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

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

  1. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    Yoda says that Qui-Gon has learned the path to immortality. It's almost Sithy verbiage, just without the demonic undercurrent. Calling it immortality and making it a long-undiscovered secret tend to imply that it differs from communication from the "other side".

    Yes, and the Annotated Screenplays tell essentially the same story - that Anakin passes through the netherworld before returning as a Force ghost.

    That bit is also in the script.

    If they're anchored to the Force, assuming the Force isn't going to be destroyed anytime soon ( *looks around nervously for Kreia* ) they should be good. You seem to propose that the Exile is a lightside version of a Sith spirit. But do such things exist?

    But we're not told that Force ghosts have "ascended to heaven". It is only said that they passed through ( or returned from ) a netherworld, which sounds like it would be somewhere south of heaven.

    Force ghosts aren't "dead" in the spiritual sense either, no more so than a Sith spirit; the ROTS script calls it the ability to merge with the Force at will, and doesn't make it sound like suicide.
  2. AlyxDinas Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 12, 2010
    star 4
    Alright. Now that I'm full of turkey and a little more well rested, I can present my thoughts a bit more coherently. HEADS UP: this will be pretty long.

    To begin with, this is definitely Karpyshan's best book. I don't know if that's saying much however, since the Bane series was fairly weak and I've never felt he was that strong of a writer to begin with. I only really enjoy Path of Destruction and that's mostly a retelling/reshaping of the Jedi vs. Sith comics anyway. Karypshan's not a very subtle writer to say the least but I think that worked in Path of Destruction and works fairly well in Revan.

    We get a lot of the same bombastic, hyper overstated action and Force powers that one would expect with Karpyshan but the narrative seems to have a tighter focus and faster drive in Revan, so by the end of things while the prose is pretty simplistic and sometimes the fights drag on way too long (see Scourge's whole sequence at the UDM Hallion, which honestly felt interminable to me), the narrative is exciting and pretty compelling.

    Admitted, there is a tendency for things to get very expository. We must be told about Revan, the Mandalorian Wars, the Jedi Civil war, the Dark Wars, the importance of Malachor V, the backstory of Vitiate, and on and on. Sometimes it can get to be a little much. Obviously this is partially a necessity since the book is a tie in work to TOR (even moreso than, say, Kemp's Deceived, which remains the best TOR related work so far), but I feel there might have been some more organic ways to get this done. But these are technical issues more than content.

    Overall, I think the content itself was pretty interesting, if with a few weak parts. I have to preface this by saying that I love KOTOR II. I think Avellone and his team did ten times the job Karpyshan and BioWare did on the first KOTOR. I never felt Revan was a character, whereas I felt the Exile was very distinct. This book does a good job of actually creating a fairly well fleshed out Revan, I think. The line that summed it up for me was:

    Revan: Jedi; hero; traitor; conqueror; villain; savior. He was all of these things and more. He was a living legend; the embodiment of myth and folklore; a figure that transcended history. yet all he saw staring back at him as an ordinary man who hadn't slept in three nights.

    I think this humanization of Revan is important. I've rambled about it at length before. But the important thing is that Revan feel like a person to me finally. He is someone who puts up a facade of sarcasm to hide his own guilt. A person who loves deeply and fears. Someone who can be overwhelmed but still stalwart in the face of that. I could go on but the end result is that I enjoy finally seeing Revan as more than a vague idea or some mask for players to don.

    In general, I like the three leads quite a bit (Revan, Scourge, and Meetra). Their stories were all interesting and by the end, I grew to like even Scourge. I think that for all of Karpyshan's stumbling as a writer, he can make pretty well liked characters and it shows. And I think that overall, he did a good job juggling canon. There were some slips but KOTOR II remains pretty much intact, which is very good.

    The book isn't brilliant. That's something that might be reserved for the Plagueius excerpt (which I am very excited about ;) ), but it is enjoyable and exciting. Somewhere in the 7 range, which is still pretty good and about what. And I think that while TOR still has more to add to Revan story, even giving the character an apparently final ending, this does a good job of things on its own as well.

    To break some smaller musings down:

    -I know some people don't like the Exile's name and I think I agree. Sort of. I don't think that "Meetra" is a bad name in terms of sound but I think it looks ugly when written. Mitra or Mithra would have been better, most likely. And I actually sort of like Surik but that's very much subjective, obviously.

    -The sequences with Canderous are some of the books best. And while
  3. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    I'm not sure I see the problem. Could you elaborate?
  4. AlyxDinas Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 12, 2010
    star 4
    From KOTOR: "The Sith came to us with an offer: to fight a worthy enemy in a battle that would be remembered forever."

