- "I have forged this empire to surmount all of my previous works; to span eternity."
The Eternal Empire, also known colloquially as the Eternal Empire of Zakuul or the Zakuul empire, was a totalitarian dictatorship in the Outer Rim that was based on the Wild Space planet Zakuul. It was led by Emperor Valkorion sometime before the Galactic War that Valkorion sought to use to reshape the galaxy. Valkorion used the Empire's Eternal Fleet to battle both the Galactic Republic and reconstituted Sith Empire on multiple worlds.
- "How is this possible? A second empire? Even you couldn't have built all of this. There must be another explanation."
"You presume limits to my power. There are none."
- ―The Outlander and Valkorion
Some time between the Ritual of Nathema and the Great Galactic War, Vitiate, the Sith Emperor, traveled into Wild Space in search of the Eternal Fleet, a supposedly-unstoppable fleet of warships commanded by sentient droids. His journey brought him to Zakuul, where he discovered a culture of superstitious Humans who worshiped the ruthless Old Gods. Taking on the identity of "Valkorion," he unified the nomadic tribes of Zakuul into a civilization utterly devoted to him, creating the Eternal Empire, installing himself as their Immortal Emperor. He formed a new Force-user order called the Knights of Zakuul to serve as his special forces. A subgroup of the Knights, called Scions, used their visions to locate the Eternal Fleet, and enslave the sentient GEMINI droids to his Eternal Throne.
The Eternal Empire remained hidden until the Galactic War, when Valkorion's twin sons, Arcann and Thexan, proposed a pre-emptive strike against the greater galaxy to test the strength of both the Galactic Republic and Sith Empire. Valkorion sanctioned their proposal, but commanded that only Thexan would lead their forces. Arcann disobeyed his father and joined his brother, resulting in him being wounded in action on Korriban. When the twin princes returned to Zakuul to present their trophies, Valkorion merely turned his back on them. Embracing the Dark Side, Arcann lunged to attack his father, only to be restrained by Thexan, resulting in Arcann accidentally killing his twin. Thexan's death was then covered up, and publicly blamed as a casualty in the Core Worlds campaign.
When the Outlander and Darth Marr were captured by Arcann after a major battle in which Marr's ship was destroyed, the Emperor had a talk with them. Both the Outlander and Marr knew that Valkorion's true identity was nothing less than that of the Sith Emperor, whom they had been searching for. Valkorion stated that he would share his Eternal Empire with them if they would only kneel. Marr replied that he would never again kneel to Valkorion. Marr was then executed by Valkorion after he stole a saberstaff from one of the Knights of Zakuul. The Outlander was given the same choice to kneel before Valkorion, an opportunity that almost no one else had ever received. Arcann betrayed his father in hatred, and Valkorion was killed. Arcann claimed himself to be new Emperor of the Eternal Empire, and froze the Outlander in carbonite.
Arcann used his father's death to wage a conquest of the Core Worlds that would see the Galactic Republic and Sith Empire on the losing end, with the Eternal Fleet favoring ambush tactics and the massive technological superiority to destroy the bulk of both sides' fleets, all within a matter of months. At the end of the first year, the capitals of both Coruscant and Dromund Kaas were blockaded; only ships outfitted with the element Isotope-5 were capable of outrunning them, but could never truly compete. After a year of conflict, the governments of the Galactic Republic and the Sith Empire, represented by Senator Evran and Darth Vowrawn, had formed treaties agreeing to arms limitations, and to pay tributes to the Eternal Empire, making it the sole superpower within the galaxy. Afterwards, massive battle stations known as Star Fortresses were placed in orbit of certain planets in the galaxy; in order to keep rebellions from forming and to ensure that the reparations from both governments were paid. The fortresses were under the command of Exarchs, biologically and cybernetically enhanced Knights of Zakuul.
But as the galaxy suffered, the Eternal Empire itself did also in ways that many did not or wished not to see. Arcann's rule had become oppressive and cruel with his sister Vaylin, no longer restrained by her father, causing death and destruction in her wake, as her power in the Force continued to grow.
The Outlander escapes
In 3631 BBY, Lana Beniko and Koth Vortena freed the Outlander from carbonite imprisonment, acquired an ancient ship that was once part of the Eternal Fleet called the Gravestone, and created an Alliance determined to destroy the Eternal Throne. Arcann, in turn, resorted to using all the resources of the Eternal Empire to hunt down and destroy this threat to his power. In the wake of the Alliance's formation, many operational objectives were carried out, foremost being the destruction of Star Fortresses around potential ally worlds such as Alderaan, Voss, and Bothawui, that had kept them from even getting in contact as a result of them being in orbit. These operations would see that several major worlds make contact with the Alliance against the Eternal Throne and join in to restore the Galactic Republic and Sith Empire back to their past power.
