*So, here we stand, at the beginning of this much beloved series. As I prepare to start the series, I have read only Commencement, which I read as it was released. It will be a blast, I sincerely hope, to move on through this series. The extreme enjoyment I got from Lost Tribe of the Sith gives me hope that I’ll get similar enjoyment from this Miller series.
*So, this issue 0 was published during the publication of Commencement, as part of a flipbook, as they’re called. It features the 0 issue of Rebellion on the flip side. But for now, we’re talking about Crossroads.
*So, as it begins we’re treated to a scene of Zayne, who I do in fact recall from Commencement as the main character of the series, running a semi-sting operation on Gryph. Shortly, of course, they’ll end up on the run together, but here’s a brief glimpse of one of their previous meetings, which are, as I recall, brought up in Commencement.
*Zayne gets off to a fine start: “And now you’re under arrest . . . now where are those cuffs . . .? Blast! They’ve slipped down into the . . . hang on a minute. My robe’s stuck . . .”
*I quite enjoyed Zayne as a character in Commencement. I enjoy seeing a less than stellar Jedi. He is, of course, only a Padawan, but I enjoy the idea of a protagonist who is something of a klutz. Especially as a contrast to the seemingly ideal Jedi of Lucien; the two seemed utterly mismatched as a Master and Padawan and even more mismatched as adversaries. That is a brilliant set-up stroke.
*Gryph manages to send Zayne and his bike plummeting off of the building and he’s rescued by another Jedi who has been sent by Lucien: “He said to follow the trail of debris.” “Yeah . . . that sounds like him . . .” Zayne muses a look of disgust hilariously plastered on his face.
*Really brilliant. This Jedi apparently sees a kid falling through the sky attached to a flaming speeder bike and just goes, “Aha, this must be Zayne.”
*This new Jedi goes by the name of Squint; he’s passing through on his way to the Mandalorian Wars. I’m assuming he’ll become important as the series progresses.
*I don’t recall there being much discussion about the Mandalorian War in Commencement.
*The issue is raised here, as it was in the video on the Mandalorian Wars, of how most of the Jedi don’t think they should be involved. Squint finds it absurd that the Jedi are still worried about the Sith: “The Sith threat ended, what, 30 years ago?”
*So, Squint gives Zayne a standard issue “you may be more important than you realize” portentous speech and then ships out.
*Meanwhile, Lucien and the masters that are shortly going to be colluding to murder their Padawans share a moment. Q’anilia, the one without eyes, gets a sudden feeing: “Something has changed. Something bad. Something near. Several somethings.” Lucien vows to uncover the truth and to take action. The stage, it seems, is set for the upcoming Padawan massacre.
*And there’s a one page thing here called the Taris Holofeed. Some timelines really separate all this stuff out, but going by the Wookieepedia timeline, I’ll just be working these shorter pieces into the comics proper. That’ll speed things up considerably.
*So, the Taris Holofeed: Prime Edition is a one page text piece that appeared, along with Crossroads, in the flip book 0 issue of KOTOR. A few more of these recur throughout the series and, in a move so perverse and irritating as to be nigh onto infuriating, none of these pieces were included in the trade paperback collections. It would have been very easy to include them as supplements at the back of each respective trade, but, in an effort to screw over the completest like me, this wasn’t done.
*There are four stories included as part of the Taris Holofeed Prime Edition, which is set up to look like the front page of a newspaper or something (not that newspapers even exist anymore!)
The headline is Stalemate on Suurja Continues. It’s a five paragraph story detailing how the Republic and the Mandalorian forces have essentially stalemated on a little planet name of Suurja. It is mentioned that the Mandalorians recently captured a “research station” called Flashpoint, which we know will be important.
*Saul Karath from the video game gets a brief mention.
*The second story is only a headline: Patrol Redoubles Hunt for Zovius Mendu. Will this be important later? No clue, which is why I mention it here.
*The third story, Investor Sought in Fishing Expedition, tells of a Baron Hieromarn, “Snivvian industrialist,” who is seeking investors for some kind of venture to do with eels or something. This is obviously one of Gryph’s scams.
*The final story, Taris Pins Hopes on New Jedi Class, discusses the five Padawans currently being trained on Taris, and how many people hope that at least some of them will stay on Taris after they become Knights.
*It ends with a brilliant paragraph that outlines some great feat accomplished by each of the padawans (Oojoh, the Ho’Din who brought down the Leverby smuggling ring, for instance), except for Zayne, who gets the brilliant line, “And Zayne Carrick, a human.” Ouch.
*Well, it gives us a brief glimpse of the major players of the series before the events of the series proper are really set into motion via the murders that end the first issue of Commencement. It feels pretty unnecessary, except for the brief introduction of Squint, who is, unless I miss my guess, going to become significant. He’s the only plot threat introduced here that hasn’t already been introduced in the first issue of Commencement. There wouldn’t have been time in that first issue to introduce Squint in with all the other introductions, so I suppose that’s the raison d’etre here. Pretty slight. Though, as always, one enjoys seeing Zayne mucking about and making an idiot of himself.
*I suppose at the end of the day, it’s not essential, but it I do love this series, so I’m going to just give it the benefit of the doubt. And why weren’t all those little one-pagers put in the trades? They’re not necessary, but they add flavor.
*CANONICAL STATUS: This work is RECOMMENDED as a historical resource.
John Jackson Miller
*Well, it’s been ten reviews already. Join me next time as we delve once again into the 111 Star Wars Stories You Can’t Live Without!