- "Tell them that beginning today, their lives depend on their being useful to us."
- ―Nil Spaar
Nil Spaar was a male Yevetha and member of the Spaar clan. He was the Darama, or "chosen one," of his species as well as head of the Duskhan League during the Black Fleet Crisis. In 4 ABY, Spaar led a rebellion after the Battle of Endor in which the Yevetha overthrew their Imperial masters from the Koornacht Cluster. As the leader of the insurrection, he gained popular acclaim among the Yevetha and was widely supported after replacing the previous regime in a bloody coup.
In 16 ABY, Spaar extended his ambitions into the galaxy at large, meeting New Republic Chief of State Leia Organa Solo, ostensibly for trade negotiations. However, his visit was a pretense to gather intelligence and sow distrust among the New Republic to hide the planned Yevethan takeover of the Koornacht Cluster. Though the Yevetha managed to cause much turmoil and conflict in the New Republic Senate, the plan ultimately failed, largely due to the actions of Organa Solo. When she refused to turn a blind eye to the slaughter of the inhabitants on numerous worlds in the Koornacht Cluster, Spaar led a military effort against the New Republic's fleet in Koornacht. The Yevetha were initially successful and even captured Commodore Han Solo, whom Spaar physically assaulted, transmitting the feed to the New Republic, after the New Republic Defense Force attacked a Yevethan shipyard. Though Organa Solo was horrified by his actions, Spaar's brutality only stiffened the New Republic's resolve, and they launched the Battle of N'zoth as an all-out attack on the Yevethan homeworld of N'zoth. As the Yevethan fleet, led by Spaar, was preparing for battle, the captured Imperials who served as slaves on the Yevethan ships struck and seized control of the vessels that once had belonged to the Empire. Spaar was captured, ejected into hyperspace in an escape pod by Imperial officer Sil Sorannan, and left to die.
- "You are vermin."
- ―Nil Spaar, to Paret, before killing him
During the reign of Palpatine, the Galactic Empire invaded the Koornacht Cluster, and took control of the planet N'zoth after extensive fighting. The Yevetha were taken as slaves by the Imperials, who stationed the naval forces of the Black Fleet and its support facilities, which together were known as the Black Sword Command, in the cluster along with several shipyards. However, many Yevetha used their enslavement to learn much about the art of shipbuilding. After several years of Imperial rule, they began plotting a rebellion, of which the male Nil Spaar of the Spaar clan was one of the leaders. In his tenure, he put an end to quiet acts of sabotage, encouraging the Yevetha to cultivate the trust of the Empire so they could turn on them later. Eventually, after the Yevetha had the virtual run of the shipyards, Spaar had his chance. Eight months after the Battle of Endor, in which Palpatine was killed and the Empire began a slow decline, the Yevetha seized the moment. The Imperial fleet at the shipyards was undermanned and poorly defended, with many of the ships incomplete or damaged—a perfect opportunity for a surprise insurrection. Imperial forces in the Koornacht Cluster were being withdrawn to assist in the defense of the Core Worlds, and security was lax, so much so that Spaar knew the circumstances, procedure, and schedule of the supposedly sudden Imperial departure.
As the Black Fleet prepared to leave the N'zoth system and the Yevetha behind to aid Director of Imperial Intelligence and de-facto Emperor Ysanne Isard in the defense of the Imperial capital of Coruscant, the Imperial commander, Jian Paret, had ordered an evacuation, sending all Yevetha off the Imperial ships and facilities. He found the aliens despicable, and was happy to leave the Koornacht Cluster. Paret had kept this a secret from the Yevetha, knowing the aliens would interfere if they learned of the Imperials' intent to depart. Instead, Paret hoped that the keeping the departure secret from the Yevetha would allow a smooth withdrawal for the Imperials on the surface and give time for him to destroy the shipyards and abandoned ships so they would not fall into the enemy hands. However, Spaar was aware of this, and his engineers had altered the sensors on the Executor-class Star Dreadnought Intimidator, flagship of the fleet, so some hatches would appear to be closed when they were not. A Yevethan task force under Spaar then invaded the ship utilizing the rigged hatches and made their way towards the bridge with cold efficiency, slaying or capturing any Imperials in their path. Spaar had numerous other contingency plans in effect, including a series of bombs that would destroy the Intimidator if it activated its shields.
