The New Sith Wars, also known as the Jedi–Sith War, and known to the Sith as the War of the Fittest, The Betrayal, and The Curse of Qalydon, was the name given to the thousand years of conflict between the Jedi and the Sith, which lasted from approximately 2000 to 1000 BBY. As an era, the New Sith Wars were characterized by a spectacular rise of the Sith, the decline of the Galactic Republic, and a growing militancy in the Jedi Order. The balance between the Sith and the Republic fluctuated during the period, and at several periods, especially after the pivotal Battle of Mizra, the Republic was in danger of being overwhelmed completely.
Coinciding with the Draggulch Period of galactic history, the New Sith Wars were usually divided by historians into a series of shorter conflicts for convenience, such as the Sictis Wars. The last century of the conflict was commonly known as the Republic Dark Age, and the name Light and Darkness War was sometimes specifically applied to the final series of battles between the Sith Brotherhood of Darkness and the Jedi Army of Light.
The wars themselves ended on Ruusan, where the Sith were presumed to have been wiped out to the last man and the Jedi and Republic felt themselves to be victorious. The Jedi and the Republic prepared themselves for a future of peace and prosperity, with the Sith nothing more than a painful memory of the past. This, however, was a dangerous delusion, as a single Sith, Darth Bane, had in fact survived. Bane formed a new Sith Order and he and his successors spent the next thousand years in hiding, waiting to topple the Republic once and for all.
- 1 History
- 2 Aftermath
- 3 Timeline of events
- 4 Notable figures
- 5 Combatants
- 6 Behind the scenes
- 7 Appearances
- 8 Sources
- 9 Notes and references
- "There is no passion…there is solely obsession.
There is no knowledge. There is solely conviction.
There is no purpose. There is solely will.
There is nothing…
- ―The creed of ruin
For almost a thousand years after the seventeenth and last Alsakan Conflict, the galaxy had enjoyed an era of relative peace and social and economic stability. The Sith Empire had vanished at some point following the Third Galactic War sixteen hundred years prior, and what little remnants of that order existed, even Darth Desolous and the invasion of army, would fail to defeat the now unchallenged, if complacent Jedi.
During this period, a Jedi Master named Phanius resigned his commission, citing ideological objections to current Jedi dogma. Though his peers disagreed with his views, the parting was amicable, and Phanius would be commemorated as the first of the Lost Twenty, a special group of revered Jedi who had nevertheless felt the need to leave the Jedi Order over philosophical differences.
Behind such amiability, however, the Umbaran Jedi harbored darker thoughts, ones unknown to his Jedi peers. His true reasons for abandoning his Jedi commitment was linked to his intention to pursue prohibited teachings. Phanius disappeared from public view, and when he re-emerged, it was as Darth Ruin, the first Dark Lord of the Sith in a thousand years, and preaching a creed of malevolent solipsism. Ruin's transformation was total, and such was the disconnect between his original persona and his new mantle, that Ruin's former Jedi peers never realized that their new foe was once their cherished friend, Phanius.
Darth Ruin's nascent order quickly grew—fifty Jedi Knights deserted to join shortly after, in an event that would be later labeled the Fourth Great Schism of 2000 BBY. He filled out the rest of his new order's ranks by first infiltrating and then uniting the surviving Sith clans under his own leadership.
Merciless and supremely-self-centered, Ruin's capricious and egocentric whims led to the deaths of many of his own followers and, eventually, Ruin's single-mindedness proved to be his undoing—he was eventually killed by his minions after a defeat. Despite Ruin's death, the rebirth of the Sith was complete.
In the ensuing decades, the Sith quickly carved out a sprawling dominion, creating a New Sith Empire, and their relentless attacks wore away from the reeling Republic. They quickly recaptured traditional Sith worlds such as Yavin 4 and Ziost in initial attacks, solidifying a new empire in the north-east quadrant of the galaxy. Additionally, they secretly sabotaged the Republic's own defense.
