- "We are Imperial Knights. We do our duty by the Emperor and by the Force—no matter the cost."
- ―Sigel Dare
The Imperial Knights, formally the Knights of the Empire, were an order of Force-practitioners loyal to the Emperor of the Fel Empire. They were fully trained in the ways of the Force and rejected the dark side of the Force, unlike previous Imperial Force-based organizations. Though they did not draw on the dark side, they did not strictly follow the light side either, and were viewed as Gray by the New Jedi Order.
The Imperial Knights swore loyalty to their Emperor, serving the Force as embodied by him. By 130 ABY, Emperor Roan Fel was a fully-trained Imperial Knight, and the leader of the organization. However, if the Emperor were to ever fall to the dark side, it was the duty of the Imperial Knights to either remove him from power or bring him back to the light, as ultimately, it was the Force to which they owed their allegiance.
Following the Fel Empire's displacement by Darth Krayt in 130 ABY, the Imperial Knights fled from the capital with their Emperor, becoming a part of his Empire-in-exile. By 137 ABY, several Imperial Knights were being routinely sent on missions by Roan Fel, as he sought to establish alliances with both the Galactic Federation of Free Alliances and the Jedi Order. They were often on the front lines of the Second Imperial Civil War, battling Darth Krayt's forces on such planets as Vendaxa, Mon Calamari, and Had Abbadon.
- 1 Organization and philosophy
- 2 History
- 2.1 Early history
- 2.2 Sith-Imperial War
- 2.3 Postwar period
- 2.4 Second Imperial Civil War
- 3 Notable members
- 4 Armor and equipment
- 5 Powers and abilities
- 6 Behind the scenes
- 7 Appearances
- 8 Sources
- 9 Notes and references
- 10 External links
Organization and philosophy
- "As Imperial Knights, we obey the Emperor but only as long as he serves the light side of the Force."
- ―Ganner Krieg
The Imperial Knights were founded approximately three generations prior to 137 ABY, swearing fealty to Jagged Fel, the first Emperor of the revived Galactic Empire. Despite the Fel bloodline not being Force-sensitive originally, by 137 ABY most, and possibly all, of the surviving royal family were able to serve as Imperial Knights themselves. The Imperial Knights were a highly-organized order by 130 ABY, dedicated to the preservation of the Empire and the defense of the Emperor, and were sometimes referred to as "Imperial Jedi".
It was said that the first loyalty of the Imperial Knights was not to the Force, but to the Empire as personified in the Emperor. Imperial Knights were in the service of the Emperor for life, and the punishment for leaving the Order or disobeying the Emperor was death. However, there was an exception to this law. Although the Imperial Knights ultimately served the Force through the Emperor, this was only true if he himself served the light side of the Force. If he were ever to turn to the dark side, their duty was to either bring him back to the light or remove him from power. This policy was put into place at the time of the Order's founding, and as such, the Imperial Knights did ultimately owe their allegiance to the Force. According to Master Treis Sinde, the Imperial Knights served the Force by serving an Empire that brought order, with their duty being to the Emperor. Sinde also asserted that sacrificing innocents when necessary for the greater good was the Imperial way. By 137 ABY, it was the goal of every Imperial Knight to see Roan Fel returned safely to the position of Emperor of the galaxy, protecting both his self and his secrecy.
The Imperial Knights were trained in many of the same philosophies and techniques as the Jedi, but differed markedly in their credos and method. The Imperial Knights viewed the Force as a tool–a powerful one to be respected, but not one that they spent time contemplating and meditating on. They knew the dangers of falling to the dark side, and believed that the Force could not be used out of anger or selfishness. Managing one's emotions and controlling one's fear in the face of adversity was a paramount aspect of Imperial Knight ideology. The strict mental discipline and obedience to orders that was part of their training made Imperial Knights less susceptible to the strong emotions that would draw students of the Jedi over to the dark side. Despite not drawing on the dark side, the Imperial Knights were said to not strictly follow the light side either, obeying the orders of the Emperor before anything else. As such, the Jedi viewed the Imperial Knights as "gray". The Imperial Knights were also considered Gray Jedi by the Jedi Order due to the Jedi's belief that they did not truly follow the way of the Force.
Recruitment within the Imperial Knights was limited to those who demonstrated loyalty to the Emperor, in addition to potential in the Force. Upon being identified, a potential student would be drafted into Imperial service to study under a veteran Knight on the Imperial capital of Bastion, and would continue studying under that master until their own knighthood was warranted, although other Knights would occasionally assist in their training. Training could be very harsh, but not cruel, and could often take years, but no student ever failed in their training, as the Emperor demanded and always received success. In training, a student would learn all they needed to know in order to defend the Emperor against all those who would harm him. Upon completing their training, they would serve the Emperor as a bodyguard and agent, fighting until the death. Their training saw them learn to use the Force in order to transform themselves into living weapons and shields.
By 137 ABY, several Imperial Knights bore the title of Master. Master Antares Draco was officially the second-in-command of the Order, and was at the head of its disciplined command structure. The title of Master was reserved for only the highest-ranking Imperial Knights, with the designation subject to Roan Fel's approval. Imperial Knights were permitted to take on one apprentice at a time, but only after having mastered their own skills to a sufficient degree. There was very little differentiation between those who had trained apprentices and those who had not, owing to the fact that the Imperial Knights had little time for any master save for the rightful Emperor of the galaxy.
