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This is a question about The Old Republic and Legends.

In Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, Kreia (Darth Traya) tells Meetra Surik (or the player character) that Revan had left known space to pursue the true Sith Empire. I'm sure this was originally a build up to a hopeful Knights of the Old Republic III but instead we have Star Wars: The Old Republic, the MMO to resolve this plot thread.

We learn in The Old Republic (and related materials) that the Sith Lord, Vitiate took the Sith that remained after their defeat at the Great Hyperspace War and fled to Dromund Kaas, an old Sith World where they began to rebuild their empire, the one that Revan sought and the one that invades the Republic during the Great Galactic War.

Okay, so here's my question (problem). Korriban is well known to the Jedi and the Republic as the homeworld of the Sith. Infact, we have a cinematic trailer that shows the Sith Empire retaking Korriban from the Republic that is guarding it. We visit it in both KOTOR 1 and 2 and yet it would appear that Dromund Kaas is only a short trip away from Korriban.

Sith Space

The Outer Rim

There are planets that are even further out like Telos and Peragus from KOTOR 2 that the Republic has regular contact with. Assuming that this isn't just bad writing, how does Dromund Kaas remain unknown when its surrounded by known Sith Worlds and we know that the Sith were expanding and conquering worlds in this area (Source: Revan novel)?

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    Things like this are precisely why the EU needed to be cleaned up. – phantom42 Apr 21 '15 at 17:32
  • I agree. I for one am not sorry to see the Vong wiped from Star Wars canon. However, is there an in universe explanation to this? Or is there a "handwavy" explanation lol – David Apr 21 '15 at 17:41
  • I don't know. My gut instinct would be some sort of Force Stealth plus making sure the systems kept from drawing attention to themselves. – phantom42 Apr 21 '15 at 17:44
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    @phantom42 you are incorrect, sir. Evil has no need to hide from Good, because Good is dumb. – Omegacron Apr 21 '15 at 18:30
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    Clearly, someone wiped it out from Jedi Archives </george_lucas> – DVK-on-Ahch-To Apr 21 '15 at 20:04
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As far as I know, this has never been adequately explained beyond "rule of drama." However, there are a couple of factors that make this a little more plausible than it at first appears:

  1. Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. The images in the question doesn't have a scale on it, but I found another Galaxy map (which unfortunately does not include Dromund Kaas):

    look at how big it is!

    1 pixel on this map represents 48.9 light years worth of distance. Just for fun, I looked at how close Korriban is from its closest neighbour on the map, Thule. According to The Gimp, they are approximately 38.9 pixels apart, which is about 1900 light years. There's just so much space, that you can't search all of it in any kind of reasonable time

  2. Hyperspace travel requires very good maps. Back when this whole mess started, Han Solo had a line in the original Star Wars:

    Han: Travelin' through hyperspace ain't like dustin' crops, boy! Without precise calculations we could fly right through a star or bounce too close to a supernova, and that'd end your trip real quick, wouldn't it?

    Through the years of expanded universe, this has been interpreted a few different ways, but they all boil down to the same thing: you need to know where you're going. This is what the navicomputer does: using a list of known hyperspace routes, it determines a path from your current location to your desired destination. In order to go anywhere, you need a hyperspace route. Presumably there are none out that direction, which leads to my next point.

  3. Charting new hyperspace routes is dangerous and expensive. This is a plot point in the comic Tales of the Jedi: The Golden Age of the Sith; two of the main characters, Gav and Jori Daragon, are hyperspace explorers who fall into horrendous debt after they almost destroy their ship charting a new hyperspace lane.

    There simply may be nobody willing to explore past that point, or they be actively exploring and just haven't found it yet: Gav and Jori later discover Korriban by setting a random course and hoping for the best; even if every hyperspace explorer in the galaxy picked one direction away from Korriban and travelled in a straight line, how long do you think it would take them to find Dromund Kaas1 (see "space is big", above).

    In fact, this is how the Sith found Dromund Kaas in the first place:

    The desperate Sith, leaving their collective destiny to chance, chose to forgo all known hyperspace routes and attempt a series of dangerously random hyperspace jumps and blind scouting missions. For 20 years the Sith armada drifted aimlessly in the forgotten regions of space before finally rediscovering the Dromund system.

    And according to the novel The Old Republic: Revan, they knew what they were looking for. And it still took them 20 years to find it.

