Trioculus is a fictional character and major antagonist from George Lucas's science fiction saga Star Wars. He first appeared in Paul Davids and Hollace Davids's Jedi Prince trilogy, published between 1992 and 1993. In these books, set one year after Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, he declared himself Emperor of the Galactic Empire. As a figurehead of the Central Committee of Grand Moffs, led by his mentor Grand Moff Bertroff Hissa, Trioculus took control of the remnants of the Empire in opposition to Ysanne Isard.
The self-proclaimed son of Palpatine, Trioculus was in actuality a pretender to the throne, usurping the role of Palpatine's real three-eyed son, Triclops. Spurred on by a prophecy of the false Kadann, he sought the glove of Darth Vader to establish his legitimacy. Trioculus's pursuit of the Jedi Prince Ken and his infatuation with Leia Organa pitted him against rival Zorba the Hutt, and led to him being taken captive by the Hutt and frozen in carbonite. Trioculus was eventually betrayed by Kadann, who sought the Imperial throne himself, and in the end was assassinated by a New Republic droid.
Raised on the mining moon of Kessel, as being a mutant, he was made fun for his third eye from schoolmates.
He brooded in spite over this and became obsessed with exacting vengeance on his tormentors, earning their fear. In this time, Trioculus developed a knack for spying on and reporting his classmates.
He studied military tactics and history, devoting himself to learning the means of controlling others. Trioculus made few friends, but those he had were well placed. He was fully dedicated to the Empire, and that and his extensive knowledge of military matters earned him the friendship of several higher-ups in the Imperial Military, including Grand Moff Bertroff Hissa. Hissa oversaw the young man's development, and under his tutelage Trioculus rose to become the ruthless Lord Overseer and Supreme Slavelord of the spice mines on his homeworld of Kessel by 0 BBY.
He was known for his brutal methods. He had worked thousands of slaves to their deaths, had thousands more killed during a revolt, and once destroyed a dam to flood out settlers who were causing problems. He also allowed glitterstim to be leaked to certain populations to keep them under control, by Palpatine's command. As an agent of the Imperial Security Bureau, he kept that organization's leadership apprised of operations on Kessel. Commander Maximillian Seerdon of the ISB did not see greatness in Trioculus's future.
The new EmperorEdit
In the wake of Palpatine's death at Endor, many of the surviving remnants of the Empire sought to take control of the Imperial state. Eventually Ysanne Isard, former Director of Imperial Intelligence, rose above the rest. In 5 ABY the Central Committee of Grand Moffs, wanting to retain their power, raised their own candidate as a rival to Isard—Trioculus. Declaring him to be the Emperor's son, they rallied thousands of Imperial leaders to join them on Kessel and hear Trioculus's claim to the Imperial throne.
Trioculus's claim to inheritance of the Imperial throne was strengthened by his resemblance to Triclops, Palpatine's three-eyed son who had once been imprisoned on Kessel. As Supreme Slavelord, Trioculus had taken a special interest in tormenting Triclops, promising that in time he would usurp his role as Palpatine's son. The Grand Moffs had considered Triclops as an Imperial leader, but believing him to be insane decided that Trioculus would be more trustworthy and more willing to serve as a figurehead while the Central Committee held the real power. Though fully aware that the Central Committee was exercising their own power through his rule, Trioculus consented to this role. For their part, the Moffs showed him great loyalty in return, a fact that did not go unnoticed by the warlord.
Trioculus blasts a Grand Admiral and a Royal Guard who question his right to rule.Though rumors of Palpatine having a son with three eyes had circulated through the Empire, Trioculus was the first to seemingly confirm them. His claim was supported by Grand Moff Hissa, leader of the Central Committee of Grand Moffs who ostensibly served as Trioculus's second-in-command, but in fact was the true power of the Committee. At a secret meeting of Imperials on Kessel, Trioculus was proclaimed Emperor and named the "new chosen one," referring to himself as a "Dark Lord" whose third eye granted him secret powers known to "the ancients."
However, his right to rule did not go unquestioned. Many throughout the galaxy had laid claim to the throne, including Grand Admiral Josef Grunger, who had amassed a fleet of thirty Star Destroyers and one Executor-class Star Dreadnought at the planet Gargon. Additionally, an impostor of the Prophet of the Dark Side Kadann had made an equally false "prophecy" that the new Emperor would hold the glove of Darth Vader, worn on the hand that he had lost in his duel with Luke Skywalker, which was said to have survived the destruction of the Death Star II. Two present at the convocation, a Grand Admiral and a Royal Guard, raised this point with Trioculus; in response, he tortured them, seemingly with Force lightning. This display quickly earned him the loyalty of those present.
Though most of the fleet continued to serve Isard, Trioculus had the backing of the Grand Moffs, multiple Grand Admirals and many other military leaders and warlords. He briefly had the allegiance of Grand Admiral Miltin Takel, who had his own reasons for opposing Grunger, but Trioculus had Takel executed when the spice-high admiral expressed doubt at his ability to retain power.
