Knights of the Old Replay: Faithful Execution through Destroyer

Back when I first started this project, I thought that I’d read through most of these comics way back in the day. Turns out I was definitely wrong because I’ve remembered absolutely nothing since they took down the crazy cabal and even some from before that. (I may have been a little bit rubbish about keeping up with and reading Star Wars comics back in my younger days.) But hey! That’s part of what makes this project fun! I’m getting to experience stuff that’s both brand new and stuff that I know like the back of my hand.

Faithful Execution
Script by John Jackson Miller, Art by Dean Zachary, Colors by Michael Atiyeh, Lettering by Michael Heisler

Faithful Execution does a lot to reset the board, so to speak. Actually, I feel like it does even more to do so than Prophet Motive did and Dean Zachary’s art has a lot to do with that since it’s so visually distinctive from the other work we’ve seen in this book. It’s a relatively small-scale murder mystery story but it does a lot to reup the overall story’s intrigue. Now I really want to know more about Zayne’s vacation and what the heck is going on with Jarael.

More importantly though… someone needs to give Elbee a hug.
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Knights of the Old Replay: Exalted through Prophet Motive

There is a slight chance that you will be able to tell how tired I was when I wrote this column. Just a slight one. But that should definitely not detract from my unbridled enthusiasm for some of these issues because hot damn, KOTOR! Hot damn!

Exalted
Script by John Jackson Miller, Art by Bong Dazo, Colors by Michael Atiyeh, Lettering by Michael Heisler

Another one bites the dust DUN DUN Another one bites the dust DUN DUN Another one gone and another one gone Another one bites the dust!

See your way out of that one, Feln! Actually, it should have been pretty easy… common sense says that blowing up a giant warehouse full of Sith objects isn’t a great idea if you’re going for a contained explosion.

The crazy busy pages seem to be Bong Dazo’s niche for this book. None of the other artists on this book manage to capture the chaos of a fight quite like he can. It’s starting to feel like his trademark.

I really don’t have much to say about this arc. Maybe it’s because I read it while stuck in a never-ending loop of Christmas hold music and my brain just went numb. That’s probably it. No wait! I do want to point out that letting Lucien on the Council is just Dumb with a capital D no matter what Vrook and Vandar think they’re being oh so clever about.

Okay, now I’m done. Continue reading

Knights of the Old Replay: Daze of Hate through Vector

One of the fun things about doing this retrospective is that a creator just might pop his head up with some commentary. Last post, I mentioned that Days of Fear/Nights of Anger felt like one big story. Turns out that they are! Those two arcs plus the first two I’m covering in this post are just all one big story split into bite sized chunks for the retailers. (Thank you to the esteemed John Jackson Miller for this insight!) It’s a shame that the entire story couldn’t be in the same omnibus but that’s the way of comics, I suppose.

Daze of Hate
Script by John Jackson Miller, Art by Bong Dazo, Colors by Michael Atiyeh, Lettering by Michael Heisler

I will not ship Alek and Jarael I will not ship Alek and Jarael I will not ship Alek and Jarael I will not— damnit. Here’s the thing: I’m fairly sure that I didn’t have any strong, ship feelings about these two when I first read this comic. I don’t know what changed now unless JJM has some magical ability to go back in time after making me fall for Hera/Kanan to make me fall for another ship? (I used to live such a happy ship-free life, kids.)

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Knights of the Old Replay: Homecoming through Nights of Anger

The Awful Adventures of Zayne Carrick continue and, well, we actually get a really neat mixture of stories and character backstories. I might be doing this whole thing backwards though because I’m pretty sure I wrote the most about the shortest arc this time around. Oh well?

On with the KOTOR!

Homecoming
Script by John Jackson Miller, Art by Brian Ching, Colors by Michael Atiyeh, Lettering by Michael Heisler

Homecoming is really the only thing that this standalone issue could have been called. Lucien and the other Masters return to Coruscant to report back to both the Jedi Council and their manipulators: Lucien’s own mother (Krynda) and Haazen (a failed padawan.) We get a hell of a lot of backstory and our very first encounter with the person who will become Revan! Continue reading

Knights of the Old Replay: Commencement and Flashpoint

And so the KOTOR project actually begins! Interestingly enough, we start with that I remember least. Despite making it my goal to get all of these comic omnibuses as Dark Horse released them, I haven’t actually cracked them open yet so it’s been a very long time since I’ve read these comics. Essentially, I remember the first arc and that’s uhhh mostly it. (Look, it’s hard keeping so much Star Wars in your brain when you read almost everything regardless of era.)

Point is… this is going to be fun!

Commencement
Script by John Jackson Miller, Art by Brian Ching and Travel Foreman, Colors by Michael Atiyeh, Lettering by Michael Heisler

When you make a list of the Jedi that you don’t want to be, the first name on the list should probably be Anakin Skywalker. The second name on the list should be Zayne Carrick. There are a lot of different ways that you could subtitle this first comic arc. Zayne Carrick: Not Great At This Jedi Thing. Zayne Carrick: Having A Really Bad Day. Zayne Carrick: Doesn’t Deserve This Crap. Zayne Carrick: Proud Member Of The You-Try-So-Hard Club. Somehow, they’re all accurate. That poor boy.

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Knights of the Old Replay: Bria Takes On KOTOR

darth revanA long time ago in a galaxy far, far away… a girl got a bad idea.  Or perhaps it was a good idea.  Honestly, it depends on your point of view.  Today is a grand tradition in Tosche Station history.  Back in 2012, this marked the start of the Waru Express and in 2013, it marked the start of the Hondo Caravan.  I took two years off but this feels like the right time to start another big project.  2016 just feels like the right time to embark on a reread and replay of the Knights of the Old Republic comics and games.  

