- "Where the Neimoidians should be grateful to Senator Palpatine for proposing the summit, they are instead furious. Everything is in place for launching the blockade."
"Almost everything. First, there is the matter of our revenge."
"Shall I task Maul to pay Veruna a visit?"
"I intend to see to him personally."
- ―Darth Sidious and Darth Plagueis
Ars Veruna, formally styled as His Royal Highness, King Veruna of Naboo, was a male Human who was the last King of Naboo in the waning days of the Galactic Republic. He was the immediate predecessor of Queen Amidala. A proponent of Naboo's greater integration with the rest of the galaxy, Veruna's political career was heavily-financed and guided by Hego Damask II, secretly the Dark Lord of the Sith Darth Plagueis. Veruna ultimately clashed with Plagueis, and after a failed attempt to assassinate him, was forced to abdicate after a foreign affairs scandal and flee into hiding. Tracked down by Plagueis, Veruna was murdered by him shortly afterwards.
The election of 65 BBYEdit
Ars Veruna was a relation to the Earl of Vis and a member of House Veruna. He was the confidant of Bon Tapalo before Tapalo's ascension to the throne in 65 BBY. Tapalo's campaign supported opening up Naboo's economy to the greater galaxy, and Veruna contacted IBC kingpin Hego Damask—secretly the Muun Sith Lord Darth Plagueis—and Damask Holdings to discuss the possibility of an alliance to export Naboo's plasma reserves.
Sometime later, Damask and other InterGalactic Banking Clan executives, came to Naboo to formalize their agreement. Damask Holdings ensured that Tapalo became the King of Naboo, with Veruna as governor of Theed. Outer Rim Construction and Assembly and the Trade Federation received contracts to export Naboo's plasma. Over time, however, the alliance came to be seen as exploitative and corrupt: isolationists like Senator Vidar Kim pointed out that the deal allowed the Trade Federation to sell the plasma on at up to twenty times the price it paid the Naboo for it.
Governor of TheedEdit
In 52 BBY, Veruna attended the funeral of Senator Vidar Kim's family: they tragically had died in an airspeeder crash. After the funeral, he briefly spoke with Ambassador Palpatine—the clandestine Darth Sidious and apprentice to Plagueis—on how Naboo could deal with the Trade Federation. Many Naboo agreed with Kim's assessment that the agreement for exports was exploitative, but with their own arrangements with the Trade Federation, and not wishing to break with Hego Damask, neither Veruna nor Tapalo wished to antagonize it.
Palpatine suggested that Senator Kim vote against the Trade Federation in a coming Galactic Senate vote to sit several Federation client systems in the Senate: Naboo would appear to have stood up to galactic conglomerates while the Trade Federation's contracts remained unchanged. Veruna agreed, and suggested that he would see Palpatine replace Kim as senator. In return, Palpatine affirmed Hego Damask's support for Veruna as future King of Naboo.
King of NabooEdit
- "Before the election of Queen Amidala, the King was planning to tap additional plasma reservoirs in the Gungan areas. He contracted with an offworld mining company to do the surveys, and was prepared to go to war with the Gungans if they resisted. He abdicated the throne before putting the plan into action."
"Abdicated. A curious way to put it."
- ―Darth Maul and Maris Magneta, one year after Veruna's death
When Veruna indeed ascended to the throne as King in 46 BBY, one of his first acts of power was to form a state-of-the art Naboo spacefighter corps, unequaled in its quality and technological brilliance by any other starfighter corps in the galaxy. Such an unsurpassed space corps, he boasted to Senator Palpatine, would allow the planet to negotiate with the Trade Federation from a position of strength. With Naboo well on its way to achieving such a status, Palpatine imperceptibly nudged Veruna further, exciting his ire (for the king had grown to utterly loathe Damask), by silently suggesting through martial flattery that the King of Naboo might, perhaps, dare even more. Veruna bombastically admitted then to Palpatine that Pax Teem, the Gran Senator, had done him and all of Damask's enemies a favor in 52 BBY by "forcing him into an early retirement", with his brazen attempt on the Muun's life, which had left Damask maimed.
