Lit The JC Lit Reviews Special: THE OLD REPUBLIC: REVAN (Spoilers)

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Havac, Dec 1, 2011.

  1. GrandMasterKatarn Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 8, 2008
    star 4
    Star Wars: The Old Republic: Revan is the novel all Revan fan boys and girls have been waiting for. The synopsis promises much, but, like Drew and the novel itself, offers little. Oh sure, there's a character named Revan buyt one might never guess that based off of how he's treated. When we first met him in KOTOR, he was a blank slate that we got to build. In Revan, he's a married man who comes off as a guy who's desperately trying to get away from a horrible partnership that most people forced him into. Yes, he's married to Bastila, the self-righteous, holier-than-thou character who was seduced by Malak to the dark side of the Force. Apparently, this relationship went nowhere after KOTOR. If it did, it made the plunge into AOTC romance which, as we all know,didn't exist.

    The second Revan gets together for a mission with Canderous, I was hoping something good would happen. Nope. It's just a stale fight with Mandalorians as only Drew and Troy can do. Revan's capture by the Sith needs some work. It still does. The way it is now, I still come off scratching my head and wondering how Revan became so dumb. Oh, and Bastila is apparently vain enough to call her kid Vaner. There's also tons of ZOMG Revan killed Malak...Star Forge stuff that I ended up rolling my eyes. Honestly, this is as bad as Kevin J Anderson with his lovefest/obsession with the Original Trilogy.

    When Jedi Exile...oops, gotta call her by the worst name in Star Wars possible, Meetra Surik. When she appears, I was hoping for more than the horrible rewriting of KOTOR2 taht Drew did. Apparently, "Instead, a group of rogue Jedi had broken away from the Order, plunging the galaxy into civil war." Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't recall there being a war in KOTOR2 nor do I recall rogue Jedi. I recall some people remarking how the Jedi Order simply vanished and no one knew what had happened. I also recall these "rogue Jedi" to be the Sith Triumvirate, which, according to Kreia near the end of the game, were the advanced party for the True Sith. Say what you will about Kreia being a Sith, I still got the impression that the Sith Triumvirate was the advanced party for the True Sith.

    OH, and Bastila was unaware of Canderous helping out in the Battle for Telos in KOTOR2. Really? She was? Cos I remember her being there. For all I knew, she was outside having a chat with Canderous. Also, after the near two-page shout out to KOTOR cast minus Carth, we just get an impression that Meetra left HK-47 with a new Jedi Council. No word if it was made from her students. Also, when Meetra meets Revan after a few years of not seeing each other, she does not mention Revan's last order to Carth, although considering that Drew didn't reference him, Carth may not exist at all.

    Meetra's character is nothing like that of KOTOR2's Jedi Exile. Jedi Exile was always supposed to have a lot of compassion, but in the book, she comes off as a blood-thirsty woman looking for a witch hunt. She resorts to violence first, like she's looking for a fight constantly. Yes, she's on a Sith world, and Jedi hate Sith, but at the same time, one would expect a huge character trait to stay intact. With Drew K writing, it looks like we just got JEINO (Jedi Exile In Name Only). Plus, when she visited a world left in a void, she wasn't able to remember her fight with Darth Nihilus, nor his power of Life Drain, being able to leave echos? I'm supposed to buy that?

    This book should have been called Star Wars: The Old Republic: Darth Scourge seeing as how this one-dimensional character takes up half the book for no apparent reason. The fight at the end, when Scourge just stabs Meetra in the back and we're supposed to pretend like the Force didn't even whisper to her of Scourge's intent, was plain stupid. For a woman who defeated three Sith Lord, untold numbers of Sith Masters and Padawans, stabalized three worlds, helped to rebuild the Mandalorians, trained the new crop of Jedi, she's very weak. She's not able to handle one Sith on her own, nor did she see Scourge's
  2. Havac Former Moderator

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    Average score: 101.25/17 = 5.96
  3. 13thsithlord Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 30, 2005
    star 1
    wanted to like it, really looked forward to this books release.
    but when it arrvied i ended up leaving it on the side for a week- why? fear

    fear that was justified im afraid - fear that they would disappoint me. which they did.
    much like the other TOR books they exist to set up a game i have no interest in. too much similarilty with what has come before (or afterwards Ho ho )

    i like drw K abnd enjoyed the bane books - even thou they too have huge amounts of what we already knew repeated and expanded on but Revan fell flat- it would probably have been better to not have revan in it and have it set in teh relative future with something tracing his steps - so unmemorable was his character.

