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Was Ashara originally intended to be LS/DS like Jaesa?

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Story and Lore
Was Ashara originally intended to be LS/DS like Jaesa?

SW_display_name's Avatar

07.13.2013 , 04:50 AM | #1
Having done the Warrior story and see what an awesome companion Jaesa is, I was extremely disappointed with Ashara Zavros you spend all of Taris working to "turn" her, and then the game hits the reset button and acts as if none of it happened. Instead of a corrupted Padawan, you get an unrepentant snotty Jedi brat.

Which is fine if you want an LS companion. For LS characters, Ashara makes a fiery, spunky counterpart to LS Jaesa's more passive and uncertain nature.

But with Jaesa, you're given the option of having a DS fallen Jedi if that fits your character more. LS Ashara simply doesn't even belong on my ship. I didn't want her coming with me off Taris after her usefulness was expended, and after her "Welcome Ashara" conversation, my first reaction was: Get off my ship. Preferably through the airlock. During a hyperspace jump.

What I'm wondering is if the original plan was to give both Warriors and Inqs the option to either break a Jedi, or cooperate with them but something was cut or rearranged in the writing process and we were given one-size-fits-all Ashara.

A lot of what you do on Taris makes no sense when you see the results, which are always the same no matter what. You are given so many choices with how you handle Ashara:
  • You can tempt her with forbidden knowledge, or try to murder her
  • If you tempt her, you can gently reason with her, or indiously manipulate her into experimenting with DS philosophy
  • If you attack her, you can send the assassins away without bloodshed, or you can tear them apart with her help.
  • If you kill the assassins, you can take care of it yourself, or you can manipulate her into murdering in cold blood.
  • If you don't kill the assassins, you can either reason with her, or just shock her panties off with abusive use of Force Lightning until she gives up and cries.
  • You can even choose to let the Zavros spirit just go ahead and murder her for her trespassing, then make her beg you and promise servitude in exchange for protection.

Yet every. single. decision. just leads to the exact same tedious annoying LS Ashara personality. She even constantly proclaims "I'm not Dark Side!" as if the writers are lampshading her lack of an alignment choice. Well, duh? The whole point of Taris, for my character, was to turn her Dark Side and then it just gets reset and forgotten about.

There's more weirdness, too. Even if you choose to use the holocron to tempt her (instead of stage a murder attempt), and never even see the assassin version of the subplot, you still get an email from Lord Anathemos rambling about "theatrics" with his assassins. And the email ends abruptly in the middle of a sentence, without punctuation. It's like plot forks were added or deleted without proper testing or proofreading.

When you encounter Ashara the first time, she's standing in a room full of Republic soldiers with no explanation whatsoever. Why am I suddenly being ambushed by the Republic? If it was Ashara's doing, why does she act like they're not even there? Why is Ashara just standing there, if she's supposed to fleeing for her life or meeting me in secret? Again, it feels like plot details were cut, left out, or poorly rearranged.

And in her first companion conversation, you can point out she enjoyed killing her assassins even though you didn't even choose that method. You also get that option even if you Force Persuade sent the assassins away without any bloodshed. Once again it feels like fragments and loose ends of a story that got smashed and rearranged.

All the rough edges and disjointedness about Ashara's missions on Taris makes me wonder if this Padawan was originally intended to be LS/DS like Jaesa, but for whatever reason it got chopped seemingly hastily and glued back together as a subplot where nothing you do actually matters. At all.

I suppose it's irrelevant now, but after seeing how awesome Jaesa Willsaam works and how rewarding it felt to turn her, I really feel like the writers and developers missed a great opportunity with Ashara. Seeing her unleashed DS version would have been really interesting and rewarding, and given Taris a payoff instead of a "What?" blank stare.

Pietrastor's Avatar

07.13.2013 , 05:08 AM | #2
Jaesa is one of the most unintentionally funny companions in the game. The entire "pick your own Jasea" thing is so silly & "Sunday cartoon" it's just hysterical. Not to mention that, especially her Dark Side version, is a walking caricature.

BenKatarn's Avatar

07.13.2013 , 05:24 AM | #3
I can fully relate to your frustrations with Ashara, let me assure you. Being unable to turn her to the Dark Side despite all this stuff happening on Taris was the lowpoint of my Inquisitor's story. I mean, sure, every class has one companion in their crew who is the odd one standing out, but with Ashara it's like people simply forgot or didn't care. I mean, am I really supposed to assume that this little Padawan with all her pride issues and desire for combat cannot is so steadfast in her beliefs that she cannot be turned to the Dark Side? I just don't buy that.

I also recall someone asked this question to someone involved with the game (either a Dev or one of the writers, I cannot recall), and the answer to this was something along the lines of wanting Jaesa to be "unique". To me, that's just a load of bull and while I really don't want to join the hate train on Rebecca Harwick's writing of the Inquisitor's story, it's just another aspect of the story that feels totally lackluster in comparison to the other class stories in the game. It's so frustrating that the Sith Warrior can manipulate so many more people over the course of their story like a true Sith, yet the Inquisitor falls short of it at almost every turn.
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lironBD's Avatar

07.13.2013 , 06:52 AM | #4
Ashara > Jaesa

Jaesa is psycho with no backbone, Ashara is a jedi in service of the sith.

