"Knights of Suffering: Part 3"
Plot: On ancient Taris, a young would-be Jedi is targeted for execution by Jedi Knight Raana Tey, who believes he will bring about prophesied ruin. Zayne's more concerned with the invading race who has subjugated the native population.
Comments: Events in KOTOR take place 4,000 years before Luke Skywalker's era. But it's still the same old, same old: Jedi vs. Sith, the Dark and Light sides of the force seeking balance through mutual antagonism.
It's interesting how the technology never seems to change in the Star Wars universe. You'd think 4,000 years would make a difference, but there were light sabers back then, space ships, storm troopers in suits of armor, etc. Architecture's not very different, either. The major battle this issue, between the novice Zayne and his insane ex-teacher Raana Tey, takes place under a dome that looks a lot like the windows that Luke and Vader will fight before in that cloud city on Bespin one day.
Is Tey's time of prophecy (she overhears one as a child that sets her on her dark course) really that different from Amidallah's time of unrest and betrayal, or Obi Wan's time of visions and visitations? Miller and Weaver do their best to at least make Zayne's life particular. He's falsely seen as a killer, but instead what he really does (as one character describes) is "save people's lives … whether they deserve it or not … without being paid." He's a hero, and even Shel, the sister of the man he supposedly killed, comes to see it as the story progresses.
The action is very cinematic, and looks a bit shinier Phantom Menace era actually than it does resemble the rougher and scrappier Luke and Leia years. And Raana Tey is a memorable character, a formidable force in battle intent on a misguided mission. She's a zealot, but also a real Knight. There's an interesting discussion between Zayne and Shel about whether one can even serve the Dark Side if one thinks one is doing what's right. It's all a lot to be going on for a reader who has only dropped in for one issue before the major crossover looming in Dark Horse's entire Star Wars stable in the coming year. But hopefully the solid storytelling will continue into the new direction.
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