Thursday, January 10, 2013

Geekfight: Bene Gesserit versus Jedi

For this installment of the geekfights, we'll be looking at the performance of a typical Bene Gesserett versus that of a typical Jedi in a couple different arenas, not just who could beat up whom, as is so often the case.

We'll say that the Bene Gesserit in question is someone comparable to Jessica at some point after she became a Reverend Mother.  The Jedi is one of those jobbers who got ganked by a bunch of troopers in the montage in the Revenge of the Sith.

Actually, scratch that, because if the pattern for Star Wars holds true, I'm sure they are dozens of expanded universe stories about Ki-Amundi and Aayla Secura where they accomplish ridiculous feats of derring-do.  So, someone with skills and experience comparable to Obi-Wan Kenobi at the end of the first prequel, a Jedi who has completed his training, but does not have an abundance of field experience.

Jedi abilities are pretty well known at this point, but I'd like to quantify them here. I discussed this in an earlier post,  so I'm just going to summarize it her: Mind Trick, Telekenisis/Force Push, Force-boosted athletics and acrobatics. Jedi Reflexes are, if I recall correctly, supplemented by short term precognition, so we'll give them that too. No lightsabers for the straight up one-on-one fights, but we'll take a closer look at their skill sets, which didn't figure much into the Dalek fights. Jedi are jacks-of-all trades and have training in a wide variety of areas.

Bene Gesserit abilities: Voice (sub-conscious or overt control through spoken language) , Prana-Bindu control (perfect control over every muscle in the body), Internal Body chemistry control (mostly used to confer an immunity to poison, but also can stop the aging process and enter suspended animation or will oneself to die), Other Memory (access to the memories and personality of all female ancestors)  and tremendously refined observational skills.

So the first challenge is that of diplomacy. We'll say trying to get the trust of an unknown monarch in an unfamiliar kingdom. This deprives each side of an significant advantage. The Jedi lose their reputation and the Bene Gesserit lose their network of spies, infiltrators and proxies. Still, I think the Bene Gesserit have the edge. They're more ruthless in the application of their skills. Not that Jedi can't be ruthless, but that's the default setting for the Bene Gesserit. It backfires on them occasionally (notably, Paul was rather displeased with the machinations of the order by the end of the first book), but it tends to work as intended. They can get the measure of their target with their observations of minutia and be pushing his buttons when the Jedi are still explaining what a Jedi is.

In a straight up, one-on-one fight with each of the participants knowing the capabilities of the other, I would give it to the Jedi if weapons (read: lightsabers) are allowed, and the Bene Gesserit if the fight is unarmed. In the case of an ambush, I would give the edge to the Jedi, as they're less likely to be surprised, due to the nature of their abilities.

In small groups, the Jedi improve in direct proportion to their number in a way that the Bene Gesserit do not. That's because, due to the Other Memory, any Bene Gesserit has pretty much the same skill set as any other, and they don't add anything to an effort beyond more bodies, whereas with the Jedi, each individual has the chance to bring a unique skill to their group.

The entirety of the one order versus the entirety of another, it's the same story it was with the Daleks. Not enough Jedi. Or, if you prefer, too many Bene Gesserit. If I recall correctly, the Lampadas Horde contained eight million sisters.That's one thing I liked about the Dune series. It had an understanding of just how big a space-faring civilization would be. A criticism a friend leveled against Revenge of the Sith is that the galaxy doesn't seem very big if Palpatine can depart from Coruscant when Anakin is mortally wounded and arrive in the Outer Rim before he would die.

The Jedi aren't looking too good in the exchange. Are there any areas where they would come out ahead? The technology of the setting seems vastly superior, particularly in the arena of artificial intelligence. I think the canonical story is that droids in Star Wars aren't truly self-aware, but rather their apparent consciousness is just some kind of Chinese Room illusion. I think that's more an artifact of storytelling than anything else; a way of not having to deal with the ramifications of having millions of sentient beings as slaves.It doesn't make a huge difference either way. C-3PO could certainly pass the Turning Test, for instance.

Though that makes me think that the combat droids would be a more interesting opponent for the Bene Gesserit than the Jedi. Their artificial nature renders them immune to Voice (which I figure would be useful once against even a Jedi before they learn to defend against it. It worked against Thufir, and I figure a Mentat has a level of mental discipline comparable to a Jedi), and good luck killing a robot with your bare hands.

So while Bene Gesserit > Jedi, I also must conclude Roger-Roger Robot > Bene Gesserit.

Roger, Roger, ladies!


  1. I'm somewhat surprised you used a photo of Jessica from the terrible Dune mini series. At least she has normal looking hair though.

  2. The Jedi are such faggy, superman-esq rip-offs of the Bene Gesserit anyway, and those nieve pussies with their laser
    sticks would still fuckin lose.

    I think the Reverend Mother's would have something in other memory about defeating machines because of the Butlerian Jihad. So i don't know that your argument about droids holds up.

    Another factor i have never seen addressed is from what point in the series are you plucking the Reverend Mother's? Are they pre-tyrant, after Leto II, of after the absorption of the Honored Matres? The Honored Matres bring further enhancement of speed and reaction time, along with a device that causes bloodless death at a range.

    Also, if they are post Tyrant Reverend Mother, they would have the Siona gene markers that make them immune to the prescience of other's. Would this make them immune to Jedi precognition?

    At any rate, Star Wars is a 12 year old's shitty rip off of the Dune series. It is a saga about shaping the evolution of human kind so that NOTHING could cause our extinction. This is done though a skilled and thought full look anf politics, education, religion, tera forming and eugenics. All of these things come together to put a mirror to the face of the human condition. It's a fucking beautiful and thrilling experience all around, and you will think about aspects of man kind you had never even considered. Anyone who hasn't read them should IMMEDIATELY, but stick to the original series by FRANK Herbert, not Brian... hes books read like Star Wars expanded universe crap.

    Good Day.

  3. Pfft. the Jedi would actually lose to a bunch of drugged-out, chick freaks. Yeah, my favorite parts of the Dune are when Paul builds and destroys the Death Star (after the 'messiah' is burned and rebuilt after a battle with his mentor), when Idaho gets frozen in carbonite and is given to an awsome bounty hunter, and the speeder bike chase in the forest.

    Whatever. If only Star Wars were just a 12-year-old's rip off of the Dune, the latter's dull and boring story that I wasn't able to finish without a gun to my head might actually share a fraction of the former's wish. Lucas didn't rip this crap off...if anything, he saw a boring fucking story and figured he'd make it his style...with different characters...and more worlds...and less drugs..and droids/epic space battle/awesome lighsaber duels...and cooler heroes with a more entertaining prophetic storyline...mixed with other film influences and innovative concepts. Yup. Sounds just like a total 'rip off,' ha. >;)

    I know, I know...if we just switch knives for laser swords, crazy Jihad folk/Greek muse chicks with drud-induced powers for a Rebel Alliance/mystic, samurai-esque warrior legion with 'divine,' Force abilities that do more than teleport like friggin' X-Men, sandworms for sarlacc. Hey, if only Darth Vader was killed by a sister he never had, created ahis own empire instead of joining one under a Sith Emperor, a kid that transformed into a monster instead of rebuilding an entire order with his twin (never been twins in stories either...oh, except maybe in 'Twins')! And then, maybe King Arthur would show up as captain as the Enterprise, and Gandalf would use Robocop's gun and Darth Maul's double-bladed lightsaber...well, that't be and awesome fucking movie! People would probably still call it a 'rip off,' though. Let's face it, Dune folks--Star Wars is like cake, Dune is like wheat bread w/ sugar sprinkled on top. They might share some core plot/character concepts (along with LOTR and nearly every other Sci-Fi/Fantasy story written), but let's not try to ca$$$h in on Star Wars' success too only serves to make Dune look more pathetic in comparison to to freakin' universe that any and everyone who is creative is dying to be a part of! May the Force (not the spice, druggie) be with you!

  4. Dude star wars is infantile just like you. Go suck Geoge Lucas's stubby cock some more you idiotic douche

    1. Above ^: An excerpt from the lesser known Bene Gesserit Litany against punctuation.

  5. The Bene Gesserit send a single shielded combatant to every group of Jedi. Once the laser sword contacts the shield and explosion of nuclear proportions wipes out all combatants in that skirmish. The Jedi run out of people first.

  6. My one problem with the Lucas universe from a logistical standpoint is the complete reliance on energy weapons. I have asked myself a single question since the very beginning: how would a Jedi fare against a SEAL team? Fine, you block a laser beam, you deflect it. Great. How do you like my 50-cal chain-fed gun? You might sizzle the first round or two, maybe you could force push away the first few, but after that....
    Now, as to fighting between them and the Bene Gesserit, the sisters would have ZERO compunction about using weapons. Bene Gesserit do whatever works. Against the Honored Matres they also had their own army of at least 2 MILLION men. But even without the latter day army, if you arm fifty witches with m-16's against 50 jedi with light sabers, I'm thinking that the Jedi are meat. I would agree that the Jedi have more offensive capabilities (force push, etc) then the witches have, but the Jedi would be limited, (I think), by their desire to be 'civilized', while the witches would just do whatever the hell gets the job done.

    1. You're God damn right!