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Bota was a rare plant species native to very few planets in the galaxy such as Drongar. It was highly valued during the Clone Wars, as it had certain medicinal effects for each species and supposedly gave Jedi a stronger connection to the Force. It would become useless some time after it left the planet, unless frozen in carbonite.
Since it could not be synthesized and could only be sourced from one planet, bota was the reason behind the Battle of Drongar, as both the Republic and the Confederacy of Independent Systems wanted possession of the bota fields. Because of its rarity and medicinal values, bota was an expensive and coveted plant. However, due to a mutation in the bota, it became worthless and both forces left the planet.
An unknown amount of bota was transported off Drongar before it became useless, including a vial that was sent to the Jedi Temple on Coruscant by Barriss Offee with the droid I-Five. The Jedi Padawan sent it to have its potential uses examined by the Jedi Masters. I-Five, however, was unable to complete this mission before Palpatine's execution of Order 66 and the Great Jedi Purge.
Later, when I-Five teamed up with the Jedi Knight Jax Pavan, he gave the vial to their Gray Paladin ally, Laranth Tarak. Another of Pavan's allies, Haninum Tyk Rhinann, found out about the vial, and searched desperately for it, hoping it would allow him to touch the Force. Before he could track it down, however, Laranth was betrayed and fell into the hands of Darth Vader, who managed to take the bota extract from her. He used it himself, but the effects were far different from those that Barriss Offee had earlier experienced. He lost all control over himself and his powers, and began throwing off random blasts of dark side energy in all directions, resulting in the deaths of Haninum Tyk Rhinann and the traitor Dejah Duare.
Jax Pavan later speculated that, over the years, the bota vial's properties, though processed and therefore more stable than in its raw state, had begun to mutate anyway.
In the wake of the assassination of Alexi Garyn, leader of Black Sun, and several subordinate Vigos, surviving Vigos vied for power in the organization. This could come to naught when the Black Sun entered into an arrangement with the Hutts to regulate the flow of bota in the galaxy. After the endeavor failed, the crime syndicate nearly broke apart, but Xizor and Dal Perhi were able to keep it alive.
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