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The eleven planets and numerous moons of the Rafa system were covered with the enormous plastic ruins of the ancient Sharu. The buildings were among the largest constructions in the galaxy and were quite impenetrable. Many Human colonies, dating from the early days of the Galactic Republic, sprung up around and between the structures.
The system was famous for its life-orchards-- groves of crystalline trees whose crystal "fruit" could extend an individual's life when harvested and worn. Working among the crystal trees themselves, however, drained a person's life and intellect, and consequently most of the harvesting was done by the Toka or the criminals in the Rafa's numerous penal colonies. Rafa V was also the only known place where Firkrann lightsaber crystals could be found.
In the millennia before the rise of the Infinite Empire of the Rakata or the later Galactic Republic, the Rafa system was home to an advanced humanoid species called the Sharu who were responsible for building the colossal plastic pyramids on the worlds of the Rafa system and the Mindharp of Sharu which was a strange object that constantly changed form as it shifted through dimensions.
Circa 1,000,000 BBY, the Sharu had felt threatened by the Celestials.[source?] To protect themselves, the Sharu had gone underground and hid their cities beneath the plastic pyramids. The Sharu created the Mindharp so that when another civilization was able to activate it, the species would know it was safe to come out. They also used crystalline life-orchards to temporarily drain their intelligence, becoming the primitive Toka, or "Broken People". Prior to this event, the Sharu were highly advanced.
They were exploited by the Human colonists as slaves. In 4 BBY, Lando Calrissian discovered the Mindharp. Rafa IV's governor inadvertently activated the Mindharp and its subharmonic emanations started a reversal of the social order in the Rafa system. The Toka were restored as the legendary Sharu while the pyramids crumbled, with strange, new cities emerging. This also created an interdiction field which prevented hyperspace travel into and out of the system for weeks. Many of the Human settlements had also been destroyed, and the surviving settlers fled. Trade with the Rafa system also collapsed overnight.
However, this event brought countless scientists and researchers to the Rafa system. Calrissian was also considered a hero by many for his role in the event. Though the Sharu did not prevent the scientists from doing their work, neither did they cooperate with what they perceived as "lesser sentients". As a result, little is known on Sharu history and technology. Even Emperor Palpatine himself felt threatened enough by the species to install a permanent military garrison in the Rafa system. However, his forces did not make any military move against the Sharu. Later, the New Republic had a five-hundred member research team staffed by the Obroan Institute for Archaeology assigned to research the species.
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords (Mentioned only)
- Star Tours: The Adventures Continue (Advertised destination only)
- Lando Calrissian and the Mindharp of Sharu (First appearance)
- Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Essential Guide to Planets and Moons
- Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords: Prima Official Game Guide
- The Essential Atlas
- Star Wars: Edge of the Empire Core Rulebook