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Top Fifteen Tournament #5 - Vote NOW! - Page 4 Empty Re: Top Fifteen Tournament #5 - Vote NOW!

on November 3rd 2019, 1:18 am
Krayt.
ILS
ILS

Top Fifteen Tournament #5 - Vote NOW! - Page 4 Empty Re: Top Fifteen Tournament #5 - Vote NOW!

on November 3rd 2019, 1:59 am
Message reputation : 100% (4 votes)
I had two new thoughts on the Abeloth fight:

When Abeloth fought Vol, after he attacked her mind, her only goal was to escape, she wasn't trying to kill him anymore. Her defensive blast of pain at the end which broke their connection along with Vol putting everything into his last attack nearly killed him. Now in contrast, Abeloth was fighting to kill the entire time vs Luke and Krayt, and by the time she wanted to retreat, it was too late: her wounds were mortal so she kamikaze attacked Luke and Krayt with the rest of her power with zero regard for her safety. Do we think "exploding in pain" in a psychic battle is more lethal than "ripping apart" Krayts insides with tentacles "deeper than any lightsaber", considering the contexts of 1. Trying to escape vs. 2. Trying to kill with no regard for her own life?

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.

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.

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.

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.

Notice that at the end, Abeloth in her suicidal tentacle attack does the same thing to Luke and Krayt that almost kills them: rips apart the inside of their spiritual selves.

I assert that physical attacks and Force attacks Beyond Shadows are synonymous, and thus Krayt contributed a huge amount of the damage needed to kill Abeloth. Moreover, this by necessity must be based on Force power, rather  than just attacking a wide open opponent. Abeloth with her attention split and using fewer attacks, still nearly killed Luke and Krayt.

That means that its not just sheer attrition of reserves at play, but also attack potency. So Krayts attack potency contributed likely over 50% of the sheer damage needed to kill Abeloth and her avatars. This basic premise is also proven by the fact Krayts drain potency is not static. He relented draining Luke and pulled harder on Abeloth.

Now people say Abeloth is weaker when she has many avatars. This is true, however that also means that if one is weaker they all get weaker, and that happens in the fight. It happens when Krayt drains her. So he didn't just help kill her true form but rather played a role in killing all her avatars at the same time.
ILS
ILS

Top Fifteen Tournament #5 - Vote NOW! - Page 4 Empty Re: Top Fifteen Tournament #5 - Vote NOW!

on November 3rd 2019, 4:49 am
Message reputation : 100% (4 votes)
I guess the third part of what defines a Beyond Shadows battle is Force defences. It's pretty similar to a fight in the real world. The more powerful you are:

-The more reserves you have (so you can fight for longer, draw on more energy to fuel yourself)
-The more potent your attacks are (basically how much force you can put behind your TK, how powerful your lightning is, how quickly/strongly you can drain an opponent etc)
-The stronger a defence you can put up to deflect, counter or absorb Force attacks (this would be like how much force/energy you can hold back with a TK barrier/bubble, tutaminis, resisting an opponent's direct TK and so on)

So, it's fairly simple to understand how this works: Abeloth has far more reserves (can fight longer), potency (can hit harder) and defence (can resist/block more) than Luke and Krayt.

Here are a bunch of interesting quotes from the fight which help to explain how fighting Beyond Shadows works. Ironically, it's probably the purest exchange of raw power with no influence from tactics, skill or environmental factors you can get even though it seems such an ambiguous fight to analyse. 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.

Apocalypse wrote:Luke's hand dropped to his hip, automatically reaching for a lightsaber that did not exist beyond shadows.

So, while spirits appear to take on the characteristics they have in the physical world, they do not obey the physical laws of nature - not even close, they are just pure energy given sentience and will to take on a form. Remember, Force users, their essences, all come from the same well of energy - The Force itself. It is simply that they are a bundle of energy which has a personality, a self, an ego, a mind, a will, and so on. They are apart of the Force, ultimately deriving from it, but they are able to act independently of it and use the fraction of energy they have how they see fit.

Okay, so, lets get to the good stuff, now that we know that Beyond Shadows fights = energy beings which all come from and go back to the same well of energy (the Force) smashing into each other until one side dissolves into the Force.

Apocalypse wrote:He turned back to the figure and saw that the cloaking shadows had coalesced into a suit of dark, spiked armor. The newcomer's right arm seemed a mere ghost, as though he had only a holographic projection where there should have been a limb. And his left eye had become an empty white circle that looked more like a window into another universe than an actual organ.

Okay, so, I always assumed before that in Beyond Shadows, Krayt's right arm and his left eye - which are both Yuuzhan Vong implants - represented a "missing" part of him, and that when he grew his physical arm back in Legacy, it would mean that he would be "whole" again. But, as we know, the physical world is an illusion, only the energy and spirit are "real" - this means that while Krayt's Vong arm and eye take on the symbolic appearance of being otherworldly, like they are not "natural", in the Beyond Shadows, they are just energy like everything else - his missing arm and eye in the real world have no impact on his spirit whatsoever. They look the way they do because Krayt only knows himself that way. In the physical world, Krayt's Vong arm has no midichlorians, you cannot channel Force energy through it - but in Beyond Shadows, his Vong arm is just an energetic symbol, a representation of how Krayt perceives himself and the form he takes on.

So, just to represent this in a way that is hopefully simple and makes sense:

Lets say Krayt's Force power in the physical world, with his body, is 100/100 when he has all his limbs intact. If he loses an arm, he loses midichlorians, he can't channel as much energy. Now he is 100/90. Does that make sense?

100 (his spirit energy, the source of his Force powers) / 90 (his body and midichlorians, which are the go-between for Krayt's spirit energy, Force power, and the physical world).

So just as a kind of tangent here: it's possible that someone could have a Force spirit which is extremely powerful, but they simply lack the means to wield that power physically to its full potential without killing the body with overwhelming energy - we see this with Darth Sidious tearing his body apart from his sheer power, or cases where multiple Force users channel their power through one host body (Dorsk 81) - if the body can't handle the energy output, if there aren't enough midichlorians to facilitate the transfer of energy, the body dies under the strain.

Now, from what I gather then: having more midichlorians makes it easier to do the same feat as if someone with less midichlorians tried to do it. But, unless the body is being destroyed by the energy output, we can assume the body is channelling the full power of the spirit. Meaning?

Anakin in early Clone Wars material has lots of feats of raw power that are astounding and people question if even Yoda could do the same - the Theta Storm feat, the Dreadnought feat etc. It's easier for Anakin to do these things because of his midichlorian count.

Another model to look at it would be like this: if the theta storm feat takes 1000 energy points to carry out. Lets assume for simplicity that one midichlorian = one energy point (in reality it's probably in the range of thousands or millions but the scale is unimportant) If a Force user has 1000 energy points (midichlorians) in total, they would die upon completing the feat. 1000 for 1000.

Anakin has, theoretically, an unquantifiable number of energy points/midichlorians. Certainly he has over 20,000 at least. Yoda, in contrast, has under 20,000.

