Action Jaxxon and the Hat Squadron review: Tales Of The Jedi: KOTOR

Discussion in 'Literature' started by SuperWatto, Aug 1, 2008.

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  1. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 5
    Tales of the Jedi: Knights of the Old Republic
    [image=http://images.wikia.com/starwars/images/3/34/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic.jpg]
    featuring:
    Tales of the Jedi 1: Ulic Qel-Droma and the Beast Wars of Onderon, Part 1
    Tales of the Jedi 2: Ulic Qel-Droma and the Beast Wars of Onderon, Part 2
    Tales of the Jedi 3: The Saga of Nomi Sunrider, Part 1
    Tales of the Jedi 4: The Saga of Nomi Sunrider, Part 2
    Tales of the Jedi 5: The Saga of Nomi Sunrider, Part 3


    So!
    Everyone read it?
    Who wants a first crack at it?
  2. DarthBroox Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 22, 2003
    star 3
    Couple of quick points.

    Ulic's bit:

    -So much exposition, modern comics seem to have moved away from that third person exposition.

    -The first couple scenes make me hate everyone but Tott. Ulic is a complete showoff, Cay obviously had ADD and Arca has to be one of the worst teachers I have ever meet (Lucian even seems better). Tott seems to hand out the majority of the sage wisdom.

    -Enjoyed the flashback as narrated by Arca, had forgotten that bit was so enjoyable.

    -Nevermind, Tott has no backbone, I hate him as well now, why the hell would he continue to listen to Ulic?

    -Ulic is the most wishy washy Jedi I have ever meet. He (and become the other two follow his stupidity blindly, they do as well) changes his loyalty every 3 pages.

    -And in the end the three Jedi who are our main character accomplish nothing and get bailed out by there master who merely complemets them on how much they suck as opposed to helping them see a "moral to the story".

    Sunrider Bit:

    -I had forgotten two different artists did this tale. But is is a good thing because if the first artist had done the whole thing I doubt I would have finished. Niomi's hair is all I need to say.

    -Found the characters to be much more likable in this tale.

    -Always been a fan of the "bug ship"

    -The Hutt's castle has to be one of the goofiest looking structures in all of the GFFA.

    -The Hutt's court seemed rather stereotypical except that his bodygaurd seems to be a human female.

    -By the end of the tale the main character changes and grows, Ulic and company could stand to take note.
  3. Jeff_Ferguson Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 15, 2006
    star 4
    I read through all of Tales of the Jedi for the first time last year, and Ulic Qel-Droma and the Beast Wars of Onderon was one of my favourites of the whole bit. I read it all chronologically, so it was a much-welcomed change from the 5,000 BBY bits that I had read before. :) Though Ulic, Tott and co. may not have undergone a huge amount of growth like Nomi Sunrider did, the two-issue arc accomplished much of what the three-issue one did as well --- it introduced us to some of the saga's main characters, and set up much of what was to come.

    What I think is important to keep in mind, is that save for Luke, Obi-Wan, and Yoda, this was the first time anyone ever saw Jedi --- ever. This was the introduction to the Jedi Order of old that fans had been dreaming about since first going to the theater in 1977. And for such an introduction, I think that it was actually handled well. Rather than attempt to present a complex emotional tale in just two issues, Tom Veitch gave two action-packed issues full of Jedi with swinging lightsabers taking on evil bad guys. The emotional drama was to come later, with the very same characters, but why rush into that? To me, Beast Wars accomplished exactly what it was supposed to, in introducing us to the Jedi of old, showing some arse-kicking, and showcasing the heroes of the upcoming saga. Sure, they didn't learn their lesson, but that's actually essential to Ulic's character. He didn't learn his lesson until Redemption, and, if Tom Veitch had had his way, Ulic never would have learned his lesson. Character development doesn't have to be rushed, when there are still dozens of issues left for it to occur in --- unlike Nomi's story, these two issues were intended to merely introduce us to these rash characters. Development would occur later.

    Onderon itself would also prove pivotal to the rest of the Tales of the Jedi saga. I've always thought that the concept of the Beast-Riders was a really cool one, and Onderon as a whole is a very interesting planet.

