Quote of the week: "He made me a Sith Lord and named me Darth Revan. I killed for him--I turned on the Republic--but I've found redemption." - Revan talking about his past.

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środa, 29 lutego 2012

New Star Wars: The Old Republic novel by Drew Karpyshyn officially announced!

We finally know the name of the new novel set in The Old Republic era that Drew said he was working on for some time. It will be called: STAR WARS: THE OLD REPUBLIC: ANNIHILATION.

UPDATE: Let me give you a short, overall summary of the novel's plot:

Republic agent Theron Shan and his Twi’lek compadre, Teff’ith (from Dark Horse Comics’ STAR WARS: THE OLD REPUBLIC: THE LOST SUNS) must contend with a Sith Empire counter-attack against the Republic, spearheaded by the lethal apprentice of Darth Malgus. Satele Shan and Jace Malcolm co-star in what will be a fast-paced and tension-fraught tale based on the award-winning video game from BioWare and LucasArts.

The book will be released this year on 13th of November. Make sure to check back at LoreFreak for more information about the novel as we get closer to its release!

UPDATE 2: There are many new, exciting announcments coming up all the way up to 2013. If you want to find out more about them be sure to check Star Wars Books facebook page. One of them is: STAR WARS: SCOURGE, that will be released on April 24th this year.

When I first saw the title of this upcoming novel I have to admit I was having a HUGE geek stroke. I was kind of suprised to see different author than Drew working on it - Jeff Grubb (Drew is the one who created Lord Scourge character so it would make sense that he is one who will write the book about him). Unfortunately as I read more about the book, the more disappointed I was. It is not about Lord Scourge after all <sadface>!

Read the summary for yourself:

In the heart of crime-ridden Hutt Space, a Jedi Scholar searches for justice...

A jedi? Seriously?!

It will probably still be a decent book though, so if you are into ABY timeline make sure to check it out. As for me, the New Republic era is overdone (don't get me wrong, it had some great stuff like Timothy Zhan books or Han Solo trilogy).

Scourge has so much potential, I would love to find out what happened the infamous Emperor's Wrath for 300 years between "Revan" novel and TOR. According to the game codex he killed hundreds of jedi during his service to the Emperor, and TEN TIMES MORE sith lords. How badass is that?

niedziela, 26 lutego 2012

Character Spotlight #1 - Lord Vitiate vs Darth Sidious

"The Sith Emperor was a Dark Lord of the Sith who reconstituted the Sith Empire after the Great Hyperspace War and went on to rule it for more than a millennium, becoming, arguably, the longest reigning Sith Lord in galactic history. According to legend, he was born Tenebrae, the illegitimate son of Lord Dramath of Medriaas and a poor farm woman, and was granted the title of Lord Vitiate by then-reigning Dark Lord of the Sith, Marka Ragnos."

Source: Wookieepedia - The Star Wars Wiki

Lord Vitiate: the ultimate badass or the mary sue-like character?

Before you even consider to join this endless debate, I strongly suggest you make yourself familiar with this following short text:

Q: Who’s stronger – Darth Bane, Darth Revan or Darth Vader?
A: It’s a tie. Seriously, I can’t answer this. First, it’s not really up to me to make that kind of call. Second, it really depends on the situation. You can probably find rule books for various Star Wars role-playing games that will give you stats allowing you to compare relative strength. But from an artistic and dramatic standpoint, this kind of question has no “right” answer. Each character has strengths and weaknesses, and they grow and change as their stories progress. On any given day, at any given time, under any given circumstance anyone can win or lose. That’s what dramatic conflict is all about. 
   Source: Drew Karpyshyn's website FAQ 


Now, to begin with - I am aware that George Lucas, the creater of Star Wars universe stated the following fact: Palpatine is the most powerful sith lord to ever live. Period. So this sentence alone should technically disqualify all arguments against Vitiate being superior to Sidious. Lucas has the final say in those things.

On top of that, let me show you some direct quotes from the official canon sources:

"The Rebels were turning out to be more troublesome than many had expected. The Emperor had known it would be thus, of course; the resistance had not been a surprise to him. The Emperor was completely in concert with the dark side of the Force. He was the most powerful Sith to have ever existed."
-- Death Star, page 76. Emphasis mine.


"...Yoda could not hope to defeat the most powerful Sith Lord in history."
-- The New Essential Chronology, page ??? (I don't own the book). Emphasis mine.

