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Author Topic: Imperfect Jedi Archetypes  (Read 457 times)

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Offline Orell

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Imperfect Jedi Archetypes
« on: 08/12/14, 04:23:23 PM »
So, I've been thinking about Jedi portrayals in fiction. I won't deny that I have my own particular bias on the subject, that I consider proper Jedi to be "The Good Guys", and cringe like crazy whenever they're potrayed as, well, evil or pointlessly uncaring assholes...

...but I do know that Jedi, as in people that we can realistically see exist in the Jedi Order and be Light Side and not a step away from being a Sith, are more than variations on Obi-won and Luke. So I thought it might be a decent idea to bring up and discuss archetypes of Jedi that aren't the paragons of Jedi-ness that we all know and love.

Just two things to keep in mind:

1: These are archetypes. Basing a character on them is a nice way to get started, sure, but think of it like a Skeleton of a character, not the whole thing. The devil's in the details, but at least this is a nice way of getting started, or drafting an NPC.

2: The archetypes should still, for lack of a better term, be good guys. Antagonists? Sure. Two "good guys" aren't always going to get along. But the point is that this is for Jedi that are, at most, a step or two away from the ideal, not across the street and in the basement with a set of thumbscrews and an unhelpful prisoner.

So, a few of my own that I've thought up...

Tarnished Copper

Tarnished, because the job does that to you, but never rotten...

In short, this is a Jedi that's a fair bit more flexible when it comes to the rules and the law, overlooking the little problems in order to go after the big ones. Are they arrogant, for trusting their judgement over the law they swore to uphold, or merely simply knowledge that stopping little crimes does nothing if the big problems remain unsolved.

This is basically how I portrayed Soldin for a while. Too much time spent with the criminal underworld, ahem hem, to act like a right and proper Jedi all the time, instead focusing on trying to bring down violent crime lords, and trying to encourage the "Legitimate Businessmen" side of the coin to focus on keeping things stable, if not entirely legal...

Knight Dredd

"Haven't you ever heard of extenuating circumstances?" "I've heard it all."

...basically the arch rival of the above. This is the kind of Jedi that might enforce LITTERING laws, although that might be a bit much for a Jedi. Still, the point is that this is a Jedi that would be very firm on the strict rules of a Jedi and the laws of the Republic. After all, if you don't enforce the little laws, why should anyone expect the big ones to be enforced?

Obviously, this is a good antagonist for a more lawless type char, or a Sith/Imperial... but if you're using this archetype as an antagonist, its important to keep in mind to be careful with how, for lack of a better term, dickish you make him/her. Having them ignore someone in mortal danger because they're chasing a purse snatcher, for example... probably not something a Jedi-ish char would honestly do, unless mixed heavily with...

Can't See the Forest for the Trees

Common enough phrase, a Jedi that's too focused on a specific, likely significant, problem that they have trouble keeping perspective. We all know the extremes, of course: The obsessed investigator, the Jedi that's succumbed to a vendetta with a Sith, the paranoid Jedi unwilling to trust a former enemy offering to band together against a greater threat...

...but this can also hit lesser extremes. I would consider Norland to be this, for the most part. He's an archaeologist first, and a Jedi second, and he can be a bit absentminded about his Jedi duties when presented with something old, mechanical and possibly really lethal when not rusted through. Not all imbalances in focus are so malicious and self-destructive.

Just some quick ones I came up with, mainly focused on my own chars and how I try to portray them (even if it doesn't come across that well). I do think its important to recognize how different people can be, but still be considered a Jedi. Any large group is going to have differing opinions on how to act, they're going to have different attitudes, interests and beliefs, and perfection may be sought by all but achieved by few. I think its important to explore that, especially with the Jedi, a group that... tends to be looked at as single-minded nine times out of ten.
Character List:

Pub side: Lien Orell, Kyri Orell, Shaantil (possibly Dumas), Norland, Everen (bank alt ATM), Quarashaa (Pub version of the real Quarasha), Merrant

Imp Side: Quarasha, Effet Ornell, Arazel, Zedney, Zhel, Asori-Alnas