|Chronological and political information|
Lord Hoth was a famous Jedi Master and Jedi Lord who led the Army of Light against Lord Kaan's Brotherhood of Darkness during the New Sith Wars, until their final confrontation in the Ruusan campaign.
Hoth's temper was as legendary as his battle prowess, and a feud between Hoth and Valenthyne Farfalla almost delivered victory to Kaan. Despite their animosity, the pair reconciled, allowing Hoth to face his foe in a final confrontation. Knowing that the desperate Sith would utilize the thought bomb in an attempt to stave off defeat, Hoth went to face him anyway, forcing the Brotherhood of Darkness to destroy themselves in the process. Hoth's act of self-sacrifice saved the Galactic Republic and ended the Sith as a galactic threat for almost a thousand years.
In his youth, Hoth believed he had the power to end the Sith threat single-handedly and make the galaxy a better place. To fulfill this dream he joined the Jedi Order, and in time became a teacher at the Jedi Temple, where he taught many Jedi, including Dree Vandap, Tal, and Johun Othone, his Padawan. Serving as a General for the Galactic Republic, Hoth won over half a dozen victories, became a HoloNet star, and by 1,003 BBY, had been made commander of the Republic Military.
As the Republic Dark Age was ushered in by a rapid series of Sith victories and conquests, the Jedi and the Republic suddenly saw the need to fight back. Hoth was sent with a detachment to capture the current Sith leader, and that skirmish soon escalated until once more, the Republic was engaged in an all-out war. They quickly marshaled their forces, amongst them the Army of Light led by Hoth. Strapped for resources and soldiers, Hoth was forced to build his Army from whatever was available, including the conversion of freighters into warships and the recruitment of any Force-sensitive Republic citizen, including children, to augment the ranks of the rapidly dying Jedi. In response, the new leader of the Sith, Kaan, raised his own army, the Brotherhood of Darkness, which would soon become Hoth's greatest enemy.
Though made in desperation and ill-equipped, the Army of Light under Hoth saw resounding success, albeit at a heavy cost. Along with other Republic champions like Kiel Charny and Valenthyne Farfalla, Hoth drove the Brotherhood from the Cloak of the Sith and countless other worlds, including the planet sharing his name, Dromund Kaas, and Malrev IV. This initial period of victory, however, eventually gave out. The Army of Light was outnumbered by the Brotherhood, and the Sith mounted their own offensive, taking key Republic planets and driving into the Core Worlds.
Hoth's response was to unify the Republic's dispersed forces, augmenting the Army of Light. As they were still outnumbered, he shifted his strategy away from fighting massive armies and navies towards targeting the Sith themselves, particularly their leaders, the Dark Lords. To this end he focused many of his Jedi on an assault on the Sith-held world of Ruusan, hoping to draw Kaan's armies away from the Core. Kaan chose to take his Sith instead, intending to eradicate the Jedi in one blow.
The first three battles had been fought in space, and had been quick and decisive. But the increased importance of Ruusan to both sides turned the conflict into a bloody stalemate of a ground war that ravaged the surface of the world. Hoth would spend the last two years of his life fighting for the planet.
As the strength of both sides dwindled, Hoth looked for ways to augment his diminishing Jedi forces. Not all Jedi had answered the call to come to Ruusan, believing Hoth had made the war into a personal vendetta and was only prolonging it, or simply choosing to support the Republic on other worlds, and now he sought their aid. Valenthyne Farfalla, whom Hoth had always disliked, volunteered to seek out those Jedi and ask for their help, believing that their refusal was in part due to Hoth's bluntness, and that they would respond to his form of diplomacy and persuasion better. He vowed to return with three hundred Jedi Knights, and left Ruusan. To preserve what strength he had until Farfalla returned, Hoth changed tactics from open combat to guerrilla warfare, using the planet's rainy season and its vast expanses of forest as cover.
Hoth had fought the Sith doggedly, but the death of his close friend Pernicar in a Sith attack shook his resolute manner for a time. The arrival of Farfalla shortly after the attack, and too late to save his friend, drove a further wedge between the two Jedi. Sith tactics, too, had grown more ruthless with the arrival of Darth Bane. The Dark Lords sent a decoy force to attack the Army of Light, then, using the dark side of the Force, summoned a massive wave of destruction that burnt the forests of Ruusan, slaughtering many. Only the timely arrival of Farfalla's reinforcements breaking through the Sith blockade saved them.
