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For other uses, see Nihil (disambiguation).
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The High Republic: Path of Vengeance, The High Republic: Into the Dark, The High Republic: Light of the Jedi, Tales of Villainy: The Gaze Electric, Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures, The High Republic: A Test of Courage, The High Republic (2021) 2, Star Wars: The High Republic: Heart of the Drengir, The High Republic: The Rising Storm, The High Republic: Race to Crashpoint Tower, The High Republic: Out of the Shadows, Crash and the Crew Do What They Do, The High Republic: Trail of Shadows 2, Starlight: Past Mistakes, The High Republic: Tempest Runner, Star Wars: The High Republic: The Shadow of the Nihil, The High Republic (2021) 11, The High Republic: Trail of Shadows 3, The Haul, The High Republic: Mission to Disaster, Starlight: Shadows Remain, The High Republic (2021) 12, The High Republic: Midnight Horizon, The High Republic: The Fallen Star, The High Republic (2021) 14, The High Republic (2021) 15, The High Republic: Shadows of Starlight 2, The High Republic: Shadows of Starlight 1, Star Wars: The High Republic: Eye of the Storm, Tales from the Occlusion Zone: No Big Deal, The High Republic: Escape from Valo, The High Republic: The Eye of Darkness, The High Republic Adventures (2023) 1, The High Republic Adventures (2023) 3, The High Republic: Defy the Storm, The High Republic: Temptation of the Force, Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, Star Wars: Doctor Aphra: The Engine Job, Star Wars (2020) 31, Star Wars (2020) 32, Halcyon Legacy 1, Star Wars: The High Republic: Chronicles of the Jedi, Star Wars: The Rise and Fall of the Galactic Empire

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Pan Eyta: "Who are we?"
Nihil: "THE NIHIL!"
Lourna Dee: "What do we ride?"
Nihil: "THE STORM!"
Kassav Milliko: "Who guides us?"
Nihil: "THE EYE!"
Marchion Ro: "What do I see? What does your eye see for the Nihil?"
Nihil: "WHATEVER WE WANT!"
―The assembled ranks of the Nihil in their Great Hall[5]

The Nihil were anarchistic marauders who rose to prominence during the High Republic Era. They had access to mysterious hyperspace routes known as "Paths" that defied conventional hyperspace logic and allowed them to travel through hyperspace in ways no one else could and take seemingly impossible routes no one else could take. Though they originally focused on performing raiding operations throughout the galaxy's Outer Rim Territories, the Nihil, with the help of their Paths, emerged as a significant threat to the Galactic Republic during a time of expansion and led them to conduct a series of anti-piracy operations against the Nihil. They were headquartered in the Great Hall of the Nihil, a space station in No-Space that was only accessible through the Path engines.

The Nihil were formed by the Evereni Ro family, and first existed as a part of remnants of the Jedi-hating Path of the Open Hand. The Ro family were the ones who gave the Nihil the Paths and the Path engines, which they promised would allow them incredible mobility through hyperspace. The title of Eye of the Nihil was passed down within the family, eventually to Marchion Ro after his father Asgar Ro was murdered. Marchion Ro used his position to take complete authoritative control of the organization and expand its aims.

In the aftermath of the Great Hyperspace Disaster in 232 BBY, which itself was orchestrated by Marchion Ro and the Nihil, the Nihil began to defend their way of life from the Jedi Order and the expanding Galactic Republic, whom they believed to be encroaching and robbing people of their freedom. The Nihil as a result caused havoc throughout the Republic Frontier, and were believed to have helped seed the carnivorous Drengir species along the Galactic Frontier, causing thousands of deaths. After the Nihil destroyed the Valo Republic Fair, the Jedi eventually forced the Nihil to scatter. By 230 BBY however, the Nihil were able to successfully destroy the Republic's hallmark space station Starlight Beacon, and later prevented the Galactic Republic from being able to reach ten full sectors of the Outer Rim, claiming and securing the territory as their own.

The Nihil were obsolete by the time of the Galactic Empire, though rhetoric and imagery associated with the marauders survived, as did their technology, such as the design of the Path engine.

Description[]

Philosophy[]

"The Nihil don't make excuses."
―Jinix[18]
EyeoftheStorm1-Nihil-Rally

The Nihil saw themselves as riders of a storm that swept through the galaxy, allowing them to take whatever they wanted.

The Nihil were a criminal organization[19] of anarchistic marauders[1] based in the Outer Rim Territories. The Nihil operated by a code of taking what they wanted and killing those that stood in their way.[20] They viewed themselves as a sort of counterculture that opposed the expanding Galactic Republic, who they believed were encroaching on Nihil territory as well as robbing people of their freedom. They saw themselves as riders of a "storm," and to that end used weather-related terminology in their structure and ranks, as well as a symbol of three lightning bolts. Indeed, their name alone was like a plague or hunting creature, spreading across the Outer Rim in a way that could not be fought or escaped.[5]

Above all, the Nihil sought to take whatever they wanted and destroy whatever they could not own; the thousands of pirates were united in their desire to take, kill, and eat. As such, they would perform various criminal actions, including acting as thieves, raiders, kidnappers, and murderers, and worked anywhere they could; the Nihil undertook operations in realspace and on planets, working anywhere from within wilderness to in cities. Additionally, to the people of the Outer Rim, it seemed that the marauders moved like they were spirits and killed like they were demons, with these victims being left to question whether the Nihil were monsters or a group that merely acted with the savagery one would expect from such a beast. Hiding their faces behind masks, the Nihil actively wanted the galaxy to see them as monsters and relished the destruction, including the murders, they left in their wake.[5]

Their rhetoric and imagery outlived the organization's prominence.[19] Despite the loner attitude they kept towards the wider galaxy, the group had extensive contacts, including prominent Republic officials such as chief aide Jeni Wataro, throughout the galaxy, and some Nihil participated in mainstream activities, such as viewing operas in Pan Eyta's case. Nihil pirates also preferred it when their raids came fast and frequent, believing they never should slow down.[5]

Structure[]

Tempest divisions[]

"We always need new blood. Strikes find other people to join, and when they get enough of a group under them, they move up to become a Cloud. If they make their name, they get to be a Storm. That's the way it works, since always. Been like that since back when your father was the Eye."
―Tempest Runner Pan Eyta, to Marchion Ro[5]

The Nihil group was divided into three Tempests, each led by a Tempest Runner[5] who wielded sole control over the unit.[20] Below the Runners were the Storms, Clouds, and finally the Strikes. Since the inception of the Nihil, promotion was driven in part by recruitment and reputation; Strikes brought new blood into the Nihil, and when they had enough recruits under them, they became Clouds; Clouds could become Storms if they gained a strong enough reputation. Promotion also depended on success, and it was not easy to rise through the ranks; a Nihil also needed to do everything possible to ensure their peers did not succeed. The rank of a Storm was showcased via three jagged white stripes added somewhere on their clothing, while Clouds had two, and Strikes had one.[5]

NihilraidCotJ

A violent and destructive Nihil raid

Despite being an organization in constant need of "new blood," each Tempest had around a thousand members by the time of the Great Hyperspace Disaster. With each of the three Tempests entrusted to a single Tempest Runner, that individual had sole authority over their Tempest's actions but also had sole responsibility for it. If a Tempest Runner died or walked away from the Nihil, a Storm they chose was to take their place. Within the Great Hall of the Nihil, the three Runners had a raised platform from which they could lead celebrations and rallies. The styles and cultures of the Tempests were decided upon by their Runners, as most members of a Tempest reflected their leader's choices. For example, Lourna Dee led a Tempest of subtle, introverted Nihil, who wore minimalist clothing but were generally the cruelest among the pirates. Until their intended result was achieved, a member of Dee's Tempest would keep their intentions to themself.[5]

Meanwhile, most of Pan Eyta's Tempest focused upon particular tastes, much like their finely dressed Runner. Eyta specifically enjoyed things like the operas of[5] the planet Cato Neimoidia in the Colonies.[21] From the start of his division, Eyta had chosen his first Strikes, who had then chosen their subordinates when the time came, and that pattern continued as it expanded. Ultimately, the Nihil in Eyta's Tempest were often precise and made plans. The opposite came with Kassav Milliko's Tempest, which was filled with Nihil, no matter their rank, who were impulsive and chaotic. Members of Kassav's division seemed to always pursue a new major score to brag about, but their habit of taking drugs like smash often left them so intoxicated it was hard for them to share those stories. Deploying their Tempests on raids all across the Outer Rim, Dee, Milliko, and Eyta ran their operations rather independently despite sometimes banding their crews together.[5]

The Eye of the Nihil[]

Before securing leadership[]
NihilRally-YT

The Nihil revolved around "the Eye," a title held by members of the Ro family.

