Star Wars: The High Republic will reveal the history of the galaxy – and Cavan Scott’s comic stars a Jedi who is the anti-Anakin.
Star Wars is heading into the High Republic Era – and one of the franchise’s new heroes is essentially the anti-Anakin. The sequel trilogy has come to a close, and now Lucasfilm Publishing is exploring a whole new time period. A range of books and comics will explore the galaxy 200 years before the events of Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, as the Republic encounters a terrifying threat.
When Obi-Wan Kenobi first showed Luke Skywalker a lightsaber, he described it as “an elegant weapon, for a more civilized time.” The High Republic is that more civilized time, an age where the Jedi kept the peace across the galaxy, standing separate from the Republic and avoiding the corrupting taint of politics. But as both the Jedi and the Republic expand their sphere of influence towards the galactic rim, they find themselves confronted by a race known as the Nihil who have been described as interstellar Vikings able to make even seasoned Jedi feel fear.
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i09 has published an interview with Star Wars writer Cavan Scott, one of the architects of the High Republic trans-media initiative. As writer of Marvel’s ongoing High Republic series, he will focus in on the unconventional relationship between Jedi Master Sskeer and Keeve Trennis, a Padawan about to undertake the trials. According to Scott, Trennis is frankly the exact opposite of Anakin Skywalker. The character was actually inspired by Scott’s own sense of insecurity as he walked up to Skywalker Ranch to coordinate the meeting, unable to help the nagging sense he didn’t deserve a place at this table. Suddenly he realized there had never been a story of a Jedi who was the opposite of the Chosen One; a Jedi who feared they did not deserve to be there, who doubted they deserved the trust people placed in her.
“What would it be like to be a Jedi who was literally, straight minutes away after being knighted, thrown into this situation? Who suddenly finds herself the focal point for the entire galaxy—all the eyes are literally on her? Everyone’s expecting them to do well, just because she’s there. Just because she’s with these people. She’s been knighted, so they’ve got faith in her. If she wasn’t good, she would not be a Jedi Knight.
That kept coming back to me and fascinating me because we’ve had stories of Jedi who were confident. We’ve had stories of Jedi who search, who want to know more, who want to be better. I want to tell the story of a Jedi who is good, but doesn’t know how good she is—and doesn’t know why she’s been chosen for this and struggles with that question and what that would mean to her character. How would she respond to people? She has a relationship with Sskeer she’s had for years, as his apprentice. And he’s there. But now he’s not there. She’s equal to him. And perhaps he’s going off with other people, and she’s going off on her own. That was fascinating.”
Star Wars stories typically focus upon the high achievers and prodigies, most notably the Skywalkers themselves. Anakin Skywalker had a higher midi-chlorian count than Master Yoda, and he was never short of self-confidence. Although Luke Skywalker initially doubted himself, he went on to become one of the most powerful Jedi of all time, Force-projecting himself across the galaxy in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. And Rey was able to master a Jedi mind trick within moments of unlocking the Force, going on to finally defeat the most powerful Sith Lord of all time. These are the typical heroes of Star Wars – and Keeve Trennis sounds to be a refreshing change.
She is no Chosen One, brimming with untapped potential, (over-)confident of her place in the cosmos. Rather, she is a far more ordinary kind of person, one who has been dropped into a galactic crisis she frankly feels unprepared for. After the chaos of 2020, that sounds like exactly the kind of Star Wars hero the world needs.
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