When the High Republic era was officially unveiled, the main villain was named as the Nhil. Characterized as “space vikings,” they’re not a big, monolithic organization like the Empire or the First Order. Many fans called this a welcome change for Star Wars. Still, the recently released character details have me wondering, has the real High Republic villain been revealed?
The Lost Twenty
Early in Episode II: Attack of the Clones, a scene in the Jedi Temple Archives finds Obi-Wan contemplating an unspoken thought while studying a bronze bust. A deleted scene reveals the bust as Count Dooku and mentions the Lost Twenty. While the scene is cut short in the final film, it foreshadows Dooku’s villainous turn at the end of the film. Nearly 20 years later, writer Cavan Scott picked up on that deleted scene and fully brought it into canon in Dooku: Jedi Lost. Could he be doing the same with The High Republic villain?
A flashback scene shows Dooku as an initiate in the archives with his clan and masters, including Yoda. One of the initiates asks Yoda about the busts. He and Jedi Master Yula Braylon explain that the busts are there as reminders of the Order’s failures. The busts depict Jedi who left the Order, some of whom fell to the Dark Side. They became known as the Lost Twenty. Only two names are explicitly mentioned: Radaki and Master Trennis. Shortly after, another High Republic-era Jedi, a Padawan called Teradine, is named but not specifically as one of the busts.
Who is Trennis?
Officially, we don’t know, but the newly released character info confirms the name of one the Jedi High Republic Phase 1 will feature as Keeve Trennis. She will be the focus the Marvel Comics series The High Republic. That series’ writer is none other than Cavan Scott, author of Dooku: Jedi Lost. Given that Scott and the other Project Luminous writers like Charles Soule have casually dropped other references in their current Star Wars material, this doesn’t seem like a coincidence.
The new info describes Trennis as “…a young firebrand Jedi, believed to have a great future ahead of her, if only she would believe it herself.” In Dooku: Jedi Lost, then mention of Trennis happens as Yoda is talking quietly to himself: “Master Trennis. Hm. Sad, that was. Yes. Sad indeed” is all he says before returning his attention to the students. Something clearly went terribly wrong, as that’s about as much emotion as we’ve ever seen Yoda display under normal circumstances.
Is Trennis the High Republic Villian In Waiting?
The hints are screaming that Trennis is the real High Republic villain in waiting. The fall of Jedi to the Dark Side like Anakin Skywalker is a common tale for Star Wars stories. The key is what causes their fall. Love and attachment are what ultimately doomed Anakin. Fear looks to be what does in Trennis. The question is what does she fear?
“What scares the Jedi?” is the theme driving the High Republic publishing line. Scott is the writer who first posed the question, so it seems natural that his character is the one most affected by the concept.
I also think Scott dropped another hint about a High Republic villain in Teradine. Teradine appears to have never made it to full Jedi Knight status, and Dooku: Jedi Lost does not specifically mention him having a bust. It does later talk about Teradine’s discovery of a vault of Sith artifacts at the Jedi Temple on Coruscant. Teradine was eventually expelled from the Jedi Order, though no specific reason is mentioned.
A Great Disaster is Coming
Could Teradine’s story intersect with Trennis? Does his own fall influence hers? We know that early in the High Republic books and comics, a great disaster occurs at the Starlight Beacon, a space station where Trennis is based. Does this disaster begin her descent into darkness?
We won’t know for quite some time whether or not Trennis is the High Republic villain. The initiative is rolling out in phases, and the currently announced books and comics are just Phase 1. Anakin doesn’t fall until the end of Episode III, so there’s plenty of time to explore Trennis and what happens to her. Either way, we’ll know soon enough.