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. 

Watcher_Hevilas 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...

"I'm on the right track baby, I was born this way," says eccentric pop-star Lady GaGa. One could argue that her disparity from the norm could place her comfortably in the Star Wars world. No? Please, lower your sabers and blasters. I jest. 

Anyway, I digress. Being "born this way" raises a question: is it decided at birth that we're to become the people we now are? Surely our life experiences have a major influence on our personalities, morals, philosophies and beliefs? Was Anakin Skywalker set to become the masked menace from the moment he was born into the galaxy? For all we know, Jar Jar Binks could have been a hero if it wasn't for, well, who knows really? Bad example. One factor, though, that definitely has an influence on who we become is where we were born.

As roleplayers, we chip away at the finer details of our characters to set them in concrete. These details include nationality, species, religious beliefs, political alignment, age, sex, favourite food and drink, and so on. In today's Friday Focus, we'd like to know where your character was born. Tell us which planet you've chosen as your character's place of birth and why you chose that particular planet. Give birth to your answers within the comments section.

villeah My main Legacy , Clan Wright, on the Ebon hawk , was born on Mirnic , the planet that Jedi Master C'baoth(?) wa...
LD.OOC Ouf'usic was born to Corellia too, but here is some detail, nobody is supposed to know in character without Ouf...
Seisu Skagendo Kaylaria was born on Dathomir. No, not a Dathomir Witch as they don't exist atm. But, with the Rakata Engine device...
In an article miniseries based on Daniel Wallace's instruction book for students of the Jedi Order – The Jedi Path – we've taken you through some of the lessons taught to Initiates and Padawans, as well as discussing some of the roles available to Jedi talented enough to make it to the rank of Jedi Knight. The Jedi Path: Teachings of the Jedi Order has acted as a guide for roleplayers who wish to learn more about the lore covering the different ranks within the Jedi Order, exclusively on SWTOR-RP

Note that most of the knowledge extracted from the book has been of the teachings after the Ruusan Reformation – an event which occurred much later in the Star Wars timeline than the events which take place in The Old Republic. However, any major differences in the structure of the Order have been pointed out in Parts I through IV so far of the miniseries, with the major difference being the manner in which the Jedi Trials are carried out. The Jedi Code, teachings of Initiates and Padawans, and the different roles of the Jedi Knights discussed in Part IV can be said to be very much the same in the era of The Old Republic, as there is no evidence to the contrary. 

In Part V, we conclude the miniseries with some additional Force powers and lightsaber techniques available for Jedi Knights to learn. We will dabble in both Jedi recruitment and a brief history of the Sith, we learn what it means to take on a Padawan learner, what it takes to become a Master and Grand Master of the Jedi Order, and at the end of a Jedi's career, becoming "one" with the Force. 

Learning Alter abilities as a Jedi Knight is a part of the fundamental teachings of that rank, as Jedi Seer Sabla-Mandibu states that without the Alter abilities, a Jedi is like a "mud limpet" – perceiving the world around them but unable to touch it. Telekinesis is one of the most commonly used abilities by Jedi Knights. To learn this ability, Jedi are instructed to enter the Temple's Kuddaka chamber where the Muntuur Stones are kept. Each stone weighs several tons, and if a Jedi Knight can lift at least one of these stones, it is seen as a step in the right direction to mastery of Telekinesis. It is noted that Grand Master Fae Coven is capable of lifting all six stones after entering a deep state of meditation, whilst Yoda after 700 years of age can only lift five. 

Zenquil Thanks alot for this series of articles. I've enjoyed reading them and felt I've learned much about the Jedi.
There are only a few instances in life where the gift of choice is taken from us. You can choose your friends, your line of work, the games you play, and the websites you follow. In all the countless choices that we're faced with on a day-to-day basis, there is one choice that we cannot make, and that is the choosing of our family. They are our blood, and they are our life long-companions that we will be connected with till the day we or they die, no matter how much we despise them. 
In Star Wars, the concept of family is very much alive. Luke Skywalker lived with his aunt and uncle at their moister farm on Tatooine. Anakin Skywalker lived with his mother until he was taken away by Qui-Gon Jinn, beginning his long and epic journey of becoming a Jedi. In Anakin's case, you get to see the effect family has on an individual. His anger and hatred was unparalleled when he learned of his mother's death. He went on a murderous rampage, killing an entire encampment of Tusken Raiders, including the children. 
In today's Force Reflection, tell us what the situation of your character's family is during The Old Republic. Do you have brothers or sisters? Are your parents still around? Did they have a significant influence on your characters and their development? Or are you running with the standard bad-boy rundown where your parents have been viciously murdered and you're now seeking revenge? Whatever the situation may be, post your answers in the comments section. 
[Original header art by Steven Quinn]
PSDuckie My two main RP characters, K'iri and K'ora, are sisters. They do argue a lot (what siblings don't?) but ...
Iradox Very dynamic and complicated...
Kelsi Raenkri My original character, Zharaji went through 2 years of gameplay with both parents and siblings alive and well. It was on...

