"For all the evil the enemy does, they aren't dark, exactly—the enemy are entirely outside the Force."
The Yuuzhan Vong ("Children of Yun-Yuuzhan", also called the Chosen Race), (sometimes incorrectly abbreviated to Vong, which implied that one was disowned by one's family and one's gods) were a race of sentients which posed a significant threat to the New Republic.
The Yuuzhan Vong and their Chazrach slaves were among the few alien species known to originate outside the galaxy (the only known others being the Kwa, Silentium, and Abominor). The Yuuzhan Vong resembled Humans in form, though they were taller and heavier than the average Human and had less hair on their heads. The Yuuzhan Vong were religious zealots who viewed mechanical technology as blasphemy. Their technological innovations were genetically engineered and purely organic. Additionally, the Yuuzhan Vong deeply respected pain to the point of masochism, and strove to improve their physical capabilities through organ grafting. Such grafting was a status symbol within Yuuzhan Vong society.
Perhaps most notably, the Yuuzhan Vong were unable to be sensed through the Force. However, some Force attacks were capable of being used upon them. This confounded the Jedi who first encountered the Yuuzhan Vong because prior to their emergence all life forms were thought to have a Force energy signature.
Biology and Appearance
"My father stood up to one. The Yuuzhan Vong was tall, muscular, and humanlike, but his face and body were horribly scarred and disfigured. He had no hair, and his nose was practically missing. He was horrible to behold. Father fought as hard as he could, but the Yuuzhan Vong sliced him in half."
The Yuuzhan Vong were a humanoid species—initially leading some to believe that they were a Human offshoot race—but there were differences between Humans and Yuuzhan Vong. For example, Yuuzhan Vong typically lacked kidneys. The Yuuzhan Vong were also much taller and had heavier builds than the average Human, though this could be a result of selective breeding. Yuuzhan Vong also had a longer life span than the average Human, generally around three times that of a Human's.
Yuuzhan Vong heads had sloping, almost ridge-like foreheads. Several Yuuzhan Vong had been seen with pointed ears, while just as many had been seen without them. These could have been ritual mutilations, or a genetic variation; there is no conclusive evidence as to what the species norm was. Yuuzhan Vong also had short, stub like noses, making their faces appear skull-like.
The Yuuzhan Vong usually had black hair, though in lesser amounts on both the head and body than Humans, but often wore it much longer than them (in many cases, they were also completely bald). Small blue sacks could be found under the eyes of the Yuuzhan Vong, and they were often considered a mark of beauty. These eyesacks expanded and contracted to reflect a Yuuzhan Vong's mood, as the species did not use the facial expressions preferred by humans.
The most common skin tone among the Yuuzhan Vong was gray, with the second most common being yellow. Another major characteristic was their jet black blood.
The Yuuzhan Vong nervous system was very conductive, as though it was made specifically for feeling pain. It was also noted that their tissue was very different from a Humans which made the use of Qah cells difficult on them as the Human brain eventually rejected them.
Perhaps the most notable and most objectionable trait of the Yuuzhan Vong was that they were outside the Force as the Jedi knew it. They had no Force presence that could be sensed, and were unaffected by most Force powers that were targeted directly at them (but could be affected by the Force indirectly; a stone thrown at a Yuuzhan Vong with telekinesis would still hurt him, for example). The only known Force techniques that seemed somehow exempt from this limitation were variations on Force lightning. The reason for this remains unknown. It may be due to the fact that the force energy released with force lightning manifests itself as electric energy (or lightning) and this is a physical thing, allowing it to hurt the Yuuzhan Vong.
A small number of Jedi developed another ability, the Vongsense, that in some ways worked similarly to the Force, but relating to only the Yuuzhan Vong and their biotechnological "servants".
"They were brutal, merciless, and unstoppable. They killed for the pleasure of it and seemed fulfilled by it."
The Yuuzhan Vong functioned in a caste system. They ranged from the powerful one-person Supreme Overlord to the lowly, oppressed Worker caste. Not much is known of their economic system, but it appeared to be a command economy. The political system of the Yuuzhan Vong is a theocracy with the Supreme Overlord deriving his authority directly from his status as the voice Yun-Yuuzhan.
By the time of Darth Krayt's Sith Empire, the caste based system was still present with warriors and Shapers still seen.
The highest caste was Supreme Overlord, who had control over all other castes.
During the Yuuzhan Vong's invasion of the galaxy, the Supreme Overlord was Shimrra Jamaane (or so it was believed, as he was secretly being controlled by Onimi). Only the Supreme Overlord had direct communication with Yun-Yuuzhan, the Supreme God and Creator of the Yuuzhan Vong.
The shapers were the scientists who supervised the biotechnology of the Yuuzhan Vong. They concentrated on the creation and development of their organic technology. Together with the priests, the shapers observed arcane rituals in the development and use of organic technology. The shapers ranked very highly in Yuuzhan Vong society and ranks of the shaper caste included Master Shaper, Shaper Adept, and Shaper Initiate.
