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This article is about the Emperor's Hand known as Blackhole, and also Shadowspawn. For more uses of black hole, or Shadowspawn, see black hole or Nick Rostu, commonly believed to be Shadowspawn.
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Cronal TERC
Cronal
Biographical information
Homeworld

Rhand[1]

Died

5 ABY (first death)[2] Mindor[3]

Physical description
Species

Human[4]

Gender

Male[4]

Height

1.8–3 meters (holographic projection)[4]

Cybernetics

Entire body below the neck[1]

Chronological and political information
Era(s)
Affiliation
Masters
Apprentices
"It spoke with a male Human voice. A voice I can only describe as sinister… threatening… and evil!"
―C-3PO to Mistress Mnemos[src]

Cronal, supposedly born as Perek, was a male Human and former Prophet of the Dark Side who was better known by his code name Blackhole, the mysterious Director of Imperial Intelligence who collaborated with Darth Vader after the Battle of Yavin to eliminate the Rebel Alliance. Adept at divination, Cronal was recruited by Emperor Palpatine from the Prophets to join the Empire. He abandoned himself to his meditations in the dark side, becoming withdrawn, physically frail, and paranoid. Considered Palpatine's "monster-maker," Cronal was responsible for the creation of several Sithspawn and other devices of Sith alchemy. As time passed, Cronal withdrew further, growing steadily more mad as the dark side consumed him.

After being exiled during the Galactic Civil War, Cronal returned as a warlord, and took the name of Shadowspawn. With a cadre of the Emperor's Royal Guards and a legion of shadow stormtroopers at his disposal, Shadowspawn laid waste to worlds of the New Republic. He and his splinter Imperial faction blazed a path of death and destruction, committing acts of piracy, terrorism, and mass slaughter. Conquering the Inner Rim, the warlord established his base of operations on the world of Mindor. The New Republic, responding to the threat of Shadowspawn, sent the newly appointed General Luke Skywalker after him, starting a campaign that resulted in a substantial loss of life. Planning a trap for Skywalker on Mindor, Shadowspawn was defeated during the ensuing battle, where he perished. However, through means of the Force, he revived himself and later served the reborn Palpatine.

BiographyEdit

Early lifeEdit

In the time of the Empire, rumors abounded regarding Blackhole's origins. Some believed he was once a senatorial page taken under Palpatine's wing, while other rumors asserted that he was an assistant at the Jedi Archives on Coruscant who was ultimately seduced by the dark side of the Force.[4] Palpatine's court knew him as a Prophet of the Dark Side, a Sith splinter sect based out of Dromund Kaas. However, as it turned out, his involvement with matters dark and arcane went even deeper.

Lord Cronal was, in fact, originally a member of the Sorcerers of Rhand, another dark-side cult based in the Nihil Retreat which was set in the Perann Nebula located in the Unknown Regions. The Sorcerers took him from his mother shortly after he was born and raised him as one of their number. Among the abilities they taught him was the power of Darksight. It was his use of Darksight which ultimately led him to leave the Sorcerers and the Unknown Regions and go to Dromund Kaas where he joined the Prophets of the Dark Side, and eventually the Empire. During this time he fathered a daughter, Sariss, though she remained unaware of her parentage.[5] As Cronal and the other Prophets heaped abuses on her, Sariss suspected one of them was her father, but never knew which.[8] As a Prophet, Cronal also helped train Palpatine's Inquisitor Jerec, and first taught him about the legendary Valley of the Jedi.[5]

Cronal's abilities at divination were unequaled, and the unerring precision of his visions impressed Palpatine. However, as it turned out, Cronal was using his Darksight ability to not merely see the future, but to influence it as well. At the same time, however, Cronal feared his own fellow Prophets were beginning to turn against him. When Palpatine, realizing that Cronal's power was such that he could not be ignored, placed him at the head of Imperial Intelligence, Cronal felt that it was just in time. Taking the code name Blackhole, Cronal left the Prophets for Imperial Intelligence.[4]

