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★ Top Fifteen Tournament #2 - Palpatine - Page 5 Empty Re: ★ Top Fifteen Tournament #2 - Palpatine

August 19th 2019, 2:27 pm

All votes for Palpatine (18) and Irek (6) will stay. Anyone who hasn't voted or voted for another character may choose between the two. Voting ends in 48 hours.



★ Top Fifteen Tournament #2 - Palpatine - Page 5 Empty Re: ★ Top Fifteen Tournament #2 - Palpatine

August 19th 2019, 2:28 pm
Since Valkorion is out of the running, I am changing my vote to Palpatine.
The Fallen Warrior
The Fallen Warrior
Level Four
Level Four

★ Top Fifteen Tournament #2 - Palpatine - Page 5 Empty Re: ★ Top Fifteen Tournament #2 - Palpatine

August 19th 2019, 2:40 pm
I'm changing my Vote to Nyax
Level Three
Level Three

★ Top Fifteen Tournament #2 - Palpatine - Page 5 Empty Re: ★ Top Fifteen Tournament #2 - Palpatine

August 19th 2019, 3:34 pm
Changing to Sidious
Level Four
Level Four

★ Top Fifteen Tournament #2 - Palpatine - Page 5 Empty Re: ★ Top Fifteen Tournament #2 - Palpatine

August 20th 2019, 8:22 am
I’m going to the Palpatine side.

★ Top Fifteen Tournament #2 - Palpatine - Page 5 Empty Re: ★ Top Fifteen Tournament #2 - Palpatine

August 22nd 2019, 1:04 am
Palpatine has been ranked #2 with 62% of the preliminary vote and 75% of the final vote. 
Master Azronger
Master Azronger

★ Top Fifteen Tournament #2 - Palpatine - Page 5 Empty Re: ★ Top Fifteen Tournament #2 - Palpatine

August 25th 2019, 4:22 pm
@Quorian Debatist

The issue with Luke's "jobbing" is that it's usually done against known opponents, where we know he should do better. Nyax, however, has nothing "lower" like a Lumiya does that you can claim Luke was definitively jobbing. So his "unknown factor" works for him as well.

Sure, but I never argued Luke was definitively jobbing. I merely contested the default assumption being that he is going all-out, precisely because of his extensive jobbing. So personally, I’m not going to immediately buy into the idea Nyax is more powerful than Luke because he seemingly demonstrated superiority in a fight. I’m going to need a bit more convincing. I see you’ve attempted to do that here, so we’ll see how that holds up.

To preface, though, I’ve not read nearly every book in the New Republic era and I’ve never read The New Jedi Order in its entirety. If there’s context I’ve left out, please be aware that it is because I wasn’t aware it existed. I’m merely collating what I feel are the most pertinent snippets about his jobbing as it is explained in-universe that I’ve seen in the past and forming my own conclusion based on them. If it becomes apparent I’ve cherry-picked information, it was not my intention.

Couple this with Luke thinking he's walking his wife - who a novel or two back had his newborn son who Luke had to go save both from dying - into nigh-certain death and it stands to reason he is definitively less powerful. Luke already felt the measure of Nyax's power and decided he and his wife were still likely to die. I'm not certain that is congruent with him withholding much if any power per the situation.

Next, Luke was "jobbing" in the Vong War when he feared the Darkside, not every time he drew on the force. That sort of situation, however, wasn't prevalent in the Nyax fight, nor any novel besides Dark Tide to my recollection. However, his power wasn't lower, he just got exhausted from fear. In the same novel [Dark Tide] he still has the infamous Dovin Basal feat, or as you might be more familiar with it - THE BLACK HOLE FEAT!

In the Vong War his understanding of the Force is greater than ever from a source that predates NYAX:

And he himself as of 25ABY is NOW Beyond Power and Incredible:

Which stands to reason considering he's been a Jedi for 22 years as opposed to something like 7 for instance... I heard you're a pretty big proponent in guys growing over time or something...?

So, now a Jedi for 24 years against a guy who he thinks will probably kill him AND the mother of his newborn. It's very unlikely he was "jobbing" or withholding vast amounts of power. He might not have been very showy in the Vong War at times - Taps as opposed to a hammer - but that doesn't mean his power was lower for some reason.

It’s not that Luke somehow didn’t grow; it’s his fear of using that power due to his even more deeply-rooted dread of falling to the dark side. The excerpt you cited of Luke gaining ”a greater understanding of the Force” from his discussion with Mara references the novel Vision of the Future in which Mara helps Luke understand his past mistakes and flaws. As a consequence, Luke experiences an epiphany about the nature of the Force and how he had been using it. Here is the full passage, after which I’ll offer my analysis.

Luke worked moisture into a suddenly dry mouth as he watched Builder With Vines finish his snack and swoop down for another pass. Why in the name of the Force was he taking such a terrible risk?

And it was a terrible risk. Luke could feel the danger involved, his Jedi senses tingling almost as strongly as if the threat had been aimed directly at him. Surely Builder With Vines couldn’t be that hungry. Could he?

“Offhand, I’d say he’s showing off,” Mara muttered, answering his silent question.

“For who? Us?”

“Hardly.” Mara nodded toward the wall behind Luke. “For the kid.”

Luke craned his neck to look. Balanced precariously on a stone near the Qom Jha opening, Child Of Winds was watching in utter fascination as Builder With Vines swooped over the mass of insects, his wings quivering with excitement or nervousness or envy. “Uh-oh,” Luke said. “You don’t think—?”

“I would hope he’s not that stupid,” Mara said. “But the Qom Jha have been riding him ever since we headed out on this little trip. He just might.”

Luke grimaced. “Child Of Winds, you stay where you are,” he ordered, putting Jedi firmness into his voice. “You’re not to try to do what Builder With Vines is—”

And suddenly, a terrified shriek screamed through his mind. “What—?” he gasped, his body twitching violently with the shock of the sound.

“It’s Builder With Vines,” Mara bit out, her fingers tightening around Luke’s to help maintain their balance. Luke looked down—

To a horrifying sight. Builder With Vines, his wings flapping frantically but uselessly, was struggling half-submerged in the living river flowing through the passageway. Dozens of fire creepers were already crawling across his head and wings, biting and stinging. Even as Child of Winds’s terrified cry joined Builder With Vines’s scream in Luke’s mind a hundred more of the insects crawled onto the Qom Jha, their weight forcing him still deeper beneath the flow.

There was no time to waste. Stretching out with the Force, Luke hauled Builder With Vines up and out of the flow, holding him suspended in midair. He shifted his focus to the insects, grabbing them through the Force and throwing them off him.

“Don’t bother,” Mara said quietly. “There’s nothing you can do.”

Luke bit back the reflexive impulse to deny it. He was a Jedi—there had to be something he could do.

But no. She was right … and as Builder With Vines’s mental scream died into the silence of death he let the body sink gently back into the mindless flow.

“Easy on the fingers,” Mara said softly.

With an effort, Luke turned his gaze back to her, focusing on their joined hands. His fingers were all but white where he was squeezing hers tightly in frustration. “Sorry,” he muttered, forcing himself to relax his grip.

“That’s all right,” she said. “You know, you’ve got a pretty good grip there. I thought you Jedi usually concentrated more on the mental aspects of the Force than you did in keeping in shape.”

She was trying to deflect his attention, he knew, trying to turn his thoughts away from the horror he’d just witnessed. Sympathy from Mara was a new experience all by itself; but neither words nor sympathy had a puddle’s chance of smoothing over the guilt and anger rising in his throat like a twisting sand-devil. “It’s not all right,” he snapped back at her. “I knew it was dangerous—I could have stopped him. I should have stopped him.”

“How?” Mara countered. “I mean, sure, you could have used the Force to pin him to the ceiling. But what right would you have had to do something like that?”

“What do you mean, what right?” Luke bit out. “I was the one in charge here. Their safety was my responsibility.”

“Oh, come on,” Mara said, the sympathy still there but with a tinge of scorn around the edges now. “Builder With Vines was an intelligent, responsible adult being. He knew what he was doing. He made his choice, and he suffered the consequences. If you want to start feeling guilty about mistakes, start with ones that were actually your fault.”

“Such as?” Luke growled.

For a long moment Mara gazed coolly at him, and Luke felt a sudden wave of misgiving ripple through his anger. “Such as?” Mara repeated. “Well, let’s see. Such as not moving your Jedi academy off Yavin when you first found out a really nasty dark side power was infesting the place. Such as not slapping down a tipped turbolaser like Kyp Durron the minute he started showing dark side tendencies of his own. Such as not providing adequate protection for your sister’s children against kidnapping, despite the fact it had already been tried a couple of times. Such as unilaterally declaring yourself a Jedi Master after less than ten years on the job. How long a list do you want?”

Luke tried to glare at her. But there was no strength behind the glare, and with a grimace of embarrassment he dropped his gaze from her face. “You’re right,” he sighed. “You’re absolutely right. I don’t know, Mara. It’s been … I don’t know.”

“Let me guess,” she said, the sarcasm gone from her voice again. “Life as a Jedi has been a lot foggier than you ever expected it to be. You’ve had trouble understanding what you’re supposed to do, or how you’re supposed to behave. You’ve been gaining tremendous power in the Force, but more often than not you’ve been paralyzed with fear that you’re going to use it the wrong way. Am I getting warm?”

Luke stared at her. “Yes,” he said, not quite believing it. How had she known? “That’s it exactly.”

“And yet,” she continued, “sometime in the past couple of months, things have suddenly become clearer. Not that you’ve had any great lightning-bolt insights, but a lot of the hesitation has disappeared and you’ve found it easier to stay on what seems in hindsight to have been the right path.”

“Right again,” Luke said. “Though there have also been one or two pretty impressive revelations,” he added, thinking back. “The vision on Tierfon that got me in touch with Karrde just in time to hear about you being trapped here, for one.” He eyed her closely. “You know what’s been going on?”

“Yes, it’s been only slightly more visible than blindingly obvious,” she said dryly. “Certainly to me. Probably to Leia and Corran and some of your other Jedi students, too. Possibly to everyone else in the New Republic.”

“Oh, thank you,” Luke said, trying to match her tone and not entirely succeeding. “That makes me feel so much better.”

“Good. It was supposed to.” Mara took a deep breath, and Luke could sense her reluctance. “Look, you’re the one in the middle of this. You’re the one who has to make the final call on what’s going on. But if you want my reading, it all started with that little jaunt you took out to Byss about nine years ago. Where you faced—whatever it was you faced out there.”

Luke shivered. “The reborn Emperor.”

“Or whatever,” Mara said with an odd touch of impatience. “Personally, I’m not convinced it was really him. But that’s beside the point. The point was that you decided—stupidly and rather arrogantly, in my opinion—that the best way to stop him would be for you to pretend to join up and let him teach you some of his dark side techniques.”

“But I didn’t really go over to the dark side,” Luke protested, trying to remember those dark days. “I mean, I don’t think I did.”

Mara shook her head. “Debatable; but it almost doesn’t matter. One way or the other, you still willingly dabbled in it. And from that point on, it colored everything you did.”

One of Master Yoda’s pronouncements floated up from his memory. If once you start down the dark path, his old teacher had warned, forever will it dominate your destiny. “It did, too, didn’t it?” he murmured, half to himself, as all the errors and mistakes and, yes, the arrogance of the past nine years rose accusingly before his eyes. “What was I thinking?”

“You weren’t thinking,” Mara said, an odd mixture of impatience and compassion swirling together in her voice and emotions. “You were reacting, trying to save everyone and do everything. And in the process you came within a split blaster bolt of destroying yourself.”

“So what changed?” he asked. “What happened?”

Mara’s eyes narrowed fractionally. “You telling me you don’t know?”

Luke grimaced, wondering that he hadn’t seen it earlier. That critical moment off Iphigin, as he and Han had prepared for combat against the pirate gang Han had deduced was on its way. The moment when he’d seen the vision of Emperor Palpatine and Exar Kun laughing at him … “No, I know,” he conceded. “I made a decision to stop using the power of the Force so much.”

And suddenly, through that mixture of compassion and impatience came a wave of something completely unexpected. An overpowering flood of relief. “You got it,” Mara said quietly. “Finally.”

