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The Psychological Reasons Behind Revan Fanboyism

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The Psychological Reasons Behind Revan Fanboyism

SaliusKalo's Avatar

10.01.2012 , 02:46 PM | #1
I first played Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic in the summer of 2006 on the original Xbox. Obviously, I was late to the party. The only reason I did so was because of the recommendation of it from a very good friend of mine who was the biggest Revan fanboy I had known and will ever know.

To be honest? I played the first five minutes and got bored (Taris seems to have that effect). I tried it again two years later, AFTER playing through KOTOR II. KOTOR II was such a fantastic game, that I felt that it's predecessor had to have something that I'd missed. So I played through KOTOR I at last, and I discovered the world of Revan fanboyism. I loved his story so much, and I couldn't really explain why.

Some time later, after getting into the culture of Star Wars prequel criticism, I realized the answer:

When we all saw the OT and were introduced to to Darth Vader's backstory from an anecdotal perspective, we had assumed that Anakin Skywalker had been a military leader who had been turned to the dark side through the horrors of war, not through the fear of losing his wife in childbirth. When the prequel trilogy contradicted this assumed origin, we felt cheated. Revan offered the equivalent of the Vader backstory that we'd all wanted. He was a heroic and charismatic Jedi Knight who had been turned to the dark side (at least before Kreia's explanation and SWTOR's contradiction of Revan's supposed backstory) by the horrors of war.

In short, Revan offered us, at the time of KOTOR I's release, the Darth Vader that we all remembered from our childhoods.

But now, of course, TOR has changed all of that - hence the Revan fanboys' disillusionment with the Revan from the novel and TOR's story.
"The capacity for good or evil, like the Force itself, is in all living creatures. And belonging to the Jedi Order, or the Sith, or any group, won't change what you are at your core."
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Aurbere's Avatar

10.01.2012 , 03:39 PM | #2
Much of what you said is true. However, it does not excuse Revanites when they say that revan is the greatest to happen to Star Wars. They say it in more ways than one.
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"Your only hope to survive is to give in to the rage boiling within you, to acknowledge the Dark Side you deny, and tap into it!"--Darth Tyranus

Forgon's Avatar

10.01.2012 , 03:47 PM | #3
If you are connecting movie disappointment with the love for a game character, you are approaching it wrong.

At least in my experience, Revan's history (before my PC made all the decisions) was steered by the "WHAT?!" moment towards the end of Act II to the game, where the character I heard bits and pieces about turned out to be me.

Keep in mind I played Revan as a male DS character so once I heard that I was the famed Dark Lord of the Sith who was destined to bring the Republic to its knees, I was ecstatic. I liked Revan because he was Revan; I was not and am not disappointed with Darth Vader's past and feel some tragic, ingrained need to fill some void in my heart with him and have no attachment to Revan as being the Darth Vader of my life.

Revan, for me as a fan of him while playing the game, was to be the fallen Dark Lord of the Sith who regained his lost glory, swept Malak's Empire from under him (along with his apprentice), and set himself back on his destined path to conquer the galaxy.

Now, respecting Revan as a male LS character with lore stretching from the EU onward, I respect Revan as a tragic figure who's life has been a struggle between the duality in human morality as he makes the more difficult (and sometimes outright wrong) choices in his life.

Revan fanboyism stems from simple an attachment to a character to an extremity. This ranges from nostalgia of the first game, Obsidian's hype of him in the second game, the player's choices and decisions as him, the literal assumptions from player perspectives in both games, the fact he believed in a balance between both sides of the Force (the "cool" thing to believe), and (my personal favorite ) him being the hero who played the villain for the "greater good."

Keep in mind the above mentioned range from being true, false, and/or misinterpretations.

That is how I see it anyway, imo.
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Indignatron's Avatar

10.01.2012 , 04:01 PM | #4
Not a bad post, I can see where you're coming from with this perspective on this, but I honestly think it's a tad off and there's more to it. I know in my case I originally was not even going to consider playing this game because of what occurred in the Revan novel both to him and the Exile and how it simply felt more like an attack on the direction Obsidian took with the story after the original game's conclusion rather than anything else and I know I wasn't alone in that mindset as a lot of fans of KOTOR II felt the same way at the time of it's release (some even going so far as to show this displeasure directly to the author who made quite a number of bitter comments back at said fans), but I was content to do nothing with it.

