The White Star Pirates was a much feared pirate organization founded in 81 BBY by Devin Mastruk. Devin's goal was to build a powerful empire and take over the galaxy. Devin was a complete failure, however, so Orion Forte took over the small pirate organization. Under Orion’s strong and guiding hand, the pirate group grew to be worthy of awe and fear. Through the years, the pirate organization struggled and had many setbacks, including the organization's 'apparent destruction' at the First Battle of Ris'danon. After that disaster, the remaining pirates gathered together and lived in secret until Dak Jesser finally discovered them and destroyed the pirates for good. The White Star Pirates were strange in that they were highly organized for a pirate group, having all proper ranks and troop groupings. In fact, the White Star Pirates' structure served as a source for the command structure of the Grand Army of the Republic more than 30 years later.
The symbol of the White Star Pirates wasn't formed until after Orion Forte took over, because when Devin Mastruk still commanded the pirates, they were too little an organization to have a decent-looking patch. The symbol became very famous after it was formed, though. The patch which Orion Forte created in 69 BBY consisted of a white star representing the main world on which the pirates were first formed, Corellia, with five smaller circles, one next to each point on the star. These five circles represented the five other Outer Rim worlds which the White Star Pirates had small bases on. Those five circles were connected by thin white lines, representing total unity among the pirates and no thoughts of betrayal whatsoever. The background was black, with small white circles representing other, less important stars, all to be conquered by the pirates.
Devin Mastruk, a very practical but greedy Corellian, decided to form a large pirate group which had the goal of conquering the galaxy, or at least a part of it, over many years. He called his organization-in-creation the White Star Pirates. He gathered fifteen of his friends and began searching in the Outer Rim for more pirates to join them. At first the White Star Pirates struggled. They tried raiding other Corellian cities and stealing important things to increase their reputation and hopefully attract more pirates. They had a very hard time finding other pirates that wanted to join the organization, though. Most of the pirates' raids were stopped by Corellian security, and the pirates gained a reputation of being weak. Over the next few years, the organization was barely able to acquire sixty pirates. They had to raid as many areas as possible just to get enough money and food to survive because of their high rate of failure. Other pirates saw them as an easy target and Devin had a few assassination attempts against himself, and though the attempts all failed, the assassins managed to kill a few other pirates in the process and lower the White Star Pirates' reputation even more.
Growth of army
All this struggling was reversed in 78 BBY when Orion Forte came along, trying to hide from the Jedi. Orion Forte demanded control of the White Star Pirates, telling Devin Mastruk he could easily make the organization grow. Devin Mastruk was reluctant to give up the White Star Pirates to this stranger, even though Devin knew he couldn't do any more good with his pirates, so he challenged Orion Forte to a duel. Devin didn't know when he challenged Orion that the stranger used to be a Jedi, so when the fight began, Devin was very surprised. Orion easily won the fight and killed Devin, afterwards taking the organization under his control.
After Orion took control of the group, the White Star Pirates grew very quickly. Orion used the Force to persuade others to join the group. He even brought a few fellow fallen Jedi into the organization to help him keep the pirates under control and prevent any internal conflict within the organization. Orion realized he would need a decent starship fleet if he wanted to fulfill Devin Mastruk's goal of expanding the White Star Pirates to many star systems. He wanted his starship fleet to be unique, as to bring fear into enemy hearts in the most effective way. He came to Loronar Corporation and asked them to make a new class of capital ship specifically for him and his pirates, the best of which was to be called the White Star in honor of the organization's name. This new class of ship eventually came to be known as the Strike-class cruiser. Once this fleet was built, Orion hired crew members for the ships with money he had stolen during raids.
Growth of territory
The new, fully operational fleet was put into use almost immediately. The pirates began to spread their power outwards to other planets, as they currently only occupied a few small cities on Corellia. Orion Forte made it very clear that any planets they captured had to be very far away from the Core, as he didn't want the Galactic Republic finding out about them until he was ready. This drove the White Star Pirates to abandon Corellia for the safer Outer Rim. Orion also made it clear that he wanted unsettled or mostly unsettled planets. He wanted the planets only for their resources, as they did not yet have enough to move into civilization.
First, the White Star Pirates came to the planet Coalpedd. Orion Forte decided Coalpedd would make a great area for a base, as the group of over 80 moons and the deformed surface both made landing on the planet difficult, therefore it would be very hard for an enemy to land on the planet and attack them before the pirates could escape. Besides that, the many caves on the planet held many necessary metal resources for maintaining and building his fleet. No sentient life existed on the planet, so landing was really the hardest part of establishing a base on the planet. The pirates built the main part of their base inside one of the massive caves, so if anyone happened to come to the planet for any reason, they would have difficulty spotting the pirate base.