"Beyond the vision of the Jedi Knights, somewhere within the darkness, the greatest master of evil ever to use Sith power bides his time. As his strength grows, his plans begin to shape the course of the galaxy, and his snares await the unsuspecting."
-- The Complete Visual Dictionary, page 72. 

Page 109 from the Dark Empire sourcebook:

"Palpatine has risen from the dead. The most powerful Sith Lord who ever lived had returned."

But hold on...

When Sidious was labeled as the 'most powerful sith lord ever', Vitiate's character was not even invented yet. You have to realize that the Star Wars universe is constantly expanding - some stuff will get retconned to lesser or greater extent. It is inevitable. As the time passes, some new, far more powerful character than Vitiate might be created. Noone is arguing with that. Actually that is the whole point I am trying to make here.

But for the time being, just read "Revan" novel and play through Jedi Knight's whole storyline and after you do those things ask yourself who is really more powerful - Vitiate or Sidious. 

Here is some very intriguing quote from codex entry related to the Emperor and his ultimate plan:

Every decision the Sith Emperor has made for the last millennium has been in the service of one dark goal: the complete annihilation of every living thing in the galaxy. The Emperor's desire is not destruction for its own sake, however. He is not a nihilist. The Emperor intends to feed on the galaxy's extinction and draw that energy into himself, giving him true immortality--and a godlike mastery of the Force.
The Jedi can only speculate on what the Emperor will do if his plan succeeds. Does he intend to preserve any followers, or live on alone? With such unlimited power, could he plant the seeds of life and raise a new galaxy from the old one's ashes?

The Emperor in Descent.png

Basically the Emperor wants to exterminate every living being in the galaxy by performing a ritual that will begin on the planet Belsavis. He will consume entire life present on Belsavis and after that, nothing will stop him. Of course Jedi Knight i.e. the player stops him. If Vitiate's plans would succeed and if he would have managed to sustain his ritual by ensuring the death of trillions, he would become as it says in the codex: godlike

After you find out more about the Emperor you realize what kind of creature of pure evil he is. The way he speaks, everything about him is just terrifying and causes chills to go down your spine. I mean, he killed a sith lord when he was like what, twelve years old? When he was an infant, his eyes were filled with terrible blackness and void (Wth?! Seriously, how sick and creepy is that?).

Emperor Force.png

He is unlike any being that was ever born, when Lord Scourge who was a Sith Lord took a not even second long glimpse at the Emperor, he cried out like a child. 

Let me give me you some quotes from the "Revan" novel about Vitiate:
"As he spoke, the dark circles of his eyes seemed to fill with a swirling red mist, and for a brief instant the Emperor gave Scourge a glimpse of his true self. Scourge cried out in anguish as the Emperor's mind brushed against his, then he collapsed to the floor, shaking like a child."
Emperor before a lightsaber.png 
"Scourge expected them to search him, or at least instruct him to turn over his weapons. But Yarri and the others simply stood at attention, waiting for him to enter. The fact that they showed no concern over letting an armed Sith Lord speak to the Emperor face-to-face without any kind of preparation was a testament to the Emperor's unfathomable power. "
Some of his abilities on top of my head: 

- Being able to perform most complex sith rituals ever attempted (consuming life of the entire planet - billions of lives beings destroyed in matters of seconds). 

The Emperor's Voice.png 

- Being immortal? "My life spans millennia. Legions have risen to test me. […] My ascendance is inevitable. A day, a year, a millennium—it matters not. I hold the patience of stone and the will of stars. Your striving is insignificant. Let your death be the same." - The Sith Emperor, to a lone Jedi sent to kill him. Also from what I understand, it is almost impossible to completely kill the Emperor. His essence will always live on, attempting to find another host it can possess. For sure the Emperor got some weakness that can be exploited in order to defeat him, as everyone, but noone knows what it is yet.

- Being able to mind control pretty much anyone (though it is possible to resist the Emperor, as an example: Revan being the proof of that).

