The State of the Galactic Civil War
Part 1: From Endor to Coruscant
By Abel G. Peña
|This essay is an attempt to present a cohesive summary of the events that transpired after Return of the Jedi. With such a great number of disparate sources populating the post-ROJ era, liberties have been cautiously taken in rectifying some continuity errors and tying up loose ends by making reasonable correlations not explicitly stated in any of the references books used for this analysis. When such initiatives are taken, they are accompanied by a footnote to explain the assumption.|
“We, the members of the Rebel Alliance, formally announce our intention to restore the glory of the Old Republic ... to create a New Republic” -- from the Declaration of the Alliance of Free Planets (TABSB 36)
After the defeat of the Galactic Empire at Endor, word of the Rebel Alliances’s victory traveled across the Known Galaxy at varying speeds. The Empire, despite preparations taken, found out about the incident about the same time as the rest of the galaxy; though it had set up an Imperial communications center on the far side of Endor, the explosion of the Death Star II caused residual interference that prevented the center from sending out a HoloNet distress signal that could have alerted the entire Imperial Fleet (GG5:2nd 79-94). However, the Alliance itself was able to patch into the HoloNet after the battle was over, broadcasting a transmission of the Death Star’s destruction, and several worlds such as Coruscant and Bespin were among the first to know that the Emperor was dead (IF 33, MEAS 24). Others, such as the distant Bakura, would take days to discover what had happened (TAB 58).
Still, even though the Rebels had won a major victory, they were not fool enough to think the war was won. Mere hours after the conflict at Endor had ended, Rebel High Command was desperately preparing for the inevitable retaliatory strike from the Empire (TABSB 1). For though several high-ranking Imperials would capitulate in the following weeks, not a solitary Imperial surrender was offered to the Rebels in the four hours of battle that raged after the destruction of the Second Death Star (SW#93 8, TABSB 8, 37). The Rebels were forced to undergo a paradigm shift, from a campaign of hit-and-run tactics and space denial, to open battle with a numerically superior foe (RASB2 68, TABSB 7). However, due to the destruction of the Imperial communications station on Endor, the Imperial counter-attack was delayed, and the Alliance was able to defend itself against the comparatively minor probing attacks that did come (TABSB 12). Realizing that its goal of a free galaxy was turning into a reality, the Alliance to Restore the Republic officially changed its name to mark its progress, becoming instead the Alliance of Free Planets (SW#82 6, TABSB 34-37).
Yet, no sooner did the Rebels claim this title, and in fact even before, than were they faced with a series of alien threats from the Unknown Regions, beyond charted space. The first invasion came a mere day after the Battle of Endor, from a saurian species called the Ssi-ruuk, which sought to enslave the inhabitants of Galactic Space through a dreadful process called “entechment,” in which the victim’s life-force would be stripped from his or her body and used as energy to power Ssi-ruuvi technology (TAB 1, 19, 20, 23). The Alliance succeeded in beating back this probing fleet in the Bakura system with the help of the Imperially allied Bakurans. However, what course of action the Alliance should take next was unclear. It was obvious that the Ssi-ruuvi Empire posed a threat: if the Ssi-ruuk were ignored, it was probable that they would continue to conquer fringe worlds, and in the process gain more and more enteched soldiers for the conquest of Galactic Space; while some were hoping that negotiations could be made with the reptilian invaders, a skirmish with a Ssi-ruuvi scout force on a fringe world helped convince the Alliance that forming relations with these invaders would prove next to impossible (EC 65, TABSB 147, 149). The Alliance decided that a preemptive strike against the Ssi-ruuk would be the best course of action.
Using a plan outlined by tactician General Madine, the New Republic formed a task force and struck into Ssi-ruuvi controlled space, intent on taking the foreign species’ capital (EC 65, TABSB 35, 38). In a controversial decision, Alliance leader Mon Mothma decided to disperse all known information about the Ssi-ruuk to the Empire -- it was feared that the Imperial would swarm to engage the Ssi-ruuk in combat, but in the process also come away with a deadly new weapon: entechment technology (EC 65, TABSB 6). But Mothma knew the threat that the foreign species represented, and hoped to create a pincer movement to attack the Ssi-ruuk on two fronts (EC 65). The Imperial remnants, however, acted contrary to either expectation, ignoring the Ssi-ruuk completely, even despite warnings from loyal Imperials that had seen the threat first-hand during the Bakura Incident, as they were too busy with their own madhouse politicking in the face of a vacant Imperial throne (EC 65, 67-71, TABSB 150).
When the Alliance task force arrived in Ssi-ruuvi space, however, it was shocked to find that it had nonetheless received the aid on an opposing front against the Ssi-ruuk which it had sought, only it did not come from the Empire but from an entity known as the Household Phalanx made up of a group of renegade Chiss -- blue-skinned humanoids with red eyes -- dedicated to eradicating dangers in the Unknown Regions; the Ssi-ruuk were devastated (EC 65, 66). The Alliance task force engaged the remains of the battered fleet, thrusting toward their homeworld of Lwhekk (EC 66). Eventually, however, the two sides came to a stalemate in battle, then again during an attempt at negotiations; the Alliance task force left the Ssi-ruuvi star cluster, confident that the Ssi-ruuk would not be able to launch another invasion into Galactic Space for many years (EC 66). Regardless, over the next few years, the New Republic made repeated visits to Ssi-ruuvi space just to keep an eye on the invaders (EGPM 119).
The next invasion emanating from beyond the Known Galaxy came from an albino humanoid species called the N’Gai -- the Basic pronunciation of which lead to the term “Nagai” (EGC 33, SW#96 9, TABSB 146). These gaunt but fierce aliens were fleeing their ruthless centuries-old enemy the Tof (SW#103 18, SW#107 3). The Nagai united themselves with a powerful Imperial faction and successfully forced the Alliance to flee its base on Endor and relocate to its former base on Arbra3 (EGC 111, 120, SW#83 4, SW#100 40). But when the Tof found their way into Known Space and assaulted Alliance and Nagai members alike, the latter two agreed to a truce to combat the new menace (SW#105 4, 9, SW#106 11-14, SW#107 2-3). The partnership between the Nagai and the Imperial faction they were allied with was thus dissolved, and the Imperials negotiated an agreement with the green-skinned Tof to destroy their common enemies, but the Alliance and the Nagai defeated them both on the world of Saijo (SW#107 13-22).
Restoring Freedom to the Galaxy
In the interlude amid invasions, the Alliance worked hard to make good on its promise to bring freedom to the galaxy, inviting a number of worlds into the fold of the Free Planets, such as Iskalon, Shawken, and Zhotta 3, and encouraging rebellion on others, like Tatooine and Solay (MEAS 24, SW#82 6, 7, 17, SW#84 1, SW#87 2, SW#89 1).
About a month after its victory at Endor, the Alliance of Free Planets felt confident in its progression and declared itself the New Republic, continuing on its mission to enlist planets into the new government, and battling the Imperial remnants (TABSB 36). Eventually, the Provisional Council left Arbra and returned to the Alliance’s original base on Yavin 44 in time for the rise of Emperors Trioculus and Kadaan (GDV 1, 4). Meanwhile, bases were established on a number of diverse planets, such as Dagobah,5 from which the Republic could operate and execute military assaults, and in the process make itself more difficult to destroy in one fell swoop (HTE 147, MFMY 7, 13, RS 353). Feeling confident in the success it was having against the Imperial remnants, the New Republic set up a number of these bases in the Colonies region to begin probing the defenses of the Core Worlds (EGPM xv, 48).
