- "With Tales of the Jedi, the potential is as vast as the galaxy itself. We haven't scratched the surface of what TotJ could be. It's so far back in the past, that there is no reason to fear that any story we tell could interfere with core continuity."
- ―Christian Gossett, Tales of the Jedi artist
Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi, abbreviated as TotJ, is a comic book series covering eight story arcs, all published by Dark Horse Comics. Set during the Old Republic era, six of the eight Tales of the Jedi story arcs take place during the time surrounding the events known collectively as the Great Sith War, a conflict instigated by Sith forces aimed at galactic domination. These six story arcs nominally focus on the Jedi Knight-turned-Sith Lord Ulic Qel-Droma; his love interest, Nomi Sunrider; and a cast of supporting characters, including Ulic's own brother, Cay Qel-Droma. Likewise, first appearing in Dark Lords of the Sith, the fallen Jedi Exar Kun went on to become a Dark Lord of the Sith and wage war against the Republic and Jedi. The remaining two story arcs, The Golden Age of the Sith and The Fall of the Sith Empire, occur in the year 5000 BBY and revolve around Sith Lord Naga Sadow and his schemes to invade Republic space through his manipulation of the Daragon siblings, Gav and Jori.
The first story arc, entitled Ulic Qel-Droma and the Beast Wars of Onderon, was written by veteran Star Wars author Tom Veitch and was part of the first series of comics, which eventually became known as Knights of the Old Republic. Veitch went on to write the next two story arcs, The Saga of Nomi Sunrider and The Freedon Nadd Uprising, and co-authored the fourth story arc, Dark Lords of the Sith, with fellow author Kevin J. Anderson. With the successful completion of Dark Lords of the Sith, Anderson continued the Tales of the Jedi series as the sole storyline writer, with Veitch opting not to continue writing for the series. Anderson went on to write the final two story arcs, involving main protagonist Ulic Qel-Droma, completing The Sith War in the spring of 1996 and Redemption in the fall of 1998. In the years between the writing of The Sith War and Redemption, Anderson pioneered two more story arcs, both taking place 1,000 years before the other Tales of the Jedi stories and introducing readers to the events surrounding the Great Hyperspace War.
The Tales of the Jedi saga also produced several non-comic productions, such as the Tales of the Jedi Companion, a sourcebook for West End Games' Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game, and two different audio dramas based on various Tales of the Jedi comics. Tales of the Jedi was the inspiration for the popular Knights of the Old Republic video game series, and a bridging comic has been published by Dark Horse Comics.
- 1 Plot summary
- 2 Main characters
- 3 Development
- 4 Continuity
- 5 Reception
- 6 Legacy
- 7 Media
- 8 Bibliography
- 9 Notes and references
The Golden Age of the Sith
In the year 5000 BBY, in the Koros system, a conflict known as the Unification Wars is underway in an effort to unite the seven worlds located in that system. The main effort is led by Empress Teta, the leader of the Koros Major forces, who are fighting against various armies from other Koros system worlds. To help aid Teta in her fight for unification, the Jedi Knight Odan-Urr is sent by Jedi Master Ooroo to lend his support to the Koros Major forces. Arriving at the city of Cinnagar, located on Koros Major, Odan-Urr is instrumental in helping defeat the armies of the last planet to offer resistance—the world of Kirrek. Utilizing a Force technique known as battle meditation, which he had learned in his studies back on Ossus, Odan-Urr helps demoralize the enemy forces, thus allowing an almost bloodless victory to be had.
Having lost their parents in the Unification Wars, two Force-sensitive siblings, Gav and Jori Daragon, manage to acquire a ship, the Starbreaker 12, which had belonged to their deceased parents. Using their newly-acquired ship, the Daragon siblings set out to make a fortune mapping out new hyperspace routes. In the course of their adventures, however, Gav and Jori find themselves on the run from Ssk Kahorr, a merchant lord who loses a fortune using one of the Daragons' newly mapped routes. Due to this, the duo are themselves destitute and without a ship. Stealing the impounded Starbreaker 12 from its berth at Aarrba's Repair Dock, they plot a completely random set of hyperspace coordinates to escape the authorities, jumping to parts unknown. Eventually, the Daragon siblings' random jump lands them in orbit around the planet of Korriban, where a funeral procession is being held for Marka Ragnos, Dark Lord of the Sith. Prior to the Daragons' arrival, the Sith Lords Naga Sadow and Ludo Kressh had dueled to determine who would be the next reigning Dark Lord of the Sith. However, the spirit of Marka Ragnos appears and advises the Sith Lords that a new threat is upon them, and that they must be prepared. Landing their ship on the outskirts of the procession, Gav and Jori are immediately taken prisoner in the belief that they are spies. Through a series of events put into action by the Sith Lord Naga Sadow, the Daragons are unwittingly used as pawns to help further Sadow's own plans for absolute power over the Sith Empire.
Taking their prisoners to the fortress world of Ziost, the Sith Lords gather to discuss the Daragons and their true purpose on Korriban. After a long debate between those present, it is decided that the potential threat that Gav and Jori represent is too great, and that they are to be executed to prevent them from letting the Republic learn of the Sith. However, believing that Gav and Jori Daragon possess the key he needs to expand the Sith Empire, Naga Sadow sends one of his Massassi warriors to retrieve the prisoners' weapons from the Starbreaker 12, developing a plan through which he will gain control using lies and deception. As such, Sadow starts events in motion which will have long-lasting consequences for the Sith Empire. Utilizing only his loyal Massassi warriors, Sadow frees both Gav and Jori from their prison cells. As part of his plan, Sadow and his warriors kill a number of Massassi guards, as well as the Sith Lord Simus. Planting an acquired Republic blaster at the scene of Simus's murder, Sadow effectively sows the seeds needed so that the other Sith Lords will believe that the Republic is responsible for the both the Daragons' escape and the various murders that have taken place. Following their "escape" from the Ziost prison, Gav and Jori are sent to Sadow's personal stronghold on the moon of Khar Shian. Meanwhile Sadow, along with all the other Sith Lords, is summoned to Ziost for an emergency meeting to discuss the missing prisoners, and the murders that had occurred. The majority of the other Sith Lords are indecisive about what to do, and squabbling begins to break out among various factions. During the chaos and confusion of the meeting, Sadow takes the opportunity available and claims the vacant title of Dark Lord of the Sith. Believing that leadership is now required in the face of the dangers present, the majority of the other Sith Lords acknowledge Sadow as the new Dark Lord, thus swearing fealty to him. However, Sadow's rival Ludo Kressh and those loyal to him refuse to accept Sadow as the new Dark Lord, storming out of the meeting.
Believing that the first phase of his plan is coming to fruition, Naga Sadow orders his Massassi warriors to retrieve the Starbreaker 12 from the Ziost hangar, and plant a hidden tracking beacon on it. He then travels to his decoy fortress on Khar Delba, where Jori Daragon has been taken. Through Sadow's own designs, Ludo Kressh discovers that the new Dark Lord of the Sith is the one who was actually behind the prisoners' escape, as well as the murder of Simus. Rallying together with the Sith Lords who support him, Horak-mul and Dor Gal-ram, Kressh prepares his fleet for an attack against Sadow's fortress on Khar Delba. Arriving, Kressh's fleet commences a bombardment of the apparently defenseless fortress. During the initial stages of the attack, Sadow is able to convince Jori Daragon that she has to return to the Republic before the fortress is destroyed. Reluctant to leave Gav behind, Jori agrees to leave after Sadow presents her with a holorecording in which her brother tells her that they will be together again one day soon. Following Jori's jump to hyperspace, Sadow then springs his pre-arranged trap on the attacking fleet of Ludo Kressh. Unbeknown to Kressh, Sadow previously hid his fleet on the dark side of Khar Shian. Recalling his hidden might to action, Sadow's forces are able to hem in Kressh's combined fleets. Meanwhile, Sadow sends out an order to the Massassi warriors on the ships of Horak-mul and Dol Gal-ram, ordering them to kill the Sith Lords. With the assassinations complete, the Massassi warriors then direct their ships' fire on the ships of Ludo Kressh. Realizing what has taken place, Kressh is left with no choice but to retreat from the onslaught. With his power firmly established, the Dark Lord of the Sith Naga Sadow prepares his armies for an invasion of Republic space, intending to use the hidden tracking beacon placed on the Starbreaker 12.
The Fall of the Sith Empire
Having arrived back on Koros Major, Jori Daragon attempts to contact the local authorities to advise them of the Sith Empire's plans for invasion. However, she is quickly arrested by the planetary forces, her warnings are dismissed as lies, and the Starbreaker 12 is given to Ssk Kahorr as compensation for his losses in using one of the Daragons' hyperspace routes. As payment for the crimes of her and her brother, Jori Daragon is sentenced to work on the colony world of Ronika. However, not long after arriving on the prison planet, Jori escapes by breaking free of her guards, and steals a nearby ore shuttle. Believing that it is her duty to inform Empress Teta and the Jedi about her experiences within the Sith Empire, Jori manages to fly the stolen shuttle back to the royal palace in Cinnagar, and also manages to infiltrate the throne room. Though Empress Teta is skeptical of the information at first, the Jedi Knight Odan-Urr confirms Jori's claims due to their striking similarities with the visions he has been having of an impending war with the Sith.
Meanwhile, the Sith invasion fleet enters Republic space and immediately begins various attacks, including an invasion of the Republic's capital, Coruscant. Under the direction of several Jedi, including Memit Nadill, Tuknatan, and Sonam-Ha'ar, the Republic ground forces are able to mount a hasty defense against the swarming legions of Massassi soldiers and Sith war beasts which land on the planet. Realizing that the Sith are too many in number, Nadill orders the Jedi and Republic forces with him to retreat to the Senate Hall, where he rallies the defenders for a final stand against the invaders. Coinciding with the attack on Coruscant, Sadow's forces focus their efforts on other key Republic worlds, including the planet of Koros Major. The Sith forces which invade Koros Major are temporarily halted, as Teta throws her entire military might into the fight. Realizing that another prong of the Sith invasion is aimed at the planet of Kirrek, also in the Koros system, Odan-Urr leaves Teta, and, along with his Master Ooroo, takes command of the defense of Kirrek. Meanwhile, on Kirrek, the Empress Teta agrees to enlist the help of prisoners captured during the earlier Unification Wars, and allows these rebels to join in the defense against the invading Sith forces.
Witnessing the devastation and strife caused by Sadow's invasion, Gav Daragon is able to finally realize that he has simply been a pawn to the Dark Lord of the Sith from the very beginning. Understanding that he alone is able to halt Sadow's invasion, Daragon, who had been named commander by Sadow, uses his ship's weapons against Sadow's meditation sphere, where the Sith Lord has been using battle meditation to influence the war. Immediately following Daragon's attack run, Sadow loses his concentration in the Force, causing much of the Sith army on Coruscant to simply fade into nothingness. Realizing that a vast portion of the attacking force is merely illusions, Nadill and the other commanders are able to inspire the defenders into pushing back, and eventually defeating, the remaining Sith forces. Wanting to see that the remaining Sith legions are defeated, Daragon transmits the coordinates of Sadow's core fleet, including his meditation sphere, to the fleets of Empress Teta. Knowing that his demise is at hand, Sadow fires a superweapon aboard his meditation sphere, causing several stars around his fleet and that of the Republic to begin to explode. Using the impending devastation as cover, Sadow retreats back to the Sith Empire, only to be confronted by the presumed-dead Ludo Kressh, who had used a decoy ship to fake his own death. Sadow, however, manages to finally kill his long-time rival by crashing one of his remaining ships into the hull of Kressh's flagship, destroying it instantly.
Knowing that the fleets of Teta and the Republic will be able to follow him back to Sith space, Sadow gathers together those Massassi still loyal to him and flees to the uninhabited jungle moon of Yavin 4. Believing that he can one day bring about a new empire for the Sith, Sadow begins construction on Yavin 4, in preparations for the Sith's return to power.
Ulic Qel-Droma and the Beast Wars of Onderon
A thousand years after the defeat of the armies of the Sith Lord Naga Sadow, three Jedi apprentices—the brothers Ulic and Cay Qel-Droma, and the Twi'lek Tott Doneeta—are busy learning the ways of the Jedi from Master Arca Jeth on the planet Arkania. Following a lightsaber training match, in which Ulic demonstrates his skill with the blade, Master Jeth gathers his three apprentices to tell them the history of a planet called Onderon; thousands of years before, Jeth explains, the atmospheres of Onderon and one of its four moons, Dxun, briefly came into contact with one another, thus allowing the native flying beasts from the jungles of Dxun to migrate to the surface of Onderon. Even though the primitive native Onderonians proved to be easy targets for these gigantic animals, they eventually learned to hunt the great flying beasts which had invaded their world. Jeth continues by explaining how the arrival of the Dxun beasts forced the primitive tribal cultures of Onderon to evolve into a modern civilization, establishing themselves in the walled city of Iziz, thus allowing for an easier defense against the flying beasts. As Iziz grew, so did its laws and customs. As part of these customs, criminals are cast out into the wild, beyond the protection afforded by Iziz's walls. However, these criminals eventually learned to tame the flying beasts, and managed to organize themselves into war bands against Iziz.
