Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic #10
"FLASHPOINT" PART 3
As with all my “production notes,” consider a “Spoiler Warning” attached. Please read the books first.
If “Commencement” drew upon themes familiar to
viewers of The
Fugitive, “Flashpoint” wraps by bringing us nearer to The Sting. We see
Zayne and Gryph essentially repeating the con that got them in the
thick of the Mandalorian Onslaught in the first place. Gryph and Zayne
aren’t exactly Newman and Redford, but they get by.
As with #7, each and every member of the cast – including Elbee – plays a role in carrying off the scam. To borrow another movie allusion, it’s like The Hunt for Red October’s game of “how do you get the crew to want to leave a nuclear submarine?”
I’m glad I didn’t have to show what was going on in the Last Resort’s cockpit as the ship was landing, because it would have been awfully busy. After Camper sent Rohlan’s message, Zayne and Rohlan had but a few minutes to locate from above where they wanted to place the charges Camper had programmed. They had to take out the shield generation -- and it was logically important for them to destroy at least one of the parked Republic vehicles, so that the Mandalorians wouldn’t just take all the ships when they left, including the Last Resort!
Kudos to Dustin Weaver for being able to negotiate the rather crowded layout of the Flashpoint exterior – and to Michael Atiyeh for colors that helped put the action across. I love the little things, like the glowing movement lines when Zayne/Demagol waves his fingers to use the Force.
With the size of the cast continuing to increase, this issue introduced an exercise in plot traffic control. Squint and his cohorts went undercover on Suurja soon after the end of #0, being captured in #6, the same day of Zayne’s return to Taris. As such, none had any knowledge of the Padawans’ deaths or Zayne’s alleged role in them. That’s just the first taste of the what-do-they-know-and-when-do- they-know-it challenges I’ve had to negotiate!
- Originally, this issue was set to appear as #9 – until a scheduling problem resulted in its reversal with #10. Both issues take place simultaneously; one afternoon on Coruscant equals a bunch of “days” on Flashpoint, but it’s really the same time. Ironically, this restored the original scripting order for this sequence. I had skipped ahead to finish “Homecoming” first to give Brian Ching an issue to work on after #6. That’s why it was done before this issue, and available for scheduling as #9.
- I’m not sure where you’d find a brick wall (like you see on the cover) on Flashpoint. Maybe the Mandalorians brought their own backdrop with them.
- As noted in #8, Flashpoint’s day is only an hour long, the reverse of what you’d expect to find in a two-body system like this; that suggests it’s a relatively new arrival in the system. We’re seeing some awfully weird phenomena with all the new exoplanets being discovered, so Flashpoint may not be all that unusual after all.
- A Terminator cross-over in Star Wars? No – the terminator, mentioned by one of the sentries, is the astronomical term for the dividing line between night and day.
- There appear to be stars in the daytime sky over Flashpoint on the first page, something you probably wouldn’t see if you were there. I’m going to chalk that up to dust in low orbit – or some phenomenon caused by the energy shield. Or maybe bits of plasma coming off Flashpoint’s star. Yeah, that’s it.
- After Jarael’s introduction, a number of fans wrote wondering why she and Camper look so different from garden-variety Arkanians; as we see in this issue, there’s a reason. I hate always having to answer “you’ll see” to every question, but there’s a time and place for every explanation.
- Zayne’s pretty lucky that he was a smaller guy than Demagol, rather than the other way around. It’s pretty hard to put on a helmet that’s too small! Just another calculated risk for Butch Hierogryph and the Sunstroke Kid! (Hey, there's Newman and Redford again...)
- And speaking of wardrobe, don’t ask me where Camper was able to find an admiral’s uniform in the dumps of Junk Junction. I don’t know what they’d do without the endless closet of the Last Resort. No one who read #4 should be surprised they’d have spacesuits enough for the whole planet!
- Bizarre tangent: No, it’s not true that Gryph is in any way related to George Costanza – though Jason Alexander wouldn’t be a bad choice to voice him. But there was a spooky series of “Seinfeld moments” for me after writing this issue. Weeks after turning the script in, I did a double-take when I nearly heard George say Gryph’s concluding line (“Aren’t you glad you have access to my genius?”) when the episode reran featuring George telling Jerry to “thank God every day that you have access to my madness!” A coincidence, of course. But, wondering what the name of that episode was (“Episode 93: The Switch”, in which Kramer's first name is revealed), I pulled out my TV Guide special edition on the series – and accidentally flipped right to Julie Bell’s portrait of the show’s cast in Star Wars regalia! Spookier still. Now, I’m off – and for a deranged minute I begin the Mad Magazine recasting mentally: Kramer for Camper? Sure. Elaine for Jarael? Well, she does shove people around. And what about “Hellllo, Lucien!" And I think all that weirdness is behind me – when, to top it all off , the issue ships the very week the actor who played Kramer caused a huge controversy with his on-stage rant. I’m not turning on my TV again, ever. "Seinfeld curse," indeed...