Now think of it like this... lets say for simplicity Anakin has 30,000 midichlorians, and Yoda has 10,000. The theta storm feat takes 1000. Anakin at his full potential, being able to wield all 30,000 midichlorians with 100% efficiency, could do the Theta storm feat 30 times. Yoda, in contrast, could only do it 10 times.

However, the efficiency with which one can command their midichlorians is also a factor. So, imagine that Anakin in Attack of the Clones is commanding 30,000 midichlorians, but only at 10% efficiency per midichlorian. That means he effectively only has 3000 energy points, so he can only do the Theta storm feat three times. Yoda, lets say, commands his 10,000 midichlorians with 100% efficiency (just as an example) - that means he can do the storm feat 10 times. It would also mean he would die from doing the feat, so that means that the only way you can die from doing a Force feat is if you are using your midichlorians at 100% efficiency. This is basically how we calculate raw power + mastery to = actualised power. As a cool sidenote, I would interpret moments of Oneness/Glowing with Force energy as being when someone is using their midichlorians to something close to, at, or even beyond 100% efficiency, and also, when Dorsk 81 was destroyed from channelling the Jedi Praxeum's combined energy, that was like a shortcut to achieving 100% efficiency by having third parties contribute. Also, using this model, it's possible to posit that when someone channels an abnormal amount of Force energy, such as with a ritual (looking at Bane and Vitiate), but isn't destroyed, this is an indication of the upper bounds of what their physical body is capable of. They might not have the skill, knowledge, mastery, mindset and so on to actually summon the energy, or perhaps there isn't enough living force energy in the environment for them to channel through their body, but you can get past those limitations by drawing on the energy from a nexus or a ritual, and then channel that energy through your body in an assisted way - so, with it not destroying your body, that says a hell of a lot about that Force user's natural Force potential and midichlorian count, even if they can't access it on a whim themselves.

So in terms of fighting in the physical world... obviously, its not a simple math equation of who has the most Force energy points wins. There is skill, strategy, different abilities and fighting styles, timing, the environment and countless other factors which come into play. And as said above, sometimes you just don't have the means to summon all the energy you could possibly ever summon. It would also be unwise to use 100% efficiency because you would die of energy overload straining the body. So I imagine that your average Force pushes, Force lightning and so on are only using anywhere from 10% to 80%, and in extreme cases 90%, of midichlorian efficiency. And there will be spikes in efficiency - like a burst of Force speed can be seen as a spike of midichlorian efficiency going from 10% to 50% for a short time - at tactical times.

I think we can also say that very simple, raw uses of the Force, like a lightning battle or TK battle, are the best measures we have for actualised Force power, because in those kinds of fights, the objective is to bring as much power as possible, with no skill or tactics involved.

Okay, so what is my point here? Well, we see how powerful Krayt is in Beyond Shadows... and we also see that in the physical world, his body isn't being destroyed by his sheer power. Unlike Sidious, whose body is falling apart just trying to contain his sheer Force power, Krayt's body can contain his power even when he is being eaten alive by Vong parasites and is missing an arm. So while on one hand, this for me is explicit evidence that Sidious has way more raw power than Krayt, it's also proof to me that Krayt's spirit in Beyond Shadows is demonstrating power which he can bring to bear in the physical world. Now, granted, we have only ever seen Krayt go all out a select few times, and during those times he either 1. Was hampered by Vong parasites or 2. Was not fighting an opponent of top tier/equal power.

So I don't think we can say that Krayt is just equal to Luke, however, I think it's fair to make the case that Krayt

1. Has a spirit of similar potency to Luke (at least on a relative scale that includes Abeloth, who is way above both of them in this regard)
2. Uses his midichlorians almost as efficiently as Luke.

The difference in the physical world is that Luke has more midichlorians, which is what lets him glow like a super saiyan out of every cell in his body. So I think Luke's upper bounds, his 100%, is above Krayt's 100%... but, when we are talking about using 10% here, 20% there, 70% for a brief time here, I think someone like Krayt can compete with Luke. Krayt also has advantages like being a Sith - he is willing to draw on the dark side to achieve power more easily/quickly. And also, their disposition towards power is totally different - Krayt will crave after being as powerful as possible and abuse the Force, whereas Luke is reluctant to do that and will only in select moments go "beast mode", and only when it's in alignment with the Force, never by using the dark side. This is why Dooku thinks "Holy shit, how powerful would Yoda be if he used the dark side?!" - Yoda was only using maybe 80% efficiency against Sidous in RotS, where with the dark side he could maybe crank out an extra 5-10% of efficiency, but that's against his morals.

(congratulations if you are still with me, this got way longer than I ever expected)

Anyway, the bottomline, TL;DR of the above is that Beyond Shadows fights are a fantastic marker for actualised Force power in the real world, however, you need to factor in things like midichlorians in order to make an educated judgement. I think, the way Force users use their power for fighting, is heavily skill based, and based on injuring the body, rather than contests of sheer overwhelming power. Lets use more numbers to clarify:

Luke has 100/100 HP as a human male, and 20,000/20,000 Force points to represent his spirit + available midichlorians. (But lets say when we factor in midichlorian efficiency, Luke only has 10,000/20,000, and when he is willing to go super saiyan he has 20,000/20,000. Or, we can say he always has 20,000/20,000, but if going super saiyan costs him 15,000 points, and a Force push cost 500, he will usually only use Force pushes as there is less risk associated with this).

Krayt has 90/100 HP as a vong-infested human, and lets say 9000/8000 Force points - his spirit has 9000 energy, but his body can only effectively wield 8000 at one time due to being injured.

Sidious has 50/100 HP as a very old, degraded human, and 18000/12000 Force points - He has 18,000 Force points because his spirit has massive power, but his body is so overwhelmed by this power that he can only effectively channel 12000 at a time... and also the strain on his body lowers his HP. We can also say that a Force Storm perhaps costs Sidious like 15,000 energy points, and that by the unique nature of that power, it lets him bypass his physical limits - whereas, if he tried to pour 15,000 points into regular Force lightning, because Force lightning is less efficient to use than a Force storm for causing environmental damage, he will burn out more quickly. I guess as an example, imagine if you had a regular blaster and a turbolaser - try to fire a turbolaser's worth of a energy through a blaster. A blaster will melt trying to do that. But a turbolaser can handle the energy because it is more efficient at doing so. Same thing here: a Force storm can convert 15,000 Force points into damage while causing less HP damage to Sidious, because it is designed to do that. Force lightning is an efficient way to channel 15,000 Force points, its like firing a turbolaser through a blaster.

That, by the way, explains why Sidious is going "100%" against Mace Windu and Yoda with his Force lightning, which probably can't even destroy a building, but is going maybe... 30%? 60%? When he is thinking about using telekinesis to crack a line through the many-kilometre long Imperial Palace. Different Force powers are more efficient for different tasks. Using a Force power at it's 100% efficiency will strain the user just as much as using a different power with a different goal at 100% efficiency - the key is that the midichlorians are being stretched to their limits for the given task.

If you use 10,000 midichlorians at 100% efficiency to lift a star destroyer, that is just as difficult as using 10,000 midichlorians at 100% efficiency to Force drain 1 million people, or using lightning to kill 100 stormtroopers.

