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Above Average for the Average Starwars Book - but Below Average For Revan,
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This review is from: Revan (Star Wars: The Old Republic, Vol. 3) (Hardcover)
-Some Spoilers Below-
The book started off strong, and it was enjoyable and interesting seeing how Bastila and Revan (as well as Canderous) have carried on throughout the years after the events of the KOTOR 1-2. However, too many characters were simply swept under the rug. Carth Onasi was never mentioned at all, in fact.
Instead, a lot of time was spent on a new character, Lord Scourge of the Sith. Besides the ridiculously Dark Side-esque name, I actually didn't mind these segments - they were an interesting look into the reclusive Sith Empire.
Revan and Canderous go on an interesting quest for Mandalore's Mask, which while it was one of the exciting and awesome segments of the book, rife with tension and combat sections, had a lot more potential. All the clans converging on the area in question at once would have made a brilliant cathartic climax to that plotline of the novel, but instead we get kind of an anticlimatic resolution to the Mandalorian plotline.
After this, the book starts to go downhill. Less and less time is given to Revan; he even gets captured at one point, his ship shot down with a single shot from the new character Lord Scourge. And then he proceeds to spend most of the remaining time of the book imprisoned. How exciting, for the character we had waited to long to see back in action.
The exile then makes an appearance, and is even given a name. She and Scourge actually find common ground in an interesting twist, and pull off a xanatos gambit which I found myself enjoying, even if Revan had been shunted to the sidelines for these segments. Revan gets his characteristic mask back right after escaping, and it's an awesome scene of reclaimed identity and power.
Along the way, the Emperor's past and identity were revealed, and I must say it's a disappointment. There's a reason the movie 'Jaws' was improved by the shark not being shown for most of the movie...we can always imagine something worse than what actually is. The author fleshed out a lot more of his past than was necessary, stripping away the mystery with the subtlety of a rampaging bantha.
-Major Spoilers Ahead-
And now we come to the fabled climax, Revan, the Exile, and even Lord Scourge united against the Emperor, or should I say, Lord Vivius. Vivius? Are you kidding us, Drew? *sighs*
The battle starts off on a high note, with an exciting melee frenzy and the three battle their way to the Emperor's chambers. Too much of the pages during this segment are taken up by Scourge wondering about his kriffing visions, instead of focusing on the epic battles.
Revan pulls a Leeroy Jenkins and charges ahead of the others to meet the Emperor one-on-one. It's an enjoyable battle, but underdeveloped and too short. Revan is described as being master of both the Light and Dark side of the force, but one of the first guidelines of superb writing is to show, not tell. Drew could have shown us this instead with an extended fight scene, in which Revan is seen using both Sith Lightning and Jedi Healing abilities, as well as the other myriad applications of both sides of the force. Instead, we're just told he's using both sides of the force, and the fight ends much too quickly.
Scourge and the Exile arrive, and Revan rises to his feet - and things are looking up. Two iconic figures - nay, legends, from the Old Republic metaverse, and an interesting new Sith Lord, versus the fabled Sith Emperor? I set down the book to get myself some coffee and popcorn before resuming to fully enjoy the anticipated battle at this point.
And....Scourge has another of his little visions, and decides it's time to abruptly kill off a main character, backstabbing the Exile - who isn't even given a final word. Revan is knocked unconscious by one burst of lightning, and the battle is over before it even begun. Katharsis had been stabbed in the back by Drew as surely as the Exile had by Scourge, and I nearly stopped reading at this point.
Look, we all knew they had to fail, because the Emperor is still alive and well by the time of the Old Republic MMO. But that didn't mean the climatic defeat of Revan and the Exile had to be as short and insulting as it was. We should have been given a chapter long battle, with Scourge dying heroically during the battle, and the Emperor slowly gaining the upper hand versus Revan and the Exile, wearing them down. At which point, Revan could have sacrificed himself to allow the Exile to escape, a'la how Starkiller did at the climax of the Force Unleashed, nearly killing the Emperor. Revan and the Exile indeed deserved to nearly have killed the Emperor, rather than failing before the true battle ever began.
The Exile dying as ingloriously as she did was such an understatement of her character. After besting Darth Nihilius, Darth Kraya - she should have exercised at least some measure of caution against Scourge, and at least put up a fight better than a millisecond.
So, to conclude, I believe this happened because we and the author had very different ideas about the purpose of this story.
To Drew, the purpose of this was to, "Quickly and neatly tie up loose ends from KOTOR 1-2 so that we can get to the Old Republic MMO."
To us, the purpose was simple. "See our favorite heroes from the Star Wars universe, Revan the Conquerer and the Exile the Void, in action one last time."
Disappointed is an understatement. This was above average for the average star war's book, but it was such a failure when you consider the star studded cast it had at it's fingertips. I find myself eager to write a fanfic to fan-retcon this abomination, or at least to bang my head against the wall until I have amnesia about the fates of Revan and the Exile.
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Showing 1-9 of 9 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 18, 2011 9:27:27 PM PST
Too Right says:
The Emperor's name was not "Vivius".
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 19, 2011 2:58:14 AM PST
Appreciate the spoilers. Now I know for sure I won't buy this. The review before yours made me want to just find out what happens. Thank you for saving me $16 :D.
Posted on Nov 21, 2011 11:44:25 AM PST
Philipp Neumann says:
The sad thing is, in this review really all the relevant details of the book are mentioned. It was just unbelievably boring. It tells quite something about the quality of a book if you can completely summarise it on a single page. Now I will go and bang my head against the wall for the hope of some amnesia as well.
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 27, 2011 7:59:11 PM PST
A. P. Mccoll says:
Agreed! Thanks so much for the review and spoilers. As hurt as I am for the disgusting end that two of the greatest Star Wars characters received, at least I'm not disgusted and $16 poorer. So thanks again.
Posted on Nov 28, 2011 10:47:16 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 28, 2011 10:48:51 AM PST
Scourge is in the storyline of TOR. Essentially, the Jedi he sees defeating the Emperor is one of the player characters. Scourge is one of the companions to a Republic class. That's why he's not killed off; his/emperor's future was already set in storyline in the game.
Edit: and, Revan's not done yet, either... although, I must admit, I'm not so happy with Revan's ultimate ending, either.
Posted on Dec 31, 2011 1:43:09 PM PST
For me the one big problem I have with this book is that it almost entirely ignores what is said in KOTOR 2. Everything Kreia says about Revan ends up being completely wrong according to the book. Also pay attention to the fact the book says only the Emperor has used the force to consume life in this way. What about Darth Nihilus, all those hours playing that game says that he consumed Katarr by feeding on the life on the planet. May have been for a different reason but still he also was able to do this aswell.
Posted on Feb 2, 2012 5:52:38 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 2, 2012 5:57:18 AM PST
The Anime Adict says:
All I can say is I agree with your reiew. This book should have been written, we all wanted to know how the story line ended. I don't know it left me with the same feeling the writers of the original universe (with Luke and Lia) mainly, What was he thinking? Was he thinking? Honestly you're writting in one of the most beloved franchises in literature they should really start listening to the fans and what we want!
As someone else said can we all just forget this book was ever made? I think that would be for the best.
Posted on Apr 5, 2013 2:29:23 PM PDT
L Hoover says:
Um, the emperor's name was Vitiate, not Vivius....
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