Spaar's team easily reached the bridge of the ship and took control of the vessel, as Paret and his men were completely surprised by the Yevethan attack. As the Imperial troops rose from the surface of N'zoth in transports per the Imperial orders to withdraw completely from the system, Spaar ordered the batteries on the Intimidator to destroy them. The Yevethan commandos complied, to the horror of Paret, whom Spaar executed thereafter.
The Yevetha repeated their operation across the Black Fleet and took command of the entire armada. The Intimidator, the largest of the ships captured, they renamed the Pride of Yevetha. More importantly, they also brought the Koornacht Cluster fully under Yevethan control. Spaar became very popular for his actions, and not long afterwards, he killed Viceroy Kiv Truun of the Duskhan League, becoming viceroy himself. Spaar became known as the darama, the chosen one of the Yevetha. As viceroy, his rule over the Duskhan League of all Yevethan worlds was nothing short of autocratic.
Some time after the Yevetha took control of the Imperial vessels, Spaar toured the outer regions of the Koornacht Cluster in the Beauty, a captured Imperial CR90 corvette. The trip was enlightening to Spaar, who realized how close outsiders were to Yevethan settlements, as well as the extent of galactic development near the Koornacht Cluster.
Revealed to the galaxy
- "I don't think there's any question but that Nil Spaar represents more worlds, a larger population, greater material riches, and a more advanced industrial-technological base than anyone who's come to Imperial City in the last twelve years. And he probably knows it, too."
- ―Leia Organa Solo
Thirteen years later, Spaar opened talks with the New Republic by bringing a Yevethan delegation to Coruscant, but it was in truth a ruse to cause mistrust of Chief of State Leia Organa Solo in the New Republic Senate and to gather intelligence on the New Republic. Spaar's arrival was well-known among New Republic diplomatic circles and he purposefully arranged ten days delay between his landing and first meeting with Organa Solo in order to explore the capital of the New Republic. When the meetings with Organa Solo began, Spaar's appearance and demeanor were carefully rehearsed and he was cordial and friendly towards Organa Solo, as part of his plan. Entering into private talks with her in the administrative complex of Imperial City, Spaar rejected membership into the New Republic, instead proposing an alliance of sorts, despite all of Organa Solo's attempts to persuade him of the benefits of full membership. He used stories of Imperial brutality against the Yevetha to justify their wariness and desire for independence.
Breaking for lunch in the midst of their first meeting, Spaar returned to his ship, the Aramadia, where he washed all traces of the New Republic world from his body and ensured that a recording of his conversation with Organa Solo was secured. Unlike Organa Solo, who adhered to her word to keep the meetings private, the duplicitous Spaar was already compromising the conditions of his conferences with the Chief of State. Consulting with his aides, Spaar felt that the dialogue with the "vermin" was going well and prolonged the meetings for a month, purposefully failing to reach any agreement or alliance with Organa Solo. His negotiations with Organa Solo revealed much about the New Republic, and he was surprised to find that dissent towards leaders was tolerated. The free will and lack of unity among New Republic members stood in stark contrast to Spaar's absolute authority over the Yevetha, and he saw the discord as a weakness to be exploited.
