***Warning: This review contains MASSIVE spoilers for the following Star Wars titles: “Knights of the Old Republic”, “Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords”, and the new MMO, “The Old Republic”. Just thought I’d warn you all. ~Sincerely, Rammfan518***
Part I: History Lesson
To properly explain why I was so disappointed in Drew Karpyshyn’s “Star Wars: The Old Republic: Revan”, I have to provide you with some backstory about my personal experience with both the characters and the games.
On July 15, 2003, Bioware and Lucasarts released “Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic” for the XBOX, taking it to the PC a couple months later. I didn’t play it until the next year, after my buddy from high school kept talking about how fantastic it was and how I just had to play it. I can still remember us standing in the gym, dressed in our dumb white and purple gym clothes, and him raving about Revan, Bastila, and a “huge twist”. So, the next weekend, with a two-liter bottle of Shasta Cola at my side, I rented KOTOR and began to play.
Now, this isn’t a review of the game KOTOR, but let me go ahead and say that KOTOR was one of the most enjoyable game-playing experiences I’ve had. It was easy to play, the characters were interesting, the plot, engaging. Like the original Star Wars trailer says, it was an “epic of heroes and villains and aliens from a thousand worlds.”
Since I played the game as a male (you can choose to be either female or male from the beginning), I’ll explain the story from the male perspective.
KOTOR begins with a character who has lost his memory, waking up on a Republic ship that is under attack by Darth Malak’s villanous Sith. With the aid of some dude, the man escapes in an escape pod and lands on the planet Taris below, meeting Carth Onasi, a Republic pilot, and a couple of aliens who are going to help him throughout the game. Bastila Shan, a Jedi who was on the ship as well, is somewhere on Taris, her escape pod having landed in an Unknown Place. As the man starts his adventure, he has dreams of an event on a starship, showing Jedi hottie yelling something and fighting a man named Revan.
Upon finding Bastila, you learn that you and her have a special bond in the Force, a connection that at first seems unexplainable. In time, you learn that Revan was a Sith Lord, whom Bastila defeated on his ship a while back. Revan and Malak were both great Jedi, but they disobeyed the Jedi Order and fought in the bloody Mandalorian Wars. Revan and Malak were victorious, but Malak and Revan disappeared for a bit. When the two returned, Malak and Revan with evil-ass motherfuckers who were coming to destroy the Republic.
Revan and Malak swept across the galaxy with their new army. Bastila was sent with a Jedi strike team to go and capture Revan. In a massive battle, Bastila and her team boarded Revan’s flagship, but before they could engage them, Malak betrayed his buddy and fired on his ship. This left Revan unconscious, clinging to life.
Midway through the game, the man learns that HE is Revan, the evil dark lord, who’s had his memory wiped and was trained to be good again. Bastila preserved his mind and body through the Force, keeping him alive. Thus, the Force Bond is explained.
When playing the game, you are then given the choice to follow the path of light and deny your old evil ways, or you can choose to reclaim your title as ultimate fucker and join the dark side. Following the canonical version of the story, the new Revan chooses to be good, and if you play it a certain way, Bastila and Revan fall in love. Bastila will deny having any feelings for you, even though she admits it and stumbles over her words from time to time, angry at the emotions rushing through her. It’s a well-written love story that seems honest and organic (not like Episode II). Bastila is captured during the game and is warped to the dark side, but in the end, Revan tells her he loves her and she loves him and she’s redeemed. W00t! Revan defeats Malak and his buddies save the galaxy and they are all given a medal, woo hoo!
As I stated earlier, KOTOR was one of the best gaming experiences I’ve ever had, and many agree. KOTOR’s characters and story won the hearts of many a Star Wars and RPG fan. Me, being a softie, enjoyed the love story, and loved Bastila so much that I put her at the top of my Top Ten Star Wars Ladies list that I made four years ago.
So, Revan was a Jedi, defied the council, fought in a war, got lost a bit, came back as a Sith Lord, got defeated by Bastila, had his memory wiped, learned to be a Jedi again, learned of his past, denied it, fell in love with Bastila, became a Jedi again, and saved the Republic. Pretty cool story.
