The Celestials - Separating FACTS from the HYPERBOLE

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S_W_LeGenD blogsThe Celestials - Separating FACTS from the HYPERBOLE
OBJECTIVE

This blog is a CRITICAL TAKE on the exploits of THE CELESTIALS and their hype - an ancient alien race of the Star Wars mythos.

This entry have following sections:-

  • Who are THE CELESTIALS
  • How big is THE GALAXY?
  • Abeloth IN EXILE?
  • Exploits of THE CELESTIALS
  • How POWERFUL was Abeloth
  • So what became of THE CELESTIALS
  • THE INFINITE EMPIRE

NOTE: This blog considers Legends continuity (only).

FICTIONSTAR WARS
LEGALThis blog is in compliance with (CC BY 4.0): https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
SPOILERS ALERTPotential readers are CAUTIONED in advance that this blog contain heavy spoilers in its constructs.
TYPE OF WORKCritical Review with visual content.

Who are THE CELESTIALS?

REIGN: (before) 100,000 BBY - 30,000 BBY

Also identified as the Architects; the Celestials were a remarkably intelligent and powerful alien race who LORDED over several ancient species such as the Gree (the Gree Enclave), the Kawa (Dathomir), and the Killiks (Aldeeran), using these species to do their bidding from time-to-time. Others such as The Columi (Columus) and The Sharu (the Rafa system) felt intimidated and avoided contact with the Celestials to the extent possible.

Almost nothing is known of the Celestials other than their demonstrable and nearly immeasurable levels of power. The mysterious aliens, also called the Architects for permanence of their cosmological constructions, are believed responsible for building the Corellian system, the Vultar system, the Hapes cluster, the Karthol Rift, and the Maw black-hole cluster. Leftover Celestial machinery, such as Centerpoint station and the Cosmic Turbine, can manipulate gravity on a titanic scale with tractor beams, repulsor pulses, and hyperspace wormholes.

From (Star Wars: The Essential Altas)

The statement - "their demonstrable and nearly immeasurable levels of power" - is in the BROADER CONTEXT of their technological prowess and constructs:

Dr. Bowen: I don’t know quite how to begin, gentlemen. How familiar are you with pre-Republic history, and the beings popularly known as the Celestials.

Admiral Motti: We’ve heard our bedtime stories.

General Kurumenga: Admiral, if you would. Don’t you worry about that, Dr. Bowen. You give us the sitrep, and we’ll figure out what it means. I’d rather you tell me things I already know than inadvertently leave out something I don’t.

Bowen: Very well, General. We know very little about the first civilizations of our galaxy. More than 100,000 years ago, species such as the Columi, the Gree, the Kwa and the Sharu were exploring interstellar space. Sadly, what records exist from those civilizations are either fragmentary, have decayed into legend, or both.

Motti:Not to mention they were written by nonhumans, and thus untrustworthy.

Bowen: Of course, Admiral. Anyway, all of these early spacefarers were contacted by the species known to us as the Celestials, or sometimes the Architects. We have neither reliable records nor even legends about how the Celestial dominion came to be, but it is clear that they were beings of astonishing power. The Columi appear to have retreated from the stars after contact with the Celestials, while the Sharu sought refuge in primitivism. Extrapolating from the technologies they employed, it’s believed the Gree and the Kwa became Celestial servant species, as did the Killik hives. Using these species and doubtless others as labor, the Celestials built a number of astonishing technological projects for their own purposes.

Kurumenga: Which were what, Doctor?

Bowen:I can’t speak to their motives, General — they’re frankly unimaginable. But they built star systems. Possibly even star clusters.

Master Lemelisk:Did I hear you correctly, Doctor?

Bowen: They built star systems, yes, Master Lemelisk. Systems such as Corellia.

Motti: Star systems aren’t built. They simply are.

Bowen:I beg to differ, Admiral. The chemical composition of the Corellian planets matches no known model of the formation of stars or planetary discs. Mathematical analysis of the system’s planetary orbits indicate they have decayed into near-ellipses from circular orbits — something that’s very rare in the galaxy.

Kurumenga:Very rare, you say. But not unique?

Bowen:That’s correct, General. We’ve identified 17 systems with a similar signature so far.

Motti:There are billions of star systems in the galaxy, Doctor. That’s a big enough number to account for 17 strange things.

Bowen:Not something this strange, Admiral. The odds against the kind of mixed chemical signature we see in the Corellian system would be measured in the trillions. And the odds against such a model of orbital decay occurring naturally — I wouldn’t even know how to calculate them.

Kurumenga: And you say there are 17 of these systems?

Bowen:So far. We haven’t had sufficient time on the available AST installations to complete an observational survey of all the candidate systems. But I feel confident in saying the only rational hypothesis is that those 17 systems — and doubtless others — originated as artificial constructs. They were built, gentlemen.

Lemelisk:Built with what?

