Late in 5 ABY Cronal, taking the name of “Shadowspawn”, became a warlord, heading one of the many Imperial splinter factions that opposed the New Republic. He had devised a technique that made him able to take over people’s minds, and he used this also on Nick Rostu. Nick then became the figure known to the galaxy as ‘Shadowspawn’. Blackhole had more of these Pawns, all people he had taken prisoner in his campaigns. Following the death of their master, several of the Emperor’s Royal Guards that had not participated in the mass suicides thinning their number joined Shadowspawn’s cause. Shadowspawn was able to capture and hold the Inner Rim, while making the strategically advantageous world of Mindor his base of operations. With his shadow stormtroopers deployed, Shadowspawn committed acts of terrorism and piracy, in addition to wholesale slaughter against worlds of the New Republic. It was Shadowspawn’s hope that he could break the Republic’s hold on the galaxy and breed fears of an Imperial—and Sith—resurgence. In aid of this, he declared himself to be the new Galactic Emperor, intending to fully restore the Galactic Empire .
Refusing to tolerate Shadowspawn’s destructive bid for power, Luke Skywalker—now a General of the New Republic—led the campaign against Shadowspawn to free the worlds of the Inner Rim he had conquered, resulting in a protracted and bloody string of battles that left thousands dead.
Toward the end of the campaign, his troops entrenched themselves on Mindor in preparation for Skywalker’s inevitable assault. There, Shadowspawn hoped to lure the heroes of the Republic into his trap. Skywalker soon attacked the planet, with the aid of Fenn Shysa’s Mandalorian Protectors, Han Solo, Leia Organa, Chewbacca, C-3PO, R2-D2, and the pilots of Rogue Squadron.
Under the advice of some of the New Republic’s greatest military minds and against the will of Chief of State Mon Mothma, General Skywalker called the shadowy and violent unit called Phoenix Squadron to aid in the assault.