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Extracts from the travel diaries of Sally I.; scholar and philosopher. This documentary series, Galactic Misunderstandings, is brought to you by Starwire Discovery Programmes

Galactic Misunderstandings: Mandalorians

Take a look at the politics of the day. Is there something on about the future of our children with various parties vying to tell you how children should be taught, and when, and what, or even where? There usually is and with good reason. The children of a family, or a culture, or a nation will replace those currently in their prime before anyone knows it and it is their wisdom and strength of character that will dictate the fate of nations when we are all gone.

Many cultures exalt this principle rather profoundly and the Mando'ade are certainly one. Enshrined in the Resol'nare, is ba'jur; education. As with so much of any culture though, this seemingly obvious and self-explanatory action is not without its nuance in Mandalorian practice.

In case you've forgotten or your vision has become clouded by the dark side of the Force, I'm going to remind you that there are eighteen planets--plus the other smaller worlds--available for exploration in The Old Republic. It is by far the largest and most detailed virtual representation of the galaxy far far away that we adore more than our wives, husbands, children and pets. 

Each planet has its own design, its own feel and its own story. They each offer players an opportunity greater than just exploration. They offer the possibility for players to create their own scenes, their own stories, their own roleplay. 

Want to be a tree-hugging Jedi hippy? Hang out on Tython. Want to be an eskimo? You have Hoth. Want to be a spice-addicted gambler? Nar Shaddaa will make you feel right at home. 

Today's Friday Focus asks: which planet is best for roleplay? Let us know your answer and reason in the comments below. 

Sol'yc ad / Xamoran.8706 Alderaan has a beautifully designed mountain area to the far north of the Thul estate ( in the imperial starting zone). ...
Iradox My thoughts wonder back to some of the first RP I participated in, on Belsavis during the final Judgment Reach campaign....
Alen o Korriban and Dromund Kaas were built by masters of the trade. There's such an efficient use of space! There's ...

We all have enemies. Life would be kind of boring if it wasn't for a little unhealthy competition, right? Our enemies take the form of people who are awfully jealous of us but could never admit it. Because they're incapable of ever achieving your level of success or happiness, they try to lower you to their bottomless pit of self-loathing and disgust. Call is basic psychology. On the other hand, perhaps your enemy is someone who beats you at every turn, being one step ahead of you every time. Your enemies could be those close to you, without you even realising. In most cases, however, your enemies are pretty apparent, as they make your life a living hell. 

You'd have to be pretty clueless and ignorant not to spot the countless characters in Star Wars that have arch enemies. In Revenge of the Sith, Obi-Wan's best friend turned against him and the two went from being soul mates to each other's nemesis in a heart beat. Rolling back the clock a few thousand years, Revan defeated his former partner-in-crime-turned-adversary in Knights of the Old Republic. As we move on a few hundred years to the era of The Old Republic, Satele Shan and Darth Malgus could be said to share a mutual distaste for one another. 

Today's Friday Focus is a character building exercise, something which we like to do often. It is no doubt that our characters would have enemies, whether it be someone from their past or a current adversary who causes your character much grief. Let us know in the comments section who your character's greatest enemy is, whether it be an individual, an organisation or an entire faction. We don't like to be haters here at SWTOR-RP, but lets be real: this is Star Wars, and as roleplayers, we thrive for conflict. 
Enddelt Endri Character wise is the Zakull Empire and any enemy of Mandalorians. Personaly also character wise, Force users.. Issue is...
Kiyosa Kiyosa's greatest enemy is herself, as myself is for me.... So poetically tragic, I know *wipes tear*
Mahlak Daseon, M-D The entire planet of Mannan to name a few.

In the Star Wars universe, there are many sections of galactic society whose unique sense of style is very much characteristic of their people, species, profession or whatever else it happens to be that defines their aesthetic. As a roleplayer, I quite enjoy a good bit of visual variety and lament its absence. One such so-afflicted party, at least in a certain way, are Jedi; it can be argued that plenty of Jedi-appropriate clothing is available, especially armour, but some of the most iconic Jedi looks is in short (thus rather expensive) supply.

