- "If we'd let the Starkiller super weapon clear its facility, it could have made the jump to hyperspace before we got another weapons lock on it. That would have…"
"Yes, yes, of course."
"And if you had to make a similar choice, one that could again mean the destruction of millions or even billions, would you do as you did then?"
"Yes, sir. I stand by my decision and would do so again without hesitation. Peace and security in the galaxy must be my primary mission."
- ―Jedi Master Darrus Jeht and Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, discussing Jeht's attempt to destroy the Starkiller
- "The Shadowblade's cloaking field is weakest when it prepares its weapons! To lock onto us, it has to relax its jamming!"
- ―Jedi Master Darrus Jeht, while battling the Shdowblade in the Cularin system
The Shadowblade was a Separatist cruiser that was armed with a hyper-point destablizer. Regarded as a superweapon, the vessel was considered by the Galactic Republic to be capable of killing hundreds of billions of people. The warship was sleek and angular in shape, with a black-colored steel hull, and the ship was powered by a number of shielded thrusters.
The vessel possessed a secondary armament of several dozen turbolasers that were concealed behind steel panels on the hull. The cruiser was heavily shielded and it possessed an impressive cloaking suite that generated a sensor blocking field around the vessel, though the sensor field weakened when the ship targeted its turbolasers while preparing to fire. The Shadowblade was also equipped with a hyperdrive and was capable of hyperspace travel.
- "The world is almost uninhabitable, my lord. The loss of the hyper-point destabilizer and its delivery vehicle has caused a thermal shift in the planet's atmosphere and tectonic instabilities that may yet tear Kromus apart. We are continuing to monitor the world as you instructed, but it is increasingly difficult to remain in orbit."
- ―An agent of Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, on the effects of the bombardment of Kromus
The Shadowblade was developed by the Confederacy of Independent Systems during the Clone Wars, a conflict between the Confederacy and the Galactic Republic. Codenamed the "Starkiller", construction of the vessel commenced on Kromus, the fourth planet in the Kro'eval system in the Esuain sector, where the superweapon was houseed inside a large docking bay in a six-winged research station situated at the centre of Kromus' largest city.
By around 20 BBY, the Shadowblade was nearing completion; the vessel's weaponry was operational and the ship was only a few days from being ready to enter service and missing only a few sections of panelling. The Republic learned of the existence of the superweapon and a fleet led by Jedi Master Darrus Jeht was dispatched to destroy the Shadowblade and the facility that housed it. Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, the leader of the Republic, sought to use the mission to manipulate Jeht into massacring the population of Kromus and to that end he had the sensors of Jeht's command ship Maelstrom rigged to emit false signals regarding the status of the Shadowblade. Informed by false report reports from Republic spies that the Starkiller was being built inside a remote research facility far from Kromus' population centers, Jeht conceived to destroy the vessel via an orbital bombardment of the construction site.
On arrival in the system, the Republic force approached Kromus and attacked a Confederate fleet that guarded the world. Darrus Jeht scanned the facility that housed the Shadowblade and on realizing that the intelligence that he had received was flawed and that the cruiser was being built within a major city, the Jedi revised his plan of attack and sought to take out the superweapon through a ground operation to spare civilian casualties. However, the near-complete Shadowblade powered up and prepared to launch, to attempt to flee the world to safety. Concerned that the vessel was about to escape, Jeht ordered all of his surviving ships to open fire and destroy the research facility where the superweapon was being built.
The Shadowblade evaded destruction in the resolved in the resulting bombardment due to the Republic forces firing on the wrong target as a result of the rigging of the Maelstrom's sensors by Palpatine. Darrus Jeht assumed the superweapon to have been destroyed and ordered his fleet to retreat from Kromus. The bombardment of the planet caused tectonic instabilities and a thermal shift in the atmosphere of the world that killed billions of people and went on to result in the loss of all life on the world. In the aftermath, some agents of Palpatine remained in the Kro'eval system to monitor the world's destruction and were ordered by to report to Palaptine's apprentice Count Dooku their findings, which the Chancellor believed would be useful to another weapon project.
Jeht was troubled by the billions of deaths that he had caused on Kromus and the Shadowblade featured in a dream that the Jedi Master had about the battle. The Shadowblade eventually entered service and in 19 BBY, shortly prior to the conclusion of the Clone Wars, the Separatist cruiser tracked down Jeht and the Maelstrom, which was on mission to attack the Confederate-held world Corlax 4. The Maelstrom subsequently changed course for the Cularin system in the Thaere sector and the Shadowblade followed in pursuit.
The Separatist cruiser arrived on the edge of the Cularin system shortly after the Maelstrom, to find the Republic warship damaged from a brief battle with the Republic ships Primal and Undaunted. Ignoring the stricken Malestrom, the Shadowblade instead headed towards the Cularin system asteroid belt, with its crew intending to attack Cularin, the system's primary planet. On Jeht's orders, the Maelstrom set out after the Separatist cruiser in an attempt to destroy it before it could make it to Cularin and the Republic warship opened fire on the Shadowblade with torpedos.
The Shadowblade changed course to intercept the Republic vessel and opened fire with its turbolasers, inflicting further damage onto the weakened Maelstrom. However, Darrus Jeht lured the cruiser into a trap and while the Shadowblade's cloaking shield was at it's weakest while the turblolasers were setting their targets, the Maelstrom caught hold of the cruiser with a tractor beam. The previous activity of the Darkstaff, a powerful Sith artifact, had left a number of temporal rifts in the Cularin asteroid belt and the Maelstom dragged stricken Shadowblade into once such temporal disturbance. Both vessels then disappeared and were never seen from again.
Behind the scenesEdit
The Starkiller was created by August and Cynthia Hahn and first appeared in Dark Soul, a short story supplement to the Living Force roleplaying campaign that was published on Wizards.com in 2005. The vessel when on to make a further in appearance in the final Living Force short story Living Force: Last Stand in 2007, which was also written by the Hahns and was the first source to identify the vessel as the Shadowblade.
The superweapon's codename "Starkiller" is a reference to the earliest drafts of the script for Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, where it was the surname for a number of characters and was later used to derive the surnames of the Star Wars protagonists Anakin Skywalker and Luke Skywalker.
- (First appearance)
- (Mentioned only)
- (Appears in dream)
- (Indirect mention only)
- (First identified as Shadowblade)
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 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
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12
- ↑ 3.0 3.1
- ↑ The Living Force Campaign Guide states that the Living Force campaign is set one year after the Invasion of Naboo, an event that is dated to 32 BBY by The New Essential Chronology. As the Living Force adventure Philology moved the campaign forward ten years to the time of the Clone Wars, and the adventure Night's Homecoming established that by Year 4 of the campaign over a year had elapsed since the events of Philology, Dark Soul can therefore be dated to circa 20 BBY.
- ↑ Living Force: Last Stand is set shortly after the declaration of Order 66 but prior to the end of the Clone Wars, events that are dated to 19 BBY by The New Essential Chronology. As such it can be established that the events of the short story take place in 19 BBY.
- ↑ Recursion
- ↑ The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. II, p. 274–275 ("Maelstrom")
- ↑ The Making of Star Wars: The Definitive Story Behind the Original Film