Meetra's quote on MW Revan and Darth Nihilus - Debunked
In this thread, I will be thoroughly debunking the claim that MW Revan is canonically superior to Darth Nihilus. I have outlined three main points that I will be discussing in this thread. Firstly, the famous quote is in place:
She had sensed that his offer to work together was sincere, though she wondered how much of that was Revan’s doing. It was easy to understand how Scourge could be drawn to him: Revan’s command of the Force was greater than that of anyone else she had ever met.
-Star Wars: The Old Republic: Revan
1.Meaning of ‘Command of the Force'
Let’s first begin with what ‘Command of the Force’ actually meant, as this is usually the main heat for this topic. Many people in the past have tried arguing that Command of the Force translates to raw Force power and not mastery or control of the Force or anything like that. The main arguments presented were that the writer of this novel, Drew Karpyshyn, uses ‘Command of the Force’ interchangeably with raw Force power and that whenever he uses ‘Command of the Force’, he means raw Force power. This, however, is incorrect in many instances of his writing and novels. As a matter of fact, the idea that ‘Command of the force’ referring to knowledge/mastery/ability to direct/control/use/call upon and not raw Force power is supported on many occasions by novels written by Drew Karpyshyn. I have placed many quotes below written by Drew Karpyshyn in his novels. On each ‘Command of the Force’ instance, I have used [ ] to describe what it meant from knowledge/mastery/ability to direct/control/use/call upon. It is very clear that ‘Command of the Force’ does not always mean raw Force power. In fact, in most cases it doesn’t.
-Star Wars: Darth Bane: Path of Destruction (Below quotes)
He was completely aware of his surroundings at all times, sensing the presence of others. Sometimes he could even get a feel of their intentions, vague impressions of their very thoughts. He was able to levitate larger objects now, and for longer periods. With each lesson his power [Distinguished from Command] grew. It became easier and easier to command the Force [Control/Direct the Force] [ Raw Force power doesn’t not many any sense here] and bend [Use it to his will] it to his will.
True victory in this war will not come through armies, but through the Brotherhood of Darkness. Our greatest weapon is the Force, and those individuals who have the power to command it [Command as in the ability to use/direct/control the Force which is what ‘it’ is referring to; No raw Force power context here]. Individuals like you.
"The power [Not Command; Distinguished; In other cases it mentions ‘command’ of the dark side] of the dark side. The heat of passion and emotion. I can feel it in you, as well. Burning beneath the surface. Burning like your anger. It makes you strong."
There was, however, one sanctioned way students could bring a rival down: lightsaber combat. The chosen weapon of both the Jedi and the Sith, the lightsaber was more than just a blade of energy capable of cutting through almost every material in the known galaxy. The lightsaber was an extension of the user and his or her command of the Force [ Mastery; refer to the next bold parts and pay close attention to ‘mental discipline’; Lightsaber is also not dependent on Raw Force Power ]. Only those with strict mental discipline and total physical mastery could use the weapon effectively ... or so Bane and the others had been taught.
But it was more than just lack of sleep that left him in a dazed stupor. The passion that had driven him was gone. The raging fire inside him had vanished, replaced by a cold emptiness. And without his passion, he was unable to summon [Directly related to the next bold part] the power of the dark side. It was becoming harder and harder to command the Force [Control/Usage/Direct/Call upon; You don’t ‘lose’ your raw Force Power].
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Special note: The above quote is of interest. Pay close attention to how it starts mentioning that the ‘power of the dark side’ is unable to be summoned and then mentions that its ‘harder and harder to command the Force’. The ‘command’ is directly related to ‘summon’ here (and not power) as both are being lost. The power is still there but he is not able to call upon it because the ‘Command’ is lost.. Therefore, it’s clear that the ‘Command the Force’ is not the ‘power’.
