The Taiidan Empire, also known as the Taiidan Imperium was one of the oldest states in the galaxy before its collapse during the Homeworld War. For millennia it was the central power in galactic affairs, as taken for granted as the Galactic Council or the ancient Unbound. Some would say its rule was tyrannical and oppressive, others would say it was a beacon of civilization in a chaotic world. In spite of such objections however the Empire would remain unchallenged for millennia.
It’s unknown specifically when the Empire was formed, although it was already rather powerful by the time of the Unbound War.
The Early EmpireEdit
Soon after the establishment of the Outer Rim Trade Routes, the Bentusi took it upon themselves the mantle of "Galactic Peacekeepers". Using their ability to far jump, the Bentusi would send their entire fleet to quell interplanetary wars with their superior technology. However, many systems, including the early Taiidan Empire and its rival the Hiigaran Empire, did not like being little more than protectorates of the Bentusi, and began conspiring with other planets to bring an end to the Bentusi’s "tyranny." Almost overnight, dozens of wars broke out across the galaxy. The Bentusi fleet, though indisputably powerful, could only be in one place at once. Overwhelmed, the Bentusi were broken militarily, thus beginning a new age.
The peace that followed the Unbound War left many issues unresolved however. One of these was how the former empires of the Unbound would be divided up. The Galactic Council, an interstellar body formed in the aftermath of the war in order to serve as a medium for the peaceful resolution of conflicts, was given the task of deciding this issue.
However, from the start, the Galactic Council’s efforts were doomed. Both the Hiigarans and Taiidan were too concerned with their own empires to let the Council decide against them. Both empires desired the systems in question and were willing to go to great lengths in order to acquire them. The Taiidan in particular forced many of the Council’s original members off until eventually the Council’s ruling became inevitably favorable to the Taiidan.
The Council’s ruling was that the systems would go to the Taiidan Empire and a 30 light-year neutral zone would be formed around Taiidan territory, a zone off-limits to Hiigaran vessels. The Hiigarans were outraged but were unable to do anything at the time as they were no match for both the Galactic Council and Taiidan. So the Hiigarans did not press the issue immediately and years went by without incident.
Things would change however. In time the Hiigarans would come across an ancient far jump core, identical to the one used by the Bentusi. This core, thought to be the prophesized Second Core, was immediately and secretly salvaged by the Hiigarans. A new flagship, the Sajuuk’s Wrath, was constructed for the purpose of holding the Second Core and the Hiigarans prepared for war.
The Daiamid, now convinced that the fleet was ready, ordered the Empire to pacify the Taiidan by any means necessary. The far jump capabilities of the Sajuuk’s Wrath allowed it to jump straight to Taiidan, which it then subsequently attacked in an act of unprecedented savagery in which the entire world was left devastated, Taiidan government completely wiped out. Convinced that the Taiidan would be unable to retaliate immediately the Hiigaran fleet retreated without pressing further into the Empire.
The unprovoked attack was seen across the galaxy as indisputable proof that the Hiigarans had grown out of control and therefore must be stopped. The Galactic Council demanded reparations from the Hiigarans, who deceptively agreed, only to betray the Bentusi vessel sent to disarm them. However, the Bentusi were more than prepared and the Sajuuk’s Wrath, along with the rest of the Hiigaran fleet, was destroyed in the Taiidan-Hiigaran neutral zone by the Bentusi although the Sajuuk’s Wrath secretly made it to the Angel Moon before being destroyed.
The destruction of Taiid left the Taiidan in grief, but they quickly overcame their sadness and entered into a rage. Their new leader, the Admiral Riesstiu led the vengeful Taiidan in a campaign of aggression that would eventually prove the Hiigarans’ doom. While others, such as the Bentusi, sought peace in vain the Taiidan would continue to wage war across Hiigaran space. Their war machine crippled the Hiigarans were forced to surrender to the Taiidan remnants, a move that surely saved them in the long run.
The Taiidan insisted that the Hiigarans be slaughtered, a fitting punishment for their act of atrocity. The Bentusi on the other hand were against this position, as was much of the Galactic Council. In an act that would shape history for millennia the Council forced the Taiidan to show mercy towards their enemy and in the end, the Hiigarans were exiled, sent to the edges of the Outer Rim. The Taiidan, now having no homeworld to call their own, set the new Imperial capital on Hiigara, considered a fitting fate for the homeworld of the Taiidan‘s greatest foe.
Although at first Riesstiu did not assume the title of Emperor it was inevitable that he would. In the aftermath of the Taiidan Atrocity Riesstiu was one of the few people who could be said to be a true leader of the Empire. Furthermore he had gained a reputation as a hero during the war against the Hiigarans, a reputation only questioned outside of Taiidan space. While Riesstiu would turn out to be a capable ruler he also turned out to be less than completely benevolent.
One of his first acts, even before obtaining the title of Emperor, was to test a new Imperial weapon on former Hiigaran worlds that still refused the new regime. The weapon, known as the atmospheric deprivation device, ignited the atmosphere of a world, lighting it aflame. When used in relatively small numbers the device could completely destroy a world’s atmosphere and therefore all life upon it. This demonstration of power would bring the few worlds that still questioned the Taiidan Empire under Riesstiu’s rule.
However, it would not be for several millennia before any real resistance to the Empire occured, and in this case, from an unlikely source.
In 9510 GSY the Empire faced a crisis. The Kushan exiles, having long forgotten the origin of their exile, had now redeveloped the hyperdrive after millennia. Now, determined to return to Hiigara they had initiated a jump within their star system, a jump detected by Imperial listening posts. This jump was a violation of the treaty which had formalized the Exile and so the fact that the Kushan had developed the hyperdrive was seen by the reigning Emperor, the paranoid and insane Riesstiu IV the Second, as a challenge to Imperial rule.
The Empire struck without mercy, determined to destroy the Kushan before they became a threat. The surrogate homeworld of the Kushan, Kharak, was subjected to the infamous atmospheric deprivation device and an entire civilization was destroyed. The attack recordings were then broadcasted across the Empire as an example of Imperial might. However, although the videos were meant to inspire the citizens into loyalty they had the opposite effect, provoking rebellion and dissent.
This new Taiidan Rebellion quickly became a threat to the Empire, although the Empire was prepared for such. Riesstiu, who had already prepared himself for any possible threat from within, launched his fleet into action, pounding the rebellion into oblivion. Within months most elements of the rebellion were crushed, although they had in their own way done considerable damage.
But the threats to the Empire were not over. Surprisingly enough, the Kushan were not made extinct. The Mothership, the flagship of the Kushan fleet, had avoided destruction. It struck back in the Great Wastelands at both the Turanic and Taiidan fleets which had participated in the Kharakian Genocide, destroying them completely. Then, before the Empire could strike back they fled into the forbidden Great Nebula, reemerging in the heart of the Empire.
It was inevitable then that the Rebels and Kushan would ally. In the Core Worlds the Rebel leader Elson allied himself with the Kushan and a coordinated attack plan against the Empire began. While the Rebels carried out their various operations the Kushan would move steadily closer to Hiigara. Riesstiu, realizing that the advance could not be stopped, prepared his fleet for battle and in the Second Battle of Hiigara met the Exiles in combat over Hiigara.
In the process the Exiles managed to destroy the Emperor’s fleet, killing Riesstiu and bringing an end to his terrible reign. Shortly thereafter Rebel and Kushan forces together landed on Hiigara and occupied the Imperial capital, destroying the Imperial Gene Bank and overthrowing the local government.
The Empire at its fall was composed of three main elements: the Emperor, the Assembly of Lords, and the Taiidan military. During the rule of Riesstiu IV the Second the Assembly of Lords was mostly reduced to a committee that rubber-stamped anything put forth by the Emperor. It was the Emperor who possessed the real power.
However, for a large part it was the Empire’s military, particularly the Taiidan Imperial Fleet which wielded most of the power although they were, for the most part, loyal to the Emperor. It was the Imperial Fleet which was used as a security force, a symbol of unity, and a weapon with which to strike the Empire’s foes, all at the same time. When the Fleet’s loyalties began to waver during the Homeworld War the Empire collapsed, torn into two.
Behind the scenesEdit
It’s highly likely the Taiidan Empire was inspired at least in part by the Galactic Empire of Star Wars. Like in Star Wars the Empire serves as the main antagonist and is ruled over by an evil despot whose rule is maintained by force. Furthermore the Empire is eventually overthrown by a rebellion that goes on to establish a republic, a parallel that seems an unlikely coincidence, particularly since early on Relic Entertainment employees identified Star Wars as an influence on Homeworld.
However, it is also likely the Empire is inspired in part by the Imperium of Man in Warhammer 40,000 which, like the Taiidan Empire, is millennia old and is led by a centuries old, seemingly immortal Emperor. This connection, while not proven, seems supported by the fact that Relic would later go on to develop an RTS set in the Warhammer 40,000 setting.
It is known that Battlestar Galactica was a large influence on the development of Homeworld. If the Kushan are then a parallel to the crew of the Battlestar Galactica it is not too large of a leap to conjecture that the Taiidan are in some ways influenced by the Cylons, who pursue the heroes throughout much of the show in an attempt to halt their journey.
It is also possible the Empire in the Foundation series also played an influence on the Taiidan Empire although the former is usually seen in a more positive light and its own collapse was a result of inevitable social pressure rather than a revolution.
Two more examples of central inspiration for the Taiidan Empire were the USSR and Nazi Germany. They both possess many similarities to the Empire: the red on yellow paint scheme hearkens to the colours of the USSR flag (yellow on red), the Soviet design philosophies in their spacecraft are similar to the Taiidani research probe array etc; the manhunt for many Taiidani war criminals after the events of Homeworld, largely spearheaded by the Hiigaran Tambuur, is reminiscent of the manhunt for Nazi officials after World War II.
- The Exile
- The Hourglass
- The Life of P’teer Elson
- The Vagabond
- Homeworld: In the Monster's Shadow
- Fleet Intelligence Logs
- Homeworld: Retribution
- Homeworld: The Exiles’ Revenge
- Homeworld: The Exodus
- The Mothership Sails to Hiigara
- Homeworld: Aftermath