- "I'm with the Republic Strategic Information Service. Key word is information—if you talk, I let you go."
- ―Theron Shan, SIS agent
The Republic Strategic Information Service, most commonly known simply as the Strategic Information Service (SIS) or Republic Intelligence, was the Galactic Republic's domestic and foreign intelligence agency during the Great Galactic War and the following period of political unrest. Although the agency existed prior to the Great War's initiation in 3681 BBY, as a monitoring and decryption arm of the Senate Library, the rapid expansion of the conflict prompted the Galactic Senate to shift the group from a small-scale decryption agency to a full-fledged information and espionage bureau.
The SIS was much younger, smaller, and was stretched thinner than its intelligence counterpart in the Sith Empire, yet it served efficiently during the Great War and the subsequent Cold War. In 3643 BBY, under the direction of Marcus Trant, Agent Theron Shan undertook a mission to the Vesla system to find and gain information about the Sith Empire from Jedi Master Ngani Zho. In the process, Shan discovered the Empire's secret warship builder, the Sun Razer, designed by Dark Lord of the Sith Darth Mekhis. Shan destroyed the Sun Razer and the resulting political fallout pushed the Republic and Empire ever closer to a renewed, full out war. The agency was also called in to investigate the theft of secret plans for the Republic's superweapon, the Planet Prison. Through the investigation, the plans were recovered and the designer of the superweapon, Doctor Tarnis, was revealed to be a Sith Lord. With this, other secret Republic research such as the Power Guard Project were put at risk and the SIS and Jedi moved to secure the projects from Sith control.
- 1 Overview
- 2 History
- 3 Notable members
- 4 Behind the scenes
- 5 Appearances
- 6 Sources
- 7 Notes and references
- 8 External links
- "But the galaxy has changed, and someone with flexibility has to protect the Republic."
- ―SIS Director Marcus Trant
The Republic Strategic Information Service was an espionage agency of the Galactic Republic. Though it was smaller and younger and managed a smaller network of spies and informants than its intelligence counterpart in the Sith Empire it was still deemed to be an effective intelligence service. Serving as an agency with the Senate Library before the Great Galactic War, the SIS was charged by the Galactic Senate with monitoring and decryption duties. With the outbreak of war, the agency was responsible for providing intelligence to the Republic Military and the Jedi Order. By the end of the war and the start of the Cold War, its duties included the management of networks, counter-intelligence, foreign intelligence, military intelligence, and assisting local law enforcement agencies.
The SIS was headquartered in the Heorem Complex on Coruscant and was led by the Director of SIS who would have several agents on special assignments answer directly to him. Under the Director were regional operational directors such as the Director of Core World Operations and the Director of Mid Rim Operations. Planetary operations were headed by Bureau Chiefs who supervised Special Agents and regular agents.
- "I was there when the war started, back when the Strategic Information Service was a monitoring and decryption arm of the Senate Library. Now we're, what—the thirtieth, fortieth attempt at a Republic espionage agency?"
"Depends whose conspiracy theories you believe."
- ―Director Marcus Trant and Theron Shan
The SIS was founded prior to the start of the Great Galactic War by the Galactic Senate as an intelligence agency with monitoring and decryption duties for the Senate Library. Before that, Republic Intelligence had been in operation during the Mandalorian Wars then later disbanded, yet the SIS continued to be known as Republic Intelligence. Years before the war, Republic scientists discovered an ancient Rakatan prison complex on the planet Belsavis and, during several secret sessions, the SIS decided to convert the complex into a new detention facility, to be used to house dangerous prisoners whose execution was not possible or simply impractical.
With the emergence of the Sith Empire and the outbreak of war, the Senate removed the agency from the Senate Library and expanded its duties. Due to its small size and relative newness, the SIS lacked the large network or bureaucracy that its Sith counterpart possessed. This became both an advantage and a disadvantage. The SIS had little oversight systems to worry about yet it remained within its legal boundaries even as it sought loopholes around it and ethical boundaries as evident when imprisoning the Cathar hero Prince Shange. However, the agency had a hard time penetrating the Sith Empire. Following its emergence as an intelligence bureau, conspiracy theorists claimed the SIS was the Republic's thirtieth or fortieth attempt at an espionage agency, a theory not far from the truth.
