- "But one fact has always remained constant: The Chiss must be approached from a position of strength and respect. One must have strength, for the Chiss will deal only with those capable of keeping their promises. One must have respect, for the Chiss must believe that those promises will be kept."
- ―Passage from Mitth'raw'nuruodo journal
The Chiss Ascendancy was the oligarchic autocracy of the near-human Chiss species that controlled a portion of the galaxy's Unknown Regions. They were very secretive and highly isolationist, and remaining largely an enigma to the rest of the galaxy, to whom they had little contact with, even by the time of the fall of the Galactic Republic. Their domain was regarded as mostly a legend even within the Unknown Regions.
Exploration of the Outer RimEdit
At some point, Mitth'raw'nuruodo was assigned to explore the Outer Rim of the galaxy. The Ascendancy had discovered a mysterious threat in the Unknown Regions, and wished to know if the Galactic Republic would be a suitable ally against the threat.
Exiting hyperspace above Batuu, Jedi General Anakin Skywalker intercepted him, where Thrawn sought Skywalker's assistance in learning of the Clone Wars and briefly helped the Jedi against the Confederacy of Independent Systems. Thrawn however was unimpressed with the state of the Republic and believed it to be unfit for an alliance with the Chiss Ascendancy, citing that the Republic's democratic style of government created a bogged-down system where everyone had a voice but nothing was accomplished.
Sometime later during his exploration of the Outer Rim after the end of the Clone Wars, he discovered a colony of refugee Neimoidians. The colonists warned him of the tyranny of the Galactic Empire, and attempted to persuade the him to bring the Chiss against the Empire and restore the Republic. Mitth'raw'nuruodo refused their offer, but returned to the Chiss intrigued.
Allying with the EmpireEdit
- "The Grysk Hegemony has intruded into the Galactic Empire and has furthermore committed multiple criminal acts against it. You are hereby ordered to withdraw immediately from this system and from the Empire and return to your own territory."
- ―Admiral Ar'alani
Seeking counsel upon his return, the Ascendancy ruled that the time had come to judge whether or not the Empire would be a suitable ally, and that it was time to infiltrate the Empire in order to either make them an ally or to weaken them as easy prey for the threat to attack instead of the Ascendancy. With the help of the Aristocra, Mitth'raw'nuruodo, chose a planet in Wild Space to begin his fake exile and set up a hut designed to look as though he had been living in it for years. After several attempts over many standard months, he was able to finally gain the attention of the Galactic Empire—the then galactic government. The Venator-class Star Destroyer Strikefast led by Captain Voss Parck arrived at the planet searching for smugglers and discovered and examined Thrawn's encampment, finding Sy Bisti markings on the crates in the camp, warranting for the activation of the Imperial Unknown Alien protocols. Thrawn however managed to crash a V-Wing starfighter surveying the planet and attacked several Imperial troops, tricking them, and thus allowing him to get aboard the Strikefast. When Parck sent troopers to intercept him, Thrawn allowed himself to be captured without resistance.
Thrawn was then brought before Galactic Emperor Darth Sidious on Coruscant in order to be questioned who once in the Imperial Palace told the Emperor of threats lurking within the Unknown Regions, and how they might one day find the Empire and offered his military skills. Palpatine then deduced that his intentions were to help protect his people. Thrawn then assured the Emperor that his allegiance would be to the Empire and revealed that he had known the Jedi General Anakin Skywalker during the Clone Wars. It was then only that he proved who he was to the Emperor and was then able to forge an partnership between the Ascendancy and Empire, thus completing what was required by the Aristocra. Thrawn would become the Chiss ambassador to the Empire with the Emperor accepting Thrawn's offer to serve as his advisor on matters relating to the Unknown Regions and permanently assign Ensign Eli Vanto as his translator and aide. The Emperor reassured him that he had no ill intentions towards the Chiss Ascendancy. Despite his aid in helping the Empire to map the Unknown Region's hyperspace routes, Thrawn did however decide to withhold the location of Chiss worlds and bases. Thrawn also sent Vanto to the Ascendancy as an Imperial liaison, where he believed that he could be a great help to the Chiss.
Some point later, the Galactic Empire would find the Grysks colonizing the moons surrounding the planet of Mokivj, leading to Thrawn and Darth Vader rescuing the Force-sensitive Chiss girls from the Grysks, who were known as the Ozyly-esehembo, which translated to Galactic Basic as 'sky-walker.' Ar'alani then informed Thrawn that she would return the children to their families and also promised to bolster the defenses of the colony world from which the children were taken. Ar'alani questioned Thrawn about his loyalties, he had reassure her that he is true loyalty lies with the Chiss Ascendancy and not the Empire. The Steadfast was also involved in a serious skirmish with the Grysk and some of their allies near the Imperial edge of the Unknown Regions.
The Chiss Ascendancy was a hegemonic empire and was comprised of interconnected sovereignties governed by the noble houses that made up the Aristocra, a sociopolitical body consisting of the empire's ruling families. The Aristocra were collectively conglomerated to serve, represent, and unite the Chiss species as a whole, thereby bringing them under one common order. Most notably, the Aristocra effectively constituted what was essentially the governmental hierarchy and bureaucracy of the Chiss. The power held by the ruling families was that from which the legitimacy of the Aristocra's authority fundamentally derived. As a consequence, they had the power to pass legislation and bless decisions to be instituted across the Ascendancy. Philosophically speaking, the Ascendancy vindicated its positions through a kind of utilitarian lens, the Chiss themselves being an empirically-minded species.
