«We of the Illumine travel the Chaos teaching others the Kilji way of order and enlightenment.»
―Generalirius Nakirre[1]

The Kilji Illumine was the theocratic government of the Kilji species, who believed that all beings should be enlightened to their religious beliefs, the Kilji way of order and enlightenment. The government possessed a battle fleet, the Illumine Kilhorde, which was commanded by the leader of the Illumine, Generalirius Nakirre. The Kilji homeland was the point of origin from which the Illumine expanded and engaged in its conquests across the Unknown Regions. The Kilji Overlords approved the generalirius' decisions, such as the decision to ally the Kiljis' theocracy with the Grysks, specifically, the Grysk operative Jixtus, who guided Nakirre in the Kiljis' conquests.

Throughout Nakirre's alliance with the Grysk, Jixtus and Nakirre traveled across the Chiss species' government of the Chiss Ascendancy, visiting several worlds in an attempt to provoke a civil war among the Chiss families around 18 BBY. As the generalirius and the Grysk traveled, the Grysk's agenda unfolded, with General Crofyp, an officer of the Illumine, attempting to retrieve some refugees Jixtus was interested in, which failed after Chiss Senior Captain Mitth'raw'nuruodo, core name "Thrawn," destroyed general's task force's flagship, the Kilji war cruiser Anvil.

The Kilji picket cruiser Hammer, part of Crofyp's task force, escaped the star system, and fled to the Unknown Regions Sunrise system, where Thrawn's Chiss heavy cruiser Springhawk captured it and retrieved valuable data on the Kilhorde. Following the cruiser's destruction by a Grysk warship, the Whetstone traveled to the Sunrise system, where it encountered a destroyed Chiss fleet commanded by Thrawn. Nakirre and Thrawn engaged in a conversation through comm, and Nakirre was informed of the Kilhorde's destruction, which had been carried out by the Paataatus' government, the Paataatus Hiveborn, thanks to Thrawn, who had shared information on the battle fleet with the Hiveborn. Jixtus, viewing Generalirius Nakirre as useless without the fleet, killed Nakirre, ending the alliance between his species and the Illumine.


Enlightening the Unknown[]

«Then hear and understand, […] You serve the Grysks. The Illumine serves the Grysks. You and your people live or die at the pleasure of the Grysks. I do not travel aboard the Whetstone at your pleasure; rather, you and the Whetstone survive at mine. I will travel aboard this ship wherever I wish, for as long as I wish, and you will obey every command I choose to give. Do you understand?»
«And what of our agreement?»
«It still stands. […] We'll assist you in bringing enlightenment to the peoples of this region. But it will be the peoples of our choice, and on our schedule.»
―Jixtus and Generalirius Nakirre[1]

Senior Captain Thrawn (pictured) collaborated in Nakirre's defeat

At some point after the defeat of Nikardun General Yiv and his nation,[2][1] the Grysk operative Jixtus allied himself with the leader of the Kilji Illumine, theocracy of the Kilji species, Generalirius Nakirre. While Jixtus promised the generalirius guide and advise in the religious conquests of the Kiljis, Jixtus requested transport aboard Nakirre's Kilji war cruiser Whetstone, from where he intended to talk with the representatives of four nations the Grysk species had deemed most easily conquered. Receiving permission from the Kilji Overlords, the generalirius began to travel with Jixtus, visiting the Unknown Regions planet Zyzek, where Nakirre met Chiss Senior Captain Mitth'raw'nuruodo core name "Thrawn." The Chiss and the generalirius engaged in a confrontation, with Nakirre promising that the Illumine would bring the Kilji beliefs to the Chiss.[1]

Later the same year, Nakirre met with Chiss Mitth family representative Patriel Thistrian, who ordered the generalirius and his Whetstone to go away. Jixtus, who did not wish to fight the Chiss, accepted the order and left, which provoked a later confrontation with Nakirre, in which the Grysk threatened Nakirre with the Illumine's destruction. Although Nakirre dismissed the threat, the Kilji continued to serve Jixtus—who he wnated to kill—fearing the destruction of the Kilji homeland, the point of origin of the Illumine from where the theocracy expanded and engaged in its conquests of enlightenment. Nakirre and Jixtus then visited the Clarr family's planet Rhigar, where the Kilji and Grysk offered warships of the Illumine to Captain Clarr'os'culry core name "Roscu", as Jixtus had told the captain that her family was threatened by another Chiss family; however, Roscu rejected the generalirius' offer.[1]

Shortly after, Jixtus dispatched Illumine General Crofyp and his task force to the Unknown Regions Rapacc system to retrieve some refugees, however, Paccosh official Uingali foar Marocsaa and Thrawn teamed up and destroyed Crofyp's flagship, the Kilji war cruiser Anvil, while the picket cruiser Hammer escaped to the Sunrise system in the Unknown Regions.[1]

Nakirre's failure[]

«You did this! […] Your arrogance—your refusal to accept the Kilji Illumine as true allies—your failure to provide adequate support for our conquests of enlightenment—!»
«If the Kilhorde is gone, the generalirius is of no further use to me.»
―Generalirius Nakirre and Jixtus, commenting Nakirre's death — (audio) Listen (file info)[1]

