2018 Companion Reunions, Volume 1

So yesterday, as most of you should be aware by now, we were graced with the first returning Companions of 2018; Risha and Corso for the Smuggler, and Andronikos for the Sith Inquisitor.

Since all of these Companions required the completion of Chapter IX of Eternal Throne, this meant that I decided to spend my limited free time this weekend taking my own Sith Sorcerer, Vahnora, through the remaining Chapters she had yet to do. There's a further tale to this than meets the eye, so I hope you're ready for yet more boring text before we get to the interesting bit about the reunions.


Prior to starting out on this, there was something which I felt I needed to do. Vahnora's character design has gone through several renditions across the years, mostly because I never really felt I'd found a look which 'clicked' for her. She's gone from being a Twi'lek to a Togruta to a very-different-looking Twi'lek and has now ended up as a Zabrak.

Since I know a certain someone will be raising their eyebrows at this, it's because I found a facial pattern I liked which obscured the fact that Zabrak lack eyebrows. This is a trick I've used before on my Cathar Sage, Vhiallia, and I think it works well for Zabrak-Vahn as well.

I'm also rather pleased with her new outfit. There are sadly so very few good-looking Sith-robe sets which have their hoods down as opposed to up (something which Twi'lek-Vahn didn't have to worry about), with the Dark Acolyte's Robe being the simplest such option available. Since I know that the same certain someone from above will be saying how Vahn has copied her own Sorcerer's look, I counter her by saying that they're actually totally different since Vahn's has been made a very nice midnight blue instead of left at the standard black, courtesy of a Primary Deep Blue Dye.

Makes all the difference, it really does.

But really though, we need more Sithy-style plain hood-down robe options.


I seem to like using my Sith characters as miniature experiments involving Eternal Throne. I first witnessed the story decisions given to an Instant-65 character on an Instant Assassin, and then I used my Juggernaut Ferok'ia to see whether or not a character's already-gained Alignment score would impact said allocation. In both cases it takes the character's faction as the deciding factor in the allocated decisions, meaning that even if you're jumping a Light V character straight to Eternal Throne at the earliest opportunity, every single choice that character will have 'made' throughout Fallen Empire will have been Dark Side.

As a result of Ferok'ia's test, I was curious to see whether decisions made in completed Chapters of Fallen Empire would have some impact or whether, just like the Light V alignment, they would be completely ignored. As it happens, Vahn had completed only up to and including Chapter X: Anarchy in Paradise, and her goody-two-shoes tendencies throughout the earlier Chapters and this one ensured that Koth was staying put.

I skipped ahead to the first Chapter of Eternal Throne as planned, and found that three things had happened.

Firstly, this decision had duplicated her Class Companions, meaning that even though 2V, Talos, and Xalek all showed as recruited (and, thankfully, summonable) in the Alliance Recruits section, they also showed up as Unavailable Companions alongside Andronikos, Ashara, and Khem. It is possible that any reclaimed Companions would have been shunted back here as well, but as I never reclaimed any of Vahn's Companions this is impossible to gauge (and no, I'm not testing that!).

Secondly, HK-55's repairs clearly went faulty as he was once again relegated to the graveyard of Companions. This suggests that the jump just presents the state of the Alliance as it 'should' be no matter what, with HK-55 being initially deceased for everyone who skips Fallen Empire as his resurrection is very much 'unofficial' as the main story has yet to address it, although curiously characters like ZO-OM stay put. This does, however, mean that HK is presently unsummonable by Vahnora. Oh well.

Thirdly, and something of a logical conclusion from the previous two points, decisions made by Vahn were not just ignored; they were completely rewritten so that every single choice corresponded to the choices assigned to any 'default' Imperial at the start of Eternal Throne. She's now allowed people to die on Zakuul, lied to Lana, supported Kaliyo's decision to blow up the Spire, and caused Koth to steal the Gravestone, things which never happened for her the 'proper' first time around.

Basically, no matter what route you take to skip Fallen Empire, your decisions will always be presented as aligning with your Faction. While it makes sense that an Instant 65 character should get these allocated choices and to some extent Alignment doesn't mean they're going to follow that path in the actual story, I'm a tad disheartened that there is apparently no 'detection' system which allows important choices which actually were made to have an impact on proceedings. But oh well. Not the end of the world.