A unique position within the organization was that of master armorer. The master armorer crafted specialized suits of life-preserving armor for Knights who had been severely injured. In 137 ABY, the title was held by Master Hogrum Chalk.
- "Imperial Knights believe we serve the Force by serving an Empire that brings order. For three generations our duty has been to the Emperor, going back to Jagged Fel."
- ―Treis Sinde
The concept of Imperial Jedi was first mentioned in 22 ABY during the rediscovery of the Outbound Flight by members of the Empire of the Hand and agents from the New Republic. Accompanying the expedition were members of the Jedi Order, Luke Skywalker and his wife Mara Jade Skywalker. It was during this time that Admiral Voss Parck offered Mara Jade a position within the Empire of the Hand, and that Chak Fel indirectly mentioned that they wanted to attract Luke Skywalker to the Empire of the Hand and establish an academy within their space. Later, the Shadow Academy under the direction of Brakiss of the Second Imperium attempted to train their own version of Dark Jedi Knights or Imperial Jedi to unify the Empire. In 43 ABY, Chak's brother Jagged, the head of state of the Imperial Remnant, suggested to Jaina Solo of the New Jedi Order that she help establish some form of Jedi presence within the Empire. Fel first experimented with the idea by appointing disgraced Jedi Tahiri Veila as his Hand, though Veila wound up returning to the Jedi Order soon after.
The Imperial Knights were founded within the Empire approximately three generations prior to 137 ABY, under the jurisdiction of Jagged Fel. Jagged's son later led the Imperial Knights; Treis Sinde was among those who served under him. Their duty was to the Emperor of the new Galactic Empire and served as his bodyguards in a role similar to Emperor Palpatine's Royal Guard. Prior to 130 ABY, Roan Fel became the third in his bloodline to lead the Empire and its Imperial Knights. At some point in time, the Imperial Knight Eskar Niin left the order and murdered Fel's wife, and Draco was sent to kill him. Although Draco defeated his former master, Niin survived and later joined the Sith.
- "Imperial Knights! Save your Emperor!"
- ―Mohrgan Fel
In 127 ABY, war broke out between the Galactic Alliance and Roan Fel's Empire. During the three-year conflict, Fel, who did not support the war, forbade his knights from participating. Instead, they served as his personal bodyguard. Following the Battle of Caamas, which saw the defeat of the Galactic Alliance and the end of the war, Director of Imperial Intelligence Nyna Calixte confronted Fel and two other Imperial Knights, Antares Draco and Fel's cousin Mohrgan, on the galactic capital of Coruscant. Calixte revealed that Fel's Sith allies were planning to assassinate Fel and assume control of the Empire, and Fel realized that the Sith would expect both him and a contingent of Imperial Knights to appear before the Council of Moffs at an upcoming meeting. Mohrgan volunteered to lead a squad to protect Fel's double, but the entire squad was slain by the Sith Lord Darth Krayt, including the decoy Emperor. All of the Moffs present swore their allegiance to Krayt, the new Emperor of the galaxy. Although four Imperial Knights lay dead, the ruse allowed Fel and Draco to make an underground escape from Coruscant. Displaced from his throne, Roan Fel and his Imperial Knights were now in exile.
In the seven years following the war, several Jedi who had surrendered to the Empire joined the Imperial Knights. Azlyn Rae, whose training in the ways of the Force had begun within the Jedi Order, saw it completed by the Imperial Knights.
Second Imperial Civil War
Reorganization on Bastion
- "I call upon you, my loyal stormtroopers, to join with me and take back our Empire which you have so long and faithfully served."
- ―Roan Fel
In 137 ABY, Roan Fel returned to the Imperial stronghold of Bastion, which had been under the control of Darth Krayt's Empire for seven years. Accompanied by the Imperial Knights Ganner Krieg, Antares Draco, and Sigel Dare, Fel secured the loyalty of the Imperial Forces stationed there, and believed that his Empire could thenceforth become a more potent threat to Krayt.
Concurrent with this event, Darth Krayt received intelligence that Fel's daughter, the Princess Marasiah, was hiding on the planet Socorro. Krayt sent Sith Hand Darth Talon to Socorro to kill Marasiah's bodyguard, the Imperial Knight Elke Vetter, whose last stand allowed Marasiah and her companion Astraal Vao to escape. Unbeknownst to them, Talon intended to follow them to Fel in order to discover his secret base. When this news reached Bastion, Antares Draco immediately volunteered to take three knights to Socorro to rescue her, but was forbidden to do so by Fel, who refused to divulge the fact that he had retaken Bastion. Marasiah and Astraal were eventually picked up by the bounty hunter Cade Skywalker, who intended to turn both Marasiah and her father over to the Sith and collect their bounties.
Skywalker's ship, the Mynock, made its way to Vendaxa, and Draco and Krieg disobeyed their Emperor's orders and traveled there in two Predator-class fighters. Arriving on-planet, their fighters were shot down by two Sith Fury-class fighters, but the two managed to escape the flaming wrecks of their ships. Along with the Jedi Knights Wolf Sazen and Shado Vao, they joined Marasiah and engaged the Sith in combat. Despite seven years of tension between the Jedi and Roan Fel's Empire, the Jedi and Imperial Knights were fighting side-by-side against their common enemy, the Sith. During the battle, Marasiah was cut down by a Zabrak Sith while protecting a derelict Cade Skywalker.
