- "We are united in a single cause—the complete and utter destruction of the Republic."
The Anti-Republic Liberation Front, also known as the ARLF by its members, was a small group of revolutionary separatists who were dedicated to overthrowing the Galactic Republic. At some point after the defeat of the Brotherhood of Darkness in 1000 BBY, the Force-sensitive Human male Hetton founded the group on the planet Serenno. It gathered a variety of beings dissatisfied with the Galactic Republic's policies and influence on the galaxy, particularly on Serenno, and formed them into an organized group that could effectively combine their resources and use them to damage the Republic. Financing itself through several rich and powerful members of upper-class families on Serenno, including Hetton, who was related to one of the Great Houses of Serenno, the Anti-Republic Liberation Front was extremely cautious when admitting new members to their ranks. The group was ambitious, and they chose high profile targets in the hopes of doing as much damage to the Republic as possible.
In 990 BBY, Darth Zannah, apprentice to Darth Bane, the only Dark Lord to survive the destruction of the Brotherhood, infiltrated a small band of Anti-Republic Liberation Front members and convinced them to assassinate Tarsus Valorum, the former Supreme Chancellor of the Republic. Several members of the group ambushed Valorum outside the estate of the Nalju family, one of the six Great Houses, but the attempt failed due to the interference of Johun Othone, Valorum's Jedi advisor. After their failure, Zannah was detained and taken by two of the surviving assassins to meet Hetton personally. Impressed by the combat techniques and Force abilities she used to incapacitate two of his soldiers, Hetton believed that he would become Zannah's apprentice if he helped her kill her Master, and he accompanied her back to the Sith camp on the planet Ambria. However, upon their arrival at the camp, Zannah abandoned Hetton; without her help, he could not defeat Bane and was subsequently killed. Bane and Zannah dismantled the group shortly after Hetton's death.
The Anti-Republic Liberation Front was formed to oppose the Galactic Republic and its policies. The methods used by the group to achieve their goals were often violent, and their plans were formulated with the goal of gaining the attention of their enemies, so that they would be recognized as a serious threat and so that other revolutionary groups would be inspired to directly oppose the Republic.
Many members of the Anti-Republic Liberation Front were wealthy and willing to use their money to fund the organization. The group's collective wealth allowed it to purchase high-quality weapons and equipment, including explosives, and some members used specialized weapons suited to their particular combat style, such as the Lethan Twi'lek Kelad'den's crescent-shaped blades. Hetton owned a collection of Sith artifacts and a green lightsaber, though he did not let the other members of the group know about his collection. The organization was based on the planet Serenno. Its members worked out of several locations in the city Carannia, including the basement of a cantina, as well as Hetton's family estate, which was located in a region directly outside Carannia.
- "We must find a target that will make the entire galaxy sit up and take notice!"
At some point prior to 990 BBY, after the destruction of the Brotherhood of Darkness on the planet Ruusan in 1000 BBY, Hetton—a Force-sensitive Human male who was related to the Demici family, one of the Great Houses of Serenno—formed a group called the Anti-Republic Liberation Front. He gathered followers with skills and talents that he considered unique, all of whom were dissatisfied with the influence of the Galactic Republic and its policies on the galaxy and wanted to actively work toward its destruction. They argued that the Galactic Senate was incapable of acting on the behalf of the galaxy, particularly after the Ruusan Reformations, a policy that planned to reduce the millions of political sectors in the Republic to 1024. They also argued that other star systems should become independent and secede from the Republic. The structure of the group allowed its members to combine their strength, resources, and power into a single organized collective that could effectively damage the Republic through plans that utilized all the available resources, thus improving their probability of success. They were ambitious, and targeted high-profile targets to attack in the hopes of gaining the attention of their enemies.
Hetton had been trained in the ways of the dark side of the Force from an early age by Gula Dwan, a Force-sensitive bounty hunter and assassin, and though he did not have any actual Sith training, he still hoped to destroy the Jedi Order as well as the Galactic Republic. While doing so, he believed that any living Sith would come to his aid. For Hetton, the group provided a useful cover for his other goal: the resurrection of the Sith Order. Even though he was the founder of an organization that uniformly despised both the Jedi and the Republic, Hetton did not reveal his personal goals to his followers in the Anti-Republic Liberation Front, as he was wary of what their response would be.
Assassination attempt on Valorum
- "He is responsible for everything we are fighting against, the symbol of everything we wish to destroy."
