“After the Fall” gives us some #HighRepublic Phase 2 perspective while also giving us some tantalizing glimpses of what a Phase 3 galaxy looks like. We’ll talk about this story from “Tales of Light and Life” today… Punch it!
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Raw Episode Transcript:
Hey, Rebel Rouser, I’m Allen Voivod, and this is Star Wars 7 by 7, your daily dose of Star Wars joy. And thank you so much for joining me for it. So Claudia Gray’s High Republic stories have often featured the characters Affie and Leox and Geode piloting the ship, the Vessel, they transport cargo for folks. This story, After the Fall, comes from Tales of Light and Life. It’s the collection of short stories that bridges all three phases of High Republic storytelling. This one takes place one day, one week, and one month after the events of The Fallen Star, which is Claudia Gray’s novel ending Wave Three, or Wave Three of phase one, basically showcasing the destruction of Starlight Beacon. Now she gets to write the story of what happens next.
We are in full spoiler territory as we talk about this because, hey, it’s been out for a while. One of the things that comes up is that now as we start to get into the period after the fall of Starlight Beacon, we get to start talking about survivors. We touched on that a little bit when we were talking about the phase three story in Star Wars Insider magazine not too long ago with Joss and Pikka Adren, who had been fixtures in the phase one short stories before being in phase three short stories.
So we knew they survived, but you actually get to see them in After the Fall. And so that was, I guess, the first indicator that they had necessarily survived, unless I’m just not remembering the Fallen Star, which is entirely possible. And additionally, there’s another character named Velko, who was an administrator on Starlight Beacon, and another character from the short stories that had appeared in phase one of High Republic storytelling, so Velko Jahen. It’s really fascinating to see these characters from other storytelling mediums being pulled into Star Wars: High Republic storytelling in this collection.
Now, you don’t necessarily have to have read a lot of the stories involving Affie and Leox and Geode to understand what goes on in this one, although it does seem to help because Affie’s backstory with being a part of this thing called the Byne Guild and how there were indentured people involved in it until Affie busted up the Guild by getting her mother thrown in jail, her adoptive mother. The Byne Guild is disintegrating after that. Knowing that backstory gives you a little more weight if you are able to have it because in this story, Affie basically figures out that there is a way for the Guild to come back and help each other, or at least members of the Guild help each other, but without doing all that whole slavery thing.
Meanwhile, there’s discussion of this Nihil Stormwall that’s gone up, which is a systems-long boundary keeping Nihil space separate from the rest of the galaxy. And according to the storytelling, it is a more savage boundary than anything that anyone remembered, like going back to times of ancient Sith Wars. So yeah, we still have a lot more to learn about this whole Stormwall business.
And we also find out that Marchion Ro has said that anybody who tries to use hyperspace to go into Nihil territory will be destroyed, and it’s hard to know if that’s just a “don’t enter our territory” thing or if it’s a, ‘hey, we have control of hyperspace and we can do things like the Great Hyperspace Disaster, so you won’t even get out of hyperspace. We’ll just sense it and get destroyed.” That threat is really freaking crazy.
It’s also really interesting to have this perspective on Eiram that we do now that we’ve gone through phase two of High Republic storytelling because so much of that was focused on what… I had a few thoughts on what I thought went on with Eiram and E’ronoh, and so now seeing Eiram and seeing the aftermath with Stellan Gios managing to steer Starlight Beacon into a semi-uncontrolled descent into the ocean rather than crashing onto land. There’s still damage, but it’s definitely not as bad as it could have been. Thinking about what it had been like 150 years later and now thinking about it with the wreckage of Starlight Beacon and its oceans, yeah, definitely another fascinating aspect of this story.
The only thing I was just on the fence a little bit about was the stuff with Geode. So if you have read any of Claudia Gray’s stories where Geode features, you know that there’s a lot of comedic stuff that she does with that, like how he is apparently an incorrigible flirt. There was a point in time where Joss and Pikka Adren, like Joss was a little bit wary of Geode because Geode would flirt with Pikka somehow. And, of course, Geode is a giant rock creature for all intents and purposes for ease of discussion. Yeah, it’s just weird stuff like that. Claudia Gray has a lot of fun with it. She does really well.
However, in this particular story, there are a couple of places where that talk about Geode is put to a different effect. I’m so used to it being comedic, and it’s not in a comedic place. For example, when Affie is just feeling terrible about what happened to Starlight Beacon in the beginning. There’s a bit about how Geode’s “wordless sorrow seemed more eloquent than anything Affie could say.” It’s not that I necessarily think of Geode as comic-relief per se, as a character, but it felt like Claudia Gray has utilized him as comic relief so much in my head at least, that one felt like, “Oh, man, it’s funny, but it’s also not.”
I don’t know, that one could be just me. It’s not saying that it’s not well-written, it was just like, I guess, a too-soon moment, maybe. But it’s a gentle story overall, and Leox has some great Matthew McConaughey style perspective on things. So yeah, I enjoyed it overall. It’s After the Fall by Claudia Gray. It’s the fifth of nine short stories in the main version or the fifth of 10 if you’re getting the Barnes and Noble version of Tale and Light and Life. And that is going to do it for this episode of the podcast. It just remains for me to say thank you so much for joining me for it as always, and may the Force be with you wherever in the world you may be.