Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic #19
"DAZE OF HATE" PART 1
As with all my “production notes,” consider a “Spoiler Warning” attached. Please read the books first.
individual issues within these arcs had names, this would be “Arrivals”
– because this was exactly what this issue was always intended to be.
Everyone that I’d had in motion all year would intersect here – at last
– at Lord Adasca’s conference. And it was as much a feat of scheduling
for me as it was for Adasca!
Alek would return from where he was in #15 – alone, but knowing more than he did about Zayne than in #10. Karath and Zayne would miss their appointment with Lucien as a result of the events of #17 – and arrive here. Lucien would arrive separately, thanks to Haazen and the Draay/Adascorp relationship we set up way back in #12. And Adasca would make contact with someone no one in the Republic had on speed-dial – thanks to the happenstance discovery of Rohlan.
I worked with the star maps to make sure everyone was in logical proximity; it's a big galaxy, but the people who really dig into the galactic cartography will find this year's stories taking place in a relatively confined area. And in plotting, I found myself working out timelines for nearly a dozen characters, so as to keep track of where they were – and, importantly, what they knew of each other’s agendas.
It tied together tightly – helping to underscore what Karath says here: “Perhaps there are more sides than there used to be.” But it necessitated some housekeeping dialogue in places, some of it of the “Have the protocol droid’s memory wiped” variety. Alek left Flashpoint not knowing that Zayne had been accused of murdering the Padawans; he knows now. But he would also know the fate of Demagol – something he must immediately reveal when he sees Rohlan. That made for more conversation than usual this issue – but, again, that’s what this episode was always supposed to be about: the arrivals.
And through it all, we should see ever more both the audacity – and the preparation — in Adasca’s plan. He needs an audience – but he needs the right audience. Karath is preferable to other Republic representatives because of what he’s been through. The Jedi crusaders, too, look like someone he can work with — but not Lucien, who's a wild card. You need an Eejee around to help set it all up!
It all came together in an issue with a number of moments that I had been working toward — including that last page. And, I hope, moments that readers had been waiting for.
Speaking of, I suspect Jarael’s (ahem) greeting of Zayne will be classed in that category by a few people. It certainly shocked him! But, as with all things that happen to Zayne, there’s another level to it that will make it hard to simply interpret. Of course, it was a ploy — but was that all it was?
Waiter! More angst at table two!
Yes, writers are sadistic to their characters. Why do you ask?
Jarael’s case itself is another example. Having taken her completely out of her familiar setting and having taken away her “family,” we now put her in a situation in which she’s powerless to respond. How would she cope with being forced into a passive role? Differently than we’ve seen before – though we do get flashes of spirit here. I’m not sure how long it’s been since she’s smiled – maybe way back in #13 – but as the familiar guests arrive, she begins to get a hint that prospects might be changing…
- Yes, the text pages spell exorgoth “exorgoth.” Here’s the skinny (though there’s nothing skinny about the beasts): “exorgoth” was my original spelling, but in the lettering stage of #18, it got spelled “exogorth.” When we caught it, it was too late to change back – so we decided to make it “exogorth” from then on, which sounds equally creepy (and, in fact, it was one of my original notions for it as well). But the text pages for #19 had already been done, too – the original way. Sigh. Just figure “exogorth” is the final version…
- Sharp eyes may also catch an additional finger on the spacesuit of the worker outside the Arkanian Legacy. Just figure Adasca needed to mobilize as much material and as many workers as he could find quickly, and some poor saps had to use the suits they make for humans! (Yeah, that’s it!)
- I wonder how many people caught that the four-prong look of the Adascorp fighters repeats on Eejee’s shoulderpads. And those both look like… yep! Four-fingered claw-hands, which may be about the only physical thing he and his master share to any degree. We haven’t named the ships anywhere in print, but “claw-wing” seems like as good a nickname as any. (And besides, we’re about out of letters of the alphabet. What next, Aurabesh?)
- On that score, I had originally intended for Adasca to make a snotty comment about Camper’s "ugly" human-like hands when he ordered them removed. No room...
- No, Adasca doesn’t shove Zayne down with any Force powers. My idea had been for Zayne to be mashed up against the ship’s landing gear by the “surprise greeting,” such that he would stumble and fall as soon as she was pulled away. But we couldn’t work the angle out to get the reaction shots from the others. So as it is, figure he tripped over his feet — hey, I would, too!
- I was waiting for someone to call Squint by that name in front of someone he didn’t know — and to react accordingly. Glad you were there, Eejee!
- This issue was drawn by Bong Dazo, another of the Glass House Graphics artists from overseas – there is an interview with him here. and he composes a number of interesting shots. My favorite is the one that happens to answer the modelmaker’s question of what the back of Rohlan’s outfit looks like. If you’ll notice, this shot is angled through the glass floor – which we see in the third panel! (And it might actually be a “worm’s eye view,” given what’s outside!)
- You’ll note two spellings of Mandalore. When he or another Mandalorian use it, it’s “Mand’alor” – otherwise it’s “Mandalore.” The idea is that when it’s in italics like that, it’s being treated by its speaker (here, Adasca) as a foreign word, with its special pronunciation.
- Some wondered about the multiple HK units having the same model number and designation. Well, they do, too!
- The text page uses the Adascorp letterhead from #17 – but accidentally includes the “financial report” wording, though this is not a public document. Figure Eejee left the letterhead from something else he was doing. Maybe he figured it would be covered by the outer-space Post-It note!
- This was the first issue with a letters page, “Notes to the Old Republic.” Write to the series here — and say something nice!