The Jedi were frequently at the forefront of the Republic's war effort, though not always to their own benefit—a disastrous intervention to contain an outbreak of Ubese aggression in 1800 BBY at the Battle of Uba IV led to the destruction of a cache of superweapons. The resulting chemical release decimated the Ubese and led to accusations of xenocide that would endure for centuries. Just as in the Old Sith Wars, the Republic assembled a mighty fleet, mainly provided by Kuat Drive Yards.
After Darth Ruin's demise, the first quarter of the New Sith Wars was dominated by the mysterious Dark Underlord, an emotionless revenant who was supported by the Black Knights, a faction of Sith commanded by a Zeltron General. The Black Knights and the Underlord ravaged space stations along the Zona Miki route until the Republic counterattacked. The Underlord's final confrontation with the Jedi and the Republic came at Malrev IV in 1750 BBY, where Jedi Master Murrtaggh forged a Faustian pact with the traditionally hostile Mandalorians to bring the Underlord down. Though successful, the assassination came at the cost of Murtaggh's own life. The Mandalorians for their part would continue to war after the Sith, particularly during the reign of Mandalore Ung Kusp.
Just over five centuries after Ruin's betrayal, in 1500 BBY the Republic had finally managed to build up its armed forces to win victories at Gap Nine, Corphelion and King's Galquek, halting Sith advances in the Expansion Region and Outer Rim Territories. Despite this, the Sith attracted new allies such as the Devaronians and Hiitians, and in 1466 BBY scored one of their most decisive victories in history, when they crushed the Republic and Jedi forces in the Battle of Mizra. This bloody conflict was later immortalized by the poet Felloux. Over five hundred thousand soldiers died in a single battle and hundreds of Jedi converted to the Dark Side.
Despite Rivan's eventual defeat at the Battle of Almas, the Republic plunged into turmoil. Mineral mines ran dry, corporations failed, and the Republic's borders began to shrink for the first time since the Cold War as colonies were abandoned to the Sith advance and the economic collapse. Law and order suffered as the Jedi found themselves overstretched.
The collapse of the HoloNet and interstellar commerce and the general downward spiral of the Galactic Republic continued unabated. Jedi were forced to assume greater leadership, commanding the Republic military, and even becoming Supreme Chancellors, despite the public opinion against them. In 1400 BBY the last non-Jedi ended their service as Supreme Chancellor. For the next four centuries, only Jedi would serve in the post. An outbreak of Candorian plague killed two-thirds of the inhabitants of some Republic worlds.
The Sictis Wars
The period from 1250 to 1230 BBY was known as the Sictis Wars. In that era, Belia Darzu ruled as Dark Lord of the Sith, unleashing Technobeasts against the Jedi forces from her power base on Tython. The Sictis Wars came to an end with Darzu's death at the hands of the Mecrosa Order, who, though nominally allied with the Sith Empire, poisoned Darzu due to unwanted Sith incursions on Tapani territory.
After nearly a thousand years of war, both sides were in near-collapse—although the eleventh century BBY would later be described as the "Republic Dark Age," there is little evidence for any coherent Sith threat for much of the period. The Sith, though exponentially increased in number, were divided against one another, as the various warlords and self-proclaimed Dark Lords fought each other for supremacy. The Republic officially branded the war a "series of protracted military engagements" against an illegal organization, but in reality the Sith were rampaging across the galaxy virtually unhindered, oppressing entire star systems. Though some new colonies were founded, including Melida/Daan, and Tatooine was resettled, for most of the galaxy it was a dark time.
The Republic, for its part, was a pale shadow of what it once was. Much of its former territory was in the hands of independent, self-proclaimed Sith warlords, including Odion and Daiman. These warlords squabbled over the dying embers of the Sith Empire, and while they remained divided, the Republic was given some respite. Some Jedi, such as Vannar Treece and his apprentice Kerra Holt would attempt daring raids within Sith-held territory, but for the most part the Republic made no attempt to regain its lost worlds.
Against the Sith threat, other members of the Jedi Order began quests to rout entire systems of Sith influence and purge those whose sought to enslave or exploit the citizens of the Republic. Standing as these systems' last line of defense, these individual Jedi became celebrated and quickly came to hold political might. As their constituent worlds came to appreciate their service, these Jedi became barons or kings of entire systems and sectors, taking up the title Jedi Lord.
