"You want darkness, Oron Kira? I'll show you darkness!"
―Queen Amanoa, to Beast Lord Oron Kira — (audio) Listen (file info)[6]

Amanoa was a Human female from the world of Onderon who was born in 4070 BBY. The daughter of a prominent nobleman, Amanoa enjoyed the wealth and privileges afforded to the Onderonian aristocracy, and eventually married into the planet's royal family as the wife of Onderon's King Ommin. The couple birthed a daughter named Galia, and together they lived in the royal palace of Onderon's capital city of Iziz. Amanoa's reign saw drastic changes in Onderon's role in the galaxy. Along with her husband, she was beguiled by the specter of the long-dead Dark Lord Freedon Nadd, to whom she became the Sith apprentice in her final years. As she and Ommin steeped themselves further in the dark side, both became masters of Sith sorcery, and used their magics to maintain rule over the Onderonian populace as dictated by four hundred years of tradition. When Ommin's health began to fail him as a result, Amanoa became the sovereign leader of Onderon, and imposed her will through the power of the dark side of the Force.

Amanoa's allegiance to the spirit of Freedon Nadd brought her into direct conflict with the Beast Riders of Onderon's wilderness, exiled citizens who refused to submit to the oppression of the Sith. Against the suggestions of Nadd, Amanoa entered into a protracted war with the Beast Riders, and was eventually forced to request help from the Jedi Order in hopes of bringing a peaceful resolution to conflict. However, it was through her petition that Amanoa's clandestine activities under Nadd's tutelage came to light. She was defeated by Jedi Master Arca Jeth and his apprentices, and died when they drove the Dark Lord's influence from Iziz. When Amanoa's husband was killed in battle with the same Jedi two years later, the once-proud queen of Onderon was interred alongside him and their Sith Master in a burial temple on Onderon's jungle moon, Dxun.


Early life[]

Amanoa was an Onderonian[7] and the daughter of a wealthy noble;[1] she was born in 4070 BBY.[2] When Ommin's father became one with the Force, Ommin took his rightful place as the king of Onderon and ruler of Iziz. The new King married Lady Amanoa as his queen and together they had a daughter named Galia. As a direct descendant of Freedon Nadd, King Ommin rose to power like his ancestors by dominating the citizens of Onderon with the power of the dark side.[1]

Ommin and his ancestors hid their dark secrets well, and so Amanoa knew nothing about her husband's allegiance with the Sith for many years. One day, Ommin suddenly lost interest in mundane daily activities, as his training under Nadd's ghost had progressed considerably. Eventually Amanoa discovered the bond between her husband and the Sith. The queen tried to tear Ommin away from the dark teachings, a futile effort, for the blood of Nadd ran in Ommin's very body. Failing to help her husband, the frustrated Amanoa's depression turned into anger and outright hatred for the king. At that moment, King Ommin decided that his wife was ready to embrace the ways of the Sith and the teachings of darkness. The queen slowly fell to the dark side. Once Amanoa crossed the point of no return, she opened herself to the dark power. King Ommin and the spirit of Freedon Nadd taught Amanoa the ways of the Force and the techniques of the Sith, and together, the king and queen became powerful Sith sorcerers.[5]

Amanoa and Galia

Queen Amanoa and her daughter, Galia.

The love between Ommin and Amanoa faded during their quest for Sith knowledge. Mistrust, loathing, and outright hatred quickly filled the space where their love had once existed. Little did the pair know that Freedon Nadd was manipulating them both. The long-dead Dark Lord's ultimate goal was to physically resurrect himself. By teaching his descendants well, Nadd hoped to find a powerful candidate to study Sith alchemy and create a body to hold his spirit. To ensure that either Ommin or Amanoa would be powerful enough, Nadd manipulated them into competing with one another.[5]

Soon after, Ommin lost control of his own body—the price he paid for the power of the dark side. A durasteel exoskeleton was built by the king's personal doctors to support his flesh and blood. As Ommin retreated from public to further his study of the dark ways, Queen Amanoa assumed the daily duties as the ruler of Onderon.[1]

Apart from ruling Iziz, Amanoa sought to expand the Onderonian Sith cult as well. In Onderon's history, only the royal family had been allowed to practice the Sith ways. King Ommin had taken Minister of State Novar as an apprentice two years previous, and had taught his initiate well. Amanoa continued the training of Novar and gave him King Adas's Sith holocron, which she had discovered less than a decade earlier, after she had learned all of its secrets. Amanoa commanded Novar to expand their Sith cult, telling him to instruct the new recruits in the basic principles and philosophies of the dark side. Those who proved themselves worthy of advancement would then receive further training from the holocron.[2]