Point being... instead of getting into TK tug of wars where it's my 10,000 Force points vs your 9000 Force points, then at the end you will run out of Force points (in RPG games its called "Magic" or "Stamina), you can no longer attack or defend (cast spells or abilities), and I will be able to kill you (take your HP to 0)... it is much easier to wait for someone's defence to drop and then kill their HP directly. We see this in games where you play as a sniper/assassin class - some mage can have a 10,000 mana pool, and could fuck you up in a fair fight, but its easier to just snipe him from a distance. This is why if Boba Fett shot Darth Sidious he wouldn't be more powerful than him, but this is also why just because a Force user wins a fight, it does not mean they have more actualised Force power. It means they brought their opponent's HP to 0. Think of Dooku landing well-placed TK pushes and lightning blasts - he isn't overpowering his opponent, bringing their mana pool to 0... he is hitting their HP bar directly while avoiding their attacks completely as they spend mana trying to hit him.

Ok, so what does that mean for Krayt? Well, it means that just because Luke has a higher upper limit, maybe even a way, way, way higher upper limit, it doesn't mean that Luke curbstomps him in a fight. I mean, Darth Bane channelled hundreds of Sith Lords energy through his body in a ritual and didn't die... but I don't think Bane can 1. Summon that energy without help, or 2. Defeat hundreds of Sith Lords in a fight. Shit, think about Anakin on Mortis - Anakin needed to be on Mortis to ragdoll the Son and Daughter because even if he could command the energy needed to do that, the energy just wasn't available in the environment to do that unless he is on Mortis.

In much the same way, I bet Luke can bench press a star destroyer for way, way more reps than Krayt ever could, but as we know, bodybuilders always lose against trained fighters. ...and I guess it just dawned on me that Troy Denning is onto something when he compares Star Wars fights to martial arts fights... so yeah, it's even possible to say that, to one extent or another, your upper limits of raw power don't matter in a fight unless that raw power can be used in a skilled manner to harm the opponent. Think of Sidious: Sidious has so much raw power that the only way he can properly express it is through a Force Storm, which probably isn't that useful in a small scale fight with lightsabers... but great at eating fleets. That's a limitation of his midichlorian efficiency. Abeloth, in contrast, doesn't need to use a Force Storm to melt a city... she can melt a city with what appears to be a Force Scream... she can achieve insane results using a very inefficient power (Force Scream) that other weaker beings would need to use a much more efficient power (Force Storm) to achieve the same result. So, then, theoretically Abeloth's Force Storm if she knew how to make one would be far, far more terrifying than Sidious' Force storm, just like her Force Lightning is far more terrifying than his. The only point in Sidious' favour here is that his Force storm is so efficient that it produce more damage than Abeloth's TK, so weaker beings with more efficiency can achieve better results than more powerful, less efficient beings.

(still here? I'm honestly impressed)

TL;DR: Due to the factor of midichlorian efficiency, along with the differing efficiency of different powers for different effects, for the purpose of winning a fight, who has "more raw power" or even "more actualised power" will not necessarily win. In fact, using actualised power in one area and trying to transfer it to another might actually be a bad way of determining fights. It could be that while Darth Krayt can never conjure a Force storm as powerful as Darth Sidious, because despite their differences they are both just human beings, eventually the efficiency of lightsaber combat for winning a fight will reach diminishing returns. Lightning, as a combat tool, may have more efficiency for winning a fight than lightsaber dueling. And even Force lightning, and telekinesis, may eventually hit diminishing returns of their own. Also, fights are rarely battles of raw power and attrition, but are more like chess matches, or martial arts fights, where the goal isn't to bring the opponent's stamina/energy to 0, but their health to 0, which is much easier and lets weaker opponents defeat stronger opponents.

So... let's lay out some scenarios:

Darth Krayt vs Darth Sidious in a Force Lightning battle. Sheev uses Force lightning with 10,000 energy points at 80% efficiency. Krayt uses 8000 energy points at 100% efficiency. They stalemate, then Krayt dies from exhaustion. As you see, the diminishing return on investment for using Force lightning is higher for Krayt than Sidious.

Darth Sidious vs Darth Sidious... one Sheev uses Force lightning at 100% efficiency, the other uses a Force storm at 50% efficiency... the Force storm Sheev kills the Lightning Sheev easily in a direct power clash... unless the Lightning Sheev can hit Storm Sheev and kill his HP before he is hit by the Force storm - it could even end in a stalemate, it's who hits who first.

Darth Sidious vs Yoda in a Force lightning-tutaminis battle. We know from a quote that it's "hard for even the most powerful Jedi" to intercept lightning with Tutaminis... but it's not hard to summon Force lightning. Ergo, Yoda is stalemating Sidious using a less efficient Force power for the task at hand. So, Yoda is actually using a higher amount of midichlorian efficiency than Darth Sidious but is stalemating him... so Dooku is probably right about Dark side Yoda > RotS Sidious.

DE Sidious vs Luke Skywalker, three rounds: 1. Force speed race, 2. Force strength arm wrestle, 3. Lightsaber duel. Okay, so, lets say Sidious has more actualised power at his disposal, he's more efficient than Luke... the fact remains here that Force augmentation is related to amplifying the body, and in DE, Sidious' body is falling apart - ergo, even if Sidious is more efficient at Force augmentation, he hits diminishing returns far more quickly than Luke to do the same thing. So Luke could win the Force speed race and arm wrestle on that basis alone, then when you go to an all out duel, the same applies, but also, there is skill involved - and skill is made up of strength, speed, technique, knowledge and tactics. And also, those components feed into each other - if someone has more Force speed, they can propel themselves through more extreme movements than a slower fighter, so they actually have more skill because they are faster. Similarly, if an opponent is stronger, they can get better results from an overhand strike than their opponent because it lands with more weight, therefore, two opponents can do the same thing and achieve different results not because of a different level of technical skill, but because of the weight behind the technique.

So... have I convinced anyone that there are literally no hard and fast rules to any of this shit? At this point, while I feel like I understand better than ever the different moving parts that go into a fight, I also realise that if you pay close enough attention to the details, you can very easily argue that any type of character can beat any other type of character... the bottom line is not power, not skill, not knowledge... it's how all of these things and more come together, combined with unique environments and strategies, to determine who is able to win a fight. The only thing that is actually important is if you can justify who wins a given fight. And just because you can prove that X beats Y in one type of fight, it does not mean the same logic applies for X beating Y in every fight, or X beating Z - even if X is more powerful, skilled and knowledgeable than both, something as minor as a character quirk - lets say arrogance or lack of emotional control - could completely tilt the outcome of the battle.

Anyways... lets go back to the Apocalypse stuff.

Apocalypse wrote: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.

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.

Apocalypse wrote: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.

As seen above, once a wound is inflicted, essence will pour out of the wound over time. However, the wounds vary in size - even though Luke had a hole blasted through his chest with lightning, he only had a fist-sized hole and some smaller wounds rather than a massive, gushing wound pouring his essence out killing him in seconds.

Apocalypse wrote: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.