Draco soon realized that Marasiah was still alive, and directed all his efforts into keeping her that way, even revealing to Sazen that the Massacre of the Jedi seven years prior had happened against the Emperor's orders. With the Sith at bay, the Jedi and Imperial Knights managed to safely get onboard the Mynock, which took off. In what she believed would be some of her dying words, Marasiah Fel expressed her belief that the Imperial Knights would need to ally themselves with the Jedi in order to take down Darth Krayt. Skywalker, however, himself a former Jedi, managed to heal her, and the Mynock soon after arrived at Bastion.
Fallout from Vendaxa
- "As Imperial Knights, I expect your total obedience to my commands. And I did not get it."
- ―Roan Fel
After Skywalker secretly departed Bastion in the middle of the night, Roan Fel berated Draco and Krieg for disobeying a direct order. He believed that he now had a stalemate with Darth Krayt's Empire thanks to them, as the Sith had likely tracked them back to Bastion. However, Fel knew revealing that he had been disobeyed would undermine his authority, and thus retroactively approved their mission to Vendaxa. Draco and Krieg were now the Empire's foremost heroes, and would thenceforth be sent on the most dangerous missions, beginning with a mission to the Wheel, a space station in the Besh Gorgon system that had remained neutral in Fel's conflicts with the Galactic Alliance and the Sith. They would be escorting Captain Mingo Bovark, who would be discussing a possible alliance with Admiral Gar Stazi of the Galactic Alliance Remnant. Fel needed allies, and having met Sazen and Vao, doubted that he could find them among the Jedi. Draco and Krieg's mission was to ensure Bovark's safety at all costs, and to see that the negotiations went smoothly.
Aboard the Wheel, Stazi and Bovark met in a conference room, with both sets of guards required to wait outside. Draco indicated that he didn't trust the Galactic Alliance guards, and vowed to win back the Emperor's trust. However, Imperial spies Morrigan Corde and Jor Torlin had also boarded the station, and managed to cause the Imperial shuttle to fire on Stazi's ship using a Command Override Limpet Droid. Believing Fel had betrayed him, Stazi drew a vibro-shiv on Bovark, while outside in the hallway, a firefight erupted between the Imperial Knights and the Galactic Alliance guards. Krieg held off the guards with his lightsaber while Draco burst into the room to retrieve Bovark. Wheel Administrator Pol Temm and several security guards arrived, and called on the Imperial Knights to surrender their weapons immediately. Draco refused, and Temm ordered the Imperials off of the Wheel, declaring the station off-limits to all of Roan Fel's forces.
Working with the Galactic Alliance
- "Uh, who are your "friends"?"
"They're Imperial Knights… I know—I had the same reaction."
- ―Ronto and Monia Gahan
Some time later, Emperor Fel, having survived an assassination attempt by the Sith Darth Kruhl, sent Imperial Knights Treis Sinde and Sigel Dare on a mission to sabotage the Advanced Star Destroyer Imperious, which was nearing completion at the Mon Calamari Shipyards. Destroying the vessel would mean denying its usage to Darth Krayt's Empire. Undercover and in plainclothes, Sinde and Dare infiltrated the vessel and planted three sets of explosives, the first two of which they expected to be found, and the third anticipated to remain undiscovered. The explosives were primed to go off when the Imperious's weapon systems came online during its shakedown cruise; the hope was that the ship would be far enough away from Dac that the Mon Calamari would not get blamed. The plan hit a snag, however, when Admiral Gar Stazi of the Galactic Alliance executed his own mission to steal the Imperious from Krayt's Empire, and succeeded in his mission.
In retaliation, Darth Krayt brought a legion of Sith and stormtroopers to Dac, and ordered the execution of ten percent of the Mon Calamari population, beginning with the members of the Mon Calamari Council. The remaining ninety percent throughout the galaxy were to be interred in work camps. As Sith and stormtroopers swarmed New Coral City, Sinde and Dare, still in plainclothes, fought their way through Krayt's forces in order to locate Monia Gahan, niece of former Senator and Galactic Alliance Triumvirate member Gial Gahan. Believing Krayt to be a mutual enemy of Stazi and the Emperor, Sinde felt that the Admiral needed to be warned. Gahan agreed to help them on the condition that they rescued her fellow Rogue Squadron pilots who had been captured during the battle. After obliging and successfully freeing them, Sinde and Dare brought the group to the personal shuttle of the Quarren Sith Lord Darth Azard, but were discovered by Azard, which prompted Sinde to remain behind and duel him in a delaying action. Dare used the Force to jettison a fuel tank into the path of the ship's rear guns, and instructed one of the Rogues to fire on it, causing a massive explosion that covered the shuttle's escape and distracted Azard long enough for Sinde to dive off of the hangar level and escape.
Aboard the Imperious, Dare and the Rogues rendezvoused with Stazi, who, despite belligerence displayed by Dare, realized that working with Fel was necessary in order to bring down Krayt. He instructed Dare to inform her Emperor that he was willing to consider an alliance.
Pursuing Cade Skywalker
- "I should have had Skywalker enlisted, incarcerated, or embalmed. He's too much of a wild card. I will not make the same mistake twice."
