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Star Wars has been, is, and will always be family-friendly to a certain degree. There’s never much blood or gore, there’s always more humor than terror, and the characters wear such heavy plot armor that when horror does happen, they’re never in much danger. What meager scares Star Wars can muster up usually come from monstrous beings interacting with our beloved heroes; the Dianoga, Wampa, Sarlacc, Acklay, and Summa-Verminoth come to mind. But even these fearful encounters were held back from their full potential with strategic humor, spunky attitudes, and the Force.
However, tucked away in the Star Wars Extended Universe are a handful of stories that cannot be classified as anything other than traditional, blood-soaked horror. Red Harvest, Death Troopers, and Darth Plageuis come to mind right away. Riptide and Crosscurrent had their own special brand of horror, and Lords of the Sith went a long way to show the depravity of certain Sith.
They all come second to the embodiment of pure chaos that is Abeloth.
Abeloth is beyond such trivial things as life and death. She does not believe in Light or Dark. She simply is. Just by existing, she tilts the universe towards entropy and destruction. She is the single most powerful being any Jedi has ever faced and probably will ever face. She is Abeloth the Everlasting, Abeloth the Mother, Abeloth the Bringer of Chaos, and Abeloth Beloved Queen of the Stars.
Key Info Up Front
Abeloth is the result of what happens when a mortal bathes in a nexus of Dark side energy right after bathing in a nexus of Light side energy. Hundreds of thousands of years ago, a woman pushed to desperation bathed in both nexuses and lost her humanity. She became a Force-being, more powerful than almost any other in the universe.
And she became hungry.
Some of the details of Abeloth’s background are a mystery, and no writer as of yet has undertaken the challenge. We don’t know what species she was before she became the entity known as Abeloth, but we do know she was humanoid and mortal. We don’t know on which planet she lived, but we know she lived with the Ones as their servant for many years.
The Ones are a race of beings that are pure embodiments of the Force. Known as the Architects in Star Wars legends, they are now called the Ones. The Father embodies order between Light and Dark, the Daughter embodies Light, and the Son embodies Dark. The Clone Wars does an arch about them and their death, which is directly tied to the rise of Abeloth.
But the Ones lived for hundreds of thousands of years. They were around when the Jedi Order was first formed, and they saw the galaxy switch hands between the Light and the Dark a dozen times. Their time with the being who would become Abeloth took place near the beginning of their lives, millennia before any Skywalker was conceived.
So hundreds of thousands of years before the Battle of Yavin, the Ones lived on an unknown planet with their mortal servant and things were good. So good that the Father promoted the servant to be Mother. Big promotion. Now the Mother and the Father brought the Light and the Dark sides of the Force into perfect balance. Everything was really good.
Unfortunately, the promotion to Mother didn’t bring any powers with it. The Mother was still mortal, and time was still marching on. The Mother thought of ways to hold onto her life, her position, and her family and those thoughts turned to desperation.
On this unknown planet, there were two fountains that poured water which was actually pure Force energy; the Pool of Knowledge and the Font of Power. These fountains were nexuses for the Light and Dark side of the Force respectively.
The Mother figured the only way to retain her position and her family was to bathe in not one of the fountains, but both, gaining the ultimate power. She thought with pure power over all of the Force, she would live everlasting with her family and become a One herself.
Instead, she turned into a female Cthulu. When the Father saw that, he was like, “I’m taking the kids, freak-face. Peace out.”
The Mother didn’t take the dump well. The kids didn’t take the dump well. The universe didn’t take the dump well.
The Mother had become something so much more; she had become Abeloth. She wanted some sweet, savory revenge on the family that now scorned her just because she sought to be like them. The Ones imprisoned her on their old planet, built a cluster of black holes around it to keep her in, and built a series of space stations to monitor her status.
If that doesn’t say, “It’s over.” I don’t know what will.
What Is Abeloth?
Throughout the struggle against Abeloth, both Jedi and Sith joke that none of them will ever accurately describe what Abeloth is. Most call her an entity of the Dark Side, being that she usually wants to kill, eat, or drain the life out of people on a galaxy-wide scale. But she does possess mastery over powers only the most proficient Jedi can perform. Throughout the series Abeloth appears in, Fate of the Jedi, Luke and his son Ben are constantly taught the lesson that the Force is so much more than just Light and Dark. It’s a rainbow, a spectrum of hues that, for some odd reason, humans and most other sentient beings feel like boxing into two simple categories. This means Abeloth probably has mastery over not just the Light and the Dark but everything in between and without.
