Missed Part 1? Check it out here.
Full disclosure: I have not finished KOTOR 2. I took a break from it to start playing the online game again and haven’t returned to it quite yet, but this is a serial thing anyway, so it’ll be kind of fun to see how my thoughts evolve on the subject.
I stopped playing after getting to the end of the visions on Korriban, and facing off against a vision of my team asking me to choose sides between Kreia and literally all of my other companions. I haven’t trusted Kreia from the very beginning, and it was just a vision, so I did what I’d done for all the other visions throughout the cave. I refused to play along. I didn’t think I should have to put up with this forced trip down memory lane so I resisted as much as possible. The strategy had gotten me through the rest of the dungeon so far, but I quickly learned that, in this awful vision, apathy really was death, and I couldn’t handle fighting everyone, including Kreia, at once.
This was incredibly frustrating to me because the idea that Apathy is Death was sort of being forced on me in some awful mind games that made the phrase literal. Even more frustrating, the vision seemed to interpret the phrase to mean that apathy directly brings about the downfall of the apathetic person.
I am totally down with this phrase, and the game up to this point has driven it home pretty well. The whole reason the Exile joins with Revan in the Mandalorian wars is out of anger at the Jedi council’s apathy toward the plight of the Republic and the conquered worlds. The Exile acts specifically because they see that apathy is resulting in death (and general suffering). We might also be able to point toward a kind of apathy as the driving force for the massacre on Malachor V.
So we have plenty of examples that prove Apathy is Death, and do so in a much more effective way than this vision scene does. The war that we’ve exited from, and the awful remains that we’re left in has shown us that Apathy is Death, not only for you as an individual, but, more profoundly, for droves of people. Apathy is Death for entire worlds and cultures and ways of life. So this cave vision almost feels trivializing.
I have a feeling that Kreia has orchestrated this vision, if not every step of the way, from the first memories of joining Revan through to the end, then at least she tagged on this frustrating bonus vision of the present. Kreia’s attempts at imparting some profound knowledge on the Exile always fall short and come off like she’s trying too hard to be an edgy counter-Jedi. (See: her nonsense about the fate of some beggar I gave some money to, and how I’m responsible if he uses that money for evil or if he gets mugged for it. Are you kidding me, Kreia?)
She tries so hard to be Morally Gray ™ when Atton Rand is a thousand times the gray character she’ll ever be. I don’t even really know what her whole deal is quite yet, but I am willing to bet it is less interesting and complex than Atton Rand’s attempts at loyalty and doing the right thing, eventually leading him to commit horrifying crimes. (Sounds like someone we know.) We’ve got a Mandalorian who fought in the war, another who was orphaned by it, and an apprentice of Sith teachings who’s struggling to change. I think Kreia gives her air of mystery too much credit. In this wild post-war world, her gray morality and her shrouded eyes don’t impress me.
(That’s why her hood is so big. It’s full of secrets.)
A short afternote: While searching for “Apathy is Death” in Google images, a Banksy painting came up in the search results, so it seems even search engines aren’t having any of this “enlightened” nonsense.