- "I am Cassus Fett, comrade to Mand'alor and field marshal of the forces now laying siege to your planet. This day, I release you from all allegiance to the Galactic Republic. The Mando'ade are your clan, now. This day, I release you from all obedience to the Chancellor. Mand'alor is your leader now. The Republic has failed Taris in battle. It has shown itself unworthy of the great sacrifices it called upon you to make. For in this victory, we offer you the chance to share in the next one—and the next one, and the next one. Those who wish to join the Mando'ade in their New Crusade for the galaxy are welcome. Helmet and armor will be yours—and the way of the warrior will be made known to you. In this victory, we have set you free—and on the path to glory! Those who choose to remain on Taris providing for the clans shall live in peace. But beware! Those who feign loyalty and betray us shall die an honorless death!"
- ―Cassus Fett's proclamation to the Tarisian people
The Taris Siege was the name given to the Mandalorian invasion of the Outer Rim planet of Taris in 3963 BBY, one of the first major offensives in the Mandalorian Wars between the Galactic Republic and the Mandalorian Neo-Crusaders. A world filled with Republic business interests, Taris was threatened by the growing Mandalorian empire on the Outer Rim and was subsequently granted full Republic membership and an unreasonably long, undermanned security cordon in the months leading up to the battle. Taris' security situation was untenable, and after the massacre of several Jedi Padawans at Taris' Jedi Tower led to the removal of Jedi presence on the world and the breakdown of social order, Mandalore the Ultimate finally took the initiative to attack. After opening a path to Taris by invading nearby Vanquo as a diversionary tactic, the Mandalorian forces met a reformed, weakened Republic armada hurriedly put together by Admirals Jimas Veltraa and Noma Sommos over Taris. Veltraa was killed and Sommos grievously wounded in the failed Republic defense—no further Republic help ever came, and the Mandalorian force commenced with a massive bombardment of Taris' Upper and Middle Cities.
Weeks of bombing were followed by a full-scale ground invasion personally coordinated by chief Mandalorian strategist Cassus Fett, as the invaders captured the Upper and Middle Cities without serious opposition. They faced much greater difficulty in trying to seize the Lower City, where local swoop gangs such as the Hidden Beks used their familiarity with the environment to their advantage, and Senator Haydel Goravvus went to battle with his owned armed resistance force, which had aid from surviving law enforcement and a Jedi Master, Raana Tey. Goravvus' resistance and the Hidden Beks wound up joining forces with the help of Republic fugitives Zayne Carrick and Marn Hierogryph, and together plotted to assassinate Fett—however, Fett beat them to the punch, launching a devastating surprise attack on the Resistance's base in the Lower City and effectively crushing Goravvus' band. Left without serious resistance, the Mandalorians succeeded in conquering Taris and occupied the planet for several years, until the Jedi Knight Revan liberated the planet in a Republic counteroffensive in 3961–3960 BBY.
- "The prologue is over. We're breaking out on the Outer Rim—and more. The real Mandalorian Wars have begun."
- ―Rohlan Dyre
In 3976 BBY, the warrior clans known as the Mandalorian Neo-Crusaders, at the command of leader Mandalore the Ultimate, began to carve out an empire by conquering unaligned worlds on the Outer Rim. After these exploits earned no reaction from the Galactic Republic, the Mandalorians lurched out towards the Core, threatening resource worlds near the valuable Outer Rim ecumenopolis of Taris. With Republic business interests in that region threatened, the Republic granted full membership to Taris in 3966 BBY after a long bribery campaign by local executives. Despite the better judgment of some in the Republic Navy's command structure, the Republic set up a long, undermanned security cordon known as the Jebble-Vanquo-Tarnith line to protect the world, as the two sides entered into an uneasy months-long stalemate.
That equilibrium was shattered in 3964 BBY, when the graduating class at Taris' Jedi Tower was killed in a high-profile massacre. The blame was pinned on surviving Padawan Zayne Carrick and local Snivvian criminal Marn Hierogryph, who managed to elude heavy pursuit and flee Taris. Their escape plunged Taris into riots and chaos, and the five Jedi Masters stationed at the Tower were pulled off the planet. Mandalore the Ultimate took the unrest as a signal to attack, and he launched the first great stab of the Mandalorian Wars: a three-pronged assault aimed at Taris. The Jebble-Vanquo-Tarnith line—which proved too distant from the Republic center of power and too overextended to be properly defended—was broken at the mining world of Vanquo, where Mandalore the Ultimate and his chief strategist, Cassus Fett, managed to draw away the Republic Navy's left flank and clear open the way to Taris, seizing the planet in the process. Their line shattered, Republic Admirals Jimas Veltraa and Noma Sommos pulled together the remnants of their Outer Rim forces in a makeshift force to defend Taris, in what would prove to be a last-ditch effort.
