- "The children of the Je'daii returned to Tython to wage war. The Despot Army was great in number, but the Je'daii had the Force as their ally."
The Despot War was a conflict that occurred in the Tython system in the year 25,805 BBY when the Despot Queen Hadiya attempted to unite the crime barons of her homeworld Shikaakwa and conquer the Tython system. Rising to become the Kral, or overlord, of Shikaakwa, Hadiya sought to unify the planet's aristocracy under a single leader, and much of the aristocracy resisted this. The Je'daii Order on the planet Tython, seeing that Hadiya's plans were a threat to the system's stability, decided to intervene on the side of the aristocracy. War broke out between the Je'daii and Hadiya's Despot Army, but when Hadiya invaded Tython and attacked the Je'daii temple Kaleth, she was killed by the Je'daii Ranger Daegen Lok, who had been undercover in Hadiya's army to get close to her. Hadiya's death at Lok's hands ended the war, but not before there were a hundred thousand Tythan casualties, over a million casualties among the Despot Army, and thousands of injured, and tensions in the Tython system remained high in the decade following the war.
- "The Je'daii say, "There is no ignorance; there is knowledge." But they are ignorant of your lives, your struggles, and their superiority blinds them. They say, "There is no fear; there is power." Yet in their power they are smug. And I will make them fear me."
In the year 36,453 BBY, the pyramid ships known as the Tho Yor brought Force-sensitive pilgrims to the planet Tython, where the pilgrims formed the Je'daii Order of Force-users. However, Tython was unsafe for those who could not touch the Force, and so during the second millennium after the Tho Yor Arrival the non-Force-sensitives on Tython migrated off-world, settling Tython's moons and then the ten other worlds in the Tython system. Those on the Settled Worlds eventually developed resentment and suspicion of the Je'daii over the next ten thousand years, and the planet Shikaakwa developed an aristocracy centered around the Nine Houses and the crime barons who ruled them.
Around the year 25,805 BBY, the charismatic Twi'lek Hadiya began to unite the Nine Houses and the aristocracy of Shikaakwa through charm or through force with the help of several lieutenants—Bakko, Ka'un Damm, and Hadiya's "fists," Shri-Lan and Gav Vannar. As the Kral, or overlord of the aristocracy, Hadiya attempted to unify the aristocracy, though some in the aristocracy opposed her efforts and her desire to conquer the entire Tython system. Clan Ryo's leader refused Hadiya's request to join her forces, so Hadiya executed the man and his oldest son, forcing the middle son, Volnos Ryo, to take up his father's title of baron and lead his house. Despite the aristocratic resistance, Hadiya received enthusiastic support from many of the commoners, who were swayed by the Kral's promises of safety, wealth, and freedom from Je'daii intervention.
- "In her pride, she would not be subject to the Je'daii—or the "will" of the Force. Her will alone would be supreme. So was born the Despot War."
Now known as the Despot Queen, Hadiya's ambitions drew the attention of the Je'daii. Realizing Hadiya's plans were a threat to the system's stability, the Je'daii joined the Shikaakwan aristocrats in opposing Hadiya, swearing to confront any moves that Hadiya made against them and also to protect those who did not wish to be subjugated by the Despot Queen. A short period of "phony war" followed, where there were small skirmishes in space and on some of the moons of the planet Kalimahr, which was followed by a full invasion of Tython by Hadiya and her Despot Army that she had trained and armed in secret. The Je'daii were initially taken by surprise, but the Order quickly regained their footing in the face of Hadiya's massive and brutal invasion. During the invasion of Tython, Je'daii Master Rajivari led the Je'daii in battle and earned the nickname "General", and Temple Master Telaat—Temple Master of the Je'daii Temple Akar Kesh and leader of the Je'daii Council—was slain, leading a younger Master named Ketu to succeed him.
