“But all conversation came to an end as Leox and Affie stopped their group at the edge of the cockpit. ‘And this here,’ Leox said with a grin, ‘is our ship’s navigator, Geode. Standing in one corner of the cockpit was a rock. About as tall as and slightly wider than Reath himself, dark gray, with rounded edges and a flinty, flaky surface. Impressive as rocks went.”
Introduced in the novel Star Wars – The High Republic: Into the Dark by Claudia Gray, Geode is the navigator of the starship called The Vessel that is piloted by eccentric captain Leox Gyasi and co-pilot Affie Holow. Geode is a Vintian from the planet Vint. As a Vintian name can’t be pronounced correctly unless you don’t have a mouth, the humanoid crew of The Vessel gave the space-rock a nickname: Geode. On Earth, geodes are hollow, vaguely spherical rocks, in which masses of mineral matter (which may include crystals) grow.
It is unclear if Geode identifies himself as metamorphic, magmatic, or sedimentary rock. Geode may appear like someone who doesn’t like to talk much, but his character has many layers (suggesting he is indeed a sedimentary rock). He is an excellent listener, never talks back and remains stone-faced in every situation.
Author Claudia Gray said that Geode actually came from her boyfriend’s idea.
“I’m giving credit where it is due, that was actually my boyfriend’s idea. I had Leox. And he needed a navigator. And I knew that the navigator needed to be of few words, because Leox was good with words and spoke very eloquently, and sometimes extensively on his own behalf. And I didn’t want something competing with that.”
“But at the same time, you don’t want to just do Chewbacca again. So I was like, ‘What can I do? What can I do?’ And Paul goes, ‘What if it’s a rock?’ Yes! A rock. I mean, he’s not a rock. He’s a Vintian. But it’s very difficult to tell Vintains apart from rocks, unless you’re a Vintian. Or a rock.”
Rocks and minerals play a small but significant role in the Star Wars universe. Kyber crystals are needed to power the lightsaber – the formal weapon of a Jedi Knight. The only thing that can resist a lightsaber is beskar or Mandalorian iron, an extremely durable metallic ore featured in the 2019-2021 TV-series “The Mandalorian.” In the 2017 movie “The Last Jedi” the mineral world Crait is covered in thick layers of salt as a rock-licking and geologically curious rebel soldier notes.
According to Yoda’s speech in “The Empire Strikes Back” (1980), The Force surrounds not only humanoids, but also apparent lifeless objects. In the expanded Star Wars universe, the B’rknaa are a mineral-based sentient species native to Indobok, a moon orbiting the planet Kalarba. They can manipulate crystals to form humanoid bodies or use droid bodies to interact with other species.
Most reviewers of Into the Dark, like author Claudia Gray, have fun with such an absurdity as a rock as a protagonist. The “character” is mostly played for laughs through the entire novel, but his purpose is eventually revelaed at the end. However, some reviews note the lack of originality, playing it safe with stories relying too much on previous installments of the saga.
There are others who got triggered, seeing especially Geode as an example of misplaced humor hiding the lack of direction in a franchise loved especially by older generations. In 1999, the introduction of the (in)famous childish Jar Jar Binks, wanted by Star Wars creator George Lucas himself to appear as a comic sidekick in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, was widely rejected by critics and often ridiculed by fans. The resulting online hate led actor Ahmed Best, portraying the computer-generated character, to consider suicide for a time. Geode’s introduction is especially mocked on platforms like Youtube, but it is unlikely that it will ever reach Jar Jar Binks level. After all, bashing each other’s heads in over a rock should be limited to geologists.
Geode’s advice, if he could speak at all, may simply be: keep calm and rock on.