Bowen: We don’t know, Master Lemelisk. But Old Republic records chronicle the Vultar Cataclysm, an event in which the activation of an artifact known as the Cosmic Turbine destroyed that system. I suspect this Turbine was of Celestial origin. Unfortunately, gentlemen, travel to the Vultar Nebula is interdicted. The primary accounts of the Vultar Cataclysm would have been part of the Jedi Archives, which are restricted. If our researchers could just —

From (Star Wars: The Essential Guide to Warfare Author's Cut - The Celestials)

More:

Lemelisk: Doctor, let’s grant for a moment that Centerpoint Station is a Celestial artifact. What do you think its purpose is?

Bowen: I don’t know, Master. But I think I understand – in broad outline, mind you — how the Celestials did what they did. I think their Turbines were tractor-repulsors built to move planets and stars through hyperspace.

Lemelisk: Impossible. The amount of energy required for such a device…it boggles the mind, Doctor.

Bowen: I agree wholeheartedly, Master. Yet I can come to no other conclusion.

Lemelisk: Doctor…could such a device have been used as a weapon?

Bowen: Of course. It could as easily destroy the conditions for life as create them. More easily, in fact. Destruction is always orders of magnitude to bring about than creation.

Motti: You’re saying the Celestials could have destroyed an entire planet?

Bowen: The ability to destroy a planet would have been insignificant compared with the power at their command, Admiral. The Celestials had technology that allowed them to configure star systems to their liking. As well as doing other things.

Kurumenga: Such as, Doctor?

Bowen: I believe they engineered the hyperspace barrier that surrounds our galaxy, either to protect themselves against invasion or to prevent the return of beings they had exiled from this galaxy. Perhaps both. And I believe they engineered the chain of hyperspace anomalies that have long frustrated exploration west of the Deep Core.

From (Star Wars: The Essential Guide to Warfare Author's Cut - The Celestials)

The aforementioned conversation bring us to another consideration:

How big is THE GALAXY?

The entire (Star Wars mythos) galaxy is so massive and vast that it housed billions of star systems in it, stretching over 100,000 light-years in diameter.

BILLIONS OF STARS form a brilliant, pinwheel galaxy, that is more than 100,000 light-years in diameter. Early hyperspace catrographers divided the galaxy into three classifications: regions, sectors, and systems. Regions range in size from small pockets of space to vast expanses, and are subdivided into sectors, which were originally defined as any area of space with 50 inhabited planets. Systems consist of individual stars and their orbiting planets, only a fraction of which can sustain life.

From (Star Wars: The Ultimate Visual Guide)

Emphasis mine: GALAXY >>>> REGIONS >>>> SECTORS >>>> SYSTEMS >>>> CLUSTERS

Let us consider the Kessel system for instance:

No Caption Provided

From (Star Wars: The Essential Atlas)

The BOXED part highlight the Maw black-hole cluster where Abeloth was imprisoned for thousands of years:

Centerpoint dragged dozens of black holes into a precise formation known today as the Maw Cluster near Kessel. The black holes blockaded Abeloth in exile, where she remained imprisoned for tens of thousands of years as the Architects faded from power and civilizations rose and fell.

From (Galactic Architecture 101 and the History of Centerpoint Station)

Abeloth IN EXILE?

Abeloth was living on a PLANET - identified as the Abeloth's planet - SEALED within the Maw black-hole cluster of the Kessel system.

"This is a backward sort of world, don't you think, where the plants eat the animals?" - Vestara Khai

The Abeloth's planet was also home to powerful nexuses such as Font of Power and Pool of Knowledge respectively.

The Celestials had families of their own; The Ones were the original inhabitants of the Abeloth's planet, but:

Abeloth was a being created as a servant by the three Celestials: the Father, the Daughter, and the Son. In time, Abeloth won the Father’s heart, and became known as the Mother. Nowhere near as powerful as the other members of her new family, and destined to die in what would be an eyeblink for them, Abeloth drank from the Font of Power and bathed in the Pool of Knowledge — both forbidden acts — in hopes it would make her a Celestial.

She couldn’t have been more wrong.

While Abeloth did become a long-lived creature of immense power, it also corrupted her, changing her into something dark and covetous. When she was found out, the Celestials contracted the Killiks of Alderaan to construct a specialized prison of their own design for Abeloth. This prison, known as the Maw, was built by Centerpoint Station. For 100,000 years she languished in her prison, angry, terrified, and worst of all, alone.

From (Galactic Architecture 101 and the History of Centerpoint Station)

Corruption and subsequent dark powers of Abeloth FORCED the The Ones to reconsider their stay on her planet and they departed from it eventually:

In these reliefs, Abeloth stood alone in the courtyard, watching the Father depart with the Son and Daughter. Her face was contorted in anger, and the air around her was whirling with fronds and jungle reptiles and lightning. In the panels that followed, she looked even more deranged. The courtyard was overrun with vegetation, and a large winged lizard was struggling to escape her grasp, its eyes wide with terror, it wings straining as it struggled to pull its foot out of her hand.

From (Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi: Apocalypse)

Exploits of THE CELESTIALS

Exploits of the Celestials, although remarkable by any measure, look hollow in comparison to the entire galaxy - HYPE of mere mortals such as Dr. Bowen notwithstanding. Forget the universe.

