIETY as a whole need to learn nowadays.

  21. Thank you so much for this, I really enjoyed it. I thought I read it somewhere in the comments I believe but I also must say, this is better than The Last Jedi movie.

  22. However the downfall of kotor 2 with Kreia is that the game's mechanics do not promote what Kreia wants to teach. Most times you have predetermined what path you will go down. Light, or Dark. Being what Kreia wants you to be makes you weaker to be more grey than light or dark. You get a massive boost in stats or a passive ability if you max out the light or dark side. So you are either an overly goody two shoes or a super evil a**hole to max out either side faster. Taking away what could be great moments to be an interesting character. Which is why every once in awhile I will play like an actual human being and while I am weaker and have to struggle more I find that the story is more rewarding then. I do still enjoy the power fantasy of those light and dark side runs they are just very shallow if you play kotor how its meant to be played, like a video game.

  23. I rewatch this about every 6-9 months and I swear the video has changed a bit lol.
    Anyway have we talked about the fact that history seems to repeat it self in reality, like how it does in Star Wars at all yet? I think it has more to do with societies becoming stagnant and repeating mistakes of the past than The Force, or God, trying to keep things in balance. Although you could say that existence has it's own way of finding balance over a long enough time-span I suppose.

  24. What a fantastic look at the Star Wars universe! The video was both gripping and informative, and I still can't believe I sat through a 2-hour video on the philosophy of a fictional universe. Thank you for putting this so much work into this incredible video!

  25. Probably my favourite YouTube vid. I watch it at least 2 times a year. It's so well put together, and Kreia is so wonderfully well-written.

  26. The Jedi code of only using strength for self defense can actually be traced back to the Hindu philosophy of ahimsa and dharma before the rise of Buddhism. Often misinterpreted as solely non violence, ahimsa from sananthana dharma or Hinduism means non violence, but with the need to defend oneself and their principles of their society and individual or dharma. All of these predate Buddhism and in fact gave the philosophical basis of Buddhism. Hinduism itself gave rise to these Buddhist philosophies (though not everything of course). Just a disclaimer: this is for historical and philosophical background and clarification, no offense meant

  27. giving him what he has not earned is like pouring sand into his hands. daang talk about anti socialism/communism at work right there.

  28. I wish the release of KotOR 2 wasn't so flawed because I feel like they had such real inspiration and got fucked by the release schedule and unrealistic demands

  29. So what I got from this is that the Jedi and the Sith are so caught up in their fighting with conflicting ideals that they're not able to see the strings the force itself is pulling. Kreia could from her experiences on either side, and she sought to end the force's influence all together.

  30. You know what is kinda scary? More like REALLY goddamn scary?
    She is completely right and relatable.
    There IS something, some fundamentally underlying thing in our reality as well. Modern science calls it Quantum Probability, some call it fate, some call it destiny, some call it god. Call it chi, prana, call it simply coincidence, or you can just as easily call it the Force, doesn't change the fact that there it is.
    There are way too many studies upon free will and if it really exists. Studies of time, how we perceive it and if actions are "set in stone" if there is a past a now and a future, or if it happened all at once and we are never even aware of it. So then if there is no free will in our own "real" universe what Kreia sought to destroy is reality itself, and not only her own. "Ours" as well. All of reality. And it's truly frightening to me, to think she was right.

    It's after all probably just the same idea, same fear the writer had expressed trough a game character.
    That's why her character is soo compelling to me. She CHALLANGES fate itself.

  31. Thanks man, due to this awesome fucking video, my perspective on one of my favourite Franchises and made it so in depth that im left dumbfounded.. This is one of the better YTers left alive.

  32. So what im trying to understand The jedi fucked up and the sith where ment to win or being a grey jedi is the best tbh?

  33. I liked Keira at the start of the game but as it progressed her character made little sense. Her motivation was so stupid to me and the whole reveal of KOTOR 2 that you are a hole in the force was so underwhelming. This video hasn't done much to convince me otherwise.

  34. Am I the only one who thinks Ryan Johnson copied this into the Last Jedi? No silly me that would actually take effort you totally never even knew this game existed.

