- "This… is only the beginning."
"Yes. After a thousand years, Korriban is ours again. Welcome home."
- ―Vindican and Malgus
The Battle of Korriban was a conflict that occurred in the early days of the Great Galactic War between the reconstituted Sith Empire and the Galactic Republic, during which the Outer Rim planet Korriban fell back into the control of the Sith. Korriban was the ancestral homeworld of the Sith Empire, and had been a holy site and training ground for adherents to the Sith religion since its inception. Over one thousand years after the Sith's defeat in the Great Hyperspace War and their subsequent exile from Korriban, the dark side users returned to known space in the year 3681 BBY and launched a brutal campaign for dominance in the galaxy's Tingel Arm region. The attack prompted the Republic, which was severely under-prepared for such an assault, to rally its naval forces and send them into the Tingel Arm theater. The effort pulled defense vessels away from other planets, including Korriban, which was left without any substantive military defenses. A vigil over the world was maintained by the Jedi Order alongside a small number of Republic troopers, but that proved to be ineffective against the full force of the Sith naval fleet.
With an armada of over thirty Harrower-class dreadnaughts, the Sith Empire invaded the Horuset system and engaged the small number of Jedi and Republic defenders in orbit over Korriban. Aboard a Republic space station, Jedi Padawan Satele Shan, Master Kao Cen Darach, and several Republic troopers fought in vain against boarding Sith soldiers and Imperial battle droids. During their attempts to escape Korriban and warn the Republic of the Empire's return, the Jedi and troopers were met by the Sith Lord Vindican and his apprentice, Malgus. Although Shan and her Master held the two off for a time, the younger Jedi was eventually forced to flee and leave Darach behind to fight alone. While she and one of the troopers escaped the station with the assistance of an incarcerated smuggler, Nico Okarr, Master Darach remained aboard and continued to battle the avenging Sith. The Zabrak Jedi was killed by Malgus during the duel and the remaining Republic and Jedi forces were annihilated, clearing a path for the Sith to return to their homeland. After a thousand years of exile from the holy planet, the Empire retook Korriban and re-established it as a training ground, wherein students studied to continue the war with the Republic. Despite Shan's survival, the recapture was so efficiently and surprisingly performed that an extended period of time passed before the Jedi Council even learned of Korriban's loss.
- "Korriban shall be as it always was. A graveyard for the darkest of the Sith Lords, still whispering within their tombs. It shall always be a source of evil, spawning threats throughout the millennia. It, like Malachor, brushes the edges of the empire that waits in the dark. And like Malachor, the Sith have forgotten it … for a time. They will remember."
- ―Darth Traya
The Outer Rim world Korriban served as the homeworld of the Sith species, as well as the Sith religious order and its Empire, prior to the Great Hyperspace War of 5000 BBY. Following the Empire's defeat in the war, the surviving Sith abandoned Korriban and fled into the Unknown Regions to build a revitalized Empire. During the Jedi Civil War, Darth Revan's Sith Empire reoccupied the world and used it as a training ground for new Sith recruits. After the defeat of Revan's forces, the Galactic Republic and Jedi Order seized Korriban and maintained a protective force around the planet. Over time, however, the fleet surrounding the world was gradually reduced, leaving only a token force of guardians to watch over the dark world. Centuries later, the rebuilt Empire from the Great Hyperspace War returned and initiated the Great Galactic War against the Republic in 3681 BBY. Early in the conflict, the Sith Empire launched a widespread campaign to secure the galaxy's Outer Rim Territories. Their first concentrated effort was in the Tingel Arm, where the Sith Emperor had already installed puppet governments on a number of worlds formerly allied with the Galactic Republic.
In response to the Empire's offensive, the Republic Navy organized a fleet to retake the Tingel Arm. Ignorant of the Empire's puppet governments, the Republic haphazardly charged into the region and found itself deep in enemy territory. Republic military leaders, caught off-guard by the audacity and aggressiveness of the Sith advance, called upon every available ship in the navy to aid the fleet in the Tingel Arm, thereby leaving other strategically important regions in the galaxy undefended. Korriban stood among the worlds that lost nearly all of their military defenses, and the Sith, eager to retake their home planet, decided that the holy world was a top priority in their campaign to seize the galaxy.
