- "Some call them the Shrii-ka-rai: Eaters of the Force. To others, they are simply the Nameless. Their mere presence causes madness, hallucinations, in Force users."
- ―Kisma Uttersond
The Nameless, also known as the Shrii-ka-rai (Eaters of the Force), were creatures that preyed on Force-sensitive individuals. The beings had an effect on Force users that strengthened with proximity, causing hallucinations, loss of connection to the Force, and in some cases, death, reducing the victim to a lifeless husk. During the High Republic Era, the leader of the Nihil marauders, Eye of the Nihil Marchion Ro, who possessed the means to control the creatures, intended to use the creatures to bring down the Jedi Order and the Galactic Republic; after obtaining and testing the effects of one of the beings, Ro later acquired numerous more. Ro released a number of the Nameless aboard the Starlight Beacon space station at the same time as he dispatched Nihil marauders to orchestrate its destruction, disturbing the Jedi aboard and preventing them from saving the station.
Following the time of the High Republic, the beings remained known to the Jedi. Spoken of alongside other phantasmagoria in stories by Jedi Initiates, the Nameless were also mentioned in a prophecy pertaining to the Chosen One and the supposedly frightening tale known as "The Curse of the Nameless."
Biology and appearance
- "We understand that any Jedi, anywhere aboard Starlight, is vulnerable to these…attacks, at any moment. Any of us—all of us—may fall."
- ―Jedi Master Elzar Mann
The creatures known as the Nameless were powerful beings that had a strong effect on Force-sensitives. To such individuals, the presence of the Nameless induced madness and hallucinations, which left Force users unable to truly see what a Nameless looked like, overwhelming them and nullifying their connection to the Force. Proximity to the creatures was enough to kill a Force user, petrifying the individual. The resulting condition left the victim in what came to be referred to as a "husked state"—desiccated and devoid of life, as if they were made of stone. While some instances of husks were more substantial and solid, others disintegrated into ash at the slightest touch.
The beings could also seemingly draw the life out of other Force users, making them appear as if they had aged dramatically and slowing their vital functions alike those of aged individuals. Even at a greater distance, the creatures obscured the Force and disturbed Force-sensitives, causing distress and unease—a sense of dread on the edge of one's consciousness that originated from outside of the Force—and magnified existing feelings of fear and exhaustion.
- "It's long, sort of desiccated. With sharp claws. Twitching very slightly."
- ―Sian Holt, on a Nameless' limb
The Nameless were larger than humanoids, possessing four legs and claws. The beings' front limbs, which featured three claws, were long and desiccated, twitching slightly as they moved. They possessed sharp teeth and had tentacles around their mouth. Their skin was pale white and their face featured large red eyes. The creatures' blood was black in color.
However, the hallucinations that the Nameless caused manifested differently to individuals, resulting in various perceptions of the creatures, which included a darkness with hundreds of teeth, claws, and eyes, and a towering, monstrous creature.
- "It came after me."
"…what came after you?"
"Whatever it is. It's hungry. It's so hungry."
- ―Stellan Gios and Elzar Mann
The creatures were driven by a desperate desire to feed and a hunger that was satiated by drawing upon Force-sensitive individuals. They understood nothing beyond their hunger, and were incapable of comprehending dangers such as radiation. The Nameless would continue to hunt their prey even when wounded. The creatures made sounds that included growling and howling, as well as loud screeches. There was only one way for the Nameless to be controlled—an ancient artifact in the form of a rod that could be twisted in order to command the beings.
Ancestors and artifacts
- "But it will be worth it…to look upon the Leveler. To feel its nullifying peace."
"As our ancestor did, long ago."
- ―Kufa and Marchion Ro
By the time of the High Republic Era, the creatures had become known to some as the Nameless and to others as the Shrii-ka-rai, or Eaters of the Force. The Ros, a family of Evereni who had a history with the Jedi Order that involved conflict and a fate that came about due to both the Jedi and the artifact that controlled the Nameless, were associated with one of the creatures, which the "faithful" revered as the Great Leveler, unaware of its true name. Believing the Jedi were not agents of "balance" like the Leveler was, the Ros were connected to an attempt to use the Nameless against the Jedi but were defeated, leaving them longing for revenge.
