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Avoiding Jedi

Discussion in 'World Building' started by D. Gray Warrior, Aug 4, 2015.

  1. D. Gray Warrior

    D. Gray Warrior Troubadour

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    I am currently doing some worldbuilding for a science/fantasy blend story.

    The world has an order of knights who are divided into two classes: Warriors (fight in wars) and Protectors (Law enforcement).

    The Knights wear futuristic armor that closely resembles what knights wore in the Middel Ages. They weild laser swords.

    I am trying to avoid giving them magic (or force powers) and may steer clear of making them a religious order since I don't want them to have too much resemblance of Jedi.

    My world was not influenced by Star Wars (at least not conciously)
     
  2. T.Allen.Smith

    T.Allen.Smith Staff Moderator

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    If you use a laser sword, you'll have a hard time distancing yourself from Star Wars.

    Everything else could be totally different, but certain things are too iconic. Like lightsabers.
     
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  3. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    Well……………

    It's really hard to have a laser sword and not think Star Wars. Even in Smash Bros., when I first saw the Beam Sword in that game, I said, "Ooh! A light saber!" (*may or may not be exact words—I'm a jackass when I play video games) And I usually play as Samus, so of course that made it even more light-sabery.

    Once you have that laser sword, that's it. Everything is Star Wars. Readers will hear the WUMM WUMM when the sword swings, even if your description implies the swords sound more like bacon. And the medieval armor… if the bad guy wears a dark helmet, readers will picture Vader. Or Dark Helmet.

    [​IMG]

    So, TAS beat me to it, but yeah, it's as he said. The "laser swords" resemble the most iconic thing about Star Wars. That's just the way it is… sometimes your ideas are so similar to what's out there, you actually need to change things up to avoid looking like a copycat.
     
  4. Reaver

    Reaver Kwisatz Haderach Moderator

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    Hey.. Thundarr the Barbarian got away with it. His Sunsword IS NOT a lightsaber (even though the sun is a source of light) and Ookla the Mok IS NOT a Wookie (even though Ookla was a big furry guy who didn't speak).


     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 10, 2017
  5. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    Well, one thing is certain. That planet-destroying thing is NOT a Death Star. (It's a Death Comet.)
     
  6. Tom

    Tom Istar

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    It's no moon, either.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2015
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  7. Reaver

    Reaver Kwisatz Haderach Moderator

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    Also, the fact that Princess Ariel's father is the main villain is purely coincidental.
     
  8. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    [​IMG]

    PRINCESS ARIEL: "You killed my father!"
    TRITON: "No. I am your father!"
    FLOUNDER: "Noooooooooooo!"
     
    Ireth likes this.
  9. Reaver

    Reaver Kwisatz Haderach Moderator

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    This Flounder?

     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 10, 2017
  10. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    Well, anyway, just to stick to the OP's topic, even a German Star Wars parody had a medieval Darth Vader in a joust.

    [​IMG]

    Most of Traumschiffe Surprise Periode 1 was in space, with a Han Solo-like character and Trekkies who wear secondary colors instead of primary…

    [​IMG]

    But anyway, I think the point is that you'll have a hard time being Star-Wars-like but being seen as not-Star-Wars-like. Since you're going for medieval, is there a chance you could have magic swords that aren't light sabers?

    I once wrote an angel of death who wielded a sword made of pure white light. I mean the whole sword, hilt and all, would just appear in her hand. I'm not saying this was a good idea so much as I felt like I was creating imagery that was different enough from a light saber. (Maybe it doesn't come off that way here in this post with Star Wars/Trek parody pics, though!)
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2015
  11. Reaver

    Reaver Kwisatz Haderach Moderator

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    I wouldn't worry about it too much. The term lightsaber is inaccurate anyway. Actual light would go on for infinity.

    They're probably some sort of energy contained within a small, focused plasma field. If you go the magic route, you could have weapons that exude anything you want. Light, flame, lightning, wind, water, and so on.

    If anything you should avoid the whole knight thing. Maybe go with a league of assassins or a monastery of fighting monks.
     
  12. evolution_rex

    evolution_rex Inkling

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    To be honest, I wouldn't go with a laser sword. The concept itself doesn't really make much sense to me and it's already been done before. Swords are already impractical in a science fiction setting, so the suspension of disbelief doesn't need to go that far. Why not metal swords made of a futuristic advanced metal?
     
  13. Saigonnus

    Saigonnus Auror

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    Since everyone already mentioned the whole light-saber aspect, I won't mention anything beyond the fact that I agree with them, a laser sword it too recognizable.

