I’m really enjoying The High Republic stories I’ve been reading in the new novels, and wanted to do a weekly post on some aspect of them every Wednesday if I can. I don’t read the comics at the moment, in which a lot of the stories take place, but I will focus on the adult and young adult novels, and perhaps middle-grade books if I get to them. (And maybe someday I’ll check out the comics).
For my first post, I’d like to focus on Jedi Master Stellan Gios.
Stellan features prominently in the High Republic adult novel The Rising Storm, in which he leads the Jedi in defending the Republic Fair against an attack from the Nihil. His strength is put to the test as he attempts to protect Republic Chancellor Lina Soh and fends off Nihil attackers like the brutal Lourna Dee.
Stellan is a described as easy on the eyes, a little in love with the sound of his own voice, and one who enjoys being in the limelight. The truth is, he simply loves to teach about the Jedi and the Force, and is always ready to enlighten people. He’s recently become a member of the Jedi High Council, and often feels he isn’t ready to take on the responsibility such a position entails. Like many of the High Republic Jedi, he perceives the Force in a unique way; Stellan sees the force as the firmament, all the stars in the sky (his name is a clue, lol).
Stellan is friends with fellow Jedi Masters Avar Kriss and Elzar Mann. The three grew up together as Padawans, and have a deep bond. He wasn’t present too much in the first book, The Light of the Jedi (Avar and Elzar starred in that one) but in The Rising Storm, it’s Stellan and Elzar’s relationship that is explored. Elzar is a bit of a loose canon, and Stellan often feels he needs to keep an eye on him, in the best possible way. Their friendship is deep, and they rely on each other for support and advice.
Early on in The Rising Storm, a news reporter named Rhil Dairo has just met Stellan. Here are her thoughts on him:
Rhil liked Stellan. He was a bit stiff, sure…a bit earnest and, on days when she wasn’t feeling generous, a little too keen on the sound of his own voice, but she could tell that his heart was definitely in the right place. Of course, it didn’t hurt that he was a handsome son-of-a-blaster. Oh no, not at all. That chiseled jaw beneath the dashing beard, those blue eyes. And the smile. That smile! That was the real killer, right there. No wonder the Council had decided to make him their poster boy. (p. 55)
Later in the book, after the battle and Stellan is carrying the injured Lina Soh in his arms, these are his thoughts:
Somewhere in the back of his mind, Stellan knew the galaxy was watching. He could hear the whine of the cam droids, almost feel their lenses closing in, picking up every scrap of dirt on his robes, the injuries on his face, the tears in his eyes.
Jedi weren’t supposed to cry. They were supposed to keep their emotions in check. But weren’t they also supposed to feel compassion for those in pain?
For light and life.
For light and…
Stellan heard a whimper, but didn’t realize it was his own.
There was no avoiding the suffering of those whose lives had been torn apart, no avoiding their pain. If he could, if the anguish and the misery didn’t cut him to the quick, then what kind of Jedi would he be? (p. 339)
These two passages really show the two faces of Stellan, the public and the private. I wasn’t sure how I felt about him at the beginning of the book, but by the end, I loved him. Right now I’m finding Elzar Mann a little more interesting (more on him in a future post), but there’s no denying Stellan is a stellar Jedi.
For light and life. Thanks for reading!