Star Wars is known for iconic characters that stand the test of time. These characters have a cultural impact that go well beyond their original appearances, leading many fans to seek out any possible information on their favorite characters. Star Wars: The Old Republic is continuing this trend by supplying information about BioWare's classic character Darth Revan from Knights of the Old Republic. In preparation for learning the end of Revan's story, we decided it might be a good idea to take a look at his beginning.
Kreia, who claimed to be the legend's first teacher, once said, "Revan was power. It was like staring into the heart of the Force." Even as a young boy, the Jedi Council saw Revan as a future champion for the Jedi Order. He found his first teacher's tutelage underwhelming and left her to seek the knowledge of other masters of the Force. His desire for knowledge moved him to seek every last granule of information he could obtain. Vrook Lamar, a member of the Jedi Council, later noted that he suspected Revan even sought information about ancient Sith magic. This thirst for knowledge would end up being a curse for the young Jedi and his childhood friend, Alek.
All of the knowledge that Revan obtained during his years as a Padawan would later lead him into the bloodiest war of the Republic's history. When the Jedi Council refused to lend its aid to the Republic to fight off the invading Mandalorian armies, Revan fought to convince the Council that they were being foolhardy by ignoring the imminent threat. His charisma gained him plenty of support amongst the lower ranks of the Jedi Order, but the Council refused to heed his warnings.
Seeing that the Council would never grant him permission, Revan finally gathered Alek and the rest of his followers and set out for the Outer Rim seeking information that he could use to convince the rest of the Jedi that they should take the necessary steps to stop the Mandalorians from continuing their march into the Mid Rim. He made several stops along the way in an effort to draw further Jedi support to his cause. As his cadre grew, they became known as the Revanchists and the galaxy saw them as the Jedi's crusaders. They investigated events on Suurja, Onderon, Dxun, and eventually Cathar where Revan, Alek and the others sought proof that the Mandalorians had committed genocide against the Cathar people.
While the Revanchists investigated the Outer Rim, the Jedi Council came to an agreement. They decided that the actions of Revan and his followers were in contention with the Jedi way and could become a detriment to the future of the Republic. A group of Jedi led by Master Vrook Lamar confronted Revan on Cathar and ordered the Jedi crusaders to turn their backs on the Outer Rim. After Revan pleaded his case and saw that Vrook would not be swayed, something caught the rebellious leader's eye. It was a Mandalorian mask left by one of the planet's invaders. Suddenly all Jedi in attendance experienced a vision of the mask's owner standing up to Cassus Fett, pleading that he not destroy an entire race. As the Jedi watched on, they witnessed the fate of the female Mandalorian, who stood with the Cathar after they were all gathered together and cut down by Cassus's mighty warships.
The vision of the female Mandalorian's death struck a chord in Revan, and he slipped her mask over his face and swore that he would not remove it until every last Mandalorian paid for their crimes against the galaxy. He rallied his followers under the banner of the Republic Mercy Corps and began to strike back against the Mandalorians. The Jedi Council still refused to lend the support of the entire Jedi Order, but they realized that the atrocious actions of the Mandalorians at Cathar could not continue and allowed the Revanchists to aid the Republic. Revan and Alek (now calling himself Malak) continued to recruit Jedi Knights to their cause and eventually became generals in the Republic military with complete control over one third of the fleet.
The following years saw the Mandalorians steadily pushed back. Knowledge is power, and Revan garnered a significant helping of both. As he and Malak continued to liberate system after system, The Jedi Council developed concerns over the power that the two Jedi gained and the way they chose to wield that power. Their concerns were affirmed at Malachor V, where the final battle of the Mandalorian Wars was fought and Revan's dark side was revealed.
The masked warrior hatched a plan to end the Mandalorian threat with one swift stroke. Ignoring his plan's close similarity to the Cathar genocide that had launched him on his crusade, Revan plotted secretly to draw as many Mandalorians as possible within range of Malachor V's Mass Shadow Generator while he alone confronted Mandalore the Ultimate in a one-on-one battle to the death. To ensure his plan's success, he kept it a secret from all parties involved except for one of his most trusted followers who would personally set off the generator's destructive power. The plan would also have a favorable side effect: the Jedi and Republic forces that were not singularly loyal to Revan and his cause were the ones used to draw the enemy into the trap and would be lost in resulting mass shadow.
Outside of the generator's area of effect, Revan was victorious in his battle with Madalore and signaled to the young female Jedi in charge of the Mass Shadow Generator to activate the weapon. The resulting vortex pulled ships from both sides of the conflict to the planet's surface with such force that they were reduced to wreckage. The planet itself died in the event, breaking apart into sections held together only by the system's gravitational anomalies. Despite massive losses, the Republic saw Revan as a hero and the Mandalorians were sent into exile.
