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This Article Contains Spoilers - WARNING: This article contains major spoilers. If you do not wish to know vital information on plot / character elements in a story, you may not wish to read beyond this warning: We hold no responsibility for any negative effects these facts may have on your enjoyment of said media should you continue. That is all.

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. We strike time and time again. We smash her hyper-lanes. Ravage her worlds. Kill her Jedi. And what does Lina Soh do? She laughs at us. She taunts us. We strike at her, and yet her Republic grows day by day. I've seen it for myself. 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. And not just the Republic. Their allies, even their enemies are invited. The Mon Calamari... the Togrutas... And why? So their numbers continue to swell. So their influence grows—but I say no! No more! They didn't invite the Nihil, but by the stars will we be there. And we will crush the real enemy, the symbol of their hope and their resilience. Death to the Chancellor. Death to Soh.
~ Ro rousing his Nihil forces before their attack on Valo.

Marchion Ro, also known as the Eye of the Nihil, is the main antagonist of the Star Wars: The High Republic multimedia project.

Ro was an enigmatic alien pirate who worked with the Nihil, providing them with unique hyperspace routes known as the Paths in exchange for a prestigious position in their organization as well as a sizable cut of all of the jobs that made use of the Paths. Sometime after the murder of his father and predecessor Asgar Ro, Marchion orchestrated a conflict between the Nihil and the Galactic Republic that gave him total control over the former.

With the Nihil at his command and the power of the Paths, Ro sought to dismantle the Republic and eradicate the peace-keeping Jedi Order so that he and his servants could be the controlling interest in the galaxy. However, he also had an ulterior motive in his plans, one which was shrouded in mystery and related to his unknown past.

Roles

He is a cameo antagonist in the novel The High Republic: Into the Dark, the main antagonist of the novel The High Republic: Light of the Jedi, the overarching antagonist of the comic series The High Republic Adventures and the manga series The High Republic: The Edge of Balance, the main antagonist of the novel The High Republic: The Rising Storm, the overarching antagonist of the comic series The High Republic and the comic miniseries The High Republic: Trail of Shadows, a minor yet pivotal antagonist in the novel The High Republic: Out of the Shadows, the main antagonist of the novel The High Republic: The Fallen Star, and the titular main protagonist of the comic miniseries The High Republic: Eye of the Storm.

Appearance

Marchion Ro was an adult male member of the Evereni species, a humanoid alien race characterized by their slate-grey skin, dark blue blood, pointed ears, and pitch-black eyes. Ro was an angular, long-limbed, and well-built member of his species with silver markings etched into his skin and a handsome face that invoked the impression of a predator to those who gazed upon it. His long black hair was swept back off his face, and the Eye was usually seen wearing a set of three ear cuff earrings on each ear.

History

Legacy of Deceit

All of our people who survived the galaxy's attempts to destroy our species are blades. Marchion is that blade's point. Its cutting edge, sharpened over a thousand generations of survival.
~ Shalla Ro commenting on her grandson's deadliness.

The boy who would eventually take the name "Marchion Ro" was born during the High Republic Era as the son of Asgar Ro and the grandchild of Shalla Ro. The Ros belonged to the Evereni, a race of virtually unknown humanoid aliens that had been comprised of untrustworthy self-centered killers for generations. Due to generations of conflict, the Evereni had been whittled down to little numbers and mostly lived as nomads aboard gigantic spaceships. The Ros themselves had a history of conflict with the Galactic Republic that controlled a majority of the galaxy and the Force-wielding Jedi Order that protected it.

Marchion Ro originally hailed from a planet he considered his homeworld, although he and his father later abandoned it aboard their Evereni ship the "Gaze Electric." A cold-hearted and calculating child, Marchion was raised to hate the Republic and the Jedi and was taught how to imprison members of the Jedi Order by his grandmother Shalla. The Ros were intricately involved with the Nihil, a band of brutal pirates formed by Shalla Ro's mother who were united by their greed and hatred of the Republic. The Nihil were created to serve as a zealous army for the Ros when the time was right, a purpose for which Shalla Ro cultivated them over many years.

Child of the Eye

By 252 BBY, Ro had cultivated a friendship with an elderly woman being held voluntarily captive on the Gaze Electric called Mari San Tekka. San Tekka had the rare power to navigate hyperspace like no other, and could create unique hyperspace lanes called "Paths" that would allow a ship equipped with a "Path engine" to travel through hyperspace in ways normally considered impossible. While the young Ro was speaking with Mari San Tekka, Asgar murdered Marchion's grandmother Shalla due to a disagreement between the two of them regarding the Ro family's plans.

Marchion, who was unfazed by the murder of his grandmother, then accompanied his father to a remote location where the Tempest Runners (who held joint command over the Nihil as well as full command over their own divisions known as Tempests) Pan Eyta and Kassav Milliko were partying with their subordinates. Asgar Ro informed them that Shalla Ro was dead and that he had an opportunity for them, yet the short-sighted and self-serving Tempest Runners believed it would be more beneficial for them to kill the remaining Ros and take the Gaze Electric for themselves.

As they refused to listen to reason, Asgar made a proposal to the Tempest Runners: if the Nihil could shoot down Marchion in a small fighter craft, then he would willingly relinquish the Electric to them. However, if Marchion survived then they would have to hear Asgar out. Thanks to the Paths provided by San Tekka, Marchion was able to out maneuverer his enemies by making micro jumps and decimate the Nihil ships. After forcing Marchion to stand down, Asgar offered the Tempest Runners access to the Path engines.

