- "She's devoted, Zayne, not evil. Just like—"
"Just like you."
- ―Celeste Morne and Zayne Carrick
Celeste Morne was a Human female Jedi Master who served the Jedi Covenant as a Shadow, an agency that consisted of Jedi whose identities were erased from the Order's records. She dedicated herself to the Covenant's cause after the loss of her home and family ties in the Great Sith War. In 3963 BBY the Covenant assigned Morne a mission to retrieve the Muur Talisman, an artifact owned generations prior by the Sith Lord Karness Muur that gave the wearer control over the mutant rakghoul creatures. Furthermore, Morne was tasked to bring fugitive Padawan Zayne Carrick to justice. Over the course of her mission, however, she came to doubt Carrick's culpability in the Padawan Massacre of Taris, for which he had been implicated by the members of the First WatchCircle of the Covenant.
As she fought through the obstructions to her mission, including the unexpected outbreak of the Rakghoul Plague on the planet Jebble and her own doubts about Carrick, Morne fell under the possession of the Muur Talisman. In order to protect the galaxy from herself, Morne allowed Carrick to seal her in Dreypa's Oubliette. She would remain there in stasis until 19 BBY, when the Sith Lord Darth Vader obtained the oubliette and released her. She emerged haunted by the spirit of Karness Muur and discovered that the Sith ruled the galaxy in the new era she found herself in. Enraged at this discovery, Morne dueled Vader and used the Muur Talisman to force him into retreat. For approximately nineteen years afterward she lived secluded on a desolate moon, until she was visited by a company of elite stormtroopers, all of whom she turned into rakghouls in a moment of temporary insanity. Soon after, Rebel Alliance leaders Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia Organa conducted a mission to recover what they thought to be a secret Imperial weapon, but was in fact, Morne. She and her Sithspawn attacked Skywalker and Organa, who managed to barely escape with their lives. Morne took an abandoned transport and headed off into space to explore the galaxy.
After a hundred years—the nature of her bond with the talisman had endowed her with long life—Morne took control of the Pellaeon-class Star Destroyer Iron Sun and took it into the Deep Core, intending to hold Muur there forever. She then met bounty hunter Cade Skywalker, and after witnessing him cure himself of the rakghoul plague with the Force, Morne joined Skywalker in his plan to assassinate the current Dark Lord of the Sith, Darth Krayt. Their quest took them to the planet Had Abbadon, where Morne allowed for the knowledge of Skywalker's presence in the Deep Core to reach Krayt. He arrived and battle ensued, ultimately resulting in Morne mortally wounding Krayt. With the Dark Lord finally eliminated, Morne focused on her own dilemma: the fear that the Sith spirit trapped inside her would soon dominate her completely. She asked Skywalker to free her of Muur's influence, and Skywalker obliged, killing her with his lightsaber.
- "I couldn't have selected a better agent."
- ―Lucien Draay, speaking of Celeste Morne
Celeste Morne was a Human female who became homeless at an early age after her homeworld Ossus was devastated in 3996 BBY, toward the end of the Great Sith War. After wandering the galaxy for a time, she eventually came under the care of Jedi Master Krynda Draay, founder of the Jedi Covenant. The covenant was a secret organization within the Jedi Order devoted to stopping the resurgence of the Sith in the galaxy following the end of the Sith War. Morne was raised by Krynda until she began her training as a Jedi Consular, though she trained to be a Shadow of the Covenant—a group of covert agents—and came under the command of Krynda's son Lucien, one of the individuals responsible for the Covenant's operational security and the Shadow agents. The Covenant erased Morne's identity from Jedi Order rolls so that she could dedicate herself solely to the Covenant and their goals unhindered. Her role as a Shadow for the Covenant included fulfilling missions aimed toward the recovery and storage of Sith artifacts before they could pose a danger to the galaxy. Among her accomplishments on behalf of the Covenant were the destruction of the last copy of the Epistle of Marka Ragnos, the recovery of Jori Daragon's amulet, the Eye of Horak-mul, and the double-bladed lightsaber of Exar Kun.
In 3963 BBY, three seers of the Covenant's First WatchCircle—Xamar, Feln, and Q'Anilia—received a vision of widespread destruction involving the Muur Talisman, an artifact created by the ancient Sith Lord Karness Muur, which could transform non-Force-sensitive beings into mindless mutants known as rakghouls that the master of the Talisman could control. Four distinct individuals also appeared in the vision: former Jedi Padawan Zayne Carrick, a tall individual encased in black full-body armor, and two young blond haired men, one of whom was clad in a long brown coat. Aside from Zayne Carrick, the Covenant members did not know or recognize the latter three individuals. In response to the vision, Lucien contacted Morne and gave her the task of finding the Muur Talisman, which they believed to be on Taris, as the Tarisian Undercity was the only known location of the Rakghoul Plague. Additionally, Morne was ordered to find Carrick and bring him to justice for his involvement in a massacre of his fellow Padawans on Taris.
Unbeknownst to Morne, the First WatchCircle of the Covenant, which had been based on Taris, had the year before acted on an earlier prophecy that had led them to believe that one of their own Padawans would fall to the dark side. Thus, in what would come to be known as the Padawan Massacre of Taris, they killed the students to prevent the presumed return of the Sith. However, Lucien Draay's own apprentice, Zayne Carrick, escaped. To prevent the Covenant from exposure, the WatchCircle placed the blame for the killings on Carrick and ordered his elimination. Both Carrick and the Talisman were now on Taris, putting Morne in a position where she would be able to end two Covenant threats simultaneously.
