The stories behind the stories

Star Wars: Lost Tribe of the Sith – Spiral #4

“All right, Iliana — I give up! Send me back to the South Pole!” — Spinner

“Spiral” Part 4

Running out of options to save the tribe she wants to rule, the princess takes a chance that places all her trust in herself and in the Sith rebel who’s been fighting against her…
Published by Dark Horse • November 14, 2012

Written by John Jackson Miller

Art by Andrea Mutti and Pierluigi Baldassini

Lettered by Michael Heisler

Colored by Michael Atiyeh

Cover by Paul Renaud

Edited by David Marshall and Freddye Lins

We head straight into monster-movie land in this issue — and that’s not really a departure for Star Wars, which always had lots of similar moments, whether it’s the thing in the trash compactor, the space slug in the asteroid, or the Rancor and Sarlacc. If there’s a difference here, it’s the extent to which the Kesh setting allowed me to take things to extremes. The leviathans are running rampant!

The existence of another starship on Kesh — one larger than Jelph Marrian’s starfighter, from parts 5 and 6 of the Collected Stories — was easy to imagine, and lots of fun to locate. We knew from the prose book that Yaru Korsin had built his home on the Circle Eternal of the Keshiri, which had been their ancient holy site; something had to make that spot holy to begin with. It was a short jump to the thought of burial cairns, and that the Doomed would have hidden the Last Hope there. I’m sure it would have rankled every Sith living there to know what was hiding just underground!

In this issue, Kaliska comes to the realization — the last thing she ever realizes, sadly — that the Tribe’s version of Sith belief is preferable to Dreypa’s; they’re lawful-evil, to use a Dungeons & Dragons reference, versus chaotic-evil, as he is. They know they need to keep the Keshiri alive, so they act in ways to preserve the planet. That doesn’t make them nice people, of course, but at least in Takara she sees someone she can work with.

The relationship between Iliana and Hilts always had a utilitarian dynamic to it: with her transformation here, we actually see some affection at the root of it.

This was the first comic book of mine to be released after the announcement that Disney had purchased Lucasfilm — and by the time of its release, it had already been announced that I was writing the Star Wars: Kenobi novel. But more about that with the next issue’s notes…

“Parlan Spinner is heading for the stars!” — Varner Hilts

Most of how the leviathans function came from Kevin Anderson‘s Star Wars: Jedi Academy – Leviathan from years earlier. It struck me that the Dreypa would have likely arrived years earlier with some kind of Sithspawn — and that they would be the force multiplier he needed at this point in the story. They also provided the story device needed to tell Dreypa where the Doomed’s starship was — since they would never have told him willingly.

We had established on the “rap sheet” text page of #2 that Spinner had tried to break into the catacombs beneath the Circle Eternal — and the other pieces were already in place to send him on the mission to destroy it in Takara’s stead. Takara, as her speech here indicates, would have defied the choices given her — fight Dreypa, save her mother, or destroy the ship — by trying to do all three at once.

We saw the Emperor being aged by the power of the Dark Side, so it wasn’t a stretch to do that to Iliana here. Hilts and Iliana are now the same biological age, essentially.

The Thoughtcriers are a concept that came from “Pandemonium.”