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SPECULATION Editorial: The Fallen Knight

Discussion in 'Star Wars: Paint Adventures' started by teline, Oct 26, 2018.

  1. teline

    teline Queen of the North

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    Hello, fellow ORPA readers! As we wait for the next update of Al’s Paint Adventures, I wanted to take a deeper look into his most recent (and one might easily argue the best yet) outing in this sprawling tale of the Old Republic’s final years.

    It’s no secret that I love this update and what it represents. In a way, I see it as a perfect microcosm of why the comic is so good and why it has attained and kept its loyal fanbase. To start things off, we should take a look at its author to perhaps give us a better insight into how he writes and why he consistently succeeds at painting such a colorful, multi-layered story and cast of characters without losing sight of what he calls the comic’s overarching themes.

    Alamact, or the Rear Admiral as we all so endearingly call him, is someone I would describe as both reserved and open about himself. Ask him questions, personal and just about everything else in nature and he will be happy to answer without ever mincing his words. Beyond the scotch and gridiron loving shell lies someone who is obsessed with getting it done and getting it done right. Methodical, shrewd and always prepared. These 3 qualities are what I would describe the key ingredients that make the comic what it is today. Cohesiveness, continuity and an almost maniacal attention to detail are the unsung heroes that elevate Paint Adventures above being just your average work of a fan.

    While it is no small feat that Al has been able to maintain and advance this level of quality without fail for more than two years so far, let us instead place a smaller piece of the puzzle under our eyes: The Fallen Knight update.


    In The Fallen Knight, we finally discover Doop’s past. Not only that, but you could say that with this update, we finally discover Doop himself. After being his conscience for so long, our actions are finally given context and our deeds a backdrop.

    With this update, we take all the traits of Doop’s character and distill them into setpieces that depict different times of his life and how they all bleed together into the present. A present where Doop is now arguably a broken shell of what he used to be. You could also equally argue that he was never whole to begin with and that this “wholeness” is the thing he desires most. His primary motivation.

    Doop’s hatred of the Force is interesting. It’s Al trying to unpack one of the main ethos of the Star Wars universe and constructing a pathos around it by asking us to see it under a new light. Just how amazing is having a constant connection to all that life and energy, really? To all that pain and suffering? To the war tearing down societies to their core? Your own problems feel so small and insignificant when you can hear the whole galaxy around you.

    Doop feels alienated because he looks at the Force, so vast and powerful, and sees just how alone he really is. It’s a very nihilistic — and ultimately flawed perspective, but that’s what makes him such an interesting protagonist. I admit, I didn’t really “get” Doop as much as say, Darth Saber, before this update. This whole revelation has really clicked a lot for me in that regard.

    Al could have focused on the political aspect of the story surrounding Doop’s past, or on some supposed destiny or important parentage. But really, the whole thing is just about Doop. No one else. Just him. It gives the whole thing this claustrophobic tone and allows you to comfortably slip into his mindset.

    Is this the story of a defeated master? A grieving father? A broken man? A choice between your people and your beliefs? A lost friendship? A point of no return? Yes, it’s all of those things, but not to Doop. We all have our problems and trials and failures and more often than not, we find it easier choosing to fail alone than to succeed together. The update presents this almost perfect collage of character arcs, but ultimately, they’re driven solely by the perspective of just one man. Just Doop.

    He rails against his destiny, against the path the Force tries to impose on him. The visions are nightmares, but maybe just like he did on Coruscant, the peace he once had could come back if instead of trying to deafen the message, he tries to listen to it.


    Fun and intriguing stuff from the update:
     
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  2. Capt. Andrew Luck

    Capt. Andrew Luck Force Sensitive

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    Oh man... I love how detailed this ended up being. We haven't had a proper dissection of ORPA in a while and this update is the perfect time for it.
    I love this line and I think you're right on the money. It reminds me of KotOR II trying to deconstruct the difference between non Force-sensitives and Force-sensitives (the whole Atton vs. Kreia debate).

    I noticed Al used a lot of words that relate to "silence" in some way and with our antagonists being the Disciples of Silence, I can't help but wonder if Doop is related to them in some way. Because if you recall, on Onderon during his whole "vision" sleep, he was "hunted" down by them. I had a theory that they were the corrupted "Fallen Knights" of the update but Al showed us where their road led them in the end with that Corellia panel. Speaking of Corellia, I found it interesting how it was a literal highway to hell with the inferno of Coronet City burning coming from the Jedi side instead. Cayden is shaping up to be a worthy antagonist to Snote and possibly the poster boy of "This is what a Jedi shouldn't be". You can't really blame him for ending up how he did and you can sympathize and understand why he became who he is, but he is far from an ideal the Jedi should look up to. He is the ultimate product of the war and why it has to end.