Luke shook his head. “But why?” he demanded. “The power’s obviously there, available for a Jedi to use. Is it just because I touched the dark side that using it is so bad for me?”

“That’s probably part of it,” Mara said. “But even if you’d never done that you’d still have run into trouble. You ever been in a hullplate-shaping plant?”

“Ah—no,” Luke said, blinking at the sudden change of topic.

“How about an ore-crushing facility?” she suggested. “Lando’s had a couple of them at one time or another—you must have visited at least one of them.”

“I’ve seen the one on Varn, yes,” Luke said, the mention of Lando’s name throwing a sudden damper on the cautiously growing feeling of excitement at these new revelations. Mara’s relationship with Lando …

“Fine,” Mara said, either missing the change in Luke’s emotions or else ignoring it. “Sometimes small songbirds set up their nests in the upper supports of those buildings. Did you hear any of them singing when you were there?”

Luke smiled tightly. Again, it was so obvious. “Of course not,” he said. “It was way too noisy in there to hear anything that quiet.”

Mara smiled back. “Pretty obvious, isn’t it, once you see it. The Force isn’t just about power, like most non-Jedi think. It’s also about guidance: everything from those impressive future visions to the more subtle real-time warnings I sometimes think of as a danger sense. Trouble is, the more you tap into it for raw power, the less you’re able to hear its guidance over the noise of your own activity.”

“Yes,” Luke murmured, so many puzzles suddenly coming clear. He had often wondered how it was he could rebuild Darth Vader’s personal fortress while Master Yoda had become winded doing something as relatively simple as lifting an X-wing from the Dagobah swamp. Clearly, Yoda had understood the choices far better than his upstart pupil.

And even in the short time since Luke had decided to try that same choice he’d already seen glimpses of why Yoda had chosen that path. Subtle bits of guidance, sometimes occurring as little more than vague and almost subconscious feelings, had been showing up more and more: protecting him from a quick capture back at the Cavrilhu Pirates’ asteroid base, or quietly prompting him to accept Child Of Winds’s assistance, which had led directly to this cavern and the pride-motivated aid of the Qom Jha. “I was on Iphigin a couple of months ago helping Han with some negotiations,” he said. “The Diamala at the talks told Han that Jedi who used as much power as I did always ended up slipping over to the dark side.”

“They may be right,” Mara agreed. “Not all Dark Jedi come from botched training, you know. Some of them slip into it all by themselves.”

“Not a very pleasant thought,” Luke said soberly, thinking about his Yavin academy. Of his successes at Jedi instruction there, and his failures. “Especially given that I started teaching under dark side influence.”

Star Wars: Vision of the Future

Mara explains to Luke that while he has indeed been ”gaining tremendous power in the Force,” his traumatic experiences in Dark Empire caused him to be ”paralyzed with fear” over the possibility of misusing that power. As a result, Luke began to overcompensate, ”using the Force like a heavy club” as described in your quote, arrogantly ”trying to save everyone and do everything.” This led to myriad rash and foolish decisions over the course of his career. Mara then elucidates that ”The Force isn’t just about power,” “the more you tap into it for raw power, the less you’re able to hear its guidance over the noise of your own activity.” In his own fear and arrogance, Luke had failed to truly listen to the Force, instead calling on it for power to, bluntly speaking, impose his own will on the world. The way he blames himself for Builder With Vines’ death reflects that perfectly: he’s overcome with guilt and anger, thinking it was his responsibility and obligation to save him, even if it meant stripping him of his autonomy as a living being by pinning him to the ceiling with the Force. This echoes Luke’s father, Anakin, who likewise used the Force as a tool in trying to save Padme, believing he was doing the right thing when in reality he was only acting out his own selfish desires. Unlike Anakin, however, Luke did not follow the same path to ruin. He made a conscious decision not to use the Force as much as he had previously, and gradually his mind, his future, and the road he was meant to walk upon, became more clear. Rather than directing the Force for his own ends, he now let the Force advise and guide him on the right path instead.

That wasn’t the end of Luke’s psychological issues, though. The conversation between him and Jacen in The Unifying Force sheds more light on his mindset following his talk with Mara. As before, I’ll post the full passage and then proffer my analysis.

Everyone was scrambling for shelter. From his perch on the rim of the abyss, Luke could see hundreds of Ferroans massed at the mouths of the tunnels below, the combined light of dozens of glow sticks creating halos around each entrance. Through Magister Jabitha, Sekot had issued the alert that the planet was preparing to make a final jump to hyperspace. Luke could feel Zonama shuddering as the core hyperdrives heated up. He could sense the tension and uncertainty in the boras, the seed-partners, the myriad creatures the vast tampasi supported.

He looked into the night sky. For no reason he could fathom, each jump seemed to have brought him closer to a familiarity that had nothing to do with star systems or planets. Even in the most remote realms of the Unknown Regions, his connection with the Force had never faltered. But with the previous jump he had begun to hear the whispers of his fellow Jedi, and their urgency told him that it was critical that he, Mara, and the others return. If the imminent jump didn’t succeed, or if it should leave Zonama far from where Luke wanted the planet to emerge, then he would do as Mara had wished, and make use of Jade Shadow.

He felt Jacen approach from behind him, but didn’t turn from the view.

“Something has happened,” he said finally.

“I feel it, Uncle Luke,” Jacen said. “The Jedi, our friends …”

“It’s not only them. The danger is widespread.”

Jacen came alongside him. A gust of wind tugged at the cowl of his robe. “Another Ithor? Another Barab One?”

“Not yet,” Luke said. “But a new evil has been unleashed.”

“By the Yuuzhan Vong?”

“By the dark side.”

Jacen nodded. “Your real enemy.”

Luke turned to him. “You should be thinking about your own course, Jacen, not mine.”

Jacen exhaled with purpose. “I have no one but you to look to, to know which path I should take. Our courses are entangled.”

“Then I guess I’d better listen to what you’ve decided about me.”

Jacen took a moment to collect his thoughts. “From everything you’ve told me over the years about confronting your father and the Emperor, it has always seemed to me that neither of them was your real enemy. Each tried to entice you to join him. But they were never the source of your fear. You feared falling to the dark side.”

Luke grinned faintly. “Is that all?” he said finally.

Jacen shook his head. “On Coruscant, at the ruins of the Jedi Temple, Vergere said that the Jedi had a shameful secret, and that secret was that there is no dark side. The Force is one. And since there are no separate sides, the Force can’t take sides. Our notions of light and dark only reflect how little we know about the true nature of the Force. What we’ve chosen to call the dark side is simply the raw, unrestrained Force itself, which gives rise to life as easily as it brings death and destruction.”

Luke listened closely. Now I shall show you the true nature of the Force, the Emperor had told him at Endor.

On Mon Calamari, Vergere had tried to lead him down the same path, by implying that Yoda and Obi-Wan were to blame for not telling him the truth about the dark side. As a result of their neglect, when Luke had cut off his father’s hand in anger, he assumed he had had a close brush with the dark side. When he stood at the side of the cloned Emperor, he had truly felt the dark side. Ever since, he had come to equate anger with darkness itself, and he had passed that along to the Jedi he had tutored. But in fact, according to Vergere, Luke had been misguided by his own ego. She had maintained that, while darkness could remain in someone by invitation, it could just as easily be jettisoned by self-awareness. Once Luke accepted this, he would no longer have to fear being seduced by the dark side.

“You’re suggesting that I’ve held myself back by not wanting to incorporate this raw power into my awareness of the Force,” Luke said.

“Vergere received years of formal training in the Force,” Jacen said. “The things she told me must have been common knowledge among the Jedi of the Old Republic.”

“Vergere was corrupted by the years she spent living among the Yuuzhan Vong,” Luke said evenly.


“Maybe that’s too strong a term. Let’s say strongly influenced.”

“But she felt she hadn’t been influenced by them.”

“She can’t be blamed. Each of us stands at a kind of midpoint, from which we’re capable of seeing only so far in either direction. Our senses have been honed over countless millennia to allow us to navigate the intricacies of the physical world. But because of that, our senses blind us to the fact that we are much more than our bodies. We truly are beings of light, Jacen.

“The emphasis the Jedi have always placed on control operates the same way. Control blinds us to the more expansive nature of the Force. The Jedi of the Old Republic wanted only youngsters for this reason. Jedi needed to be raised in the light, and to come to see that light as unblemished, undivided. But you and I haven’t had the luxury of that indoctrination. Our lives are a constant test of our will to exorcise any darkness that creeps in.

“In that sense, your instincts about me are correct, and so were Vergere’s. The dark side has, in a sense, dominated my life. I’ve suspected for a long time that the fatigue I’ve sometimes experienced when drawing on the Force during combat owes to my fear of abusing the raw power you describe.

“It’s true that the Force is unified; it is one energy, one power. But here’s where I think you and Vergere are incorrect: the dark side is real, because evil actions are real. Sentience gave rise to the dark side. Does it exist in nature? No. Left to itself, nature maintains the balance. But we’ve changed that. We are a new order of consciousness that has an impact on all life. The Force now contains light and dark because of what thinking beings have brought to it. That’s why balance has become something that must be maintained—because our actions have the power to tip the scales.”

“As the Sith did,” Jacen said.

“As the Sith did. The Emperor was perhaps the most self-assured person I have ever encountered, but he deliberately chose evil over good. And in the right climate, one individual, suitably driven and skilled, can tip the universe into darkness. For darkness has followers, especially where discontent, isolation, or fear hold sway. In such a climate enemies can be fashioned, imagined out of thin air, and suddenly all good is lost, all perspective vanishes, and illness takes hold.”

Star Wars: The New Jedi Order - The Unifying Force

After his dialogue with Mara, Luke starts to use the Force more subtly, like ”a light tap,” as opposed to his earlier rash use of it like a hammer. However, while this resulted in heightened awareness of the eddies and currents of the Force’s flow, it diminished his ability to effectively tap into ”the raw, unrestrained Force itself,” because he came to equate it with the dark side. Upon realizing that following his experiences as the Reborn Emperor’s apprentice, the dark side had colored his every action, he becomes so fearful of ”abusing the raw power” of the Force in combat that he began to hold himself back ”by not wanting to incorporate this raw power into [his] awareness of the Force.” No, Luke’s power did not go away - he didn’t become weaker in the Force - as he muses that ”The power’s obviously there, available for a Jedi to use,” and that ”his connection with the Force had never faltered,” but his ability to draw on that power became crippled by his fear. Far from solving his problems, the conversation with Mara merely added another layer of dread on top of his already existing fear of misusing his power: the fear of power itself.

Yoda had embraced a similar worldview following his defeat at the hands of Darth Sidious, realizing he had been arrogant, myopic, and dogmatic. Like Luke, Yoda’s pride made him unable to sense the right path that might have allowed him to prevent the rise of the Sith, and led him to make decisions that proved catastrophic for himself and that which he cherished the most. Also like Luke, Yoda was scarred by his failure, and vowed to never use the Force offensively again so he might hear its will better, in contrast to how prior he had made liberal use of it in combat.

There came a turning point in the clash of the light against the dark.

It did not come from a flash of lightning or slash of energy blade, though there were these in plenty; it did not come from a flying kick or a surgically precise punch, though these were traded, too.

It came as the battle shifted from the holding office to the great Chancellor’s Podium; it came as the hydraulic lift beneath the Podium raised it on its tower of durasteel a hundred meters and more, so that it became a laserpoint of battle flaring at the focus of the vast emptiness of the Senate Arena; it came as the Force and the podium’s controls ripped delegation pods free of the curving walls and made of them hammers, battering rams, catapult stones crashing and crushing against each other in a rolling thunder-roar that echoed the Senate’s cheers for the galaxy’s new Emperor.

It came when the avatar of light resolved into the lineage of the Jedi; when the lineage of the Jedi refined into one single Jedi.

It came when Yoda found himself alone against the dark.

In that lightning-speared tornado of feet and fists and blades and bashing machines, his vision finally pierced the darkness that had clouded the Force.

Finally, he saw the truth.

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 …



have it.

He’d never had it. He had lost before he started.

He had lost before he was born.

The Sith had changed. The Sith had grown, had adapted, had invested a thousand years’ intensive study into every aspect of not only the Force but Jedi lore itself, in preparation for exactly this day. The Sith had remade themselves.

They had become new.