The second planet they took over the pirates came to by accident. The planet was called Kog-Yaku by the natives, and only a hyperdrive malfunction brought the pirates there. Orion Forte couldn't find any records of the planet anywhere, so he figured that no one else knew this planet even existed. This fact got him excited, and he knew he couldn't pass up taking this planet; it would be a perfect base to fall back on in case of emergency. He landed on Kog-Yaku, where he found a primitive race called the Yukians. The Yukians had no modern technology whatsoever, and taking the planet resulted in no pirate casualties.
After taking Kog-Yaku, the White Star Pirates came to Diyao VII. This planet's sun was a supergiant, and as a result Diyao VII had a very hot climate. The heat made it so no sentient species lived on the planet, making it a very safe place for a base. Also, the heat made the planet an excellent choice for a training site, because it would make the pirates used to extreme temperatures. Around this time in the mini-campaign, Orion Forte decided if the pirates wanted to truly scare the entire galaxy and capture civilized planets successfully, they would need to be able to attack without risking too many of the pirates themselves. With that decision, he began having the strong metals of Coalpedd used for the construction of battle droids.
While the new battle droid army was being constructed, the White Star Pirates continued their search for obscure Outer Rim planets to build bases on. They came to a planet called Axuss, which was far away from its sun and nearly as cold as Hoth. This planet was chosen for the same basic reason as Diyao VII, but the opposite extreme. The cold of this planet would help the pirates get used to extreme temperatures just as the heat of Diyao VII did.
The White Star Pirates' final target was Lam-Ja 4, a moon of the planet Lam-Ja. Lam-Ja 4's temperatures changed wildly through different times of the year, so like the last two planets, it was an excellent site for a training site, as it would teach the pirates to deal not only with extreme temperatures, but also extreme changes in temperature. Once the training site was established on Lam-Ja 4, the Diyao VII and Axuss training sites were for the most part abandoned, as Lam-Ja 4 combined the training benefits of both of those planets. Diyao VII and Axuss were now used only for their natural resources. By the time Lam-Ja 4 was taken, over 2,500 battle droids had been constructed.
Nightstalkers Terror Band
Once those five planets and all their resources belonged to the White Star Pirates, Orion Forte finally decided it was time to move into civilization. He needed someone with a believable—or even real—background story to act as spies for the pirates. Orion Forte sent a representative to the Nightstalkers Terror Band. The representative told the band if they joined the White Star Pirates and went through spy training, they would go to cantinas on the pirates' choice of planet and play music while spying on the civilization and reporting to the pirates. The representative told the band that accepting this job would reward them considerably, and he offered them more than 5 times as much money as they were currently making. The band accepted, and began their spy training almost immediately. After about three years, their training was over, and they were ready to begin their first mission. Orion Forte sent them to the planet Ris'danon, where they were to spy on the citizens and report many types of information about them.
Downfall of Orion Forte
By 63 BBY, Orion Forte had more than six thousand pirates plus half that many battle droids under his control, along with the thousands upon thousands of hired crew members for his fleet of Strike-class ships. Orion Forte finally had his full army prepared, and this is when he began his plan to take move his pirates into true civilization.
As he already had spies on the planet, Orion Forte picked Ris'danon as his first target. He brought nearly his entire army for the invasion as a precaution, for he didn't know how militarily trained Ris'danon's citizens were. He did leave a small portion of his army behind, for he did not want his entire army in one place in case of an ambush by the Republic. He wanted to be sure that even if he died, at least some of his pirates would live and the organization he worked so hard to build would survive. When Orion was on his way to Ris'danon, the last thing he was expecting was a Jedi and especially not one as powerful as the one that was sent. Orion discovered that the Jedi Council had sent the extraordinary three-armed Jedi Dak Jesser too late to call off his invasion, as the Army of Ris'danon had already began fighting with his fleet of Strike-class ships.
Orion tried to use his advantage of numbers to capture or kill the Jedi, but Dak Jesser was too smart, and Orion had the Army of Ris'danon to worry about as well, making it so he didn't have enough time to properly think of a good plan. The Jedi joined with one of Ris'danon's few elite squads and sneaked deep into the heart of Orion's fleet. Dak, against all odds, fought his way through to the bridge of Orion's own ship, the White Star, with virtually no injury to himself or his squadron. Orion drew his lightsaber and fought against Dak, but even though the Padawan was only sixteen years old, Orion could barely defend himself from the amazing Jedi. This whole time, the Strike-class ships of the White Star Pirates were pounding fire into Ris'danon's Dreadnaughts, while their CloakShape fighters held Ris'danon's Z-95 Headhunters away from the capital ships. Despite the Army of Ris'danon's larger fleet, the two opponents seemed to be well balanced. The pirates' Strike-class cruisers had more weapons than the Dreadnaughts, and the pirates had had 15 years to train, while most members of the Army of Ris'danon did not have this privilege.
