- "Are you certain that Baroness Omnino wasn't followed from the Vena system?"
"Yes, Chancellor. Every precaution was taken. But since the Baroness has been marked by assassination by the Vena Isolationists, it is regrettable that she rejected a Jedi escort."
- ―Supreme Chancellor Finis Valorum and Staff Aide Sei Taria
A bloody civil war was fought in the Expansion Region's Vena system during the waning years of the Galactic Republic. With Baron Kindoro's ascension to the throne on the planet Vena in 57 BBY, the Vena system was opened to free trade, marking an abrupt change from the customary policies constituted throughout its history. Built on the traditions of independence and isolationism, Venan society strongly opposed that measure, and reactionary groups took up arms against the Venan royal family. Following Kindoro's natural death, his wife, the Baroness Omnino, rose to power, which considerably deteriorated the state of affairs.
Omnino proved to be an even more intolerant and ruthless ruler than her late husband, and adamantly led the efforts to crush the insurgency until her death in 37 BBY at the hands of Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn on the planet Ord Mantell. Jinn, along with his Padawan Obi-Wan Kenobi, had unraveled a large, illegal scheme to have Vena admitted as a Republic world and gain support from the Galactic Senate against the Isolationists. When confronted with the truth, the Baroness threatened to kill Supreme Chancellor Finis Valorum, to which Jinn responded by swiftly beheading Omnino. Up until her death, the initial crisis and subsequent civil war had raged for at least twenty years.
- "I suspect they want to open a trade route to Vena. But if that is the Baroness' goal, she will first need our help to bring unity to her own troubled star system."
- ―Staff Aide Sei Taria, to Chancellor Finis Valorum
Descended from early Hapan explorers, the Human inhabitants of the planet Vena, located in the system of the same name in the Nojic sector within the Expansion Region, had a historical tradition of maintaining an independent and isolationist stance in their star system. They remained unaffiliated with the Galactic Republic, even though Vena and the Republic shared a good relationship, and the Venans would occasionally trade with the nearby Hapes Cluster for items they could not produce themselves. Other than that, Venans preferred to be left on their own.
Around 57 BBY, the rise of Baron Kindoro and his wife, Baroness Omnino, to power on Vena changed that historic position. Because Kindoro and Omnino had previously both served as ambassadors to the Core World planets of Coruscant and Alderaan, respectively, their contact with foreign cultures and goods exposed the nobles to certain amenities that were inaccessible from their home system. For that reason, Kindoro implemented economic deregulation and pursued ratification of trade agreements with other worlds in order to make commodities available exclusively to the Venan royal family. Since the Baron and his family controlled shipping, that course of action initially did not find resistance.
The civil warEdit
- "Death to the Baroness!"
- ―A mind-controlled Senate Guard shortly before attempting to kill Omnino on Coruscant
The radical shift toward economic and cultural openness eventually evoked a commotion among many Venans, who resented not just the fact that only the royal family was benefiting from the new influx of foreign products, but also that their newly imported extravagant lifestyles were dissonant from traditional Venan conduct. The commoners, who rallied together as the Vena Isolationists, called for a return to their closed borders and old-fashioned values, in opposition to the flamboyant way of life that their rulers were adopting. The regents, unwilling to give in to the demands of the protesters, imprisoned the movement leaders and sent them to labor camps. That move aggravated tensions and motivated the remaining members to manufacture weapons, stage terrorist strikes against Venan nobility, and to sabotage cargo ships.
The terrorist attacks, however, only worsened the situation. The royal family deplored the commoners' intrusion into their affairs, while the populace refused to back down. The conflict further deteriorated after the death of Baron Kindoro by heart failure while traveling in Republic space. Baroness Omnino, next in line to power, ascended to the throne and proved herself even more unmerciful than her husband, as she set as her top priority the quelling of the insurrection, even if it meant neglecting raising her son, Baron Sando. She waged bloody war for years against her subjects, who, although facing the Venan government, still wielded a good deal of political power. The Isolationists marked Omnino for assassination, forcing her to take extensive precautions when traveling from the Vena system to avoid pursuit and possible attacks. Throughout the war, the Baronness heavily invested in illegal brain-wave projection technology—mind control devices—in order to influence events outside of her system in her favor, since the devices were unable to effectively manipulate the movement leaders into turning themselves in.
Baroness Omnino's Republic campaignEdit
- "You fabricated an assassination attempt… killing a Senate Guard and your own guardian… to gain sympathy from the Galactic Senate?"
"And have my way with them. Now, Vena is a member of the Republic, and I have unlimited access to Ord Mantell."
- ―Qui-Gon Jinn and Omnino
The war, however, did not halt Omnino's ambitious side plans. In 37 BBY, she orchestrated a false flag assassination attempt by using the mind control device against one of the Senate Guards protecting her, so that he would try to murder her upon her arrival on Coruscant for a meeting with Republic Supreme Chancellor Finis Valorum. In manipulating him so, Omnino hoped to gain sympathy and support from the Galactic Senate against the Isolationists, as well as commence membership negotiations for Vena into the Republic. Individuals close to Chancellor Valorum, such as Staff Aide Sei Taria, believed the visit was part of a strategy to help the Baroness further open her system by having a new trade route established between Vena and the Republic, although even the Chancellor himself conceded that, if true, it would be a lucrative deal for the Republic for many generations to come.