Establishing castles and manors as their formal residences, these Lords created a formal hereditary system, passing down their titles to their offspring for several generations. The peaceful regions of space stood as islands of light in the darkness created by the Sith, and even Coruscant and the Galactic Senate was presided over by Jedi Supreme Chancellors. During this time, the Jedi High Council competed directly with the Jedi Grand Council which consisted of Lords from across the galaxy.
The Sith Civil War
The Sith saw the crippled Republic as a sign that the Force was with them. However, their plans for a strike against Coruscant were halted after they fell into infighting over who would rule the galaxy after the Republic's defeat. An example of such internecine strife was the Charge Matrica of 1066 BBY in the Grumani sector.
Owing to such fighting, the threat of the New Sith in the last century of the war was not as great as it might have been, and the Sith civil war would not end until 1010 BBY with the emergence of Lord Skere Kaan and the Brotherhood of Darkness.
The Final Decade
The Light and Darkness War
- "Kaan turned away from the light and formed the Brotherhood of Darkness. The Brotherhood used the dark side of the Force to build an empire and were well on their way toward expanding it when an army was raised to oppose them. The army of opposition consisted of beings of many species and planets, representing all walks of life. But they had one thing in common. They were Jedi."
- ―Luke Skywalker
Wary of the growing power and popularity of the Jedi Lords, the Jedi High Council attempted to groom their own champion against the Sith—Skere Kaan, born a commoner on Coruscant before being discovered by the Jedi Order and trained in the ways of the Force at the Jedi Temple. Sophisticated and knowledgeable of economic policy and fleet command, Kaan became a Jedi Knight and a beacon for hope among members of the Jedi High Council who hoped to finally destroy the reformed Sith Empire which had been plaguing the Galactic Republic for nearly two centuries.
Having perfected the art of battle meditation, Jedi Kaan was considered a valuable asset by the High Council, despite his radical belief that the Republic and the Jedi were responsible for the anarchy which plagued the galaxy. In an effort to moderate Kaan's extremist views, the High Council awarded him the title of Jedi Master. Seeing the High Council as overbearing, Kaan led a group of loyal Knights away from Coruscant and defected to the Sith.
Out of the ashes of the Sith Empire, Kaan reorganized the Sith into the Brotherhood of Darkness, over 20,000 strong. In an attempt to end the internecine feuds that had torn their Empire apart, Kaan ended the tradition of a sole Dark Lord of the Sith, and recognized each and every claim to the title by the rival warlords. Kaan forged his alliance with the creed of "Rule by the Strong" and "All are equal in the Brotherhood of Darkness." He made his headquarters on the planet Roon.
Beginning in around 1010 BBY, this new group launched a series of attacks designed to destroy the Jedi and the Republic. Kaan, along with the two strongest of the former warlords, Qordis and Kopecz, began their campaign with a daring and symbolic assault on the ancient Sith homeworld of Korriban, which at that time was still under nominal Republic control. The successful capture of that world sealed their alliance, and enabled the reopening of the ancient Sith academy under Qordis' leadership.
As Qordis trained new recruits, Kaan and Kopecz continued their war, seizing worlds like Kashyyyk, and even briefly Corulag, Chandrila and Brentaal IV. By 1001 BBY, they seemed almost poised to conquer Coruscant, pressing the Republic on many fronts with the assistance of allies such as the turncoat Jedi King Lahzar, who battled the Republic in the Tholatin system and a colony of Chiss on Thule, abducted from the Unknown Regions by agents of Kaan.
However, Lord Hoth, a Jedi Master and Republic General, had been scoring victories of his own against the Sith. Driving the Brotherhood from their home in the heavily-defended region of space known as the Cloak of the Sith, Hoth chased them from world to world, from Hoth to Dromund Kaas to Malrev IV. In many of his earlier campaigns, he commanded Republic fleets and armies, but around 1002 BBY, he forged the bulk of the Jedi Order's fighting strength into an independent military force known as the Army of Light.
