Mas Amedda, Maul, Gunray, Dooku, Poggle the Lesser, and Grievous. Names synonymous with victory and the strategic furtherance of the Grand Plan of the Sith.
Mas Amedda is the loyal servant and Vice Chancellor who manages the day-to-day minutiae that would otherwise bog me down and prevent me from achieving peace for the galaxy.
Maul…the dead Assassin.
Gunray is the feared (ha) leader of the Trade Federation and the respected (imagine that) spokesperson among his CIS peers.
Dooku is the ubiquitous manipulator politician and Sith Apprentice at my side. His covert maneuvering of galactic leadership greatly amuses me.
Poggle the Lesser is the leader of a species of technological masterminds who provided me with the “enemy army” and the brilliant plans for the Ultimate Weapon. His Genonosian research laboratories and droid factories are the sources of the ever-evolving CIS technologies and war droids.
Grievous is the Kaleesh cyborg warlord who leads the CIS armies against the Republic, and ultimately, against the Jedi who attacked him and nearly took his life.
These individuals, along with the easily deceived Senators (Bail Organa, Amidala, Binks, Aks Moe, etc.) and Anakin (and the rest of the Jedi) helped set the stage for the Clone Wars that—at this point in history—ravage the galaxy. I deemed it necessary at this time, however, to think ahead into the future to the final steps of the Grand Plan. I needed someone who had been through the wringer and had gained the respect of his military peers in Republic. Confirmed by the Force, I am pleased to share with you that the next name on the list is that of Wilhuff Tarkin.
Wilhuff, a member of the esteemed and wealthy Tarkin family, was born on Eriadu in the Seswenna sector, a planet once settled and tamed by his ancestors. Tarkin’s strick military upbringing taught him valuable lessons about respect, discipline, and obedience—three exceedingly valuable traits of a strong military officer.
Those who trained him taught him the many tactics that he would later employ to hunt and tame the renegades of the Outer Rim. But more important to me than the hunting and survivalist skills his younger years taught him (through family rituals and training) was the military training he received in space combat as a young soldier. That said, his greatest asset as military leader is his ability to merge the hunting, survival, and wild-taming skills of his youth with the tactics of strategy and battle in the wildness of outer space.
Tarkin’s first stint in the military came about through the Outland Regions Security Force. In the absence of the necessary Army of the Republic, Tarkin made a name for himself by outsmarting and squashing pirates and other marauders. At nineteen, he appeared on my radar when I learned—to my delight—of the brash officer who ruthlessly ended the chaos created by a particular set of pirates known as the Q’anah. After capturing their lead ship, he imprisoned them in their ship’s brig and set the ship’s autopilot on a direct course into a star. Any attempts at rescuing the doomed ship resulted in attack and destruction by Tarkin’s Outland forces.
In addition to his growing military aptitude through study and action, he spent time designing newer, faster, and more efficient warships. (One of Tarkin’s designs inspired the interdictor craft now known as a Star Destroyer.) He was a man of intense talent, and I knew I wanted him at my side when I met him at the Sullust Sector Spacefarers Academy. While I admired his efforts, I tested his resolve and encouraged him to a life of politics, which he politely refused. However, he did accept my assistance with admission to the Republic’s Judicial Academy. Like Dooku and Anakin, Tarkin believed the Galactic Republic was crumbling beneath us and he believed the galaxy needed a stronger military dictatorship to fix things. Naturally, we got along famously.
As the CIS increased their assaults on the galaxy—and increased the number of conflicts as well—he eventually turned his mind to my advice (to become more aware of the politics of the galaxy). Through his vigilant effort, he became a commanding officer and later spearheaded an assault directly on the CIS during the Clone Wars. I have to admit, it was extremely interesting to watch the brutal calculations of warmongering Grievous take on the refined, elegant, and callous strategy of Tarkin.
