- "If not for self-reliance, our ancestors would have died shortly after your ancestors left them here."
- ―Zeison Sha warrior speaking to emissaries of the Jedi Order
The Zeison Sha were an order of Force-adepts known for their survival skills and resourcefulness, as well as their abilities in telekinesis and with the discblade. Home to the Outer Rim planet of Yanibar, the Zeison Sha developed their Force powers as a means of withstanding their harsh planet. The order stressed independence and survival, as well as assistance to those in need. Long estranged from the Jedi, they had little use for the Order.
For millennia after the original colonists had been abandoned on Yanibar, the Zeison Sha developed an isolationist philosophy. Unlike the Jedi Order, the Zeison Sha did not separate Force-sensitive children from their parents for training. Further attempts by the Jedi Order to re-establish relationships with the Zeison Sha ended in failure. They survived attempts during the Great Jedi Purge to stamp them out, avoiding Darth Vader and other Jedi hunters. Even through the Yuuzhan Vong War, the Zeison Sha remained independent and spiteful towards the Jedi.
Home to the Outer Rim planet Yanibar, the Zeison Sha developed their Force powers as a means of withstanding their harsh environment. Stressing independence and survival, as well as assistance to those in need, the Zeison Sha organization were established by 3951 BBY.
Refuge from the Sith
A major development of Zeison Sha history occurred near the beginning of the New Sith Wars. Then, many friends and families of the Jedi numbering thousands fled to form a refuge from Sith attacks. The group established a small colony on Yanibar. Once the refuge was established, the colonists expected the Jedi to return for them once the wars had ended. Little did they know that every Jedi with knowledge of the refuge had died in combat, taking the secret of the families and friends with them to their graves. Due to Yanibar's seasonal extremes, most of the original settlers died in the first few years after landing there.
Forgotten, the colonists eked out a subsistence living from the trying conditions of Yanibar. The Force abilities of many of the colonists contributed significantly to their survival and they somewhat prospered. A few centuries after arriving upon Yanibar, the planet was discovered by fringe traders and a small spaceport and outpost were established, although the organization and planet of Yanibar remained in relative obscurity. They did establish relations with the traders, which gave them some knowledge of galactic affairs.
After the end of the wars, some Zeison Sha returned to the galaxy, only to find that the Jedi Order took their Force-sensitive children for training and conversion into the Order. Angered, they returned to Yanibar with reports of Jedi child-snatching. The general view of the Jedi diminished significantly as a result. Still, some members left their world and journeyed abroad throughout the organization's history. They often did so incognito, especially after the rise of the Galactic Empire. Zeison Sha in the galaxy rarely stayed in one place. Instead, they traveled the spacelanes in search of those in need.
In 580 BBY, the Zeison Sha received a visit to Yanibar by the Jedi Master Bodo Baas on a diplomatic mission. Years of planning had gone into the mission, as Bodo Baas hoped to convince the Zeison Sha to join forces with the Jedi. The Zeison Sha were suspicious of the Jedi and would not allow the Jedi unsupervised contact with their children. After such a cold reception, the Jedi commission departed, realizing that the Zeison Sha were completely unwilling to entertain any idea of unification with the Jedi Order.
Despite the numerous dangers of the galaxy, the Zeison Sha survived during the reign of the Empire, though Imperial troops did occupy Yanibar. The Zeison Sha did not take kindly to this, with members actively resisting the Imperial occupation. They ultimately survived the Great Jedi Purge, but remained unreconciled to the Jedi. During the Yuuzhan Vong War, the Zeison Sha quietly celebrated the Jedi lost during the war, but also wished the Yuuzhan Vong invaders would avoid Yanibar and leave the galaxy peacefully.
Zeison Sha believed in independence and self-reliance. After their perceived betrayal by the Jedi, the adherents of this tradition had no desire to be beholden to anyone. This mindset allowed them to not only endure their inhospitable homeworld, but prosper and become self-sufficient. Taking care of one's family was a central tenet and was reflected in the use of Force powers. To the Zeison Sha, the Force was a means primarily to defend themselves and their family but also to aid others who could not defend themselves. As such, they were also known to be generous and aiding another was considered honorable and noble by them.
