Star Wars the Old Republic

With the release of the game coming up in a few days I figured that I would try and see if there were any books that would at least sort of explain the universe. I did some searching on amazon and I have no idea what I am even looking at. I see that there are old republic books but I don’t even know if they are even related. So has anyone read any of the Old republic books and if so do any of them relate to the game world at all or is it a lost cause?

I’ve recently read Revan, about the character from the Knights of the old Republic game and it seems my previous opinion about (any) Star Wars novels remains true, don’t.

Do not read Revan. It’s garbage.

Play kotor1 and 2 in order.

If you search through the swtor thread, there is a lot of talk about the books, but most is spoiler heavy.

The short answer is Revan will make some things in swtor more immediately recognizable to you and i am 99% certain they put out this book for the sole purpose of setting up a few huge boss battles based on it.

From reading revan, kotor 1 seems like it will play a big part, kotor 2 to a much lesser degree. revan does not really consider kotor 2 fully canon, although it does concede that the general events in kotor 2 did happen, albeit with major changes.

I’d suggest playing kotor 1 and reading spoilers about the revan book so you know what is coming. Be prepared to be angry though because Revan trolls fans of the kotor games hard in order to set the stage for future events in swtor. Of course if you have more time (swtor comes out Dec 15-20th depending on if/when you preordered), playing kotor 2 might be nice too.

Play KOTOR 1 in that order. I don’t know that reading Revan spoilers is that important if you read the fluff on the SWTOR website about the universe continuity (when the [ethnic] Sith withdrew to Drummond Kaas, the speculated role of that empire in Revan and Malak’s “Sith” war and empire, etc.) I’m thinking the rest of the lore will come out over the SWTOR storyline, and probably do so better than if just baldly read in some wikipedia entry.

To give Drew Karpyshyn credit. he had a continuity nightmare to stitch together. Just in terms of villains he had to synthesize:

  1. The old, ethnic Sith as depicted in the Old Republic comic series
  2. The “post-ethnic” but pre-KOTOR Sith, Freedon Nad and Exar Kun
  3. The Revan/Malak Sith Empire and galactic war
  4. The KOTOR 2 Sith and cheerfully abrupt continuity swerves (Jedi order nearly wiped out?!) and thematic direction changes

(And of course all of that effort may still leave casual Star Wars fans confused because the Palpatine-style Rule of Two Sith are yet another Sith-branded evil organization founded ~2000 years after the KOTOR era and ~1000 years before the movies.)

Just plot-wise he (more or less) had to start his book when Revan left but then include a big time gap to integrate KOTOR 2 and the Exile, including some “Meanwhile, wtf was happening to the KOTOR 1 gang” continuity KOTOR 2 didn’t bother worrying about. The treatment of Bastila is at least in part a reflection of KOTOR 2 leaving her on ice; the deletion of Carth Onasi’s apparent existence is a bit weirder. I’d say the book is a continuity exercise that, aside from some iffy prose, is basically at the (low) standard of Star Wars boilerplate. If it were a video game story that other people provided the direction and dialogue for it might have come off better.

I’d agree with a previous poster who said something along the lines of
major spoilers

the characters from KOTOR 1 and 2 being subordinated to setting up the Emperor as a super-malevolent godlike villain, and Scourge as an important hero or anti-hero or Darth Mary-Sue or whatever. Revan does get the perks of being a protagonist - but because he’s an unvoiced, selectable dialogue protagonist in KOTOR 1 his “personality” can be arbitrarily different from who “our” Revan was. I thought Karpyshyn must have been at pains to make the Exile and her story consequential, but the last interaction with Scourge in the book rather undermines the effect.

Why do I think that KoToR is set like 1000 years before the new game?

It’s only 200 years. And yeah, skip Revan. It’s terrible and all the important stuff is revealed in game.


