The Ophuchi Clan (pronounced /õpächē klăn/) was a sect of spiritual hermits, descended from the Order of the Jedi Bendu, who lived in the Dune Sea on Tatooine. The Ophuchi came together under the leadership of Elias in 12,977 BBY with the intent to protect the secrets of the galaxy and to await the time of the Chosen One, who they would help set on the path to becoming the galaxy's savior. By 22 BBY, the Ophuchi, under the leadership of Sarus, believed Michael Lars would fulfill the prophecy of the Chosen One.
Although not all Ophuchi were sensitive to the Force, all Ophuchi were taught to worship and understand the Force. They believed the Force would help bring them towards enlightenment, so they dedicated themselves to learning more about the Force, specifically its powers and philosophies. They had little interaction with the galaxy outside of their underground sanctuary on Tatooine, but they did covertly interact with other sects, such as the Jedi Order, in order to understand who the sects were. Some Ophuchi were Force sensitive, however, and would learn to utilize the powers of the Force. Force-based training was not a required part of an Ophuchi's upbringing, though it was not disallowed either.
- 1 History
- 2 Philosophy and beliefs
- 3 Organization
- 4 Locations and resources
- 5 Notable members
- 6 Behind the scenes
- 7 Appearances
- 8 Sources
- 9 Notes and references
- 10 External links
Origins and founding
The Ophuchi Clan traced its origins back to the discovery of the Force, thousands of years prior to the Clan's creation. A seer named Michael and his brother were part of the Ophuchi Tribe when they discovered the Force together. Michael used the Force for good, whereas his brother used it for his own personal gain. The two fought one another and Michael's brother was killed.
After mourning his loss, Michael and his people traveled to the Promised Land where they formed the Order of the Jedi Bendu as a Force-using sect that used the light side of the Force as the guardians of peace in the galaxy. They soon expanded throughout the galaxy, eventually becoming the guardians of the Galactic Republic upon its foundation.
The Jedi Bendu were torn apart by a corrupt Supreme Chancellor of the Republic, Alora Tabes, in 15,147 BBY, causing them to split into the Jedi Order and the Bendu Order. As the existence of the Jedi Bendu was being erased from history by the Republic, a number of non-affiliated former Jedi Bendu scattered across the galaxy.
Thousands of years later, a moisture farmer on Halm named Elias, who was one of the descendants of the scattered Jedi Bendu, was visited by a being named Kara, whom Elias referred to as an angel. Kara told Elias about the Jedi Bendu and how its existence had been covered up, as well as that it was his destiny to unite the scattered descendants of the Jedi Bendu into a new order. Elias set out to do so, ultimately settling on Tatooine where they could live a humble, as well as secret, lifestyle as Kara instructed.
Rebellion on Tatooine
During the Second Hutt War, after settling in the Dune Sea desert on Tatooine, the Ophuchi began to guard the secrets of the Jedi Bendu and make preparations for the eventual arrival of the Chosen One, a savior who would bring salvation to the galaxy. While doing so, however, they began to realize that the impoverished people of Tatooine could be freed from the Hutt Empire, the ruling government of the Outer Rim that was fighting a war with the Galactic Republic. In an effort to liberate the planet, the Ophuchi launched a rebellion against the Hutts, leading the people of Tatooine into battle against the Hutt Empire.
Time of salvation
The Ophuchi continued to live on Tatooine for thousands of years, having found a way to sustain a small civilization in their sanctuary until at least 22 BBY. For a number of years, they were led by Darius, a descendant of Elias, until his death. Ophuchi leadership was hereditary, but Darius' daughter, Padmé, was too young to assume leadership over her people. Another Ophuchi, Sarus, became leader instead.
The Council of Elders also still existed, and one of their members was Ray'kele, with whom Sarus had a number of philosophical disagreements. Both had a number of followers, ones who believed that the philosophies of their respective leader was correct. Sarus was a proponent that the Chosen One would arrive during their lifetimes, and he believed that fate, not choice, dictated one's actions. Ray'kele, however, believed in destiny, which he said people had a choice in fulfilling.
Philosophy and beliefs
The Ophuchi based their philosophy and religion around the principles of truth, understanding, and enlightenment. Elias learned a number of galactic secrets from scrolls that were located deep beneath the former Bogan Temple on Ando Prime, including more information about the Jedi Bendu. Some of this information was given to the Ophuchi, but most remained guarded throughout the galaxy, including the Ophuchi sanctuary, to eventually be located by the Chosen One.
