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View Full Version : Shay And Achilles-The Fault In Ourselves



Toxic342018
03-19-2018, 02:50 AM
AC Rogue is indeed an underrated addition to the series, one that went very under the radar because of its simultaneous release with Unity, and Ubisoft promoting Unity far more, as well as the infamous glitches. It was very much a necessary, needed way to reexamine the conflict, and also see the shades of gray in the picture. It's also clear that the narrative was very much inspired by the Star Wars Prequel Trilogy and Anakin Skywalker's fall to the Dark Side, causing the virtual extinction of the Jedi Order and the rise of the Empire. (I will defend those films eagerly, though I will definitely admit that they aren't perfect, especially with the "romantic" dialogue. Oh, and I also see nothing wrong with what Disney has done with the series, either. Simply put, all the films are good, and what people complain about in both sub-sets were also present in the Original Trilogy as well. But that's another post/rant.) And much like said inspiration, the events of Rogue are the fault of both Shay and Achilles, two very flawed men who weren't suited as teacher and student.

Like Anakin, Shay is a lonely individual, who is very talented, and is very much in need of guidance to hone said skills. He latches onto the first lifeline that is given after a loss (losing his father is much like Anakin's being forced to leave his mother behind), but doesn't quite fit in. Shay receives mixed messages about how he is incredibly talented, but also upbraided and chided for flexing his muscles in the most simple and direct manner. Shay feels quite held back when he is sure he could achieve more, exacerbated more by seeing the praise and honors given to Adewale, Liam, Hope, Chevalier and Kesegowasse, while he seems to be overlooked, except for being lectured and preached to. Shay also is in some ways, unsuited to the order he joined, because he runs high on emotions and impulse, to the point that it often overpowers his analytical side.

After the Lisbon earthquake, Shay is justifiably angry with Achilles for the situation, and his inability to consider that Pieces of Eden could be anything but weapons, as well as the haughty demeanor he and the others hold themselves with. A confrontation, even a defection, was inevitable and needed to happen. Of course, Shay could easily have found ways to resolve the situation and get Achilles to see the error of his ways without joining the Templars, and destroying the Colonial Brotherhood in the process. But Shay is ever a prisoner of his emotional impulses, as well as his looking for guidance, thus allowing him to snapped up by the first people who say anything resembling what he wants to hear, and this comes from Haytham and the other Templars. Their honeyed words, and their playing to his fears, ensures that Shay will be ensnared with them, especially as unlike Anakin, Shay does not have anyone with the capacity to redeem him. Shay's primary flaw, his unerring following of the first impulses in his mind, especially when emotions run wild,

Like Obi-Wan, Achilles has the necessary skills to teach a student, with the exception of a needed sense of empathy. He is rigid and unyielding, hellbent on being right and uninterested in seeing anything from Shay's point of view. His focus on the rules and traditions (or arguably his warped interpretation of them, as a case can be made that Achilles only pays lip service to the Creed) is thus unable to admit that a change needs to occur for the Colonial Brotherhood to sustain itself, especially when change, under Altair and Ezio, was what enabled the Assassins to rebound. Much like the Jedi Order itself, this branch of the Assassins are complacent and arrogant, so confident that they are always right, unable to even consider the good points the Templars, particularly Haytham, have about their course. Arguably, Achilles hypocritically wants to determine the future of America with a sense of control anathema to the Brotherhood as a whole.

Unlike Obi-Wan, Achilles doesn't really have a Qui-Gon equivalent, someone who would've better suited for Shay's emotional needs and support. After all, in the Prequel Trilogy, Qui-Gon is essentially an unintentional prophet that is ignored, someone who sees the flaws in the Jedi Order, and is pushing on them to adapt and be flexible, and who was temperamentally better for training Anakin. Even before the deaths of his wife and son, Achilles was likely this problematic from the start, a piece of a different puzzle that didn't fit this one. Even when Shay and Haytham humble him, and he gets a chance to redeem himself with Connor, Achilles falls woefully short. Though he certainly has more respect and understanding of Connor, he is still driven by the same demons of the past, the same bitterness. This, after all, explains his boneheaded and selfish decision to bury the truth about the Colonial Brotherhood, especially from Connor, who arguably would benefit the most from learning, as it would not only give more to his interactions with Haytham, but also help him understand the reality of the Assassins. It also of course runs against the traditions of the Brotherhood to ensure that the stories are passed on, and lessons drawn from them, as the modern Assassins are caught off guard and take the bait, leading to certain assets being eradicated, and William Miles having to run damage control over the networks.

If anything, the story shows and underscores more how fallible humans are, even with a noble cause to defend, and how that cause can lead to blind spots and excesses.

cawatrooper9
03-20-2018, 02:38 PM
Interesting read, Toxic342018! I agree, I've always thought that the "American Saga" has reminded me a lot of Star Wars. Kind of cool to think that while Anakin was left burning in lava, Shay was abandoned in icy waters.

If you're looking for Qui Gon proxy, it might be Edward or Adewale: both from a more Golden Age of Assassins (and pirates!). Maybe that's not a perfect analogy for him, though. ;)