    scourge was overused and pointless the emperor too much for me - yet not that powerful at the end.

    the end - weak and hugely disppointing.
    i would rather the emperor had slain them.


    overall a generous 5/10

  4. Havac Former Moderator

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    Average score: 106.25/18 = 5.90
  5. RebelJoseWales Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2008
    star 3
    The main thing that we can take away from this book is that Drew Karpyshyn is much, much better at writing villains than at writing heroes. I don't know just how much of the writing for the KotOR game he did, but it felt much the same. The "heroic" characters were mostly whiny, sappy, mincing little morons. HK-47 and Canderous Ordo weren't really any deeper or more complex, but at least HK was hilariously bloodthirsty and Candy didn't whine and whinge like the other party members, so they were fun enough. Then we got SW:DB:poD:ANotOR which, despite lacking a main antagonist and having a villain as the protagonist, proved to be an enjoyable and well-told story. Ditto the equally villain-centric Rule of Two. The narrative tension of Dynasty of Evil kind of fell apart, but that was because it lacked the meaningful conflict of the previous two novels (the philosophical growth of Bane, his foundation of a new order of Sith, and that order's preservation) and instead was simply a fight between two people with the exact same philosophy and goals. So, yeah, Revan.

    *I was kind of disappointed that Karpyshyn decided to describe Revan's physical appearance rather than leave it ambiguous. It only came into play for a couple of throwaway lines, had no relevance to the plot, and a character later remarks that the mask is more his true face, anyway.

    *Also, during the opening scenes with Revan on Coruscant, he comes off as kind of an ass. Especially grating is the scene in the Jedi Archives, where he responds to accusations about his past by pulling the "I've got amnesia so I'm not responsible" card, before immediately turning around and taking the Jedi to task for their treatment of Meetra. He just generally comes off as unbearably smug throughout the scene.

    *Then, as soon as the Jedi he was cat-fighting with leaves the room, he breaks down into a wangsty fugue. What was thr point of the jackass routine, then?

    *The dramatic pacing of this novel is really off. There are a lot of moments, like Candy's ascension as Mand'alor, that receive very little/low-key/no build-up, just sort of happen with a line or two of melodramatic dialogue, and then get forgotten.

    *There's also the awkward time-skip in the middle of the book. After all of the tension that was built up about Revan's search for the Sith Empire and his capture, everything gets immediately dropped back to square one with no payoff. Then, we have to go through another half-book of build-up to get to the climax. It's just awkward and unnecessary.

    *Come to think of it, there was really nothing in the first part of the book that we didn't already know from other sources, with the exception of Bastila getting pregnant. More to the point, none of what we saw in that first half was really worth the "screen time" used to show it. The book could just as easily have opened with Revan haring off into the wild blue yonder in the prologue, then spent the rest of the pages until Revan's capture solely focusing on the (much stronger) Sith characters. With Xedrix's killing and the revelation of Nyriss' conspiracy as the climax for the first act, and a more-drawn out pursuit of Revan by the Sith capped by his capture for the second (or perhaps a more eventful and fleshed-out imprisonment), Meetra could have been brought directly to Dromund Kaas without the lackluster introductory scene on Coruscant. From there, the plot could have proceeded exactly the same way for the rest of the book.

    *Honestly, none of the scenes with the heroes really added anything to the story. All of their interactions and emotional displays were cliched to the point of utter blandness, and came off as entirely manufactured.

    *The story arc of Darth Scourge, by contrast, was far more interesting and original. Karpyshyn could have easily just rehashed the same character development he used for Bane and Zannah, of some Sithly dude learning to embrace ever more complete depravity in the pursuit of power, but instead did just the opposite. He managed to write a Sith who learned to embrace at lea
  6. Darth_Gamek Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 10, 2009
    star 6
    9/10

    I really enjoyed it. Loved reading about the events and characters from Knights of the Old Republic, and the final confrontation was awesome. :cool:
  7. Havac Former Moderator

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    Average score: 122.25/20 = 6.11
  8. JediLight Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 31, 2001
    star 4
    Short review:

    -Didn't like Scourge at first, but he grew on me over time. I didn't see his betrayal coming at the end, but that's the Sith for you.
    -Glad to learn Revan's fate (even if it was sad)
    -Enjoyed how they tied Revan and the Exile together
    -Sith Emperor was WAY too powerful (and I'm not even referring to the duel at the end), but that's EU for you.
    -If you're not a KOTOR/TOR fan, this book probably wouldn't interest you.
    -Overall: slow start, picked up in the middle and was fantastic at the end.

