Silver2467

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Yeah.

She discovers the accounts of the Great Sith War, and learns that though Kun was far more powerful than any one other Jedi of the time, a combined force had defeated him.

Source: The Jedi Academy Sourcebook

Can't see a way to exclude Ulic from this, particularly as the same quote identifies Kun as a Jedi too.

Enlightening piece of info. Thanks. I might have to lower Ulic in my rankings now.

Some people questioned it because it was written by some high school teacher or some such on a blog that doesn't seem to hold any canonical credentials of its own, but apparently Leland Chee reviewed and "approved" of the quote regardless.

As far as the implications go, there's obviously Revan being way above SF Malak, and Vitiate above him. So even as of KotOR Revan is immensely more powerful than Kun under pretty disadvantageous circumstances, let alone more powerful versions of Revan on neutral ground. Considering the circumstances of Revan's duel with Malak on the Star Forge, I've long felt that it was a stomp-level difference between the two of them. That SF Malak is in turn far more powerful than Kun would suggest that even KotOR Revan could stomp him.

Plagueis and Sidious do benefit from that as well, but it's hard to say how much of their scaling trickles down to Maul, Dooku and Vader. It might just extend the gap between them, if anything.

Wasn't aware of that, but it explains the format of the article, I suppose.

Does this extend to anyone else besides Revan, Malak, and Vitiate? I'm not opposed to the idea that those three could stomp Exar, for the record.

That might raise a problem for me. If it widens the gap between Vader and the Emperor too much, I might settle on taking Vader's side over Kun, because as much as I know Palpatine can destroy Vader, Vader's command of the Force shouldn't be undermined too much. I don't think the gap between RotJ Palpatine and RotJ Vader is as staggering as the gap between TCW Sidious and TCW Maul, for instance. There's definitely a sizable leap but not to that degree, in my opinion. Defining precisely where I draw the line is tougher to put to words though, as is the nature of these things.

Agreed. That's not a particularly great look when he's the second best on his team and Maul and Dooku are the weakest on theirs, but the Ancient Sith have a significant number advantage here.

Is Ulic certainly better than Hord? Or Muur for that matter?

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#2  Edited By Silver2467

@lordofthelight said:

Yoda's epiphany at piercing the cloud of the dark side was not that he was inferior in skill or power to the Sith, but that the Sith had grown and changed with the times and that was the primary reason why the Jedi lost.

This is clearly emphasized by the statement "The new Sith could not be destroyed by a lightsaber, they could not be burned away by any torch of the force" and "How could one win a war against the dark when war itself had become the dark's main weapon". Clearly foreshadowing the events in Return of the Jedi, and how Luke managed to eventually "defeat" the Sith, not through combative prowess or sheer power, which would have done exactly the opposite leading him to the dark side, but through throwing away his weapon and refusing to fight, even when Sidious urged him to.

Furthermore, it is not Yoda's failure alone that is being reflected there, it is not just Yoda's loss, it is the loss of the whole Jedi Order. Which is why, before Yoda piercing the dark side, it is clearly written "It came when the avatar of light resolved into the lineage of Jedi, when the lineage of Jedi refined into one single Jedi". Hence why Yoda had "lost before he was even born". It is not Yoda's power that is being criticized at all by this, made clear by "The brighter his light, the darker their shadow" actually being the main problem in this scenario, it is Yoda's failure, and the collective failure of the Jedi to adapt to the changed galaxy and the Sith, instead of stagnating and growing complacent as they had done.

I don't dispute that Yoda was inferior to Sidious in power though obviously the gap is quite small, but this quote is not an evidence of it.

Your analysis here is all very agreeable and deconstructs the main thrust of the scene and the theme of the story (and SW as a whole), but the thematic intent only makes up the grander part, not the only part.

Intermixed with Yoda's reflection of the Sith's growth and the Jedi's stagnation in the larger scheme of history is a description of him as a combatant in that very moment, and in that very moment, he "just didn't have" what it took to win. The Jedi had been "training to refight the last war," while the Sith had adapted and improved "in preparation for exactly this day," the day their leading member would face the leading Jedi. Unfortunately, training to fight with the Sith was a futile effort not only for metaphorical reasons traced through the prose but on a lesser note for practical ones: the Sith had "remade themselves" and were prepared to fight any Jedi. Yes, it was a millennium of Jedi myopia and the virtual invincibility of the Dark that led to their Order's downfall and Yoda's defeat in the fight, but Yoda knew he was outmatched.

I'm aware the tone of the text appertains to the opposing development and principles of the Jedi and Sith and the abstract implications of war and death, but it also appertains to Yoda and Palpatine in their personal battle. Although their personal battle gave expression to historical and spiritual phenomena beyond them individually, they still had a fight on their hands individually anyway. So you're right, to be clear; the text says everything you described here and more. But it doesn't only concern the metaphor of a Dark-serving war. Yoda and Palpatine's physical struggle is just a storytelling expression of that metaphor

That said, if you're not convinced the novel makes this point, there are other sources which do. The Complete Visual Dictionary says that Yoda "realizes he is overmatched." So the point stands regardless that Yoda silently conceded inferiority.

