Max explores Starlight First Duty, Cavan Scott’s The High Republic tie-in story found within the pages of Star Wars Insider
I honestly feel like a kid at Christmas, with all the new Insider short stories that tie into The High Republic multimedia initiative. Every Insider mag has a short story that tells a brief adventure from the point of view of “regular” beings during the time of Starlight Beacon’s opening and the Emergences disaster. Starlight Beacon, for those of you who are living in the Jundland Wastes, is a massive space station created by the Republic and the Jedi in 232 BBY. Its purpose is to serve as an interstellar navigation lighthouse for the ever-expanding Republic.
The Emergences are a disaster that kicks off the storytelling. Pieces of starships are ejected from hyperspace at lightspeed, causing massive damage to the planets they impact. Today’s tale takes the point of view of a new administrator who arrives at Starlight Beacon to serve the Republic. This story is written by Cavan Scott, who is a breakout rockstar in the new canon Star Wars storytelling. And he delivers an interesting narrative detailing the medical aspect of the Emergences disaster.
The administrator is of a new alien species called a Soikan and her name is Velko Jahen. One of the biggest challenges in reading Star Wars is keeping track of who’s who and the names of the characters. Sometimes they all sound the same to me. Anyways, Jahen reports to her new boss, and we meet another High Republic Jedi, who has an edge to him. Estalu Maru is a Kessurian and seems to be in constant conflict with Jahen’s new boss. He is also sarcastic which is amusing and very uncharacteristic for a Jedi, because they are usually portrayed as the masters of indifference and patience. Yet, another example of a Jedi who does not match with the hypocrisy.
The story is very basic but there are two elements that delighted me. Number 1 is the humorous acknowledgment that many aliens who don’t see eye to eye with each other, are in close quarters receiving medical attention due to the Emergences. And everyone is nervous about what they will do to each other when they regain consciousness. The second is one of the doctors on Starlight Beacon and my favorite character in the story, if not the WHOLE High Republic tapestry. Doctor Gino’le is his name and what makes him so special is that he is a brilliant surgeon despite being an Anacondan.
An Anacondan is an alien species that is basically, well, a talking snake. They were first introduced in The Clone Wars animated TV series (the canon one, not the awesome one.) What makes me so happy is how ambitious this guy is. Normally having no limbs would disqualify you as a doctor. But this crafty snake has grafted mechanical arms onto his body to manipulate medicine and tools; to help better treat his patients. Quite brilliant if you ask me. And it goes to show how dedicated some beings are in fulfilling their dreams.
This story ends with a fun cliffhanger. And I am legitimately looking forward to seeing how it progresses in next month’s issue.
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Max Nocerino is a regular Staff Writer for The Future of the Force. He is a passionate Star Wars fan and loves the literature of the galaxy far, far away. Follow him on Twitter where he shares his love of the Force frequently!