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Barachiel

Need Help Fleshing Out an AU for the Rebellion Era

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Waffled on which forum to put this in (seriously, can we get a general Star Wars RPG forum for "Cross-Line Discussions"?) and went with AoR over the other two, as I'm focusing mainly on the Rebellion/Empire side of things at the moment. 

 

So first off, why do I need to do an AU?  Well, simply put, I'm something of a continuity nazi as a GM.  Don't get me wrong, the players are always the center of my stories, but I avoid the Rebellion Era like the plague, because Luke, Han, and Leia are THE stars, and my players have had little interest in being "heroes of another story" when they know i won't let them kill Darth Vader or blow up the Death Star themselves.

 

But with the success of The Force Awakens, I find myself wanting to go back and do a classic WEG-style Age of Rebellion (with a side of Force and Destiny) game.  But I want my players to not feel like they're being hemmed in by the OT.  

 

The Core Concept

 

During the battle of Mustafar, Anakin Skywalker defeated Obi-Wan Kenobi, killing his old mentor.  Taking his injured wife to his new master, they used their combined power to save her life and those of her twin children.  For the next several years, Anakin continued to study at the feet of Palpatine, keeping his wife as a near-prisoner, and their children raised in the arts of the Sith.  Presented to the galaxy as Darth Vader, destroyer of the hated Jedi and heir to the Empire, he served as the Emperor's fist.  Finally, ten years after the fall of the Jedi Order, Master and Apprentice clashed, and it was the apprentice who remained standing.  There was a brief shake up in the hierarchy of power, but "Vader" had been planning his succession for some time.  Those who opposed him were swiftly disposed of, and order was restored.

 

However, one thing did not go as planned:  Padme Amidala Skywalker escaped the Imperial Palace, though she was forced to leave the twins behind when her efforts to extract them were spoiled.  With the aid of a few old friends, including her fellow Senator, Bail Organa, and her new protector, Ahsoka Tano, Padme set about forming an organized resistance to her husband's empire.  Fast-forward another nine years, and the galaxy is on the verge of another civil war.  The Empire is about to bring it's greatest weapon onilne.  Enter those PC-looking types....

 

The Major Changes

  • The Empire is no longer sexist/speciest.  That was Palpy's thing, and Anakin never showed any such inclination. 
  • The Empire is both better and worse under Vader's rule.  The worst tendencies of Palpatine's Empire for subjugation and slavery have been removed.  Slavery is illegal and woe to any who practice it, if the Empire gets their hands on you.  The current Emperor takes that sort of thing.... personally.  On the other hand, Darth "Failed Me For the Last Time" Vader still tends to have a Zero Tolerance policy on failure, and a extreme lack of mercy for what the law dubs criminals and rebels.  Think less "Machiavelli-Meets-Hitler" and more "Vlad the Impaler meets Genghis Khan". 
  • The Royal Heirs are directly involved in the operations of the Empire.  Luke acts much as his father once did for Palpatine, having an unofficial but powerful role in the Imperial Military.  Leia helps oversee Imperial Intelligence and has shown a particular knack for counter-insurgency.  She's also the "Nice" one of the family, and is sent when her father actually wants to try for a soft sell rather than his usual direct approach.  
  • The Rebel Alliance is organized and led by a triumvirate of Senators Bail Organa, Mon Mothma, and Padme Amidala.  Padme's insider knowledge has alerted them to several important projects (including the Death Star), and has helped them counter Imperial tactics
  • The Rebellion is in a strange position.  With Vader's "reforms", many are persuaded by the seeming attitude of "as long as we obey the law and meet our quotas/taxes, he'll leave us in peace!" approach that is the hallmark of his reign.  That said, those worlds who have suffered from his... punishments tend to be very enthusiastic supporters. 
  • There are a handful of fully trained Jedi left in the galaxy, though none who made the rank of Master.  Few can even lay claim to the title of Knight.  That said, there is an open race between the Rebellion and the Imperial Inquisition to find and locate Force Sensitives.  The Rebellion hopes to formally revive the Jedi Order, but are still too few in number.  
  • The new Emperor doesn't give a sith (pun intended) about the Rule of Two.  He is training both his children as his apprentices.  He's also expanded the role of the Inquisition and uses them to recruit young Force Sensitives.  He wants to create a new Sith Order to replace the Jedi, believing that he can bring "balance" to the Force by creating an Order of Dark Side users to act as the Praetorian Guard to his new Sith Dynasty.  
  • The clone trooper program has been partially revived.  ARC Troopes once again serve as SpecForces, and the current Emperor prefers them as his personal unit, over the typically conscripted Stormtroopers.