    So, yeah, I liked those first two issues quite a bit more than The Broox. :p
  4. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 5
    What I liked about it:
    - that it's not about galaxy-spanning conflicts
    - the glimpses into the history of building the Republic, like the Hyperspace relay station
    - how this stuff has stood the test of time, and has in turn inspired other EU material
    - of course: Thon
    - The ending to Ulic's tale - when Arca mentions falling to the dark side and Ulic looks all gloomy

    What I didn't like
    - As Broox said... Nomi's hair by the first artist
    - As Broox said... what an immensely bad teacher that Arca guy is
    - Not really any sense of purpose of direction in these tales, feels a bit like loose shots

    Interesting:
    - When discussing Freedon Nadd, Arca said there can only be one Lord of the Sith at a time!
  5. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    Re: Nomi

    I don't think the character was ever done quite as well as she was in this introductory arc as it focuses on something SW rarely does: The impact of and willingness to use violence and why.

    Nomi is reluctant to consciously use her abilities with the Force and the lightsaber to wound or kill. She's able to kill a couple of the assailants at the scene of his husband's murder due to the emotion and instinct, but that same experience acts as a block to her choosing to act thus. Often in SW we are introduced to characters and everyone is adept at picking up a gun and shooting people, or in the case of Jedi, slicing them in half! The notion of having a character who is hesitant in this respect is both original yet once done also seems blindingly obvious.

    As it is, Thon knows this well and so manipulates the hell out of her to force her hand, to make her realise that there are times when she has to act against those who would harm, kill and despoil and that she is right to do so. This is a point that's quite relevant for the time we live in too: For it often feels like there is no good or right option.

    The point about Thon confining the dark side to Lake Naath is also quite interesting, for at this time we knew little of the Jedi but we had Yoda on Dagobah, with a dark side nexus in the form of the tree. Luke encounters Exar Kun at Yavin and has to defeat him. So you can see Veitch setting in place the idea that a Jedi Master goes to a world where the dark side is running rampant, defeats it and then uses it as a training world.

    Finally, David Roach - this guy did some wonderful work in parts 2 and 3, it was detailed, clear and conveyed the story perfectly.
  6. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 10
    I always dug Thon as a neat Yoda-like Jedi master as far as serving in the "in a form one would never assume to be a Jedi Master" function.

    Interesting tidbit: the cover for #1 (below) was supposed to visually represent the initial concept of Lucas's that there were a finite # of Dark Lords of the Sith (it being a title only certain Sith ever attained), with each lightsaber on the cover representing one Dark Lord, plus Ulic's and the-yet-to-be-thus-not-pictured saber of Vader to total 12 (I recall Vader was supposed to be the 13th DLOTS, but the math on the sabers doesn't add up- perhaps I'm forgetting a detail, as it is, it seems Vader was to be the 12th). Obviously a concept Lucas eventually discarded when he decided to make every Sith a DLOTS.

    [image=http://images.wikia.com/starwars/images/4/4c/Tojkotor1cover.jpg]
  7. ChildOfWinds Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2001
    star 5
    I enjoyed the story of Nomi Sunrider. Her life changed in an instant and suddenly she was alone with a very small child to protect and care for. I know that I was disappointed when her husband died so early in the story, but I guess it had to be that way in order for it to be so tragic and for Nomi's story to be told. Still, I would have liked to know more about Andur Sunrider before his quick and untimely death. It seemed like such a waste, to have him killed by a gorm-worm when he had survived many prior dangerous Jedi missions.

    Thon WAS a surprise as a Jedi Master! That was completely unexpected and very satisfying. It reminded me very much of my initial surprise when I first learned that little gnome was Yoda, the Great Jedi Master. (I managed to go into TESB completely unspoiled.)

    I was also surprised that he was so insistent with Nomi. He kept telling her she needed to use the lightsaber, even though she didn't want to do so after killing her husband's murderers with a lightsaber. Eventually, she finally did, to save herself and Thon.

    This battle meditation though... It almost seemed a little dark side, in that Nomi influenced the minds of the pirates and enforcers to attack one another. Would Luke Skywalker be able to get away with that without being called dark?

    Have any of the NJO Jedi ever used this skill, or is it a forgotten talent?

    There is certainly no question that there is a dark side in this story though. It spoke of the dark side dwelling in Lake Natth, of dark side voices that tried to influence Nomi, and there were little dark side dragons.

