Friday, October 30, 2009

3963 BBY: Knights of the Old Republic Volume 2: Flashpoint

Two weeks is a long time to go without doing what it is you enjoy. But alas, duty comes first, and my familial and professional duties required my full attention these last many days. That being said, assignments have been evaluated and handed back, mid-term marks have been entered, and colds and flus which have plagued the home-front seem to have subsided.

Our journey along Star Wars chronology can start once more. We will pick up from where we left off last: Knights of the Old Republic volume 2: Flashpoint.

I enjoyed this text, though not as much as the first one. Even though Flashpoint contained my favorite aspect of Star Wars (that being Mandalorians) it still seemed pale in comparison to volume one. I’m not quite sure why I feel this way. I guess the climactic ending of volume one, coupled with its commentary on fate and destiny, raised my hopes that such a thing might occur in the second volume. Such a thing never did occur, but volume two was still an enjoyable romp none-the-less.

Our story picks up with Zayne Carrick and gang still on the run from the Jedi order. In an attempt to flee to the one place they think the Jedi would look last, they head to the front lines of the Republic/Mandalorian war. Their idea is not completely insane, as they pick a small outpost on the Republic side of the conflict; an outpost they believe the Mandalorians would have no reason to attack.

They chose unwisely of course.

Just as they began to settle themselves, the entire Mandalorian force appeared on their doorstep. Jarael, one of Zayne’s companions was amusing herself with his lightsaber as the Mandalorians descended. Mistaking her for a Jedi, the warriors quickly swarmed and kidnapped her. Zayne and his companions attempt a rescue, but to no avail. Jarael is captured, and brought to Demagol, a Mandalorian scientist who is dissecting Jedi in an attempt to learn how they harness their power from Force.

As they scramble together a rescue party, the group meets Rohlan, a veteran Mandalorian who is willing to help them rescue their friend. He brings them to the planet Jarael is being held on, and using his status as a Mandalorian helps the group infiltrate the base.

It is explained that Rohlan, who we would presume has no reason to help the group, is doing so because he’s questioning the motives of Mandalore: the head Mandalorian warrior. He wants to know why the Mandalorian army is pushing so aggressively into Republic space. He feels something is not being told to the rank and file of the Mandalorian army, and he himself wants some answers.

The group heads to Flashpoint, where Jarael is being held, and through ingenuity and subterfuge, manage to rescue her, along with other Jedi being held prisoner there. The group escapes with their friend safely on board their ship.

A secondary storyline weaving its way through the plot is the story of Lucien Dray, and how he and the other four Jedi Masters came together. It seems that Dray’s mother put together this coven of Master’s long ago when they were just Jedi learners. She felt it was her mission to stop the next Sith threat coming, and did so by compiling a group of students who were the most talented in their precognitive abilities. They were specifically trained to look into the future, and discover where the next Sith threat would originate.

Lucien Dray never had the same abilities as these other four Jedi, but was included in the group by the fact that his mother was training them. Also, he was the fiercest warrior among them, being able to best all four of them in lightsaber combat. This story line ends with Lucien Dray asking the council if he and the other four Master’s may pursue Zayne Carrick. The council, however, denies his request, and instead separates the five sending them all too different parts of the galaxy to undertake different missions.

The Master’s hands are not all played out though, as they conspire amongst themselves on how to capture Zayne Carrick. Leaving no avenue unexplored, they decide to put pressure on the Carrick family, a move Zayne Carrick feels is "beyond the pale". A "low-blow" as it were.

It’s at this point the lines of Zayne and his group again intersects with the schemes of the Jedi Masters.

Heading to a banking world in an attempt to free some funds that have been frozen, Marn Heiroglyph concocts a plan to free up some money for the group so that they can stay on the run. The banker they are scheduled to meet is none other than Zayne Carrick’s father. It seems that the Dray foundation wanted to keep an eye on members of the Carrick family, knowing that at some point, Zayne might want to go to them for help. The Force is again at work in the life of Zayne Carrick, as he had no idea his father had been transferred to this world to work in a cushy banking job. Unfortunately for Arvan Carrick, he was kidnapped by some bumbling bounty hunters who were sent to observe his movements.

