- "What do I see? What does your eye see for the Nihil?"
"WHATEVER WE WANT!"
- ―Marchion Ro and the Nihil
Marchion Ro was a humanoid male who held the title of Eye of the Nihil during the High Republic Era. Like his father, who held the position of Eye before him, Ro was the leading member of the Nihil marauder group. Because of Ro, the Nihil grew to be a significant threat to the Jedi Order and the Galactic Republic in the galaxy, and the raiders came to revolve around him. During the High Republic Era, he communicated with spies in the Republic to learn of their next moves. Ro also manipulated the Nihil into doing multiple missions so as to achieve his own goals.
Around 232 BBY, Ro deployed a ship in hyperspace to intercept a freighter known as the Legacy Run. His actions resulted in an event in which several fragments of the freighter emerged out of hyperspace and collided with various astronomical objects in realspace. Following the event, Ro tasked his Tempest Runners with conducting various missions, but hid their true nature from the Nihil. When two of the Tempest Runners failed their respective missions, Ro asked one of them, Kassav Milliko, to intercept a transport carrying the Legacy Run's flight recorder in the Kur Nebula. Unbeknownst to Milliko, Ro sent the Weequay and his Tempest to their deaths in the subsequent Battle of Kur.
Ro also tasked the other Tempest Runner, Lourna Dee, with kidnapping a family, residing on the planet Elphrona, to be used in ransom, but hid the fact that he sent the Twi'lek there to attract the attention of the Jedi and potentially capture one of them. When Dee and her Tempest successfully captured Jedi Master Loden Greatstorm, Ro informed the latter that he had plans for the captive Jedi in the future.
- 1 Biography
- 2 Personality and traits
- 3 Skills and abilities
- 4 Equipment
- 5 Behind the scenes
- 6 Appearances
- 7 Sources
- 8 Notes and references
Biography[edit | edit source]
Eye of the Nihil[edit | edit source]
- "We need to talk."
"It's a party, Marchion. Didn't you hear Pan? Lots to celebrate. Why don't you just relax?"
"There's business to discuss. It's important, and I want to talk about it while we're all in the same place, and before you three get too drunk to think."
- ―Marchion Ro and Kassav Milliko
During the High Republic Era, Marchion Ro grew up hearing stories of his family's history with the Jedi Order. Both he and his father, Asgar Ro, later left their homeworld. After Asgar was killed, Ro inherited the title of Eye of the Nihil and the Path engines, devices that allowed ships to travel anywhere in the galaxy on paths that conventional systems rejected. Like his father before him, Ro led the Nihil marauders and delivered the routes—which were secret paths through hyperlanes that were unmapped in galactic databases—leading to No-Space, an area of space where the Nihil operated, to them.
Ro supplied the marauders with the Path engines, devices that allowed the Nihil's ships to travel anywhere in the galaxy on paths that conventional systems rejected. To lead the Nihil fleet, Ro commanded the Gaze Electric, a flying fortress which his father also commanded before. He consulted Mari San Tekka of the San Tekka clan to request new Paths for Nihil raids. He stored the new routes charted by her aboard the Gaze Electric's central database.
Around 232 BBY, Ro deployed a ship in hyperspace to intercept the Legacy Run freighter, causing a collision that shattered the latter into several fragments in an event that was known as the Great Disaster. The fragments exited hyperspace at high speeds and collided with many astronomical objects in realspace, including those within the Hetzal system. Ro was present within the Great Hall of the Nihil in No-Space during a feast by the raiders. He was seated at an empty table within the hall. Ro watched as a member of the Twi'lek Lourna Dee's Tempest, Zagyar, reported to her on their attack on a convoy of Garello Technologies ships, but later looked away when a member of the crew was dragged into the vaccuum of space as one of their members, Blit, miscalculated a harpoon shot and caused the death of herself and most of Zagyar's crew.
Discussing further plans[edit | edit source]
- "I'm the Eye now. You can do whatever you want with your Tempest, but the Paths come from me. You don't like it? You want to make a play for me, try to take what I've got? Go for it. Just be aware…there's a price."