These exiled criminals, who Master Jeth explain were called "Beast Riders," eventually found themselves in open warfare with the forces of Iziz in a conflict which would come to be known as the Beast Wars. This conflict, the three apprentices learn, has been raging for hundreds of years, and the Onderonian royal family has requested the aid of the Jedi to help bring an effective end to the conflict. Following this, Arca Jeth explains that he has been chosen as the Jedi Watchman for the Onderon system, and that he is going to send his three apprentices to Iziz to help bring about a peaceful end to the Beast Wars. At first, Ulic, Cay, and Doneeta are surprised at this revelation, but then jump at the chance to prove themselves on their first mission.
The trio depart Arkania and soon arrive at Iziz on Onderon, where they are granted an audience with Queen Amanoa, who is the ruling monarch at that time. However, during their meeting with Amanoa, several Beast Riders burst through the large palace windows and attack the Jedi and Royal Guards. During the ensuing struggle, a special unit of Beast Warrior Commandos enters the fray and manage to kidnap Princess Galia, daughter of Amanoa. Demanding that the Jedi find and rescue her daughter, Amanoa sends the three apprentices outside of Iziz to pursue the fleeing Beast Riders. Accepting Amanoa's demands for help, Ulic, Cay, and Tott Doneeta journey into the Onderon wilds, and eventually make their way to Kira Fortress, the forest citadel of Beast Lord Modon Kira. There, the Jedi discover that Galia's kidnapping is actually an elaborate plot planned by herself and Oron, Modon Kira's son. The kidnapping, they explain, took place so that Galia can be rid of the dark influence of her mother and the Onderonian royal family, and also so that she can marry Oron. Explaining how her family has been influenced by the dark side for generations, beginning with a fallen Jedi named Freedon Nadd, Galia and Oron are able to enlist the help of Ulic and his companions in helping overthrow the current government of Iziz.
Believing that a peaceful resolution to the Beast Wars should be attempted, the Jedi, Galia, and Oron Kira make their way back to Iziz and are able to speak with Amanoa, pleading that she help bring an end to the war. Despite their intentions, the Jedi and their allies are expelled from the royal hall by Amanoa, who calls upon the dark side to drive them away. Sensing that the peaceful solution has failed, Modon Kira gathers together the various other Beast Lords from across the whole of Onderon, and together, the combined armies of the Beast Riders attack the city of Iziz. The battle turns into a fierce affair, in which Cay Qel-Droma's left arm is cut off, and Amanoa is forced to retreat below the royal palace to the tomb of Freedon Nadd. Meanwhile, having sensed that his apprentices are in trouble, Master Jeth travels to Onderon and arrives during the Beast Riders' assault on Iziz. Using the art of battle meditation to help turn the tide of the fighting against the dark side forces of Amanoa, Jeth is able to bring a swift victory to the Beast Rider armies. Joining his apprentices, Galia, and Oron in the royal palace, Master Jeth confronts Amanoa in the dark side tomb of Nadd. Overwhelmed by the power which Jeth possessed, Amanoa is instantly killed by the effects of the light side of the Force. Following the death of Amanoa, Princess Galia and her new husband Oron Kira take their places as the new rulers of Onderon, thus effectively bringing an end to the Beast Wars which had plagued the planet for generations.
The Saga of Nomi Sunrider
In the year 3999 BBY, the Jedi apprentice Andur Sunrider, along with his wife Nomi, their daughter Vima, and their droid A-3DO, leave their home on the planet H'ratth in order to seek out the reclusive Jedi Master known as Thon on Ambria in the Stenness system. Having been sent by his old Master, Chamma, to learn from Thon, Andur carries several rare Adegan crystals which he is to present to Thon as a gift from Chamma. Midway through their trip, the Sunriders stop at a hyperspace terminal to gather food and supplies for the final leg of the journey to see Thon. During their time on the hyperspace terminal, it is discovered by Bogga the Hutt, a known crime lord, that Andur is in possession of several rare Adegan crystals. Wanting the crystals for himself, Bogga orders his gang of thugs to attack the young man and bring the crystals back to him. Bogga's gang manages to surprise and kill the young Andur, but are unable to gather the Adegan crystals from the corpse. Following his death, Andur reappears as a Force ghost to his wife Nomi, telling her to pick up his fallen lightsaber and defend both their daughter and herself. Through her dead husband's insistence and knowledge that she is Force-sensitive, Nomi is able to slay two of the criminals and send the rest fleeing. She then gathers up Vima, A-3DO, and the crystals, and departs once again for Ambria.
Having arrived on the desolate world of Ambria, Nomi orders A-3DO to stay behind with their ship, the Lightside Explorer. Bringing Vima along, Nomi sets out to follow her feelings in the hopes that they lead her to whom she seeks—Jedi Master Thon. Eventually making her way through the harsh deserts of Ambria, Nomi and Vima encounter a lone being riding a fierce-looking beast. Knowing that this being is a Jedi, Nomi follows him back to his modest dwelling, a small farm in the middle of the desert. Meanwhile, at the order of Bogga, who still wants the elusive Adegan crystals, several gangsters manage to track Nomi to Ambria, where they find A-3DO inside the Lightside Explorer. Believing that the crystals they seek are inside the ship, the thugs shoot A-3DO while in the process of looking for the hidden treasure, unaware that Nomi has taken the crystals with her. Following their quarry's trail to the dwelling where Nomi and Vima are, Bogga's men are confronted by Nomi's host. However, the Jedi is overwhelmed by the sheer number of thugs. Despite the apparent advantage held by the gangsters, the beast which Nomi saw the Jedi riding intervenes in the struggle. Advantaged by the element of surprise, the beast is able to trample several of the pirates, thus forcing the remainder of the gang into retreat. Safe for the time being, it is soon revealed that the being whom she has met is a Jedi Knight by the name of Oss Wilum, and that the fierce-looking beast is actually Master Thon.
Under the guidance of Thon, Nomi begins her training as a Jedi Knight, alongside Oss Wilum. While the Jedi training continues on Ambria, a ship of Bogga the Hutt's is hijacked by the pirate Finhead Stonebone, who is intent on capturing the valuable ore which was contained aboard the ship. However, Bogga himself, aboard his flagship Enforcer One, is able to thwart Stonebone's plans and captures both him and his pirate gang. Believing that Bogga is going to execute him for his crimes, Stonebone is surprised when Bogga decides that the pirate and his gang will pay for their crimes by traveling to Ambria, where Stonebone is to kill Master Thon and anyone with him and retrieve the Adegan crystals which had previously eluded Bogga's best efforts. Stonebone, as the leader of both his pirate crew and several of Bogga's thugs, leads an attack on Thon's homestead, and manages to capture Thon due to Nomi's reluctance to engage in violence following her husband's murder. However, upon realizing that Thon is not going to fight back, in order to show her the path of the Jedi, Nomi decides to use her Force abilities to attack Stonebone and the rest of his gang. Through the combined efforts of Nomi and the freed Thon, the pirates are soon driven from Ambria, never to return again.
The Freedon Nadd Uprising
Following the defeat of Queen Amanoa in the bowels of the Iziz palace, Jedi Master Arca Jeth, along with various other Jedi and Beast Riders, attempt to move the sarcophagi of Freedon Nadd and Amanoa to the jungle moon of Dxun. During the funeral procession, the group is attacked by the Naddist dark side army, soldiers of the dark side cult which worshipped Freedon Nadd. The attackers are led by the large armored Dark Jedi Warb Null, and proceed to lay siege to the procession. During the attack, the sarcophagi of both Nadd and Amanoa are stolen by the Naddists, while Null holds off the several Jedi Knights by engaging them in lightsaber combat. With their intended targets secured in their grasp, Null and the Naddists retreat aboard their groundboring war machine, and escape back into the ground beneath Iziz.
Realizing that darkness still reigns on Onderon, Jeth, Ulic Qel-Droma and Queen Galia approach the apparently ailing King Ommin, father to Galia and husband to the late Amanoa, for assistance in finding the Naddists. However, using Sith magic taught to him by Nadd, Ommin is able to knock Jeth unconscious, while Qel-Droma and Galia are confronted by the spirit of Freedon Nadd and his right-hand subordinate, Warb Null. Although Qel-Droma kills Null, Ommin has enough time to spirit Jeth away. In the aftermath, Qel-Droma puts forth a call for aid—the Jedi leadership responds by sending several Jedi, including Nomi Sunrider, to help extinguish the Freedon Nadd Uprising. Meanwhile, two aristocratic cousins, Satal and Aleema Keto, creators of a dark side cult known as the Krath, venture to the Galactic Museum on Coruscant in search of dark side knowledge. Although they manage to steal a Sith spellbook, they cannot read it, and decide to set out for Onderon in hopes that the Naddists would help them. The Ketos are eventually granted an audience with Ommin, and the old man gives Satal the gift of a Sith amulet. With the amulet Satal and Aleema find, they can finally read the contents of the book.
While Ommin is meeting with the Ketos, the Jedi reinforcements from Ossus arrive on Onderon and join the battle alongside their fellow Jedi already there. Along with a Republic attack fleet, the Jedi storm the fortress and free Jeth, and are again confronted by the spirit of Freedon Nadd. Realizing that Ommin can no longer be a vessel for his means, Nadd withdraws his dark side influence from the old man, causing Ommin to die. After a brief war of words with Jeth, the spirit of Nadd once again retreats into his sarcophagus. With the death of Ommin, and the apparent defeat of Nadd, the Naddist rebellion is effectively put down by the Republic and Jedi forces. Following this, the sarcophagi of Ommin, Amanoa, and Nadd are all successfully transported to Onderon's fourth moon of Dxun, and interred there by the Jedi.
Dark Lords of the Sith
Occurring in the year 3997 BBY, a violent coup is masterminded in the Empress Teta system—formerly known as the Koros system—by the cousins Aleema and Satal Keto, who manage to overthrow the Tetan Monarchy and establish their own rule over the seven worlds of that system. The two cousins utilize Sith magic that they had learned from the Sith tome they had stolen from Coruscant, thus effectively cementing their control and demonstrating that nothing would stand against them in their quest for absolute power. Word of the Krath coup eventually reaches Master Arca Jeth, and he learns that the political uprising is in part related to the work which he, and the Jedi Knights under his command, had done on Onderon. Learning that the Krath leaders had received help from the Sith forces during the Freedon Nadd Uprising, Jeth believes that it is his responsibility to help quell the chaos that has engulfed the Empress Teta system. To this end, Jeth dispatches several of the Knights on Onderon around the galaxy in an effort to halt the growing threats he could feel in the Force.
Meanwhile, following orders from Master Jeth, Ulic Qel-Droma and Nomi Sunrider take control of a joint Republic-Jedi task force whose mission is to lend aid, if possible, to any worlds in the Empress Teta system who are still resisting the Krath takeover. Arriving in the system, they find a large Krath fleet in orbit around the namesake Empress Teta, which is the final planet to not be subdued during the coup. The ensuing battle sees a Krath victory against the Republic and Jedi fleet, which retreats back into hyperspace after sustaining heavy casualties. During the retreat, a Krath fighter imbued with Sith magic crashes into the command deck of the capital ship Alliance I, that Jedi advisor Qel-Droma is on. Shrapnel from the ship embeds itself in his side and, unbeknown to him, the Sith magic releases his aggressive emotions, thus allowing him to use the dark side of the Force more freely.
With the defeat of the Republic-Jedi task force in the Empress Teta system, a Jedi convocation is organized on the planet Deneba to discuss a course of action to combat the rising threat of the Krath. However, the events of the conclave are interrupted when a force of Krath war droids attacks the assembly and wage a brief, but bitter, battle, which sees the death of Arca Jeth. Ulic Qel-Droma then decides to infiltrate the Krath leadership in an attempt to destroy the cult from within. Qel-Droma's infiltration, however, is soon discovered by Satal Keto, and a confrontation breaks out between the two which ended in Qel-Droma using the dark side to strike down and kill his opponent. Though several of his friends, including his lover Nomi Sunrider, attempt to rescue him when they realized that he was falling to the dark side, Qel-Droma shuns them and aligns himself with Satal's cousin Aleema, who is aware of his mission but believes that they can both serve each other's ends. Having lost sight of his original mission, Qel-Droma becomes warlord of all the Krath forces and prepares for war against the Republic and Jedi.
Nevertheless, Sunrider and the other Jedi refuse to give up on their old friend. Gaining the Jedi Masters' blessing to attempt to rescue Qel-Droma again, the Jedi Knights organize a large force of Beast Riders and Jedi to attack the Krath palace on Koros Major. The proceeding battle witnesses a second confrontation between Qel-Droma and his former friends, though it too is unsuccessful in returning Qel-Droma to the light. Following the retreat of the Jedi and Beast Rider forces, Exar Kun, a fallen Jedi who had gained significant Sith knowledge studying artifacts on Korriban and Yavin 4, arrives on Koros Major in an effort to destroy Qel-Droma and any other threat to the rise of his would-be Sith empire. However, during the duel the ancient Sith spirit of Marka Ragnos appears and declares that both Kun and Qel-Droma are the heirs to the Sith legacy, and that they are now both anointed as Dark Lords of the Sith.
