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"The Banchiians" is a bonus comic chapter published in Star Wars: The High Republic: The Edge of Balance, Vol. 1, written by Shima Shinya and drawn by Nezu Usugumo. Set shortly before the events of the main manga volume, the story follows Lily Tora-Asi, Nima, and Viv'nia as they discover the tiny native species of Banchii.

Plot summary[]

Exploring the cave[]

Shortly after the settling of the planet Banchii, Jedi Knight Lily Tora-Asi, her Padawan Keerin Fionn, the Jedi younglings Viv'nia and Nima, and droid DD-1A are exploring a nearby forest. The Jedi stumble upon a cave. Lily notices that the dirt is freshly disturbed and finds a path inside. DD-1A reports that the cave is unexplored. Lily believes that the cave might be related to the recent complaints by the civilians.

Lily leads the Jedi in exploring the cave. When Nima asks if something is living inside the caves, Lily says this is possible since Ru-Ru's reports did not describe it. Lily notices that the Togruta Viv'nia is nervous. She also notices that Viv'nia is wearing a headpiece that Nima made. Viv'nia describes Nima as a talented artist. Lily agrees an describes Nima as a compassionate friend. Lily reassures the younger Jedi that they will face times of anxiety but that they are not alone.

Keerin notices that his master is good with younglings. Lily admits that watching over them can be challenging but that she is responsible for all them, including Keerin. DD-1A discovers a rope. Against Lily's warning, Nima steps on a wire trap and falls into a pit. The Jedi soon find themselves surrounded by several small hooded avian figures armed with wooden sticks, arrows, and torches.

First contact[]

Sensing that the creatures are angry, Lily tells Nima not to move in order to de-escalate the situation. Keerin and Viv'nia ignite their lightsabers bit Lily warns them that lightsabers should not be used recklessly. She tells them to lower their lightsabers, saying that being driven by fear can cause more harm even in self defense. After checking on Nima, Lily speaks with the avian creatures, apologizing for surprising them and asking if they could let their friend go. Keerin notices that the creatures do not speak Galactic Basic Standard.

Lily uses the Force to calm the energy around the Jedi, causing the avian creatures to disperse. While Viv'nia embraces Nima, Lily explains that she has managed to convince the creatures they are not predators. When Nima asks what the creatures are, Lily says that Ru-Ru mentioned that these may be the Banchiians who have lived here for centuries. Viv'nia notices that the Banchiians live in caves nearby.

The Jedi also recognize that the Banchiians are in possession of several dishes and utensils that disappeared from the settlement. Keerin wonders whether these creatures are the cause of the complaints and wonders where they are from. Lily thinks that creatures are wondering the same about them since the Banchiians were here first. Keerin wonders if there is a way to communicate with the Banchiians. Lily gets Nima to use sand drawings to communicate with the Banchiians.

Sharing and diplomacy[]

Based on the sand drawings, Lily and the Jedi learn that the Banchiians live in these caves. Nima also explains that there are other people living nearby. When Nima asks why the Banchiians stole from them, Lily senses through the Force that the avians do not have a concept of ownership. She deduces that they think that everything on the planet Banchii is for everyone to share. Keerin replies that the civilians may not see it the same way.

To defuse tensions between the natives and colonists, Lily proposes setting up a community space to leave things that are shareable. Nima conveys the message to the Banchiians through sand drawings. The Banchiians tells Nima that they don't need the objects and offer to return them. Lily reassures the avians that they can share them. As the Banchiians return to their dwellings in peace, Keerin asks Lily if she is sure that the people will agree to this.

Lily replies that it may take more than one meeting to develop an exchange system but vows to continue dialogue between the colonists and Banchiians in order to promote peaceful coexistence. Lily leads the Jedi back to the Temple to report their findings. She says that this excursion is only the beginning of their time on Banchii and that there is plenty of forest yet to explore.

Appearances[]


Sources[]

Notes and references[]

  1. Amazon favicon.png Star Wars: The High Republic: Edge of Balance on Amazon.com (backup link)
  2. The High Republic: The Rising Storm features the Valo Republic Fair, Attack on Valo, and the Battle of Grizal, all of which take place in 231 BBY according to StarWars.com SWCC 2022: 7 Things We Learned from the Lucasfilm Publishing Behind the Page Panel on StarWars.com (backup link). The first volume of Star Wars: The High Republic: The Edge of Balance, which this comic occurs shortly before, is set prior to, concurrently, and after The Rising Storm, meaning the events of "The Banchiians" must occur around that year.
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