Blizzard, Character Analysis, The Mind of a Character, Video Games

Sarah Kerrigan: How Power Can Ruin a Character

I was thinking about doing every character in order of SC2 expansions. But Artanis is pretty boring and flat, so I’m not even gonna bother. Although I could do Zeratul… I’ll get back to all of you on that.

Out of all the Starcraft characters, Kerrigan is the most important to the actual plot. Unfortunately, this is where we hit a snag. See, it isn’t because she’s the most deeply written with motivations that put her on a collision course with the plot. Rather, it’s because she’s the strongest character.

By a god damn landslide, I might add.

In Starcraft 1, Sarah Kerrigan really isn’t that complex, or bad, a character. She’s a psychic sniper turned rebel, hesitant to carry out her corrupt leader’s orders because of her own morals. Her story is a simple one: she falls in love with Jim Raynor, gets left for dead, and transformed into the monstrous Queen of Blades.

Now, to be fair: the Queen of Blades works super well as an antagonist! An unstoppable monster, a zerg powered by hatred and unbelievable psychic powers, with an emotional connection to the protagonist? That’s brilliant! In Wings of Liberty, she’s used to full effect by the writers. She seems like a truly unstoppable force.

But when she turns human again? Problems start to arise. Like, a lot of problems.

Although, to carry on with the positivity: Heart of the Swarm starts out pretty strong! Kerrigan has to grapple with her power in order to keep her humanity. She struggles to control it, to keep herself from going back to being the Queen of Blades.

And then she does exactly that.

As soon as Kerrigan transforms back into the Queen of Blades, shit starts to hit the fan. She becomes strong enough to conquer entire planets on her own, gains complete control over practically every zerg in the universe, and steamrolls her way straight to her vengeance. She is quite literally unstoppable.

Granted, she does have a few moments of vulnerability. Both Mengsk and Narude push her into a corner, with the ladder nearly killing her. But those moments are few, far between, and frighteningly short.

And then we get to Legacy of the Void. Jesus Christ, this expansion…

This is where Kerrigan goes from ‘just a bit too OP’ to Mary fucking Sue levels of ridiculous! She’s so damn strong that you can’t help but wonder why the terrans and protoss are even there.

For fuck sake, she literally becomes an in-universe god! And murders the other in-universe god! By breaking rocks!

So many years later and I’m still upset about that final level.

This is what happens when a character gets too powerful. By the end of HotS (the zerg expansion, not the MOBA that died a few years ago), she’s so damn strong that the other characters really shouldn’t even bother. Their only role in the story at that point is to help her become a god and get even stronger.

Kerrigan was a cool character. She made for an excellent bit of tragedy and villainy. But her whole revenge and redemption arcs were more focused on making her powerful than they were on making her interesting.

Oh well. I guess we’ll just have to wait for Starcraft 3 and see what else they got.

Ha ha ha… They’ll never make SC3.

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