The Dark Order War was a major galactic conflict fought between the New Republic and Imperial forces. The war was begun in the year 14 ABY by Jaden Korr, a former Jedi Knight who had turned to the Dark side of the Force and claimed a faction of the Imperial Remnant for himself.
After several campaigns against the New Republic, Jaden's rule was overthrown. Two Sith lords, Darth Persia and his apprentice, Darth Imperious, killed Jaden and took control of his forces, reorganizing them into the Greater Sith Empire. Together, Persia and Imperious quickly forged a powerful Empire across the Outer Rim and set out to conquer the Republic.
The origins of the Dark Order War can be traced several preceding events, the most notable being the conflicts between the New Republic and the Disciples of Ragnos, a cult of Dark Jedi who were attempting to resurrect an ancient Sith Lord known as Marka Ragnos.This required a high amount of force energy to be directed onto Ragnos' sarcophagus, regenerating his cells and returning him to life. The energy was to be collected using an ancient dark side artifact known as the Scepter of Ragnos.
Despite the efforts of the Jedi Order, the cult led by a Dark Jedi named Tavion Axmis, managed to siphon enough energy from various force-sensitive locations across the galaxy. The cultists then traveled to the Sith world of Korriban to resurrect the Sith Lord. A large group of Jedi and a small detachment of Republic ground forces followed and attempted to stop them, starting the Battle of Korriban.
Meanwhile, two Jedi, Jaden Korr and Kyle Katarn, were attempting a rescue operation on Taspir III for former Jedi apprentice Rosh Penin. Previously, Rosh had joined the cult and turned to the dark side, as discovered by Kyle and Jaden on Vjun several weeks earlier. However, a short time after the encounter they received what was apparently a distress call from Rosh in the Imperial installation at Taspir III. Although he was suspicious of whether or not the message was a trap, Jaden traveled with Kyle to Taspir to rescue the fallen Jedi.
The two Jedi split up upon arrival and entered the facility. While there, Jaden encountered Tavion's second-in-command, another Dark Jedi known as Alora. He pursued the Twi'Lek through the facility, becoming increasingly frustrated and angry in the process, which brought him dangerously close to the dark side. Eventually, Jaden found Rosh, who pleaded Jaden to take him back to the Jedi Academy. Angered that Rosh had led him into a trap after already trying to kill him before, Jaden ignored Rosh's requests for mercy and impaled him. He then killed Alora and left for Korriban, leaving his life in the Jedi behind. Moments later, Kyle arrived, finding Rosh mortally wounded. The fallen Jedi told Katarn of Jaden's choice shortly before he expired. The Jedi Master then left to pursue Jaden.
Jaden arrived at Korriban shortly after the battle began to escalate. He landed in the Valley of the Dark Lords and fought through the cultists and Jedi, and soon made it to the Tomb of Marka Ragnos, where Tavion had begun the process of resurrecting the Sith Lord. Jaden ordered her to give him the scepter. She refused, and Jaden killed her in a duel. He was then confronted by Katarn, who tried to bring him back to the Light side of the Force. He failed, and after a furious battle, Jaden grabbed the Scepter and used it to overpower the Jedi. He then escaped back to his ship and docked with the Star Destroyer Dark Hand above the planet. Jaden killed the ship's captain, took command, and fled the system, knowing that additional Republic forces were about to arrive.
Jaden recalled the Cult's fleet to Thule, where he reorganized Tavion's forces into the Dark Order of Korr, mostly by executing any officers who opposed him. He also discovered Persia, a Dark Jedi stowaway on the Dark Hand. Persia was secretly a Sith Lord, who joined Korr's organization in order to eventually take it over from within.
The very first battle of the Dark Order War took place on the jungle moon of Yavin 4, location of the Jedi Praxeum. Jaden personally led the attack, composed mostly of walkers and stormtroopers. The purpose of the attack was mostly to demoralize the Jedi and Republic, and also to capture a number of Jedi apprentices for training as acolytes of the Order. The battle was stalemate, with heavy stormtrooper casualties, but the amount of Jedi killed and captured was more of a blow to the Republic than the loss of the stormtroopers was to the Remnant. In addition, a Jedi student, Jorus Kuun, was among those captured, and although no one suspected it, he would become a key figure in the course of the war later on.
The Shipyards of Kuat
After the attack on Yavin 4, Jaden realized that he would need large production facilities under his control, since his fleet as it stood was ill-equipped to effectively wage war against the New Republic. He decided that the massive industrial facilities at Kuat would be ideal for his needs.
Korr then sent his entire fleet to Kuat, which easily crushed the smaller Republic blockade, and took control of the shipyards. The Order then resumed production of the many Star Destroyers and other vessels which were already under construction. Afterward, three convoys of supplies were ordered to the shipyards to assist with the repair of damaged vessels and other purposes. Each of the convoys was intercepted by Republic vessels, but two out of the three groups made it to the shipyards.
