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Thread: Plothole resolution in the Starcraft universe

  1. #1

    Default Plothole resolution in the Starcraft universe

    I'm sure that this topic has been broached before in many individual threads regarding specific issues and various nit-picks but I was hoping to try and highlight the most important plotholes in the Starcraft story so far - the ones that shape the overall narrative, plot and progression/characterisation of the main players.

    I want to discuss whether or not they really are plotholes, what steps have been taken to try and "fix" them either through transparency within the current volume (ie: with information given at hand in that installment) or via additional information given through later installments and the perceived effectiveness (and problems) brought about by either strategy.

    To start things off, I propose to look at the Overmind's decision to leave Kerrigan on Char in SC1. To me, it was never a plothole because the decision to leave her behind was transparent right from the get go - it was to fight off the most powerful and newest (since the Overmind was invulnerable up to that point) threat. What better way to counter this credible threat than with your new found acquisition - one which was actually developed to fight such a threat anyway?

    The generic Protoss martial and psionic prowess could harm the Zerg armies in droves but in the end, they were replaceable and ultimately proved ineffective against the Cerebrates and the Overmind itself. This changed with the introduction of the Dark Templar - a threat that could potentially bypass entire Zerg armies and yet actually cause permanent harm to the Zerg. Isn't this the precise threat that Kerrigan was made for?

    Yet, some say that the Overmind's reason to leave Kerrigan behind was a plothole because she was supposed to be the final solution to the Protoss and bringing her to Aiur would've meant a complete and an assured extinction of the Protoss. So why didn't it do so? WoL seems to affirm and "fix" this notion with the Overmind "retcon" (or whatever) by possibly inferring this action was a way to protect Kerrigan from harm and to allow her to ascend as the saviour of the Zerg in case it failed or that it somehow knew it was going to die on Aiur.

    The problem I have with the latter is that it potentially adds other plotholes that require later examination and "fluffery" whereas the initial explanation (Kerrigan was already fulfilling her purpose as dictated by the Overmind in fighting the most dangerous aspects of the Protoss) does not. However, in light of the "Overmind retcon" in WoL the reasonable initial explanation I mentioned actually then becomes a plothole - why would the Overmind abandon its hard-won (the Overmind was incredibly lucky to have Kerrigan gift-wrapped for it afterall given its fruitless search up until that point) and possibly only chance of "saving the Zerg" to a new and mysterious enemy that proved themselves to be the greatest threat against it?

    The DTs were able to assasinate a high-ranking cerebrate on Zerg home territory with the majority of the Swarm still present on it no less. Yet the Overmind takes almost the entire bulk of his Swarm to attack Aiur, leaving Char (and Kerrigan) less defended than it was before. How is that meant to protect her given that increased vulnerability could've easily meant her being killed as well? Alternatively, does this mean that the only reason Overmind was going to Aiur was to commit suicide then because it knew (how does it know that?) Kerrigan would survive on her own and that it must die before she can become the "Zerg saviour"? Have they just replaced a plothole (one that can be justifiably perceived as non-existent in the first place) with another one? Discuss.
    Last edited by Turalyon; 04-22-2012 at 01:42 AM.
    Yes, that's right! That is indeed ME on the right.


    _______________________________________________

  2. #2

    Default Re: Plothole resolution in the Starcraft universe

    Well that's pretty interesting.

    In Brood War we find out that Kerrigan found and altered the mind of Raszagal. She had the entirety of the Protoss campaign The Fall to accomplish this endeavor. Was she secretly tasked by the Overmind with exercising her mental powers over the Protoss? It seems more likely to me that she may have requested to remain behind to pursue her own goals, and was granted the opportunity by the Overmind, for it states her ambition and individuality were retained after her infestation.

    I think the Overmind would want to keep her alive, but it would have been foolish for it to keep her from all harm. It doesn't yet know if she is capable of leading the Swarm on her own. If she falls in combat to the Swarm's greatest threat, then why should she be allowed to lead? It would be better off allowing the Cerebrates' instincts to take over and create a new Overmind than allowing the Swarm to be led by such a weak specimen.

    I think you're right. The Dark Templar were the greatest threat at the time. The Aiuran Protoss could have ultimately done little to stop the Swarm, whereas the Dark Templar were a true threat.


    While we're on the subject of retcons and plotholes, I don't necessarily believe the Dark Voice's absence would have resulted in a peaceful Zerg Swarm. They'd still be violent, just in their own way, without any programmed directives. Which makes the Overmind's final statement strange; if it were programmed to destroy all Protoss, then why would it view the taking of Aiur as the first step towards assimilating the Protoss? Did landing on Aiur, or imbedding Khaydarin into itself, trigger some sort of buried and hidden programming by the Dark Voice?
    Last edited by Visions of Khas; 04-22-2012 at 10:24 AM.
    Aaand sold.


    Be it through hallowed grounds or lands of sorrow
    The Forger's wake is bereft and fallow

    Is the residuum worth the cost of destruction and maiming;
    Or is the shaping a culling and exercise in taming?