The end of the Sith
- "I ask that you join me in one last task: the creation of a weapon so powerful that when it is detonated, the victors shall become the vanquished and be swept from the pages of history."
The war ended with the armies of Hoth and Kaan facing each other on the world of Ruusan. Lord Hoth's army of was made of seven Legions of Light, each led by a Jedi Lord, including Valenthyne Farfalla, Gale, Saleeh Teepo, Berethon and Newar Forrth. Under the Jedi Lords served Jedi Generals such as Kiel Charny. Kaan's Brotherhood was led by himself, Qordis, Kopecz and less familiar Dark Lords such as Seviss Vaa, LaTor and Githany.
The Army of the Light and the Brotherhood of Darkness clashed seven times on the world, each battle causing terrible casualties as Sith and Jedi died in the thousands. Throughout the course of the battles, additional reinforcements attempted to land on Ruusan, though many Jedi forces were destroyed by an orbiting Sith blockade and many Sith reinforcements were destroyed by the Republic Navy en route to Ruusan.
Though four of the seven battles were won by the Army of Light, their casualties were still enormous and the campaign would later be considered to be the most deadly clash between Jedi and Sith in galactic history. So many Jedi died that Hoth was forced to enlist younger and younger Force-sensitive recruits, and Jedi scouts such as Torr Snapit began to bring pre-adolescents to the battlefield. Though Hoth and his advisors found this distasteful, they reluctantly agreed to accept the child recruits, reasoning that it was better for them to be found by the Jedi than by Kaan's Sith.
Dissension was rife in both camps - for the Jedi, Hoth feuded with his fellow Lord Valenthyne Farfalla, a rift which only deepened with the death of Pernicar, a Jedi Master who had mediated between the two Lords. Even when Farfalla arrived with over three hundred fresh knights as reinforcements, having both defeated the traitorous King Lahzar and broken the Sith blockade over Ruusan, Hoth still refused to speak to him.
Among the Sith, Kaan's leadership began to be questioned by both Githany and Kopecz, and Kaan's bungled attempt to remove his rival Darth Bane only served to make him seem foolish, especially after Bane defeated Qordis, Kaan's strongest supporter. Bane mocked Kaan's reliance on traditional weapons of war, and goaded the Sith leader into using the dark side of the Force to destroy Hoth and the Jedi. With Bane's help, Kaan and the other Dark Lords devastated the unprepared Jedi with a Force Storm that ravaged Ruusan's surface.
Fortune began to favor the Jedi, though, and thanks to the timely intervention of Farfalla's envoy, and Hoth's own vision of the dead Pernicar, the two Jedi leaders reconciled, pooling their forces just in time to counteract a renewed Sith surge.
Finally, with both armies nearly destroyed, and the once lush planet totally devastated, the seventh and final Battle of Ruusan took place, ending with Kaan's decision to use an ancient Sith technique known as the thought bomb, the instructions secretly provided by Darth Bane in a plot to destroy the other Sith Lords and leave Bane to rebuild the Sith under the "Rule of Two." Lord Hoth, knowing of his opponent's final gambit, took 99 of his most trusted knights with him and confronted Kaan in an attempt to dissuade the Sith Lord from unleashing the weapon. His friend, Tal attempted to dissuade him, having seen disaster through the Force. Lord Farfalla did likewise, but Hoth told both that Kaan had to be stopped.
The attempt was fruitless, as Kaan's mind had broken during the conflict and the Sith Lord, insanity clouding his vision, was determined to destroy himself and his followers, hoping to annihilate the Army of the Light at the same time.
As Kaan unleashed his weapon, both his own army and Hoth's were destroyed in an instant. Those Jedi that survived quickly rallied under Lord Farfalla, and the remaining Sith were easily defeated. Darth Bane, in the meantime, went into hiding with his apprentice, Zannah.
After a thousand years, the New Sith Wars had finally come to an end.
- "Now that the Brotherhood of Darkness has been defeated, the Galactic Senate wants to put an official end to this war. There is important legislation on the table that could change the face of the Republic forever. Valorum wants to discuss it with me before the Senate votes."
"And this legislation will affect the Jedi as well?"
"It will, in ways you cannot even begin to imagine."