While the Jedi—

The Jedi had spent that same millennium training to re-fight the last war.

The new Sith could not be destroyed with a lightsaber; they could not be burned away by any torch of the Force. The brighter his light, the darker their shadow. How could one win a war against the dark, when war itself had become the dark’s own weapon?

He knew, at that instant, that this insight held the hope of the galaxy. But if he fell here, that hope would die with him.

Hmmm, Yoda thought. A problem this is …

Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith novelization

As he plunged over the edge, Yoda realized that Palpatine was right about one thing. He, Yoda, had indeed been arrogant. It is a flaw more and more common among Jedi, he had told Obi-Wan once. Too sure of themselves, they are. And he had fallen into the same trap himself.

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

The Convocation Center of the Galactic Senate was a drum-mounted dome more than a kilometer in diameter; even with the aid of the Force, Yoda was breathing hard by the time he reached its edge. He cut through the floor beneath him and dropped down into another accessway, this one used for maintenance on the huge lighting system that shone downward onto Republic Plaza through transparisteel panels that floored the underside of the huge dome’s rim. He cut into the lightwell; the reflected wattage nearly blinded him to the vertiginous drop below the transparisteel on which he stood.

Without hesitation he cut through that as well and dived headlong into the night.

Catching the nether edges of his long cloak to use as an improvised airfoil, he let the Force guide him in a soaring free fall away from the Convocation Center; he was too small to trigger its automated defense perimeter, but the open-cockpit speeder toward which he fell would get blasted from the sky if it deviated one meter inward from its curving course.

He released his robe so that it flapped upward, making a sort of drogue that righted him in the air so that he fell feetfirst into the speeder’s passenger seat beside Bail Organa.

While Yoda strapped himself in, the Senator from Alderaan pulled the rented speeder through a turn that would have impressed Anakin Skywalker, and shot away toward the nearest intersection of Coruscant’s congested skyways.

Yoda’s eyes squeezed closed.

“Master Yoda? Are you wounded?”

“Only my pride,” Yoda said, and meant it, though Bail could not possibly understand how deep that wound went, nor how it bled. “Only my pride.”

Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith novelization

No longer believing in redemption like he had attempted with Count Dooku, Yoda now became adamant in believing that ”Once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny, consume you it will!” No longer able to move around giant CIS droid carriers, he now became ”winded doing something as relatively simple as lifting an X-wing from the Dagobah swamp.” Based on Yoda’s case, it appears the hit Luke took to combative prowess was permanent. His fear of abusing his power in combat situations fatigues him, which would evidently put a cap on how much power he can muster, much like Yoda’s exhaustion capped him at moving an X-wing around. Now, Luke doesn’t necessarily always have to be as limited in combat as Yoda was in the Original Trilogy, but this does pretty much mean it is impossible to quantify how much of his full potency he is using in combat unless there is some way to infer it.

As to your point with regards to Luke acknowledging his loved ones may die, it hardly removes his fear. Consider Luke’s father, Anakin, again: Anakin is haunted by the fear of loss, the nihilistic dread of everything and everyone one day dying, and the fear he will not be good enough to save those he loves. This fear is embodied in his memories of a dead star and his mother’s death. When he is occupied, either by an assignment or by battle, he can push these memories and the fear out of his consciousness to focus on the mission at hand, but during the Battle of Coruscant, his fear for Palpatine’s safety overtakes his mind, clouds it. He is unable to focus on the fight itself and instead the bulk of his attention is devoted to the fear,

For Anakin Skywalker, starfighter battles were usually as close to fun as he ever came.

This one wasn’t.

Not because of the overwhelming odds, or the danger he was in; he didn’t care about odds, and he didn’t think of himself as being in any particular danger. A few wings of droid fighters didn’t much scare a man who’d been a Podracer since he was six, and had won the Boonta Cup at nine. Who was, in fact, the only human to ever finish a Podrace, let alone win one.

In those days he had used the Force without knowing it; he’d thought the Force was something inside him, just a feeling, an instinct, a string of lucky guesses that led him through maneuvers other pilots wouldn’t dare attempt. Now, though …


Now he could reach into the Force and feel the engagement throughout Coruscant space as though the whole battle were happening inside his head.

His vehicle became his body. The pulses of its engines were the beat of his own heart. Flying, he could forget about his slavery, about his mother, about Geonosis and Jabiim, Aargonar and Muunilinst and all the catastrophes of this brutal war. About everything that had been done to him. And everything he had done.

He could even put aside, for as long as the battle roared around him, the starfire of his love for the woman who waited for him on the world below. The woman whose breath was his only air, whose heartbeat was his only music, whose face was the only beauty his eyes would ever see.

He could put all this aside because he was a Jedi. Because it was time to do a Jedi’s work.

But today was different.

Today wasn’t about dodging lasers and blasting droids. Today was about the life of the man who might as well have been his father: a man who could die if the Jedi didn’t reach him in time.

Anakin had been late once before.

Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith novelization

This is Anakin Skywalker:

The most powerful Jedi of his generation. Perhaps of any generation. The fastest. The strongest. An unbeatable pilot. An unstoppable warrior. On the ground, in the air or sea or space, there is no one even close. He has not just power, not just skill, but dash: that rare, invaluable combination of boldness and grace.

He is the best there is at what he does. The best there has ever been. And he knows it.

HoloNet features call him the Hero With No Fear. And why not? What should he be afraid of?


Fear lives inside him anyway, chewing away the firewalls around his heart.

Anakin sometimes thinks of the dread that eats at his heart as a dragon. Children on Tatooine tell each other of the dragons that live inside the suns; smaller cousins of the sun-dragons are supposed to live inside the fusion furnaces that power everything from starships to Podracers.

But Anakin’s fear is another kind of dragon. A cold kind. A dead kind.

Not nearly dead enough.

Not long after he became Obi-Wan’s Padawan, all those years ago, a minor mission had brought them to a dead system: one so immeasurably old that its star had long ago turned to a frigid dwarf of hypercompacted trace metals, hovering a quantum fraction of a degree above absolute zero. Anakin couldn’t even remember what the mission might have been, but he’d never forgotten that dead star.

It had scared him.

“Stars can die—?”

“It is the way of the universe, which is another manner of saying that it is the will of the Force,” Obi-Wan had told him. “Everything dies. In time, even stars burn out. This is why Jedi form no attachments: all things pass. To hold on to something—or someone—beyond its time is to set your selfish desires against the Force. That is a path of misery, Anakin; the Jedi do not walk it.”

That is the kind of fear that lives inside Anakin Skywalker: the dragon of that dead star. It is an ancient, cold dead voice within his heart that whispers all things die …

In bright day he can’t hear it; battle, a mission, even a report before the Jedi Council, can make him forget it’s even there. But at night—

At night, the walls he has built sometimes start to frost over. Sometimes they start to crack.

At night, the dead-star dragon sometimes sneaks through the cracks and crawls up into his brain and chews at the inside of his skull. The dragon whispers of what Anakin has lost. And what he will lose.

The dragon reminds him, every night, of how he held his dying mother in his arms, of how she had spent her last strength to say I knew you would come for me, Anakin …

The dragon reminds him, every night, that someday he will lose Obi-Wan. He will lose Padmé. Or they will lose him.

All things die, Anakin Skywalker. Even stars burn out …

And the only answers he ever has for these dead cold whispers are his memories of Obi-Wan’s voice, or Yoda’s.

But sometimes he can’t quite remember them.

all things die …

He can barely even think about it.

But right now he doesn’t have a choice: the man he flies to rescue is a closer friend than he’d ever hoped to have. That’s what puts the edge in his voice when he tries to make a joke; that’s what flattens his mouth and tightens the burn-scar high on his right cheek.

The Supreme Chancellor has been family to Anakin: always there, always caring, always free with advice and unstinting aid. A sympathetic ear and a kindly, loving, unconditional acceptance of Anakin exactly as he is—the sort of acceptance Anakin could never get from another Jedi. Not even from Obi-Wan. He can tell Palpatine things he could never share with his Master.

He can tell Palpatine things he can’t even tell Padmé.

Now the Supreme Chancellor is in the worst kind of danger. And Anakin is on his way despite the dread boiling through his blood. That’s what makes him a real hero. Not the way the HoloNet labels him; not without fear, but stronger than fear.

He looks the dragon in the eye and doesn’t even slow down.

If anyone can save Palpatine, Anakin will. Because he’s already the best, and he’s still getting better. But locked away behind the walls of his heart, the dragon that is his fear coils and squirms and hisses.

Because his real fear, in a universe where even stars can die, is that being the best will never be quite good enough.

Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith novelization

Anakin froze.

The dark figure in the chair—it was Chancellor Palpatine, it was, and there were no droids to be seen, and his heart should have leapt within his chest, but—

Palpatine looked bad.

The Chancellor looked beyond old, looked ancient like Yoda was ancient: possessed of incomprehensible age. And exhausted, and in pain. And worse—

Anakin saw in the Chancellor’s face something he’d never dreamed he’d find there, and it squeezed breath from his lungs and wiped words from his brain.

Palpatine looked frightened.

Anakin didn’t know what to say. He couldn’t imagine what to say. All he could imagine was what Grievous and Dooku must have done to put fear on the face of this brave good man—

And that imagining ignited a sizzle in his blood that drew his face tight and clouded his heart and started again the low roll of thunder in his ears: thunder from Aargonar. From Jabiim.

Thunder from the Tusken camp.

Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith novelization

Another component of Anakin’s fear is the same one Luke shares: the fear of his own power. They both hold themselves back in combat because of their fear, but for different reasons: for Luke, it is simply the fear of falling to the dark side. For Anakin, however, it is what the dictums of the Jedi Order have inculcated into him: that anger is bad and if you feel it, you are a bad person. For a child deprived of his mother at the age of nine, the only source of acceptance Anakin had were his new parents, the Jedi, and so it is inevitable he would grow servile and try to live up to their standards: from one form of slavery to another.

Skywalker leapt from the balcony. Even as the boy hurtled downward, Dooku felt a new twist in the currents of the Force between them, and he finally understood.

He understood how Skywalker was getting stronger. Why he no longer spoke. How he had become a machine of battle. He understood why Sidious had been so interested in him for so long.

Skywalker was a natural.

There was a thermonuclear furnace where his heart should be, and it was burning through the firewalls of his Jedi training. He held the Force in the clench of a white-hot fist. He was half Sith already, and he didn’t even know it.

This boy had the gift of fury.

And even now, he was holding himself back; even now, as he landed at Dooku’s flank and rained blows upon the Sith Lord’s defenses, even as he drove Dooku backward step after step, Dooku could feel how Skywalker kept his fury banked behind walls of will: walls that were hardened by some uncontrollable dread.

Dread, Dooku surmised, of himself. Of what might happen if he should ever allow that furnace he used for a heart to go supercritical.

Dooku slipped aside from an overhand chop and sprang backward. “I sense great fear in you. You are consumed by it. Hero With No Fear, indeed. You’re a fraud, Skywalker. You are nothing but a posturing child.”

He pointed his lightsaber at the young Jedi like an accusing finger. “Aren’t you a little old to be afraid of the dark?”

Skywalker leapt for him again, and this time Dooku met the boy’s charge easily. They stood nearly toe-to-toe, blades flashing faster than the eye could see, but Skywalker had lost his edge: a simple taunt was all that had been required to shift the focus of his attention from winning the fight to controlling his own emotions. The angrier he got, the more afraid he became, and the fear fed his anger in turn; like the proverbial Corellian multipede, now that he had started thinking about what he was doing, he could no longer walk.

Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith novelization

Well, that’s not exactly true; Anakin did have Palpatine, whom he considered ”a closer friend than he’d ever hoped to have”; from whom he received “loving, unconditional acceptance of Anakin exactly as he is—the sort of acceptance Anakin could never get from another Jedi.” And so once Palpatine gives him permission to unseal his firewalls, to accept all the anger and fear into himself instead of being told to repress his emotions like the Jedi have always lectured him to do, that he discovers a way to harness those emotions into power, to let them feed his command of the Force instead of choking it down, to let them become part of the fight instead of festering in his head. He lowers the firewalls around his furnace heart, and for the first time in his life, stops holding back; for the first time in his life, unleashes his full, unmitigated potency on an enemy; and Dooku is annihilated.

