- "Hello, searcher. I will guide you on your way."
- ―Avar Kriss' message in a holocron
Avar Kriss was a human female Jedi Master of the Jedi Order during the time of the High Republic. Noble and selfless, Kriss was an inspiration to many of her fellow Jedi. She served on the Starlight Beacon, a space station on the frontier of the galaxy. Kriss was heavily involved in the aftermath of the hyperspace catastrophe known as the Great Hyperspace Disaster, when the Legacy Run split apart in hyperspace, causing fragments of the ship to crash through the Hetzal system at incredible speeds, coordinating the effort to protect the star system from the hyperspace anomalies. In the aftermath of the incident, Kriss worked with Jedi Knight Elzar Mann, her best friend from her days at the Jedi Temple, to discover how the accident occurred as well as research how to stop the continued Emergences, where pieces of the Legacy Run emerged from hyperspace to cause damage across the galaxy. Kriss was successful in her command of the operation and eventually was given control of Starlight Beacon after it became operational.
Jedi of the frontier
Born around 262 BBY, during the time of the High Republic, Avar Kriss was taken into the Jedi Order as a child, brought to the Jedi Temple on the Republic capital world of Coruscant. As a Padawan, she developed a strong connection with fellow trainees Stellan Gios and Elzar Mann, the latter of whom would become her closest friend in the Order.
Inseparable from Gios and Mann during their years of training, Kriss ascended through the Order, attaining the rank of Jedi Knight, and eventually, Jedi Master. Kriss often worked with Gios and Mann on the occasion that their assignments coincided. During her time as a Jedi, Kriss worked within the frontier of the galaxy. She accomplished many great deeds, which fascinated younger Jedi such as Keeve Trennis.
The Great Disaster
Conclave at Starlight
- "Pleased to meet you."
"Likewise. Thank you for your work. This place is incredible."
- ―Joss Adren and Avar Kriss, aboard the Starlight Beacon
In 232 BBY, Kriss was present aboard the Starlight Beacon space station for a Jedi and Republic conclave to commemorate the station's completion several weeks before it was to come fully online. Shai Tennem, the overseer of the project and station administrator, insisted on showing the visitors every element of its construction, giving a tour of the station to Kriss and the other dignitaries, including several other Jedi and Admiral Pevel Kronara of the Republic Defense Coalition, which delayed their scheduled departure. While on the tour, they encountered the contractors Joss and Pikka Adren, who Tennem introduced to the dignitaries. Joss Adren greeted the Jedi, and Kriss responded, thanking the Adrens for their work on the station. The tour group moved on, subsequently departing the station aboard the Emissary-class Republic Cruiser Third Horizon, the vessel commanded by Admiral Kronara.
At the same time, the Great Hyperspace Disaster, a catastrophe involving the destruction of the freighter Legacy Run while in hyperspace, saw the Hetzal system come under threat from hyperspace debris, and the Republic received a distress signal sent by Minister Zeffren Ecka. Due to the delay caused by Tennem, the Third Horizon, in transit back to Coruscant with Kriss and the Jedi dignitaries aboard, was close enough to provide assistance, and was used to dispatch a combined Jedi and Republic rescue effort. The Third Horizon was diverted to the Hetzal system, and Kronara ceded control of the effort to the Jedi, with Kriss being placed in command of the operation.
Hetzal rescue effort
- "We still have to do everything we came here to do—keep the fragments from destroying Hetzal—but now there's something else. The anomalies I have indicated here contain living beings. This is no longer just about saving the worlds of this system."
- ―Avar Kriss
As the Third Horizon made its way to the Hetzal system, Kriss sent a message to Minister Ecka on the planet Hetzal Prime, informing the inhabitants of the system of the rescue effort. When they arrived, the Third Horizon deployed its complement of Jedi Vectors and Republic Longbeams to aid in the rescue efforts. On the cruiser's bridge, Kriss studied a projection of the Hetzal system and the assets she controlled. Kriss proceeded to float a meter above the deck of the Third Horizon's bridge, reaching out to the Force to form a network in the Force to act as the point of connection for the Jedi in the system. She maintained a clear picture of the events through both the Force and the chatter of the officers aboard the Third Horizon. Her deep focus allowed her to monitor many events transpiring, her thoughts temporarily dwelling on her friend, Jedi Knight Elzar Mann, who was flying a Vector.
