Exclusive Interview with Cavan Scott

Cavan Scott is one of the bright minds behind the High Republic initiative and the writer of more Star Wars books and comics than I think I could list (he probably would have released a few more in the time it’d take me to try). He was gracious enough to take the time to answer some of my questions about the High Republic and beyond. Most people are probably pretty familiar with his Star Wars works already, but be sure to check out his site and some of his other stories.


One element of the High Republic that I’ve really enjoyed so far is how it stands on its own as a story while at the same time grounding itself in its placement on the broader Star Wars timeline, both by setting up elements from the Skywalker Saga and by calling back to things from Knights of the Old Republic, Tales of the Jedi, etc. What’s the process like figuring out the right ways to do that and finding a balance between too little or not enough?

For me it’s all about working out what will derail new readers. Are the references going to take them out of the story as they suddenly feel like they need a history lesson, or do they feel organic to the story. Continuity references should be a reward for long term fans, but never punishment for new readers / viewers. The great thing about Star Wars is that deep history is baked into the storytelling and was right there in the beginning when Obi-Wan and Luke discuss the Clone Wars. Even as a kid I sat forward and asked ‘what’s that?’ If we get the references right, they will instil the same sense of wonder and intrigue as that simple conversation in Ben’s hut.

The Rising Storm is very much a book about Jedi and Nihil but one part of it that I really enjoyed was getting a look at some other aspects of the Republic in this era through characters like Chancellor Soh and Tia Toon. What do you view as the biggest factor separating the Senate and the Jedi in this era from how we see them in the prequels, after things have started to go downhill?

I think it’s the respect both parties have for each other. They’re equals, especially at the beginning of the High Republic. The Republic doesn’t just see the Jedi as its very own police force and the Jedi are more confident about their place in the galaxy and more willing to stand up to the Republic when needed.

Out of the Shadows saw the High Republic debut of the Graf family, who were the stars of your first Star Wars story and who have been a staple in a lot of your works since then. Was it Justina Ireland’s idea to bring them in or did you already have some ideas in mind for what they might have been up to during this part of history?

I think the Grafs were mentioned in our very first week at Skywalker Ranch. They were definitely in my original pitch for what would become the High Republic. Then at the second Ranch visit we started to discuss a rivalry between the Grafs and the San Tekkas. Justina definitely took that up and ran with it in Out of the Shadows and we’ll see more of them in future.

Plus, of course, there’s the fact that Lina Graf shares her name with Lina Soh. I like to think that the Lina of the Rebellion was named after the High Republic’s Chancellor.

It’s become very clear very quickly that characters throughout the High Republic jump between authors and mediums regularly so you never know who could pop up where, though each author has some characters that they focus on more than others. Do you ever feel protective of characters like Keeve or Ty when someone else is writing them, or pressure when you’re writing a character like Vernestra?

I try not to feel pressure as we’re in a shared universe and so our individual creations are also our creations. Plus it’s always interesting to see what other people bring to the characters you create.

I remember at one point you said that when you wrote the High Republic references into Dooku: Jedi Lost, it wasn’t actually set in stone that it would be Project Luminous. Were those seeds mentioned in Jedi Lost like Teradine or Master Trennis things that you had fleshed out in your head already or were they more like things you decided to revisit once development moved further along?

A bit of both. I had ideas for sure, but needed to see where we would land for Project: Luminous. And of course, I also wrote in Easter eggs for the other Project Luminous pitches into Jedi Lost too. They’re all in there.

In any of the stories you’ve written so far, who have been your favorite High Republic characters to develop?

It has to be Keeve and Sskeer. Their relationship has taken me by surprise and is at the heart of the High Republic for me. I’m so happy that other people have come to love them as much as I do.

It’s no secret you enjoy putting plenty of little easter eggs and references into all of your stories for fans to unpack. Are there any you’ve hidden so deep that you don’t think anyone has noticed them yet?

Yes.

What was the experience like writing the stories for Jedi Temple Challenge last year? How different was the process and approach for those compared to the publishing side of things?

It was so much fun and also a learning experience. We were literally putting the show together as the stories were coming together, so at first, for example, we didn’t know that we would need to incorporate physical props that the kids would have to find in the ship. So there was a lot of going back and tweaking along the way.

Are there any other Star Wars stories you have in your head that you’d like to tell if you got the chance?

Oh yes, but I can’t share them… yet.

How sad are you that you didn’t get to be the one to introduce Yaddle into the High Republic era?

Not at all. I’m just happy she’s there!

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Numidian Prime

I like Star Wars. And Marvel too, to a lesser degree.

4 thoughts on “Exclusive Interview with Cavan Scott”

  1. Oh hell yeah. I loved the last interview you did, and I love this one too! Pretty sure I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating that Cavan Scott is the man. His name is a seal of quality for me at this point. Still need to listen to Tempest Runner, thinking I’ll do that this weekend. I’m sure I’ll end up loving it.

    That coy “yes,” makes me want to go back and dissect everything he’s done and parse out his deepest cuts.

    I really appreciate your interview style, a healthy mix of the big picture questions, and the REAL (read: Yaddle-based) questions. Also a great mix between lore and BTS tidbits. I never thought about Lina Graf being named after Lina Soh but that’s such a great bit of connectivity. It feels like a connection that should’ve been obvious, but went over my head completely. Great stuff. I hope to see you interview the rest of the THR crew at some point!

    Liked by 1 person

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