Five thousand years before the formation of the Galactic Republic, Rakatan civilization was at its peak after the decline of the Celestials. Through the use of dark side fueled technologies created a powerful Force powered hyperdrive, the Builders had formed the Infinite Empire
which dominated known space for thousands of years. However, their
hyperdrives could only visit worlds possessing strong force signatures,
making their empire have few worlds and much space between each. This
allowed for numerous other civilizations to flourish.Many of the most
prominent worlds of the Empire were included in this empire, such as, Corellia, Honoghr, Generis, Hijarna, Xo, and Dantooine
falling under their dominion. This haphazard nature of their empire
meant that loose confederacies of other civilizations managed to develop
in the spaces between Rakatan worlds through use of dangerous as well
as unpredictable hyperdrive technology.
Their campaign of conquest led to the enslavement of numerous developing species including the Duros, and Selkath,
but not humans, as said by the Spider Droid on Dantooine, inside the
Ancient Ruins. By transporting these slave species to new worlds, the
Rakata were believed to have inadvertently seeded swaths of the galaxy
with sentient life. During their expansions, the Rakata came into conflict with two other advanced as well as powerful civilizations; the inhabitants of the Gree Enclave and the extragalactic Kwa. The Infinite Empire managed to force the Gree to their native cluster and nearly exterminated the Kwa. With their victory, the Rakata took Dathomir under their rule and even transported the native Rancor's to their homeworld of Lehon as curiousities.
At its height, the Empire governed 500 worlds and its population
numbered ten billion Rakatan warriors and one trillion slaves. Among its
conquests were the Selkath of Manaan, Wookiees of Kashyyyk, Kumumgah of Tatooine, Noghri of Honoghr, and the natives of the Corellian Sector. The powerful, Force-wielding Rakata may have even displaced the most advanced species of that time period, including the Killiks of Alderaan and the Sharu of the Rafa system, during their meteoric rise to power.
During their period of expansion, the Rakata encountered the Sith species of Korriban. At first, the Rakata were wary and they pretended to ally themselves with the warlord Adas, going so far as to show him how to construct the pyramidal Sith holocron.
In time, however, Adas learned that the invaders were bent on conquest.
When the two species went to war, he managed to lead the Sith to
victory and drive the Rakata from Korriban, but at the expense of his
After generations of galactic supremacy, the Infinite Empire
began to fracture. Constant tensions between internal factions suddenly
erupted into a devastating civil war caused by the Star Forge's
corrupting influence. Already weakened by warfare, the Builders were
suddenly struck by a deadly plague that spread rapidly through their
ranks. Later, it would be theorized that the disease was created by a
slave species because it only infected the Builders themselves. The
virulent plague nearly exterminated the Rakata and brought the Infinite
Empire to its knees, yet the worst was yet to come.
The Rakata suddenly and inexplicably began to lose their
connection to the Force. Worse, they were unable to uncover the source
of their failing sensitivity.
Rakatan scientists came up with numerous speculative hypotheses to
explain their worsening condition, but in the end, all of their theories
proved incorrect. In time, it would be revealed that a mysterious mutation in the plague had caused it to strip the Builders of their powers.
As the Force users were culled from the overall population at an
ever increasing rate, the Rakata lost their ability to manipulate their
own technology. Soon, they were forced to rely on inferior devices that
were not dependent on the Force. Sensing weakness, slave species
rebelled in large-scale insurrections on many member worlds and stemmed
the total collapse of the Infinite Empire in 25,200 BBY. The nearly decimated Rakata could do nothing but abandon their conquests and retreat to the safety of their homeworld of Lehon. Some Rakata castoffs survived the fall of the Infinite Empire in the Tion Cluster as late as 25,100 BBY, allowing Tion Humans access to their Force-sensitive technology.
The Lehon system was protected by a disruptor field that could disable any incoming ship's communications and navigational systems. The field, operated from the summit of a Temple
on the surface of Lehon, was originally constructed to protect the Star
Forge, but it was now used to protect the Rakata themselves.
On their homeworld, Rakatan civilization rapidly faded into
obscurity and barbarism. Warlords devastated the surface of the planet
with weapons of mass destruction and the majority of the Rakata were
forced to flee underground. Years later, when the Rakatans resurfaced,
they called themselves Black Rakata, such as The One and his people.
Only the descendants of the Priest Caste, the Elders
tribe, remained on the surface protected by their ancient temples and
enclaves. They were called Red Rakata by the other Rakata tribes. They
alone would retain full knowledge of the potent technology and turbulent
history of their species. In the following centuries, the Builders were
purposely erased from the records of their slave subjects and the
Infinite Empire slipped from the pages of galactic history.
Jedi Civil WarEdit
More than 20,000 years after the fall of the Infinite Empire, most
Rakata had only just begun to reemerge onto the surface, yet the Elders
Tribe still thrived within their secluded compound. After long millennia
of solitude and contemplation, the Elders desired to destroy their
great factory so that they could finally put their bloody past behind
them, but there was a problem. They could no longer enter their own Temple of the Ancients, the nexus of their collected knowledge and the key to accessing the Star Forge, because the Force was lost to them.
Darth Revan and Darth Malak's
timely arrival in the system gave the elders a perfect opportunity.
Promising to destroy the Star Forge, Revan entered the temple, but he
betrayed the Elders' trust and took the space station for himself.
Around 3,959 BBY, he harnessed the full power of the Star Forge and began a massive military invasion of the Galactic Republic that would culminate in the Jedi Civil War.
Meanwhile, the Rakata were forced to watch their species' actions
repeat themselves through the person of Revan, powerless to stop it.
Their Temple and Star Forge became the dwellings of dark side users once
Yet Revan would return, unlooked-for, three years later and redress that betrayal. A redeemed Revan ended the Sith
occupation of the Rakatan temple and deactivated the planet's disruptor
field so that the Star Forge could be destroyed by a Republic fleet. He
also aided the Rakata's efforts to regain their lost Force sensitivity
which they believed would eventually allow them to rejoin the galactic
After the Jedi Civil War the Republic maintained an outpost in the
Lehon system, but did not bother to admit the Rakatans into the
Republic. Because all records of the Infinite Empire were lost to time,
some were skeptical of the notion that the seemingly primitive beings
had once ruled hundreds of worlds and dominated the galaxy.
A number of the Rakata took to the stars and left their brethren behind
on Lehon, who died out within a few generations due to the limited gene
pool remaining on their remote and isolated homeworld. By the time Darth Bane arrived on Lehon in search of Darth Revan's holocron (c.1,000 BBY), the planet was completely devoid of sentient life. The few Rakata that remained in the galaxy kept to the Unknown Regions, in a place known as the Rakatan Archipelago.
There, on a scattering of planets, the Rakata tribes continued their
ancient struggles. While most tribes were primitive and were restricted
to a single planet, some had managed to rediscover the secrets of space
flight; two tribes had even begun construction on small orbital
factories similar in function to the Star Forge.