- "The Force fights with me!"
- ―Bastila Shan
Bastila Shan was a female Human Jedi Padawan who became one of the key figures involved in the Jedi Civil War and its immediate aftermath. She was known for having an impressive talent in battle meditation and as such was seen as the key to winning the war. Bastila was a survivor of the Jedi strike team sent to neutralize Darth Revan, forming a Force bond with him when she saved his life. The Jedi Council then reprogrammed Revan's damaged mind and put him under Bastila's care, hoping he could subconsciously lead them to the Star Forge.
While transporting the amnesiac Revan, with whom she eventually fell in love during the war, her ship was ambushed over Taris and she was captured by the Black Vulkar gang. After being rescued by Revan, Bastila accompanied him on his mission to find and destroy the Star Forge. Bastila was later captured and briefly became the apprentice to Darth Malak, who turned her to the dark side through torture. However, aboard the Star Forge, Revan confronted her and she was redeemed from the darkness to which she had succumbed. To prove her reclaimed faith she aided the Galactic Republic in the Battle of Rakata Prime through means of her powerful battle meditation. Bastila was also one of the few Jedi to survive the purge that followed the war.
- "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 was born on Talravin as the child of Helena Shan and a hunter whose name was not preserved by history. Bastila shared similar traits to her father with whom she shared a loving and powerful relationship with. However, despite this relationship, she was not on good terms with her mother, Helena, believing that she was pushing her father into dangerous hunts so they would live in wealth.
What Bastila could not see was that the life her and her family led was not a suitable one for her, traveling constantly. At a young age, she was discovered with an exceptional gift with the Force. Bastila did not wish to leave her father behind and join the Jedi Order but Helena, believing that her life would be better with the Jedi, gave her up. She was separated at a young age and began her training, but Bastila quickly proved to be an exceptional Jedi Sentinel.
She was gifted with a natural 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 enemy's will to fight. This ability would make Bastila an irreplaceable asset in the Galactic Republic's plans to defeat the Sith Empire during the Jedi Civil War.
As a young Padawan, Bastila was present when Malak, on behalf of his best friend Revan, delivered a passionate speech that denounced the inaction of the Jedi High Council against the invading Mandalorian Neo-Crusaders. Though Bastila refused to join Revan's growing rebellion, she was present as several Jedi, including the future Jedi Exile willingly went over to Malak's side, refusing to continue doing nothing while millions were slaughtered by the Mandalorians. Later, when those same Jedi returned as Sith during the Jedi Civil War, she became one of the most active supporters of the old Jedi Order, as opposed to the increasing number of Jedi who joined the ranks of the new Dark Lord Revan.
The 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."
- ―Bastila Shan to Revan
In 3,957 BBY, the Jedi Council sent a strike team, of which Bastila was part of, aiming to capture Darth Revan, the Dark Lord of the Sith. Her team had just managed to corner Revan on the bridge of his flagship when Darth Malak, Revan's apprentice, unexpectedly betrayed his master and fired on the vessel. Revan was knocked into a coma by the attack, his mind suffering damage, but Bastila managed to save his life, thereby forging a powerful Force bond between the two. Bastila brought Revan to the Jedi Council, who opted to reprogram him with a new identity that was loyal to the Republic in the hopes that, with time, his submerged memories would cast some light on the many mysteries concerning the Sith invaders.
Following Revan's apparent death, Darth Malak declared himself to be the new Dark Lord of the Sith. He knew that the Republic armadas had been saved from certain destruction multiple times purely because of Bastila's skills in battle meditation. One of his primary objectives quickly became the assassination or capture of Bastila. He almost got his wish when his apprentice, Darth Bandon, and the Sith fleet overwhelmed a minor Republic fleet and boarded her flagship, the Endar Spire, during a Sith ambush over the world of Taris. A recovered Revan, assumed by everyone—including himself—to be a simple Republic soldier, had been assigned to the vessel, where Bastila could keep an eye on him. Bastila, Revan, and Commander Carth Onasi were forced to evacuate the ship in escape pods just before it was destroyed. Crashing into the lower levels of Taris, Bastila was captured by a Taris swoop gang known as the Black Vulkars. She later revealed that she was easily captured because her Force power was exhausted from using battle meditation on the Endar Spire and her lightsaber had been "misplaced" during the crash.
After a fruitless quarantine and search of Taris, Malak ordered Admiral Saul Karath to destroy the planet in the hopes of ridding himself of Bastila once and for all. The urban centers of Taris were utterly obliterated in a hail of indiscriminate turbolaser fire, but Bastila and her party managed to escape and flee to the Jedi Enclave on Dantooine aboard a smuggler vessel named the Ebon Hawk which they had stolen from a local crime lord named Davik Kang. There, Bastila convinced the Jedi Masters to retrain Revan in the ways of the Jedi. 
