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Harbinger Kallig
Harbinger Kallig

Top Fifteen Tournament #5 - Vote NOW! - Page 6 Empty Re: Top Fifteen Tournament #5 - Vote NOW!

on Mon Nov 04, 2019 2:46 pm
Message reputation : 100% (1 vote)
I vote Krayt.
IdrisianGraecus
IdrisianGraecus
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Top Fifteen Tournament #5 - Vote NOW! - Page 6 Empty Re: Top Fifteen Tournament #5 - Vote NOW!

on Tue Nov 05, 2019 12:01 am
KFV wins due to superiority to Yoda and ROTS Sidious
Isv
Isv

Top Fifteen Tournament #5 - Vote NOW! - Page 6 Empty Re: Top Fifteen Tournament #5 - Vote NOW!

on Tue Nov 05, 2019 12:09 am
Message reputation : 100% (3 votes)
Hi. I am new here, my name is nygax4lyfe on amino and my liscense plate number is FUKU-ANT

I'm voting Krayt for his equal stature to Apocalypse Luke
Bart
Bart
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Top Fifteen Tournament #5 - Vote NOW! - Page 6 Empty Re: Top Fifteen Tournament #5 - Vote NOW!

on Tue Nov 05, 2019 12:11 am
I deleted the sock posts.
Two reasons:
1) Both posts have been posted from proxy IPs, particularly from Opera built-in proxy.
2) Also the e-mails associated with the accounts were registered on a domain for temporary 10-minute e-mails.
3) Both accounts also had the same browser fingerprint, lol (bonus reason).
DarthAnt66
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Top Fifteen Tournament #5 - Vote NOW! - Page 6 Empty Re: Top Fifteen Tournament #5 - Vote NOW!

on Tue Nov 05, 2019 2:47 am
Message reputation : 100% (6 votes)
This is the start of a multi-post rebuttal to @ILS's and @Azronger's arguments. Some other points @The Ellimist and I plan to address are:

- Krayt vs. Abeloth
- Krayt's (alleged) Sith Trooper feat
- Krayt's relation to Darish Vol
- Krayt's holistic standing
- Krayt vs KFV (i.e. the main argument)

I don't want this to come across as a mean-spirited targeted attack though. Props to both for putting out good arguments. I just... totally disagree.

I. CADE SKYWALKER VS. DARTH KRAYT

A. EXPECTATIONS

General consensus seems to pin Cade around a mid tier 8 combatant. Perhaps that's undercutting Cade -- perhaps he's this tier 9 powerhouse -- but not even the most ardent Legacy supporters put him much higher than Maul, and his feats certainly aren't anywhere near Dooku's (I'll gladly do a feat/hype cross-comparison if needed). So, before we even dive into this fight, let's consider how we'd expect a mid tier 8 combatant to fare against some high-profile opponents. 

- If this were ROTJ Palpatine vs Cade, we would expect a total comedy -- a brief spat where Palpatine shows no strain and absolute superiority. 

- If this were ROTS Palpatine vs Cade, we would expect a very one-sided fight, perhaps analogous to to S5's portrayal of Palpatine vs Maul.

- If this were Dooku vs Cade, we would expect a relatively more contestable fight, perhaps analogous to S4's portrayal of Dooku vs TCW Anakin.

Adjust this for your take on Cade. Maybe put Cade low tier 8, maybe a high tier 8, but the conclusions should hold regardless and for almost everyone. There's definitely legitimate criticism to be made toward using Cade as a heavy anchor to assess Krayt, but we don't have many alternatives. This and the Wyyrlok fight are our only possible "proofs of concept" for ILS' well-thought-out creative theories on the previous pages. Otherwise, it's just a bunch of gobbledygook.

B. REALITY

Below is a direct comic-to-script account of the fight. I recommend reading my script alongside the actual comic for reference, which can be found HERE .

CADE SKYWALKER stares down DARTH KRAYT.

CADE: Krayt.

KRAYT smiles back.

KRAYT: Skywalker.

CADE lunges toward KRAYT. KRAYT releases a Force blast that throws CADE backward.

KRAYT: Surrender. You fled our last fight -- and I am so much more now than I was then.

KRAYT uses the Force to shatter rocks that Cade is standing against. Cade jumps across the wreckage. 

CADE: You and Darth Schutta taught me a couple tricks while I was here. I'm a fast learner. And I make up things as I go.

KRAYT: It doesn't matter.

KRAYT grimaces and summons Force lightning.

KRAYT: As with your allies, your battle here was lost before you arrived. Surrender. 

CADE ignites his lightsaber and leaps toward KRAYT as KRAYT fires Force lightning.

CADE: Not gonna happen!

CADE and KRAYT fight! Their battle moves from within the Sith Temple to outdoors.

CADE: I am going to kill you, monster!

KRAYT's right hand shimmers with energy.

KRAYT: I doubt that. You are the reason that I live. 

KRAYT's right hand strikes CADE in the chest, pouring forth dark side energy. CADE collapses.

CADE: No!


---

Key takeaways:

(a) Krayt's telekinetic attacks are negated by Cade's abilities, which Cade attributes to his Sith training. Krayt then switches to Force lightning.*

Top Fifteen Tournament #5 - Vote NOW! - Page 6 M2NXPG7

*Some argue this scan shows Krayt ragdolling Cade. He's not. He's crushing the rocks Cade's standing on as Cade jumps on them. Notice that Krayt's active hand is applying the Force in front of Cade's position (because he's crushing the rocks), that Krayt's sweeping hand motion mirrors the path of crushed rocks, and that Cade wouldn't gloat over his newfound abilities simultaneous with being thrashed around. That's just common sense. Force users actually can't even talk while being gripped with the Force -- there's countless examples of their speech being stopped mid-syllable -- so Cade's indisputably not being gripped here. 

(b) Krayt's Force lightning is, apparently, unable to subdue Cade. Krayt then switches to lightsaber combat.*

*Note that we've seen ROTS Palpatine's Force lightning blow nearly blow through Mace's lightsaber defense and overtly blow through Yoda's. Krayt's Force lightning doesn't appear to have that affect to Cade, who's still able to force Krayt into a lightsaber duel thereafter.

(c) A significant amount of lightsaber fighting takes place off-panel. Cade and Krayt move from within the Sith Temple to outdoors. 


C. CONTENTIONS

Let's contrast those takeaways with ILS' central arguments.

(a) "Krayt defeated Cade in a very short fight."

Emphatically false. As noted, they fight outside. Cade and Krayt's positioning after the cut-away, in which Krayt is shown to be further away from the Sith Temple than Cade, even suggests Cade was pushing Krayt back! This doesn't preclude ILS' argument that Krayt is on the offensive in panel itself. Krayt is finally pushing Cade back towards the now-far-away Sith Temple they started at. Just because much of the fight isn't shown for story reasons -- it's not necessary to show Cade and Krayt extensively fighting back and forth -- doesn't mean it's not important for our versus analyses. Comics have to condense and streamline events. Here's Yoda vs Palpatine, for example: https://2.bp.blogspot.com/ab-DFLm03bq46FMsbeSUlSnHbk9hSt_AKEseGeuCn5ABdJpTE38zZkMeMtZL4DEyQ1TLoMf9NYsj=s1600

Top Fifteen Tournament #5 - Vote NOW! - Page 6 Cade_v10

(b) "Krayt showed vast Force superiority over Cade." 

False. Krayt blasts Cade with telekinesis at the start of the fight, but when he tries it again Cade mocks its futility and Krayt grows angry and tries Force lightning instead. That apparently fails too. Cade also sees through Krayt's end-all, be-all telepathic attack that Krayt's seemingly been hyping up this entire mini-series. 

Top Fifteen Tournament #5 - Vote NOW! - Page 6 Krayt10

(c) "Krayt never showed any concern in the fight and only uses one lightsaber."

Misleading. We only see Krayt's face in a few panels and most of the fight happens off-screen. Still, we see him visibly enraged after his telekinesis fails. Also, Krayt's mastered "how to channel his aggression in a Force-based martial art called Teras Kasi," so choosing to keep one hand open as a Dark Transfer hammer doesn't put him at any disadvantage. In the past, we've even sen him manage to deliver two physical blows against Obi-Wan without landing any lightsaber hits.

D. DARTH TALON

Darth Talon is Krayt's most loyal servant, nurtured him back from death, and watched him dominate Darth Nihl and kill Darth Wyyrlok. If anyone has a good gauge of Krayt's powers, it's her. After fighting Cade, Talon judged him to be a legitimate threat to Krayt and crawled to warn him about his "new mastery of the Force."

Top Fifteen Tournament #5 - Vote NOW! - Page 6 Cade_t10
Top Fifteen Tournament #5 - Vote NOW! - Page 6 Cade_210

Is Talon just... underestimating Krayt? Shamelessly paranoid? Maybe, but her concern is totally unwarranted for anyone that's capable of effortlessly or near-effortlessly dominating Cade like some argue Krayt can. And it's especially not something you'd expect to be emphasized in both the comic's crawl and opening lines of the final Legacy comic. Try to even imagine this scenario if Cade were Maul and Krayt were ROTS Palpatine.

"Master, Maul! [I have to warn you about his new mastery of the Force!]"

"Uh, OK?"

E. CONCLUSION

So, where would we peg a combatant who...

- Is warned ahead of the fight a mid tier 8 might challenge him.
- Throws back the mid tier 8 at the start of the fight.
- Fails to subdue the mid tier 8 with telekinesis or Force lightning.
- Engages in a prolonged lightsaber duel with the mid tier 8.
- Forces the mid tier 8 into a vulnerable position and wins.
- Tries to telepathically dominate the mid tier 8 and fails.

That puts Krayt... maybe a high tier 8? Low tier 9? Even if you think Cade himself is a high tier 8 with Dooku, Anakin slammed Dooku into the dirt before growing significantly in mastery and power, so you're still not at KFV's level, let alone above. Krayt's positioning also isn't comparable with our projected performances for ROTJ or ROTS Palpatine either. So, at least via this approach, the ROTS titans definitely come out looking better when push comes to shove.

Of course, we'll also be looking at other, arguably more important deciding factors next (i.e. vs Abeloth, vs Vol, etc.)...


Last edited by DarthAnt66 on Tue Nov 05, 2019 5:56 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Removed a point that the Sith Temple could be seen in the background)
The Ellimist
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Top Fifteen Tournament #5 - Vote NOW! - Page 6 Empty Re: Top Fifteen Tournament #5 - Vote NOW!

on Tue Nov 05, 2019 6:47 am
Link to my blog on Luke vs. Krayt for reference:

@The Ellimist wrote:Here to address (with heavy skepticism) the notion that Apocalypse shows Krayt has some sort of parity with Luke from an in-universe standpoint.

Note: Abeloth's Planet is a nexus.

Of course, the Font of Power and Pool of Knowledge are perhaps the strongest nexuses in the galaxy - and the planet as a whole is an extremely powerful dark side nexus:

Vestara opened herself to the Force and felt it rush into her, so dark and cold it was almost overwhelming. She had never before been to a place so strong in the Force, where it actually raised tiny bumps on her skin and made her spine crawl with excitement. None of them had, and she could tell by the precision with which even Lady Rhea drew on the Force here that they were all just a bit frightened of its strength. Of course, that did not stop anyone from actually using it. No true Sith would ever allow fear to stand between her and power. - FotJ Abyss

Does this nexus also exist in the corresponding mirror place Beyond Shadows? Well, everything else corresponds - the physical location, bodies, etc. - and Luke can feel the Font and Pool Beyond Shadows:

Luke resisted the temptation to start hurling accusations. The Font of Power was clearly a dark side nexus, and Ryontarr, at least, would understand what that meant. - FotJ Abyss

So the preponderance of evidence suggests "yes", though there is admittedly reasonable doubt.

Therefore, Krayt is potentially drawing on a hilariously powerful dark side nexus throughout the fight, and may have also been drawing on the Font and Pool.

Note: Is Beyond Shadows Krayt relative to Krayt Reborn?

How do we compare the potencies of different characters beyond shadows?

They're using their spirit bodies - which may very well depend more on potential - and many conventional physical limitations don't apply. Krayt doesn't have his Vong implants beyond shadows, for example. While Krayt Reborn is "more powerful than ever", do we know by how much he's relatively more powerful than his spirit version vs. other characters beyond shadows? Is it enough to make up for an extremely powerful dark side nexus?

Fight Analysis

Preface: it should be noted that Luke had just been fighting Abeloth and numerous Sith earlier in the book, and was constantly injured for most of the FotJ series.

Luke's hand dropped to his hip, automatically reaching for a lightsaber that did not exist beyond shadows. He tried to continue the motion and bring it up to deliver a blast of Force energy, but Abeloth had already launched her own attack by then, delivering a bolt of Force lightning that blasted straight through the stranger into Luke. He felt himself fly backward, consumed by pain, his entire being a column of blue, crackling Force flame.

So far, this tells us very little. Abeloth's bolt of lightning can penetrate Krayt and do lots of damage to Luke - that doesn't put any upper or lower limits on either character except "can't tank Abeloth's lightning".

The white points at the bottom of Abeloth's eyes flared into nests of blue lightning, which kept growing larger and flashing brighter until they finally spilled out of the sockets to engulf her whole head. Luke hurled another blast of Force energy in her direction, then braced himself to take the most devastating counterattack yet. The counterattack never came.

Instead, the Force blast rocked Abeloth up on one leg, where she hung teetering over the Lake of Apparitions for a thousand heartbeats. Luke's chest was a searing ache around a fist-sized scorch hole, and his Force essence was bleeding out from a dozen smaller wounds, leaving a crescent of twinkling light spread across the dark water. He sprang anyway.

Abeloth only seemed to sag, and it appeared that she might tumble into the water in the eternity it was taking to reach her. But that would have been too easy. Luke and the Sith stranger had been hurling Force attacks at her for a lifetime-or perhaps it was a mere eyeblink-and this was the first time she had shown any reaction.

Luke's attack is the first one to do meaningful damage. This could, of course, just be a coincidence - but it shifts the preponderance of evidence marginally in Luke's favor.

Then Luke was there at Abeloth's side, stomp-kicking her legs, knife-handing her throat, grabbing for her head. It was like cotton striking gauze-no popping ligaments or crunching cartilage, just Force essence pushing into Force essence. But the damage was done. Luke's foot went through Abeloth's knee; her leg buckled. His hand sank into her larynx, and she drew back wheezing. 

He pivoted around behind her, swinging one arm around her shoulder and grabbing for her chin, slipping the other arm up under hers and pressing his wrist into her neck. But grappling was different beyond shadows. There were no pressure points or joint locks or choke holds, only his presence merging with hers, binding him to her in a writhing knot of energy.

Tentacles began to lash at his face, probing for his nose and ears and mouth. A pair of gray tips shot into view, blurring and growing large. Luke closed both eyes and turned away, but not quickly enough. The right eye socket exploded in pain, and everything went dark on that side of his head.

The tattooed stranger stepped in from the left, then slid to the front and drove his stiffened fingers deep into the pit of Abeloth's stomach. A black spray erupted from the wound, and she writhed in pain as the stranger probed for something to grab.

After Abeloth gets rocked, Luke is the first one to get to her in melee. Krayt then comes in from the side while Abeloth is occupied, and to his credit does damage. Was Luke faster than Krayt? Was he closer to her? Did Krayt wait for Luke to take the brunt of the damage? All three answers would weaken the "Krayt ~ Luke" argument for various reasons; the first is obvious, and the latter two would call into question the "Krayt took comparable damage!" claim that we'll address later.

Abeloth loosed a Force blast, trying to drive the stranger off. He held tight. So did Luke, and all three went tumbling across the lake in a snarled mass of limbs and tentacles.

So Krayt can hold onto Abeloth while she Force blasts her - impressive, though hardly indicative of parity to Luke or a direct comparison to Luke given that Luke had held onto and grappled with Abeloth on numerous occasions. The range of "can hold onto Abeloth" isn't so small and precise as to say that Luke and Krayt are on the same tier; it just establishes a lower limit. Maybe if Krayt had been standing alone against Abeloth and Abeloth couldn't blast him off, there'd be more of a question.

Then Luke felt an icy twinge between his shoulder blades. The twinge became a sting, and he began to feel something cold flowing down the center of his back. His first thought was Abeloth, that she had sunk a tentacle into his spine-until the lashing of her tentacles slowed and she began to shudder.

Luke did not understand until an eternity later, when the stranger rolled up on his feet and jerked them all to a halt. The Sith seemed to be growing stronger as Abeloth grew weaker, and there were wisps of dark fume swirling off his shoulders and head. It did not take a Jedi Grand Master to understand that Luke was being betrayed by a Force-draining technique.

Still holding Abeloth tight, Luke shifted his hips, rolling them both onto their sides, and kicked a foot through the stranger's knee. The joint buckled, and the Sith dropped onto the surface of the dark water, still on the opposite side of Abeloth from Luke. 

"I'll release her!" Luke warned.

"Abeloth?" The stranger shook his head. "Never."

