Why I identify with the Sith Empire more so than the Republic in Star Wars: The Old Republic.
While I wait for my lunch to cool off, I figure I would do a rhetoric piece for the 9th of December 2014. Now by this stage many of you know that I play an Imperial Agent, and am heavily devoted to the Sith Empire per se. Yet I never really explained “why” I was this dedicated to the Dark Council, the Imperial ideal, and so on: figure it was time to do some – shall we say – water cooler talk regarding this present circumstance.
When one takes a walk outside in a country like the United States or Canada, one has to be careful with their opinion, because otherwise if they accidentally offend someone (be it a political opinion, or moral opinion, and so on), that person (depending on background and or mood of the day) will generally explode and throw accusations at the person in question. Sometimes the truth hurts, like a certain neighborhood is poor because of the people inhabiting it (based on education, or certain social attitudes like wanting to be part of a gang and dropping out of school, rather than focusing on career aspirations and the likes). Yet if one is not careful, someone who is sensitive to this case will explode at the speaker, threatening them, or just throwing accusations and curse words at them like it was going out of fashion – almost like they were attempting to censor them.
Living in a society where being politically correct comes with a sense of stability is an interesting phenomenon, and one that many people may find it difficult to adjust to and/or live in, depending on their circumstances. This circumstance therefore is made easier by siding with the Sith Empire; almost like drinking coffee to make the work day bearable. Replacing the over-sensitive social activist or eavesdropper with a Sith Lord, one can see the parallels regarding the consequences of pissing off a Sith Lord. Generally in the Empire, citizens are always beneath the Sith in the power structure (not that anyone is below an activist in real life, but bear with me with this example), therefore when talking in public, one must be careful not to upset the “established order” per se. Indeed the Empire can be what we would call: “an exaggerated example” of modern life – minus the near-totalitarian architecture and so on. Now some of you may say: “but Writer, the Republic is the same as our reality – it is a democracy, is it not?”
The Republic is an alliance of planets, and Coruscant happens to function like a democracy. This alliance is as diverse as the worlds that comprise it: from Balmorra (former), to Alderaan (present), and to planets like Ord Mantell and the list goes on. The Republic feels more so like a “Wild West” with the various political factions than a unified nation. Now is the Sith Empire exactly what I am looking for in a: “representation of our society?” Short answer is no; the game’s factions are just fictional works designed to be exaggerations of reality for the purposes of entertainment. Indeed the harsh xenophobia in the Empire is a detriment to its power as it can certainly benefit from the cooperation of alien species much like Admiral Thrawn and his Empire of the Hand. Now will this threaten the established political elite, some might ask? Possibly yes, because the Sith Empire works for humans a lot better than aliens; yet it can also add to its power base in a sense.
The idea of duty is not bound to one particular species, rather it is an idea – capable of transmitting itself through languages and barriers. People who feel a sense of belonging to a society will often seek to serve (at least when looking at it from an optimistic standpoint). Sith Lords like Razer (a Kaleesh Male) are one of the examples of how duty – and the concept of duty – can be carried by just about anyone who has the cognitive ability to understand it. Effectively, while I just went off on a rant about how the Empire could be strengthened with aliens alliances, this harsh xenophobia is limited to the game, thankfully. The up and coming generation (colloquially dubbed: “the Millennials” or “Generation-Y”) is definitely more diverse and tolerant than their predecessors.
Ultimately when I play my Agent in the Sith Empire, it helps me explore our world in a more exotic fashion. Indeed it teaches us humility, and how to navigate the public sphere in order to avoid unnecessary confrontation with the above mentioned. One is entitled to their opinion, but it is not wise to throw that opinion around like a tennis ball – that ball might hit a “child” who will in turn make plenty of noise to notify half the country of your actions. Best stick to the shadows, and enjoy the spectacle; you might even get to romance a rich girl like in the mission: “High Society.” One can guess that ladies like their men dangerous, mysterious, and they also want their lovers to earn their affection. Suit up gents, time to play James Bond in real life (humor intended).
Thank you all for reading, I do hope this was enlightening for all of you. Stay safe out there, don’t forget to check out my Patreon Page if you are interested (Tab is at the top of the main page and off to the right), check back often for more written works here on this blog, and I shall see you next time.