Before the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Kylo Ren was a mysterious new villain who reminded many Star Wars fans of the Expanded Universe (now Legends) character from Knights of the Old Republic: Darth Revan. As it turns out, that resemblance may not have been accidental, and the inspiration could play a factor in Star Wars 9.
After the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens the Kylo Ren comparison immediately shifted to another EU/Legends character, Jacen Solo. The now non-canon son of Han Solo and Princess Leia Organa likewise fell to the dark side, but the small similarity in their story shouldn’t cause fans to dismiss the Revan inspiration entirely.
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As fans hunt for clues of what to expect in Star Wars 9, they would be smart to look back to Revan, who doesn’t only look an awful lot like Kylo Ren visually and plays with a number of similar themes, but the legend of Revan could have actually been a pivotal influence in Ben Solo’s ultimate turn to the dark side.
Who Was Revan?
Reven is one of the most popular characters from Star Wars Legends, formerly the Expanded Universe. While he hasn’t been outright confirmed in new canon, a number of elements closely related to Revan’s Legends story have been slowly reincorporated into canon, establishing the groundwork needed to bring Revan back with a slightly different story, similar to the use of Grand Admiral Thrawn in new canon.
Revan has a long and complicated backstory, not helped by the fact that much of it is tied up in the branching story of the game, Knights of the Old Republic. Born thousands of years before the events of the Star Wars saga, Revan was a Jedi who went against the will of the Jedi Council to lead the Old Republic’s armies in the Mandalorian Wars. He would become a war hero for his efforts, but his ends-justify-the-means approach led him to became a ruthless tactician, and he embraced the dark side in the process.
After the war, Revan and his apprentice, Malek, disappeared into the Unknown Regions, where they discovered a hidden Sith Empire run by the Sith Empire Vitiate. Vitiate corrupted their minds and they both became Sith Lords, tasked with finding an ancient Rakatan shipyard, the Star Forge, capable of producing an unstoppable fleet. When they found it, instead of returning to Vitiate, the returned to the known galaxy at the head of their own Sith Empire. Darth Revan and Darth Malek led their forces against the Jedi and the Republic in what was known as the Jedi Civil War with the intent of unifying the galaxy under their control so they could take on the Sith Empire in the Unknown Regions led by Emperor Vitiate.
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Revan and Malek led a violent campaign, but the Jedi eventually subdued Revan, defeating him in battle and wiping his memory, placing him on a Republic ship as a soldier, only for him to find his way back to them with the Jedi Bastilla seeking training. They allowed him to train as a Jedi and he eventually regained his memories, chose to reject the dark side, and took down his former apprentice, Darth Malek before marrying Bastilla, and settling into obscurity. While Knights of the Old Republic players could choose any variety of story paths, the light side ending (as just described) is treated as canon by other Star Wars Legends material.
Revan would eventually seek out the Sith Emperor Vitiate, only to be captured and tormented until his mind fractured into a dark half and a light half. He eventually escaped and fled to another ancient Rakatan facility, The Foundry, intent on creating a droid army to destroy the Emperor. He was defeated at the Foundry, and surrendered himself to the Force, but while his light half joined the Force, his dark half held on to his physical form, defying death until he finally defeated Vitiate. Eventually, his light half was able to convince his dark half to become whole again, and Revan finally truly died and became one with the Force.
Page 2: Kylo Ren Would Have Known About Revan
Key Release Dates
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019
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