- "But when a single person dies—at one's hands, before one's eyes—it is like looking into a mirror. A bond has been forged between living and dead. A price is demanded of the victor—the terrible awareness that he or she or it has taken the rarest and most precious thing in all creation: a sentient life. I was twelve years old when I made my first such kill, and on that day I swore I would bring the killing on Shiva to an end! The Concordat of Peace forged between my Calian Confederacy and the Twelve Tribes—led by my non-human blood brother Kéral Longknife—fulfilled that dream. I would brave the eternal pit and all its devils before letting Sk'ar—or anyone—destroy it!"
- ―Aron Peacebringer
Aron Peacebringer was the man who brought peace to the world of Shiva IV. A Human born there, which knew little other than constant warfare between the Calian Confederacy and the Twelve Tribes of T'Syriél, Peacebringer began his career in warfare at the age of twelve. His first kill was enough to convince him that, far from a noble pastime, war was a brutal affair that had to be ended. Aron, as he was known, pursued political success, eventually becoming the leader of the Calian Confederacy in 2 ABY. As the warlord, he immediately sought dialogue with Kéral Longknife, the Demarch of the Twelve Tribes, and together the two signed the Concordat of Peace, bringing an end to the fighting on Shiva IV for the first time in its peoples' memory.
For that, he gained the surname Peacebringer and became blood brothers with Longknife. He and Longknife together ruled the peaceful world, enforcing the peace on those who attempted to revive the old ways. In 3 ABY, while investigating the destruction of the city of K'avor, Peacebringer stumbled across the Rebel leader Leia Organa, who had crashed on the planet and was being attacked by violent outcasts. Peacebringer rescued the woman and brought her to his palace, where he developed a strong infatuation with her.
The result strained his relationship with his beloved longtime wife, Alisande, but before Peacebringer could sort out his feelings, he and Organa were captured by the Imperial General Bentilais san Sk'ar, who was intent on conquering Shiva IV. Peacebringer and Organa fought, escaped, and killed Sk'ar with the aid of several Rebel allies who arrived to recover Organa. On seeing the woman who had captured his heart embrace Luke Skywalker, Peacebringer realized he could never have her love and, letting his attraction pass, returned to his wife and newly secure world a confident man.
- "The world is old and tired, and its history is written in blood. From time immemorial, its children—human and non-human alike—have followed the arts of war, becoming in the process the finest warriors, the deadliest killers, in all creation. But now, that has changed—because of two men: Kéral Longknife, Demarch of the Twelve Tribes; and myself, Aron, called Peacebringer, Warlord of the Calian Confederacy and Kéral's blood brother. Between us, we rule this world. Together, we have brought peace to it. Unfortunately, the old ways die hard."
- ―Aron Peacebringer
Born on Shiva IV, distant from the galactic center, the Human male known as Aron was brought up in the planet-bound and warlike Human Calian Confederacy, which found itself in constant battle with the humanoids of the Twelve Tribes of T'Syriél. When he was twelve years old, he went into battle and killed his first foe, face-to-face in the style of Calian sword-combat. The incident sickened him, and he resolved to end the killing that consumed Shiva IV. Eventually, he married the woman Alisande, with whom he was in love and had several children. Their first, a daughter, died in infancy due to a disease that Aron also contracted. Though he was heavily hit by grief at the death of his child, he was eventually able to move on.
Aron worked his way up the Calian hierarchy and became the warlord of the Calian Confederacy in 2 ABY, making his capital at Illyriaqüm. His relative and close friend Prince Ygal Delois served as the captain of his bodyguard. Aron took advantage of his position to approach Kéral Longknife, the Demarch of the T'Syriél, with an offer of peace. Together they signed the Concordat of Peace, becoming blood brothers. For the first time in the Shivan collective memory, peace descended on Shiva IV, and Aron gained the surname Peacebringer. He brought an end to the death cults of the Calian war gods, killing their priests and ending their worship—an act that stirred some controversy among his subjects. Not all accepted the peace, and some outcasts continued to raid the peaceful civilizations. Over the next year, Peacebringer received disturbing reports that the outcasts were being gathered and trained into an army in the Drylands.