The Sith War
Six months after the joining of forces by Exar Kun and Ulic Qel-Droma, the two Sith Lords set out to begin their plans of galactic conquest. Kun arrives on the planet of Ossus intent on preaching his newfound beliefs with regards to the Force, hoping that he would be able to attract a large number of Jedi to his cause. Speaking to a group of Jedi, many of whom, following the death of Arca Jeth, had begun to question their roles in the Jedi Order, Kun is able to convince a majority among them of what he was saying; believing that Kun possesses secrets which the Jedi Masters had so far withheld from them, this group of Jedi accompanies Kun to the moon of Yavin 4, where they believe that Kun would instruct them in the ways of the Force. Meanwhile, after a brief confrontation with Mandalore the Indomitable in which he emerges the victor, Qel-Droma is able to gain the allegiance of the Mandalorian clans, thus adding their manpower to those of his Krath forces. With the clans of Mandalore combined with his already enormous army, and with Kun busy gaining Sith converts, Qel-Droma and Aleema Keto plan for a massive invasion of Coruscant with the intent of toppling the reigning galactic government.
Under the guidance of Kun, the Jedi defectors travel with him to Yavin 4 where he advises them that he needs their help in destroying an ancient Sith holocron, thus freeing the moon from the dark side's grasp. Once on the ground, the Jedi watch as Kun makes a spectacle of destroying the holocron. In reality, however, Kun's destruction of the device unleashes a strong wave of dark side magic which infects all those around him, excluding the Cathar Jedi Crado who has already sworn fealty to Kun. Under the control of Kun's Sith magic, the new Sith acolytes are dispatched from Yavin 4 with the mission of finding and killing their old Jedi Masters: the Brotherhood of the Sith is formed. Kun believes that such a blow against the Jedi Order would weaken it to the point where it can no longer resist his efforts at galactic domination. Meanwhile, Qel-Droma and Keto launch their invasion of Coruscant, however due in a large part to treachery by Keto, who believes she could usurp Qel-Droma and claim his power, the invasion is stalled by the Jedi and Republic. Under orders from Keto, the Krath and Mandalorian soldiers retreat from the surface, leaving Qel-Droma to face capture by the Republic Inquisition.
Though Qel-Droma is captured and placed on trial for his war-crimes, he steadfastly denies the charges brought against him, claiming the Republic is a weak and corrupt government. During the proceedings, Exar Kun and a party of Massassi warriors, arrive to help free the captured Sith Lord. Mandalore the Indomitable, who has learned of Keto's treachery against Qel-Droma during the attack on Coruscant, traveled to Yavin 4 to seek out Kun in the hopes that he would help rescue Qel-Droma from the Inquisition. After a dramatic entrance, in which he uses Sith magic to paralyze all those non-Jedi present, Kun kills the Republic Supreme Chancellor and confronts his former Master Vodo-Siosk Baas. While other Jedi battle Kun's Massassi warriors, Baas duels with Kun, but is soon bested by his former student. With the death of Master Baas, Kun and his remaining warriors collect Qel-Droma and depart Coruscant.
While Kun is busy on Coruscant rescuing Qel-Droma, the various Sith acolytes departed Yavin 4 and launch their pogrom against their former Masters. With great efficiency, almost all of the targeted Masters are assassinated, although at least one, Thon, is able to best his assassin and survive the attack. Nevertheless, the deaths of so many Jedi Masters garners worry among the remaining Jedi, and when word of a Sith attack against Kemplex IX arrived, a team of Jedi is hastily dispatched to deal with it. The ensuing battle at Kemplex IX witnesses the deaths of all participants on both sides, as the Sith, under Aleema Keto, use Sith magic to set off a chain reaction of stellar explosions in the nearby Cron Cluster. The resulting supernova cannot be controlled, and utterly destroys everything surrounding it; the supernova is on a collision course with the Jedi library-planet of Ossus, and Kun and Qel-Droma believe that once the Jedi evacuate the world, they can then swoop in and plunder the remaining Jedi secrets. Though the Jedi were caught unaware by the catastrophe, they rushed to gather what artifacts they could and flee. However, the Sith arrived on the planet before the Jedi could leave, and Cay Qel-Droma confronts his brother. After a duel, Ulic kills Cay. However, this act horrifies Ulic, and he abandons the dark side. Nomi Sunrider, horrified by Ulic's actions, finds herself overcome with grief and torment and strips him of his ability to use the Force. Broken and unable to touch the Force, Qel-Droma agrees to help the Jedi end the war by leading them to Kun's secret base on the moon of Yavin 4. The Jedi catch the Dark Lord of the Sith unprepared, and they are able to completely level the moon, causing an enormous firestorm to spread across the planet, thus effectively destroying Kun and his seat of power. However, Kun's spirit lives on, as before his death he uses his powers to drain the life from his Massassi followers, binding his spirit to a Sith temple on the moon.
Ten years after the devastating defeat of Exar Kun on the moon of Yavin 4, the Jedi Order is called to its first convocation since the Great Sith War by its new leader, Jedi Master Nomi Sunrider. Since the end of the war, both the Jedi and the Republic have focused on helping to restore the damaged parts of the galaxy. The Jedi, however, lacked direction, and so Sunrider hopes that, through a conclave, the Jedi Order can begin to build a united front and start replenishing the numbers they had lost during the conflict. And so, heeding the call of their leader, masses of Jedi begin descending upon Exis Station, the location chosen for the conclave.
The conclave, however, is soon manipulated by one of the Jedi present: a Cathar by the name of Sylvar who had fought during the Sith War, and who lost her mate, Crado, due to Ulic Qel-Droma. Angry that Qel-Droma has not been apprehended and brought to trial for the crimes he had committed during the war, Sylvar manages to successfully turn the focus of the conclave away from rebuilding the Order, to the question of "What should be done to Ulic Qel-Droma?" During the proceedings, a teenage Vima Sunrider, daughter to Nomi Sunrider, grows bored with the assembly's banter and decides to steal a spacecraft from Exis Station and go for a joy ride. However, Vima soon finds herself in trouble when she loses control of her ship, and is in danger of being pulled into a nearby sun. Nevertheless, Tott Doneeta, a Twi'lek Jedi who arrives late to the conclave, appears in system at that very moment and manages to save young Vima from death.
Following her rescue by Doneeta, Vima feels that her Jedi training cannot continue under the guidance of her mother, who she believes cares more about leading the Jedi Order than she does about the future of her own daughter. Vima then decides to seek the only person who she thinks can help her: Ulic Qel-Droma. Eventually making her way to Rhen Var, the frozen planet which some believed Qel-Droma had exiled himself to, Vima begins her search for the former Dark Lord of the Sith. Vima makes her way to what appears to be an abandoned fortress in the middle of the desolate frozen wastes of Rhen Var, and upon finding a way inside, Vima is finally confronted by Qel-Droma. The fallen Jedi initially refuses to train Vima in the ways of the Force, believing that since he can no longer touch the Force, he cannot adequately train her. Qel-Droma, though, soon changes his mind and takes the young Jedi as his apprentice.
Meanwhile, Sylvar's anger at Qel-Droma and his war crimes, specifically his involvement with her mate's death, drives her close to the dark side of the Force. In an effort to find solace for her anger, Sylvar travels to the planet of Ryloth with fellow Jedi Tott Doneeta, but allows her anger to control her actions there. With her anger clamoring to claim her, Sylvar believes that she could only find peace on her home planet of Cather through a ritual called a "blood hunt." Nevertheless, Sylvar's anger does leave her, and she concludes that she must find Qel-Droma and confront him about everything he has done. During this time, Nomi discovers what her daughter had done and who she is with, and departs Exis Station in an effort to bring Vima home. Arriving on the frozen planet, Nomi makes her way to the fortress where Qel-Droma and Vima are, and proceeds to meet with her former lover for the first time since the end of the Great Sith War. Initially angry that Vima has chosen to seek out Qel-Droma, Nomi is able to realize both the reasons behind her daughter's choices and also what Qel-Droma has been able to teach her thus far. Qel-Droma, believing that he would finally be able to find peace now through the efforts of both Vima and Nomi, is soon confronted by the angry Sylvar, who has also arrived on Rhen Var. A fierce lightsaber duel ensues, but Sylvar is unable to continue fighting when Qel-Droma makes her realize that she was slowly walking down the same road that he had walked during the Sith War. Finally releasing her anger, Sylvar admits how close she has come to falling. However, at that moment the pilot Hoggon, who had transported Sylvar to the planet, shoots Qel-Droma from behind, proudly proclaiming that he is the one to kill Ulic Qel-Droma. In the arms of Nomi Sunrider, and despite his inability to touch the Force and his fall to the dark side, Qel-Droma dies and becomes one with the Force, showing those present that he has at last been redeemed.
- "Four Millennia [sic] is such a long, long, long time. It's total freedom. We could explore some in-depth Jedi philosophy from a backwater system that was lost over the span of the millennia. We could show conflicts between certain aspects of the Republic itself. We could tell more stories of Rogue Jedi.[sic] If Ulic Qel Droma [sic] is out there, wandering the perimeter systems, finding whatever adventure comes his way, then there are countless others out there as well."
- ―Christian Gossett, commenting on the freedom that the Tales of the Jedi time line provides
Ulic Qel-Droma is a Jedi from the planet Alderaan, who trains with his brother Cay and Twi'lek Tott Doneeta under revered Jedi Master Arca Jeth. As a test, Jeth sends his three apprentices to Onderon to bring about a peaceful end to the Beast Wars that have raged for years, only for Qel-Droma and his friends to uncover the dark side influence on the Onderonian royal family. In the ensuing clash, Qel-Droma and the Beast Riders lay siege to the city of Iziz, only for the battle to end with the intervention of Master Jeth and the death of Queen Amanoa. Afterward, Qel-Droma attends the funeral procession of Sith Lord Freedon Nadd and Amanoa, only for it to be attacked in the first skirmish of the Freedon Nadd Uprising. Although the rebellion is put down with Qel-Droma's help—he personally defeats imposing Dark Jedi Warb Null—Qel-Droma has a harrowing encounter with Freedon Nadd's spirit, who prophesies that the Jedi will be one of the "great ones." The coming months pose more dark threats towards Qel-Droma and the Jedi Order. In his first encounter with the Krath cult, Qel-Droma is wounded, and nursed back to health by fellow Jedi Nomi Sunrider, whom he had met on Onderon. Qel-Droma and Sunrider grow very close, but Qel-Droma's world is shattered when his Master, Arca Jeth, is killed by a Krath attack on Deneba. Very confident and proud of his own abilities, Qel-Droma decides to infiltrate the Krath himself, believing that he can conquer the dark side from within. Qel-Droma leaves Sunrider and his brother behind, and sets off to the Krath stronghold of Empress Teta.
Qel-Droma is subsequently seduced by Krath leader Aleema Keto, and slips further and further towards the dark side. Although his friends arrive to help him, Qel-Droma turns them away—soon, fallen Jedi Exar Kun arrives on Empress Teta, himself in search of the Krath. After a duel between the two, Qel-Droma and Kun decide to stop fighting and join forces under the Sith banner. Qel-Droma, now Kun's Sith apprentice, leads attacks on Republic targets, before being captured while besieging Coruscant. During Qel-Droma's trial before the Galactic Senate, Kun marches into the Senate Building, killing the Supreme Chancellor and helping Qel-Droma escape. Afterward, Qel-Droma betrays his former flame Aleema Keto, sending her to her death amidst the tightly-packed stars of the Cron Cluster, which subsequently go supernova. Amidst the confusion on the doomed Jedi world of Ossus, Qel-Droma and Kun descend onto the planet to steal as much from the Ossus Jedi Library as possible. Along the way, Qel-Droma encounters his brother Cay, and the two do battle. In the heat of battle, Qel-Droma slays his brother, and is instantly overcome with remorse and grief. In shock and anger, Nomi Sunrider severs Qel-Droma's connection to the Force. With nothing left, Qel-Droma agrees to help the Jedi attack Kun's base on Yavin 4, watching as Kun's fortress becomes engulfed in flames and the Dark Lord seemingly killed. Qel-Droma wanders the galaxy for the next several years, eventually finding his way to an abandoned citadel on the ice world of Rhen Var. There, he is sought out by Nomi Sunrider's daughter Vima, frustrated by her slow Jedi training, and hoping to learn from a man she had heard much about. Qel-Droma reluctantly agrees to teach her, although he cannot feel the Force—through this endeavor, he finds a measure of inner peace. However, Qel-Droma is soon shot by a spacer named Hoggon, who is hoping to become a hero through the killing of an infamous Sith Lord, and Qel-Droma dies in Nomi's arms.
