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A fiery volcanic world where lava was mined like a precious natural resource, Mustafar often served as a place to dispose of unwanted evidence, a quality which drew Black Sun to the planet. During the Clone Wars, when Darth Sidious hired Cad Bane to kidnap Force-sensitive children so he could conduct Sith experiments, Anakin Skywalker and his Padawan, Ahsoka Tano went to recover the 2 children already kidnapped by Bane. When nurse droids noticed the Twilight, Anakin's personal ship incoming, Darth Sidious ordered the droids to let the building sink into the lava river. They complied and hid in the dark building with the children. When the Jedi entered the doomed facility, the droids attacked the Jedi, but to no avail. In the end, Skywalker and Tano freed the children, returned them to their homes, and the facility was no more as it sank beneath the fiery waves. It also drew the Sith: it was on Mustafar that Darth Maul began his Sith training. Mustafar also served as the last capital of the Confederacy of Independent Systems, and was the site of the Separatists' downfall, an event that shaped galactic history. In a duel that followed, Darth Vader fought his former master, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and lost, as a result of which he was forced to wear dark armor for the rest of his life.
Mustafar was a very young and volatile world, torn apart by opposing gravitational forces of the gas giants Jestefad and Lefrani, with the former being the closer of the two. Astride thick-skinned lava fleas, the native Mustafarians leapt across the lava fields to mine the planet's unique and valuable minerals present in the lava.
The intense geological activity creates natural scanning interference that has kept prying eyes away from Mustafar for most of its history.
- "It's obvious that civilizations have been present here for thousands of years. Strangely enough though, apart from the last few hundred years, there are no records at all of who was here or where they are now."
- ―Epo Qetora
Once a lush green world, Mustafar was home to a Jedi Enclave built around 5300 BBY. Jedi Master Chu-Gon Dar, an individual whose mastery of physical Force was unmatched, also lived there. He created a unique Force-sensitive object while on the planet known as the Chu-Gon Dar cube which was used to both channel and manipulate the physical Force to alter the physical properties of an item placed inside it. However, in 3996 BBY, the resurgent Sith wished to exterminate the Jedi, and so a climactic battle took place on the planet. This battle was so intense that one of the nearby gas giants was pulled into its current location by the Force, starting the gravitational tug-of-war. The environmental hazards caused by this forced the Jedi to abandon their temples on the planet. This caused all knowledge of Chu-Gon's cube to be lost. Mustafar would also be the home of the Force organization the Blackguard.
Mustafar was home to two variants of sentient Mustafarians—the northern Mustafarians, who were tall and thin, and the southern Mustafarians, who were short and squat. Centuries ago, a cataclysmic eruption destroyed all Mustafarian settlements except for Fralideja.
At the time of the Clone Wars, the Techno Union had owned Mustafar since c. 300 BBY, harvesting minerals and energy from the 800-degree-hot lava. It was comparatively cool compared to most other lava due to the unusual mineral allotropes that became molten at a lower temperature. Regardless, the lava could only safely be mined when a repulsor field was placed to repress any eruptions and deflect heat away from those harvesting it.
But the Techno Union wasn't the only corporate power interested in Mustafar. Before the Clone Wars started, Damask Holdings maintained a facility on the planet, in a structure previously owned by Boss Cabra, Vigo of Black Sun. There, the Nightbrother child who would become Darth Maul was trained by Darth Sidious so that he could serve the purpose of the Sith Lord and his secret Master, Darth Plagueis.
During the early years of the war, Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, in his guise as Darth Sidious, tasked the Duros bounty hunter Cad Bane with kidnapping Force-sensitive children and taking them to the Damask Holdings facility on the planet, where he could turn them into a cadre of Force–wielding spies for the Galactic Empire. The plot was scuttled by Anakin Skywalker and his Padawan, Ahsoka Tano.
At some point prior to the second year of the war, Black Sun, under the leadership of Xomit Grunseit, moved its headquarters to a fortress on Mustafar. Death Watch, together with their new allies Darth Maul and Savage Opress, arrived in the Black Sun complex with an offer of allegiance. When Grunseit refused, Opress murdered all the members of his cabal, making Captain of the Guard Ziton Moj leader of the syndicate.
The main Separatist stronghold was located in a massive industrial complex located on a fiery cliff bracketed by two huge lava flows. Collection arms mined lava from the area, while durable industrial droids worked further afield. Within this facility lay a Separatist command center, one of the most secure bunkers in the galaxy.
Toward the end of the Clone Wars, Palpatine would continue to have a vested interest in the planet, ordering General Grievous to move the Separatist Council there near the end of the war, apparently for their own safety, but in reality to gather them together so that Skywalker, newly anointed as Darth Vader, Palpatine's new apprentice, could kill them all, and deactivate the droid armies, bringing about the end of the war. Shortly afterwards, a duel between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader would also take place on the lava planet.
Vader suffered grievous injuries, including the loss of his remaining limbs, and the searing of his lungs, when he attempted to jump to higher ground from a platform on the lava river, only to be immobilized by Kenobi. He was later rescued by Emperor Palpatine, who brought him back to Coruscant, where he was rebuilt into the feared cyborg executor of the Emperor at the Emperor Palpatine Surgical Reconstruction Center. It was also on this planet, immediately prior to the Kenobi/Vader confrontation, that Lord Vader, who, unknown to Padmé Amidala, was no longer the man she had married, Force choked the pregnant Senator of Naboo into unconsciousness. This would eventually contribute to the causes of her death, alongside the loss of will she suffered, as well as her broken heart.
