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

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

  1. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

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    star 10
    Padmé "lost the will to live" Amidala is hardly the example to bring of female agency outside their role as romantic partner and mother.
  2. AlyxDinas Force Ghost

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    Jul 12, 2010
    star 4
    Is there any reason, then, that we are not decrying the Exile for apparently reinforcing that?

    Perhaps I'm not having the same, highly reactionary read of the text but as much as it is clear that Bastila initially might not agree with the idea of staying behind, I never once got the impression that she was left with no say on that matter. She is actually the one who acquiesces. In both instances.

    Now, we can debate if that was the right thing for her to do certainly (or if it was in character for her to do) but I really do think the continued notion that Bastila was given some ultimatum to "deal with it" actually borders on the false. The closest thing we get is Revan saying that he doesn't want to put their child at risk and knows she won't want to either but it's hardly some gender role based version of the Godfather where Revan's doing some weird "offer you can't refuse".
  3. Zorrixor Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 8, 2004
    star 6
    That's a rather interesting thought, actually... [face_thinking]

    I've never really considered how fitting she would be to lead the Jedi Council, as up until the novel, I always just took it for granted that the Exile would do it. Obviously, that's no longer the case, which leaves the future more open ended. Hmm... I confess I'm torn, since I always saw Bastila as more of the female Anakin Skywalker, i.e. greatly gifted, certainly, and wanted by both the Jedi and the Sith for her meditation talents, but her power and her unique connection with the former Dark Lord were what defined her the most, and like Anakin, her unique skills led to a somewhat privileged status.

    Would that have made for the best leader? I'm not actually sure... both her and Revan had fallen and returned from the dark side, is that a good or a bad thing? I suppose Mr and Mrs Dark at least have the benefit of "been there, done that, know from experience," in the same way as Luke from Dark Empire, but... I don't know. I can understand now why KOTOR2 set Mical up as the natural leader, as he was much more of "the thinker" than the sometimes brash and impulsive approach of many of the other companions, Bastila among them. After the Civil War, I can see why they'd go for a less controversial figure.
  4. instantdeath Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 22, 2010
    star 5
    Out of the Exile's companions, Mical (the Disciple) would probably be the most fit to lead, though I doubt there's really a defined leader until later. I've said it before, and I've said it again; I would absolutely love to see a Council meeting between all of the Exile's students. Unlike the KOTOR 1 crew, who were more or less a happy little family, the KOTOR 2 crew could never, ever get along. I'm amazed the Jedi Order lived.

    I don't have time to do more than skim the past few pages unfortunately, but I do think it's worth noting that a lot of Bastila's ideals from KOTOR are, probably, just spouted from her masters. After being saved by Revan, I don't see it as too out of character for her to put her family over the Jedi.

    As for Revan, well, it's hard to really judge what he did as "right" or "wrong"; considering that we know exactly what happens, what Revan did was obviously the right thing. The notion of leaving his pregnant wife might seem very selfish, but I don't think any known character trait of Revan would indicate him being a good dad. This is the same Revan who sacrificed hundreds of his own troops at Malachor V, to both insure victory, and to wipe out those who weren't loyal to him. I'd actually say he's more soldier than Jedi.
  5. Commander-DWH Shiny Costuming & Props Manager

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    I don't see why Bastila has to be either a stay-at-home mom or the Grandmaster. There is a whoooole lot of room between those two options for her to do something- anything.

    On the point of 'why is it so bad?' Mostly because I have trouble believing that's a choice Bastila would actually make. If the author is going to take the time to show us her thought process and make it a believable decision, that's one thing. But we're left to automatically assume it's okay and just agree with the decision, well, because.

    As for Bastila's agency, I'd be more inclined to believe she was firmly making the choice herself if we'd actually seen that was the case. It wouldn't have been hard, just a sentence or two. Or they could have gone wild and given her a whole paragraph to think about it. We can't assume she took any ownership of the decision if the book doesn't show that (note: I said show, not tell- it definitely doesn't tell us, and I don't think it showed it, either).

    At best, it's extremely poor writing and characterization. At worst, it's just one piece in the pattern of disrespect for female characters this book has. After all, Bastila's characterization did not happen in a vacuum; and as I outlined earlier, the Exile and Veela were given pretty poor ends, too.

    In the end, I'm not sure 'bad characterization' and 'poor writing' really let it off the hook for being what it is. Those may be the reasons why they ended up that way, but it doesn't change the outcome.
  6. instantdeath Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 22, 2010
    star 5
    Female characters definitely aren't Drew Karpyshyn's strong point; the best one he's ever written is probably Zannah. The main female from the Mass Effect novels (can't remember her name) I found somewhat annoying, and Githany from the Bane series only real role was Bane's lover, even though more was hinted at in Jedi Vs Sith.