    Rating: 7.5/10


  9. Aerevyn Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 9, 2007
    star 1
    I thought this was one of the better EU novels I have read over the past few years. That isn't saying much given that the past few years worth of EU have contained LotF & FotJ though.

    Story
    The story was solid, a little bit simplistic perhaps but solid nonetheless. It is brave to do a '3-years-later' moment and rare to see it done well but DK managed it admirably. I often think that things happen too quickly to people in SW novels, particularly with regards to changes of hearts & minds so the 3-year gap was well used.

    I felt that the passage of events made full sense and nothing stood out to make me think the author had dropped a clanger.

    The pace was good, never crawling, always quick or at least it felt like it could be at any moment. Particularly the bits with Scourge, you were never sure if his meetings with other Sith Lords were about to turn nasty.

    The ending was controversial which was, as some of you may know this about me, why I liked it! Characters live, characters do great things, characters die. This is the way it should be. It really surprised me. Interestingly I felt more for poor little T3 than I did for Meetra. I love a good unhappy ending :)

    Characters
    Revan: Revan was a little bit too one-dimensional for my liking. I know that the plan was to not define him too much for fear of stepping on the image of Revan that KOTOR gamers have but that seems cowardly. You've already decided Revan is male and Revan is light-side, why not go the whole-hog and give him a personality too?

    Aside from that, he felt like I'd expect Revan should. I loved his crowning moment of awesome when he put on the mask and then cooked the Dark Council member. From all I'd heard of the emperor up to this point I was thinking that the fight between them was going to be a disappointment (because it would be too one-sided) until Revan put on his mask....

    I felt that his ending was necessary, Revan was too great a character to just kill and the emperor seemed too powerful to die so soon after his character inception.

    The scene with the holovid of Bastila and his son was especially poignant and very human. Easy to forget that our great hero of the galaxy also wants what most men want someday.

    Meetra 'The Exile' Surik: My main criticism of the exile is essentially the same as Revan, you decided it's a She, you decided that she is light-side, now how about some flavour?

    Canderous Ordo: Canderous on the other hand had bags of character, very well written. Felt just like he did in the game, surly, sarcastic, slightly fun but mostly serious, spoiling for a fight, occasionally distant/quiet. I was a little disappointed that after he had served his purpose the story discarded him. I would have liked to seen more with him as Mandalore but perhaps that is another tale for another time...?

    Scourge: I'm still largely undecided about Scourge, I didn't like him for the first half of the book, I felt like he was an obstacle to me reading about Revan & the Exile. Later on I grew to like him through his interactions with Revan. I loved the way Revan manipulated him, then convinced him, Scourge may well be Revan's greatest achievement eventually.

    The Emperor/Lord Vitiate: I know some people don't like him for these reasons but I honestly thought that he is one of the best villains I've seen yet in Star Wars for a few reasons; I like that he is largely an unknown quantity, we know he's EVIL with a capital E, we know he has been alive for a thousand years and that he basically stripped a highly populated planet of all life, even of the force itself to gain more personal power.

    I want to know more but I'm glad Revan didn't give it to me, that would have cheapened how creepy and mysterious this guy really is. (Save the cheapening for some boss fight in TOR where he will be reduced to some basic numbers & game mechanics).

    I loved how the story told about him felt very much like a spooky story told to frighten children except y
  10. instantdeath Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 22, 2010
    star 5
    Thankfully, he isn't killed in a raid [face_shhh]
  11. Havac Former Moderator

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    Average score: 137.25/22 = 6.24
  12. DarthVengeant Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 14, 2004
    star 3
    Listening to the Audio book and am 4 CD's in.