I was excited as hell when I found out there was going to be a sequel, titled “Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords.” I couldn’t wait to play as Revan again, wondering what Bastila and the rest of the crew were up to. Well, KOTOR 2 doesn’t revolve around Revan at all, but instead about a Jedi known as the Exile who blah blah something starwarsy blah blah. So where was Reavn? Luckily, the Exile comes across some of the characters from the first game, who mention Revan and explain what happened to him after the events of KOTOR.
Canderous Ordo, the Mandalorian dude from the first game, had this to say “After defeating Malak, Revan made the decision that he would travel to the Unknown Regions. He was searching for something. I wanted to go with him. I respected him, knew he could use me where he was going. But Revan refused, saying he must travel alone,” and later went on to say “Revan never said what he was looking for, or what to be ready for. I don’t know if I’ll ever know.” Later, the Exile stumbles upon a recording in T3, Revan’s droid from the first game. It’s a recording of Bastila in which she says “I’m leaving this message inside you because I have seen the glimpses of the future…and the bond that he [Revan] and I share does not allow him to hide everything from me. More of his memories have returned – and they trouble him. He has remembered something on the edge of the galaxy, and he believes that he must go there and end it. But I’m afraid for him…afraid that he may not return.” She then goes on to say “I can’t lose him, even if he believes he is protecting me.” Later in the game, there is even a cameo by Bastila and Carth, discussing Revan’s disappearence, where she says “There are times I fear we shall never know why he left, Carth. And I cannot live not knowing the answer, why he sought to protect us.” To which Carth replies, “He told us to stay, to keep the Republic safe. It was important to him.”
So, Revan went off to the Unknown Regions of space, on the intuition of some unknown threat, leaving all his friends and his beloved Bastila behind. Very dramatic!
While I would have loved for KOTOR 2 to feature Bastila and Revan together, fighting off some baddies and saving the galaxy again, I was content with this “went off into self-exile” route because there was always hope in the back of my mind that he would come back. They do get back together, I know they do, I would think. As the years went on, and Star Wars released more and more things, and after not hearing about Revan for a while, I wondered if we would ever hear back from him. Wookiepedia, the Star Wars wiki, had simply said “it is not know if he ever returned.” And that’s how it was, from 2005 onwards, until a new game was announced that once again kicked up the fan speculation.
“Star Wars: The Old Republic”, a Star Wars MMO, was announced in late October 2007, with details and a title given to us a year later. The game was to be set in the era of Revan and Bastila, just 300 years after the events of the original KOTOR, making them long dead, opening up the stage for new characters. One of the first we were introduced to was Satele Shan, Grand Jedi Master, and leader of the Council.
OMG HER LAST NAME IS SHAN! THAT MUST MEAN BASTILA HAD A CHILD!!! But who was the father? As far as we knew, Revan had gone off into the netherparts of the galaxy, never to be seen again. Did he come back and did they have kids? Did Bastila have kids with someone else? Was there perhaps another Shan out there? WHO WAS THE BABYDADDY?!
While my nerdy go-to Star Wars nerd friend said it might be someone else than Revan, but I wouldn’t listen (people say I’m stubborn sometimes…) If Revan wasn’t the father of Bastila’s child, I might have turned to the dark side. Little did I know that “Star Wars: The Old Republic: Revan” would take me dangerously close.
Part II: Revan
I found out that Revan was going to be released about a month before it hit bookshelves, and I was brimming with excitement. I cannot describe the utter glee I felt that we might finally get our hero back, and that he and Bastila will get together, and that they might have kids, and then they might go on to being overused characters in many other works of Star Wars fiction like every other character (Boba Fett, anyone?). In a world in which I thought Revan was never to return, his tale was never to end, I wondered how it would happen. How would they be reunited? How would it all happen? I ran to the bookstore, saw the twenty-seven dollar price tag, and waited to get Christmas money. After the holidays, I ran back to the bookstore, picked it up and began reading.
Now, let me remind you that the last we heard of Revan, he had gone off to the Unknown Regions of space and had not been seen for quite some time. Bastila, his love interest, and all his other buddies had been left behind to wonder what happened to him. So I was a bit confused when Revan woke up in bed next to his wife in the SIXTH PARAGRAPH of the prologue. “Careful not to wake his wife, he rolled out of bed and went to the refresher to splash some cool water on his face.” Wait, he’s married? Did he marry someone in the Unknown Regions. What? A little further down, we learn that his wife is Bastila. WHAT?
