- "What is the Voice of the Emperor?"
"The Voice is the conduit for the Emperor's words."
- ―Servant One explains the Emperor's Voice to the newly appointed Emperor's Wrath
The Emperor's Voice, formally addressed as the Voice of the Emperor by other Sith and also known as the Voice of Darkness, was a position within the reconstituted Sith Empire that was held by the Sith Emperor's host body. First created after a failed assassination attempt in 3950 BBY, the Voice allowed the Emperor to protect his true form as a Force entity while still delivering commands to his servants and carrying out his will. The Emperor utilized many Voices of different species, genders, and ages throughout his lifetime, transferring his consciousness and powers from body to body as his hosts succumbed to the ravaging effects of the dark side.
As the Galactic War ignited between the Empire and the Galactic Republic in 3642 BBY, the Dark Councilor Darth Baras began a coup years in the making as he attempted to take the place of the Voice and thereby become the supreme authority within the Empire. Trapping the true Voice on the planet of Voss with the aid of the dark entity Sel-Makor, Baras secured his power base and proclaimed himself to be the Voice of the Emperor before the Dark Council. However, Baras' former apprentice and the newly-appointed Emperor's Wrath killed the true Voice in order to free the Emperor's essence and struck down Baras for his transgression. The Emperor's next Voice would fall in battle with the prodigal Jedi Knight known as the Hero of Tython, forcing the Emperor's essence into hiding and abolishing the post of Emperor's Voice while his essence healed. While not a true Voice in terms of its place in the Sith Empire, the body of the Human Valkorion had served as the Emperor's second body for centuries, ruling over the Eternal Empire of the planet Zakuul even as he controlled the Sith Empire through his Voice. Even so, the Emperor was later destroyed by the Commander of the Eternal Alliance.
Role and powers
- "The Emperor chooses one being to physically embody. This being is the Voice. It is obeyed as the Emperor himself."
- ―Servant One
Also known as the 'Voice of Darkness, the position of Emperor's Voice was more than a simple title—through Sith magic and the long-lost technique of transfer essence, the Sith Emperor transferred his consciousness and life force into a host body, allowing him to interact with the world as more than just his true state as a being of pure Force energy. The host's mind was completely suppressed, crushed beneath the weight of the Emperor's mind, and their body literally became the Sith's own. The process also conferred the Emperor's immense strength in the Force upon the Voice, though his abilities could be bolstered by the host's own powers—the Emperor utilized a Voss Mystic as his Voice during the Cold War in order to take advantage of the Voss' prophetic abilities.
When the host Voice died, the Emperor's essence was released from the body and returned to the care of his Hand—the twelve Servants who carried out their master's will across the galaxy. Servant Two, a member of the Emperor's Hand, was mentally linked to the Emperor more so than all of his other agents, and as a result, the prophetic Servant was always aware of the Voice's presence and location even when the Emperor was dormant. Upon receiving their master's essence, the Hand would procure a new Voice for the Emperor and aid him in establishing control of the host body. Unbeknownst to all but the Hand, Vitiate—as the Sith Emperor was once again known as after splitting with the Sith Empire near the end of his life—also had a second host body that he controlled simultaneously with the Voice: the Human Valkorion, whose form he used to rule the Eternal Empire of the planet Zakuul for centuries.
A new empire
- "Wrath. Come to me. I am your Emperor."
- ―The Emperor's Voice encounters his newest Wrath
The Emperor created his first Voice around 3950 BBY, after a failed attack by the Jedi Master Revan and his allies brought the Emperor's body within arms' reach of harm. The Emperor took Revan captive and imprisoned him, but the Emperor—who feared only death—was terrified by the close brush with death. As a result, the Empire's supreme ruler delved into further studies of the dark side in order to preserve his physical form—a body that had been rendered ageless but not invulnerable by the dark ritual the Emperor had performed over a thousand years earlier. Discovering how to transfer his consciousness and powers into the bodies of others, he took his first host and named the individual the Voice of the Emperor—the literal embodiment of the Emperor's absolute will and his mouthpiece to the Dark Council.
The Dark Council soon learned that the various individuals who would appear throughout the next three centuries were in fact the Emperor's host bodies, and therefore obeyed the Voice's commands the same as they would the Emperor himself. Serving as the focal point of the Emperor's energies, the Voice allowed his consciousness to reach out across the galaxy to direct his agents and observe his enemies. Among the beings that the Emperor used were a young female Human and an elderly Sith pureblood, and during the early years of the Great Galactic War with the Galactic Republic, the position of Voice was filled by a male Human. The Dark Council and the rest of the Sith Empire were unaware, however, that the Voice was not the only host of their ruler—growing tired of the galaxy and the Sith teachings that limited him, the Emperor established a new kingdom—an Eternal Empire based on the planet Zakuul in Wild Space—and ruled over it through a host body named Valkorion. Unlike the Voices, the Emperor ensured that the Valkorion body survived for centuries, sparing it the ravaging effects of the dark side. The Emperor split his consciousness and focus between the two Empires, but gradually abandoned the Sith Empire as time went on and invested more of his attentions to Zakuul.
