- "The galaxy has changed—it's mine for the taking! I will rule the Empire…I will sit on Palpatine's throne."
- ―Carnor Jax
Carnor Jax was a Royal Guard and aspiring Sith Lord who made a bid for the vacant Imperial throne. Jax was the second Sith apprentice to the self-proclaimed Dark Lady of the Sith, Lumiya, and served her after the deaths of Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine. Jax and Lumiya were responsible for the extermination of the last few remaining Prophets of the Dark Side on Bosthirda.
After Palpatine returned in the form of several clone bodies, Carnor Jax succeeded in ensuring the demise of the last of Palpatine's clones, opening a path to the throne. Jax was also responsible for the destruction of the Royal Guard, and had all but one of them killed off in a surprise attack on the planet Yinchorr. The remaining member, Kir Kanos, became a fugitive, forcing Jax to concentrate his efforts on capturing the man. The chase led Jax to capturing the Rebel leader Mirith Sinn and subjecting her to torture.
However, in an unfortunate series of events, the actions of Kanos helped Sinn to escape, and Jax and Kanos found themselves in a final showdown on Yinchorr. The following battle was evenly matched, but the unexpected prowess of Kanos threw off the balance and Jax was killed. Carnor Jax's death left Lumiya without a known apprentice for almost 30 years.
Origins and early years
As a young man, Jax joined the Galactic Empire and was enlisted as a stormtrooper, even serving under Agent Blackhole as one of his so-called Blackhole stormtroopers. Jax stood out among his squad as one of the best, and it was not long until Jax was recognized and removed from his squad to receive training to become a Royal Guard. Alongside forty-three other recruits, Jax was brought to Yinchorr, where the original inhabitants had been removed to provide the perfect training ground for Emperor Palpatine's most elite warriors.
In the roughest conditions, Jax was subjected to intense training that included mastery of the deadly fighting art known as Echani. This fighting style was supplemented by thorough instruction on the use of the force pike and the vibroblade. Under the watchful eye of Master Ved Kennede, Jax, along with the other recruits, would test their mettle and their fighting skills in a fighting arena known as the Squall. It was in this arena that Jax first met Kir Kanos, and the pair were often sparring partners in the Squall. Jax was almost always the victor in these encounters and loved to lord his dominance over Kanos. Both of them were trained early on by Myn Kyneugh.
Although Jax and Kanos were standouts in their class, another recruit was more highly praised for his perfect fighting technique and unmatched skill. Burr Danid was known as the best of the recruits when Emperor Palpatine arrived in an unexpected visit. Jax and Kanos watched as Palpatine's foremost disciple, Darth Vader requested that their finest recruit join him in the Squall. Burr Danid joined Vader in the center of the Squall, and under observation from the Emperor, Vader ordered Danid to attack him, adding that he "hold nothing back." Although Danid's technique and fighting form were perfect, Jax was able to see that Vader was just toying with the man. Vader mercilessly killed the young man in front of the entire audience of recruits. Although Kanos was shocked and appalled at the brutality, Jax looked on the event with a stone-cold demeanor. He understood perfectly the lesson that was being taught, and from that point on he trained ferociously to become the best among his class.
As the initial number of recruits dwindled to a much smaller number, the remaining men were put into pairs to learn to rely on their "brothers" for support and aid. The trials and training took a drastic step up at this point so that the pairs would be forced to rely on each other to complete the tasks set before them. Jax was paired with another recruit, Alum Frost, with whom he lived and trained for an entire year. Jax did not fully respect Frost and attributed all of their success to his own efforts. Despite their inability to work together on the level of some of the other pairings, Jax and Frost were able to become one of the last two pairs to survive the intense training.
At the end of a year together, Jax and Frost, along with the other two men, Kir Kanos and Lemmet Tauk, were brought before Master Kennede where he informed them that they had completed their training save for one final test. The final test was to be held before the Emperor himself. In pairs, the four men were to be brought before the Emperor two at a time. Jax and Frost were the first pair to be brought before the Emperor, where they were handed vibroblades. Face to face with the ruler of the galaxy, Jax and Frost were ordered to fight to the death to prove their worth to Palpatine. It was a one-sided contest, and Jax easily slew Frost. His training was complete.