I mean, don't get me wrong: Sidious definitely achieved a lot with his political capabilities, intellect and manipulation skills. But it's hard to be sure that he was more powerful than all other ancient sith lords who ever lived, or even his former master Darth Plagueis. Plagueis discovered the ultimate secret of immortality - Palpatine did not. Hell, Plagueis could even bend midi-chlorians to his own will in order to create life out of nothing - and he probably created the most powerful force user to ever exist. Palpatine knew that he could lose face to face duel with Plagueis so he used his cunning to kill him in his sleep. Also, I find it hard to believe that Palpatine could be even a match for Lord Vitiate. We know very little about the Sith Emperor (the TOR one) and yet it seemes that he is capable of wiping out entire life in the galaxy. I don't think Palpatine comes even close to that, all he gets are some over powered abilities that I do not know where and how he managed to learn/obtain. Sometimes I get the feeling that in Expanded Universe, Palpatine is really a mary sue-like character. Seriously, who can create hyperspace wormholes? Sidious in EU is just absurd. I am sorry to say this but it is true. I love his character but some authors just crossed the line. Yes, Vitiate got some OP abilities in his arsenal as well, but I would say that his back-story allowes us to imagine that he is actually capable of such prowess. A for Palpatine that is not the case, at least for me.

You also have to look at this from another angle. Lets say that Sidious could defeat Vitiate in face to face duel (or the other way) but what about other skills? Palpatine managed to transform the Republic into his own Galactic Empire and at the same time do something no sith ever managed - wipe out 
almost entire jedi order. Vitiate on the other hand also accomplished something to behold. He escaped with handful of morally broke people and over the course of thousand years managed to create the most powerful empire to ever exist. He created entire civilization from literally nothing. It all comes down to your very own definition of power. Power can vary a lot you know...  Also, I think it is safe to assume that the Galactic Empire from the original Star Wars movies is based on Vitiate's Empire. I know that in reality it is the other way around, but in our fantasy world The Great Galactic war occured way BEFORE The Galactic Civil war. 

I tried to keep this article/debate as non-biased as possible, attempting to show you both sides of the picture but as you probably noticed by now,  my personal opinion on this matter is as following: Sidious is overrated. There you go, I said it! know I may get bashed for this. If you want to call me a Vitiate fanboy, feel free to do so. I just think that he is the one who deserves the title of the most powerful sith lord. He is the ultimate badass - nothing to add here. :)

To hell with being objective! It is impossible to avoid some dose of subjectivism. Just two small things I noticed that I wanted to add to the whole discussion:

If Palpatine is so mighty and exceptional duelist, how come he lost to Mace Windu? Yes, I know that Windu is "one of the finest swordsman of the jedi order" and all. But still, Sidious lost. And don't tell me that he would have won without Anakin's interference because it is clearly not what movie portrays.
Also, some people say that Palpatine's 'lightning bolts' are the most powerful ones in whole SW universe. It's one of the arguments for Palpatine's superiority over Vitiate. I mean, really? He electrocuted Luke Skywalker with them for like half an hour and the guy still managed to survive. And no, Palpatine was not playing with Luke or attempting to influence his will. He decided to kill Skywalker because he understood that he could not turn him to the dark side, this line kind of confirmed that: "The Emperor: And now, young Skywalker... you will die." (at least that is how I interpreted this scene from RotJ). Anyway, just read what I wrote before about Sith Emperor, (information coming from OFFICIAL GAME CODEX). Could Palpatine really become godlike like Vitiate and create new galaxy from the ashes by himself? Could he wipe out entire life in the galaxy? I don't think those statements are mere hyperbols. I mean, while they never actually happened, Vitiate indeed had potential to perform them and was in fact very close in doing so if it weren't for the invervention of Jedi Knight. 

And most important of all, was Palpatine really immortal as well as Vitiate? Immortal meaning actually IMMORTAL - from what I know he needed to use clones in order to prelong his life (I don't know a lot about EU post EP6 tbh so I may be wrong about that).

Emperor Throne.pngI know I am repeating myself but when you read "Revan" novel and play through JK's storyline you get this feeling about the Sith Emperor - he is like this terrible being of pure darkness and void, almost not human but monster. You don't get the same feeling with Palpatine (at least I don't feel this way about his character). Palpatine is just an ordinary person (well, you know what I mean). I am not saying that he is not a powerful sith lord who accomplished A LOT, but to me he is clearly not even half as 'terrifying' as Vitiate.

I am pretty sure that it is BioWare's intention to make us feel that Vitiate is in fact the most powerful, evil and dangerous sith/living being to ever exist (including the movies and all post EP6 expanded universe).

Emperor verslagen.png

Still, as I said before - it all comes down to your subjective opinion and the way you interpret canon lore. It's a fantasy world, you can think whatever you want! As far as I am concerned, you may claim ewok that helped Leia (was he called Wicket?) to be more powerful than both Vitiate and Sidious together.