- ―Valenthyne Farfalla and Johun Othone, discussing the proposed governmental reforms
With the apparent destruction of the Sith, Farfalla, as highest ranking surviving Jedi, used his authority to remove the Jedi from the position of galactic leadership they had acquired during the past centuries, and hand control back to civilian leadership. Tarsus Valorum became the first non-Jedi to serve as Chancellor for six hundred years and, with Farfalla's assistance, Valorum passed far-reaching legislation that restructured both the Republic and the Jedi Order.
While the New Sith Wars were ultimately over, the scars from the millennial long conflict would plague civilization for centuries. The chaos of the wars had left many once grand civilizations bankrupt and in shambles. The mere collapse of Inter-Galactic civilization set technological development back hundreds of years. Age old advancements in architecture, machinery, and weaponry dating back to the Mandalorian Wars would remain in use for many centuries more.
- "I am Darth Bane, Dark Lord of the Sith. I will survive. At any cost."
- ―Darth Bane
Unknown to the Jedi and the Republic, one Sith Lord survived: Darth Bane, retreated from the carnage of Ruusan, finding a Force-sensitive child named Rain from among the child recruits of the Army of Light. After the final battle the pair escaped the effects of the thought bomb and made their way, separately, to Onderon.
Bane would accept Rain as his apprentice, dubbing her Darth Zannah, and from her would continue an unbroken line of Sith Lords, culminating in Darth Sidious and Darth Vader, who achieved what the Sith of the past never could: the destruction of the Galactic Republic, and the near annihilation of the Jedi Order.
Timeline of events
Early Draggulch Period
- c.2000 BBY
- A humanoid race adopts the Bimm culture and is integrated into Bimm society.
- c. 1991 BBY
- c. 1960 BBY
- 1989 BBY
- 1800 BBY
- c. 1750 BBY
- c. 1569 BBY
Mid Draggulch Period
- c. 1500 BBY
- 1466 BBY
- 1400 BBY
- By this date, the last non-Jedi Supreme Chancellor had finished his/her term.
- before 1250 BBY
- 1250 BBY
- 1230 BBY
- c. 1196 BBY
- 1163 BBY
Late Draggulch Period
Republic Dark Age
- 1100 BBY
- 1094 BBY
First Charge Matrica
- 1066 BBY
- 1058 BBY
- 1057 BBY
- 1051 BBY
- 1050 BBY
- 1044 BBY
- 1042 BBY
- 1040 BBY
Second Charge Matrica
- 1032 BBY
- Kerra Holt passes her Jedi Trials and becomes a Jedi Knight.
- Jedi Master Vannar Treece launches Operation Influx in the Grumani sector.
- The Chelloa campaign
- Battle of Gazzari. Fall of the Bactranate.
- Battle of Byllura. The Dyarchy falls to the Arkadianate.
- The Aquilaris campaign
Sith Civil War
- 1026 BBY
- 1019 BBY
- 1013 BBY
- 1010 BBY–1006 BBY
- 1010 BBY
Light and Darkness War
- 1009 BBY
- 1008 BBY
- 1001 BBY
- Battle of Korriban (1006 BBY)
- Lord Hoth's campaign (c. 1004 BBY)
- Between 1004 BBY and 1000 BBY
- Battle of Ando
- Battle of Bomis Koori
- Battle of Castell
- Battle of Corsin
- Battle of Denon
- Battle of Dorin
- Battle of Druckenwell
- Battle of Enarc
- Battle of Gizer
- Battle of Gyndine
- Battle of Jabiim
- Battle of Mindor
- Battle of Monastery
- Battle of Ord Mantell
- Battle of Pax
- Battle of Sanrafsix
- Battle of Sy Myrth
- Battle of Harpori (1003 BBY)
- Battle of Kashyyyk (c. 1002 BBY)
- Battle of Hsskhor (c. 1002 BBY)
- Battle of Phaseera (1002 BBY)
- Skirmish on Alaris Prime (1002 BBY)
- Duel on Balowa (1002 BBY)
- Battle of Ambria (1002 BBY)
- Lord Kaan's campaign (1002 BBY)
- Bormea sector campaign (1002 BBY)
- Ruusan campaign (1002-1000 BBY)
Kerra Holt was born three decades before the end of the New Sith Wars. Her sector of birth was overrun by the Sith, and she fled as a refugee to the inner areas of the galaxy still controlled by the Galactic Republic. In the Republic, she joined the Jedi Order and was trained by the adventurer Vannar Treece.