In 3661 BBY on Belsavis, the Cathar hero Prince Shange opposed the Cathar's joining the Republic. Needing the Prince quieted, SIS operatives abducted him and his followers and took him to the Belsavis prison and placed them in stasis. During several confrontations with the Empire, Republic warships went missing with their crew overcome by some unknown terror. SIS listing posts in the Outer Rim were able to intercept coded messages referring to these incidents and to a group of Sith Lords known as the Dread Masters. With the information in hand, Jedi Knight Jaric Kaedan and a team of Republic Special Forces troopers were able to infiltrate the Imperial dreadnaught and capture the Sith Lords. The Masters were then taken for internment to The Tomb prison complex on Belsavis.
During Hylo Visz's attack on the Mandalorian blockade of the Hydian Way, the SIS was informed of the battle and scrambled starfighters to aid the smuggler in her mission to break the blockade for the Republic. The battle was a victory for Visz and the Republic, and the Rimma Trade Route was once again open for the transportation of goods and military wares. Jedi Master Gnost-Dural, the keeper of the Jedi Archives, mentioned this action by the SIS in his holodocumentary and his journal.
- "But we don't have a clue what goes on inside the Empire–and we haven't since the Treaty of Coruscant. We follow every lead we've got."
- ―Director Marcus Trant
Despite the agency's relative efficiency during the war, it held little knowledge of the inner workings of Imperial Intelligence. In Anchorhead on Tatooine, the SIS was able to establish a spy network. At the same time, however, an SIS station on Nar Shaddaa was shut down and rumors of Imperial mobilization in that area were increasing. Consequently every lead was vital. When Ngani Zho, a great Jedi warrior who had disappeared after the war, was spotted near the Imperial border, the SIS took immediate interest. Discovering that Zho had claimed to have returned from the Vesla system, a "Black Sector" ceded to the Empire as part of the treaty, the SIS sent several agents to investigate hoping to gain knowledge from Zho's time behind enemy lines. However, none of the SIS agents returned. In the aftermath of the Treaty of Coruscant, the SIS became spread thin. The Director was under pressure not only to find information on the Sith but he also had a bounty placed on his head and his ex-wife was under investigation by the Senate. Needing new leads into Imperial Intelligence, the SIS director decided to send Agent Theron Shan to find Zho and discover his knowledge.
After several weeks, Shan, along with a female Twi'lek criminal named Teff'ith that Shan had picked up on Coruscant, was able to track down the missing Jedi Master Zho on Taris. The three were followed and attacked by Sith Knights under the control of Dark Lord of the Sith Darth Mekhis. They managed to defeat the Knights and escape Taris. Shan then questioned Master Zho on his experiences in the Vesla system. Except for knowing that the system was under the control of Darth Mekhis and that she was constructing horrible weapons, the old Jedi was not able to remember much of what happened. He was insistent though that Darth Mekhis must be stopped. Shan consulted with the SIS Director and learned that the Sith Empire had shut down an SIS station on Nar Shaddaa and there were rumors that the Imperial Guard was mobilized. Feeling the need to press their advantage then, the SIS Director authorized Shan to investigate the activity within the Vesla system.
After securing clearances and navigation charts at Port Nowhere, Shan and his team entered the Vesla system and set up an observation post with telescopes and a spy ray developed by SIS scientist Dr. Nasan Godera. Several days later the planet's rotation allowed Shan to view the other planets in the system. He was able to see Darth Mekhis's shipyard that was fueled by the Sun Razer, which used the energy of the system's sun to create a new and experimental class of warship called the Javelin Dreadnought. The warship was capable of using its weapons to flash irradiate a planet's surface from space, wiping out all life below within a three kilometer radius. Shan recorded the information and attempted to leave the system with his companions; however, they were spotted and captured by the Imperial Navy dreadnaught Valor Prevails under the command of Captain Eisek.
