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Durge is not a character for the casual Star Wars fan. He has not appeared in any of the Star Wars films but has made an appearance in the Star Wars: Clone Wars animated series for which he was created. Since then, he has also appeared in several canon comic books and novels.
Bottomline Up Front
Durge was a comic book villain, literally. If you want a philosophical exploration of the struggle between good and evil, you might want to take a deep look at Darth Sidious, Count Dooku, or Anakin Skywalker.
Durge was simply a monster with superpowers, a virtually “unkillable” bounty hunter/mercenary/clone commander for the heroes to fight.
In addition to regeneration, Durge’s Gen’Dai heritage, combined with his cybernetically enhanced battle armor, gave him exceptional strength and speed.
Due to his Mandalorian training, the bounty hunter was able to deploy a varied arsenal: blaster rifles, blaster pistols, thermal detonators, flame throwers, magna bolas, energy shields, and power lances.
Probably the most interesting thing about Durge’s fighting style was his ability to continuously change tactics to adapt to a variety of opponents, including clones, Mandalorians, and Jedi.
Durge was part of a very rare race, the Gen’Dai. Gen’Dai had an unusual physiology in that their bodies were comprised mostly of muscles and nerves without a skeleton or vital organs. They had regenerative capabilities that allowed them to have an average lifespan of 4,000-7,000 years.
Unlike most Gen’Dai, Durge was naturally aggressive and knew at an early age that he wanted to be a bounty hunter. To learn his craft, he rubbed shoulders with many bounty hunters until he settled with a Mandalorian mentor.
Jaing was a Mandalorian training master and bounty hunter. Under Jaing, Durge learned to use Mandalorian weapons, armor, and tactics.
The two bounty hunters traversed the galaxy after various unlucky prey. It was during their travels that they came into contact with an unnamed Outer Rim scientist, a cyberneticist.
The cyberneticist offered to enhance their fighting capabilities. To prove his point, he arranged a sparring session between the two bounty hunters and Nubyl, a female human. Due to her cybernetic enhancements, she was able to outclass the duo, and the bounty hunters were sold on the benefits of cybernetics.
In addition to cybernetic enhancements, the scientist provided each bounty hunter with a unique set of battle armor. These gifts were not free, however. In exchange, the cyberneticist wanted protection for himself and a rare Sith artifact.
The Mandalorian clan leader Ung Kusp led an assault on the scientist’s lab. Durge, Jiang, and Nubyl were able to outfight the Mandalorians and make them retreat, but not before one of Kusp’s henchmen threw a thermal detonator.
Due to his Gen’Dai regenerative abilities, Durge was able to easily survive the blast. His two companions, however, were mortally wounded. Over the dying body of his Mandalorian mentor, Durge swore revenge on all Mandalorians.
Unbeknownst to Durge and his two less fortunate companions, they were just mere pawns in the cyberneticist’s game. The grand design of this unnamed scientist was to ignite a war between the Mandalorians and the Sith.
After the death of his mentor, Durge departed for Mandalore and did indeed kill many Mandalorians. They eventually captured him but, due to his regenerative abilities, they were unable to capture him.
As a consolation prize, they tortured him for many years. Even after he escaped, he was severely damaged, and it took him a century to recuperate. Psychologically, however, he never recuperated.
Not much is known about the millennia-long interim between Durge’s early life and the battle of Naboo. He did serve in the New Sith Wars, however, fighting on the side of the Sith. During that long cycle, he had an opportunity to study the Jedi and their tactics. Consequently, many Jedi fell to the Gen’Dai’s bloodlust.
The Clone Wars
When war broke out between the Galactic Republic and the CIS (Confederacy of Independent Systems), Durge was only too happy to serve on the side of the CIS, under Count Dooku.
Not only was it a chance to kill more Jedi, Jurge’s favorite outdoor sport, but it was also a chance to kill clones. Since all of the clones were copies of the Mandalorian mercenary Jango Fett, killing clones was the next best thing to killing actual Mandalorians.
Annihilating the Jedi Strike Force on Ohma-Dun and Quetya
On Ohma-Dun, a moon orbiting Naboo, Durge and his partner, the force-sensitive Asajj Ventress, tested a chemical weapon. They unleashed Jenna Zan Arbor’s swamp gas and exterminated an entire Gungan colony.
The Galactic Republic sent a strike force consisting of several clone troopers and four Jedi, including Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker. Unfortunately for the Jedi, the experienced duo of mercenaries were able to get the drop on them.
Durge knocked out Kenobi with some magna bolas while Asajj unleashed swamp gas on the Jedi and clones before calling in droid reinforcements. Although Durge was wounded several times by the Jedi, his Gen’Dai recuperation made their attacks ineffective.
He easily knocked out Jedi Padawan Zule Xiss with his fist and would have killed her had her teacher, Jedi Master Glaive, not come to her rescue. While Glaive dueled with Durge, Asajj Ventress was able to sneak up behind Glaive and decapitate the Jedi Master with her dual lightsabers.
