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Orley Vanicus

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"Battle stations! Fire on my signal!"
―Admiral Orley Vanicus[src]

Admiral Orley Vanicus was considered a hero of the Great Sith War. A member of the Republic Navy and captain of the command ship Reliance over four thousand years before the Battle of Yavin, he was a simple man who didn't dabble in politics or bureaucracy and stuck with what he specialized at: commanding starships. During the Krath conflict, he commanded a mission to the Empress Teta system alongside Jedi Knights Ulic Qel-Droma and Nomi Sunrider, with the intention of protecting Koros Major from the Krath faction. Vanicus and his men were too late, though, and the mission was a failure; they were tricked by the dark side illusions of Sith sorceress Aleema Keto, and suicide Krath Chaos fighters pummeled the Reliance and other ships, until Vanicus ordered a retreat.

Later, during the Great Sith War, he was dispatched to the shipyards at Foerost with the intention of intercepting a pirate group that had been raiding the Republic for weeks. His forces were too late, arriving to find that the majority of the ships under construction at the facility had been stolen and the defensive fleet stationed there routed. He and his staff salvaged what they could, and through a security recording in one of the shipyard's control centers, Vanicus discovered that the pirates' leader was Ulic Qel-Droma, who had left the Republic and joined the Sith. Acting on planted intelligence which Qel-Droma hoped would lure the Republic away from their capital of Coruscant, Vanicus sent the majority of the Republic Navy to Kemplex IX, believing that Qel-Droma's forces were gathered there. Qel-Droma and his Mandalorian allies subsequently launched an attack on the defenseless Coruscant, with Qel-Droma's fellow Dark Lord of the Sith Exar Kun slaying the Supreme Chancellor and Jedi Master Vodo-Siosk Baas. Later in the war, Vanicus led a joint Republic/Onderonian force in battle against Mandalore the Indomitable, driving them back to the wild jungle moon of Dxun, where most of the Mandalorians were killed by native predators. After the Sith War, Vanicus was considered something of a war hero, and continued to serve the Republic Navy for a time.

BiographyEdit

A military manEdit

Orley Vanicus, a Human male,[4] was a member of the Vanicus family, known for its influential political dynasty during the early time of the Galactic Republic.[5] As of four thousand years before the Battle of Yavin,[6] he was an admiral in the Republic Navy,[4] captain of the Republic command ship Reliance.[1] During this period, admirals were informally known as "fleet captains,"[4] and Vanicus was often referred to solely as "captain," despite being of a higher rank.[1] His early career occurred in a time of relative peace, where the Republic Navy—considered by many to be antiquated and pointless—had little to do bar basic peacekeeping activities, and had only a limited fleet.[4]

Krath conflictEdit

"Looks like we're too late to save Koros Major, Ulic—"
"Perhaps, Captain Vanicus. Transmit your cease fire order…Then we'll see if the new Teta leaders have any respect for galactic law!"
―Vanicus, and Ulic Qel-Droma[src]
Reliance

The Reliance enters the Empress Teta system.

In 3997 BBY, the Krath faction of the Empress Teta system launched a violent political coup against the Tetan government, with Krath leaders Satal and Aleema Keto installing themselves as the system's new leaders. They conquered all of the planets in the system bar the capital, Koros Major, which put up a stern resistance. Both the Republic and the Jedi Order were concerned by the actions of the Krath, and arranged for a joint Republic/Jedi peacekeeping fleet, led by Vanicus, to strike back at the Krath and stop the Ketos from taking Koros Major. In addition to a number of Jedi serving through the fleet, Jedi Knights Ulic Qel-Droma and Nomi Sunrider accompanied Vanicus on his flagship for the mission in an advisory capacity. Vanicus was itching for a fight, ready to do damage to the Krath.[1]