The glove of Darth VaderEdit
To quiet any remaining doubts about him, Trioculus determined to find Vader's glove before any other contender for the throne did, and in doing so win the support of the false Kadann. He ordered the Moffs to begin a galaxy-wide search for the glove. As faith in Trioculus began to diminish amongst his supporters, the warlord grew desperate. However, he had a stroke of luck when an Imperial agent, Captain Dunwell, discovered several pieces of the Death Star's debris in the Valley of the Giant Oysters on Mon Calamari, one of which had revealed the outline of a glove when scanned.
Trioculus and Hissa immediately set out for Mon Calamari, where they were greeted by Dunwell at his Whaladon Processing Center, a poaching operation for the native sentient Whaladon species. In his Whaladon-hunting submarine, Dunwell took Trioculus and Hissa to the site of the wreckage. Secretly followed by Luke Skywalker and Admiral Ackbar in a Calamarian minisub, Trioculus retrieved the glove. When Skywalker and Ackbar's minisub was accidentally captured by one of Dunwell's Whaladon-capturing devices, Luke infiltrated the vessel and triggered its self-destruct. Trioculus and Hissa narrowly escaped, the warlord vowing to have his vengeance on Skywalker.
Despite Trioculus's announcement that he had retrieved the glove, the independent Imperial forces did not immediately fall in line behind him. Grunger and COMPNOR declared that they would only give their support with the official blessing of Kadann. Trioculus and Hissa traveled to Space Station Scardia, the headquarters of the false Prophets, to meet with the Supreme Prophet. Once Kadann forced Trioculus to reveal that he was not, in fact, Palpatine's son, he promptly named him Emperor and gave him his dark blessing.
The Jedi PrinceEdit
Kadann had another prophecy for Trioculus; the Jedi Prince Ken, he said, would destroy Trioculus if Trioculus did not destroy him first. He counseled Trioculus to find Ken in the Lost City of the Jedi on Yavin 4, though he knew the warlord would never succeed.
Trioculus set out in his Strike-class cruiser for Yavin 4. Upon arriving at the moon, he dispatched an explosive-lined probe droid to a meeting of the Senate Planetary Intelligence Network, to whom he issued an ultimatum; if they did not provide the location of the Lost City, he would detonate the droid. Luke Skywalker, present at the meeting, quickly disabled the probe and its detonator, forcing Trioculus to resort to his backup plan: burning down the forests of Yavin 4 until he found the city's entrance.
Trioculus's eyes are examined by MD-5 after he goes blind.Trioculus had had devices installed in the glove of Darth Vader to simulate the effects of the Force; they had been taking their toll on his health ever since then, and during the attack Trioculus found himself suddenly struck blind. A Ho'Din named Baji living on Yavin 4 seemed to be the only solution, and Trioculus had him apprehended. Baji informed him that the rare kibo plant, found only in the rapidly burning forests of the moon, could cure him. While obtaining it, Trioculus was burned and badly scarred. He eventually decided to remove the true glove and replace it with a replica.
In the meantime, the Rebels rallied, used the moon's weather control system to quench the fires, and destroyed all but one of Trioculus's ships. The warlord and his coterie retreated. Trioculus again swore vengeance, this time upon the entire New Republic—with the exception of Leia Organa. His plan foiled, Trioculus placed a large bounty on Ken.
Zorba the HuttEdit
In the middle of the crisis, Ysanne Isard arranged for the release of Jabba the Hutt's father Zorba the Hutt from prison to use as an unwitting agent.
Meanwhile, intent on securing his Empire, Trioculus ramped up production of war matériel. One such operation was a massive factory barge located near the core of Bespin, mining the gas giant's Rethin Sea to use in the production of weaponry and ammunition. Though the amount of air pollution this facility produced drew complaints from Lando Calrissian, Baron Administrator of Cloud City, the warlord was not fazed, threatening an invasion if Calrissian did not capitulate.
While on Bespin visiting Han Solo, Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa accidentally stumbled upon the factory barge. When they approached the huge craft to reconnoiter it, they were shot down, and Leia was taken captive. From the moment Trioculus saw Leia, he had been smitten with her and wanted her to join him in matrimony. Now that he had her as his prisoner, he set about attempting to win her over.
Trioculus, frozen in carbonite. Zorba, meanwhile, had taken over Cloud City from Calrissian. Having learned of Leia Organa's complicity in the death of his son, Zorba got wind from an Imperial spy that she was being held by Trioculus. By coincidence, Trioculus's own target, Ken, had been arrested shortly before by Cloud City's police. Seeing an opportunity, Zorba arranged a meeting to negotiate with the warlord. When Trioculus interrogated Ken to assure himself that it was, in fact, the correct boy, he discovered that the danger Ken posed lay in what he had learned from the Jedi library in the Lost City; Ken was aware that Triclops, and not Trioculus, was the true son of Palpatine.