Having been looked upon by one of the family's ancestors, the Leveler came to be frozen in ice in the Shrine underneath the surface of the planet Rystan, guarded by droid attendants and visited by further generations of the family. The Elders of the Path, a group who strongly opposed the Jedi and Force-sensitives, came into the possession of the artifact that could control the Nameless. Aware of the danger the artifact posed as a weapon, the Elders divided it in two and hid both pieces, swearing to never reveal the locations. One of the two halves was hidden in the Kharvashark Ruins on the moon Vrant Tarnum, in the Stygmarn system. The other half of the rod was eventually recovered by the Ros.
The Jedi tried to suppress all knowledge of the Nameless, leaving members of their own Order unaware of the threat. An individual who was once a Jedi of the Jedi Order wrote about the creatures in a script that was also present in the Vrant Tarnum's Kharvashark Ruins. The beings were associated with a nursery rhyme song—the words of which could also be found in the ruins—that began with the line "shrii ka rai ka rai"; the words of the song claimed that the listener would be "taken away," and that when they were found all that would be left was dust.
Lying in wait
The nursery rhyme associated with the creatures was sung by Ruusstha Vidyarvrikt, an Ongree nursemaid from Dalna who cared for Jedi younglings during the High Republic Era. Among those who heard the song as younglings were future Jedi Masters Stellan Gios and Emerick Caphtor. On Rystan, the Leveler came to be neglected by those whose ancestors had revered it, unvisited and forgotten.
The Ros eventually became aligned with the Nihil, a marauder group that arose from the Elders of the Path and was created by a member of their family as a weapon to wield against the Republic and the Jedi. Asgar Ro, who established himself as the Eye of the Nihil after killing his mother, came to possess the Ros' half of the artifact as well as a number of associated texts that he kept in his collection aboard his flagship, the Gaze Electric. After Asgar Ro's death, his son, Marchion, took his place. Inheriting Asgar's goal of revenge, Marchion Ro took possession of the artifact as well as the texts, which he studied extensively, seeking to achieve what he believed his father had been too afraid to try.
Ro and the Leveler
- Dis: "I thought you…you came here to worship?"
- Ro: "The Leveler isn't a god."
- Dis: "Then what is it?"
- Kufa: "Balance."
- ―Udi Dis, Marchion Ro, and Kufa, as they approach the Leveler
Around the year 232 BBY, Ro orchestrated the Great Hyperspace Disaster, bringing the Nihil to the attention of the Republic and the Jedi. After the Battle of Kur, Jedi Knight Elzar Mann had a Force vision of the screams and fear the Nameless would bring. Having searched for the other half of the artifact for years, Ro learned its location, recovering it from Vrant Tarnum in the wake of the Great Disaster. Ro set out to retrieve the Leveler around a year later, traveling to Rystan in the starship Squall Spider. Along with him, he brought the Nihil member Udi Dis, a Force-sensitive Talortai navigator, in order to test the power that the creature had on Force users; Dis, however, was unaware of Ro's intentions. Ro and Dis met with the former's cousin, Kufa—who herself had not visited the Shrine in a decade—in order to be led to the Leveler.
Approaching its location, Dis began to feel its effects, feeling as if something was missing when he reached out to the Force. As they arrived at the Shrine, Dis was overwhelmed by the Leveler, losing his senses and seeing hallucinations of his past. The group fought through the droid attendants that guarded the Shrine, during which Dis was fatally injured, having been unable to sense the attack coming. In awe of the Leveler's power and satisfied with his test, Ro killed both Kufa and Dis, setting a beacon for the Leveler to be collected. Keeping the Leveler encased in ice, Ro brought it with him to the Nihil's base on the planetoid Grizal. The creature was transported to the laboratory of the Chadra-Fan doctor Kisma Uttersond aboard the Gaze Electric, where Uttersond fabricated a heating rig to defrost it so that the creature could be tested on their subject, the Jedi Master Loden Greatstorm, who Ro had taken prisoner around a year earlier. Greatstorm was killed during the ensuing Battle of Grizal, while Mann and Padawan Bell Zettifar were left in mental anguish for the time being. Seeing Greatstorm's corpse left in a calcified state, even Jedi Master Stellan Gios was left afraid as the body turned to rubble.
