I chose to take it easy during the Light vs. Dark event leading up to the launch of the Knights of the Eternal Throne (KOTET) expansion, leveling up only one character in the very thorough way that is my play style. Secorovin, my Powertech, has been coming along nicely. And while I am playing him as a pyrotech DPS to push through the content more efficiently, I plan to gear him as a tank for Uprisings, Flashpoints and Operations once I reach level 70 and Galactic Command kicks in. So far so good.
Naturally, there is still some preparation left getting my legacy ready for the new expansion, and positioning my Bounty Hunter just right has been at the top of my priority list. At the time of this writing, four days before KotET early access, I am nearing the end of the Knights of the Fallen Empire (KotFE) story, and like so many others I am finding the narrative distinctively disjointed for the Bounty Hunter as a non-Force class. It just seems to me that the weight of destiny involved in overthrowing Valkorion’s royal family and seizing the Eternal Throne for oneself seems so much better suited for the best-of-the-best among Force classes -especially in a galaxy full of Jedi, Sith, and whatever the Knights of Zakuul consider themselves to be.
Think about it. Why would a jaded but cunning imperial operative, though admittedly resourceful and resilient, be enough to garner the attention of Valkorion, a Force-weilding super-being who has lived for thousands of years building an unstoppable empire in secret? Why would a smooth-talking, happy-go-lucky smuggler who, having a knack for trouble, has been primarily interested in settling personal scores, suddenly find himself a contender for the Eternal Throne? Why would a humble Republic jarhead, dedicated to lofty principles like freedom and democracy, find himself destined to rule the galaxy as an unchallenged despot? And in the same way, why would my Bounty Hunter, who until now has cared only for his flawless record running down the scum of the galaxy with no care or desire to engage the greater political landscape around him, suddenly be destined to command the Alliance and ultimately ascend to the Eternal Throne?
It just feels to me like such a stretch. An epic stretch, but a stretch nonetheless.
At the same time, I have to acknowledge my character’s journey and development by the end of his origin story. There was a clear trajectory toward greatness. He was a heavyweight among Bounty Hunters, honored to be inducted as a Mandalorian, one of the very few elite champions of the Great Hunt, and a living legend in his tradecraft. If anyone might have finished close but still second-best to the Emperor’s Wrath or the Barsen’thor of the Jedi Order, it would have my Bounty Hunter. That is why I think there has just been something missing in KotFE for non-Force classes. Star Wars is about the Jedi and the Sith. The rest are supporting characters for a reason. So what spicy secret would propel one such as my Bounty Hunter to greatness ahead of the Force-wielders?
Admittedly, BioWare’s writing team has done a good job working around these story limitations. (Seriously, I have nothing but good things to say for BioWare’s writers). I have felt my Bounty Hunter growing as a symbol of justice and resilience throughout his journey. I have felt the tremendous burden on his behalf as he was swept up into the role of Alliance Commander, a role with expectations that have been undoubtedly way over his head. But in the back of my mind, I have been asking myself why my Bounty Hunter would care in the first place. He cares neither for politics nor about who rules the galaxy. He doesn’t care about the fate of the many millions. He doesn’t even care what people think of him -his allies and close friends included… if they could even be called his friends. He cares only for his legend and for the glory and profit of the big kill, hiring himself out to whoever happens to have enough dough and enough of a grudge to want someone dead or frozen in carbonite.
It seems to me that the Bounty Hunter’s story, like the other non-Force classes, is missing something so far in KotFE and KotET narrative -that one key ingredient that would make the meal perfect. I wonder, perhaps, if a dramatic shift in his story might have propelled him out of his individualistic obscurity and into a more political role as a key player on the galactic stage. What if he was forced ultimately to kill Mandalore the Vindicated and don the helm of Mandalore himself? (Come to think of it, “Mandalore the Eternal” sounds awful juicy). I can see the leader and symbol of the Mandalorians taking up the fight as the Alliance Commander. That would fit. But I can’t see my Bounty Hunter doing it.
Regardless, come Tuesday, I will be rocket punching my way to the Eternal Throne with the best of them, one skytrooper at a time. And if Vaylin, SCORPIO, Senya and Koth just happen to get trampled underfoot as I climb the stairs, I’ll just say they got what was coming to them. They were on my hit list anyway.