Imperial intelligenceEdit

Lord Cronal's addition to the ranks of Imperial Intelligence was so smooth that few even realized he had joined. Cronal himself was extremely reclusive, even more so than the Emperor himself. Most of his work was carried out through droids, agents, and various fronts. In his rare appearances, Cronal presented himself through a holographic transmitter equipped with an image distorter and went by his code name, "Blackhole." Blackhole, to most, took the form of a vaguely humanoid figure anywhere from 1.8 to three meters tall, with a body resembling a shimmering starscape—or the robes of the Prophets of the Dark Side. The figure's head was entirely featureless, though eyes were sometimes visible[4] and sometimes not,[6] and the voice Blackhole transmitted was modulated so as to be androgynous.[4]

Blackholestormtroopers

Cronal's "Blackhole stormtroopers."

Only a handful knew Cronal's true form: a shrunken, withered, and frail old man. Steeped in the affairs of the dark side, Cronal had abandoned what was left of his former self. The dark side sapped at his physical and mental health, and he was forced to spend his time in a specially-designed life support chamber. To aid his servant, Palpatine gifted Cronal with a Neimoidian mechano-assembly that could carry the spherical chamber around on its insectile legs.[4]

As head of Intelligence, Cronal was granted virtually unlimited access and control over the Imperial HoloNet. He could take control of and appear in any holocomm unit in the Imperial Navy, or any one connected to the few civilian HoloNet nodes that still existed. He had unrivaled access to the galaxy's enormous quantities of information, and would spend his time in his sanctum meditating over the data that flowed across his screens and awaiting visions from the dark side of the Force.[4]

Cronal was given a ship of his own, the Imperial-class Star Destroyer Singularity, a wing of TIE/LN starfighters, the 123rd Nightstalker Group, and his own division of shadow stormtroopers, all of which he covered in a black stygian-triprismatic polymer coating that gave them increased stealth to sensors. Only a few years into his position as head of Imperial Intelligence, Cronal became convinced that his life was in danger and relocated to the Singularity, from which he would spend the rest of his career on the move.[4]

Dark servantEdit

"You've made a new enemy today. I'll make you regret ever crossing my path!"
―Cronal[src]

In addition to his Intelligence position, Cronal also became one of the Emperor's Hands, Palpatine's personal agents. While many of the Hands were adept in combat-related skills, Blackhole used fear and paranoia as his tools.[4]

Blackhole Vader

Blackhole's usual holographic form, seen in communication with Darth Vader.

Blackhole was a master of both Sith Alchemy and the science of genetic engineering, and his skill at using these abilities to transform living beings into Sithspawn earned him the epithet of "monster maker."[9][10] When Cronal sought a pair of subjects to run one of his tests on, he turned to Tuzin Gast, whose Project Chubar provided him with a Kowakian monkey-lizard and a Gamorrean. Cronal's alchemical experiments on his two subjects resulted in the creation of the Dark Jedi "twins" Pic and Gorc, who would later serve under Jerec.[9]

Cronal was also one of Palpatine's many servants involved in bridging the gaps between technology and the Force. Cronal was put in charge of modifying all the Empire's Force detectors using his "Science of Darkness". With thaissen crystals from Mimban and techniques adapted from lightsaber construction, Cronal gave the Force detectors the ability to magnify any Force detected, as well as sense dark side tendencies in the subject.[11] In the course of his work, Cronal used many secrets of the long-dead Sith Lord Belia Darzu, preserved over the millennia in Sith scrolls.[12]