Nomi Sunrider is the wife of Jedi Knight Andur Sunrider, and mother of her young daughter Vima. Accompanying her husband on a trip to the planet Ambria, Sunrider witnesses his death at the hands of a group of thugs. Taking her fallen love's lightsaber, she manages to fight the criminals off, and continues to Ambria, where she meets Jedi Master Thon. Thon accepts both Sunrider and her daughter Vima for Jedi training, which she continued under Vodo-Siosk Baas on Ossus. During the Freedon Nadd Uprising on Onderon, Sunrider is called into action alongside several other Jedi—it is there she first meets a young Jedi Knight named Ulic Qel-Droma, aiding him in his attack on King Ommin's citadel. The two grow very close over the ensuing days, and Sunrider is saddened when Qel-Droma goes off to infiltrate the Krath, and eventually follows him to Empress Teta in an attempt to help him. Sunrider is captured by the Krath and scheduled for execution, but finding Qel-Droma to have fallen to the dark side, escapes and leaves him behind. Afterward, Sunrider helps to capture Qel-Droma on Coruscant, only to witness his violent escape from Republic custody. Sunrider next encounters Qel-Droma on Ossus, as both Jedi and Sith scramble to recover artifacts and knowledge from the doomed world. Horrified by Qel-Droma's slaying of his brother Cay, Sunrider severs the fallen Jedi's connection to the Force. Qel-Droma then leads Sunrider and the Jedi Order to his master Exar Kun's stronghold on Yavin 4, where the war would end with Kun's death. In the coming years, Sunrider becomes leader of the Jedi Order, and her duties lead her to neglect the Jedi training of the now-adolescent Vima. As a response, Vima runs away and seeks out the exiled Ulic Qel-Droma on the desolate world of Rhen Var. Horrified, Sunrider tracks her down, coming face-to-face with Qel-Droma for the first time in years. Shortly after, however, Qel-Droma is shot and fatally wounded—in his dying moments, Sunrider forgives him, and the former Jedi dies in her arms.
Odan-Urr is a Draethos Jedi Knight who prefers reading and studying Force-related lore to combat, although he is adept at the Force technique of battle meditation. The apprentice of Celegian Jedi Master Ooroo, Odan-Urr helps lead Empress Teta's forces to victory in the Koros system's Unification Wars, and eventually stayed behind as an advisor to the Empress. In the coming days, Odan-Urr begins to see visions of the return of the Sith Empire—soon, he meets a young woman named Jori Daragon, an escapee from the Sith Empire who tells of a clash between Sith Lords, something that Odan-Urr had foreseen. These events directly presage the Great Hyperspace War, Dark Lord Naga Sadow's invasion of the Republic. Odan-Urr personally leads the resistance on Kirrek, leading his soldiers to victory, although Master Ooroo perishes in the fighting. In his dying words, Ooroo predicts that Odan-Urr will die among his beloved books and scrolls at at extremely old age. In the aftermath of the war, Odan-Urr finds an artifact known as the Dark Holocron, and eventually founds the Great Jedi Library on Ossus to store it and other pieces of Jedi knowledge. Odan-Urr does prove to be long-lived, and by the time of the Great Sith War is the leader of the Jedi Order, presiding over the Jedi Conclave on Deneba. During the first throes of the war, Dark Lord of the Sith Exar Kun comes to Ossus to recruit Jedi to his cause. Finding Odan-Urr in his study, Kun overpowers the ancient Jedi Master and takes the holocron, with the Draethos dying amidst his books and scrolls just as his Master had predicted over a thousand years earlier.
Naga Sadow is a Sith Lord of the ancient Sith Empire, which had for centuries been hidden beyond the borders of Republic space. Sadow is the rival of fellow Sith Lord Ludo Kressh, with whom he fights over the title of Dark Lord of the Sith after the death of the venerable Dark Lord Marka Ragnos. Ragnos' spirit calls an end to their duel, and shortly after, a pair of sibling hyperspace navigators from the Republic, Gav and Jori Daragon, appear above the Valley of the Dark Lords on Korriban. Although they are swiftly imprisoned, Sadow uses their presence, and paranoia regarding the Republic, to his own ends in his quest to seize control of the Sith Empire. Through a combination of behind the scenes machinations and martial might, the expansionist Sadow is able to seemingly vanquish Kressh and take the crown of Dark Lord. With Gav Daragon at his side, Sadow raises a massive military force intended for an invasion of the Republic—he also urges Jori Daragon to flee the Sith Empire in her ship, placing a tracking device on the vessel to lead him to the Republic. Sadow leads his invasion fleet against the Republic in the Great Hyperspace War, commanding the war effort from his Sith meditation sphere. His ranks bolstered by many illusionary warriors and beasts, his forces reach the steps of the Republic Senate Building, but are turned back when a surprise attack by a repentant Gav Daragon breaks Sadow's concentration and dissipates his illusions. Although Sadow destroys Daragon, his forces are broken, and he retreats back to the Sith Worlds in defeat only to find a still-alive Ludo Kressh leading an army of Sith who had stayed behind and taken control of the area. Sadow defeats Kressh once and for all, but cannot hold off a pursuing Republic force, making a harrowing escape. Sadow, in his one remaining ship, makes his way to the remote moon of Yavin 4, hoping to build anew.
Freedon Nadd was a fallen Jedi Knight who fell to the dark side and ruled the planet Onderon as its king for many years. Nadd arrived on the primitive planet of Onderon around 4400 BBY, conquering the world and isolating it from the greater galaxy so he could rule Onderon unchallenged. All who opposed him were named as criminals and cast out of Onderon's only city of Iziz, many becoming Beast Riders in the untamed wilds beyond Iziz's walls. After his eventual death and entombment beneath the Iziz Royal Palace, the Onderonian royal family stayed under his influence, and by 4000 BBY both Onderon's Queen Amanoa and King Ommin are Naddist cultists that use the dark side and worship his memory. Nadd's spirit was called back from Chaos by the ancient, debilitated King Ommin, and helped to keep the old man alive with his power. During the Freedon Nadd Uprising, Nadd's spirit encounters Ulic Qel-Droma, who is leading a Republic attack on Ommin's citadel. Realizing that Ommin can no longer suffice as a viable vessel for his means, Nadd withdraws his influence from the King, effectively killing him. After a short exchange with Master Arca Jeth, Nadd's spirit disappears. After the rebellion is crushed, Nadd's body is interred on the moon of Dxun, and his spirit briefly appears to Qel-Droma after the young Knight examines one of Nadd's old artifacts, predicting that Qel-Droma would be one of the "great ones." All the while, Nadd trains the young Tetan nobles Satal and Aleema Keto, founders of the Krath cult, in the dark ways. Nadd's mausoleum is eventually uncovered by Exar Kun, who is in search of dark knowledge—Nadd appears to Kun and directs him to the ancestral Sith homeworld of Korriban, and there manipulates Kun into fully surrendering to the dark side. Nadd takes Kun as his Sith apprentice, but Kun eventually turns on the spirit and destroys Nadd. In his final moments, Nadd appears to the Ketos and warns them that Kun is a pretender to the Sith legacy, and names them as the true carriers of the power of the Sith.
Exar Kun is a promising young Jedi prospect who falls to the dark side and becomes Dark Lord of the Sith. The apprentice of respected Krevaaki Jedi Master Vodo-Siosk Baas, Kun becomes curious about Sith knowledge kept secret from him, and ventures off to Onderon to learn more about the dark side. Kun eventually finds the tomb of Freedon Nadd on Dxun, and the spirit of the long-dead dark king appears to him, directing him to the Sith homeworld of Korriban. There, Kun is corrupted to the dark side totally. After furthering his power and banishing Nadd's spirit on the moon of Yavin 4, Kun decides to seek out any darksiders who could pose a threat to him— his search leads him to the Krath, and Ulic Qel-Droma. Sensing that Qel-Droma is the only one who could challenge him, Kun attacks the Alderaanian, but their duel is halted by the shade of former Dark Lord of the Sith Marka Ragnos. Ragnos declars Kun and Qel-Droma the new leaders of the Sith Empire, with Kun as the new Dark Lord and Qel-Droma his apprentice. Together, the two lead a campaign against the Galactic Republic. Qel-Droma is eventually captured after an attack on Coruscant, and stands trial in front of the Galactic Senate—Kun brazenly marches into the Senate Building to rescue his apprentice, killing the Supreme Chancellor and also slaying his former Master Vodo-Siosk Baas in a lightsaber duel on the Senate floor before absconding with Qel-Droma. The pair later resurface on Ossus, after causing the Cron Cluster stars to supernova and bring impending doom upon the Jedi library world. Kun is able to loot a great amount of Jedi knowledge and artifacts to bring back to his base on Yavin 4, although Qel-Droma is again captured by the Jedi and cut off from the Force. Kun's broken apprentice turns coat and leads the Jedi to Kun's Yavin base. Knowing that he is outgunned, Kun performs an ancient ritual to leave behind his mortal form. Although Kun's now-disembodied spirit survives the Jedi bombardment of Yavin 4, Kun is trapped within his temple walls indefinitely.
Gav Daragon is a young hyperspace explorer, native to the planet Koros Major. He and his sister, Jori, inherit the family ship after their parents are killed on a supply run during the Koros Unification Wars, and attempt to find their fortune by blazing new hyperspace trails on the galactic frontier. After falling into trouble with creditors, the Daragons make a blind jump from Koros Major and find themselves in the lost Sith Empire, above the Sith homeworld of Korriban. The Daragons are quickly captured and imprisoned, and are used by expansionist Sith Lord Naga Sadow in his bid to attain power. As Sadow works to rid himself of his rivals and seize control of the Sith Empire, the Sith Lord discovers Gav Daragon's Force-sensitivity and begins to train the Human in the dark side. After Sadow vanquishes nemesis Ludo Kressh and prepares to attack the Galactic Republic, Daragon is placed in command of the Sith fleets—later, during the Great Hyperspace War, Daragon personally leads the Sith attack on his homeworld of Koros Major. Overcome with remorse for the destruction wrought on his homeworld, and his alienation of his sister Jori, Daragon turns against the Sith. Daragon travels to Primus Goluud, where Sadow directs the war effort, and fires on the Sith Lord's meditation sphere, disrupting Sadow's concentration and dissipating the illusory warriors and beasts that bolstered the Sith ranks. Daragon was swiftly destroyed by the vengeful Sadow, giving his sister, and ultimately the Republic, the coordinates to the Sith Worlds as his final act.
Jori Daragon, sister of Gav, is a native of Koros Major who, along with her brother inherits her parents' starship, the Starbreaker 12, after their deaths in the Koros Unification Wars. Although she and her brother attempt to make a living as hyperspace explorers, they run afoul of creditors, and take a blind hyperspace jump to escape their predicament. They emerge above the Sith capital world of Korriban, in the long-lost Sith Empire, and are immediately thrown into prison. Sith Lord Naga Sadow uses the Daragons' presence, as well as long-lingering fears of the Galactic Republic, in his attempt to seize power over the Sith Empire. As Sadow vanquishes his rival Ludo Kressh, he sends Daragon back to the Republic in the Starbreaker 12, with a homing device on the ship to give the Sith the Republic's location. Daragon immediately returns to Koros Major, but is arrested and sent to the prison planet of Ronika. She escapes, however, and makes her way back to Koros Major to warn Empress Teta of the Sith threat. Soon after, Sadow and Gav Daragon lead the Sith fleet into battle against the Republic—Daragon encounters her brother as he leads the Sith assault on Koros Major. Overcome by anger at her brother, she attacks him, but he escapes. Daragon follows Gav to Primus Goluud, where he turns on Naga Sadow and fires on his meditation sphere. As Gav's last act, he gives Daragon the coordinates for the Sith Empire, where the Republic fleet is able to defeat Sadow once and for all.
- "I came up with the idea and I contacted [Lucasfilm Ltd.] about doing it as a follow-up to Dark Empire. "Oh, George will never go for this," they said. Well, he loved the idea, of course, and gave us free-reign to imagine the Star Wars universe of 4000 years before Luke Skywalker."
- ―Tom Veitch, commenting on his conception of creating Tales of the Jedi
As early as 1988, Tom Veitch had envisioned writing a comic series which revolved around the ancient Jedi and their stories. That year, Veitch and others proposed the idea of these comics to Lucasfilm Ltd., who were interested in the concept of such a story. However, at that time Lucasfilm did not believe that Star Wars had any more life in it, nor that there would be any more films—or other significant media—produced which would help to carry the franchise along. Likewise, a number of people in the comic-book industry were dubious of any more comic success from Star Wars beyond that which had already been experienced with the Marvel line of Star Wars comics earlier in the decade. Veitch even recalls members of the comic industry telling him "you're crazy. Star Wars is dead."
