- "Ancestral legend has it that this nebula was once an arm of your galaxy… until cosmic upheaval sundered it. Now it drifts further and further into the void... Only this star and this planet surviving against all odds."
- ―Klysk, to Han Solo
The Red Nebula was a extra-galactic nebula that had drifted away from the main body of the galaxy. It contained a single inhabited planet, a multitude of stars, and a deadly meteor field. The planet boasted a race of red humanoids with pointed ears, who protected their homeworld from asteroid bombardment with mystical red jewels.
A group of exiles led by Klysk attempted to steal and destroy the jewels but were thwarted by Han Solo. The jewels were eventually stolen and the planet's cities were destroyed by Domina Tagge and a group of bounty hunters, which intended to use them as a weapon against the Alliance to Restore the Republic. Leia Organa and Lando Calrissian, however, were able to thwart Tagge's plan and avert disaster.
- 1 Description
- 2 History
- 3 Inhabitants
- 4 Locations
- 5 Behind the scenes
- 6 Appearances
- 7 Sources
- 8 Notes and references
- "This place is alive with comets and meteors…!"
- ―Han Solo
The Red Nebula appeared externally as a great scarlet void against the pitch black backdrop of space, however, internally there was no hint of the scarlet hue. A cosmic cataclysm effectively severed the nebula from the galaxy physically and culturally, sending it out into extra-galactic territory.
A highly unstable locale, the Red Nebula was home to perilous meteor fields and comets, making transit dangerous and often fatal. There was at least one inhabited planet within, home to a small sect of priests and a variety of creatures. The planet was battered and pockmarked by the meteors of the nebula, save for a lush and green small valley, preserved by the power of two Great Life Jewels. Passage to the planet was only possible by navigating the meteor fields, making access virtually impossible to all but the most skilled pilots, or those with exceptionally detailed navigation charts.
Early history and separation
Originally, the Red Nebula was contained in the outermost reaches of the galaxy. There was only one planet known to support life within the nebula, which resided close to one of the many stars within. A sentient species that resembled the Sephi inhabited the planet, alongside a series of creatures that chose to dwell within the planet's forest. The sentients practiced a faith which held belief in the "Cosmic Destiny." All known inhabitants of the planet were priests at some stage.
At one point in time, some form of cosmic cataclysm caused the separation of the Red Nebula from the rest of the galaxy, severing it from all other civilization. During the separation, two great gems, named by the priests as the "Great Life Jewels" were brought to the planet. It was quickly learned that when the two jewels were separated, they would instill a plague (known as the Crimson Forever) within those who made contact.
The separation also generated substantial meteor fields and showers, which eventually impacted upon the planet. Most of the world was destroyed by meteors turning it into a pockmarked, mountainous, barren wasteland. Only the area surrounding the temple that housed the Great Life Jewels was untouched, remaining the fertile and bountiful land it had originally been.
Centuries later, the separation of the nebula also divided its inhabitants. Some of the priests believed that they were supposed to have perished in the cataclysm, and thought that the Great Life Jewels were "blasphemous abominations" that should have been destroyed in order to let nature take its course. The majority of the priests, however, labeled that viewpoint as ludicrous and had the detractors exiled.
Those exiled from the nebula did not take their banishment lying down. They found their way into the known galaxy and patrolled Wild Space, amassing a small army of mercenaries who were pressed into service. They intended to use that army to reclaim the jewels and destroy them, along with themselves and all of their kind. The final additions to the band, Captain Han Solo of the Millennium Falcon and his Wookiee co-pilot Chewbacca, were abducted on Terminus and imprisoned on the ship of the exiles, the Nova Prince.
The theft of the Great Life Jewels
- "I tried to warn you Han Solo…now you've doomed us all!"
- ―Red Nebula priest
Klysk, the leader of the exiles, set off on a voyage to his home aboard the Prince with the captive army. Upon reaching the meteor fields of the nebula, though, Solo convinced the ex-priest to let him pilot the ship instead of what the Corellian thought to be a fallible and dangerous navigation computer. Despite skirting close to death several times, Solo was able to pilot the bulky freighter through the field and onto the Red Nebula's planet intact.
The mercenaries were told that they could plunder anything they found, save for the two Great Life Jewels in the Red Nebula temple. They were to be retrieved and returned to Klysk together. Attacking the Untouched Valley with the other criminals, Solo and Chewbacca fought their way through the priests' defensive laser cannon perimeter, and made it to the temple, where they were met by a single priest. The priest made no attempt to personally bar Solo from retrieving the jewels, and instead released the temple guardian. The guardian, a large beast, was instead distracted by Chewbacca, who it thought to be a pup of hers, and began to perform maternal activities. That allowed Solo to steal the jewels, and escape back to the Nova Prince.