Jedi investigator Emerick Caphtor was dispatched to learn more about Greatstorm's death and was partnered with private detective Sian Holt at the request of Supreme Chancellor Lina Soh. At the same time, Uttersond was trying to defect from the Nihil by selling Nameless off on the black market. Meanwhile, Tempest Runner Lourna Dee used the Leveler against the Jedi during the skirmish on Xais as a test for the creature, hurting Jedi Knight Keeve Trennis and beginning the calcification process on Jedi Knight Terec, which also impacted their bond-twin Ceret. Jedi Master Avar Kriss noted she was unable to feel Ceret's connection to the Force as the process began.
Although they were both left in a hibernation trance, Ceret and Terec's bond saved them both from death. Caphtor interviewed Trennis in the aftermath of the incident to try to better understand the threat. Meanwhile, Ro uncovered evidence of Uttersond's betrayal but ordered the doctor be kept alive to better understand the deception the Nihil were facing.
Fall of a star
After the Leveler's actions proved the usefulness of the Nameless, Ro planned to follow old family secrets to the hidden world where he could find more of the creatures. Leading a team of Nihil to the surface after dubbing them his shear and sacrificing a large number of Strikeships to get through the veil around the world, Ro used the control rod to lead his team to the Nameless, ordering his shear to fight through the planet's fauna as it reacted it rage to the rod. Collecting several Nameless and escaping, Ro told the surviving members of the shear of the power the beings held and how his family has once used them against the Jedi. With more Nameless secured, Ro plotted to bring down Starlight Beacon as a major strike against the Republic and Jedi.
As three Nihil agents—the technicians Cale, Werrera, and Leyel—snuck aboard and sabotaged Starlight's systems, the seven Nameless they kept aboard their freighter, logged as Rathtars to keep their existence hidden, left the Jedi on Starlight on edge and unable to sense the sabotage. As the station began to break apart, the Nameless broke free from the ship and began a rampage throughout Starlight, killing a number of Jedi, including Orla Jareni. Meanwhile, the Republic launched an attack on a Nihil convoy that, unknown to them, was carrying more Nameless to Starlight, so Caphtor was left in a state of shock when a mere peephole was opened on one of the crates. Arriving to Starlight amid the destruction, Uttersond told him and Holt about the Nameless before they boarded. As Uttersond escaped, they encountered a Nameless, which Holt needed to describe to her Jedi partner as he was unable to truly see it.
Holt and Caphtor managed to escape the falling station with a Nameless claw, with the hope they could use it to learn more about the creatures, and a ship full of Jedi Initiates. Jedi Master Torban Buck stayed behind but gave Caphtor his robes, which were soaked in Nameless blood, to help the research. As the Nameless continued their rampage, Starlight finally crashed onto the surface of Eiram, killing everyone and the remaining the Nameless still aboard. Ro took a moment to reflect on losing those seven Nameless but understood he alone held the advantage of possessing them. With it clear the Nihil had a weapon they could not understand, the Jedi Order ordered all Jedi to return to the Jedi Temple on Coruscant, only for Ro to take advantage of their absence via the deployment of the stormseeds. After informing the captured Obratuk Glii of his victory, he feed Glii to one of the Nameless and smiled.
Meanwhile, Grand Master Yoda returned to the Jedi Order during the battle on Corellia with a hooded figure who sang the nursery rhyme connected to the Nameless. Yoda promised his fellow Jedi they would uncover the secrets of their Order's past to prepare for their future.
Legacy and legend
- "Only through sacrifice of many Jedi will the Order cleanse the sin done to the nameless. The danger of the past is not past, but sleeps in an egg. When the egg cracks, it will threaten the galaxy entire. When the Force itself sickens, past and future must split and combine. A Chosen One shall come […]"
- ―A Jedi prophecy of the Chosen One
In the time following the High Republic Era, the Nameless remained known to the Jedi Order through various tales. After their lessons, clan-mates of Jedi Initiate Dooku often swapped tales of the Nameless, among other phantasmagoria. However, Dooku himself did not engage in the stories, distancing himself from the "overactive imagination" of his peers. After becoming a Sith Lord later in his life, Dooku mentioned his fellow Initiates' tales of the Nameless while recounting his past to his apprentice Asajj Ventress.
According to a holocron that contained the prophecy of the Chosen One, a sin was done to the nameless that required the sacrifice of many Jedi to be cleared away by the Order. The holocron further stated that dangers of the past only remained dormant, and the entire galaxy would be at threat once the darkness was released. Thus, when the Force itself falls to corruption, a Chosen One would come, fatherless, and ultimately restore balance to the Force. While training his Padawan, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn continued to study the holocron and its ancient prophecies, having become facinated with them as a Padawan himself under Dooku's tutelage.
