19 definitions by not a starwars geek

1
Luke Skywalker's life has been indelibly changed by encounters with remarkable people. But if ever one person can be said to have had the greatest impact on his life, it is his beloved wife, the fiercely independent and stubbornly determined Mara Jade.

She was once known as the Emperor's Hand -- a highly skilled assassin and operative who could hear Emperor Palpatine's bidding from across the galaxy. Trained since childhood and honed into a weapon, Mara learned self-sufficiency, piloting, marksmanship and talents in the Force while serving her dark master.

One of her last missions was the assassination of Luke Skywalker. Emperor Palpatine was dismayed by the changes in Vader following the Dark Lord's lightsaber duel with his son on Bespin. Skywalker had stirred something in Vader, and the Emperor distrusted his closest agent. As a contingency, the Emperor dispatched Mara to track down and kill Skywalker.

Mara knew that Skywalker would attempt a rescue of his imprisoned friend, Han Solo. She infiltrated Jabba's palace, posing as a dancer named Arica. She failed to get close enough to Skywalker, and Jabba refused to let her attend the execution party heading out into the desert. She missed her chance.

A perfectionist, Mara could not abide failure. She wished to make it up to her dark master, but never got that chance. In mid-transit back to Coruscant, Mara felt the Emperor's death through the Force.

Her entire life of high-placed contacts, elevated status, and lifelong purpose collapsed with the defeat of the Empire at the Battle of Endor. Through the Force, Mara received fragmented images of the Emperor's final moments. Luke Skywalker was there... as was Vader... and the two murdered her mentor.

For years, she blamed Skywalker for Palpatine's death and the loss of her purpose. Mara floated along the fringe of galactic society in the years after the Battle of Endor. She eventually found herself as a pilot and operative in Talon Karrde's smuggling organization.

During the events of Grand Admiral Thrawn's campaign against the New Republic, Mara came face to face with Luke. The two had to cooperate to survive the wilderness of the planet Myrkr. They settled on an uneasy peace -- and Luke explained that it was not he who had killed Palpatine, but rather it was Vader.

Witnessing Luke Skywalker's Jedi abilities, Mara developed a begrudging respect for the war hero. Though she openly and brusquely questioned many of his philosophies, the two were often paired together during the Thrawn crisis, and their talents complemented each other perfectly time and again. Following the defeat of Thrawn, Luke gave Mara the gift of his first lightsaber, a weapon long thought lost but recovered by agents of the Empire.

Mara didn't want to be saddled with commitment to Skywalker's new Jedi order, so she refused his invitation to train. After all, she had survived all this time on her own, and had supplemented the Empire's finest training with hard-earned field experience. She had long been independent and the baby-steps of Luke's Jedi praxeum had no place for her.

Still, in her efforts to master her talents, she came across Kyle Katarn, another self-trained Jedi who had ignored Skywalker's invitation. The two trained together for a while, but the dark side crossed their paths. Realizing the dangers of the Force, Katarn admitted that the group learning experience of Skywalker's academy had its benefits, and became one of the first students. While Mara did visit the academy on occasion, she did not become a full-time student.

Mara focused on her career in the fringe, accepting increased responsibility in Talon Karrde's newly formed Smugglers Alliance. She undertook a number of information-gathering missions, pairing with Lando Calrissian on occasion. Despite the dashing gambler's best efforts, he was never able to woo Jade into anything other than a strictly business relationship.

Karrde, who was grooming Mara to be his successor, wanted her to gather an even wider variety of skills. Mara became increasingly independent in the following years, loosening her ties with the Smugglers Alliance.

During the Camaasi Document incident, Mara was investigating Chiss activities on the distant world of Nirauan. She once again teamed with Luke Skywalker as they infiltrated the mysterious outpost known as the Hand of Thrawn. Together, their skills and personalities strengthened each other perfectly; if not for their pairing, they would have perished.

It was then that they realized how perfect a match they were. Despite a decade of tension between the two, and a relationship that started with near-violent acrimony, the two had fallen in love.