Okay, that's the broad strokes.  I guess I'm mainly looking for input on what other changes to make to the setting, or what ramifications I might not be considering.  

Edited by Barachiel

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Where/How does Tarkin factor in? He was a pretty major political and military presence in the original timeline.

 

You need an overall reason for the Empire to be the "Bad Guys". As it stands you've basically just turned them into what sounds like a "Benevolent Tyrant" state with a somewhat harsh and unforgiving legal system. Which isn't inherently -bad- unless you happen to be on their bad side. The original empire had a whole slew of things that made them into the "Bad Guys" (granted the big ones were the Racism and Slavery, which you have removed). So unless Vader is extremely over-enthusiastic as to what he deems "failure"(Think Stalin's purges in Soviet Russia. Or a jumped-up version of McCarthyism). You've got a very grey universe, where things aren't as good as they used to be, but your "Evil Empire" isn't exactly Evil anymore and is just Empire-y.

Edited by BigSpoon

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dude i love this, I was in middle of a similar AU creation, where Luke joined the imperial navy, connected with his father, and helped bring "anakin the jedi" back to life. 

 

Under yours, if you like policito characters, could do a thing about the rebellion trying to have ssome diplomacy with the Empire, to reinstate things like the senate and remove the emergency powers of the emperor.

 

Also, yours is so much better then what i had so far, would you hate it if i borrowed some of your bullet points ?

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Anakin's hatred for the Jedi Order "that oppressed him" could be the motivating factor.

 

Padme, knowing that her husband can't be redeemed after bring abused and held prisoner for so long seeks to rebuild the Jedi as a way of combating him and restoring the Republic she sees as a democracy.

 

Anakin, seeing the Jedi as oppressors and the Republic as an enabler for inaction and chaos in the galaxy, seeks to stop the reformation of the Order and declares any planet that harbors them to be enemies of Order. His tactics so totalitarian and destructive that the galaxy has begun to fear them. Worse, he has made an "oops" or two, falsely glassing planets that had nothing to do with the Jedi, and this has put the Galaxy in the "will they be the next mistake" nervousness. This gives the Rebellion the chance it needs to make allies.

 

Enter the Death Star, which now plays the same role it did in the original timeline, that of congealing the alliance of worlds. In the OT, the destruction of Alderaan caused the galaxy to awaken to the Empire's "Rule of Fear." In this AU, it will remove a planet's ability to seek a diplomatic response when Vader's fleet arrives to glass their planet. Instead of seeing the Fleet amassing above and appealing to the Empire to prove themselves innocent, now the Empire can show up and blast them out of existence before they can even call for mercy.  This makes Vader's "oops" choices into shocking death sentences to any planet so identified.

 

Destroying the Death Star will show that the Rebellion can stand against this regime out of control, as well (if done to save a planet that is "innocent" but wrongly accused) will accentuate the need to overthrow the Empire for one that won't be so quick to act without thinking.

 

To pull it off, Leia needs to be the focal point. Being the "soft sell" of the children, she needs a reason to turn against her family. It could be that Luke is even more rash than Anakin, quickly and completely wiping out any who oppose him (which would make sense considering he would never have had Obi-Wan to temper him as his father did). Leia then could be convinced (perhaps through a love interest from one of the PC's) that if allowed to continue the Empire would leave the galaxy a scorched abyss - devoid of any life as each planet would eventually give Luke or Vader a reason to destroy it given enough time. 

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Anakin's hatred for the Jedi Order "that oppressed him" could be the motivating factor.

 

Padme, knowing that her husband can't be redeemed after bring abused and held prisoner for so long seeks to rebuild the Jedi as a way of combating him and restoring the Republic she sees as a democracy.