The moral of this story is, if you want to do the Eternal Throne story, either do the full Fallen Empire story or skip it entirely; don't do the skipping halfway-through.


So, at long last, I can begin talking about the new Alliance Alerts. For those wondering why I haven't yet mentioned what I did to get my Smuggler ready to meet up with her Companions again, it's because she's completely on top of story events and has been for some time, so therefore there was nothing needing doing for her.

The Smuggler's Alert, Unhappy Returns, sees them meet up with Risha and Corso - who really need better fashion advice - on Nar Shaddaa following what is actually a nice little callback of a scavenger hunt; without saying why they chose these items, I will say that they scrawl coordinates to their location on items which are important to the first Chapter of the Smuggler's Class Story, such as a scale model of the XS Freighter and a fake Darth Bandon head.

It doesn't get any less creepy, even years later
After the happy reunion, we learn from the pair that Dubrillion - Risha's destined queendom - no longer exists in a serviceable state. Not only did the king start offing some major political opponents, including Risha's potential husband Count Rineld, but Vaylin's fleet actually managed to sack the planet in its entirety.

Basically, this means that Risha's entire character arc - retrieving her birthright, forming and maintaining political alliances, and the chance that Dubrillion would be hers someday - has been completely obliterated. Allthough Legends Continuity has the Planet flourishing at the time of the Original Trilogy, it is of course impossible that it would be completely rebuilt within either of its potential monarchs' lifetimes.

Risha is now... just Risha. She's willingly given up politics entirely and is more than content just doing stuff around the galaxy. I can't help but feel sorry for Risha as a character, since now it's impossible - or at least now very, very difficult - for her to properly fulfil her father's wishes and restore the Drayen bloodline herself. This is certainly not the outcome anyone following Risha's story would have wanted to envisage. 

Corso is still Corso, although regardless of whether or not you give Torchy back to him after defeating Skavak, he's now using a far uglier pistol named Scorchy. Considering how happy he was after regaining his 'old friend', it's something of a shame to see it being replaced no matter what. As is the way of things, this new gun is never discussed in any way, shape, or form and its identity is only revealed when you inspect his character sheet or retrieve his inventory items. 

The Inquisitor's Alert, Pirate's Life, is, sadly, a lot more 'generic'. The Inquisitor just gets a cutscene aboard an Eternal Fleet ship which, aggravatingly, doesn't actually require travelling to said Eternal Fleet ship, even if the most we would have gotten is a brief mock-up of the brig area from Chapter XV: The GEMINI Deception. Instead, your character launches the cutscene from Odessen and is just left there.

I mentioned the brig in that last paragraph, and that's because Andronikos is being held there for attacking the Fleet. This is initially presented as robbing them for Credits, but, as he reveals, there was a much more important motive for his actions; he was raiding the Fleet - and had been for the last six years - due to a tip-off he received six years prior that the Inquisitor was imprisoned in one, although it is a bit of a stretch that he evaded capture for all these years.

I guess the Eternal Empire was as incompetent at handling these sort of things as the First Order is at military tactics. 

But, hey, whatever. At least he has a story about actually actively looking for the Player Character and, moreover, continuing to do so for the six years since the disappearance. If this is true, that's the most active role in finding the player that any returned Companion has done since T7 since most of those who have already reconvened with their specific player character state that they gave up after a couple of years.

In both Alerts, it is of course possible to accept the Companions into the Alliance, but it is also possible to reject them as well. Risha and Corso are ready and able to move on to join another crew for more galactic antics so take rejection by the Smuggler well if rejected together, while Andronikos can be left in the brig to stew in revenge for attacking the Inquisitor's property. He, understandably, does not take this well. 

However, the best thing about all of this is that it is indeed possible to accept only either Risha or Corso rather than both of them (and this will presumably apply to any future 'paired' Companions). Which means that, finally, Cal has had the option to...

Sad Corso is sad
... get rid of Corso. I have no regrets about this whatsoever.