While coordinating the rescue effort, Kriss received a sense from the Duros Jedi Knight Te'Ami, piloting a Vector above the Fruited Moon of Hetzal, and used the Force to understand Te'Ami's message: that the debris contained living beings. Reaching out across the system, Kriss located ten such pieces of debris and indicated them aboard the display screen on the Third Horizon that showed the rescue effort's status. She informed Admiral Kronara and the Republic crew of their new objective, intending to save both the Hetzalians and those trapped within the debris. As the Republic crew attempted to plan rescue missions, Kriss returned to the Force, sending the message to the Jedi.
Kriss continued to assist her Jedi colleagues, feeling the pain that came with the hundreds of deaths happening around her. Sensing an even greater disturbance, Kriss entered deeper into her meditative calm to sense what it was, opening her spirit as much as she was able to. Unable to figure it out, she returned to the projection wall on the bridge of the Third Horizon with Admiral Kronara, watching Masters Jora Malli and Sskeer save a transport from a collision with a fragment. Kriss felt another wave of worry as Kronara told Chancellor Soh that they had seen the worst of the crisis. Then, suddenly, Kriss felt the hole in her senses and went to the screen again, pointing at a large fragment with no survivors on it heading towards an R-class star. She ordered a bridge officer to get a scan of the object from the Hetzalian administrators, and technician Keven Tarr responded by saying that it was a massive container of liquid tibanna. Kronara began to curse as he realized that such a collision could destroy the entire system.
Kriss helped load refugees onto the Third Horizon as she told Kronara of her plan to deal with the tibanna. She trusted that the combined strength of the Jedi could move the container, and despite Kronara's doubts, stayed on the planet while the Third Horizon departed with the rescued people. Using her comlink, she transmitted a long message to the other Jedi, asking for their help to move the container to a new path so it would miss the sun. She felt the strain of the Jedi around her, sensing Te'Ami and many others losing consciousness and even the death of Jedi Knight Rah Barocci. As their efforts continued to fail, Kriss felt the song of the Force go silent before their push moved the container away. Kriss dropped to her knees in relief. Little did she or the other Jedi know, but their efforts were broadcast across the Outer Rim, showing their heroic efforts to the masses. Kriss eventually became known as the "Hero of Hetzal."
A new mission
Kriss would return to Coruscant to meet with Supreme Chancellor Lina Soh, Jedi Masters Yarael Poof, Jora Malli, and Sskeer, as well as Senator Izzet Noor, Secretary of Transportation Jeffo Lorillia, and Admiral Kronara. Soh congratulated and thanked Kriss for her efforts, who humbly accepted them. Chancellor Soh then announced her plan to enact a hyperspace closure that would shut down hyperspace lanes for well over five hundred parsecs. Soh later turned to the Jedi and tasked them with finding a solution to the continued Emergences, the name given to the instances of fragments of the Legacy Run exiting hyperspace and damaging other systems, to ensure that the Starlight Beacon was opened on schedule. She promised to allocate every resource she could to help them. Additionally, the Jedi High Council put her in charge of the Order's response to the Emergences.
Kriss went to find Elzar Mann, whom she wanted to work with on their new mission, and met with him as well as Lorillia, Noor, and Keven Tarr, the technician from Hetzal Prime. Tarr explained his theory about the Emergences, saying that most of the ship was still unaccounted for. As Noor lamented their situation, Kriss tried to restore optimism, but she only succeeded in escalating Noor's thoughts, who then shouted that he believed it was a deliberate attack and lashed out at Mann when he tried to respond to him. Kriss explained how they would be approaching the situation, saying they would first put up safeguards so planets like Hetzal and Ab Dalis, the second planet impacted by the Emergences that had seen over twenty million deaths, were protected. Secondly, they would identify the cause of the Emergences. When Tarr proposed his idea to use thousands of navidroids to form a network to help him project where the next Emergences would be located, Kriss and Mann supported the idea and Lorillia vowed to work on allocating resources for him. Finally, in response to Kriss admitting she was still curious about hyperspace on a larger scale, Noor directed them to meet with the San Tekka clan, saying they were experts on all things hyperspace.
