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Siege of the New Jedi Temple

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"A siege, right here on Coruscant. One might think that Daala has run out of ideas, or reverted to the days of the past, where one ruled with an iron fist."
―Javis Tyrr[src]

In 44 ABY, a siege of the Jedi Temple was ordered by Galactic Alliance Chief of State Natasi Daala when the Jedi Order refused to transfer custody of two psychotic Jedi Knights, Turi Altamik and Sothais Saar, to Alliance authorities. Daala enlisted Mandalorian Protectors led by Belok Rhal to blockade the Jedi Temple pending the surrender of Altamik and Saar. The Jedi Council sent an apprentice to negotiate with the Mandalorians, but Rhal murdered her, and the Order's morale diminished further as the Temple's supplies quickly began to run low. The Jedi, meanwhile, had become aware of a new Sith threat and wanted to send a strike team of StealthX starfighters to assist exiled Grand Master Luke Skywalker in dealing with the Sith. However, during a previous Alliance-sanctioned Mandalorian raid on the Temple, the Mandalorians had discovered the build up of StealthXs. When Alliance Admiral Nek Bwua'tu learned of the starfighters, he feared that the Jedi were preparing to launch an attack against the government.

Both sides became increasingly determined to resolve the stalemate and preserve public opinion, and interim Grand Master Kenth Hamner secretly spoke with Bwua'tu, reassuring him that the StealthXs were intended for a mutual threat, and struck a deal with Bwua'tu to ensure the Alliance Navy's cooperation with the StealthX launch. Although Jedi Leia Organa Solo devised a way to smuggle supplies into the Temple, an assassination attempt left Bwua'tu in a coma, leaving the StealthX launch stalled indefinitely. However, Skywalker defeated the entity Abeloth, who had been causing the psychosis amongst the Jedi, and the afflicted Knights returned to sanity. The Order arranged to meet with Daala and release the Knights publicly, and, following an examination by Doctor Thalleus Tharn, the Jedi were proven to have recovered and the siege was lifted. Afterward, the Jedi Council argued against Hamner for more open action in defiance of Daala, including the launch of the StealthXs. When they discovered that Hamner had made a deal with Bwua'tu, they relieved him from his position as acting Grand Master, and he died soon after when he attempted to prevent the StealthXs from launching.

PreludeEdit

Natasi Daala Backlash

Chief of State Natasi Daala

"I want the Chev Jedi Sothais Saar, and the human Turi Altamik. If the Jedi surrender them, your mission is complete. If they don't— [shrugs] It's time to make them understand what they're really up against."
"Understood."
―Natasi Daala gives the order to Belok Rhal to retrieve Saar and Altamik[src]

Around 43.5 ABY, several Jedi Knights on the galactic capital of Coruscant began to fall prey to a Force psychosis that caused them to believe that everyone they knew had been replaced by impostors. The Jedi Order wanted the psychotic Jedi available for study so that they could learn more about the psychosis and possibly develop a cure, but the Galactic Federation of Free Alliances decided to encase the affected Knights in carbonite.[4] Several of the psychotic Knights were successfully smuggled to safety on the planet Shedu Maad, but other Jedi continued to develop the psychosis.[5]

The Chev Jedi Knight Sothais Saar contracted the psychosis during a meeting with Galactic Alliance Chief of State Natasi Daala's aide, Wynn Dorvan, and was soon after captured by Jedi Master Cilghal. Jedi Knight Jaina Solo was preparing to take Saar off-world when Mandalorians attacked the Jedi Temple at Daala's orders. The raid crippled the Temple's communications and coordination, and a subsequent Galactic Alliance blockade of the Temple prevented Solo from escaping with Saar.[1] Meanwhile, the Jedi had learned of a new Sith threat and had attempted to ready a strike team of StealthX starfighters to assist the exiled Jedi Grand Master Luke Skywalker and his son, Ben, in their dealings with the Sith, but, during the Mandalorian raid, footage of the StealthXs preparing to launch was captured, and Galactic Alliance Admiral Nek Bwua'tu feared that the fighters were preparing for launch against the government. Soon after the raid, Jedi Knight Turi Altamik also developed the psychosis and was hunted outside the Temple in full view of the media before she was finally captured by the Jedi.[2]

