A fiery volcanic world where an unusual type of lava was mined as a natural resource, Mustafar often served as a place to dispose of unwanted evidence, a quality which drew Black Sun to the planet. It also drew the Sith: it was here that Darth Maul began his training under Darth Sidious. Mustafar served as the last capital of the Confederacy of Independent Systems during the Clone Wars, thus becoming the site of the Separatists' downfall, an event that shaped galactic history. In a duel that followed, Darth Vader fought his former mentor, Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi. The fallen Jedi lost and was severely burnt after he was caught on fire by one of Mustafar's lava rivers, forcing him to wear a suit of dark armor to live.
Mustafar was a very young and volatile world, torn apart by opposing gravitational forces of the gas giants Jestefad and Lefrani, with the former being the closer of the two. Astride thick-skinned lava fleas, the native Mustafarians leapt across the lava fields to mine the planet's unique and valuable minerals present in the lava.
The intense geological activity creates natural scanning interference that has kept prying eyes away from Mustafar for most of its history.
- "It's obvious that civilizations have been present here for thousands of years. Strangely enough though, apart from the last few hundred years, there are no records at all of who was here or where they are now."
- ―Epo Qetora
Once a lush green world, Mustafar was home to a Jedi Enclave built around 5300 BBY. Jedi Master Chu-Gon Dar, an individual whose mastery of physical Force was unmatched, also lived there. He created a unique Force-sensitive object while on the planet known as the Chu-Gon Dar cube which was used to both channel and manipulate the physical Force to alter the physical properties of an item placed inside it. However, in 3996 BBY, the resurgent Sith wished to exterminate the Jedi, and so a climactic battle took place on the planet. This battle was so intense that one of the nearby gas giants was pulled into its current location by the Force, starting the gravitational tug-of-war. The environmental hazards caused by this forced the Jedi to abandon their temples on the planet. This caused all knowledge of Chu-Gon's cube to be lost. Mustafar would also be the home of the Force organization the Blackguard.
Mustafar was home to two variants of sentient Mustafarians—the northern Mustafarians, who were tall and thin, and the southern Mustafarians, who were short and squat. Centuries ago, a cataclysmic eruption destroyed all Mustafarian settlements except for Fralideja.
At the time of the Clone Wars, the Techno Union had owned Mustafar since c. 300 BBY, harvesting minerals and energy from the 800-degree-hot lava. It was comparatively cool compared to most other lava due to the unusual mineral allotropes that became molten at a lower temperature. Regardless, the lava could only safely be mined when a repulsor field was placed to repress any eruptions and deflect heat away from those harvesting it.
But the Techno Union wasn't the only corporate power interested in Mustafar. Before the Clone Wars started, Damask Holdings maintained a facility on the planet, in a structure previously owned by Boss Cabra, Vigo of Black Sun. There, the Nightbrother child who would become Darth Maul was trained by Darth Sidious so that he could serve the purpose of the Sith Lord and his secret Master, Darth Plagueis.
During the early years of the war, Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, in his guise as Darth Sidious, tasked the Duros bounty hunter Cad Bane with kidnapping Force-sensitive children and taking them to the Damask Holdings facility on the planet, where he could turn them into a cadre of Force–wielding spies for the Galactic Empire. The plot was scuttled by Anakin Skywalker and his Padawan, Ahsoka Tano.
At some point prior to the second year of the war, Black Sun, under the leadership of Xomit Grunseit, moved its headquarters to a fortress on Mustafar. Death Watch, together with their new allies Darth Maul and Savage Opress, arrived in the Black Sun complex with an offer of allegiance. When Grunseit refused, Opress murdered all the members of his cabal, making Captain of the Guard Ziton Moj leader of the syndicate.
The main Separatist stronghold was located in a massive industrial complex located on a fiery cliff bracketed by two huge lava flows. Collection arms mined lava from the area while durable industrial droids worked further afield. Within this facility lay a Separatist command center, one of the most secure bunkers in the galaxy.[source?]
Palpatine continued to have a vested interest in the planet, and in the final days of the Clone Wars, ordered General Grievous to move the Separatist Council to the Klegger Corp Mining Facility, ostensibly for their own safety. In reality, he had gathered them there for their execution at the hands of his new apprentice, Skywalker, newly anointed as Darth Vader. The Separatist leaders obeyed Palpatine's instructions to deactivate the droid armies, bringing about the end of the war, and were thereupon immediately greeted by Vader, who slaughtered them.
Before Vader left the facility, he was confronted by his wife Padmé Amidala to answer for his former master Obi-Wan Kenobi's allegation that he had fallen to the dark side and massacred Jedi younglings at the Jedi Temple. When Kenobi himself came down from Padmé's ship, having stowed-away against her knowledge, the enraged and jealous Vader Force choked his wife, inflicting mortal damage to her trachea that she would succumb to during labor.