  7. AlyxDinas Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 12, 2010
    star 4
    This is where you lose me though. One hundred percent, in fact. By this logic, you might as well tell me that Carth doesn't exist anymore simply by virtue of the fact that he's not mentioned in the book. It is a type of thinking which strains credulity. Just because the book didn't take two pages explaining what Bastila did for a day job, am I really suppose to sit back and assume she did nothing? That after Vaner was of a serviceable age, she just sat around the house looking at old holos of Revan and pining? I don't know about you but for as much as I didn't like the characterization, I don't think it extends that far.
  8. Commander-DWH Shiny Costuming & Props Manager

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    It doesn't stretch things as far as that, I don't think. For a person reading this book, never having played the games, Carth Onasi doesn't actually exist. Why should anyone be expected to extrapolate his existence based on a novel he isn't in? He's not a part of this story at all. Those of us who played the games know he's off Admiraling, but that apparently wasn't important enough to mention.

    And even if I were to concede stretching, it's stretching it just as far to imagine she's doing anything there. We aren't told, and it's just bad writing. I honestly think that what we are shown, which isn't much, is closer to my estimation that she wasn't doing very much and was very passive, than it is to the idea that she made a well thought out choice. She was too bitter about it for me to believe that she owned the choice as her own.
  9. AlyxDinas Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 12, 2010
    star 4
    I was hoping this would be said because it similarly applies to what you are talking about. Bastila's day job isn't a part of the story either (regardless of how it could have been, just as much as Carth could have been) and I don't think that tossing it in just so that it would assuage readers' feelings about her situation would have enhanced the text. The book has enough of a torrid love affair with dull exposition as it stands.

    Bt that's not even the real issue here. We can't really appeal to previous canon to decry characterization and then ignore it when that previous canon also gives us ample reason to assume that Bastila did more than sit and do absolutely nothing with herself other than wait on Revan.
  10. Commander-DWH Shiny Costuming & Props Manager

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    I'll give you that.

    However, I'm still not willing to say that the text indicates that Bastila was okay with the outcome. If she behaved in a neutral manner towards her situation, then maybe. But the one time we do get to see her emotional state, she's clearly unhappy.

    All I'm saying is that it would have been very easy and wouldn't have derailed the story at all to give us a glimpse into Bastila's thought process, or even what she did offscreen. Is it the story? Certainly not. Should it be acknowledged? Absolutely.
  11. Vialco Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 6, 2007
    star 4
    Well, as a person who read the book and has never played the game, I was pleased that there wasn't an excess of call-backs to the game. A slew of name-drops would have bored me, and would have probably made me drop the book like a hot potato. Drew K.'s writing is the same as always, although I enjoyed his Bane trilogy more than this, maybe because I preferred a Sith protagonist.

    Still, Revan is a good book, better than most of what Del Rey's spewed out in the last six months. I enjoyed Drew's new character, Lord Scourge, very nice Sith protagonist. He was a bit flat, but Drew's characters usually are. Still, a nice irony that Scourge wanted to destroy the Emperor because he was revolted by the Emperor's draining of the Force, and in the end he becomes a slave to the Emperor's will. As for the Jedi Exile, I will admit that Meetra Surik isn't exactly catchy, but at least we have a name for the previously nameless Jedi. As for her power, she seemed pretty powerful, Scourge only got her because of a stab in the back, and surprise is always the doom of both Jedi and Sith.

    My favorite part was when Scourge stabbed Surik in the back, it showed that you can never trust a Sith, even if your goals coincide. I was expecting him to turn on them after the vision Scourge had. When he seemed to stick with them after that, I was disappointed, only to be pleased when it turned out he had been waiting for the opportune moment. I actually thought that Revan would be able to kill the Emperor, so happy to see that he failed, a thousand year old Sith Lord should not be vanquished so easily.

    As for Bastila Shan, I was slightly underwhelmed, as I had heard that this woman was a Master of Battle Meditation, but pregnancy seems to weaken women in Star Wars. I mean, Padme did very little in ROTS, so in a way, it makes sense that Bastila didn't really contribute. After all, according to canon, she didn't follow Revan into the unknown, so pregnancy was a good way to sideline her without degrading her character. All in all, a nice book, and I look forward to a sequel, where we see Revan's son, Vaner fight the Emperor and succeed, with Scourge's help, where his father failed.
  12. DarthRevan211 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2008
    star 1
    Hate to burst your bubble, but the sequel is called "The Old Republic" videogame.