The Vorzyd V affairEdit

Approximately a year after the Battle of Yavin, the Rebellion embarked on a new strategy: they would lose all direct confrontations with the Empire, while focusing on recruitment efforts. When Cronal learned of this plan, he promptly informed Palpatine's apprentice, Darth Vader, of it. Though Cronal wished to take the opportunity to take out the Rebel recruiters one by one, Vader knew that this would only draw ire towards the Empire, and ordered the Intelligence Director to kidnap them instead, leaving no trace that the Empire was involved. Cronal had received word that Vader's children, Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa, would be going to Vorzyd V to make contact with local sympathizers, and determined to begin with them. He ordered his stormtroopers to stun and capture the two Rebels, and the soldiers successfully kidnapped them. In addition, Cronal's troops apprehended another pair of Rebels, Falud and Paxin.[6]

Cronal's stormtroopers took the four Rebels to the spaceport, and the Intelligence Director began his interrogation. Paralysis beams held the Rebels in place as Cronal used an interrogation droid on each of them in turn. The first three did not know the name of their contact, leaving only Leia left to face the droid's mind probe. Unfortunately for Cronal, the droids C-3PO and R2-D2 had seen him and made their way onto the ship, and they cut the paralysis beams. Luke attempted to attack Cronal, only to be surprised when his hand passed through the holographic apparition. Cronal and his soldiers caught up to the party as they fled the ship into the spaceport. He ordered his troops to hold their fire, since there were now witnesses.[6]

Blackhole Interrogation

Blackhole presides over the interrogation of a group of Rebels.

Vader later lambasted Cronal for his failure, refusing to accept his excuses and ordering him to capture the Rebels and eliminate their contact. Cronal set a tail on them, and when Luke Skywalker left to meet with the Rebel contact, his troopers tracked him. However, the local Rebel sympathizers had been thorough in their preparations, and with their help Luke soon shook his tail. Cronal ordered his forces to close in and capture Luke, but Luke avoided the soldiers and made his meeting. The Director soon had a stroke of luck, however; the members of a local gang, the Freelies, were able to kidnap Leia Organa, and were offering her return for a ransom. Cronal learned of this through one of his spies, Rbann, and ordered him to take his soldiers and capture a Freelie. When they succeeded in capturing one, Cronal presided over his interrogation, though it was disrupted by the arrival of Luke Skywalker. Luke turned off the holographic transmitter and headed for the Freelie hideout. Cronal knew its location, however, and his troops launched an assault. Tired of excuses, he berated his soldiers to press the attack, but they were ultimately unsuccessful; the Rebels managed to escape.[6]

Later, in debriefing, the Rebellion was informed of the encounter with Blackhole. They ordered C-3PO to provide all information on the mysterious figure to the Rebel supercomputer Mistress Mnemos, who obtained Threepio's account of the events on Vorzyd V and visual data of Blackhole from his memories. Mistress Mnemos cross-referenced the data and located an espionage feed from a Rebel spy in the Imperial fleet, showing an earlier encounter between Vader and Blackhole.[6]

Later actions and disappearanceEdit

Blackhole-SWG-card

Holographic Blackhole

"We have visitors."
―Cronal[src]

One of Cronal's subsequent efforts as the head of the ISB was a campaign to locate a large shipment of ryll, which has vanished on its way to an Alliance medical facility. Many ISB agents were ordered to pursue various leads, but ultimately Cronal's own sources and abilities allowed him to determine that the shipment was located on Skip 52, an asteroid in the Smuggler's Run near Wrea.[13] A group of ISB agents, backed up by shadow stormtroopers, were dispatched to the asteroid, where they ambushed and killed the smugglers, who had originally stole this shipment; Blackhole observed the operation though the hologram from his mechno-assembly. However, as the agents began to secure the ryll containers, the Alliance agents looking for the shipment have arrived. The ISB forces had already sustained casualties during their firefight with the smugglers, but nevertheless put up a terrific fight; with nowhere to retreat, they fought to their deaths. However, the battle turned up in Rebels' favor and the entire ISB force was eliminated. Blackhole's mechno-assembly was damaged in the firefight, but he managed to promise the Rebels his retribution, before his hologram faded. Believing themselves to be victorious, the main Alliance forces have left the asteroid, while the remaining agents began to secure the shipment.[14] However in a few hours another group of ISB agents arrived, having acquired the location of ryll independently. The few remaining Rebels and smugglers had no chance in the firefight, so they boarded one of the transports and escaped with a small number of ryll crates. Nevertheless, the main shipment ended up in the hands of the ISB, and the operation was considered to be successful.[13]