 

Anakin, seeing the Jedi as oppressors and the Republic as an enabler for inaction and chaos in the galaxy, seeks to stop the reformation of the Order and declares any planet that harbors them to be enemies of Order. His tactics so totalitarian and destructive that the galaxy has begun to fear them. Worse, he has made an "oops" or two, falsely glassing planets that had nothing to do with the Jedi, and this has put the Galaxy in the "will they be the next mistake" nervousness. This gives the Rebellion the chance it needs to make allies.

 

Enter the Death Star, which now plays the same role it did in the original timeline, that of congealing the alliance of worlds. In the OT, the destruction of Alderaan caused the galaxy to awaken to the Empire's "Rule of Fear." In this AU, it will remove a planet's ability to seek a diplomatic response when Vader's fleet arrives to glass their planet. Instead of seeing the Fleet amassing above and appealing to the Empire to prove themselves innocent, now the Empire can show up and blast them out of existence before they can even call for mercy.  This makes Vader's "oops" choices into shocking death sentences to any planet so identified.

 

Destroying the Death Star will show that the Rebellion can stand against this regime out of control, as well (if done to save a planet that is "innocent" but wrongly accused) will accentuate the need to overthrow the Empire for one that won't be so quick to act without thinking.

 

To pull it off, Leia needs to be the focal point. Being the "soft sell" of the children, she needs a reason to turn against her family. It could be that Luke is even more rash than Anakin, quickly and completely wiping out any who oppose him (which would make sense considering he would never have had Obi-Wan to temper him as his father did). Leia then could be convinced (perhaps through a love interest from one of the PC's) that if allowed to continue the Empire would leave the galaxy a scorched abyss - devoid of any life as each planet would eventually give Luke or Vader a reason to destroy it given enough time. 

Interesting ideas! I think I can use them.

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Where/How does Tarkin factor in? He was a pretty major political and military presence in the original timeline.

You need an overall reason for the Empire to be the "Bad Guys". As it stands you've basically just turned them into what sounds like a "Benevolent Tyrant" state with a somewhat harsh and unforgiving legal system. Which isn't inherently -bad- unless you happen to be on their bad side. The original empire had a whole slew of things that made them into the "Bad Guys" (granted the big ones were the Racism and Slavery, which you have removed). So unless Vader is extremely over-enthusiastic as to what he deems "failure"(Think Stalin's purges in Soviet Russia. Or a jumped-up version of McCarthyism). You've got a very grey universe, where things aren't as good as they used to be, but your "Evil Empire" isn't exactly Evil anymore and is just Empire-y.

Tarkin is his most trusted advisor.

I should have been more clear. Anakin's empire is less day to day oppressive but much more brutal in the long run. Remember in the EU, Vader base delta zeroed an entire world just to contain a bioweapon.

He's overreacted to Padme's escape and the formation of the Rebellion. Any planet suspected of harboring sedition is razed. If a sighting of Padme reaches him, the ISB rears the area apart looking for her.

Edited by Barachiel

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I thought he just blasted a city or were there two bioweapon outbreaks on his watch in Legends?

 

I'm curious though what happened to Garm bel Iblis in this timeline? Also what worlds are going to be supporting the rebellion that supported the Empire in the original timeline and vice versa?

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I thought he just blasted a city or were there two bioweapon outbreaks on his watch in Legends?

 

I'm curious though what happened to Garm bel Iblis in this timeline? Also what worlds are going to be supporting the rebellion that supported the Empire in the original timeline and vice versa?

who is garm bel iblis? And i would just handle this vaguely..

 

Thinking of slavery, I can imagine Lord Skywalker(as i have begun to think of this AU Vader) Leading a **** near open warfare against Hutt Space. 

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He's overreacted to Padme's escape and the formation of the Rebellion. Any planet suspected of harboring sedition is razed. If a sighting of Padme reaches him, the ISB rears the area apart looking for her.

 

Okay, so. This makes for an interesting concept, but I would scale it down massively, or ditch it entirely. Or at least, never, ever try it more than once. Maybe use it as a preventable outcome for character actions later, but then drop it entirely. Your players might become jaded to something that's supposed to be horrifying, and might even think it gets silly if it happens too much.

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I thought he just blasted a city or were there two bioweapon outbreaks on his watch in Legends?

