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In the games "Knights of the Old Republic" 1 & 2, it was established that Darth Revan turned to the Dark Side and attempted to take over the Republic in response to his discovery of some distant evil. His attempts to conquer the Old Republic was born from a desire to present a united galaxy against this unknown evil. During the events of the first game, we learn that

Revan's original plan was interrupted when the Jedi captured & mind-wiped him, thus turning him into the protagonist of the game.

Afterwards, Revan leaves the known galaxy in order to prepare for this inevitable confrontation, but is not heard from again despite several mentions in KotOR 2: Sith Lords.

In the MMORPG "The Old Republic", the recent expansion "Shadow of Revan" showcases

the return of Revan, now a being split into two halves (Light & Dark). It also reveals that the "great evil" he sought to protect the galaxy from is the Force essence of an ancient Sith Emperor.

The latter felt rather shoe-horned in, and many fans feel that it doesn't fit with the clues from the first and second KotOR games. Was this the plan all along, or did the nature of the threat change in-between KotOR and TOR?

As always with questions of this nature, an answer like "We don't know, they never explained that." is perfectly acceptable.

  • Maybe the now abolished new jedi order villains? – user16696 Mar 11 '15 at 18:52
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This is hard to say based on the Knights of the Old Republic games alone; those games had a lot of speculation about Revan's intentions, but not very many verifiable facts.

The 2011 novel The Old Republic: Revan1, which is technically a pre-TOR work and shows Revan's travels directly, clears up a lot of this speculation.

In particular, it validates a theory put forward by Kreia, one of Revan's more influential teachers, in KotOR II:

"The Sith is a belief. And its empire, the true Sith Empire, rules elsewhere. And Revan knew the true war is not against the Republic. It waits for us, beyond the Outer Rim. And he has gone to fight it, in his own way."

So the "distant threat" is, in general, this shadowy Sith Empire that wants to attack the Republic.

More specifically, though, Revan introduces us to the character of Lord Vitiate, a very powerful and very evil Sith Emperor. At one point in the novel, another character describes a ritual that Vitiate performed on the planet Nathema:

"Every man, woman, and child on Nathema died that day. Every beast, bird, and fish; all the insects and plants; every living being touched by the Force was consumed. When the ritual ended, Nathema was no longer a world. It was a husk sucked dry. Lord Vitiate sacrificed millions, stealing their life force to make himself immortal."

Ultimately, Vitiate himself is the specific "distant evil" that Revan is trying to fight.

In fact, Vitiate's spirit is a major player in Shadows of Revan. I believe this is the "Force Essence" described in the question, although I can't be certain.

It's unclear to what extent this development was planned in advance. Revan was released in 2011, three years before Shadow of Revan and only a years before Drew Karpyshyn (author of Revan and writer on SWTOR) left BioWare, which suggests that it was probably not known when the novel was released (except possibly in broad strokes), and definitely not as far back as the original KotOR games.


1 Which I do not own and have not read, so no quotes from it except those that are on Wookieepedia.

  • Are you sure that he is the main antanogist in shadows of revan? When I read through the description of that games content a while back it sounded like he doesn't play any direct role there. And TOR itself introduces this sith lord as the sith emperor if I'm not mistaken – Thomas Mar 12 '15 at 21:56
  • @Thomas On closer reading, it is somewhat unclear; I've edited to be a little more general – Jason Baker Mar 12 '15 at 23:40

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