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«Can you think of a better prison than one without walls? What does your species use? Cages, I suppose.»
―The Imprisoned One[src]

A technological device of the Infinite Empire, the mind prison was created by the Force-sensitive Rakata species as a means of incarcerating criminals and other beings they considered unsavory. However, these prisons were unusual in that an individual's physical body was not caged, but rather the mind. In part due to losing their connection to the Force, the Infinite Empire collapsed in 25,200 BBY and the remaining Rakata fled their homeworld of Lehon, where they splintered into the various tribes of the Rakatan Archipelago. A number of tribes took with themselves the technology of their ancestors, including mind prisons, while other devices became forgotten in the galaxy.

The reality of mind traps were lost in the obscurity of history until 3956 BBY when the Jedi Revan was commissioned to transport a mind trap—known to him as a mysterious box—from Korriban to Tatooine. In the process, he learned of the existence of mind traps and a small part of their history. At a later date, Elder Ruthic, a descendant of the ancient Rakata, was able to gain the leadership position in the Tulpaa tribe, located in the Rakatan Archipelago, by the use of mind prisons. Being unique due to her growing connection to the Force, Ruthic was able to activate the ancient mind prisons of her people and banish both the tribe's former leaders and her enemies.

Function[edit | edit source]

«My own people put our criminals in little cages like this. Well… our minds, anyway.»
―The Imprisoned One[src]

Mind prisons were devices invented by Rakatan individuals of the Infinite Empire, sometime before 25,200 BBY,[4] as a means of incarcerating criminals of their own species,[2] and other beings they considered unacceptable, such as Sharu malefactors and Kwa super-soldiers.[1] However, the Rakata did not cage their enemies' physical bodies, but rather their minds. The length of detention varied; individuals considered to have committed terrible crimes expected to be confined for eternity with no means of escape.[2]

After the fall of the Infinite Empire, mind prisons became scattered around the galaxy,[1][2] most notably to the planets of the Rakatan Archipelago, Makatak and Tulpaa. However, their function essentially remained the same: to constrain undesirable persons[1] or as a storage area for living beings.[5]

Properties[edit | edit source]

«Just do not open it… that is all I can say. It represents no danger to you so long as it remains closed.»
―Lurze Kesh[src]

The "inside" of a Rakatan prison

The outward appearance of a mind prison resembled an ordinary cargo crate,[3] although there was at least one example that was vaguely pyramidal in shape and had small engravings of humanoid visages running along its vertical faces.[2] The interior of the prison was a "room" composed of an infinite expanse of white nothingness.[1] However, the aforementioned pyramidal prison was known to have contained a series of rune covered pillars and a bed.[2]

The prison box itself was not considered hazardous,[2] unless improperly opened. In that instance, the individual would find their mind under the control of the prison trap and drawn inside. Often, the victim would be confronted by a long-dead Rakata whose only chance for escape was to take over the victim's body. The Imprisoned One asked the newcomer a series of riddles and if they were answered incorrectly, the Rakata would inhabit the body and attempt an escape.[3]

The fall of the Infinite Empire caused many Rakatan tribes to scatter to various worlds, bringing their ancient technology with them. Two tribes of the Rakatan Archipelago, the Makatak and Tulpaa tribes, possessed dozens of mind prisons that could only be opened by use of the Force.[1] Other prisons, such as the one owned by Motta the Hutt, were believed to have lost their protections, thereby affording the prisoners a means of exiting.[2]

History[edit | edit source]

«Are my people still about? If they were, I can't see that they'd let my prison loose so easily.»
―The Imprisoned One[src]

Before the decline of the Infinite Empire in 25,200 BBY,[4] the Force-sensitive Rakata tribes invented many Force-based technological devices.[1] The mind prison was developed as a form of imprisonment that was considered to be both superior and secure.[2] The fall of the Empire led to the destabilization of all planets under Rakatan control[1] with much of their technology being destroyed[2] or scattered. Furthermore, the few remaining tribes on the Rakatan homeworld, Lehon, fled the planet to settle on other worlds—forming the Rakatan Archipelago—taking their technology, including mind prisons, with them.[1]

