By Silver2467 6 Comments
This is not a battle thread. This will be an analysis of events as they unfolded before and during the Great Hyperspace War and a comparison of the decisions made and ideals presented by Naga Sadow and Ludo Kressh. For anyone who read Tales of the Jedi: The Golden Age of the Sith and The Fall of the Sith Empire, you know that Sadow and Kressh were rivals. They had differences in beliefs pertaining to the role of Sith Lords and the state of the Sith Empire. Just to offer a little context, at the time, the Sith Empire was comprised of only dozens of uncharted worlds. Following the Second Great Schism, the Exiles were cast out and traveled to planets populated by Sith (the species, not the Order). They conquered these worlds, and some interbred with them. The two primary Sith worlds of this Empire were Korriban and Ziost. This Empire thrived unto itself without much expansion into other parts of the galaxy for roughly two millennia, and the Jedi and the Old Republic had forgotten about the Sith. Following the death of the Last Dark Lord of the Sith Marka Ragnos, Naga Sadow intended to put his plans into action to proclaim himself the new Dark Lord and to gather new worlds into the Sith Empire. Another Sith Ludo Kressh believed that the Sith Empire was well-founded and secure as it was and, thus, had no interest in searching out other planets. It was because of these differing philosophies that Sadow and Kressh were enemies.
Now, when the explorers Gav and Jori Daragon accidentally landed on Korriban, the Sith had separate views of how to deal with them. Kressh believed that they may be Republic spies who would call for an attack on the Sith if they remained alive. Sadow and his teacher Simus believed they could be used as an opportunity to find worlds unknown to them so that they could heighten their Empire.
Following this conference, Sadow enacts his own strategy. He stole away Gav and Jori from imprisonment and executed the soldiers guarding them. In the process, he also personally killed Simus. The other Sith thought of this as a confirmation that the Jori siblings were forerunners of a future Republic invasion. Feigning ignorance of the events, Sadow urged the Sith to unify and fight back against the Republic which caused Kressh to take his forces and leave. The other Sith that trusted Naga Sadow appointed him Dark Lord of the Sith. He began training Gav in Sith arts as he placed him in his fortress and held Jori on his decoy castle. Massassi warriors working under Sadow initiated an assault on Ludo's soldiers and purposefully left behind one of Sadow's insignias. In turn, Kressh rallies his fleets to strike at Sadow's decoy fortress, believing it to be his real one. During the battle, Sadow convinces Jori to escape to warn the Republic of the Sith and then brings out his own fleet, which destroys Kressh's ships and seemingly kills Ludo himself. When Jori arrives back in Republic space, Sadow uses the tracing implant he lodged onto her ship to follow her back so that he can begin his war against the Republic. To do this, he sends his armies to distant planets while he remained isolated in his meditation chamber so that he could concentrate enough to generate illusions of entire fleets on several different worlds simultaneously. During the course of the Hyperspace War, Gav realizes he had aided the wrong person when he noticed the devastation that results. As a result, he betrays Sadow by firing on his ship, breaking his focus, and the illusions disappear. When Gav tries to confront him in person, Sadow left, and Republic capital ships meant to capture him. He gives them coordinates to the Sith Empire so that they could attack at the source while it was undefended. Sadow then kills Gav by using his Sith magic to influence solar flares of a nearby unstable star, which ends with a supernova, consuming Gav. Sadow returns to his own worlds only to be met by Ludo Kressh's fleet. After Kressh is ultimately killed, Republic flagships appear and eliminated many of Sadow's vessels. To escape, Naga Sadow flies his ship between the Denarii Nova binary system and destroyed the two stars. He made his destination on Yavin IV and built monuments and temples there until he died.
So the question arises: who was right? Should Sadow have simply abandoned his ambitions to reach out to new worlds, or should Kressh and the other Sith Lords have been more compliant with his goals? There factors to consider. Naga Sadow was a very confident and arrogant Sith. He had no restrictions in believing he could be successful in overcoming the entire galaxy. In all honesty, with his strategic intellect, resources, and dark side power, this is understandable. He outplayed all of the other Sith while manipulating Gav to remain his ally to trick Jori into leading him to the Republic. His tactics were flawlessly carried out. Overall, it seemed as though if Gav never turned against him, he would have won the war. The Jedi and Republic forces were being overwhelmed on Coruscant and Cinnagar. Had his phantom fleets not been removed from the skirmishes, the Sith armies likely would have won. As well, if Gav never betrayed Sadow, the Republic would never have been able to ambush him, and Kressh may never have resurfaced or at least would have resurfaced in a situation where Sadow's fleets could fight back more effectively. This is hypothetical, of course, but it is a definite possibility. So does the fact that Sadow failed in his conquest mean that he was wrong? Or was his loss just a consequence of betrayal?
On the subject of Sadow's attitude and methods, to meet his ends, he killed other Sith, murdered his master Simus, and was willing to sacrifice the majority of his fellow Sith and Massassi to escape to Yavin. Did he go too far? Or maybe the question should be, is it possible for a Sith to go too far? Sith are constantly at each other's throats when they have something to gain from another's downfall. If the supposition that Sadow would have been the victor in the war if Gav's betrayal never happened, would that change whether or not his methods could be considered extreme or not?
What about the characteristics of Sith? Since when do they cower from a chance to seize more planets? Darth Bane may have kept his Sith Order in hiding for a thousand years, but he had a set tactic in mind wherein the Sith would emerge once they were strong enough to overtake the Republic, a strategy that worked. The Sith Empire of Sadow's time had been "stagnating," as he put it, for two thousand years without aim or meaning. It just existed for no other reason than to exist. They had no direction for expanding their Empire, to kill the Jedi, or to advance Sith studies. They were just there. So, speaking purely in terms of what the functions of a Sith should have, was Kressh wrong? If so, are they even fit to hold the title of Sith? I would not question the validity of some holding the rank such as Mara Ragnos or Ajunta Pall, but what did they really achieve in a grander sense?
From Kressh's perspective, if the Sith never moved out to increase their Empire, they had nothing to lose. They were already wealthy, prosperous, and world rulers. Was it necessary for the Sith to perform any action that affects the rest of the galaxy? One way to look at this is that if Sadow never started the Great Hyperspace War, the original Sith Empire would probably have endured much longer than it did. The Sith would have stayed unnoticed by the rest of the galaxy, and they could do as they chose in their regions for as long as they would've liked. In effect, is Sadow at fault for the fall of the Sith Empire? Can he be held responsible for the end of their reign?
What are you thoughts? Knowing the outcome of every decision made and what became of the Sith Empire after it was all said and done, who would you side with in the greater scheme of things?