Review - Star Wars: Kinghts of the Old Republic - War #1

There’s a lot of good things happening in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic - War #1, written by John Jackson Miller and illustrated by Adnrea Mutti and Gigi Baldassini (colors by Michael Atiyeh and cover by Dave Wilkins and Benjamin Carré). Well, creatively, I mean there are actually a lot of very bad things happening in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic - War #1, as far as Star Wars in concerned.

Fans of the Old Republic series are likely to really appreciate the nice blend of old-school Star Wars mythology and the new-school Old Republic era. Set during a brutal conflict between the Republic and the fan-favorite Boba Fett inspired Mandalorians, Star Wars: Kinghts of the Old Republic - War #1 delivers some solid, Star Wars style action. Lightsabers, blasters and speeder bikes abound.

The Republic foot soliders’style of dress and heroism is reminiscent of the Rebellion, but the dark grey outfit and utilitarian methods of their commanding officer reminds you of the Empire. It’s a great vehicle to drive home what the Old Republic mythos is all about. There’s so much power that the Republic has available, but what are they trying to do with it exactly? Defend people? Destroy the ‘enemy’?

I’ve never been a huge fan of making Star Wars very political, but I admit that the kind of tensions that the Republic faces during war time ARE the tensions that any democratic society and government faces, making the Republic’s struggle for identity very pertinent. Not to mention a nice kind of meta Star Wars theme, you know. Light side, dark side, etc.

If I have one criticism of this book, however, it’d be this: Miller’s characterizations are a little heavy handed. The dialogue seems clunky to me and while the action sequences definitely scream Star Wars, I sometimes feel like the choreography falls flat. A little too much of the story seems told to you in a generic way. Too much of the dialogue is along the lines of “Look! (event) is happening!".

I’d like to experience more of the story, have more shown rather than told. This book has a little room to grow.

Regardless, for the hardcore Star Wars fans this is a good read and its first issue lays the groundwork for some twists and turns that will inevitably keep this story hopping. I love this book’s willingness to commit to something so gritty and gripping in the Star Wars universe. My only advice is just that they don’t undersell their own work by playing it a little too safe.

It’s a dark, adult, Star Wars story. Anyone reading this book is already likely to be a walking encyclopedia of Star Wars and they won’t require a lot of hand-holding to get what’s going on. I’d like to see the action really flow in this book. Go ahead a let it feel like a movie, not a novel, guys.

I see a lot of potential in this book. There’s good dramatic tension embedded in it, especially in that creepy foreshadowing way that Star Wars is all about these days. The strain that this conflict puts on the Republic and the kind of waffling that eventually leads to the Republic’s usurpation is really evident in the conceptual design of the characters, in a very George Lucas kind of way.

Can’t wait to see where this heads next. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic - War #1 hits stores January 11.