- "This is almost the edge of known space, about as far from the Empire as a body can get. Why'd we come all this way, Princess?"
- ―Chedaki, to Leia Organa
Shiva IV was a planet in Wild Space that was noted for its extremely remote location, far from the auspices of the Galactic Empire. A world with a history soaked in blood, Shiva IV was marked by generations of warfare between the Human Calian Confederacy and the Twelve Tribes of T'Syriél, which forged both peoples into extremely formidable fighters. In 2 ABY, that conflict was finally brought to an end when Calian Warlord Aron Peacebringer signed the Concordat of Peace with T'Syriél Demarch Kéral Longknife. Although the Galactic Empire attempted to conquer Shiva IV one year later, Peacebringer and elements of the Rebel Alliance repelled the invasion.
Located in the Shiva system in Wild Space, Shiva IV was a small world that was noted for its extremely remote location, far from the powers that ruled the galaxy. Shiva IV was covered in vast deserts—which natives called the "Drylands"—and skyscraping mountains, and had conditions suitable to support large civilizations of Humans and other humanoids. The planet had multiple moons, and the moons being down in the sky often made visibility difficult. Shiva IV was located just a short distance from a black hole, formed out of a collapsed star just a few kilometers in diameter.
- "When a starship, or a city, or a planet is destroyed, so many are killed—the numbers are so huge, so incomprehensible—that the Human mind cannot relate to them. But when a single person dies—at one's hands, before one's eyes—it is like looking into a mirror. A bond has been forged between living and dead. A price is demanded of the victor—the terrible awareness that he or she or it has taken the rarest and most precious thing in all creation: a sentient life. I was twelve years old when I made my first such kill, and on that day I swore I would bring the killing on Shiva to an end!"
- ―Aron Peacebringer
Shiva IV had a long, bloody history marked by generations of almost constant warfare between two nation-states: the Calian Confederacy of the planet's Human population, and the Twelve Tribes of T'Syriél, a large and powerful warrior band of the world's native T'Syriél. Centuries of battle turned both the Calians and the T'Syriél into strong martial cultures, and ancient ruins from wars long past dotted Shiva IV's landscape, including cities that had been annihilated by nuclear bombs at some point during the planet's history. By the era of the Galactic Civil War, natives of Shiva IV had access to advanced repulsorcraft, yet still fought with simple, traditional melee weapons.
The long-running enmity between the Calians and T'Syriél came to an end in 2 ABY, when a warrior known as Aron—later called "Peacebringer"—ascended to the title of Warlord of the Calian Confederacy, and signed the Concordat of Peace with Kéral Longknife, Demarch of the Twelve Tribes. However, it wasn't long until conflict again touched Shiva IV. By the next year, Shiva IV had fallen into the sights of the Galactic Empire, which assigned Kaleesh General Bentilais san Sk'ar to conquer the world. Sk'ar planned to do so through subterfuge, hiring both disaffected Calians—including Ygal Delois, the captain of Peacebringer's personal guard—and T'Syriél into his army to give the impression to any onlookers that the truce had been broken. In addition, Sk'ar used an anti-matter bomb to destroy the outlying city K'avor, hoping to destabilize the planet's governing powers.
Not long after, a small Rebel task force arrived to investigate what it saw as an unusual amount of Imperial interest in such an outlying system—after their ship was damaged by anti-matter micromines left in orbit, the group's leader, Leia Organa, crashed on Shiva IV alone. Peacebringer and Longknife happened upon Organa in the wastes and rescued her, bringing her back to the capital of Illyriaqüm. Sk'ar revealed himself and attempted to attack Illyriaqüm soon afterward, but due to timely assistance from Rebel agents Luke Skywalker, Lando Calrissian and Chewbacca, Sk'ar's plot to destroy the throne city with an anti-matter bomb was foiled and the Imperials chased off the planet.
- "The battle madness of my people is a fearsome, fearful thing—a berserker rage that transforms one into a super-human, nigh-irresistible killing machine—as the Imperials I faced soon learned."
- ―Aron Peacebringer
Shiva IV was inhabited by significant populations of Humans and the planet's native T'Syriél, both of whom spent many years at war with one another for supremacy. The centuries of conflict forged both peoples into formidable warriors—Shiva IV's Human population, called the Calians, were tall, strong and muscular, and were known for entering a "battle madness" that turned them into almost unstoppable fighters. For their part the T'Syriél also had a proud warrior heritage, though in the aftermath of the Concordat of Peace, many T'Syriél fell away from the ways of their ancestors and resorted to lives of banditry in the outlands. Both peoples' culture developed with almost no influence or contact with the wider galaxy, and they spoke a Calian language that was incomprehensible to outsiders and not registered in any translatacomp.
Calian society on Shiva IV surrounded the great throne city of Illyriaqüm, a large settlement of gleaming buildings and towers highlighted by the Warlord's palace and its Great Hall. However, Calian territory stretched as far as the outlands, with cities like K'avor located upwards as halfway around the world from Illyriaqüm. K'avor had a population of 500,000 as of 3 ABY, although all of its population was killed or captured after the Imperial attack.
Behind the scenes
Shiva IV first appeared in Star Wars (1977) 53, written by Chris Claremont and released in 1981. Most of the art from Star Wars 53 and 54 was not originally intended for a Star Wars story—it was originally intended for Marvel Comics' John Carter, Warlord of Mars series, which had been canceled in 1979. Wanting to use 30 pages or so of fully penciled artwork, Marvel had artist Carmine Infantino adapt the pages for Star Wars, transforming the planet Mars into Shiva IV.
- Star Wars (1977) 53 (First appearance)
- Star Wars (1977) 54
- Star Wars (1977) 55 (Mentioned only)
- (Mentioned only)
- "ComicScan: Where Leia Lets Loose" – Star Wars Galaxy Magazine 12 (Indirect mention only)
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Essential Atlas
- "Authors of the Expanded Universe: Chris Claremont" – Star Wars Insider 146