"Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II - The Sith Lords" was the 2004 sequel to the 2003 award-winning RPG "Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic". Surprised?
Settle down, children, for a tale of grief, of love, and of madness. The Sith Lords might just be the only genuine tragedy the Star Wars franchise ever produced, and it does not disappoint. But be forewarned, dear readers, for lo, its story shall make ye tear out your eyes with laboratory tweezers dipped in hydrochloric acid and stab into your heart the object nearest to your reach (sharp or otherwise) and weep and weep until the end of time without relief. Just, y'know, so you're prepared.
For many years ago, there was a land of tawny fields and babbling streams, of tall trees and wild songbirds, of green hills and white mountains, of rippling grass pastures and shaded forests.
It looked like this.
And, yea, in this land was born a child on a cold December day to the Entertainment family, while the snow settled on the hills around and the wind howled invocations amidst the towering oaks of the forest. She was born like a queen, with the umbilical cord wrapped about her shoulders and her eyes open and staring. And her father rejoiced, and took the baby girl from the nurse and showed her to her mother and asked her what they should name their new daughter. She stared deep into her babe's jet-black eyes, and whispered one word before she passed on from this mortal coil: "Obsidian." And her father wept, and swore to his deceased wife, her cherished body now limp, that she would be named Obsidian and he would always look after her and she would bear her mother's face and she would never, ever come to harm.
And lo! Obsidian Entertainment grew into a strong and healthy child, and beloved throughout their village. Her eyes paled to a lustrous silver and her hair to a downy, alabaster white, just as her mother's had been. She played and frollicked amidst the emerald meadows with the other children of the village, and all that marked these halcyon days was azure skies and carefree laughter and puffed cotton clouds and resplendently colored orchids.
She looked like this. Minus a few years.
And as the years went by, she grew into a tall and beautiful maiden with sunset-red lips and ivory hair and nice tittiez LOL!!!11!1!! She was graceful as raindrops dancing upon a lake on an early April morn, as beauteous as a breeze rippling a golden ocean of barley, as virtuous as the Virgin Mary herself, mother of Christ our savior. How fair she was, and how kind and pleasant! Ah, she was coveted by all men, and when it came time for her to marry, she had many suitors. Old men, young men, handsome men, rich men, powerful men, men who promised her their hearts, men who promised her their lands, and men who promised her the world, all wanted to hit that shit. And yet, though all would have been suitable matches for any other maid, not so for Obsidian, and each one was turned away. So it continued for five years.
And then one day, a traveler dressed in modest garb came to the village, a man named Lucas. He, like the others, had come to woo Obsidian, but, unlike the others, he had brought no gifts, no gold, no servants, no boasts of land or power. He went to her house without pretense or disguise and asked to see her, and when she came to him, she was taken aback by the intensity of his stare, by the confidence of his stance, by the smooth, deep murmur of his voice, like distant thunder. Nevertheless, she kept calm, and merely asked him, "prithee, why should I marry ye, stranger?" He smiled, and then suddenly leapt back, and cried out in his booming voice:
"Behold, ye bitchezz, for I am George Lucas, prince of the Holy Wood of Holly Trees!!! My cash-money stacks are unparalleled in size and my lands unrivaled in acreage!!! I carry with me two Glocks made of finest sterling silver with which I have murdered many an unscrupulous ho, and the length and breadth of my mighty phallus doth exceed any man's!!!"
At this, all bitches within a six-mile radius were driven to their knees in awe, and yea, some died immediately of cardiac arrest, particularly after mention of his magnaminous phallus.
It looked like this.
"Obsidian Entertainment," said Lucas, gesturing towards her, a mighty lump rising from betwixt his trouser legs. "May I take thy hand in game production marriage?"
And Obsidian Entertainment stepped forward, and said but this: "Yes, George Lucas. Yes."
A rare picture of George Lucas and his detachable penis.
And so were they bound in wedlock. And that very afternoon, thet made sweet, sweet monkey love in the Holy Wood of Holly Trees. And soon afterwards, Obsidian's belly began to grow big with baby, and she knew that she would soon bear a child of her own. And so, she told her husband, it would be named Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II - The Sith Lords, a name almost as long as the equipment with which the child was conceived. And soon, Obsidian sensed, her child began to grow a coherent plotline and developed characters, something unheard of in the Holy Wood of the Holly Trees. And then, she determined, its plot grew darker and more complex than any Star Wars game previously heard of, and within her belly, she sensed it was beginning to shift away from the black-and-white Star Wars universe and explore myriad ethical and moral issues. And then, lo! the characters became more deeply thought out than any George Lucas could possibly have crapped out.