- ―Roan Fel
At some point following the events on Vendaxa, Marasiah Fel completed her training and became a full-fledged Imperial Knight. Her father regretted allowing Cade Skywalker to escape from Bastion, and dispatched Jedi-turned-Imperial Knight Azlyn Rae to track him down. Rae followed the Mynock from Socorro to Iego, where Skywalker was visiting his uncle "Bantha" Rawk at his home, and attacked him in the middle of the night. After being interrupted and subdued by Rawk, she revealed her identity to her childhood friend and falsely told him that she was a bounty hunter. When Skywalker and his uncle prepared to depart for the Jedi's Hidden Temple, they invited Rae, who relayed the coordinates of the temple on Taivas to Draco, Krieg, and Marasiah, who waited nearby in a ship.
When the Mynock landed at the Hidden Temple, its crew departed and was met by Wolf Sazen and Shado Vao, only to discover that the Imperial Knights had cloaked their ship and followed them in. Draco, Krieg, and Marasiah disembarked into the hangar, the former two with their lightsabers drawn in an effort to protect the Princess from any potential danger. Misinterpreted as hostility, the move prompted Vao and Skywalker to draw their own weapons and engage the two Imperial Knights in duels. After Skywalker Force-pushed both Krieg and Draco across the hangar, Sazen attempted to calm the situation down, prompting Marasiah to reveal the truth about Rae's status as an Imperial Knight, and to declare her as within the mantle of safe conduct for the Imperial Knights' diplomatic mission. She then informed Sazen that she had come on behalf of her father, to open discussions with the Jedi about a possible alliance between them and Roan Fel's Empire.
The Imperial delegation was permitted to appear before the Jedi Council, which consisted of Jedi Masters K'Kruhk, T'ra Saa, and Tili Qua. Marasiah gave a long speech, revealing that her father had not ordered the massacre of the Jedi at Ossus seven years prior, and asserting that he was an ally to the Jedi with the Sith as their common enemy. As Gar Stazi had opened talks with the Emperor, Marasiah called on the Jedi to do the same. Skywalker then chimed in, revealing knowledge of Darth Krayt and the One Sith that he had learned during his time as their captive, and proposed a plan of his own: Assassinate Darth Krayt. Although the council did not support the plan, the Imperial Knights did, and Draco, Krieg, and Rae joined Skywalker, Vao, and the Mynock's crew on their assassination mission while Marasiah remained behind to continue peace talks with the Jedi.
Skywalker's strike team
The Mynock traveled to Had Abbadon in the Deep Core, as Skywalker had formulated a plan to lure Darth Krayt there, but was yanked out of hyperspace by the interdiction field of the Star Destroyer Iron Sun, which Old Republic Jedi Celeste Morne had commandeered ten years before. As Draco and Krieg searched the corridors of the ship, Skywalker, along with his co-pilot Jariah Syn, Rae, and Vao, was attacked by several Rakghouls, beasts that Morne was able to control with the power of the Muur Talisman, an ancient Sith artifact that housed the spirit of the Sith Lord Karness Muur. After witnessing and being impressed by Skywalker's healing abilities, Morne decided to join them on their mission. With Morne as their newest passenger, the Mynock arrived at Had Abbadon, where Draco and Krieg piloted their TIE Predators after Vao's TwinTail Fighter and blasted grounded TIE pilots before they could get to their ships, helping to rid the base of its Imperials. With the base clear, Draco accessed the HoloNet and informed the Emperor of the Talisman and its powers. Fel realized the artifact's power, and told Draco to obtain it. Although Draco unhesitatingly accepted the orders, Krieg and Rae challenged them, believing them to be contrary to the purposes of their organization.
Lured to Had Abbadon by the bait of the Muur Talisman, Darth Krayt arrived along with four of his most trusted Sith Lords: Darth Stryfe, Darth Wyyrlok, Darth Talon, and Darth Maladi. As they confronted Morne and Skywalker, Draco, Krieg, Rae, and Vao emerged from hiding, having managed to conceal themselves in the Force, and attacked the Sith. However, Morne's army of Rakghouls cut them off from the battle. With his lightsaber, Draco cut his way through the beasts in order to confront Morne, but was knocked unconscious by a blast of telekinesis on her part. Meanwhile, Krieg and Rae fought their way to Krayt, who Rae stabbed through the chest. Morne then Force-pushed the weakened Sith Lord off of a cliff, but not before Rae was mortally wounded by the Force lightning produced by the confrontation. With the battle over and Krayt defeated, Skywalker destroyed the Talisman and killed Morne, but could not effectively heal Rae with the Force. As the crew of the Mynock prepared to depart for Kiffex with Rae, Krieg attempted to go with them, but was halted by Vao. Cade refused them passage, as he knew that they had tried to secure the Talisman for the Empire. The Mynock departed, leaving Draco insistent that they return to Bastion, and Krieg questioning the meaning of his duty.
After Draco and Krieg returned to Bastion, Fel sent Krieg to retrieve Azlyn Rae on Kiffex, ordered Draco to discover what the general reaction was on Coruscant and had Sigel Dare go to Dac to recover Master Sinde. He had learnt from his spy that Darth Wyyrlok was back on the capital, without Krayt, and had announced that he was assuming the regency. Fel believed that, if Krayt was dead then it was the perfect opportunity to attack the Sith.