    As much as I enjoy Lord Scourge, because I love all things Sith, I fail to see how a book called REVAN can be half about Scourge. I get a bit sick of how most books have a title, but half the book has nothing to do with the title or the characters in it. They always add some worthless side quest people (Usually Jedi). Scourge should just have been in some The Old Republic book, not a book that is SUPPOSED to be about Revan. This will probably be the same thing they do with the Plaguis book.....sad it is.

    As much as I enjoy what it is because it has Sith, I am a disappointed that this book is not really ABOUT Revan, but other nonsense that honestly could have been thrown in the trash. I wanted to know Revan and his story, not some typical "having visions so must save the galaxy" crap we have heard 1000 times.
  13. GoA Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 7, 2007
    star 2
    I'm going to make this short because a few posts have already expressed better than I could my feelings on this novel. But basically, this was a novel I was looking forward to but feared ever being written all at once. And my fears came true.

    I didn't like how Revan and the Exile were portrayed, I didn't like their fate at the end, and I didn't like the glossing over of pretty much everything that happened in the two video games. This wasn't a story about Revan. Like someone mentioned, this was a preview for the MMO and just used the Revan name to get people who played the first two games interested in buying the book.

    More than anything, I disliked the fate of the Revan character. There were a hundred different ways Drew could have written it so that a]the events of TOR can take place while at the same time b]Revan's fate doesn't have to be ruined to do so. Instead, Drew took the easy way out and just used Revan's (and the Exile's) popularity and in-universe prowess to make the new bad guy for the MMO look even stronger.

    I curse myself for ever wishing closure on the Revan story. I wish this book was never written, and the Revan character's fate at least be left to the imagination.

    Score: 3.5/10
  14. darthcaedus1138 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2007
    star 5
    This book sped along at train speed. I finished it in 2 days. How was it? Ummmm

    Overall, decent. It moved fast, which was in its favor. I didn't mind Scourge. Until the end. Revan was screwed up to me. I do realize that Revan is a player character, and I put my own attributes into him. But in the book he's snarky, sarcastic and somewhat serious character. It didn't work for me.

    The end of it really pissed me off. I REALLY hate the idea of them almost winning, and Scourge all the sudden stabbing Meetra in the back. It wasn't cool, it was dumb. He did it because he saw a random vision of the future player character defeating the Emperor. So that's the reason you don't act now? Because someone else will act later?

    Poor T3.

    So, yeah, I didn't care for it too much. Two of the Bane books were better. Check my sig. Revan was unfortunately sacrificed to feed TOR. And just like the Emperor, Revan's final fate is not so neat.

    Just like this book!

    6/10
  15. GenAntilles Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 24, 2007
    star 4
    I read the whole thing in one night so if I make any errors in my review I would like them pointed out.

    The whole of the book felt off to me. If this was made directly after KOTOR and before KOTOR II it would feel fine. But it acts almost as though KOTOR II has yet to come out and only a few minor story notes are known. The Exile's companions are not mentioned at all. Darth Traya and the Triumvirate are treated as rouge Jedi unaffiliated with Revan's Sith, or Exar Kun's Sith. Darth Nihilus whose powers are very, very similar to the Emperor's is not mentioned at all.

    I found it most odd when the Exile arrived at the dead world, stripped of all life, that her first thought is of the similarities between it and Malachor V. How she could not see the similarities between a world completely stripped of all life and the force and turned into a void, and Nihilus compltely stripping worlds of all life and the force and turning it into a void completely astounds me.

    I just do not understand why so much of KOTOR II was ignored? If Nihilus was ignored simply to make the Emperor more unique then I find that a rather uninspired move. The Exile also does not seem to have much a reaction to Traya, she acts as if she was simply a jedi turned sith she had to defeat. For someone who was her mentor this seems as rather strange. As much as Revan mentions Malak you would think the Exile would at least recollect on the Sith she defeated. A world killing force void who seems to be the void incarnate, a walking corpse with feelings for her, and a mentor who saves/betrays her. I understand that this was Revan's story but it seems that the Exile's story was just ignored or shoved under the rug. I almost would think that Drew Karpyshan had not read or played KOTOR II, but I know this is not the case. He most certainly must have read and known the story, the fact that he ignored opportunities to use them just baffles me. Not to mention Revan and the Exile never talking about their mutual master even once. Or the Exile wondering about her apprentices for that matter.

