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Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic #27

"VECTOR" PART 3

Something terrible is spreading among the Mandalorians, threatening to bring their conquest of the galaxy to a previously unthinkable new level!

The Rakghouls entered the picture very soon after we started discussing “Vector.” Established in the first Knights of the Old Republic game, they were otherworldly — more out of a creature feature than a science-fiction film — and the Rakghouls as a group seemed to care little for the conventions of biology. Recipients of Rakghoul bites would linger for a time before transforming all at once in a flash of light.

This — and the fact that it was the Sith warriors in the game, not the human medical researcher, who had the cure — suggested to all involved that the Rakghoul plague might be something other than natural. That covered the flash of light — and more, because with the Muur Talisman around, Rakghouls with the Talisman nearby are quite a bit more formidable than their video-game cousins. If you’re looking for crocodile jaws capable of cracking Mandalorian armor fresh from the forge, it helps to mix a little Sith magic in with your dentistry!

So it’s definitely worth reading the descriptions of plague mechanics in “Vector” very carefully, as you’ll understand why it works one way in the comics and another way in the games. And, of course, there may yet be more to learn in the issues to come!

It’s always a challenge deciding what should be in a hologram and what should be on a screen. There are video screens in Star Wars, but what we remember are the holograms. But I didn’t want three episodes of holography back-to-back-to-back. Fortunately, it was a pretty easy choice which one to make two-dimensional. The other two scenes have more dramatic weight, while the more expository scene was in a place that wasn’t very conducive to showing a hologram (and was a hacked message from the electronic trash bin, to boot).

Lucien’s description of Xamar’s research here also answers another question from the beginning of the series, namely why the First WatchCircle was willing to take a post so far from the center of the galaxy. The Rogue Moon was a certain attraction to the seers, but it was not the only one.

Finally, this issue continued one of the basic missions of “Vector,” namely, introducing the large number of new readers arriving for the crossover to the players, concepts, and themes within each series. We see Zayne’s selfless acts; we see Gryph’s greed leading him off course, only to bring him back toward something more important. If any of these scenes strike chords familiar to regular readers, it’s for a good reason and a better cause — bringing our enlarged audience up to speed on who’s who, what’s what, and why they do the things they do.

 

  • The term “Mando-Raks” came from editor Randy Stradley. I’d thought of Mando-Ghouls, which sounded too much like it belonged in an old Filmation cartoon!

  • That’s our rally master from #26 paying a call on his troops at the opening — and wishing he’d stayed where he was!

  • We learn a bit more of Celeste’s origins this time out — including a bit of how the Covenant does its recruiting.

  • Some readers saw a parallel to the movie and novel 2010 in the wording of Zayne’s message to Cassus Fett. Unintentional, though as a huge Clarke fan, I heard the echo too. I also didn’t catch how Europa-like Jebble was!

  • Cassus Fett is one of those figures like Darth Vader that’s best used sparingly — he’s often present in name only, where we can see how others react to his mention. This is his first encounter with Zayne, though they have been on the same planet before. As with our other Mandalorians of name, there’s a lot more to him than meets the eye.

  • Add one to our list of ironic responses to “May the Force be with you.” What’s the count up to now?

  • Pulsipher — everything his troops thought he was, to his final peril — had another name like Demagol’s, a contraction of some creepy-sounding syllables. Though I did later learn there was a Pulcifer, Wisconsin!

  • The full name for the Oubliette was a joint creation of Mick Harrison and myself. I used that card from Antiquities quite a bit during my Magic: The Gathering days. If only I had never unsealed that display box!

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: Vector Vol. 1 (aka KOTOR Vol. 5) (Dark Horse, 2009),
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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