Frost's dead body was removed from sight as the final pair entered the Emperor's chambers. Jax was allowed to watch as Tauk and Kanos were subjected to the same trial that he himself had just passed. Jax watched the battle with interest as Kanos killed Tauk, and was then humbled by Darth Vader's skill. In a private ceremony between Palpatine, Vader, Kanos, and Jax, the two trainees were elevated to the rank of Royal Guard.
The death of the Emperor
Little is known of Jax's subsequent service in the Royal Guard, but it is assumed that he served with distinction as one of the Emperor's bodyguards. However, throughout the entire time of Jax's service in the Empire, his loyalties lay not with Palpatine, but with himself and his chances of rising to higher power.
Jax was not present on the second Death Star during the Battle of Endor, and so escaped death. Left on Coruscant with the remainder of the Royal Guard, Jax came under the command of acting Emperor Sate Pestage, and later the Director of Imperial Intelligence, Ysanne Isard. When the Dark Lady Lumiya requested a detachment of the Royal Guard from Isard, Jax's unit was the one dispatched to the Dark Lady. Lumiya recognized Jax's Force potential, and began to train him as her Sith apprentice. The pair later tracked the Prophets of the Dark Side to their hiding place on Bosthirda and executed the last of them. During his training in the Force, Jax specialized in telekinesis and precognition. He may have also received training from other senior Dark Side Adepts.
Under Lumiya, Jax began to meet many of the higher-ups in Imperial politics. One of these associates was the ambitious Dark Jedi and Imperial Ruling Council member Sarcev Quest. Quest, a skilled political manipulator who had been working his way towards a subtle ascendancy on the Council for some time, saw Lord Jax as a potential figurehead and military commander, capable of providing forms of leadership that he could not: together the two Force-users moved to take control of the Empire. Using his influence on the Ruling Council, Quest gave Jax a task force led by the Star Destroyers Emperor's Revenge and Steadfast and a military contingent under the command of General Redd Wessel.
Jax, a former soldier, preferred to surround himself with Army officers, as opposed to most Navy-based warlords. Also during this time, Jax assigned Lieutenant Geff Blim to serve as his 'hand,' recalling the services Mara Jade had provided for Palpatine. During this time he met with Nom Anor, later telling Lumiya of the strange agent.
A new Emperor
When Palpatine seized control of the Empire once more in 10 ABY, Jax rejoined the ranks of the Royal Guard, but his true loyalties lay with his existing allies. Jax knew that the time would soon come for him to square off against the Emperor. Jax and Quest planned to remove Palpatine from power and take the throne for themselves. Quest secured Jax's appointment as an Imperial Sovereign Protector, and from that position, he served as the fulcrum of a wide-ranging conspiracy. Under orders from Jax, General Wessel secured the support of several senior military commanders, influential civilian loyalists and alien leaders such as the Whiphid spearmaster.
Meetings to secure support for Jax's plan were treated with the utmost security. Any person that disagreed with Jax's plan or anyone that acted as though they would reveal the plan to Palpatine was immediately killed, often by the hand of Blim. Several times it seemed that the plan would be revealed, and that they would all be executed as traitors, but the quick actions and foresight of Blim stopped Jax's plan from being revealed.
Using the funds secured by Quest and Wessel, Jax bribed the Emperor's physician into sabotaging Palpatine's remaining clones. With the remainder of the funds, Jax was able to erase himself completely from the Royal Guard's database and any further assignments. The sabotage caused Palpatine's final clone body to age quickly and deform, forcing Palpatine to search for a new body. The Emperor was finally destroyed on Onderon, and although the efforts of R2-D2 resulted in the demolition of the Deep Core throneworld of Byss, Jax's plan had succeeded beyond what he had ever thought possible.
The revenge of the Guard
Unfortunately, when the physician was captured by the Rebels, he revealed his betrayal against the Emperor, including the name of the man who had bribed him, Carnor Jax. Hiding in the shadows of the interrogation room, a lone Royal Guard heard the confession and then executed a miraculous escape back to Yinchorr where the remaining Royal Guards were in mourning.
To cover this blunder, Jax sent a legion of stormtroopers to annihilate the remaining Royal Guards. The troopers poured into the facility on Yinchorr, and although the Royal Guards were able to kill hundreds of stormtroopers, they could not hold against the numerically superior forces. One Royal Guard, Jax's rival Kir Kanos, was able to escape the slaughter, thus infuriating Jax. Knowing that Kanos's elite abilities could allow him to sabotage Jax's new rule, Jax ordered a massive bounty on Kanos's head alongside an immense detachment of forces dedicated to finding and neutralizing Kanos.