    Darth Scourge was an interesting character and his parts of the story were quite intriguing. Unfortunately his whole betrayal makes absolutely no sense. He has never had a vision before and Revan tells him over and over that visions are simply things that may be, they can be changed. Then Scourge sees a wide variety of possible futures, some where Revan defeats the Emperor, others where the Emperor wins, some where the galaxy is saved, others where the Emperor is the only thing left. Yet after seeing all these possible futures he sees one possible future where some other people kill the Emperor, and Scourge immediately assumes that that future MUST be the real one. He then kills the Exile and saves the Emperor. This whole ending was just a face palm for me. It made no sense, if the only vision Scourge saw was someone else killing the emperor, if Revan had perhaps made him trust visions, then his betrayal would have made sense and be dramatic. I understand that his ending had to happen because the The Old Republic demands it but is still could have been done better in my opinion.

    Bastila did seem a bit odd... I always saw her as Jedi to the core and her, I wouldn't say hatred... but extreme dislike of the Order seemed new. It makes sense, but I just didn't expect it. I don't mind her staying behind and raising her family. To be honest she probably has the happiest ending of any Star Wars character ever. I mean really how many heroes do we know of who get to live to a ripe old age with all their children and grandchildren still alive? Though the epilogue was 50 years after the events of the book, and if Bastila was 30 at the latest... then she really shouldn't have looked that old at 70. I mean look at Mara at 60, but that's just picking nits. So Bastila's role doesn't bother me, she got a happy ending to her story. And to be honest I find that rather just, she never seemed 'happy' during KOTOR so her finally being able to have joy and contentment w
  16. Havac Former Moderator

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    Average score: 149.75/25 = 5.99
  17. Darth_Zandalor Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 2, 2009
    star 4
    It seems that Post EA Bioware keeps finding new ways to piss me off. Now, they've gone from trashing Dragon Age, to utterly wrecking any of the good faith I'd had leftover for them from KOTOR.

    Drew, man, I loved your Darth Bane books. Yes, they were simplistic and brutal, but they were still good reads. This book, on the other hand is pure shlock. Nothing here can stand up to the sublime storytelling given by your older team, or even Obsidian's incredible followup. There is nothing at stake in this book, all it does is serve to set up a story arc in your new MMO that is specifically designed to attract your rabid fandom. And it sucks.

    Honestly, just stop. Trash Mass Effect and trash Dragon Age, but Knights of the Old Republic deserved better than this. It deserved better than what Bioware writing and your own has become.

    1/10. And that's only because I can't put a zero.
    darth fluffy and RC-1991 like this.
  18. Havac Former Moderator

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    Average score: 150.75/26 = 5.80
  19. Krusty_the_Clone Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 4, 2006
    star 4
    7/10. Great until the end.
  20. Havac Former Moderator

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    Average score: 157.75/27 = 5.84
  21. JStepp Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 10, 2011
    star 2
    5/10

    Way too short! The climax was unsatisfying and the book felt rushed. That being said I appreciate that Karpashyn finally gave Revan a personality and a canon power level. The final fight could have been so much better, ugh what a disappointment. Still if you want to find out more about the fate of Revan and the Exile then you probably should read it.
  22. Havac Former Moderator

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    Average score: 162.75/28 = 5.81
  23. Nagai Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Nov 15, 2010
    star 3
    I wasnt that satisfied with quality of the writing but loved the story.

    7 out of 10
  24. Havac Former Moderator

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    Average score: 169.75/29 = 5.85
  25. pronker Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 28, 2007
    star 3
    Reading online fanfic for 7 years without being a gamer, all along I've been hearing about Revan and to lesser degrees, Ordo, Shan, Exile and the whole gaming cast, so I looked forward to this book, after Karpyshyn's decent Bane trilogy. The timeskip didn't work for me, after enjoying such a device in 'Darth Plagueis'; the Scourge character /did/ work, and by the end of the book his actions were understandable. /Strange,/ but understandable. Supposedly he is still waiting for his Big Break in overthrowing Vitiate? The ending was a downer, yes, but the Revan character was admirable in his sly ways of seeing into the Abyss of Vitiate's mind. That was good. The prose was pretty darn plain, but the action with Mandalorians quite engaging. Overall, my curiosity is sated about the Old Republic era characters, this book helped with that, thank you, Mr. Karpyshyn, so therefore

    5/10