The attack, which took the lives of the aforementioned Senate Guard and another bodyguard who tried to protect the Baroness, successfully garnered commiseration from the Galactic Senate. Omnino, all the while secretly threatening the Chancellor's life, made Valorum efficaciously lobby for the admission of the Nojic sector planet into the Republic. Her off-world plot to have Vena admitted as a Republic world and gain the upper hand against the Isolationists was ultimately thwarted by Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn and his Padawan Obi-Wan Kenobi, who investigated from the beginning and unraveled her elaborate scheme.
Omnino had made use of her investment in brain-wave projection technology when she gave a mind control device to land baron Taxer Sundown, so he could provide supplies of Mantellian Savrip meat—considered a delicacy by the Venan royal family—from the Mid Rim Ordnance/Regional Depot planet Ord Mantell to Vena, after her plan to breed Savrips on her homeworld failed. The Baroness meant for Sundown to do so by killing the existing land barons, usurping their operations and seizing power on Ord Mantell for Omnino, goals that he successfully accomplished.
Jinn and Kenobi were at the shipment loading rendezvous point just as the Baroness arrived at the Ordnance/Regional Depot on her personal shuttle, the Benevolent III, to transport the next batch of Savrip meat. Omnino brought the Chancellor, who was under the effects of the mind control device, on board her transport to Ord Mantell. After Jinn confronted Omnino with the truth, she threatened to kill the entranced Chancellor. In a quick succession of events, Jinn distracted her and swiftly beheaded her using the sai cha technique of lightsaber combat.
- "You do realize the senators will insist on an investigation?"
"Of course, Chancellor. Meetings will be held, delegations will be sent to Vena and Ord Mantell."
- ―An exchange between Finis Valorum and Qui-Gon Jinn, after the incident on Ord Mantell
Up until Baroness Omnino's passing, the crisis and subsequent civil war on Vena had dragged on for at least twenty years. Jinn and Chancellor Valorum predicted that her death would resonate with the Republic, generating meetings and delegations to Vena and Ord Mantell to investigate the incidents that led to her beheading.
During that period, the Venan rulers, despite popular outcry, successfully connected the Vena system to a major hyperlane known as the Lesser Lantillian Route, which spanned four galactic regions: the Inner Rim, the Expansion Region, the Mid Rim, and the Outer Rim Territories. Although Omnino was killed thirty-seven years before the Battle of Yavin, the Venan monarchy itself was not overthrown altogether after her passing, still existing around 1 or 2 BBY, as evidenced by the use of the nobility title of Royal Margravine by the Venan Abominelle during the Galactic Civil War.
Behind the scenesEdit
The Venan civil war was first hinted at in Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan: Last Stand on Ord Mantell, a comic series written by Ryder Windham and drawn by Ramón F. Bachs. The series, which was composed of three issues released in December 2000, and in February and March 2001, featured a conversation between Staff Aide Sei Taria and Supreme Chancellor Finis Valorum in which Taria fleetingly states that Baroness Omnino is marked for assassination by the Vena Isolationists. The reference to the conflict was only made in the first issue of the arc.
The web-exclusive article Before the Rise, published on the Wizards of the Coast website on April 16, 2002 and written by J.D. Wiker as a scenario supplement for the Star Wars Roleplaying Game, later expanded the back-story of the conflict. It explained the reason why Omnino was wanted dead by the Isolationists, serving as a tie-in prequel to the comic series, albeit without indicating the outcome of the civil war. The article also covered three other political factions: the Galactic Senate, the Jedi Order, and the Hutts, all during the Rise of the Empire era.
- Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan: Last Stand on Ord Mantell 1 (First mentioned) (Indirect mention only)
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 The Essential Atlas
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 According to The Essential Atlas, the trade routes in the region known as "The Slice," a region which included the Vena system, existed during the last years of the Galactic Republic. The article Before the Rise states that Vena only opened up after Kindoro and Omnino's rise to power, which means that the Lesser Lantillian Route could only have been established around this time period.
- ↑ The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. II, p. 411 ("Omnino, Baroness")
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan: Last Stand on Ord Mantell 1
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan: Last Stand on Ord Mantell 3
- ↑ The Official Star Wars Fact File 131 (ORD1–2, Last Stand on Ord Mantell)
- ↑ The Essential Guide to Warfare
- ↑ The web article Before the Rise states that the crisis that would turn into the civil war started at approximately twenty five years before the Battle of Naboo, which according to The New Essential Chronology took place in 32 BBY. Given that the comic book series Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan: Last Stand on Ord Mantell places itself at five years before the events on Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace, it can be deducted that the civil war lasted for at least twenty years.
- ↑ Adventures in Hyperspace: Fire Ring Race
- ↑ Star Wars: Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan - Last Stand on Ord Mantell #1 (of 3). Dark Horse. Retrieved on March 4, 2013.
- ↑ Star Wars: Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan - Last Stand on Ord Mantell #2 (of 3). Dark Horse. Retrieved on March 4, 2013.
- ↑ Star Wars: Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan - Last Stand on Ord Mantell #3 (of 3). Dark Horse. Retrieved on March 4, 2013.
- ↑ JF (April 16, 2002). Updates at Wizards of the Coast. TheForce.Net. Retrieved on February 18, 2013.