Sunday, February 17, 2008

Character Biography: Akker

Y'know, being in my little Star Wars class has kind of rekindled an old character idea I had. A Star Wars character, to be exact. So I've been putting some more thought into the character, and for all I know, I may even use a story involving him as my final project for the class.

So, I thought I'd put down my info on the character, almost as much for my own future reference than for anyone else. Hopefully you'll find it interesting enough. (If you don't recognize any term, chances are you'll find a description at this website.)

So let's get started:

Name: Akker
Species: Iridorian
Gender: Male
Height: 1.70 meters (Approx. 5'7")
Hair Color: Black
Eye Color: Slate Gray
Era: Old Republic Era
Affiliations: Iridorian Empire (Exiled); Jedi Order (Exiled)

Now, I'll do a little bit of explaining. You'll notice that I said that this fellow's species is Iridorian. What the hell is an Iridorian? Well, to put it bluntly, it is one of the most obscure species ever. In fact they were only mentioned once in the whole of all the movies, games, books, comics, etc, and that was in Knights of the Old Republic. Here's the article about them (on the near-disturbingly comprehensive Star Wars Wiki). There's not much information about them, save for that they are a bloodthirsty warrior people. We also don't know what they look like, seeing as the only one ever seen is wearing a suit. So, I took some liberties when creating my guy.

Now, as far as the name "Akker"...well, I like the name. It actually comes from one of my Magic: The Gathering acquaintances named Charles Hacker. Which I always thought was an awesome name. (So did everyone else, apparently; ever team he was on unanimously chose to be called "Team Hacker".) It seems like a very direct name. Short. Punchy. To the point. Kind of like the character.

Now, as far as showing you what he looks like, I used what may be one of my best tools; the City of Heroes/Villains character creator. You may remember my showing this off a bit when I was talking about Solomon Dusk. Well, this time I had a specific character I was setting out to create, so I went about the process a wee bit differently. There are a few things that are a bit off, but overall, this is what the character looks like:
Ha! Bet you weren't expecting someone who looks like that! I...oh, you were? Well...still! Anyway, in the final version of the character, there would be a few changes I would make. For example, his kilt/battle skirt would end a little more north of the knee (it'll make more sense once you get a better idea of his personality). But, for all the limitations of the character creator (which is still considered the best in the industry), it works well. Now, Let's get a better look at him, so you can see what makes a Iridorian an Iridorian and not a pure human.
Okay, so there's not much that separates him from being human. That's why the Iridorians would be classified as "near-humans". However, there are a couple of differences, some of which I couldn't take any pictures of. First, the ears are pointer, similar to elves or Vulcans. Second, there are small, dark, bony spikes protruding from his shoulders. These are indeed part of his skeletal structure (his bones are dark, by the way, as is his blood). Now, some of the things you can't see: his fingers are sharper, more claw-like than a a humans. Second, his teeth are sharper than a human's. I couldn't show this in the game, because there is only one face that shows teeth (that doesn't look psychotic) and it's this really dorky smile that doesn't fit the character. So use your imagination.

So, now a little character history. So, this takes place somewhere around 1,600 years before the events of the first movie (the one with Mark Hamill). I chose that time because there's no major plots that occur around that time, and so it's easy to work around. Now, around this time, some random Jedi intercepted a small pod/ship that was drifting aimlessly through space. Inside they found a little baby with a strange mark around his left eye. The baby was presented to the Jedi Council, who sensed in it great potential in the Force. They decided to raise the baby as a Jedi. So it went for many years.

Then, when Akker was, oh, 16-19 or so, he was sparring with his master, the Jedi Master Kuala Lumpur (that's a placeholder name, but seeing as most SW characters have kooky names anyway, it doesn't matter much). They were both fighting with their lightsabers, and Akker was getting more and more into it; his Iridorian instinct was building up. He was getting a little too bloodthirsty, and ended up striking down and killing his master. When he finally regained his sense of normality, Akker realized that his career as a Jedi was over because 1)He had struck down his master, a high-ranking Jedi whom he had respected and loved all his life and 2)he enjoyed doing it. So, he sent himself into exile, but not before retrieving his master's lightsaber crystal (which I'll get to in a minute).

