- "Should you win, you will not only have redeemed your honor but earned the right to brag of having defeated the prince of Hapes. Should I win, I gain nothing more than the right to demand that you solicit the pardon of my daughter and of Ambassador Organa Solo for your remarks."
"If you'd like to sweeten the pot, Prince Isolder, you need only say so."
"Should I win, I want your pledge that Vergill will support the New Republic."
"You have my pledge. Providing that Hapes will withhold support if you lose."
"You have my pledge."
- ―Isolder and Thane establishing the terms of the duel
In 25 ABY, Prince Isolder and Archon Beed Thane participated in an honor duel. The duel occurred after Ambassador Leia Organa Solo traveled to Hapes to enlist the help of the Hapes Consortium in the Yuuzhan Vong War. Thane, who was opposed to the Consortium becoming involved in the war, insulted Organa Solo and Isolder's Jedi daughter, Tenel Ka Djo. Isolder, a friend of the Ambassador, responded by slapping Thane across the face, initiating a Hapan honor duel with him. The duel was held shortly thereafter, with the contestants using an ancient form of hand-to-hand combat. Isolder won the duel after the referee called a sudden death round. As a result, the Hapes Consortium decided to enter the war against the extra-galactic Yuuzhan Vong invaders.
- "She comes to us, asking a favor and bringing only the gift of a warning. Why not the gift of the quick-recharge turbolaser technology the New Republic has withheld for so many years?"
"That'll be enough, Thane. This isn't the time or place for a political debate. If you can't abide by the rules of decorum—"
"You'll toss me out of your palace? You'd sooner host the descendants of those Jedi who killed your ancestors than someone who dares speak the truth in your presence?"
"He prefers the company of a daughter who has denounced her Hapan heritage… and a speaker of half-truths like Ambassador Solo—"
- ―Thane and Isolder
In 25 ABY, New Republic Ambassador Leia Organa Solo visited the planet Hapes to ask the Hapes Consortium for help in the ongoing war against the extra-galactic Yuuzhan Vong invaders, who had already overtaken several New Republic worlds, leaving many refugees without homes. She was welcomed by Prince Isolder and the royal family and then gave a speech to the Hapan delegates, warning them about the dangerous nature of the invaders. After the speech concluded, the Hapan delegates debated whether or not to help the New Republic by entering the war, and a vote was set to be held in a few days. Beed Thane, the Archon of the planet Vergill, was opposed to Consortium involvement in the conflict and insulted Organa Solo, along with Isolder's daughter, Jedi Knight Tenel Ka Djo, in front of Isolder. Isolder responded by slapping Thane across the face, initiating a Hapan honor duel.
The duel was to be held at Reef Fortress, the private shore side retreat of the royal family. Isolder, who selected that location, spent the night before the duel there with his family, Organa Solo, and a small group of advisors. Thane was to choose the weapon that both he and Isolder would wield because he was the one offended and humiliated by Isolder slapping him. He decided that they would compete using a form of hand-to-hand combat dating back to a martial art form created by the Lorell Raiders.
Both combatants were required to wear electrode-studded power gloves and boots along with a headguard and body armor that were sensor-studded and connected to a remote receiver that would recognize a connecting blow. The equipment setup allowed for a referee to note the score and, at his discretion, decide whether the match went into a sudden death stipulation. As an extra precaution, most opponents in an honor duel agreed to refrain from inflicting serious injury, but the Prince and the Archon waived the usual restrictions regarding that matter.
Before commencing combat, Thane, representing House Thane, pledged that if Isolder won the duel, then Vergill would vote to support the New Republic against the Yuuzhan Vong. Likewise, Isolder, representing the Hapan Royal House, pledged that if Thane won, Hapes would withhold its support. The added wager caused much controversy among the spectators, who favored Thane to win, as he was taller and more muscular than the Prince.
- "Mistress Leia, I had hoped you would decide to spare yourself the torment of having to watch Prince Isolder engage in such an antiquated and obviously vain exercise, in what can only be considered pecking-order politics."
"As the insulted party, I could hardly absent myself, Threepio."
"But, Mistress, do you have any idea of what Prince Isolder and Archon Thane are about to do?"
"I have some idea."
"Then you shouldn't permit yourself to watch. This form of hand-to-hand combat has its origin in a martial art developed by the Lorell Raiders when their chief preoccupation was the capture and distribution of female prisoners."
- ―The Ambassador's protocol droid, C-3PO, and Ambassador Organa Solo
To initiate the duel, the referee dropped a red scarf. When the scarf touched the ground, the fight commenced. The Archon and the Prince were both essentially footfighters—Thane using traditional techniques and Isolder using straightforward boxing. Several minutes into the duel, Isolder and Thane scored their first point each in rapid succession. Soon, they each scored another point, and the referee called a sudden death round. After that, Thane injured Isolder's left forearm. Eventually, Isolder overcame Thane with a roundhouse kick to the head, winning the duel.
- "Ambassador, I will make my formal apology when the Consortium representatives convene to vote on the issue of rendering aid to the New Republic. Rest assured that I will honor my pledge to stand with Prince Isolder. For now I wish only to applaud you for moving the Consortium one step closer to what will no doubt prove to be a catastrophic campaign."
- ―Thane, to Ambassador Organa Solo, after losing the duel
The vote was held a short time later, with each planet in the Consortium being allowed an equal vote. As Thane promised, Vergill voted to support entering the war. Thirty-two were in favor of entering the war to thirty-one opposed, and the Consortium thus pledged its support to the New Republic. However, during a conversation with Isolder just after the vote had concluded, Organa Solo received a vision through the Force of approaching disaster and begged him to call for a re-vote, under the pretense that Hapes had changed its position. Isolder told her not to worry and invited her aboard his flagship, the Song of War, for the trip to the galactic capital, Coruscant, where the portion of the Hapan Royal Navy sent to help the New Republic was to be briefed on the Yuuzhan Vong and their tactics. However, Organa Solo's fears were realized when over half of the Hapan fleet was destroyed during the Battle of Fondor.
Behind the scenes
The honor duel was described in the 2000 novel The New Jedi Order: Agents of Chaos II: Jedi Eclipse by James Luceno.
- The New Jedi Order: Agents of Chaos II: Jedi Eclipse (First appearance)