The first issue of Charles Soule’s highly anticipated Eye of the Storm series has arrived and I think it’s safe to say that it’s going to take us all by storm. Stormy puns aside, Eye of the Storm does actually shed a ray of light on why the Nihil are organized into meteorological-themed ranks and it all began on the planet of Everon. At long last, we now know both Marchion Ro’s species and his homeworld, though, given the tempestuous climate of the planet and its people, he grew up far removed from it.
Just a few days ago we crossed the one-year mark since The High Republic first set sail and with that initial launch, we all came away with a list of questions about Marchion Ro, his origins, his backstory, and his motivations. He may be a bit of a wildcard, but I very quickly clocked him as my personal favorite type of character and had all of the attributes that I look for when choosing my new favorite bad boy. He was pretty, he had parental resentment, he was dubiously bad, and he wore an epic helmet. And while that could easily describe Kylo Ren—whom Soule also beautifully provided an origin story to in The Rise of Kylo Ren—there were enough seeds planted in the Light of the Jedi that provided me with an idea of who Marchion Ro had been before he became the Eye of the Nihil. Turns out, I was right.
Over the course of around thirty pages of gorgeously designed pages, with art and coloring by Guillermo Sanna and Jim Campbell, Soule makes good on those planted seeds and reveals what most of us had already figured out about Marchion Ro. His father (and grandmother) had viewed Marchion as more of a weapon than a child—they had forged him into ”the blade’s point” and had machinations for him to be their great weapon to face off against the Republic and the Jedi. That’s a lot of weight to put on a child’s shoulders, even if the child is from a species that seems intent on violence and deception.
While the Eye of the Storm makes it clear that the Evereni are unscrupulous and willing to kill or be killed in order to survive, I find it hard not to sympathize with them. The planet that they hail from was in near-constant atmospheric turmoil and they were forced to overcome and adapt until it reached a point where the planet’s weather was too violent and dangerous. The Evereni were literally born into a storm and it makes sense that they would be tempestuous by nature. Sure, it’s terrible that they turned to killing their own people and others to survive, but there is some rationale there.
There are still many unanswered questions and, given the fact that they’re teased in this issue, it’s safe to assume that they’ll come up later on either in this comic or in a future novel. We know that Marchion Ro has a chip off his shoulder where the Jedi and the Republic are concerned, and this comic seems to imply that the galaxy as a whole has tried to destroy the Evereni. This could, of course, be self-sabotage, as the Evereni do not seem inclined to work together towards anything other than their own insular self-interests, but it does lay the groundwork for something really interesting. Will we finally see what transpired to turn the Nihil against the Republic? What did the Jedi do to Marchion’s family?
I need to know where to file a complaint about Asgar being hot. It was already unfair that Marchion Ro is hot, but his father too? Come on Star Wars, give me a break. I’m disappointed that he threw his mother over the balcony and killed her and I hope that there’s room to explore more of the Ro family dynamics during Marchion’s childhood, especially with the tease about Asgar’s father and grandfather—there’s definitely a story there.
As an undercover literature major, I was quite pleased to see the use of repetition employed during the parallel between Asgar’s ascent to power after his mother's untimely death and Marchion’s rise after Asgar’s death. It utilizes the notion of compulsion to repeat, which of course is something that was postured by Sigmund Freud, but used quite extensively in literary analysis (particularly with Dickensian studies). We obviously saw this with Ben Solo and his compulsion to repeat (and to some extent correct) the sins of his grandfather, but Marchion Ro seems to be a more explicit example of this. It is, in essence, a compulsion to repeat trauma until you get a better outcome; which in this case is Marchion Ro repeating his father’s actions, with the anticipation that he could do it with a better end result. It seems that this is perhaps a pattern of behavior that was initially set into motion by Marchion’s forefathers.
Not to get too deep into literary analysis, as I’m sure I’ll bring this up later on, but there’s something to be said about the next issue’s cover literally showing Marchion Ro holding a chain (the same pose that is on display in the first panel of Issue #1) and the concept of “breaking the chain” which often gets paired with conversations about the compulsion to repeat (something-something about the repetition of chains, you get it). I’m probably reading way too much into it because sometimes the curtains are red for the sake of being red, but I love digging deep into conscious and unconscious allusions utilized in fiction.
The High Republic: Eye of the Storm is a strong first issue that balances answering previously posited questions while introducing new plot points and ideas that will carry through this run. Charles Soule has a knack for writing backstories for my favorite troubled boys and I’m glad he was handed the reins for Marchion Ro’s origin story. Now if only we could get a LEGO Star Wars: The High Republic movie too…
Star Wars: The High Republic: Eye of the Storm (#1) is out now.
This post was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.