OUT OF CHARACTER INFORMATION
- Intent: Create a piece of propagandized history to teach to Imperial citizens
- Image Credit: Click - Wookieepedia
- Media Name: The War Between Light And Dark - The Eighth Sith War
- Format: Holonet Articles, Datacrons, & included in Flimsiplast Historical Tomes
- Distribution: Inter-Planetary
- Length: Long
- Description: The Sith Empire has long since utilized various avenues of media to control and manipulate its subjects into believing various false narratives to strengthen its grip on their territory. However, the best lies are often those built around a strong core of truth, and the Imperial perspective on the Eighth Sith War is no different. Though the majority of the events happened as detailed in the historical recollection, several changes have been made to better accentuate the Empire's righteousness as a force of order in the galaxy.
- Author: The Ministry of Imperial Truth
- Publisher: Sith-Imperial News Network
- Reception: Being the sole supplier of information in the Sith Empire, the Sith-Imperial News Network's reports are perceived as being irrefutable proof by the general masses due to the Network's pervasive nature in Imperial society. Those who do refute often go missing for several days before returning with a different perspective on what they had originally disagreed with, mainly one of eager compliance to the Empire.
The rise of the Sith Empire was achieved through blood and steel, the innumerable Legions of the Sith marching across the Tingel Arm with distinct impunity. Those that rose against them fell while those that kowtowed to the Emperor were shackled to an economic system that exploited the native inhabitants and siphoned their natural resources to bolster an already considerable military. Every new star system acquired by the Sith Empire multiplied their number of starships and the sheer mass of boots on the ground.
Yet, the Outer Rim in which the Sith Empire made its home was stricken by anarchy, chaos, and decades of neglect. While the Sith slowly began the process of reestablishing long abandoned trade networks and stimulated local economic growth on their most profitable of worlds, they knew that such machinations would take years to mature.
They needed something that the Outer Rim didn't have, and they turned their hungry eyes Coreward.
The Empire's Crusade
At that time, the Core Worlds and neighboring regions were occupied by several democratic entities, chiefly the Galactic Alliance, the Free Worlds Coalition, and the Commenor Systems Alliance. The Empire was already embroiled in a galactic war with the former but had no significant relations with the latter two governments.
Preliminary scouting revealed that the Free Worlds Coalition was heavily decentralized in terms of military, which each member system maintaining their own defense fleet to patrol their territories and defend their holdings. This was something that the military architects of the Empire found uniquely exploitable, and formulated many plans for an eventual attack on the Free Worlds; primarily the planets Alderaan, Kuat, and Balmorra.
Utilizing the existing trade routes and hyperlanes was out of the question, as any movement of large warships would be easily detected and the Coalition would be deeply entrenched by the time the Sith Empire arrived in the systems. To circumvent this, the Empire undertook a massive architectural project to carve a new hyperlane from the staging world of Corbos right into the heart of Coalition territory.
Before the project could be started, the Empire first needed to acquire the necessary capital and resources. Fleets of Leviathan-class Automated Factories were dispatched deep into Wild Space to hunt for resource-rich worlds unknown to the wider galaxy, and strip their surface of everything of value until only a barren husk remained. The resources accumulated were reconfigured into powerful engines known as S-thread boosters that were then mounted on stripped down Sith-Imperial warships and put to work on opening the Empire's secret hyperlane.
The hyperlane stretched from Corbos to Telti, with several stops opened up at Gromas, Aargonar, Azure, and Colla IV. The independent systems through which this hyperlane passed were kept a secret through substantial bribery our outright physical coercion, with several planetary governments being torn down and populations left in total disarray to keep the hyperlane's existence a secret.
As the hyperlane neared completion, the Emperor ordered several war fleets to be maneuvered down the existing lane to muster near the planet Hok in the Colonies. Once enough of the Empire's assault fleets had been assembled, the concerted attack began.
