Star Wars
Knights of the Old Republic
Volume 1 - Commencement

Author: John Jackson Miller
Artists: Brian Ching and Travel Foreman
Titan Books
RRP: 14.99, US $18.95
ISBN-13: 978 1 8457 6371 8
ISBN-10: 1 84576 371 8
Available 23 March 2007

Thousands of years before Luke Skywalker would destroy the Death Star in that fateful battle above Yavin 4, one lone Padawan would become a fugitive hunted by his own Masters, charged with murdering every one of his fellow Jedi-in-training. From a squat, scheming Snivvian con man to refugees from the treacherous under-city of the planet Taris, Zayne Carrick will find unexpected allies in his desperate race to clear his name before the unmerciful authorities enact swift retribution upon him. The wildest adventure in the ancient history of
Star Wars beings here...

Commencement is the first in the Knights of the Old Republic series of graphic novels, and what a way to kick off the series.

Zayne Carrick is a Padawan in training to be a Jedi Knight. No one, including himself, thinks that he will pass the test. He arrives late to a meeting, only to discover his fellow Padawan have been slaughtered by their masters. Fearful for his life Carrick takes off, but is surprised to discover that there is a warrant out for his arrest - his former teacher is claiming that Carrick killed his classmates in a fit of jealousy.

Carrick must find out why his colleagues were slaughtered before he is found and brought to trial, but as the evidence mounts, he starts to wonder whether he actually did kill his friends.

This collection has a great, tight script. I was worried for a while that this was going to be one of those clichéd tales where the events were all part of a test - that his friends were not dead at all - and if Carrick passed then he would become a Jedi. Thankfully this wasn't the case, and what we end up with is a pretty exciting adventure.

The only slight complaint, more of a nit-pick really, is that this story is supposed to be set thousands of years before the events that unfold in Episode IV: A New Hope. Now, while I know this is a different galaxy, the technology represented here is not too dissimilar to the movie. Are they seriously suggesting that there are droids, lightsabres, flying vehicles and holographic recording equipment, all of which goes virtually unchanged for thousands of years?

But ignore my anal ramblings and enjoy this entertaining offering.

Pete Boomer

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