How Lucasfilm And Star Wars Might Give Fans The Canon Revan They Crave
Oh, so you’re a Star Wars fan? Then who is Darth Revan? This, sadly, has become the clarion call of a certain kind of Star Wars fan that’s not a lot of fun to be around. Still, the character of Revan is an interesting one. Formerly a Jedi, Revan was turned to the Dark Side and became a Sith Lord. The Jedi defeated him and cut him off from the Force. This is when the video game Revan starred in, The Knights of the Old Republic, begins. Then players uncover Revan’s story and decide whether he or she follows the path of Light or Dark. It’s this aspect of the Revan character that makes me skeptical that we’ll get a canon Star Wars story featuring Revan. To so many of Revan’s biggest fans, that character is very specific to how they individually played the game.
However, while talking to another Star Wars fan who also really loves this character, I realized something. No Star Wars book or comic in Legends ever fully told the story of Revan’s origin. It’s been hinted at, and we know the broad strokes from the game and other stories. So, if we do get a canon Revan Star Wars story, it will be one that takes place before any Revan story we’ve gotten so far. The other thing that makes me think this is a real possibility for a future Star Wars story is that the other side of the Revan origin story is full of Mandalorians.
The Canon Revan Story We Might Get to See In Star Wars
Image via BioWare
The original Star Wars expanded universe was a truly massive endeavor. Storytellers wove tales throughout thousands of years of Star Wars history, in countless locations across the galaxy, and featuring dozens and dozens of characters. None of the stories told before the Mandalorian Wars are about Revan and his right-hand man Malak. Instead, those characters often pass through the story. Essentially, these are Easter Eggs for KOTOR fans, but when taken in aggregate they do give a broad shape to the story of these wars. The good thing is, none of that really matters to the modern Star Wars canon or any Revan story they want to tell.
They are never going to deliver a Revan that will satisfy all of the character’s fans. Yet, what might help their odds is telling a Revan story that no one actually knows yet. And, since the Mandalorian canon lore is much different than what it was in the old EU, there is the license by which Lucasfilm can change the story that fans already know. Since we’d be meeting Revan before his (or her) fall, the character would be effectively a blank slate. It would also place this story firmly before all the character-identifying decisions individual players made in the game. By the time they would get to the familiar story (and there is no reason they couldn’t), the fanbase of canon Revan would likely be on solid enough ground that they could start taking risks.
Maybe the Best Idea Is to Avoid the Character Entirely
Image via BioWare
So far, the Lucasfilm strategy towards Revan has been non-committal. The in-canon references to the character are both vague and reference only his Sith status. Honestly, this is a good way to play it. It acknowledges that the character (or a version of him or her) existed in the canon universe. But by not defining it, people’s preferred Revan still lives unmarred in their imaginations. Star Wars is all about redemption for those who seek it. And there is no more complete redemption story than Revan’s, at least the one who falls to the Dark Side and then becomes a Jedi once again. So, it makes sense that Lucasfilm would want to tell that story from beginning to end and the Old Republic is an era rife with possibility. (All due respect to the equally cool High Republic era.)
Nonetheless, the actually smart play here might be to take the very base foundation of the Revan story and build a wholly new story and character around it. If we’ve learned anything about the modern era of Star Wars is that reviving stories and characters from the past is not the slam-dunk some thought it would be. If Star Wars is to go on past this current generation of fans, they need to start telling new, exciting, and surprising stories that don’t suffer from the impossible expectations that come with using legacy characters. The themes at play in Revan’s story, the same as those in the saga films, are as relevant as ever. That’s why bogging down the story with the expectations of hundreds of thousands of Revan fans might be a losing proposition.
Still, if they do give us Revan, I’d bet a set of Calo Nord’s Battle Armor that the story we get is his origin. It’s the one we’ve not yet been told, and it’s the best way to give the character a clean slate that will both satisfy old fans and be accessible to new ones.
Catch up with other Star Wars legacy character on The Bad Batch, currently streaming on Disney+
What do you think? Will Lucasfilm ever bring Revan into Star Wars canon? Should they? Share your thoughts, theories, and favorite HK-47 lines in the comments below.
Featured image via Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes
Joshua M. Patton is a father, veteran, and writer living in Pittsburgh, PA. The first books he read on his own were comics, and he's loved the medium ever since. He is the greatest star-pilot in the galaxy, a cunning warrior, and a good friend. His book "What I Learned: Stories, Essays, and More" is available in print from Amazon and from all electronic booksellers.