Knights of the Old Republic #9
Flashpoint Interlude: Homecoming
Story: John Jackson Miller
Art: Brian Ching
Coloring: Michael Atiyeh
Lettering: Michael Heisler
Cover: Brian Ching, Michael Atiyeh
Reviewed by: JF Boivin (07/12/2007)
After being recalled to Coruscant, Master Lucian Draay and his four Jedi seer companions receive judgement in front of the Jedi High Council. It is determined that the group failed at Taris and have to be reassigned to different station. It is also determined that Padawan Zayne Carrick, now wanted for allegedly killing his fellow Padawans, is not as big a threat as Lucian makes it out to be. But Lucian and the Jedi seers disagree and secretly plan to search for Zayne and kill him. Later, Lucian goes back to his family estate to visit his mother, but he only meets his former Master Haazen who also berates him for not bringing Zayne to his mother's Covenant for evaluation.
"Homecoming" was not intended to be an interlude in the Flashpoint story arc, it was supposed to follow it. Case in point: the inside cover blurb places this story at 3,963 years BBY, while Flashpoint is dated 3,964 BBY. I understand that the correct order has been established in the trade collection though, with #11 being the next issue in sequence.
The tile is very appropriate as it deals with the Jedi Covenant (as it is now called) returning to Coruscant after the Taris "fiasco" which was told in the "Commencement" story arc. The Covenant is the group of Jedi seers who were trained by Lucian Draay's mother to be able to forsee the coming of the Sith. The four most powerful ones were in charge of Taris along with Lucian and they turned against their own Padawans after having a vision of one of them becoming a dangerous Sith. One of the Padawans survived and is still on the run, and it is the reason why the Covenant was recalled. They are brought into a meeting with the Jedi High Council led by Masters Vrook and Vandar (as a hologram projection from Dantooine), two characters from the first video game. The Council refuse to allow Lucian and the seers to lead a search for Zayne Carrick, even after a one-page speech, Instead, the Council says they will issue an alert about Carrick and reassign the five Masters to separate posts. Needless to say, the Covenant doesn't think that is an acceptable course of action and plan to take matters into their own hands behind the Council's back.
The title also refers to Lucian Draay's return to his home estate to visit his mother Lady Krynda and his former master Haazen, a failed Padawan who was severly injured during the Sith War. But Draay doesn't get to see his mother, and gets a cryptic speech from Haazen about her whereabouts. Haazen also reveals that Lucian was supposed to bring Zayne back to the Craay estate alive after having the vision (which by the way the Council is not informed of), but Lucian didn't as he plans to kill the Padawan. After this short argument, Lucian leaves his mother's estate.
The story is interspersed at various points by flashbacks from Lucian's past starting when he was a baby living in his family's estate probably around the time of the Sith War, and then at thirty years in the past when he witnessed his mother meeting with Q'anilia. Then five years after that where Lucian is frustrated that his mother would not train him with her group of seers (including a young Raana Tey and Xamar), instead being under the tutelage of Haazen. (His mother recognizes that Lucian doesn't have the gift of foresight but more the qualities of a warrior). And finally five years after that, Lucian proves his mother right as he is practicing lightsaber combat against the four seers (which by then added Feln) and easily wins the fight.
Aside from Lady Krynda and Haazen being a veteran of the Sith War, there are other references to the Tales of the Jedi series: Krynda laments a Master Vodo (-Siosk Baas), and Haazen mentions that she didn't foresee the rise of Exar Kun. The story serves to show the importance of the five members of the Covenant and their place among the rest of the Jedi, and their relations to each other: Lucian was sent along to be a protector of sorts for the group of seers, Q'anilia the Miraluka, Xamar the Khril, Raana Tey the Togruta and Feln the Feeorin (whom Lucian's mother is proud to say that he might be the first of his species trained as a Jedi). It also reveals a lot about the Covenant's background and motivations. And finally, it introduces two possible future major players who are the founders of the Covenant, Lucian's mother and his Master. It's a very interesting read full of important revelations.
Brian Ching, the series initiator, illustrates this interlude. I must admit that with Atiyeh's amazing coloring work Ching's art doesn't look so bad. One highlight is the big reveal of Haazen's mostly cyborg body on page 21, after seeing him all along under a hooded cloak. Also among the unnamed Masters who sit on the Cosruscant High Council we can recognize Atris and Zez-Kai Ell from the second video game, and possibly others as well. The Draay estate looks a lot like Naboo architecture. Maybe it's imported.
A much needed one-shot, which plays an important part to the overall series.
Rating: 8 / 10 Highly Recommended