Friday, 11 June 2010

Timeline 8: The Jedi Civil War

Today's Timeline update is the one I've most been dreading. But before I get into that, here's the official news:
One of the greatest threats to the Republic preceding the Great War arose approximately three hundred years before when the Sith Lords Darth Revan and Darth Malak began the Jedi Civil War. Jedi Master Gnost-Dural’s historical investigation steps back to this era, and he examines new evidence which reshapes the Order’s understanding of the events surrounding Revan’s fall and his ultimate fate.
BTC 303 – Three hundred years before the Sacking of Coruscant, two prominent Jedi Knights pursued enemy forces into Deep Space at the conclusion of the Mandalorian Wars. When the two Jedi, Revan and Malak, returned to Republic space, they had fallen to the dark side. As Sith Lords, Revan and Malak began searching the galaxy for a powerful ancient artifact known as the Star Forge. During their dark campaign, however, Malak’s ambitions grew and eventually drove him to betray Revan, sparking the bloody Jedi Civil War. Though Revan was ultimately redeemed and restored peace to the galaxy, he disappeared afterward in search of a great darkness in Deep Space. Through his investigation, Master Gnost-Dural now confirms that this great darkness is the Sith Empire the Jedi Order battles today….
Watch the latest Timeline holorecord, The Jedi Civil War, narrated by actor Lance Henriksen.



You can also download a high resolution version of this video.
And because I can, the full text:
SITH INFILTRATORS.

WE ARE NOW CERTAIN THAT THE SITH EMPIRE BEGAN LAYING THE GROUNDWORK FOR ITS RETURN AS FAR BACK AS THE JEDI CIVIL WAR.

IN FACT, IT’S CLEAR THAT THE ORIGINS OF THE JEDI CIVIL WAR ITSELF WERE NOT AS SIMPLE AS WE ONCE BELIEVED.

THE SITH EMPEROR’S FIRST REPRESENTATIVES TO RETURN TO REPUBLIC SPACE ARE WELL-KNOWN NAMES: DARTH REVAN AND DARTH MALAK.

REVAN IS REMEMBERED NOW AS A LEGEND--A GREAT HERO OF THE JEDI ORDER…

BUT THAT WAS ONLY AFTER HIS REDEMPTION.

REVAN AND MALAK FIRST REBELLED AGAINST THE JEDI COUNCIL BY IGNORING ORDERS AND ASSISTING THE REPUBLIC DURING THE MANDALORIAN WARS.

REVAN’S SUCCESS IN DEFEATING THE MANDALORIANS CAUSED THE COUNCIL TO QUESTION IT'S ORDERS…

BUT NONE REALIZED HOW FAR REVAN HAD ALREADY FALLEN.

AFTER THEIR CRUSHING VICTORY ON MALACHOR FIVE, REVAN AND MALAK CHASED THE MANDALORIAN INTO DEEP SPACE.

IT WAS THERE ON DROMUND KAAS, THAT THEY ENCOUNTERED ANOTHER ENEMY ENTIRELY—THE SITH EMPIRE REBORN.

WE KNOW NOTHING OF WHAT TRANSPIRED WHEN REVAN AND MALAK MET THE SITH EMPEROR.

BUT ONE THING IS CERTAIN---WHEN THEY RETURNED, THEY DID SO ON BEHALF OF THEIR NEW DARK MASTER.

THE FALL OF REVAN AND MALAK TO THE DARK SIDE WAS COMPLETE.

THE EMPEROR SENT THEM BACK TO THE REPUBLIC TO MAKE PREPARATIONS FOR A FULL-SCALE SITH INVASION.

THEIR MISSION WAS TO RECOVER THE MAPS LEADING TO THE ANCIENT STAR FORGE, CONSTRUCTED BY THE RAKATA MORE THAN TWENTY-FIVE CENTURIES AGO.

WITH THE STAR FORGE, THE EMPEROR PLANNED TO ACCELERATE THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE NEW SITH ARMADA.

HE WOULD EXACT HIS VENGEANCE AGAINST THE JEDI AND THE REPUBLIC CENTURIES AHEAD OF SCHEDULE.

THE AMBITIONS OF DARTH REVAN AND MALAK GREW QUICKLY, THOUGH.

AS THEY DREW CLOSER TO THE STAR FORGE, THE TWO SITH LORDS BEGAN TO HAVE VISIONS OF THEIR OWN EMPIRE.

