Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: The Basement
Re: Create Your Own Universes
Okay, I know I've been pretty much inactive for a while now. And while partly that's because I've been lazy as usual, another huge part of it is that ever since this thread went up, I've been obsessing over this:
....okay, here we go. Time to swing for the fences.
THE BASIC CONCEPT:
This is a re-imagining of the Star Wars
Universe, from the ground up. While the original movie-verse was created around the idea of telling one contained story based on Joseph Campbell's monomyth 'The Hero With A Thousand Faces,' the idea here is to think of it instead as a massive ongoing universe with eons of history to draw from, innumerable worlds to explore, and high-concept future fantasy mixed in with 'hard' sci-fi. Players can assume either alternate versions of existing characters from the SW universe, or create entirely new ones.
THE GALAXY AT A GLANCE:
Galaxy map current as of 21138 GCE (or 0-BBY in the movie-verse)
Red= The Great Pangalactic Empire
Blue= The Alliance to Restore the Galactic Republic
Green= The Exchange Confederacy
Orange= Clone Collective Space
Purple= The Ruins
Galactic civilization is extraordinarily vast and incredibly diverse. Spanning 120,000 light years across and teeming with over 180 billion life-sustaining star systems, the actual number of species, planetary civilizations, regional factions, or local societies over the Galaxy's 13 billion years is impossible to calculate, let alone an even remotely accurate census of the population. Many species, particularly Humanity, have spread over so many worlds and developed so many disparate cultures that it is impossible to tell what became of their original home planets. The history of the Galaxy is constantly being rewritten, due to the loss or rediscovery of ancient-beyond-ancient knowledge, or to editing and censorship by fleeting rulers and administrations, or most of all, due to eons of seemingly perpetual warfare.
Despite this, millennia of trade and interaction among planets has led to a general homogenization of technology and culture, particularly among the Core Worlds. The farther out from the Core one gets, however, the more drastically one world differs from another. There are still incredible discoveries to be made in the far reaches of the Galaxy, brand new or long-forgotten powers on uncharted systems, spectacular treasures hidden away, unthinkable horrors lurking in the dark of space. And throughout history, there has been no shortage of people willing to fight for the fate of it all.
MAJOR POINTS OF CONTENTION:
Spoiler!!! Click to Read!:
While traveling through physical space, ships and other objects are all subject to the laws of Physics, which would severely limit the capacity for interstellar travel. No conventional drive, no matter how powerful, can exceed the speed of light, and those that approach it experience temporal lensing thanks to the laws of Relativity. Uninitiated worlds have been known to experiment with various forms of warp drives or wormhole travel, with mixed and often disastrous results.
Interstellar travel was not regularly feasible until the discovery of the Hyperspace Jump Gates, massive and incredibly powerful artifacts so ancient that their creators and original purpose have been completely lost to history. These Gates create tunnels of extradimensional space where normal baryonic matter (which can only travel below the speed of light) is transformed into tachyonic matter (which can only travel above
the speed of light), allowing objects within the Hyperspace lanes to travel at thousands or even millions of times the speed of light. This discovery allowed various sentient societies to expand and come into contact with each other, leading to the current state of galactic civilization.
While ships with on-board Hyperdrives have since been developed, they still require to be within range of the Jump Gates in order to work. As a result, the Gates are considered the key points of assuming political, economic, and military power in the Galaxy. Whoever controls access to the Hyperspace lanes controls that particular sector of space, and thus the vast majority of the Galaxy's wars have been fought over the Gates.
Spoiler!!! Click to Read!:
The Metaverse is an artificial reality, a vast and sprawling cosmos of digital worlds. Somewhere between the Internet and the Holodeck, users completely immerse themselves in the Metaverse and interact in real-time with full sensory feedback. While most use it for accessing data, instant interstellar communication, or simple entertainment, there are those familiar enough with the workings of the virtual universe to alter its programming, to break the imposed limitations of what can and can't be done while plugged in. They can use this to any number of ends, be it stealing classified information, attacking communications networks or defense mainframes, or even creating whole worlds within the Metaverse where hackers can lose themselves completely.
Due to the inherent risk of nearly unlimited access to information and communication, the Metaverse is strictly outlawed for civilian use within the Empire, restricting its use only to high-ranking military and political figures. The ARGR and Exchange Confederacy have no such restrictions, and the Confederates in particular wield a significant amount of power in the virtual world.
THE JEDI ORDER:
Spoiler!!! Click to Read!:
The exact nature of the Force is a mystery, despite the efforts of countless generations of scholars, scientists, religious orders, and spiritual leaders to determine it. What is known of the Force, however, is that it is a phenomenon that allows sentient beings to directly alter the nature of reality around them. The Force is prevalent in all sentient life in the Galaxy, and may be the common root behind all known forms of religion or mysticism throughout galactic civilization (a belief particularly upheld by the Jedi Order)
While all sentient creatures have a connection to the Force, only a very select few can make use of that connection--it is estimated that only one in ten trillion sentients is Force Sensitive. The fact that there seems to be no genetic abnormalities among Force Sensitives, and that it does not seem to be hereditary (non-Sensitives can have offspring that are Sensitive and vice versa), leads some (again, the Jedi in particular) to believe the Force itself is sentient, that it intentionally chooses individuals in order to carry out some larger design.
Force Sensitives are capable of extending their consciousness beyond their physical form, allowing them to sense and influence the thoughts of others, to remotely view distant locations, even to retain conscious thought after the destruction of their physical bodies.