Shapers were typically described as shorter than the average Yuuzhan Vong, and were notable for their intricate tendril headdresses and multi-fingered shaper hands. The Shaper adepts had one of these eight digit-hands, whereas master shapers had two, each with a different tool used in their work. Some shapers, like Mezhan Kwaad and Nem Yim, hid weapons in their shaper hand. Their headdresses appeared to have been tied directly to their nervous systems and were used for ceremonial purposes to represent genuflection or compliance. They could also change shape to show the wearer's mood.
The priest caste was considerably powerful in the Yuuzhan Vong's rigidly theocratic society. The members of the priest caste served the many lesser deities that ruled the Yuuzhan Vong. There were several sects, each for the worship of a different Yuuzhan Vong deity. Ranks of the priest caste included Most-High Priest(ess), High Priest(ess), Priest(ess), Seer, and Novice.
The warrior caste served as the armies of the Yuuzhan Vong and was one of the largest castes. Members of the caste were trained from an early age to excel in combat. Warriors were also more aggressive than other Yuuzhan Vong. Ranks of the warrior caste included the Warmaster, Supreme Commander, Commander, Subaltern and Warrior. Notable warriors include Tsavong Lah and Nas Choka, both of whom became Warmaster of the Yuuzhan Vong. Their chief weapon was the amphistaff, which resembled a deadly serpent capable of spitting venom or coiling around foes. The warriors were devotees of the Slayer, Yun-Yammka, and sought honor in combat. They wore the living vonduun crab armor which was capable of resisting blaster fire or lightsabers. This armor did, though, have weak points such as at the armpit and inner hip where the shell's segments joined.
The Intendant caste worked to keep Yuuzhan Vong society functioning and was responsible for the Yuuzhan Vong economy. It was in charge of matters of commerce, bureaucracy, trade and the management of the sizable slave work force employed by the Yuuzhan Vong. Notable Intendants included Nom Anor, the deadliest enemy of the Jedi. Members of the Intendant Caste could come from either the Shaper or Warrior castes. Ranks of the Intendant caste included High Prefect, Prefect, Consul, Executor and Attendant. Shimrra was formerly an Intendant, before becoming Supreme Overlord.
The worker caste was the largest yet lowest caste and served mainly as servants, slaves and laborers. The worker caste includes Shamed Ones, Yuuzhan Vong whose bodies had rejected the organic implants and modifications, Yuuzhan Vong born into the worker caste, Yuuzhan Vong who had failed to succeed in other castes, and conquered or shaped species such as the Chazrach. Slaves and the Shamed Ones (fallen members of society) were part of the worker castes, but they were treated with contempt even by their fellow workers, though Yuuzhan Vong born into the worker caste were actually descended from Shamed Ones.
"The ancient texts are unclear. It appears we were invaded by a race that was more technological than animate. We called on the gods for protection, and they came to our aid, providing us with the knowledge we needed to convert our living resources to weapons. We defeated the threat, and, empowered by our victory, we gradually became conquerors of other species and civilizations"
The Yuuzhan Vong were refugees from a distant galaxy. Their original homeworld, Yuuzhan'tar was destroyed thousands of standard years before they invaded the galaxy and was a tropical planet that had a large asteroid belt around it.
In the Yuuzhan Vong language, Yuuzhan'tar meant "Crèche of the Gods", and the living planet was a template for the Yuuzhan Vong deities. Yuuzhan'tar may have been the basis for Yun-Yuuzhan, the Creator God of the Yuuzhan Vong.
Little was known about their early history, but the Yuuzhan Vong had apparently once lived as symbiosis with their homeworld and were Force-sensitive. Their technology was also largely organic. At some point in their history, the Yuuzhan Vong were caught in the midst of a devastating galactic conflict between two droid civilizations, the Silentium and the Abominor which solidified their hatred of mechanical technology and xenophobia towards other sentient lifeforms.
The Yuuzhan Vong's living homeworld aided them in the war by bestowing upon them the knowledge of creating living weapons. However, as the war dragged on, the Yuuzhan Vong as a species became increasingly violent and warlike. Eventually, they were able to defeat their enemies, and forced both droid powers to flee their galaxy.
Following the war, the Yuuzhan Vong went on a crusade to cleanse their galaxy of all forms of mechanical technology. They conquered much of their galaxy and either exterminated or enslaved conquered species. Among those species they conquered were the reptilian Chazrach, which became slave soldiers for the Yuuzhan Vong.
With much of the galaxy in their hands, the various Domains (what the Yuuzhan Vong called clans or families) fractured and turned against each other, resulting in the devastating Cremlevian War. During the conflict, much of the Yuuzhan Vong's galaxy was destroyed, including their homeworld, Yuuzhan'tar. The exact details of the destruction of the planet were lost to the passage of time. However, Yuuzhan'tar did produce a seed which eventually became Zonama Sekot, later colonized by the Langhesi and Ferroan.
Separated from their original symbiosis with their homeworld, the Yuuzhan Vong were stripped from the Force and experienced great pain. Thus, the species saw pain as the only way to get back to that symbiosis and practiced body modifications on themselves. In place of their homeworld, the Yuuzhan Vong took up belief in several deities, which subsequently governed nearly every aspect of their civilization.