The most important of these outposts proved to be the one called “Blackmoon,” a codename for the world known as Borleias (RS 253, 295-296). The planet, with its close proximity to the Core, was considered to be key in the Republic invasion of the Core and specifically the Imperial System, so much in fact, that a second attempt to secure the planet was made after the first ended in defeat (RS 253-254, 266-281, 301). The first attack failed due to insufficient intelligence information, and the attacking force was decimated, however, when the second attempt was made, the Republic succeeded, and Rogue Squadron set up base on the world so as to begin staging an operation for a thrust toward the Core Worlds; the decimated and oppressed Ralltir was first on the agenda, and after its liberation -- along with Alaskan, Grizmallt, Wukkar, and a string of other Core planets -- the Republic felt confident that after decades of being known as Imperial Center, the galactic capitol would soon again be collectively referred to as “Coruscant” (DESB 76, HR 93, RS 356-365, 386).
Coordinates Zero-Zero-Zero: The Galactic Capitol
Coruscant, renamed “Imperial Center” in this era, had been the center of power in the galaxy since even before the time of Xim the Despot (EGPM 62). It symbolized the authority to govern Known Space, and thus capture of the Imperial System was the natural goal of the New Republic so as to be viewed as the legitimate government of the galaxy. The Rogues were sent to infiltrate Imperial Center to gather intelligence information so as to find a way to take the capitol as intact as possible -- if the New Republic utterly destroyed Coruscant’s defenses in its capture, then the planet would be ripe for the taking, in turn, by Zsinj, Harrsk, or some other powerful warlord (WG 61, 62) They were to pinpoint specific locations such as power plants, communications centers, and other sites that would be useful in disrupting Imperial command and its control functions so that the nearly impenetrable twin shields around the planet could be brought down to allow a Republic invasion force to take the world (WG 61).
To draw attention away from the Rogues’ activities, former Black Sun members were freed from Kessel and allowed to run amuck on Imperial Center (WG 83-89). Meanwhile, the Rogues concluded that the best way to bring down the planet’s near impenetrable overlapping shields was to take the world “by storm.”
Rogue Squadron executed an
elaborate plan for disabling the shields that involved taking over a
ground station that controlled one of the orbital mirrors around the
planet. The mirrors were designed to
direct the sun’s heat toward the colder regions of the world so as to
make them more hospitable, but the Rogues planned to instead use them
to evaporate the water in one of Imperial Center’s reservoirs, thus
creating enough moisture in the air so as to generate one of the
spontaneous storms for which Imperial Center was so infamous as soon as
some, any, humidity hit the planet (WG 293, 294). The
largest storm that Coruscant had seen in generations began to rage
across the planet’s sky, with Imperial City as its focus. While
lightning from the storm lashed out at the city’s power grids, Rogue
Corran Horn flew into the heart of the storm and missiled the shields’
back-up generator ... the combined effort caused the central computers
to overload and the double-shields to utterly collapse. (WG 294,
325-326, 329, 332). Imperial Center was
ripe for capture.
The New Republic fleet, spearheaded by Admiral Ackbar in the Home One, dove into battle with the Imperial ships guarding the capitol (WG 332, 338). The Republic force easily carved through the suspiciously inept Imperial opposition, and quickly dispatched troop carriers to deposit ground troops to secure key installations (WG 344). After decades of Imperial control, Coruscant once again belonged to the “Republic.”
In capturing the world, however, the Republic had inherited an entirely new string of problems. Now, Coruscant would be the target of would-be-emperors like Zsinj, and there were rumors that a viral plague was spreading through the planet, Isard’s departing present for the Rebels (WG 350). But still, the world was theirs, and in securing the planetary heart of the galaxy, the pitiful band of terrorists once known as the Rebel Alliance, had finally earned its legitimacy in the eyes of the thousand-thousand worlds of Galactic Space.
The Galactic Empire
“Funny, the Empire was barely a year old and already people around the galaxy were referring to the previous government as the ‘Old’ Republic” -- Scout Keog Boon, “Imperial Year One” (TTSB 114).
Of course, it was hardly a laughing matter to Imperials anymore when people began referring to their government as “The Old Empire” (HR 59). But with the destruction of the Second Death Star and the Super Star Destroyer Executor, the Imperial Fleet at Endor began to crumble into chaos, a foreshadowing of the fate that would befall the entire Empire after the debacle. The Imperial Fleet was forced into a confused rout by the Rebels: with the explosion of the Death Star II came a tremendous loss of communication between the Imperials, and thus coordination -- Imperial warships were captured, and countless ships and irreplaceable officers were lost to Rebel fire (DE 93, 94, HTESB 7, 52, TABSB 8, 10-11). His commanding officer killed in the conflict, second-in-command Gilad Pellaeon assumed control of the Chimaera and called a general retreat of the Imperial fleet (EGC 126, HTE 3, HTESB 7, TTSB 65, TABSB 8). However, the battle had already been raging for hours after the Death Star exploded ... Captain Pellaeon lead a battered ghost of the once powerful Imperial Fleet back to the Core Worlds, broadcasting a holo-communication along Imperial channels of what had transpired, as well as a general call of Imperial forces to rendezvous at a secure Imperial installation at Annaj (DP 125, EC 67).
The Empire subsequently fell
“This is Captain Pellaeon, commanding officer of the Star Destroyer Chimaera ... The Emperor is dead. I repeat, the Emperor is dead” -- Gilad Pellaeon (DP 125).
Following Pellaeon’s transmission, things started going haywire in the Imperium -- the Empire began to fracture almost immediately. With the realization that there was no true heir to the Empire, many ambitious Moffs and Grand Moffs, admirals and Grand Admirals, and everyone else with a shred of authority and a lack of loyalty selfishly cut themselves off from Imperial Center and lumped together their regions of power, forming their own small kingdoms in the Mid-Rim, Expansion Region, and Outer Rim Territories (PA 129, RR 234, TABSB 146).
Several warlords and factions arose from the ashes of the once unified Empire, defending their personal power by whatever means available: forming alliances with crimelords and especially the New Republic were actions unthinkable in the past, but now made acceptable by desperation (HR 33). It was also during this time of confusion that vast portions of the fragmented and disorderly Imperial Navy surrendered to Alliance forces (SOTE:E 7).
the strongest of these renegade groups were those led by the Pentastar
Alignment, the Imperial Central Committee, and Grand Admiral Grunger,
all of whom apparently controlled an unusually vast amount of resources
when such a thing was scarce save for in the Empire proper (GDV 16, 20,
PA 129-131). Admirals Teradoc and Harrsk,
unwilling to take orders from Pellaeon whom they outranked,
mysteriously struck out for the wildly inaccessible Deep Core, in what
many others considered a ludicrous attempt to set up their own small
(EC 67). Though of all these would-be
empires, it was that of Warlord Zsinj that proved most resilient,
emerging from the Imperial wreckage as a threat to both the New
Republic and the legitimate Empire (CTD 3, 39, SC 132, WG 56). However, for the time being, control of the
Empire still rested firmly in the hands of those on Imperial Center.
Dark Lords of the Sith
“Always two there are ... no more ... no less. A master and an apprentice” -- Master Yoda.
While it seemed that most of the Emperor’s many Dark Side adepts disappeared at the same time of his death, a few groups of Dark Jedi did rise up after Palpatine’s fall, to lay their claim to the Empire. The most powerful of these Force-user groups was that comprised of the Dark Lady Lumiya and her apprentice Flint7 (SW#88 cover, SW#92 13, 31).
