"My work barely qualifies as a weapon. It's the most humane military technology ever invented."
―Doctor Eli Tarnis[src]

The Planet Prison was a superweapon developed by the Galactic Republic during the Cold War with the reconstituted Sith Empire. Created by Doctor Nasan Godera and weaponized by a team of scientists under the leadership of Doctor Tarnis—in actuality a Sith Lord and the son of the notorious Darth Angral—the weapon was intended as a way to peacefully blockade a planet. When the project's prototype neared completion, Tarnis attempted to steal the device and use it on the Republic capital world of Coruscant through an elaborate ruse with the help of the Migrant Merchants' Guild and Black Sun criminal organizations. However, Tarnis was killed in the ruins of the Jedi Temple by a young Jedi Knight, and the device was destroyed before it could be fired. The technology would be later combined with several other weapons by Darth Angral into the ship-mounted Desolator superweapon, which the Sith Lord used to devastate the planet Uphrades, although the Jedi Knight defeated Angral aboard his warship above Tython just before the ship was destroyed by Republic fighters.

Description[edit | edit source]

"With a single activation, the Planet Prison super-charges a world's upper atmosphere, turning it into an enormous ion cannon. Any starship entering or leaving the planet will be completely disabled. Perfect enemy containment, without casualties."
―Doctor Tarnis[src]

The Planet Prison was designed to supercharge the upper atmosphere of a planet with what was essentially an ion pulse, turning the entire atmosphere into an enormous ion cannon. Any vessels that attempted to enter the atmosphere, whether they be leaving the planet or attempting to land, would be instantly disabled. The engines and systems of any vessel in the ion field would shut down, forcing the ship to crash.[1] However, one drawback of the weapon was that it required an immense amount of energy and time to charge up to firing capacity, and it generated large amounts of heat while charging.[6]

History[edit | edit source]

Origins[edit | edit source]

"All I've ever wanted was to protect the Republic. I was stationed here when the Empire attacked Coruscant. Saw the Jedi Temple destroyed. All those Padawans and Masters cut down… I started these weapon projects in their honor."
―Var Suthra[src]

Doctor Eli Tarnis

The Planet Prison project was first conceived by the Mon Calamari General Var Suthra, who witnessed the devastation of the Sacking of Coruscant by the Sith Empire in 3653 BBY and saw the fall of the Jedi Temple.[7] The brilliant scientist Doctor Nasan Godera had left the Galactic Republic's employ in disgust after the Treaty of Coruscant ended the Great Galactic War and began a tense Cold War between the two powers, and Suthra was left with several new technologies still in the design stage. Seeing a purpose for these technologies, Suthra started several projects to weaponize the ideas,[3] as a way of honoring the Jedi who had been killed in the attack by ensuring that the next war ended quickly.[7]

The different weapons projects eventually came to be headed by Doctor Eli Tarnis, though he worked mainly on the Planet Prison.[1] However, Tarnis was in fact the son of Darth Angral, the commander of the Sith forces who had led the Sacking of Coruscant.[5] A Sith Lord himself, Tarnis was masquerading as a scientist to gather information on the weapon projects.[8] Tarnis headed a five-man design team for the Planet Prison, including a man named Jonkan.[6]

Deception and destruction[edit | edit source]

"The Jedi of all people should appreciate what we've created. It's a non-violent means of ending war."
―Doctor Tarnis[src]

In 3643 BBY,[4] the project was nearing completion, and the scientists were about to begin field testing when Tarnis hired the Black Sun criminal syndicate to steal the design files. Black Sun tasked a Rodian named Vistis Garn with the job, and Garn proposed the heist as his own idea to his main employers in the Migrant Merchants' Guild, a rival criminal gang. Garn and his team infiltrated a military warehouse and stole the files from the building's computer system. They also made off with a shipment high-tech weapons and munitions, but not before Garn was identified by the building's security system. General Suthra and Jedi Masters Bela Kiwiiks and Orgus Din assigned Din's former apprentice, a Jedi Knight, the task of recovering the files, and ordered Kiwiik's Padawan Kira Carsen and the SIS Agent Galen to assist the Knight.[1]

The five members of the design team, including Jonkan, were murdered by Tarnis after delivering the prototype.

The Knight and the astromech droid T7-O1 raided the warehouse to where Garn had retreated, and recovered the files and weapons.[9] However, while the Knight was in the Old Galactic Market on the mission, Tarnis arranged for his own "kidnapping" by the Black Sun, right under the noses of the SIS and the Coruscant Security Force in the Senate Tower. The Knight and T7-O1 intercepted the kidnappers at the nearby spaceport and eliminated the Black Sun criminals with the help of Carsen and the Coruscant Security Force. Defeating the Black Sun's leader, Zeer, the trio learned that Tarnis had been taken to Black Sun territory.[7]

Traveling to the gang-controlled region, the Knight and T7-O1 learned of Tarnis' true identity as a Sith Lord,[8] and pursued the traitor to the Justicars' Sector in an attempt to locate the Planet Prison device. There, the duo found the bodies of the project scientists, who had been tricked into bringing Tarnis the actual prototype. One of the scientists, Jonkan, was able to tell the Knight that the weapon needed time to charge and that it generated massive amounts of heat while doing so.[6] Using that information, the Knight and Carsen were able to locate the Planet Prison in the ruins of the Jedi Temple, and pursued Tarnis there. Standing before holograms of Tarnis' father and Angral's apprentices, the Knight fought and defeated Tarnis and destroyed the Planet Prison device.[5]

