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Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic #37

"PROPHET MOTIVE" PART 2

Former Padawan Zayne Carrick's new life takes a turn for the worse as a con gone wrong puts his friends in a deadly predicament!

The conclusion of this first post-“Vindication” story reset the players for the drama — and this issue raised one of the elements we’d be exploring in the next series of stories: the many mysteries of Jarael.

Her revelation here was, to a small degree, tipped in the Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic Campaign Guide. I didn’t see any good way around it. It’s always a judgment call whether to leave certain things hidden or not in the supplemental material. I think my feeling was that there wouldn’t be too many months between the release of the two stories, and perhaps I thought that there wouldn’t be many people catching a small reference in a RPG stats block. So much for that!

Sometimes you learn things about the continuity as you go along — and wonder whether a change is necessary to what you’ve already done. Working on an adventure for the Star Wars Roleplaying Game some time after writing this issue, I discovered that mynocks couldn’t live long at all in a pressurized environment. That conflicted with the mynock scene in the issue — which we decided to let stand. There are places in the superstructure of the Hot Prospect that are not always pressurized — either by purpose or by accident — and this hallway is one. Gryph’s bet is still safe; the ship is more toxic than the air!

We got to see a lot more of Bong Dazo’s design for the Hot Prospect this issue. While the Hot Prospect may seem to echo some of the same themes of the junk-hauling Last Resort, my idea with the mining ship was that it would look chaotic both inside and out. The Last Resort was a mess, but in part because it had a lived-in look inside; outside, the ship actually looked fairly sleek. It cleaned up nice. No amount of cleaning, meanwhile, would keep Hot Prospect from looking like a gangly mess of derricks, chemical drums, and wiring. I wish the people trying to map its innards luck.

Except for maybe one room: One of the sillier notes about the design of the ship involves the command deck, the “crow’s nest” above the ship. Now, starship bridges and cockpits can cause no end of staging problems when it comes to blocking a scene, as they say in theater — figuring out who’s where and what they can see. Either you’ve got a cockpit like an airplane (as in the Milliennium Falcon), and then it’s pretty crowded and some of the seats are faced-forward; or you’ve got a bridge situation where it’s very open, and then, again, everyone winds up facing the same way. I was looking for something in between — that put outer space in the background as often as possible.

 

So I began doing some sketches — which later, my young son helped me elaborate on with that perfect starship modeling tool, Legos. The resulting design for the command deck of the Hot Prospect, then, suits what would be the miners’ needs — it’s not just a place for the pilot the ship, but a crows’ nest where the characters can look about on three sides at ongoing operations. And it’s also the mess hall and meeting room, because there’s enough room — just enough — for a table in the middle, so chairs can swivel to face inward or out. After trying to describe and draw the idea, I finally just sent a pic of the Lego model — which Bong followed! Yet another interdisciplinary moment…

 

  • With cover solicitations, there’s not always a way to hide events coming up from readers. Thus Zayne’s loss of his yellow lightsaber in #35 was hinted at with this cover’s release — although as of this issue, the story behind the new one is yet to be revealed.

  • In the Dustskimmer, we wanted something like the safari tour buses with the big observation windows; I’m not entirely sure what there is to see out on Metellos 3, but I assume there’s more we haven’t seen.

  • The thinking with the flooring in the departure lounge was that there’d probably be both a suspended floor as well as a suspended ceiling. We had suspended floor tiling in the production department at Krause Publications to ease the running of cables.

  • Note the several indications that the market is highly regulated, with inspectors on site (else, No-Neck would have no problem doing as he choose with his victims).

  • Rohlan’s outfit’s vulnerability to certain electrical attacks was first shown in #8; whatever the restraints are doing here plays on that.

  • The Raff Syndicate is first mentioned in Slyssk’s entry in the KOTOR Handbook. So was No-Neck (though in Gryph’s entry) — and it’s worth noting that I didn’t have a definite idea for his species back then. Once I realized that Chevin actually have necks, some explanatory line was necessary. It works, though, and also happens to fit his personality…

  • When I was doing my search for ships of the same name, I admit being stunned that Hot Prospect was not taken. It was like getting the vanity plate you want.

  • What’s the Hot Prospect leaking underneath? No idea, but whatever it is, it appears to stay a liquid in a vacuum. Whatever it is, it's probably toxic...

  • The design of the Observatory was tricky, since we needed to be able to see through the dome — and yet we also needed to have a beam across where the characters could be suspended. The circular object suspended by three bars made sense — we might imagine the real observation equipment went there, before being removed. Whatever those bars are made of, they’re proof against the heat of the lens. It is a bit of a James Bond trap — I have no idea how its function here could be applied to solar research, but I’m sure someone can imagine one.

  • Check out Slyssk’s knees in the costume scene — at least the mynocks didn’t go to waste!

  • I sure hope that broken hook had time to cool off, before being placed in Zayne’s bare hands!

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. 7: Prophet Motive (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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