Do you ever wonder how it is that the Jedi are so ruthless and precise with their strikes, parries, and blows whilst using the unforgiving lightsaber? Not only do the Jedi have access to the almighty Force to anticipate the attack and defence strategies of their foes, but they also have access to the knowledge contained within the forms of lightsaber combat which have been studies for centuries. In Part III of this article miniseries based on the book The Jedi Path, we take you through the lightsaber forms used by both the Jedi and the Sith, as well as touching on sense abilities. We will then conclude the Padawan chapter of the book written for students of the Jedi by taking you through the Jedi Trials – the tests that determine whether a Padawan can be deemed ready for Knighthood within the Jedi Order.

For those of you still getting familiar with Jedi lore, there are six forms of lightsaber combat, each with their own style. Form I, also known as the Determination Form or Way of the Sarlacc, is the first style of lightsaber combat taught to the Jedi Initiates and Padawan learners of the Jedi Order. As previously stated in Part I of The Jedi Path: Teachings of the Jedi Order, Form I aims at the major strike zones of the body, consisting of the right and left sides of the body, as well as the head and legs. Disarming or temporarily incapacitating an enemy is the main aim of Form I. It is when we move onto Form II, also known as Makashi, and the Contention Form or Way of the Ysalamiri, that we begin to move onto the more stylised forms of lightsaber combat. Makashi was predominantly used for lightsaber-on-lightsaber combat. It is the most elegant of the six forms, using light and precise strikes at its opponents. The stance of Makashi consists of having one foot in front of the other in a line, moving forward and back upon this line. Disarming strikes with spins and twirls of the lightsaber are the more natural movements of this form.

Alen Poor Niman! At times, it feels as if even the Jedi Order's own materials only grudgingly recommend it.
Original art by Shobrick
Where there is life, there is death. Unfortunately, our lives have to come to an end at some point. Whether it'll be from old age, or some other cause which we won't go into, the lights will eventually turn off. Sad to say, we see numerous people pass away for a number of different reasons. Whether its someone close to us, or a mere acquaintance, death always strikes a blow. In Star Wars, it is no different. Many character have passed on into the Force, many of which have had a significant impact on the story, as well as other characters. Would Anakin Skywalker have turned into Darth Vader had his mother and Padmé not died? We will never know. 

Our characters in The Old Republic are creations of our imaginations, as is their history, personalities, and everything else that makes them what they are. Seeming as though it isn't possible to run around in BioWare's virtual world as an infant, our characters have most likely been through thick and thin to get to where they are, from the day they were born, to the days following the events of the Sacking of Coruscant. It is probably safe to say that our characters have seen many people die, some of those most likely friends. What we'd like to know in today's Force Reflection is whether your character has lost anybody, and what impacts their death had on your character. Haven't thought about it before? Well here's your chance to further develop your character. Post your answers in the comments section. 
Captain Shanks My sanity playing this game.
Serithis He likely will have had a few losses in his life, quite possibly his parents but not in a way where they were just kille...
Kendell Shar Fellow enlistees of the Empire have died before Kendell's eyes on numerous occasions, and several times those d...

The bond between soul mates can be everlasting -- through sickness and through health, through life and death. The understanding, love and loyalty which forms through such bonds is said to be eternal. Only the harshest and most extreme circumstances, though rare, could ever destroy the attachment. In the world of Star Wars, we have seen bonds form and break. Some have rekindled and others were considered truly lost. The bond between the Jedi Exile and Kreia in the Knights of the Old Republic II, created through the force, came to a dark and epic end. Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi were separated due to Anakin's misguided thoughts and his undeniable love for Padmé. On the contrary, we have the bond between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Qui-Gon Jinn. It was not resentment or betrayal that separated the two; it was the swift blow of death that ended the living bond between Padawan and Master. Qui-Gon Jinn's life was prematurely taken from him by Darth Maul in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. Though Qui-Gon's life faltered, memories of what the two men shared lived on through the Force and in Obi-Wan Kenobi. It is those kind of memories that make the experiences shared between a Padawan and Master unforgettable. In The Old Republic, players will have the opportunity play either role. Padawan or Master? The choice is yours. This article will highlight the ways and experiences of a Jedi Padawan and Master, from the point of promotion from a Jedi Initiate, to the tests of the Jedi Trials.

