Jedi - Part 4 - It's the Emperor's Galaxy and the Jedi are Just Living In It

posted by

Aconite and ornj

August 22, 2023

August 22, 2023

posted by

Aconite and ornj

This is Part 4 of our Jedi Developer Diaries (see: Part 1: The Inciting Incident & FaQ, Part 2: Life, Death, and the Jedi Ecosystem, and Part 3: The Tools of the Jedi and The Consequences of Using Them). In this diary, we’re sharing the high-level setting and shape of both the Jedi Storyline and the historical context that the Jedi in our world live in, demonstrated as episodic milestones: The Exile and The Revision, which are the historical events that happen before our story takes place, The Incite and The Path, which are the journey events your character progresses through, and finally The Hunt and The Order, which is where the core gameplay loop pans out.

A note on nomenclature: SWG Restoration officially takes place in 3 ABY after the Battle of Hoth. While game mechanics and systems use the term “Jedi,” you won’t find much usage of the term in-game as part of our dialogue or story. This is because we respect that The Jedi, as established canonically in the movies, is an extinct religion. In other words, in-game, (generally) no characters will refer to you as a Jedi. Likewise, pursuing the Dark Side doesn’t make you a Sith. While we refer to these game systems collectively as encompassing the experience of playing a “Jedi” (e.g., Jedi Skill Trees, Jedi Combat Mechanics, the “Jedi” Developer Diaries, etc.), this is for ease of reference and understanding only. Ultimately, only you decide what to refer to your character as in our story, whether that’s a Jedi or something else. More on this later.

The Exile

Following Order 66, The Force fell deeply out of balance as the galaxy plunged into darkness. The few survivors, once called Jedi, scattered across the galaxy and into hiding. The divarication of ordainment from the institution of the Jedi Order has caused a fissure in The Force that left the galaxy wardenless. The Jedi Order had failed to protect and defend and, out of its ranks, fostered an agent of darkness who vowed to eradicate any that remained. Out of fear for their well-being, those that survived now found themselves vagabonds, bound to the shadows and avoiding the spotlight. In a short time that felt like ages, the fabric binding the galaxy together was shattered and scattered, leaving only a glimmer of light in its place. It’s there that those survivors sense one another and hold onto hope, as it is all they have left.

The Exile sets the stage for the rest of the story by outcasting the Jedi into the void. This is a crucial point of the story because we shape the remainder of our experience around the lack of organization and chaos in the galaxy.

“The attempt on my life has left me scarred and deformed, but I assure you my resolve has never been stronger. The war is over. The Separatists have been defeated, and the Jedi rebellion has been foiled. We stand on the threshold of a new beginning. In order to ensure the security and continuing stability, the Republic will be reorganized into the first Galactic Empire, for a safe and secure society.”

The Revision

In the years following Empire Day, Emperor Palpatine and the Galactic Empire engaged in a systematic, unremitting demonization campaign of the old Jedi and any Force Sensitives. The Jedi Order, already dissolved, was touted far and wide as a corrupt institution destroyed by its arrogance. It didn’t matter whether that Force Sensitive was aligned with the Empire’s interests or not. The Force Sensitives were to be extinct by order of the Emperor, and the levy of propaganda to brand them as cancerous was unrelenting. It didn’t take long for the galaxy to turn against them, forgetting any of their altruism and only seeing the picturesque portraits of villains spoon-fed to them with vitriol thinly veiled as cautionary tales. Even for the Rebellion, as it pushed back against the reign of the Empire, associating with Force Sensitives became complicated politics as the few that knew the truth were seldom willing to share, as it was widely unpopular to do so. In no time at all, the Jedi and Force Sensitives alike had no history to them but those fabricated to inspire fear and hatred, and that is the prevalent mood across the galaxy today.

While not a component of the main unlock storyline, players will learn more about The Exile and The Revision through side-quests, content areas like the Menagerie for the Bestine Humanities Society, and other adventures.

