I never get tired of the Old Republic, especially when it comes to comics such as Tales of the Jedi and Knights of the Old Republic, two of my favorite series to date. While Tales digs deep into the mythos of the Jedi (and more interestingly, the Sith), Knights enjoys the energy and fast-paced storytelling of the original game. The latter is finally getting a trade paperback edition with Star Wars Omnibus : Knights of the Old Republic Volume 1, which collects issues #0-18 and it’s a delicious return to the adventures of Zayne Carrick, an overzealous Jedi padawan who is framed for the murder of his fellow classmates on Taris.
Knights has an advantage over its video game predecessor in that its main character is much more interesting and likable than the mute, indentity-confused protagonists of days past. Don’t get me wrong, Star Wars veteran John Jackson Miller, asks all the questions that made the original great: What does it mean to be a Jedi? How does a fallen Jedi find his way back to the straight path? Does a Jedi’s allegiance stand with the people or the Order? And more generally, how much of our memories are dictated by our surroundings?
Zayne is constantly faced with these questions as he flies across the galaxy, escaping the Jedi masters he believes betrayed him and the rest of his comrades. Accompanied by a Snivvian smuggler named Gryph, Zayne descends deep into the criminal underworld, following his dimwitted companions lead, which is the reason Zayne is constantly dodging laser blasts. Zayne is originally out to catch Gryph on Taris, but later finds himself depending on the two-bit gangster more and more as the series unfolds. Think buddy movie with lightsabers.
Comedic timing is everything in this series. Zayne isn’t exactly the brightest Jedi in the galaxy and constantly finds himself in a hole, too clumsy to imitate the magnificence of a full-fledged knight. Zayne is the Jedi you sit behind a desk where he can’t cause any trouble. But as fate often has it in the galaxy far, far away, our protagonist is meant for bigger, more dangerous things.
The artists, who are also veterans of the Star Wars franchise, do an excellent job of rendering the magic stitched within the universe, illustrations that give Knights that old-timey feel that is an Old Republic signature: the orange tint, the rust, the elevated lighting that counters the grays of other series such as Empire.
If you haven’t read this series at all, it might be vital do so now before BioWare reveals its next Star Wars video game project, which might very well be Knights of the Old Republic 3 (because WTH, cliffhangers!!). Or if you just want a good comic book read, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic brings all the action, comedy, and romance that have always made the franchise great!
Star Wars Omnibus : Knights of the Old Republic Volume 1 hits shops on August 21st!
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic Omnibus Volume 1Writer: John Jackson MillerArtists: Brian Chang, Travel Foreman, Harvey Tolibas, Dustin Weaver