Towards the end of the war, Steng emerged as the first Warmaster. A rival Warmaster, Yo'gand, invented the Yo'gand's Core tactic, which he used to destroy the planet Ygziir and its moon. The destruction of Ygziir resulted in the death of Steng and the end of the war. Eventually, Yo'gand united the Domains into a single socio-political entity and became the first Supreme Overlord of the Yuuzhan Vong.
With much of their galaxy ruined, the Yuuzhan Vong began a long trek to another galaxy in search of a new home. For a long period, perhaps millennia, the species was forced to travel through the Intergalactic Void in massive worldships. During this period, the Yuuzhan Vong nearly destroyed themselves. Violence and competition had been built into their society, and without an external target, they focused their aggression against each other. Though there were no all out wars in the magnitude of the Cremlevian War, the Domains continued to fight each other for the favor of the Supreme Overlords.
When the Yuuzhan Vong left their galaxy, how long their voyage took, or if they even knew what their destination would be, was unknown. At least one account spoke of their journey taking at least several millennia; however, by 26 ABY, one of the oldest worldships (old enough to be dying, and considered to be 'ancient') was less than 1000 years old. It would appear that by 3,997 BBY, sometime after Exar Kun became the new Dark Lord of the Sith, the Praetorite Vong's slivilith probe creatures had arrived, and as of 3,963 BBY, at least one scout had reached the Outer Rim of the Known Galaxy. In that year, a group of Mandalorian Neo-Crusaders under the command of Canderous Ordo encountered what would later come to be known as a Yorik-Stronha, disguised as an asteroid in the Crispin system, while chasing a group of pirates in the system's asteroid belt. When Ordo used a thermal generator to melt the frozen methane covering the "asteroid", the Yorik-Stronha, in Ordo's words, "woke up". The asteroid began to spin quickly and then proceeded to fire plasma at the Mandalorians. The extragalactic weaponry was able to melt through the Mandalorian's armor "like wax". The attack on the Mandalorians became the "first contact" with the Known Galaxy. The probe fled soon after the brief battle with Canderous Ordo's Mandalorians. Ordo followed in hot pursuit, but was unable to keep up with the probe. The Mandalorians were able to track the probe's hyperspace wake to the edge of the galaxy, where the Neo-Crusaders turned back, apparently thinking that the mysterious ship was going on a suicide run into the great void outside the galaxy.
Between 229 and 89 BBY, the living planet Zonama Sekot—a seed of Yuuzhan'tar—arrived in the Gardaji Rift. In 32 BBY, at the time of the Invasion of Naboo, an advance force of Yuuzhan Vong—termed "Far-Outsiders" by the planet's inhabitants—discovered Zonama, and noting the similarity to Yuuzhan'tar (though not drawing the connection) attempted to colonize it. However, when the Yuuzhan Vong attempted to settle, Zonama Sekot's biosphere killed off the Yuuzhan Vong flora and fauna, provoking them. Although Sekot attempted to negotiate with them, they began an assault upon the planet. After two years of costly fighting, the assault was called off with the arrival of the Jedi Knight Vergere, who convinced the Yuuzhan Vong to leave on the condition that she would travel with them. The Galactic Republic received only shadowy news at the attack; even after Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi and his Padawan Anakin Skywalker went to investigate Vergere's disappearance, all that they discovered was that an unknown race of biotech-based aliens from a distant place and armed with weapons that the planets inhabitants had never seen before had attacked the world.
In 29 BBY, after learning of Zonama Sekot, Supreme Overlord Quoreal's determination to invade began to waver. The Yuuzhan Vong soon learned that Zonama Sekot was no longer in its original system, and there was no evidence that it had been destroyed. Worried about the threat presented by the powerful planetary entity, he announced to his people that it would be best to move on to another galaxy. However, Shimrra Jamaane, under the influence of Onimi and with the support of some of the more aggressive domains, launched a coup, murdered Quoreal and took his place, ensuring that the invasion would go forth as planned. But it would still be some time before they were ready.
Information of Yuuzhan Vong activity within the galaxy for the next few decades is scarce. It is known that, by 27 BBY, at the start of the Outbound Flight Project, Palpatine had somehow gained knowledge of the incoming Yuuzhan Vong fleet, though he planned to withhold it from the Republic until after his New Order could be instituted. At least one of his subordinates, Kinman Doriana, was informed, however. The distant threat of invasion was also part of the reason Palpatine ordered the destruction of Outbound Flight in order to prevent its occupants from falling into the hands of the Yuuzhan Vong (and also to eliminate six Jedi Masters and 12 Jedi Knights). Following the end of the Clone Wars, Emperor Palpatine let out hints of the Yuuzhan Vong to the public. One of his official justifications for maintaining the Imperial Navy even after the war had ended was to ward off the threat of extra-galactic invasion.
It was also around this time that another small advance force of Yuuzhan Vong engaged the Chiss Expansionary Defense Force, on the edge of the Chiss Ascendancy. Although the Chiss Admiral Ar'alani managed to defeat them, the Yuuzhan Vong fought much better than the Chiss had believed such a small fleet was capable of. The appearance of the Outbound Flight shortly afterwards led the CEDF high command to wonder for a short time if the invaders and the Republic were allies.