Despite the Sith's words, the cold stinging inside began to subside, and Luke realized the stranger was not pulling as hard. Abeloth continued to struggle, slipping a pair of tentacles around Luke's throat and trying to tear herself free. But she was growing weak faster than Luke.

The draining seemed to continue for days;

Krayt can hurt Abeloth with Force drain over an extended period of time - while this is extremely impressive as its own feat, it hardly does anything regarding parity to Luke, since Luke severely injures Abeloth on numerous occasions without using any dark side draining techniques.

then the stranger threw back his head and screamed in anguish, and it suddenly seemed that only a breath had passed. Shiny black Force energy began to pour from the Sith's wounds into the lake, spreading outward around them in an oily slick so hot the water began to steam and hiss. Still, the stranger continued to drain Abeloth, and Luke realized that he was not being betrayed-the Sith was suffering as much damage from the attack as was Luke.

So Krayt's Force drain can be roughly considered a wash in terms of whether it damages Krayt or Luke more. Luke is also grappling more heavily with Abeloth though.

Abeloth whipped her chin free of Luke's hand, ripping the energy knot where they had joined and sending a sparkling line of both of their Force essences splattering across the surface of the lake. She began to roll her head around, gnashing and spitting, trying to sink her fangs into Luke's arm or the stranger's-anything she could reach.

Luke slipped his arm down around her throat and pulled hard, merging his form into hers, doing his best to keep her under control.

"Keep going," Luke urged the stranger. "Pull harder!"

Not much here.

Abeloth lay tangled in Luke's arms, a writhing mass of Force energy that had suddenly gone limp a second or a day ago, only to explode an hour or a nanosecond later into a flailing tempest that had sent them all rolling and bouncing across the Lake of Apparition's dark waters. The stranger was tumbling with them, his hand still buried in Abeloth's chest, now wailing in agony as gleaming black Force energy steamed from his wounds. 

They bounced so close to the shore, Luke grew worried that Abeloth was trying to carry them away from the lake into some new place beyond shadows. And then what? His back hit the water again, and he spun them all around so that his feet were toward the shore. He planted his feet against a moss hummock and kicked off-and sent them all somersaulting back toward the center of the lake. Abeloth stopped struggling and seemed to shrink in his arms, and Luke dared to think that maybe, just maybe she had finally lost hope, that they had exhausted her to the point that she was no longer capable of fighting. 

Then she was gone, leaving the stranger and Luke with nothing between them but twenty centimeters of space and the stump of the Sith's hand, now pointed at Luke's chest and still drawing Force energy, draining it not from Abeloth now, but directly from Luke.

They stayed like that for an eternity, a void of cold nothingness growing inside Luke as the stranger continued to hang in the air above, draining him. It seemed to Luke that the Sith's betrayal was premature, that they at least ought to make certain Abeloth was truly dead before they turned to fighting each otherˇ...ˇbut that was not the way Sith did things.

Luke started to bring his hand up, intending to hit the stranger with a Force blast. But before he could loose it, the Sith's feet dropped to the water's surface, and he raised his stump and pointed toward the far end of the lake.

"There!"

Luke craned his neck and saw Abeloth's silhouette backing into the Mists of Forgetfulness-with the stranger's wrist still protruding from her chest.

"Stop her!" Luke yelled. "If she disappears into that fogˇ..."

Luke left the sentence unfinished as a fountain of oily black Force energy erupted from the protruding wrist. Abeloth's mouth gaped open, and her piercing shriek broke over the lake, reverberating across the water like a clap of thunder. Luke glanced over and saw the stranger standing beside him, pointing in her direction, using the Force to draw his missing hand back toward its stump. 

Abeloth did not come dancing in to counterattack, did not even try to stand off defensively and weaken them with a blast of Force lightning. She did not have time for such tactics. Luke doubted she would have fled the battle in the first place if she were not already dying, and with her Force essence gushing out of her like a geyser, she had to attack now. 

And she did.

Not much here.

In the next thought Abeloth was simply there in front of the stranger, driving a ball of tentacles deep into him. Luke sprang forward to help-and felt a blistering iciness slide deep into his own chest. His entire right side flared into cold anguish, and the tentacles began to dig and grab, tearing him apart inside in a way no lightsaber or blaster ever could. 

Luke attacked anyway, driving an elbow strike into the side of her head. As before, there was no crunching, no physical sense of impact, only Force energy plowing through Force energy, sending waves of pain and damage rolling through them both. Luke sensed his elbow come free as it pushed out the other side of Abeloth's head. Then she simply fell away, her still-balled tentacles tearing free of both Luke and the strangerˇ...ˇeach clutching a handful of dripping, pulsing Force essence.

Abeloth attacks both Luke and Krayt, but Luke is the one who gets through and delivers the killing blow. Of course, you could argue that this was just coincidental; maybe Abeloth hit Krayt harder and Luke had starting momentum, etc. But it once again gives more preponderance of evidence to Luke, if inconclusively.

The stranger collapsed with a gaping hole in his chest. Luke felt his own form grow limp and weak, and he sensed his mouth falling open to scream, then his whole body was falling, weak and aching for breath.

Krayt seems to collapse sooner than Luke, but maybe it's because Abeloth had just attacked him first.

The Lake of Apparitions was neither warm nor cold, still nor roiling. It simply was, beyond time and sensation, beyond fear or desire or duty. It embodied surrender and attainment, death and immortality, and Luke had never felt more ready to slip below its dark surface and join his beloved Mara, to wrap himself in her liquid embrace and let the Depths of Eternity wash away the anguish of his wounds, the ache of his lonely despair. 

But something would not let him sink.

He lay on the water for a year or a minute, hurt and exhausted, watching Abeloth's pale form vanish. Her eyes were empty and dark, her tentacles curled into loose balls. Her golden hair was fanned about her head in a floating halo, and she did not seem to be sinking so much as merely shrinking. Luke continued to watch as she dwindled to the size of a thigh, a foot, a finger, then a mere sliver that seemed to hang below him, wavering and flickering, before it finally slipped from sight.

And still Luke did not sink. He was too weak to rise, and he could feel nothing of himself except the aching void Abeloth had torn in his chest. It occurred to him that he might well be dying, and it was not a thought that brought him any fear. Even if his life had not been as long as Yoda's, it had been a good one filled with close friends and much-loved family. He had been of some small service, at least, to his fellow sentient beings. And in the new Jedi Order, he had rekindled a light that had once gone out in the galaxy. He had few regrets for anything he had done, and if the time had come to let another Jedi carry the torch, he was ready. 

"Not yet, Skywalker."

The voice was warm and familiar, and it came from beside Luke. He turned to find Mara's face breaking the surface of the water. Then he saw a hand gripping the back of his biceps and realized that she was floating beneath him, preventing him from sinking.

"Mara, it's okay," Luke said. "I'm ready. I want to be with you."

While it's true that Luke was severely injured from the fight, that he was apparently about to die was primarily a product of mindset, as the bolded line shows. 

"Too bad." He felt his upper body rising as she tried to push him upward. "I don't want to be with you-not here, not yet."

"What?" Luke asked, feeling more confused than resentful. "Mara, I'm woundedˇ...ˇbadly. Abeloth took something out of me." 

"She wounded him, too." Mara's other hand rose out of the water and pointed past Luke's head, toward the tattooed Sith who had helped Luke kill Abeloth. The stranger was on his feet, limping toward the far shore with both hands clutched to his chest. "If he can do it, so can you." 

Luke forced himself to sit upright. The effort made his head spin and his whole being ache, but he refused to collapse back into the water. He had no idea of the Sith's true identity, but it did not seem wise to let him return to the physical galaxy alone.

"That's ridiculous. Their injuries may be different." This voice came from Luke's other side, sinister and cajolingˇ...ˇand also familiar. "Besides, Sith are stronger. They have the dark side."

Not much here - Luke's apparent willingness to die was psychological, and would not apply to Krayt. Jacen's quip is obviously not meant to be an honest analysis of their relative power levels (or else Caedus himself would've been stronger than Luke).

"Who is he?" Luke asked, turning to find Jacen looking up from the water on his other side. "You know, don't you?" 

"I told you," Jacen replied. "He's the one I saw sitting on the Throne of Balance."

"The dark man of your vision?" Luke asked. This was the best opportunity he would ever have to learn for certain why Jacen had turned to the dark side, and he was determined to take advantage of it. "The one you sacrificed yourself to stop?" 

"I saw only one," Jacen replied. "And you're letting him win."

Luke shook his head. "He can't win, Jacen. Whatever damage you caused to the Force, you accomplished that much. The Sith will never rule the galaxyˇ...ˇnot now." 

The tattooed man stopped and whirled, and Luke found himself preparing to dodge a fork of Force lightning. But the stranger was in no better shape to fight than Luke. He had a gaping wound in his chest, just like Luke, and Luke could see that his entire form was shuddering. Instead of attacking, the Sith just stood staring at them, one eye shining yellow and the other an empty socket, his right arm a useless ghost of a limb.

Then, after an eternity that might have been a mere second, he said, "You must not be so certain of yourself, Master Skywalker. You may think you have stopped the Sith, but you know nothing of usˇ...ˇnothing at all."

"I know that Jacen changed the future," Luke retorted. "And you know it, too-or you wouldn't have been here to help me fight Abeloth."

The stranger dipped his chin in acknowledgment. "There is that," he said. "But can you be sure the change will last? Perhaps Caedus did not change the future. Perhaps he only delayed it." 

Luke felt his energy and his determination come rushing back. "I guess that remains to be seen, doesn't it?"

The bolded part provides more evidence that Luke's near death state was heavily psychological.

A slow grin crept across the stranger's mouth. "Indeed it does." He turned and began to limp away. "And we shall see, Master Skywalker. I promise you that." 

Luke returned to his feet and stood watching, until the stranger finally stepped onto the shore and vanished. The man was barely gone before Jacen spoke again, this time from the water in front of Luke.

"What does Abeloth have to do with this?" Jacen asked. "She wasn't part of my vision."

Luke studied his nephew's bitter face, debating how much he should reveal about what Raynar had learned from Thuruht-whether it would be justice or cruelty to let Jacen know that he bore personal responsibility for an apocalypse.

"As I thought," Jacen sneered. "You're as much a liar as I am." 

Luke shook his head. "I'm not a liar, Jacen. You are the one who released Abeloth."

"Me?" Jacen's tone was snide, but Luke could see the shock in his eyes. He truly did not understand what he had done. "How?" 

Luke shook his head. "I'm not sure I should tell you," he said. "It would do no good."

"You expect me to believe you're protecting me?" Jacen scoffed. " Truly? Because, I assure you, I can handle the truth." 

"All right," Luke said. Jacen had already guessed what had happened, and it would only be cruel to leave him wondering if he had guessed right. "But first, you must answer a question that's been bothering me." 

"I might," Jacen said. "It doesn't hurt to ask."

"Sometimes it does," Luke said. He squatted down, then looked straight into Jacen's dead eyes. "I want to know why you didn't come to me."

"About my vision?" Jacen asked.

"About any of it. For a while, I thought it was because I was the dark man you saw on the Throne of Balance-that you were trying to take my place." Luke gestured toward the shore where the stranger had disappeared. "But if the Sith is the one you saw, that makes no sense. You didn't have to confront this alone. We could have done it together-" 

"No, we couldn't," Jacen said, shaking his head. "Because the dark man had nothing to do with my decision."

Luke frowned. "Then what did?"

"It was who I saw standing with the dark man." Jacen's gaze shifted away, and his expression grew at once very determined and very sad. "I saw Allana."

Luke then seems to talk to Jacen just fine. He was still heavily injured, of course, but still functional.

What does this tell us?

There seems to be some indication that (starting-injured) Luke did better:

  • His Force attack was the first to do damage.
  • He more constantly attacked Abeloth in melee while Krayt would attack while Abeloth was already engaged or just hold onto her while using drain.
  • He got in the killing blow, getting past Abeloth tentacles while Krayt was stopped and held by them.

It's far from impossible to rationalize those away though - the first could've been a coincidence, the second could've been a greater emphasis on Luke's actions due to it being from his PoV and/or just a difference in strategy, and the third could've just been Abeloth attacking Krayt first and having to divert lesser focus to Luke's attack after. But if you had to pick, you'd pick Luke as the stronger combatant, with Krayt's main contribution being a dark side technique that Luke obviously wouldn't use.

Did Luke and Krayt suffer comparable injuries?

Abeloth's first and final attacks seemed to have hit both Luke and Krayt in similar ways. Krayt's drain roughly hurt Luke and Krayt equally. Luke was grappling more directly with Abeloth. So in terms of who would've been in a position to take more damage given comparable stats, it would be a moderate leaning to Luke.

But were their injuries comparable? It's unclear. While Luke seemed closer to death initially, the text makes it clear that this is due to his desire to join Mara. When he decides that he needs to stay alive, he is suddenly much less on death's doorstep. You can make the case that Krayt collapsed sooner than Luke, but that's also potentially contextual. Some have also noted that Luke's real body was borderline brain dead...but 1) he was strapped in with nearly no attention while Jaina was dogfighting Ship, and 2) his vitals improved when Luke's determination came back.

Both were severely injured (and Luke already before the fight began), but that's a very wide gap - if Qui Gon and TPM Obi Wan were both shot in the leg by a blaster, both may appear really injured, but just by looking at a description of their injuries you wouldn't be able to tell who was stronger.

Ambiguity =/= parity

The uncertainty here is not in the form of "well, it looks like they're comparable in power", but rather "we don't know because there weren't many side-by-side comparisons". If there were no other evidence at all, you'd likely default that Luke and (nexus-amped?) Krayt were comparable, with Luke having a moderate advantage, but that's like a default answer with huge uncertainty. It's like if Yoda and Obi Wan dueled for 6 seconds, and in those 6 seconds you had no more information than to assume that they were comparable with Yoda having a moderate advantage.

If we instead look at other evidence...well, it's not even close, is it? While I agree that Krayt has some impressive feats, they are not a match for Luke's. Krayt didn't no-sell the telekinesis of a being with the combined potential of trillions of beings by becoming an "immovable object" and then ragdoll said being, nor did he fight through thousands of Vong, casually pin Caedus to a chair with TK, or defeat DE Sidious in a duel. So just as how from a 6 second duel we wouldn't conclude that Yoda ~ Obi Wan, from Apocalypse we can't conclude that (nexus-amped?) Krayt ~ Luke.

What does it establish for Krayt?

We do know that (nexus-amped?) Krayt:

  • Can do meaningful damage to Abeloth in melee and with drain.
  • Can't just be effortlessly discarded by Abeloth (though beyond shadows Luke and Krayt are evidently far more durable).

These are impressive feats, but don't really establish any sort of comparison with Luke, except that Luke probably can't just ragdoll him in a fight.

You can try to say that authorial intent suggests parity; I highly doubt that (Luke's position as the most powerful conventional Force user seems to be fairly consistent TUF and onwards given general OOU awareness of his Skywalker potential, even if authors don't always write the gaps to be vs. debate scaling-tier consistent), but that's beyond the scope of this blog. While I don't completely dismiss authorial intent, I do not heavily factor it into my methodology unless if it's extremely consistent across numerous writers, or if it's Lucas himself (in which I take it far more heavily, but not infallibly). 

I am glad to hear people's opinions and thoughts on the matter.
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on Tue Nov 05, 2019 7:19 am
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Let's first remember the context, as noted in the quoted blog:

  • Abeloth's planet, where the battle takes place, is an extremely powerful dark side nexus. (And the dark side energies of the Font and Pool can be felt Beyond Shadows, so there's no reason to assume that Abeloth's Planet can't be)
  • Luke had just fought through literal armies of Sith and then Abeloth herself earlier in the book before going to fight Abeloth Beyond Shadows with no apparent medical treatment. This is after a multi-book run of constantly fighting Abeloth and Sith squads, many times at near-death states. Krayt, meanwhile, appears with no apparent recent battles.

The question: is there anything Krayt does here that you couldn't imagine Yoda doing? The answer can only be "yes" if you think Yoda is literal fodder to someone on Luke's level, which is likely not your position. 

@ILS wrote:Secondly. I always assumed that when Krayt pulled his arm out of Abeloth, it was simply the open wound causing her essence to spill everywhere that was important... but Krayt being able to drive his arm so deeply into Abeloth "grabbing for anything he could find" (to paraphrase), cause huge internal trauma, and then TK rip his arm out to make the wound mortal is... staggering.

The context, of course, is that Abeloth was preoccupied grappling with Luke (who had been the one to finally rattle Abeloth with TK, and the first to jump in while Krayt lagged behind), and then Krayt "stepped in from the left":

Then Luke was there at Abeloth's side, stomp-kicking her legs, knife-handing her throat, grabbing for her head. It was like cotton striking gauze-no popping ligaments or crunching cartilage, just Force essence pushing into Force essence. But the damage was done. Luke's foot went through Abeloth's knee; her leg buckled. His hand sank into her larynx, and she drew back wheezing. 

...

