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SWTOR: OMG I Love Drew Karpyshyn!

April 22, 2011

Why think of a proper title for this post when I can just go with my first reaction at seeing today’s Star Wars: The Old Republic Friday update? I’m a huge fan of Drew Karpyshyn’s work.

Last month Darth Hater posted an article about the possibility of a third SWTOR tie-in novel coming to us later this year, penned by none other than Drew himself. I’m so glad that this has been confirmed today by BioWare — along with a title reveal: Revan.

A whiny and obnoxious hockey-haired pansy!

Yes, that Revan. You can’t imagine how full of squee I am right now.

I think some stories benefit from an open ending, while others suffer from a conspicuous lack of closure. Personally, I’ve always felt Revan’s story falls in the latter category. Whether you agree with me or not, it’s still sort of a moot point —  because I can’t imagine that even the most casual fans of BioWare and their games really didn’t see this one coming. Nothing screamed “To be continued!” louder to me than the ending of Knights of the Old Republic, and I never believed for a second they were going to leave this doozy alone. BioWare’s simply been biding their sweet time and waiting…waiting for something like SWTOR for the perfect chance to finally explore the mystery of Revan.

Drew Karpyshyn says in the Q&A that fans want to know what happened to Revan after KOTOR, and that he’s “ecstatic” that he’s the one who gets to tell the story. You’re not the only one, Mr. Karpyshyn. If anyone is going to continue the story of Revan, I’m so glad it’s you.

Like, sure, I want to find out what happens, but then I don’t want to know just for the sake of knowing, if you know what I mean? For example, I think so many movie sequels these days suck so hard because their creators simply string any old plotline together and rush it out the door so it could coat-tail ride on the success of the original. I really didn’t want to see the same sort of thing happen to Revan’s story.

Knowing that it’s in Karpyshyn’s very capable hands helps a lot, even if Revan’s story has become a canonical quagmire where geeks fear to tread.

For one thing, the man knows his stuff — both the character and the Old Republic era. In his words, “KOTOR was my first creative foray into the Star Wars universe, so writing Revan felt a little bit like I was returning to my roots.” Come to think of it, the subject of the novel should have occurred to me the moment I saw Drew Karpyshyn’s name attached to a new SWTOR book project. He’s probably the best choice (if not the only right choice) of author for a book about Revan, being the one who wrote much of the scenario and dialogue for KOTOR in the first place.

In any case, I’ve been a fan of not only his writing in games like KOTOR and Mass Effect, but I’ve also come to really enjoy his novels as well. His Darth Bane books rank among some of the better Star Wars books I’ve ever read. And in fact, earlier this year, it was reading Mass Effect: Revelation that made me wonder if there’s hope for the video game tie-in genre yet.

Revan will take place about 300 years earlier than the other SWTOR novels, but we are told the events of this book will have a major impact on shaping the game’s universe. However, there is nothing to indicate whether or not Revan will actually make an appearance in the game (personally, I hope not…it’s one thing to provide closure, it’s another to needlessly resurrect a character). But we do know from the Q&A that along with Revan, several of his companions including Canderous, T3-M4, Bastila Shan (yes, might we please put the matter of whether or not they have children to rest once and for all?) and even the Jedi Exile will have major roles to play in the novel.

I can understand how for some a SWTOR Friday update about an upcoming novel can be a disappointment when information about the actual game would be more exciting (actually, “disappointment” is an understatement judging from some of the rage-filled and betimes puerile commentary in the forum thread in which 20 pages had to be unceremoniously deleted). But those who know me know that I love reading, and that I enjoy sitting back with a video game tie-in novel every once in a while. Personally, I’m really looking forward to reading Revan “later this year”.

12 comments

  1. Oh this book announcement excited me tremendously. I absolutely loved the Darth Bane trilogy and I’ve read all the Mass Effect books. Karpyshyn knows how to write a compelling story that keeps me turning the pages. One of the best damn writers in gaming today.

    This book promises to fill in the gaps a bit more. I can’t wait. I love reading into the Star Wars history.


    • Yeah I can’t wait. Drew Karpyshyn is great, I’ve really enjoyed his writing. I still need to finish reading the last Darth Bane book and the second and third Mass Effect books by him.


  2. I take it that the dark side ending to KoTOR was considerd canonical then? I found some of the events leading up to that ending heart wrenching.


    • Actually, the canonical version is a male Revan choosing the light side ending of the game and redeeming himself, I believe.

      When I played KOTOR I couldn’t bring myself to do the dark side ending. You’re right, it is rather heart wrenching.


  3. I loved Paul Kemp’s Deceived. Fatal Alliance not so much. Looking forward to this book as well. Did angle ever do a straight novelization of the original. KOTOR storyline?


    • Yep, Deceived > Fatal Alliance for me as well. Not that the latter was badly written, I just think it tried too hard to showcase all the classes, leaving too little room for an in depth story.

      Regarding a straight novelization of the original storyline…not that I know of. It would be a good idea though, for people who want to know the story but don’t want to play KOTOR.


  4. LOL Your comments about the forums made me me think of the silly videos of people who’ve lost their WoW accounts:

    “RAWR!!! A BOOK UPDATE!?!?!” “Wahhhh, I HATE books! GIMME Game UPDATES!!”

    lulz


    • It was pretty ridiculous. Worse than usual because some were saying it wasn’t a “real” SWTOR update since this was more about Revan and KOTOR…

      I don’t know, I still consider it a SWTOR update, the same way I see those timelines as SWTOR updates even though they may focus on events centuries or millennia before the game. It’s still interesting background info.


  5. Revan is the greatest, period. His drive, his purpose, and how his life intertwines with the most powerful, the seediest, the grandest adventures. Only his story matters in Star Wars as far as Epicness right now.

    I just want to know the answers to his turn, and what happens in the aftermath of his journey, i just hope it’s worth it…..to tread on such sacred storyteller grounds, lord knows how Vader was botched…i stick to my imagination of his single handedly murdering the Jedi Order, hunting them down one by one all over an epic betrayal, inconsolable major differences, that in their arrogance, the Jedi was brought to it’s knees by the greatest of them all.

    …….Revan really does this kind of thing however…that’s hot.


    • I hope it’s worth it too. Knowing the same writing talent behind much of the happenings in KOTOR is the one continuing the Revan story in this book makes me feel more confident. It’s quite an accomplishment by BioWare as a video game company, really, to create an expanded universe character so greatly beloved by Star Wars fans. Revan has a following that even some of the newer and more prominent characters in movies, cartoons, comics books and novels do not.


  6. Outside of playing Kotor, anyplace one can go to read about Revan and his history in the SW Universe?


    • I was just thinking how a novelization of KOTOR (the canon version) would have been great, but it probably won’t happen because the game is so much about the player making their own personal choices.

      Your best bet is probably wookieepedia, the wiki for all things Star Wars. They will have a good explanation of Revan and his adventures and deeds :)



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