- "He once told me that a tiny fever wasp can carry death into places where a Krayt dragon cannot go. I have to be that fever wasp, Ganner. I have a plan to rescue the Princess."
- ―Antares Draco, recalling the teachings of Eshkar Niin
In 138 ABY, during the Second Imperial Civil War, two Imperial Knights and one Jedi Knight undertook a mission to the Sith world of Korriban to rescue Princess Marasiah Fel of the Empire-in-exile. Fel had been kidnapped by forces of Darth Krayt's Galactic Empire during a Jedi–Imperial Knight peace conference on the planet Agamar, and Emperor-in-exile Roan Fel tasked Antares Draco—leader of the Imperial Knights and lover of the Princess—with either rescuing or killing her, lest she betray Imperial secrets to Darth Krayt's One Sith. By focusing his anger, Draco disguised himself as a Sith Lord, and he arrived on Korriban with fellow Imperial Knight Ganner Krieg and Jedi Knight Shado Vao posing as captives he had taken on Agamar.
The three infiltrated Korriban's Sith Temple and rescued Fel, who revealed that Draco's former Master, Eshkar Niin, had become the Sith Inquisitor Darth Havok and subjected her to torture. The group then cut their way through Sith as they retreated to their waiting ship, but Draco, determined to see the Princess escape, remained on Korriban's surface as his comrades fled the planet. After slaughtering a wave of attackers with a stolen Sith lightsaber, he was approached by Havok, who beseeched him to embrace his anger and join the Sith. Draco's refusal led to a duel, which Havok won with the use of Force lightning. Fel was safely ferried to her father's fortress world of Bastion, but Draco was left at the mercy of Havok, who sought to torture Imperial secrets out of his new prisoner.
- "Your Majesty, the Princess will not break!"
"Anyone can be broken."
- ―Antares Draco and Roan Fel
In 137 ABY, the rule of Darth Krayt's Galactic Empire was contested by various rebel groups during the Second Imperial Civil War. Late in the year, representatives from the Empire-in-exile and the New Jedi Order met on the planet Agamar to secure an Alliance against Darth Krayt's Sith–Imperial forces, but their rendezvous was interrupted by an Imperial attack. The Imperial Knights of the Empire-in-exile and their new Jedi allies fought off attacking Sith and cleared a path for Roan Fel, Emperor-in-exile, to flee Agamar aboard an escape shuttle. Most of his surviving brethren joined him, but Jedi Master Rasi Tuum, Imperial Knight Azlyn Rae, and the Emperor's daughter, Princess Marasiah Fel, were unable to board the shuttle in time.
Although Rae and Tuum stole a Sith–Imperial attack ship and returned to their Emperor's fortress world of Bastion in early 138 ABY, Marasiah Fel was kidnapped by Krayt's forces and taken to the Sith world of Korriban. There, she was subjected to physical and mental torture by the Sith Inquisitor Darth Havok, who had once been the Imperial Knight Eshkar Niin before killing Fel's mother and defecting to the Sith. Fel refused to divulge any Imperial secrets, but her father was well aware that she knew all of the Empire-in-exile's codes and the location of the Jedi's Hidden Temple. After learning of his daughter's location from Moff Nyna Calixte, his spy within Krayt's Empire, Roan tasked Imperial Knight leader Antares Draco with rescuing the Princess. If that proved impossible, Draco's orders were to kill her.
- "Antares, I was wrong! I feel it in the Force—in my heart! You're not in league with Havok! You are true to the Empire! Don't die here!"
"That is for the will of the Force to decide. But if I die, it will be knowing you are safe! I love you, Sia, and that will never change! Now, you must go!"
- ―Marasiah Fel and Antares Draco
Draco retired to his quarters and consulted the holocron of his former Master—Eshkar Niin, whom Draco believed he had killed years beforehand. Torn between his love for Fel and his duty to stay and protect the Emperor, he only formed a rescue plan after recalling one of Niin's lessons. Niin had told Draco that a tiny fever wasp was capable of bringing death to places where a Krayt dragon could not, and as such, Draco prepared a small-scale infiltration mission. After covering his body with artificial Sith tattoos, Draco completed his Sith Lord disguise by focusing the anger he felt over Fel's kidnapping. He traveled to Korriban in the attack ship, with fellow Imperial Knight Ganner Krieg and Jedi Knight Shado Vao posing as captives he had taken on Agamar. On Korriban's surface, they entered the planet's Sith Temple, and Draco bullied a Sith guard into granting them access to the Chambers of Persuasion, from where he could sense Fel's pain, sorrow, and defiance.
