Lit The Official The Old Republic: Revan Discussion Thread (Spoilers Allowed)

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Rogue_Follower, Nov 23, 2011.

  1. Rogue_Follower Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 12, 2003
    star 6
    <center>Star Wars
    The Old Republic
    Revan


    Drew Karpyshyn
    Hardcover, 298 pages
    November 15, 2011

    <img src="http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20110728211624/starwars/images/thumb/6/63/TOR-Revan.jpg/315px-TOR-Revan.jpg"></center>

    A storm is coming, and there is no escape.

    Revan: hero, traitor, conqueror, villain, savior. A Jedi who left Coruscant to defeat Mandalorians ? and returned a disciple of the dark side, bent on destroying the Republic. The Jedi Council gave Revan his life back, but the price of redemption was high. His memories have been erased. All that?s left are nightmares?and deep, abiding fear.

    What exactly happened beyond the Outer Rim? Revan can?t quite remember, yet can?t entirely forget. Somehow he stumbled across a terrible secret that threatens the very existence of the Republic. With no idea what it is, or how to stop it, Revan may very well fail, for he?s never faced a more powerful and diabolic enemy. But only death can stop him from trying.



    RF: [face_blush] We're creating this a week late. Sorry!

    Previous discussion of the novel occurred in this thread.

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  2. Rawne Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 2, 2008
    star 2
    Breezed through it in a day, much like the Bane books.


    I enjoyed it, but it also left a sour taste in my mouth due to the way KOTOR II was practically brushed aside. Plus I was a little miffed that half the book is from Now For Someone Completely Different (Scourge) POV, though Scourge was an awesome character. I just expected with a title like that ("REVAN") that most of the book would be from Revan's POV or from someone who closely knew the guy. Kinda reminded me of the furor after Dan Abnett's Prospero Burns was released and readers found themselves reading about the past of a guy we'd never heard of before, rather than about the Battle of Prospero from the Space Wolves POV (though again, like Revan, there is that. For a few pages of a 400+ page book) that it had been marketed as.

    Really enjoyed the Canderous parts, but would have liked to see HK.

    The Sith Emperor stuff seemed a little overdone. Why is it that whenever I read about Sith the newest one along has to be THE MOST EVILLEST AND UBER-POWERFUL EVAAAAAR? But his backstory was kinda neat, in a horrifying way.


    Enjoyed the book, though it was a little on the short side considering it was a hardback and I had to pay £19 for a copy, though that's kinda par for the course when it comes to Star Wars books it seems.
  3. DanikKreldin Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 29, 2007
    star 1
    I emailed Mr. Karpyshyn about the whole Dromund Kaas as the ancestral Sith homeworld issue.. here was his response:

    Not really sure what to make of it... as seen in the "Return" cinematic trailer, Korriban is referred to as the homeworld of the Sith, and Malgus says "Welcome home" as he kills his Master.
  4. Genghis12 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 1999
    star 6
    On its own merits, I greatly enjoyed the novel.

    Unfortunately, as the novel entitled, "Revan," there is no way that this novel can be limited its own merits. It is the self-titled novel for the hero of Knights of the Old Republic, a key figure for Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, both of which are -- if you believe the company line marketing -- the Episodes I & II to The Old Republic's "III through X, and beyond." So let me first say that The Old Republic: Revan works for me, in this regard, only if it is viewed as the Episode V in Revan's heroic journey, and there is an unquestionably positive end to Revan's life that does not have him babbling about like a crazy person repeating one-liners about "he was Sith, he is Jedi?" as a mid-level boss. So, with the external baggage and unrequited expectations out of the way, we can get back to the actual novel.

    It was great fun to see Revan, Canderous, and T3 back in action.

