- "I hate Skywalker."
"You don't hate Skywalker. You hate the way he makes you feel. You hate yourself, Brakiss. You hate what you've become."
- ―Brakiss and Kueller
Brakiss was a Human male from the planet Msst who was recruited by the Galactic Empire as a baby after being discovered to be Force-sensitive. He was trained and brainwashed by the Inquisitorius as a tool for their purposes. In 11 ABY, the remnants of the Inquisitorius discovered that Jedi Master Luke Skywalker was planning to recreate the Jedi Order from a Jedi Praxeum on Yavin 4. In an effort to sabotage Skywalker's efforts and steal his training methods, Brakiss' handlers installed him as a spy within the original class of the academy. Skywalker immediately surmised Brakiss' purpose, but sensing his potential in the Force, he decided to keep the young man as a student, working to turn him to the light side of the Force. Brakiss worked alongside Skywalker's original students, helping them defeat the spirit of the deceased Dark Lord of the Sith Exar Kun.
Over the next three years, Brakiss continued to train on Yavin 4, absorbing as much of Skywalker's training as he could. In 14 ABY, Skywalker gave Brakiss a personalized test similar to the one that he had experienced on Dagobah under Master Yoda. Brakiss was forced to look inside himself, discovering a deep-rooted corruption and darkness that sickened him, breaking his psyche. Although Skywalker had hoped that the test would heal Brakiss, he instead ran from the encounter, frightened of what he had discovered in the test. He departed Yavin 4, badly broken and distraught and angry with his teacher. Brakiss was eventually sought out by another fallen student from Skywalker's academy, Dolph, who had styled himself as Kueller, a violent warlord from the planet Almania. Kueller recruited Brakiss into a scheme to topple the New Republic, promising that they would get their revenge on Skywalker. Brakiss was assigned to the planet Telti, taking over its droid manufacturing centers, where he installed explosives in every droid manufactured at its facilities over the next two years. The cheap prices of the droids allowed Brakiss and Kueller to disseminate bombs under their control throughout the New Republic. In 17 ABY, they initiated their plan, orchestrating bombings on the moon of Pydyr and the Senate Hall of the galactic capital of Coruscant.
When Kueller forced a showdown with the New Republic on Almania, he was unable to defeat the Republic forces arrayed against him, and was killed by Skywalker's sister, Chief of State Leia Organa Solo. Brakiss was forced to flee during the fallout, drifting through the galaxy over the next few years. He eventually found himself in the Deep Core, working as a neutral intermediary for the replacement warlords established there. When the Imperial Remnant signed a peace treaty with the New Republic, Brakiss and the Deep Core warlords refused to honor the peace accords and formed a splinter movement known as the Second Imperium. This new movement was allegedly led by a resurrected Emperor Palpatine. Under Palpatine, Brakiss was placed in charge of developing an army of Dark Jedi and the construction of a space station known as the Shadow Academy to train his new recruits. Brakiss developed his students as a counter to Skywalker's Jedi Praxeum, and once he had built up his army, he was charged by Palpatine to attack Yavin 4 and wipe out Skywalker's Jedi Order. However, the attack was soundly defeated, and in the aftermath, Brakiss discovered that "Palpatine" was a deception perpetrated by four Imperial Royal Guards. In his pursuit of revenge on the traitorous guards, Brakiss allowed one of them to escape, and the guard activated a self-destruct mechanism of the Shadow Academy. The space station exploded in a giant fireball, killing everyone aboard, including Brakiss.
- "He wasn't a bad boy once, Luke Skywalker. Really he wasn't. He was this bright, wonderful baby. He fairly glowed with life. Then they came."
"They came into my home, looked at my boy, and they could use him. Him. A baby. And they took him from me. They let him come back for visits. But he never smiled after that. Not really. Not the kind that reached his eyes. They took something from him."
- ―Brakiss' mother and Luke Skywalker
Brakiss was a male Human born on the planet Msst, a stronghold of the Galactic Empire. His mother was a native of the planet and an Imperial citizen. While still a baby, Brakiss was identified as Force-sensitive and was taken from his home for training. His mother tried to stop the theft of her child but was unable to stop the Imperials from taking Brakiss. The standing order for Force-sensitive children was to either dispose of them or mold them into tools for the Empire. Brakiss scored highly enough on his aptitude tests that the Imperials spared his life. Under the Imperials, Brakiss was trained in his Force abilities for future use as an Imperial spy. To ensure Brakiss' loyalty, the Imperials threatened to kill his family if he did not cooperate. Unlike other young Force-sensitives discovered by the Empire, Brakiss was not singled out for further training under Emperor Palpatine. Instead, he was given over to the Inquisitorius and their reprogramming teams, forming him into a weapon under their control.
Over the years, the Imperials gave Brakiss more freedom, allowing him to visit his family on occasion. However, the treatment under the Empire left Brakiss cold and emotionless. His mother sensed that her son had changed during his training, but Brakiss feigned happiness during his visits. In reality, Brakiss blamed his mother for his kidnapping, never forgiving the woman who was unable to protect him from the Empire. By the time of the Battle of Endor, Brakiss was still a teenager, and when the Empire splintered, Brakiss was shuttled from Msst to various warlord kingdoms, furthering the interests of his Imperial handlers. Brakiss was not involved in the Dark Empire campaign of 10 ABY, sitting out of the clone Emperor Palpatine's attempt to reconquer the galaxy.
In 11 ABY, Brakiss' Imperial handlers obtained information regarding the recreation of the Jedi Order. The New Republic had authorized Jedi Master Luke Skywalker to establish a Jedi Praxeum on the moon of Yavin 4. Skywalker was recruiting individuals to be trained by him at this academy, searching for those strong in the Force. In an effort to steal Skywalker's training techniques and twist them to evil uses, the Imperials ordered Brakiss to infiltrate the academy and learn from Skywalker. He underwent rigorous training and conditioning so that he would be able to observe and absorb information from Skywalker. Brakiss had been preceded by several other Imperial infiltrators, but they were clumsy and untalented. Skywalker discovered their true motives and barred them from training with him. However, Brakiss was more talented, as both an actor and with his Force abilities. Armed with a false background, he was able to gain access to the academy after telling Skywalker that he had been trained by Imperials but wanted to learn how to use his abilities to help others. Master Skywalker accepted this backstory and allowed Brakiss to come to Yavin 4 for training.
Training at the Academy
- "But Brakiss was different. I knew he was an Imperial spy from the moment he stepped off the shuttle and looked around at the jungles on Yavin 4. I could sense it in him, a deep shadow barely hidden by his mask of friendliness and enthusiasm. But in Brakiss I also saw a real talent for the Force. Part of him had been corrupted long ago. He had a deep flaw surrounded by a beautiful exterior. But rather than reject him outright, I decided to keep him here, to show him other ways. To heal him. Because if there could be good even in the heart of my father, Darth Vader, there must also be goodness in someone as fresh and new as Brakiss."
- ―Luke Skywalker
Alongside Skywalker and two other prospective Jedi students, Corran Horn and Kam Solusar, Brakiss boarded a shuttle piloted by Ooryl Qrygg, a New Republic pilot. Qrygg brought the group to Yavin 4 to begin their training. Despite accepting Brakiss as one of his first students, the moment Brakiss arrived on the moon, Skywalker realized that Brakiss was an Imperial spy, sensing the darkness within the young man. However, Skywalker was intrigued by Brakiss' abilities and believed that he could cure the corruption that the Imperials had instilled within him. Brakiss was given personal quarters within Yavin 4's Great Temple with eleven other students, making up the original class of the Jedi Academy. Besides Horn and Solusar, the other students included Tionne, Gantoris, Kirana Ti, Streen, Dorsk 81, and Kyle Katarn.
In one of their earliest training sessions, Skywalker organized his class into a semicircle on the grass outside the temple and taught them how to control their senses. In a series of lessons, Skywalker instructed his pupils in how to suppress pain and block off the world around them to protect oneself from illusions and other Force tricks. Skywalker then taught them telekinesis, encouraging the students to work together to lift various rocks and other objects. It was during this training session that one of the other students, Gantoris, revealed that he had constructed his own lightsaber and challenged Skywalker to a duel. The other students stood back and watched as Gantoris aggressively attacked his teacher, forcing him into the defensive. Skywalker was eventually able to end the fight by disarming Gantoris, and the rest of the students were shocked when their master returned Gantoris' lightsaber to him.