And what do you think? Who is more powerful according to you: Vitiate or Sidious? Post what you think in the comments below! Make sure to include some constructive, logical arguments in your posts if you want to persuade people who don't think the same way as you do. Don't just write: "Vitiate/Sidious because that's what I think!" But please, let's keep this discussion as close to civilized as possible.  

czwartek, 23 lutego 2012

Exclusive Interview with Drew Karpyshyn himself!

Drew Karpyshyn - say whatever you want about him, but this man is a legend. The lead writer of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and Mass Effect 1. And of course the creator of Revan character. Also, an author of what I consider one of the greatest Star Wars books to be ever released - Darth Bane: Path of Destruction.

For three years he was working on Star Wars: The Old Republic, continuously contributing to it's storyline. Most recently he wrote an amazing novel called simply: "Revan". While according to me and many other fans it was a great read, some people reacted rather negatively to it and had very controversial opinions about the whole plot. Well, De gustibus non est disputandum.

Anyway, recently Drew retired from BioWare in order to be able to focus more on his own projects and to spend more time... golfing. Was his decision forunate or not that remains to be seen but as Drew put it: "However, I feel that’s an essential step for every creative artist to take at some point. It keeps us fresh, it keeps us energized."

You can share your personal view on this matter in the question poll.

Overall, Drew is a really nice guy (at least from what I hear, tbh I don't even personally know him :)). But it seems that this opinion about him is rather accurate, because not many writers spend their free time answering theirs fans emails (and even those nasty ones written by haters!).

I emailed Drew Karpyshyn recently and asked him a few questions mainly related to lore (and I also got an answer to the ones related to Revan's final fate and his possible reappearance in the future!), so here you go, enjoy this exclusive set of Q&A:

Hello, first of all I would like to say that I am huge fan of your books and games (KotOR series, Bane trilogy, Revan novel - you make SW lore even greater than it already is!:)).
I just recently finished SW:TOR (or rather completed my first character's storyline) and I have few questions and it would be great if you could find some time to answer them.
All right, so here it goes: 

Q: Did Revan really fall to the dark side again? How come he wants to commit genocide and exterminate the whole race? And how is that possible that Republic is supporting him in doing so - it's against all principles that the jedi believe in. And there are jedi aboard the foundry, along with republic troops. 
A: Revan always walked on the edge of light and dark, and being corrupted by the Emperor's presence for 300 years did push him over in that direction. However, that doesn't mean he can't be redeemed again later - remember, you never see him die; he just vanishes. We left that door open on purpose.

Q: After the Foundry encounter, Revan speaks the same line as Malak did during his demise on the Starforge. Is this some sort of homage to Malak or? If yes, it kind of confirms that he fell to the Dark Side. 
A: It's more of an homage than proof of anything.

Q: Is there a chance that you will ever write another book related to Revan? For example about his childhood, how Kreia/Arren Kae found him and how he became a jedi. It would be great to find out more about him. We know that he came from the outer rim and that Revan was in fact not his real name (it was revealed in TOR: "Revan - it is not my real name, it never was, but it will do). 
A: Nothing planned right now, but you never know what the future holds.

Q: In "Revan" novel, Meetra Surik talks to Bastila before going to Nathema and eventually Dromund Kass in order to rescue Revan. Bastila saw sith on the T3's holo recording. So how come she did not tell anything to the Republic (jedi order/republic military). Republic did not knew anything about the Sith Empire when it re-emerged and attacked Korriban three centuries later but Bastila must have suspected something given the fact that she saw sith that is alive. So she did not share that information with anyone and did not warn the jedi? Why? 
A: Bastila may have said something about the holo, but she and the Jedi didn't get along that well after KOTOR. Also, even if she said something, after a couple centuries pass and nobody shows up it would be easy to dismiss her warnings. Remember - 300 years pass from the Revan novel until the Sith attack the Republic; Revan bought the Repbulic three centuries of peace to rebuild and recover, or else they would have been wiped out.

Q: Can you confirm that the Sith Entity from the Sith Warrior's storyline is in fact Kreia? Or give any hint/clue related to this? Codex entry about the entity seems very familiar and Kreia fits into it perfectly. Will we get to see more of the sith entity in SW:TOR's future storyline?  
A: I didn't write this, so I can't comment 100%. But I think it's suppposed to be Kreia.