Having tasked Jedi Master Nib Assek with gently questioning survivors of the Legacy Run to see if they could recall anything that could help the investigation, Kriss and Mann traveled to Varykino on the planet Naboo to meet Marlowe and Vellis San Tekka at their home. They drank attar of spinsilk as they waited for the two to meet them, with Kriss listening to Mann say that he would want to come to Varykino when he was too old for the Order to make use of him. Kriss did not tell him as much but she liked the idea and also mentally toyed with the idea of spending her own retirement from the Order with Mann. When they finally met the two San Tekkas, they agreed to share their expertise in hyperspace navigation and hyperlanes, including a set of algorithms that helped them model likely hyperspace routes, to help defend various systems. Kriss gratefully told them that they would put them in touch with Keven Tarr to help him with his navidroid network as Mann asked them what theories they had about the cause of the disaster. As Mann elaborated on the theory that, despite what the galaxy knew about hyperspace navigation, the Legacy Run crashed into something while in hyperspace, Marlowe immediately dismissed the idea as impossible. Kriss sensed an impulse from Mann that let her know that Mann could tell Marlowe was lying. As Vellis backed up Marlowe, Kriss once again felt Mann tell her that they were lying. They continued to say that they could not imagine there was a problem with hyperspace itself and vowed to research more into the matter with the data Kriss handed to them on a datachip. As the Jedi departed, Mann affirmed that the pair had been hiding something, but Kriss dismissed the notion of ill intent and instead suggested they were keeping secrets as all businesspeople did.
- "It is your path we must discuss, Master Kriss. The Council has convened and—"
"Master Vetar, I am honored, but like Yoda—"
"Avar, we are not offering you a place on the Council…we are offering you the Beacon. Starlight needs a marshal…and that marshal is you."
- ―Vetar and Avar Kriss
Following the dedication ceremony, Kriss spoke with the Jedi Estala Maru, asking if he was able to locate Master Sskeer, who had recently been involved in a battle against the Nihil at Kur. Maru informed her that he could not, and Kriss expressed concern over Sskeer, having been unable to hear him within the Force. Kriss was approached by Grand Masters Yoda and Veter, who she had not expected to arrive quickly at the Beacon. Veter brought up the discussion of Kriss' future path, and Kriss assumed the Grand Master was offering her a place on the Jedi High Council, which she refused. However, Veter informed her that the Grand Masters were not intending to offer her a place on the Council. Veter instead offered Kriss the position of marshal of the Starlight Beacon, surprising Kriss with the proposal. After the dedication ceremony, she said goodbye to Mann, now a Jedi Master, who was returning to Coruscant.
The morning after the dedication, Kriss was present at a briefing alongside the Supreme Chancellor and Admiral Kronara regarding the Battle of Kur. The Adrens were invited, as the Republic officials wanted to know how their Longbeam, the Aurora III, had delivered a significantly above-average performance during the battle.
Kriss was later contacted by Sskeer, who had followed a scrambled distress signal to the Kazlin system with his former Padawan Keeve Trennis and the Kotabi Jedi twins Ceret and Terec, to a damaged cruiser that was left drifting in deep space after a Nihil attack. As Sskeer explained that the Nihil had attacked the ship, which had been commanded by a Hutt, that had been transporting Vratixia renanicus, a type of barley. Master Maru informed Kriss that the ship had come from Sedri Minor, so Kriss sent Sskeer and Ceret there while Trennis and the injured Terec waited for her and Jedi Knight Vernestra Rwoh to join them onboard. There, Kriss spoke with Trennis about Sskeer, with Trennis saying that he was filled with rage. Kriss initially said that the young Jedi should have told her, but then admitted that she had also failed to sense the turmoil in the Trandoshan Jedi Master. Then, Terec collapsed, and, supported by Rwoh, told Kriss that they sensed something terrible had happened to Ceret. Kriss contacted Sskeer to learn what had happened, and the Trandoshan realized that Ceret had disappeared into the barley field.
