- "Today, I will be reborn—like the Empire, whose incarnation I have conceived and incubated. Today I will bring forth… the Empire Reborn."
- ―Lord Hethrir, launching the Empire Reborn
The Empire Reborn, also known as the Imperial Remnant (not to be confused with Pellaeon's remnant), was an Imperial splinter faction led by the Dark Jedi Hethrir, the Imperial Procurator of Justice and a former student of Darth Vader. As a secret movement arising after the destruction of the second Death Star at Endor, it infiltrated the New Republic for a number of years as it built up its power base.
Lord Hethrir recruited powerful allies to his cause including Admiral Galak Fyyar, former Jedi student Desann, and the shadowy Inquisitor, Antinnis Tremayne. Financing its operations by slavery, the Empire Reborn trained a large army of Force-sensitive warriors that assaulted the Jedi Praxeum in 12 ABY. After that invasion failed, the weakened movement kidnapped the three Solo children, in order to sacrifice them to the demigod Waru, part of a sinister pact to gain absolute power in the Force for Lord Hethrir.
Lord Hethrir, a Firrerreo, was handpicked by the Sith Lord Darth Vader to receive training as a Dark Jedi. Hethrir excelled in his training, and as a reward, was appointed Procurator of Justice, head of the entire Imperial justice system. The role was an anonymous one, during which he exiled thousands of prisoners in sleeper-ships, and amassed a fortune from his exclusive ability to harvest body-wood.
Foreseeing the fall of the Empire, Lord Hethrir made preparations for this eventuality, and when it finally occurred, he fled taking his resources and followers with him into hiding. There he lay low, protected by the anonymity of his former position, plotting for a way to regain his position and restore the glory of the Empire. He developed a vision of an Empire Reborn, with himself as the new Emperor.
To achieve this goal, he knew he needed greater access to the Force, and so he made a pact with the demigod known as the Waru. The Waru was a being from another dimension, summoned by savage rites performed on Crseih Research Station. In exchange for Force-sensitive victims to feed on, Waru would give Hethrir absolute power over the Force.
Sequestered alternatively on Crseih Station and his private worldcraft, Rebirth—a unique gift from the Emperor himself—Hethrir built up a broad power base. Hethrir financed his movement with a flourishing slave trade, supplied by the thousands of prisoners he had condemned and imprisoned in sleeper ships, including his own people, the Firrerreo. He established Crseih Research Station—under the alias Asylum Station—as the hub of this slave trade. Disgruntled Imperial lords, eager to regain their power and influence—such as the Lords Brashaa, Cnorec, and Qaqquqqu, and Lady Ucce—joined him, swearing an oath of secrecy and devotion, bringing with them numerous followers and starships.
With these finances the Empire Reborn purchased armament from gangsters such as the Rodian Reelo Baruk, and, using armor, shield generators, and power cores scavenged from the derelict Star Destroyers orbiting Endor, outfitted a fleet, with the Doomgiver as its flagship. Hethrir recruited Imperial Remnant Admiral Galak Fyyar to his cause in 10 ABY, financing many of his technological enterprises. Fyyar was known more for technological innovation than his skills as a military leader, but had worked closely with the Emperor before disappearing after his death. He consolidated their presence in the Outer Rim, while alliances with Deep Core warlords such as Admiral Harrsk were pursued to strengthen their Core support.
Creation of a Reborn army
- "You are worthy to join my spearhead, worthy to join the Empire Youth."
"You merit purification, I shall take you to be reborn in the service of the Empire."
- ―Lord Hethrir promoting some of his agents
Galak Fyyar came across the failed Jedi Knight, Desann, a Chistori who had abandoned the Jedi Academy after killing a fellow student. Fyyar recognized his potential and brought him to his obscure master. Despite an anti-alien bias, Hethrir made Desann his right hand in the movement, entrusting him with the task of forming a Dark Jedi army. Searches for Force-sensitives on back water worlds such as Tatooine were begun. Those with potential were abducted and taken to Rebirth for indoctrination. Hethrir, with an ability to dampen others' Force abilities, would often prevent non-Humans from demonstrating any Force-ability, consigning them to be sold as slaves. Those Humans with Force-potential moved up the ranks of the Helpers, Proctors and Empire Youth. Many of Hethrir's trainees were taken to the temple of the Waru on Crseih Station to be "purified". Waru was posing there as a healer, but occasionally killed beings brought for healing, sucking in their strength.