Anakin started toward him. “Careful, Master, you’ll hurt his feelings—” He stopped in his tracks, a curious look on his face as if he was trying to frown and to smile at the same time.


He didn’t answer. He couldn’t answer. He was looking at an image inside his head. Not an image. A reality.

A memory of something that hadn’t happened yet.

He saw Count Dooku on his knees. He saw lightsabers crossed at the Count’s throat.

Clouds lifted from his heart: clouds of Jabiim, of Aargonar, of Kamino, of even the Tusken camp. For the first time in too many years he felt young: as young as he really was.

Young, and free, and full of light.

“Master …” His voice seemed to be coming from someone else. Someone who hadn’t seen what he’d seen. Hadn’t done what he’d done. “Master, right here—right now—you and I …”


He blinked. “I think we’re about to win the war.”

Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith novelization

Skywalker leapt for him again, and this time Dooku met the boy’s charge easily. They stood nearly toe-to-toe, blades flashing faster than the eye could see, but Skywalker had lost his edge: a simple taunt was all that had been required to shift the focus of his attention from winning the fight to controlling his own emotions. The angrier he got, the more afraid he became, and the fear fed his anger in turn; like the proverbial Corellian multipede, now that he had started thinking about what he was doing, he could no longer walk.

Dooku allowed himself to relax; he felt that spirit of playfulness coming over him again as he and Skywalker spun ’round each other in their lethal dance. Whatever fun was to be had, he should enjoy while he could.

Then Sidious, for some reason, decided to intervene.

“Don’t fear what you’re feeling, Anakin, use it!” he barked in Palpatine’s voice. “Call upon your fury. Focus it, and he cannot stand against you. Rage is your weapon. Strike now! Strike! Kill him!”

Dooku thought blankly, Kill me?

He and Skywalker paused for one single, final instant, blades locked together, staring at each other past a sizzling cross of scarlet against blue, and in that instant Dooku found himself wondering in bewildered astonishment if Sidious had suddenly lost his mind. Didn’t he understand the advice he’d just given?

Whose side was he on, anyway?

And through the cross of their blades he saw in Skywalker’s eyes the promise of hell, and he felt a sickening presentiment that he already knew the answer to that question.

Treachery is the way of the Sith.

Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith novelization

This is the death of Count Dooku:

A starburst of clarity blossoms within Anakin Skywalker’s mind, when he says to himself Oh. I get it, now and discovers that the fear within his heart can be a weapon, too.

It is that simple, and that complex.

And it is final.

Dooku is dead already. The rest is mere detail.

The play is still on; the comedy of lightsabers flashes and snaps and hisses. Dooku & Skywalker, a one-time-only command performance, for an audience of one. Jedi and Sith and Sith and Jedi, spinning, whirling, crashing together, slashing and chopping, parrying, binding, slipping and whipping and ripping the air around them with snarls of power.

And all for nothing, because a nuclear flame has consumed Anakin Skywalker’s Jedi restraint, and fear becomes fury without effort, and fury is a blade that makes his lightsaber into a toy.

The play goes on, but the suspense is over. It has become mere pantomime, as intricate and as meaningless as the space-time curves that guide galactic clusters through a measureless cosmos.

Dooku’s decades of combat experience are irrelevant. His mastery of swordplay is useless. His vast wealth, his political influence, impeccable breeding, immaculate manners, exquisite taste—all the pursuits and points of pride to which he has devoted so much of his time and attention over the long, long years of his life—are now chains hung upon his spirit, bending his neck before the ax.

Even his knowledge of the Force has become a joke.

It is this knowledge that shows him his death, makes him handle it, turn it this way and that in his mind, examine it in detail like a black gemstone so cold it burns. Dooku’s elegant farce has degenerated into bathetic melodrama, and not one shed tear will mark the passing of its hero.

But for Anakin, in the fight there is only terror, and rage.

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 to 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.

His head has been filled with the smoke from his smothered heart for far too long; it has been the thunder that darkens his mind. On Aargonar, on Jabiim, in the Tusken camp on Tatooine, that smoke had clouded his mind, had blinded him and left him flailing in the dark, a mindless machine of slaughter; but here, now, within this ship, this microscopic cell of life in the infinite sterile desert of space, his firewalls have opened so that the terror and the rage are out there, in the fight instead of in his head, and Anakin’s mind is clear as a crystal bell.

In that pristine clarity, there is only one thing he must do.


So he does.

He decides to win.

He decides that Dooku should lose the same hand he took. Decision is reality, here: his blade moves simultaneously with his will and blue fire vaporizes black Corellian nanosilk and disintegrates flesh and shears bone, and away falls a Sith Lord’s lightsaber hand, trailing smoke that tastes of charred meat and burned hair. The hand falls with a bar of scarlet blaze still extending from its spastic death grip, and Anakin’s heart sings for the fall of that red blade.

He reaches out and the Force catches it for him.

And then Anakin takes Dooku’s other hand as well.

Dooku crumples to his knees, face blank, mouth slack, and his weapon whirs through the air to the victor’s hand, and Anakin finds his vision of the future happening before his eyes: two blades at Count Dooku’s throat.

Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith
Master Azronger
Master Azronger

★ Top Fifteen Tournament #2 - Palpatine - Page 5 Empty Re: ★ Top Fifteen Tournament #2 - Palpatine

August 25th 2019, 4:30 pm
The difference between Anakin and Luke being, of course, that Luke would never draw on the dark side like that. While Anakin’s true fear ”is that being the best will never be quite good enough,” Luke’s is simply ”falling to the dark side.” Sure, you can say he knows his wife is in mortal danger when facing Nyax, but that doesn’t eliminate his restraint; it only reinforces it. He’s not going to go ham on Nyax like he did when Darth Vader threatened his sister in Return of the Jedi; that brush with darkness ”continued to haunt him for years afterwards,” and ever since his experiences in Dark Empire, “he had come to equate anger with darkness itself.” And after Vision of the Future, Luke doesn’t know how to draw on the Force fully without thinking he’s going to fall to the dark side. On top of all that, even decades after his talk with Jacen, when he is much more experienced and wise, Luke’s fear for the safety of his loved ones still clouds his judgement and fills him with doubt about himself. HK-47 explained that ”When a Jedi, or a soldier, suffers doubt, it weakens them. With the Jedi, however, it is more pronounced, since they are extreme examples,” and added that making a Force user ”doubt himself, his beliefs, or his intentions,” “disrupt connections to the Force, and death soon follows.”

It had been three days since the frigate Redstar had dropped Luke and Jaina at the entrance to the Maw, and that meant it had been three days since Luke had first been handed the crumpled flimsy he now held in his hands. On the flimsy was the text of a short S-thread message from Corran Horn, which the Redstar’s communications officer had retrieved as soon as the frigate emerged from hyperspace outside the Maw.
The message was only three short lines, but it had done more to incapacitate Luke than any of the wounds he had suffered fighting Abeloth. He had trusted Vestara—had even been the one to persuade the other Masters she would be a valuable asset inside the Temple during the battle against the Sith.

He could not have been more wrong.

His mistake had cost Bazel Warv his life and—assuming he was correctly interpreting Corran’s conspicuous use of the word “target”—nearly gotten Allana killed. Now, after three days of meditation, he continued to find himself mired in doubt, wondering what else he might be wrong about, and reluctant to trust his own judgment.

And he was running out of time.

The Rude Awakening, a sleek little pinnace infiltrator manufactured for the space marines’ elite Void Jumper units, was already approaching the choke point where Sinkhole Station had once hung suspended in a binary black-hole system. Luke could see the accretion whorls of the two black holes with his naked eye, a pair of fire-rimmed disks centered in the forward viewport, and he could feel Ben ahead, on Abeloth’s hidden planet, reaching out to him in the Force, urging him to hurry.

And still Luke didn’t know what to do, whether he was following the will of the Force by following Ben—or defying it.

The Histories of Thuruht had convinced him and the rest of the Jedi Council that the galaxy went through a regular cycle of destruction and renewal, and that Abeloth—as mad and deadly as she was—played a crucial role in that cycle. But the cycle had been disrupted by the death of the Ones, and without the Son and the Daughter, there was no one capable of ending Abeloth’s chaos and supervising Thuruht’s construction of a new prison. Unless the Jedi could stop her themselves—and that seemed to Luke a very big if indeed—she would go on sowing disorder and chaos until civilization itself vanished from the galaxy.

“A little advice from the junior Master on the Council?” Jaina asked from the other side of the cockpit. Even smaller than her mother, she looked almost child-like sitting in a pilot’s seat designed for a two-meter Void Jumper in full combat armor. “Not that I want to rush your planning or anything, but a mind divided against itself cannot win.”

Luke cocked a brow. “You interrupted my meditations to quote a training aphorism that the Banthas learn in their second week?”

“Yes,” Jaina said. “That, and we’re about to get jumped.”

“You’ve sensed Ship?”

“Not yet,” Jaina replied. “But we’re entering a choke point, and it’s where I would mount an ambush.”

Luke nodded. “And Abeloth is trying to draw us in,” he said. “Ben has been reaching out to me, trying to let me know their situation is desperate.”

Jaina shoved the throttles to their overload stops. “And you didn’t tell the pilot?”

“You’re not the only one expecting an ambush.”

Luke started to tell her to pull the throttles back. Then he decided Jaina was as aware of Ship as he was and that it was better to let her fly her own vessel, and then he almost decided to tell her to slow down anyway, so they could develop a plan. That was the trouble with being so emotionally involved in a mission. It made you indecisive, clouded your thinking. He wanted nothing more than to rush to Ben’s side and rescue him. It was killing him not to do it—but he knew just how foolish that course of action would be. Abeloth was baiting him, trying to make him race in unprepared, because that was the surest way to a kill.

Then, too, there was the other thing—the thing that had been consuming Luke’s thoughts since departing Coruscant. “And, I’m still trying to decide whether we’re doing the right thing.”

Jaina’s astonishment quivered through the Force, and she took her eyes off the fiery whorls ahead long enough to look over in open shock. “You mean by going after the Sith Abeloth?”

“Sort of,” Luke said. “I mean by going after Ben and Vestara.”

“It’s all part of the same problem.” Jaina’s reply came a little too quickly. She was arguing for what she wanted to believe, not for what she knew to be true. “To recover Ben and capture Vestara, we have to take out Abeloth. Take out Abeloth, and we recover Ben and capture Vestara.”

“That’s one way of looking at it,” Luke said. “But I went back and checked the Archives for anything on the Mortis monolith.”


“I found confirmation in a report from Obi-Wan,” Luke said. “It was just as Yoda told me. Obi-Wan seemed to think that he and Anakin had been drawn to Mortis because the Father was dying and wanted Anakin Skywalker to take his place as the Keeper of the Balance.”

Jaina’s jaw dropped. “Chosen One indeed,” she said. “What happened?”

“Obviously Anakin didn’t accept,” Luke said. “The Son ended up murdering the Daughter with a special Force-imbued dagger, and the Father tricked the Son by sacrificing himself with the same dagger—so that Anakin could kill the Son.”

Jaina nodded. “I see what you’re thinking. It was your father’s refusal that resulted in the death of the Ones. So maybe it’s your son’s destiny to become the new Keeper of the Balance?”

“Close,” Luke said. “I’m wondering if it’s Ben’s destiny to take the Daughter’s place and become the embodiment of the light side.”

“And Vestara’s to become the embodiment of the dark side?”

“After the way she played us, you have to admit she fits that role,” Luke said. “And since the two of them are in love …”

“You think it has the will of the Force written all over it,” Jaina said. “The two lovers, opposites bound together.”

“Something like that,” Luke admitted. “And you know it’s not just the Archives. I have other reasons for thinking this might be the will of the Force—all the Masters do.”

Jaina sighed. “The dream,” she said. “Ben and Vestara fighting for the Balance in the courtyard of the Font of Power.”

“That would be the reason,” Luke said. “If I had been the only one to see that, maybe it could be dismissed as a dream. But when all of the Masters have the same dream …”

“Okay, that’s hard to ignore,” Jaina agreed. “But the will of the Force? It’s pretty arrogant to claim the Force is telling you what it wants. That’s the kind of thinking that led Jacen to … to do what he did.”