Following the peace treaty that brought a formal end to the Galactic Civil War, Mara Jade and Luke Skywalker wed on Coruscant. For a galaxy undergoing seismic political change, the two represented an inspiring ideal and a powerful symbol. A former Imperial agent and the galaxy's most powerful Jedi Master had found a way beyond their past differences to find love.

The New Republic, long plagued by war and insurgents, was eager to embrace a time of peace. While Luke continued to train new initiates at the Jedi academy, Mara kept up her contacts in the fringe. She took Luke's niece, Jaina Solo, as a Jedi apprentice. This tranquility, unfortunately, was short-lived.

It began in a subtle, insidious fashion. While on a diplomatic mission to Monor II, Mara was secretly infected with a coomb spore, a deadly bio-engineered pathogen crafted by the Yuuzhan Vong. When the full invasion of Yuuzhan Vong forces began, Mara was already weakened, tapping into the power of the Force to sustain her life. Mara focused the Force within her to cleanse her body of this infection. The process was exhausting.

It was during this illness that Mara discovered she was pregnant. This galvanized her resolve to fight off the disease. She carried the child to term, and the healing glow of the Force bolstered by the love of mother, father and newborn son finally cured Mara of the Yuuzhan Vong sickness.

Despite the carnage and destruction sweeping the galaxy, there was a quiet moment affirming life and hope as Mara Jade Skywalker and Luke Skywalker welcomed their infant son Ben into the world.

This peace was short-lived as the Yuuzhan Vong attacks continued to weaken the New Republic and diminish the Jedi ranks. Mara, aboard her Jade Shadow starship, continued flying missions against the invaders while her son was safely sequestered on the Jedi safeworld code-named Eclipse.

Together with her husband, Mara voyaged to the conquered world of Coruscant, to investigate strange stirrings in the Force. The once gleaming metropolis world was overgrown with Yuuzhan Vong organic technology, transformed from a modern city to a fetid jungle. In the planet's depths, Mara used her still-functioning access codes to reveal the source of the Force-disturbance. Irek Ismeren, the son of a fellow Emperor's Hand, was corrupted and reformed as Lord Nyax, a dangerously unstable Dark Jedi.

After defeating Nyax, and participating in several key missions against the Yuuzhan Vong, Mara is once again next to her husband as he seeks to find an end to the war. Aboard the Jade Shadow, and along with a team of fellow Jedi, Mara and Luke voyage into the depths of the Unknown Regions, seeking the mysterious world of Zonama Sekot that may hold the secrets of ending this long and bloody conflict.
by not a starwars geek November 30, 2004
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2
Palpatine was the supreme ruler of the most powerful tyrannical regime the galaxy had ever witnessed, yet his roots are extremely humble, traced back to the peaceful world of Naboo.

Before his rise to power, Palpatine was an unassuming yet ambitious Senator in the Galactic Republic. Palpatine saw the Republic crumbling about him, torn apart by partisan bickering and corruption. All too common were those unscrupulous Senators taking advantage of the system, growing fat and wealthy on a bureaucracy too slow to catch them.

Palpatine's moment of opportunity came as a result of a trade embargo. The Trade Federation, in protest of government measures that would tax their outlying trade routes, blockaded and invaded Naboo. Naboo's planetary leader, Queen Amidala, rushed to Coruscant for Palpatine's aid. Together, the two pleaded to the Senate for intervention, only to see their request stalemated by Trade Federation filibustering. Frustrated by the government's inability to do anything, Queen Amidala acted upon Palpatine's suggestion, and called for a Vote of No Confidence in the Republic's leadership.

Chancellor Valorum was voted out of office, and Palpatine was soon nominated to succeed him. The crisis on Naboo prompted a strong sympathy vote, and Palpatine became Chancellor. He promised to reunite the disaffected, and bring order and justice to the government.