Following notable constructs are unanimously attributed to the Celestials:

1.The Cosmic Turbine used to create the Vultar system.

Arguably the largest and most powerful of the constructs attributed to the Celestials; its misuse at the hands of some Dark Jedi (Third Great Schism; 4250 BBY), led to destruction of the construct andthe Vultar system by extension.

Although the Republic has existed for millennia, there is evidence to suggest that long before its founding, a highly advanced race ruled the galaxy. Referred to as the "Architects" or "Celestials" by scholars, these beings possessed remarkable technology capable of constructing or realigning solar systems. The Corellia system, for example, appears to have been artificially constructed.

These claims would seem extraordinary, but many of the Architects' machines survived the ages. The Vultar system was home to an immense "Cosmic Turbine" that could only have been Architect technology, before misuse destroyed both the turbine and the Vultar system itself. The fabled Centerpoint Station is thought to be an Architect installation, though many species have claimed it as the work of their own people.

In addition to their engineering marvels, it is believed that the Architects seeded the Core Worlds with life--particularly humans--though some attribute this to the Rakata's Infinite Empire. Despite the proof of their achievements, however, there is little evidence to suggest where the Architects came from or what eventually became of them.

From (Star Wars: The Old Republic: Codex Entry: The Architects)

2. The Centerpoint station used to create the Corellia system, the Hapes Cluster, the Kathol Rift, and the Maw black-hole cluster respectively. Although 17 exploits are hinted in total.

The Centerpoint station receiving final touches from the Killiks AFTER using it to create the Corellia system:

No Caption Provided

From (Galactic Architecture 101 and the History of Centerpoint Station)

Design schematic:

No Caption Provided

From (Galactic Architecture 101 and the History of Centerpoint Station)

3. The realm of Mortis

No Caption Provided

From (Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Season 3: Episode 15: Overlords)

- where The Ones sought refuge from emerging threats in the galaxy.

NOTE: Abeloth was imprisoned on her planet (see above), but a much greater threat surfaced at a later stage which could not be contained (see below).

Creating (or realignment) of a solar system is the work of remarkable technologies:

The Killik hives that constructed Centerpoint Station called it Qolaraloq, or The World Puller. However, the Killiks did not design the station, they were working on behalf of two Celestial architects known as the Son and Daughter of Mortis. The purpose of the station was to create a tractor beam analogue powerful enough to move planets, stars, and even black holes from across the galaxy. To accomplish this feat, the Killiks first constructed Centerpoint Station in orbit around Corel, a star with only two outlier planets.

At the same time, other Killik hives built planetary repulsors on habitable worlds. When construction was complete, Centerpoint dragged these worlds through hyperspace with its advanced tractor beam to create the Corellian System. Centerpoint itself, amplified by the additional planetary repulsors, had enough raw power enough to move black holes throughout the galaxy.

From (Galactic Architecture 101 and the History of Centerpoint Station)

Two of the prominent Celestials (The Son and The Daughter) - members of the same family - employed Killiks to help them in constructing the Centerpoint station which would be used to create the Maw black-hole cluster within the Kessel system eventually:

The first panel showed a long, tubular space station still under construction. The skeletal structure was teeming with Killiks, all wearing thin suits and bubble helmets. And that was all. There were no jetpacks, no space cranes, not even any tether cables - just millions of Killiks, floating together in banks the size of small asteroids. In front of them, enormous durasteel girders appeared to be drifting into position with no visible means of propulsion.

Raynar understood what he was seeing. Thuruht had used the Force not only to assemble the station itself-which certainly had the shape of Centerpoint-but also to move themselves about in space.

When we build, we use the Force for all things, Thuruht confirmed.

She directed Raynar's attention to the next panel. It showed a band of Killiks using Force blasts to extract ore from a stony asteroid. They also seemed to be using telekinesis to move the ore into a smelting furnace, which appeared to be powered by another swarm using a ball form of Force lightning.

To mine, to move, to smelt.

Raynar understood why Thuruht needed to harness the Force. But even if he knew how to share it, he was not strong enough to share it with so many beings at once.

Thuruht was amused by his confusion. By the time we are ready to build, you will be no more, she said. The Architects will be the Ones who give us the Force then.

From (Fate of the Jedi: Apocalypse)

Every item floats in the vacuum of space - a frictionless environment where heavy items are much easier to move. To move an item to the right place and position, sufficient numbers will do. Millions of killiks were involved in constructing the Centerpoint Station.

The Son and The Daughter contributed to their effort in whatever ways they could.

The Killik stepped to the next panel, where a pair of insects stood looming over a small swarm of Killiks who seemed to be assembling some sort of oversized fusion core. The first overseer was a luminous butterfly with large oval eyes and gossamer wings. Her companion was a powerful-looking beetle with heavy wings and a craggy head adorned by two raised stripes.

From (Fate of the Jedi: Apocalypse)

Therefore: "The fabled Centerpoint Station is thought to be an Architect installation, though many species have claimed it as the work of their own people."