    I had read the quote "advance summary" where the person complained that the novel didn't just ignore KotoR II, but outright undid/contracdicted it, minimized Nihilus and the Exile, etc. And after reading the novel, it was clear that the summary was pure poodoo. I disagree that the novel in any way "brushes aside" KotoR II. In several cases, it was slow to mature, but well worth the wait. I had exactly two specific "what the kriff" moments of KotoR II aggravation: 1) The novel's introduction of Canderous. Circa pg. 37: "You and your followers turned the entire tide of the war against us?" Canderous -- a man who has great, great respect for the Exile qua Exile due to her own merits -- didn't even have a single thought to her contribution to Revan's war effort? This was muted later on for the numerous reflections of the Exile's actions, removing it entirely as a gripe. (2) The next was Revan's first visit to the Jedi Temple, circa Ch. 5. I was like, "Uh oh." Went back to check the chronological setting of the novel in front, went back to check out my copy of LucasArts' KotoR II's "Chronicles" supplement, and then was like "Uh oh" still. Until Part Two, a hundred and ten or so pages later. Then, I went through the entire exercise again. And it works. At least to my satisfaction. While events are squeezed a bit, they are all within the known chronology of the destruction of the Jedi Order, G0-T0's bounty on Jedi. Again, it's there, just delayed. And tremendous kudos for Drew having Revan needle Atris; it was a great scene.

    I guess, my point of the entire "TOR: Revan is anti-KotoR II" issue is that I can only tell you that good things come to those who wait. It's there, just get past your initial impulse when things are first mentioned and apparently ignored. I think TOR: Revan handled both KotoR and KotoR II backstory elements that it touched on with great care.

    The big one's out of the way. I have to agree with Rawne's criticism about Revan's "screen time." He is the titular character, and he shares roughly half of the novel with a guy we've never seen before, has no relation to KotoR, KotoR II; nothing we've ever known about Revan's mythology. I don't mind Scourge -- I agree, he is a great character. But, for a novel entitled "Revan," I figured it would, well, be a little bit more about Revan.

    Any criticisms that I might have, then have to do with my own expectations for what Revan could have been -- again, an impossible task for Drew to fulfill. We leave a canonically light-side Exile, with the Lost Jedi by her side -- Atton Rand, Mical, Handmaiden, Mira, Bao-Dur, Visas. They are the very people that the Exile was intended to gather and bring to Revan's rodeo. Their absence was disheartening. Of course, the same went for KotoR characters too. The throw-away that they would inform the Jedi Order, or the Republic, and so weren't admitted to the party was less than satisfying. Jolee Bindo? Not hardly. Canderous was spot on, they would've all come, and should have all come. The one that fit perfectly was
  5. Genghis12 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 1999
    star 6
    For what it's worth, Drew is right. We've had various things from Ziost to Korriban being referred to as the Sith homeworld. That's been a mess for years, predating even before TOR, the game, was a glimmer of 1's and 0's in a programmer's eye, and well before this novel. Jedi vs. Sith tried to make lemonade, suggesting that Korriban was the ancestral homeworld, and when it was destroyed while fighting the Rakata, they relocated to Ziost. It works that way, I guess.

    My actual problem with Dromund Kaas is more esoteric. For example, Palpatine's own comments: "...and Dromund Kaas, respectively, and were relatively easy to find."

    This then gets into the shyrack-poodoo craziness that has befallen the places collectively known as the Unexplored Regions, that goes well back to Bantam's days. Its made much worse now by the apparent 1,000-year mop-up operation after The Great Hyperspace War, and all the Sith worlds the Republic has purged during the time between the Fall of the Sith Empire and this novel versus all of the belligerent and rebellious worlds within the Sith Empire, which stretch right up to the limit of the Outer Rim, and envelope it through to the Sith Worlds of the Horoset system. That whole thing is a mess. A world somehow decides (and actually is able) to stand against the Sith Empire, throw the yoke off their back, and no one sees fit to send an envoy to the Republic? I mean at the point in time where they're being horribly molested by their Sith overmasters, any fear they might have of the Jedi boogeyman becomes moot.

