Disclaimer: This article will reveal some minor spoilers from Revan, as well as some other novels/comics that have been released regarding The Old Republic.
The Shan family has stood out as one of the most important families in the Old Republic era, with at least two members of the family playing extremely important roles in some of the biggest conflicts during their time. Known for their prodigious talent in whatever area of expertise they specialized in, the Shan family has the ability to get things done. With their tendency to be tied into the grand scheme of things, it is important to look back on what this family has contributed to the galaxy, and their members’ roles in moving the story of The Old Republic forward.
The oldest members of this family that we know of are Helena Shan and her husband, who has yet to be named at this time. These two were relatively unremarkable in the grand scheme of things, especially compared with the Shans that came after, though the husband was a treasure hunter who loved to go on expeditions. This couple’s greatest contribution to the galaxy was their daughter, Bastila. Bastila was discovered to be Force sensitive at a young age and was given to the Jedi Order for training, but not before developing a strong tie to her father who she loved deeply. Though Bastila did not want to leave her father to join the ranks of the Jedi, her parents felt that the Jedi would offer Bastila a far better life than they ever could. When she began her training it soon became clear that Bastila was quite strong in the Force, and had a particular talent for the art of Battle Meditation. Battle Meditation was a power that allowed a Jedi to influence their allies on the field of battle, raising their morale and coordinating their movements while at the same time demoralizing their enemies. Her talent was so great that it was said that she was even more skilled than most of the Jedi Masters of the time. However, this talent came with a cost; it caused Bastila to become headstrong and arrogant in her abilities. This, coupled with the attachment she had felt towards her father, made it very hard for her to control her emotions, a fault that her fellow Jedi would caution her about constantly.
Though she was a member of the Order at the time of the Mandalorian Wars, Bastila heeded the warnings of the Jedi council and stayed out of the war. But when the Jedi who went to war came back as Sith and launched their attack on the Republic, Bastila became a key figure in the Republic war effort. The Sith forces were decimating the Republic fleet, but Bastila’s skill in Battle Meditation allowed the Republic to win some key victories that kept them from losing the war entirely. As the war dragged on, and the Republic became more desperate, Bastila participated in a mission that changed her life forever. She was put on a strike team to capture or kill the leader of the Sith forces, Darth Revan. When the team confronted Revan, he was betrayed by his apprentice, Darth Malak, who fired upon his Master’s ship in an attempt to kill both Revan and Bastila at the same time. Though he succeeded in wounding Revan and placing him on the brink of death, Bastila took pity of Revan’s broken form and used the Force to preserve the flicker of life inside him. This created a Force bond between the two that allowed them to sense each other’s thoughts and memories.
Bastila brought Revan before the Jedi Council, who healed him and reprogrammed his broken mind, sending the two on a mission to stop the Sith. As the mission went on, Bastila was able to touch the dark taint inside Revan’s mind. This, coupled with her lack of emotional control, caused her to draw closer and closer to the Dark Side, until Darth Malak captured her as she and Revan attempted to escape imprisonment on one of the Sith war ships. Malak was intent on turning Bastila to the Dark Side so he could use her Battle Meditation against the Republic. At first Bastila resisted Malak, but it was only a matter of time before Malak was able to turn her. She then became his foremost apprentice and faced Revan in battle. At first she seemed devoted to the Dark Side, and even attempted to turn the former Sith Lord back to the Dark Side. Revan not only resisted, but used the love that had blossomed between the two to bring Bastila back to the Light Side. She then assisted Revan in defeating the Sith and was hailed as a hero of the Republic.
After the war ended, Revan and Bastila were married and essentially became outcasts from the Jedi Order. At first they attempted to share their new views on the Force with the Jedi, that positive emotions such as love could fuel the Light Side the same way negative emotions fueled the Dark Side, but the council would not listen to them. Though they officially remained members of the Jedi Order, Bastila and Revan remained as separate from the Jedi as they could. Eventually Revan’s lost memories began to resurface and he realized that he needed to try and track down the mysterious evil he had encountered in the Unknown Regions. Originally Bastilla was to join him, but an issue arose that made it impossible. Bastila was pregnant. She was forced to stay behind as her husband left to face this unknown threat, never to see him again. She ended up waiting for him for the rest of her life, raising their son and always waiting for the day Revan would return to her. That day never came, but Bastila never gave up hope that Revan was still alive somewhere.
