Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic #13
"DAYS OF FEAR" PART 1
As with all my “production notes,” consider a “Spoiler Warning” attached. Please read the books first.
the series successfully launched in early 2006, I began to look
seriously at my intentions for 2007. I intended a sweeping epic
bringing in a wide variety of characters — yet at the same, as a
logistical matter it was important to bring the story down into
digestible chunks in order to allow the artists to alternate more
effectively. That led to the plan of doing an interlocking series of
four arcs: Days of Fear,
Nights of Anger, Daze of Hate, and Knights of Suffering.
The names of the “Days/Knights” cycle plays on Yoda’s warning from Episode I, and they
very much fit the moods of the individual sequences.
Several months elapsed between the initial idea and the final plots, however -- as while I had the themes and the major events down, I still had many logistical matters to hammer out. The year has more than a dozen different characters coming and going, and at one point I put everyone’s story path on a dry-erase board just to make sure I knew who was where at what times, and what they knew of the others.
The journey begins right from the early pages, immediately parting the crew of the Last Resort. While it may seem a surprising move given how well the characters worked together in #11-12, it’s important to look past the camaraderie (such as it was) to the characters’ reasons for being together. They’ve got logical reasons for not sticking around. I thought back to Marvel’s Star Wars #7, in which Roy Thomas’ first act after the Death Star battle is to send the characters their separate ways. I think of KOTOR in the same way: The characters frequently make a good team, but it’s not a team book, in the traditional sense. They’re not going to take an apartment together with Gryphie in the kitchen making stir-fry!
This issue also gave me the opportunity, at long last, to introduce Zayne’s first unique piece of equipment, his vambraces. These were fully the idea of Brian Ching, and in fact had existed right from the earliest original design of the character. There had just never been an opportunity to introduce them. In the event, Dustin Weaver took on the first and third chapters of this arc, with Brian Ching the second – so while Dustin first depicts them here, they’re Brian’s idea and design.
Both Ralltiir and Telerath gave us a chance to communicate something visually that I’d been hoping to pursue: The newness of some of the settings, as opposed to later after the galaxy’s been used and abused a few times by events. There’s a sparkle to Telerath, and while there’s a certain natural grittiness to Ralltiir, it looks like a pretty nice place to live.
This issue began something I had suggested, the return of text pages to the issues in the form of news from within the galaxy via various news organs. For this one, The Admiral’s List recalls the British Naval Chronicle of old. More to come!
- There are some things you can only do with screens. It would have been pretty hard to depict a mountain of holograms climbing up a wall in front of Eejee Vamm!
- Yes, Ralltiir lost an “i” in the spellcheck process somewhere. We’ll get it an “i” patch for the trade.
- No mistaking that opening sunrise for a sunset – it’s “Days of Fear,” natch!
- I couldn’t have described the breakdown of that fencing sequence if I had tried. I gave Dustin about three notes for it and he went to town!
- A vambrace is a real part of medieval armor, described here and depicted here. It’s amazing how many different names there are for this little piece of armor or that one.
- And, yes, Camper does discover a certain metal combo used later on in the milieu. For all the good it does him! Almost as amazing as seeing Elbee actually load something!
- “The Force is fine” – besides being, perhaps, my favorite page of the series to date visually – adds one more to our register of varied responses to the Force motto. I had suggested to Dustin that he think about Charlie Brown dragging his baseball bat away from the field – I think the emotion is really there.
- Kudos to game publisher James Mishler, who suggested “fringer chow” as a phrase for food sold by local merchants to armies, something equivalent to the Civil War "sutler." I had intended to use a quite different colloquialism used in the military years ago referring to the privately run food trucks that served the enlisted. When I googled it for the spelling, though, I discovered that in more recent decades the phrase had come to mean something highly inappropriate. Lucked out, there!
- That Gryph sure has an appetite, doesn’t he? Fleek eel finally makes its appearance, previously mentioned in Gryph’s holofeed con from #0.
- Slyssk comes partially from my childhood days, making up stories with the Bossk action figure. Go back and look at that figure. The modelers missed the evil eyes of the movie version, giving us a wide-eyed critter who looks somewhat more timid. That figure, in fact, was always the pivot of the stories I’d make up; yeah, he was with the bounty hunters, but his nerves weren’t up to it. So, we don’t need a Slyssk action figure, hobbyists – I’ve always had one, as far as I’m concerned!
- I fear that I can never reread Slyssk’s “Am I right” line without hearing “Needlenose Ned.” (You know, “Needlenose Ned,” who got the shingles real bad senior year and nearly didn’t graduate? Bing!) I did it to myself.
- The name of the Little Bivoli has a connection to a foodstuff from Star Wars Galaxies, though I’d be surprised if many caught that. I think that’s “Bivoli” in Aurabesh on the side of the ship. It’s another awesome Dustin Weaver design – wait until you see what it can do, when you’ll understand the tilted floor. Keep your Slyssk -- I want the model of this vehicle!
- I’m not going to say what inspired HK-24’s number yet — just that it is absolutely from something with a Star Wars connection, and I will be stunned if anyone guesses it. Guess away...
- In the British Navy of the Napoleonic era, the Reliance was of the same class as the Courageaux, whose name source I discussed in the trivia of #8.