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@silver2467: Absolutely amazing post Silver, I can´t express how much I thank you for that, especially since I haven´t done my research there LOL. I probably will respond on the weekend, but I need to tag @jkbart for this.

Also, where should we discuss this? It get´s abit off-topic even for the Shimrra thread (though that´s my fault), and here would obviously be the wrong place. A blog post could work, as your analysis is certainly blog worthy imo, or maybe a seperate thread in the Star Wars subforum. Thoughts?

You're welcome. :)

That's not a bad idea. I could move this to a blog/SW forum thread.

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#4  Edited By Silver2467

Kun did sense Ulic as a rival from across the galaxy prior to their duel, and both grew tremendously since, but I believe there's a quote saying Kun by the end of his reign was far more powerful than any one Jedi at the time (given he himself was called a Jedi, it would make sense if Ulic was also included). So maybe he ultimately did leave Ulic in the dust, and a possible reason is that he was able to benefit from the sacking of Ossus while Ulic didn't. Kun had less than a year between Ulic being stripped of the Force and his own demise, but it's possible to grow significantly in such a span of time.

Huh. That changes things. Do you know what the source for this was?

Didn't you subscribe to the Malak quote? If Kun is around Vader's level for you, do you reckon SF Malak is an entire league above Vader? Generally I think it's better to raise characters rather than demote their scaling material, but the general reception towards the Malak-Kun quote, if it's even accepted, has been to lower Kun more than anything else.

Yeah, I don't see any reason to dismiss the Star Forge Malak quote. It seems to be from an obscure source, but so are a lot of accolades and rankings we extrapolate from here. By all accounts, it appears as legitimate as anything else.

About how the quote affects Exar's standing in the hierarchy or whether SF Malak far exceeds Vader, I think I'd feel more comfortable answering that question if I knew what some of the more far-reaching implications would be. For instance, I understand that Revan's powers grew in the many years after his battle with Malak in KOTOR, and who would benefit from scaling compared to Revan, I don't really know beyond Vitiate.

I agree with you too that downward power scaling is usually pretty questionable, but you might have a point here. The SF Malak quote could force me to reconsider my ranking of Kun in his overall historical placement. That, or it just hypes up Sidious and by extension Plagueis even more in this thread, because we know Sidious exceeds every Sith before him. Maybe a bit of both?

I could see them being on the same level. Ulic is probably below any of them, though.

I could see Ulic being on or just below their level based on feats and the power the material ascribes to them.

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#5  Edited By Silver2467

@kilius: In complete seriousness, I really respect your even attitude towards this conversation. That's not all too common in these topics and should definitely be acknowledged.

And sure, we can agree to disagree. No worries there. We also agree that there's an argument to made for Yoda taking the lead as a duslist and that the fight could arguably lean either way. So we have some common ground there too.

Good discussion.

@lordofthelight: Solid points. I'll give you a full response later when I have a keyboard and some more free time.

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@azronger: I haven't found an exact height or width. I know that it was built over the ruins of the Imperial Palace, but how much precisely of that still stood is anyone's guess.

The Citadel had at least 14 levels, a high dovin basal-controlled chute to the bunker, and then the summit which was a sizable escape vessel with several chambers. The best indicator is TUF's frequent description of the Citadel as a "holy mountain," and there's one scene where Jag sees the Citadel through a cloud and smoke cover, which suggests it might reach cloud-level.

As a sidenote, I only just now realized I posted this in the wrong thread. I had two active conversations with DarthFallax a couple weeks ago, and the thread we were talking about Onimi in was this one. LOL.

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#7  Edited By Silver2467

@kilius said:

Yoda lost but he wasn't outmatched, like Sidious supporters are trying to spin.

According to a multitude of sources, he in fact was overmatched.

@kilius said:

He lost do to a factor completely out of Sidious's control.

It's out of Sidious' control to save himself from a high fall and let his opponent drop to his defeat?

@kilius said:

Yes because he fell from a very long fall and was obviously very hurt. A cause of which was outside of Sidious's control.

It's not out of his control. The reason Yoda fell is because Palpatine was blasting him with Lightning, and the Deflection overloaded, detonating between them.

You could tell me Yoda lost because he tripped over his own feet, and Sidious would still have been the victor. Attaching these thin excuses doesn't salvage the situation any.

@kilius said:

Like I said Sidious was dangling too. He wasn't exactly in a swell position either.

I think not falling a hundred meters is a better position, yeah.

@kilius said:

Had Yoda been lucky enough to land on one of the senate pods, he would have been in an excellent position to finish the helpless Sidious.

Without a weapon? Hardly.

These hypothetical excuses still form a very weak attempt at damage control. I might as well argue, "If Palpatine was lucky enough to have both lightsabers" or "If Palpatine was lucky enough to have more space to fight in," but that would only distract us from the topic with a set of insubstantial red herrings. For someone who favors film-validated proof, I'm surprised you're willing to employ this kind of conjecture as an argument.

@kilius said:

I'd also like to close with the fact that Sidious elected not to pursue either.

