Star Wars History: The Life and Times of Revan, Part I: Beginnings

How did Revan become one of the most powerful beings in the entire galaxy?

Revan, a character from the Star Wars expanded universe, is an enigma. Probably no other Star Wars personage who has never appeared in a any officially canon film, animated series or book is so loved by the fans of the saga taking place in that galaxy far, far away as he is. I mean think about it. Revan was first introduced in a video game, Knights of the Old Republic. From there he has made his way into comics, Star Wars novels and even a few fan films (some of them are actually pretty good). So then, what makes Revan so cool and loved by so many? In order to find out, I decided to do delve deeper into his story to see why he resonates with so many.

The Life and Times of Revan

Early Life

Most Star Wars Galactic scholars claim that Revan was born some 3,994 years before the Battle of Yavin in the vast realm of space known as the Outer Rim.

Somewhere in the Outer Rim…
Like most of those who became Jedis, Revan was discovered at an early age as being Force-sensitive and sent to a Jedi academy for training. He became the apprentice of a female Jedi named Kreia. Revan was bright padawan, or student, and learned everything at the time that Kreia had to teach him. He went on to study with many other Jedi masters and soon became close friends with another padawan named Alek. The two continued their studies at the Jedi Temple on Coruscant and soon mastered all of the knowledge of the Force that the other Jedi masters supposedly possessed.

Some of the illustrious Jedi that Revan studied under included Master Lestin, Master Dorak, and Arren Kae. They all noted Revan’s insatiable desire for knowledge and believed that he would one day become the one of the greatest champions of the Jedi Order. Of course in the Star Wars universe, things don’t always go as expected. This as we’ll see will also be the case with Revan. More on that later.

Though the Jedi masters were greatly impressed with Revan’s abilities, some on the Jedi Council grew weary of his strong connection to the Force and became troubled, even though there was no apparent reason for this. Revan also felt the Council’s unease and went back to his old master, Kreia, for counsel.

Master Kreia…
It should be noted though that Kreia was a bit controversial among the Jedi herself. Initially a Jedi historian, Kreia had worked her way up to the rank of master and trained many padawans over the years. What made her worrisome with the Council were some of her unorthodox teachings and methods. She would spend most of her time pondering the deeper mysteries of the Force and ask her padawans atypical questions and propounding unorthodox theories. She made it seem that the Jedi themselves did not have complete knowledge of the Force and in order to understand its deeper mysteries, it was necessary to look beyond the Council and its teachings. She started gaining a growing following among younger, more impressionable Jedi. Revanwas one of these students.

The Mandalorian Threat

Republic vs. Mandalorian Space
Beyond the borders of Republic space, a new threat was looming. The Mandalorians, a warlike people between the Republic and the Outer Rim, had been ravaging systems near their home world of Mandalore for nearly a decade. Led by their leader Mandalore the Ultimate and his Field Marshal Cassus Fett, the Mandalorians conquered many worlds in the Outer Rim Territories and even penetrated into Hutt Space. As the Mandalorians had not attacked any star systems within the Republic, the Galactic Senate remained on the sidelines.
Mandalore the Ultimate
However, Mandalore the Ultimate and Cassus Fett were ruthless. Their violent subjugation of other star systems led to the deaths of millions (perhaps even billions) of sentient beings. One of their more infamously noteworthy conquests was that of the planet Cathar. It was here that Cassus Fett committed a previously unthinkable mass genocide of the Cathar race. Roughly 90% of the Cathar’s population was killed with any survivors being taken into slavery.

Finally taking the Mandalorian threat seriously, the Senate ordered the Galactic Republic Navy under the Admiral Saul Karath to intervene in the conflict. Battles were fought on many fronts and Revan took notice. He felt that as guardians of the Republic, the Jedi should also intervene in the war. The Jedi Council however held a very different view and felt that the war was not a concern of the Order.

Revan wasn’t having any of it. Being the charismatic person that he was, he persuaded many younger Jedi to rally to his cause. Those that followed him became known as the “Jedi Crusaders” and with Republic ships and support, set out to tackle the Mandalorian threat head on.

Jedi aren’t supposed to get upset, so we can’t say that the Jedi Council was enraged. However, it’s pretty obvious that they were not at all pleased with Revan’s subordination as well as his increasing popularity among younger Jedi. For the moment though, there was little that they could do to stop him.

Next up, the Mandalorian Wars.

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