- "There. A ship just dropped out of hyperspace in this system."
- ―Darth Nyriss locates the Ebon Hawk entering the Nathema system
The Nathema system was a star system that was located in the Outer Rim Territories's Chorlian sector. Containing the vibrant agriworld Nathema, originally named Medriaas, the system supplied the Sith Empire with foodstuffs before the Empire's destruction in the Great Hyperspace War with the Galactic Republic in 5000 BBY. Nathema's ruler, the Sith Lord Vitiate, subsequently annihilated all life on Nathema with a dark side ritual, leaving the star system barren and lifeless. As Emperor of a reconstitued Sith Empire, Vitiate erased all navigational data on the Nathema system in order to hide the evidence of his crimes, and the system received only a few scattered visitors throughout the following millennia as a result.
- "He spent his childhood on Nathema, a lush and vibrant agricultural world on the far fringes of the Empire."
- ―Darth Nyriss, on the history of the Emperor
The Nathema system was a star system located within the Chorlian sector in Outer Rim Territories, on the far eastern edges of the Sith Empire—a region that fell within the Unknown Regions at that point in time—in the centuries before the Great Hyperspace War with the Galactic Republic. A system with a radius of several million kilometers, it contained an orange-colored star that was orbited by the planet Nathema, a fertile agriworld originally known as Medriaas. However, the system was marked by the absence of the Force itself.
- "We're headed into the Unknown Regions, to a planet called Nathema."
Colonized by the Sith species well before the year 5113 BBY, the Nathema system was within the territory of the Sith Empire and therefore supplied the Empire with foodstuffs produced by the many villages on Medriaas' surface. However, the ruling Sith Lord Dramath was overthrown by his young illegitimate son Tenebrae, and the thirteen-year-old boy was granted his father's throne in 5100 BBY by the current Dark Lord of the Sith and ruler of the Empire, Marka Ragnos. Renaming his world Nathema, the newly-appointed Lord Vitiate kept the Nathema system largely unaffected by traditional Sith infighting during the century of his rule, and when the Great Hyperspace War began with the Republic in 5000 BBY he chose to keep himself and Nathema out of the fighting. As a result, Nathema escaped the widespread destruction that wracked the Empire in the aftermath of the Republic's victory, and Vitiate summoned all of the remaining Sith Lords to Nathema in 4999 BBY with the promise of the Empire's salvation and the destruction of the Republic's hated Jedi protectors.
However, Vitiate instead took mental control of the eight thousand Sith who answered his call and forced them to participate in a dark side ritual that stripped the very life from the entire planet, leaving Nathema literally lifeless except for Vitiate. Blaming the destruction of his planet on the Jedi Order, Vitiate led the remnants of the shattered Empire on a twenty-year exodus that ended with the rediscovery of the lost colony Dromund Kaas. Declaring himself Emperor of a reconstituted Sith Empire, Vitiate purged all hyperspace navigational data that related to the Nathema system, ensuring that none of his new subjects could return to the system and discover the truth. However, sometime before 3954 BBY, several members of the new Empire's ruling Dark Council had discovered the Nathema system and the Emperor's past, and they formed a plot to unseat him.
In 3960 BBY, the Jedi Knights Revan and Malak discovered the Nathema system while searching for the mysterious Sith influence that had manipulated the Mandalorian warrior culture into declaring war on the Republic, and the pair's visit to Nathema drove them to try and kill the Emperor once they discovered the route to Dromund Kaas. However, the Emperor broke the two Jedi and sent them back to the Republic as his servants, though the pair broke free of his control and declared their own empire. Revan was wiped of his memories and retrained as a Jedi by the Jedi Council during the subsequent Jedi Civil War, but after he defeated Malak in battle and ended the conflict, he began to be plagued by his broken memories and eventually rediscovered the path to Nathema. At the same time, the Dark Councilor Darth Nyriss inducted the Sith Lord Scourge into the conspiracy by showing him Nathema, and the pair were departing the system when Revan arrived in his ship the Ebon Hawk. Nyriss and Scourge shot down the Ebon Hawk with an ion cannon and captured Revan, but his utility droid companion T3-M4 was able to repair the Hawk over the next few years and return to the Republic.
T3-M4 returned to the Nathema system with Revan's friend and ally Meetra Surik in 3950 BBY, and the two were able to locate a hyperspace route to Dromund Kaas within the remains of Nathema's governmental database. Besides these sporadic visits, the star system remained unknown and barren, and its location at the edge of the galaxy did little to attract the attention of major galactic powers throughout the following centuries. During the New Sith Wars, a conflict between the Republic and various Sith factions, the Nathema system was located within contested space, and it remained unaligned or contested throughout the next several centuries until the year 137 ABY, by which point the Galactic Empire under the Sith Lord Darth Krayt had taken control of that region of the galaxy.
Nathema, originally known as Medriaas, was a primitive agriworld colonized by the Sith species that supplied the Sith Empire with foodstuffs in the years before the Great Hyperspace War. The planet supported a significant population of farmers scattered across its surface in villages and the occasional city, but the Ritual of Nathema completely eliminated all life on the planet. Vitiate's ritual tore the Force itself from the environment, leeching color and sound and leaving everything a dull brown or gray color as well as causing Force-sensitive individuals physical illness on account of the Force's absence.
Behind the scenes
The Nathema system first appeared in Drew Karpyshyn's 2012 novel The Old Republic: Revan, though it was not explicitly identified as the Nathema system until an update to the Online Companion of the 2009 reference guide The Essential Atlas placed the system in the Chorlian sector, with grid coordinates S-4. The book places the Nathema system in the Unknown Regions, though neither the novel nor the Companion specifies whether the Nathema system was also renamed when Medriaas was.
- The Old Republic: Revan (First appearance, simultaneous with The Old Republic: Revan audiobook)
- The Old Republic: Revan audiobook
- Star Wars: The Old Republic: Knights of the Eternal Throne (First pictured)
- (First identified as Nathema system)