  35. The Jedi strive for emotionless behavior, to be detached from everyone and thing except the force in order to be proper tools for peace.
    The Sith strive for freedom, to not be bound by rules and doctrine and find their own way to become successful and happy, they use the force as a tool to achieve this.
    The issue with the Jedi is that they fear not being capable of restraining their emotions, which becomes the first step towards their downfall.
    The issue with the Sith is that they have constrained themselves to certain behaviors, their code for freedom is vague but their society and culture is filled with just as much doctrine and rules as the Jedi, the code enforces freedom, but their culture enforces certain attitudes and behaviors to the point where the line between freedom and indoctrination become a blur.

    There is a place that people know of where these two ideologies meet called the Grey zone that tries to be a mix of the two in a way that is supposed to be balanced, this is where Kreia and many other characters in the star wars story we meet usually would be placed, and it has a whole set of issues that this video brings up, however we forget one thing, star wars is cyclical and ideologies in tend to be cyclical too, there is the Right and the Left, the Republic and the Democracy (Dark and Light), and they both meet at two different points, two specific middle grounds but different from each other, It's difficult to say what the second middle ground would be, but I would say that just like the Right and Left (Dark and Light) the two middle grounds are contradictory to each other, an unexplored middle ground separate and different from the one that is more commonly known, an extremist middle ground compared to the more moderate middle ground we all strive to be apart of… There is a way to be in the middle and not become apathetic, I think this is the way the Je-daii used to be before their fall.

  36. The Jedi code only has a superficial resemblance to Buddhism. Kreia's philosophy is actually very close to ancient Ch'an / Zen Buddhism, I think. They taught the liberation of the true self, not just from excessive passions but also from any kind of hard-set rules (which they called "chains" or "golden chains"). They taught that one needs to go beyond the duality of karma and the "cycle of birth and death", and that the true self / original face / pristine nature of humanity is utterly free without restrictions. They were even more critical of dualism than Kreia. The Jedi code is more like a form of Stoicism, and the Sith a form of Epicureanism; but both together belong really to a kind of Zoroastrianism / Manicheanism, the belief that there are two Gods (or Aspects) or Principles, one Good and one Evil, co-eternal and co-dependent. Both Kreia and Buddhism reject this dualistic interpretation, and preach the true or enlightened self as surpassing them. Kreia's failure is in blaming the force itself, rather than the Jedi/Sith's narrow-minded interpretations of the force. She views it as controlling people and obstructing free-will, but the force itself only enhances people's innate powers; the problem is in the people's – both Jedi and Sith – narrow use of the force. The Jedi blame the Sith for using the force for selfish ends and ruining the lives of others through lack of compassion, and the Sith blame the Jedi for overly stifling men's natural passions and inhibiting their personal growth, and these equally narrow views feed and support each other, neither bringing peace. But the force itself is not "forcing" anyone to accept these views, and despite Kreia blaming the force for using people to achieve balance, it's this balance that men themselves (and Kreia herself) are trying to find but can't because of their one-sidedness. Kreia is still partially stuck in the Jedi-Sith dichotomy and hasn't truly gone beyond it, since she still views these as being part of the force itself; in reality, the force itself is already one and already balanced, and it's only men through their overly-restrictive or overly-reckless thoughts and actions that are bringing "disturbance to the force". The way that men finally achieve this balance is when Luke and Vader both make an act of love / sacrifice for each other at the end of Episode VI, an act of love which goes beyond both the Jedi and Sith codes. This is what Jolee Bindo was talking about. As well as the Jedi Code superficially resembling Buddhism, it also superficially resembles Christianity; but again, Kreia's philosophy is close to Christianity, which (despite modern people's misinterpretation of it) emphasises the freedom of the human person and liberation from arbitrary rules. However, Christianity sees this liberation as being in tune with the Divine Will, that God Himself is a free person who wants a free relationship with men; similarly, Ch'an / Zen Buddhism sees this liberation as being in tune with what they call the Tao or the Way (the Jedi / Sith codes both really resemble ancient forms of say Hinduism or Zoroastrianism, which tried to control karma or the good/evil gods through magical practices). Kreia, however, because of her feelings of betrayal, resentment, and revenge against the force, can only see this freedom as being totally independent of the force, rather than being at peace with it. In her rebellion she ends up being more like a Satanist than a Christian. She ought to have thanked the force for letting her experience failure and betrayal at the hands of both the Jedi and the Sith, so that she could see past both and learn the true nature of the force. But ultimately Kreia is petty and so eager to prove her "teachings" right that she's more of a zealot than either the Jedi or the Sith. Rather than helping the Jedi and the Sith to overcome their blindness and be reconciled in their differences so that they could each be enlightened as to the true nature of the force, she just wants to destroy the Jedi, the Sith, and the force altogether. She's close to understanding the force but falls short due to her pride.