 

I'm curious though what happened to Garm bel Iblis in this timeline? Also what worlds are going to be supporting the rebellion that supported the Empire in the original timeline and vice versa?

who is garm bel iblis? And i would just handle this vaguely..

 

Thinking of slavery, I can imagine Lord Skywalker(as i have begun to think of this AU Vader) Leading a **** near open warfare against Hutt Space. 

 

 

In the ROTS deleted scenes Garm was one of the senators meeting with Padme to discuss the idea that eventually became the Rebel Alliance and in the Legends continuity he was part of the initial big 3 of the Alliance along with Mon Mothma and Bail Organa. He was one of the early Alliance's best military commanders but about a year after Yavin Mon Mothma insisted on launching an attack she had planned with Bail before he died but never discussed with Garm. Garm had information that the target had much stronger defenses than Mothma and Organa thought and when Mothma refused to listen to his warnings he became worried she was another Palpatine in the making and he and his followers left and formed their own independent rebel movement. He eventually realized he was wrong about Mothma and rejoined the New Republic.

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Thinking of slavery, I can imagine Lord Skywalker(as i have begun to think of this AU Vader) Leading a **** near open warfare against Hutt Space. 

 

 

The Hutts would do what they always do and adapt to survive. When the Imperial Fleet turns up at Nal Hutta they would sign up, divest themselves publicly of any slaving operations while pushing their operations outside of Hutt space and via more cut outs. Then any Imperial anti-slavery operations will be against patsy's on third party worlds with no ties to the Hutts, all overseen by the Moff in charge or Hutt space. Well he would be in charge just as soon as they finishes this pile of spice bigger than they are.

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Thinking of slavery, I can imagine Lord Skywalker(as i have begun to think of this AU Vader) Leading a **** near open warfare against Hutt Space. 

 

 

The Hutts would do what they always do and adapt to survive. When the Imperial Fleet turns up at Nal Hutta they would sign up, divest themselves publicly of any slaving operations while pushing their operations outside of Hutt space and via more cut outs. Then any Imperial anti-slavery operations will be against patsy's on third party worlds with no ties to the Hutts, all overseen by the Moff in charge or Hutt space. Well he would be in charge just as soon as they finishes this pile of spice bigger than they are.

 

I doubt Anakin would let them go that easy.

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Yeah The Hutts will be pretty much extinct by the time Anakin is through. Their survivors and allies might provide a great source of funding knowledge, and maybe Kossaks, Minstrels, and Hutt favored fighters will be routinely used by the rebel fleet in this timeline.

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Yeah The Hutts will be pretty much extinct by the time Anakin is through. Their survivors and allies might provide a great source of funding knowledge, and maybe Kossaks, Minstrels, and Hutt favored fighters will be routinely used by the rebel fleet in this timeline.

I dont know about extinct, the species as a whole is not all corrupt. and I can see the Hutts being a Finical backers to the rebellion 

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Tarkin is his most trusted advisor.

 

I wouldn't be sure about that. Tarkin was an excellent politician, craving for power, but probably not the best military commander (refusing to send out Tie-Fighters in response to the Rebellion's attack on the Death Star, for example). He was a member or a privileged, old and powerful family as well, and Vader probably wouldn't care about privilege - only about ability - when assigning posts. Don't understand me wrong, he and Vader were probably allies when Vader took over, but I see Tarkin only ending up as a dead body on the Imperial Throne Room's floor, strangled by invisible fingers.

 

I don’t think that Emperor Skywalker would have built a Death Star either. Firstly, we can see in Episode IV what Vader thought about the Death Star (insignificant to the powers of the Force). Secondly, I don’t see Vader as the type of person who would see any use in the ability to destroy complete planets with one shot. In my opinion, he’s more the personal type, someone who enjoys killing his enemies personally and up close. Thirdly, with Sidious dead and Vader’s body unharmed, Skywalker is the most powerful and dangerous being in the Galaxy. I don’t think he would be stupid enough to build a weapon powerful enough to potentially kill him.