Around 2 ABY Cronal sent a group of ISB agents led by Captain Jeffren Brek on a mission to find and capture the Dathmomiri Nightsister Kyrisa. She had achieved a remarkable skill in the power of Animal friendship and Cronal wanted to check several of his theories about applying beast mastery in espionage.[15] However, as Cronal's madness and paranoia increased, the Empire relied on him less, though he still remained an effective enemy of the Alliance. The Alliance launched its own attacks at Blackhole, including a mission to infiltrate his Star Destroyer. How they fared is unknown, but at some point after the ryll affair, Lord Cronal vanished completely,[4] as he was banished to the Outer Rim Territories.[7] In reality, Cronal's banishment was his own idea. Cronal's disappearance in turn allowed Ysanne Isard to rise to power, also as Director of Imperial Intelligence.[4] In exile, Cronal studied the ancient Sith and amassed a wealth of knowledge on their ways, and also those of other dark side traditions. He returned to the Unknown Regions, using his Darksight ability to help guide him. Cronal first traveled to the Gunninga Gap, where he found remnants of the Taurannik Codex, which was destroyed in the Muurshantre Extinction over a hundred thousand years prior. The knowledge in the Codex helped him locate the Temple of Korman Lao, where he discovered knowledge that he used to later summon the spirit of the Sith King Dathka Graush. From Graush, he gained teachings of Sith Alchemy. He also developed an expertise in the field of modern technology, giving him the confidence to mount a bid for galactic domination.[7]

In the wake of Palpatine's seeming death at Endor, Cronal was able to return from exile and put his plans into motion.[7] He made his way to Coruscant, where he and Emperor Sate Pestage established the Church of the Dark Side, a false version of the Prophets of the Dark Side intended to fill a gap in Imperial spirituality and morale.[12] Cronal was aware that Palpatine had survived, and renewed his service as one of Palpatine's Dark Side Adepts. Approximately one year after Endor, Cronal contacted his old student Jerec on his master's behalf, and charged Jerec with finding the Valley of the Jedi for the Emperor. As a show of loyalty, Jerec turned his Star Destroyer Vengeance II over to Cronal to take back to Byss and Palpatine.[5]

At some point after Endor, Cronal appeared on the planet Trailia, where he began abducting the native Trailians to perform alchemical experiments on, intending to turn the planet's population into a race of dark side warriors that could be used against the New Republic. Cronal conducted his experiments from a hidden lab in the Trailian jungle, guarded by several of his own alchemical creations. Though he was pleased with his creations and their success on his missions, Cronal's processes were imperfect, and as a result his warriors were unstable and poor at following orders. His plans for Trailia were ultimately thwarted.[10]

The Mindor campaignEdit

Blackhole TEA by Trevas

Cronal as "Lord Shadowspawn".

Later in 5 ABY Cronal, taking the name of "Shadowspawn",[16] became a warlord,[7] heading one of the many Imperial splinter factions that opposed the New Republic. He had devised a technique that made him able to take over people's minds, and he used this also on Nick Rostu. Nick then became the figure known to the galaxy as 'Shadowspawn'. Blackhole had more of these Pawns, all people he had taken prisoner in his campaigns.[17] Following the death of their master, several of the Emperor's Royal Guards that had not participated in the mass suicides thinning their number joined Shadowspawn's cause.[12] Shadowspawn was able to capture and hold the Inner Rim,[18] while making the strategically advantageous world of Mindor his base of operations. With his shadow stormtroopers deployed, Shadowspawn committed acts of terrorism and piracy, in addition to wholesale slaughter against worlds of the New Republic. It was Shadowspawn's hope that he could break the Republic's hold on the galaxy and breed fears of an Imperial—and Sith—resurgence.[7] In aid of this, he declared himself to be the new Galactic Emperor, intending to fully restore the Galactic Empire.[19]