At the same time, Nadd realized that the couple had failed him: Ommin himself would never be strong enough to fulfill Nadd's dream, while Amanoa would not further her study once her husband failed to compete with her anymore. Indeed, Queen Amanoa spent all her time focusing on the administration of Onderon, abandoning her dark side studies, and handing the running of her cult over to Novar.[2]

The arrival of the Jedi[]

"But we were expecting a great Jedi Master—not untutored youths!"
―Queen Amanoa, to Ulic Qel-Droma, Cay Qel-Droma, and Tott Doneeta[2]

Queen Amanoa, giving herself completely to the dark side of the Force

Amanoa learned from Nadd's example that one would be relatively powerless after death, and so she sought to expand the influence of Iziz to the rest of Onderon, concerned with temporal power while she still lived. The conflict between the rulers of Iziz and the Beast Lords of the wild had never ended. This long struggle, known as the Beast Wars, intensified during the iron-fisted rule of Queen Amanoa. One day during a Sith ritual, the spirit of her mentor Freedon Nadd foretold her demise: if Amanoa allowed the war to fully erupt, she would be destroyed. In a desperate measure of survival, Queen Amanoa called upon the help of the Jedi to settle the three-centuries-old conflict once and for all.[1]

Amanoa never knew that Nadd's prophecy was not a Force vision, but merely a deception of the Dark Lord. Freedon Nadd hoped to con Amanoa back into studying the Sith ways instead of ruling Iziz, but the queen completely misunderstood him.[1]

Receiving the reply that the experienced Jedi Master Arca Jeth was assigned as the Jedi watchman of Onderon, Amanoa tried her very best to hide the presence of the dark side on the planet. However, just before the Jedi entered her palace, Queen Amanoa called upon the dark side to execute a prisoner named Olis. She had mixed feelings when the arriving Jedi were revealed to be the apprentices of Arca instead of the Master himself. It would be much easier to hide the dark side from those young Jedi, but the youths might not be experienced enough to settle the conflict, which threatened her survival (according to Nadd's prophecy).[2]

During the negotiation, the Beast Riders breached the heavy defenses of Iziz and stormed the citadel. Convinced that such a breach could succeed only with the help of traitors, Amanoa requested the Jedi help in the defense of Iziz. During the battle in the citadel, Beast Warrior commandos slipped past the Jedi and kidnapped Princess Galia. Queen Amanoa attempted to call upon the dark side, but was not fast enough to prevent the retreat of the commandos—therefore, Amanoa demanded that the Jedi rescue the princess.[2]

The Battle of Onderon[]

"I call upon the spirit of Freedon Nadd, a Jedi far greater than these impotent youths. May the dark power that he taught me and my husband and all our ancestors fill me now!"
―Queen Amanoa, to the Jedi and the Kiras[2]

Amanoa, experiencing the effects of Master Arca's light side attack

The next reports Amanoa received were of massing Beast armies and the unification between her daughter and the Beast Lord Oron Kira. As the young couple and the Jedi came back to negotiate peace with Amanoa, the enraged queen called upon the dark side and the teachings of Nadd to crush her enemies. The citadel was surrounded by physical darkness, instilling fear in those present. Catching news that the negotiations had failed, Oron's father Modon launched an attack on Iziz, known as the Battle of Onderon. In the confusion of the citadel, Cay Qel-Droma came face-to-face with Amanoa and ordered that the queen cease using her dark power. However, Cay's sword-hand was shot by Amanoa's guardsman, and the young Jedi eventually lost his left arm completely.[3] Outside, as the battle raged against the very wall of the citadel, Amanoa retreated to the mausoleum of Freedon Nadd in order to deploy her ultimate weapon. Knowing that Iziz's military strength would not decide the outcome of the battle, Amanoa called upon the dark side against the Beast warriors in the name of Ommin and Nadd. For the first time in her life, Amanoa gave herself completely to the dark side. Achieving an effect similar to that of battle meditation, Amanoa's dark power sapped the will of the Beast armies. The attack of the Beast Lords began to lose momentum; the war beasts no longer listened to their riders, and the soldiers became sick and confused. It appeared that Queen Amanoa had successfully turned the tide of the battle.[2]