I see the Empire constantly at war since Vader’s ascension to the Imperial throne: first against the Hutts, later against the Black Sun and other criminal organizations. Alderaan wouldn’t be destroyed, but rather under Martial law and ruled by Imperial forces with an Iron fist as the Emperor suspects that Bail Organa helped Padme escape. Vader’s flagship, the Executor, has probably been finished much sooner as there would be no Death Star to take up resources. So the Empire’s most powerful weapon would probably be the Executor.

The Imperial Senate is probably long gone and the Empire is ruled by the Military. When I imagine Vader’s Empire, I think less fascist state, but rather regular military dictature. So I’d assume that COMPNOR is a lot less powerful in this timeline. Vader’s Empire is probably less dark and suppressive than Sidious.

Members and Supporters of a Rebel Alliance could be old Separatist worlds, the Hutts and a variety of criminal organizations, Corellia (with Garm Bel Iblis),…

 

Of course, that's only my idea - feel free to do whatever you want in your AU, I'm sure it will be a really cool and fun setting to play in! ;) 

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He's overreacted to Padme's escape and the formation of the Rebellion. Any planet suspected of harboring sedition is razed. If a sighting of Padme reaches him, the ISB rears the area apart looking for her.

 

Okay, so. This makes for an interesting concept, but I would scale it down massively, or ditch it entirely. Or at least, never, ever try it more than once. Maybe use it as a preventable outcome for character actions later, but then drop it entirely. Your players might become jaded to something that's supposed to be horrifying, and might even think it gets silly if it happens too much.

 

 

Oh, I know.  It has to be a SOLID sighting, confirmed by multiple sources.  It's not like Elvis sightings.  But yes, your point is well-seen.

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I thought he just blasted a city or were there two bioweapon outbreaks on his watch in Legends?

 

I'm curious though what happened to Garm bel Iblis in this timeline? Also what worlds are going to be supporting the rebellion that supported the Empire in the original timeline and vice versa?

who is garm bel iblis? And i would just handle this vaguely..

 

Thinking of slavery, I can imagine Lord Skywalker(as i have begun to think of this AU Vader) Leading a **** near open warfare against Hutt Space. 

 

 

Garm is in charge of boots on the ground.  Ackbar is in command of the fleet.  Cracken's still running Special Forces.  :)

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Tarkin is his most trusted advisor.

 

I wouldn't be sure about that. Tarkin was an excellent politician, craving for power, but probably not the best military commander (refusing to send out Tie-Fighters in response to the Rebellion's attack on the Death Star, for example). He was a member or a privileged, old and powerful family as well, and Vader probably wouldn't care about privilege - only about ability - when assigning posts. Don't understand me wrong, he and Vader were probably allies when Vader took over, but I see Tarkin only ending up as a dead body on the Imperial Throne Room's floor, strangled by invisible fingers.

 

I don’t think that Emperor Skywalker would have built a Death Star either. Firstly, we can see in Episode IV what Vader thought about the Death Star (insignificant to the powers of the Force). Secondly, I don’t see Vader as the type of person who would see any use in the ability to destroy complete planets with one shot. In my opinion, he’s more the personal type, someone who enjoys killing his enemies personally and up close. Thirdly, with Sidious dead and Vader’s body unharmed, Skywalker is the most powerful and dangerous being in the Galaxy. I don’t think he would be stupid enough to build a weapon powerful enough to potentially kill him.

I see the Empire constantly at war since Vader’s ascension to the Imperial throne: first against the Hutts, later against the Black Sun and other criminal organizations. Alderaan wouldn’t be destroyed, but rather under Martial law and ruled by Imperial forces with an Iron fist as the Emperor suspects that Bail Organa helped Padme escape. Vader’s flagship, the Executor, has probably been finished much sooner as there would be no Death Star to take up resources. So the Empire’s most powerful weapon would probably be the Executor.

The Imperial Senate is probably long gone and the Empire is ruled by the Military. When I imagine Vader’s Empire, I think less fascist state, but rather regular military dictature. So I’d assume that COMPNOR is a lot less powerful in this timeline. Vader’s Empire is probably less dark and suppressive than Sidious.

Members and Supporters of a Rebel Alliance could be old Separatist worlds, the Hutts and a variety of criminal organizations, Corellia (with Garm Bel Iblis),…

 

Of course, that's only my idea - feel free to do whatever you want in your AU, I'm sure it will be a really cool and fun setting to play in! ;) 

 

 

Tarkin encourages his harsher tactics, in the name of rule through fear, something Vader can get behind.  The Death Star was 50% finished when he took power.  Tarkin persuaded him better to finish it than waste resources trying to repurpose it to something else. 

