• Mattie Stu

Star Wars Lore - The Life of Bastila Shan (Legends)

As an exceptionally powerful Force-user, Bastila Shan served as a Jedi Padawan throughout the Jedi Civil War. She also sided with the Jedi Council during Revan and Alek’s rebellion against them. Both men subsequently fell to the dark side. However, Shan would later save Revan’s life and fall in love with him. Together, they waged war against the Dark Lord of the Sith, Malak, and his Star Forge…

Born on the Core World of Talravin, Bastila Shan lived a troubled early life. While she shared a loving relationship with her father, Bastila and her mother never quite saw eye to eye. This only worsened when the youngster was found to be Force-sensitive. At the behest of Helena Shan, Bastila left Talravin to train in the Jedi arts. Almost immediately, Shan proved to be an exceptional Jedi Sentinel. Furthermore, she possessed an incredibly rare but powerful Force ability: Battle Meditation. The technique increased the morale of her allies in battle and reduced her enemies’ will to fight, which would become an invaluable asset in the Galactic Republic’s fight against the Sith Empire.

In 3957 BBY, Shan led a Jedi strike team to capture the leader of the Sith Empire, Darth Revan. After boarding the fallen Jedi’s flagship, the group fought their way to Revan. However, as they cornered the Sith Lord, Darth Malak betrayed his master, unleashing a sea of blaster fire upon the vessel. As the only survivor of the Jedi strike team, Bastila saved Revan’s life with the Force – which formed a powerful Force bond between the two. Back on Dantooine, when presented to the Jedi Council, it was decided that Revan’s memory would be wiped with the Force. The Sith Lord was then reprogrammed with a new identity, one which was loyal to the Republic. With the apparent death of Revan, Malak declared himself as the new Dark Lord of the Sith. As such, he aimed to capture and turn Shan to the dark side of the Force. With her skills in Battle Mediation, Malak knew he could easily crush the Republic.

One year later, Shan was placed in command of the Hammerhead-class cruiser Endar Spire. She was also charged with maintaining a vigilant eye over Revan, who was enlisted in the Republic military under a false name and with an altered background. Unfortunately, seeking Shan, the ship was attacked by the apprentice of Malak, Darth Bandon. Bastila, as a result, was forced to jettison only moments before the destruction of the Endar Spire. Her escape pod crashed in the Undercity of Taris, where the Jedi was quickly captured by a swoop gang known as the Black Vulkars. However, Revan managed to infiltrate the gang with the aid of their bitter rivals, the Hidden Beks. Unsatisfied with the search for the Jedi, Malak ordered Admiral Saul Karath to completely bombard Taris. But, with the aid of Mandalorian mercenary Canderous Ordo, Revan and Shan managed to escape aboard the Ebon Hawk shortly before the planet’s destruction.

Back on Dantooine, the Council decided to retrain Revan as a Jedi. In only a matter of weeks, with the help of Shan, Revan recovered a great deal of his former skill in lightsaber combat and power with the Force. Both Jedi soon envisioned discovering something of great importance in the nearby ruins. Upon investigation, Revan and Shan uncovered a partial Rakatan Star Map – which, when combined with other Star Maps, would reveal the location of the Star Forge. Consequently, the Jedi Council tasked Revan and Shan with hunting down the ancient factory of immense power, which Malak used to build his Empire. During their quest, Bastila closely monitored her counterpart for any signs that he could be slipping back into the grasp of the dark side. She still held much contempt for the man who brought a great deal of destruction and chaos to the galaxy, but she found herself attracted to the new Revan. No longer was he the monster Shan imagined and feared he would be. Instead, the Jedi became a true servant of the light side, and displayed acts of kindness on a regular basis. However, Bastila initially resisted her feelings towards Revan, despite sharing a kiss aboard the Ebon Hawk, knowing it was forbidden for Jedi to fall in love.

Fun Fact: During their search on Tatooine, Shan reunited with her estranged mother. She was saddened to learn of her father’s death while hunting a canyon krayt dragon. However, with Revan’s encouragement, Bastila and Helena were finally able to reconcile.

While searching for the Star Forge, the Ebon Hawk was captured by Malak’s flagship, the Leviathan. The crew were immediately placed in individual cells where they faced torture. However, the crew managed to break free and rush to the vessel’s bridge. There, they mortally wounded Saul Karath, before releasing the tractor beam. While making their way to the docking bay, a successful escape felt plausible. Malak disallowed such an outcome, though. The Dark Lord of the Sith informed Revan of his true identity, forcing Shan to come clean with her fellow Jedi. Twisting the knife further, Malak told Revan that he was simply a puppet of the Jedi Council. The truth failed to sway his former master, however, resulting in duel between the two. Despite holding his own against Malak, Shan sacrificed herself so Revan and the rest of the crew could escape aboard the Ebon Hawk. As a result, Bastila was taken prisoner by the Dark Lord of the Sith. Following a week of torture, Shan embraced her hate and fell to the dark side. Consequently, she replaced Darth Bandon as Malak’s apprentice.

When Revan and his crew boarded the Star Forge, they were swiftly met with Shan. She launched several vicious attacks upon the Jedi. However, despite the full power of the Star Forge behind her, Bastila could not defeat Revan. Realising she was no match for him, Shan yielded and pleaded for a swift death. But Revan refused to, knowing that he could redeem her. He persuaded Malak’s apprentice to use their bond, to take his strength and break free. In addition, for the first time, Revan confessed his love for Shan. Redeemed, she used her Battle Meditation to swing the tide of war in the Republic’s favour, while Revan duelled and defeated Malak in the command center of the Star Forge. Victory was then sealed when the Republic fleet destroyed the ancient factory. After the battle, Shan, Revan and the rest of his crew were honoured as saviours of the galaxy.

Following their marriage, Revan and Shan settled down on Coruscant. Unfortunately, their relationship with the Jedi Council broke down shortly after, for obvious reasons. Furthermore, while some simply could not forgive Revan’s prior fall to the dark side, most on the Council despised the Jedi for supposedly corrupting Bastila, whom they considered to be their finest student. However, two years after the destruction of the Star Forge, Revan left his pregnant wife to venture alone into the Unknown Regions, where he sought the True Sith Empire. As a result, Revan missed the birth of his son, Vaner Shan. As the months passed, Bastila grew more concerned over her husband’s whereabouts. She later discovered that her husband had been captured by a duo of true Sith. While Meetra Surik searched for Revan, Shan patiently awaited his return. According to Jedi historian Gnost-Dural, Bastila served as a Jedi Master in the years that followed, though she later left the Order to spend the rest of her life with her family. Unfortunately, while Revan secretly watched over Shan through the Force, she never saw her husband again. Despite this, Bastila convinced herself that whatever it was Revan went to fight, he done so to protect his family…

Now it’s time for this week’s question: is Bastila Shan one of your favourite Jedi? Let me know in the comments below.

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