Due to the initial setbacks, Veitch shelved the ideas that he had drawn up about the comic series, and decided to focus on other projects. Eventually, Dark Horse Comics managed to buy up the rights to produce Star Wars comics, and contracted Veitch to write its first Star Wars-themed series, Star Wars: Dark Empire, which was released in December of 1991. Dark Empire was an enormous success in the comic industry, and its success as a comic series allowed Dark Horse Comics to retain the Star Wars comics rights until 2015. Dark Empire's storyline revolved around a resurgent Empire in the years following the Battle of Endor. As part of the story, Leia Organa stole an ancient holocron which had once belonged to the Jedi Master Bodo Baas from Emperor Palpatine's clone. At the end of each Dark Empire issue, there appeared a series of endnotes which Veitch would use as a type of "history" lesson on the Star Wars universe, as seen through the eyes of Organa as she searched through the stolen holocron. As a part of these endnotes, Veitch was able to introduce the characters and ideas that he had created years before for the comic series he had pitched to Lucasfilm Ltd. After Dark Empire became apparent as a commercial success, Lucasfilm approached Veitch about running an Indiana Jones comic—instead, Veitch pitched his idea of a comic series revolving around the Jedi in their full glory, to be called "The Jedi Chronicles." This time, however, he was able to communicate directly with George Lucas, who Veitch said "loved the idea," and who gave Veitch free rein to write and explore the Star Wars universe 4,000 years before A New Hope. Lucas's one condition was that Veitch had to get final approval from him on the comic's storyline. Lucas also told Veitch that the "Jedi Chronicles" name was unavailable since it was too similar to his Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, leading Veitch to tweak the name to Tales of the Jedi.
With permission to finally begin writing Tales of the Jedi, Veitch again began to compile his characters and events into a storyline that would follow the mythic dimensions which, he felt, had been touched upon by the Star Wars films. To this end, Veitch watched all three films again and again in an effort to get himself in the right frame of mind to begin writing such a diverse story. At this time in his career, Veitch commented that he wanted to "…study all of the layers of detail in the movies," and to "…study the way the movies were constructed." Likewise, Veitch also made use of the West End Games roleplaying game books and adventures, to make sure that his ideas would fit in with what had already been produced for the Star Wars universe. Veitch had already introduced the story of Ulic Qel-Droma in his Dark Empire endnotes and figured that his tale would be a logical entry point for the new series, so he decided to center the early issues on the fallen Jedi Knight.
Eventually, following the release of the initial run of five Tales of the Jedi comics, Veitch was introduced to fellow author Kevin J. Anderson, who had been asked to write an introduction for the trade-paperback edition of Dark Empire. During the course of their introduction, the two authors began to communicate to each other about what each was currently writing in respects to Star Wars. Veitch explained how he was currently working on another story arc for his Tales of the Jedi series, while Anderson described his Jedi Academy Trilogy series of novels, which he was writing for Bantam Spectra. During the course of their discussions, Veitch commented that he was planning an even larger run of comics for Tales of the Jedi, which would revolve around a big new story. Anderson, likewise, explained how his trilogy of novels hinged on the spirit of a long-dead Dark Lord of the Sith named Exar Kun, who had been killed thousands of years prior to the setting of the books. Through further discussions, the two authors realized that the character of Kun would fit well into the new story which Veitch had planned for Tales of the Jedi. Believing that the two of them could create a memorable comic story, Veitch invited Anderson to be a part of the Tales of the Jedi production team.
- "We would do sketches of each page with a rough mosaic of the panels and stick figures inside just to help the artist (Chris Gossett for the first 5 issues of DLOTS). When we received pencils back, we would make sure the dialog fit with the images and tweak it as necessary. Sometimes we would very carefully map each panel, other times Chris would plan it himself with his artist's eye (especially the battle scenes). He made some particularly effective changes in how he wanted to draw the death of Master Arca."
- ―Kevin J. Anderson, describing his work with artist Christian Gossett
- "We have a liaison, Lucy Wilson. She would let us know when we were stepping out of bounds, when we were doing things that weren't consistent with the whole Star Wars universe. She let us know if there were inconsistencies and she would tell us when she thought that we were doing the right thing."
- ―Christian Gossett
Although Veitch had settled on the story of Ulic Qel-Droma as the focus of the early Tales of the Jedi issues, he realized that he would be unable to build the entire world on his own, and needed a team of artists that could meet this challenge. With the blessing of editor Barbara Kesel, Veitch put together a three-page sample Tales of the Jedi script that he handed out at conventions, hoping to find interested and capable artists. In 1992, Veitch met a young artist named Christian Gossett at the San Diego Comic-Con—Veitch handed Gossett his three-page script, and was extremely impressed with Gossett's sketches. Influenced by the work of Akira Kurosawa, Gossett, assigned to draw the first two Tales of the Jedi comics, set out to, in his words, "visually invent the Old Republic out of my own imagination."
Working in conjunction with Lucy Wilson, a liaison for Lucasfilm Ltd., Veitch, Gossett and editor Dan Thorsland began work on the first run of five Tales of the Jedi comics. The first two comics were titled Ulic Qel-Droma and the Beast Wars of Onderon, and introduced various core characters such as the Jedi Ulic Qel-Droma, Cay Qel-Droma, Tott Doneeta and Arca Jeth, as well as the spirit of Freedon Nadd, a long-dead Dark Lord of the Sith. The last three comics were titled The Saga of Nomi Sunrider, and introduced other characters such as Nomi and Vima Sunrider, Jedi-in-training Oss Wilum, as well as the Jedi Master Thon. During the production of these two story arcs, Veitch, Gossett, and Thorsland worked in a close relationship with Wilson, who helped guide them during the series' creation. Wilson's job was to ensure that the team was working within the allowed boundaries established by Lucasfilm and see if they were on course with their expectations. During this time, Veitch and others created various questionnaires which explained their intentions with regards to the storyline. These questionnaires were then given to George Lucas, who would either approve or disapprove of their contents. Veitch commented during an interview that "These were reviewed by George, because he wants to make sure, if you're going to tell about the ancient Jedi, he wants to have input on it. We have to write very carefully detailed questionnaires and list the ideas we want to use." Likewise, in the same interview, Thorsland commented how very "exacting" Lucasfilm was in their standards. This policy was something which he believed to be a good thing, as it helped enhance the quality of Tales of the Jedi.
Christian Gossett, who worked with Tom Veitch as the artist for the first two comics, wanted to create a wide variety of beasts and creatures which both were terrifying and had never been seen in the history of Star Wars. In an interview for Star Wars Adventure Journal 2, Gossett explained how as a small child he had always been terrified of pictures of insects, such as the flea, magnified to abnormal sizes. These, he explained, were the basis for the large number of different creatures that he had created for the planet of Onderon and its moon of Dxun. Working in close communication with each other, both Veitch and Gossett wanted to constantly bounce ideas off one another, so that they could eventually get a unique feeling out of the comics.
Veitch imagined that Tales of the Jedi would be an ongoing, anthological series, focusing on different stories and different characters rather than zeroing in on one specific narrative. While Gossett drew the first two issues, Veitch turned to other artists to draw the next few issues: Janine Johnston, a rookie artist from Canada whom Veitch met at a convention in Glasgow, was chosen to draw Tales of the Jedi's third issue. Johnston was responsible for designing primary character Nomi Sunrider, whom she modeled after a friend, although her inexperienced attempts at drawing starships were eventually redone before the issue was published. David Roach, a veteran artist who had worked for Dark Horse Comics in the past, drew the last two issues of the Nomi Sunrider arc. As the artists were working simultaneously, Roach remained in the dark about the direction in which Johnston was going, and eventually some of his artwork had to be changed to match Johnston's portrayals.
The Freedon Nadd Uprising and onward
- "I had several notebooks full of ideas. Some days I used to sit with a cup of coffee and just spin out the possibilities for hours. At that point in my life Star Wars was a big part of my thinking. I was a fan, of course. But it was more than that. I had this idea that because the Jedi were spiritual warriors, like ancient Japanese swordsmen, we could eventually balance off the 'darkside of the force' with new exposition about what constituted the 'lightside of the force.' I used to dream about doing that at night. Maybe I was nuts!"
- ―Tom Veitch
Following the release of the first five Tales of the Jedi comics, Veitch was asked by Dark Horse Comics if he could write a one-shot story arc which would act as a bridging comic for the characters initially created and the comics which would be produced in the following years. To this end, Veitch wrote the forty-eight page comic series, spaced over two issues, entitled The Freedon Nadd Uprising. The artist for this series was a newcomer to Tales of the Jedi by the name of Tony Akins, who had been found and contracted by editor Dan Thorsland to do the artwork. Likewise, Veitch brought in Denis Rodier—a friend of his with whom he had collaborated on other non–Star Wars projects—to ink the series.
With the successful production of The Freedon Nadd Uprising, work began on the next story arc, which Veitch had initially envisioned as an enormous new storyline spanning twelve issues. However, Lucasfilm Ltd. cut the story into two distinct arcs, with the first six issues being called Dark Lords of the Sith and the last six The Sith War. Bringing in fellow author Kevin J. Anderson to co-write the first arc, Veitch again invited Christian Gossett to do the artwork. Working closely with Gossett, Anderson and Veitch made sure that their dialog fit with the artwork that he had produced. This was done through a series of rough sketches, mosaics, and stick figures so that the trio could get each page as close to their shared vision as possible. At other times, Gossett would work by himself to produce entire pages and scenes, especially the battle scenes, which, Anderson admitted, Gossett had such a "keen" eye for. Likewise, Gossett tackled the portion of the story which centered on the death of Arca Jeth, and he was able to effectively portray this as both authors had jointly envisioned it. During this time, Gossett designed the double-bladed lightsaber, which appeared as Exar Kun's weapon in The Sith War and would later appear on the silver screen in Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace. With he and Anderson planning on introducing Exar Kun in the Dark Lords of the Sith arc, Veitch and Lucasfilm were unsure what George Lucas would think about his plans to portray the Sith, but to their surprise Lucas loved the idea.
Despite the work which Gossett was able to produce, by the release of his fifth issue he had fallen behind due to the workload involved in that stage of production. To help Gossett, Dark Horse Comics brought in a relief artist named Art Wetherell, who took on various parts of the sixth, and final, issue of Dark Lords of the Sith. According to Anderson, Wetherell's work seemed rushed, and he did a vastly less interesting job of portraying the climactic scenes than Gossett had done. Nevertheless, Dark Lords of the Sith was completed on time, and a short rest was enjoyed by the production team before work began on the next story arc. During this time, however, events outside of Tom Veitch's control forced him to leave the project he had initially started. When asked about this time, and why he decided to leave Tales of the Jedi, Veitch responded that it was a long story, but that, "As Star Wars once again became a cultural phenomenon, I felt my freedom begin to slip away, and so it was time to do other things." Despite this, Veitch also commented that he thoroughly enjoyed his work and time on Tales of the Jedi, commenting that it was a great time to be working in Star Wars.
After he and Veitch co-plotted the first two issues of The Sith War, Anderson was left to complete the remaining four issues of the original twelve. Anderson admitted that he felt comfortable with the work he had done so far on Dark Lords of the Sith, and that he was more than confident in his ability to work with the comic format to finish the job. Anderson was also comfortable in the fact that he and Veitch had thoroughly mapped out the general storyline for all twelve issues, and that it was simply a matter of taking the basic points and fleshing them out into a detailed story. To do the artwork for The Sith War, Anderson brought in artist Dario Carrasco, Jr., whom Anderson called a "very reliable and enthusiastic guy."
Early in 1996, Anderson and his crew were able to finish the remaining issues of The Sith War, thus clearing the way for another project. Following the conclusion of the events first started in Dark Lords of the Sith, Anderson and the other members of the Tales of the Jedi project wanted to take a short rest from the story of Ulic Qel-Droma. Anderson and the others knew that there was still more to Qel-Droma's story, but they also knew it was going to be an intense and emotional journey to create and produce the final installment of it. To this end, Anderson began work on the first of two prequel story arcs for Tales of the Jedi, set more than 1,000 years prior to the events which had already been written about. The first story arc was entitled The Golden Age of the Sith and focused on the ancient Sith Empire, as well as the hyperspace explorers Gav and Jori Daragon. During this time, Anderson again worked with Carrasco, and the two worked closely with Lucasfilm on the storyline, submitting specific questions about the ancient Sith to George Lucas, which he would personally answer, thus providing a fair amount of material for use in the story. Although Lucasfilm directed Carrasco to not copy any historical human setting while designing the world of The Golden Age of the Sith and its successor, The Fall of the Sith Empire, Carrasco gave his setting a decidedly ancient Egyptian, Mesopotamian and feudal Japanese flair.
With the conclusion of The Golden Age of the Sith in 1996, Anderson completed his ancient Sith project by writing the second installment of his prequel series, entitled The Fall of the Sith Empire. In this installment, Anderson effectively brought to an end the story of the Sith Lord Naga Sadow, Gav and Jori Daragon, and the Great Hyperspace War, in which the Sith launched an attempt to conquer the Republic. For the artwork, Carrasco continued what he had begun in the first story arc, The Golden Age of the Sith. The final issue of The Fall of the Sith Empire was released on October 22, 1997, and was titled "End of an Empire."
- "That was a very powerful experience, especially during the writing of what I consider to be the most emotionally intense piece of SW fiction I have ever written. By sitting together, riffing off of each other, making suggestions and fine-tuning them, we got so involved in the story that we were practically shaking by the time we got to Ulic's death and redemption. I still think that's the best SW work I've done (I think it deserved attention for some comics awards, too, but comics awards tend to look askance at “movie-related” comics...as if they're somehow less respectable than superhero comics. Grrr...)"