The next morning, Gantoris was discovered dead in his room. Unknown to Skywalker and the rest of the students, the moon of Yavin 4 was inhabited by the spirit of the long-dead Dark Lord of the Sith Exar Kun. Kun had corrupted Gantoris and when he gave into the dark side of the Force the power was too much for his body, burning him from the inside out. When Gantoris' charred body was discovered, the students were concerned, but Skywalker used it as an object lesson of the dangers of the dark side and their training continued. However, Corran Horn believed that Gantoris had been murdered, believing that the "Dark Man", someone that Gantoris had spoken of before his death was responsible. He united the students in searching for this individual, believed to be a powerful darksider.
Searching for a murderer
- Corran Horn: "The Sullustan said the stone feels oily, and you can feel the tingle of energy pulsing off it."
- Brakiss: "Care to confirm the veracity of that report?"
- Corran Horn: "Not me. Not yet."
- Kam Solusar: "I'll take a pass. You probably ought not to touch it either."
- Brakiss: "You're no fun."
- ―Corran Horn, Kam Solusar and Brakiss explore the Temple of the Blueleaf Cluster
In one such search mission, Brakiss accompanied Corran Horn and Kam Solusar deep into the jungles of the moon. Horn was interested in searching a nearby structure, the Temple of the Blueleaf Cluster. This temple had been sealed and placed off limits around the time of the Battle of Yavin due to odd anomalies emanating from the building. Although Horn had wished to go alone, Brakiss and Solusar insisted on traveling with him, interested in exploring the sealed structure. During their trip to the temple, Horn and Solusar were forced to slow their pace for Brakiss, whose height caused him to be held up by orchid roots. The other two men teased Brakiss as he tried to avoid the jungle plants and from stepping in the river that separated the Blueleaf Temple from their training grounds. Once they arrived at the building, Brakiss led the way to the main entrance which had been unsealed by an Imperial team after the Battle of Yavin.
After climbing inside they found the temple mostly undisturbed with thick layers of dust on the floor and steps to higher levels. Although Horn was convinced Gantoris had not entered the structure, the group decided to explore further, fighting a sense of unease that radiated from the temple. Upon reaching the temple's grand audience chamber they discovered a large tower made entirely out of blue crystal. Power radiated from the crystal, and Brakiss suggested that they touch the mysterious object. Although the other two men refused to interact with the tower, all three witnessed personalized images coming off of it. Horn and Solusar both claimed to have seen people in agony and fallen enemies. However, Brakiss claimed to have seen nothing in the crystal, concealing the truth from his comrades.
Their encounter with the blue tower removed Brakiss' desire to touch the powerful object, and the three men decided to depart immediately. Upon this decision they discovered that they had been staring into the crystal for fifteen minutes even though it had seemed like only a moment. Concerned over the effect that the temple was having, they started their journey back to the training grounds. On their way back, Brakiss pondered how the ancient inhabitants of Yavin 4 had created the temples and the sophisticated technology within. In his musings, he revealed to the other two men that he did not believe Skywalker had the power to create anything as great as what they had discovered in the temple. Although Horn and Solusar denounced the blue crystal as dangerous and unsettling, Brakiss praised it as a great symbol of power. Brakiss began to rant about the power of creating such an object, and the abilities that someone who had made such a thing would have—such as destroying weapons like the Death Star with only the Force. Upon this statement, both Solusar and Horn harshly rebuked Brakiss, claiming that he was espousing an "ends justify the means" philosophy that would lead him down the road towards the dark side. Although Brakiss tried to put forth a viewpoint that dark-side abilities could be used in the service of good, the two men argued against him, telling him that it was a slippery slope.
Upon their return, they witnessed the arrival of a new student, Kyp Durron, who had a natural affinity for the Force. Durron began to master the lessons given by Master Skywalker at an accelerated rate, outpacing the other students. Durron's progress attracted the attention of Exar Kun, who began to corrupt him just as he had done with Gantoris. As the training continued, Durron became more corrupted, speaking out against Master Skywalker and showing knowledge of information that had been revealed to him by Exar Kun. Durron eventually fell completely to the dark side and with the power of Exar Kun behind him, he defeated Skywalker in combat and threw the Jedi Master into a coma. The rest of the students discovered Skywalker's comatose form, throwing the academy into turmoil.
Facing Exar Kun
- Corran Horn: "I'll contribute. You've plotted the right course: uniting is the only way to get him. That's good."
- Brakiss: "We're pleased you approve."
- Corran Horn: "What you've missed is the key. Streen, what do you call him?"
- Streen: "The Dark Man."
- Corran Horn: "Right. Master Skywalker described him to me as a shadow, and that was close to what Gantoris reported as well. And that's what I saw the one time he came to recruit me."
- Kam Solusar: "So, what is your point?"
- Corran Horn: "My point is that he's a creature of shadow, a creature of the dark side. What has Master Skywalker drilled into us since day one?""
- Kirana Ti: "The antidote to the dark side is the light side."
- ―The Jedi Academy class discusses the plan of attack on Exar Kun
With their master out of commission, the students discussed abandoning the academy. However, Skywalker's sister, Leia Organa Solo, arrived on Yavin 4 to tend to her sibling and helped reinstill a sense of commitment to the praxeum and to their Jedi training. Master Skywalker's body was placed in the Great Temple and guarded by the students on a rotating schedule. Further investigation revealed that the "Dark Man" who had corrupted both Gantoris and Kyp Durron was in fact Exar Kun, whose spirit existed on the jungle moon. Kun attempted to corrupt further students coming to both Corran Horn and Streen. Kun was able to manipulate Streen into attacking Skywalker's defenseless body, but the academy students were able to stop the assassination attempt.
Realizing how much of a threat that Kun was, the group gathered in the Great War Room to discuss a plan of attack. Although the group wanted to punish Streen for being manipulated by Kun, Kirana Ti argued for his inclusion. Corran Horn appeared to ignore their planning, not paying attention to another student, Cilghal, when she encouraged them to unite together to defeat Kun. Brakiss was openly annoyed with Horn during the meeting, as he thought that Horn was undermining the other students. Although Horn was actually preoccupied with stopping the spirit of Exar Kun, who was attempting to spy on their meeting, he took time to streamline the students' plan of attack, agreeing with Cilghal and telling the group that he would attack the Temple of Exar Kun in a coordinated attack.
Using Streen as bait for Kun, the students ambushed the dark spirit and trapped him in the Great Temple with a wall of light. The students were joined by the spirits of Skywalker and Exar Kun's former master, Vodo-Siosk Baas. With Kun trapped, Streen and Kirana Ti crossed lightsabers across his shadowy form, shattering his spirit. The fragments of Kun's ghost attempted to infect the students, but Streen used his affinity with manipulating the wind to force the remnants of Kun out of the temple and into the vacuum of space, destroying him forever. With Kun gone, Skywalker awoke and congratulated his students for their success. Brakiss continued to train at the academy following this incident, working to absorb as much of Skywalker's training that he could.
- "You were once my student. You saw the light side, saw its capabilities for good—and yet you ran from it like a coward."
- ―Luke Skywalker
Over the next few months, Skywalker took a personal interest in Brakiss, attempting to cure the dark side corruption that had been instilled in him while under Imperial control. He slowly nudged Brakiss towards the light side of the Force, working to turn Brakiss completely against his Imperial handlers. Although Skywalker believed that Brakiss was slowly softening to Skywalker's point of view, Brakiss' mission to obtain Skywalker's training techniques was always at the top of his mind. In 14 ABY, after three years of training on Yavin 4, Skywalker decided to give him a difficult test similar to the one that he had experienced on Dagobah during his own training with Jedi Master Yoda. Brakiss was sent on an illusionary quest that would seem very real to him but was designed to force Brakiss to look inside himself and face his true nature. Skywalker hoped that this test would heal Brakiss and help him overcome his dark nature, leading him to the conclusion that being a Jedi was a greater calling than a life an an Imperial spy. The test was a private moment between student and teacher, and Skywalker kept Brakiss from looking outside himself so that he had to confront the reality of his identity.