All this, she told her husband in joy, proud to know that this child, this shared creation, would be the greatest of all since the time Jesus of Nazareth, shepherd of our flock, did walk the Earth.
He looked like this.
And then, Lucas did speak, and finally did show his true colors. "Hey, Obsidian," said he, in an annoying, high-pitched voice, while his penis immediately shrunk to the size of a thimble. "I want this game finished in time for holiday shopping season, so butcher the plot, characters, and settings."
Curse you, Lucas!
And with this, he let out a mighty, corporate mewl, and tore from her belly the unborn game, so that it had not yet fully grown, and the latter half of its plot made no sense. And crimson blood did spatter forth from her womb, and Obsidian let out a cry of anguish, like the shrieks of iron tearing or the screams of tortured martyrs. And the premature, deformed, mutilated game came forth unto the world... to above average ratings and a general "meh, not as good as the first" from the critical world.
And the world did weep and shudder.
And yea, an epic lightsaber battle did follow.
Rather than "entertaining" droid sidekicks haplessly bumbling about for comic relief; large, furry, benevolent, yet fairly unimportant partners; the "Force" used as some sort of way around every single type of logic conceivable to man; and a bipolar morality system, The Sith Lords concentrated on making a good story. This meant that all droid sidekicks were transformed into equally hilarious while horrifyingly bloodthirsty killers; all large, furry partners were made mentally unstable butchers; the "Force" and its users were portrayed respectively as an almost narcotic, unpleasantly manipulative element and ignorant, pompous bastards; and the morality system was made much more questionable and ambiguous. Particularly interesting were the investigations into pacifism, government, ethics, and authority, and the fact that they basically told George Lucas right to his rich, smug face that he'd fucked up in making Star Wars so simplistic in its messages and undertones. And, by adding more realistic elements to the game, the Star Wars universe in turn became a grittier, darker one with more metaphorical value for reality. Unfortunately, the graces of this game are exactly why LucasArts decided to ruin it by releasing it early: it would've been so different and changed so much that it would, at the very least, present an odd contrast to their other games and movies.
Don't get me wrong, Star Wars is an entertaining, revolutionary and quite thorough franchise that managed to kickstart an entire genre of film singlehandedly. Its importance and value must not be underestimated. But, really, Lucas Entertainment ruined this game. It's just a shame.
Obviously, the creators of South Park agree with me.
Furthermore, you might wonder why I might waste my time glorifying KotOR 2: its gameplay was mediocre at best, its graphics sloppy, and its ending abominable. Well, firstly, you underestimate just how nerdy I am and how much I enjoy riding this game's dick. Secondly, I need not elaborate on my disgust with LucasArts' interference in the production and general corporate avarice. Thirdly, ditto for my admiration of the first half of the game. But fourthly, this game represented to me how quickly, how stupidly, how impersonally, how greedily, how ignorantly a collection of idiots could choose a quick cash-in over art and a story. Okay, maybe I should find a better example. Maybe Roger Ebert would laugh at me for calling this "art" (read the Brockway article). But when I picked up this game in a local Blockbuster (that's right, this was a LONG time ago), way back in seventh grade or some other ridiculously droll period in the torturous era known as adolescence, I was so amazed by the intricate details and care placed into the game's plot and characters and so astounded by the shitty conclusion that I was literally trembling with rage upon reaching it. This was artistic rape. This was an act so pointless, so brutal, so senselessly destructive that I could not confront it. So I leapt off a skyscraper that afternoon, and my ghost came back to write this article in vengeance (hey, proofreading takes a while).
Why would somebody ruin art, the most perfect, the most beautiful, the most cherished of mankind's creations? Why?
It's like... like...
Imagine somebody cutting the extremities off of a magnum opus sculpture, a statue of infinite artistic beauty and value, rendering it into a paraplegic with one idiotic blow:
Imagine somebody scribbled graffiti onto a masterful, priceless sixteenth-century Renaissance oil painting by one of the greatest human minds ever to exist, making it...
Imagine that one of the greatest written texts of all-time, a work so well-written and so famous and so treasured that it were considered arguably the greatest drama of all time, were lost and the only poor copy anybody had was a poor man's version somebody jotted down from memory.
*sniff* Imagine *whimper*- imagine the fucking Jonas Brothers covered the Beatles!
YOU KNOW WHAT?!?! AFTER THIS, I'M COMMITTING SUICIDE ALL FUCKING OVER AGAIN!!!
IMAGINE CHUCK NORRIS WERE CASTRATED!!!!!!!!
Not even this cruel world could ever permit such a horrible transgression to be seen by sentient eyes.