Kriss subsequently traveled to Sedri Minor aboard the Ataraxia herself, sending Rwoh back to Starlight with the Hutt's corpse to do an autopsy while the Marshal and Trennis followed up on the investigation. Terec's condition worsened, and they began to rave about encroaching darkness as the cruiser landed on Sedri Minor. Kriss restrained the ranting Kotabi while attempting to get them to calm down, simultaneously scolding Sskeer for being of little help and losing Ceret. Trennis, on guard duty, learned from a few of the colony's residents that several people had disappeared and went off to investigate without telling anyone. After Terec had fallen unconscious, Kriss and Sskeer learned that Trennis had gone off when the colony's antagonistic Speaker, Kalo Sulman, barged onboard the Ataraxia and demanded to know her whereabouts. Sulman, suspicious of outsiders, demanded the Jedi leave, and Kriss ordered Sskeer to stay with Terec before suggesting to Sulman that they go looking for Trennis together.
While searching, Kriss heard Trennis calling for help from underground: she had discovered a large sinkhole and, exploring it with a child named Bartol tagging along, had discovered Ceret and one of the missing residents, Julus, trussed up in roots, although the Rodian child was already dead. Upon waking, Ceret had been acting strange and warned Trennis just before they were attacked by a Drengir, a member of a species of carnivorous plant-like beings. Kriss broke a hole in the ground with her lightsaber and leapt down, slicing the Drengir in two as she told Trennis that she had heard her. Trennis told her to worry about Ceret, who was under the Drengir's influence, and Kriss was able to reach out with the Force and remind them that they were Jedi, causing them to release Bartol. Ceret told Kriss that the Drengir had been too powerful to fight, but as Trennis attempted to reassure the child, the halves of the injured Drengir healed into two separate creatures which chanted that there was no escape. The Drengir were joined by an an infected Sskeer, who had fallen under their influence while watching Terec, cornering the three Jedi.
- "Hello searcher. I will guide you on your way."
- ―Avar Kriss via hologram
Kriss was recorded in an interactive hologram that was stored within a Jedi holocron. In the holocron, Kriss greeted future viewers of the message, offering to guide them. During his attempt to restore the Jedi Order, the Jedi Master Luke Skywalker recovered the holocron. At the Jedi Temple of Luke Skywalker, Hennix, one of Skywalker's students, opened the holocron, viewing the holographic message left by Kriss.
Personality and traits
- "But I will say that every one of those lives is as important as any life on this world or any other. We must begin by believing it is possible to save everyone. If the will of the Force is otherwise, so be it, but I will not accept the idea of abandoning them without trying."
- ―Avar Kriss, during the effort to save Hetzal
Kriss had shoulder-length blonde hair, brown eyes, and light skin. Avar Kriss was a noble example of a Jedi, and an inspiration for those who worked with her, always trying to see the good in both people and situations. She was compassionate rather than dogmatic, and was ready to sacrifice herself above others if necessary. Life on the frontier of the galaxy and the challenges that it brought invigorated Kriss.
During the rescue mission in the Hetzal system, Kriss was disturbed by the urgency of Te'Ami's message regarding the beings trapped within the debris, but quickly calmed her emotions and regained focus. Though the effort had been complicated, Kriss saw the lives of those in the debris as important as any other. She refused to accept the idea of abandoning the beings without attempting to save them, and felt it would be achieved by believing it was possible to do so. When Kriss was unable to hear Sskeer within the Force, she believed he was holding something back. She did not wish for a place on the Jedi Council, intending to follow a different path, but was taken by surprise when Grand Master Veter offered her control of the Starlight Beacon.
Kriss possessed a unique connection with Stellan Gios and Elzar Mann from their days training at the Jedi Temple together. She was particularly close with Mann and she regarded him as her closest friend. She understood him even as other Jedi saw his tactics and mentality as outlandish or impulsive. They were able to communicate nonverbally with ease, sending impulses through the Force to relay their thoughts to each other. Thanks to their close friendship, they were able to disagree in opinions without fear of it hurting their friendship.
