- "As we are now dropping out of hyperspace in the Minos Cluster, I must conclude this journal entry. I hope it is not my last, but even if that does become the case, let it be known that despite all the tragic news, we Jedi enter this battle bravely, trusting that the Force will guide us in restoring peace."
- ―Jedi Knight Gnost-Dural
The Minos Cluster Campaign was a lengthy conflict during the Great Galactic War between the reconstituted Sith Empire and the Galactic Republic. The campaign began in 3681 BBY, when the Sith Empire returned to the known galaxy from relative exile in the Unknown Regions and launched an invasion of the Minos Cluster as part of its massive onslaught against the Republic. The first leg of the Great War was focused in the galaxy's Outer Rim Territories, where the Republic suffered from severe under-preparedness and the Empire enjoyed the advantage of surprise. Capitalizing on these factors, the Sith swarmed into the Minos star cluster, hoping to seize control of the rich resources of the Minos worlds and add them to the Empire's already impressive war machine. The Republic Navy, still scattered after a disastrous effort to retake the Tingel Arm and directionless due to political uncertainty on the capital of Coruscant, was helpless to resist, leaving the star cluster undefended. However, before the Empire could secure their grip on the region, the Jedi Order decided to take a proactive stance against the aggression of the Sith and dispatch numerous Jedi Knights and Masters to guard the worlds of the Minos territories.
The Empire was initially highly successful in their endeavor, and the loss of the Minos Cluster and the high volume of resources it contained was a significant blow to the Republic, leading to a disastrous emergency defense prioritization session of the Republic Senate and riots on Coruscant. Nevertheless, the Jedi continued to fight on Eliad, Karideph, and other Minos worlds, and were eventually joined by the troopers of the Republic Special Forces Division in what became one of the longest conflicts of the war. Under the leadership of Jedi Master Orgus Din and Lieutenant Harron Tavus, the Republic maintained its battle against the Empire in the region until 3653 BBY, when the Empire's ruling Dark Council approached the Republic Senate with an offer of peace. Although the Republic's leadership and the Jedi High Council were hesitant to accept the offer, the Empire began minimizing its offensive activities in the Minos Cluster as a show of good faith. The invasion officially came to an end shortly before the peace conference on Alderaan, which the Republic's Supreme Chancellor Berooken took as a good omen for the prospect of peace.
- "The Sith materialized from nowhere and launched an offensive of colossal proportions."
After centuries in exile beyond the edges of the known galaxy, the ancient Sith and their revitalized Empire returned to challenge the Galactic Republic in 3681 BBY, thereby launching the Great Galactic War. The conflict began with the Empire's unforgiving campaign for dominance in the Outer Rim Territories, which saw early on the seizure of the Aparo sector and the Sith's usurpation of the Tingel Arm. As a result of political confusion and panic, the Republic was caught off-guard by the blitz and moved slowly to mount an effort to reclaim its lost territory. The Republic Navy was eventually mobilized for an incursion into the Tingel Arm, but once there, found itself outnumbered, outgunned, and outmaneuvered. The ships of the fleet were forced to scatter to avoid annihilation, and it was during that period of confusion that the Empire capitalized on the element of surprise to retake their ancestral homeworld of Korriban and sack the Republic shipyards above the planet Sluis Van.
The Republic Senate and the Jedi High Council were taken aback by the surprising tenacity of the Sith invaders, who used speed, terror, and sheer firepower to spread panic throughout the Outer Rim. Because the Republic's leadership was so slow to respond, the Imperials were able to continue their campaign largely unchallenged; it was during that string of victories in the first year of the war that the Imperial Military set its sights on the resource-rich worlds of the Minos Cluster—a sector of space in the Outer Rim Territories that rested near the trailing end of the Rimma Trade Route.
- "In the days that followed, reports began filtering back of the brutal battle in the Minos Cluster and the heroism and sacrifice of the Jedi as they fought the Sith. As tragic as the news often was, I felt incredibly proud, and other Republic citizens must have felt the same."
