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- "You were deceived. And now, your Republic shall fall."
- ―Darth Malgus
The Sacking of Coruscant, also known as the Battle of Coruscant, occurred at the end of the Great Galactic War between the Galactic Republic and the resurgent Sith Empire. Centuries after the supposed destruction of the original Empire, a surviving faction of the Sith returned from the Unknown Regions and waged a massive war against the Republic. After decades of fighting, the Republic was overwhelmed and inundated both economically and militarily, while the Empire continued to gain ground. At what seemed to be the height of their campaign, the Sith surprised the galaxy and extended an offer of peace to the Republic. Although cautious of the Empire's intentions, the Galactic Senate of the Republic accepted the much-needed reprieve. Unbeknownst to the Republic, the Sith had no intention of allowing the war to come to a peaceful conclusion.
While Republic and Imperial delegations convened on Alderaan for treaty negotiations, the Imperial-employed Mandalorian Shae Vizla traveled to the Republic capital world of Coruscant and deactivated the planet's defense grid. This allowed for the Sith Lord Darth Malgus to enter the Jedi Temple alongside a group of fifty Sith Warriors and lay siege to the ancient edifice. The Warriors had a violent altercation with the Temple's Jedi defenders, led by Master Ven Zallow, but were victorious in their mission. With the Jedi defeated, a fleet of Sith warships under the command of the Lord Darth Angral descended upon the planet, bombarding the cityscape and deploying Imperial soldiers and warriors to the surface. Although the surviving members of the Jedi Order and the Republic Special Forces Division attempted to defend their capital, the Sith forces overwhelmed them. By the time the fighting had ended, the Jedi Temple had been reduced to rubble, six members of the Jedi High Council had been killed, and Lord Angral had assassinated the Supreme Chancellor of the Republic. All communications into and out of Coruscant were locked down, leaving the rest of the galaxy to guess at the carnage that was unfolding on the surface.
For two days, the Empire blockaded Coruscant and occupied the world, ruling it under martial law. The Coruscanti people were prohibited from leaving the world, and travel across planet was heavily restricted. Darth Angral became the provisional governor of Coruscant, while his subordinate, Darth Malgus, oversaw the orbital security. During this time, the Sith looted the world, executed Republic senators, and kidnapped a number of locals. On the second day of the occupation, renegade Jedi Knight Aryn Leneer targeted Malgus for his hand in the destruction of the Jedi Temple. Her hunt led to a number of breaches in the security of the Sith quarantine force, but the Imperial hold over Coruscant remained. It was estimated by both Sith and Jedi that the death toll lay somewhere between the tens of thousands and one hundred thousand.
With the Republic's capital securely in their grip, the Empire was able to take command of the negotiations on Alderaan. After the two-day long occupation and the destruction of much of Galactic City, the Republic delegation was forced to sign the controversial Treaty of Coruscant. Although it brought an end to the Great Galactic War and returned the capital to its original occupants, the treaty's highly biased mandates set the stage for the Cold War and forced the Republic into a debilitating position of weakness within the galaxy. As such, reconstruction of Coruscant was delayed and then drawn out for several years, with residents in the poorer areas of the planet being forced to make a living in the ruin left behind by the Sith. The planet's lower levels fell under gang control, and were largely ignored by the Republic government, which was headquartered on the very same world.
A galaxy in flames
- "The Great Galactic War dragged on for decades. Thousands of Jedi and Sith were slain. Countless star systems were ravaged."
- ―Jedi Master Gnost-Dural
After the supposed defeat of the ancient Sith Empire during the Great Hyperspace War, the Galactic Republic believed the Sith to be extinct. However, unbeknownst to the galaxy at large, a faction of the original Sith had survived the destruction of the Empire and fled to the Unknown Regions, where they spent a millennium building a massive war machine to exact their revenge upon the Republic and its Jedi Order. Led by a Dark Lord of the Sith known only as the Sith Emperor, the Empire became a shadowy force of power prior to its return to galactic prominence in 3681 BBY.
That year, the Empire unleashed a massive onslaught against the Republic, igniting the Great Galactic War that eventually engulfed the entire galaxy. Although the fighting was initially contained to the Outer Rim Territories, far from the Republic's heart, the Emperor intended for his dominion to quickly defeat its enemy and become the preeminent galactic political body. Ultimately, the quick victory he expected would not be delivered, and the war dragged on for nearly three decades, exhausting both the Sith and the Republic. Once the Imperials had a secure hold on the outer regions, they pushed towards the Galactic Core, aided by the Mandalorian warrior clans. Led by Mandalore the Lesser, the warriors blockaded the Hydian Way in the last decade of the war, crippling the Republic economy and pushing some members of the Galactic Senate to call for surrender to the Empire. After the intervention of a rogue smuggling ring, the Mandalorian gambit failed and the war entered a stalemate, although the Empire had still been largely more successful in military endeavors than the Republic.
After the failure of the blockade, Jedi victories at Alderaan and Rhen Var, and the repulsion of Imperial forces from the galaxy's Core Worlds, many on the Republic's capital world of Coruscant adopted the idyllic hope that the Jedi and the Republic Military would be able to keep Coruscant safe. Conversely, these defeats led the Emperor's Dark Council to seek a quick end to the war, and so they extended an offer of peace to the Republic Senate in 3653 BBY. The offer came as a complete surprise to the Republic, as it had appeared that the Empire was on the verge of victory in many combat theaters. While the Jedi High Council urged caution, the Senate accepted the offer, as the combined efforts of the Sith and Mandalorians had brought the Republic to its knees and ruined its economy. The Sith understood this fact, and planned to exploit the Republic in the coming negotiations. It was decided that the Imperial delegation would require a trump card while deliberating with Republic and Jedi representatives, so plans were made for a massive assault on the Republic's capital, Coruscant.
Preparing the endgame
- "This is a beautiful world."
"Not for very much longer."