Both of the Dark Side Sith magicians trained under the tutelage of Darth Vader in the time between the Battle of Hoth and the Battle of Endor. (ANN#3 39, SW#63 23, SW#92 20, 33, SW#96 21). Lumiya was once known as the Imperial Intelligence solo agent and Emperor’s Hand Shira Ellan Colla Brie; she was personally chosen by Darth Vader to join the Rebel Alliance under cover and bring about the literal or effectual incapacitation of Luke Skywalker (EC 106, SW#63 12, 13). But during a Rebel infiltration mission using TIE fighters, communications went awry, and Luke Skywalker, with only the Force available to him to sense who was an ally and who an enemy, destroyed Shira’s ship (SW#61 15-17, 22). The Imperial operative did not die, however -- as part of her special training, her physiology had been altered, allowing her to survive incident (LDSE 27, SW#63 12). When Vader recovered her Force-hibernating body in the shell of a TIE fighter, he found the scene was strangely reminiscent of the Sith Lord’s own experience following the Battle of Yavin,8 and whether by fate’s hand or Vader’s own sense of irony, cybernetics were similarly used to save her life (DS 236-237, LDSE 27, SL 54-56, SW#61 22). After she recovered, Vader broke with millennium-long Sith protocol and began grooming her as his heir while another Sith Lord -- Palpatine -- still lived; hence forth she became known as Lumiya (LDSE 27).
Flint fell into the Sith order in a different manner. Flint’s father had once been a Jedi years before, and Flint and his best friend Barney craved that very same proud existence (ANN#3 9, 36, 38). When Luke visited their planet, the friends approached him in the hopes that he was a Jedi that could teach them the ways of the Force, but Luke constantly rebuffed their questions and admiration because he was both annoyed and fearful of taking on an apprentice (ANN#3 11, 16, SW#92 33). Later after a furious battle between Rebel X-wings and experimental AT-AT walkers,9 Flint and Barney’s town was left in ruins, and Flint found his mother dead; as he spoke to himself and promised to avenge her, Vader recognized the youth’s potential to become strong in the Dark Side of the Force and took him under his wing as well (ANN#3 27-34, 36).
During the Battle of Endor, Lumiya was undergoing her final test as a Dark Jedi. She traveled to the ends of the galaxy where she discovered an ancient Sith tome that inspired her to create her weapon the lightwhip (LDSE 27). When she returned to Known Space, the cyborg Jedi found the Empire in a state of confusion. She quickly regrouped with Flint, who now shared her hatred of Luke Skywalker for killing Vader, and joined an unknown leader10 (CS 206, LDSE 25, 27, PDS2 22, SW#92 33, SW#96 8, 21).
While Lumiya secured loyalty on worlds such as Herdessa and finalized a pact with the Nagai, Flint amassed a strong Imperial force on the world of Naldar, slaughtering the inhabitants. When the Alliance got word of the atrocities occurring, it sent the Heroes of Yavin and several others -- including Flint’s long time friend Barney -- to combat the Imperials (SW#92 16).
On Naldar, Luke battled Lord Flint to a standstill in a lightsaber duel, and Barney was able to talk the Dark Lord away from the Dark Side. Flint activated the self-destruct switch on his gauntlet, destroying the Imperial station on the planet, along with his former allies (SW#92 33-39). What thus became of the Sith Lord is unknown, but it is suspected that he was taken to an Alliance safeworld where he could heal himself of the psychological ravages of the Dark Side11 (RASB2 134).
When the Dark Lady received word that Flint had been captured, she ultimately reasoned that it mattered little. She knew the Alliance of Free Planets would be crushed in the coming Nagai invasion ... only when that inevitable attack came, that was not what happened. The Alliance survived the Nagai and Imperial attacks on Endor and Zeltros, though it did so only to discover that the Nagai had inadvertently brought along another group of invaders: their mortal enemy, the Tof (SW#100 40, SW#104 20-22).
Lumiya and her forces subsequently allied themselves with the Tof, who were more cutthroat and ruthless than even the Nagai, yet they were still defeated by the combined force of the Alliance and Nagai: the Tof leader Prince Sereno was captured, and Lumiya was left for dead (LDSE 27, SW#103 18, SW#107 13, 20-22). The Dark Lady survived, however, and though her allegiance and fate thus forward remain a mystery, it is known that she afterward collaborated with Imperial Intelligence on at least one occasion (LDSE 27).
Rulers of the Empire
“Without power, one dies” -- Grand Vizier Sate Pestage (XW#28 9).
Heralded by the insolent rioting
of a group of Rebel sympathizers in one of Imperial Center’s smaller
plazas, life on Coruscant was tossed into turmoil after the Emperor’s
death, and beneath the outer depression and anger of the citizenry
raged a deadly political power struggle that produced a number of
provisional rulers through countless betrayals and assassinations (IF
33). After receiving word of their
master’s demise, several members of the Emperor’s Inner Circle, a
coalition of Palpatine’s closest ministers and governors, abandoned
their superficial loyalty to Palpatine’s New Order and joined the
growing ranks of selfish Grand Admirals and Moffs in forming their own
miniature empires wherever they could manage (GSWU2 150, TABSB 146). In its place emerged the Emperor’s Ruling
Circle (ERC), under the leadership of one of His Majesty’s
highest-ranking and opportunistic former advisors, the despised Ars
Dangor12 (CTD 40, DE 11, DESB 1, 65, GSWU2
150, TABSB 146, XW#21 6).
The Ruling Circle was a motley and unstable assembly made up chiefly of the Emperor’s former Advisors, but also including a number of ministers, governors, bureaucrats, aristocrats, military career men and even aliens, outlaws, and Dark Side Adepts (CEH 10-11, DESB 65, GSWU2 150). Despite their differences, however, they all stood to gain tremendously in the wake of Palpatine’s death, save for one obstacle: the man known as Sate Pestage (CEII 13)
Grand Vizier Sate Pestage reluctantly assumed the Imperial throne after Emperor Palpatine’s death: “I would prefer him to be here,” Pestage once said (XW #21 6). The aging Vizier had already been taking care of several of the everyday affairs of the Empire for Palpatine even before the Battle of Hoth, and his loyalty to the Emperor was unquestionable, so he was the logical choice for the inheritance of the Imperial throne, but logic had little place within the bounds of the Empire’s boundlessly ambitious (DESB 32, 41). Though the Advisors had never gotten along even in the best of times, with the Vizier’s position as a focal point for their greed, the Ruling Circle formed both an official governmental position known as the Tribunal and a secret cabal; as Pestage held authority over the Tribunal, the ERC formed the cabal whose single goal became the deposition of the Vizier (DESB 32, EC 68, XW#32 4, 5, 18).
Pestage was viewed as a power-monger by the Ruling Circle and other parties due in part to his lack of charisma, but particularly because of the old man’s refusal to search for a genealogical heir to the Emperor in the Imperial Personal Archives;13 as steward of those files, the wizened Vizier was privy to Palpatine’s most secret communications -- if an heir existed, the Archives was the logical place to look (DESB 32, EC 68). Pestage adamantly denied any access to the files.
During this time, Pestage’s confidant Director Ysanne Isard began plotting to gain command of the Empire for herself by playing Sate Pestage and the cabal against one another (XW#22 20). The Ruling Council began preparing to set up Pestage for a fall, but the Grand Vizier outwitted the Advisors by doing something completely out of character: betraying the Empire, and effectively, the memory of his beloved Emperor; Pestage sought to consolidate his power by striking a deal with the New Republic -- he would leave Coruscant unprotected so that it could be easily captured by the former Rebels, and in return they would allow Pestage to retain control of a collection of worlds known as the Ciutric Hegemony (IR 16, XW#28 8-9, XW#29 11, XW#35 17).
