- "It's something called the Eternity Crystal… We're not exactly sure how it works… But apparently it was the pinnacle of Jerni science. Some sort of machine that could wind time backwards…until it reached a critical point in history…and then time would start to flow forward again…but along a different path."
- ―Luke Skywalker
The sentient Jerni were the original inhabitants of the ancient Outer Rim desert planet Jerne, where they once ruled over a glorious empire before suffering extinction many eons before the Galactic Civil War. In a failed bid to capture Princess Leia Organa and Luke Skywalker of the Rebel Alliance shortly after the destruction of Alderaan, the Dark Lord Darth Vader tricked his nemeses into chasing after the fabled Eternity Crystal, a device allegedly crafted by the Jerni that promised to save Alderaan through the power of time travel.
Biology and appearance
The Jerni were once a sentient species that lived among the pale sands of their desert homeworld, Jerne. According to image tapes concocted as a hoax by the Dark Lord of the Sith Darth Vader, the Jerni were hairless humanoids with maroon skin, oval heads, and wide nostrils.
Society and culture
The Jerni civilization consisted of domed, windowed structures of varying sizes. Darth Vader's phony image tapes suggested a vast society spread out across innumerable such structures, with plentiful vegetation interspersed between them.
- "Right from the time I had that 'alien' ship built…and concocted its phony image tapes with their lies about the Eternity Crystal."
- ―Darth Vader gloats over his plan to capture Princess Leia Organa
As the original inhabitants of the ancient Outer Rim Territories planet Jerne, the Jerni controlled a once-great empire on their homeworld millennia before the Galactic Civil War. However, the Jerni eventually became extinct, and only a few scattered ruins remained of their civilization by the time of the Galactic Empire.
Sometime after the destruction of the planet Alderaan, during the Galactic Civil War, Darth Vader devised a scheme to capture Princess Leia Organa of the Rebel Alliance by using the promise of a great Jerni scientific wonder as bait. Knowing that Organa would not pass up a chance to possibly save her beloved destroyed homeworld, Vader invented a hoax centered around the fabled Eternity Crystal, a relic supposedly built by the Jerni that could reverse time to a critical juncture in history, at which point time would then continue as normal but along a different path.
Vader's plan included the creation of phony image tapes that depicted the Jerni harnessing the power of the Eternity Crystal to undo a destructive war and reclaim a period of peace and prosperity on their homeworld. The Dark Lord also had a sleek alien starship built, complete with a falsified log stating that it had been built by the Jerni and had come from the planet Jerne, then sent it into the nearby void of space for the Rebels to find. Sure enough, Vader's ruse attracted Organa and her Rebel ally Luke Skywalker to Jerne, believing that they could find the Eternity Crystal and use it to save Alderaan from its fate or even prevent the Empire from existing at all. However, Vader's plan ultimately failed, and both Rebels escaped from Jerne.
Behind the scenes
The Jerni were created for the comic story "Dark Knight's Devilry," which was written by Steve Moore, illustrated by Alan Davis, and originally published by Marvel Comics for the 153th issue of The Empire Strikes Back Monthly in January 1982. "Dark Knight's Devilry" depicts the Jerni within the context of Darth Vader's phony image tapes, leaving the species' actual physical characteristics ambiguous.
Dark Horse Comics republished "Dark Knight's Devilry" in the first issue of its Classic Star Wars: Devilworlds series, which was released on August 21, 1996. This reissue presented "Dark Knight's Devilry" for the first time in color by artist Matt Webb as the story was originally published in black and white in The Empire Strikes Back Monthly.
- "Dark Knight's Devilry"—The Empire Strikes Back Monthly 153 (First appearance) (Depicted in Darth Vader's fake image tapes)
- "Dark Knight's Devilry"—Classic Star Wars: Devilworlds 1 (Depicted in Darth Vader's fake image tapes)
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. II ("Jerne")
Notes and references
- "Dark Knight's Devilry"—The Empire Strikes Back Monthly 153
- Jerne system — Based on corresponding data for
- "Dark Knight's Devilry" takes place following the destruction of Alderaan and the events of Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope while Luke Skywalker still uses Anakin Skywalker's lightsaber, which he loses during the events of Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back. This time period corresponds to the years 0 ABY to 3 ABY, according to The New Essential Chronology.
- Star Wars Legends Epic Collection: The Original Marvel Years Vol. 3
- "Dark Knight's Devilry"—Classic Star Wars: Devilworlds 1
- Star Wars Omnibus: Wild Space Volume 1