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02.24.2013 , 11:54 PM | #53
Quote: Originally Posted by Aurbere View Post

For me, I think I'm done with this particular debate, at least until I decide to rejoin the debate. But I don't see how this is going to be settled. Just remember that Jedi don't flourish during war, they flourish during peace times. This is most evident in the PT, but also in other eras. The TOR era Jedi saw a similar era of peace, though not to the same degree as the PT Jedi. I think that's the biggest point that you (among others) need to consider.
Fair enough. I don't want this to get bogged down into a perpetual argument over PT vs. OR Jedi blah blah blah. I'm trying to address a very specific concept here, which is the experience and skill of duelists with lightsabers, and the factors that lead to their development.

From that initial thesis, several topics have spun off, all of which I am interested in discussing.
1. What were the Jedi doing when they weren't fighting the Sith?
- 1.1 Why does an organization with an aversion to warfare assume the mantle of Jedi Knights?
2. How do we justify new content that occurs in between already established canon?
- 2.1 Specifically, the Great Galactic War represents an entire era on par with either of the film trilogies.
- 2.2 Old statements by Lucas, etc. don't take into account newer developments/ideas.
3. (this one is just off the cusp) Why do the Jedi monopolize the education of Force Sensitives? We see an active attempt throughout the existence of the Jedi Order to suppress alternative Force Traditions. Is it illegal for other organizations to train their members who may be Force sensitive? What if the Jedi want to take your child for training and you object? I'm not sure these questions have been raised before... perhaps I'll put this in a different thread.

Anyhows, while I'm specifically addressing points that Aurbere raised/countered in this post, I would love for anyone else with an opinion to jump in and give their two cents, especially with any new topics that might creep into my post here. Please do not be intimidated if you only have a minor point to contribute and don't want to write a "mega-post" like some of us (not pointing fingers, but we know who we are) tend to.

Quote: Originally Posted by Aurbere View Post
You assume the Jedi have such an approach, but the Jedi had experienced 300 years of peace prior to the Great Galactic War. They were in the same position as the PT Order. The Jedi only had the time to properly train new students during the Cold War.
Perhaps they did, and perhaps not. What I'm saying is that they must have had some way to sustain themselves throughout a war that lasted twenty-eight years. That's an order of magnitude longer than the Clone Wars were, and would necessitate adaptation. Many times in Star Wars we have to logically fill in the gaps left by the writers. After all, part of the beauty of Star Wars is that no one person has to think of everything in the galaxy. The fans and other writers frequently help to tie things together logically.

Quote: Originally Posted by Aurbere View Post
Because Malgus knows so much. Remember that the most powerful members of the Order at that time were away at Alderaan. He took advantage of the peace talks to attack the Jedi Temple. He caught the Jedi off guard, because they were under the impression that peace was being discussed. In fact, the Jedi were more concerned about the Sith making an attack on Alderaan than anything else.
Malgus' statement was referring to the beginning of the war. He didn't say "while you negotiated on Alderaan, we gathered out forces", he says "for 300 years..." The quote introduces the Great Galactic War, since it was first heard in the opening of the first trailer to ever showcase The Old Republic.

And I would take Malgus' opinion seriously here (strange, I know). He was a Sith Warrior, and fought the Jedi constantly. If anyone would know whether the Jedi were softened by their years of peace, it would be Malgus. He'd be a pretty good guy to ask about how the Jedi's fighting prowess adapted over the course of the war, maybe I can get an interview scheduled sometime...

Quote: Originally Posted by Aurbere View Post
Perhaps I didn't explain fully. While you can't simulate life or death situations to the fullest, sparring can give the Jedi insight into their own weaknesses. The more experienced Jedi can point out the weaknesses in the inferior one's form, and guide them in dealing with that weakness. With the proper training, a Jedi can develop their skills to fully master their chosen form to its highest extent.

I don't think you understand. The PT Jedi had access to the teachings of their predecessors, they learned from the past generations. This gave them great knowledge of the lightsaber forms. And remember that the Jedi weren't starting from scratch. Veterans of the New Sith Wars taught new Jedi, and these teachings passed down to new generations, and each generation made improvements to the forms.
You are entirely correct that training is crucial to building the foundations of a skilled swordsman, or any combatant for that matter. I am hardly suggesting throwing half-trained Padawans into the fray of battle. Practice and sparring will build the technical skills necessary to become a good duelist.

What I am talking about are the steps after you've learned the basics. The Jedi Knights and Masters who actually fight lethal duels against trained Sith will be the ones who develop good combat instincts.

There is so much more to winning an engagement than being a technical master of a lightsaber form, or even all seven. Knowing something and knowing how to apply it are two different realms. There is an intuitive leap that must be made between the formal instruction in combat techniques, and the instincts to use them effectively.

Please allow me to be clear, there are two phases in the development of an expert combatant. The first consists of showing him the skills he will use on the battlefield, and the second consists of actually practicing those skills himself, in the heat of battle. These two phases will alternate, and a combatant will continually improve between battles and engagements, absorbing his experience and supplementing it with further practice to sharpen his skills.

The PT Era Jedi can only progress up to a certain point without experiencing combat. The sparring among fellow Jedi is part of learning the fundamentals of the forms, but it cannot stand in as a substitute for experience. Similarly, the Jedi cannot "revolutionize" the fighting forms during 1000 years of peace. They remained almost completely unchanged between Ruusan and the Clone Wars, because they were stagnant. It wasn't until Mace Windu (an extremely unconventional Jedi) that any further developments were made to the forms.

