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Revisiting An in-depth look at: Kreia

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > STAR WARS Discussion
Revisiting An in-depth look at: Kreia

Beniboybling's Avatar


Beniboybling
03.03.2013 , 02:59 PM | #1
“By killing me here... you have rewarded me more than you can possibly know.” ~ Kreia

In this special edition of Aurbere’s ‘An in-depth’ series I will be discussing in detail the intentions and motives of the mysterious Kreia. In particular I will be explaining her intentions behind the events of Malachor V. Note: What is to follow is my interpretation of events, based on my observations. It is up to you to decide the truth of it.

Throughout the course of The Sith Lords, Kreia’s motives are deliberately kept a mystery from the player. At first they are kept a secret from the Exile who can only guess at the truth, but when they are finally revealed... well, it doesn't become much clearer. At times I even feel that the writers understand this and tease me at every turn:

“Perhaps you were expecting some surprise, for me to reveal a secret that had eluded you, something that would change your perspective of events, shatter you to your core.” (YES! I was! Tell me!)

But Kreia does have a ‘goal’. It is the case of many tiny revelations forming a complete image, a puzzle that you have to put together yourself. Once you do it all slots into place, but to avoid you the nose bleeds I have done it for you.

Throughout KOTOR 2 Kreia talks about ‘echoes’, echoes moving outwards, building up, screaming etc. But what does this all mean? In order to better understand Force echoes consider this: the Force, the galaxy and all life is like an ocean, an action is a pebble and the ripples it creates are Force echoes. Throw a pebble at the right moment and in the right place and the ripples it creates will join with other ripples, and grow larger and larger. As Atris observes:

“One person, at the right place, at the right time, can change the face of the galaxy – or end it.”

However their is something more substantial to it that that. A Force Echo is a Force anomaly produced by loss of life. When a being dies, it releases an echo, and the more that die, the louder the echo. Force Sensitives can hear these echoes which carry with them the pain and horror of that persons death. And an echo loud enough can be unbearable to such a being attuned to the Force. These echoes were part of Darth Traya's ‘grand plan’: to deafen all Force users to the Force itself and so free them of its shackles. Either this or they would die.

“The wounds inside people, the wounds suffered by planets... both cause echoes, heard and felt through the Force. And these echoes build, and all that can hear them shall become deafened... or die.”

In such a way, all those Force users too dependent on the Force would perish – and those strong enough would survive, creating a new galaxy where people can choose their own destiny and control their own fate.

Before the events of KOTOR 2 Traya searched the galaxy for ‘wounds in the Force’ to fulfil her ultimate goal. And so she forged two tools. Darth Sion – her weapon to destroy the Jedi – trained assassins to use an ancient Sith power that drained the Force energy of others and made it their own. And Darth Nihilus, who created a web of Force wounds across the galaxy, sending echoes in all directions. This was the true and original purpose of the First Jedi Purge, not to wipe out the Jedi, a secondary motive, but to deafen all to the Force. And contrary to what Wookieepedia claims, that Mical discovered the truth behind Revan’s conquest during his travels with the Exile, it is obvious he speaks of Traya’s:

“What did you see in the web of worlds that have died? What did you see when you saw it through the Force?”

“I see the death of the galaxy. Of life. At first... I thought it was just conquest, but it’s more terrible than that. It’s an echo, spreading outwards, killing everything.”

“...Now you understand the magnitude of what is being done.”


Traya's plan however experienced a hiccup, an understatement to say the least. Her apprentices grew tired of her schemes, and perhaps realised her true intentions. So they betrayed her, drained her of her power, and then cast her aside. From this point onwards, Kreia abandoned the teachings of the Sith and abandoned the title of Darth Traya. For what reason we cannot be sure, perhaps she finally realised the true horror of what she had created, or perhaps by experiencing what it felt like to be severed from the Force she realised the futility of her actions.

“Know that there was once a Darth Traya. And that she cast aside that role, was exiled, and found a new purpose.”

For a third time Kreia was changed, she realised what she had done, that she had brought about the death of the galaxy and instead sought to stop it. And so she sought out the Exile, on whom all her hopes of the future rested on.

“On you all my hopes rest, for the future, for the Force.”

Instead of seeking to destroy the galaxy, she now sought to save it, and in the Exile - a wound in the Force - she saw an opportunity. Both to destroy the Sith, establish a Jedi Order superior to the last and finally to discern the validity of her teachings: whether through distancing oneself, though not detaching, from the Force one could become stronger and free - as opposed to enslaved like Sion and Nihilus, or blinded like the Jedi Council. From this moment on, Kreia used the Exile for her own purposes. She used her to right her wrongs, to destroy the Sith, bring stability to the Republic she had helped to disrupt and to exact revenge on the Jedi.

