- "Survival is not our goal here—only destroying the enemy."
"We get one shot at this. We win, or die trying."
"Every one of us is expendable. If the galaxy is to survive, the Emperor must fall."
- ―Lord Scourge and the Hero, to the rest of their group
The Dromund Kaas operation was a covert mission carried out by the Republic Navy and the Jedi Order in 3640 BBY, during the Galactic War between the Galactic Republic and the Sith Empire, that saw the Republic Navy attack the Imperial capital planet of Dromund Kaas. The naval assault was but a diversion—while Jedi Grand Master Satele Shan led the Republic Navy in engaging the Imperial First Defense Fleet, a small unit led by the Jedi Knight known as the Hero of Tython infiltrated Dromund Kaas with the purpose of confronting the Sith Emperor. The Hero had foiled the Emperor's recent attempts to massacre thousands on the planets Belsavis, Voss, and Corellia, a sacrifice that was necessary to start the Sith ruler's dark side ritual to consume all life in the galaxy, and the Jedi hoped to kill the Emperor before he could complete his plans.
The Hero and a small group of allies fought their way through the Imperial capital of Kaas City and stole the Sith Emperor's shuttle, which they flew to the nearby Dark Temple. At the temple, they battled their way through the Sith and Imperial Guardsmen who protected the Emperor. The Hero's allies engaged the Temple's defenders while the Knight and the astromech droid T7-O1 fought the Emperor in a final battle in the heart of the Temple. The Emperor was struck down in battle with the Knight, and although only the host body for the Emperor's immortal essence was slain, the Jedi and the galaxy at large believed him to be dead. The Sith Lord Darth Malgus, long at odds with many of the Empire's policies, claimed the Emperor's Fortress and declared a New Empire, and the six powerful Sith known as the Dread Masters decided that they would claim the galaxy for themselves. Although rumors of his death spread, the Empire and the Republic officially kept the Emperor's death a secret until the aftermath of the invasion of the planet Makeb two years later, when Republic Supreme Chancellor Leontyne Saresh publicly revealed the success of the classified operation.
The Emperor's plans
- "I am loyal to the Emperor."
"Loyal to the Emperor, or to the Empire? They are two different things."
"What do you mean?"
"The Emperor is mad. Unchecked, he will destroy us all."
- ―Scourge learns of the Emperor's crimes from his superior, Darth Nyriss
In 4999 BBY, the Sith Lord Vitiate convinced over eight thousand other Sith Lords to visit his homeworld of Nathema in hopes of saving the crumbling Sith Empire from the onslaught of the Galactic Republic. Once there, Vitiate enslaved the minds of his fellow Sith and forced them to aid him in performing a powerful ritual of Sith magic.
The casting of the ritual stripped the Force itself from the entire planet, killing every living thing on Nathema and allowing Vitiate to consume their combined life force, rendering him immortal and granting him immense strength in the Force. By then known as the Sith Emperor, he went on to reconstitute the Sith Empire, over which he ruled for well over a thousand years. Throughout that time, the Emperor delved further into the study of Sith magic, seeking a way to gain even more power.
In 3950 BBY, the Emperor was attacked by three powerful Force users—the Jedi Revan and Meetra Surik and the Sith Lord Scourge—and was almost defeated by them. However, during the fight, Scourge had a vision of the future, where he saw another Jedi standing victorious over the Emperor. He chose to betray Surik and Revan in order to ensure that future came to pass, as he understood the threat that the Emperor posed to the galaxy.
As a result, Scourge was appointed as the Emperor's Wrath, the Emperor's personal enforcer, and served the Emperor for the next few centuries, while Revan was captured and tortured during the same period. Due to the Emperor's brush with death, he sought out a way to transfer his consciousness and powers between host bodies, and the Emperor thereafter used host bodies in order to safeguard his true body from harm. The host body was known as the Emperor's Voice.
Race against doomsday
- "I've also learned the Emperor is on Dromund Kaas. His efforts against us have weakened him. Our enemy is vulnerable—for now. The Emperor is determined to destroy the galaxy. It's him, or us."
"You must face the Emperor again. And this time, you cannot fail."
- ―The Hero of Tython and Satele Shan
In 3641 BBY, the Galactic War broke out between the Empire and the Republic, largely thanks to the Republic's freeing of Revan—in his captivity, Revan had used the mental link between him and his captor to temper the Emperor's desire to destroy the galaxy. As war broke out, the Emperor began preparations to repeat his ritual on a galactic scale, intending to consume the entire galaxy as he had Nathema. Around a year later, he dispatched a number of Sith and Dark Jedi agents to various worlds in order to perpetrate a mass death of thousands, as his ritual would require a sacrifice to begin. However, Scourge betrayed the Emperor and sought out the Jedi from his vision, a Jedi Knight known as the Hero of Tython.