Refusing to tolerate Shadowspawn's destructive bid for power, Luke Skywalker—now a General of the New Republic—led the campaign against Shadowspawn to free the worlds of the Inner Rim he had conquered, resulting in a protracted and bloody string of battles that left thousands dead.[18] Prophecy had told Shadowspawn that he would have to face one significant obstacle, which he surmised to be Skywalker. Looking forward to the confrontation, the warlord devised a trap for the general. Unknown to Skywalker, he also planned to transfer his soul from his own old body into Skywalker's young body.[3]

Toward the end of the campaign, his troops entrenched themselves on Mindor in preparation for Skywalker's inevitable assault.[20] There, Shadowspawn hoped to lure the heroes of the Republic into his trap.[7] Skywalker soon attacked the planet, with the aid of Fenn Shysa's Mandalorian Protectors,[21] Han Solo, Leia Organa, Chewbacca, C-3PO, R2-D2, and the pilots of Rogue Squadron.[7]

Shadowspawn and his shadow stormtroopers fought in the Battle of Mindor against Skywalker and his allies,[21] with the warlord (actually Nick Rostu) himself taking to his enemy with an alchemically-enhanced sword,[3] although he had underestimated the resourcefulness of his foes.[19]

ShadowSpawnZoom

Shadowspawn and his troops on Mindor.

As the battle progressed, Shadowspawn sensed another being strong with the Force, though the power was untrained, raw, and inexperienced. He realized that it was Skywalker's twin sister, Leia Organa.[3] Like Darth Vader before him,[22] he considered that if one sibling could not be seduced, then perhaps the other could. While Skywalker was trained in the ways of the Jedi, Organa was not. With all her powerful diplomatic talents and royal family connection, Shadowspawn could destroy the New Republic from within.[3]

The arduous battle finally ended, with the participation of the Mandalorians on the side of the Republic turning the tide.[21] Shadowspawn's men fought to the death,[17] resulting in a tremendous loss of life on both sides. Eventually Skywalker found out about the real identity of Shadowspawn and managed to kill Blackhole by interrupting his control of the Shadow Crown, which resulted in him and his escape vessel being petrified by the meltmassif via his orifices while in hyperspace.[2][21] Disgusted at what he perceived to be tremendous waste, Skywalker resigned from the New Republic military as a result of the events on Mindor, and focused on his Jedi studies.[18]

Somehow, Cronal managed to bring himself back to life with the dark side and later served the resurrected Darth Sidious,[9] although there have been conflicting reports that indicated that "Cronal" during these instances was actually Grand Vizier Sate Pestage adopting the Blackhole codename and using one of Cronal's confiscated distorters to sell the deception and push for Sidious's Dark Empire.[23]

Later movementsEdit

During the height of the Imperial Civil War, Palpatine arranged for the capture of the traitorous Mara Jade, who had left the service of the Empire and cut herself off from the Emperor's telepathic commands after killing a clone of Luke Skywalker in 9 ABY. After Jade was intercepted on a mission to Senex sector, Cronal had her imprisoned, but she was eventually rescued by New Republic forces under the command of Kyle Katarn.[9]

The whereabouts of Cronal after these events could only be speculated on. The Imperial leader Carnor Jax, who seized power after Palpatine's final death and had once himself been a member of Blackhole's stormtroopers,[12] obtained some of Cronal's forces for his own ranks.[4] Lord Cronal was also thought to have been involved in the transformation of Irek Ismaren to the cyborg Lord Nyax.[11]

Perek2

Perek, the cyborg.

