Dead Orbit: Gothic Dreamers of a New World

Updated on September 12, 2019
Nolan Johnson profile image

A 27-year-old nerd who loves writing, history and just learning as much as possible about the world around him.

Stardust Crusaders

Dead Orbit's theology has developed from mere fatalism into an obsession with worlds beyond Earth. Now their focus is on the building of a starfaring fleet, cobbled together from the ashes of our past and the spoils of war.
Dead Orbit's theology has developed from mere fatalism into an obsession with worlds beyond Earth. Now their focus is on the building of a starfaring fleet, cobbled together from the ashes of our past and the spoils of war. | Source

It's been almost 5 years since the debut of Destiny and in that time millions of Guardians have taken the mantle to be the last line of defense to what's left of humanity. And through various means, we've taken extensive time looking into the histories of our enemies, from the Fallen's Golden Age to the Whirlwind event, the three Hive sisters' contact with the Deep and their conversion into what we know of the Hive today, The Vex's desire to convert reality into one big machine, and the Cabal's mess of an empire, full with political drama.

But What About Our Own History?

I mean think about it. We typically spend so much time recently looking at the lore of our adversaries, that we don't really focus on the Guardians that fight alongside us. Not to say that we haven't, because we have. But I for one, as a Hunter main, want to know about the other Hunters that preceded me, and I would imagine the same goes for Warlocks and Titans. Picking our classes, I think should have a bigger impact than deciding which one fits our playstyles. That in mind, as a follow-up to my last article, "What Would a Faction War-Based DLC in Destiny 2 Look Like?," let's briefly take a look at the factions we know about, and see what we can learn about them, and the Guardians that swore loyalty to them.

Ideologies of the Arachs

Dead Orbit, as mentioned in my previous article is a Guardian faction that believes that Earth is a dead planet. Its inevitable destruction should be taken seriously and they will do whatever it takes, legal or otherwise, to assure that people will take a hint and jump ship. To Arach Jalaal and the other Arachs that preceded him, the end justifies the means.

Jalaal Is an Interesting Character

In the lore tab "Fleet" in the Book: The Awoken of the Reef, we learn that Jalaal, an Earthborn Awoken, as he's called by Petra, shares the same mindset as presumably other Awoken of his kind. He respects his heritage but isn't keen on the sense of superiority that Reefborns have. To go a step further, he feels pity for Petra, in that she's bound by loyalty to her queen and her heritage, even if she doesn't fully agree with it. In other words, while on the outset, while it seems that the Reefborn are superior via pedigree, its the Earthborn Awoken who are unrestricted when it comes to their activity. Nonetheless, Jalaal says that he was "Awoken," to keep on searching for the world that everyone deserves; and as we know, is the current face of Dead Orbit, this isn't restricted to just Awoken.

Stars Within the Shadows of the Night


Within the lore, we do get to learn about Guardians who affiliate themselves with Jalaal's ideology. As we might've guessed, these Guardians typically share the "end justifies the means" mentality, finding themselves to be scavengers for tech wherever they can get their hands on it.

Even Relying on a Particular "Spider" to Do so

Ghislaine "accepted" an invitation from our favorite four-armed godfather after running into his scouts on her way to Titan. While it's not confirmed she is a Guardian, I'd imagine so due to her attitude when speaking to someone of Spider's caliber. Either that or she's really sharp-tongued for a human. Nonetheless, She's captured and Spider feels as though he can make a "new friend" through taking some of her cargo off her ship to mark their new friendship in exchange for an armillary he recovered on Titan, where she's heading towards. She remarks that the cargo he's looking for isn't with her. The spider seems to see right through her lie but decides to play dumb and let her go. I interpret this as Spider not seeing the value in killing her, especially in the slim chance she really is being honest. Duly noted, though, I would imagine that after this interaction, there's no doubt he'll be running into again.

Howe, on the Other Hand, Isn't so Lucky

Another DO affiliate, Spider comes into contact with him, requesting a particular painting for his collection. As a matter of fact, its the same bit of Cargo that Ghislaine claimed was on Earth already. Howe questions why Spider would even want something so old, and this annoys Spider enough to decide to kill him. Both deeds are done, and Spider in his alone time walks down into his gallery with all of his various collectibles and hangs up his new prize: The Starry Night.

A Silent Night

Doing some research on the painting itself, Starry Night is an incredible symbol of Dead Orbit's purpose in the world of Destiny. On the Vincent Van Goh website, we find that one interpretation says that the bright lights amidst the dark colors represent an "end-of-the-world" cataclysm, with Van Goh following this by saying: "Just as we take the train to go to Tarascon or Rouen, we take death to go to a star."

Others note the cypress tree representing "death" in relation to Van Goh's eventual suicide, but also immortality, as well as the ability to reach the sky itself, the direct connection to Earth and the heavens. This not only relates to the Guardian's pseudo-immortality (the only way to truly kill a Guardian is through its Ghost) but also of the ability to be connected to the worlds beyond thanks to space travel, in addition to Dead Orbits, desire to find a way off world to find a new one.

And one final note is what one analysis confirmed. The morning star in the photo is revealed to be Venus itself, something that Van Goh may have been able to see the night he painted this. FWC, another faction in Destiny, has origins tracing back to Venus, which we will look further into in the future.

For the Greater Good

So in this brief analysis, we learn that the Dead Orbit essentially the Anti-Heroes of the Guardian factions. Their methods of doing things are questionable, but their goals are in humanity's favor. And when you think about it, in a world of Good vs Evil and the last remaining ones of a nearly extinct civilization are looking to you for salvation, its understandable that someone has to do the dirty work. Some Guardians, may be drawn to the danger, the thrill of the unknown, or have a bit of a rebellious streak in them and find Dead Orbit's the way to express it safely. Whatever the case is, its clear that Dead Orbit's a necessary (evil?) asset to our Guardian Community. And for that we thank them for their service, whatever direction that takes them.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

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    © 2019 Nolan Johnson


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