We’re just a few weeks away from the launch of The High Republic in January 2021, a broad story told across a variety of age ranges in novels and comics. Bringing his story to the ongoing Marvel Comics title is Cavan Scott, and here he chats at length with James Whitmore of io9 about the genesis of the storyline, impostor syndrome and how the one-armed Trandoshan Sskeer became an integral part of the plot.
io9: High Republic is telling a wider story now that there’s this hyperspace accident that rallies the Jedi together. But you’re telling the story of two very specific members of the order that we briefly met and want to talk about in a bit, because they’re both very interesting characters. When you’re telling these big, interconnected shared universe stories, when you’re plotting the arcs, how often are you thinking “Oh, this is tying to this book” or, “Now someone’s telling this story with the Jedi or character”—how much of that is sitting in your mind constantly as you’re fleshing out the characters?
Scott: It’s there all the time. The joy of this is, we have the five of us working on it, largely—we meet once a week, virtually. We’re talking every day, as I said, so, we’re constantly throwing things back and forth. We’re reading each other’s stuff, and each of those characters we focus on can come in and out of the different books and comics. It’s definitely always there. The way I work anyway, and the way I write Star Wars, I like those little connections to everything else. I like the Easter Eggs, as long as they’re not going to trip up any reader. That’s the one thing we’re all trying to be very careful about: even though every part of the initiative tells a different part of the larger story, you should be able to tell what’s going on. Then, if you’re reading everything, a great Easter Egg is something that will reward people, and not take away from someone. So, if you’re reading something and you see something and go “Oh, hang on, that was in Claudia [Gray]’s book” or, “That was in IDW!” or “That was in Light of the Jedi,” then you get the thrill of being part of the story. If you don’t know that, it feels like it’s part of the natural narrative—and then hopefully, you’ll find out, “Hang on, there’s more to go and discover.” So, it’s always there. We do want it to feel like a joined-up universe.
Keeve and Sskeer [the main characters in Marvel’s series] are stationed on Starlight Beacon, which is the heart of Star Wars: The High Republic. This massive space station that’s been launched in the dark zones, an area of space with not a lot of planets or anything. It’s a beacon for travelers pushing out to the frontier, there’s a Jedi temple onboard the station. The two Jedi we focus on—it’s Keeve’s story, and Sskeer’s her master—they’re part of a team, as well. That’s what’s been exciting for me. We’ve been very used to seeing masters and apprentices, but here, we see a master/apprentice right at the point where the apprentice becomes a Knight. You see them having to pull away and become independent. They become independent in this huge space station right away where there are all these other Jedi who suddenly come in, and we’re introduced to more Jedi over the first issues. They then have to figure out how to work as a team, as a unit—just like the five of us who are writing The High Republic! That’s the exciting thing, you’ve got all these Jedi in varied stages of their careers—masters, new Jedi, people who have found themselves in a position they didn’t know they were going to take—and they’re out of their comfort zone, right out on the edge of the Republic, and they have to be a beacon. That’s something they take very seriously, it weighs heavy on them: They are the light for this space. It’s been something that has a bearing on just about every other story, and you will see these characters coming in and out of the other stories, as well.
One thing I’m doing we’ve yet to announce more details about is that I’m writing the second High Republic Del Rey novel, so I’ve been able to work out at which points that novel fits into what we’re doing with the comics. Again, it’s not a case where every five minutes they’re going to be popping up and bleed into each other’s stories, but you know, they’re in the same area, they’re in the same part of space. You know that things are happening at the same time and if you pay attention, there are deeper secrets to be found—clues to the future, as well.
Be sure to check out the full interview which really goes into the weeds about what’s behind this exciting new era.
- Hardcover Book
- Soule, Charles (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 400 Pages - 01/05/2021 (Publication Date) - Del Rey (Publisher)