Soon after, her party discovered a partial Rakatan Star Map in a collection of nearby ruins. It was an artifact that had been discovered by Revan and Malak five years earlier. Its data, when combined with that from four other such Maps, could reveal the location of the Star Forge—an ancient factory of immense power that was being used by Malak to build the seemingly infinite Sith fleet. The Dantooine Enclave council sent Revan on a mission to find the Star Forge and stop Malak, with Bastila guiding him along the way. Calo Nord, bounty hunter and former associate of the late Davik Kang, was hired by Darth Malak to kill Revan and the others, while bringing Bastila before the Dark Lord alive, but he was quickly beaten by the Jedi. While searching on Tatooine for clues about the Star Forge, Bastila would be reunited with her estranged mother, and with Revan's help they were finally able to reconcile. However, she was saddened to learn that her father had been killed while hunting a Krayt Dragon for its pearl, which he thought would provide enough credits to pay for treatment for his wife.
During their quest, Bastila would closely monitor Revan, searching for any possible signs that he might have been slipping, although she tried to hide it. She still held a dislike for the man who had done so much damage to the galaxy. But instead of being the monster she imagined he would be, Revan proved to be a true servant of the light side, displaying many acts of kindness throughout their journey together. Though this may have been attributed to the programmed identity that replaced his former persona, Revan's compassionate nature may have also been caused by subconscious aspects of his former personality before his fall to the dark side. She soon found herself admiring his passion and unrivaled power and, despite her best efforts, began to develop feelings for him. She resisted such feelings, partly because it was forbidden for Jedi to fall in love and partly because she was unable to come to terms with who he really was.
Malak's last apprentice
During the quest to find the Star Forge, Bastila was again captured, but this time by Darth Malak. After subjecting her to torture by Force lightning, Malak eventually succeeded in forcing Bastila to give in to her hate and fall to the dark side. She became the Dark Lord's apprentice, replacing the slain Darth Bandon, who also searched for her after Calo's death. In time, she would reunite with Revan atop the Temple of the Ancients on the world of Lehon, but their meeting was far from happy. Bastila told Revan, Jolee Bindo, and Juhani that she had sworn alliegance to Malak, and was now his apprentice. She engaged all three of them in a lightsaber duel, but it was brief. After seeing how powerful Revan was despite what the Council had done to him, she came to believe Revan deserved to be the Dark Lord of the Sith. Bastila attempted to persuade him to reclaim his former title, but Revan would not be swayed.
Revan made the choice of a Jedi and rejected Bastila's pleas. Angered at her failure to turn Revan, Bastila retreated to the Star Forge, where she and Revan eventually faced off again - and again she was quickly defeated, despite her powers being continually renewed by the Star Forge. Beaten once more, she begged the former Dark Lord to take her life.
Return to the light side
Revan, however, refused to kill her. Instead he persuaded Bastila to renounce the dark side and return to the light by drawing on the bond they shared—not one of the Force, but one of love. Redeemed, Bastila used her battle meditation to turn the tide of the battle in the Republic's favor, allowing the Star Forge to be destroyed after Revan had slain his old friend Malak in single combat.
After the battle, Bastila 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.
Despite this seemingly happy ending, Revan and Bastila were not destined to remain together for long. A year after the Star Forge's destruction, Revan recalled a great threat to the galaxy that he had discovered as the Dark Lord and he set out alone into the Unknown Regions. He left all those whom he had loved behind, for he knew that to take them to the places he had to go would bring destruction to them all. "It would have helped", Kreia would later remark, "had he made her understand. But she was always strong-willed, that one, and did not understand war as Revan did."
Before Revan and T3-M4 left known space, Bastila secretly programmed T3 to return to known space and find her should something happen to Revan. Should T3 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 discovered the Jedi Exile.
Bastila remained behind with the rest of the Ebon Hawk's former crew, keeping the Republic safe as Revan had asked them and waiting for the day when he would return. In the aftermath of the war, as the Sith Triumvirate and G0-T0, among others, hunted the remaining Jedi Knights, she was one of the few to escape their notice. When the Jedi Exile—the new owner of the Ebon Hawk—left known space to search for Revan at Carth Onasi's request, Bastila was one of the few known surviving members of the Jedi Order.
Personality and traits
- "Bastila was strong, but she was always impatient and headstrong. Malak preyed upon her weaknesses."
- ―Jolee Bindo
Bastila 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), Bastila acted as though she were unstoppable, though she was constantly aware of the responsibility resting on her. Despite the warnings of her masters, Bastila continually sought to prove her worth by devoting herself to defeating the Sith.
Bastila'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. Bastila 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.