- "At least the swoop gangs had the decency to fire a few parting shots at the Mandies before streaking back to their holes. It's more than the Republic has done. Even before the Republic announced Taris "indefensible," they weren't able to do much. For weeks, people on Taris have asked why the Republic would invite the planet to join if it didn't intend to protect them. It's plain now. They didn't want you, Master and Mistress Taris—they wanted your business!"
- ―A Taris Holofeed reporter, broadcasting during the Mandalorian invasion
Although Veltraa and Sommos managed to effectively reform their forces into a coherent defense, they soon found themselves overwhelmed by enemy forces in an offensive barrage popularly known in the Republic as "the Onslaught." Once the Mandalorians arrived at their target, they crushed the Republic forces over Taris—Admiral Veltraa was killed when his flagship, Reliance, was destroyed with all hands lost, and Admiral Sommos suffered injuries severe enough to necessitate her removal from the front lines to a field hospital on Wayland. Once the skies over Taris were clear, the Mandalorians commenced a heavy bombardment of the Upper and Middle Cities, causing significant casualties and damage and leaving significant swaths of the Middle City in ruins. one notable landmark to be destroyed was the historic Lhosan Industries plant in the Middle City's Machineville neighborhood—known as the birthplace of the swoop bike—which had become a shelter for many locals who were killed when the factory's walls caved in. The weeks-long bombardment left many civilians at risk, and rescuers at work in the Middle City soon found themselves overwhelmed. The Taris Home Guard planetary defense force attempted repeatedly to engage an increasing number of Mandalorian Kandosii-type dreadnaughts in the skies above Taris but were completely outgunned, failing to make it past the invaders' perimeter—soon, the local police force, led by Constable Noana Sowrs, would also be called into battle.
After weeks of aerial bombardment, the Mandalorians finally launched a full-scale ground invasion, starting with nighttime landings on Taris' polar areas—by the next morning, Basilisk war droids were sweeping through the Upper City with warriors on their backs. By then, the Tarisian public had grown not to expect any help from the Republic, which had deemed Taris "indefensible" despite the fact that the planet was a full member of the galactic government. The invasion was personally guided by Mandalore the Ultimate's top strategist, Cassus Fett, and swiftly overwhelmed what was left of Taris' civil defense. The Mandalorians seized the Upper City neighborhood of Highpoint, from where the Taris Holofeed news outlet had continued to cover the siege. The destruction of the Holofeed's office forced operations to shift to the Junavex Hotel, until the Mandalorians stormed the building and terminated the broadcast. Much of the Upper City was abandoned in the early stages of the Mandalorian invasion, with looters taking advantage of the chaos to plunder Upper City locales such as Market Street before clearing out as the invaders moved in. Once Mandalorian control of the Upper City was sufficiently consolidated, the Taris Holofeed was reactivated to broadcast a special message from Cassus Fett himself: a proclamation releasing the people of Taris from their obedience to the Galactic Republic. Before shutting down the Holofeed for good, Fett announced that Taris was now a Mandalorian world, and its citizens now owed allegiance to the Mandalore.
Tide of resistanceEdit
- "It's settled, then. Tomorrow—with the Hidden Beks—the Resistance strikes back!"
- ―Senator Haydel Goravvus, before the Taris Resistance's assassination attempt on Cassus Fett
Although some Tarisians left to join the Neo-Crusader army, there nevertheless continued to be dogged resistance to the Mandalorians in the Lower City. Local swoop gangs such as the Hidden Beks and Black Vulkars had only put up token resistance as the Mandalorians took the Upper and Middle Cities, but as the invaders encroached on their homes in the Lower City, they fought the Neo-Crusaders tooth and nail. Meanwhile, a more organized and well-armed force arose under the command of Taris' Senator, Haydel Goravvus, who had disappeared from the public eye in the days after the Padawan Massacre. Although Goravvus' Taris Resistance was largely composed of armed locals defending their homes, it had the aid of Constable Sowrs and surviving remnants of Tarisian law enforcement, and a Jedi Master, the Togruta Raana Tey, who had been ordered to help defend Taris by Supreme Chancellor Tol Cressa of the Republic. Rather than rest on his laurels in the Upper City, Fett continued to push down into the lower levels of the Taris cityscape, with some Mandalorian warriors seeing the continued siege effort as a trial run for what they'd face once the Mandalorian force reached the Republic capital of Coruscant.
