Star Wars: The High Republic held a livestream launch which featured the five authors who are writing the epic mega-story over multiple literary platforms. During the livestream Lucasfilm Publishing creative director Michael Siglain spoke about how Star Wars: The High Republic began with two ideas, Obi-Wan Kenobi’s quote from A New Hope,
“For over a thousand generations the Jedi Knights were the guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic.”
And a question asked by author Cavan Scott, “What scares the Jedi?” Star Wars: The High Republic looks to entirely new evils for that answer, not the expected answer of the Sith. Instead two entirely new evils will be introduced to the galaxy although don’t count the dark side of the Force out just yet.
Star Wars: The High Republic Live Stream Launch Event
Starwars.com initially revealed two of the major villains for Star Wars: The High Republic series back in October, 2020, but during the Star Wars: The High Republic Launch Livestream, the authors revealed even more about these sinister creatures. Star Wars has historically introduced some of the greatest and most recognizable villains in storytelling history. The obvious is Darth Vader himself, the tragic fallen knight who went on to destroy the galaxy.
Another is the puppet master himself, Emperor Palpatine. Palpatine manipulated an entire galaxy to create his Empire and then the Sith controlled it with an iron fist exacting his vengeance on any who would go against him or his vision. Now Star Wars: The High Republic will be introducing two new villainous entities, The Nihil and The Drengir. These two are set to join the impressive lineup of Star Wars villains in a whole new way.
STAR WARS: THE HIGH REPUBLIC THE NIHIL
“No story is complete without a villain and what’s more awesome than pirates?” Justina Ireland said during the livestream. Ireland continued, “For me, the difference between villains and heroes has always been that limit, that heroes have a limit. They have a line they will not cross whereas villains, all bets are off. And I think the Nihil are the epitome of that “all bets are off” kind of villainy.”
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The Nihil have been described as Space Vikings, although Justina Ireland said that isn’t quite right because historically Vikings had a code whereas the Nihil do not. The Nihil are Space Pirates or Vikings with no code of honor. Charles Soule described the Nihil in the Starwars.com article as “brutal, savage marauders, based in the Outer Rim.” The Nihil do not fight in a way that most other enemies in Star Wars have, “They’re the stuff of nightmares, able to appear anywhere almost at will. They use bizarre, intimidating tactics – chemical weapons, poison – anything that might kill you, they’ll use.”
Soule goes on to explain, “The Nihil are organized into three main divisions called Tempests each with its own captain who wields total control.” The Nihil may not have a moral code, but there is a code nonetheless, it is brutal, greedy, and destructive “the Nihil take what they want. If you stand in their way, they will kill you and everyone you love.” This may make them some of the most dangerous Star Wars villains in existence.
The Nihil are not mindlessly traveling the galaxy pilfering and killing, they do in fact have a bigger agenda and it’s hard to imagine this plot does not go completely against the Republic and the Jedi Order. It makes sense that these new threats would become issues during the High Republic given that they are beginning to expand and explore the Outer Rim where the Nihil are based. And if past Star Wars stories are anything to go by those who are running their criminal business in the Outer Rim are not pleased when the galactic government moves in.
While not many of the Nihil characters have been revealed one has been and he is an especially important character. Marhion Ro is “the Eye of the Nihil” a position of great importance that his father held before him. Ro is not a Tempest Runner who gives orders, but he is what makes the Nihil a bigger threat than simple raiders. Daniel Jose Older revealed in the Starwars.com article that the IDW comic will explore the inner working of the Nihil.
STAR WARS: THE HIGH REPUBLIC THE DRENGIR
The Drengir are the thing out of science fiction nightmares, sentient, unstoppable plants. They have no empathy towards any of the living beings in Star Wars. Not only are the Drengir nearly impossible to kill they are intelligent plants that can communicate through telepathic root systems. The Drengir as plants have built in weapons with poison, thorns, and the ability to eat the folks of the High Republic as venus flytraps do. And if that weren’t bad enough, The Drengir have a connection to the dark side of the force and will have a particular link to one of the new Jedi that will be introduced.
“As the Jedi struggle to deal with the aftermath of the Great Disaster, a new creeping terror rises from the ground beneath their feet. The Drengir are sentient plant-life who are looking to reap a terrible harvest across the galactic frontier,” says Cavan Scott, writer of Marvel’s upcoming The High Republic series said in the Starwars.com article. Scott researched how real plants thrive and communicate with each other to help build the culture and background of the Drengir.
Star Wars: The High Republic officially launches January 5, 2021 with the release of Light of the Jedi by Charles Soule, A Test of Courage by Justina Ireland, and The Great Jedi Rescue by Cavan Scott. Cavan Scott’s Star Wars: The High Republic Marvel comic series first issue will be released on January 6, 2021. February 2, 2021 Claudia Gray’s Into The Dark will be available and then February 21, 2021 IDW’s The High Republic Adventures by Daniel Jose Older will be released.
You can watch the full Star Wars: The High Republic Launch Event above. What do you think about the new Star Wars villains? What do you think about the Nihil? What do you think about the Drengir? Which book and/or comics are you most looking forward to? Leave your thoughts in the comments below or on our social media.
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Source: Star Wars Youtube,