On Coruscant, things were not going well for the New Republic. They had recently discovered a complete Imperial Order of battle, which contained a list of Star Destroyers that been assigned to different systems. Although the New Republic was able to account for most of the ships, they were unaware of the whereabouts of one fleet—the Black fleet, which had been secretly commandeered by the Yevetha when they overthrew their Imperial overlords. Concerned that the ships might be in the Koornacht Cluster where New Republic patrol ships could not go, Admiral Gial Ackbar brought this matter to Organa Solo. She reluctantly agreed to ask Nil Spaar about the missing ships. When Organa Solo questioned him in their next meeting about the status of Imperial ships and shipyards once located in Koornacht, Spaar fed her a tale of Yevethan slavery to Imperial rule under the shipyards, which was true enough; Spaar falsely agreed to consult his historians about the fate of the ships on the list that she gave him. At their next session, Spaar told her that all of the warships had been destroyed or withdrawn—an outright lie—but also gave her the names of the 6,405 Yevetha who had died on the day the Empire withdrew to provide an emotional weight to the information. Upon his return to his ship, he instructed his aides to prepare for the Yevethan takeover of the Koornacht Cluster, realizing that the New Republic's knowledge of the Black Fleet's existence required his plans to be accelerated.
Tiring of his meetings with Organa Solo and feeling that his negotiations were over, Spaar finally canceled their sessions for three days straight while spending time at a diplomatic hostel and receiving Senators Tig Peramis, Cian Marook, and Hodidiji aboard the Aramadia, much to the consternation of the New Republic government. Knowing that he could use the Senators' discontent with their leadership to his advantage, he made arrangements with them to carry out instructions from him. His last preparations on Coruscant complete, Spaar ordered the Aramadia to make a sudden liftoff from Eastport, which caused numerous casualties on the ground. The ship then hovered inside the planetary shield barrier for several hours, shadowed by the New Republic warship Brilliant.
In a session of the New Republic Senate, Spaar's accomplice, Senator Tig Peramis, was given permission by chairman Behn-kihl-nahm to display a broadcast from the Aramadia to the Senate and from there across the New Republic. The chairman, a staunch supporter of Organa Solo, had been unprepared for this; the original claim to the floor had been made by another Senator sympathetic to Spaar, Hodidiji, who then ceded his time to Peramis, which allowed Peramis to display Spaar's transmission. In this speech, Spaar planned on playing to the public mistrust of their central government to not only effect his escape, but also weaken Organa Solo's standing. By now, Spaar was sure of himself and his knowledge of the weaknesses of the New Republic, particularly what he saw as their ineffective and disunited form of government. He had successfully strung along the negotiations with Organa Solo for weeks and was now prepared to sow dissent in the Senate—dissent that was unheard of among the Yevetha.
Spaar began his address apologizing for his evacuation and the casualties it caused, but rationalized the action by saying that he sought to avoid a confrontation. In addition to claiming that Organa Solo planned on attacking his ship, he claimed that the New Republic intended to take control of the Koornacht Cluster, and had already sent spies into the area. To back up his point, he showed a piece of wreckage from a ship that bore the New Republic insignia. This wreckage had come from a scout ship, not a threatening spy ship as Spaar claimed, although almost no one in the New Republic knew this. The scout ship was part of a survey team that was sent to the system to explore the area under the order of Kiles L'toth, director of the Astrographic Survey Institute. L'toth had sent the team at a request from his friend Etahn A'baht, commander of the Fifth Fleet, who had been given the order from Hiram Drayson, leader of the top-secret intelligence unit Alpha Blue. A'baht's fleet had been undertaking a survey of the space near the Koornacht Cluster, but his orders prohibited him from sending New Republic assets into the Yevethan territory.
Spaar insisted that all the Yevetha desired was to return to their homeworld. Organa Solo capitulated in the midst of the public relations disaster, lowering the planetary shields and allowing the Aramadia to leave Coruscant. Furthermore, the fallout from the alleged spy ship incident caused Organa Solo to immediately recall the Fifth Fleet, ensuring that no New Republic warships were anywhere near the Koornacht Cluster.