- ―Eleena Daru and Darth Malgus
Plans for the invasion began as early as c. 3660 BBY, in the aftermath of the Rim Campaign. The Sith planned to take advantage of the thin spread of the Republic forces, which were primarily stationed in outlying systems along the Imperial border by order of Supreme Commander Rans. The Dark Council decided that the strike force was to be led by the prominent Sith Lord known as Darth Angral, while a smaller, secondary force led by the Sith Lord Darth Malgus was to be dispatched directly to the Jedi Temple. Although Malgus wished to lead the assault on the Temple alone, Angral insisted that their fellow Lord Adraas, a political ally of his and a rival of Malgus, serve as a second-in-command in the attack. Before any of the Sith could proceed however, the defense grid protecting Coruscant had to be disabled. The task fell to the Mandalorian Shae Vizla, who traveled to the ecumenopolis in advance of the Sith. Darth Malgus also traveled to the world prior to the battle, accompanied by his slave and lover, Eleena Daru. Malgus, who had expertise in organizing surprise attacks, orchestrated a plan for entering the Jedi Temple that involved a hijacked NR2 gully jumper depositing fifty Sith Warriors directly into the building. This plan required that Malgus serve as a distraction for the Jedi while the vessel entered the airspace of the Temple district. As they waited for Vizla to complete her objective and for his warriors to get into place, Malgus toured Coruscant with Daru, admiring and criticizing the world one final time before its destruction.
Meanwhile, the peace summit was being held on the Core World Alderaan, a planet that had previously come under attack by the Empire. The Republic delegation, led by Senator Paran Am-Ris and Jedi Master Dar'Nala, met with the Imperial delegation led by the Sith Lord Darth Baras to discuss a possible cessation of hostilities. Baras maintained the facade of a peace-seeking diplomat early in the negotiation process, which was made all the more believable by the Sith's withdrawal from their offensive in the Minos Cluster. As the peace conference began, however, Darth Malgus received word on Coruscant that Vizla had compromised the defense grid without alerting Republic authorities and that the drop ship was in position to begin its descent. With that, the Sith unleashed their assault on the world.
Assault on the Jedi Temple
- "Our time has come. For 300 years, we prepared. We grew stronger. While you rested in your cradle of power, believing your people were safe… protected. You were trusted to lead the Republic but you were deceived, as our powers over the dark side had blinded you. You assumed no force could challenge you and now… finally… we have returned."
- ―Darth Malgus, during the invasion of the Jedi Temple
Darth Malgus and Eleena Daru traveled to the Jedi Temple on foot, approaching the ancient edifice via the Processional Way. As they neared the Temple's main entrance, the two were surrounded by Republic soldiers who had been assigned to guard the building while most Jedi were away either fighting the Sith or participating in the peace talks. Malgus quickly dispatched all of the security personnel in his path and continued into the Temple itself. Meanwhile, Shae Vizla infiltrated the Temple Ziggurat through an exposed hatch in order to join the Sith in their fight within. The Mandalorian continued to battle Republic security forces in the Temple's upper levels, while throngs of curious Jedi confronted Malgus and Daru below. Padawans gathered on upper mezzanines to see the Sith as he was confronted by a cadre of six Jedi Knights led by one Master, Ven Zallow. As Zallow and the Knights approached Malgus to bar him from penetrating any further into the Temple, the Sith Warriors within the Republic drop ship piloted the vessel directly into the large doorway shielding the main entrance.
The drop ship smashed through the large gate that served as the Temple's main entrance and continued on to reduce much of the entrance hall to rubble. The careening ship and the huge mass of rubble it created crushed a number of Jedi before coming to a halt directly behind Malgus and Daru. The drop ship's hatch blew open to reveal the fifty Sith Warriors led by Lord Adraas, as well as several Imperial soldiers. After disembarking from the craft, the Sith forces were attacked by dozens of Jedi in defense of the Temple. The Jedi and Sith fought viciously, battling one another with the Force and their lightsabers while Daru darted through the battlefield, assisting her lover. When the Twi'lek slave was nearly killed by a Zabrak Padawan, Malgus intervened and killed the Jedi. Meanwhile, Adraas cut a swath through the fray, using telekinetic powers to throw the few surviving Republic soldiers across the hall. As Malgus loosed bolts of Force lightning against a number of his opponents, Vizla revealed herself and engaged Republic soldiers with rockets and a flamethrower.
Immersed in the dark side of the Force, Malgus continued on to slay many of the Temple's defenders while his Twi'lek lover provided support for him and the other Sith. Malgus's primary goal during the melee was to hunt down and kill Zallow, whom he felt was the only combatant worthy of his attention. Zallow was meanwhile making headway against the Sith Warriors, killing a number of them and rebuffing Adraas's attacks. When Malgus finally located the Jedi Master, Daru attempted to assist him by firing at Zallow. This tactic backfired, however, and Zallow deflected Daru's blaster bolts back into her body before throwing her against a column with the Force. Zallow's attack on Daru enraged Malgus, who unleashed a Force scream that toppled some of the surrounding architecture. The Sith Lord and the Jedi Master closed the distance between one another, killing any who crossed their paths. Upon meeting, Zallow and Malgus entered into a fierce duel, fighting one another back toward the Processional Way. Although their duel was interrupted by fellow Jedi and Sith who wanted to intervene, the two defeated all of their other opponents and focused on one another. Zallow was able to defend against Malgus for a time and avoid many of his attacks, but the Jedi Master eventually fell to the Sith Lord, who thrust his lightsaber through Zallow's abdomen. With their leading Master dead, the Jedi were quickly defeated. Among the Jedi who fell were a pair of married Jedi Knights, the Togruta Rolend and Yanila Zavros. The skirmish won, Sith secured the Temple and destroyed the defense grid mainframe that lay within the structure before Adraas signaled to Darth Angral that the strike had been a success.
Angral's naval forces entered Coruscant space and were hailed by Orbital Security Station Six, a Coruscant Security space station monitoring all incoming traffic to Coruscant. Femi, a Twi'lek aboard the station, did not recognize the vessels, and addressed the incoming Sith warships in request of a clearance code. Darth Angral responded by ordering his admiral to open fire on the station, thereby killing Femi and everyone else on board. The fleet, led by Angral's flagship, Darkness, pushed forward into Coruscant's atmosphere and began ravaging the cityscape. As Mark VI Supremacy-class starfighters, B28 Extinction-class bombers, Sith battlecruisers, and Imperial war droids razed the Temple district, Malgus and his fellow warriors sat at the ruined entrance of the Jedi Temple and watched Galactic City burn.