Although the Hidden Beks and the Taris Resistance had the same aim, the two sides had been fighting parallel wars after Constable Sowrs shut down any ideas of the two joining forces—she suspected the Beks to be culpable in the disappearance of her children, and still saw them as criminals to be punished, despite the circumstances. However, the two sides would soon come together via the efforts of Bek leader Gadon Thek and the fugitives Zayne Carrick and Marn Hierogryph, who had met Thek in the Lower City. Carrick and Hierogryph had been separated during the Mandalorian bombardment of Serroco, and Hierogryph—who had earned significant fame for saving the lives of numerous Republic soldiers on Serroco—linked up with the Beks after receiving a mission from Lhosan Industries chairman Jervo Thalien to find Goravvus. Carrick returned to Taris after hearing his friend was involved in the fight against the Mandalorians, and his discovery of Sowrs' children proved to be the bargaining chip the Beks needed to gain the Resistance's trust. Although Master Tey wanted Carrick dead—she was one of the true perpetrators of the Padawan Massacre which Carrick was blamed for—the two sides worked out a deal, with Tey providing aid for the Bek's wounded in exchange for the swoop gang's valuable skills.
By then, Fett had arrived planetside, overseeing Mandalorian operations directly from a command center set up in the old council room at the Jedi Tower. Although the Mandalorians clearly had the upper hand, Fett was forced to personally rein in a massive logjam caused by rampaging Mandalorian forces unused to centralized organization, along with a morass attempted escapees and captured vehicles that threatened to bog down the Mandalorian siege effort. Meanwhile, the Resistance managed to carve out a stronghold of several blocks of the Lower City, and hit the Mandalorians hard with several raids that earned them valuable munitions. After getting word of Fett's presence on Taris, the Resistance put together a plan to take him out, wiring the Jedi Tower with explosives that they would blow if Carrick, Tey and agent Shel Jelavan could infiltrate the Tower and confirm that Fett was still there. However, by the time the saboteurs reached the Tower, Fett was gone, as the strategist had managed to work out the location of the Resistance's stronghold and had gone to launch a devastating surprise attack. The attack was swift, precise and effectively destroyed the Resistance, pushing the few survivors into the rakghoul-infested wasteland known as the Undercity—topside, Master Tey was killed when Hierogryph noticed her attempting to attack Carrick in the remnants of the Jedi Tower and blew the explosives. Although Goravvus managed to survive, any efforts to resist the Mandalorian invasion were dealt a critical blow, and the Mandalorians went on to conquer the planet.
- "The Mandalorians kept driving us down, right into the Undercity—and into the rakghouls."
- ―Constable Noana Sowrs, shortly before her death in the Undercity
After seizing Taris, the Mandalorian force split in two directions: one galactic west around the Outer Rim destined for a battle at Ithor, and another headed for the ice world of Jebble. Many of the recruits the Mandalorians gained on Taris proceeded to Jebble, which became a major staging point for a planned raid on the Core World of Alderaan, but this army was destroyed by the mutating machinations of the ancient Sith artifact known as the Muur Talisman, which had been found deep in the Undercity by a Mandalorian excavation team during the Siege. Taris held many economic interests in the Republic, and the siege had significant economic impact in the Outer Rim: along with several other factors, the siege contributed to a sharp downturn in the mining sector. The invasion also scuttled local speeder producer Lhosan Industries' plans to diversify and expand, and led chairman Jervo Thalien to pull operations from the planet and leave thousands in the Lower City out of work.
Taris spent the next several years under Mandalorian occupation, and although local resistance was effectively crushed by Fett's sneak attack, several principal players in the fight against the Mandalorian invasion managed to survive the Siege. Although Senator Goravvus initially refused to leave Taris behind—a decision that inadvertently led to Constable Sowrs' death at the hands of Undercity rakghouls—he eventually made it offworld and served as a champion of refugees and at-risk people throughout the war, as did Carrick, Hierogryph and Shel Jelavan. Meanwhile, Gadon Thek and the Hidden Beks, as well as their rivals, the Black Vulkars, persisted in the Lower City throughout the Mandalorian occupation and were still active as of the Jedi Civil War a decade later. The Mandalorian invasion eventually reached as far as the Core World of Duro, but the Republic managed to turn the tide from 3961–3960 BBY, behind the brilliant strategic leadership of the Jedi Knight Revan and his Jedi crusaders. Revan's massive counteroffensive eventually led to Taris' liberation from Mandalorian rule.
