First off, yes this review is extremely late, but it’s hard to keep up with all of the Star Wars comics out there nowadays. You’ve got a couple of them following the now red hot MMORPG ‘The Old Republic, one taking place amidst the comic underexposed New Jedi Order/Vong War era and there’s even a few that take place during, a little before and a little after the Original trilogy timeline. It’s a lot to take in I know. But one that I’ve been waiting for and had actually almost forgotten about until I saw it at the comic shop was Knights of the Old Republic: War. This isn’t an Old Republic online game tie-in though, this takes place before and continues the story of wayward Jedi Zayne Carrick that author/comic writer John Jackson Miller started back in 2006.
The series took place before the events of the first Knights of the Old Republic Xbox videogame, chronicling the adventures of the fugitive Jedi “washout” Zayne Carrick who witnessed the deaths of his classmates at the hands of their Masters who were trying to preempt the return of the Sith. As Zayne struggles to avoid his crazy ass Master Lucien and his band of psycho Jedi, he runs afoul of corporate criminals, an essence transferring Sith Lord, Mandalorians and not to mention the two most notorious Sith Lords of the time: Darth Revan and Darth Malak. This is of course before they have fallen to the darkside and before the Mandalorian Wars have truly been unleashed upon the Republic. At this point in time the Mandalorians are simply stockpiling resources from their plundering of the Outer Rim worlds and gauging the Republic’s military prowess in skirmishes here and there. Darth Revan, know at this time simply as ‘The Revanchist” is busy recruiting Jedi eager to step in against the Mandalorian aggression in the Outer Rim, including Jedi Knight Alek who is soon to be jawless Sith Lord Darth Malak.
As KOTOR: War begins we are finally able to get a glimpse of the era directly before the events in the video game, where the Mandalorian invasion of the Republic is in full swing and Zayne Carrick once again finds himself unwittingly drawn into the conflict. I’m hoping the series will show us more of Revan and Malak, possibly leading up to their fall to the darkside and the final battle of the Mandalorian Wars at Malachor V, which by all accounts is pretty epic. The issue itself was pretty decent. Zayne Carrick is just kind of hard not to like. He’s the good hearted hero without being a complete tool about it and still accomplishes to be kind of a badass. The story picks up on the planet Essien where Zayne explains through narrative that he was drafted into the Phaeda militia, Phaeda being the planet where Zayne was born and his family resides. As fate (or the force) would have it, Zayne ends up under the command of a certain man named Morvis… yes it’s the douchebag who made Admiral from the first volume of KOTOR. The issue is big on action, the planet Essien not being very unique in any way as of yet. There is also the introduction of a new Jedi character named Dorjander Kace, who I found to be pretty cool, though by the end nothing is as it seems with him or his little group of Jedi.
The art was decent for this issue, but I’m definitely missing the art of guys like Dustin Weaver and especially Brian Ching who did a good amount of issues from the first volume. But that is not to take anything away from Andrea Mutti because she’s a fine artist. I definitely can’t wait for the next issue to get some explanation for the last page of this current one. Also, I’m all for the introduction of new characters but I’m sure that there are more fans than me out there wondering what happened to Jarael, Gryph, Rholan and Camper. Did Camper stay out in Wild Space with those stupid exo-gorths? Did Rholan ever find out anything about the truth behind the current war as he intended to? Time will tell as KOTOR: War continues, though we may not get answers anytime soon. I give the issue 4 out of 5 grizzlies because it’s off to a promising start. And check out the picture below the rating for a glimpse at the next issue. Ridiculous!