Despite his promises, the Republic continued to be mired in strife and chaos. A decade after his nomination, Palpatine's Chancellery was faced with the challenge of a popular Separatist movement led by the charismatic leader, Count Dooku. Many in the galaxy feared that the conflict would escalate to full-scale warfare, but Palpatine was adamant that the crisis could be resolved by negotiation.

The Separatists didn't agree. Upon the discovery of a secret army of droids, it became apparent that the Separatists were on the verge of declaring war against the Republic. To counter this, the Republic needed a military, and Palpatine required the authority to activate the Republic's newly forged army of clones. To that end, Senators loyal to Palpatine motioned that the Chancellor be given emergency powers to deal with the Separatist threat.

With spoken regrets, Palpatine accepted the new mantle of power. He promised to return his absolute authority to the Senate after emergency subsided. What no one realized was that the galaxy would undergo further upheaval, and that a state of crisis would ensure Palpatine's authority for decades.

The indications of his future regime were subtle at first. Palpatine's term as Chancellor ended during the rise of the Separatists, but that crisis allowed him to extend his stay in office. Once the Clone Wars erupted, the Senate's inability to efficiently wage war on scattered fronts forced him to enact executive decree after executive decree. He added amendments to the constitution funneling more power to him, effectively circumventing the bureaucracy of the Senate.

The public and the Senate willingly gave up their rights and freedoms in the name of security. Under Palpatine's guidance, the war would be won, and the Republic would be safe. The monstrous specter of General Grievous leading an assault ensured that few questioned Palpatine's growing authority.

The Jedi Council was among the wary. As an instrument of the Senate and the people, the Jedi order resisted Palpatine's direct control. This tension grew as the war escalated. Some in the Senate also quietly whispered their misgiving. Palpatine knew of a delegation of concerned Senators, and he would deal with them in time.

Palpatine instituted a military build-up unprecedented in galactic history. He created the New Order, a Galactic Empire that ruled by tyranny. The Jedi Knights, his biggest threat, were extinguished by his greatest dark side pupil: Anakin Skywalker, who had become Darth Vader.

During the Galactic Civil War, Palpatine ruled with an iron fist. He disbanded the Imperial Senate, and passed control down to the regional governors and the military. During the Hoth campaign, Palpatine expressed to Vader his concerns over Luke Skywalker, a young Rebel powerful in the Force. Vader suggested that the two convert the youth to the dark side of the Force, an idea the Emperor seconded.

The Emperor was a scheming ruler, planning events far in the future, using the Force to foresee the results. Palpatine allowed Rebel spies to learn of the location of the second Death Star, and foresaw their strike team and fleet assault. Palpatine crafted an elaborate trap that was to be the end of the Rebellion. He also concentrated on converting Luke Skywalker to the dark side of the Force, even at the expense of sacrificing Vader. In the Death Star, high above the Battle of Endor, Luke refused the Emperor's newfound dark side power, and so Palpatine used his deadly Force lightning to attack the young Jedi. Luke almost died in the assault, but his father, Darth Vader, returned to the light side of the Force, and hurled the Emperor into the Death Star's reactor core, killing him.

