[Author's Note: This turned out to be a LOT longer than I had anticipated. Bravo to you if you make it through this post. And thanks for reading.]
I wrote a post a long time ago pondering whether or not a possible sequel to Knights of the Old Republic 2 could be vexed by the existence of a book revealing Revan‘s story. I finally had a chance to read the book, The Old Republic: Revan, and finished it just a few nights ago.
I came to a couple of conclusions after finishing the book. The first conclusion I came to is that there will be no Knights of the Old Republic 3. Ever. That was likely decided even before LucasArts was shut down by new owner Disney, but that’s another post entirely.
The second conclusion I came to was that this book, as someone pointed out in my previous post about this, is nothing but a setup for Star Wars: The Old Republic. I didn’t know the commenter, as he/she posted anonymously, but I took the comment with a grain of salt. Whoever that person was is right on the money.
Please be advised, after this point there will be plenty of spoilers from the book so if you haven’t read it yet and don’t want to know…STOP READING NOW!!
I’m going to be honest. I didn’t like this book. It has nothing to do with author Drew Karpyshyn, whom I think is a very talented author. I’ve read his Darth Bane books and his Mass Effect books and they are all very good books. Plus, it’s not the writing that makes this book horrible. It’s the story. The story, which presumably, came from LucasBooks, which presumably came from LusasFilm.
So, let’s delve into this, shall we? The book starts two years after the end of the first Knights of the Old Republic game. Revan is living on Coruscant and is married to Bastila Shan and they have a child together. He is still part of the Jedi Order, but isn’t looked upon favorably by them. Presumably because he’s married (to another Jedi Knight) and attachment is forbidden by the Jedi Code. Silly Jedi with their silly code.
As the story begins, Revan is having nightmares which he eventually realizes are visions from the force about a perilous evil lurking in the Unknown Regions. An evil he thinks he and Malak encountered after the end of the Mandalorian War. Since his memory had been wiped by the Jedi Council after his capture he has no recollection of what he found out in the Unknown Regions. Nevertheless, he knows that evil is out there and that the Republic must be ready for it.
Bastila suggests that he warn the Jedi Council, but Revan dismisses that idea because they won’t believe him. So he does the next best thing. He decides to go confront this evil on his own. But first, he has to go help Canderous recover the Mask of Mandalore so that we know how Canderous ends up as Mandalore in KOTOR 2. Well, not eally, but it’s funnier that way.
His reasoning for helping Canderous recover the mask is so that Canderous could unify the Mandalorian people so that they’d be a shield for the galaxy against the evil he which was surely going to attack the Republic. The Mandalorians are between the Unknown Regions and the Republic, so it sucks to be them. So Revan, since he was the one who hid it, helped them find it and Canderous is now Mandalore. Great.
Revan then decides to confront the terrors of the Unknown Regions without even Canderous. But don’t worry. He isn’t completely alone. He has T3-M4 with him. That should even out any confrontations he should encounter. He isn’t, however, going out there with the purpose of fighting, but to uncover what he and Malak discovered out there that turned them so quickly to the dark side and, ultimately, into Sith Lords.
Hidden with Mandalore’s mask is data that Revan, in his previous life, had hidden there. In this data was information on a planet named Nathema. Revan decides to head off to this planet only to run into a couple of Sith Lords upon exiting hyperspace. After a short skirmish he crash lands on the planet and is knocked unconscious. He is captured by the Dark Lord Scourge and kept imprisoned for the next few years with the help of drugs that nullify is ability to draw upon the force.
T3 managed to hide while Revan was captured and was able to scrounge up enough parts to repair the ship, Ebon Hawk, and return safely to the known galaxy where he fortuitously hooks up with the Exile (who’s name we learn in this book is Meetra Surik) so that the events of Knights of the Old Republic 2 can ensue.
The story fast forwards 4 years to a time after KOTOR 2. The hero of KOTOR 2, the Exile (AKA Meetra), and T3 go to Coruscant looking for Bastila to see if she’s willing to part with Revan’s intended destination. T3 shows Bastila a recording he made of Revan’s captor, Darth Scourge. Meetra is understandably all like, “WTF? Why didn’t you show me this before?” and then T3 is all like, “Hey, you’re not his wife.” That’s not really how it went but that’s the essence of the conversation.
Anyhow, Bastila offers to go with Meetra to help find Revan, but Meetra is all like, “What about your kid?” and Bastila is all like, “Oh, yeah,” and changes her mind. She does, however, give Meetra Revan’s mask, the one he wore during the Mandalorian Wars and later as Darth Revan, based on a gut feeling in the Force that it would somehow help Revan if and when Meetra found him.
