Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic #21
"DAZE OF HATE" PART 3
Negotiations between the Republic and the Mandalorians come to a head in the conclusion to the “Daze of Hate” story arc! Can Zayne Carrick concoct a wild scheme without Gryph to help?
This issue concluded “Daze of Hate,” a storyline bringing together most of the diverse elements established in the series so far. One of the intentions was to show how the various ingredients in this recipe would react to the same situation and to each other. The results may come as surprising: It’s not quite the Magnificent Seven that saves the day here, but Adasca certainly unites a diverse group of enemies in a common cause.
With more characters in important roles than any story I’d done in comics before, the demands in storytelling real estate are readily apparent. Bringing two characters together who’ve never met gives you one introduction; doing it with four characters requires as many as six! So I worked to combine these sequences when possible, clawing out extra pages for action where I could. Many of us remember a number of super-hero comics from the past where there would be impromptu “double-sized” issues for no other reason than to conclude an epic plot. One begins to wonder how many of those were scheduled that way in advance!
I’ve said that one inspiration for the Arkanian Legacy sequence had been Archie Goodwin’s “Wheel” storyline, following a lot of different characters in a confined setting. In the actual event, we nearly mirrored the issue numbering exactly: Our issues were #16-21, while his were #18-23. Remarkably, he did it with five fewer pages an issue!
This final chapter to “Hate” contains many moments I’d been imagining for close to two years, and it was fun to see them in print. I particularly like Bong’s little touches like the collapse of the atrium window we saw in #17 — and just below that, Carth walking off into the smoke.
- Characters aren’t all you have to keep track of. Zayne’s backpack and lightsaber have been sitting on the Deadweight since #15, were mentioned again in #17, and reunited with him here. Zayne didn’t learn Alek’s name in #10, so he uses the nickname in #15 and again here. And since Zayne didn’t know that Jarael’s bracelet was a communicator — she didn’t, either — it required someone who was there, Carth, to tell him. Whew!
- I want to know where to get a trenchcoat like Carth’s. I’m sure it came in handy on muddy Serroco!
- Sometimes, the answer to a staging quandary is right in front of you — literally. There needed to be a way for Zayne and Lucien to see what was going on in the Observatory from afar. You could always look through the window — and with several towers aft from the Observatory on the hull of the Arkanian Legacy, that would have been a possibility. But looking at #13, the choice was obvious. With Eejee fallen elsewhere, his “crow’s nest” would be the perfect place to accomplish everything. Note the video droids in the Observatory. They’re how Eejee was able to see events there — and how we saw them in the video room.
- Poor Elbee. It’s rare to have a character you can literally park for an entire storyline — and have the parking be in character, to boot!
- Ah, the filters on the Last Resort. Brings us back to where it all started!
- Fans have remarked on the ending’s “Marty, something’s got to be done about your kids!” feel. That's apt, and it’s not uncommon for me to hear cinematic echoes on the readthrough. Carth’s wondering about how to create a diversion reminds me of Red October’s “How do you make people want to get off a nuclear submarine?”, while I get a very Midnight Run “Serrano’s got the disks!” vibe from “We’ve got Jarael!”
- I had been looking for the right tone for Cassus Fett’s speech — something that would recall the words of a military man declaring an end to the former government and calling for allegiance to the new boss. I found the tone I had been looking for in, of all places, the American Southwest. While traveling there, a guide directed my attention to the Presidio in Las Vegas, N.M., where, in 1846, General Kearny claimed New Mexico for the United States with a proclamation that’s remarkable in its starkness. “Not an onion” would be taken from those who accepted the new order, while those who feigned loyalty would be hanged. The situations are much different here, but that oration became a loose model for Fett’s terse but momentous declaration — which, if anything, makes the choice facing residents under the Mandalorians even clearer!
This issue has been reprinted in the following collections:
Star Wars Legends Epic Collection: The Old Republic Vol. 2 (Marvel, 2017),
available from Amazon.
Star Wars Omnibus: Knights of the Old Republic Vol. 2 (Dark Horse, 2013),
available from Amazon.
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic Vol. 4: Daze of Hate, Knights of Suffering
(Dark Horse, 2008), 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.