Sometime between 27 BBY and 22 ABY, at the beginning of the Clone Wars, it was believed by some that the Yuuzhan Vong had made a pact with the Vagaari against the Chiss.
Yuuzhan Vong scouts returned dozens of kidnapped sentients to the fleet from the galaxy. Among them were Humans, Verpine, and Talz. They were interrogated and experimented upon, with many dying and others being sacrificed. Those who survived (such as Vergere) were awarded as familiars. Around 25 BBY, three years before the Clone Wars, the Yuuzhan Vong also established a small outpost on the planet Bimmiel. After the formation of the Galactic Empire, Imperial scientists established a base on the same planet, suggesting that Palpatine might have had direct contact with the invaders. However, the remains of the Yuuzhan Vong occupying the outpost went undisturbed until their discovery shortly into the Yuuzhan Vong invasion. It is also known that Yuuzhan Vong scouts were active in the galaxy during the Clone Wars.
Sometime between being dispatched to the Unknown Regions in 3 ABY, at the time of the Battle of Hoth, and his return in 9 ABY, now-Grand Admiral Thrawn apparently encountered the Yuuzhan Vong advance force hiding in the Unknown Regions. The threat of the advancing invaders was one of his primary motivations for trying to reunify the Empire, as he felt that the Empire stood a much better chance against the Vong than did the New Republic.
The Yuuzhan Vong advance scouts themselves shared that sentiment. After the formation of the Imperial Interim Council in 11 ABY, following the final death of the reborn Emperor Palpatine, Yuuzhan Vong executor Nom Anor was tasked to infiltrate the Council. He did so and manipulated its leader, Xandel Carivus, arranging the deaths of many Councilors and furthering the internal strife between the leaders of the fracturing Imperial Remnant.
Meanwhile, the Yuuzhan Vong also began meddling in the high politics of the Ssi Ruuvi Imperium. They installed one of their own agents, E'thinaa, in a high-ranking military position, and manipulated the rise to power of the Keeramak, with the goal of eventually using the Ssi-Ruuvi to create confusion and disorder during the Yuuzhan Vong invasion.
In 24 ABY, Yuuzhan Vong agent Yomin Carr infiltrated the ExGal Society, stationing himself at the ExGal-4 base on Belkadan located along Vector Prime.
In 25 ABY, Yuuzhan Vong executor Nom Anor struck a deal with Boba Fett to have him and a select group of Mandalorians aid the invasion force. Boba Fett realized openly resisting the Yuuzhan Vong would result in the enslaving of Mandalore and so agreed. Boba Fett secretly carried out a plan to aid the New Republic by allowing New Republic personnel to escape with information from doomed worlds. This resulted in the escape of the Jedi Knight Kubariet on the world of New Holgha.
Invasion of the Galaxy
On the world of Rhommamool, Yuuzhan Vong executor Nom Anor, disguised as the leader of the Red Knights of Life, stirred up a war between Rhommamool and its neighboring planet, Osarian. He was also responsible for infecting Mara Jade Skywalker and a hundred other diplomats with a deadly Yuuzhan Vong disease. As a result the New Republic did not take notice when the first of the invasion force, the Praetorite Vong, made planetfall on the distant world of Helska IV and also brought down Sernpidal's moon upon the planet, killing millions of beings including the famous Wookiee Chewbacca, and leaving the planet itself in pieces. The Yuuzhan Vong also encountered the Jedi, whom they started to consider the worst of a galaxy full of infidels, due in no small part to the Jedi's ability to control a supernatural force that Yuuzhan Vong had been denied. The Praetorite Vong were eventually defeated by galactic heroes Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Leia Organa Solo and Lando Calrissian.
The main Yuuzhan Vong fleet arrived soon after though, and had in short order conquered many of the worlds in their invasion corridor. Bimmiel, Dantooine, Dubrillion and Obroa-skai were among the many worlds captured while Ithor was consumed by firestorms and rendered uninhabitable. Sheltering the refugees from planets in the invasion corridor quickly became such a problem that the New Republic government could no longer ignore the threat of the Yuuzhan Vong. The political leadership was ineffectual in countering the invaders though, and initially tried to blame the Jedi for starting the conflict with the aliens. The Yuuzhan Vong, considering the Jedi their worst enemies, capitalized on this by luring natives of the galaxy into turning in Jedi with the promise that they would be spared from the invasion. The Peace Brigade appeared as an organization of such individuals.
The Yuuzhan Vong also struck a deal with the Hutts that allowed them to pass through Hutt Space unmolested. But the Hutts secretly played both sides by passing information on Yuuzhan Vong fleet movements on to the New Republic. In return the Yuuzhan Vong ruthlessly conquered their worlds. In any case, moving through Hutt Space allowed the invaders to launch an attack against Fondor on the far side of the galactic core. However, they suffered heavy losses in Battle of Fondor when Han Solo's cousin, Thrackan Sal-Solo, fired Centerpoint Station against them, destroying much of the defending Hapan fleet too.
Following the conquest of Duro, Warmaster Tsavong Lah offered the New Republic a cease fire if they turned over every single Jedi in the galaxy. The Jedi became hated as never before, with several planetary governments collaborating with the Yuuzhan Vong in hunting them down, and even resulting in the New Republic temporarily issuing an arrest warrant for Jedi Masters Luke and Mara Jade Skywalker.