Out of nowhere, three massive strike forces materialized above Alderaan, Kuat, and Balmorra. Several Coalition defense cruisers were caught unaware and with their shields down, and were either immediately obliterated or suffered heavy damage in the opening barrage. Behind the first wave of heavy-hitting destroyers were several large carriers that deployed large flocks of transports and small assault craft that utilized the initial confusion to break through the defensive lines and make planet-fall while more agile craft equipped with hyperdrives made dangerous precision jumps right into the atmosphere.
Because of the lightning-fast nature of the attacks, and the fact that they were all occurred at the same time, the Coalition had little time to react before communications were cut off between planets and predatory interdiction chokepoints were established to ensnare and destroy any reinforcements.
Balmorra's factories fell to the Sith with the aid of several Mandalorian mercenaries while Kuat's shipyards were heavily damaged by both the battle and deliberate efforts by the defenders to deprive the Empire of the yards. The entire orbital ring eventually suffered catastrophic damage and collapsed onto the planet's surface, destabilizing the atmosphere and causing the death of millions of planet-side civilians in the process.
Alderaan suffered brutal bombardment from the Empire's artillery walkers, with many acres of the once pristine countryside being reduced to ruin and devastation. Eventually, the capital of Aldera fell to the Sith, with the Emperor himself personally capturing the royal palace and raising the Sith-Imperial banner over the ramparts. What little remaining defenders were either picked off or fled into the vast wilderness, ready to fight a prolonged guerrilla war.
Fortunately for them, the Empire was not interesting in staying.
Instead, the victorious Imperials went about plundering the cities of the three fallen planets, stripping palaces of their wealth and smashing open cavernous bank vaults to gleefully steal anything and everything of value. The factories of Balmorra were temporarily dismantled and their equipment loaded onto commerce barges to be taken back to the Empire for reverse engineering.
The Empire then left as quickly as they came, traveling back up the secret hyperspace route they had made specifically for the attack. In the territory of the Empire, the attack was heralded as a monumental victory, another successful blow against the decadent republics that had for so long strangled progress and order in the galaxy. Because of the ferocious destruction wrought by the Empire, the Free Worlds Coalition never recovered and eventually ceased to exist as an intergalactic political entity.
The next phase of the Empire's campaign into the Core region began nearly ten years ago, primarily orchestrated by the hidden Sith Lord Taeli Raaf. For years, she had engrained herself as a member of the New Jedi Order, infiltrating nearly every aspect of its structure, and corrupting a large portion of its membership. This was all in preparation for a monumental undertaking, a scheme which would leave the Galactic Alliance a hollow ruin.
It was codenamed Operation: Eclipse, and it was the greatest deception ever concocted by the Sith of the modern era.
After assassinating Grand Marshal Omai Ren on Byss, Taeli Raaf was appointed as his replacement. This put her in the perfect position to expand her sphere of influence within not only the New Jedi Order but the Alliance military and government bureaucracy as well. This was all done in preparation for the eventual Sith attack on Coruscant during Fleet Day and the unveiling of the Alliance's Star Dreadnought, the Vanguard.
The information of the celebration and the dreadnought's existence was leaked to the Sith Emperor by Taeli Raaf herself, along with its detailed schematics. The Sith would launch simultaneous assaults across the Alliance's territory, preluded by the activation of Raaf's sleeper agents to weaken sector defenses long enough for the Empire's armadas to move into optimum position with the goal of cordoning the Alliance into manageable portions and destroy their ability to retaliate.
Raaf's plan was put into motion in the hours leading up to the unveiling of the Vanguard, with communications purposefully disrupted to stymy the spread of alarm as the Alliance sectors suddenly started fighting amongst themselves. Shortly after, dozens of Imperial fleets materialized over Alliance worlds, with the largest concentrations at Chandrila, Anaxes, Corellia, Fondor, and Coruscant.
The Emperor himself would lead the Empire's charge on Coruscant, appearing over the ecumenopolis in his flagship, the Behemoth, alongside thousands of other destroyers and cruisers. The Emperor's fleet managed to exit hyperspace right over the Alliance fleet, catching them completely by surprise. Most of the Alliance ships, caught off-guard with their shields down, were destroyed instantly, but at least a thousand destroyer-class vessels remained intact and functional.
