The stories behind the stories

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic – War #3

“You can’t win a war set on ‘stun’.” — Dorjander Kace

“Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic – War 3”

Zayne Carrick is forced to work with the enemy!
Published by Dark Horse • March 14, 2012
Written by John Jackson Miller

Art by Andrea Mutti and Pierluigi Baldassini

Lettered by Michael Heisler

Colored by Michael Atiyeh

Cover by Benjamin Carré and Dave Wilkins

Edited by Dave Marshall and Freddye Lins

With the first two parts of this story, Zayne struggled to keep his head above water in dealing first with the Republic and then with the Mandalorians. Now, in Dorjander Kace’s camp, Zayne realizes that the Jedi Master is in some ways a trickster much like himself — and that he has ambitious aims indeed.

Dorjander Kace, we now see, puts a new face to a topic that I’ve addressed before — the Mandalorian complaint that the Republic wasn’t engaging in a fair fight when it employed Jedi. We saw the argument from the Mandalorian side with Demagol; Kace puts a more sympathetic spin on the claim, even if he himself may not necessarily be entirely sympathetic, given his crimes. There was no way Jarael — or anyone in their right mind — was going to follow Demagol. But Kace and his cause have attracted followers; we’ll learn more about them as the story continues.

Kace, in some ways, belongs more to the group of historical figures like abolitionist John Brown and others who took the law into their own hands in pursuit of a cause; it poses a new challenge for Zayne. Lucien Draay worked within the system and subverted it; Kace intends to upset the whole apple cart.

Kace also provides something we haven’t seen much of before: an older human who gives Zayne a little respect. Lucien, Karath, Morvis, Golliard — all were disdainful of Zayne and his abilities in one way or another. (Carth Onasi and Malak really function more as older-brother figures.) But Kace begins by giving Zayne the benefit of the doubt, and by treating him as if he has something to contribute. That alone might make what Zayne has to do more difficult — if it weren’t for what he’s experienced before. This is, again, the third school he’s seen endangered.

This issue begins with a holographic conversation; holograms are curious to scripting Star Wars comics, and they require special treatment. Things readers see as holograms are drawn normally, and then altered by the colorist — and so all parties communicate as to what elements are holographic and what aren’t.

This issue also features the first appearance of one of Zayne’s allies from the previous series, Gryph. Here at the middle of the arc, it should be pretty clear our intention was to see if Zayne would sink or swim (there’s that water metaphor again) on his own. If Gryph purported to be Zayne’s master as a trickster, in some senses, this adventure is the equivalent of Zayne’s Jedi trial. It’s something he has to do on his own. Hopefully he has better luck than he did on the Rogue Moon!

“Our patriotic revue has been packing the customers in since we put the stage in the restaurant. You gotta love war!” — Gryph

The Derapha, belonging to a Republic ally, looks a lot like some of the Great Sith War vehicles (like the Gladiator from Knights of the Old Republic #44). It makes sense that these outer worlds would be providing for themselves with older, surplus equipment sold to them by the Republic.

The ship is named for Derapha, one of the larger cities on Phaeda. U.S. Navy cruisers are named for cities.

No, as someone asked, that isn’t Spacedock from Star Trek out there amid those mines — not unless they added on a satellite system!

We first saw Goodvalor’s Little Bivoli back in Knights of the Old Republic #47. Clearly, they’ve been doing well!

And Table Seventeen should have some meaning to readers of Knights of the Old Republic #50.

The Defense Ministry meddling with the Jedi order to get them into the war is an element that goes back to the text pages in the second year of the series.

Essien, Halthor, and Phaeda do trace a direct line going to Dantooine, judging from where things are in the Star Wars Atlas and my understanding of the sectors.

That shot of the Academy is inspired directly by the first KOTOR game.

As some eagle-eyed readers noticed, the style for spelling “Dreadnought” has changed since the days of the earlier series and the Campaign Guide.

We get our wildlife critter for the issue on the second-to-last page. We’re adding more species than a Galapagos expedition!

Those crewmen impressed by the originality of Morvis’s escape plan obviously hadn’t read Knights of the Old Republic #17. Hey, at least he remembered…

Now we know why Dashades wear hoods. No beauty contests on their planet!