- "It is believed that through their bizarre alchemies, the Sith somehow stumbled upon the ability to manipulate mechanicals of complex nature through the Force: ships, computers, and, indeed, even droids."
- ―Tam Azur-Jamin
Mechu-deru was a dark side Force power that bestowed an intuitive understanding of mechanical systems upon the user. Invented by the Sith, the technique allowed its practitioners to exert their influence over inanimate and robotic constructs. Through mechu-deru, mechanical structures could be bound to the will of the user and imbued with the power of the Force itself. The dark side power of mechu-deru also enabled the creation of machine-organic Sithspawn mutants called technobeasts.
The Sith origins of mechu-deru led to its avoidance by members of the Jedi Order, relegating its use to a small number of Jedi tech specialists. Even among the followers of the Sith, mechu-deru was an obscure technique practised by only a few at the time of its initial discovery. During the New Sith Wars, the Dark Lord Belia Darzu used her own variant of mechu-deru—dubbed mechu-deru vitae—to create an army of technobeasts by means of a nanogene virus. Centuries later, the secrets of Lord Darzu were unearthed by Cronal, a servant of the Galactic Empire who practised mechu-deru on mechanical devices and living subjects—himself included.
A dark side technique, mechu-deru allowed the user to manipulate mechanical systems through the power of the Force. By means of a specially-designed cybernetic brain implant, it was possible for a Force-sensitive individual to develop a mastery of mechu-deru at an accelerated rate.
- "[Belia Darzu] learned the secrets of mechu-deru, the ability to transform the flesh of living beings into metal and machinery. She used this power to create an army of technobeasts: organic-droid hybrids bound to her will."
The application of mechu-deru allowed the user to instinctively comprehend the inner workings of machinery and circuitry. Through mechu-deru, technology could be upgraded to suit a purpose beyond its original intended role, even allowing mechanical devices—including droids—to detect Force-attuned beings. Users were bestowed the ability to convert robotic machines into extensions of their will, overwhelming their internal circuitry. Attempting to posses the body of a cyborg had the potential to backfire, causing the victim's mechanical prostheses to turn against the user. Mechu-deru was used to combine both the inanimate and the living, allowing the creation of part machine, part organic hybrids known as technobeasts. Using mechu-deru, it was possible to imbue the technobeasts with the dark side of the Force, binding them to the will of their creator. The technique allowed the applicator to rebuild and replace parts of their body with cybernetics.
- "This power, known as mechu-deru, was responsible for the creation of Belia Darzu's infamous Technobeasts, which were capable of rewriting an organism's entire genetic code."
- ―Tam Azur-Jamin
Thousands of years before the Great Sith War, followers of the dark side-worshipping Sith Order discovered a way to manipulate mechanical structures through the power of the Force. This technique—known as mechu-deru—was practised by only a small number of Sith magicians at the time, causing its secrets to fade into obscurity. Nonetheless, the Sith practitioners of mechu-deru used the ability to create hybrids of metal and flesh known as technobeasts.
In 1250 BBY during a subset of the New Sith Wars called the Sictis Wars, a Dark Lord of the Sith known as Belia Darzu researched mechu-deru alongside the dark side art of Sith alchemy. In doing so, Lord Darzu created a technovirus capable of transforming living organisms into technobeasts. To produce these Sithspawn creatures, Darzu devised and employed an alternative form of mechu-deru called mechu-deru vitae. Using the power of mechu-deru, Darzu imbued the creatures with the dark side, binding an army of them to her will. During her reign, the Dark Lord recorded her knowledge of mechu-deru inside a Sith holocron. The creation of Darzu's technobeasts ended when she was assassinated by the Mecrosa Order, after which her secrets were thought to have been lost.
In the era succeeding the New Sith Wars, the discipline of mechu-deru was practised by a Sith Lord known as Darth Maul. In particular, Maul used the technique to modify a protocol droid designated C-3PX, transforming it into an assassination droid.
- "Flesh will be deconstructed into fuel. Machine will be reconstructed into art. Art will transform the galaxy!"
Centuries after the New Sith Wars, a number of Sith scrolls containing the knowledge of Belia Darzu entered the possession of Cronal, a dark side practitioner who served the Galactic Empire. Intending to use the scrolls for his own purposes, Cronal practised mechu-deru during his tenure as the Emperor's Hand, a personal agent of the Galactic Emperor Palpatine. Using his knowledge, Cronal upgraded the thaissen crystals that were installed into the Force detecting devices used by Imperial Jedi hunters. This allowed the devices to determine the Force-sensitivity and alignment of a specific target.
