- "We are at war! The Dark Council has placed me in charge and battles are being waged across the galaxy."
- ―Darth Baras
After twelve years of tenuous peace in the form of the Cold War, the actions of several powerful individuals caused conflict to break out once more between the major galactic powers.
- "This whole affair is endemic of the current crisis. The Sith are on the rise. We are on the wane. The Mandalorians and the Hutts stand between us, creating confusion and jostling for advantage. Our options are limited. If we do nothing, millions of people die. If we fight back, we engage with them at their level."
- ―Jedi Padawan Shigar Konshi
A Jedi Knight caused additional stress on political relations by killing Tarnis, the son of Darth Angral, who had been masquerading as a Republic scientist. Tarnis' death at the hands of this Knight inspired Angral to begin a campaign of revenge against the Jedi Order. While the Sith Empire officially declared that Angral was no longer attacking in accordance with their interests, many in the Republic Military doubted their sincerity.
Angral's seizing of several Republic superweapon projects and their subsequent destruction at the hands of the Knight added to the political tension, and Angral's destruction of the agriworld Uphrades left many in the Republic calling for war to resume. The Knight's defeat of Angral above Tython ended that particular conflict, but it left the two galactic powers on edge.
Doctor Sannus Lorrick's release of the Rakghoul plague in the Tion Hegemony, his hiding on Ord Mantell, and the subsequent outbreak on Tatooine caused additional conflict when the two sides fought to contain—and in the Empire's case, recover—the rakghoul virus.
The Jedi Order almost shattered via a dark plague, but was saved by the actions of a lone Jedi Consular. The Jedi Consular, becoming the Barsen'thor, would also gain support of the Rift Alliance, a series of powerful worlds containing resources, trade routes and armies, and successfully persuaded the Alliance to join the Republic.
Collapse of peace
Darth Baras, the engineer of the Treaty of Coruscant, used his apprentice to execute Plan Zero, an operation that eliminated the members of the Republic's War Trust with the ultimate goal of restarting the war. Baras' plan, in the wake of these various conflicts and political tensions including those expedited by the machinations of the Star Cabal and the destruction of the Imperial superweapon codenamed Gauntlet by Havoc Squad, broke the tenuous peace and sparked open war between the Republic and the Empire.
Driven to war once again, both the Empire and the Republic moved quickly. The Republic immediately began supplying troops and supplies to the Balmorran Resistance, while the Empire conquered Taris and destroyed the Republic's resettlement project. Balmorra was eventually freed of Imperial control by the Resistance, Republic troops, and the Barsen'thor of the Jedi Order.
Around this time, the legendary Jedi Master Revan—who had been missing since he went in search of the Sith Empire in 3,954 BBY after the end of the Jedi Civil War—was freed from his imprisonment in the Maelstrom by a team of Republic operatives. Free of Revan's mental influence, the Emperor began to put his plans to consume all life in the galaxy into action. Revan, meanwhile, traveled to the ancient factory known as the Foundry and began to mass-produce an army of droids for use against the Empire.
War in earnest
- "Moffs, Generals, we are an empire at war to reclaim our rightful place in the galaxy. We cannot afford to be the same empire we were before we returned to this space. We must be strong, determined and above all, free to do what is necessary to claim victory."
- ―Darth Nox
Not long after the war began, the Republic's Supreme Chancellor Janarus was assassinated by a bounty hunter. Succeeded by Governor Saresh of Taris, Janarus' death caused political upheaval throughout the Republic, and many suspected that the bounty hunter was allied with the Empire.
The Sith Emperor himself also suffered a grievous defeat at the hands of the Hero of Tython, as the Knight killed the Emperor's current body and weakened the Sith near the point of death. The Emperor chose to secretly remain in hiding, and his agents informed very few that he was in fact still alive; in fact, almost none, save for those with any form of relation to the Emperor, or amongst the most highest ranking Sith. The Emperor's Wrath was one of the few informed of this.
By the opening on the war, Lord Kallig, who was seeking allies in the Imperial military, ordered the revival of the Silencer project, the brainchild of Darth Mekhis which had been cancelled by Kallig's archrival Darth Thanaton, whom Kallig slew in combat, before taking the former's seat on the Dark Council. After the completion of the superweapon Lord Kallig invited a delegation of allies to the Doombringer to witness the test of the Silencer against an unsuspecting Republic fleet. A resounding success, the Silencer destroyed at least 4 Republic capital ships in a single blast, Lord Kallig ordered Moff Valion Pyron to have one installed on every Harrower-class Dreadnaught under the young Sith's command.
