Science Fiction

Star Wars: The Old Republic: Revan

Author: Drew Karpyshyn

Published By:
The Ballentine Publishing Company

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                After reading the Star Wars: Darth Bane Trilogy, I wanted to know more about the Jedi and Sith that came before these books.  I decided to check out novels based on characters from the popular video game Star Wars: The Old Republic.  The first in this series - Star Wars: The Old Republic: Revan.

                For those who don't know anything about Revan's video game character, Revan was a Jedi with great strength in the Force.  Leading the Jedi against the Mandalorians in war like no other, Revan teeters very close to the Dark Side, using a weapon that wipes out much of the Mandalorian and Republic army alike and destroys the planet around which they were fighting.  His actions cause friend and Jedi Meetra Surik to cut herself off from the Force and the Jedi Council to banish her from their ranks.  At some point, Revan and his apprentice Malak travel to the Unknown Regions and return as Sith, attempting to destroy the Republic.  He was turned back from the dark path, but in doing so, the Jedi Council wiped out Revan's memories.

                As we come upon Revan in this novel, he is married to another Jedi named Bastila.  Though theoretically accepted back into the Jedi fold, Revan realizes he really doesn't belong among them and mostly concentrates on his family.  But dreams of a dark world constantly battered by storms haunt Revan and he begins to realize that these are not just dreams, but possibly returning memories.  Obsessed with learning what he has lost and what warning these dreams might possess, he sets off on a journey to retrace some of his steps, but will finding this storm-ravaged planet be the key to successfully unlocking his hidden memories or will it bring about his doom and the destruction of the Republic?

                There are very few authors in the Star Wars universe that can make you like a Sith and want to see that Sith succeed.  Drew Karpyshyn is one of those authors.  We are introduced to a Sith who will become very important in The Old Republic gaming series, Lord Scourge, and, somehow, I began to like this character.  Despite his arrogance and the fact that he was a Sith, somehow I found myself wanting Scourge to succeed.  I even thought Revan might be able to turn Scourge, especially when Scourge began to wonder about the power of the Jedi and the light side of the Force.  He definitely made for an interesting character, as did Revan.  Both characters are very conflicted and both are seeking answers.  It's the way they go after those answers that make them very different from one another.

                I enjoyed the game of wills played between Scourge and other members of the Sith Order.  After years of dealing with the Rule of Two, one forgets just how conniving the Sith of old could be, constantly plotting one another's demise in their rise for power.  Scourge finds himself between a rock and a hard place, trying to do right by one Sith faction without drawing unwanted attention from another, all the while being undermined by lower members of the Sith caste.

                My only wish is that we could have learned more about Bastila Shan and Meetra Surik.  Though the author took time to make us understand the characters' connection to Revan, their parts in this novel are way too short for my taste.  After some research, I realize that these individuals have more of a presence in The Old Republic video game and its numerous spin-offs, but I would like to see more written about them since I have no desire to play the games.

                Those who may be looking for a happy ending in this novel might be shocked by the ending, but I liked it just fine.  Things were left open to be continued in the gaming world, but the ending was not exactly one that a Star Wars novel fan might expect.  There is no happily ever after here...just a hint of both evil and good things to come.  I can't wait to see what the rest of The Old Republic novels have to offer.  Star Wars: The Old Republic: Revan was a fast-paced and interesting read filled with action, adventure and dark revelations that a Star Wars fan definitely is not going to want to miss.


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