Alongside the Tempest Runners was the Eye of the Nihil, a position created after Asgar Ro gave the Nihil access to their Paths through hyperspace. Seen as the figure who planned their future and guided them, the Eye was considered the symbolic head of the organization. However, the position originally did not give orders and could only advise if the votes did not go their way; as noticed by the next man to hold the title, Asgar's son Marchion Ro, the Eye could see the potential of the Nihil, yet he could not act on that potential nor give orders to the Tempest Runners. During celebrations in the Great Hall, the Eye resided on a lower platform, lower by one–meters, than the one used by the Tempest Runners. Additionally, Ro despised the "pageants" Runners Dee, Pan Eyta, and Kassav Milliko would put on in the Great Hall, seeing that they pitted the Clouds, Strikes, and Storms against one another. Ultimately, to Ro, the divided Nihil were in chaos.[5]

While all the Nihil used the Paths and worked under the same banner, every pirate was otherwise out for themself, with each of the Tempests being willing to undercut the others and every member willing to kill another at the slightest incitement or chance at profit. Ro believed himself the only one who could see that the Paths could get them anywhere they needed, together. Nonetheless, in votes with the Tempest Runners, a long–standing rule made it so the Eye had a double vote on matters involving the Paths, meaning any tie went in the Eye's direction. Ro enjoyed that aspect of his position, believing it was only right that the custodian of the Paths would have the most say in how the Nihil used them. While a Tempest Runner could approve raids for their own crews without needing to consult the other Nihil leaders, jobs that involved the Paths required a full vote, only for the Eye to almost always end up the deciding factor; the two Runners who did not have interests in the job often voted against it, leaving the Eye's double vote to either side with the proposer or the two other Runners.[5]

The reign of Marchion Ro[]
Nihil-symbol

The red Nihil symbol

In 232 BBY[7] after the Battle of Kur, the role of the Eye of the Nihil finally changed when Marchion Ro united all of the Nihil under his rule with the promise of expanding their operations throughout the galaxy and defending their way of life from the Galactic Republic and the Jedi Order.[5] As such, Ro finally had the ability to give orders,[22] including to the Tempest Runners. With Ro as the lord of the Nihil,[11] members of the group pledged themselves to serve the Eye for their whole lives, and he marshaled his forces to strike against the Republic and Jedi.[12]

Ro also secretly considered abolishing the Tempest Runner position entirely. While he would give the current Runners smaller but still leading positions if he went through with the idea, it would have left him the sole ruler of the Nihil.[12] As Ro took more control, there were some Nihil who came to believe the Nihil had changed for the worse, thinking that the group was less chaotic and was awarding them less chances to take whatever they wanted.[18] However, at the same time, there were Nihil who fully embraced Ro as leader, singing the praises of the Eye and hoping to win his favor. To these Nihil, the organization still allowed them to destroy and steal whatever they pleased.[11] Indeed, in time, he came to fully cement control over the marauders, giving him enough power for him to say to the Republic that the galaxy was his for the taking.[23]

The Great Hall[]

The-fortified-Great-Hall

The Nihil operated out of an area of space they dubbed "No-Space" from their Great Hall.

The Nihil operated from a location they called No-Space, which contained a broad durasteel platform dubbed the "Great Hall of the Nihil." The group gathered there to celebrate and feast after raids, although the "hall" had no walls or ceiling; with only invisible vacuum shields keeping those gathered inside secure under a dome of breathable oxygen, the raiders were able to look out into the darkness of realspace with the implication that leaving the group would bring an empty, cold death. As such, it was implied staying with the Nihil would continue to bring them life and light by which to survive. In effect, the Great Hall looked as if it drifted through the great nothingness of space, with glowing blue–white lights marking the edges of the platform. What could be described as towers of flame seemingly pushed back the endless void and kept the Nihil inside safe, even though it was the shielding that did so.[5]

Nihil were forbidden from bringing blasters into the hall, but they were allowed to bring bladed weapons. Only the Nihil knew how to reach the Great Hall, as only they knew of the Paths. For private meetings, the Tempest Runners and the Eye could travel to a small structure located at a far end of the Great Hall. Guarded by two Killdroids, the structure held docking mechanisms, the airlock, and a small complex of rooms designed to offer privacy.[5] However, as Marchion came to realize, the Great Hall was not a good position to defend the Nihil from, with the future Eye arguing with his father, who wrote off his concerns due to the belief that no one would be able to find No-Space, about how vulnerable the base made them.[18] During Marchion's reign, he sent out the Nihil to find new, more defensible, bases despite keeping the Great Hall in operation.[12] Later, he declared several sectors of the Outer Rim to belong to the Nihil and no one else, forming[10] the Occlusion Zone.[6]

The Rule of Three in practice[]

NihilleadersCotJ

The leaders of the Nihil (left to right) Marchion Ro, Pan Eyta, Kassav Milliko, and Lourna Dee

After receiving access to the Paths from the Ro family, they adopted the Rule of Three to divide the proceeds of their raids, with the Eye receiving shares from raids that utilized the Paths. Supposedly, the Rule of Three helped ensure each Nihil received anything they ever wanted, with it being promised that every Nihil who took part in a raid would receive the benefits of that attack. The Tempest Runners openly proclaimed that all Nihil all flew and died as one, leaving the rewards to be reaped together. Whenever the Nihil lost potential spoils, it was deemed an insult to the whole group, even to the Runners and the Eye, and a punishment was considered necessary.[5]

When the group would participate in a raid, a third of the bounty would go to the Eye if the job used the Paths. Until Ro assumed control of the Nihil, that and providing the Paths was, in effect, the extent of the Eye's power. The rest of the money would go to the Nihil's secret bank accounts, known as their black accounts. Whereas lower-ranking Nihil truly believed the organization helped them, most spoils would actually end up in the hands of the Tempest Runners, making them rich from the work of their pirates.[5]

Technology and tactics[]

The miracle of the Paths[]

"I've read Old Republic records of Nihil ships doing impossible things with lightspeed. Jumping in close to planets…blinking across battlefields almost instantaneously…it was like magic."
―Chelli Aphra[24]

Seemingly at will-like spirits, Nihil ships, in any location in the galaxy, could appear from nothing at seemingly any time, with no defenses able to stop them when they appeared wherever they wanted. The power to appear from hyperspace and disappear into it at will was thanks to a navigational miracle known as the Path engines, which, when attached to a starship's regular engines, allowed the ship to travel through hyperspace in a manner unlike anyone else in the galaxy. In fact, the way they traveled through hyperspace was thought to be impossible by the Republic. To the Jedi Master Avar Kriss, the paths appeared to be unnatural; she felt that—for lack of a better term—hyperspace was "sick" during the Great Hyperspace Disaster caused by a Nihil path engine-equipped craft. She had sensed that something had gone wrong, noting that the disaster should never have happened. These paths were tortuous and known to the Nihil alone, supplied by the Eye.[5]

PathEngine

The Nihils' Path Engines enabled them to seemingly appear anywhere.