Following Cronal's failed Imperial campaign on the planet Mindor, the Dark Side Adept used mechu-deru to replace most of his body with cybernetics, leaving his head and neck as the only remaining organic parts. Around this time, Cronal spent years experimenting with both mechu-deru and Sith alchemy on the planet Trailia, blending them to form his own method of creation dubbed the Stygian Art. In doing so, Cronal transformed the native inhabitants into technobeasts, eventually traveling away with his creations to the world of Coruscant.
At a later date, Cronal resided on the industrial planet of Andooweel, having fully embraced mechu-deru under the new identity of "Perek". While basing his activities in an abandoned droid depot, Cronal was pursued by the Jedi Knight known as Luke Skywalker. During Skywalker's brief servitude under the reborn Emperor Palpatine, the Jedi Knight's cybernetic hand became polluted with the power of mechu-deru. The alchemical alterations made to Skywalker's robotic limb ultimately lured him into a confrontation with Cronal. In an attempt to possess the Jedi Knight, Cronal infected the circuitry of Skywalker's hand with technobeast nanodroids. This attempt backfired, however, when the cybernetic hand turned against Cronal and strangled him to death.
The power of mechu-deru was also wielded by Irek Ismaren, the son of another Imperial agent and dark side practitioner known as Roganda Ismaren. In the aftermath of Roganda's thwarted scheme against the New Republic, she—like Cronal—would somehow acquire a number of Sith scrolls comprising the knowledge of the deceased Dark Lord Belia Darzu. Around this time, Irek developed an accelerated mastery of mechu-deru by means of a cybernetic brain transplant, the subelectronic converter. Left to their own devices, the Ismarens had the potential to create and unleash a horde of part machine, part organic mutants upon the galaxy.
- "[...] the channeling of the Force through lightsabers and holocrons is a purely 'inobtrusive' act, unlike the aggressive manipulation of, say, mechu-deru."
- ―Jedi Master Aqinos
Compared to the Sith, members of the Jedi Order were less willing to blend technology and the Force. Not wishing the tread the same path as the Sith, the Jedi diverted their attention away from mechu-deru and the study of droids. Despite this, certain members of the Order would still practise the technique of mechu-deru, specifically Jedi Sentinels operating as tech experts. Such specialists were a rarity among the ranks of the Jedi Order, known for their ability to strip down and reassemble various types of technology. Additionally, details regarding mechu-deru were mentioned in The Jedi Path, a guidebook intended for Initiates of the Jedi Order. In the time of the galactic Yuuzhan Vong invasion, the Jedi Knight Tam Azur-Jamin made references to mechu-deru in an essay entitled Droids, Technology and the Force. The document explored the views held by the Jedi regarding mechu-deru, as well as the concept of a relationship between mechanical constructs and the Force.
Behind the scenesEdit
Mechu-deru was introduced as an unidentified Force ability in Tales of the Jedi Companion, a roleplaying supplement published by West End Games in 1996. This reference was later retconned by Abel G. Peña, an author who identified mechu-deru in an adventure seed—The Lost Art—featured in the 2001 article entitled The Emperor's Pawns. The name of mechu-deru was taken from The Essential Guide to Episode I, a cancelled addition to the Essential Guide series to be written by Daniel Wallace. Additional backstory for mechu-deru was detailed by Wallace in The New Essential Guide to Droids, a reference book published in 2006. While mechu-deru was named a dark side technique in The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, its use by the Jedi Order was later confirmed in another reference book called The Jedi Path. Mechu-deru was depicted unnamed in Collapsing New Empires, a comic featured in the nineteenth issue of the Star Wars Tales series. This appearance was retconned in the final part of The Imperial Warlords: Despoilers of an Empire, a StarWars.com blog series that concluded in 2014.
- Darth Bane: Rule of Two (Mentioned only)
- Darth Plagueis (Indirect mention only)
- "Collapsing New Empires"—Star Wars Tales 19 (First appearance) (Retcon)
- Tales of the Jedi Companion (First mentioned) (Retcon)
- The Emperor's Pawns"—Star Wars Gamer 5 (First identified as mechu-deru) "
- The New Essential Guide to Characters
- Vader: The Ultimate Guide
- The New Essential Guide to Droids
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. I, p. 172 ("Darzu, Belia")
- The Jedi Path: A Manual for Students of the Force
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. I, p. 172 ("Darzu, Belia")
- ↑ 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 The New Essential Guide to Droids
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 3.9
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 The Emperor's Pawns"—Star Wars Gamer 5 "
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 The New Essential Guide to Characters
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 The Jedi Path: A Manual for Students of the Force
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 Darth Bane: Rule of Two
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 Tales of the Jedi Companion
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3
- ↑ Children of the Jedi
- ↑ "Collapsing New Empires"—Star Wars Tales 19