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Knights of the Old Republic 0: Crossroads



What is it ? : We are introduced to the era by being told that it is 4,000 years before Luke Skywalker, and the Republic is fighting the Mandalorian Wars. This has led to extra strain on the Jedi Order to keep the peace, but some Jedi are questioning whether the Jedi should be involved in the wars at all, whether they should be protectors of those the Mandalorians are crushing, or uninvolved in political wars for territory.
We start with the Snvvian criminal, Marn Hierogryph, coming to the over city on Taris to sell some blaster power cells he has acquired from the Republic. When questioned by the buyer if this is working against Taris by weakening the Republic forces, he answers that if the Mandalorians reach Taris then the gangs will be the final line of defence in resisting occupation, and they'll need weapons.
The buyer then reveals himself to be a disguised Jedi Padawan, Zayne Carrick, who Hierogryph recognises as they've encountered one another before. Hierogryph activates the repulsorlift skimmer they're standing on, before leaping free, leaving Carrick aboard the vehicle as it smashes through a barrier and begins plummeting towards the ground far below the raised platforms of the over city.
Another Jedi leaps in and rescues Zayne, and as they return to Zaynes master, the Jedi identifies himself as Squint, and they are trying to gather all available Jedi to help defend against the Mandalorian threat. Zayne remarks that he is a Padawan, and although he is due to take his trials soon, he isn't likely to pass, as his master has commented that Zayne is proof the Force has a sense of humour.
And as they reach the group of Jedi Masters, they've missed the meeting, but see a Miraluka Jedi, Q'Anilia, stumbles as she has a vision of something changing, something bad, something near, several things . . .

High Points : So it's been a decade since I last read these comics, but it leaps us straight into many of the elements which will be core to the series. Zayne being an unconventional Jedi, a borderline washout, but one who tries hard and often fails. His rivalry with Marn Hierogryph, who is usually known as Gryph, and the setting of the series, in the lead up to the Jedi Civil War, during the Mandalorian Wars. When Jedi are struggling with their peaceful natures, but also their role as protectors. Should they march off to war to defend the Republic, or should they sit it out, especially as some of them are predicting a greater risk if they do (the rise of Revan and the virtual elimination of the Jedi Order).
For an issue 0, introducing us to the series, this issue packs a lot in to only 9 pages, and still has action in it as well.

Low Points : While its a solid introduction to the series, it is perhaps a little too packed, with loads of characters, which at this point we're not sure who is important and who is not. And it might have been better to just have concentrated on the relationship between Zayne and Gryph, which is core to much of the rest of the series.

So what do you really think ? : I initially was going to mark this as pretty low, as there's not a lot here. But as I was writing the above I realised how much they packed in, and how many memories came back of the entire series, as they've started so much of it here. So I revised my mark upwards as it's a really solid start to the series, although obviously everything will really kick off in issue 1.

Final Words : This has brought back so many memories, as these are comics I collected when they were originally released back in 2006. And while they've been sitting staring me in the face (they're on the shelf I face when I'm sitting at my computer) since I started regularly updating the site back in 2017, I was somewhat hesitant to cover them as I was worried that I wasn't going to like them on a re-read. But this issue has gotten me excited and I can't wait to go back through them and relive these stories. So a great start.

Score : 8/10






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