- ―Ro, to Milliko
Ro then held a meeting with the Dowutin Pan Eyta, the Weequay Kassav Milliko, and Dee, the Nihil's three Tempest Runners, within a small structure at the end of the Great Hall to discuss the threat the Jedi Order and the Galactic Republic posed to the Nihil. At that time, he also suspected that one of the Tempest Runners was responsible for his father's murder. Eyta stated that the Republic did not possess a military and was occupied with the construction of the Starlight Beacon space station. Ro responded by stating that his Republic spies informed him that they had begun to investigate the cause of the Emergences, a series of disasters that occurred in the Outer Rim Territories.
Ro also discussed the Republic's hyperspace blockade by Chancellor Lina Soh, revealing that them finding out about the Nihil would result in the marauders being hunted down and defeated as they were still not powerful enough to battle the Republic Defense Coalition. The Eye suggested that the Nihil maintain a low profile and halt new operations. He was then informed by Dee about a job to kidnap Blythe family members on the planet Elphrona and ransom them to their relatives on their homeworld of Alderaan.
Though Ro was initially hesitant due to the attention it would bring to the Nihil, he approved Dee's job and agreed to supply her Tempest with the Paths necessary to reach Elphrona undetected. Unbeknownst to Dee, Ro did not see any value in kidnapping the family, instead aiming to capture a Jedi from the Jedi outpost on the planet. After Dee left, Milliko voiced his concern about approving the job and offered to share his own ideas with the Eye, but Ro reminded Milliko of that he led the Nihil and only he could supply Paths to them, adding that there was a "price" for attempting to take over what Ro owned.
Traveling in hyperspace[edit | edit source]
- "Why, Marchion, hello. Did I lose myself again? I'm sorry. You know how I get when I take us traveling. There's just so much to see, you know."
"It's all right, Mari, everything's just fine."
- ―Mari San Tekka and Ro
Ro later travelled in hyperspace aboard the Gaze Electric on a path charted by Mari San Tekka. Ro requested that San Tekka, residing in a medical pod, alter the ship's course. When San Tekka failed to respond, Ro pressed a button on the pod's console that shocked her body. After repeated shocks, San Tekka began to suffer from a seizure that triggered an alarm, summoning Doctor Uttersond. When San Tekka finally recovered, Ro was informed by her of a new path between the locations Pasaana and Urber that could cut a third of the travel time.
San Tekka then asked Ro if he had made any progress on his plan, to which the Eye responded that the plan was ongoing. He also informed her that the Republic was building a large network of navigational droids that would predict where pieces of the Legacy Run would emerge out of hyperspace in events called Emergences, and asked her if it was possible to do so, offering the woman her favorite dinner. When San Tekka confirmed that the action could be done, Ro began to plan out the Nihil's next strategy and made his way to the Gaze Electric's bridge.
Ro contacted the three Tempest Runners and informed them that he would supply them with a list of Emergences that have yet to occur. Milliko, Eyta, and Dee would use the information to perform various operations such as looting disaster sites and ransoming the information while still avoiding Republic attention. After closing the connection, Ro ordered that San Tekka receive her dinner.
Further plans[edit | edit source]
- "Go. We don't have a lot of time. Save the Nihil."
- ―Ro, to the Tempest Runners
Using the knowledge of the Emergences provided by Ro, Milliko attempted to ransom the information to the population of the planet Eriadu, but failed to prevent a fragment of the Legacy Run from hitting it's inhabited moon. Meanwhile, Dee was present at the site of the fortieth Emergence in deep space in order to prevent the Republic from retrieving the Legacy Run's flight recorder. The resulting skirmish ended in a Nihil defeat and the Republic recovering the device.
Unbeknownst to the Tempest Runners, Ro provided the information on Dee's ship to one his spies, Lina Soh's chief aide Jeni Wataro, who in turn passed it on the Republic. The information allowed them to intercept Dee and her Tempest in time. Ro was later informed by Wataro about Dee and Milliko's failures. He was also told that the flight recorder was damaged, thus limiting the amount of data that could be recovered from it and keeping the Nihil's location a secret. At that time, Ro believed that the moment marked a new beginning for the Nihil. Ro and the Tempest Runners later gathered in the Great Hall of the Nihil, with the Eye informing them of the consequences of their actions.
Ro was also informed by Wataro about the location of a transport carrying the flight recorder, and that a battle fleet consisting of both the Republic and Eriadu population would intercept any Nihil that attempted to attack the transport. He decided to send Milliko and his Tempest there without informing them about the fleet to die in battle as a sacrifice to maintain the Nihil's secrecy, as the Republic would believe they had defeated the marauders and cease their search for them.