After Rae and Sinde returned to Bastion, Fel planned to travel to Agamar to meet in secret with representatives of the Jedi. His goal was to discuss an alliance as they were both allied to Admiral Gar Stazi. Fel, his daughter, Sinde, Draco, Krieg, Dare, Rae and a contingent of Knights went to Agamar to negotiate with Jedi Master K'Kruhk. During the trip, Fel sparred with his closest friend among the Knights, Treis Sinde. He revealed to Sinde the true reason he had brought him back from Dac: he was afraid that his seven years of fighting against the Sith had corrupted him, as he had been willing to use the Sith magic of the Muur Talisman to fight the Sith armies. He asked Sinde if the use of the dark side to save the galaxy was justifiable. Sinde replied that it wasn't as he would just turn into another Darth Krayt. He also told his Emperor and friend that all his Knights, including himself and his daughter, had sworn to kill him if he would turn to the dark side. Fel told him that if he wasn't so contrary and free-minded, his wisdom would have earned him the position of leader of the Imperial Knights. Sinde told him that Antares Draco could keep the job as he was too busy taking care of Fel himself.
Fel's ship, the Dauntless, arrived on Agamar and Fel went to the meeting with Sinde, Draco, Marasiah, Dare and Krieg. There, Fel and K'Kruhk agreed to ally against the Sith.
However, the newly-appointed Regent Morlish Veed had learnt of the meeting and had set up an operation codenamed Thunderstroke to capture Fel. He sent Moffs Rulf Yage and Fehlaaur'aitel'loro to command the First Sith Imperial Strikeforce and attack the Imperial delegation. However, Moff Nyna Calixte who had already helped Fel in the past, went to Agamar to warn him about the upcoming attack.
Calixte arrived too late as the War Hammer attacked the Dauntless and the Sith warriors attacked the Jedi and the Imperial Knights. However, a group of hidden Knights, disguised as farmers attacked the Sith and K'Kruhk ordered his Jedi to defend the Emperor. The new allies managed to clear a path for Fel to reach his shuttle and they boarded. However, Princess Marasiah, was captured by the Sith.
After Azlyn Rae and Rasi Tumm realized that Sia had been captured, they attempted to rescue her. However, she had been taken to Korriban for interrogation by the Sith. After failing to rescue her, they returned to Bastion. Fel gave the order for someone to come up with a plan to either rescue or kill Sia. Draco came up with a plan for him to infiltrate Korriban disguised as a Sith with Krieg and Jedi Master Shado Vao acting as prisoners.
Meanwhile, Sia found that her torturer, Darth Havok, was in fact Eshkar Niin, the only Imperial Knight to ever leave the order. Sia was shocked since Draco, Niin's former apprentice, had claimed to have killed him for his desertion. Although Draco didn't know about Niin's survival, Havok claimed that Draco had lied and allowed him to live. When the rescue team arrived and rescued Sia, the Princess lashed out at Draco for supposedly betraying the Empire. But the argument was cut short by the arrival of more Sith. When the team arrived at the shuttle, Draco chose to stay behind and buy time for the others to escape, proving to Sia that Havok was the one who had lied, not Draco.
As Draco slaughtered all the Sith who came after him, he was approached by Havok himself. As former master and student traded banter, Havok remarked that Draco's disguise suited him well and told him he would do well as a Sith. But Draco simply wanted to finally kill his former master, and the two engaged each other. As they dueled, both felt the will of a very much alive Darth Krayt due to the amount they were drawing on their anger. Havok gave Draco another chance to join the Sith, but he outright refused. Havok than blasted him with Force lightning, subduing him. Draco was then taken as a prisoner of the Sith and interrogated by Havok.
Attack at the Hidden Temple
Draco was held prisoner by Darth Havok who submitted him to agonizing torture in an attempt to learn the secrets of the allied forces. Draco refused to speak but since Havok had trained him, he knew his weaknesses and his strengths. After long torture sessions, Havok created a Force illusion that took his former apprentice back to the day that Elliah Fel had died. As Draco relived the duel, Havok appealed to his guilt and claimed that he had been too weak to save her. Havok then projected another illusion onto his fellow Sith Lord Darth Talon, making her appear to be Marasiah Fel. He told Draco that Vao and Krieg had been killed during their escape from Korriban and that Marasiah had been recaptured, and Talon planted a kiss on Draco's lips to promote the deception. When Havok threatened to kill her if Draco did not tell him any valuable information, Draco lost his resolve and revealed the existence of a Jedi Hidden Temple on Taivas. Talon left to relay the findings to Darth Krayt, now back in control of the Empire, and Havok continued to torture Draco with Force lightning.
As a part of a plan devised by Darth Krayt himself, Draco was frozen into carbonite and delivered to Cade Skywalker and his friends. Draco warned them that he had betrayed the location of the Hidden Temple under torture. Draco was brought to the Temple by Skywalker and there, the Jedi, Gar Stazi and Roan Fel devised a plan to lure the Sith-Imperial forces into a trap. Princess Marasiah was at the Hidden Temple along with Ganner Kreig and Azlyn Rae when Draco arrived and she berated him for having broken before the Sith but gave him a chance to regain his honor by fighting along side her and the Jedi in defense of the Temple.
The Sith-Imperial forces, commanded by Admiral Rulf Yage and Darth Stryfe, attacked the Hidden Temple but were met by heavy resistance from the allied forces on the ground. In space, the allied trapped the Sith-Imperial fleet when a Galactic Alliance fleet commanded by Admiral Stazi and an Imperial fleet commanded by Master Treis Sinde cornered them. However, Darth Krayt had planned this from the beginning and he unleashed his secret army of Sith troopers led by Darth Nihl against the allied forces. Unable to resist the furious advance of these powerful troopers, the Imperial Knights and the remaining allied forces were forced to pull back but not before suffering heavy losses and losing several Jedi Masters such as T'ra Saa, Nat Skywalker and Te Corso. However, Skywalker was able to capture one Sith trooper and he delivered him to Roan Fel on Bastion.
