Titan Books, h/b, £17.99
Reviewed by Craig Knight
Set nearly 4,000 years before the events of Star Wars: A New Hope, Star Wars: Revan describes the fate of the eponymous Sith Lord turned Jedi. Players of Bioware’s Knights of the Old Republic computer games will be familiar with the character of Revan and this book bridges the gap between the events of those games and the new online role-playing game Star Wars: The Old Republic.
As something of a Star Wars fanboy and a recent addict to the aforementioned online game, I was eager to read this book and on the whole I wasn’t disappointed. Karpyshyn is a veteran of the Star Wars universe having penned several novels before this and his familiarity is evident in this book. The setting is spot on and the Star Wars atmosphere hits you as soon as you begin reading.
Fans of the character of Revan may be a little disappointed, however. As the book is entitled Revan, I expected this to be a detailed description of his fate but Karpyshyn concentrates more on the amusingly named Sith Lord Scourge. Don’t get me wrong, Scourge is a great character, fascinating and well written, but the amount of story time given to him effectively relegates Revan to second place. This has the unfortunate effect of making Revan’s character a little flat. Bioware went to great lengths in the games to create a huge backstory for Revan and to see it barely used was disappointing. Even Revan’s wife, Bastilla, such a huge part of Revan’s life, is cast aside with only a couple of cameo appearances.
Karpyshyn redeems himself somewhat by creating an Emperor just as dark and wickedly evil as Palpatine ever was – this is one person you really don’t want to annoy. The ending is thrilling and there’s also an interesting twist that I didn’t see coming.
Karpyshyn no doubt had some very strict parameters to work within, setting up the scene for The Old Republic, and he mostly succeeds. Although Revan himself is underused, the story is a worthy addition to the Star Wars universe and is one of those books that you want to keep picking up until it’s finished.