Behind the scenesEdit
The Taris Siege was first mentioned in the 2003 video game Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, and was first shown in the spin-off comic series, where writer John Jackson Miller made it the primary setting of the Knights of Suffering story arc. The name "Taris Siege" was first canonized in Knights of the Old Republic Handbook, a comic supplement also written by Miller. Miller added additional context to the Taris Siege through in-universe inserts of The Taris Holofeed news outlet, which present a portrayal of the battle that is often inspired by historical sources. The Taris Holofeed: Siege Edition presents a live report on the Mandalorian invasion that was inspired by Edward R. Murrow's famous "This is London" newscasts during the the Blitz in 1941, while The Taris Holofeed Special Proclamation contains Cassus Fett's message to the Tarisian people after the start of the invasion, which purposely mirrored the tone of General Philip Kearny's proclamation claiming New Mexico for the United States in 1846.
- Knights of the Old Republic 8: Flashpoint, Part 2 (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic: Reunion (Mentioned only)
- The Admiral's List: Jimas Veltraa Memorial Edition (Mentioned only)
- The Adjudicator Special Report: The Outer Rim (Mentioned only)
- Knights of the Old Republic 15: Days of Fear, Part 3 (Mentioned only)
- The Taris Holofeed: Siege Edition (Mentioned only)
- Knights of the Old Republic 16: Nights of Anger, Part 1 (First appearance) (Vision to Raana Tey)
- Adascorp Fiscal Period Financial Report and Outlook: Message from the Chief Executive (Mentioned only)
- The Taris Holofeed: Invasion Edition (Mentioned only)
- Knights of the Old Republic 21: Daze of Hate, Part 3 (Mentioned only)
- The Taris Holofeed Special Proclamation (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic: Knights of Suffering
- Galactic Republic Defense Ministry Daily Brief KD0092
- Knights of the Old Republic 25: Vector, Part 1
- Knights of the Old Republic 26: Vector, Part 2 (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (First mentioned)
- Timeline 9: The Mandalorian Wars (Mentioned only)
- The New Essential Chronology
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic Handbook (First identified as Taris Siege)
- Knights of the Old Republic Campaign Guide
- The Essential Atlas
- The Essential Guide to Warfare
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Knights of the Old Republic 8: Flashpoint, Part 2
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Knights of the Old Republic 15: Days of Fear, Part 3
- ↑ Knights of the Old Republic 21: Daze of Hate, Part 3
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 The Essential Atlas
- ↑ 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 5.11 5.12 5.13 5.14 5.15 5.16 5.17 5.18 5.19 Knights of the Old Republic 22: Knights of Suffering, Part 1
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 The Admiral's List: Jimas Veltraa Memorial Edition
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 The Taris Holofeed: Siege Edition
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 The Taris Holofeed Special Proclamation
- ↑ 9.00 9.01 9.02 9.03 9.04 9.05 9.06 9.07 9.08 9.09 9.10 9.11 Knights of the Old Republic 23: Knights of Suffering, Part 2
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 Knights of the Old Republic 25: Vector, Part 1
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 Knights of the Old Republic Campaign Guide
- ↑ The Taris Holofeed: Invasion Edition
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 Knights of the Old Republic 26: Vector, Part 2
- ↑ The Essential Guide to Warfare
- ↑ Knights of the Old Republic 47: Demon, Part 1
- ↑ 16.0 16.1 16.2 Knights of the Old Republic 24: Knights of Suffering, Part 3
- ↑ 17.0 17.1 Knights of the Old Republic 46: Destroyer, Part 2
- ↑ Knights of the Old Republic 27: Vector, Part 3
- ↑ Adascorp Fiscal Period Financial Report and Outlook: Message from the Chief Executive
- ↑ Knights of the Old Republic 3: Commencement, Part 3
- ↑ Knights of the Old Republic 48: Demon, Part 2
- ↑ 22.0 22.1 Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
- ↑ Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic Handbook
- ↑ John Jackson Miller (July 25, 2007). Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic #18. Faraway Press. Retrieved on January 2, 2017.
- ↑ John Jackson Miller (October 24, 2007). Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic #21. Faraway Press. Retrieved on January 2, 2017.