STAR WARS VECTOR PRIMED, Part II

Thu, January 15th, 2009 at 1:28pm PST | Updated: January 15th, 2009 at 1:30pm

Comic Books
Jeffrey Renaud, Staff Writer

SPOILER WARNING: The following contains major spoilers for “Star Wars: Vector.”

"Star Wars: Vector" Vol. 1 on sale January 28; Vol. 2 on sale in June

Launched in January 2008, Dark Horse’s yearlong event storyline “Star Wars: Vector” marked the first time the multiple ongoing Star Wars titles incorporated a single story crossing over the entire line. But unlike traditional crossovers like Final Crisis or Secret Invasion, there was no “Star Wars: Vector” limited series. The 12-issue story arc, which spanned 4,100 years of Star Wars mythos, was told each month in Dark Horse’s four existing Star Wars titles: “Knights of the Old Republic” #25-28, “Dark Times” #11-12, “Rebellion” #15-16 and “Legacy” #28-31.

Over the past year, CBR News has spoke one-on-one with series architects including “Knights of the Old Republic” writer John Jackson Miller, “Legacy” scribe John Ostrander, and Senior Editor and Vice-President of Publishing Randy Stradley. But with the series now complete and the “Star Wars: Vector” Volume 1 trade paperback due in stores on January 28, we invited all three back, along with fan favorite “Legacy” artist Jan Duursema, to discuss the event 4,100 years in the making.

Yesterday, we shared the first part of our conversation with the creators and we pick up today with the death of a major character, Darth Krayt – the Sith Lord who has ruled the title “Lecacy” since its launch in 2006.

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CBR: With the death of a major player, namely Darth Krayt, at the end of “Vector,” “Legacy” will definitely be a changed book moving forward. John and Jan, maybe you can talk about what impact the death of Darth Krayt will have on “Legacy?”

John Ostrander: We knew we wanted to have a big thing coming out of “Vector.” And we figured taking Krayt out of the mix would make it a big event. It would be something that we could focus all of 2008 working up to. We spent all of 2008 moving the pieces into motion, so that when that happens, all of a sudden, the readers realize, this has happened, this has happened and this has happened. “Oh my goodness. What’s going to hit the fan now but poo-doo?”

Original "Vector" cover

And what’s going to happen after that is particularly relevant because of who does it. Darth Wyyrlok basically takes out Krayt because he feels Krayt is betraying his own vision. And Wyyrlok is true to Krayt’s vision, so he takes him out. Wyyrlok is going to now see if he can be the head Sith -- the One Sith. But to do that, he’s got to convince the others: “Oh, no. He isn’t really dead. He’s sleeping. Yeah, that’s the ticket. He’s just in stasis. He’s getting better.”

Jan, it’s odd to say this about a Dark Lord, but are you sad to see Darth Krayt go?

Jan Duursema: Yeah, he’s been great. He’s fun to draw. And he’s a maniac, so you can get a lot of emotion from him. I will definitely miss him, but he’s going to be hanging around in “stasis.”

John Ostrander: His presence will definitely be felt.

Jan Duursema: And other Sith will be mourning him.

What’s great about Darth Wyyrlok as his reign of terror begins?

John Ostrander: I think in some ways he is scarier because he is healthy.

Jan Duursema: And he’s a different kind of a Sith.

John Ostrander: Yes, and having Krayt out of the picture does not solve the galaxy’s problems, by any means. Or Cade Skywalker’s.

Jan Duursema: And with somebody like Wyyrlok, it’s the quiet ones that you have to watch out for! He’s very faithful and very studious and he knows a lot about Sith lore and about ancient Sith. Maybe even more than Krayt would. So he’s a pretty scary guy.

Original "Vector" cover

And you mentioned Cade, John. What does this change in power mean to the last surviving member of the Skywalker family?

John Ostrander: He’s reeling from the end of “Vector.” And there’s a real question. Someone very to close to him is in mortal danger and may yet die. And he may get very dark -- a little nastier than he has been.

John Miller, how does “Vector” affect “Knights of the Old Republic?” Surely it’s a bit harder for you to handle, as the past has already been written?

John Jackson Miller: Well, we have a good number of years ahead of us that haven’t been fully explored. I think going back to what’s happened in “Legacy,” we try to do the same in “Old Republic,” which is make “Vector” meaningful; make it do something. And that was something where Randy and I came back and looked at it again later in the year. I had all of these things that were going to happen anyway in the life of Zayne Carrick and his battle to clear his name. And what happened is there was this wonderful conjunction of forces here that Celeste was able to present where all the dominoes could fall really quickly if we let them. And we looked at them and said, “Let’s let ‘em.”

Celeste was an insider with the people of the Covenant, the people who were tormenting Zayne Carrick. She literally gives him the key that will get him some of the evidence he needs and then she also gives him some important information about the woman in charge of the Covenant, which played out in “Vindication,” which is the storyline that just ended.