As Imperial warships continued to spill out of hyperspace, the Alliance formed a defensive perimeter around the planet as they futilely awaited reinforcements. The battle above Coruscant became so congested that there was little room to maneuver, ship-to-ship fighting devolving into ramming and point-blank broadsides.
Simultaneously, as the battle raged above in space there was a commotion down on the planet's surface. Imperial carriers, hidden beneath the sprawling cityscape by the One Sith, now tore themselves free of their moorings and rose to the surface. Entire city blocks were devastated by these hidden vessels, skyscrapers sloughing off of their shielded hulls to smash into other buildings below.
But the worst came when these carriers opened up their bellies, releasing hundreds upon thousands of starfighters into the Coruscant skylanes. Convoys of troop transports and gunships managed to sneak past the Alliance blockade, strategically landing soldiers at the important government, civilian, and commercial centers to cripple the Alliance's hold in the city.
While the Empire struck out at the Alliance, the other Imperial superpower in the galaxy did not sit idly by. Informed of the Empire's scheme to launch simultaneous assaults ahead of time, the First Order engaged the Alliance on their own terms as well. They sent several fleets to bolster the Imperial armadas at Fondor and engaged in a battle for the fate of Lothal. Though cooperative, there were instances of competition between Sith-Imperial and First Imperial battlegroups for control of key systems along the Rimma Trade Route.
The Mandalorian Empire also struck at Sullust during this time.
Freed of its moorings, the Vanguard attempted to intercept the Emperor's dreadnought above Coruscant to prevent a wedge from being thrust between the Alliance fleet. However, utilizing the schematics handed over to the Empire by Taeli Raaf, a squadron of Imperial fighters managed to pierce the dreadnought's outer defenses and weather point-defense fire to disable the cruiser's primary weapon.
At that moment, the Behemoth, now joined by its sister-ship the Goliath, opened fire on the Vanguard's compromised hull with their primary cannons. The resulting explosion wiped out the middle decks and caused the ship's reactor to supernova and crack the ship in half. Both halves of the Vanguard were then seized upon by Coruscant's gravity and plummeted down to the surface.
The prow sliced through the Jedi temple while the aft portion smashed into a residential block.
With the Alliance's dreadnought destroyed, the entire fleet began to break down and come apart. The Empire's vastly superior forces managed to isolate and destroy pockets of the fleet while others simply managed to chase them away from the system. All chances of winning the engagement over Coruscant was lost to the Alliance and they began to rout in full, an evacuation that was aided by members of the Confederacy of Independent Systems.
Coruscant fell under Sith control within several hours of the Vanguard's destruction, the civil administration disbanded with any surviving political officers captured and executed by the Sith. As the rest of the Alliance crumbled without cohesive leadership, the Sith and the First Order declared the Alliance to be officially dissolved and began drafting terms for a joint partition of its former territories.
A tidal wave of darkness descended on the galaxy as the First Order and the Sith Empire now reigned supreme, unchecked.
With the Galactic Alliance a memory, the Sith Empire now controlled a large swath of the Core Worlds. It set up garrisons in various systems while extolling the native inhabitants of tributes, primarily in the form of precious goods and slaves. Those systems that were already predisposed to allying with the Empire, like Empress Teta, were left to govern themselves as they pleased so long as they pledged loyalty to the Empire's mandate.
But as the Sith expanded their influence across the Core, there was one obstacle to their unrestricted access to the region's vast wealth.
Commenor, specifically the Commenor Systems Alliance.
Though neutral in the previous wars the Sith waged against its neighbors, the Commenor were noticeably anti-Imperialist and had been documented harboring Jedi and other enemies of the Sith state within their borders. Though the Sith Emperor had offered them generous terms to turn over such individuals to face Imperial justice, the Commenori Queen had flat out refused.
In return, the Emperor declared a temporary blockade of the Commenor Systems Alliance to coerce the Queen into accepting his demands. Tensions continued to mount as the Sith fleets detained ships and searched their holds, taking a sizable percentage of their cargo as well as any former Alliance citizens that happened to be trying to pass into the Commenori territory. These actions angered the Queen to the point that she launched a preemptive strike on the blockade to try and assert that the Commenori would never bow to such tyrannical demands.