Encounter with an offworlder
- "With the moons down, Milord, we can't see very well. The outcasts could have an army out there."
"That sword cuts both ways, Delois. For all these outcasts know, we could be an army. Let's play that part to the hilt, comrades. Strike hard and fast—do as much damage as we can—and get the woman out of harm's way."
- ―Ygal Delois and Peacebringer
In 3 ABY, Illyriaqüm lost contact with the far-off city of K'avor. Reports from those nearby indicated that there had been a massive flash of light at the time communications were cut off. The warlord took Longknife, Delois, and Jain Havero on the three-day journey to K'avor to ascertain the truth himself. On the second night, at the campfire with his men, he heard a shot. His party rushed to investigate and found a group of T'Syriél outcasts attacking a woman—the Rebel Princess Leia Organa, who had crashed on the world during a mission to investigate Imperial activity in the area. Though he was unsure of the enemy's numbers, Peacebringer rushed to save the woman, counting on the darkness to help his men present the image of an army. When mounted outrider reinforcements arrived, Peacebringer took them on himself, putting the outcasts to flight. Still, Peacebringer was disturbed that his four-man party, the best warriors on Shiva IV, had such difficulty with the band of outcasts, who were better trained and armed than usual.
Peacebringer turned his attention to the woman, whose Basic speech he could not comprehend; she in turn could not understand the Calian that Peacebringer and his companions spoke. Peacebringer was able to get across his name and learned in turn that hers was Leia. He took the mysterious woman with him as he continued his quest, teaching her Calian in the back seat of his repulsorlift transport. On reaching K'avor, they found the surrounding ground had the appearance of polished black glass, blue flames above the city and both the city and its inhabitants reduced to ash. Organa, recognizing the effects of the Cherenkov effect and knowing that the city was likely highly radioactive, gestured for Peacebringer to avoid entering the city on risk of death. Peacebringer trusted her warning and turned away.
Returning to his capital, Peacebringer sent his agents across the planet, seeking to determine the cause of K'avor's destruction. Weeks passed without an answer, and rumors stirred that the war gods were taking their revenge on the heretic Peacebringer. The warlord began to feel that someone was fueling the rumors while plotting a coup against him. Just as disturbingly to Peacebringer, he found his mind turning to Organa, fascinated by her beauty, courage, and exotic nature. He did not cease to love his wife, but he felt a growing passion for Organa that left him confused and guilty. Though Organa, having learned fluent Calian, tried to speak to him, he avoided her, fearful of what might result from another encounter; it was through intermediaries that he learned that she was an emissary from the Alliance to Restore the Republic, battling the Galactic Empire beyond the bounds of Shiva IV, who had crashed on a mission to investigate the world.
- "We will fight you, Sk'ar, and make you rue the day you ever set eyes on my world!"
- ―Aron Peacebringer, to Bentilais san Sk'ar
The night before a gala at his palace celebrating one year since the signing of the Concordat of Peace, a month after Organa's rescue, Alisande told Peacebringer of Organa's reports of a Galactic Empire, dominating the wider galaxy and eager for conquest, likely responsible for the destruction of K'avor—devastation beyond the power of Shiva IV's technology. At his wife's urging, he spoke with Organa, trying to keep his mind off his attraction to her. At the party, he remained consumed by fears for the future of the peace he and Longknife had forged. Alisande noticed his jealousy of Delois's shared dance with Organa, but rather than rebuke him, she acknowledged that it was merely Human to be tempted. She urged him caution and wisdom in his choices, showing confidence in his judgment.
Still, after he danced with his wife, they did not sneak away for a romantic encounter as they normally did; instead, they separated, full of doubt. When Organa broke away from Delois and fled to a balcony, Peacebringer held his friend back and went to speak with Organa himself. She was upset that she had not yet been rescued by the Rebel Alliance and tearful at the loss of her homeworld, Alderaan, of which Illyriaqüm's stately courts reminded her. Peacebringer attempted to comfort her over Alderaan's destruction, but while he did so the pair were ambushed by T'Syriél stormtroopers, who had been trained by the Empire. Caught unaware, Peacebringer was knocked unconscious before he realized he was in danger.
