Revan—renowned as the Revanchist, honored as the Revan, reviled as Revan the Butcher, dreaded as the Dark Lord of the SithDarth Revan, and praised as the Prodigal Knight—was a Humanmale who played pivotal roles as both Jedi and Sith in theMandalorian Wars and the Jedi Civil War. Believed to have been born in the Outer Rim Territories, the man later known as Revan was bornaround the year 3994 BBY and studied under a number of differentJedi Masters as a Padawan of the Jedi Order. Becoming fast friends with a fellow student named Alek, the young man became a Jedi Knight and was a vocal and charismatic critic of the Order's inactivity in the ongoing Mandalorian Wars between the Galactic Republic and the Mandalorian warrior clans. Leading the Revanchist movement in defiance of the Jedi Council's wishes and taking on the name of Revan, the Knight donned the mask of a fallen Mandalorian as he joined the Republic Military's fight and was appointed Supreme Commander.
However, when Revan defeated the Mandalorian leader Mandalore the Ultimate at the Battle of Malachor V in 3960 BBY, Revan and his friend Alek, now known as Malak, followed the trail of a mysterious Sith influence on the Mandalorian Wars to the Unknown Regions, where the two discovered a reconstituted Sith Empire and were turned to the dark side of the Force by the Sith Emperor. Sent back to the Republic as advance agents, the newly anointed Dark Lords of the Sith Darth Revan and Darth Malak broke free of the Emperor'smental control and established their own empire with the Star Forge, an ancient space station of great power that had been built by theRakata species. Using the Star Forge to construct a military fleet and weapons, Revan and Malak waged war against the Republic in the resultant Jedi Civil War. However, Revan was betrayed by his Sith apprentice Malak and captured by the Jedi Knight Bastila Shan, who saved Revan and formed a Force bond with her captive.
With his mind wiped, Revan was given a new identity as a Republic soldier by the Jedi Council and stationed aboard the Republic warshipEndar Spire. However, when Malak attacked the Spire above theplanet Taris in a failed attempt to capture Bastila Shan, Revan joined forces with the Republic officer Carth Onasi and a number of other individuals on Taris to locate Shan on Taris and escape the world before Malak destroyed Taris's surface. Revan and his friends traveled to the planet Dantooine's Jedi Enclave, where he was retrained as a Jedi Padawan. Sent on a mission to locate the Star Maps, Rakatan artifacts that would lead the way to the Star Forge, Revan gained new allies and grew close with Shan during their travels. However, when the group was capturedby Malak, Revan's true identity was revealed and Shan was captured, forcing Revan and his crew to find the final Map and locate the Star Forge on their own. Aboard the Star Forge, Revan brought a fallen Shan back to the light side of the Force with his love and defeated Malak, earning the Cross of Glory and the title of Prodigal Knight.
Revan married Shan and sank into obscurity for several years until his resurfacing memories led him to leave his wife and unborn child behind in a search for answers in the Unknown Regions. Captured by the Sith, he was imprisoned for three years until a former lieutenant of his named Meetra Surik rescued him with the help of the Sith Lord Scourge. The trio's attempt to eliminate the Sith Emperor failed, and Revan was held captive by the Emperor for three hundred years until he was finally freed by Republic forces. Taking control of the Rakatan Foundry, Revan attempted to construct an army of extermination droids to destroy the Empire, but the Jedi Master died when he was defeated by an Imperial strike team.
However, the torture that he experienced at the hands of the Emperor had splintered Revan's mind, and though part of him attempted to become one with the Force, the rest rejected death and clung to life, embracing the dark side. Taking control of the fanatical Order of Revan, he sought to destroy the Sith Emperor once and for all by bringing the Sith ruler back to a physical form and killing him, but both the Empire and the Republic joined together in an effort to stop him. Revan's light side was unable to pass on and aided the coalition in defeating the dark Revan, and though the Emperor was able to regain his strength, the two halves of Revan merged and were able to die a final death. His legacy, however, would live on; the Sith Lord Darth Rivan, who began the thousand-year-conflict known as the New Sith Wars, named himself after Revan after reading a damaged manuscript about the Sith Lord, and the Sith Lord Darth Bane discovered Revan's Sith holocron on the planet Lehon and used Revan's teachings to develop the Rule of Two philosophy.
