Tales from the Memory Bank: Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic: Commencement, Part 2


In honor of the rerelease by Marvel of the Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic comics, I’m revising and updating my production notes here on what I hope will be a weekly basis. You can get Star Wars Legends Epic Collection: The Old Republic Vol. 1 from your local comic shop, from Things from Another World or from Amazon. You can also purchase signed copies directly from my shop while supplies last.

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic #2

Art by Brian Ching
Lettered by Michael Heisler
Colored by Michael Atiyeh
Cover by Travis Charest
Edited by Jeremy Barlow and Dave Marshall
Released February 22, 2006 by Dark Horse Comics
Story licensed and © Lucasfilm Ltd.

As with all my “production notes,” consider a “Spoiler Warning” attached. Please read the books first.

The second issue of a series always tends to be easier for me to write than the first issue. The scene has been set, the characters have been introduced – now the action can begin. At the time, however, I don’t think I had done a second issue with quite so much action right out of the gate. The first 16 pages of this issue are all essentially part of the same sequence, starting in the Jedi Tower and winding up in that grungy alleyway.

One of my decisions in the beginning, to avoid using an omniscient narrator except for announcements as to location and time, becomes more noticeable in an issue like this, where there are several action scenes without an opportunity for dialogue. In the old days, it would have been a simple matter to throw in a thought balloon from Zayne explaining exactly what he’s doing at any moment; today, things need to be a lot more self-evident. (I wrote more about the disappearance of the thought balloon and of many narrator captions in my column in Comics Buyer’s Guide #1596.) That said, I think Brian Ching really carried off what was a pretty complicated action scene very well!

Brian Ching’s pencils of the page 2 scene.

Brian’s depictions in fact really helped sell a lot of my favorite scenes. We really do get a better sense of Gryph’s priorities and assumptions about himself. And, wow, isn’t he Mr. Empathy when Zayne’s friends appear on the news?

I would begin using an omniscient narrator for setting descriptions after “Vindication,” to underscore the galactic travelogue aspect of that phase of Zayne’s career.


• The inside cover of the issue accidentally referred to Brian Ching as the cover artist instead of Travis Charest. Incidentally, this would be the correct line-up for the Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic/Rebellion Special, which shipped a week later.

• This issue gives a prominent on-camera role to Master Vandar Tokare, a character from the first video game. Despite his Yoda-like looks, his manner of speech differs, just as it is depicted in the game. Vandar would appear several more times in the years to come.

• The lecturer is talking to his students about “air traffic control” on Taris, which must be a serious problem with all these flying vessels in the “streets.” Thus the irony of Zayne crashing through, out of control…

• The dialogue balloons in the “garbage can” scene are actually reversed with regard to where Zayne’s and Gryph’s knuckles are. It takes an eagle-eyed reader to notice how hairy a guy’s fingers are!

A Kedorzhan, from Incognito

• The Kedorzhans make their first appearance anywhere in this story. I would return to the species later in my 2013 short story for Star Wars Insider, “Incognito” — a tie-in with the Star Wars: Kenobi novel. It involved Obi-Wan encountering the Kedorzhan senator in the aftermath of Episode III.

• A Bith, as Gryph mistakenly refers to the Sith, is of course a member of that race that also includes the Cantina Scene’s band from Star Wars: Episode IV.

Next week: We actually go back in time, to #0, which was published after #2. Or you can skip ahead and read all the notes for the series, though they’re only updated up through this issue.