The Barsen'thor gained support on Voss, having an army of Voss commandoes and mystics on his side. The Barsen'thor also gained the trust of the Rift Alliance, which joined the Republic thanks to the Barsen'thor's diplomatic skills, along with wisdom, intelligence and insight. The Barsen'thor also had an army of Esh-kha, led by Hallow Voice. The Barsen'thor also had a fleet and a immensely large, almost infinite supply of droids, and with this powerful army, attacked Corellia, where the leader of the Children of the Sith Emperor, the First Son was hiding.
Having already faced several of the Emperor's children (mysterious, powerful and cloaked assassins infused with the Emperor's strength for life), the Barsen'thor knew they were shielded from detection by the mysterious First Son, the most powerful Child of the Emperor. The Barsen'thor also faced several Children of the Emperor on Corellia, before meeting with the First Son, who was in fact Syo Bakarn, Jedi Master and Council Member. Defeating the First Son in single combat and redeeming Syo Bakarn, the Barsen'thor had defeated numerous Children of the Emperor and the remaining ones were now detectable. The Barsen'thor then received the vacant seat on the Jedi High Council that was once sat on by Syo Bakarn.
Revan's army of droids were eliminated by an Imperial strike team at the Foundry, and the Jedi Master himself vanished without a trace during the battle with the strike team, consisting of Darth Nox, the Emperor's Wrath, the Grand Champion of the Great Hunt and Cipher Nine. Revan's personal, former assassin droid HK-47 was also destroyed and rebuilt with customizations to serve the Empire. In addition, the Foundry was now in the hands of the Empire.
Darth Malgus' attempt to establish his own Empire caused both the Empire and the Republic to attack him at the Battle of Ilum. He was defeated but survived and fled to an unknown sector of the galaxy.
On Corellia, the Empire, allied with the Corellian government, had managed to subdue the pro-Republic insurgents and gain control of the planet. However, the Republic and the Jedi Order mounted a counter-attack and invaded the planet, successfully liberating it.
This second Great Galactic War, even more brutal and dangerous than the First, saw both the Republic and the Empire redouble their efforts to defeat each other. This war, more bloodier and brutal than any war preceding it, and being one of the most brutal and bloody wars in all of galactic history, saw extremely powerful and dangerous (to the opposing side) heroes on both sides emerge, more powerful than all predecessors, clash in a desperate attempt to defeat the other side.
During this period, the Sith were able to eliminate internal threats, betrayals and the likes, while the Republic was able to unite with numerous forces that were originally neutral, thanks to the Barsen'thor. They also cleared internal threats and successfully persuaded powerful forces within the Republic to remain with the Republic, and not break away. As a result, these two forces were at a "climax", being more powerful than they had ever been before.
However, both sides had other weaknesses exposed. Havoc Squad along with many other Republic special forces defected to the Empire after being abandoned by the Republic. On Corellia, instead of a united front against the Republic, Darth Thanaton used the battle as grounds for a Kaggath against Lord Kallig, hoping to kill him and earn prestige in the battle at the same time. But instead he wasted resources on a rival which may have led to the Republic's successful resurgence. At the same time, several attempts by Sith Lords were made to take power or kill rivals creating rifts, such as by Darth Baras and Darth Malgus. They also suffered a betrayal by the Wrath of the Emperor, Lord Scourge.
Taking advantage of the Voice of the Emperor's restrictions, Darth Baras trapped the true Voice on Voss before proclaiming himself as the "Voice of the Sith Emperor" publicly. Baras' apprentice, the newly christened (although in private) Emperor's Wrath, confronted him in the Dark Council Chamber and exposed him as an imposter. The Wrath had previously freed the Sith Emperor by slaying the trapped body on Voss. The Wrath then defeated Baras in battle and executed him in front of the Dark Council, and was officially recognized as the Wrath of the Sith Emperor.
The Republic suffered a blow when scandals concerning the tracking of a famous bounty hunter led to the humiliation of the Jedi, the Republic and to Janarus' revelation of what really happened, ensuring that a new Chancellor was appointed during the middle of a war. But Saresh was a strong leader who was devoted to defeating the Empire.
The Sith also suffered with the loss of leadership from the defeated Emperor and the defeat of the First Son. With the First Son gone, the Children of the Emperor were easy to spot by the Jedi and were hunted down. In the wake of this came new leaders in the Empire. Lord Kallig won the Kaggath against Thanaton and ascended to the Dark Council. Likewise, Darth Baras' apprentice became the new Emperor's Wrath after the betrayal of Scourge.