Thus was Veruna, due to Palpatine's goading, later able to summon sufficient courage to mount, with the aid of Black Sun and the cooperation of Gardulla Besadii and her Bando Gora terrorist cronies, a nuclear attack on Damask's Sojourn residence, in 33 BBY. Damask survived the bombardment, he escaped, and made an immediate communication to that effect to a supremely stunned King Veruna, courtesy of Jabba Desilijic Tiure, who had proved Damask's savior (the Hutt's space yacht Star Jewel was, in fact, the rescuing interceptor).
Veruna, in the preceding weeks, had also been embroiled in a political scandal involving his conduct of foreign policy, which appeared to have had the unintended effect of raising the planetary spotlight to the exceptionally young and beautiful Padmé Naberrie as the ideal candidate for the royal succession. And because the failed Sojourn run on Damask's life now immeasurably compounded these other events, the monarch swiftly abdicated his throne.
While it may appear to have been sheer coincidence that the King gave up the crown at precisely the same time that the events of the Eriadu Trade Summit were unfolding, in one significant way it was not: for Veruna, in his secret machinations with Black Sun et al, had intentionally timed the atomic death run on the IBC magnate to directly coincide with the controversial Trade Summit. The unfortunate fallout, for Veruna at least (for the fallout wasn't all nuclear, although it might just as well have served the King to have also been on Sojourn when the bomb struck), was that Damask survived the attack—a fact immediately communicated to the King by Jabba aboard his yacht. That horrific revelation bore heavily on Veruna's decision to immediately step down as monarch, and his equally break-neck flight into hiding towards the Western Reaches of Naboo.
- "And now we are justified in striking back."
"We no longer need to justify our actions to anyone..."
- ―Darth Plagueis and Darth Sidious, on the threshold of unassailable galactic power
Yet the critical thing Veruna failed to understand, is that while one can run, one cannot hide from a Sith Lord. For it was indeed there, atop a lofty hill within the high-security walls of an ancient family castle in western Naboo—in the dead of night—that Veruna was discovered by Darth Plagueis, who proceeded to kill the aging politician in a slow and painful death, driving his life-force from his body, as it were, in a trickle—by sheer force of will and adept skill, via midi-chlorian manipulation of a kind that had never before been equaled. Damask sat at Veruna's bedside and told the former king that the dark side had anointed him to be his "shepherd"—guiding him to death's door—across which threshold, Veruna alone must pass, for Plagueis would then take leave of him, forever.
When Sidious had suggested that they send Darth Maul to deal the final death blow to the treacherous king, Plagueis insisted that he would attend to the act personally. Indeed, Plagueis was accompanied to the ancient manse of the Count of Vis, Veruna's forebearer, by his personal droid assistant 11-4D, and had silently broken into Veruna's bedroom, waking the old man from his sleep. Sitting by his side, and speaking to him in oddly comforting tones as if he were a loving patron or caring physician, Plagueis manipulated the limited amount of midi-chlorians in the former monarch's body, until, at last, he died.
Veruna's death, beyond vengeance, also served as a means to exacerbate the already catastrophic debacle that was the Eriadu Summit with the Trade Federation Directorate (with all but one of its members being assassinated in full public view before the conference even began), thus getting the Neimoidians incensed enough to attempt an invasion of Naboo, as per the Grand Plan.
- "You know, like even a fourteen-year-old girl could run the planet better than King Veruna."
- ―Ian Lago on Veruna's reign
- "Do you really believe that that little political upstart can unseat me? The daughter of mountain peasants?"
"The crowd she has drawn seems to think so."
- ―Veruna and Palpatine on Padmé's rising star
Captain Maris Magneta, who had been the head of Veruna's security force, stepped down following Veruna's death and was replaced by Quarsh Panaka. It was partly the mystery surrounding Veruna's death that led Panaka to create the idea of a decoy for Queen Amidala, a measure of protection that she would continue to use well into her stint as Senator.
