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Posted on January 12, 2012, Phil Hornshaw Seduced by the Light Side: Playing a Light Sith in a Dark Sith World
Early on in Star Wars: The Old Republic, after arriving on Dromund Kaas for the first time, I was dispatched into the jungle to hunt down, infiltrate and ultimately smoke out a group of Sith cultists.
Diligent in my services to the Sith Empire, I accepted the mission and strode off into the jungle. As a Sith Marauder, I’m an Imperial enforcer, an apprentice to a powerful Sith Lord, and a super-powered bad-ass who channels The Force into his fists and lightsabers. Cultists are not a problem.
Trouble is, upon finding those cultists and posing as an initiate, I had a problem — I went “native.” These cultists were Revanites, after all — followers of the teachings of Knights of the Old Republic‘s Darth Revan, a former Sith Lord who found value in both the Dark and Light sides of the force.
Finally! I thought. A philosophy I can get behind.
See, I’m what you might call a conflicted Sith Lord. I’m not the kind of person who really goes out for being “evil” in my role-playing games. In the days of KOTOR, I struggled to go full Sith (though I did it to see how the story would play out on a second or third run through the game). In Mass Effect, I generally find myself opting for mercy and diplomacy. One time I kicked a little kid in Fable, felt bad, and stopped playing.
So being a Sith Lord is tough for me. Sure, it’s just a game, but the value I’m getting out of SWTOR is its story more than anything else. I’m not saying I’m a fully Lightside Sith Lord — I make Dark choices for the good of the Empire, for the good of myself, or when I feel a threat would be too great to be allowed to live. But opting to murder civilians just because they’re there just isn’t me.
On the one hand, I feel like I’m generating an interesting, tailored story for myself. Characters often respond to my Sith Lord with confusion and surprise, which is satisfying, and occasionally I earn myself allies who will serve my ends later. Generally, the tale of a Sith Lord who isn’t just evil for evil’s sake is one I want to hear.
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