He did actually. He wanted to find him and kill him. Since you're partial to novelizations filling in cutaway scenes, in the novel Palpatine surveys the lower arena, not seeing Yoda who had already run away. That's why he called for a search party.

@kilius said:.

In the Force battle yes. In the lightsaber battle Yoda drove him back, forcing Sidious to take refuge in the Senate podium, where he then proceeded to disarm him. I think Sidious supporters need to at least acknowledge that Yoda did better in the lightsaber duel. They were both strained but only Yoda ever gained any tangible advantage(strictly speaking of the lightsaber portion of course).

Since you've cited the junior novel as evidence yourself, it's worth pointing out that the junior novel says that "the cramped space within the pod left little room for maneuvering." On-screen, we see Yoda perform his customary acrobatics, while Palpatine remains relatively stationary in the center. He was hampered by the cramped space, while Yoda's diminutive size and agile fighting style afforded him space enough and to spare.

According to Nick Gillard, Sidious and Yoda are both on tier 9 in his and Lucas' ranking system, and to quote Gillard, "At so high a ranking, it comes down to individual fighting styles as well as the circumstances of the surroundings that make a difference."

You tried to mitigate Yoda's loss in the Force battle on the grounds of perceived environmental factors, but brandishing lightsabers is an extremely circumstantial affair. So by the same token, I can also say that Yoda supporters need to at least acknowledge that Yoda did better in the lightsaber duel due to outside conditions.

For the record, the very post you responded to contains a point that Yoda is "at least" as skilled with a blade as Palpatine. I've argued in the past that Yoda might be slightly superior, but any difference really is negligible, if one exists. I never disputed that Yoda did better when crossing blades.

@kilius said:

Sidious lost his lightsaber too and Yoda did send one of the pods back at Sidious, who was unable to counter and was forced to give up his superior position. Also lets not forget the Force push that sent Sidious flying across his office, wiping that smug look off his face and frightening him into fleeing. "If so powerful you are, why leave?" As you mention earlier the fight was two-sided.

Yoda was forced to evade and retreat when Sidious was hurling senate pods at him and was blasted across the holding office as well. How does this detract from the point? The section you quoted outlined the conditions of Yoda's loss. That the two had an even fight with vacillating circumstances has never been in dispute.

As before, I'm genuinely surprised you bring up these points. What I was describing was the conclusion of the duel, while you're isolating particular moments of the play-by-play, ones I even mentioned in my own post. The difference is that while Palpatine attempted to cut his losses by escaping instead of risking the galaxy on a personal fight, he still took home a close but conclusive win; whereas, when Yoda fled, sources tell us plainly that he fled because he was disarmed, disrobed, and knew he couldn't win.

You tell me which one of those holds more water in this discussion.

@kilius said:

Sidious doesn't have an endless supply of Force reserves. And in the movie he didn't, it forms a sphere of energy that overloads, sending them both flying. In the end he couldn't sustain his attack longer than Yoda could defend.

Unlike Yoda, Palpatine wasn't defeated or noticeably hurt by the results; he was still cackling at Yoda. The novelization states that Yoda "had reached the limits of his strength" deflecting the Lightning, and there's nothing in the film that contradicts inward narration. Palpatine was prepared to fight longer at need by all available information.

@kilius said:

Unfortunately I don't have access to the Insider, so I can't ascertain the full context. But what I see doesn't really prove that Sidious outmatched him. Yes Yoda is defeated: He failed his mission to kill the Dark Lord of the Sith and he walked away with his pride and soul broken, while Sidious still ruled the Galaxy. Sidious's only victory condition was to survive.

No Caption Provided
No Caption Provided

That's the context. It's as simple as I told you: Lucas intended Yoda to lose, and there's no way to lawyer the quote to mean anything other than that.

@kilius said:

Yoda still beat him a duel and matched him blow for blow and only lost in the end do to bad luck and positioning.

There's no onus placed on me to disprove a red herring, and neither is there any merit in this argument anyway. Once again, I might as well argue "Palpatine only lost the lightsaber duel because it was his bad luck his lightsaber slipped."

And by the way, positioning yourself is part of fighting. Footwork is half the battle in any fencing match, and it's no one's fault but Yoda's that he was where he was. If he failed to maintain his position on the pod and fell, that's not something you can just handwave away; it offers a commentary of Yoda as a combatant.

@kilius said:

Which are contradictory to the movie. The movie is the highest tier of canon. Anything that contradicts it, is non-canon, not even Legends. And the junior novelization also portrays the fight as even btw.

On the contrary, Yoda's defeat is not contrary to the movie. His being blasted head-on by Lightning may not be how the film portrayed his defeat, but the result was a defeat nonetheless. It doesn't undercut the novelization that it followed the script instead of the finished product on-screen, especially when its contents were read and approved by Lucas. If Lucas wanted Yoda to take the advantage, he would've had that happen.

@kilius said:

The movies apply to Legends as well unless stipulated otherwise. None of those third party sources overrides the movie or novelizations, regardless of what they say; if they have a new insight not seen in the priority sources, then they can be acknowledged, but quotes that state that Sidious outmatched Yoda or that they were equal as lightersaber duelists, are plainly inaccurate, just like the quotes that state that Dooku matched Yoda in a Force battle, nobody needs to take them seriously. Movie takes first priority, can't stress that enough.