As Jaina spoke, the fire-rimmed orbs of the two black holes ahead began to swell and rapidly drift apart. The two Masters were approaching the point of no return, and Luke still didn’t know whether going after Ben was the right thing. Perhaps Luke was being just as selfish as his own father had been when he refused to become the Keeper of the Balance. Perhaps all that had followed—his own birth and Leia’s, then Ben’s birth and Mara’s death and Ben’s short journey into darkness—had been destiny. Maybe it was simply a way for a new trio to restore Balance to the Force.

Luke shook his head. “Jaina, I want to agree with you, to say that we have to do the obvious thing and rescue Ben. But—”

“But that’s the trouble,” Jaina finished. “You want to agree, and that’s why you can’t be certain it’s the right choice.”

“There is no emotion, there is peace,” Luke agreed. “But I’m filled with emotion. I’m terrified for Ben, and it’s clouding my judgment.”

“Of course it is,” Jaina said. “You’re Ben’s father—and that’s part of the Force, too.”

Luke frowned. “I’m not sure how that fact helps.”

“I’m saying that you can’t ignore who you are in this,” she said. “If the hand of the Force is at play in Ben’s fate, then it’s at play in yours, too. You can’t hold yourself above the will of the Force, or you make the same mistake Jacen did.”

“So I should just do what I want to?” Luke shook his head. “Sorry, life is never—”

“No—I’m saying you should do what you know is right,” Jaina corrected. “And you do know what is right. It’s simple—it’s always simple.”

“So, act on principle,” Luke said, boiling her argument down to three words. “Don’t worry about the results.”

“Mortals can’t always know the results,” Jaina replied. “Not for certain. We can only act according to our true natures, and leave the rest to the Force.”

“And we just ignore the visions the Force sends us?”

“Of course not,” Jaina said. “But we don’t take them literally, either. The Force doesn’t send comm messages, right?”

Luke half smiled. “I suppose not,” he said. “When dreams speak, they do it in symbols.”

“Exactly,” Jaina said. “So, who’s Ben? The ideal Jedi, right?”

“And Vestara is pure Sith,” Luke agreed. “It’s the Jedi and the Sith who must take the place of the Son and the Daughter … and deal with Abeloth.”

“That’s my guess,” Jaina said. “The only thing I don’t see is, if the Father is dead, who keeps the Balance?”

Luke thought for a moment, then said, “Us, I think—the Jedi and the Sith. Thuruht said the galaxy enters a new age whenever Abeloth is freed—and the dream means that in this age, it’s the Jedi and Sith—each following our own natures—who will keep the Balance.”

“So, Jedi and Sith, at war forever?” Jaina asked.

“Not forever,” Luke said. “Just until the next time Abeloth is freed.”

Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi - Apocalypse

All this is at play in his fight with Nyax: his fear of losing Mara weakens him in itself, and he can’t turn that fear into anger because he is afraid that will lead to the dark side, which weakens him further. And in general he’s unable to draw fully on the Force for combat even if it’s not done in anger because he’s frightened of misusing his power. That’s three compounding sources of dread that would be encumbering Luke when fighting Nyax.

So, that was my dissertation on why I believe Luke was holding back against Nyax. I may have gotten sidetracked with Anakin a bit, but I hope this was adequate nonetheless.

And no, I don’t think the dovin basal feat changes any of this, since we can’t quantify its mass and therefore don’t know how much power Luke was exerting. Yes, ”He opened himself to the Force more fully than he had in years” there, but that doesn’t mean he was drawing on his absolute full potency. Not to mention him using the Force to this extent here doesn’t mean he would - or could - do the same against Nyax due to his fears.

However, that's not good enough.

Nyax was explicitly more powerful than Luke drawing off the same nexus. What this means is that Luke was definitely not afraid of using his power, or extra power for that matter and Nyax was still portrayed above him.

Here he is overpowering Luke in a flying boulder fight, tanking a force blast, and the narration makes note of Nyax being more powerful than any being has ever felt, and Luke is directly weaker in case we didn't get the memo.

While these feats may not transfer 1 to 1 in their base forms, the message is pretty clear; Nyax is above 27 ABY Luke not afraid to heavily call on the Force. There's no way to paint Luke as of this time as above Nyax max power or not. This would naturally extend to speed and other areas. So while I can't prove Luke was going all out in the first encounter, I can show that it wouldn't have mattered anyway, along with reasons why he should have been trying.

Not really relevant. Since this is while amped by a Force nexus, Nyax’s accolade is worthless. Similarly, Luke being elevated to a higher level than normal because of external Force energies surging through him doesn’t eliminate his restraint. He even notes in the books he is tired even after having drawn on the nexus, and such fatigue is brought about by his fear of drawing too much on his power. Plus, his fear for Mara and Tahiri is still present.

There was something in Tahiri’s eyes that sent a chill down Luke’s spine. “He could fight the Jedi just by feeling us in the Force,” she said. “He couldn’t feel the Yuuzhan Vong, so he had to watch. Well, I’m both.” She rose and turned away from Luke and Mara, then took the long leap to the next flying boulder back in line. She raced its length, then leaped again to the third boulder down.

“What do you say we take her at her word?” Mara said.

“I’m too tired to argue.”

Star Wars: The New Jedi Order - Enemy Lines II - Rebel Stand

I created this power chart to illustrate my point:

★ Top Fifteen Tournament #2 - Palpatine - Page 5 Power_11

Here is Nom Anor keeping track of Oneness Ganner - through smoke and piles of bodies - who was killing thousands of random Vong in around 10 minutes. 3 plus Vong a second or something like that. I'll add that these random Vong did hit him... a lot, which means they also kept track of him to a degree.

Unless Vong are preternaturally fast, killing three of them per second is by no means beyond human perception.

And some random speed feats. The thing with the Vong is they never really had trouble keeping track of the Jedi, so a lot of their speed feats are just beating or tagging Jedi. I'll get two actual feats that you might like out of the way first:

Denua Ku's Master who he's most certainly seen fight:

Non-Force-users have tagged and gone toe-to-toe with Jedi. What does Swilja Fenn have to make tagging her a feat worth caring about?

Shok Choka moving almost faster than Anakin Solo's vision could process:

What does Anakin Solo have to make this a feat worth caring about? Darth Malgus’ movements were almost beyond a human’s perception, and I don’t see evidence of Anakin's - despite being a Jedi - being that much keener than a non-Force-user. Trainee Bane outright moved faster than prospective Sith Masters could perceive.

Anakin losing to a fodder Vong while using the choreography of the Force:

Same question: what does Anakin have?

Early 25ABY!Luke getting tagged by a fodder Vong when he was drawing heavily on the Force - this is the fight where the "NJO exhaustion" all starts. Pretty much every novel has Luke outdo this performance, which could show growth, but important to note nonetheless.

Jobbing Luke. Irrelevant.

Oneness Anakin getting tagged by fodder and having to defend himself from them:

How much speed was Anakin using here? Was his performance rate note to be any higher than usual? Either these were some ultra Vong, or Anakin couldn’t properly control his power and channel it into speed, because I find it very suspect a full potential Skywalker would get tagged by “fodder” if he were in control of his power. After all, an unarmed Darth Maul, without drawing on the Force, was able to kick a Vong warrior’s ass:


The first punch came at Maul sideways, spinning his upper body around with the sheer force of the impact and driving him back a half step before he fully recovered his equilibrium. Somewhere under his feet, the alloy plates of the cell's floor seemed to shiver and quake, threatening to give way.

He spat out a tooth and wiped away the blood.

The creature in front of him was a walking trophy case of previous kills. Two and a half meters high, its massive shoulders and upper torso encased in jagged plates of primitive armor that clearly had once served as the jawbone and carapace of a much larger predator, it seemed to occupy an entire corner of the prison cell.

Maul stared at the thing. The gray slope of its face was a surgeon's nightmare of ritualistic scars, organic rings, loops, and fibrous hooks, with bluish sacks pulsating beneath its eyes, all of it siphoning down and inward toward a gaping, razor-toothed mouth. Even its arms seemed to have been plucked from two different organisms. The right hand was a blunt-knuckled fist, the left an elongated spider-fingered claw. Together they formed a mallet and blade, one made for pounding, the other for slashing. It was the right that had come careening out of nowhere just seconds before, slamming Maul backward and knocking out one of his teeth.

The thing reached down and picked up Maul's incisor from the floor of the cell. Straightening up, it shoved the tooth into an empty space in its own mouth, twisting it until it lodged in place. Then it grinned at Maul as if asking how he liked the sight of one of his teeth in its mouth - another trophy for its collection.

Maul gazed back at it.

And then the rage came.

And the rage was good.

The uniform they'd given him was a standard orange jumpsuit whose heavy fabric cut off movement in most directions. Maul heard its seams ripping as he sprang at his opponent, closing the half-meter gap between them in less than a second. The thing responded exactly as he'd hoped, lunging up eagerly to meet his advance. Its mismatched arms pinwheeled wildly before it, swinging and clawing through the stale gray air of the cell, its voice screeching at him in a guttural, choking language he'd never heard before.

Let those be your dying words, Maul thought. Right here. Today.

Close enough now that he could smell the corpse-stink pouring off it like rotten meat, he fell into a reflexive series of moves. Both hands shot out and grabbed the creature by its throat, hoisting it up over his head and squeezing until he felt the deep tendons of its neck beginning to give and weaken in his grip. There was a wet, muffled click from somewhere inside the thing's chest and a sudden glut of warm, thick, sticky fluid began spurting up from its throat.


Jet black.

The sight of it gave Maul no satisfaction, only the vaguely annoying realization that it never should have taken him this long to turn the battle to his advantage. Still, ending his opponent's life quickly would restore a certain necessary balance to the encounter - if not honor, at least vindication. He tightened his grip, and the screaming sound got louder, becoming a broken, birdlike squawk. More blood leapt up, inky black and viscous, and started pouring from its mouth and eye sockets.


Executing a perfectly balanced spin, Maul swung the creature around and slammed it to the floor with a sharp clang, connecting hard enough that he felt the steel plates reverberate under his feet. The thing's head drooped on its broken neck, lolling sideways to expose the throbbing vessels beneath its gray flesh.

Only now did Maul allow himself to exhale. As anticipated, he hadn't needed his lightsaber staff or the Force to dispatch this waste of flesh - not that either was really an option. Staring down into the thing's face, he raised his foot and planted his heel in the exposed throat, ready to pulverize the trachea, or whatever the thing used for an airway, with one decisive stomp. For an instant he met its sagging, inarticulate eyes.

Now, he instructed the thing, which seemed to be realizing that it was destined to finish out the final pathetic seconds of its life here in nameless obscurity. Die.

All at once, with blinding speed, the creature yanked loose and burst upright, reaching behind its back to produce what appeared to be a long bow staff. As the staff blurred toward him, Maul realized that the weapon, which he'd first taken to be a piece of wood or some kind of biomechanical hybrid, was actually a living organism - a serpent whose head lashed out at lightning velocity, latching onto his face, slashing at his eyes.

Maul recoiled, but it was too late. With a jolt, his vision was gone, burying him in instant darkness. This was the second time in as many seconds that the thing had caught him off guard, and now he knew why: the creature was somehow cut off from the Force, utterly detached from the deep field of heightened sensitivity from which he was constantly drawing information about his surroundings. The intuitive sensory abilities that he took for granted in any normal battle were simply not there.

An acidic heaviness took hold of his optic nerves like a slow drip, seeping in, sinking deep, and he realized that he could already feel the poison taking control, spreading out in concentric layers of numbness through the muscle and tissue of his face.

Now the thing's shrieking laughter was everywhere. Willful. Triumphant.

You must end this now.

Maul straightened. The voice in his head was his own, an austere evocation of his own training. But the cadence was unmistakably his Master's - an echo of pitiless instruction, hours, days, years of unyielding pain and discipline. Sidious was never far from him. The evocation of the Sith Lord's presence here snapped him back instantly into the moment with total clarity.

Reaching up through blindness, Maul took hold of the serpent, grappling with its fully extended length. Somewhere in the void he could feel the rippling leathery sinew of the staff looping around his neck, felt the hundreds of small muscles twisting and constricting over his windpipe, pinching off his airway like a living noose. The next few seconds would be crucial.

He flexed, bent his head, and jerked it forward, but the thing would not release. It kept encircling him, looping round and round, defying every attempt to take hold of it.

