In an interview with writer Cavan Scott, StarWars.com finds there's much to learn about the new comic revealed at Star Wars Celebration Anaheim 2022.
Yoda? You seek Yoda!
And soon, readers can explore a new chapter in the Jedi Master's journey with the Marvel Star Wars: Yoda miniseries. Just announced at Star Wars Celebration Anaheim, the new comic is set in the moments before Luke Skywalker's arrival on Dagobah in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, as the Jedi reflects on his life and his regrets.
Told in three arcs by three writers -- Cavan Scott, Jody Houser, and Marc Guggenheim -- the series will hurtle back in time to take readers to key moments in Yoda's life during the prequel era and with a first story set in The High Republic, as he ruminates on the past. With covers from Phil Noto, artists Nico Leon, Luke Ross, and Alessandro Miracolo will illustrate the 10-issue run.
StarWars.com sat down with Scott to learn more about where his new story fits in the timeline of events in Phase I and II of the High Republic initiative, his shrine to his favorite trio of Star Wars characters, and more.
StarWars.com: You and the other High Republic authors have used Yoda carefully and, I would say, sparingly, in that era. How would you define your approach to having Yoda as the central character for this series?
Cavan Scott: There was a lot of talk on social media that we were somehow setting out to denigrate Yoda or lessen his importance, which couldn’t have been further from the truth. In my earlier High Republic work I wanted to tackle Yoda’s reputation and influence by emphasizing how the Jedi feel when he’s not there. In The Rising Storm, for example, there’s a moment when Stellan Gios thinks about how much better everything would be if Yoda were there, how much easier. The Jedi of the High Republic hold Yoda in the highest regard. To the likes of Stellan, Elzar and Avar Kriss he is the gold standard, the ideal that they are all striving for. To them, he is the GOAT, no questions asked.
StarWars.com: The overarching story is set just before Luke Skywalker arrives in Empire and the series will focus on Yoda learning patience and other lessons he imparts on Luke in the film. What was your biggest challenge in creating a story that dovetails into such an important first meeting for the characters and such a key story moment for the fans?
Cavan Scott: It’s not so much learning patience and the other lessons, but *remembering* them. He has been on his own for a long time with only his thoughts and his regrets to keep him company. (OK, only his thoughts and regrets and a lot of snakes, but you get what I mean.) I do find that period fascinating. He’s a very different being than the one we see even at the end of [Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith]. Like all of us getting older he has become more set in his ways and his assumptions, and his frustrations are obvious. It’s interesting to think how he got there.
StarWars.com: From a storytelling perspective, what's the difference between writing the Yoda we know in Empire and Yoda in the High Republic era?
Cavan Scott: He’s more open in the past, less haunted with what he sees as his mistakes, mistakes that have cost the galaxy greatly. He is more dogmatic than ever with Luke, convinced that his way is the only way, even willing to sacrifice Leia and Han if it means defeating the Emperor and Vader. There’s a harshness there that we don’t see before, a harshness forged in war, but underneath all that, the wisdom still shines through. Thankfully, that wisdom I think leads him to accept that he can still learn things from his last apprentice. He was right, Luke wasn’t ready to face Vader physically or in matters of the Force, but Luke *did* save his friends and ultimately made the right choice further down the line, throwing away his lightsaber instead of using it in anger. I [would] argue that if Luke had listened to Yoda and Obi-Wan and stayed on Dagobah to complete his training, the outcome would have been far, far worse.
StarWars.com: You'll helm issues 1-3 with a story that mainly takes place as a flashback to the High Republic. What can you tell us about how this lines up with the greater timeline? Did you get to add any new characters, species, or locations that you can tell us about?
Cavan Scott: As I think most people know now, Phase 2 of The High Republic is set 150 years before the events of Light of the Jedi. My story here is set somewhere between the two. We get to see the Jedi Council of the time and meet at least one character High Republic fans will recognize and introduce a couple that they may see again as we head back in time for the Quest of the Jedi.
As for new places, yes, we see Yoda as part of a new community, interacting in a way that I don’t think we’ve seen before. One of the things I love about the High Republic is that it shows the Jedi living alongside the people of the galaxy rather than locked away in their temples. This story is all about Yoda making himself part of a community that is not his own, of finding a new home.
StarWars.com: We know you're Jaxxon's #1 fan, but what was your relationship with Yoda before you started working on Star Wars professionally and how has it changed as a result of this project?
Cavan Scott: I’m all about the green obviously! Empire was the first Star Wars I saw in the cinema and, like anyone from that era, Yoda had a huge impact on me. His introduction in the swamp as what the script calls the ‘creature’ is just perfect. So impish, so playful…and then he shifts completely when his true identity is revealed. What a performance by Frank Oz! I’ve been lucky to write Yoda in various projects over the last few years, most notably in Dooku: Jedi Lost, and every time I write him my love for him deepens. It’s fair to say that my study at home is a shrine for three Star Wars icons: there are a lot of Obi-Wan figures; many, many, many, MANY pieces of Ewok merchandise (do I love those murder bears more than the Lepi? Don’t tell Jax, but there’s every chance!); and then there is Yoda. The little guy is everywhere, in models, in art, and in lots of LEGO. Yoda casts a long shadow over anything he appears in, and writing him is a privilege and a responsibility I take seriously.