Hello all, this is my first post, so I figured a dead-for-eleven-months thread was the perfect place to begin
Anyway, mainly I think Jediphile has this well thought-out and makes a lot of sense, and aside from a few points and details, I'll not overly challenge the theory. What I'd like to do is draw reference to a few character and plot points which either have been mentioned previously in the thread but left hanging, or which I feel have been missed alltogether. They don't all relate directly to the main topic, but neither has much of the past couple of pages of posts, so I thought I'd just pour this out and see what anyone thinks.
So, first of all - Kreia. Y'know, the ex-Darth Traya, 'There must always be a betrayer' who manipulates her way into the party right from the very start. Now, this whole force-bond business. What it actually comes down too is a) mechanics-wise, the force chain feat (Yes, it's a feat, not a power... telling start) b) her getting her hand dismembered and the ensuing agony felt by the Exile and c) Treya's explanation. Now, doesn't anyone else find it odd that not only does this not affect the Exile negatively at any other point in the game/story, nor Kreia, but that all of the jedi masters claim to have never heard of such a bond? While it's cut content, no-one comments on the fact that Kreia is still alive at the point in the game when the Exile is believed to be dead (Nar Shaddaa/M4-78, depending on your mod), the Exile doesn't continue to feel the pain Kreia is in post-Peragus - instead, it's Atton who notices it - and in the end, it has no effect - oh, and after checking, the force chain feat is in the feats section of the Exile's character sheet right up to the floating sabers battle at the Trayus core, regardless of whether Treya and the Exile still affect one another or not.
Where am I going with this? Simple! Kreia lied! There was no force bond! She needed a plausible reason to keep the exile close throughout and, using the mental link she'd already forced on the exile shortly after awakening on Peragus, she transmitted the pain of her hand's severance upon the Exile - after making sure that she was alone for the first confrontation with Sion aboard The Harbinger. Ladies and gentlemen - she's using the old Jedi mind trick! Could she use it to pass a moments agony to another? how could she learn such a force manipulation? Well, she worked with Sion for long enough at the Treyus academy, so surely she knows a little about pain, yeah?
Add to this that it's not until the Telos academy that Kreia susses what Atris is up to and realises that she has become Darth Treya and must pass the mantle, and that part of the picture becomes complete - and by then, Kreia or Treya, it doesn't matter - The Exile has accepted her into the party and is taking her tuition on a regular basis. Kreia gets what she wanted. Yes, Kreia claims to be truthful with the Exile from the start - but she clearly isn't, even if you discount my speculations here. And if anyone doubts just how nasty Kreia can be to serve her (self-justified and, frankly, almost noble (from a certain perspective, of course)) intentions, look at how she toys with Mical.
On Atton, Bao-Dur and avoiding Revan's 'Happy-camps for force sensitives' - Bao-Dur was safe from this because it happened during the Jedi Civil War, not the Mandalorian Wars - re-check Atton's revelations on this after getting the info on him from the Twi'lek in the Nar Shaddaa refugee sector.As such, that unresolved point from previous posts is moot, since, as far as we know, Bao-Dur had no involvement with the Jedi Civil War. The Mass-Shadow Generator? Well, personally, I still think that was tacked-on and rushed storyline work to try and get some sort of epic feel to the events of Malachor V and a cheap & easy way of seeing it destroyed a second time - I'm not going on Wookiepedia or expanded universe stuff, just what's in the games themselves, but I feel that the MSG is completely inconsistent, even with story revealed by HK-47 in TSL. How come Canderous and Carth (IIRC, I can't remember for sure that Carth was at Malachor V, but I think he eluded to it in KOTOR) survived, along with many minor charcters found throughout TSL? If so, the Exile, Revan, Malak, Carth, Canderous and Bao-Dur (and Remote, of course) all somehow were out of the range of this planet-killer, not to mention the then-Mandalore and a whole chunk of the Neo-Crusaders, Basilisks included, because we know that Revan executed Mandalore in front of his troops and walked away with Mandalore's helm. Unless they all had a post-genocide party down on the desolate planet surface shortly after the destruction of the orbiting fleets, that doesn't add up. So, all I'm saying on that one is - I don't feel that the why's and wherefore's of the Mass Shadow Generator are worth losing sleep over, despite it's canonisation, because, game-wise, it was rushed. If I were doing a re-edit, I'd get shot of any reference to the thing or else integrate it into the story far earlier and with more explanation than it currently has.
