The story of this game takes place approximately 4,000 years before the rise of the Galactic Empire. Ex-Jedi Darth Malak, a Dark Lord of the Sith and Darth Revan's former apprentice, has unleashed a Sith armada against the Republic. Malak's aggression has left the Jedi scattered and vulnerable; many Jedi Knights have fallen in battle and others have sworn allegiance to Malak and Revan.
The game opens with the player's character—the player can choose a face and be male or female (canonically a male)—awakening aboard the Republic ship, Endar Spire, which is under attack by Malak's forces. The player's character gradually gathers companions and pieces together his or her past while attempting to stop Malak. While taking refuge at the Jedi Academy on Dantooine, the player's character learns to be a Jedi, discovers a "Star Map", and learns of the "Star Forge", the probable source of Malak's military resources. The player's character and his or her companions search planets across the galaxy—Dantooine, Manaan, Tatooine, Kashyyyk, and Korriban—for more information about the Star Forge. Through the course of his or her travels, the player will eventually discover the character's true identity - the brainwashed Darth Revan, whom the Jedi Council on Dantooine took in and subjected to memory modification so that he would no longer be a threat to the galaxy. Darth Revan had been injured when attacking a republic planet because Darth Malak turned his guns on his former master. Because Bastila Shan was aboard Revan's ship with a Jedi strike force, she was able to heal him and bring him to the Jedi Council on Dantooine. Her actions lead to the force bond between her and Revan, which plays a role later in the game.
Depending on the character's alignment, upon ultimately reaching the Star Forge he or she either defeats the Sith (the light-side path) or usurps control from Malak (the dark-side path). A light-aligned character is hailed as a savior and hero; a dark-side character stands before the remaining Sith forces as the new Dark Lord of the Sith.
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