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This community is dedicated to the games Star Wars: Jedi Outcast (2002) and Jedi Academy (2003). We host over 3,000 mods created by passionate fans around the world, and thousands of threads of people showcasing their works in progress and asking for assistance. From mods to art to troubleshooting help, we probably have it. If we don't, request or contribute!

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Summer Mod Contest Winner

The votes came in and the winner is SephFF and mjt's Costa del Sol! Take a trip to this sunny vacation spot and enjoy the rays and waves. Join Kyle for a drink, venture into the sky for some flying or dive deep for some scuba diving with the local aquatic life!

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The Mandalorian mod contest results

Our Mandalorian-themed mod contest had a good turnout with great submissions. The winner is Doughnuts' Din Djarin playermodel!

Amazing job to all involved!

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Interview with Kualan


Today we sit down to talk JKHub's resident mad-scientist kitbasher and visionary comic creator, Kualan!

 

barlogo.pngtherfiles:

Hey there! Thanks for talking with us. First off: what inspired you to create comics with JKA?

 

Kualan:

I've always loved making new stories in the Star Wars universe – even as a kid I used to come up with new adventures for my action figures to take part in. As I got older I wanted to find a way to channel this urge to create new tales in the Galaxy Far Far Away, and I even dabbled in using those old action figures of mine for a stop-motion film. It failed miserably - imagine the Nightmare Before Christmas, but with General Grievous instead of Jack Skellington and moving at 6fps!

 

So I started looking at machinima – using video games to create films or comics. I settled pretty quickly on the idea of making a comic instead of a film, and as I had loved the game as a kid, I knew Jedi Academy would be the ideal medium to use.

 

barlogo.pngtherfiles:

So what about JKA makes it easy to create these kind of projects?

 

Kualan:

There are two big reasons that make JKA the best video game by far for those who want to make some Star Wars machinima.

 

The first is the sheer amount of assets available for the game. Unlike many modern games (Star Wars and otherwise), JKA is insanely modder-friendly and that's naturally led to thousands of different maps, character models and vehicles being created for the game over the years. There isn't a single era in the Star Wars universe that doesn't have a significant amount of content for it, from the prequels right through to The Force Awakens. For anyone wanting to make some Star Wars machinima, JKA is like one big toy-box with every action figure you could ever need inside.

 

The second reason is down to the tools available for the JKA modding community – most importantly the tool 'Modview'. This is a tool that lets you render, view and pose any character model in the game and is vital to the 'green screen' process I use to put the comic together. If Raven Software hadn't released this and similar tools all those years ago, I wouldn't have been able to even think of making the comic, let alone do it.

 

 

comic_pane2.png?dl=1

 

 

barlogo.pngtherfiles:

Your past four volumes have been set during the Clone Wars. What made you choose this era for your stories?

 

Kualan:

I'm part of the generation that was still growing up when the prequels were hitting the cinemas – old enough to have seen the original trilogy first, but young enough to not want to put my head through the wall whenever Jar Jar Binks walked onto the screen. So the Clone Wars were the real focus of Lucasfilm's output for many of those years and I became really engrossed in the stories set during that era.

 

I think the scale of the Clone Wars also gives them great potential as a backdrop to new stories. Whereas the major events of the Galactic Civil War tend to boil down to the actions of a close-knit group of freedom fighters, the Clone Wars are more of a grandiose 'age of heroes' where every lone Jedi has their own tale of adventure, heroism and tragedy. It plays more to the mythological aspects of the Star Wars universe, which really appeal to me.

 

barlogo.pngtherfiles:

Out of your four volumes, which one are you most proud of?

 

Kualan:

That's a tough one! There's things I like and dislike about every volume of TFTCW that I've done so far. For example, Volumes One and Two barely feature any emotion in the characters' faces! This is because my knowledge of Photoshop at the time was too limited to portray expressions properly. I sometimes wish I could go back and do 'remastered' versions of those volumes to bring them up to scratch.

 

I think overall the volume I like the most is Volume Four, which puts Mace Windu in the spotlight in a way that I don't think he ever experienced in the old Expanded Universe. It also featured the first villain in the series who was given some real depth and history – Railas Tok, the fallen Chistori Jedi and former Padawan of Windu's.

