Get a sneak peek at the villains of Star Wars: The High Republic

Concept art of the various new Jedi of the High Republic. Art by Phil Noto. Photo: Star Wars.
Concept art of the various new Jedi of the High Republic. Art by Phil Noto. Photo: Star Wars. /

Star Wars revealed some new details on the formidable villains of the High Republic era that the Jedi will be encountering — and just in time for Halloween.

While Star Wars: The High Republic will show an era of the Jedi that hasn’t really been seen before, we will also get a look at a new group of villains for them to go up against. In all previous Star Wars canon, the Sith were always the overarching villains of the Skywalker Saga. However, this may be changing in the era of the High Republic. today unveiled some concept art and specifics on the main villains of the era, the Nihil. According to Charles Soule, author of the first book in the series, Light of the Jedi, the Nihil are similar to marauding space pirates, something not really seen before in the franchise:

"The Nihil are brutal, savage marauders, based in the Outer Rim…..They’re the stuff of nightmares, able to appear almost anywhere at will. They use bizarre, intimidating tactics- chemical weapons, posion- almost anything that might kill you, they’ll use."

Particularly interesting is the fact that the Nihil are able to appear on command. Whether or not Soule means this figuratively or literally remains to be seen, but the Nihil sound like a dangerous group no matter what. Soule also gave some insight into Marchion Ro, a Nihil commander who sounds like he may end up being a major antagonist:

"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."

If the aforementioned concept art is any indication, then Marchion Ro appears to be quite a formidable opponent, along with his fellow warriors. How the group cross paths with the Republic is unknown, but it sounds like Yoda and his fellow Jedi have their work cut out for them.

However, it appears that the Nihil are not the only danger lurking in the galaxy. Cavan Scott, the author of the upcoming Marvel series for the High Republic, describes a terrifying new species of monsters, the Drengir:

"The Drengir are sentient plant life who are looking to reap a terrible harvest across the galactic frontier."

The concept art for the Drengir is just as scary, with large fangs and numerous sets of protruding tentacles to boot. As with the Nihil, how these monsters actually factor into the larger story arc of the High Republic is still unknown, but between these two sets of foes, it seems that the Jedi had better get ready to do battle.

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Find out all the details of the Nihil, Marchion Ro, the Drengir, and more when the first book of Star Wars: The High Republic, Charles Soules’ Light of the Jedi, is released on Jan. 5, 2021. The novel is available for pre-order now.