Brakiss found only his own self-deception and the fact that the Empire could force him to do great evil, even against his own nature. Faced with the evil in his own heart, Brakiss attempted to escape, to turn away from the reality and hide from it. However, Skywalker, standing next to him, forced Brakiss to delve even deeper into his own nature, facing the lies of his own existence. The ordeal nearly drove Brakiss completely insane, scarring his mind. Brakiss found that he was unprepared to confront what was inside him, failing the test that his master had given him, and he found that it had broken something within him. Brakiss emerged from the illusion terrified and angry. He immediately ran from Skywalker to his ship, leaving Skywalker to regret the loss of a talented pupil. Brakiss fled in his ship from Yavin 4 and immediately returned to the Empire. Upon his departure, Brakiss stole several Force detectors for his own personal use.
The Almanian Uprising
Back to the Empire
- "I did show Brakiss my compassion. I did let him learn the secrets of the light side, uncorrupted by what he had already been taught. And I did make him look at himself and realize how broken he was. Once I accomplished that much, the task was no longer mine. The final choice belonged to Brakiss himself. And it still does."
- ―Luke Skywalker
Brakiss spent some time alone after fleeing from Yavin 4, but eventually returned to Msst and his mother, who was still living under the rule of the Empire. Brakiss went to his Imperial handlers, the same officers that had sent him to infiltrate the Jedi Academy. He agreed to give them the information that he had gathered on Skywalker's training techniques on the condition that they let him go afterwards. Upon giving the Empire the information, Brakiss was struck by a great sense of guilt, and he was angry about how much influence the Empire had on him. Realizing that Brakiss' mind was too damaged for further missions and satisfied by the value of the information he had given, the Imperials let him leave peacefully. He returned to his mother and told her that he still had value to others and skills that he could sell. He departed Msst, isolating himself from everyone.
Brakiss traveled alone through the galaxy until he was discovered by Dolph, another former student of Skywalker's who had fallen to the dark side and restyled himself as Kueller, a powerful warlord and ruler of the planet Almania. Kueller had plans to expand his power to the rest of the galaxy, using his Force powers to rule over its inhabitants. Kueller knew that Force-sensitive warriors were in short supply, and he had sought out Brakiss to recruit him into his plans. Kueller offered Brakiss help in healing his broken psyche and building him back up if he would agree to join him. Brakiss agreed and followed him back to Almania.
Plotting on Telti
- "I didn't hear from him for a long time after that. Until recently. When he said you would come here, looking for him. He wants you to find him, Luke Skywalker. I think you should go home. Forget him. Nothing good can come of this. Whatever was good in my boy died a long, long time ago."
"No, it didn't die. It's just buried real deep."
- ―Brakiss' mother and Luke Skywalker
Brakiss and Kueller began their plotting with long-term goals of sabotaging the military complex of the New Republic and taking out the leadership structure of the galactic government. Kueller believed that an important step in seizing power was to eliminate Luke Skywalker, leaving him as the most powerful Force-user remaining. Brakiss and Kueller talked often of repaying Skywalker for failing them in their training. The developing plan involved producing explosives that would be integrated into New Republic hardware, including a newly built fleet for the Republic capital of Coruscant and a variety of droids. To begin their manufacturing, they purchased the droid factories of the planet Telti. In 15 ABY, Brakiss began production of bomb filled droids that were purchased across the galaxy by a variety of Republic worlds thanks to their cheap pricing. Over the next two years, Brakiss ramped up production, making sure that their bombs were integrated into the fabric of the New Republic. Kueller implied that Brakiss would be rewarded monetarily once the explosives he developed were used and proven effective.
Brakiss excelled as a droid manufacturer, enjoying the chance to be creative in designing new droid models. He also appreciated the time alone on the world as the only living person on Telti. Brakiss even pondered abandoning his use of the Force, planning to work solely as a businessman with no special abilities. However, Kueller refused to let Brakiss abandon the Force, demanding that he use his Force powers to run the factory, maximizing its production and creating the necessary components for their plans against the New Republic. To aid in the running of the factory, Brakiss modified a protocol droid, C-9PO to help him handle the day-to-day operations. He outfitted the droid with language augmentations and gave it frequent memory wipes to keep it inline. In an effort to ensure his privacy, Brakiss created a force of 500 Warden 10-24 security droids that were nicknamed, the "Red Terror". They patrolled the factories on Telti, protecting his operation.
In 17 ABY, after two years of creating bombs and with everything in place, Brakiss and Kueller were ready to begin their attack. Kueller planned to exterminate the population of the planet Pydyr in an effort to signal powerful Force users such as Master Skywalker that they were a threat to be dealt with. Hoping to draw Skywalker out and defeat him, the two men left clues that would lead him to Almania. Brakiss went to his mother who had not seen him for several years. He told her that he had finally found stable work on the planet Telti. Before departing, he informed his mother that Luke Skywalker would be coming to Msst asking for him, and he directed her to let him know that he would be on Telti waiting for his former master. Although his mother sensed that her son was planning revenge on Skywalker, she agreed to his request.
The attack begins
- "It worked."
"I suppose you expect to be rewarded."
"I never promise, I imply."
"You implied great wealth."
"So I did, do you deserve great wealth, Brakiss?"
- ―Brakiss and Kueller
From Almania, Kueller and Brakiss activated the bombs they had planted on Pydyr. The explosions killed 1,651,305 Pydyrians, creating a disturbance in the Force felt across the galaxy by Master Skywalker, just as Kueller had planned. Brakiss was also heavily affected by the slaughter, making him feel a bizarre combination of fear and joy. However, Kueller bathed in the feeling, absorbing the despair and fear. With their operation complete, Brakiss requested to return to Telti, having tired of the cold weather and wishing to be free of the slaughter. He also questioned Kueller about the promised payment, but the Dark Jedi was evasive, claiming that he had only implied that Brakiss would be rewarded. Kueller tried to convince Brakiss to stay, but he had made up his mind. Before he departed, Kueller asked for the bomb remote, something that Brakiss had not informed him of. Although surprised that Kueller was aware of the remote, since his partner still had access to the other controls, he turned over the device. Just as he was about to leave, Kueller told Brakiss to send Skywalker to him if he came to Telti.
Further bombings commenced, directly targeting the New Republic. A bombing of the Senate Hall on Coruscant targeted the Republic leadership but failed to kill Chief of State Leia Organa Solo. Master Skywalker sensed Brakiss' involvement in the attack, and he tracked Brakiss to Telti after questioning his mother on Msst. On Telti, Skywalker discovered the bomb manufacturing center. When Skywalker landed his X-wing starfighter, Brakiss obscured his presence through the Force, preventing his former teacher from sensing his precise location. As Skywalker searched through the droid factory, Brakiss tracked him with the factory's surveillance systems and with a pair of gladiator droids. He then contacted Kueller, informing the Dark Jedi of Skywalker's arrival. Although he suggested that he should be given the chance to kill the Jedi Master, Kueller told Brakiss that if he stole that honor from him, Kueller would have to kill him. With Kueller's threats in his mind, Brakiss ordered C-9PO to bring Skywalker to the assembly room.
- "He's here."
"Good. Send him to me."
"I was thinking…I thought…maybe I should kill him. I owe him. He—"
"By all means. Kill him."
"But I thought you said you would have to kill him."
"I doubt you can kill him, but if you do, my response is simple. I will have to kill you."
"I thought we were working together."
"We are, but the person who kills the great Jedi Luke Skywalker becomes the strongest in the galaxy. If you kill Skywalker, you take that honor, and leave me no choice but to take that honor from you."
- ―Brakiss and Kueller
Brakiss sensed Skywalker following his droid to the assembly room and had some difficulty in suppressing his fear over the encounter. When Skywalker arrived, they discussed their past, with Skywalker attempting to reach Brakiss and turn him away from the dark side. Angered by the effect that his former teacher was having, Brakiss drew his lightsaber and attacked. Skywalker defended himself, and although Brakiss was able to singe his former teacher's shirt with his lightsaber, he was outmatched by Skywalker. Realizing that he could not win, Brakiss attempted to sacrifice himself, pulling his lightsaber up into a salute to allow Skywalker to cut him in half. However, the Jedi Master refused to strike Brakiss down. He pleaded with Skywalker to finish it, but his teacher only requested that he return to Yavin 4 and continue his training, to overcome the failures he had experienced before. Brakiss was tempted by the offer, but he decided against it. After giving Skywalker the coordinates for Almania so that he could confront Kueller, Brakiss remained on Telti, glad to be rid of both Kueller and Skywalker.
