Doctor Aphra Officially Connects To High Republic’s New Villains

As Star Wars: The High Republic continues, Doctor Aphra has made a connection to the series’ villains who existed more than 200 years before her time.

Warning! Spoilers for Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #8

As the multimedia storytelling initiative of Star Wars: The High Republic continues, Doctor Aphra has made a direct connection to the series’ villains who existed more than 200 years before her time. While it’s inevitable the High Republic antagonists would meet their demise someday, Aphra’s acknowledgment of them is notable.

While The High Republic explores an era in the Star Wars galaxy that has largely remained a mystery in the new continuity, the Jedi are faced with an enemy known as the Nihil, who are a group of space pirates. Unlike the Jedi Order or the Sith, the Nihil are Vikings who thrive in chaos, thoughtlessly pillaging and destroying without any ethical code or sense of honor. As with any newly introduced lore set in films’ past, fans have wondered where the Nihil are during the events of the Skywalker Saga. However, their fate is being alluded to in Star Wars: Doctor Aphra, which is written by Alyssa Wong with art by Minkyu Jung.

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In a recently released preview for Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #8, the galactic archeologist names the Nihil, who were a threat to the Jedi in the High Republic era. On the planet Dol’har Hyde located in the Outer Rim remains of old Nihil ships are seen stuck in the trees. Doctor Aphra remarks to San Starros, “Ancient marauders tore the planet up… but the forest got the last laugh. Those ships have been there for centuries…” and then she goes onto elaborate saying, “I’ve read Old Republic records of Nihil ships doing impossible things with lightspeed. Jumping in close to planets…” Readers might be right to question the extent of the Nihil’s threat to the galaxy if the plant life was able to win in a fight against them.

Doctor Aphra’s reference to The High Republic seems to dispute some fan theories regarding the Nihil, which suggested they take on a different name in their future. Since Doctor Aphra is set during the original trilogy, and The High Republic takes place 200 years before Episode I: The Phantom Menace, it seems safe to say they never evolve into a different group. Based on this passing reference alone alluding to their insignificance, they might turn out to be no different than other pirates that fans have met in the Star Wars galaxy.

Although such glorified crossovers between Star Wars stories aren’t anything new, this one sparks a potentially interesting dynamic going forward. Unlike typical references to the expanded universe, readers are learning about the High Republic while looking into the past with Doctor Aphra as a guide. In terms of storytelling, this simple reference to the Nihil opens a door for ambitious experimentation. While events play out in the High Republic books and comics, Aphra could uncover massive revelations while they are ongoing in the actual series. Star Wars: Doctor is in comic book stores now.

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