Welcome back to the backstage area! Today the focus will be on the powers and abilities of the Bodisei. As always, I will start with the original text and then take a behind the scenes look at the topic at hand.
The ability the Bodisei are most famous for is their incredible talent in pre- and post-cognition and foresight, with which they are born. With this they are able to see and show others very accurate visions of past and future. After some training they can use this at will.
With their reluctance towards killing and violence, the Bodisei have developed special abilities to defend themselves both physically and mentally without harming others. Among these are nearly impenetrable Force bubbles and barriers, teleportation and illusions. The abilities a Bodisei is able to use depend on the individual.
Because of their great respect of life, Bodisei refuse to kill or even eat anything organic. Therefore they have developed ways to use the Force for creating food from inorganic material. All tools and objects used don’t contain any organic material either. As with their pre- and post-cognitive abilities, this ability is in almost any case already present at birth, though in this case this has only been so for the last few generations.
Lastly, there is the incredibly striking ease and speed at which Bodisei are able to learn and almost flawlessly use other languages. This greatly helps them in their understanding and dealing with other races and cultures and has often led to respect from those they encountered.
Behind the Scenes
The second and third abilities are very much inspired by my personal worldview. Strong respect for all life and opposition to violence and killing (though not in the sense of the pro-life movement) have been part of me for as long as I can remember, I don’t think there was ever a time my adherence to pacifism was stronger than during the time I designed the Bodisei. There will be more on the Bodisei’s pacifist views – and the way they affected my characters – later on, but for now it is clear that their powers clearly reflect the extent they will go to in order to respect and protect life wherever they can. The wisdom of a green pint-sized, pointy-eared Jedi Master may or may not have snuck in as well. ^_^
It does not stop with shunning violence and, especially, killing to resolve or prevent conflict, but also serves to protect both themselves and others and – as the third power illustrates – goes so far as attempting to not bring harm to not just animals, but living beings in general. As a fairly die-hard vegetarian (though not to the point of forcing my views on others) that is certainly something I wish I was capable of, but it’s unlikely it will be more than a wish. At least I have the Bodisei to make it come true just a little bit. ^_^
Now, the other abilities I’m not certain how exactly they came to be. The foresight might have developed during my writing of one of the stories, but I can’t say that with complete certainty. I’m imagining the fourth one reflected my being very much an Alpha on the science side of things and being good at languages (so long as I didn’t forget to keep up with them!). It’s also a possible reference to my being able to speak Arabic fluently when I was little (something which I’ve unfortunately long since unlearned). Finally, it may overlap with the second and third power in that it allows a better understanding of other people and thus in turn the prevention of conflict. They’re all far from unlikely, but like with the foresight powers, I’m not entirely sure.
And thus ends the second installment of my look into the backstage of Ashukahwa story writing. For next time I’ll be focusing on the more socio-cultural aspects of the Bodisei! Until then!