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Cronal, also known by the names Blackhole and Shadowspawn, is a character from the Legends continuity of the Star Wars universe. He served as one of the personal assassins of Emperor Palpatine and later became Director of Imperial Intelligence. Before he served the Empire, he was a member of the Prophets of the Dark Side.
Adept at divination, Cronal was recruited by Emperor Palpatine to serve the Galactic Empire. He abandoned himself to his meditations in the dark side, becoming withdrawn, physically frail, and paranoid. Considered Palpatine's "monster-maker," Cronal was responsible for the creation of several Sithspawn and other devices of Sith alchemy. As time passed, Cronal withdrew further, growing steadily more mad as the dark side consumed him.
After being exiled during the Galactic Civil War, Cronal returned as a warlord, and took the name of Shadowspawn. With a cadre of the Emperor's Royal Guards and a legion of shadow stormtroopers at his disposal, Shadowspawn laid waste to worlds of the New Republic. He and his splinter Imperial faction blazed a path of death and destruction, committing acts of piracy, terrorism, and mass slaughter. Conquering the Inner Rim, the warlord established his base of operations on the world of Mindor. The New Republic, responding to the threat of Shadowspawn, sent the newly appointed General Luke Skywalker after him, starting a campaign that resulted in a substantial loss of life. Planning a trap for Skywalker on Mindor, Shadowspawn was defeated during the ensuing battle, where he perished. However, through means of the Force, he revived himself and later served the reborn Palpatine.
After Palpatine's final death, Cronal went missing. Some of his forces would serve under Carnor Jax. He later re-surfaced on the planet Andooweel in an attempt to rebuild his power base. He was unsuccessful and was ultimately killed by Luke Skywalker.
- Cronal is one of the very few Star Wars villains to be a rapist, something which further demonstrates his monstruous nature.
- Before Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor was published, many fans thought that Matthew Stover would canonize a backstory written by Abel G. Peña that consolidated Shadowspawn as Atha Prime, the main antagonist of the 1980s cancelled Star Wars: The Epic Continues Kenner toyline. However, when the novel was published, it turned out to not be the case.