A fateful duel between former master and pupil then commenced, culminating with Kenobi severing Vader's remaining limbs and leaving him to burn on the banks of a lava river. Despite his grievous injuries, Vader survived to be rescued by Palpatine, who brought him back to Coruscant, where he was rebuilt into the feared cyborg executor of the new Galactic Emperor at his Surgical Reconstruction Center.
After the destruction of the Separatist Council and the Imperialization of the Techno Union, Mustafar was largely forgotten, until a Separatist stalwart, the fugitive Geonosian Gizor Dellso, holed up on Mustafar during the early days of the Galactic Empire and re-activated an independent battle droid factory, intending to rebuild the Confederacy's previous military strength.
From 18 BBY to 12 BBY, he constructed a small army and a flotilla of warships above the planet, and got the support of several fellow Geonosians. One year later, the situation had been required by the attention of the loyal 501st Legion of stormtroopers to storm the planet. At the battle's end, with the droid schematics destroyed and Dellso eliminated, the Droid foundry was annihilated in a massive orbital strike from Imperial I-class Star Destroyers, which resulted in the fall of the Geonosian Industries, along with the fragmentation of the Separatist holdouts.
Galactic Civil War
The mission was successful as the duo narrowly escaped from Imperial soldiers and a squadron of TIE fighters.
After the destruction of the first Death Star, it was rumored that several would-be Jedi found their way to the legendary world of Mustafar, and were apparently guided on their path to Knighthood by the spectral form of Obi-Wan Kenobi. A disturbance caused by a gathering of dark side energy drew Kenobi's spirit to the planet. Other explorers at the time apparently encountered the ancient assassin droid HK-47 along with an ancient Hammerhead-class cruiser.
The Sith Lord X1, formerly a clone trooper, had made Mustafar his base of operations sometime during the New Republic era. X2 found his brother on Mustafar and led New Republic troops in a battle against X1 and his forces. After a fight over the planet, X2 and his troops descended to the planet's surface. X2 rescued Luke Skywalker who was on the planet intending to confront X1. However he was captured, and X1 was planning to clone him in order to create an army of Dark Jedi. Once X2 destroyed his brother's cloning lab and rescued Skywalker, the two brothers dueled, ending with the death of X1 as well as the defeat of X1's army.
Behind the scenes
Mustafar was originally known as "Mufasta" in early drafts of Revenge of the Sith. Ironically, Mufasta happens to be a primary translation for "The Chosen One".
The concept of a lava duel dates back to early versions of Return of the Jedi, in which Luke Skywalker battles Darth Vader over a lava lake in Palpatine's throne room in the lowest levels of the Imperial homeworld. Even back then, it was rumored that Anakin suffered his grievous injuries at the hands of Obi-Wan during a battle over a lava pit, and the concept became an almost mythical tale among Star Wars fans until finally realized on film over twenty years later. Joe Johnston envisaged the environment that would ultimately become Mustafar in a series of drawings designed to show Darth Vader's home.
The novelization of Return of the Jedi previously stated that the duel between Vader and Obi-Wan, which resulted in Vader's terrible injuries, happened on a volcanic planet. The battle was stated in some sources predating the prequel trilogy to be on Sullust, also a volcano world.
Mount Etna was scouted for Revenge of the Sith, to capture plate photography for backdrops in the Obi-Wan Kenobi vs. Darth Vader fight on Mustafar. Conveniently, Etna erupted during the making of the film, so Lucas sent a team to film it. The resultant moving image of lava flows could be used as backgrounds for the duel. These images could have been done by CGI, in theory, but it would have been more difficult and expensive than sending a few people to Sicily with cameras, as Lucas states in the audio commentary to Episode III.
The Mustafar scenes took a lot of work and time from the many special effects workers. The lava was made of a food additive with bright lights shining underneath it for the glow. The overview scene was built with a scale model in a pitch black studio. During filming, the room was filled with fog to create the steam effect. The actors were filmed on a green screen and the special effects artists brought it all together.
- Jedi Academy: Return of the Padawan (In comic)
- Star Wars -Phantasmagoria- (In flashback(s))
- LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game
- LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy (PSP version only)
- LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga
- Old Wounds (In flashback(s))
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Lightsaber Duels
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Republic Heroes
Notes and references
- The Essential Atlas
- Star Wars: Complete Locations
- The Clone Wars Campaign Guide
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Eminence"
- Darth Plagueis
- Star Wars: Battlefront II
- Star Wars Battlefront: Elite Squadron
- Legacy 50
- Star Wars: The Wrath of Darth Maul
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Children of the Force"
- Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
- Star Wars Galaxies: Trials of Obi-Wan