Yavin 4 was one of three habitable moons orbiting the gas giant Yavin. It was mainly covered in jungle and rainforest, and despite being remote and unheard of, it would play an important role in galactic events, serving as the the base of the Alliance to Restore the Republic during the Battle of Yavin and as a battlefield in other battles of the Galactic Civil War.
Yavin 4 was composed of a molten metallic core with a thick, immobile low-relief silicate crust. The surface was made up of four continents which accounted for sixty-seven percent of the moon's surface. These continents were mostly covered in large sprawling tropical jungles with tall canopies though there were also a few mountain ridges dominated by volcanoes.
Yavin 4 also had six interconnected oceans which covered the remaining thirty-three percent of the moon. There was also a large landlocked sea on the moon. As a relatively young world, the tiny jungle moon experienced a considerable amount of geothermal activity. Large rivers flowed dramatically from volcanic heights and then followed a more meandering pace through the jungles.
When scouts from Wetyin's Colony on Setor discovered the moon decades before the current era, the colonists dubbed these continents the names of Starloft, Swivven, Koos and Wetyin, though the scouts eventually left the moon.
Yavin 4's large, sprawling tropical jungles teemed with an abundance of life. Whisper birds soared above the thick jungle canopy. Packs of arboreal Woolamanders fed on fruits in the thick jungle canopy. The trees were also home to another rodent species known as the Stintarils.
Large and shaggy herbivores known as runyips rooted through the underbrush beneath the trees. The moon's rivers also teemed with life including aquatic gundarks, mucous salamanders, crystal snakes, crustaceans known as anglers, crawlfish, and armored eels. Swarms of vicious piranha-beetles scoured the air in terrifying swarms hunting for prey.
Yavin 4 experienced two extreme seasons; a wet season which caused violent storms, and a corresponding dry season.
Old Republic era
The ancient Jedi built an underground city on the moon around the year 3996 BBY and used it to modify the climate of the moon into a jungle state. The Jedi eventually left Yavin, losing track of this Lost City of the Jedi, though in later years at least one individual still knew its location, as the "Jedi prince" Ken was hidden there by a brown-robed Jedi Master. The city was eventually rediscovered by Luke Skywalker, who trapped the imposter Kadann, Supreme Prophet of the Prophets of the Dark Side, there.
In 5,000 BBY, the Sith Lord Naga Sadow fled to Yavin 4 on his flagship along with an army of Massassi warriors following the defeat of his Sith forces during the Great Hyperspace War by the Galactic Republic. He then conducted Sith alchemic experiments on his Massassi warriors, causing them to mutate from red-skinned humanoids into fearsome, savage, hunchbacked predators. Despite these abuses, his Massassi slaves treated him like a god, building huge temples, filled with treasure, to honor their Sith Lord.
Sadow also encased himself in a Sith sarcophagus where he remained in a coma-like trance for centuries, waiting for someone to call upon his power and continue the history of the Sith. He remained in suspended animation until 4,400 BBY, when a fallen Jedi named Freedon Nadd arrived on Yavin 4. By then, the descendants of the Massassi had devolved into a primitive hunter-warrior society. At first, the Massassi attacked him though his use of the Force amazed them, who recalled the Golden Age of the Sith. They then showed him where the Dark Lord rested, waiting for other Dark Jedi. Nadd then awoke Naga Sadow, who taught him in the ways of the Sith, until, as was the Sith's nature, Nadd killed him, becoming Dark Lord himself.
Centuries later, in 3,997 BBY, the fallen Jedi Exar Kun went to Yavin 4 at the advice of the dark side spirit of Freedon Nadd. There he discovered the Massassi, who tried to sacrifice him to a monstrous beast of alchemical origins beneath their main temple. However, using his dark powers, he managed to save himself. The dark side manifestation of Freedon Nadd appeared, delighted with Kun's actions and claiming him as his ally - though Exar Kun would hear none of this and instead used his newly-found Sith powers to destroy Nadd.