Correction: They don't conform to your interpretation of the movie, but they're not inaccurate. That you personally believe the film's portrayal of the fight was a dead-even stalemate with elements in Yoda's court doesn't eliminate what a plethora of sources have told us. I have it on good authority that every single Star Wars writer watched this film too, and their interpretation differs from yours. In Stover's novelization, Yoda's epiphany at piercing the Force veil was his battle-inferiority to the Sith; to repeat, nothing in the film contradicts Yoda's inward musing. According to the animation team behind the scene, Lucas supervised them to depict Yoda as beaten, and that's what they endeavored to do. According to James Luceno, Daniel Wallace, Pablo Hidalgo, and a list of other notable contributing authors, Palpatine came out the winner, proved too powerful for Yoda, and Yoda lost for no other reason than that he was overmatched.

You'll forgive me for taking the interpretation espoused by a line of published Star Wars authors over one individual's partiality to preferred interpretation. There's no reason whatsoever for me to dismiss the redundantly published and self-evident fact: Palpatine won.

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#8  Edited By Silver2467

@shootingnova said:

@silver2467: Sorry for the late reply. :)

Same, lol.

@shootingnova said:

Mind elaborating on how you think it'll turn out if this happens?

I think a better adjustment would be omitting Sidious and adding Ulic.

I think it depends on how someone like Hord stands against Palpatine's apprentices. Frankly, Tulak's power makes for some decent scaling for Exar, and although Kun is identified as more powerful than Ulic, I think it's obvious Ulic wasn't left completely in the dust by him either. Exar and Ulic form some extremely difficult competition for Palpatine's apprentices, not only because of their skill but their mutual familiarity. I've gone back and forth for years whether or not I consider Exar more or less powerful than Vader (who in my opinion is the strongest of Palpatine's apprentices by a notch or two). With further scaling from Tulak on top of Exar's own feats and other accolades, it might push Exar over him in comparison, but it might not. Truthfully, I don't really have the evidence prepared to argue in Vader's defense over Kun or Kun's defense over Vader right at the moment. It's not a subject I've given much thought to for a long time.

But yeah, I'd agree that leaving Plagueis and removing Sidious would be even closer.

@shootingnova said:

I don't think it's difficult to imagine him being one of the best ever, but so is everyone in this fight, so that doesn't tell us too much about how he compares to them. You're not wrong about the scarcity of details here.

That's too bad because it makes nailing this down extremely difficult.

@shootingnova said:

That depends on how we imagine Palpatine's apprentices compare to Kun, who is factually above Hord but far below the Emperor. I imagine Vader at least would be able to claim a majority over him.

Interesting. I imagine that would apply to Ulic as well then, but what about Dooku and Maul compared to Kun/Qel-Droma?

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#9  Edited By Silver2467

I remember ShootingNova saying a few years ago that he'd never seen an argument for Yoda over Sidious that didn't labor a series of double standards or reversible arguments, and in my years of activity on CV, I haven't either. Here are the facts on the events in Revenge of the Sith:

  • During the battle in the Senate arena, Yoda and Palpatine both trade positions of superiority. Both grunt, both retreat, both take hits, both are disarmed, and both express discomfort and fear. Both enjoy a comparable wellspring of power in the Force based on the play-by-play of the fight.
  • In the film, the battle's portrayal is closest, with Yoda narrowly losing after falling down the arena from the exploded energy between the two combatants. Yoda flees, electing not to continue the fight, and it's obvious he's in no position to. Where the Emperor attempted to flee earlier, he nevertheless fought Yoda ferociously when the fight was unavoidable, and he acquitted himself well. In Yoda's case, he had by the end lost his lightsaber, and his Force attacks proved overall ineffective. Palpatine seemed prepared to blast him at will with an endless stream of Lightning, an attack Yoda couldn't repel indefinitely. Continuing the conflict after his fall and the loss of his lightsaber would've been fruitless.
  • For behind-the-scenes annotation concerning the film, Insider #86 in the article Yoda's Right Arm discusses the filmmakers' animation of Yoda in the PT. Interestingly, the story direction the animation team worked under saw them trying to depict Yoda as truly defeated in the Senate arena. They signified this visually by the loss of Yoda's cloak: "At this moment in the film, Yoda has lost his cloak, and for the first time we get a sense of the character's skeletal and muscular structure. 'That was something George was really specific about, that robe flying off. Getting Yoda to a level where he's just defeated,' says Wheless." In the film's development, Lucas' directed the animators to convey the message that Yoda put up a valiant effort but suffered a crushing defeat.
  • The comic and novel adaptations of RotS show Palpatine clearly winning. Where the film shows a close contest, Palpatine's win and Yoda's loss is much more decisive in other adaptations, which for Legends discussions are valid sources. The film is always primary material, but Legends includes comics and novelizations as well, particularly a novelization edited and approved by Lucas. In Stover's adaptation, not only does Sidious beat Yoda, but Yoda knows in himself that he's outmatched.
  • From articles to blogs to sourcebooks, there's a wealth of sources from a litany of writers in both Legends and Canon that name Sidious as the victor in the duel, with many in tandem identifying Palpatine as more powerful than Yoda. There's a rare few that claim a stalemate and to my knowledge not even one that awards Yoda first place. Considering that every published Star Wars author watched the same film the rest of us did, their interpretation can't be dismissed so easily, especially when their interpretation conforms to Lucas' intention for the scene. It's perfectly fair to apply personal interpretation in a films-only discussion; it's not fair to selectively ignore published material in an inclusive discussion. Cherrypicking sources doesn't promote honest debating. For Legends or Canon discussions, supplementary sources stand.
  • The fact that Yoda lost in RotS doesn't necessarily mean he would lose every encounter. It's obvious he can hold his own against the Emperor, give him a hard fight, and probably even win some rounds. One of the common supplementary descriptions of this fight is that this constitutes an epic battle between the greatest Jedi and the greatest Sith, the most powerful Force masters. Sidious is a bit more powerful than Yoda according to the composite data, but Yoda is definitely in his league with the Force and at least as skilled with a lightsaber. This fight amounts to the grand no-holds-barred, fate-of-the-universe, battle of the century. It would be every time.