The Peace Brigade also launched an attack on the Jedi Academy on Yavin 4 in an unsuccessful attempt to capture the children being trained there. The Yuuzhan Vong themselves arrived shortly after though, complicating the situation for the few Jedi remaining on the moon. The Yuuzhan Vong captured the Jedi trainee Tahiri Veila and started shaping her like the rest of their biological creations. However, before the experiment was completed, she was rescued by her best friend, Anakin Solo, with the help of the shamed Yuuzhan Vong, Vua Rapuung, redeeming the Shamed One in the process. As a result, a heretical movement that worshiped the Jedi as saviors gained popularity among the Shamed Ones (later led by Nom Anor), despite the efforts of the ruling castes to exterminate it. A short while later, the Yuuzhan Vong broke the cease fire by launching a surprise attack on Yag'Dhul.
Two years into the war, the Yuuzhan Vong unleashed a new biological creation, the voxyn, for the purpose of hunting down the Jedi. In response, Anakin Solo formed an all-Jedi strike with the intent of hunting down the Voxyn Queen from which the Yuuzhan Vong cloned all the other voxyn. The mission was a success, but came at the cost of the lives of nearly half the team, including Anakin Solo himself, and also left his brother, Jacen Solo, captured by the Yuuzhan Vong. Meanwhile the Yuuzhan Vong launched an immense attack on Coruscant, conquering the capital of the New Republic and killing Chief of State Borsk Fey'lya. Following that, they renamed the planet Yuuzhan'tar, and started Vongforming the planet in the image of their long lost homeworld. The Vongforming of Coruscant was sabotaged by the Jedi Knight Jacen Solo before he escaped from captivity with the aid of Vergere. The Yuuzhan Vong began to also suffer from internal problems, as the stresses of maintaining an Empire began to tax their resources.
The New Republic, having moved its capital to Dac, elected Cal Omas to replace Fey'lya, who also created the High Council, which would coordinate the Jedi's role in the war. At the same time the Jedi also found out about the NRI's secret project to create Alpha Red, a biological weapon that would wipe out the Yuuzhan Vong and all of their creations. The Jedi were unable to convince Cal Omas to ignore the weapon as viable option for countering the invaders, but the rogue Jedi Knight Vergere saved them the trouble by destroying the project herself. However, the incident strained the relationship between the Jedi and the New Republic.
Forced to pursue conventional warfare while the Alpha Red team started from scratch, the New Republic hatched a plan to lure the Yuuzhan Vong into a trap in the Deep Core, centered around the moon, Ebaq 9. Using Jedi Knight Jaina Solo as bait, the trap was successfully sprung on the Yuuzhan Vong fleet, destroying it. On Ebaq 9, Warmaster Tsavong Lah himself was slain by Jaina Solo and Vergere sacrificed herself to eliminate the rest of the Yuuzhan Vong troops that had landed on the moon. Omas, using the political clout and fearing that the Senate would try to hijack control of the war, drafted a new constitution which stripped the Senate of executive power, turning the New Republic into the Galactic Federation of Free Alliances (Galactic Alliance or GFFA for short).
After the victory, Luke Skywalker put together a team to follow up on Vergere's information about the living planet of Zonama Sekot. They traveled into the Unknown Regions, receiving help from both the Imperial Remnant and the Chiss, though only after having provided a service in return. Eventually they found the living planet and entered negotiations in an attempt to convince it to help end the war.
Meanwhile, the Yuuzhan Vong Executor Nom Anor, disgraced for his role in the disaster at Ebaq 9, disguised himself as the prophet Yu'Shaa and began stirring up heresy on Yuuzhan'tar (formerly Coruscant). He heard about Zonama Sekot and succeeded in putting together a mission to the living planet consisting of himself (still in disguise), the Shaper Nen Yim, the Yuuzhan Vong priest Harrar and the two Jedi Knights Tahiri Veila and Corran Horn. The five made it to Zonama Sekot where Nom Anor showed his hand and killed Nem Yim and pushed Harrar over a cliff before trying to sabotage the planet's hyperdrive. The two Jedi were unsuccessful in undoing his sabotage or preventing him from escaping the planet, but Zonama Sekot appeared to know what to do as it launched itself into hyperspace and traveled to Yuuzhan'tar, taking up orbit around the same star as the former capital of the galaxy.
During this time, the Galactic Alliance had prepared to make a push for Yuuzhan'tar and take the planet back, and hopefully also break the Yuuzhan Vong's ability to wage war by taking out the Supreme Overlord. In the end, Supreme Overlord Shimrra was revealed to be nothing but a puppet for the real leader of the Yuuzhan Vong, the force-sensitive Shamed One Onimi. Both Shimrra and Onimi were killed in the second battle of Coruscant. Nas Choka, Lah's successor as Warmaster, became de facto Supreme Overlord, and ordered the remaining Yuuzhan Vong warriors to surrender.
One of the terms of the Yuuzhan Vong's surrender was also that they help rebuild Coruscant to be suitable as the capital of the Galactic Alliance. The Galactic Alliance settled on Denon while construction went on, and eventually back to Coruscant after the rebuilding was complete.