Unlike the strictly regimented ranks of the Jedi Order, the Zeison Sha did not have a strict organization to their society, though the ranks of initiate and warrior did exist. Children born to Force-sensitive parents would be trained at home in an informal manner. For Force-sensitives born to non-Force sensitive parents, an experienced Force-sensitive adult would train the child, though, unlike Jedi training, the child remained at home to grow as an individual. In fact, the Zeison Sha adamantly opposed the idea of separating Force-sensitive children from their parents. Zeison Sha trained at their temple on Yanibar, the Sha Kalan, but children in training lived with their parents. This was done to foster a normal family upbringing for the child.
By and large, the isolationism and independence of the Zeison Sha precluded any attempts to seize power across the galaxy; their society was simply too internally focused. Nevertheless, a smoldering resentment of the Jedi Order coupled with the pride that sometimes arose out of an overly independent mindset led to several members of the order falling prey to the dark side of the Force throughout their history. These aberrants, known as Dark Zeison Sha, then had to be hunted down or turned back to prevent them from spreading their influence in the community.
- "I had heard that Zeison Sha are masters of the telekinetic powers, but I was astonished to see that their abilities in this area far surpass those of many Jedi."
- ―Jedi Master Bodo Baas
As a Force organization, the Zeison Sha specialized in telekinetic abilities, able to perform great feats of skill with minimal effort, ranging from pushing, pulling, hurling, levitating, smashing, and crushing objects with ease. Their telekinetic ability was, in many ways, superior to that evidenced by many members of the Jedi Order. Zeison Sha warriors were largely known as the guardians of the community and their powers in telekinesis and mastery of the discblade garnered them considerable prowess. At higher levels, the use of telekinesis became second nature - a natural process that was near instinctual. With this affinity, members possessed the power to use telekinesis for defense, able to quickly and accurately use rocks and other loose objects to block shots from projectile weapons, or even using the Force itself to create a physical shield. This was described as the Zeison Sha wrapping the Force around his or her body to resist damage. Zeison Sha Masters became so secure in their use of telekinesis that they were able to perform incredible feats of telekinesis even under great stress and distraction to their concentration, allowing them to use their abilities even under great adversity.
Whereas the Jedi used the lightsaber as their signature weapon, the Zeison Sha favored the discblade, a razor-edged throwing weapon. Trained in its use from a young age, a Zeison Sha could hurl a discblade with great accuracy before calling it back to their hand. Experienced warriors were also known to have their discblades imbued with the power of the Force. Their use of the discblade could also be further enhanced through the Force, whether by adding accuracy, calling the weapon back to the thrower, or imbuing the blade to make it stronger.
The Zeison Sha also had their own design of light armor, which afforded them some defensive capability, with only a slight reduction in mobility. There were at least two classes of this armor, Zeison Sha Initiate armor and the more advanced Zeison Sha Warrior armor, which provided even more protection for the wearer. Typical of the independent nature of the Zeison Sha, both models of armor were customizable to suit the preferences of the wearer.
Behind the scenes
The Zeison Sha are described as first coming into existence "nearly two millennia before the rise of the Empire" in the sourcebook, which is conflicted by the appearance of Zeison Sha armor circa four millennia prior to the rise of the Empire in the late-2004 video game Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords. The Sith Lords is the only publication to date that presents this discrepancy; no later source contradicts the founding date first established in the Hero's Guide.
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords (Mentioned; only Zeison Sha armor actually appears)
- Star Wars: The Old Republic: Shadow of Revan (Mentioned only)
- Hero's Guide (First mentioned)
- Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords: Prima Official Game Guide
- Jedi vs. Sith: The Essential Guide to the Force
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- Jedi Academy Training Manual