- "Senator Am-Ris…break off the talks! It's a trick!"
- ―The Supreme Chancellor, to Senator Am-Ris via hologram
The first wave of ground forces were delivered to Coruscant's surface via landing shuttle. The squads of Imperial soldiers aboard were intended to be little more than cannon fodder to distract the Republic's defenses while their superiors moved onwards towards their primary targets, but one young officer—the Human Hesker—refused to be so easily disposed. Instead, he rallied and led his fellow soldiers in a vicious assault that broke the Republic's first lines of defense. Hesker's leadership turned the early stages of the battle into a rout, allowing for the rest of Coruscant to fall quickly. Meanwhile, Angral's fleet of battle cruisers continued its descent toward Coruscant, focused on the Senate District. Angral ordered that he and a strike team be deployed outside the Senate Building, while the remainder of the Sith forces continue their attack on the city. As the warships began bombarding the Senate District, Angral and his troops landed outside the Senate, where they were confronted by Jedi Master Orgus Din and Lieutenant Harron Tavus of the Republic Military. While Tavus and several Coruscant Security personnel battled the Sith troopers, Angral attacked Din. The pair entered into a fierce lightsaber duel, with Angral soon gaining the upper hand. The Sith was ultimately able to disarm Master Din and force him to the ground, holding him at lightsaber point. Although Angral wished to make Din his first Jedi kill of the day, a badly damaged Imperial warship fell from the sky and collided with a nearby building, resulting in an explosion that sent both Din and the Sith Lord flying. This gave Din an opening to leap across a broken bridge and head toward the Jedi Temple, which was under heavy bombardment. Angral ordered his men to allow the Jedi to escape, as their objective was in the Senate.
In the Senate Building, the Republic's chief executive, Supreme Chancellor Berooken, attempted to contact Senator Am-Ris on Alderaan. As Republic senators and his own office staff fled the building, the Mon Calamari Chancellor remained behind, warning the Cerean Senator of the Sith's treachery and urging him to pull out of the peace talks. Before he could finish his message, however, Angral smashed into the Senate and killed the Chancellor. Berooken's assassination, which was not part of the original invasion plan, was witnessed by the participants of the Alderaan Peace Conference, spurring a short conflict between the Republic and Imperial delegations. As the battle continued on Coruscant, a number of senators were killed by the invasion force, and the late Chancellor's majestic and powerful executive cruiser was obliterated. Jedi Master Usma, one of the Order's most celebrated duelists, was among the casualties in the fighting on the ground, having been killed by Darth Angral's apprentice, Lord Praven. Praven also killed a Republic soldier whose son, Fir Megsan, would later set a bounty on the Sith's head in an attempt to gain revenge.
The Sith armada continued heavy orbital bombardment of the planet, while Imperial troops raided the city's towers. Under the command of Sith Lord Javis Koldor, fleets of Harrower-class cruisers inflicted particularly severe losses on Coruscant. Koldor's flagship, the Scream of Ragnos killed untold numbers of civilians and defenders, thereby gaining a reputation as a symbol of Imperial might. The Senate District sustained heavy damage, and the Senate Dome was captured by Sith forces. The Temple Precinct suffered heavily as well, with starfighters strafing the area and Sith war droids marching on the Temple itself. The few civilian airspeeders that remained airborne were actively pursued by Imperial fighters and shot down, while Republic Military craft were destroyed before they could even join the battle. The cityscape was engulfed in hundreds of fires, and Imperial bombers eventually struck a power station that sent a massive flare of plasma half a kilometer into the sky. During the fighting, six members of the Jedi High Council were killed. In addition, Darth Malgus and his warriors used the explosives they had brought with them aboard the hijacked drop ship to bring down the Jedi Temple. Master Din and Lieutenant Tavus attempted to reach the structure before it fell, but arrived just as it began to crumble. The centuries-old edifice collapsed completely, either killing or trapping any surviving Jedi within. Imperial troopers joined Malgus' group in fighting off survivors at the Temple, with a soldier named Westro priding himself on shooting a Jedi in the back. Several Jedi elsewhere on Coruscant attempted to stage a counterstrike against a vessel of the Imperial Navy, but were repelled by the ship's commander, Rycus Kilran. Despite heavy wounds sustained during the attempt, Kilran continued to participate in the battle and inflicted heavy damage upon the city. The Republic's General Var Suthra led defense forces against the Empire as well, but to no avail—the day instead belonged to Imperial champions like Darth Lachris. One highly successful Republic defender was Jedi Master Kellian Jarro; in the streets of the city, Master Jarro single-handedly killed more than one hundred Mandalorian veterans who had accompanied the Sith in their attack. Jarro's victims—most of which were from Clan Spar—fell to his deflections of heavy blaster bolts and Force-assisted slams that crushed armor and exploded jetpacks.
As the Empire's primary objectives were the Senate and the Jedi Temple, Coruscant's lower levels offered a sanctuary for those Coruscanti who could escape the hailstorm in the upper city. Many natives fled downward in search of safety, but these deeper regions of the city became a target as well, and were similarly hit by heavy orbital bombardment. Despite being under the protection of surviving Jedi and Republic Military forces, the refugees were devastated by the bombardment, which resulted in many civilian deaths. While wounded Imperial forces were taken for recuperation on medical ships in orbit, the Sith continued to bombard the planet, killing tens of thousands, if not more. Above the planet, the privateer Free Spacers Fleet, led by Republic freelancer Admiral Zale Barrows, clashed with the Imperial Navy. The Sith attackers were successful in securing their orbital position, and the engagement marked the last action of the privateer fleet. The Sith completed their capture of Coruscant by destroying or removing all orbital satellites, thereby initiating a communications blackout between the capital and the rest of the galaxy. Although the original plan behind the attack included the razing and complete destruction of Galactic City, the final bombardment never came—instead, the Emperor ordered that Lord Baras continue negotiations on Alderaan, and use the situation on Coruscant as leverage. As the Republic delegation was unable to open communications with the Senate, Dar'Nala and Am-Ris were therefore unaware of the severity of the events. The Jedi and Republic diplomats were forced to accept Lord Baras's appraisal of the situation, which asserted that any reluctance to comply with the Empire's demands would cause further repercussions on Coruscant—specifically, further loss of civilian life.