I realized, however, through a conversation with Anakin that Tarkin’s potential had yet to be realized. Near the end of a mission that involved Tarkin’s capture by the CIS, he confided in Anakin that he did not respect the Jedi because their strongest tactics were rendered inadequate because the Jedi Code inhibited them from achieving victory over the CIS. At that point in his life, Anakin already believed that the Jedi’s methods were in fact the reason the war could not be won by the Republic. Tarkin already knew that in order to be on top when the galaxy’s leadership shifted, he needed to be part of something big so that he and his closest friends would be richly rewarded.
Through a series of events, (The Carida Incident, the Bombing of the Jedi Temple, to name a few,) Tarkin received several promotions, including Admiral, Grand Moff, and Governor of the Outer Rim (of which he was most familiar). During this time, Tarkin and I grew closer and upon his promotion to Grand Moff, he reported directly to me.
FAUX DARTH MAUL
For some time, I had sensed the presence of a mutilated Maul somewhere in the galaxy. Initially he did not concern me, but the disturbance I felt in the force continued to grow. Later I understood why. Maul had trained his brother, Savage Opress, and had conspired with Mother Talzin (the leader of some Force-sensitive witches (the Nightsisters) on Dathomir, Maul’s home planet) to assert himself as a true Sith Lord. I knew his arrogance would be his undoing.
Unfortunately, that assumption was incorrect on my part as Maul continued to grow his influence. Rumors of a Shadow Collective surfaced and his progress interested me, especially when Jabba the Hutt declared his allegiance to Maul, Opress, and their Shadow Collective.
Later, when Kenobi returned from a mission on Mandalore, he confirmed to the Jedi Council that Maul was indeed alive and had sought revenge against him. I realized I needed to act. I could sense Maul’s power growing. He had no longer become a nuisance—he had become a rival. There can be only Two Sith, and there was no room in the galaxy for him or his merry band of faux-Sith.
Fortunately, having raised Maul, I understood his motivations better than he did. It was I who shaped Maul’s existence and infused it with revenge against the Jedi for their triumph over the Sith, and he had wanted nothing more than to return the Sith to power over the galaxy. With the restoration of his mind by mother Talzin, it was clear that he sought revenge against Kenobi for his defeat on Naboo. I also suspect that, since I moved on without him—and I refer to the necessary recruitment of Count Dooku as my new Apprentice—he would seek out revenge against me and go to great lengths to defeat me, especially with that witch filling his mind with treachery.
My spies informed me that Maul had successfully manipulated conquered a group of Mandalorians and had been making a mess of things there. I scheduled travel to Mandalore at a suitable time and located him at the royal palace. I dispatched the Mandalorian guards with ease. When I patiently confronted Maul, he tried to convince me that the army he had gathered was to gain my attention so that he might serve me again. I saw through his deception and attacked. I sensed Opress’ fear and dispatched him quickly, knowing that the death of his brother would ignite Maul’s sense of revenge and disrupt his focus.
He attempted to out-saber me but failed. After an intense, but brief battle, he begged for mercy. It seems I was right all long about his weakness. I probed his mind with the Force and learned of his plans. Enjoying the moment, I very simply stated, “Remember the first and only reality of the Sith: there can only be two, and you are no longer my Apprentice.”
I did not, however, kill him. Do not confuse this with an act of weakness, sympathy, or mercy. I intended for him to be rescued by his pitiful friends, who would lead me to the main instigator whom I would deal with severely: Mother Talzin. She is responsible for Maul’s rebirth and his false ascent to the Sith.
THE END OF MAUL
I took Maul prisoner and brought him to Stygeon, a CIS world with an impressive mountain prison fortress known as the Spire. I anticipated that we would be followed and his compatriots would mount a rescue mission. As I tortured him, I reminded Maul that I still had plans for him. When Tyranus arrived I sensed Maul’s anger intensify. I decided to use this to my advantage and instructed Tyranus to interrogate him. I wanted to know more about his Shadow Collective and the names of Maul’s associates. Maul proved resilient to Tyranus’ knowledge of the Force.