All in all, if RotS versions are stipulated, then this comes down to a 5/10 split, or Sidious wins 5.5-6/10. Depending on how the lots are cast, Yoda might take some lightsaber rounds, but based on most sources, Palpatine draws on a deeper well of Force reserves with more destructive powers to apply it with. If this is DE Palpatine, then he wins at least 7-8/10 based on his vast power spike compared to his (ostensibly) younger self.

Awesome fight no matter what. Still one of the coolest battle scenes in the films, between the score, the choreography, and the weight of seeing the two strongest characters resolve their differences.

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#10  Edited By Silver2467

@darthfallax: Sorry for the lateness of this reply, Fallax. On top of other responsibilities, I had to review large sections of the book in order to piece together Onimi’s influence because the ending twist involves his powers; so the majority of the novel intentionally neglects his effect on the Citadel. I’ve also never studied out the lengths of Onimi’s feat here, and the answer is buried under the enormity of the climax. Without further delay, here is my full analysis on Onimi’s manipulation of the Citadel in The Unifying Force.

If you recall during the events leading up to and during the final Battle of Coruscant in the Vong War, Coruscant/Yuuzhan’tar suffered one cataclysm after another for a variety of extraneous reasons I’ll recite briefly; I bring this up because we need to identify specifically which tremors were supposed to be caused by Onimi personally and which were by some other force.

As you know from the events of Traitor, after the initial Vongforming of Coruscant into a facsimile of their ancient homeworld, the organic yorik coral on Yuuzhan’tar overgrew and assimilated the remains of the Imperial Palace to fashion Shimrra’s Citadel and the upper bunker that doubled as an escape vessel. Turning over to the conclusion of the war in The Unifying Force, once Zonama Sekot appeared in the orbit of Coruscant/Yuuzhan’tar, it upset the gravitational field of the planet and its satellites, causing huge upheavals in volcanic activity and earthquakes (the scene where Drathul threatens Nom Anor).

Then, during the last battle of the conflict, Jag Fe's squadron of Alliance starfighters that penetrated the planet’s orbital defenses fired on the Citadel but to little effect. Lastly, and immediately after the event of which this discussion pertains, the Citadel was shaken again by the takeoff of the Supreme Overlord’s escape vessel at the summit of the Citadel.

"It responds only to the Supreme Overlord." He glanced around. "Onimi—Shimrra's familiar—must be in hiding."

Without warning, the bunker began to vibrate.

"Someone has to tell the dhuryam that enough's enough," Han said.

Nom Anor's heart began to pound. In sudden realization, he placed the palm of his left hand against the outer wall. "The dhuryam isn't doing this! The vessel is being readied for launch! "

Without warning, the ground started to shake. For a moment Mara thought that the Falcon's repulsorlifts were the cause; then she realized that the Citadel was the source. Frightened faces raised to the worldship fortress, the heretics began to retreat to the far side of the square, where the great beasts were on their feet and bellowing in fear. As the shaking grew more violent, cracks formed in the facade of the Citadel and huge hunks of yorik coral began to avalanche down its sheer sides. Paving stones under the Falcon heaved, then sank, dropping the starboard landing gear disk a meter into the fractured ground.

A rending sound thundered through the air. Then the bullet-shaped crown of the holy mountain slowly separated from the base and lifted into the sky.

--The Unifying Force

These are obviously not the handiwork of Onimi’s powers. I’m listing them because the devastation that swept the world at the time came by successive degrees from one catastrophe or another. The subject of this discussion, Onimi’s influence on the Citadel, must be observed as irrespective of these other circumstances, and I’ll now move onto that.

