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Literature / Revan

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This page contains unmarked spoilers for Knights of the Old Republic.
Revan is a Star Wars Legends novel by Drew Karpyshyn, author of the Darth Bane series and senior writer on Knights of the Old Republic and Star Wars: The Old Republic, to which it serves as a Distant Prologue. It wraps up the story of Revan, player character of Knights of the Old Republic, and the Exile, player character of Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords. The story takes place 2-5 years after the end of Knights and three hundred years before Star Wars: The Old Republic.

This novel contains examples of:

  • Action Girl: Subverted with Bastila since she never gets the chance to fight alongside her husband again. She even makes clear that she feels useless doing nothing but wait for him. Played straight with the Jedi Exile Meetra Surik though.
  • Alpha Bitch: Though she only appears once in the story, Atris is in top form here.
  • And I Must Scream: Both Revan and the Exile's Force Ghost are trapped in this at the end, with Revan kept in stasis and the Exile bound to Revan, but they both find purpose in respectively fighting the Emperor's mind reading attempts and giving Revan strength to resist.
  • Amnesiac Dissonance: Upon receiving his mask, Revan remembers everything, including his time as a Sith. He handles it well enough that it's essentially a massive power-up though.
  • Armed with Canon: Drew Karpyshyn giving the Exile a name and giving Revan a child by Bastila (although The Old Republic had already pretty well confirmed the latter) and took a shot at Kreia (and her accompanying Deconstructor Fleet arguments) by having the Exile dismiss everything she ever said out of hand.
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  • Atrocious Alias: Revan's opinion on Avner, the name Canderous gives to the other Mandalorians. He turns out to be correct when it turns out everyone immediately figured it out.
  • Awesome by Analysis: Lord Scourge frequently considers every possible scenario before acting, and is quite good at it.
  • Ax-Crazy:
    • Lord Scourge is big on violence and hate, but it makes sense given that he's a Sith Lord.
    • Even though he never makes a physical appearance in the story, HK-47 is still confirmed to be very much a prime example of these tropes, to the point that neither Revan nor the Exile chooses to bring him along because of his psychotic tendencies possibly hampering the mission.
  • Awesome Moment of Crowning: "Mandalore has returned! I am Mandalore the Preserver, and I will restore the honor and glory of my people!" - As Canderous Ordo claims Mandalore's Mask.
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  • Badass Boast: "I am Revan reborn. And before me you are nothing."
  • Badass Normal: Canderous and Veela Ordo.
  • Balance Between Good and Evil: Revan's having experienced both the Light and Dark Sides gives him a very unique insight into the Force that makes it all the more easy for him to get on Scourge's good side by giving him little bits of his knowledge over the course of Scourge's many visits to his prison cell.
  • Bastard Bastard: Tenebrae/Vitiate. His mother was a farmer's wife, but his biological father was actually the local Sith Lord.
  • Battle Couple: Averted with Revan and Bastila, as she does not accompany him on his journey. Briefly played straight with Canderous and his wife Veela Ordo. Then that alliance turns sour when Veela discovers Revan's identity and Canderous and Revan have to kill her.
  • Because Destiny Says So: Despite Revan's warning to Scourge that Force Visions are only possible futures that are shaped by the actions of today, Scourge betrays Revan and the Exile as soon as he sees a vision of a different Jedi defeating the Emperor.
  • Bedmate Reveal: The novel opens with Revan waking up next to his wife who isn't identified. His wife is revealed to be Bastila two pages later.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The Exile and T3-M4 die, and Revan is imprisoned by the Sith Emperor, destined to never see his wife again and never getting to see his son period. On top of that, the Sith do wind up invading the Republic, and perhaps worst of all, the Sith Emperor remains a Karma Houdini. The only thing keeping the ending from being a Shoot the Shaggy Dog ending is the fact that while he fails to stop the Sith Emperor outright, Revan is able to keep the Sith invasion from happening for almost 300 years, sparing the galaxy from the wrath of the Sith Empire for years. This also has the added benefit of sparing his wife, son, and grandchildren from ever having to experience the Sith Empire's invasion in any of their lives.
