The Bombing of the Jedi Enclave, also called the assassination of Lharra, took place during the Alsakan Crisis in 13,000 BBY. After the Alsakan Union launched a successful invasion of Coruscant and took control of the planet from the Galactic Republic, Jedi Grandmaster Banik Kelrada reached out to both government's leaders in the hopes of negotiating a peaceful settlement that would prevent further conflict.
Kelrada met with Supreme Chancellor Relana Isolde Tanoor on Ord Mirit and convinced her not to retaliate against the Alsakans until he could speak with their leader, the Vicar Lharra. The Grandmaster met with her shortly thereafter in the Jedi Enclave on Ossus, and he convinced her to end the war. Her handlers, however, were Alsakan extremists who were determined to see the war through to an Alsakan victory. They murdered their own leader and sent out a message to their government implicating the Jedi in the crime. They then flew their shuttle into the Jedi Enclave, killing thirty-one Jedi.
The assassination of Lharra led to the ascension of Van Tien to the post of interim leader of the Alsakan Union. He later killed himself during an assassination attempt against him. The bombing also triggered Kelrada to call a conclave on Ossus to determine the Order's next course of action. After arguments between different Jedi, a Jedi Master was found dead the next morning and Kelrada was falsely implicated. This gave rise to the Ospion Guardians and, eventually, the Dark Jedi of the Bogan.
In 13,000 BBY, the Alsakan Union launched a successful invasion of Coruscant, taking control of the planet from the Galactic Republic and beginning the year-long Alsakan Crisis. The goals of the Alsakan leadership were to terraform the planet and restore it to nature as dictated by their religion; the planet-wide city had offended their beliefs thousands of years earlier, fueling their desire to fix what they saw as the extreme lack of nature on the planet. With the Republic's capital in the hands of the enemy, the Galactic Senate relocated to Ord Mirit, where the Republic's leaders began planning a counterattack.
The Jedi Order hoped to prevent further bloodshed, so Grandmaster Banik Kelrada made plans to speak with the leaders of both governments in an effort to convince them to negotiate a peaceful resolution to the conflict. He first traveled to Ord Mirit and spoke with Supreme Chancellor Relana Isolde Tanoor, who was reluctant to support the halting of a counterattack when so many of her advisers wished for one. Nevertheless, Kelrada was able to convince Tanoor to speak with her military commanders and temporarily hold off an attack.
In the days following Kelrada's meeting with Chancellor Tanoor, the Grandmaster was able to set up a meeting with Vicar Lharra, the leader of the Alsakan Union, in the Jedi Enclave on Ossus, the Order's central headquarters at the time. The Jedi had prepared a meal for the Vicar and her two aides, Asru and Rashus, but the young girl instead opted to move directly into her meeting with the Grandmaster once she arrived on the planet.
Lharra explained that the Alsakan Union had no intention of keeping Coruscant after it was terraformed section-by-section. Lharra had been told by her advisers that the living conditions on Coruscant were extremely poor, with the people breathing carbon dioxide, families living in widespread poverty, and wealth being controlled by very few rich individuals and organizations. Kelrada explained that while there were issues of poverty, the problem was not as widespread as she had come to believe. Feeling that she had been manipulated by her advisers into believing a lie, Lharra agreed to try and prevent further conflict between the two governments and to move the Alsakan Union off of Coruscant, though she feared it would be difficult as the Alsakan priests held a great deal of influence with the Alsakan government and military commanders.
When the Vicar's advisers entered the room, after having listened to the meeting from the outside over a recording device they planted on Lharra, they were secretly outraged that Kelrada was able to convince Lharra to attempt to end the war. Nevertheless, they chose to partake in the meal that had been provided, pondering what course of action to take. While they were eating, Asru poisoned the Vicar's meal, choosing to assassinate his own leader rather than end the war and give up Coruscant.
- "The Vicar is dead, and the Jedi killed her. We aren't coming back, their ambush is too great. Shallharra reign forever."
- —Rashus, one of the Vicar’s advisers, transmitting a message to the Alsakan government implicating Kelrada in the Vicar’s assassination
The Vicar and her advisers prepared to leave shortly after the meal, Kelrada's goals in the meeting having been accomplished. As they were boarding the ship, the Vicar collapsed into her adviser's arms due to the poisoning, and she died almost immediately. Asru and Rashus made it aboard their ship and informed the pilots, Suzer and Dassa, of what happened, though they were not told that Asru poisoned the Vicar's meal. Dassa left the vessel to confront Kelrada just before the ship took off, at which point Asru informed Rashus of what he had done to the Vicar. Rashus decided to be complicit in the assassination and sent out a message to his people that implicated the Jedi in the assassination. He also claimed that Jedi forces were moving to overwhelm them and that they would not be able to return to Alsakan.