Legacy[edit | edit source]

The Planet Prison technology would later be reused by Tarnis' father Darth Angral, who combined it with several other stolen superweapons to create the Desolator weapon. Angral installed the device on his personal flagship, the Oppressor, and used the Desolator to devastate the Republic agriworld of Uphrades. The ionization of the planet's atmosphere worked perfectly, preventing any survivors from escaping the planet, and the crew of the Republic medical frigate Daybreaker intentionally allowed their ship to be disabled by the field so that they could aid the survivors.[10]

The Planet Prison's main console

Having successfully tested the weapon, Angral moved his ship to the Jedi Order's homeworld of Tython and prepared to use it in his quest for revenge against the Knight for the death of his son. Above Tython, Angral deployed micro-burst versions of the Planet Prison, temporarily ionizing the planet's atmosphere and disabling the Republic fighters mobilized against the Oppressor.[11]

However, the Desolator also inherited the Planet Prison's power drawbacks, requiring the weapon to charge for extended periods of time. That weakness enabled the Knight, T7-O1, and Carsen to slip aboard the Oppressor and disable the Desolator before it could fire again. With the destruction of the Oppressor by Republic fighters, the last traces of the Planet Prison technology were finally eliminated.[11]

Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]

The Planet Prison was created for Star Wars: The Old Republic, a massively multiplayer online role-playing game released by BioWare on December 20, 2011. It serves as the target of the Jedi Knight class storyline on Coruscant, and is the first of several superweapons that serve to further the plot of the Act I storyline. Regardless of alignment choices, the Planet Prison is destroyed by the player after Tarnis is defeated.[5] It is mentioned in the Act I finale by Doctor Nasan Godera while discussing the Desolator weapon, as Godera analyzes the superweapon's design to find a flaw similar to that of the Planet Prison.[11] The Planet Prison is also mentioned in the 2012 reference guide Star Wars: The Old Republic Encyclopedia, in the entries for Doctor Godera and the Jedi Knight class storyline.[2]

Appearances[edit | edit source]

Sources[edit | edit source]

Notes and references[edit | edit source]

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  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 SWTOR mini.png Star Wars: The Old Republic—Jedi Knight Mission: "The Jedi Envoy" on Coruscant
  2. 2.0 2.1 Star Wars: The Old Republic Encyclopedia
  3. 3.0 3.1 SWTOR mini.png Star Wars: The Old Republic—Jedi Knight Mission: "The Architect of Annihilation" on Taris
  4. 4.0 4.1 SWTOR mini.png STAR WARS: The Old Republic - Question ! :) - Page 3 on The Old Republic's official website (backup link) places Star Wars: The Old Republic about ten to twelve years after the signing of the Treaty of Coruscant, which is dated to 3653 BBY by Star Wars: The Old Republic Encyclopedia. The Old Republic—The Lost Suns 2 takes place ten years after the treaty, one week after the mission to Nar Shaddaa, and around the time of the SpecForce Incident. Since the mission and the incident are respectively part of Act I of the Jedi Knight and Republic Trooper's storylines, and the Trooper's Act I occurs concurrent to Act I of the Smuggler storyline, the general events of Act I for all classes can be assumed to occur in 3643 BBY. The Prologue for each class immediately precedes Act I, and Act III for all classes begins with the start of the Galactic War, which Star Wars: The Old Republic Encyclopedia places around 3640 BBY. Assuming that in-universe chronology of the Star Wars: The Old Republic events roughly aligns with the release of story content in real-life as with SWTOR mini.png Forums: Dear Story Team, What Year Are We Currently In? on The Old Republic's official website (backup link), the Act III Epilogue must take place near the end of 3640 BBY since it was the chronologically latest story of the The Old Republic base game, which was released toward the end of 2011. Therefore, assuming that The Old Republic takes place over the course of three years per the former of the two aforementioned swtor.com posts, Act I takes place near the end of 3643 BBY.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 SWTOR mini.png Star Wars: The Old Republic—Jedi Knight Mission: "Race to the Ruins" on Coruscant
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 SWTOR mini.png Star Wars: The Old Republic—Jedi Knight Mission: "Tracking Down the Traitor" on Coruscant
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 SWTOR mini.png Star Wars: The Old Republic—Jedi Knight Mission: "Kidnapped!" on Coruscant
  8. 8.0 8.1 SWTOR mini.png Star Wars: The Old Republic—Jedi Knight Mission: "Rescue" on Coruscant
  9. SWTOR mini.png Star Wars: The Old Republic—Jedi Knight Mission: "Stolen Secrets" on Coruscant
  10. SWTOR mini.png Star Wars: The Old Republic—Jedi Knight Mission: "Uphrades" on Uphrades
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 SWTOR mini.png Star Wars: The Old Republic—Jedi Knight Mission: "Fate of the Jedi" on the Oppressor
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