- "This is the Sith's greeting for tomb robbers—magic and machines created them when the tombs were built!"
- ―The spirit of Freedon Nadd
Korriban zombies, also known as Korriban Sith zombies, were semi-sentient, undead humanoid predators native to the Sith tombworld Korriban. Originally created prior to 7000 BBY by Sith King Dathka Graush's experiments using Sith alchemy and magic to reanimate corpses, the creatures were soon discovered to be capable of creating more of their kind by biting living sentient beings. After a tumultuous fifty-year reign, Graush was assassinated, and the spirits animating the zombies were collected in a crystal that was buried with him in his tomb located in Korriban's Valley of Golg.
For the next seven millennia, the zombies served as guardians of the tombs of the Sith Lords in both the Valley of Golg and the Valley of the Dark Lords. The creatures laid dormant for extended periods of time, and were only awakened by the commands of the deceased Sith Lords' spirits or the disturbance of Graush's crystal in order to eliminate any intruders or would-be tomb robbers. The zombies' limited intelligence allowed them to wield weapons, and this attribute, coupled with their intimidating presence, ensured that few sentients prevailed during an encounter with the creatures. In 3997 BBY, self-declared Jedi Knight Exar Kun survived an encounter with the guardian zombies while exploring the Valley of the Dark Lords, as did a group of Jedi Knights and their respective Padawans nearly four millennia after Kun, during their pursuit of a galactic criminal. A subsequent encounter with the creatures occurred six months before the Battle of Yavin, when a pirate vessel crash-landed near the Valley of Golg.
Biology and appearanceEdit
- "The dead walk—"
- ―Babbnod Luroon
Korriban zombies, also called Korriban Sith zombies, referred to the name given to the first corpses of sentient beings that had been reanimated after death by Sith King Dathka Graush's experiments with Sith alchemy and magic. At some later point, mechanical techniques were added to the process. As time progressed, it became apparent that these humanoids were capable of creating more of their kind through biting their victims. These wounds became infected with Sith alchemical elements that would induce transformation into the undead.
The zombies' physical appearances varied widely, depending on their former species and gender. Moreover, their original features were distorted depending on damage sustained during battle and by the ravages of time, as the zombies were capable of laying dormant for extended durations. There had been accounts of beings who had been felled during battle and had risen almost immediately with missing limbs and massive gaping wounds. Others had observed that the zombies were little more than half-rotted husks that emanated a horrid stench and moved with an odd shuffling gait.
With the metamorphosis into a zombie, the creature gained heightened visual acuity in the dark and strength superior to that of living beings. Furthermore, it was impossible to halt a zombie's advance with normal physical damage. The only ways of destroying a zombie was massive trauma to the head, such as blaster fire, or severing the head from the rest of the body.
Behavior and intelligenceEdit
- "Obviously, the guardian spirits of this world can't tell the difference between friend and foe!"
- ―Exar Kun
The process of transforming into a zombie negated the impact of former attributes—except in retaining some basic skills, such as weapons aptitude—thus, reducing a sentient being into a semi-sentient predatory creature. The creature was left with an overwhelming need to feed on the flesh of living sentient beings, although the zombie was able to dampen its appetite with bodies buried in the tombs. When presented with the opportunity to feed on living flesh, a zombie worked relentlessly to make the kill. Its limited intelligence allowed it to wield blaster pistols and thermal detonators, among other weapons, depending on its former species. Quite often, the intended victim was paralyzed with fear due to the zombie's terrifying presence, thus inadvertently facilitating his or her own death.
Sometime before the year 7000 BBY, the Sith King Dathka Graush and his forces were the victors in one of Korriban's cyclical civil wars, and during his fifty-year reign over Korriban—one that the Sith considered to be full of terror and cruelty, even by their own standards—a substantial amount of corpses accumulated. Due in part to the sheer amount of raw material available to him, Graush's experiments with Sith alchemy and magic led to his discovery of a method of reanimating these corpses, thus forming a zombie army. Furthermore, during this time, Graush, using Sith magic and the most advanced technologies, had his heart replaced with a dark side, Force-sensitive crystal jewel that was imbued with over a thousand Sith spirits. After Graush was later assassinated, the spirits of his zombie army were captured in his heart, and the crystal was buried along with Graush's mummified remains in his tomb in Korriban's Valley of Golg. The zombies laid dormant for extended periods of time, only awakening when a being touched Graush's heart, releasing their spirits. The spirits then searched for their former bodies and new victims to infect.