    It hearkens back to that Saber quote: 'War is the cradle of monsters.'
    I really liked going through the update several times and focusing on different characters. It's a very layered narrative when you strip it down to its rudimentary parts. They are each their own separate things that feed into a larger whole. Rick McCallum would be proud.
    Yeah... I think that confirms it pretty much. I love that he's a Kiffar! Sad that we probably won't be seeing much of him because I really liked the design.

    When I saw the panel of Stan looking down devastated and holding his Padawan braid in the ruins of the Jedi Temple, the feels were very real. As you said: the focus was all on Doop but we were still given a lot of important insights into other characters too. Most notably, Cayden and Stan.

    I would also like to point out that we saw Doop's homeworld way back in CH12 where it was mysteriously dubbed as 'Flashback Land'. We didn't know at the time but it seems Doop's time in 'Flashback Land' is a distorted amalgam of everything his visions seem to be plaguing him with. You saw his childhood planet, his master, Mynock & Kestrel stuff, the Force Mutants, Snote. I speculate that it's like an 'overworld' for Doop's nightmares... like a nexus point where the things haunting his mind all converge.

    Nice to see his parents too! His mom's attire looks very similar to that of a Jedi.
     
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  3. Dork Lord of the Bith

    Dork Lord of the Bith PhD in Sith Ethics

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    That's exactly what came to mind reading through that part of the chapter. A lot of Exile vibes going with Doop after that. I also believe it ties in with the Silence theme. As Doop says, he wanted the Force stripped from him. He wants to silence it because he can't stand it anymore after the horrors he felt through it. The Exile went through something very similar in the Mandalorian Wars and by the Jedi Purge she was practically deaf to it. Only silence.
     
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  4. teline

    teline Queen of the North

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    It does make you wonder why Doop is so especially affected/sensitive to it, though...

    Doesn't have to mean anything of course, but it does make you wonder.
     
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  5. Dork Lord of the Bith

    Dork Lord of the Bith PhD in Sith Ethics

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    Doop isn't the comic's Luke. He's the comic's Anakin!
     
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  6. Spacebeast48

    Spacebeast48 Rebel Official

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    I swear if one of those "X is a child of the Force" theories finds its way to ORPA I will be really pissed off.
    I wonder if there's a difference in having the Force "stripped" from you and having someone's connection to the Force completely severed. We know the Jedi used to practice this non permanent technique as punishment on Exar Kun (as far as Legends lore goes) and we have no reason to believe this isn't possible in the new canon. But what intrigues me is if there is a way for that connection to completely die and become "void". Like what Kreia wanted for the galaxy.
    Weird. I think it actually says:

    Skittles
    Taste the Rainbow
     
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  7. Capt. Andrew Luck

    Capt. Andrew Luck Force Sensitive

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    ...That's gotta be the darkest Skittles joke ever told.

    What a way to start the day!
     
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  8. teline

    teline Queen of the North

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    [​IMG]

    I think the biggest takeaway from this is that Doop wants the Force silenced. For him personally, getting rid of it is the only thing that matters. If it's permanent or not is just arguing semantics.
     
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  9. Alamact

    Alamact Demon of the Trident
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    That is Peyton Manning, yes.
    Come on, you folks know me better than that!

    I think it's fine to ponder about Doop's nature, but I wouldn't necessarily describe the way that he is special as something pivotal to him personally. It's simply something that represents an anchor that connects the different plot threads together. Without going too much into it at the risk of spoiling things to come, I'll say that by finally shedding some light on his desertion, we've introduced him into the overarching theme of war that's perpetuated across the comic's present and future. I always found it a bit amusing how we slipped into that whole thread, considering that it was initially envisioned as an underworld western tale, but it was ultimately the natural way to go and it's a fun topic to write and build a story around.

    Fun fact: I knew this update was coming at some point, and in some ways I was dreading it and constantly putting it off - which resulted in that awkward cut to Saber when Doop and the Quirk initially play their pazaak game. Yet even the night I started working on it, I had no idea how it was going to play out in its entirety or how big it was going to be. It was always meant to show Doop's dissatisfaction with the Force and depict the attack on Kalikori Village, but a lot of it was conjured up overnight. For example, Bel was a completely different character with a completely different relation to Doop, yet as the story was starting to shape up, I realized she could be the perfect emotional tether the story needed.