Nine weeks after the Recapture of Kuat, the New Republic, beginning to see a severe threat to galactic security, sent a large fleet to the Kuat to retake the shipyards, beginning the first major battle of the Dark Order War. Eventually, the battle turned to favor the New Republic. It wasn't long after this that Jaden ordered a retreat. As it turned out, the battle was more costly for the galactic economy than it was for either the Republic or Dark Order. As the battle ended, the crippled hulk of a capital ship slammed into the Kuat shipyards, which fell out of orbit and into Kuat's planetary shield and exploded. The Imperial fleet then retreated from the system, leaving behind an economic catastrophe.
Conflicts of the Outer Rim
Following the battles over Kuat, a series of mostly isolated battles occurred on various Outer Rim worlds. Among the few notable events of this period, however, include the recovery of essential reconnaissance data by Darth Imperious, and a successful Imperial campaign into Bothan Space led by Persia. By the campaign's end, most of Bothan Space had been conquered, with various shipyards, starbases, and other installations under construction throughout the sector.
Operation Dark Disease
As the war went on, Jaden Korr found himself losing what little influence he had over his organization. Most of his military accomplishments had been surpassed by his underlings, most notably Persia himself. Hoping to win back support, Jaden engineered the implementation of Operation Dark Disease, which was designed to employ Dark troopers in attacks on heavily populated Republic worlds. Seeing a potentially impressive victory as a way to gain the confidence of his Generals, he ordered construction of factories on the Imperial world of Bakura, to assist the factory ship Infector with production of its Dark troopers.
The first attack of Operation Dark Disease was carried out on Coruscant itself. In the resulting battle, the Infector, which was the only ship in the Imperial fleet capable of efficiently deploying the Dark troopers onto a planet's surface, successfully launched several waves of the deadly machines into the various levels of Coruscant, where they went about in seemingly random movement patterns, killing everyone they came across, including civilians. The Infector and its escorting fleet then escaped. Although it took weeks, all of the Dark troopers were eventually destroyed. The Republic soldiers were unable to prevent heavy civilian casualties.
Afterward, the Dark Order sent the Infector to Taris, another city-planet. The deployment resulted with about as many civilian and New Republic soldier casualties as the attack on Coruscant had. Following the battle at Taris, an Imperial Outpost on Bakura was captured by New Republic troops, who discovered that Jaden Korr himself was on Bakura, overseeing the production of the Dark trooper factories. They also learned that the Infector and its escort fleet was heading to Byss. From there, the Infector would attack Coruscant a second time.
Once they had learned of this, New Republic High Command ordered a fleet to Byss to destroy the Infector. In the resulting battle, the Republic fleet smashed Operation Dark Disease with the destruction of the Infector. Due to the catastrophic failure of his plan, Jaden Korr lost even more support in his organization. This would be a contributing factor in the events that would transpire shortly thereafter.
After the defeat of Operation Dark Disease, the New Republic gathered a large assembly of forces for a major attack on Bakura, where one of the most pivotal battles in the entire war occurred. After the destruction caused by Jaden during Operation Dark Disease and other battles, the Republic was determined to put an end to Jaden, splitting his forces apart and bringing an early end to the war.
General Persia, anticipating a counter-attack, warned Korr of the threat to their hold on Bakura. In a response, Jaden ordered a fleet to be sent to the planet to protect their bases, and most importantly, their Dark trooper factories. Not long after the defensive fleet was assembled, a Republic armada arrived in the system and opened fire on the Imperial vessels. Thanks to Persia's tactical expertise, the Dark Order's fleet held its ground and inflicted equal casualties onto the invading forces.
A short time after exiting hyperspace, the attacking fleet dispatched a flotilla of ground transports to the planet surface. When he was informed of the transports' activities, Darth Persia ordered his fleet to let them pass and land on the surface, reasoning that a Republic ground assault would serve as an ideal way to distract Jaden. He then sent his apprentice, Darth Imperious, to locate and assassinate the Dark Jedi, allowing the Sith to take control in short order. By this time, Jaden's forces had acquired a sizable fleet and army. Because of this, Persia concluded that Korr would only serve as a nuisance if left alive any longer. Shortly, Darth Imperious confronted Jaden on the surface inside the main military base, which was being defended from a massive Republic ground army. Unbeknownst to Imperious, Jaden was also being pursued by his former Jedi Master, Kyle Katarn. Kyle, knowing that the Republic wanted Jaden dead, had tracked the fallen Jedi to Bakura, where he intended to either kill the traitor or capture him alive for the Jedi to sentence.
