The Art Of Star Wars: The High Republic Preview: Creating The Dreaded Drengir [Exclusive]

Tomorrow, "The Art of Star Wars: The High Republic (Volume One)" by Kristin Baver (with a foreword by Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy) hits newsstands. "The High Republic" was unique among Disney's "Star Wars" publishing goals in that they brought in artists like Ian McCaig to do a blue sky development phase with a whole writing team. It's not something that's been done before, and this book documents a lot of the iteration and thought behind the visuals we've been seeing across the program. It was a useful tool to unite the writers and comic book artists into a single vision as they told their stories. It's also served to create a cohesion in design for readers, allowing us to have a unified view of what we were supposed to imagine in a universe as concerned with canon and accuracy as the entirety of "Star Wars."

For those who haven't read "The High Republic," you'll still find something in this book to enjoy. Like any behind the scenes document of a "Star Wars" project, it's full of curious tales and gorgeous artwork from a galaxy far, far away.

 Disney was kind enough to offer us an exclusive preview of this two-page spread about the Drengir, one of the chief antagonists of the Jedi in the era.

The dreaded Drengir

The Drengir were the plant-like villains from the first phase of "The High Republic." They featured in the books and comics and were a terrifying threat for the Jedi of the era, especially as they became weaponized by the Nihil. They boasted a strong connection to the dark side of the Force and acted communally, as if controlled by a hive mind. They were also carnivorous, doing their best to eat all of the life they came across. 

This two-page spread from "The Art of Star Wars: The High Republic" features drawings from artists Jeffrey Thomas, Iain McCaig, and Petur Antonnson, as they sought just the right look for these vicious monsters to battle against the Jedi.

These monsters featured prominently in the books and comics of the first phase of "The High Republic," which is available to read now.

Here's the official synopsis for the book:

The Art of Star Wars: The High Republic takes fans behind the scenes of Phase I of Lucasfilm Publishing's massive crossover event. Collecting the very best concept art of the new characters, worlds, ships, and creatures of The High Republic—designed jointly by the Lucasfilm Visualists and a team of legendary comic book and Star Wars artists, including Phil Noto, Iain McCaig, and Ryan Church, among many others—and presented alongside development materials and interviews with High Republic architects Claudia Gray (Star Wars The High Republic: Into the Dark), Justina Ireland (Star Wars The High Republic: A Test of Courage), Daniel José Older (Star Wars The High Republic: Race to Crashpoint Tower), Cavan Scott (Marvel Comics's The High Republic), and Charles Soule (Star Wars The High Republic: Light of the Jedi), The Art of Star Wars: The High Republic is an essential guide to the creation, design, and realization of a new era of Star Wars storytelling.

The High Republic

For those interested in checking out "The High Republic", it's a very easy series to jump into. This book, for the most part covers the first phase of the publishing initiative and the major highlights of artists, characters, settings and locations. It's a perfect visual compliment as you're going through the novels.

 If you're interested in digging in, start at the beginning with Charles Soule's novel "Light of the Jedi," which we reviewed awhile back. It sets the stage for everything in this era, from how the Jedi operate to what is going on in the galaxy. With the galaxy still stretching out to the Outer Rim, the Republic works to install something called "The Starlight Beacon," a place where communication would be made easier for those living on the frontier of the galaxy, and a staging ground for the Jedi to bring peace and justice to this new, wild part of the galaxy. Naturally, things go wrong.

The High Republic Phase I: Light of the Jedi finds the Jedi Order and the Galactic Republic at the height of their respective powers, but following the events of "The Great Disaster," the Jedi, led by Jedi Knights Avar Kriss, Loden Greatstorm, Keeve Trennis, and Stellan Gios and joined by a diverse group of Padawans and Jedi Masters, are confronted by the looming threat of the Nihil—a marauding group of Outer Rim anarchists who stand opposed to all the Galactic Republic represents. In The Art of Star Wars: The High Republic, readers will discover the origins of the fan-favorite new characters taking on this threat, as well as exciting new starfighter and creature designs, beautifully rendered environments, and detailed views of Starlight Beacon—the shining symbol of hope in the Republic.

"The Art of Star Wars: The High Republic" will be available to purchase starting on November 8, 2022, wherever books are sold.