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An in-depth look at combat: Plo Koon

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > STAR WARS Discussion
An in-depth look at combat: Plo Koon

Aurbere's Avatar


Aurbere
01.25.2015 , 07:56 PM | #1
My third combat analysis thread. This time we’ll be focusing on my favorite character: Plo Koon! Let’s face it; you guys knew this was coming. So let’s go ahead and do it!

”He’s an expert swordsman, and a hard taskmaster.”—Qui-Gon Jinn

Age: Assumed over 400 standard years, most likely in his mid-to-late sixties
Height: 1.88 meters
Weight: 80 kilograms

Physicality

Whether Plo Koon is over four hundred years old or not is irrelevant as he is still an aging Kel Dor well-past his physical prime. However, the sustaining energies of the Light Side of the Force allow him to compensate for his age. He is able to perform acrobatic leaps, move incredibly fast, and overpower much younger opponents through his strength. In addition to his great strength, Plo Koon possessed an incredible tolerance for pain, demonstrated during the Battle of Khorm when he brushed off a broken arm and continued to fight, even engaging in lightsaber combat and shrugging off attacks on his arm from Asajj Ventress.

His Kel Dor nature affords him several physical advantages and disadvantages. He has a naturally tougher hide that allows him to cope with extreme temperatures and even the vacuum of space without extra protective measures, and the extrasensory organs on his head give him advanced senses. However, his Kel Dor nature also forces him to wear an antiox breath mask that provides him with the necessary breathing gases to survive on oxygen-rich worlds. Without the mask and goggles, he will slowly die a very painful death of asphyxiation.

Melee Abilities

Focused primarily on lightsaber combat, Plo Koon was hailed as an expert swordsman by many of his peers and renowned as a great swordmaster.

Lightsaber: Plo Koon’s lightsaber has been depicted with different designs in various mediums, either with different blade colors or different hilt designs entirely. There are two possibilities here. Either the writers took artistic liberties in the design of his weapon, or he has multiple lightsabers of differing design. Both are certainly possible. However, because he is depicted in higher level sources as wielding a blue-bladed lightsaber, this analysis will assume that his lightsaber has one design and one crystal—a blue one, to be precise. But the possibility remains that he had multiple weapons.

Djem So/Shien: Form V is the strength oriented fighting style of the Jedi Order. It serves as advancement to the more defensive Soresu style. Shien focuses on the deflection and redirection of blaster fire—aimed deflection as they say—while Djem So focuses on lightsaber combat, the philosophy behind it being defense and immediate counter attack. Plo Koon’s application of the style focused primarily on the defensive side of it. Though he can charge into combat, his approach to combat was stayed and focused and revolved around Soresu concepts of energy conservation. He primarily defended against attacks that threatened him or others and used the least amount of energy and movement necessary to deflect attacks. In combat with another Force user, he primarily attempts to take the offensive, using the offensive nature of his Form to quickly dispatch foes. However, if he cannot take the offensive, he falls on the defensive and attempts to outmaneuver foes when he can, striking when an opportunity presents itself with speed and precision. He can take the offensive when it suits him, or sit on the defensive and wait for an opportunity to seize the offensive. He applies Form V’s concepts perfectly in that regard.

Force Abilities

Over his many years of living, Plo Koon developed his skill in a variety of Force abilities that could be useful in many different situations.

Telekinesis: The standard ability to move objects and people, Plo Koon was a skilled master of the ability. He had little difficulty lifting and moving heavy objects and collapsing natural structures. He was skilled in quickly summoning powerful Force Waves to throw back multiple enemies and break the Force Shields of opposing Force users, even applying this against Asajj Ventress in the heat of combat.

Telepathy: Though not as masterful as Yarael Poof or Saesee Tiin, Plo Koon still possessed great skill in telepathy. He was a skilled master of the Jedi Mind Trick ability, even applying it against well over a dozen subjects simultaneously. He was highly skilled in entering the minds of others, demonstrating the ability to actively inhabit a subject’s mind in order to hear what they hear and see what they see. He was also skilled in the standard ability of mentally communicating with others.

Alter Environment: Alter Environment serves as the ability to manipulate the environment, specifically the elements such as the air and water. Plo Koon was a skilled user of the ability and could use it to summon massive fog clouds or freeze bodies of water. The ability itself has a near limitless number of applications and requires very little of the user’s energy.

Force lightning: Most often associated with the Dark Side, Force lightning was described by Plo Koon to be an innate ability of his and he dubbed it Electric Judgment. The ability manifested itself in blue forks of lightning that could be used to stun and incapacitate foes. Though he has only used the ability once, he does state that he desired to experiment with it and develop the technique for use in combat. If he did choose to use it in combat, it would most likely be used as a last resort if he had no other option.