When in this exile, he decided to put his power to use, working as both a prize fighter and a mercenary of sorts. He never took the money he won in the prize fighting (for him, the combat was the prize itself); instead, it went to his friend, Paul (again, placeholder name). Paul was a traveling merchant, mainly of exotic food and alcohol. Akker, being a fan of both, joined with Paul, and the two would travel from planet to planet, going to all the main events. Eventually, they earned enough money to open a bar on the planet Ramalamadingdong (again, placehol...yeah, you get the drill). Akker lives in a room on the upper floor of the bar, and the place is also set up to host small-time fights.

There, that's Akker in a fighter pose.

Now, let's take a short detour into personality. Akker is a very complicated character personality-wise. He's definitely not a good guy, but he's not totally evil. (On a side note, the character would be an interesting note in the nature vs. nurture debate.)

We'll start with the bad. I like to say that Akker embodies the seven deadly sins. However, he really only embodies four-and-a-half of them. Let's look at what doesn't match.
Envy - Akker enjoys his life too much to envy anyone else.
Greed - Akker has absolutely no desire for money. He never gets payed with money, and if he does get any, he gives it to Paul. How does he pay for things then, you ask. Well...he doesn't. He just takes what he needs. What is anyone going to do? Call some sort of law enforcement? He would actually enjoy that, as it would give him a fight.
Wrath - This is the "half" one, and it may seem a little surprising. After all, isn't this guy a bloodthirsty killer? Well, yes, he can be, but I'm looking at motives here. Even though he is technically on the "dark side" of the Force, he doesn't believe in anger or hatred. He only believes in happiness. Granted, that happiness may not always be based in the best things, but he has a deep feeling of respect for every person he fights and kills. So, he's not much of a wrathful person.
Now, let's see what he does embody:
Pride - And he's not afraid to show it. Akker loves himself, everything about himself. A mirror is his constant companion, and he loves posing and showing off.See?
Lust - And we're not just talking about the "blood" variety here. Remember when I said that Akker doesn't accept money as payment for anything? Well, then, how is he reimbursed for his mercenary exploits. Well...let's just say he prefers his clientèle to be of the female persuasion. Use your imagination.
Gluttony - Pretty basic; Akker loves his food and (especially) his drink. That's one of the reasons he decided to join up with Paul and live at a bar.
Sloth - Despite his Jedi training and his killer instinct, Akker often enjoys lounging around when there's work to be done.

Now, he's not all bad. He just has a kinda-skewed sense of honor. On the good side, he honestly cares about those he considers his friends, and will help out when they are in need. He also maintains some of the discipline he learned in his time with the Jedi. Although he will fight and kill anyone who even thinks of threatening him, he will not fight someone who cannot adequately defend themselves (children, the weak, the elderly, pacifists, etc.). In fact, not only will he not attack those people, he will fight off anyone who does. Akker is also very direct, and always speaks his mind. Dishonesty is never an issue with him. And, as I explained earlier, he is a very positive, optimistic person, always looking on the bright side of things. I suppose you could say that he is very hedonistic. No, not my kind of hedonism; but rather the more traditional definition.

History (Part 2)
Now, Akker continues on this path for the next 10-15 or so years, until one day, some Jedi come onto Ramalamadingdong for an unrelated assignment. One of them happens to be a female Jedi named Jedina. When Akker sees her, he immediately falls in love (much to the mocking of all his friends), and he tries to woo her. Eventually, she begins to develop feelings for him (he really is doting upon her, so he's ignoring all the other ladies he encounters). Fearing these feelings, she reveals this to the Jedi Council, who become shocked at hearing that Akker is still alive. They summon him, tell him to stop corrupting Jedina, and then ask him to help them. As fate would have it, the Iridorians are invading a planet in the Republic.

Eventually, Akker agrees, seeing as his fellow Iridorians would be a worthy fight. Upon meeting them, he notices something interesting: all the Iridorians are significantly larger than him. He then learns that he was actually an outcast, because as a baby, he was deemed to small and weak to fit into the Iridorian soceity. Hence, he was given the mark of prey (the symbol on his eye) and sent on a small ship to parts unknown, where he would either die as a baby or grow into a target for "real" Iridorians to hunt down. And so they did try to hunt him down. And they failed. And were killed. Eventually, the Iridorian threat was extinguished.

