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Coinciding with the release of the new Star Wars Old Republic MMORPG, The Old Republic comic is set 25,000-1,000 years Before the Battle of Yavin (BBY) and the destruction of the first Death Star by Luke Skywalker. By virtue of being a Sith Apprentice, Teneb Kel could potentially been the antagonist of this story.
However because he is the main character, Teneb is in actuality the protagonist even as he uses the Dark Side of The Force. Trained at the feet of one of the greatest Sith Lords, Darth Calpypho, who was his mentor until the time of Calypho’s fall from the graces of the Dark Council.
The aptly named Dark Council is the ruling council of the Sith Empire and is composed entirely of Darth Lords of the Sith. They were founded sometime during the 4,900′s BBY and in this story, Teneb Kel does their bidding during his rise to power. At the time of this comic, it has been nearly 1,000 years since the founding of the Dark Council, and thus this story takes place sometime in 3,600 BBY.
Nearly 100 pages in length, this is now small release by any means. With scripting by Alexander Freed and penciling by Dave Ross, the pace of the comic is just right to move fans along the harrowing journey of rising Sith Lord Teneb Kel. Alexander Freed fans will happily note that he is a senior writer on the new Old Republic MMORPG as well.
The inking was done by Mark McKenna with coloring by Michael Atiyeh. Michael Heisler handled lettering and the front cover art was done by Benjamin Carre. The Sith is a constantly brutal test of strength and paranoia. To be Sith is to suspect treachery at every turn, especially by your apprentice.
It can almost be said to be a founding tenant of Sith culture. Darth Calypho experiences this very thing, as evident by his fight against his apprentice Teneb. The other tenant which seems to pervade Sith culture is suffering no competition against a lesser power. Only equals in power on the Dark Council are safe and even then the first hint of weakness is like blood in the water.
If Teneb is our Protagonist then Exal Kressh, the now former Apprentice to Emperor Vitiate, is undoubtedly our Antagonist. She turns against her Master, gaining her freedom using skills she was taught and defying the Emperors’s lies as well as his Assassin’s. Teneb is thus far the only one whom has been able to find her and their duel is noteworthy because of the apparently difference in skill and her dismissive attitude towards Teneb.
The Jedi Order play a role here, with Master Jedi Jerbhen Hulis also investigating Exal Kressh. The Republic is not a floundering rebellion here. They have a presence all their own that is yet another turn of opposition for the Sith Empire. In an odd twist, Master Hulis and Sith Apprentice Kel do not come to blows as one might suspect, but in fact bargain with one another.
Still, Sith treachery makes itself known before the end of this volume, resulting in a death that will change the ending of the story greatly for Teneb Kel. He has seen the future through a Force Vision now and knows that to become an apprentice to another master is pointless. His rise in power continues, gaining the title of Dark Lord of the Sith, one of many to be sure, but still a power unto himself now.
Teneb Kel’s path, his destiny will be of his own making. His knowledge of Exal Kressh’s betrayal and the Emperors plans give him strength and guidance to forge ahead as he continues his dark path. The story within this 100 page Trade Paperback will not only continue to captivate fans of the Star Wars Universe, but give great insight into the mind of the Sith as never before.
Thousands of years before the rise of Darth Vader, there was an entire empire of Sith Lords and Apprentices. Only time will tell how they will fall, either through their own treachery or through conflict with the rising Republic.
Order here directly through Dark Horse Comics.