- "Not only were the shipyards that encircled the planet destroyed, but we are told that the Sith invaders slaughtered everyone who did not immediately swear allegiance to the apparent leader of the Sith, an unnamed Emperor of whom absolutely nothing is known."
Shortly after the Sith Empire's return to known space in 3681 BBY, Imperial forces launched an attack on the Galactic Republic's holdings at the planet Sluis Van in the Sluis sector in one of the earliest battles of the Great Galactic War. The attack was part of the Sith Emperor's strategy to secure the galaxy's Outer Rim Territories early in his war against the Republic. The Imperial Armada led the assault, which was focused primarily on the Republic shipyards in the sector. Imperial starfighters engaged the shipyard's defenses and ultimately destroyed the orbital station with little resistance from the Republic Military, as the galactic government had been caught off-guard by the swiftness of the Sith's incursion upon the galaxy. With the world under their command, the Sith slaughtered any Republic defenders and Sluis Van civilians who refused to swear allegiance to their Emperor.
- "Horrifying reports from the Outer Rim seemed to portend the utter destruction of the Republic. The rapid onset of galaxy-wide terror and panic was part of the Sith Emperor's meticulous calculations. His plan was flawless."
In 3681 BBY, the reconstituted Sith Empire returned to the known galaxy and initiated a conflict of unrivaled proportions against the Galactic Republic. In this Great Galactic War, the Sith Emperor's first priority was to secure the galaxy's Outer Rim Territories before making plans regarding a push toward the Republic's heart in the Core Worlds. Striking from the Unknown Regions, the Sith achieved several decisive victories in the Tingel Arm while the Republic struggled to organize an appropriate response. The Republic Navy was eventually able to mount an operation to retake the Tingel Arm, but was defeated and driven out of the region.
- "We have only just learned of another terrible military defeat. The strategically vital world of Sluis Van has fallen."
While the Republic was thrown into disarray following the loss of the Tingel Arm, the Empire moved forward with its assault. The Sith launched an offensive in the Sluis sector, specifically targeting the Republic's starship-manufacturing facilities. The Empire's attack on the sector was headed by the Imperial naval forces, which focused on the shipyards that orbited the planet Sluis Van in a ring formation and were entirely undefended by Republic naval forces. Imperial Mark VI Supremacy-class starfighter squadrons attacked the shipyards, which were protected by only on-station turbolaser emplacements. The starfighters eventually broke through the defenses and were able to fracture and destroy the ring that made up the space station. Much as they had on many other conquered worlds, the Sith they went about executing any civilian or government worker who refused to swear allegiance to the Sith Emperor after their seizure of Sluis Van. Republic Military personnel were not given the option of surrender, and were hunted down and killed.
- "Republic leaders and members of the Jedi Council arranged an emergency meeting in the Senate to prioritize the galaxy's defense, but the session quickly became mired in politics."
In conjunction with the successful attack on Sluis sector, the Empire staged a blockade of the Rimma Trade Route and an incursion into the Minos Cluster. These events, in addition to the loss of the Tingel Arm and the Jedi defeat at Korriban, led the leaders of the Republic to organize an emergency session of the Galactic Senate in order to organize the defense of the galaxy. The session quickly took a negative turn, with senators and other politicians refusing to participate if their worlds were not given priority defense.
Meanwhile, the Sith continued to sweep the Outer Rim, securing a sturdy power base before beginning their push into the galactic core. The Empire was entirely successful in those aims until the Republic's first major victories at Bothawui in 3671 BBY. During this period, the Kel Dor Jedi Knight Gnost-Dural kept a journal in which he documented the early conflicts of the war—including the battle of Sluis Van. As a Jedi historian in the years following the Sith Empire's victory in the war in 3653 BBY, Gnost-Dural made a holorecord that also detailed the Empire's early operations against the Republic, including the attack in the Sluis sector.
Behind the scenes
The conflict in the Sluis sector was first mentioned in the Sith Empire's page on The Holonet, an online feature available on Star Wars: The Old Republic's official site which provides background information on the LucasArts video game, Star Wars: The Old Republic. The battle was later pictured and given context in the sixth entry of the Galactic Timeline. The timeline details the history of the galaxy prior to the events of The Old Republic and is narrated by Jedi Master Gnost-Dural, vocally performed by Lance Henriksen.
The image of the battle provided in Onslaught of the Sith Empire depicts the Sluis planet and its shipyards in the exact way the planet Kuat was depicted in the 2006 LucasArts game, Star Wars: Empire at War and its expansion, Star Wars: Empire at War: Forces of Corruption. In fact, the single image of the battle, as seen at the top of this article, appears to be identical to a screen shot of Kuat from Forces of Corruption, as seen here.
- (Appears in hologram)
Notes and references
- The Journal of Master Gnost-Dural
- 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 attack on Sluis Van occurs in 3681 BBY. indicates that the battle occurs twenty-eight years before the
- The New Essential Chronology