The capture of Darth Maladi III
After Draco's capture, Hogrum Chalk, the Emperor's brother-in-law and close advisor, was promoted to be the head of Imperial Intelligence for Roan Fel's empire. Sometime later, his agents found an unconscious Darth Maladi in a Yuuzhan Vong ship. Chalk had her secretly transported back to Bastion and had her imprisoned. When she awoke, Maladi was in a fragile, paranoid state of mind, the aftermath of Skywalker's mental attack. She requested an audience with Emperor Fel with claims that Darth Krayt had survived despite her attempts to ensure his demise, and appealed for safe haven from the empire-in-exile. She offered him Omega Red, a biotoxin she claimed was capable of killing a planet—in exchange for the head of Cade Skywalker. Her sincerity was questioned by Fel, who was hesitant to unleash such devastation and threatened to instead deliver Maladi into Skywalker's hands. Chalk, however, considered the weapon as an opportunity to end the war and save countless lives by sterilizing Korriban of all Sith. The Emperor refused to be branded a pariah in the galaxy for employing the same techniques as the enemy. He ordered Chalk to keep Maladi's capture in secret, and she was left in her cell.
Not long afterward, the defeat at the Hidden Temple led Fel to reconsider Maladi's offer. Desperate to defeat the Sith, Fel again approached her and agreed to her initial offer, under the condition that she first make good with her claim.
After studying the sole surviving Sith trooper, Fel convinced the allies that they should attack Coruscant and the heart of Krayt's power before Bastion was attacked by these troopers. Every single rebel troop in the galaxy gathered for this final attack. Secretly, Fel, under the advice of Hogrum Chalk, decided to use Omega Red on Coruscant to end the Sith threat. He assigned his Knights Ganner Krieg, Azlyn Rae and Sigel Dare to a strike team led by Cade Skywalker to sabotage Coruscant's orbital defenses and kill Darth Krayt. He asked his most trusted Knights, Antares Draco, Treis Sinde and Marasiah to remain at his side on board his flagship, the Jagged Fel.
Although the first part of the plan was a success and the allied fleet arrived safely in the system, Krayt unleashed his Sith troopers once again. The battle started to turn against the allies and Fel decided that Omega Red was a necessity and collected it from Maladi, not knowing that she was still working for Krayt and that the Sith were immune to the toxin. This would make Fel and the allies pariahs in the galaxy and allow the Sith to maintain control.
Draco attempted to talk Fel out of it but he refused to listen. The two were joined by Sinde and Marasiah who both tried to convince the Emperor otherwise but they failed and Fel Force-pushed them away. Draco, realizing that Fel had fallen to the dark side and remembering his oath as an Imperial Knight, engaged his former Master in a duel.
During this time, on Coruscant, Skywalker's strike team infiltrated the Sith Temple and cut through scores of Sith which led to the deaths of both Wolf Sazen and Darth Stryfe and the injuring of Sigel Dare. Skywalker managed to make it to Darth Krayt and, after a lengthy duel, managed to kill him. Draco sensed Krayt's death in the Force and tried to convince Fel that Omega Red was no longer needed but the Emperor claimed it was a trick and punched his former apprentice in the face before attempting to launch Omega Red at the planet. Draco killed Fel by stabbing him in the back.
After Krayt's death, the Sith troopers went insane due to the loss of the mental connection that tied them to their Dark Lord and the Sith fleet pulled back, leaving Coruscant under the control of the allies. After having eliminated all Sith troopers, a funeral was organized for Emperor Fel where the eulogy was delivered by Hogrum Chalk who also announced that Marasiah Fel had become Empress and a part of the new Galactic Federation Triumvirate. Emperor Fel's fall to the dark side was also kept secret from those who did not know due to political reasons.
A fully-trained Imperial Knight, Fel was the third Emperor of the Fel dynasty to sit upon the Imperial throne, before being ousted from power by Darth Krayt in 130 ABY, following the conclusion of the Sith–Imperial War. Known for his political acumen and strategic thinking, he maintained a persistent campaign against the Sith, even reclaiming the planet of Bastion. Despite this, his desire to reclaim the Imperial Throne guided many of his decisions. Fel's training as an Imperial Knight served him well when the Sith Lord Darth Kruhl attempted to assassinate him at Bastion.
The only child of Emperor Roan Fel and the heir to the Imperial Throne, Marasiah (known to those closest to her as Sia) completed her training as an Imperial Knight following an incident on Vendaxa that saw her pursued by Sith agents. Sia often acted as an emissary between her father and Imperial systems, infiltrating planets in secret in order to determine the loyalty of the officers governing there.
Draco was the leader of the Imperial Knights, behind Roan Fel. His formidable skill with a lightsaber matched his ability behind the controls of a fighter, but was perhaps outmatched by the love he felt for Princess Marasiah. Possessed of unwavering loyalty to the cause of the Imperial Knights, Draco would give his life for the Emperor, though his desire to marry the Imperial princess often clouded his thinking, and his loyalty to Fel eventually brought him into conflict with his fellow Knights. Draco was very critical of both the Jedi and the Sith, seeing them as inferior to the Imperial Knights.