As one becomes more intuned with the Force, either through intentional submission to its power or by internalization and sheer dominating force of will, a Force Sensitive being can impose their consciousness onto the physical world. They can move objects with a thought, regardless of size or mass-- from lifting rocks in the air to, with enough concentration, crushing a star into a black hole. They can distort the physical forces of the universe, altering gravity, electromagnetic fields, or even the nuclear forces that hold matter together. It is said, though not widely believed, that a being that has truly become one with the force can travel through space and time instantly, create warps in the fabric of space-time, access higher dimensions of pure consciousness, and achieve immortality and omnipotence.
Various orders throughout galactic history have dedicated themselves to understanding and achieving oneness with the Force, most notably the Jedi Order and its fanatical offshoot, the Brotherhood of the Sith. Conflicts between these two orders and countless others have shaped the Galaxy for millennia, both in the physical world and in higher planes of existence. While most of the Order's knowledge has been lost in the Great Purge, an old Jedi proverb states "nothing stays lost forever; it merely waits to be found again."
THE BROTHERHOOD OF THE SITH:
Spoiler!!! Click to Read!:
Roughly a millennium after the creation of the Galactic Republic, religious conflicts between the various newly-united societies threatened to tear the new order apart. In response, a summit was held on the planet of Tython, where leaders and scholars from every religion and spiritual belief system would meet and discuss their faiths, in the hopes of finding universal truths between them.
The Summit of Tython was not a quick or easy proceeding, by any stretch of the imagination. Generation after generation argued and squabbled and bickered over fundamental differences and theological details, very nearly leading to outright holy wars on more than one occasion. Over time, the Summit was considered a failure, a doomed and laughable experiment, but despite this, they continued. It was very nearly a thousand years before consensus was reached, but eventually, out of Tython rose the Jedi Order.
The Jedi followed a set of what they believe to be universal ethics: Truth, Compassion, Humility, and Courage. They saw themselves as instruments of the Force, chosen to protect those who cannot protect themselves, and to encourage others on their own path of enlightenment. For thousands of years, the Jedi acted as advisors, negotiatiors, and keepers of the peace throughout the Galaxy, always seeing themselves as servants rather than rulers, a clear voice of spiritual wisdom.
Jedi studied for years how to attune themselves with the Force, and many among them became immensely powerful. Upon achieving Knighthood, a Jedi would take a pilgrimage to Tython and create a Key for themselves, a personalized totem that would help them channel the Force. These Keys were made with Force-imbued crystals, energized to critical mass and sustained within powerful electromagnetic fields, keeping inside them a fusion reaction comparable to the core of a star. Each Key was unique to the Jedi using it, be it a musical instrument, a piece of jewelry, or more often than not in times of war, a weapon (in the case of Anakin Skywalker, a sword--or more accurately, a lightsaber)
The Jedi Order was often regarded with suspicion and mistrust by the general populace, seeing them as a secretive order of hermits who were using their political clout in the Republic to impose their religion upon others-- a view which was intentionally spread by the Sith. The Jedi's inability to achieve victory during the Clone Wars only compounded their unpopularity, and when the Emperor declared them enemies of the state, much of the Galaxy's population was glad to see them gone.
By Galactic Common Epoch year 21138 (0 BBY in movie-verse), the Jedi have been criminalized and hunted into extinction. Their Order has been wiped away by the Empire, their Grand Master Yoda defeated and driven insane, and the very memory of them has been supressed and discredited. As far as the universe is concerned, the Jedi Order lives on only in one man: Obi-Wan Kenobi, an old hermit hiding in the wastes of Tattooine, and safeguarding what may be the Galaxy's only hope.
Spoiler!!! Click to Read!:
During the early days of the Jedi Order, the Jedi appeared to be united in their quest for enlightenment and universal truth, but behind closed doors, the debates left over from the Summit of Tython went on. While all agreed on the universal virtues, there was a fair amount of contention as to how to apply them to the Galaxy at large. A fringe group within the Jedi believed that these virtues had to be made law, a forced doctrine in which to instill the greater good upon the uninitiated.
Roughly five centuries after the Summit of Tython, a second Summit was held on the planet of Korriban. While the founding of the Jedi Order was a slow and arduous process, the Schism that split it was quick. The faction of Jedi that supported the forced imposition of the Order's virtues had come to believe that those who wished to let non-Sensitives be only did so because they did not follow the virtues themselves. They saw their fellow Jedi as heretics, and attacked them openly.
These new fanatical Jedi foreswore their order, instead naming themselves after the religious authority of ancient Korriban, the Brotherhood of the Sith. This cult of oppressive theocrats challenged the Jedi's status as the predominant spiritual movement in the Galaxy, and waged a series of devastating wars with them over the course of millennia.
Unlike the Jedi, the Sith internalized the Force rather than letting it merely flow through them. They believed that they came from a position of absolute moral authority, and in order to create the utopia that they envisioned, they would need to amass as much power as possible. Their attuning with the Force came not in a quest to heal the sick or stop needless aggression, but to achieve virtual godhood.
The Sith religion found an ally in the Imperialist 'Gal-Soc' movement within the Republic, and for several centuries, both movements labored to topple the Republic's bureacracy and instill a police-state regime. Time and time again the Jedi drove the Sith out of power, until they withdrew from acting in the open, instead operating entirely in the shadows, waiting for an opportunity to strike.
While no one may know who exactly started the Clone Wars or why, many believe it is no coincidence that it ended with the Imperialists in control, the Jedi Order driven into extinction.....and the Lord of the Sith as Galactic Emperor.