- "Wipe this pathetic planet from the face of the galaxy!"
- ―Darth Malak
Following the destruction of the Endar Spire by the Sith battle fleet in hopes of capturing Jedi Knight Bastila Shan, the destruction of Taris was an event that took place during the height of the Jedi Civil War. Intending to capture the Jedi Padawan Bastila Shan, whose talents with battle meditation had been crucial to the Galactic Republic's effort against the Sith Empire led by Darth Malak, the Dark Lord of the Sith set his fleet around the Outer Rim world of Taris. After successfully ambushing the vessel under Shan's command, the Hammerhead-class cruiser Endar Spire, Sith troopers led by Darth Bandon boarded the ship, intent on seizing her alive. However, Shan, Carth Onasi and the amnesic ex-Sith Lord Revan were able to escape before the vessel's destruction. Afterwards, Malak ordered the conquest and blockading of Taris in order to search for the Jedi. The escape pod bearing Shan crashed in the Undercity, however, and she was taken prisoner by the Black Vulkars swoop gang.
With support from the Hidden Beks swoop gang, Revan found and freed Shan. Impressed, the Mandalorian mercenary Canderous Ordo offered Revan an opportunity to leave the planet by stealing Exchange boss Davik Kang's flagship, the Ebon Hawk. Accepting the offer, Revan raided the main Sith base to acquire codes to bypass the blockade; Ordo then brought him to Kang's estate to steal the ship. Malak, meanwhile, grew weary of the protracted search. Seeking to eliminate Shan, he ordered Admiral Saul Karath to thoroughly bombard the surface. As the Sith fleet in orbit repositioned itself, Ordo and Revan succeeded in accessing the Hawk. However, they were confronted by Kang and the bounty hunter Calo Nord. After a brief firefight as the bombardment began, Kang was killed and Nord incapacitated; with the way clear, the party boarded the freighter, picking up Onasi, Shan, Mission Vao, Zaalbar, and T3-M4, and blasted off for space. The Ebon Hawk eluded a vanguard of attacking Sith fighters before fleeing into hyperspace, en route to the Jedi Enclave on Dantooine. Despite their escape, the bombardment continued until the entire world was virtually scoured of life, killing billions of beings.
- "Bastila's escape pod is away!"
- ―Carth Onasi
In an effort to capture the Jedi Padawan Bastila Shan, whose mastery of battle meditation had served the Galactic Republic well in its fight against the Sith Empire, Darth Malak had tracked her as she journeyed to the Outer Rim world of Taris aboard the Hammerhead-class cruiser Endar Spire. With his fleet waiting in orbit around the planet to trap her vessel, Malak ordered a large number of Sith fighters from his flagship, the Interdictor-class cruiser Leviathan, to attack the ship as it was dragged out of hyperspace, before boarding the captured ship. During the battle that followed, Shan managed to board an escape pod, which crashed into the Undercity of the planet. Captain Carth Onasi, a veteran of the Mandalorian Wars and a decorated war hero, and the recently mind-wiped former Dark Lord of the Sith Revan, were also aboard the doomed vessel at the time; after fending off or bypassing a number of Sith troopers and Dark Jedi who were part of the boarding party, the two met up on the starboard side of the ship and used the last escape pod to reach the Upper City of Taris moments before the Endar Spire was destroyed. After landing, Onasi pulled the unconscious Revan from the pod and, dragging him through the crowd of Upper City residents who had arrived to investigate, reached safety in an abandoned apartment.
