Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic #11
"REUNION" PART 1
As with all my “production notes,” consider a “Spoiler Warning” attached. Please read the books first.
foolproof and cunning plan, following the six-issue “Commencement,”
had been to break the next six issues up into three shorter stories – a
one-, a two-, and a three-issue story. The idea was to allow for Dustin Weaver
to get into the cycle as the second artist. With scheduling problems
delaying issues #8-12, the result was that the three-one-two pattern
wound up being two-one-one-two — and even then, that last issue needed
to go out to a third artist.
“Reunion” fit in as that final two-parter of the year — and it is deliberately lighter in tone than what preceded it, a bit of a comic oasis between the heavy events of 2006 and 2007. Even with the comedic elements, though, it’s invested with quite a number of bits relevant to larger storylines – more than immediately meets the eye. There is, in fact, one panel that sets up a huge chunk of the year — though it’ll be a while before people realize which one it is. (No, I'm not telling. Whatever you think it is, you'll guess wrong!)
Apart from all that, we wanted a storyline that would really show what Zayne and Gryph’s working relationship was like. There had been few moments since the beginning when someone wasn’t trying to kill them; even in the opening to #7, they were in a hurry. Here, we get to see them in all their dysfunctional glory. And bringing Jarael and Camper into the “Mission: Impossible” motif was also a lot of fun. They clean up real nice…
We also introduced the Moomo Brothers, who may be the galaxy’s only antisocial Ithorians – and if you get the enemies you deserve, well, these are Gryph’s just desserts. It’s tough to play mindgames with unarmed opponents. Both Moomos think they’re “the smart one” – and they’re both wrong!
This issue had Hoon’s first cover on the series; another would follow on #12. They both make the Moomos look a good deal more competent than they actually are!
- The original title for this story was “Target of Opportunity,” and it wasn’t until close to the solicitation that I suggested changing it to “Reunion” to fit with the other scholastic titles of the year, “Commencement” and “Homecoming.” That title, along with the clues to Arvan’s identity that I had dropped in #7 and #8, helped a few readers guess who the “reunion” might be between before the issue came out. That change also had the effect of making all the titles for 2006 one-word titles.
- Larry Hama’s “The Third Law” in Marvel’s Star Wars series had been our first look at a Star Wars banking world — and while that vision of Aargau was from millennia later, we assumed the bank was still around even in the Old Republic. Telerath — your bank’s customer service center by way of Disneyland — was a different take on the notion of the banking planet, and Brian Ching brought it to amazing life. I described the bank as having a mountainous central tower and spidery veins stretching across a gorgeous countryside – and Brian took it several steps further, adding a sea, airships, and other islands.
- I had been working with the name Telerath for some time until I realized its pronunciation was “teller wrath.” Well, maybe that’s why the bank picked it!
- Camper's monocle always gave me a chuckle. One of the last broadcasts of the CBS Evening News that Bob Schieffer did famously closed with an interview with a guy wearing a monocle — and afterward, Schieffer broke up laughing, saying "I'm sorry, but when was the last time you saw anyone wearing a monocle?" It reminded me of the great "pistachio incident" on the NBC Nightly News in the 1970s when David Brinkley and John Chancellor cracked up while trying to announce a story about a pistachio famine in Iran!
- The nine-panel page where the code is being read is a first for this series — and pretty much only possible because of the nature of what’s happening. While I long to try a story in the old Steve Ditko grid one day, I’m not sure my artists would agree!
- To the list of Gryph and company’s aliases, add Chantique and Baron Hyro Margryph. (Not to be – but certain to be – confused with Baron Hieromarn, Gryph’s handle in #0’s text page.) These guys are going to need to carry extra wallets for all their fake IDs!
- Meanwhile, we have the Moomo Brothers, who may have trouble recalling the only names they have. When I first posted this note, it was to say that, for your future Moomo Brothers reference, check the scarves. Dob's is red and he has a scar over his eye, Del's is blue and he has armbands. (Like the "hat rule" with Donald Duck’s nephews. Lord, I hope there aren’t three of them!) But, looking at #12, Dob's in the blue and Del's in the red — at least, judging from the dialogue. We'll look at resolving this in the trade...