    The road's goal is the Origin of Being
    But be wary through what thickets it winds.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Plothole resolution in the Starcraft universe

    Huh, I've only got one reply (thanks VoK by the way). It's not because I wasn't being overly negative or conceited in my original post, was it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Visions of Khas View Post
    Was she secretly tasked by the Overmind with exercising her mental powers over the Protoss? It seems more likely to me that she may have requested to remain behind to pursue her own goals, and was granted the opportunity by the Overmind, for it states her ambition and individuality were retained after her infestation.
    That's quite an interesting thread you've pulled out there to solve that dilemma I brought up. It seems to fit well in either the pre- and post- Overmind "retcon" interpretations for explaining why Kerrigan remains on Char - it was her choice and not the Overmind's.

    To be fair though, it's a bit of a stretch to form this connection since it's quite vague. There are the bones of this theory, but that's all there is - there is no other supporting evidence.

    Also, if the Overmind was determined in wiping out the Protoss due to the directive, what was stopping it from compelling it bringing Kerrigan to Aiur anyway (the Overmind has stated that she can never truly stray)? Kerrigan's creation was permitted by the directive because she had inherent value to the directive's cause (ie: the destruction of the Protoss) but the directive then let her sit out the biggest and perhaps the most decisive battle that would bring about the directive's goals. What gives there? Now this plothole seems to have jumped onto the inexplicable nature of the directive itself...


    Quote Originally Posted by Visions of Khas View Post
    I think the Overmind would want to keep her alive, but it would have been foolish for it to keep her from all harm. It doesn't yet know if she is capable of leading the Swarm on her own. If she falls in combat to the Swarm's greatest threat, then why should she be allowed to lead? It would be better off allowing the Cerebrates' instincts to take over and create a new Overmind than allowing the Swarm to be led by such a weak specimen.
    It gets quite slippery here...

    On one hand, there is a perception that Kerrigan's overall importance and power level is inflated to the extreme. Indeed, WoL seems to emphasise (and state as a fact) this quite heavily. In that sense, she was never in harm at all being left on Char. Naturally, this leads logically to the next question. Why wasn't she brought to Aiur since her abilities would arguably be of more use there (discounting the possible theory above and Overmind "retcon" momentarily that is)?

    On the other, Kerrigan could've actually just been a new and untested Zerg acquisition and not much more prior to WoL. She could've been either the ultimate weapon or just a prototype, the first in a line of subsequent experiments to create the perfect anti-Protoss weapon. If Kerrigan was intimated to be the latter, would she have been still left behind? Fortunately, in the campaign itself the Overmind seems quite emphatic that Kerrigan is the greatest of his creations so any doubts about her vulnerability are erased - she can take care of herself if left alone. By stating that Kerrigan is important, but not in the way and to the extent that WoL suggests later, this (along with the fighting the DT reason) justifies the reason for her being left behind.


    Quote Originally Posted by Visions of Khas View Post
    While we're on the subject of retcons and plotholes, I don't necessarily believe the Dark Voice's absence would have resulted in a peaceful Zerg Swarm. They'd still be violent, just in their own way, without any programmed directives.
    I've never believed this notion either since it was evident in BW when the Overmind was actually dead for a time and the Zerg were still hell-bent on destruction but I can understand its roots. If the Overmind is representative of the Zerg collective consciousness (every Zerg is the Overmind and vice versa) and it was revealed to be a sham consciousness that was created or subverted by an outside force, then the absence of said force would mean the absence of the collective consciousness we once knew. Because that consciousness was all about destruction and evil, the absence of that means that there is the possibility of them being "good"/peaceful.

    Quote Originally Posted by Visions of Khas View Post
    Which makes the Overmind's final statement strange; if it were programmed to destroy all Protoss, then why would it view the taking of Aiur as the first step towards assimilating the Protoss? Did landing on Aiur, or imbedding Khaydarin into itself, trigger some sort of buried and hidden programming by the Dark Voice?
    The Zerg "culture" is predicated on assimilating other species. It is what they do. Effectively, assimilating the Protoss is the same as destroying the Protoss, because the end result is the same - no pure Protoss would remain.

    That last question of yours is something else altogether. In the end, it doesn't matter if the directive was activated upon the Overmind landing on Aiur anyway because the Overmind itself was already actively destroying (remember that assimilating is the same thing as destroying from an 'outside' perspective) the Protoss anyway. This then speaks to a greater question, why have the directive at all?
    Yes, that's right! That is indeed ME on the right.


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  4. #4

    Default Re: Plothole resolution in the Starcraft universe

    Effectively, assimilating the Protoss is the same as destroying the Protoss, because the end result is the same - no pure Protoss would remain.
    So what you're saying is you think the Overmind was still intending to assimilate the Protoss, even under the Dark Voice? That this is the same as destroying them?