The siegeEdit

OnsetEdit

"My name is Belok Rhal. You will remember it. I am here on the orders of the Galactic Alliance to retrieve two Jedi—Sothais Saar and Turi Altamik. You have been ordered to relinquish them to the care of the Galactic Alliance, and you have refused. All legal methods have been exhausted. Your Chief of State Daala has asked me to ensure that you turn them over. And you will."
―Commander Belok Rhal addresses the Jedi Order at the Temple on Coruscant[src]

While the Galactic Alliance demanded the release of both Saar and Altamik into government custody, the Jedi prepared to launch their strike team of StealthXs to assist the Skywalkers. Frustrated by the Jedi's lack of cooperation, Daala arranged for Mandalorians to force the Jedi to turn over the psychotic Knights, and, before the StealthX wing could launch from the Jedi Temple Hangars, the Temple was beset by a large force of Mandalorian Protectors. Led by Commander Belok Rhal,[2] the Mandalorian force consisted of about a thousand warriors,[3] at least half a dozen Tra'kad starships, several Canderous-class assault tanks, numerous ground vehicles,[2] QuickStryke assault sleds, and several bombers, including Vyyrhawk fighter-bombers.[3]

Headofstatefel

Imperial Head of State Jagged Fel

Jaina Solo had left the Temple shortly before the onset of the siege and made her way to the Galactic Empire Embassy on Coruscant, where she found her fiancé, Imperial Remnant Head of State Jagged Fel. She asked for his help in launching the StealthXs, and, when he showed hesitation, she revealed that the threat involved the Sith. Fel reassured her that he understood her motives but insisted that he could not risk initiating a diplomatic incident and possibly a war. They were interrupted by Fel's aide, Kthira'shi'ktarloo, who turned on a viewscreen showing a news report of the developing siege. Fel was shocked, and he said that he would talk to Daala, but that he could not promise anything more. As a result, Solo called off their engagement and left to assist the Skywalkers on her own.[2]

Meanwhile, the Mandalorians neglected to respond to the Jedi's efforts to establish contact for several hours, intending to unnerve the Order. Finally, Rhal introduced himself to the Jedi and stated the terms of his mission, threatening consequences if the Jedi did not turn over Saar and Altamik within thirty-six hours. The Jedi Council quickly convened and began to suggest finding a way to get word out of the dwindling supplies that they needed, but interim Grand Master Kenth Hamner's apprentice, Kani Asari, suddenly reported that the Mandalorians were jamming external communications so that, although those outside could contact the Temple, those inside the Temple could not contact anyone outside.[2]

The Masters then decided to send a Jedi out to negotiate with Rhal, passing up Hamner when he volunteered, as he was too valuable to the enemy. When Hamner questioned who would go in his stead, Asari was the first to volunteer. Hamner was initially opposed, but Asari convinced him and the rest of the Council that she was the best choice. As she emerged from the Temple entrance, Rhal strode quickly up the stairs to meet her and pointed out that she was neither Saar nor Altamik. When she replied that she had come to negotiate, the Mandalorian commander shot Asari point-blank, killing her. Rhal then announced that any Jedi leaving the Temple other than Saar or Altamik would meet the same fate and added that the Jedi had just twenty-four hours to comply before the Mandalorians would destroy the Temple and massacre the Order until they had the two jedi. He also decided that Asari's body would remain on the steps as a reminder to the Jedi, and that if anyone attempted to recover her body, the Mandalorians would attack the Temple.[2]

Hamner's deal and the lunch incidentEdit

"I don't know how either of them can eat, sitting there looking at her."
"Well, nothing Thul does would surprise me at this point, and Dorvan's feeding his half of the sandwich to his chitlik." [Leia suddenly freezes]
"What is it? What did you just figure out?"
"How we can help the Jedi."
―Han and Leia Solo[src]
KenthHamner-Vortex

Acting Grand Master Kenth Hamner

Soon afterward, Hamner was contacted by Chief of the Navy Nek Bwua'tu, who revealed to the interim Grand Master that recordings made by Mandalorians during their earlier raid on the Temple had showed evidence of the StealthX strike team preparing for an attack. Bwua'tu questioned what their intent was, and Hamner revealed that the strike was not aimed at Daala or the Galactic Alliance, but rather at a mutual enemy. Bwua'tu told Hamner that Daala did not yet know of the situation, and added that he would rather it remained that way, as he believed she would only be able to see it as an impending attack on the Galactic Alliance. Bwua'tu then offered his assistance in dealing with Daala, suggesting that if the Jedi delayed the launch until he gave them the go-ahead, he would ensure that they had the complete cooperation of the Galactic Alliance Navy.[2]

