- "To Ilum we must go."
Ilum was an ice planet in the Unknown Regions, one of the main sources of the valuable Adegan crystals used in the construction of Jedi lightsabers. The caverns containing the crystals were long ago turned into a Jedi temple. Unlike the crystals of other planets, the crystals of Ilum were limited to blue and green in color. The planet was over ninety percent ice.
- "Jedi don't like artificial crystals anyway, not when there are such beauties on Ilum."
- ―Quinlan Vos
Discovery by the Jedi OrderEdit
Ilum was first discovered by the wider galaxy in 22,800 BBY when a Jedi, navigating hyperspace in the Force, felt a strong pull from deep in the Unknown Regions. Following the sensation, the scout determined that the Force's call was strongest on the system's fifth planet. Reporting back to the Jedi High Council on her findings, the subsequent research teams detected no signs of previous inhabitants on the barren world, aside from local flora and fauna that had evolved to survive in the harsh environment. The real wealth of Ilum was not discovered until one survey crew was chased into a mountainous ravine by local predators and discovered the mother lode of kyber crystals just beneath the surface. Made up largely of the rare kathracite, pontite and mephite crystals, the trove was an invaluable source for the crystals needed to power a Jedi's lightsaber. When the High Council learned of this discovery, they dispatched artisans, scholars, and other Jedi to protect the caves and research how deep they went. Instead of reporting the discovery to the Galactic Senate per custom, the High Council deleted all records of Ilum from their ships and removed mention of it from all reports. A team of surveyors within the Order mapped out a complex route through hyperspace from Metellos that would take a Jedi team directly to Ilum. In order to navigate the course however, one would need the prowess in the Force that only a fully trained Master would possess.
With the planet protected, the Jedi built temples and enclaves over the years and the world became a destination of pilgrimage for Jedi intending to construct new lightsabers and Jedi Masters seeking a quiet place for intense meditation. Over the greatest source of crystals, the High Council commissioned the construction of a grand Temple. Upon completion, the Temple over the Crystal Caves began to host the Gathering, a formal part of a Padawan's teaching during which they embarked on a pilgrimage to Ilum to search for a lightsaber crystal and build their first weapon. After several millennia of hosting the Gathering, Ilum became the Order's primary source for the rare crystals. Some time before the Cold War, the Sith Empire attacked the planet with a force of Sith and shock troopers, killing the Jedi present there. Although the Jedi Order was devastated by the loss of Ilum, the Galactic Republic lacked the resources for a counter-attack. Intelligence suggested that the Sith operations on the world could have extended beyond the harvest of lightsaber crystals and, due to the amount of local Sith investments, Republic leaders and members of the High Council suspected that Ilum may have possessed a far more valuable resource. One of the resources turned out to be a use for the crystals to power a cloaking device for spaceships, or even a whole space station. Darth Malgus, taking advantage of the chaos in the Empire following the defeat of the Sith Emperor, rallied a primarily non-Human army and tried to establish a base in the system. Malgus's attempt was thwarted, and the cloaked armada never saw further use. A return of the Gray Secant saw both Republic and Imperial forces striving to gain influence with the Gree and learn the ship's secrets, but Ilum itself remained a contested world for the remainder of the Galactic War.
Eventually, the Order reclaimed Ilum and once again hid its location, removing records of the battles there, which only lived on as dark legends of the past. Despite the planet's overall importance, the High Council recalled all members of the Order that were living on the planet, back to Coruscant and shuttered all facilities save the primary Temple. With no one to maintain them, most of the other Jedi installations were consumed by the planet's constant snowfall or crushed under moving glaciers.
In 22 BBY, Ilum was the location of a Separatist ambush. When Count Dooku, leader of the Confederacy of Independent Systems sent a battalion of droids to the planet, the Crystal Caves were heavily damaged. Jedi Grand Master Yoda aided Jedi Master Luminara Unduli and her Padawan, Barriss Offee, in defending the Crystal Caves from chameleon droids. For a portion of the war, the Jedi Order decided that it was too dangerous for Jedi Initiates to travel to Ilum to build their lightsabers, so shipments of lightsaber crystals were delivered to the Jedi Temple on Coruscant. Unduli oversaw one of the shipments aboard the starship Sedawan when it was attacked by a group of Nightsisters led by Sai Sircu, who sought to pilfer the crystals to power the Devastation, an ion pulse cannon–equipped warship that they were building in conjunction with Dooku and the Confederacy.
