Commencement is the largest story arc in the Knights of the Old Republic series of comics. It was the first arc published, but is preceded chronologically by Knights of the Old Republic 0: Crossroads, which was published 8 days after Part 2.
While trying to sell stolen goods, Snivvian Marn Hierogryph is taken off-guard by Zayne Carrick, a Jedi Padawan assigned to bring the black marketeer to justice. Hierogryph manages to slip away from Carrick, who plummets off a high building. The phased Jedi manages to end up at a banquet held by the Jedi. After confronting his master, Lucien Draay, about the ordeal, Carrick is assigned to paying the Besalisk restaurant owner for dinner and the damage to the restaurant. Later, Carrick finds Hierogryph, and arrests the Snivvian, bringing him to the Taris Jedi Temple, only to find his friends murdered, with the Jedi Masters standing over them with lightsabers raised.
Carrick flees through the city on his Urban Navigator swoop, with Hierogryph in tow. They lose the masters' pursuit in a restaurant but fall down a garbage shaft that leads to the Lower City. Zayne tries to explain to Gryph what happened, and why his masters are trying to catch him. Hierogryph cuts down a Taris Civil Authority surveillance droid with Carrick's lightsaber. As they go out into the street, they see a large wanted bulletin in the SoroSuub Landing for Carrick's arrest for killing the Padawans, with Hierogryph listed as "an accessory" much to his chagrin. Hierogryph leads Carrick to a Kedorzhan bar, where he is sure that they're not to be seen, since the Kedorzhans can't see well after working in the mines. Carrick decides that they need to get offworld, and Hierogryph says that the only way off planet is through the Undercity. Back at the Temple, the masters are in meditation, eavesdropping on the fugitives' conversation, and prepare to go after Carrick.
During a dream, Carrick recounts a previous experience with his fellow Padawans, their final exercise as learners in an asteroid belt, when Hierogryph wakes him. They're riding in the back of a Wookiee's garbage wagon in the Lower City. As soon as they get out, they're accosted by Black Vulkar thugs who wish to collect their bounty. Hierogryph talks them out of it, saying that there is spice sewn in the Wookiee's harness. He also tells Carrick about having spread a trail up to the gate to the Undercity but they had already continued past the gate, since it would be crazy to go into the Undercity, because of the plague and the Rakghouls. Meanwhile in the Undercity, Masters Lucien Draay, Q'Anilia, Feln, and Raana Tey are fighting off hordes of rakghouls, having been misled by Gryph's deception. Master Xamar reports in that the fugitives have been spotted in the refugee camps. Gryph leads Zayne to The Last Resort, the home of someone who had helped him before by smuggling Zovius Mendu to Corellia. They arrive only to be attacked by Jarael, who tells them to leave. As Hierogryph is talking to Camper, an addled old mechanic, the Jedi Masters arrive with the Taris Civil Authority. Camper fires up The Last Resort, which is actually an old junk hauler, and they all flee to space. As soon as they clear atmosphere, the power on the ship fails.
As the Civil Authority orbital patrol ships are closing in, Camper fixes the power, and they flee to hide in an asteroid belt. When everyone else goes to sleep, Carrick flies clear of the asteroid belt's interference and calls Master Vandar Tokare, the master that taught him at the Jedi Enclave on Dantooine before he was apprenticed to Master Draay. He explains to him what really happened. Master Tokare believes him but he is unsure if Carrick was that much innocent and thinks that he may have been under the influence of the Dark side of the Force. Jarael knocks him out and flies them back into the belt. Carrick realizes that all of the masters are Consulars except Lucien. He decides they need to go to the last place the Padawans were before they were killed: the rogue moon, a low-gravity moon in the asteroid belt under perpetual bombardment from debris, and the site of the Padawans' final trial. When they get there, Carrick remembers that Elbee, the Jedi's loader droid, had fallen over a cliff, but would have seen what had happened to the Masters there. He and Jarael go to recover his remains, and Carrick realizes that Elbee had been thrown down, since the moon doesn't have enough gravity to have done that much damage to him. As they are gathering up the parts, Draay and Civil Authority troopers descend on them from a police cruiser.
Despite managing to escape the Council, Carrick is convinced by Jarael that he has to turn himself in, for the Jedi shall never stop hunting him and eventually all he cares about will be destroyed in his attempts to flee. Returning to Taris along with Valius Ying, a bounty hunter, Carrick is brought before the Council, and it is revealed that the other Padawans were killed because one of the Padawans, Shad Jelavan noticed Master Draay had his lightsaber which meant that Carrick would be being Knighted. He deduced what the Masters planned to do and attempted to attack them, leading to their deaths ahead of the plan.
As he resigns himself to his fate, Carrick is rescued by Jarael wielding his lightsaber and disguised as the 'Sith' from the vision. The Council is taken by surprise and fails to prevent their escape. As he leaves the system aboard The Last Resort, Carrick leaves a message informing the Jedi that they had no need to search for him, for he would hunt them until he learned the truth behind their actions.
- Knights of the Old Republic 1: Commencement, Part 1
- Knights of the Old Republic 2: Commencement, Part 2
- Knights of the Old Republic 3: Commencement, Part 3
- Knights of the Old Republic 4: Commencement, Part 4
- Knights of the Old Republic 5: Commencement, Part 5
- Knights of the Old Republic 6: Commencement, Part 6
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic Volume 1: Commencement
- Star Wars Omnibus: Knights of the Old Republic Volume 1
Behind the scenesEdit
All issues in the story arc were written by John Jackson Miller, colored by Michael Atiyeh, lettered by Michael Heisler and edited by Jeremy Barlow and Dave Marshall. Part 6 was pencilled by Travel Foreman as a fill-in artist while the regular artist, Brian Ching, was working on Crossroads. Originally, John Jackson Miller was going to call it Renegade.