“From the moment you awoke, I have used you.”

The Exile became Kreia’s new weapon, but she was careful not to lead her down the path of Darth Nihilus and so avoid the creation of another monster. And this is why if you follow the path of the dark-side she claims that “you have failed me, completely and utterly”. First Kreia had the Exile track down the Jedi Masters. This was for two reasons: firstly so the Council would gather on Dantooine and be destroyed, and secondly so the Exile could learn something of herself.

But the central focus of Kreia’s new intent was to act as a mentor and a teacher so that the Exile might become strong and wise, the greatest pupil she had ever trained. Kreia also sought to protect her from the dangers of the Sith among others, and so she manipulated others into serving the Exile to ensure her safety. For the Exile was everything to her, and she was prepared to sacrifice anything, do anything, to preserve her.

“I would have killed the galaxy to preserve you. I would have let the galaxy die. You are more rare than you know, and what you have taught yourself must not be allowed to die. You are not a Jedi. Not truly. And it is for that I love you.”

But eventually only one final test remained. When the Exile had learned all she could from Kreia and from the Masters, and truly understood the nature of herself, when Kreia could be sure that she was right, that through detachment from the Force one could grow stronger, Kreia put the endgame into action. She knew, as she always had, that the Exile’s final test would be to defeat her, as a Master defeats their apprentice. In doing so the Exile would prove her superiority, overcome her past, and sever the Force bond that threatened her future existence.

“This place is your last test. It is the graveyard of the past, where you lost everything. It is the dark place in your mind that still echoes of failure. Now we shall see if you can overcome the weight of Malachor... and silence the echoes that beat from its heart.”

And so Kreia left a trail of breadcrumbs, rather obvious ones, but breadcrumbs nonetheless, that led the Exile to Malachor V. She convinced the Exile that she had fallen to the dark side once more and sought to create an echo that would destroy all life, but this was in fact a ruse; as she had long since abandoned such motives. This is why Kreia demands that you kill her, and refuses any offers of mercy, for she realises the gravity of the act in a way that the Exile does not. And so, when the Exile defeats Kreia and severs her remaining hand – severing the Force bond between them, the Exile’s training is complete, Kreia’s plans have been fulfilled. And so she proclaims:

“It is done, at last it is done.”

But before Kreia succumbs to death, she offers the Exile a final gift: the future. And then with the Exile’s training finished, the future of the galaxy safe in the hands of her and her ‘Lost Jedi’ who will teach generations to come what Kreia taught the Exile, she finally died. In many ways Traya’s life was a tragic one. She caused the deaths of countless, and in realising the error of her ways was prepared to sacrifice everything, even her own life, to put things right.

I hope you enjoyed this in-depth on KOTOR 2, and if you ever replay the game again, that it will enlighten your experience. If you have any questions on the topic, just ask.

And thank you Aurbere, for giving me the go ahead.

P.S. Some excellent dialogue from Kreia, which elaborates and illustrates what I have said here.

Doctoglethorpe's Avatar


Doctoglethorpe
03.03.2013 , 03:26 PM | #2
I want to replay Kotor 2 now.

Aurbere's Avatar


Aurbere
03.03.2013 , 05:17 PM | #3
Quote: Originally Posted by Beniboybling View Post

And thank you Aurbere, for giving me the go ahead.
No problem. I could have done it myself, but I would have had to replay through KOTOR 2 again, and I just don't have the time to do that right now (evident by the lack of threads produced).

So thank you for doing this.
Added Chapter 40 to The Shadows Fall
"Your only hope to survive is to give in to the rage boiling within you, to acknowledge the Dark Side you deny, and tap into it!"--Darth Tyranus

Ventessel's Avatar


Ventessel
03.03.2013 , 05:22 PM | #4
I'm skeptical that the Force Bond between the Exile and Kreia was actually as strong as she had the Exile believe. I had always believed that she was manipulating it to make it appear far stronger than it was so that she could better influence the Exile. After all, everyone you ask about the Force Bond is always incredulous that Kreia has suggested it would kill you if she died. I think it's just to make sure that the Exile doesn't decide to decapitate her, or let Atton blow her out an airlock.