    • Although that doesn't spare all of Revan's descendants, as his great-great-great-great-insert correct number of greats granddaughter Satele Shan and her son Theron have to fight first the Sith Empire then Revan himself. And apparently Revan's mind-link with Vitiate never once lets him know that he's also the all-powerful Emperor of a whole other empire that has the military capability to take on both of the established superpowers and win.
  • Black Eyes of Evil: The Emperor's eyes are completely black, and apparently were from birth.
  • Bodyguard Betrayal: Scourge's plan for the Emperor when the Jedi from his vision shows up.
  • Broken Pedestal: For those who are familiar with Bastila's general personality in the original Knights of the Old Republic game, her views on the Jedi Council here might come off as a bit of a surprise.
  • The Brute: Scourge is a giant of a man and mostly serves as muscle for Nyriss. He grows a bit wiser than most examples and ends the book by becoming The Dragon to the Emperor.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Some of Sechel's interactions with Lord Scourge have shades of this. No surprise, Scourge winds up killing Sechel, though its at least in part because he believed that Sechel had become a liability in his and Revan's plan to kill the Sith Emperor.
  • The Butcher: Revan is apparently called this by some Mandalorians now.
  • Catch and Return: Revan uses this against Darth Nyriss' Force Lightning. Unfortunately, the Emperor's Force Lightning is too powerful for Revan to catch.
  • The Chessmaster: Revan, Nyriss, and the Emperor all have shades of it.
    • Diabolical Mastermind: Again, Nyriss and the Emperor. Scourge also begins to get in on the act as time passes.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Bastila Shan becomes suspicious of Revan and the Exile's relationship, though she accepts that the Exile must search for him alone, while she looks after their son. The Exile later admits that she's slightly jealous of Revan and Bastila's relationship, but clarifies that she loves Revan like a father. This despite the fact that there is implied to be far less of an age difference between Revan and the Exile than between Revan and Bastila. Remember, the Exile was already a full Jedi Knight and Revan's Hyper-Competent Sidekick at the time of the Mandalorian Wars, while Bastila was, in her own words, "a young padawan".
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Revan is subjected to it after getting captured by Lord Scourge and Darth Nyriss but his tolerance for pain backed up by the Force allows him to resist it well. He later gets subjected to it again via imprisonment in a stasis pod where the Emperor feeds off of him. But both the support of the Jedi Exile's Force ghost and Revan's own determination to ensure that his wife and son never have to experience the return of the Sith sustains him
  • Cool Mask: Mandalore's Mask and Revan's Mask.
  • Dark Action Girl: Veela Ordo, Canderous' estranged wife and the leader of the Mandalorian clan the two encounter.
  • The Dark Side Will Make You Forget: Inverted. The light side made Revan forget, and his mask, the symbol most closely associated with his Sith self, made him remember.
  • Deader Than Dead: T3-M4, as the only character who could conceivably return from death/deactivation, is disintegrated by the Emperor.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Revan has his moments.
  • Delaying Action: Both Revan's initial attack on the Emperor, as well as his subtle hints through their shared mental link when he is kept in stasis delay the Sith Empire's attack on the Republic by almost 300 years.
  • The Determinator: Revan really, really, really, wants to stop whatever it is he's having visions about. And especially after learning more about the threat in question. Even after being imprisoned by the Sith Emperor at the end of the story his determination to keep the Emperor from launching an attack on Republic space for as long as possible keeps him going.
  • Distant Prologue: To The Old Republic.
  • The Dragon: Scourge is this first to Nyriss, then to the Emperor.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: T3-M4's final action is to blast the Sith Emperor himself with a flamethrower and save Revan's life. For a little utility droid, that took balls of pure steel.
  • Elite Mooks: The Imperial Guard are skilled enough at fighting to last at least a little while against Revan, Meetra Surik, and Lord Scourge. Also, when the Emperor learns of Darth Nyriss' betrayal, his Imperial Guard make swift work of her forces, even the Dark Force users.
  • Empty Piles of Clothing: The Exile may have pulled this, as her spirit survives, but not in the usual way of Star Wars. Her spirit binds itself to Revan, and helps keep him alive while the Emperor feeds on his power.
  • Enemy Civil War: The Dark Council. No surprise since they're all Sith Lords and betrayal is the name of the game for the Sith.
