Knights of the Old Republic #6
Commencement Part 6 (of 6)
Story: John Jackson Miller
Art: Brian Ching
Coloring: Michael Atiyeh
Lettering: Michael Heisler
Cover: Travis Charest
Reviewed by: JF Boivin (06/26/2007)
Padawan Zayne Carrick is delivered back to the Jedi Council on Taris by bounty hunter Valius Ying. The five masters confess that they killed Zayne's fellow Padawans, and now Master Lucien has to kill his Padawan and finish his task. He also kills Captain Ying and plans to do the same to any other who know too much, and that includes Zayne's new friends Gryph, Camper and Jarael. But just as Lucien is about to strike the handcuffed Zayne, the ceiling explodes and Jarael comes to the rescue dressed up in a flying red spacesuit that looks just like the one in the Masters' vision. After he vows to his former Master that he will clear his name, Zayne rejoins his friends and together they leave aboard the Last Resort.
I am very impressed with the denouement of this introductory storyline. I must admit I was on the fence all along, but I find that it pays off in this sixth and final chapter of "Commencement". In another flashback scene, we finally see what happened right before the Masters killed their Padawans, and one of the things that didn't seem logical is explained in the process. It turns out that the Masters were planning to blame the massacre on Shad Jelevan, one of the more headstrong Padawans, and were waiting for Zayne to arrive, late as usual. But when Shad started to question the Masters' decision to make Zayne a Jedi Knight in the ceremony, after they'd been treating him like a "court jester", and to influence the other Padawan he precipitated the event. Then they had no choice but the blame the event on Zayne after he saw what happened and escaped.
The whole scene in which this is explained to Zayne, while he is handcuffed and the Captain is waiting for his payment and then killed, was not as suspenseful as it should be. Mostly because we all know that Zayne was in no danger. But I was wondering right to the last minute about how he was going to escape from this. It was a good idea to have Jarael dress up as the red spacesuit Sith from the Masters' vision and swing a lightsaber because it momentarily creates confusion. Zayne is also very surprised that Jarael came back for him, especially when she and Camper could have gotten away free and clear. He's even more surprised to see that Gryph stayed and now wants to make them all part of his "organization".
This story is framed by reports of the Mandalorians getting closer to Taris, and the Jedi Council being recalled to Coruscant after their failure to re-capture Zayne. This adds to flavor to the story and offers a glimpse of things to come, especially from what we know from the video games. What will Zayne's role be in the Mandalorian Wars? And will he finally be able to clear his name from the horrible massacre of the Padawans of Taris?
Ching is back to finish the story arc. Five out of six is not bad. I still feel that he is improving with every issue, but I still don't like the way he draws faces. My favorite in the two-page wide panel where Zayne is marched through the Taris crowd by Captain Ying; I love all the background characters and details.
Turns out it was worth it to follow to the end. This issue offers a lot of satisfying answers.
Rating: 8 / 10