Kerra determined to make herself into a "living weapon" and, having done so, returned to the areas of the galaxy still controlled by the Sith, determined to fight the Sith wherever she found them. The rival Sith Lord brothers Odion and Daiman were two enemies she encountered.
Vilia Calimondra, a Sith Lord and the matriarch of the family, acquired many husbands, expanding her empire. She mothered seven children, each of whom claimed the right to be Vilia's sole heir. In 1066 BBY, Vilia initiated the Charge Matrica, a contest whose winner would be determined by which of Vilia's children could expand her empire the greatest. Vilia's empire expanded even farther; however, her children eventually went to war with one another. Chagras eventually defeated his rival siblings, but died suddenly in 1040 BBY. Vilia was left with several grandchildren, including Odion and Daiman, each claiming right to her legacy. Vilia initiated a Second Charge Matrica, but, again, Vilia's potential heirs descended into war with each other.
Aided by his friend Pernicar and fellow Jedi Lord Valenthyne Farfalla, Hoth prosecuted the campaign against Kaan, facing challenges of low supplies, dwindling morale, and harsh conditions. Hoth's temper was as legendary as his battle prowess, and after the death of Pernicar a feud between Hoth and Valenthyne Farfalla almost delivered victory to Kaan. Despite their animosity, the pair reconciled, allowing Hoth to face his foe in a final confrontation. Knowing that the desperate Sith would utilize a dangerous Force power known as the thought bomb in an attempt to stave off defeat, Hoth went to face him anyway, forcing the Brotherhood of Darkness to destroy themselves in the process.
Hoth's act of self-sacrifice saved the Republic and ended the Sith as a galactic threat for almost a thousand years.
A former Jedi Master, Lord Skere Kaan was Dark Lord of the Sith in the last years of the New Sith Wars and ascended to leadership of the Sith Empire almost a decade before the Ruusan campaign, ending a long and protracted civil war among various self proclaimed Sith warlords.
Preaching a message of Sith unity and equality, Kaan was able to end the Sith civil war that had raged for years, allowing the Sith to refocus on their true enemies, the Jedi.
After uniting the surviving remnants under his banner, Kaan led them into a final war against the Jedi on the world of Ruusan, where he and his opponent, Lord Hoth of the Jedi, fought each other to a standstill. In desperation and hoping to wipe out his opponent, Kaan destroyed destroying himself and his followers with the thought bomb in the Seventh Battle of Ruusan, leaving the Jedi shattered, but ultimately victorious and the Sith presumed extinct.
Valenthyne Farfalla was a noted Jedi Master and Jedi Lord who fought at Ruusan. A male Half-Bothan, Farfalla had a reputation for being foppish and vain. He aided Lord Hoth and the Army of Light in the Ruusan campaign, in the final years of the Light and Darkness War. In the last year of the battle, Farfalla left Ruusan to gather three hundred Jedi Knights to aid in the struggle for the world.
Farfalla was often at odds with Hoth, and when the latter's good friend Pernicar was killed by the Sith, he blamed Farfalla and the two men had a falling out. However, they eventually repaired their relationship and rallied the Jedi for a final assault on the Sith stronghold. When Hoth and many other Jedi were killed by Lord Skere Kaan's thought bomb, Farfalla was left as the highest-ranking Jedi to survive Ruusan.
Rising from humble origins to join Kaan's Sith, he soon lost confidence in the Brotherhood of Darkness, believing Kaan to be a coward and a fool. Deserting the order, he provided Kaan with the secret of the thought bomb, thereby helping to destroy the Brotherhood, allowing him to create his own Sith Order. As the only survivor of the Ruusan campaign, Bane then instituted a Rule of Two, which stated that there could be only two Sith to avoid the infighting that had plagued the Sith for millennia. He styled himself as Darth Bane, and took as his apprentice a Human female, whom he christened Darth Zannah. Zannah would eventually kill her master, taking his place as Sith Lord, but continuing his legacy.