  • Enemy Mine: Scourge, Revan, and the Exile team up to face the Emperor.
  • Enfant Terrible: Vitiate was evil enough to personally kill his parents at age 6, had conquered his planet by killing the local Sith Lord (his biological father) by the age of 10, and at 13 was made a Sith Lord and declared legitimate ruler of his world by then-Dark Lord of the Sith Marka Ragnos.
  • Expy:
    • The Sith Emperor and his Imperial Guards are, as one could guess, this to Emperor Palpatine and his Royal Guards.
    • T3-M4 is, as always, a total Expy of R2-D2.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • The whole reason the Dark Council oppose the Sith Emperor is a mix of this trope and Pragmatic Villainy.
    • Also, when the Sith Emperor shows Lord Scourge what it's like in his head the experience is described as indescribably horrific. Keep in mind that this is a typically merciless, ruthless, and at times sadistic Sith Lord that we're talking about here.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Played straight with Revan, whose true name is never revealed (and possibly lost forever thanks to the Jedi), but averted for formerly nameless characters the Exile and the Sith Emperor (Meetra Surik and Tenebrae/Lord Vitiate). In the case of the Emperor, it is specifically stated that the Emperor stopped being Tenebrae/Lord Vitiate the moment he completed the ritual that killed Nathema, and is now only the Emperor.
  • Evil Counterpart: The Dark Council are this to the Jedi Council.
  • Evil Makes You Ugly: Scourge is momentarily taken aback when he sees a beautiful statue of Darth Nyriss and then sees she is now a shriveled and aged hag despite the statue depicting her only two decades younger. He mentally reminds himself of the cost the dark side has on one's body.
  • Evil vs. Evil: The Dark Council against the Sith Emperor as well as the various power struggles the Dark Council members have with one another.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Revan's adventure at the end of Act I is clearly not going to go well for him, seeing how he's still missing by KOTOR II.
  • The Good Chancellor: Revan's son winds up becoming a politician and, eventually, Supreme Chancellor.
  • Good Is Not Soft: Both Revan and Meetra Surik are very much Light Side, and are fighting to stop the Sith Emperor, but when or if they get attacked, neither one has any problem with using lethal force. Scourge even notes that the Exile was not afraid to kill, although she didn't enjoy it either. Revan winds up utterly destroying Darth Nyriss when he redirects her Force Lightning right back at her!
  • Greater-Scope Villain: The Sith Emperor was responsible for Revan and Malak's fall, and thus the events of the KOTOR games. He takes the Big Bad role for Star Wars: The Old Republic.
  • Guns Akimbo: Revan briefly wields dual blasters while hiding his identity as a Jedi.
  • Hero Killer:
    • Lord Scourge murders the Exile and puts Revan under the bus.
    • The Sith Emperor utterly destroys T3-M4.
  • Hero of Another Story: Invoked with the Hero of Tython in that seeing a vision of him/her killing the Sith Emperor prompts Lord Scourge to betray Revan and the Exile.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: T3-M4, Revan, and the Exile all sacrifice themselves in attempt to kill the Emperor, and the latter two fight him as best they can when they are trapped in an And I Must Scream situation by the Emperor. To their credit, their actions prevent the Sith's invasion of the galaxy for roughly 300 years.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Revan kills Darth Nyriss by redirecting her own Force Lightning right back at her.
  • Immortality Hurts: The price the Emperor and Scourge must pay for their immortality is a constant pain at first, then total numbness to all feeling.
  • In the Back: Scourge kills Meetra Surik with a lightsaber to the back.
  • Insufferable Genius: Sechel is a non-force sensitive Sith Pureblood who overcompensates immensely with his intelligence agent.
  • Invincible Villain: The Emperor. As a teenager he killed fifty Sith Lords at once, a feat more suited to a Dragon Ball Z villain than a Star Wars character, he can feed on an entire planet at once, and has all of the powers of KOTOR 2 Big Bad Darth Nihlus but at a greater level and without any weakness. Oh and he casually stuffs Exile into the fridge.