Maul willed himself to be absolutely still, a study in perfect rigidity, allowing the serpent, in its moment of fatal overconfidence, to draw tighter still, stretching itself until he sensed its head coming back around in front of him once more. Still he waited. Above it all he could smell his opponent's fetid stench, could feel the claws of his opponent raking his skin, twisting into his face, gouging for purchase. It shrieked at him, and this time the cry was pure victory, what might even have been laughter. Starved, insane. A warrior with nothing to lose.

You are no warrior, Maul thought. You know nothing of the dark side.

The moment had come. He grasped the head of the serpent-staff, seizing its blunt nose and fanged mouth. His fingers took hold of its distended upper part, twisting, wrenching, until he tore the serpent's head off its body with a moist and meaty pop.

The results were instantaneous. With a twitching galvanic shudder, the snake loosened and fell slack, the coils already beginning to slide from his neck, and Maul allowed himself a single, unobstructed breath before finishing his work here.

Somewhere in front of him, the attacker had already responded to the death of his weapon with a howl of cheated rage. Maul no longer heard it. Primal as it was, it was still only emotion, a cry of weakness no more instructive or relevant than the pain he'd willed away moments earlier. He had no more use for it now than he ever did.

He did, however, take advantage of his opponent's scream just long enough to reach into its open mouth, feeling the moist warmth of its breath on his hand as he retrieved his tooth, plucking it from the thing's gums. Holding the mouth agape, Maul crammed the serpent's severed head inside, then clamped the gray lips tight to keep the snake's head from falling out. He ripped three of the larger piercings from the thing's right arm and jammed them upward through the lips, bending them back into barbed hooks and fastening the mouth shut with the serpent's head still trapped inside. With his hands flattened against those lips, Maul could feel the head twitching around inside the mouth, sinking its fangs in reflexively, squirting out venom while his attacker jerked and spasmed and tried in vain to scream.

End it.

Still sightless, now holding his opponent at arm's length, Maul inclined his own head down. He thrust forward, driving his horns into the thing's sagging eyes, feeling them crushed to jelly against his scalp.

The spasms stopped, and Maul stepped back, releasing the body, allowing it to collapse at his feet.

Star Wars: Maul - Lockdown

Last night's former champion had been a particularly monstrous species that the prison's most sophisticated recognition algorithm hadn't been able to identify. Two meters tall and crosshatched with ritualistic scars, brandishing some kind of living staff and little else, the inmate had arrived here on Cog Hive Seven six standard months earlier with a shipment of other convicts, two of whom it had already dispatched in transit. Since that time the thing had defied all attempts at classification. It had screeched and chattered a language none of them recognized, and systematically slaughtered everything pitted against it. Some of the guards thought it was female.

Star Wars: Maul - Lockdown

"I think we can bypass the investment propaganda. I want to know about that new inmate from last night's bout. And I want to know exactly how many credits you won when he tore his opponent apart."

"Me personally?"

"Don't play coy with me," Chlorus snapped. "You'll discover that I have neither the time nor the temperament for it."

"Oh dear. And I liked to think that I'd already discovered everything there was to know about you." Lowering her head, Sadiki flashed him her best innocent look. "I take it that your constituents weren't satisfied with the outcome of the match?"

"To say the least," Chlorus said. "And this morning you've got odds-makers and casinos from every Core planet yanking their hair out over this business. Frankly, I don't blame them. Your reigning champion, whatever that thing was, was favored by an outlandishly large advantage. He'd won six straight fights in a row. But that Zabrak beat him handily."

Star Wars: Maul - Lockdown

"Aren't we all?" Coyle asked pleasantly enough, brushing the last of the crumbs from his whiskers. "Quite a brawl last night, wasn't it? Offed that ugly tosser in less than five standard minutes, didn't you? Brother needs some wicked fierce skills to fight like that, doesn't he, then? And we asks ourselves, who trains the wrecker to do his wrecking?"

Star Wars: Maul - Lockdown

When Dakarai's frown didn't change, Vesto Slipher leaned in, glancing at one of the monitor screens on the far right of the console, where a Zabrak inmate with an array of horns on his head was moving away from the crowd in the gallery, cutting down one of the concourses into the shadows.

"If I'm not mistaken," the Muun said, "that's your new champion, is it not?"

"He did win last night, yes."

"Quite spectacularly, if I recall." Slipher turned to Sadiki. "Where is he going?"

Star Wars: Maul - Lockdown

More quotes confirming Maul wasn’t using the Force:

If at any point you reveal your true identity as a Sith Lord, Sidious had told him, the entire mission will be worthless, do you understand? You must not ever use the Force, no matter what the circumstances, or all will be lost. Do you grasp the magnitude of responsibility with which you are being trusted?

Star Wars: Maul - Lockdown

"I observe that regardless of the circumstances," Sidious continued, "throughout these bouts with other inmates, you have taken great care not to reveal your true powers as a Sith." Was there a twinge of sarcasm in his voice? "That much is quite abundantly evident."

"You are referring to the most recent bout." Maul hesitated. "The wampa-"

"Proved to be something of a challenge, yes, so I saw." Sidious intoned. "Perhaps you found yourself wishing that you might be permitted to draw unreservedly on the power of the Dark Side? Or to be allowed the use of your saber staff?"

Star Wars: Maul - Lockdown

Yes. When Sidious reflected back on the years of training that Maul had endured, proving himself repeatedly against the worst that the galaxy had to offer, he felt an unmistakable pride in his apprentice's strength and fortitude. By definition, Cog Hive Seven was an environment that no one survived, yet Maul had already established himself as a dominant presence without relying on the Force. Despite what he'd said to Maul, Sidious felt an increasing respect for what his apprentice continued to achieve. In the fullness of time, such abilities would continue to serve him better than he could possibly imagine.

Star Wars: Maul - Lockdown

“Master, if I were only allowed to call upon the power of the dark side—”

The thought snapped off, unfinished. Maul felt an invisible hand clamp down over his throat, gripping the cartilage and cutting off the airway. Stumbling, he dropped back to his knees, to the coldness of the morgue floor.

“You have been given everything you need and more. You enjoy untold physical advantages that these inferior combatants could only dream of. And you know very well the consequences of revealing your true abilities in the dark side, especially at this late stage. Many are watching. You are not the only one inside Cog Hive Seven searching for Radique.”

Star Wars: Maul - Lockdown

His Master’s response to the news of Iram Radique’s identity had not been what he’d hoped. Sidious had listened impatiently while Maul told him about the Weequay, and how he’d narrowly escaped being pulled to pieces without betraying his abilities as a Force user.

Star Wars: Maul - Lockdown

But Plagueis had already waved aside the explanation, and then, as quickly as it had appeared, the casual tone was gone. Gazing back at the holoscreen where they had watched the contest, his mood darkened. “He is a prideful one, the Zabrak, is he not? As excellent as he is in combat, it must be incredibly difficult for him to show restraint in not using the Force.”

Star Wars: Maul - Lockdown

I presented this in my previous post, but just as a reminder, Sidious moved faster than a more powerful Maul who was fully tapping into the Force could track, tracing the outline of his body with such swiftness and precision that had Maul made even the slightest twitch of a muscle, he would have lost his life. Juxtapose this with how Maul handled that Vong without even tapping into the Force, and you’ll see why I’m not sold on Nyax’s hype.

The lightsaber whirls in the air, twirling, held in my Master's hand. I can't track it, it moves so fast. But I know it's heading for me. Lord Sidious moves faster than my eye can follow. I smell heat and smoke. The laser traces the outline of my body, my face, my hands. The buzz is loud in my ear. One flinch, one involuntary twitch of a muscle, and I am dead.

Star Wars: Episode I Journal - Darth Maul

But of course, I hardly need to prove the Yuuzhan Vong’s limitations when we have Viqi Shesh, Kell Tainer, and Garik Loran - all entirely ordinary non-Force users - being capable of observing Nyax’s movements in combat in detail.

Viqi watched the huge pale man slaughter Yuuzhan Vong warriors.

The first two warriors stopped a dozen steps from the thing and hurled thudbugs. The pale man twitched and the lightsaber blades from one forearm and one knee rose, incinerating the living weapons.

Two more warriors raced up and, under cover of more thrown thudbugs, charged, whipping their amphistaffs around, one lashing out with the tail and the other with fangs.

The pale man stepped in close to the second warrior. The first warrior’s fang attack missed by a meter. The pale man’s left forearm blade lashed out at the second warrior, who blocked the attack by catching the blade in an amphistaff coil. Then the pale man’s left elbow blade raked across the warrior’s throat, separating it from his body. Meanwhile, the pale man’s right-arm, right-elbow, right-knee blades rose, darted, swayed, and wherever they went, incandescences flared—sign of thudbugs being vaporized.

The pale man flipped the dead warrior’s amphistaff toward the first warrior. The warrior contemptuously swept it out of the way, overcorrected as his own staff came back to block a lightsaber thrust—and could not block the other lightsaber blade as it simultaneously thrust into his helmet’s eye socket. He fell, smoke pouring from the mask as he died.

More warriors arrived—two still threw thudbugs, four more skidded to a stop beside them and waited for a bare second to calculate their strategy.

A piece of ceiling steel whirled down like a spinning sawblade from above. It flashed across the warriors’ position at knee height, and just for a fraction of a second Viqi thought that it had missed. Then those six warriors collapsed, legs severed at the knees, blood gouting from the stumps and limbs.

Seconds had passed. Eight Yuuzhan Vong warriors and their voxyn were dead. Seventeen more remained.

Star Wars: The New Jedi Order - Enemy Lines II, Rebel Stand

Kell finished binding Viqi’s hands behind her back and looked up in time to see Lord Nyax lunge toward Luke.

Luke raised his lightsaber, caught the downward sweep of Lord Nyax’s right-hand forearm weapon. He spun clockwise, narrowing his profile as the left-hand forearm blade thrust toward him, and kept his guard up in time to intercept the right-hand elbow blade. Mara leapt forward, unleashing two fast blows that the thing’s left-elbow blade caught, then folded over nearly double as she leaped back from a strike from its left knee.

The Yuuzhan Vong warriors unloaded handfuls of thudbugs and razorbugs, heedless of which of the targets they might hit, but the two Jedi and Lord Nyax flicked the weapons out of the air or dodged them entirely.

Two Jedi? Three. Suddenly Tahiri was in their midst, coming up on Luke’s left, blocking a follow-up blow from the elbow blade on that side.

“Bad,” Kell said.

Face nodded. “Bad bad.” He pulled his blaster rifle from the wrappings on his back. “But who to shoot first?”

“We’re no good here.” Kell gestured toward the stairwell. “Let’s see what they’re doing down below. If it’s important, I can blow it up.”

“That’s our Kell.”

Kell set Viqi on her feet, then hauled her up over his shoulder. Following Face, he descended the stairwell.

Star Wars: The New Jedi Order - Enemy Lines II, Rebel Stand

Now I’m not sure whether Nyax can even beat Malgus. You may not like his speed wank that I brought up, but he’s probably faster than Nyax while pre-prime, and vastly more skilled as well. I don’t think Nyax has any business being on a top 15 Force-users list, and possibly not even in a top 150 list.
Level Three
Level Three

★ Top Fifteen Tournament #2 - Palpatine - Page 5 Empty Re: ★ Top Fifteen Tournament #2 - Palpatine

August 25th 2019, 4:52 pm
@Azronger excellent post! Just a small question, do you think Luke was “holding back” even against Abeloth? Because in her case she is stated to be more powerful than him in terms of raw power and Luke even states he can only prevent her from crushing him.
Master Azronger
Master Azronger

★ Top Fifteen Tournament #2 - Palpatine - Page 5 Empty Re: ★ Top Fifteen Tournament #2 - Palpatine

August 25th 2019, 4:57 pm
Well, that goes against the actual sources. The Source aligns that it happened after the Battle of Endor:

Backed up here:

Regarding the first source, I don’t see any contradiction since we don’t know how long it took for Droga to kill the crew of the ship, so the Rebels could very well have wrapped everything up and began the celebrations by the time it was done. Or alternatively, you could reconcile it by saying doesn’t have to include literally every single rebel. If you recall, the Empire’s ground forces surrendered immediately after the Death Star blew up and the rebels on the ground began celebrating right after.