There were two aspects to Abeloth's prison:

  • The Centerpoint station - used to create the the Maw black-hole clusteritself (see above).
  • The Sinkhole station - a much smaller but significant construct used to maintainthe Maw black-hole cluster.

Working in tandem, the aforementioned constructs made it impractical for Abeloth to escape from the Maw black-hole cluster.

When the Centerpoint station was destroyed in a war involving Darth Caedus, this development crippled the Sinkhole station by extension:

Centerpoint Station had been destroyed during the war against the Sith Lord Caedus, and its loss had launched a catastrophic chain of events. Sinkhole Station had been crippled, allowing the Lost Tribe to discover Abeloth and her planet.

From (Fate of the Jedi: Apocalypse)

+

Luke did not reply. More than ever, he was convinced that Sinkhole Station's job was to keep this being in line—keep the black holes surrounding her world, so that she couldn't escape. When he and Ben had been there, the station had clearly been falling into disrepair and it looked like the situation had worsened just in the short time they had been away.

From (Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi: Allies)

The (now-compromised) Sinkhole station could not withstand Abeloth's raw power:

Luke brought the navigation sensors back up, turning on the floodlights, and instantly realized why they had not been able to sense any life emanating from Sinkhole Station.

Sinkhole Station had been destroyed.

From (Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi: Allies)

Prior to destruction, the Sinkhole station had its share of seemingly permanent inhabitants who used the Mind Walking technique to explore the Abeloth's planet in spiritual format (i.e. Beyond Shadows):

Luke thought about the time when he had, with the aid of the Mind Walkers from Sinkhole Station, gone to that state they called Beyond Shadows. He had seen his wife there, in the Lake of Apparitions.

From (Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi: Allies)

They taught the Mind Walking technique to Luke Skywalker:

"It wasn't a literal encounter," Luke said, "but a sort of spiritual one. The people on Sinkhole Station taught me a technique called Mind Walking. One can leave the physical body and travel elsewhere. I'm beginning to think the places I visited were real. Certainly Abeloth was. And—other things."

"Leaving the body," Vestara said. "All those living corpses…that's what they were doing, isn't it?"

Luke nodded. "It's very appealing. Most of them don't want to go back."

"And you saw her? Through Mind Walking?"

"You described her perfectly."

"Well," said Vestara with false cheer, "at least we three will recognize her when we see her."

From (Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi: Allies)

The Mind Walking technique made it possible to explore the Abeloth's planet without risking physical injuries in the process:

Taalon considered this for a moment. "I will need to know more of this Mind Walking before I agree."

Luke obliged, explaining the procedure and emphasizing the need for monitoring on the part of those who stayed behind. Ben listened with half an ear, extending all his senses and keeping a sharp eye on the carnivorous plant life.

"When Ben and I Mind Walked the first time, we went to several sites. I wasn't sure if they were real, physical places or not, but I am now. We found Abeloth at a certain point—she was trying to get me to come closer. I'm glad I didn't…at that point, in that…space, she might well have been stronger. But now, understanding how to Mind Walk, it might be a way for us to find out where she is without having to risk physical injury hiking off in some random direction. The dangers posed by Beyond Shadows are real. And it will be a very pleasant experience. It will be tempting to linger, but that would mean death."

Taalon growled. "Anyone who does deserves what he or she gets," he said.

"I will abandon anyone not strong enough to resist the appeal of this place Beyond Shadows."

Luke said nothing. He wasn't sure if fewer Sith was a good or a bad thing. Abeloth was powerful, and she was dangerous. They might need everyone they could get.

From (Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi: Allies)

The Sinkhole station was not a requirement for the Mind Walking technique; Luke Skywalker taught this technique to some of the Sith - members of the Lost Tribe.

Beyond Shadows had its share of risks however such as the Lake of Apparitions and vulnerability to Abeloth's influence. Monitoring of the physical body of a Mind Walker was also an important consideration.

How POWERFUL was Abeloth?

Incredibly powerful as per the standards of Force-users throughout history; TOP-TIER by any measure.

Abeloth FORCED the The Ones to reconsider their stay on the planet inhabited by her and they departed from it eventually (see above).

Abeloth had realistic limits however, and the Jedi Order is implied to be too much of a threat for her to cope with in the long-term:

She would be opposed down to the final breath, the last drop of blood, of nearly every Jedi in the galaxy. And in that battle, even so ancient and powerful a being as Abeloth could not stand.

Taken from Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi: Ascension

- let alone move a planet, or handle a cosmic black hole, or realign a solar system.

NO Force-using being SCALE from the effects produced by the constructs attributed to the Celestials in personal capacity. If Abeloth could replicate capabilities of the Centerpoint station with her dark powers, she would be BEYOND exchanging blows with the likes of the Jedi and the Sith; she would have the capacity to obliterate a planet with a mere thought and more. But this wasn't the case.

Abeloth lost several of her avatars in her battles with the Jedi and the Sith who banded together to destroy her (Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi: Allies; Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi: Vortex; Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi: Apocalypse); the duo of two prominent figures (Luke and Darth Krayt) thoroughly defeated her in a major battle fought in Beyond Shadows (Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi: Apocalypse).