In all the factors that counted, the Paths were what made the Nihil the effective group they were. One of the few things that tied individual Nihil ships together into a common force, the engine itself was visible on a Nihil ship's hull, being visible as a green half-sphere that glowed. As custodian of the Paths, the Eye supplied them to the rest of the Nihil but also knew the Paths were not a limitless resource; while the Nihil always needed new members, having too many new Nihil would thin out their ranks too much. Only those with the title of the Eye knew the unique source that the Paths came from; the Ro family had kidnapped[5] the Force-sensitive[12] hyperspace prospector Mari San Tekka. The single, exhaustible source for new paths was her ability to map new hyperlanes that Asgar and Machrion Ro relied on. Before taking full control of the Nihil, Tekka was Ro's only true ally, yet he nonetheless openly considered killing her to forge a new path for himself.[5]

Ro also knew he needed to keep her existence a close secret, understanding that any of the Tempest Runners would kill him if they knew how to access the Paths themselves. Instead, he had to make it seem that, if he were to vanish, the Paths would vanish with him, when in reality any of the Runners could have kept Tekka's medical capsule running. To Ro, the Paths were what made the Nihil special and powerful. There were thousands of raider organizations in the Outer Rim, but the Paths and the Path engines allowed Nihil teams to access hyperspace in ways like no other group in the galaxy; through the Paths, Nihil ships could leap into locations otherwise protected by a gravity well, perform microjumps, enter hyperspace from anywhere instead of relying on non-occluded access zones or elaborate calculations, and even appear in the same lane as another hyperdrive-equipped craft.[5]

Starships[]

The Nihil marauders utilized various type of starships, including battleships[25] and warships. The fleet was divided into three classes; the large Stormships, another large class called Cloudships, and the smaller, starfighter–like Strikeships. Each of the Tempest Runners also had a corvette-sized flagship.[5] Another type of large craft, known as Spider Cruiser due to its spider-like appendages,[22] were used in both ground and space operations.[26] No matter their classification, all Nihil starships were painted with the group's symbol as if it was war paint, making it, other than the path engines and their shared brutalist appearance, the only thing showcasing that they served the same force, as no two ships were the same. To those not in the Nihil, their craft generally appeared ugly; many Nihil ships were blocky ships with spikes, seemingly placed with no pattern in mind, protruding out. Lacking curves and instead being made up of straight lines, every Nihil ship, no matter its class, looked like a spiked fist with armoring, effectively making a fleet of ships that looked like they could crush enemies and then collect their pounded corpses.[5]

Stormship

Nihil Stormships were one of three classifications within their fleet.

Indeed, to Chief Executive Officer Larence Garello, the ships looked as though they were purposely made for destruction, specifically as if they were to made to beat enemies to death. Marchion Ro knew that each craft in the Nihil fleet reflected its owner's culture and tastes, though he too knew each ship shared a brutalist aesthetic. Nihil ships also had a lack of overall symmetry and possessed many sharp edges in their design. Ro himself also commanded[5] a very different-looking starship[27] named the Gaze Electric, where he kept Mari San Tekka. Larger and more imposing than even the Tempest Runners' ships, it was a flying fortress with a shadow like that of an ocean predator. Filled with empty corridors, the mobile palace was the only home Ro had ever known.[5]

For a Nihil raid, typically most of the force was made up of small starships, those designed for one or two pilots, while larger ships came in lesser numbers, while the Tempest Runner's flagship—the largest ship in the raid—could be placed in the center of the force. The marauders also held the ability to shield their ships behind a stormcloud-like effect upon entering a star system; within the blue-grey cover, their ships remained hidden from sight and sensors, though their lights could be seen through the dense swirl of vapor. It also served to intimidate their foes and enabled the Nihil to suddenly fire weapons. However, that had the chance of causing enough light to allow foes to see into the storm and know what ships were attacking. Nevertheless, the Nihil had the chance to fire quickly from cover before launching ships out once their cover was blown.[5]

Nihil ships could also fire blasts that held ion cannon-like abilities, completely shutting down ships that were impacted by the blasts. These blasts looked as though they were lightning strikes and held a huge amount of energy. Although deflector shields could hold back the lightning-like blasts for a time, the strikes would still deal major hits to that starship's shielding.[5]

The marauders themselves[]

Nihil-SWHR

Members of the Nihil

Nihil often recruited new members from people who felt disenfranchised and forgotten by the Republic.[5] Members of the Nihil, who were individuals of numerous species, wore heavy masks and helmets that often featured tubing, and were equipped with various weapons and pieces of armor.[28] The masks' purpose was both symbolic and practical: they gave the pirates an intimidating appearance, while protecting their identities and themselves from the poisonous gases they frequently unleashed in battle.[5] Various types of weaponry were also used by the group; many utilized blasters, while some also carried knives.[29]

In their pursuit of freedom, Nihil celebrations allowed any member to indulge in various types of foodstuffs, drugs, and drinks, with banquet tables being filled with such items, including potent alcohol and rich foods. Nihil masks could be used to cover up an individual marauder's identity, with most members wearing one. Beyond being able to hide expressions, the masks could also amplify and distort the wearer's voice. Nevertheless, Marchion Ro's rule would later abolish the need to keep one's face hidden at all times. Additions like horns and brows could be added to the masks. Almost all masks were also equipped with filter equipment over the mouth and nose of the raider, helping them to survive any of the various chemical attacks employed during raids. Clothing between different raiders was often unique, sometimes including capes, armor made from animal hides, and more.[5]

Every Nihil was expected to contribute to the organization and its growth, either by making the Nihil stronger or richer. In order to ensure it remained strong, those deemed weak were forcefully removed from its ranks by being killed. Most Nihil were also desperate to establish a connection to the Eye or the Tempest Runners to try to advance through the ranks.[5] The bizarre and intimidating tactics used by the Nihil included chemical weapons and poison.[20] Indeed, chemical weapons became a commonly deployed weapon by the pirates. One of the gas attacks the marauders employed was firing white canisters of a blue-grey gas. Thick and dense like a storm cloud, the war cloud gas was lethal and instantly filled the air with a poison that made breathing feel like fire.[5]

The Nihil allowed independent droids to join their ranks[18] but also made use of droids in their operations. Within the Great Hall, sentry droids were used as guards. Standing over two meters tall, the droids displayed loyalty to the Eye and Tempest Runners. Instead of a standard face design, the three lightning bolt symbol of the Nihil, colored in light–blue, was placed upon their faceplates. Having bodies filled with spikes and fists strong enough to smash bones or tissue, the droids did not need to wield weaponry.[5]

History[]

Origins[]

"The Nihil began as an infection, you could say, within our ranks. And when we cut off the affected area, instead of dying, it grew. It grew and spread and became many different things, chaos."
―Elder Barbatash of the Elders of the Path[30]
PotCFSymbol