Galactic Republic and Jedi Order
When the Draggulch Period began, the Republic had been experiencing peace and prosperity for generations. With Darth Ruin's defection, however, it began to enter a period of decline and by the last century of the New Sith Wars had effectively collapsed, with the era being labeled a "Dark Age" by later historians.
The Jedi were tied to the Republic and, though they managed to avoid total collapse, were dragged down with the government they served. The collapse in confidence and strength in the Republic was so total after the Battle of Mizra that the Jedi were forced to assume complete control of the remnants of the government apparatus, serving as Chancellors for an unprecedented four centuries.
During the Light and Darkness War the Jedi Lord Hoth assumed complete control of the entire Republic military and succeeded in denting Kaan's advance. Kaan and Hoth faced off on Ruusan where both were destroyed by Kaan's use of the thought bomb. Valenthyne Farfalla took control of the surviving Jedi and declared victory, with the Sith assumed defeated. Farfalla helped Tarsus Valorum rise to the rank of Supreme Chancellor, the first non Jedi in that post for centuries, and together the pair enacted the Ruusan Reformations, marking the end of the Draggulch Period.
Though Darth Ruin only initially attracted fifty fellow Jedi to his heresy, the new Sith Order quickly grew in the ensuing centuries, and were soon able to challenge the Republic on their own terms. Though Ruin was killed, his followers continued the war and a subsequent Dark Lord, the Dark Underlord, was able to consolidate these gains, terrorizing the galaxy with his followers, known as the Black Knights.
After Mizra, the Republic existed in little more than name only, and the Jedi were the true rivals to the Sith, organizing the resistance to the reign of Darth Rivan and Belia Darzu. During the Dark Age, the Sith holdings collapsed into rival, squabbling fiefs, constantly warring against each other, and a unified Sith threat did not exist until Kaan reunited the remnants into the Brotherhood of Darkness.
Kaan and his Brotherhood would achieve early success against the weakened Republic, and at one point were close to overwhelming the Core. The rise of the Jedi Lord Hoth to leadership of Republic and Jedi forces would change things, however, and the Jedi quickly took the initiative. Kaan and Hoth faced each other on Ruusan in seven titanic battles until Kaan made the fateful decision to utilize the thought bomb. The Sith were completely wiped out, though the Jedi survived thanks to Lord Hoth's self sacrifice. Only Darth Bane survived the apocalypse and he slipped into hiding, establishing a new, hidden order of Sith that would remain hidden from the Jedi for a thousand years.
Though the Jedi and Sith dominated the Draggulch Period, other groups were involved in the conflict, and often switched their support from one side or another, depending on the flow of the conflict.
The Mandalorians participated in the defeat of the Dark Underlord, assisting the Jedi Master Murtaggh in defeating the Underlord's Black Knights. They would continue their war against the Sith under Ung Kusp. Conversely the bounty hunter Durge was an enthusiastic fighter for the Sith, motivated by vengeance against the Mandalorians he believed had murdered his mentor.
The Ubese became set against Jedi after the disastrous Republic intervention on Uba IV that destroyed the Ubese homeworld.
During the Republic Dark Age the shattered factions of the Sith Empire intruded upon Hutt Space, occupying the region. However, the subsequent infighting allowed the Hutts to move their goods and forces in place until the Sith either worked with them or were mercilessly destroyed. One such Hutt, Zodoh, began to intrude upon Sith controlled space of the Bactranate, starting with Aquilaris, as he attempted to expand his business ventures. Without their Sith masters, the Hutt forces easily managed to overpower the Sith troops and began to deploy their atmospheric Stormdriver.