Solo, thinking that he had the upper hand with his possession of the jewels, sought to make demands of Klysk, who had other ideas. He betrayed Solo and left him stranded on the planet, thinking that he had possession of the Great Life Jewels. Solo, however, had called Klysk's bluff and switched the genuine jewels for duplicates. For safekeeping, he had hidden the originals in the valley. Klysk did not notice the switch and continued his mission to destroy the jewels and all life in the Red Nebula. Solo returned to the temple where Chewbacca and the priest were waiting with the guardian. The priest, panicking, led Solo into an underground shelter, where they watched on a viewscreen as Klysk piloted the Nova Prince into the sun. The priest did not understand why the valley was not instantly destroyed until Solo revealed that he had hidden the crystals safely. Grateful, the priest presented Solo and Chewbacca with a ship that would take them safely back to the galaxy.
Armageddon, courtesy of TaggeCo
Several years later, spies enlisted by Domina Tagge gathered intelligence on the Great Life Jewels and learned they would produce the Crimson Forever plague when separated. Seeing an opportunity to avenge her brother's death at the hands of Luke Skywalker, Tagge planned to somehow deliver one of the crystals to the young Rebel, thereby killing him with the potential deadly disease. Hiring the services of the bounty hunters Bossk, Dengar, IG-88C, IG-88D, and Zuckuss, Tagge took a Mining Explorer to the Red Nebula in search of the legendary crystals. Leaving nothing to chance, the Mining Explorer gratuitously bombarded the Untouched Valley, destroying the temple. She then sent the bounty hunters down to retrieve the jewels. They were able to do so, although they also encountered the lone priest that Solo had dealt with years before. As they captured him and took the jewels, an Imperial-class Star Destroyer that had been dispatched by the Sith Lord Darth Vader to keep tabs on Tagge entered the nebula and forced the Mining Explorer to accept boarders.
The Imperial stormtroopers retrieved one of the jewels with a minimum of fuss, but the bounty hunters instigated a firefight. The Imperials were forced to retreat with just one jewel, encased in a carbonite box that had been tampered with by Tagge to burst under the pressure of hyperspace. However, the Red Nebula priest unleashed the second jewel from its own carbonite box, causing the Crimson Forever to take effect due to the separation. That act rendered most of the Mining Explorer contaminated and left Tagge trapped with the bounty hunters.
Acting on intelligence that Tagge had given them before the firefight, the Imperials journeyed to the Rebel base on Golrath. They had all succumbed to the Crimson Forever caused by the lone jewel, and upon investigating the silent ship, Luke Skywalker was infected, per Tagge's original goal. Seeking to find a cure, Leia Organa and Lando Calrissian sped to the Red Nebula with due haste, only to find the Mining Explorer a floating derelict. They convinced the trapped Tagge to help them in their plight, and were able to save Skywalker.
The Red Nebula, specifically the planet of the Red Nebula, was home to a species of humanoids with red skin and pointed ears. The humanoids were devoted to their belief in the Cosmic Destiny and had erected at least one temple. A small city was all that was left of their civilization after the cataclysm had caused their planet to be bombarded with meteors, and the examples of their race were all, at some stage, priests. They did have a grasp of advanced technology, a holdover from the time when the Nebula was connected to the galaxy, and they had ships capable of leaving the Red Nebula. They also had a system of tunnels built under their city, complete with viewscreens, and a perimeter of laser cannons to ward off intruders.
Planet of the Red Nebula
There was only one known planet in the Red Nebula, which was home to the inhabitants of the Red Nebula. It was also the home to the religion of the Cosmic Destiny, and the Red Nebula temple guardian. After the cataclysm, the planet was bombarded with meteors from the newly formed field, effectively wiping out all civilization save for one small valley, where a group of priests continued to exist. The valley was ringed with powerful defensive laser canons, and its underground was riddled with tunnels and bunkers. The valley was razed to the ground by Domina Tagge in 3 ABY.
Red Nebula comet field
The Red Nebula comet, or meteor, field ringed the nebula, effectively providing a natural barrier to deter would-be intruders. Composed of fragments from long dead stars and planets, it was an especially perilous field, and could only be navigated by the most skilled pilots, or, as an alternative, blasted through with large capital ships.
Sun of the planet of the Red Nebula
The sun of the planet of the Red Nebula was large in comparison to other stars in the nebula, and is the only known one to have a planet orbiting it. Sometime after the Battle of Yavin, ex-priest Klysk piloted Nova Prince into it in the name of his religion.
Behind the scenes
The Red Nebula was created by Archie Goodwin, and first appeared in the comic issue Star Wars (1977) 50, where it served as the central location. It has since been referenced elsewhere in Star Wars media in Jason Fry's The Hunt Within: Valance's Tale scenario for Wizards of the Coast, in The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, and in "Dining at Dex's." It is possible, though not confirmed, that the humanoid species were related to the Sephi of Thustra.
- The New Essential Guide to Characters (Under Bossk)
- "The Empire's Finest: Who's Who in the Imperial Military"—Star Wars Insider 96
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Essential Atlas
- Star Wars: Edge of the Empire Core Rulebook
- Star Wars: Age of Rebellion Core Rulebook
Notes and references
- Star Wars (1977) 50
- The inhabitants of the Red Nebula fit this description and so may be related to the Sephi.