Since coming to the Academy he had worked toward one clear goal. All his studying, all his training had been for one single purpose: to understand and command the power of the dark side of the Force [Mastery/Knowledge; his studying and training was to allow him to control/direct the power of the Force; thus quote is not Raw Force Power]. The dark side would bring him power. Glory. Strength. Freedom.
When he didn't reply she took a deep breath and continued. "They're wrong, Bane. You can't just lose your ability to command the Force [Control/Usage/Call upon; Raw Force Power here doesn’t make sense to the sentence]. None of us can. The Force is part of us; it's part of our being.
His words carried the righteous weight of truth. Last time he'd felt hollow inside, as if something had been taken from him. This time he could still feel the Force flowing through him in all its savage glory, filling him with its heat and power. This time the dark side remained his to command [Control/Usage; Raw Force Power doesn’t leave you in order to ‘remain’].
To survive, the Sith had to vanish, becoming creatures of myth, legend, and nightmares. Hidden from the eyes of the Jedi, they could seek out the lost secrets of the dark side until its full power [Distinguished from ‘command’ later in the sentence] was theirs to command [Control/Usage/Direct the ‘full power’ from earlier]. Only then-once victory over their enemies was certain-would they tear aside the veil of shadows and reveal themselves.
Bane also collected the treasures of the ancient Sith, but he preferred the wisdom contained in the ancient texts. Zannah knew he looked on the rings, amulets, and other paraphernalia with disdain. The spark of the dark side that burned within them was like a single drop of rain falling into the ocean of power [Again, distinguished from ‘command’ later in the sentence] he already commanded [Controlled/Mastered; Similar analysis to previous quote]
But there was one thing worthwhile in Zannah's offer. He had been given a glimpse of what she was capable of during their one-sided battle in his living room. It might be worth a few years of following orders and calling her "Master" if he could learn to command [Mastery/Control] that kind of power [Control/Direct this ‘power’; Command is NOT power; Also similar analysis to previous 2 quotes] for himself.
Learning to harness that power-to take control of his destiny, rather than to let it keep controlling him-had allowed him to ascend to his current position. The Force had become a tool; its power was his to command and bend to his will [ Power of the Force distinguished from command; its power was his to command/control/manipulate/direct and bend/use/usage to his will]
It is thus very clear that ‘Command of the Force’ is not the same as raw Force power and cannot be used interchangeably.
Meetra would not even have an accurate portrayal of Nihilus’s power and thus her comment becomes invalid to Nihilus. Consider:
"A scene where the players are approaching Nihilus from behind, he doesn't even turn around as they advance down the bridge. Nihilus turns, raises his hand, and the entire party is raised into the air, similar to Force Crush. He speaks, his voice roaring, and the player should realize that Nihilus is far more powerful than they had believed. Nihilus lets player fall and get to her feet. Nihilus walks over to the player. Player kneels. As Nihilus reaches out with his power, he drains the player with vampiric energy, and then suddenly reels back, collapsing on the ground. “
¯Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic: The Sith Lords (Cut Content)
It is made clear that Meetra did not anticipate how powerful Nihilus was (despite knowing what Nihilus has done) and she only realized he was a lot more powerful than she had originally thought when the party is raised into the air. After Meetra realizes Nihilus is way more powerful than she thought, Nihilus attempts to drain her after a few seconds, which ends up severely weakening him (he was weakened twice throughout the fight). Therefore, Meetra would have only had very few seconds to assess Nihilus’s power and accurately interpret it before he ends up getting severely weakened. It’s not possible to accurately tell how powerful one is in such few seconds. There are many cases of Jedi/Sith Masters underestimating their own students/apprentices despite even being the ones training them. So how would Meetra, who admitted she did not anticipate Nihilus’s power and then only had very few seconds to re-assess Nihilus’s power after, be able to accurately compare Nihilus’s power to Revan, whom she had known for years. Keep in mind that all those seconds Meetra had to sense Nihilus’s power as she is walking across the bridge to Nihilus are irrelevant in this case because it is stated that she only realized he was a lot more powerful than she had originally thought when the party is raised into the air, which occurs after walking the bridge meaning any of her assessments beforehand are inaccurate. In addition, Nihilus was starved from his trip to Telos before any of this. Prime Nihilus would be after appeasing his hunger from draining a planet. Not this. Based on all the points above, Meetra is not a valid and accurate source to depict Nihilus’s power from. Therefore, her comparisons to Revan are invalid and very likely inaccurate.