So, even though Luke is kicking out a knee and Abeloth's knee is buckling... there are no physical knees buckling. It's just energy, just essence pushing into essence. Energy destroying and diminishing other energy. It's just a representation of an energetic clash "But the damage was done". So don't take it as Abeloth's knee literally buckling, take it as a sign she has suffered damage and her energy has been diminished.

Apocalypse wrote: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.
1. Again, anything that looks like a physical object, like an arm, is just energy.
2. Grappling in Beyond Shadows is energy merging with energy.
3. This creates a "knot of energy".

Apocalypse wrote: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.

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.

Apocalypse wrote: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.
1. When an essence is being drained, or in any case, being diminished, it starts to "shudder" almost like its fading out of existence gradually.
2. After Luke was drained, he kicked out Krayt's knee and the "joint buckled", and based on what we've seen so far, that would mean he damaged Krayt in a real way.
3. Abeloth tries to "tear herself free" [from the energy knots and meld she was in]
4. Abeloth was "growing weaker faster than Luke" so we can look at this as saying Krayt is focusing most of his efficiency into draining Abeloth and a fraction to draining Luke.

Apocalypse wrote:The draining seemed to continue for days; 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.
1. Pain is real in Beyond Shadows (we already know this because Luke experiences pain in other parts of the fight), and if pain means damage, then Krayt screaming in pain indicates he is taking a serious amount of damage. Specifically, he is internalising Abeloth's black Force energy, and it is pouring back out through the wounds in his energetic form and creating steam as it touches the water below...
2. Luke realises that Krayt is not betraying him by draining him... Krayt is draining Luke because he is suffering damage just from Draining Abeloth. Imagine if on top of using a power, your HP bar also declined as you used it... that's what is happening to Krayt here. So we can say that Abeloth is taking maybe 80 damage/second, and Krayt and Luke are taking 20 damage/second respectively, Krayt from absorbing Abeloth's essence, Luke from giving his energy to Krayt. Krayt may also be using 50 energy points/second to maintain his drain, while Luke uses 50 energy points/second to hold Abeloth in place - these aren't really specific quantities or to scale, just a representation of what is happening in basic terms.

Apocalypse wrote: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!"
1. When one of the energy knots Luke had made with Abeloth is torn, both of their essences splatter out - they both grow weaker from this.
2. Luke working harder to keep himself merged to Abeloth is described as him "pulling harder" - which if you consider that they are just energy directed by sentient will, makes sense, it's just energy, just matter and acceleration.
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.

Apocalypse wrote: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.
1. More about them being a "mass" of Force energy. Abeloth tries to "explode into a flailing tempest" but instead of getting free of Luke and Krayt, they both hold onto her and they stay knotted. Krayt is described as "buried" in Abeloth's chest, and he was wailing in even more agony than before as Abeloth's essence is coming out of him and producing steam.

Apocalypse wrote: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.
1. Abeloth shrinks herself. When she shrinks, Luke thinks this might be a sign of exhaustion - she would be too exhausted to keep fighting. This is another example of the bifurcation between HP and Energy - you can have energy but have 0 HP and be dead, or have no energy, so you're unable to fight, but still have HP and be alive.
2. She disappears... appearing to teleport maybe?
3. She takes Krayt's arm with her, but not Luke... meaning perhaps that Luke's energy knot was not as deeply knotted as Krayt's arm was with her? It seems like a compromise for her - she has to keep Krayt's arm inside her, but she gets to retain her energetic self and be from of them, so she can stop being drained directly, maybe even escape...

Apocalypse wrote: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 fog..."

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.
The downside, or indeed the inevitability of Abeloth teleporting away from Luke and Krayt while keeping the energy knot between herself and Krayt's arm... is that eventually that knot has to come undone. Now maybe if done delicately enough this knot could have been undone safely, but Krayt is able to straight up rip his energetic arm out of its deeply buried, knotted place in Abeloth's chest and return it to his arm - the interesting detail here as well is that Krayt gets his arm back...

Apocalypse wrote: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.
1. Abeloth had accepted that she had lost to Luke and Krayt and had to flee by the time she teleported with Krayt's arm... she knew if she didn't run she would die.
2. Because of the depth and complexity of the energy knot with Krayt's arm, he caused so much damage from ripping it that her essence was gushing out like a "geyser", meaning she was dying so quickly here that the only option left to her was to put everything into a final attack... she was going to die either way from the damage Krayt had done to her.

Apocalypse wrote: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 stranger...[b]each clutching a handful of dripping, pulsing Force essence.[/b]

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.
1. Abeloth teleports again, and I say teleport instead of Force speed because I'm not sure if Force speed explains how she separated Krayt from his arm in the first place...
2. Abeloth drives "deep" into Krayt, and does the same to Luke, as her "tentacles began to dig and grab, tearing him apart inside in a way no lightsaber or blaster ever could" - this is exactly the same, perhaps even more extreme, as what Krayt did to Abeloth earlier.
3. We have an explicit statement that these physical punching and kicking exchanges are "only Force energy plowing through Force energy, sending waves and of pain and damage rolling through them both"
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.
5. When Abeloth falls away, it's said she is "tearing free" of them, and they each "clutch" their dripping essence... so again, Abeloth driving deep into them and then tearing the knot she formed is what caused the damage.
6. Luke and Krayt both collapse with gaping wounds - opposed to the "fist-sized hole" and "dozen smaller wounds" Luke had at the start, which speak to the immensity of Abeloth's final attack. It's also said that their "forms" grow limp and weak, which I think emphasises the point that they are just energy given form and individuality, nothing more.

Apocalypse wrote:
By the time Saba reached the air lock at the entrance to the computer core, the shadow-ghouls were barely shadows anymore. Their eyes had paled to white, and they moved so slowly that it was easy to dance past and close the eyes of their corpses. And even when one of them did make contact, there was no life draining or pain, just a sudden cold ache that passed as quickly as the ghoul was destroyed.

Clearly, Master Skywalker had robbed Abeloth of much of her strength.
1. The Shadow-ghouls Saba fought were... well, barely, shadows of their former selves, and they moved so slowly they were easy to dance past. And their attacks even if they landed lost all of their potency, pain or life draining effects. Lets quickly compare that to what Saba was fighting before Krayt and Luke attacked Abeloth, and then mid-way through...

Apocalypse wrote:Saba sissed at the joke and ignited her own blade, then charged around the corner...into a corridor filled with the red eyes of Sith shadow-ghouls.
Apocalypse wrote:The red glow in the eyes of the shadow-ghouls faded suddenly to pink, and openings began to appear in their staggered-gauntlet formation. Saba sprang into the first gap, holding her ignited lightsaber between her and the nearest ghoul, trying to reach the body to which it was attached by a long writhing tail. The thing kept trying to slip around the blade's purple-white glow to slash at a head or shoulder or hip.

Saba advanced behind a whirling shield of blocks and slashes, cutting through a shadowy arm here, a leg there, even a neck or body. The pieces dropped away, withering into nothingness before they hit the floor, and the ghoul instantly grew a replacement. Still, the constant hacking was enough to keep the thing from touching Saba, and at last she reached the body itself. She cut the tail free of the corpse's chest, at the same time kneeling down and reaching for its face.

