We we get to within just a few months of the start of The High Republic, we’re allowed a closer look at some of the adversaries the Jedi of the time have to face, including the Drengir and the Nihil.

What could possibly send chills down the spine of the galaxy’s protectors — during the peak of the Jedi Order — in Star Wars: The High Republic?

“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,” Lucasfilm Publishing creative director Michael Siglain tells StarWars.com. “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.”

And that “something new” would be frightening in any galaxy. Meet “the Drengir”: unsettling, amorphous beings, chock full of tentacles and teeth. In other words, pure Star Wars nightmare fuel.

“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. “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.”

The Drengir aren’t the only adversaries plaguing the High Republic; there’s also the Nihil, and the ruthless Marchion Ro.

“The Nihil are brutal, savage marauders, based in the Outer Rim,” says Charles Soule, writer of the novel Light of the Jedi. “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.”

Unlike the monstrous Drengir, the Nihil plan and plot and have a power structure. Which might just make them even more terrifying in the end. “The Nihil are organized into three main divisions called Tempests, each with its own captain who wields total control,” says Soule. “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.”

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Star Wars: Light of the Jedi (The High Republic) (Star Wars: The High Republic)
  • Hardcover Book
  • Soule, Charles (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 400 Pages - 01/05/2021 (Publication Date) - Del Rey (Publisher)