In addition, in many instances in KOTOR 2, Nihilus is described as more of an abomination of the dark side and a being of pure hunger rather than a human or a person anymore. In fact, his own physical body has deteriorated and no longer existed anymore. Consider the following quotes:
"... Darth Nihilus, a being of pure hunger and dark side power, was approaching the colony."
¯The Conclave at Katarr Codex Entry (Star Wars: The Old Republic)
“He… if he can truly be called a man any longer… is one of the Dark Lords that pursues you. I do not think he knows what you are, not yet.”
- Kreia, Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic 2 - The Sith Lords
Meetra’s quote says that Revan’s Command of the Force is greater than that of anyone and not anything she has experienced. Did Meetra consider Nihilus to be a human? Or a dark side abomination? Or a being of hunger? It is unclear how Meetra viewed Nihilus and what he is. As such, Meetra’s quote may not even include or apply to Nihilus anyways and it’s validity is further in question.
3.Kreia views Nihilus’s power on a different level than anyone else
Kreia is one of the Jedi masters that taught Revan before he headed off to the Mandalorian war. As a matter of fact, there is evidence to suggest that she is the main/primary Jedi master that taught Revan. Firstly, she was the Jedi master blamed for Revan’s fall and as such would mean that Revan was taught under her more than any of the other Jedi masters. If that wasn’t the case, then one of the other Jedi masters would have taken the blame and not Kreia. Secondly, it is stated that Revan always went back to Kreia for teachings and advice. As such, it is clear that she was Revan’s main teacher. On topic, Kreia seems to put Nihilus in a league of his own in terms of power, despite being MW Revan’s main master. Consider:
“One cannot have power of that magnitude and still think and perceive the universe as we do."
¯Darth Traya (Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic: The Sith Lords)
Kreia is a much more valid and reliable source than Meetra to depict Nihilus and MW Revan’s power. She was Revan’s teacher before he went to the Mandalorian war and she has trained Nihilus as well. It’s not a mere few seconds unlike on Meetra’s account. This is also consistent with the fact that Nihilus’s feats and showings are vastly superior to MW Revan. While one may argue that Revan became more powerful between leaving Kreia and the end of the Mandalorian wars, this would be of little significance. Revan’s contribution in the Mandalorian wars was highly praised to be his strategies and tactical genius. Whilst his combative ability and experience would have improved, his Force ability would not have had a significant increase considering he is busy with the war fighting non-sensitive Mandalorians and not gaining more knowledge and learning more about the Force. Either way, his increase in power during this period would be hardly significant compared to the increase in power from Nihilus draining planets.
I have demonstrated in this post that ‘Command of the Force’ does not translate to raw Force power and thus cannot be used interchangeably with it. I have also shown how Meetra could not be an accurate source to depict Nihilus’s power and therefore her quote is invalid to Nihilus. Further, the way Meetra views Nihilus, as a human or a ‘hunger being’, is unclear and this further invalidates the quote when used on Nihilus. Finally, I have shown that Kreia views Nihilus’s power on a different level than anyone else of that time whilst Kreia herself was MW Revan’s main teacher, which is consistent with Nihilus’s feats being vastly superior to MW Revan. Kreia who was a teacher to both Revan and Nihilus makes her a much more reliable and valid source to draw comparisons from than Meetra who was exposed to MW Revan’s power for years while for only a few mere seconds to a Telos starved Nihilus. Therefore, I conclude that MW Revan is not canonically superior to Darth Nihilus.