Force Organizations: Aing-Tii
At the end of the Yuuzhan Vong War in the year 29 ABY, Jacen Solo disappeared from galactic life and journeyed on a pilgrimage across the galaxy. Where did he go? Whom did he meet? What did he learn? We did know he returned to galactic events with different beliefs, leading to his involvement in the Dark Nest Crisis. Likewise, in the following events of the Second Galactic Civil War, we saw Jacen Solo assume the mantle of Darth Caedus.
However, it wasn’t until the subsequent Fate of the Jedi series did we discover the late Jedi’s trek across the galaxy.
One of the Force organizations Jacen Solo encountered during his obscure trek was the Aing-Tii monks. Originally introduced in West End Games’ DarkStryder Campaign supplement to their roleplaying game, the Aing-Tii would go on to be referenced in the New Jedi Order, Dark Nest Trilogy and the Legacy of the Force series before garnering more attention in the Fate of the Jedi series when Luke and Ben Skywalker attempted to retrace Solo’s travels.
The Aing-Tii hailed from an unknown planet in the Kathol sector. They were an extremely reclusive species and most of the population did not leave their homeworld, buried deep within the Kathol Rift. Those who did roam the edges of their territory or venture out beyond it were Force-sensitive and called the Aing-Tii monks. Over the millennia, they would come to be known as a legend from spacers who travelled to the edge of the known galaxy.
The Aing-Tii used violence to dissuaded curious onlookers from entering their territory. To accomplish this feat, they constructed technologically advanced ships to thwart probes into their territory. These semi-organic ships, known as Sanhedrim ships, patrolled the reaches of the Kathol Rift. The Aing-Tii monks primarily used these ships for defense, but also navigated them outside of their sliver of space to hunt slavers.
However, the enigma of the monks and their species was exposed to the greater galaxy in a few instances. During the waning decades of the Galactic Republic, denizens of the larger galaxy did get a glimpse of the Aing-Tii and their monks via micro-espionage droids that had been installed into Sanhedrim ships. Another brief glimpse into the monks happened when a Sanhedrim ship crashed, and analysts were able to study what information they could find.
Though their founding remains a mystery, the Aing-Tii were first discovered by the Jedi Order during the Ruusan Reformations, roughly a millennium before the Galactic Republic’s fall. While the Jedi recorded very little about them, other than scant accounts of the Aing-Tii aiding random people crying for help and attacking slavers, Jedi Master Yoda did task Jorj Car’das with seeking the monks out to aid him with his deteriorating health.
But it wasn’t until Jacen Solo’s trek circa 29 ABY and Luke Skywalker’s retracing of his steps circa 43 ABY did the philosophy of the Aing-Tii come more to light. Through these two treks, it was discovered the Aing-Tii had a vastly different paradigm of the Force. The foremost difference was their view on the nature of the Force. The Aing-Tii rejected the light/dark dichotomy of the Force, as espoused by the Jedi Order, and instead viewed the Force as having “many sides,” more like the multicolor nature of a rainbow.
Another opposing view the Aing-Tii held was that events were not predetermined, but “guided” by the Force, placing more agency on wielders of the Force rather than some absolute “will” attributed to the Force. However, they did not go as far as suggest all of history, as a result, could be greatly altered, but merely influenced. This position led the Aing-Tii to become masters of flow-walking. In fact, this is where Jacen Solo learned his ability to accomplish such a feat in the Force. In essence, the Aing-Tii could be seen as stewards of time.
The Aing-Tii also believed that everyone, regardless of their connection to the Force, could manipulate it in some way. They saw it as a gift from their deities simply known as “Those Who Dwell Beyond the Veil.” As a result, they used the Force scantily, not wanting to overuse and debase such a sacred “gift.” When they did use it, it was used to bring harsh judgment upon slavers, slavery being seen as the gravest offense in their society.
The Aing-Tii’s devotion to their philosophy influenced their culture to promote the monks spending the rest of their activities on errands for their deities, in hopes of pleasing these supernatural entities into providing them “answers” to whatever questions they may hold. Part of these errands involved using their “gift” to journey the dangerous Kathol Rift, which became a holy place to the monks.
Despite their reclusive nature, the Aing-Tii did accept a few outsiders into their ranks. As mentioned above, Jorj Car’das sought aid from them. He was accepted by the monks under the stipulation he stay and learn about them. He accepted and was healed, devoting most of the rest of his life to learning about the Aing-Tii. He was eventually allowed to leave, but mostly remained in the Kathol sector. Car’das did publicize some of his knowledge about the species, but most of his knowledge was kept a secret.
Likewise, Jacen Solo also was accepted into the monks’ ranks as a student of their teachings. He learned their ways, but departed, viewed as a failure by his Aing-Tii hosts. However, Solo did not divulge his gained knowledge of the monks, only adding sparse information to Jedi records about his experience amongst them. When the Skywalker duo retraced his steps a decade and a half later, they too learned the teleportation features of flow-walking; however, the Skywalkers left the planet with no answers to their ultimate questions.
Following the brief encounters through these contemporary eras, the Aing-Tii slipped back into obscurity, their fate just as shrouded in mystery as their beginnings. It is unknown if these monks ever heard the answers their gods were promised to bestow upon them, or if they continued to patrol the Rift in search of this revelation. All is known is they left their brief footprint on the galaxy, culminating around Jacen Solo’s transformation and corresponding Second Galactic Civil War.