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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!

Arantir / Nexios It's the basis for my my main Jedi and Sith characters in many respects. Arantir's inspirations are several bu...

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 o 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.

Sometimes we're capable of some very remarkable and heroic deeds. Whether it be part of your job description or something that happens in the heat of the moment, your actions may be seen by others as courageous and epic. Police Officers, Fire Fighters, Paramedics, Medical Staff and Military Personnel are just a few examples of people who put their own lives at risk to protect others, as well as displaying gallantry. However, any ordinary individual is more than capable of such an act. People can surprise themselves and others by mustering the strength to achieve greatness in the face of fear.

What good would a character be in Star Wars if they'd never accomplished anything remarkable or heroic? Luke Skywalker would not have been as interesting if he hadn't achieved some of the remarkable things he'd done, such as blowing up the Death Star, defeating the Emperor or making out with his sister. Hmm, no; that was awkward. As roleplayers, our characters for The Old Republic will need a story. It is the foundation of roleplaying and without a story, we'd be regular players exchanging words and slander without purpose.

What we'd like to know in today's Friday Focus is what your character for the The Old Republic has done that can be considered remarkable or heroic. Has your character defeated an impossible enemy? Perhaps a decision they've made has saved -- or if you're playing the devil's advocate, killed -- thousands of people? Or maybe they've destroyed a Jedi Temple? No, scrap that, unless you want to be shunned for roleplayer elites. Lacking a story to tell? Here's another opportunity to add to your character's history. Get creative people and post your stories in the comments section.

Elderday Kellarov Elderday's everyday life either consists of excessive drinking, sitting around being grumpy, fighting, or, maybe on...
doktorosiris Most of my characters tend to be villains, so little to no heroism around. Been some fun times at least.
Alen Not all that much, at least in game. Mostly it's been leading the people who do the actual heroics. Thyrus made kil...

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

With a handful of exceptions, one galactic constant is family. Nobody knows this better than Mandalorians who have it inscribed in their code to live by. Aliit, or clan, is a strong unifying concept that transcends the biological notion of family. The face of the Mando’ade that the galaxy sees is one of eternal belligerence and crude honour, but to see this as all they are is a disservice.

The Resol’nare, the Six Actions as you may recall, pursue only one principle goal: survival. Central to the culture is the notion of perseverance, resilience. The aliit action acknowledges that no one Mando’ad, no matter the talent or mastery, is an island. They are stronger together as a family and as a culture; while many are competitive, self-centred or arrogant, such traits are better explained under different actions.  Not to worry; we’ll get to those, but first, the essence of community spirit. Of course, with aliit comes platonic love. The warrior culture of Manda’yaim generally means that such love is explored in very odd, violent or dysfunctional ways; not universally, but regardless of the format, never underestimate the power of Mandalorian fellowship.

Defined by, fear is: "a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid."

The bravest and strongest of men can be dropped to their knees in an instant in the face of fear. Man's phobia list is quite extensive and strange, with examples consisting of kathisophobia, the fear of sitting down; phronemophobia, the fear of thinking; and hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia, the fear of long words. H.P. Lovecraft once said, "The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear."

The Star Wars universe is filled with the weird, wacky and scary. Creatures of different shapes, sizes and abilities roam the galaxy, some of which are capable of horrible things. Any fan of Star Wars should know about the Sarlacc from Tatooine. It keeps its victims alive for thousands of years, slowing digesting those unfortunate enough to slip into its belly. There are few that have ever survived its clutches, with one such survivor being the infamous Boba Fett; a name to fear itself. In light of some of these examples, what would be your character's greatest fear in The Old Republic? Post your answers in the comments section.

Crimsèn Va'io I think for my characters, their greatest fear is to be exactly like everyone else. They all fill different roles within...
Captain Shanks Being a spacer, Shanks is terrified about seeing one of these monstrositi...
Captain Edwards though he tries to hide it, Edwards greatly fears loosing those he cares about, and thought of some of the dark side mon...

Your number one source for news with this special announcement

Good day viewers. My name is Benuly Seapou and I welcome you to this special broadcast of the Coruscant Daily Buzz during commercial breaks. Apologies for disrupting your daily show starring the lovely Olug'mile [Entangled Lekku].  We have received a lot of feedback via our new datapad-accessible community forum service. This will hopefully increase the quality and enjoyment of our daily news network. In gratitude, we have teamed up with Doctor Whibur, the chief researcher of the Synthfur manufacturing Flestor and Co. to give our viewers some appreciation.

As most of you know, Doctor Whibur, as we had him on the show last week, is the chief researcher of Flestor and Co. One of the many, but not all so prestigious, synthfur manufacturers. The company has existed for generations since the founder Tavijef Flestor decided to open up his company in one of the lower districts decades ago. As time passed, the company grew until eventually expanding to what she is known today: one of most well-known developers on this side of the planet.

EDITOR'S DISCLAIMER: this article is matter-of-fact and contains mild course language. If you're like an Anakin Skywalker and soft around the edges, meaning you're easily offended by course sand, then this article might upset you and cause you to slay countless younglings. Read at your own risk of falling to the dark-side.

I’ve met a lot of different kinds of writers. Lyrical writers in bands, hobby roleplayers and fanfiction writers on the internet, public speakers in debating clubs and film and television writers, both young and old. Writing is a pretty broad field. Putting words down in the right order covers a lot of hobbies and professions in a lot of walks of life. There’s a common denominator I’ve noticed in every competent writer I’ve met though. The word ‘competent’ is important, because I’ve met writers who were good, but not competent.

The difference is how the competent ones respond to their mistakes. I’ve met a lot of people who could put down some really nice words, even in the right order, but they were the same nice words they’d been putting down for the last five or ten years, and in the same order. Consequently, the mistakes they were making were the same ones they’d been making for the last five or ten years.

The competent writers I’ve met are a different story. They all have their own version of a (pretty good) bullshit detector.

doktorosiris Oh wow... Makes me think of my fourteen year old self. If I could, I'd go back in time and give that smug little sh...
Madder Kaen Takrael you forgot that magic word tact. The magical art of telling someone they suck and coming out smelling like roses...
Lexi Lambert o I have to admit I tend to relax my standards a bit when I'm writing SW stuff, either RP or fan-fiction. I spent an ...

Who and what we become in life is highly influenced by the teachings we received from the moment we could stand on our own two feet. Our parents kick-off our life long lessons, teaching us the dos and do nots; life 101. We then go to Kindergarten, followed by school, college and university, if we decide to take our studies that far.

Along the way, we pick up skills and personality traits from everything and everyone around us. Our teachers, family and friends all have their own influence, but amongst them all, there is usually one person, or one master, who has the most impact.

In Star Wars, it isn't that much different. Though Luke Skywalker was brought up by his uncle and aunt, Obi-Wan and Yoda left a significant imprint in Skywalker's programming when they took up the task of teaching him the ways of the Force. Obi-Wan was guided by Qui-Gon, and Anakin was instructed by Obi-Wan.

What we'd like to know today is: where did your character in The Old Republic receive their training? Was it from an academy such as that on Korriban or the temple on Tython? Or perhaps, contrary to the message in this Friday Focus, your character learnt their survival skills by venturing out on their own, learning from their own mistakes? Post your answers in the comments section below. 

Crimsèn Va'io Crimsèn: He's an imperial agent, and couldn't really find much on the lore where agents are trained, so...
Emoral Heliolite Emoral was trained to Knighthood on Ilum, a part of the relatively few Jedi Enclaves permanently present there since the...
The P.B.G Cori'Senteye, my character has one of the strangest trainings for a Jedi ever. Born into a family of entertainers a...
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