RELATED CONSIDERATIONS:-

Darth Malak could operationalize the Star Forge so he must be capable of replicating its effects and capabilities by himself? NO - NOT AT ALL.

The Neti Jedi Master Ood Bnar cannot be SCALED from the chron supernova event in any capacity. His survival is owed to special properties of planet Ossus and his ability to capitalize on this matter via his metamorphosis (a species-specific characteristic):

Ossus still bears the scars of the Cron Supernova: its surface is a seared wasteland of rock and sand. But even this degree of desolation is shockingly mild; that the planet was not rendered into a charred ball of molten rock, or even obliterated completely, is nothing short of miraculous.

Little academic work has been put forward to explain this unlikely survival; only conjecture. The initial cause of the supernova was unnatural; perhaps this explains the unnatural results? Ossus was a stronghold of the Jedi; does the inherent life force of such a place make it more resistant to destruction? Could the unique astrophysical structure of the Adega system where Ossus is found have played a role?

Regardless of the reasons, the continued survival of Ossus offers the promise that its ancient mysteries may one day be unlocked.

From (Star Wars: The Old Republic: Knights of the Eternal Throne: Codex Entry titled "The Unlikely Survival of Ossus.")

There were other survivors who took shelter in the mountains of Ossus:

The supernova shock wave wiped the planet's surface clean; only a few Jedi families sheltered beneath the Eocho Mountains survived the extinction-level event. The Jedi Order relocated to Coruscant, and Ossus slowly crept back to life over thousands of years.

From (Star Wars: The Essential Atlas)

As NOTED above; The Onesand the Killiks were able to imprison Abeloth on the planet they once inhabited (see above), but a much greater threat surfaced at a later stage which could not be contained by them. This bring us to:

So what became of THE CELESTIALS?

Although the Celestials were remarkably powerful in the ways of the Force in personal capacity and LORDED over other species for thousands of years in different parts of the galaxy, the Force-sensitivity aspect was not exclusive to them. It was a matter of time that other powerful Force-users would surface, organize themselves, and challenge the Celestials [head-on].

Two words: The Rakatans

"Jedi. Czerka knows of you. You toy with the Force. My species mastered it." - The Imprisoned One

A destructive Galactic War soon followed:

Kurumenga: It’s been a while, Doctor, but I’m familiar with the concept.

Bowen: Imagine that our galaxy is a child’s top, and what we call the circumferential barrier is a collection of countless whorls and eddies spinning around it too quickly to safely traverse at faster-than-light speeds. I believe the Celestials spun up that barrier by tapping the energies of the galactic center. The western barrier, essentially, is what’s left of the string. It once extended across the entire galaxy, dividing it in two, but is now decaying and gradually retreating toward the Core.

Lemelisk: But why build such a thing?

Bowen: I couldn’t speculate, Master. But it’s clear that the Celestials, for all their power, dwelled in a dangerous galaxy. They were at war.

Lemelisk: At war? With who?

Bowen: The Builders — more properly known as the Rakata.

Motti: Ah, the Rakata! I’m impressed, Doctor. I thought your expertise limited to science fiction, but it also includes holothrillers.

Bowen: Admiral, I’d counsel you to look past all that to the underlying facts. Countless species tell variants of the same story. And by analyzing the commonalities of those stories we have reached conclusions that are accepted by every reputable scholar. Around 30,000 years ago, the Rakatan Infinite Empire spanned much of our galaxy. The basic technologies that underpin our common civilization are all of Rakatan — and perhaps ultimately Celestial — origin.

Motti: Arrant nonsense!

Kurumenga: Conan, if you would. Please continue, Doctor. I’ve heard of the Rakata — we all have — but please give us your summary of who they were.

Bowen: Well, they’re not like the Celestials — we know what they look like, for one. They were bipeds, bigger than humans, with amphibian features. Their empire was ruled from a planet called Lehon, in the Tempered Wastes. And their technology, it’s believed, was based on the Force — which had interesting consequences for their rule.

Motti: The Force!

Kurumenga: Go ahead, Doctor.

Bowen: The Rakatan hyperdrive was of no use for traveling between arbitrary points in realspace, General. It didn’t work that way. Rather, it honed in on the signature of worlds strong in the Force — ones brimming with life, in other words. Rakatan shields and energy weapons worked the same way — they used crystals to focus the Force and create sheets of defensive energy, or spin that energy into destructive beams of light. The entire Rakatan civilization was built on such uses of the Force. And so as that civilization expanded, it needed the Force for fuel, fuel it obtained by finding planets rich in life and —

Motti: General, I really must object. We have strayed into discussions that are in poor taste. Not to mention ill-advised. They could be considered treasonous.

Kurumenga: I don’t hear a threat to the New Order just yet, Admiral. Dr. Bowen is an academic, and as such we must allow him some leeway in discussing the mistakes and misapprehensions of the past. Please continue.

Doctor. The Rakata would use the Force to find planets with life…

Bowen: And then they would enslave those planets.