Once the Republic was paralyzed by political infighting, Spaar ordered the Yevetha to begin the purge of the Koornacht Cluster, killing or enslaving most remaining non-Yevethans in the Cluster. For his own part, Spaar directed several bombardments from his flagship, the Pride of Yevetha, accompanied by his darna, breeding mates, and loyal second, Dar Bille. Spaar also had eyes and ears on Coruscant, in the form of Belezaboth Ourn, a consul for the Paqwepori, who informed him of the Fifth Fleet's redeployment to Koornacht after the New Republic had learned of the Yevethan Purge. Organa Solo had decided that no other worlds would fall to the Yevetha unchallenged, and the Fifth had been sent as a strong show of force. Ourn gave Spaar information regarding the state of the divided New Republic Senate. Spaar's thrustship had damaged the Paqwepori's diplomatic vessel, the Mother's Valkyrie, and Spaar had promised Ourn a new ship in return for his information. Meanwhile, Spaar's counterparts in the New Republic, such as Admiral Ackbar and Hiram Drayson, had only a few scattered reports with which to operate.
To foment even more dissonance in the New Republic's public opinion of their own leadership, Spaar and his agents hijacked the official holofeed of Channel 1, allowing him to address the entire New Republic at once. Spaar, however, told the citizenry that the Yevetha had fallen under attack and even claimed that attacks on all non-Yevetha in the cluster, which had killed millions, had been orchestrated by the New Republic against the Duskhan League. In truth, the Yevetha, who viewed all other species as vermin, had begun to eliminate all others in the Koornacht Cluster. Only one being escaped the pogrom: a Grannan from Polneye named Plat Mallar. Mallar, a pilot-in-training, was able to fly a TIE/In interceptor away from Polneye as the Yevetha raided the planet's supply of droids and equipment for their own ends. A New Republic patrol ship encountered his fighter near the edge of the Koornacht Cluster and took him to Coruscant. There, Mallar informed the New Republic of the purge.
Many believed Spaar, and the New Republic Senate was divided as a result. Immense pressure was placed on Organa Solo, who knew Spaar's allegations were false, and that the Yevetha were aiming for dominance of Koornacht. She blamed herself for speaking with Spaar for many hours without seeing his true intent.
Following the purge, Spaar and the Aramadia returned home. Spaar was greeted by thousands of adoring Yevetha, who now viewed him as god-like. Once on N'zoth, Spaar traveled to Giat Nor, the planet's capital city. As the ruler and hero of the Yevetha, he was free to choose anyone as a mate. In addition to his darna, he chose fifteen females to be his mates, and accepted the blood sacrifice of several nitakka, who willingly gave their lives for the viceroy.
- "Because you would become our obsession, for as many years as it took to destroy you."
- ―Nil Spaar
Following the failure of the previous mission, the Fifth Fleet was sent deeper into the Koornacht Cluster, a step up from their previous position of merely acting as peacekeepers. Organa Solo issued an ultimatum to the Yevetha, giving them three days to surrender or risk war. The Yevetha ignored her order, and so she told General A'baht to prepare the fleet to engage the Yevetha. Spaar's spy, Ourn, kept him apprised of these details, but Spaar told the Paqwepori consul that the impending threat of war kept him from sending a replacement ship, much to Ourn's dismay.
Inside Koornacht, the Fifth Fleet was suddenly attacked by a number of Star Destroyers and thrustships at the planet Doornik-319. Caught out of position and hesitant to engage ships carrying hostages, the New Republic fleet suffered a defeat. During the battle, a reconnaissance X-wing pilot blew himself and his ship up near a Yevethan corvette after they attempted to capture him, destroying the Yevethan ship. Angered, Spaar sent the officer in charge home in disgrace, refusing to soil his hands with the blood of one whom he viewed as incompetent.