Veruna's reign, although it coincided with the opening up of Naboo to the outside galaxy (and was marked by the construction of Kwilaan Starport in the city of Keren), was not fondly remembered by the people of Naboo. As a result, legislation that limited monarchs to two four-year terms was passed. Ironically, Veruna was succeeded by the popular Queen Amidala, who won popular support enough to serve past the two established terms, though she ultimately refused.
One year after Veruna's death, in 32 BBY, the Zabrak Sith apprentice Darth Maul had learned from Magneta that Veruna was mysteriously killed by the Muun Hego Damask, who was known to be an ally to his master, Darth Sidious. This led Maul to believe that Damask was, in reality, a Sith Lord and that Palpatine was disobeying the Sith Rule of Two, keeping Maul only as an assassin and not as a true apprentice.
Personality and traitsEdit
- "Is Veruna ready, Sidious? I'm concerned that he might be as uncontrollable as the Yinchorri, and that a more malleable leader would better serve our interests."
"It may not be necessary to remove him, Master. Like Gunray, he favors wealth over honor."
"Then nudge him, Darth Sidious. And let us see which way he leans before we decide his fate."
- ―Darth Plagueis tells his apprentice to reveal the corrupt Veruna's true nature.
Veruna's opponents, especially Cosinga Palpatine, considered him corrupt: he admitted to Palpatine that he did not wish to antagonise the Trade Federation, despite their exploitation of his planet, because he had forged his "own arrangements" with them. Veruna was an outward-looking man, seeing integration with the wider galaxy as being the best way to enrich Naboo and himself.
While Ars Veruna was a very ambitious man politically, he also made it very clear that there were certain boundaries he would not cross. He was wary of the Sith and their legacy, to the extent that, shortly before being murdered by Darth Plagueis, he'd stated that no matter how desperate he may have been in his political career or personal ambitions, he would never have allied himself with Hego Damask (the public identity of Darth Plagueis) had he known beforehand that he was a Sith Lord.
- Darth Plagueis (First identified as Ars)
- Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds (Mentioned only)
- The Monster"—Star Wars Gamer 2 (Mentioned only) "
- "A Summer's Dream"—Star Wars Tales 5 (First pictured)
- The Starfighter Trap"—Star Wars Gamer 1 (Mentioned only) "
- Cloak of Deception (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars Episode I Journal: Queen Amidala (First mentioned)
- "End Game" (Mentioned only)
- (Mentioned only)
- Republic 61: Dead Ends (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars Galaxies: Jump to Lightspeed (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars: Power of the Jedi
- Star Wars: Episode I The Visual Dictionary
- Star Wars: Episode I Insider's Guide
- Secrets of Naboo
- Star Wars Starfighter: Starfighter Aces"—Star Wars Gamer 2 "
- Starships of the Galaxy
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 6 (NAB2, Naboo Royal Starship)
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 9 (PAN2–3, Captain Panaka)
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 12 (NAB10, NAB14, Naboo – Theed Royal Palace)
- Star Wars: Attack of the Clones: The Illustrated Companion
- The New Essential Guide to Characters
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 139 (PES1, Sate Pestage)
- The New Essential Chronology
- "Q&A"—Star Wars Insider 95
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- Star Wars: The Official Starships & Vehicles Collection 36
- The Essential Reader's Companion
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Cloak of Deception
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 Darth Plagueis
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 "A Summer's Dream"—Star Wars Tales 5
- ↑ The proscribed nuclear device was secured in 33 BBY by Darth Maul, for delivery to Komari Vosa and the Bando Gora, now prepared for their death run on Sojourn. Darth Sidious' Zabrak apprentice was able to infiltrate the notorious 'gambling prison' of Cog Hive Seven, in the Tharin sector, then go undercover (in an extremely challenging series of gladiatorial bouts) in order to find the whereabouts of an ingenious illegal Chiss weapons manufacturer and dealer with Black Sun connections, Iram Radique, and then abscond with the bomb. —Maul: Lockdown
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 "End Game"
- ↑ Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones