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.