Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A Disturbance in the Wii

Last night I was visited again by The Force Unleashed.
For anyone intending to finish the game, graphic novel, or hardcover book without spoilers --- Stop reading immediately.
It is impossible for me to articulate my issues with the game without discussing major plot points.
So The Force Unleashed is played almost entirely from the point of view of Darth Vader's secret apprentice.
First -- Darth Vader's secret apprentice?
There are only ever two Sith, a Master and an Apprentice.
Now, if Emperor Palpatine is the Master and Darth Vader is the Apprentice, and Darth Vader is the Master and the Apprentice is the Apprentice (The Apprentice in the game is just "The Apprentice". I think it is supposed to be like a lost identity thing, but I keep thinking of it like a mobster name. Tony "No Neck" Gambuso, Vinny "The Weasel" Buttafuoco. Carl "The Apprentice" Giovanni. ), then one of these guys is not Sith. Right? Look, I don't make the rules, I just know an embarrassing amount about them, okay?
Now, Emperor Palpatine is the Sithiest Sith ever. No question.
Historically, there were probably worse, but in terms of these guys, Palps is certainly Sith.
Darth Vader? That's harder to answer.
First, he redeems himself at the end of Episode 6 by flinging the Emperor down a big tube thingy and blowing him up to save Luke. Oh, um, spoiler alert if you haven't seen The Return of the Jedi. My bad.
Second, and this is established through other Lucas Arts approved canon sources, Darth Vader didn't have enough original parts to be an actual Sith.
Apparently, Force use requires biological parts in sufficient quantity to channel it.
Having all those droid parts makes Vader merely a Dark Jedi, incapable of mastering the more powerful forms of Force access.
You may ask, if biological mass is the component for Force mastery, what about Yoda?
In answer I can only say "He's freakin' Yoda."
It should also be noted this "too many droid parts" rule was only spelled out by someone who was totally evil herself and possibly lying, so who the hell knows?
So, this leaves The Apprentice to obviously redeem himself somehow and do something less evil.
While I haven't yet seen that sure-to-be-boring part of the game, I have seen something which fills my core with ice and has made me shudder at random times even when not actively playing.
In The Force Unleashed, Darth Vader uses his Apprentice in a plot to take down the Emperor. The plot itself is to distract Palps by creating a Rebel Alliance. The Rebel Alliance.
So, according to this game, Darth Vader is responsible for Bail Organa and Mon Mothma and Garm Bel Iblis all getting together and deciding to take down the Emperor.
Of course, I hastily typed out an email to the complaints department at Lucas Arts, the Attorney General of California and the ACLU discussing why this is so very very disturbing to all that I believe in.
Pitchfork and torch at the ready, I stared down the Lucas Arts empire . . . And kept staring . . . And standing . . . And still staring . . . Until my arms grew tired and I was had no choice but to set the pitchfork on the ground and stamp out the barely flickering, almost-burned-out torch.
And then I picked up a Stormtrooper and threw him into a group of other Stormtroopers and blasted the pile with Force lightning until it stopped twitching.
I deleted the email unsent.

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