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Thread: Amon deserved redemption

  1. #1

    Default Amon deserved redemption

    I'll leave it up to you whether this should be seen as a troll topic or not, but hear me out...

    Sc2 has gone to great lengths in order to try and sell the concept that redemption is possible for characters who have "fallen". While it's arguable how well this was conveyed, the idea is that even the most reprehensible villain can be saved if they were somewhat innocent and sympathetic to begin with. This is how it was supposed to work with Kerrigan in Sc2 regardless of how dubious/successful the redemption arc turned out to be.

    Normally, this would have also applied to Arcturus Mengsk too, but given that he was not classicly a character that one could easily sympathise with, his reduction into nothing but a two-bit villain throughout BW and Sc2 makes him undeserving of redemption because he's just a "bad, bad man, through and through". In relation to redemption, his death in HotS is supposed to signify that there was no other recourse for the character (truth be told, his death seems to be really the result of a narrative bottleneck the writers put him into - they made him so boring that him dying was the only thing left interesting left to explore). Up until LotV, Amon fit the bill of a two-bit villain like Arcturus Mengsk, and therefore should deserve nothing more but death as the end of his story.

    However, then LotV comes around and sheds a little bit of light as to how Amon ticks. It turns out he does have a sob story of his own, which he is only very reluctant to tell and only does so during the epilogue in a very limited way. In short, he laments that he was forced to become what he is now, didn't want to be a Xel'Naga in the first place and is only doing things he is doing now because it's the only option he feels he has left. He says this to Kerrigan to draw a parallel with what Kerrigan has been experiencing throughout Sc. Sure, it's not as potentially affecting as Kerrigan's plight, but it's something that defines his motivation as being more than just "me, me, me" (unlike Mengsk, who's motivation for his actions are not really due to his potentially sympathetic history regarding Korhal).

    If Amon is like Kerrigan in that the evil that they have committed is a result of extenuating circumstances, then shouldn't Amon have had the chance for redemption as well? He's not a two-bit villain (like Mengsk) that deserves only death with this reveal because if Kerrigan doesn't deserve death for all her sins, then neither should Amon. And yet she is the final judge, jury and executioner of Amon's fate. It's darkly ironic and hypocritical to think that in order for Kerrigan to fulfill her requirements for redemption, she needs to kill something that is very much like her - someone who similarly deserves to be redeemed. Kerrigan doesn't even bother to give him a chance for redemption before summarily executing him with self-righteous claim of "freedom to all" (all except Amon apparently).

    This is the where the problems sticks and where the whole redemption theme is undermined with Amon being killed by Kerrigan. If Amon deserves to die without ever being given a chance for redemption (like Kerrigan has on numerous occasions), how are we to accept Kerrigan's act of killing Amon being redemptive in turn?
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  2. #2

    Default Re: Amon deserved redemption

    In some ways it was a shame for Mengsk mainly because by the end of BW, there were those who believed he could be redeemed. I personally felt (back in 1998) that this seemed unlikely, but some fanfics proved otherwise.

    With regards to Amon, I always felt he never really knew what it'd be like to become a Xel'Naga, with all the responsibilities of continuing the cycle and everything. The fact that he had followers proves he's far from the ONLY one who felt this way.

    As for the ascension against his will, that'd obviously make sense too. By using the purity of form concept via LotV's lore, it would have meant that given enough centuries or something, humanity would have been psionically strong enough to qualify for that to ascend to become Xel'Naga. But once that time comes, not everyone would WANT to do such a thing, especially when it comes to the merging with the Zerg, even if there was never once ANY encounters with them. In that regard, it's possible that the species Amon belonged to knew of the Xel'Naga, but not everyone was interested in it.

    That, therefore, is a flaw on the Xel'Naga's part: you're not supposed to take the WHOLE of the species and have them merge with another to become the new generation of Xel'Naga. You should have asked for VOLUNTEERS. Of course, this was somewhat touched upon in "The Infinite Cycle" mission where when Artanis and Kerrigan looked over the shrines, they specifically said the Xel'Naga waited at Ulnar for the two destined races to arrive. In that respect, one could argue that the two races came of their own free will, though it can just as easily be argued that the Xel'Naga manipulated them (albeit indirectly).

    One thing the Xel'Naga should have considered was the possibility of reversing the ascension. What could APPEAR to be a great thing may end up being something entirely different, and the destined races' view could be wrong. To use a real life example, it'd kind of be like when you first enter college and start choosing your majors. You shouldn't exactly look THAT far ahead because you don't know what you're really getting yourself into.

    And in that sense, I feel that once Amon discovered the details regarding the ascension, he became resistant to it, but the Xel'Naga had him ascend anyway, and he despised it.