Volume two ends with Zayne and his group once again performing a rescue mission and safely escaping with Arvan Carrick. Zayne finds another job for his father and a safe place for his family, this time at the Jedi training facility on Dantooine. Knowing it would be hard for Lucien and the other masters to move against his family right under Master Vandar’s nose, he asked the old Master if his father could look after the finances of the Jedi council. Master Vandar agreed, perhaps realizing that Lucien Dray and the other Master’s are not what they seem.

My comments with regards to this text are fairly minimal. I really enjoyed seeing the Mandalorians in action. The allure of the Mandalorian armor, in all its original concoctions and individualistic ways of representation; how it can be colored, worn, and decorated, I find is very cool. I like how the Mandalorians are all unique, yet all the same. It was nice to see a Twilek Mandalorian on page 8.

There was one disturbing scene in this particular volume though. On page 24, box 2, there is a picture between Mandalore and his first officer. Mandalore is standing in the deck of his ship, with his very large gun hanging from his belt. Now, I’m not sure if this particular image was drawn like this on purpose, or by accident, but it defiantly looks like Mandalore the Great’s gun is depicted as a large phallus. What is more, his very large “gun” is defiantly in the shape of a penis. It’s so large, it could be called a third leg. I had to do a double take as I came across this image. I even handed the comic to my wife, and asked her to point out anything on that page that she might deem unusual. She said “Yeah, that guy’s gun looks like his penis”. She didn't say penis though. I slowly nodded my agreement.

For my next post I’ll be moving on to Labor Pains, a Hyperspace exclusive.


  1. I thought you might be interested in this. A few days ago, I discovered that there are several short stories on the Galaxies website. I forwarded all of these to Joe so he can add them to his timeline. Of interest for your project is that one of them is partially set before the Tales of the Jedi comics. "Lost Treasure" is the title of the short story (found at, and the first part is set on Mustafar before it became a volcanic world. According to wookieepedia, that happened in 3996 BBY, so the story must happen sometime before then.

  2. The stories were interesting indeed. I remember playing Galaxies when Mustafar was added as content, but I think I left the game shortly thereafter. I don't remember there being a Jedi temple, so it was interesting to learn that the Jedi once used to train there.

    It also gives a little more weight to the fact that Mustafar was the final battle ground between Anakin and Obi-Wan, and the place where Emperor Palpatine took the kidnapped force sensitive children in episode 3 of the second season of the Clone Wars. I get the feeling that there is a lot about Mustafar that remains uncharted.

    As for dealing with this material and how it fits into the SWCP, I think I might just engage with it in our conversations after posts, like this one. The stories were interesting, but what was the deal with the repeated mention of the "Physical Force"? I think this term has come up in Star Wars cannon before, (though I'm not entirely sure where) and it never sat well with me, because if there is a "Physical Force, it also implies there is an "Emotional Force", a "Spiritual Force", an "Intellectual Force", and so on. Why can't The Force, just be "The Force?

  3. I'm tempted to just chalk that up to bad writing by the Galaxies team. It's fun to find these obscure short stories that add little bits to the wider Star Wars universe, but to be honest, they aren't very well written (unlike short stories in WEG sourcebooks).
    On another note, do you know how you will handle in your project new material that is set at times you have already moved past, like the upcoming Nomi Sunrider novel or further "Lost Tribe of the Sith" ebooks?

  4. I agree with you, these stories are interesting, but not well written.

    New project material coming up in an era I've already past is in interesting predicament. I think I might simply make a list of new material that has come out after I've dealt with an era, and comment on it, in chronological order, after I've completed the project in its entirety.

    As for the Lost Tribe of the Sith series, I knew a third part was coming, so I made a post after I commented on the second part, and reserved a spot for it. So in cases where I know a second or third part is eventually going to be produced, I'm going to reserve a spot, but for material which I can't really save a spot for, I'm going to deal with it at the end.

    This project, I’ve realized, is going to be an ongoing one, without an end in sight, which is cool by me. I’m the type of person that’s always needed a hobby or project to work on.