Anarchy in Paradise
Sometime later, a contact and potential ally would present itself in the form of an anarchist known as Firebrand, who had been bombing minor targets on Zakuul for the past two years without being caught by the Knights of Zakuul and Skytroopers. To make contact with this anarchist, the Lady of Sorrows offered high-yield explosives, which would see the Outlander making contact with the being in question; revealed to be Kaliyo Djannis. Due to the Outlander "stealing" her thunder, a plan was devised to take down all the droids in the Spire. This attack was to make the Zakuulan populace, who had become reliant on droid labor for menial yet important tasks, to take stock of their situation, and wake them up from their peaceful lives. As a result, the Overwatch facility where all the commands for the droids (and even Skytroopers) came from was destroyed. With the systems down, the droids stopped working; at least for a short time, But an added bonus was the gaining of the Spire schematics, which detailed the infrastructure that would be usable for an eventual attack on the Spire in order to remove Arcann from power. The new emperor would use this event as an excuse for the destruction of five worlds that happened earlier in his search for the Alliance and the Outlander.
Assisting Havoc Squad
After the journey with Firebrand, Theron Shan used his resources to contact the Galactic Republic, finding out that the elite Havoc Squad would be conducting unauthorized raids on Zakuul beneath the notice of the Senate and other higher-ups within the Republic military. A meeting was set between them, himself, and the Outlander to recruit the squad in joining the Alliance; they met deep within the Endless Swamp, where they discovered that Aric Jorgan was now in command of the squad. Unfortunately, their landing did not go unnoticed, and a probe tracked their location until Jorgan shot it down, forcing the squad to split up in different directions in order to return to camp without the unit becoming compromised, should they be captured.
The Outlander and Jorgan would find a vantage point in order to cover the retreat, as they spoke about the events of the last five years, the situation on Zakuul, and even about Arcann. This continued until Jorgan discovered Zakuulan Exiles, people who doubted Arcann's policies and actions who were subsequently left in the Swamp to die, being chased by Skytroopers as their homes were being burned down to "crack down" on negative actions against the Eternal Empire. This would later be a folly, for, during an attack on a Knight of Zakuul outpost that contained a planet-wide comm relay, the Outlander, Theron, and Havoc Squad were pinned down by Skytrooper reinforcements once their objective was achieved. The situation looked grim until the Zakuulan Exiles destroyed a transport shuttle that was ferrying additional Skytroopers, and blew up the squad that had pinned them down using thermal detonators. Depending on the Outlander's choice, the Zakuulan Exiles would either begin training with Havoc Squad to become guerrilla-fighters, or would fight on their own, no longer dependent on the Skytroopers to defend themselves.
Raiding the Gilded Star
Sometime after the battle at the hyperwave relay station, Gault Rennow, who was a former associate of the Grand Champion of the Great Hunt, approached the Commander with a proposition to raid the Gilded Star, an Eternal Empire treasury-ship hiding in the atmosphere of the gas giant Vandin. The Commander agreed to the plan, and accompanied Gault to Vandin, along with Lana Beniko, Theron Shan, Senya Tirall, and SCORPIO.
Arriving on the gas giant's Tibanna-mining platform, Gault took the Commander to look for the hiding container Dretcher, an Anomid identity-slicer. Immediately recognizing Gault as Tyresius Lokai, Dretcher activated his battle droids, and tried to kill the Devaronian. However, Gault and the Commander easily destroyed the droids, and though Dretcher's container boasted reinforced armor, Gault threatened to shake him to death with a sonic amplifier. Dretecher had no choice but to let the Devaronian inside and agree to do his job in exchange for finally getting Tyresius off his back. Gault and the Commander then attended the meeting with the Brekken Gang and its captain, Kenrik Fost.
Asking to inspect his missile, Gault announced his refusal to pay for it, and, after the Niktos raised their arms, activated the warhead. The Nikto ran away, attempting to flee the blast-radius, but Gault was unable to stop the countdown, which reached zero. However, his Twi'lek partner Vette was revealed to be hidden inside the missile, having already removed the warhead beforehand. Gault then assembled the entire team at their hideout and laid out his entire plan to infiltrate the ship. Dretcher would then supply the identity of High Justice Vaylin for her mother Senya Tirall, who provided a genetic match and required character knowledge, and who would take SCORPIO aboard as her "attache droid." They would access the bridge and deactivate security-protocols, allowing Vette, Gault, and the Commander to get onboard and place the warhead inside the vault.