Trioculus demanded that Zorba give him the boy, and Zorba named his price: that Trioculus remove his factory barge from Bespin and hand over custody of Leia Organa so Zorba could take her life in revenge. The latter was unacceptable to Trioculus, and he ordered his stormtroopers to attack. Zorba, however, was prepared, and his greater force of Cloud Police overwhelmed Trioculus's troops and seized the Imperial leader. Trioculus was transported to the same carbon-freezing chamber that Han Solo had once been frozen in. Though he made a last-ditch attempt to bribe Zorba, offering him a share of power and the rank of grand admiral, it was to no avail, and the Hutt had Trioculus encased in a slab of carbonite. He placed the warlord's frozen body in the Cloud City Museum under heavy guard, keeping him as a hostage to prevent any Imperial retaliation.
After Trioculus failed in his mission, the false Kadann now seized the opportunity. At Scardia Station he revoked his blessing of Trioculus, declaring himself the new Emperor. The Central Committee, in the meantime, were working to get Trioculus back. When Zorba left Cloud City for Tatooine, chief of police Muskov alerted the Imperial forces in orbit of Bespin. Bribing the museum guards, they retrieved Trioculus's body, but before they could thaw it, a vessel of the Prophets arrived, the false High Prophet Jedgar on board. Jedgar demanded that the moffs relinquish Trioculus; as leverage, he blackmailed Hissa with damaging information the Prophets' agents had collected. Trioculus was handed over and taken to Scardia Station.
When Trioculus's slab arrived at Scardia Station, Kadann and the Prophets had it taken to the station's neutron furnace and exposed it to the furnace's deadly rays. Their heat was such that the block was entirely vaporized, leaving no trace of it or Trioculus. To the Prophets and Moffs, it appeared as though Trioculus were dead.
Trioculus has Zorba thrown into the sarlacc.As it turned out, both parties had been deceived. The block Zorba had displayed in the Cloud City Museum had been a replica. The real body of Trioculus was kept in a hidden compartment on Zorba's ship, the Zorba Express. It was not until the Grand Moffs' Moffship intercepted the Express over Tatooine, intending on avenging themselves upon Zorba for capturing Trioculus, that they found it. Having obtained it, they quickly set about reviving their Emperor. Once free from the carbonite, Trioculus learned that the Prophets had betrayed him, cursed them, then prepared to have his revenge on Zorba. Zorba stalled Trioculus, however, when he informed him that he had Leia imprisoned. Trioculus promised to free him if he gave her location.
When Trioculus found Leia, her feelings towards him had not changed. However, after Trioculus threatened to return her to Zorba, she decided that the warlord was preferable. Taking this as a sign, Trioculus told Hissa to make preparations for a wedding. Then, breaking his vow with Zorba, he had the Hutt thrown into the Great Pit of Carkoon. Trioculus had Leia watch, believing this would make her grateful to him and make her accept her own darkness when she saw how much pleasure she took in Zorba's death. This did not seem to be the case, but he nonetheless assigned a detail of stormtroopers to Leia and left to prepare for the wedding.
It was a project in which the New Republic would create a robotic Leia to take to Trioculus in order to assasinate him due to his affection towards Leia. Luke, Han and the droid Leia boarded the Moffship where Trioculus wanted to be wedded to which the plan would take place assasinate Trioculus.
At the wedding, still not noticing that the Leia was a droid, the droid blasted Trioculus killing him. As he was dying, his last words to Hissa was to stop the imposter Kadann from ruling the Imperial remnant and to vow to destroy Luke Skywalker.
- The Glove of Darth Vader
- The Lost City of the Jedi
- Zorba the Hutt's Revenge
- Mission from Mount Yoda
- Queen of the Empire
- Prophets of the Dark Side
Due to later books like the Thrawn trilogy, The Coutship of Princess Leia and the X-Wing series coliding with Jedi Prince series, the series iteself has been somewhat held put back and is if forgotten. Most books reference the series but with little deatil.
Behind the scenesEdit
Trioculus's name, broken down into its Latin roots, literally means "three eyes". In Mission from Mount Yoda, it holds this meaning in-universe as well.
The Star Wars Insider article 20 Most Memorable Moments of the Expanded Universe labeled "The Villainy of Emperor Trioculus and Grand Moff Hissa" as the fourth "goofiest moment" of the Expanded Universe.
The Jedi Prince series, in which Trioculus first appears, implies that he was the sole leader of the Empire during this time period. The Essential Chronology introduced the retcon that Trioculus and Ysanne Isard were rivals for the Empire's leadership.
- ↑ 20 Most Memorable Moments of the Expanded Universe
- Jedi Prince series
- The New Essential Guide to Characters, 1st edition. Daniel Wallace, ISBN 0345449002.
- The New Essential Chronology, 1st edition. Daniel Wallace and Kevin J. Anderson, ISBN 0345490533.
- Star Wars Encyclopedia, 1st edition. Stephen J. Sansweet, ISBN 0345402278.