However, this changed when I decided to sit down and re-read the book and came to realize that most likely was NOT the intention and in fact it was just following in the tradition of the Star Wars universe where tragedy and failure has to eventually befall the heroes (for lack of a better way of putting it) in order to keep the universe going forward in an ebb and flow. Admittedly, I have not gotten to any point of seeing Revan in TOR yet to formulate any opinions on how it is handled in this game, but I have grown to accept the novel's handling over time which led me to actually give this a shot. I still consider myself a "Revanite" and I always will be simply because Revan and KOTOR rejuvenated my interest in Star Wars that had dwindled since Shadows of the Empire and the Timothy Zahn novels.

Back to the point of this post though, I don't really think it has a lot to do with the prequels and how they handled Anakin since at least in my case that had absolutely nothing to do with it. It's been a long time since I bothered to dwell on thoughts that I had about Vader prior to seeing the prequels and how it happened, I can't really say I ever figured it was caused by atrocities he witnessed or took part in while fighting. Maybe it's just me, but I never really gathered that from it, it always seemed to me to be something much deeper than that, which is what the prequels eventually went for albeit done in a rather poorly constructed way. That's not to say I'm against the way the prequels did it, just that it could have been brought about in a more fleshed out way.

While typing this post, I'm glad I checked back to see how the thread itself was doing since Forgon made a lot of points I was going to get to and I applaud him for doing so while I took forever typing this. Revan as a character has a tremendous amount of depth and yet still mystery to him that few characters in the lore really got the chance to get in a medium past the novels (excluding the movies) and a lot of people are able to connect to him better because you WERE him in the original game. This gave people a stronger connection to his actions and the effects while also leaving you with the ability to believe that the balance in the force so many other characters in the lore strove for really could exist and change everything. Revan was the first character to really establish that so solidly as a possibility and he will forever be a key figure in the Star Wars lore as a result.

Basically, people's fascination with Revan to me is all in the possibilities that were offered and the fact he was such an important figure in the lore that anything involving him HAS to have a major impact because of the direction his story took. No matter what, someone is going to be disappointed due to this and that will end up riling up the most rabid fans, but that's the same pitfall you step into any time a pivotal character of the SW universe is involved.

As an aside, thanks for posting this thread to make my second post on these forums an incredibly long one.
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maxetius's Avatar

10.01.2012 , 04:24 PM | #5
Somehow I know that it's EA's fault.

OldVengeance's Avatar

10.01.2012 , 06:09 PM | #6
I'm pretty sure Revan fanboyism predates the Revenge of the Sith movie's release. I remember if being kind of a big deal as soon as the game first came out.

Makoto_Shishio's Avatar

10.01.2012 , 08:00 PM | #7
Because you were playing as him after you found out the big twist in KOTOR.

Other than that with the release of later media, he's an absolutely terrible character and another mary-sue.
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Aurbere's Avatar

10.01.2012 , 08:17 PM | #8
Quote: Originally Posted by Makoto_Shishio View Post
Because you were playing as him after you found out the big twist in KOTOR.

Other than that with the release of later media, he's an absolutely terrible character and another mary-sue.
^Sums it up right there.
Added Chapter 66 to The Shadows Fall
"Your only hope to survive is to give in to the rage boiling within you, to acknowledge the Dark Side you deny, and tap into it!"--Darth Tyranus

Airmo's Avatar

10.02.2012 , 01:41 AM | #9
Quote: Originally Posted by Makoto_Shishio View Post
Because you were playing as him after you found out the big twist in KOTOR.

Other than that with the release of later media, he's an absolutely terrible character and another mary-sue.
That escalated quickly.
"Darkness is a friend, an ally. Darkness allows us to understand others, to see what they value when they believe no one else is looking. It allows us to be honest with ourselves, to express those values that we would disavow in the light. The light blinds us. It is only in the dark that we see clearly."

Brainiacblue's Avatar

10.02.2012 , 02:09 PM | #10
I think this boils down to the simple fact that he is the hero that we created. The reason i was personally a little disappointed by the Revan in TOR (although not much - purple lightsabre + revan robes = epic) was because he was not the person that I created in Kotor and emphasised in Kotor II.

Because we, the fans, created the identity of Revan we will always be amazed by him.