Although the Republic Navy had abandoned the world, the Jedi Order chose to maintain a small but dedicated vigil over the planet, in an effort to guard its dark secrets. Two Jedi—the Human Padawan Satele Shan and her Zabrak Master, Kao Cen Darach—participated in the protection of Korriban from a space station in orbit above the planet. The two were joined there by a number of troopers from the Republic's Republic Special Forces Division, who also assisted the Jedi as a police force for the region. In the year of the Empire's return to the known galaxy, Shan, Darach, and Corporal Jace Malcom, traveled to the planet's surface to intercept a freighter that had landed without authorization. There they discovered smuggler captain Nico Okarr, who was attempting to purchase artifacts of the old Sith Empire from the infamous grave robber Farel Wickes. The Jedi and trooper impounded Okarr's vessel, the Redshifter, before he was able to flee the world and ferried him to the orbital security station where they were joined by a Republic trooper who helped to take Okarr into custody. As the four of them escorted the smuggler through the space station, Shan sensed a considerable dark ripple in the Force.
The return of the Sith
- Darach: "The Sith Empire has returned... We must warn the Republic."
- Malcom: "Our shuttles can't outrun those fighters."
- Okarr: "Ahem. Well… guess who's got the fastest ship in the sector?"
- ―Master Kao Cen Darach, Corporal Jace Malcom, and smuggler Nico Okarr discuss their escape from Korriban[src]
At that moment, an Imperial armada of over thirty Sith battlecruisers jumped out of hyperspace into the Horuset system, near Korriban and its space station. The warships, having taken advantage of hyperlanes opened by the Empire's Tingel Arm campaign, immediately dispatched numerous wings of interceptor starfighters that began strafing runs on the Republic's station. The first few volleys inflicted heavy damage on the installation, causing reactive explosions throughout the station and setting fire to several internal areas of the structure. Shortly afterward, boarding parties consisting of the Imperial Army's Sith troops and assault droids landed on the station and engaged Republic personnel on board.
Darach understood the gravity of the situation and decided that the defenders' first priority must be to warn the Republic of the Empire's new offensive. Corporal Malcom agreed, but informed the Jedi that their shuttles would have no chance of outrunning the Empire's much more agile interceptors. Having overheard the conversation, the detained smuggler offered his XS stock light freighter as a means of escape, given that it was the fastest ship in the Esstran sector. The Jedi agreed, and together with Okarr and troopers, rushed to the station's hangar in hopes of reaching the vessel and informing Republic authorities of the situation. Upon reaching the hall that led into the hangar, Shan and her Master rushed ahead to clear the landing zone of Imperial troopers while the Republic soldiers brought up the rear, holding off pursuing Imperial forces. While the two soldiers were distracted, a Sith soldier launched a missile at them, killing one and temporarily incapacitating Malcom. Witnessing the incident, the Captain drew his blaster pistols and quickly killed four of the approaching Sith troops. Having regained his faculties, the Republic Corporal armed himself with a blaster chaingun and joined the smuggler to destroy two advancing assault droids.
As Imperial forces continued to make their way through the station, the Okarr and Malcom retreated into the hangar, sealing the entry behind them to prevent any further intrusion from enemy troopers. Shan and Darach simultaneously finished eradicating the troopers who had already taken position in the hangar, allowing the four of them to regroup and examine the Redshifter, which had been slightly damaged by the violent rocking of the station caused by the attacking vessels. The Captain lamented the state of his freighter, but reassured Darach that his vessel was resilient enough to take flight once more and flee the station. However, before any of the Republic defenders could board the vessel, a Fury-class Imperial interceptor landed in the hangar and two Sith disembarked: an Inquisitor Sith Pureblood, Lord Vindican, and his Human apprentice, the Sith Warrior Malgus. Their primary goal was to prevent the Jedi and others from leaving the station to warn the Republic of the attack; the Jedi were determined to prevent the Sith from interfering in their escape. Shan and Darach engaged Malgus and Vindican in a duel while Malcom and the Okarr rushed onto the freighter to prepare for lift-off with the Captain's astromech droid, T7-O1.
On the landing bay floor, the Jedi and Sith fought fiercely, with Malgus and Shan engaging one another while their Masters dueled a short distance away. During the melee, Malgus was able to outmaneuver Shan, ultimately disarming her before delivering a powerful knee thrust into her abdomen. While the young Jedi doubled-over from the impact, the Sith apprentice moved to finish her with an over-handed lightsaber swing. Just as his weapon was descending to kill Shan, Master Darach, who was himself engaged in combat with Vindican, broke from his own struggle long enough to throw his lightsaber in Malgus's direction. Malgus, who did not see the incoming blade, was caught off-guard by the impact of the Zabrak's lightsaber against his own. Shan used the borrowed time to kick the Sith away from her and reclaim her lost weapon. She proceeded to make an attempt at attacking the Sith Lord, but Vindican swatted her away with a blast of Force lightning. In response, Shan's Master Force-pushed the Sith Pureblood across the hangar so that he might regroup with his Padawan.
