- "... I'm forming a Shadow Council to govern the Empire from behind the scenes. Only the finest of our kind: the first and highest order of Imperial minds..."
- ―Gallius Rax
The Shadow Council was a secret advisory council that had been created by Fleet Admiral Gallius Rax in 5 ABY. Rax created the Council in order to govern the fragmented Galactic Empire from behind the scenes while supporting an official figurehead in the form of Grand Admiral Rae Sloane. In secret, Rax planned to eliminate the Shadow Council during the Battle of Jakku, with the exception of Commandant Brendol Hux, whom he regarded as essential to revitalizing the Empire.
The Shadow Council was a secret advisory council created by Fleet Admiral Gallius Rax to govern the Galactic Empire from behind the scenes one year after the cataclysmic Battle of Endor, which saw the death of Emperor Palpatine and the fragmentation of the Empire. The Council consisted of the most talented and ablest Imperial minds within the Imperial military and bureaucracy, which had been depleted by the Galactic Civil War. With the intent of having it succeed the more egalitarian Imperial Ruling Council as the primary directorate of the Empire, Rax intended for it to be far more covert, serving as more of an advisory board as opposed to an actual oligarchal organization.
Fleet Admiral Rax revealed his plan to create the Shadow Council during a meeting with Grand Admiral Rae Sloane to discuss rescuing Brendol Hux, the Commandant of the Arkanis Academy. Rax identified Sloane and Hux as prospective candidates for the Shadow Council. After the bounty hunter Mercurial Swift had rescued Hux and his son Armitage Hux, Rax convened the inaugural meeting of the Shadow Council aboard the Super Star Destroyer Ravager, which served as the flagship for Imperial forces in the Vulpinus Nebula. Sloane and Hux were joined by the chief informational officer Ferric Obdur, Grand Moff Randd, and General Hodnar Borrum.
During the dinner conversation, Sloane and Obdur advocated promoting the narrative that the Empire were the underdogs in the struggle against the New Republic, the successor to the Rebel Alliance. Pleased with the vigorous exchange of ideas among the delegates, Rax introduced himself and then informed the Shadow Council about his plan to retake the galaxy from the New Republic. Rax secretly commanded other Imperial forces in the Almagest, the Recluse's Nebula, the Queluhan Nebula, the Ro-Loo Triangle, and the Inamorata. He planned to use these forces along with the Imperial factory worlds of Zhadalene, Korrus, and Belladoon to launched a renewed offensive against the Rebellion.
Later, Rax informed Grand Admiral Sloane that he was planning to attack the New Republic capital of Chandrila. To perpetuate the image of a weakened Galactic Empire, Rax instructed Sloane to initiate peace talks with Chancellor Mon Mothma. Rax's attack on the New Republic ultimately turned out to be an assassination attempt on the New Republic leadership using former rebel prisoners from Ashmead's Lock as unwilling assassins. When Sloane objected to Rax's tactics, Rax's agent Adea Rite attempted to assassinate the Grand Admiral but Sloane managed to escape.
In Sloane's absence, Rax convened the Shadow Council a second time. Claiming that Sloane had been captured by the New Republic, Rax assumed the position of Counselor to the Empire. General Borrum objected to Rax's decision on the grounds that Rax was failing to provide the Empire with a figurehead leader. Nevertheless, Rax managed to advise the Shadow Council to assemble the remaining Imperial forces above the planet Jakku for a showdown with the New Republic. In secret, Rax planned to eliminate the Shadow Council with the exception of General Hux, whom he saw as essential to rebuilding the Empire.