Sorry, Burryaga Agaburry. It’s not that you’re not cool anymore, it’s just that... there’s a new Jedi in town, and he’s also a very interesting alien addition to Star Wars’ latest storytelling adventure.
While we’re going to have to wait until 2021 to delve into Star Wars: The High Republic—the brand new storytelling initiative telling the tale of the Jedi at their apex, approximately 200 years before the events of the Skywalker Saga—Lucasfilm is still happy to tease us with a few more of the goody-two-shoes Jedi that we’ll be meeting across new novels, comics, and other storytelling avenues. Today, the company dropped two new looks at a few of the Jedi we’ll meet in the High Republic era.
One, we’ve already met: Avar Kriss, the paragon of Jedi perfection that is on the cover of Charles Soule’s major novel to kick off the High Republic initiative, Light of the Jedi. This time we get to see her in both her normal robes and her “mission gear”—which appears to be a general extra outfit for all Jedi, consisting of extra protective armor over their robes, special gauntlets, and even secured holsters for their lightsabers.
It’s cute that in this era of very little major conflict that Jedi Order had an actual standard-issue set of extra protective gear for its members, but then in the Clone Wars they’re just like “sure, run around in your robes, it’s fine. Maybe put on some greaves?” But anyway, enough about Avar. We’re here for the lizard boyfriends. We’re here for Sskeer.
Sskeer, like Burryaga before him, is a rarity, as we don’t really get to spend all that much time with alien Jedi—let alone a Trandoshan. They’re usually stereotyped as seedy slavers, pirates, and bounty hunters. But also: he’s an absolute unit, and I love him already. Sskeer will be a major character in Marvel Comics’ accompanying High Republic comic series from writer Cavan Scott, and, seemingly unlike his fellow extra-good, hyper-noble Jedi, will have a bit of moral complexity to him. Sskeer, it seems, will have secrets. Or sseeeecrets.
“He’s a gruff, opinionated Trandoshan who has been around the block more times than he cares to remember. Loyal, but brutally honest, you can always be sure Sskeer will tell you exactly what’s on his mind… or so Avar Kriss and his fellow Jedi think,” Scott teased to StarWars.com. “That’s all about to change. This is a Jedi Master with a secret that is tearing him apart.”
Part of what made the Jedi of the High Republic interesting in the first place was that we were coming at them from this angle of wholesome purity. They’re the best of the best, at the height of the Order’s galactic influence, compared to the waning, recalcitrant Jedi we met in the Star Wars prequels. Seems like not all of them are going to be quite so wholesome.
We’ll learn more about Sskeer and his friends when Star Wars: The High Republic kicks off with the release of Light of the Jedi and Justina Ireland’s middle-grade novel A Test of Courage on January 5, 2021.
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