When Jacen reestablished his connection with the World Brain and persuaded it to trust him once again, it was assumed by practically everyone—Jacen, Luke, Nom Anor, Han—that the shaking at the Citadel was caused the dhuryam’s revolt against Shimrra. The text of the book itself narrates this at least four separate times from different perspectives; the following are just a few:

He risked a few cautious steps toward the beasts, then stopped when temblors began to rock the fragile span at regular intervals.

"Now what?" Jaina yelled to Luke. "Is Zonama Sekot making another fly-by?"

The temblors grew louder and more forceful. Jacen managed to keep his balance on the swaying concourse, but the steady jolts proved too much for the unbroken expanse. Fissured, the yorik coral span gave way, plummeting in fragments into the whitewater torrent.

Portions of the fortress had been extensively damaged by powerful groundquakes, which Nom Anor assumed had been engineered by the faithless dhuryam.

"I'm slowing the blood flow, Mara." Skywalker's gaze found Han Solo, who went down on one knee alongside him. "From the way this place was shaking, Han, I'm assuming you convinced the World Brain to see reason."

Han traded brief glances with his wife, then mustered a smile.

"A bit thorny, but we managed."

--The Unifying Force

So the whole Citadel was shaken by earthquakes and the commands of the dhuryam to the yorik coral biots constituting the architecture. This became more concentrated during the battle in the throne room at the summit, where the whole pinnacle bunker tilted from side-to-side unpredictably “as if mounted on gimbals,” according to the text. This phenomenon was also believed by Jacen and Luke to be the intent of the World Brain.

Jacen jumped straight up, but not quickly enough, and the amphistaff struck him on the ankle. Landing off balance, he staggered into the wall. Two warriors hurried after him, but made it only halfway when the entire bunker tipped to the right.

The unexpected movement sent everyone, slayers and Jedi alike, scurrying, sailing, and tumbling into the opposite wall. As if mounted on gimbals, the bunker tipped again, this time in the direction of the ruined osmotic membrane, bunching everyone against that wall. Guessing that Shimrra was responsible, Luke spared a glance at the throne.

The Supreme Overlord's clawed hands were indeed in motion, but the expression on Shimrra's face was one of benign bafflement.

The dhuryam, Jacen sent through the Force.

Luke understood.

The World Brain, joining the Shamed Ones in revolt, was causing the entire Citadel to shake, perhaps by rocking the cradle to which it was wed, or by some means beyond Luke's imagining. Self-contained, the bunker was attempting to keep itself level.

--The Unifying Force

The illustration of gimbals like a gyroscope explains how the bunker can shift on its side without collapsing the Citadel wholesale, especially since the upper bunker—including the Supreme Overlord’s ship—forms only the peak of the palace, which earlier chapters described entering like a completely separate structure, “in some sense leaving the Citadel itself.” This distinguishes the integrity of the bunker from the integrity of the Citadel, answering my earlier question about how the bunker can tilt without destroying the palace; while the Citadel at large shook at apparently tectonic movements, the bunker pivoted unexpectedly at odd angles seemingly on an axis, leaving the warriors frequently grounded. In total, I counted more than six times that the bunker canted during the battle between the Jedi and the slayers.

But while the escape ship according to design is removable from the Citadel, these effects aren’t entirely detached from one another. Twice, the novel says that the shaking of the Citadel caused the bunker to turn angularly.

If not for the swaying of the Citadel and the effects of its unpredictable oscillations of Shimrra's coffer—his escape vessel—Jacen figured he would already be dead. That was the World Brain, having finally decided which side it was on.

Abruptly, the Citadel rocked and the room tilted to the right. Luke dropped to one knee, holding his lightsaber arm up to protect his head, then dived, somersaulting on landing and spinning to his feet to face the warriors' charge.

--The Unifying Force

So basically, we have this happening: as the Citadel is shaken, the bunker oscillates from side-to-side. What does this have to do with Onimi? Well, all three of the Jedi suspected the Shamed One’s hand in the fight in the throne chamber somehow, though none guessed precisely the role he played except for Jacen at the end. Luke caught glimpse of him when the first shift happens, and then Jaina and Jacen also take a hard look at him later on, marking particularly how he stood unaffected by the precarious floor level.

But cut off from the dhuryam, it couldn't anticipate the Citadel's behavior. Shimrra's hand movements were just that—the idle flutters of a god-king who was forced to accept that he had lost his most powerful ally and weapon. Without the dhuryam's cooperation, Coruscant could never be Yuuzhan'tar. Even if victorious in the war, the Yuuzhan Vong would have failed to re-create their ancestral homeworld.

And yet there was a look in Shimrra's blazing eyes that promised Luke he had not seen the last of the Supreme Overlord's tricks. Shimrra was concealing something—a secret of such power that it enabled him to remain seated on his throne, even with his world teetering around him.

Luke noticed then, for the first time, that Shimrra wasn't alone on the dais. Behind the throne crouched another Yuuzhan Vong, whose asymmetrically swollen head and downcast features identified him as a Shamed One. Aware that he had been glimpsed, the Shamed One withdrew into the shadow cast by the throne, as if in an attempt to make himself small and unnoticeable.

But Luke had no time to think further about Shimrra's companion.

The bunker was suddenly in motion again.

