On this “Spinner Sunday” episode: now that we have completed story arcs for The High Republic comics, we’ll review the highlights in advance of Wave 3 starting next month! Today, “Heart of the Drengir.” Punch it!
Star Wars 7×7 episode 2711. It’s a Spinner Sunday episode here. And as we approach Wave Three of Phase One of the High Republic, I thought it would be a good time to catch up on some story arcs in the comics, because story arcs actually got completed, and we can talk about whole story arcs. So today we’re going to talk about Heart of the Drengir, which is a story arc from the Marvel High Republic series. Punch it!
Hey, Rebel Rouser, I’m Allen Voivod. And this is Star Wars 7×7, your daily dose of Star Wars joy. And thank you so much for joining me for it. So as with other comic book coverage things, we’re going to talk about highlights from this particular story arc. It’s called Heart of the Drengir, and it encompasses issues six through eight of the High Republic series from Marvel.
That’s the one skewed to the older audiences, as opposed to the IDW High Republic Adventures, which is skewed to the younger audiences. That is written by Daniel José Older and the Marvel series is written by Cavan Scott. As we’ve done with comic story arcs and what not, we’re just going to talk about the highlights, basically, and the things that you might be interested in knowing if you’re not necessarily reading the comics, but you kind of want a broader picture of what’s going on with the whole High Republic storyline.
This particular arc was advertised as the first comic arc in Wave Two of the High Republic, and it’s actually a prequel to The Rising Storm, in the sense that all of the events of that novel, also by Cavan Scott, all the events in this particular story are taking place just before the events of The Rising Storm. And I guess maybe in a sense, concurrently, because it’s not until the very end of the arc, that would be just the very end of issue eight, where we get to see the chaos of the Republic Fair and how the Nihil attacked it on Valo.
So there’s plenty going on for the Fair, and I guess it would probably be fair to say no pun intended that the planning that’s going on may be happening, I guess, concurrently, because there are references in The Rising Storm to Avar Kriss being out and about fighting the Drengir. And so, yeah, maybe it’s happening sort of during the time frame of The Rising Storm, but it ends with the attack on the Republic Fair on Valo. But for the story arc in the comics, there are basically three settings for it.
One of them is Daivak, which is a planet in the Outer Rim where the Drengir are running rampant, and this is a new planet. This has not been introduced previously. Then, of course, Starlight Beacon is a setting for this as well. And then the action transfers into a planet deep in Wild Space called Mulita. And here’s the story in a nutshell. The Jedi, led by Avar Kriss, have made a sort of alliance with some Hutts led by this character, Myarga, and they’re fighting the Drengir on this planet Daivak, when they find out that the Great Progenitor, which is the leader of all the Drengir, is on some planet called Mulita in Wild Space.
And so they take off to go fight the Great Progenitor in Wild Space. And in a similar fashion to what the Sith did with the Drengir on that Amaxine space station that they told the story of in Into the Dark, Claudia Gray’s novel, well, I guess they got a similar idea, except with technology instead of weird stone statues. And so they managed to get the Great Progenitor locked in a stasis field, which cuts off its link, its telepathic link to the root mind, sort of the hive mind situation that the Drengir have.
And they decide that they’re going to put it in something called the Bogan Vault, which is kind of fun, because that’s a particular word, Bogan, that George Lucas had in early drafts of Star Wars, where the light and the dark side of the Force were the Ashla and the Bogan.
And I think this is going to turn out to be a problem later. But I’ll explain why later in the podcast. Anyway, the capture of the Great Progenitor leads to the dissolution of the alliance between the Jedi and the Hutts, because this Myarga the Hutt wants to destroy the Great Progenitor, but Avar is like, well, we captured it alive, so we’re not killing it, and that causes a bit of a rift. And so the Hutts are like, yeah, we’re going to try and kill it. And the Jedi are like, yeah, you’re going to have to come through us to do it. And so the Hutts and all their folks take off. And that is the end of that.
There are a couple of other unusual things that I want to flag in this story. First of all, is the fact that this planet Mulita is something that doesn’t exist in Republic records, like, they have no idea about it, but there are ancient records that they were able to access to figure out where this place was. And they talk about it dating back to the time of the “Nightmare Conjunction.” What exactly is the Nightmare Conjunction? Well, we still don’t know, but there is apparently somebody named Darth Krall who tamed the Nightmare Conjunction, whatever that thing is.