Finally, the Aristocra unilaterally oversaw and supported the upkeep of the Chiss Defense Fleet, the Ascendancy's military arm. The existence of the navy was primarily for purposes relating to exploration and peacekeeping, only used for war in the most extreme of cases, as well as defending Chiss colonies. It further role was to monitor battles between other factions and governments across the galaxy. The CDF used several types of starships, including Chiss warships and Chiss shuttles. The Chiss shuttle was also referred to as a Chiss courier ship.
All operations of the CDF were managed by an admiralty, which also held the power to exile traitors for crimes against the Chiss. Chiss Officers were outfitted with a type of uniform which was able to absorb energy, protecting the user from blaster fire. There were multiple military ranks used in the Chiss Defense Fleet, including the ranks of admiral and commander.
- "What exactly do you wish from my Empire?"
"A state of mutual gain, I offer my knowledge and skill to you now in exchange for your consideration to my people in the future."
- ―Emperor Palpatine and Mitth'raw'nuruodo
In contrast to many other galactic empires, the Chiss Ascendancy favored a more libertarian approach in how it conducted itself in galactic affairs, embracing a philosophy of strict non-interventionism and peaceful diplomacy. Although military service was an important component of Chiss culture and heritage, the very notions of conquest and aggressive expansionism were almost universally disdained by society, and such actions would be in fundamental defiance of military protocol. Despite not believing in the preliminary initiation of force, the Chiss supported going to war in the event that the Ascendancy fell under attack by external forces.
The Chiss Ascendancy was also generally isolationist, almost never involving itself in affairs that existed beyond the bounds of its own space. Diplomatically speaking, on those rare occasions when the Ascendancy did engage in intergalactic matters, the Ascendancy displayed its pacifistic ethos by taking a benevolent approach in its dealings. Despite this, the Ascendancy always exercised extreme caution when doing so, taking measures to ensure that the location of Chiss Space would remain hidden, even to leaders of other galactic governments.
While it rarely embedded itself in galactic conflicts, the Ascendancy would sometimes send emissaries to observe large-scale wars and assess galactic geopolitics. Such would be the case during the Clone Wars, in which the Chiss officer Mitth'raw'nuruodo was sent into Republic Space to analyze the conflict, during which he had an encounter with the Jedi Order and Anakin Skywalker. Years later he would be sent to the Galactic Empire's territory in order to assess its power and determine its viability as an ally against threats that lurked in the Unknown Regions, just beyond the bounds of Chiss territory. Though not initially part of the plan, he ended up infiltrating the ranks of the Imperial Navy, eventually achieving the rank of Grand Admiral. Even so, such external dealings were only carried out if they were somehow seen as being beneficial to Chiss interests, or if specific circumstances had the potential to produce consequences that could have a negative impact on the Ascendancy in the future.
While the Ascendancy was not inherently expansionistic, it often sent ships beyond its borders for the purposes of exploration and research. This allowed for them not only to successfully map and chart numerous expanses throughout Wild Space and the Unknown Regions, but also to discover the existence of forces that could serve as grave threats to the Chiss species.
The Chiss Ascendancy cared a great deal for its sovereignty and the lengths that the government went to in order to avoid compromising even the location of its coordinates resulted in the Chiss' becoming a species shrouded in a certain curious air of mystery.
Society and cultureEdit
- "They're supposed to be great warriors. Clever, resourceful, proud. Intensely loyal to one another, too."
- ―Eli Vanto, on the Chiss
The primary Chiss language was Cheunh, while written communication was done in Chiss script. In their rare contacts with outsiders, the Chiss used the Sy Bisti trade language, this was used across the Unknown Regions as a means of communication.
Most Chiss names were multi syllabic and consisted of three distinct parts, as in Mitth'raw'nuruodo. The first portion identified an individual's family, the second was the given name and the third indicated other social factors.
The secrets of Second and Third Sights were among the best kept secret in the Chiss Ascendancy, to such an extent that many Chiss themselves were unaware of their full extent or even their existence. They were identified with the ability to use the Sight to act as navigators for the CDF and were known as ozyly-esehembo, the Chiss word for "sky-walker."
Much like how the Galactic Empire showed prejudice towards aliens, the Chiss Ascendancy was known for distrusting humans. When Commander Eli Vanto served the Chiss Ascendancy, the Chiss treated him similarly to how Grand Admiral Thrawn was treated when he joined the Empire. Nevertheless, all mistrust towards Vanto ended when he proved his worth.
- Chaos Rising
- Thrawn (First appearance, simultaneous with Thrawn audiobook)
- Thrawn audiobook (First appearance, simultaneous with Thrawn)
- Thrawn 1 (Indirect mention only)
- Thrawn 6
- Thrawn: Alliances
- Thrawn: Alliances audiobook
- Thrawn: Treason
- Thrawn: Treason audiobook