The Possession Obsession
A History of Possession and Mind-Control in SWTOR

The Possession Obsession - a History of Possession and Mind Control in SWTOR

When I recently completed the Imperial storyline for Onslaught, I was hit with a dawning realisation; throughout the various stories of Star Wars: The Old Republic, the themes of possession and mind-control resurface time and time again. Although I cannot, off hand, recall any instances of these on Tython or (weirdly) Korriban, since Dromund Kaas we have to tackle the issue of people in the galaxy being inhabited by Force Spirits. This goes beyond the classic Jedi Mind Trick, to full control of a whole being. Linked to this is mental conditioning which, while not full possession, still exerts a massive amount of control on its victims. So, let’s take a look at various stories and locations where these issues appear and try to make sense of SWTOR’s Possession Obsession!

Dromund Kaas – Dark Temple

Inside the Dark Temple on Dromund Kaas - SWTOR
No matter which Empire-side class story you pick up, you will reach the Dark Temple on Dromund Kaas. Long story short, some Sith “woke up” some of the spirits of long-dead Sith. The result of this was that most people who drew near to the Temple were possessed by at least one of those. It led some to believe they were Sith Lords and even granted limited use of some Force powers. Others simply became followers of these so-called Lords in their own little tribes within the Dark Temple.

A side-quest uses a “heavy metal torch” to attempt to seal some of the tombs back up again. Why they thought this would work against Spirit beings, goodness only knows!

Sith Warrior Story

The Ravager’s Mind Control

The Sith Warrior finding the Ravager in the Dark Temple

During the Dromund Kaas chapter of the Sith Warrior storyline, Darth Baras has captured a Republic SIS agent. Baras is aware that the Republic is somehow becoming aware of the various agents he has planted around the galaxy and believes the SIS agent is the key.

He sends the Sith Warrior deep into the Dark Temple to find an ancient Sith device called The Ravager. It doesn’t cause possession. In fact, it’s far more sinister. Once affixed to the SIS Agent’s head it forces him to reveal secrets to Baras. The thing is the Ravager effectively melts the brain, empties the mind – and kills the agent. Call it a “fatal truth serum”. Disturbing.

Jedi Consular Class Story

In one form or another, much of the Jedi Consular story in SWTOR is about possession and/or control.

Chapter 1: The Jedi Plague

Yuon Parr is controlled by the Plague Master in the Jedi Consular Class Story

At the end of the Consular story on Tython, Master Yuon Par collapses with a “mysterious illness”. This is eventually discovered to be an ancient Jedi “plague” originally created by Terak Morrhage. Its design? To turn Jedi, even Masters, to the Dark Side. This does, at first glance, just appear to make them insane, as well as destructive. But, in an attempt to find the “Plague Master”, Yuon Par does more than reverse her healing, as the “Plague Master” begins to speak through her.

Chapter 2: Children of the Emperor

Aelan Kalder - a Child of the Emperor on Corellia

I’ve loosely included these here, because I’m not sure its clear whether these were, in fact, posssessed. However the “Children of the Emperor” were effectively “sleeper agents” within various people groups, but mostly in the Republic[1]This Wiki suggests that some Children did not know their status, but interactions in SWTOR suggest that many did.. Once the Children were “activated”, they carried out the Emperor’s will.

On Coruscant, various Commanders have been placed in charge of “Guardian Holds”. These are stronghold fortresses designed to protect Coruscant and key facilities from invasion. However these Commanders are Children of the Emperor and are used to destroy the Republic from the inside out.

Chapter 3: Master Syo Bakarn

Although the Children of the Emperor are not examples of classic possession, it is a major form of control. This is shown most clearly however in Syo Bakarn.

Master Syo Bakarn is the First Son in SWTOR's Jedi Consular Story

Most of the Children of the Emperor you encounter appear aware of their identity. Syo Bakarn differs however. Much of the time he is a revered Jedi Master, seeking to build the Jedi and protect the Republic. However, during Consular Chapter 3 he is eventually revealed to be the “First Son”, but he does not know it. The “second personality” seems to come and go as he please within Syo’s mind and clearly speaks directly to the Consular at various points. This culminates with an intense battle in a cave under Coruscant’s cityscape against the “First Son” in an attempt to destroy Syo or to purge the being from his mind.

Jedi Knight Class Story

Chapter 1: Kira Carsen Forced to Fight the Knight

Possessed Kira takes up Angral's red Lightsaber to fight the Jedi Knight

At the end of Chapter 1, the Knight comes face-to-face with Darth Angrall who still wants revenge on them for killing his son way back on Coruscant.

It’s during your interaction with him that the Emperor takes control of Kira Carsen and forces the Knight to fight against her.

Chapter 2: The Knight is Mind Controlled

Sith Emperor Vitiate Mind-Controls the Jedi Knight

The premise of Chapter 2 of the Jedi Knight’s class story is to prepare for and execute an attack on the Emperor’s hidden space station. Various Masters (eventually) come on board with this. Everything goes according to plan until the point they come face-to-face with the Emperor. The whole invading group is instantaneously defeated. While the Knight survives, they and your active companion at the time, are captured.