The tattooed stranger stepped in from the left, then slid to the front and drove his stiffened fingers deep into the pit of Abeloth's stomach. A black spray erupted from the wound, and she writhed in pain as the stranger probed for something to grab.

 There's nothing from this that gives Krayt any relativity to Abeloth, Luke, or someone like Yoda. Krayt does two things here:

  1. Penetrates Abeloth's flesh (while Abeloth is preoccupied wrestling Luke - a common theme). Star Wars isn't DBZ where this would be really impressive - there's no precedence for it being that incredible to penetrate someone's flesh. Luke was lighting up Abeloth earlier in the novel with a blaster pistol. One might reply with the argument with Beyond Shadows spirits being different, but the onus would then be on them to establish the difference if they're making the active argument for Krayt having relativity; if anything, Luke does more physical penetration to Abeloth Beyond Shadows than he typically did in person.
  2. Doing lots of damage once his hand is inside Abeloth. Um, if your hand is literally in someone's guts, it's not that hard to do lots of damage even if you're far weaker than them. You might say that Beyond Shadows is different, but again, that would require elaboration - what's so difficult about grabbing that essence stuff once your hand is inside? Is the essence being glued together with some sort of Force barrier proportional to their power? Based on what?

So what does Krayt even do here? Abeloth is distracted and Krayt hurts her - ok? "Close enough in power to hurt them when they're distracted" isn't even remotely impressive in Star Wars. A padawan could probably hurt Yoda if he didn't actively block or defend himself. 

Here's what Luke has that Krayt doesn't in their encounters with FotJ Abeloth: Luke is actually able to engage with Abeloth head-on, 1 v 1, and put up a protracted fight while doing significant damage to her. At no point does Krayt fight Abeloth 1 v 1. He is always either coming in "from the left", or tagging along behind Luke, or using Force drain on her while she's busy with Luke, or getting restrained and dropped to his knees by Abeloth while Luke gets through and finishes her. He is a useful asset in the fight, yes - but does anyone here seriously think that Yoda wouldn't be?

Consider this: Krayt and Luke both pummelled Abeloth with TK blasts. Luke hit her with about a dozen or so punches and kicks. Abeloth blasted a hole through both their chests with lightning. None of those wounds caused enough damage to inflict mortal injury even though some of them penetrated her spirit body fully.

There's no comparison between punches and kicks on a resisting foe, and stepping in from the side of a preoccupied combatant and jamming your hand deep into them.

There is plenty of precedence for TK blasts to not do as much to a comparable (in this case, superior) foe compared to landing physical hits on them, due to the greater disparity needed to hurt a prepared combatant with TK. Savage knocked Sidious back with a headbutt - could he have done the same with TK?

Luke merged his essence with Abeloth in an "energy knot" to keep her still, which is full penetration, but that didn't mortally wound either of them. So we know that unlike the physical world, telefragging your enemy does not mutilate them.

We have no idea what an "energy knot" entails or whether it requires "full penetration". Even if it did, here's an easy explanation: Krayt penetrates Abeloth and then physically grabs her essence out. That would explain the greater damage, but doesn't require any sort of exceptional power on Krayt's part; Sirak with his hands inside Sidious's guts could probably do a lot of damage too.

In contrast, Krayt drove his arm deep into Abeloth, but what is more important is the damage he caused while inside her: when he ripped his amputated arm free, a geyser of essence poured out. I think its clear that he caused an insane amount of ripping damage inside her. He created lots of energy knots and ripped them apart, and then all that was needed was to rip his arm out to finish the wound.

? So Krayt can physically grab the physical gooey stuff and pull it out? And this is quantifiable...how? How hard is it to grab this gooey stuff once you've already gotten a clean shot in (thanks to Abeloth being distracted fighting Luke and Krayt coming in from the side)? If it's analogous to physical fighting, it's not like a high-tier combatant's guts are super heavy or something. 

Let's emphasize: this entire "feat" is Krayt taking advantage of a distracted Abeloth who was being pummeled by Luke and attacking her "from the left" while she wasn't resisting.

I assert that physical attacks and Force attacks Beyond Shadows are synonymous,

Except:

"Still holding Abeloth tight, Luke shifted his hips, rolling them both onto their sides, and kicked a foot through the stranger's knee. The joint buckled, and the Sith dropped onto the surface of the dark water, still on the opposite side of Abeloth from Luke. "

Seems like physical mechanics still apply to some extent beyond shadows.

So Krayts attack potency contributed likely over 50% of the sheer damage needed to kill Abeloth and her avatars.

???? Based on what? The fact that some gooey stuff came out of Abeloth? Here are the facts:

  • Luke's TK attack was the first attack to do any damage to Abeloth. Luke then immediately engaged Abeloth in melee while Krayt came in from the side later.
  • Abeloth's final tentacle assault on both of them stopped and restrained Krayt; it is Luke that forced his way through said attack and dealt the killing blow.

Even if Krayt's grab were especially damaging, it was because he stepped in from the side and got a clean shot while Luke was fighting a resisting Abeloth blow for blow. To the extent that his Force drain did damage as well, that is a specialized dark side ability that was applied over an extended period of time - how does that give him any sort of relativity?
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on Tue Nov 05, 2019 7:32 am
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@ILS wrote:Then Luke (and presumably Krayt, although the fight is from Luke's perspective so we do not always see what Krayt is doing) hits her with an elbow which is enough to finish her off.

"Presumably" Krayt pressed past Abeloth's attack too? That assumes that he can do it just because Luke can, which is circularly what is being contested. Abeloth dropped away as soon as Luke elbowed her; the evidence suggests that he was the one who dealt the finishing blow. The argument that Krayt was also getting past her tentacles to attack her requires justification - and ambiguity does not favor Krayt's case when the fight is being actively used as evidence of Krayt's power.

@ILS wrote:Yeah I got mixed up with Workaan and Viun. Here are the tweets:


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So when Troy says "when we're dealing with two highly skilled, powerful adversaries", we should take it that he wouldn't apply that to **Yoda**, or someone like Dooku? On a follow-up question about Yoda, he would say "oh nah, Luke would totes ragdoll him"?

And when he clearly indicates to ILS that he's trying to "dodge a question", one still takes the previous post to be some specific commentary on Krayt's powerscaling and not a general statement about how fights between opponents in Star Wars work in his eyes?

If you asked him whether Krayt could beat Obi Wan, he'd likely give a similar response, thus destroying his chances here.
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on Tue Nov 05, 2019 7:56 am
To clarify - these rebuttals are specifically addressed at the implication, in the case that one takes it, that Krayt has any sort of parity with Yoda from the Abeloth fight. If one's position isn't that the Abeloth fight establishes any sort of relativity that is relevant to Yoda (/KF Vader/UnuThul/etc.), then it isn't even a case for voting Krayt. But this line of thinking seems to come up:

"Well, the fight doesn't mean Krayt ~ Luke, but it means he's somewhat close to Luke by Apoc and then he makes up for it by Reborn, at least enough to surpass Yoda".

Which is just without any basis. There is NO scene in the fight where Krayt does something that requires him to be "somewhat close" to Luke where "somewhat close" is smaller than the alleged gap between himself and Reborn and the estimated gap between Yoda and Luke. Someone who skims over the fight might think that, but line-by-line he does nothing that requires any sort of relativity. We know that:

- he can hurt her when his hand is stuck in her chest while she's distracted
- she can't TK him off her with a single blast while he and Luke are both grabbing onto her
- over an indeterminate amount of time, he can damage her with Force drain

Where you go from that to "he is above or close to Yoda" is...?

@ILS wrote:The fighters are basically just sentient energy... they take on characteristics like arms and legs and use attacks like punches and kicks, but that is only because that is what they are used to doing in the physical world. Luke "automatically" reached for a lightsaber that didn't exist, just like he automatically takes on the form of a human, because that is his identity - his spirit, while made purely of energy and theoretically could be made into anything, could be made into a dog, an octopus, a tank (think Green Lantern rings), or could even just shed all identity and merge with the Force as homogeneous energy (which is what happens upon true spiritual death in SW), because Luke's identity and will dictates that he is a human being with arms and legs, that is how he appears.

People instinctively reach for things they normally have in such situations all the time. It's common, for example, for passengers in a car to instinctively press on an imaginary break when they think the driver should break (which is something they actually try to teach driving instructors not to do), or for someone who is used to being armed to instinctively reach for said weapon (indeed, in an earlier FotJ book Han does exactly that). That's not a Beyond Shadow specific concept at all.

However, a split-second instinctual reaction is very, very different from the absolutely bizarre notion that Luke and Krayt were punching and kicking Abeloth just because they were "used" to it. Apparently, two highly skilled combat masters could not over the course of the entire fight figure out to use more efficient means that allegedly exist, and apparently that quote where Luke makes Krayt's knee "buckle" was just his imagination running wild. This is especially ridiculous because launching TK attacks would actually be more instinctual for both fighters than punching and kicking, since neither engages in pure hand to hand combat that often given that they have lightsabers.

It's pretty clear that physical concepts still matter, even if they're not 100% identical to reality. Luke still aims for Abeloth's head in the end, and buckles Krayt's knee. They still care about positioning and the kind of strikes they use. It's not a "who has more Force energy = win", even if there's an obvious correlation.

Apocalypse wrote:As seen above, Abeloth's lightning goes straight through Krayt, but obviously this alone doesn't cause a "geyser" of essence energy to pour out of him - he's not mortally wounded by an attack that goes right through him.

Neither is Luke, so this just establishes a lower bound on both, but doesn't establish their relativity to one another, nor does it do so in an absolute sense because we have no idea what the conditions for that geyser pouring out are.

Abeloth loosed a Force blast, trying to drive the stranger off. He held tight. So did Luke, and all three went tumbling across the lake in a snarled mass of limbs and tentacles.
1. When Krayt stabbed Abeloth, the wound "erupted" with essence, which is possibly the most damaging hit we've seen so far.
2. He "probed for something to grab" while inside her, so this can be interpreted as both him merging with her and creating energy knots.
3. The above explains why when Abeloth tried to blast Krayt away, instead he held onto her and the three of them were propelled by the force as one merged "mass" of limbs, in other words, a mass of energy.[/quote]

As explained prior, Krayt stabbing Abeloth from the side while she's distracted doesn't establish any real relativity. As for him holding tight...ok? She can't ragdoll him Beyond Shadows with TK, at least not while his hand is stuck in her and Luke is grappling her. What does that mean? Could she do that to Yoda? Durability is far, far greater in Beyond Shadows given the damage Luke and Krayt take. She can't get Krayt off with a Force blast while essentially pinned by two combatants who are both holding onto her. I don't see how this tells us anything about voting for Krayt.

3. Likewise, Krayt draining Abeloth's essence directly is described as "pulling harder". I think this is a good point to address the question of "who has the harder job" - to me, this is like comparing apples to oranges. They are both fulfilling a different but necessary role, and I'm not sure if you can really quantify who is doing "more" and, given what I typed earlier, what "more" even means generally speaking. Abeloth needs to be held in place to be drained, or she will just fuck Krayt up - but in turn she needs to be drained or she will just break free of Luke and fuck him up. Force Drain is more efficient for separating Abeloth from her essence, but merging into Abeloth is more efficient for holding her in place.

Yes, exactly. Krayt is performing a useful role because of his specific technique; it doesn't scale him to Luke or Abeloth at all. He can to some degree hurt a preoccupied Abeloth over an explicitly indeterminate amount of time with Force drain. Could RotS Sidious hurt Abeloth over a long period of time with Force drain?

4. Abeloth was so weakened by what damage Krayt had caused her from his drain/knot ripping that all it took was one elbow from Luke to finish her off - she was effectively dead the moment she began running from them both, but managed to hold on for one final attack, then Luke elbowed her to finish her off.

Abeloth was weakened from a variety of sources, of which Krayt was just one: there were Luke's attacks and her avatars being killed off.
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on Tue Nov 05, 2019 8:10 am
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@ILS wrote:So... now that we have established that Krayt, with Luke holding her in place, was almost entirely responsible for killing Abeloth, which is a direct result of his Force potency, which, as we've established, can transfer over to his physical power as long as we bear certain caveats in mind about energy efficiency and midichlorians... how powerful is Abeloth again?

That hasn't been "established" at all. Luke was not merely holding Abeloth in place - he was actively striking her. Krayt's drain obviously played a role, but there's no reason to think it's "almost entirely responsible".

So... if Krayt was responsible for even 50% of the damage caused to Abeloth, and in reality, he was responsible for upwards of 75%, and the difference between Abeloth and Luke is described as a "dozen", meanwhile, the difference between Darish Vol (oneshottable by Abeloth) and Luke is less than 50% of a difference, even if not taken literally, means that Krayt drained the Force strength from Abeloth equivalent to numerous Vol-Luke level Force users consecutively.

As mentioned, "dozens of times" and especially "much the power of" are not meant to be taken as precise quantifications of Force energy (whatever unit that is even measured in).

But let's say this happened. OK...how long did it take Krayt? Well it took...

...oh wait, we don't know, do we? Time doesn't even work the same Beyond Shadows. The drain could've taken minutes, or it could've taken hours, or it could've taken days. But how is that a tier 9+ feat? How do we even know?

All the other combative applications of drain, mostly from KotOR II, have happened in seconds. It's actually pretty unprecedented to be able to continuously attack someone with a dark side power for that period of time. Quite honestly, if Dooku was able to charge his lightning on a potent dark side nexus for like 30 minutes and then unleash it on a Sidious who was just standing there doing absolutely nothing, it probably wouldn't turn out so well for Sidious.

Like seriously, when do we have precedence of someone having that long to use a dark side attack on someone in combat? How do we compare this to anything?
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on Tue Nov 05, 2019 8:23 am
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So let's summarize (for now).

The starting conditions here are:

  • Luke had, over the previous books, run a pretty uninterrupted gauntlet through armies of Sith and multiple incarnations of Abeloth, often times coming to near-death states and continuing to fight on.
  • Literally just earlier in the novel (and I think hours earlier?) Luke had fought through an army of Sith and taken on Abeloth with a blaster pistol.
  • Luke goes to fight Abeloth Beyond Shadows, with the initial intent of doing so alone.
  • The fight takes place in the Beyond Shadows mirror of Abeloth's Planet, which is an extremely potent dark side nexus. 

So Krayt has the benefit of a super-strong dark side nexus and hadn't just fought through armies of Sith and Abeloth herself. Of course, you can point out that he's weakened from his Vong implants, but weighed against Luke's injuries and the nexus you can no longer use the buffer of "well Apoc -> Reborn makes up the gap" with as much certainty; that gap could easily be canceled out, or not even make it up. You could also argue that these injuries don't matter Beyond Shadows, but then the Apoc -> Reborn gap becomes much smaller (if it even still exists) too.

Then, during the fight, Luke's feats are:

  • Being the first to affect Abeloth with a TK blast.
  • Being the first to pounce on Abeloth and rattle her in melee.
  • Grappling with and restraining her.
  • Getting past her final attack (which seemed to hold up Krayt) and landing the killing blow.

Meanwhile, Krayt's feats:

  • Ripping some stuff out of Abeloth while she's distracted fighting Luke.
  • Holding onto her while she tries to blast both of them off her (with a single blast).
  • Affecting her over an indeterminate amount of time with Force drain.

Now, ask yourself: "could I see RotS Sidious doing Krayt's feats"? The answer is clearly "yes". His real contribution involves using Force drain on her potentially over the span of hours, which is a span of time to use drain in combat without precedence. I wouldn't be surprised if Sirak with hours could severely injure Sidious with Force drain if Sidious wasn't actively defending himself.

Trying to compare him with Luke is just silly. Luke is the one who consistently fights Abeloth 1 v 1, grapples her and takes her head on, while Krayt is essentially the support character who uses a dark side haxx technique to drain her and attacks her from the side while Abeloth is preoccupied. If we had a scene where Krayt actually stood against Abeloth 1 v 1, maybe there would be a case for him. But we don't.

Nor can one take the weaker position of "well it doesn't give him parity to Luke, but it puts him close!". No, it really doesn't. If you want to argue that it puts him above Dooku, you're probably right. If you want to argue that it puts him above Yoda, you're reaching for some distant straws.
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on Tue Nov 05, 2019 8:32 am
Great posts you two. Just some questions
@DarthAnt66
What made you have Cade just around Maul level at best? The case made by @ILS in his SS against HellfireUnit was pretty convincing.
@The Ellimist
I think that with your scaling of Luke, you would have that Luke could literally stomp Yoda. Based on this, I think that having a Krayt who performs honorably with Luke puts him leagues above Yoda or KF Vader.
Nonetheless, your case made me think that this is possible that I have overrated Krayt a bit and maybe he should be below Darish Vol.
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on Tue Nov 05, 2019 9:41 am
@xolthol wrote:I think that with your scaling of Luke, you would have that Luke could literally stomp Yoda.