A homeland reclaimed
- "The Republic fleet suddenly found itself in enemy territory, fighting desperately on all sides. The Republic rallied every available ship to support the fleet, leaving only a handful of Jedi security ships to patrol Korriban. Regrettably, Korriban fell back into the enemies' hands without the Jedi Council even knowing about it."
Meanwhile, Captain Okarr managed to bring the Redshifter online and lift off from the hangar bay. Malcom descended the ship's boarding ramp in an attempt to collect the two Jedi, but was instead met by the two Sith, who were trying to halt the starship with waves of Force lightning. The Corporal responded with an ineffective shot from a missile launcher before turning his attention back to the Jedi. While he called for them to join him, Shan and Darach conferred; the Zabrak informed his apprentice that their paths were about to deviate, and that she must flee on the freighter while he remained behind to hold off the Sith. The young Jedi complied and furnished her Master with her own double-bladed lightsaber before leaping into the departing smuggler ship. While the freighter narrowly escaped the hangar, the Jedi Master re-engaged the two Sith. Wielding both his lightsaber and that of his apprentice, he drove the two back while expertly defending himself against their lightsaber and Force attacks.
After slashing Vindican across the face, Darach deactivated one end of Shan's weapon and continued to perform agile flurries of strikes. Darach was eventually able to maneuver himself into a position that allowed for him to activate Shan's weapon through the Inquisitor's abdomen, thereby incapacitating him for the remainder of the battle. Malgus seized the opportunity to appropriate his fallen Master's weapon and reciprocate his opponent's usage of three blades with his own. Although the Zabrak attempted to prevent the apprentice's advance by hurling large chunks of debris toward Malgus, the Sith apprentice was undeterred, and cut through all obstacles with ease. Upon reaching the Jedi Master, the two engaged one another for a short time, but the young Sith ultimately prevailed. Malgus cut Darach in half horizontally, killing him.
Meanwhile, Shan and Malcom used the laser cannon turrets on the Okarr's freighter to destroy pursuing Imperial interceptors and fighters. After clearing a small asteroid field, the smuggler flew the Redshifter directly toward several incoming Sith battlecruisers, narrowly avoiding collision while simultaneously losing his pursuers. The freighter inflicted considerable damage upon one of the cruisers before clearing the attacking Sith fleet and jumping to hyperspace. When Malgus was informed of their escape, he confronted his wounded Master and accused him of failure. Although Vindican disagreed that the battle was a failed venture, the apprentice disregarded the elder Sith's words and instead took the opportunity to kill his teacher. The planet's only other guardians—a small force of Jedi security ships—were easily overwhelmed by Sith interceptors and destroyed. The invading Sith also captured Farel Wickes as he tried to flee the battle at Korriban, preventing the grave robber from getting away with the fortune he earned from Okarr. Having wiped out the Republic and Jedi, the Empire cleared the path toward the planet's surface, where the Sith once again walked in the Valley of the Dark Lords and reclaimed their ancestral homeworld.
- "Retaking the holy planet of Korriban as a top priority, the Sith re-established the glorious Sith Academy and began training a new generation of Sith to inherit their dark legacy and seize their birthright as the true rulers of the galaxy."
- ―A HoloNet dossier on Korriban
Despite Shan's escape from the battle, the Jedi Council had no knowledge of the Sith's return to Korriban for an extended period of time. The Republic meanwhile continued to lose ground in the war, facing devastating losses in the Sluis sector, a Sith invasion of the resource-rich Minos Cluster, and a blockade of the vital Rimma Trade Route in quick succession following the Korriban onslaught. In response, the Jedi Council and the Galactic Senate of the Republic attempted to formulate a defense plan in an emergency session of congress, but the meeting resulted in political gridlock and failure. On Korriban, the Sith interrogated Farel Wickes for information on the tombs of Korriban, and after weeks of torture, the once-successful grave robber succumbed to his injuries and died.