Palpatine was a gnarled, old man. An ancient-looking human, he had pale skin, and searing, sickly yellow eyes. He wore a heavy dark cloak, and carried a glossy black cane.
Related: Galactic Republic Galactic Empire Galactic Senate Sith Darth Vadar Anakin Skywalker Death Star II
by not a starwars geek November 29, 2004
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3
After abandoning their headquarters at the Massassi outpost on Yavin 4, the core group of the Rebel Alliance established Echo Base on the Hoth. Alliance engineers worked non-stop to adapt their technology to withstand the subzero temperature extremes of the frigid ice planet. When the technicians were unable to get the T-47s functioning in time, the Rebels domesticated the indigenous tauntaun for use as a patrol mount.
The nerve center of Echo Base was its darkened command center, where General Rieekan issued orders to the rest of his troops. Here, Alliance scanner operators carefully monitored incoming data from the scattered sensors placed by Rebel scouts in the Hoth wilderness.
Protecting Echo Base was a powerful energy shield strong enough to deflect Imperial bombardment. When the Empire arrived in the Hoth system, the Rebels erected the shield, forcing the Imperials to engage in a ground battle. The Rebels speedily evacuated the personnel and equipment they could aboard Rebel transports with starfighter escorts, offering covering fire for the fleeing ships from a massive ground-based ion cannon.
As the transports retreated, the Rebel ground forces and snowspeeder squadrons covered their escape by delaying the Imperials for as long as they could. Rebel troopers dug into snowy trenches, blasting at the incoming Imperials with turret-mounted laser cannons and blaster rifles. The Imperial walkers were unstoppable. The Rebels were routed and Echo Base was overrun.
by not a starwars geek November 29, 2004
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4
The Old Republic was the Republic of legend, greater than distance or time. Before a cruel and ruthless Empire supplanted it, the Old Republic was the democratic union that governed a galaxy for thousands of years. Those who lived in it knew it as the Galactic Republic, or more simply, the Republic.

Ruling the Republic was the Galactic Senate, a governing body comprising elected or appointed representatives from across the galaxy. From within that Senate, a Supreme Chancellor was elected. Justice and peace in the Republic was protected by the Jedi Knights, a noble order of Force-sensitives.

As the Republic grew more and more powerful, many of the bureaucrats and Senators that ran the government grew increasingly corrupt or complacent. The bureaucracy that had grown and festered over millennia choked any attempt at proactive government. Furthermore, partisan politics and personal agendas also hampered effective governing.

Into this mire stepped the ambitious Senator Palpatine from Naboo. His homeworld was under siege by the greedy Neimoidian Trade Federation, as protest to increased tariffs and taxation to outlying trade routes. Despite the full-scale invasion of the planet, the call to react was tied up in procedure. When Queen Amidala -- the elected leader of the sovereign system of Naboo -- spoke before the Senate, calling for action, she also called for a Vote of No Confidence in the leadership of the Republic.

The well-meaning but politically clumsy Chancellor Valorum was voted out of office. In his place, Palpatine was elected Supreme Chancellor. Despite promises of bringing order and compassion back to the Republic, the first decade of his term was blighted by great political upheaval. A separatist movement, led by the charismatic Count Dooku, began splitting the Republic, and it was all the Jedi could do to maintain order.

This chaotic political climate precipitated the dark times that overcame the galaxy. The Republic crumbled and was rebuilt in the guise of the New Order.
Related: Galactic Empire Clone Troopers Bail Organa Palpatine AT-TE
by not a starwars geek November 29, 2004
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5
At the height of its rule, the Galactic Republic was governed by a body of Senators representing the many worlds of the galaxy. Within the cavernous Senate rotunda, hundreds of politicians would fill the viewing platforms that lined the curved walls. When a Senator wished to speak, the platform would detach and float to the center of the auditorium for all to see.

As the Republic grew, so too did graft and corruption. Like the greatest of trees, able to withstand attack from the outside, the Republic began to rot from within. Interest in the common good fell to individual agendas. Senators accumulated wealth and influence by exploiting a bureaucracy too bloated and sluggish to stop them.

This all changed when Palpatine declared himself Emperor and instituted a New Order. He did away with the corruption, and by the time of the Galactic Civil War, the Senate was disbanded.
by not a starwars geek November 29, 2004
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6
Within three years of the Death Star's demise, the Galactic Empire again proved its evil nature with the construction of a second Death Star in a remote region of space. Fortunately for the galaxy, the Empire never completed this monstrosity. Word of its construction was spread through the Rebel ranks by Bothan spies. The Alliance was able to pinpoint the exact location of Death Star's construction, and mount a pre-emptive strike to destroy the station.

The leaked information was all a ruse. The scheming Emperor Palpatine engineered the Rebellion's discovery of the Death Star in the hopes of trapping the growing Rebel fleet. The second Death Star would not be as vulnerable as the Rebels believed.

