The official Star Wars website revealed a first look at their upcoming High Republic villains, the Drengir, and provided more details on the Nihil, and their leader Marchion Ro.
As described by Lucasfilm Publishing creative director Michael Siglain, the Drengir were created to answer the question, “What scares the Jedi?”
Siglain explained, “One of the north stars for this initiative is to answer the question, ‘What scares the Jedi?’ Which is a really fun but extraordinarily challenging question to answer.”
He continued, “All five authors, as well as the Story Group and Publishing teams, had thoughts on what would scare them — and why — but everyone agreed that had to be something new.”
That something new is apparently the Drengir.
High Republic author Cavan Scott would provide more details about these new villains, “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.”
He continues, “The seed for the vegetation-based villains came from a sketch by [legendary Star Wars concept artist] Iain McCaig in the early days of The High Republic’s development.”
“Iain had been sketching monsters and there was one creature that was covered in vines and creepers. It sparked off the inspiration for what became the Drengir and I quickly fired off a document outlining what could be their culture and background to the rest of the group, drawing on research I’d been reading about how real-world plants thrive and communicate with each other,” he added.
Scott then detailed how much he likes the Drengir, “It’s been great to see the Drengir’s threat grow throughout the initiative. They are one of my new favorite Star Wars monsters to write. They are sinister, unstoppable and, as we’ll find out, inescapably linked to the fate of one of our High Republic Jedi…”
Not only did Star Wars reveal the Jedi will be facing down the Drengir, but they will also be facing off against the Nihil.
Charles Soule explains, “The Nihil are brutal, savage marauders, based in the Outer Rim. 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 elaborated, “The Nihil are organized into three main divisions called Tempests, each with its own captain who wields total control. They are frightening in a way that feels great for Star Wars, in part because their ‘code,’ if you can call it that, is so simple: the Nihil take what they want. If you stand in their way, they will kill you and everyone you love. But even chaos agents can have goals…and the Nihil’s plans run directly through both the Republic and the Jedi Order.”
One of the Nihil leaders is apparently named Marchion Ro. Soule went on to describe him, “Marchion Ro holds an important post within the greater Nihil organization — he is the Eye of the Nihil, as was his father before him. He doesn’t give the orders — that’s up to the Tempest Runners — but in a very real way, everything revolves around him.”
“The things that make the Nihil more than just a bunch of Outer Rim raiders all come from Marchion. He is also, in every sense, a bad guy. And it’s been fantastic building someone around which to focus the darker elements of our High Republic story,” he added.
Fellow High Republic author Daniel José Older would state, “The Nihil are truly unlike any villain we’ve seen in Star Wars before. I am really excited to go deep behind enemy lines in the IDW ongoing series and give readers a chance to learn about the inner workings of one of the most vicious, unyielding, and chaotic groups the galaxy has ever known.”
What do you make of these new High Republic villains? What about their designs? Do you think the Jedi would be afraid of these two new villains?