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Book Reviews, Video Games

Star Wars: The Old Republic: Revan – A Recap and a Rant

[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!!

Photo courtesy of Wookieepedia

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.

The Recap

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.

Revan in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

Revan’s mask (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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 end.

The Rant

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.

Rant over.

38_HK47_starwars

Query:  Have you read The Old Republic: Revan?  What did you think?  Do you even care?

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Discussion

18 thoughts on “Star Wars: The Old Republic: Revan – A Recap and a Rant

  1. Ha, I love where Bastila offers to go help and they’re like “what about your kid?” and she’s all “oh yeah.” At least they recognized it. You kind of got the idea Han and Leia just dumped the kids at the Jedi day care or whatever when they went off on adventures. I didn’t read many of the Star Wars books, though I did flip through some of the comics. They just couldn’t hold my interest.

    I hadn’t heard about LucasArts shutting down. It’s a shame what happened to the company, and to Sierra. Both, as the article stated, were more about the people working on games they dearly loved, but that was sacrificed ultimately for the bottom line. I loved the Kings Quest games from Sierra – grew up on them. Also Monkey Island from LucasArts has to be one of the most entertaining, clever, and hilarious adventure games I’ve ever played. While I like a good shoot ‘em up sometimes, those adventure games required thought to figure out the puzzles, something missing these days with only hack and slash.

    Like this

    Posted by aliceatwonderland | May 4, 2013, 8:37 am
    • I have, and have read, probably close to 100 Star Wars books. And Han and Leia left their kids with a baby sitter a lot while they were off saving the galaxy time and again. Of course, their children got kidnapped repeatedly, so you think they would have learned. Oh, well.

      Yes, LucasArts doesn’t exist any more. I’m not sure what that means for the future of Star Wars gaming. I find it hard to believe that Disney would decide to stop producing Star Wars games because that’s a cash cow right there. People like me own damn near every Star Wars game there is.

      Like this

      Posted by twindaddy | May 4, 2013, 8:42 am
  2. My knowledge of the after-movie Star Wars stuff is slim, but I am concerned about Disney’s new role in future movies, and JJ Abrams’ as well. He fucked Star Trek up pretty good, now he’s loose on Star Wars.

    Like this

    Posted by BrainRants | May 4, 2013, 9:43 am
  3. Never read it and thanks to your most hilarious recap, never need to read it.

    Like this

    Posted by 1jaded1 | May 4, 2013, 10:37 pm
  4. I had heard this book was a disappointment for KOTOR fans so I didn’t intend to read it. And now I definitely will not read it.

    The only book in the Star Wars: The Old Republic series I’ve read is Deceived, which is about the Sith Empire’s attack on Coruscant. It’s a good read, and I recommend it.

    The storyline for The Old Republic as portrayed in the game and the books isn’t half bad. It borrows from predictable Star Wars themes, which can either be a good thing (they are good themes) or a bad thing (boring and unoriginal) depending on how you look at it. But the whole immortal Sith Emperor part is ridiculous, and the tie in to Revan and KOTOR is pretty bad. I think it’s best to view the events of KOTOR and TOR as completely separate events hundreds of years apart, and just forget the Revan and Sith Emperor link between them.

    Like this

    Posted by Null | May 6, 2013, 1:01 pm
    • Yeah, I’m going to try, but since TOR is free-to-play now I’ve picked it up (as of yesterday) and will see how it goes. Either way, tying Revan to events that happen 300 years later is ridiculous and could have been handled SOOOO much better.

      Like this

      Posted by twindaddy | May 6, 2013, 1:03 pm
      • I’ve played a bit of TOR (subscribed for one month, and went free to play after that). I have a level 40ish Bounty Hunter, a level 25ish Sith Inquisitor, a level 25ish Republic Trooper, and a level 20ish Sith Warrior (can you tell which side I’m on?). The good news is that the storyline mostly ties in to the KOTOR events only historically. There’s some mention of Revan early in the story on the Sith side (around level 10) but it’s a good tie-in. You don’t really encounter the Revan/Sith Emperor connection until very late in the story (I haven’t even encountered it with my Bounty Hunter). There are some other good connections to KOTOR in the game (e.g. you go to Taris and encounter rakghouls and the crash site of the Endar Spire).

        As someone who went from subscription to free to play, I must warn you that free to play is somewhat limited. My main tip is to do all the bonus objectives and join parties whenever you can — you receive reduced XP (and rewards) compared to subscribers, and can quickly end up under-leveled since the game is designed for the subscriber XP gain rate. If you plan on staying free to play you may want to drop some money on some cartel coins to unlock a few things for free to play (like the ability to equip purple artifact-level equipment, and maybe to unlock crew skills so you can build equipment and sell it on the market for in-game credits). Or you might want to subscribe for a month here and there to reduce the cost without being completely limited by free to play.

        Like this

        Posted by Null | May 6, 2013, 1:21 pm
        • Thanks for the tips. I’ll have to stay free-to-play for now, as I do not have the amount of time required to devote to playing that would justify spending the money for a monthly subscription. I’ll do what I can for now and soon I should some more free time on my hands where I might be able to justify paying the money to play the game.

          Like this

          Posted by twindaddy | May 6, 2013, 1:32 pm

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