And that statement about somebody named Krall taming a Nightmare Conjunction is something that comes from the audio drama Dooku: Jedi Lost, which was written by, of course, Cavan Scott. And naturally, I’m wondering if the Nightmare Conjunction has anything to do with The Leveler that was turned loose at the end of The Rising Storm, and that’s getting investigated in the Trail of Shadows limited series that we’ll be talking about in due course, of course. And the other thing I want to mention is this sort of unusual mind space thing that happens with the comics.
Now, I suppose that if this had been done in a book instead of a comic, then maybe it would have seemed a little bit clearer because some of this is done just with the visuals, but without necessarily explanation. And so yeah, that makes it a little bit harder to understand exactly what’s going on.
But in the Starlight Beacon Medical Bay, Sskeer who is the Trandoshan Jedi master, is in a stasis field himself and he’s connected to the Drengir because he has like, a Drengir vine arm from the events of the previous story arc. That connection is being managed through him being in a stasis field. His padawan Keeve Trennis, who is the main character of the High Republic comic series, is very concerned about Sskeer and is saying that she’s starting to feel him slip away in the Force, and ultimately, with everything going on, she decides to try to rescue him by lowering the stasis field and connecting with him to help him fight the Drengir, get him to fight back against the Drengir that have infested him.
But unfortunately, doesn’t quite work that way. At least not at first, because he just loses it and sends Drengir tentacles into Keeve. And Keeve is getting penetrated by these things, and then suddenly it’s like shhoooom, they’re in some sort of weird mind space that’s a representation of the Drengir root mind situation. It’s almost kind of like getting jacked into the Matrix, when they put the little thing in the back of the head, and suddenly they’re in that Matrix space. It has that kind of similar feel.
And yet somehow, as the root mind became aware that Jedi were messing around inside there, it tried to remove thier access to it, but they were able to connect with the mind of the Great Progenitor by some interesting bit of luck, I guess, more than anything else, and figure out where the Great Progenitor was actually hiding out. And before anything else bad can happen, Sskeer rips out his Drengir vine arm, and that’s the end of that, suddenly his connection is broken to the Drengir, and he is now all on his own again.
We still don’t know whether his connection to the Force is back or if it’s still continuing to wane, as he had talked about in the first story arc of the High Republic series. But yeah, he’s back to something resembling normal. And then at that point, he goes off to fight on Mulita, and Keeve is having these weird sort of dreams/nightmares during her meditations, and was basically just kind of affected deeply by this mind meld that happened with Sskeer via the Drengir, or with the Drengir via Sskeer, I guess.
And there’s an interesting turnabout that Cavan Scott delivers because ultimately, Avar Kriss goes to lead the battle against the Drengir on Mulita, and Avar Kriss has kind of a similar thing. As depicted in Light of the Jedi, she’s able to kind of connect a whole bunch of Jedi and coordinate their efforts just through her own particular Force abilities. And that ends up being something that the Great Progenitor wants to get a hold of. Because then the Great Progenitor is like, oh yeah, now I can kind of command all these Jedi and I can use them to seed the Drengir all across Galaxy.
So that becomes the big climactic battle on Mulita. And somehow again, this is another situation where in the comics it’s just visually depicted. Probably it would be easier to understand just exactly what the heck happened if we had more words to it. Basically, it turns out that all the other Jedi are able to connect with Avar via her particular power, and it’s enough to overwhelm the Great Progenitor, and Avar is able to escape from the Great Progenitor, and that’s when they’re able to drop a stasis field on it.
So it basically seems like the combined light of the Jedi on the light side of the Force are able to ultimately overwhelm whatever it was that the Great Progenitor was doing to Avar Kriss in specific. And once she broke free, then that was all bets are off and game over for the Great Progenitor.
That’s basically the story of Heart of the Drengir, which is issue six through eight of the High Republic series from Marvel. But it’s not necessarily the end of The Great Progenitor or the last time that we’re going to see that thing in action. Because if it’s getting stored in a Bogan Vault at Starlight Beacon, well, we know from some of the promo materials that have been released so far that Starlight Beacon is going to come under attack in Wave Three of the Higher Republic storytelling initiative. That’s going to be happening in stories told next month.
And so if that happens, then whatever is in the Bogan Vault is definitely not safe and could possibly get out or be taken out and released into the wild yet again. So I think that we have not seen the last of the Great Progenitor as a result. And we’re going to see more Drengir action potentially in 2022 in the Wave Three storytelling. That’s what it seems like we’re being set up for. And so there you go.
That’s what I’ve got for you on this Spinner Sunday coverage of Heart of the Drengir, which is the next story arc, the first Wave two story arc in the High Republic series from Marvel. And that’s going to do it for this episode of the show. It just remains for me to say thank you so much for joining me for it as always. And may the Force be with you, wherever in the world you may be.