For the first time in a long time, Star Wars on Disney+ is going to be about a lot more than The Mandalorian and its various spinoffs. In 2024, The Acolyte and Skeleton Crew will take viewers on brand new adventures, while Mando and his buddy Grogu will move to the silver screen.
With that stark shift approaching in just a few months, Star Wars could benefit from finding a way to unify its wide variety of projects — and a recently re-introduced character might just be perfect for the job.
In 2003, Dark Horse Comics released Star Wars: Republic #51, part of a multimedia Clone Wars project that’s now non-canonical. That comic introduced Durge, an intimidating and unusual bounty hunter. As a member of the Gen’Dai species, his body is formed from a bundle of tentacle-like nerves and muscles. This means Durge can regenerate parts of his body, but he also needs armor to hold a human-like structure.
Lost Legends is an Inverse series about the forgotten lore of our favorite stories.
The original, non-canon death of Durge in Star Wars: Obsession #3.
This unique trait means Gen’Dai can live for millennia, and Durge was born over 2000 years before the beginning of the Clone Wars. In the old Legends timeline, he grew to despise Mandalorians after the death of a friend at the hands of a Mandalorian clan.
Capitalizing on this, the rebellious Confederacy of Independent Systems hired him to slaughter as many clone troopers as possible during the Clone Wars (in Legends, clone troopers were considered Mandalorians as they were “raised” by Jango Fett). Durge also became a recurring threat to the Jedi, and while Anakin and Obi-Wan repeatedly incapacitated him, he wasn’t killed until Star Wars: Obsession #3 in 2005, when Anakin used the Force to push him into the center of a burning star.
But it turns out Durge is even harder to kill than that. Sixteen years later, with his demise expunged from canon, the comic Doctor Aphra #11 re-introduced Durge to Star Wars. In it, Aphra encountered the bounty hunter on an abandoned ship while looking for a runaway criminal. He later became a supporting character in the massive War of the Bounty Hunters comic crossover, and other Gen’Dai appeared in the video game Jedi: Survivor.
Durge re-enters Star Wars canon in Doctor Aphra #11.
Durge could easily move from the comic book canon to live-action. But he could do much more than provide a familiar face to hard-core fans: Durge could be the key to keeping Star Wars TV cohesive.
The Acolyte, a Star Wars series focusing on the Sith slated for release later this year, is set about 100 years before the prequels, which puts it more than 150 years before The Mandalorian. That basically makes it impossible for characters to appear in both series, unless there was a character with a long, long lifespan Mando could encounter. Can you think of one?
Durge could provide a perfect bridge between these two eras, and allow any relevant information and plot points from The Acolyte to carry over into Mando’s timeline. Sure, he’s a bundle of weird guts, but we rarely see Mando take his helmet off; it’s not like another bounty hunter who never removes his armor would be out of place. With Star Wars TV branching out its own tendrils, a single constant who brings his fearsome fighting skills to every show in every timeline would be a welcome addition. Besides, couldn’t Star Wars use more tentacles?
The Acolyte premieres on Disney+ in 2024.
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