Durge would surely have killed Kenobi, but he was stopped by clone trooper Alpha with a blaster-shot to the head. Due to the fighting prowess of Kenobi, Anakin, and the clone troopers, Durge and Ventress were forced to retreat.
Consequently, the main delivery system for the swamp gas had been destroyed before it could be used on Theen, the human city on the home world of the Gungans.
Desperate to find an antidote to the toxin, the Galactic Republic sent another strike force led by Kenobi to the volcanic planet of Quetya where the swamp gas had been produced in an abandoned factory. Combining the volcanic environment with several preset explosives, Durge laid his trap for the Jedi.
Kenobi arrived with four other Jedi masters: Bothan Knol Ven’nari, Jon Antilles, Nico Diath, and Fay. Durge caused an explosion that ultimately cost the lives of Ven’nari and Diath. Antilles dueled with Durge while Kenobi and Fay pursued Asajj Ventress, who was escaping with the antidote.
Antilles was a very good duelist, so Durge decided to grapple the Jedi instead of fighting him weapon-to-weapon. He slew Jon Antilles by submerging the Jedi in molten lava at the cost of the Gen’Dai’s own arms. This was not a big loss to Durge because it wouldn’t take much time for the Gen’Dai to grow new arms.
The other two surviving Jedi managed to catch up to Ventress. Fay dueled with Ventress while Kenobi recovered the antidote. Fay defeated Ventress in a “force duel”, but then the factory suddenly exploded due to its contact with molten lava.
Just as Fay used the Force to shield Kenobi and the antidote, Ventress saw an opportunity to stab Fay in the back with her two lightsabers.
Although severely weakened by Ventress’s attack, Fay would have recovered had she not sacrificed the last of her strength to save Kenobi and help him escape with the antidote. Consequently, Fay became one with the Force and disappeared, making Kenobi the only surviving Jedi to return with the antidote.
The Lancers of Muunilist
Planet Muunilist was a major droid producer during the Clone Wars. Fearing a Republic attack on the planet’s factories, the CIS sent Durge to guard against such a possibility.
When Republic clone forces did attack, Durge did not react immediately. Instead, he calmly watched the battle unfold. San Hill, the Chairman of the IGBC (InterGalactic Banking Clan), did not understand Durge’s tactical mindset and effectively accused the Gen’Dai of being lazy if not cowardly.
The bounty hunter’s response was to choke one of the most powerful leaders in the CIS, though not fatally, hop on a swoop bike, and leave with a large contingent of IG lancer droids.
These IG lancers, also mounted on swoop bikes, were designed for close-quarter combat. This proved to be an ideal counter to the long-range artillery of the clone forces. Within a short period of time, Durge and his lancer-droids had managed to destroy most of the artillery, along with several AT walkers and clone troopers.
The clones counter-attacked with lancers and swoop bikes of their own. When Durge got knocked off his bike, he realized that clone lancers were being led by none other than Kenobi. The two met in melee combat and, this time, Durge proved no match for the Jedi Master and was bisected by Kenobi’s lightsaber.
The Gen’Dai was not dead, however, and quickly reformed himself. He returned to the command center where he found that Kenobi had captured San Hill. The clones opened fire on Durge, destroying his battle armor.
With his outer shell destroyed, Durge returned to his amorphous form. He overpowered several clones and enveloped Kenobi, only to be exploded by the Jedi’s use of the Force. With pieces of goop that once were Durge littered about the command center, Kenobi hoped that the Gen’Dai might be permanently dead.
Operation Durge’s Lance
Count Dooku was so impressed with Durge’s accomplishments, that he named a major offensive after the Gen’Dai bounty hunter.
Operation Durge’s Lance targeted the Correllian Trade Spine in order to prepare for the CIS invasion of the Core Worlds. General Grievous led the First Fleet and Third Fleet from Yaq’Dhul with supply lines established from Sullust and Thyferra.
The first major victory of Durge’s Lance came at Duro, where the Separatists penetrated Republic defenses and captured Jyvus Space City. This enabled the orbital bombardment of the planet’s factories, destroying its ecosystem.
The Battle of Duro secured the Correllian Trade Spine for the CIS and created much favorable propaganda for CIS Shadowfeed.
The next victim of Durge’s Lance was Humbarine, which was also subjected to an orbital bombardment, leaving the planet uninhabitable. Next, Grievous switched to bioweapons and unleashed the Brainrot Plague on Loedorvia, contaminating the entire Weemell sector and exterminating most humans and clone armies there.
The result of Grievous’s successes undermined confidence in the Senate and called for a more centralized approach, paving the way for Palpatine and the Galactic Empire. The operation was eventually blocked by Republic forces and a counteroffensive, the Outer Rim Sieges, was mounted.
Into the Heart of Maramere’s Sun
Sometimes Gen’Dai just refuse to stay dead.
With the help of the vibro-whip-wielding Xist of the Black Sun Syndicate, Durge laid yet another trap for Kenobi and his Padwan, Anakin Skywalker.