Quotes

You killed my father, didn't you? I don't know for sure it was you, but I'm choosing to believe it was. And if it wasn't, well, Lourna Dee and Pan Eyta... their time will come. Goodbye, Kassav, and thank you. You and your Tempest are about to save the Nihil. We thank you for your sacrifice.
~ Ro sacrificing Kassav Milliko and his forces as part of his grand plan.
Kassav believed he was taking his crews to save us all, to protect us, to keep the Republic from learning our secrets. It was a trap, a lie. You see how they came for him. The Republic and the Jedi hunted down Kassav's Tempest like vermin. But look. Look what Kassav and his people did. Our brothers and sisters refused to fight the way the Republic wanted them to. They fought like the Nihil. Yes. The Paths make us strong—but Kassav's numbers were too few, and there was only so much he could do, even with the gifts I gave him. But look what he did. Look what he and his people did. I did not expect this. I don't know if Kassav ordered this, or our fellows just decided they had enough of their freedom being taken, enough of the Republic telling us what to do, thinking they can control our planets and kill our people and... well. There is a point where every being breaks, and chooses freedom over tyranny. Kassav's people did this for themselves. For each other. And for us. We are the Nihil, I am the Eye, Marchion Ro, I am the Nihil. And so... are all of you. Kassav and his people died, so we could stay free. But that fight isn't over. The Republic will come for us. And the Jedi. We are no longer Tempests, Storms, Clouds, Strikes. We are one thing. We are all the Nihil. For Kassav!
~ Marchion's tribute to Kassav.
Kassav sacrificed himself to preserve the Nihil way of life, as did his Tempest. He showed us the way. Whatever we have been, our wealth, our power... it's just the beginning. Do you know why? Let me show you. The galaxy. But when I look at it, I do not see only stars and planets. I see... a storm. We are all the Nihil... we don't just ride the storm. We are the storm. Now we will own the storm. We've kept ourselves to the Outer Rim—didn't want to attract too much attention, didn't want to spoil a good thing. That is over. We are going to go as hard and as far as we can, and we are going to take what we want. The Nihil are going galaxy-wide. I have an archive of Paths that will take us all across the galaxy. We can go anywhere we want, take anything we want. Lina Soh and her Republic and the Jedi tried to destroy us, but Kassav's sacrifice brought us time. Time to build, time to plan, time to grow our numbers. A day will come when we will teach the Republic that we cannot be destroyed. They will fear the Nihil. And if they try to take our freedom again, we will tear them apart. By the blood of the one who gave everything for us... Kassav. Go. Bring me more Nihil, as many as you can... and I will give you everything.
~ Ro unveiling his plans for the Nihil.
Our entire galaxy has watched Starlight Beacon splinter, crash, and burn. By now most understand that the Nihil are responsible. Until this hour, however, very few have understood who is responsible for the Nihil. In other words—it's high time I introduce myself. I am Marchion Ro. I am the Eye of the Storm. I am the Eye of the Nihil. Much was made of the idea that Starlight Beacon was a symbol of hope. But there is no hope in this part of the galaxy. There is only despair. There is only the Nihil. It was the Nihil who created the Great Hyperspace Disaster—and we can do so again. It was the Nihil who attacked the Republic Fair at Valo and left your high and mighty chancellor bleeding at our feet. And today it is the Nihil who have burned Starlight from the sky. The Republic can't protect you. The Jedi can't protect you. We have proved they can't even protect themselves. We go where we want. We strike where we want. Our will is the only authority in this part of the galaxy, and the only one there ever will be. I do not wish to rule the galaxy. If I did, you would be under my boot even now. But I will take what I wish, when I wish it, and no one will stand in my way—Republic, Jedi, or anyone else. They cannot stand in my way. The Nihil have proven our power, and we will use that power however we choose. This galaxy—This galaxy is mine.
~ Marchion Ro revealing his identity to the galaxy at large after the destruction of Starlight Beacon.
Starlight Beacon has fallen. Destroyed in a blaze of fire and pain. It had many of the finest people in the Republic aboard. Many...Jedi. We did that. The Nihil did that. And there's something else—something I want you to think about, my friends. They couldn't stop it. Our attack on Starlight Beacon couldn't have been a surprise. And soon hijacked cruisers from Corellia will reap even more devastation on those at the wreckage site! The Nihil have been raiding, attacking, killing, taking...the entire galaxy knows our name. After the Attack on Valo...they had to know we would come for their shining star. Of course we would. And we did. The Republic's best could not save Starlight. Jedi died there, even with all their power. The Republic's warriors, engineers, all their money and resources...all wasted. Chancellor Soh's Great Work is ash. Starlight Beacon broadcasted a signal, a tone meant to bring a sense of contentment and safety to all who heard it. Now... what do they hear? My voice. The voice of the Eye of the Nihil. The voice of Marchion Ro.
~ Ro's speech to his Nihil forces after Starlight's fall.
I think I deserve a little something after all of that hard work, don't you, Master Obratuk? I'm going to give myself a treat. My favourite thing, Master Jedi, is when someone who believes they are strong...realizes they are weak. And the reason...is me.
~ Ro as he released the Nameless on Obratuk Glii.

Gallery

Trivia

  • In the audio drama The High Republic: Tempest Runner, Ro was voiced by Marc Thompson. Thompson also voiced Pan Eyta and Jedi Master Sskeer in the same drama, and has previously provided his voice as a narrator for numerous Star Wars audio books. Outside of Star Wars, Thompson has also voiced Don Krieg in One Piece and Ashil in Shaman King.
  • In the unabridged audio book versions of several The High Republic novels, Marchion Ro's forename was mispronounced by narrator Marc Thompson as "Mar-ch-ion" rather than the correct pronunciation "Mar-k-ion." As of The Fallen Star, however, the name has been pronounced correctly by Thompson.

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