There's no honour among thieves, but in the world of Star Wars and The Old Republic, the same could be said about some of the lesser loyal scoundrels, bounty hunters, Sith, and lost Jedi out there. Characters have been made to cut all ties to their allegiances and switch sides for a number of different reasons. Anakin betrayed the Republic in the name of love (and all those other underlying issues), Jacen Solo became Darth Caedus in an effort to restore peace at any cost, and we have Revan who switched sides probably for a long list of reasons, but morality is perhaps up there at the top of the list. 

With Fallen Empire, we have a new mega faction that has conquered the galaxy and forced it to bend to its will. The Republic and Empire are now controlled by the Eternal Empire, but have many of their heroes remained loyal?

In today's Friday Focus, we'd like to know if your character has jumped ship and joined the Eternal Empire. Was it for the money? For power? Does your character just like to be on the winning side? Let us know if you've remained loyal or defected and why in the comments section below. 

Aéla Dasvarat Considering the fanon that I follow for the Echani people, it puts the homework and it's protectorates I'm a d...
Katheri No defectors per sé - collaborators, certainly. People whose lives are too mundane to resist and will work as nec...
Seisu Skagendo My Darth went his own way, took his fleet with him and now has two systems under his reign using Valkyrie and blitzkrieg...

It can be safe to presume that the Jedi Knight class is the iconic representation of a hero and centered focus in all Star Wars stories across the numerous eras. Obi-Wan was a Jedi Knight, as was Luke Skywalker and Anakin Skywalker (before his inevitable spiraling fall to the bottomless dark and shadowy pit that is the Dark Side). More specifically to The Old Republic, Revan was a Jedi Knight too. And to top it all off, Jedi Knight is a rank in the Jedi Order. Still not convinced? Stop being such a hater you Imperial scum! 

We make these points because in The Old Republic, it is the Jedi Knight who takes on the game's most formidable villain: The Emperor. BioWare also use the class in their story trailers, including one of the latest trailers for their upcoming digital expansion.

Very soon, we're going to be diving into Knights of the Fallen Empire as The Outlander, but not all of us play as a Jedi Knight. Hence, our question for this Friday Focus. 

We'd like to know which class you think is most suited to being The Outlander and why. Do you think that a Bounty Hunter is just as iconic a role as a Jedi Knight? Tell us why in the comments section below! 

Stache We all know it's the Emperor's Wrath. The only one acknowledged by the Emperor on Yavin. Then on Ziost, an Imp...
The Hat Every part of me wants it to be the scoundrel, simply because giveing an outlander signiture nutkick to all the Zakuul a...
Magenta Sparrow Innovations Wrath and/or the Hero of Tython. Both have a personal connection with the Emperor, both are the most talented lightsaber...
Love can make us absolutely crazy, driving us to do the unimaginable. There will be that one person who brings forth our head noises, making us say and do things we normally would not. We see it day-to-day in films, television shows, novels, games, and in our own lives. 
Star Wars tells the story of a man who was driven mad by love; the fear of losing his beloved made him give up everything and everyone he knew for what he believed was a way of life that could set things right. WRONG! Anakin's love for Padmé drove him as mad as a wild gungan. 
The idea of love and its problems is represented in every era of Star Wars, including the era of The Old Republic. Each class had its own romanceable companion. However, the potential for real magic and drama comes from roleplay. 
Roleplaying characters in SWTOR allows us to birth our own wild stories of love. Your love story could send your Jedi down a horrible dark path, just like many other Jedi throughout Star Wars history. It can drive other non-Force users to murder, to kidnap, to steal, and even betray those closest to them. 
For today's Friday Focus, tell us if you've participated in your own Star Wars-esque love story, and what drama erupted as a result of it. Was your love perfect and without consequence? We'd like to know about that fairy tale as well. Hit our comments section with your answers!
Seisu Skagendo has to take two relatively mature people to be able to pull off the IC relationship because some people start to feel an...
Mtidja Seyl to some Perhaps surprising to some my main character (Mtidja) is also one of those who I defined best in the romantic sense, I k...
Dennis "to do the unimaginable" - My poor Deng basically lost his will to carry on once I and the other playe...
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