Greetings Star Wars fans. Sorry for the delay. But I'm back now and I'm here to talk about the final installment of Star Wars: Knight Errant: Escape, written by John Jackson Miller and drawn by Marco Castiello. Last time we saw Kerra's worst fears realized. Her parents are dead and Lord Odion has taken possession of the Helm of Ieldis, the Sith artifact with the power to destroy all life in the universe (even you!). But there is a glimmer of hope as Yulan's faith in his master appears to be faltering, and all other Sith forces move to attack Odion ensuring that he never gets to use the Helm.
The issue begins with Daiman and the rest of the Sith in hot pursuit of Odion, who in turn is at his orphanage facility on Vanahame. We saw at the end of part 4 that Odion intends to use the despair of his orphan prisoners to fuel the Helm, which draws on the suffering of others to give power to its wearer. His plan to cause the orphans the most suffering is genius in its simplicity. Their lives have been nothing but routine day in and day out. There has always been light in their respective domes, dimming at the beginning of their sleep cycles and coming back to full brightness when it's time to wake up. They always eat the same thing at the same time. They always listen to the same holographic tutor for their daily lessons. Every day of their lives so far has been the same. So what would happen if that routine were violently interrupted?
Something as simple as turning off the lights is all it takes to unleash the imagined horrors in the mind of a child. Multiply that by thousands of children. An ocean of despair and it's all at Odion's fingertips. The effects of the Helm are seen immediately. Odion's disciples turn on one another. The Sith forces, once united against Odion, now tear each other limb from limb. Kerra attempts to free herself and strike Odion down, but to no avail. All hope seems lost until Yulan guns down one of the men responsible for the orphans' chambers.
All of a sudden Odion lurches forward. Something is not right with the Helm of Ieldis. There is no longer any despair coming from the orphans, but instead a horrible wave of relief and happiness. Odion discovers that the lights in the orphans' chambers have been turned back on, and at Kerra's signal, Yulan frees them from their chambers for the first time in their lives. Odion's plan has backfired on him. What was supposed to be his well of concentrated suffering has instead become and inferno of joy that burns him from the inside out. He pleads with Kerra to take him from Vanahame, but she refuses, content to let Odion suffer before the end.
After all is said and done, the Odionate is disbanded and divided among the other Sith Lords, with Damian coming out of it with the biggest share. Yulan is left with the task of finding the orphans' proper homes. It would seem that being the first adult they'd seen in their whole life caused them to imprint on him as their father, and so he feels responsible for them. This suits him just fine as it gives his life purpose, which it has lacked for quite a long time. And Kerra is left to return to her job of protecting the galaxy as a Jedi Knight.
I enjoyed the way this story arc ended. I'll admit I was a tad disappointed that there wasn't a climactic battle between Kerra and Odion, but I can't imagine the issue playing out any better. After reading issue 4, I was imagining all these horrible ways that Odion was going to extract the pain and suffering from the poor defenseless orphans. Many elaborate torture devices were contemplated which made me feel truly terrible about myself as a person for being able to think of them. I never thought that all he'd have to do to truly create fear and despair in the orphans was to turn off the lights. It touched on how I used to be afraid of the dark as a kid and made the moment feel real. It was really uplifting then to see them saved by Yulan.
I'm very interested to see what the next arc will bring as I hope you all are too. Will Kerra be further tempted by the dark side in her next adventure? Guess we'll just have to wait and see. Come back next week, Star Wars fans, for a 2-part review of Darth Maul Death Sentence #3 & 4.
Until then, may the Force be with you.