- ―Kevin J. Anderson, regarding the creation of Tales of the Jedi: Redemption
With the successful completion of the two story arcs about the ancient Sith, Anderson again turned his attention to the story of Ulic Qel-Droma, which he had left partially completed at the end of The Sith War. According to Anderson, "That was a very powerful experience, especially during the writing of what I consider to be the most emotionally intense piece of SW fiction I have ever written." For Anderson, the writing of Redemption, originally titled The Redemption of Ulic Qel-Droma, was an important milestone in his career, and he wanted to do everything possible to make sure that it was one of the best pieces of Star Wars literature that he ever produced. Likewise, Christian Gossett, whom Anderson had worked with on Dark Lords of the Sith and had brought in to do the artwork for Redemption, wanted to make Redemption a comic unlike any previously published Star Wars work.
According to Gossett, his aim was to make the story arc as "visually character-driven as possible," a characteristic which he felt was severely lacking in Dark Lords of the Sith, which he claimed had turned into a "circus" by the third issue. Gossett explained that in Dark Lords of the Sith it was sometimes very hard for him to match a name to a face of a character, and he could only imagine what that must have been like for the readers and viewers of his work; likewise, he felt that that story had too many characters, and believed the story suffered from it. So, with Redemption, Gossett wanted to make a handful of core characters that he could really marry to Anderson's writing, thus avoiding the mass-injection of persons experienced in his earlier work. To accomplish this, Gossett traveled to Anderson's home and stayed with the writer and his wife during various stages in the production of Redemption. Gossett's and Anderon's aim was to work on each issue together, laying the artwork and scripts out panel by panel, page by page, and issue by issue. Although Veitch had already written a long story treatment about Qel-Droma's ultimate fate, Anderson and Gossett decided to take Redemption in a different direction. By the time Anderson and Gossett got to the climax in the story, Qel-Droma's redemption and subsequent death, both admitted that it was a very emotional time for them. According to Anderson, "…we got so involved in the story that we were practically shaking by the time we got to Ulic's death and redemption." Gossett, likewise, gave a similar account when he admitted in an interview that he was in tears during the writing and creation of the last few pages of the final issue.
The Sunrider naming controversy
- "Vima was supposed to be Bastila in K1 (seriously), but there are legal issues with using the name "Sunrider" so we were not allowed to use it in K2."
- ―Chris Avellone
Throughout the creation and writing of the Tales of the Jedi comics, Dark Horse Comics introduced several characters with the last name "Sunrider." In most instances these characters played crucial roles in the storylines of various comics, such as Nomi Sunrider, and later Vima Sunrider in Redemption. Nevertheless, despite their importance to the various storylines, a legal issue surrounding the name "Sunrider" appeared. Though details regarding the specifics of said legal issue are few and far between, it is known that subsequent use of the surname ceased in most Star Wars sources. However, there have been a myriad of instances where the last name "Sunrider" has been used, most notably in roleplaying game sourcebooks, miniature games, and several Essential Guides such as The New Essential Chronology and Jedi vs. Sith: The Essential Guide to the Force.
Despite the legal issue surrounding the name, there is an instance in the popular video game Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic where the character Jolee Bindo, in conversation with the player, discusses Nomi Sunrider. According to Chris Avellone, Creative Director of Obsidian Entertainment the producer of the game, these references and instances are simply oversights that managed to get past the editing stage. Due to the said legal issue, the developers could not use the name "Sunrider" throughout the game, even though they had initially planned on using Vima Sunrider as one of their lead characters. To this end, they had to invent a new character, by the name of Bastila Shan, instead of giving the lead character position to Vima in the game. In the sequel to the first game, The Sith Lords, there are two items which bore the name "Nomi," one described as "Nomi's Robe," and the other called "Nomi's Armband." When the character selects these items and reads their descriptions, only the first names "Nomi" and "Andur," without the last name "Sunrider," are used in the descriptions. Although the legal issues surrounding the name continue to exist, they do not preclude the name "Sunrider" from appearing in Star Wars media—however, it may not appear in a place where it might be confused with a trademarked product, such as in the title of a book or attached to an action figure.
- "The best that could be hoped for was to avoid direct contradictions. Transmedia storytelling evolved with the works of Kevin J. Anderson who placed Exar Kun in pivotal roles in both the Jedi Academy novel trilogy and the Tales of the Jedi comics."
- ―Leland Chee
Throughout the production of the Tales of the Jedi saga there appeared a number of continuity errors and other idiosyncrasies in the various stories and media.
The story arc The Freedon Nadd Uprising was eventually portrayed in the first Tales of the Jedi audio drama, and the audio production introduced a number of possible and outright contradictions. In the original Freedon Nadd Uprising comics, the Jedi Knights Nomi Sunrider, Dace Diath, Kith Kark, Qrrrl Toq, and Shoaneb Culu were selected on Ossus to lend relief to Ulic Qel-Droma and the other besieged Jedi stationed on Onderon. According to the comics, these Knights were dispatched from Ossus immediately to the aid of Qel-Droma. However, in the Tales of the Jedi audio drama the entire debate which took place on Ossus with regards to sending reinforcements to Onderon never took place; in fact, Nomi Sunrider accompanied Thon to the Republic capital of Coruscant, where she gave a speech to the Senate demanding that the Republic lend aid to the Jedi who were fighting the Naddists. From here, Sunrider was said to have been made the Supreme Commander of a Republic fleet sent to Onderon, and no mention of the other Jedi from Ossus was given at all in the audio drama. Even though Sunrider's speech to the Senate was not included in the comics, and the Jedi gathering on Ossus was not represented in the audio drama, it can be determined that one event simply follows the other in continuity, and that the other Knights from Ossus (Kark, Diath, Toq, and Culu) were not included in the audio drama due to their limited roles in the initial comic script written by Tom Veitch.
In the comic issue Tales of the Jedi: The Sith War 3: The Trial of Ulic Qel-Droma, Aleema Keto speaks with Mandalore the Indomitable following their failed invasion of Coruscant. In this conversation Keto orders Mandalore to lead his Mandalorians in an attack on the Republic space station at Kemplex IX. This conversation was the cause of some confusion, due to specific pieces of the wording of Keto's orders: "We will do a double-feint and strike the Kemplex Nine jump-station after all! The Republic forces thought it was a diversion of Ulic's, and now they will have left it virtually unguarded!" Following this interaction between Keto and Mandalore, the comic's narration goes on to say that "Mandalore sets Aleema's orders in motion, following them to the letter. He knows his warriors will see that they are carried out." Despite this, nowhere in any of the following Tales of the Jedi comics are there any mentions, pictures, or information on what was apparently a planned and executed Mandalorian attack on Kemplex IX. In fact, the next appearance of Kemplex IX was not until the following comic, Tales of the Jedi: The Sith War 4: Jedi Holocaust, which witnesses the Battle of Kemplex IX that was carried out by Aleema Keto and Crado, at the orders of Exar Kun and Ulic Qel-Droma. The narration at the beginning of this event lends even more confusion to the reader, where it is said, "Kemplex Nine was a bustling city in space…the only inhabited station in a hot, unstable cluster of ten stars known as the Cron Cluster. After Aleema's attack, though, it is no longer inhabited." Due to these specific lines and narrations, it can be argued that the sequence of events is unclear, and that it is unknown whether it was the Mandalorians or Keto who led to the station's attack. Since there has been no clarification from Lucasfilm regarding this situation, the initial order by Keto to Mandalore has been perceived as a continuity error which was superseded by the line "After Aleema's attack, though, it is no longer inhabited…" due the complete lack of Mandalorians following the order, and also due to the presence of Keto at Kemplex IX, combined with the proceeding destruction of it by Keto and Crado.
In the Power of the Jedi Sourcebook, the entry for Dace Diath states that it was Oss Wilum and Diath who tested the new and experimental Star Saber XC-01 starfighters shortly before the Second Battle of Empress Teta. However, in the comic story arc Dark Lords of the Sith, Diath and fellow Jedi Knight Cay Qel-Droma tested the new fighters. The Tales of the Jedi Companion also introduces a variety of continuity errors and other peculiarities which sometimes contradict what was established within the comics or even its own information. The entry for Arca Jeth stated that "…two dozen Jedi warriors…" were sent by the Jedi Masters to deal with the threat presented by the Nelori Marauders, and what ensued was the Hyabb-Twith Campaign. However, later in the same paragraph, it is said that "Only five of the twelve Jedi survived the encounter." As previously established within the book, there were twenty-four, not twelve, Jedi who were initially dispatched. Also within the pages of the Tales of the Jedi Companion, Chamma's entry incorrectly states that he engaged in a vicious battle with an unknown Sith Lord on the planet of H'ratth. This battle, however, actually took place on the planet of Athiss, which the Companion states is in the Loro Babis system. Previously, near the beginning of Chamma's entry, it is clearly stated that Chamma and several other Jedi had responded to a distress call on Athiss, and that it was while on that planet that they encountered the Sith.
Nomi Sunrider's hairstyle drastically changes throughout the duration of the Tales of the Jedi comics. In her initial introduction in The Saga of Nomi Sunrider, Sunrider has long, flowing hair. However, in the following story arc, The Freedon Nadd Uprising, which takes place almost immediately following The Saga of Nomi Sunrider, Sunrider is characterized with the upper portion of her forehead appearing to be shaved midway on the scalp, with tiny braids intersecting the baldness, but still maintaining the long hair down her back as seen in the original appearances. Her hairstyle changed again in the following story arcs repeatedly, constantly disrupting the visual continuity of her character's appearance. One explanation for this could be the simple fact that Sunrider was drawn by at least three different artists during the production of the Tales of the Jedi saga, and that the hairstyle changes were simply artistic interpretations of the artists who were drawing her at any given time.
Another peculiarity is the appearance of the Mandalorians, who first appeared in Tales of the Jedi: The Sith War as warrior soldiers hailing from the planet of Mandalore. According to the Tales of the Jedi comics, the warriors called themselves the "Mandalorian Clans" and were a grey-skinned Near-Human species who were united under their leader, Mandalore the Indomitable, and composed the entire force of "Mandalorians" in these stories. This species was eventually established as the Taung, a race which was established thousands of years before the rise of Humans on Coruscant. However, under Mandalore the Ultimate, a Taung soldier who became Mandalore at the conclusion of the Tales of the Jedi: The Sith War story arc, the Mandalorians took on a completely different look in the Knights of the Old Republic meta-series, where the Mandalorians were no longer composed of just Taung soldiers, but warriors from many different species and races. In fact, with the writing of the Knights of the Old Republic meta-series, the Taung species appears to be virtually extinct, with the one of the only recognizable Taung being Mandalore the Ultimate, whose appearance behind his mask was established in the Tales of the Jedi comics. Likewise, a second, though dying, Taung was introduced in the Knights of the Old Republic Campaign Guide who make references to Mandalore the Indomitable.
- "…I think SW does very well in the comics format, because it's such a visual story and universe. I did enjoy the different costumes, the different government and environment in the TOTJ timeframe."
- ―Kevin J. Anderson
The first two story arcs, Ulic Qel-Droma and the Beast Wars of Onderon and The Saga of Nomi Sunrider, composed the first Tales of the Jedi comic line to be produced by Dark Horse Comics. Eventually compiled into various collections, these two story arcs came to be recognized under the collective title of Knights of the Old Republic, which was the first time that that name appeared in Star Wars continuity. Written by Tom Veitch, drawn by Christian Gossett, and published in 1993, Ulic Qel-Droma and the Beast Wars of Onderon introduced many of the key figures of the Tales of the Jedi saga. In 1994, following the release of the initial run of five comics, Ilene Rosenberg did an interview with Tom Veitch, Christian Gossett, and Dan Thorsland entitled Making Star Wars Comics Come Alive for Star Wars Adventure Journal 2, which focused on the then-new comic series of Tales of the Jedi. When asked by Rosenberg what kind of feedback had been received from those who had read the comics, Gossett pointed out that, at the time of the interview, the majority of fan reception for Tales of the Jedi was positive. He also went on to say that Tales of the Jedi had been given a number of "nice" reviews in the comic magazine Hero Illustrated. Thorsland, likewise, replied that the fan reception had been so far terrific, that the press had given a wonderful review, and that, critically, it was very acclaimed. Similarily, Veitch simply stated that the Tales of the Jedi team had received hundreds of positive fan letters in the mail, with only one or two negative pieces of mail.
Nevertheless, fan comments about the first story arc, Ulic Qel-Droma and the Beast Wars of Onderon, ranged from mild to good, with several fans posting mixed reviews about their experience while reading it. Some fans praised the storyline, although expressing dissatisfaction with the arc's artwork. Likewise as part of the first Tales of the Jedi run of comics, The Saga of Nomi Sunrider introduced important Tales of the Jedi characters such as Nomi and Vima Sunrider, Thon, and Oss Wilum, among others. Released following the production of the first two comics, detailing Ulic Qel-Droma and Onderon, Sunrider's story was likewise written by Veitch. It was drawn by Janine Johnston and, in the final two issues, David Roach. Similar to its predecessor, The Saga of Nomi Sunrider received mixed reviews about its content and artwork, though the reviews tended to be more positive.