Brakiss contacted Kueller to tell him about his encounter, but Kueller surmised that Brakiss had been tempted by Skywalker's offer of redemption. He taunted Brakiss over his failure but agreed to leave him to his own devices on Telti. Brakiss requested for the planet and its factories to be left to his devices, but Kueller only agreed to leave Telti isolated. He still expected Brakiss to work for him and would subsidize his droid production. Although unable to be completely free of Kueller, Brakiss was satisfied to know that he would be alone on Telti. However, Kueller's promise was almost immediately broken. While the other Dark Jedi was preoccupied with Skywalker, an independent investigator, Cole Fardreamer had tracked the source of the bombs used in the attack on the Senate Hall. Accompanied by Skywalker's droids, R2-D2 and C-3PO, Fardreamer arrived on Telti to question someone about the manufacturing of the droids that contained explosives within them.
Brakiss personally received Fardreamer and his droids, questioning the young man about his arrival on Telti. Fardreamer revealed the results of his investigation, oblivious to Brakiss' role in the sabotage and the ensuing attacks. Concerned that Fardreamer had been sent by another party or that he had revealed Telti's ties to the bombings, he interrogated Fardreamer, revealing his role in the plot. Fardreamer tried to leave, but a force of assassin droids loyal to Brakiss took the young man prisoner. The droids attempted to escape, but Brakiss sent C-9PO after them before they could explore more of the factory. R2-D2 and C-3PO avoided Brakiss' droid and disappeared into the heart of the facility. Brakiss guided Fardreamer deep into the droid factory at blasterpoint, flanked by his droid servants. He turned the young man over to EV-9D9.2, the head of the droid torture chamber on Telti. Although EV-9D9.2 was more interested in torturing droids, Brakiss ordered the droid to inflict pain on the human until he agreed to tell them who had sent him to Telti.
Before the torture could begin, Fardreamer tried to escape, dodging out of the grip of his droid tormentor. Brakiss blasted the man with Force lightning and returned him to the torture chamber, promising that his pain would stop immediately after he changed his story. Brakiss then left to track down the two droids that had escaped, armed with a scrambler to disable them. He discovered the two among a group of astromech droids and threatened to memory wipe the both of them if they did not surrender. However, R2 signalled the other astromech droids to rebel, and they attacked Brakiss. Several droids smashed through a nearby window, raining shards of glass onto him. Overwhelmed, Brakiss turned and ran.
The droid rebellion overwhelmed Brakiss' Red Terror battalion, and R2 hacked into Telti's computer core. R2-D2 was able to deactivate the bombs placed in the droids that had been manufactured at Telti. Unknown to Brakiss, Kueller activated all of the bombs during a showdown with the New Republic, but due to R2's sabotage, the plan was foiled. The deactivation also shutdown all the droids in the Telti facility, leaving only R2's astromech droids, which chased Brakiss to his ship. His factory compromised, Brakiss departed the world, escaping to parts unknown. The droids freed Fardreamer from his torture and took control of the factory until the New Republic could occupy it.
- "Your friends have told you to hate the Empire, but you never witnessed any of it firsthand. You've only seen their version of history. You realize, of course, that whichever government is in charge always makes the defeated enemy look like a monster. I will tell you the truth. The Empire had very little political chaos. Every person had opportunities. There were no gangs running wild through the streets of Coruscant. Everyone had a task to do, and they did it willingly."
While Brakiss escaped, the Almanian uprising fell apart completely when Kueller was killed on Almania by Leia Organa Solo. With Kueller dead, Brakiss was alone once again. He spent sometime drifting through the galaxy before deciding to make his way back to the Empire. He sought out his old warlord contacts that he had established while working with the Inquisitorius. Brakiss found himself in the Deep Core but found that the most powerful warlords had been assassinated by Admiral Daala in an effort to reunite the Empire. However, opportunistic power brokers had moved into the abandoned space of the executed warlords, fighting over the paltry resources that remained. Brakiss operated as an intermediary between the replacement warlords, acting a neutral party. In 19 ABY, the reunited Empire created by Admiral Daala opened peace talks with the New Republic, to the disdain of Brakiss and the Imperials inhabiting the Deep Core.
Despite attempts within the Empire to halt the peace accords, Grand Admiral Gilad Pellaeon signed a peace treaty to end the war between them. Brakiss and the Deep Core warlords refused to recognize the legitimacy of the treaty, and although their forces were small, they decided to continue open conflict against the New Republic. Unable to call themselves the Galactic Empire, the group founded the Second Imperium, an effort to retake the galaxy. The replacement warlords combined their resources to build a space station that could act as a movable academy for the trainees of the Second Imperium. Known as the Shadow Academy, the massive structure was to be equipped with an advanced cloaking device and hyperspace capabilities.
The Second Imperium
A new master
- "And now that there is anarchy among the remnants of the Imperial forces, we need such a unifying force. We have already found a powerful new leader, a great one—but we also need our own group of Dark Jedi Knights, Imperial Jedi, who will cement our factions together and give us the will to defeat the wicked and unlawful government of the New Republic and bring about the Second Imperium."
With the Shadow Academy under construction, Brakiss was contacted by a new Imperial leader claiming to be the resurrected Emperor Palpatine. Shocked by his return and awed by his potential power, Brakiss agreed to serve the Emperor faithfully. Palpatine became the head of the Second Imperium with plans for galactic conquest. The Emperor requested for Brakiss to gather Force-sensitive youth from Imperial space for training as Dark Jedi. Palpatine insisted that an army of Dark Jedi under his command would act as a symbol for Imperial sympathizers, bringing additional followers to their cause. Brakiss immediately set about recruiting, using the stolen Force detectors from the Jedi Academy on Yavin 4 to seek out Force talented students. With these tools, he created an all Human class of students. Those that were accepted for training were given dark uniforms as a symbol of their importance to the Second Imperium. As a training ground, Brakiss founded a camp within the Great Canyon on the planet Dathomir.
On Dathomir, Brakiss recruited a trio of Force-sensitive Nightsisters: Tamith Kai, Garowyn, and Vonnda Ra to help him train his students in the dark side of the Force. Among their first students to show promise was a young man named Vilas, who had come from the same clan as the Nightsisters. Due to their connection, the three Nightsisters personally attended to Vilas' training, exalting him as the greatest of Brakiss' students and stronger than the others. As training on Dathomir commenced, Palpatine helped Brakiss with the designs for the Shadow Academy. The completed space station was a formidable structure, an armed facility that could hide anywhere thanks to its cloaking capabilities. Within the station were personal quarters for each student and training grounds designed to test and refine each of their abilities. During the sleep period on board the ship, students were locked within their rooms and encouraged to meditate and refresh themselves for further strenuous exercises. However, upon building the Shadow Academy, Palpatine insisted that the station be filled with self-destructive devices. The Emperor believed that the creation of a Dark Jedi army was a dangerous choice, believing that ambitious Dark Jedi might rebel and turn on the Second Imperium. To minimize the risk of this, chain-reaction explosives were installed throughout the station. Brakiss was warned that if he did not succeed in creating a viable army of Dark Jedi, Palpatine would detonate the station, killing everyone onboard, including Brakiss.