To ensure that the Death Star would destroy the lured Alliance fleet, Palpatine entrusted the supervision of its final phase of construction to his Sith apprentice, Lord Darth Vader. Vader motivated the Death Star's commander, Moff Jerjerrod, to see that the battle station was operational when the Emperor arrived for his inspection tour.

The second Death Star was not a complete sphere. Though much of the battle station's recognizable shape was visible, there were huge sections of exposed superstructure and visible skeleton. To protect the half-completed and immobile station during its construction, the Empire projected an immense deflector shield from the nearby forest moon of Endor. The shield was strong enough to protect any breach from both capital and starfighter-class ships.

The Alliance sent a commando team to land on the moon and deactivate the shield generator while the Rebel fleet emerged from hyperspace to destroy the station. Unlike the previous Death Star, whose reactor core was accessible only from a two-meter wide exhaust port, the second Death Star's heart had to be destroyed by actually flying into the superstructure and detonating the collosal power plant.

The commando team was waylaid by Imperials and the Rebel fleet arrived to find the deflector shield intact. Worse yet, the superlaser was operational, and began destroying Rebel Mon Calamari cruisers with each blast. General Lando Calrissian came up with a daring and foolhardy tactic to engage the Imperial fleet at point-blank range, thus limiting the Death Star's available targets.

Aided by the native Ewoks of Endor, the Rebels were able to infiltrate and destroy the shield generator complex. With the shield down, General Calrissian led the Alliance starfighters into the inner recesses of the Death Star. There, he and Wedge Antilles loosed a volley of ordnance that began an immense fireball that tore apart the station.

Emperor Palpatine's body was consumed in the explosion. The Imperial fleet never recovered from the fiasco. What was to be the Rebel Alliance's demise instead turned into, the death of the Empire. As firey fragments of the battle station burned away in Endor's atmosphere, the celebratory cheers of freedom rang throughout the forests, and indeed, the entire galaxy.
by not a starwars geek December 04, 2004
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7
Situated in the heart of the galaxy, Coruscant was the seat of government for the Galactic Republic and the Empire that supplanted it. Over thousands of years of civilization, the planet has been entirely enveloped by cityscapes and urban sprawl. Immense skyscrapers reach high into the atmosphere, and stretch down deep into the dark shadows. Crisscrossing the skyline are streams of unending repulsorlift traffic. Even in the depths of night, Coruscant is alive with glittering lights and rivers of traffic, a bustling megalopolis that refuses to sleep.

Some of the most important decisions, affecting the lives of trillions, have been made on Coruscant. It has long been the center of government, and the site of residence for the galaxy's Supreme Chancellor. From a towering high-rise overlooking a gleaming range of mountainous edifices, rulers such as Valorum and Palpatine have carefully plotted the future of the Republic.

Though the Chancellor steered the government, issues were ultimately settled in the cavernous rotunda of the Galactic Senate. Thousands of Senators and galactic representatives from the far-flung worlds of the Republic would debate pressing issues and push forward countless agendas.

As Coruscant was the center-point for decisions affecting the massive engines of commerce in the galaxy, it was also a nexus of graft and corruption. Vast fortunes were spent to ensure that corporations were allowed to operate without profit-stunting restrictions. Entities such as the Trade Federation and the Commerce Guild held incredible sway over the inner workings of Coruscant politics.

Removed from this corruption and encased in a gleaming tower was the Jedi High Council. Coruscant was home to the Jedi Temple, and the august order was answerable to the Supreme Chancellor himself.

A quite different world exists beneath the shimmering surface of the city-planet. In the lower levels, where sunlight never reaches, is a haze of artificial lights and flickering holograms, promising entertainment catering to a myriad of alien species and the full spectrum of morality. Citizens from above and below intermix in countless establishments offering escape, anonymity, jubilation and more than just a hint of danger.
Related: Galactic Republic Galactic Empire Galactic Senate Sith Jedi Temple Rystáll
by not a starwars geek November 29, 2004
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