It can be dizzying to try and keep up with news on Taris, but among the highlights in our week we came to find out that Taris has recently had a new Chancellor installed, after the previous Chancellor Bianti has stepped down. We got the opportunity to interview Chancellor Vashti on several topics. Here is what she had to say:
To start with, for our viewers, could you please tell us who you are, where you’re from, a little about yourself, and your current position?
“My name is Riyo Vashti, though my friends call me Ri….or Rice.” She added that last bit with a small chuckle. “It comes from my habit as a child of sticking rice in my nose….I must have gotten it confused for my mouth.” She lofted her brow bone, conveying her thought of ‘crazy kid’. “I was born and raised on Shili, my uncle being the senator of Shili. I tutored under him, went to school for law, became his assistant, and eventually his senior aide. I ran for his senatorial office at twenty-one years old, got it the next year. When I came to Chandrila for the first time, I became fast …acquaintances with former Chancellor Bianti, perhaps even friends. She trained me for this, I became her vice chancellor after some time of hard work….and I took over for her when she stepped down. I am very grateful to be serving the people.”
It is always good to see situations where hard work and dedication pay off. And with that, we wish you a sincere congratulations on recently being named Chancellor, how do you feel about inheriting this great responsibility that has befallen you?
“Thank you very much. It’s very new, but I am excited to be where I am. When Chancellor Bianti took me into her office and told me she was stepping down, I must admit I was utterly terrified….at the end of the day, I am quite young, it is rather daunting, but I knew it was my duty to uphold the laws of the Republic. The fear is still there, but it is a new fear, for every one of the citizens at stake in the universe.”
I cannot imagine the weight of that responsibility, I do not envy you there. How long do you foresee your term as Chancellor being? Is there any time limit set given the circumstances?
“I will serve however long I am needed, however long I am able. Our Republic is unstable in these hard times; they, the senate, may decide to keep me in this position for years to come, but we shall see in good time.”
The Republic seems to want leadership who can identify with their needs. What do you feel that the greatest needs or areas of impact where you hope to make a difference?
“I want people to feel safe in their homes again, and more importantly, I want to clean up the violent streets of the Undercity. The people there believe we have forgotten them, but I have not. The senate has approved the construction of a homeless shelter in the Undercity, where people will relieve medical care and warm food. Finding a location is a priority at the moment.”
That sounds like a fantastic way to make a good start, Chancellor. How do you feel that your skills and experience uniquely qualify you to be effective in these areas?
“I come from a people of hunters and warriors, who fight for the needs of the many rather than the few. You contribute or you die. This way of life has taught me the value of your neighbor, of your….tribe. You do not abandon your people, you provide for them, blood relation or no. The Republic is my tribe now. I also know what it means to come from a humble life, my family certainly wasn’t rich, but I still made it here, so anyone can. Resilience is my greatest strength. I am hoping these facts will allow me to be a leader people feel connected to.”
You kind of alluded to some of this already, but if you don’t mind indulging me: There are so many under cities and struggling populations throughout the Republic. What do you say to those out there who don’t think they have a reason to care about what’s going on with the Republic? In addition to homeless shelters, do you have any other specific plans or ideas of how to help those people in addition to benefiting the greater cities and metropolis areas?
“I can understand why they do not care, or have interest to…why would they, when they’ve been ignored for so long? This can only change when they witness the betterment themselves. I can say anything I like, but actions are louder than words. I would want them to know that I am not perfect, but I will submit my perfectly imperfect self to ensuring a brighter future for them, bit by bit” … “At this last senate meeting, we approved the Taris Civil Authority, or TCA, they will be the people’s protectorate. So what I urge is for people to volunteer – sign up – be involved, and help us bring peace to this world, and then help bring it to others.”
The Republic, under the previous chancellor, had an alliance with the First Order. How is that alliance holding up, and is it still serving it’s purpose?
“Unfortunately, the situation is rather….unstable….and at this time, I am unable to reveal our current course of action. However, I will admit it’s not going…as originally intended.”
Do you seek to make any other alliances to aid in the Republic’s current struggles? Is there any group or faction that you would like to bring into the fold, so to speak?
“We are always seeking new alliances, though at the moment we have none in serious consideration. As for a group…” She seemed to hesitate on this, but finally relented. “The Madalorians are an enigma on Taris, they seem to have an ongoing conflict and adhere to their own set of rules and guidelines….this has proved to be……problematic. There is not much else I can say on this front as it is a delicate situation, one that requires care, but I am sincerely hoping to work out an alliance with them, if at all possible.”