With Scourge's aid, the Hero foiled the Emperor's efforts on Belsavis, Voss, and Corellia, and the Emperor's agent on Corellia, the Dark Jedi Tol Braga, gave the Hero the Emperor's coordinates on the Imperial capital world of Dromund Kaas. With the Emperor's location in hand, Grand Master Satele Shan of the Jedi Order decided that the time was right to strike against the Emperor before he could achieve the sacrifice necessary for his ritual. Therefore, she assembled a combined task force of Republic Navy and Jedi warships for an assault on Dromund Kaas and tasked the Hero and the Jedi's crew of allies with infiltrating the Imperial capital and eliminating the Emperor.
Invading Dromund Kaas
- "One of the Emperor's private shuttles is not far from here. It has full security clearance to enter the temple."
"Great. Now all we have to do is fight through a city of bad guys trying to kill us."
- ―Scourge and Kira Carsen
Upon arriving in the Dromund system, the Republic task force immediately engaged the Imperial First Defense Fleet, drawing the majority of Imperial forces in the system to them. Under cover of the fighting, the Hero's crew entered Imperial airspace and landed their Defender-class light corvette on the outskirts of Kaas City. The Hero's crew consisted of six individuals—the Hero, Lord Scourge, Jedi Knight Kira Carsen, the combat medic Archiban Kimble, the Republic trooper Fideltin Rusk, and the astromech droid T7-O1. Acting on Scourge's knowledge of the city, the group determined that the easiest way to the Emperor, who was located in the edifice known as the Dark Temple in the nearby jungle, would be to steal one of the Emperor's private shuttles that were docked in the city.
The group broke up into three pairs of two and fought its way through Kaas City, which at the time was lightly guarded by Imperial soldiers, Imperial commandos, Mandalorian mercenaries, and war droids, including a massive Imperial Ravager Droid. All three pairs made it safely to the shuttle, where they discussed their plan of attack before departing. Because of the Emperor's power, none of the others could safely accompany the Hero into battle with the Emperor for fear of being controlled; however, because T7-O1 was a droid, he could face the Emperor without being in danger of manipulation. The other four would engage the Temple's defenders in order to draw opposition away from the Hero and T7-O1 and clear their path to the Emperor. Scourge flew the shuttle to the Dark Temple, where the six stormed the Temple and battled the dozens of Imperial Guardsmen and Sith assassins who guarded the edifice and their Emperor.
Despite the enemy's numbers, the Hero and T7-O1 soon reached the stairs to the upper levels, where the Emperor waited; however, as T7-O1 interfaced with the Temple security system and deactivated the force field that blocked the stairwell, he detected that one of the Hero's companions was about to be overwhelmed by Imperial Guard reinforcements nearby. Unwilling to let one of the others be killed for the sake of the mission, the pair rushed to their ally's aid, eliminating the numerous Imperial Guards and rescuing their companion before returning to the stairwell and continuing toward the Emperor. Confident in his power, the Emperor awaited the Hero's arrival in one of the Temple's upper chambers and was unconcerned when the Jedi and T7-O1 succeeded in breaching his sanctum.
A fated confrontation
- "I will not be contained. I cannot be redeemed. Death is all that remains, and you will not kill me."
- ―The Sith Emperor
The Sith greeted his enemy with a bolt of violet Force lightning, mocking the Hero for sacrificing strength to rescue an ally. The Hero intercepted the lightning with a lightsaber blade, and the Emperor then summoned three phantom duplicates of himself that attacked the Knight and droid as the Emperor descended from his throne to confront his enemy. The pair made quick work of their phantom opponents, and when the Hero then questioned the Emperor's desire to consume the galaxy, the Emperor scoffed at what he saw as the Jedi's limited grasp of reality—he intended to outlast everything, and there were more galaxies and universes for him to conquer beyond their own.
