Fate of the Old Republic
Great Sith War
The Great Sith War, also known as the Sith War, the First Sith War, and the Exar Kun War, or the Great Shadow Crusade to the Mandalorians, was a galaxy-wide conflict which took place in 3996 BBY. The Great Sith War saw the rise of the Sith, once again in opposition to the Jedi Order. The roots of the conflict are traced back to the fall of Freedon Nadd from the Jedi way and his ascension to Dark Lord of the Sith. Eventually his dark influence was discovered on the planet Onderon and the ensuing battle saw the Jedi temporarily break Nadd’s hold on the remote planet. This fight against the resurgent power of the Sith was a warning to the Jedi that something ominous was brewing.
The influence of the Sith, however, again resurfaced during the Freedon Nadd Uprising, which managed to establish the means for the Krath to grow in power and influence. Using Sith knowledge that they had gained from Nadd and his followers on Onderon, the Krath instituted a bloody coup in the Empress Teta system and began a series of campaigns aimed at Republic space.
After several defeats at the hands of the Krath, Jedi Knight Ulic Qel-Droma advised the Jedi Order that he would infiltrate the Krath and destroy them from within. During his undercover mission, Ulic fell to the dark side and joined forces with another fallen Jedi-turned-Sith by the name of Exar Kun. Eventually, Kun was anointed the new Dark Lord of the Sith with Qel-Droma his apprentice, and together they ushered the galaxy into a new Sith age.
With their allies, Exar Kun and Ulic Qel-Droma launched a series of deadly campaigns against the Republic, eventually making their way to the heart of the galaxy—Coruscant. Following this battle Kun and Qel-Droma launched an assault on Ossus, in an attempt to raid the planet of its Jedi artifacts. However, the battle of Ossus saw the defeat of the Sith forces, the capture of Ulic Qel-Droma, and the retreat of Kun to his base on Yavin 4.
Broken and humbled, Qel-Droma agreed to lead the combined forces of the Republic Rim Fleet and the Jedi to Yavin 4, in an effort to defeat Exar Kun. Under the combined efforts of the Jedi, Kun was defeated and the Great Sith War brought to an end.
The Great Sith War was a titanic conflict which had enormous repercussions on the course the galaxy would take. Nearly one quarter of the civilized worlds in the Republic were devastated by the conflict. With the end of the conflict, the Sith were effectively eliminated as an overt threat, and the survivors of the Brotherhood of the Sith were forced underground. However, facing increasing criticism over the enthusiasm that the Jedi had demonstrated following the end of the Great Hyperspace War, the cleanup required at the end of the Sith War was not as thorough as it could have been.
Facing increasing political pressures from various members of the Republic, the Supreme Chancellor urged the Jedi to concentrate their efforts on various rebuilding campaigns and local planetary conflicts. Though the Jedi reluctantly agreed, they knew that they should have been concentrating on hunting down the surviving members of Exar Kun’s Sith Brotherhood. The end results were that while local system governments were able to contain their own problems with the help of the Jedi, the surviving Sith were able to travel throughout the galaxy and spread their teachings among several groups, thus ensuring that their order would survive.
Humbled by the events that had occurred while fighting the Sith forces of Kun and Qel-Droma, the Jedi decided that a major reform of their Order was needed. To this end, the Jedi Council sought to hold both Jedi Masters and Jedi Watchmen to a higher degree of accountability than had previously been upheld before the Great Sith War; likewise, the Council stressed the need for more uniform practices among its teachers who would be helping to train the next generation of Jedi Knights.
However, this type of attitude, it was noted, went against various teachings of the Jedi Code, specifically the fact that Jedi were not to rule over others, even other Jedi. Because of this, the Jedi Council faced a long and arduous campaign in gaining support for their new line of thinking with regards to unquestioned authority. Opposition arose from those Jedi who either believed in, or had become accustomed to, the looser forms of hierarchy that had been a staple of the Jedi Order before the events of the Sith War.
Despite this, the Council found support among numerous groups of Jedi who saw the new reforms as progressive rather than an attack against the teachings of the Jedi Code—one such reactionary group was the secret Jedi Covenant which was formed in the wake of the Great Sith War; likewise, several outside influences, such as the Galactic Republic, believed that the Jedi’s new stern approach to running their Order was a constructive one and applauded it as a positive move towards preventing another massive galactic war.
The destruction of Ossus during the war forced the Jedi to relocate the Order’s headquarters to the Jedi Temple which had been previously established on Coruscant. With the site now acting as the center of the Jedi Order, the Temple experienced a massive influx of various personnel associated with the Order. As a result of the Jedi Order being relocated to the galactic capital, their ties with the office of Supreme Chancellor grew and were strengthened, laying the foundations for even more political involvement in the Order’s doings.
With the end of the war, the Jedi Order no longer had to face any large galactic threats; however, with the fallout of the Sith War, the Jedi were left to clean up a number of residual affects from that conflict. Aside from passing new reforms aimed at rebuilding the devastated ranks of their Order, the Jedi found themselves tracking down and destroying the remnants of Kun’s Sith Brotherhood; rooting out the Mecrosa Order, a fraternity closely linked with the Sith, from the Tapani sector; and hunting down terentateks and other Sithspawn left over from Kun’s Sith experiments.
Even though the Order had a seemingly large number of important things to occupy their time, the Jedi were nonetheless able to return to some semblance of normality through such acts like hunting down pirates and criminals, taking the lead in settling planetary disputes, and rounding up pockets of Mandalorian soldiers throughout the galaxy.
Despite this, the Jedi lacked the strength necessary to completely root out the Sith from the galaxy, thus allowing their teachings to hide until the time was right to rise again—one such place was the world of Korriban, which remained under Sith control.