Star Wars fans woke up Wednesday morning to find “Revan” trending on Twitter, which at first, just sounded like another example of social media randomness. As it turned out, however, the character -- a Jedi-turned-Sith Lord from the 2003 Knights of the Old Republic video game -- was mentioned in a comment about “real” Star Wars fans, which opened a debate about gatekeeping and fan toxicity. Revan is just the latest example of a long and arduous issue within fandom -- the “no true Scotsman” approach, which divides followers of a given property into “actual” fans and pretenders.

The original post itself has little to do with Revan. Instead, it was complaining about Disney’s purchase of Star Wars and the resulting influx of new fans, specifically those who came on board during the sequel trilogy and shows like The Mandalorian. Revan was cited as a “deep cut,” a figure buried in the lexicon that casual fans might not be familiar with. Characters like him also tend to attract more toxic elements of the fan base, though less through any qualities of their own and more through their perceived “edginess." That said, let's explore who Revan is and why he caused such a stir.

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Who Is Revan in Star Wars

Knights of the Old Republic let players take on the role of Revan, though they could change his appearance and gender to suit their tastes. His established character was a male Jedi Knight, corrupted by the Dark Side, who carved out an empire some 4,000 years before the events of A New Hope. Betrayed by a fellow Sith, his memory was erased; the Jedi took advantage of the situation by giving him a phony identity and sending him against his own forces.

The character proved quite popular and appeared both in additional video games and in ancillary material like comic books. There were even plans to include him in Star Wars: The Clone Wars as a spiritual supporter of the Son, a personification of the Dark Side on the planetary nexus of the Force, Mortis. His character clashed with George Lucas’s ideas about the Force, however, so the concept was dropped from the episode.

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Star Wars Fans Weren't Having Any Toxicity

star wars knights of the old republic

Though huge in the video game world, Revan’s non-canonical status means that non-gamers might not be familiar with him. That makes him a tempting subject for “no true Scotsman” arguments -- providing instant name recognition for some readers while prompting hasty Google searches for others. The trouble with such arguments is that they set requirements for what one can and cannot enjoy, which becomes an excuse to exclude others.

The good news is that Star Wars fans on Twitter responded to the post in largely positive ways. A number of them quietly mocked the original poster by misidentifying obviously wrong figures like Max Reebo and Ahsoka Tano as Revan, while other users chimed in to express their love for the character and desire to see more of him. A few older ones even mentioned going to see A New Hope in 1977, but having no idea who Revan is.

Star Wars will always be subject to individual taste, and content that appeals to one fan might not appeal to another. That’s built into the franchise, and really any other with a substantial fanbase. But Star Wars doesn’t belong to Disney, George Lucas, Revan enthusiasts or Baby Yoda fans -- it belongs to everyone, and always has.

KEEP READING: Star Wars: Why Darth Revan Wore a Mandalorian Mask

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