  37. Seems to me that Kreia has reached the pinnacle of what it means to be a Sith.
    To hate ones own weaknesses and strive to control it.
    To hate the weakness in others, to use them for your own ends.
    To hate governments, unions, and power structure. Conquer them and make all under one rule.
    And finally to hate the Force it self, the power that attempts to balance itself. It must be destroyed for either side to win.
    And the only way to do that is destroy all life in the universe…

  38. Just making my annual trek to this video. Still holds up in quality. The philosophies of Kreia… My god man… They still excite me

  39. This video is god damn amazing. This is worthy of being broadcast on television, hell… This is worthy of being sold. I'd have paid money to watch this. Truly incredible. Well done!

  40. the edit on this video is awesome and also your way to present your ideas, Darth Traya is such and awesome character and i love it, however you yourself are falling into one side of the spectrum which is basically what she was against, is not if you relinquish your ego or not or if you give into living, but the idea of being able of choosing by yourself and not some flawed sense of morality enslaved by a power we can't control. Your thoughts lean towards existentialism which is just one path, but to be able to understand all the sides is a bit more complicated and probably humanly impossible.

  41. Normally I'm not fond of Fascist aesthetics being used in media as short-hand for 'these are the bad guys' because I think it's too obvious and a little too cheap, but when it comes to Star Wars (not counting the new trilogy for reasons explained later) I'm pretty forgiving of it because the 'dark side' contains a lot of the same philosophical content as Fascism/Nationalism and comes with some of the same real-world practicalities and impracticality, like Carth says at 34:26 – "power, but no longevity" – if Fascism manages to survive the fact that it will invariably turn one's neighbors hostile to them, it will eventually burn itself out.

    While Francisco Franco can't really be called a 'Fascist' out of context with the Second World War (personally resembling more of the 'Latin American dictators' which characterized the Cold War era), he intended to run Spain in a very 'Nationalist' way – and as a result alienated the potential benefits of world trade in pursuit of 'autarky', eventually only giving ground to the technocrats when his measures proved disastrous and counter-productive, throughout the course of his time in power he had to cede more and more in order to keep his regime afloat, both to parties within his own country, his own people, and to international pressure. Eventually his regime was so weak that a couple of Basque Nationalists with a bomb managed to kill his chosen successor and he died shortly thereafter, leaving no leadership willing to continue on in his image. Nationalism – much like the 'dark side' – eats itself, making it more than just surface-level paint indicating who're the 'baddies'. Though the new trilogy lacks any semblance of deeper meaning whatsoever, and as a result hardly counts.

  42. Around the 57 min mark is when I kinda fell off the Kreia bandwagon. Who are you to say that the chains by which we live by weaken us? Only by being chained to a set of standards are we actually able to make meaningful choices. To try to become free of these chains is to merely be chained to your own desires and ultimately live a meaningless existence. This is not to say that you should be dogmatic in your adherence to whatever tradition, but rather is recognition of the idea that you can choose those traditions you follow in order to provide the foundation for meaning making.

  43. This made me think that Valkorion from S.W.O.T.R must either stumbled upon Kreia teachings or suddenly came to a lot of same conclusions, that changed him him quite drastically.

  44. Great analysis with excellent use of in-game dialog as source material to support your own thoughts and conclusions.

  45. You're still reading the comments, [email protected]? Gud.
    Kreia…. fascinating. However, the Sith (and Michael Moorcock's lords of chaos/entropy) were right in one thing – lack of conflict leads to stagnation. This was illustrated in one of the Elric books, where Elric & Moonglum, travelling thru planes, chanced upon a Lords of Law planet/plane. There was… nothing. Not much. Nothing moved. Nothing lived. Nothing… just…. empty. No need – it was as it should be. Every piece of sand (so coarse! Ok, ok…), every atom in its one CORRECT place, no need to change anything.


