It does not take much for groupthink to insert itself into your life. A moment of opportunity. In George Mann’s second Star Wars Insider story, an encounter with a Jedi gives one person a chance to convert an adjunct in the Temple of the Kyber.
**Spoilers for A Different Perspective**
From Whool’s Point of View
Keth Cerepath, our established main character, is walking through the streets of Jedha City as preparations are underway for the Festival of Balance, a new celebration to bring various Force sects together. Keth is working at the Temple of the Kyber, his chores increasing as the Elders of the Church of the Force are preparing for visitors, but he is taking time to wander the streets to get food.
While settling down to eat, he hears a backfire and a speeder heading toward a crowd of Path protesters. A young Jedi woman, Maeve Cuilinn, saves the lives of several Path members who run away with one Abednedo remaining. When Maeve tries to ask the man if he is ok, he wants nothing to do with her, so Keth intervenes and helps the hurt man. He brings the Abednedo to Enlightenment and learns his name, Whool. Keth is confused at why The Path scorns the Jedi Order in particular. Whool believes that the Jedi are too quick to act and bend the Force to their will, then are gone before witnessing the consequences of their actions. And that any life they save will cost other lives, restoring balance.
Whool then tells Keth a mini-story about his brother, who was Force-sensitive but cut himself off at the behest of their parents. They were a family of miners, and one day, while working a shift, Grael used the Force to save a group of ten people from a collapsed mine. Everyone was so grateful, but later they learned that another mine had collapsed, killing more than 30 people.
Whool asks Keth to consider his warnings about the Jedi, thanks him for the drink, and leaves. As Keth contemplates the Abednedo’s story, his friend Piralli tells him that a freak speeder accident killed four people, including the driver. Piralli also confirms that this is the very same speeder that almost killed Whool.
The timing of the news clearly affects Keth, and when his friend asks him if he wants another drink, he responds, “whatever the Force wills.” It is a melancholy ending compared to the first story, “New Prospects,” and could foreshadow more coming in the audio drama The Battle of Jedha. “A Different Perspective” is the only High Republic story in Star Wars Insider that is one part and does not span two issues. This is likely because Lucasfilm Publishing wanted this story released before The Battle of Jedha. Will Keth cross over from short stories to audio drama or even comics? There is also a brief mention of delegations coming from Eiram and E’ronoh to the neutral city to sign a peace treaty post the marriage of the two heirs of both worlds. A reference to Convergence gives a better sense of where each of these stories fits within Phase Two.
As for Whool, he does bring up a good point with regards to child Force-sensitives. It is reasonable for parents who do not want their children taken by a group of space wizards to rationalize not having their child not use the Force. This is a legitimate fear that has not been mentioned as much in Star Wars, partly because we never see the families that Jedi leave behind.
Now, Whool’s story could be entirely made up, and that accident could be engineered by members of The Path to further sympathy for their cause (after reading a few novels with them as an antagonist, I would not put it past their leadership). And Whool’s logic is a fool’s errand in any universe. Bad things always happen in Star Wars, not just because someone uses the Force. Conflicts and casualties will always exist with so many beings populating a galaxy.
It is fear of those with an ability that others do not understand and those willing to exploit that fear for personal gain. The Mother (the leader of The Path) uses the group as her own army to carry out attacks against her personal enemies.
And yet, the work she has to do to recruit new members is minuscule because other believers, like Marda and Whool, will do the heavy lifting. We will see where Keth’s new enlightenment takes him in the following short story, perhaps even sooner. But it is not looking great for the Jedi Order and the Church of the Force.