While it is fair to say that armoured and tighter variations of robes become commonplace during wartime, equally likely is that many will retain the various versions of the iconic look most familiar to the Star Wars films. Sometimes you aren’t fighting, sometimes you aren’t even a warrior caste. Rugged simplicity is the hallmark of a Jedi’s gear and in represents the humility and minimalism characteristic of the mentality.

Uzlisa As one of my main characters is started learning about how to be a jedi I would like to channel her thoughts on this mat...

Out of the many organisations and societies that exist within the universe of Star Wars, there is perhaps none more famous than the Sith, second perhaps only to the Jedi Order. Throughout the long and expansive history, the Sith have existed in various capacities from the caste kingdom that dominated Korriban, to the forging of the first Sith Empire with the arrival of the Dark Jedi after the Hundred Years of Darkness, to the Empire we know and love in The Old Republic and in the far future to the Sith Order forged under Darth Bane.

With the rise and fall of these societies comes a constant upheaval in norms, beliefs and traditions but the one thing that remains constant is the Code of the Sith:

"Peace is a lie, there is only passion.
Through passion, I gain strength.
Through strength, I gain power.
Through power, I gain victory.
Through victory, my chains are broken.
The Force shall free me."

Originally created as a direct perversion and opposite to the Jedi's own, the Sith Code has remained the code philosophy for near every incarnation of the Sith. But just how relevant is it to the average Sith?

In The Old Republic, one of the more common elements among Sith and Imperial characters is the idea of staunch traditionalism versus evolution of beliefs. This is particularly noted in the treatment of non-human or Purebloods and anti-alien sentiments that surround it especially in light of the recent war efforts against the Galactic Republic.

Last week, our Friday Focus asked you where your opinions stood towards the Jedi Order. This week, we ask you where you and your characters stand on the Sith and their beliefs?

Avantis From a Philosophical point of view the code of the Sith inspires one to push and chase after one's passions, believ...
Alen o More thoughts. Figuring out where Jedi ideas come from is easy. Buddhism, Taoism, all that jazz. Figuring out what insp...
Bambi My sith healer "Bambi" took to heart that a sith base of power and connection to the force is passion....

Today is our day. The Force rushes through its loyal subjects—us—as life is taken over by the world's greatest and most prominent fantasy world every created: Star Wars

May the 4th is Star Wars Day! Don your best Star Wars getup, get in everybody's faces about Star Wars and enjoy a day filled with Star-Warsy goodness. 

May the fourth be with you all. May your day be awesome!

And don't forget: It's double XP in for The Old Republic in honour of this special day. Double XP runs from May 4th to May 15th.

Peace, justice and a sense of order are imperative in the hopes of living in a crime free society. Our streets are packed full of criminals, gangs and petty low-lives who don't know right from wrong. To counteract these groups of people, there are forces and services that act in the name of the law to ensure that our communities are safe. It is not an easy role as crime never sleeps. The police and defence forces around the globe are the two main groups that put their lives on the line, serving and protecting its people. Without these groups and a judicial system, we'd be living in anarchy.

There are countless films and other forms of media based on the world's police and defence forces. There are far too many to name. Star Wars, however, brings new meaning to defenders of peace and justice. Call them real life monks with special powers, if you will. Of course, we're talking about the Jedi from the Jedi Order. Their role in Star Wars is to the maintain peace and justice around the galaxy. Not an easy gig as there are thousands upon thousands of systems that require aid on a daily basis. They serve the Republic, just as we've seen in the prequels, the post-Galactic Empire era, but most importantly, in the era of The Old Republic.

In today's Friday Focus, tell us how important the Jedi Order is to you. How important is the Jedi Order to your character for The Old Republic? What influence has it had on your character choice? How important is the Jedi Order to the Star Wars story and roleplay? Pop your thoughts into the comments section, and may be the force be with you all!

