The stories behind the stories

Star Wars: Lost Tribe of the Sith – Spiral #5

“Uhh… okay. Let’s give this red flashy thing a try…” — Spinner

“Spiral” Part 5

The release of a Sith Lord has quickened a Sith rebel’s hope of overturning the ruling order… just not as he’d imagined, with himself in charge!
Published by Dark Horse • December 12, 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

The storyline I began with the Tribe’s arrival on Kesh three years before (and two millennia in story time) concludes here with a moment joining their past and their future — the day in which one of their number finally went to orbit. But unlike when someone leaves the planet in “Fate of the Jedi,” this time Spinner goes right back to the surface — lured there by a desire to show Takara he isn’t who she thinks he is. Defiance is definitely a Sith trait, even when it is used in a benevolent cause, as seen here.

It all leads to a fun romp: a spaceship versus monsters, complete with a King Kong moment. And later, Hilts places the life of Spinner — the lives of everyone in his family — into perspective, as only he can. And the wrap-up gives us the line I’d been looking to use about hands tending to come in sets of two — both relevant to the story, and also a little wink at the trouble people seem to have keeping a complete set in the movies.

And this is the end — not just of the Lost Tribe comics, but of my Star Wars comics work at Dark Horse, which had started more than seven years earlier when I began writing Star Wars: Empire #35. At the time of the comic book’s release, I was already heavily into writing Star Wars: Kenobi — and I also knew that I would be writing Overdraft: The Orion Offensive immediately afterward, so comics were going to be off my radar screen for a while. I also had done a whole lot of Star Wars comics in 2012 and Dark Horse was moving toward monthlies for 2013 (Star Wars and Star Wars Legacy II), so rather than propose new miniseries arcs for KOTOR or Knight Errant or Lost Tribe, I was satisfied to leave them where they were.

That’s why I requested an Author’s Note for the back of this issue to offer a bit of a valedictory note. I’m thankful my editors agreed, because as it turned out, at the beginning of 2014, Dark Horse announced its comics license was ending at the end of the year, so the third KOTOR Omnibus became my final Star Wars book on their schedule. I continued working for the publisher on other projects, of course, but my good-bye to the Dark Horse Star Wars line got to appear in my final issue for them.

As I said at the time, I will forever be indebted to Dark Horse for both the opportunity they provided me and for the confidence they showed in my work. Dark Horse’s editorial team is top-notch, and they’ve every reason to be proud of the vast library of work they’ve created over the years. I would return to Dark Horse again and again for other projects in the years to follow, ranging from Conan to Halo to The Lion King.

“You want to rule the Tribe one day? Fine — first make sure there’s a Tribe to rule. — Varner Hilts

This was my 15th and final Star Wars comic book to come out in 2012, including the Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic: War and Star Wars: Knight Errant: Escape storylines. Three stories that have almost nothing in common, beyond their creative teams!

I felt the computer needed to acknowledge that Spinner’s dialect would have been different from that of the people who had arrived centuries earlier. Spinner certainly doesn’t understand all he’s hearing, as we can see by his refernce to a “trackbar beam” later.

Only now, we finally see what Kesh looks like from above. It’s purplish, which we knew from the earliest references to its purple sands.

We needed to acknowledge the ship’s speed, given the great distance between the Sessal Spire and Tahv

The Upside Down Meteor came from “Sentinel” in Star Wars: Lost Tribe of the Sith – The Collected Stories.

“And the Sith await their revenge…” makes sense as a closing, if you figure this takes place before (well, a long time before) Revenge of the Sith!