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Knights of the Old Republic redirects here. For other works that include this subtitle, see Knights of the Old Republic (disambiguation).

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
Developer: BioWare
Publisher: LucasArts
Release date: 2003
Genre: RPG
Engine: Odyssey engine
Game modes: Single player
ESRB rating: Teen (T)
Platform: Xbox, PC
Media: CD (4), Xbox DVD

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (KotOR) is an RPG video game originally for the Microsoft Xbox and later for PCs running Microsoft Windows. The game was developed by BioWare and published by LucasArts in 2003. A sequel, Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords was released a year later in December 2004 from a different company, Obsidian Entertainment.

It is set in the Star Wars universe about 4000 years before the Star Wars movie takes place, during the era of the Tales of the Jedi comics, and the time of the ancient Old Republic. The story begins as a Republic ship, the Endar Spire, is ambushed by Sith fighters while in orbit around the planet Taris. As the ship is destroyed, the player and Carth Onasi land on the planet in an escape pod. Their priority is to find Bastila Shan, a Jedi Knight with a unique power, her Battle Meditation.

This Force Power allows her to make fleets of ships perform at the maximum efficiency, countering every enemy move quickly and effectively. With her battle meditation, even a small Republic fleet could win over the incredible Sith armada. Without Bastila, the Republic won't stand a chance. And thus the player becomes embroiled in an epic story spanning seven worlds, from his humble beginnings on Taris to a final showdown against Malak, the Dark Lord of the Sith, whose end will determine the fate of the galaxy. Throughout the game, the player gains numerous companions (although only two can be in your party at once) and experiences many startling revelations.

KotOR is the first computer RPG set in the Star Wars universe. It uses the d20 System, from the 3rd Edition Dungeons and Dragons rules. The game also allows the player to either be good (light) or evil (dark) using an alignment system that tracks actions, from simple word choice to major plot decisions, based on whether they are aligned to the light side of the force or the dark side.

Opening text crawl

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...


Four thousand years before
the rise of the Galactic
Empire, the Republic verges
on collapse. DARTH MALAK,
last surviving apprentice of
the Dark Lord Revan, has
unleashed an invincible
Sith armada upon an
unsuspecting galaxy.

Crushing all resistance,
Malak's war of conquest
has left the Jedi Order
scattered and vulnerable
as countless Knights fall in
battle, and many more
swear allegiance to the new
Sith Master.

In the skies above the Outer
Rim world of Taris, a Jedi
battle fleet engages the
forces of Darth Malak in a
desperate effort to halt the
Sith's galactic domination....

Locations and characters

File:Kotor 8.png
The game is played over numerous planets in the Star Wars universe:

Players also visit other locations:

Along the way the player meets a large number of other characters, some of which can be directly controllable:

Other characters met along the way include:


Set during the ancient era of the Tales of the Jedi comic books from Dark Horse, BioWare chose to set the game in this little-documented period in order to have more conceptual and artistic freedom. This means the game has little resemblance in appearance and aesthetics to the classic Star Wars games of the classic Galactic Civil War era.

Knights of the Old Republic took a rather ambitious approach towards previously established continuity. Not least amongst these were the filling-in of Galactic history, moving the "ancient" look of comics set in a similar time period slightly towards the more "modern" look of the movies, and greatly expanding the Exar Kun War to a devastating galactic conflict as well as changing certain events within it (for example, the final battle at Yavin IV became a Republic bombardment as opposed to a mass Jedi force technique).

Additionally, the game provided a full history of Tatooine, and also explained the origins of Kashyyyk’s ecosystem. It partially explained the unlikely event of parallel evolution (that is, the Star Wars universe being populated largely by humanoids) by having a Sand People historian remark on the player's similarity to the ancients of their people, kidnapped by the Rakata aeons ago. It also invented a few Sith Lords of the old Sith Empire, and hinted that they may have had access to the Star Forge. In order to preserve continuity, there are references to known heroes' possible ancestors and future events (like a possible first contact with the Yuuzhan Vong).


