Monday, 6 October 2014

Star Wars: Knights of The Old Republic Volume 1: Commencement

Star Wars: Knights of The Old Republic Volume 1: Commencement (Dark Horse Comics)

Ummm... guys?
Writer: John Jackson Miller

Artists: Brian Ching and Travel Foreman (that’s a name? Seriously?)

Collects: Star Wars: Knights of The Old Republic #0-6

Background Information:

A long time ago in…

Actually, forget it. I’m not using that intro. In fact, y’know what? You don’t get background information this time. NO BACKGROUND FOR YOU!!!


There are three Star Wars movies.

There are only three Star Wars movies.

Anything made between 1999 and 2013 isn’t a Star Wars movie.

Yet, here we are, with a comic that’s essentially a prequel to anything made between 1999 and 2013. And, y’know what? I think it’s a Star Wars comic. But that would be impossible, because then I’d have to admit that anything made between 1999 and 2013 might be Star Wars movies. I don’t know if I could do that.

When I finish this review, I plan on sitting in the corner, rocking, singing Somewhere Over The Rainbow to myself and eating my hair.

Nothing remotely witty to say about this one... too much
going on...
This one focuses on Zayne Carrick, a Jedi padawan with absolutely zero prospects. He is the least accomplished padawan in his group and constantly messes up in the most embarrassing way. His life is turned more or less upside down when he enters his local Jedi temple and finds the local masters standing with sabres drawn over the bodies of other padawans, and so begins a very long, drawn out chase scene. It’s a fugitive story I’ve seen done better in DC’s Talon, but it suffices and it definitely gives everything a purpose.

One of the real saving graces for this comic is that it’s more Star Wars-y than the Star Wars prequels. One of the things that bugged me about the prequels was the “all-too-shiny” look of the ships and buildings. It was something that they slowly got rid of throughout the trilogy, but it still wasn’t dirty enough. The Original trilogy looked dirty. Ships looked cool, but they also looked ready to fall apart at any minute. It was an underground galaxy and that’s thankfully something we see in Commencement.

I also appreciate the fact that writer John Jackson Miller opted away from having many lightsabre duels here. Zayne gets by on his wits and help from his friends more than his ability to cut the other guy up. It makes for a book that feels closer to the original trilogy than the prequels.

That said, this is a book that feels like nothing is happening. The escape process takes the entire book to do, and by the end, you’re left wondering exactly what has happened. For all that occurs in the book, it still feels like we have a non-story here.
Yep... I got nothing today.
Thankfully, the art here does its job just fine. There’s not a lot to say about it- it looks like any of the millions of Star Wars books out there. Not bad at all, but fairly standard stuff.

And at the end of the day, that’s my biggest criticism of Commencement. It all feels too… standard. We’ve seen these characters in Star Wars-related media before (with the exclusion of one character that is too underutilised to matter). There’s the underrated young Padawan with the potential to kill us all, the seedy dealer, the tough angry female and the corrupt leader. It’s like they practically lifted these characters out of other Star Wars media for this book, and that’s just not very interesting. Even the action and humour is very stock-standard. It makes for a book that, while entertaining, is nothing amazing.

Commencement gets a two and a half out of five culinary bowls of hair.

** ½

+ Light on lightsabres.

+ Looks more like the original trilogy that the prequels.

- Too much that’s stock-standard stuff.

- Not much actually happens.

Alternate Option: Star Wars: Legacy

A far better book. This is what you should be reading if you want a Star Wars book.

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