Medium: Cinematic trailer
Publication Date: October 7, 2016
Timeline Placement: c. 3,631 BBY
The longest, most recent, and best of The Old Republic‘s cinematic trailers is Betrayed, a lead-in to the game’s Knights of the Eternal Throne expansion. Continuing the story begun with Emperor Valkorion’s twin sons, Arcann and Thexan, in Knights of the Fallen Empire, we’re introduced to their mother, Zakuul Knight Senya Tirall, and previously unseen sister, a little girl named Vaylin. While Arcann and Thexan spend their childhood undergoing brutal training regimens for their father’s pleasure, Vaylin remains in their mother’s care. Like her parents and siblings, Vaylin demonstrates a latent aptitude for the Force, seen when she uses it to carve a toy bear from a piece of wood, but Senya forbids her to use her talents for fear of drawing Valkorion’s attention to her power.
Nevertheless, Vaylin longs to be a warrior like her brothers. She practices her Force abilities in secret, and eventually Senya allows her to spar with the Knights of Zakuul. A small girl, she is repeatedly knocked to the ground by these full-grown elite warriors, until finally she can bear no more humiliation and calls on the Force to shatter her opponent’s weapon and crush half a dozen Knights to death inside their suits of golden armor. Senya calls on her to stop, but it’s too late; Valkorion has witnessed his daughter’s power and takes the frightened girl away from her mother to use for his own purposes.
Vaylin is taken to Nathema, where the Sith Emperor enacted the ritual that made him immortal and left the world dead to the Force. There, a group of hooded priests enacts some long, tortuous dark-side rite on her. Sensing Vaylin’s distress through the Force, Senya decides to rescue her daughter in defiance of the Immortal Emperor’s will. She finds Vaylin and carries her to safety, fighting through a cadre of the emperor’s elite Nathema Zealots, but she’s already too late. Vaylin rejects her mother, choosing to remain behind with Valkorion, and Senya is forced to flee.
Years pass. We find Senya at the site of some great battle, examining the massacred corpses of the Knights of Zakuul to figure out what happened. She finds the toy bear her daughter carved as a child lying discarded in the mud, and suddenly Vaylin appears, now a grown woman, her eyes burning with the dark side. She sets the battlefield aflame with a blast of Force lightning, then lunges at her mother. Senya’s lightsaber blade meets Vaylin’s as she gapes with dawning horror at what her daughter has become.
And they lived happily ever after. The end!
This is so awesome. If only they’d made the game itself this good, people might actually play it. Like Satele Shan stopping a lightsaber blade with her bare hands, the way the Force is used in these trailers is so much more cinematic than running fast or whatever this is. At this point the only future Star Wars film I’m interested in seeing is something based on KotOR or TOR, but I just know they’d screw it up somehow. I liked the first three Star Wars movies, but now everything sucks.
(Suicide by Star Wars Apocrypha is a foolish attempt to examine the entirety of the now decanonized Star Wars Expanded Universe and quantify its assorted artistic merits. Read the introduction. Check out the archives.)