Ro struck Milliko in the face. When the Tempest Runner attempted to retaliate with a concealed blaster, Ro launched one of his vibro-stars from his wrist that sheared Milliko's hand in two and destroyed the blaster, but Milliko continued to fight by attempting to punch Ro. The Eye caught the Tempest Runner's hand and threw him on the floor, before planting his foot on Milliko's chest and reminding him of who the Eye was. Ro then detailed his plan that would help the Nihil recover from the brink of defeat. He asked that Milliko head for the transport carrying the flight recorder destroy it, and ordered Dee to continue with the kidnapping job on Elphrona. Before the Tempest Runners left, Ro gave Milliko his severed hand.
Battle of Kur[edit | edit source]
- "I am the Eye of the Nihil, and I see the battle you're fighting. I see the Republic, trying to take away your freedom, trying to take your hard-won credits, trying to take away your way of life…they want you dead. Just for living. Just for being. Just for walking a path they don't own."
- ―Ro, to Milliko's Tempest
Milliko and his Tempest travelled to the Kur Nebula in the Outer Rim to destroy the transport, but encountered a trap when the battle fleet appeared before them. In the ensuing Battle of Kur, Ro contacted Milliko and told him to defend against the fleets while he supplied the Tempest Runner with a Path. The Eye then started a public transmission to the entire Tempest, supplying them with Battle Paths to fend off against the fleets. Suddenly, the Path engines of Milliko's Tempest's ships activated and caused them travel in and out of hyperspace at a rapid pace and colliding with Republic and Eriaduan ships.
Ro then contacted Milliko on a private channel, telling the Tempest Runner that he had suspected the Weequay of murdering his father, before thanking him for his sacrifice to the Nihil and closing the transmission. The Battle of Kur ended in Milliko's Tempest being wiped out completely, as well as the death of Milliko himself.
Post-Battle of Kur[edit | edit source]
- "I didn't give your crew Paths to run that job on Elphrona to bring me a family of miners, Lourna Dee. I did it because that planet has a Jedi outpost. I figured there was at least a chance your crew might be able to bring me a Jedi. Why not try, right? Lo and behold, now I have one. Which is good, because a Jedi…is just what I need."
- ―Ro, to Dee
After Dee and her Tempest successfully kidnapped one of the Blythe family's members, farmer Ottoh Blythe, and Jedi Master Loden Greatstorm, Ro was given the Jedi's lightsaber by Dee and began inspecting and swinging it. Dee informed the Eye of Kassav and his Tempest's defeat, an event he was already aware of. The Twi'lek, who had began to figure out Ro's true intentions for Milliko and the flight recorder, stated her thoughts to the Eye, to which he responded by detailing his plan and the effects of Milliko's Tempest's defeat.
Ro then stated that he required Dee again in the future. Approaching Blythe, he ignited the lightsaber and executed the farmer in front of Greatstorm, before explaining to Dee why he had sent her and her Tempest to Elphrona; to capture a Jedi to be used in his future plans. At the Great Hall of the Nihil, Ro displayed images of the Battle of Kur on the displays of communications droids. The Eye explained to the marauders that Milliko and his Tempest had made a heroic sacrifice to protect the Nihil, while the Republic and the Jedi slaughtered them. In his thoughts, Ro believed he had taken another step on his path. He then announced that the Nihil would be operating galaxy-wide using an archive of Paths.
Confronting a Jedi[edit | edit source]
- "What's your name? I don't want to just keep calling you Jedi."
"Loden…Greatstorm? By the Path, that's too perfect. It's truly a great pleasure to meet you, my friend. I think we will accomplish wonderful things together."
- ―Ro and Greatstorm
Ro later consulted Mari San Tekka aboard the Gaze Electric, telling her to rest as Ro had much work for her. Afterward, the Eye made his way to the ship's prison room, in which Greatstorm was kept. When Ro approached the Jedi, the latter attempted to use a mind trick on him, but it failed to affect the Eye. He explained to Greatstorm that his family had extensive knowledge on the Jedi and their powers, as well as how to resist them. He added that the prison was designed to keep the Jedi from calling on the Force as the cells were connected to the ship's electrical system that shocked the prisoners within and would thus cause Greatstorm to lose focus.