    From Revan: "This doesn't make any sense," Canderous said. "You say the Sith tricked Mandalore into attacking the Republic. But why?"

    So, there's a little bit of inconsistency between what Canderous "used to" know and "now" knows. Like I said, it's not anything major. Particularly since that little bit of canon (ie. how much the Mandalorians in general knew that the Mandalorian Wars were manufactured by the Sith) has been highly variable for a while now.
  5. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    I thought it was supposed to be kind of a revelation in Revan ( and KOTOR 2 ) that the "true" Sith were still out there. I didn't recall them being mentioned in KOTOR 1 at all.
  6. Ulicus Lit'ari

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jul 24, 2005
    star 6
    ^ Regarding the above, retconning away Canderous' knowledge about the Sith involvement in the Mandalorian Wars actually came in KotOR II. In the cut content, at least:

    Of course, before KotOR II, there was no suggestion that Canderous had been referring to anything other than the Kunite remnant. So it always struck me as kind of weird that the second game took that statement and really, really ran with it, while ignoring that Canderous had been the one to bring it up.

    @ Arawn, RE: Ghosts: If the RotS script says that the Force ghosts are "one with the Force" or have "merged with the Force" then that's more than good enough for me.

    I'm not going to believe they're simply "light side spirits" anchored to the Force. They're not avoiding death in the manner of the Sith: they're the truest realisation that death is illusory.

    You've argued with Dawud over this before and, on this issue, I'm with him. We're not going to agree. ;)

    As for the Exile, I don't know what she is. She's either meant to be a Force Ghost, and BioWare have gone down what I'd consider to be a flawed "light side spirit" understanding of the matter (but, as evinced by our discussion, how "flawed" such an understanding is is contentious)... or she's some weird Force entity that persists despite not having become one with the Force. As I wouldn't typically think a "light side" version of a Sith spirit should be possible, I'd be inclined to chalk this up to her extreme (and oftentimes subconscious) bonding.

    But, yeah, I dunno.
  7. AlyxDinas Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 12, 2010
    star 4
    Perhaps but still, in the book, Canderous doesn't even know that ANY Sith, true or not, were behind the Mandalorian Wars. Like I said, it was a small thing (like Bastila not really knowing that Canderous played a part in the Battle of Telos even though she was apparently there during or very soon after the actual battle). Like I mentioned before and Ulicus mentions regarding the cut KOTOR II content, this has been something in a more nebulous state of flux for a while now.

    It's like how Meetra mentions that there's a new Jedi Council to Bastila. Previously, we'd been given reason to believe that a new Council wouldn't be around so immediatelyy but now there it is. Not a major change, really. We know Mical sits on the Council and not when, after all. It could be on that very same one mentioned or maybe a little later down the line. Not a really damning problem in the slightest but enough to make you pause for a moment and then go "Huh."

    EDIT: Regarding the ghost discussion, I think it is hard to say. Meetra's remaining more out of a will to help her friend than any balance with the Force. She even says in TOR, "no peace while you suffer", so it is almost like she's holding on more in the way a Sith spirit does than anything else.
  8. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    ROTS calls it immortality; is that also good enough? The film's depiction indicates this is a rare discovery as opposed to the realization of a universal experience.

    But that is pretty much what the ROTS novel says: you can join your light to it forever. It's been explained as a learned Force ability.
  9. Ulicus Lit'ari

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jul 24, 2005
    star 6
    You interpret things to fit your own understanding. We all do.
  10. Charlemagne19 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2000
    star 7
    My Star Wars: Revan review

    I'm underwhelmed.

    I'm sorry, but I am.

    I like Drew Karpyshyn, I really do. I enjoyed the Darth Bane trilogy. They were a set of novels which managed to make a purely evil protagonist interesting to read about. I also enjoyed his Mass Effect novels (with the exception of Retribution). They were entertaining fluff that nicely expanded on several points of the ME universe. Plus, I absolutely love the story in every one of the video games he's worked on.

    Star Wars: Revan, however, doesn't do anything for me.

    For the uninitiated, the book is a quasi-sequel to the video game Knights of the Old Republic. I've mentioned before I think it's the greatest video game of all time and any sequel was probably destined to disappoint. I'm also one of the vocal minority that thinks Knights of the Old Republic 2 had its strong points (the Exile, the Sith Triumvarite, Handmaiden) but wasn't in the same league.

    The premise for the book is dealing with the biggest "left-hanging" element of KOTOR2. Revan and the Exile have gone into the Unknown Regions, seeking the Sith Empire. What sort of adventures did they have there? What sort of epic deeds did these two legendary heroes do? What was their ultimate fate, knowing the Sith Empire eventually invades the Galactic Republic?