The original Nihil insignia

Sometime during the High Republic Era, a time period approximately between 500 BBY and 100 BBY,[6] the marauder group known as the Nihil began as a small pirate group operating out of Thull's Shroud, near Belsavis,[5] after they were formed by the Evereni family known as the Ros,[3] specifically Marda Ro,[2] as part of a plan to achieve revenge against the Jedi Order and Galactic Republic.[3] As such, the Nihil originally existed as part of[30] the Jedi-hating Path of the Open Hand cult, which Marda had dedicated herself to.[31] The Elders of the Path remnant of the Path[32] saw themselves as a group that excised the Nihil, hoping that, having become a separate organization, it would collapse. While the Elders remained dedicated to religion,[30] the Nihil became a criminal force to fulfill the Ros' goals[3] and radically grew in power, much to the fear of the Elders, who regarded the Nihil as a force of pure chaos.[30] Marda later became the mother of Shalla Ro.[3]

The storm-based terminology and imagery used by the Nihil could be traced back to the way the Evereni had described their homeworld of Everon,[3] with the religious imagery of the Ros being visually similar to the lightning bolt pattern that served as the Nihil logo.[12] Between c. 350 BBY and 330 BBY, an Evereni known as Ro captured Mari San Tekka,[6] and by 331 BBY[16] the Nihil had imprisoned her aboard the Gaze Electric.[33] After Shalla served as the Eye for a time and helped further form the Nihil into a united force, her son Asgar Ro killed her[3] in 252 BBY,[4] taking on the title of Eye after[3] approaching the Nihil, offering them the use of the Path engine—a device which he promised would allow them incredible mobility through hyperspace[5] —to make sure the group could continue to advance after a period of stagnation under his mother.[3]

Asgar's reign and Marchion's rise[]

Affie Hollow: "They rose up a few years ago. I mean, they've been around longer, but they just recently became dangerous. Nobody's sure where they're from."
Leox Gyasi: "Nor can we determine their ethos. A confounding people. But we know three things for sure: they're raiders, they're brutal, and they're not out there right now."
Reath Silas: "How do you know it's not them out there?"
Leox Gyasi: "I know it because we're still alive."
Affie Hollow, Leox Gyasi, and Reath Silas discuss the Nihil[34]
Nihil leaders

The Nihil Tempest Runners and Eye Asgar Ro with his son Marchion

Asgar Ro subsequently became the Eye of the Nihil, sole granter of the Paths the engines traveled through hyperspace. Unbeknownst to the Nihil, the source of the Paths was the hyperspace prospector Mari San Tekka, who was kept alive in a medical pod after having been captured by the Ro family some time prior. The three Tempest Runners were the Twi'lek Lourna Dee,[5] who achieved the position after saving Asgar from Tempest Runner Xanaven,[18] the Weequay Kassav Milliko, and the Dowutin Pan Eyta. The three Tempest Runners commanded their Tempests from their own corvette–sized craft; Eyta commanded the Elegencia, Milliko commanded the New Elite, and Lourna Dee commanded a ship she named after herself, the Lourna Dee.[5] At some point, a number of Nihil raiders torched the paradise planet Nelgenam, causing the world to become a desolate wasteland and its famed library to fall into ruin.[35]

Ro was also joined by his son Marchion,[18] who Shalla knew would be the one to fulfill their revenge.[3] Asgar was abusive towards his son[12] to make sure the boy would grow up to become ruthless.[3] Additionally, the three Tempest Runners grew annoyed with the Rule of Three established by Ro, which guaranteed the Eye a third of their spoils if a job used the Paths.[18] All three Tempest Runners underestimated the Ros, who had personal goals that involved wiping out the Jedi Order for reasons that tied into their family history.[5] In 242 BBY,[6] The three Tempest Runners came up with a plot to kill Asgar,[18] but Lourna Dee was the one to stab him.[33]

DyingAsgar

Asgar Ro is murdered

Finding his father bleeding on the floor of his quarters, Marchion learned that he had no idea who had attacked him. Disappointed at that, Marchion nonetheless then began to kick his downed father, continuing to do so after the man was dead.[12] When Asgar died, Marchion inherited the unfinished family goal and the title of Eye, including everything that went with the position.[5] He began his new role with a ceremony, during which he began his mission to unite the Nihil under his control; he called the Tempest Runners "his" and spoke of the group's rebirth, with Dee beginning to realize they had underestimated Marchion when the crowd began to chant in support.[18] As time passed, the three Tempest Runners would often see Marchion without his mask, but the features of his species always struck fear into them on an instinctive level.[5]

Agents of chaos[]

Ro begins the Great Disaster[]

"If I had to guess, she's worried this was some kind of attack. I know it's unlikely, but it's not impossible. Enemies don't usually announce their intentions to hit you ahead of time."
―Pevel Kronara discusses Supreme Chancellor Lina Soh's reaction to the Great Disaster[5]
GreatDisasterHetzal

The Great Hyperspace Disaster threatens the Hetzal system

By 232 BBY,[7] Ro moved forward with his goal to strike against the Jedi Order and expanding Galactic Republic for reasons connected to his family history. Furthermore, he also detested the Republic and believed, in order to fight the expanding government, he needed to reform the Nihil.[5] Over a few short years,[34] particularly around 234 BBY to 232 BBY,[6][5] the Nihil began to grow in prominence in the Outer Rim; merely a year before the Great Hyperspace Disaster, individuals like CEO Larence Garello and his employees had never heard of the pirates, only for their name and actions to spread quickly, even if their origins remained shrouded in mystery. The name "Nihil" itself took on a cursed-like reputation. In effect, for all the tales of savagery the people of the Outer Rim heard about the Nihil, more remained unknown about the organization than what was public knowledge.[5]

To these civilians, the most important thing to remember was that the Nihil took whatever they wanted and destroyed what they could not take. Even though some stories of an individual surviving a Nihil encounter would sometimes be spread around, there were no such stories of people fighting the pirates away. To the Republic at large, however, the Nihil were simply a small-time criminal group that it had never bothered itself with addressing. The Nihil became aware that the Republic was expanding into the Outer Rim and building a space station known as the Starlight Beacon, but, despite Ro often bringing up the topic, the Tempest Runners remained confident the Republic would not crack down on their operations. Nonetheless, Eyta was hopeful for a chance to one day kill a Jedi, seeing it as a great story to tell.[5]

MarchionRoTrymantIV-THRA2

Marchion Ro had plans to use the Nihil against the Republic and Jedi.

Ro, too, had yet to encounter a Jedi, yet he nonetheless prepared to lead the Nihil against their Order and had grown up hearing stories of his family's history with the Force-sensitives. Around the same time as the Republic expansion, all three Tempests came to see a mass influx of new members. As the fear of the Nihil spread, Ro continued his plans by arranging for a Nihil Stormship to be sent on a Path which intercepted with a hyperspace lane—something the Republic thought was impossible to do—in the Outer Rim near the Hetzal system. Encountering the Nihil ship at Hetzal's transit point, the freighter Legacy Run—detecting the ship in their path with only ten seconds until a possible impact—was torn apart attempting to avoid a collision. There was no particular reason Hetzal was targeted; Ro merely needed a massive crisis that would bring the Nihil to the Republic's attention, and the Legacy Run happened to be the ship he targetted.[5]

Thus began the Great Hyperspace Disaster; many of the starship's fragments exited hyperspace and began to rain upon the Hetzal system. Hoping to rescue as many people as possible, a joint-Republic Defense Coalition-Jedi Order effort was launched from Starlight Beacon to the star system, yet the Republic remained unaware of what had caused the event. While some feared the crisis could be an attack, Republic Admiral Pevel Kronara felt that was unlikely, knowing enemies did not normally broadcast intentions to attack before a conflict. Several of the fragments of the Legacy Run that rained up the system still contained living passages, while another held liquid Tibanna. Towards the end of the disaster, the Jedi needed to band together to ensure that the container did not collide with an R-class star and destroy the system; their success was broadcast to various worlds by technician Keven Tarr, with only those who hated the Jedi being upset by the disaster's outcome.[5]