Behind the scenes
The development of the New Sith Wars' backstory is perhaps one of the more convoluted productions of the Expanded Universe. The first glimmer of what would become the war appeared in the video game Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II, which featured the Valley of the Jedi as the location for a vague ancient battle between Jedi and Dark Jedi. The game's novelization, Dark Forces: Jedi Knight, extrapolated from the game, mainly introducing the Jedi Army of Light and its commander, Lord Hoth, and the Dark Jedi Brotherhood of Darkness, under Lord Skere Kaan, as well as the thought bomb, several ancillary characters, and a setting for the battle as having been fought "centuries ago." In neither source was the Brotherhood stated as being Sith; instead, it was variously referred to as Dark Jedi, or just Jedi.
At around the time Jedi Knight was published, George Lucas was developing a backstory of the Jedi and Sith for the prequel trilogy of films. His version, much of which appeared as exposition in The Phantom Menace novelization, stated that the Sith were formed from a Jedi Knight who broke away from the order two thousand years before the movies. He was followed by fifty other Knights who formed the Sith, and they engaged in a thousand-year war against the Jedi. They conquered the galaxy, but were eventually wiped out from a civil war, out of which Darth Bane emerged as the sole survivor. In the film Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace this backstory is alluded to by Ki-Adi-Mundi's comment that the Sith have been extinct "for a millennium" and Mace Windu and Yoda's comments about the Rule of Two during the final scenes of the film.
The first connection between the two events (the JK backstory and Lucas' Episode I backstory) came a year after Episode I's release, in The Essential Chronology. The Essential Chronology established that the founder of the Sith was merely the founder of a new sect of Sith (in order to mesh with the established Expanded Universe). It slightly altered the timeline of Lucas's outline—following the Sith civil war, Kaan (now established as one of the few surviving Sith Lords) created the Brotherhood of Darkness (now established as a collection of Sith), with the Army of Light being hastily formed to deal with the new threat. Darth Bane was then established as the lone survivor of the Brotherhood's defeat at Ruusan.
A year after The Essential Chronology came out, the comic Star Wars: Jedi vs. Sith was published. It showed the final battles of Ruusan, taking information from all three sources. Notably, it established Bane as being one of Kaan's followers and rivals, further tying the two original views together. The vague references to the war in this work were great expanded in the subsequent New Essential Chronology and The Essential Atlas, by authors Daniel Wallace and Jason Fry. Later, Fry collaborated with Paul R. Urquhart on The Essential Guide to Warfare which revealed more details about the conflict, including the origin and identity of many of the "Jedi Lords."
The New Sith Wars were included in one other major crossover, again from George Lucas. In Attack of the Clones, Lucas retconned the Republic as having been only one thousand years old, presumably a misremembrance of Obi-Wan Kenobi's "[For] over a thousand generations" dialogue in the 1977 Star Wars film. However, it still managed to tie in with the new backstory involving Bane and the rampaging Sith. As a solution to this new discrepancy, the HoloNet News website created the Ruusan Reformation, stating that the Republic reset its measurements and reformed its government in totality following the end of the war on Ruusan.
The Ruusan campaign and its immediate aftermath, as well as the character of Darth Bane, were built upon by author Drew Karpyshyn in his novel Darth Bane: Path of Destruction and its two sequels. The period prior to this, the Republic Dark Age, was featured in the ongoing comic series Knight Errant by John Jackson Miller. Miller himself compared the situation in the Republic Dark Age to Britain during the decline of the Roman Empire. The Knight Errant comic series was set during the last decades of the Republic Dark Age, focusing on the point-of-view of a young Jedi Knight named Kerra Holt. The comic series along with a related stand-alone novel by the same author also explored the intricate political and family dynamics of the various Sith warlords in the Grumani sector. The second arc in the comic series Star Wars: Knight Errant: Deluge introduced the concept of a Hutt crimelord as a archetype stock villain while exploring less ethical aspects of the Galactic Republic's role in the conflict, particularly the roles of Grace Command and Operation Deluge.
Of lesser importance are the revelations that the New Sith Wars were responsible for the previously-established destruction of the Ubese homeworld, and the construction of the Sith temple on Malrev IV. In addition, as with most major Star Wars events, a number of lesser events and personalities of the New Sith Wars have been covered by a variety of sourcebooks and articles. Notably, Abel G. Peña has written many of the latter.
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