Plans for immortality
Around 3645 BBY, the planet of Voss was discovered by the Empire, and the Emperor was intrigued by the prophetic abilities of the native species. Therefore, he instigated an attack on the planet by Imperial forces while his Hand kidnapped a male Voss Mystic from the surface.
The Emperor would experiment with the Voss' powers over the next few years, using the abilities of his host and those of a captive Revan to gaze into the future as he made preparations to repeat on a galactic scale the ritual that had given him immortality. However, Dark Councilor Darth Baras had been manipulating the Emperor throughout that period, feeding him information on the mysterious dark side entity known as Sel-Makor that resided in the Sith complex called the Dark Heart on Voss. Finally, in 3640 BBY, the Emperor decided to investigate Sel-Makor in the event that the entity could be useful to his ongoing plans.
- "Once I ascend, all will be tranquil in this galaxy. It is my promise to you. Now, strike!"
"No! Forever bound! Sel-Makor takes this body! Such… power!"
- ―Sel-Makor prevents the Wrath from freeing the Emperor
However, when the Voice entered the Ancient Halls of the Dark Heart, the Emperor found that he could not leave—the Ancient Halls were a place that no Voss could ever exit, just as Baras had planned. Before the Emperor could reach out to his Hand and explain Baras' betrayal, Sel-Makor seized control of the Voice and began to battle the Emperor for control of both his host and the Sith's own powers in the Force. With the true Voice out of the way, Baras began his attempt to proclaim himself the Voice, betraying his apprentice in the process. However, acting on the fragments of instructions that the Emperor was able to send them during his struggle, the Hand appointed Baras' apprentice the newest Emperor's Wrath and unleashed the Sith Warrior upon Baras' allies. The Wrath eventually located the true Voice on Voss, and after defeating it in battle when Sel-Makor seized control of the body, the Wrath was ordered to kill the Voss host in order to free the Emperor's essence. With the death of his host, the Emperor's essence was able to return to his Hand and acquire a Human male as his new host.
This Voice would ultimately fall in battle with the Emperor's enemy, the Jedi Knight known as the Hero of Tython, when the Jedi confronted the Sith ruler in the depths of the Dark Temple on Dromund Kaas. Despite all of the Emperor's power, the Knight was still able to strike him down and kill the Voice, grievously wounding the Emperor's essence with the power of the light side. Forced from their host, the Emperor's energies were left without an anchor and fell into a deep slumber at the shock of the blow. The injury also affected his control over his Valkorion body; Valkorion's power faltered, causing the mental blocks he had placed within the mind of his daughter Vaylin to lapse.
The Emperor's incorporeal essence took shelter in the dark side energies of the moon Yavin 4, and when the Sith Empire turned on their former ruler upon discovering his plans to destroy the galaxy, the position of Voice was abandoned entirely—now known as Vitiate, the former Emperor did not take a new host and instead ravaged the planet Ziost before consolidating himself entirely in the Valkorion host body. Shortly afterward, the Yavin Coalition, a joint task force between the Empire and the Republic that aimed to stop Vitiate's plans, then found Valkorion, who was slain in the ensuing confrontation. Vitiate was thus forced to bond himself to the Outlander, leader of the Yavin Coalition, although he sought to ally with the Outlander and did not make his new host into a true Voice. However, the Outlander refused to work with Valkorion and, as Commander of the Eternal Alliance, eventually destroyed the Emperor's true body in 3626 BBY.
Behind the scenes
- "Remember that all those who have direct access to the Emperor—the Emperor's Voice, the Emperor's Hand, the soldiers in the Imperial Guard—are under his spell."
- ―Darth Nyriss mentions the Voice, almost half a decade before the position was created
The Emperor's Voice was first mentioned in the 2011 novel The Old Republic: Revan by the Dark Councilor Darth Nyriss along with the Emperor's Hand and the Imperial Guard. However, the 2012 reference guide Star Wars: The Old Republic Encyclopedia directly contradicted this statement, as it established that the Emperor created his first Voice after Revan attacked the Emperor in 3950 BBY, meaning that the position did not exist when Nyriss mentioned them to Lord Scourge in 3954 BBY.