“The Jedi, and some within our own Senate, had conspired to create the shadow of Separatism using one of their own as the enemy's leader. They had hoped to grind the Republic into ruin. But the hatred in their hearts could not be hidden forever. As last, there came a day when our enemies showed their true natures. The Jedi hoped to unleash their destructive power against the Republic by assassinating the head of government and usuring control of the clone army. But the aims of the would-be tyrants were valiantly opposed by those without elitist, dangerous powers...”

The Incite

Something has happened. Something hidden deep, perhaps for your protection, has come to the surface, and now it is time. To the benighted, it appears to be pure luck or a near miss, but to the enlightened, it is the crux juncture signifying the first spark of discovery for a latent power that has always existed deep within. This specific moment of discovery, different for every being, is precipitated when you need it most and denotes the start of a new journey toward The Force. You now take steps to explore the galaxy more to find what this means. It is here you meet the Mysterious Figure and where your journey begins...

The Mysterious Figure is your first hint that you are entering a larger world, but not a world that you expect to be easy. Yet as soon as they arrive, they disappear. This might be a path you have to begin alone.

“I've heard you're looking for someone to help with your "connection to the world." We should speak soon, but I want to make sure you have what you claim”

The Path

The Force flows through all things, but clearly, on Dathomir, there exists a convergence of its stream. Perhaps it is something new or ancient, but The Force is strong with its people there. Among them exists a Village. Shrouded in the mists, a group of Force Sensitives found refuge with the aid of The Force itself. The planet, indeed the very galaxy, had turned against these people, but these Villagers had found refuge and community in the most unlikely of places, deep in the wastes. The Force seemed to seek to balance this tide with a protective barrier, warding away any non-Sensitives and offering solace to those that had felt the spark.

And yet, this is not how we find the Village now. Palpatine’s words have fully ingrained themselves in the galaxy and, with that, an insurgency to the witcheries of Dathomir. Unrest grew among those that detested any Force users, and eventually, they rallied together as the Patriots of Dathomir. Ironically, its members source from almost any planet, and yet they have chosen this place to lay their siege. Led by a spiteful former Jedi Initiate under the grip of the Imperial Inquisition, this movement works to build its numbers and cleanse the planet of any that remind them of the former Jedi.

The next phase of the journey brings you in contact with this new faction and eventually to the Village itself. The Village is where you can finally learn from those with the knowledge you have been seeking and train Force Sensitive skills. This will work similarly to how it existed in the original game, completing quests for village members who can train particular aspects of the Force Sensitive trees and converting your earned experience points into Force Sensitive XP to spend on them.

“That is why I have called upon you, my loyal followers, to join me in this righteous crusade against the last remnants of the Jedi and all those who practice this witchcraft. Together, we will root out the corruption and restore order to the galaxy. We will show these so-called Force users that their time has come and gone, that they can no longer impose their twisted beliefs upon us.”

After completing your training and aiding the Village against this siege, you will again be reunited with the Mysterious Stranger. They will guide you in the next steps of your path if you so choose to abandon your current life that exists in relative safety and obscurity.

The Mysterious Figure roams alone. They know The Force, but they are no Jedi. So far, they have sought to remain hidden and serve a higher purpose by protecting the innocent and working to save the lives of those hunted. Haunted by the past but knowing what needs to be done, they begin to see that perhaps The Force is calling them to be more than a lone warrior… If you both heed the call, the Mysterious Figure will become your mentor and teach you the ways of The Force.

You will face the Initiate Trials (formerly the “Padawan Trials”), where the Mysterious Figure finally puts what you have learned at The Village to the test. If you pass, you will be shown into The Path, a series of safehouses and sympathetic volunteers that the Mysterious Figure themself relies on. In the walls of these safe houses, there is no conflict; it is a place of learning and rest. Here you will train your “Jedi” skills with the Mysterious Figure and other characters you will encounter along the way.

The conclusion of The Path is where the player begins their new life. They are now involved in the cyclical gameplay loops of The Hunt, The Order, or both. More on that below!

The Hunt

There is no peace outside the walls of The Path. The galaxy is not ready to welcome the return of anyone wielding The Force.

