A remake of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is currently in the works from developers Aspyr Media, and though it’s unclear if it will be canon or not, if it is, then multiple changes will have to be made. The original game is now considered part of Star Wars Legends, which is the name given to the old Star Wars Expanded Universe, and is no longer considered a part of the official canon. There are few details available about the full nature of this remake and whether or not it will cause KOTOR to become canon, but if Revan’s story is to be brought of Legends, then Aspyr will have to bring some key changes.
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Aspyr Media has worked on previous Star Wars games titles, primarily porting older games to modern systems, and had previously reworked Knights of the Old Republic for iOS devices. However, this new remake is a full rework of the original game and will boast new graphics and gameplay elements built from the ground up. The KOTOR remake was first announced September 9, 2021, at the Sony PlayStation Showcase event and is intended to be a PlayStation 5 exclusive at launch, while the original KOTOR was exclusive to Xbox.
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Although the game is set almost 4,000 years before the original Star Wars trilogy some changes will still need to be made to the content of KOTOR for it to match the new Disney canon timeline. The introduction of the Star Wars: The High Republic multimedia project means that the canon surrounding KOTOR has become a little more complicated. Here are some of the changes, large and small, that would need to be made if the KOTOR remake is to be considered canon.
Changes For KOTOR Remake Include Red Lightsaber Crystals
As the story unfolds in KOTOR, the player can choose which path to follow, and therefore use either the light or dark side of the Force. As is tradition, this influences the color of lightsaber the player would then wield, and players could change their Star Wars lightsaber color by using different kyber crystals to upgrade their weapon. However, the 2016 novel Ahsoka by E.K Johnston established that red kyber crystals don’t actually exist naturally and could not be synthesized. They are made by a process called bleeding where a dark force user corrupts the crystal, thus turning it red.
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For red kyber crystals to remain in-game and part of canon, they would need to be bled. The act involves pouring hate, fear, pain, and rage into the crystal until it changes color. This change could be easy to ignore, as red lightsabers feature in Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, but using bleeding as a way to get a red crystal could work in favor of the KOTOR remake by adding in a new mission or activity for dark side Star Wars players to engage in. Also, it is possible for crystals to resist the bleeding which could make for some interesting consequences or side missions for players determined to make a crimson lightsaber.
If left unchanged then KOTOR players will be able to use a lightsaber when they arrive on Dantooine and after they complete their Jedi training. Players who want red lightsabers could have an optional mission to corrupt their crystal or even to seek out a Sith lightsaber. Changing how players acquire their lightsaber and its crystal would be big but fun changes for a KOTOR remake.
The Mandalorian Wars Appear To Have Been Rewritten Since KOTOR’s First Release
If the KOTOR remake is to rejoin canon then some changes will need to be made to the details of the Mandalorian Wars. The hero and player character of Revan plays a massive part in the Mandalorian Wars so things could get a little confusing if the KOTOR remake doesn’t address these changes. Some details are small but others are much more significant and conflict with the information given in canon such as Star Wars Rebels.
The Mandalorian Wars in Legends were a conflict between the Mandalorians and the Republic. Mandalore the Ultimate, the leader of the Mandalorian clans, wanted to test the Republic’s strength and began to goad them into a war by attacking worlds in the Outer Rim of the Star Wars galaxy. The Republic eventually responded and war began with the Republic faring poorly. The Republic turned to the Jedi for help but the Jedi refused to get involved and forbid all Jedi to do so.
Two Jedi named Revan and Alek could not bear to see the Republic lose and rallied several other Jedi to their cause. Calling themselves the Revanchists they joined the war and turned the tide in favor of the Republic. The Mandalorian Wars finally came to an end when Revan defeated Mandalore the Ultimate in single combat.
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In canon, very little detail has been mentioned regarding the Mandalorian Wars. In Star Wars: The Clone Wars the Mandalorian Wars are mentioned briefly with little detail about when they took place or what the conflict was about. In The Mandalorian episode Chapter 8: Redemption the Armorer gives a little more information when she tells Star Wars bounty hunter Din Djarin about songs of eons past. She tells him about Mandalore the Great fighting a war against an order of enemy sorcerers known as Jedi.
If the KOTOR remake is to keep in line with canon the changes needed would be the renaming of Mandalore the Ultimate to Mandalore the Great. This is a small change and easily done. The second change is a little more complicated and open to interpretation, however.
It is possible that the details of the conflict have been lost over time and therefore the Armorer could be considered an unreliable narrator. However, if the songs are correct then in the new Star Wars canon timeline the Mandalorian Wars took place between the armies of Mandalore and the entire Jedi Order rather than just Revan’s followers. It could be possible to have the Revanchists exist and keep Revan’s role in the conflict intact as well as their single combat victory over the Mandalorian’s leader.
Hyperspace Travel & The Outer Rim
The release of The High Republic has complicated fans’ understanding of the Outer Rim territories. The largest element changed by The High Republic is the use of hyperspace beacons, which the multimedia project shows as still in use by the Republic. However, the use of these beacons was considered obsolete in KOTOR’s setting, which is 1000 years earlier, so their use would have to be reintroduced in any remake.
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The High Republic also significantly changes the Republic’s jurisdiction of the Outer Rim territories in Star Wars. In KOTOR the Republic has settlements in the Outer Rim such as Tatooine, Dantooine, and Taris which is the first world the player finds themselves on, which had earned its wealth from its strategic position in hyperspace lanes. However, The High Republic has the Republic only just being to explore and colonize this area of the galaxy with hyperspace trade routes yet to be established.
These are two massive changes to canon which potentially override much of KOTOR’s lore and would definitely need to be addressed in a remake. Perhaps which planets are included could be changed, although this would be a drastic deviation from the original game. Another possible solution would be to change how much Republic influence is seen on these worlds and have them as independent worlds. One thing is certain: The High Republic has significantly complicated KOTOR’s canon timeline.
Overall the changes that developers Aspyr Media would need to make are largely down to interpretation. Having the game set over 4000 years before established canon does allow for some discrepancies between names, the finer details of wars, and territories. A remake of KOTOR could present an opportunity to redesign certain aspects of the nearly 20-year-old game and not just update the graphics and UI. Tweaks could be made to the aesthetic to make technology seen in-game look older, as the original KOTOR borrowed its look from the original films, making it look as though technology and society have stagnated. However, only time will tell Aspyr Media will use the Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic remake as an opportunity to bring the beloved title back into canon.
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About The Author
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Sarah-Jane Simpson is a writer for Screen Rant, writing articles for their Games section.
Based in Manchester, England, Sarah-Jane is an avid gamer and Dungeons & Dragons player.
Find her on Twitter as cevvie or Instagram as seeliesarah.
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