Slayers were elite Yuuzhan Vong soldiers, created at the end of the Yuuzhan Vong War to protect Supreme Overlord Shimrra and fight the Jedi Knights. Their creation was a violation of the Shaping protocols and caste system, associating them with the heresy secretly encouraged by Shimrra. In fact, the Slayers originated as Force-sensitive slaves that had been grown from tissue samples of Jedi and then transformed and altered by the shaper caste.
Origins and abilitiesEdit
- "To prove the Force a farce indeed,
Shimrra's will the shapers heed;
Birthing troops of mingled caste
Great Nas Choka they will outlast!"
The Slayers were muscular, dark-skinned males, short and stocky by Yuuzhan Vong standards—they were even shorter than Warmaster Nas Choka, clad typically only in traditional waist-wraps, and bearing insignia of caste and elevation appropriate to both priests and warriors. When Shimrra presented them to the Elite, their appearance caused a scandal. Some denounced their creation as heresy and a violation of the Caste system, and Supreme Commander Chaan dared to say that they looked like Shamed Ones—but once a pair of Slayers managed to kill Chaan and his entire cadre of ten warriors, criticism was quickly silenced. As well as a practical means of securing their own position, this display of warrior skill also acted as a deterrent against challenges to Shimrra's authority within the Yuuzhan Vong, either from the Quorealist opposition, the Jeedai heresy, or any who were perturbed by decisions like the creation of the Slayers themselves.
In reality, the Supreme Overlord was himself a heretic, and may have viewed the creation of the Slayers, by violating shaping protocols and caste systems, as the mean of declaring war against his own Yun'o. The Slayers were in fact human slaves, Force-sensitives grown from tissue samples taken from Jedi, and then transformed by the shaper caste.
The Slayers were equipped with a suite of combat biots designed by Master Shaper Qelah Kwaad. Their skin—the black color of dried Yuuzhan Vong blood—was in fact supple, fast-healing armor bonded to their bodies, and they were equipped with the spiked close-combat implants known as Steng's Talons, as well as new variants of the amphistaff and coufee. They also flew a new type of coralskipper, heavy fighters that resembled voxyn in appearance, equipped with new weapon systems, better defense, and capable of hyperspace travel; at least some of these ships were also outfitted with passenger compartments.
The Slayers were introduced as "Shimrra's Jeedai", designed to serve as bodyguards for the Supreme Overlord, and as warriors who could match the Jedi in combat. Reflecting this, Qelah Kwaad demonstrated their body armor with a slash of Anakin Solo's lightsaber across a Slayer's torso. They were called Slayers in honor of Yun-Yammka, the God of War, and in this context, it may be significant that the Supreme Overlord equated Yun-Yammka with Jedi Master Luke Skywalker; Nom Anor had also once associated Luke Skywalker, the leader of the New Jedi Order with the rank of Warmaster, the servant of Yun-Yammka, during his report to Tsavong Lah. Their fighting style was very similar to that of the Jedi, concentrating on the use of bladed weapons, deflecting thud bugs and blaster bolts, and full of high leaps and rapid movements, in which it was comparable to the Force-boosted acrobatics the Yuuzhan Vong had seen Luke Skywalker and Anakin Solo perform, derived ultimately from the traditional Ataru style of fighting.
However, there is some question of whether the new implants and equipment created by Qelah Kwaad were the only thing that distinguished "Shimrra's Jeedai" from normal Yuuzhan Vong. The stocky physique of the Slayers was explained with the claim that the faster metabolic rate of shorter warriors aided the healthy grafting of the new implants, but in fact, stocky hominids do not typically have a faster metabolism. Inasmuch as basal metabolic rate is defined by physique, it is a short and thin physique, with a higher ratio of body surface area to volume, that typically correlates to a faster metabolism. Additionally, alongside Qelah Kwaad, an unidentified Shaper Adept was closely associated with the Slayers, supervising them on their introduction on Yuuzhan'tar and during their first field deployment on Caluula, where she proved herself highly skilled and unselfconsciously heretical.
Role in combatEdit
In combat, the Slayers proved capable warriors, but they were unable to prevent the Yuuzhan Vong defeat, and no record exists of a Slayer defeating a Jedi Knight in open combat. Their first operational deployment was on Caluula, where they captured a Galactic Alliance team including the Jedi Kyp Durron and Leia Organa Solo, but most of them fell sick when Alpha Red caused them to reject their implants. When Luke Skywalker and Jacen and Jaina Solo faced Shimrra in his throne room, they encountered a second group of Slayers which Shimrra had kept close as bodyguards, and the three Jedi defeated them in a brief, but vicious battle.
One survivor of the Caluula team remained, however—a warrior on whom the effects of Alpha Red had been somehow arrested by the Shaper Adept attached to the mission. During the closing stages of the Battle of Yuuzhan'tar, he bravely mounted an attack run on Zonama Sekot in his coralskipper, which Wedge Antilles grimly likened to Luke Skywalker's X-wing trench-run thirty years earlier at the Battle of Yavin. In this encounter, however, the living planet used the Force to fling the ship out into deep space, preventing the attack.
This Slayer's subsequent fate is unknown, and while he would certainly be the only unaccounted member of the cadres encountered in combat, it is possible that other warriors may have been created who did not see combat, or who were initially taken into the program but did not receive the full suite of biots. A warrior who may have been a failed Slayer led the followers of the Jeedai Heresy in their attack on Shimrra's palace: he appeared to be a warrior, and wore the shoulder spikes of a subaltern, but some of the upper joints of his fingers had been removed, something otherwise associated with the Priest caste. Curiously, given his leadership role among the heretics, and his knowledge of the way into private areas of the palace, it is not impossible that this warrior was in fact none other than Kunra.
Master Shaper Qelah Kwaad certainly survived the war, becoming a member of the troika which took over leadership of the Yuuzhan Vong after their surrender—and with her, presumably, the knowledge to create the suite of Slayer biots was preserved.
Behind the scenesEdit
It is unclear whether the claim about a correlation between a fast metabolic rate and the Slayers' stocky physique is simply a blooper, or if it means that the full truth about their origins has not yet been revealed. Some fans have speculated that the Slayers were in fact clones of Jedi, perhaps of members of the Myrkr strike team. There is also the distinct possibility that Yuuzhan Vong metabolism differs from humans. For all their similarities, they were, after all, an alien race.
In the 2012 reference guide The Essential Guide to Warfare, it was revealed that the Slayers were not in fact Yuuzhan Vong at all—they were Force-sensitive human slaves grown from tissue samples taken from Jedi, and they were augmented and transformed by shapers.
- The New Jedi Order: The Unifying Force (First appearance)