As quick as she was, the ghoul had already reemerged from the corpse. It came diving in at her, sinking two shadowy hands into her thigh. Saba's entire leg went numb, then erupted in icy anguish as the thing's shadowy claws began to slide through her muscle.

Saba used two fingers to close the corpse's eyes, then rose hissing and cursing and limped away. Olazon was at her side instantly, hitting the corpse with a blast from his flamegun and incinerating it. As he worked, Tahiri was already leaping past them to wave back the next shadow-ghoul. They had tried incinerating the bodies from a distance-before closing the eyes-but that had only complicated matters. The shadow-ghouls had stayed attached to the scorched remains, and it was impossible to make them go away as long as the eye sockets were uncovered.

Once Olazon had finished, his voice came over the reception bud in Saba's ear. "You're getting quicker," he said. "And only one hit that time. You okay?"

Saba put her weight on her aching leg and, when the muscle merely clinched with cold agony and did not collapse, nodded.

"Yesss, but this one is not growing quicker," she said. "They are growing slower. Keep going."

"You sure, Master Sebatyne?" This from Stomper Two, also speaking over the comm net. "I don't like the changes in their eyes-or how their formation has opened up. This feels like a trap."

The Void Jumper's caution was understandable. The pack had advanced only fifteen meters, and already they were down to four hunters. A shadow-ghoul had gotten inside Stomper One's power armor and caused it to self-destruct, which was why Stomper Two was now at the rear of the pack, carrying a badly dented EMP bomb. And no one was quite certain what had become of Braan, the wounded demolition man. A wave of terror had simply rolled through the Force from his direction, and then a thermal detonator had gone off.

But Saba suspected the change was a good sign. During their strategy meeting on Coruscant, the Jedi had realized it was possible to temporarily weaken at least one of Abeloth's avatars by killing another. Kill one, weaken the others. The theory was that Abeloth had only a single Force presence, shared by her avatars, so harming any of her avatars would make it easier to defeat all of them. Assuming that the shadow-ghouls were being animated by Abeloth-and Saba saw no other possibility-then they were growing weaker because Luke was succeeding in the Maw.
1. Quite self-explanatory... the ghouls "suddenly" go from red eyed to pink eyed, and also sudden openings appear in their formation. Saba starts cutting the ghouls apart, but much like a hydra, they instantly reform every time.
2. Saba is only able to keep one ghoul away by constantly hacking at it, and it even manages to slash her, causing an icy pain to go through her whole body.
3. They have to go through the arduous process of hacking up and then incinerating the host bodies the shadow ghouls spawn from... and even then they cling to and emerge from the scorched remains.
4. As the battle goes on, a soldier notes that Saba must be getting faster because of how well she is doing against the ghouls - but Saba corrects him that the ghouls are actually getting slower
5. The ghouls were growing so weak that a non-Force sensitive soldier thought it must have been a trap - so the difference must have been very pronounced indeed
6. The carnage the ghouls caused to Saba's squad is described at some length...
7. Saba notes that the ghouls getting slower and their eyes becoming less saturated with colour is a sign that Abeloth must be growing weaker elsewhere, specifically, the damage Krayt is causing to her (which she associates with Luke) is what has caused the sudden and pronounced difference in the shadow ghouls speed and prowess.

So, that pronounced difference happened purely because of Krayt's drain - he hadn't yet ripped his arm out of her. Once he did that, you get the former quote where the ghouls are basically oneshot fodder for Saba... so

Ghouls that can land hits on Saba and require her full attention + help from a flamethrower to put down, and even then they keep coming > ghouls that are easier to kill even for a now-injured Saba, making a soldier think Saba is actually getting faster when she was actually injured and slower >>>> ghouls that are oneshot fodder and have no life-draining icy-pain inducing attacks and can be danced around.

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?

Fate of the Jedi: Vortex wrote:It was no good. Abeloth had a dozen times the Force strength Luke had, and he could do no more than keep her from crushing his throat.

How was Darish Vol, who Abeloth nearly killed just by exploding in self defence in a psychic battle, compared to Luke in Force strength?

Fate of the Jedi: Ascension wrote:Abeloth sat huddled in Ship's interior. She had not revealed to Khai or anyone just how badly wounded she had been by the attack on Kesh. Vol had much of the power of Skywalker, combined with experience, and it had been a devastating encounter.

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.

Oh... and considering everything we just talked about with spirits... lets add in that Krayt was yet to spend the next 100 years enduring constant hardship, including:

-Recovering from and healing from the near-death experience of fighting Abeloth (historically increases the power and dark side connection of a Sith)
-Fighting off natural age
-Fighting off vong coral seeds literally eating him alive and fighting for sovereignty of his mind
-Overseeing the training of a Sith Order, which would have helped make him a "more worthy vessel for the dark side" if we use Maul as an example
-Creating his holocron
-Perfecting his combat technique over "decades" along with killing "countless" opponents
-Spending 7 years out of healing stasis and having his willpower sorely tested by the coral seeds until the bitter end, where eventually he was forced to kill numerous rakghouls with Force lightning, lightsaber duel a powerful Force user, be stabbed in the back, be blasted with a Force Maelstrom, fall from a massive cliff, shield himself from the fall and survive... only to be killed with Wyyrlok's lightning
-Only for Krayt to learn Dark Transfer (an eclectic mix of healing abilities mixed with Shatterpoint) and use this to slowly grow his destroyed body back to a peak state, wherein he was even able to replace his Vong arm with a human arm, which would mean he now has more midichlorians than he did before... and also, per Krayt's own word and the word of numerous sources, the process of experiencing the "pain of death and rapture of rebirth" means that Krayt is now more evil, determined and powerful than ever, sees the universe in a new way, and understands his power better than before... he is also "in control" of his body again for the first time in 100 years, and, he has undoubtedly shored up any mental or spiritual weaknesses/traumas that were holding him back before, due in large part to the ordeal of having to build his body and spirit from the ground up piece by piece, doing this with the help of a newly acquired Shatterpoint-Force-Healing hybrid ability that is more advanced than anything Luke had ever seen before... meaning on all levels physical, mental and spiritual Krayt has become much stronger...

“What no one knows is that Darth Krayt is returning better than before. . .”

—Star Wars: Legacy—War #1

“I have been through death and conquered it. I have returned with my power multiplied. The Dark Side of the Force lives and manifests itself through me!”

—Darth Krayt

“I have become so much more than you can know, traitor.”

—Darth Krayt

Death is not an ending, boy -- but it is a passageway to something greater.”

—Darth Krayt

“You fled our last fight -- and I am so much more now than I was then.”

—Darth Krayt

“The re-designing of Darth Krayt has been an interesting challenge both story wise and visually. I went through a bunch of different looks for him, but the one that appealed to me the most was a Krayt who was Yuuzhan Vong parasite free and again in control of his own body—Darth Krayt as a Sith—now at the peak of his power and willing to set the Galaxy to rights as the Force guides him.”

—Jan Duursema

“‘Legacy—War’ will fill readers in on what really happened to Krayt at the end of ‘Vector.’ I’d say that Krayt understands his power better than he ever has before and he is intent on exacting revenge for Wyyrlok’s transgressions.”