    Yeah, we get the answer to that here and it's "nothing too impressive."

    I won't get into spoilers but the book pretty much defines Revan and the Exile's quest as a small-scale adventure that ends on a Downer Ending. Despite Revan and the Exile previously having been treated as epic champions of the Force, they are treated as fairly typical Jedi Masters. When compared with the Sith Emperor, both of them together are a fairly minor threat. Given the Exile defeated Darth Nihilus, a being capable of devouring whole worlds, this rings false.

    I'm not one of the guys who feels that Revan and the Exile have to be invincible Gary Stus. I think some of fans requests for Revan, like him being to be the one to defeat the Sith Emperor, are ridiculous. Still, Revan was one of the great Expanded Universe characters. The backstory given him was quite epic and a lot of fans had a vested interest in him. Would you have Luke Skywalker causally tossed around by a new villain so he could go train a new hero to defeat him?

    No, because that's disrespectful to the character. Plus, we already had that plot with Obi Wan Kenobi.

    It's a foregone conclusion the Sith Emperor will survive Revan and the Exile's plan and so will the Sith Empire. I don't mind this, personally, but I was hoping for something a bit better planned out than what we got in the book. It's hard to tell that Revan and the Exile were military geniuses, mostly because they act like typical PCs and their actions don't really require much thought.

    Speaking of the Sith Emperor, I was disappointed with him as well. We get the Sith Emperor's origins in this book and they pretty much amount to: "The Sith Emperor was the single baddest ************ ever born. He was an evil monster before he could crawl and he's the single nastiest guy you will ever face." Seriously, Damien Thorn has less of an apocolyptic origin. It's saved, somewhat, by the fact that it's told in the form of a legend and probably isn't completely true. Still, I was hoping for something slightly more original from Darth Bane's developer.

    The Sith, overall, are a big disappointment in these books. One of the things I liked about the Darth Bane trilogy is, while Dessel was a sociopath, you could understand his reasoning. He'd been kicked around from the day he was born and, one day, he decided to kick back. Here, the Sith are far more one-dimensional with Darth Scourge being someone who reminds me a bit of Darth Sion. He doesn't really have any motivations but power and is about as one-note evil as possible.

    He was so bad, I actually didn't buy his supposed revulsion at one of the Sith Emperor's experiments. The guy portrayed in this book would have enjoyed the power which came from destroying a world and ignored the consequences. Giv
  11. AlyxDinas Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 12, 2010
    star 4
    So, just because I made note of the mention of the Jedi Council by the Exile when meeting Bastila, I did some digging into TOR's codex. Here's what it had to say:

    "The secret manipulations of the Sith Triumvirate following the Jedi Civil War almost destroyed the Republic. With infrastructure crumbling and the Jedi Order nearly extinct--its Masters almost entirely slain, and its younger members slowly emerging from hiding--the future seemed bleak. But the Jedi Exile and the other heroes of the Jedi Civil War would not see the Republic fall.

    With renewed treaties and alliances, trade gradually began to flow and the Republic military regained its strength. Meanwhile, the Exile trained new Jedi recruits, forming a council of her companions who achieved mastery and welcoming others who came out of hiding. After years of slow but steady growth, the reborn Jedi Order made a triumphant return to its long-abandoned temple on Coruscant.

    But the Jedi Exile could not forget Darth Traya's final warning, suggesting that evil remained in the Unknown Regions. With the Jedi Order flourishing, the Exile left the known galaxy to follow her former commander Revan into darkness."
  12. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    Revan to Meetra: "I always knew you had great potential, but you have become far greater than I could ever have imagined."

    What this means: the TSL level cap is higher than the KOTOR level cap. :p
  13. Sock2008 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 15, 2008
    star 3
    This Codex article from SWTOR conflicts with Revan:

    The secret manipulations of the Sith Triumvirate following the Jedi Civil War almost destroyed the Republic. With infrastructure crumbling and the Jedi Order nearly extinct--its Masters almost entirely slain, and its younger members slowly emerging from hiding--the future seemed bleak. But the Jedi Exile and the other heroes of the Jedi Civil War would not see the Republic fall.

    With renewed treaties and alliances, trade gradually began to flow and the Republic military regained its strength. Meanwhile, the Exile trained new Jedi recruits, forming a council of her companions who achieved mastery and welcoming others who came out of hiding. After years of slow but steady growth, the reborn Jedi Order made a triumphant return to its long-abandoned temple on Coruscant.

