The Second Imperium was an Imperial splinter faction led by the Dark Jedi Brakiss and the Nightsister Tamith Kai, who both served under the leadership of Emperor Palpatine, in actuality a hologram projection created by four Imperial Royal Guards. The ultimate goal of these individuals was to bring about the return of the order of the Galactic Empire.
The Second Imperium was a thorn not only in the side of the New Republic, but also Luke Skywalker's new Jedi Praxeum. The conflict with the Imperium took on a personal nature for the Solo twins when their friend Zekk joined and eventually was named the Second Imperium's Darkest Knight. The Second Imperium's regime finally came to an end, after only four years, during the Battle of the Jedi Praxeum. During this battle, Zekk was turned back to the light side of the Force, the Imperium's ground forces were decimated, and Brakiss perished when the Shadow Academy's self-destruct mechanism was activated.
Following the destruction of the second Death Star, and the rise to prominence of the New Republic, many Imperials longed for a return to the former glory days of the Empire. With the formal declaration of peace at the signing of the Bastion Accords in 19 ABY, some officers in the Imperial Remnant, as well as remaining Imperial Warlord forces from Admiral Natasi Daala's Deep Core skirmishes, decided to take matters into their own hands, rejecting these accords as a "sham" and splitting off from the official Imperial Remnant.
Four Imperial Royal Guards (who had formerly been Stormtroopers promoted by Daala to guardsman status) took advantage of this dissent, founding the Second Imperium. Using holograms of Palpatine, stretching from his earliest days as the Senator of Naboo to Supreme Chancellor of the Galactic Republic to Emperor of the Empire, they impersonated him, creating a charismatic leadership figure to rally the Remnant dissenters. Blinded by their own aspirations and ambition, and given the Emperor's track-record of escaping death, many were all too eager to believe the ruse as true.
The Imperium growsEdit
Between 19 ABY and 23 ABY, the Second Imperium grew steadily, following the path of earlier splinter movements, such as the Empire Reborn, in maintaining secrecy. At one point, it pledged itself to the command of Natasi Daala.
Brakiss was tasked with creating a new cadre of Imperial Dark Jedi to counter those of Skywalker's Jedi Praxeum on Yavin 4. He used funds appropriated by the Imperium to construct a cloaked space station called the Shadow Academy to serve as a mobile academy for his Dark Jedi. It was equipped with training facilities not only for Dark Jedi, but also for stormtroopers and TIE pilots.
It was Brakiss's hopes that these Dark Jedi would help maintain order across the faltering remnants of the Empire. He recruited heavily from the Nightsisters of Dathomir, forming a leadership cadre consisting of a number of the witches such as Tamith Kai, Vonnda Ra, and Garowyn. Initial recruitment began on the planet Dathomir, with prospective students shipped off to the Shadow Academy to begin indoctrination and training.
In 22 ABY, the Second Imperium was joined by the TIE pilot Qorl, who had been eking out a life on the jungle moon of Yavin 4 since the Battle of Yavin in 0 BBY. Qorl was placed in charged of the growing starfighter corps of the Second Imperium. He also revealed information on Skywalker's Academy gleaned from the Solo twins Jacen and Jaina when he forced them to repair his damaged TIE Fighter before escaping into hyperspace. With this information, a daring plan was launched to kidnap some of these students. It was hoped they would prove easy to corrupt, and their disappearance would strike fear into the New Jedi Order.
Initial clashes with the JediEdit
Thus, a bold plan to kidnap trainees from the Jedi Academy was hatched. During a raid on Lando Calrissian's GemDiver Station which orbited the nearby gas giant of Yavin in 23 ABY, the Imperium used a small fleet consisting of a modified assault shuttle and four Skipray Blastboats to kidnap the Solo twins and their Wookiee classmate Lowbacca. Fellow trainee Tenel Ka Djo, and Jedi Master Luke Skywalker, began tracking them in a beat-up blockade runner Off Chance.
The three kidnapped trainees were integrated with the rest of the calls, but the Solos resisted all indoctrination attempts, as they had done years earlier against the Empire Reborn. Brakiss forced the twins to fight each other under holographic disguise, making each think the other was Darth Vader. Both escaped unharmed from the encounter and prepared to escape the space station. Skywalker and Ta' Djo discovered the recruitment camp on Dathomir and infiltrated it as prospective trainees. They were transported to the Shadow Academy in a cutting-edge ship Shadow Chaser, by one of the Nightsisters, Garowyn. En route, they overpowered her, jettisoning her out of the ship in an escape pod. (She was later recovered by the Second Imperium.)
