- "... I'm forming a Shadow Council to govern the Empire from behind the scenes. Only the finest of our kind: the first and highest order of Imperial minds..."
- ―Gallius Rax
The Shadow Council was a secret advisory council that had been created by Fleet Admiral Gallius Rax in 5 ABY. Rax created the Council in order to govern the fragmented Galactic Empire from behind the scenes while supporting an official figurehead in the form of Grand Admiral Rae Sloane. In secret, Rax planned to eliminate the Shadow Council during the Battle of Jakku, with the exception of Commandant Brendol Hux, whom he regarded as essential to revitalizing the Empire.
Smoke and mirrors
The Shadow Council was a secret advisory council created by Fleet Admiral Gallius Rax in 5 ABY, to govern the Galactic Empire from behind the scenes one year after the cataclysmic Battle of Endor, which saw the death of Emperor Palpatine and the fragmentation of the Empire. The Council consisted of the most talented and ablest Imperial minds within the Imperial military and bureaucracy, which had been depleted by the Galactic Civil War. With the intent of having it succeed the more egalitarian Imperial Ruling Council as the primary directorate of the Empire, Rax intended for it to be far more covert, serving as more of an advisory board as opposed to an actual oligarchal organization.
Fleet Admiral Rax revealed his plan to create the Shadow Council during a meeting with Grand Admiral Rae Sloane to discuss rescuing Brendol Hux, the Commandant of the Arkanis Academy. Rax identified Sloane and Hux as prospective candidates for the Shadow Council. After the bounty hunter Mercurial Swift had rescued Hux and his son Armitage Hux, Rax convened the inaugural meeting of the Shadow Council aboard the Super Star Destroyer Ravager, which served as the flagship for Imperial forces in the Vulpinus Nebula. Sloane and Hux were joined by the chief informational officer Ferric Obdur, Grand Moff Randd, and General Hodnar Borrum.
During the dinner conversation, Sloane and Obdur advocated promoting the narrative that the Empire were the underdogs in the struggle against the New Republic, the successor to the Rebel Alliance. Pleased with the vigorous exchange of ideas among the delegates, Rax introduced himself and then informed the Shadow Council about his plan to retake the galaxy from the New Republic. Rax secretly commanded other Imperial forces in the Almagest, the Recluse's Nebula, the Queluhan Nebula, the Ro-Loo Triangle, and the Inamorata. He planned to use these forces along with the Imperial factory worlds of Zhadalene, Korrus, and Belladoon to launch a renewed offensive against the Rebellion.
Later, Rax informed Grand Admiral Sloane that he was planning to attack the New Republic capital of Chandrila. To perpetuate the image of a weakened Galactic Empire, Rax instructed Sloane to initiate peace talks with Chancellor Mon Mothma. Rax's attack on the New Republic ultimately turned out to be an assassination attempt on the New Republic leadership using former rebel prisoners from Ashmead's Lock as unwilling assassins. When Sloane objected to Rax's tactics, Rax's agent Adea Rite attempted to assassinate the Grand Admiral but Sloane managed to escape.
In Sloane's absence, Rax convened the Shadow Council a second time. Claiming that Sloane had been captured by the New Republic, Rax assumed the position of Counselor to the Empire. General Borrum objected to Rax's decision on the grounds that Rax was failing to provide the Empire with a figurehead leader. Nevertheless, Rax managed to advise the Shadow Council to assemble the remaining Imperial forces above the planet Jakku for a showdown with the New Republic. In secret, Rax planned to eliminate the Shadow Council with the exception of General Hux, whom he saw as essential to rebuilding the Empire. Rax was the executor of the Emperor's posthumous Contingency plan to tear down the Empire should the Emperor die and to bring a chosen elect into the Unknown Regions to rebuild a new Empire.
Showdown on Jakku
Under the leadership of Rax, the Shadow Council marshaled the Imperials to Jakku. There, they waited for several months for the New Republic to attack. During that period, Rax used the harsh conditions of the desert world to toughen the Imperial forces into a more savage and violent force. While Rax claimed that he was sharpening the Empire into a stronger force, his true intent was to eradicate those elements of the Empire which he deemed as weak. Meanwhile, Rax planned to take the worthy elect into the Unknown Regions to start anew. While Grand Moff Randd supported Rax's toughening policy, Borrum expressed concern that keeping the Imperial forces on alert for so long would wear his men. The propagandist Obdur found himself sidelined because Rax had little need for propaganda.
Under Rax's orders, Brendol Hux trained twenty-four local Jakku children into a praetorian force of child soldiers who answered only to Counselor Rax. Rax used these assassins to assassinate Obdur, deeming him to have outlived his usefulness. He intended them to become the first of a new generation of stormtroopers. After the New Republic's Galactic Senate dispatched its fleet to Jakku, Counselor Rax briefed his Shadow Council. Grand Moff Randd was placed in command of the Imperial fleet while General Borrum commanded the Imperial ground forces. Rax and Adviser Yupe Tashu then traveled with Hux, his son Armitage, and the child soldiers to the Jakku Observatory.
While the Huxes and the child soldiers waited aboard a replica of the Emperor's yacht Imperialis, Rax and Tashu entered the Jakku Observatory to initiate a self destruction mechanism that would destroy the planet Jakku and the orbiting Imperial and New Republic forces. This was part of the late Emperor's Contingency plan to destroy the belligerents and start anew. Rax killed Tashu after initiating the planet's destruction. However, he was thwarted by Grand Admiral Sloane with the help of the New Republic operatives Norra Wexley and Brentin Lore Wexley. Sloane then stopped the self-destruct mechanism before fleeing into the Unknown Regions with Brendol, Armitage, and the child soldiers.
Following the Battle of Jakku, the Shadow Council apparently disintegrated with the Old Empire. With the deaths of Rax, Obdur, and Tashu, the only known surviving members were Grand Moff Randd and General Borrum. Randd escaped the destruction of the Super Star Destroyer Ravager and joined an Imperial remnant in the Queluhan Nebula.
Behind the scenes
- Aftermath: Life Debt (First appearance)
- Aftermath: Life Debt audiobook
- Aftermath: Empire's End
- Aftermath: Empire's End audiobook
- Star Wars: On the Front Lines (Indirect mention only)
Notes and references
- Aftermath: Life Debt
- Aftermath: Empire's End
- Star Wars: Galactic Atlas dates the Battle of Endor to 4 ABY and further dates Shara Bey and Kes Dameron's move to Yavin 4 in 5 ABY. The move is placed six months after the Battle of Endor by Before the Awakening. Since Aftermath: Life Debt is set just after Shadow Fall, which takes place around six months after the battle, the events of Life Debt must also occur in 5 ABY, around six months after the Battle of Endor.
- Lost Stars