Even if that were true, the Apocalypse fight doesn't suggest that Abeloth wouldn't stomp Krayt in a 1 v 1 fight. While Luke takes on Abeloth 1 v 1 for portions of that fight (and throughout the series), Krayt never does so - he is always taking shots with Abeloth while she's busy fighting Luke. The fight shows that Krayt can't get oneshotted or ragdolled (though this is beyond shadows, where durability seems to be far higher), but I don't think Luke could oneshot or ragdoll Yoda.

Thanks for the feedback
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on Tue Nov 05, 2019 10:52 am
I’ll withdraw my vote for now.
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on Tue Nov 05, 2019 10:58 am
People here underestimate the impact multiple fighters can have on a battle. Vaylin unchained fought the Outlander, Arcann and Senya, yet despite the Outlander being her only peer/superior and Senya + Arcann being both in the ragdolling/one-shot range, she failed to dispatch either her mother or brother until the duel ended. As long as one being on the team was a threat to her, she wasn't able to focus enough to ragdoll the others. The same applies to Abeloth.
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on Tue Nov 05, 2019 11:31 am
Excellent, @DarthAnt66: @TheEllmist:

Out of curiosity though elm, why can’t full power Luke just straight up ragdoll yoda?:

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on Tue Nov 05, 2019 1:15 pm
yeah, like, i love how there is this assumption that luke cant ragdoll yoda lol he leagues above yoda by now. he mightve surpassed him by DE if anything.
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on Tue Nov 05, 2019 4:29 pm
@xolthol wrote:@DarthAnt66
What made you have Cade just around Maul level at best? The case made by @ILS in his SS against HellfireUnit was pretty convincing.

I was just highlighting the general consensus of Cade. Though, looking back through ILS' older posts, I admit he argues for Cade to be higher than I remembered. Nevertheless, I prefaced that my arguments above should work even if you put Cade as a higher tier 8 anyway. 

I might go through some of those arguments against HellfireUnit if I get the chance -- especially in light of the Legacy writers stating Darth Talon (as of the 2007 run) would lose in a fight against Aayla Secura of all people (who scales wildly below many even mid-tier PT heroes). Writer statements aren't always taken seriously, but ILS has referenced half-a-dozen of them already in favor of Krayt/Cade, so I see no issues bringing up other ones as well. 

"Battle of the century! I think Aayla would win. Well, at least that's how I would write it." - Jan Duursema

---

And to make my position here clear, I'm not arguing Krayt's performance against Cade is poor. I'm arguing it's poor relative to how all-time greats like Palpatine would perform. If Vader hadn't intercepted Luke's swing at Palpatine, Lucas has stated Palpatine would have just "raised his hand" and instantly destroyed Luke. Vader "was certain" Palpatine "would not feel threatened" over fighting him and Luke combined because he "was simply too powerful." Palpatine even tanked the "full potency" of a Oneness Starkiller, one of the most potentially powerful Force users ever, with just burnt robes. Yet we're suppose to buy that the guy who has to cycle through many Force abilities and environments to take down Cade is comparably powerful? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9wq20_c32I&t=0m18s

There's obviously more discussion to be had on Krayt vs KFV/ROTS Palpatine, so expect a more detailed comparison coming tomorrow.
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on Tue Nov 05, 2019 4:34 pm
@DarthAnt66 Do you have the source for this?
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on Tue Nov 05, 2019 4:39 pm
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on Tue Nov 05, 2019 5:01 pm
Once again pretty rhetoric but no substance.

Krayt still stomps, nice try Ant my boi
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on Tue Nov 05, 2019 5:04 pm
@Isv wrote:Once again pretty rhetoric but no substance.

Krayt still stomps, nice try Ant my boi

I'm sure I'll see a rebuttal from you by tomorrow then. Top Fifteen Tournament #5 - Vote NOW! - Page 6 228124001
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Top Fifteen Tournament #5 - Vote NOW! - Page 6 Empty Re: Top Fifteen Tournament #5 - Vote NOW!

on Tue Nov 05, 2019 6:34 pm
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Top Fifteen Tournament #5 - Vote NOW! - Page 6 Empty Re: Top Fifteen Tournament #5 - Vote NOW!

on Wed Nov 06, 2019 12:58 am
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KNIGHTFALL VADER VS. MUSTAFAR VADER

According to George Lucas, Anakin Skywalker began as a level 8 combatant in Revenge of the Sith, but ascended to level 9 upon embracing the dark side and becoming the Sith apprentice Darth Vader. Again, according to Lucas, Vader maintained his tier 9 status during his duel with Obi-Wan Kenobi all the way until his defeat and injuries. Lucas’ thoughts were later relayed to the audience by Nick Gillard. Star Wars Insider # 100 and the old starwars.com databank entry for Anakin also state that Vader possessed ”newfound power bestowed by the dark side of the Force” on Mustafar, ”which added to his already formidable abilities.”

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Many arguments for Mustafar Vader being hindered have been offered over the years, but none have been satisfactory, and they are all directly refuted by the source material. The Revenge of the Sith junior novelization states that ”despair and pain strengthened the dark side”, and that Vader feeding on his despair caused him to grow even stronger. He likewise used his past trauma on the Invisible Hand to fuel his dark side power, so they way Vader operates on Mustafar is no different from how has operated in any of his other fights. Ergo, in spite of his mental problems, Vader is able to harness his power like usual, and even use said mental problems to fuel his power further. Lucas himself acknowledged Vader’s issues in the above statements, yet separated the fighting aspect from the mental aspect, saying that ”The duel gives you quite an idea about these characters, because Anakin has learned the fighting, he’s enormously talented - but he hasn’t learned the mental side of it” in the context of Mustafar Vader being a level 9. Nick Gillard later stated that ”He took Force LSD. And that’s what made him a nine. So that’s dangerous. It’s dangerous because he hasn’t done it the right way. But it’s still a nine, you know? It’s still something that you need to deal with,” indeed clarifying that Vader has tier 9 combat abilities despite his issues. Not to mention that it would make no sense for Vader to be a 9 if he performed noticeably inferior to a tier 9 fighter. And finally, the Play and Sound Interactive Novel states both Vader and Kenobi ”tap into the Force as they never have before,” which would be impossible were Vader hindered.

But that’s not really true, Obi-Wan thought as he ducked and wove and parried. Both he and Anakin felt the anguish of their need to kill the other. But Anakin had turned to the dark side, and despair and pain strengthened the dark side. It gave him an advantage Obi-Wan could not match. Unless he let go of his own despair and let the living Force move him — the Force that bound all living things together, even Obi-Wan and this new, deadly, evil Anakin.

Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith junior novelization

The words stabbed at Obi-Wan, even though he knew that Anakin was speaking out of his own pain. He felt the dark side grow stronger, feeding on his despair. And then, as Anakin came close enough to swing his lightsaber once more, the Jedi in Obi-Wan rose up and at last he did the thing he hadn’t thought he could do.

Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith junior novelization

Only he stands between death and the two men he loves best in all the world, and he can no longer afford to hold anything back. That imaginary dead-star dragon tries its best to freeze away his strength, to whisper him that Dooku has beaten him before, that Dooku has all the power of the darkness, to remind him how Dooku took his hand, how Dooku could strike down even Obi-Wan himself seemingly without effort and now Anakin is all alone and he will never be a match for any Lord of the Sith-

But Palpatine's words rage is your weapon have given Anakin permission to unseal the shielding around his furnace heart, and all his fears and all his doubts shrivel in its flame.

When Count Dooku flies at him, blade flashing, Watto's fist cracks out from Anakin's childhood to knock the Sith Lord tumbling back.

When with all the power that the dark side can draw from throughout the universe, Dooku hurls a jagged fragment of the durasteel table, Shmi Skywalker's gentle murmur I knew you would come for me, Anakin smashes it aside


Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith novelization

https://streamable.com/usa69

Anakin and Obi Wan fight fiercely though the control room on Mustafar. They each tap into the Force as they never have before.

Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith - Play and Sound Interactive Novel

Mustafar Vader is at least as strong if not stronger than Knightfall Vader. From the novels and sourcebooks to the words of George Lucas himself, there is no denying it.

KNIGHTFALL VADER VS. DARTH SIDIOUS & YODA

Yoda and Darth Sidious both have their fair share of accolades placing them as the most powerful Jedi and Sith ever, respectively, or as the most powerful Force-users in the same galaxy in which Mustafar Vader existed.

This truth: that he, the avatar of light, Supreme Master of the Jedi Order, the fiercest, most implacable, most devastatingly powerful foe the darkness had ever known...

Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith novelization

Yoda's ability to use the Force is greater than that of any other Jedi.

Star Wars: The Legendary Yoda

Meet Yoda. He is the most powerful Jedi.

Star Wars: Blast Off!

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For those who still believe that Mustafar Vader was hindered, it does not even matter because irrespective of whether he can harness his power combatively, he still possesses that power, and is therefore restricted beneath Yoda and Sidious as they are the galaxy’s most powerful Force adepts. For those who still believe that Knightfall Vader is outright more powerful than Mustafar Vader, refer to the quotes from Insider # 86 and The New Essential Chronology: ”Instead, Yoda faces the dark side’s fury, channeled by the most powerful Sith Lord in history.” / ”Yoda went after Palpatine in the empty Senate chamber, but could not defeat the most powerful Sith Lord in history.” That history includes Operation: Knightfall. Sidious and Yoda are more powerful than Knightfall Vader, no matter which way you slice it.

In the realm of lightsaber dueling, starwars.com has already given us an answer: Anakin, Yoda, and Darth Sidious are all level 9’s, and ”At so high a ranking, it comes down to individual fighting styles as well as the circumstances of the surroundings that make the difference.” Ergo, even if there are discrepancies in power, they are very small, as all of their dueling capabilities are so close. They are still effectively peers.

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KNIGHTFALL VADER VS. OBI-WAN KENOBI

As detailed in the novelization of Revenge of the Sith, Darth Vader dominated the initial engagement between himself and Obi-Wan Kenobi. However, once Kenobi let go of his attachments - his earthly tethers - he achieved a heightened connection to the Force that allowed him to directly contend with Vader as an equal. Yes, part of this was attributed to his familiarity with Vader’s fighting style, but this intimate knowledge went both ways, and there is still a stark contrast between Kenobi’s performance in the pre-let-go and post-let-go portions of the fight regardless of any form familiarity. This is echoed by the Play and Sound Interactive Novel stating both Vader and Kenobi ”tap into the Force as they never have before” in the very control room where the novel depicts Obi-Wan letting go. As a result, Kenobi also became powerful enough to directly negate Vader’s telekinesis, thanks to the disproportionate strength of Force defenses.

Blade-to-blade, they were identical. After thousands of hours in lightsaber sparring, they knew each other better than brothers, more intimately than lovers; they were complementary halves of a single warrior.

In every exchange, Obi-Wan gave ground. It was his way. And he knew that to strike Anakin down would burn his own heart to ash.

Exchanges flashed. Leaps were sideslipped or met with flying kicks; ankle sweeps skipped over and punches parried. The door of the control center fell in pieces, and then they were inside among the bodies. Consoles exploded in fountains of white-hot sparks as they ripped free of their moorings and hurtled through the air. Dead hands spasmed on triggers and blaster bolts sizzled through impossibly intricate lattices of ricochet.

Obi-Wan barely caught some and flipped them at Anakin: a desperation move. Anything to distract him; anything to slow him down. Easily, contemptuously, Anakin sent them back, and the bolts flared between their blades until their galvening faded and the particles of the packeted beams dispersed into radioactive fog.

"Don't make me destroy you, Obi-Wan." Anakin's voice had gone deeper than a well and bleak as the obsidian cliffs. "You're no match for the power of the dark side."

"I've heard that before," Obi-Wan said through his teeth, parrying madly, "but I never thought I'd hear it from you."

A roar of the Force blasted Obi-Wan back into a wall, smashing breath from his lungs, leaving him swaying, half stunned. Anakin stepped over bodies and lifted his blade for the kill.

Obi-Wan had only one trick left, one that wouldn't work twice-But it was a very good trick.

It had, after all, worked rather splendidly on Grievous . . .

He twitched one finger, reaching through the Force to reverse the polarity of the electrodrivers in Anakin's mechanical hand.

Durasteel fingers sprang open, and a lightsaber tumbled free.

Obi-Wan reached. Anakin's lightsaber twisted in the air and flipped into his hand. He poised both blades in a cross before him. "The flaw of power is arrogance."

"You hesitate," Anakin said. "The flaw of compassion-"

"It's not compassion," Obi-Wan said sadly. "It's reverence for life. Even yours. It's respect for the man you were."

He sighed. "It's regret for the man you should have been."

Anakin roared and flew at him, using both the Force and his body to crash Obi-Wan back into the wall once more. His hands seized Obi-Wan's wrists with impossible strength, forcing his arms wide. "I am so sick of your lectures!"

Dark power bore down with his grip.

Obi-Wan felt the bones of his forearms bending, beginning to feather toward the greenstick fractures that would come before the final breaks.

Oh, he thought. Oh, this is bad.

[cut to Yoda vs. Sidious]

With Anakin's grip on his wrists bending his arms near to breaking, forcing both their lightsabers down in a slow but unstoppable arc, Obi-Wan let go. Of everything.

His hopes. His fears. His obligation to the Jedi, his promise to Qui-Gon, his failure with Anakin. And their lightsabers.

Startled, Anakin instinctively shifted his Force grip, releasing one wrist to reach for his blade; in that instant Obi-Wan twisted free of his other hand and with the Force caught up his own blade, reversing it along his forearm so that his swift parry of Anakin's thundering overhand not only blocked the strike but directed both blades to slice through the wall against which he stood. He slid Anakin's following thrust through the wall on the opposite side, guiding both blades again up and over his head in a circular sweep so that he could use the power of Anakin's next chop to drive himself backward through the wall, outside into the smoke and the falling cinders.

Anakin followed, constantly attacking; Obi-Wan again gave ground, retreating along a narrow balcony high above the black-sand shoreline of a lake of fire.

Mustafar hummed with death behind his back, only a moment away, somewhere out there among the rivers of molten rock. Obi-Wan let Anakin drive him toward it.

It was a place, he decided, they should reach together. Anakin forced him back and back, slamming his blade down with strength that seemed to flow from the volcano overhead. He spun and whirled and sliced razor-sharp shards of steel from the wall and shot them at Obi-Wan with the full heat of his fury. He slashed through a control panel along the walkway, and the ray shield that had held back the lava storm vanished.

Fire rained around them.

Obi-Wan backed to the end of the balcony; behind him was only a power conduit no thicker than his arm, connecting it to the main collection plant of the old lava mine, over a riverbed that flowed with white-hot molten stone. Obi-Wan stepped backward onto the conduit without hesitation, his balance flawless as he parried chop after chop.

Anakin came on.

Out on the tightrope of power conduit, their blades blurred even faster than before. They chopped and slashed and parried and blocked. Lava bombs thundered to the ground below, shedding drops of burning stone that scorched their robes. Smoke shrouded the planet's star, and now the only light came from the hell-glow of the lava below them and from their blades themselves. Flares of energy crackled and spat.

This was not Sith against Jedi. This was not light against dark or good against evil; it had nothing to do with duty or philosophy, religion or morals.

It was Anakin against Obi-Wan.

Personally.

Just the two of them, and the damage they had done to each other.

Obi-Wan backflipped from the conduit to a coupling nexus of the main collection plant; when Anakin flew in pursuit, Obi-Wan leapt again. They spun and whirled throughout its levels, up its stairs, and across its platforms; they battled out onto the collection panels over which the cascades of lava poured, and Obi-Wan, out on the edge of the collection panel, hunching under a curve of durasteel that splashed aside gouts of lava, deflecting Force blasts and countering strikes from this creature of rage that had been his best friend, suddenly comprehended an unexpectedly profound truth.

The man he faced was everything Obi-Wan had devoted his life to destroying: Murderer. Traitor. Fallen Jedi. Lord of the Sith. And here, and now, despite it all …

Obi-Wan still loved him.

Yoda had said it, flat-out: Allow such attachments to pass out of one's life, a Jedi must, but Obi-Wan had never let himself understand. He had argued for Anakin, made excuses, covered for him again and again and again; all the while this attachment he denied even feeling had blinded him to the dark path his best friend walked.

Obi-Wan knew there was, in the end, only one answer for attachment…

He let it go.

The lake of fire, no longer held back by the ray shield, chewed away the shore on which the plant stood, and the whole massive structure broke loose, sending both warriors skidding, scrabbling desperately for handholds down tilting durasteel slopes that were rapidly becoming cliffs; they hung from scraps of cable as the plant's superstructure floated out into the lava, sinking slowly as its lower levels melted and burned away.

Anakin kicked off from the toppling superstructure, swinging through a wide arc over the lava's boil. Obi-Wan shoved out and met him there, holding the cable with one hand and the Force, angling his blade high. Anakin flicked a Shien whipcrack at his knees. Obi-Wan yanked his legs high and slashed through the cable above Anakin's hand, and Anakin fell.

