The Star Wars’ High Republic era introduces a new Force-based religion called The Path of the Open Hand, but who are they?
Everything begins with Vision
The Path of the Open Hand was founded by Sachar Rold. Sachar was a member and priest of the Guardians of the Whills. Eventually, Sachar’s beliefs would clash with his fellow priests, and he was cast out of the religion soon after. This would lead to Sachar having a Force vision in an attempt to find himself. The vision of a bright blue light ultimately led him to the planet Dalna where he founded The Path of the Open Hand.
Preparations for Expansion
The Path existed for over 100 years before the arrival of Elicia Zeveron. Elicia arrived on Planet Dalna as a refugee but soon transformed into much more. Elicia was also a Force-sensitive human who occasionally had Force visions. This caused her influence within the group to grow and became known as a prophet. Consequently, she would be given the title of mother and become one of the group’s leaders alongside the Herald.
Elicia’s growing influence and connection to the Force soon set her apart from her colleagues. Her visions would lead to the construction of the Gaze Electric, a starship that would allow the Path of the Open Hand to spread their message throughout the galaxy.
Force Religion or Force Cult?
The Path of the Open Hand believed the Force should be freed from all who would abuse it. This ideology put them in direct odds with the Jedi Order. The Path believed the Jedi Order to be “oppressing” the force and bringing imbalance to it through their manipulation and use of it. Elicia created a faction within the Path called the Children, whose purpose was to “liberate” force artifacts so no one could abuse their power. Though, noble, the Children often used underhanded tactics and theft to acquire such artifacts.
It’s also important to note that the Mother, Elicia Zeveron had an “intoxicating” effect on people, often clouding their minds. The Path also continued to accept refugees and grow their numbers from nearby conflicts. The Path of the Open Hand openly blamed the Jedi Order for many of the galaxy’s misfortunes as they believed their existence was the root of many problems. This ideology mixed with the Mother’s mysterious influence on people quickly turned a truly peaceful religion into a fanatical group of extremists.
Spreading the Seeds
After the construction of the Gaze Electric, the Path of the Open Hand was able to travel to other worlds. The Path eventually found themselves in the Holy City of Jedha. The Path of the Open Hand was determined to show the inhabitants of Jedha they belonged amongst the other force religions and would stop at nothing to prove it. Armed with a mysterious force-sensitive beast, the Path’s presence on Jedha would forever change the history of the planet.
The Path of the Open Hand
The Path of the Open Hand sprouted from humble beginnings but continues to grow to something much more sinister. They dedicate their lives to a dangerous ideology that sows seeds of dissent throughout the galaxy. They spread a mostly positive message while pursuing hidden agendas. While the mother has great plans for the Path of the Open Hand, she isn’t the only one with hidden motives. It’s exciting to see what the path has in store for the High Republic’s phase 2.
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