So, apparently Revan has been having some bad dreams, of a storming planet, fit with lightning, thunder, and dark clouds. Bastila suggests that he should go to the Jedi Council and talk with them about it. Revan is skeptical, and Bastila replies with some sentences ending in exclamation marks which seem to come out of nowhere. Why is she yelling? Why is Bastila, the cool, sassy, emotionally grounded female suddenly loosing her cool at the drop of a hat? Oh well, whatever.
So…the book starts with Revan and Bastila married. But…wasn’t he gone in the Unknown Regions? I thought so too…don’t worry, it all clears up (sort of) a little bit later.
So now we get to the real star of the book, some character from the new “The Old Republic” video game, Lord Scourge (whatever). In the following CHAPTERS, we learn about Lord Scourge and the Sith Empire and their council and the Emperor of the Sith Empire and all that jazz. While this might be interesting, I bought this book because it was called REVAN, and that’s who I want to read about. The book goes back and forth, alternating chapters between the Sith guy and our old hero, but I personally didn’t give two shits about Scourge. Why should I care about him? I supposed these two would meet up at the end of the book, so I gritted my teeth and made it through.
Revan goes to the Jedi Temple in hopes of finding answers about his visions. While his search is in vain, he does stumble upon some information about the Exile from KOTOR 2, who’s now been given the name Meetra Surik. After going to the Archives, he meets Canderous in a bar because he had something to tell him. Canderous tells Revan that the Mandalorian tribes are looking for the mask of Mandlolore, the almighty talisman of the Mandalorians, which unites them together and signifies their leader. Canderous says that there are tons of groups of Mandalorians looking for the mask on the snowy planet Rekkiad, where Revan might have hidden it years earlier. Revan thinks it’s important to be there when the mask is found (perhaps a clue to finding this stormy planet), so Revan and Canderous make plans to go to Rekkiad and look for it, I guess. Ok…
When Revan returns home, Bastila tells him she is pregnant, which is cool, I guess, but I’m still wondering why no one has ever mentioned that he was gone to the Unknown Regions. What the fuck? Revan tells her that he must go to Rekkiad to find out what his visions mean, so he might ensure peace for her and their unborn child. Lame. So, Bastila escorts her husband and T3 to the spaceport and watches the good ol’ Ebon Hawk take flight, pregnant with his child. Doesn’t that seem, I dunno, kind of dickish? Oh well.
So Canderous and Revan go out to Rekkiad, and there’s a chapter of them, then a chapter of the Sith, then a chapter of Revan, and blah blah, Canderous finds the mask and becomes the new Mandalore. There, Revan finds a holocron or data disk or something that tells him of some Sith and he has to go to the planet Nathema. Whatever. So Revan makes his way to Nathema, when he is shot down by Lord Scourge who had just been there, thus bringing him into the enemy’s hands. Oh no! Not really…by this time, I was over the entire book, but I had to finish.
Lord Scourge tells Lord Nyriss, his superior, that he captured Revan. Lord Nyriss then explains that she knows a bit about Revan, and says that he and Malak discovered Dromund Kaas on accident years ago. This is when she says one of the stupidest things ever, establishing the fact the Sith Emperor can bend people to his will and use them as puppets, which he did so to Revan all those years ago.
So… before KOTOR I, when Revan and Malak attacked the Republic, he was being manipulated? He wasn’t even being evil? He was just a puppet the entire time? FUCKING LAME. Doesn’t that change his WHOLE CHARACTER and lessen the significance of his redemption? What the fuck? Rrrrr.
So, Lord Nyriss and Lord Scourge plan on learning all these secrets from Revan, how he’s now resisting the Emperor’s manipulation and all that, putting him in a detention cell.
Alright, so let’s get onto Part II of the book. Part Two begins with no real frills, and at first, I didn’t even notice it WAS part two. What the fuck? Look at this picture.