Meanwhile, Jax's backers swiftly seized power, with Quest taking control of a new Imperial Ruling Council with Jax's supporters as the new members. The Council allied with Jax as Dark Lord of the Sith and de facto Emperor. Wearing a modified form of Royal Guard uniform reserved for the master trainer of the Yinchorri Academy, Jax planned to continue the resurgence of the Empire and crush the New Republic once and for all. Although he at times commanded from the Star Destroyer Emperor's Revenge, Jax presided over his Crimson Empire from a villa on the Outer Rim world of Ord Cantrell. He continued to oversee the activities of the Imperial Ruling Council which, under Jax's leadership, included the unprecedented membership of several non-Human species: Whiphids, Defel, Givin, and Devaronian races were all represented. The influence of Jax's empire spread from the Outer to the Mid Rim, including worlds such as Qiilura, Celanon, the Kol Huro system and the entire D'Astan sector.
The search for Kanos
- "From this moment on, General, you have but one mission—find Kir Kanos!"
- ―Carnor Jax to Redd Wessel
However, Jax decided to put his plans for galactic domination on hold until Kanos had been captured and executed. He followed Kanos to Zaddja, where Kanos had last been seen. The location turned out to be a trap, and a large detachment of stormtroopers were killed in a large explosion on the planet's surface. To supplement his lost supplies of stormtroopers, Jax recruited the remainder of the Blackhole stormtroopers and subjected them to further training so that they would be able to defeat Kanos.
Onboard Emperor's Revenge, Jax heard of an interesting report where one man had killed four Imperial officers and an entire squad of stormtroopers single-handedly in a tapcafe. Setting course for Phaeda, the source of the report, Jax was certain that he was about to capture Kanos. Unfortunately, on Phaeda, the incompetence of the local militia had allowed Kanos to escape once again. However, Jax also learned that while on Phaeda, Kanos had stayed with a group of Rebels under the command of Mirith Sinn. Jax's forces captured the military commander and subjected her to continual torture. Only Jax's personal Force-assisted torture was able to break the woman, and Jax learned that Kanos had fled to Yinchorr. Leaving Steadfast to bombard the Rebels into dust, Jax boarded Emperor's Revenge and set course for Yinchorr.
Thus die all traitors
- "Carnor Jax, for your part in the assassination of Emperor Palpatine, and for the murder of your fellow guardsmen, I condemn you to death!"
- ―Kir Kanos
Arriving above Yinchorr, General Wessel spotted Kanos' ship above the planet's surface and prepared to take it aboard. Sensing that the ship was a trap, Jax took his squad of Blackhole stormtroopers and his assistant Blim, boarded a shuttle and left the Star Destroyer. As Jax's shuttle left the docking bay, Kanos' booby-trapped ship exploded, ripping Emperor's Revenge apart and killing General Wessel.
Landing on Yinchorr, Jax ordered his assistant Blim to place himself in a hiding spot so that he would be able to kill Kanos if it seemed as though he was getting the upper hand. Leaving Blim to prepare himself, Jax and his squad of Blackhole stormtroopers approached the Yinchorri facility. Jax's squad of stormtroopers was ordered into the facility to try and flush Kanos out. Sensing the deaths of his men, Jax was forced to enter and face Kanos alone. Following the path of destruction left by Kanos, Jax found Kanos in the arena where he had always been the victor—the Squall.
With use of the Force, Jax was an almost unbeatable foe; however, Kanos's fury and determination also proved a worthy adversary and neither man was able to grab the upper hand for very long. Signaling for Blim to shoot Kanos, Jax was surprised to see Blim dead, the victim of two Rebels, Sish Sadeet and Mirith Sinn, the woman he had tortured on Phaeda. The two Rebels hoped to capture Jax and use his knowledge to end the war. With Blim dead, Jax tried to use Kanos's attachment to Mirith Sinn to turn the tide of the battle. Force pulling Sadeet's blaster to his hand, Jax prepared to shoot the meddlesome Rebel. Unfortunately for Jax, Kanos did not hesitate. Battering the blaster away with his vibroblade, Kanos thrust his weapon into Jax's chest. As the light faded from Jax's eyes, his last words were that Kanos's friend wanted him alive. Kanos replied coldly that they were not his friends. Removing Jax's helmet, Kanos told the dead Jax that he was not fit to wear it. Jax's dead body lay undisturbed in the center of the Squall as Kanos left the desolate planet.