A Human male, the individual later known as Revan was born in approximately3994 BBY, and some believed that he had been born in the Outer Rim Territories. The child who would be remembered as Revan was eventually discovered to beForce-sensitive and was accepted into the Jedi Order. The Jedi Master Kreiaclaimed to have been his first teacher in the ways of the Force. Regardless of the truth of her statement, the Human was trained along with a fellow student namedAlek on both the planet Coruscant and at the Jedi Enclave on the planetDantooine. Both Humans received further training from the Twi'lek Jedi MasterZhar Lestin, who noted that the future Revan possessed what he described as an insatiable desire for knowledge. Lestin believed that it was simply youthful exuberance and eagerness, and he expected the young man to become a champion of the Order—a sentiment shared by Master Vandar Tokare, though Master Vrook Lamar was wary of the student's desire for knowledge.
The Jedi studied under a number of Jedi Masters after leaving the tutelage of his first teacher, learning from Master Lestin, the Enclave's chronicler Master Dorak, and Arren Kae. The former Jedi hopeful Mical later claimed that Revan had undertaken a thorough study of Force bonds and other uncommon Force powersduring his time as a Padawan. Alongside Alek, the future Revan achieved the rank of Jedi Knight sometime before the year 3964 BBY, and the two were widely acknowledged as being among the most promising members of the Jedi Order. However, Alek's friend was commonly recognized as the more powerful and intelligent of the pair, and he was seen as the leader among the two. By 3964 BBY, the man was a well-known, charismatic, and powerful Jedi Knight. According to Mical, Revan returned to his first teacher in order to learn how to best leave the Jedi Order, though he did not follow through.
The Mandalorian Wars
- "When the Mandalorian threat first arose, Revan and Malak were eager to defeat the enemy of the Republic. But the council thought it best if we moved with care and caution. The true threat, the council feared, had not yet revealed itself. But Revan would not be dissuaded. Charismatic and powerful, it was inevitable many of the Order would flock to Revan's seemingly noble cause. Malak was the first to join his closest friend. Others followed, many of our youngest and brightest, intent on saving the galaxy from the Mandalorian threat."
- ―Zhar Lestin[src]
That year, warriors of the Mandalorian culture began an invasion of the Galactic Republic's territories in the Outer Rim, bringing the Mandalorian Wars to the larger galaxy. Outraged at the Jedi Council's refusal to involve the Order in the conflict, the young Jedi Knight began to move among the Order, arguing that the Jedi should actively aid the Republic Military in its fight against the Mandalorian Neo-Crusaders. The Republic mediabranded him as the "Jedi's own crusader," and the "crusader" gradually gathered a following of like-minded Jedi as the number of military and civilian casualties continued to rise. Alek was the first to join the cause, and his friend soon became considered to be the honorary "Master" of those who followed him.
With the backing of Alek and his other followers, the Jedi Knight decided to journey to the war front against the wishes of the Jedi High Council so that he could scout the enemy lines. On the way, he and his followers stopped on the planet Taris in the Ojoster sector in order to meet with the Jedi Master Lucien Draay. The "crusader" hoped to recruit more Jedi to his cause from the Jedi Tower on Taris, but neither Draay nor any of the other Jedi there were willing to oblige.Not long after departing Taris, the Knight left Alek and the majority of his followers on the planet Suurja while he himself investigated Mandalorian activity on Onderon and its moon Dxun. However, many of his followers were captured by Mandalorians in an ambush at Suurja. Considering his findings to be "disturbing," the Knight reported his findings to the Jedi Council on Coruscant shortly after the Republic officially entered into the Mandalorian Wars, though the Council once again told him that the Order had no place in the war. In response, the Council dispatched the Human Knight on a mission to rescue those Jedi who had been captured. As he departed the Council chambers on Coruscant, the Knight encountered Master Draay and, after a brief conversation about their views on the war, he departed to complete his assignment.