Quote: Originally Posted by Aurbere View Post
Now back to Yoda. He was the only one that had a chance to stop Palpatine, but they also couldn't ignore the newly annointed Darth Vader. How was it going to look when Yoda and Obi-Wan confront him? He's already distraught, and doesn't trust the Jedi. Obi-Wan was his friend, and had a chance to bring Anakin back. It's kind of like an intervention.
Not only that, but Palpatine could easily put Obi-Wan down.
No need to insult the man. Just because you don't like him, doesn't mean you have to ignore what he has to say in HIS universe.
It's nothing personal, I'm rather fond of George Lucas. He has a great imagination and his vision of a sci-fi universe sparked something truly remarkable. However, his strengths lie in envisioning technology and starships, exotic locations and so forth. He has practically no ability to write believable characters when left to his own devices, and does not often reason out the ramifications that many things have within his own stories.

While it may be "his" universe, Star Wars has grown far beyond the vision of any one man. It was his stories that started it all, but at this point the Star Wars universe has a life of its own. His statements made during the filming of Episode 3 could not possibly take into account any of the events or characters during the Great Galactic War because... no one had thought of it yet. Bane's story had not been told in great detail, and many other things didn't exist either. So we as the fans and audience have to read into the lore and make new determinations to collate conflicting pieces of information together, at least until it is firmly codified in new pieces of Star Wars media.

But yes, back to Yoda. Or rather, back to Obi-Wan. He of all people should know better than to confront a Sith Lord alone. I seem to recall:
"We'll take him together, you go in slowly on the left..."
"No, I'm taking him now!"

Because that worked out so well. But wait, next time it worked much better!
"This time, we'll do it together."
So when Yoda proposes splitting up, you would think Obi-Wan (who's supposedly a pretty good General at this point as well) would say something like, "Wait, Yoda! That's not how divide and conquer works, you've got it backwards!" Rather than take the opportunity to confront the two Sith individually when they'll have the numerical advantage, they blunder in like... well, like a reckless Anakin Skywalker in Attack of the Clones.

EDIT: I just remembered that Obi-Wan's experience with this goes back even further. Part of the reason that Qui-Gon Jinn was killed was because Maul managed to separate him and Obi-Wan. Seriously, Obi-Wan's entire psyche should be screaming out against this brilliant plan to split up.

And, yes, Obi-Wan is not good enough to challenge the Emperor, but it would certainly tip the scales in Yoda's favor to have an ally with him. After all, Master Kenobi is one of the finest warriors in the Jedi Order, capable of sparring with Mace Windu. He'd probably be pretty darn useful in that fight.

Teamwork is another thing that war is supposed to teach you. On a battlefield, you don't stand much chance alone, but working with your squadmates, or other allies, you are able to wreak havoc on the enemy. You watch each other's backs, gang up on individual enemies, and generally support each other in combat (Gosh, I can't think of when SWTOR players would ever team up to take on adversaries they can't handle alone...)

This is what I mean by Mr. Lucas not thinking out the actions of his characters very well. The actions of two of the wisest Jedi in the order. Two generals, who've been coordinating the Republic's armies for three years. Right, those guys.

Quote: Originally Posted by Aurbere View Post
And as to how Yoda knows about the Rule of Two. The Jedi were told by Kibh Jeen. The "Two there are, no more, no less." were his last words. Kibh was a fallen Jedi and his words were deemed the ravings of a madman by the Jedi Order. However, the Jedi began preparing for another war prior to the Battle of Naboo.
Personally, and this is my opinion, I believe that Yoda thought that the Sith were in hiding to prepare an army, as Kibh's death was over one hundred years before the Clone Wars.
You are entitled to your opinion. That's part of the beauty of Star Wars, we can argue over things until we figure them out because it doesn't all add up. That's almost part of the fun, fitting the puzzle pieces of this exciting universe together.
However, it makes no bloody sense Yoda would take stock in the ravings of a madman who died a century ago. It's his first reaction, not some theory that he eventually begins to consider. He and Mace straight up declare that there are always two Sith. They are clearly entirely aware of the Rule of Two, and so it should figure prominently into their planning.
(I'd appreciate a response from Aurbere on this point, since it's not related to the main debate per se, but raises some interesting questions nonetheless. The ball's in your court, Historian. You have made me quite curious)

Quote: Originally Posted by Aurbere View Post
Personally, I think that an OR knight could hold his own quite well against a PT Knight. Take your average Jedi Knight from both sides. The OR Knight would hold his own quite well, but the PT Knight would have more experience in the subtle nuances of lightsaber combat, as the average PT Knight will have studied multiple forms.
Eh, this is kind of missing the point of what I'm saying. Both knights would have studied the forms to an equal degree, since they're the same in both eras (except Vapaad, but only two Jedi were instructed in that, so it's not relevant). The point that I make is that the subtle nuances of combat cannot be learned without experience. It's something that cannot be taught. It can be discussed, and advice can be given, but the actual personal intuition and instincts must come from experience. I cannot stress this enough, as it is central to everything I am saying about lightsaber combat here.

And in case you're wondering, you're not suddenly going color blind. I decided to start using a blue font because white got boring.
The Heir to ChaosAdded Chapter Sixteen-- 17 APR 2013
“People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.” ~ George Orwell