Once the Shadow Academy became operational, Brakiss made his residence upon the station inside an office that was customized to his tastes. However, this too came with a price. Brakiss was not allowed to leave the station until he had proven to Palpatine that his Dark Jedi would be an asset to his cause. Although Brakiss found that being trapped aboard a station that could be destroyed at any moment hurt his concentration, he was determined to prove himself to Palpatine. Brakiss ran his students through rigorous and dangerous training sessions, teaching them how to defend themselves in live-fire exercises. In one testing routine, the students were placed in an arena that threw stones and knives at the students, forcing them to block the objects with the Force and through the use of a lightsaber. Six students were killed as a result of this training method, but Brakiss continued to use it as tool to cull the weak from his classes. As training sessions continued at the Shadow Academy, Brakiss considered shutting down the camp on Dathomir, as it was failing to produce any strong new students. Around this time, Brakiss discovered an elderly TIE pilot named Qorl who had been trapped on Yavin 4 for over 23 years and had only just recently escaped after having his TIE fighter repaired by students at Luke Skywalker's Jedi Academy. Brakiss recruited Qorl as a leader of the military forces on board the Shadow Academy, and began to consider sending a taskforce to kidnap students from Skywalker's academy.
Worried that he did not have enough talented students to impress the Emperor, Brakiss sent Tamith Kai and Qorl to steal several of Skywalker's pupils so that he could turn them to his cause. In the Yavin system, Brakiss' forces raided GemDiver Station, a space station that operated above Yavin Prime. There they discovered three Jedi trainees: Jacen and Jaina Solo and the Wookiee Lowbacca. All three were stunned by stormtroopers under Tamith Kai's command and brought on board an Imperial shuttle. With their mission complete, the captured students were brought back to the Shadow Academy for training.
Training the Solos
- "At this academy we do not learn only one side of the Force, this is not a school of darkness. I call this a Shadow Academy, for what does life create by its very nature, if not shadows? And it is only through using the full range of your emotions and desires—the light and the dark—that you will become truly strong in the Force and fulfill your destiny. The light side by itself offers only limited power. But when the light is blended with the dark, and you work within the shadows, then you achieve your full potential. Use the strength of the dark side."
"That's not right, the dark side doesn't make you any stronger. It's faster, easier, more seductive. It's also more tenacious. Just as the light side brings freedom, the dark side brings only bondage. Once you enslave yourself to the dark side of the Force, you may never escape."
"I did not wish to make an example of you. But you leave me no choice. You have chosen to pit your puny light-side powers against my own. I gave you one warning. You will not receive another."
- ―Brakiss and Jaina Solo
With the Solo children and Lowbacca joining his class, Brakiss attempted to convert his newest recruits. However, the young Jedi were more resistant than he had imagined. They challenged Brakiss' teachings and tried to convince the other students that his lessons were false. When Jaina Solo directly confronted him, Brakiss electrocuted her with Force lightning, and Lowbacca attempted to attack Brakiss in retaliation. The Shadow Academy's stormtroopers were able to stun the Wookiee, and Brakiss ordered them to be confined to their quarters. Although discouraged by their refusal to cooperate, the potential power of the kidnapped students inspired Brakiss to continue attempting to turn them. He ordered Tamith Kai to work with Lowbacca, while he would personally attend to the training of the Solo twins, while keeping all three isolated from one another. To seduce the Solos, Brakiss offered them access to previously forbidden teachings, such as training with a lightsaber. Brakiss brought Jacen into a hologram training facility, and although the young Jedi refused to fight, Brakiss warned that he might sneak real creatures into the facility. Worried by the threats, Jacen attacked and killed an Abyssin hologram, pleasing Brakiss. The same training was forced upon Jaina at a different time, but she quickly tired of the exercises, refusing to participate any further. However, Brakiss promised that she would be allowed to see her friends if she continued, and in the next hologram encounter, he forced her to combat her own brother by overlaying holograms over their bodies, disguising both twins as Darth Vader. Brakiss watched the fight alongside Qorl, who questioned the wisdom of having the twins fight a potentially deadly duel. However, Brakiss assured him that he knew what he was doing, and he disabled the hologram projector, dismaying the twins, who were shocked by how they had been manipulated.
Eager to continue the training, Brakiss agreed to let the Solos and Lowbacca work together during future lessons. Brakiss prepared an exercise in which a series of objects, ranging from hard balls, to rocks, and eventually knives, would be thrown at Jacen and Jaina while Lowbacca would be forced to guide remotes to protect them. The Solos were equipped with sticks and blindfolded, forced to rely only on the Force and their friend to dodge the projectiles. Brakiss hoped that the difficulty and danger of the exercise would force the young Jedi to tap into the dark side of the Force to succeed. However, Lowbacca succeeded in sabotaging the computer that was controlling the projectiles, rescuing his friends. Tamith Kai was enraged over Lowbacca's tactics, but Brakiss praised the Wookiee for his ingenuity, proclaiming that he would be a fine addition to the ranks of the Empire. Suitably impressed with how the three Jedi had performed during his tests, Brakiss orchestrated plans for another kidnapping attempt at the Jedi Praxeum on Yavin 4 to take further recruits for the Shadow Academy. Brakiss sent his plans for a second kidnapping attempt to the Imperial leader, who quickly approved the mission. However, that night, the Jedi orchestrated an escape from the Shadow Academy after Jacen used a corusca gem to cut himself out of his room and free his friends. While Brakiss was outside of his office, Lowbacca sliced into the ship's systems, disabled the cloaking device, locked all the doors except those needed to escape and set off the station's alarms.
Brakiss tracked the young Jedi to the academy's docking bay as Qorl notified the station of the Jedi plan to escape in the commandeered Shadow Chaser. Upon Brakiss' arrival, he discovered Master Skywalker, who had infiltrated the uncloaked academy with another student, Tenel Ka Djo. Although Brakiss was prepared to fight his former teacher, the Shadow Chaser opened fire on a nearby panel, closing blast doors which cut them off from one another. Brakiss raced back to the control room, only to find Qorl watching the Shadow Chaser escape. Afraid that they would be unable to restart the cloaking device and hide from a New Republic attack, Brakiss ordered Qorl to take the station out of the system until they could fix the sabotage. Although he was worried that the Imperium leader might destroy the academy over their failure, the head of the Second Imperium allowed Brakiss to continue his work.
- "We wanted young Jedi Knights to train, but the candidates we invited were too high-profile. The risk was greater than we had anticipated, and it called too much attention to our academy. So I decided to change my plan. As I told you, the Force moves as strongly within the less-fortunate as in those who are rich and powerful. Your social status doesn't concern me in the least, Zekk—only your talent and your willingness to develop it. Tamith Kai and I have decided to search among the lower levels of society for people whose potential is just as great as in those among the higher levels, and yet whose disappearance won't cause such a stir. People with the incentive to work with us. If you join us, I guarantee you the name of Zekk will never be ignored or forgotten."
With Yavin 4 aware of Brakiss and his efforts, kidnapping further Skywalker pupils was no longer an option. However, Brakiss was still concerned with recruiting for his academy, and he made further efforts to find Force-sensitive individuals. Brakiss communicated with Palpatine over the holonet, and the Second Imperium leader suggested that the Shadow Academy should be moved to Coruscant and search for possible recruits in the underbelly of the former Imperial Center. While the cloaked Shadow Academy was stationed above Coruscant, Brakiss' forces raided orphan populations to find individuals that wouldn't be missed. During one of these raids, Tamith Kai kidnapped an orphan friend of the Solos, Zekk, after determining that he was talented in the Force with a Force detector. Zekk was brought to the Shadow Academy, and Brakiss personally convinced the young man of his potential and of how it could be best developed under his tutelage. Although Zekk attempted to argue with Brakiss, the resentment that Zekk felt towards the Solos and Skywalker for not recognizing his abilities allowed Brakiss to convince the young man to train at his academy. Alongside this recruitment process, Brakiss' forces under Qorl had captured the New Republic cruiser, Adamant and stolen its cargo of turbolasers and hyperdrive cores. When Qorl reported back to Brakiss, he ordered them to upgrade the Shadow Academy and increase its military capacity.
Brakiss had Zekk placed in comfortable quarters and attended to his training personally. He brought Zekk to his office and began to train him to manipulate fire, using the contained blue flame of a flare stick. With Zekk's training underway, Brakiss oversaw the upgrading of the Shadow Academy and repairs to the upper docking tower, which had been damaged due to a Republic shuttle accidentally colliding with the station. Under Brakiss' orders, Zekk acted as an ambassador for the Shadow Academy in recruiting other orphans on Coruscant to train as dark Jedi, or if they were not Force-sensitive, to train as stormtroopers. As their work continued, Brakiss met with the hologram of Palpatine and informed him that the extra supplies captured from the Adamant would be forwarded to his forces. The Second Imperium leader was pleased with Brakiss' progress and agreed to let Brakiss' operation continue. After Zekk returned from his mission with a gang of orphans known as the Lost Ones, the Shadow Academy prepared to depart Coruscant. During this, agents of the New Republic began to suspect that the Shadow Academy was above Coruscant. Orbital Solar Energy Transfer Satellites were used by the Republic to train light on the Shadow Academy, revealing its presence to Republic forces. However, the Academy was able to jump to hyperspace and escape.
