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Origin

"Your father loved you so. He wanted you to be just like him… he wanted to take you on his hunts, but I said they were too dangerous."

--Helena Shan, to Bastila Shan concerning her father

Bastila Shan, daughter of Helena Shan and a hunter, was born on Talravin. Shan shared a loving and powerful relationship with her father. Despite this relationship, she was not on good terms with her mother, Helena, believing that her mother pushed her father into dangerous hunts so they could live in wealth. As a child, Shan was discovered to be exceptionally gifted with the Force. She did not wish to leave her father behind and join the Jedi Order, but her mother felt that the life she and her family led, one full of relentless travel and fruitless exertions, was not a good life for Shan.

She believed that her daughter's life would be better with the Jedi and gave her to them. Shan was separated from her family and began her training, quickly proving to be an exceptional Jedi Sentinel. Shan was discovered to be gifted with a Force power that would gain her considerable renown later in life: Battle meditation. It was a rare skill that increased the morale of her allies in battle and reduced her enemies' will to fight. This ability would make her a considerable asset in the Galactic Republic's plans to defeat the Sith Empire during the Jedi Civil War.

As a young Padawan, Shan was present when Malak, on behalf of his best friend and mentor Revan, delivered a passionate speech that denounced the inaction of the Jedi High Council against the invading Mandalorian Neo-Crusaders. Though Shan refused to join Revan's growing rebellion, she witnessed several Jedi, including Meetra Surik, the future Jedi Exile, willingly submit to Malak and Revan's cause. Later, when those same Jedi returned as Sith during the Jedi Civil War, she became one of the most active supporters of the Jedi Order.

Creation

Early concept art of Bastila Shan
Early concept art of Bastila Shan

Originally Bastila Shan was going to be Vima Sunrider, connecting what Vima Da-Boda said in the Dark Empire trilogy about her ancestor Vima Sunrider's great skill of battle meditation; she was apparently changed due to trademark issues over the name "Sunrider." The character was then renamed Sareth Dorn, and then finally Bastila Shan, the name originally given to the Cathar Jedi Juhani. Shan, along with Zaalbar, Carth Onasi, Canderous Ordo, and Mission Vao, was inspired by James Ohlen's work on roleplaying campaigns for West End Games.

History

Jedi Civil War

"When I used my Force powers to keep you alive on that bridge it created our bond. I convinced the Council that I could use that bond to draw out your memories and lead us to the Star Forge."

Jedi strike team capturing Darth Revan
Jedi strike team capturing Darth Revan

In 3957 BBY, the Jedi Council sent Shan and a strike team to capture Darth Revan. Along with at least three other Jedi, Shan managed to board his flagship and fought their way to Revan. Her team had just cornered the Sith Lord on the bridge, but before they could engage him in combat his apprentice, Darth Malak, betrayed him and fired upon the ship. Revan was left clinging to life. Shan, remembering that a Jedi seeks to preserve all life, was able to keep him alive and preserve his mind using the Force.

This act resulted in a powerful Force bond between them. Shan then brought Revan to the Jedi Council. The Council then decided that they would use the Force to temporarily wipe his memory, even though this was considered an immoral use of the Force. Revan was then reprogrammed with a new identity, one that was loyal to the Republic. They hoped that, with time, his submerged memories would cast some light on the many mysteries surrounding him. They were especially interested in finding the Star Forge and stopping the legions of Sith invaders that were attacking Republic affiliated planets.

Following Revan's apparent death, Darth Malak declared himself the new Dark Lord of the Sith. He knew that the Republic fleet had been saved from certain destruction by Shan's gift with battle meditation. His primary objective became either to eliminate Shan, or ideally to capture and turn her to the dark side of the Force. He would then use her skills with battle meditation to crush the Republic.

Knights of the Old Republic

"The Force fights with me!"

Bastila during the Jedi Civil War
Bastila during the Jedi Civil War

One year later, Shan and a reprogrammed, amnesiac Revan, assumed by everyone to be a simple Republic soldier, were on board the Hammerhead-class cruiser Endar Spire over the planet of Taris. Revan had been assigned to the ship, where Shan was the commander, at the last minute so that Shan could maintain a vigilant watch over him. Without warning, part of the Sith fleet ambushed the cruiser. A small assault team of Sith soldiers and Darth Malak's apprentice, Darth Bandon, attacked the ship. Following it's destruction Bastila is among the occupants who escape to the planet Taris, only for her to be captured by the Black Vulkar gang. Fortunately, she is rescued by an amnesiac Revan, but is initially cold and hostile towards him. At the same time though Bastila does acknowledge his capabilities and also notes that he possess a connection to the Force. Indeed, after Revan is re-trained as a Jedi, he and Bastila are partnered together during the hunt for the Star Maps.

As time passes, Revan is able to peel away Bastila's layers and frosty exterior, also learning that her relationship with her mother was poor and that the father she adored died. After helping her resolve her issues with her mother, he begins to form a romantic relationship with Bastila, but she is reluctant to return his feelings due to the Jedi Code's frowning on attachments.