Aside from being an entity of pure Force energy, Abeloth’s appearance is that of a tentacled, squid-like woman with sunken black eyes, tentacles for fingers, and a mouth that is abnormally large with abnormally sharp teeth.
Picture that in your mind and tell me that’s not horrifying.
But, like, what is she?
She’s a frickin’ monster.
When Luke, his son Ben, and their Jedi homies first meet Abeloth, she presents more like a recurring comic book villain than anything else. She’s a tenacious, relentless bad lady that really wants to screw up everyone’s plans for peace, especially Luke’s. But she quickly becomes this being that stands outside the laws of nature, outside the bounds of death, and with a life that stretches back to the Old Republic. She rapidly surpasses most of the Yuuzhan Vong’s worst technologies as the most evil thing to live. Or unlive. Whatever she does.
Throughout many battles between both Sith and Jedi, Abeloth presents powers that make her look like a space Voldemort. With horcrux-like beings scattered throughout the galaxy called Avatars, Abeloth is able to keep herself alive through multiple bodies. So whenever Luke and Ben track her down and chop her head off, there’s always another Abeloth somewhere in the stars.
Also, she can reattach her severed head. So there’s that.
She shoots Force lightning from her tentacle fingers, she mind-controls the most willful of beings, and she can regenerate any part of her disgusting body.
Then there’s this neat little ability she has called mindwalking. Mindwalking is the Star Wars Universe’s version of astral projecting. You leave your body behind and enter the realm beyond shadows to interact with a mirror world of our own. Abeloth thrives in the realm beyond shadows, and likes to lure strong Jedi and Sith into the realm by promising them answers to their questions or power, but then devours their mind once they enter.
One of the most sinister powers at Abeloth’s control was demonstrated when she infiltrated the Jedi Order. Almost overnight, the Jedi Order had a problem with young Jedi Knights going murderously insane. One day, the young Jedi would be spending time with their family, seeing to their responsibilities within the Jedi Temple. The next, they’d be attacking everyone they saw with their lightsaber and mutilating the bodies.
It was all because of Abeloth.
Abeloth entered the minds of young Jedi Knights and convinced them that everyone they saw was not real but an imposter. Their best friends were actually clones replaced in the night; their family members were actually spies; Luke was actually a Sith who’d killed Luke and put his skin on. This made young Jedi Knights murderous. They carved through their family and friends, thinking they were evil imposters, and then started cutting off their skin to prove their suspicions.
Abeloth’s control over those Jedi was so complete not even Cilghal, the most experienced and proficient Jedi Healer of all time, could heal their minds. In the end, the Jedi Order had no choice but to freeze the infected Jedi Knights in carbonite. They were too strong and caused too many deaths, and at that point they didn’t even know Abeloth was behind it.
Abeloth also has the ability to morph into any being that she’s consumed. She can control the minds of animals and sentients with ease and constantly outperforms Luke and the leaders of the Sith time and time again.
What Does Abeloth Want?
That’s a good question. Her goals change over the course of her existence, but the theme of “death and destruction” seems to run throughout. Shortly after her transformation into Abeloth, all she wanted was to get revenge on her former family. But the Son and Daughter took over the minds of an insectoid species–the Killik–and used them to build massive, planet-sized structures to help keep Abeloth imprisoned. They built the Maw, a cluster of five black holes within the Maw Nebulae, to keep Abeloth contained. And though Abeloth was powerful, she could only influence control over things within the Maw. So for thousands of years, her goal became to either escape from her prison or lure Force-sensitive beings to the space station at the center of the Maw and then eat them.
But after the events of Jacen Solo–aka Darth Caedus–who changed the flow of time and the Force, the Maw began to break up. And as it broke up, Abeloth’s power to influence grew to encompass the outer rim of the galaxy.
As she grew in power, her goals changed from revenge on the Ones–who had died at this point–to complete subjugation of the entire galaxy. And, barring that, complete destruction of the entire galaxy. But as Luke and Ben continued to get in her way, she obtained a personal goal of murdering the two Jedi with extreme prejudice.
All Hail Abeloth, Queen of the Stars
Although Abeloth is a being who makes Yoda look like a baby, she was only active for a short time in Star Wars history. She tried to escape her prison for hundreds of thousands of years, and according to the insectoid species that built the Maw, she succeeded a handful of times. Each time she did, she ushered in an age of chaos throughout the galaxy. But thankfully, the Ones were always there to put her back in her place.
After the Ones died, no celestial was strong enough to put her back within the Maw. And with the Maw no longer contained, it wouldn’t hold her anyway.
Abeloth was most active in the years 40-44 ABY. She was only known to the galaxy from 42-44 ABY, but she revealed that she had been subtly exerting her influence for years before she decided to make her move. And what a move she made. Abeloth went from being a space octopus with a murder boner for Luke Skywalker to being the Chief of State of the Galactic Republic in just a few months. She took over the body of Rokari Kem, a senator and iconic resistance fighter, and used her influence to force a vote for a new Chief of State. She won and immediately brought about more chaos.
Abeloth Brought The Universe Closer Together
Right before Abeloth’s rise to power, a Lost Tribe of Sith that called themselves the Lost Tribe of Sith left their self-imposed exile to unleash their darkness upon the galaxy. Unfortunately, they found a universe devastated by the Empire, the Yuuzhan Vong, and fighting for survival against a being of pure chaos. The Lost Tribe wanted to control the galaxy, not destroy it. When they first interacted with Abeloth, she was in direct competition with them.
This meant that when the Lost Tribe met Luke Skywalker, Ben Skywalker, and all the other Jedi who were hell-bent on stopping Abeloth, they found unlikely allies. The Lost Tribe sided with the Jedi to work together and stop Abeloth for good.
Then the Lost Tribe betrayed the Jedi and tried to kill them and Abeloth at the same time.
Then they apologized and became friends with the Jedi again.
Then they betrayed them. Again.
I mean, they’re Sith. It’s to be expected.
But throughout the ordeal, the Jedi always came out ahead. Many Sith defected from the Lost Tribe to the Jedi after seeing their resolve and strength in the face of pure terror.
Unfortunately, more members of the Lost Tribe joined Abeloth once they realized they couldn’t defeat her. If you can’t beat them, join them.
Abeloth’s Downfall and “Death”
Abeloth, masquerading as Chief of State Rokari Kem, was not in charge of Coruscant for long. The Lost Tribe of Sith was turned into her personal army and used to defend Coruscant against the attacking Jedi. But they did not last long either. At this point in Star Wars history, the good guys had lost Coruscant multiple times over a short period, so they were experienced at getting it back.
While the Jedi and the rest of the good guys were attacking Coruscant and the Lost Tribe of Sith, Luke and Ben were hunting down each of Abeloth’s Avatars one by one. They eliminated them in rapid succession, which caught Abeloth off guard, and each time an Avatar was defeated, Abeloth lost strength.
There were two moments that weakened Abeloth into a state that allowed Luke to move in for the kill. The first was when Abeloth tried to lure Luke to join her and the Dark Side. She took the form of Callista Ming, an old padawan and former girlfriend of Luke’s whom Abeloth had eaten years before. The attempt to sway Luke with the image of his old girlfriend backfired. Abeloth didn’t just absorb Callista’s image, she absorbed her soul, so when Luke reached out to Callista in the Force, her soul responded. Luke used a Force technique he’d learned from the Listeners to rip Callista’s soul away from Abeloth, giving peace to his former love, and severely weakening Abeloth in the process.
The second event that kneecapped Abeloth was when she tried to lure the leader of the Sith to her side, just like she did with Luke. This backfired when she learned the Sith Lord was just as adept at mindwalking as she was and almost got the better of her. She left her attempt at swaying him desperate, lonely, and weaker than ever.
Only then were Luke and Ben able to hunt down Abeloth’s remaining Avatars and finish them off, preventing Abeloth from escaping to a backup body.
Upon reaching her most desperate hour, Abeloth retreated to her home world, where the Pool of Knowledge and Font of Power remained. But she didn’t leave without first kidnapping Ben Skywalker and a child from the Lost Tribe of Sith, planning to make them bathe in both fountains and recreate her lost family.
Luke tracked Abeloth back to her homeworld and dueled her in the ultimate showdown between good and evil. It was a battle that started in the physical realm but quickly moved to metaphysical realms. Abeloth and Luke traveled to the realm beyond shadows, fought while mindwalking, and used Force powers both forbidden and deadly. Their duel took them to a place called the Lake of Apparitions. The Lake of Apparitions rested over the Depths of Eternity, which is essentially the afterlife in Star Wars. One Force-sensitive being may be able to walk across the Lake of Apparitions, but if they stepped incorrectly, they would fall into the Depths of Eternity and never be seen again. Once you entered the Depths, that was it. That was Luke’s only hope for containing the insanity that was Abeloth.