Regarding the one from The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, it’s just plain inconsistent. The very same source has a completely different account of events, stating that ”Palpatine was forced to survive in the maddening, bodiless existence of the void. Through sheer will he retained his identity, crossing the gulf of space to again take up residence in his clone body,” whereas according to the excerpt you provided, the Emperor’s spirit was extracted from Droga’s body straight into a clone. So not only is TCSWE full of inaccuracies with regards to other sources like KotOR 2, but apparently it can’t even maintain consistency within itself. Seriously, fuck that source.

★ Top Fifteen Tournament #2 - Palpatine - Page 5 Sheer_10

As to which account I treat as more accurate, that would be mine, since the tidbit about him traversing space has been regurgitated across more sources, including the Dark Empire Sourcebook itself. It’s just more congruent with the rest of the lore than yours.

★ Top Fifteen Tournament #2 - Palpatine - Page 5 Over_a10
★ Top Fifteen Tournament #2 - Palpatine - Page 5 Over_a11

★ Top Fifteen Tournament #2 - Palpatine - Page 5 Visual10

The Droga incident did still happen though. The Official Starships & Vehicles Collection merged the two versions of the events, stating that he initially possessed Droga but also travelled through space as a discorporate entity rather than being immediately transferred from Droga into a nearby clone vessel, again favoring my account.

★ Top Fifteen Tournament #2 - Palpatine - Page 5 Droga_11
★ Top Fifteen Tournament #2 - Palpatine - Page 5 Droga_12

So all in all, here’s the timeline of events based on the most consistently repeated information: Sidious dies, Sidious possesses Droga’s body who goes insane and butchers his crew, Sidious’ essence is extracted by Sate Pestage, Sidious travels across space for a year as a spirit until finally taking possession of one of his clones. With the reconciliation of the Rebellion’s celebration taking place only after Droga had slaughtered his crew and crashed the shuttle, it’s still possible to say Palpatine rent space ”Even as he perished,” “the moment [he] ‘died.’” So yes, the Force storm is instantaneous.

And Sheev tells the Spirits that they guided him back to life when he was destroyed by Vader. He said the spirits guided him back WHEN he was destroyed by Vader. Not their knowledge, but he implies they were there to help him.

I thought this myth was killed a long time ago but to my great dismay, I see it is still being perpetuated.

The spirits “guiding him back to life” doesn’t mean they resurrected him - that goes against virtually every source on the matter, which say that Sidious pulled himself from Chaos through his own willpower and traversed space for a year as a spirit before he finally entered a clone body. And regardless, on its own, the wording leaves it ambiguous enough to allow for another interpretation. The quote I posted explains that ”Palpatine used the dark side knowledge the Sith Lords had granted him years earlier to rend space and itself and transmigrate his essence across lightyears to Droga’s body.” In Empire’s End, the Emperor muses that it has been ten years since he last visited Korriban, so that would be around the Battle of Yavin, which is also when he requested the Sith spirits for the knowledge. It’s not hard to make the connection that the spirits whom Sidious stated ”guided [him] back to life” are the same ones that taught him how to transmigrate his essence. So in that sense, yes, they guided him back to life but it doesn’t mean they directly resurrected him or were physically anywhere near Endor when he died.

★ Top Fifteen Tournament #2 - Palpatine - Page 5 Empire10

★ Top Fifteen Tournament #2 - Palpatine - Page 5 Droga_10

Secondly, your theory presents some problems, notably why did he not just use a Force Storm before he died if it was instantaneous? Would you have me believe he was in a mad rage, DIED and instantly regained his composure and said oh well, might as well use a Force Storm to teleport my SPIRIT? That's not believable in the least. The Dude was literally zapping himself to death mere seconds earlier.

You might as well ask why didn’t the Emperor levitate up from the chasm or onto one of the walkways when he displayed the ability to do so in The Force Unleashed. Canon went with the explanation that he was blinded by his hatred for Vader and was too focused on killing him to save himself, so if you want to believe something similar, feel free. In Legends, Palpatine didn’t care if he died on Endor because he knew his spirit was immortal and he had clone bodies in reserve, so it’s possible that since he couldn’t convert or kill Luke, Vader had betrayed him, and his body was close to death anyway, he chose to let his mortal vessel be destroyed in the reactor core and then transport his spirit to a new one.

★ Top Fifteen Tournament #2 - Palpatine - Page 5 De_end10

Whatever the explanation, it doesn’t really matter. Star Wars - and fiction in general - is full of moments that defy logic and reason, which is why the term “plot-induced stupidity” exists. Palpatine tearing open space and teleporting his spirit at the moment of his death is a fact, and trying to dismiss that fact because of PIS is disingenuous in my opinion.

Why was there no Force Storm on Droga's end?

In the quote you posted, Palpatine states that ”Anger concentrated by Will in the vital center of the body creates a portal through which vast energies are released,” and that he has used this portal to slay his enemies from across the galaxy through this portal. In an earlier version of the Book of Anger, he described the portal as a ”vital gate” through which the anger stored in the body is released, allowing for unparalleled destruction.

★ Top Fifteen Tournament #2 - Palpatine - Page 5 Vital_10
★ Top Fifteen Tournament #2 - Palpatine - Page 5 Vital_12

If Sheev can create a portal within his own body through which he can unleash his powers anywhere in the galaxy, then couldn’t he feasibly do so in reverse - forming a portal inside another person and funnelling his spirit directly into them? Just a theory, but it would certainly explain why there seemingly was no visible portal on Droga’s end.

"As he perished" also doesn't need to be a one stage process. It could simply be him just avoiding it mid-dissolution.

The quote says ”as he perished,” not “as he was perishing,” and clarifies that Droga fell into madness ”The moment the Emperor ‘died,’” which was the result of the infusion of Palpatine’s energies. The Emperor didn’t suffer a spirit death, so it’s clear the quote means he rent space and transferred his essence at the moment of his physical death. Not to mention that he can resist the pull of the void for over a year in a discorporate state, so he evidently wasn’t close to dying as a spirit.

Why and how did he summon a Force Storm inside a reactor without Vader/Luke noticing?

Why does an essence need to use a Force Storm to travel? Are you telling me the Sith Spirits all use a Force Storm to travel planet to planet? That the Sith Spirits taught him how to master the Force Storm?

Your source doesn't make mention of an actual Hyperspace Wormhole. Only that it afforded him the ability to rend space TO transport his essence. These don't have to be separate ideas. You're talking about a guy who ultimately died from having every Jedi spirit immediately Force Storm to his location and drags his Essence down into Chaos. There are workarounds that don't have to be tied to Force Storm that still involve technically "rending space" to get his Essence across space and time.  All he has to do is bypass the limitations of space for this to be true.
Example: Every Sith and Jedi Spirit. No Kun though. I'd bring up how Valk travels differently in a similar state, but I don't want to get too in-depth with him.

If you don’t want to think it was Force storm, that’s fine. But it was still an ability used to tear open space and teleport things across lightyears instantaneously in any case, so its combative utility against Malgus isn’t lessened. And no, it wasn’t like “Dark Spiritual Travel,” which seems to be a standard attribute inherent to all Sith spirits. The ability the Emperor used on Endor was something that he had to learn, and was ”dark side knowledge the Sith Lords had granted him years earlier,” not something he could instinctively do due to his newfound status as a spirit.

★ Top Fifteen Tournament #2 - Palpatine - Page 5 Dark_s10

This also serves as an addendum to Sith spirits point. Their sphere of influence is limited to their tombs on Korriban, and they most likely haven’t been to the precise spatial coordinates where the Emperor died, so they can’t teleport there assist him directly. And if they could, why don’t they do the same to themselves and get out of Korriban? Again, the most sensible and consistent interpretation with the rest of the lore is that they simply taught him the ability to rend space and transport his essence.

Well no, let's look at dictionary definitions here:

I don't want to keep clicking every link and post them in order. "Take Form" on its own implies the very start or very near to the start. The fact that they're watching it "Take Form" after half a minute casts doubt on its speedy nature as well.
They watch it "Take form" "AS a great storm rends the fabric of space." All of these things imply they watch the beginning stages of the wormhole opening, or very near to it.

Though I am curious as to how much it grows as they watch? Once they get to the window, they only make note of how he created another one and it's descending on the base. Which aligns well with them watching it in its infancy, but not necessarily for it growing larger until he loses control.

We don't hear the big thunder until the storm gets revealed in full if we're going by sound. The rumblings persisting after creation isn't surprising if we go by my theory. You'd assume the sound that happened when it was being created by the guy right beside them would continue to be audible somewhere in there. A bunch of power coalescing until it reaches its climax. For example, the clouds around the wormhole forming until the wormhole opens. The way I see the formation is that he whips the "clouds" into a frenzy until they create the wormhole if that makes sense. Basically clouds first and then wormhole and that's the complete Force Storm to me. So that would explain the rumblings, the will and inclination, and the timeframe to me. While he might be able to trigger the process instantaneously, it takes a little bit of time for it to erupt in full.

I’ll admit the interpretation of Luke and Leia watching the storm spring into existence is certainly the most common definition of “take form,” but not the only one. It’s possible to interpret the line as Luke and Leia watching the storm develop rather than manifest from the beginning (“When something takes form, it develops or begins to be visible,”; “to begin to exist or develop,”, which is more likely if we look at the paneling of the comic:

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A western comic is meant to be read from left to right and from top to bottom: that’s the order in which the events happen and the narration is meant to reflect that. On that basis, I’d argue the interpretation of them watching it manifest in the first place contradicts what the comic is showing; the text box saying ”Luke and Leia watch the Emperor’s rage take form” is on top of the already-starship-consuming storm which extends to the very top of the page and way beyond it. Ergo, per comic paneling logic, the text box comes much later than when the storm first began to appear, which happened off-page.

The fact that Leia says ”He’s creating another Force storm” after that panel also indicates the creation process is still continuing even after it has already consumed several ships, which is reflected in the visuals of the comic as well. If you compare how the Alliance ships look next to the storm and the Eclipse on the first and second pages, the Eclipse is probably bigger than the storm. If we calculate the diameter of the storm based on the width of the ships it eats on the first page, it’s probably not greater than 2 kilometers, which is a far cry from the size required to devour the Eclipse as it does on the third page.

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The Comics Companion takes it even further. ”Unleashing the full power of his hatred, he conjures a Force storm that threatens to consume all of space” - the full power of the Emperor’s hatred can devour the universe, which it obviously did not come close to doing in the comic, meaning the storm was never even close to being fully formed. Even if you don’t take that description literally, the quote still carries the implication of the storm growing larger over time, which is also what the endnotes quote I posted earlier states: ”dark energies that swell and burst open the fabric of space.” Ergo, Luke and Leia watching ”the Emperor’s rage take form” can mean they were watching it develop rather than seeing it appear from the beginning.

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I don’t also don’t get your theory about the start of the Force storm. The ability is used by opening a hyperspace wormhole first, after which the energy storm emerges from it, and that storm then rends space even further, forming another wormhole in the middle of the storm. If the Emperor’s rage is taking form ”as a great storm of raw energy rends the fabric of space itself,” then “take form” in this case cannot mean Luke and Leia saw it appear from the beginning, since the initial rend in space isn’t created by the storm but by the user - Palpatine - but rather that they were watching it develop and grow. Further vindication for my interpretation over yours.

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And finally, let’s get back to the sounds. There are two of them, the first of which appears at 2:26:22, right as the Emperor begins speaking, and continues until 2:27:12, well after Luke and Leia comment on the storm. The other appears at 2:26:47, when the storm is revealed to Luke and Leia, and continues to repeat at random intervals until 2:27:12. The fact that the first one continues after the storm has been revealed proves it cannot signify the initial creation process of the storm, so it probably signifies the storm is already present and rending space. The second sound isn’t constant, meaning it cannot signify the storm either as the storm didn’t vanish and reappear randomly; rather, it most likely signifies the ships being destroyed. I really don’t get your theory. I think mine is simpler and makes more sense given what the source material tells us.

Because Sheev not even having the idea from him getting his hand cut off through Luke's speech is doubtful. Do you mean to tell that during Luke's entire speech he didn't even think of it until he himself started talking? He had 8 seconds through Luke's speech. He had even more time from when he got his hand cut off. For your take to be true, he was essentially wasting all that time and the idea popped into his head after a void of nothing once he decided to start talking. In the time it took him to say "Look" he already thought about and created the storm? How is this more likely than him taking a few seconds to summon it?