So T3 and Meetra head out to Nathema to look for a clue, any clue, as to Revan’s whereabouts. Before I go any further let me tell you about Nathema. Nathema is a planet in the Sith Empire that is a dead world. Completely dead. No life whatsoever. No animals. No plant life. No microscopic organisms. The planet cannot even be felt in the Force.
The reason for this is that the Sith Emperor somehow consumed all life on the planet using the Force. And that magically made him immortal. Yes, the Emperor has been alive for roughly 1,000 years and is more powerful than, well, anything ever. He’s totally bad ass.
Of course, Meetra and T3 don’t know that. Well, they don’t know the part about the immortal Emperor, but they do know there’s no life on the planet. Anyhow, they conduct their search and Meetra finds some documents in a municipal building that mention a planet called Dromund Kaas. Meetra heads there and manages, with the help of the recording T3 had made of Revan’s abduction, to locate Scourge.
Scourge, who knows of the Emperor’s immortality and has learned that the Emperor plans to attack the Republic again (which he views as suicidal and detrimental to the Empire), agrees to help Meetra spring Revan from his imprisonment so all three of them can confront the Emperor together.
During the prison break, Meetra gives Revan his mask. When he dons the mask all of the memories the Jedi Council erased from his mind years ago come flooding back into his brain, and he remembers EVERYTHING. He remembers that the Emperor warped he and Malak. The Emperor somehow brainwashed them into attacking the Republic all those years ago. Revan didn’t turn to the dark side, he was forced (see what I did there?) to the dark side by this omnipotent Emperor. Revan also gained back all the Force knowledge he had lost and became very powerful once again. He defeated a very powerful Sith Lord within seconds during his escape.
So the three of them, Scourge, Meetra, and Revan confront the Emperor. Scourge, at the last minute, turns on Meetra and Revan after having a vision of a Jedi Knight (who was neither Meetra or Revan) killing the Emperor. He sticks a lightsaber in Meetra’s back and the Emperor fries Revan with some super bad ass Force lightning. They keep him in some sort of Force induced coma. Scourge then acts like that was his plan from the beginning and the Emperor rewards him with immortality, too.
The thing that pisses me off more than anything is that there will be no KOTOR 3. The end of KOTOR 2 was left wide open for just that purpose. But let’s move past that, shall we?
Revan is weak in this book. He’s easily shot down over Nathema and then imprisoned for nearly 4 years. No Jedi as powerful as Revan could be imprisoned that long no matter what kind of drugs he’s on. The book alleges that the drugs are changed regularly to prevent Revan from building a tolerance, but I find it hard to believe that they had THAT many drugs that they could keep switching them for four years. Furthermore, during the escape, Revan is getting his ass handed to him by a Sith Acolyte until he gets his mask back. Then all of the sudden he can destroy everything in his path. Except for the Emperor, of course.
The part the Exile (Meetra) plays in this book bothers me. She goes to find Revan, as she should, but doesn’t take any of her companions with her? No Atton? No HK-47? No Visas? I know at the end of KOTOR 2 Kreia told the Exile that each would take their own path, but always in motion is the future (a wise Jedi muppet said that once). You’d think a Jedi as powerful and wise as Meetra would realize that if she were following Revan’s path, a path he had yet to return from, she might need help. Especially since she already knows that Revan was captured by a Sith Lord. But no, she only takes T3. Just like Revan did. Makes sense, right?
Also, the ease with which Scourge dispatches her annoyed me. I know it was a sneak attack and I know that he didn’t plan to do it until seconds before he actually did, but Jedi are supposed to see things before they happen, right? Premonitions. They have a danger sense that rivals Peter Parker’s spider sense. Yet Meetra, one of the most powerful Jedi in the order, never sensed the attack, nor any danger. She was just as surprised as Revan when a lightsaber appeared coming out of her abdomen. If she had to die at least let her go down swinging. That was almost as lame as the way Boba Fett dies in Return of the Jedi.
The entire concept of this story was just horrible. I haven’t played The Old Republic yet, but the game is set 300 years after the original KOTOR game. So why did it take the Emperor 293 more years to attack the Republic? The events of KOTOR and the events of TOR are so far removed from each other they shouldn’t be linked at all. Especially by a story this craptastic. I’m not sure which division of Lucasfilm coordinates all of the stories between books, movies, and video games, but whichever one it is totally dropped the ball on this one. This book is the suck. Period.
Query: Have you read The Old Republic: Revan? What did you think? Do you even care?