  • Irony: Revan tells Scourge he will "understand [his role] in time". He says this merely to gaslight Scourge into eventually helping him escape. Indeed, Scourge does understand his role by the end: the one to imprison Revan in an even lengthier sentence so that the true Emperor killer can rise.
  • Jerkass: Atris, Lord Scourge, and Sechel.
  • Karma Houdini: The Emperor and Lord Scourge both get away scott-free with all of their crimes. If the Hero of Tython does indeed end up killing the Sith Emperor, it is yet to happen for real.
  • Killed Off for Real: In order: Veela Ordo, Murtog, Sechel, Nyriss, T3-M4, and Meetra Surik
  • Lack of Empathy: Lord Scourge's initial reaction to The Reveal of what the Emperor did to an entire planet is about as callous as you can get. Then he actually experiences it in person. He very quickly concludes that Nyriss was right and that the Emperor is mad.
  • Laser Blade: It's Star Wars. Obviously.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: If you haven't played either of the original games, a large number of things are ruined for you, most notably and forefront being the fact that the first games PC is Revan.
  • Lima Syndrome: While not romantic, Lord Scourge becomes steadily obsessed with Revan as he continues to visit him in prison.
  • May–December Romance: Vaner Shan is 54 during the epilogue. While his wife's age isn't explicitly stated, it's implied to be significantly younger as Bastila initially considered her the age gap between them too big.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Both of the Emperor's names: Tenebrae is very similar to tenebrous, meaning shadowy or obscure, and Vitiate means to spoil or mar. Similarly, his home planet of Nathema is one letter away from Anathema, which means to set apart, as in set apart from the Force.
    • Revan's son is named Vaner, an anagram of Revan.
    • Canderous calls Revan "Avner" when among Clan Ordo; Revan is not impressed, and a few angry Mandalorians figure it out.
  • Midquel: Of sorts. The first half of the novel happens between the two Knights of the Old Republic games.
  • Muggle Born of Mages: Sechel is a rare Sith Pureblood who has no connection to the force. Scourge notes that most of these are put to death (and is borderline tempted to smite the guy himself when they first meet) and the ones who survive are mainly from influential families who can afford to put them out of sight.
  • Mythology Gag:
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Lord Scourge. Especially after getting a new title: the Emperor's Wrath. Xedrix lampshades this.
  • The Napoleon: Murtog is described as being short and stocky.
  • Neck Snap: Lord Scourge kills Sechel this way.
  • No Kill Like Overkill / Bad Boss: When Darth Nyriss' betrayal is exposed, the Emperor not only has his Imperial Guard eradicate her entire portion of the Empire, but then kills every single member of the Dark Council, even the ones who were still loyal to him.
  • Obviously Evil: The Emperor, Lord Scourge, and Darth Nyriss. Really, just the Sith in general.
  • Oh, Crap!: Sechel's response to seeing the recording of Scourge capturing Revan instantly tips off Meetra that he knows more then he's letting on during their meeting.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: The Emperor, and its why the Dark Council plots to have him killed.
  • Our Spirits Are Different / Our Souls Are Different / Our Ghosts Are Different: The Jedi Exile/Meetra Surik after becoming a Force Ghost.
  • Power of the Void: The Emperor, to an even greater extent than Darth Nihilus. When Nihilus feeds, he creates a Wound in the Force. When the Emperor feeds, he creates a complete Void in the Force, and takes away color and nearly all sound in the area.
  • Power Nullifier: No one can use The Force while on Nathema, or any other Void in the Force.
  • Physical God: The Emperor is among the most powerful Force users in history, if not the most powerful.
  • Plot Hole: Jedi Exile/Meetra Surik is a wound in the Force. In Knights of the Old Republic II a few characters remark upon how they feel her presence in the Force to be strange. This makes a plot hole in the novel since Surik could not go unrecognized as an aberration on Dromund Kaas by Force-Sensitive Sith.
  • Posthumous Character: Malak and Mandalore the Ultimate.
  • Pragmatic Villainy:
    • The Dark Council opposes the Emperor because his being an Omnicidal Maniac is not conducive to their dreams of galactic conquest.
    • Lord Scourge takes it even further than anyone on the Dark Council and makes it practically an art-form.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: The Mandalorians as always.