During the escape from the Leviathan and a run-in with Darth Malak, Revan learns of his past as a Sith Lord and how Bastila was involved with the Jedi's re-writing his memory and giving him a new identity, much to Bastila's guilt. She is then captured by Darth Malak while buying Revan and Carth time to escape the Leviathan with the other members of the Ebon Hawk. She is then tortured by Malak and from that corrupted to the Dark Side.

Return to the Light

"I love you too, with all my heart."

"You aren't afraid to love anymore?"

"After this? No. Nothing could make me feel safer than to be loved by you."

--Bastila Shan and Revan

Revan is able to redeem her on the Star Forge, the two also at last confessing their love for one another in full, neither one afraid of their feelings by this point. Redeemed, Shan used her battle meditation to turn the tide of the battle in the Republic's favor. Revan, meanwhile, went after Malak and dueled his former apprentice in the Star Forge's command center, where he defeated the Dark Lord. Revan caught up with the rest of the crew, including Shan, shortly before they left the station.

The Republic fleet destroyed the Star Forge moments later. After the battle, Shan and Revan, along with their companions, Carth Onasi, Mission Vao, Zaalbar, T3-M4, Canderous Ordo, Juhani, HK-47, and Jolee Bindo, were honored as the saviors of the galaxy.

Quiet life

"It would have helped, had he made her understand. But she was always strong-willed, that one, and did not understand war as Revan did."
--Darth Traya, to Meetra Surik

Sometime after the war ended, Revan and Bastila married and settled on Coruscant. However, their relationship with the Jedi Council failed soon after this: the Council didn't agree with their marriage, and came to see Revan as a heretic because of his views of love. Some refused to forgive him for his fall to the dark side and others believed that he had led Bastila, whom they had considered their finest student, away from the standard ways of the Jedi.

Bastila sided with her husband in the debate with the Council, and the two sides came to an arrangement: the Council would not attempt to speak out against their marriage, and in return, Revan agreed not to attempt to spread his new philosophy to the rest of the Order. Bastila was at first unwilling to accept the Council's terms, but was convinced by Revan that an ideological war with the Council served no purpose.

Two years after the Star Forge's destruction, Bastila's husband started to recall the existence of the True Sith Empire and his meeting with the Sith Emperor. He set out alone into the Unknown Regions, leaving his loved-ones, including his wife Shan and his soon-to-be born child, behind, knowing that to take them to the places he had to go would bring destruction to them all.

Before Revan and T3-M4 left known space, Shan secretly programmed the droid to return to known space and find her should something happen to Revan. Should T3-M4 have been unable to locate her, the droid was to find any Jedi who could help. At some point, this command became active, and T3-M4 discovered the Jedi Exile, Meetra Surik.

Shan remained behind with the rest of the Ebon Hawk's former crew, keeping the Republic safe as Revan had asked them to, and waiting for the day when he would return. In 3954 BBY Bastila gave birth to Revan's son, Vaner Shan. In the aftermath of the war, as the Sith Triumvirate and G0-T0, among others, hunted the remaining Jedi Knights to near extinction, she was one of the few to escape their notice, staying hidden so she could protect Vaner. When Meetra Surik, the new owner of the Ebon Hawk, came to Citadel Station after defeating Darth Nihilus, she spoke to Bastila and Revan's old friend Carth Onasi. After their conversation, Bastila approached Carth and asked if Meetra knew anything of Revan.

Carth told her that Meetra knew nothing. Bastila lamented that she would never know why her husband left or what he was trying to protect them from, but Carth reminded her that Revan had asked them to stay behind. Bastila would soon after get her wish, because shortly after Meetra triumphed over the Sith Triumvirate and reunited the surviving Jedi, T3 took her to Bastila. The droid informed the two Jedi of what had become of Revan: he had been captured by a duo of true Sith. When Meetra decided to leave known space to search for Revan, Shan agreed and trusted Meetra with Revan's mask, the key to unlocking his last, forgotten memories.

According to the Jedi historian Gnost-Dural, Bastila served as a Jedi master at some point in the years that followed, although she took it upon herself to spend the rest of her life with her son, and their family grew in the following years. Bastila never saw Revan again, and missed her husband dearly, though Revan would secretly watch over her through the Force in her dreams from his prison in the Maelstrom. However, she was convinced that whatever threat Revan went to fight, he had put a stop to it because their family never had to deal with war like they did.

Legacy

Revan and Bastila's family line eventually led to Satele Shan, the Grand Master of the Jedi Order during the post-Great Galactic War era and Satele's secret son Theron Shan, a Republic spy. A holostatue of Bastila was erected in the Leisure Garden section of the Axial Park in the Coronet City on Corellia, along with the statues of Revan and his other companions in memory of their deeds.

During Satele's time, the Kel Dor Jedi Master Gnost-Dural created a series of records to update the Jedi Archives about the Sith Empire. In the holorecording discussing the Jedi Civil War, Bastila was incorrectly referred to as a Jedi Master during her role in the capture of Darth Revan. The holorecord also incorrectly depicted Bastila at Revan's side when the former Dark Lord confronted Malak aboard the Star Forge, she was using her Battle Meditation at that time.