You are subjected to Sith techniques that turn you into a weapon to strike at the Republic. You are, effectively, a remote-controlled Sith. The Knights loses a lot of time from which they seem to remember little.

Sith Inquisitor Story

If you want a class story that is more-or-less completely about being possessed and trying to free yourself from that, it’s the Sith Inquisitor Class. It runs throughout the story. Though Chapter 3 is mostly about preparing to fight Darth Thanaton, in reality you’re still inhabited by the Sith Spirits you finally controlled in Chapter 2.

Darth Zash Possesses Khem Val

An Ancient Darth Zash and Khem Val in the Dark Temple

From the end of Chapter 1 of the Inquisitor class story, Dashade Khem Val is inhabited by the spirit of Darth Zash. Much as she would have liked full accommodation, Khem resists Zash leading to a constant internal battle for supremacy.

It’s only after you defeat Thanaton that you go to Taris in search of (yet another) artefact. It is there that you can decide whether to let Zash take Khem completely, or banish her.

Zash makes a brief appearance for the Sith Inquisitor during The Nathema Conspiracy, having managed somehow to find another ‘host’.

Chapter 2: Willingly Becoming Possessed

Vision of the Sith Spirits consumed by the Sith Inquisitor

During chapter 2, it is decided you need “more power” if you want to take on Thanaton. Which apparently you do, even if you don’t. To that end you learn a ritual to allow a Sith Spirit to temporarily reside in you – and hopefully to draw on its power.

Unfortunately, you unwittingly take on way more than is considered safe (which turns out to be… one!), leaving the Spirits sort of free to do what they want. Though they don’t control you, there’s a line somewhere about them “not shutting up”.

Chapter 3: Controlling the Spirits

Using the Sith Ghosts against Darth Thanaton at the end of the Inquisitor Story

In what is an iconic moment in SWTOR, the Inquisitor has to learn to control the Spirits that inhabit them. Only then can you harness their power. Once you have defeated Thanaton, you still need to decide what to do with these “ghosts”.

You can free them all, keep one (maybe two?) or them or keep them all as mental slaves to you. But you’re no longer controlled/influenced by them. As I mentioned earlier “willing possession”!

Voss’ Nightmare Lands

Voss is a strange and beautiful land. Home to Force-Sensitive Mystics both Empire and Republic want them as allies. Inquisitor story aside, not much here is about possession or spiritual control. Except Sel-Makor.

The Role of Sel Mekor

Sith Warrior meets one of the Avatars of Sel-Makor on Voss

Sel-Makor has a complex history (See this Wiki). By the time your character gets to Voss, it/he is controlling the Gormak to war against the Voss. His influence creates the Nightmare Lands with the Dark Heart complex as its stronghold. All characters can interact with an Avatar of Sel-Makor during the Voss planetary arc.

At one point in the Sith Warrior storyline, Sel-Makor possesses “The Voice”. This entity is only destroyed by the sacrifice of Tala-Reh during the Jedi Knight class story on Voss.

The Rakata and Technological Possession

We come now to a rather bizarre creation by SWTOR. I’m going to call it “Technological Possession”.

Tatooine & Czerka Corporation

Transformed Keighlah and Perrin on Tatooine - Image c/o SWTOR-Spy

The planetary arc on Tatooine focuses on an old Czerka base, which turns out to be in the Dune Sea. That base is filled with technologically transformed people. Through Rakatan artefacts, people become machines who are then controlled by “The Imprisoned One”.

Imperial characters actually see two Imperial Reclamation Service staff, Keighlah and Perrin controlled in this way.
I hate this scene so have no screenshots. I took the above from SWTOR-Spy.

Imperial Agent Mind Control

Onomatophobia - SWTOR Imperial Agent Brain-Washing Keyword

Chapter 2 of the Imperial Agent story centres around the question who controls the Agent. Despite following orders when dealing with Darth Jadus, Imperial Intelligence applies “Castellan Restraints” because you fought against a Dark Council member. “Castellan Restraints” is a nice mundane word to mean “Keyword-activated control”.

Anyone with your keyword would be able to enforce certain decisions the Agent took, or even fully manipulate everything they do. However Republic SIS get a hold of your keyword Onomatophobia, turning Cipher Nine into a Triple Agent in their fight against the Empire.

Watcher X in Your Mind

Watcher X Appears in the Imperial Agent's Mind

During the Agent’s operation on Nar Shaddaa, Watcher X inserts the ability to speak into your mind.
This gets creepier if you actually kill him because he later appears to you though being dead.

The upside to this is that Watcher X eventually helps the Agent to free themselves from the Imperial Brainwashing technology that was used by the Republic to control their actions.

Ziost: Possession Central, the Emperor Rises

Master Surro Possessed by Vitiate on Ziost

Things in SWTOR take a really sinister turn after the events of Shadow of Revan. In a bid to feed his immortality, Vitiate begins to possess and speak through people on the Imperial world of Ziost.