Trained by Yalta Val, Assam was a green and rash Imperial Knight when he was sent to the Ottega system to aid in the construction of the Galactic Federation Triumvirate's new communications array. After Val experienced problems within the Carreras system, Assam found himself involved in his old master's affairs. Despite his inexperience, Antares Draco thought highly of his instincts.
A gruesome accident forced him into a life preserving suit similar to the one worn by Darth Vader and unable to fight for the Empire as a field Knight. However he became the master armorer for the Imperial Knights, building armors and suits for injured Knights, as was the case of Azlyn Rae.
Fiercely loyal to the cause of Emperor Fel, Dare was rigid in her thinking and approach, severely disliking both the Jedi and the Sith. She was cold as ice and dutiful, but was often blinded to the larger picture, concentrating only on what was in front of her. She did not want to admit that the galaxy was falling apart.
Mohrgan was the cousin of Emperor Roan Fel. He served his cousin loyally as a bodyguard for many years, willing to risk death in order to save his Emperor. He was also confident in his own abilities and was eager for a chance to prove himself against the Sith. Darth Krayt slew Mohrgan and three other Imperial Knights when he seized the Imperial throne following the conclusion of the Sith-Imperial War.
Calm and serious, Ganner was a high-ranking member of the Imperial Knights, and the most trusted friend of Antares Draco. A more level-headed foil to the brash actions of Draco, Ganner was always ready to stand behind his friend, having accompanied him on several dangerous missions, even without the consent of their Emperor. He did disagree with Draco's arrogant dismissal of the Jedi, however, and had feelings for fellow Imperial Knight Azlyn Rae.
Niin was once a well-respected Knight, and master to Antares Draco, the organization's future leader. However, at some point he fell to the dark side and joined Darth Krayt and the One Sith, becoming Darth Havok. His fellow Knights assumed him to be dead.
A former Jedi Padawan, Rae found herself on her own following the scattering of the Jedi Order in 130 ABY, and was discovered by the Imperial Knights, who completed her training. Though willing to deceive her childhood love Cade Skywalker for the Imperial cause, Rae's reunion with him, and later with her master Rasi Tuum caused her to feel conflicting loyalties between the Imperial Knights and the Jedi. During the fight against Darth Krayt, she was severely injured which forced her to wear a life-preserving armor.
Level-headed and pragmatic, Sinde was able to see the larger picture of galactic affairs, and was considered wise by Sigel Dare, who had been his apprentice. While on a mission to sabotage one of Darth Krayt's Star Destroyers, Sinde saw the wisdom of warning Galactic Alliance Admiral Gar Stazi of danger, and of cooperating with members of Rogue Squadron. He was also willing to sacrifice his life for the greater good of the mission. He was mindful of the Knights true allegiance to the Force and, like Krieg, wasn't as blindingly loyal to Fel as some of the others.
A high-ranking Imperial Knight sent by Marasiah Fel to Carreras Major to aid in the construction of the Galactic Federation Triumvirate's new communications array, which would directly link the Outer Rim Territories to Coruscant. He experienced difficulty during transit, forcing his old apprentice Jao Assam to become involved. He wielded a unique blue-bladed lightsaber with a spherical blade emitter.
Vetter was a teacher, friend, and bodyguard to the Princess Marasiah, accompanying her as she acted as the Emperor's emissary in discovering which Imperial officers remained loyal to him. Vetter was killed by Darth Talon on Socorro while allowing the Princess to escape, Elke was loyal to the Princess and was willing to give her life for her safety. Although Talon hoped to follow her and discover the location of her father, Vetter's sacrifice allowed Marasiah to be picked up by Cade Skywalker and the crew of the Mynock.
Armor and equipment
- "Pure cortosis gauntlet. All my knights have them."
- ―Emperor Roan Fel to Darth Kruhl
Each Imperial Knight carried a standardized silver lightsaber that produced a silver blade. This symbolized the order's unity, as well as the fact that each member was less than the organization that they served. The lightsabers were crafted using synthetic crystals, using knowledge from Palpatine's Book of Anger, in a process bereft of ceremony or significance. To an Imperial Knight, a lightsaber was merely a tool, and their training devoted as much attention to fighting in vehicles, bare-handed, and with the Force. Marasiah Fel's lightsaber, though the standardized hilt, produced a blue blade. Azlyn Rae carried an orange-bladed version of this hilt while undercover, in order to conceal her status as an Imperial Knight.
The standard uniform was a suit of crimson armor, that was made from the same material found in the armor of Darth Vader. It was interwoven with small threads of phrik filament to provide additional resistance to lightsaber attacks. The Imperial insignia was printed on the left pauldron and right gauntlet; the gauntlet itself was composed of pure cortosis, rendering any lightsaber blade that touched it useless for several minutes. The uniform also included a black hood and cape. Roan Fel wore for most occasions a more elaborate variant of this armor, along with a royal cape. Nonetheless, during dangerous missions like the one on Agamar in 137 ABY, he relied on the traditional and more versatile standard armor. As skilled masters of the Force, Imperial Knights knew how to get the most out of their armor.
The master armorer of the Imperial Knights crafted specialized life-preserving armor for Knights who had been severely injured. Master armorer Hogrum Chalk had designed at least two such suits by 137 ABY.
