Part 45: Ebon Hawk: 50 Ways to Kill Your Jedi, Part I
So I have to break this update into two parts because it seemed to have broken the goddamn text limit for a post.
Today is HK-47 day. We saved the best for last.
"Answer: Many organic meatbags find that question difficult to answer, Master, but I believe I can provide you with a satisfactory definition."
"Statement: This definition, I am told, is subject to interpretation. Obviously, love is a matter of odds. Not many meatbags could make such a shot, and strangely enough, not many meatbags would derive love from it."
I think people might have missed the over-the-top, jokey personality of the HK-47. In this game he's a lot less overtly funny with his one-liners; his humour is in a black, sarcastic form, and he has walls of dialogue discussing philosophies and transcendental concepts with nary a joke in them. The result is a more serious, but also a deeper character overall.
I think part of the reason for this switch in gears is that since Revan never actually appears in this game, HK-47 becomes the proxy for Revan's ideals. It's almost like talking to Revan herself sometimes. I don't think most people understood what it really meant, but through HK, the player can explore the rather caustic relationship between Revan and the Exile.
"Would you stop asking that?"
"Statement: Master, assassination is my primary function. It is only expected that when you speak to me, it is to give me the order to kill."
"Statement: Oh, very well, master. No doubt you are bothering me because you wish to interrogate me with harmless, non-lethal questions. Or perhaps you need the deck of your freighter scrubbed. Or an exciting alien text translated."
"Actually, I did have some questions."
"Statement: Ah. More questions. Wonderful."
The player probably knows the answer, but Jesus might not.
"Statement: Master, that is a question that has an extremely complicated answer. You see, I do not believe my Master knew who he was most of the time, which led to some confusing situations that could have otherwise been avoided."
"I'm not sure I understand."
This response is slightly different if Revan had been set to Dark Side, obviously.
"She developed qualities such as mercy, compassion, and even love for others. It was really rather revolting. Still, my Master had some remarkably efficient droid-like qualities which I admired. She, too, suffered memory problems as I did."
"Statement: Oh yes, master. As indicated upon my reassembly, my central control cluster is damaged, making recalling my previously stored assassination protocols difficult. I hope that over time I shall eventually reach the status and skill I possessed before I was damaged."
"What's the last thing you remember?"
"Answer: Even with my memory impairment, I recall that my Master was about to embark on a dangerous journey."
"Conjecture: I believe there was something about my Master's destination that she did not wish me to know."
The most obvious parallel to draw is the prequel movies, where C-3P0 had his memory erased at the end of Episode III. There's a couple of reasons why Revan would erase HK-47's memories and not T3-M4's, but it was either he figured that T3-M4 knew how to keep his mouth shut, or that he underestimated what T3 was capable of.
Given the general arc of the story, I'd say it was actually the latter.
"Speculation: But I suspect I was not the only one left behind, so there is some satisfaction that the disrespect was spread through the rest of his whiny, simpering meatbag allies."
"Let me cite some specific examples."
"Maybe you should turn your photoreceptors up a little more and pay more attention."
Obviously, text alone can't do this scene justice. That's why I'm including the audio version:
This was commented on way back on even Peragus. The person who messed with the navicomputer was of course, the previous owner of the ship.
Remember the days when droids didn't lie? Yeah, that was nice.
"Yes, it's voice-printed."
"Statement: Yes, I heard it was voice-printed. Most curious."
"You can mimic languages, right? Can you unlock it?"
"Statement: I suppose so, master, but I would need to know who voice-locked it. And regrettably, I do not have that knowledge."
So when it came down to it, Revan didn't want anybody to come after him or know where he went. He voice-locked the Ebon Hawk's navigation records, and then he erased the memory of the one person who could mimic his voice: HK-47. I think it's this above anything that convinces me that Revan didn't want anyone following him into unknown space; not Carth and Bastila, not Kreia, not the droids, and not even the Exile.
The HK-50s made their last appearance in the game in Nar Shaddaa. However, initially they were to appear 3 more times. Once on the Ebon Hawk, as the tracked the Exile to the ship itself; then two more times in the endgame portion. They were suppose to have their subplot tied up neatly, but instead they just disappeared from the game.