    Sad, I know.
  13. DarthRevan211 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2008
    star 1
    Sorry for the double post, but I realized with all of the people commenting saying they haven't read this yet, I thought this passage might be of some use for the Bastila discussion:

    "When do we leave?" she asked after a long moment of silence.
    "You can't come with me," Revan objected gently. "What if I find something on Rekkiad?" Some clue connected to my past? What if it leads me farther into the Outer Rim? Or even the Unknown Regions? We could be gone for months. Maybe longer. Do you really want to give birth on some uninhabited world on the edges of the galaxy? And then what will we do? How are we going to care for an infant under those conditions? I won't risk the life of our child like that. And I know you won't either."
    Bastila reached two fingers up and pressed them gently against Revan's lips. "If I say you're right," she whispered, "will you please shut up?"


    The way I see it, Revan makes a pretty solid case and Bastila reluctantly agrees. But it's her choice in the end. He doesn't force her to stay or anything. And that final line sounds like a line straight from their romance in KOTOR.

    Overall, I think people are being a bit too harsh on her characterization here. Bastila sees the truth in Revan's words and responds like any responsible parent would. While Revan cares for their child in his way, she does so in hers. It rings perfectly true to me and I couldn't be happier that Bastila stayed behind to foster her children, leading to Vaner and his two kids living peaceful lives and eventually spawning Satele to again fight the Sith. It's the happiest ending of anyone from KOTOR we know of so far.
  14. GenAntilles Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 24, 2007
    star 4
    I don't think I could've said it better myself. Bastila didn't like it but it was her choice, and if I might say, I think she made the right choice.
  15. Genghis12 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 1999
    star 6
    As for getting into Bastila's mind for a direct glimpse into Bastila's thought process, that was evidently not in the cards. Unlike the NJO and beyond ensemble POV characters in novels, the novel pretty much has two: Revan and Scourge. Everyone else is along for the ride in their story.

    But, with Bastila and Revan, we know that they've shared minds; they have a unique Force bond. So, to some degree, it is a bit redundant for Drew to outline the Revan's exact justification, which he does, and then say the same thing if Bastila is in agreement. The best of what you're looking for is on Pgs. 76-78: "Bastila didn't answer. Instead she leaned against him, resting her head on his shoulder, and he know she felt the same way." Mind you, we're dealing with people in a universe who actually can know how others feel, and we're dealing with two people who further have a strong bond in the Force. She had completely bought Revan's argument to track his weird nightmares down, when she had hope that the two could go off on some KOTOR journey redux; I think it likely she was sharing Revan's partly-joking, but partly serious view to make the journe to uncover his dark visions and defeat whatever is out there the honeymoon that they never had, which had to have been grating, on at least him because it was in his thoughts, but also her as well.

    But, more importantly, you've been questioning any sign from Bastila herself, not distilled through Revan's lense. And we get that, to a very large degree once he tells her she is not coming with him and why; her response: "If I say you're right, will you please shut up." And then they get to it.
    That's not neutral. She knew and accepted he was right, and she verbalized it. Drew could have written two more paragraphs or two more pages, and that end result would not have changed. Maybe it wasn't enough, but at least he does give us more than a glimpse.

    Too bitter about it? The bitterness she expressed was clearly not anything to do with their mutual decision to have Revan go while Bastila stayed. The bitterness was the result of Meetra's building "screw you's." First, mild -- irrational -- jealousy of Meetra's shared past with her husband. Then, next, it's the fact that Tee-three was forced to ignore the substance of Bastila's orders to him, and instead glom on to Meetra, and all of that was the unfortunate result of Bastila having to hide from the Sith Lords' Jedi Kill Squads causing her to have to apologize to him -- and then have Meetra shine her on by suggesting she was the next best thing. Again, each instance by itself recognized by Bastila as being unfair nor justified, but collectively, they were the target of her ire, not her and Revan's decision. And it doesn't end there. She next has to take it again from Meetra that Canderous had informed her. And Meetra doesn't stop piling it on, rubbing Bastila's nose in the fact that because it had taken Tee-three three years to return to Bastila, what was the big rush to a bit longer. Then Meetra tells Bastila about all the things she knew that Bastila didn't -- Canderous' mask.