 

barlogo.pngtherfiles:

Can you give our readers a quick synopsis for your four volumes?

 

Kualan:

The plot behind each volume comes from a single idea that I think has potential to bloom into a full-blown story, and usually revolves around things we haven't seen before in licensed works.

 

So in Volume One, the story follows Anakin Skywalker as he encounters a maverick sect of the Jedi Order – calling themselves the True Jedi Covenant – that eschews the leadership of the Council and seeks to find their own way to destroying the Sith. The idea behind this volume was that, with ten thousand Jedi in the galaxy, it seemed unlikely to me that absolutely all of them would follow the Council into an unannounced war.

 

Volume Two was actually inspired by the premise of the 'Clone Wars' TV show, which sees Anakin receive a Padawan – Ahsoka Tano. Instead, I gave the plot-line of a new Padawan to Obi-Wan, and his attempts to pass on what he has learned from training Anakin to a young Zabrak named Zell. This new Padawan was a great way to explore how trying to teach the Jedi path in the middle of a war (that seems to contradict said teachings) has an effect on shaping the future generations of the Jedi Order.

 

In Volume Three, we meet the infamous Jedi spy Quinlan Vos in the midst of his attempts to infiltrate the ranks of Count Dooku's acolytes. To me, Vos was one of the most interesting characters in the old EU, and I thought he was a great way to bring the story into the darker, murkier parts of the GFFA. Through Vos, the comic gets to see how the war affects 'lesser' factions in the galaxy such as the Mandalorians, the Hutts and the motley assortment of smugglers and gangsters that thrive in the Outer Rim.

 

Volume Four brings the focus back to the Jedi – specifically Mace Windu and his past. For fans of the old EU, it's known that many of Windu's apprentices have a tendency to fall to corruption (Sora Bulq and Depa Billaba among them) and so the comic introduced another former Padawan who is no exception. Railas Tok is probably my favorite villain in the comic so far – a fallen Jedi who believes himself to be the Chosen One, and that bringing balance to the Force means conquering both Jedi and Sith!

 

barlogo.pngtherfiles:

Over the last 5 years, you've created a whopping 55 comics! What is the favorite issue that you've produced?

 

Kualan:

I often find I like the more stand-alone tales – such as the issue 'Just Good Business' in Volume Two, which sees Jedi Master Luminara Unduli take on a Hutt gangster (and his pet rancor!). That was a fun comic to put together.

 

barlogo.pngtherfiles:

What is one of the biggest challenges you face during production?

 

Kualan:

Lightsaber duels are easily the most difficult element to portray. Not only do you need to successfully portray the movement of each combatant, you have to ensure the 'choreography' of the fight transitions smoothly from panel to panel. It can also be tricky to establish a different character's fighting “style” in a single shot – Count Dooku's style looks very different to Anakin's, for example.

 

I also don't know why I keep using General Grievous for lightsaber fights – the guy is an absolute nightmare to pose!

 

barlogo.pngtherfiles:

Can you give us a simple breakdown of your process?

 

Kualan:

I begin by taking screenshots for the background of each and every panel in-game. These are then resized and positioned in Photoshop to give me the basic layout of each page – a typical page of the comic will contain anywhere between four and six panels:

 

 

Tutorial1.jpg?dl=1

Tutorial2.jpg?dl=1

 

 

Then, using Modview, I access the models of the characters I want to put into a scene. As Modview allows you to place and pose the character models over a single-colour background, I can then take a screenshot of the character in the pose I want and transfer it to the panel I want it to feature in. Photoshop's 'Magic Wand' tool allows me to do away with the single-colour background, just like a film studio's green screen:

 

 

Tutorial3.jpg?dl=1

Tutorial4.jpg?dl=1

Tutorial5.jpg?dl=1

 

 

I then add any special effects or speech bubbles to the panel (after Photoshop and Modview, I use Google the most to find out how to create certain effects) and voila – the comic begins to come to life:

 

 

Tutorial6.jpg?dl=1

 

 

That's a very basic overview, but the upcoming tutorial will take a real step-by-step approach to guiding potential comic-makers through the entire process.