The Jedi's followers, including Alek, were eventually rescued from the Mandalorian scientist Demagol on the planet known as Flashpoint by the fugitive Jedi Padawan Zayne Carrick, who had been framed by his former Master Lucien Draay for murdering his classmates on Taris. Once reunited with Alek and his followers, the Knight continued his campaign for Jedi intervention in the Mandalorian Wars. Finding himself to be a celebrity to the larger Republic as the head of the Revanchist movement—as his faction became known—he was cast by the Republic media in the role of a crusading savior who was wrongfully ignored by the Jedi Council. Though he was first referred to as "the Revanchist Leader" in news reports, the young Jedi Knight soon became known simply as "the Revanchist."
Over the course of the year 3963 BBY, the Revanchist continued to travel the galaxy and bring his message of Jedi intervention to all who would listen. A Cathar Jedi named Ferroh, one of the Revanchist's followers, brought the planet Cathar to the Revanchist's attention. Ferroh's entire species had vanished from theirhomeworld ten years prior, and the Revanchist—believing that the Mandalorians were responsible—began showing other Jedi the abandoned world in order to convince them that the Mandalorians needed to be stopped. He and Alek were on Cathar when Mandalorian forces under the command of their leaderMandalore the Ultimate attacked the planet Serroco. In the Battle of Serroco, the Mandalorians bombed the planet's surface with nuclear warheads, and the Revanchist felt the death of thousands of innocents from several sectors away. Not long afterward, The Revanchist was invited by Lord Arkoh Adasca, the head ofthe Adasca BioMechanical Corporation of Arkania, to bid on weaponized exogorths that the businessman sought to sell to any faction in the Mandalorian Wars. The Knight was unable to attend the auction due to pressing business elsewhere, so he sent Alek in his place. Several Jedi had visions that Adasca's exogorths could change the course of the war, so the Revanchist instructed his friend to ensure that the danger the weapons posed was eliminated. In the aftermath of the Adasca affair, the Revanchist was rumored to be arranging a meeting between several Jedi opinion-makers.
Shortly after the Adasca affair, the Taris Siege, and the bombardment ofJebble, Lucien Draay was appointed to the Jedi Council. He reported to the Council that Republic intelligence reports indicated that there was a blow to the Mandalorians' plans of conquest, reportedly by an insurrection within their own ranks, and stated that the "interventionist path" sought by the Revanchist was wrong for both the Republic and the Jedi. The Council approved his motion, which ordered the recall, or if necessary, detention, of the Revanchists. The Jedi Council sent Alek back to the Revanchist and his followers with a final warningafter Alek, now going under the guise of "Captain Malak," testified to the Jedi Council against the secret cabal known as the Jedi Covenant.
Fighting the Mandalorians
- "I don't know your name—but i take up your cause. I will not remove your mask until there is justice—until the Mandalorians have been defeated once and for all. So swears… Revan!"
