Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic #45
"DESTROYER" PART 1
Zayne's plan against the Crucible goes horribly wrong!
After learning hints about The Crucible during 2009, now we actually spend an issue with the organization -- and realize that, as Goethar Kleej implied in #40, it's not the garden-variety slaver organization.
Sometimes it's best just to dive into the middle of things. In concocting a scheme-gone-horribly wrong for Zayne to attempt against The Crucible, I initially considered a longer story, showing the capture of his Republic starfighter by The Crucible and his first few moments in their hands. Looking at it again, it was clear that we could cut directly to the action, since Golliard would appear to tell us what had happened to Zayne anyway. And while extra time would have shown Zayne more of the hardships of life here, the memory transfer accomplishes that in spades.
This year doesn't have quite the "air-traffic control" issues of characters being in different places that 2007 and the "Days/Knights" sequence did, but there are still some elements that are fairly carefully laced together. One of the ironies about Zayne hunting down The Crucible is that the Crucible clearly has a lot more clues about who's following them than Zayne's crew has about The Crucible. From the plentiful surveillance videos from Jervo's World in #39 and later, The Crucible knows she's back, that she's associating with Zayne, and that she's flying aboard the Hot Prospect. All of those things, plus Golliard recognizing her radioed voice, explain how he immediately knew she was present in #44. We might also expect that Sariyah Budan sent surveillance imagery of Jarael from her own craft before he arrived. Zayne's name is never announced in that encounter and Golliard never meets him, which is why he doesn't immediately smoke out "Carth Kamlin" right off. But Bar'injar is in the business of information, and has more of the facts; it's an easy leap to guess that Zayne was Jarael's lightsaber-wielding defender at the Koornacht Cluster.
Zayne has every right to expect that the Crucible won't immediately recognize him, knowing from Jarael the scope of the operation; it's why we didn't take the disguise further, into fake-moustache-territory. But this is clearly not the Crucible's first rodeo when it comes to knowing who's following them!
This is the second issue in a row to open with a flashback -- and while "The Reaping" and "Destroyer" are separate stories, there's a deliberate analog between the two scenes when it comes to who's in them and the transitions they introduce.
The cover painting by Benjamin Carre is probably the most peaceful that Chantique has ever looked!
- "Carth Kamlin" is yet another alias using names from Zayne's past -- Carth Onasi and Kamlin from the original four padawans. And again with "Vindication"!
- Volgax is a rainy place, but we have to assume it's more humid than cold, given the way Chantique dresses!
- There's so much rich story material out there in the Star Wars universe. Looking for someone to be able to do what Snout does in this story, I found the Caamasi fit the bill completely in every way. Makes things very easy!
- We see from the ships in the memnii scene that Gladiator is not typical for the Crucible's slaving ships.
- "The mighty Jedi." I worried for a moment some SNL fan might come back with "The mighty Hercules!" ("That boulder is too large. I could lift a smaller one!")
- We learn here for the first time of the existence of a runic language for The Crucible, and its connection to their own unique dialect.There's a clue as to the resolution of this arc in these elements, but readers have to look extremely carefully for it. Indeed, there are several scenes in this issue that reward rereading after the events of #46!
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. 8: Destroyer (Dark Horse, 2010),
available from Amazon.
The issues are also available digitally from Marvel.com.
Be sure to also check my shop for the availability of signed editions.