- "This is a knife right in the guts of the Treaty. You may've started a war, Theron."
"We couldn't sit back and watch forever."
- ―Director Marcus Trant and Theron Shan
When they were captured, Shan was taken on a tour of the facilities by Captain Eisek while Master Zho was placed under interrogation. During this, Zho revealed his adventures and how he had slipped into the slave labor force the Empire was using to build the Sun Razer so that Zho could investigate the Vesla system. After the tour, Shan was taken to the same room as Zho and placed in restraints. Darth Mekhis then ordered the execution of Zho but before that could be carried out, Shan was able to free them both from the restraints. They then met up with Teff'ith to plan their next move. Instead of attempting to leave again and report to the SIS, Shan decided to destroy the Sun Razer.
Shan then made his way to the control center in order to bring down the shields of the facility thereby destroying it by exposing it to sun. Meanwhile Teff'ith and Zho made their way towards the hangar and engaged in a fire fight with Imperial forces to distract from Shan's goal. Teff'ith and Zho had made it to the hangar, however, Zho was killed by Imperial troopers when he pushed Teff'ith out of the line of fire. Meanwhile, Shan entered the control center and found Darth Mekhis there. After fighting with her Sith Knights and other Imperial soldiers and was seemingly captured by them, Shan drew Mekhis closer by revealing his name and claiming to be a Jedi. When Mekhis came closer, Shan shot her with a toxin from his arm. He then killed the other Imperials and lowered the shields of the facilities. Upon reaching his ship, Shan and Teff'ith escaped the explosion and destruction of the Sun Razer and the shipyard. Shan returned to Coruscant and reported to the Director of his activities. Though the Sun Razer and it's surrounding shipyard were destroyed, several of the warships created there were in operation in the Sith fleet and the Director felt that the Cold War was ready to heat up again into full conflict. Shan told the Director his intentions to keep investigating with a special interest in a light-speed cannon that was capable of eliminating hyperspace targets called the Gauntlet.
- "Get the stolen design files and hurry back. We've had a major security breach."
During the reconstruction efforts, the Republic government began secretly building weapons in expectation of an inevitable renewed war with the Empire. One of them was the Planet Prison, a superweapon meant to trap all occupants on a certain planet. During a theft, however, the secret plans along with other military hardware were stolen. Republic Strategic Information Service sent Agent Galen to head the investigation along with members of the CSF. Discovering that a Rodian smuggler named Vistis Garn was behind the theft, Galen requested assistance from the Jedi and a Jedi Knight was charged with recovering the plans. They tracked Garn to his hideout in the Migrant Merchants' Guild territory and recovered the secret plans.
While the secret plans were recovered, Republic scientist Doctor Tarnis, was kidnapped by members of Black Sun. Agent Galen sent the Jedi Knight and Padawan Kira Carsen with a detachment of CSF agents to the Coruscant Spaceport to rescue Tarnis. They discovered that the Black Sun members had been a distraction and that Tarnis had really been taken deep into Black Sun territory.
Knowing the location of the Black Sun hideout, Agent Galen sent the Special Tactical Unit of CSF and Republic soldiers under the command of CSF Sergeant Nidaljo to the area shortly followed by the Jedi Knight and Kira Carsen. Together, the Tactical Unit and the Jedi were able to break through Black Sun's forces. They found leader of Black Sun, Salarr, talking via a holocam with Doctor Tarnis. Tarnis, however, was in actuality a Sith Lord and was in league with Black Sun. During the confrontation, Salarr was killed. Galen along with other Jedi Masters, went on to secure several other secret Republic facilities. The Jedi meanwhile continued on in their hunt for Lord Tarnis. They found him in the ruined Jedi Temple attempting to arm the Planet Prison. They killed him and stopped the superweapon's activation.
Around that same time, SIS agent Nurls Yorksin investigated the Finaq Shipping Company, who had been shipping contraband weapons into Coruscant. However, Black Sun began hijacking Finaq's freighters, killing the crew and grabbing the cargo, preventing Yorksin from continuing her investigation. Yorksin asked a Republic individual for help. They were able to retrieve the cargo and prevent further hijackings by Black Sun.