Following the release of the first five Tales of the Jedi comics, Tom Veitch was contracted to produce a one-shot 48-page comic series, and the end product was The Freedon Nadd Uprising. Eventually being produced as a bridging series which brought together the main characters from the first two story arcs, The Freedon Nadd Uprising was better received among fans than the original story arcs, though reviews were still largely mixed.Several fans had the minor complaint that The Freedon Nadd Uprising story arc was too short, causing the story to feel rushed. The series, these users agreed, could have easily been expanded from two issues to perhaps four or six issues, thus allowing the story to grow and for more detail to be given. Another complaint, which echoes those of the first two story arcs, revolved around the artwork of The Freedon Nadd Uprising, which was by artist Tony Akins. Following the release of The Freedon Nadd Uprising, Tom Veitch teamed up with Kevin J. Anderson to write the next Tales of the Jedi story arc.
This arc was entitled Dark Lords of the Sith, and it focused on both Exar Kun and Ulic Qel-Droma, and their descent to the dark side of the Force. This fourth story arc eventually ended with both Kun and Qel-Droma being anointed Dark Lords of the Sith. Generally, the reception of fans to this arc was far better than that of the first three, with several fans making the assertion that it was the best story arc of Tales of the Jedi. Overall, Amazon.com gave Dark Lords of the Sith a total of 4.5 out of five stars, while Barnes & Noble.com gave it four out of five stars.
The next story arc to be written was entitled The Sith War and spanned six issues which witnessed the height of Kun and Qel-Droma's power as Sith Lords, as well as their downfalls and defeats at the hands of the Jedi. Overall, fan reception to this series was positive, with many consistent reviews being given; nevertheless, as with previous story arcs, there were several complaints and dislikes listed with regards to The Sith War, mainly related to the artwork, though none negative enough to greatly impact any individual reviewer's opinions of the story arc. Overall, Barnes & Noble.com scored The Sith War five out of five stars, while Amazon.com gave it a score of four out of five stars.
The final Tales of the Jedi story arc to feature the characters first introduced by Tom Veitch was entitled Redemption, and took place approximately ten years after The Sith War. This story arc focused on Vima Sunrider, now a young adult, and her eventual training under the fallen Jedi Knight Ulic Qel-Droma. As the title suggests, Qel-Droma and others are in search of redemption—some for acts committed during the Great Sith War, and others for their own actions and feelings of hate. One difference among reviewers with regards to this story arc, which separates it from all previous Tales of the Jedi works, is the quality of artwork, which several have commented on in a positive light. Overall, the story arc Redemption received four out of five stars from Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble.com, and Goodreads.com.
Between the writing of The Sith War and Redemption, author Kevin J. Anderson was contracted to write two prequel story arcs for the Tales of the Jedi saga set over a thousand years before the events of the Great Sith War. The first prequel story arc was titled The Golden Age of the Sith and introduced readers to the characters of Gav and Jori Daragon and the events which would eventually culminate into the Great Hyperspace War. Fan reception of this story arc was generally mild and unenthusiastic. Overall, Amazon.com rated this story arc as 3.5 out of five stars.
The second prequel story arc produced was entitled The Fall of the Sith Empire, and concluded the events put in motion in The Golden Age of the Sith. In this story arc, readers witness the beginning, events, and conclusion of the Great Hyperspace War, a war of conquest begun by the Dark Lord of the Sith Naga Sadow. Much like its predecessor, The Fall of the Sith Empire received mostly negative to mild feedback, although there were some fans who enjoyed the arc. Despite a sprinkling of positive reviews, the majority of fan reaction towards The Fall of the Sith Empire was negative, with Amazon.com giving it three out of five stars.
Reception of the audio dramas and their interpretations of the stories were mixed among fans of Star Wars and Tales of the Jedi. Overall, the average customer rating for the Tales of the Jedi audio drama was four out of five stars on Amazon.com. Fan reception of the Dark Lords of the Sith audio drama was more positive, with praise for the sound quality and effects. Overall, the average customer rating for the Dark Lords of the Sith audio drama was 4.5 out of five stars on Amazon.com.
- "…Lucasfilm was extremely flexible with these comics and allowed us to do basically whatever we wanted, so long as we remained true to the spirit of Star Wars."
- ―Kevin J. Anderson
Knights of the Old Republic meta-series
- "With origins in the Tales of the Jedi comics, the era leapt to the forefront with the success of the Knights of the Old Republic video game."
- ―Leland Chee, commenting on the Old Republic era
The hugely successful Knights of the Old Republic video game takes place approximately thirty years after the events portrayed in Tales of the Jedi: Redemption, and started an ongoing meta-series which focuses on the decades proceeding the death of Ulic Qel-Droma. Due to the placement of the meta-series within the time line of Star Wars, there are numerous mentions and references to the older Tales of the Jedi saga found within the Knights of the Old Republic games, comics, and stories.
The two video games, Knights of the Old Republic and the sequel, The Sith Lords, both make various mentions and uses of the events, creatures, and characters of Tales of the Jedi. Within the original game, the most notable examples are: Nomi Sunrider, during a possible conversation between the player and Jolee Bindo; Ulic and Cay Qel-Droma, while the player interacts with Dorak; Exar Kun, when Suvam Tan describes his enslavement under him; accounts of the Great Sith War, as retold by various characters to the player; and the Cathar species, originally created for the Tales of the Jedi saga, but established as the species of Juhani, one of the main companions of the player. Similarly, several Tales of the Jedi characters had locations or items named after them, such as Marka Ragnos's tomb, Naga Sadow's tomb, Ulic Qel-Droma's mesh suit, and Exar Kun's light battle suit. Likewise, The Sith Lords, mentions a large number of characters originating from Tales of the Jedi, such as Nomi and Andur Sunrider, Ulic Qel-Droma, Freedon Nadd, Exar Kun, Sylvar, Aleema Keto, Arca Jeth, Crado, and several others. Various locations from Tales of the Jedi were also featured in The Sith Lords, such as the Tomb of Freedon Nadd, originally seen in its current form in the final pages of Tales of the Jedi: The Freedon Nadd Uprising 2: Initiates of the Sith, which is a prominent site in the game as it is the main setting for one of the player's major quests in the storyline. Likewise, the planet of Onderon and its fourth moon of Dxun, both of which originally appeared in the first Tales of the Jedi story arc, are both major locations within The Sith Lords's storyline. Onderon is the setting for a civil war, which the player helps quell; among various other things, Dxun served to reintroduce the character of Canderous Ordo to the meta-series, who first appeared in Knights of the Old Republic. Similar to the first game, The Sith Lords features a number of items and locations named after individuals from the Tales of the Jedi saga, such as the Tomb of Ludo Kressh, Ludo Kressh's armband, Nomi's robe, Nomi's armband, Sylvar's robe, Crado's robe, Aleema Keto's robe, Thon's robe, Arca Jeth's robe, Freedon Nadd's blaster, and Freedon Nadd's short lightsaber, among many others.
Aside from the video games, Tales of the Jedi also received mentions and references in the Knights of the Old Republic comic series. Jedi Master Vodo-Siosk Baas, the onetime Master of Exar Kun, was written as also the Master of Krynda Draay, who was the founder of the Jedi Covenant, an important establishment within the Knights of the Old Republic comic series. The Jedi Knight Alek references the end of the Great Sith War during a conversation with the fugitive Jedi Zayne Carrick. Exar Kun is likewise mentioned by Lucien Draay, when he used Kun as an example of how even an apparently harmless Padawan can cause the galaxy to be dragged into a full scale war. In Field Report: Project Black Harvest, Argaloh Adasca makes mention of Arca Jeth and his death during the Great Sith War.
Likewise, Arca Jeth appeared in flashbacks in the comic issue Knights of the Old Republic 33 and witnessed Jeth awarding the rank of Jedi Knight to Barrison Draay and Krynda Hulis. Also appearing in that issue was the character of Noab Hulis, who until that point had only been minorly portrayed in the Tales of the Jedi Companion. Vindication, Part 2 also expanded upon the events of the Great Sith War, briefly recounting the events of the Battle of Toprawa as well as the Sith ambush afterwards which resulted in the death of Barrison Draay and which also explained how Haazen came to be so disfigured. Featured prominently within the Knights of the Old Republic comics is the character of Mandalore the Ultimate, who originally, but briefly, appeared as a Taung soldier in the issue Tales of the Jedi – The Sith War 6, which was published in 1996. The Knights of the Old Republic comics took the character of Mandalore the Ultimate and expanded greatly upon his role in the Mandalorian Wars. A major reference to the Tales of the Jedi series was the appearance of Exar Kun's lightsaber, which was a major item in the Demon arc. The lightsaber was revealed to be kept in the Sanctum of the Exalted by the Jedi Covenant amongst other Sith artifacts. The lightsaber was later used by the villain Chantique, who immediately felt her Force powers enhanced.
In 2005, Tales of the Jedi was again referenced in the short story "Shadows and Light" which appeared in Star Wars Tales 23. Shadows and Light was created as a prequel story for the first Knights of the Old Republic video game, detailing the events surrounding a group of diaries discovered during the course of the game. One of the stories main protagonists is Duron Qel-Droma, cousin to Ulic and Cay Qel-Droma. Referenced in the story is Naga Sadow's tomb, Ulic Qel-Droma, Naga Sadow, Exar Kun, the Great Sith War, Onderon, and other topics all originating in the Tales of the Jedi comics.
Star Wars: Vector
In the fall of 2007, Dark Horse Comics announced that the writer of the Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic comics, John Jackson Miller, would be working with Legacy comic author John Ostrander on a new crossover comic series entitled Star Wars: Vector, which at the time was an upcoming series for 2008. The story of Vector would span all four of Dark Horse Comics' ongoing series at the time: Knights of the Old Republic, Rebellion, Dark Times, and Legacy.
In Vector, the main storyline centers on the hunt for the Muur Talisman, a Sith artifact dating from before the time of Tales of the Jedi antagonist Naga Sadow. The Talisman, it is discovered, was created by another Sith Lord called Karness Muur from the founding of the old Sith Empire, the same Empire created by Kevin J. Anderson for his two prequel Tales of the Jedi story arcs, The Golden Age of the Sith and The Fall of the Sith Empire. Anderson's character of Naga Sadow was worked into the Vector storyline when the history of the Muur Talisman was told, and it was learned that Sadow had battled many of his fellow Sith Lords in the quest to find the Talisman. Sadow's history was again briefly expanded and touched upon in Vector, Part 4, where it is described that he translated into Basic the Codex of Karness Muur, a Sith document.
Similarly, several other Tales of the Jedi characters were likewise given brief mentions in the opening comic of the series, when the reader was introduced to the Epistle of Marka Ragnos, Jori Daragon's amulet, and the Eye of Horak-mul. Each of these three artifacts make reference to both major and minor characters of the Golden Age of the Sith and The Fall of the Sith Empire storylines. Also, these hard-to-acquire artifacts were used by the Vector writers to introduce the reader to the character of Celeste Morne, a Shadow for the Jedi Covenant, who had either destroyed or recovered each artifact.
Star Wars: The Old Republic metaseries
- "We've examined the markings on Horak-Mul's sarcophagus. It's a nearly complete record of his achievements. It's all here: the Subjugation of the False Apprentice; Horak-Mul's great loyalty to Ludo Kressh; even the naval battle above Khar Delba, where Horak-Mul was killed by the Sadow'een. Amazing! And being buried on Yavin Four suggests he had followers in secret who survived the battle. But we've found no trace of the ancient signs of his office. We know the Eye of Horak-Mul was seized by the Jedi centuries ago, but we were hoping to find the remains of his ceremonial robe or the tablets he created alongside Dor Gal-ram. At least we have the sarcophagus."
- ―A in-game message from a Sith archaeologist
As the spiritual sequel to the Knights of the Old Republic games, the video game Star Wars: The Old Republic also builds off of the continuity introduced in Tales of the Jedi, with the game's central conflict stemming from the original Great Hyperspace War as depicted in Tales of the Jedi. Through The Old Republic and its multimedia series, the aftermath of the Great Hyperspace War is explained: amidst Supreme Chancellor Pultimo's extermination campaign against the remnants of the Sith Empire, the Sith Lord known as Lord Vitiate achieves immortality and immense power by tricking the remaining Sith Lords into performing a ritual of Sith magic with him, and Vitiate—now know as the Sith Emperor—leads the remnants of the shattered Empire into the unknown. The Emperor reconstitutes the Sith Empire with Dromund Kaas as its capital, and the Empire spends over a thousand years building up its strength and preparing to take its revenge against the Republic.