Anyway, part two begins with the sentence: “Bastila tucked her son into bed and leaned down to kiss him on the cheek.” Huh? She have another son? Who was this kid? “At the door, she turned and looked back at him, marveling at how much the three year-old boy already looked like his father.” Oh, so the kid’s three already? Oh, ok. You think they could have at least devoted a whole page to saying “PART TWO” so I wouldn’t get all fucking confused. Anyway, whatever. So I guess it’s been three or so years since we last left off. Revan’s been captive for three years and Bastila’s been stuck raising the child. Ok…
The opening scene of part two is Bastila and Meetra talking, (god, I hate this fucking book), discussing Revan and where he went. In short, this scene brought to light that all the events in Part One were BEFORE the events of KOTOR 2 and BEFORE Revan ever went off into the Unknown Regions. So, you’re telling me that when we saw Bastila in KOTOR 2, she was already married and had a child with Revan? Man, fuck that. Fuck that like a hundred times. That’s fucking stupid.
So, now, Part Two (AFTER KOTOR 2), Bastila and Meetra meet up and Bastila wants to find Revan. Meetra suggests that she go, along with the trusty droid T3 to seek him out. Bastila does wish to go 1) but would think leaving behind her son or 2) taking him with her would be a bad idea, which actually kind of makes sense (which is good in storytelling, y’know…).
So Meetra and T3 go off and whatever and blah and fucking boring and eventually, they reach Dromund Kaas, the Sith world where Revan has been captive. Meetra manages to get a meeting with Scourge, and whatever, they agree to be allies out of circumstances because both share a common enemy, the Sith Emperor, who’s fucking cray cray and wants to destroy EVERYTHING. After a little skirmish, Scourge, Meetra, Revan, and T3 escape and head for Kaas City to confront the Emperor himself. I understand the urgency of the situation, but if I were Revan, wouldn’t I want to see MY WIFE AND CHILD first? Like…I don’t know. At least he asks about them right off the bat.
So, anyway, the three go to Kaas City and confront the Sith Emperor because he might whatever and be evil and shit. By this point, I was done. I expected that we’d get a confrontation with the Emperor, then Revan, Meetra, and T3 would escape. THEN Revan would get back to Bastila, THEN they’d live happily ever after. But I was fucking wrong.
First off on the death list is T3, the trusty droid, who’s blasted away in like three sentences. “Almost too weak to move, Revan managed to raise his head just in time to see the Emperor turn on the brave little astromech. A tremor rippled through the air as the Emperor unleashed the full power of the Force against the defenseless droid. >T3 never stood a chance. The little droid exploded into a million pieces, internal circuits and external casing obliterating in a single instant.” While Revan DOES shout “No!”, this is all we’re given for T3’s death. WHAT THE FUCK? You just kill him off in like two seconds? There’s no kind of literary equivalent of the slow-motion death? Why didn’t he just write “And the Emperor blew him up. Moving on...” Fuckin’ A.
Next up, we get Meetra. “Instead of advancing with his two companions, Scourge stepped to the side so that he was standing directly behind Meetra. There was a flicker in his consciousness as the universe snapped back to full speed, and he slid the blade of his lightsaber between her shoulders. > Meetra gasped and toppled forward, dead before she hit the ground.” …serious? You kill off T3 on page 277, and then kill off Meetra on page 279? What the fuck? Why am I getting a feeling that this author is cleaning house with these characters he doesn’t seem to have any use for? It should have just said “And since they don’t do anything else, they get killed and he dies.” Like, these are CHARACTERS that fans have come to love and appreciate, and you just throw them away? How mean!
At this point, I was about ready to throw the book across the room, but I kept going. I thought “Alright, Revan’s going to get out of here AT LEAST, get back to Bastila, inform everyone of the Sith, and then live with her and stuff.” Well, I was wrong again, for what transpires, has to be, for me, one of the most disappointing endings in any story for me ever.
Revan gets his fucking ass kicked by the two-timing Scourge (never trust a Sith, dude) and the Emperor. However, he does not die. After a page break, Revan finds himself in a sort of laboratory/prison “hovering somewhere between life and death”. He can feel the Emperor feeding off of him and his energy. We learn the Emperor wants the secrets of the Republic, and the Jedi, their ways, and so forth, so he put Revan in this stasis-prison thing where he could interrogate him seemingly forever. Ok…what?