 

Anakin decommissioned the senate much sooner than Palpatine, and is part of the reason for the instability of the Empire. 

 

The Empire IS constantly at war with organizations and societies that get on Vader's bad side.  He has a treaty with the Hutts, but only because he needs them off his back while dealing with Black Sun and other criminal syndicates.  The Hutts are far enough out that even he realizes he needs a few less fronts before taking them on.  He has made it VERY clear to them, however, that he will not tolerate slavery in Imperial space and any slave who enters Imperial space is immediately granted freedom and can apply for government assistance in building a life as a free man.  His chief positive reform.   I want to give little hints that there IS still good in him, like in the OT.  

 

They do support the Rebellion however, though neither side is aware of it.  Should the Empire find out, Vader's limited patience will snap and he WILL go after them, no matter how strategically unwise that would be.

Edited by Barachiel

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I like this concept a lot. It seems well thought out.

It strikes me that Anakin always had this reckless streak that Original Trilogy Vader lacked. I wonder what that would be like when applied to ruling the galaxy. It was probably fine when it came to faith in his own abilities, but ruling the galaxy is an entirely different skill set. Anakin wasn't really one for long-term planning, although he'd have to adapt to his position.

How would Palpatine's death have been presented publicly? Because I imagine there would be some hardcore loyalists who would not take kindly to the current Emperor murdering his predecessor. I could picture Anakin having to purge some Palpatine loyalists from Imperial organisations, maybe some loyalists fleeing to the outer-rim in an effort to escape his grasp.

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Is the Palpatine of this AU the "undisputed master of the dark side" that is presented in the default setting?

 

If so, does Vader assume that mantle in your AU?  The "canon" Vader, I'd think probably not.

 

If not, does this leave the door open for more independent "Sith" to spring up? 

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Yeah The Hutts will be pretty much extinct by the time Anakin is through. Their survivors and allies might provide a great source of funding knowledge, and maybe Kossaks, Minstrels, and Hutt favored fighters will be routinely used by the rebel fleet in this timeline.

I dont know about extinct, the species as a whole is not all corrupt. and I can see the Hutts being a Finical backers to the rebellion 

 

 

True though I'm pretty sure wiping the Sand People will be high on Vader's to do list/ Plus any Hutts who have personally pissed him off.

 

I could also see Palpatine Loyalists forming a third faction in the civil war.

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Is the Palpatine of this AU the "undisputed master of the dark side" that is presented in the default setting?

 

If so, does Vader assume that mantle in your AU?  The "canon" Vader, I'd think probably not.

 

If not, does this leave the door open for more independent "Sith" to spring up? 

I have a game about to start up using ideas from this thread and some of my own for smaller details, but there are always independent "sith", Any one can take a title if they want. I like the idea of Palpatine being a force ghost and training some one in revenge

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Is the Palpatine of this AU the "undisputed master of the dark side" that is presented in the default setting?

 

If so, does Vader assume that mantle in your AU?  The "canon" Vader, I'd think probably not.

 

If not, does this leave the door open for more independent "Sith" to spring up? 

 

Wow, sorry for the lack of replies, guys.  I stopped getting notifications about this thread.  Weird.

 

Yes, he was.  Vader surpassed him, as he was largely uninjured.  It took a decade of training and study, but eventually the two clashed, and Anakin won, but just barely.  

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Is the Palpatine of this AU the "undisputed master of the dark side" that is presented in the default setting?

 

If so, does Vader assume that mantle in your AU?  The "canon" Vader, I'd think probably not.

 

If not, does this leave the door open for more independent "Sith" to spring up? 

 

Wow, sorry for the lack of replies, guys.  I stopped getting notifications about this thread.  Weird.

 

Yes, he was.  Vader surpassed him, as he was largely uninjured.  It took a decade of training and study, but eventually the two clashed, and Anakin won, but just barely.  

 

 

OK -- sorry if I missed this earlier -- is the Vader of your setting less maimed / cybernetic? 

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