The endEdit

"Flesh will be deconstructed into fuel. Machine will be reconstructed into art. Art will transform the galaxy!"
―Perek[src]

However, the truth was that Cronal was greatly injured and broken. Under the name "Perek," he tried to established himself as a warlord on Andooweel. Now obsessed with creating art, which he dubbed "Stygian Art," he hoped to use advanced cybernetics to overthrow both the Imperial Remnant and New Republic, creating an "Empire of art." He was killed by Luke Skywalker, who strangled him with the cybernetic hand Perek tried to take over.

Personality and traitsEdit

Cronal GTCG-AoD

Cronal, Imperial Intelligence agent.

Lord Cronal was cunning,[4] and one of Palpatine's most powerful dark side magi.[10] But Cronal's heavy immersion in the dark side of the Force took a toll on him. Physically, the dark side ate away at Cronal, making him frail, shrunken, and dependent upon his life-support chamber. Cronal suffered mentally, too, with every vision and use of the dark side chipping away at his sanity. He became paranoid over nonexistent threats to his life, driving him further into seclusion. Cronal's tendency to mark his forces in black was another mark of his eccentricity, though it provided a tactical advantage as well.[4] He was also able to manipulate his foes so they would play directly into his hands. Considered to be vicious in temperament, he ordered his troops to lay waste to many Republic worlds, and in doing so created wholesale slaughter and carnage in the year following the Battle of Endor. He was eager to confront Skywalker on Mindor,[3] but was proven foolhardy when his trap failed.[19] As a result, he was defeated, but not before having his soldiers fight to the last man.[21]

His goals were in line with the teachings of the Rhandites, namely the philosophy of thought that centered around the Way of the Dark. Even his codename was made with the intention of representing destruction incarnate which was why he called himself Blackhole. He was devoted to the concept of destruction as he believed that it was the only true power in the cosmos. Thus, he desired a never ending cycle of entropy until all of existence was destroyed whereupon he would resign himself to his fate. As such, he had low views on the Prophets of the Dark Side who he felt were conjurers who did not understand true purpose. Similarly, he felt that the likes of Palpatine believed themselves to be deluded as they desired to control the Dark when in fact the opposite was the case. In regards to Palpatine, he admired his machinations during the Clone Wars but held the view that he abandoned the power of destruction when he decided to rule the Galactic Empire. In contrast, he felt that Darth Vader was simply a blunt instrument; a brutish thug who did not recognize the power he had possessed. Regardless, he felt nothing but scorn towards his comrades who he felt were not understanding of the true aspect of the universe through the Dark or were simply pretenders. This meant that he had a dim view of the Sith who he felt were not worthy acolytes of bringing about the Way of the Dark and that he saw himself as the only true disciple of this path.[3]

Blackhole

The mysterious Blackhole.

Cronal was deeply involved in power plays and the political games that were necessary for a person in his position to survive within Palpatine's court. As such, he often pretended to show jealously to the likes of Darth Vader and even seemingly fail in an effort to cause his foes to underestimate him. As such, he often had complex strategies and played on the weaknesses of his foes. An example of this was using eye gestures and a softer tone in order to invoke sympathy among the Mon Calamari who judged a person's worth through their eyes. He also navigated the tense relationship Palpatine had with his apprentice and often showed a rivalry with Darth Vader. In addition, he played on perceived strengths in others in order to move himself away from positions of power. An example of this was ensuring Darth Vader's success so that the Sith apprentice would stay closer to his master rather than have Palpatine elevate Cronal to his right hand man. This had the dual role of keeping him safe which was seen by not being placed on the Death Star II and to get both followers of the Sith's oversight away from Cronal so he could safely work his operations in the shadows.[3]