The Chosen One was a focal point in their religion. According to the ancient prophecies of the seer Michael, the Chosen One would be an individual who rose during the time of greatest despair to become the galaxy's savior. Kara told Elias that it was the destiny of the Ophuchi to aid in the Chosen One's journey by setting him off on the path towards his destiny, and so much of their religion was based around Michael's prophecy. She did not, however, tell Elias when the time of the Chosen One would be. And so the clan waited and wached for thousands of years until the birth of Annikin Skywalker, worshiping the powers of the Force and respecting its mysteries, as well as those of the universe.
Being future-minded, their connection to the ideas of prophecy and destiny also touched on their connection to Tatooine. They believed it was their duty as well as their destiny to inherit the desert and watch over it, as stated in the Journal of the Whills. The Ophuchi saw that most Tatooinians feared and hated the desert, but the Ophuchi themselves respected it and saw it as their destiny to watch over and protect it.
One of the fundamental aspects of the Ophuchi religion was the Pillars of Strength adopted from the Jedi Bendu. Elias told his first followers that the strength of the Ophuchi would rest on these five major principles: self-discipline, knowledge, divine faith, prayer, and enlightenment in the Force. If an Ophuchi was to fully devote themselves to these principles, Elias believed they could solve any problem and overcome any obstacle. 
When Elias created the Ophuchi Clan, his goal was to create a society that studied and understood the Force, but one that did not use it extensively. While many Ophuchi did use the Force, he was wary of the idea of the Ophuchi not outwardly using it to help the people of the galaxy. His primary focus in bringing together the Ophuchi was creating a small civilization that never reached over a few hundred people, thereby allowing them to live in secret on Tatooine while creating lives for themselves.
Ophuchi lives were spent caring for one’s family and community, and children would choose what jobs they wanted to pursue. If it was available to them, they would study as an apprentice with an adult who had already specialized in that field. Once the child was the appropriate age, they would formally assume the job. Ophuchi would also learn to worship the Force, focus on having a commitment to Ophuchi beliefs, and devote themselves to learning about history, destiny, the galaxy, and the Force.
Despite their desert dwelling, the Ophuchi learned to understand that their lives were one of sacrifice, allowing them to live a simpler spiritual existence. Young Ophuchi were taught self-discipline, faith, and prayer, but emotions such as anger, hatred, and fear were not as strongly avoided as they were in the Jedi Order at the time. The Ophuchi believed it was necessary to explore and understand the emotions in order to control them, as self-examination was critical to Ophuchi teachings. They were, however, meant to live of a life of kindness, compassion, and love.
When an Ophuchi’s education ended, they were put through two trials, based on the trials of the Jedi Bendu, to demonstrate their commitment to understanding of the ways of the Ophuchi. The first was the Trial of Wills, which was a physical challenge meant to test physical and mental devotion to strain. The second was the Trial of Fear, which engaged and tested an Ophuchi’s mind to determine their readiness to fully embrace an Ophuchi life. If they were deemed ready, they were considered a true Ophuchi.
The Ophuchi lacked a formal hierarchy, preferring to remain a communal society without a rigid structure. Decisions were primarily made as a group, although there was a Council of Elders that would oversee a number of larger decisions. One of the elders would serve as the leader of the Ophuchi, acting as the Clan's voice and spiritual guide.
Despite lacking a hierarchy, there were a number of specialization titles that existed within the Ophuchi, although these titles lacked any formal authority.
- Archaeologist—Ophuchi archaeologists specialized in the gathering of historical knowledge through archaeology by being sent on expeditions across the known galaxy. The primary motive of this was to learn and gain more historical evidence about the Jedi Bendu and other so-called hidden truths of the galaxy.
- Historian—Ophuchi historians specialized in chronicling the history of the galaxy from the beginning of recorded time, particularly new information learned by the archaeologists. These two specializations would, therefore, often overlap with one another. Historians also acted as librarians by administrating the collections of scrolls and knowledge within the Ophuchi sanctuary.
- Sage—Ophuchi sages studied under an elder and dedicated themselves to achieving enlightenment. Their goal was to learn to understand the mysteries of the Force, and they held insights into the Force's philosophies and powers. The sages believed it was important to make contact with the Jedi Order to maintain an understanding of the Jedi, but they only did so without revealing who they were.
These specializations did not take the place of daily jobs. They were adopted from the Jedi Bendu for implementation into the Ophuchi in order to further the group's understanding of history and the Force.
Locations and resources
The Ophuchi Clan lived deep in the Dune Sea on Tatooine, where they built their sanctuary a number of kilometers from Anchorhead Station. The sanctuary was located near the Temple of Desire, an ancient Jedi Bendu location, but chose to live in their own hidden underground sanctuary instead. The sanctuary itself was built on top of one of the few areas of the planet with underground moisture, allowing the Ophuchi to live in a cooler environment with water to help them live and grow their society.
