The Legions of Lettow was the name taken by the apprentices and acolytes of the Kashi Mer Dynasty exile and Jedi Renunciate Xendor. One of the earliest breakaway sects of the Jedi Order, the Legions were defeated in battle at the end of a violent war with their Jedi cousins.
During the early history of the Jedi Order, the Kashi Mer exile Xendor was studying on the planet Ossus, fortress world of the Jedi and home to a culture devoted to the study of the Force and its light side aspect called the Ashla. A respected Jedi Knight, Xendor was a vocal opponent to the Order's increasingly exclusionary ways and eager to learn the techniques and teachings of representatives from other Force traditions also studying on Ossus. Among his closest allies was a Follower and Steel Hand of Palawa named Arden Lyn; the two of them shared philosophies away from the eyes and ears of the Jedi High Council and eventually became lovers.
Xendor, able to bear his frustration no longer, approached the High Council and requested their blessings in opening a new Jedi academy far from Ossus to focus on the darker aspects of the Force, the Bogan. When the Council refused, Xendor quietly broke with the Order and traveled to the planet Lettow to open an academy which focused its teachings on the Bogan. Drawing on Force traditions such as the Order of Dai Bendu, the Followers of Palawa, the Kashi Mer Guardians of Breath, the Baran Do, and the Chatos Academy, Xendor's academy drew a trickle of interest which quickly transformed into a roaring river. It was these acolytes which named their new group the Legions of Lettow, as they knew that they would one day be forced to defend their traditions from the Jedi High Council's wrath. At the academy, the Legionnaires followed similar initiation ceremonies that were practiced by the Jedi Order; for example, the forging of Force-imbued blades was carried over from ancient Tythonese practices. Initiates shaped high-carbon steel in the furnaces of the academy in an extremely challenging ritual, melding the blade's molecular lattice with that of the energy crystal, making the blade and the crystal one-in-the-same. With the furnace-forged steel, the Legionnaires adopted the ancient Jar'Kai fighting art, calling it Niman, after the triumvirate of Kashi gods.
Sometime in the 24,500s BBY the Jedi Order had grown weary of the dissidents' continued existence and decided to put an end to the Great Schism which had torn at the Order's fabric for too long. Forming a massive army, the High Council forced the Legionnaires into open combat. Reluctant to take up the title of general, Xendor hoped to avoid massive bloodshed by bringing the war directly to Ossus. During the battle, Xendor's forces were pushed back and forced to commit troops to several fronts as the Order pushed the Legionnaires towards the galaxy's core. In an attempt to warn the Galactic Republic of the Jedi Order's machinations in forcing the conflict into civilized space, Xendor was ignored and branded as a warlord by the Republic. Campaigns were played out on Chandrila, Metellos, Brentaal IV and Coruscant until the Jedi leader, Awdrysta Pina managed to come into direct battle with Xendor on Columus. Known as the Green Blade, Master Pina and his Jedi Knights were able to separate Xendor's vanguard from the bulk of his army through the use of a strong Force meld. Cutting through powerful warriors such as Sethul Asaiage and Tun Bohoi, Pina eventually dueled Xendor and slew him in hand-to-hand combat.
With Xendor dead, Arden Lyn took command of the remaining Legionnaires on Lettow. As Pina's forces sacked the academy, Lyn and her comrades held off the Jedi until the surviving Legionnaires could flee Republic space. Separating from the rest of the survivors so they could not be cornered together, Lyn attempted to hide beyond Kitel Phard but was hunted mercilessly by Master Pina and he finally cornered her on Irkalla. There, Lyn used a Kashi Mer talisman gifted to her by Xendor to shatter Pina's blade and send the shards through his body. As he lay dying, Pina poured his last bit of life into attacking Lyn with the Morichro technique, stopping her heart and nearly killing her. All remaining Legionnaires were hunted down or left to die in exile, their attempted schism put down with crushing exactness by the Jedi Order, leaving the Legions of Lettow to descend into myth and legend, barely remembered in the footnote of galactic history.
In the centuries following Xendor's separation from the Order, the Jedi who would eventually be known as the Dark Jedi Exiles of the Hundred-Year Darkness believed themselves to be the heirs of the Legion of Lettow's legacy. The Exiles, banished to the Unknown Regions, were able to create the Empire with a philosophy which focused on the dark side of the Force.
A record from the final battle on Columus survived the conflict and was obtained by the Jedi Order. Called the Columus Data Card, the files were written through audio records by Padawan Danzigorro Potts. Describing the final battle as he lay dying, Potts described the deaths of Xendor and other former Jedi, including his own master Jook-jook H'broozin and friends Blendri and Cuthallox.
Behind the scenes
The Legion of Lettow was the name of the entire Sith Order in George Lucas' first revision of the original script for A New Hope, simply entitled "The Star Wars," in which members were simply referred to as "Lettow." This script is barely recognizable from the final script used for the film.
- Star Wars: The Old Republic (Mentioned in Codex entry)
- Star Wars: The Annotated Screenplays
- The New Essential Chronology
- "Heritage of the Sith"—Star Wars Insider 88
- Jedi vs. Sith: The Essential Guide to the Force
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Essential Atlas
- The Journal of Master Gnost-Dural
- Book of Sith: Secrets from the Dark Side
- The Essential Guide to Warfare