—Jan Duursema

"Darth Krayt has returned from the "dead," stronger, more evil, and more determined than ever to crush the galaxy under his heel."

—Star Wars: Legacy—War #1 Solicitation

"It's an all-out war as the Sith emperor returns from the dead-stronger, more evil, more determined, and prepared to unleash a new secret weapon upon the galaxy!"

—Star Wars: Legacy Volume 11 -- War TPB Solicitation

https://imgur.com/a/ISGND
Meatpants
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on November 3rd 2019, 6:01 am
Good post ILS. I've been thinking about the general concept of how reserves, actualised power and raw power all interrelate. I didn't quite hit the depth you did there, but one thing I remember that I felt was really helpful in thinking this sort of stuff through was a quote from one of the developers of Jedi Outcast. He said that the point of the Luke vs Desann fight wasn't to show that Desann was more powerful than Luke, or is even a legitimate contender in a wholistic sense, but that Luke is a HUMAN. He makes MISTAKES. You can be a Jedi fighting some thugs and get distracted enough that some random guy on a rooftop snipes you in the arm. You can be a Jedi and have someone get the jump on you when you're concentrating on something else/least expecting it. Thus, Desann getting the jump on Luke is just a way of showing that Luke isn't infallible, even if he is at that point one of the greatest Jedi to ever exist. And that's also a way how we can rationalise stuff that's generally termed "lowballing". In Cloak of Deception (literally right before TPM) Qui-Gon almost gets cut by some random thug with a vibrosword, for example. 

So yeah, I think that we need to expand and develop the debating framework to factor all this stuff in. When I think of Vaylin, I think a lot of raw power, but very little efficiency in controlling it. Even AOTC Anakin is like this: the novel says that he was burning up his reserves way faster than Dooku was because he was more inefficient, despite having infinitely better raw power theoretically. And I do think more and more that characters have A-game moments that can't just be argued as their usual performance (people like TPM Kenobi and Starkiller come to mind).
ILS
ILS

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on November 3rd 2019, 6:07 am
The FotJ writers have said similar things about Luke only being human...

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Also...
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Azronger
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on November 3rd 2019, 11:24 am
Message reputation : 100% (2 votes)
Sign me up for the Dragon of the Sith proper as well. I think that:

  • Giving Obi-Wan Kenobi, someone able to contend with bona fide tier nines, a run for his money as a Jedi, and then having at least three verifiable, monumental power increments alongside well over a 100 years of studying the Force and gathering knowledge from all over the galaxy ([1][2]);
  • Contributing meaningfully in a fight against Abeloth alongside Luke Skywalker, draining her reserves and causing copious amounts of damage, and enduring ridiculous amounts of punishment from her attacks in turn, and living to tell the tale (link);
  • Ragdolling and speedblitzing Cade Skywalker, an extremely powerful Force-user with some of the best telekinesis feats in the mythos under his belt, casually, holding back, and under no noticeable strain when even the likes of Darth Sidious needed to use "a concentrated dark side confusion haze" to blitz the B-team in a similar manner ([1][2]);

And telepathically commanding his Sith Troopers are enough to grant him the number 5 spot. To go into the last feat a but more, since it hasn't been talked about yet, basically, one of Krayt's captured Sith Troopers revealed that there are millions of his kind, all of them "linked through the dark side" to Krayt, their wills tantamount to his own.

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And we know this wasn't just propaganda; the Sith Troopers start going on suicide bombing runs en masse once they detect Krayt has been killed. They were slaves to his will, entirely codependent.

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We also know that they were not bound to him for their whole life like the Children of the Emperor are to Vitiate, because prior to Legacy: War, Krayt was only ever noted to have opened his mind to his closest followers, and Cade and Darth Stryfe noted that Krayt could no longer be heard inside their head once he had died on Had Abaddon. Point being, he wasn't mentally in contact with the Sith Troopers until his after resurrection.

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The above quotes also lay the foundations of the Sith Troopers feat: long before that, Krayt had been sinking his psychic fangs into the minds of his servants, and even the Force itself. Krayt notes in his Holocron that he has bent the Force to his will, and the Legacy Era Campaign Guide notes that "the influence of the dark side is stronger than ever," "The dark side clouds everything, and the galaxy's future is harder to see than ever before," and that "If the influence of the dark side waxes and wanes, during the Legacy era it reaches peaks unseen except during the grimmest times in galactic history."

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Now, while he did according to his own word, bend the Force to his will, Krayt as of this time did require the widespread rule of the Sith and the destruction of the Jedi to aid him in unbalancing the Force to such an extent - more comparable to Plagueis and Palpatine during the prequel trilogy. However, once he is reborn, his personal cosmic will and influence become more puissant. He reaches out into the dark side and touches the minds of all those attuned to it. Note how didn't individually pick and choose to invade the minds of his minions; Cade Skywalker and Antares Draco - two expressly non-Sith and anti-Krayt Force-users - felt Krayt in their mind as well. This wasn't just a telepathy feat on a galactic scale; it was communion with very the fabric of the dark side itself, Krayt's will reverberating through it, "alive, dominant, and seductive." After this, he takes over the minds of the millions of Sith Troopers as well, and marches off to war. And one should wonder, too, whether this was done via enslaving them all conventionally, or whether Krayt's control over them is more so reflective of his dominance over the dark side as a whole.

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Either way you see it, a feat like this has only been replicated in the lore once before: by Emperor Palpatine. By the timeframe of the the original trilogy, Palpatine had embedded himself into the fabric of the Force so deeply he had become a focusing mechanism of the dark side itself, and the Galactic Empire an extension of his will. With his death, the forces under his control experienced similar effects to Darth Krayt's Sith Troopers after Krayt's demise. Grand Admiral Thrawn posthumously commented that "You had no real fighting spirit of your own anymore—none of you in the Imperial Fleet did. It was the Emperor's will that drove you; the Emperor's mind that provided you with strength and resolve and efficiency. You were as dependent on that presence as if you were all borg-implanted into a combat Computer."

For the first time, the Death Star rocked. The collision with the exploding Destroyer was only the beginning, leading to various systems breakdowns, which led to reactor meltdowns, which led to personnel panic, abandonment of posts, further malfunctions, and general chaos.

Smoke was everywhere, substantial rumblings came from all directions at once, people were running and shouting. Electrical fires, steam explosions, cabin depressurizations, disruption of chain-of-command. Added to this, the continued bombardments by Rebel cruisers—smelling fear in the enemy—merely heightened the sense of hysteria that was already pervasive.

For the Emperor was dead. The central, powerful evil that had been the cohesive force to the Empire was gone; and when the dark side was this diffused, this nondirected—this was simply where it led.

Confusion.

Desperation.

Damp fear.


Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi novelization

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Thrawn smiled back. "It is indeed. Tell me, Master C'baoth: are you familiar with the Imperial Fleet's disastrous defeat at the Battle of Endor five years ago?"

"I've heard rumors. One of the offworlders who came here spoke about it." C'baoth's gaze drifted to the window, to the palace/crypt visible across the square. "Though only briefly."