As the new Dark Lord of the Sith, he enslaved the Massassi and took over Yavin 4. He then used his Massassi slaves to construct new Sith temples and palaces, based on Sith architecture and designed to focus dark powers. His slaves also discovered the flagship of Naga Sadow beneath the ruins of an ancient Massassi temple. He also created vicious Sithspawn including the battle hydras, terentateks, Night Beast. The Sith Lord also imprisoned the souls of the children of the Massassi in a malevolent Dark Side device known as the Golden Globe.
Later, Kun allied himself with the Krath - another group of dark-siders based in the Empress Teta system under the leadership of Aleema Keto and another fallen Jedi Ulic Qel-Droma. He then went to the Jedi world of Ossus and recruited twenty Jedi to his cause, thus starting the Brotherhood of the Sith. In 3,996 BBY, Exar Kun along with his Krath and Mandalorian allies waged war on the Republic and the Jedi. The Jedi eventually prevailed and gathered their forces for an assault on Yavin 4. However, as the orbiting Jedi fleet launched a wall of light side power which bombarded the jungle moon, Kun gathered his Massassi followers into the Great Temple and drained their life energies in order to free his spirit from his body and invest it into the surrounding structures where he would remain for millennia.
The Jedi attack obliterated much of the jungles and scorched the temple complex to the extent that nothing could survive. After the attack, the Jedi established an underground city to help restore the planet's ecosystem and ensure that Kun is never awakened. The Massassi were exterminated as a result, though some may have escaped the moon in spaceships. Other tribes may have survived until the Galactic Civil War, hidden deep in the jungles. During the Great Hunt, the moon was cleansed of terentateks by the Jedi.
About four hundred years before the Battle of Yavin, the Kushiban Jedi Master Ikrit came to the moon and discovered the Golden Globe within the Palace of the Woolamander. Unable to break the curse and free the countless trapped Massassi children, he waited until someone came along who could.
The Wolhanian expedition of archaeologists studied the Massassi ruins. They uncovered a bas-relief depicting Jedi and Sith battling in the Great Hyperspace War as well as a Sith chalice. Both of these items ended up in the art collection of Supreme Chancellor Palpatine.
During the time of the Clone Wars, Anakin Skywalker tracked Asajj Ventress to Yavin 4 following her attack on Republic starfighters at the Battle of Muunilinst. It was here that she destroyed Anakin's customized Jedi Starfighter, the Azure Angel, as well as killing the clone troopers that Anakin took with him. Anakin and Asajj had their first duel through the thick jungles and the Massassi ruins until Anakin bested her and knocked her off of one of the temples. She was presumed dead and he took off in her Ginivex-class starfighter.
- "It's where all the idealists hang out, I hear."
- ―Han Solo to Luke Skywalker[src]
In 0 BBY, Sullustan pilot Dr'uun Unnh scouted the moon as a potential base for the Rebellion. The moon was home to the Rebel Alliance's main military base, Massassi Station, built from the Great Temple of the Massassi, prior to and during the Battle of Yavin. The Rebels established this base in following the abandonment of their previous base on the planet Dantooine. The Galactic Empire sought to use its new space station superweapon, the Death Star I, to destroy the small jungle moon and crush the Rebellion. Following the Destruction of Alderaan, the Empire sent a legion of stormtroopers to confirm Rebel presence on the moon. They discovered the rebels, and established a monitoring outpost at the Massassi Arena. Following the skirmish, a small force of X-wing and Y-wing starfighters were sent to destroy the Death Star, but most were killed in the attack. With the timely assistance of his friend Han Solo, Luke Skywalker was able to fire a proton torpedo into a small thermal exhaust port in a small trench near the northern pole, thus destroying the station and saving Yavin 4. A great ceremony was held following the Death Star's destruction, where Princess Leia bestowed medals of honor upon Luke Skywalker and Han Solo, along with his Wookiee co-pilot, Chewbacca.
