The Old Republic: Revan
A storm is coming. And there is no escape.
Revan: hero, traitor, conqueror, villain, savior. A Jedi who left the planet of Coruscant to defeat Mandaloriansóand 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 thatís left are nightmaresóand deep, abiding fear.
What exactly happened beyond the Outer Rim? Revan canít quite remember, yet canít 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 heís never faced a more powerful and diabolic enemy. But only death can stop him from trying.
I hate to admit it, but I have not played Knights of the Old Republic, the incredibly popular Star Wars video game of which The Old Republic: Revan is the first direct literary sequel. Iím aware that it is considered to be one of the greatest Star Wars games ever made and that, coupled with its sequel, spin-off comic, and the upcoming MMORPG it is one of the most influential works in the Expanded Universe. Hopefully Iíll get around to it before it gets too old to play. (Is it too late for Dark Forces?)
Perhaps this is why I found some of the main characters in Revan to be a little inaccessible. Revan himself, a former Jedi Knight, lost his memory before the first game began. This left him with a changed personality. Years later, he has settled down and gotten married. His peaceful retirement is interrupted when he begins to have dark visions of a dark and stormy world, from a time before his memory was lost. He leaves his family behind to investigate the mystery, which may threaten all he holds dear.
The unfortunate thing is that the Revan of this book still remains a bit of a blank slate. We know heís changed since his memory was lost, but this Revan remains frustratingly undefined. He doesnít really have many personality traits beyond a love for his family. We hear a lot about the old Revan, but we donít learn much about the new.
Revanís colleague, the Jedi Exile, is similarly underdeveloped. She shows up late in the novel, and there isnít much time to explore her character before the novel heads towards its climax. Itís possible that these characters suffer a little from having been completely customizable player characters in the games.
One character that does stand out is the Sith Lord Scourge, who is inducted into a treasonous conspiracy to kill the Sith Emperor. His struggle to unravel the Sith plots surrounding him, and the way in which he changes after coming into contact with Revan make for interesting reading. Iím a little surprised that he appears so early on in the book; his storyline reveals the exact nature of the threat that Revan is working so hard to uncover...
Those invested in the Knights of the Old Republic games and the Old Republic MMORPG will find this book interesting, as the identity of the Sith Emperor and the Jedi Exile are finally revealed here. Although I'm not a gamer, I've become a fan of the Old Republic storyline, and enjoyed this addition. Revanís quest to investigate and eliminate the seemingly immortal Sith Emperor is full of adventure, danger, and revelations. Itís somewhat bittersweet in that all of the main characters have to make some kind of sacrifice before the end of the book, which is something Iím not used to in a Star Wars novel.
The unfolding of the Old Republic storyline continues to be one of the most interesting parts of the EU to follow for meóand this is coming from a non-gamer. Revan is a key part of that storyline, and it deserves a read.