Beaten down by the never-ending stalemate, the miserable conditions, dwindling troop morale, and the deaths of so many, Hoth began to seriously consider abandoning Ruusan to the Sith, though he knew that this would be a betrayal of all he stood for. The Jedi Master found himself in an impossible choice. During this crisis of faith, Pernicar appeared to him in a dream. Hoth asked for the advice of his old friend, as Pernicar had often given him while alive, and Pernicar told him to trust in the Force, to not give in to despair, and to mend the situation with Farfalla. After awaking, Hoth sent an apology to Farfalla through an envoy, and the two combined their forces to drive back the Sith. The Jedi at last had the advantage, and with Kaan fleeing into the hills and caves and the Army of Light's morale on the rise, Hoth decided to press forward and launch an assault on Kaan's base camp.
Though he was prepared to do battle, Hoth wanted Kaan to surrender to spare them all from further bloodshed. Preparation for the final battle was not entirely hopeful. Hoth and Farfalla suspected a trap on the part of the Sith, and the Jedi Tal had a premonition of disaster. Still, the general saw no other choice, and opted to press forward.
Hoth and Farfalla began their attack in the morning. Farfalla led the way, while Hoth brought up the rear. With the Dark Lords summoned by Kaan to the caves to prepare a thought bomb, a devastating burst of Force energy that would eradicate life within its range, the battle was over by the time Hoth's forces arrived, with most of the Sith taken prisoner alive and almost no casualties to the Army of Light. Hoth made his way towards Kaan's encampment, but was stopped by Farfalla, who warned him of the thought bomb. Hoth, however, had already sensed it, and knew that he had to stop Kaan from using it to cause even more destruction by either forcing him to detonate it on Ruusan or convincing him to surrender.
He and the Army entered the canyon where the mouth of the caves lay, past poles carrying the bodies and severed heads of the Jedi who had died in the previous battles. Leaving Farfalla and the bulk of the army outside the caverns and ordering them to get as far from the blast site as possible, he took one hundred Jedi, all volunteers, with him.
Together they headed down the tunnels to Kaan's chamber, where he and the Dark Lords waited, the power of the thought bomb filling the air around them. Kaan greeted Hoth, and Hoth responded that the Sith Lord could not frighten him with the prospect of death. Seeing the madness that had come upon the man, Hoth then knew that Kaan would not surrender, and made a lunge at him, attempting to kill him before he could set off the thought bomb. He was too late, however, and with a clap of his hands, Kaan released the power of the dark side of the Force. Lord Hoth, and all the Jedi with him, were killed. Their spirits remained trapped within the caverns by the power of the thought bomb, and would not be freed until Kyle Katarn came to Ruusan over 1,000 years later.
After Hoth's death, his former Padawan Johun Othone petitioned the Jedi and Republic to construct a memorial to the Army of Light on Ruusan. The Jedi turned down his request, wanting to let the tragedy be forgotten, but the Senate chose to honor it. Othone had a mausoleum constructed in what had become known as the Valley of the Jedi. Towering above the statues of the many other members of the Army a statue of Hoth was carved. When Kyle Katarn visited this site one year after the Battle of Endor, he received a vision from the spirit of Tal, in which he saw Lord Hoth from Tal's perspective on the day of the last battle.
Though a leader of a mighty army, Hoth was a man devoted to peace. He was said to be a wily and stalwart general and a master of strategy, and was seen as a hero by the Republic. In the latter stages of the New Sith Wars his exploits were widely known, even in isolated colonies on the Outer Rim Territories.
As a young man, Hoth had been a dreamer who saw only resounding victory in his mind. The conflict, however, had hardened him against the galaxy, and, by the time of the final Battle of Ruusan, the once idealistic youth had become a cynical and haggard veteran. His closest friend and main advisor was fellow veteran Pernicar.
Hoth clashed continually with his contemporary Lord Farfalla, whose foppish nature was the direct opposite of Hoth's own pragmatism. Unlike the charismatic Farfalla, Hoth had little time for diplomacy, and his bluntness often brought him into conflict with his peers.
It is likely that Lord Hoth's name is connected with that of the planet Hoth, but none of the sources in which he appears indicate whether the planet is named for him or vice versa. In Jedi vs. Sith, Valenthyne Farfalla remarks that "Lord Hoth's heart is as cold as an ice planet," an obvious reference to the connection. However, in the Tales of the Jedi audio rendition, the space pirate Gudb makes reference to the planet, naming it specifically and talking about the sub-zero conditions it was famous later for. This confirms that the name "Hoth" existed long before the Jedi Master (some three thousand years), and more importantly, was the name of the actual planet before Hoth was born, making it impossible for the planet to have been named for the individual.
There is a discrepancy in Hoth's description between Dark Forces: Jedi Knight and later sources. Jedi Knight describes him as "a giant of a man with shoulder-length blond hair, a lantern-shaped jaw, and ice-blue eyes", while Jedi vs. Sith and all sources based on it show him to have gray hair and brown eyes.