Nar Shaddaa operations
- "Wish I had better news to report. We're fumbling in the dark right now."
- ―Bureau Chief Rieekan
On Nar Shaddaa, the SIS established a sizable covert operation. Led by Bureau Chief Rieekan, agents tracked Imperial and Hutt Cartel movements on the planet. When personnel from a program designed to create super-soldiers called the Power Guard Project went missing, including Agent Galen, the SIS immediately began investigating assisted by a Jedi Knight. The Jedi Knight found out at the SIS headquarters that Agent Galen should have been at the Power Guard recruitment center. Upon the Knights arrival, the Knight found that Imperials had raided the recruitment center. Vell Narroc, an SIS Power Guard recruiter, informed that Knight that Galen had been captured and taken by the Sith to the Power Guard Cybernetics Lab. There the knight was able to track down Galen's whereabouts and also discovered that the Sith had taken over the Power Guard project.
Returning to the SIS safe house, the Jedi Knight found that Imperial forces had raided the place, killing several agents including Chief Rieekan. Special Agent Tander took over as acting Bureau Chief. The Jedi Knight headed off to Shadow Town to retrieve Galen and take down Lord Sadic, the Sith commander who was behind the Empire's operations. Beginning at the SIS base outside of Shadow Town, a Imperial prison camp, the Knight fought to where Galen was located. However, Galen had been turned into a Power Guard cyborg and was slaved to the commands of Sadic through pain infliction. After fighting the Knight, Galen fled to Sadic's lab and attacked the Sith only to be defeated and severely wounded. The Knight also went to Sadic's lab but was able to kill him. Special Agent Tander along with Agent Diyaz and commandos from Black Star Squad destroyed the Power Guard files as well as Sadic's lab and any equipment associated with the project. Agent Galen, freed from his enslavement, was given a special assignment by the SIS where his unique cyborg powers would be needed.
- "Have to hand it to the SIS. Nobody does "nondescript" quite like them."
- ―Jedi Kira Carsen
On Ord Mantell, an Imperial spy named Alma began operations while staying in a refugee camp outside of Fort Garnik. She asked a Republic individual to retrieve a family heirloom necklace from her home in Talloran village—a small town that had been taken over by the Mantellian Separatist Movement. Ebenga, an Arcona SIS agent stationed on Ord Mantell, was able to intercept the individual and reveal to them that Alma was in fact a spy and that the heirloom necklace is a recording device. After retrieving the device, the individual gave it to Ebenga who passed it on to the SIS for decryption and analysis.
The SIS also provided technical support and intelligence for a trooper sent to track down defected Republic Special Forces soldier and rampant war droids. On Tatooine, the SIS investigated a Czerka Arms facility, which the company abandoned despite having labeled it as containing a doomsday device. The SIS was short staffed on Tatooine and enlisted the help of an individual to secure the doomsday device.
On Voss, an up and coming Sith named Durik Vesh went into the Nightmare Lands seeking the source of the dark side energy there. During his travel, Vesh became mad before being captured by Republic forces and taken to a SIS camp on the planet. There interrogators attempted to extract information on the Empire and the Nightmare Lands from Vesh's addled brain. The SIS eventually decided to move him to a different location. Darth Serevin discovered the intentions of the SIS and sent the Sith Lord Kallig to ambush the convoy and kill Vesh, preventing him from revealing any more information to the SIS.
Operation End Game
The Ascendant Spear, a Terminus-class destroyer by design, began to be modified into a long-range battle cruiser near the end of the Cold War. With enhanced hyperdrive capabilities and a devastating megalaser primary weapon, the Ascendant Spear was considered by many to be an Imperial superweapon. It would be commanded—directly—by Darth Karrid through a cybernetic interface.