Lemelisk: Which ones?

Bowen: Hundreds, Master Lemelisk. Including this one. Human history begins with our tenure as particularly useful Rakatan slaves, serving the greater glory of the Infinite Empire.

Kurumenga: And the Celestials?

Bowen: They disappeared. We don’t know what happened to them. They may have been trapped inside our galaxy by their barrier and destroyed by the Rakatan revolt. They may have escaped through the barrier. Or perhaps they withdrew into some dimension beyond the reach of the Rakata and ourselves. But it seems we remember them. Or rather echoes of them.

Lemelisk: Echoes? Such as what, Doctor?

Bowen: Let me activate the holoprojector. Such as that.

Motti: What is…that?

Lemelisk: I’ve seen reliefs like that here on Coruscant, in ancient districts. Ophidian grotesques, I believe they’re called?

From (Star Wars: The Essential Guide to Warfare Author's Cut - The Celestials)

Intelligent, organized, and powerful in the ways of the Force; the Rakatans were an aggressive and ambitious species. They rebelled and employed the Force-driven methods/techniques to invade other worlds and to wage a destructive WAR against the Celestials and their allies throughout the galaxy:

Pre-Republic specialists believe that the Columi, the Gree, the Kwa, and the Sharu had a contact with a species known as the Celestials, or the Architects, beings of astonishing power and malleable form. The Columi retreated from the Stars after contact with the Celestials, and the Sharu sought refuge in primitivism. But the Gree, the Kwa and the Killiks became their servants, helping building astonishing technological projects - projects some scientists believe included the assembly of star systems and the engineering of the hyperspace anomalies west of the Deep Core, if not the barrier surrounding our galaxy.

But another slave species revolted, wresting control of the Celestials' domain some thirty thousand years ago and waging war against the Gree, Kwa, and the killiks. They were known as the Rakata, or the Builders, a species of bipeds with amphibian features whose technologies were powered by the Force.

From (Star Wars: The Essential Guide to Warfare)

+

The Celestials were exploited the Killiks of Aldeeran as laborers, and may have frightened the Sharu civilization into regressing into primitivism. No trace of the Celestials can be found after 30,000 BBY, when the Rakatan Empire reached its peak.

From (Star Wars: The Essential Atlas)

The Celestials were dethroned circa 30,000 BBY.

The Ones retreated to the Realm of Mortisto escape WAR and attention while others of their kind perished in the war. This realm could not be traced unless its beacon was activated from inside; the Father activated this beacon at some point when he was in decline and was hoping for a suitable replacement. Over two thousand years later, Anakin Skywalker picked up on this beacon during the course of the Clone Wars....

THE INFINITE EMPIRE

REIGN: 30,000 BBY - 25,000 BBY

The Rakatans took over much of the known galaxy circa 30,000 BBY, crushing any other civilization which stood in their path:

BY 30,000 BBY, Celestial influence had waned sufficiently to allow for a new galactic power at center stage. The Rakatans fanned out from Lehon with Force-based hyperdrives, and their vessels hop-scotched among worlds that possed strong Force-signatures. The Rakatan Infinite Empire encompassed points as distant Corellia, Honoghr, Generis, Hijara, Xo, and Dantooine, though vast tracts of territory between those remote holdings remained untouched. These gaps allowerd other insterstellar confederations to flourish on a smaller scale. Circa 27,000 BBY the Devaronians and the Gosams both experimented with the tumble hyperdrive, which allowed risky jumps of uncontrolled length and duration.

The Rakata fought bitterly against their major rivals, pushing the Gree back to their home cluster and all but exterminating Kwa. Dathomir became a possession of the Infinite Empire, with rancors transported back to Lehon as curiosities. The victorious Rakata proved to be manipulative and curel caretakers, enslaving humans, Duros, Selonians, and Drall for millennia and meddling with the ecosystems of worlds from Kashyyyk to Tatooine. After nearly five thousand years of dominance, the Rakatan Empire collapsed due to plague, which weakened their hold and permitted a colonial revolt in 25,200 BBY.

From (Star Wars: The Essential Atlas)

No Caption Provided

From (Star Wars: The Essential Atlas)

In brief:

c. 30,000 - c. 25,000 BBY

REIGN OF THE INFINITE EMPIRE

A major galactic power is forged by the Rakata, a cruel and scientifically advanced species who drive their machinery with the power as the Force. The Rakata Empire wields its supreme technology to enslave and conquer worlds across the galaxy. The Rakata's devastating rule ends when a plague ravages their population, sparking a massive and violent slave revolt against the weakened Empire.

From (Star Wars: The Old Republic: Encyclopedia)

MIND TRAPS

No Caption Provided

From (Star Wars: The Old Republic)

The Rakatans devised a unique method to penalize living beings:

The ancient Rakata built mind traps as the ultimate prison. These strange devices leave the victim's body intact, but draw the psyche into an otherworldly "white room"--a virtual environment created by the mind trap's power. While inside the white room, the victim does not hunger or age, and his thoughts are not impaired--but he can have no contact with the outside world until another being accesses the device. It is entirely possible for the victim's body to die and the victim's psyche to suffer immortality inside a white, featureless void. Certain technologies allow a mind trap's victims to holographically project into the real world, though whether the Rakata intended this is a mystery.