The Kilhorde battle fleet was destroyed by the Paataatus (a fleet pictured)

After the Hammer's escape, Nakirre and Jixtus met several Chiss officials from the Nine Ruling Families, the nine families that led the Chiss Ascendancy, nation of the Chiss species. The Kilji offered ships of the Illumine, however, Jixtus changed the offer into warships of the Grysks, providing ships to the Chaf and Ufsa families. After Thrawn found the Hammer at the Sunrise system with assistance from Pathfinder navigator Qilori, the navigator of the Anvil that had escaped the ship's destruction and was retrieved by Thrawn, the Chiss and Paccosh forces boarded the picket cruiser, obtaining information on the Kilhorde's weaknesses and combat doctrines following the assassination of all aboard. At some point after the battle, the Chiss senior captain shared the information with the Paataatus government of the Paataatus Hiveborn, as the Kilhorde battle fleet had gained Grysk permission to conquer worlds and nations to the south and southeast of the Chiss Ascendancy, which put the fleet near the Paataatus borders. Deeming the Kilji battle force's operations unacceptable, the Hiveborn sent a multipronged Paataatus attack fleet to destroy the Kilhorde, defeating the battle force.[1]

Nakirre and Jixtus, who had been informed of the Hammer's destruction, traveled to the Sunrise system themselves, and observed a destroyed Chiss fleet floating over the planet Sunrise. Thrawn, who was in command of the fleet, hailed the Whetstone through comm, and informed Nakirre—and indirectly, Jixtus—of the Kilhorde's destruction. As the Grysk operative had allied himself with the Kilji only to have the Kilhorde conquer nations and encircle the Chiss Ascendancy, he shot Nakirre, killing him, ending the alliance with the Illumine.[1]



«I greet you, Captain Roscu, and welcome you aboard the Whetstone. This is Generalirius Nakirre, ruler of the Kilji Illumine and master of this vessel. We appreciate your promptness. Allow us to show you to a place of comfort and refreshment where we may speak together at ease»
―Jixtus on Generalirius Nakirre to Captain Clarr'os'culry — (audio) Listen (file info)[1]

Deeply religious, the people of the Illumine sought to conquer the universe to spread enlightenment, and in Generalirius Nakirre's opinion, to bring order. The Illumine was ruled by the chief civilian leader and the chief military commander, the generalirius, whose decisions had to be approved by the Kilji Overlords. Being represented by Generalirius Nakirre, the Illumine allied itself with the Grysks, traveling across the Chiss Ascendancy with the goal of enlightening the Chiss.[1]

The Kilhorde battle fleet[]

«No. You lie. The Illumine Kilhorde is mighty and unshakable.»
«Unfortunately, it also had several weaknesses, both in design and in combat doctrine, flaws that were easily gleaned from the battle data we retrieved from your picket cruiser Hammer. That information was of course shared with the Paataatus prior to their attack.»
―Senior Captain Thrawn and Generalirius Nakirre[1]

The Kilji Illumine possessed a battle fleet, the Illumine Kilhorde, which visited—and enlightened—the worlds in the Illumine's list of peoples or worlds to enlighten. Although the Kiljis, such as Nakirre, viewed the fleet as "mighty and unshakable," it had several weaknesses, both in design and in combat doctrines, which could be gleaned by an alien visitor aboard a Kilji battleship. Eventually, the Kilhorde was destroyed thanks to its weaknesses, which were exploited by Senior Captain Thrawn and the Paataatus Hiveborn, who retrieved information from the Kilji picket cruiser Hammer.[1]

Society and culture[]

«Or you could make up the loss with warships of the Illumine, […] We stand ready to assist.»
«Don't make me laugh, Generalirius. The only part you can play is the one we've already given you: to conquer key border nations and close them off as havens to which Chiss forces or refugees might attempt to retreat."
"We can do far more than that, […] You underestimate the power of the Kilji Illumine.»
«No, I don't think so.»
―Generalirius Nakirre and Jixtus[1]

The Kiljis sought to spread enlightenment across the Unknown Regions (pictured)

The Kilji Illumine was deeply religious, populated by the Kilji species and the peoples the Kilhorde conquered, the theocracy was a religious empire expanding its territory through the Unknown Regions. The members of the government called themselves the enlightened, referring to their "superior" status they obtained by being enlightened to the Kilji way of order and enlightenment. As the Kilji way required its followers to enlighten others, the Illumine was centered in enlightening the entirety of the universe. Some of the Illumine's members, such as Crofyp, spoke the Kilji language.[1]


The Kilji homeland, a location in the Unknown Regions, was the point of origin from which the Illumine expanded and engaged in conquests of several worlds with the goal of spreading enlightenment. The worlds conquered by the Kilhorde were put under Illumine controlled, with all of the worlds' inhabitants receiving everything they neeeded in return for them being enlightened.[1]

Behind the scenes[]

The Kilji Illumine appeared in the 2022 novel Thrawn Ascendancy: Lesser Evil, the final installment in Timothy Zahn's Ascendancy Trilogy.[1]


Notes and references[]