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Maw Installation

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Maw
Maw Installation
General information
Location

Maw Cluster

Constructed

Between 19 BBY and 0 BBY

Destroyed

11 ABY

Builder(s)

Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin

Chronological and political information
Era(s)
Affiliation

Galactic Empire

Maw Installation was an Imperial research center established by Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin for the creation of superweapons. It was built from asteroids in the midst of the Maw Cluster, a virtually unnavigable cluster of black holes.

The Black Holes of the MawEdit

No one knows exactly how the Maw came into existence. It has been there as long as records have been kept. There are two main theories as to how it came into existence. The first is that an ancient, powerful race built it, however how they may have achieved this, or how they met their downfall is unknown. The second theory is that it is a natural phenomenon, perhaps caused by a massive star breaking into fragments and each fragment collapsing in on itself.[source?]

There are few safe routes into the Maw - some are known by Admiral Daala and her fleet, however Kyp Durron was able to use the Force to find a route in.[source?]

One of these black holes swallowed up the Sun Crusher, as Durron successfully managed to pilot it into its gravity well, yet escaped himself.[source?]

Numerous experiments were made into producing revolutionary new sources of technology while under Imperial rule. It seems that certain members of the 'think tank' were unaware of the military role of the projects and many saw that the developments would be used on a peaceful basis. For example, the Ion Ring was developed on the basis of being a terraforming tool while the World Devastators were to be used as automated factories that would mine asteroids. Instead, these creations became some of the most destructive weapons known in the galaxy. While working on the Death Star, certain scientists believed that the superlaser was designed to destroy dead planets for harvesting to be made on the materials hidden nearer the core of the world.[source?]

HistoryEdit

Maw Installation layout

Maw Installation layout.

FormationEdit

Following the Declaration of a New Order, one of the leading architects of the Galactic Empire was Wilhuff Tarkin. He proved to be a powerful figure within Emperor Palpatine's court, which eventually led to him being rewarded for his actions by being promoted to the position of Grand Moff. This, combined with being placed in charge of the Death Star Project, gave Tarkin enough power and authority to bring about the culmination of many of his goals.[1] In accordance with his Tarkin Doctrine, he had sent a communiqué to the Emperor informing him of his strategy on how to keep the subjects of the Empire under control. By using the threat of force, he intended to keep the planetary systems in line using powerful superweapons as a means of inducing fear amongst the populace. Grand Moff Tarkin further explained that only a few such weapons and a rare demonstration were all that would be required in order to cow the people into obedience.[2] Thus, Tarkin embarked on creating a top secret weapons research facility with the intention of creating such superweapons. The sheer secrecy of the project meant that only Grand Moff Tarkin knew of the facility's existence, and also of the budget that funded it, with Palpatine being the only other figure who was aware of it.[3]

One of the Grand Moff's first acts was the establishment of a team of scientists that would be on the project and responsible for the development of innovative weaponry. This led to Tarkin establishing orbital stations around the Outer Rim world of Omwat and abducting the native Omwati children. Placed in forced education programs, he intended to create highly intelligent beings from their ranks as scientists. In order to ensure progress, he used fear and terror against the Omwati children by targeting Omwati settlements from orbit and destroying them if there was any failure. Ultimately, of the ten Omwati, only Qwi Xux proved to be a success and he quickly took her as part of the team that would staff the Maw Installation.[2] Other notable scientists included Bevel Lemelisk who was responsible for the creation of the Death Star I and Renn Volz who was tricked into creating wondrous pieces of technology that the Empire later used against innocent beings.[3]

While the scientists were assembled, Grand Moff Tarkin also authorized the creation of the research facility itself. The site was the Maw Cluster itself which proved to be a hazardous location and thus an ideal hiding spot for the installation. After gathering a number of asteroids, a number of habitat modules and laboratories were established on the structures surface that would house the scientists. Finally, partly to hide his lover and to add a defensive force to the Maw Installation, Tarkin gave Natasi Daala the rank of Admiral as well as four Star Destroyers to command with her mission being the defense of the facility. Shortly after the construction of the Maw Installation was complete, the group of architects and engineers were about to return back to their homes outside the Maw Cluster. However, in order to secure the secrecy of the facility, Admiral Daala sabotaged the navicomputers on their transports which plunged into the black holes of the cluster and destroyed any witnesses to the construction of the base. Furthermore, before engaging in a communication blackout from the rest of the Galactic Empire, a number of Wookiee slaves were transported to the Maw Installation where they served as a slave labor force.[2]

Since that time, the Installation was protected by Admiral Daala's defense fleet which consisted of four Star Destroyers: Gorgon, Hydra, Basilisk, and Manticore.[2]

Secret Think TankEdit

In order to keep his pet project from being part of political games or intrigue, Tarkin ensured the complete secrecy of the installation and made sure that no knowledge of the base remained.[1] Once established, the think tank known as the Maw Installation began its work and maintained only sporadic contact with their patron namely Tarkin himself.[2] The secrecy of the base was to such an extent that both Grand Moff Tarkin and Admiral Daala both believed that even Emperor Palpatine was unaware of the location of the facility. During these years, Bevel Lemelisk succeeded in creating the Death Star design and showed its effectiveness to Grand Moff Tarkin. Upon seeing the weapon, Tarkin took Lemelisk to the Horuz system with the intention of using it to create the battlestation.[1] While this was happening, a Death Star prototype had been constructed in order to test the design and it remained within the vicinity of the Maw Installation.[2] In addition to the Death Star, other powerful weapons were designed by the projects scientists and included such dangerous superweapons as the World Devastators, Sun Crusher, Ion Ring, Metal-Crystal Phase Shifter and the orbital nightcloak

For over a decade, members of the Rebel Alliance had heard reports of a secret Imperial weapon research facility and had dispatched agents to uncover the location of the base. However, they never discovered the name of the installation nor its whereabouts which continued to remain hidden during the years of the Galactic Civil War.[3] The existence of the Maw Installation was finally uncovered over six years after the Battle of Endor. At the time, the facility was exposed after Han Solo and Kyp Durron, fleeing the nearby Kessel, found themselves inside the cluster.[2] The installation was left undefended for a time, as Daala went on a brief guerrilla assault on the New Republic.[4] It was later destroyed in a self-destruct, but not before Daala returned and recovered all the new weapons concepts from the main computer.

LegacyEdit

By the time of the Yuuzhan Vong War, Lando Calrissian had the remnants of the Maw Installation brought together in order to create Shelter, a Jedi facility that was part of the Great River project which was spearheaded by Grand Master Luke Skywalker of the New Jedi Order.

CreationsEdit

Notable personnelEdit

Maw crew

Sun Crusher project team

Behind the scenes Edit

Kevin J. Anderson, the author of Jedi Academy trilogy, worked as a technical editor and writer at the large government research lab, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, which has many similarities to the Maw installation. Anderson insists jokingly in the "About the Authors" pages of the Jedi Academy books that, despite the similarities, that LLNL has nothing to do with the creation of the Maw Installation.[5]

Anderson later indicated in an interview with AlternativeNation.net that the installation had, in fact, been heavily inspired by his time at the lab, with Tol Sivron's prioritizing of following protocol, even in the wake of a New Republic attack, specifically stemming from the lab's awkward earthquake disaster protocol.[5]

AppearancesEdit

SourcesEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

External linksEdit

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