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|Physical and technical specifications|
|Usage and history|
Reanimation of bodies
Resurrection technology was the catch-all term used to describe a series of biological and technological tools and techniques that were designed to reanimate a dead body. Developed in secret during the decade prior to the outbreak of the Great Sith War, it was primarily intended for use on recently-deceased Humans. The process was threefold, beginning with a general reconstruction of the deceased person and implantation of devices designed to aid in reviving, followed by a complete neurological reconstruction of the brain and nervous system, and wrapped up by reintroducing synthetic bodily fluids while the still-unconscious patient's body began the process of producing its own, then final reawakening.
Though it took several years and numerous unsuccessful trials on cadavers that had volunteered for medical experimentation prior to death, the process was finally perfected in 3,997 BBY. The process was not without drawbacks, however; it was very expensive, and it was highly-dependent upon a number of factors. Bodies had to be fresh, or else preserved in stasis fields, and the brain in particular had to be relatively undamaged. Despite the negatives, those who underwent the procedure generally saw an increase in life span and quality of life. Perhaps the most famous example of a successful case was that of Marine captain and Jedi Knight Laera Reyolé, who only realized her Force-sensitivity after having been put through the treatment by the enigmatic Jedi-turned-Dark Lord Revan.
The implementation of resurrection tech involved a three-step process. The initial phase began with the draining of any remaining fluids such as blood and bile, after which the repairing of damaged organs and tissues would commence, The goal was to put the deceased person's body back to normal standard while still attempting to preserve what the victim had been when still alive; this included preserving unique bodily properties, such as muscular development and facial features. This was accomplished through the use of relatively simple surgical techniques, with the body being preserved through the use of stasis fields throughout the proceedings.
The second and most time-consuming phase involved reconstructing the deceased patient's brain, making every attempt to preserve the neurons that remained as well as rebuilding those that had been damaged. This was also the most difficult part; indeed, the first several trials whereupon the subject was successfully revived resulted in the near-total loss of individuality and memory, with permanent death following soon thereafter as the autonomic nervous system shut down. However, the utilization of pre-mortem neurological scans in addition to the use of neural-restructuring equipment that was normally intended to heal brain injury in living patients, provided a solution to the problem.
The third and final phase included the actual reviving of the subject. With the newly-reconstructed body kept in stasis, synthesized bodily fluids were reintroduced, whereupon specifically-tailored implants inserted during the primary reconstruction phase began to circulate them throughout the circulatory and endocrine systems. The nervous system would then be reignited through a series of gentle electrical pulses, which were gradually modulated to match the patient's pre-mortem brain waves. Final waking was accomplished by "zapping" the brain stem, reinitializing the autonomic nervous system and allowing the body to reassert itself once more. The implants, however, would remain inside the patient for the duration of their lives, in order to maintain optimal health.
The possibility of resurrection technology was first glimpsed at in 4,012 BBY by the Republic Military as a means of preserving key combat leaders in the event of death on the battlefield. Though several of the Galactic Republic's top medical officers took part in the initial studies of postmortem decay in line soldiers and how it could be reversed, when it came to actual reanimation, all but one balked, threatening to publicly resign if forced to participate. The sole remaining project member, a Twi'lek known only as "Dr. Shak," relentlessly pursued his own ideas, with the quiet support of Republic Intelligence and a triumvirate of Senators who had served in the armed forces in their earlier careers. The consortium discretely purchased test cadavers from a number of medical schools on Coruscant, on which Dr. Shak and a new batch of medical specialists, most of whom had worked outside the government prior to signing up, renewed the studies.
Beginning with a collection of twelve Humans who had died of various causes, Dr. Shak and his fellows began to put their theories into practice. Deciding that it was better to refine the process on one body at a time instead of in lots, the team set to work, however by the time the ninth body had been put through every process they could think of, there were still severe problems with preserving the identity of the would-be patient and maintaining the body's functionality. A breakthrough came when a visiting Intelligence officer suggested the use of neurological reconstruction equipment, which was obtained from a Republic Army hospital after it was "accidentally" decertified for safe use. This new idea came on the heels of Dr. Shak's perfecting of a system of regulatory implants that would, ideally, serve as adjuncts to the body's major organs. The tenth body was put through these redeveloped processes, and though it too failed, this provided the consortium with enough data to perfect an outline for the process that could be tailored to the individual patient. The two remaining patients were successfully revived, and allowed to depart the facility; in exchange for their silence, they were provided with homes and steady, gainful employment on Corulag under new identities.