- ―Jedi Grand Master Satele Shan, recalling the early days of the invasion
In that first year of the war, the Empire poured its forces into the Minos Cluster, seizing numerous worlds and usurping control of the region's natural resources from the Republic. While the Sith and the Imperial Army proceeded to secure their hold over the area, the Republic bureaucracy continued to face its crisis of inertia. Although the Jedi Order pushed for swift and decisive strikes against their ancient enemies, the Senate was much slower in reaching a consensus because many delegates believed that the Empire could be treated as if it were a common upstart state that was pursuing a short-lived campaign of expansionism. As a result, the Congress of the Republic was paralyzed in deliberation, leaving the people of the Minos Cluster and the rest of the Outer Rim to endure the Sith invasion on their own.
Unlike the Republic Senate and military, the Jedi Order understood the gravity of the Sith threat, particularly in light of the surprising Imperial seizure of Korriban and the loss of the Tingel Arm. Consequently, members of the Order chose to circumvent the messy deliberations of galactic politics and prepared to strike against the Sith to drive them from the Minos Cluster. Departing their Temple on the Republic capital of Coruscant aboard battle cruisers, those Jedi infiltrated the Sith-controlled Minos worlds and began a lengthy fight against the Empire. In spite of their intent, the Jedi's departure sparked even more pandemonium on the capital, as many Coruscanti rallied to join the Order for a strong push back against the Sith while still others advocated restraint. The continuing political gridlock and mounting tensions caused riots to break out across Coruscant's Galactic City, as the citizenry panicked over their own safety and the state of the contentious Minos Cluster.
Meanwhile, the Jedi in the Minos Cluster faced an uphill battle but remained dedicated to chasing the Imperial Military from the sector. As news of their heroism and tragic stories of their losses were reported across the Republic, the riots on Coruscant ebbed and ultimately ended peacefully. The actions of the Jedi encouraged the anxious citizens to take action themselves, and that spirit of shared responsibility drove waves of new volunteers to sign up for duty at military recruitment centers. While the Republic was finally beginning to sort out its internal strife, the Empire continued to shore up its control of the Minos region. In order to prevent their opponent from shipping reinforcements and goods to the Minos Cluster, the Sith coordinated their invasion of the sector with the Imperial Armada's establishment of a blockade along the Rimma Trade Route. Although that proved to be a major impediment to the Jedi's efforts, Republic defenders across the Minos Cluster managed to hold out for many months.
The blockade was broken in 3680 BBY—a development which came as a relief to all of the Republic's forces in the Minos Cluster. On the embattled world of Eliad, the Kel Dor Jedi Knight Gnost-Dural wrote in his journal of his sense of hope upon learning of the blockade's destruction. Dural and his comrades had been dug in on Eliad for months, and in that time he engaged and killed many Imperial soldiers, and the Jedi had his first confrontation with a member of the ancient Sith species. Gnost-Dural's duel with the Sith combatant was short-lived, and the Kel Dor emerged victorious. Other Jedi throughout the Minos theater, like the Kel Dor Tol Braga, were experiencing similar success in maintaining their positions, despite heavy losses and continued Imperial attacks.
The long haul
- See also: Battle of Karideph
- "Though we may be far from putting the Empire on the defensive, we have been successful in liberating several star systems in the Mid Rim, and Republic forces have even regained a foothold in the Minos Cluster."
- ―Gnost-Dural, in 3665 BBY
The Sith's attempts to seize the Minos Cluster continued for many years, and during that time the two opposing forces in the sector experienced shifts in the balance of power and changes in command and composition. In 3671 BBY, Gnost-Dural was rotated out of duty in the Minos Cluster and was transferred to the Republic Navy; additionally, members of the Republic Special Forces Division of the Republic Army were rotated in to assist the Jedi Order in its fight for the Minos worlds. Despite the addition of Republic troopers, the Republic gradually lost ground as the conflict dragged on until 3667 BBY, when Republic and Jedi defenders on the Core World of Alderaan managed to rout a massive Imperial strike force. The unexpected victory against seemingly insurmountable odds greatly boosted the morale of the Republic's fighting forces, which saw a string of victories in the following months. The effects were felt in the Minos Cluster as well, where the Jedi and their allies were able to reestablish a foothold by 3665 BBY. Elin Garza, Colonel of the Republic Army and hero of the Battle of Bomodon, participated in the Minos Cluster Campaign during this period and led her troops in a series of rallying victories. In recognition of her heroism in the battle for the Minos Cluster, Garza was awarded with the prestigious Medal of Valor by the Republic.