The epilogue, however, is what really set me off. It begins with Reesa asking “Why is your hair all gray?” She’s asking this Bastila, her grandmother, who replies “Because I’m an old, old woman.” Now, hold the phone…Bastila’s fucking old now? The scene follows, their son old now, married and with children. They talk about some shit and whatever and how she misses Revan and fuck whatever who cares. YOU TELLING ME SHE NEVER SAW REVAN AGAIN?! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! From the moments we saw her heartbroken in KOTOR 2, wondering why he left, wondering if he’d ever come back. . .HE DIDN’T? You’re telling me that myself, and many other Star Wars fans, waited seven years for the reunification of these two and IT NEVER CAME? WHAT THE FUCK?! Then what the fuck did I read this for?
Let me break this up for a moment to enter in the unrelated complaint that NO ONE ACTS LIKE THEY DID IN THE GAME, especially Bastila. Bastila, in the games, was sassy and tight-lipped, and resistant to show any emotion. There always was a lighter side there (perhaps an intense one), but she was always embarrassed to show it. So why in this book is she not fucking sassy or ANYTHING? All she does is sit around. SERIOUSLY? SHE’S BASTILA, not that fucking lame-o Padme. Anyway, back to me feeling shitty about the ending.
Spurred on my nerd-rage at the ending, I went to the internet and did some research. I checked up Wookiepedia’s Revan page, and this is where the biggest blow came. I learned that Revan came out of his stasis 300 years later. Wait, 300 years later? Isn’t that the same time…as the new video game? ARE. YOU. FUCKING. KIDDING. ME.
So, the only reason Revan was put into a stasis-prison was so that he could be in your little video game? SERIOUSLY? Why does Star Wars ALWAYS shoe-horn? ALWAYS. We love our characters, we do, but they don’t have to be in EVERYTHING, and the reasons for why they are in everything are fucking terrible. Don’t they understand that shoe-horning in characters in stories they don’t belong in sacrifices the story? Just look at the way Boba Fett was shoe-horned into Episode II and tell me it isn’t lame.
Some people have said they appreciate the tragic end to Bastila and Revan’s romance. Don’t get me wrong, I like tragic endings to love stories too (Romeo and Juliet, etc.), but not when they AREN’T warranted. If Revan or Bastila died, sacrificing themselves for one another, or their child, that would have been different. But the only reason this love story is tragic is because they wanted to put Revan in a game that takes place 300 years later. ARE YOU FUCKING SERIOUS? Makes me so damn mad.
So, was this book even a story, or just a thinly veiled advertisement for the video game? YES, it IS called “The Old Republic: Revan”, but I didn’t think they could possibly fuck it up this bad. Lord Scourge is in the game, the Sith Emperor is in the game, Revan is in the game. What is this? Storytelling, or marketing? And why can’t you just do both well?
AND, apparently in the new game (in one of the modes or whatever) you confront Revan, and after defeating him, he vanishes in a bright light…and that’s it. Even Wookiepedia states: “But before the final blow could be struck, Revan disappeared in a flash of light. Not a trace of him could be found. It was unknown whether he became one with the Force or somehow managed to escape.” In another cutscene I’ve seen, Revan talks about Meetra and how she meant so much to Republic, but how, to her, she meant “…more.” Wait, are you insinuating that Revan and Meetra had a thing going on too? WHAT ARE YOU DOING?! Some are complaining that this “escaped in a flash of light” ending is a terrible end to Revan, and I heartily agree with that. They no doubt didn’t kill him off just so he could come back later in some other story. *Defeated sigh* Characters have their arcs, leave it at that.
So, what are they going to do with him, now? Make sure he’s in every Old Republic-era material, clone him, and put him in stasis, and then reveal there was another person pretending to be him? This is all fucking dumb. Why can’t they just end a good story when they can? Why do they gotta fuck shit up?
Part III: How I would have done it
I told my friends about this (like, all of them, sorry. friends), and they asked me how I would have done it. How would I have put Revan in a game 300 years after the events of his life? While I stressed that I NEVER WOULD BECAUSE THAT’S FUCKING STUPID, they urged me on. I thought for about a minute, sipping my beer, and came up with that some sort of Force-curse was put on him that would grant him long life. Maybe it would drain the Force from him as well, or something, but yes, granted with long life or immortality. You want a tragic ending? How fucking tragic would it be for Revan to come back home and see his wife and child, and all his grandchildren, grow up and die? Generation after generation of family members, dying, going through life’s cycles, all the while, Revan there to watch. Now THAT’S tragic. Then, when you find him in TOR, you could perhaps find him in exile, cut off from the galaxy, a strange old hermit, if you will, destined to live out his days in sadness. Then, he could, I dunno, join your team or whatever.
