- "Yavin was both a beautiful and a terrible god to the Massassi. It lifted their eyes to the heavens, but made their hearts small and fearful."
Yavin was the god of the Massassi, the warrior caste of the Sith species. He was represented by the gas giant Yavin Prime that filled the skies of its fourth moon. In the eyes of the Sith warriors, the red god was awe-inspiring because of his all-dominating presence in the firmament. When the Sith Lord Naga Sadow ordered the Massassi to assemble monuments, they found their own purpose in that command. In hopes of becoming like gods themselves, the Massassi built the temples in a vain attempt to reach their deity. Yavin was recorded in the Books of Massassi, a collection of sacred texts.
- "They gathered these stones for the Sith in a vain effort to touch the face of their god."
- ―Luke Skywalker
Around 5000 BBY, the Sith Lord Naga Sadow was defeated at a battle of Korriban. Sadow, accompanied by his remaining followers in a single starship crewed by Massassi warriors, went into self-imposed exile on the remote Yavin 4, the fourth moon of the gas giant Yavin Prime.
The Massassi who followed Naga Sadow to Yavin 4 came to regard Yavin Prime, the red orb that filled the sky, as a male deity that was fascinating and terrifying at the same time. Under Yavin's overwhelming presence above them, the warriors felt insignificant and frightened. When Sadow ordered his Massassi slaves to clear the ground and build temples on Yavin 4, they took it as an opportunity to reach the heavenly realm of Yavin and achieve godly status themselves.
The religious experience of the Massassi with Yavin was described in the Books of Massassi, a series of engraved tablets. Millennia later, the Jedi from Luke Skywalker's Praxeum unearthed the Books from a collapsed underground chamber in the jungle. In 16 ABY, the Jedi Master Streen translated the tablets and rediscovered the legend of Yavin.
Behind the scenes
The red god Yavin was only briefly mentioned in Before the Storm, a novel written by Michael P. Kube-McDowell and published in 1996, during a discussion between the Jedi Masters Luke Skywalker and Streen.
- Before the Storm (Mentioned only)