|Pirates of Iridium|
The Pirates of Iridium were a group of bloodthirsty thieves who roamed the galaxy's spaceways, preying on hapless spice haulers and freighters during the Separatist Crisis. Utilizing their shield-penetrating power gems, the bandits would plunder any ships coming through the Atrivis sector.
In 22 BBY the Jedi Order took it upon themselves to rid the Republic of this threat and launched a campaign to destroy the marauders, led by Kit Fisto. The pirates, being paid as profiteers by the burgeoning Confederacy of Independent Systems, had attracted Jedi attention by raiding grain and spice convoys.
In their traditionally non-violent way, at least six Knights (including Fisto, Belsed-Qan Idan, Dovish Hokken, Yrada Soludisan, and Aruden Kej) had intended to begin peaceful negotiations; however, that plan was abandoned once the pirates opened fire and a skirmish broke out.
Assisted by the armed Republic cruiser Monitor III, the Jedi's six Delta-7 starfighters engaged the enemy fleet: three warpod pinnaces, two Longprow attack cruisers, and five Z-95 Headhunters. Its shields damaged by the pirates' power gem, Monitor III sustained heavy damage right away, resulting in the demise of Hokken, Soludisan, and four Republic Judiciaries. Cover fire from the other Jedi saved her from complete destruction.
After the Jedi starfighters swiftly incapacitated the warpods, the pilots focused their efforts on the Longprows, while being constantly pursued by the Headhunters. Kej died in the dogfight, while his companions went on to disable one of the cruisers and destroy the other, along with four of the enemy fighters.
While twelve escape pods left the recently-destroyed Longprow, one of the Headhunters took the opportunity to disappear amid the chaos. Suspected of being lost in the gravity well of nearby Vuchelle, none of the Jedi gave a second thought to the Headhunter; they were busy rounding up the escape pods. However, it is likely that the fighter did not burn up on reentry: most likely, this sole pilot was none other than Raskar, the only known survivor of the Pirates of Iridium.
After lying low for a while, Raskar—in possession of the last surviving power gem—would later become the enemy, then ally of none other than Han Solo.
- HoloNet News Vol. 531 49 (content now unavailable; backup links 1 2 on Archive.org) —
- The Power Gem (First appearance)
- Doom Mission (Mentioned only)