Star Wars Insider’s exclusive run of Star Wars: The High Republic short fiction, set during Phase II of the Lucasfilm publishing initiative, continues in issue 215 -- and StarWars.com has a first look. “A Different Perspective,” by George Mann, from Insider's Tale of Enlightenment series, offers an unusual take on the Jedi and the Force from a disciple of the Path of the Open Hand, who has his own tale to tell. Enjoy the excerpt below and get the full story in Star Wars Insider #215, available now.
A scream. The whine of an engine malfunctioning. Panicked shouting.
Keth squeezed his eyes shut, expecting the worse.
The moment stretched.
And then… silence.
Tentatively, he opened his eyes again.
The speeder was still, hanging in mid-air, more than a meter off the ground. The Togruta, wide-eyed, was clinging to the steering wheel as if his life depended on it, breathing raggedly. Around the vehicle, the disciples of the Path of the Open Hand were falling back, hurrying away into the clamoring crowds. Within a moment, they’d all disappeared.
Before the speeder stood a lone figure in brown and white robes. Her hand was raised towards the vehicle, and she was wearing a look of fierce concentration. She was human, with pale skin and red and white streaked hair, and looked to be no older than Keth. A metal cylinder hung from a holster at her belt.
The woman was a Jedi.
Slowly, she lowered her outstretched hand and the speeder followed in kind, lowering to a safely static hover. The driver clambered off, trembling, and looking around in astonishment. There was a muted round of applause from the crowd. The Jedi grinned.
It was only then that Keth noticed the person sprawled on the ground. It was one of the Path disciples—a male Abednedo—who’d evidently tripped and fallen as he’d tried to get out of the way of the oncoming speeder and had been inadvertently left behind when the other followers of the Path had fled. As Keth watched, the Jedi crossed to the fallen disciple and held out her hand.
“Are you hurt?” she said. “Let me help you up. My name is Maeve Cuilinn. I’m a—”
“No!” Rather than take the Jedi’s outstretched hand, the Abednedo issued a shrill, startled cry and tried to scrabble away from the woman. Lurching awkwardly to his feet, his foot caught in his robes, he fell again, striking his head on the dusty ground. He rolled onto his side, moaning, and waving his hand violently at the Jedi to leave him alone. “No. You’re a Jedi. Leave me be!”
The woman frowned, and then looked around, searching the faces in the crowd for an explanation. Her eyes met Keth’s. He swallowed and took a step forward. “Here, let me.” He hurried over to the fallen disciple.
The Abednedo was clutching his head. Keth couldn’t see any signs of a serious injury, but the blow had looked painful. “No! Leave me!”
“It’s all right. I’m here to help.”
“Are you with the Jedi?”
Keth frowned. “No.”
The Abednedo heaved a sigh of relief. “Then help me get away from here. As quickly as possible. Please.” The last word was spoken with such intensity that Keth knew he had no choice but to help.
Read more in Star Wars Insider issue #215 and subscribe to Star Wars Insider now for more of the latest news, in-depth articles, and exclusive interviews in every issue!