The fleet, consisting of numerous Praetorian-class frigates, escort destroyers, heavy cruisers, and myriad other vessels, exited hyperspace and arrived in the system shortly after Koros Major had fallen. Vanicus remarked to his two Jedi advisors that they had arrived too late to complete their mission, though Qel-Droma had him issue an order to cease fire regardless, hoping to test the Krath's resolve when faced with orders from the Galactic Republic. While they waited for a response, Vanicus had the Republic fleet surround the Krath command station. No response came, though; instead, a number of behemoth, long-thought-extinct creatures known as space grazers materialized, and began preying on Vanicus's vulnerable fleet. The Republic fleet was perplexed by the creatures' sudden appearance, as space grazers were the stuff of legend; Nomi Sunrider quickly discerned, though, that they were mere illusions created by Sith magic. Realizing that the numbers of the Krath forces were swollen with many such dark side illusions, Vanicus and the fleet stormed the Krath command station, dealing it significant damage.[1]

The Krath were quick to counterattack, launching hordes of CX-133 Chaos fighters at the Reliance. Vanicus began to make the order to fire at them in return, though was cut off by Nomi Sunrider, who believed it was another illusion. She used the Force to stop Aleema Keto, who was conjuring the illusions, but had miscalculated; though the majority of the Chaos fighters were false, many were real, hidden among the illusory vessels. The suicide fighters rammed the Reliance and many other ships, causing immense casualties for the Republic. The canopy of Vanicus's flagship was breached, and the bridge was damaged, with Ulic Qel-Droma sustaining an injury in the attack. However, the Reliance was still intact, and Vanicus, believing that the entire operation had to be re-planned, ordered an immediate retreat.[1]

Ruse at Kemplex IXEdit

"Dispatch all ships immediately to Kemplex Nine! We'll catch him this time! Now I remember—he is a Jedi! Our enemy is Ulic Qel-Droma! We must report this to Coruscant at once. This is a dark day for the Republic."
―Vanicus, at Foerost[src]
Vanicus at Foerost

Vanicus discovers that Ulic Qel-Droma was the leader of the attack on Foerost.

In 3996 BBY, a number of months after the fleet's botched attempt to protect Koros Major, Admiral Vanicus was dispatched to the shipyards of the planet Foerost, located in the Deep Core. Foerost, one of the oldest and most successful starship construction facilities in the galaxy, had been the latest target in a series of raids perpetrated by what the Republic believed was a highly-organized group of pirates, though rumors abounded that a Jedi had a hand in the attacks. Because of Foerost's importance, Vanicus took the main Republic fleet there post haste, hoping to catch the marauders in the act, discern who they were, and put an end to them with the Republic's superior firepower. Once again, however, Vanicus found that he was too late.[2]

The fleet arrived to find the remnants of Foerost's defensive fleet, which had been soundly defeated by the raiders. The shipyards had been pillaged, with few intact ships remaining. Vanicus's fleet was thoroughly unprepared for the aftermath of such a rout, and the admiral discerned that whoever was behind the attacks had far stronger firepower than the Republic had been led to believe. Although his fleet was not well-suited to it, Vanicus had the forces under his command sift through the wreckage to salvage what they could, and to rescue any survivors. Meanwhile, Vanicus personally inspected the shipyards' various control centers with his staff, hoping to find any survivors who had witnessed the attack and could identify the pirates. However, few escape pods had been jettisoned from the command center, with even fewer conscious survivors. Desperation setting in, Vanicus ordered his men to search through the station's logs and security records, though they reported back that most computer systems had been sabotaged by the attackers.[2]

Eventually, however, one man located an intact recording that had avoided the pirates' purge. It was a hologram recording, depicting a young man speaking to a subordinate—Vanicus quickly recognized the speaker as Ulic Qel-Droma, whom he had fought alongside at the Battle of Koros; the young Jedi had turned to the dark side and become a Sith, assembling an armada in cohesion with Aleema Keto and the Krath. Qel-Droma ordered his subordinate to take his fleet to the rendezvous point for an impending attack on Kemplex IX, a strategically-located space station that was completely undefended. Shocked by the news that the Republic's enemy was a Jedi, Vanicus ordered the bulk of the Republic Navy to travel immediately to Kemplex IX, to finally catch Qel-Droma and end his piracy. Vanicus immediately sent a message to Minister of Defense Netus on Coruscant, who relayed it to Jedi Master Vodo-Siosk Baas. Vanicus's fleet went straight to Kemplex IX, and was soon joined by additional Republic forces; they laid in wait for the Sith attack, but it never came. It had been a feint; Qel-Droma had purposely allowed Vanicus to uncover the recording in order to drive Republic forces away from Coruscant, where he launched his true attack.[2]

