|Chronological and political information|
Vergere (pronounced /vɚ'ʒɪɹ/) was a Fosh Jedi Knight in the waning years of the Galactic Republic. She was the former Padawan of Jedi Master Thracia Cho-Leem and was instrumental in helping the New Jedi Order defeat the Yuuzhan Vong.
Almost immediately after she hatched, Vergere was taken under the wing of Jedi Master Thracia Cho-Leem, who later instructed her in the ways of the Jedi. Not much is known of her early life except for an adventure in 33 BBY, when Vergere was part of a Jedi task force sent to Asmeru by Supreme Chancellor Finis Valorum to capture the leaders of the Nebula Front, a year before Valorum was voted out of office and Senator Palpatine took his place as the new Supreme Chancellor.
According to an account given by Lumiya to Jacen Solo in 40 ABY, Vergere was a rogue student, secretly studying sources outside of approved Jedi doctrine. Lumiya claimed that Vergere's studies of other rogue Jedi, including Count Dooku, had led her to Darth Sidious, and at some point between 32 BBY and 29 BBY, Vergere became a student of the Sith Lord. According to Lumiya, Vergere subsequently attempted to kill Sidious when she discovered the extent of his megalomania, but her murder attempt failed, and she was forced to flee from his assassins, accepting a mission from the Jedi Council to Zonama Sekot, where she was captured by the Yuuzhan Vong. It is noteworthy that scholars of the New Jedi Order independently also concluded that Vergere could have been a Sith agent and failed apprentice to Palpatine.
In 30 BBY, the Jedi Council received reports of an attack on beautiful and mysterious Zonama Sekot, which was known for making incredibly fast spaceships. Vergere was sent to investigate by the Council, and when she arrived, she discovered that the alien invaders, the Yuuzhan Vong, who were intent on gaining the secrets of the planet's organic technology, were far stranger than she had expected. The Yuuzhan Vong could not be felt through the Force and like the Ferroan colonists on Zonama Sekot, they used biological technology for ships. On top of that Vergere learned that they were actually from another galaxy.
Vergere learned that the Yuuzhan Vong desired to rule more than just Zonama Sekot: they hoped to control the galaxy. When the Ferroans did not comply with their wishes, the Yuuzhan Vong opened fire on the planet. Realizing that the Galactic Republic and the Jedi were not prepared to fight such powerful creatures, Vergere agreed to leave with them if they would break off their attack. Amazed by her Jedi talents, which she told them came from Zonama Sekot, the Yuuzhan Vong eagerly agreed.
A year later, the Jedi Council dispatched Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker to Zonama Sekot in an attempt to discover what had happened to her, to no avail. Two years after that, the prospect of discovering her whereabouts was part of the impetus that led to the launching of Outbound Flight.
Over the next fifty years, Vergere lived with the Yuuzhan Vong, teaching them about the Republic and the Jedi while secretly building up a collection of information about the extragalactic aliens themselves. Vergere was able to avoid having her Jedi powers detected by the Force-sensing Yuuzhan Vong war coordinators, the yammosks, by learning to "make herself small". Vergere would shrink her presence in the Force to a microscopic size, where she was almost undetectable. In this state she could also modify tiny things like molecules. Vergere became a familiar of Yuuzhan Vong Priestess Falung, and later of the Priestess Elan. She also destroyed her lightsaber, hiding her affiliation with the Jedi Order.
At some point, she also met another Priestess of the Deception sect known as Ngaaluh. During that time the two talked and debated with the outcome resulting in the Priestess having doubt about Yuuzhan Vong society as well as Supreme Overlord Shimrra. This would shape her actions during the time of the Yuuzhan Vong invasion of the galaxy.
When the Yuuzhan Vong decided to begin their invasion of the galaxy, Vergere traveled with Elan on several missions and continued to aid the Yuuzhan Vong. During this time, she also encountered the captured A'Sharad Hett, which at first, she thought was Sharad Hett, his father, whom she had known during her time as a Jedi. With Hett captured in the Yuuzhan Vong Embrace of Pain, Vergere pushed him towards the dark side and also discussed with him the future of the Sith Order. However, Vergere abandoned Hett as he refused to follow Darth Bane's Rule of Two and sought to recreate the Sith once again under the Rule of One. Afterwards, Vergere would only focus in reshaping Jacen Solo as a Sith Lord.
Vergere accompanied her mistress on a covert operation in which they posed as defectors from the Yuuzhan Vong and sought political asylum with the New Republic. In fact Elan's real objective was to obtain a meeting with the Jedi and eliminate them using a bo'tous spore bioweapon hidden in her lungs.
The Peace Brigade had not been informed of the Yuuzhan Vong plan and sought to retrieve the defectors in the hope of pleasing their masters. They successfully captured Elan and Vergere, and Elan was forced to use the bo'tous spores to eliminate them.