Several Sith led Draco and his allies into the chambers, where an exhausted Fel hung inside an energy field during a brief respite from her torture. Krieg and Vao used telekinesis to seize the guards' Double-bladed lightsabers and quickly cut them down; Draco then released Fel and cradled her in his arms. She was furious with him, however, believing that he was a traitor who had lied about killing Eshkar Niin. Draco was stunned to discover that his former Master lived, but Vao, sensing approaching enemies, urged them on to their escape ship. Fel took up a Sith lightsaber of her own, and the four of them fought their way through a large group of Sith after leaving the temple. After killing every enemy who stood in their way, the group reached the ship, but they sensed the approach of additional foes. Draco was adamant that the Princess escape, and he volunteered to remain on-world and hold off the attackers while his allies fled the planet.
Fel, having realized that Draco was not a traitor, objected to his plan and volunteered to fight at his side, but Krieg dragged her onto the ship to ensure that their mission did not end up being for naught. Vao piloted them away from the laser blasts of turrets and into Korriban's atmosphere as Krieg manned the ship's guns, and Draco, with two lightsabers in hand, furiously cut down a wave of attacking Sith. Darth Havok then approached him and complimented him on his anger, opining that Draco would make a fine Sith himself. Draco was simply eager to finally kill his former Master, and the two engaged in a lightsaber duel. The contest moved from the ship's landing pad to inside the Sith Temple, and both combatants used the dark side of the Force to fuel their attacks. Both of them accordingly felt a wave of dark side energy as Darth Krayt—widely believed to be dead—projected his will across the galaxy from deep beneath the surface of Korriban. Draco was shocked, and Havok, observing his use of the dark side, offered him a final chance to join the Sith. When Draco refused, Havok struck him with Force lightning and ended the fight. Fel, Krieg, and Vao were shocked to feel Draco's apparent death in the Force, but they completed their escape and returned to Bastion.
- "Your failure is complete—the Princess was retaken—your friends slain. Information now—or I will kill her as I killed her mother!"
- ―Darth Havok, while torturing Antares Draco
On Bastion, Fel refused to believe that Draco was dead, and she employed her uncle, Hogrum Chalk—the Director of Imperial Intelligence—to seek information on him from spies of the Hapes Consortium. However, Fel's father held a remembrance ceremony for Draco and the Imperial Knights who had died on Agamar, which was attended by the Princess, Vao, and over twenty Imperial Knights. On Korriban, Havok took Draco prisoner and inflicted physical torture upon him in the hope of learning Imperial secrets. When a defiant Draco told him nothing, Havok used a Force illusion to bring Draco back to the day that he had witnessed Havok kill Fel's mother, preying upon Draco's guilt at having been unable to stop it.
Havok brought Draco back to the present, but his illusion disguised the Sith Hand Darth Talon as Marasiah Fel. Claiming that Draco's mission had failed and that Fel had been recaptured, Havok threatened to kill the Princess unless Draco gave him vital information. Desperate, Draco revealed the location of the Jedi's Hidden Temple. Darth Krayt prepared for an attack and hoped for an opportunity to crush the combined forces of the Alliance; as such, he had Draco frozen in carbonite and delivered to the former Jedi Cade Skywalker. When Skywalker learned what Draco had revealed, he rushed to the Hidden Temple, where the entire Alliance planned a last stand. Fel was visiting the temple at the time, and, although furious that Draco had betrayed his honor by spilling secrets, she recalled the courage he had shown while rescuing her. She thus gave the broken man a chance to fight in the battle and reclaim his honor.
Behind the scenes
Antares Draco's mission to Korriban appears in the forty-ninth and fiftieth issues of Star Wars: Legacy, a comic series written by John Ostrander and Jan Duursema. Both issues were penciled by Duursema and released in 2010. Although Draco's friends feel his death in the Force at the end of the mission, his survival is revealed in the first issue of the followup miniseries Star Wars: Legacy—War, which was also released in 2010. However, Duursema confirmed Draco's survival on the Jedi Council Forums one month prior to the issue's release.
- Legacy (2006) 49 (First appearance)
- Legacy (2006) 50
- Legacy—War 1 (Mentioned only)
- Legacy—War 2 (Indirect mention only)
- Legacy—War 3 (Mentioned only)
Notes and references
- Legacy (2006) 48
- Legacy (2006) 49
- Legacy—War 1
- Although the forty-ninth and fiftieth issues of Star Wars: Legacy indicate that their events take place in 137 ABY, the more recently released Star Wars: Legacy: Extremes trade paperback dates them at 138 ABY.
- Legacy (2006) 50
- Legacy (2006) 45
- Legacy (2006) 46
- Legacy—War 2
- Legacy—War 3