Meanwhile, Wynn Dorvan had contacted Rhal with orders from Daala to organize a Mandalorian team to put down a slave revolt on the planet Blaudu Sextus. However, Dorvan suddenly remembered that his friend, Jedi Knight Raynar Thul, with whom he had lunch on the front steps of the Temple almost every day, would be taking his lunch within fifteen minutes. Dorvan quickly ordered Rhal to hold his fire when Thul emerged, and, when the Mandalorian was reluctant to comply, he lied that the order had come directly from the Chief of State. However, Rhal refused to go back on his earlier demand that no Jedi other than Altamik or Saar would be allowed to leave the Temple, and Dorvan rushed to the scene to prevent the Mandalorians from harming Thul. Dorvan made his way through the Mandalorian ranks and climbed to the top of the steps just as Thul emerged from the Temple's entrance. Dorvan's presence there prevented the Mandalorians from firing on Thul, and the two took their lunch on the steps.[2]

The scene was an instant sensation amongst the reporters covering the siege, including journalist Javis Tyrr, who had been portraying Daala's actions negatively throughout the duration of the event. Meanwhile, Jedi Leia Organa Solo, who was watching the event transpire on the news with her husband, Han, noted that Dorvan was feeding his food to his pet chitlik, Pocket. She was suddenly inspired for a plan to smuggle supplies into the Jedi Temple by using rodents, and the Solos put the plan into motion immediately. They tied vials filled with the medications needed to sedate the captive psychotic Jedi onto the backs of rodents, and Leia guided the animals into the Temple with the Force. The rodents were soon discovered in the underlevels of the Temple by Master Octa Ramis and her Padawan, Seha Dorvald, and Master Corran Horn noticed the vials that the rodents were carrying.[2]

Leia-fotj

Leia Organa Solo devised a plan to smuggle much-needed supplies into the Jedi Temple.

Meanwhile, Dorvan and Thul finished their lunch, and the Chief of Staff removed Asari's body from the steps, overruling Rhal's decree that it should stay as a reminder to the Jedi of the Mandalorian's terms. Later, the Solos received a message from Kenth Hamner, attached to one of the returning rodents saying they the Order was standing firm and not scrubbing the strike force. The Solos then established consistent contact with the Jedi in the Temple, and they were able to send the Order many supplies on which they had begun to run low.[2]

Siege's endEdit

"When you told Kenth you wanted a public surrender, we thought you meant out here in front of the news, where everyone could see how well you're going to treat the patients."
"I meant that I wanted the situation resolved publicly. I didn't mean we should endanger scores of beings by making the actual exchange out here in Fellowship Plaza."
"Well stang. I wish you'd told me that earlier."
―Han Solo and Natasi Daala, as Turi Altamik and Sothais Saar emerge from the Jedi Temple[src]

Eventually, Luke Skywalker was successful in his mission to defeat Abeloth—the being who had caused the psychosis—and the psychotic Jedi were cured immediately. Cilghal and her aide, the Jedi healer Shul Vaal, discovered that Saar, Altamik, and Kunor Bann—a Jedi who had developed the psychosis in the Temple, and of whose condition the Galactic Alliance was not aware—were all devoid of the psychosis; after running numerous tests to confirm the finding, Cilghal instantly reported the news to Hamner.[2][3]

The Jedi then arranged a meeting with Daala in an attempt to end the siege by releasing Altamik and Saar, and the Chief of State requested that the Jedi be released publicly. Daala, accompanied by Galactic Alliance Security forces commanded by Captain Oric Harfard, arrived in the Fellowship Plaza outside the Temple and met with Han Solo. Solo told Harfard to order the Mandalorians not to open fire, as Altamik and Saar would be arriving soon. When the two Jedi Knights emerged from the Temple, Harfard quickly ordered his troops to form a guard around the Chief of State, but, when Solo suggested that Daala was scared, she ordered Harfard to have his men stand down. Upon examination of Altamik and Saar from a distance, Daala claimed that they must be impostors and suggested that the Jedi were creating an illusion with the Force. When Solo countered that such illusions only worked on the weak-minded, she insisted that the Jedi must have used plastic surgery. Solo, however, reasoned that the doctor whom Daala had brought with her to examine the patients, the chair of xenopsychiatric medicine in the Greater Coruscant University, the Bith Thalleus Tharn, would be able to tell the difference.[2]

