Star Wars: Vector

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(WoW NOV 07)

Star Wars: Vector, a year-long event that will touch all four Dark Horse Star Wars titles, begins this month in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic #25. Editor Randy Stradley and writer John Jackson Miller talk about the beginnings of the event and what's in store.

Three Jedi seers have a terrible vision of the future that covers 4,000 years. Thus begins "Vector," a year-long Star Wars story that begins in Dark Horse's Knights of the Old Republic #25-28, continues in Dark Times #11-12 and Rebellion #15-16, and concludes in Legacy #29-32.

Planning for this event have been going on for a long time according to editor Randy Stradley. "Just over a year ago, fellow editor Chris Warner and I were in a comics shop watching the clerk unload the latest issues of 52 and Civil War. We got to talking about how these same kind of line-wide crossovers are rolled out every couple of years, and Chris observed, 'That's the comics biz for you-we never run out of the same idea.' I thought it was a pretty funny (and true) assessment of the industry, but a few days later I started wondering if we couldn't have 'the same idea' with Star Wars. I started talking to our writers, and within a very short time we were plotting the series.

"All of our Star Wars writers and several of the artists had a hand in the story. Right from the beginning we established the two main rules of the story:

"1. 'Vector' itself had to tell a concise and compelling story, even as it bridged every major era of the Star Wars timeline.

"2. The events in 'Vector' also had to have a lasting impact on each of the series through which the story passes.

"This couldn't be an excuse for big fight scenes which, after they'd ended, were of no consequence. Knowing that 'Vector' was destined to change things in each series, it was an absolute necessity for every writer to have a hand in plotting their chapters."

 height=John Jackson Miller is the writer on Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, where the story begins in issue #25. This series is set during the Mandalorian Wars, thousands of years before the first movie, and stars Zayne Carrick, a Padawan who was framed for the murder of his classmates. "We've really worked to try to come up with something that would suit all of the needs that we had here because we didn't want it to seem like it was hijacking the individual storylines for a time," he says. "We wanted something that would really feel native to the individual series, that would involve things that were going on in our series anyway, and make it meaningful in that way. This is something we've polished and refined over time."

Is Miller nervous about starting off the event? "It's like being the lead off batter in baseball. There's particular attention to getting it right out of the gate," he replies. "That's why we worked so hard and so long on it."

So what is "Vector" about? "That's what I can't tell you at all, other than what has been said so far," laughs Miller. "It involves a very big threat that will impact each of the four eras that we're talking about. There's a number of ways to do that and the fans are already speculating. They've come up with hundreds of ideas of how you could actually work this. I'm not sure any of them will be the one that we came up with."

"We're trying very hard to make the whole story new-reader-friendly," adds Stradley. "Hopefully, all anybody needs to know about Star Wars to enjoy 'Vector' is a passing knowledge of the Star Wars films. The fact that the story begins 3963 years before Luke Skywalker blows up the Death Star should not be an impediment to any new reader. Don't worry, we'll explain everything as the story unfolds.

"Our writers are under strict orders to treat the 'Vector' issues as if they're first issues in terms of introductions of characters and basic situations. Fortunately, much of this will happen organically within the story as certain characters bridge the gaps between one series and another.

"Certainly part of our goal with 'Vector' is to entice new readers to our Star Wars books. For reasons I can't understand, there seems to be a certain portion of mainstream comics readers who don't view Star Wars comics as part of the mainstream. We think that if they give 'Vector' a try, they'll discover they're wrong-and that our Star Wars comics are as good (or better) than what they've been reading."

When asked if there are any new characters introduced during "Vector" that will cross between the books, Stradley simply replies, "Yes. How's that for a frustrating answer?"

Stradley also says it's important that the story takes place in the individual books instead of being separated into its own series. "The nature of the story requires it. Since the story progresses through time, and since it will be affecting characters in every series and in every time period, it makes the most sense to have the events take place in each ongoing series."

If you can't wait for January to find out more about "Vector," Miller drops this hint: "Shipping in November we have a Knights of the Old Republic Handbook. It really covers everything in the KOTOR. We have some clues as to what's in 'Vector' appearing in it."

In conclusion, Randy Stradley says, "When Luke Skywalker was first introduced to the power of the Force, Obi-Wan Kenobi told him, 'You have taken your first step into a larger world.' Readers who give 'Vector' (or any of our series) a try will discover that what happened in the Star Wars films is but a part of what is taking place in that galaxy far, far away."