Knights of the Old Republic: Binding, Reclusion is a fan fiction novella written by user Jedi Master 76. Binding, Reclusion was the fourth and final short work written by Jedi Master 76 for the Days of Dissidence Series, taking place in the aftermath of the previous novel, Hands of Evening. The story was completed and released December 28, 2011.
Binding, Reclusion is a story told primarily through flashbacks; as such, there is no central conflict or defining story arc beyond the central turmoil of the narrator, Northeus Ulsan. Through his visions, he sees into the lives of his friends, allies, and former students through the Force. Traveling as far back as the Mandalorian Wars, he tries to use his newfound knowledge to answer questions he has grappled with during his tenure as a Jedi Master.
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, before the revenge of the Sith, the birth of the Empire, and the return of the Jedi there was a time of galactic turmoil, political unrest, and folding allegiances. The Sith Empire increased its influence throughout the galaxy while the Galactic Republic, the bastion of order and democracy, took its dying breath. The dark side grew stronger with each passing day, and the Jedi Order was forced to confront an enemy unlike any other: itself. The Knight of Alderaan, the Paladin of Evening, and the Vindictive Guardian are the epithets of those involved in our tale. Around these three shall our story be spun, and these three shall direct the fate of those around them, for good or ill.
Enter the era of the Knights of the Old Republic. Enter the days of dissidence...
For a Jedi, life is a constant struggle against the power of the dark side. There is not a single member of the Order, from the eager youngling to the learned councilor, that is free from its grip. Even mastery of the Jedi Code, a vigorous knowledge of the Living Force, and a dedication to justice and duty is not enough to free a Jedi from temptations of greed and power. Northeus Ulsan, then, is only one of many Jedi who is in battle with the dark side; however, he believes himself to be the only one. Without confidants and convinced that he was personally responsible for the death of his last students, the despairing Jedi Master has wandered the galaxy, searching for answers and finding none.
The Force has called to him every step of the way, hoping that he will take up his role as a Jedi and serve once again. Wrestling with meaning and the most fundamental knowledge of the Jedi tenants, Northeus has received no immediate response, but he has received many visions. He sees two heroes who must choose between their love and their duty, a struggling warrior trying to earn respect for himself and his family, a mother whose child may give hope to a hopeless criminal, and a young Jedi who must rise above her struggle. Northeus has discerned that these people will rise above their challenges, but he cannot find his own light. Fleeing from himself, Northeus is determined to turn to exile...
In order of appearance and/or mentioning.
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Behind the scenesEdit
Binding, Reclusion was the last in a series of edits and drafts to be made on the final Days of Dissidence short story. The initial plot was scrapped late in the writing, mostly in response to story arcs that went unresolved in Hands of Evening. The work that would eventually be called Binding, Reclusion was initially much different. Called Fate's Gambler, the story would have centered around Dynatha Aris and Oryan Tempaar instead of Northeus alone. In the short story, Dynatha would have taken over much of Northeus's role, wandering the galaxy searching for Tserne and occasionally receiving visions about the other characters. In the climax of the story, she would have met with Oryan, who had founded a small club in the frontier, and convinced him to let her use his ship to scour the galaxy. Oryan, initially dubious and unwilling, would have been saved by Dynatha and had a change of heart; the two would leave his club and search for Tserne together.
Much of Northeus's internal dialog refers, in some way or another, to Dark Covenant, the next story to be released in the series. Much of his musings are foreshadowing to plot points in that novel, including the death of his loved one and receiving the chronicling holocron. The initial draft of Dark Covenant had Northeus playing a much larger role in the story, especially during the final act. While the main character was confronting the antagonist, Northeus would have met Srakkos and saved him and his crew, forcing the smuggler to be indebted to him as stated in this story. However, Northeus saved Srakkos during the Mandalorian Wars, and Dark Covenant was eventually shortened so as not to include the beginning of the Mandalorian Wars in its timeline, removing the scene.
The story's flashbacks were inspired by various other tales and folklore. The sequence with Ranval and Eliorae was inspired in part by the play Romeo and Juliet, and it is also a foil to the relationship between Anakin Skywalker and Padme Amidala in the prequel trilogy. The sequence with Jhosua and Verita was primarily influenced by the scenes with Mandalore in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, but also in part by the Greek myth of Theseus. Fetcher's story was based on the character and mythos surrounding Robin Hood.
The title is unique in the series in that it primarily has only one meaning. Binding refers to the relationships that tied together the divided protagonists after the events of Hands of Evening; Reclusion refers mostly to Northeus's self-imposed exile, but it also hints at Tserne's desire for solitude as well. The story's themes include dealing with change, the importance of memory, and the tragedy of loss.