Pockets of gas boiled to the surface of the lava, gouting flame like arms reaching to gather him in.
But Anakin's momentum had already swung back toward the dissolving wreck of the collection plant, and the Force carried him within reach of another cable. Obi-Wan whipped his legs around his cable, altering its arc to bring him within reach of the one from which Anakin now dangled, but Anakin was on to this game now, and he swung cable-to-cable ahead of Obi-Wan's advance, using the Force to carry himself higher and higher, forcing Obi-Wan to counter by doing the same; on this terrain, altitude was everything.

Simultaneous surges of the Force carried them both spinning up off the cables to the slant of the toppling superstructure's crane deck. Obi-Wan barely got his feet on the metal before Anakin pounced on him and they stood almost toe-to-toe, blades whirling and crashing on all sides, while around them the collection plant's maintenance droids still tinkered mindlessly away at the doomed machinery, as they would continue to do until lava closed over them and they melted to their constituent molecules and dissolved into the flow.

A roar louder even than the volcano's eruption came from the river ahead; metal began to shriek and stretch. The river dropped away in a vertical sheet of fire that vanished into boiling clouds of smoke and gases.

The whole collection plant was being carried, inexorably, out over a vast lava-fall.

Obi-Wan decided he didn't really want to see what was at the bottom.

He turned Anakin's blade aside with a two-handed block and landed a solid kick that knocked the two apart. Before Anakin could recover his balance, Obi-Wan took a running leap that became a graceful dive headlong off the crane deck. He hurtled down past level after level, and only a few tens of meters above the lava itself the Force called a dangling cable to his hand, turning his dive into a swing that carried him high and far, to the very limit of the cable.

And he let it go.

As though jumping from a swing in the Temple playrooms, his velocity sent him flying up and out over a catenary arc that shot him toward the river's shore. Toward. Not quite to.

But the Force had led him here, and again it had not betrayed him: below, humming along a few meters above the lava river, came a big, slow old repulsorlift platform, carrying droids and equipment out toward a collection plant that its programming was not sophisticated enough to realize was about to be destroyed.

Obi-Wan flipped in the air and let the Force bring him to a catfooted landing. An adder-quick stab of his lightsaber disabled the platform's guidance system, and Obi-Wan was able to direct it back toward the shore with a simple shift of his weight.

He turned to watch as the collection plant shrieked like the damned in a Corellian hell, crumbling over the brink of the falls until it vanished into invisible destruction.

Obi-Wan lowered his head. "Good-bye, old friend." But the Force whispered a warning, and Obi-Wan lifted his head in time to see Anakin come hurtling toward him out from the boil of smoke above the falls, perched on a tiny repulsorlift droid. The little droid was vastly swifter than Obi-Wan's logy old cargo platform, and Anakin was easily able to swing around Obi-Wan and cut him off from the shore. Obi-Wan shifted weight one way, then another, but Anakin's droid was nimble as a sand panther; there was no way around, and this close to the lava, the heat was intense enough to crisp Obi-Wan's hair.

"This is the end for you, Master," he said. "I wish it were otherwise."

"Yes, Anakin, so do I," Obi-Wan said as he sprinted into a leaping dive, making a spear of his blade.

Anakin leaned aside and deflected the thrust almost contemptuously; he missed a cut at Obi-Wan's legs as the Jedi Master flew past him.

Obi-Wan turned his dive into a forward roll that left him barely teetering on the rim of a low cliff, just above the soft black sand of the riverbank. Anakin snarled a curse as he realized he'd been suckered, and leapt off his droid at Obi-Wan's back-

Half a second too slow.

Obi-Wan's whirl to parry didn't meet Anakin's blade. It met his knee. Then his other knee.

And while Anakin was still in the air, burned-off lower legs only starting their topple down the cliff, Obi-Wan's recovery to guard brought his blade through Anakin's left arm above the elbow. He stepped back as Anakin fell.


Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith novelization

Anakin and Obi Wan fight fiercely though the control room on Mustafar. They each tap into the Force as they never have before.

Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith - Play and Sound Interactive Novel

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Some might assume Kenobi’s heightened state of enlightenment was circumstantial and only present for this one fight, but that is incorrect. Shortly after the Mustafar duel, Kenobi runs faster than any Force user in history, including Yoda and Sidious, so fast that his atoms were beginning to be ripped apart by the velocity.

The bloodwolf alone comprehends death.

And, therefore, the sweet pungency of life; howling his mournful wisdom, into the immeasurable night, to his estranged brethren the stars.

A bloodwolf is fearless. And though the Wise Prince will fight fang-and-claw to the death, maim and kill-

He also runs.

At a dead sprint, a bloodwolf, cub in jaws, can achieve velocities of eighty kilometers per hour.

On the Smuggler’s Moon, a Jedi Master with his newborn Padawan ran faster.

Nar Shaddaa itself, circling the massive jewel of Nal Hutta, spins on its axis at a respectable one hundred and seventy kilometers per hour…

Obi-Wan Kenobi ran faster.

And on a sand-lacerated mesa, a podracer utterly butchers distances at six hundred kilometers per hour.

Obi-Wan-

Ran-

Faster.

The Jedi Master ran over one hundred and sixty-five meters per second.

More than six hundred kilometers per hour.

No one, not Jedi, not Sith, had ever duplicated such superhuman locomotion.

Was Obi-Wan flying? He didn’t know.

But he knew that, this time, he was not running from the blaster fire of destroyer droids. He was not running to save his own life.

He was not even running to save Qui-Gon from the slaying fire of Darth Maul’s singing blade.

He was running ... to save the child he loved.

To call him a blur, a smear of speed, was to substitute poor poetry in favor of truth.

Space contracted - time distended.

Obi-Wan was a fulmination on reality.

Obi-Wan was Truth.

Obi-Wan literally blazed with kinetic light as he blistered through the Nar Shaddaan streets. And with every impossible angle he cornered, every slow-moving raindrop he dodged, every being he spared spontaneous combustion from contact with his supernatural momentum, the Jedi Master felt his muscles, his atoms, his very essence, rebelling into pandemonium.

Obi-Wan was - factually - flying apart.


Star Wars: Lone Wolf - A Tale of Obi-Wan and Luke

There’s also the matter of Obi-Wan being only an 8 to address. Yes, the difference between levels 8 and 9 is ”enormous,” but what does that actually mean in practice? What does it mean to be enormously better than someone in a fight? Does it mean a speedblitz, a one-shot? If not, where is the line drawn? Ultimately, the descriptor of being enormously better than someone is too vague to make any precise conclusions about how close the fight would be. For that, we have to turn to the duel itself, and I believe I have already laid down the proper evidence for Obi-Wan contending, partially because of his familiarity with Vader’s style, but partially because of him letting go of his emotional weight and simply being good enough to contend. His speed feat not long thereafter affirms the idea of Kenobi not being that far away from Yoda, Sidious, and Knightfall Vader (I believe Sidious and Yoda could still easily win through Force spam and greater mastery, but martially it would be somewhat of a struggle).

OBI-WAN KENOBI VS. A’SHARAD HETT

Two years after the Clone Wars, Ben Kenobi discovers another Order 66 survivor, the disgruntled Jedi A’Sharad Hett. Hett had disavowed the Jedi way and taken up the mantle of a Tusken warlord pillaging across Tatooine, and so him and Kenobi naturally come to blows.

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Hett's hands dropped to his belt and the two lightsabers practically leapt into his gloved hands. He ignited both weapons at once, unleashing their identical green energy beams. He swung fast with the lightsaber in his right hand but Ben blocked it. The lightsabers sizzled loudly as they clashed.

It was fortunate for Ben that he had continued his Jedi exercises on Tatooine, that he had not allowed his reflexes to become dull. He did not think about how long it had been since he had last used his lightsaber in combat. Nor did consider that he was older than Hett by at least a decade, or Hett's considerable skills with his own weapons, and that the Tusken was far more experienced at fighting in the desert. Ben knew that any such thoughts would probably only get him killed.

As prepared as Ben was for many things, he was not ready to die. Not yet. Not today. Hett brought his other lightsaber in at a sharp angle, forcing Ben to lurch back. Ben gripped his own weapon with both hands as he swung at Hett's legs, but Hett blocked the swipe. There was another loud sizzle as the blades dragged across each other.

Ben gasped as Hett launched a powerful kick to his midriff. The kick knocked Ben off his feet, and as he fell back through the air, Hett hurled one of his lightsabers at Ben's body. Ben clung tight to his own lightsaber as he twisted his body in midair to avoid being struck by the spinning blade of Hett's weapon. The moment Hett's lightsaber whipped past Ben's head, Hett used the Force to retrieve it, drawing it back to his waiting left hand.

As Hett caught the lightsaber, Ben rolled up from the ground and swung out again. Hett blocked the strike with his right lightsaber, then threw his left arm forward to smash his other lightsaber's handle into Ben's jaw. Ben ignored the painful jolt to his head and reflexively brought his blade up high, forcing Hett to block the blow with his right lightsaber and leaving his own midsection briefly exposed. Before Hett could strike with his other lightsaber, Ben kicked him hard in the stomach.

Hett grunted, but he didn't go down. He lashed out again at Ben, kicking up sand as he moved in for the kill. Not one of the mounted Tuskens so much as flinched as they watched the duel, nor did they rally for their chief. They merely watched in silence, waiting for the outcome.

Ben blocked each blow, but he wasn't doing it with ease. Hett was far more experienced at fighting on the sand and in the desert heat. Ben knew that his opponent would never surrender, let alone withdraw. As much as he hoped to avoid killing Hett, he also knew that they couldn't keep fighting indefinitely.

But in the end, Ben knew he wasn't fighting for his own life. He was fighting for Luke's.

Quickly raising his left hand, Ben used the Force to push out at Hett, shoving him back through the air as Ben's lightsaber swept up and through Hett's right arm. Hett shouted as his arm fell away from his body. As Hett stumbled back, Ben used the Force to tear Hett's other lightsaber from his left hand's grip. Both of Hett's lightsabers deactivated as they sailed past Ben and landed in the sand behind him.


Star Wars: The Life and Legend of Obi-Wan Kenobi

A) OBI-WAN’S POWER LEVEL

The text notes that while Kenobi hadn’t fought with a lightsaber in a while, “he had continued his Jedi exercises on Tatooine,” nonetheless, and “had not allowed his reflexes to become dull.” Simply put, he hadn’t declined, and was on the same level as he had been in Revenge of the Sith.

B) OBI-WAN’S EFFORT

Ben required absolute focus while fighting Hett, and any distracting thoughts “would probably only get him killed.” Hett also scored several unarmed strikes in Kenobi, and the ones Ben did block, “he wasn't doing so with ease.” As to the sometimes-tossed-around notion that Ben won as he soon as reminded himself he was fighting for Luke, warriors’ motivations circulate around their brain constantly. Ben going in his head “Oh shit, I just remembered this is the farm where Anakin’s son is living. I better try a bit harder against this guy” as if he hadn’t once thought of the possibility that bloodthirsty Tuskens would kill Luke makes absolutely no sense.  The novel even notes that Obi-Wan’s first thought is to protect Luke when he hears about the Tusken attacks, and the reason for him not thinking about Luke until the end is even given to us by novel: he had to push any thoughts of Luke away so Hett wouldn’t detect them and discover Luke’s existence. So just because he happened to think of Luke at that particular instant doesn't mean he wasn't serious prior. Kenobi was giving this duel his all, and that’s that.

Ben Kenobi had been on Tatooine for nearly two years when he learned about an unusual increase of atrocities committed by Tusken Raiders. According to fragmented reports, the Tuskens had attacked three moisture farms and left seven colonists dead in a single day. But what disturbed Kenobi even more than the killings was the unnerving disturbance in the Force that came with them. It was as if a dark presence had touched upon the desert world, creating an almost tangible trace of evil in the air.

Could it be the Sith? Ben didn't know. All he could do was keep a closer eye on Luke.


Star Wars: The Life and Legend of Obi-Wan Kenobi

Ben did not know whether Hett was aware that Anakin Skywalker had become Darth Vader. But if Hett knew—as Qui-Gon's spirit claimed—that Anakin was responsible for killing the Tuskens who tortured his mother, Ben could only imagine what Hett might do if he discovered the existence of Anakin Skywalker's son. Ben suspected that Hett knew nothing about Luke, if only because Luke was still alive. If Hett's sole purpose on Tatooine had been to kill Luke, Luke would probably be dead already. Now, as Hett approached, Ben banished all thoughts of Anakin and Luke from his mind.

Star Wars: The Life and Legend of Obi-Wan Kenobi

C) A’SHARAD’S ARM

Some readers of the comic have interpreted the blue flash around Kenobi’s arm showing him telekinetically ripping off Hett’s limb, and thus have argued he was massively more powerful in the Force. But the novelization clarifies Ben merely pushed Hett backwards with telekinesis, and took his arm with a swipe of his blade. There is no great disparity in Force strength shown here.

D) THE TERRAIN

While the text notes Hett was more experienced fighting on sand, this is hardly a factor. Firstly, let us make clear that it only gave Hett an advantage, and did not give Kenobi any disadvantage, as inferior fighters like Qui-Gon Jinn and Darth Maul weren't bothered by the desert environment at all. Secondly, we are talking about Force users here: something as trivial as sand beneath their boots isn't going to boost their precognition, augmentation, reflexes or clarity of mind - far more pertinent factors in a lightsaber duel than simple technique or raw skill. The fact that Hett had more experience fighting on a desert doesn't take away from the fact that Kenobi didn't ragdoll, speedblitz or do anything to Hett that would indicate he could stomp. It would be a hard-fought battle in any environment.
   
I accelerate my pace, calling on my anger to increase my power. My footwork has never been so brilliant. I use the shifting sand as resistance. My lightness and quickness will defeat this man, with his large body, his heavy movements.

But he is graceful, this Jedi. The sand doesn't seem to hamper him. He is never off balance, no matter where or how I strike.

Our blows send shudders through my body. He meets my strength. Our lightsabers clash and sizzle. Dust and sand rise around us. I never lose my rhythm.


Star Wars: Episode I Journal - Darth Maul

In the end, I don’t see any reason not to mark Hett a rival of Kenobi’s here. The latter was noted to have retained his skills from his days in the Clone Wars, of which he required every ounce to stay alive and triumph over Hett, with the terrain being only a negligent advantage for the latter.

DARTH KRAYT’S GROWTH

After his loss at Kenobi’s hands, Hett’s Tusken tribe abandons him. Now stripped of both the duties of the Jedi and his familial heritage, Hett becomes a bounty hunter. Shortly after, he takes a mission to Korriban, where he finds the holocron of XoXaan, from whom he learns the dark side. His mind now set on taking revenge on Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine, Hett gives himself to Sith teachings until sometime after the Battle of Endor. During this time, “he gained a great deal of strength in the Force,” which is putting it lightly; after all, we are talking about a dude who gave himself over to his hatred of those who destroyed his life, immersing himself in the dark side, with the lore of Korriban to draw upon, for at least two decades - he could already match peak Obi-Wan Kenobi in just three.

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After his training is complete, Hett emerges ready to take down those who took everything from him, but finds the galaxy already free of Sith rule. Lost and aimless, Hett wanders into the Unknown Regions where he encounters the Yuuzhan Vong, who take him prisoner. Experiencing the Embrace of Pain, Hett opens himself to the dark side utterly, annihilating his captors and traveling to Korriban again, where he formally names himself Darth Krayt. Prior to his ordeal, Hett “had only been pretending to be a Sith” compared to what he became after: “XoXaan opened the Dragon’s eyes, but he could still not see the power within the darkness until he met the Yuuzhan Vong.” In short, it was at the hands of the Vong that “A'Sharad Hett died” and “Darth Krayt was born.”

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Jacen Solo hangs in the white, thinking.

He has begun to riddle out the lesson of pain.

The white drops him once in a while, as though the Embrace of Pain understands him somehow: as though it can read the limit of his strength. When another minute in the white might kill him, the Embrace of Pain eases enough to slide him back into the reality of the room, of the ship; when the pain has crackled so hot for so long that his overloaded nerves and brain have been scorched too numb to feel it, the Embrace of Pain lowers him entirely to the floor, where he can even sleep for a time, while other devices—or creatures, since he cannot tell the difference anymore, since he is no longer sure that there is any difference—bathe him and tend wounds scraped or torn or slashed into his flesh by the Embrace’s grip, and still more creature-devices crawl over him like spider-roaches, injecting him with nutrients and enough water to maintain his life.

Even without the Force, his Jedi training gives him ways to survive the pain; he can drive his mind through a meditative cycle that builds a wall of discipline between his consciousness and the white. Though his body still suffers, he can hold his mind outside the pain. But this wall of discipline doesn’t last forever, and the Embrace of Pain is patient.

It erodes his mental walls with the inanimate persistence of waves against a cliff; the Embrace’s arcane perception somehow lets it know that he has defended himself, and its efforts slowly gather like a storm spinning up into a hurricane until it batters down his walls and slashes once more into everything Jacen is. Only then, only after it has pushed him to the uttermost limit of his tolerance then blasted him beyond that limit into whole new galaxies of pain, will the Embrace slowly relent.

