by Luv Mehta
So this little indie low-budget movie called Star Wars: The Last Jedi came out, and fan reactions are… split, to say the least. It’s an incredibly risky movie that adds a lot of introspection and deconstruction to the series, calling into question the way the Force, the mythical space-magic that has been a mainstay of the series, has been treated, interpreted and taught across the whole saga.
For better or for worse, this has ended up being exactly the kind of movie that the franchise needed - a risky installment that shakes up the whole series and invites discussion and analysis. There have been quite a lot of debates on the matter, and there are so many great takes that have been spawned that you can spend the whole day getting to know new perspectives on it.
Through this article, I’m trying to do something different. Because all this deconstruction and introspection isn’t new to the Star Wars universe - it’s something gamers have experienced back in late 2004, when Obsidian developed and released Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic II: The Sith Lords - a title that split fans to the core, in many of the same ways the current movie fandom has experienced right now. And I feel it might benefit to compare them both, seeing how the decisions they took are simultaneously critical of the central morality play of the series, and why these end up making for a stronger story.
Mild spoilers for The Last Jedi follow, and I’ll do my best to avoid any spoilers for the Knights Of The Old Republic series (referred to as KOTOR afterwards for convenience). Because the analogy can be extended best to a Light Side playthrough of KOTOR II, I’ll primarily deal with the plot on that side.