Guardian of the tombsEdit
- "All those who trespass here are cursed to guard this place forever."
- ―The spirit of Freedon Nadd
Three millennia later, Jedi Knight Exar Kun—under guidance from the spirit of deceased Dark Lord Freedon Nadd—arrived on Korriban during his search for the knowledge and power possessed by the ancient Sith Lords. Kun's explorations of the planet led him to the Valley of the Dark Lords—a valley of burial tombs and temples—where he came upon scattered bones, the wreckage of a starship, and skeletons of long-dead space pirates; Kun surmised that he had found the remnants of tomb robbers. Nadd's spirit appeared at Kun's side and disclosed that Kun was seeing the remains of those who violated the will of the Dark Lords and their resting place. The spirit further explained that any being entering the domain of the Dark Lords was doomed to remain. Moments later, dark side energies—created by magic and machines at the time of the building of the tombs—whirled around the corpses, reanimating them. The zombies advanced on Kun, calling him a defiler and stating that they were the guardians of the tombs. As their attack began in earnest, the zombies claimed that no one was allowed to interrupt the sleep of the Dark Lords of the Sith. Nadd's spirit counseled Kun to take refuge in the Great Temple located nearby to escape the zombies and continue his investigation.
In the ensuing millennia, vague rumors passed amongst galactic spacers claiming that Sith alchemy could be used to reanimate corpses, and that Korriban zombies occasionally dispatched unlucky freighter crews. In 24 BBY, a group of four Jedi Knights and their respective Padawans, which included Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker, were forced to battle Korriban zombies during their pursuit of galactic criminal Granta Omega. Due in part to his obsession with the Sith and his hatred of the Jedi, Omega had obtained the support of a mysterious Sith Lord in his endeavors to destroy the Jedi Order and wreak havoc within the Galactic Republic. Once the connection between the two had been discovered by the Jedi, Omega traveled to the Valley of the Dark Lords to meet with his Sith benefactor, the Jedi in pursuit. Having tracked Omega to one of the tombs, Kenobi and Skywalker, at the forefront of the search, plunged deeper into the tomb while the other Jedi were held up near the entrance. Soon, the two were assaulted by a horrific stench mere moments before the Korriban zombies lurched out of the depths of the tomb and charged. Skywalker had been momentarily stunned by the appearance of the zombies, having read about the undead but never expecting to encounter them. The Sith Lord had reawakened the zombies to guard the tomb—considered to be sacred Sith ground—and to defend Omega. The creatures attacked the Jedi viciously with blasters and detonators. Kenobi and Skywalker made their way determinedly through the undead, deflecting blaster fire with their lightsabers, avoiding the detonators, and eliminating the reanimated corpses in their path, and continued their chase for Omega while the other Jedi destroyed the remaining zombies.
- «Wake up, there is work to do.»
- ―The spirit of Dathka Graush[src]
Sometime after the year 11 ABY, Jedi Master Luke Skywalker—founder of the New Jedi Order during the time of the New Republic—sent Jedi researchers to investigate the ancient Sith homeworld of Korriban. While searching the tomb of Dathka Graush, the researchers discovered a set of recorded logs belonging to a missing pirate freighter named Jynni's Virtue that identified a subsequent encounter with Korriban zombies. According to the logs—the time codes on the logs indicating that the first recording had been made exactly six months before the Battle of Yavin—the freighter had been disabled by an Imperial scout patrol and had been forced to make a crash-landing on the planet, near the Valley of Golg. The captain of Jynni's Virtue, Naz Felyood, explored the valley in search of treasure to plunder and came across Graush's tomb. Determining that Graush's sarcophagus most likely contained great treasure, the Captain removed the Heart of Graush from its resting place. Felyood became possessed by the spirit of Dathka Graush, thereby reawakening the zombie army that was now under his control. Felyood sent the undead to lay siege to the Virtue, and, soon after, First Mate Babbnod Luroon realized that she and the remainder of the crew were unlikely to survive. Luroon ordered Deksi Fivvl, the ship's engineer, to rig the Virtue's engines to blow up the freighter. The resulting explosion destroyed the majority of the zombies laying siege to Jynni's Virtue, as well as disintegrating the vessel and crew.