Raid at Ab Dalis[]

"Just like in Ab Dalis. We killed that convoy dead. We ripped those ships down to the bones and took everything they had, and now everyone who fought alongside me there gets a share, through the Rule of Three. With the Nihil, everyone eats."
―Tempest Runner Pan Eyta[5]

The salvation of the Hetzal system did not mark the end of the Legacy Run crisis; remaining fragments of the starship still traveling in hyperspace came to exit into other Outer Rim systems, resulting in the Emergences. The First Emergence occurred in the Ab Dalis system, where only one of seven fragments hit the planet Ab Dalis. That single impact resulted in twenty million deaths. Even though Ro was the only member of the Nihil to know they were responsible for the Great Hyperspace Disaster and the ensuing Emergences, Pan Eyta's Tempest plotted a job that could take advantage of the sudden disaster in the Ab Dalish system. Dee and Milliko also supplied a few members from their Tempests to help, but Milliko only allocated one Cloud's crew to the effort. Ro supplied the three Tempests with the Paths needed to enter the system. Under the command of one of the Nihil fleet's warships, which was the largest ship in the attack force, the assembled Nihil could thus enter the system.[5]

AbDalis-SW15

The Ab Dalis system (pictured) was the site of an Emergence and then a Nihil raid after the Great Disaster.

As a six-freighter convoy—containing the entire workforce of Garello Technologies, many of its resources, and the families of the workers—traveled away from Ab Dalis to the outer edge of the system, the massive force of Nihil ships arrived in the system, with their craft covered by a massive storm-like effect. Unable to scan anything in the storm, the convoy, though unable to scan the Nihil ship within, tried to begin to move around the storm, only for the marauders to suddenly open fire, shutting down in the freighter Maree's Diligence before the other convoy ships raised their deflector shields. Nevertheless, the freighters were not designed for battle nor were they joined by guard fighters, giving the Nihil an advantage. Firing two more shots, the Nihil targeted another ship, which—due to its raised shields—was not crippled, yet it still took a major hit from the blasts. Additionally, the shots had given enough light to briefly illuminate the inside of the storm, revealing to the convoy that a large force awaited them.[5]

Firing a final blast as a signal, various Nihil ships of different classes suddenly flew out to attack the convoy. As their convoy tried to return fire, those aboard the freighters began to panic upon realizing it was the Nihil who were attacking, forcing the convoy to begin a likely-futile retreat. As company CEO Larence Garello reflected on all he had heard about the Nihil, a large number of the Nihil attack ships focused upon the disabled Maree's Diligence, swirling around it before firing harpoon-like projectiles into the hull of the freighter. With each hook deep into the hull of the un-shielded ship, each of these attack craft simultaneously turned to make their engines face the disabled freighter and then activated their thrusters, thus ripping the Maree's Diligence apart and killing the thousands aboard.[5]

Zagyar-THRA2

The crew of the Storm Zagyar (pictured) was tasked with recovering one of the disabled craft, only for it to explode.

With the planet behind them long since consumed by corruption and then hit by an Emergence, there was little hope of help coming against the Nihil, who had just committed a mass murder in front of all the convoy. The largest ship in the Nihil fleet again fired another "lightning" blast, deactivating the freighter it hit, just like the Maree's Diligence. With a crew from Lourna Dee's Tempest under the command of the Storm Zagyar being put in charge of recovering the newly–disabled craft, the Nihil surrounded the ship until it suddenly exploded, looking as if there had been a reactor issue or a different error. In reality, a member of Zagyar's crew, the young Strike Blit, had simply miscalculated the harpoon blast and hit one of the ship's fuel tanks. The ensuing explosion took out many of the surrounding Nihil, including Blit herself and most of Zagyar's crew. Of his team, all that survived were five Strikes, two Clouds, and Zagyar himself.[5]

Just as Garello felt a twinge of triumph at his employees taking some of the Nihil down, the Nihil fleet focused its attention on the flagship and boarded the vessel. As Garello and his employees tried to arm themselves, the Nihil smashed open the door to the bridge, which went flying and crushed a Klatooinian crewmember, before shooting three canisters of blue-grey gas into the bridge. With the canisters exploding before they even hit the floor, the Nihil entered the bridge with their masks on. Garello, just as he died from the gas, spotted the pirates and realized he had no hope of surviving the encounter. Ultimately, the raiders slaughtered everyone in the Garello Technology convoy, enjoying the fact that they did as well, after ripping the ships down. Under the leadership of Pan Eyta, the Nihil involved in the raid took everything the civilians had owned. With those spoils in hand and the raid over, the Nihil involved returned to No-Space and the Great Hall. Nonetheless, Eyta was angered that the Nihil had only been able to raid five of the six ships in the convoy, given that one of the ships had exploded when the Nihil started to rip it open, robbing them of whatever spoils it contained.[5]

TrymantEmergence-THRA1

One of the Emergences

Meanwhile, an ever–growing number of Emergences began to strike within the Outer Rim. As the Republic Defense Coalition blockaded hyperspace routes in the region to protect against the Emergences, which led to strife as worlds in the Outer Rim suddenly began to suffer from a lack in supplies, Nihil ships effectively became the only ships that could travel through hyperspace, as only they used the Paths, while an ever–growing number of public hyperlanes were being blockaded with each Emergence. Ro's spies in the Republic also reported the government was putting together a major investigation into the Great Disaster and Emergences with the help of the Jedi. While he had thus accomplished his goal of getting the Nihil to the Republic's attention, he knew the pirates were not yet ready for his goals so wanted to slow down operations until the time was right. In need of new Paths, he had also been working Tekka hard to fuel the future of both the Nihil and his own goals, meaning he had another, secret reason to hope the Runners agreed to suspend operations for some time.[5]

Aftermath of the raid[]

Celebrating the spoils and punishing a crew[]
"Pay the price! Pay the price! Pay the price!"
―The Nihil crowd demand a member of Zagyar's crew be punished[5]

Eventually returning to No-Space, the Nihil took their seats in the Great Hall to begin a celebration over their victory at Ab Dalis with a rally led by the three Tempest Runners. Every Nihil having taken part in the raid was invited to take seats at dozens of banquet tables filled with food, drugs, and drink—as during the celebration where they could as much of those they wanted—to reap the spoils together. Amongst the feast tables and fountains were intoxicants like death sticks, piles of downfire, and piles of uppowder. The Runners themselves took their place on their high platform with a table of their own. Waiting for a chance to speak to the Tempest Runners, Ro also attended the gathering, leaving the Gaze Electric to loom behind the other Nihil craft outside the Great Hall, where he sat alone on a lower platform than the Runner's. As the rally began, the crowd quieted to hear their Eye quietly ask what he saw for them, which they responded to with a yell that they could take anything they wanted. Ro allowed Pan Eyta to take control of the rally, leading to the Dowutin celebrating their murders and victory at Ab Dalis with a speech, thanking Milliko, Dee, and Ro as well. A[5]

Zagyar

During a rally after the Ab Dalis raid, Zagyar stood before the Tempest Runners, explaining his crew's failure to secure the freighter that exploded.

