Not long ago, the developers at BioWare hinted at the fact that pursuing romance options in The Old Republic will result in the player receiving dark side points. Almost immediately afterwards a debate broke out on the forums between those who didn’t agree with that decision and those who attempted to defend the developers’ choice on the matter. Those who argued against it pointed to well known Jedi relationships, such as the one between Revan and Bastilla, as proof that Jedi can be in a relationship without succumbing to the dark side. The opposing faction was quick to respond with the classic example of Anakin and Padme as evidence of how the relationship of a Jedi can be a huge determining factor of that Jedi falling into darkness. Today we will take a look at the history of the “no relationships” rule within the Jedi in an attempt to make sense of BioWare’s decision on this matter.
Throughout the Jedi Order’s history, their stance on forming relationships has changed somewhat. At times it is tolerated, at times it is expressly forbidden, but one thing that must be understood is that it has always been discouraged. The reason for this is simple, the attachment that is formed through such relationships can both stir powerful emotions within the Jedi, and possibly put them in a situation where they will be forced to choose between their duty and the person, or people, that they love. Jedi are expected to put the good of the galaxy above all else, even their own lives. Yet it becomes a different matter when the person who suffers is someone that you love. This is true even in our own lives. It is hard to weigh the consequences when you are choosing between billions of people you have never even met and a single person who you love, a person who you would willingly sacrifice your own life to keep safe. Not so say that no Jedi would be able to put the good of the galaxy as a whole above those they love, but to expect every Jedi to be able to make that sacrifice is unreasonable.
There is no emotion, there is peace. This is the first tenet of the Jedi code and has particular importance when talking about Jedi relationships. It is important to note that this tenet does not forbid a Jedi from having emotions. That would be impossible and would hamper a Jedi’s intuition. What this means instead is that a Jedi is supposed to be the master of their emotions, not the other way around. Emotions must be explored and understood. Giving into your emotions is often the first sign that you are walking down a darker path and it is the job of the council, and the Order at large, to discourage this. It is expected that every Jedi will, at one point or another, have to face the darkness that lives within them. The purpose of this tenet is to train the Jedi for these eventual conflicts so that they may act with a clear mind and follow the path of the light. This can be hard enough in and of itself and to be able to do so when the right choice may end up bringing harm upon someone you love is difficult for even a Master Jedi.
There are times when love can pull a Jedi back from darkness. Just look at how Revan pulls Bastilla back into the light, or how Luke redeems Vader at the end of RotJ. But far too often we are presented with cases where the loss of a loved one can lead to powerful emotions that can swing a Jedi towards a dark path. It will always be a topic of debate; both within the Jedi Order and among the fans of Star Wars itself. What will you be willing to do? Will you sacrifice your chance at romance within TOR in order to follow a purely light path? Will you “pull a Bindo,” putting the wishes of the order aside to follow your heart? We can be sure that there will be proponents of each side but it really comes down to is one simple thing. How do you want your TOR story to unfold?
What do you think about Dark Side points for Jedi who pursue romance within TOR? Does it make sense? Do you completely disagree with the decision? Leave a comment at let us know what you think!
It’s worth mentioning that in Luke Skywalker’s New Jedi Order, marriage and raising a family is common and not really discouraged. However, as this game takes place during the original Jedi Order, we must look at its policies when discussing the romance options and any possible Dark Side points that you may gain for pursuing them.
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