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Saturday, February 13, 2010

KOTOR Countdown #7: Just-Asked Questions, Part Two

Continuing a sequence of short pieces on the Knights of the Old Republic comics series, which ends Wednesday with #50, I continue to answer reader questions about the entire series. You can still get questions in, by posting here)...

Nobody asks:  On the first issue's cover, just curious why that Falleen Padawan was included on the cover? Most of the other covers usually sorta depicted a scene in that issue, but don't think the first cover ever happened. Sure looks cool though.

And I think that's why it's there. The covers at the time were designed well in advance, based upon the general information that's in the plots, so it wasn't clear that a scene like that wouldn't happen.

The amount of information the cover artist had varies over the course of the series; for most of the last year, for example, the covers have been pretty reflective of interior events.

Darth Malachi asks: What is the name of Borjak's granddaughter?

Borjak's granddaughter, whom we get to know in issue #30, is never named — something I came to regret, as Bong Dazo's design for the character made her look really interesting. We never did get to do anything with that character again — so she remains unnamed.

Mike asks: About how much time does the series cover? It was great to see you click over to 3,963 BBY at one point, but it seems like we've been there for a while now.

That question is directly answered in issue #50. Stay tuned!

Inquisitor Jerec asks: Favorite secondary character created by you? (Krynda, Lucien, Moomo brothers, Shel...)

It's sometimes kind of hard to say who's a secondary character and who's not— if they're important enough to play a role in the story, they shouldn't feel secondary. Lucien I would consider one of the principle characters, surely. The Moomos are incredibly fun to write — and Slyssk has a gentleness that really warmed up the scenes he was in.

Of the characters who were limited to a single story, though, I probably enjoyed writing Nunk Plaarvin from #36 the most. Gryph's delusions of grandeur crossed with Moomo stupidity, all in a monstrous package. If he ever hired the Moomos, they'd destroy the galaxy!

Dangerous Draays asks: Were the Covenant Jedi on the “Draay moon” in the final pages of "Vindication" Shadows? If not, were they merely Covenant followers missing/presumed dead after the events on Coruscant? For members of an institution as small as the Jedi Order, it can’t be an easy thing to retire to a secret “redoubt” in the galaxy...  

I won't address how big I think the Jedi order was in this period, but clearly, it was large enough to watch over a lot of territory and have internal divisions. But, yes, there were certainly  Shadows still in circulation — and as Lucien was managing that part of the operation, it's safe to imagine he had control over their locations and movements. And, yes, there would have been other supporters that would have gone to ground — not just on Coruscant, but galaxy-wide, fearing a purge. So both groups could have supplied the population you saw.

Tyber asks: Did Haazen kill Dossa and Dr. Uburluh after he awoke? Since it was "off screen" we can only assume that by what he said before.

That's what you inferred and that's what we implied. But as Len Wein says, "in comics no one is ever dead unless you can see the body — and usually, not even then!"

Anonymous asks: When exactly did you create Jarael's backstory?

 "Exactly" is a difficult thing to answer, especially when parts of the backstory came together and evolved slowly as we went along. No, I didn't have the whole thing mapped out at the time I pitched "Commencement" — but the blanks began filling in pretty early on. Brian's design was a huge part of the inspiration. There had to be a reason she looked different from other Arkanians — and even different from Camper (who didn't have the ears) — and there had to be a reason for the tattoos.

Those questions could have been answered simply without tying it into her past, but the more I thought about it, the more it unlocked possibilities. Moreover, where there was a single answer to why Camper was running, I recognized there could be two different answers for Jarael's origin — who she was as a child, and then as an adolescent. And that gave rise to the post-Vindication stories.

So some of the details filled in later, but quite a bit was there from very early on.

Lord Chafington asks: What was the overall purpose of Zayne's vambraces in the story? Was there a reason he lost one? It seemed you guys made it a point to show us this during the vindication arc.

The vambraces were created by Brian as part of Zayne's "traveling clothes" design, and I came up with a name and story for them. We got a story moment out of them in #20. I honestly don't remember why he loses one during #35; perhaps it shorted out.

Kevin asks: Were there any video game characters that you wanted to sneak onto the pages?

We went through quite a few. Readers may have noted that I tended to hit mostly the characters of the first game — and, then, characters who appeared in the opening few hours of that game. My presumption was always that those would be the ones most gamers would be familiar with, since those would be parts of the games that everyone got through. (I don't know how many people begin games and don't finish them — there ought to be some research somewhere on that!)

That said, it also happened that characters from those sequences were also the ones that most logically tied into our characters' lives; Gadon and the Hidden Beks would have been in Gryph's backstory wherever they appeared in the game. Of the other Taris cast, I'm sorry we didn't find a spot for Calo Nord — he was a fun villain, but there just wasn't a place for him.

More questions and answers tomorrow!

View all the countdown posts!  

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