HanSolo-Vortex

Han Solo

As Solo began to wave the two Jedi forward, Harfard held him at blasterpoint and insisted that he would not let Solo put Daala in danger. Despite Harfard's concerns, the Chief of State waved the Captain aside and suggested that Tharn should examine the Jedi then and there. The Bith was hesitant to do so outside of his hospital, but Solo pointed out that it would be far more dangerous to examine them in the hospital with only a few Mandalorian guards than it would be in the Plaza with all of the Mandalorian warriors present. Tharn finally agreed and, after examining the Jedi, pronounced Altamik and Saar to be completely cured. Daala ordered Harfard to lift the siege, although she refused to release the Jedi Knights Valin and Jysella Horn, who had been captured earlier by the Galactic Alliance and who remained frozen in carbonite in government custody, until she was convinced that the order would no longer keep things from her.[3]

AftermathEdit

"Now, tell us how we're going to keep this thing from turning Coruscant into a battlefield."
"There is only one way to do that, Master Horn. We must remove Daala from office."
―Corran Horn and Saba Sebatyne[src]

Afterward, the majority of the Jedi Council desired a more offensive stand against Daala by launching the StealthX wing and staging a rescue of the Horn siblings. However, Hamner resisted the Masters' demands—he wanted to wait for Bwua'tu's word, as he had promised the Admiral, even though a recent assassination attempt had left the Bwua'tu in a coma. As internal tensions rose between Hamner and the rest of the Council, the Jedi Knights who had been smuggled to Shedu Maad were brought back to Coruscant by Jedi Knight Zekk and the Hapan Taryn Zel.[3]

Meanwhile, on Blaudu Sextus, Daala had secretly sent Rhal in command of a group of Mandalorians to put down the Octusi slave revolt. When the Octusi refused to end their uprising, Rhal began to massacre them—an event that was caught live on the news by reporter Madhi Vaandt. However, Rhal soon discovered Vaandt and ordered her to stop recording the events. When she refused and instead began to question Rhal, he shot and killed her. However, Jedi Knights Sothais Saar and Avinoam Arelis, who had been dispatched to mediate the situation, arrived and attacked the Mandalorians, capturing Rhal. The Jedi watched the events live from Coruscant as Zekk and Zel arrived at the Temple's Pinnacle Platform with the Jedi from Shedu Maad. As the events on Blaudu Sextus continued to unfold, Hamner preached patience to the Jedi, but the Council had grown tired of his inactivity. Led by Master Saba Sebatyne, they called for a more active approach in dealing with Daala.[3]

Njo sabasebatyne

Saba Sebatyne, interim Grand Master

When Hamner continually denied their appeals, Han Solo—who had learned about Hamner's secret deal with Bwua'tu during a meeting with Alliance Senator Luewet Wuul—demanded that the interim Grand Master tell the Council about the deal. The Council was outraged that Hamner had taken such an action unilaterally with out their consent and thus lost their faith in him. Sebatyne suggested that Hamner resign his post as acting Grand Master, and the Council decided to confine him to his quarters while they prepared to launch the StealthXs. Hamner escaped from his quarters, however, and attempted to prevent the launch, in the fear that, without Bwua'tu's support, it would lead to war with the Galactic Alliance. He was confronted by Sebatyne, and, in the ensuing fight, he fell to his death from a catwalk as the StealthXs successfully launched and safely broke orbit with the help of Valin and Jysella Horn's grandfather, Booster Terrik. Sebatyne was deeply upset by her failure to save Hamner's life, but the rest of the Council voted her in as the acting Grand Master in Hamner's stead nonetheless. Sebatyne then decided that the Jedi needed to find a way to remove Daala from office if they were going to prevent war from coming to Coruscant.[3] The Jedi soon executed a successful coup of the government, resulting in the deposing of Daala and the installation of a Triumvirate of Sebatyne, Senator Haydnat Treen, and General Merratt Jaxton.[6]

Behind the scenesEdit

The siege of the New Jedi Temple was first introduced in Fate of the Jedi: Allies, the fifth novel in the Fate of the Jedi series, written by Christie Golden. The event was later brought to an end in the subsequent novel, Fate of the Jedi: Vortex, written by Troy Denning.

AppearancesEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

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