The Revanchist was on Cathar again when Malak returned from Coruscant, but Master Lamar and several other Jedi Masters followed him there. The Masters confronted the Revanchist and his followers, informing the young Jedi that the Mandalorians were nothing special and demanding that the Revanchist movement disband. However, in the midst of the discussion, the Revanchist discovered a Mandalorian mask underfoot. When he picked it up, the entire group of Jedi was enveloped in a Force vision of the past: hundreds of Cathar were storming toward the nearby beach, pursued by a swarm of Mandalorians led by Mandalore's lieutenant Cassus Fett. The Jedi tried to defend the Cathar, but their lightsabers were unable to harm the phantom Mandalorians. The Jedi watched helplessly as the Cathar were herded into the ocean, and Fett's forces prepared to massacre the Cathar. One Mandalorian, however, flew in front of the Cathar and pleaded with Fett on their behalf, arguing that they were defeated and genocide was unnecessary. Fett declared that the Cathar had to be annihilated for dishonoring the Mandalorians during the Great Sith War, and that if the warrior wished to stand with the Cathar in their final moments, then she could perish alongside them as well. Fett saluted her efforts before authorizing his warships to fire away, thuskilling the female Mandalorian and all of the Cathar. It was that woman's mask that the Revanchist had found, and after being inspired by her sacrifice, he placed the mask on his face. Drawing his violet-bladed lightsaber and adopting the simpler name of Revan, he vowed to wear the mask until all of the Mandalorians were brought to justice for their atrocities.
Even the Jedi Council was affected by the details that were discovered behind the massacre of the Cathar. Although they were still unwilling to lead the entire Jedi Order into the war, the Mandalorians' war crimes were sufficient enough for the Council to begrudgingly sanction the intervention of Revan and his faction on behalf of the Republic. Officially, they still denounced Revan's actions as unwise and too hasty, and continued to dissuade the rest of the Order from joining Revan's cause. In reality, the Mandalorians' own actions made it impossible for them to stand in the way of Revan's cause. However, Revan came up with a solution that would appease the Council and allow him to respond to the growing public clamoring for the Jedi to take action. Inspired by an initiative from the days of the Great Sith War thirty years earlier that had allowed civilian healers to work with the military, he proposed that the Revanchists be deputized into the Republic Military as a Mercy Corps. The Council grudgingly agreed to Revan's request, and the newly formed Mercy Corps was placed directly under his command.
In the following weeks, the Revanchist Jedi joined the Republic Military in battling the Mandalorians openly. By that time, a Jedi named Meetra Surik had become one of Revan's most valuable lieutenants. Revan quickly won a string of military victories, proving himself to a capable military leader, and in 3962 BBY Revan and Malak prevented the Battle of Duro from becoming an even larger disaster by bringing afleet of Interdictor-class cruisers into the system and preventing the Mandalorians from escaping with large amounts of war materiel from Duro's orbital shipyards. In light of their accomplishments, Supreme Chancellor Tol Cressa named himSupreme Commander and placed a third of the Republic Military under his direct command. Under his leadership, the Republic war effort began to push back the Mandalorians, but at a price—Revan and Malak began to adopt a policy of victory at all costs. While Revan was a military genius who knew that the Republic's industrial might was the key to victory, many of his victories were the result of his sacrificing resources and territory in order to gain an advantage. "Moral shortcuts" became common under Revan and Malak's leadership, and the two Jedi developed a cold and calculating disposition unlike that of a Jedi; they matched the Mandalorians' brutal tactics with tactics just as merciless.
Sometime during the next two years, Revan and Malak uncovered an ancient ruin of the Rakata species near the Jedi Enclave on Dantooine, and after undergoing a series of tests at the hands of the droid guardians, the two were given access to the inner chambers. Moments before they crossed the threshold, Malak warned Revan of the consequences, believing that the Council would banish the two if they attempted to enter. However, Revan would not be dissuaded, and the two entered the chamber to discover a Star Map—a relic of the Rakata species that showed part of the location of the Rakatan space station known as the Star Forge.Around 3961 BBY, Revan discovered another Star Map in the depths of the Shadowlands, a region of theWookiee homeworld of Kashyyyk, and the two Jedi also briefly visited the Sith tombworld of Korriban. Not long afterward, Revan traveled to the Sith world of Malachor V and discovered the Trayus Academy, a temple of Sith learning. There, he began to be seduced by the dark side of the Force, learning from the Sith knowledge contained within the Academy, and Revan introduced Malak to the dark side as well.