I don't assume Sheev is that dumb is all. The gap is a perfect opportunity to recenter himself and summon a storm. Hence 8 seconds being a minimum in this case.

However, you do make a good point with efficiency. I don't deny it allows for a potentially easy kill. I just also think a good old fashion speedblitz is pretty easy as well, which I'm sure you'd agree with.

If you don’t deny its combat effectiveness or that it’s an instant kill, then that’s good enough for me.

Interesting point. However, due to the nature of the Force Storm, I'm not sure I'd agree it can be used in that capacity. It's essentially a wormhole, which would mean that it creates a bubble around the area in which space is warped. It expands around you. It opening on top of his head would simply shunt him to the other side of the wormhole in theory. It has only affected the space around him while his body is still attached. For your theory to hold true, Sheev would have to cut off the wormhole while Malgus is halfway through, thus closing the "door" on him. This would be hard to time due to the intense nature and speed of the pull.

What Dr Strange is doing is a thin little doorway between two planes. What Sheev is doing is creating a sort of "Cosmic Vacuum" that anything it sucks in has to travel through a long tube to get to its destination. Think of it like a guillotine for Strange. You can walk through the doorway instantly to get through the other side all you want, but once that blade comes down, one piece of your body is on one side, while the other is on the other side. Anything in-between will be severed. You are in two places at once if you are in the middle.
With Sheev, if you are in the event horizon, you are still in the process of traveling through the area no matter how quick the trip might be. You are not in two different locations at once unless space is really being whacky. The danger comes from it literally sucking you apart. So with it opening on Malgus' head, for example, the danger would be the forces enacted on him would theoretically suck his head off his shoulders and tear him to shreds. Which you know, would work too, but it's not the same as what you presented.

The Force Storm is so deadly to ships and planets because the more mass you have, the more you're going to resist the cosmic suck. But the pull is so great that it literally tears you to shreds, and it pulls harder on anything closer to the hole so it's not pulling on things evenly. You should be in less danger if you just go into the storm, than if you resist... hypothetically anyway. With humans, we have confirmation that it can rip them to shreds regardless, but this doesn't account for Force Users simply shielding from the effects. Now, I'm not saying Malgus is a Luke Skywalker, but he did resist getting torn to shreds from the same wormhole that was heavily damaging the planet and machines, so it's interesting what the limits there would be. There are ways around that like dumping into a sun or deep space...

A smaller wormhole than what Malgus can fit through should mimic the same effects as the pull against a ship on paper. It'd be similar to those videos of the crabs getting sucked through a tiny hole in the deep sea and the pressure ripping them apart. Meh, sorry, going off on a different thought here.

Fair enough on the nature of the Force storm in relation to the Doctor Strange portals.

But no, Luke and R2 didn’t resist the effects of the storm. The storm is stated to indiscriminately tear apart ”everything in the vicinity, human and machine” and the following line is literally ”Nothing can match such dark power.” It’s simply that Sheev can control what he destroys and what he spares. Admiral Ackbar and Mon Mothma note that ships from both sides of the war have been vanishing into the Deep Core - obviously Palpatine teleporting the ships with his storms.

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Mon Mothma later states that ”The energy storm that took Commander Skywalker--this is not an isolated event--we’ve just received word of a great war fleet emerging from the very core of the galaxy!” She’s clearly insinuating here that the fleet came from a storm similar to the one that hijacked Luke. So Palpatine can transport an entire fleet with a single storm, undamaged.

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Yet the ships in the final battle were being shredded hundreds of meters from the mouth of the storm. That Luke and R2 survived was because Palpatine wanted it so. There’s no proof they - much less Malgus - can resist its effects.

I wasn't stating which is more likely for him to use, rather I was asking which do you think would be faster if two Sheevs lined up and were asked to use the attacks. The fact that you supplied so much wank for lightning does nothing but make me question the speed of the Force Storm even more. Like I mean, there's no way Force Storm is that fast, right? The further you separate the speed of the Force Storm from lightning makes it all the more questionable of just how fast we can assume it is. If it's not as quick as lightning, then its merits as "instantaneous" are thrown into disarray. We then have to look at what is the more likely reconciliation of such quotes, and I believe I've shared a couple over my post - he can "trigger" it very easy and without deep meditation, and it happens fairly fast, etc, but the actual storm takes a little bit of time. Not too much mind you, but comparable to a charged attack. Fast for a ritual, slow for a saber duel imo.

Me demonstrating the speed of Sheev’s lightning in no way diminishes the speed of the storm, or whatever technique you want to believe Sheev used when he teleported his spirit on Endor. That was instantaneous and therefore can be used against Malgus. The trigger of a Force storm is also instantaneous even if you believe the storm emerges a few seconds later; the initial hyperspace wormhole will still be formed at the speed of thought in a location of Sheev’s choosing, and it should function similarly to the hyperspace wormhole that later appears in the middle of the storm: tearing apart people at close proximity.

Touching on lightning a bit; if Sheev can reasonably one-shot kill Malgus with lightning, then that would be ideal. The issue here is that if Malgus were combat-ready, he might conceivably block some of it, and he's proven resilient if nothing else to blasts and heavy degrees of damage. I'm not sure what the quickest time Sheev has straight-up killed an adequate force user, but I'm very hesitant to say he can reliably ash Malgus off the hop. I have the same reserves with Valk using that Arcann one-shot to say he can ash Malgus as well. A Saber is a guaranteed kill, but lightning? I guess he could just continue zapping Malgus so hmm.
More than anything I am curious about this now.

You didn’t refute my analysis of the speed of Sheev’s lightning, so I don’t see why I should believe Malgus can even come close to blocking it.

But no, Sidious hasn’t ever turned another Force user to ash with his lightning, but that obviously doesn’t mean he is incapable of it. This is where inference and power scaling come into play.

First, we must establish a cap for Malgus. I believe this is shown in the False Emperor fight, where the Barsen’thor states his command of the Force is greater than Malgus’s. The Hero of Tython is arguably above the Barsen’thor if the comments of the other characters in the game are to be believed; at the very worst, he should be relative, also placing him in Malgus’ range. The fact Malgus was prepared while the strike team had to fight through ”a seemingly endless army of droids” before the fight, yet proved victorious without even a single casualty despite half of the team consisting of non-Force users, supports the Barsen’thor’s commentary. Malgus can’t be that far above the Act III protagonists, if he is at all. Jedi Under Siege only tells us he is ”as powerful as ever” with the only improvements he has undergone being cybernetic upgrades.

“Malgus spent more time plotting his deceptions than he did studying the Force. Thankfully, my studies weren’t as weak.”

Star Wars: The Old Republic

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So how powerful are the Act III protags? Less powerful than the Dread Masters, considering they bring both the Barsen’thor and the Hero to their knees with telekinesis - note how one of them states his “air grows thin,” indicating the attack was a telekinetic choke rather than telepathy as some members have argued, or at the very least it was a combination of both.

The Dread Masters in turn require the aid of the Phobis devices to drive fleet crews insane with fear, and even then they must pool their powers together in unified and deep meditation. I’ve covered all this here. The power they can bring to bear in a combat situation is far less than that, yet still strong enough to subdue Malgus.

Comparing this to Palpatine is of course utterly unfair. He has influenced enormously larger quantities of beings telepathically with no effort or external aid. His status as the most powerful Sith Lord in history also of course places him above the Dread Masters as early as the Prequel Trilogy where he is far weaker than in Dark Empire. By this route PT Sidious is also stronger than the Sith Emperor whose powers make those of the Dread Masters look ”insignificant” by comparison. I could also use Lord Kaan’s feats of affecting thousands of Sith at once with his powers of mind manipulation to create a vast chasm between him and the Dread Masters, and then another between Kaan and Palpatine through Banite scaling. There’s just so much evidence in Palpatine’s favor that it’s really absurd for me to consider the possibility he doesn’t one-shot Malgus. If the Dread Masters can already dominate him and force him on his knees with telekinesis, someone like Palpatine should easily be able to snap his neck with a thought, or kill him equally quickly in numerous other ways such as lightning or by rending space.

Don't want to get into the semantics of the Battle Meditation debate, but I will touch upon the possibility that he defeated Sheev through superior skill. This skill would only be expanded upon during the 17 years of training and experience he attains as a Jedi. Which would mean that Nyax not only dealt with his speed in that case but potentially vastly increased skills from the necessary skills to defeat Sheev in a duel? Not only was Nyax faster, but Luke's increased skills couldn't overcome him either. Not sure this exactly hinders Nyax to any degree tbh.

Because speed is crucial here while skill is irrelevant if they can both blitz Malgus. If Luke defeated Sheev through greater skill rather than speed then the meliority in speed Nyax allegedly enjoys over Sheev is lessened.

Anyway, I have maybe one more post in me on this subject, and then I'll let the people Xolthol and Cilghal decide. Very interesting discussion... for me anyway, not sure about you. The workings of these things without visual movement to guide us yields different interpretations.

It has been fun for me too. I haven’t defended Sheev this extensively on the forums in well over a year, so this has been a great exercise to return to form. Good discussion.

Sorry that this came late, btw.

Last edited by Azronger on August 26th 2019, 4:02 pm; edited 2 times in total
Master Azronger
Master Azronger

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August 25th 2019, 4:59 pm
@MasterCilghal Here is the third part of my post.

Regarding Abeloth, I haven't read Fate of the Jedi fully, but from what I've seen, Luke was drawing on the Force so much in one fight that his cells were bursting and he was glowing gold, so I doubt he was holding back there. I'm not sure on any of the other fights. After The Unifying Force, he should have far fewer compunctions about using his the full extent of his powers.
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August 25th 2019, 5:17 pm
Azronger wrote:Malgus can’t be that far above the Act III protagonists, if he is at all.

Not sure if you already know this but his FE self isn't considering that the flashpoint has a solo option and has special dialogue for each class when you run it solo. Dunno about his Jedi Under Seige self since the only thing we know about him is that he is >= his former self. Excellent post(s) btw.
Level Three
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August 25th 2019, 5:22 pm
Azronger wrote:@MasterCilghal Here is the third part of my post.

Regarding Abeloth, I haven't read Fate of the Jedi fully, but from what I've seen, Luke was drawing on the Force so much in one fight that his cells were bursting and he was glowing gold, so I doubt he was holding back there. I'm not sure on any of the other fights. After The Unifying Force, he should have far fewer compunctions about using his the full extent of his powers.
Thanks. I agree. It would make sense given that Abeloth is literally a dark side entity.
Extremely good post btw, i’ve rarely seen something like this. Your knowledge on the lore is incredible, that’s why I consider you one of the best debaters on the forum.
Master Azronger
Master Azronger

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August 25th 2019, 6:06 pm
MasterCilghal wrote:
Azronger wrote:@MasterCilghal Here is the third part of my post.

Regarding Abeloth, I haven't read Fate of the Jedi fully, but from what I've seen, Luke was drawing on the Force so much in one fight that his cells were bursting and he was glowing gold, so I doubt he was holding back there. I'm not sure on any of the other fights. After The Unifying Force, he should have far fewer compunctions about using his the full extent of his powers.
Thanks. I agree. It would make sense given that Abeloth is literally a dark side entity.
Extremely good post btw, i’ve rarely seen something like this. Your knowledge on the lore is incredible, that’s why I consider you one of the best debaters on the forum.

Thanks. Were you serious when you said you wanted to leave this place though?
Level Three
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August 26th 2019, 2:22 am
@Azronger no, I wasn’t. It’s just that when someone lowballs my favourite characters I get angry and say things I shouldn’t.
Master Azronger
Master Azronger

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August 26th 2019, 5:01 am
Yeah, I can relate.
Level Four
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August 26th 2019, 8:10 am
Obviously, Jacen Solo is weaker than aayla Secura...
NevesYtneves (DC77)
NevesYtneves (DC77)
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August 26th 2019, 2:36 pm
Az shedding limitations, must have drank a lot of diluting juice.

@Azronger Great post mate.
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September 3rd 2019, 2:50 pm
Hey so are we gonna move on to the next round?
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