Star Wars; Knights of the Old Republic
(Writer: John Jackson Miller/ Artist: Brian Ching, Dustin Weaver, Harvey Tolibao)
I got the chance to meet the writer of Knights of the Old Republic (KOTOR), John Jackson Miller, at Wizard World 2000 and at the end of our conversation he gave us KOTOR Vol 1 and 2. It’s a great story that is just a bit sweeter when it’s compiled. The KOTOR universe is set approximately 3,963 years before the Battle of Yavin, which is an area of Star Wars lore that is wide open for creative story telling, where as the times between The Phantom Menace and Timothy Zahn novels are so set in stone it’s hard for new stories to be told.
The Wikipedia synopsis of KOTOR reads: Zayne Carrick, a young Padawan training at the Jedi Academy on Taris is given one last chance at capturing a notorious Snvinnian smuggler known as Marn “Gryph” Hierogryph which will allow him to be promoted to Jedi Knight at the academy graduation ceremony the very same day. After numerous hurdles along the way, Zayne manages to capture Gryph, but is late to the graduation ceremony. Upon arriving back at the academy, Zayne is horrified to find the Jedi Masters, his included, standing over the slain corpses of his fellow Padawans. Instinctively, he flees from the scene with Gryph and the two are soon framed for the murder of the Padawans. With no other option, Zayne must now learn the ins and outs of being an outlaw, with Gryph as his mentor, hoping to stay alive long enough to clear his name and discover the reason why the Jedi Masters murdered his friends at the academy.
The story itself is very creative and reads very well. Zayne Carrick is the world’s unluckiest Padawan, but his skills are still pretty good. The luck of The Force is with him. This makes him a blast to follow and the reactions of the rest of his party are pretty priceless. The story really heats up in Vol. 2 when the Mandelorians attack. If you don’t know, the Madelorian War is like the WWII of the Star Wars universe. This is where we really get to see Zayne grow into a leader and we also see that even the worst Jedi is a force to be reckoned with.
The art goes from very solid to downright impressive. Unlike some of the other comics I’ve read lately, the art is very much a part of the story instead of just being the ‘comic” part of the comic book.
KOTOR is not just on par with the all the other Star Wars comics, but raises the bar a few notches. I can’t wait to read Star Wars: Legacy to see if it can keep up with.