"Statement: Ah... yes, them. Very well. What did you wish to know?"
"Do you know where these clones are being created?"
This is part of the cut plot thread about the HK droid factory.
"And I do not know where they would have obtained schematics of my design. They are built from my template, of that I know for certain."
"You sound pretty disgusted by these duplicates."
"Answer: My 'feelings' on the matter are something that I feel I must put in proper context - in a way that even a meatbag such as yourself could easily comprehend."
"Theory: Imagine, if you will, that you are unique. The pinnacle of an exiled, cast-out Jedi who can't even use the Force. Imagine that no one has sunk lower than you. That you are truly the most miserable example of a Jedi ever."
"I get it, already."
"Continuation: Now that you have that image, imagine this - someone clones you. Badly, I might add. They make the clones talk differently, rob you of any shred of personality, and take your Jedi Code and adjust it so that it is not really the Jedi Code anymore. They even change your pigmentation to a rather poor shade of durasteel, rather than the proper rusty red that inspires fear in targets. And of course, they refer to meatbags as "organics." Unacceptable."
"They really don't seem that different from you, actually."
"Indignation: Have you gone deaf? Surely you've heard them speak and instantly you can tell the difference between them and I."
"From the voice? But you all sound exactly the same."
"Statement: If master would just listen to their voices - their voices sound nothing like me; they have none of the looping, static-filled sinister background hiss that I am known for."
"What are you talking about?"
"Answer: Somehow these droids are built from my schematics. This causes certain complications."
Well this presents a dilemma then; he wants to go after the HK-50 units, but he can't do it since it would be like harming himself. What's not discussed here is that on the flip side... the HK-50s cannot harm HK-47.
"Do you know why they are hunting me?"
"Answer: Well, master, it seems you have become a popular individual in the galaxy. This is somewhat surprising to me, since this dissemination of information could not have been caused by your actions alone."
"What do you mean?"
I'm imagining wild west style, sepia-toned 'Wanted' posters plastered all over the galaxy. "Have you seen this man? He's responsible for the wanton slaughter of roughly half the population of the following planets: Peragus, Telos, Onderon, Dantooine, and Nar Shaddaa. Do not approach if found."
"Why would someone do that?"
"Conclusion: Someone wants everyone to know that you exist, master. And that you are back in Republic space. If I did not know better, which is computationally impossible, I believe that someone wants to make you a target, and they are succeeding admirably."
"Answer: Master, my feeling would be the Exchange. But that doesn't seem to be enough to answer the question, however."
"And that is, why someone would choose to broadcast your location all over the known galaxy."
Well let's think about who it could be.
G0-T0? He was just acting on the information that was leaked; he wasn't the leaker. Kreia? Again, possible, since we know she's been leaking information to the Sith. However, her defining trait has been her willingness to go to any lengths to protect the Exile; why would she put him in danger like that? What about one of our crew members? Could they have betrayed us? Or perhaps one of the Jedi Masters we've talked to?
"Why were the HK-50 units masquerading as protocol droids?"
"Answer: Master, as part of my original programming, I am able to communicate in over six hundred languages."
"Answer: Yes. I believe my original Master needed this functionality in order to recover information from various indigenous tribes across the galaxy, but I know little else than that. Suffice to say that that translation capability allowed these... copies of myself to assume the role of protocol and translation droids in much of known space."
"What do you mean?"
I won't say it's a rip-off, but there's a very similar story in Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy that ponders the value of communication in the grand scheme of the universe.
Horrified naivety is so endearing.
"Statement: This comment, of course, caused a civil war between the Gu-vandi Collective and L'Xing that still persists to the current date."
[Intelligence] "Do any of these "incidents" have any wider repercussions?"
"Why did you say that just now?"
"Query: What do you mean, master?"
We know Kreia taught Revan, and in turn Revan imparted his knowledge to HK-47. Still, it's a bit disconcerting to hear all this stuff about 'echoes' coming out of the mouth of a droid, and if Kreia knew she probably wouldn't be too happy.
"Answer: It is something I heard a previous master say before, I believe. But I cannot recall the context. Still, somehow it seemed applicable to this situation. Odd."
"What reprecussions did Praven Prime have?"
