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"This temple might be an archaeological find of great value, a monument of untold wonder, but it's also a monument to evil."
―Corran Horn[src]

The Temple of Exar Kun, also known as the Tomb of Exar Kun or the Dark Temple[5] was a Sith temple on Yavin 4. It was located northeast of the Great Temple.

Design and Layout[edit | edit source]

The outer chamber of the Temple

The temple was situated on a volcanic island called the Isle of Kun in the middle of a deep lake and it could only be reached on foot by stepping stones. These were set a few centimeters beneath the surface of the water, which forced all who crossed them to approach the temple with their heads bowed, so they could watch their feet.[2]

The temple itself was made from polished black-colored obsidian that was studded with corusca gems.[3] It was etched with Sith hieroglyphics and pictographs, that translated as magic incantations to protect the temple and call doom to its defilers.[2] At its apex was a large statue of the Sith Lord Exar Kun[3] and outside, there was a small courtyard.[2]

Inside, the temple had just one chamber and catacombs beneath it. These consisted of a number of chambers, interlinked by tunnels. The last chamber contained the sarcophagus of Exar Kun, where presumably his body was intended to be placed after his death, although it is unknown if this actually happened, as he fused his spirit into the very walls of the Yavin 4 temples—possibly taking his body too.[4] The temple also had a water cistern inside of it.[3]

History[edit | edit source]

Just before he fully embraced the dark side of the Force, the fallen Jedi Exar Kun came to Yavin 4, where he enslaved the native Massassi, who saw him as a god.[6] He had them construct temples in his honor, one of which would later become known as the Temple of Exar Kun. Kun used the temple as a private retreat, where he went to further his studies of the Force.[3]

Rebel troops discover the temple

Shortly before his death at the end of the Great Sith War in 3996 BBY, Kun drew upon the life forces of the entire Massassi population to transfer his spirit into the temple, where his spirit resided for the next four thousand years.

The temple was rediscovered during the Battle of Yavin by a Rebel naturalist called Dr'uun Unnh. He instantly realized that it was a Sith temple and was intrigued by the fact that, while all the other temples on Yavin 4 were worn and ruined, this temple showed no signs of aging at all. Unnh was killed shortly after, when his speeder bike was hit by a crashed TIE/LN starfighter, but details of the temple were recovered on his datapad, by a search team.[7]

The Temple's main hallway

In 1 ABY, Professor Walter Emanus led a University of Corellia archaeological expedition to the temple and discovered a number of rare artifacts, such as the Valahorn. However, when their excavations uncovered the catacombs beneath the temple, they reawakened the spirit of Exar Kun. They became enslaved to the spirit and formed the Cult of Exar Kun. The cult based itself in the catacombs, until they were driven out by a team of spacers, sent by Professor Cornelius Wagglehorn, a colleague of Emanus from the University. Jan Dodonna and Luke Skywalker were also present at the temple at some point during the excavation and a spacer aided them with a number of tasks in evacuating the base. The spacers were sometimes halted in the temple by Rebel soldiers who were possessed by Kun's spirit.[4]

Skywalker later set up a Jedi Praxeum in the Great Temple on Yavin 4 in 11 ABY.[8] On his arrival, he could sense Kun's dark presence inside the temple, something that he hadn't sensed when on Yavin 4 before, when his Jedi abilities were less well developed. The spirit of Exar Kun was reawakened and set about luring his pupils to his temple, where he attempted to turn them to the dark side of the Force. Gantoris and Streen traveled to the temple and while they were there, two corusca gems flaked off its walls and landed at Gantoris's feet. This was presumably caused by Kun, and Gantoris used them in the construction of his lightsaber. Kun succeeded in turning Gantoris, but when he resisted, he destroyed him. Later, Kyp Durron and Dorsk 81 journeyed to the temple. There, Kyp put his companion to sleep while he learned from the Sith Lord. Kun wanted to kill Dorsk on a whim, as a demonstration of his power, but Kyp prevented this, by asking the Dark Lord to teach him everything he knew.[3] Corran Horn also visited the temple soon after and Kun promised to help him find his missing wife, Mirax, if he became his student. Horn resisted, but Kun came close to breaking him, until Mara Jade arrived and temporarily distracted him. The Dark Lord then realized this, while the other Jedi students worked to vanquish his spirit,[2] which they succeeded in doing.[9]

The Temple's throne room

With Exar Kun destroyed, Kyp was redeemed to the light side of the Force. On Kyp's return to Yavin 4, Luke took him to the temple, to face a test similar to the experience Luke had in the Dark Side Cave on Dagobah. Instead of Vader, Kyp faced Exar Kun and passed the test, by refusing to strike him down with anger. Kun then resolved into Kyp's dead brother Zeth as a Force ghost, much as Luke had seen himself in Vader's mask. Zeth's image was probably formed through the Force powers in the temple in which he appeared to teach Kyp an important lesson, though it is impossible to say for sure.[9]

Shortly after, Corran Horn gained Luke's permission to destroy the temple, as he had seen firsthand how Sith writings had corrupted the Jensaarai and he didn't want the writings in the temple to lead anyone else to the dark side. He attacked it in his X-wing, beginning by firing proton torpedos at the statue of Exar Kun. The fragments of this rained down, with some damaging the interior of the temple, while others plummeted into the lake. He then switched to lasers and targeted the exterior of the temple, strafing it back and forth until it collapsed and heating it up so that all the writings on it were destroyed. When he had finished, almost no traces of it remained.[2]

Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]

In early concept art for Solo: A Star Wars Story, Dryden Vos would have a desk made of obsidian taken from the Temple of Exar Kun.[10] Ultimately, however, the movie's tie-in material merely identified its origin as an unidentified Sith temple.[11]

Appearances[edit | edit source]

Construction of the Temple

Sources[edit | edit source]

Notes and references[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

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