As the war neared its third decade, the Republic's forces in the Minos Cluster came under the command of Jedi Master Orgus Din and Special Forces Lieutenant Harron Tavus of Havoc Squad. After Tavus was assigned to the Minos Cluster sometime after his recruitment into Havoc Squad in 3,667 BBY, the two worked together to lead many commando raids against Imperial targets and saw great success in these endeavors. Towards the tail end of the campaign, the two of them led Republic forces to a significant victory in the battle on the Minos world of Karideph—a feat which earned them the moniker of "Heroes of Karideph." The Minos Cluster Campaign continued under Din and Tavus's leadership until 3654 BBY, when the Sith Empire's ruling Dark Council of Sith Lords approached the Republic's Senate with an offer of peace. The High Council of the Jedi Order was hesitant to believe the sincerity of such an offer, and advised that the Senate move forward with caution. In order to ensure that their proposal was accepted as genuine, the Dark Council ordered that the Imperial Military begin to draw down some of its offensive activities, including the invasion of the Minos Cluster. Consequently, in 3653 BBY, the Sith offensive in the region came to an end, leaving the Republic as the victors after a twenty-eight year struggle.
- Tavus: "—we witnessed it firsthand. The Sith offensive in the Minos Cluster has stopped."
- Din: "We wouldn't be here if it hadn't, Chancellor."
- Berooken: "This bodes well for the peace process. Thank you Lieutenant Tavus, and you, Master Orgus, for your report and your valiant service."
- ―Lieutenant Tavus and Master Din report to Supreme Chancellor Berooken on the status of the invasion in 3653 BBY[src]
The end of the Sith offensive in the Minos Cluster came as a great relief to the weary Republic fighters in the area and helped motivate the Galactic Senate and its Supreme Chancellor Berooken to accept the Empire's overtures. While plans were made for a peace summit to take place on Alderaan, Master Din and Lieutenant Tavus travelled from the Minos Cluster back to the Senate Building on Coruscant to make a report on the end of the invasion. In a session of the Senate that was being held simultaneously with the conference on Alderaan, Din and Tavus addressed the legislature and attested to the Empire's cessation of hostilities. Chancellor Berooken took the end of the lengthy conflict as an indication that the Sith were making a show of good faith in their attempt to end the violent galactic war.
The Empire's surrender of the Minos Cluster was, in fact, nothing more than one component in an elaborate ruse concocted by the Dark Council and Sith Emperor in their efforts to lull the Republic into a false sense of hope and security. In truth, the Sith never intended to bring the Great Galactic War to a peaceful end and instead launched a plan to attack Coruscant during the sham peace deliberations. The Sacking of Coruscant began while Din and Tavus delivered their report on the Minos Cluster and ended with the Empire's victory in the war and the signing of the Treaty of Coruscant. Several years after the signing of the treaty, which officially ended the war, then-Jedi Master and historian Gnost-Dural recorded a holorecord regarding the Empire's return and the beginning of the conflict. The record made note of the Minos Cluster seizure, as well as several other battles from the era. Around the same time, the journal kept by Gnost-Dural during the Great War was submitted to the Jedi Archives on Tython by Grand Master Satele Shan, who annotated the logs and recorded her own memories of the Minos Cluster invasion and the Jedi who took part in the region's defense.
