- "...This battle must be a battle of philosophies, of willpower. This is the Imperial way against the Rebel way—and so it should be my trainees against Skywalker's, Jedi versus Jedi. A shadow play, if you will, of darkness against light...but the main conflict will be direct and personal—as it must be! We can crush their very hearts, not merely breach their defenses."
The Third Battle of Yavin occurred in 23 ABY when the Dark Jedi Master Brakiss led the Shadow Academy and the Second Imperium on an assault against Jedi Master Luke Skywalker's Jedi Praxeum on the jungle moon of Yavin 4 in the Outer Rim. Despite superior numbers, the Imperium forces were outwitted by the superior Jedi tactics and the arrival of naval reinforcements from the New Republic. Following severe setbacks, Brakiss discovered that his master Emperor Palpatine had never returned and that his presence was just a holographic illusion. With the death of Brakiss and the destruction of the Shadow Academy, the Imperium forces were routed and defeated. The Dark Jedi Zekk also overcame his Imperial indoctrination and saved his former Jedi friends from an explosion at the Great Temple.
History[edit | edit source]
Prelude[edit | edit source]
- "Okay, what time is it when an Imperial walker steps on your wrist chronometer? Time to get a new chronometer!"
- ―Jacen Solo
Earlier, Jedi Padawans Jacen, Jaina, Lowbacca and Tenel Ka had gone on a brief trip to the Wookiee Lowbacca's homeworld of Kashyyyk to accompany his younger sister Sirrakuk who was undergoing a coming-of-age rite near Thikkiiana City. However, their trip was interrupted by a Second Imperium raid led by their former-friend-turned-Dark Jedi Zekk which made off with several guidance and tactical computer units. During the raid, Zekk informed his former friends that the Jedi Praxeum on Yavin 4 was the Second Imperium's next target.
Having survived their ordeal in the dangerous Shadowlands of Kashyyyk's jungles, the Jedi Padawans raced back to the Jedi Praxeum on their starship Shadow Chaser after having it repaired. Upon arriving at their destination after a two-day journey, they quickly alerted Master Luke Skywalker and the rest of the Jedi trainees of the incoming attack. Luke also dispatched Lowbacca on his T-23 skyhopper to fetch Tionne Solusar and Raynar Thul whom had gone on a training exercise at the Massassi Temple near the lake.
Skywalker also instructed Tenel Ka to gather as many students as she could and to give them a crash course in ground combat given her experiences fighting the Imperium troops, Dark Jedi and Bartokk assassins in her earlier adventures. While Jacen monitored the communications bands, Jaina and Luke went to get the shield generators ready for battle. Earlier, Han Solo had delivered a shipment of shield generators from Coruscant as a stopgap measure before more reinforcements arrived. The merchant Peckhum also arrived on his transport Lightning Rod, just as the Imperium fleet arrived.
By now, the Shadow Academy had arrived in orbit above the jungle moon of Yavin 4. From Brakiss's perspective, the assault on the Jedi Praxeum would be the Imperium's ultimate battle and his master Emperor Palpatine's revenge against Skywalker's resurgent New Jedi Order. The Imperium's strategy was a two-pronged attack led jointly by the Nightsister Tamith Kai and his prize-student and Darkest Knight Lord Zekk.
An Imperial commando team consisting of two TIE stealths piloted by newly-found recruits Commander Orvak and his back-up Dareb would be sent to plant explosives at the shield generators and the Great Temple where the Praxeum was based. These modified TIE fighters were equipped with stealth hull platings and damped ion engines to allow them to sneak through a gap in the shield generator; leaving the academy open to aerial assault. . Meanwhile, a fleet of Star Destroyers had been assembled through the use of hyperdrive and computer units seized during earlier raids on Coruscant and Kashyyyk. This fleet would enter the battle to engage any New Republic or Imperial Remnant reinforcements sent to aid the Jedi Praxeum.
First Engagement[edit | edit source]
- "Something's wrong, Uncle Luke. There's been an explosion out in the jungle...oh no! Our defensive shields are down."
- ―Jaina Solo
Above Yavin 4, the Shadow Academy dropped its cloaking device; revealing its presence in space. Out of one of its launching bays descended the two TIE stealths. These modified TIE/LN starfighters shot around the jungle moon before descending to the equator; following the coordinates of the ancient Massassi temple ruins where the Jedi Praxeum was based. Orvak and Dareb were among the Human youths who had been recruited into the Second Imperium's stormtroopers and later the TIE fighter pilot corps.
Flying in the skies above the jungles of Yavin 4, the TIE stealths' long-range sensors sensed the energy shields which covered a section of jungle near a river and an ancient Massassi pyramid. However, the energy shield's coverage did not reach all the way to the ground; leaving a shallow five-meter gap between the jungle foliage and the deadly force field. This gap was large enough for a small starfighter to travel through.
