MOVIE NEWS – In the High Republic era of Star Wars, the Nihil, enemies of order and peace were a dangerous force (even for the Jedi).
The Nihil are among the newest villains in the Star Wars continuity. They existed hundreds of years before the events of the Skywalker saga, during the High Republic era. A group of evil marauders with unique resources and power, the Nihilans were a force to be reckoned with. Even against the Jedi Order, at the height of their own power. As such, the Nihil are a sinister Star Wars group that are definitely worth knowing about. Here’s everything you need to know about the Nihil marauders of the Star Wars galaxy.
During the era of the High Republic, the Nihil were a large group of marauders, pirates and anarchists who hated the Republic and the order it was trying to impose on the Outer Rim territories that were just beginning to be colonised.
The Nihilists were based in a region of space that only the Nihilists themselves could reach. They sought as much territory and resources as possible to resist both the Republic and the Jedi Order. The Nihil, formed from a much older Jedi hating sect known as the Path of the Open Hand, disliked the Force Guardians of peace and justice. They braved them in open combat.
Organised into a hierarchy inspired by malevolent weather phenomena, the Nihil were originally divided into three groups known as the Tempests. Each Tempest had Storms, Clouds, and finally Strikes as the crew. The Great Hyperspace Catastrophe, however, was used as a lightning rod by the ultimate leader of the Nihil, who united the Tempests into a single force that sought to take on the Republic across the Outer Rim.
Who was Marchion Ro, the leader of the Nihil?
This unorthodox order, drawn from the traditional chaos of the Nihil, was the work of the current Eye – he is the central figure of the Nihil. He led them to victory and helped them to become incredibly elusive despite the best efforts of the Republic. In the first edition of the High Republic, the title of Eye was held by Marchion Ro, who inherited it from his father Asgar.
Likewise, of course, they were both descended from the Ro family, who created Nihil from the Path of the Open Hand.
Having united Nihil on a level like never before, Marchion became incredibly ambitious. He organised both the Great Hyperspace Catastrophe and the fall of the Starlight Beacon. Both were major blows to the Republic and the Jedi Order. He also wielded a device known as the Rod of Seasons, which his family had possessed for years. An ancient Force orb capable of controlling one of the two main weapons at the Nihile’s disposal, though both were wielded by the Eye itself.
How the Nihil use the hyperdrive (and how they got to Tanalor)
One of the biggest advantages of the Nihile was their unique ability to cross hyperspace like no other. Using a rare device known as “Path Engines”, the Nihile were able to jump in and out of hyperspace at incredible speeds. Appearing out of nowhere, they can ambush passing ships and then disappear just as quickly. The original Eye of Asgar Ro and his son Marchion, who took his place, attached the Path Engines to the normal hyperdrives.
Access to the rare hyperspace pathways known as the “Paths” was actually calculated by Force-sensitive Mari San Tekka, who was held captive by the Ro family for years.
Using one path, a Nihil ship that collided with a passing cruiser caused the Great Catastrophe and subsequent Emergences (destructive debris randomly ejected from hyperspace). But it was all part of Marchion’s plan to unite the Nihilion. He wanted to take control of the Storms himself, as the real leader. Thus surpassing the power his father had wielded as the previous Eye. Although San Tekka’s death made the Stormtroopers less reliable, the Nihil still made them an incredibly deadly and unpredictable marauding force. The Path Engines also explain why the Nihil could reach Tanalor without Dagan Gera’s compasses to navigate the depths (as seen in Jedi: Survivor).
The Levellers, the Nihil’s greatest weapon
The second weapon that made the Nihil so dangerous were the living “Force Monsters” known as Levellers (also known as the Nameless). They are creatures that prey on the Force-sensitive. If a Jedi got close enough to one of these creatures, he would soon experience hallucinations and lose his connection to the Force itself. In some cases, the Nameless could cause the death of a Jedi because of their powers. They were originally controlled by the anti-Force sect known as the Path of the Open Hand, using the Rod of Seasons. Marchion used these creatures to terrorize the Jedi Order. One of the darkest examples of the Nihil using the Nameless was the fall of the Starlight Beacon.
After several battles and Ro’s attempts to use the Levellers against the Jedi, the Eye sent several marauders and a group of Nameless to attack Starlight Beacon, the greatest symbol of light and hope in the Outer Rim.
Thanks to the Nameless’ massive disruption of the Jedi, the Nihil agents managed to infiltrate and blow up the space station from the inside, splitting it in two before it fell out of orbit.
The aftermath of the event resulted in the deaths of several Jedi Knights and Padawans. Marchion Ro publicly claimed responsibility for the brutal attacks as the Eye of Nihil during the early days of the High Republic. It is currently unknown what is next for the Nihil, as the second phase has gone further back in time. In any case, they are clearly a pretty dangerous and dark group of villains in this early period of the Star Wars galaxy.