FORTUNATELY FOR THE REPUBLIC, MALAK’S THIRST FOR POWER DROVE HIM TO BETRAY HIS MASTER.

HE ATTACKED REVAN’S SHIP, AND LEFT HIS FORMER MASTER FOR DEAD

THE JEDI FOUND REVAN WOUNDED AND UNCONSCIOUS.

AFTER MUCH DEBATE, THE COUNCIL MADE A CONTROVERSIAL DECISION—TO ERASE REVAN’S MEMORY AND RETRAIN HIM AS A JEDI.

WORKING WITH JEDI MASTER BASTILA SHAN, REVAN RECOVERED HIS STRENGTH. HE THEN RESCUED THE REPUBLIC, AND DEFEATED HIS FORMER APPRENTICE.

THE JEDI CIVIL WAR WAS OVER—THE STAR FORGE DESTROYED AND REVAN NOT ONLY REDEEMED, BUT CELEBRATED AS A HERO.

DEEP IN REVAN’S LOST MEMORIES, HOWEVER, HID THE KNOWLEDGE OF A LURKING MENACE FAR GREATER THAN DARTH MALAK.

INDEED THE EMPEROR’S PLAN TO ACCELERATE HIS RETURN WAS THWARTED, BUT THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE SITH ARMADA CONTINUED…

IT WOULD ONLY BE A MATTER OF TIME.

WITH THE WAR OVER, REVAN RETURNED TO DEEP SPACE IN SEARCH OF THE GREAT EVIL.

WHAT HAPPENED AFTER THAT IS UNKNOWN.

THOUGH REVAN’S ULTIMATE FATE REMAINS A MYSTERY, WE HAVE LEARNED MUCH ABOUT THE EVENTS THAT PRECEDED HIS FALL…

THE MANDALORIAN WARS WILL BE THE SUBJECT OF MY NEXT REPORT.
As to why I feared this timeline, it's because I was afraid that they'd settle on Revan as the canon version of the character; a male lightsider. And that just doesn't fit with how I experienced the story of the earlier KotOR games. In my games Revan was female and to see the 'continuation' of the story turn her male is incredibly jarring.

And as you can see I wasn't wrong. It's "he", "him", "his" throughout. Considering the ability of computer games to adapt to their players (as KotOR2 showed in part) it is incredibly disappointing to see BioWare take the easy route and just pick a canon gender for the character. Makes me wish that they didn't include the character at all and just left it as something that happened in the past. After all, lots of important things happened in the past (many more important that what Revan's impact was on history) and those events aren't all mentioned I'm sure. But that would just piss off people for whom the game revolves around Revan.

<sigh>

On the official forums BioWare' Rob Chestney also has a little to say on it, and it's not entirely satisfactory. But at least it seems like they tried. I guess I just expected them to be good enough to actually succeed in all cases. Here's what he had to say:
Hey Folks,

Just reading the responses to the Jedi Civil War Timeline, and I thought it would be worth commenting on a few things.

Firstly, the canon for Lucas is that Revan was male and that he followed the light-side ending for KotOR. That said, if you played KotOR, and experienced it differently, please use your imagination to make it work. We really didn't want to spoil anyone's KotOR memories and in fact, in any place we could, we tried to be inconclusive about these things. Ultimately, though, even for TOR it was necessary to come up with something firm about who Revan was and what he did.

Also, there is a glaring error in the timeline in describing the Rakatan technology as being developed 25 centuries ago. It was actually developed 25 millennia ago. We will try to go back and correct that at some point.

Keep in mind, as some other posters have referenced, the timelines are authored by a Jedi Master living 300 years after KotOR. Not all the facts were confirmed by the Jedi, and in some places, he may be wrong about what actually occurred. That goes for all the timelines.
The timeline update itself is pretty nice though; gives a nice overview of the events of the first KotOR. But I'm definitely not looking forward to running into anything Revan-related in the game.

Anyway, almost E3; only a couple more days for a flood of new information. :)

1 comment:

Vanagew said...

To be honest it's a pathetic argument that somehow your KOTOR memories are spoiled because Revan was canonically a "male lightsider". I'm sure you wouldn't have the same issues with the Exile's canon. Everyone gets so offended because one of their favourite characters doesn't turn out the way they expect it. Well I must say, get over it! Revan is a male lightsider and has always been that way, stop acting so injured over such an issue that does not exist. This Political Correctness rubbish has to stop!