After Bastila, the Shan family tree becomes a little more shrouded in mystery. It is known that her son, who she named Vaner, was not Force Sensitive but was still an incredibly influential member of the Republic. In fact, Bastila even commented that her son could easily become Supreme Chancellor if he wanted the job, and it is implied that he eventually went after such a position. Vaner had two children with his wife Emess, who were named Reesa and Bress. These two were known to be Force Sensitive but it is unknown at this time if they joined the Jedi Order. What we do know is that the Shan family continued to thrive over the next three hundred years until it produced the next rising star of the Jedi Order, Satele Shan.
Satele was quite powerful in the Force, as would be expected of someone descended form both Bastila and Revan. She was particularly noted for her gift of foresight, often receiving glimpses into the future. She was on Korriban when the Sith launched their surprise assault on the planet, and was able to sense the oncoming Sith Fleet moments before they arrived. She was able to escape the planet and return to inform the Jedi Council of the events that transpired there, afterward becoming a leading figure in the fight against the Sith. Her reputation on the field of battle was legendary, and on at least two occasions, faced off against one of the most powerful of the Sith, Darth Malgus. During the signing of the Treaty of Coruscant, she was one of the Jedi assigned to advise and negotiate the terms of the treaty. While there, she was able to sense the Sith’s surprise attack on Coruscant, something that even the Jedi Master attending the meeting was unable to do.
After the signing of the treaty and the official “end” of the war, Satele continued to be a key figure in the Cold War that followed. It was during this time that she led the Jedi Order to establish their new headquarters on Tython and became the youngest Grand Master of the Jedi Order ever. She led the Jedi during this time of rebuilding that followed their loss of face to the rest of the Republic. She continued to hone her combat skills during this time, becoming one of the era’s greatest warriors. During a mission that saw the Republic and Sith temporarily working together, Sith Apprentice Eldon Ax observed that Satele fought with serenity, swiftness, and a battle prowess that made Ax believe that maybe the Jedi had what it took to face against the Sith, a rare admission for any member of the Sith Order. At some point in her life, Satele gave birth to a son named Theron Shan, continuing her family’s tradition of engaging in personal relationships despite the fact that such actions were forbidden by the Jedi.
Theron Shan’s mother did not raise him, for she had passed guardianship of Theron onto an old master of hers by the name of Ngani Zho. Ngani raised Theron in the ways of the Jedi but determined that the boy did not posses the Force sensitivity his family was famous for. Theron instead began a career in the Republic Strategic Information Services as a spy. He worked on many missions for the Republic during this time, not the least of which included breaking up slave rings that were selling Republic citizens to the Sith Empire. His most important mission involved him tracking down his former guardian Ngani, who had disappeared for years behind Sith lines. Ngani had gone undercover to try and learn more about the Sith during the time of relative peace after the Treaty of Coruscant. When reports that Ngani had resurfaced began to show up, Theron was assigned to track him down and find out what he knew. Theron then helped Ngani destroy a Sith superweapon they had been developing during the time of peace. Though Ngani lost his life in the process, Theron was able to destroy the Sith weapon and keep it from being unleashed upon the Republic. Afterwards Theron devoted himself to tracking down any other superweapons the Sith may have had in development at the time, to ensure that they could never be used against Republic forces.
Though we are not privy to the life history of all members of the Shan family, we do know that those members that we have information on have proven to be key members of galactic society. They are defenders of the Republic, devoting their lives to making the galaxy a safer and better place for others. We already know that Satele will play a huge role in The Old Republic as the leader of the Jedi Order, and her son Theron may pop up along the way as well. One thing is for sure, the Shan family will continue to help shape the flow of history in the galaxy as they stand on the front lines of the battle against the Sith.
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