After this, Organa Solo decided to send her husband, Han Solo, into the Koornacht Cluster, piloting a spy shuttle to the Fifth fleet. However, the Yevetha were ready for this move. Tig Peramis, who felt Organa Solo had overstepped her bounds, had learned of her plan. Peramis feared Organa Solo was making a bid for absolute power, and so contacted Spaar in secret, informing him where Solo's shuttle would be. The Yevetha used their captured interdictor, Imperator, to pull his shuttle out of hyperspace. Escorted by only a few fighters, the shuttle was easily taken captive.
Solo was taken before Spaar and interrogated, then beaten by the darama. As advised by Tal Fraan, he sent Organa Solo a message informing her that her husband was a captive of the Yevetha, and that he would die if she did not call the Fifth Fleet off. Organa Solo was already under pressure from the Ministry Council. Some members, such as Borsk Fey'lya, called for her to step down, believing that she would be influenced by the Yevetha's ultimatum and make a decision that would harm the New Republic. The Council eventually passed a Vote of No Confidence, an event that further divided the government and even threatened the survival of the New Republic.
After being imprisoned for days, Solo and fellow hostage Barth were once again taken before Spaar, who showed Solo the Yevethan fleet—dozens of thrustships in addition to the Star Destroyers from Black Sword Command. Spaar gave Solo a choice: tell his wife to call off the New Republic fleet and leave the Yevetha alone in control of the Koornacht, or suffer the pain of war. Spaar warned Solo that the Yevetha were not like other species: they did not surrender until they were completely and totally crushed. Solo boldly told the Yevethan leader that the New Republic would fight in order to prevent the Yevetha from retaining the worlds they had taken. Angered, Spaar killed Barth before Solo's eyes. Later, after the Battle of ILC-905 destroyed a Yevethan shipyard and several thrustships, Spaar personally beat Solo in a recorded transmission to the New Republic, demanding tersely that they leave Koornacht immediately.
Organa Solo, faced with a difficult decision, chose not to order a surrender or withdrawal. Solo would later be freed by a group of Wookiees led by Chewbacca, who boarded the Pride of Yevetha and made their way to the cells. The Wookiees accepted the aid of a Fallanassi prisoner on board, who used her illusions to mask the group. Spaar's breederies were damaged in the escape, infuriating the darama. Spaar was angered even more when he learned that Organa Solo had chosen to fight.
The New Republic then prepared for a pivotal confrontation, and sent the Fifth Fleet to engage the Yevetha fleet. Luke Skywalker, who had been missing throughout the entire conflict to search for his mother with a Force-user named Akanah, had finally reappeared, accompanied by the Fallanassi Force Adepts. The Fallanassi aided the New Republic, using their Force powers to craft illusions of New Republic cruisers fighting the Yevetha during the Battle of Yevetha. The Yevetha eventually penetrated the illusion when a senior Fallanassi, Wialu, who was creating the illusions, could not hold up under the strain, causing the illusions to disappear. The battle raged on until the Yevetha were hit from a blow that no one suspected.
The surviving Imperials, now serving as slaves, had been planning a rebellion for the past decade. They put their plan into motion, invading the ships of Black Sword Command. The Yevetha were caught by surprise, and the Imperials were able to take control of the ships, in much the same fashion that the Yevetha did thirteen years earlier. The Imperials then announced to the New Republic that they were leaving, heading for Byss in the Deep Core. Sil Sorannan, the highest ranking survivor, crammed Spaar into an escape pod and ejected him out of the Intimidator while still in hyperspace. As the escape pod lacked a hyperdrive, Nil Spaar was trapped in hyperspace, unable to revert to realspace—left for dead. The Yevetha fleet continued to fight, although without Spaar and the Black Fleet, they were unable to best the New Republic.
Nil Spaar's war of cleansing on the Koornacht Cluster and the subsequent defeat by the New Republic left the Yevetha disarmed and simmering with resentment for years. The palace of the Viceroy remained just as Nil Spaar had left it with many Yevetha holding on to the hope that their leader would return some day. However, New Republic authority prevented them from reconstructing their fleet. When the extra-galactic Yuuzhan Vong invaded, the Yevetha found themselves involved in a battle against a foe whose xenophobia matched their own. However, the Yevetha were still largely without significant military forces and their homeworld of N'zoth fell within hours. Most of the Yevetha were wiped out in the conflict.