3963-60 - Mandalorians attack the Republic, (New canon being “at the instigation of the true Sith Empire”) Revan and Malak win it, then vanish.
3959 - Revan and Malak return in evil mode (having, as far as we understand it, having met the True Sith), attack the Republic, and carve out the state known in KOTOR 1 as the Sith.
3956 - KOTOR 1; Revan and Malak’s Sith state beaten, gone by ~3950
3954 - Revan goes off in search of the lost (“true”) Sith.
3951 - KOTOR 2
3954-3950 - Revan book

(269 years intervene)

3681 - True Sith Empire attacks Republic, as seen in trailers

(28 years [!] of war intervene)

3653 - Sack of Coruscant, Treaty of Coruscant on terms favourable to the Sith

(10 years of Cold War intervene)

3643 - Start of SWTOR

So, tl:dr, SWTOR happens 313 years after KOTOR 1.

Why do they refer to the empire and republic in ToR? That kinda confused me as well.

He isn’t the only one i am thinking of:

A large part of Revan the book is very likely about explaining Revan’s almost certain presence in swtor. Possibly the exile too in some shape or form. I’d bet some credits that at some time in swtor, the player is going to have to fight or rescue (or both) revan.

Scourge’s vision about some random jedi down the line killing the emperor is almost certainly about the player character.

As a random complaint, seeing the protagonists from two of my favorite games, people who had become some of the most powerful jedi in the star wars universe, easily killed/disabled by being stabbed in the back by some upstart, mid level sith was disappointing on the same level as the prequel movies. Having Reven be near godlike powerful at times and easily defeated MULTIPLE times at others as nearly as bad.

This is basically the mass effect equivalent to sheperd being killed by some random, basic geth in a mass effect book after he single-handedly defeats the reapers with super powers.

Marcus: I think The Empire refers to the Sith Empire and The Republic refers to the governing body in kotor.

Convenient (“archetypal,” lol) logo similarities with the movie era aside, the True Sith state is a monarchy, and the Republic’s the same ol’ Republic.


mild Revan spoilers

[spoiler]I dunno, I thought Revan was meant to be “a very powerful Jedi,” maybe the most powerful of his time, but he was really only “defeated” by a surprise attack in space and later after experiencing an unexpected reversal while facing off against someone clearly set up as an evil demigod, more powerful than he was. I don’t think that really establishes Scourge as being more of a bigshot than either of the KOTOR protagonists.

And yeah, having Revan stuck in some kind of Paul Atreides-style quasi-life and the Exile as his sparkly blue sidekick isn’t necessarily a happy ending for them, but KOTOR 2 pretty much ruled that out for Revan & co.[/spoiler]

Bah! Ok that is kinda what I thought but it gets all confusing with the new empires and old empires and shit.

Also are there actually any decent star wars books?

Define “decent.” Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn books are generally considered alright, and are at any rate better than most post-1983 Star Wars stuff.

I don’t think Revan is terrible, but it is not a complete experience. You have to go in to realizing it is a transition between kotor 1/2 and swtor, not a novel. There is no real introduction to anything, it just assumes you know what happened in (light side) kotor 1/2. There is also no real conclusion. It all but says “play swtor to see what happens.”

Imagine watching star wars: return of the jedi, but the movie ends right when luke enters the death star with an advertisement for Star Wars The Official Movie Game.

I also personally feel that it doesn’t do the main characters of kotor 1/2 justice.

Ok well I think I might have found what I was looking for. There are two books so far set around the time of the games. This is the second one

And I am reading the first one.

Star Wars: The Old Republic: Deceived begins with the Sith sacking of the Jedi Temple on Coruscant, a scene featured in a Bioware trailer for the upcoming Old Republic computer game (I’ve posted the link in the comments section). By itself, this is a pretty dramatic opening for a novel and does a great job of bringing the action to life. The rest of the book focuses on how various characters cope with the destruction, and that’s where it gets interesting. The plot is actually fairly simple, but effective.

I don’t know about the book, but the swtor trailer about that was really damn cool.

I liked the Thrawn trilogy, the Darth Bane books, Deceived, and the Fate of the Jedi series is solid so far.

I really liked the Heir to the Empire series. Zahn had a book about stormtroopers that was also good, I felt, for writing Han Solo in the “I’m trying very hard not to give a shit about any of this” mold that made his character so interesting in Star Wars and Empire.

I read a lot more bad Star Wars.