The position of Voice of the Emperor is a major plot point in Act III of the Sith Warrior class in the massively multiplayer online role-playing game Star Wars: The Old Republic, released by BioWare and LucasArts in 2011, where the Emperor is voiced by Doug Bradley. The player's master, Darth Baras, betrays his apprentice at the beginning of Act III as he attempts to proclaim himself Voice, and the Emperor's Hand appoints the player as the new Emperor's Wrath. After eliminating Baras' sister Darth Ekkage on Belsavis, the player searches for and finally locates the true Voice on Voss, which they must battle when Sel-Makor takes control of the body. After defeating Sel-Makor, the Wrath kills the Voice at the Emperor's command, freeing his essence and allowing him to take on a new Voice—the Human male that Jedi Knight players encounters in "Doomsday," their Act III finale.
The Emperor's Voice is ultimately killed by the Jedi Knight during their battle, though it is only revealed later in a message to the Emperor's Wrath that the Emperor's essence did in fact survive. Servant One of the Emperor's Hand tells to Sith Warrior players that the Emperor returned to his true body and entered into a deep slumber in order to heal from the damage inflicted by the Knight during their fight, thereby eliminating the need for a Voice at that time. However, the later expansions Knights of the Fallen Empire and Knights of the Eternal Throne establish that Vitiate had in fact not restrained himself to a single host, and no longer used his original body. The player character of the expansions, the Outlander, unintentionally becomes a pseudo-Voice after the death of Valkorion, the Voice that Vitiate used to rule over the Eternal Empire of Zakuul.
- Star Wars: The Old Republic (First appearance)
- Star Wars: The Old Republic: Knights of the Fallen Empire
- The Old Republic: Revan (First mentioned, simultaneous with The Old Republic: Revan audiobook) (Retcon)
- The Old Republic: Revan audiobook
Notes and references
- Star Wars: The Old Republic—Sith Warrior Mission: "Declaration of War" on Quesh
- Star Wars: The Old Republic Encyclopedia
- The Old Republic: Revan
- Star Wars: The Old Republic Encyclopedia date the finales of Star Wars: The Old Republic's class storylines in 3640 BBY, and place the subsequent Battle of Ilum at the end of that same year. and
- Star Wars: The Old Republic—The message The Emperor's Absence from Servant One of the Emperor's Hand
- Star Wars: The Old Republic—Sith Warrior Mission: "The Voice of Darkness" on Voss
- Star Wars: The Old Republic—Codex: "The Voice of the Emperor (Warrior)"
- Star Wars: The Old Republic: Shadow of Revan—Mission: "The End of It All" on Ziost
- Star Wars: The Old Republic—Sith Warrior Mission: "Request An Audience" on Voss
- Star Wars: The Old Republic: Knights of the Fallen Empire—Codex: "Valkorion"
- Star Wars: The Old Republic: Knights of the Fallen Empire—Codex: "The Eternal Throne"
- The Old Republic, Blood of the Empire Act 1: Shades of the Sith
- Star Wars: The Old Republic—Imperial Agent Mission: "Paying Respects" on Voss establishes that the imposter Bas-Ton has been on Voss for five years, and he was sent there to infiltrate Voss society after the Sith Empire's invasion of the planet failed. Additionally, Star Wars: The Old Republic Encyclopedia places the events of Act III, which include Voss, in approximately 3640 BBY; thus, the invasion of Voss occurred in approximately 3645 BBY. Finally, Star Wars: The Old Republic—Sith Warrior Mission: "Request An Audience" on Voss establishes that the Voss host for the Emperor was taken simultaneously with the planet's discovery.
- Star Wars: The Old Republic—Sith Warrior Mission: "The Voice of Darkness" on Voss explains that the Emperor's essence can only change bodies when his current host dies, meaning that the Voice must have died or been killed.
- Star Wars: The Old Republic—Flashpoint: "Maelstrom Prison"
- Star Wars: The Old Republic—Jedi Knight Mission: "An Unthinkable Alliance" on the Emperor's Fortress
- Star Wars: The Old Republic—Jedi Knight Mission: "Doomsday" on Dromund Kaas
- Star Wars: The Old Republic: Knights of the Fallen Empire—Codex: "Vaylin"
- Star Wars: The Old Republic: Shadow of Revan—Mission: "The Enemy Within" on
- Star Wars: The Old Republic: Knights of the Fallen Empire—Chapter I: The Hunt
- Star Wars: The Old Republic: Knights of the Fallen Empire—Chapter VI: Asylum
- Star Wars: The Old Republic: Onslaught—Flashpoint: "Echoes of Oblivion"
- According to 3626 BBY, and the next Game Update occurs within a couple of weeks. Therefore, the events of Game Update 6.2: Echoes of Vengeance takes place within the first two weeks of 3626 BBY. , Game Update 6.1 takes place at the very beginning of
- Star Wars: The Old Republic
- Star Wars: The Old Republic—Sith Warrior Mission: "Thwart the Rescue" on Belsavis