Ysanne Isard became aware of this meeting, however, and brought the matter forth to the three members of the Tribunal14 who decided to arrest Pestage, and strip him of his power through impeachment and exile, and to take the throne for themselves (DESB 32, RR 227, XW#32 5). However, one of Isard’s conspirators, who feared her growing power, warned Sate Pestage of the treasonous charges being brought against him; Pestage then flew Imperial Center with renegade Moff Leonia Tavira (DESB 32, XW#32 11). But Pestage was betrayed by Tavira during their stopover at Ciutric, as well as by his supporter on that planet Governor Brothic, and was taken prisoner (XW#32 16-17). Though the New Republic tried to liberate Pestage for political reasons, the attempt was foiled, and the exiled Grand Vizier seemingly met his end at the hands of the rogue Imperial Admiral Delak Krennel (XW#33 21-22, XW#35 17).
Meanwhile, on Imperial Center, Isard systematically eliminated the Ruling Circle’s Tribunal leaders, and the Imperial Intelligence Director took her place on the Imperial throne, becoming Empress in purpose if not in name (XW#35 6, 12, 19).
Pretender to the Throne
“The problem was all too apparent to the Imperials themselves; in an absolutist state, the power must be wielded absolutely. But by whom?” -- New Republic Historian Voren Na’al (DESB 32)
Despite Pestage’s attempt to maintain the Emperor’s descendance a secret, a powerful Imperial faction known as the Imperial Central Committee, comprised of the Empire’s most powerful and influential Grand Moffs, somehow obtained the answer to the question so many were asking: did Palpatine have a genetic heir?
The answer was yes, at least one for certain, and perhaps several. A three-eyed mutant slave of Kessel known derisively as “Triclops” was Palpatine’s true son (GDV 68, LCJ 48). There were other questionable heirs, including a young boy named Irek Ismaren, a distant grandniece, and alarmingly perhaps even the deceased Sate Pestage himself, but their relation to Palpatine was uncertain at best -- as was their loyalty to the Committee -- thus, they were conveniently ignored (COJ 165, 169, 212, DESB 33, 41).
But when the Committee discovered that the Emperor’s true son was an “insane” pacifist, it was stymied, for the regional governors could not possibly put such a person in charge of the militaristic Empire; it was already bad enough that the man was a non-human (GDV 69). So instead the Moffs produced their own version of the Emperor’s son based on the rumor that had been circulating the Empire for years: that Palpatine’s offspring was a trioptic mutant -- thus was chosen the Kessel Slavelord Trioculus (GDV 18-19, 68, 88). Though the bulk of the fleet headed by Captain Pellaeon remained loyal to Ysanne Isard, the scheme worked wonders for the faction, bringing it the resources of various warlords, including Grand Admiral Takel, and elevating its power under the rule of Emperor Trioculus to nearly rival that of the legitimate Empire itself15 (EC 72, GDV 21, 24, 29).
The Prophets of the Dark Side
When the Prophets of the Dark Side revealed themselves following the Battle of Endor, they were a complete enigma to the vast majority of the Imperial forces and citizens. They had remained in the shadows preceding the Emperor’s death, occasionally “working for” oblivious Imperial officers and bureaucrats such as Tatooine’s Tour Aryon; and when seen in the Emperor’s presence, most assumed they were merely more of his Majesty’s endless supply of advisors: clothed as they were in their eccentric, glittering black robes, they were often referred to as “acolytes” or the “Secret Order” by the ignorant16 (CCG:P, PDS2 18, TFOSG 62, 82). They were, in actuality, not at all the Emperor’s subordinates, but his perceived equals in an unholy alliance dictated by their contemporary service to the Dark Side (PDS2 19). It is even said that Palpatine sought the Prophets’ “Dark Blessing” to become Emperor, having himself once been akin to their malevolent organization17 (LCJ 45-46, PDS2 19).
The Prophets were incredibly shrewd in the implement of their ascent to power. After the Emperor died and the galaxy unraveled into chaos, Imperial citizens became highly desperate and disillusioned: opportunistic warlords brought greater oppression than had ever been previously experienced and rumors of the Emperor’s deceit and treachery began to surface; the citizenry cried out for a voice of hope ... and the Prophets served as the emissaries of the Dark Side (PDS2 19, RR 234).
With the grace and provisions of Sate Pestage,18 and led by the Supreme Prophet Kadaan, the Prophets established their first Church of the Dark Side on Imperial Center, to which the lost masses fled (PDS2 19). Kadaan and the Prophets built a religion around the Emperor, claiming that they were the true heirs to Palpatine’s legacy, and though not everyone liked what they preached, Palpatine’s Empire had all but abolished -- with the Jedi Knighthood -- religious worship, allowing only a few galaxy-spanning faiths such as the Sacred Circle order to continue their practice, thus the spiritual void the Prophets’ filled was undeniable, even to their dissenters (PDS2 19, SFECD 1, SW#35 15). They made predictions concerning future events which invariably came true, but though the group’s talent in the power of farseeing was great, it was an unarguable fact of the Force that the future was always in motion, thus the Prophets made certain that their prophecies came true regardless of fate’s hand, whether through the use of the Force, espionage, bribery, or murder (MFMY 91, TTSB 56, 57). The awed masses backed the Prophets, and within a year of their emergence, their influence grew to proportions only paralleled by the Jedi Council of old; by the time Vizier Pestage was assassinated, the Prophets had already accrued more power than his successor Ysanne Isard could suppress, and so she along with the Imperial remnants were forced to acknowledge the Prophets power (GDV 20, 25-26, 45).
The giant crowds of worshipers that flocked to them also served a defunctive purpose for the Prophets besides credibility, allowing the mystics -- sometimes purposely, but more often unwittingly -- to feed off of their concentrated worship and cultivation of the dark side, and to leech with ease the life essences of these sycophants and use those energies to bolster their own Force powers19 (DESB 71, NR 359, TOTJC 56, 57).
Their corrupt religion held the debilitated spirit of the Empire together, with promises of future victories, the fall of the New Republic, and even the prophesied resurrection of the Emperor giving hope to the demoralized Imperials; and it was at this time of greatest confidence in the Prophets intentions that they set into motion their plan for ruling an envisioned dark empire (PDS2 19).
The Glove of Darth Vader
“After Palpatine’s fiery death
Another leader soon comes to command the Empire
And on his right hand he does wear
The glove of Darth Vader” -- Supreme Prophet Kadaan (GDV 6).
The Prophets of the Dark Side foretold that soon a new Emperor would rule the Imperium until the rebirth of Palpatine. The proof of his worth? On his right hand would rest the lost gauntlet of Darth Vader -- the glove of Vader was a Sith amulet with the ability to magnify the Force20 (DLS 104-105, GDV 20, 65, LCJ 68-70, SME 287-288).
Vader’s right hand had been severed by Luke Skywalker during their lightsaber duel aboard the Death Star II, the Sith Lord’s mechanical appendage tumbling with his lightsaber in its grip toward the battle station’s reactor core. Surely, it had been destroyed when the Death Star’s core exploded ...
