Warning: Some spoilers for the Jedi Knight storyline.
I’m way behind on my reviews for this but I figured I might as well finish them up so I can get around to reviewing Knights of a Fallen Empire. Better late than never, am I right? Ironically, I managed to complete the Sith storylines without ever stopping to do the Republic ones and that was probably a mistake on my part as they’ve proven to be far more interesting than I gave them credit for. I suppose after thirty-years about reading about the good guys trouncing the bad guys, I was interested in seeing things from the Dark Side.
Even if I always played Light Side.
|A true Jedi never uses the Force for attack.|
The first place to start with my journey across the Republic side of things was, of course, the Jedi Knight. It's the obvious starting point for anyone who wants to begin in the Old Republic setting and a great deal of effort has obviously been spent to make it feel like the Original Trilogy. It's a series of fighting super-weapons, saving the day, redeeming Dark Siders, and going directly against the Ultimate EvilTM.
Indeed, if there was any single character class which can be said to be the "hero" of the Old Republic game then it would be the Jedi Knight. Which is a bit troubling when you think about it since there shouldn't be any main hero of the game. Still, it's entertaining and has a lot going for it even if it sometimes verges on being a trifle "been there, done that."
The premise of the Jedi Knight storyline is you are the strongest padawan the Jedi Academy on Tython has produced in centuries. Recruited by your master, who might as well have a 'Dead Master Walking' sign around his neck, you soon find yourself promoted to Jedi Knight before stopping the destruction of Coruscant. Accidentally ticking off a powerful Sith Lord, they stop their campaign of revenge before discovering something terrible about one of their companions. This results in them being set on a direct campaign against the Sith Emperor.
|Oh Kira, you are my teenage Mara Jade crush brought to life.|
About the only real part of the storyline which was surprising was when your character is defeated during a Second Act confrontation with the Sith Emperor and brainwashed into being their puppet. Unfortunately, we don't really get a sense of what happened during this time and I think they could have done something more with this section. For example, a playable assault on the Jedi Temple or an assassination attempt on Satele Shan. Instead, it seems like you're hanging around the Emperor's Palace for a month sorting through his mail and torturing the occasional prisoner.
|Poor Lord Scourge and the LS Jedi Knight.|
I also love how they handle the issue of Jedi romance and it does add a little spice to an otherwise perfectly arranged relationship. I would have liked more insight into the issue of Kira being a Sith by birth but I suppose there's only so much you can do with that.
Instead, the character I most enjoy from the Jedi Knight storyline is Lord Scourge. The former Emperor's Wrath, he's decided the Sith Emperor is too crazy to serve even though he remains loyal to both to both the Empire as well as Sith. I really enjoyed the conversations the Jedi Knight had with him on subjects like love as well as the hypocrisy of the Jedi. He's an honorable opponent and it's interesting to see a Sith Lord who can walk and chew bubblegum at the same time without being a goody-two-shoes.
I can't say I felt much more for the other companions. T7 is a cute character, it's true but it's not like you're going to get much interaction out of an astromech droid programmed to like you. Doc is entertaining but I wasn't exactly blown away by him either (and he seems like a far less interesting love interest than Kira Carsen). Sergeant Rusk bringing his gung-ho warmongering mentality to the crew keeps things from being a little too sacharine but I would have liked for them to go further.
|The Sith Emperor being defeated by the power of lightsaber is kind of underwhelming.|
The villains of the storyline are something of a disappointment as all of them are variants on the "evil" Sith Lord with the sole exception of a renegade padawan. It would have been nice to shake up things with a Grand Moff or crime lord. The Sith Emperor is also at his most one-note-ness with a plan to wipe out the entire universe in order to ascend to become a god. Really, I found it more interesting to see Sith interested in supporting him due to their belief they would ascend to a kind of Sith Lord heaven in reward for it.
There's quite a few fun supporting characters in the storyline despite its generic-ness. I also love the plotline regarding trying to help Kira Carsen overcome her status as one of the Sith Emperor's children. As mentioned, it works best for a male Jedi Knight romancing her but a good plotline is a good plotline. Indeed, it is the good characters and sidequests of the Jedi Knight which elevate their storyline more than the actual main quest. Indeed, I had a lot more fun with General Var Suthra and Leeha Narezz than I ever did worrying about the Emperor destroying everything.
|A Dark Side Jedi Knight plot would have elevated the material considerably.|