The stories behind the stories

Star Wars: Knight Errant – Escape #5

“No one should want to be king of a graveyard!” — Vilia

“Escape” Part 5

Is this the final showdown between Kerra Holt and Lord Odion?
Published by Dark Horse • October 10, 2012
Written by John Jackson Miller

Art by Marco Castiello and Vincenzo Acunzo

Lettered by Michael Heisler

Colored by Michael Atiyeh

Cover by Benjamin Carré

Edited by Dave Marshall and Freddye Lins

There are stories you agonize over and then there are stories that are there, right from the beginning. Escape was one of the second kind. The initial draft was the only one, and my editor and I agreed it was the strongest story of the Knight Errant series thus far. I am very pleased with how it turned out on the page.

By issue #5, Kerra at last changes the heart of a man who, a few issues earlier, was recognized as pretty much soulless by someone with the power to see such things. There is no one grand moment of persuasion; rather, simply being around Kerra has been working on Yulan. Yulan is as much a candidate for self-destruction as anyone. But by showing him that life — and death — has meaning, Kerra pulls him back from the brink. And he, in turn, pulls the rest of the galaxy back from the brink.

Odion’s plan to coax anguish from the children at the end of #4 no doubt suggested something grisly — but, of course, nothing like that was ever considered. Rather, it is just as Yulan says. The simple surprising change in routine is often enough to instill fear in those who’ve come to depend on sameness. It was more than enough for Odion to imperil everything, in one of the more chilling scenes I’ve written. Kerra and Yulan are able to turn it upside down in a heartbeat — and that’s the kind of story finish I like best.

I’m not sure the storyline for Escape would have worked as effectively if it had appeared as the second story, reversed with Deluge. There’s a progression going here. In the beginning, Kerra had very little interest in helping the people; she told Vannar she was there to fight. As each story has progressed, she has become more and more personally involved — saving her former home, and then searching for her parents. By the end of Escape, she definitely has a different view of her role out here. Everyone she’s saving his her family.

It’s a nice point to bring the story to. I did not ask for a Knight Errant series for 2013 as I had other projects, but there’s certainly more that could be told.

“Wayman wasn’t the real claimer, Kerra Holt — you are. We were as good as dead — I was dead — and you saved me.” — Yulan

There’s Vilia in real-time, on that secret transmitter that she’s got to talk to her whole family. It may be the most valuable thing in the sector.

The shot of Odion getting his just desserts shows how dangerous it is to mess with Sith artifacts. Even if you think you know what you’re doing!

For those keeping score, I didn’t provide a round number for how many kids Kerra was able to save here, but expect that her totals are going up by a lot.

The collapse of the Odionate ended up helping Daiman — something he will no doubt claim to have foreseen. Ironically, Kerra did what Daiman couldn’t. But fret not: he has lots of other family members to keep him aggravated…

The issue ends with one of my favorite shots of the series. For a title that takes place in darkness, at the end, there’s always a little light.

Latest edition

Star Wars: Legends Epic Collection – The Old Republic Vol. 5

Star Wars: Legends Epic Collection – The Old Republic Vol. 5

As the Sith overtake the galaxy, a group of brave Jedi continue hit-and-run missions - but Jedi Knight Kerra Holt's first mission goes horribly wrong. Now Kerra intends to liberate as many innocents as possible - and find the truth about her missing family in the process!

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