    But the Jedi Exile could not forget Darth Traya's final warning, suggesting that evil remained in the Unknown Regions. With the Jedi Order flourishing, the Exile left the known galaxy to follow her former commander Revan into darkness.


    http://www.torhead.com/codex/4RxiYyS
  14. Charlemagne19 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2000
    star 7
    Damn, no wonder the Jedi in the MMORPG are so tough.

    They can be 50 to Revan's 20.
  15. Zorrixor Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 8, 2004
    star 6
    Just think what the next antagonist will be like when they do an expansion.

    If you thought the Sith Emperor was bad, imagine how powerful a Level 60 boss will be. :p
  16. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    Sounds to me like it more or less fits the book. [face_thinking]
  17. JediMatteus Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2008
    star 4
    i really enjoyed the book for the most part. I did not like bastilla, and i to did not like the exile's name here, but overall the novel was great. revan the character was enjoyable to read about and so was Scourge and the Emperor. I thought that the emperor was way overpowered though. They made him sound like he was more powerful than say a luke or palpatine. Kinda of like Abeloth. The characters were overpowered so much that it reminded me of marvel comics star wars. Just over the top, like Revan turning the Sith Lord chick to ash. cmon.

    7.5/10
  18. AlyxDinas Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 12, 2010
    star 4
    It's Karpyshan. He probably thought he was being subtle. [face_beatup]
  19. Zorrixor Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 8, 2004
    star 6
    Revan was just trying to copy Starkiller :p
  20. Manisphere Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2007
    star 5
    It's weird. Why do I feel like this book came out like, months ago?
    I was fine with the crazy high level of power the Emperor had. It seemed fitting for the game that he'd have godlike power and not just demigod like powers like Luke or Palps. He is like an Abeloth but then again he has no soul. Literally. He's a Zombie. Palpatine was way to self interested and self protective to try thought bombs and such.
  21. instantdeath Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 22, 2010
    star 5
    I've said it before, but I really didn't get the vibe that Vitiate was one the "god" level. He is portrayed as powerful, on par with Palpatine or Yoda, but definitely not unstoppable; Revan knocks him to the ground twice, and Meetra could have killed him.

    I really liked it, honestly. I'd much rather have a Palpatine-like enemy than an Abeloth-like one.
  22. Charlemagne19 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2000
    star 7
    Re: The Ghost issue

    I tend to think that Force Knowledge goes like Tech knowledge. The Republic goes through Dark ages of technology and history on a regular basis.

    Ditto the Jedi.

    In Vader's case, he might have assumed the Dark Woman was playing with his head using her weird illusion and Kitty Pryde powers.

    In Obi Wan's case, it's possible he realized the truth.

    RE: Obi Wan

    I think it'd be cool to discover Obi Wan never really "left" because he's immortal. He just left Luke because the Son of Skywalker had to be his own man.
  23. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    So now this be the official thread and far more known about the book:

    1. Haven't played KOTOR 1 or 2

    2. Not going to play TOR

    3. Am interested in finding out more about Revan

    Is it worth me reading this or will it all be just too confusing and unsatisfying, as it sets things up for TOR?
  24. Zorrixor Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 8, 2004
    star 6
    The best analogy I can think of, Ben, is if you imagine only watching ROTS.

    Is ROTS a good film on its own merits? That's the subjective question here, I think. Me, I'd like to think ROTS could be enjoyed on its own as a good sci-fi yarn, even if there's not the guarantee of a happily ever after once the credits roll, but obviously your mileage may vary.

    (I initially considered using ANH as analogy, since you don't see the empire beaten in that either, and if ESB had never happened, it wouldn't have stopped ANH still being a good film, but I think Revan is probably more like ROTS on account of the story being darker.)
  25. instantdeath Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 22, 2010
    star 5
    It explains thing adequately; that's about the best word I could use for it. Zor has a great example, with watching ROTS first. It might also be comparable to reading the NJO before reading any other Star Wars EU material. You'll get the story, but the references that make fans swoon will be lost on you. I, personally, just got a great feeling reading Revan, as KOTOR was my first, and remains one of my favorites, EU work.

    My verdict: pick it up as a digital copy or paperback (though amazon has hardcovers for very cheap). If you're going to read it, though, I highly suggest reading the wookieepedia pages for Revan and Meetra Surik (up to the events of the novel, of course). Malak might be worth a read too, since he's mentioned a few times, but I'm sure he's covered in Revan's article. And even though she's only mentioned like once, Kreia's worth a read because she is just one of the most interesting characters in all of Star Wars (in my opinion, of course). You can just read the novel, but having some background knowledge would make it better.

    It is worth noting, however, that about half of the book is dedicated to a character first introduced in this novel (though apparently he is big in TOR).