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Star Wars: Knight Errant: Aflame

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Aflame
Attribution information
Writer(s)

John Jackson Miller

Penciller(s)
Inker(s)
Colorist(s)
Cover artist(s)
Editor(s)
Publication information
Publisher

Dark Horse Comics

Issues

5

General information
Era

Old Republic era

Timeline

1032 BBY

Star Wars: Knight Errant: Aflame is the first story arc in the Star Wars: Knight Errant comic series. It occurs in 1032 BBY in the Republic Dark Age during the last century of the New Sith Wars and is largely narrated through the point of view of the Jedi Knight Kerra Holt, a knight errant Jedi who operated in Sith territory. In the Aflame arc, Kerra survives an ill-fated Jedi mission to Chelloa, where she establishes contact with the Chelloan resistance leader Gorlan Palladane, a former Jedi. She takes on two rival Sith Lords Daiman and Odion, while thwarting their schemes towards Chelloa. Kerra discovers her true mission is to save the civilians from Sith rule rather than taking on the Sith themselves. Following a climatic apocalypse, Kerra and Gorlan succeed in evacuating Chelloa's population to the safety of Republic space.

Aflame was first released on October 13, 2010 and ran through to February 16, 2011. It consisted of five issues and its script was developed by John Jackson Miller. Aflame was released as a trade paperback comic by Dark Horse Comics on July 13, 2011.

Publisher's summaryEdit

It is a time of great darkness in the galaxy. The Republic has been beaten back time and again by the various Sith factions, who for now battle amongst each other in the Outer Rim.

Into the chaos comes a group of Jedi Knights, determined to help the innocents caught up in the conflict to the best of their ability. Among them is Kerra Holt, who has only recently knighted, and is now returning to her native territory for the first time since childhood. Now, as she encounters the Sith Lord whose lust for war robbed her of everything, she will be tested in ways she could not have imagined!

Plot outlineEdit

Operation InfluxEdit

The comic occurs eight years following the collapse of the Chagras Hegemony, one of the Sith rump states which emerged from the ruins of the New Sith Empire. By 1032 BBY, the Sith Lord Daiman rules a princedom known as the Daimanate within the Grumani sector. The Jedi Master Vannar Treece launches Operation: Influx, a hit-and-run raid with the intention of disrupting the export of baradium from Chelloa. The Jedi infiltrate Jenith Spaceport in a cargo liner, quickly killing and immobilizing the Daimanate Sith troopers guarding the port facilities. During the fighting, the main protagonist Jedi Knight Kerra Holt saves Gorlan Palladane, a Chelloan resistance leader from being killed by two of Daiman's henchmen. The Jedi task force is subsequently welcomed as liberators by the local population.

However, differences quickly emerge between Vannar and Gorlan. Vannar had intended to launch a hit and run raid to disrupt the distribution of baradium, a volatile compound used in munitions. In contrast, Gorlan had envisaged an invasion to drive out the Sith. As a compromise, the Jedi agree to evacuate some of the civilians. However, this victory is interrupted by the arrival of another invasion force led by Daiman's rival and estranged older brother, Sith Lord Odion. Odion's forces engage the Jedi while Gorlan evacuates the civilians onto a cargo liner. During the subsequent fighting, all the Jedi with the exception of Kerra are killed when Odion uses his kinetic corruptor to ignite the underground baradium shales, generating volcanic activity. Kerra is saved and given refuge by Gorlan.

Undercover JediEdit

During a flashback moment, Kerra contemplates her childhood experiences during the Sith invasion of her homeworld Aquilaris Minor and her subsequent encounter with Vannar, which led her to take the Jedi path. Large parts of Jenith are damaged by the fighting and there are substantial civilian casualties. Lord Daiman himself arrives, determined to find out how his enemies Odion and the Jedi learnt about the baradium mining project. He accosts Gorlan and then fondles with Kerra, unaware of her being a Jedi. Showing little concern for his people, Daiman leaves them to their devices. Kerra learns that Gorlan is a former Jedi who left the Order because he was more concerned with looking after ordinary people. He also introduces her to his family. Meanwhile, several Mobile munitions complexes and a fleet of passenger transports land at Jenith and Arboth spaceport as Daiman apparently plans to expand large-scale baradium operations on Chelloa.

Unable to convince Gorlan to join her in fighting against the Sith occupiers, Kerra departs on a mission to assassinate Lord Daiman. She infiltrates his alpine compound and discovers him torturing the Rodian mechanic Skodo to death for obtaining a transmitter. During the duel, Kerra bests her Sith opponent by trapping him in a suspension field. Before she can kill him however, Daiman has a final trick up his sleeve. He reveals that Odion intends to destroy Chelloa with several kinetic corruptors, large vehicles capable of igniting volatile baradium shales. He also tells her that Odion has a mobile space station known as The Spike in the outer reaches of the Chelloa system.