The Sith then summoned several more duplicates of himself and drew his own lightsaber, and the numerous Emperors attacked their opponents. The Emperor and his copies utilized Force lightning and Sith magic as well as their lightsabers in battle, disappearing and reappearing throughout the chamber to toy with the Jedi's senses. However, the Hero and T7-O1 stood strong against their opponents, and one by one the Emperor's duplicates fell until the remaining duplicates vanished in swirls of dark side energy as the true Emperor fell to his knees. The Hero charged the Emperor, intending to end their battle, but the Sith ruler unleashed an explosive blast of Force lightning that threw his enemy across the room. Acknowledging the Hero's strength in the Force, the Emperor cast another burst of Force lightning directed straight at the Jedi, only for the Hero to catch the attack on the blade of a lightsaber.
As the Emperor continued to generate lightning, the two enemies advanced on each other from across the room, but when they reached each other, the Hero spun out of the way of the lightning and dealt the Emperor a devastating blow to the Sith's waist. The Sith ruler collapsed to the floor. However, as he tried—and failed—to rise, he declared that he would never be contained or redeemed and scoffed at the Hero's claims that he would be taken to Tython and turned from the dark side. The Hero then contacted Scourge and reported success, but Scourge warned his ally that the Emperor was not yet dead.
Scourge was correct—the Emperor's essence left his fallen Voice and, warning the Hero that he would take his enemy with him if he was going to die, released a massive amount of dark side energy from the Voice as a final act of defiance. The released energy severely damaged the Temple, causing the upper levels to begin to collapse, and the Hero and T7-O1 rushed out of the Temple to safety. The Hero and T7-O1 met up with the other members of their group, who had all survived their battle with the Temple's defenders, and flew the Emperor's shuttle back to Kaas City and boarded their waiting ship outside of the capital. Upon lifting off, the Hero immediately contacted the Grand Master and reported the mission's success, leading Shan to order a general retreat from the Dromund system.
- "Yet that is not why I stand before you. Instead, I can finally confirm what many have suspected for months: The Sith Emperor is dead."
"A Jedi strike team confronted the Emperor during a recent attack on Dromund Kaas. Now a joint SIS and Jedi committee has concluded that the galaxy's greatest villain is gone forever."
"This does not change the fight ahead. The Dark Council remains the true political power in the Empire. But it sends a message to the Sith and their followers: We are coming for you."
- ―Supreme Chancellor Saresh and Satele Shan, in a HoloNet announcement
The remaining ships of the task force rendezvoused at the Republic cruiser Valiant near the Core Worlds, where Admiral Dabrin of the Republic Navy and the Grand Master arranged a large award ceremony for the Hero and crew. All of the group received the Cross of Glory, the Republic's highest honor, and Shan elevated the Hero to the rank of Jedi Master.
With the loss of his Voice, the Emperor's essence retreated to his true body, where he entered restorative hibernation to recover from his battle with the Hero. Rumors of the Emperor's death spread among the upper levels of the Sith Empire, leading the maverick Sith Lord Darth Malgus—already disgusted with the Empire's anti-alien policies and the infighting exemplified by the Empire's ruling Dark Council—to rebel at the Battle of Ilum not long afterward. Seizing the Emperor's abandoned space fortress, Malgus declared a New Empire, splitting the forces of the Empire as many defected to his cause.
The New Empire was crushed at the Battle of Ilum by both the Republic and the Empire, but the damage was done—combined with the recent loss at the Battle of Corellia, the Empire, which had previously held the upper hand in the Galactic War, was gradually forced on the defensive. The veteran Dark Councilor Darth Marr eventually assumed a leadership role in the Empire and made efforts to restore Imperial supremacy, but it was not until around 3638 BBY, after the Hutt Cartel's failed invasion of the planet Makeb, that Marr halted the Empire's losses when he acquired the powerful mineral known as isotope-5.
The details of the Dromund Kaas operation, as the event came to be known, were highly classified by the Republic. The newly elected Supreme Chancellor of the Republic, Leontyne Saresh, refrained from announcing the operation to the public initially, but she immediately adopted an aggressive stance against the Empire, appointing the veteran soldier Jace Malcom as Supreme Commander of the Republic Military as part of an effort to take the fight to the Empire. A joint committee of Jedi and agents of the Republic Strategic Information Service, the Republic's intelligence agency, was tasked with confirming the Emperor's death.
As the Emperor's Hand, his most trusted servants, were tasked with guarding the Emperor's body, only they and the new Emperor's Wrath were aware of the Emperor's survival; thus, the committee's conclusion was that the Emperor was, in fact, dead. In the aftermath of the Republic's victory over the Hutt Cartel at Makeb, the Chancellor, Shan, and Malcom held an official announcement of the Emperor's death on the HoloNet.
The galaxy at large
- "The Emperor was strong. He spoke to us. Guided us. Now the Emperor is quiet. None who remain are worthy of our loyalty."
