This Week in Aurebesh turned five years old just a couple of days ago, and to celebrate my choice of translation subject was an easy one. One of the most recent of many Mandalorian themed additions to SWTOR recently was the “Hired Gun’s Decoration Bundle” which includes the very large “Outdoor Jedi Temple” decoration.
Although interactable decorations are nothing new, this one sports a unique and cool feature because only Force using characters can fully discover all this decoration has to offer. When a Jedi or Sith click the stone in the center of the temple, the ancient runes light up and a swirling pillar of Force energy erupts into the sky. This item is clearly meant to recall the Jedi ruins on Tython visited in the episode The Tragedy from the second season of Disney+’s popular series, The Mandalorian. While the runes inscribed on the stone in the TV show do not seem to be translatable, the ones in SWTOR‘s version can.
The writing inscribed on the pedestal shares the same alphabet with runes players will have encountered on Ossus, and those familiar with this runic alphabet may notice that I’ve reversed the position of the phrases on the inner ring. The question of where and how to read text on a circular baseline is surprisingly complex. My personal impulse in this case is to start at the bottom and work my way up to the right and around on the left, so that’s what I did here, even if it means my recreation doesn’t track exactly with the original. For the outer ring, in the interest of bringing balance to the Force, I did match each phrases’ position around the circle.
The content of the text is very similar to what we saw on Ossus, and both refer to the Jedi code. The code cited here is once again an earlier version, rather than of the one most commonly used both in SWTOR and Star Wars lore in general. Personally, this fan has always found the particular version of the code we see here to be more in keeping with the themes of my favorite Star Wars stories. The “regular” Jedi code’s negation of emotion, ignorance, passion, chaos and death strike me as somewhere between confusing and foolhardy. If the Sith literally exhorts followers of the Dark Side to break free of these notions, it seems to me that the Jedi are better served by seeking to strike a balance between them.
Metaphysics aside, this is truly a neat decoration, and one that quite honestly should not be limited to just player strongholds. I very much hope that the designers find away to incorporate this temple into the open game world. It would be entirely appropriate to place it atop some out of the way hill or mountain on Tython. It would be a very cool easter egg for players to discover by accident or to seek out for roleplaying or just fun.
The Best View in SWTOR
On a related note, I do want to mention The “Best View in SWTOR” Contest that is in its final day as I post this. While I have been active in the game recently, working to get Marcus his first Nightmare operations clear (and my first in several years), and helping the good folks in the Ootinicast guild complete the operation on Dxun for the first time, I have also been journeying from one end of the galaxy to the other taking screenshots of the many, many breathtaking views the game has to offer. I have always loved the exploration aspects of MMOs and find the simple act of traveling around on a favorite mount and seeing where I can get to be an extremely relaxing way to pass the time. In SWTOR, revealing hidden corners of the maps, finding lore objects and collecting Datacrons have all been activities in which I am eager to engage.
Moreover this contest is also an opportunity for a few lucky and keen eyed players to directly affect the game, even if only in a small way. I don’t imagine that this is something that happens a lot in many games, especially a Star Wars game. I don’t expect to win, but I am glad to have had an excuse to revisit some favorite locations and uncover a new vista or two I missed the first time around.
I thought I’d finish up with this view from Tython. Even though it was not iconic enough to be my submission, it is nevertheless my favorite snapshot from my travels this past month. I wasn’t even trying to get this specific view, instead I had climbed a ridge to get an overview of the valley below, when I turned around, the sun was shining through the leaves at a perfect angle. Ten years in and SWTOR can still surprise me with a quiet moment of beauty.
And that’s pretty much why I started this blog five years ago, to remind myself to stop and look around and take a closer look at things I might normally race past on the way to the next boss or quest objective. It’s something that I hope is good advice both in this game and this life. I am immensely grateful to everyone who has stopped by on this journey, and I hope we’ll continue to find some new wonders to discover in a galaxy far, far away.