In the middle of the lightsaber duel between Orion Forte and Dak Jesser, the White Star suddenly shook from a blast, as did many of the other capital ships in orbit of Ris'danon. The two Force-sensitives stopped fighting and looked out the viewport. They saw a massive fleet of ships coming their way. What surprised them most was that these ships were Sith starships. Darth Subeth's Hidden Sith Army had come. Dak was able to run away to an escape pod and get off the White Star, but Orion Forte was not so lucky. Because of the chaos aboard the ship following the arrival of the Sith, Orion could not reach an escape pod. He was killed along with nearly all the crew members of his ship. After the destruction of the White Star, the rest of the pirates in the other starships began panicking even more than they already were. The gunners shot wildly at both Sith and Ris'danans, too scared to aim correctly, and the Sith destroyed the pirates' fleet with little injury to their own fleet.
Struggle back to power and final destruction
For the next few years, the pirates that survived the attack scattered across the galaxy to look for more pirates to recruit. But without the help of Orion's Force persuasion, they were not able to convince many to join them. Finally in 59 BBY, after 4 years of struggling and searching, they had amassed a total of 540 pirates. The White Star Pirates were back, though not as powerful as before. The next three years were spent going to small Outer Rim planets and invading them.
Because of the remoteness and lack of importance of these planets, it was awhile before the Republic found out, and it was very unusual circumstances under which they were discovered. Dak Jesser was searching for the Sith in an area near one of the planets the White Star Pirates had conquered, and he heard news of the conquering. The White Star Pirates had conquered six planets by the time Dak Jesser finally found out that the organization was still alive. With seven more years of training since Orion's death on his side, Dak was easily able to wipe out the organization for good. He was as careful as possible to eliminate or capture every last pirate and battle droid, using the 'Jedi Mind Trick' to persuade the pirates to give him exact numbers of pirates and battle droids so Dak wouldn't miss one single pirate. For he knew that even one surviving pirate could potentially bring back the White Star Pirates, a feat that would prove fatal for many more citizens of the galaxy.
One pirate actually did manage to elude Dak's hunt, though only because the other pirates didn't know he had survived the First Battle of Ris'danon. But, this one surviving pirate was not able to convince even one man to join him, as by now the galaxy's criminals were convinced that the White Star Pirates were pure bad luck. He died with no one to help bring about the return of the White Star Pirates, and finally, after many long years, the White Star Pirates were wiped completely from the face of the galaxy.
The White Star Pirates had a major influence on the galaxy, even though they had really only attacked one planet in the civilized part of the galaxy. That attack, which had resulted in complete disaster for both him and his target, had made the galaxy realize how big of a threat pirates could really become if given the chance. After both pirates and Sith had been dealt with, security measures around the galaxy were increased drastically through the next year, until the Galactic Republic was confident security was good enough. This discouraged future pirate groups from forming, and pirate attacks around the galaxy were reduced by 40%. Though the forming of the White Star Pirates eventually led to the deaths of thousands of people, in the long run it turned out to be helpful.
Unlike other pirate organizations, the White Star Pirates were a very organized military. Unlike other militaries, the White Star Pirates Military was not divided into Regular and Special Forces, as 'special forces' is effectively what the entire military was.
The White Star Pirates never took the time to divide their military into different types of squads and so on, like the Imperial Army of fifty years later did. They just decided that, as a pirate group, they had no need to. They just took every type of weapon they had with them everywhere.
Organization of forces
- Grand Army—1 legion + 1 battalion (6,528 soldiers/pilots and 3,264 battle droids) commanded by Orion Forte
- Legion—4 regiments (6,144 soldiers/pilots and 3,072 battle droids) commanded by Orion Forte
- Regiment—4 battalions (1,536 soldiers/pilots and 768 battle droids) commanded by a Fallen Jedi
- Battalion—4 companies (384 soldiers/pilots and 192 battle droids) commanded by a commander
- Company—4 platoons (96 soldiers/pilots and 48 battle droids) commanded by a captain
- Platoon—4 squads (24 soldiers/pilots and 12 battle droids) commanded by a lieutenant
- Squad—6 soldiers/pilots and 3 battle droids commanded by a sergeant
Hierarchy of ranks
The outward appearance that the White Star Pirates maintained showed that the three Fallen Jedi under Orion Forte were all of equal rank, but this was actually untrue. Tal Prine was higher ranked than the other two, because he had been the first one to join Orion Forte. This made it so Dargus Helranth was lowest ranked among the former Jedi because he was the last one to join the White Star Pirates. For diplomatic purposes, though, the White Star Pirates outwardly acted as if the three were equal.
The battle droids in the organization were programmed to take orders from anyone, even simple pirates. Similarly to the situation with the Fallen Jedi, this was mostly because the droids were the very last group to join the White Star Pirates.
- Orion Forte
- Tal Prine
- Lyon Kiyanu
- Dargus Helranth
- Pirate Commander
- Pirate Captain
- Pirate Lieutenant
- Pirate Sergeant
- Battle Droids
Behind the scenes
- The name of the organization came from Orion's name. Since "Orion" is a real-world group of stars, the organization was named "White Star."