- "Because I was his Master, I alone of the allied Jedi went to confront him, hoping that I could turn him back. I knew it was a foolish mission, but I had no choice. I had to try."
- ―Vodo-Siosk Baas, about facing Exar Kun
In the year 3996 BBY during the Great Sith War, a duel took place in the Senate Hall of the Galactic Republic, between the Krevaaki Jedi Master Vodo-Siosk Baas and his former apprentice Exar Kun, now Dark Lord of the Sith. It commenced on Coruscant, in the Hall's Grand Convocation Chamber, during the trial of Kun's apprentice and fellow Sith Lord, Ulic Qel-Droma. Accompanied by Mandalore the Indomitable, Exar Kun arrived on Coruscant and stormed the Senate Hall, where he found Ulic Qel-Droma on trial for crimes against the Republic. Using Sith magic, the Dark Lord mentally froze the Galactic Senate assembly, leaving only the present Jedi and the Supreme Chancellor uninhibited. After freeing Qel-Droma, he then accosted and killed the Chancellor and prepared to exit; however, the Sith were halted by the arrival of Kun's former teacher—Jedi Master Vodo-Siosk Baas.
Kun and Master Baas engaged in a heated verbal exchange, with neither willing to accept the other's terms. Kun then ignited his lightsaber while issuing his challenge, and his blade met Baas' Force-imbued staff in battle. When it was realized that the opponents were evenly matched in combat, Kun sought to tip the balance in his favor by revealing his latest creation, a weapon of ancient Sith design: the double-bladed lightsaber. Baas' own mettle now faltering under the strength of Kun's blows, the Master sensed his impending demise as he prophesied a future meeting between the two of them, where Baas vowed to defeat Kun forever. He then became one with the Force under the power of Kun's killing stroke, being mocked by his former apprentice even unto death. His part in the bloody Jedi pogrom complete, the Dark Lord of the Sith departed the Convocation Chamber with Ulic Qel-Droma and Mandalore the Indomitable, resuming their quest for dominion over the galaxy.
The pogrom begins
- "What…what do you want me do, Exar? Am I supposed to…kill Master Vodo?"
"No, Crado…go with Oss Wilum. He may need your help. Master Thon will be difficult. Leave Vodo to me…"
- ―Crado, and Exar Kun
The galaxy-wide Great Sith War was a tumultuous ordeal for both the members of the Jedi Order and the Galactic Republic. In the span of just a year and several months, the Brotherhood of the Sith, led by Dark Lord Exar Kun, had steadily confounded both the Jedi and the Republic with defeats in battle. Kun next sought to eliminate the Jedi leadership, and charged his newly-initiated Sith converts with the task of murdering their Masters, a plot that was intended to culminate with the death of Kun's own Master, Vodo-Siosk Baas. The new Sith then departed Kun's stronghold on the jungle-moon of Yavin IV, just as the starship of Mandalore the Indomitable touched down, with the Mandalore rushing out to speak with the Dark Lord. He explained that the premature attack on the galactic capital of Coruscant by Kun's fellow Sith Lord and Krath leader Ulic Qel-Droma, had gone awry. During the battle, Qel-Droma had been imprisoned in a wall of light-side energy by the Jedi, and taken into custody by the Supreme Chancellor of the Galactic Republic. Determined to have the fallen Jedi tried for his war crimes against the galaxy, the only punishment proper in the Chancellor's mind for Qel-Droma was execution.
Mandalore was determined to rescue the Krath warlord, and he sought Exar Kun's assistance to do it. However, the Dark Lord had previously warned Qel-Droma against a preemptive strike upon the galactic capital, and getting himself apprehended only validated Kun's prior notion. Nonetheless, he agreed to assist Mandalore, as Qel-Droma was still a vital factor in their cause. They boarded Kun's vessel, Starstorm One, and set out to rescue their beleaguered comrade from the clutches of the Galactic Republic.