The two TIE stealths dropped down and dived through the gap. Unfortunately for Dareb, his TIE fighter overcompensated during the dive and its wing hit a branch; causing the fighter to crash on the ground. In the ensuing blaze, Dareb was killed; leaving only Orvak to continue the mission. Approaching the shield generator, Orvak landed in a small maintenance area wide enough for only a small fighter.
Entering the shield generator station, he withdrew two thermal detonators and planted them against the generator's power cells. Having set the timers, he quickly departed just as the station exploded in a brilliant blaze. Now all that remained was the Great Temple which housing much of the Jedi Praxeum's facilities. Meanwhile, Lowie had retrieved Raynar and Tionne in his T-23 skyhopper. Sensing danger, Tionne had them disembark from the aircraft in the edge of the jungle rather than approaching the Great Temple's hangar bay or landing field.
Meanwhile, Jaina witnessed the blast which destroyed the shield generator station. Returning to the communications console, she discovered that the Jedi Praxeum's long-range communications were being jammed; leaving them unable to communicate with the galaxy. In response, Skywalker summoned all the Jedi Padawans to an emergency assembly and ordered an immediate evacuation of the Great Temple. The Jedi trainees would retreat into the surrounding jungles in order to draw and to spread-thin the Imperium's ground assault forces. In anticipation for the attack, Jacen also released his numerous pets including mucous salamanders, piranha beetles and stintarils from his room in the Great Temple and set them free into the surrounding jungles.
Confrontation[edit | edit source]
- "I think you are afraid, Qorl. You're old and haven't flown a mission in years. You're leading the wing so you can hold us back to cover your own failures."
"That will be all, I give you the choice: say the word and I'll ground you from this mission, or hold your tongue and fight for your Emperor."
- ―Norys and Qorl
At the Shadow Academy's hangar bay, the Second Imperium's ground attack force were embarking onto a massive Battle Platform which would be used to transport troops and to coordinate the air-to-ground attacks. The Nightsister Tamith Kai would lead the Imperium's contingent of stormtroopers while Lord Zekk would take command of the Dark Jedi force.
Descending into Yavin 4's atmosphere, the battle platform flew towards the Jedi Praxeum. Tamith Kai and the crew occupied the upper command deck while the Stormtroopers occupied the first level. Zekk and his Dark Jedi were based in the bottom level near the drop-doors. Having reached their target, the drop-doors opened and the Dark Jedi activated their repulsor packs for a descent to the Praxeum. Upon landing in the thick jungle foliage, the Dark Jedi dispersed to start their mission of hunting the Jedi trainees.
Meanwhile, the TIE pilot Qorl would lead a wing of twelve TIE/LN starfighters in the air attacks on the Jedi. All of the other pilots were green recruits who had experienced no real combat but practiced only flight simulations. Prior to embarking on the mission, he had a brief but fiery altercation with the rebellious trainee Norys who rudely demanded that he receive command of the fighter wing. Qorl reprimanded his subordinate and then informed his fighter wing of recent developments on the ground including the destruction of the shield generators and the departure of Tamith Kai and Zekk's ground attack force.
By now, the Praxeum's Grand Audience Chamber was under attack by TIE fighters and TIE/sa bombers. The front of the hangar bay was hit and the entrance was covered in rubble; blocking the entry or departure of the starships within. Unable to communicate by HoloNet, Jacen and Peckhum boarded the freighter the Lightning Rod to escape into hyperspace and to seek help while Skywalker went to check that the other Jedi trainees had evacuated the Great Temple.
Meanwhile, Tenel Ka and Lowbacca along with his translator droid M-TD boarded their T-23 Skyhopper and entered the battle to confront Tamith Kai's battle platform; having sensed her presence in the Force. Since Kai commanded half of the ground attack force, knocking her out would prove essential in changing the tide of the battle. Unfortunately, the T-23 was shot down by TIE fighters but the crew managed to escape and continue their mission. As their target hovered ten meters above them and the surrounding jungle floor, Tenel Ka used her grappling hook and fiber cord to grip onto the hovercraft. She and Lowie then climbed up the vessel; using the Force to levitate her and Lowie when her arm and legs became tired.
Other smalls groups of trainees worked together to defeat members of the Second Imperium. Three Cha'a and three avian trainees worked together to ambush Dark Knights from the river flowing alongside the Praxeum. Deeper in the jungles, a tree-like trainee also ambushed a Knight, while elsewhere Tionne Solusar and a group of trainees trapped four Dark Jedi by suspending granite blocks from a temple ruin above their heads and forcing them to surrender. Kyle Katarn also confronted the deranged Jeng Droga during the battle. Droga was on Yavin searching, again, for his Master the Emperor. Kyle was victorious, and finally defeated the murderer who had roamed the galaxy for many years.
