SO very happy to see a new chapter of this marvelous series!!!!!!
I really like the intricate storytelling, how Juhani's backstory is now tying into events with the arrival of Xor.
I really love how even the villainous Chundaar is given a slightly sympathetic light as we see that he has little choice but to comply with the wishes of the even more powerful and sinister Xor. Very sophisticated storytelling here, bravo!
I really love the continued use of practical sets and dioramas. The woods look really terrific here, as does the continued use of Chundaar's headquarters.
Small nitpick, the arrival of the beastie in the woods feels a little abrupt. The transition between the conversation about Malak, etc. and the arrival of the creature feels sudden and a little awkward. It's such a non-sequitir, going from discussion of the star map immediately to "there's something out there."
I think maybe you could have massaged that a little bit. Maybe even connect them somehow. "Revan and Malak...even now, I can still feel a residue of the dark side..."
"That's not a residue! Look out!" Then the beast crashes into their location.
Or maybe just have a weird sound disrupt their conversation. "Did you hear that?" "There's something out there..." Just something to massage that moment a bit.
Really really love the new character of Bindo and his world-weariness and cynicisms. Great stuff!
Xor is another piece of fine characterization. He comes across as truly sinister and evil, but also with just enough nuance to not make him cartoonish and over the top.
Really good cliffhanger with Bastila and Kast in a moral dilemma about how to complete their mission now that they have befriended the mysterious "shadow demon."
I worry just a little bit about the plot of this chapter becoming a little too linear and plot-y, though. First, we arrive on the planet and are told we have a mission to find the "shadow demon". Now we have to find yet another person for the shadow demon. You're not there yet, but you do slightly run the risk of making this particular chapter too plot driven. It's hard for audiences to care too much about simple, straightforward "quests".
Fortunately, this is balanced by some great character work and some real dramatic stakes. Zalbarr and Chundaar. Juhani and Xor. And now the arrival of Bindo and how Bastila and Kast will deal with him. So I'd just caution you to make sure you keep those personal conflicts and dramatic stakes front and center and try not to put too much emphasis merely on the specifics of the plot. Good plotting is obviously important but what really resonates with audiences are sympathetic characters and how the stakes of any particular story are personal to them. (there are exceptions, of course. "Raiders of the Lost Ark" isn't particularly personal, but it's one of the best adventure movies of all time. Still, if there wasn't the intimate, personal connection between Indy and Marion, we'd eventually lose interest.)
Anyway, thanks for cranking out these amazing installments!!! I am really digging this particular "chapter" of the story (if we consider each separate larger story a "chapter". Like this is the Kashyyk/Zalbarr chapter, as opposed to the Onderon "chapter" that preceeded it.)