  • Sacrificial Lion: T3-M4 and the Exile, although it is at the end.
  • Scary Black Man: Murtog, Darth Nyriss' chief of security, is described as having very dark (red) skin.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!/Smug Snake: Sechel thinks he can boss around and insult Scourge just because he is a high ranking servant of Darth Nyriss. Scourge eventually kills him, of course.
  • Sealed Good in a Can: Revan at the end.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Tenebrae/Vitiate killed his father with the Force when the poor farmer reacted angrily to the fact that his wife had a child with a Sith Lord. Then he tortured his mother to death for dishonoring the family with her adultery.
  • Sense Loss Sadness: A few characters experience this while cut off from the Force on Nathema, and have to struggle not to throw up or go mad.
  • Sequel: Part one follows Revan after the events of the first game, Part two follows the Jedi Exile after the events of the second game.
  • Sex Slave: Meetra offers to buy Sechel's slave, feigning attraction to him (She really intends on setting him free). She's upset when Sechel responds he'll only let her rent him out for some...private services.
  • Shock and Awe:
    • The Sith Emperor can unleash some nasty Force lightning. Fitting considering who he's an Expy of.
    • Darth Nyriss, being a Sith Inquisitor, is also quite good at this, as she demonstrates in her fight against Lord Scourge and Meetra Surik. Then Revan wakes up and effortlessly redirects Nyriss' lightning and utterly destroys her with it.
  • Shoot the Dog: When Revan's true identity is outed by the Mandalorians he and Canderous were working with, they have to kill them all. Canderous even has to kill his own wife.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog / Senseless Sacrifice : Revan and Exile are betrayed by their alleged ally, suffer an And I Must Scream fate, and the Sith still invade and curb-stomp the Republic anyway.
    • However, their sacrifices do delay the Empire's advance for roughly 300 years and Revan's connection to the Emperor in stasis allows him to mentally influence the Emperor and help bring about the the Treaty of Coruscant, allowing new heroes to rise and successfully combat the Sith. Viewed in the long term, it becomes much more of a Bittersweet Ending.
  • Sleazy Politician: Averted with Revan's son, who proves to be, as his mother puts it: "exactly what the galaxy and the Republic needed" after all of the wars with the Sith.
  • Stuffed in the Fridge: Exile. Yep, they actually did this to a main hero and player character.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Scourge becomes this for Revan and Meetra.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Bastila is no longer a Tsundere towards Revan, and her Holier Than Thou attitude has been removed.
  • Torture Technician: Lord Scourge is stated as having shown a natural affinity for torture early on, and puts his skills to use on Revan after his capture. He is left with nothing but frustrations and dead-ends.
  • Undying Loyalty: T3-M4, Bastila, Canderous, HK-47, and the Exile all have this to Revan.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Once her treachery is outed and the Sith Emperor sends his Imperial Guard to kill her and all of her followers, Nyriss gets PISSED and becomes a raging hag who is hellbent on taking Lord Scourge and Meetra Surik with her. Of course, then Revan redirects her Force Lightning right back at her and turns into a pile of dust.
  • Villain Protagonist: A lot of the book focuses on Scourge, who is a willing servant of the Empire.
  • Voice of the Legion: The Sith Emperor's voice is described as echoing, as if the voices of many can be faintly heard within it. This effect is carried through in the audiobook. Scourge wonders briefly if all the souls the Emperor absorbed on Nathema to gain immortality are perhaps still alive in him, slowly powering his continued existence.
  • Wicked Witch: Darth Nyriss. She's even called a hag at one point in the novel.
  • Would Hit a Girl:
    • Lord Scourge kills a female Sith Acolyte working for Darth Xedrix with a disturbing amount of brutality and sadism and also murders the Jedi Exile.
    • Also Revan, seeing as how he was willing to and did kill female opponents, and Canderous, who wound up having to shoot and kill his own wife.
  • Yin-Yang Bomb: Revan.
    Instead of charging forward, he opened himself to the Force, letting both the light and dark side flow through him like twin rushing rivers.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Veela is described as having both red and purple highlights in her hair.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Lord Scourge kills Sechel after he gets him the evidence he needs to incriminate Nyriss because he believes him to be a liability by that point.


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