Around 20 BBY, Yoda and Padawan Ahsoka Tano led a group of promising Jedi Initiates in the ritual known as The Gathering, where they would brave the dangers of the Crystal Cave and find crystals to make their own lightsabers. They used the Force to enter through a cave entrance.
Because its existence was not known generally to non-Jedi, Ilum was virtually forgotten after the destruction of the Jedi and Palpatine's information purges. This gave the remaining Jedi a safe harbor. After Order 66, Obi-Wan Kenobi received intelligence that his friend, Jedi Master Garen Muln, had returned to Ilum to hide in the crystal caves. Ferus Olin, a former Jedi apprentice, returned to the caves to retrieve crystals to build a new lightsaber and he also found Garen. The Jedi Master had grown weak during his time on Ilum. He gave Ferus his old lightsaber, which needed new crystals. Ferus inserted his crystals and carried the weak Jedi Master out of the caves. Obi-Wan came to their rescue before the Imperials could take them hostage. Another Jedi also took refuge there: Fy-Tor-Ana. However, according to Garen, she returned to Coruscant to see if any other Jedi had survived. She did not return, but it was rumored that she was imprisoned on Coruscant.
Ilum's secrecy was not to last. After scouring the Temple Archives on Coruscant, the Empire swiftly moved into seize the planet. As part of Order 66, the 481st Legion was dispatched to the planet to eliminate any hiding Jedi and to secure the Temple. After the Empire was fully established, the 481st was replaced with a dedicated joint forces mission of the Imperial Navy and Army. Forming up a beachhead around the Temple and installing a giant metal door over its entrance, the army constantly monitored the facility while the Navy formed a blockade around the planet. Over time, research facilities and observation platforms were established and an entire garrison was situated there. Despite the Emperor's grave concerns for the planet's safety, more often than not the posting was used as a punishment or sort of exile for delinquent officers, rival captains, and a graveyard for derelict ships. During the Galactic Civil War, Captain Malthegn oversaw the blockade from the command deck of the Hoplite.
During the Empire's hunt for Moff Kalast, who was leaking information to the Rebels, they discovered a Black Sun base above Ilum. Boba Fett, in the Slave I, disabled their sensors so an Imperial fleet could capture the pirate leader.
Behind the scenesEdit
In the Star Wars: Clone Wars TV series, purple crystals are seen to fall, even though it is stated to only produce blue and green crystals.
Ilum is also a planet for end-game content in Star Wars: The Old Republic where players can complete both PvE and PvP daily missions. Two of the game's final instances are also located there.
- Star Wars: The Old Republic
- Star Wars: The Old Republic: Rise of the Hutt Cartel (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: The Old Republic: Shadow of Revan (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: The Old Republic: Knights of the Fallen Empire
- Jedi Quest: Path to Truth (First appearance)
- Jedi Quest 1
- I Am a Jedi Apprentice (Mentioned only)
- Anakin: Apprentice
- Star Wars: Clone Wars – "Chapter 14"
- Star Wars: Clone Wars – "Chapter 15"
- Star Wars: Clone Wars – "Chapter 16"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Jedi Alliance (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "The Gathering"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "A Test of Strength" (Appears in flashback(s))
- Labyrinth of Evil (Mentioned only)
- Coruscant Nights III: Patterns of Force (Mentioned only)
- The Last of the Jedi: Dark Warning
- The Last of the Jedi: Underworld (Mentioned only)
- The Last of the Jedi: A Tangled Web (Mentioned only)
- The Last of the Jedi: Reckoning (Mentioned only)
- The Life and Legend of Obi-Wan Kenobi
- Star Wars: Empire at War
- Star Wars: Empire at War: Forces of Corruption
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2
- ↑ 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 Nexus of Power
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Star Wars: Empire at War: Prima Official Game Guide
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 The Essential Atlas, p. 68
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6
- ↑ Star Wars: The Old Republic—Ambient Companion Character Dialogue on Ilum
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "The Gathering"
- ↑ Star Wars: The Old Republic
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 Star Wars: Empire at War—Mission 03: Rooting Out the Pirates
- ↑ Star Wars: Clone Wars – "Chapter 16"
- ↑ Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Jedi Alliance
- ↑ Darth Maul—Death Sentence 1