    Of course your part of why Kerrigan killed him in that sense, obviously she felt that the destruction he did meant it was necessary. She didn't realize that the way Amon felt was that because the Xel'Naga seeded life and that created conflicts, he wanted to bring about an end to the conflicts. In that sense, he certainly has grounds.

    That's why it was foolish for Kerrigan to have just killed him without looking at the bigger picture. Of course, if the life on barren worlds in the epilogue was her doing, then you could argue perhaps she DID look at it from Amon's POV or something afterwards. Otherwise, how would she be any different from Amon?

  3. #3

    Default Re: Amon deserved redemption

    I'm working on my own analysis of Amon, but he doesn't deserve redemption. Neither does Kerrigan. Manipulating and killing millions, if not billions, over the course of millenia just to get back at a few people who have long since died? Yeah, totally relatable.

  4. #4
    TheEconomist's Avatar Lord of Economics
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    Default Re: Amon deserved redemption

    StarCraft shouldn't be about redemption of key characters to begin with. It should be about conflict and intrigue. Should have been Game of Thrones in space.



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  5. #5

    Default Re: Amon deserved redemption

    You know nothing, Jon Star.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Amon deserved redemption

    Quote Originally Posted by Visions of Khas View Post
    I'm working on my own analysis of Amon, but he doesn't deserve redemption. Neither does Kerrigan. Manipulating and killing millions, if not billions, over the course of millenia just to get back at a few people who have long since died? Yeah, totally relatable.
    It depends because he was merely trying to make the universe a peaceful place, his method was wrong though

  7. #7

    Default Re: Amon deserved redemption

    Quote Originally Posted by Visions of Khas View Post
    I'm working on my own analysis of Amon, but he doesn't deserve redemption. Neither does Kerrigan. Manipulating and killing millions, if not billions, over the course of millenia just to get back at a few people who have long since died? Yeah, totally relatable.
    Quote Originally Posted by TheEconomist View Post
    StarCraft shouldn't be about redemption of key characters to begin with. It should be about conflict and intrigue. Should have been Game of Thrones in space.
    Thing is, Sc2 is about redemption of key characters whether it's deserved or not (it's not imo) and irrespective whether we, the audience, like it or not (I don't like it either).

    With that limitation in mind, the denial of a possibility of redemption to someone such as Amon (if Kerrigan needs it because she's done great evil but was "innocent" to begin with, then Amon needs it more because of his greater evil but was "innocent" to begin with) sort of undermines the very moral framework the story is trying to put up. If we are to whitewash Kerrigan's evil away in a utilitarian manner to justify her redemption (which is what the game asks us to do), then one cannot rationally exclude Amon based differences like the length of time they were evil (Kerri's being shorter), the numbers of people killed (Kerri's being fewer), the magnitude of their evil acts (Kerri's being smaller) or the existence of a morality pet (Kerri's had one in Raynor) because they are rendered arbitrary by the initial premise of whitewashing Kerrigan's evil away in a utilitarian manner.

    If the story really wanted to be about redemption, Kerrigan would have redeemed herself by redeeming and turning Amon "good" again somehow, not by killing him.
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  8. #8

    Default Re: Amon deserved redemption

    Mengsk deserves redemption too.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Amon deserved redemption

    Well, the Overmind was redeemed without even trying, so sure. Why not.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Amon deserved redemption

    Quote Originally Posted by KaiseStratosTygo View Post
    Mengsk deserves redemption too.
    Not really according to the rules determined in Sc2. He does have a sob story and potentially innocent starting background too but it is abundantly clear throughout BW and Sc2, that it is not his primary motivator. There is nothing in Sc that allows one to garner sympathy for him (beyond feeling sorry for how he's been rendered into a cardboard cutout of a character) so having no possibility of redemption for him is apparently thematically justified according to Sc2.

    Like I said, Amon is very much like Mengsk for the most part until LotV sheds some light to his motivation. Since Sc2 suggests that motivation is important for redemption to take place, Amon's motivation for action ("I'm only trying to fix a supposed injustice that was done to me and to all others in future") is quite a bit more sympathetic than Mengsks "I'm only doing it for power".

    Quote Originally Posted by Visions of Khas View Post
    Well, the Overmind was redeemed without even trying, so sure. Why not.
    Ah yes, the vaunted Overmind retcon. The Overmind's "redemption" is justified in Sc2's terms precisely because it's been given a sob story and a change in its primary motivation in Sc2. Because it is revealed to be "innocent" and only wanting "to protect its own kind", the evil it has committed is worthy of being redeemed - which it is, automatically. This particular instance actually strengthens my position in regards to Amon's lack of opportunity for redemption undermining Sc2's theme of redemption.
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