Some of the domed cities on the planet Nox sided with the Je'daii, while others sided with the Despot Queen. When the Je'daii discovered that three domes around the city of Greenwood Station were supplying Hadiya with weapons, they attempted to convince the domes to stop, and they ultimately resorted to bombing the cities. The Je'daii warned the domes's inhabitants that the cities would be bombed, but thousands still died in the attacks. Greenwood Station itself was only damaged because the city was home to Pan Deep, an advanced laboratory that produced technology for the Je'daii, and the damage was quickly repaired, but its inhabitants harbored intense hate of the Je'daii as a result. Battle droids were also used during the Despot War, and Deathstalker-class fighters and their sister ships, Deathblaster-class fighters, were used by the Despot Army throughout the Despot War. However, many of the Deathblaster-class fighters were destroyed by the Je'daii throughout the conflict.
Seeking revenge against Hadiya for the death of his father and brother, Volnos Ryo sought out Daegen Lok, a Je'daii Ranger and the best friend of Volnos's younger brother Hawk. With Volnos's help, Lok approached the Despot Army claiming to be a disgraced Ranger who sought to join them. Lok soon rose through the ranks to become a valued lieutenant of Hadiya, and the two became lovers as Lok began to lose sight of his mission. Hadiya's siege of the Temple of Kaleth saw massive casualties on both sides, among them Je'daii like the mother and father of a young Je'daii child named Shae Koda. At Kaleth, Volnos Ryo confronted Lok and reminded him of his mission to end the war, so Lok attempted to kill Hadiya in their tent by stabbing her. However, he hesitated before killing her, on account of his feelings for her and the fact that assassinations were forbidden among the Je'daii, but when the Despot Queen attacked him, he slew her and then proceeded to fight his way out of the camp, leaving one alive to tell the story. Hadiya's death broke the invasion, as her generals turned on each other, and the Je'daii soon defeated the remnants of the Despot Army and emerged victorious.
- "Some of the wounds between the Je'daii and their children have yet to heal…"
The total death toll among the Je'daii was around a hundred thousand, and ten times that number were killed among the Despot Army, with thousands more injured during the conflict. In the aftermath of the war, the Je'daii dismantled many of the remaining Deathblaster and Deathstalker-class fighters, making the Deathblaster an especially rare ship. In revenge for the bombings, Greenwood Station's council sanctioned the murder of a Je'daii in return for every hundred civilians who had been killed in the bombings, and the assassinations continued across the system for two or three years after the war. Hadiya's inner circle was exiled to Nox, and a new but weak Kral was elected who was easily manipulated by the Nine Houses. The rivalries and conflicts between the Houses resumed, and general resentment of the Je'daii remained strong among many inhabitants of the Tythan system. For his role in ending the conflict, Daegen Lok was soon promoted to the rank of Master, but in 25,800 BBY, he and Hawk Ryo—overconfident after their victories in the war—descended into the Chasm on Tython, a rift in the surface of the planet that drove many Je'daii mad if they descended too far. Lok and Ryo received a vision of an army of dark warriors carrying blades of fire, and Lok went insane as a result while Ryo denied the vision and maintained his sanity.
Behind the scenes
The Despot War was first mentioned in the preview issue 0 of the comic book series Star Wars: Dawn of the Jedi, and the first issue depicted the conflict in its summary of Je'daii history. The conflict has been expanded upon in subsequent issues of the series, and the tie-in novel Dawn of the Jedi: Into the Void expanded on the Despot War's events and origins.
- Dawn of the Jedi: Into the Void (Mentioned only)
- Dawn of the Jedi: Into the Void audiobook (Mentioned only)
- Dawn of the Jedi: Force Storm 1 (First appearance) (In flashback(s))
- Dawn of the Jedi: Force Storm 2 (Mentioned only)
- Dawn of the Jedi: Force Storm 4 (Mentioned only)
- Dawn of the Jedi: The Prisoner of Bogan 1 (Mentioned only)
- Dawn of the Jedi: The Prisoner of Bogan 2 (Mentioned only)
- Dawn of the Jedi: The Prisoner of Bogan 4 (Mentioned only)
- Dawn of the Jedi: The Prisoner of Bogan 5 (In flashback(s))
- Star Wars: Dawn of the Jedi 0 (First mentioned)