There were numerous losses in the Second Great Galactic War. Both the Republic and the Empire suffered from internal betrayals, schemes, plots, and planets who were too weak to fight back were swept away to the opposing side. Because of this, both the Republic and the Empire sought advantage; constantly clashing over control of planets that contained vital resources, or were strategic areas.
The Republic was weakened immensely by spies, assassins, betrayals, and power schemes and plots. This caused the Republic to struggle with controlling itself as much as fighting with the Empire. The Republic was able to keep the Rift Alliance with them. But several leaders of the Rift Alliance, such as Tobas Grell, were killed. Some of them were Children of the Sith Emperor in disguise.
Most importantly, the Republic had begun to lose discipline and control when things became out of hand. Numerous Republic ships were destroyed by the Silencer. The Imperials had obtained the Black Codex and were now free of betrayals and internal damage. Several members of the military, and the Jedi order itself defected to the Empire. Amongst the most important losses was that of Supreme Chancellor Janarus, who was assassinated by a Bounty Hunter, as well as Jedi Master Jerec Kaiden, the man who brought the dread masters to justice.
The Empire's losses were similarly devastating, much of their leadership was decapitated throughout the course of the war. Grand Moff Kilran was killed by a Republic strike team in the early stages of the war during the rescue of Revan in the Malestrom nebula. Internal damage was common; power plots, schemes, betrayals, minor alliances that quickly broke apart, and animosity between rivals, caused much infighting within the Empire. Darth Baras was slain during a plot to seize power by the Emperor's second Wrath and Darth Thanaton was killed by Darth Nox in an internal power play with the Sith.
Darths Decimus, Archaron, and Hadra were all wiped out in the climax of the Battle of Corellia, as well as a tenth of all Imperial forces. Perhaps the most devastating loss for the Empire during the Battle of Corellia, was the loss of the First Son of the Emperor, who had been hiding under the guise of Master Syo Bakarn, a member of the Jedi Council. Not only did the First Son provide high level intelligence to the Empire, he also shielded the Children of the Emperor from the Jedi Order's vision. When Master Syo was redeemed, all the Children of the Emperor were detectable by the order, and apprehended or destroyed.
The Emperor's Voice was slain by the Hero of Tython during a massive Republic assault on the Sith homeworld Dromund Kaas. Imperial Intelligence was almost destroyed by the Star Cabal, but the latter's actions were stopped by Cipher Nine.
With the Battle of Corellia leaving a significant portion of their armada destroyed or engaged, the Dark Council sought the edge of a stealth armada, and dispatched on of their own Darth Arho to secure the planet. Heavy Republic resistance caused Darths Marr, Ravage, and Mortis to dispatch Darth Malgus to assist Darth Arho and Grand Moff Regus in seizing control of the planet.
The Jedi Order, seeing the danger in Imperial control of Ilum sent one of their greatest masters Councilor Jaric Kaedan to assist Supreme Commander Rans in securing the planet. Unfortunately Sith forces under Regus' orders killed Master Kaedan.
Unbeknownst to Regus and Arho, Darth Malgus was feeding vital tactical information the Republic High Command. And using information from Darth Malgus, the Republic forces on Ilum lead by Supreme Commander Rans claimed the life of another Dark Councilor; Darth Arho.
With his primary rival out of the way, Malgus declared a new Empire under his rule. With the loss of Darth Arho, Malgus' primary rival was out of the way making his ascent much quicker. As a result the remaining members of the Dark Council sans Darths Vowrawn and Mortis, assembled on Ilum along with Grand Moff Regus and the Emperor's Wrath to counter the threat of Malgus' new empire.
At the same time, the leaders of the Republic, including Grand Master Satele Shan, the Barsen'thor of the Jedi Council, Supreme Commander Rans, and the Hero of Tython, answered the call of Malgus' new Empire.
Eventually the combined efforts of the Republic and the Empire ended the threat of Malgus' stealth armada, resuming the war between the two beleaguered factions.
Notes and references
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 1.24 1.25 1.26 1.27 1.28 1.29 1.30 1.31 1.32 1.33 1.34 1.35 1.36 1.37 1.38 1.39 1.40 1.41 1.42 1.43 1.44 1.45 1.46 1.47 1.48 1.49 1.50 1.51 1.52 1.53 1.54 1.55 1.56 1.57 Star Wars: The Old Republic