Pellaeon swallowed. Thrawn himself didn't seem to notice the implication. "Then you must have wondered how a few dozen Rebel ships could possibly rout an Imperial force that outgunned it by at least ten to one."

"I didn't spend much time with such wonderings," C'baoth said dryly. "I assumed that the Rebels were simply better warriors."

"In a sense, that's true," Thrawn agreed. "The Rebels did indeed fight better, but not because of any special abilities or training. They fought better than the Fleet because the Emperor was dead."

He turned to look at Pellaeon. "You were there, Captain—you must have noticed it. The sudden loss of coordination between crew members and ships; the loss of efficiency and discipline. The loss, in short, of that elusive quality we call fighting spirit."

"There was some confusion, yes," Pellaeon said stiffly. He was starting to see where Thrawn was going with this, and he didn't like it a bit. "But nothing that can't be explained by the normal stresses of battle."

One blue-black eyebrow went up, just slightly. "Really? The loss of the Executor—the sudden, last-minute TIE fighter incompetence that brought about the destruction of the Death Star itself—the loss of six other Star Destroyers in engagements that none of them should have had trouble with? All of that nothing but normal battle stress?"

"The Emperor was not directing the battle," Pellaeon snapped with a fire that startled him. "Not in any way. I was there, Admiral—I know."

"Yes, Captain, you were there," Thrawn said, his voice abruptly hard. "And it's time you gave up your blindfold and faced the truth, no matter how bitter you find it. You had no real fighting spirit of your own anymore—none of you in the Imperial Fleet did. It was the Emperor's will that drove you; the Emperor's mind that provided you with strength and resolve and efficiency. You were as dependent on that presence as if you were all borg-implanted into a combat Computer."


Star Wars: Heir to the Empire

But of course, unlike Palpatine, Krayt was not influencing mere muggles, but beings who were hand-picked by him to serve as part of his clandestine militia, the Sith Troopers. On top of outright stating that the Sith Troopers are naturally the strongest Force-sensitives around, he directly compared them to his ordinary servants, stating that "As powerful as my One Sith are […] I desired an army suitably loyal -- and undefeatable."

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This is seen in practice how Sith Troopers don't even have to draw their lightsabers to outright stomp regular Sith Lords with the Force:

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In the battle of Taivas, hordes of normal Sith are being slaughtered en masse by just a few of the Jedi Temple's defenders. Not a single Jedi or Imperial Knight corpse in sight:

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Yet when the Sith Troopers enter, the tide of the battle turns completely. Despite T'ra Saa going into battle meditation to bolster the Temple's defenders further, they crush all opposition. Bodies of Jedi are strewn about, with only one or two Sith Trooper corpses seen around Cade and Nat. Shado Vao even commented that "They are Sith, but unlike any we have ever faced":

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And Krayt was holding millions of these guys under his telepathic thumb. Not outright domination, but he did give them commands and organized their military campaign on a galactic scale through the Force, akin to Palpatine during the original trilogy or Naga Sadow from his meditation sphere. We know this because once he died, the Sith Troopers lost all military cohesion, went insane, and committed mass suicide.

And as an addendum to those who still aren't convinced that Krayt stomped Cade, note that the Sith Troopers lose their minds only after Krayt is killed, and not anytime before. Ergo, whilst dueling with Cade, Krayt was multitasking with coordinating and quasi-dominating apparently millions of exceptionally powerful dark siders. If nothing else, it confirms Krayt wasn't focusing his attention on Cade all that much, while Cade was out to kill him with all his will and might, yet Krayt won anyway (this might also explain why Krayt was taken out in such an ignominious way by Cade: the bulk of his attention was on his Sith Troopers, and not a defeated enemy).
ILS
ILS

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on November 3rd 2019, 12:05 pm
Yeah, it seems clear to me that out of all of the threats that came about post-Sidious, aside from Abeloth, Krayt was the most powerful - and certainly the most successful and influential - manifestation of the dark side, and whether that is a direct reflection of his power or an indirect reflection of his power, it's hard to deny that it is a reflection of his power, just as Sidious' success was a reflection of his power.

The Sith have waited millennium for the birth of one who is powerful enough to return them from hiding. Darth Sidious is that one—the Sith's revenge on the Jedi order for having nearly eradicated the practitioners of the dark side of the Force.

--The Complete Visual Dictionary

The Sith Order, in hiding for a millennium, had awaited the birth of one who was powerful enough to return the Order to prominence. Darth Sidious was the fulfillment of that prophecy, capable of exacting the Sith's revenge on the Jedi for having nearly eradicated the practitioners of the dark side of the Force.

--The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia

For that reason he understood just how dangerous this new Sith Lord was. He hadn't had a sense of that danger until he had fought Dooku on Geonosis. Then he understood. In self-exile for a thousand years, the Sith had not merely been waiting for an appropriate time to reemerge and exact revenge, but for the birth of one strong enough to embrace the dark side fully and become its dedicated instrument.

This was Sidious: powerful enough to hide in plain sight. Powerful enough to instruct his apprentice, Dooku, to expose him, and still remain hidden from the Jedi. And as arrogant as the Jedi. Convinced that his way was the one and only way.

--Labyrinth of Evil

This is just what I can find off the top of my head, and later on I will post a lot of the Krayt-centric quotes related to how he unbalanced the Force. Something that always intrigued me was The Tenebrous Way, when Tenebrous predicts the coming of the "One Sith"

While still merely an apprentice, his analysis had shown him the inevitable end of the Banite Sith and its preposterous Rule of Two. His calculations plainly indicated the coming of a shadow so vast it would darken the galaxy entirelyso vast it would mark the end of both Jedi and Sith as the universe had known them heretofore. The rise of the shadow would be the end of history itself.

Tenebrous had not the slightest doubt that the entire galaxy would measure time according to its arrival. Events would be marked by how long they had preceded the shadow, or how long after it they followed.

Though the exact nature of the great shadow remained occult, the remorseless logic of his extrapolation detailed the coming destruction of the Banite system, and the rise of what would become known as the "One Sith." One Sith! The conclusion was so obvious as to require no confirmation: one single Sith Lord would arise of such power that he'd have no need of any apprentice nor fear the Jedi. He would take and hold the galaxy by his own hand alone. Without an apprentice—or a Jedi Order—to destroy him, the One Sith would rule forever!

A heady prospect, with only a single drawback: Tenebrous was not to be that Sith Lord. His own death was clearly foretold, entirely inevitable, and it would precede the shadow by decades.



[...]

Now Tenebrous touched upon his apprentice's powers of foresight, which were also vastly more developed than Tenebrous had believed. For a moment, Tenebrous found his perception cast far forward in time—to Plagueis' own death at the hands of his apprentice, who was himself only visible as a smear of darkness...

A shadow!

--The Tenebrous Way

My interpretation of TTW, which as a sidenote came out in Dec 2011, shortly after Legacy: War had just wrapped up in May 2011, is that the "Shadow" which would "mark the end" of the Rule of Two and "darken the galaxy" is plainly Sidious. However, Tenebrous also note this, which is key; the "Shadow" would "mark the rise" of "what would become known as the "One Sith." ". The Shadow, will darken the galaxy, mark the end of (not bring about, but mark the end of) the Rule or Two and the rise of what would [later] become known as the "One Sith." It's also said that Tenebrous' death would precede the Shadow (Sidious) by decades, which is true, and that people would mark time according to the Shadow's coming, which can only be a vague allusion to the BBY dating system.

