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Darth Krayt Week -- Part 2

Posted By Paul on July 23, 2007

This is the second update for Darth Krayt Week, after the introduction and opening thoughts which I posted yesterday.

Today, I'm going to continue this exploration of the villain of Star Wars: Legacy with a focus on the two most straightforward aspects of the character.

Further down, we'll take a look at the man himself, or what we can actually see of him. But the first thing about Darth Krayt that we need to consider is even more obvious than that: his name.

Darth Krayt. A krayt dragon is a monster of the Tatooine desert. It?s a krayt skeleton that Threepio stumbles past when he?s lost in the Dune Sea in the original Star Wars movie.

Krayt?s name thus suggests a possible connection with Tatooine, the homeworld of the Skywalker clan. We also know that, after the revelation of Krayt?s identity in issue #15, issue #16 of Legacy will feature a flashback to untold events in the life of Obi-Wan Kenobi. And the absolutely stunning cover for this issue shows the last Jedi Knight standing guard in front of a Tatooine sunset.

Kenobi: Tatooine: Krayt?

To have had a direct, meaningful encounter with Kenobi during the years that he spent guarding the infant Luke Skywalker, Darth Krayt would have to be very old indeed by the Legacy timeframe: but as we?ll see in tomorrow's update, this is by no means impossible.

As well as a generic shorthand for Tatooine, there are also a number of specific ways in which the krayt dragon could be significant. For Tatooine?s native Tusken Raiders, facing one of these monsters is a typical rite of passage?an encounter that has been shared, as we will see in later sections of this analysis, by more than one Jedi Knight.

The krayt also evokes Anakin Skywalker?s inner ?dragon?, the avatar of his dark urges and his fear of death, beautifully characterized in Matt Stover?s novellization of Revenge of the Sith.

But there?s one last piece of krayt-related symbolism to consider: the grinding darkness of this voracious monster?s digestive tract serves as the forge in which dragon pearls are born: massive, beautiful gems, valued by the Jedi as focusing crystals for the energy of their lightsabers.

Likewise, Darth Krayt?s dark ambitions may conceal some more positive, more surprising and sympathetic aspects to the character....

Bear that thought in mind?

If Darth Krayt?s name suggests a Tatooine connection, his physical appearance seems to connect him to the Yuuzhan Vong, machine-hating alien invaders from beyond the Outer Rim who were defeated in a savage war a generation after Return of the Jedi.

Outwardly, Krayt is clad in techno-organic Yuuzhan Vong armour, while internally, he?s locked in a constant battle against a parasitic symbiote infesting his body, which he also describes as a Yuuzhan Vong creation.

It?s not entirely clear whether the armour and symbiote are two separate things, but if so, this would be highly significant, as it would suggest that Krayt had a strong, pre-existing connection with the Yuuzhan Vong before he was poisoned by the symbiote.

The armour also means that we can see very little of the man behind the mask: only his jaw and eyes are visible, and each of these appears in turn to be disguised in a different way. While his right eye burns red-gold like those of Palpatine and the young Darth Vader, his left is cold blue, apparently a cyborg implant ? something that would be anathema to any honest Yuuzhan Vong, and which suggests another layer of injury and transformation in the character?s past.

Krayt?s jaw is heavily tattooed, with black patterns on a grey background. The grey may actually be his natural skin colour, and it is within the range of recorded flesh-tones for the Yuuzhan Vong; but it could also be a result of the infestation, or simply a part of the tattooed pattern itself.

Krayt?s tattoos might, once again, be Yuuzhan Vong in origin, though similar body-art defines the visual identity of the whole Sith Order in Star Wars: Legacy. Another possible source for them will be discussed in a later update, when we come to consider specific possibilities for who he might have once been.

Of course, if we step away from the details of the aesthetic and the biotech, there?s another way to define what we see when we look at Darth Krayt: a Sith Lord who is a prisoner in his own armoured body, turning crippling injuries outwards into fearsome strength. In this, Krayt seems to evoke the memory of the most iconic villain of the Star Wars mythos....

Darth Vader.

Bear that thought in mind, as well.

Darth Krayt's origins will be revealed in Star Wars: Legacy #15, due to be released next month. Tomorrow, I'll be continuing this analysis, by looking at what we know about Krayt's backstory.

Meanwhile, you can see what other people are saying, or offer your own opinions, in the discussion thread about Krayt?s identity on TF.N?s message-boards.

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