But this section is not to discuss this whole shoe-horning thing, but how I would have written it, had Lucas Books come to me and said “Hey, Rammfan, want to write the story of Revan and Bastila?” Of course I would, I would love to!, and here’s what follows here is a simple draft and some brainstorming how I would’ve done it. I know, it borders on fanfiction, but let’s not use that bad word, ha. Here goes nothing:
Let’s see. The book would start out with some Republic ship or whatever with some Jedi on board, that is near the Unknown Regions of space. Maybe then they could be attacked or something by some Sith or whatever, but not before sending a distress signal to the Republic. The Jedi send a message to the Council, saying that they sense a strong Force presence out here, a great one of sorrow and despair. The ship is then destroyed and the recording is cut off.
Enter Bastila Shan, Jedi hottie and sassy lady. We could chronicle her on a mission on Coruscant or something, re-introducing us to the heroin we all loved so much. In this scene, we’d re-establish her CHARACTER TRAITS (sassy, attitude, bitchy, smart-ass, etc.) from the game. After defeating, I dunno, a gang-lord who was holding children captive or something, we’d have her returning to her apartment on Coruscant. Here, we could establish that she’s about to go on a mission to, I dunno, Alzoc III, in the next couple days to do something thing.
While tough on the outside (as always), we learn that Bastila is vulnerable, still missing Revan, still thinking about their adventures and her redemption (he saved her from the dark side, remember?). And we could explain how she’s been feeling this way the past four years (remember, he went off to the Unknown Regions!) and how she wonders if he would come through the door, even though she knows it’s silly because he doesn’t know where she lives and so on. Then, just before she is about to go down to sleep, she receives a message from the Jedi Temple about a recording they have received. She’s a bit surprised when she finds out it doesn’t have to do with the Alzoc III mission, but tells them she will get in the morning. When they tell her it’s from the Unknown Regions, she agrees to see it now.
She is greeted at the Temple by whoever and whatever Jedi Masters are there. I’m guessing there could be some from KOTOR 1 or whatever, like that little Yoda dude, but remember, this story is not about cameos, but about Revan and Bastila. So, anyway, Bastila learns of the great presence in the Unknown Regions. Everyone knows she immediately thinks of Revan, but no one says anything. She is asked to investigate the strange force, and upon asking why, she is told that it might be Revan and if anyone should go an investigate, it should be her because of the Force bond they shared. She fails to bring up their romantic relationship to the council. If she were to accept this mission, she would have to go immediately. She is sent back home to think about everything.
Bastila doesn’t hesitate to make her decision. So, the next morning she contacts Jolee and Juhani, asking them to go on the Alzoc III mission for her. They don’t really want to go at first, but when Bastila tells them that the mission might concern Revan, they quickly volunteer to take her Alzoc III mission and encourage her to find him and bring him back.
Next, Bastila goes to, I dunno, some Republic building or something and asks to see Carth Onasi. The guards there says he has a meeting in a couple minutes, but she Force Mind Tricks them into letting her see him. She knows it’s wrong, but does it anyway. Here, she asks Carth if he wants to take her to the Unknown Regions on this dangerous mission. Like Juhani and Jolee, he decides to help when he learns about Revan. This is when Mission and Zaalbaar come in. It’s impossible for them not to learn about the mission, and they want to go along. Bastila thinks it too dangerous to have them, so she tells them to aid Juhani and Jolee, where help will be needed. Zaalbaar insists on going to find Revan (because of the whole life debt thing), but Bastila assures them the best way to help Revan would be to help her and go to Alzoc III. They reluctantly agree and wish Bastila all the best.
(It might also be nice to introduce, I dunno, NEW CHARACTERS, like perhaps a young person Bastila could take on as an apprentice, or perhaps a stowaway who was on the ship, whatever, all that could be figured out later.)
So, Carth and Bastila go looking out to investigate what the threat was, which will lead them to some planet and whatever or something (all this could be worked out later), and GASP, they will eventually find Revan in the hands of some Sith cult led by some woman, let’s call her Sithlady for now.
