"I saw greatness in him, Thalias. Greatness, and skill, and loyalty. He will be my crowning, the memorial staff that will someday stand close beside my own."
―Patriarch Thooraki to Thalias, lauding Senior Captain Thrawn[1]

The memorial staff was a type of decorated staff used by the Chiss Mitth family to commemorate the lives and accomplishments of prominent family members. Memorial staffs could be found at the Mitth family homestead, where they were dedicated to deceased family members of glory and renown. Taken together, the Mitth family's memorial staffs—both present and absent—depicted the history of the family. During her Trials at the Mitth homestead, Caregiver Mitth'ali'astov met Mitth family Patriarch Mitth'oor'akiord, who used the staffs to teach Thalias how her and Senior Captain Mitth'raw'nuruodo's actions would shape both the Patriarch's legacy and the Mitth family's future.


A type of decorated staff, memorial staffs were used by the Mitth family, a family of the[1] near-human Chiss species[2] and one of the Chiss Ascendancy's Nine Ruling Families, to commemorate the achievements of deceased family members. The staffs were kept at the Mitth family homestead below the surface of the Chiss homeworld of Csilla. Upon first glance from a distance, the staffs resembled tall spikes embedded in the ground.[1]

Memorial staffs often honored Patriels, Syndics, Speakers, Patriarchs, and military officers of the Mitth family. The more important and powerful the memorialized Chiss was, the larger and more grandiose their memorial staff would be: more ornate, taller, and proportionally thicker, with more elaborate textures or carvings. The staffs of civilian officials such as Patriarchs would be encircled by staffs commemorating those they had brought into or elevated within the Mitth.[1]

If a memorial staff commemorating a Syndic or Aristocra was not surrounded by other memorial staffs, it represented a failure in that official's life and left a gap in the family's memorial record. Similarly, asymmetries in the memorial record around an official's staff indicated that their efforts had been cut off. Thus, the collection and pattern of memorial staffs present and absent told a sense of the history of the Mitth, and about how the family wished to present its history.[1]


"Study the staffs as you climb. Note the pattern and flow of family history. Meditate on the lives and triumphs of the Mitth."
―Patriarch Thooraki to merit-adoptive Mitth'ali'astov[1]

Mitth'oor'akiord believed that Mitth'raw'nuruodo's (pictured) memorial staff would stand next to his own.

Memorial staffs adorned the summit of a mountain at the Mitth family homestead on Csilla. The last of the Mitth family's Trials involved climbing the mountain, and thus provided Trial-takers a view of the memorial staffs.[1] In 19 BBY,[3] merit adoptive and caregiver Mitth'ali'astov "Thalias" performed her Trials, with Patriarch Mitth'oor'akiord "Thooraki" observing her from the summit among the staffs. He approached Thalias, telling her that he had wished to speak with her in private for some time, and the "rich sense of Mitth history" on the mountain made it the best place to discuss the future of their family.[1]

The Patriarch told the caregiver that Senior Captain Mitth'raw'nuruodo "Thrawn" of the Chiss Expansionary Defense Fleet would bring great glory to the Mitth family, and that Thrawn's memorial staff would someday stand beside his own. Thooraki implied that the ornate walking stick he used in his old age would become his memorial staff after he died. He proceeded to welcome Thalias as an official Trial-born of the Mitth and said that she must ascend to the mountain's peak or she would be presumed missing.[1]

Thooraki told the young woman to study the staffs as she climbed, as they would depict the "pattern and flow" of their family history. He further instructed Thalias to meditate on the lives and triumphs of the Mitth, at which point she asked whether she should also meditate on their failures. The Patriarch recommended that she focus especially hard on their failures, as failure was a harsh but capable teacher to those willing to learn from it.[1]

Behind the scenes[]

Memorial staffs appeared in the 2020 novel Thrawn Ascendancy: Chaos Rising, written by Timothy Zahn as the first novel of Star Wars: The Ascendancy Trilogy.[1]


Notes and references[]

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 Thrawn Ascendancy: Chaos Rising
  2. Thrawn
  3. The events of Thrawn: Alliances that take place during the Clone Wars occur after the trial of Ahsoka Tano, and Star Wars: Galactic Atlas dates both the trial and the war's end to 19 BBY. Thrawn Ascendancy: Chaos Rising is set concurrent with Thrawn: Alliances' Clone Wars-era parts, so its events must take place around 19 BBY.