Tuesday, June 18, 2024

It’s Time for a Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic Movie

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When Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace returned to theaters for its 25th anniversary, it reminded audiences just how epic Star Wars installments once felt. Anakin’s thrilling pod race still made audience members grip the edge of their seats. The all-time great “Duel of the Fates” still made viewers feel goosebumps. 

Jar Jar Binks aside, the film delivers some of the most memorable moments in Star Wars history. Decades later, the spectacle delights nostalgic fans and younger generations alike. 

For all of their corny lines and head-scratching worldbuilding choices, the Star Wars prequels did one thing exceptionally well: go big. Even when it became overstuffed, the series never stopped swinging for the fences.

There is no shortage of upcoming Star Wars content. The Acolyte arrives on June 4, followed by Star Wars: Star Wars: Skeleton Crew, Star Wars: Ahsoka Season 2, and several unofficial movies.

Unfortunately, new Star Wars installments no longer feel like must-see viewing. Lately, the stories have felt smaller-scale, less thrilling, and inconsequential. At worst, critics have compared Star Wars to the MCU with its sprawling, interconnected stories that require viewers to follow every ancillary piece of media to follow what is happening. 

It’s time for the release of Star Wars media to generate excitement again. An untapped story source that could have a solid live-action presence would be Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (KOTOR). Initially released in 2003 and scheduled for an upcoming remake, this beloved video game has all the makings of an epic live-action event.

Thrilling Action Sequences

Bastilla and Carth battle enemies.

When players first dive into the world of KOTOR, they find themselves thrown immediately into a tense, chaotic battle. As Sith troops board a ship called the Endar Spire, the playable character must blast their way through enemies to reach the escape pods. By the time the character reaches safety, the relief is palpable.

The adventure would only escalate from there. From hordes of mutant Rakghouls to massive beasts like the Krayt dragon, KOTOR offers a host of menacing creatures for the cast to contend with. Scenes like the fleeing the catastrophic explosion of the planet Taris just in the nick of time capture that quintessential Star Wars feel. 

One unique aspect that KOTOR could focus on would be an era when the Sith still abounded. In past Star Wars media, viewers generally saw one-on-one duels or large groups of Jedi facing off against droids or stormtroopers. It would be a whole new ride to see several lightsaber-wielding force users brawl on a scale never seen before. 

Massive Worlds

Carth talks to HK-47.

Beyond offering non-stop action, KOTOR presents an expansive universe for viewers to enjoy. Each new location brings a level of depth that could make for an immersive experience. 

The most exciting opportunity would be to build Korriban. This home of the Sith Academy, with its desolate, red-desert setting, would contrast with the Jedi presence on Dantooine or Coruscant. A striking visual would be the Valley of the Dark Lords, where massive statues of former Sith loom over eerie tombs filled with artifacts and traps. 

In addition to visiting the major planets, fans could also check out the Ebon Hawk. This ship, which has a similar build and design to the Millennium Falcon, provides players with the rare moment to catch their breath between battles. Some of the best parts of the game come when the crew bonds within the ship’s cramped, metallic confines, and it would be a treat to see this set piece come to life. 

Mind-Blowing Twists

Darth Malak battles the playable character revealed to be Revan in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.

One of the iconic moments in Star Wars history comes when Darth Vader famously reveals to Luke Skywalker that he is Luke’s father. For modern Star Wars fans, the reveal of Darth Revan’s true identity in KOTOR might be a close second.

KOTOR masterfully lays out the clues that the game’s playable character was once Revan, a Jedi knight who fell to the dark side during the Mandalorian war. In Revan’s absence, his former apprentice, Darth Malak, took charge of the Sith. The Jedi Order wiped Revan’s memory, and when Revan rediscovers his past self, he must decide whether to return to head the Sith or forge a new path. 

When Malak reveals Revan’s true identity, he causes a genuine shock that will have newcomers gasping. The revelation complicates Star Wars’ usually straightforward moralityDid the Jedi Order allow Revan to reinvent himself or cruelly destroy his identity? Is it possible for someone like Revan to find redemption? These questions could generate debate among audiences for years to come, and the Revan reveal alone would justify a KOTOR adaptation. 

From Darth Maul to Darth Revan

Revan ignites lightsaber in close up shot.

Not all Star Wars media needs to have the same appeal or scope. Andor dives into the origins of a lesser-known character who sacrificed himself during an interlude film between the major trilogies, but it manages to tell a compelling story. 

However, Star Wars fans sometimes just wanted to be wowed. They want to capture a bit of that “remember where you were when you first saw this movie” vibe.

Audiences will never forget when they first saw Darth Maul ignite his double-ended lightsaber. A KOTOR adaptation has the potential to deliver something just as powerful by bringing Revan to the big screen. 

Images Courtesy of Aspyr Media, Embracer Group, Bioware, Bloomberg, & Nintendo

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