Jonas Stern was a humanoid male who was a baron, and who served as a senator and ambassador in the New Republic in the years following the Battle of Endor. While on a diplomatic mission to Sluis Van, Stern was murdered by a Defel agent of Slui-Koronar in an attempt to win favor with the Imperial Grand Admiral Thrawn. When Thrawn discovered Koronar's part in the murder, he had the Sluissi killed and used the situation to gain an advantage in his negotiations with Stern's replacement.
Mission to Sluis Van
Following the fall of the Galactic Empire after the Battle of Endor in 4 ABY, Baron Jonas Stern rose to become a senator in the fledgling New Republic. In 6 ABY, the New Republic embarked on a series of diplomatic missions to encourage worlds to join its cause. Stern, by this point in his seventies, led one such mission to Sluis Van as a special envoy of New Republic Chief of State Mon Mothma. The Sluis Van Shipyards were historically a major supplier of starships for the Empire, but concerns within the Sluissi population about the Empire had led the Sluissi Council to remain neutral in the ongoing Galactic Civil War.
Stern's delegation, which included the Bothan Borsk Fey'lya and a number of aides, was well received and given access to a large house in an affluent area for the duration of their stay. However, the situation was soon complicated by the arrival of an Imperial delegation led by Grand Admiral Thrawn, temporarily returning from an extended mission to the Unknown Regions. Thrawn was well aware that the Sluissi would ultimately side with the New Republic, and intended to retrieve a newly completed Star Destroyer from the shipyards, as well as to scout out the system for future strategic purposes. Thrawn's true intentions were, however, unknown to Stern, to whom the Imperials appeared as rivals for control of the system.
The negotiations were soon underway and, despite some stormy meetings of the Council and some minor incidents between members of the Imperial and Republic delegations, generally proceeded well until the night the New Republic delegation was due to host a reception for 800 guests at their residence. Stern left much of the preparation work to his aides, who were responsible for organizing catering, music and security for the event. Meanwhile, several hours before the reception was due to start, Stern met with the former Emperor's Hand Mara Jade, working under Talon Karrde as an art dealer under the alias Celina Marniss, from whom he bought some valuable artworks, including a Rodian statuette. The ambassador's collection of sculptures was put on display for the reception, with the Rodian statuette taking pride of place.
The reception started smoothly, with a cordial atmosphere, despite the presence of dignitaries from both sides of the galactic conflict, along with the entire Sluissi Council. Stern's art collection, particularly the Rodian statuette, soon attracted the attention of the visiting Imperial commander. Thrawn asked Stern about buying the statuette but the senator was unwilling to part with his new acquisition. Instead, he promised to give Thrawn details on how to contact Celina Marniss. Thrawn did not pursue the matter further and the reception continued late into the night without incident.
However, the conversation between the Republic and Imperial dignitaries had been overheard by Slui-Koronar of the pro-Imperial United Party. The Sluissi saw an opportunity to sabotage the New Republic negotiations and gain favor with the Grand Admiral. Later that night, a Defel, hired by Slui-Koronar, infiltrated Stern's residence and murdered him in his sleep before stealing the statuette as a gift for Thrawn.
Stern's body was found the following morning. When Mon Mothma was informed of the ambassador's death, she instructed Fey'lya to take over the negotiations until she could dispatch Dogh Staya to take over from Stern. If anybody inquired as to the baron's whereabouts, they were to be told that he was merely unwell, while the New Republic conducted an investigation. News of Stern's death, however, eventually reached Thrawn, who conducted his own investigation. Thrawn uncovered Koronar's involvement in the murder before the New Republic. The Grand Admiral had the Sluissi politician killed, falsifying a holographic recording of the latter murder to implicate Republic personnel, and placing 15,000 credits in Stern's account, supposedly from Koronar. Upon Staya's arrival, Thrawn used his "evidence" to convince the New Republic to let him take delivery of the Star Destroyer in exchange for withdrawing from the negotiations with the Sluissi. Stern's death was officially announced as the result of a particularly virulent form of flu, with all parties involved in the negotiations paying tribute to the baron.
Personality and traits
Stern was a cultured man who valued poetry and sculpture as highly as his diplomatic work. Over time, he acquired a valuable collection of sculptures that became so important to him that he never traveled without them. Though he appeared outwardly congenial, his short temper soon became apparent if his instructions were not followed to the letter.
Behind the scenes
Jonas Stern was created by Philippe Rat and has only appeared in the ambiguously canon roleplaying scenario "Statue" quo à Sluis Van, in issue 89 of the French gaming magazine Casus Belli. Casus Belli 89 featured a single illustration of the character by artist Rolland Barthélémy.
The article in which Stern appears features several continuity issues. While it stated that the scenario is set two years after the Battle of Endor, placing it in 6 ABY, other elements seem to contradict this. Trioculus is said to have just become Galactic Emperor, yet Prophets of the Dark Side establishes that the character died in 5 ABY. It also depicts Mara Jade working with Talon Karrde in 6 ABY, while Heir to the Empire places their association beginning in 8 ABY. These issues could effect the date of Stern's death. Furthermore, the appearance of Thrawn at a New Republic reception is at odds with The Thrawn Trilogy, in which the grand admiral does not become known to the New Republic until 9 ABY. This, combined with Fey'lya, an influential member of the New Republic Provisional Council, as one of Stern's delegation, may cast doubt on the canonicity of the scenario.
Notes and references
- Stern is in his seventies during the events of "Statue" quo à Sluis Van in 6 ABY.
- "Statue" quo à Sluis Van is set two years after the Battle of Endor, which The New Essential Chronology places in 4 ABY.
- ""Statue" quo à Sluis Van"—Casus Belli 89
- The New Essential Chronology
- Prophets of the Dark Side
- Mara Jade had been working with Talon Karrde for six months during the events of Heir to the Empire, which The New Essential Chronology places in 9 ABY.
- Heir to the Empire