Vanquishing the MandaloriansEdit

"Captain Vanicus, here…Republic reinforcements have arrived as requested. Mandalorian warriors, surrender! Your lord, Ulic Qel-Droma, is defeated! Your cause is lost!"
―Vanicus, to Mandalore the Indomitable[src]

Vanicus's fleet left Kemplex IX but was too late to do anything for Coruscant; Qel-Droma's Sith ally, Exar Kun, murdered Jedi Master Vodo-Siosk Baas and the Supreme Chancellor in the Senate Hall.[2] However, in the subsequent weeks, the Republic managed to turn the tide on Kun and Qel-Droma in what was later known as the Great Sith War. Ulic Qel-Droma was defeated and stripped of the Force on Ossus, and he gave the Republic the co-ordinates of Kun's secret base on Yavin 4. Meanwhile, Vanicus and the remainder of the Navy were sent to Onderon, where the Mandalorian Crusaders, Kun's allies, were in battle with the local Onderonian Beast Riders, led by Oron Kira.[3]

Battle of Onderon GSW

Vanicus' fleet arrives at Onderon.

Vanicus and his forces arrived in-system to find Onderon overrun with Mandalorians, led by Mandalore the Indomitable, over the planet's capital city, Iziz. Vanicus issued the Mandalorians with an ultimatum, telling them that their leader, Qel-Droma, was defeated and that they had no hope of triumphing against the Republic's superior force. He ordered them to surrender immediately, though Mandalore the Indomitable refused, decreeing that the Mandalorians would fight to the death. Vanicus's and Oron Kira's forces slagged their enemies' warships and began to drive them back, thinning their numbers en masse, but because of the Mandalorians' advanced deflector shields, finishing them off without excessive firepower was nearly impossible. Vanicus authorized the use of extreme force against Mandalore; before long, the enemy battleships were all destroyed and their Basilisk war droids were decimated.[3]

Onderon's atmosphere periodically merged with that of its jungle moon, Dxun, and at the time of the battle the two worlds were linked this way. The remaining Mandalorians on war droids were able to exploit this, retreating toward the moon without having to enter space. Vanicus and the beast riders pursued them, picking off the Mandalorians one by one. Many of the Mandalorians' mounts, including that of Mandalore the Indomitable, managed to put a sizable distance between them and the Republic/Onderonian force, and Vanicus reluctantly called off the Republic attack. He and his staff hoped that Dxun's fauna—considered among the most fierce in the galaxy—would finish off the surviving Mandalorians. This was the case, with many Crusaders, including Mandalore the Indomitable, perishing, but some survived, and the Mandalore tradition lived on. The Republic was successful against Kun on Yavin 4, and the Dark Lord of the Sith was defeated. The Great Sith War was over.[3]

War heroEdit

"…[like] running a protection racket."
―Vanicus' thoughts on the Commercial Protectorate Acts[src]

After the Great Sith War, Orley Vanicus was considered a war hero for his part in defeating the Krath, the Sith, and the Mandalorians.[4] He continued to serve for a number of years after the conflict's end,[7] watching as the Republic and its Navy underwent much reform. The Navy was reformed and became a stronger, less tradition-bound organization, while a number of Commercial Protectorate Acts were also passed, decreeing that the Navy be given more resources in exchange for protecting lucrative Republic trade routes. Vanicus was openly critical of the Acts, comparing the Republic's actions to illegal protection rackets.[4]

Some years after the Sith War, Vanicus's eye was caught by a young Corellian named Saul Karath, who was attempting to join the Navy but had neither the connections nor the years required to gain any sort of position. Vanicus allowed Karath join his crew as a cabin steward,[8] and after an act of heroism, recommended him to another captain, leading to Karath's first commission;[4] his first in a career that spanned over three decades and earned him admiralty.[8] Vanicus's concerns about the Commercial Protectorate Acts was not unfounded, and they proved the Navy's downfall in the early stages of the Mandalorian Wars. Saul Karath became an important Republic figure in that conflict, but ultimately turned his back on the Republic and sided with the Sith during the Jedi Civil War.[4]

Personality and traitsEdit

"…we are too late. We were unprepared to see the aftermath of such a great battle. Most of the ships have been stolen, the facilities destroyed. We must salvage what we can…and learn who has done this thing!"
―Vanicus[src]
Vanicus at Onderon

Vanicus commanding his fleet during the Great Sith War.

