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Star Wars' Strangest Alien Brings a New Kind of Life into the Galaxy
Jennifer Roy
2021-08-06T23:01:36
Star Wars High Republic Out of the Shadows
Star Wars High Republic Out of the Shadows
WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Star Wars: The High Republic: Out of the Shadows by Claudia Gray and Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures #6, on sale now.
One of the more polarizing figures in the Star Wars: The High Republic subseries is Geode, the navigator of The Vessel. First introduced in Claudia Gray’s Star Wars: The High Republic: Into the Dark, Geode is now playing a supporting role in Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures. Geode appears to be just a rock, but he actually is a sentient rocklike species called a Vintian. While most sentient creatures in the Star Wars universe are humanoid or at least appear to be from the animal kingdom, the Star Wars: The High Republic subseries seems committed to expanding the types of aliens in the galaxy, from the Drengir villains to Geode himself.

Who is Geode?

In Claudia Gray's Star Wars: The High Republic: Into the Dark, Geode is first introduced. A particularly disbelieving Padawan Reath Silas reflects, "Standing in the corner of the cockpit was a rock. About as tall and slightly wider than Reath himself, dark gray, with rounded edges and a flinty, flaky surface. Impressive, as rocks went. But still, it was just a rock, wasn't it?" Leox Gyasi, the Vessel's pilot, confirms that Geode is a Vintian, and that Geode's actual name is not pronounceable for species with mouths, adding to Reath's confusion.
Most of Geode’s actual actions occur off-page, with other characters relating Geode’s escapades to an often disbelieving audience. Thus, in the subseries, he serves a similar comic relief role to Morn from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine -- someone that other characters talk about but never actually speaks themselves. Throughout the novel, the reader learns that Geode is, unsurprisingly, a good listener, very serious about his job as navigator, a "wild man" when it comes to parties, and very sensitive when things go wrong.
In Lucasfilm's Publishing Panel for [email protected], Claudia Gray reflected on writing Geode. She states, "the whole fun of [Geode] is looking at all of the ways in prose that we talk about character reactions and interactions that aren't either body language or verbal. And there are actually a ton of ways that we do that. I hadn't realized how many until I started playing with it." Throughout the subseries, Geode interacts with characters on a more psychic level that involves feelings and impressions more than actual speech, expanding ideas of what communication is and can be when it comes to alien species in the Star Wars universe.

Geode's Role in the Star Wars: High Republic subseries

In Star Wars: The High Republic: Out of the Shadows, Geode mainly serves as the navigator and also a good friend and sounding board for Leox and Affie Hollow, the captain of the ship, and their affection for Geode is clear. Geode's main heroic moment comes later, after the Jedi have accidentally awoken the Drengir on Amaxine Station, which is also being invaded by the Nihil. Reath attempts to sacrifice himself to defeat both the Drengir and the Nihil by venting them out of the station. Reath almost goes out of the airlock as well, but Geode arrives, preventing Reath from falling into open space. Finally, Reath, who has been highly skeptical of Geode throughout the novel, connects with Geode. He reflects that he "could feel that now—a connection to a life-form profoundly alien, and yet as vividly alive as any being he had ever encountered." Therefore Reath, like the audience, has to reconfigure his own preconceptions about sentience and embrace the nuances of alternate species other than his own.
So far, Geode serves a similar purpose in Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures #6, by Daniel José Older, Harvey Tolibao, Pow Rodrix, Jake M. Wood, Rebecca Nalty, Elizabeth Brei, Heather Antos and Riley Farmer. Geode bonds quickly with the Padawan Qort, who, while he is humanoid, is unable to speak basic and thus has his own troubles communicating sometimes. When a group of mercenaries hired by Jabba the Hutt take over the Vessel, they use the Vessel to attack the Jedi's negotiations with the Hutt Cartel. When the Hutts return fire, Geode, off-page, appears seemingly out of nowhere and manages to pilot the Vessel to safety, much to the mercenaries' surprise.
In Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures, the mercenaries seem intent upon taking out all evidence of their role in the attack, including the Vessel's passengers. Therefore Geode probably will play a major role in rescuing Qort, Affie and Jedi Master Obratuk from their plans, and he will continue to play a key role in the subseries going forward. Thus, while Geode may appear to just be a rock at first, he actually serves a strong comic relief purpose and expands our vision of what a sentient creature can be in a galaxy far, far away.
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