“This is especially important for me to lean into a bit these days where all around the world different places are suffering from various kinds of nationalistic movements, and the same is very much true in Japan, and the far right over there really loves to idolize the samurai. I can’t get behind this right now. It doesn’t feel good! That was a huge part of what I was thinking of when I figured out what the dynamics of this new iteration of the world would look like.”
The character through which this pressure performs out is the anonymous Ronin additionally seen in “The Duel,” the first episode of the animated Star Wars: Visions. In the episode, Ronin is depicted as a wanderer with a mysterious previous. When he’s drawn right into a battle with different Sith whereas visiting a small village, he should determine whether or not to assist these in want or do nothing. While he seems to be the hero of the piece, the coloration of his lightsaber means that hasn’t at all times been the case.
The Jedi had been much more carefully tied to the guide’s model of the Empire in her preliminary pitch. But, Candon says, the Lucasfilm story group “wanted to stay a little more true to the Star Wars roots of there’s a history where the Jedi aren’t necessarily tied to the Empire in their origin.”
Drawing from traditional components of Japanese folklore was additionally important to the formation of the novel. As seen on this lengthy excerpt, not everybody who dies in the novel stays useless. And a few of Candon’s early ideas for the guide centered round questions impressed by folklore archetypes. “What if Benkei but an oni?” she requested throughout very early planning. “Benkei is this legendary warrior-monk who’s like ‘Samurai suck! I’m going to beat them up and take their swords.’ So he does that, he goes around the world and his goal is to do it a thousand times and he does it 999 times,” Candon explains. “He finds one guy and is like ‘You’re good, I’m going to follow you, I’m going to be your retainer for the rest of my life.’ There’s this space in Japanese history where it is a cross between legend and history, and that’s where Benkei lives.”
In Ronin, the title character himself performs the Benkei-like position. First teased in his Visions episode after he defeats his enemy, we be taught that Ronin’s on a quest to kill Sith and take their kyber crystals, which he carries like trophies. Why he’s doing this turn into clear later in the story.
A kitsune Jedi — envisioned in the novel as the character referred to as the Traveler — was one other concept she wished to embody “That basically makes no sense, but I have to make it work.” In Japanese folklore, the kitsune is a fox spirit recognized for the skill to shapeshift. The Traveler, a mysterious former Jedi, doesn’t actually shapeshift. But their obscured previous, who and what they are surely, and their use of a masks all through the novel convey the essence of the creature.