Alen o It's pretty important! I've been trying to do the concept justice for a long time, now. Without the Jedi, you ...
Lexi Lambert Lexi's no fan of the Jedi Order, or the Sith. She thinks both are extremist groups, and that all the war and death ...
Uzlisa I have 4 active characters each with differing opinions on the order. My mandalorian is always intrigued by the force an...

Extracts from the travel diaries of Sally I.; scholar and philosopher. This documentary series, Galactic Misunderstandings, is brought to you by Starwire Discovery Programmes

Galactic Misunderstandings: Mandalorians

As a pentalingual, you might imagine that I quite like learning the nuances of cultural communication; and you would be correct! As with many cultures, you can tell quite a lot by the flavour and cadence of the Mandalorian tongue. Mando’a, as it is called, is easily identified in a few ways (not least by the fact it keeps turning up in italics whenever I read the text-transcribed version of this documentary).

Language is another of the most obvious ways a culture distinguishes itself; even within the same language. It evolves with the people and takes on the tone and role that the culture assigns it, whether inherited or adopted from others. Mando’a is a defining element of the Mando’ade, to the point of demanding its’ own place in the Resol’nare. They are even protective of it to an extent; not all those I met were especially happy that I could speak it myself. But that just goes to show how much cultural identity there can be in language.

Would it be an incorrect generalisation to say that everybody eventually chooses a side? Regardless of whether or not you claim independence, in most cases your actions generally tend to assist one particular side in a two-faction battle. Playing the mediator is not a fun gig. How much slack can you take from either side before eventually giving in, either calling it quits or choosing your allegiance? Before doing so, you need to ask yourself the question as to which side will benefit you. You can take it a step further and ask yourself which is the lesser of two evils. 
If we ask ourselves from these questions from the point of view of the many Star Wars characters, we'd get a bunch of different answers. Jango Fett benefits from a substantial amount of wealth from the cloning campaign on Kamino. Money isn't everything though. All the money in the world cannot stop a clean decapitation from a lightsaber. The Jedi set their allegiance with the Jedi Order, swearing to maintain peace and uphold justice on behalf of the Galactic Republic, but for many Jedi, this just isn't fitting. How many have veered from the path of light, steering themselves towards the dark side of the Force? There isn't much of an in-between, as there are only few Grey Jedi that ever existed in the history of Star Wars.
In The Old Republic, we're forced to set our allegiance to either the Republic or Sith Empire. However, there are those that have chosen one of the two factions only for class selection, in hopes of maintaining an independent point of view. But really, who are you kidding? You're going to eventually work for either side, depending on which faction offers you a better reward, right? For today's Friday Focus, tell us what factors determined your choice of faction. What is it about the Galactic Republic or Sith Empire that is so alluring? Chuck your thoughts into the comments section. 
Bloodletter Character-wise, the only explanation, really, is that Varelle is an Imperial by birth. He doesn't know anything els...
Crimsèn Va'io I think I picked the Empire in the end because I can only hear so much of the Republic's feel good story before I s...
Infantryman Empire: Can opress aliens. Republic: More like real life.

Extracts from the travel diaries of Sally I.; scholar and philosopher. This documentary series, Galactic Misunderstandings, is brought to you by Starwire Discovery Programmes

Galactic Misunderstandings: Mandalorians

When anyone brings up Mandalorians in conversation, whatever the context, there is one thing so iconic it makes it into just about every person’s mental image of a Mandalorian. A T-visored helmet, segmented armour, resplendent in a variety of colours of variable meaning. While there is great variety, from the light plates and flexible weave of the scout to the shielded walking tank of a heavy gunner, certain elements have a cultural consistency.

Armour is in Mandalorian’s blood, so to speak. Ancient heirlooms or fresh from the forge, it is always there. Try as I might to interpret the beskar’gam - that is, ‘iron skin’ - action of the Resol’nare in a philosophical sense, I think this one is practical even if it does have elements of symbolism, representation, and image. Like any clothing, armour can tell you something about the wearer; and Mandalorians are no exception.

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