Upgrade an old version of theme "total"

I have an old version (4.2.1) of theme total and a problem with revolution slider plugin. To solve the problem I need to update the plugin which seems to require the update of the complete theme.
In the description of the update process there is a requirement to also install the “total theme core plugin” .
My questions now:
Is this plugin really required if I do not want to use any new features?
Is there any risk to upgrade the theme in such a big step 4.2.1 to 5.0.8?

thanks for help


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