The Silent Blades were a pirate band that was active during 0 BBY. That year, they were pursued for weeks by the Imperial frigate Far Orbit, led by Captain Vocis Kenit, before the pirates were forced to fight the Imperials in an asteroid field in the Outer Rim Territories. The pirates were all but destroyed by the Far Orbit's complement of TIE Series starfighters. Following the battle, a few survivors of the Silent Blades renamed themselves the Tarnished Blades, and started to conduct piracy near the Ringali Nebula sometime around 0 ABY.
The Silent Blades were a group of pirates active in the Outer Rim Territories in 0 BBY. That year, they destroyed several system patrol craft and starfighters that belonged to governments in the Outer Rim, prompting the Galactic Empire to send out the EF76 Nebulon-B escort frigate Far Orbit, under the command of Captain Vocis Kenit, to deal with the pirates after those governments complained about the losses. The Imperials tracked the Silent Blades for several weeks before trapping them in an asteroid field. There, the Imperials could not get at the pirates with the Far Orbit, nor could the Silent Blades escape. Kenit, ignoring his second-in-command Dhas Fenoep Vedij's advice to wait for reinforcements, sent the TIE Series fighter complement of the Far Orbit at the pirates. In the ensuing battle, the pirates were all but destroyed, though all of the TIEs were eliminated as well.
Following their defeat, some survivors of the Silent Blades banded together and renamed themselves the Tarnished Blades. They started to operate near the Core Worlds's Ringali Nebula under the command of Shel Marcino, who was a mere deckhand when the Silent Blades were attacked. The Tarnished Blades vowed to exact revenge on Captain Kenit and the Far Orbit for defeating them.
The pirates eventually found the Far Orbit in 0 ABY, which was in the Core's Ringali Shell. However, it turned out that some of the crew, led by Vedij, had previously mutinied out from under Kenit's control and captured the ship from the Imperials, partially because Kenit's leadership had killed so many pilots in the attack on the pirates. Due to the change in the frigate's leadership and allegiances, the Tarnished Blades agreed to help the crew, who had become privateers for the Alliance to Restore the Republic following the mutiny. The pirates did this as there was a chance of encountering Kenit again, the man actively hunting the rogue frigate.
The Silent Blades were a pirating group. However, they were fragmented due to the attack at the hands of the Far Orbit's starfighter complement, though some of the survivors were reorganized as the Tarnished Blades by Marcino. As the Tarnished Blades, the group only had a couple of light freighters, including the Dark Vendetta, as well as a pair of Preybird-class starfighters.
Behind the scenes
The Tarnished Blades, and its predecessor, the Silent Blades, were first mentioned in 1998's The Far Orbit Project, by Timothy S. O'Brien. The book was a supplement to West End Games' Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game and was a sequel of sorts to the previous publication Pirates & Privateers, carrying on that book's theme by following the privateering vessel Far Orbit. The pirate gang was mentioned in Marcino's entry in The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, published in 2008.
- The Far Orbit Project (First mentioned)
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. II ("Marcino, Shel")