    I'd like to see a gazeteer of the complete Sith Empire during 1) pre-Rakatan (any particular time doesn't really matter) when Korriban was ancestral home vs. pre-Rakatan when Dromund Kaas was homeworld (only if it ever actually was) versus the point when Ziost immediately became the homeworld; 2) the time of the Dark Lord immediately preceeding Marka Ragnos; 3) the worlds of the Sith Empire, as tied to their dominions' Lord, immediately after the Republic's retaliatory strike; 4) the worlds of the Sith Emperor's Sith Empire at 3700 BBY
  6. AlyxDinas Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 12, 2010
    star 4
    I'm totally going to offer a longer commentary of the book's strengths and weaknesses later but in response to the Dromund Kaas thing, IIRC correctly, doesn't it come up when the Exile is learning about the Emperor's backstory on Nathema? I could be wrong here, it's really late and I'm in the midst of insomnia induced delirium. 8-}

    If so, I figured that was something drawn from those records. Didn't it say that as Vitiate was calling other Sith Lords to Nathema, he was having historians look for Dromund Kaas' location? And he basically turns it into a tool for him to use. I mean, Kaas was a colony world of the Sith before it was lost. With enough theatricality and with details about things lost to time, he could have been playing up the myth that Kaas was the Sith's original homeworld and that's what's reflected in the records.

    I mean, the Sith Empire is centered around Korriban for a long time. It's the seat of Adas' Empire, pre-Republic. All we really know is that Kaas was a colony world for the Sith at some point, right? Do we even know much about the specifics of when? If not, there's plenty of time for it to sort of disappear and fade from memory long enough for Vitiate to make up whatever story he wants about it.
  7. Zorrixor Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 8, 2004
    star 6
    Before the Great Hyperspace War, I also dare say the average person may not even have had much free access to history books, only the texts the Sith Lords wanted people to see, so it'd have been easy for the Emperor to invent a tale and sell it to the masses.

    "Naga Sadow and the Jedi lied to us! We did not come from Korriban! Our true home was always Kaas!" etc.
  8. snelson Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2005
    star 4
    i am upset at the way meetra was killed. she killed three very powerful sith lords and she could not sense scourge behind her. why didn't she put up a fight.
  9. Zorrixor Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 8, 2004
    star 6
    She was in the process of saving Revan's life, so he would have died instead had she turned around and blocked.
  10. instantdeath Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 22, 2010
    star 5
    I think it can be viewed as brilliant irony, even if it might have not been intended that way. Meetra is a person who's defining trait is her bonds and trust in her allies. To have her stabbed in the back by who she thought was an ally is actually a rather fitting end for her, in my opinion. The fact that she's, as far as I'm aware, the first in canon to manifest herself as a Force ghost is pretty cool as well.

    Anyway, Revan was a page turner, no doubt about that... great popcorn book. I must confess that I wish there was less a focus on Scourge, though.
  11. Ulicus Lit'ari

    Manager
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    Jul 24, 2005
    star 6
    Off the top of my head, we've got Andur Sunrider, Arca Jeth and Vodo Siosk-Baas preceding the Exile in appearing as Force Ghosts.

    @ Genghis: Well, really, I would think the Revan novel should be counted as Episode III/RotS, with TOR as IV-V-VI-Infinity. Though the comparison is hurt a bit by the fact that KotOR/TSL came first, OOU. I mean, people went into the prequels knowing they were prequels and not, as it were, the "main event": and they were only separated by a single generation, to boot. Prior to TOR's announcement, pretty much everyone expected the the KotOR/TSL arc, the True Sith et al. to be wrapped up within Revan and the Exile's natural lifespans. Probably involving a new protagonist, given the nature of the games (in a sense, Scourge could be seen as this protagonist choosing the "dark side ending", I guess?), but still featuring "the Big Two".