    David also reminds me in comments that the region of space occupied by the Sith was surrounded by the Stygian Caldera, a galactic phenomenon that is difficult to navigate. This is would have made casual exploration much more difficult, making it all the more unlikely that somebody would accidentally stumble upon the Sith Empire.

  4. The Republic doesn't know to look for it. By the end of The Old Republic: Revan and KotOR II, there are a small handful of people who are both alive and know that a Sith Empire exists:

    • Revan himself, who runs away without telling Bastila about it
    • Meeta Surik, who does the same thing as Revan; even assuming she told one of her party about the Sith Empire, she couldn't have told them where
    • Possibly T3-M4, but nobody else knows that he knows, and he's under orders from Revan not to say
    • Some of the Mandalorians maybe know that something's up, but they're fuzzy on the specifics

    None of these people are able (or willing) to tell anyone in the Republic. If the Republic doesn't know that an Empire exists, let alone roughly where it is, the only way they're going to find it is accidentally

  5. It may have been actively hidden. The Sith Empire centred on Dromund Kaas was very interested in not being found by the Republic; their entire strategy was focused on attacking the Republic with full strength, when they least expected it.

    Assuming they weren't (as phantom42 suggested in a comment on the question) using Force techniques to hide the planet, it's highly likely that they killed anyone who may have accidentally stumbled upon it; this is what the Sith Lords originally wanted to do to Gav and Jori in Tales of the Jedi, and for the same reason. It's hard to locate an evil empire when said evil empire keeps imprisoning and/or killing all of your expeditionary forces.

    Besides which (with due thanks to DVK for obliquely reminding me of this), we know that the Sith Empire had spies in the Jedi Order. It's very likely that members of the Ovair family, and other spies if they existed, were actively sabotaging efforts (even unintentional ones) to locate Dromund Kaas.


1 The time required is effectively infinite, although this is obviously not the most efficient way to locate a planet. Small changes in your initial angle of departure can cause you to wildly miss your mark even when we're talking about distances on Earth; missing the straight line between Korriban and Dromund Kaas by even 0.01 degrees will still put you light years off-course

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    Upvote if anything just for the Hitchhikers reference. But fantastic answer as well. Thanks! – David Apr 21 '15 at 18:10
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    Charting new hyperspace routes is dangerous and expensive. Yet another example of "futuristic" technology failing to keep up with real technology. If you really want to chart new hyperspace routes, put a hyperspace engine on a piece of technology that was well-known in popular culture before Star Wars ever came out: an automated deep-space probe. With no need for expensive life support and other systems to tailor to the needs of "meatbags", just program the computer to chart hyperspace routes randomly, pattern-match to look for something interesting, and return home to report. – Mason Wheeler Apr 21 '15 at 20:51
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    @MasonWheeler Normally you'd think so, but I'm not convinced the Republic could locate a Sith Empire if it knocked on their front door, unless they assassinated the Supreme Chancellor first – Jason Baker Apr 21 '15 at 21:22
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    @Dronz It would make sense if they're within a couple hundred light years of each other; remember that one pixel is just under 50 light years. It could also be that one of them is "above" the other, from the perspective of the map – Jason Baker Apr 21 '15 at 22:45
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    @David I've added the Caldera, because it's a good point. I think the critical point is that the Republic didn't know there was an Empire to find; as far as anybody knew, the Sith Empire died out in the Great Hyperspace Wars. It's easy to miss something you don't know to be looking for – Jason Baker Apr 22 '15 at 13:22
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Even if they did know there were planets in this area, that doesn't mean those planets are logical places to search. I don't know what it's like in the Star Wars galaxy, but here in the Milky Way, less than 5% of planets are habitable under the best cases. Even if it was known that there were planets in that area, everyone probably knew that those planets were most likely uninhabitable, and not a likely hiding spot.

Would you try to find a secret base in an area where you knew it was unlikely that it was even possible to build a base? Probably not. You would be more likely to search areas that were known to be feasible locations.

  • Inhabitable is relative with such technologies. You can turn a rock into a garden if you throw enough dirt and water on it, have air-conditioning and filter the light. Just saying that if you have hyperspace and everyone in flying cars, why wouldn't you have terraforming? – Mast Apr 22 '15 at 14:42
  • The Sith were effectively in exile. Their resources were limited. It's certainly possible they could terraform a planet, but given that they already have a few habitable planets, it probably wouldn't be the best way to use their limited resources. – Nate Watson May 26 '15 at 16:40

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