But Vader’s gauntlet was not a simple accessory. That his artificial right hand had been incinerated was of little doubt, but Sith amulets were notoriously difficult to dispose of -- during the aftermath of the Fall of the Sith Empire, the destruction of Sith talisman proved very challenging for even Jedi Masters; often the only means of destroying the artifact would have been battering it with Dark Side energies (TOJC 82). According to the Prophets, the Sith Lord’s gauntlet was indeed indestructible, and would give the wearer an unparalleled power (MFMY 49). The only question was, where was it?
And who would get to it first?
Upon the revelation of Kadaan’s prophesy, the disparate and desperate Imperial forces began a frantic search for the glove. Even the Central Committee of Grand Moffs, which had succeeded in finding Palpatine’s “true” successor, found its authority challenged by the strength of the Prophets’ decree, and so it too joined the search for the glove so as to cement its rule (GDV 20, 25-26).
Ersatz emperor Trioculus and his cohort Grand Moff Hissa followed a lead supplied by a Whaladon poacher to the seas of Mon Calamari, and it was there, in a chunk of the Death Star II, that they found the symbol of the Sith Lord that struck fear into the hearts of countless beings throughout the Empire as it gestured to crush the life from an enemy or incompetent subordinate alike (GDV 36, 48, 59, 67). With the glove in its possession, no one would be able to challenge the Committee’s power, not the factions, not the Prophets, not even Imperial Center.
Trioculus and Hissa traveled to Scardia space station to receive the blessing of Kadaan, which the Dark Sider bestowed with only marginal reluctance (LCJ 50). The newly acknowledged Emperor Trioculus left the space station in preparation to rule his empire, unwittingly continuing to unravel his own destruction as preordained by the Prophets.
First, he fell prey to the powers of the very artifact he coveted, as the Sith amulet Trioculus wore began to take its toll. Vader’s glove, charged with malevolent energies, began eating away at the flesh it concealed,21 rotting Trioculus’ right hand in much the same way that the Dark Side decayed the Emperor’s body (DE 42, LCJ 60-70, MFMY 50). Too, his eyesight began to falter, and only through the coerced aid of a Ho’Din healer did he avoid permanent blindness (LCJ 61, 66-69). Trioculus was forced to remove the damaging gauntlet, and wore a false one instead to maintain the illusion of his worth (LCJ 84).
The three-eyed mutant’s second mistake would prove to be his consumption with the beauty of Princess Leia Organa (LCJ 56-57). His lust for the Rebel leader would result in his extinction, as Zorba the Hutt -- Jabba’s father -- contrarily sought Organa’s destruction. Isard, knowing of Trioculus’ infatuation with Organa, freed the long imprisoned Zorba, knowing full well that the Hutt’s vendetta with his son’s killer would inevitably cause the two to cross paths (EC 71). Indeed it came to a confrontation between them, and in the end, Trioculus emerged from the bowels of Cloud City encased in carbonite (ZHR 83-84). This pretender to the throne was soon after destroyed, and the Central Committee of Grand Moffs was tried for treason against the Empire by the Prophets of the Dark Side, as the gauntlet of Darth Vader fell into the possession of its always intended, preordained recipient: Supreme Prophet Kadaan (MFMY 50). The moment Trioculus had removed the glove, it was already in transit to the Prophets by way of their network of spies (MFMY 49, PDS 4, 39-40). Kadaan renounced his blessing on Trioculus and announced that the new ruler of the Empire was “the Dark One of ancient times,22” for whom Kadaan would now speak, effectively declaring himself the Galactic Emperor (MFMY 3).
But no sooner did he take the title than did Kadaan set out to destroy the New Republic using a super-computer located in the Lost City of the Jedi on Yavin 4, containing countless secrets of the expired Jedi Knights (PDS 65). But Luke Skywalker and the potential Jedi Ken were able to destroy the computer and trap Kadaan in the city, though for how long is an uncertainty -- there were many Jedi texts for Kadaan and the pair of powerful Prophets with him to study while trapped in the Lost City, and several ways for the them to escape23 (PDS 55, 79-80, 83-84, PDS2 20, TSW 143, 149). Though, regardless of the Supreme Prophet’s fate, his theocracy was not allowed to last by the power-hungry Grand Admirals, Moffs, and other military leaders of the Imperial remnants (PDS2 19). As for the whereabouts of Vader’s gauntlet, the mysterious Bimm trader “Glah Ubooki” has claimed to have it in his possession (GUSWI 105, 106).
Magistrates of the Dark Side
“The Force is your enemy! Turn your back on it and it will destroy you! It is your lover! Lust for it! Spurn it and it will devour you in fire. But go to it, as a child to its mother, make yourself humble before the omnipotence of its existence and it will guide you beyond the shallow confines of this mortal world!” -- Dark Jedi Adalric Brandl (UEK 87)
Besides the Sith and Prophets, a few other dark siders rose and fell during this time, and planted seeds for future Imperial dominion.
The most prominent of these was the “blind” dark Jedi known as Jerec, who along with six other dark siders led his Imperial faction to find the fabled Valley of the Jedi, also called the Valley of the Souls, the final battlefield of the Sith Brotherhood of Darkness and the Jedi Army of Light which engaged in combat centuries before, presumably eradicating the Sith forever (EC 18-19, JK 106-111, RA 73, 75). Even before Palpatine’s death, Jerec was obsessed with finding the legendary grave; the Valley of the Jedi was a Force-nexus of unfathomable power, enough to cow the various bickering remnants of the Empire into finally accepting his rule (JK 16, RA 40). In his purpose, Jerec found the one who could lead him to the Valley, Morgan Katarn, but the man was uncooperative, and the Dark Jedi killed him (SFE 27, 28). Little did Jerec suspect that in doing so, he had lost not only his main lead in finding the Valley of the Jedi, but made an enemy of the person who could stop him, Jedi-in-training Kyle Katarn, Morgan’s son.
After years, and possibly working in concert with the Prophets of the Dark Side,24 Jerec finally found a another solid lead to the Valley when he captured the Jedi Master Rahn, to whom Morgan Katarn had revealed information concerning the place (JK 25, MFMY 3, RA 25, 26, TFOSG 49, 62). Before Jerec slaughtered the Jedi, Rahn involuntarily revealed the location of not the fabled necropolis, but where the coordinates could to find it could be had (RA 38-40). Jerec secured them, and with his dark Jedi made his way to the Valley of Souls on Ruusan, but Kyle was also able to learn the location of the Jedi tomb, and he quickly followed to stop them (JK 18, 43-46, RA 38, 116).
Once there, the dark Jedi tapped into a level of energy so dense, produced by the spirits of tens of thousands of Jedi and Sith, that it magnified Jerec’s Force-attunement to near-omnipotence (JK 96). Seeing Kyle’s strength in the Force, the dark Jedi attempted to lure him to the dark side, reminding him that it had been he who had murdered his father, but Kyle resisted, instead blocking Jerec’s access to the dark side by binding him in a cocoon of light (JK 122, 124). In the short saber duel that followed, Kyle defeated Jerec, sending his spirit into Chaos, and freeing the Jedi spirits that had been trapped for a thousand years (JK 124, 126).