    And, from that perspective, the current situation is akin to this:

    TESB is the final Star Wars film. RotJ is a book in which Han isn?t rescued and Luke is murdered by Sidious aboard the Second Death Star. This novel was only written after the announcement of a TV series (?The New Republic?) set three hundred years after TESB. Vader and Palpatine long ago discovered the secret to immortality and they and their Empire are now combated by the Jedi and the mighty New Republic, led by the descendants of Leia (and by extension, Vader himself, though he has no personal connection to any of them). In a daring raid on Jabba?s palace, Han Solo is finally rescued by people he?s never met and, in his next appearance, killed off by a group of talented individuals Vader sends after him... but not before they?ve killed Chewie and blown up the Falcon, of course! Those who rescued him (having nothing to do with Luke or Leia, besides serving their descendants) don?t know or care that this has happened and, in the end they are ultimately the ones responsible for redeeming Darth Vader and defeating Palpatine.

    Which, in fairness, is a pretty interesting "what if". Immortal Vader and Palpatine? Hell yes! But I'm still pretty glad it didn't happen that way. :p

    Then again, I suppose TOR isn't doing anything to KotOR that KotOR itself didn't end up doing to TotJ. Whatever happened to that amazing destiny of Vima's? :confused: (It's a shame she couldn't be in the Bastila role, as originally intended.)


  12. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    She was killed too quickly to have a chance to put up a fight, and she was focused on the Emperor. Also, I don't think she should get all the credit for killing Nihilus. I assumed that Nihilus was significantly weakened by Visas.

    Where she saved Revan's life was before that. Revan was hit by the Emperor's lightning ( and not killed ) when he was momentarily distracted by what happened to Meetra. Thus, if she had turned around and blocked, the situation might not have been much different.
  13. instantdeath Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 22, 2010
    star 5

    I know for sure that all three of those people disappeared Ben Kenobi style, but I don't remember them appearing as Force ghosts, with the exception of Vodo, though he appeared thousands of years later in Champions of the Force. Am I mistaken? I haven't read TOTJ in awhile.


    On Vima, I personally like to think she trained Bastila at some point.
  14. Ulicus Lit'ari

    Manager
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    Andur and Jeth both appeared during TotJ. I remember thinking it was really stupid that Andur, a freshly minted knight, would be capable of pulling that off. Though he appeared in an issue written when the assumption was all Jedi vanished into thin air and ghosted as a matter of course.

    Completely ignoring that Vader -- Greatest Jedi Killer Of All Time -- was surprised as hell when Kenobi pulled that trick.
  15. Rawne Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 2, 2008
    star 2
    The KOTOR Campaign Guide said she had a hand in the training of the Exile. Or was that Nomi?
  16. instantdeath Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 22, 2010
    star 5
    Which in itself doesn't make complete sense, because The Dark Woman (whatever her name is supposed to be) pulled that trick on him too... which I hated [face_skull]

    Maybe Vader didn't see it or something. You could probably retcon Andur appearing as a ghost as something like the Force not being clouded by the dark side as much during that time, more Jedi became one with the Force, though that's pretty ridiculous to think about. You could also just say it was Nomi just hearing him... I don't know. Damn you, Tales of the Jedi!
  17. Ulicus Lit'ari

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    Well, the DW/Kuro had been established as a master of a bunch of esoteric techniques no-one else really understood. So Vader probably chalked it up to that. :p
  18. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    Exactly. Now it seems like that obsolete assumption is coming back into fashion, unless the Exile is a special exception for some reason.

    It's commonly assumed that "one with the Force" is a synonym for Force ghosting, but that is really not the case:

  19. Ulicus Lit'ari

    Manager
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    star 6
    What's interesting is that [TOR SPOILERS] Revan, in TOR, makes it clear that the Exile is still not one with the Force. I'd consider Jedi Force Ghosting to involve both the retention of individual consciousness and oneness with the Force. So, while I'll probably be proved wrong, I'd hazard a guess that she struck up (or rekindled) a Force bond with Revan and can't "pass over" until everyone she's bonded to has ceased to be.

    "No peace while you suffer"

    I'll be interested to see if she makes any appearances following Revan's death.