With their recruits gathered, the Shadow Academy stationed itself on the fringes of the galaxy, between the two dying stars of the Denarii Nova. Brakiss continued his training with Zekk, fueling the resentment that his pupil felt towards the Solos into the dark side of the Force. Under his supervision, Zekk quickly showed how talented he was with the Force, and Brakiss gave him a lightsaber to train with. He began to favor Zekk over his other students and groomed him to become the Academy's Darkest Knight. Tamith Kai had favored her own student, Vilas, who had been the foremost student at the academy for the past year, and Brakiss' training with Zekk was in effort to cement his authority as leader of the academy. Over the following weeks, Zekk proved himself with the lightsaber, distinguishing himself as one of the top students. Brakiss oversaw a meeting of all the students as a hologram of Palpatine addressed them, stating his plans for the Second Imperium and open warfare against the New Republic with an army of Dark Jedi.
As the Second Imperium prepared for their first attack against the New Republic, Brakiss and Tamith Kai decided it was time to determine who would become the Darkest Knight. They agreed to pit their students against one another in a duel to the death in a zero-gravity chamber. As the entire academy looked on, Zekk and Vilas engaged in a lightsaber duel. Tamith Kai taunted Brakiss during the bout, confident that her student would easily defeat Zekk. However, Brakiss' pupil used the absence of gravity to his advantage, cutting Vilas in half and winning the approval of Palpatine, who declared to the gathered audience that Zekk would lead the Dark Jedi audience into battle against Skywalker's Jedi Academy.
- "As a final stage in preparing for our attack on Rebel fortifications, we must launch another raid to obtain vital supplies. You will lead an assault team to the Wookiee world of Kashyyyk. There, in one of their technological tree cities, is the fabrication facility for the most sophisticated computer equipment used by our enemy's ships. If your raid is successful in obtaining guidance and tactical systems, we will have an enormous advantage in our overall conflict. We will then be able to throw the Rebel fleet into confusion and use their own computers against them to transmit conflicting signals. We can also use these systems to mimic their secret ship ID patterns, so that Second Imperium fighters can travel freely in enemy territory by identifying themselves as Rebel ships. Because of the importance of this mission, you will be assigned a powerful team. I am giving you use of the new holographic disguises we have developed for just such an infiltration effort. Everything depends on you, Zekk."
As the Second Imperium continued planning for an assault on Yavin 4 and Skywalker's Jedi Praxeum, Brakiss organized a mission to the planet Kashyyyk to steal computer equipment being produced there. The guidance and tactical computers in production would be used to disguise Second Imperium ships with false transponder codes, confusing New Republic forces. While preparing to infiltrate Kashyyyk, Qorl intercepted transmissions indicating that the Solo twins would be present on the planet. With a chance to kill the young Jedi, the timeline for the mission was moved up, with elimination of the Solos as a secondary goal. Brakiss placed Zekk in charge of the taskforce as a test of his student's leadership capabilities. Before the raid began, Brakiss bestowed Zekk with a cape, indicating his position as the Darkest Knight and a leader of the Second Imperium's forces.
Shortly after Zekk and Tamith Kai had departed, Brakiss received a classified transmission. Palpatine had decided to come to the Shadow Academy. Brakiss quickly prepared for his master's arrival, preparing an honor guard to receive Palpatine's shuttle. However, upon its arrival, a loudspeaker announced that Palpatine wished to be left alone for the time being. One of the stormtroopers in the honor guard, Norys, refused to depart the docking bay, demanding the honor of personally escorting Palpatine to his quarters. Brakiss ordered Norys to leave after reminding him of the consequences of not following orders, but Norys' outburst led Brakiss to feel that the trooper had a point—the leader of the Shadow Academy should be allowed to receive Palpatine personally. Brakiss watched from a computer monitor as four Imperial Royal Guards escorted an isolation chamber carried by worker droids from Palpatine's shuttle. Concerned over the manner of Palpatine's arrival, Brakiss attempted to meet with the Royal Guards as they departed the hangar. However, they informed Brakiss that Palpatine needed privacy and refused to let him see the Emperor after he escorted them to Palpatine's new quarters. Shocked by the disrespect, Brakiss began to suspect that Palpatine was hiding something, possibly his poor health, troubling Brakiss over the future of the Second Imperium.
As time passed, Palpatine still refused an audience with Brakiss, frustrating and confusing him. Eventually, the wait became too much, and he confronted the Royal Guards, demanding to see Palpatine and speak with him. Although the Royal Guard attempted to turn him away, Brakiss threatened to have them arrested as possible traitors unless he was allowed to speak with the Emperor. Relenting, the royal guard allowed Brakiss to speak through an intercom with Palpatine, who demanded that Brakiss leave him alone. Although Brakiss professed his frustration at being ignored, Palpatine assured his servant that he would leave his quarters and address the Shadow Academy when it suited him, and not before. Brakiss accepted Palpatine's judgment grudgingly, leaving him alone for the time being.
When Zekk and Tamith Kai returned to the Shadow Academy, Brakiss listened to their report on the success of their mission, having obtained the computer components that they needed. Zekk also claimed to have dealt with the Solo twins, but Tamith Kai doubted that Zekk had actually killed them. Although the mission had taken substantial losses, including fourteen TIE fighter and TIE bombers, eleven stormtroopers, and two Nightsisters, Garowyn and Vonnda Ra, Brakiss claimed that they were inconsequential to their larger goal and praised Zekk's mission as a success. At that moment, a hologram of Palpatine appeared and claimed that with the success of the mission to Kashyyyk, the Second Imperium was now ready to begin an assault on Yavin 4. The turbolasers and other equipment stolen from the Adamant had been installed on a secret battle fleet, and with the addition of the computer equipment, they were now ready for action. To the shock of Brakiss and the Shadow Academy, Palpatine ordered for the station to be moved into orbit around Yavin 4.
Facing the Jedi
- "With this important strike on the Jedi academy, the Second Imperium becomes more than just an undisciplined band of pirates raiding equipment. We mean to retake the galaxy, my lord. This battle must be a battle of philosophies, of willpower. This is the Imperial way against the Rebel way—and so it should be my trainees against Skywalker's, Jedi versus Jedi. A shadow play, if you will, of darkness against light. We still intend to harass them with TIE fighter strikes from the air, but the main conflict will be direct and personal—as it must be! We can crush their very hearts, not merely breach their defenses. And when we defeat them utterly with the powers of the dark side, the remainder of the Rebels will scatter and hide, trembling at their own nightmares, as we recapture what is rightfully ours."
"Very well. It shall be as you request, Brakiss—Jedi against Jedi. You may begin your assault when ready."
- ―Brakiss and Palpatine
Above Yavin 4, Brakiss' forces prepared for a sneak attack, the hologram of Palpatine informed Brakiss that his secret battle fleet was still undergoing modifications, but it was on its way to Yavin 4. However, Brakiss requested that Palpatine hold the fleet back and allow Brakiss' Dark Jedi forces deal with the Jedi personally, saving the fleet for future attacks against more militarily protected worlds. Palpatine agreed to Brakiss' request, allowing Brakiss to pit his Dark Jedi army against Skywalker's Jedi. Brakiss ordered a two-pronged attack, with one group led by Tamith Kai and the other commanded by Zekk. Two TIE pilots, Orvak and Dareb used TIE stealths to duck under Yavin 4's deflector shield and destroy the moon's Deflector shield generator, signalling the beginning of the Second Imperium's attack. All signals from Yavin 4 were jammed, to keep the Jedi from calling for reinforcements, and the battle began.