He feels as if the white is eating him—as if the Embrace eats his pain, but never so much that he can’t recover to feed it again. He is being managed, tended like wander-kelp on a Chadian deepwater ranch. His existence has become a tidal rhythm of agony that sweeps in, reaches an infinite crest, then rolls out again just far enough that he might catch his breath; the Embrace is careful not to let him drown.


Star Wars: New Jedi Order - Traitor

Following his escape from the Vong, Krayt “perfected his combat techniques over many decades,” and noted that he had killed “thousands of opponents” since the Clone Wars, clearly referring to a time after his transformation into Krayt as he did not slay anyone during his tutelage under XoXaan and only killed a single ship worth of Vong soldiers following his torture.

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He additionally accumulated an insane reservoir of dark side knowledge over the course of over 100 years: his servant Darth Wyyrlok III was “one of the greatest scholars of the Jedi, Sith, and other Force-using traditions in the galaxy,” having “access to books, scrolls, holocrons, and computer records from across the eons, which he has collected in the hopes of gaining a deeper understanding of the Force”; in total, “his knowledge of Sith lore, rituals, and history was rivaled only by that of Krayt himself,” in addition to Krayt's holocron containing “many secrets and bits of lore known only to Darth Krayt himself.” Note that Force knowledge doesn't just increase the amount of abilities one can wield; it adds to one's overall power as seen in the cases of the Banite Sith, Yoda, and A'Sharad Hett himself.

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Finally, there is Reborn Krayt, who is at the very pinnacle of his strength, min-maxed to the extreme. His power surpassed even that of which he showcased in Fate of the Jedi Apocalypse due to various reasons:

  • His coral seeds had finally been removed, so he no longer had to dedicate any Force energy to fighting off their attempts to devour his insides and consume his mind.
  • His body was healed to its peak state, to the extent he was able to regrow a human arm after it had been cut off, whereas before his body had been subject to nearly fatal injuries on two occasions.
  • After transcending death, Krayt’s understanding of and connection to the Force increased greatly, independent of his body being healed.

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CONCLUSION

Given Krayt’s ludicrous power growth from giving Obi-Wan Kenobi a great fight, he should easily be on the level of Yoda, Sidious, and Knightfall Vader in terms of sheer magnitude. His dueling skill would also be at least of the same caliber. Really, the only realistic gauge for Krayt’s standing is right on their level at bare minimum, although he could be much, much higher given his fight against Abeloth, his cosmic feats with the Sith Troopers, and his megastomp of Cade if you believe Cade is Maul or Dooku-level. From that point, it comes down to Force mastery and their unique talents.

Anakin has always been a very straightforward fighter. His foremost tactic is to simply batter the opponent into submission with little to no nuance or subtlety. This trait became even more prominent once he fell to the dark side. Krayt, in contrast, has been seen employing unarmed strikes and integrating Force attacks into his lightsaber sequences, mainly telekinesis and dark transfer.

In his fight against Kenobi, Vader did initiate a physical grappling moves several times, but despite being the physically superior fighter, he failed to overpower Kenobi each time, even from a position of advantage. If he tried anything similar against Krayt, he would be destroyed in hand-to-hand against a bona fide Teräs Käsi master: in Star Wars Republic, an unarmed Hett did in fact already subdue Anakin who came at him with a lightsaber. Yes, Anakin was far from his prime, but so was Hett, and given Hett managed to land physical blows on Obi-Wan Kenobi himself even when he outmatched overall, I have no doubt Reborn Krayt could manage the same against Knightfall Vader, whose power and skill are inferior to his own. And the inclusion of dark transfer would make physical contact from Krayt fatal for Vader. Krayt’s integration of telekinetic attacks and punches would serve to further off-balance Vader to make it even more one-sided for him.

Overall, while Vader can probably contend to an extent in sheer power and raw lightsaber skill, his tactics and lack of unarmed technique and Force mastery make this Krayt’s game all the way.


Last edited by Azronger on Wed Nov 06, 2019 2:26 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Dark Empire Luke

Beginning of Dark Empire Luke

Luke reveals himself to be the “most powerful Jedi of them all” by showing compassion to Vader.
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Luke is “more skilled than ever” in the ways of the Jedi lightsaber.
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Luke alone knows the level of knowledge and power in the Force he has gained since Kenobi, Yoda and Anakin passed on.
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Two masters [Luke and Palpatine] of power touch minds... one the very essence of the Jedi... the other dark beyond darkness.
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Luke is a Jedi of “the highest order”.
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Luke quickly rose through the initial stages of Jedi knowledge. Years after training with Yoda, he grew more and more adept. He had an increasing ability to feel the Force in himself and others. His cosmic abilities became more advanced and he came to understand Yoda’s lesson as he acquired greater knowledge and skill. Luke has become adept at all of the principle powers and practices of a Jedi… but “he had just begun to plumb the depths of the possible.” Moreover, “he stands at the threshold of awakening to the legendary powers of the great Masters of old” - the great Masters being referred to here are Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda, who are named “two of the greatest Jedi Knights who ever lived.”
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What is being foreshadowed above is Luke “awakening to the legendary powers of” Obi-Wan and Yoda. Given the other quotes about Luke being born as, and proving himself to be, the greatest and most powerful Jedi ever, then it seems clear that should Luke awaken to these “legendary powers” by the end of this story he would have become the “greatest, most powerful Jedi ever.” And even at this early stage, Luke has accolades like “Jedi of the highest order” and “the very essence of the Jedi”, so even here, I would be hard pressed to say Luke is below the likes of RotS Kenobi/Anakin.

According to Sheev, Luke has grown “very strong” in the Force since they last met… but so has he.
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Luke knew his power could not stand against the Emperor
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Mid Dark Empire Luke

Sheev tells Luke that it is his destiny to succeed his father. Not only that, but Luke can conquer the Emperor himself if he learns the secrets of the dark side. Luke resigns himself to his Father’s destiny, becoming Sidious’ apprentice. This is a clear parallel to Anakin’s character progression into Vader during RotS, almost to a T. The only difference between the character arcs is that Sidious is much, much more powerful here than he was in RotS.
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Sidious, even during RotJ, had become “the Dark Side’s most powerful expression” - and he had grown “very strong” since then as said before.
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Luke states that he is taking the path of Vader.
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Luke is seeking to learn the Emperor’s “darkest secrets”, taking his father’s place as Sidious’ apprentice. The Emperor wants to push Luke “deep into the seductive embrace of the Dark Side of the Force.”
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Luke is referred to as “Lord Skywalker” by “his Imperial Sentinels”. Sidious states that he has “won new powers from the Dark Side of the Force” - clear indications that he has taken up Sidious’ training in earnest.
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Sidious states that Luke, his “dear apprentice”, is “so strong” in the Force and has “learned his lessons well.” Considering that Luke, per previous quotes, “quickly rose through the initial stages of Jedi knowledge” just with the crash course he received from Kenobi in Yoda, and then “became adept at all of the principle powers and practices of a Jedi” after a few years of self-training, the idea that he could extensively master the Dark Side after receiving Banite training from Dark Empire Sidious is not unprecedented.
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Luke is confirmed to have learned the secrets of the Dark Side from Sidious. Sidious unveils his teaching, and Luke is given the knowledge that was bestowed on Vader. It’s also stated that the knowledge of the dark side is the perfection of the will, and the expansion of personal power, and that it is seductive because of the ease with which specific powers and abilities are attained. Luke’s individual will has been enhanced, and all that it required for him to learn these secrets was to surrender to the path of anger and violence - basically, Luke is for all intents and purposes a Sith Lord on par with Vader.
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Luke was learning more about the Dark Side than he wanted to know, and Sidious believes he can be greater than Darth Vader
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Luke learned many secrets from Sidious.
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Luke loses to Sidious in his new clone body as it rapidly recovers strength and power.
https://imgur.com/a/ubZYQ6X

The reborn Emperor “engages Luke in a ferocious lightsaber duel - and wins.” He is “triumphant” over his “greatest adversary.” In this context, it is clear that “greatest adversary” is referring to Luke’s dueling prowess, as Luke is the “adversary” Sidious was “engaging” and “wins” / is “triumphant over” in a “lightsaber duel”. This quote is also not time-specific and effectively applies to Yoda and Mace Windu.
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Quotes in the Dark Empire comics are not time specific, as shown below - Luke is the greatest Jedi born in the time of greatest adversity. Unless Luke was the “greatest Jedi” moments after being born, logic dictates that such quotes are not constrained by time - indeed, all of the quotes in Dark Empire foreshadowing Luke’s greatness and power are not time-specific.
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The duel is described as being brief. Sidious is now “more powerful than ever”, and the new clone body he was in was “much younger and stronger”. This version of Sidious has much more Force power than RotJ Sidious, but in a much younger and stronger body in its physical prime.
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Sidious’ power was continually growing and “ever-expanding” during this time.
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End of Dark Empire Luke


Leia senses an oppression unlike anything she’s felt before. She senses the Dark Side of the Force more powerful than ever - she is referring to Sidious, as there is no Dark Side nexus aboard the Eclipse.
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It’s again stated that Luke learned “all the dark things father [Vader] knew so well.”
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Sidious states that Luke’s power is “immense” and implores him to continue listening to the voice of the dark side.
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Sidious states Luke can be far stronger than Vader was.
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Luke learns an important lesson about the Force and the Jedi… that a Jedi’s greatest ally is the Force.
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Luke defeats the Reborn Emperor, at the height of his powers physically and in the Force, in a lightsaber duel. It is stated that Luke was “too strong” for Sidious and Leia sensed in the Force that the Light Side defeated the Dark.
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LEIA: Be careful, Luke! The Force is strong....they're both moving so fast, I can hardly see them....I feel waves of power....the Dark Side and the Light.....But......I feel......the Light.....is winning!!
- Dark Empire I Audiodrama
Luke was “too strong for him this time and struck off his hand.”
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Leia joins her Jedi power, her intensity, to Luke, as she had been already without Luke realising it. She unlocks “unexpected resources” in Luke, and Luke finally learns the ultimate lesson and strength of the Jedi - the power of “luminous beings”. They press the Light Side around the dark nexus that is Palpatine…
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...cutting him from his dark power, letting him “conquer himself.”
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Luke, having learnt this great lesson, is now filled with a burst of optimism and hope.
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Luke and Leia were using the greatest power in the galaxy (the power of Luminous beings), which even Darth Sidious’ Force Storms were no match for.
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The greatest Jedi seldom, if ever, use lightsabers. This is because a Jedi’s strength - all his strength - flows from the Force. The more a Jedi learns about the Force, the more he joins himself to that luminosity that is “the very nature and substance of the Force”. Yoda tried to move Luke through physical combat training so he could reach the higher level of Jedi training, but it was only through the consequences of experience that he could learn this great lesson - the turning point for Luke is at the moment where Luke and Leia unlock Luke’s hidden resources and bathe Sidious in the Light Side. Indeed, the description for the power of Luminous beings is described as follows: “now joined to the greatest strength of the Jedi - the power of luminous beings. [...] Luke and Leia are united to the Force in all its intensity, and the Force flows through them like a tidal wave of light.
This is the unquenchable light of the Jedi, the ultimate reality on which their way is founded. This is the principle from which the Jedi derived their very existence [...] Before such clarity and power, the cataclysmic rage of the Emperor cannot stand.”

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“Now, as the flood gates of the Force open in him, Luke begins to understand how such things are possible. The Force itself, beyond the physical outlines of the body, is not only a Jedi’s greatest ally, but his unshakable luminous reality.”
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It’s stated that while Luke learned many thing about the Dark Side while he was Sidious’ apprentice, his greatest lesson did not come from him - it basically came from what is described above.
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Luke + Pregnant Leia as “luminous beings” > DE Sheev (Force Storm) > EoDE Luke > Reborn Sidious (greater than ever quote) > Just-Reborn Sidious(more powerful than ever + ever-expanding power quotes) > Old Body Sidious > Mid-DE Luke > BoDE Luke

At the beginning, Luke was a Jedi of the highest order, the very essence of a Jedi and “on the threshold of awakening to the legendary powers of the masters of old” - so even here Luke is not far from Yoda and likely around EoRotS Kenobi level at least.

Luke’ destiny was foreshadowed two ways: he could either become the greatest Jedi ever, or he could join the dark side and become far greater than Vader, and even conquer the Reborn Sidious at his most powerful. He effectively did both: he learnt all he could from Sidious, and his power grew substantially while wielding the Dark Side - he is almost a perfect mirror for RotS Vader here, but frankly, based on his proximity to Dark Empire Sidious he is surely above RotS Vader here.

However, Luke’s greatest lesson came from the Light Side, and using that, he was “too strong” and outdueled the Reborn Emperor. He then reached a “turning point” where the “flood gates” of the Force opened to him, he uses the “greatest power” in the galaxy and grasps the very nature, substance and reality of the Force and Jedi. While he couldn’t defeat DE Sidious’ Force Storms alone, Leia joined her and Anakin Solo’s powers to Luke’s, unlocked unexpected resources in him, and bathed Sidious in the Light Side, causing him to be separated from his powers. He was left with a burst of optimism and hope that would only aid his power further.

Luke and DE Sidious are, effectively, in a tier of their own as of Dark Empire - a theoretical tier 10. Not that Gillard’s tier system was meant to apply to anything broader than the lightsaber duels in the RotS movie (meaning we should really stop ranking EU characters this way), but if are going to speak in these terms then that is where Sheev and Luke sit. Luke outdueled a Sidious who had substantially more power than his RotJ self but a physical body in better shape than RotS Sidious with which to channel his power.

Jedi Academy Luke

Corran Horn states that after Luke’s experiences with the Emperor, his power redoubled.
”I, Jedi” wrote:The Jedi Master looked at me and I felt electricity run through his blue-eyed gaze.
When we had met before I had felt power in him, but now, after his experiences with the Emperor Reborn, his power had been redoubled. Physically he looked a bit haggard and worn, with the flesh around his eyes having tightened and wrinkles appearing at their corners. I knew we were the same age chronologically, but in experience he far surpassed me.

Luke has an understanding of the dark side that is vital to fighting it, and he was redeemed from it.
”I, Jedi” wrote:"During the time of the Emperor's return, I, too, went over to the dark side. I did so for a variety of reasons, some of which seemed to make sense at the time, and many of which still cause me difficulty. What I experienced then has given me an understanding of the dark side which is vital to fight it. More importantly, the love of my sister and my friends drew me back. It redeemed me. Even the most foul victim of the dark side can be redeemed. By turning their backs on evil, Brakiss and Kam have already begun their journey into the light. I want to help them complete that journey.

Luke became stronger from his experiences with the dark side.
”The Jedi Academy: Jedi Search” wrote:Luke nodded somberly. The question had been working at the back of his own mind, and he had pondered it deeply. "I can only say that we have seen these terrible examples, and we must learn from them. I myself have touched the dark side and come through stronger and more wary of its powers than ever before. I agree there is a risk, but I cannot believe the New Republic will be safer without a new force of Jedi."

Black Fleet Crisis Luke

Luke can hear the voice of the Force more acutely than ever, but due to the stresses and demands placed on him he has found it harder to hear the Force.
”Black Fleet Crisis: Before The Storm” wrote:
"Once the Force was to me like a whispered voice on the wind, " Luke said, standing and looking back toward the Great Temple. "Obi-Wan taught me to hear it, and Yoda to understand it. I trained myself to hear it no matter where I was. And in my turn I taught others to hear and understand. But I have not been hearing that voice well of late, though my hearing is more acute than ever. There is too much noise. There is too much I must screen out. There are too many questions, too many demands. Everyone seems to be shouting at me. It's painful, and tiring. "

Luke explains that as he is becoming stronger in the Force, the more that is becoming expected of him. He also demonstrates that his understanding of the Force has reached a level beyond what he has shown before.
”Black Fleet Crisis: Before The Storm” wrote:
"No, " Luke said, shaking his head. "It's much easier for Han Solo to hide--even with a price on his head-than for a powerful Jedi, whether Knight or Dark Lord. A Jedi's physical presence is only a small portion of his connection to the universe. Change his face, hide him from sight, and I'll still feel his presence when he draws on the Force. It doesn't matter if he's in the next room or across the system. Remember when we were taking the stolen shuttle to Endor, to destroy the second Death Star's shield? "

"Yeah, " Han said. "You were pretty jumpy. You said Vader could sense you. "

"He did sense me, " Luke said. "I didn't have the skill yet to make the waters still. But Obi-Wan and Yoda were Masters. If they could hide from the Emperor-and I believe they could-why, they could as easily hide in Imperial City, or on Vader's own Star Destroyer, as anywhere. And if their skills weren't equal to Palpatine's, neither distance nor isolation could save them from being discovered. "

"Maybe they hid out in the sticks so no one else would get hurt if Vader showed up, " Han suggested. "You've gotta admit, when you guys fight, it has a way of getting messy. We've got a few monuments to that fact downtown in Imperial City.