How’s this going to work?  That’s an excellent question!  I’ll be covering the comics a few arcs at a time in a similar method to what I did with the Waru and the Hondo.  There will likely be squeeing and snark and also gifs.  Definitely gifs.  For the games, well… I’m still working on that part but there will probably be a post for every planet.  (Honestly, this part is up to you guys! I’m going to look into livestreaming my game play and maaaaaybe figuring out how to put together a short little highlights video for every post too.)

visas-marrThere is one twist for this particular project: cosplay.  I’ll be working on a Visas Marr costume for Celebration/Dragon Con next year and it seems appropriate that I include any updates about the costume’s progress as this retrospective moves along.  (It also has the side benefit of publicly shaming me if I don’t get any work done on it.)

Knights of the Old Republic is one of those games that I adore and will always adore until the end of time.  I’m genuinely excited to reread the comics because it’s been a few years and even more excited to play through the games again because R E V A N <3  This will also be the very first time that I’m playing through the second game with the cut content restored thanks to mods.  I look forward to having my heart broken.

If you’d like to follow my progress on Twitter, I’ll be using the hashtag #HKExcursion.  The full list is below although the order of the planets for the games is subject to change depending on what I decide on playing first.   Continue reading

Thrawn Trilogy Retrospective: Dark Force Rising Chapters 1-3

DarkForce_RisingWe start our tale, as we always do, on an Imperial Star Destroyer. Pellaeon, in command of the Chimaera under Grand Admiral Thrawn, is preparing to coordinate an assault on Myrkr. Specifically, coordinating an assault on Talon Karrde’s former base. Thrawn is certain Karrde crossed them by not handing over Luke Skywalker, and he isn’t having any of that.

Because Karrde is smart, he’s already abandoned his base, and Thrawn, of course, knows that. Because he knows everything, apparently. But he still wants to attack Karrde’s base, both to give the ground crews much-needed combat practice, but also to see if any of Karrde’s contacts in Hyllyard City attempt to get ahold of Karrde and, in turn, lead the Empire to his new base of operations.

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Thrawn Trilogy Retrospective: Dark Force Rising Introduction

Dark Force Rising was published in June 1992, an entire year after Heir to the Empire and a mere month before I first saw the Star Wars Trilogy in its entirety. As soon as I finished HttE I rushed to the bookstore and purchased my very own copy of the new Star Wars books. I was one of the lucky ones who didn’t have to wait a year to find out what happened next. (I wasn’t so lucky when it came to The Last Command, but that’s another story.) DFR might even have been the first piece of Star Wars merchandise I purchased all by myself, even before getting VHS copies of the films. (While HttE originally belonged to my father, it soon “magically” made its way onto my bookshelf.) And thus my status as a SWEU follower first and foremost was solidified early on in my fandom.

DFR is my least favorite book of the series, and the installment I’m least familiar with. I’ve read HttE more times, and I’ve skimmed TLC more times than I can count because of all the Luke and Mara stuff. But there are parts of DFR I really, really love. Garm bel Iblis is a great character, and while 11-year-old Nanci didn’t go quite so far as to ship him with Mon Mothma, 34-year-old Nanci totally picks up on that implication (and kind of wants to write a tragic fanfiction about them). I love that Mara Jade is willing to drop everything and ask for help from Luke kriffing Skywalker, the man she’s sworn to kill, in order to rescue Talon Karrde. I love Leia Organa Solo being the badass Lady Vader on Honoghr.  And I love that by the end of this book, Luke is absolutely despondent at the idea of losing Mara, so much so that Han picks up on it. (Like I said before, Han Solo was the first L/M shipper.)

There’s not much else I can tell you about the book. I remember the basic plot beats, and being really interested in the Katana fleet mystery, but I can’t recall much more than that. Other than I liked it a lot and waiting several months to read TLC was absolute torture.

I’m really looking forward to revisiting DFR and seeing what I remember and the parts I’d completely forgotten. I hope you’ll enjoy the ride!

 

 

The Thrawn Trilogy Retrospective: Heir to the Empire Wrap-Up Post

Mara threatens Luke's life...again

My re-read of Heir to the Empire has come to a close, putting me 1/3 of the way done with my Thrawn Trilogy Retrospective. It’s been a hell of a ride. Let’s discuss further, shall we? 

The last time I read Heir was in 2011, when the 20th Anniversary Edition was released, so I’m not as far removed from this book as I am the others in the trilogy. Still, it was fun to revisit the novel that sparked my love of the Expanded Universe and solidified me as a Star Wars fan, and not just someone who saw the movies once or twice and enjoyed them.

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Thrawn Trilogy Retrospective: Heir to the Empire Chapter 30-32

200px-HeirToTheEmpireThe bad part about having finished the Hyllyard City scenes is that the Hyllyard City scenes are finished. No more Luke and Mara. Sad face.

Time for another confession. I really don’t care for the end of Heir to the Empire. The battle of Sluis Van, even though it features Wedge being awesome, seems very tacked on. And it’s very convenient that Luke, Han, Lando, and Wedge all manage to wind up there. Maybe that’s just my bias coming through, because I’ve been so focused on Luke and Mara and Karrde over the past several chapters. I know that Thrawn’s been preoccupied with Sluis Van and there’s still a lot of mystery over what the plan entails. Still, it does seems like a bit of a letdown after the book moves off Myrkr.

Which is exactly where Chapter 00 begins. Karrde is amazed that one man, without the Force, managed to defeat so many stormtroopers. Get used to it, Karrde my dear. We learn that Lando needs medical attention, and that Aves was close to shooting him for his supposed betrayal, but he’ll be okay.

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