Yet another dark sider that tried to carve an Empire for himself from the quickly dilapidating one of old, was Lord Shadowspawn (DESB 33). While his name was not familiar among Imperial circles, his visage most definitely was: reminiscent of a living silhouette, Shadowspawn seemed to have been carved from the fabric of the heavens themselves, his body appearing empty like a black void. Yet that same empty shroud, filled with the disconcerting image of a lifeless starfield, seemed to consume and control the very grandeur of space, making him appear larger than the galaxy itself -- for Lord Shadowspawn was none other than the dark Jedi Blackhole25 (EA 11)
Much of Blackhole’s life is shrouded in mystery, just as the dark sider himself. What kind of creature Blackhole was, exactly, is unknown: he seemed to be able to materialize from the ether at whim and disappear just as easily, though occasionally he was seen using a device called a “distorter,” though what exactly it was distorting exactly -- whether Blackhole’s image or his very molecular structure -- is a mystery (EA 23, 78). There was rampant speculation as to the nature of Blackhole: the most common theory was that the frightening image of Blackhole was but one superimposed -- some suspected it to make up for an unintimidating visage, while others suggested that it was used to hide his repulsive features; those with a knowledge of the dark side suspected that Blackhole was something much more sinister -- a once-powerful, deceased dark sider whose spirit had been called back from the dark side realm known as Chaos26 (FNU 15). What is known is that he was a subordinate to Darth Vader, and carried out services for the Dark Lord of the Sith that required the utmost discretion (EA 11, 12). He also had a contingent of experimental stormtroopers called “darktroopers”27 (DEII 36, EA 20-23).
When the Empire began to disintegrate politically, Blackhole saw his opportunity to rise to power. He adopted the name Lord Shadowspawn and consolidated multiple Imperial factions under his command. Shadowspawn’s armies were unyielding in their confrontations with the New Republic, and at the Battle of Mindor, the culmination of an ardous Inner Rim campaign, the dark sider and many of his darktroopers battled to the death (DESB 33, EC 71-72).
Perhaps the most savvy and patient of these opportunistic dark siders went by the name of Carnor Jax, a man of the Emperor’s Royal Guard. After the Emperor’s death, rumors abounded concerning the fate of his most elite warriors, the Royal Guardsmen. It seemed that after Palpatine was killed at Endor, the Royal Guards ranks dissipated drastically: conventional Imperials chalked up their absence to mere reassignment, while Imperial commanders that suffered embarrassments at their hands when trying to see the Emperor uninvited welcomed their disappearance, joking to one another that the fanatical order had hopefully committed mass suicide; fanatical attendants of the Prophets’ Church of the Dark Side, on the other hand, declared that the Royal Guard had gone on to serve their master in death and would return as dark siders by his side when the Emperor was “reborn” (AFA 48, DESB 36, EGC 52). Yet, as absurd as many of the suggestions seemed, some rumors contained a grain of truth, as sometimes is the case: some of the Guardsmen were indeed reassigned to influential Imperials such as Sate Pestage and Lumiya ... and at least one Royal Guard was beginning to master the dark side of the Force (LDSE 24, 27, XW#28 22, XW#29 10).
Upon Palpatine’s death, Guardsmen Carnor Jax began making political and military allies for himself, breeding allegiance to himself among various Imperial factions, remaining oblivious to most as an Imperial powerhouse, planning to eventually take command of the Empire in one deft move when the timing was right and his enemies eliminated (CEH 13). He won the favor of the Emperor’s Ruling Circle, which granted him two flagships, and was tutored by some of the Circle’s Dark Side Adepts to manipulate the dark side of the Force; simultaneously, he clandestinely rooted out the most damaging secrets of the Circle members so that he might use them in the future against them, and sowed ties among the darktroopers who were left leaderless after the death of Lord Shadowspawn28 (CE 5, 16, 118-122, CEH 13, DESB 65-67). All of these developments combined with Jax’s patience would work to create a lucrative role for the dark sider in the years to come.
The splintered Empire made many attempts to restore order, but with the enigmatic Prophets vanquished and the “legitimate” son of Palpatine murdered, the Imperium had run out of fixes. Isard held the Imperial System in an iron grip, while the Imperial factions took desperate chances with unorthodox strategies, some harkening back to the days of the Old Republic, such as the reinstatement of the Senate, and the attempt by Admiral Betl Oxtroe to convince the New Republic leaders to form a joint monarchy with the Empire, with Palpatine’s remote grandniece Ederlathh Pallopides as its head29 (DESB 33, RS 110).
On Imperial Center, Ysanne Isard began to accept the inevitability of the Empire’s deterioration and the eventual capture of Coruscant by the New Republic; the discontented Emperor’s Ruling Circle had already begun using its Imperial Security Bureau agents30 to assassinate members of her Imperial Intelligence, and vice-versa, and the Republic continued its steady assimilation of system after system (DESB 33, 35, ISB2 17, RS 126). The Intelligence Director set her plan into motion. She coerced General Evir Derricote into creating a virus that would be easily transferable from one alien species to another, but that would exempt humans from contamination (RS 354, 385, WG 55, 56). She would give Imperial Center to the Rebels, leaving them with a world ripe with sickness, forcing the Rebels to take upon the astronomical cost of curing the diverse alien species, and to face prejudice against the healthy human populace; whether by way of bankruptcy or infighting, the New Republic would fold (WG 93, 97, 164).
Isard escaped to her Lusankya stronghold while she allowed Imperial Center to fall (WG 287, 356). And though the New Republic take over of Coruscant was relatively bloodless, it was not without Imperial casualties; the Imperial Palace was greatly battered and looted, and several undisciplined Rebel sympathizers executed any members of the Imperial Court they could capture: the President of the Bureau of Punishments and the head of the Emperor’s School of Torturers met their end, as did a number of innocent servants, but a small percentage of Palpatine’s elect with navigable coordinates through the impossibly dense interstellar clutter of the Deep Galactic Core were able to escape and find refuge there, while a large number flew to the Outer Rim and into the domain of still-loyal worlds in or near the Core, such as Carida, forming the Imperial Core Systems.31 (COJ 169, DESB 76, JASB 52, RPG2RE 191, WG 349). Also, the majority of the Emperor’s Ruling Circle survived -- its ambition was yet to be satiated, and its loyalty yet to be measured ... once again there would be much to gain in the vacuum created by a loss of central authority.
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GG5:2nd - Galaxy Guide 5: Second Edition. George R. Strayton. West End Games. 1997.
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GSWU2 - A Guide to the Star Wars Universe: Second Edition. Bill Slavicsek. Del Rey. 1994.
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HR - Heroes and Rogues. Paul Sudlow with Rick Stuart. West End Games. 1995.
IF - X-Wing: Iron Fist. Aaron Allston. Bantam Spectra. 1998.
IR - X-Wing: Isard’s Revenge. Michael A. Stackpole. Bantam Spectra. 1999.
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SW#63 - “The Mind Spider!” David Michelinie. Star Wars #63. Marvel Comics Group. Sep. 1982.
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 As seen in the Special Edition of Return of the Jedi, while the Rebels celebrated their victory on the Moon of Endor, similar celebrations took place in Cloud City, Mos Eisley, and Imperial City. According to Iron Fist, word reached Imperial Center because the Alliance got off a transmission of the Death Star exploding. Presumably, the same transmission came through to Cloud City. However, the adventure “The Passage From Perdition” -- part of the Mos Eisley Adventure Set booklet -- implies that the celebration on Tatooine was influenced by the arrival of Rebel historian Voren Na’al, who notified the people there of the Emperor’s death.
The word “N’Gai” is first mentioned in Star Wars: The Essential Guide to Characters and seems to be a contraction of the word “Nagai,” first mentioned in the Star Wars Marvel Comics series.
3 Star Wars: Essential Guide to Characters states that the Alliance made a partial base on Arbra after the Battle of Endor. This explains where the Alliance went following the evacuation of Endor in issue #100. Also, in issue #83, Lando makes reference to Arbra as his current residence after the Empire’s demise.
