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Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic #2

"COMMENCEMENT" PART 2

Having seen the horrors awaiting him at the Jedi Tower, Zayne runs -- with Gryph in tow, whether he wants to be or not...

The second issue of a series always tends to be easier for me to write than the first issue. The scene has been set, the characters have been introduced – now the action can begin. At the time, however, I don’t think I had done a second issue with quite so much action right out of the gate. The first 16 pages of this issue are all essentially part of the same sequence, starting in the Jedi Tower and winding up in that grungy alleyway.

One of my decisions in the beginning, to avoid using an omniscient narrator except for announcements as to location and time, becomes more noticeable in an issue like this, where there are several action scenes without an opportunity for dialogue. In the old days, it would be a simple matter to throw in a thought balloon from Zayne explaining exactly what he’s doing at any moment; today, things need to be a lot more self-evident. (You can read more about the disappearance of the thought balloon and of many narrator captions in my column in Comics Buyer’s Guide #1596.) That said, I think Brian Ching really carried off what was a pretty complicated action scene very well!

Brian’s depictions in fact really helped sell a lot of my favorite scenes. We really do get a better sense of Gryph’s priorities and assumptions about himself. And, wow, isn’t he Mr. Empathy when Zayne’s friends appear on the news?

I would begin using an omniscient narrator for setting descriptions after "Vindication," to underscore the galactic travelogue aspect of that phase of Zayne's career.

 

  • This issue gives a prominent on-camera role to Master Vandar Tokare, a character from the first video game. Despite his Yoda-like looks, his manner of speech differs, just as it is depicted in the game. Vandar would appear several more times in the years to come.

  • The lecturer is talking to his students about “air traffic control” on Taris, which must be a serious problem with all these flying vessels in the “streets.” Thus the irony of Zayne crashing through, out of control…

  • The dialogue balloons in the “garbage can” scene are actually reversed with regard to where Zayne’s and Gryph’s knuckles are. It takes an eagle-eyed reader to notice how hairy a guy’s fingers are!

  • The Kedorzhans make their first appearance anywhere in this story. I would return to the species later in my 2013 short story for Star Wars Insider, "Incognito" — a tie-in with the Star Wars: Kenobi novel. It involved Obi-Wan encountering the Kedorzhan senator in the aftermath of Episode III.

  • A Bith, as Gryph mistakenly refers to the Sith, is of course a member of that race that also includes the Cantina Scene’s band from Star Wars: Episode IV.

 

This issue has been reprinted in the following collections:

Star Wars Legends Epic Collection: The Old Republic Vol. 1 (Marvel, 2015),
available from Amazon.

Star Wars Omnibus: Knights of the Old Republic Vol. 1 (Dark Horse, 2013),
available from Amazon.

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic Vol. 1: Commencement (Dark Horse, 2006),
available from Amazon.

The issue is also available digitally from Marvel.com.

Be sure to also check my shop for the availability of signed editions.

 

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