When Greatstorm asked about Ro's motivations, the Eye stated that he had goals that he would achieve by any means necessary. He then detailed his history with the Nihil, and that all their operations were proceeding smoothly until the Republic expanded their own operations into the Eye's territory along with the construction of the Starlight Beacon. The Jedi then used the Force and pushed Ro into the ship's bulkhead. He then threatened to execute one of the prisoners if Greatstorm attempted the action again.
Ro then revealed that he had orchestrated the Great Disaster and the subsequent chaos in the Hetzal system. When Greatstorm claimed the Jedi Order would come searching for the Jedi Master, Ro pulled out a rod and stated that he was not worried about the Jedi.
Following a skirmish between Nihil and Jedi on the Amaxine station, Ro was approached by Nihil member Nan, who informed the Eye that her guardian, Hague, was killed in the event along with many others. Ro blamed their deaths on the Jedi and assured her that the Nihil would be responsible for their Order's destruction.
Mission to Trymant IV[edit | edit source]
- "Ah good—we have the Jedi right where we want them: Surrounded. Now…kill them all!'"
- ―Ro orders the Nihil
During an Emergence in the Trymant system, Ro and the Nihil attacked the planet Trymant IV and only evacuated the Gran Elder Tromak aboard their Spider Cruiser, as Ro wished to acquire information from him. When the Jedi arrived on the planet to save its citizens and fend off the Nihil, Ro stepped out of the vehicle, ordering his marauders to kill them all. While the Nihil fought with the Jedi, he approached Tromak and a boychild named Krix Kamerat, the latter of whom wished to rescue his friend, Zeen Mrala. Ro pointed out that Mrala revealed herself as Force-sensitive, and that the Elders of the Path outlawed usage of the Force. As Kamerat wanted to bring Mrala aboard the Spider Cruiser, Ro stated that the boy would have to be left behind as well. However, Tromak defended the boy and stated Kamerat was his assistant. The Elder added that without him, Ro would be unable to obtain the information he seeked. Thus, Ro allowed them to stay on board.
Before the Spider Cruiser left, Ro spotted Jedi Grand Master Yoda. He then ordered the Nihil to continue their attack on the Jedi and prevent Yoda from infiltrating their ship, before asking Tromak to accompany him and prepare to depart Trymant IV. However, Ro was informed by Zagyar that Yoda, who had successfully boarded the ship, had disappeared from sight. After giving orders to track down the Jedi, Kamerat stated that he would join the search as well. The Spider Cruiser departed Trymant IV, before encountering a medical frigate and multiple Jedi Vectors. Ro ordered the Nihil to fire a full-powered blast at the frigate. Once the frigate was struck, the Vectors converged on the ship to provide assistance, thus allowing the Spider Cruiser to escape into hyperspace and leave the Trymant system.
Kamerat pointed out that they were leaving the system, to which Ro asked the boy if he was still worried about Mrala, despite her using the Force. The Eye blamed the girl for allowing Yoda to enter their ship with a creature, which attacked the ship's crew. When Ro asked Kamerat what the girl meant to him, the boy responded that she was no one.
Legacy[edit | edit source]
Personality and traits[edit | edit source]
- "I am the Eye of the Nihil, as was my father before me. We made this organization what it is, and I will not watch you destroy it with your selfishness, fear, and weakness. You made a mistake at Eriadu, Kassav, and it showed us your belly. You need to remember how this works, Chief. The Nihil need to stay strong. And one way that happens…is by cutting out the weak."
- ―Ro, to Milliko
Marchion Ro was a long-limbed humanoid male with long, dark hair, black eyes, and slate-gray skin, along with an angular physique. When Ro took off his mask, his physical appearance would leave the impression of a "predator" on the Tempest Runners.
When observing Zagyar, he saw that the marauder displayed no fear and anger when detailing the attack on the convoy. During the execution of a member of Zagyar's crew, Ro despised the idea of pitting the Nihil's members against each other. As the leader of the marauders, Ro felt he was the only individual who saw the full potential of the Path engines. He was initially worried about the threat the Jedi Order and Republic posed to the Nihil, going so far as to suggest that the Nihil cease operations to maintain a low profile.
Ro considered Mari San Tekka the closest thing he had to a family left, but also despised how much he relied on her for hyperspace routes as her death would cause the Nihil as a whole to lose their biggest advantage over ordinary marauder gangs. Thus, he was secretive about the true nature of the Paths a secret from the rest of the Nihil, including the Tempest Runners. He would go so far as to shock her in her medical pod repeatedly and cause her to have a seizure in order to receive vital information on the Paths as quickly as possible.