After Eyta drank an entire goblet of spiced wine and Ro raised his hand in acknowledgment to the cheering crowd, Eyta suddenly began to talk of their failure to secure one of the freighters, demanding to know what Storm was in charge of crew that failed. Faced with mounting pressure as the moments ticked by, Zagyar eventually stood, and Dee, seemingly unconcerned, allowed Eyta to deal out any punishment he wished onto her Storm. Called up with the rest of his crew, Zagyar and his seven surviving crewmembers, all of whom shared their Storm's white eyes, walked through the parting crowd to stand before the Runners. Zagyar plainly and truthfully answered by explaining Blit's failure, which Ro respected but made no difference to Eyta, who demanded some form of punishment in spite of Blit's death, reasoning that one of the survivors could have given better guidance. As all of the Nihil began to chant for a punishment, Zagyar hesitated to choose a victim as his tensing crew reached for their blades. Although Ro looked away at first, annoyed at the Runners playing Nihil against each other, he and the rest of the Nihil watched as one member of the crew was dragged off the platform into space despite their pleas. Ro remained unconcerned with who had been killed, even pondering if it was Zagyar himself[5] even though, in fact, it wasn't.[22]

Plotting the next move[]

With the lesson clear, Eyta let the party he said the Nihil had earned begin, enabling any Nihil who disagreed with the execution to hide it through indulging in the celebration or simply keeping on their mask. As loud music began to fill the room but before any of the Runners became drunk, Ro pulled the trio away to a back room at the far end of the Great Hall, ignoring the many Nihil who reached out to them to try to establish connections with their leadership. Passing its two droid sentries and entering the room, Milliko was the first to speak and complemented the party, only for Ro to remove his mask and show his face, striking fear into the hearts of the three Runners. Questioning whether it was indeed a good party or simply a large one before also noting that there were many new Nihil within all three Tempests, the Eye advised the Runners that they would need to slow down operations to not stretch themselves too thin, although Dee believed such an idea would not go over well with their Tempests. When Eyta realized Ro was again talking to them about the Republic, he remained sure the regime would not target their group, also noting the Paths would keep them safe.[5]

PaoloVillanelliTHR1Virgin

Marchion Ro warned the Tempest Runners that the RDC and Jedi Order (pictured) would be too great a challenge for the Nihil.

Speaking in a way that made it seem like he had nothing to do with the Great Hyperspace Disaster, Ro made the case that the Emergences hitting the Outer Rim were bringing destruction that had encouraged a major, Jedi–backed investigation, only for Eyta to remark that he wanted to kill a Jedi. Ignoring Eyta's state by noting the Tempest Runner would die and need to choose a Storm who could replace him, Ro, after letting the tension build until he was sure none of them would openly challenge him again during the conversation, argued that the Nihil could easily before found by the Jedi or RDC because they were suddenly the only group able to travel in hyperspace, noting that a simple RDC task force would be enough to wipe out the comparatively small pirate organization. Reasoning that the Nihil needed to halt operations to lie low, Ro stated he did not want to offer new Paths, although he did advise the Runners to tell their subordinates, if they complained, that he saw a major new initiative in the future. When Dee inquired whether that was true, Ro vaguely answered that he was always plotting new goals. When Ro called a vote to decide whether to lie low, Milliko objected by claiming the Nihil needed to continue riding their storm, whereas Eyta agreed that it was a good time to plan in case the Republic moved into their territory.[5]

With Milliko suspecting he only agreed since his Tempest had greatly benefitted from the Ab Dalis raid, an argument between Eyta and Milliko began, but Dee, as always, kept her opinion quiet. With at least a two-against-two opinion clear, Ro's double vote on Path matters secured ensured there would be a pause on Path activities until the Republic investigation calmed down. Seemingly to the annoyance of the other two Runners and Ro himself, Dee suddenly revealed she had wanted to propose a new job for her Tempest, needing a vote since it would involve the Paths. She explained she had a new group of seven Strikes under the Cloud Ultident Margrona, who had come up with an interesting plan to kidnap the well–connected Blythe family to hold them for ransom. Although Ro was initially fully opposed to the idea, Dee then revealed the family had moved to the planet Elphrona, which she explained lacked a major security force while trying to hide that she knew there was a Jedi outpost on the world. Ro, too, knew of the outpost and began to realize there was a chance the Cloud's team could capture a Jedi, which would do well for his coming goals. After Dee explained how she wanted the Paths in case of danger and that the new group had great potential, Ro pretended to be interested in the payload capturing the family would offer.[5]

LightOfTheJedi-OOPFullArt

The Nihil face the Jedi during their raid on Elphrona

Claiming he did not want her to get the attention of the Jedi, he agreed, cementing the matter with his two votes before asking to be given the plan and what the team would need. When Dee and Eyta returned to the outside celebration, an angry Milliko stayed behind as Ro returned his mask to his face and walked out with him, complaining about how it was unfair to give Dee the job when he and Eyta also had Tempests. Believing his Tempest would be angry but unaware that Ro was interested in the Jedi on Elphrona, Milliko offered to send the Eye new ideas for jobs that could generate them both wealth. When the two left the room, Ro moved to look out into space from the edge of the platform, although Milliko followed closely behind him and, believing Ro to be a coward, claimed Asgar would never have shut down the Paths. Finally reacting by going still, Ro reminded the Weequay that he had succeeded the dead man as the Eye. With the Runners able to do whatever they wanted with their Tempests so long as it did not require the Paths, Ro invited the Runner to make a play against him if he was brave enough, noting that such attacks could end with him paying a terrible price.[5]

Spreading destruction[]

"This evacuation isn't for you. Good luck with the apocalypse though!"
―A Nihil, to Zeen Mrala and Krix Kamerat[26]

As fallout from the Great Disaster entered the Trymant system, the Nihil arrived above the planet Trymant IV in a large starship. Nihil landed in Bralanak City as burning debris descended on the city, evacuating a member of the Elders of the Path, Tromak,[26] and his assistant Krix Kamerat.[22] With Ro's permission secured, members of the Nihil were involved in a raid on Elphrona.[5]

AttackTrymant-THRA1

The Nihil attack Trymant IV

Meanwhile, Kassav's Tempest was deployed to battle against the Jedi Order in the Kur Nebula, only for Ro to sacrifice the entire Tempest to deflect attention away from the greater organization, hoping the Jedi would believe the Nihil were dealt with. The raid at Elphrona also ended in victory for Ro when he dispatched the rest of Dee's Tempest to reinforce the operation; the Nihil successfully captured Jedi Master Loden Greatstorm, fulfilling Ro's hope. To secure leadership over the entire organization, Ro played doctored video of the battle of the Kur Nebula, making it seem like Kassav's Tempest had given their lives for their way of life, and used the many new Paths he had collected from Tekka to offer the pirates a chance at galaxy-wide raids.[5]

Wishing to drive the Republic from the remote area near the edge of the Dalnan sector, the Nihil sent the pirates Gwishi and Klinith to sabotage the luxury liner Steady Wing as it departed the remote outpost of Port Haileap with an important Republic individual aboard. Arriving at Port Haileap on a stolen cargo hauler, the two impersonated mechanics, intending to incapacitate the real mechanics with ovax gas and damage the Steady Wing's escape pods to leave no survivors.[29]

A new era[]

Regrouping on Grizal[]

"Chancellor Lina Soh. Everything that woman does is an affront to our way of life. She comes into our systems our territories, our space, tells us how to live, how to think. And so we strike back. […] Even now, Lina Soh is planning a spectacle to end all spectacles—the Republic Fair. Millions of her advocates, her followers…her sheep, arriving from every system to march beneath her colors. They didn't invite the Nihil, but by the stars we will be there. And we will crush the real enemy, the symbol of their hope and their resilience. Death to the Chancellor! Death to Soh."
―Marchion Ro's rallying speech to the Nihil[12]