In the in-game Codex, The Old Republic features a series of Galactic History entries; a total of twenty-eight of the eighty-seven entries are dedicated to summarizing the events of all of Tales of the Jedi's story arcs. Four Jedi Masters who originated in Tales of the Jedi—Chamma, Arca Jeth, Nomi Sunrider, and Noab Hulis—appear in The Old Republic among the gatekeepers of the Noetikons, a set of three holocrons that each feature three Jedi Masters as their gatekeepers. However, Nomi's surname is entirely absent from The Old Republic; she is referred to primarily as "the Jedi Nomi," and is identified once as Nomi Da-Boda. The planet Athiss, which first appeared in the Tales of the Jedi Companion as the setting for the story of Chamma, appears in The Old Republic. The planet is revealed to be the resting place of the mad Sith Vodal Kressh, descendant of Ludo Kressh, and the planet is still haunted by the descendants of Vodal's followers. The Miraluka, a species that first appeared in Tales of the Jedi and went on to appear in Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, is one of the playable species in The Old Republic.
A number of worlds and locations that first appeared in Tales of the Jedi are referenced in The Old Republic, which features a system of crewskill missions through which the game extensively references elements of the Expanded Universe. The planets Ch'hodos, Ambria, Keres II, Koros Major, and Khomm are but a few of the planets introduced in Tales of the Jedi that are referenced in The Old Republic. One crewskill mission focuses on the discovery that Memit Nadill, who served as Empress Teta's advisor during the Great Hyperspace War, had a secret chamber located in Teta's palace. When The Old Republic originally launched, several dozen of the game's servers were named after characters, items, and locations from Tales of the Jedi, such as Tott Doneeta, the Goluud Corridor, the Iron Citadel, and hssiss. A number of Sith Lords from the Great Hyperspace War heavily feature in The Old Republic. The tombs of Marka Ragnos and Naga Sadow are both present on Korriban, and Horak-mul appears as a Force ghost in the Sith Inquisitor class storyline; Dor Gal-ram and Ludo Kressh also receive numerous mentions in the game. Relatively few continuity errors have arisen in regards to Tales of the Jedi and The Old Republic, most of which occurred in the in-universe history video Timeline 10: The Exar Kun War: the video features Cay Qel-Droma with two normal arms at the time of his death, and depicts the duel between Exar Kun and Ulic Qel-Droma as a pitched battle between armies of Krath and Massassi as Qel-Droma and Kun fight, unlike the comic's depiction of the duel as a smaller affair within the Iron Citadel just between the two combatants.
Other Star Wars media
Prior to the release of the first Tales of the Jedi comics, fans were treated to various previews of the then-upcoming comic book series, as detailed in the Dark Empire endnotes. Written by Tales of the Jedi author Tom Veitch, Dark Empire is a comic-book series which detailed the resurrection of Emperor Palpatine, and his ultimate defeat at the hands of the Rebel Alliance. At the end of each comic were endnotes, which were essentially small essays written by Veitch, that explored not only the backstory of Dark Empire, but as well as certain aspects of galactic history, including background details of various elements of the upcoming Tales of the Jedi series. Described were various characters, such as Ulic Qel-Droma and Nomi Sunrider, organizations like the Krath, as well as various other elements which would eventually be written into the Tales of the Jedi series. However, despite the details given in the various endnotes, Veitch eventually treated them as rough drafts, taking a lot of information and ultimately changing it, sometimes substantially, for its incorporation into the finished Tales of the Jedi comics.
Kevin J. Anderson's initial involvement with Tales of the Jedi came about during his writing of The Jedi Academy Trilogy series of novels, when he and Veitch decided that his character of Exar Kun would fit into the ongoing Tales of the Jedi storylines. At the end of The Sith War comic storyline, Kun had been defeated and encased in his Sith temples when Yavin 4 is destroyed by the Jedi. In Anderson's novel trilogy, in the year 11 ABY, these temples became occupied by Luke Skywalker and the students of his Jedi Praxeum, a school where Skywalker was attempting to re-create the Jedi Order of old. Central to Anderson's stories was the ghostly specter of Exar Kun, whose disembodied spirit was still present in the temples 4,000 years after his death. Under the guise of a mysterious stranger, Kun's ghost appeared to a young Jedi by the name of Gantoris; eventually, Kun was able to corrupt and kill the Jedi apprentice. Likewise, Kun was later able to successfully corrupt another Jedi trainee named Kyp Durron, and under the influence of Kun, Durron committed several atrocities such as the destruction of Carida. As Kun's spirit grew stronger, he was able to challenge Skywalker, and managed to pull Skywalker's spirit from his body, thus throwing his Jedi students into confusion and panic. Nevertheless, Kun's spirit was eventually destroyed through the combined efforts of the remaining Jedi students, Skywalker's spirit, and the long-dead spirit Vodo-Siosk Baas, another character from the Tales of the Jedi comics.
Appearing in the pages of Star Wars Adventure Journal 15, the short story Firestorm, written by Kevin J. Anderson, took place between the novels Jedi Search and Dark Apprentice and featured Exis Station from Tales of the Jedi: Redemption, as well as the stories of several characters likewise from the Tales of the Jedi comics. The story revolves around Luke Skywalker and his search for candidates for his Jedi Praxeum, which has recently been established on Yavin 4. During his search, he encounters a scavenger named Fonterrat who claims to have found the location of Exis Station, where an ancient Jedi Conclave had once took place. Believing that he might be able to find forgotten Jedi artifacts and lore, Skywalker sets off to find the station. Once there, he encounters a young woman by the name of Tionne, who was also interested in finding pieces of lost Jedi history. Eventually, the two companions managed to find several data plaques that contained recordings of Nomi Sunrider, the onetime leader of the entire Jedi Order, and her speech during the Conclave on Exis Station. Following this discovery, Skywalker offers Tionne a place in his Praxeum where she can study the Force and Jedi history. Also mentioned in this short story are numerous other Tales of the Jedi characters, including Gav and Jori Daragon, Tott Doneeta, Vodo-Siosk Baas, Vima Sunrider, and Odan-Urr.
In the video game Star Wars: The Clone Wars, released in 2002 for the GameCube and PlayStation 2, and 2003 for the Xbox, the character of Ulic Qel-Droma is provided a significant cameo appearance in the game's storyline. As the plot in the game becomes known, it is revealed that the Dark Reaper, an ancient Sith weapon which was developed during the Great Sith War, is slowly being reassembled by Count Dooku and his Separatist forces. The Jedi soon realize that if the Separatists are able to complete the Dark Reaper project, then the outcome of the war is all but decided. Nevertheless, Mace Windu advises both Obi-Wan Kenobi and his Padawan Anakin Skywalker that an ancient Jedi Knight named Ulic Qel-Droma had once learned how to fight the Dark Reaper, and was able to defeat it during the Great Sith War. Windu advises the two Jedi to travel to the frozen planet of Rhen Var and seek out the tomb of Qel-Droma, where they might find help in defeating the Separatist threat. After defeating a pair of Spectral Guardians who were guarding Qel-Droma's tomb, Skywalker confers with the spirit of Qel-Droma, who teaches the young Jedi how to withstand the effects of the Dark Reaper long enough to defeat it.
Various Tales of the Jedi characters and events were eventually incorporated into a number of Essential Guides such as The Essential Guide to Characters, The Essential Guide to Planets and Moons, The New Essential Chronology, and Jedi vs. Sith: The Essential Guide to the Force, as well as others. Several of these guides provided information about topics in Tales of the Jedi which had not been referenced in the comics, such as a brief mention of Arca Jeth's involvement against the Lorell Raiders in The Essential Guide to Planets and Moons; Jeth's actions during the Great Droid Revolution, mentioned in The New Essential Guide to Droids; The Essential Guide to Characters canonically establishing Nomi Sunrider's height, as well as her hair and eye color; and the inner thoughts and perspectives of Vima Sunrider with regards to Ulic Qel-Droma and her training under him, as detailed in the pages of Jedi vs. Sith: The Essential Guide to the Force.
Similar to the information collected in the Essential Guides, a large number of roleplaying game sourcebooks eventually expanded upon a number of topics originating from Tales of the Jedi. The Jedi Academy Sourcebook, for example, expanded upon Exar Kun's history and role in Kevin J. Anderson's Jedi Academy Trilogy novels. Other sourcebooks, such as the Power of the Jedi Sourcebook would take never-before-explored characters such as Ooroo, and provide new pictures and background details to their lives. Major characters, such as Nomi Sunrider, Arca Jeth, and Ulic Qel-Droma are also included in the Power of the Jedi Sourcebook, though their entries are largely just a retelling of the events already established in the comics. Nevertheless, despite the lack of new information in their entries, these characters were provided with new artwork and pictures within the sourcebook. Sourcebooks such as The Dark Side Sourcebook would focus on the Sith characters, such as Satal and Aleema Keto, Amanoa, Freedon Nadd, and Marka Ragnos, expounding upon their back stories and lending information on their experiences with the dark side of the Force.
Within the film Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith there appears in Chancellor Palpatine's office a frieze which depicts a massive battle from the Great Hyperspace War, which was originally featured in Tales of the Jedi: The Fall of the Sith Empire. As part of the art collection featured in final cut of Palpatine's office, George Lucas had requested that a picture be created depicting an ancient conflict between the followers of the light and dark sides of the Force. Artist Erik Tiemens created the original art which was eventually used as a base for the final frieze used in the film.
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- "When I first learnt that West End Games [was releasing] a companion to the Tales of the Jedi comics, I was overjoyed. I had enjoyed the comic books immensely, and still believe them to be the best that Dark Horse has produced so far in the Star Wars Universe. The group I am currently a member of attempted a Tales of the Jedi campaign earlier, but stopped it due to numerous difficulties. Now with this companion, we plan to return to the fascinating world of Star Wars once more."
- ―David Schibeci
|Title||Publisher||Author||Editor||Cover artist||Date published||Type||ISBN|
Following the initial success of the first few runs of comic series, West End Games was contracted by Lucasfilm Ltd. to produce a sourcebook for their Star Wars Roleplaying Game which centered on Tales of the Jedi. The sourcebook was written by George R. Strayton, a veteran Star Wars author who had worked on various other projects for West End Games. Released in August of 1996, the Tales of the Jedi Companion focused on the first three story arcs produced for the comic series, and provided extensive background details on a number of characters, planets, vehicles, and otherwise. Some of the included entries were for Ulic and Cay Qel-Droma, Nomi Sunrider, the SunGem, Freedon Nadd, and boma beasts. Likewise, the Companion included entries and descriptions for various light- and dark-side Force powers which could be used by players of the Star Wars Roleplaying Game. Of note are several vignettes that are scattered throughout the pages of the Companion which focus on small stories, ranging from a tale of Amanoa which takes place during the events of Ulic Qel-Droma and Beast Wars of Onderon, to a story about Vara Nreem, a young Jedi Knight not previously featured in the Tales of the Jedi series, and her fall to the dark side of the Force.
Fan reception of the Tales of the Jedi Companion sourcebook was overall positive, with the website The Wanderer's Rest giving it three stars, and calling it "Highly recommended." The Wanderer's Rest also commented in its review that, with regards to the usability of the sourcebook, "In some ways you are better of [sic] just using the comics books, but [we] feel the Companion is an excellent reference for the comic books." Likewise, Goodreads.com had several readers who gave the Companion between four and five stars out of a maximum of five stars, with no reviewers awarding fewer than four stars. Similarly, on the Jedi Council Forums of TheForce.Net, a user under the alias of "Blithe" commented, "I would also like to suggest the Tales of the Jedi companion and Dark Empire Sourcebook as well. Both are very well written pieces of literature – some of the best EU out there, IMHO." On the same forum thread, a user under the screen name of "LastOneStanding" says, "While I love the TotJ Companion, the creation of Warb Null isn't that great. The story about how Freedon Nadd became the evil being he eventually was is much better…"
- "Anyone who is familiar with what a Jedi Knight is supposed to stand for will grasp early on that whoever wrote 'Tales of the Jedi' has read more Conan novels than Zen philosophy."
- ―Mike Perschon, commenting on the script for the Tales of the Jedi audio drama
|Tales of the Jedi||August 1, 1997||HighBridge Audio||1565111982|
|Dark Lords of the Sith||July 1, 1997||HighBridge Audio||1565111990|
|Tales of the Jedi||April 7, 2005||HighBridge Audio||1565119738|
|Dark Lords of the Sith||May 5, 2005||HighBridge Audio||1565119746|
Between the writing of the comic story arcs The Sith War (completed 1996) and Redemption in (1998), HighBridge Audio was contracted to produce two audio dramas centered around the events of various Tales of the Jedi stories. In the year 1997, HighBridge produced and released two separate audio dramas on cassette tapes based upon the characters, planets, and storylines of the first four Tales of the Jedi arcs. Beginning with the Tales of the Jedi audio drama, HighBridge Audio used scripts written by John Whitman and based on Tom Veitch's original comic scripts, to bring to life the stories of Ulic Qel-Droma and the Beast Wars of Onderon, The Saga of Nomi Sunrider, and The Freedon Nadd Uprising, spread across two cassette tapes. Several months following the release of the Tales of the Jedi audio drama, HighBridge delivered the audio adaptation of Dark Lords of the Sith. This second drama was again written by John Whitman, who based his script off of the originals created by Tom Veitch and Kevin J. Anderson. Both the Tales of the Jedi and Dark Lords of the Sith audio dramas were eventually released on compact disc, again by HighBridge Audio, in 2005.
Notes and references