Star Wars: The High Republic has revealed the terrible power of the franchise's new dark side villains, the Drengir. These sentient plant monsters have been teased since The High Republic line was introduced, and we covered their frightening first appearance in the recently-released novel Star Wars: The High Republic - Into The Dark. However, Marvel's latest chapter of the Star Wars: The High Republic comic series is able to convey a much more visually-captivating look at the powers and threat of Drengir - and why these dark side creatures are going to be such deadly threats to the Jedi!
Warning: Star Wars: The High Republic #3 SPOILERS Follow!
The third chapter of Cavan Scott's The High Republic story arc, "There Is No Fear" is titled "Down Below" for very good reason. Newly-promoted Jedi Knight Keeve Trennis continues to track the ominous missing-person cases at a farming colony on Sedri Minor, which is somehow connected to the unfolding war between the Nihil space pirates and the ruthless Hutt Clan. Meanwhile, Jedi Terec is freaking out, as his Force connection to twin-brother Ceret because a conduit for the dark side, after Ceret goes missing on Sedri Minor. It's clear that something bad is growing on that planet.
With the help of a local boy named Bartol, Keeve discovers a massive hole in the fields leading underground. In that underground lair Keeve discovers Ceret and the missing locals bound in vines which seems to be draining them. That initial assessment turn out to be simplistic, as the Drengir planet monsters appear and attack Keeve; the Drengir have "infected" Ceret with their dark side corruption - the same aura that pained Keeve the nearer she got to the Drengir nest, and which lets the monsters psychically communicate.
The danger of the Drengir's corruptive influence is all too real; Ceret's corruption also infects Terec through their twin-link; Terec spews his corruption out in the form of a black cloud, which then corrupts Keeve's master Sskeer. By the end of the issue, Keeve and Jedi Marshal Avar Kriss manage to free the Twins from the Drengir influence, but still have to fight Sskeer and the monsters themselves.
Star Wars: The High Republic - Into The Dark dropped major hints about the Drengir's connection to the dark side - as well as teasing their savage vendetta against the Jedi, over something that occurred in their respective past. Like Keeve, newly-promoted Jedi Knight Reath Silas wandered into a nest of Drengir to save a fellow Jedi, Dez Ryan. Poor Dez was under the Drengir's thrall being tortured and interrogated for days on end before being found. In the end, Dez (one of the most popular young knights in the Jedi Order) is left a broken shell, going into self-imposed seclusion after confessing to Reath that the Drengir was able to break his connection to the light side of the Force in a way that may never be repaired.
Jedi Master Sskeer is already being dragged down into the dark side by the loss of his good friend (and Reath's master) Jora Malli in Light of the Jedi. Even if he survives the Drengir, Sskeer's time as a Jedi may be done - and Keeve could be given a whole new reason to fear.
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