Motta the Hutt, an owner of a mind prison

In 3956 BBY,[7] the Jedi Revan visited Dreshdae on Korriban where he was approached by Rodian Lurze Kesh, a procurer of unusual goods. Kesh had recognized Revan's ship, the Ebon Hawk, as a former smuggling vessel, and assuming that Revan was a smuggler, Kesh offered Revan a job: delivering a mysterious box to Motta the Hutt in Anchorhead on Tatooine. Revan accepted the commission, with Kesh warning the Jedi to not open the box. Nonetheless, Revan disregarded the Rodian's advice, and became trapped inside the coffer. Upon entering, Revan was greeted by an ancient Rakatan being who informed him that his mind was now trapped inside a mind prison. However, the antediluvian had discovered a means of escape—theorizing that this was only possible due to the prison having lost its protections—and he offered to show Revan the exit if the Jedi was the victor in a contest of riddles. Revan was able to best the Rakata and went on to deliver the mind prison to Motta.[2]

Some time later,[8] Elder Ruthic, a female Rakata priest, rose to the leadership position of the Tulpaa tribe by banishing the tribe's former leaders, and other enemies, into a mind trap. Shortly before the collapse of the Infinite Empire, the Rakata had lost their connection to the Force. However, unlike the preceding generations, Ruthic was unique in that she had an emerging bond with the Force, giving her the ability to make use of the technology of her ancestors. Furthermore, Ruthic gained a wise counselor from her use of mind prisons. Upon banishing opponents to a mind prison, a pure-blooded Sith named Raspir was released. Having once served Sith King Adas as a court magician, Raspir's proficiency with dark side magic proved beneficial to the tribe leader.[1]

Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]

The mind prison first appeared in BioWare's Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic video game, released in 2003, as a "mysterious box." The object is part of an optional courier mission given by Lurze Kesh; however, in order to unlock the courier mission, the player must gain access to the secret compartment within the Ebon Hawk. Furthermore, the choice to open the mysterious box is optional as well. Completion of either of the aforementioned missions does not affect the player's light side or dark side alignment.[2]

With the publication of The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia in 2008, the mind prison received its own entry that further described the object's properties. Moreover, the entry for Motta the Hutt seemed to indicate that the mysterious box seen in Knights of the Old Republic was only one example of a mind prison.[5]

The release of The Unknown Regions, a Wizards of the Coast supplement to the Star Wars Roleplaying Game Saga Edition Core Rulebook, in 2010 established the existence of many examples of mind prisons, in addition to confirming that the mind prisons had been created by the ancient Rakata before their Infinite Empire collapsed.[4]

In his endnotes for The Unknown Regions, co-author Daniel Wallace stated that Raspir, King Adas's former court magician, was approximately 28,000 years old, which suggested that mind prisons were, at the very least, of that age. It also suggested that mind prisons were used by King Adas and his Sith Empire. However, as these two points had not been explicitly confirmed, they were not included in the canon history of mind prisons.[9]

Appearances[edit | edit source]

Sources[edit | edit source]

Notes and references[edit | edit source]

  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 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 The Unknown Regions
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 2.21 Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, (Under mind prison)
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Jedi vs. Sith: The Essential Guide to the Force, this date is based on the collapse of the Infinite Empire. Since The Unknown Regions states that the descendants of the original Rakata are only able to keep the ancient technology functional, it is assumed that all mind prisons were built before the fall of the Empire.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, (Under Motta the Hutt)
  6. Star Wars: The Old Republic
  7. Knights of the Old Republic Campaign Guide
  8. The The Unknown Regions campaign guide doesn't give an exact date of when Ruthic lived, however the guide does say that the Rakata tribes are most likely to be encountered during the Old Republic era. Furthermore, it is stated that Ruthic's tribe, the Tulpaa, is building a small-scale version of the Star Forge that was destroyed at the end of the Jedi Civil War. Therefore, it is assumed that Elder Ruthic lived in the Old Republic era after the time of Revan.
  9. Endnotes for The Unknown Regions. Archived from the original on January 15, 2018. Retrieved on October 7, 2010.
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