Meeting the DestroyerEdit

Hijacking a Daimanite starfighter, Kerra arrives at The Spike in the midst of a fierce space battle. Daiman had launched a starfighter attack on The Spike but Odion's defenses had wiped out much of the attacking force. Odion discusses with his Givin advisor Jelcho his bemusement that his younger brother would send such a weak force to assail him despite knowing about the destructive capabilities of the kinetic corruptors. Meanwhile, Kerra infiltrates the mobile station and enters the vast factory sector where several kinetic corruptos are being assembled. She also ambushes and reprograms a labor droid known as GAD-3. Odion appears on the factory floor with Jelcho and discusses their secret informant on Chelloa who had leaked intelligence about the baradium operations.

He also receives another transmission from the same source claiming that all mining operations on Chelloa are offline, meaning that the planet is of little concern to Odion. Odion disbelieves that report and orders his minions to load the kinetic corruptors onto landing ships. Odion suddenly senses the presence of Kerra and duels her with lightsabers, causing extensive damage to the assembly area. During their duel, Kerra reveals that Daiman is moving his munitions factories to Chelloa. Odion refuses to leave Chelloa because it has too much baradium which upsets the balance of the Force. Before Odion can kill her, Kerra escapes by ordering Gad-Three to deactivate the containment fields, exposing the interior to zero-gee space. In the midst of the chaos, Kerra escapes on a construction shuttle. Odion's gunship attempts to destroy Kerra's shuttle but she escapes by doing a single jump into hyperspace to Chelloa.

Meanwhile, Daiman captures Gorlan and tortures him, sending a transmission to his opponent Odion claiming that he had captured one of Odion's agents. Daiman was also intending to goad Odion into attacking as part of a trap. Kerra also receives this transmission and returns to Chelloa to save her friend. Convinced that Daiman is actually expanding baradium mining operations on Chelloa, Odion abandons his original plan to destroy Chelloa with kinetic corruptos and prepares for a ground invasion of the planet to seize the munitions factories and baradium operations for himself.

Kerra's MissionEdit

A furious Daiman tortures his captive Gorlan, while discussing his narcissistic beliefs. He also orders the complete destruction of the town of Jenith in retaliation for harboring a Jedi Knight and the arrest of the village leaders of the ten mining towns on Chelloa. During the ensuing massacre, Kerra rescues Gorlan's family from Sith trooper. The survivors flee to the nearby town of Arboth, where the mobile complexes are housed. Kerra again infiltrates Daiman's compound and rescues Gorlan and the town leaders. Gorlan reveals that he and the deceased Rodian Skodo had used a transmitter to communicate with the Jedi about Daiman's operations. However, Odion had also intercepted the transmissions and learnt about the baradium operations. He also admitted contacting Odion to mislead him, with the futile intentions of keeping him away from Chelloa.

Following a conversation with Gorlan, Kerra realizes that her true mission was not to take on the Sith Lords, but rather to save the civilians on Chelloa by evacuating them to Republic Space. Prior to leaving the compound, Kerra also leaves a personal message for Daiman by beheading his prized statues to challenge his omnipresence. Meanwhile, Odion prepares to launch his landing ships for a planetary invasion of Chelloa. Kerra, Gorlan, and the town leaders flee to Arboth. At the nearby spaceport, Kerra investigates the fleet of cargo freighters and transports supposedly carrying the workers supposed to work on the mobile factories. She finds that they are all empty and proposes evacuating the entire population of Chelloa: 60,000 sentient beings spread across ten mining towns. Gorlan agrees to help Kerra and activates his lightsaber, symbolizing his re-commitment to the Jedi Order.

Apocalypse and EscapeEdit

Odion and his elite Thunder Guard invade Chelloa, overwhelming the weak Daimanate garrison near Arboth. They approach the mobile factories only to discover that they are actually disguised kinetic corruptors. They activate and trigger the underground baradium shales, creating a series of large explosions that trigger a massive magma eruption that devastates the planet's surface. Daiman gloats over his success in luring his hated brother to a trap on Chelloa. In reality, Daiman was not expanding baradium operations but rather planned to deny the planet to his Sith rivals. Daiman then orders his shuttle and "decoy transports" at Arboth spaceport to evacuate.

Meanwhile, Kerra, Gorlan and the refugees seize control of the decoy transports, creating a makeshift fleet known as the Freedom Fleet. They proceed to evacuate the 60,000 residents on Chelloa while fighting off Odion's Thunder Guard who also try to escape on the transports. Odion's entire invasion force with the exception of himself are killed in the ensuing magma eruption. Daiman and his entourage flee Chelloa on a shuttle. Meanwhile, Odion takes on Kerra in a climactic lightsaber duel, which leads to a pursuit over the Freedom Fleet which is exiting Chelloa's atmosphere. In the end, Odion is attacked by the Jedi Knight Gorlan, who pushes him into the thrusters. Both men suffer severe burns and Gorlan dies from his wounds. The Freedom Fleet escapes with Chelloa's entire population into the safety of hyperspace.

Odion survives but sustains severe burns which require medical attention. He vows revenge on Kerra whenever they meet again in the future. En route to the Galactic Republic, the Freedom Fleet docks at the Daimanate world of Nilash III where Kerra raids Daiman's factory, freeing the enslaved Nilash natives. As a final gesture, Kerra beheads his statues. Following the raid, Daiman and his aide Uleeta visit the planet. Daiman stumbles upon his desecrated statues and is forced to come to the realization that Kerra indeed "exists and is not going away."

IssuesEdit

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