On the surface, Dassa attempted to attack Kelrada, but the Grandmaster made it inside the Jedi Enclave. He chose to let the departing ship leave, believing that shooting it down would give the Alsakans more propaganda to use against the Order. Instead, Kelrada tried to contact Chancellor Tanoor. Before the Grandmaster could contact Ord Mirit, Dassa decided to become a martyr, detonating explosives he had attached to a vest and killing himself in the process. This damaged the Enclave, collapsing the front entrance and part of the entryway.
Seconds later, after convincing Suzer to give his life for their cause, the Alsakan vessel was deliberately crashed into the Jedi Enclave, destroying the recording of Kelrada persuading Lharra to end the war. The resulting explosion sent a fireball through the surrounding halls of the building and damaged a significant amount of the Jedi Enclave. The two blasts combined killed thirty-one Jedi and injured Kelrada.
- "They will believe us responsible for killing their sacred leader and, regardless of our own beliefs, I fear war is upon us, and that we must defend ourselves, and the countless innocents who stand to get hurt if the Alsakans continue their destructive sweep through the Core."
- ―Cade Varr during the Conclave on Ossus[src]
When Kelrada recovered from the injuries he sustained in the bombing, he immediately called a conclave of all Jedi on Ossus to discuss how the Jedi Order would react to their implication in the assassination. Some Jedi advocated going to war to defend themselves, while others continued to urge peace. Kelrada himself suggested a war of defense was necessary. As the meeting continued, Kelrada engaged in an argument with Jedi Master Edo Tesu, whom Kelrada accused of undermining the Jedi Order due to an unauthorized mission Tesu participated in on the planet Alsakan. Kelrada suggested the possibility that Tesu's actions were what led to the assassination, though these accusations were unsubstantiated. As Kelrada moved to arrest Tesu for treason, Tesu attacked him and they engaged in lightsaber combat until Kelrada cut off the Jedi Master's hand. The Grandmaster immediately ended the conclave, unaware that he and Tesu had been manipulated into combat by Tesu's wife, Sarina Lightell.
Later that night, Tesu was freed from prison by his wife, who killed him and hanged his body in the Enclave's courtyard. When the body was discovered the next morning, Kelrada was implicated in the crime, causing a schism within the Order that resulted in numerous Jedi, led by Lightell, declaring their intent to leave the Order. Within days, these former Jedi came together and founded a group they called the Ospion Guardians.
As the events on Ossus unfolded, the Alsakan Union found itself leaderless. Although a female child was always chosen by the Alsakan Church of the Jintu to be the Vicar, the Union decided to appoint an interim leader from its military. The result was the selection of Van Tien as a temporary figurehead. While a member of the church, he did not consider himself to be a religious individual. Despite this, he felt compelled to seek revenge against the Jedi Order, believing Rashus' claim that the Jedi were behind Lharra's assassination.
In addition to his desire for revenge against the Jedi Order, Tien also continued the war effort that had been started under his predecessor, furthering the conflict beyond the initial capture of Coruscant. After launching failed offenses against the Republic during the Battle of Bessimir and the Battle of Metellos, the Union faced its first major losses of the war.
Angered by Tien's leadership, a group of Alsakans, led by military officers Dakar Claudius and Venator Furtificus, plotted to assassinate the interim Union leader. Claudius also blamed Tien for preventing the appointment of a new Vicar, believing that he was desperately attempting to cling to power. Rather than allow himself to be assassinated by the men, however, Tien took his own life. Halla Aneem was selected as Vicar shortly thereafter. The war came to an end in 12,999 BBY.
The assassination of Lharra was also a direct catalyst for the formation of the Dark Jedi of the Bogan, a dark-sided sect that evolved from the Ospion Guardians. These Dark Jedi followed the teachings of the Dark Jedi Xendor and established a temple on Ando Prime. From there, they watched as the Hutt War began between the Galactic Republic and the Hutt Empire in 12,979 BBY after years of territorial disputes between the two governments. During the war, the Dark Jedi revealed themselves to the Jedi Order for the first time in twenty years and attacked the Jedi Temple on Coruscant, beginning what they hoped would be the purging of the Jedi Order.
Behind the scenes
The bombing of the Jedi Enclave was role-played on TheStarWarsRP.Com from April 30 to June 22, 2008. The events were written by role-players Brandon Rhea and Susan "Solus" Donnam in a thread called "Meeting the Vicar." There were weeks-long delays between a number of posts, leading to the long length of time it took to role-play the entirety of the thread.
When Rhea first created the thread, he assumed that it would only contain the meeting. However, Donnam introduced the element of the conspiracy amongst Lharra's advisers and the assassination of Lharra, which Rhea said took him by surprise. The events nonetheless were used as a catalyst to begin the Jedi conclave on Ossus, an event that the website's staff members and faction leaders had been promising the website's members for months. Because of this, the thread became a direct catalyst for the creation of the Ospion Guardians and, by default, the Dark Jedi of the Bogan, which is currently a role-playing faction on the website.
Notes and references