The programmers preferred to set the game in a little-documented period of the Star Wars timeline in order to have more designal freedom, something which resulted in a vast expansion of the Expanded Universe. In order though to retain the familiar Star Wars feeling, and not make "just another space RPG," the creators modelled many characters and details from the movies, as well as mentions to characters' ancestors. Examples include:

Voice actors

The following voice actors were used in the game:


  • The game mentions various characters that have ties to the original trilogy and could be interpreted as ancestors, including Galduran Calrissian (Lando Calrissian), Cassus Fett (Jango & Boba Fett), Komad Fortuna (Bib Fortuna), and Admiral Forn Dodonna (General Jan Dodonna).
  • The name Bendak Starkiller is an homage to the name originally chosen for Luke Skywalker in Star Wars.
  • Bastila Shan's character was originally to be Vima Sunrider herself (a Jedi appearing in the Dark Horse Comics' Tales of the Jedi series). The name Bastila was originally meant for the Cathar Jedi character. Eventually, it was decided to create a different character rather than use Sunrider and the Cathar Jedi would be named Juhani.
  • Certain lines through out the game also pay homage to the original films: Mission Vao says, "I have a bad feeling about this" several times, referring to a line spoken repeatedly in the films. Additionally, the line "My name's [your character's name], I'm here to save you," is a homage to the line Luke Skywalker delivers when rescuing Princess Leia.
  • The quest "The Trouble with Gizka" is likely a reference to the Star Trek episode entitled "The Trouble with Tribbles". Also, HK-47's line "Dammit, master, I'm an assassination droid, not a dictionary!" is similar to Dr. McCoy's frequent catch-phrase from the series.
  • When the player is being tortured on the Leviathan and pressed to reveal the location of the Jedi base on Dantooine, a possible response is "Alderaan, they're on Alderaan". In Episode IV: A New Hope, Princess Leia lies that the Rebel Alliance base is on Dantooine to avoid Alderaan's destruction.
  • At one point in the game Canderous Ordo tells of a ship he once chased until it crossed the boundaries of the galaxy; he says that the ship looked like an asteroid and spat fireballs. This sounds very much like a Yuuzhan Vong vessel from the New Jedi Order that will return to invade the galaxy millennia later.
  • If the character chooses to familiarize and explore Jolee Bindo's life, on one dialog, both the character and Jolee make a small parody of Limp Bizkit's song "Nookie" ("I did it all for the Wookiees" "The Wookiees?" "The Wookiees!")
  • The random name generator sometimes offers such last names as "Organa" and such first names as "Luke", "Lando" or "Wedge". Another first name of note (not related to Star Wars) is "Homsar", a character from the Homestar Runner Flash cartoon series who mostly appears in Easter eggs.

Cut content

While KotOR I does not have as much cut content as its sequel, KotOR II, it is still present. It features the planet Sleheyron (briefly mentioned in both games) and an alternate ending for a dark side female PC's romance with Carth, which the player could choose to kill Bastila and die on the Star Forge with Carth.

The existence of a cut planet can be also deduced from Rakatan computer terminals the player encounters on Dantooine. They mention six types of planet environment, and five of them correspond to planets where the Star Maps are located:

Two other cut-content from the game was the second level of the Vulkar Swoop Gang Base, where the player would have to disguise himself as a Vulkar to get through.

The other, took place on Manaan if the player beat Bendak Starkiller in the dueling ring on Taris Deadeye Duncan shows up in the docking area, telling how he escaped the destruction of Taris and asks if he can use the name Mysterious Stranger.

Critical reaction

The general critical response was enthusiastic. KotOR has won numerous awards, including Game Developers Choice Awards' best game of the year, BAFTA Games Awards' best Xbox game, and Interactive Achievement Awards for best console RPG and best computer RPG.

The game also won a Game Developers Choice Award for excellence in writing and for original character (HK-47) and an Interactive Achievement Award for best story/character development. Gamespot deemed the Xbox version of KotOR Best Xbox Game of 2003 and Best Role-Playing Game of 2003


Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords was developed by a different studio, Obsidian Entertainment, using an improved version of the engine from the first game. It was released for Xbox in December, 2004 and PC in February, 2005.

There are rumors about a third game, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic III, but it has not yet been officially announced.

New continuity

New characters

New sapient species

New creatures

New droid models

New organizations

New planets

New vehicles and vessels

External links

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