In addition to finding the recordings, the Jedi researchers found a brief hand-written message believed to be penned by Naz Felyood. In the letter, Felyood recounted the destruction of the Virtue and his subsequent loss of the Heart of Graush. As such, he was no longer possessed by the spirit of Graush; however, he was cursed to wander Korriban, forever immortal, in search of the jewel. The researchers were unable to find any evidence of the Heart or the zombie army and considered the return of Graush's zombie army a threat to anyone who would have landed on the planet. Many also considered it fortunate that Emperor Palpatine—the Sith Lord ruler of the Galactic Empire—had never discovered the secrets to creating or reawakening the undead, thereby leaving the zombies confined to Korriban.
Behind the scenesEdit
Notable appearances and developmentEdit
Korriban zombies made their first appearance in the Tales of the Jedi: Dark Lords of the Sith 3: Descent to the Dark Side comic, the third issue of the Tales of the Jedi: Dark Lords of the Sith story arc, published by Dark Horse Comics in 1994. The zombies were not specifically named in this issue, however; they were referred to only as guardian spirits. In the fourth issue of the Dark Lords of the Sith story arc, published in early 1995, the zombies only received a mention as guardian creatures in the introductory synopsis. The release of the Dark Lords of the Sith audio drama in 2005 reinforced the zombies' role as guardians.
The third and fourth issues of the Dark Lords of the Sith story arc did not originally state the exact location of where Exar Kun had encountered the zombies. With the release of the Empire's End 2: Rage of the Emperor comic in late 1995, the location was established; the caption of an image depicting the Great Temple—seen in both Empire's End 2 and Descent to the Dark Side—stated that the temple was located in the Valley of the Dark Lords. In 2008, The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia identified the guardian creatures of the Dark Lords of the Sith as Korriban zombies by publishing an image of one of the Dark Lords of the Sith creatures under the Korriban zombie entry.
In 2003, the Wizards of the Coast Planet Hoppers roleplaying web supplement Korriban: Planet of Lost Souls first identified Korriban zombies by name. In addition to presenting detailed characteristics and a history of the zombies, this supplement also provided Korriban Sith zombie as an alternate name for the creatures. The zombies made their final appearance to date in 2004's Jedi Quest: The Final Showdown, the last novel of the Jedi Quest young reader series. In 2009, the zombies were mentioned in The Essential Atlas, under the Korriban planet entry.
A continuity inconsistency seems to exist concerning the origin of the Korriban zombies that has not been explained as of yet in Star Wars canon. Korriban: Planet of Lost Souls and The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia both state that the zombies originated in the Valley of Golg, one of Korriban's many burial valleys. Furthermore, these two sources claim that the zombies were under the control of the Heart of Graush, located in the Valley of Golg, and would be awakened only when this jewel was disturbed. However, Dark Lords of the Sith and Jedi Quest place the zombies in Korriban's Valley of the Dark Lords, without any mention of being under the control of the Heart of Graush.
- Tales of the Jedi: Dark Lords of the Sith audio drama
- Tales of the Jedi: Dark Lords of the Sith 3: Descent to the Dark Side (First appearance)
- Tales of the Jedi: Dark Lords of the Sith 4: Death of a Dark Jedi (Indirect mention only)
- Jedi Quest: The Final Showdown
- (First identified as Korriban zombie)
- Star Wars: Empire at War: Prima Official Game Guide (Under Korriban)
- Star Wars: Empire at War: Forces of Corruption: Prima Official Game Guide (Under Korriban)
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. I,II ("Fivvi, Deski"; "Korriban zombie"; "Heart of Graush")
- The Essential Atlas (Under Korriban)
- Book of Sith: Secrets from the Dark Side (Indirect mention only)
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
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Jedi Quest: The Final Showdown
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 Tales of the Jedi: Dark Lords of the Sith 3: Descent to the Dark Side
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- ↑ Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia (Under Heart of Graush)
- ↑ Tales of the Jedi: Dark Lords of the Sith 2: The Quest for the Sith
- ↑ Empire's End 2: Rage of the Emperor
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 Tales of the Jedi: Dark Lords of the Sith audio drama
- ↑ The Essential Atlas (Under Korriban)
- ↑ The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia (Under Timeline of Galactic Events). This date is based on the founding of the first Jedi Praxeum on Yavin 4 by Luke Skywalker. Korriban: Planet of Lost Souls states that Skywalker sent out Jedi Academy researchers; therefore, it must have been after the founding of the first Academy.