Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic #38
Something horrible has happened aboard the Chancellor Fillorean! Zayne Carrick and his crewmates Jarael, Slyssk, and the Mandalorian Rohlan investigate a pleasure cruise gone wrong!
“Faithful Execution” is a story I’d intended to do for a long time, after planting the reports of the Correllian Strangler in the text pages of Knights of the Old Republic comics from 2007. I think his first mention was in #14, in an “Adjudicator” column. The running gag was that the strangler’s name was known, but nothing else — not even his species.
Those mentions led to the general “haunted-ship” concept — something aboard a glamorous Titanic-like vessel, lost in space. Something where the characters could be all alone, similar to the spooky “living ship” story with Michael Golden art in Marvel’s Star Wars #38. I’d also been looking for a place to do an Elbee story for a long time — the poor droid sitting on the sidelines for so long. (By his own choice, mind you.)
Ironically, the right place to do it turned out to be in #38 of our own series — and just as the Marvel issue immediately preceded the adaptation of The Empire Strikes Back, in KOTOR it would serve as a prologue to the events of the next year. While a stand-alone story, “Faithful Execution” sets up many of the important issues to be tackled in the storylines ahead.
The nature of the story allowed us to go back and revisit Elbee’s own predicament — as Camper said in #5, the use of the Force is something a droid is just not going to be able to reconcile with its understanding of the physics of its world. And, too, they simply may not understand their masters’ motivations — in Elbee’s case, in Lucien wanting to destroy his own droid. A little existential, but fun to contemplate.
This issue also features the art of a newcomer to the series, Dean Zachary. I’d met Dean years before at Midsouthcon, where he was often set up alongside Jim Hall (artist on X-Wing Rogue Squadron) — and I remember sitting in on a panel he’d run a few years earlier. Still, I had no idea he was up to draw an issue of KOTOR until I heard he was on #38. This was the perfect kind of issue for a different art style; dark and moody.
- Chancellor Fillorean is a name from way back in the Star Wars chronology. Five points if you know where, because I'm not remembering at the moment…
- I’d suggested something like the Death Star Droid for Kayo’s bug-eyed appearance; that action figure always struck me as the creepiest looking thing in the whole Kenner line.
- There are often moments you know will be funny, but that just don’t belong. We wanted no gravity aboard Fillorean in the beginning — it was just one more of the things on ship that failed (or that was accidentally switched off in trying to get the ship going again). This would, of course, result in a colossal crash when gravity was restored to decks like the galley. And we do see some wreckage in the galley, but I also considered that, given the other objects floating around, it would be sensible to try to ease it back on to the extent possible.
- The Slyssk sequence is something that, of course, you shouldn’t try at home, having seen it in a comic book or an old M*A*S*H episode. People are not Trandoshans!
- While it’s shown that Toki was a connected member of the Commerce Ministry who struck out on his own later on, between the lines is some experience with the mining trade — hence, his understanding of the Hot Prospect.
- I love the range of emotions Dean gives Toki. Like with Yoda, you wouldn’t expect to get that many expressions out of a little muppet…!
This issue has been reprinted in the following collections:
Star Wars Omnibus: Knights of the Old Republic Vol. 3 (Dark Horse, 2014),
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.