As a Star Wars fan since a small child, Disney’s choice to dismantle over 35 years of “Extended Universe” was astonishing. Although I mostly applauded the choice, given the glut of materials as well as some horrible creations, I also was disappointed at how many things I considered “canon” were now gone.
Disney’s response left me hopeful, however, especially when they stated the following in April of 2014:
While the universe that readers knew is changing, it is not being discarded. Creators of new Star Wars entertainment have full access to the rich content of the Expanded Universe. For example, elements of the EU are included in Star Wars Rebels. The Inquisitor, the Imperial Security Bureau, and Sienar Fleet Systems are story elements in the new animated series, and all these ideas find their origins in roleplaying game material published in the 1980s.
Many fans pointed to this remark as proof that the EU wasn’t dead; Disney would pick and choose those elements they liked and just declare them as canon. Our optimism paid out as cartoons, comics, and books brought back favorites from Admiral Thrawn and the TIE Defender to Nar Shaddaa and two great star freighters.
Although characters, places, and vehicles brought over don’t always match the old EU stories, they’re close enough to please many a fan. Each time a new cartoon starts, or we grab the latest books, those who grew up with Star Wars cheer when they see something referenced or return.
That’s why a rumor recently posted about Disney planning a series on their Disney+ streaming service, based on BioWare’s Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, has us buzzing. Even though the claim is hearsay, posted on a single website (whose source is only a “freelancer” who gets “inside scoops”), that series holds such grand memories I can’t help but be excited.
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, or KotOR, was something almost any fan who had an Xbox (or access to one) played. A console RPG (based on the D20 Star Wars TTRPG) set 4,000 years before the movies it hit every high mark a geek wanted: a new era, an epic story, enjoyable characters, familiar gameplay, and (for the time) great graphics.
The stories of Revan, Mission Vao, Bastila Shan, and the best droid ever, lingered with us long after the game ended. BioWare would build upon their creation, with both a sequel (set 5 years later) and an MMORPG (occurring 300 years after the console games).
Many fans still take Disney’s ambiguity regarding the era as evidence that KoTOR remains canon. It doesn’t help that there are aspects of those games that show up in current series and keep us hopeful.
Malachor appeared in the season 2 finale of Rebels and Taris was mentioned in the novel, Aftermath. The familiar shape of the “Hammerhead” cruiser not only appeared in Rebels but also Rogue One, and Clone Wars brought over many references with its inclusion.
Regardless, the Old Republic (not to be confused with the millennia-old Galactic Republic that died during the Prequels) is an era full of great possibilities. Not just the stories and characters, some of whom are the ancestors of canon individuals, but the unique settings and a completely different historical setting.
If Disney decides to create a series based on KotOR we could once more visit the Selkath homeworld of Manaan, explore the ruins of the Rakatan Infinite Empire, and see the predecessors to droids and ships. All of that is in addition to epic battles involving tons of Jedi, Sith, and Mandalorians, something that has, so far, been limited to games.
Although I’m not expecting Disney to translate KotOR into a TV show directly, or that it would be brought back precisely as we’d left it, I can only imagine that any adaptation would make fans rejoice (and bring a large audience).
That is, of course, if the rumors are true.
We have hope, though, because fandoms are built on hope!