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Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic #24

"KNIGHTS OF SUFFERING" PART 3

It's the shattering conclusion to the yearlong "Days/Knights" sequence — and not everyone makes it out alive!

In days of yore, many comics storylines would culminate in double-sized issues. They’ve generally fallen by the wayside, possibly for financial reasons; I once heard a publisher opine that it was better to sell two comic books than one, given that the double-sized issues almost never had twice the cover price. Many of those old double-size issues also seemed artificially inflated to fill the space, with images that could have been done in a single panel blown up to fill a whole page (or two).

While the larger size was not going to be an option here, I’m willing to bet that for this issue, at least, filling space wouldn’t have been a problem. The wrap-up of the “Days/Knights” sequence is incredibly fast-paced, visiting several interesting settings. I could easily see the “special edition” version of Shel’s perp-walk being depicted at the size of Zayne’s identical perp-walk back in #6, for example. As it was, while it would’ve been a fun thing to do, it really would have been secondary to the real meat of the story.

Still, the return to the “scene of the crime” from “Commencement” made for some fun visual echoes of that and other moments. The perp-walk does appear, with a fun cameo thrown in by Dustin. Zayne’s arrival on the top floor gives us our third version of his run in #1. And amid the bigger events, there was still room for a number of little things likely to cause some discussion. (You want the list, or just the Top 10?)

Dustin said he really enjoyed drawing the battle sequence, and it shows; this would be fun to see animated! It’s something that really rewards close examination, too: there’s one entrance to the Temple floor, for example, and that’s near where Zayne crashes. The Jedi Tower has been the setting of a lot of elaborate action choreography, and this issue is no exception. (Now I want the Kenner action playset!)

A couple of thoughts before closing: This issue concluded “Days/Knights,” a trip that certainly took us to a variety of places. It allowed me to try some new things while accomplishing a number of things I was intending to do with the existing characters. It also presented a couple of opportunities to bring video game characters on stage in roles where they had something to contribute.

In all, 2007 looked very little like 2006 might have led readers to expect — and I can say that 2008 will look different yet. That’s as it should be.

Before I turned in this issue, I learned that editor Jeremy Barlow was transferring from the Star Wars office to develop the Indiana Jones franchise for Dark Horse, returning this series to its original editor, Randy Stradley. While I was happy for Jeremy’s opportunity, I was happier still that I’d get to continue working with him on the movie adaptation. His devotion to putting out good comics is obvious – and his helpfulness during our two years on Knights of the Old Republic often went above and beyond the call. Having worked as an editor, I know how busy things can get — too busy to entertain writers’ cockamamie solutions on how to tell identical Ithorians apart, for example. I thank him for his patience — and I know we can all look forward to more cool comics from his office in the future!

Next issue: On to Vector!

 

  • This issue actually came out on a Friday, due to the Christmas holiday. "New comics day" used to be a Friday, eons ago, as I recall.

  • This issue's cover concluded the experiment with word balloons. I think they were fun, but they illustrate the challenge that used to be involved with them: Covers tend to be more reflective of the themes of comics rather than actual events. It’s fun when the cover can serve as a comic book panel, but it’s not always easy to make it happen.

  • With all the talk we've generated about Zayne’s destiny, I’m sure some are wondering if he’s also destined only to ever be the kiss-ee, not the kiss-er. Rule #723 of writing teen angst: Leave no romantic moment uncomplicated…

  • “Color blind” is something we’ll elaborate more on in the future. I find it funny that Gormer’s suit of Neo-Crusader armor looks not too different from one of the Crimson Dynamos — the sixth one, I think. They’re following me around!

  • Note how carefully the sound effect hides poor Gormer’s innards. I don’t care if the lightsaber cauterizes wounds; the world isn’t ready for the "Visible Mandalorian!"

  • And yes, if you're keeping score: Here, 25 issues in (counting #0), is the first time Zayne has clashed lightsabers with anyone. He’s dueled with Jarael and her shockstaff, but no Jedi. While I might say it wasn’t planned, in a sense it was: Zayne’s travels were intended to be away from the pursuing Jedi in the beginning — followed by his issues in prison.

  • There’s a word missing in one bit: “more than my share.” We’ll catch it in post-production…

  • And the last two of Gryph’s code-names make their appearance. Alliterative, much?

  • This issue’s text page, a daily summary for use within the Republic defense establishment, was intended to recall similar “daily briefs” used in real governments elsewhere. I’d thought about the actual governmental workings of the Republic quite a bit both for the series and in preparation for my work on the Knights of the Old Republic Campaign Guide for Wizards of the Coast — and this text page employs a little of the institutional phraseology. As you might expect, no one Earthbound country is the model: while the Office of Production Coordination recalls the Office of Production Management from the wartime-era United States, there are ministries rather than departments, “Most Secret” is predominantly a British term, etc. It’s important to note that whatever you see in use here does not necessarily reflect what exists in any other year; governments evolve, as do the terms and institution divisions that they use.

 

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.

 

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