News Articles

06.03.2011

The Lost Suns Comic Now Available

The galaxy is at peace, but no one believes peace can last forever. To learn the truth behind the cease-fire between the democratic Galactic Republic and the tyrannical Sith Empire, the Republic’s espionage service has sent Theron Shan - a maverick spy and son of the Grand Master of the Jedi Order - on a mission into Imperial space.

Star Wars™: The Old Republic™ - The Lost Suns is a five-issue miniseries from Dark Horse Comics chronicling Theron’s mission and the fallout that ensues. Written by BioWare Senior Writer Alexander Freed, who also wrote the previous Dark Horse Comics series Blood of the Empire, The Lost Suns features art from George Freeman and Dave Ross, with covers by Benjamin Carré.

The Lost Suns ties directly into the storyline of Star Wars: The Old Republic with events beginning at the same time as the start of the game.

Issue one of Star Wars: The Old Republic - The Lost Suns will be available in comic shops from June 8th! To get more information on the series, we asked Alexander Freed to answer a few questions…

Q: Let’s start off with the basics – who are you and what do you do at BioWare?

I'm Alexander Freed - I'm a Senior Writer and Managing Editor on Star Wars: The Old Republic, which means, in short, I write a lot of the in-game plots and dialogue as well as helping to coordinate the team. I also wrote the Blood of the Empire comic, which first appeared on this website (and is still available to read here) before going to print from Dark Horse Comics late last year.

Q: The new comic series is The Lost Suns. Can you give us a brief introduction to it?

The Lost Suns is the story of Theron Shan - a Republic spy sent on a mission to learn what the Sith Empire has been up to since it signed a peace treaty with the Republic and why the Empire made certain mysterious demands in that treaty. For Theron, this means getting through closed borders without starting a war, working alongside a Jedi Master who may not be in his right mind and skirting the murk of the criminal underworld.

I like to describe The Lost Suns as our “ninth story” - every class in The Old Republic tells its own Star Wars epic, and Theron’s tale intersects with the other eight and pushes the greater game story forward, just as they do.

Q: When exactly is The Lost Suns set in relation to Star Wars™: The Old Republic™, and previous Old Republic comics?

The Lost Suns begins when the game starts, as the treaty between the Republic and the Empire is starting to fray. This places it about a decade after Threat of Peace and around forty years after Blood of the Empire.

As the issues progress, the events in the comic parallel the events of the game (except when they outright intersect...). Finding a story that took place concurrent with the game was one of our major goals going into the project - we'd done our share of prequels, but now we wanted to dive right into the game itself.

Q: Tell us something about Theron Shan, and how he relates to characters in The Old Republic.

Theron Shan is the son of Satele Shan - Grand Master of the Jedi Order and star of the “Hope” cinematic trailer (the woman with the lightsaber, not the man with the scar). Theron, however, is not a Jedi - he's a spy employed by the Republic Strategic Information Service, specializing in an array of languages, tricks and combat techniques learned from deep immersion in the Republic's alien cultures. He will insult you in Gamorrese and just barely crack a smile; he's clever, cultured and maybe a little too comfortable with his work.

Theron doesn't talk much about his mother, and he's got very good reasons for it. These are, unfortunately for him, reasons that come back to haunt him.

Q: Is Theron featured in The Old Republic, or was he created solely for this comic series?

One of the challenges of writing a tie-in to The Old Republic is the sheer number of separate stories running in the game. In Blood of the Empire, for example, the protagonist was pulled from plotlines touching some of the game’s Sith and Jedi storylines. But that meant if we wanted to show a character or a setting element from an unrelated story, we couldn’t do so without a lot of awkward shoehorning. (Not a lot of characters from the Smuggler plot ended up in BotE, for example.)

Theron was created for the comic (albeit from certain elements already in place), but he's also connecting tissue for the larger Star Wars: The Old Republic story. With Theron, we get a character who naturally links to more of the game’s plotlines than any single existing character, and who still has a story of his own. You’ll see exactly what that means in the comic itself, but suffice it to say that The Lost Suns takes a winding road through The Old Republic’s mythology.

Q: Is there any chance Theron might appear in The Old Republic game?

Not during the time period covered by the comic - he’s plenty busy there! - but there are a number of characters who do cross over between the comic and the game. In addition, the events from the comic have profound repercussions on the plots in the game… sometimes in obvious ways, more subtly elsewhere.

Q: How did you find writing for a comic series different from writing for a game?

The strength of games, as a medium, is interactivity - telling stories where the players make the big choices, experience the emotional trials, and exhilarating successes firsthand. In a non-interactive story, compelling adventures and believable characters are just as important, but you approach them differently - you can tell more personal stories in a linear medium like comics, because you know exactly how your characters feel.

Here’s a more subtle difference - comics are easy to reread, because they’re short and highly visual. What that means is that I can, for example, write all sorts of elements into issue one that a reader will interpret differently on a second look (or after finishing the whole series). That’s something you try to do in a game, too, but the impact gets diluted because games are big and take time to replay; with a comic, all those subtle details and elements rich for reinterpretation are part of how you make a page worth its price.

Q: What will Star Wars: The Old Republic players get from reading The Lost Suns?

Players will get a first look at the setting they’ll be fighting for; answers to mysteries we’ve been teasing for years; about a hundred pages’ worth of aliens, outfits, spaceships, and landscapes based on game content (along with our share of original designs); and, if we do our job right, a really fun Star Wars story.

Q: What will comic fans find in the series that might draw them to play The Old Republic?

The Lost Suns doesn’t require any knowledge of The Old Republic (and assumes very little knowledge of Star Wars in general) to enjoy - so hopefully, comic fans will see the universe we’ve got, where Jedi and Sith number in the thousands and protect a Galactic Republic and a Sith Empire at the height of their power, and be intrigued enough to stick around. If the epic battles between the forces of light and dark or the gritty, down-to-earth struggles of the galaxy’s ordinary men and women don’t convince them, well - no one can say we didn’t try!

Q: Are there any characters, classes or locations in The Old Republic that you’d love to feature in a future comic series?

I was thrilled to write Blood of the Empire and The Lost Suns, and Dark Horse picked out a wonderful set of artistic collaborators in George Freeman, Dave Ross, Mark McKenna and Michael Atiyeh; I’d love to try my hand at a third series, though it’ll all depend on how The Lost Suns is received.

Given the opportunity, I’d happily flip between telling stories from the Republic and Imperial perspectives for a while - variety is good for a writer, and after scripting scenes on both Dromund Kaas and Coruscant, I’m ready to do more of both. In addition, Nar Shaddaa was great fun to write in-game - all glitter, neon and sleaze - but I haven’t had an excuse to squeeze it into a comic yet.

Thanks to Alexander for his time in answering these questions. Don’t forget to pick up Star Wars: The Old Republic - The Lost Suns from your local comics shop from June 8th.

Click the above images for a larger view.


Discuss this article