    In the Ulic Qel-Droma story, I found the way Onderon developed to be quite interesting, but I didn't like these two parts as much as I enjoyed the Nomi Sunrider sections, maybe because I didn't like the characters that much.
  8. ATimson Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2003
    star 4
    Could #12 be the saber-less Palps?
  9. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 10
    I don't think so- at the time I don't believe Palpatine was considered a Sith, just some kind of Dark Jedi Master or other Force user. It wasn't until the prequels that his status as a Sith was established. He was Vader's master, but didn't necessarily hold the special DLOTS title.

    Even years later in publication with Empire's End, the Valley of the Sith Lords asked Palpatine to take Vader's place there- which implies he didn't have his own place among them.
  10. DarthBroox Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 22, 2003
    star 3
    The fact itself is interesting? Or that Arca has this knowledge is interesting?
  11. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 5
    The fact itself, really.

    I found it funny because up until that point, we knew nothing about Sith. Zahn wanted to use it, but was told he couldn't, so he made the people he wanted to call Sith into Noghri. Nothing was known about the Sith. So this is the first approved canon fact about Sith Lords, and Veitch established it. And then it turns out to be a similar set-up to the Rule of Two... Just thought that was interesting. It's as if you're reading an old draft for a script from one of the films.
  12. DarthBroox Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 22, 2003
    star 3
    It doesn't say there is one master and one student. I read it more as one leader and a bunch of followers which it what we saw in the previous (chronologically) two arcs. It isn't until Jedi vs. Sith that this is changed.
  13. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

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    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 10
    Supposedly a lot of the ancient Jedi and Sith info KJA brought to the table from his talks with GL, I wonder how much of that was passed on to Veitch or if that preceeded the KJA interjection?


    TOTJ as a whole seemed to suggest the following hierarchy, IIRC:

    -One Dark Lord of the Sith to rule over...
    -Several Lords of the Sith/Sith Lords, who rule over...
    -All other Sith
  14. DarthBroox Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 22, 2003
    star 3
    Which seems to hold true up until the time of the Brotherhood of Darkness where it would seem that the Dark Lord position is done away with and the council holds all the power. And then of course Bane throws everything for a loop.

    Then the rule of two is the precedent one could argue until Palpy takes over the galaxy and seems to bend the rules by adding dark side adepts and the like.

    He of course takes the long fall down the reactor shaft and the Sith seem ill-organized and splintered up until the One Sith emerge.

  15. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 5
    No, but it did establish that Sith Lords are the masters of the Dark Side, with other people striving to get that position as well. Which is something different from what Zahn had planned, and which is consistent with what GL was apparantly planning. See what I mean? Up until that point (OOU), Sith coulda meant anything. This was the first thing in SW comics that made the Sith the Jedi's arch enemy. Like Quest says, be interesting to find out who was responsible for that - Veitch, KJA or GL...
  16. DarthBroox Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 22, 2003
    star 3
    True but Zahn's idea of the Sith being a species was eventually realized.
  17. Vrook_Lamar Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 12, 2008
    star 4
    Ulic Quel Doroma and the Beast Wars of Onderon. Sounds a lot like Shadows of Mindor but that's just because they're both playing up cliches.

    Or is it:

    SW:TotJ:KotOR:UQDatBWoO

    There's so much knew continuity in this story. Sadly, KOTOR 2 sort of spoiled this story for me. Although they were quick to destroy anything interesting about Basilisk War Droids it's surprising how faithful Obsidian was to this comic. On the other hand, KotOR 2 didn't do the Drexyl justice at all. The beast riders also look a lot better than KotOR 2's generic human models. Ulic also appears to be wearing the Jedi robes from KotOR 1.

    Jedi beast language still seems wrong. Though it is another clear inspiration for a scene from KotOR 2. It's nice to see some mounted lightsaber combat though.

    Cay Quel Doroma has a really bad attention span for things that aren't mechanical. No wonder he lost an arm.

    I actually prefer the TotJ lighsaber designs. They're more interesting. The movie designs look like something that would be made by a plumber rather than a warrior monk.

    It's interesting that the Beast Riders have better technology than the Isiz dwellers.

    If practically every Jedi Master in these comics can do Battle Meditation, KotOR's obsession with Bastila makes little sense.

    It seems rediculous that Cay can perfectly attatch a droid arm that was never indended to be a prosthesis.
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