The trial of Qel-Droma
- Ulic: "You'll have to kill me if you want to stop me."
- Cay: "I can't."
- Baas: "I will. But it is Exar Kun who must be stopped…not Ulic."
- ―Ulic Qel-Droma, Cay Qel-Droma, and Master Baas[src]
A cadre of Sith Massassi warriors accompanied Exar Kun and Mandalore the Indomitable as they burst through the doors of the Galactic Senate Hall. In the center of the Convocation Chamber was Ulic Qel-Droma, shackled and being judged by the entire Senate assembly, including the Supreme Chancellor of the Republic. Also present were Ulic's former allies: Jedi Knights Nomi Sunrider, Sylvar, and his brother, Cay Qel-Droma. In the presence of the appalled Senate, the Dark Lord freed Qel-Droma of his shackles through the Force, and in another gesture, used his Sith powers to mentally render the entire audience paralyzed, save the present Jedi and the Chancellor. Exar Kun then ascended the podium in the center of the Chamber, but was attacked by the bewildered Chancellor, whose futile attempt to defend himself caused Kun to bore his fingers into the Chancellor's cranium and hold him aloft, while mentally forcing him to repeat Kun's words as though he were a puppet. The Chancellor mimicked Kun's speech as he laid out his plans for restoring the fabled Sith Empire, even as he denounced the Republic and professed its obsolescence in his grand design. Kun then dropped the dead Chancellor in a pool of his own blood before a captivated audience, and collected the exonerated Qel-Droma, Mandalore, and his Massassi, with intentions of leaving. It was then that the Sith were yet again waylaid by the arrival of Kun's former teacher, Vodo-Siosk Baas.
The Cathar Jedi Sylvar sought to battle Exar Kun in his stead, but Master Baas stopped her, and regarded his former student as his personal responsibility. Baas then demanded that Exar Kun cease his dark side practices, but Kun refused, and instead tempted Master Baas with the offer of a position within the newly-formed Sith Brotherhood. However, when the Krevaaki Jedi declared that he would never submit himself to Sith teachings, Kun activated his lightsaber. With all other options exhausted, Baas readied his staff, and battle ensued.
- "This is not the end, Exar Kun. You and I will fight again…perhaps not for a long time, But I will defeat you."
"Words. Go on to your higher plane, teacher. The galaxy is mine now."
- ―Vodo-Siosk Baas' last words with Exar Kun
Exar Kun remembered his previous loss against Baas' greater skill as he battled relentlessly with his blue blade; Baas, however, dueled with his Force-imbued staff, ready to prove yet again that it was more than a match for any lightsaber. All the while, the Senate assembly remained captivated by Exar Kun's spell, and the Jedi were halted by Mandalore and Kun's Massassi warriors. Master Baas was effortlessly holding his own against the Dark Lord, dismissing all Kun's taunts. Kun likewise refused Baas' pleas for surrender. Neither opponent gave any quarter under the strength of the other's blows, and try as he might, Vodo-Siosk Baas was unable to best Exar Kun, nor could he convince him to renounce the dark side and end his campaign of galactic destruction.
Irritated by the Jedi Master's tireless begging, Exar Kun decided to take the contest up a notch. To Baas' surprise, Kun twisted his lightsaber hilt and produced from its opposite end an identical blue blade: he now dueled with a double-bladed lightsaber. Master Baas was unprepared for the unique weapon, and the Sith took full advantage in raining down blows upon him. Baas' defenses could no longer withstand the assault; thus, he knew that the duel was already lost to him, and he humbled himself to the Force. He then told Exar Kun that he would some day defeat him, maybe not now, but one day and forever. Ignoring this proclamation, Exar Kun bade his former Master farewell and crashed the final blow down on him, cleaving his staff in two. There on the Senate floor, Vodo-Siosk Baas became one with the Force. Only his Jedi robes and the splintered wood of his cane remained.