- "It was not your ships or your men or your vaunted 'fight for freedom' that won this, the final battle of the war. It was by the actions of one person–the Jedi Revan–that you prevailed. Revan's strategies and tactics defeated the best of us. Even Mandalore himself was taken aback by the ferocity, the tenacity, and the subtlety of Revan's plans."
- ―Canderous Ordo[src]
Though under the thrall of the dark side, Revan did not renounce the Jedi ways initially, and he and Malak continued to battle the Mandalorians. When the Republic sought to drive the Mandalorians off of Taris, Revan himself led a group of Jedi into battle in Taris's Undercity. There, Revan freed a group of slaves who were about to be sold on the slave market—among them a young Force-sensitive Cathar named Juhani. Inspired by Revan's heroism, Juhani was encouraged by one of Revan's compatriots to join the Jedi Order. Not long afterward, Malak and Revan battled Cassus Fett at the star cluster Jaga's Cluster, and Revan then ordered a large part of his forces under now-General Meetra Surik to attack the Mandalorian strongholds on Onderon and Dxun. His battle plan called for hundreds of small-unit feints to probe the Mandalorian lines for weaknesses, and Surik carried out his orders despite her weakened forces. The battle on Dxun lasted for months and saw heavy Republic losses, with approximately ten Republic soldiersdying for every Mandalorian death.
In an effort to draw out the Mandalorians, Revan launched a campaign against the planet Althir III that destroyed much of the Mandalorian army. By 3960 BBY, Revan had begun to use a lightsaber of a blue color, and he had ordered the construction of a superweapon known as the Mass Shadow Generator, which had been designed by the Zabrak engineer Bao-Dur. The Mass Shadow Generator served as the centerpiece of an elaborate trap in the Malachor system, where he hoped to lure the Mandalorians into a final confrontation that would end the conflict. He placed General Surik in command of half of the Republic fleet to serve as bait to draw the Mandalorians into the range of the Mass Shadow Generator, while the rest of the fleet under Revan would launch an assault on Mandalore's flagship. Whether through happenstance or Revan's design, many of the soldiers and Jedi present at the battle were those who were not strong supporters of the Supreme Commander; some later believed that Revan purposely assigned his detractors to the battle in order to eliminate them.
However, Revan himself was delayed outside the system by a Mandalorian scouting party. When he finally arrived in the Malachor system, a massive naval battle was underway, and Mandalore—realizing that defeat was inevitable—decided to challenge Revan to single combat. Accepting Mandalore's challenge, Revan engaged the warrior in a duel to the death aboard Mandalore's flagship. Despite Mandalore's strength, he was eventually overcome by his Jedi opponent, and at the end of the duel, Mandalore lay dying at Revan's feet. Coughing up blood, Mandalore removed his mask and began to speak to his victorious opponent about how he had been betrayed. Puzzled, Revan questioned Mandalore as to what he meant, and the dying man explained that he had been manipulated by a red-skinned Sith into beginning the war. The Sith had convinced Mandalore to help him uncover a Sith tomb on the ice world ofRekkiad before he influenced the warrior into attacking the Republic, and Mandalore gave Revan Rekkiad's coordinates in order to prove he was telling the truth just before he died.
Revan took Mandalore's Mask, his symbol of leadership, as his spoils of war. With Revan's victory, the Republic forces began to press the Mandalorian forces closer and closer to Malachor V. It was then that Surik commanded Bao-Dur to activate the Mass Shadow Generator, and Revan's own vessel was outside of range of the superweapon as it activated. Revan and Surik both watched in horror as most of the Mandalorian fleet and a large number of Republic vessels were drawn toward the planet into a massive gravity vortex. Countless ships were pulled from orbit and slammed into Malachor V's crust, crushing them and fracturing the planet to its very core. Thousands died on both sides of the battle, though the Mandalorians suffered far more casualties than the Republic did. In the wake of the devastation, the Mandalorians who survived transmitted their unconditional surrender to the Republic forces.