Project Blackwing, also known as the Sickness, was an infectious viral agent that was accidentally created by the Galactic Empire's Advanced Weapons Research while working on an experiment to revive necrotic tissue in a secret research facility located on Dandoran. Borne of scientific research and Sith alchemy, it was initially designed to produce immortality. However, the virus killed its hosts instead, attacking their biological tissue and turning their lifeless bodies into cannibalistic, brutal zombies. The virus altered the bodies stamina and strength, making its host move slower than they did prior to exposure. It increased their resilience to physical damage, allowing victims to take punishment which would be more critical or possibly even fatal to the being of origin without falling. They also seemed to experience a change in skin texture, with human hosts' skin being altered to a greyish-green color. The virus communicated with itself and allowed the zombies to act as a single entity and to learn things from the survivors, including how to use blasters and pilot starships. At some point between the Battle of Yavin and the Battle of Hoth, Imperial stormtroopers stationed at the Dandoran research facility were infected by the virus, leading to their transformation into Undead Troopers. There was an outbreak at the facility, and the Blackwing-infected soldiers threatened to spread across the galaxy. It was presumed destroyed, but rumors began cropping up soon after that surviving samples had been retrieved by criminal organizations, gangs, cartels, extremist, and other nondescript factions for trade or possible weaponization.
Behind the scenesEdit
The Blackwing virus originated in Death Troopers, a 2009 novel written by Joe Schreiber. Death Troopers was part of Star Wars Legends, previously known as the Expanded Universe, and therefore is no longer official canon. However, a canon adaption of Project Blackwing was included in Star Wars: Commander, a mobile strategy game released by Disney Interactive on August 21, 2014.
- Star Wars: Commander (First appearance)
- Star Wars: Rogue One: The Ultimate Visual Guide (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know, Updated and Expanded