Arriving at the space station to rescue the students, Luke and Tenel Ka found them partway through their own escape, (aided by their former opponent Qorl). After a brief confrontation with the leaders of the Shadow Academy, they successfully escaped together, taking the prized Shadow Chaser with them. At greater cost to the Second Imperium, Skywalker and the Republic were now aware of their existence.
In the wake of that inglorious endeavor, the Second Imperium adopted different tactics. Moving the Shadow Academy close to the Republic capital of Coruscant, they launched attacks on the bulk cruiser Adamant which was carrying weapons and hyperdrives. These parts were integrated into their burgeoning fleet. This also gave them the opportunity to gather more recruits. Rather than targeting children from the upper classes, instead they began targeting the dregs of galactic society. The promise of purpose and direction proved a powerful motivator, and the recruitment drives a success. Agents were sent to the lower levels of Coruscant, where they recruited gangs, such as the Lost Ones and their vicious leader Norys, and other rogues such as the orphaned street urchin Zekk—a former friend of the Solos. Force detectors stolen by Brakiss when he fled the Jedi Praxeum on Yavin 4 were used to identify any recruits with Force-sensitivity, such as Zekk and Welk.
However, it was not long before the Academy's presence was discovered. The Solo twins along with Lowbacca and Chewbacca used orbiting solar mirrors to burn out the Academy's cloaking devices, thus exposing it to the defending Republic forces. Despite a hasty retreat into hyperspace, the mission to Coruscant was a success both in terms of military ordnance and personnel gained.
Continuing with their training program, the two strongest students—Zekk and Vilas—were faced off against each other in a duel to the death in a zero-g chamber in the heart of the Shadow Academy. Zekk, alone, emerged alive and was crowned Darkest Knight. As part of his new promotion, he was placed in charged of an Imperium task force which attacked Thikkiiana City, a major city on the Wookiee homeworld of Kashyyyk and an important computer center. This task force of Dark Jedi and stormtroopers raided the city's computer units, making off with important components to continue the refitting of the Imperium's fleet.
When faced with his former friends, the Solos, Zekk faltered and refused to kill them, instead revealing that the Jedi Praxeum was to be the next target of the Imperium. The raid was a success, although the Imperium did lose two of their leaders: Garowyn, who fell to her death in the forests, and Vonnda Ra, who was eaten by a syren plant.
In a gesture of confidence, the "Emperor" and leader of the Second Imperium arrived at the Shadow Academy in a massive repulsorlift isolation chamber. Refusing to see even Brakiss, he was attended and represented only by the four Royal Guards. This caused Brakiss to be concerned about the Emperor's health. Later, from his isolation chamber, the Emperor prompted Brakiss to launch an assault against the Jedi Praxeum on Yavin 4.
Initially the battle proceeded as planned. An Imperium commando team, led by Commander Orvak, flew under the protective shield and destroyed the deflector shield generators. Following this, a Second Imperium ground force consisting of Stormtroopers and Dark Jedi surrounded the Jedi Praxeum, while TIE Fighters and TIE/sa bombers bombed the surrounding jungle. In space, the Shadow Academy and a fleet of refitted Star Destroyers and battle cruisers blockaded Yavin 4.
The arrival of the Republic fleet under Admiral Gial Ackbar changed the course of the battle. Below on the surface of Yavin 4, a number of personal confrontations were occurred. Tenel Ka faced off against Tamith Kai, in a bitter confrontation stemmed by the history of conflict between Dathomiri clans. More importantly, Brakiss was confronted by Luke Skywalker, his former master. Defeated and ashamed, Brakiss fled back to the space station, making his way to the isolation chamber. He demanded to see the Emperor. Blocked by two of the Royal Guards, he attacked in anger, cutting them down with ease and entering the chamber.
There, he discovered a third Royal Guard working on a bank of controls, computer screens and holographic generators and realized that the Emperor's return had been a ruse all along. In fear, the remaining guard used his "Emperor's" override controls to activate the Shadow Academy's self-destruct systems, destroying the Shadow Academy and killing all onboard.
With the destruction of the Shadow Academy, the battle turned in favor of the Republic and the remaining Imperium troops and Dark Jedi were killed or captured by the Republic, thus bringing an end to the Second Imperium's informal four year rule.
The fourth guard managed to escape on a shuttle and headed for parts unknown. He was later killed by the anti-Human Diversity Alliance in 24 ABY after he refused to reveal to them the location of the Emperor's Plague Storehouse. The final holdouts of the Second Imperium would only be defeated by Admiral Ackbar in 25 ABY, just prior to the start of the Yuuzhan Vong War. Ackbar would retire from service following the end of the mopping-up operation against the Second Imperium.