On her mission to the Hidden Temple, and later to Had Abbadon, Azlyn Rae remained in her bounty hunter's uniform, having been undercover and presumably without her regular armor. Treis Sinde and Sigel Dare also wore plainclothes for their undercover mission to Dac.
Powers and abilities
The Imperial Knights were fully-trained Force-Users, and were sometimes referred to as "fully-trained Jedi". They were looked upon as inferior by the Sith, often being referred to as "Fel's Forcelings", yet some in the galaxy maintained that there was no denying their discipline, ability, or power. The Imperial Knights were said to be among the most talented and dangerous Force-users in the galaxy, and every bit as capable of in the use of the Force as the Jedi.
The Imperial Knights made extensive use of their combat armor, and were as such, were constantly prepared for combat. They trained strictly for combat and not contemplation, having even developed two new combat forms, the more aggressive Praetoria Vonil and the defensive minded Praetoria Ishu. They also learned to fight using many of the same lightsaber combat techniques as the Jedi. The Imperial Knights were warriors rather than negotiators, a fact that they would never make excuses for. Their training saw them learn how to use the Force to transform themselves into living weapons and shields.
The Imperial Knights were skilled with various uses of the Force, such as levitation, mind-tricks, and lightsaber combat. Moreover, some employed powers that were of the Dark Side—this was seen as less of an issue than for some Jedi, as they were not as concerned about the balance of the Light and Dark.. As with other Force-using groups, proficiency with a lightsaber varied from one Imperial Knight to the next. Experienced Knights have held their own against members of the One Sith, such as when Treis Sinde dueled Darth Azard on Dac, when Roan Fel defeated Darth Kruhl on Bastion, and when Antares Draco accounted for half a dozen Sith Warriors buying time for his allies to escape on a mission to Korriban. Other Imperial Knights have been defeated by very powerful members of the One Sith, such as when Darth Talon killed Elke Vetter, and when Darth Krayt cut down four Imperial Knights with apparently little effort.
Behind the scenes
The Imperial Knights were created by John Ostrander and Jan Duursema for the comic series Star Wars: Legacy, though the notion of a Jedi personal bodyguard to the Emperor dates back to the rough draft of A New Hope, where the Jedi are the protectors of the galactic ruler. A revolution occurs, and the Empire is replaced by the "New Empire". The Black Knights of the Sith hunt down the Jedi and supplant them as the Imperial guard and true power behind the throne.
Referred to by John Ostrander as "A Jedi-like fellowship", the Imperial Knights were first revealed in Issue 0 of Legacy, released June 2006. Their first appearance came later that month in Issue 1, but all four Imperial Knights introduced died in that issue. The regular cast of Imperial Knights, including Antares Draco, Ganner Krieg, Sigel Dare, and Princess Marasiah Fel, would not appear until later on in the Broken story arc. Various Imperial Knights have played very prominent roles in the series so far, whether accompanying Cade Skywalker on missions or embarking upon missions of their own. According to Randy Stradley, it was originally decided that there would only be around a dozen Imperial Knights, although this may have been re-evaluated. The total number of active Imperial Knights is currently unknown, though Legacy 0.5 identifies their numbers as being "small", and the Legacy Era Campaign Guide posits that their number varies between twelve and sixty.
The in-universe origins of the Imperial Knights were once shrouded in mystery, with many theories having been put forth by fans. One of the most popular, later proven correct, at least in part, involves Jaina Solo marrying Jagged Fel, adding Force-sensitivity to the Fel bloodline. This idea is supported in Fate of the Jedi: Outcast, when Jagged suggests that Jaina leave the Jedi and found her own order within the Empire, and further supported by the couple's engagement in Fate of the Jedi: Omen. Finally it is proven to be the case of them marrying in Fate of the Jedi: Apocalypse.
John Ostrander has stated that the Imperial Knights have become very popular figures, with gamers being especially interested in them.
Members of the Imperial Knights have received their own miniatures and action figures. The Legacy of the Force set of Star Wars Miniatures, released in early 2008, includes miniatures of Antares Draco, Roan Fel, Ganner Krieg, Sigel Dare, and Marasiah Fel. 
Also in 2008, Hasbro, as part of its Legacy Collection comic packs, released two comic packs featuring characters from Legacy in 3 3/4 inch action figures. One of those packs featured Ganner Krieg and Antares Draco appearing in a two-pack along with part five of Broken. In 2009, a Sigel Dare figure was also released, paired with Darth Krayt.
- Star Wars: Legacy 0 (First mentioned)
- "Legacies of Future Orders"—Star Wars Insider 88
- "The Art of War"—Star Wars Insider 89 (Picture only)
- Star Wars: The Ultimate Visual Guide: Special Edition
- Jedi vs. Sith: The Essential Guide to the Force
- Star Wars: Legacy 0½
- "Blaster"—Star Wars Insider 101
- Star Wars Miniatures: Legacy of the Force
- Threats of the Galaxy
- Star Wars: The Ultimate Visual Guide: Special Edition
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- Legacy Era Campaign Guide
- The Unknown Regions
- "Blaster"—Star Wars Insider 121
- The Essential Guide to Warfare
- Star Wars: The Ultimate Visual Guide: Updated and Expanded
- "Blaster"—Star Wars Insider 145
- "Blaster"—Star Wars Insider 151
- "Authors of the Expanded Universe: The Legend of Dark Horse"—Star Wars Insider 154 (Picture only)
Notes and references