Many of the Empire Youth that survived the purification were sent out into the Republic, working covertly to undermine it. Others were given to Desann to train. He took one of their number, a young Human female Tavion Axmis, as his personal apprentice. Working with Galak on Cairn Installation in the Lenico Belt, they experimented on Empire Youth with little talent for the Force, trying to artificially imbue them with dark Force powers via artusian crystals and Sith alchemy. It was at this time that the New Republic Intelligence Service first began to hear rumors of their activities, including several reports of Tavion's activity around the Lenico system, and Imperial recruiters on Tatooine. Some preliminary investigations were begun but the extent of the threat not yet realized.
In order to continue Galak's experiments, a Republic mining facility on Artus Prime was captured in 12 ABY. It had just discovered rich veins of artusian crystals, which the Empire Reborn confiscated, imprisoning the miners. These crystals were then shipped to Kejim for experimentation. The NRI intercepted garbled transmissions intercepted from Kejim containing the words "Reborn", and the "Valley of the Jedi", and sent Kyle Katarn and Jan Ors to investigate. Razing the facility, the two commandos were then sent on to investigate the mine on Artus Prime.
Desann, aware of the destruction of his Kejim facility and the subsequent mission, used it to set a trap for Katarn, another former Jedi. While Kyle investigated the mining facility, calling in a Republic task force to recapture the plant, Desann and his apprentice Tavion took Jan Ors prisoner. In a confrontation designed to humiliate and infuriate Kyle, Desann beat him and mocked his lack of Force ability—Kyle had let it atrophy during his time away from the Academy. Faking Jan's death, they escaped the planet before the Republic troops arrived, leaving Kyle a broken man. This was all a carefully calculated plan, designed to force Katarn into revealing the location of the famed Valley of the Jedi, a Force nexus. (Lord Hethrir had charged Desann with finding the Valley, after his ally, High Inquisitor Antinnis Tremayne, disclosed its existence.) Kyle duly obliged, traveling to Ruusan and restoring his own Force powers, swearing revenge on Desann. A tracking device hidden in his ship, the Raven's Claw, allowed Desann to follow after him.
Desann then led his Empire Youth into the Valley's Force nexus, quadrupling their innate powers, and renaming them "Reborn". Galak's fruitful research produced a number of technological advances to aid the Reborn, including lightsaber-resistant cortosis armor, mined from the Lenico Belt, equipped with embedded artusian crystals aiding Force connection. Some of these troops were outfitted with stealth armor, forming an elite Shadowtrooper corps.
Assault on the Jedi Praxeum
- "I, Galak Fyyar the First, the genius who conceived of the Shadow Armor, will rule the galaxy with a Cortosis fist! Worlds will tremble, stars will shudder."
- ―Galak Fyyar
Alerted to Desann's activities, and the threat to the Jedi, Kyle, Luke and the other Jedi Knights worked to undermine his activities. Luke visited the Valley of the Jedi and destroyed Desann's forces preventing him from creating any more Reborn. Kyle tracked Reborn activities to Nar Shaddaa. There, from Baruk's Bar he managed to infiltrate Reelo Baruk's operation, where, with the help of Lando Calrissian, he neutralized the base, and killed the crime lord. Tracing the crime lord's operations to Bespin, Kyle and a Republic strike team further disrupted the Reborn's activities. In Cloud City Kyle encountered Tavion Axmis, confronting her in a lightsaber duel. Overpowering her, and tempted to kill her as revenge for the death of his partner Jan Ors, he Force choked her. Afraid to die, Axmis revealed the ruse—Ors was still alive. Out of pity, Katarn let her live. She subsequently fled the Empire Reborn, afraid of reprisals from her master.
Despite these set-backs, Lord Hethrir felt that with an army of Reborn, supplemented by Imperial Stormtroopers, the time was right for a major confrontation with the Republic—an invasion of the Jedi Praxeum on Yavin 4. It would be a symbolic victory, destroying a symbol of hope and good in the Republic, and a powerful platform to launch the Empire Reborn into prominence. It would also be a personal assault, a chance for Desann to return to his former academy, showing them his true power.
The assault was to be launched from the Reborn's flagship, Doomgiver, showering hundreds of All Terrain Rapid Deployment Pods onto the moon. Each AT-RDP assault ship was to contain troops and AT-STs. However, the assault turned into an unmitigated disaster. Kyle Katarn had managed to infiltrate the ship just before it set out from Cairn Installation. During the hyperspace leap, he confronted Galak Fyyar, who was armored in a unique shielded-suit, and killed him. Coming out of hyperspace, he rescued his partner Jan Ors, and alerted Rogue Squadron to the ship's location. Bringing down the shields, he enabled the elite fighter squadron to destroy the ship, including many of the full-but-undeployed assault ships. This drastically cut the invasion force of the Empire Reborn.