Behind the scenes
The invasion of the Minos Cluster was created as part of the multi-media project surrounding the LucasArts/BioWare online video game, Star Wars: The Old Republic. The event was first mentioned in The Old Republic, Threat of Peace Act 1: Treaty of Coruscant, the first in a series of webcomics released on The Old Republic's official website. On January 22 of 2010, the website also released the sixth entry in a series of videos called the Galactic Timeline. This series, narrated by actor Lance Henriksen as Jedi Master Gnost-Dural, provided a historical account of the Great Galactic War and the history of the Republic. Timeline 6: Onslaught of the Sith Empire made mention of a Sith attack on the Minos Cluster, but placed the event at the beginning of the war, in 3681 BBY—nearly thirty years prior to the conflict mentioned in Threat of Peace, which was set during the final days of the war.
Although the large amount of time that passed in-universe between the two mentions initially made it unclear if the sources were referencing the same event, the confusion was cleared up with the release of The Journal of Master Gnost-Dural on December 20 of 2011. Included as part of the collector's edition of the Star Wars: The Old Republic video game, The Journal of Master Gnost-Dural confirmed that the Empire's invasion of the Minos Cluster lasted for nearly the entirety of the Great Galactic War, and shed light on the details of the struggle. Additionally, the invasion received several mentions in the game itself.
In the 2012 source book, Star Wars: The Old Republic Encyclopedia, the invasion of the Minos Cluster was officially named the "Minos Cluster Campaign." The book also provided details on Orgus Din and Harron Tavus's activities in the Minos Cluster, as well as the participation of Colonel Elin Garza and the Jedi Tol Braga.
- The Old Republic, Threat of Peace Act 1: Treaty of Coruscant (First mentioned)
- (First appearance)
- Star Wars: The Old Republic (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: The Old Republic: Shadow of Revan (Mentioned only)
- The Journal of Master Gnost-Dural
- Star Wars: The Old Republic Encyclopedia (First identified as Minos Cluster Campaign)
Notes and references
- The Old Republic, Blood of the Empire Act 2: The Broken World
- The Old Republic, Blood of the Empire Act 3: Burn the Future
- The Journal of Master Gnost-Dural
- Book of Sith: Secrets from the Dark Side
- The Old Republic: Smuggler's Vanguard
- The Old Republic, Threat of Peace Act 2: New Galactic Order
- The Old Republic, Threat of Peace Act 1: Treaty of Coruscant
- According to Timeline 6: Onslaught of the Sith Empire, the Great Galactic War and the invasion of the Minos Cluster begin twenty-eight years before the Treaty of Coruscant. The Treaty is proposed and ratified in 3653 BBY, as seen in the novel The Old Republic: Deceived and The Essential Atlas. This places the beginning of the war and invasion in 3681 BBY.
- Harron Tavus indicates in The Old Republic, Threat of Peace Act 1: Treaty of Coruscant that the Sith offensive in the Minos Cluster has ended. The comic takes place in the final year of the war, which is confirmed as 3653 BBY in The Essential Atlas and The Essential Guide to Warfare.
- Star Wars: The Old Republic Encyclopedia
- The Essential Atlas
- This date is extrapolated from The Journal of Master Gnost-Dural, which indicates that the blockade is broken a year after the beginning of the war. The war begins in 3681 BBY, as seen in Timeline 6: Onslaught of the Sith Empire.
- This date is extrapolated from The Journal of Master Gnost-Dural, which indicates that Gnost-Dural is transferred in the year of the First Battle of Bothawui. The battle occurs in 3671 BBY, as seen in Timeline 5: The Battle of Bothawui.
- This date is extrapolated from The Journal of Master Gnost-Dural, which indicates that the Battle of Alderaan takes place six years before the Blockade of the Hydian Way. The blockade occurs in 3661 BBY, as seen in Timeline 3: The Return of the Mandalorians.
- This date is extrapolated from The Journal of Master Gnost-Dural, which indicates that the peace agreement was proposed one year prior to its ratification. According to The Old Republic: Deceived, the Treaty of Coruscant was implemented in 3653 BBY.
- Star Wars: The Old Republic