During the height of the Infinite Empire, entrapment was reserved as a punishment for Rakata only.At other periods, however, other dangerous beings have been placed within the devices.

From (Star Wars: The Old Republic: Codex Entry titled "Mind Trap.")

PLANETARY PRISON - BELSAVIS

The Rakatans transformed planet Belsavis into a planetary prison to house some of the most dangerous threats and also to store galaxy-altering artifacts:

THE RAKATA INFINITE EMPIRE, one of the most powerful civilizations to ever dominate the galaxy, constructed an elaborate prison on Belsavis over 20,000 years ago. The Ralata's goal was not only to contain threats to their superiority, but also to store galaxy-altering technology for potential later use. Elaborate impregnable vaults were built across the planet to store dangerous devices and house prisoners.

From (Star Wars: The Old Republic: Encyclopedia)

One of those impregnable vaults is/was The Eternity Vault housing a Rakatan being of terrifying power:

SOA - The Infernal One

The Rakatans were powerful in the ways of the Force on average. One of them wielded dark powers beyond comprehension of the others and was imprisoned in The Eternity Vault consequently:

THE ETERNITY VAULT

As the war to control Belsavis reaches fever pitch, the Empire sends waves of bombers to destroy Republic military positions. One of these sorties exposes a cavernous vault the Rakata buried under tonnes of soil long ago to prevent its inhabitans from every escaping. The great evil sitting at the center of the Eternity Vault is a Force-using Rakata warlord who once brought Korriban to its knees. Now the despot known as "the Infernal One" intends to conquer a galaxy that has forgotten him.

From (Star Wars: The Old Republic: Encyclopedia)

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From (Star Wars: The Old Republic: Holonet: Operations)

Identified as The Infernal One:

The Rakata known as the Infernal One is a being of terrifying power, threatening both Jedi and Sith alike.

From (Star Wars: The Old Republic: Encyclopedia)

- this virtually IMMORTAL being was particularly noted for subjugating one thousand worlds in total:

"A sickness of the Force. We uncovered Rakata a carving that shed light on our foe. They speak of a Rakata warlord imprisoned here. "The Infernal One," who enslaved a thousand worlds; who drowned the sea of stars in blood." - Shol Bestros

The Infernal One mad his mark on planets Rugosa and Ziost as well:

"We've been translating the Rakata inscriptions. Most are indecipherable, but a few refer to a prisoner called "the Infernal One." We've seen the title before, in the Dead Corals of Rugosa and the Ziost Abyss. We thought it a myth—the Rakata warlord who bled and enslaved a thousand planets." - General Threnoldt

The Infernal One was so powerful that it took an ARMY of the Rakatans and their allies to restrain and imprion him:

"The legends say it took an army to stop the Infernal One before the Rakata and the other ancients locked him away with his weapons." - General Threnoldt

The Infernal One was a master of numerous dark powers, and could create Mind Traps with sheer force of will, trapping potential enemies within:

No Caption Provided

- for ETERNITY. There was no way of escaping from that but only through external intervention.

The Infernal One was capable of teleporting to other locations, render himself immune to all manner of attacks for a substantial amount of time, cast bolts of dark side energy in unseen ways: throw gigantic objects as well as other powerful Force-users around as if they were nothing, and also multi-task with his abilities.

It was virtually IMPRACTICAL for a lone Force-user to take his/her chances with The Infernal One in a battle. Only a COALITION of some of the most powerful Force-users in the galaxy had a shot in this battle, and additional forces would have been involved in the OPERATION given the odds. Both the Republic and the Empire suspended their conflict on planet Belsavis and banded together to counter this threat:

Buried deep in the icy mountains of Belsavis, a prison housing an ancient and deadly entity has been uncovered. Both the Republic and the Empire understand the threat that the prison poses, and both sides now send their most powerful heroes to confront and eliminate this powerful foe once and for all.

From (Star Wars: The Old Republic: Holonet: Operations)

The Infernal One was dealt with on time BEFORE he had the chance to regain his footing, consolidate his powers, and make galactic affairs largely irrelevant:

A terrible threat has been uncovered on the ice world of Belsavis; a danger so grave that it could make the conflict between the Republic and the Empire irrelevant. Groups of heroes must band together to venture into the ancient and deadly Eternity Vault—where an enemy older than both the Republic and the Empire has been contained… until now.

From (Star Wars: The Old Republic: http://www.swtor.com/info/media/trailers/eternity-vault)

THE STAR FORGE - source of the mysterious PLAGUE?

The Rakatans constructed the Star Forge which could provide unlimited quantities of war-machines to facilitate their conquests:

A remarkable construct and achievement which cemented the mantle of the builders for the Rakatans throughout history.

There was one problem: the Star Forge threatened the very fabric of the Cosmic Force.

Kurumenga: So what happened to them, then?

