The Southern Star was a wooden sailing ship built prior to 2,975 BBY on the planet Kesh, a remote Outer Rim planet ruled by the Lost Tribe of the Sith. The ship was built out of lumber from Alanciar as part of a maritime exploration program instituted by the reformist Grand Lord Varner Hilts. He had succeeded in ending the centuries-long period of civil warfare known as the Time of the Rot and instituted the Hilts Restoration as part of a policy of redirecting Sith rivalries towards productive activities like exploring Kesh's uncharted seas and colonizing new lands.
The Southern Star was captained by the Keshiri captain Chegg, a hard and demanding taskmaster who disliked the Human rulers of the Tribe. The ship was powered by sails and had a large hold for storing cargo. It was crewed by a predominantly Keshiri crew and its passengers included surveyors and straw bosses. In 2,975 BBY, Lord Hilts assigned the captured anarchist Parlan Spinner to work as a crew member aboard the Southern Star. While the youth had tried to assassinate him, Hilts wanted to give him a second chance by showing him mercy. He also assigned the ship to explore the frozen continent of Eshkrene in Kesh's South Pole. Hilts theorized that another group of settlers resided in the South Pole.
However, his daughter Takara Hilts also sneaked aboard the ship in an effort to start a new life in Alanciar. After Takara's presence was discovered by Spinner, she was forced by Chegg to assist Spinner in manning the sails prior the ship's landing. During a surveying mission, Takara and Spinner attempted to sneak back aboard the Southern Star and return to Keshtah. However, they were spotted and pursued by the crew with Chegg issuing a bounty on their heads. During the pursuit, Spinner and Takara led their pursuers over a hill where both parties were intercepted by a party of the Doomed, the stranded descendants of the Dark Jedi and Jedi who had triggered the Great Calamity millennia earlier. After imprisoning the Dark Jedi leader Remulus Dreypa within an oubliette, the two groups had made peace and moved to Eshkrene.
The Doomed killed Chegg and several of the crew but took Hilts and Takara captive. They also captured the remaining crew and impounded the Southern Star. However, Spinner broke out from his prison and freed the remaining crew. They then stole Dreypa's oubliette and seized back the ship. The Doomed leader Kaliska and Takara pursued the Southern Star and landed on the deck, attempting to convince Spinner not to open the oubliette. However, Spinner ignored them and released Dreypa from his prison. Spinner and the Keshiri crew then sided with the Dark Jedi and pledged their loyalty to him. They then imprisoned Kaliska and Takara before deck before setting on a course for the main continent Keshtah. The ship then landed at the port of Eorm where Dreypa led a rebellion against the Lost Tribe.