Despite your character’s best efforts, more and more are taken over. This culminates with Vitiate wiping out all life on Ziost. But it appears the former Sith Emperor cannot control everyone on Ziost, including your character, Lana Beniko and Theron Shan.

Master Surro was aware of all the evil things she was doing, while being unable to prevent them, though she does free herself once before being re-possessed.

KotFE and KotET

From the start of Chapter two of Knights of the Fallen Empire, Valkorion appears in your mind. This isn’t resolved until the very end of Knights of the Eternal Throne.

Valkorion and the Outlander

Tw'lek Talitha'koum with Valkorion's Spirit in KotET

With the fall of the physical form of Valkorion, the Emperor’s spirit took up residence in the Outlander, but could not take control of them. Instead Valkorion tries to manipulate the Outlander towards his goal of retaking the Eternal Throne. Promises of power, inciting suspicion with your allies and against Arcann and Vaylin.

While “residence” is not “full possession”, that was always Valkorion’s goal. It culminates in an immense mental battle in the mind of the Outlander (now known as Commander).

Vaylin: Mind Control / Conditioning

Vaylin frees herself from her conditioning on the planet Nathema

In a situation very similar to Imperial Agent Mind Control, Valkorion can command obedience in his daughter Vaylin. He uses the phrase “Kneel before the Dragon of Zakuul”. This was done to control her exceptional power.

During the events of Knights of the Eternal Throne (at the end of The Dragon’s Maw), Vaylin travels to Nathema, the place that instilled her conditioning. There she successfully frees herself before unleashing her full rage on Odessen, the base of the Outlander’s Alliance.

Onslaught: Possessed Folk in the Onderon Sith Crypt

Weell people will insist on wandering into tombs in the hope of finding wealth, right? On Onderon, you can find possessed and “crazed” people with various titles.

Apparently you can’t explore a crypt without going mad. People should do their homework before straying into where Sith are laid to rest.

Onslaught: Darth Malgus

Darth Malgus is revealed to have conditioning approved by Acina during Onslaught

Even from Jedi Under Siege, it is clear the rebuilt Darth Malgus is not himself. Acina refers to getting Malgus “prepared” for the next battle. He himself says he hopes you don’t have find out what working under Acina is like.

After the Imperial-side Corellia Flashpoint at the end of Onslaught, Operation Meridian, the droid Malgus has stolen refers to “Loyalty Assurance Protocols”. But even after the mechanical components are removed it seems he still has “mental conditioning”. He thinks his freedom can be found on Dantooine. See my YouTube video for more on this.

Other Snippets of Mind Control and/or Sharing

Jedi Mind Tricks and the like have been part of Star Wars lore ever since the classic “these are not the droids you’re looking for” used by Obi-Wan (Ben) Kenobi. It is therefore no surprise that techniques like this appear in SWTOR. There are likely loads of examples, but here are a few I dug up. Some are not “possession or control” but strong mind linking.

  • Sith Warrior – Tatooine: when hunting for Jaesa Wilsaam, her former tutor, Master Yonlach, disturbingly uses a mind-wiping ability on his own apprentice to stop him from telling the Warrior about her.
  • Grossh (Hoth): The Jedi Knight story on Hoth brings you face-to-face with Grossh, a Kaleesh leader of the White Maw Pirates. In your conversation with him you can Force Persuade him to leave the base and his weapons behind.
  • Tharan Cedrax: regardless of your logic or motivation, Tharan always disapproves if the Jedi Consular uses Jedi Mind Trick (called Force Persuade in SWTOR).
  • Killik Hive Mind: while not a form of control, Killiks and Joiners can know and share each other’s thoughts. The aim is always to make sure each being acts in the defence of the Nest.
  • GEMINI Droids: The Codex on GEMINI Hive Mind seems to show that the GEMINI Network is a mechanical form of the Killik Hive Mind.
  • Revan: In Codex Entry “Galactic History 76“, it refers to the Jedi reprogramming Revan’s mind after the Republic captured him.

TL;DR Possession, Mind Control and Mental Conditioning is Everywhere in SWTOR!

From Dromund Kaas to Onslaught, the mind is a key battleground. Much like 1984’s “thought police” the mind is the last private territory available to a person. But, much like real life, outside forces, governments, employers, parents and goodness knows who else try to control and influence your SWTOR Character’s decisions. I am under no illusions that this is a complete list, but it’s been an interesting ride looking at possession and mind control in SWTOR! Hope you enjoyed it to.


1This Wiki suggests that some Children did not know their status, but interactions in SWTOR suggest that many did.

All my content will always be freely available. However, if you'd like to support myself and my family, please consider buying us a virtual coffee. Either way, thank you for visiting, I appreciate it!

Related Posts

Fibro Jedi

A 30-something Shadow Jedi, married and have a small daughter. By that I mean "young", not just "short". I have a chronic pain condition called Fibromyalgia andI play LOTRO, SWTOR and FFXIV and blog about two of them. Social Media has connected me with so many people and some of those have become amazing friends too! As a hobby I am relearning drawing, which you can see on my DeviantArt profile.