The Reborn already on the jungle moon, were soon outclassed by the more heavily trained Jedi. Escaping from the Doomgiver, Kyle finally caught up to Desann in the heart of the Great Temple. Despite mutual attempts to turn their opponent, a duel ensued. With both combatants empowered by the Valley of the Jedi, they were closely matched but Katarn finally prevailed, killing Desann. The dramatic entry into galactic affairs envisaged by Lord Hethrir and his cohorts was in ruin. But even with his two main lieutenants killed, Hethrir was not prepared to give up on his dream; he would just have to resort to more drastic and radical plans.
Sacrifice to the Waru
- "We grow weary of concealing ourselves from usurpers of the New Republic. We must act soon, before our children are too much affected by egalitarian propaganda, before our generation is too old to act—to fight!"
- ―Brashaa complaining to Lord Hethrir
Despite pressure mounting from his supporters, and the huge investment into research and training lost, Lord Hethrir still had control of the younger Empire Youth and affiliated indoctrination programs. Having run out of freighter children to sell, he began to steal them from Republic worlds. As such, he was still able to supply Waru with Force-sensitives, and keep his bargain alive. With the Republic preoccupied by Gilad Pellaeon's Orinda campaign, Hethrir received a brief reprieve, reorganizing some of his facilities such as that on Alzoc III. However, Kyle Katarn and the Republic continued to dog his steps, destroying that base, and killing some more of his precious few remaining Reborn. Rumors of abducted children also began to surface with Republic agent Winter sent out to investigate.
Still, Hethrir knew that if only he could get Waru to empower him, he could realize his vision. What he needed was a child exceptionally strong in the Force that would enable the Waru to return to his home dimension and allow Hethrir to receive the boundless power he craved. Hethrir believed the Solo children would serve this purpose.
Fortuitously, Chief of State Leia Organa Solo was undertaking a tour of the Outer Rim worlds soon after in 14 ABY, and was taking her children along with her. While Mon Calamari and Gbu, the first planets on her itinerary would provide no opportunities, Munto Codru, the third planet on the tour, would provide the perfect arena for a kidnapping attempt. Its political system included ritualized "coup abductions" of noble children, who were later ransomed off unharmed. Hethrir correctly surmised that any pursuit or reprisals would be delayed under the assumption his kidnapping was only a part of the political sport.
Temporarily blocking Leia's ability to sense her children, and using a pressure bomb to incapacitate the children's minders—the Wookiee Chewbacca and a local page—Anakin, Jacen, and Jaina Solo as well as the Munto Codru chamberlain's wyrwulf were captured and whisked away by skiff. They were shipped off planet to Hethrir's worldcraft, while Leia was still being advised to wait for a ransom request.
On his worldcraft, Hethrir told the children their parents were dead and that he would look after them from now on as their hold-father. The children were suspicious, however, and proved remarkably resistant to the programming. Hethrir assigned his own son, Tigris, to look after Anakin, and put the twins in with the rest of the imprisoned children, including a Chironian girl, Lusa. The kidnapped children caused much trouble at the station, using the Force to harass the young Proctors.
Though held in separate cells, the Solo twins managed to escape their cells, taking a number of the other children with them. With the aid of a female sand dragon that Jacen communicated with, they escaped the entire compound and hid from the Proctors and Helpers in a swamp.
Meanwhile, Leia and Chewbacca had been tracking Hethrir through the Force. They discovered a cluster of 24 sleeper ships, including one containing Hethrir's ex-mate, the Jedi Healer Rillao. Five years earlier, Hethrir had imprisoned her in a web like torture device on the ship. This ship was full of Firrerreo that Hethrir had imprisoned as a sign of his loyalty to the Emperor, after which he destroyed their entire world. Joining their party, Rillao led Leia and Chewbacca to the bureaucrats of Chalcedon—a rival in the slave trade to Hethrir's own Asylum Station. Rillao revealed that Hethrir had stolen their son Tigris from her, hoping that he would succeed Hethrir as leader of his Empire Reborn. Upon realizing Tigris had no Force-potential, Hethrir had not even revealed his parentage to the boy, but kept him around as his personal servant.
- "Waru, the time has come. You have Skywalker! Keep your promise to me, Waru. Make me omnipotent!"
- ―Lord Hethrir to Waru
Arriving at the worldcraft, Leia, Chewbacca, and Rillao rescued Jacen, Jaina and the other children in the Alderaan. They were too late to rescue Anakin though, for Hethrir had already departed for Crseih Station with a phalanx of Proctors, intending to relaunch the Empire Reborn and sacrifice Anakin in the temple of the Waru. Following close on his heels, the two mothers pursued.
