For other uses, see Ruling Council and Imperial Council.

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"You're pulling strings, Admiral. I don't know what they're connected to or why you're pulling them. I don't even know who you are or where you come from. You are little more than a shadow—and yet you lead the Empire."
―Rae Sloane, to Gallius Rax[1]

The Shadow Council was a military advisory council consisting of high-ranking officials of the Galactic Empire. It was led by Counselor to the Empire Gallius Rax, with Grand Admiral Rae Sloane serving as proxy, and was intended to replace the Imperial Ruling Council as the new covert governing council. The Shadow Council was created following the Battle of Endor during the final phase of the Galactic Civil War by Fleet Admiral Gallius Rax in 5 ABY as a secret advisory council to lead the Empire while supporting an official figurehead in the form of Grand Admiral Rae Sloane, and to succeed the more egalitarian Imperial Ruling Council. However, Counselor Rax planned to eliminate the then-Shadow Council during the Battle of Jakku, with the exception of Commandant Brendol Hux, whom he regarded as essential to revitalizing the Empire. Ultimately, the Shadow Council met its end on Jakku—though Admiral Sloane, Commandant Hux, and Grand Moff Randd survived—it was restored by 9 ABY. Commandant Hux, once again a member, was joined by other loyalists, such as Moff Gideon and Captain Gilad Pellaeon, as part of a plot to subsist the New Republic.


Rae Sloane-WOTG

Grand Admiral Rae Sloane served as the public leader of the Shadow Council.

The Shadow Council was a military advisory council created by Fleet Admiral Gallius Rax during the final stages of the Galactic Civil War, succeeding the failed Imperial Ruling Council. It was created to govern the elements in the Galactic Empire that remained loyal to the late Emperor as a covert ruling body.[1]

During the Galactic Civil War, the Shadow Council was publicly led by Grand Admiral Rae Sloane, though the true power came from Fleet Admiral Gallius Rax. Following Sloane's desertion, Rax gave himself the title of Counselor to the Empire, ruling as the de facto leader of the Shadow Council and the Galactic Empire's[1] loyalist forces.[7] Other members of the Shadow Council included Grand Moff Randd, who was selected as the leader of the Imperial Navy, General Hodnar Borrum as commander of the Imperial Army, Commandant Brendol Hux, and chief informational officer Ferric Obdur as the Shadow Council's propagandist.[1] Grand Admiral Sloane returned, and was a survivor of the Shadow Council along with Commandant Hux. Randd retreated to the Queluhan Nebula and formed his own remnant, while General Borrum was on Jakku's surface.[2]


Rise to power[]

The Shadow Council was an advisory council created by Fleet Admiral Gallius Rax[1] in 5 ABY,[4] to govern the Galactic Empire from behind the scenes one year after the cataclysmic Battle of Endor, which saw the deaths of both Emperor Palpatine and his lieutenant, Darth Vader - the acting Commander-in-Chief[8] - resulting in the fragmentation of the Empire. The Council consisted of the most talented and able 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 body.[1]


Grand Moff Randd was one of a handful of individuals brought by Fleet Admiral Rax to form the Shadow Council.

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 then 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. Grand Admiral Sloane and Commandant Hux were joined by the chief informational officer Ferric Obdur, Grand Moff Randd, and General Hodnar Borrum.[1]

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.[1]

Smoke and mirrors[]

"No. A larger plan. This aberration of an attack must not become our dominant mode of doing business, Adea. We must deal with Rax quickly. Mercilessly. If he is given time, he will spin this as only he can. He will attempt to convince the others that it was sensible, a necessary evil."
"What if they do? Surely the New Republic will be left reeling—"
"Don't be seduced by Rax… The Empire is a hammer striking down disorder, not a knife slipped between unsuspecting ribs. Rax must be arrested. And then executed. I will be the one to do it."
―Rae Sloane and Adea Rite react to the Attack on Chandrila[1]

Later, Rax informed Sloane that he was planning to attack the New Republic capital of Chandrila. To perpetuate the image of a weakened Galactic Empire, Fleet Admiral Rax instructed Grand Admiral 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.[1]

Battle of Jakku

The Battle of Jakku was the culmination of Counselor Rax's efforts.

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. 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.[1] 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 the Empire.[2]

Death of an empire[]

"Go to it [the Eclipse]. Leave this place. Find a new demesne. Start the game over. Undeserving. I am undeserving. Just a skittermouse, not a vworkka. Outcast, always the outcast. Shah-tezh. Cora Vessora. Undeserved…"
―Gallius Rax's final words, spoken to Rae Sloane[2]

Under the leadership of Rax, the Shadow Council marshaled the Empire 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.[2]


Bringing about the fall of the Galactic Empire, the Battle of Jakku was a death blow to the fractured Imperial regime.

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.[2]

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 at the urge of a dying Rax.[2]


"Grand Admiral Thrawn's return will herald in the reemergence of our military."
―Gilad Pellaeon[6]

A Shadow Council of the Imperial Remnants existed during the New Republic Era.

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 Sloane, Hux, Randd and Borrum. Randd escaped the destruction of the Ravager[2] and led his own Imperial forces in the Queluhan Nebula.[9] Sloane and Hux commanded the Imperial fleet and officials[10] that regrouped as an Imperial remnant in the Unknown Regions[2] and would go on to reform[10] as the First Order.[11]

By approximately 9 ABY,[5] the Shadow Council had been reorganized under the ostensible leadership of Grand Admiral Thrawn and grown to include delegations from other remnants of the Old Empire. These new members included Moff Gideon, Captain Gilad Pellaeon, Commandant Brendol Hux, and at least six other Imperial warlords.[6] Sometime after the pirate siege on Nevarro,[12] Moff Gideon attended a meeting of the Shadow Council to discuss the Mandalorian threat on his operations. He requested three Imperial Praetorian Guards and a squadron of TIE/IN interceptors and TIE/sa bombers to deal with them, which Commandant Hux reluctantly agreed to, under Captain Pellaeon's approval. During that same meeting, Moff Gideon questioned Captain Pellaeon on the absence of Grand Admiral Thrawn, mockingly pointing out the lack of any concrete evidence of the Chiss commander's "imminent return." The warlord then suggested the council needed new leadership, implying his own ambition to assume that mantle. Moff Gideon also discussed Project Necromancer with Commandant Hux, who accused him of using Doctor Penn Pershing to advance his own cloning experiments on Nevarro.[6]

Behind the scenes[]

The Shadow Council first appeared in Chuck Wendig's 2016 novel Aftermath: Life Debt, the second installment in the Aftermath trilogy.[1]



Notes and references[]

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