During the attack, Brakiss sent a message out over all channels, requesting to speak with Master Skywalker. Skywalker took the call on his comlink, and Brakiss requested a meeting at the Temple of the Blueleaf Cluster. Skywalker agreed to meet the man there, and Brakiss departed the Shadow Academy to confront his old master. During their meeting, Brakiss attempted to entice his old master with the powers of the dark side, but Skywalker refused, trying his best to bring Brakiss into the light. With both men refusing to yield, they ignited their lightsabers and prepared to duel. Brakiss took the offensive while Skywalker tried to convince his former pupil to turn away from the dark side, hoping for a peaceful resolution. When Brakiss refused to relent, Skywalker demonstrated his power and easily defeated him by cutting through Brakiss' lightsaber. Defeated, Brakiss begged Skywalker not to kill him, and the Jedi Master, who had no intention of killing an unarmed opponent, prepared to take Brakiss prisoner. However, Brakiss refused to submit, removing his robes to reveal a jumpsuit and repulsor pack, which he used to escape back to his ship.
Brakiss piloted his small one-person craft back to the Shadow Academy, where he witnessed the newly arrived secret battle fleet being soundly defeated by New Republic forces. Additionally, in his departure, he had seen the Battle Platform that had transported his Dark Jedi forces, as a fiery wreck, indicating defeat for his ground forces. Realizing that they were losing the battle, and desperate to turn the tide, Brakiss demanded to see the Emperor, heading towards his personal quarters. Two of the Royal Guards attempted to stop Brakiss from entering, claiming that Palpatine did not want to be disturbed. Tired of their meddling, and with the Emperor as his last hope, Brakiss used one of the mass-produced lightsabers of the academy to cut down the two guards and entered the Emperor's room.
- "Now the Empire has truly fallen."
Once inside, Brakiss called out to his master, demanding that he help them turn the tide of the battle and defeat their enemies. However, the isolation chamber that held Palpatine did not move, and Brakiss refused to wait any longer. He used his lightsaber to cut open the pod holding the Emperor. As the metal chamber fell apart, Brakiss discovered only a single Royal Guard, sitting at the controls of a hologram projector. "Palpatine" had been a complete hoax perpetrated by the four Royal Guards in a bid for power. They had used recordings of all of Palpatine's speeches and public appearances to create a realistic hologram that would convince potential allies of Palpatine's return. Enraged by the betrayal, Brakiss cut down the Royal Guard, realizing that the cause of the Second Imperium was lost. In his despair, Brakiss spied the fourth and final Royal Guard, who had witnessed the deaths of his companions. The Royal Guard ran from Brakiss towards the hangar, as Brakiss pursued him, determined to kill the traitor and claim his revenge.
However, the guard was able to get to the hangar before Brakiss and commandeered the Dark Jedi's one-person vessel and departed the Shadow Academy. Brakiss briefly pondered taking control of the station's weapons to shoot the Royal Guard out of the sky before he realized that since "Palpatine" was a hoax, the Royal Guard had access to the self-destruct codes for the Shadow Academy. As the remaining Royal Guard sped away from the station, he activated the code to cover his tracks and remove all evidence of the hoax he had perpetrated. The station exploded in a giant fireball, killing everyone aboard, including Brakiss. On the surface of Yavin 4, Zekk sensed his master's death, bombarded with Brakiss' despair and anguish.
- "I'm sorry, Master Brakiss, but you were wrong. The dark side couldn't save you, or the Second Imperium—or me."
"Don't throw it all away, Zekk. Consider how much you still could learn from the dark side."
"If you truly think I am wrong, Zekk, then strike me down, isn't that what the light side would want you to do…to prove your loyalty, your commitment?"
- ―A vision of Brakiss taunts Zekk after his death
With Brakiss' death, the Second Imperium crumbled completely. Their forces were quickly defeated in space and on the ground, all the members of his Dark Jedi army either captured or killed. Zekk decided to renounce the dark side, and his efforts prevented further loss of life during the battle when he stopped anyone from entering the Great Temple, which had been rigged to explode with thermal detonators. Master Skywalker regretted Brakiss' death and his inability to turn him back to the light side, but he recognized that not every person lost to the dark side could be brought back. The final Royal Guard eventually found himself captured by the Diversity Alliance, which executed him when he refused to cooperate with them.
Zekk continued to have visions of Brakiss even after he agreed to continue his training at the Jedi Praxeum. These visions admonished Zekk for his failures and taunted him about the grip of the dark side. During the Yuuzhan Vong War, Jaina Solo was tempted to use the dark side of the Force against the Yuuzhan Vong invaders. She remembered the training that Brakiss had given her during her time at the Shadow Academy, but ultimately refused to fully accept her one time teacher's training. One of Brakiss' students at the Shadow Academy, Welk, reemerged during the Yuuzhan Vong War, allied with one of the Nightsisters who had served the Second Imperium, Lomi Plo. Both were involved in a turning point of the war, the Mission to Myrkr. They later assumed an important role in the Dark Nest Crisis, controlling the Dark Nest in their campaign against the Chiss Ascendancy.
Personality and traits
- "You each have tools inside to master yourself, and to master the Force. And to draw on the strength of the Force, you must learn to draw on what is strongest in you: strong emotions, deep desires, fear, aggression, hate, anger."
Brakiss was a handsome man with striking features, including silken blonde hair and piercing blue eyes. He had smooth skin with thin lips and a perfectly symmetrical face that appeared as though it had been sculpted from alabaster. Brakiss had a slender body type and was noticeably tall. While under the command of his Imperial handlers, Brakiss had a haunted look in his eyes, and his blue eyes appeared sunk deep in his head. Both Jacen Solo and his mother Leia Organao Solo claimed that Brakiss was one of the most beautiful humans that they had ever encountered. Upon his departure from the Jedi Praxeum, Brakiss began to adopt a unique style of dress. He clothed himself in silver colored robes complete with polished silver boots and a matching silver lightsaber. Brakiss could read and write Basic and was able to speak the Paecian language of Dathomir.
Brakiss held a life-long resentment of his mother for failing to protect him from the Empire. He did not blame the Empire for his torment, instead placing sole blame upon his mother. Although other darksiders such as Tamith Kai preferred to hone their skills by surrounding themselves with harsh and unforgiving environments, Brakiss was the opposite. He allowed himself to indulge in all the comforts offered by the galaxy. On both Telti and in his quarters on the Shadow Academy, Brakiss made use of a specialized chair made from synthetic leather. The customized seat conformed to his body and had installed warmers, giving him maximum comfort. After being broken by the testing that Skywalker had given him, Brakiss' confidence and sense of worth were shattered. Only after working with Kueller was Brakiss able to build himself back up and repair himself. Upon his recovery, he claimed that his departure from Yavin 4 was simply a result of a disagreement with Skywalker about his training methods rather than his failure to face his own corruption within his heart.
Once away from Kueller and Skywalker, Brakiss entertained thoughts of abandoning the Force completely. He was satisfied with working at the Telti droid factories and hoped to satisfy his mother by taking honest work away from the evils of the Empire. However, Kueller refused to allow Brakiss to abandon his Force training, and once Brakiss was driven off Telti, he was unable to follow through with his plans to disappear into obscurity. While with Kueller, Brakiss' resentment for Skywalker grew, and he talked often of getting revenge on his former teacher. Once with the Second Imperium, this desire only grew, determined to show his teacher that he had surpassed him in both knowledge and power. When Brakiss faced Skywalker on Telti, he attempted to sacrifice himself, asking his former master to finish it by striking him down. However, years later when Brakiss dueled Skywalker on Yavin 4, he begged for his life once Skywalker had disarmed him. Brakiss' fear for his life was extended to his existence on the Shadow Academy, in which he was constantly flanked by loyal stormtroopers that were ordered to protect him from possible rebellious students. Additionally, every meeting with the false Palpatine left him trembling in fear, overwhelmed by the potential power that could be wielded by the Emperor.
Within his quarters on the Shadow Academy, Brakiss had images of natural disasters plastered on the walls of his office. Among these images were the lava fields of the planet Nkllon, the exploding stars of the Denarii Nova, the destruction of the Cauldron Nebula, and the Graveyard of the destroyed planet of Alderaan. Brakiss meditated often on these images, feeling that there was great beauty within the violence of cataclysmic disasters. When Brakiss dwelled upon these images, he found that he could better maintain a composed exterior, lowering his desire for violence within his own life.