In the center of the bunker, giant Shimrra had left his throne and was tottering toward the moat, his powerful amphistaff unfurled and serving as a kind of walking stick. Also in motion was Shimrra's companion, who was making steady if tortuous progress toward the curving stairway that climbed into the summit.

Jaina had first noticed him moments earlier when the bunker had shifted, somehow maintaining his balance despite his asymmetry.

--The Unifying Force

Jacen’s curiosity about Onimi was finally put to rest when he confronted him. Just as he caught onto during the battle, the slayers fought in a directed pattern once Onimi left the dais and climbed into the ship. He had in fact begun guiding the movements of the slayers, much like a yammosk guides coralskippers during warfare. More pertinently, Jacen also discovered that Onimi and not the World Brain was the one responsible for the shaking of the Citadel. This is our key text:

The trouble was, that decision mattered only to the reshaping of Coruscant and not to the Supreme Overlord, who was clearly able to control objects in his immediate environment without need of the dhuryam.

The slayers, for one thing.

Where initially they had been moving with individual vigilance and of their own accord, they were now moving as coralskippers did under the control of a battle coordinator. The change had come simultaneously with Shimrra's rising from the throne, and the escape of his Shamed One companion, whom Jaina had pursued into the summit of the Citadel.

"In your omniscience, you know that's why I risked grafting yammosk cells to my own neural tissue: in the hope of being able to discover some way to escape the rack on which you had mounted us! But instead of rewarding my having the courage to emulate your bold works of creation, you condemned me. You granted me the powers to speak through the mouths of others, to manipulate them at will, to control remotely, as your yammosks do, and yet you punished me with physical deformities that shouted to one and all that my attempt at self-escalation had failed.

Jacen realized the truth. Onimi had overseen the warriors in the throne room below. Onimi, not the dhuryam, had been responsible for the quakes that had nearly toppled the Citadel

--The Unifying Force

So Onimi generated the quaking of the entire citadel and the pinwheeling of the bunker during the fight. This is wholly attributed to his own powers.

Now, we have the question: how did Onimi do this? Does this show powers usable in other circumstances absent Vong biotechnology, for battle forum purposes for instance? To answer that, let’s consider how his powers worked. Onimi by shaper engineering manipulated his own cellular makeup, infusing yammosk cells to his brain tissue and so doing granted himself telepathic powers. Yammosks, as you know, coordinated warfare for the Vong, using their telepathic influence on coralskippers and other crafts to win battles. Dhuryams, which are basically just modified super-yammosks, applied this same principle on a planetary scope to forge the Vong homeworld, cultivating its foliage and animals and creating architecture and ecosystems necessary for both the Vong and their sundry biots to thrive.

What Jacen found went deeper though; he saw that Onimi had actually reversed his Force severance by his self-bioengineering and that his telepathic powers were a manifestation of his Force powers. This was why Onimi could see Jacen and Jaina through the Force and summon electrical charges reminiscent of Force Lightning.

As the realization deepened, he recognized that his Vongsense was allowing him to see Onimi in a profound way. Onimi was open to him, and in an instant Jacen understood how the Shamed One, a former shaper, had attained such power. But even Onimi didn't understand that through his experiments he had also found a way to reverse the damage that had been done in the distant past to the Yuuzhan Vong.

He had regained the Force!

--The Unifying Force

Coming to the point, Onimi’s ability to command the Supreme Overlord’s escape vessel was because he essentially was the Supreme Overlord in everything but name. It was his own craft joined to him, not Shimrra. Like other organic spacecraft, the ship would respond to the telepathic tugging of a yammosk or, in this case, Onimi. It can activate and move on command. So was that how Onimi shook the palace, by telepathically impelling the biots? There’s definitely a case for that, and I’ll actually present arguments for both sides of this.

To begin with, while it’s true that the escape vessel was bound to Onimi personally, it wasn’t already active when the Jedi entered the bunker. Onimi fled up the steps into the bridge in order to prep it for launch. This required him to both telekinetically and telepathically manipulate the vessel’s organic control nodes.

Shimrra's companion shuffled about the spacious bridge, activating the vessel's organic components with waves of his crooked hands and with what seemed to be telepathic commands. The living console began to pulse and ripple like muscle tissue.

Jacen kept climbing. On reaching the last few high-risered stairs, he leapt through the well and landed in a defensive crouch on the deck of the vessel's immense bridge. Shimrra's familiar stood opposite him, his disfigured body listed to one side, his twisted hands waving commands at the throbbing control console.

Onimi wanted nothing more than to kill them. He was observing Jacen from across the bridge, even while guiding the vessel through the tattered sky. Willing it through the tattered sky, Jacen realized. Directing it the way a yammosk might.

--The Unifying Force

Clearly, Onimi’s activation of the ship and its ready response to him owes to his ownership of the vessel, and when he died, the vessel underwent a near-immediate catastrophic system shut-down, destroying it with him.

"Onimi was wedded to this ship," he said in a rush. "With his death, it has begun to die, and we will perish with it."

