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Yanibar was a planet in Wild Space known for its blistering, dry summers and wet, frigid winters. Barely habitable by Humans and other similar species, it was nevertheless colonized by a group of Jedi and their relatives seeking refuge from the predations of the Sith. The planet remained isolated for years, as it was forgotten by the Jedi who remained in the galaxy. At the same time, many of the colonists did not survive Yanibar's harsh conditions. Those who did survive formed their own Force tradition, Zeison Sha, which developed decidedly anti-Jedi traits. Yanibar later became somewhat known to the galaxy as a stopping point for fringe traders, developing a spaceport and a well-populated city that served as a crossroads between the Outer Rim and Unknown Regions. The world resisted attempts at Imperial occupation and remained inhabited by the Zeison Sha into the Yuuzhan Vong War.
The planet Yanibar was located in the Wild Space of one of the trailing parts of the galaxy's spiral arms. Some accounts, however, classified its location as the Outer Rim. Nevertheless, there were no major hyperlanes that linked Yanibar to the rest of the galaxy, which gave the planet a reputation for being remote and isolated.
Yanibar was habitable by Humans, but it had harsh weather and seasonal extremes that made it less than hospitable. Many considered the planet too hostile to support colonization, but some settlers were able to eke out an existence in the unfriendly environment. They endured Yanibar's dry, hot summers and frigid, wet winters, as well as its violent storms. This combination of inhospitable characteristics and climate cost many of the early colonists their lives. Another periodic threat to the colonists was the local fauna. Yanibar was the home of the voorcat, a predator that hunted in packs. These packs of voorcats sometimes threatened the colonists.
- "If not for self-reliance, our ancestors would have died shortly after your ancestors left them here."
- ―Zeison Sha warrior speaking to emissaries of the Jedi Order
Yanibar was first settled prior to 4,000 BBY by friends and family of the Jedi Order fleeing a conflict with the Sith. Yanibar was remote enough to serve as a refuge from the war, as anyone allied with the Jedi was susceptible to Sith attacks. The original plan of the colonists was to find a remote world upon which to hide until the war was over and they could return to their homes. All of the Jedi who were aware of the refuge's existence perished in the war, however, and the colonists were stranded. The early years of the refuge saw thousands die due to the harsh conditions on Yanibar. Those who survived were aided by those strong in the Force, who developed their own Force-using tradition, the Zeison Sha. The Zeison Sha were responsible for the survival of the colony, protecting it from the natural hazards present on the planet.
As the years passed since Yanibar's initial colonization, the Jedi Order was blamed for the abandonment of the Zeison Sha, who became embittered toward them. Consequently, the Zeison Sha developed into a self-reliant tradition that was designed to endure the rugged and harsh conditions of their homeworld. The talents and strength of the Zeison Sha eventually allowed the colony to not only grow, but also to prosper.
Several centuries after its original colonization, Yanibar was discovered by spacers flying near the edges of known space. The world developed a small town and spaceport as part of increased relations with these fringe traders. As visits by offworlders became more frequent over the years, some of Yanibar's inhabitants likewise left the planet and traveled the stars. This interstellar exchange brought numerous other individuals of varying species to the planet, though Zeison Sha who left the planet remained hostile to the Jedi Order. A visit to Yanibar by a delegation from the Jedi Order in 580 BBY led by Jedi Master Bodo Baas did little to improve relations. Despite years of planning by the Jedi, the Zeison Sha were suspicious and hostile towards them, particularly when it came to the Jedi practice of taking children from their parents for training. The mission ended without open conflict, but the Zeison Sha firmly refused to hear any talk of reunification with the Jedi.
Those Zeison Sha who left Yanibar after it gained access to interstellar travel did so incognito for fear of the Jedi, and later Imperial Jedi hunters. The port and outpost remained intact as late as the Galactic Civil War, and the Empire positioned troops on Yanibar, including speeder bikes and scout troopers. This Imperial presence was resisted by the Zeison Sha. The colonists on Yanibar and their Zeison Sha protectors endured the Galactic Civil War and even the Yuuzhan Vong War that devastated the galaxy only five years after the Galactic Civil War ended. The Zeison Sha living during the latter conflict were glad to see the New Jedi Order weakened by the invaders, but also wished to avoid discovery by the aliens, who were virulently opposed to all Force-users.
The original colonists who landed on Yanibar were of numerous species, and as they consisted of friends and relatives of the Jedi, many of them were Force-sensitive. Among them were Humans, Duros, Rodians, and Twi'leks—all called Yanibar home several hundred years after its colonization. While their original intent had been to live on Yanibar temporarily, their subsequent abandonment forced them to eke out an existence generations after they had arrived. The arrival and expansion of the spaceport several centuries later brought additional diversity to the settlers on Yanibar.
Several hundred years after Yanibar was colonized, a well-populated spaceport and city arose to service the needs of interstellar fringe traders passing through that region of space. The Zeison Sha Force-users also constructed a temple that acted as a center for their organization, called the Sha Kalan. Unlike the Jedi Order, Zeison Sha youth who were trained there did not live at the temple. Instead, they lived with their parents due to Zeison Sha encouragement of normal family life for children.
Behind the scenes
The first appearance for Yanibar, Hero's Guide, listed the planet as being in the Outer Rim. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords and the Jedi Academy Training Manual also stated the planet was in the Outer Rim. In the more recent The Essential Atlas, however, the planet is definitively shown to be in Wild Space. This article assumes that the Atlas is correct in its placement.
Hero's Guide also states that the refugees who became the Zeison Sha first arrived on Yanibar circa 2,000 BBY. This conflicts with Knights of the Old Republic II, which has the Zeison Sha established well before that time by approximately two thousand years. Later sources, including the Jedi Academy Training Manual and Jedi vs. Sith: The Essential Guide to the Force, add to the confusion by agreeing with Hero's Guide in stating that Yanibar was first colonized during the New Sith Wars. No official explanation has been given for either of these discrepancies.
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords (Mentioned only)
- Hero's Guide (First mentioned)
- Jedi vs. Sith: The Essential Guide to the Force
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- Jedi Academy Training Manual
- The Essential Atlas
Notes and references
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 The Essential Atlas
- ↑ 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 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 Hero's Guide
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 Jedi Academy Training Manual
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords
- ↑ Jedi vs. Sith: The Essential Guide to the Force