REVIEW: Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic Volume 2: ‘Flashpoint’
BRIEF SYNOPSIS: More Jedi fun from the Old Republic – plus – MANDALORIANS!
PROS: Great artwork, as usual; we get introduced to the war mongery Mandalorians who’ve come to kick some Jedi butt; the plot thickens as to why his Master set Zayne up.
CONS: The main storyline lasts only the first two-thirds of the book; the last third kinda bored me.
BOTTOM LINE: If you were a fan of the first volume, you’ll like the second. It keeps the story moving (mostly) and gives a lot of Jedi bang for your buck.
3,964 years before the Battle of Yavin, the Old Republic was embroiled in a galactic war. It is a time of upheaval for the galaxy. The Mandalorian’s have come, and with them, war spreads across the galaxy. Zayne Carrick, once a Padawan at the Jedi Temple on Taris, is now a fugitive, wanted for the murders of his fellow Padawan’s, murders committed by their own Jedi Masters who lay the blame squarely at Zayne’s feet. Now on the run with his new friends Gryph, Elbee, Camper and Jarael, Zayne Carrick must find a way to escape the Jedi, avoid the Mandalorian’s, the bounty hunters and civil authorities hunting for them and, of course, clear Zayne’s name…
Star Wars-Knights of the Old Republic: Flashpoint is a 144-page trade paperback / graphic novel that brings together issues 7 – 12 of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic as published by Dark Horse Comics.
It’s not easy living on the run with no money, no prospects and everyone seemingly ready to turn you in for a fat reward. So, you do what you have to in order to survive. Like stealing from miners or posing as a Jedi. The best laid plans can backfire, though. Like when the Mandalorians show up and capture your friend because she impersonated a Jedi a little too well. Or like when a rogue Mandalorian tries to steal your ship.
The first two-thirds of this book is about Flashpoint, a planet too close to it’s own sun to have any life. It’s being held by the Mandalorians as a research facility. Their top biologist is studying captured Jedi there, trying to find out what gives them their power. It’s to this world that Jarael, posing as a Jedi when she was captured, is taken. It’s up to the rest of the crew, with the help of the rogue Mandalorian, to save her.
This part of the book is full of action and adventure as Zayne and friends try to rescue Jarael. We get glimpses into the Mandalorians, what drives them and where they’re coming from. In the first volume, we got little glimpses that there was something up with Camper and Jarael, Camper especially as he would go from mumbling junk collector to lucid engineer – or rabid crazy guy. We get more of this in volume 2 when Jarael is captured, so there is definitely some foreshadowing going on there and, though it doesn’t get explained in this volume, it will be interesting to see where that goes in the future.
Next, we see a glimpse into the past of the Jedi Master’s from Taris, the ones who killed their Padawan’s and laid the blame squarely at the feet of Zayne Carrick. There is a lot of history between them and something going on that I think will shake up everything once it’s revealed.
The last part of the book takes place mostly on a banking world called Telerath and involves a plot by the Jedi Masters from Taris to capture Zayne by using his family against him. Again, we get pieces to the puzzle and the over arcing story that’s driving them.
I enjoyed this book; this is Star Wars as we wanted it to be when there was nothing at all anywhere to sate our desire for more. I like the way Dark Horse has embraced the Star Wars Universe and the way they manage to pack a lot of history and expansion universe building into the pages of these books. The characters have a lot of depth to them and a lot of place left to grow.
The art is phenomenal. I am not a fan of the overly muscular, Mighty Marvel style of grotesquely disproportioned physiques and you have none of that here. I also like that the art is consistent throughout, gritty when it needs to be, light when that is appropriate.
The first story, Flashpoint was very strong, the second, Homecoming, about the history of the Taris Jedi Masters, was also strong and gave us a lot of insight into their motivations. The third story, Reunion, was probably the weakest IMHO and didn’t do much for me.
Star Wars-Knights of the Old Republic: Flashpoint is a trade paperback / graphic novel collection. You can pick it up for around $20 at your local brick and mortar, barring any discounts you may have or for $15 online.
…how come this Jedi doesn’t talk like Yoda?
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