Zonama Sekot also revealed itself as the seed of the long-dead original Yuuzhan Vong homeworld. After the end of the war, the remaining Yuuzhan Vong were recalled from across the galaxy to Zonama. Zonama Sekot, with its new Yuuzhan Vong population, then disappeared back into the Unknown Regions, so that the Yuuzhan Vong could live in peace and renew their relationship with Sekot. Among other things they planned to attempt to abolish their caste system, and had already eliminated the posts of Warmaster and Supreme Overlord (though Choka seemed to remain the de facto leader of the species).
The Bothans, however, were unforgiving for the death of Fey'lya, and declared a state of ar'kai genocide against the Yuuzhan Vong, sending ships into the Unknown Regions to hunt for Zonama. By 36 ABY their efforts had been somewhat foiled by the Galactic Alliance, which had impounded the ship detailed for the expedition.
The Yuuzhan Vong war was possibly the most devastating crisis the galaxy had faced. The cost in lives were staggering; the number of deaths over the known galaxy were estimated at about 365 trillion sentients.
The Fel Empire and the One Sith
"I made an alliance with the reborn Empire at Bastion. We manufactured a cause for war, making the Vong seem responsible. Split, the Galactic Alliance began to fight itself. And so died."
Jedi Temple on Ossus after the Vong forming.The Galactic Alliance gradually finished rebuilding itself a few years later, but it never would be the same as the pre-invasion New Republic. Some time after 41 ABY, as part of a move to improve relations between the Yuuzhan Vong and the rest of the galaxy, the Galactic Alliance New Jedi Order permitted Yuuzhan Vong Shapers to use a desolate portion of Ossus, one of the order's most ancient strongholds, as a test site.
The intent of those who championed the project—such as Jedi Master Kol Skywalker, a leading member of the Jedi Council—was to see if Vong terraforming methods, such as those that had once transformed Coruscant into the species' temporary homeworld of Yuuzhan'tar (27-29 ABY), could restore the barren and devastated world. Though most of the species had left for the Unknown Regions on Zonoma Sekot, enough shapers remained to start a pilot program on the world. The experiment appeared to work, returning Ossus to vibrant life again, and when the Jedi revealed the results to the outside galaxy, other worlds vied for the chance to restore planets the Yuuzhan Vong War had left devastated.
Ultimately, one hundred planets were chosen for terraforming. Yuuzhan Vong Shapers, accompanied by Jedi, set to work, and at first the results were wondrous to behold. But no one had reckoned with interference by the One Sith. On the command of the cult's leader, Darth Krayt, the Sith secretly sabotaged the terraforming process on these worlds. Plants grew deformed, and painful bony growths, of a kind not seen since the Vong forcibly took populations as slaves, sprouted from the skin of the inhabitants, killing millions in the process.
The Jedi suspected sabotage, but did not know who was responsible. All across the galaxy, however, blame fell upon the Yuuzhan Vong. Far too much animosity still existed against the former invaders for many to believe they had truly given up their ambitions of conquest. The Jedi however, were certain that the Yuuzhan Vong were innocent, and convinced the Galactic Alliance to support the Yuuzhan Vong against domestic criticism.
This turned out to be too much for the Empire however. The signing of the Pellaeon-Gavrisom Treaty (19 ABY), had brought peace between the Imperial Remnant and the New Republic, and the war against the Yuuzhan Vong had all but united the former rivals. However, the Moff Council still contained many hardliners who sought to restore the Empire to primacy as the dominant galactic power. Calling for retribution and invoking the Treaty of Anaxes, they declared war on the Galactic Alliance. The peace that so many had fought and died for in decades past was undone in a stroke, as the Sith had planned.
Yuuzhan Vong in the Legacy era.From the start, the Alliance was handicapped. Its defense of the Yuuzhan Vong had alienated numerous member worlds, whose populations still nursed bitter memories of the Vong invasion, and many of them refused to support the GA. Suddenly, the Alliance found itself facing a secession movement as well as general war. The Empire used this to its advantage, luring some of these disaffected worlds into the Imperial camp and weakening the GA government. Other worlds declared neutrality.
It was at this time that the Sith insinuated themselves into the war. Through Moff Nyna Calixte, the ruthless and ambitious Director of Imperial Intelligence, the Sith approached the Empire and allied themselves with the Imperial cause. When the Sith then declared themselves openly, the Jedi knew that they were responsible for sabotaging the Vong terraforming projects, but they were never able to prove it.
After three years of bloody warfare, the Galactic Alliance was a spent force. Imperial forces had even retaken Coruscant after more than a century. The Alliance finally surrendered, and its territory was absorbed into the Empire. It is unknown if the Empire made any efforts to exterminate the Yuuzhan Vong. The Emperor called on the Jedi Order to surrender and subject itself to the will of the Empire. Some of them did, becoming the Imperial Knights. But the rest, remaining true to the will of the Force, refused to ally themselves with the Sith and withdrew from Coruscant to their temple on Ossus. The Sith eventually followed the Jedi there. Darth Nihl, former Nagai warlord turned Sith, led a brutal attack on Ossus, aided by Imperial forces led under Moff Rulf Yage. The Massacre of Ossus scattered the Jedi across the galaxy, though the order was not yet entirely defeated. Shortly after, the Sith, determined to rule the galaxy themselves, turned against Emperor Roan Fel and his Imperial Knights.