- "We hold Coruscant in our fist and need only squeeze. Yet I understand that peace negotiations are continuing."
"Your understanding is correct."
- ―Darth Malgus and Darth Angral discuss the decision to spare Coruscant
In the hours following the initial invasion and capture of Coruscant, Imperial military forces transitioned from combat protocols to occupation procedures. While bombers returned to their cruisers, starfighters adopted patrol formations and began periodic sweeps of the cityscape. As theater commander, Darth Angral took control of the world and declared martial law, thereby prohibiting any vessels from leaving the surface and refusing access to all inbound traffic. The Sith Lord formed a blockade around Coruscant, comprised of at least two battlecruisers, while a third cruiser orbited one of the world's moons. Any non-Imperial ship that approached Coruscant during this time was swiftly met by Sith interceptors and impounded aboard one of the cruisers. Captain Jard, commander of Darth Malgus's cruiser, the Valor, was one of the ranking officers of the blockade fleet and oversaw operations on the ship while Malgus was on-planet. Meanwhile, patrols of Imperial war droids were sent into the lower reaches of Galactic City to root out civilians who had fled there during the invasion.
Angral commandeered the office of the deceased Chancellor and turned it into his own command headquarters, with Officer Roon Neele serving as his attaché. From those offices, the Sith Lord disbanded the Galactic Senate and ordered that many of the surviving senators be executed. Despite the harshness with which he dealt with the enemy government, Angral allowed search and rescue teams to begin efforts to recover those who had been wounded and lost in the initial assault. Simultaneously, he ordered that Imperial forces take control of a local hospital, so that wounded Imperial troopers and Sith Warriors could be triaged before being transported to medical ships, like the Steadfast. In defiance of Darth Malgus's orders to have his lover Daru immediately transported to the Steadfast, Lord Adraas instead redirected her to the hospital, where she was left behind by the other Imperials who eventually moved up to the medical ship. Meanwhile, Angral attempted to raise Malgus on his comlink; when the subordinate Sith failed to respond, Angral instead sought out Adraas and asked him to speak in Malgus's stead. While Adraas reported on the raid of the Jedi Temple, Malgus waited at the ruins of the ancient building, unaware that an occupation had been initiated—the Sith Lord still believed that the Empire was planning on bombarding the planet from orbit and destroying the ecumenopolis. When he discovered otherwise, he hurried to Angral's headquarters in the Senate Building to protest the move toward occupation.
In his meeting with Angral, Malgus committed a number of political faux pas that ultimately lowered his command status within the Coruscant invasion and occupational force. Upon departing from the Senate Building, Malgus traveled to the hospital where Daru was being treated so that he might collect and transport her to a more appropriate medical facility aboard the Valor. The hospital, which had been relieved from Imperial control, had become inundated with the wounded from across the city. When Malgus arrived outside the facility, a large crowd of grieving and injured Coruscanti civilians recognized him as a Sith Lord and cajoled him for his participation in the attack. After a member of the crowd threw a chunk of duracrete at him, Malgus was forced to disperse the mob with a telekinetic Force wave. The effort killed a number of the hecklers and provided the Sith Lord with a clear entry into the hospital, wherein he found Daru and relieved her from the care of the Republic medical doctors. Angral later placed Malgus in command of the naval blockade around the planet, charging him with the responsibility of securing the hyperspace lanes in and out of the area.
- "A member of the Jedi delegation left Alderaan without filing a flight plan and without reporting her intent to her superiors. The Jedi have reason to believe that she may be heading to Coruscant. Her activities are unauthorized by the Jedi Council and she is to be treated no differently from the spicerunner you are pursuing now."
- ―Darth Angral, to Darth Malgus
While Malgus was in control of the Imperial fleet, he oversaw the arrival of supply superfreighter convoys and their frigate escorts. The first day after the capture of Coruscant, the blockade was alerted to the arrival of a Dragonfly-class drop ship that was not registered to any Sith forces. As per security procedures, the vessel was surrounded by Mk. VII advanced interceptors and electromagnetically tugged to the Valor, where its pilot, former Imperial sniper–turned–bounty hunter Vrath Xizor, was arrested and questioned. Xizor cooperated with the Imperials, and was eventually granted an audience with Malgus—he furnished the Sith Lord with information that a spice smuggler by the name of Zeerid Korr was bound for Coruscant, and would attempt to run the blockade and ferry the renegade Jedi Knight Aryn Leneer to the surface. Leneer, the former Padawan of Ven Zallow, had abandoned her post at the ongoing peace negotiations on Alderaan in order to travel to Coruscant and avenge her fallen Master.
Xizor's prediction was ultimately proven to be accurate; in an XS stock light freighter known as the Fatman, Korr and Leneer covertly entered Coruscant space after piggybacking on the hyperspace jump of the superfreighter convoy. After successfully avoiding detection for a short period by attaching themselves to the hull of one of the superfreighters, the Fatman was discovered by Imperial shuttles searching for anomalies in the convoy. Understanding that an inconspicuous entry into Coruscant's atmosphere was no longer a viable option, Korr piloted the Fatman close enough to one of the freighters to prevent Sith forces from firing on his vessel. Under the orders of Darth Malgus, the freighter convoy and its frigate escorts dispersed, leaving the XS light freighter open to fire from the Valor. The Sith Lord was intrigued by Leneer, however, and so chose to impound the ship instead of destroying it. As the Fatman raced toward Coruscant's atmosphere, it was trapped in the Valor's tractor beam but was able to escape its pull. Malgus's weapons officer, Lieutenant Makk, immediately opened fire on the fleeing vessel and managed to destroy the Fatman shortly after it entered the atmosphere.
Leneer and Korr escaped the doomed ship by jumping from the cockpit just before it was completely destroyed. They freefell to the surface from the upper atmosphere, and survived only through Leneer's expert use of the Force to slow their descent. As they gained their bearings and prepared to accomplish their objectives, Malgus confined Xizor to Coruscant's surface for the duration of the occupation. Meanwhile, the Sith Lord provided Daru with a list of names and technologies that were to be taken from the ecumenopolis; the people were to be made prisoners of war, while the technology was to be taken as spoils from the successful invasion. Daru was placed in command of Imperial Captain Kerse and his squad, and together they traveled to the Sith-controlled Liston Spaceport in a set of three Imperial shuttles. Concurrently, Leneer and Korr traveled to the destroyed Jedi Temple in the hopes of finding evidence regarding the individual who had killed Zallow. Although Leneer was certain that a Sith had committed the murder, she was unaware that it was Malgus who had killed her Master. After accessing the intact lower levels of the Temple via The Works, Leneer learned of Malgus's offense and Daru's participation by watching security holorecordings captured during the Sith Lord's attack. She and Korr left with a lone survivor of the Temple's destruction—Zallow's astromech droid, T7-O1—and began making plans to board the Valor and confront Malgus.
