The Jakku Observatory was an observatory located on Jakku. It was part of a network of Emperor Palpatine's observatories across the galaxy. The Jakku Observatory was part of the Emperor's Contingency plan to destroy the Empire in the event of his death. It was located under the Plaintive Hand plateau and housed a replica of the Emperor's yacht Imperialis, computers displaying a map of the Unknown Regions, a storehouse of Sith relics and artifacts, and a borehole which led to Jakku's core. The future Counselor to the Empire Gallius Rax was tasked with using the Jakku Observatory to execute the Contingency by detonating Jakku and the orbiting Imperial and New Republic fleets. However, he was foiled by Grand Admiral Rae Sloane, Norra Wexley, and Brentin Lore Wexley.
From above, the Jakku Observatory appeared to be only a bunker buried in the sands of the Plaintive Hand plateau. The Observatory was protected by automated turrets and sentinel droids. Much of the facility was hidden underground and it could only be accessed from the outside by a broad automated door hidden in the side of a dune. To open the door, two people need to press their hands against a scan plate. This door led to a pentagonal hallway, made from burnished metal and black glass. The hallway was held up by a series of pillars which prevented the sands above from pressing down and swallowing the Observatory whole.
Due to its pressure-sealed compartments, the Jakku Observatory was kept clean from the dust and dirt of Jakku. The hallway led to an eight-sided chamber which led to an octagonal-shaped bank of computer systems. These ancient computer systems came from an earlier civilization and projected a three-dimensional Star map of the Unknown Regions. For decades, these computers plotted out computerised routes into the Unknown Regions using information derived from Admiral Thrawn. Emperor Palpatine believed that a dark presence lay in the Unknown Regions and had sent probe droids to explore the computations that the computers had made.
Beyond the octagonal chamber was a hallway lined with various relics of the old Sith Empire including a red mask, a white lance, a blood banner and a black holocron. These artifacts were guarded by sentinel droids, which would activate when a threat approached. Beyond this hallway lay a borehole that was drilled through the schist and mantle of Jakku. According to Palpatine, Jakku was once a verdant world with forest and oceans. He believed that Jakku's core still retained the vital spark of life essence. This borehole was central to Palpatine's Contingency plan to destroy Jakku and the remnants of the Empire should the Emperor die prematurely. The Jakku Observatory also had computers which controlled the telescoping vents that could close the shaft.
In 30 BBY, Sheev Palpatine and his Adviser Yupe Tashu traveled to Jakku's Plaintive Hand plateau with several excavation droids. Tashu and Palpatine soon left on the latter's luxury yacht Imperialis. A local boy named Galli stowed aboard the Imperialis. Palpatine soon detected Galli's presence and gave the boy a choice of dying or serving him.
Galli chose to live and serve Palpatine, who instructed the boy to returned to the Plaintive Hand site and guard it. Palpatine instructed Galli to kill any intruders to preserve the site's secrecy. For the next ten years, Galli guarded the site while the droids drilled a borehole into Jakku's core and built underground facilities hosting Palpatine's computerized maps of the Unknown Regions, a storehouse for his Sith relics, and a landing platform for a replica of the Imperialis. Galli's companions included several protocol droids, assassin droids, astromech droids and excavators which cleared the ground at Jakku. Galli also interacted with Tashu, who reported on the site and boy's progress to his master.
By 20 BBY, construction of the Jakku Observatory had been completed. Palpatine rewarded Galli by designating him as the Contingency and inducting him into Imperial service. Gallius adopted the persona of Gallius Rax. He then became a commander in the Naval Intelligence Agency before rising to Fleet Admiral and Counselor to the Empire by the late Galactic Civil War. Following the Emperor's death during the Battle of Endor, Rax put the Contingency into action and began killing other Imperial commanders and setting stage for the Empire's last stand on Jakku.
After taking leadership of the Imperial remnants following the Attack on Chandrila, Gallius Rax ordered the Imperial fleets to relocate to Jakku where he planned to test the mettle of his new armada. Rax claimed that the harsh conditions of Jakku would be a testing ground for his Imperial forces in their final showdown against the New Republic, the successor to the Alliance to Restore the Republic. Rax also established a base on Jakku and established a partnership with the Hutt crime lord Niima. Niima guarded the pass leading to the Jakku Observatory and ordered her thugs to kidnap local orphans who would serve as Rax's child soldiers.
Meanwhile, Rax's rival former Grand Admiral Rae Sloane and the rebel operative Brentin Lore Wexley learned about Rax's true origins from the Anchorite Kolob. The two also learned from Niima that Rax had what was supposedly a secret weapons facility in the Plaintive Hand plateau. Sloane and Brentin managed to convince Niima to take them there. However, Rax's security cameras spotted them and the Counselor ordered the base's turbolasers to blast the convoy. Rax then captured Sloane and Brentin and brought them back to his headquarters.
After initiating the Battle of Jakku, Rax along with Adviser Tashu, the former Commandant Brendol Hux, Hux's son Armitage Hux, and the child soldiers traveled on a transport to the Jakku Observatory. Upon arriving, Rax used his sentinel droid to order the base's turbolasers and sentinel droids to power down. Rax then summoned the landing pad carrying the replica of the Imperialis and instructed the others to board it. He and Tashu then traveled into the Observatory to initiate the final stage of the Contingency plan.
Yupe Tashu donned several Sith relics and artifacts and the two initiated a Sith ritual. Rax then threw Tashu down the bridge into the borehole leading to Jakku's core. Before Rax could rejoin the other Imperials aboard the Imperialis, he was attacked by Sloane. Rax managed to overpower Sloane but was attacked by Brentin and his wife Norra Wexley, who was a New Republic operative. Despite killing Brentin, Rax was killed by Sloane. While Norra left the base with her deceased husband and rejoined the New Republic, Sloane heeded Rax's order to join the Contingency and accompanied the Hux's and Rax's child soldiers into the Unknown Regions.
Behind the scenesEdit
- Aftermath: Life Debt (First mentioned; albeit indirectly)
- Aftermath: Empire's End (First appearance)
- The Legends of Luke Skywalker