Ayna-Seff: Translated to meaning “Dead Brain”, the Baran Do Sage technique of ayna-seff was an ability that allowed the user to shield the brain from being monitored. Plo Koon, as a member of the Sages, was aware of this ability and his knowledge helped Luke Skywalker trace his fallen nephew’s steps after his fall to the Dark Side.

Strengths

Plo Koon’s obvious strengths are his skills with the lightsaber and his strength in the Force, but his greatest strength comes from his tactical mind, manifested in his approach to combat. He does not use a single method when engaged with an adversary; he expertly applies all of his tools when needed. He applies his lightsaber skill based on the opponent and the situation. If he cannot take the offensive he will fall on the defensive and wait until an opportunity arises to strike back. If such an opportunity does not arise, he resorts to outthinking his opponent. He can do so by outmaneuvering an opponent or by waging psychological warfare. If necessary, he will attack his opponent with the Force in order to turn the tables of force his opponent into an area of his choosing.

He applies all of these in combat to off-balance opponents and gain victory.

Weaknesses

As previously mentioned, Plo Koon’s greatest weakness is his mask—the only means of survival on oxygen-rich worlds. Should the mask be removed he will die a slow painful death asphyxiation.

In addition to a physical weakness, Plo Koon could be considered to have a mental weakness as well. The Jedi’s natural habit of putting themselves at risk to save others is commonly seen as a weakness to exploit. In Plo Koon’s case, it was notably exploited when Plo Koon put himself at risk in combat with Savage Opress in order to protect one of his comrades, resulting in the clone’s death and the removal of his mask.

Counter Strengths

He can avoid these weaknesses by falling back on a defensive stance. By not overextending himself, he affords himself the ability to guard against attacks on his mask. Similarly, a defensive stance allows him to properly gauge the situation when others are put in danger. Of course, such situations are often chaotic and offer little time to think, but a stayed approach would allow him to apply his tactical mind to quickly analyze the situation and apply the best approach. Often times, however, the best approach can be the most direct one. Unfortunately, as was evident in his battle with Savage, a direct approach can lead to the exploit of his weakness.

What should be obvious here then is that the situation is what matters, and the approach to use is dependent on the situation. His tactical mind will allow him to analyze the situation and find the best solution under the circumstances.

Quotes, Scans, and Clips

Quote:
"I also acknowledge the Council's observation that the Force is strong in my family. My uncle was a Jedi Knight, as is my niece Sha Koon."
—Plo Koon


Quote:
This Kel Dor Jedi Master descended from a long line of Jedi, and was one of the last members of the Jedi Council.
—The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia

Plo Koon collapses a cave without effort:
http://static.comicvine.com/uploads/...0757-26831.jpg

Plo Koon vs Asajj Ventress:
http://static.comicvine.com/uploads/...3309-26831.jpg
http://static.comicvine.com/uploads/...4504-26831.jpg
http://static.comicvine.com/uploads/...ventress+3.jpg
http://static.comicvine.com/uploads/...ventress+4.jpg
http://static.comicvine.com/uploads/...s+vs+koon7.jpg

(NOTE: I had planned on including the scans of Plo Koon’s fight with Savage, but I was unable to find the full fight on the Google Images. That said, the artwork and the nature of its depiction in the comic leaves much to be desired and doesn’t provide much of a glimpse into their duel.)

Final Thoughts

I never considered Plo Koon an indomitable lightsaber duelist or ultimate master of the Force. He’s not. He has limits and he has superiors. What I find in Plo Koon’s fighting style is that it is similar to Count Dooku’s in more ways than one. They both focus on more precise applications of their lightsabers, and they both have a habit of implementing all of their tools in combat in order to gain victory. What makes Plo Koon a great fighter is not one particular skill that he excels in or the variety of skills that he has. What makes him great is his application of all of these abilities in combat. Not just his application, however, but how and when he uses them. He uses them to take tactical advantages, take advantage of enemy weaknesses, or simply create some distance with a well timed Force attack.

He is not the best fighter, however, and his weaknesses make that clear. However, his ability to compensate for these weaknesses is what also improves his standing as a great fighter. He earned a reputation for his great skills in battle, and I feel that this reputation is well earned.
Added Chapter 66 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

Aurbere's Avatar


Aurbere
01.25.2015 , 08:15 PM | #2
Sel, do you still have that message I sent you with the list of characters I plan on making threads for? I've been looking through my PMs and I can't find it.
Added Chapter 66 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

Silenceo's Avatar


Silenceo
01.25.2015 , 08:17 PM | #3
I knew you would make this one eventually.