Deadlock[edit | edit source]
- "Very well, you give me no choice. I am Raynar Thul, Jedi Knight…uh, in training. You will either surrender now—or force me to attack you."
- ―Raynar Thul
While examining the damage done to the shield generator station, Jaina came across Orvak's still intact TIE stealth which she then hijacked. Ascending into the sky, she saw six other TIE fighters bombing the ancient Massassi temples. Using her fighter's comm channels, she tricked them into thinking that she was a fellow pilot. Jaina then used her fighter to launch a rear attack; destroying three of the fighters before being forced to flee when the remaining fighters turned around and pursued her.
Meanwhile, Master Skywalker received a message from Brakiss via his comlink who suggested that the two of them meet alone away from the fighting at the Temple of the Blueleaf Cluster. Seeing it as an opportunity to bring back his former trainee to the light side and to end the fighting, Skywalker accepted Brakiss' offer. Upon arriving, Brakiss engaged his former master in a duel but was defeated after the latter disabled his lightsaber. Despite Skywalker's attempts to bring him back from the Dark Side, his former pupil escaped using his repulsorpack.
In the skies above the jungle moon, the Lightning Rod was pursued by four TIE fighters. Attempting to call for help over the comm system, Jacen encountered a gleeful Norys—the leader of the Lost Ones street gang which the former and Zekk had a bad encounter with in Coruscant's lower levels. Norys' TIE fighter began strafing the Lightning Rod's rear engines. However, Qorl—who had received Jacen's distress message and disgusted with Norys' sadism and insubordination—came to the freighter's rescue and destroyed Norys' fighter; eliminating him.
Having landed amidst the thick jungle foliage, Zekk and his team of Dark Jedi attempted to use their combined Force powers to generate a Force storm to attack the Jedi fighters. However, they were distracted by Zekk's angst upon seeing the Lightning Rod under attack and the presence of a lone Jedi trainee— Raynar Thul. Underestimating the Dark Jedi, the spoiled and boastful youth tried to force the Dark Jedi to surrender and even tried to use the Force to push them away. The Dark Jedi would have killed him, but Zekk threw him into the mud instead. While this act saved Thul's life, it also cured the young Jedi trainee of his pride and arrogance.
In the midst of the fighting, Orvak planted the seven remaining thermal detonators in the abandoned Great Temple. Upon entering the hangar bay, he was ambushed by R2-D2 but managed to escape up the turbolift into a lecture hall at the top of the ancient pyramid. There, he proceeded to plant his explosives. The bombs would destroy the top of the pyramid and the resulting shockwave would travel down to the lowest levels; disintegrating the entire structure. However, as he was about to leave, Orvak was bitten and rendered unconscious by a crystal snake. He would only awake just seconds before the explosion and thus perished in the ensuing blast.
The Tide Turns[edit | edit source]
In the space surrounding Yavin 4, Jaina continued to evade her pursuers in her stolen TIE stealth; shooting one down in the process. By now, a fleet of New Republic naval reinforcements had emerged from hyperspace in the form of Corellian gunships and corvettes which were among the fast vessels available. With the remaining two TIE fighters closing in on her, she sent a distress signal to the nearest Republic ship. Luckily for her, the corvette was captained by Lando Calrissian and Admiral Ackbar whom she was close with. They promptly destroyed Jaina's pursuers and even invited her to come on board the vessel for the duration of the conflict.
Upon arriving onboard, she was warmly received by the crew and soldiers onboard including Calrissian and Ackbar who were amazed by her skills and prowess as a fighter pilot. By now, the New Republic fleet was closing in on the vaunted Shadow Academy and were about to dispatch boarding parties. However, this was interrupted by the arrival of a second Imperium force consisting of Star Destroyers which had been hastily fitted with the stolen hyperdrive cores, turbolaser batteries and computer systems seized in earlier raids.
The Imperium ships quickly opened fire on the New Republic ships which were unable to return fire since the former broadcast friendly ID signals which prevented the latter's computers from firing back. However, Ackbar merely initiated an override signal which deactivated his foe's computer systems and prevented them from firing back. In the New Republic counterattack, several Star Destroyers were destroyed while the survivors were forced into a retreat. In the ensuing space battle, Qorl's TIE fighter was hit in the crossfire; sending the fighter hurtling down into the depths of Yavin IV. However, Qorl survived the crash and would continue eking out an existence in the unexplored jungles of that moon.