Q: Can you tell me anything about Satele's and Revan's relationship? Why it is not explored in SW:TOR? Will we ever get to see Revan and Satele somehow interacting with one another? Why you decided not to go for reunion with grand daddy? I personally like the idea, it seems like an interesting plot twist.
          A: I can't talk about that in case we want to use it in a later game, book or comic.

Q: Will we ever get to know the final fate of KotOR characters like Zaalbar or Canderous - we never find out what happened to them. While Canderous is obviously dead, Zaalbar could be alive - from what I know, wookies can live FOR A LONG time. And even if Canderous is dead, it would be great to know how he died - from what I recall, in smuggler class story players find his skull but thats it. He was a great character and it would be a bummer not to find out what happened to him after Revan novel and KotOR 2. Canderous was in fact my favourite companion back in KotOR. I just loved to hear his tales about the Mandalorian Wars. The one with reference to Yuuzhan Vongs was especially awesome.   
          A: Same thing.

Thanks again for everything that you have done, looking forward to your future contribution to the Star Wars lore. I am sure it will be great as everything you did was so far. "Revan" was a great read with really dramatic ending, at least that is what I think. 

Thanks for the e-mail,

After reading the sentence I outlined, I am sure that we will see more of Revan in the future. Just can't wait! Revan will come back and will kick some major ass!

Oh, and according the outlined quote, Revan's actions were actually not grey but dark, just as I thought: "...and being corrupted by the Emperor's presence for 300 years did push him over in that direction".

Let me quote something I wrote a while back:
It is still a matter of debate whether his actions are purely dark or more kind of grey. I heared rumor that Drew Karpyshyn himself (creator of Revan character) confirmed that Revan was in fact actling like grey and not dark jedi, meanining he partly stayed true to the light side. Still, commiting genocide is against everything that jedi believe in so I don't know... it will be interesting to see how BioWare develops Revan's story in future. I personally don't believe that Drew said that. Why? Well, everything in the game suggests that Revan in fact fell to the dark side (and gone mad due to the impact the Emperor had on him and all). But, he understood or will understand his flaws in the end.
I just find it strange that his actions would be considered as such (grey), because all codex entries about Revan strongly suggest that he's gone mad and is obsesed with stopping the Emperor no matter the cost. That is why I would like to see that quote for myself. 
So it seems that in the end I was right!

All codex entries related to Revan strongly suggested that the Emperor had huge impact on him over the course of three centuries long imprisonment. As Vitiate ravaged Revan's mind, poor guy went insane and is "steeping in hate". No wonder, Emperor pretty much ruined his life and prevented him from ever meeting with his family again.

Let's just hope that after the Foundry Revan realized his flaws and came back to the light. Towards the end of fight he speaks the exact same words as Malak during his demise so I think Revan understood that he had fallen to the dark side. He will once again come back fully aware of who he really is.

As for Canderous, it is possible that we will find out what happened to him... either by playing TOR, or reading some future comic/book.

Expect PART 2 of the interview to be added soon. The questions will touch upon the following topics: HK-47's fate, Revan's mask and more!

środa, 22 lutego 2012

Embrace your inner nerd(i)ness!

Welcome to my new blog - LoreFreak! I am planning to have both Polish and English versions of the site - for now there is only English version available, but Polish one should be up and running in no time.

Here you will find interviews, debates, reviews, articles and more, all Star Wars related - embrace your inner nerd(i)ness! LoreFreak is a new blog dedicated to all Star Wars lore geeks out there.

You want to be up to date on all newest Expanded Universe books, comics, games and movies? Well, this is the site for you. If new Star Wars book published by Del Rey comes out, here you will be able to read it's review. If new Clone Wars animated series season comes out, here you will be able to find out if it is worth watching it. New Star Wars game comes out? Same thing - As soon as I will play through it I shall submit as less fanboyish and as most objective review as possible in order to help you decide whether it's worth giving a shot.

But there is more! I just gave you a mere glimpse of what you will be able to find here on LoreFreak. To give you some sneak peek of what else future has in store for you all, I made a list of upcoming blog entries that will be released approximately once a week. Here you go:

- Star Wars: The Old Republic review.

- Character spotlights.

- Interviews.

- Books reviews.

- Debates coming straight from swtor.com forums.

Contests with exceptional prizes!

Still, that is not all, so stay tuned and may the force be with you!