    So in Elric's and later Moorcock's multiverse (how cliche, amirite guise) there NEEDED to be conflict between the jedi and the si…. I mean, Lords of Law and Lords of Chaos. Because sane, normal LIFE needed it so.

    In every reality.

    In every plane.

    Because the planes in the verse where either the Law won (Perfection. Nothingness. Emptiness) or Entropy (constant mutation, where a living thing would not know whether it would mutate the next second or never, with no rules whatsoever) are


    Good vidya, bruh.

  46. This is one of my favorite videos online and I watched to many times considering it length. So thanks for this video.

  47. The problem with the Jedi is their passive nature, they have achieved such a level of control over their impulses, that it stiffles them to take swift decisive action when it is required, instead they sit back and wait, think on the problem and only act when it is too late. Thus leading to their downfall.

    A Sith Acts, A Jedi Reacts.

    From the Sith point of view, the Jedi are Spineless Authoritarians, to the Jedi the Sith are Violent Anarchists.
    Yet when it comes to practice, the Sith are the ones taking away the Freedom's of others, while the Jedi defend them.

    The Sith are a violent Storm, raw and chaotic, constantly changing, it's violence and unpredictability makes it powerful and dangerous, but a storm never lasts, it evaporates not long after it forms.

    The Sith are slaves to Power, to impulse and emotion, you cannot have a "Sith Empire" for long, it will always cannabalize itself, killing off one part to further itself and then having the victor turn on itself yet again…..until you are left with just two people, a Master and a Slave.

    The Jedi philosophy only works when there is no evil in the Galaxy, no great enemy to throw the fragile Peace and stability out of wack.
    The Jedi Utopia is ultimately as flawed as the Sith's Dystopia.

    The Jedi are the stabilizing force, the Sith…the destabilizing, the ying to the other's yang.
    Which is why neither should exist, and "Balance", can only exist when both extremes are elimited. But balance is such a fragile thing, tip it one way or another and we're straight back to dichotomy's and dialectics.

    The Jedi breed weakness, stagnation and complacency, a critical point will appear in which the good times peak and the demand for change and chaos reaches a tipping point.
    The Sith are change, revolutionary spirits, their change is the fire from which the spirit of a people is forged, when the Wheat detaches from the Chaff, the agents of change will be defeated and the demand for stability and order will return.

    Change itself was not the point, and rarely does the intent behind the change ever come about, no, the more things change the more they revert to the way they always were, there is a natural order of things.
    It's real purpose was to test one's self through conflict, pain and suffering, to evolve the spirit, not policy.
    Conflict and pain, the very things we try so hard to avoid, are the very things which keep an even more terrible pain and suffering at bay, that being the Dark Tyrannical Forces that seek to enslave us all.

    A Jedi's greatest strength is his self-control, absolute control, but it is also his teaching's greateat weakness.
    A Sith's greatest Strength is his lack of self control, the breaking of his chains, absolute freedom, that is his teaching's greatest weakness.

    A Jedi seeks to achieve personal control, to maintain the freedom of others. An act of Sacrifice?
    A Sith seeks to achieve control of others to maintain their personal freedom. An act of Tyranny?

    But seen from another point of view, the Jedi are Strengthening themselves at the expense of weaking others, by robbing them of the struggle.
    The Sith are strengthening those around them through pain, but weaking their own spirits.

    The only solution to the never ending cycle is one were the point of the society is to place man in a never ending struggle for self-improvement, spiritually, physically and intellectually, a never ending struggle against nature and yet in harmony with it.

    The solution……you know we almost had it, but we killed it before it had a chance.

  48. What if Kreia wanted the Exile to create echoes, in order to other Jedi or someone else, feel them and come to the respective planet to help those people?

  49. Kreia represents "all things… yet she belongs to neither the light nor the darkness". She is a neutral teacher that sees and shows the truth to Meetra, to the Jedi and Sith. She is an ancient artist of manipulation and war. Just like Mira says that Hanharr is just 'Hanharr', Kreia is just 'Kreia', nothing more.

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