- ―The Dread Masters
The Emperor's essence was severely injured by the battle with the Hero and thus was forced into hibernation in his original body. While he slumbered, his consciousness reached out to his Children—agents of the Emperor's will who were mentally linked with their "father." The Emperor's pain and anger led him to issue crazed and conflicting commands to his children, such as "freeze the oceans of Manaan" and "set fire to Ord Mantell." Unable to handle the influence of their injured Emperor, a number of Children were driven near insane; others managed to shut out their master's commands, shielding themselves from his damaging influence until he healed. The Emperor's spirit went on to serve as a major player in the galactic conflicts that followed, though it was not until 3626 BBY that his spirit was finally vanquished for good.
The Emperor's apparent death and resultant hibernation had another major effect on the galaxy: the six Sith Lords known as the Dread Masters, who had served the Emperor for centuries, were left without the Emperor's guidance and commands. Incredibly powerful in the Force, the Dread Masters found that none in the Empire were powerful enough to command their loyalty and thus decided to make the galaxy their own. Wielding their power over fear and the minds of others, the Dread Masters gathered an army of their own and set about acquiring exotic technology from species such as the Rakata and the Gree, becoming a third power in the Galactic War. Their attacks on Hutt Space led the Hutt Cartel to try and expand their borders in order to make up for lost territory, and the Hutt Cartel's expansions led to the death of the Cartel's Supreme Mogul, Karagga.
Karagga was succeeded as Supreme Mogul by Toborro the Hutt, who instigated the Hutt invasion of Makeb in 3638 BBY. When one of their number, Dread Master Styrak, was slain on the planet Darvannis, the remaining five sank into insanity and decided to destroy the galaxy; they were ultimately defeated at the moon of Oricon. In the depths of Wild Space, the Sith Emperor's biological daughter Vaylin discovered that the mental barriers her father had installed in her mind to prevent her from utilizing her full power were gone. With that discovery, Vaylin began plotting her revenge against her father.
Behind the scenes
- "The dark side has cast its shadow over you. I sense your anger and ambition growing. I can no longer ignore it. I wanted so much for you to become a Jedi Master, but you are not ready."
- ―Satele Shan, to a dark side player at the end of "Doomsday"
The Dromund Kaas operation served as the focus of the Jedi Knight class's finale mission, "Doomsday," in Star Wars: The Old Republic, a massively multiplayer online role-playing game released by BioWare and LucasArts in December 2011, although it first appeared as a vision to Lord Scourge in the prequel novel The Old Republic: Revan, written by Drew Karpyshyn and published on November 15, 2011. The mission is identified as the "Dromund Kaas operation" by the droid RL-4, who introduces the Karagga's Palace Operation for Republic players, and The Old Republic's Digital Expansion Rise of the Hutt Cartel features Chancellor Saresh's official announcement of the Emperor's death.
In "Doomsday," the player is presented with the choice of saving an imperiled companion, gaining light side alignment points, or continuing on to fight the Emperor, thus depriving the Emperor the chance to gather more strength and gaining dark side alignment points. The companion in question will be the companion with which the player has the highest Affection, excluding Lord Scourge and T7-O1, and there is no difference in difficulty in the fight with the Emperor between the two choices. If the player does not rescue the companion, then the character is rescued by one of the player's other companions. At the award ceremony, the player will either be awarded the rank of Jedi Master or general depending on whether the player has a light or dark side alignment score, respectively. As the Jedi Knight is a Republic-class character, this article assumes that the player chooses the option that results in the most light side points; thus, the Hero of Tython is assumed to have rescued the companion and became a Jedi Master.
The 2012 reference book Star Wars: The Old Republic Encyclopedia depicts an example player character fighting the Emperor in the Dark Temple in its summary of the Jedi Knight class storyline, but Hall Hood, one of the writers of the class, confirmed such images to not be canonical.
- The Old Republic: Revan (First appearance, simultaneous with The Old Republic: Revan audiobook) (Vision to Scourge)
- The Old Republic: Revan audiobook (Vision to Scourge)
- Star Wars: The Old Republic (First pictured) (First identified as Dromund Kaas operation)
- The Old Republic: Annihilation (Indirect mention only)
- The Old Republic: Annihilation audiobook (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars: The Old Republic: Rise of the Hutt Cartel (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: The Old Republic: Shadow of Revan (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: The Old Republic: Knights of the Fallen Empire (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: The Old Republic: Knights of the Eternal Throne (Mentioned only)
Notes and references