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Columns: Lore Outside the Game

By Michael Bitton on May 25, 2011

Lore Outside the Game

BioWare often puts out a good deal of extra lore for players to dive deep into on the run-up to a new game’s release and Star Wars: The Old Republic is no different. So far we have two novels, with a third one on the way, official site lore, timelines, webcomics, etc. There’s definitely a lot to sift through and a great deal of information to be gleaned on The Old Republic’s backstory before players get to play the full game themselves.


I’m especially looking forward to the new Revan novel coming this November by The Old Republic Senior Writer Drew Karpyshyn, though Karpyshyn’s rendition of Revan may irk some who played him like the ultimate badass:

“To put it bluntly, Revan in the book will not be the uber-powered death machine you controlled at the end of the video game. You might have min-maxed your character to smack Darth Malak down in seconds without breaking a sweat, but in a book that battle would have been a brutal, hard fought affair spread over multiple pages. In a video game it's fun to kill hundreds of Sith Masters, but in a book that would just be boring. It would suck out any drama or conflict or tension, and as an author I have no interest in writing that.

Now, I suspect some of you are already getting worked up about how Im ruining SW canon by nerfing the Revan from the game. Well, tough. The game was a game the powers and abilities you had in it were ways to make the game fun. They were representative of Revans power level versus enemies faced in the game, but they weren't a blueprint of his abilities in the persistent fiction of the Star Wars universe.

That doesn't mean Im going to ignore Revans accomplishments as detailed in the game. The high level events and history are canon. Revan did defeat Mandalore and Darth Malak. He was an incredibly powerful Jedi. But a powerful Jedi in story terms (films, TV, books) is very different from a powerful Jedi in game terms.”

Karpyshyn’s previous work has been a bit controversial with fans, but I’m looking forward to the novel nonetheless. I don’t know how well Deceived has sold but I imagine Revan will definitely do a lot better. It’s hard to make the case for someone to really care about the backstory of The Old Republic villain Darth Malgus as he, at least at first glance, bears way too strong a resemblance to Darth Vader. On the other hand, KOTOR fans and TOR fans alike are probably quite interested to find out what happened with the Revan, especially since KOTOR II didn’t provide fans with the closure they so badly wanted. Of course, Revan (or more particularly, his story) and the “Revanites” will play a role in The Old Republic itself and so even if you’ve never played the KOTOR games there’s a good reason to check the novel out when it hits shelves later this year.

The novels are all good and dandy but I almost prefer the webcomics and timeline videos right now. They’re much easier to digest given their nature and the rate they’re released to the public, but they provide almost as much if not as much context as probably any novel would. It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from good ol’ Lance Henriksen and I’m itching to find out what’s next.

So tell us then (and please avoid spoilers!), have you read the novels? If so, what do you think of them so far?

If you’ve not read the novels, do you follow the aforementioned lore bits? Or do you groan every time a Friday Update includes a new timeline video, webcomic, or preview of the latest novel?

Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Michael Bitton / Michael began his career at the WarCry Network in 2005 as the site manager for several different WarCry fansite portals. In 2008, Michael worked for the startup magazine Massive Gamer as a columnist and online news editor. In June of 2009, Michael joined as the site's Community Manager.