Powers and abilitiesEdit

Much of Blackhole's power derived from fear and paranoia. Individuals who spoke with him claimed to feel a noticeable chill, though measurements showed that the temperature of the air did not change. Though part of this fear was his physical presence, Cronal was also capable of inducing fear in others through the Force.[4] After being made aware of the feat, he also gained the necessary Sith knowledge as well as developed techniques that allowed him to transfer his mind into another body. In addition, his great knowledge of Sith lore allowed him to use Sith alchemy to create enhanced objects such as swords resistant to the blows of lightsabers.[3]

His greatest strength was the ability to divine and even influence the future in an ability he called Darksight.[7] Cronal had many other powers of the Force, including the ability to control minds, rip thoughts from the minds of others, cast Force illusions, and heal himself. Cronal could also speak Bothese, Huttese, and Neimoidian.[4]

Behind the scenesEdit

"The only reference I had for Shadowspawn was the Tommy Lee Edwards pic for The Essential Chronology [sic]…and it was thankfully very abstracted, so I got to fill in lots of detail. I got a kind of Napoleon-Revolutionary War Admiral-Pirate-Samurai kind of vibe from it, and went with it for character design. I loved that he had an over-scaled sword hilt on his lightsaber that looked Middle Ages in a Japanese-techno vein…so I gave him a shortsword-tanto to go with it…all very east-meets-west."
―Dave Seeley[src]
Blackhole aka Lord Shadowspawn

Joe Corroney's original concept of Blackhole as Shadowspawn.

Blackhole first appeared in the comic Gambler's World by Russ Manning. Little information was given on the character, including his true name and why he only appeared in an insubstantial form. He would not make a second appearance under that name until 2001, 23 years later, for the article The Emperor's Pawns, in which some of these questions would be answered.

The Emperor's Pawns author Abel G. Peña originally intended for Blackhole to be Lord Shadowspawn, an Imperial warlord first mentioned in 1993's Dark Empire Sourcebook, by Michael Allen Horne, as one of the numerous warlords defeated by the New Republic early in its tenure. Rather than be a hologram projection, Blackhole/Shadowspawn was supposed to be a dark side spirit returned from death, an idea that Peña would later use for the Dark Underlord. However, Pablo Hidalgo had already prepared a biography of Blackhole for the Rebellion Era Sourcebook; rather than have two conflicting reports, Hidalgo's biography was used in place of Peña's in the article. Peña later, in The Dark Forces Saga, identified Blackhole with Cronal, a villain from Gamemaster Screen for Second Edition. Minor elements concerning Shadowspawn cut from The Emperor's Pawns were later resurrected by Peña for use in The History of the Mandalorians, published in 2005.[24]

Joe Corroney had drawn a preliminary illustration of Blackhole based on the idea that he was Shadowspawn, which he labeled "Blackhole aka Lord Shadowspawn." When Peña's text was dropped, Corroney redrew Blackhole without the Sith sword and physical details. When Daniel Wallace was writing The New Essential Chronology, he gave Corroney's original sketch to illustrator Tommy Lee Edwards to use as the basis for his own illustration of Shadowspawn at Mindor. Peña, however, no longer considered the two characters to be the same. In 2004, along with Wallace, he developed a new framing story for Shadowspawn in an article on Imperial Warlords intended for Polyhedron magazine, but the publication was canceled before the article could be published.[24] The article would have identified Shadowspawn as Atha Prime, the villain from an abandoned project submitted to Lucasfilm Ltd. by Kenner in 1985.[25]

Shadowspawn returned to the Star Wars franchise as the primary villain of Matthew Stover's Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor, released in December 2008. Stover's novel adapts and expounds upon a brief account of the Battle of Mindor given in The Essential Chronology. A blurb of the book released by StarWars.com provided a number of new details on Shadowspawn's character, identifying him as a Prophet of the Dark Side and an Imperial Intelligence agent like Blackhole. Phrasing from the blurb concerning Shadowspawn's exile and eventual return following Palpatine's death also mirrors Kenner's brief for the Atha Prime figure,[26][27] leading to speculation on the Jedi Council Forums that the character would be finally proven to be Cronal and Atha Prime at the same time.[28] Approximately a month before the novel's release, The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia revealed that Cronal and Shadowspawn are now, in fact, the same character. The Essential Atlas lists the New Republic campaign against warlord Shadowspawn as taking place in 6 ABY, contrary to the date given by the book.

