Monday, December 21, 2009

3963 BBY: Interference

Interference is a short story by Jackson-Miller that takes place between volumes four and five of the KOTOR series. It is about a Republic captain littering the communication frequencies of the Mandalorian foot soldiers with stories of the greatness of the Republic. His messages are meant as taunts to the Mandalorian forces. The transmissions are directed at the regular rank-and-file of the Mandalorian army, and Captain Goodvalor, the author of the helmet-comm hijackings, tells the Mando’ade foot soldiers of Mandalorian converts to the Republic, and questions the motivations of their leader “Mandalore the Great”. Captain Goodvalor argues that Mandalore fights only for ego, and is essentially throwing away the lives of the regular warriors of the Mando’ade.

As the story progresses, the Mandalorian foot-soldiers are told to ignore the “interference” on their helmet channels, while Sornell (presumably a Mandalorian leader, and counter to the transmissions of Captain Goodvalor), tracks the location of the hijacked transmissions. He eventually finds it, only to discover that "Captain Goodvalor of the Republic” has fled his uni-bomber style shack.

The story ends with “Captain Goodvalor of the Republic” offering the Mandalorians a peace settlement, and the Mandalorians rejecting it.

The story is rather short and only really establishes one thing: that the Mandalorians really don’t understand the motivation and combat tactics of the Republic (and consequently, don’t respect the Republic as an adversary), and the Republic is under-estimating the Mandalorians as an enemy.

I really didn’t enjoy this story much. Even though I think I’m fairly knowledgeable about the events of the KOTOR series, this story left me feeling like I was somehow out of the loop.

I actually found this story rather baffling. I’m trying to figure out its purpose. I’m hoping that the function of this story plays an important role in the larger narrative of the KOTOR series down the line, otherwise it’ll seem just like much ado about nothing.

On a side note, I’ve decided to deal with the Xim material in its own post, when I’m finished with the KOTOR comic series, and before I start the KOTOR video game.

So, for my next post I’ll be examining Vectors, book one, which is actually book five of the KOTOR series (confused yet?). Until then my friends, may the Force be with you.


  1. I thought at least part of the point of this story was to give a different glimpse of the Mandalorian Wars. They play an important part in the KOTOR comics, but they're mostly in the background. I think I remember reading a post from JJM that said he had always been interested in wartime propaganda and wanted to explore that, but couldn't find a good way to do so in the comics.

  2. In that context it makes a little more sense.

  3. I was looking over KOTOR issue 47, and it seems Captain Goodvalor is none other than Marn Herioglyph

    I've under-estimated JJM's ability to tell a story. He's good. But I still find the diction of his prose awkward.