The stories behind the stories

Star Wars: “Interference”

Attention Mandalorians! This is your friend from the Republic, Captain Goodvalor calling!”

Star Wars: “Interference”

My second Star Wars prose story, originally found on Hyperspace.
Published by • September 29, 2008
Written by John Jackson Miller

Edited by Pablo Hidalgo

My second short story for — originally available to Hyperspace members — elaborated of something I’d considered for the text pages of the Knights of the Old Republic comics series. In 2007, each issue of Knights included a text page including news reports from within the Star Wars universe that related to the storyline; often, these included opinion pieces in the voices of characters in the fictional world.

When “Vector” started in 2008, those pages were retired — but I had already worked out ideas for a couple of the issues that were timed to coincide with the Mandalorian siege of Taris, and so I considered working one of them into a short story. I had always been interested in propaganda broadcasts of the sort that Lord Haw-Haw and Tokyo Rose dispatched across the battle lines in World War II — psychological operations meant to dispirit the soldiers on the other side. The Republic in this time had its own such character, I imagined, named Captain Goodvalor.

Thus, “Interference” follows a sequence of broadcasts by Goodvalor, followed by the reactions of a typical Mandalorian, illustrating the disconnect between what Republic officials thought of the Mandalorians, and how the Mandies really were. It’s more or an exchange of letters than a dialogue, similar to some of Woody Allen‘s short stories — and while it’s intended to be about as serious, it does still illustrate that cultural disconnect.

After the demise of Hyperspace, Unbound Worlds hosted the story for several years (archived version here).

“The Republic. Real beds. Running water.” — Captain Goodvalor

The last broadcast of William Joyce, known as Lord Haw-Haw, can be heard here. It’s one of the things I listened to in coming up with Goodvalor’s dialogue near the end of the story.

The non-existent ship, Serroco, is named after the site of a previous battle, shown in #15 of the comics series.

Goodvalor, of course, has a connection to Gryph, as we find out in Knights of the Old Republic – Demon. But the speaker for Goodvalor on Zongurlu is Gryph’s brother; there was no time for Gryph to have gone there and returned to Taris when he did.

Koblus Sornell turns up years later in Knights of the Old Republic – War, her name abbreviated to Ko. She’s seen in the illustration, above. The misunderstanding of Mandalorians by the Republic — and vice-versa — is a theme there. Neither Gryph, nor Ko, nor the readers when the story was released would know who was really speaking until several years later!