Then Revan disappeared. He gathered his fleet and his loyal followers and set out for deep space in search of any remaining Mandalorians that might be a threat to the galaxy. Rumors also point to Revan having a secret agenda: he desired further information on the Sith and their teachings, which had fascinated him in his younger years. Earlier in the war, when Revan first arrived on Malachor V, he discovered an ancient Sith temple where he found evidence supporting the myth that the "true" Sith still existed in the galaxy. This evidence was corroborated when he and Malak discovered Dromund Kaas and its revived Sith Empire.
To succeed in his ambitions, the great Sith Emperor needed power. The potential for that power stood before him in Revan and Malak, so he sent them to pave the way for a full Sith invasion. The destiny that previously led Revan to Kashyyyk, where he first discovered the existence of one of the fabled Rakatan Star Maps during the Mandalorian Wars, came into play once again. The Emperor sent his new recruits back to the known galaxy in search of these maps, which would lead them to the ancient Star Forge. This automated station was designed to create the most powerful star fleet the galaxy had ever seen.
As the two fallen Jedi discovered rest of the ancient maps on Dantooine, Korriban, Manaan and Tatooine, they became more and more ambitious. Upon finding all of the Star Maps, Revan took control of the Star Forge, used it to construct a massive armada and declared himself the new Dark Lord of the Sith. With their newly expanded fleet, Revan and his dark apprentice Malak returned to the galaxy to conquer it for themselves, rather than for the Emperor hiding on Dromund Kaas.
The former Jedi Knights that had followed Revan into battle during the Mandalorian Wars were still loyal to him. Under the banner of a new Sith Empire and with the Star Forge as his base of operations, Revan started the Jedi Civil War, using his Revanchists to strike out against the Jedi. Camps on Sith-occupied worlds such as Korriban were used to break captured Jedi and turn them to the Dark Side. Revan also sent Hunter Killer droids to dispose of his enemies and collapse the Republic military's structure. Revan's army flooded the Republic and brought it to its knees, until one fateful day when Revan's world was turned inside out.
Malak began to regard Revan as soft, and felt that his own power had grown greater than his master's. During a battle in which the Republic risked everything by sending its greatest asset, Jedi Bastila Shan, to board Revan's flagship, Malak ordered his own ship to fire upon that of his Master. The assault was devastating for Revan's ship, but the Sith Lord survived and Bastila Shan herself extracted his comatose body from the dying ship.
Bastila used the Force to keep Revan alive until they reached the Jedi Council, who decided to use Revan to discover the secret behind his mysterious fleet. They nursed him back to health, but reprogrammed his mind to keep his own identity from him. Over the years that followed, the Jedi Council retrained Revan as one of their own. A Force bond was formed between Bastila and Revan, and they began to share visions of the Star Maps that he and Malak had discovered before he lost his memory. The Council decided that the Star Forge was a threat in the hands of Malak and sent Revan and Bastila in the Ebon Hawk on a mission to find the Star Forge and defeat Malak once and for all.
During their quest, Revan's visions became more intense, and a relationship blossomed between the two Jedi Knights. After locating several of the maps, Revan and his crew were taken prisoner aboard the Sith ship Leviathan over the planet Lehon. It was aboard this ship that Revan and Malak first crossed lightsabers and the apprentice revealed his former master's true identity to him. The battle was fierce, and Bastila allowed herself to be captured so that Revan and the rest of the crew could escape to finish their mission and discover the location of the Star Forge.
This was not the last time the two former friends would face each other. In the weeks that followed their first confrontation, Malak used Sith torture to turn Bastila to the Dark Side and sent her to confront Revan on Rakata Prime and coerce him to rejoin the Sith effort. The Light Side prevailed, however, and Revan succeeded in finally turning away from his dark past. He followed Bastila to the Star Forge, where he squared off against and finally defeated his old apprentice. With the Star Forge destroyed and his name redeemed, Revan once again left for deep space - only this time, he did so in the name of the Republic and not for his own glory.
It is uncertain when Revan initially made the decision to join the Dark Side. Some suggest that it was at Malachore V, where he killed so many with the Mass Shadow Generator. It is far more likely that it was a gradual descent beginning with his early thirst for knowledge and the constant frustration he experienced watching the Jedi Council stand idly by while Republic forces were being decimated by the Mandalorians. There is no question, however, that the point of his redemption was at Rakata Prime when he denounced the Dark Side and defeated the greatest evil the Galaxy has ever seen...so far.