Though most of the Yuuzhan Vong who accompanied the Jedi in the Ossus Project were slain, three managed to survive where they remained beneath the Jedi Temple and guarded the remains of the dead Jedi out of respect for the Jedi Order. Master Shaper Nei Rin had been off planet investigating why the project had gone wrong, but arrived back at Ossus with her findings too late to stop the War or the massacre. Shortly afterwards, Rin, her guards, and a few Jedi who had returned to the world were hiding from an Imperial patrol under the temple when the patrols Sith commander ordered the Academy destroyed from orbit. Luckily, thanks to Jedi Master K'Kruhk, the occupants managed to survive.
Yuuzhan Vong culture was centered on sacrifice and their gods, although warriors in particular were centered on the philosophy of pain. They tended to glorify pain but not as a motive for action but rather as a state of living. This was because they believed that just like their gods had sacrificed their bodies to create the galaxy, the Yuuzhan Vong themselves sacrifice parts of their body for a greater purpose. This resulted in individual Yuuzhan Vong having mottling of scarring and sweeping tatoos. The more elite individuals were even known to graft organs from other creatures into their bodies. Devotional practices to the gods called for bloodletting at prayer times. Shamed Ones were forbidden from attending religious ceremonies.
A member of the Yuuzhan Vong was typically associated with a family group which was called a Domain. Some Domains were more powerful then others. In addition to this family structure, the Yuuzhan Vong also employed a caste based system which included warrior, shaper, priest, intendant and workers. Love affairs between two different castes was considered forbidden.
As a Yuuzhan Vong grew more successful in their life, they began the process of sacrificing body parts and replacing them with organs from another creature thus enhancing their abilities. This was done so during the Escalatier Ceremony where an engineered organism related to an Implanter began to make cuts, incisions and place the implants. At times, the implant was accepted into the body and the Yuuzhan Vong was promoted to a higher rank. However, there were occassions where the implant failed to be accepted into the body. This resulted either in death or the individual becoming a Shamed One. Such failures were believed to have been the work of the Yuuzhan Vong gods though there were times it was due to the failure of the Shaper in charge of the Escalation ceremony.
Two members of the Yuuzhan Vong species.Yuuzhan Vong children were raised in caste specific crèches by designated caretakers, and likely did not know their biological parents until they were older. Their crèche parents named them. Deformed children were killed at birth, but if the deformity was mild enough, as was the case with Ona Shai, the child was spared. Twin births were uncommon events; only a handful of cases were known to the New Republic, in which each was thought to be a portent of a great event. In each case, one twin killed the other as a prelude to a great destiny.
According to the insights of an Imperial officer, the Empire and the Yuuzhan Vong had some elements that were common to one another. These included the need for strict discipline and the obediance to one's superiors. However, at the time of the invasion, it was believed that their ultimate goals were completely different with the Yuuzhan Vong desiring to change the way of life of the inhabitants of the galaxy.
The psychology of the Yuuzhan Vong during war time engagements involved the use of a high level of aggression. This made them dangerous though at times their actions were at times predictable. Internally, the Yuuzhan Vong greatly believe in the concept of competition as a means of breeding strength. However, this has the side effect of bringing about internal feuds between Domains and castes who attempt to escalate their positions above their kin. This resulted in civil war in the past and it was believed that the Invasion would allow the Yuuzhan Vong an external enemy to fight but after some time the same divisions began to appear once more. They also believed deeply in the concept of revenge and had no reservations to the use of aggressive emotions unlike the Jedi. THis often meant that the Yuuzhan Vong engaged in suicide attacks or ritual suicides when facing defeat in order to attain glory which was a source of pride of the warrior caste. This aggressive and warrior nature meant that they did not have any concept of peace or feeling sorry. In their language, peace meant the willing submission to a conqueror.
The Yuuzhan Vong had a fanatical hatred of mechanical machines believing them to be abominations and an affront to their gods. According to their beliefs at the time of the Invasion, they believed that combustion, the creation of fire through a machine was the first abomination. This was because the Yuuzhan Vong believed deeply in life but also felt that all life ended as in the wild one type of lifeform was eaten by another who in turn was devoured by another predator until it died which replenished the ecosystem. This meant that death was prevalent constantly but allowed new life to grow while machines did not die which meant that they were capable of replacing organic life which was something the Yuuzhan Vong would never allow.
The species possessed a saying which was "Let the enemy fight" which was one of the aspects of their racial psychology. They often expected combat and arranged ambushes for their enemies after which they baited targets into their traps. Their interdiction forces often remained outside their designated routes in order to jump onto a target thus trapping them as a type of ambush.
Despite elements of their society which was seen as being barbaric, the Yuuzhan Vong truly revered life and all its forms. Among the few infidel races of the Promised Land, they also tended to favor the Ho'Din whose natural senses meant that they did not like the presence of advanced technology. According to their religion, they had to prove themselves worthy creations of their deities and if they did not do so then they would be destroyed after which they would be replaced by a more worthy species. Their beliefs stated that this had happened thrice in their reigion with a new species created eventually leading to the Yun'o creating the Yuuzhan Vong.
