Storytelling can be a fluid thing, with authors and creatives trying to find the right stories. That can even include some pretty massive dynamics that change the entire course of the story. Like, say, what happened with The High Republic comic series, since it turns out that Keeve Trennis was originally going to have a different master than Sskeer.
On the latest episode of the Star Wars: The High Republic show, host Krystina Arielle interviewed several people involved in the main comic series, including author Cavan Scott. One of the questions she asked of the group was which character from this era gets them most excited, and Scott answered that it’s Sskeer – revealing that things were almost quite different with him:
“Sskeer. Always Sskeer. His role in this was never going to be as big as it now is. Up to the day before I submitted the first issue, he wasn’t Keeve’s master. In fact, that first issue wasn’t the first issue. I wrote an entirely different issue where Keeve had another master. And then I didn’t like that one, so I threw that away and started again, and we came to the issue we have. But even then, they weren’t master and padawan. The moment that penny dropped, that was the moment where the High Republic comic really started to gel for me. And their journey forward from that point is the thing that gets me excited for this project day in [and] day out, because there are so many great things that are going to happen in Keeve’s life, and they pretty much all come back to her quite paternal relationship with her master. And then obviously what happens to him afterwards.”
That’s honestly pretty surprising, given just how central the relationship between Keeve and Sskeer is to this entire series. Keeve is one of the main characters of the series, and Sskeer is the biggest mystery. Tied together, then, the bond between these two characters forms a bond and a central theme that runs throughout the issues. Individually, they are both very interesting characters with a lot of very interesting dynamics, questions, skills, and lovability. So I totally get how this series would still have worked even if they both just individually were in it… but the way the series is currently, it’s clear that the bond between the two of them is the glue that holds their stories together and, as such, this whole comic.
Scott is giving us a bit of an inside look into the writing process, as we see how ideas are processed, changes happen up until the last minute, and writers keep working until they find a story that works. The High Republic initiative has attracted some really high-quality storytellers, and I’m really glad for that. And I’m also really glad that Scott decided to make Sskeer and Keeve master and apprentice, as I just think that opens so many other storytelling avenues and interesting dynamics.
And it sounds like that will certainly continue, as Scott teases that a lot is going to keep happening in Keeve’s life – all of which is tied to her relationship with Sskeer. It’s pretty crazy to think about what this series is now, and what it could have been had Scott not made this last-moment change. I’m glad he did.