 

barlogo.pngtherfiles:

Do you map out the story of the entire volume? Do you sketch out an issue before you create it?

 

Kualan:

I write a small one-page 'treatment' of the volume's storyline as a whole, and then script each issue in detail when I come to make them. I don't sketch anything out, but when writing the script I make notes of how I want to pose a certain scene as this is vital when it comes to taking the in-game screenshots for the background of each panel.

 

 

 

 

comic_pane1.png?dl=1

 

 

barlogo.pngtherfiles:

Your comics tell stories using JKA game assets. How hard is it to find all the models and art needed to tell your story?

 

Kualan:

Very easy! As said before, JKA is a treasure trove of Star Wars assets. The modding community for this game is better than any other Star Wars game I know, and it's still going strong to this day. I learned how to kitbash new models in the past year or so too, which has also really helped bring new characters to the comic, but it is the modding community as a whole that I owe for making such high-quality content available for use.

 

barlogo.pngtherfiles:

Your first issue came out in 2011. Now, almost 5 years later, what keeps you going?

 

Kualan:

Knowing there's a small but dedicated audience in the fandom that get a kick out of reading a new issue is a great feeling! Though it's worth mentioning that the Star Wars franchise just keeps on changing and evolving – from the original films, to the old EU, to the Clone Wars TV show, and now the sequels under Disney – and that makes it very easy to keep being inspired to write new stories.

 

barlogo.pngtherfiles:

In your comics, we've seen characters like Mace Windu and Grand Moff Tarkin in prominent roles Who was one of your favorite film/canon characters to flesh out?

 

Kualan:

Oh, Tarkin. Easily. The guy's always been such a deliciously evil villain, and I've always felt he should have had a more prominent role in the prequel films. The comic has been a great way for me to portray how I think a seemingly normal man with no magical powers could rise to hold the keys for the galaxy's deadliest super-weapon and stand second only to the Emperor himself. He's also a great conduit to show the rising corruption and darkness behind the Republic – a recurring theme in the comic.

 

barlogo.pngtherfiles:

You introduce many new characters in your comics. Who is one of your favorites?

 

Kualan:

Maybe I'm biased because I'm in the middle of writing their stories as we speak, but the two clone trooper protagonists of Volume Five – Corliss and Asher – are great fun to write. Because they act as sounding boards to each other, it allows for a lot of neat 'character moments' to take place between the two amidst all the big plot points and action taking place around them.

 

barlogo.pngtherfiles:

Do you have favorite real-world comic?

 

Kualan:

I read a lot of Star Wars comics, of course! The Republic and Dark Times series were particular favorites of mine, and in fact some of the characters from them will be featured in Volume Five of TFTCW. Outside of the GFFA, I read some of the Marvel Universe – the Civil War arc a few years ago was a really good story-line, and I've recently got into Deadpool as well.

 

 

-

 

Well, that's all for now folks! Be sure to give Kualan some love down in the comments and check out his comics right here! Be sure to read Kualan's most recent comic, Conspiracy on Coruscant (Volume 5, Issue 2).


By therfiles, in Interviews,





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Lots of details...love it. One question Kualan, are you concerned at all about using assets from the game at all?

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Lots of details...love it. One question Kualan, are you concerned at all about using assets from the game at all?

 

Could you elaborate a little? I'm not sure what you mean by 'concerned'. As in, the legality of using game assets?

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Could you elaborate a little? I'm not sure what you mean by 'concerned'. As in, the legality of using game assets?

 

Yes I know you are not making profit and it's for fun so that answers my question.

Kualan likes this
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so, where's the promised tutorial? (rolleyes)

 

I'm sure he's working on it. Takes a lot of time to make these comics, do a tutorial, and live a life. :winkthumb:

Jeff, Kualan and Cerez like this
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Kualan, if you make any more comics, please use "pipipipiu" for gun firing instead of pow pow :D because the guns in SW really do sound like "pipipipiu" to me :D

Cerez and Kualan like this
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The community needs more visionaries like him.

 

 

 

because the guns in SW really do sound like "pipipipiu" to me

 

Nope, more like "pium, pium, pium" (or maybe for english readers: "pioom").

Kualan and Cerez like this
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