- "Brothers of the Ancient Order of Pessimists, hear me! I cast the bones this morning and the portents were grave!"
- ―The High Hermit
The Ancient Order of Pessimists was a religious group of hermits who followed a creed and lifestyle of pessimism who lived on Maryx Minor. Abal Karda sought sanctuary in their hermitage while on the run from Boba Fett and Darth Vader. Fett soon infiltrated the hermitage, killed Karda, and retrieved the box containing the severed, but living, head of Selestrine. Vader soon arrived and battled with Fett for the box. After obtaining the box, Vader returned to his Imperial-class Star Destroyer. Upon surviving the battle between Fett and Vader, the High Hermit experienced an epiphany and began to embrace optimism. However, Vader had the hermitage completely destroyed from orbit for the hermits' having witnessed the events.
Practices and beliefsEdit
- "There are so many terrible things that may happen to you, Brother Mabob. It is the burden you must bear."
- ―The High Hermit to Brother Mabob
Members of the Ancient Order believed that the world was as bad as it could be. They were inclined to emphasize unfavorable conditions, aspects and possibilities in life, and to expect the worst possible outcome in every single situation. While thinking that only their demise could bring an end to their life of dreading, the Ancient Order's hermits did not seek to die. Indeed, they considered all unfortunate events that fell upon their heads to be a burden and had to be taken without protesting. Although normally pacifist, they sometimes resorted to violence when they needed to protect their lives from those who did not respect their ways. Whereas occasional fits of optimism were mildly tolerated, actively preaching in favor of absolute optimism was considered heresy and thought to bring more disasters upon the community.
The brothers, who were all male Humans, wore a light gray habit with matching sandals. The community leader, known as the High Hermit, donned a distinctive headgear a frock with blue markings and a necklace. The everyday life at the hermitage was punctuated by the sound of a bell struck with a padded hammer. In the morning, the brothers of the Ancient Order used the casting ritual bones to predict the future. In accordance with their creed of pessimism, the collected omens were always grave—although sometimes worse than usual. When one of the brothers passed away, the others would hold a funeral procession and cast his corpse into a fiery lava pit.
- "Six brothers dead, High Hermit, several injured!"
- ―A brother to the High Hermit, in the wake of a duel between Boba Fett and Darth Vader
The Ancient Order of Pessimists was active as early as 3 BBY, in the years that led to the Galactic Civil War, although its name implied it had been founded a long time earlier. That year, the hermits granted asylum to Abal Karda, a colonel of the Galactic Empire who was hunted down by the bounty hunter named Boba Fett. Unbeknownst to the monks, the colonel held a casket that contained the live, talking head of Queen Selestrine of the Icarii, who kept prophecizing that he would meet his doom at Fett's hands. In a fit of rage, Karda killed one of the brothers, Mabob, whom he accused of snooping at his cell door. Ultimately, Fett located Karda's hideout, and the brothers of the Ancient Order got caught in the cross-fire between the two men. When it seemed the situation could not get any worse, the Supreme Commander of the Empire Darth Vader arrived at the hermitage and started battling Fett fore Selestrine's head. Once their combat was over, six brothers had died and several more had been injured. Because he had survived those dramatic events, the High Hermit had a revelation, and he tried to convert his brethern to a newfound optimism. However, the hermits had involuntarily sealed their fate by witnessing the battle between Fett and Vader. To ensure their silence upon what happened that day on Maryx Minor, the Supreme Commander had the hermitage obliterated through orbital bombardment.
Despite the order's collapse, some of its teachings did survive and gain supporters. Moff Foga Brill, an Imperial Warlord and leader of the Constitutional Protectorate of Prakith, discovered the doctrines of the Order some time after its destruction and secretly became a devotee during his governorship of the hellish Deep Core world of Prakith. He would subsequently convert to the Church of the Dark Side on the recommendation of his friend, Grand Admiral Peccati Syn.
- "Only one habitation in that range. A hermitage—Ancient Order of Pessimists…"
- ―A scout trooper to Darth Vader
The order's hermitage was located near a geyser field in the mountains of Maryx Minor, a volcanic planet located in the Outer Rim region of the galaxy. A few years after ther hermitage's destruction, the order had gained at least one supporter on Prakith.
- Boba Fett: Enemy of the Empire (First appearance)