Personality and traits
Carnor Jax was a talented soldier with an ambitious attitude. Even during his training toward becoming an Emperor's Royal Guard, Jax desired to be nothing less than the best in his class. However, although Jax had a high opinion of himself, he was not above recognizing the need for powerful allies, and the people on the Imperial Ruling Council as well his mentors Sarcev Quest and Lumiya were evidence of this.
It was exactly this ambition and recognition of powerful allies that made Jax a good judge of potential threats, and he was one of the only people who realized how Kir Kanos could jeopardize the welfare of the Empire. Besides his cool and calculating side, Jax was known to possess a terrible temper around his subordinates and would not tolerate failure. His schooling in the dark side of the Force may have been a cause of this, as his anger was not seen during his days at the Imperial Royal Guard Academy.
Powers and abilities
- "But I want to see all of you dead! That—and the Force—will insure my success!"
- ―Carnor Jax
Carnor Jax excelled as a stormtrooper, earning the right to begin his training as a Royal Guard. While on Yinchorr, Jax was considered to be one of the best trainees and had enough skill in martial arts and with vibroblades to defeat his opponents in the Squall. His skill and determination eventually helped Jax to become one of Palpatine's Royal Guards.
Having been trained by Lumiya, Jax was adept at using the Force and was often practicing it aboard the Emperor's Revenge on small round spheres, which he levitated into the air and crushed with telekinesis. His prowess in telekinesis also allowed Jax to manipulate a rock during the final duel with Kanos and to pull Sish Sadeet's weapon from his hands. Carnor Jax also had a developed Force Sense ability, as he was able to feel that Mirith Sinn was lying to him during her interrogation. Although Jax considered himself to be almost as powerful as Palpatine and Darth Vader, all his training was not enough to defeat Kir Kanos on Yinchorr.
Behind the scenes
According to Randy Stradley, when writing Crimson Empire they worked under the idea that all Royal Guards were clones, with the shot of the unmasked Jax supposed to show that he and Kanos were from the same prime clone. However, the establishment of Jax's father seems to have vanquished that concept, unless the original Jax was a prime clone, in the manner of Jango Fett.
- Crimson Empire 0 (First appearance)
- Crimson Empire
- Crimson Empire audio drama
- The Bounty Hunters: Kenix Kil (Appears in flashback(s))
- Crimson Empire II: Council of Blood 1 (Mentioned only)
- Crimson Empire II: Council of Blood 2 (Mentioned only)
- Crimson Empire II: Council of Blood 5 (Mentioned only)
- Crimson Empire II: Council of Blood 6 (Mentioned only)
- The Third Time Pays for All (Indirect mention only)
- "Straight from the Horse's Mouth"—Star Wars Insider 35
- Handbook 2: Crimson Empire
- The Essential Chronology
- Star Wars Customizable Card Game – Death Star II Limited (Card: Myn Kyneugh)
- A Guide to the Star Wars Universe, Third Edition
- The Emperor's Pawns"—Star Wars Gamer 5 "
- The New Essential Guide to Characters
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 33 (EMP2, The Emperor's Royal Guard)
- The New Essential Chronology
- Star Wars: The Comics Companion
- Roleplaying Game: Saga Edition Core Rulebook
- Jedi Academy Training Manual
- Star Wars: The Official Starships & Vehicles Collection 22
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Essential Atlas
- Star Wars: The Official Starships & Vehicles Collection 29
Notes and references
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 Crimson Empire 6
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 Crimson Empire 1
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 Evil Never Dies: The Sith Dynasties
- ↑ Cite error: Invalid
<ref>tag; no text was provided for refs named
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Handbook 2: Crimson Empire
- ↑ Star Wars Customizable Card Game – Death Star II Limited (Card: Myn Kyneugh)
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 Crimson Empire 2
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 Crimson Empire 0
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 Crimson Empire 3
- ↑ The Essential Atlas
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 Crimson Empire 4
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 Crimson Empire 5
- ↑ Randy Stradley on the DarkHorse.com Message Boards
- ↑ 15.0 15.1 Empire's End 2: Rage of the Emperor
- ↑ Crimson Empire II: Council of Blood 1