Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic #22
"KNIGHTS OF SUFFERING" PART 1
As with all my “production notes,” consider a “Spoiler Warning” attached. Please read the books first.
from one of the stories I had intended to tell right from the beginning
— Camper’s dilemma — to another, the return to Taris under siege.
“Commencement” had started on Taris, and we had mentioned a number of the characters and venues in the video game. But the story was about establishing Zayne and his supporting cast, so there was little space to develop anyone else. When it came to our own additions to the world, as well, we had space to introduce a number of threads and not much more. Shel, of course. Senator Goravvus and Jervo appeared in what seemed to be a throwaway gag in #1 — and then in #6, the Senator’s disappearence and the capture of Constable Sowrs’ children are established in dialogue.
But we always intended to return, to take advantage of these opportunities. To meet the Hidden Beks and to pursue the hanging threads — all the while, getting a look at Taris under the Mandalorian boot at the same time. Text pages permitted the addition of a little new information in the meantime, with Taris Holofeeds in #0, #15, #18, and #21. The set-up for “Knights of Suffering” also included groundwork in the earlier stories themselves.
My goal when it comes to external characters has always been to try to avoid cameos for their own sake, instead bringing them in to do something important. Here, Gadon Thek was an admirable and interesting character from the games, and he came with his own supporting cast. Since Mission Vao was here at this time in continuity, this allowed a role for another of Revan’s eventual allies — and the chance to link Griff Vao and Gryph was too fun to pass up.
For some of these characters, this begins an interesting transition. Brejik probably has more lines in #22 than in the whole video game, where, while much talked about, he appears only in one scene. In a sense, it’s like the Expanded Universe to the movies — we met the characters in one place, and now we see their impact in others.
The plan, as 2007 opened, had been to alternate four three-issue arcs between artists. A number of issues caused that plan to break down early, but the final arc of the year did permit Dustin Weaver to draw the “Knights of Suffering” storyline at the same time that Bong Dazo was drawing “Daze of Hate.” Dan Parsons provided inks for this arc.
I always knew in crafting “Days/Knights” that Gryph would reappear in this segment, and I knew how he made transition. But I quickly realized that story was too significant to wedged into an interlude into the Arkanian Legacy sequence; it didn’t fit literally or thematically. It certainly didn’t fit in “Knights of Suffering.” Plunking it in between the chapters would have broken the pacing of the year, and I didn’t want to put it in the Knights of the Old Republic Handbook either. But considering further the nature of the events, I realized the story worked much better told later on. Stay tuned…
- Regard the reddish color of the Taris atmosphere. That’s the weeks of fires, from the riots to the invasion.
- I love the Mandalorian traffic cops on the Basilisk War Droids. Just call them Jon and Ponch!
- It’s worth wondering whether anyone has any more experience than Zayne when it comes to falling on Taris. This is three times, by my count — four, if you throw in the garbage chute!
- I was thrilled with the landing somersault Dustin drew. It reminds me of my favorite stunt from Batman Returns, when Batsy cuts loose the glider and goes from a tumble into a run.
- At least we got Dob and Del straight this issue, even if our characters never do! (Though, speaking of, Goravvus shifted back to the other spelling this issue — as I recall, this was when between the trade paperback and the text pages, we weren’t yet clear on which it was. No more double-letters for me…)
- Mission staring at Zayne for pages was fun — as was Zayne’s play on her name. There's another play on her name in Legacy.
- Brejik’s sword recalls the fact that, according to the game, melee weapons of the sort are in vogue.
- The Constable’s kids look no worse for wear for having been locked in a vat for who knows how long. Then again, it’s probably one of the safer places on Taris at the moment!
- The Admiral’s List gives us the repercussions to “Daze of Hate” — laying out pretty clearly what the Republic wants the story of those events to be. Although in this case, I’m not sure “the cover-up is worse than the crime!”
- With almost no production time between #21 and #22’s release, the letters column featured a large version of Colin Wilson’s cover for the next issue.