    Would the Overmind had been able to create Xel'Naga upon assimilating the Protoss? Or, under the Dark Voice, would these have been the same type of Hybrids as Maar and the Destroyers? I wonder if Duran "activated" due to the Overmind's death to ensure the creation of the Hybrids through artificial means.
    Aaand sold.


    Be it through hallowed grounds or lands of sorrow
    The Forger's wake is bereft and fallow

    Is the residuum worth the cost of destruction and maiming;
    Or is the shaping a culling and exercise in taming?

    The road's goal is the Origin of Being
    But be wary through what thickets it winds.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Plothole resolution in the Starcraft universe

    Also, sorry for the double post, but this just came up in my Facebook feed. Apparently they're asking people to contribute questions for the lore nerds over at Blizzard. Popped this in my signature too.

    http://us.battle.net/sc2/en/blog/4947012/


    And here is the actual thread of Q and As at battle.net.
    Aaand sold.


    Be it through hallowed grounds or lands of sorrow
    The Forger's wake is bereft and fallow

    Is the residuum worth the cost of destruction and maiming;
    Or is the shaping a culling and exercise in taming?

    The road's goal is the Origin of Being
    But be wary through what thickets it winds.

  6. #6
    Spartan13's Avatar Junior Member
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    Default Re: Plothole resolution in the Starcraft universe

    There are some good questions in there,this could be interesting.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Plothole resolution in the Starcraft universe

    Quote Originally Posted by Spartan13 View Post
    There are some good questions in there,this could be interesting.
    You're right. I wasn't anticipating Battle.net members to get so in-depth, but they're asking the same kind of questions we would.

    I'm going to laugh when Blizzard says, "We can't answer 89% of what you people are asking us."
    Aaand sold.


    Be it through hallowed grounds or lands of sorrow
    The Forger's wake is bereft and fallow

    Is the residuum worth the cost of destruction and maiming;
    Or is the shaping a culling and exercise in taming?

    The road's goal is the Origin of Being
    But be wary through what thickets it winds.

  8. #8
    Gradius's Avatar SC:L Addict
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    Default Re: Plothole resolution in the Starcraft universe

    They were supposed to do that Q&A a while ago, and everyone submitted questions, but the guy in charge got layed off so it never happened. I'm surprised they still plan on doing it.
    Last edited by Gradius; 04-23-2012 at 06:47 PM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Plothole resolution in the Starcraft universe

    I guess at this point it'd be more feasible to fill in the blanks with your fan fic that seeks to resolve plot holes, and then safeguard your ideas by calling it a fan fic. And then hope it gets popular and that there are intelligent people that are as dedicated as you to writing follow ups, etc.

    Me? I've given up on the plot.

    More of my energy (the area of my brain that daydreams about starcraft) is focused on eventually getting a starcraft RPG going if anyone ever shows interest.

    Of course, if I did have an RPG going, it's pretty easy to shoe horn my own intepretation of the universe. I think arguing specifics is actually fun and I'd encourage more of these threads, if I could.

    "We can't answer 89% of what you people are asking us."
    Somehow I think blizz is going to feign/display as much ignorance as possible while still safeguarding their creative license to the story.

    Their most diplomatic/intelligent response at this point would be "StarCraft is a real time strategy game full of gripping, intense, sci-fi action. There's no way that we can address every question, as it isn't a game intended to tell any kind of story beyond the current plot that we've established."

    They will continue repeating this answer until they feel it necessary to hire a public representative with better speaking ability than what they already have.

    Currently, blizz's PR is better than most game developers though. Particularly konami - I mean, jesus christ konami!
    Last edited by solidsamurai; 04-23-2012 at 09:15 PM.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Plothole resolution in the Starcraft universe

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon
    Kerrigan's creation was permitted by the directive because she had inherent value to the directive's cause (ie: the destruction of the Protoss) but the directive then let her sit out the biggest and perhaps the most decisive battle that would bring about the directive's goals. What gives there? Now this plothole seems to have jumped onto the inexplicable nature of the directive itself...
    Not necessarily. Like we discussed, the Overmind may have been able to justify she remain behind to cover the Swarm's flank, so to speak. Zeratul and his brethren were hunted down. With them out of the picture, it conceivably allowed the Overmind to gain a foothold on Aiur unhindered.

    Then there is a new problem: The Overmind's invasion is too perfect, and is never killed and Kerrigan never ascends. Tassadar becomes the key element to the Overmind's plan working -- which results in its death.

    Where was Kerrigan when Aldaris and Artanis rescued Tassadar and Zeratul? She never makes an appearance while on Char. Has she already left in search of Shakuras? Shakuras' location is information the Overmind could have gleaned from Zeratul's mind. Perhaps that was her true mission: Striking at the heart of the Dark Templar threat. Zeratul escaped because the Char Brood lacked her personal guidance.
    Aaand sold.


    Be it through hallowed grounds or lands of sorrow
    The Forger's wake is bereft and fallow

    Is the residuum worth the cost of destruction and maiming;
    Or is the shaping a culling and exercise in taming?

    The road's goal is the Origin of Being
    But be wary through what thickets it winds.

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