Out with the Skywalkers and in with the High Republic. Late last month, Disney and Lucasfilm announced its first post-Skywalker venture, a prequel series of upcoming novels and comic books that take place in "an era when the Galactic Republic and the Jedi Order are at their zenith, about 200 years before the events of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace."
This announcement has sent fans scrambling—speculating about what ancient stories throughout the Star Wars universe could be told in this timeframe. And in the slew of rumors and theories one name keeps popping up: Revan, or Supreme Commander of the Galactic Army Revan, Darth Revan, Dark Revan, Revan the Butcher, Jedi Knight Revan, or what have you. This fan favorite character, who has appeared in non-canon Star Wars comics and games, has been a powerful player in the past of both the Sith and the Jedi. And thanks to a brief kind-of-tease of him in the canon Star Wars: The Clone Wars, one of the most popular theories is that Revan could somehow be an important presence in the next chapter of a Galaxy Far, Far Away.
Who Is Revan?
The Revan that we know from non-canon Star Wars stories still remains something of an enigma. Revan was a remarkably smart strategist who, as a Jedi, served as Supreme Commander of the Galactic Republic during the Mandalorian War in the year 3960 BBY, about 3700 years before the High Republic is set to take place. After the Mandalorian War, Revan fell to the Dark Side with his then Padawan Malik and worked their way up building their own empire and waging war on the Galactic Republic.
Malik, as most Sith apprentices do, turned on Revan and attempted to kill his master. But—as we learn in the Knights of the Old Republic video game and the full Star Wars: The Old Republic - Revan novel—a Jedi extraction team swoops in and saves Revan, but wipes his memory making him a Jedi Knight again. From there, Revan remains on the light side with the Jedi and dies in the year 3638 BBY.
Revan sticks with the Jedi even following much or his memories being regained, and died with both respect from the Sith and the Jedi. In a universe populated by good and evil, Revan is kind of all over the morality spectrum. He operates with more strategy and calculation than heart, but he tends to be a pretty decent respectable individual, even as a Sith. Revan is also remarkably strong with the Force, with the ability to channel both Light and Dark Sides, and the ability to fight even after death long before Qui Gon Jin and Yoda discover the use of Force Ghosts.
Where Has He Appeared In Star Wars Canon and Non-Canon?
When Disney took control of Star Wars and made the existing novels and games non-canon, Revan was essentially deleted from the universe. That is, until a deleted scene from Clone Wars and the Rise of Skywalker supplementary material alluded to his existence within canon.
In 2011, Lucasfilm had written a scene including Revan into the third season of a Clone Wars episode. As the Star Wars wiki describes:
Revan would have appeared as a Sith Lord alongside Darth Bane as advisors to the powerful Force wielder known as the Son, but they were ultimately cut from the episode in late production. The show's director, Dave Filoni, was apprehensive of using the scene, and the scene was removed at George Lucas's request because it conflicted with Lucas's view on the Force.
But Revan didn't officially become part of canon until December of 2019 with the release of The Rise of Skywalker. In the film's "Visual Dictionary" it confirms that a legion of Sith troopers is named after the Sith Lord Darth Revan. Beyond that, though, nothing else of Revan's story is actual canon.
Why Are Star Wars Fans So Excited?
With the success of the Knights of the Old Republic game, which came out in 2003, Revan has become a beloved anti-hero among Star Wars fans. Though the non-canon timeline doesn't add up with the canon placement of the High Republic, Star Wars fans have been theorizing that Disney could simply change the timeline and repurpose the Old Republic stories into this High Republic era. Fans have even gone as far as start a campaign to get Keanu Reeves to play Revan.
The Mandalorian Connection and Lightsaber Colors
What's interesting is Revan's connection to some major moments we've seen in official Star Wars canon. He was a major player in the Mandalorian War (even donning a Mandalorian mask for a time) while fighting violent bloody battles against the warrior society. Given the depth that Disney+'s popular series The Mandalorian goes into the past of the Mandalore, it's possible that the lore could connect to a major moment in Revan's story and life (with timelines shifted to fit Disney's canon). Additionally, Revan's shifting lightsaber color has been an important character trait throughout non-canon stories—he has wielded red, blue, green, and purple lightsabers throughout his life as a Sith and Jedi. And, certainly the final scenes of The Rise of Skywalker brought back the importance of lightsaber color.
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