Many of the Shadow Academy students were rounded up by the Republic forces. Some, like Zekk, would later return to the Jedi Academy as students. Others, however, could never recover from their training. The dark side would dominate their destiny forever. One such student was Welk, who along with the Nightsister Lomi Plo was captured during the Yuuzhan Vong War, and imprisoned on the Koros-Strohna Baanu Rass which orbited the planet Myrkr.
During a Jedi mission to Myrkr in 27 ABY the strike team encountered two Dark Jedi. Faced with a common enemy, Lomi Plo and Welk agreed to assist the Jedi in finding the voxyn queen in return for safety and protection. Towards the climax of the mission, they stole a repaired freighter, Tachyon Flier, and fled into the Unknown Regions with the Jedi Raynar Thul and Lowbacca's translator droid M-TD onboard.
Much later, in 35 ABY, it was revealed that the ship had crash-landed on Woteba, setting all three aboard on fire and mutilating them. They were rescued by the Killiks—a species long believed to be extinct for millennia since their disappearance from their homeworld of Alderaan around 30,000 BBY. Eventually, all three were absorbed into the Killik hive mind, thus effectively becoming Joiners. All three also became the leaders of the hives they joined. Raynar Thul became UnuThul while Lomi and Welk became the leaders of the Gorog nest of Killiks, also known as the Dark Nest. On the same year of the Killik rediscovery, Welk was slain by Master Luke Skywalker during a raid on Kr's Gorog hive.
Under the influence of Lomi Plo and UnuThul, the Killiks and their Joiner allies instigated the Swarm War in 36 ABY and waged on both the Chiss Ascendancy and the Galactic Federation of Free Alliances. After a series of fierce battles, Lomi Plo was killed during a duel with Skywalker on her flagship Admiral Ackbar while UnuThul was captured and placed in the custody of the Jedi, thus ending their hold on the Killik hives.
Personnel and equipmentEdit
Dark Jedi commanders
Shadow Academy trainees
Vehicles and vessels
- Shadow Academy
- Shadow Chaser
- Star Destroyers
- Battle Platforms
- Imperial Assault Shuttles
- TIE Fighters
Behind the scenesEdit
The Second Imperium was the antagonist for the New Republic in the first six Young Jedi Knights novels. It was assumed at the time of their publishing that they were an offshoot of the Imperial Remnant, a fact that conflicted with later sources that stated this series took place four years after the Pellaeon–Gavrisom Treaty in Vision of the Future. This was retconned in The Essential Chronology by stating that the Second Imperium was founded by Imperials who did not hold Pellaeon's belief of peace with the New Republic.
- Young Jedi Knights: Shadow Academy (First appearance)
- Young Jedi Knights: The Lost Ones
- Young Jedi Knights: Lightsabers
- Young Jedi Knights: Darkest Knight
- Young Jedi Knights: Jedi Under Siege
- Young Jedi Knights: Shards of Alderaan (Mentioned only)
- Young Jedi Knights: Diversity Alliance (Mentioned only)
- Young Jedi Knights: Delusions of Grandeur (Mentioned only)
- Young Jedi Knights: Crisis at Crystal Reef (Mentioned only)
- The New Jedi Order: Edge of Victory I: Conquest (Mentioned only)
- The New Jedi Order: Star by Star (Mentioned only)
- Dark Nest I: The Joiner King (Mentioned only)
- Dark Nest II: The Unseen Queen (Mentioned only)
- Dark Nest III: The Swarm War (Mentioned only)
- The Essential Guide to Planets and Moons
- The Essential Chronology
- The New Jedi Order Sourcebook
- The New Essential Guide to Characters
- The New Essential Chronology
- Star Wars: The Official Starships & Vehicles Collection 12
- Jedi vs. Sith: The Essential Guide to the Force
- The Essential Guide to Warfare
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 The Essential Guide to Warfare, p. 232
- ↑ Jason Fry's Dorkery
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 The Essential Guide to Warfare, p. 182
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 The Essential Chronology
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 The New Essential Chronology
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 Young Jedi Knights: Shadow Academy
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Young Jedi Knights: The Lost Ones
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 Young Jedi Knights: Darkest Knight
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 Young Jedi Knights: Jedi Under Siege
- ↑ Young Jedi Knights: Shards of Alderaan
- ↑ Young Jedi Knights: Delusions of Grandeur
- ↑ The New Jedi Order: Star by Star
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 Dark Nest Trilogy