In the aftermath of the Battle of Kur, Ro ordered Lourna Dee and the other tempest runners to keep quiet and allow the Republic to believe the Nihil had been defeated. In their downtime, the Nihil had searched for a base that could serve as both a sanctuary and a fortress, and Zeetar, the new Tempest Runner after Kassav's death, located the prison complex on Grizal. However, a member of Pan Eyta's tempest named Sarn Starbreaker ignored the directive to keep quiet and led a raid on the shipyards of Cyclor in the hopes of looting the Innovator a new Republic ship. They were apprehended by the Jedi, who destroyed the Cloudship Starbreaker was leading the attack from.[12]

TargonSoh

Chancellor Lina Soh and her pet Targons

Later, Eyta was called back to Grizal and met with Dee and Zeetar, who had constructed a powersuit. Eyta mocked him for it and the two began fighting until it was stopped by Dee. Eyta asked the other Tempest Runners why he was called back to Grizal, and Zeetar explained it was because he messed up. Lourna clarified that they were referring to the attack on Cyclor, which left an entire Cloud dead and placed the Republic on high alert. As Lourna and Zeetar insulted Sarn Starbreaker, Eyta insisted that the raid's failure was not his fault, as there were Jedi at the shipyards, but Zeetar still chastised Eyta for not listening to Ro's orders to lay low. Pan countered by saying that they should not listen to Ro anymore, as the Nihil had grown beyond his influence. However, Ro eventually arrived and threatened Eyta by tricking him and electrocuting him, Eyta only saved by Dee. Even more angry towards Ro, Eyta revealed to the others that Ro didn't provide the Paths himself and instead receives them from Mari San Tekka, something he learned from a man named Udi Dis who had been onboard the Gaze Electric.[12]

Eyta then staged a public argument with Ro regarding the Nihil's recent inactivity following the Great Disaster, drawing the attention of the other Nihil forces gathered on Grizal. There, he revealed the same secret of the Paths to the Tempests to undermine Ro's authority. However, Ro defused Eyta's challenge to his position by turning the crowd's attention to the Nihil's next operation: an attack on the Republic Fair with the aim of killing Republic Chancellor Lina Soh. With the Nihil stirred into a frenzy, Eyta was left with no choice but to join in with their renewed support of Ro.[12]

Attack on Valo[]

After Ro quelled the dissent from Eyta and other Nihil, they prepared for their attack on the Valo Republic Fair. The Republic Fair was another one of Chancellor Soh's Great Works meant to unite the galaxy and show that they had recovered from the Great Hyperspace Disaster and the Emergences. The marauders had helped seed the carnivorous plant-like Drengir species across the Outer Rim to distract the Jedi, which succeeded, most of the Jedi of Starlight Beacon including Marshal Kriss being off fighting the Drengir while the Fair occurred. During the attack, Dee's Tempest performed a ground assault while Eyta's attacked ships in orbit and Zeetar's picked off ships attempting to flee. They also disabled communications on the planet so that they could not call for help and placed Drengir around the communications tower so it could not be easily reactivated.[12]

TheRisingStorm-OOP-FullArt

The Attack on Valo

The Nihil destroyed and decimated the fair, killing hundreds of thousands. They spread a giant War cloud of toxic gas across the entire fair to assist in their attack, their masks protecting them. They also specifically targeted the Innovator, which was on display at the fair as a gift to the Republic and a symbol of progress, sinking it into Lake Lonisa. Eyta remained aboard the Elegencia during the raid, coordinating the overall operation, while Dee fought on the ground. She dueled Ugor Jedi archivist OrbaLin, who bored her with lectures on Jedi artifacts during their fight. The Nihil also destroyed sky islands known as the World Pavilions that represented the different planets of the Republic. The original Nihil attack plan called for a bombardment from Eyta's ship once as much damage as possible had been caused by Dee's Tempest. However, when the tide of the ground battle turned against the Nihil, Eyta ordered the bombing early with Nihil forces still on the planet. One bomb severely injured Chancellor Soh. Lourna Dee, who had been attacking the Chancellor and her companions at the time, was also injured. A small force of Skyhawks and Jedi Vectors, led by Indeera Stokes, then attacked Pan's ships in hopes of stopping the carpet bombing. While their attack did draw Eyta's attention, all of the Skyhawks were destroyed in the attack, and Stokes was left alone as her fellow Jedi were forced to retreat with damaged Vectors. Before Indeera's ship could be destroyed, after communications were restored by Jedi Padawan Ram Jomaram, the Togruta fleet arrived, summoned to rescue their imperiled ruler on the planet below. Outmatched by these new arrivals, Pan ordered his forces to retreat, leaving his fellow Tempest Runners and their forces to fend for themselves.[12]

After the successful attack, Eyta once again came into conflict with the Eye, who once again caught him in a trap, this time with a poisonous blade. He was given an antidote by Lourna Dee, who told him that she agreed with his frustrations with Ro's leadership. Dee told the Dowutin that another attack on the Cyclor Shipyards would catch the Republic off balance and vulnerable. Eyta agreed with this move and moved to attack the shipyards alongside Dee's Tempest. Upon arriving at Cyclor, the Tempest Runner was greeted by a large Republic and Jedi task force. Moreover, he discovered that Dee had sent him into this trap to rid herself of the other Tempest Runner. Eyta's Tempest suffered major casualties during the ensuing battle, prompting him to make use of a secret escape ship within the Elegencia.[12]

Battle of Grizal[]

On Grizal, Ro was contacted by Dee and informed that a Republic ship was approaching Grizal, and he ordered Dee to destroy the ship. However, the ship, occupied by Nihil Quin Amarant and his Republic prisoner, Klerin Chekkat, was allowed to land after Amarant hailed his fellow Nihil at Grizal. Unbeknownst to all of them, a pair of Jedi, Indeera Stokes and Greatstorm's Padawan, Bell Zettifar, hid aboard the ship. They activated a homing beacon after the vessel had been scanned, signaling other Jedi to the Nihil outpost's location. Using his helmet's internal display, Ro watched footage broadcast from Dee's own mask of Chekkat being dragged into Dee's chambers. Amarant then revealed that Chekkat knew the existence of a disruptor field, possessed by the Republic, that could disable all types of energy weapons. Zeetar ordered Lourna to kill Chekkat. At the same time, unknown to him, however, Ro's captive Jedi Loden Greatstorm had used a mind trick on his scientist Kisma Uttersond in order to have the Jedi released. However, Ro eventually apprehended him and held the Jedi's own lightsaber to him.[12]

Bellzettifarleveler

The Great Leveler attacks Bell Zettifar

At that moment, Jedi Master Stellan Gios and his Red Group departed the ongoing Second Battle of Cyclor, having received the homing signal, arriving at Grizal and assaulting the base. and began attacking the base in what became known as the Battle of Grizal. Dee gave the word to abandon the base, and most of her tempest immediately scattered. Ro was informed of the attack before Greatstorm used the distraction as an opportunity to enter a fight with him in which Greatstorm managed to get outside of the ship. Ro followed him and then immediately came under fire from a Vector, forcing him to throw himself to the deck, his armor protecting him from harm.[12]

During the attack, Jedi Bell Zettifar was briefly reunited with Greatstorm, who was his thought-dead Master. However, Marchion Ro unleashed a living weapon called the Great Leveler against the Jedi, killing Greatstorm and traumatizing Zettifar. In the aftermath, the Jedi assumed that the Twi'lek Tempest Runner Lourna Dee, who had escaped the battle, was the true leader of the Nihil. As a response to the attack on the fair, the Republic launched a campaign called Operation: Counterstrike to wipe out the Nihil.[12] At some point, while a number of other Nihil raids had recently failed, the Nihil of Dee's Tempest carried out a successful raid on Krupx Munitions, during which they captured a number of nova charges.[18]

Legacy[]

"The library was a depository of stories from across the galaxy, although it was thought destroyed by Nihil raiders centuries ago."
CR-8R[35]