When the Gilded Star came up for its annual resupply, the Alliance teams moved into position. Dretcher's holographic disguise worked, allowing Senya to get on board under identity of her daughter. From the bridge, SCORPIO opened the way to the vault for Gault and the Alliance Commander, while Vette used her sneaking skills to disable the vault's security mechanisms. Inside the vault, Gault planted the missile warhead, which upon detonation vaporized its entire content of precious metals, while leaving everything outside the vault safe and intact. The vault's entire content of precious metals was then pumped into the tanker piloted by Lana Beniko and Theron Shan, while SCORPIO and Senya soon joined them.
Gault, Vette and the Commander encountered some difficulties when the only escape route left to them was to take the Skyhook down the way they came, but their path was blocked by the real Vaylin, who arrived with an inspection-force. Determined to avoid confronting her, Gault suggested going outside on the ship's hull, where he received a call from Hylo Visz. His old partner positioned her shuttle next to the hull of the Gilded Star so that Gault, Vette, and the Commander could jump off it directly onto her vessel, while the rest of their team left onboard Beniko's tanker.
Returning to Odessen, Gault and Vette expressed their desire to join the Alliance, but the celebration was interrupted by the return of Aric Jorgan and Kaliyo Djannis, who managed to escape Zakuul with a database on the GEMINI droids, although losing the rest of Havoc Squad in the process. Hoping to salvage the fiasco, Beniko ordered SCORPIO to analyze the data archive.
By the end of the war with the Alliance, Emperor Arcann had been dethroned, Empress Vaylin was killed, and Valkorion was destroyed through the use of a powerful holocron, all due in part to the actions of the Outlander.
When Vaylin was killed, no successor to the throne was present, allowing the Outlander to take control. The Eternal Empire was then dissolved, its holdings acquired by the Alliance, which would reform into a full-fledged government known as the Eternal Alliance.
The ruler of the Eternal Empire held the title of Emperor (or, if the ruler was female, Empress), and the overall government system is an absolute monarchy. The head of government and military was the High Justice. The High Justice also apparently was the second in command of the Empire, and had unlimited power when Vaylin held the rank under Arcann's leadership.
The Eternal Empire's military was composed primarily of Skytroopers and the Knights of Zakuul. It did possess biologists, found mainly on the Star Fortresses, and other humans as officers, such as the rogue Koth Vortena. Other personnel in the Eternal Empire's military included Eternal Empire troopers and their variants. During Empress Vaylin's reign, the Horizon Guard was formed to serve her directly, and to surpass the Knights of Zakuul, who failed to defend her brother during the Battle of Odessen. The head of the Eternal Empire's military was the High Justice.
Zakuulans were generally raised in the comfort and safety of The Spire, and led easy lives of intellectual and creative pursuits. Despite this, some occasionally felt compelled to seek out less high-minded excitement. The Old World, the remnants of Valkorion's first attempt at a grand city, offered an opportunity for citizens of the Spire to indulge their need for exhilaration. Many Zakuulans had paid at least one visit to cheer at the gladiator pits or sample the red-light district. Countless more simply ventured down to tour the seedy streets and thrill to the distasteful and the taboo.
Behind the scenes
The December 2016 Polish edition of Star Wars: Galactic Atlas, a reference book of the new Star Wars canon, includes an entry for the Empire of Zakuul. The book places it in the far west of the galaxy and in the Unknown Regions. However, the author of Galactic Atlas, Emil Fortune, stated that he did not know why or how Zakuul crept into the Polish translation of the canon reference book.
- Star Wars: The Old Republic Cartel Market
- Star Wars: The Old Republic: Galactic Strongholds
- (First appearance)
- Star Wars: The Old Republic: Knights of the Fallen Empire
- Star Wars: The Old Republic: Knights of the Eternal Throne
- Star Wars: The Old Republic: Onslaught (Mentioned only)
- (First mentioned)
- (Indirect mention only)
Notes and references
- Star Wars: The Old Republic: Knights of the Fallen Empire—Codex: "The Eternal Empire"
- Star Wars: The Old Republic: Knights of the Fallen Empire—Codex: "Zakuul Society: Thrillseeking"