So, back to the point of the post;
Visas: as non-canon male Exile, visas asks to look on the Exile shortly before going to Telos for the battle there. In this, she would see the true nature of The Exile, and then shortly after (if allowing her to, of course) look upon the fallen remains of Nihilus. Just surprised that no-one else mentioned the first stage of that earlier, given the in-depth discussion of Visas' role on The Ravager.
Tobin: On-board the Ravager, Tobin speaks about Nihilus waiting. One dialogue choice here is along the lines of 'Waiting for us?' Tobin responds by saying that you are like dust-motes, swirling beyond Nihilus' attention. Check that one out. Currently the most glowing, intense chunk'a'force for a thousand parsecs is stood a short distance from Nihilus, on the same ship, and he doesn't notice you... Which brings us back to Jediphile's theory, and if that doesn't hammer a couple of nails into the doubters' of the general theory's coffins, I don't know what does. His own servant and a force-wielder of such power are right under his nose, and he's stood there sniffing around for force-users to drain (in fact, he's starving, desperate for something to consume - that's why he's brought the fleet to Telos, right?) and he still can't detect the Exile - or those he's bonded with, even his own plaything. So, from that, I'd surmise that the Exile is completely invisible force-wise to Nihilus, hence he is still severed from the force at this point; that there never was a force-bond with Kreia (because if there was, surely Nihilus would notice that, too, regardless of where Kreia currently was); and that the reason for all that, as noted originally by Jediphile, is that Nihilus was born of the Exile and his choice at Malachor V.
The Jedi Council - They all make some inference, and explicitly Kavar makes a point of stating, that they've been unable to find Nihilus (or, rather, the Sith and where they're striking from) and were completely blind-sided by the Katarr tragedy. They've also been completely unable to find the Exile, until he finds them. Once again, we see Exile and Nihilus sharing the exact same properties regarding their place in the force. Nihilus isn't Sith - he's a wound, too, and he was opened entirely by pain and suffering.
Finally on the NPCs, Something HK-47 says with regards to defeating Sion comes to mind - HK draws parralels between Sion's power and Jedi healing techniques, that if one is possible, why should the other not be? I can't remember exactly why I mention this, but I know it had some pertinence to something said early on in the thread - sorry to be so vague!
And so, my minor disagreements with Jediphile's theory, aside from anything that I've made a contradictory statement regarding in the above, boils down to the speculation of a host body for Nihilus. I think there may have been a couple of other minor points, but I've read 280 posts since clicking on this thread and, as may be obvious from the above, I'm having trouble being concise on the points which I noted near the start of reading ;p I think I'll keep notepad open next time I try something like this
Nihilus is the Exile's master/padawan/someone close to the Exile - I'm not saying he isn't, but I think it's as likely not as is. Seriously, the Exile has caused a wound in the force. That's not exactly normal. I think, with a planet filled by warfare, pain, fear and death, it wouldn't even need a body for what is viewable as the dark side of the wound to convalesce and take on human form. So all I'm saying there is that any speculation as to whether it was someone close to the Exile or not doesn't really play a part - after all, Atton, Handmaiden, Mira and Mandalore all have no ties to the Exile initially, but will happily follow their orders without serious question. So the severance of the pain and regret, fused with a powerful connection to the force, given form on a world filled with corpses (and, indeed, mentally and physically devastated survivors, one must guess) probably wouldn't have too much trouble finding a host, 'killing' it, metaphorically or otherwise ('Your father was killed by Darth Vader, Luke', or whatever Obi Wan's line is) and being reborn a beast amid the ruins of Malachor V.
Well, I think that'll more than do for now, I'll be very interested to see if anyone comments on this. cheers and again hello, and Jediphile & everyone else who has contributed - thanks for a great thread!