Powers and abilities
- "You taught that becoming a Jedi is a voyage of self-discovery, I have continued that self-discovery since I left here. I abandoned your teachings, but I found more, much more. My self-discovery has been vastly greater than your own, Luke Skywalker, because you have locked many important doors to yourself. I have looked behind those doors."
Brakiss was talented in the Force and was primarily known for using his abilities to enhance his natural charisma. With the Force flowing through him, Brakiss could influence those around him, strengthening his voice and presence to increase feelings of trust and acceptance. He used this ability in his role as a teacher at the Shadow Academy, guiding his students to accept even his most extreme teachings. He also used this ability to convince Zekk to join him, preying on the young man's insecurities and using his skills in the Force to appear more persuasive. During the Almanian crisis, he also used this ability on Cole Fardreamer, in an effort to convince the young man that he was not involved in the production of the sabotaged droids.
While training on Yavin 4, he was known for his employing a variety of Force tricks, some that had been taught by Skywalker, and others that he had learned from Imperial agents. After leaving Skywalker's academy, Brakiss trained himself to use Force lightning, tapping into the dark side of the Force. He used the technique on Cole Fardreamer, keeping him from escaping the Telti droid factory. While serving under the Second Imperium, he used the technique on Jaina Solo, punishing her for contradicting his teachings and undermining him in front of his other students.
Through the Force, Brakiss could manipulate fire, which he practiced through the use of a flare stick. He was very proficient at this skill, able to create complex images such as faces and various creatures. During his training of Zekk, he was even able to create a portrait of his pupil in the fire, fascinating his student. This control over fire was also extended to more powerful feats of strength. When the Shadow Academy was stationed above the Denarii Nova, Brakiss was able to reach out to the dying stars of the nova and pull its energy out, causing the starfire to dance and move under his control. When Zekk asked whether Brakiss could destroy stars with this power, Brakiss stated that it was within the realm of his power but that he would not exercise it, believing that doing so would be too dangerous.
Brakiss was proficient with a lightsaber, which he constructed himself, and he faced Luke Skywalker in personal combat twice. However, in both duels, Brakiss was outclassed, unable to overcome Skywalker's abilities. Brakiss used a red lightsaber with a silver hilt that had been customized so that long claw-looking spikes extended from the hilt and framed the energy blade. When this lightsaber was destroyed, Brakiss used one of the mass-produced lightsabers created for his Shadow Academy as a weapon. He used this lightsaber to cut down three of the four Royal Guards that had deceived him.
Behind the scenes
Brakiss was created by Kevin J. Anderson and Rebecca Moesta for use in the Young Jedi Knights series of novels. Although he was mentioned in the first book of the series, Young Jedi Knights: Heirs of the Force, his first appearance was not until the second book, Young Jedi Knights: Shadow Academy. The character was killed in the sixth book of the series, Young Jedi Knights: Jedi Under Siege and then received passing mentions in several following books of the series. In the final book featuring Brakiss, Anderson and Moesta reference an earlier encounter with Brakiss on the planet Telti. This encounter was eventually featured in the 1996 novel, The New Rebellion by Kristine Kathryn Rusch. The final novel to feature Brakiss came in 1998's I, Jedi, which fleshed out the beginning of Brakiss' training at the academy on Yavin 4. Further information fleshing out Brakiss' early life and his actions in between the events of the novels was then featured in 2002's The New Essential Guide to Characters.
Although the novels featuring Brakiss describe him as wearing silver robes with matching silver-colored boots, illustrations of the character featured in The New Essential Guide to Characters and the Jedi Academy Training Manual show him with robes that are red in color. Likewise, Brakiss is described with blonde hair in the stories featuring him. However, the first two images of the character in The Essential Guide to Planets and Moons and The Essential Chronology showed him with black hair. In Chapter 25 of The New Rebellion, Luke Skywalker states that "Before he had built his retreat in the Manari Mountains, but after Callista, he had taught a wide range of promising students, including Brakiss. Brakiss had left during that time." This references the events of Children of the Jedi where Skywalker meets Callista, which takes place in 12 ABY according to The Essential Reader's Companion. However, in Chapter 19 of The New Rebellion, Brakiss muses about Skywalker being injured on the Eye of Palpatine, something that he had not been present for. This event also takes place in Children of the Jedi, implying that Brakiss must have left before 12 ABY and meeting Callista. However, The New Essential Guide to Characters clarifies that Brakiss' departure from Yavin 4 occurred in 14 ABY after 3 years of training under Luke Skywalker.
In Young Jedi Knights: Shadow Academy, Brakiss encounters Luke Skywalker aboard the Shadow Academy, but student and teacher are stopped from fighting each other when the blast doors of the hangar are unexpectedly activated. However, The Essential Chronology mistakenly states that, "they dueled with lightsabers" on the station. In the updated The New Essential Chronology, this detail is left out.
In Young Jedi Knights: Lightsabers, Luke Skywalker claims that after Brakiss had fled from Yavin 4, that he had not seen or heard from him again. However, a later book, The New Rebellion, details an encounter with Brakiss that takes place in between his departure from Yavin 4 and his reemergence with the Shadow Academy. Kevin J. Anderson and Rebecca Moesta referenced the encounter with Brakiss in The New Rebellion in their last novel featuring Brakiss, Young Jedi Knights: Jedi Under Siege.
- I, Jedi
- The New Rebellion
- Young Jedi Knights: Heirs of the Force (First mentioned)
- Young Jedi Knights: Shadow Academy (First appearance)
- Young Jedi Knights: The Lost Ones
- Young Jedi Knights: Lightsabers (Mentioned only)
- Young Jedi Knights: Darkest Knight
- Young Jedi Knights: Jedi Under Siege
- Young Jedi Knights: Shards of Alderaan (Mentioned only)
- Young Jedi Knights: Diversity Alliance (Mentioned only)
- Young Jedi Knights: Delusions of Grandeur (Mentioned only)
- Young Jedi Knights: The Emperor's Plague (Mentioned only)
- Young Jedi Knights: Return to Ord Mantell (Mentioned only)
- Young Jedi Knights: Crisis at Crystal Reef (Mentioned only)
- The New Jedi Order: Star by Star (Mentioned only)
- "The Dark Side" – Star Wars Galaxy Magazine 8
- "The Deadly Dozen" – Star Wars Galaxy Magazine 8
- "The Women Of Star Wars" – Star Wars Galaxy Magazine 12
- Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Essential Guide to Planets and Moons
- "ComicScan: 20 Tales To Tantilize" – Star Wars Galaxy Collector 5 (as Brakkis)
- The Essential Chronology
- The Dark Side Sourcebook
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 9 (CHE11, Chewbacca)
- The New Jedi Order Sourcebook
- The New Essential Guide to Characters
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 93 (ALM1-4, The Almania Crisis)
- The New Essential Chronology
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 75 (German Edition - BRA1-4, Brakiss)
- Jedi vs. Sith: The Essential Guide to the Force
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- Jedi Academy Training Manual
Notes and references
- The New Essential Guide to Characters
- The New Essential Guide to Characters states that Brakiss was born after the foundation of the Empire, but that he was "still a teenager" during the Battle of Endor.
- The New Rebellion
- Brakiss dies in the novel, Young Jedi Knights: Jedi Under Siege, which takes place in 23 ABY according to the The Essential Reader's Companion.
- I, Jedi
- Young Jedi Knights: Shadow Academy
- Young Jedi Knights: Heirs of the Force
- Young Jedi Knights: The Lost Ones
- Jedi Search
- Young Jedi Knights: Lightsabers
- The Essential Chronology
- Young Jedi Knights: Jedi Under Siege
- Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back
- The Dark Side Sourcebook
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 93 (ALM1-4, The Almania Crisis)
- The Essential Guide to Planets and Moons
- Specter of the Past
- Young Jedi Knights: Darkest Knight
- Young Jedi Knights: Shards of Alderaan
- Young Jedi Knights: Delusions of Grandeur
- The New Jedi Order: Star by Star
- The New Jedi Order Sourcebook
- Dark Nest I: The Joiner King
- The New Essential Chronology