Han Solo rescued them from the Peace Brigade shuttle, but realizing their defection was a ploy he fought with Elan and she was killed by her own bioweapon. Vergere fled in a Millennium Falcon escape pod. Before jettisoning, she threw Han a vial of her tears, which would be used later to slow the deadly coomb spore disease contracted by Mara Jade Skywalker.
After this, Vergere made contact with Lumiya, the self-proclaimed Dark Lady of the Sith since the death of Sidious, and trained her in the ways of the Sith. The events of this period are unclear, with two accounts being provided, one from Lumiya and the other from her rivals, the followers of the New Sith Order.
According to Lumiya, she and Vergere discussed possibilities for creating a new Sith Lord, dismissing Luke Skywalker as being too dogmatic, Leia Organa Solo as being too afraid of her father, Jaina Solo too emotional, Mara Jade too attached, and Kyp Durron as too unpredictable and stubborn. They finally settled on Jacen Solo.
The New Sith Order agreed that Lumiya and Vergere decided to make Jacen into a Sith Lord at this point, but they claim that this was a deliberate rejection of the One Sith plan, a plan which both of them were aware of. According to their version, the initiative in this came from Lumiya, who argued to Vergere that One Sith's long-term plan would be undermined by the rising power of Luke Skywalker's New Jedi Order.
Lumiya had been invited to join One Sith on Korriban, and had apparently been en route when she was cut off by the rapid Yuuzhan Vong advance, but her emphasis on the Rule of Two may suggest that her opposition to the rival group also had an ideological aspect. She did not follow up on their subsequent invitation to join them, and she did not mention the existence of the organization to Jacen. Although she intimated to Alema Rar in 40 ABY that her plan for Jacen could survive without her, she seemed to have privately considered herself very much alone in her project.
In all this, Vergere's true intentions are hidden behind the agendas of the other participants. All that is known is that she made contact with Lumiya, who seems to have been ideologically opposed to the new Sith Order on Korriban, and she subsequently chose to re-train Jacen in opposition to their plans.
After returning to the Yuuzhan Vong, Vergere rose through their ranks, becoming an adviser to Warmaster Tsavong Lah and an important rival to Nom Anor, whom she was partnered with on a mission to Myrkr with orders to capture the Solo twins. From the Yuuzhan Vong point of view, the mission turned out to be only a partial success, as only one of the twins, Jedi Knight Jacen Solo, was captured. Vergere took a great interest in the young Jedi, torturing Jacen using the methods of pain that the Yuuzhan Vong had perfected. Through this torture Jacen came to understand the ways and motives of the Yuuzhan Vong. Jacen became Vergere's apprentice, and she passed on to him her unique philosophies and theories about the Force that could return true order and stability to the galaxy. Vergere stressed to Jacen the concept that there was no dark side and that the Force itself is neutral. All bad and dark motives comes through the Force user himself who uses his abilities with wrong and selfish desires.
The unlikely pair hatched a plan to sabotage the Yuuzhan Vong terraforming of Coruscant. The city-covered world had been captured by the Yuuzhan Vong and was slowly being transformed into a jungle planet reminiscent of Yuuzhan'tar, the extra-galactic world that the Yuuzhan Vong had originated from. Jacen had established a psychic connection with the World Brain, the controller of the terraforming process, when it had been a seedling. Using this connection the two were able to wreak havoc on the Yuuzhan Vong-held planet and eventually escape Coruscant.
Vergere and Jacen returned to what was left of the New Republic. Suspicious of her motives, the New Republic authorities imprisoned her for a time while they determined whether she was a defector or a spy. During her internment Vergere had several discussions with Jacen's uncle Luke about the nature of the Force and the Yuuzhan Vong. Luke wondered why they were seemingly outside of the Force, and whether they deserved the same rights as others. She convinced him that they did, changing some of his opinions concerning the Jedi Order's part in the war. Soon after Vergere was released, she learned of the deadly Alpha Red bio-weapon and destroyed it using the chemical properties of her tears, which led the New Republic to label her as an enemy and force her into hiding.
Vergere eluded New Republic forces by contacting Jacen Solo and had him rendezvous with her on Kashyyyk. Returning to the Bothan battle cruiser he was stationed on, Jacen kept Vergere hidden in his personal X-wing fighter and later a storage bin in his quarters. The battle group engaged in raids against the Yuuzhan Vong while en route to Ebaq 9, where Jacen was to participate in a hazardous mission against the Yuuzhan Vong. During the Battle of Ebaq 9, Vergere, tricked the Yuuzhan Vong into allowing her to get close to their base. Sensing Jacen was in mortal danger, she acquired an A-wing starfighter and crashed it into machinery at the entrance to the mining shaft that contained the Yuuzhan Vong legion that was hunting Jaina Solo, her Twin Suns Squadron, and her brother Jacen. Despite crashing into mining machinery, the remnants of the fighter sped through the mining shaft, depressurizing the shaft and spreading radioactive contamination, the former of which killed the Yuuzhan Vong, except Warmaster Tsavong Lah. Lah's subalterns managed to save him by bonding him with his gnullith and his ooglith cloaker. He was later killed in combat by Jaina Solo. Vergere appeared to Jacen shortly after her death to warn him, and remained with him for a time after to answer his questions. Vergere and Luke believed that he had a special destiny, and that she must aid him in finding it.