Flown away from his capital to a hidden Imperial base, Peacebringer awoke in chains and was brought before General Bentilais san Sk'ar, the commander of the Imperial force dedicated to conquering Shiva IV. He quickly realized that the outcasts had been organized by the Empire and remained defiant in the face of the massive Kaleesh general. Sk'ar explained his plans to enslave the inhabitants of Shiva IV as Imperial shock troops, and Delois revealed himself as a traitor, aiding Sk'ar in exchange for rule of Shiva IV. Delois bragged of the plan to kill all those gathered in Illyriaqüm, destroying the world government, and creating chaos into which Sk'ar and Delois would step in as conquerors. Peacebringer was chilled by the callous betrayal of the man who had been his close friend and lieutenant and was his own blood.
Battling the Empire
- "By the way, whatever weapons you may have…I suggest you draw them."
- ―Aron Peacebringer, to Leia Organa
While he and Organa were led away, Peacebringer signaled the Rebel princess and staged a diversion, allowing Organa to take the offensive against their guards. The Calian warlord had to fight for his own life and saw only glimpses of Organa's struggle with a knife-wielding attacker. When it seemed that she had been killed, Peacebringer went mad, falling into a Calian battle madness that amplified his strength, letting him break his fetters and slay the entire squad of guards. On reaching Organa, he found that she was safe, her assailant having nearly missed her before she turned the knife against the Imperial officer.
Most of the base's forces were away on the mission to destroy Illyriaqüm, allowing the pair to steal a transport and escape without major incident. Organa piloted the ship through Sk'ar's TIE defenses and onto the airship that Sk'ar was using to make his attack. Peacebringer and Organa fended off masses of stormtroopers before evading their would-be captors and fleeing into the anonymity of the vast aerial battleship. They stalked to the location of the bomb Sk'ar planned to drop on Peacebringer's beloved capital, and the warrior stood guard as Organa attempted to disarm it. Delois injured Organa in a surprise attack from above but was brought low by the arrival of Rebel reinforcements—Luke Skywalker and Chewbacca, two of Organa's closest brothers-in-arms—along with Longknife. While Organa successfully disarmed the bomb, Peacebringer and his newfound allies held off the Imperials. As Sk'ar attempted to escape, Chewbacca brought down his flier with a hurled gun mount, killing the would-be conqueror of Shiva IV. When he saw Organa instinctively celebrate with Skywalker rather than himself, Peacebringer realized that Leia did not love him and never would; that realization allowed him to realize that he could live without her.
In the aftermath, Peacebringer rallied his forces to eliminate the remainder of the Kaleesh general's troops and rooted out Delois's conspiratorial party from his court within six days. Once he felt secure, the warlord threw a ball in honor of the world's successful defense, at which Alisande put the matter of Organa behind them, with Peacebringer confident in his relationship with his wife. However, the ball was interrupted by the arrival of an Imperial Star Destroyer in orbit. Using the Rebel freighter called the Millennium Falcon, Skywalker and Lando Calrissian were able to draw the ship into a black hole, ending the new threat to Shiva IV.
Personality and traits
Warrior of Shiva IV
- "I'm…afraid, Alis—for you, for our children, for our world."
- ―Aron Peacebringer, to Alisande
When Aron Peacebringer slew his first foe, he was forever put off warfare. Though war dominated the culture of his world, he resolved that he would put an end to it, keeping any more warriors from losing their lives. For that goal, Peacebringer was willing to take any chance. Though he was committed to achieving peace, Peacebringer was known as among the fiercest of warriors, a ferocious fighter when he found it necessary.
Dedicated to his homeworld, his people, and his family, Peacebringer wanted the best for them and heavily felt the weight of responsibility as one of the planet's two leaders. He was aware of the fragility of the peace settlement and was determined to see it stand the test of time. A man who enjoyed good company, Peacebringer was a devoted family man and loved his friends as family; the treachery of Delois was a great blow to the man, who considered the captain of the guard like a son to him. Muscular and physically imposing, Peacebringer had tanned red skin, dark brown hair, and brown eyes.
Relationship with Alisande
- "I know you, Aron, and I know her. You are too honest, too good, a man to deny the truth once you finally perceived it. When that happened, and you realized where your heart truly lay, I knew you would return to me."
