Star Wars: History Abridged Pt. 7- The Dark Wars, Pt. 1
Any Star Wars fan worth his salt knows how Darth Sidious almost managed to wipe out the Jedi Order in the films. However, in the Star Wars Expanded Universe timeline, this wasn’t the first time this happened. That distinction belongs to the period of time following the end of the Jedi Civil War. Known as the First Jedi Purge, it’s what we’ll be talking about both today and on May the Fourth. And in some ways, it was worse than what Sidious ever did.
Republic and Jedi at Death’s Door
Thanks to the efforts of the redeemed Revan and his friends, the Jedi Civil War ended in victory for the Jedi and Republic. However, that brought no comfort. In less than fifty years, the Galaxy had gone through three major conflicts that had eaten away at the Jedi. Thousands of members had either died or fallen to the Dark Side. Some of their most important centers of knowledge had been lost. And since the latest incarnations of the Sith had been ex-Jedi, public confidence in them reached an all-time low.
When the Jedi Civil War ended in 3,956 BBY, the total number of Jedi left was around a hundred. A hundred; in a galaxy of trillions of people who needed help. Worse still, the Republic stood on the brink of total collapse. Their military and infrastructure were in shambles, and they could do nothing to help their protectors.
There was one person who could lead the Galaxy through this strife, though: Revan. However, after the war, he began to regain more of his memories. Suspecting there was a threat in the deep reaches of space, he left known space a year after the war ended. Thus, the Galaxy was deprived of a leader.
The Sith Triumvirate
Even though Revan’s Sith Empire was shattered, remnants of it clung to life in the dark corners of the Galaxy. For several years they continued to cause trouble for the Republic, but they also fought each other. After a while, though, the remnants united under the leadership of the Sith Triumvirate, three powerful Dark Lords of the Sith with badass titles.
There was Darth Sion, the Lord of Pain. He had been a part of the Brotherhood of Sith in the Great Sith War, where he discovered an unnatural power. By focusing on his pain/sheer willpower, he could use the Dark Side to bring himself back to life whenever he fell. In other words, he was immortal at the cost of his body becoming a patchwork of injuries held together by the Dark Side.
Then there was Darth Nihilus, the Lord of Hunger. scariest of the three. He fought in the Mandalorian Wars and was unlucky enough to be on Malachor V when Revan almost destroyed it. Even though he survived, he had to drain the Force Energy from others to survive. In other words, he was a Force vampire. When the Dark Side began to destroy his body, he got rid of it. He transferred his consciousness to his skull-like mask and armor, become a freak of nature.
Then there was Darth Traya, the Lord of Betrayal. Once a Jedi, she had been one of Revan’s teacher’s in his youth. When he became a Sith Lord, the Jedi kicked her out, and she vowed revenge. Journeying to Malachor V, she learned Revan had left something behind: the Trayus Academy and its students, the Sith Assassins. They used the Force to hide themselves and hunt down targets through it.
First Jedi Purge
Rather than conquer the Galaxy outright, the Triumvirate had a different strategy: take. out. The Jedi. They were smart enough to realize that if their attempts at Galactic Domination kept getting foiled by the Jedi Knights, they should get rid of them. After that, it wouldn’t who was in charge: the Dark Side would reign supreme. Thus, they got to work, starting the First Jedi Purge
Every time the Jedi tried to gather together, they began to disappear, hunted down by the Sith. No place seemed safe for them. To make matters worse, someone put out a bounty on the Jedi; now they had to worry about bounty hunters as well. Something had to be done. So, most of the remaining leaders called a meeting on the planet of Katarr in secret. However, one of them ratted on them in the hopes of drawing their attackers out of hiding. Big mistake.
Katarr was also home to a colony of Miraluka, a species of blind humanoids who used the Force to see. The whole planet was like a Force feast for Darth Nihilus. So he came to Katarr and… he ate them. He sucked the Force out of everything on planet, killing all but one person.
So, the remaining Jedi (who I could count with my fingers) went into hiding. The Order was publicly disbanded. It seemed like the Galaxy would fall into darkness.
One Last Hope
By the year 3,951 BBY, the Galaxy was sinking into darkness. The Jedi were gone, crime was rampant, and the Republic was on life support. It looked like the end of everything.
However, all was not lost. In the Outer Rim, the Republic found a Jedi; rather, a former Jedi. She had fought in the Mandalorian Wars as one of Revan’s top officers. She was the only one to return when the war ended and was exiled as a result. Now this Exile was the last hope for the Jedi and Republic.
Come back tomorrow as I cover the events of Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Wars and the end of the Old Sith Wars and the First Jedi Purge. Then come back on Revenge of the Fifth for an extra surprise. May the Force be with you!
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