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Graphic Novel Review: Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic Vol. Six – Vindication by John Jackson Miller and Brian Ching

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Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is a video game that is set more than 3900 years before the events of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, not to be confused with the comic series Tales of The Jedi, which take place 4000 years before A New Hope.  In 2006 Dark Horse comics launched Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, a comic series with the same name that takes place seven years before the events of the video game.

 

Kicking off the series, we meet Padawan Zayne Carrick, who is not looked favorably upon by his fellow padawan’s or Master Jedi as he is somewhat of an inept padawan. On the night they are to be promoted to Jedi Knights, all of Zayne’s classmates are found murdered and as the only survivor Zayne is the prime suspect! The crux of the series has been for Zayne to clear his name and find out who murdered his classmates.

 

Zayne’s classmates were murdered because shortly before completing the training of their apprentices, the Masters had visions of a returning Sith Lord, clad in a red space suit, destroying the Jedi order and causing chaos throughout the galaxy. The padawans had used red spacesuits during their last test, and the masters took the vision to mean that one of their Padawans would become the Sith Lord. Taking matters into their own hands they killed their learners during their knighting ceremony, with Zayne escaping because he was late. The masters decided to frame Zayne since he would be convicted and executed, thus preventing the prophecy from coming true.

 

Zayne escapes and meets Marn "Gryph" Hierogryph, a Snivvian smuggler and his crew, who Zayne convinces he’s innocent. He asks their help in clearing his name. Zayne’s Jedi skills come in handy, and Gryph, after some initial reluctance, is glad to have Zayne around.  Along the way they pick up Rohlan Dyre, a Mandalorian soldier who’s been in many battles, but is questioning the war.

 

After some time on the run, Zayne and Gryph decide to try a new tactic in exposing the truth about what the Jedi Masters did.  Their actions lead them to one of Zayne’s masters' home world where they find a storehouse of Sith artifacts. Two portions of the prophecy come to pass, and Zayne realizes it's now or never to clear his name. One way or another this conflict will end!

 

Writer John Jackson Miller has written a great storyline that has held my interest for almost three years before ending with a satisfying conclusion, while setting things up for all new adventures. Artist Brian Ching has drawn the majority of the series, and his style is great for this series. While he’s not drawing any characters we’ve seen in the movies, he fits right in.

 

This volume comprises issues 29 thru 35 of the series, with issue 46 the most recent issue of the series. Sadly at a retailers’ summit earlier this month writer John Jackson Miller announced that issue 50, scheduled for February 2010, will be the end of the series. But once done, the series will be comprised of 50 issues, which is a good run these days.

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