- ―Kelad'den, referring to Tarsus Valorum
In 990 BBY, Darth Zannah—apprentice to Darth Bane, the only Dark Lord of the Sith to survive the destruction of the Brotherhood of Darkness and the founder of the Rule of Two, a doctrine that allowed only two Sith to live at any one time—was tasked by her Master with the infiltration of the Anti-Republic Liberation Front for the purpose of goading them into a premature attack on the Republic. The mission was part of a plan to destroy any groups that Bane believed had the potential to damage the Republic before he wanted it to be destroyed, as well as to waste the resources of the Republic and the Jedi—moves that would draw their attention away from the Sith. Under the pseudonym "Rainah," Zannah became the lover of a high-ranking Twi'lek, Kelad'den, which earned her the support of a trusted group member. In order to convince Kelad'den that she could be useful to the group, she told him that she was employed as an administrative assistant at the Republic embassy. After several months of persuasion, he agreed to let her come to one of the group's meetings.
Hetton tasked Kelad'den with kidnapping several public officials during the annual Armistice Celebrations held to commemorate the end of the New Sith Wars. However, because of Zannah's manipulation, Kelad'den believed that more damage would be done if they instead assassinated the former Supreme Chancellor of the Republic, Tarsus Valorum, who was scheduled to land at the private spaceport of the Nalju family, located at their estate. Kelad'den believed that Valorum had come to Serenno to persuade the Great Houses to directly oppose separatist groups such as their own.
The Lethan Twi'lek took three soldiers to assist him in his mission, as well as Cyndra, a Chiss female assigned to plant explosives on the landing pad, and Paak, a Human male who would pilot the landspeeder that the assassins were to use as an escape vehicle. Disguised as Nalju staff, the assassins waited on the landing pad for Valorum and his Jedi advisor, Johun Othone. When he approached the assassins, Othone realized the danger that the "staff" posed and managed to prevent the former Chancellor from falling to his death off of the small, windswept platform that they were standing on when Cyndra detonated the explosives. The Jedi then killed two of the support soldiers as Kelad'den killed the third for attempting to escape the fight. Cyndra and Paak escaped in the landspeeder to report back to Hetton, leaving Kelad'den to fight the Jedi alone, a duel which Kelad'den lost.
- "It won't be long before the Great Houses discover I am the founder of the Anti-Republic Liberation Front. They will seize my assets and declare me a traitor."
- ―Hetton, explaining to Zannah his situation after the failed assassination attempt
A week after the failed assassination attempt, Cyndra found Zannah in a Carannia marketplace. She and Paak then escorted Zannah to Hetton's estate as a prisoner so that Hetton could question Zannah and determine if she had influenced Kelad'den's decision. When Zannah saw Hetton, she sensed that he had been trained in the use of the dark side of the Force. After a display of power in which she drove Cyndra insane and murdered Paak, Hetton showed her his collection of Sith artifacts, as well as his eight personal Umbaran Shadow Assassins, and asked that she let him become her apprentice. Shortly afterward, Zannah escorted Hetton and his assassins to the Sith camp on the planet Ambria under the pretense that they would work together to kill Darth Bane. Upon their arrival to the camp, Zannah betrayed Hetton, and without her assistance, Hetton and his assassins were quickly defeated and killed, an act which effectively destroyed the Anti-Republic Liberation Front. Shortly after Hetton's death, Bane and Zannah dismantled what was left of the group.
- "I drew those individuals with unique skills and talents into my service."
The Anti-Republic Liberation Front consisted, for the most part, of beings who had some kind of political, financial, or military power. The group's ranks were filled by an unusually high proportion of beings with advanced military experience and training compared to other organizations of similar population. Many group members believed themselves to be heroes, or perhaps eventual martyrs to their cause, which they were all extremely passionate about. Gaining membership to the group was difficult, as current members were highly cautious; Zannah was forced to wait several months before she was allowed to attend a meeting, even though she was intimately connected with Kelad'den, a high-ranking member. They did not discriminate against aliens, and allowed beings from all species and sexes to join, including the Chiss female Cyndra and the Twi'lek male Kelad'den.
Hetton had the social status and money to keep the group protected and well armed, though he still preferred to hire those with their own funds, such as Kelad'den. The latter was both rich and skilled in combat, and he was placed in charge of the mission to kidnap local officials. He felt that Hetton's plans were not infallible, and he would alter them if he considered doing so the best thing to do. Cyndra and Paak did not agree with Kelad'den's disobedience; they believed that all missions that Hetton gave them should be followed exactly, and not altered. Such differences in ideology caused frequent arguments between the three.
Behind the scenes
The Anti-Republic Liberation Front was featured in the novel Darth Bane: Rule of Two, written by Drew Karpyshyn and released on December 26, 2007. It later received a mention in The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, which was released on December 9, 2008.