And so really, people reading “Vector” as it’s going along are able to actually see, simultaneously over in “Old Republic,” “Oh, gosh. This is having real major effects on the universe because all of these dominoes are falling in place.” And we have this big body count that is developing over here and so by the time the last issue of “Vector” came out, “Knights of the Old Republic” has actually begun a new era. As I kind of jokingly put it, the origin story is now over. And we’re ready to get out into a different era of adventures, which are more freewheeling.

Original "Vector" cover

Zayne, with his name cleared, actually tries to go out and make his own fortune and keeps finding out that well, no there are responsibilities that he has because of the things that he can do and it’s a much more complicated galaxy than he would like to think.

For fans that say this first era was similar to the TV show ”The Fugitive,” I point them to another Roy Huggins-created TV show. This next stretch is a little bit more like “Maverick,” which is the con artist trying to make his way in the world but keeps finding out he’s going to have to do the right thing over and over again whether he wants to or not.

Randy, what does “Vector” mean to the entire line in terms of readership? How do you maintain the “Vector” bump?

Randy Stradley: I don’t know if there is a specific way to maintain that “bump” month in and month out. But what we’re trying to do is capture some new readers and maybe show people who may have been reading “Knights of the Old Republic” but weren’t reading “Legacy,” “Hey, here’s what’s going on over here. You might like it, too.”

But really, our main purpose in doing the crossover was trying to reach out to comics readers who weren’t reading Star Wars comics. I think we’ve got the Star Wars fans on our side, but we need to get more comic readers. And I really think this was a way to get retailers behind it and attract some new readers and show them that Star Wars comics are good comics. They’re not just movie comics.

John Ostrander: I think one of the big things is if we can get people to try it, then the fact that they are good stories, that it is great art, that’s what keeps them. The whole point, the trick to the crossover was, “Hi. We want you to give this a try. We’re willing to bet that if you do, you’re going to like what you see.

Would you consider doing a crossover, on this scale, again?

Original "Vector" cover

John Jackson Miller: The one that always made my head hurt was trying to think of a way to go from “Legacy” to “Knights of the Old Republic,” instead of the other way around. I don’t think that will work. [laughs]

Jan Duursema: You never know.

Randy Stradley: It will certainly be a while before we try anything like this again, but we’ve been talking about what we’re going to do next. At this point, 2009 is pretty much planned out. We’ve been talking about what we’re going to do for 2010. And we’re still in the early days of kicking around ideas. I can just about guarantee you that it won’t be a crossover. But it certainly may be something where thematic arcs or character arcs within the different series mirror each other or almost tie in to one another.

John Ostrander: My concern with doing a crossover is that they are a lot of work and I don’t mind that, but I think at some point the comics readers are just going to get tapped out, burned out on crossovers. By this time next year, 2010 or 2011 or whenever we do it next, you start doing a crossover, you might be coming in after the horses have run out of the barn and the barn is burnt down. But I do think there is some benefit to doing event programming. And that would probably be something that we’ll be looking at.

Is it difficult to pull this type of event off in terms of working with Lucasfilm? They obviously, and for good reason, protect their property very well. What are they like to work with?

John Jackson Miller: I would say they are very good about working with us on stuff like this, even to the point where we are coordinating between all the different licensees. In the “Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic” role playing game guide, there is a Celeste Morne entry in there. And I think, maybe the first issue had come out, and someone at Lucasfilm said, “It would be great to have her in there.” And Wizards of the Coast agreed. So I don’t think they stand in the way at all.

Jan Duursema: You see that type of cooperation with the toy companies too. Hasbro has brought out a lot of “Legacy” figures. And I think we’re going to be bringing out some more, so I think Lucasfilm is coordinating that, as well.

Original "Vector" cover

John Ostrander: What’s amazing to me, in some ways it’s easier to work with them than it is with some things at Marvel. When I was over at Marvel, I was working on the fringes of the X-Men universe and it’s far easier to work with Lucasfilm Licensing than doing something there.

I certainly have no complaints. Look at the whole “Legacy” concept. They’re letting us take the whole thing down the timeline. And we’re doing it not in novels, not in TV, not in games -- we’re doing it in comics. That to me is just an insane amount of trust from them. They’re very cooperative and very helpful.

John Jackson Miller: I think they do great air traffic control. They have got projects out there that they can’t tell us about. Or that we kind of suspect.

The “Old Republic” massively multiplayer game, for instance. Every so often we come up with a concept that they’re also developing before we even know what is coming. Lucasfilm is very clear about making sure that nobody steps on anybody else’s idea. And I think that’s great.

“Star Wars: Vector” Volume 1 goes on sale January 28.

TAGS:  star wars, star wars: vector, dark horse comics, john ostrander, john jackson miller

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