This battle became known as the Battle of Yavin, and its date is used galaxywide for marking events. Events before the Battle of Yavin are marked by BBY, and events that occur after are marked by ABY.
A few days after the battle, Solo and Chewbacca stole the ancient Sith treasure from the temples, and sold it, to finance replacements for the devastating Rebel losses against the Death Star. The Rebels remained on the moon for 6 months afterwards, until finally escaping the Imperial blockade. Yavin IV requested the assistance of Defiance in order to protect their evacuating ships in space. General Jan Dodonna remained behind, blowing up a temple to damage the Imperial forces. Under the secret observation of Mara Jade, Darth Vader wiped out the remaining ground troops and captured the injured Dodonna, whom Vader interrogated until Dodonna revealed the Rebel presence on Reytha. Dodonna was then imprisoned aboard the Lusankya, although most Rebels, and even Mara Jade, mistakenly believed him dead. The Empire then occupied the moon.
The Empire maintained a military base, a labor outpost, and a mining outpost on the planet. In response, the Rebel set up a new base on the planet to harass the Imperials, but in a place other than the earlier Massassi Station. The Imperials were forced to construct a new base after the original was captured by Rebels.
New Republic era
Following the defeat of the Galactic Empire in 4 ABY at the Battle of Endor, the New Republic presumably took back the jungle moon from the Empire. The small village of Vornez was established and the Senate Planetary Intelligence Network was headquartered on Yavin 4 though it would later be replaced by New Republic Intelligence.
In 11 ABY, Jedi Master Luke Skywalker chose Yavin 4 as the site for the Jedi Praxeum and the headquarters of his New Jedi Order after receiving permission from the New Republic. During his travels, he had discovered a number of Force-sensitives and finally felt ready to begin to train new Jedi. This first class consisted of twelve pupils with Luke as their teacher. Some of those twelve were Kam and Tionne Solusar, Kirana Ti, Madurrin, Kyle Katarn, Dorsk 81, Brakiss, Corran Horn, Streen, and Gantoris. Other Jedi to join soon after were Kyp Durron, Cilghal, Mara Jade, and Dal Konur.
It was not long before it became apparent that not all was well at the Academy. The spirit of Exar Kun, Sith Lord, haunted a temple on the moon and began to influence Luke's students towards the dark side. Kun attacked Luke, forcing him into a coma, and Kyp Durron, one of the most promising students, fled the Academy in the Sun Crusher, wreaking havoc on the galaxy and destroying the Imperial fortress world of Carida. Eventually Luke was awoken and the Sith spirit was defeated by a joint Jedi offensive including the then infant Solo twins.
In 12 ABY, Admiral Daala and then Vice Admiral Gilad Pellaeon attacked the Jedi Praxeum with a fleet of 12 Star Destroyers and the Super Star Destroyer Knight Hammer. Legions of Stormtroopers and ground assault vehicles were also unleashed on the Jedi who fought them back by using the Force to drive the Imperials to the edges of the Yavin system though Dorsk 81 was killed in the process.
Later that year, the Empire Reborn under Desann and Admiral Galak Fyyar attacked the Jedi Praxeum though they too would be defeated by the efforts of the Jedi and their New Republic allies. Because of his heroic actions, Kyle Katarn chose to rejoin the New Jedi Order.
In 22 ABY, Anakin Solo (the youngest of the Solo children) and Tahiri Veila discovered the Golden Globe and the Kushiban Jedi Master Ikrit during an exploration of the crumbling Palace of the Woolamander. With the help of Ikrit and ancient Massassi engravings found at the Palace and on nearby Yavin 8, the pair broke the curse of the Golden Globe, thus freeing the trapped Massassi children.
In 23 ABY, during an exploration of the surrounding jungles, the Solo twins Jacen and Jaina, along with their friends Tenel Ka and Lowbacca discovered the wreckage of a TIE Fighter from the Battle of Yavin. Unfortunately, the pilot of the vehicle Qorl reappeared and took the Solo twins hostage, forcing them to repair the damaged ship before escaping into hyperspace to rejoin the Empire.