Peace is a lie, Peace is apathy. Peace is death. Actions must be taken.
- Ashara

Jaesa wants to eat little puppies all the time :X
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CloudCastle's Avatar

07.13.2013 , 11:49 AM | #5
So I had this nice long post and the Internet just ate it. Ugh. I'll try again.

This is a really interesting point and you make a good argument that something is indeed off about Ashara's story. I didn't even realize how many oddities there were in the many different options you get for that scene. Interestingly, in my version, Ashara at one point got an animation that implied that she had fallen - she was encompassed by a red, shadowy glow and she bends over like she is being consumed in some sort of transformation. I had interpreted it all to mean that she had fallen to the dark-side, but that she was simply in denial and was trying to cling uselessly to the notion that she was still a Jedi. I mean, I call her my apprentice after all, right? I haven't finished her conversations, and don't use her much, so I don't know how that interpretation plays out. It certainly feels though like that some point she needs to accept reality and embrace her dark nature.

I didn't understand the scene where you "rescue" her either. It was explained to me that I'm going to find her in a remote location, where she is trapped and surrounded by sith assassins. Yet, I show up and she's standing practically in the middle of a Republic war camp, complete with patrolling droids and troops everywhere, etc. So why don't they rescue her? I don't know if there is another version of this scene where it does make sense, but if so, I'd be curious to hear it. I was pretty confused.

ApostleThirst's Avatar

07.13.2013 , 01:30 PM | #6
I'm on the other side of the fence. Jaesa just seems so... OTT, and to me this makes her really, really bland. She's just trying too hard. "Yay, let's kill everyone!" or "I sense your hostility". There are two extremes to Jaesa. Nothing in the middle.

Maybe because I'm light side, but I found Ashara to be much more interesting. Here, you come up and act with honor. You don't murder her people unnecessarily. You don't threaten her. Everything that she has been taught about Sith has been proven wrong in her eyes, and then in turn her own masters are the ones who act in a Dark Side manner - decreeing that you must die.

Her ancient ancestor turns out to be Sith, and the kind of Sith that she's been warned about. But she can't run to her masters - the only one she can turn to is the one who killed them.

She's facing simultaneous proof of her masters being both right and wrong. So what does she do? She tries to understand things on her own. Zash notes that Ashara is clever and basically refuses to come near her, knowing that Zash will probably try and corrupt her. Ashara then takes the time to try and understand the Sith Code and philosophy while trying to retain the truths from Jedi teachings. Best described in one of her idle quotes that I'm sure you've heard many times - "Peace, passion..."

At the same time, she's just good. I can't explain it better than that, but some people just inherently want to make the universe a better place. I'm one of those people, and that's part of the reason I like Ashara so much - I can relate to facing the facts of how little I know about the world, but I still want to help it and make it better for my passing through it.

If you're just frustrated that you can't turn Ashara dark side, then you're missing the point of her character entirely. She's not light side either. Ashara Zavros is simply a girl trying to do her best.

Kaiserkain's Avatar

07.13.2013 , 02:44 PM | #7
I don't have any particular opinion about which companion of Jaesa and Ashara is 'better' or whatever, but it's pretty blatant that something was cut from Ashara. You can manipulate her into killing a person in cold blood the very first time you meet her and she'll go on about how she has no place among the Jedi anymore and so on. Yet later on when she gets on your ship so will she, without any input from you, start going on about your plan to create a lasting peace between the empire and the republic even though you've never brought up such a thing. It's really jarring.

Beniboybling's Avatar

07.13.2013 , 04:29 PM | #8
"I'm a Jedi, I'm not dark side! Yet I'm still going to swear my loyalty to a Sith Lord and aid in his quest to spread pain, darkness and misery across the galaxy! Because I'm confused something something something..."

I agree it makes no sense. My Ashara stays locked up on my ship and I pretend she never happened.

I also agree with what other people say that Jaesa is something of a caricature, and really every other conversation (which for some reason always has to take place on the ship) is Jaesa telling me how much she loves killing puppies.

That said, the idea that you can take on an apprentice by corrupting a Jedi gives me a sense of power and control over my character's destiny, which is a nice touch to any RPG experience.

Perhaps Xalek was the reason? After all he is your actual apprentice, and Ashara being your DS apprentice would come into conflict with that. Perhaps Xalek is our DS option - not that there is much too him.

Aurbere's Avatar

07.13.2013 , 04:53 PM | #9
I wish I could have turned Ashara to the Dark Side. She's a good melee DPS, but her story bugs me.

I also like DS Jaesa. If only for the fact that I could turn her to the Dark Side.
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"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

ekimmak's Avatar

07.13.2013 , 05:33 PM | #10
Chances are, any chance of influencing Ashara's alignment, let alone her conversations, went out the window with killing companions.
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