Suicide by Star Wars Apocrypha: The Old Republic, Part 2

The Golden Age of the Sith, One

httAuthor: Kevin J. Anderson

Artist: Chris Gossett (Issue 0), Dario Carrasco, Jr. (Issues 1-5)

Medium: Comic

Publication Date: July 1996 – February 1997

Timeline Placement: 5,000 BBY

Series: Tales of the Jedi

(Suicide by Star Wars Apocrypha is a vast, largely insane attempt to investigate the entirety of the Star Wars Expanded Universe. Click here for the Introduction.  Click here for the Archive.)

At this point we jump forward over 20,000 years, a gap more than four times the span of the remaining stories on our timeline. Despite the breadth of established lore that populates these millennia, none of their events have ever appeared in an actual story. Something I don’t think many people realize is the extent of the EU that exists outside the crappy books by hack writers. Like Tolkien’s The Silmarillion, most Star Wars lore has never been depicted on page or screen. Instead, it exists as a surprisingly intricate and complex fictional history gradually pieced together over decades of roleplaying game guidebooks, reference articles in Star Wars periodicals and online, and the Essential Guide series, among others. With the Disney reboot, all of that history and the work that went into weaving it is now gone. Tough break, dorks!

We open with an introduction to one of our four main characters: Odan-Urr, an alien Jedi Knight who looks like a flaccid penis with teeth. Odan-Urr is this nerdy bookworm obsessed with researching ancient Jedi history. Of special interest to him is the history of the Sith, which right off the bat creates a continuity error because at this point in time the Sith are still secluded in their own area of the galaxy that the Republic hasn’t discovered yet, so how the hell do the Jedi know about them?

[Continuity Note: This was eventually retconned in “Evil Never Dies: The Sith Dynasties” (2006), an online reference article that claimed that some of the defeated Dark Jedi exiles returned to the Republic seeking revenge and spilled their guts about the Sith before getting their asses kicked a second time. Similarly contrived explanations for other discrepancies will become a staple of the EU in later works.]

Ooroo, Odan-Urr’s Jedi Master, is a jellyfish who lives inside a crystal filled with fluorescent urine. He tells Odan-Urr that it’s time to stop dicking around with his books and go out into the galaxy and do Jedi stuff. His first assignment is to help Empress Teta defeat a pirate gang to unite the seven worlds of the Koros system. He does this through a long-forgotten Jedi technique called Battle Meditation, which he discovered in some history textbook. Empress Teta and the Jedi are victorious, but in the course of the battle two space pilots, Hok and Timar Daragon, are killed trying to deliver supplies to the empress’s beleaguered troops. Their kids of indeterminate age, Gav and Jori, are supposed to be the main characters, I think, but they kind of end up sharing that position with Odan-Urr and Naga Sadow, whom we have not yet met.

Upon hearing of their parents’ deaths, Gav and Jori resolve to make their dead parents proud by becoming hyperspace navigators and mapping out new spacelanes to unexplored parts of the galaxy for the expanding Republic. The Republic is 20,000 years old at this point, why do they still have mooks like these doing cartography for them? How much more of the galaxy are they going to discover in the 5,000 years left before the movies? Also, everyone dresses like they’re in ancient Egypt and the spaceships look like they’re made out of bundled sticks and mosquito wings. I do not think Kevin J. Anderson had a very good grasp of the Star Wars timescale.

What a piece of junk!

What a piece of junk!

[Continuity Note: The archaic aesthetic of the Republic’s wardrobe in the Tales of the Jedi series was retconned in the Knights of the Old Republic Campaign Guide (2008) to be a retro-fashion trend. It’s described as a “brief revival,” so either the sword-and-sandals look came back into vogue multiple times or clothing styles in Star Wars can last for a thousand years. That they even felt the need to explain the characters’ fashion in this 1990s comic book is kind of dumb, but also kind of hilarious. The EU in a nutshell.]