However, not everything was going in Akker's favor. Another Jedi, John Paul II, was secretly in love with Jedina (his friend since childhood), and seeing her fall for Akker was too much for him. He eventually, gave into his rage and turned to the dark side so he could get his revenge on Akker. In a somewhat epic battle, Akker eventually kills John Paul II. This sparks a rift within the Jedi Order that leaves many Jedi dead. Filled with grief, Jedina decides that she needs to kill Akker to end it all, even though she knows he's like, 10 times stronger than most of the Jedi there. Akker reluctantly obliges her, but before he attacks, he turns off his lightsaber, allowing Jedina to strike him down (effectively sparing her life). As he had told his friend Paul earlier, "She's the only one to have defeated me. It's time to make it official." And so, his story comes to an end.

Powers, Abilities, and Weapons
Akker is extremely powerful in the Force, probably more-so than any other being living in the same time period. However, he relies more on his own physical stength and killer instinct most of the time, relying on the Force only when those things don't work out. He has a few different abilities he uses.
Telekinesis - Probably his most-used skill, mainly so he can multitask. He's capable of manipulating many things at once, moving immense objects, and performing intricate tasks. He is also able to wield his lightsaber telekinetically, a useful ability in situations where his arms are unavailable.
Force Dissolution - I completely made that name up, because I don't think this idea has been used before. Basically, this is an extension of Akker's telekinesis; it's so acute and focused that he can literally rip molecules apart, turning whatever object (or enemy) he is focusing on into a pile of goop. Particularly useful if they're using a lightsaber-proof armor; you can bypass the armor altogether and dissolve the person.
Mind Protection - Akker doesn't like his mind being read (he prefers people just ask) and so he protects it as best he can. This isn't really a power, though; he just keeps the forefront of his mind preoccupied with unrelated thoughts (often lewd images, so as to repel the mind reader).

Akker has other traditional powers as well, but chooses not to use them. Now, let's talk about weapons. Really, he only has one: his lightsaber. Now, remember when I said earlier that he retrieved his master's lightsaber crystal before going into exile? Well, that's because it's a special, unique crystal...a black crystal. Which gives him...a black lightsaber.

(That's photoshopped, by the way.)

Now, I'm not even going to try to explain the physics that make this thing work. It's honestly not that important, and anything would just be made up (i.e. the Flaborkins discovered a way to make goobajoob reverse polarity...see how easy it is?). What's important is that it does work. Now, you may have notices that instead of emanating light, this thing actually emits shadow. Here's a picture that you can see this even more clearly on.
This really means nothing. There's no symbolic meaning to it, it's not an evil lightsaber, and it's not a black hole or anything. It's a purely aesthetic choice. What is a functional difference, though, is that the black lightsaber has a unique property. When you turn it on, the lightsaber is fairly weak in power. However, the longer you right, the more powerful it gets. Why? Well, in the movies, you always see the Jedi deflecting blaster shots with their lightsabers. Akker's lightsaber, though, doesn't deflect blaster fire; it absorbs it. In doing so, it gains more energy and becomes stronger. Same deal when he's in a lightsaber duel; every time the blades clash, Akker's absorbs a little bit of energy from the opponent's. Eventually, Akker's lightsaber will overpower the opponent's. However, it always runs the risk of gaining too much energy; that's why someone strong in the Force needs to control it, or else it may just self-destruct, destroying the black crystal forever.


That's all I have to say about Akker for right now. As you can see, I have him fleshed out reasonably well. So, like I said, I may be able to do something with him for my little final project. My thoughts are either on some sort of short story involving him (alongside with a full-on biography similar to what's presented above) or, if I can find someone willing an able, a short comic (which would be awesomer than awesome).

In the meantime, anybody have any questions, comments, or suggestions about the character?


Andrew Schnorr said...

By the way, if you want to see "comic book-y" versions of any of the pictures, you can just click the following:
Full Body Shot
Fighting Pose
Muscle Flexing
Lighsaber 1
Lightsaber 2

Squall said...

very... interesting. I also checked the wookiepedia, spent around 4 hours looking through it, and I find it thorough.