- "The Senate members may think they are running things, but they are only acting in a shadow play. We are tired of serving their weakness, and we will work toward our own ends from now on. The Sith Brotherhood controls the galaxy."
- ―Exar Kun, Dark Lord of the Sith
Dark Lord of the Sith Exar Kun and his apprentice Ulic Qel-Droma strode triumphantly from the Senate Chamber with Mandalore and Massassi warriors following close behind. The Sith bid the assembly farewell and made their departure for Yavin IV, leaving Nomi Sunrider, Cay Qel-Droma, and Sylvar to cradle the robes and broken staff of Vodo-Siosk Baas in grief.
Across the galaxy, Exar Kun's Sith servants were also attacking their respective Masters, striking them down to make way for the great Sith destiny foretold by Kun. With the threat of the Jedi Masters removed, the Brotherhood of the Sith resumed their campaign against the Republic, whom they intended to crush under the power of the dark side.
- Baas: "Together Jedi can overcome their weaknesses. Exar Kun, my student—you are defeated at last."
- Kun: "No!"
- Skywalker: "Yes."
- ―The final defeat of Exar Kun[src]
Vodo Siosk-Baas' final words to Exar Kun did come to pass many thousands of years in the future. At the new Jedi Praxeum established in the Massassi temple on Yavin IV by Jedi Master Luke Skywalker in 11 ABY, Kun's disembodied spirit began to harass Skywalker's Jedi trainees with temptations of the dark side. However, when the students banded together to confront Kun, the ghost of Master Vodo-Siosk Baas appeared, and assisted the trainees in vanquishing Kun's spirit forever.
Behind the scenes
The duel in the Senate Hall was written and conceived by author Kevin J. Anderson for the fifth Tales of the Jedi story arc entitled The Sith War. First appearing in the comic issue The Trial of Ulic Qel-Droma of The Sith War arc, the duel saw the first death in Kun's Jedi "pogrom" scheme. Anderson thus used the duel to both kill off the character of Vodo-Siosk Baas, and also to reunite the characters of Ulic Qel-Droma and Exar Kun, a union that began in the final issue of Anderson's Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi - Dark Lords of the Sith story arc, a joint project with fellow author Tom Veitch.
The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia mistakenly places Vodo-Siosk Baas's death at the hands of Exar Kun as during the Conclave on Deneba. There are entries that state correctly that it took place on Coruscant, however.
- Tales of the Jedi – The Sith War 2 (Indirect mention only)
- Tales of the Jedi – The Sith War 3 (First appearance)
- Tales of the Jedi – The Sith War 5 (Mentioned only)
- Knights of the Old Republic 47 (In flashback(s))
- Star Wars: The Old Republic (Codex entry)
- Darth Plagueis (Indirect mention only)
- Darth Plagueis audiobook (Indirect mention only)
- I, Jedi (Indirect mention only)
- Champions of the Force (Mentioned only)
- Young Jedi Knights: Heirs of the Force (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Essential Chronology
- The Dark Side Sourcebook
- Power of the Jedi Sourcebook
- Coruscant and the Core Worlds
- Chronicles of the Old Republic
- Star Wars: The Ultimate Visual Guide
- The New Essential Chronology
- Star Wars: The Ultimate Visual Guide: Special Edition
- Jedi vs. Sith: The Essential Guide to the Force
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. I, II ("Galactic Senate Chamber"; "Lightstaff")
- Knights of the Old Republic Campaign Guide (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars: The Ultimate Visual Guide: Updated and Expanded
Notes and references
- Tales of the Jedi – The Sith War 2
- Tales of the Jedi – The Sith War 3
- The Essential Atlas
- The New Essential Chronology
- Jedi vs. Sith: The Essential Guide to the Force
- Tales of the Jedi – Dark Lords of the Sith 1
- Tales of the Jedi: Dark Lords of the Sith (audio)
- Tales of the Jedi – The Sith War 4
- Champions of the Force
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. I ("Galactic Senate Chamber")
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. II ("Lightstaff")