- ―Alisande, to Aron Peacebringer
As a young man, Aron married Alisande. The pair were very much in love and conceived a child, though she died in infancy. Rather than being driven apart, they were brought closer together and went on to have more children, in whom they took great pleasure. When Peacebringer became the Calian warlord, Alisande became his queen, and the pair enjoyed a comfortable married life. Their relationship grew stronger with age and remained lively, with formal dances frequently ending in escapes to a secluded alcove for a passionate embrace.
However, when Leia Organa arrived, Peacebringer found himself enraptured. Though he still loved his wife and wished to remain loyal to her, he could not deny his strong attraction to Organa. That caused him much agony and strained his relationship with Alisande, who perceived his wandering eye. She did not condemn him but instead warned him that though his attraction was natural, he should think well before taking any rash actions. The matter was resolved when Peacebringer realized Organa did not and would not love him and was able to end the hold she had on his emotions. Peacebringer reconciled with the wife and family he still loved.
Skills and abilities
- "Without breaking stride, I kicked off from the crest of the ridge... and slammed full-tilt into the midst of the raider band, With the terrible, elemental ferocity that is my hallmark... I cut a crimson swathe through the outcasts' ranks, granting my giant foes the same mercy they would grant me."
- ―Aron Peacebringer recounts a battle with T'Syriel outcasts
One of the finest fighters on Shiva IV, Peacebringer was born steeped in a Calian warrior tradition that was forged in the fires of generations of battle. Although a peace-loving and contemplative man outside of war, Peacebringer was known for his ferocity in combat, throwing himself into the fray with abandon and cutting a bloody swath through his opponents. Indeed, Peacebringer was known to succumb to the "battle madness" sometimes experienced by the Calian people; in times of stress he would be consumed with a berserker rage that transformed him into an almost unstoppable killing machine with strength and fury that seemed superhuman. Equally capable fighting with a sword or hand-to-hand, Peacebringer mixed skill at arms with speed and athleticism, and the Warlord was also a cunning strategist and tactician. He was also a capable pilot of the unique aerial transports developed by the Calian people.
As Warlord of Shiva IV, Aron Peacebringer most commonly wore a loincloth and a bandolier-type garment on his upper body, an outfit that protected little, but still served Peacebringer well in combat. Peacebringer commonly used a saber in a fight, although he was a fearsome foe unarmed, especially when affected by the Calian "battle madness."
Behind the scenes
Aron Peacebringer first appeared in fifty-third issue of the Marvel comic-book series Star Wars, written by Chris Claremont and released on August 18, 1981. The character was created by Claremont and penciler Walter Simonson when unused art for the canceled Marvel Comics series John Carter, Warlord of Mars was adapted as a Star Wars comic. Star Wars series regular Carmine Infantino had provided some fill-in art for the series based on Edgar Rice Burroughs's space-fantasy warlord John Carter of Mars that was left over after the cancellation; not wishing that the art be wasted, approximately a year after the cancellation Marvel tasked Claremont with writing a new story based on the existing art and Simonson with adapting Infantino's art as needed to fit the Star Wars comic series. The character of John Carter was turned into Aron Peacebringer of Shiva IV in a story that filled two issues, Star Wars 53 and Star Wars 54. In the "Star Words" letters column, the issues were passed off as simply inspired by the John Carter stories.
- "Star Words"—Star Wars 59
- "ComicScan: Where Leia Lets Loose"—Star Wars Galaxy Magazine 12 (Indirect mention only)
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 134 (GAR18, Garments and Couture)
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- "Authors of the Expanded Universe: Chris Claremont"—Star Wars Insider 146
- "Imperial Icons"—Star Wars Insider 148
Notes and references
- Star Wars (1977) 53
- Star Wars (1977) 54
- Star Wars: The Comics Companion places the events of Star Wars (1977) 53 three years after the events of Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, which corresponds to 3 ABY per The New Essential Chronology. Meanwhile, the comic itself establishes that Peacebringer's ascension and the signing of the Concordat of Peace the year prior. Therefore, Peacebringer became a warlord in 2 ABY.
- Star Wars: The Comics Companion
- "Star Words"—Star Wars 59