The Republic had become aware of the ship several years earlier, when a covert SIS operation had uncovered its existence in the Vesla system. Eventually, the understanding of the threat coalesced into a mission to Imperial space in which SIS agent Theron Shan teamed with Jedi Master Gnost-Dural to steal a black cipher encryption device from the Empire in order to track the ship's movements. The functionality of the encryption device was proven when the SIS learned of an impending imperial attack on the Republic agriworld Ruan. But, in order to protect the knowledge that the Republic possessed the cipher device, Supreme Commander Jace Malcom was unable to send any military assistance to aid the doomed world. The Imperial forces attacked, killing thousands and destroying Ruan's agricultural production capabilities.
Karrid began selection of her next target, while Republic forced hurriedly arranged for a trap to be laid. Through the actions of Republic covert intelligence, Darth Karrid was lured into attacking the Republic shipyards at the planet Duro. The ambush was a success. The Republic forces under Supreme Commander Malcom were able to engage and destroy the fleet commanded by Moff Nezzor, which in turned allowed Agent Shan and Master Gnost-Dural to infiltrate the Ascendant Spear itself. The pair were able to defeat Karrid, and the Imperial superweapon was destroyed.
The Second Great War
Theron Shan helped plan the Korriban Incursion in 3637 BBY in order to retrieve strategic data to turn the tide of the war. After the Assault on Tython, which coincided with their assault on Korriban, Theron became suspicious of a conspiracy involving Colonel Rian Darok and Darth Arkous. Theron spied on Darok and updated a Republic ally on his suspicious behavior, noting that he didn't turn over the intelligence to the SIS.
Theron later came into contact with Lana Beniko, Arkous' adviser, who too suspected that her superior was up to no good. They determined that the attacks were smash-and-grabs meant to recover Rakata technology. They dispatched a strike team to Manaan, where they besieged an underwater base where Arkous and Darok were creating invincible cyborg supersoldiers. However, the two conspirators managed to escape with their research and scuttled the base, leaving the team to die. Theron managed to help the strike team escape before the base reached crush depth. Once they rendezvoused with Lana, the Sith revealed that Arkous and Darok were members of the Order of Revan. They then joined by Jakarro, a Wookiee smuggler who was imprisoned by the Revanites after delivering their medical supplies, wanting revenge against the two men. Theron agreed to work with him to track down the Revanites.
After aiding the pursuers in tracking down Arkous and Darok to Lehon (then called "Rakata Prime"), Theron had hoped for the capture of the two Revanite leaders to learn more of their plans; however, both refused to submit and were killed as a result. It was then that the real Revanite leader was revealed to be none other than Revan himself. Escaping from Rakata Prime, Theron met with Lana, Jakarro, and their allies one last time on Manaan, where he revealed that he was classified as a "disavowed rogue agent, apprehend on sight" (as opposed to the others, who received death sentences - twelve, in Jakarro's case), believing that Director Trant had managed to grant him the "lesser" punishment. However, in order to avoid being located by the Revanites, he, Lana and Jakarro were forced to go into hiding, leaving their allies to deal with hunting down Revan and his followers.
- "I've got an agency stretched thin, a bounty on my head, and an ex-wife under Senate investigation—I don't need more worries."
- ―Marcus Trant
The Director had served in the SIS since its early years when it was a branch of the Senate Library. By the time the war ended, he had climbed through the ranks and attained the position of Director. Along the way he made sacrifices in his personal life when his marriage fell apart, and in public where he had to contend with a thinly stretched agency and bounty that had been placed on his head. However, he realized his role to be vital. To him the Senate and the Jedi Order were age old institutions that hated change and so a flexible organization was needed to protect the Republic, a role the Director felt the SIS filled and so deserved his loyalty.
- "I have a standing invitation to spend time with the skyraiders of Thonboka. I may take them up on it—I've never flown in a saddle, and Coruscant is getting stale..."
"Dont give me that leave of absence garbage."