Realizing that Shan had not been captured or killed in the destruction of the Endar Spire, Malak ordered an immediate conquest of the planet, instituting a massive blockade in order to to prevent all space travel to and from Taris. Shan, however, had been captured by a swoop gang known as the Black Vulkars, which were based in the decaying Lower City. The group offered Shan up as the prize for the winner of the Tarisian Season Opener swoop race, the key event of the Galactic Swoop Racing Circuit. Revan and Onasi, with the assistance of the Twi'lek Mission Vao and her Wookiee companion Zaalbar, eventually won the favor of a rival swoop gang, the Hidden Beks, led by Gadon Thek, by returning a stolen prototype accelerator. As a condition of their agreement, Thek agreed to sponsor Revan for the race under the Bek banner. After Revan successfully beat the times of all other opponents, Brejik, the leader of the Vulkars, retracted the prize, accusing the Beks of cheating by using the accelerator that the Vulkars had stolen. After freeing herself from Vulkar captivity, Shan intervened in the brief fight that followed, which ended in the gang leader's death.
- "The search for Bastila is taking too long. We cannot risk her escaping Taris. Destroy the entire planet."
- ―Darth Malak, to Admiral Karath
Malak, however, was growing impatient with his troops' inability to find Shan on the planet's surface. In an attempt to completely remove her from the playing field, denying her battle meditation to the Republic, he ordered Admiral Saul Karath to begin an orbital bombardment of the planet. Karath, hesitant at first, stated that it would take some time to properly arrange the fleet to initiate the operation. Karath also questioned Malak about those in the Sith military who had been stationed throughout the vast cityscape. Still angry, Malak ordered the preparations to begin at once and offered no care for the loss of life, regardless of allegiance. With the armada in place and ready, the bombardment began.
Meanwhile, on the surface, Revan had teamed up with the Mandalorian mercenary Canderous Ordo, who had a plan for getting off-world. In order to infiltrate the Sith military base, in which the codes necessary to pass through the blockade were kept, he bade Revan acquire the astromech droid T3-M4 from Janice Nall, the Twi'lek owner of a local droid dealership in the Upper City, in order to break into the base itself. With the assistance of T3, Revan successfully raided the base and secured the passage codes after a brief duel with the planet's Sith Governor. With the codes in hand, Ordo promised Revan the means of stealing the Ebon Hawk, the recently-acquired flagship of Davik Kang, who was the head of the Exchange's presence on Taris. Ordo brought Revan to Kang's estate in order to hijack the Hawk, claiming that Revan was a person who might make a prime recruit. While attempting to steal the ship, having freed its former pilot and getting the hangar security codes, Revan and Ordo were confronted by Kang and the bounty hunter Calo Nord. Kang was killed in the fight that followed; however, the bombardment had already begun. The hangar began to collapse, causing debris to fall on Nord, severely injuring him and preventing his activation of a thermal detonator. Revan then boarded the Ebon Hawk, gathering all of his companions before fleeing the planet, even amidst the barrage of turbolaser fire.
Escape of the Ebon HawkEdit
After gathering all of his and Revan's companions aboard the Ebon Hawk, Carth Onasi piloted the ship off the planet and up out of its gravity well in spite of the sheets of destructive energy raining down upon the surface as the bombardment continued. Once above Taris, however, the fleeing vessel soon encountered elements of the Sith fleet. Even though a half-squadron of Sith fighters attacked the Hawk as it continued to flee the battle, they were destroyed by Revan, who had manned the ship's dorsal-mounted laser cannon turret, giving Onasi a window in which to make the jump into hyperspace. The Ebon Hawk and its crew, at Shan's urging, then fled to the Jedi Enclave on the grassy world of Dantooine. After their escape, the bombardment continued, mercilessly pummeling the surface and reducing the planetwide cityscape to a smoking ruin and killing billions of innocent civilians but also ending massive corruption and oppression.
- "You saw what they did to Taris! There wasn't a single building over two stories tall left standing!"
- ―Carth Onasi
The Sith fleet decimated the surface of Taris, killing billions of its citizens, though the exact number of fatalities remained unknown. The destruction was so vast that survival was unlikely for most residents, with the exception of the Outcasts. Other than Revan and his companions, one notable survivor was Calo Nord. Nord was able to free himself from the debris that had trapped him and flee on his ship. He would later offer his services to Malak in a renewed attempt to hunt down Shan.
