It’s been 10 years since Knights of the Old Republic II. Isn’t it about time for Knights of the Old Republic III? The short answer is yes. I don’t think any gamers could possibly disagree that we’ve waited long enough for the return of this series.
Sure, we got The Old Republic a few years back, but a) it was not the RPG we were looking for, and b) it didn’t REALLY continue the story laid out in the Knights Of The Old Republic games. Instead, we got a flawed MMO that took place 300 years after the events of its spiritual predecessor.
But what about the cliffhanger at the end of Knights of The Old Republic II?
Yes, it’s known to all fans of this series that the sequel to BioWare’s game of the year was incredibly rushed (only a year apart). Instead of taking their time and creating a gaming experience that would stand on its own two feet, Obsidian pushed out a sequel that they hoped would ride on the success of the original.
That said, there were plenty of good things to say about KOTOR 2, enough to justify a sequel at least!
The Sith Lords was a much darker experience than the original, and it succeeded for the most part. After Darth Malak’s defeat at the Star Forge, the remaining Sith began to hunt down the Jedi one by one, until the Order was forced to go into hiding. Your character, a man/woman exiled from the Jedi Order for unknown reasons, is one of the few that decide to face the hidden Sith threat head on. Little do you know that you’re a pawn in a power struggle between three Sith Lords vying for control of the entire Empire.
The problem is that the game was never meant to end on a cliffhanger to begin with. Obsidian hoped to close the gaps on the Sith mythology the first game had introduced. While the original was more focused on the Jedi tradition (you got to go through the Jedi trials, which included building your very own lightsaber), part II was supposed to be the Sith’s turn.
An underlying theme within the series was the ancient Sith threat. Hidden in the Unknown Regions of space was a terrible disturbance in the Force: the remaining Sith Empire from the days of the ancient Dark Lord Naga Sadow. After the events of the first game, Revan decided to leave the Republic to stop this threat. Unfortunately for the Jedi Order, he disappeared and was never heard from again.
Revan’s legacy is a major player in the sequel, as the battling Sith Lords and the Jedi Exile attempt to uncover what evil Revan discovered in the darkness of space. Cool, right?
But ten years later, we’re still left with the series’ final image: the Jedi Exile flying the Ebon Hawk away from an erupting Malachor V, and into the depths of unknown space to find Revan and the ancient Sith Empire.
I don’t have to spell out how awesome it would have been to see Revan and the Exile team up to fight all the ancient Sith baddies hiding in the darkness of space, do I? Knights of the Old Republic III promised the big confrontation between the Jedi and the REAL Sith (it is eluded several times that all the Sith in the series are not direct descendants of the ancient Empire, and therefore, are faux Sith, I guess). Perhaps, we could have even seen the return of the awesomely evil Naga Sadow…
The closest we got to this climactic battle was the novel by Star Wars veteran Drew Karpyshyn, Revan. The novel serves as a prequel/sequel to The Sith Lords, and provides backstory for The Old Republic. Revan and the Exile (who’s revealed to be a woman named Meetra Surik) face off with ancient evil and meet their fate. Yeah, okay, but they got out with a whimper, not a BANG.
I didn’t follow the KOTOR story throughout my childhood to see it end up as a piece of promotional fodder for a mediocre game. The series did not get the ending it deserved.
Fortunately, the wonderful thing about this series is that it has the ability to branch out to new characters, new corners of the galaxy, and there’s always a new ancient secret to uncover.
The Knights of the Old Republic comic series illustrated this era’s continued potential for kickass storytelling. The comics served as a prequel to the original game, and it remains one of Dark Horse’s best runs in the franchise. What’s cooler than the Jedi Covenant, asteroid-eating slugs, and Mandalorians?
And what of the further adventures of the original cast of characters? Surely, the sassy Bastila Shan didn’t just sit still and wait around while half of the Jedi Order was hunted down. We get a brief glimpse of Admiral Onasi in Knights of the Old Republic II, but not enough to satisfy us.
Oh, and the cast of The Sith Lords…we don’t even KNOW who (or how they) survived the final showdown at Malachor V. Right as the core of the planet is collapsing, we see the trusty Ebon Hawk swat down and rescue the Exile, but we don’t know who’s piloting. According to the aforementioned novel, it’s all T3-M4, your trusty utility droid.
That’s not enough for me. At least at the end of first game, you had a clear sense of who survived the Jedi Civil War…
This series still has sooo much to cover, and there are A LOT of questions that need answering. Hopefully, EA will finally give us what we want. They own BioWare, and it’d be nice for the developer to tackle the next game in the series, as long as they don’t try to make it another MMO. May the Force be with them.