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The Great Sith War Begins

Star Wars the Great Sith War

Star Wars: History Abridged Pt. 5- The Great Sith War

Hello everyone, Jay here with the next installment of Star Wars: History Abridged. Where I take the lore of the Star Wars Expanded Universe and sum it up for your enjoyment. In the last two parts, I’ve covered the events leading up to the return of the Sith more than 4,000 years before the events of the films. First the galaxy was rocked by the Onderon Crisis and the revelation of the Sith cult that ruled the planet. Next, we had the rise of the Krath and their “Holy Crusade” against the Galaxy. In 3,996 BBY, everything came to a head when the ancient Sith Lords crowned two fallen Jedi, Exar Kun and Ulic Qel-Droma, as the new Dark Lords of the Sith. At last the Great Sith War begins!

New Allies Minions Join the Sith

Even with the combined forces of the Krath and Kun’s Massassi warriors, the the Sith remained outnumbered by the Jedi and Republic. They would need to gather more followers to help topple the Republic. Thus, Exar Kun and Ulic each sought out new recruits to bring about the Sith’s return to power.

Star Wars Ulic Qel-Droma Duels Mandalore the Indomitable

Amidst the chaos, another power was on the march. The legendary Mandalorian warriors (yes, these guys) sought out new enemies to face, and began raiding Krath space. Angered, Ulic sent a message to their leader, Mandalore the Indomitable and demanded his surrender. However, Mandalore challenged him to a duel for control of the Mandalorian clans. In the end, Qel-Droma’s skill as a warrior proved too much for the leader of the Mandalorians. Thus, the Mandalorians joined the Sith forces.

Star Wars Exar Kun creates the Brotherhood of Sith

Meanwhile, Exar Kun traveled to the Jedi library world of Ossus. There, he fooled many younger Jedi into following him to Yavin IV, promising to teach them Force techniques the Masters would not. Instead, he used the Dark Side to corrupt them, turn them into Sith acolytes, and set them loose on their former masters. Thus the Brotherhood of Sith was born.

The Great Sith War Engulfs the Galaxy

With their combined Mandalorian, Krath, and Dark Jedi, the Sith launched a brutal campaign of conquest. The Great Sith War spread throughout the Galaxy, with no region safe from the bloodshed. Even Coruscant itself became a battleground when Qel-Droma launched a brazen attack on it. However, due to the treachery of Aleema, Ulic was captured by his former allies. Subsequently, his trial was interrupted by Exar Kun himself. The halls of the Senate became a battlefield as the Dark Lord cut the Supreme Chancellor down in front of helpless onlookers before facing off against his former master. Exar Kun took the chance to show off his latest creation: a double-bladed lightsaber, the first ever created, and christened with the blood of Kun’s Jedi Master.

Star Wars Exar Kun debuts the double-bladed lightsaber

Following the raid on Coruscant, the two Sith dealt with the treacherous Aleema. On Yavin IV, Kun had discovered the ancient warship of Naga Sadow. Armed with Sith talismans brimming with Dark Side power, Kun gave it to Aleema. In a repeat of events from the Great Hyperspace War, Aleema used the ship to cause a cluster of stars to go supernova. However, they neglected to tell Aleema that this would kill everyone in reach, including herself. Worse, the shockwave would lay waste to every planet in the region. Among them was Ossus, one of the Jedi’s most important planets and home to an incalculable wealth of knowledge and artifacts.

The Fall of the Sith

Star Wars Ulic kills his own brother Cay

The Jedi scrambled to evacuate Ossus, but still despaired. For they knew that there were too many artifacts for them to save. Which is what the Sith wanted. While the evacuation proceeded, the Sith raided the doomed planet to steal as much as they could. However, Ulic found himself confronted by a familiar face: Cay Qel-Droma, his younger brother. The two brothers dueled as the younger Qel-Droma made one final attempt to bring the elder back from darkness. Enraged, Ulic tore into his younger brother before finally slaying him, an act witnessed by two Jedi. One of which was Nomi Sunrider, Ulic’s former friend and lover. Giving into her grief, Nomi unleashed the full extent of the Light Side on Ulic, permanently cutting him off from the Force.

No longer under the Dark Side’s influence, Ulic’s long-dormant conscience finally made him realize how far he had fallen. Wracked with guilt over his crimes, he became undone. As a result, he turned himself into the Jedi and led them to Yavin IV, to put an end to the war he had helped start.

Star Wars Exar Kun tries to cheat death

Facing the full might of the Republic and Jedi, Exar Kun knew he had no chance of winning. However, instead of surrendering or fighting to the death, the Dark Lord chose another option. Using an incredibly risky Sith technique, the Sith Lord would use the life force of most of the Massassi warriors to free his spirit from his body and flee the jungle moon. Not know what he was up to, the Jedi erected a light barrier around Yavin IV to contain the Dark Side. By doing so, they trapped Kun’s spirit on Yavin IV, but the resulting collision of raw Force energy set the moon ablaze. Yavin IV became a wasteland devoid of almost all life. Horrified, the Jedi left the system behind.

Elsewhere, the Republic was able to finally liberate the Empress Teta System, while the Mandalorians were routed in a failed invasion of Onderon. The survivors of the Brotherhood of Sith went into hiding, bringing the Great Sith War to an end.


The short but brutal Great Sith War had ended, but at great cost. Despite their best efforts, the Jedi failed to stop the return of the Sith. Many of their best and brightest were either dead or fell to the Dark Side, and one of their most important worlds was lost. It would take generations for them to recover.

As for Exar Kun, he remained trapped as a ghost on Yavin IV for millennia until Luke set up shop. Then he manipulated one of his students to the Dark Side, led to the “Sun Crusher Incident”, and tried to kill Luke. Fortunately, Luke’s students banished his spirit for all eternity.

Redemption of Ulic Qel-Droma

Those who survived would carry the scars of the war as they struggled to recover from the darkness. Nomi Sunrider would become a key leader in the rebuilding process, which led to her eventually being made Grand Master of the Order. Unfortunately, her new responsibilities led her to neglect her family.

See, before she became a Jedi, she had been married to one (he died) and they had a daughter, Vima. As Vima got older, Nomi tried to train her daughter herself, but was too busy to do so. As a result, by 3986 BBY, a now fourteen-year-old Vima became fed up with how busy her mom was. Thus, she went looking for the only other person she thought could teach her: Ulic Qel-Droma.

After the Great Sith War, for some reason, Ulic was allowed to walk away and spent a decade wandering the Galaxy, trying to find some semblance of peace. That’s when Vima dropped in on him and asked to become his student. In the end, her persistence won out, and he agreed to teach her. Despite the fact that he could no longer use the Force.

Despite his lack of Force-sensitivity, Ulic proved an effective teacher, and Vima an eager student who quickly excelled at her training. They got so close that the young Padawan saw Ulic as the father-figure she never had, while she helped him come to terms with his past. Sadly, Ulic was killed by a pilot seeking to gain fame from his death. Though before he died, he helped Nomi and Vima reconcile and made amends with his former lover before becoming one with the force.

Star Wars Ulic Qel-Droma Dies, at peace with himself

Round Two, Jedi!

I wish I could say this was the end of the Old Sith Wars, but this was just round one. The next two rounds would see the Jedi and Republic be pushed to the brink. Come back tomorrow as I cover the next conflict of the Old Sith Wars Era, the Mandalorian Wars.

If you want to learn more about the Great Sith War, look up Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi comic book series by Dark Horse. It covers all the events that I’ve mentioned.

Click here to learn all there is about Star Wars with Wookiepedia, the Star Wars Wiki.

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