Also on Crseih Station, Han Solo and Luke Skywalker were investigating reports of a lost Jedi, leaked by con-artist and former acquaintance of Solo, Xaverri. Xaverri had been on the station for a number of years and was deeply concerned about the "healer" Waru, and wanted them to investigate. Luke, however, seemed to be taken by the strange being, his judgment and Force ability crippled by the resonance of the nearby crystallizing star. He became distrustful of Han and Xaverri and convinced he needed Waru's help and healing.
The conflict came to a head, as the three parties met in the temple of the Waru. In a grand ceremony surrounded by all his supporters, Lord Hethrir planned to sacrifice Anakin on the altar of Waru. The newly arrived Rillao revealed to her son the truth about his father and, Tigris, realizing the infant Anakin had no choice in being "purified," turned on Hethrir, preventing the sacrifice. The unbalanced Skywalker dove into the Waru in Anakin's place, forcing Han and Leia to follow. Hethrir, realizing that Luke was a better sacrifice than Anakin anyway, believed his plans were finally coming to fruition. Rillao, however, launched herself onto Hethrir in a furious attack.
Inside the golden ichors of the Waru, Han and Leia manage to draw Luke back, aided by the cries of the Solo children. Enraged by the missed opportunity and Hethrir's failure to fulfill his bargain, Waru consumed Hethrir instead. With Hethrir's Force power the being returned to its home dimension, presumably killing Hethrir.
- "Are you going to let a little thing like a rip through space-time slow you down?"
- ―Rillao to Luke Skywalker
With the crystallizing star dragged dangerously into the black hole, the entire Crseih Station was slaved to the Millennium Falcon and together they jumped into hyperspace to the Codru system. The remaining Proctors and many of Hethrir's supporters were rounded up and arrested on the station. With Hethrir, Fyyar and Desann killed, the Empire Reborn movement collapsed. Aware of its existence, Leia pledged to find the remaining Empire Youth saboteurs. Some remained at large and eventually joined Desann's former apprentice Tavion Axmis, in a Sith cult, called the Disciples of Ragnos. The cult was later destroyed by the joint efforts of Luke Skywalker, Kyle Katarn, and his new apprentice Jaden Korr.
The Republic claimed the worldship and Crseih Station, and returned the other kidnapped children to their families. Some of the children, most notably the Chironian Lusa, would go on to join the Junior Jedi Academy on Yavin 4. Crseih Station would eventually be moved to orbit the planet Pakuuni.
Hethrir's slaveships were recovered and the Firrerreo people would eventually settle on the planet Belderone, made welcome by another former Dark Jedi, Flint. Hethrir's captured worldcraft would be studied by Republic engineers, including a former designer of the Death Star, Bevel Lemelisk, and the technology was later used in the New Class project.
Finally, Hethrir's dream of a resurgent Empire would never be realized with the Imperial Remnant driven back to a paltry number of sectors in the Outer Rim. It would later sign a treaty with the Republic, the Bastion Accords, bringing to an end the long Galactic Civil War.
Behind the scenes
The connection between the Empire Reborn movement in The Crystal Star and Desann's Reborn Jedi from Star Wars: Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast was made in The Dark Forces Saga, Part 6: Outcasts and Megalomaniacs Welcome.
- N.R.I. Reports (Retcon)
- Star Wars: Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast (Retcon)
- Star Wars: Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast demo (Retcon)
- The Crystal Star (First appearance)
- Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy
- The Essential Guide to Characters
- "The Deadly Dozen"—Star Wars Galaxy Magazine 8
- The Essential Guide to Alien Species
- The Essential Guide to Planets and Moons
- The Essential Chronology
- Star Wars Galaxy Magazine 1 (Extract from The Crystal Star)
- The Dark Side Sourcebook
- The New Essential Chronology
- The New Essential Guide to Characters
- Evil Never Dies: The Sith Dynasties
- Aliens in the Empire
- Threats of the Galaxy
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- Jedi Academy Training Manual
Notes and references
- The Crystal Star
- The Dark Forces Saga
- Aliens in the Empire
- N.R.I. Reports
- Star Wars: Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast
- Star Wars: Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast demo. The demo has conflicting information in it regarding whether it's set before, during or after the rest of the game. However, since Katarn has a lightsaber during the demo, this article places it after the full game where he regains his lightsaber.
- Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy
- Young Jedi Knights: The Emperor's Plague
- The Essential Guide to Planets and Moons
- The Essential Guide to Alien Species
- The Essential Chronology
- Vision of the Future