SNEAK PEEK: 'Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic' Editor Dave Marshall Previews Issue #37, New Story Arc

EDITOR'S NOTE: The following guest blog is provided by Dark Horse Comics' "Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic" editor Dave Marshall, who explains why the series offers a foot in the door for anyone curious about Star Wars' extended universe.

You are a Star Wars fan.

Maybe you don’t know it. Maybe you think you’ve outgrown it, or maybe you think it’s outgrown you. There's so much Expanded Universe to keep track of -- everything from movies to video games, spanning thousands of years of galactic history.

Well, "Knights of the Old Republic" is a comic for you, Star Wars fans, the ones who know it -- and especially the ones who don’t.

'Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic' #37

Click on the image above for a sneak peek at "Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic" #37

And for anyone intimidated by the #37 on the cover of this month’s issue, let me remind you that Star Wars began with “Episode IV.”

An unlikely crew exploring a magnificent and deadly galaxy, an epic struggle between good and evil, an action-packed romance driven by heroes determined to take care of each other despite being in way over their heads -- our monthly adventures in KotOR are the stuff Star Wars fans are made of.

In fact, this issue is the best time to return to that galaxy far, far away, as KotOR’s band of vagabonds begin a new life as small-time hoods with big-time ideals amidst a Republic wracked by war with the Mandalorians (i.e. lots of guys dressed like Boba Fett, without his sense of humor). Freewheeling, fast-paced and fun, this is drama you can plunge into without an encyclopedia.

Once, the Masters of Padawan Zayne Carrick murdered his fellow Jedi-in-training and framed him for the crime. Understandably, even with his name now clear, Zayne’s none to eager to return to the Order, which is why he’s decided to do good on his own terms -- by becoming a criminal.

Luckily, his time on the lam accrued him a few necessarily dodgy associates -- the starship thief Slyssk with a proclivity for panic attacks, the beautiful warrior Jarael with too many secrets, the Mandalorian turncoat Rohlan with too much interest in Jarael, the laconic droid Elbee with big hands for smashing, and the egocentric con-artist Marn “The Gryph” Hierogryph with an abundance of aliases that contain his actual name.

Fugitives turned freelancers, this motley mob set course for the closest sucker in hopes of finding fortune and helping a few lost souls along the way. In issue #37, these ragtag renegades find themselves in the thick of their first scheme -- and on the business end of some battle droids.

What was supposed to be a quick con of a few greedy traders at the galaxy’s hottest financial market has become an unpleasant party hosted by the exchange’s ruthless ringleader, Nunk “No Neck” Plaarvin. Jarael and Rohlan have been captured, and despite their martial prowess -- unless Zayne and Gryph can craft a hasty rescue -- they’re shortly scheduled to be a lot more dead.

Maybe they’ll escape and you’ll feel like a smart alec for predicting it, or maybe they won’t and you’ll feel like a rube for meeting our heroes in the twilight of their lives, but no matter what, there’s another adventure right around the corner in KotOR, because Star Wars fans need their grand tales and witty banter, heroic sacrifices and clever twists, big ideas and bigger dreams every month.

And by Star Wars fans, I mean you.

"Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic" #37 hits shelves next week, January 21.