In order to maintain the Nihil's secrecy, Ro would go so far as to sacrifice one of his Tempests, a third of the Nihil, to do so. He hid his true intentions from his subordinates until after the events he planned out had transpired. Following the Battle of Kur, he had a more confident appearance. Ro believed that the road to achieving a goal did not matter if the intended result would be achieved regardless. He viewed everyone and everything as a tool to be used to achieve that goal.
Skills and abilities[edit | edit source]
Through planning, Marchion Ro was able to manipulate both the Nihil and the Jedi Order by causing the Great Disaster and setting off the chain of events that would help him achieve his goals. His Nihil successfully captured a Jedi after he ordered them to only kidnap a family on Elphrona, as their presence would attract Jedi from the outpost on the planet. Ro was also a skilled fighter, which he demonstrated when injuring and lecturing Kassav Milliko.
Equipment[edit | edit source]
Marchion Ro wore a mask created from smoked transparisteel with a storm symbol etched onto it, along with a pattern of lines and swirls and an "eye" at the center of the mask. For clothing, he wore a sleeveless white tunic and belt under a jacket and black pants. The Eye also donned tight leather gloves that had padded knuckles. The gloves were reinforced acceleration compensators and armored plating that allowed him to punch a hole in a durasteel wall without suffering any pain. Vibro-stars were stored in a sheath on his wrist.
Following the Battle of Kur, Ro wore his father's heavy fur cloak, which conveyed the history of the battles in which it was worn to the Nihil. He donned an ornate mask, marked with a superstorm within a red circle, that resembled a crown. After receiving Loden Greatstorm's lightsaber, Ro hung the weapon on his belt. Under his tunic, he kept a three hand-long rod made of stone and metal with symbols such as fire and screaming faces carved into it. The rod emanated a purple glow when touched.
Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]
- "I think it's very unique for a Star Wars villain — [Marchion Ro] is not a like meticulous beat-by-beat planner. He takes the opportunities that arise. He's an improviser. But he's also completely unafraid to do horribly evil things in service of that goal. And if he does 100 evil things and one of them happens to be the one It moves closer to that goal he's good with that doesn't matter, that's great."
- ―Charles Soule describes Marchion Ro
Marchion Ro was created by Charles Soule for the Star Wars: The High Republic multimedia project. He was first revealed in a blog post on StarWars.com titled "Inside Star Wars: The High Republic: Meet the Villains," published on October 29, 2020. The character then made his debut appearance in Soule's 2021 novel The High Republic: Light of the Jedi.
Soule described Ro as an improviser who took any opportunities that were available, further adding that Ro was not afraid to commit evil acts if it would service his goal. The author wanted the character to stand alongside previous villains in Star Wars, such as Darth Vader and Kylo Ren, while avoiding familiar ground in order to make Ro feel unique as an antagonist. According to Soule, developing Ro's character was the biggest challenge in writing Light of the Jedi.
Appearances[edit | edit source]
- The High Republic: Into the Dark
- The High Republic: Into the Dark audiobook
- The High Republic: Light of the Jedi (First appearance, simultaneous with The High Republic: Light of the Jedi audiobook)
- The High Republic: Light of the Jedi audiobook (First appearance, simultaneous with The High Republic: Light of the Jedi)
- The High Republic Adventures 1
- The High Republic Adventures 2
- The High Republic Adventures 3
- The High Republic 3
Sources[edit | edit source]
Notes and references[edit | edit source]
- The High Republic: Light of the Jedi
- The Star Wars Book dates the launch of the Starlight Beacon to 232 years before the events of Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, which corresponds to 232 BBY in the calendar system used by Star Wars: Galactic Atlas. As The High Republic: Light of the Jedi depicts the Beacon's launch, the novel's events, which includes Marchion Ro's appearance, must take place around that year.
- The High Republic: Into the Dark
- The High Republic Adventures 1
- The High Republic Adventures 2
- Star Wars 7
- Patches, Matt (2021-01-12). Light of the Jedi author Charles Soule can finally talk about Light of the Jedi. Polygon. Vox Media. Archived from the original on January 13, 2021. Retrieved on January 13, 2021.