At some point late in her life, Bastila's appearance and thought patterns were recorded into the Noetikon of Secrets, as she was a Jedi Master who had experienced both the light and dark sides of the Force.

Personality

"Bastila was strong, but she was always impatient and headstrong. Malak preyed upon her weaknesses."
--Jolee Bindo

Shan possessed many qualities that set her apart from her peers and destined her for greatness, but these same traits and the inexperience of her youth set her down the path that would eventually lead to her fall.

Brash, impulsive, and somewhat overconfident (thanks in no small part to the rare gift that was her battle meditation), Shan acted as though she were unstoppable, though she was constantly aware of the responsibility resting on her. Despite the warnings of her masters, Shan continually sought to prove her worth by devoting herself to defeating the Sith.

Shan's relations with the Jedi Council and the Jedi Code were complicated. During the Mandalorian Wars, she trusted the Council's wisdom, rejecting Malak's proposal to join the fight, and years later, when the Jedi Civil War was at its culmination, still believed it was the right decision. Nevertheless, she thought the Jedi Masters were self-absorbed and stodgy, not to mention edgy, critical and overly secretive, traits that Revan would note in Bastila herself. Shan thought the Council intended to use the quest for the Star Forge to test her abilities and determine if she was worthy of the rank of Jedi Master, only to discover that she was, in the end, far from it.

Shan tried to follow the Jedi Code as strictly as possible, to the point of expressing even more radical views than some Jedi Masters, she believed that nobody deserved death without a chance of redemption, a belief that would later result in Revan's return to the light side. However, she was not always able to suppress her emotions, and sometimes disregarded the very idea that love should be outlawed among the Jedi.

Seeing Revan, once the Dark Lord of the Sith, climbing up the path of the light apparently without any trouble or internal struggles made her question her own devotion to the Jedi Code, even though she and Revan agreed to prevent each other from diverging from that course, and the development of this self-doubt later played no small part in her eventual downfall to what she feared most: the dark side.

Bastila's redemption saw a change in her personality as a Jedi. Instead of living a life of non-attachment and controlling emotions, Bastila took on a much grayer way of thinking, which led to a deterioration of her relationship with the Jedi Council. Along with Revan, Bastila saw that positive emotions such as love and happiness actually strengthened a Jedi's connection to the Force and helped them battle the dark side rather than increasing the risk of falling. She was also very defensive of Revan towards the Council. In fact, by the time Bastila learned of her husband's capture by the true Sith, she had come to believe that the members of the Council were ignorant, and wrong more often than they were right.

Powers and Abilities

"What greater weapon is there than to turn an enemy to your cause? To use their own knowledge against them?"

Battle Meditation
Battle Meditation

Despite her youth, Bastila Shan was exceptionally skilled in the rare power of Battle Meditation and through the Force, she could affect the outcome of a battle by thought alone. Through this power, one side was granted strength and a boost to their morale, in addition that side would be granted perfect coordination and the ability to respond instantly and perfectly to the enemy's every change in formation and strategy. These effects caused significant damage to enemy morale and fighting effectiveness thus causing two important shifts in the battle towards the user's favor.

Shan had a very strong Force sense and could sense disturbances in the Force such as Darth Malak's presence, although this might have been merely telepathy or an extension of her Force bond with Revan. She could also use Force Stun and was capable of using the Jedi Mind Trick on Hutts, such as Motta.

During her short time as a Sith apprentice, she was capable of using Force powers such as Force Insanity, Force choke, Force Wave, Force lightning, Force Plague, Force Breach, Drain Life, and Force Stasis Field. From her point of view, she was more powerful than all but a few Jedi Masters, Malak, and of course, Revan himself.

Additionally, Shan was a skilled lightsaber duelist, and wielded a double-bladed lightsaber in combat. She proved capable of dueling the redeemed Revan, Jolee Bindo, and Juhani atop the Temple of the Ancients and emerging relatively unscathed, albeit defeated. Shan also managed to hold her ground against Darth Malak long enough for Revan and Carth Onasi to escape. It should be noted that Malak was considered to be one of the greatest swordsmen of his time.

Equipment

Bastila's outfit and double-bladed lightsaber
Bastila's outfit and double-bladed lightsaber

As a Jedi Sentinel, Shan used a single yellow-bladed lightsaber for a time. After Revan's "death", she exchanged the weapon for a double-bladed lightsaber. After the attack on the Endar Spire, Brejik found it when he salvaged her escape pod, and when Revan killed Brejik during the aftermath of the Taris swoop race, he returned it to Shan. When she became a Sith apprentice, she replaced the yellow crystal inside the lightsaber with a red crystal. Shan preferred wearing a tight and flexible full-body suit, kept in the color scheme of the traditional Jedi robes. As a Sith apprentice, she wore a suit of black Dark Jedi robes.

Other Media

Video Games

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic I-II

In the video game, she was voiced by Jennifer Hale and makes a cameo in the sequel.

Star Wars: The Old Republic

Bastila appears in a holocron, she is once again voiced by Jennifer Hale.

Novel

The Old Republic: Revan

Bastila appears in the novel The Old Republic: Revan that takes place two years after KOTOR-I and several decades after KOTOR-II.

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