Shortly thereafter, the Mandalorians attacked and rescued Maul. They escaped down the mountainside and fled Stygeon. Unbeknownst to them, we tracked them to a small swamp moon called Zanbar.
Dooku ordered General Grievous to mount an attack against Zanbar. With incredible zeal, Grievous complied and threw everything he had at Maul’s forces. Eventually he and Maul engaged in a duel, and Maul retreated with his forces to Ord Mantell. What a coward.
To my surprise, Maul executed a brilliant reversal of my own strategy against us. I must admit, Maul’s deception and treachery earned my respect in that moment. As soon as Grievous and Dooku arrived at Ord Mantell, Maul attacked them. Before the CIS ground troops could claim victory on the ground, Maul had captured Grievous and ordered him to shut down the battle droids or die. Grievous complied. On the ground, when the droids deactivated, the Shadow Collective took Dooku into custody. They were both fools to have fallen for Maul’s trickery and I allowed them to be roughed up a bit. Maul would be far kinder to them than I would be.
With Tyranus in proximity to Maul, my awareness of Maul’s plans and interactions with Mother Talzin grew. For example, I learned that Maul could contact her through the Force to seek guidance and check in.
Talzin was not a Sith Master. She was an imposter and rival who needed to be destroyed. Talzin believed, and predicted to Maul, that with Dooku and Grievous in custody, my capture was immanent. She truly did not understand the Power of the Dark Side. With blind revenge fueling Maul once more, he would be easily dispatched.
Maul contacted me from a Mandalorian supply outpost shorty after abandoning Ord Mantell. Refusing to yield to his demands, I claimed that Dooku and Grievous were no longer of use to me and that he should kill them. This confused Maul. Sometimes it’s just too easy.
Believing I had betrayed them, Maul attempted to sway Dooku to his side, believing that they could become powerful allies against me. Dooku refused. Maul conjured up Mother Talzin and together they again tried to persuade Dooku to align with them. Dooku did not sway, knowing full well I was too powerful to defeat.
I should have liked to know more of their plans, but the Jedi attacked. Dooku seized the opportunity to feign an alliance with Maul and Talzin in order to escape with their lives. With the Jedi’s attack, and Maul’s now relentless obsessive pursuit of me, the Shadow Collective had begun to crumble. I tracked them to Dathomir and followed them there with a CIS army.
While traveling there in hyperspace, I felt a disturbance in the Force that gave me pause. Tyranus had called out to me, unable to defeat Mother Talzin’s advances. I blame myself for not teaching Tyranus fully in the ancient art of Sith magic. Talzin’s victory over Dooku was only accomplished through Tyranus’ lack of knowledge of the Dark Side. Given this reality, and my desire to retain Tyranus as my Apprentice, I decided to intervene and rescue him. But first, I rescued Grievous from his cell. Together we sought out Tyranus so that we could deal with Maul and Mother Talzin.
Using the element of surprise, we blasted a hole in the wall and attacked. I used the moment to remind Maul that there was only one plan that mattered: mine. Then Tyranus, possessed by Talzin, attacked me.
A rather impressive lightsaber duel took place, but I grew tired of it quickly. I repeatedly blasted Dooku/Talzin with the Dark Side of the Force and separated her from Dooku’s body. Maul temporarily dismissed Grievous with the Force (he threw him back through the hole we had created) and tried to reason with Talzin to take over his more powerful body to defeat me. She materialized into physical form and skillfully deflected my attacks. She managed to Force-push Maul away from the battle, ordering him to retreat, for she was desperate to save him.
Grievous returned and impaled her with his lightsabers. Maul’s friends pulled him away before he could react. I watch Maul flee as Grievous helped Dooku up.
Having recovered from Talzin’s possession, Tyranus quickly apologized for his failure—yet again—to capture Maul. I reassured him that an apology was not necessary. Everything had transpired according to how I had foreseen it. Though difficult, all this was necessary to ensure that Maul no longer had a viable place in the galaxy. Our place, however, had been profoundly asserted and my former Apprentice had been eliminated as a rival.
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