Knights of the Old Republic: Vanguard of the Republic is a fan fiction novella written by user Jedi Master 76. Vanguard of the Republic was the first of several novellas written for the Days of Dissidence Series, and it is the earliest chronologically. The story was conceptualized during the writing of Convict's Dawn, and it was written during the fall of 2009. The story was updated during 2012, receiving a minor rewrite.
Vanguard of the Republic is the accompanying novella of Convict's Dawn; as such, it provides backstory and coverage for events either alluded to or missed during the novel itself. The story is primarily told in the first-person through the eyes of Republic soldier Jhosua Weros. Fighting on Sluis Van, Jhosua is forced to undertake several missions in an effort to defeat the Sith forces intent on capturing the world. The novel occasionally shifts to a traditional third-person format to introduce Colonel Ducian Eto, the Republic officer in charge of the defense of Sluis Van, and Verita Ladola, one of the Jedi Knights under his command, detailing their actions in the fight against the Sith.
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, before the revenge of the Sith, the birth of the Empire, and the return of the Jedi there was a time of galactic turmoil, political unrest, and folding allegiances. The Sith Empire increased its influence throughout the galaxy while the Galactic Republic, the bastion of order and democracy, took its dying breath. The dark side grew stronger with each passing day, and the Jedi Order was forced to confront an enemy unlike any other: itself. The Knight of Alderaan, the Paladin of Evening, and the Vindictive Guardian are the epithets of those involved in our tale. Around these three shall our story be spun, and these three shall direct the fate of those around them, for good or ill.
Enter the era of the Knights of the Old Republic. Enter the days of dissidence...
The Jedi Civil War has begun. Once proverbial saviors of the Galactic Republic, the Jedi Knights Revan and Malak have returned to known space as conquerors. With ships and soldiers that no one has seen before, the two newly christened Dark Lords sweep across the galaxy, unleashing their indomitable war machine against the Republic. Without materiel and soldiers, the military of the Republic cannot repel the invaders and defend its member-worlds. Seeing the peril of the known galaxy and determined to redeem their former brethren, the Jedi Order has joined forces with Colonel Ducian Eto, a brilliant Republic strategist, to keep the Sith Empire from reaching the Core Worlds.
The world of Sluis Van is a treasure that neither galactic superpower will surrender. A shipyard in the farthest reaches of Republic space, this recently discovered world has become a battleground. Darth Revan has set his sights upon it for a reason unknown to both the Republic and their Jedi allies, but they will not let it fall without a fight. In one of the cities that dot the planet's surface, a squad of Republic soldiers prepares to rescue a number of enslaved natives from their Sith oppressors. However, their task, and their desire to return home, will prove more difficult than any of them could have foreseen...
In order of appearance and/or mentioning.
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Behind the scenesEdit
The story told in Vanguard of the Republic was originally intended for Convict's Dawn, the first novel of the Days of Dissidence Series. However, pacing issues forced Jedi Master 76 to cut out the story entirely, devoting it to the first in his series of short stories. Had this not happened, the first novella in the series would have involved a backstory for Ralina Venli, the smuggler captain introduced in Convict's Dawn, or detailed events on Alderaan after Raen Benax, the protagonist of Convict's Dawn, fled the planet. The latter idea would eventually be adapted into Knight of Alderaan, the second novel in the series.
Sluis Van was chosen as the setting for Vanguard primarily because it had been settled at the time of the Jedi Civil War and yet had not been given a detailed canon background for the time period. The scenes set in the unnamed city and the forest battle afterward drew inspiration from various levels in the Halo series.
The idea of the protagonist as a rookie soldier is common in military fiction; in Jedi Master 76's case, he purposely made Jhosua Weros a rookie soldier in Vanguard to show his character's growth throughout the story and the series as a whole. He was originally named Caleb, after the Israelite spy in the Judeo-Christian Book of Numbers; however, he was renamed Jhosua to draw parallels to the Israelite leader, Joshua, instead.
Although all of the characters were present in the earliest drafts, not all of them were given names and some of them had much smaller roles. For example, Verita initially had no name and was a background character, and Horan's part in the story was significantly downplayed prior to the final draft. The Sluissi were a relatively recent addition, added when Jedi Master 76 realized that the soldiers had little to no interaction with the planet's natives.
Colonel Eto's fate was much different between the decision to cut the Sluis Van segments from Convict's Dawn and writing it as a novella. Ducian Eto was originally supposed to betray Verita and hand her over to Darth Revan to secure the survival of his men; however, his actions would be discovered by the Jedi Council and he would have been executed for treason by the Republic. This was changed, and he ended up surviving the battle and its aftermath, despite leaving the military.
The story was primarily influenced by the 1957 film Paths of Glory while the final battle drew from the battle of Endor in Return of the Jedi. Other inspirations for the story include the video games of the Halo series, Mass Effect series, the film Saving Private Ryan and the The Lord of the Rings trilogy. The title refers to Darth Revan, who sees himself as the defender of the Republic even as he is destroying it, but it also refers to Jhosua Weros as well. The story's theme is centered around the concepts of duty, honor, and sacrifice.