[[image:zayne01.jpg:Zayne Carrick:left:0]]I’ve never played Knights of the Old Republic (KOTOR) computer game before, where I’ve read Taris was first featured.
However, when I heard Dark Horse Comics would be producing the Knights of the Old Republic series on four-colour print, I was dubious. Reading through the first story arc of the series written by John Jackson Miller entitled “Commencement”, I discovered that in terms of numerous minute elements in the story, this series has the most Original Trilogy Star Wars flavour in comics.
The story is simple, a young Padawan Zayne Carrick, part of the Jedi Academy on the city world Taris in the Outer Rim, isn’t the best of Padawans. In fact he’s been screwing up task after task on one assignment: to capture small time Snivvian black marketeer Marn Heirogryph, who believes Zayne has the ability to leave behind wreckage strewn after him.
Unfortunately for Zayne and his fellow Padawans, a conspiracy would transform their regular lives as apprentices into a living hell. Zayne is framed for multiple murder and is forced to team up with Heirogryph to flee Taris authorities.
More shocking than the reason why he was framed… was who it was that framed him.
[[image:kotor01.jpg:Taris Police Speeder:center:0]]
Flipping through issue 1 on the newsstand some months ago I wasn’t impressed with what I saw. But after reading through the entire six-issue arc I was sold on Zayne Carrick and his rag tag group of fugitives. Jedi machination, Padawan screw up, wise-cracking scoundrel, beautiful but deadly warrior, tongue-tied mechanics, flamboyant pirate and dozens of colourful background characters that draw from the rich detail of the established Star Wars Expanded Universe.
All wrapped together in a story package that takes place in, under and above the city surface of Taris.
Star Wars Empire was mostly Rebel vs. Imperials action. Star Wars Republic was the Quinlan Vos Show (mostly Jedi military action). Rogue Squadron was, in the words of Michael Stackpole, Top Gun meets Star Wars. Here was a pulp-style, adventure-oriented Star Wars comic at long last.
Plus It’s nice to see on a comics page a West End Games-named alien Khil in the form of the Jedi Master Xamar.
The artwork by Brian Ching, Michael heisler and Michael Atiyeh is quite impressive, capturing lots of background detail in colourful, pulp style of Star Wars.
[[image:kotor02.jpg:Jedi Master Shenanigans:center:0]]
The following storyline, beginning with issue 7, has me on my toes though. More Mandalorians. There’s been too much Mandalorian flag waving throughout the literature nowadays. The mystique of the original Boba Fett character, I believe, has been diluted thanks to them.