The stories behind the stories

Star Wars: Lost Tribe of the Sith Part 3: Paragon

“Oh, I don’t think you know what I’m capable of.” — Seelah Korsin

Star Wars: Lost Tribe of the Sith Part 3: Paragon

My third Star Wars eBook for Del Rey, in which the human Sith settle their debts…
Published by Random House/Del Rey • February 10, 2010
Written by John Jackson Miller

Cover by Dave Stevenson

Edited by Shelly Shapiro

Seelah Korsin, the point-of-view character for this episode, is one of the most evil characters I’ve ever written; I felt like I needed a bath after living in her brain for a while.

The Lost Tribe seen in the Fate of the Jedi novels differs in many respects from the Sith as seen in the Kevin Anderson Tales of the Jedi comics stories, and in those differences, I found quite a few story springboards. “Paragon” has a major example in the fate of the so-called “red Sith,” the tentacle-faced characters so prominent in those stories.

Kesh’s harmful effect on the Massassi warriors having been dealt with in part 1, the fate of Ravilan’s people was a little more complicated. As it happened, it worked in very well with what the novel authors had decided do with the Lost Tribe. The all-human Tribe we see later on prizes physical perfection; the ancient origins of that were easy to plant in Seelah’s desire for racial purity. Seelah’s life story also presented an opportunity to deal with the issue of lightsabers, which worked differently in their previous appearances in this timeframe.

This episode also deals with what I assumed would exist – tensions within the Lost Tribe about how much effort was going into making their escape from the planet. No one else knowing what Yaru knew from the first episode, we can easily see factions breaking along this line.

Importantly, this episode also introduces Nida Korsin, Yaru’s daughter with Seelah. She’s well away from the action here, but we see how Yaru’s first thought goes to her when danger arises.

It would be another decade later before I would write another character as diabolical as Seelah as the main POV character — the Emperor Georgiou, for my 2020 novel, Star Trek: Discovery – Die Standing. The “Paragon” experience came in handy!

“What did you do? What did you do to us?” — Ravilan

The original eBook included a preview of Aaron Allston‘s novel. Fate of the Jedi: Backlash, a novel whose release was delayed after Aaron suffered a heart attack while on the book tour for Fate of the Jedi: Outcast. That resulted in a pause in the series while he recuperated, so the production and release of this short story was delayed for some months.

Water is a prominent thematic device in this episode, which is probably the first Star wars story to start with a shower scene!

One of the trickier things about writing in this milieu is that we keep tabs on time via “standard years,” and it was assumed that the Sith on Kesh would do so too. We don’t ever really say what Kesh’s orbital period is; that would make things too complicated. It’s fiction, not algebra class!

The Star Wars Atlas had just appeared as this work was being prepared, which gave me a chance to work in the Stygian Caldera.

The substance cyanogen silicate hearkens back to the deadly cyanogen gas seen in the early Tales of the Jedi comics.

Readers of the Knights of the Old Republic comics may see the very small Easter egg hidden here: the pedicure kit for Ludo Kressh handled by Gryph in KOTOR #29 was originally used by Seelah Korsin!