Category Archives: Ancient Jedi Runes

An Elegant Weapon for a More Civilized Age

In general, I aspire to keep this blog focused on things that any player can encounter in the game as a part of regular play, but I’m going to make an exception this time, and take a close look at the Ancient Jedi Blade, a new addition to the Cartel Market because, let’s face it, it is pretty darn cool.

Given SWTOR’s setting, it’s not surprising that the most common weapons used by the Jedi and Sith are lightsabers, but there are examples of less fantastic weapons from training sabers and vibroswords to even the occasional axe or quarterstaff. The Ancient Force-Imbued Blade is the latest example of this type of weapon, not only for the back slung sheath where the blade is carried but also for the ancient runes carved on the length of the blade.

Inscribed swords such as Aragorn’s Andúril and Elric’s Stormbringer are common in fantasy literature, but in our own world, swords engraved with the names of their makers, their wielders, their deeds or mysterious inscriptions go back thousands of years.

In the Star Wars galaxy, therefore, it does not strike me as unusual that the earliest of the Jedi’s weapons would share in this tradition. Not surprisingly, the writing on this blade refers to the Jedi code. I really have to compliment whoever designed this weapon. That the word “Peace” at the tip of the sword is the first thing that goes into the wielder’s foe is an irony probably lost to many of this weapon’s owners, but I appreciate it nonetheless.

I want to thank my guildmate Alaer for modeling the sword for me. I am notoriously wasteful with my monthly Cartel Coin grant and wouldn’t be able to afford this luxury for four or five months! As a platinum item, the sword is especially pricy, so please don’t take this post as an advertisement. It’s not my place to tell anyone how to spend their money. If you’re like me and have to appreciate it vicariously for now, I hope you enjoy this close look.

Misguided

I usually wait a bit to digest new additions to the game before commenting on them, but I feel like time won’t really change my thoughts on the new Galactic Guide feature. I’m not sure where to begin with this misfire; I’m mainly just confused by it. Most folks seem to think that it is first and foremost there to highlight the daily Cartel Market sale, and I can’t really argue with that. In fairness, after greeting guildmates and clearing out my mail box, checking the daily sale is among the first things I do when I log on. As a whole, however, the guide is redundant with the main task bar atop the screen. It is not a good entry point to the Missions tab or Conquest tracker, indeed all it does is put an extra window in the way of those screens. I can’t think of a reason why I’d ever want to toggle it open.

It also does not help that the guide doesn’t play nicely with our existing customized interfaces and can’t be locked in place by the Interface Editor. As for the design itself, it seems like it is trying to solve a problem that doesn’t exist; replacing straightforward descriptors of our location, friends and guild with non-specific icons seems pointless at best and confusing at worst.

Ideally I want to set it and forget it, but it’s not even there yet since it can reset its position when I switch characters or instances. SWTOR‘s recent upgrades to the Cartel Market interface, Activities window and the Conquest tracker have been nicely done and welcome improvements, but the Galactic Guide hits so far from the mark that I’m not even sure what it was aiming for.

 

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Cracking the Jedi Code

Today, “This Week in Aurebesh” celebrates a somewhat surprising third anniversary! I’d like to sincerely thank anyone who has taken time to stop by and check out this silly little corner of Star Wars fandom.

To celebrate the milestone, I’ve translated some writing from Star Wars: The Old Republic that is not in Aurebesh, but still figures prominently in the latest story arc and exploration area of the ancient runes near Ood Bnar’s datacron on the planet Ossus.

When Ossus was released last year, I took a half-hearted stab at translating the runes on my own. I assumed, correctly as it turned out, that the glowing letters probably referred to keywords from the Jedi Code. However, I was stymied by the fact that the words to which the letters refer are not in the same order as they appear in the code; additionally the lines of the code were also out of order on the wall in the initial release of Ossus, making translation even trickier. Later, when the Galaxy’s Edge theme park was opened at Disney World this summer, a translation key for the runes was discovered in merchandise available to visitors.

With this new information and a game update that restored the inscription to its proper order, I was finally able to easily decipher the runes. The inscription clearly refers to important parts of the Jedi Code, but which Jedi Code?

There is no emotion, there is peace.
There is no ignorance, there is knowledge.
There is no passion, there is serenity.
There is no chaos, there is harmony.
There is no death, there is the Force.

The version above is the Jedi Code most familiar to Star Wars fans, but according to Star Wars lore, the code’s first version was rather less absolute.

Emotion, yet peace.
Ignorance, yet knowledge.
Passion, yet serenity.
Chaos, yet harmony.
Death, yet the Force.

I believe the Ossus inscription is meant to evoke the earlier version of the code since it does not include the negation of emotion, ignorance, passion, etc. Given the age of the ruins of Ossus, this strikes me as an appropriate choice.

Regarding for the language itself, I am not aware of any official name for this alphabet. As with other constructed languages, including SWTOR’s own Zakuulan, it derives from Norse runes. Furthermore, like so many other iconic images in Star Wars, the specific inspiration for this alphabet comes from the artwork of Ralph McQuarrie who included runic inscriptions on a painting of the interior of the temples on Yavin IV in the 1995 book The Illustrated Star Wars Universe. These glyphs would again appear as inscriptions inside the ancient Jedi ruins on Lothal and in the “World between Worlds” in the animated series Star Wars: Rebels. From there, examples of the writing can also be found in promotional material for the upcoming Jedi: Fallen Order video game and in Disney’s Galaxy Edge theme parks.

Most of examples of this writing seen on Rebels and elsewhere cannot be translated into English, but the Ossus inscriptions can, and they function as clever bits of world building that evoke both the spirit and the history of the Jedi and the ancient world of Ossus. A character’s discovery of these runes is only the first step in a journey across Ossus that I highly recommend that every SWTOR player take!

 

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Filed under Ancient Jedi Runes, General Star Wars, General SWTOR