Vanicus was a man who relished battle and served the Republic loyally;[1] he didn't care for politics or money, and openly criticized aspects of how the Navy was run in the aftermath of the Sith War.[4] He was a proud citizen of the Galactic Republic and had no criticisms of the Jedi, serving alongside them on occasion during his career.[1] When he discovered Ulic Qel-Droma had been behind the raid on Foerost, he made no attempt to hide his shock from his crew, remarking that it was a dark day for the Republic. Vanicus was eager to help the Republic war effort during the Sith War,[2] though this was sometimes taken advantage of—were it not for the advice of the Jedi, he would have committed his forces to attacking Aleema Keto's Force apparitions,[1] and, later, Qel-Droma was able to trick him into going to Kemplex IX.[2]

Vanicus was decisive, and he did not delay before making an order; after discovering Qel-Droma's planted evidence at Foerost, he immediately had most of the Republic Navy travel to intercept the Sith and Mandalorians at Kemplex IX.[2] He was also a merciful man, allowing the Mandalorians the option of surrendering during the Battle of Onderon.[3] He had great perseverance, refusing to give up in his efforts to find out who was leading the attacks on the Republic after Foerost, and meticulous: he had his men comb even inch of the space station searching for security records.[2] In his later years, Vanicus became a famous veteran of the Sith War, and was often outspoken in his opinions on the changing Republic; he was unhappy that commerce controlled the Republic, and made no attempt to hide his contempt for the Commercial Protectorate Acts. He also had an eye for young talent in this time, noticing Saul Karath, who eventually became a revered Republic admiral.[4]

Behind the scenesEdit

Oldrepublic crest

Symbol on Vanicus' helmet

Vanicus was created by Kevin J. Anderson and Tom Veitch for the Tales of the Jedi comic series. He first appeared in the second issue of the Dark Lords of the Sith story arc, and later reappeared in the second and final issues of the Dark Lords of the Sith arc. Vanicus is also featured in the Dark Lords of the Sith radio dramatization.

He received a short entry in Stephen J. Sansweet's Star Wars Encyclopedia in 1999, but was not used again in canon for a number of years, until John Jackson Miller mentioned him in the Knights of the Old Republic Handbook, tying Tales of the Jedi into the Knights of the Old Republic comic series. He was again reused almost a year later in August 2008 in the Knights of the Old Republic Campaign Guide, which provided him with a first name, "Orley." The Campaign Guide also introduced a retcon that "fleet captain," Vanicus's stated rank in Tales of the Jedi, was an informal nickname for the rank of admiral, and that Vanicus had in fact been an admiral during the events of Tales of the Jedi. In 2009, a Vanicus family was mentioned in the Hyperspace article Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Praji, and Nathan O'Keefe, the author of the article, claimed that he intended the family to be a reference to Orley Vanicus.[9] He was later given an entry in The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia.

AppearancesEdit

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SourcesEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 Tales of the Jedi: Dark Lords of the Sith 2: The Quest for the Sith
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 Tales of the Jedi: The Sith War 2: The Battle of Coruscant
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Tales of the Jedi: The Sith War 6: Dark Lord
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 4.9 Knights of the Old Republic Campaign Guide
  5. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Praji
  6. Star Wars Encyclopedia
  7. In the Knights of the Old Republic Handbook, it is stated that Saul Karath began his naval career on Vanicus' vessel, beginning a career that spanned thirty years. As the Knights of the Old Republic Handbook is set during the Mandalorian Wars almost forty years after the Great Sith War, Vanicus would have to have still been a naval officer for at least six years
  8. 8.0 8.1 Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic Handbook
  9. StarWarsDotComBlogsLogoStacked "TTSP Endnotes: Volume 1" – Tinker, Tailer, Soldier, Fanboy, Nathan O'Keefe's StarWars.com Blog (content now obsolete; backup link on Archive.org)
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