Back on the ground, Tenel Ka and Lowie had managed to board Tamith's battle platform and crawl their way undetected to the command deck. There, the pair of Jedi trainees took on several surprised Stormtroopers and an enraged Tamith Kai who had thought they had perished on Kashyyyk earlier. While the Hapan/Dathomiri girl took on the Nightsister in a fierce duel, Lowie fought his way through the remaining Stormtroopers using his awesome strength and lightsaber skills. As the fight continued on top of the deck, Tenel Ka was strafed by a nearby TIE bomber. However, the young Jedi used the The Force to hurl her lightsaber at the bomber's side; severing a stabilizer device and gashing a hole in the armored hull.
The TIE bomber then spiraled out of control and crashed on the command deck; killing Tamith Kai and disintegrating the battle platform in a series of explosions. The ensuing debris settled at the bottom of a nearby river. Luckily, Lowie and Tenel Ka had jumped overboard into the surrounding jungle. In the ensuing descent, Lowie managed to cling on to a branch but Tenel Ka was knocked unconscious on a passing branch. The Wookiee then dove down the canopy to save her, succeeding at the cost of a dislocated shoulder and knee. Luckily, the pair was rescued by a party of Jedi trainees including a reformed Raynar Thul who were routing the remaining Dark Jedi.
With the battle turning against his forces, Brakiss fled on his shuttle to the safety of the Shadow Academy. There, he demanded to see the Emperor Palpatine to question him on the disastrous outcome of the battle. Two of the Royal Guards tried to block his entry into the Emperor's chamber but he cut them down with his lightsaber and then entered the chamber. There, he discovered a third Royal Guard working on a bank of controls, computer screens and holographic generators and realized that the Emperor had never returned.
In reality, the Royal Guards had created this illusion so that they could control the Second Imperium. Unfortunately, the fourth guard used his "Emperor's" override controls to activate the Shadow Academy's self-destruct systems, destroying the space station and killing all onboard. The fourth guard then managed to escape on a shuttle and headed for parts unknown. Unfortunately for him, he would later be killed by the anti-Human Diversity Alliance after he refused to reveal to them the location of the Emperor's plague storehouse.
Back on the ground, the remaining Imperial forces saw the destruction of the Shadow Academy in low orbit. Many surrendered while others like Zekk fled for the safety of the jungle. When, Jaina and several other Jedi gathered around the Great Temple, Zekk reappeared and blocked their path. Jaina thought that he had wanted to duel her though Zekk wanted to protect his friends by preventing them from entering the temple. By now, Zekk had realized the errors of his ways. Suddenly, the bomb exploded and destroyed a large proportion of the building. In the ensuing explosion, Zekk was knocked unconscious by several rocks but no one else was injured due to his efforts to block them from entering the building. Jaina's anxieties about the fate of her twin Jacen and Peckhum were cast aside with the sudden arrival of the Lightning Rod which requested that the group of Jedi clear to allow the freighter to land.
Aftermath[edit | edit source]
Following the battle, the Imperial pilot Qorl would return to a simple life on the jungle moon, refusing to surrender to the New Republic because of his indoctrination.There, he would remain sequestered until he encountered Anakin Solo years later during the Yuuzhan Vong War following the Peace Brigade capture of the Praxeum.
Reconstruction would also take place on the Jedi Praxeum. The Jedi trainees would also play a role in the clearance of debris and would also hunt for shards of carved stone blasted from the ancient structures, cataloguing them so that the pieces could be reassembled. Off-world engineers, architects and laborers would also be called in to help in the restoration efforts. New Republic military forces and planetary shields would also be installed on the Praxeum to defend it.On one notable occasion, Anakin Solo returned to Yavin IV and helped to rebuild the Great Temple. He viewed its rubble as a huge puzzle to be solved. Unfortunately, the Great Temple would be later destroyed by the Yuuzhan Vong during their invasion of the galaxy.
Appearances[edit | edit source]
- Young Jedi Knights: Jedi Under Siege (First appearance)
- Young Jedi Knights: Shards of Alderaan (Mentioned only)
- Young Jedi Knights: Diversity Alliance (Mentioned only)
- Young Jedi Knights: Delusions of Grandeur (Mentioned only)
- The New Jedi Order: Star by Star (Mentioned only)
- Dark Nest I: The Joiner King (Mentioned only)
Sources[edit | edit source]
- The Essential Chronology
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 92 (SHA-4, Shadow Academy)
- The Emperor's Pawns"—Star Wars Gamer 5 (First identified as Third Battle of Yavin) "
- The New Essential Chronology
- (Indirect mention only)
Notes and references[edit | edit source]
- Young Jedi Knights: Darkest Knight
- Young Jedi Knights: The Emperor's Plague
- Young Jedi Knights: Jedi Under Siege
- The Essential Reader's Companion
- The Essential Chronology
- The New Essential Chronology
- Dark Forces Saga
- Young Jedi Knights: Delusions of Grandeur
- The New Jedi Order: Edge of Victory I: Conquest
- Young Jedi Knights: Shards of Alderaan