Luke shook his head. "No. I discovered the real reason while I was on Yavin-the dilemma that every Jedi eventually faces. I discovered a very important and difficult truth, Han-a frustrating truth. The stronger you become in the Force, the more that you can do, the more that's expected of you, and the less your life belongs to you. "

"Is this the answer, then? " Han said, gesturing at the room with one hand. "Running away? "

"Call it that if you must. It's one answer. There's another, even less appealing, " Luke said. "Han, I'm convinced that for each Jedi, there comes a point at which he or she must choose. When the world presses in on you, threatens to drive you mad, there're only two ways you can find peace. One is to impose your will on everyone and everything around you. The other is to surrender your will, your ego, and withdraw from those who are always wanting you to 'fix' their lives. "

"I don't see it, " Han said stubbornly.

Luke smiled. "Try to imagine that you're at home. One of the children is screaming, and the other two are tugging at your elbows, each demanding that you punish the other for some slight. "

"Routine, " Han said.

"Chewbacca is playing tree-drum music at ear-splitting levels. SeeThreepio is nattering on about nothing. Artoo-Detoo is behind your chair, arguing with the household droids in Basic. The hypercomm is blaring two channels at once, both too loudly. Your comlink is chirping in your pocket. You have three messages from people who want you to come do them a favor, and Leia's insisting on your attention. Lando has a raucous sabacc game going in the next room, there's someone at the front door, and a flight of airspeeders keeps buzzing right over your head. "

"Okay, that'd be a little worse than routine, " Han conceded. "A little. "

"Now imagine it goes on around the clock for a day, ten days, a month, half a year, a year-not only without a break, but getting worse all the time. Until you reach your limit, whatever your limit might be. What are your choices? Control your environment, or leave it. "

"Or go mad and destroy it, " Han said. "Which hardly counts as a choice. Yeah, I think I get the picture now. "

"Do you see what a thin line separates Palpatine and Yoda? " Luke said earnestly. "Palpatine sought power over others. Yoda sought power from within. Palpatine wanted control of everything, in the hopes of building what he thought would be a perfect universe. Yoda gave up the idea of controlling or perfecting the universe, in the hopes of understanding it. "

"You know, " Han said slowly, "I always kind of wondered why you drew the short straw, why Yoda and Obi-Wan didn't team up and take on the Emperor themselves-"

"Yes! " Luke said, his face more animated than Han had seen it since arriving. "I think that's why it fell to me, Han. That's why I had to be the one to face Vader. I still had the passion to reshape things, a passion Obi-Wan and Yoda had moved beyond. Surrender disarms you. "

Han's expression showed his disgust. "It's pretty useless, then, isn't it? Jedi Knights who won't fight? "

"Han, try to understand. The essence of the dark side is using the Force to control others. I know that temptation firsthand. If you champion that idea, you're thinking just as Palpatine and my father did-'I have the power, and it's mine to use as I wish. ' Do you want that to be the code we live by? Should the Jedi rule the galaxy, simply because we can? "

"Well-now that you put it that way-"

"Good, " Luke said. "But then understand that there's a price. When a Jedi renounces that path, it becomes very hard to be a warrior, to lead a crusade. Obi-Wan and Yoda weren't afraid to fight, or to die. They felt the suffering the Empire was causing just as acutely as any of us did-probably more so. I wasn't stronger than them, or wiser. I was raw, headstrong, reckless. But I had to be the one to challenge the Emperor-because I still could. "

Han frowned and cocked his head. "What about now? "

"Now? I don't know, " Luke said, shaking his head. "I don't know if I could do it now. I don't know if I could summon the outrage. I feel myself standing on a dividing line, at a cusp. I don't know what I should be doing with these gifts-these burdens. It's the question I've come here to explore. "
”Black Fleet Crisis: Before The Storm” wrote:
Inside the protective cocoon of Luke Skywalker's secret hermitage, time had no meaning.

To be sure, the elemental cycle of day and night was echoed in the ebb and flow of the Force, as the living web of Coruscant stirred and slept, fought and foraged. The turning of the seasons was a longer, slower rhythm, an almost imperceptible crescendo and decrescendo of vitality and dormancy, fecundity and death.

Beyond that, a mere whisper, lay the almost unimaginably deep, subtle echo that was the birth of stars, the creation and extinction of life, the blossoming of consciousness. Deep in meditation, profoundly connected to the mysteries of the Force, Luke could see that through the manifestations of life, the universe knew itself, and beheld its own wonders.

But to extend himself that far, and reach that degree of oneness, Luke found it necessary to let go of his everyday senses to a degree he once would have thought impossible.

Sealed behind opaque walls, he lived in darkness for days at a time, barely conscious of hunger, thirst, or other bodily demands. He wore clothing only out of habit, but the habit weakened. The winds howled outside the hermitage, but Luke was oblivious to them.

He took no notice of the sun or moons in their courses, the rise and fall of the tide, the ever-changing sky painted in light and cloud.

The sea began to freeze, as the northern hemisphere slid deeper into Coruscant's short winter. Over a period of many days, the rocks and beach were draped with a heavy crust of sculpted ice. But the sight would have surprised Luke, had it mattered enough to him to seek it out.

Even Leia had stopped reaching out for him, though more in anger than in understanding. The result mattered more to him than the reason.

His solitude was complete, timeless and undisturbed.

Luke believes that he has the power to bend the universe, as well as to fulfil any of his whims and wishes and wants. He states that the Jedi are on a path to power, but that he seeks to balance that power so that he does not become a tyrant.
”Black Fleet Crisis: Tyrant’s Test” wrote:
"I think she deserved better than the way she lived--the way she died." Luke shook his head. "It's been harder to forgive my father for what he did to them than for almost anything else."

"Harder to forgive, or harder to understand?"

Luke answered with a weary smile. "I wish it were harder to understand. But I know how tempting it is to simply bend someone to your will, or break them and push them aside. All of the whims and wishes and wants that we carry around inside--I have the power to fulfill mine. So I find I have to be careful about what I let myself want."

"How do you do that?"

"I have Yoda's example--he led a very simple life, and Wanted for very little. My father walked a different road. I try to let him be an example to me, too," said Luke. "The impulse to take control--to impose your will on the universe--has to be resisted. Even with the best of intentions, it leads to tyranny--into Darth Vader reborn."

"Control is a transitory illusion," said Akanah.

"The universe bends us to its purposes--we do not bend it to ours."

"That may be so," said Luke. "But in the moment of trying, people suffer horribly and die needlessly.

That's why the Jedi exist, Akanah--why we carry weapons and follow a path of power. It's not out of any lust for fighting, or for our own benefit. The Jedi exist to neutralize the power and the will of those who would be tyrants. "

"Is that what you were taught, or what you've taught your apprentices?"

Luke was on the precipice of dark power during Dark Empire, and if Leia had not broken the dark side’s grip over him, the galaxy would have been written with the pen of tyranny.
”Black Fleet Crisis: Tyrant’s Test” wrote:
For the question gnawing at Luke was not whether Leia wanted his help, but whether she needed it. If his presence might mean the difference between triumph and defeat, then he would go to her--as she had come to him in his darkest moment, aboard the clone Emperor's flagship.

Leia had pulled him back from the precipice of the dark power, and joined her power to his to defeat Palpatine. If she had not been willing to sacrifice herself and the child inside her in confronting the reborn Emperor, Luke would never have broken the grip of the dark side--and the history of the intervening years would have been written with the pen of tyranny. He could not have done it alone.

Vong War Luke

Luke had reached a place of spiritual comfort and harmony after overcoming the harrowing experiences of his life thus far.
”New Jedi Order: Vector Prime” wrote:
Above all else, Uncle Luke, with all of those harrowing experiences behind him, and despite the obvious trials ahead of him, seemed to Jacen to be in a place of spiritual comfort, a place of harmony. Here was this man, the epitome of what it was to be a Jedi Knight, and Jacen, though he recognized that truth, meant to argue that very philosophy against him.

Luke is “beyond powerful.”
”Invasion #3” wrote:
Luke Skywalker. A simple farmboy – became powerful. Now... beyond powerful.

Dark Tide: Onslaught

Luke opens himself to the Force more fully than he had in years. He draws more power than when he rescued Jacen on Belkadan. The Force flooded into him, molten-metal hot, filling every cell of his body, freeing him from fatigue, sharpening his mind. He uses this power to contest control over the void from dovin basals, which are artificial singularities developed to shield Vong ships from weapons such as turbolasers. Luke holds onto the void, stopping the basals from moving it to cover a new attack vector, and as the basals pulled harder, Luke held on until their effort reached a new peak - he then let the void slip to intercept proton torpedos. He then accelerates the basals already exaggerated movement of the void further, and the void crashed into the ship it was trying to protect. Both ends of the vehicle were sucked into the black hole in less than an eyeblink. Luke then blacks out from exhaustion.
Dark Tide: Onslaught wrote:
He opened himself to the Force more fully than he had in years. He sought more power than he had when freeing his nephew. The Force flooded into him, at once molten-metal hot, yet as soothing as a cool rain. It swirled through him, filling every cell of his body, freeing him from fatigue, sharpening his mind.

Luke reached out with that power and latched onto the void that the Yuuzhan Vong vehicle had created. He pushed a bit, then tugged, in nanoseconds getting a feel for the power the dovin basals were able to exert to control the void. He almost smiled, since that amount of power was nothing compared to the Force, but he stopped himself short of pride in that fact.

"Artoo, juke the missiles."

R2-D2 keened sharply and fed the proton torpedoes a new set of data. The torpedoes twisted in flight and arced toward the sky, flying up and over the void. Then they turned again and fell toward the ground, aimed at the vehicle's spine.

Immediately the dovin basals started to shift the void to cover this new attack vector. Luke fed the Force into his hold on the void, thwarting them. Their pressure increased, and still Luke held it unmoving. The torpedoes got closer and closer. The dovin basals pulled harder, and when their effort reached a new peak, Luke let the void slip over toward intercepting the proton torpedoes.

The dovin basals devoted their efforts to sliding the void into place, which required both some lateral movement and shortening the arc over which the void would travel. As they brought it close to the vehicle, Luke pushed with the Force. Since the dovin basals were already tugging the void back toward the vehicle, they were not prepared to have the travel accelerated.

The void crashed into the vehicle, striking it in midspine. The long vehicle bent backward as both ends became sucked into the black hole. It flowed like thick liquid, all the sharp horns and bony plates becoming fluid as they curved up over the void's event horizon. In less than an eye blink the vehicle had been consumed by the void, leaving a huge gap in the Yuuzhan Vong formation.

Then the proton torpedoes detonated. One after another the four missiles slammed into the ground and exploded. Their blasts scattered Yuuzhan Vong warriors and lit the night. They gouged a huge canyon across the Yuuzhan Vong line of advance, and the shock waves were such that the ground rippled even into the refugee compound. Soldiers fell on both sides of the battlefield, and ramparts collapsed.

"What now, Master Skywalker?"

Luke stared at the Caamasi for a moment, trying to reply, but a wave of exhaustion crested over him and eroded his ability to think. He shook his head, then slumped back in the chair. The Force energy he had used to help the Yuuzhan Vong destroy themselves had drained out of him completely, leaving him limp and barely able to keep his eyes open.

"Master Skywalker?"

"Do... what you... think best, Senator," Luke managed to say before the world closed in on him tight and black.

The Unifying Force Luke

Luke gets over any fears he had of using his raw power with the Force - his actions are aligned with his belief, and he has as little doubt that what he is fighting for is necessary as Shimmra does fighting for his gods, and that he is fighting “in harmony with the Will of the Force.” He is described as “in his own vortex”, “seemed to defy gravity”, “a maelstrom of luminous energy, a Force storm against which there was no shelter. And yet all his energy poured from a calm center; an eye.”
New Jedi Order: The Unifying Force wrote:
It wasn't until the eighth level that Luke and his niece and nephew met with resistance, but it was clear from the ferocity with which the warriors attacked-from above, below, and through the various access corridors-that the onslaught was likely to continue all the way to Shimrra's lair, and probably inside it, as well. If the warriors constituted the first line of defense, it was difficult to imagine what might await them at the summit, assuming they could even make it that far. In most places the stairway wasn't wide enough for the two people to stand abreast, and in those stretches Luke had to face the brunt of the attacks.

He was his own vortex, deflecting amphistaff strikes, whiplike lashes, and spurts of deadly venom; dodging or redirecting flights of thud bugs; parrying the thrusts of coufees, to sidestep, duck, maneuver his body in ways that seemed to defy gravity. Stunned or burned by Luke's green blade, thud bugs were ricocheting from the walls and high ceiling, chipping away at the yorik coral surface.

Dropped in their tracks, warriors sprawled with hands pressed to stumps of legs and opened foreheads, or with black blood welling where the lightsaber had found defenseless areas between living armor and tattooed flesh. Jacen recalled watching his uncle on Belkadan, where the war had begun, wielding two lightsabers when he had come to Jacen's rescue.

But the rescue on Belkadan paled in comparison to the control Luke demonstrated now. His single blade might as well have been ten, or twenty. He took the steps at a lightning pace, burning his way through dilating membranes but in complete control of his momentum. Seen through the Force he was a maelstrom of luminous energy, a Force storm against which there was no shelter. And yet all his energy poured from a calm center; an eye.

He made no missteps. None of his actions were interrupted by thought. In fact, Luke didn't seem to be there at all-physically or as an individual personality. Jacen and Jaina were astounded-but they had little time to reflect. Their lightsabers were busy, as well, turning the blows Luke dodged, or defending assaults launched from below. On the fourteenth level, where the Citadel's exterior wings sprouted from the hull, they reached a fork in the stairway. Luke swung to Jacen.

"Which way?" He wasn't even breathing heavily.

Jacen extended his Vongsense.

"The left passage leads to living quarters on the next level. The other, to some sort of dovin basal lift that accesses the summit." He screwed his eyes shut. "Shimrra is there. He has guards with him-"

"Not enough."

"-and another."

[...]

"Shimrra's expecting us," he said. Jaina tightened her ringed grip on the pommel of her lightsaber.

"We should at least announce ourselves," Luke said.

He aimed the tip of his lightsaber at the membrane. Jacen and Jaina brought their lightsabers close to his, and the three of them pushed the glowing blades through. A rancid smell permeated the antechamber, and the thick membrane began to melt. Finally the lock retracted with an audible pop! Luke gestured for Jaina and Jacen to withdraw to either side of the opening, and not a second later a shower of thud bugs whizzed out into the antechamber, caroming off the walls, ceiling, and floor. The three Jedi raised their blades, deflecting some of the winged creatures back through the portal, stunning others, and killing the few that remained. While Jaina was dispatching the last of them, Luke whirled and leapt through the opening. Landing in a crouch five meters from the membrane, he held the lightsaber in a one-handed grip extended to his right and slightly behind him.

Jacen was the next through, assuming a bent-legged forward stance, with his blade held straight out in front of him. Then Jaina came through, moving swiftly but vigilantly to Luke's left side, with her blade raised over her right shoulder. Though the floor was level, the walls of Shimrra's circular, high-ceilinged lair were curved. A simple throne occupied the center of a raised dais that was encircled by a shallow moat flowing with what might have been diluted Yuuzhan Vong blood.

The far wall contained a much more elaborate entry portal, and to the right of the throne a stairway climbed into the summit of the Citadel, presumably to the command and control areas of the escape vessel itself. Between the moat and the Jedi stood fifteen warriors of modest stature, arrayed in a semicircle and armed with hissing amphistaffs.

They affected no armor, but their burnished and blood-smeared flesh looked as impenetrable as vonduun crab topshells. Luke recognized them from Han and Leia's description as examples of the specially engineered warriors they had faced on Caluula, and against whom even Kyp had failed. The slayers presented a daunting obstacle, but they were surpassed by the one they were deployed to protect.

[...]

When Luke had been brought before the Emperor, Palpatine's visage had been familiar to him from images that had reached even remote Tatooine, and his inherent power was immediately evident.

The Supreme Overlord, however, was a void Luke could not fathom. He wasn't a shell of a human in a hooded cloak, more energy than flesh. Nor was his face that of a Sith Master, prematurely wizened by years of calling on dark power.

Instead, Shimrra was very much alive and all the more intimidating for it. In him was concentrated the combined strength of the Yuuzhan Vong species, and if he couldn't be defeated, then all that Luke had done to reach this point would amount to nothing. He was the largest Yuuzhan Vong Luke had ever seen, with lean limbs, a massive head, and an upper body so thoroughly branded and tattooed it was impossible to distinguish flesh from garment.

Widely placed, his slightly slanted eyes gleamed in shifting colors. He wore a ceremonial cape made of tanned hide. Curled sedately around his left forearm was a thick-bodied amphistaff with an intricately patterned head. Only in his bemusement was Shimrra similar to the enemy Luke had confronted at Endor, on the incomplete Death Star.

Much as the Emperor had trusted in the power of the dark side of the Force, the Supreme Overlord trusted entirely in the power of the gods. And similar to that pivotal moment in the Galactic Civil War, a battle was raging in the skies.

