"In surrendering this, we surrender ourselves."
―Nas Choka relinquishes his tsaisi and surrenders to the Galactic Alliance[src]

The tsaisi, also called baton of rank or rank baton, was a smaller, thinner baton-like weapon used by the Yuuzhan Vong species formed out of the same creature as the amphistaff. Requiring great skill and special training to wield, a tsaisi was reserved only for the most elite officers of the warrior caste, such as the commander Shedao Shai or Warmaster Tsavong Lah. Batons of rank were used through the entire duration of the Yuuzhan Vong War, culminating with the Yuuzhan Vong surrender, where Warmaster Nas Choka relinquishing his tsaisi to the Galactic Federation of Free Alliances forces that bested his people as a symbol of their defeat.


An amphistaff, the larger and more common cousin of the tsaisi

Tsaisi were members of the same[2] predatory[4] serpentine[3] species as the larger and more common amphistaff and used by Yuuzhan Vong warriors as baton-like melee weapons. Shorter and narrower than its amphistaff cousin, the tsaisi was a delicate[2] and precise weapon that required specialized training to be used effectively. Because of the special training and immense skill needed to properly wield a rank baton, they were reserved only for elite warriors and when not in use were worn around the arm as a symbol of rank.[5] They typically weighed 1.2 kilograms[3] and were about the length of a Yuuzhan Vong's forearm when unfurled into a blade.[1] In addition to the baton form, tsaisi could also be wielded as a two-headed dagger, whip-like lash or as a ranged weapon that spit venom.[3]


Starting with the early warrior-led incurions following the failure of the Praetorite Vong,[2] tsaisi were used throughout the entirety of the Yuuzhan Vong invasion of the galaxy.[6] Commander Shedao Shai kept his baton of rank around his right arm and fought with it as he led his forces in a ground assault on the planet Ithor.[1] Much later in the war, Warmaster Tsavong Lah fought the Jedi Knight Jaina Solo in a duel on Ebaq 9 using his own tsaisi and wounded the Wookiee Jedi Lowbacca when he threw the baton like a spear.[7] Lah's successor as Warmaster, Nas Choka, also bore a tsaisi as a symbol of his rank. After the Yuuzhan Vong were finally defeated after years of devastating conflict, Choka publicly relinquished his weapon to the Galactic Federation of Free Alliances and surrendered on behalf of his people during a ceremony aboard the Bothan Assault Cruiser Ralroost.[6]


Tsavong Lah, who fought Jaina Solo using his tsaisi at Ebaq 9

Rank batons were typically used by high ranking members of the Yuuzhan Vong warrior caste, such as the commander Shedao Shai[2] and Warmasters Tsavong Lah[7] and Nas Choka.[8] Even among warriors, a tsaisi was a rare honor[9] and reserved for only the most elite.[5] While the weapons were typically only for warrior officers, the Shamed One Onimi also carried one. This occurrance was so abnormal that Nom Anor,[10] a member of the intendant caste,[11] was shocked that Supreme Overlord Shimrra Jamaane would allow him to carry such a weapon.[10] In reality, Jamaane was merely a puppet ruler, which accounted for the abnormal allowances given to Onimi, who was secretly the true center of power.[6]

Behind the scenes[]

Tsaisi first appeared in the 2000 novel The New Jedi Order: Dark Tide I: Onslaught written by Michael A. Stackpole, the second installment of the Star Wars: The New Jedi Order series.[2] They appeared in a recurring capacity throughout the rest of the series, until The New Jedi Order: The Unifying Force, the final book.[6]



Notes and references[]

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