- "Only a complete idiot would go into a place like that."
- ―Lando Calrissian
The Maw, or the Maw Cluster as it was sometimes called, was an unstable and mostly unnavigable cluster of black holes located near the planet Kessel. The only reason the Maw was visible was due to the ionizing gases being drawn into it.
The stability of the cluster itself was something of a mystery, with some believing that an advanced civilization might have constructed it, rather than it merging together like a normal cluster would. In 44 ABY, the Jedi Order learned from the Thuruht hive that the Maw was created by Thuruht and other Killik hives to serve as a prison for the dark side entity Abeloth. Under the direction of the Son and Daughter (who had joined the hivemind), the Killiks created Centerpoint Station and Sinkhole Station. Centerpoint was used by The Ones to create the Maw itself, while Sinkhole Station was built to maintain the prison from within.
The stability of the cluster itself was something of a mystery, with some believing that an advanced civilization might have constructed it, rather than it merging together like a normal cluster would. The ionizing gases being drawn into it made the cluster visible.
The Maw was the site of Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin's Maw Installation, where the Death Star prototype and most of the first Death Star was built, although it was completed at Despayre. Tarkin knew that the Maw's near-inaccessibility and remoteness made it easy for him to hide the project.
The installation was actually located within a safe zone inside the cluster discovered just prior to the start of the project. The remaining area of the Maw was saturated in radiation, plasma, and strong gravitational forces. Any ship's captains that neared the edge of the Maw would notice pieces of their ships being pulled apart, and some smugglers and criminals used it as a shortcut past the Kessel Run.
A planetoid near the Maw was also the site of an Imperial detention base which was attacked by the Rebel Alliance flight group Rogue Squadron after the Battle of Hoth in the year 3 ABY. During the battle, numerous prisoners escaped and the prison was destroyed.
The Maw was also the location of the creation and destruction of the Sun Crusher; it was constructed at the Maw Installation and destroyed when it was sent into one of the black holes within the Maw. Other superweapons designed and built there include the World Devastators, the Tarkin, the Ion Ring, and the Galaxy Gun.
During the Yuuzhan Vong War, Lando Calrissian sponsored the construction of a space station called Shelter, which was built with the remains of Maw Installation as a refuge for fugitive Jedi Knights. Shelter was located at the very heart of the Maw and at one point housed the wartime generation of Jedi apprentices and surviving Jedi Praxeum students.
In 43 ABY, Luke Skywalker and his son Ben visited the Maw during their journey to discover the reasons for Jacen Solo's fall to the dark side. Within The Maw, they discovered Sinkhole Station and the Mind Walkers.
During the New Jedi Order's conflict with the entity Abeloth, in 44 ABY, the Jedi Order learned from the Thuruht hive that the Maw was created by Thuruht and other Killik hives to serve as a prison for Abeloth.
Behind the scenesEdit
- The Jedi Academy Sourcebook
- "Corellian Smuggler" - Shadis 27
- "The Unseen Planets of Star Wars"—Star Wars Insider 36
- "Feature Planet: Kessel"—Star Wars Kids 12
- Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader: The Official Nintendo Player's Guide
- The New Jedi Order Sourcebook
- The New Essential Chronology
- Scum and Villainy
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- Fate of the Jedi: Dramatis Personae
- The Essential Atlas
- Scavenger's Guide to Droids
- (Indirect mention only)
- The Unknown Regions
- "Apocalypse... Now!"—Star Wars Insider 132
- Star Wars: Edge of the Empire Core Rulebook