While reading the Jedi Council Forums thread on Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor, cover artist Dave Seeley noted that some were disappointed with the fact that the cover did not feature Shadowspawn. This prompted him to create a back cover for the book featuring its primary villain. Working from Tommy Lee Edwards' original artwork from The New Essential Chronology, Seeley set out to add more detail to Shadowspawn's design, using influences from both Eastern and Western culture.[29]

AppearancesEdit

SourcesEdit

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Wookieepedia has 12 images related to Cronal.

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Star Wars Blog "The Imperial Warlords: Despoilers of an Empire, Part 3," The Official Star Wars Blog (link)
  2. 2.0 2.1 The Essential Guide to Warfare
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 4.13 4.14 4.15 4.16 4.17 4.18 4.19 4.20 4.21 SWGsmall "The Emperor's Pawns"—Star Wars Gamer 5
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 WizardsoftheCoast The Dark Forces Saga, Part 6: Outcasts and Megalomaniacs Welcome on Wizards.com (original article link, backup links on Archive.org)
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 Gambler's World
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 7.7 7.8 7.9 SWicon Book Previews: Obi-Wan & Luke Covered on StarWars.com (content now obsolete; backup link on Archive.org)
  8. WizardsoftheCoast The Dark Forces Saga, Part 3: Pride of the Dark Side on Wizards.com (original article link, backup links on Archive.org)
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 WizardsoftheCoast The Dark Forces Saga, Part 5: Two Peas in a Pod on Wizards.com (original article link, backup links on Archive.org)
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 WEG icon2 "The Monster Maker"—Star Wars Gamemaster Screen
  11. 11.0 11.1 HyperspaceIconDroids, Technology and the Force: A Clash of Phenomena on Hyperspace (article) (content now obsolete and unavailable)
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 HyperspaceIconEvil Never Dies: The Sith Dynasties on Hyperspace (article) (content now obsolete and unavailable)
  13. 13.0 13.1 SWGTCGsmall Star Wars Galaxies Trading Card GameAgents of Deception (Dark Side scenario campaign)
  14. SWGTCGsmall Star Wars Galaxies Trading Card GameAgents of Deception (Light Side scenario campaign)
  15. SWGTCGsmall Star Wars Galaxies Trading Card GameThe Nightsister's Revenge (Dark Side scenario campaign)
  16. The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
  17. 17.0 17.1 Dark Empire Sourcebook
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 The New Essential Guide to Characters
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 Amazon.co.uk page for Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor
  20. The Essential Chronology
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 21.3 21.4 The New Essential Chronology
  22. Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
  23. Star Wars Blog "The Star Wars Spy Game: SPIN Declassified," The Official Star Wars Blog (link)
  24. 24.0 24.1 StarWarsDotComBlogsLogoStacked "The Emperor's Pawns Endnotes, Part 3: Blackhole and Revelations" – "Only Sith Deal In Absolutes!," Abel G. Peña's StarWars.com Blog (content now obsolete; backup link on Archive.org)
  25. Aliens of the Empire (Part 2 now up) on the Jedi Council Forums (Literature board; posted by Halagad_Ventor on 12/5/07 5:00pm; accessed February 11, 2013)
  26. SWicon Book Previews: Obi-Wan & Luke Covered on StarWars.com (content now obsolete; backup link on Archive.org)
  27. 1985-86 Line Extension Presentation Binder Page 9 - Atha Prime Description, The Archive Database
  28. Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor on the Jedi Council Forums (Literature board; posted by Barriss_Coffee on 6/8/08 5:01pm; accessed February 11, 2013)
  29. Dave Seeley Talks: Mindor's Got Back, The Official Star Wars Blog

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