The Nihil would eventually be defeated.[36] In 200 BBY,[37] the Jedi Padawan Sean recalled the Nihil as an illicit organization that once invaded the Galactic Republic.[38]

By the year 19 BBY,[17] the Nihil had become obsolete. During the time of the Galactic Empire, the warlord Burnium Ro utilized rhetoric and imagery associated with the organization. As such, Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin of the Empire sent his protégé, Lieutenant Commander Ellian Zahra, to destroy Ro and his operation.[19] Around 3 ABY,[39] Beol De'Rruyet of De'Rruyet Industries claimed to possess a Nihil path engine and have the ability to replicate it, which would subsequently unlock the ancient method of lightspeed travel. As the unveiling of such technology would have a significant effect on the galactic economy, Domina Tagge of the House of Tagge intended to stop De'Rruyet, recruiting the rogue archaeologist Doctor Chelli Aphra to ascertain whether De'Rruyet's claims were true.[40]

Behind the scenes[]

"Our main villain are the group called the Nihil. We kind of like to refer to them as space Vikings."
"Their motto is 'You can't take it with you. But we can take it from you.'"
Jennifer Heddle and Michael Siglain describing the Nihil in the announcement trailer for Star Wars: The High Republic[41]

The Nihil were created for the Star Wars: The High Republic publishing project. The group was devised as a possible answer to the question of what would scare the Jedi, which was posed by High Republic writer Cavan Scott during an initial meeting.[1] The Nihil first received a mention in the comic story "The Lost Stories, Part 1," written by Scott and published in Star Wars Adventures (2017) 30 by IDW Publishing[35] on January 29, 2020.[42] During the official announcement panel for Star Wars: The High Republic, the Nihil were revealed to be connected to the project, and concept art for members of the group was shown.[1]

In the project's announcement trailer, the Nihil were described as "space Vikings."[41] The look of the Nihil was derived from art specifically developed for the initiative. Concepts from other Star Wars works such as Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens that explored individuals such as pirates and scavengers pointed toward a force that was uniform in its non-uniformity.[25]

In writing the Nihil, Charles Soule, author of the novel The High Republic: Light of the Jedi, wished to explore a villain that was truly frightening and lacked a loyalty to any ideology, unlike the majority of villains in Star Wars.[43] Justina Ireland, author of The High Republic: A Test of Courage, saw the Nihil and the havoc they wreaked in different parts of the galaxy as an opportunity for smaller storytelling as well as the Jedi engaging in a battle that did not necessarily involve the light side of the Force against the dark side but instead was simply survival.[44]

Appearances[]

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Sources[]

Notes and references[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 StarWars 5 Things We Learned About Star Wars: The High Republic on StarWars.com (backup link)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 The High Republic: The Eye of Darkness
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 The High Republic: Eye of the Storm 1
  4. 4.0 4.1 "The Lie" chapter in The High Republic: Eye of the Storm 1, which includes Shalla Ro's death, features Asgar Ro's ascension to Eye of the Nihil, an event dated to 252 BBY by Star Wars: The High Republic Character Encyclopedia.
  5. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 5.11 5.12 5.13 5.14 5.15 5.16 5.17 5.18 5.19 5.20 5.21 5.22 5.23 5.24 5.25 5.26 5.27 5.28 5.29 5.30 5.31 5.32 5.33 5.34 5.35 5.36 5.37 5.38 5.39 5.40 5.41 5.42 5.43 5.44 5.45 5.46 5.47 5.48 5.49 5.50 5.51 5.52 5.53 5.54 5.55 5.56 5.57 5.58 5.59 5.60 5.61 5.62 5.63 5.64 5.65 5.66 5.67 5.68 The High Republic: Light of the Jedi
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 Star Wars: Timelines
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Star Wars: Timelines dates the events of The High Republic: Light of the Jedi to 232 BBY.
  8. 8.0 8.1 The High Republic: Shadows of Starlight 4
  9. StarWars-DatabankII General Viess in the Databank (backup link)
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 The High Republic: Eye of the Storm 2
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 The High Republic: Out of the Shadows
  12. 12.00 12.01 12.02 12.03 12.04 12.05 12.06 12.07 12.08 12.09 12.10 12.11 12.12 12.13 12.14 12.15 12.16 12.17 The High Republic: The Rising Storm
  13. The High Republic Adventures (2021) 3
  14. The High Republic (2021) 9
  15. "A Closed Fist Has No Claws" — The High Republic: Tales of Light and Life
  16. 16.0 16.1 Star Wars: The High Republic Character Encyclopedia states that Mari San Tekka was imprisoned by the Nihil on the Gaze Electric for more than a century, and Star Wars: Timelines dates her death to 231 BBY.
  17. 17.0 17.1 "The Veteran" establishes the Nihil were defeated prior to the formation of the Galactic Empire, which Star Wars: Galactic Atlas dates to 19 BBY.
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 18.4 18.5 18.6 18.7 18.8 18.9 The High Republic: Tempest Runner
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 Star Wars (2020) 7
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 StarWars Inside Star Wars: The High Republic: Meet the Villains on StarWars.com (backup link)
  21. Ultimate Star Wars
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 22.3 The High Republic Adventures (2021) 2
  23. The High Republic: The Fallen Star
  24. Doctor Aphra (2020) 8
  25. 25.0 25.1 StarWars Inside Star Wars: The High Republic: Meet the Ships and Vehicles on StarWars.com (backup link)
  26. 26.0 26.1 26.2 The High Republic Adventures (2021) 1
  27. IDWAdventures2020LogoSmaller "Tales of Villainy: The Gaze Electric" — Star Wars Adventures (2020) 6
  28. StarWars Lucasfilm to Launch Star Wars: The High Republic Publishing Campaign in 2021 on StarWars.com (backup link)
  29. 29.0 29.1 The High Republic: A Test of Courage
  30. 30.0 30.1 30.2 30.3 The High Republic: Race to Crashpoint Tower
  31. The High Republic: Path of Vengeance
  32. Star Wars: The High Republic: Chronicles of the Jedi
  33. 33.0 33.1 Star Wars: The High Republic Character Encyclopedia
  34. 34.0 34.1 The High Republic: Into the Dark
  35. 35.0 35.1 35.2 IDWStarWarsAdventuresLogoSmaller "The Lost Stories, Part 1" — Star Wars Adventures (2017) 30
  36. StarWars Dexter Jettster Remembers a Fallen Friend in From a Certain Point of View: Return of the Jedi – Exclusive Excerpt on StarWars.com (backup link)
  37. Star Wars: Timelines dates The Vow of Silver Dawn to 200 BBY.
  38. The Vow of Silver Dawn
  39. The events of Doctor Aphra (2020) 1 are set several weeks after the Battle of Hoth, which Star Wars: Galactic Atlas dates to 3 ABY. As the events of Doctor Aphra (2020) 6 take place after Doctor Aphra 1, its events, including the appearance of the Nihil path engine, must take place around that year.
  40. Doctor Aphra (2020) 6
  41. 41.0 41.1 SWYTlogo Star Wars: The High Republic | Announcement Trailer on the official Star Wars YouTube channel (backup link)  (Posted on StarWars.com)
  42. Amazon-Favicon Star Wars Adventures #30 on Amazon.com (backup link)
  43. How 'Light of the Jedi' Kicks Off 'Star Wars: The High Republic' by McMillan, Graeme on www.hollywoodreporter.com (September 22, 2020) (archived from the original on September 22, 2020)
  44. Star Wars: The High Republic author Justina Ireland on a new era of Jedi by Patches, Matt on Polygon (March 11, 2020) (archived from the original on March 12, 2020)

External links[]

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