In 40 ABY, Lumiya lured Jacen Solo, his cousin Ben Skywalker, and Jedi Nelani Dinn to the alleged ancient home of Darth Vectivus. She convinced Jacen of Vergere's association with the Sith. Following this, Jacen agreed to learn about the Sith philosophy from Lumiya and, murdering Dinn to prevent Lumiya's arrest and wiping Ben's memory to assure no knowledge of the events would spread, left to make time for his instruction and to search for a Sith apprentice. Lumiya later told Jacen that she and Vergere had looked at all the members of the Skywalker family and Kyp Durron as potential apprentices until he was chosen.
A few months later, Alema Rar, claiming to be Lumiya's apprentice, encountered members of the new Sith Order on Korriban. They spoke casually of Vergere's alliance with Lumiya, leading the shocked Twi'lek to ask if the Fosh Jedi had been a Sith. They responded to this as if it was something they would have expected her to know, but their account carefully avoided focusing attention on Lumiya's decision to go against their plans—and if they knew of Lumiya's support for the Rule of Two, they must have known that she would not have made Alema her apprentice alongside Jacen.
However, Lumiya and Vergere's long laid plans eventually came to naught; Jacen, now the Sith Lord Darth Caedus, would be killed in a fierce lightsaber duel with Jaina Solo, while his own apprentice, Tahiri Veila, would be redeemed by Ben Skywalker.
Vergere was created by James Luceno for the New Jedi Order series, but first appeared in Rogue Planet by Greg Bear. Several aspects of the character also reflect elements of classical myth and literature: Vergere's control over her tears gives her a similarity to the phoenix, a bird which, according to myth, had tears that could heal. Vergere's name bears a strong similarity to the name of Virgil who, in Dante's Inferno, serves as Dante's guide through hell, or the land of the dead, as Jacen Solo calls it. Subtle hints throughout Traitor lend themselves to the idea that the book and Vergere borrow from Dante's Inferno. Furthermore, verger is the title given to a church official who serves as an usher and sacristan.
Vergere has become a serious source of criticism over the New Jedi Order series. Many fans were appalled that a Jedi Knight of the Old Republic would willfully torture anyone, especially a fellow Jedi; it has been pointed out, however, that torture of captives was a Yuuzhan Vong tradition, and that she may very well have saved Jacen's life or sanity by moderating the Yuuzhan Vong's treatment of him. She has also been criticized over her denial of the dark side, despite what many fans believe is "ample" evidence during the original and prequel trilogies. However, Vergere was intentionally created as an unorthodox teacher. Also, many fans point out that she never really encountered an enemy who was truly dark, and that the Yuuzhan Vong, while barbaric, were, at the core, not evil. In Destiny's Way, Vergere herself did regret torturing Jacen Solo, but felt that it was the only way to "teach" him the truth about the Force. Some reasons for her harshness are discussed in the Legacy of the Force series. It is possible either that her cruelty was due to the New Jedi Order planners' knowledge of her Sith allegiance or that fan outrage inspired a retcon that reinvented her as a Sith. There is substantial evidence to discredit the former theory. In an interview after the sixth book in the Legacy of the Force series, Inferno, the writers mentioned that there was no "uberplot" between their books and the Dark Nest Trilogy, much less the New Jedi Order series. Furthermore, Matthew Stover, the author of Traitor, spoke in a blog pertaining to his book, revealing that he actually believed what Vergere claimed about the Force.
Prior to the release of Legacy of the Force, whether or not Vergere was a Sith was left ambiguous. However, Inferno revealed that she had supposedly fallen to the dark side, meaning that as she was working with Jacen Solo, she might have been attempting to mislead him and turn him away from the light. However, some fans still question this, claiming that she was not a "true" Sith. Fans also note that the only in-universe source for Vergere being a Sith was Lumiya, who was not particularly trustworthy.
Jedi vs. Sith: The Essential Guide to the Force states that members of the New Jedi Order, who had had no contact with Lumiya or her story, also believed Vergere to be a Sith. A possible explanation for this is that the writers had just responded to Lumiya's claim.
Vergere was a Fosh Jedi Master who served in the old Jedi Order. However, in the last years before the Clone Wars, she became the apprentice to Darth Sidious and studied opposite Count Dooku. When she saw the extent of their plans, she planned to kill Sidious and Dooku with the help of Darth Clous. However, Dooku killed Clous and although Vergere defeated Sidious, Dooku wounded her. Vergere fled and went to Zonama Sekot where she joined the Yuuzhan Vong and remained with them for years. During the Yuuzhan Vong War, she began manipulating Jacen Solo and set the ground work for his accession to Sith Lord under Lumiya. She died at Ebaq Nine, having sacrificed herself to protect Jacen and defeat the invasion force under Tsavong Lah.