So, Bastila and Carth report their findings to the Jedi Council that there is a Sith Cult out here in the Unknown Regions. They call for the Republic to help them out, but the Republic is stretched too thin and they need more proof before sending any ships. Bastila is a bit furious, as is Carth. If things weren’t bad enough, Bastila and Carth receive a message from Juhani and the others on Alzoc III that they need help. Bastila, sensing Revan close-by, doesn’t want to leave him. Carth understands this, having lost his wife a while back in the bombing of Telos. Bastila tells him to drop her off planetside and then help the others, which he does.
She kills some baddies and whatever, searching the planet, finding that Sithlady is building a whole fleet of ships. She is eventually overwhelmed by some Sith people with lightsabers or taken out somehow. Either way, she is captured by Sithlady. There’s some hopelessness and blah and stuff, and it is now that we learn that Sithlady was what Malak and Revan discovered the first time they were out in the outer rim. They found her being all evil and shit, but in them trying to defeat her and turn her back to the light side, she turned them to the dark side. Malak and Revan defeated her, taking her army and returning to the Republic to wreak havoc. But she was not defeated, and Revan had felt her presence in the back of his mind, although at the time he could not remember what it was. Sithlady quickly captured Revan when he went to the Unknown Regions, and has now been holding him, torturing him, trying to break him, making him suffer for defeating her and ruining her plans. Bastila can feel the sorrow in Revan’s heart, and knows that he is about to die. When he gets tortured, it hurts her as well, and although she tries her best to break free from her bonds, she can’t.
Then, for a rousing act III, Sithlady could bring Revan and Bastila together in the same room so she can watch Revan die. Sithlady begins to, I don’t know, electrocute him or something, bringing him close to death, which would pain Bastila immensely. Then, just as she’s about to bring Revan’s death to realization, there is a great big disturbance. In classic Star Wars fashion, Carth and Jolee and all the others have returned from Alzoc III and have brought what ships they could. This is enough of a distraction for Bastila to finally break free of her bonds, get a lightsaber from somewhere (detail to be figured out later), and take on Sithlady.
While Carth, the others, and the Republic fight on the ground and in space, destroying Sithlady’s army, Bastila and Sithlady have quite a battle, and when things start to look grim, Revan is broken from his bonds. He gets a lightsaber from somewhere (once again, to be worked out later) and he and Bastila fight together against Sithlady. So, after lots of fighting, the Republic wins and Bastila and Revan defeat Sithlady, Sithlady, both of them destroying his past, together. SYMBOLISM! Then, at last, free from the torment of the Sith, and free to be together, Bastila and Revan share a kiss as the Sith fleet routs into the wilds of space.
For our denouement, Bastila, Revan and the others could return to the Republic, once again, as heroes. Yay! But this time, Revan would be here to stay.
Now, IF YOU REALLY WANTED TO TIE THIS INTO THE NEW GAME, because YOU JUST GOTTA out of some DUMB NEED or CONTRACTUAL AGREEMENT, then I would have a final scene where Revan and Bastila are in their Coruscant apartment or whatever and he is feeling restless in the night. She finds him on the balcony, looking off toward the night traffic, sipping some cocoa or rum and coke (w00!) or something. She could ask him what is troubling him, and he could say “nothing.” She could then joke that he isn’t going to go off and leave again, to which he replies “no”. He tells her he’ll go inside in a minute and just needs to collect his thoughts. This is when we find out that he felt something else out in the Unknown Regions. Nothing strong, just an inkling. Sithlady is gone, but there was a threat that was still there…something out there, elusive. Revan knows he could never leave Bastila, his friends, and the Republic again. He decides not even to tell her nor the Jedi, in fears of causing them further distress, but instead vows to himself to train the best Jedi he can be the best Jedi he can, so that whatever threat he sensed can be easily dispensed with when the time comes. Then he could return to bed.
The inkling of whatever he felt could of course be the new Sith Empire from the new game coming out. So, he could have sensed this threat 300 years before, feeling the Emperor’s power or whatever. So, it’s kind of like a teaser trailer for the game, which I think is a WAY BETTER way to generate fan interest than shoe-horning and putting characters in stories that take place in eras they never lived.