The Yuuzhan Vong were devoutly religious and had many gods, and prior to their defeat, believed it was their duty to appease their gods' desires through conquest and genocide.
Yun-Yuuzhan, the creator, was the most powerful deity of the Yuuzhan Vong religion. He sacrificed most of his body parts to create the lesser deities and the Yuuzhan Vong galaxy. Only the Supreme Overlord had direct contact with him.
Yun-Harla was the Trickster, the Cloaked Goddess and Goddess of deception and aggression. Yun Harla represented the political caste. Having learned this information, the New Republic military had their top pilot, Jaina Solo, codenamed "Trickster" and "Goddess" in an act of psychological warfare against the Yuuzhan Vong invaders, who would believe they were fighting the living form of one of their most powerful deities.
Yun-Yammka was the Slayer and the god of war. His image was a multi-tentacled creature, and was the inspiration for the form of the Yammosk. He was primarily worshipped by the warrior caste. He was actually created by the Priest caste when the Yuuzhan Vong turned to war.
Yun-Ne'Shel was the Modeler. She oversaw natural life cycles and was worshiped by the shaper caste.
Yun-Txiin and Yun-Q'aah (The Lover Gods)
Yun-Txiin and Yun-Q'aah were the Lover Gods and twins. Having a relationship outside one's caste was forbidden in Yuuzhan Vong society, and disobeying automatically led to sacrifice to the Lover Gods.
Yun-Shuno had a thousand eyes and watched over and spoke for the Shamed Ones, who were shunned by every other Yuuzhan Vong deity.
All of the Yuuzhan Vong's technology, whether it be starships, weapons, or simple everyday objects, was entirely biological.
They hated droids, machines, electronics, and anything manufactured. The Yuuzhan Vong referred to their technology as biots, as the word technology had mechanical connotations for them.
Some of their more famous technologies were the Amphistaff, the Yorik-et, the Dovin Basal, the Gnullith, the Grashal, the Ooglith Cloaker, the Ooglith Masquer, the Villip, and the Yammosk.
Notable Yuuzhan Vong
- Serrum Yem, Warrior and Hunter, governor of Abbaji
- Vua Pwyll, Supreme Overlord, Intendant, Ruler of Yuuzhan-Tar
- Ru Kwaad, Shaper/Warrior of the Yun'o.
- Sinn Karrar, the Warmaster of the Empire in the Chaos Era
- Dianly, Heretic and Master Shaper
- Vrakar Kraal, Hunter of the Yuuzhan Vong Empire.
Behind the Scene
Origins of "Yuuzhan Vong"
The name "Yuuzhan Vong" was developed at a French-Thai restaurant in New York City called Vong where several Del Rey employees were eating. ("Vong" itself, as the restaurant's name, may have been taken from part of "Jean-Georges Vongerichten", the name of a haute chef that was the restaurant's founder.) The Yunan region was mentioned in a list of teas on the menu that Shelly Shapiro was reading and the first draft of the name that would eventually be given to the intergalactic invaders was born of "Yunan Vong." It was modified to its present state to honor Timothy Zahn.
It is rumored that the Yuuzhan Vong were originally intended to be exiled Sith, but that the idea was changed part-way through the series. The round-robin interview published with The Unifying Force confirms that they were originally planned to be dark side users.
Also according to the interview, the concept of the Yuuzhan Vong's exclusive use of biotechnology came from R.A. Salvatore, and their love of pain was originally confined to Domain Shai, but later authors misunderstood and applied it to the entire species.
In an interview with Troy Denning by Athas.org he stated that he had initially intended to use the concept of lifeshaping in the DarkSun Campaign Setting for TSR's novel line, but that he did not get the chance to before the DarkSun was cancelled.
Yuuzhan Vong and the Force
As discovered by the Jedi during the war with the Yuuzhan Vong they are apparently "absent" from the Force. In the book The Unifying Force by James Luceno, It is finally stated why this is so. The Yuuzhan Vong are not "absent" from the Force, their entire species has been cut off from it. It is surmised in the book that this was done by the intelligence of their homeworld, the seed of which would one day become Zonama Sekot, because of their war mongering and hostile takeover of other species.
Real World Inspirations
Yuuzhan Vong culture and religion was heavily influenced by that of the Meso-American cultures, such as the Aztecs. This includes the concept of gods who have sacrificed themselves in creation and require constant sacrifices of blood and pain; a strong emphasis on honor and a ruthless approach to war and genocide; and total devotion to a temporal and religious half-divine supreme leader, among other things.
Similarities to other EU Races
The Yuuzhan Vong possess a number of similarities to other races that were introduced within the novels. They share the same fanaticism as the Yevetha, a caste system similar to the Ssi-ruuk and the exclusive use of biotechnology as the Charon did.
There are only a few Yuuzhan Vong Characters still active, though they are growing.
- Kyle Diath/Serrum Yem
- Wanderer/Vua Pwyll
- Ru Kwaad
- Sinn Karrar
- Vrakar Kraal