Suicide by Star Wars Apocrypha: All My Nights Are Full of Anger

(Suicide by Star Wars Apocrypha is a foolish attempt to examine the entirety of the now decanonized Star Wars Expanded Universe and quantify its assorted artistic merits. Read the introduction. Check out the archives.)

Nights of Anger

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Author: John Jackson Miller

Artist: Brian Ching (issue 16), Harvey Tolibao (issues 17 and 18)

Medium: Comic

Publication Date: May – July 2007

  • Reprinted January 2008 in Knights of the Old Republic Volume Three: Days of Fear, Nights of Anger
  • Reprinted August 2013 in Star Wars Omnibus: Knights of the Old Republic Volume 1
  • Reprinted July 2015 in Star Wars Epic Collection: The Old Republic Vol. 1

Timeline Placement: 3,963 BBY

Series: Knights of the Old Republic #16-18

Sadly, we’ve reached the end of Knights of the Old Republic‘s high school-themed titles (Commencement, HomecomingReunionDays of Fear, etc.). Instead, we spend a few minutes with Zayne as he helps Carth Onasi and Admiral Karath escape from the Republic flagship Courageous while it is overrun by the Mandalorians. Then we spend the other two and a half issues watching Jarael play dress up.

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Camper is now apparently dying of craziness or something so Jarael takes him back to their species’ homeworld of Arkania to find a treatment. Arkania is a racially segregated hellhole run by amoral eugenicists who have genetically engineered offshoot breeds of their own species to perform the undesirable functions of their society. An offshoot herself, which finally explains why she’s a hot elf instead of a yellow weirdo with claws, Jarael is soon found out by the Arkanian authorities and brought before Lord Arkoh Adasca, Wall Street CEO and King of Science.

Fortunately, Adasca has the hots for her, just like every other male character in this series, and he agrees to cure Camper’s cancer. Although Camper explained repeatedly to her that he is on the run from Adasca’s company, Adascorp, and would rather die than be found by them, Jarael turns him over to his sworn enemies without a second thought because Adasca seems like a pretty keen guy. Five minutes later, Adasca explains that Camper has been afflicted with a disease called “Balinquar’s Virus,” but his miracle medical staff have worked their magic and Camper is now completely cured. Jarael is like “Okay cool” and stands around posing in flimsy low-cut dresses for several weeks.

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There has been an awakening . . . [in my pants.]

Since Jarael is an idiot and WebMD doesn’t exist in Star Wars apparently, she doesn’t realize that Adasca is clearly evil and Balinquar’s Virus is a completely made-up disease. Really there was just mold or something growing in their ship’s air vents and Camper got sick from breathing that shit. Sure, why not.

The truth is that Camper, or should I say DR. GORMAN VANDRAYK, used to be one of the top scientists at Adascorp, specializing in the study of space slugs. You will of course remember a space slug almost eating the Millennium Falcon in The Empire Strikes Back and another one being mutated by Naga Sadow to become the feared Sith wyrm. Oh, you don’t remember one of those?

Camper, now completely sane again, has been forced back into Adasca’s service by his power over Jarael, who is too stupid to know she is being held hostage. Camper must continue the work he abandoned when he went into hiding many years ago, which unfortunately involves revealing that the true science fiction-y name of the space slug is the exogorth. Sure, why not.

Adasca invites Jarael to a romantic candlelit dinner for two, then immediately starts coming on to her with dirty talk about genetic purity and racial cleansing. “This is the worst dinner I’ve ever had,” Jarael complains. Adasca assures her that he won’t let their future children bear her Mudblood shame. Arkoh Adasca, I present you with the Completely-and-Totally-Understands-Women Award. You’ve earned it, my friend, you’ve earned it.

He pulls open the curtain and reveals that his ship is parked right outside a giant nest of space slugs—sorry, “exogorths”—and that each of them has a hyperdrive duct taped to its head. He plans to weaponize the monsters and sell them to the highest bidder among the galactic power players, who can then use them to crush their enemies by sending them through hyperspace to eat everything in a given star system.

Sure, why not.

And it’s on this exciting high note that we end the comic. There was something in there about Mandalorian stowaway Rohlan Dyre getting chummy with Adasca and revealing himself to be a huge science geek all of a sudden, but we’ll get deeper into that later.

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Why are all the pages in this comic book stuck together?

This story marks the beginning of the, or at least a, low point of Knights of the Old Republic. It’s a fun, light-hearted series with likable characters, but there really isn’t much depth to it. Certainly not enough to warrant a six-issue diversion into some B-plot about a boring mad scientist trying to blackmail the galaxy with giant space monsters, especially when it’s soon followed by a four-issue B-plot about zombies and an editorially mandated title crossover. Don’t call your spinoff comic Knights of the Old Republic and then go off on a bunch of tangents unrelated to the back story of Knights of the Old Republic.

This arc isn’t exactly bad, per se, it just feels gratuitous because you know there are much more interesting things happening to much more interesting characters just off the edge of the page. Great, Jarael’s been kidnapped and held hostage again, now can we get back to the massive galactic war?

The art in this run left little impression on me. I still don’t care for Brian Ching’s style, but I appreciate that he at least has one. Harvey Tolibao, who we last saw penciling Reunion, doesn’t do his distractingly weird disembodied hand thing this time, but I really, really wish that they’d just paid Dustin Weaver enough to do the whole series. If he missed as many deadlines as Doug Wheatley, the series might still be running today.

This isn’t the worst but I don’t care.

2/5 Death Stars.