Disney’s monogamous relationship with EA seems to have come to an end, as Ubisoft and another unknown developer interested in remaking the Knights of the Old Republic series have taken over industry headlines. EA’s tenure with Disney resulted in remakes of the defunct Pandemic Studio’s (which was shuttered by EA) Star Wars: Battlefront series, as well as two original games in Jedi: Fallen Order and Star Wars: Squadrons.
Battlefront II, though eventually deemed satisfactory over three years after its release, was initially condemned for its now fixed pay-to-win loot crate system and lack of playable lightsaber-wielders. Fallen Order and Squadrons, meanwhile, were positively-received overall. Now, Disney has begun working with Ubisoft and the recently revived Lucasfilm Games. Perhaps this means Lucasfilm’s former projects will see the light of canonization, but for now, there are very few pre-2014 Star Wars games that are part of the gospel. With all this said, let’s go over the current state of Star Wars: The Old Republic/KOTOR canon.
Are there any Old Republic characters who survived the great Disney purge? On StarWars.com, you can type in the name of any character, vehicle, planet, etc. into the search bar of the website’s “Databank.” While researching, I typed in the name Cal Kestis, the protagonist of EA’s Jedi: Fallen Order game, and was first brought to a short bio detailing Cal’s status as a worker in the Scrappers Guild. But typing in the name Kyle Katarn, protagonist of the no-longer canon Jedi Knight series, I found no results.
What about The Old Republic? BioWare still runs the MMORPG based on Knights of the Old Republic. But type in Darth Malgus, and all you’ll get is an eight-years-old advertisement for a GameStop sweepstakes. (Is it too late for me to win that Darth Malgus statue, GameStop?)
It’s possible that characters specific to Knights of the Old Republic have faired better. KOTOR’s Darth Revan does show up briefly: as a character in the mobile MMO Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes alongside Bastila Shan, Jolee Bindo, T3-M4, Mission Vao, Zaalbar, Malak, and Nihilis. However, Galaxy of Heroes can, unfortunately for Revan and his KOTOR counterparts, hardly be considered canon, in the same way that my playing as Kylo Ren on Kashyyyk in Battlefront II likewise cannot be considered a lore-accurate event.
Interestingly, the Nihil are the antagonists of the new High Republic era of Star Wars, which was just launched recently in the form of various publishing projects. While not seemingly related to KOTORII’s Darth Nihilus (they are space pirates, after all), the name is oddly similar. Disney does this to us all the time, though: Galen Erso shares the same first name as Galen Marek, or Starkiller, and the sequel version of the Death Star is named Starkiller base. A squad of Sith troopers in the sequel trilogy is even named the Revan Legion.
As far as I can tell, the other legions’ namesakes are all excluded from the StarWars.com Databank. This includes Darth Tenebrous (the master of Darth Plagueis), Sith Lord Darth Desolous, Darth Phobos (who appears as a training simulation enemy in The Force Unleashed), Darth Tanis, and Ancient Dark Lord Andeddu. Is the inclusion of these EU Sith names a signal of yet-official lore, or just Disney throwing us fans a bone?
PLANETS & BATTLES
The KOTOR planets of Korriban and Taris are absent from the official Database, as are the ships Endar Spire and Leviathan. The planet Malachor has, therefore against the odds, successfully become canon through its appearance in the Rebels TV series. In the EU, Revan led the Republic against Mandalorian crusaders here, and the official Databank nearly confirms: “Home to an ancient Sith temple, it was once the location of a heated battle between Jedi and Sith.” The temple, however, was not the academy of the EU’s Darth Traya, nor was the battle that of Revan’s, as the Great Scourge involved no Mandalorians.
(Fun tid-bit, though: the Database entry for Kylo Ren’s Lightsaber implies that the generation of Sith who died during the Scourge of Malachor more commonly used crossguard hilt designs. Rebels protagonist Ezra even finds an artifact of one such weapon here with Ahsoka Tano).
Despite my excitement over EU character names reappearing in canon, and maybe an old planet getting re-established here and there, it’s hard to say just how meaningful these references are. Easter eggs aren’t made from concrete, so everything is up in the air. Disney and Lucas could easily re-integrate lots of Old Republic material, but they’ve yet to make a known commitment to do so. Perhaps the rumored KOTOR remake will change things.