    It's not their decision for Revan to leave alone that Bastila's bitter about. It's that she was confronted very much in-her-face by a collective series of events that made her feel she was not special. It was the rude awakening that for the last several years, there were other people who apparently
  16. JediMatteus Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2008
    star 4
    i will be honest. i have never liked bastilla. I probably have poured more time into the kotor games than most, and have unlocked pretty much every conversation with her. Bastilla has some good points, and she is a satisfactory jedi. But she is a bull headed, holier than thou, prideful, naging chick, and i was annoyed with her 80% of the time. So i have no real love or loyalty to the character.
  17. Oissan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 9, 2001
    star 6
    Funny, I disagree completely ;)
    She's rather arrogant during the first meeting, but that's about it. Beyond that, she tries to do what the masters have taught her, while having to deal with the responsibility for Revan without being able to tell anyone, and suddenly having to live with people who are completely different from those she grew up with. In other words, she was handed a job that was way beyond anything she was prepared for. Pretty much everything she did made sense when looking from her point of view.

    Tha "arrogant Jedi" is more or less a facade she hides behind, she isn't anything like that once she got closer to you. All in all, to me she was the most interesting character to talk to, once you got past the initial defensive behaviour which was caused by you being Revan.
  18. GenAntilles Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 24, 2007
    star 4
    Funny, those are the reasons I liked her.
  19. JediMatteus Force Ghost

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    Sep 16, 2008
    star 4
    well she wasn't all bad. i actually liked Carth even less. He got so annoying with his tortured life and past. blah blah blah
  20. Foltliss Jedi Master

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    Nov 19, 2010
    star 2
    What you're essentially saying is that military personnel who die overseas, leaving children behind in the states, are deadbeat parents. That's a pretty disgusting opinion to have, even if you're only saying it about a fictional character. Revan's intentions are no different than any troops who give their lives in battle. To keep their family safe by fighting a war as far away from them as possible, and to want desperately to return. That's exactly what Revan is doing. He just won't have a family to return to when/if he survives the war he's fighting.
  21. Commander-DWH Shiny Costuming & Props Manager

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    Incorrect. Troops overseas are still supporting their families; Revan is doing nothing of the sort here. Sure, he may be 'fighting the good fight,' but seriously, not even a comm to a friend to make sure someone is looking after her. It's a pretty huge logical leap to think that I would extend those same conditions to real life troops serving overseas, whose families are pretty well taken care of. Revan's mission, which was unofficial and not authorized by the Jedi or by the Republic military, was just him. No organization to provide for his family if something terrible happened.

    Unless, of course, the Republic has the best social safety net ever. If that's the case, I will still dislike how the event was characterized, but I will dislike it less.
  22. Kalphite Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2009
    star 2
    Really? Revan's mission wasn't just for him -- the only reason he did it was for his family/son. Also, he had to do it, notbody else would. What would he do - go before the Jedi Council and get laughed at and ridiculed? By the way - Revan succeeded, otherwise the Emperor would have attacked sooner and the diminished Jedi Order/Republic would've been clobbered. Or worse, the Empire could've attacked after the Sith Triumverate all but wiped the Jedi out....Revan changed it so that the attack would happen later when the Jedi/Republic could stand to oppose it.

    Finally - it's not like he's leaving behind a helpless wife/child and not taking care of them. Bastila is a freaking powerful Jedi Knight...would've been a Master...she's more than capable of caring for herself and her child without aid.
  23. KnightDawg Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 26, 2007
    star 4
    I really hope so. What crappy way to finish his story. Though I'd say the Exile was completely disrespected in this novel. It was so bad that it came across to me as if Drew was trying to stick it to SW and the KOTOR II writers. Sad.
  24. Kalphite Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2009
    star 2
    Yes and no...

    The only way she was 'disrespected' is that she struggled against a member of the Dark Council, despite taking down the Sith Triumverate all by herself - which admittedly doesn't really make sense.

    Still though, I don't think that was a jab at Obsidian or the KotOR II staff...he had to make the novel somewhat realistic. The reality is, having two overpowered Jedi may not have made a good book...and at the end of the day, this book was about Revan, who is the more iconic and popular of the two.

    The Exile/Meetra got a lot of face-time in this novel - A LOT - way more than I was expecting her too. And oh by the way, she wasn't just 'killed off'. Like Revan, she also has a large role to play in this new TOR game. Bioware easily could've left her out, but they chose not to.
  25. GrandMasterKatarn Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 8, 2008
    star 4
    Well, in the novel, Drew did say it was a group of "Rogue Jedi led by Kreia that attacked the Republic." At least, I recall it saying that. Read it in the store. Rogue Jedi and Sith Triumvirate are not the same thing. Seems like he was brushing KOTOR2 under the carpet.