And so the Empire declared war.
The fleets that had previously surrounded the Commenor Systems Alliance now pushed in along the trade routes, attacking several systems simultaneously to establish a beachhead around the perimeter. Some systems, like Denon, submitted themselves before the Empire to avoid outright devastation by their warships and recalled their forces from Commenor to purposefully weaken in on the Emperor's behalf.
With the trade routes to Commenor secured by the Empire's lightning fast strikes, the Emperor personal led a massive invasion force to the planet itself. The Commenori entrenched themselves behind a shield protecting their capital city and the Imperial assault stalled into a siege. Defensive trenches were dug on both sides as the Imperial engines of war stampeded across the land.
Everything around the capital was devastated, entire forests burnt to cinders to make way for towering siege engines and rally camps. The Emperor himself directed the battle from an atmospheric barge, affording him an unparalleled view of the battlefield below. He again opened communications with the Commenori Queen to request her surrender, but when she again denied him the order was given by the Shadow Hand, Darth Prazutis, to command the Behemoth to annihilate one of Commenor's outlying cities.
In orbit, the Behemoth opened fire on Munto City with its annihilation cannon, completely vaporizing the city in one fell swoop. Eight million Commenori citizens perished in the blink of an eye, the twisted ruins of the city left behind as a sobering reminder that the Emperor was not one to be trifled with.
That act aided in the Queen's surrender, which was further coaxed through Mand'alor Mantis' imploring, with the Queen signing the Treaty of Commenor shortly after.
Now the undisputed masters of the Core, the Sith Empire began to take full advantage of the undefended systems left to flounder in the vacuum of the Alliance's dissolution. Systems were bullied into acquiescing to the Empire's demands, and sometimes planetary populations were deported to Imperial space as slave labor.
This continued for many months, the Empire continuously bleeding the Core Worlds dry while enriching themselves at their expense. However, as their wells of tribute began to run dry, the Empire took preemptive measures to abandon certain sectors and consolidate power in others.
Commenor was one of these sectors.
The citizens of Commenor were placed under strict curfew for several weeks as the Empire plundered several establishments, including a large portion of the Royal Palace and various museums and financial institutions, and moved that collective wealth onto large transports. Leviathan mobile factories then took to the wilds far away from the centers of civilization and began deforesting and uprooting the earth, filling their hulls with large quantities of raw materials.
But the most heinous act was the organized abduction of children, carried out by the Empire's Imperial Mission and utilizing educational censures to carry it out. These children would be relocated to hidden facilities within the Empire's borders, their fates left confidential and redacted by the Imperial government.
With most of the planet's tangible wealth taken, the Empire then began to withdraw its forces piecemeal over the course of a month. By the end of the month, all that remained of the Empire's garrison was a skeleton crew tasked with the final relocation of low importance items to Imperial space.
It was during that time that the Commenori rebels struck when the Empire's hold was at its weakest, destroy the skeleton crew and reclaiming their world for themselves. But by then the damage had already been wrought and the Empire had relocated its most important assets to elsewhere in the Core, away from the retribution of the Commenori and their allies.
The Sith Empire's military campaigns across the galaxy have left many systems despondent and broken in their wake, entire communities displaced or completely uprooted by the legions of the Sith Emperor and his allies. And while the Empire may appear as a force of chaotic destruction to those denizens of the worlds burnt by the Empire, the citizens back in the Empire's territory are painted a very different picture.
Their actions are not seen as heinous or despicable, but as righteous and just. Atrocity is turned into an act of last resort, and the Empire's enemies are depicted as callous and unwilling to relinquish power for the greater good of the galaxy. The Jedi are particularly demonized, as they have been in all Sith-Imperial Media.
Even setbacks are changed to reflect better on the Empire's martial might, with Commenor's resistance movement being played down and belittled into a minor annoyance.
But the most important aspect of this manipulation is that it will not only be fed to the adult citizenry through conventional media outlets, but also taught to children in Imperial educational institutions and academies and treated as outright fact.