Surprisingly Hot Mind Control: The Truce at Bakura

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Every once in a while, you’ll be reading something vanilla (usually science fiction or fantasy) and you’ll come upon something that just hammers very hard on your mind control fetish button out of nowhere. Not necessarily in a series that’s known for big, obviously fetishy mind control, like Chris Claremont’s X-Men, or even in a series that plays with the tropes frequently or casually, like Tom Baker’s Doctor Who, but a series that barely uses any mind control at all.

Which brings us nicely to ‘The Truce at Bakura’. It was a Star Wars book that came out in 1994, not long after the Thrawn Trilogy made Star Wars books seem like big, prestige events that continued the Star Wars saga after the end of ‘Return of the Jedi’ and well before they became a cottage industry, and it told a story set right after the Battle of Endor. Like, right right after, like Luke is still nursing his Force lightning wounds after. And the Rebels get a distress signal from an Imperial outpost saying, “Oh, hey, shit, Emperor? We’ve got scary aliens attacking!” But since the Emperor is dead and the Empire is collapsing, the Rebels decide they’re really the only people who can help. So they saddle up and ride off to Bakura, where they encounter the Ssi-Ruuk, the scary reptilian aliens that are attacking.

There’s a lot that happens in the book, most of which involves the seeming invincibility of the Ssi-Ruuk, their scary scary technology that sucks out people’s life energies and uses them to power the Ssi-Ruuk’s technology, and your usual good vs evil stuff. But one of the things that really comes out of nowhere is that there’s a human Force adept serving the Ssi-Ruuk, out of his own free will and due to his intense love for his masters. He thinks about that a lot, how free his will is and how much he just really loves the Ssi-Ruuk more than anything including his own life, but every once in a while it falters…

And they zap him with a brainwashing gun. And in that exact instant, he remembers that they do this to him all the time, that he’s completely hypnotized into loving his captors and that he only realizes that he’s brainwashed while they’re actively doing the process and he’s going to forget it as soon as they turn it off and go back to believing that he isn’t affected by the brainwashing that they use on everyone else and that he, alone among all their brainwashed slaves, doesn’t need to be hypnotized at all…

And then they turn it off, and he’s so relieved that it didn’t work and that his surrender to the Ssi-Ruuk is all his own idea.

Don’t get me wrong, I have no particular fetish about reptilian aliens or Star Wars or anything else involved in this book. But fuck, when that scene comes out of absolutely nowhere, it’s… um, yeah, it’s pretty fucking hot. I’m fully convinced that things like this are why we have so many geeky brainwashing fetishists.


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