However, victory was not destined for Amanoa. Jedi Master Arca Jeth arrived at that key moment and, sensing the dark energies being used against the Beast Riders, applied his own Jedi battle meditation to turn the tide once more—after more than three centuries of conflict, the Beast Wars were finally over.[2]

Death and legacy[]

"No! Nooo! The light… the light! Nooooo!!"
―Queen Amanoa's last words — (audio) Listen (file info)[6]
Amanoa funeral

The funeral procession for Queen Amanoa

Reunited after the battle, Master Arca led his apprentices and Princess Galia to the deepest sub-levels of the palace: the tomb of Freedon Nadd. As Galia rushed to her mother, Freedon Nadd withdrew his dark power and support from Amanoa as he sensed the approaching light of Arca Jeth. Without the support of Nadd's power, Queen Amanoa of Onderon died in the arms of her daughter.[5]

After her death, Amanoa's husband Ommin ordered his subordinates to launch a series of attacks throughout Iziz. Sensing the presence of the dark side haunting the planet, Master Arca determined to move the sarcophagi of Amanoa and Freedon Nadd to the moon Dxun. An armored dark side warrior named Warb Null led a task force to ambush the Jedi at the spaceport with a groundborer, and the Naddists successfully brought the sarcophagi to Ommin's stronghold.[8]

After the Jedi settled the Naddist revolt, Amanoa's sarcophagus, together with Nadd's, was moved to Dxun and interred in a protected tomb. Despite frequent intruders who sought Nadd's legacy, Amanoa rested in her sarcophagus peacefully and was never disturbed again.[9]

Personality and traits[]

"Ulic Qel-Droma—is this my reward for asking you to help our beleaguered city—the loss of my daughter?! I demand, in the name of the Republic, that you seek out the kidnappers and bring her back!"
―Queen Amanoa — (audio) Listen (file info)[6]

Before her fall to the dark side, Amanoa was consumed with naïvete, delaying the discovery—and acceptance—of her husband's dark alliance with Nadd for many years. This refusal to see things as they were then drove the queen to attempt to end Ommin's studies, an exercise in futility. Her awakening came when she realized that the king could not be redeemed, and Amanoa gave in to depression, fear, and anger: her transformation into a minion of the dark side had already begun.[1]

As she and Ommin trained under the specter of Freedon Nadd, Amanoa possessed a spirit of competition. Her loathing and distrust of her husband drove the queen to develop her abilities to incredible heights, if only to best him. When King Ommin became ill and removed himself from public life, Amanoa's studies began to stagnate as she became content to simply rule Iziz with an iron fist.[5]

One of the most constant motivations in Amanoa's life was love. Love for her husband drove the queen to support him in his dark apprenticeship. However, ultimately the dark side saw to it that their love could only serve its purposes and not theirs, as it drove them apart, fostering fear and hatred between them.[5] Love for her daughter Galia caused the queen to request the Jedi's support in her rescue. In the end, Amanoa died in the arms of Galia, having embraced the dark side and the Sith teachings because of her belief that it was the only way for her to protect her daughter and assure the power their family enjoyed.[2]

Behind the scenes[]

The character of Amanoa first appeared in the sub-series Ulic Qel-Droma and the Beast Wars of Onderon, Part 1 of the comic series Tales of the Jedi.[2] Writer Tom Veitch created her for this sub-series, and he used her dark side legacy in the second sub-series The Freedon Nadd Uprising, which Veitch also wrote.[8] Although Amanoa is stated to be 70 years old during Tales of the Jedi 1, which would place her birth date at 4070 BBY,[2] the article Straight from the Horse's Mouth in Star Wars Insider 26 asserts that Amanoa was born in 4068 BBY. As Straight from the Horse's Mouth contradicts a number of other established dates,[10] for the purpose of this article the original comic is treated as correct.

There has been some confusion about whether or not Amanoa is a proclaimed user of the Force technique battle meditation. According to the comic sub-series Ulic Qel-Droma and the Beast Wars of Onderon, Amanoa does not use battle meditation. However, according to the Tales of the Jedi audio book, Amanoa uses a series of Force abilities which are very similar to battle meditation; though, in this point in the audio book, it is only ever established that Arca Jeth is a user of this Force technique.


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Notes and references[]

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