A Galaxy of Possibilities: Discussing Character Writing, Diversity, Star Wars and Fandom – Week 8: Baska Tankreyd

GalaxyofpossibilitiesLOGO2

Baska Tankreyd, The Sith Empire
SWRPG Wiki Page | Tumblr Gallery

Baska was the second roleplaying character I created back in Fall 2008. I still remember how I was sitting on the top floor and at the front row of the double deck bus taking me to university in London, as I lived there back then. I remember coming up with the idea of making a Sith, since I already had a Jedi. And I knew that I wanted to write a bisexual character because I never wrote one before and I thought that it would be something different for me to write. I remember jolting notes done about her background and why she was coming to the Sith. I stuck to that plan, just as I always kept the image claim I first came up with: Tricia Helfer. When I created Baska I was deep in Battlestar Galactica, and the actress was a perfect fit in my head, and stills since then. I have also been using Satine Kryze from Star Wars: The Clone Wars as a secondary claim for the past couple of years.

She was born and raised on Tanaab – thanks to Return of the Jedi – and got kicked out of the house by her older brother when she was fifteen, since their parents had died years before. She then became a bounty hunter and an infamous one at that, after a few years. Cunning and easily barbaric, she had a lot of passion in her. In her twenties, she got engaged to a man she loved, Denart, and she got pregnant with their child, a daughter they would have named Heyrina. When she was close to her term, she got caught in an explosion, which killed her fiance and their baby, leaving her likely barren. Both of them were buried on her estate on Iego.

Baska-Sith-Knight-sig2

Following these events, Baska lost it and was arrested for murder a few months later, seeing her sentenced to a few years in jail. During this time, she used her contacts outside to find more about the explosion and found out that someone was behind it and that she had been the target. While Baska wouldn’t find out that it was her aunt, her mother’s sister, until later, I knew it would be the case. When she finally was released after serving her time, she decided that she would go to the Sith, to gain new skills to be able to accomplish her vengeance one day.

After a few months of writing Baska, I hit a roadblock. Her mentor went away and I didn’t have much to develop her. I still had the neat idea for the vengeance story line and quest for information prior to this, but I felt stuck with her. I also got bored with her personal life as she had had a few casual lovers but no one that had such chemistry that it could be long term. I don’t like developing my characters solely for relationship purpose, but I tend to function better when they have a mate, or that I have plans for one while the relationship progresses before it becomes romantic and sexual.

I had reached the point when I had already planned Baska’s death with another writer for her to be killed in a duel. Then the opportunity happened for her to save a Sith master’s daughter and return her to Sith temple. That was a great idea and Baska eventually met with the female Sith Master and from there, I never wanted to kill Baska again. Both the Sith master and Baska had a lot to deal with on a personal level but they were a great match and their romance, which eventually led to marriage, had epic moments. It also prompted Baska to give even more of her everything to become a greater Sith, because of her mate being a Sith Master.

Very protective of her loved ones, Baska was like that even before she joined the Sith, just as her years as a bounty hunter made her a dangerous predator who can show patience before striking at the right moment. Baska is one of my most spiritual characters, so her partner having such a type of approach as her being a Sith, and a follower of the Dark Mistress, was a perfect fit for this character. It allowed for some great development for her becoming a mental and combat oriented Sith, and to face trials that took her to the ethereal realm to work on saving her wife, with the help of their daughter at some point in her story. The whole spiritual approach and mental plane was also an important part in how Baska had to prove herself as worthy of shedding her human body to become a Kashirian, her wife’s species, through several trials and a life threatening ritual. While the species is human looking, having Baska get used to the new physiology, with the changes in a body that still looked the same, was an interesting phase. The mental and spiritual aspect of the character’s development also led to Baska and her wife being blessed with the miraculous birth of their twin children.

Besides my Jedi Master Satkia Wayne, Baska is my other most prominent teacher figure among the roleplaying characters I write. Baska is extremely exigent of her pupils and doesn’t allow for any disloyalty. It is interesting to have a different and much more dangerous approach with Baska as a teacher, in comparison to my Jedi Master. Yet, it still keeps teaching as something that must be adaptable depending on the situation and the pupil!

  • Is faith (spiritual or other) important to your characters?
  • What do you think of villain type of characters having a (genuine, not sociopath-like) romantic side?
  • Did you ever write a character who changed species during the course of the story?

4 thoughts on “A Galaxy of Possibilities: Discussing Character Writing, Diversity, Star Wars and Fandom – Week 8: Baska Tankreyd

  1. Mishka Jenkins

    Your characters have such in depth back stories and it must be great to have such a range to choose from!

    How do you keep in character with each of them when you have so many with varying personalities?

    Like

    Reply
    1. Natacha Guyot Post author

      Thank you very much! I am used to characters (from roleplaying or my original stories or other assorted muses) to live in my head. As long as I have a character who has their real voice and personality, I’m fine with juggling with so many! This is also why I delete characters when they don’t work at all because they’re the ones who can add clutter if I don’t get rid of them.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  2. hannahgivens

    I have an alien race of shapeshifters — not that they can change shape whenever they like, but that occasionally, the whole race changes to a new species they’ve chosen. They developed because I had aliens who looked human and I needed a reason for them to look that way! As of yet it hasn’t really been a story topic, but I need to mark that down as a potential short story…

    I’m all in favor of villains having some healthy relationships! It allows for a lot more variety and realism if a villain isn’t purely mustache-twirling or a complete wreck all the time.

    Regarding faith, it tends to be important, especially for my older characters, but in a very vague way. When it is explicit, it’s often a made-up religion. I try to be aware of characters’ varying religious beliefs in the same way that I want a variety of races, genders, etc., but I don’t feel I have anything meaningful to say about religious topics right now, so I just let it stay in the background.

    Like

    Reply
    1. Natacha Guyot Post author

      This alien race of shapeshifter sounds fascinating! I hope you get to use it in a short story! That’d be great.

      Aren’t well layered villains interesting? In a way it makes them almost more scary, because they can be so “normal” in a way. I didn’t do it on purpose but most of my most villain types are very family oriented and in a healthy way.

      Religious/spiritual faith was present in some of my story ideas when I was younger, but it has mostly developed as I was outlining my upcoming Fantasy short story series (though there will be no made up religion as I keep that for Science Fiction projects).

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s