Max explores the latest Star Wars: The High Republic short story found within the pages of Star Wars Insider
Star Wars Insider 206 arrived on November 3, 2021, and finished The High Republic story from the previous issue titled Past Mistakes. Written by the multifaceted talented writer, Cavan Scott. Past Mistakes along with the near-entirety of The High Republic Insider stories should be branded as the Jahen Chronicles. Because they detail the extremely “busy” day-to-day adventures of the Starlight Beacon administrator, Velko Jahen. In Part 1, she apprehended a former flame who arrived on the station with his Peasle sidekick Clune; running blasters for the despicable Nihl. The flame is a flamboyant lady’s man named Vane Sarpo. And he fought alongside Velko during a war on her homeworld.
The story begins with him in a cell in Starlight Beacon. And Jahen breaks protocol to speak with him and try to understand how he had gone so astray. Vane gives her the silent treatment at first. And it’s kind of like an NCIS, where the interrogated criminal refuses to cooperate. He then switches into a side of himself that Jahen never saw before. And Scott really captured the eeriness that mirrors the real-life transformation of good people into brainwashed zealots. “You can’t help me, because you’re the problem.” He directs this mostly at Trandoshan Jedi Master Sskeer. Who despite being a more flexible and unconventional Jedi, still carries the attitude the Jedi exude, that other beings find to be pompous. Honestly, even though Vane is a bad guy, I do see how his words may contain a kernel of truth.
I am very critical of the Jedi (in this period and beyond) and sometimes feel they do more bad than good. Not intentionally. It’s just their priorities and morals often stray into the lines of hypocritical and clan-mentality. We soon learn that Vane is not the demon he originally seems, but I can’t help but wonder. Was that statement the truth of what he feels coming out?
The ploy the Nihil employ is devilishly clever and as a fan of high-tech sci-fi technology, I was very impressed. I was also impressed by Cavan’s ability to craft a deceiving Palpatine-esque character in the seemingly cowardly Clun Nihil known as Peasle. I don’t want to spoil too much, but the story was very entertaining. My only complaint is how useless Sskeer was in this situation (at least combat-wise). And I always like to look at the sociological aspects of Star Wars.
Vane calls Sskeer a lizard and a dumb Dewback and that gets me thinking about race and identity in the Star Wars galaxy. Sskeer is a Trandoshan, so yes he is a reptile, but we need to realize just how awful calling him a lizard is. Especially if you look at it if it was being addressed to a human. I won’t even go into the human equivalent of that. Honestly, who decided humanoid and human-like features was the universal aesthetic. Looks to me that systemic racism exists in every galaxy.
Insider 207 will feature a brand new two-parter by Justina Ireland. And even though I thoroughly enjoyed Scott’s tale, I am super excited for Justina’s tale “Shadows Remain” as she is my favorite High Republic writer.
Star Wars Insider is published by Titan Magazines. It’s the best place for exclusive Star Wars content and interviews. I recommend subscribing to it!
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!