While detained in the castle of the Sith Lord Darth Vader on the planet Mustafar during the war between the Galactic Empire and the Rebel Alliance, Alliance lieutenant Thom Hudd spoke of knowing "the Curse of the Nameless." Hudd claimed that the tale was frightening enough to keep one awake at night, and mentioned other dark tales such as "The Silent Circle." While Hudd had brought up the tales in an attempt to stall a bored Vaneé—the horror-loving aide of Vader in the castle—from executing him, Vaneé nonetheless expressed his disinterest in Hudd's stories and prepared to kill the rebel. Despite Vaneé's efforts, Hudd was rescued by Lina Graf, a fellow rebel.
Behind the scenes
The Nameless were first mentioned in the novel Master & Apprentice, written by Claudia Gray and published on April 16, 2019, while the October 1, 2019 script release of the audio drama Dooku: Jedi Lost, written by Cavan Scott, mentioned the Nameless as a capitalized noun.
Sketches of creatures labeled "Nameless" appeared in the announcement trailer for the Star Wars: The High Republic publishing initiative, which includes Gray and Scott among its writers. Iain McCaig produced concept art of the Nameless, with sketches featuring two figures of varying height and amount of limbs. The 2021 novel The High Republic: The Rising Storm, written by Scott, introduced a creature known as the Great Leveler, while Gray's novel The High Republic: The Fallen Star, published on January 4, 2022, introduced multiple of the beings, using the term "nameless creatures" on one occasion. On February 2, 2022, a preview released on StarWars.com for the comic The High Republic: Trail of Shadows 5, written by Daniel José Older, explicitly identified the creatures as the Nameless. The preview furthermore gave the creatures the additional names of "Shrii-ka-rai' and "Eaters of the Force."
- The High Republic: The Rising Storm (First appearance, simultaneous with The High Republic: The Rising Storm audiobook)
- The High Republic: The Rising Storm audiobook
- Star Wars: The High Republic: The Edge of Balance, Vol. 2 (Indirectly mentioned only; in the opening crawl)
- The High Republic 10 (Indirect appearance)
- The High Republic: Midnight Horizon (Indirect mention only)
- The High Republic 12 (In flashback(s))
- The High Republic: The Fallen Star
- The High Republic: The Fallen Star audiobook
- The High Republic 14
- The High Republic 15
- The High Republic: Trail of Shadows 4 (Indirect mention only)
- The High Republic: Trail of Shadows 5 (First pictured)
- The High Republic: Eye of the Storm 2
- Dooku: Jedi Lost (Mentioned only)
- Dooku: Jedi Lost script (Mentioned only)
- Master & Apprentice (First mentioned, simultaneous with Master & Apprentice audiobook)
- Master & Apprentice audiobook (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars Adventures: Return to Vader's Castle 4 (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars Adventures: Ghosts of Vader's Castle 1 (Mentioned only)
- (First identified as Shrii-ka-rai and Eaters of the Force)
- Star Wars: Timelines
Notes and references
- The High Republic: Trail of Shadows 5
- The High Republic: The Fallen Star
- The High Republic: The Rising Storm
- The High Republic: Eye of the Storm 1
- The High Republic: Light of the Jedi
- The High Republic: Eye of the Storm 2
- The High Republic: Race to Crashpoint Tower
- The High Republic Adventures 3
- The High Republic: Trail of Shadows 1
- The High Republic: Trail of Shadows 3
- The Star Wars Book dates the launch of the Starlight Beacon, which is depicted as part of the events of The High Republic: Light of the Jedi, to 232 years before the events of Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, which corresponds to 232 BBY according to Star Wars: Galactic Atlas. As such, the rest of the novel's events must also occur around 232 BBY.
- The High Republic Adventures 5
- The High Republic: Trail of Shadows 2
- The High Republic (2021) 11
- The High Republic (2021) 12
- The High Republic 15
- The High Republic: Trail of Shadows 4
- The High Republic: Midnight Horizon
- Master & Apprentice
- Dooku: Jedi Lost
- Star Wars Adventures: Return to Vader's Castle 4
- Star Wars Adventures: Return to Vader's Castle 5
- Dooku: Jedi Lost script