"Answer: In the case of Praven Prime, the civil war actually forced the Republic to back out of Gu-vandi space and let their world fall from Republic control. As I understand it, that would be best. Keeping such a world would have been a token gesture of control. As an added burden, the resources needed to invest in diplomatic and trade relations would have far outweighed what would have been required."
"Also, the result of the war will be that the drastically reduced L'Xing population will eventually need to call upon the Republic for emergency relief."
"Answer: The Republic stands to gain. The Republic will be able to supply such emergency relief at a fraction of the cost to the now-reduced population."
This is the exact sort of macroscopic worldview that the HK-47 from KOTOR 1 wouldn't have had. It makes HK seem a lot more intelligent and calculating; that there's a method to his madness. Once again, I blame this on HK being written as Revan by proxy.
"But why are the HKs masquerading as protocol droids?"
"Answer: Master, being a meatbag, your answer does not surprise me."
It's a weird dynamic between the droids and the humans on the Ebon Hawk. With the exception of Bao-Dur, the rest of the crew seem to either ignore the droids or actively despise them. Atton, as we've already seen, has some sort of weird, unexplained droid-phobia.
Kreia does too, to a certain extent. What it is is basically a fear of the unknown; there's very little that Kreia doesn't know, but she does not have the ability to read the minds of droids. As such, they are an unknown quantity to her. She overtly states at one point her distaste for Revan's bond with his droids, and how she found it a weakness.
There's also a missing scene between T3 and Kreia on board the Ebon Hawk. It triggers shortly after the Exile convinces T3 to show the hologram of either Carth or Bastila, telling T3 to go get help for Revan. Afterwards, Kreia corners T3 and blasts him with Force Lightning; the hologram was not something she anticipated, and she's pissed the Exile was shown something she had no control over. It goes to show how tightly wound around her finger the Exile is, that the slightest deviation from the course that Kreia set for him by T3 is met with vindictiveness.
"Anyway, as I was saying, droids tend to blend into the background. Like a bench. Or a card table."
"Those are typical droid duties, but it doesn't mean they should be treated as furniture."
This actually nets an influence gain with T3.
"My identity as an assassin droid was unknown for quite some time, even during the recent events when all that trouble occurred amongst the Jedi. I'm sure you've already heard more than enough about it, so I will spare you the details."
"Actually, I'd like to know."
"Statement: This story may be somewhat unfamiliar to you - if not to history - so bear with me."
You've heard the story of KOTOR 1 from other people; now you're hearing the super sarcastic, condensed version.
"In a startling turn of events, the Sith declared war on the Republic. The Republic wasn't going to stand for it, so they went to war right back."
"Why did the Sith go to war with the Republic?"
"It is much like the circumstance I find myself in now. How do you kill such an integral part of yourself over such ethical differences?"
That's pretty much the answer to everything in life.
We're zooming off to Nar Shaddaa.
To pick this up from the local merchant. It's semi-secret, in the sense that we can only buy it after a certain number of planets have been finished.
"Statement: Something approaching joy is now growing in my behavior core, master. Please install it at once."
"Cautionary: But please do so carefully. I have seen how you use a hydrospanner."
"There. Are you okay?"
"Answer: I... do not know... master. I feel strange. Like a circuit has been flipped."
"I need you combat ready, so stay sharp."
"Answer: Combat ready? Did you mean in case we need to run away or retreat? Oh my, I am afraid I am ill-equipped for combat."
"Are your assassination protocols impaired?"
"Answer: Assassination protocols? As in the premeditated killing of another for personal or economic gain? Surely master is joking with his humble, peace-loving droid. I exist only to serve and learn how to serve meatbags."
"Musing: I think perhaps I would enjoy learning a new language. Or watching an informative holovid."
"I think I flipped the wrong switch. Or the right one."
"Statement: I am fulfilling my primary function, which is to facilitate communication between species and put an end to hostilities."
"Statement: Master, please, I beg you. Never install anything again without checking it in the diagnostics bay first. That was a close one - I almost surrendered completely to peace and pacifisim - how repugnant."
Welcome back, HK
Sound clip for all that here:
Wait, what do you mean there's a 50000 character limit on forum posts?
(Stay tuned for the back half of the update).