Later that year, the Jedi Praxeum was attacked by the dark side Shadow Academy and the Imperial insurgency group Second Imperium. However, they were defeated by the combined efforts of the Jedi and their New Republic allies.
Yuuzhan Vong War
For the first year the of the Yuuzhan Vong War, the moon was protected from the Yuuzhan Vong via use of the Force to create an illusory projection, a technique borrowed from the Fallanassi. However, the Jedi Praxeum was destroyed by the Yuuzhan Vong in 26 ABY. The Peace Brigade/Yuuzhan Vong victory was partially due to the fact that the New Republic was unwilling to provide aid for the Jedi. By then, most Jedi had been mobilized for military action and only the youngest Jedi adepts and trainees remained at the Jedi Praxeum. The destruction of the "heretic Jeedai" provided a large morale boost to the Yuuzhan Vong.
The Jedi Anakin Solo and the smuggler kingpin Talon Karrde, along with his personal fleet, managed to evacuate the vast majority of the remaining Jedi trainees, though the Kushiban Jedi Master Ikrit was killed by the Peace Brigade troops and Tahiri Veila was captured.
With Yavin 4 in their hands, the Yuuzhan Vong initiated a Vongforming program on the moon by using damuteks to flatten the ancient Massassi temples and then establishing a colony. Meanwhile, the Master Shaper Mezhan Kwaad and her apprentice Nen Yim began performing experiments on Tahiri, in an attempt to brainwash her by replacing her personality with that of Riina Kwaad, an identity formed out of memories copied from Nen Yim's own childhood.
Rather than have his friend Tahiri suffer in the hands of the enemy, Anakin went on a mission to rescue her. With the help of Qorl who had been eking out a life in the jungle ever since the defeat of the Second Imperium and the Shamed Yuuzhan Vong Vua Rapuung, Anakin managed to infiltrate the Yuuzhan Vong compound disguised as a slave.
While in the enemy base, Anakin learned that Vua Rapuung had once been a skilled Warrior. He once had an affair with Mezhan Kwaad. When Rapuung decided to break off the affair, Kwaad, fearful he would reveal their affair, infected him with a virus that caused his body to reject implants he received after his escalation, rendering him a Shamed One. Rapuung, however, knew that Kwaad was responsible. Faced with a common enemy, Rapuung agreed to help the Anakin rescue Tahiri on the condition that he would help him confront Kwaad.
Together, they made it to the damutek where Kwaad had been reshaping Tahiri into believing she was Riina Kwaad. They then fought their way into a shuttle that carried Kwaad, Nen Yim and Tahiri. In front of hundreds of Yuuzhan Vong ranging from Shapers, Warriors, Workers to Shamed Ones, Rapuung confronted his former lover, who had just been discovered to be practicing heresy, and demanded she answer whether the Gods were responsible for his shaming, or if she was. Kwaad admitted her role, then mortally wounded Rapuung with a weapon concealed in her Shaper Hand.
Dying, he gave Anakin Solo and Tahiri Veila enough time to escape. Anakin and Tahiri fled, along with Qorl and the others, on a repaired freighter. This incident started a legend among the Shamed Ones that said he was redeemed in his death, thus beginning the Jeedai Heresy. Members of this sect saw the Jedi as saviors rather than enemies. It is unknown if the Galactic Alliance retook Yavin IV after the Yuuzhan Vong Invasion, but it is possible.
Behind the scenes
The online game Star Wars Galaxies features two hidden Jedi Enclaves on the planet, one light and one dark. They served as meeting places for Jedi of the game, and were guarded by two CL 500 Jedi Sentinels. As of Chapter 7, the enclaves are no longer in usage, and the Sentinels have been removed, but the ruins of the enclaves could still be visited. It is unknown if these enclaves were built during the days if the Old Republic.
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