An advance review of the upcoming Star Wars comic!
Credits & Solicit Info:
If you've ever heard of the Knights of the Old Republic video games and comics but didn't know where to start--this is it!
The Republic and the Mandalorians are at war! Jedi are joining the fight, despite the noninterference stance of the Council. One Jedi, however, has found himself on the front lines against his wishes-the peace-loving Zayne Carrick has been drafted!
* The return of one of the most popular eras in Star Wars video games and comics!
* The perfect entry point into the Star Wars galaxy!
* Blockbuster new Star Wars game on sale 12/20/11!
Hey Star Wars fans! Want to read more about Boba Fett? (I know I do.) Ok, technically what we have here in Knights of the Old Republic are the origins of Fett's armor, but any ancient history on the subject is okay with me. I have no idea if this is official Star Wars canon, but it at least feels like someone has worked out the history in advance. Knights of the Old Republic: War is set during the Mandalorian Wars, and as any good Star Wars geek knows, Fett's armor is Mandalorian in its origins. So I'm on board for the first issue of the series.
The story opens as the Jedi are finally entering into the war between the Mandalorians and the Republic. The Jedi are joining as volunteers and advisers, akin to the Flying Tigers in the days before World War II. (The intro page should have been clearer about this: I had to read it three times- The Jedi are in, but the Jedi Council is neutral???- before I tumbled to the Flying Tigers volunteer-not-official connection. C'mon, this IS a first issue!)
The role of the Jedi is more explicit in the story itself but still not terribly clear. After all, if the cover is going to advertise the Mandalorian War- and it does - you should take pains to be clear on what has already happened in said war. There is one thing that is clear- that there is story before this, that this war doesn't start here. The intro page does have a note setting this era in relation to the Star Wars movies, but that also refers to a different comic series - again, c'mon! #1 here! And I do find out that there are nine (!) previous volumes in this series on the letters page.
But the history of the Mandalorian War isn't really all that important here, because this isn't necessarily that story. It's the (continuing) story of Zayne Carrick, who is merely caught up in that war. Now by chance I had recently read volumes 8 & 9 of the last Knights of the Old Republic series, so I know who Zayne Carrick is. Although if I'd picked this issue up based on the ending of what I'd already read I don't know I'd be back for #2 - this is a complete break. (Of course old characters will always show up later.)
For new fans, this issue does a good job of filling in who Carrick is: pacifist, Jedi washout (under troubling circumstances) and an unwilling combatant in a battle that sees brutal behavior on both sides. This brutal behavior is nicely connected to specific characters, setting up diverse viewpoints ripe for conflict with Carrick, who, in the grand tradition of space opera, is probably really important in the scheme of things. The twist ending is also pure space opera, but also my main reason for wanting to read #2.
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic: War #1 hits stores January 11th!
Review by: BD Montgomery, Outhouse Contributor