    It's not a synonym, no. Everyone who dies become "one with the Force"... unless they're a bound spirit or some variation. But Jedi Ghosts aren't.
  20. instantdeath Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 22, 2010
    star 5
    I like the idea of The Exile being a lingering ghost, myself. Plus, unlike Andur, I could see her as a character who really deserves it.
  21. Ulicus Lit'ari

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    I like the idea of her being a proper Force ghost, too. Unfortunately all this stuff about how she isn't "one with the Force" kind of throws that into a spin, for me. If she's not one with the Force, then she's just a "mortal spirit", as it were.
  22. instantdeath Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 22, 2010
    star 5
    Perhaps the difference is that someone who is "one with the Force" can travel from planet to planet, appear in different places; The Exile is tied to one place, or more specifically, one person. She doesn't have free roam of the galaxy like Obi-Wan or Qui-Gon presumably have.
  23. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    That at least agrees with the wording in the book. I wouldn't have expected the situation in TOR to be any different from the situation in the book.

    But that's just it: Force ghosts have not "passed over" in the usual sense of the term. They're hanging around as Force ghosts. Lucas even said that Ben "doesn't die" when he ghosts. I concede that Karpyshyn's nomenclature doesn't seem to exactly mesh with that used by the ROTS script, but it seems to be indicated that the Exile is a Force ghost. When the book says that Meetra had not become one with the Force, it is in the context of showing that she was still around and could sense Revan's suffering. These things would be characteristics of a Force ghost. It is also made clear that her inability to communicate with him is due to the Emperor's Sith sorcery.

    It could be argued that they are bound to the Force itself. I don't think they're all that fundamentally different from "Sith spirits" in this respect, which is why I don't like the whole Sith spirits thing, especially in current EU.
  24. Ulicus Lit'ari

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    The issue is really that it implies that she's some sort of restless spirit, incapable of finding peace. That would seem to be at odds with the entire process and nature of ghosting as I understand it.

    I imagine you're right insofar as the intent of the book is concerned. Nevertheless, I would think it's a mistake to consider Force ghosting a denial of nature of that sort. The first Force Ghost we "hear of" chronologically in the saga is expressly stated to have "returned" from the netherworld of the Force. The AotC novel, furthermore, indicates (via Yoda's incredulity) that Qui-Gon has maintained conciousness and identity whilst being one with the Force.

    And, as you mention, it's completely at odds with the RotS novel -- which may have been line edited by Lucas, as we've heard -- in which it is made clear that ghosting is a case of one being able "to become one with the Force, yet influence still have."

    For now, I'm content to simply refer to the Exile as a Force "entity". I suspect she remains mortal in the same manner as a Sith Spirit, however, and can be destroyed. Sith Spirits and Force Ghosts aren't dark/light mirror images of each other.

    The former are essentially "undead" and remain finite. Force ghosts are neither.

  25. Zorrixor Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 8, 2004
    star 6
    That's always been my perspective, too (not that the EU isn't a contradictory minefield when it comes to ghosts - I recall the Jedi Path came out with a bunch of stuff about how Jedi Ghosts are going against the will of the Force by returning... which just seemed weird to me).

    Like you, I prefer to see Jedi Ghosts as immortal spirits that have ascended into heaven and returned, whereas I don't see Sith Spirits as even "dead" in the spiritual sense, to me what makes them Dark Side Wraiths is the fact they're not dead, simply incorporeal.

    After all, mortality and corporeality aren't synonyms in the spiritual sense. Sarx, pneuma and psyche and all that.

    I often think it'd be nice to see the term Sith "Spirit" explained as arising IU from an error in the Sith understanding of the Force, with them wrongly thinking they have achieved "immortality" when in fact they've become no different to any other mortal species that doesn't have a physical body. (In a sense, it's still essentially essence transfer, just rather than being transferred into a new body, it's into thin air.)

    Which is very different to ascending into heaven and still being able to speak to the living.