The destruction of Taris became an important event that echoed throughout the galaxy. Citizens of other planets, such as Dantooine, wondered if the Sith would attempt such an attack there, as well. Wherever Revan traveled, he encountered discussion about the event. Even among his companions, emotions ranged from shock, as exhibited by Mission Vao, to anger, as shown by Juhani, a Cathar Jedi from Taris who was off-world at the time. The destruction of the planet also affected commerce. Taris was still an important commercial and cultural center, as well as the hub of swoop racing throughout known space; the circuit was decimated by the losses suffered in the bombardment. Even though Revan had won the race, no one in the galaxy believed him because they believed that no one could have escaped that bombardment. Another immediate effect was the shortage of Tarisian ale, which later became a potential business opportunity for Tarisian Twi'lek Griff Vao, Mission's elder brother.
The planet was eventually resettled by colonists once again, beginning around three hundred years after its destruction. The reestablishment of the planetary population was a priority of the Republic, and the settlers teamed with Jedi to have success, believing that such progress would be a symbol of resilience on the part of the Republic. Rakghouls, however, still wandered the planet's surface and made resettlement difficult. They had begun evolving during this time and were developing abilities that made them more difficult to combat. The Sith Empire was equally interested in Taris. At the time, it was also taking part in efforts to prevent the recolonization through sabotage and espionage. By 3 ABY, nearly four thousand years after the bombardment, much of the planet had been rebuilt, but the scars that had been left by Darth Malak and his armada remained. By 40 ABY, the planet was still a hub for many elements of galactic culture, including a small number of Mandalorians who had set up shop there.
Behind the scenesEdit
The destruction of Taris, as it first appears in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, is depicted mostly as a series of cutscenes and scripted in-game sequences. The only real involvement by the player, other than securing the Ebon Hawk from Davik Kang in order to escape the planet, is taking up the laser cannon turret on the Hawk and shooting down a number of pursuing Sith fighters before making the jump to hyperspace en route to Dantooine. Content that was cut from the final game reveals that a large number of automated landing craft were sent by the Sith fleet to retrieve their ground troops; one of these was to allow the escape of Deadeye Duncan, who was to have met Revan on Manaan in order to ask permission to use the title of "Mysterious Stranger."
The battle is later indirectly referenced in the video game Star Wars: Empire at War and its expansion, Forces of Corruption, which depicts a cityscape not unlike that of Coruscant, which is also depicted in the game. In Bloodlines, another indirect mention is made when Mandalore Boba Fett visits Taris in order to meet with a number of his Mandalorian allies. Most recently, when Star Wars: The Old Republic was being written, the creators of the game wanted to return to Taris and use it as a focal point for the game. As a result, the destruction of the planet was an important factor into the creation of the landscape. The reestablishment of Taris also became a plot point in the game.
- "Shadows and Light"—Star Wars Tales 23 (Vision to Duron Qel-Droma)
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (First appearance)
- Star Wars: The Old Republic: Revan (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: The Old Republic (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: Empire at War (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars: Empire at War: Forces of Corruption (Indirect mention only)
- Bloodlines (Mentioned only)
- Knights of the Old Republic: Prima's Official Strategy Guide
- The New Essential Chronology
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. I ("Eastgate")
- "5 Evil Deeds! (Expanded Universe)"—Star Wars Insider 113
- The Art and Making of Star Wars: The Old Republic
- Star Wars: The Old Republic Encyclopedia
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 1.24 1.25 1.26 1.27 Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
- ↑ The New Essential Chronology
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Number based on dialogue between Saul Karath and Darth Malak prior to bombardment, and conversations with random people after the fact.
- ↑ Star Wars: The Old Republic
- ↑ Star Wars: Empire at War
- ↑ Bloodlines
- ↑ Team Gizka lists a number of items cut from the final game.
- ↑ Star Wars: Empire at War
- ↑ Bloodlines
- ↑ Official interview with Drew Karpyshyn and other Star Wars: The Old Republic creators
- ↑ The Art and Making of Star Wars: The Old Republic