- "Mines. It's a trap."
- ―Jacen Solo
The Battle of Gilatter VIII resulted from a trap laid by the Confederation Fleet under their new commander, Turr Phennir. Following the rout of the Blockade of Corellia by Bothan and Commenorian forces, and the subsequent decisions made by Adumar, Bespin, and Fondor to join the movement, it was clear that the military forces of the Confederation had to be brought under centralized control.
The Confederation spread false intelligence suggesting that at a secret meeting in the Gilatter system, the Supreme Commander of the Confederation military would be chosen. Jacen Solo, leader of the Galactic Alliance Guard, headed the mission with Galactic Alliance forces under Admiral Cha Niathal.
At the same time, Jedi Grand Master Luke Skywalker, his wife Mara Jade Skywalker, his sister Leia Organa Solo, and Leia's husband Han fought against the Sith Lady Lumiya and her accomplice, Alema Rar, aboard the Gilatter VIII resort satellite.
Jacen Solo, tricked by false intelligence, laid out a four step plan to ambush the supposed meeting. First, Jedi in StealthXs would move undetected into the system and relay information to the Alliance fleet. The fleet, cobbled together from different task forces arrayed throughout the Mid Rim, would assemble. Instead of moving a whole fleet group from its current assignment, which would alert Confederation intelligence, this allowed the Alliance the element of surprise. It is presumably for this reason that Admiral Niathal led the battle from the helm of the Galactic Voyager, Admiral Ackbar's famed command ship. Elements of the Ninth Fleet were also included in the taskforce. During the third step, the fleet would move into the upper reaches of the atmosphere of Gilatter VIII and remain hidden from enemy sensors until the StealthXs gave the signal. Solo himself decided to infiltrate the resort satellite in disguise, to maximize the damage to the Confederation command hierarchy.
The trap sprungEdit
Disguised as Najack and Silfinia Ell, Jacen and Lumiya, who was accompanying him on the mission, infiltrated the election ceremony, posing as members of the Ession Freedom Front. Meanwhile the Confederation force, assumed to be preparing for a military strike against the Alliance, continued to gather in the system. When Solo reached the election room, he was surprised to see no one of note present. It was only a few minutes before Turr Phennir appeared on a hologram screen and gloated over the fact that Niathal's command had been led into a minefield. Unfortunately for Phennir, Jacen was able to visualize the mines and warn Luke Skywalker, who was part of the StealthX force. Skywalker in turn warned Admiral Niathal.
- "I guess this settles the question of whether you're dead or not."
"Of course. I thought you knew. I am dead. I have been for decades."
- ―Luke Skywalker and Lumiya
Skywalker and his wife Mara Jade Skywalker infiltrated the resort station so as to rescue his nephew, who had been assaulted by Confederation troops within. Lumiya, unable to aid Jacen without revealing their affiliation, plotted with her ally, the Dark Jedi Alema Rar, who planned to murder Master Jade Skywalker, and Han Solo, in front of their respective spouses, so as to cause them pain, before killing them too. Rar sensed that Leia Organa Solo and her husband were making their way to the station to rescue their son, along with the Masters Skywalker; positioning the final two pawns into place. Upon the elimination of the Solos and the Skywalkers, Rar believed that "The Balance" would be restored.
While making their way through the melee to their nephew, who continuously refused the help of his aunt and uncle, relations between them having cooled, the Masters Skywalker were intercepted by Lumiya. While Luke engaged the Dark Lady, Mara defended against the massing security officers that quickly surrounded her.
Igniting his shoto, his lightsaber already activated, Luke deflected the blows of Lumiya's lightwhip. As the Solo's arrived, Han attempted to fire at the Dark Lady, who being aware of him, simply avoided his blaster bolt and again engaged the Grand Master. Catching a crack of Lumiya's lightwhip with his long blade, Luke darted in close to the Sith, attempting to slash her with his shoto, however, through an exertion of the Force, she sent a severed human head into her adversaries path, causing him to strike it instead.
Using a similar tactic, Luke used the Force to direct a tablecloth at Lumiya, which swept up on her from behind, though she cracked her whip backwards, cutting the tablecloth in two, before continuing the move into a forward attack. Luke deflected the separate tendrils of Lumiya's weapon, utilizing both of his blades to do so, before leaping over the remainder of the tendrils. Luke was forced to leap once again so as to avoid Lumiya's follow up attack. However, to his surprise, Lumiya then lowered her weapon.
The Dark Lady claimed to no longer hate her former love; even offering him her hand, which he took reluctantly. However, despite his reservations, the Grand Master sensed no ill intent in his long time rival.
After attempting to fire on Lumiya, and failing, Han followed Leia as she angled towards aiding Luke against the Dark Lady, rather than aiding Mara, who was handling her situation with relative ease. However, the Jedi Knight was knocked off her feet as a table was telekinetically thrown into her path. Leia recovered promptly, coming to her feet and igniting her lightsaber, to see Alema Rar materialize from the shadows.
Ignoring his wife's demand that she duel Alema without his intervention, Han attempted to fire on the fallen Jedi, who batted the bolt way with a flick of her lightsaber, before spinning it in a defensive pattern in front of Leia. Organa Solo swung an almost ceaseless flurry of lightsaber blows against her long time rival, however the rogue Jedi simply fell back each time Leia got the upper hand; she was fighting defensively, never attempting to attack, which was far from usual for the aggressive Rar.
As Organa Solo batted away at her foe, fighting her into a corner, Han informed her that their son Jacen, whom they'd risked their lives to rescue, had escaped, abandoning them to their fate. Though hurt, Leia did not allow this to distract her from her battle with the deranged Alema, continuing to wear down the Dark Jedi's defenses. However, while Leia had been distracted, Alema activated the controls of her ship, which automatically directed into the station, in an attempt to kill her enemies.
Organa Solo used the Force to leap away from her foe, who had already used the opportunity to begin her escape, and along with her brother, sister-in-law and husband, escaped the destruction of the station.
However, instead of issuing the order to pull about and retreat, Niathal ordered the fleet to continue forward into the grid, aware that abrupt changes in course would only attract more mines. The Anakin Solo and the other outlying ships microjumped into the battle. She ordered the second-tier capital ships and the starfighters to form up behind the leading capital ships and enter the minefield. The result was that the carefully planned Confederation assault was thrown off and the conflict degenerated into a slugging match. However, Jacen Solo, now en route to the Anakin as his family engaged Lumiya and Alema on the resort satellite behind him, noticed angrily that the Alliance fleet was not coordinated, missing out on several opportunities. Forces were milling about aimlessly instead of pursuing targets, at least one frigate retreated unnecessarily, and a Bothan Assault Cruiser, although severely damaged, was not destroyed by its attackers as they missed their chance.
The Confederation proclaimed Gilatter VIII a stunning victory against the Alliance, praising Phennir for his strategy. The Alliance, on the other hand, put it that even with careful planning and superior odds the Confederation had not managed a victory.
Alema's attempt to restore the Balance ultimately failed, with each of her prey escaping. Lumiya too escaped the destruction of the station, and continued to train Jacen Solo, who had further ostracized himself from his family after leaving them to die aboard the resort, despite them having arrived with the intent of rescuing him.
The Solo-Skywalker clan was shocked by the actions of Jacen. Lumiya, who also escaped the station, traveled to the Anakin and promised Jacen that she would teach him advanced Battle meditation techniques to ensure military victories in the future.