Apart from being given this wonderful opportunity, both of these Alerts were of particular note for me since this is the first time that any of my characters have come across Companions who they'd previously romanced. This is due to several factors, with the main one being that my 'main' Story characters had yet to meet their respective romances (Cal with Corso (until now) and Pip with Vector), others not having Class romances to begin with (Miora didn't follow up on Doc's advances and Vhiallia was an Instant-60 so had no chance to romance Iresso; neither of these have returned anyway, so moot point in some regards), and everyone else simply not having reached the point of reunion or not yet having started Fallen Empire.

Since I decided to make Cal say "go away" to Corso and other factors were preventing others from reuniting with their loved ones, this means that the first character of mine to reunite with their old flame and continue the romance is Vahnora. Andronikos is probably one of the best characters in the game to be in a romance with, and so I'm more than happy for them to continue where they left off.

It only took two years, three months, and three days for me to witness a reunion romance scene

Interestingly, with all three of these Companions their biographies are left exactly as they were on their original Companion Codex Entries rather than being updated in some way. Every other returned Companion so far has either had their biography rewritten to include a "since you last saw them..." summary or, in some cases, reduced to just being the most generic description of their character from their original bio, even if it doesn't make sense anymore (notably Skadge's biography still treats the fact that he was interred on Belsavis as being the last thing that happened to him).

Either way, one thing that never survived was the section for "Likes/Dislikes", but since Andronikos, Corso, and Risha's biographies are just their original ones with nothing summarised or removed, they've managed to retain them. This would have been okay, as it preserves an aspect of their personality in a place other than the Codex, were it not for the fact that these will likely never be applicable to any situation going forward.

Something else which is different between these three and the other Companions post-KotFE is that they lack a personalised 'tagline' beneath their names on the Companion list. It's a minor thing, but it still slightly bugs me as I like the concept of the taglines.


At the end of the day, I'm pleased with these two Alliance Alerts. I particularly enjoyed the mini-scavenger-hunt which formed the first half of Unhappy Returns, something which certainly couldn't have survived any potential transition to a universally-accessible Alert. Pirate's Life is definitely less personally-tailored to the Inquisitor, which is a shame, but the reunion with Andronikos is far more satisfactory than it is for Corso and especially Risha, since at least Andronikos doesn't lose a significant part of his character motivation or raison d'être across the years.

I'm interested in seeing how they handle the other Companions in future Alerts such as these. Hopefully we won't have too many which have their personal stories just brushed under the carpet like Risha, but it's never wise to hold out too much hope.

Especially now that the much-hoped-for reunion scene between Risha and a surviving Vette is never going to happen. I boo you, BioWare, I boo you.

On the other hand, rejecting Corso has made me think who else I would consider rejecting if/when given the opportunity. It would wholly depend upon how each returning character is handled, especially in regards to where they 'stand' in comparison to where the specific character last knew them. I'm especially curious to see how Ashara, Jaesa, and Nadia have evolved, since they all had so much more to learn from their original Class character than any other Companion. It's inevitable that they'll have made progress, so if the amount of progress they've made is such that they're completely self-sufficient, and satisfactorily so, then I can see myself leaving them to their own devices.

However, in all three cases these characters are central to the character arc of the Inquisitor, Warrior, and Consular, in that if they have evolved to the extent that they no longer need their original master then that will leave a very empty feeling in a lot of veteran players' guts. It's one thing to see a character evolve on their journey with you as their guiding hand throughout; it's another thing entirely to see them having evolved to be your equal or even your better without knowing just how much your input had to do with their eventual state-of-being.

We'll have to wait and see, especially as we also don't know who's going to be Class-specific and who's going to be present in any future Story Chapters. We already know that not every returning Companion is going to be Class-specific, so we will at least see someone in the Story. It'll probably be Tharan Cedrax.

Meanwhile, I need to start getting my Juggernaut through the remainder of Eternal Throne and continue my Powertech's Class Story so that she can eventually start the process herself, all so that they can gain access to the one Companion both Classes have yet to meet with post-Fallen Empire.

In other news, this post is the 200th post on the blog. Yay, and all that. 


  1. Congratulations on 200!

    The second "certain someone" comment made me break into chuckles during my lunch break at work because I totally WAS going to comment on your plagiarism. :P

    Have skipped the stuff about the actual quests for now as I want to see them for myself without spoilers!

    1. Thanks! :)

      I know how you 'work' by now. :P