--The Unifying Force

But to answer one of your earlier questions, the Citadel wasn’t destroyed, not entirely anyway; what remained of it after the damage from Alliance ships, groundquakes, and the liftoff of the escape vessel still stood afterward. It was the ship only that perished when struck with the death of Onimi.

So did the escape ship share some unique, telepathic bond with Onimi? It appears so given the comparison between Onimi’s control of it and the dhuryam’s control of the planet. It’s curious too that the excerpts concerning the coffer tilting portray the organic bunker being “self-contained,” finding itself “cut off from the dhuryam” and so couldn’t “anticipate the Citadel’s behavior.” This was while everyone labored under the impression that the World Brain caused the quaking of the Citadel, when actually it was Onimi; this might suggest that the biot structure of the Citadel reacted to telepathic instructions, while the bunker received none and had to right itself when shaken. If that’s the case, this shows a more telepathic origin to Onimi’s feat.

About the ship in question, in addition to being the one Vong the vessel was programmed to obey, we find in the narration that the ship and all constituents of it answered Onimi’s commands. However, this is described as telekinetic during Onimi’s fight with Jacen and seems to stretch beyond what an ordinary yammosk could do. Indeed, his abilities are compared to the World Brain itself, but the text calls his environmental manipulation “telekinetic powers.”

Onimi was eager to train his awesome powers on Jacen, and to do that he had no need for an amphistaff or coufee. He was capable of manufacturing paralytic agents and lethal poisons. And in the same way the World Brain oversaw Coruscant, Onimi controlled the environment of the living vessel, and could turn any or all parts of it against Jacen.

On the bridge of the vessel whose every component answered to him, Onimi sent a blur of objects racing for Jacen, beginning with the carved idols that flanked Jaina: cloaked Yun-Harla, many-armed Yun-Yammka, thousand-eyed Yun-Shuno, and the rest. But Jacen stood firm. Not wanting to risk hurting Jaina inadvertently by deflecting the objects, he pulled everything into a whirling cloud, as if in orbit around him. Beyond the cloud, he was dimly aware that a transparency had formed above the console, and that constellations of stars were winking into existence, smeared in places by the explosive exchanges among the hundreds of warships battling at the edge of Coruscant's envelope.

Jacen's steadfast defense infuriated Onimi. Reaching deeper into himself, the Supreme Overlord used his telekinetic powers to create cracks in the bulkheads and ceiling, hoping to add chunks of uprooted yorik coral to his conjured storm.

But as fast as the fissures formed, Jacen repaired them, and those chunks that were torn away he ordered the vessel to cement in place.

--The Unifying Force

As seen above, Jacen successfully bent the environment of the ship back against Onimi, exerting telekinetic control to close the fissures, and so united his Force sensitivity and Vongsense into a state of Oneness that allowed him to touch the universe at large and the severed Vong life simultaneously, with no break in his awareness between them. Evidently, the Force motioned the living ship, and if it was the Force that Onimi used to control it, it’s possible he could use the Force also to the same effect on anything else.

Furthermore, nothing of this kind of special control or connection is described of Onimi’s quaking of the Citadel and the bunker atop it, aside from a possible correlation to the World Brain’s telephatic faculties, and even if it did, it’s not explicitly stated that Onimi’s bond with the escape ship exclusively permitted him to telekinetically crack the ship’s bulkheads. That’s only inference and not an absolute one, in my opinion. The comparison to the World Brain and Onimi’s control over every article in the escape vessel might be nothing more than an analogy to express the breadth of his control, not the method of it. What dhuryams do by biologically engineered telepathic powers, Onimi does by biologically renewed Force powers.

I think the argument of yammosk-like telepathy being the source of Onimi’s feats would be more plausible if the novel didn’t reveal him to be Force sensitive and describe his hurling objects as “telekinetic.” Those bits of information point to the conclusion that this power is Force-derived telekinesis applied on the Citadel. His powers pour from the Force, and the whole premise and philosophical thrust of The Unifying Force is the oneness of all the universe. Ergo, I believe what Onimi did to the Citadel, he can do to anything else, because all is connected by the same power, the same consciousness.

To summarize:

  • Onimi quaked and shook the entire Citadel, a multi-level spacecraper-palace, possibly by telekinetic pressure
  • The shaking of the Citadel resulted in the drastic angular shifting of the bunker
  • Onimi continued doing this while telepathically conducting the slayers in their attack against Luke and Jacen and only seemed to stop once he started up the escape ship

If all of this is correct, this amounts to one of the best telekinetic feats in Legends Star Wars. Its quality will vary a bit by interpretation though. Although I lean just a bit towards the interpretation that Onimi rumbled the Citadel telekinetically based on the novel’s description of his Force sensitivity and manifesting “telekinetic” powers, I wouldn’t be too dogmatic about this conclusion; I honestly had to give it quite a bit of consideration before posting this. There’s certainly an argument to be made for a telepathic root to all this where Onimi merely compelled the biots to rattle uncontrollably, and I even raised a few points to that interpretation. It’s even possible that there’s a combination of both telepathy and telekinesis at work here. At the moment, I just think a telekinetic influence makes the most sense.

Hopefully, this sheds some light for you. Let me know your thoughts.