However, it's clear that there is a bifurcation between the Shadow, which marks what is to come and his birth is dated decades after Tenebrous' death, and the One Sith which would rise after the Shadow - Darth Krayt's One Sith Order, as well as the fact he is the "One Sith" whose will is made manifest through that Order, which is a manifestation of the Banite Rule of Two coming to an end

Though the exact nature of the great shadow remained occult, the remorseless logic of his extrapolation detailed the coming destruction of the Banite system and the rise of what would become known as the "One Sith." One Sith! The conclusion was so obvious as to require no confirmation: one single Sith Lord would arise of such power that he'd have no need of any apprentice nor fear the Jedi. He would take and hold the galaxy by his own hand alone. Without an apprentice—or a Jedi Order—to destroy him, the One Sith would rule forever!

Everything Stover says about the Shadow lines up with Sidious: he comes within decades of Tenebrous' death, darkens the galaxy, marks the end of the Rule of Two, and establishes a new dating system - and what follows the Shadow is a One Sith, both an order and a Sith Lord who will take and hold the galaxy without an apprentice. Both chronologically and in terms of what happened, this matches up perfectly with Sheev and Krayt, and more importantly, it is noted that it is because one single Sith Lord would arise of such power that he could do this. Stover also deliberately capitalises the "One Sith" which is a reference the Sith Order (opposed to "one Sith" which would refer to a being), and again, the fact that this was released mere months after Legacy: War tied up seems to make a lot of sense.

So, Krayt and Sidious are the two most cosmically significant Sith Lords in history in terms of their ability to rule the galaxy: they were seen in Tenebrous' calculations of the future, they were seen in visions and dreams (the dark stranger of Luke and Jacen's dreams who is seen on the Throne of Balance), their coming marked times where the galaxy would be most shrouded by the dark side and most out of balance - and all of this, per numerous quotes, is a direct result of their power.
DarthAnt66
DarthAnt66
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on November 3rd 2019, 1:36 pm
Voting closes in four hours (aka 10 days since starting post). Highest two will move into the run-offs.

ANAKIN SKYWALKER (8)
Jake
DarthAnt66
IdrisianGraecus
KingOfBlades
LadyKulvax
Blade_of_Dorin
DC77 (Reborn)
HP_Legend

DARTH KRAYT (7)
ILS
Azronger
EmperorCaedus
Shioz
Deronn_Solo
LOTL
Meatpants

YODA (5)
WalkingInCircles
Syndiciate
Gianfi
dark_globe
Praxis

UNUTHUL (2)
Bart
MasterCilghal

DARISH VOL (1)
xolthol

DARTH PLAGUEIS (1)
CuckedCurry

@Wankious, you share the same IP address as @EmperorCaedus. I'll tentatively not be counting your vote unless you're his brother or something.
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Word Salad
Level Two
Level Two

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on November 3rd 2019, 1:40 pm
KF Vader.
EmperorCaedus
EmperorCaedus

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on November 3rd 2019, 1:43 pm
Darth Krayt. Also idk who @Wankious is or how we got the same IP
Azronger
Azronger
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on November 3rd 2019, 1:51 pm
@DarthAnt66 You forgot to take @lorenzo.r.2nd's vote into account. That's another one for Krayt.
DarthAnt66
DarthAnt66
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on November 3rd 2019, 1:52 pm
@Azronger: Lorenzo never voted for Krayt.
lorenzo.r.2nd
lorenzo.r.2nd

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on November 3rd 2019, 2:04 pm
i leave to go eat a burger, and come back to a thesis on darish vol and krayt....wtf
Reynard (Ethanion)
Reynard (Ethanion)

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on November 3rd 2019, 2:19 pm
Darth Krayt
xolthol
xolthol

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on November 3rd 2019, 2:42 pm
Message reputation : 100% (1 vote)
Well after this really good case made by @ILS and @Azronger, I sitch vote for Krayt.
Azronger
Azronger
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on November 3rd 2019, 2:45 pm
@xolthol Thank you.
LSDMB
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on November 3rd 2019, 3:23 pm
Message reputation : 100% (4 votes)
I vote for God-Emperor Trump. Dude scales pretty damn close to FOTJ Abeloth tbh. Abeloth managed to with some difficulty fight through a force net conjured by hundreds of Sith and retain enough power to blast Luke away.

Similarly, God-Emperor Trump has completely tanked hexes from thousands of witches with zero effort, and even managed to shield Brett Kavanaugh from such Hexes as well.

This is without getting into the power of his meme magic.

God-Emperor Trump gets my vote.
slayne
slayne

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on November 3rd 2019, 3:31 pm
Krayt.
Greysentinel365
Greysentinel365

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on November 3rd 2019, 4:33 pm
Krayt honestly.
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Word Salad
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Level Two

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on November 3rd 2019, 4:37 pm
Grey ragdolling.
Blade_of_Dorin
Blade_of_Dorin

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on November 3rd 2019, 4:40 pm
Grey’s argument convinced me. Krayt all the way.
Syndiciate
Syndiciate

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on November 3rd 2019, 5:31 pm
Convinced after reading Azronger and ILS's arguments. Switching to Krayt.

Edit: Got it in with 4 minutes to spare. :P
DarthAnt66
DarthAnt66
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on November 3rd 2019, 6:20 pm
DARTH KRAYT AND ANAKIN SKYWALKER ARE IN THE RUNNING FOR #5.

All votes for Darth Krayt (12) and Anakin Skywalker (8) will stay. Anyone who hasn't voted or voted for another may choose between the two. Voting ends in 72 hours.

LIST OF VOTES:

Spoiler:
DARTH KRAYT (12)
ILS
Azronger
EmperorCaedus
Shioz
Deronn_Solo
LOTL
Meatpants
Reynard (Ethanion)
xolthol
slayne
Greysentinel365
Syndicate

ANAKIN SKYWALKER (8)
Jake
DarthAnt66
IdrisianGraecus
KingOfBlades
LadyKulvax
Blade_of_Dorin
DC77 (Reborn)
HP_Legend

YODA (4)
WalkingInCircles
Gianfi
dark_globe
Praxis

UNUTHUL (2)
Bart
MasterCilghal

DARTH PLAGUEIS (1)
CuckedCurry

PLEASE CHANGE YOUR VOTE:

@CuckedCurry
@MasterCilghal
@Bart
@Praxis
@WalkingInCircles
@Gianfi
@dark_globe
[hideedit]


Last edited by DarthAnt66 on November 3rd 2019, 6:25 pm; edited 1 time in total
DarthAnt66
DarthAnt66
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on November 3rd 2019, 6:23 pm
Note that @The Ellimist and I plan to make some rebuttals to ILS and Azronger within the upcoming day or so.
Gᴏᴀᴛ
Gᴏᴀᴛ

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on November 3rd 2019, 6:24 pm
My vote goes to Knightfall Vader.
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