I’ve recently subscribed to Star Wars Insider magazine (the “Official” magazine of Star Wars), and it’s great. It’s got all kinds of information on the world of Star Wars, from interviews to behind the scenes, and info on merchandise, books, and comics. They also have exclusive short stories. The first issue I received was Number 201, and it had Part One of a High Republic short story called Starlight: First Duty, by Cavan Scott. Issue 202 had Part Two.
Cavan Scott is part of the author team that’s been writing the High Republic books, which also includes Justina Ireland, Claudia Gray, Charles Soule and Daniel Jose Older.
First Duty is a story that takes place on Starlight Beacon, the new space station that’s been built near the Outer Rim. It begins with the main character, a Soikan (glittery silver scales, lavender eyes–sounds pretty) named Velko Jahen who is just arriving on the station for a new job as an administrator.
She meets Rodor Keen, head of Republic operations on the station, as well as his Jedi counterpart, Estala Maru, a Kessurian (I’m not familiar with that species, or with many of the species on the station). She meets an Ovissian nurse, Okana, and a Mon Calamari security chief named Ghal Tarpfen. It’s a little hard to keep track of the names and species of all the people she meets at the beginning of the story, to be honest.
The station is filled with thousands of patients who were injured in the Great Disaster, which means there’s a great many species, some who are not altogether friendly with each other. One of the patients is a Skembo Ambassador named Ceeril. He’s quite grumpy, and feels he isn’t being protected enough from the Hassarians, who are apparently the enemy of the Skembo, and who are also patients in the Med Center.
There is a distraction in which Velko helps prevent the nurse Okana and the Doctor from being injured by an out-of-control patient, and during this distraction, it seems that the Ambassador had been attacked in an apparent assassination attempt. He’s furious and demands that they arrest the Hassarians.
At this point, we meet the Marshall of the station, Jedi Master Avar Kriss, along with the Jedi Knight Nib Assek and her Padawan, the Wookie Burryaga, and the story becomes an investigation into the attempted murder, with Velko playing an important role in finding out the truth.
I thought the story was….fine. We meet a lot of important High Republic characters, get a feel for Starlight Beacon after the Great Disaster, and get a kind of mini-mystery, a Star Wars who-dunnit. But it wasn’t particularly riveting for me. I felt there were way too many characters to keep track of at the beginning for a short story. As a result, it felt a little jangled and confusing. But it wasn’t terrible, either.
The next issue will have a short story by Justina Ireland, and I’m hoping that one will be a bit more entertaining for me. I’ve really enjoyed The High Republic novels so far, and though I don’t read the comics, I’ve tried to keep up with their events as well; I’d love the short stories to add something interesting to the era, too.
Do you read and/or have a subscription to the Star Wars Insider Magazine? What do you think of the High Republic? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!
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