That said, he is indeed quite awesome Aurbere. Always had a fondness for Kel Dor...
"What I unveil today will mark a new era for the Empire. We will be able to decimate the Rebels just as we did the Jedi Knights. At last the Emperor's war will be filled only with the glory and beauty of decisive victory."―Rom Mohc Never force a droid to think without numbers...

Aurbere's Avatar


Aurbere
01.25.2015 , 08:20 PM | #4
Quote: Originally Posted by Silenceo View Post
I knew you would make this one eventually.

That said, he is indeed quite awesome Aurbere. Always had a fondness for Kel Dor...
Well of course! It would be wrong if someone else did it.

Indeed, Kel Dor are quite awesome and one of my favorite species. They're one of the reasons Outcast is one of the few post-ROTJ novels I actually own.
Added Chapter 66 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

Silenceo's Avatar


Silenceo
01.25.2015 , 08:28 PM | #5
Quote: Originally Posted by Aurbere View Post
Well of course! It would be wrong if someone else did it.

Indeed, Kel Dor are quite awesome and one of my favorite species. They're one of the reasons Outcast is one of the few post-ROTJ novels I actually own.
Eh, yeah... *sends a PM to cancel the thread assassination...* /sarcasm

Aye, that and the fact they have their own type of force users, as well as how they see justice.
"What I unveil today will mark a new era for the Empire. We will be able to decimate the Rebels just as we did the Jedi Knights. At last the Emperor's war will be filled only with the glory and beauty of decisive victory."―Rom Mohc Never force a droid to think without numbers...

Aurbere's Avatar


Aurbere
01.25.2015 , 08:31 PM | #6
Quote: Originally Posted by Silenceo View Post
Eh, yeah... *sends a PM to cancel the thread assassination...* /sarcasm

Aye, that and the fact they have their own type of force users, as well as how they see justice.
Indeed, Kel Dors are a very interesting race with very interesting views on things. I'm actually planning on doing an in-depth series on Aliens, because there's a lot of cool aliens out there.
Added Chapter 66 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

Silenceo's Avatar


Silenceo
01.25.2015 , 08:32 PM | #7
Quote: Originally Posted by Aurbere View Post
Yup, you're mixing up species. It's Ki-Adi Mundi who had multiple wives. Basically, male Cereans are quite rare, so males have multiple wives in order to help populate the gender pool with more males.

Cerean's are actually pretty baller. Been thinking of an Alien Species series for my in-depth series, actually.
Bah! I knew it was either Mundi, or Plo... Couldn't remember which...

How embarrassing... (Removes the comment from previous post)
"What I unveil today will mark a new era for the Empire. We will be able to decimate the Rebels just as we did the Jedi Knights. At last the Emperor's war will be filled only with the glory and beauty of decisive victory."―Rom Mohc Never force a droid to think without numbers...

Aurbere's Avatar


Aurbere
01.25.2015 , 08:37 PM | #8
Quote: Originally Posted by Silenceo View Post
Bah! I knew it was either Mundi, or Plo... Couldn't remember which...

How embarrassing... (Removes the comment from previous post)
It's too late! I have quoted your foolishness for all to see! Now you will be embarrassed forever!

Nah, because I'm not an unsavory individual, I'll go ahead and cut that part out and improv.
Added Chapter 66 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

Silenceo's Avatar


Silenceo
01.25.2015 , 08:47 PM | #9
Quote: Originally Posted by Aurbere View Post
It's too late! I have quoted your foolishness for all to see! Now you will be embarrassed forever!

Nah, because I'm not an unsavory individual, I'll go ahead and cut that part out and improv.
Gooood....

Though Kel Dor are still awesome. I mean, Electric Judgement ftw! Or "Dead Mind" or what it was that Luke learned.
"What I unveil today will mark a new era for the Empire. We will be able to decimate the Rebels just as we did the Jedi Knights. At last the Emperor's war will be filled only with the glory and beauty of decisive victory."―Rom Mohc Never force a droid to think without numbers...

Aurbere's Avatar


Aurbere
01.25.2015 , 08:52 PM | #10
Quote: Originally Posted by Silenceo View Post
Gooood....

Though Kel Dor are still awesome. I mean, Electric Judgement ftw! Or "Dead Mind" or what it was that Luke learned.
*Dead Brain

They really are super cool. It just sucks that they can't breathe in oxygen-rich environments. Although, they aren't exactly Adonis under those masks.

But, yeah, I really liked their inclusion in Outcast and where it went. It offered a deeper perspective of the Sages and the Kel Dor people as a whole. Not to mention it made Plo Koon a member of the Sages, which is awesome.

Speaking of Electric Judgment, however, I wish Plo Koon would use it again. In a proper combat situation, of course. It would really validate my theory on it and give Plo Koon a nice new feat depending on who he used it one or how it was used.
Added Chapter 66 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