4In The Glove of Darth Vader, which takes place one year after Return of the Jedi, the Alliance is once again seen inhabiting its base on Yavin 4. It is unknown if the Alliance came directly to this base after evacuating Arbra for the second time, as well as for how long it remained on Yavin’s fourth moon.
5 In Mission From Mount Yoda, it is revealed that the Alliance has set up a military base and academy on the world of Dagobah, and Luke comments to a Force-sensitive child named Ken that when Yoda died, “Mount Dagger” was renamed “Mount Yoda” in the deceased Jedi Master’s memory. Yet, in Heir to the Empire, which is set four years thereafter, Luke tells Leia that he has never told her or “anyone” else the name of the world where he trained with Yoda because he feared someone might “do something” to disturb Yoda’s resting place, and subsequently reveals the name of the world to Leia, to her astonishment. Despite the hints, then, that the entire Alliance would know of Yoda’s connection with the planet Dagobah during the events of Mount Yoda, it seems that that is not the case. Furthermore, it can be assumed that Luke revealed the location to Ken for a number of reasons, including being caught in a moment of vulnerability as he reflected upon his former teacher, or perhaps because Luke felt some kinship with the potential Jedi, as well as the fact that Luke felt little threat in revealing such information to a young boy.
6According to the Dark Empire Sourcebook, the Deep Core was near-impossible to navigate through, and only a chosen few of Palpatine’s most loyal knew coordinates to navigate it successfully.
7There is no conclusive evidence that Lumiya was Flint’s superior in the Force, but she was in Vader’s service longer than Flint, was able to defeat Luke in a duel (whereas Flint could not), and lived on fighting for the Empire, while Flint eventually shied away from the Dark Side. There is also little evidence that Flint and Lumiya worked in conjunction, but the very existence of two simultaneous Dark Lord’s implies a connection.
8As revealed in Scoundrel’s Luck, Darth Vader was found unconscious in the cockpit of his TIE Advanced following the Battle of Yavin. Rebel holographic cameras showed her being in a similar situation. Under similar circumstances, both Vader and Luke slipped into a hibernation trance to survive.
9In a panel in Annual #3, an X-wing lands on an AT-AT, taking up merely a fourth or fifth of its length when it is in fact approximately two thirds the walker’s length. Other panels show diminutive Rebel airspeeders in comparison to the AT-AT’s, when they should in fact be about the size of its “head.” These depictions coupled with the ease with which walker’s are vanquished by X-Wings in the novel Isard’s Revenge -- as well as statistically in the role playing game -- as opposed to the difficulty they posed in the Annual, suggest that these were walkers of a larger scale than those of common use, like those seen on Hoth.
10In issue #96, Lumiya makes a reference to her and Den the Nagai’s “masters.” This implies at the very least two superiors. One’s identity is easily deciphered as Knife, the Nagai leader, but it is doubtful that Lumiya would have considered any Nagai as her master. Therefore, the other may possibly be Intelligence Director Ysanne Isard by her and Lumiya’s mutual association with Imperial Intelligence implicit in the chronological placement of the short fiction “Lumiya: Dark Star of the Empire.” Too, Lumiya commanded a contingent of crimson-armored stormtroopers who were Royal Guardsmen, of which a large portion had elsewhere been shown to be loyal to Isard; however, this relationship is mentioned after Lumiya and the Nagai are defeated, and as seen in the videogame Super Empire Strikes Back and its guide book supplement, Vader also had a loyal security force of red-armored stormtroopers, who are just as likely to be the contingent Lumiya now controls.
Another logical possibility as her master is Procurator of Justice Hethrir, who according to The Crystal Star was a student of Darth Vader’s as well, whom Lumiya may have felt some loyalty to by association. Lastly, the Prophet of the Dark Side Merili was revealed to be the keeper of the Wookiee world Kashyyyk in the gaming article “Prophets of the Dark Side,” at the time of its visit by the Nagai leader Knife. It’s possible that the truce the Nagai negotiated was in fact made with Merili, since it was the first place the Nagai were seen in Galactic Space after the Battle of Endor, and as he and Lumiya were thus forward allies, it follows that Lumiya’s superiors may have been the Prophets of the Dark Side.
11 According to the Rebel Alliance Sourcebook: Second Edition, Imperial prisoners are taken to a Rebel safe world and deposited on a continent far from the Alliance settlements, where they have a reasonable chance of survival.
12 According to A Guide to the Star Wars Universe, Second Edition, the Emperor’s Inner Circle was the collective name of the group “closest to the Emperor at the time of the Battle of Endor.” The citation used for this entry is Dark Empire, however the closest resemblance to an “Inner Circle” in that work is a group called the Emperor’s Ruling Circle, and this name is used interchangeably with the “Emperor’s Ruling Council” in the Dark Empire Sourcebook, so it can be assumed that the latter two are one and the same. Cracken’s Threat Dossier states that the ERC had been formed only since the defeat at Endor, thus rejecting the theory that the “Emperor’s Inner Circle” is but another name for the Ruling Circle, since the former existed prior to Endor. Furthermore, the DESB also refers to an “Imperial Ruling Council” and it is described as having several Dark Side Adept members, but again, despite the similarity in name to the ERC, reference to it is pre-Endor, and thus, it seems the Imperial Ruling Council cannot be the same group as the Emperor’s Ruling Council. However, since Palpatine’s Dark Side Adepts -- who make up part of the Imperial Ruling Council -- are (forcibly) loyal to him, and the Emperor’s Inner Circle was described as the group closest to Palpatine, and both of these organizations are associated with the same work (Dark Empire), and both are said or shown to have failed to take control of the Empire upon the Emperor’s death, it is highly likely that these two are related, if not the same. The Truce at Bakura Sourcebook also states that after Endor, several members of the Inner Circle went their separate ways in a bid for power; that being the case, it’s possible that the remains of that group were then absorbed into the Imperial Ruling Council, which then also adopted the synonymous name “Emperor’s Ruling Circle” to placate the remnants from the disbanded Emperor’s Inner Circle.
13 Pestage is referred to as a “power-monger” in the article “Recon and Report,” this being the reason the Imperial Advisors deposed him, but the Vizier is depicted much more docilely in the Dark Empire Sourcebook and the X-Wing comic series. Since many Imperials wanted to conduct a search for a genetic heir that Pestage resisted, it is logical to assume that this action lead to his being labeled so tyrannically.
14While Isard was actually depicted speaking to five people when she initially met with the Tribunal, according to author Michael Stackpole, only three made up the Tribunal, while the other two were merely “staffers.” Until an official source claims otherwise, this serves to explain why hence forth only three members of the council were ever shown.
15 According to the X-Wing comic series, Ysanne Isard is considered the ruler of the Empire at this time. That fact dictates that the Central Committee must have been a faction apart from the Empire Proper, as it was producing its own successors to the Imperial throne. That so many Imperial officers came to the meeting the Grand Moffs called on Kessel evidences a great influence already in their possession, and that their power grew to rival that of Imperial Center is implied by the thralls that accepted Trioculus as the heir to the Empire.
16While it is not explicitly stated that the Prophets were the same organization as the Secret Order, a group seen solely in the continuation of the TIE Fighter Stele Chronicles, this assumption is made based on the similarity of the two organizations, in description as well as personality, and indirect connections from both societies to the dark Jedi Jerec. Also, the CCG introduces a character seen in A New Hope called “Prophetess”; although she does not look like a typical Prophet of the Dark Side, the coincidences of her “name” and Imperial allegiance suggest otherwise. As well, there is already at least one female Prophet as seen in the article “Prophets of the Dark Side,” so her status as one would not be unprecedented.