But Shimrra's lair permitted no view of the contest; only the muffled sounds of distant explosions infiltrated the sealed space. If Luke was at all worried about Jaina and Jacen, if he had any regrets about having brought them to the very heart of the war, he kept his concerns so deeply to himself that they could not be felt by his charges, even through the Force. The strength of their meld was such that the three might have been sharing the same mind, and that mind was the Force itself.

Luke had no doubt that what they were doing was necessary, and in harmony with the will of the Force. Shimrra's warriors were no less committed to the moment. A threat to all the Yuuzhan Vong held sacred, the Jedi were driven by a dark and incomprehensible power that flew in opposition to the divine edicts of Yun-Yuuzhan and the other gods. No more than did those of the Jedi, the marked faces of the slayers displayed neither anger nor fear-only the full measure of their intent to protect their god-king at all costs.

"The Master and the twins," Shimrra murmured from the throne, in passable Basic. "How long we have anticipated this meeting."

"As we have," Luke answered.

Shimrra beckoned with the fingers of his left hand.

"Then come forward and show your respect, Master Jeedai."

Luke stayed put-and yet something began to move him forward. Just short of the moat, and much to the amusement of the slayers, he dropped to his knees, and bent at the waist. His extended left arm shook as it fought to prevent him from pressing his face to the floor, and the lightsaber was nearly yanked from his grip.

It's not Shimrra, Jacen said through the Force.

A dovin basal, Luke guessed. He sensed Jacen abandon the meld momentarily, presumably to call on his Vongsense to disable the gravitic powers of the biot. Luke began to feel as if he were shedding weight by the second. Gradually, he raised his face to Shimrra, then-and as if defying gravity-he drew himself erect with a proud air.

Incredulity almost raised Shimrra out of his throne. For a split second his glowing eyes fell on Jacen, who by then had returned to the Force-meld. Jaina and Jacen sidestepped away from Luke to create three separate fronts. Then Luke did something neither twin had ever seen him do. Shifting his stance, he called the lightsaber into his left hand. Abandoning form, he encouraged the warriors to attack him. In swift response the fifteen divided themselves into three groups of four, four, and seven.

The quartets began to square off with Luke and Jacen, while the larger group formed up opposite Jaina. Seeing that Luke and Jacen were the stronger fighters, the slayers had decided to reserve most of their might for the Jedi they perceived as being the weakest, guessing that Luke and Jacen would always go to Jaina's aid before attempting to reach Shimrra.

No one moved.

Just when it seemed that the moment would be forever frozen in time, the slayers charged, some with amphistaffs stiffened, others unfurling them like whips, and still others prompting their weapons to spit venom. There were no attempts to engage Luke, Jacen, or Jaina in single combat for personal glory, as had happened on Yag'Dhul and other worlds.

The war had gone on too long. All that mattered now was that the conflict be decided, and that there be winners and losers. Luke's lightsaber was a blur of pure energy as he parried a four-pronged attack.

His blade found exposed flesh time and again, but the slayers sustained each searing blow without surrendering ground. The amphistaffs hammered at the lightsaber with such force that flashes of blinding radiance filled the room, projecting giant silhouettes up along the curved walls. In an attempt to forge a united front, and despite battling warriors on three sides,

Luke and Jaina began to move toward one another. For a moment, several slayers found themselves trapped between the two Jedi and the lashing movements of their comrades' amphistaffs. Pierced simultaneously from either side, one warrior dropped to the floor; then a second. Luke vaulted through a half-twisting front flip that landed him back to back with Jaina, killing a third warrior on the way down, with a strike to the top of the head. With some effort, Luke saw Jacen through the Force, pressed hard by the four slayers who had dedicated themselves to him.

Again Luke leapt, swinging his blade through the air and cleaving the neck of the most formidable of the slayers attacking his nephew. Two slender amphistaffs shot for Luke's legs, but he managed to jump over both, as if skipping rope, then decapitated the slower amphistaff before it could withdraw. A coufee swooshed through the air millimeters from his right ear. Crouching, he extended one foot and pivoted on the other, knocking feet out from under the knife wielder, then amputating the warriors left foot with a return swing of the lightsaber.

Seeing an opening, Luke made a move for Shimrra-only to be dragged down by the dovin basal. Immediately, he rolled to one side, toppling two slayers and removing himself from the gravity field. Jacen leapt to Jaina's side of the bunker, and the two of them began working in concert to drive a trio of warriors back toward the moat that encircled Shimrra's throne.

One of the slayers nearly stumbled into the flow, but caught himself in time. Surging after him, Jacen swung his blade through a backhanded crosscut, which the warrior parried, then answered with a fast chop aimed at Jacen's left knee. Jacen jumped straight up, but not quickly enough, and the amphistaff struck him on the ankle. Landing off balance, he staggered into the wall. Two warriors hurried after him, but made it only halfway when the entire bunker tipped to the right.
[...]
And yet there was a look in Shimrra's blazing eyes that promised Luke he had not seen the last of the Supreme Overlord's tricks. Shimrra was concealing something-a secret of such power that it enabled him to remain seated on his throne, even with his world teetering around him. Luke noticed then, for the first time, that Shimrra wasn't alone on the dais.

Behind the throne crouched another Yuuzhan Vong, whose asymmetrically swollen head and downcast features identified him as a Shamed One. Aware that he had been glimpsed, the Shamed One withdrew into the shadow cast by the throne, as if in an attempt to make himself small and unnoticeable. But Luke had no time to think further about Shimrra's companion.
[...]
Buried under half a dozen blood-smeared bodies when the bunker had shifted, Jaina used what little maneuvering space she had to avoid amphistaff fangs and venom, the serrated edges of coufees, and the sharpened teeth and hardened elbows and knees of warriors. Out of sheer desperation she tried to use the Force to throw everyone off her, and was bewildered when the crushing weight of the warriors abated-or at least until she realized that the sudden turnabout had nothing to do with the Force.

Shimrra's lair had simply tilted again, and now she and the same warriors were sent flying and tumbling toward the opposite wall. Hurled headfirst for the curved expanse of yorik coral, she just managed to get her free hand out in front of her and brace for impact. Loud grunts escaped the warriors as everyone hit the wall midway to the arched ceiling, then slid in a jumble to the floor as the bunker attempted to right itself.

Backward-somersaulting from the heap, Jaina shot to her feet and was preparing to Force-leap toward Shimrra when the chamber canted again. This time she used the Force to hold herself to the floor as the half a dozen slayers went rushing past her out of control, some running faster than their legs could carry them, and others sliding on their bellies or backs. Loose amphistaffs tried to sidewind for the safety of the moat, but only a few made it, and the rest were flung hard into the wall.

Once more the lair leveled out before tilting a full thirty degrees, and those warriors still on their feet launched themselves at Jaina, only to slip on whatever it was that had sloshed from the moat and was fast slicking the entire floor. Close to the osmotic membrane, Luke and a sturdy warrior were in the midst of a fierce duel, their free hands clamped on the burned edges of the breach the lightsabers had opened. Though Jaina couldn't see Jacen, she could perceive him behind her, and she could hear the burning hiss of his lightsaber as it connected with the slayers' weapons and armored flesh.
[...]
In the midst of the swaying she heard the thrum of Luke's and Jacen's lightsabers, and the agonized cries of at least two slayers.
[...]
Her instincts came alive even before she glanced up into the ladder well. The Shamed One was already plummeting directly for her. She raised her lightsaber over her head, but the Yuuzhan Vong managed to evade the blade and land feetfirst on her shoulders, driving her to the deck.

Bent over her, he wrenched the lightsaber from her hands and tossed it aside. Then, grabbing her by the right ankle, he sent her sliding across the floor. She hit the wall solidly, but sprang to her feet. Shimrra's companion was on her just as quickly, driving his fanglike tooth into her right arm as his powerful hands pressed her to the wall. Even before he stepped back, she had lost feeling and movement in her arm, and now she could feel the numbness beginning to spread like a dark tide, coursing through her armpit into her upper chest, spreading across her chest and into her other arm, up into her neck and head, and down through her torso and legs. She became as pliant as soft leather.

She remained alert but her lips and tongue couldn't form words. Her eyelids fluttered, and sounds grew indistinct. One thought kept repeating itself in her mind as she slipped into the blackest of voids. Before he had dropped on her, she had sensed him through the Force!
[...]
Only the Force was keeping Jacen from succumbing to the pain-the Force and what he had learned from Vergere during the indeterminate amount of time she had kept him in the Embrace of Pain-breaking him. While under his mentor's tutelage he had been able to go into himself to meet the pain on its own terms. Now he didn't have that curious luxury, because he was having to call on all his abilities to keep from being killed. If not for the swaying of the Citadel and the effects of its unpredictable oscillations of Shimrra's coffer-his escape vessel-Jacen figured he would already be dead.

That was the World Brain, having finally decided which side it was on. The trouble was, that decision mattered only to the reshaping of Coruscant and not to the Supreme Overlord, who was clearly able to control objects in his immediate environment without need of the dhuryam. The slayers, for one thing.

Where initially they had been moving with individual vigilance and of their own accord, they were now moving as coralskippers did under the control of a battle coordinator. The change had come simultaneously with Shimrra's rising from the throne, and the escape of his Shamed One companion, whom Jaina had pursued into the summit of the Citadel.

Jacen knew that her exit had been prompted by something she had perceived through the Force, but he and Luke could have used her lightsaber now. Three slayers had Jacen backed to the bunker's outer wall. Even through his Vongsense he could not predict their actions, or where their thrashing and thrusting amphistaffs were going to strike next. He had managed to evade copious sprays of venom, but his torso had taken countless lashings; his limbs were bruised by the heads and coils of the serpentine weapons-though none had yet been successful in sinking fangs into him.

His lightsaber had returned as many blows, but the slayers seemed to be largely immune to pain, if not indestructible. A half dozen corpses were sprawled on the floor, sliding or rolling with each random cant of the Citadel. But more than the lightsaber, it was acrobatics that was keeping Jacen from being overwhelmed by the specially engineered warriors. Time and again last-moment leaps had carried him out of the range of their shapeshifting weapons, as the fight moved along the perimeter of the throne room.

The gravity-tweaking dovin basal set in the base of the throne made it impossible for Jacen or his opponents to venture closer to the throne than the shallow moat that encircled it without being tugged violently to the yorik coral floor. Jacen took advantage of the gravitic anomaly now, as one of the slayers lunged for him. He leapt high into the air, and the warrior flew under his feet, only to be pulled to the floor facefirst, so that by the time Jacen had twisted in the air and landed he was able to drive his blade into the small of the warrior's back, almost pinioning him to the floor.

The other two immediately rushed him from behind. Unleashing his amphistaff, one warrior managed to wind the weapon around Jacen's legs, while the other swung his amphistaff at Jacen's head. Ducking the swing, Jacen leapt again, taking the attenuated amphistaff with him. Yanked from the warrior's grasp, the weapon unwound and dropped before it could strike.

Across the room Shimrra was moving stiffly toward Luke, who was being set upon by four warriors. The enormous Vong overlord stepped across the moat as if crossing a final line. Seemingly entranced-in sway of the Yuuzhan Vong gods-he fixed his glowing eye implants on his prey. He held the thick-bodied amphistaff diagonally in front of him, with his giant left hand closed around the middle of the weapon's three-meter-long body.

Jacen sent a warning to his uncle through the Force, which Luke acknowledged-not only through the Force but also by spinning away from the warriors to provide himself with enough fighting room to confront Shimrra. Whirling through a cartwheel, Luke caught one of the warriors on the chin with the heels of his boots, unbalancing him enough so that Luke could get inside the arm that held the amphistaff and drive his lightsaber through the warrior's neck. As he quickly withdrew the blade, a second warrior was ready to pounce; Luke stretched out his left hand and impaled the slayer through the right eye.

At once the other two converged on him, battering him with their amphistaffs and coufees, opening ragged wounds in his upper arms and chest. Abruptly, the Citadel rocked and the room tilted to the right. Luke dropped to one knee, holding his lightsaber arm up to protect his head, then dived, somersaulting on landing and spinning to his feet to face the warriors' charge. His green blade moved up from the floor in a diagonal motion, cutting off the weapon arm of one of the warriors, then on the downswing grated across the abdomen of the second, leaving a sizzling burn in the slayer's hardened flesh. Wincing, the warrior tried to take hold of the energy blade itself and fell forward on his knees. Luke pierced him through the chest, then pivoted on one foot to take on the others.

One of the warriors stalking Jacen abandoned him to engage Luke. Jacen moved against the others, the shorter of whom feigned a strike at Jacen's right leg, then twirled the amphistaff in his hands and slammed the tail end of it into Jacen's right cheek. Reeling from the blow, he staggered within range of the dovin basal, which dragged him to the floor on his back.

The short warrior hurried in, his weapon striking at Jacen like a serpent, then stiffening, jabbed him hard in the left forearm, as if to stake the arm to the floor. Jacen twisted out from under the attack, grasping that Luke had again been pressed to the wall. Having killed three of his assailants, he was facing only one opponent, but his energy was beginning to flag. It was not fatigue born of fear of going to the dark side, but simple exhaustion, and Shimrra was moving in. Eager to award the kill to the Supreme Overlord, the slayer closest to Luke turned and ran at Jacen with his amphistaff held overhead like an ax, intent on splitting open his victim's forehead.

Luke call deeply on the Force and creates Emerald lightning. And the rest of the fight.
The Unifying Force wrote:Jacen could feel Luke call deeply on the reservoir that was the Force. From Luke's left hand gathered a blinding tangle of energy manipulated into being by the raw power of the Force. As if hitting an invisible wall, the warrior stopped short, then spasmed as green sparks began to coruscate around him. Enveloped, he fell like a tree. Still twisting and writhing away from the snapping amphistaff, Jacen used his Vongsense to dampen the effect of the dovin basal, allowing him to move out of its gravitic field and get to his feet. His short opponent howled in outrage and whipped the amphistaff.

Jacen allowed it to coil around his body; then, as the warrior was reeling the weapon in, Jacen hurled his lightsaber deep into the slayer's armpit. The bunker inclined, sending Jacen directly toward Shimrra. Without thinking-and without his lightsaber-he lunged for the neck of the towering Yuuzhan Vong. But Shimrra perceived Jacen's intent, and threw his mighty right arm behind him. Jacen was hit squarely in the center of the chest. Dropping to the floor, he blacked out.

When he came to an instant later, he saw that Luke had obviously intercepted Shimrra's follow-up blow. But now, monstrous in aspect and power, Shimrra hovered over Luke like a rancor. Luke's lightsaber thrummed through the air, but Shimrra refused to be kept at bay. Luke tried to Force-leap out of reach, but the Supreme Overlord had him caged.

The master of defense is one who is never in the place that is attacked, Jacen recalled Vergere saying. Shimrra appeared to have learned the same lesson. Lunging, the thick, three-meter-long amphistaff wound itself around Luke's torso, pinning his right arm and lightsaber hilt to his side, the green blade aimed at the floor. Just in time, Luke managed to get his left hand gripped on the snake's uppermost coils and the head as it loosed volumes of venom at him. But Luke was rapidly being squeezed to death by the amphistaff.

Feeling his uncle's suffocation in his own crushed chest, Jacen summoned his strength and crawled frantically for his lightsaber. Calling it to his right hand, he sent it hurtling through the air at Shimrra's head. The Supreme Overlord raised his left hand in a parry; then, with Jacen's lightsaber spinning off toward the throne, he reached into the folds of his hide cape-and extracted a lightsaber!

With a flourish, he activated it. A violet blade shot forth with the familiar snap-hiss. Jacen recognized it immediately. Anakin's lightsaber.

"Weapon of the Solo we killed at Myrkr," Shimrra said, his eyes shifting through colors as the energy shaft thrummed: "Conveyed to Yuuzhan'tar by the traitor Vergere, wielded by the Jeedai Ganner against so many of my warriors, retrieved when he died and brought to me, and now yours to confront. So that you may know what my warriors experience at Zonama Sekot, forced to fight against other living vessels."

Jacen was too stunned to respond; too disheartened to move. Shimrra waved the blade close to Luke's head. Luke removed his left hand from the amphistaff's throat to grab Shimrra's right wrist. The serpentine weapon immediately stiffened and plunged itself into the left side of Luke's chest.

Luke screamed in pain.

The Supreme Overlord reared back to gloat: "One thrust and the deed is done!"

Then all at once, Anakin's lightsaber flew from Shimrra's grip into Luke's left hand. Through his Vongsense, Jacen could feel Shimrra's astonishment and dismay. In a motion almost too swift for Jacen's eyes to follow, Luke slit the throat of Shimrra's amphistaff.

As its coils began to relax, he sliced his own lightsaber blade upward, cutting the amphistaff's body into segments. As a horrified Shimrra leaned forward, as if to vise his huge hands around Luke's neck, Luke crossed the blades and shoved them upward toward Shimrra's neck.

The blades burned clean through. Shimrra's decapitated head dropped to the floor with a loud thud! and his body crumbled. Luke hauled himself out from under the Supreme Overlord's body and collapsed against the wall.
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