- "We can be certain of nothing until contact is reestablished with Coruscant. In the meantime, we have no choice but to accept the Empire's terms."
- ―Jedi Master Zym, to the Republic delegation at the Alderaan Peace Confererence
Leneer remained in a bombed-out apartment building while Korr reconnoitered the Liston Spaceport in hopes of finding a suitable transport to ferry them to the Valor. While doing so, he realized that the Twi'lek woman who had assisted Malgus in the attack on the Temple was present at Liston. He returned to the apartment building to inform Leneer, but she had already departed; the Jedi Knight was returning to the Temple ruins to contemplate her Master's death. Malgus, who had researched Leneer's past and had deduced her intent on Coruscant, was waiting at the ruins to strike against the woman. The two found one another and engaged in a short but fierce duel. The melee ended without a decisive victor, as Leneer fled in an Armin speeder piloted by Korr. Angered by the outcome of the duel, the Jedi resolved to make Malgus suffer emotionally before their next engagement. To that end, she decided to kill Daru before moving against the Sith.
While Leneer and Korr broke into the Liston Spaceport landing bay, Malgus raced after them to protect Daru. With the aid of T7-O1, the Jedi and the smuggler were able to trick the occupying Imperials into evacuating the spaceport by falsifying a fuel gas leak. Despite this, Daru and several Imperial commandos donned breath masks and chose to remain in the spaceport to continue loading their shuttles with the pillaged loot. Leneer found and confronted Daru in the hold of one of the ships, but chose to remain true to her Jedi teachings and spare the Twi'lek's life. Instead, the Jedi knocked her target unconscious and carried her inert body to the landing bay floor. Meanwhile, Korr broke into Vrath Xizor's impounded drop ship with the intention of hijacking it. He succeeded in boarding the vessel and escaping from the surface, but was forced to kill the bounty hunter in the process. While he made his escape, Malgus discovered Leneer with Daru's body and engaged the Jedi in a pitched battle, during which she was able to ensure Korr's safe passage out of the system by threatening the Twi'lek's life. Malgus ordered that the commandeered drop ship be allowed to leave Coruscant, but then proceeded to attack and defeat Leneer. The Jedi was rendered unconscious by a concentrated blast of Force lightning, but ultimately survived the encounter—grateful that she had spared Daru's life, Malgus decided to allow the Jedi to leave Coruscant unharmed. He then killed Daru himself, having decided that her existence served only to weaken him.
Meanwhile, on Alderaan, the negotiators reached a breakthrough. After several days of discussion, Lord Baras introduced the Republic diplomats to the Treaty of Coruscant—an agreement greatly biased towards the Sith that would shape galactic events for the coming decades. Although the representatives' reactions were mixed, Senator Am-Ris and Master Dar'Nala agreed to the terms. The Great Galactic War was ended, and the Sith Empire began to pull out of Coruscant. The only remaining vestiges of Imperial forces on the world were war droids that were left in the Underlevels by the Sith. One group of patrol droids located and engaged Master Orgus Din, who had joined with members of the Republic Military in order to protect the civilians hiding in the lower levels. Din and Lieutenant Harron Tavus destroyed the droids and returned to the surface for reconnaissance. Having no previous news of the situation on the planet's upper levels, the two were surprised to find the Sith gone and the city left in ruins.
- "…never again will I stay my hand when the destruction of the Republic and the Jedi is within my reach."
"Never again will that be necessary. I assure you."
- ―Lords Angral and Baras, in the aftermath of the signing of the Treaty of Coruscant
With the Treaty of Coruscant signed and Imperial forces withdrawn from Coruscant, the Republic went about the process of recovering. Senator Am-Ris returned to the capital to oversee the operations of the Senate in an interim position, while Jedi Grand Master Zym worked alongside the Cerean to ensure the Jedi Order's compliance with the treaty. Pursuant to the terms of the agreement, Republic forces were recalled from all battlefronts across the galaxy, and support to long-time allies was rescinded. For many systems, the loss of Republic support meant a quick fall to the Empire's forces, further shrinking the already dwindling jurisdiction of the government. Other worlds, particularly those in the galaxy's outer regions, were directly handed over to the Empire as per the mandates of the treaty. When members of the Jedi Order returned to Coruscant to salvage what was once their Temple, they were met with an outraged Senate that placed blame for the Republic's misfortune on the Order's shoulders. Despite his friendship with Zym, Am-Ris was forced to delay the rebuilding of the Jedi Temple, and in 3650 BBY the Senate declared that the Temple's reconstruction would be delayed indefinitely. With public opinion against them and their home on the capital gone, the Jedi decided to relocate their headquarters from Coruscant to their ancestral homeworld of Tython.
As hostilities ended and the two major galactic governments attempted to coexist, a Cold War emerged. Coruscant continued to suffer in the early days of this stalemate, as the rogue Jedi Master Dar'Nala committed terrorist acts in the Senate District. When the Galactic Senate did finally reconvene, its members unanimously voted to install the Human Dorian Janarus as the new Supreme Chancellor. Having served as the senator for Coruscant during the war years, Janarus gained a reputation for strong leadership that helped to reunify the planet after the attack. Despite the popularity of its new leader, the Republic continued its descent into major economic depression as chaos broke out in the streets of Coruscant during the reconstruction process. Legislative and financial oversight for the rebuilding process came from the Resource Management Council, which was widely seen to be ineffective at its job.