17Several factors such as the possibility of Vader’s glove being a Sith amulet, the Prophets’ connection with the Sith Lord Kaan, and the fact that Palpatine is a Sith Lord himself is all circumstantial evidence that further supports the theory that the Emperor did seek the Prophets’ “blessing” in some form as suggested in The Glove of Darth Vader, and might further suggest that the Prophets, like the Sorcerers of Tund (EC 41) and Mecrosa Order (LE:GG 64, 65), are a splinter group of the Sith apart from the one Darth Bane established when reorganizing the order.
18How the Prophets could have installed such a blatantly organized power scheme right under the noses of the Imperials in charge at this time is hard to say, yet given their pro-Palpatine tenets and Pestage’s close ties to the Emperor, it is likely that Pestage was either in league with them or simply allowed them to operate because they nurtured the Emperor’s teachings.
19 These assumptions are made on the basis that the circumstances surrounding such a religion as the Prophets instituted would be ideal for taking advantage of using these dark side powers of feeding on the dark side -- as described in the Tales of the Jedi Companion, and seen in the character of Kueller in The New Rebellion -- and draining a person’s life essence, as described in the Dark Empire Sourcebook. And doing such is well in character for the Prophets.
20 The specific value of attaining Vader’s right gauntlet is never revealed, however, being a Dark Lord of the Sith, it is reasonable to assume that the glove was built around an ancient Sith amulet like the one worn by Exar Kun. Further support for this theory is illustrated by Vader’s conjuring of an energy ball through his right hand in his initial battle with Luke Skywalker on Mimban, as portrayed in Splinter of the Mind’s Eye, a move that mirrors the power that Kun wielded in Dark Lords of the Sith.
21 While Trioculus’ medical droid attributed his blindness and decaying hand to the sonic charge devices implanted into the glove to imitate Dark Side powers, Kadaan claims that Trioculus began to lose his eyesight due to his “unworthiness” to wear the glove, implying that the glove itself, and not the implants, was the cause of the damage.
22It is highly likely that the “Dark One” to which Kadaan referred was none other than the leader of the Brotherhood of Darkness, the Sith Lord Kaan, who, along with his army of corrupted Jedi, were referred to as “the Dark Ones” more than a thousand years before the rise of the Prophets (EC 18, JK 107-110).
23The Prophets could conceivably escape using the Lost City’s tubular transport, as well as by way of steam vents. Also, Triclops, who had befriended the Alliance heroes, went into a mad rage after Luke trapped Kadaan in the Jedi city, and flew into the jungles of Yavin 4, claiming that his coming actions would be “shocking.” Given that Kadaan could control Triclops to some degree, due to a device implanted in the mutant’s molar, it is likely that he set out to help Kadaan escape. However, given Triclops’ loyalty to his Rebel son, it is just as likely he intended to destroy him. Also, another factor in the fate of Kadaan is the known presence of Exar Kun on Yavin 4; as the Supreme Prophet’s power was the near equivalent of Palpatine, it is unlikely he went unnoticed by the Dark Lord of the Sith.
24A number of factors hint at a connection between the Prophets and Jerec. Most obviously, both were vying for control of the Empire at the same time, one year after the Battle of Endor. Secondly, a local on the planet Ruusan directs an “obscene gesture” at Jerec’s dark Jedi, stating “That’s for you and the Emperor!” -- the Emperor at this point, given the time frame, likely being Kadaan. Also, Jerec’s ship The Vengeance appears in the continuation of the Stele Chronicles in the TIE Fighter Official Strategy Guide, and is frequently visited by the Secret Order, which has been suggested as being synonymous with the Prophets. And lastly, Kadaan makes reference to the “Dark One” -- the Sith Lord Kaan that is trapped the Valley of the Jedi -- whom Jerec is also searching for.
25 The correlation between Shadowspawn and Blackhole is made solely on the basis that the name of the former, of which nothing else is known, inspires mental images similar to the known physical form of the latter, who was depicted much like a shadow-being in “Gambler’s World.”
26In The Freedon Nadd Uprising, the dead Sith Master known as Freedon Nadd was called back to the land of the living from a place he called “Chaos” using Sith techniques.
27While never referred to as “darktroopers” in the “Gambler’s World” story, Blackhole’s stormtroopers wear black armor just as the darktroopers that appear in Dark Empire II under the command of dark siders Zasm Katth and Baddon Fass. They are not to be confused with the “Dark Troopers” that appear in the Dark Forces computer game.
28That Jax was trained in rudimentary Force skills by Dark Side Adepts suggests that he was being groomed to become one of the ultra-elite Sovereign Protectors as per the Dark Empire Sourcebook. Also, Jax is seen with black-armored stormtroopers in Crimson Empire -- as darktroopers appear in Dark Empire II, which proceeds Lord Shadowspawn’s death, it is reasonable to assume that some survived his violent campaign and were approached by Jax, who at the time was especially interested in establishing useful allies.
29What faction Admiral Betl Oxtroe was representing is unclear, though the implication of such a grand proposition is that she spoke on behalf of the legitimate Empire, either Ysanne Isard, or more likely the disgruntled Emperor’s Ruling Circle. The offer, which was made in the same year that Coruscant was conquered by the New Republic, never moved beyond the initial stages, as Oxtroe was felled by the blade of a Noghri assassin, implicating either Grand Admiral Thrawn or the clone-Emperor in her murder. These theories are supported by the fact that Thrawn had an alliance of sorts with Ysanne Isard as revealed in X-Wing: Wedge’s Gamble and Vision of the Future, and the fact that Palpatine still had Noghri under his command as told in the Dark Empire Sourcebook.
30 The Imperial Security Bureau (ISB), a sub-group of COMPNOR -- Commission for the Preservation of the New Order, has always been at odds with Imperial Intelligence. COMPNOR was answerable only to the Emperor and his Imperial Advisors, and after Palpatine’s death, it is logical to assume that the ISB would transfer its loyalty to the Emperor’s Ruling Council which is largely made up of those advisors.
31While the Dark Empire Sourcebook states that Palpatine made certain that his strongholds in the Deep Core remained a secret, the Star Wars Roleplaying Game: Second Edition -- Revised and Expanded states that after the loss of Coruscant, some Imperial forces from the capitol fled to the Deep Core. So, it must be assumed that these were some of the Emperor’s “loyal supporters,” who according to the Dark Empire Sourcebook, “knew the truth” of the Deep Core. Also, by the Jedi Academy Sourcebook’s definition, the “Core Systems” depicted in the Jedi Academy Trilogy and Darksaber are in fact Core Worlds that remained loyal to the Empire in face of the onslaught of Republic forces: the Imperial Core Systems. However, the Essential Guide to Planets and Moons states that “Core Systems” is a title interchangeable with “the Deep Core,” resulting in some confusion, since the function of the Deep Core as a private stronghold was a secret which the Emperor went to great lengths to protect, as stated in the DESB. Cracken’s Threat Dossier also suggests that the Deep Core is part of the Imperial Core as of 12-13 years after the Battle of Endor. Complicating the matter is the placement of Carida in the Imperial Core in JASB, and its placement in the Colonies region in the EGPM. Daniel Wallace, author of the EGPM, has suggested that the Imperial Core Systems is a political boundary rather than a regional one, thus clarifying not only why the “Core Systems” in Darksaber are detailed so similarly to existing descriptions of the Deep Core, but why the names were said to be synonymous in the EGPM.
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