Bowen: Their empire imploded, General. Billions died of a plague that ripped through their worlds. It then mutated — but this mutation didn’t kill. Rather, it cut the Rakata off from the Force, rendering their ships and weapons useless. With their numbers already reduced, they were helpless. Their former slaves rose up, killed them and took their technology. What few Rakata remain dwell out there, in the Unknown Regions, hated and hunted by other species.

From (Star Wars: The Essential Guide to Warfare Author's Cut - The Celestials)

Bastila Shan provided further insight:

"They're convinced that Revan will not return, so they fight amongst themselves. The betrayals mount. And no matter who wins, the Sith will loose.

There is no one left with the power to control the Forge, though many have tried.

I have watched them be devoured, their life drained from them as they attempt tap into its power.

Knowing what we do of the builders and their fate, I am convinced that Revan did not intend us to keep the Star Forge.

To use it would mean the end of the Sith... and the end of the Force."

From (Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords)

For reference:

---

The Star Forge is suspected to be the source of a mysterious PLAGUE which killed billions and undermined the species' attunement to the Force, bringing the terrible reign of the Rakatans to an end. It could do the same to any civilization, or even worse.

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phisigmatau

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Wowzers

Just remember

Thor cracked the skull of a celestial

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TakenStew22

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Wowzers

Just remember

Thor cracked the skull of a celestial

I don't think this post is talking about Marvel Celestials.

And Thor had the belt of strength when he did that.

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phisigmatau

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@takenstew22:

Man i dont think anyone is gonna get thru that dissertation anytime soon

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phisigmatau

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KillBilly

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#5  Edited By KillBilly

Don't think there's really much evidence to suggest that the Star Forge undermined the Celestials attunement to the Force. The context of the quote can just as easily be taken to mean that the Star Forge caused infighting amongst their civilization which allowed the races they'd subjugated to rise up and overthrow their masters.

Decent thread otherwise, though I feel you were kind of obvious with your SWTOR bias...

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S_W_LeGenD

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#6  Edited By S_W_LeGenD
@killbilly said:

Don't think there's really much evidence to suggest that the Star Forge undermined the Celestials attunement to the Force. The context of the quote can just as easily be taken to mean that the Star Forge caused infighting amongst their civilization which allowed the races they'd subjugated to rise up and overthrow their masters.

Decent thread otherwise, though I feel you were kind of obvious with your SWTOR bias...

Thank you for your interest and appreciation.

Yes! I did not assert that the Star Forge undermined the Celestials attunement to the Force.

The Star Forge provided much needed assistance to the Rakatans in overwhelming their enemies across the galaxy. This construct was SAFE to operate early on but the Rakatans were strong in the Dark Side, and the Star Forge began to feed on this corruption which had unintended consequences.

The Star Forge is heavily implied to be the source of the mysterious plague which undermined Rakatan Force-sensitivity 5000 years later. The Star Forge was no longer safe to operate from now on.

Darth Revan realized as much but Darth Malak was taking his chances, not realizing what the Star Forge would do to the Sith and the others eventually. This reality is established in the next installment of Knights of the Old Republic saga.

My intention is not to undermine reputation of the Celestials per se; it is obvious that they had technological prowess as well as Force powers which would make them extremely formidable opponent to numerous factions even in the cross-FICTION context but this is beyond the scope of this blog. This blog however established that it was a matter of time that the dominion of the Celestials would be challenged and usurped; that there were others who could challenge them head-on. LORDING over the galaxy for over 70,000 years is by no means a small feat.

Nothing lasts forever, things are in motion and ground realities shift from time-to-time.

The Celestials are one of my favorite themes. Therefore, the 'SWTOR bias' part is completely unwarranted remark.

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KillBilly

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#7  Edited By KillBilly

@s_w_legend: The specific bit of evidence you cited for the Star Forge being the source of the plague was the line where Bastilla states that she didn't believe that Revan intended to continue to use the Star Forge because of what happened to the Rakata. While we know the plague that occurred was a big reason for the eventual destruction of their empire, it wasn't the only reason for its fall. Also, we have no evidence to suggest that the Star Forge would be capable of accomplishing something like that ( the creation and spread of a plague ). What we do know is that the Star Forge contributed to the Rakata's fall in other ways.

"In your terminology, the Star Forge is a tool of the dark side. It corrupts those who use it so that it can generate greater and greater amounts of negative energy to fuel itself. The Builders thought they were strong enough to control this effect, but they were wrong. They became victims of their own creation, and eventually their hatred turned them against each other. Civil war destroyed the Infinite Empire - a lesson to remember. Only one who is immensely strong in mind can harness the power of the Star Forge without suffering a similar fate." - Ancient Rakata Computer, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.

You're pretty invested in the standing of SWTOR characters in comparison to characters from other eras. SOA being this ultimate being within Rakata culture and the Rakata being > the Celestials who are in turn > the Anchorites in terms of what they can do with their tech would benefit the views you tend to espouse. I'm not saying that's what you're doing here but I doubt such a result would be unwelcome to you.