Personality and traits
- "You have never faced an adversary like us. Your wars are decided by the death of a tenth of a population, a third of an army. Then the defeated surrender their honor and the victors surrender their advantage. This is called being civilized. The Yevetha are not civilized, General. It would be a mistake to deal with us as though we were."
- ―Nil Spaar
Like all of his race, Nil Spaar was very arrogant, believing the Yevetha to be superior to all other species. He considered all non-Yevetha vermin, and believed they should be killed. His hatred of other species, as well as his thirst for blood, was demonstrated when he ordered the Great Purge. Spaar demanded complete obedience from his subjects, and would frequently test their loyalty. He would sometimes kill his subordinates if they failed in battle or swayed in their loyalty, an act very common among the Yevetha. As the viceroy of his people, he could put any other Yevetha to death for questioning him. As such, he did not understand why the New Republic allowed senators and the media to question their leader, Leia Organa Solo, whom he found weak, believing she would choke under pressure.
As the viceroy of the Duskhan League, Spaar wielded tremendous personal and political power over the Yevetha. Their culture dictated that every eligible young male nitakka offer his life to feed Spaar's children and every Yevethan female with a mara-nas, or birthing cask, offer herself as his broodmate. Over the course of his tenure as viceroy, Spaar would accept the ritual offers of numerous males and females and accumulated a sizable harem. However, he did have some devotion for his darna (first mate) Kei, honoring her and the loss of her birthing cask to the gray death by keeping an empty space in his breeding alcove.
Spaar was skilled in the arts of public speaking and diplomacy, able to deceive even practiced diplomats such as Organa Solo. His abilities in manipulation and maintaining an advantageous public image contributed in large part to his ascension to viceroy and the adulation he received from the Yevethan populace. However, to those whom he saw as inferior, Spaar was nothing more than cold, if not outright hostile. When needed, he could disguise his ruthless streak and seem genial, even as he plotted the destruction of all other inhabitants of the Koornacht Cluster.
Behind the scenes
- "… Nil Spaar, the canny, ruthlessly machiavellian Viceroy of the Yevethan Protectorate, sees that as an opportunity he can exploit…an opportunity to shatter the New Republic from within."
- ―Michael P. Kube-McDowell, on Nil Spaar
Nil Spaar was first created by author Michael P. Kube-McDowell as the primary antagonist in The Black Fleet Crisis. Spaar has also appeared in a number of reference materials that discuss the events of the Black Fleet Crisis, such as The New Essential Chronology, Cracken's Threat Dossier, and The New Essential Guide to Characters.
In The New Essential Guide to Characters, Spaar is depicted as holding an eyeball in one hand. Fans raised questions about the picture, and author Daniel Wallace explained that artist Michael Sutfin had not based it on any event in the novel, but rather placed the eyeball in the picture as something suitably disturbing for Spaar's character.
- Cracken's Threat Dossier
- The Essential Guide to Planets and Moons
- The Essential Chronology
- The New Essential Guide to Characters
- The Official Star Wars Fact File
- Coruscant and the Core Worlds
- The New Essential Chronology
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Essential Atlas
- Galaxy at War
- The Essential Reader's Companion
Notes and references
- The New Essential Guide to Characters
- In Before the Storm, Spaar states that the Empire occupied N'zoth for half his lifetime. Hiram Drayson states that the Empire controlled the Yevetha from "the end of the Clone Wars", and the book shows the Empire being driven off around 5 ABY, a total span of 24 years. Twice that would be 48 years, which would make Spaar's birthdate around 32 BBY.
- Tyrant's Test
- Before the Storm
- The New Essential Chronology
- Shield of Lies
- The Essential Atlas
- Coruscant and the Core Worlds