Players that have elected to play Jedi will be restricted from Combatant status in the GCW and will always need to be wary about how they act in the game world. As we explained in more detail in our last dev diary, most combat actions you take will incur “visibility,” and you never know who you can trust. NPCs will have their views on the Jedi, and any players or other characters that see you perform your seemingly impossible feats, or wielding the gear of the old Jedi, can turn you in. The Emperor pays well for loyalty.

Players will spend their time building their lightsaber, hunting for cloaks and holocrons, and learning new skills. It may turn out to be a lonely and dangerous life. You must watch out for signs that you have been seen and do what you can to lay low or throw off the trail. This may mean times when you can’t attend events with your friends or fight on the front lines of the Galactic Civil War for too long. 

Seek out friends that can help you. To survive in this new environment, you will need trusted allies to aid you in content. As a Force user, you have a lot to offer in both group PvP and PvE, but you will need to remain ever vigilant. The Inquisition, and indeed Vader himself, are always after you.

“Thanks to the Empire's rule, I've had to learn the hard way. I've been on the run, betrayed, and hunted by those I trusted. So, kid, remember this: the path you're on holds both hope and deception. Stay cautious, and above all: trust The Force.”

The Order

Forced into hiding, those wielding The Force must disregard any political divide and self-organize if they ever wish for their well-being and ways of life to survive. The need for organization catalyzes a necessity to reflect on the past attempts to do so, if and where such records can even be found. Along the way, a survivor of Order 66, mentally plagued by the past failings of The Jedi Order, inserts themselves into the efforts to shape a new entity for organizing those with a proclivity for The Force and aids in creating The Order.

The Force Ranking System (“FRS”) manifests in our game as The Order. Led by a survivor of Order 66, the Order is their attempt to rebuild what has been lost, reconnect with The Force, and to remind the galaxy that the Jedi were once the guardians of peace and justice. However, The Force is unbalanced, and the state of the galaxy complicates this plan.

We note here the mention of a “political divide” that is a secondary consideration to your participation in The Order. Here, we mean that your alignment to the Rebel or Imperial factions is effectively irrelevant as far as The Order is concerned. The Order is about preserving the sanctity and way of life of those that wield The Force, and with so few left, it can’t afford to discriminate in its membership by political views. Likewise, users of The Force face separate internal conflicts among their ranks, such as whether and how to use the Dark or the Light side of The Force, or both, to achieve their goals.

This position effectuates another change: combining the traditionally separated “Dark” and “Light” FRS into one. It is just “The Order,” and there are two unique dimensions at play: Dark vs. Light and Rebel vs. Imperial, all inside one entity that will be entirely unrestrained to run in sandbox fashion. At the highest ranks of the FRS exists the Council, which players will fill to guide The Order as it sees fit. The Council will rotate periodically to prevent Dark or Light from retaining power for too long. The Council of The Order will dictate how its ranks are filled and promoted, with the flexibility of choosing diplomatic, combatant, or other means to rise in the ranks. The Council will also have control over many other aspects of The Order, such as the color of the robes for each rank and even how its members are trained, affecting the combat balancing of their ranks over time, allowing them to place weight on one of the following:

Your individual and collective actions (and those of higher ranks in larger orders of magnitude) will have a profound impact on the Balance of The Force. And an imbalance either way, towards the Dark or the Light, will have tremendous consequences on a Galaxy-wide scale. This doesn’t mean the abilities you choose to use dictate your Force Alignment, but rather your behaviors and choices will—more on that in a future Developer Diary.

“You don’t understand— I must bring back the Order. It is my failure that left us where we are. The galaxy has gone too long without our protection. Before the fall, we were beacons of light, defenders of peace. Palpatine blinded us, and Skywalker betrayed us. The galaxy now suffers under their grip. It's my duty to rebuild. I'll gather the remnants of the Order, anyone strong with The Force, train these new acolytes, and reform the Council. Failure won't define us; we'll rise, dispelling the darkness and restoring hope... I hope you will join us again.”

May The Force Be With You,
The SWG Restoration Development Team