A year later, in 3,997 BBY, the perfection of resurrection technology was quietly announced to the Republic Military High Command as well as the galaxy's most powerful and influential business and political leaders. Most were shocked at the possibility of bringing the dead back to life, and more than one flag officer threatened to expose the program and bring charges against those involved. Before the admiral could make good on these threats, however, Dr. Shak and his team were smuggled offworld, where they set up shop in the Tion Hegemony, disguising their operation as a health spa and resort for exclusive clientele. The scandal, however, was quickly overshadowed by the outbreak of the Great Sith War, led by the fallen Jedi Exar Kun. Dr. Shak continued to provide his services after the war, however, and the technology eventually attracted the attention of Malak, who swiftly informed his friend, Revan.
Despite the potential of resurrection technology, there were drawbacks to its use. The full gamut of resurrection technology could cost as much as one hundred thousand credits, depending upon the specific cause of death, making it prohibitive for use on anyone but the most wealthy or prominent persons. In addition, a body had to be largely whole in order to ensure success, particularly in terms of damage to the brain. While a severed extremity such as a foot or lower arm could be surgically reattached during reconstruction in the same way a living patient might receive such treatment, severe trauma to the torso could be irreparable, despite the availability of artificial organs. This also added to the cost, as organs cloned from original tissue were ideal.
For successful cases, however, the quality of life for the patient generally increased. Revived persons could expect to live twenty to thirty years longer than normal had they not died, with vitality lasting longer due to the regulatory implants' continuing functionality. In one case, that of Druckenwell native and mineral tycoon Marius Atchelle, the procedure affected a drastic change in lifestyle. Atchelle, who had been killed in a landspeeder crash in 3,986 BBY at the age of thirty-two, was put through the procedure at the order of his widow. Upon completion eighteen Standard months later, Atchelle became much more active than he had been, selling his business interests under his wife's authority, changing his name, and embarking on a highly-successful career as a professional wrestler without anyone realizing he had ever died.
Perhaps the most successful, if not the most widely-known case, was that of Marine Captain Laera Reyolé. An officer who had risen through the ranks of the Corps after having enlisted at the age of sixteen, she was suspected by Malak of being Force-sensitive. When Captain Reyolé was killed during the height of the liberation of Onderon during the last year of the Mandalorian Wars, the two Jedi, who were then leading the Republic war effort, contacted Dr. Shak and his team. Offering them two hundred fifty thousand credits in exchange for absolute secrecy, Revan and Malak brought the Twi'lek to the far Outer Rim, setting up a small base on an isolated planet for them to apply their techniques to the deceased officer. Though Reyolé had suffered considerable damage to her heart, lungs and liver in the blast that had killed her, her brain had escaped harm. Serendipitously, she had only recently had a neural scan performed as part of a routine medical check, and thus the process was relatively swift.
However, though Dr. Shak knew of the Force, he had never anticipated what factors might come into play in the event his processes were carried out on the body of a Force-sensitive. He warned Revan and Malak of this before returning to the Tion Hegemony, however his concerns were largely ignored. Four years later, however, these fears would bear fruit as Reyolé, by then a Jedi Knight of some repute even as she continued to serve as a senior field commander, nearly died when the regulatory mechanisms that had been implanted within her were rejected by her renewed body. It was only through the swift intervention of Vibrosword Chief Medical Officer Dr. Oopal, who used synthesized tissues and expert surgical skills, that saved her life. Though the Mon Calamari physician was sure that she would recover in time, it took the combined healing efforts of Jedi Master Kavar, along with Knights Keeh Rha, Haydin Biddell, Georg Oakes, Noi-Vas Jenn and Padawan Bastila Shan to accelerate her recovery so that she could participate in the mission to capture Revan, who had since declared himself Dark Lord of the Sith.
Though Dr. Shak continued to provide his services to wealthy and powerful clients, amassing a sizable fortune of his own in the process, the demand for resurrection technology was never very high. No attempts were ever made to advertise his services to the wider galaxy, and he was never successful in securing an apprentice to carry on or even expand his work. As the Jedi Civil War drew to a close, the Twi'lek physician began to lose his eyesight; by 3,950 BBY, he had gone completely blind. Unable to work any longer, he dissolved his practice and attempted to encode his knowledge into a data archive, the location to which was lost when he died the next year. With Dr. Shak dead and his knowledge lost, this form of resurrection technology soon faded from the universe.
Behind the scenesEdit
Resurrection technology in this form was first introduced into Star Wars fanon by Sean "Goodwood" Nash, in the stories that centered around Laera Reyolé. Though no official name is given to the processes, a brief outline was sketched out in Nash's first completed work, Star Wars: Death and Life. That story, and those that followed it within the Tales from the Corps series, A Marine Went to Jedi Camp, Star Wars: Saber Battalion and The Last Full Measure largely deal with the philosophical and personal ramifications of death and rebirth, rather than the actual mechanisms of such achievements. The latter novel does, however, add more information in addition to describing the technology's incompatibility with Force-sensitive beings.