- ―Theron Shan and the Director
Theron Shan was an agent for the SIS during the Cold War in the years following the Treaty of Coruscant. Shan was good at his work, though his attitude was one of both sarcasm and, to a certain degree, resentfulness of his abilities as a spy and the life he led. Shan was also the secret son of Grand Master Satele Shan and was raised by Jedi Master Ngani Zho. Shan continued in some of the Jedi traditions by meditating and fasting in the morning before he gave up the latter habit. While investigating the Black Sun crime syndicate for possibly selling slaves to the Sith Empire, Shan captured a female Twi'lek named Teff'ith who was involved in the deal. In a move that expressed his own brand of humor, Shan did not turn her over to Coruscant Security instead opting to take her, bound and chained, on his newly assigned mission to find Ngani Zho. He later developed a tentative working relationship with her and released her after the mission. Shan was also accompanied on his mission by his droid, M-6.
- "Doctor Tarnis is the least of our worries, General."
- ―Galen, in reference to several security breaches
Galen served as an agent for the SIS during the Cold War. In 3643 BBY he was called in along with agents of the Coruscant Security Force to investigate the theft of several plans of the Planet Prison superweapon. Galen discovered the location of the thief in Migrant Merchants' Guild territory. With the assistance of the Jedi, the plans were recovered. However, with the Doctor Tarnis missing along with the Planet Prison, Galen's task became more difficult. Galen sent the Jedi and CSF agents to rescue Tarnis from the Black Sun kidnappers at the Coruscant Spaceport. While there they found that it was a distraction and that Tarnis was really deep in Black Sun territory. Galen then offered the assistance of the CSF Special Tactical Unit to rescue Tarnis. Galen himself went to secure other vital Republic stations. The Jedi, along with the Tactical Unit, were able to locate the supposed hideout only to find that Tarnis was in fact a Sith Lord. Afterwards, Galen headed to Nar Shaddaa to secure the Power Guard Project. There he was captured by the Sith operatives and turned into a power guard soldier himself, slaved to the commands of Sith Lord Sadic. Galen fought back but was defeated and severely injured. He later went on to be planted by the SIS behind enemy lines.
Behind the scenes
The SIS was created for Star Wars: The Old Republic, a massively multiplayer online roleplaying game (MMORPG) by BioWare released on December 20, 2011. The organization is not playable, but is featured heavily in various class stories. The SIS also took a lead role in the Star Wars: The Old Republic—The Lost Suns comic book series which began publication in June 2011.
Though the SWTOR website Timeline 2 online video refers to it as Republic Strategic Information Systems, The Old Republic developer and writer of The Lost Suns comics Alexander Freed confirmed its official name as the Republic Strategic Information Service and it has appeared under that name in following publications.
- The Old Republic, Blood of the Empire Act 1: Shades of the Sith (Mentioned only)
- Timeline 2: The Mandalorian Blockade is Broken (First mentioned)
- Timeline 4: The Empire Changes Strategy (Mentioned only)
- The Old Republic: Fatal Alliance
- Star Wars: The Old Republic
- The Old Republic—The Lost Suns 1
- The Old Republic—The Lost Suns 2
- The Old Republic—The Lost Suns 3
- The Old Republic—The Lost Suns 4
- The Old Republic—The Lost Suns 5
- "The Last Battle of Colonel Jace Malcom"—Star Wars Insider 137 (Mentioned only)
- The Old Republic: Annihilation
- Star Wars: The Old Republic: Rise of the Hutt Cartel (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: The Old Republic: Galactic Strongholds
- Star Wars: The Old Republic: Shadow of Revan
- Star Wars: The Old Republic: Knights of the Fallen Empire (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: The Old Republic: Knights of the Eternal Throne (Mentioned only)
- Timeline at SWTOR.com
- (Indirect mention only)
- The Art and Making of Star Wars: The Old Republic
- The Journal of Master Gnost-Dural
- Star Wars: The Old Republic Explorer's Guide
- Star Wars: The Old Republic Encyclopedia
- "Blaster"—Star Wars Insider 137
Notes and references
- Developer Alexander Freed on the SWTOR community forums
- Interview with Developer Alexander Freed
- Republic Strategic Information Service on Star Wars: The Old Republic Wiki