ceresi: (jedi)
that I'm not even sure I remember how. Hi everyone! I'm Ceresi! I used to make stuff, like fic and art. The thought of posting has been causing much anxiety for the past year or so, so I avoided it, thereby cleverly increasing my anxiety. Total win.

There are many comments and replies and stuff that I owe people, and I certainly haven't forgotten them. I've still checked my flist two or three times a day for the past Year of Silence so rest assured that I still ♥ you all and will keep blabbing at you as long as you'll have me. But I thought maybe I could ease myself back into posting by disabling comments and yakking fannishly a few times, and then I will resume socializing and/or groveling as necessary.

So here is my fannish yakking: KOTOR 2! I finally got around to playing it b/c of the new MMO that's coming out soon and wow, I forgot how flat the KOTOR engine was, and how boring combat could be. But the story of KOTOR 2 is pretty good, if a lot less organized than KOTOR 1. Like, I was halfway through the game and it wasn't until I read some of the character articles at Wookiepedia that I understood some of the major backstory (like, Malachor V level major).

But there is a part of the story that has been prompting thinky thoughts on my part, so here they are: KOTOR 2, exile, and disability.

- I like the Exile's story -- that she was moved by the suffering of others, that she felt compelled to join the war, that she did terrible things and not only survived them but outlived them and -- by Mandalore at least -- partially forgiven. I like that she has become even more of an outsider, first as a Jedi without attachments or family, then as an Exile, without even other Jedi. I think the theme of her ending her exile by building a clan around herself is pretty profound.

- What's also interesting is the way the theme of banishment and/or detachment is linked to disability, and in fact how prominent disability is in the game. Mostly via Kreia and Bao-Dur, but also more broadly in the Exile's lost memories and inability to use the force, Atton's loss of identity, Brianna's alienation within her people, the droids' general state, etc. KOTOR 1 was all about lost families, imo -- Jolee's gf, Carth's wife and son. Bastila's parents, Juhani's master, Canderous's everything, and so on. KOTOR 2 is about being lost.

- So this is where things get murky to me. Bao-Dur's arm is equal parts concept art and game mechanics; any connections between the loss of his arm and his emotional state is left to the players assumptions. Kreia's blindness is only mentioned in passing and seems more like a reference to Obi-Wan making Luke wear a helmet in ANH than anything else. One of the first things she does is lose a hand -- a loss which is never again mentioned. Her severed connection to the Force is pretty unsubtly tied to her exile from the Jedi and the Sith, but it never really goes anywhere.

- It's interesting that the Exile never really regains her connection to the Force, according to Wookiepedia. Instead, she learns to draw upon it through her companions, but is never quite returned to her previous state (at least that was how I read it). Bao-Dur and Kreia, on the other hand, upgrade themselves with tech or Force powers, because apparently they wouldn't be able to function otherwise. On another, more positive note, at least they're never defined by their disabilities, just their actions, results of their feelings.

- And this is where my thoughts end, without really ending, much like the game itself. But if I could have any story I wanted, I would want to see the connections between the disabilities and the exiles made concrete. I would want to really see Bao-Dur struggling with his losses, finding a way to move forward, and then actually moving forward, instead of seeing the Exile do nice things and deciding the past is all better now. And then (reportedly) dying. I want some kind of commentary on the way the Exile is banished and then informed that she wasn't really kicked out of the Jedi Order, that her abandonment was actually self-inflicted. It sounds reassuring -- if all your pain is of your own causing, then you could switch it off at any time, right? -- until you realize the totality of what you're up against. It can't all come from inside, there's just not enough room there.

- Was her exile really self-inflicted, the logical consequence of her own actions (as Bao-Dur's lost arm and Kreia's lost eyesight are supposed to be) or was it a proprietary decision forced on her? Is either option really any better? Darth Traya murdered the Council, so the Exile couldn't have been accepted back into the Jedi Order even if what they'd said was true -- but what if they'd lived? What if they'd offered her old place back? What would it have meant for her to take it? I liked it when Kreia said that (to paraphrase) sometimes redemption is a betrayal of the self, suggesting that it's no true redemption at all, just another subsumption, another loss of self.

- Here's kind of what I'm driving at; is a loss of self (made palpable by a loss of connection to society) similar or comparable to a loss of ability (made palpable by a loss of connection to the body)? If you draw that parallel, where does it take you? She could have gone home. All they wanted from her was everything she'd ever been. Was giving it to them victory (reconnection) or defeat (assimilation)?

So, this is wildly incoherent! Awesome!

And here's the downside of disallowing comments, because I don't really want to talk about this with myself, I want to take about it with other people. So I'll leave the comments unlocked, but with the caveat that I might not reply, or at least not in any cohesive way. If I don't reply please don't take it personally, I am a dork. Someday I will function like an actual human being but that day will be some time from now, I'm afraid.

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ceresi: (Default)

December 2013


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