Darth Traya is supposed to be the embodiment of betrayal. I think that in the end, she betrayed the Exile, whom she was just using to enact her revenge on the Jedi Council and her former apprentices. Her plans for deafening the Force failed, but she could still ensure that everyone who had "wronged" her in the past would pay with their lives. Eventually, though, she was just an old woman who had grown fond of seeing her apprentice become wise and powerful. Essentially, she was content to die and have the Exile become her legacy, now that all her enemies were dead.
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

Darkondo's Avatar


Darkondo
03.04.2013 , 12:34 AM | #5
Funny how I just finish playing KOTOR2 rolling a light side Meetra Surik, and as soon as i beat Traya, this thread shows up, great read, that must have been very hard to come to a conclusion on. Still an interesting one at that, how Kreia never really fell.

Also that actually makes sense how a DS Exile was becoming a second Darth Nihilus given that he/she feeds on the Jedi masters just as Nihilus fed on Katarr.

Kreia has to be one of the most mysterious, deceptive, kniving, and overall interesting characters in all of Star Wars, all in all KOTOR2 is almost as big a mystery as Yoda's race.

Beniboybling's Avatar


Beniboybling
03.04.2013 , 12:12 PM | #6
Quote: Originally Posted by Ventessel View Post
I'm skeptical that the Force Bond between the Exile and Kreia was actually as strong as she had the Exile believe. I had always believed that she was manipulating it to make it appear far stronger than it was so that she could better influence the Exile. After all, everyone you ask about the Force Bond is always incredulous that Kreia has suggested it would kill you if she died. I think it's just to make sure that the Exile doesn't decide to decapitate her, or let Atton blow her out an airlock.

Darth Traya is supposed to be the embodiment of betrayal. I think that in the end, she betrayed the Exile, whom she was just using to enact her revenge on the Jedi Council and her former apprentices. Her plans for deafening the Force failed, but she could still ensure that everyone who had "wronged" her in the past would pay with their lives. Eventually, though, she was just an old woman who had grown fond of seeing her apprentice become wise and powerful. Essentially, she was content to die and have the Exile become her legacy, now that all her enemies were dead.
Interesting, however the Force bond between them was strong, so its possible she was telling the truth. Two examples of this being the case: when Kreia had her hand cut off, Meetra felt her pain pretty powerfully, and then this (cut content), Kreia stabs herself in the chest and the Exile almost dies. I think the bond was real, but yes, she definitely used it as a tool of manipulation.

Interesting interpretation though, however I disagree that she was out for revenge. I genuinely believe she was out to destroy the Sith to prevent the galaxy from dying, and prevent what she had set in motion, and I do not believe she wished to kill the Jedi Masters either - only show them that they were wrong. Like she says in that video:

"You must understand. I did not wish the Jedi dead. Defeated... perhaps. I merely wished them to see that they and their teaching were wrong. That one could not truly understand the Force simply by adhering to the Jedi Code."

“I? Do you think I seek the death of all living things? There is no victory in such things. I do not want to win our war like this, little Jedi. When I win, I wish it to be because I was right, my teachings true.”


However I would agree that she did, before she died, want to do something 'right' for the galaxy, to train an apprentice who would fail or fall as others had. But that entire video is pretty indicative of what I've been saying, I suggest you watch the whole thing.

EDIT: It is also possible and perhaps even likely, that Kreia was also preparing the Exile to face the 'true Sith' who lurked in the Unknown Regions. She obviously realised them as a threat and foresaw another war between force users, a war she likely wished to prevent or at least soften.

Ventessel's Avatar


Ventessel
03.04.2013 , 05:19 PM | #7
Quote: Originally Posted by Beniboybling View Post
However I would agree that she did, before she died, want to do something 'right' for the galaxy, to train an apprentice who would fail or fall as others had. But that entire video is pretty indicative of what I've been saying, I suggest you watch the whole thing.

EDIT: It is also possible and perhaps even likely, that Kreia was also preparing the Exile to face the 'true Sith' who lurked in the Unknown Regions. She obviously realised them as a threat and foresaw another war between force users, a war she likely wished to prevent or at least soften.
Ah, then perhaps it wasn't so much revenge she was after, but vindication. Basically she wanted to prove that her teachings produced more complete, better students than those of the Jedi Masters.

As for the whole "Resurgent Sith Empire" bit... I really doubt it. It's a bit tiring to have everyone reading into that so much. To my knowledge, it was really only Revan who was preparing to fight them. Even Malak wasn't really aware of Revan's overall goals, which is why he was only bent on conquest during KotOR, not seeing why Revan was so carefully capturing key infrastructure and defeating the Republic's fleets without destroying the industrial power.
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