Although the Empire's hostility toward Coruscant was officially ended, several elements within the Sith hierarchy still wished to bring down the capital. Darth Angral was outraged that Baras had negotiated a release of the planet, and Darth Malgus saw the decision as a failure for the Dark Council, the Emperor, and the Empire as a whole. The Imperial Minister of Intelligence chose to install a number of his agents within the Republic government. Thus, Informer Ula Vii infiltrated the staff of the Republic's Supreme Commander Stantorrs, and a Cipher Agent was placed in the offices of the Republic's Strategic Information Systems.
Coruscant's long road back
- "Ultimately, the state of Coruscant is the state of the Republic—impressive and imperfect at the same time. Like the Republic as well, though, the strength of Coruscant lies not in its structures and systems, but in its people."
- ―A HoloNet dossier on Coruscant
As the Resource Management Council went about the work of designating priority regions for government attention, unrest on Coruscant grew. The only regions of the planet that were sufficiently rebuilt were those that were required for governance and trade; vast regions of the ecumenopolis were left untouched after the invasion, much of the infrastructure was left in ruins, and the booming refugee population resulted in an increasingly desperate class of criminals and paupers. Food riots, separatist uprisings, and rampant looting swept the planet's lower levels, as the destitute populace was forced to eek out a living in the ruins left by the Sith. The areas that saw such strife were left to rebuild on their own, but quickly fell to the control of gangs during the Cold War. The Black Sun criminal organization became particularly prominent in certain districts, including in Gnawer's Roost. In the Old Galactic Market sector, alien war refugees and Coruscant natives whose homes had been destroyed by Imperial bombs overran and occupied the commercial hub. The squatters took the market as their own, and when they were commanded to leave by Republic authorities, they rioted, turning the entire sector into a warzone. The refugees eventually came under both the protection and exploitation of the Migrant Merchants' Guild—a criminal syndicate that, alongside the Black Sun, led an armed insurrection that greatly hindered the rebuilding of Coruscant. The rise of gang activity quickly led to the creation of a radical group of vigilantes known as the Justicars' Brigade. These bloodthirsty marauders established a law of their own and fought against criminal activity, but primarily in the interest of maintaining their own territory, as opposed to protecting average citizenry.
While the Justicars were known for extremely violent responses to street crime, there were other interests that set out to help the downtrodden in the post-sacking Coruscant Underworld. One such individual was Larin Moxla, a former Republic trooper who busied herself by wandering the areas of the planet that had been hard-hit by the Sith, attempting to root out crime and aid the defenseless where she could. Senator Oranda oversaw the repair of ruined water, power, and waste infrastructure that had been neglected for nearly a decade after the Sith attack. With the aid of protocol droids from the Gree Enclave, Oranda moved forward with reconstruction projects that most other officials had given up on. However, most of the responsibility for reconstruction fell on the shoulders of Vanara Kayl, the Coruscanti politician who replaced Supreme Chancellor Janarus as senator and governor of the capital. In the early years of the undertaking, donations from across the Republic aided in Kayl's efforts, but the corruption and political inefficiencies of government resulted in a lengthy, drawn-out reconstruction. In light of the challenges, a frustrated Senator Kayl delivered a passionate speech on the state of Coruscant that implied that interference with the ongoing reconstruction process verged on treason; the diatribe impressed the Chancellor, who granted the senator full authority over the project. Kayl eventually expanded the scope of her focus to include cleaning up gangs and protecting Coruscant from anarchist terror cells, but the Coruscant Security Force found it difficult to complete the tasks on its own. After having lost much of its personnel during the sacking, the police force was asked to perform riot control duties and stage military interventions in civilian centers—orders that were expected in the immediate aftermath of the occupation, but continued to be given over the course of the following decade. These factors resulted in jaded police officers and an exhausted force that was largely ineffective against organized crime groups motivated by profit.
Although the rest of the Republic government did little to aid the victims of the Sith invasion, it did commission a memorial known as the Cenotaph of the Innocents. The Cenotaph was comprised of asaari trees, one for each victim of the Empire's attack on the Jedi Temple. By 3643 BBY, the memorial had developed into a growing forest that became a popular place of reflection and remembrance for the people of Coruscant. Several years after the battle, the events surrounding the Sacking of Coruscant were chronicled by Jedi Master Gnost-Dural for the Jedi Archives on Tython, and were later mentioned in the third edition of The Jedi Path: A Manual for Students of the Force. By the end of the New Sith Wars around 2,653 years later, Coruscant was once again considered to be the glorious center of the Republic.
Galactic Republic and Jedi Order
Master Ven Zallow
The Jedi Master Ven Zallow remained in the Jedi Temple during the negotiations on Alderaan. Zallow took command of the Temple's defenses during the initial assault, and he and his comrades were the first of the Order to attempt a defense of Coruscant. Zallow performed skillfully during his duel with Darth Malgus, and the Sith Lord found him to be a worthy opponent. Although he killed many Sith Warriors, Zallow ultimately fell to his enemy's blade—a death that was felt light years away by his former Padawan, Aryn Leneer. The Jedi Master's body was buried beneath the rubble of the Temple when the edifice was brought down by the Sith. Zallow's droid, T7-O1, survived the Temple's destruction and later helped Aryn Leneer discover the identity of their former Master's killer.
Master Orgus Din
In the days before the Sacking of Coruscant, Master Orgus Din was in the Minos Cluster and personally witnessed the Imperial withdrawal from the region. After delivering an optimistic report on the matter to the Senate, Din exited the capital building, only to find that Coruscant had become the Empire's new target. He defended the Senate District from Darth Angral's first landing force and personally engaged the Sith Lord in combat. Din was nearly killed, but he escaped in an attempt to prevent the Jedi Temple from falling to the Empire. He failed in this mission, and instead diverted his efforts to protecting citizens who had fled to the Underworld for protection. He remained in the Underlevels for the duration of the occupation, working alongside members of the Republic Military to defend the surviving populace.
Lieutenant Harron Tavus
Special Forces Lieutenant Harron Tavus served alongside Master Din a number of times throughout the war and accompanied the Jedi while he made his report to the Senate on the Minos Cluster. When Din was attacked by Angral shortly thereafter, Tavus focused his fire on the Imperial soldiers who were marching into the Senate District. The Lieutenant fled the scene with Din in a rush to the Jedi Temple, but ultimately convinced his compatriot that there was nothing they could do to prevent the ancient building from falling. During the Imperial occupation, Tavus prowled Coruscant's lower levels and performed reconnaissance missions for Din and other surviving military personnel. After saving Din from a pair of leftover Sith war droids, Tavus revealed that the Empire had left Coruscant. Angered with the lack of retribution against the Sith, he later participated in a conspiracy to destabilize both the Republic and the Empire in an attempt to negate the treaty.
