When I was a younger lad, I spent dozens of hours playing Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. I had a serious problem back then, and I created more characters than was healthy, and I never actually finished the game. In fact, I never got around to completing it until a few years ago. I was stunned, to say the least, and in awe of how amazing the game was and is. That said, I still haven’t got around to playing the second installment. Thus, I won’t have some of the complaints I’ve seen from other people about the way Revan ruins the story and characters of Knights of the Old Republic II.
My main complaint about Revan is Karpyshyn’s prose. It’s just not that great. It is definitely serviceable, but that is about it. It is very obvious, especially in the last 100 or so pages of the novel, that Karpyshyn was rushing to complete this story. There are very few descriptions of things, and characters jump from scene to scene in a whirlwind of events that lack any real impact or memorability. Likewise, the dialogue fulfills its purpose but leaves a lot to be desired. Often awkwardly direct and stilted, none of the characters interact like actual living entities.
The first portion of Revan that deals with Revan and Canderous seeking the Mask of Mandalore is very good. The quest is interesting and exciting, and there is a lot of cool and memorable lore about the Mandalorians. The interactions between Revan and Canderous are actually realistic and often humorous. This section of the novel has that quintessential Star Wars feel to it. I also enjoyed the chapters about Scourge, dealing with his feelings about the Force and the complex political schemes of the Sith. I was very excited for the eventual collision of Revan and Scourge, and was intrigued as to how that would play out and what exactly would occur. But Karpyshyn’s execution is mediocre at best. The novel takes a severe nosedive as soon as Revan is captured and imprisoned. The final battle with the Emperor was incredibly anticlimactic, and Scourge’s last-second betrayal felt rushed and awkward and… well… just bad.
I was also disappointed in the way that Karpyshn treats his characters. Revan is a very interesting individual that walks a razor-sharp balance between the light and the dark. He utilizes both sides of the Force. Karpyshyn also writes him like he is a complete moron. Meetra and Bastila might as well not even exist as characters, but instead simple plot devices. Neither of them have much of a personality, and Bastila is done a huge disservice as Karpyshyn turns her into a baby factory.
Overall, Revan is an okay entry into the Star Wars extended universe. It has a lot of issues and is frustrating in many ways but, at the end of the day, it is Star Wars and I can’t help but enjoy almost anything that brings me into that galaxy.