After the destruction of the Separatist Council and the Imperialization of the Techno Union, Mustafar was largely forgotten, until a Separatist stalwart, the fugitive Geonosian Gizor Dellso, holed up on Mustafar during the early days of the Galactic Empire and re-activated an independent battle droid factory, intending to rebuild the Confederacy's previous military strength.
From 18 BBY to 12 BBY, he constructed a small army and a flotilla of warships above the planet, and got the support of several fellow Geonosians. One year later, the situation had been required by the attention of the loyal 501st Legion of stormtroopers to storm the planet. At the battle's end, with the droid schematics destroyed and Dellso eliminated, the Droid foundry was annihilated in a massive orbital strike from Imperial I-class Star Destroyers, which resulted in the fall of the Geonosian Industries, along with the fragmentation of the Separatist holdouts.
Galactic Civil WarEdit
The mission was successful as the duo narrowly escaped from Imperial soldiers and a squadron of TIE fighters.
After the destruction of the first Death Star, it was rumored that several would-be Jedi found their way to the legendary world of Mustafar, and were apparently guided on their path to Knighthood by the spectral form of Obi-Wan Kenobi. A disturbance caused by a gathering of dark side energy drew Kenobi's spirit to the planet. Other explorers at the time apparently encountered the ancient assassin droid HK-47 along with an ancient Hammerhead-class cruiser.
The Sith Lord X1, formerly a clone trooper, had made Mustafar his base of operations sometime during the New Republic era. X2 found his brother on Mustafar and led New Republic troops in a battle against X1 and his forces. After a fight over the planet, X2 and his troops descended to the planet's surface. X2 rescued Luke Skywalker who was on the planet intending to confront X1. However he was captured, and X1 was planning to clone him in order to create an army of Dark Jedi. Once X2 destroyed his brother's cloning lab and rescued Skywalker, the two brothers dueled, ending with the death of X1 as well as the defeat of X1's army.
Behind the scenesEdit
Mustafar was originally known as "Mufasta" in early drafts of Revenge of the Sith. Ironically, Mufasta happens to be a primary translation for "The Chosen One".
The concept of a lava duel dates back to early versions of Return of the Jedi, in which Luke Skywalker battles Darth Vader over a lava lake in Palpatine's throne room in the lowest levels of the Imperial homeworld. Even back then, it was rumored that Anakin suffered his grievous injuries at the hands of Obi-Wan during a battle over a lava pit, and the concept became an almost mythical tale among Star Wars fans until finally realized on film over twenty years later. Joe Johnston envisaged the environment that would ultimately become Mustafar in a series of drawings designed to show Darth Vader's home.
The novelization of Return of the Jedi previously stated that the duel between Vader and Obi-Wan, which resulted in Vader's terrible injuries, happened on a volcanic planet. The battle was stated in some sources predating the prequel trilogy to be on Sullust, also a volcanic world.
Mustafar was originally designed to look like George Lucas's vision of hell. In Revenge of the Sith, while Darth Vader and Obi-Wan are fighting on the fallen arm, the lava flows backwards (as can be seen by looking at the lava "waterfall").
Mustafar bears a striking resemblance to Io, one of the moons of the gas giant Jupiter. Io is the most volcanic active body in our solar system, a trait which is caused by the gravitational effects of Jupiter pulling at the moon causing it to heat to extreme temperatures on the inside, parallel to Mustafar which is volcanic due to the gravitational effects of Jestefad and Lefrani. The obvious difference between Mustafar and Io is that Io's volcanic flows are made up of sulfur, whereas Mustafar's are made up of molten silicate rock and iron ore, which are much hotter than molten sulfur. Either could set a man's clothes on fire, but molten sulfur wouldn't have melted the metal foundations of the lava mining shield arm on the building. Another difference is that in the movie, as well as other source photos, Mustafar is covered with hundreds of active volcanoes, whereas Io only has about eight active at any one time.
Mount Etna was scouted for Revenge of the Sith, to capture plate photography for backdrops in the Obi-Wan Kenobi vs. Darth Vader fight on Mustafar. Conveniently, Etna erupted during the making of the film, so Lucas sent a team to film it. The resultant moving image of lava flows could be used as backgrounds for the duel. These images could have been done by CGI, in theory, but it would have been more difficult and expensive than sending a few people to Sicily with cameras, as Lucas states in the audio commentary to Episode III.
The Mustafar scenes took a lot of work and time from the many special effects workers. The lava was made of a food additive with bright lights shining underneath it for the glow. The overview scene was built with a scale model in a pitch black studio. During filming, the room was filled with fog to create the steam effect. The actors were filmed on a green screen and the special effects artists brought it all together.
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Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7
- ↑ 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 3.18 3.19 3.20 3.21 3.22 3.23 3.24 3.25 The Essential Atlas
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Star Wars: Complete Locations
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 The Clone Wars Campaign Guide
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Eminence"
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 Darth Plagueis
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 Star Wars: Battlefront II
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 Star Wars Battlefront: Elite Squadron
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 Legacy 50: Extremes, Part 3
- ↑ Star Wars: The Wrath of Darth Maul
- ↑ Restraint
- ↑ Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Children of the Force"
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
- ↑ Star Wars Galaxies: Trials of Obi-Wan
- ↑ Revealed in a Lucas interview on CBS's 60 Minutes. Transcript March 13, 2005
- Mustafar on Wikipedia