    I also had a lot of back and forth between showing Stan and Cayden in the Temple or keeping it under wraps, but I like to think I made the right choice going all-in on that one and pulling no punches. I consider that moment the birthplace of Stan's character - his cradle - as others have pointed out, so it was really important for me to do it right if I was, indeed, going to do it in the end.

    When my laptop went down and came back operational, I was in this period of "Should I release it or should I polish it up a little bit since I'm late anyway?" and one of the things I added in that time were the red Honor Guard and the entire Zeltros panel. I always wanted to draw the Yinchorr Royal Guard equivalent of the era and I thought Zeltros would have been the perfect middle point between Doop escaping Tython on board a Republic star cruiser and deciding to don the identity of an Imperial refugee heading for neutral space. Since Doop wrongly believed that it was the hedonistic lifestyle of Coruscant that made those months brighter, and since Zeltros, literally the hedonism planet, is conveniently situated between the borders of the Sith Empire and the Core Worlds - well, it was such an obvious choice to go with.

    I took a look at how they drew it in the Doctor Aphra comics and used it as a starting point for the foliage and cliffs you see outside the window panel. Since I was short on time, I took some shortcuts and hid the imperfections by setting it during the night. Drawing the Imperials was fun. I wanted to depict all corners of the Empire with the panel. You had the Sith purebloods, the lighter skinned humans from Ziost and Dromund Kaas, and the darker skinned fellow from Begeren.

    Speaking of the Empire, I'd just like to reassure everyone that I'm working on the next update. I'm sorry that it's a long wait once again, since I know you were all expecting we'd be back as soon as I dropped this one, but real life has kept me busy this month and I promise the wait time will be much shorter than the last.
    You can thank @NvVanity for that one!
     
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  10. Capt. Andrew Luck

    Capt. Andrew Luck Force Sensitive

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    I feel like you wasted a great standalone gag by burying it underneath such a dense update.
     
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  11. Alamact

    Alamact Demon of the Trident
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    [​IMG]
     
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  12. teline

    teline Queen of the North

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    Hmm... I didn't consider that at all. Interesting.

    Do you usually think about demographics when it comes to what species or skin color the character is going to be? Like, how does the process look when you go: "OK. I need a new background extra! What should they be like?"
     
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  13. Alamact

    Alamact Demon of the Trident
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    Fictional demographics can be fun, but it's not an overriding directive for me when it comes to making a character from scratch. So, for example - Jun and Bel being Mirialans has little to do with the plot, but I do like using demographics to tell a story. One of the ways I wanted to differentiate the Old Republic with the one you see in the movies is that I wanted it to be a bit less human-centric, to have the aliens be in charge - specifically, the Iridonians. You can see a lot of zabraks spread throughout the Coruscant panels, almost on an equal level to humans. To follow up this thread, the chiss you find on Coruscant also serve a similar purpose, albeit with more ominous undertones and a foreboding sense of escalation. This mysterious people who have been isolated from most of the galaxy, save for a couple of Outer Rim frontier worlds, are suddenly flocking to the capital once the flood gates were opened as a result of Snote's machinations in Act I. The Chancellor obviously sees the tourist wave for what it is - an underlying culture war - and he's far from the only politician exhibiting those sentiments.

    This is where a conundrum forms - you need the Chiss as allies to combat the Sith offensive cutting deep into the Core Worlds, but in doing so, by giving such a dominant foreign power a presence and a political voice in your own government, you're essentially leaving your principles, rights and culture even further exposed to outside tampering - and obviously, someone as autocratic as Yen-Zur sees that as a major threat to his agenda.

    If we go back to the update when he's having his talk with Jun (Page 137 & 138), as you can see, he implies that he's found a way around this conundrum. A means to solve the Sith problem without accepting the Ascendancy into the Senate. Now obviously, we'll see how that turns out and how all the pieces fit, but it's an interesting stage the Republic finds itself in and much of the things Jun has yet to do, in this Act and the next, will help define the Republic we eventually find in the prequel trilogy.
     
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  14. Spacebeast48

    Spacebeast48 Rebel Official

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    Just reread that scene and added with this I think I'm starting to see Yen in a new light. He is a villain but his motivations aren't selfish. I think he really wants what's best for the Republic but his ego tells him he is the only one qualified for the job.

    Which isn't too different from how Jun sees himself come to think of it...
     
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