The two Jedi boarded a lifeless ship near the orbit of planet Maramere, looking for the whereabouts of Asajj Ventress. Durge stunned Kenobi with a thermal detonator but was met by Anakin.
Anakin used his telekinetic abilities gained from mastering the Force to give the Gen’Dai a lot of trouble and eventually send Durge’s own explosives back at him.
This counter gave Anakin the initiative and the young Jedi used it. He used the Force to push the Gen’Dai into an escape pod and direct it toward Maramere’s sun.
Durge knew he was trapped, but there was nothing the bounty hunter could do but wait to be cooked. And so, towards the end of the Clone Wars, Durge as we knew him, was dead.
- Durge trains under Jiang.
- Durge and Jiang acquire cybernetically enhanced battle armor.
- Jiang is killed and Durge swears revenge on all Mandalorians.
- Durge serves in the New Sith Wars, fighting on the side of the Sith.
The Clone Wars
- Durge and Asajj Ventress slaughter several Jedi on Ohma-Dun and Quetya.
- Durge employs IG lancers against Republic clone troopers on Muunilist
- Operation Durge’s Lance is named in the Gen’Dai’s honor.
- Durge is supposedly slain by Annakin Skywalker at Maramere’s sun.
- “I was once buried alive—for 60 years! If that didn’t kill me… if the Sith and the Mandalorians and the Bloodboilers of Kragis couldn’t kill me—then you will not kill me!“
- “More explosives? You are insane.“
“You have no idea.“
―Anakin Skywalker and Durge
- “You all move in slow motion to me.“
―Durge, to Obi Wan Kenobi
- “Jedi aren’t killed so easily, bounty hunter!“
“Neither am I.“
―Plo Koon and Durge
- “You know, it’s been over a century since I killed a Jedi… and today, I get to kill four of you. Add to that the Gungans I already murdered, the hostages I’m going to kill later, and all the Naboo who will die tomorrow, and it’s a damn good week.“
- “You’re not going anywhere, except the afterlife!“
―Durge, to Obi-Wan Kenobi and Fay
- “I don’t know why Dooku sent you here if all you’re going to do is stand aroun—“
―San Hill, interrupted by Durge’s chokehold
- “Jango Fett was lucky I was taking a nap. Now, I’ll just have to kill all his spawn… starting with you!“
- “I’m getting tired of ambushing you, Kenobi.“
―Durge, to Obi-Wan Kenobi
Question: Is Durge Really Dead?
Answer: Probably not. Regardless of the power of any lightsaber or the skill of the Jedi wielding it, the one defense that cannot be penetrated is plot armor.
Any Star Wars villain that sells enough toys and comic books can never be permanently killed: Darth Maul in Phantom Menace, Darth Sidious and Boba Fett in Return of the Jedi, and probably not Durge. Good may eventually triumph over evil, but it will never triumph over capitalism.
Question: Did Durge have any Redeeming Qualities?
Answer: Yes. He was loyal to his mentor, Jiang.
Question: How is it that Someone with Thousands of Years of Experience is not a Genius?
Answer: Like all older Gen’Dai, Durge’s mind was slowly degenerating from a form of psychosis. This was exacerbated by his torture at the hands of the Mandalorians, which included being buried alive for sixty years.
Question: What Happened to the Gen’Dai Race?
Answer: Their species was nearly exterminated after the Great Hyperspace War by the Sith Empire.
Question: Were Most Gen’Dai Like Durge?
Answer: No. Most preferred to be philosophers, some living as long as 7,000 years or more. However, with age came more degeneration and more psychosis. Durge, however, was aggressive from an early age.
Question: How is it that Obi-Wan Kenobi and other Jedi Masters were so Easily Outwitted by Durge and Ambushed with a Lava Trap only to Die like Flies?
Answer: The best tactical minds in the galaxy are no match for bad writing. The writers thought it would look cool to kill off a few Jedi in some interesting ways before Order 66.
Durge was a Gen’Dai bounty hunter specifically created for the Star Wars: Clone Wars series to be a worthy foe of Obi-Wan Kenobi. His origins, character, and fate were further developed within the Star Wars canon of novels and comic books.
Durge is a symbol of unrealized potential, both as a creature living out an unfulfilled life and as an underdeveloped character for the Star Wars audience.
Despite thousands of years of time to learn and grow, the only thing Durge learned how to do was get better and better at killing. Even that, he could not do without a tremendous amount of help from writers who forced Durge’s opponents to walk into ambush after ambush.
Durge had a front-row seat for so much of the galaxy’s history. Such a character could have gained such a unique perspective. Instead, he simply relied on the old lava trap.
The Star Wars universe is more than just mindless entertainment. It has been deconstructed by mythology experts like Joseph Campbell and its name has been used for various military terms during our own Cold War in real life.
Luckily, the Star Wars universe is a very big place. For those who simply want to put their brains on autopilot and enjoy some sci-fi fast food, Durge is made ready to order.