Alas, even at his strongest, Luke could not defeat Abeloth. Alone, that is.
It wasn’t until an unlikely ally mindwalked across the galaxy to help Luke that Abeloth was finally defeated. Darth Krayt, a Sith Lord with no affiliation to the Lost Tribe of Sith, mindwalked himself from a hidden planet into the realm of shadows and to where the duel between Luke and Abeloth was taking place. He claimed he had seen a vision of a desolate future where Abeloth ruled over all life, and he didn’t want that. He wanted to rule over all life, so Abeloth had to go.
With the help of Darth Krayt, Luke was able to weaken Abeloth enough that he could fling her celestial body into the Depths of Eternity.
Luke never for a second believed that Abeloth was actually dead. He wasn’t foolish enough to think she was gone from the galaxy for good. He knew that she was beyond death and life and would find a way back to our realm at some point, even if all she could do was mentally influence Force-sensitive people. As such, Luke’s goal with the Jedi Order was to train them to be extra vigilant and to hone their skills relentlessly. For one day, the entity known as Abeloth would return, and only the Jedi would be able to stop her.
Abeloth in Canon
Abeloth, unfortunately, is not part of the current Star Wars canon. The Ones are, however, and that’s a big step toward making Abeloth a real character. However, Disney’s Star Wars has already altered massive segments of lore regarding Abeloth. In legends, she was held at the center of the Maw, surrounded by five black holes, and kept in check by Sinkhole Station. In the current canon, the middle of the Maw was guarded by a Summa-Verminoth. It’s possible Abeloth is still in there somewhere, but unlikely.
The current canon also killed off Luke and made the Jedi Order the weakest it’s ever been. If Abeloth were to arrive in the Star Wars Universe at the moment, there’d be nothing and no one to stand against her. The Lost Tribe of the Sith aren’t a thing, the Yuuzhan Vong haven’t weakened the Maw, and there’s definitely no Darth Krayt.
It’s possible we’ll see an Abeloth adaptation in the distant Star Wars future. The writers certainly set up her existence by telling the story of the Ones. But she would only be a shadow of her true power and nowhere near her truly terrifying self.
Question: If the Ones died, doesn’t that mean there’s a way Abeloth might die?
Answer: Correct. The Mortis Dagger is the only item that might kill Abeloth. The Mortis Dagger is what killed the Ones, and Abeloth is similar to the Ones. But she isn’t a One, never was. So it’s possible the Mortis Dagger may only wound her. Which is still better than nothing. It would behoove the Jedi to research what the Mortis Dagger is made of. Perhaps they could then craft their own weapons to hurt Abeloth permanently.
Question: Are you sure Abeloth is eviler than Ysanne Isard?
Answer: You know, that’s a good question. Ysanne Isard is mortally evil. She was screwing the Emperor, so she’s obviously a few cards short of a deck. Plus, she started a war over bacta so the Rebel Alliance couldn’t heal their wounded. She disregarded rules of engagement, endorsed torture, and did I mention she was intimate with the Emperor? Like… gross. Abeloth might be the pure embodiment of chaos, but at the end of the day, she was really just a lonely woman who’d been betrayed by her family while seeking love. Ysanne Isard? She was a sadistic freak with a CV like Freddy Krueger and a fetish for twisted old crones.
Question: Where can I read about Abeloth?
Answer: Abeloth’s story takes place in a series of Star Wars Extended Universe novels called Fate of the Jedi. It’s a nine-book series that stars with Luke and Ben retracing the steps of Jacen Solo to try and figure out what caused him to embrace the Dark side. As they follow his steps across the galaxy, the Lost Tribe of Sith shows up, the Imperial Remnant keeps trying to gain what power it can, and Abeloth starts to exert her influence. At the beginning of the series, the writers keep hinting at this oppressive, evil atmosphere invading the galaxy. By the end it’s pretty obvious: Abeloth.
Abeloth is one of the greatest villains in Star Wars. Her story is tragic, compelling, and fertile ground for damn good storytelling. She acts as the perfect counterpart to Luke Skywalker‘s seemingly endless supply of power and being so evil that you cause Sith and Jedi to work together is a feat in and of itself. Let’s all cross our fingers and hope that Star Wars decides to tell her story with the gravity it deserves.
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