Their location did, however, make it difficult to attain food, resources, and other supplies necessary for the sustaining of life in the Dune Sea. In order to collect these resources, the Ophuchi would use money collected from members who held that wealth before joining with Elias, which would allow them to acquire what they needed in Anchorhead, Mos Eisley, and other settlements across the planet. When necessary, the Ophuchi would resort to stealing what they needed.
- "Only through salvation can the galaxy be put back onto the right track, a path of good and righteousness, but that path won't be traveled for many, many years. Someday, there will be a chosen one who will lead us into the light. Until then, I can only hope to help preserve the past so, one day, someone can protect the future."
Elias was the founder of the Ophuchi Clan. He lived most of his life on the desert world of Halm, until he said he was contacted by Kara, whom he believed was an angel, and told of his destiny to unite the descendants of the Jedi Bendu. He brought the descendants to Tatooine, where they built the Ophuchi sanctuary in the Dune Sea and Elias crafted the philosophies, teachings, and ways of the Ophuchi Clan.
- "Who you are and what you'll become is up to you. All you have to decide is what to do with the life you've been given."
Ray'kele was an archaeologist and sage in the Ophuchi Clan circa 22 BBY. He was a leading voice in the Clan and was a mentor to Padmé, who was slated to become the Clan's leader once she was of the proper age. Ray'kele's area of expertise was ancient civilizations, as well as the beliefs and practices of the Order of the Jedi Bendu. His position as a sage also allowed him to be a spiritual guide for his fellow Ophuchi.
His views on the Force and his knowledge of history also led Ray'kele to differ from Sarus, the leader of the Ophuchi, in regards to their beliefs on the Chosen One and the salvation of the galaxy. Ray'kele believed that there was a difference between the notions of destiny and fate—Sarus believed in fate, whereas Ray'kele believed only the possibilities of destiny.
- "I'd be more afraid of being a useless life. Of living with no purpose. Of dying with nothing to put on my gravestone. I'd be afraid of just being another "remember her?" and never really living."
Padmé was a member of the Ophuchi Clan during the Invasion of Ondos. She was the daughter of the late Ophuchi Clan leader Darius, putting her in line to become the leader of her people when she was old enough, a position Sarus would hold until Padmé could assume the role.
- "Our very existence is an act of fate."
Sarus was the leader of the Ophuchi Clan during the Invasion of Ondos in 22 BBY. He was an archaeologist and historian who was later chosen to lead the Ophuchi upon the unexpected death of his predecessor, Darius, whose daughter, Padmé, was not old enough to assume the mantle of leadership.
As the Ophuchi leader, Sarus developed a profound belief in the eventual salvation of the galaxy via the Chosen One. He believed that the savior would be a great warrior who would lead a crusade against the armies of evil. His strong beliefs did, however, make a number of Ophuchi wary, as they felt his strong rhetoric and adherence to Ophuchi traditions bordered on dogmatic.
Nonetheless, Sarus attracted a strong following amongst the Ophuchi, many of whom had become dismayed that the Ophuchi had existed for thousands of years without the savior having fulfilled his destiny. Sarus' zealotry energized them, creating a popular following.
Behind the scenes
In developing the second draft of The Chosen One, Rhea chose to use the Ophuchi to convey a message about real-world social problems, particularly the rise of religious extremism in many parts of the world. He has labeled this a "very Star Trek quality" that he consciously brought to the story, referencing how Star Trek would often use social commentary as a means to tell a story, though without being "overly preachy."
The way that Rhea went about this social message was to show what religious extremism and blind faith did to the Ophuchi Clan. The goal was not to criticize any religion, faith, or set of beliefs directly, but rather, according to Rhea, to show "what can happen when you start to become too fanatical," both in the context of "one person like Sarus" and a larger group.
On February 21, 2010, Rhea announced that he had introduced the Ophuchi Clan to TheStarWarsRP.Com, where he would role-play the formation of the Clan circa 12,979 BBY. One character would be Elias, the Clan's founder and first leader, whose goal was to form the Clan and lead them to a new home on Tatooine.
Rhea announced a series of Ophuchi role-plays for the website's Diverse RP section, where non-main timeline role-plays are held, on September 1, 2011. The series, if role-played, will involve an Ophuchi-led rebellion on Tatooine to overthrow the forces of the Hutt Empire.
Notes and references
- Ophuchi Clan on TheStarWarsRP.Com
- Brandon Rhea's Alternative Star Wars Saga wiki blog
- Ophuchi Diverse RP -- post-fourth timeline on TheStarWarsRP.Com
- Star Wars: Episode I - The Chosen One
- Star Wars: Episode I - The Chosen One on TheStarWarsRP.Com
- Brandon Rhea's Star Wars Fanon blog
- Elias, the first Ophuchi on TheStarWarsRP.Com
- Ophuchi Diverse RP -- post-fourth timeline on TheStarWarsRP.Com