Over the course of the war, the Empire turned the dry and arid Korriban into a bastion for the training and education of Force-sensitives, re-establishing the world's Sith Academy and dedicating it to the cultivation of a new generation of devotees who could continue the fight against the Republic. After participating in the capture of the planet, Malgus made several religious pilgrimages to the surface; during the first of those journeys, the Sith experienced a vision of the galaxy engulfed in flames—a sight that he understood as a symbol of the Republic's fall. Korriban again became a battlefield in 3678 BBY, when the renegade Sith apprentice Exal Kressh betrayed the Empire and allowed a fleet of Republic warships to launch a failed attempt to retake the planet. Following the conclusion of the Great Galactic War with the signing of the Treaty of Coruscant, the Kel Dor Jedi Master Gnost-Dural made a holorecord documenting the opening battles of the conflict. In the record, the Jedi Master included the fall of Korriban and the events surrounding it. The Jedi Master also kept a journal during the Great War that included a first-hand account of the Jedi's reaction upon learning that Korriban had been retaken. After ascending to the rank of Grand Master of the Jedi Order, Satele Shan submitted the journal, which now included her personal reflections on the war and the fall of Korriban, to Jedi Archives on Tython.
Behind the scenes
- "I am Darth Malgus—I fought in the Battle of Korriban. I turned the Jedi Temple on Coruscant to rubble. I will tell you what you "need.""
- ―Darth Malgus on the battles of Korriban and Coruscant
The Battle of Korriban was created as a historical plot element for LucasArts' and BioWare's massively-multiplayer online video game, Star Wars: The Old Republic. The event was first mentioned on the game's website, in a short dossier on Korriban presented in The Holonet, an online databank for subjects important to the game's story. On January 22 of 2010, the battle for Korriban was included in Onslaught of the Sith Empire, the sixth installment of the Galactic Timeline. The timeline is a series of web videos presented as a historical accounting of the events leading up to The Old Republic's time frame. The installments are available on the game's official site and are narrated by the Kel Dor Jedi Master Gnost-Dural, who is portrayed by actor Lance Henriksen.
In June 2011, during the yearly Electronic Entertainment Expo, The Old Republic team released Return, the third cinematic trailer produced by BioWare in anticipation of the game. The trailer featured the Sith's recapture of Korriban and confirmed Satele Shan's and Darth Malgus's participation in the conflict. Both characters had previously appeared in BioWare's Hope cinematic trailer. Later that year, the game itself was released alongside The Journal of Master Gnost-Dural, which was the first publication to reveal Captain Nico Okarr's name; the smuggler had previously gone unnamed in his appearance in Return. In the 2012 reference book, Star Wars: The Old Republic Encyclopedia, Okarr's ship was given the name Redshifter and his appearance in the battle was given context by the introduction of Farel Wickes.
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords (Darth Traya's prediction)
- (First appearance)
- Star Wars: The Old Republic (First identified as Battle of Korriban)
- The Old Republic: Annihilation (Mentioned only)
- The Old Republic: Annihilation audiobook (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: The Old Republic: Knights of the Fallen Empire (Mentioned only)
- (First mentioned)
- The Art and Making of Star Wars: The Old Republic
- The Journal of Master Gnost-Dural
- Star Wars: The Old Republic Explorer's Guide
- Star Wars: The Ultimate Visual Guide: Updated and Expanded
- Star Wars: The Old Republic Encyclopedia
Notes and references
- Treaty of Coruscant. The Treaty is signed and ratifed in 3653 BBY, as seen in The Old Republic: Deceived and The Essential Atlas, confirming that the Battle of Korriban occurs in 3681 BBY. indicates that this battle occurs twenty-eight years before the
- Star Wars: The Old Republic Encyclopedia
- While this character is never explicitly identified as a Sith Inquisitor, his physical appearance, Force abilities, and style of lightsaber all correspond to the features of the Sith Inquisitor class as presented in Star Wars: The Old Republic. It should be noted that all other characters in the Return, Hope, and Deceived cinematic trailers represent members of the different classes available to players in The Old Republic game.
- The Journal of Master Gnost-Dural
- The New Essential Chronology
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
- The Essential Atlas
- In Return, Okarr claims that his vessel is the fastest in "the sector," evidently referring to the region that Korriban occupied. According to The Essential Atlas, Korriban is located in the Esstran sector.
- The Old Republic: Deceived
- According to The Old Republic, Blood of the Empire Act 1: Shades of the Sith, the stories within the Blood of the Empire series occur twenty-five years before the Treaty of Coruscant. According to The Essential Atlas, the Treaty is ratified in 3653 BBY, placing Blood of the Empire and the events within—including the second battle at Korriban—in 3678 BBY
- The Old Republic, Blood of the Empire Act 3: Burn the Future