Two StarWars.com writers debate their pick for ultimate gaming legend.
One of the great things about Star Wars is that it inspires endless debates and opinions on a wide array of topics. Best bounty hunter? Most powerful Jedi? Does Salacious Crumb have the best haircut in the saga? In that spirit, StarWars.com presents From a Certain Point of View: a series of point-counterpoints on some of the biggest — and most fun — Star Wars issues. In this installment, two StarWars.com writers take a stand on the greatest character to grace Star Wars gamers.
Spoiler warning: This article discusses details and plot points from Knights of the Old Republic and Battlefront II.
The only answer is Revan, says Kelly.
While there have been many notable Jedi and Sith to make their mark on the galaxy, very few Force-wielders have been so legendary that tales of their exploits have endured for centuries. One of them is Revan. Revan is the Star Wars video game character, one who turned 2003’s Knights of the Old Republic into a gripping tale that’s endured through the years.
Four thousand years before the Galactic Empire rose to power, it was a time of uncertainty in the Republic. The Jedi Knights once protected the galaxy in strong numbers, but Darth Malak had unleashed a Sith army that whittled down their ranks and scattered them across the stars. Malak was once the apprentice of Darth Revan, a fallen Jedi turned Sith Lord who inspired terror at just the mention of the name. Revan eventually disappeared—presumed dead—and Malak embarked on his mission to conquer the galaxy on his own.
Knights of the Old Republic put the player into this universe like no other game had done before. Dialogue with choices, compelling characters, gorgeous cut scenes, and edge-of-your-seat action blended perfectly to create an experience that felt undeniably Star Wars. And at the heart of it all was the highly customizable main character. As you learned about the conflict and the people that you came to call friends and allies, you made choices to change the story—and ultimately the galaxy.
As the story unfolded, a dark truth was revealed: you are Revan. It was a revelation that, for players, was on par with the true identity of Luke Skywalker’s father. Revan’s memories had been erased by the Jedi Council, and the former Sith Lord was given a second chance. What Revan did with that chance was now up to you.
For most players, reaching this moment in Knights of the Old Republic made a lasting impression. There’s no greater game character in a Star Wars game than Revan because that character was you. Your choices from character creation to the last dialogue affected not just the main character, but the entire galaxy. Revan paved the way for immersive role-playing in Star Wars video games, a tradition since carried on in great action RPGs like Force Unleashed, Jedi: Fallen Order, and, of course, Star Wars: The Old Republic.
Revan has since gone on to become a legend long remembered. Their weapon has been immortalized, the only video game character with a Force FX Elite Lightsaber. Revan’s name is still whispered today as admirers in both the galaxy far, far away and our own continue to mark their legacy. While other game characters might come close to having the same impact on Star Wars, one will always stand above them all: Revan.
But no one is greater than Iden Versio, says Bria.
Anyone who knows me probably already knows my answer here and yes, the best video game character is Commander Iden Versio from Battlefront II. Through video games, Star Wars has told a lot of great stories about Jedi and Sith and those who fall in between but Star Wars is also about more than just its Skywalkers and Force-users. At its core, it is about the people and the choices they make, whether they are for the greater good or for evil. Iden Versio made the choice to be better.
When we first met her (and the rest of her team) in Inferno Squad by Christie Golden, Iden was the shining example of an Imperial pilot who’d been raised from early childhood to believe in the Empire’s ideals. By the time the story in Battlefront II’s single player campaign commences four years later, she’s the established leader of an elite special forces unit. The Rebellion has hope. The Empire has Inferno Squad. We play as Iden as the Empire fails at Endor; the second Death Star destroyed and the Emperor killed. And we are there with her as her faith in the Empire and belief that it is a necessary force for good slowly crumbles until the weight of Operation: Cinder shatters it beyond repair.
Often times, choices are made as a sort of grand, sweeping gesture. You reject the Sith and the dark side and therefore choose the light side and the Rebellion. But with Iden, we see more nuance as her (and Del Meeko’s) change of allegiance comes more gradually. It is not one choice, it is several. First, they turn against the Empire and everything they’ve ever known. Second, Iden and Del decide that leaving the Empire isn’t enough and that they must do what they can to help stop Operation: Cinder from devastating more worlds and slaughtering more innocent people. It is only after the battle is over on Naboo that they want to, that they need to keep fighting for the right reasons and join the New Republic. And Iden never stops fighting so that others can live, even decades later when the First Order rears its ugly head.
While yes, it’s certainly fun to play as Iden and take down capital ships in a starfighter and AT-STs with a blaster rifle, what makes her stand above the rest is her journey. Iden Versio is the best video game character in Star Wars because she reminds us that you don’t have to save the entire galaxy or defeat a Sith lord or even have a lightsaber in hand to be a hero. You just have to do the right thing.