Reports recently emerged that the remake of the seminal 2003 Star Wars video game, Knights of the Old Republic (KOTOR), announced last September, has hit some glitches. Details on the exact nature of the issues are scanty, but it appears game development has now shifted from Aspyr Media to Sabre Interactive. It’s also notable that a few people in charge of art direction have been let go.

As a huge fan of KOTOR (and its 2004 sequel, Knights of the Old Republic 2: The Sith Lords), I’m torn by this news. On the one hand, I’m all for producing the best game possible, and I’m glad to know the process is not being rushed. (KOTOR 2 is one game that had a notoriously rushed release, with problematic results.) On the other hand, there’s a possibility that the remade KOTOR game might not release until 2025 now! (Insert crying emoji)

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So, for now at least, it appears I’ll have to find my own means of plugging the KOTOR-shaped holes in my life. For anyone else in the same boat, here’s a list of what I’m currently relying on to get me through:

Fan-Produced Content

With the announcement of the KOTOR remake in September 2021, Lucasfilm’s prior decision to shut down projects like the Apeiron KOTOR remake (in 2018) made sense. A fan-made game, especially one of that quality, would have been a direct competitor to the company’s own game update plans. 

But other projects, ones that don’t compete so directly head-to-head, have so far been allowed to continue. And some of them are really, really good. I’m especially excited for Unreal Cinema’s forthcoming KOTOR series. The Darth Malak short and some of the other vignettes these guys have published on their YouTube channel are really excellent.

SWTOR’s Revan storyline

Now, this one I haven’t actually explored yet. And I want to! It looks to me that it links strongly to KOTOR and KOTOR 2, as well as the Revan novel. I haven’t gotten into Star Wars: The Old Republic, a long-running MMORPG, as yet. With the delay of the KOTOR remake, I’m thinking now might be the time to dive in.

Re-reads of the Revan book

I didn’t hate The Rise of Skywalker. Exactly. But one of its major flaws for me was the way it chose to cast Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) as a Vitiate-like figure in his obsession to prolong his life. IMO, he just wasn’t scary enough. Adjacently, the journey of Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Ben Solo (Adam Driver) to defeat Palpatine wasn’t as compelling as it could have been. Vitiate, as seen in Drew Karpyshyn’s Revan, is simply terrifying.

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I actually read Revan the first time before I had ever played the KOTOR games. I liked it, okay. But it hews closely to the events of KOTOR and KOTOR 2. Once I understood these stories better (by playing through the games), the novel got a lot more interesting. And then Rise of Skywalker made it (for me) more so for the Palpatine vs Vitiate comparison. If you haven’t checked Revan out, it’s worth a read.

Cover of Drew Karpyshyn novel, Revan. Cover shows the titular character, green lightsaber raised, helmet and cloak on, against a blue-lit background

Playing around with game mods

I’ve mostly explored modding via KOTOR 2 and Steam, as it’s very easy there. No getting into game files or anything. You just click a button – and boom. Atton has a beard. 

screenshot of Effixian's Bearded Atton mod for KOTOR 2, showing the character of Atton Rand with a dark beard

Screenshot of Effixian’s Bearded Atton mod for KOTOR 2 for Steam

Or Hanharr looks like a Care Bear.

screenshot of Effixian's Care Bear Hanharr mod for KOTOR 2 for Steam, showing the Wookiee character Hanharr with pink fur and a rainbow on his chest

Screenshot of Effixian’s Care Bear Hanharr mod for KOTOR 2 for Steam

Not every mod is frivolous, of course. There are some really nice graphics improvements to be found via Steam mods, not to mention the pretty much essential TSLRCM (The Sith Lords Restored Content Modification) mod that restores a huge amount of cut content to the game. 

But that’s all KOTOR 2. There aren’t as many (or any?) mods for KOTOR on Steam. But they do exist in other places. While I’m waiting for the KOTOR remake, I think I might get a little deeper into the world of mods. Modding changes your game engagement and opens up your creativity. It’s interesting.

Of course, what I’d really like to do is learn how to make them. That might need to be my new project.

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The Deleted Revan Scene From Star Wars: The Clone Wars

This quick watch is fun, mostly for dreaming about what might have been. (Revan showing up in tv or movie format would be amazing!) But I have to agree with one of the commenters on the YouTube page where this is posted, who said that, much as they would love to have seen Revan in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, this particular scene wouldn’t have been ultimately satisfying. What makes Revan interesting is the way he sits at the balance of light and dark. Showcasing him as an embodiment of the Sith, as this scene does, would have been a disservice to the character, IMO. 

So, I think Dave Filoni and the powers-that-be at Clone Wars made the right call here in cutting this scene. But the whole thing whets my appetite, heavily, for the KOTOR remake. How will they frame Revan in the remake? Does the characterization they were considering for Clone Wars indicate that they’re going to lean harder into Revan’s identity as a Sith lord? (Rise of Skywalker’s “3rd Revan Legion” supports this possibility, too.) Time will tell, I suppose!

Numerous Mobile Playthroughs

And then there’s just continuing to play the game itself. KOTOR is super easy to access these days, thanks to its mobile device availability. I have both KOTOR and KOTOR 2 on my phone, and I amuse myself by playing multiple games simultaneously, hopping between them. Dark side Revan and Light side Revan. Male Revan and female Revan. They’re all fun. 

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I find that having a story-driven RPG like this available at my fingertips is just as good (often better) than pulling out a book and reading when I’m waiting to pick up a kid from school or something. It’s certainly much better than mindlessly scrolling social media. Bottom line: I love KOTOR, and it makes me happy to dip into it in odd moments. (KOTOR 2, too.)

So, what KOTOR-related material am I missing here? Please let me know in the comments! (2025, if it comes to that, is a long way away. I’ve got a lot of time to fill!)

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