Bastila 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 preferred wearing a tight and flexible full-body suit, kept in the color scheme of the traditional Jedi robes; however, she did wear a typical Jedi robe over it at times. As a Jedi Sentinel, she used a yellow single lightsaber for a time. After Revan's "death", she exchanged the weapon for a double-bladed lightsaber, although she later lost it, and Brejik found it. When Revan killed Brejik during the aftermath of the swoop race, he found and returned it to Bastila. When she became a Sith apprentice, she replaced the yellow crystal inside the lightsaber with a red crystal.
Powers and abilities
Despite her youth, Bastila was skilled in the rare power of battle meditation—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.
Bastila 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 Shock, Force Plague, Force Breach, Drain Life, (Force Drain) and Force Stasis Field. From her point of view, she was more powerful than all but a few Jedi Masters.
Behind the scenes
In Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, during a conversation between the Jedi Exile and Mical, Bastila's name is twice subtitled as "Bastilla." Also in that game, during an influence-based conversation between the Jedi Exile and HK-47, the droid mocks both Carth and Bastila. Further, if the player decides that Revan was male and did not stray from the light side, which was the canonical ending of the original game, Bastila appears on Citadel Station after the Exile speaks with Admiral Carth Onasi. If the player defines Revan as having taken the dark path, Bastila appears in a hologram in the Sith Academy on Korriban. Bastila does not appear in the game at all in case of a light side female Revan.
Bastila was nominated among 25 other Star Wars Expanded Universe characters as a figurine design.
Original character development
The character that was to become Bastila was originally 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).
If Revan is set as female (or did not play the romance as male), the player can still turn Bastila back to the light side. However, this solution is harder than the romance option available for the male Revan.
If the player is unable to convince Bastila to stop fighting, either by failing their persuasion checks or not choosing certain dialogue options, then Bastila attacks Revan and is killed. Alternately, she begs to be killed, believing herself too far gone for redemption, and Revan grants that wish.
Two endings were available in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic in which Bastila would appear. The LucasArts-established canon is the light side way outlined above—the dark side ending is as follows:
Revan gave in to the dark side. He and Bastila killed Jolee Bindo and Juhani (if Revan spares her earlier in the game). When returning to the Ebon Hawk, Revan persuaded the rest of the team to join the dark side. The droids HK-47 and T3-M4 were already programmed to do so, and Canderous Ordo pledged his loyalty to the man he believed would bring him battles in which he could find honor, as he had in the Mandalorian Wars. Carth Onasi refused and ran away. Mission Vao refused to believe that Revan had returned to the dark side and did not run away. Zaalbar initially agreed to join the dark side as he owed Revan a "life debt" and even agreed to kill Mission to prove his loyalty.
(Note that the player could fail to persuade Zaalbar to attack Mission; in this case, the player must personally engage Mission, with an option to kill Zaalbar as well.)
Before approaching the Star Forge, Bastila persuaded the Republic to attack the Sith fleet there as a measure to defeat the Republic. The Republic believed that she would use her battle meditation against the Sith, but she turned it against the Republic just before Revan faced Malak. Master Vandar Tokare realized the truth after Bastila applied battle meditation against the Jedi, but could do nothing to stop her.
After Revan defeated Malak, he re-assumed the title of Dark Lord of the Sith and made Bastila his apprentice and lover. Together, they set out to conquer the galaxy.
However, Revan soon left the known galaxy for the Unknown Regions, leaving the Sith and Bastila behind on Korriban. Before his departure, Bastila installed secret commands into T3-M4. She knew that Revan would not take her into the Unknown Regions, fearing their bond would be a weakness. She also knew that Revan would take T3. She ordered the droid to return to known space should something happen to Revan. If T3 was unable to locate her, the droid was to find anyone, Sith or Jedi, who could help. She ordered T3 to keep this last command a secret from Revan.
Bastila, left behind, seeing disorder among the Sith—and seeing none left with the power to control the Star Forge, devouring those too weak to harness its power—realized that Revan never intended to keep the Forge operational. She recorded her concerns in a Sith holocron placed in the Sith Academy on Korriban—shortly before the Sith Empire, along with most of the Order, completely collapsed. At the end of the holocron, Bastila stated that she was leaving for the Unknown Regions, to find and bring Revan back. It had not yet been proven if she left before Korriban fell into ruin, or died there before leaving.
- Shadows and Light (Vision to Duron Qel-Droma)
- Knights of the Old Republic: Opportunities (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (First appearance)
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords
- Knights of the Old Republic: Prima's Official Strategy Guide
- Chronicles of the Old Republic
- The New Essential Chronology
- Star Wars Miniatures: Champions of the Force
- Jedi vs. Sith: The Essential Guide to the Force
Notes and references
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 "Bastila Shan" in the Databank
- ↑ Chronicles of the Old Republic
- ↑ "Shadows and Light", Star Wars Tales 23
- ↑ Behind the Scenes, "Bastila Shan" in the Databank