Jedi Knight Aryn Leneer had been selected to accompany Master Dar'Nala, Senator Am-Ris, and the prominent Knight Satele Shan to Alderaan to participate in the peace negotiations. She broke rank with her superiors when she felt Ven Zallow's death through the Force and chose to leave the diplomatic summit in order to exact revenge against the Sith who had killed her Master. To that end, she sought out her former comrade Zeerid Korr, and together the two of them reached the devastated city-planet. In an attempt to ensure the success of the negotiations and the safety of the people of Coruscant, Master Dar'Nala informed the Sith delegation that Leneer would likely be en route to the capital, and declared that her actions were not to be attributed to either the Jedi Council or the Republic. After discovering that it was Darth Malgus—a Sith Lord whose forces she had engaged years prior on Alderaan—who had committed the offense, Leneer began to stray from the teachings of the Jedi Code and the lessons of her Master to search for revenge. She willfully entered a duel with the Sith in the ruins of the Temple and very nearly killed his lover in cold blood. When she chose not to, Malgus permitted her to live and leave the planet. The ordeal drove Leneer to renounce the Jedi Order during the Cold War.
After having served as a commando and pilot for the Republic Special Forces' Havoc Squad in the war's early years, Zeerid Korr mustered out of the army so he could support his crippled daughter, Arra Yooms. He began work as a weapons smuggler for the galactic criminal syndicate known as the Exchange, but remained unable to pay for Arra's medical bills or mobility aids. In order to earn enough money to leave the Exchange's employ, Korr accepted the spice running mission that required him to deliver engspice to drug dealers on the occupied Coruscant. The bounty hunter Vrath Xizor was hired by the Hutt Cartel to prevent the drop, and so informed Darth Malgus of the imminent threat to the integrity of the Sith blockade. With Aryn Leneer's help, he was able to reach the planet, but his ship, the Fatman, was destroyed in the upper atmosphere, vaporizing the engspice as well. During his escape from Coruscant, Korr was forced to kill Xizor, for fear that the bounty hunter would inform the Exchange of Arra, whom they had no prior knowledge of. He later went into hiding with his daughter as a farmer on Dantooine.
Darth Angral was a high-ranking Sith Lord who was selected by the Dark Council to lead the Sacking of Coruscant while his political rival, Darth Baras, led the Imperial delegation on Alderaan. Angral was eager to destroy the Republic after twenty-eight years of open warfare and centuries of hidden planning on behalf of the Empire. Prior to the invasion, the Sith Lord organized his task force commanders so that he would be able to make a power play of his own during the operation: Angral installed Lord Adraas as the second-in-command of the Temple assault, despite the protests of Darth Malgus. When the invasion itself commenced, Angral personally killed the Supreme Chancellor and took the Mon Calamari's offices as his own. The unplanned assassination nearly destroyed the careful balance established on Alderaan, but the Republic negotiators were able to overlook Angral's wanton violence for the sake of the Coruscanti people.
In spite of his desire to destroy the Jedi and the Republic, Angral complied with the amended plan to hold the world hostage while negotiations on Alderaan continued; the Sith Lord even appeared to support the ideology behind the move before his fellow warriors. Malgus, who was more intent on seeing Coruscant destroyed and was less practiced in the art of Sith politics, fell victim to Darth Angral's predations during the occupation. The superior Sith Lord baited Malgus into several embarrassing situations, allowing him to promote Adraas, who served as a political ally to Angral. During the two days of the occupation, he governed the planet with martial law and had Officer Roon Neele serving directly beneath him. When the occupation ended, Darth Angral returned to the Sith holy world of Korriban and accused Darth Baras of superseding his mandate to destroy Coruscant by continuing the negotiation process. The Sith Lord vowed to continue his vendetta against the Republic in spite of the treaty.
The Sacking of Coruscant proved to be a turning point in Darth Malgus's career. In his youth, Malgus had made a pilgrimage to Korriban, where he experienced a Force vision of the galaxy aflame. He interpreted this to mean that the task of destroying the Republic would eventually fall to him—as such, he held high expectations for the invasion of Coruscant, and fully believed that the Empire would end the war with a massive, concentrated bombardment of the planet that would wipe out its inhabitants and gut both the Republic and its Jedi Order. Although he was angered by Adraas's presence during the Jedi Temple invasion, Malgus nonetheless fought skillfully. His murder of Ven Zallow, which would prove to be his most famous kill in later years, earned him the ire of Aryn Leneer. Likewise, his defense of his Twi'lek companion Eleena Daru earned him the suspicion of his Human elitist Sith comrades.
When Malgus discovered that Coruscant was not to be destroyed, he argued against Darth Angral and Lord Adraas, and began to question the policies of both the Dark Council and the Emperor. His lack of skill in Sith political etiquette caused him to falter in his disagreements with Angral, which ultimately landed him in the menial position of overseeing the blockade. Upon discovering that Leneer's actions had been betrayed to the Sith by the Jedi themselves, he began to see the renegade as a kindred spirit—he felt similarly betrayed by the Sith, who were apparently compromising their most essential philosophies for political advantage. This revelation ultimately compelled him to ignore a direct order for the first time in his career; instead of outright destroying the Fatman on sight, Malgus ordered that it be tractor beamed onto the Valor. This allowed Leneer and Zeerid Korr an opportunity to reach Coruscant's surface and investigate Zallow's death. Malgus engaged Leneer on the surface on two separate occasions, but chose to spare her life. However, his interactions with her led him to see Daru as a liability. He killed his lover and used the pain from the decision to become a vigilante against pro-peace Sith Lords during the Cold War years.