Darth Imperious demanded that Jaden surrender his scepter. Not entirely aware of what was going on, the Dark Jedi ordered him to stand down. Hungering for a battle, Imperious revealed the Sith's plot to take control of the Dark Order in an attempt to goad Jaden into attacking. At that point, Kyle Katarn arrived, beginning a three-sided lightsaber duel. This battle eventually reached the roof of the base, overlooking a cliff. When Darth Imperious grabbed the scepter and attempted to use it against his two foes, Jaden threw his lightsaber at the Sith, successfully cutting his arm off. This caused him to lose control of the destructive power which he was unleashing from the artifact, incapacitating him.
Now that he had a chance for conversation, Kyle Katarn attempted for the last time to redeem his old student. Jaden arrogantly refused, consumed by the Dark side. The two then continued the fierce battle, with Katarn's greater experience allowing him to easily outmaneuver and overpower his opponent. Meanwhile in orbit, Darth Persia's fleet was beginning to wear down the Republic's defenses, partly in thanks to the immense firepower of the Star Dreadnought Persia. Not long after Katarn and Jaden's final duel began, Persia failed to sense his apprentice through the force due to his incapacitation. Thinking that Imperious had been killed, the Sith Lord ordered the fleet to destroy the surface of the planet to prevent Jaden from escaping and possibly sabotaging his entire plan. Because the fleet was composed of captains and officers who had grown tired of Jaden's arrogance in contrast to Persia's strategic ability, the order was followed with little hesitation as the Republic fleet began to crumble.
Katarn and Jaden dueled on the edge of a cliff as the bombardment began, annihilating the Imperial and Republic ground armies in a cascade of turbolaser fire. Kyle, intent on escaping, used a homing beacon to summon the Raven's Claw to his location. Presently, the ship arrived as Kyle used a bolt of lightning to blast a chunk out of the cliff, hoping that it would send Jaden falling to his death. Korr leapt out of the way and Kyle fell instead, but he safely landed inside of the Raven's Claw and exited the planet's atmosphere, leaving Jaden behind. The Dark Jedi was killed in the bombardment mere moments after Katarn's departure.
Fortunately for the Sith, Darth Imperious had managed to regain consciousness during Jaden and Katarn's battle, taken the Scepter of Ragnos, and escaped in a shuttle. Imperious then presented the artifact to his master on board the flagship. Impressed, Darth Persia took the scepter and kept it in his quarters, not intending to use it unless he had to, his reasoning being that it "seemed to carry misfortune for its owners". By the time Bakura's surface was reduced to molten slag, the entire Republic fleet had been routed. Jaden's death allowed Darth Persia to take control of most of his forces, promising the military leaders that he would lead them to total victory over the New Republic.
Rise of the Sith
Not all of the other commanders were pleased by Darth Persia's actions, however. Several generals who had been loyal to Jaden remained after the Second Battle of Bakura. Outraged at the Sith's betrayal, these loyalists, commanding a small fleet, fled to Eriadu, which was the Dark Order of Korr's main industrial planet. In a response, Darth Persia personally led an occupation force to Eriadu to eliminate the loyalists and take control of a strategically valuable planet. In the resulting battle, all of the loyalist leaders were killed and their troops surrendered. The success of the attack spread fear throughout the entire Imperial Remnant. After the planet was placed under his control, Darth Persia officially formed the Greater Sith Empire, which would continue the Dark Order War for several more years.
The New Republic, unaware of the change in the Dark Order's leadership after the Second Battle of Bakura, assumed that the war was over after Jaden's death, which was reported by Kyle Katarn. This allowed the Sith Empire to take full advantage of Eriadu's industrial capacity while remaining unnoticed by the Republic for a time. However, rumors of a battle in the Eriadu system between two Imperial warlords reached the ears of the Republic. In order to eliminate any potential successors to Jaden, the New Republic dispatched a fleet to Eriadu, intent on destroying the Imperial presence. In the resulting battle, the tactical genius of Darth Persia allowed his forces to decimate nearly the entire task force with ease. This took the New Republic completely by surprise.
The question of what enemy the Republic was up against was answered shortly after the battle by Darth Persia himself in an open declaration of war against the New Republic and its allies. Hoping to stall any imminent Sith attacks, the Republic sent a substantially larger fleet to Eriadu to inflict enough damage to prevent an immediate retaliation. Despite the presence of four experienced Jedi Generals, Darth Persia again demolished the Republic fleet. The spectacular consecutive victories that the Sith enjoyed at Eriadu caused four entire sectors to surrender to the Sith Empire, believing that the presence of New Republic forces would only provoke the Sith into bombing their planets. The loss of their fleets at Eriadu caused the New Republic military to begin pulling back toward the Mid-Rim border to better protect the Core Worlds. With the Republic off guard, the Sith Empire would eventually expand across the Outer Rim Territories.