    Instead I will focus my comments on magic. If one were so inclined, one might give them magic that isn't force-like at all. You know, the whole natural occurring force bent to the users will with force of will or whatever. There are many forms of magic. Maybe it evolved to the future from a more structured runic based magic, or alchemical, or even powered crystal/doodad type. This could differentiate it from Star Wars. It would have to be decidedly different though so there isn't much parallel.

    The concept you'd have to overcome, is whether magic is limited to the planet (like a magnetic field is), limiting their ability to use it to the planet... or whether it spans the universe, or how it is carried out into the vast blackness of space. I think that is why George Lucas used the force, encompassing all things, so it could be anywhere in the universe, so the Jedi could hold sway anywhere they went.

    Perhaps "magic" is a natural thing in the universe, but limited to planetary bodies, and they must use runes or some catalyst to carry it out into space, which would make it different from the force. I could see ships using magical propulsion, magical plating on the hull to resist radiation and weapon strikes, a storage container for extra "magic" in case they need repairs on the fly.

    The same could be used for weaponry... Enchanted staves or whatever with whatever ability you want it to have. I could see knights like that serving as the police force with stun batons, ones that instantly knock someone out, pacifying them quickly.

    Anyway, just a few thoughts, I hope they help.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  14. WooHooMan

    WooHooMan Auror

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    Man, this thread got weird quick.

    I have groups of characters who are intentionally based on Jedi and Sith. I was initially going to give them laser swords but then I was like "no, as soon as you give them laser swords they cross the line from Jedi-influenced to Jedi-copies".

    I think it's possible to have swords in a sci-fantasy setting and not feel anachronistic as long as there are no guns. If there are guns in the setting, you could have their swords be symbols of authority rather than practical weapons.

    What I'm getting at is: no laser swords. Religious order with magical powers is okay but laser swords are the line.
     
  15. D. Gray Warrior

    D. Gray Warrior Troubadour

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    Thanks for the answers!

    I like the magic idea. Maybe they have swords made out of spiritual energy "chi" that they summon from within themselves. This however drains their life force, so they can only use it for so long before they need to rest.

    I have also been toying with the idea of a Rune Sword- basically an ordinary looking sword with a hole in the crosspiece where you insert the rune and the sword gains the power of that rune.

    As for thr Star Wars thing, it does not help that the story takes place on a desert planet.
     
  16. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    If it has twin suns…

    Nah, I'll keep it serious this time. (I really can't top the Little Mermaid post anyway.)

    The only suggestion I'd make is to make sure your magic sword is practical for your world. For example, the rune sword probably works, and might work especially well with that different-magic-on-different-worlds idea suggested earlier… I mean like the rune holds the power of a certain planet, assuming the Notjedis come from more than one world, and the rune from their world allows them to take that magic anywhere. And maybe the more powerful Notjedis can use magic from worlds other than their own.

    The sword made of chi doesn't seem as practical as a real sword. However, if the idea is that the Notjedi walk around unarmed and can use their chi to summon a blade of pure light, and with that blade they can cut through hulls of Destroyer Class Starships and form Deflector Shields around themselves when holding the sword in a defensive stance, now the chi sword is more effective than a normal sword and is worth the risk of fatigue or health problems.
     
  17. glutton

    glutton Inkling

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    Or if your sword wielding characters can move and/or move their swords faster than most gun wielders in the setting can adjust their aim, that can work too.

    Remember, you don't need to be faster than a bullet, just faster than the bullet shooter can react to. If you move out of the spot the gunman is aiming at before they can pull the trigger, as long as they don't get the drop on you, you're golden.

    In a more fantastically powerful setting, moving faster than bullets would work too though.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2015
  18. Reaver

    Reaver Kwisatz Haderach Moderator

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    If you want to use something like The Force in all its mysterious, ethereal glory I say go for it. Lucas f**ked that whole wondrous thing up with midichlorians. Only a giant piece of bantha poodoo can take something so fantastic and cool and then cheapen it by saying that there's nothing fantastic and mysterious about it at all.

    Make your story anyway you want and don't let outside opinions influence what you write. Every writer steals ideas from other writers. What sets one apart from the other is the manner in which one presents those stolen ideas.

    You wouldn't believe how many ideas Legendary Sidekick stole from me. (You know what I'm talking about.)

    That's just the nature of the game.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2015
  19. T.Allen.Smith

    T.Allen.Smith Staff Moderator

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    This is the first, but certainly not the last time you'll experience Reaver's dislike of the prequels. :)

    That is right on the money.

    The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources.
    - Albert Einstein
     
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  20. Reaver

    Reaver Kwisatz Haderach Moderator

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    This is true. My disdain for the abominations known as Star Wars Episodes 1-3 have reached folkloric status here.

    Thank you T.A.S. I also want to thank you and Legendary Sidekick for all the ideas I stole from you on several occasions. You're both a font of epic inspiration and I'm eternally grateful.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2015
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