The Sith Lord Adraas was a practiced Imperial politician, and an ally of Darth Angral. This relationship earned him a position as commander of the Sith Warrior task force aboard the Republic gully jumper bound for the Jedi Temple, despite Darth Malgus's displeasure with the decision. The two Sith Lords were heated rivals, particularly due to Adraas's interest in outshining the Darth in the Imperial hierarchy. Malgus's hatred of Adraas was profound enough for the superior Lord to wish that the politician be killed in combat with the Jedi. During the occupation of Coruscant, Adraas and Angral played a careful game to ensure Malgus's fall, and so exploited their target's affection for Eleena Daru by rejecting her care on Imperial medical vessels, which were traditionally reserved for Human combatants. Adraas was especially disdainful of Daru, as he held the sentiment that all aliens were below Human Imperials, regardless of their loyalties and valor. This prejudice led him to refer to the Twi'lek as a "mongrel"—an offense that Malgus later killed him for.
Rycus Kilran was an officer of the Imperial Navy who had been cultivating an impressive reputation since the beginning of the war. In the final stages of the conflict, he became known for his brutally effective strikes against the Republic, and was eventually chosen to participate in the Sacking of Coruscant. During the battle, a number of Jedi who had avoided death in their Temple staged a counterstrike against the vessel under Kilran's command. Although he received considerable wounds and scarring during the attack, he stood against the Jedi and survived. Kilran's actions during the Sacking earned him the moniker of "the Butcher of Coruscant" among Republic civilians and the honorific "Hero of the Battle of Coruscant" within the Empire. He adopted the former with characteristic irony, and was later granted the title of Grand Moff by the Imperial government.
Eleena Daru was the Twi'lek slave of Darth Malgus. Despite her subservient standing and the second-class status of aliens in the Empire, Daru existed more comfortably than other slaves—Malgus even treated her as a wife after falling in love with her during the war. Despite their love connection, the two were philosophically opposed to one another; the Twi'lek was against the constant war and strife created by the Empire, and even sympathized with the Jedi, while the Sith was adamant that war was both necessary and good. Despite her ethical opposition to the attack, Daru accompanied Malgus to Coruscant and fought alongside him during the assault on the Jedi Temple. She survived the battle despite incurring serious wounds at the hand of Ven Zallow. When the initial assault was won, Malgus tried to ensure that his lover would be treated aboard the Empire's orbiting medical ships, but he was undermined by the fervently anti-alien Adraas. Although she continued to serve her lover loyally throughout the remainder of the occupation, Malgus came to see her as a liability to his own strength—one that both Adraas and Angral would attempt to exploit. In order to avoid this, he killed Daru himself on the final day of the occupation.
Behind the scenes
The Sacking of Coruscant was a major plot element created for the LucasArts and BioWare massively multiplayer online role-playing game Star Wars: The Old Republic. The attack on Coruscant was one of the earliest aspects of the lore surrounding the game to be revealed; it was first mentioned in a short summary describing the game's setting before being depicted and referenced in several pieces of concept art released on The Old Republic's official website in October of 2008. The events surrounding the battle were expanded upon in Treaty of Coruscant, the first installment of the Galactic Timeline. The timeline feature is an online chronology available on The Old Republic's website, narrated by Jedi Master Gnost-Dural, whose voice is provided by actor Lance Henriksen.
The Sacking of Coruscant was additionally expanded upon in the Threat of Peace webcomic, written by Robert Chestney and illustrated by Alex Sanchez. The webcomic series consisted of three different story arcs, all of which explored the battle and its aftermath. It also introduced several characters and locations that are featured in the game itself. The first trailer for the game, titled Deceived, was released on June 1, 2009 and depicted the Sith invasion of the Jedi Temple. The release of the video was followed by an article in Star Wars Insider 113, titled The Sacking of Coruscant, which discussed the production of the cinematic trailer. In 2010, two books set in The Old Republic time frame were released—Fatal Alliance and Red Harvest. Both stories mentioned the Sacking of Coruscant, with Fatal Alliance going into specific detail regarding the state of the Republic and Coruscant following the attack.
Deceived's main character, Darth Malgus, was later featured in Paul S. Kemp's 2011 novel The Old Republic: Deceived. The book greatly expanded on the events of the Sacking and added information regarding the Imperial politics behind the occupation of Coruscant. The Essential Reader's Companion, released October 2, 2012, recounted some of the Sacking's events through its synopsis of The Old Republic: Deceived. The book included a behind-the-scenes look at Deceived's development, which revealed that the novel was originally slated to be written by veteran Star Wars novelist James Luceno. Luceno's handling of Darth Malgus's backstory ran counter to concepts established for the character by LucasArts and BioWare, resulting in his replacement on the project by Kemp. Although Kemp's work was much more in-line with LucasArts' vision, some of his passages—such as a scene depicting victorious Sith playing ball with severed Jedi heads—were cut from the final release for their morbid nature.
The Old Republic game itself features Coruscant as a playable world that is still reeling from the Sith attack. Conversations with non-player characters and missions on the planet reveal specifics about the attack, and other storylines on other worlds incorporate characters who participated in the sacking. Released in the collectors' edition of the game was The Journal of Master Gnost-Dural, which recounted events the events of the Sacking of Coruscant but also introduced new information, such as Supreme Chancellor Berooken's name and Gnost-Dural's involvement. In 2012, Ryder Windham's expanded and updated version of Star Wars: The Ultimate Visual Guide included images from the Deceived trailer and a short synopsis of the battle. The book erroneously stated that the Sacking of Coruscant and the Battle of Alderaan happened concurrently.
The Sacking of Coruscant has also garnered mentions in 2010's The Jedi Path: A Manual for Students of the Force and 2012's Book of Sith: Secrets from the Dark Side, both of which acted as in-universe source books told from the viewpoint of members of the Jedi and Sith Orders, respectively.
- "The Old Republic: The Third Lesson"—Star Wars Insider 124 (Picture only)
- The Old Republic: Deceived
- The Old Republic, Threat of Peace Act 1: Treaty of Coruscant
- Red Harvest (Mentioned only)
- The Old Republic: Fatal Alliance (Mentioned only)
- The Old Republic—The Lost Suns 2 (Appears in flashback(s))
- Timeline 1: Treaty of Coruscant (First appearance)
- Timeline 2: The Mandalorian Blockade is Broken
- Star Wars: The Old Republic (Mentioned only) (First identified as Battle of Coruscant)
- Star Wars: The Old Republic: Rise of the Hutt Cartel (Mentioned only)
- (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: The Old Republic: Knights of the Fallen Empire (Mentioned only)