Powers and abilities
As a Force-sensitive Jedi Master, Kriss had a strong ability to wield the Force. She viewed the Force as music, hearing the song of life and death and able to sing to it in return. Kriss possessed the rare ability to detect the natural bonds between other Force-users and strengthen the connections through a network, similarly to a communications network. While the skill was rare among the Jedi, it was inexact and best used to transmit locations and sensations, though words or images occasionally came through unbidden. Kriss could also use the Force with precision: in order to aid her focus, Kriss could fold her hair into a complex knot known as a mandala with her telekinesis.
She could also use the Force to float, as she demonstrated aboard the Third Horizon upon arriving in the Hetzal system. Kriss was additionally skilled in the usage of her lightsaber, which had a longer hilt that she typically wielded in a two-handed fashion.
Kriss wielded a green-bladed lightsaber, composed of a cylinder of silver-white electrum. The lightsaber featured a crossguard at one end and a spiraling incised line of seastone along its length that served as both an ornament and a grip. She possessed a set of ceremonial, ornamental garments that included a simple white tunic, ornamented in gold, underneath a long white cape that was secured by a golden buckle in the shape of the symbol of the Jedi Order. The buckle could be pressed to release the cape in situations where it would serve as a distraction. She wore a gold circlet on her forehead, as well as brown boots. Kriss also utilized a separate set of mission attire, which included protective gear, a lightsaber holster, and wrist guards that featured a removable comlink.
Behind the scenes
- "She's a wise and compassionate Jedi Master who plays a major role in the Great Disaster that opens the story."
- ―Michael Siglain, on Avar Kriss
Avar Kriss was created for the 2021 Star Wars: The High Republic multimedia project, set to feature in the novel The High Republic: Light of the Jedi, written by Charles Soule. The character was first depicted, albeit unidentified, through a holocron in a flashback within The Rise of Kylo Ren 3, a comic written by Soule, illustrated by Will Sliney, and published by Marvel Comics on February 12, 2020. After the reveal of Star Wars: The High Republic, Soule confirmed that the character seen on the cover of Light of the Jedi had featured in the comic, providing Kriss's name, which was used in a StarWars.com article published on April 2, 2020 that detailed several Jedi characters of the High Republic project.
Kriss was created to exemplify the Jedi at their peak during the time of the High Republic and was an instance of the project's opportunity to explore how the Jedi viewed the Force in a different era. Soule felt that Kriss's ability to hear other Jedi through the song of the Force was a good way to bring numerous character viewpoints together in one place. As a musician, Soule enjoyed being able to write about the Force in a way that was personally meaningful through developing Kriss. Concept art of Avar Kriss in both temple and mission attire was created by Diogo Saito.
- (First identified as Avar Kriss)
- The Star Wars Book
- Star Wars: The Lightsaber Collection
- "Knights at the Roundtable"—Star Wars Insider 199
- "Soule Man"—Star Wars Insider 200
Notes and references
- The High Republic: Light of the Jedi establishes that Avar Kriss was around thirty years old at the time of the novel, which is set shortly after the completion of the Starlight Beacon. The Star Wars Book places the launch of the Starlight Station to 232 years before the events of Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope. As Star Wars: Galactic Atlas states that A New Hope begins in 0 BBY, the launch of the station must have occurred in 232 BBY, and Kriss must have been born around 262 BBY.
- The Rise of Kylo Ren 3
- The High Republic: Light of the Jedi
- The High Republic: The Rising Storm
- Star Wars: The Lightsaber Collection
- "Starlight: Part One - Go Together"—Star Wars Insider 199
- The High Republic 1
- "Starlight: Go Together: Part Two"—Star Wars Insider 200
- The High Republic 2
- The High Republic 3
- Star Wars: The High Republic gives us the Jedi superheroes we need (backup link)
- Interview – "Star Wars: The High Republic" Authors Discuss the Ambitious New Lucasfilm Publishing Project (backup link)