So yea, that’d be my take on the ending to the Bastila/Revan story. I think it’d be nice as well to perhaps have a young kid, like a stowaway on the ship, that Bastila could at first hate and then grow to like. Y’know? Like how Alan Grant hates kids in the beginning of Jurassic Park, but then has to protect Lex and Tim, thus, at the end of the movie, liking them. Wouldn’t it be sweet if Bastila and Revan adopted said orphan to raise as their own? I think it’d be grand, but oh well. Maybe my version sucks worse than the one Drew wrote, who knows. I’m sure you’ll voice your opinions in the comments.
Part IV: Conclusion
Well, here we are. I don’t really know what else to say. My nerdy Star Wars friend told me I should have seen it coming. Had I been more attentive, I might have noticed the book was called “The Old Republic: Revan”. I guess I just focused more on the “Revan” than “the Old Repbulic.” So, Revan’s story continues in the MMO. Didn’t Lucas Books take into account that some of us might not want to play the MMO? I mean, I love the cinematic videos and Bioware rocks, but I have a crappy computer and no interest to play an MMO. So…where does that leave fans like me?
I don’t know what else to say. I guess with these things, everyone is going to have their own opinion. I can’t speak for a bunch of fans. All I speak for is myself, and I’m sorry Mr. Karpyshyn, but I was severely disappointed in your novel and the entire direction Revan’s character is being taken in.
Imagine it’s 1987 and there’s just “Star Wars” and “The Empire Strikes Back.” Now, there’s a new Star Wars TV show coming on that takes place 300 years later, with a Skywalker lead character and some bad guy. In anticipation for the show, they’re coming out with the third Star Wars movie, called “Return of the Jedi”. The last we saw of our heroes in “The Empire Strikes Back”, Han was frozen and taken away, Luke had just learned Vader’s his father, Leia was in love with Han. Well, what if Luke wasn’t very heroic, Lando and Chewie died in like three shots, and Leia never saw Han Solo again. But hey, he’s in the TV show, so…awesome! Man, fuck that.
I feel like “Knights of the Old Republic” and “The Old Republic”, although both developed by Bioware, should be, narratively, two separate entities. KOTOR characters should stay in their KOTOR era, and TOR characters, although descendents of KOTOR characters, should stay in their TOR era. I don’t know…what’s done is done, and no matter what I say, there’s nothing Bioware or Lucasfilm or Lucas Books is going to about it.
Fan favorites are nice. Revan, Boba Fett, Yoda, Vader…they’re all fun to have in a story, but as I said, only if it’s warranted. Was there any real reason to put Boba Fett in the prequel trilogy? No. Was there ANY REASON to put Yoda in ONE SCENE of the “Force Unleashed II”? No. Was there any reason to put Revan in The Old Republic MMO? No. The narrative will ALWAYS suffer. ALWAYS. The narrative will also suffer if you just make a story to make money. I always figured that if a story is good, it will in turn make MORE MONEY because people will want to experience it again and again. But what do I know? I work in a deli, so whatever.
Drew knew that writing this book was a ballsy deed, saying on his blog: “Okay, now let’s talk Revan. I knew when I started working on this book that it was a ticking time bomb. Star Wars fans – and KOTOR fans in particular – are very passionate, and taking a character every player personalized and turning him into my personal version was a potential recipe for disaster. “
He goes on to state: “However, I’ve noticed that people who like the novel enjoy it for what it *is* [an advertisement], while those who are upset tend to be angry over what it *isn’t* [what we’ve all been waiting for]. For example, many of the 1-star folks are upset because the book doesn’t have the typical happy ending. I’m not sure why they’re surprised by this – KOTOR 2 established that Revan disappeared alone into the Unknown Regions and didn’t return.” Let me just clear that up by saying KOTOR 2 never established that he never came back. There was always the possibility he could return.
Well, there’s nothing else to say, is there? Maybe I’ll write an angry letter to this Mr. Karpyshyn, because, you know, it’s not nerdy what I’ve done enough already. Drew said it himself “ Star Wars fans – and KOTOR fans in particular – are very passionate,” so why was he so careless with taking a “character every player personalized”? Oh well, it’s just a book based on a just a video game that was based on just a movie. Fuck it. Real shame, though. Real shame.