A holocron, short for holographic chronicle, was an organic crystal-lattice device which stored phenomenal quantities of data guarded by the device's gatekeeper. Holocrons were used to hold information on Force techniques and instruction manuals by Force users beginning with the Sith and then the Jedi some three thousand years later.
- "Meant to be a teaching device. Jedi record their experiences into them. They're interactive so you can talk with them."
- ―Quinlan Vos
Most holocrons were shaped like polyhedra; Jedi holocrons were usually cubical, while Sith holocrons typically took the form of a pyramid, but other geometric shapes also existed. The Telos Holocron represents an atypical shape. Regularly, a holocron could be held in one's hand.
The existence of the first Sith holocron predates that of a Jedi holocron by at least three thousand years. The technology to create the pyramidal holocrons common to the Sith was something gifted to the ancient Sith King Adas by Rakata warriors trying to gain his trust. He accepted their technology and made a holocron, but he saw through their ploy and rebelled against them.
The holocron employed patterns of organic crystals and hologrammic technology to capture the appearance and cognitive networks of the holocron's owner, and transform this into a three-dimensional hologram. This gatekeeper acted as a guide through the holocron's store of information, as a search and recovery engine with a more personal touch. These gatekeepers could relate stories from the holocron's archives to events in the life of the one who activated the holocron. Jedi gatekeepers could sense the ability and level of a Jedi, and offer or restrict information accordingly—so that Padawans were not shown information too advanced and dangerous for their basic stage. Sith holocrons usually had the same restrictive mechanism like Jedi holocrons, but the gatekeeper could corrupt the unaware listener.
A great many holocrons were stored in the Jedi Archives on Coruscant, kept in a specific Holocron Chamber within the Jedi Temple. In addition to holding the holocrons created by Jedi in the field, the Archives also held the details on creating holocrons and directions on accessing them.
The technology to make them was nearly lost after the Great Jedi Purge when the Archives were raided by Darth Sidious. Surviving holocrons contained information including Jedi techniques, blueprints of ancient starships, and historical information about the universe; as a result, they were quite valuable. Usually, only Force-sensitive users could access a holocron, while data holocrons did not require Force sensitivity to access. This suggests that holocrons were partially powered by the Force. Once opened, Force-insensitive users could communicate with the gatekeeper as well as Force-sensitive users. It is known that Bastila Shan's father made a holocron, which he used as a journal.
Some holocrons were activated by taking them apart with the Force and then inserting a special crystal that made the holocron readable. The Crystal was usually hidden away for safe-keeping by the founder of the holocron, but there have been instances in which a certain Jedi or Sith has protected the crystal at all times by keeping it on their person.
Behind the scenes
- "The holocron is overflowing with advice! Listen and look…"
- ―Bodo Baas
Although not seen in the film, during production of Attack of the Clones, the film's propmakers made three holocrons for its Visual Dictionary: a Jedi holocron, a Sith holocron and the Great Holocron.
Housing holocrons at Jedi or Sith Temples is a way of generating nova crystals in Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds. They appear identical to the Vor'Na'Tu artifact in the game. They are equivalent to the relics of Age of Empires II, on which SWGB was based.
In Star Wars Galaxies, holocrons were used at first to unlock Force-sensitivity in users and later, when Aurilia was used for players to become Jedi, the holocrons were used to refill their Force bar. Two holocron collections were added to the game with Chapter 7 in November 2007.
In Star Wars: Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast, Kyle Katarn trains on Yavin 4. There he collects holocrons that 'teach' him how to increase speed, Force Jump and push or pull certain objects with the Force. In multiplayer mode, a player that collects a holocron can learn how to use a Force power along with new lightsaber abilities.
In the Expansion of Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II, Mysteries of the Sith, Mara Jade is tasked with guarding a Holocron being transported by the New Republic fleet. The holocron is larger than usual and is called an important artifact by Jade's commander. The Holocron is subsequently stolen by Lumini Pirates under command of smuggling kingpin Kaerobani to add to his collection. Mara Jade then undergoes a mission to retrieve the Holocron from the Kaerobani's base on Rathalay.
In the Force Unleashed video game, there are two kinds of holocrons; Sith Holocrons function as traditional "power-ups", granting Starkiller temporary invincibility, enhanced damage, limitless Force energy, etc.. Jedi Holocrons serve as hidden bonuses, commonly containing a supply of Force points (the game's equivalent of experience points), but also containing various lightsaber crystals or alternate costumes. In the PlayStation 2/Nintendo Wii version of the game, holocrons unlock artwork from the levels in the game.