Star Wars Stories That Make KOTOR So Much Better

Knights of the Old Republic offers some of the most well-written characters and rich storylines in the wider Star Wars universe. Along with its sequel, Knights of the Old Republic 2: The Sith Lords, the game series won over fans by delving into complex storylines, expanding the ancient history of the Star Wars universe, and giving fans some of the most nefarious Sith Lords. With such rich lore and intriguing characters, it is only natural that fans of the two games would want to read more about the Star Wars galaxy 4000 years before Luke Skywalker was even born.

[Warning: This article contains spoilers for Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.]KOTOR tells one of Star Wars’ best stories, that of an unknown Republic soldier who reconnects with the Force over the course of the game and, in one of the biggest video game twists, is revealed to be Revan, a former Jedi and former Sith. KOTOR 2 continued in the Old Republic setting, telling the tale of the Exile, another former Jedi who served under Revan during the Mandalorian Wars. Each game allows players to shape the story as choices made throughout influence the ending.

Star Wars has tons of content that expands the universe beyond what is seen on the screen, be it movies, tv, or games. While some of that expanded universe is now no longer considered part of the Star Wars canon timeline, that didn’t stop content from being produced for it. Comics and novels are a great way to delve deep into subjects that is sometimes only touched on briefly in other content. So here are the best stories to read for fans of KOTOR and KOTOR 2 and which order to read them in.

The first stop for any KOTOR fan should be Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi. Tales of the Jedi was a comic series published by Dark Horse Comics between 1993 and 1998 and served as a huge inspiration for KOTOR. The series covers a lot about both Jedi and Sith and provides background for many events, locations, and characters mentioned in KOTOR. The comics supply tons of details about the Sith of Koribaan, and if they are read before playing the original KOTOR or the future remake, they really enrich the experience.

Tales of the Jedi gives more context for the Sith Lords and the Great Hyperspace War, which led to their eventual exile. KOTOR continues many of the themes from the Tales of the Jedi series and is set 40 years after the conclusion of the Sith War seen in the comics. Characters from the comic series are referenced throughout KOTOR and KOTOR 2, such as fallen Jedi Knights Ulic Qel-Droma and Exar Kun. While locations featured in both games, like Korriban, Onderon, and Yavin 4, are described in more detail, further enhancing their backstory.

The next recommendation might seem a little obvious as it shares its name with the infinitely replayable Star Wars game series. Also published by Dark Horse Comics, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is a 50-issue comic series that takes place eight years before the events of KOTOR. Running from 2006 to 2010, the KOTOR comics followed young Jedi in training Zayne Carrick as he attempted to clear his name after the murder of several Jedi younglings. The comic series acts as a prequel of sorts setting up the galaxy events for the context of the games.

The series does feature some locations from the games, most notably Taris, but it is a stand-alone story with only a few links to the KOTOR games. While a few of the characters from KOTOR do join Carrick’s adventures briefly, they are little more than cameos, while the majority of the story follows Carrick and his companions. One of Carrick’s more interesting companions is Rohlan Dyre, a Mandalorian who provides some interesting insights into the Mandalorian Wars.

After playing KOTOR, fans might want to read Unseen, Unheard. This short comic tells the story of Visas Marr, a player companion in KOTOR 2, and how she became Darth Nihilus’ apprentice. This heartbreaking tale provides more backstory for Visas and her people as Nihilus slaughters the Miralukan colony of Katarr. Unseen, Unheard is very short, at only six pages, and was published by Dark Horse in Star Wars Tales #24 in 2005. Unseen, Unheard is a great quick read for fans before they dive into KOTOR 2 to enjoy some of Star Wars’ best gaming moments.

The final entry is the 2011 novel Revan by Drew Karpyshyn, which still receives a mixed reception from fans. Revan tells the story of what happened to the titular hero from KOTOR in the time between the KOTOR games and the events of Star Wars: The Old Republic. Revan tells an interesting story and fleshes out a few characters linked to Revan who are later seen in SWTOR. One character, in particular, is Lord Scourge, a Sith Apprentice who would later become the Emperor’s Wrath.

The main issue many have with Karpyshyn’s Revan is how it treats the characters from KOTOR 2, disregarding one of the best-written Star Wars characters, Kreia, and her role within the plot of KOTOR 2. The role of the Exile, the player character from KOTOR 2, feels diminished and is sometimes reduced to little more than a sidekick. Taking two characters defined by player choices and making them static was never going to be easy or win over everyone. However, Revan is still worth a read as it makes those who have played the game appreciate it more, as well as fills in some gaps in Revan’s history. On the whole, Revan links better with SWTOR than either of the KOTOR games but does continue the KOTOR story somewhat.

The setting of the Old Republic is one that continues to fascinate fans. Set so far apart from the rest of the Star Wars universe and expanding it in meaningful ways, it can almost exist as its own separate entity. This allows writers to have greater creative freedom without worrying about contradicting any of the main saga’s canon. Knights of the Old Republic continues to hold a place in the heart of many Star Wars fans who would love nothing more than to see the adventures continue. Unfortunately, as of 2021, the only Legends media still being continued is SWTOR, with its updates and expansions.