In pursuit of the Muur TalismanEdit
- "I thought I knew all the Jedi on Taris, but I've never seen you…"
"For which I count myself lucky."
- ―Zayne Carrick and Celeste Morne
Shortly before Morne's arrival on Taris, the ecumenopolis was besieged by the Mandalorians, forcing many citizens to flee the Upper City and into the lower levels. In the Tarisian Undercity, Morne came to the aid of Sector Constable Noana Sowrs, who had become separated from the Taris Resistance and was under attack by rakghouls. Ever since the Muur Talisman had been lost on Taris, the deformed, mindless mutants had dwelt there and could transmit the Rakghoul Plague through their bites. Morne killed all of the rakghouls before they overwhelmed Sowrs, but discovered that Sowrs had become infected with the plague. Consequently, she was forced to cut Sowrs down as the Tarisian mutated.
Shortly afterward, Carrick and his companion, the Snivvian con artist Marn Hierogryph, rushed past her, fleeing from another horde of rakghouls, with whom Morne also quickly dispatched. After engaging the two in a conversation in which she learned of the duo's series of misadventures, Morne quickly left them to continue her search for the Talisman. Despite Morne's expressed disdain for their company, Carrick and Hierogryph accompanied her as she continued to navigate the Undercity in the hopes that she would lead them off-planet and provide a route to their friends on the spaceship Moomo Williwaw. The precarious environment that the group found themselves in, combined with Carrick and Hierogryph's continued loud squabbling, led an exasperated Morne to wonder how it would have been possible for Carrick to kill anyone. Although she felt duty-bound to apprehend him, she prioritized the Muur Talisman above the fugitive's arrest and continued her search. Following the sounds of explosions, the trio soon fell into a cavern occupied by Mandalorian Neo-Crusaders, who had just acquired the Talisman themselves.
- "I've got a job to do…and it just got a lot harder!"
- ―Celeste Morne
So that they would not lose sight of the ancient Sith artifact, which was now in the possession of Mandalorian and former scientific intern Pulsipher, Morne, Carrick, and Hierogryph stowed away on board the Mandalorians' ship, the Mar'eyce, which was destined for the planet Jebble. From her hiding place, Morne tried to convince Pulsipher to throw the Muur Talisman out of the airlock, but he resisted. Moments later she witnessed the Talisman attach itself to Pulsipher's arm and kill one of the Mandalorians from his team. Once the Mar'eyce landed near the Mandalorian staging area on Jebble, Pulsipher was taken to his laboratory, and Morne tried to dismiss Carrick and Hierogryph in order to follow. However, Carrick soon found Morne and informed her that the Mandalorians were planning a raid on the Core world of Alderaan.
Hierogryph, disguised as a Mandalorian, convinced Morne and Carrick to take on the slicer aliases of the twins Joam and Hettie Hierogarl to allow the trio to pass the guards and enter the Ice Citadel, a mountaintop building that had been turned into a temporary war forge and the base of operations for the Mandalorian invasion force. Once inside, Morne concluded that Carrick should warn the Republic about the impending attack on Alderaan while she retrieved the Talisman. However, Hierogryph accidentally discharged his weapon, causing a cave-in that sent him careening down to a lower level of the Citadel and alerted the Mandalorians from the Mar'eyce to their presence.
Before Morne and Carrick could be taken hostage, one of the guards transformed into a rakghoul, forcing the others to fire on their former comrade before transforming into rakghouls themselves. Morne noted the evolved characteristics of the new rakghouls, which could use weapons and appeared smarter and more organized in comparison to the rakghouls of Taris. After defeating the rakghouls, Morne and Carrick tried to find a way out of the citadel. In the process, they discovered that Jebble was not just a local war forge or training center, but a staging arena for an invasion. Thus, all of the Mandalorian recruits present from the Outer Rim were in danger of becoming infected by the Rakghoul Plague.
Sending out communicationEdit
- "We've waited long for your report, agent…"
- ―Lucien Draay
After sliding down the mountainside in an awkward escape, Morne once again expressed her disbelief that the accident-prone Carrick was responsible for killing his classmates. He informed her that the Jedi Masters on Taris were a part of a "secret Jedi cabal," and it was they who had framed him for the Padawan Massacre. Morne feigned ignorance of the Covenant's existence, but her lie was exposed when she let slip its name—which Carrick had not mentioned to her. As the two headed in the direction of the communication dome, he realized that she had knowledge of the clandestine organization, though he remained unaware of her connection to it.
While Carrick was elsewhere, Morne contacted Lucien Draay to inform him about the impending invasion of Alderaan and the Rakghoul Plague. Lucien ordered her to obtain the Muur Talisman and to kill the fugitive Padawan without delay. Morne questioned the order to kill Carrick, but Lucien reminded her of her past and of her dedication to the Covenant's vigil against the Sith. He warned her that Carrick would do more damage than she could imagine and signed off. Moments later, Carrick appeared and contacted his friends on the Moomo Williwaw. While Carrick's back was turned, Morne activated her lightsaber to kill him, but stopped when he made contact with the Mandalorian Field Marshal, Cassus Fett, who was en route to Jebble with transports for the invasion. Carrick alerted Fett to the presence of the Rakghoul Plague and cautioned him not to land or allow any more of his people to disembark from their ships. Morne realized that Carrick was concerned for all life, both citizens of the Republic and Mandalorians, which gave her pause. After completing the transmission, Carrick went to rescue Hierogryph in the rakghoul-infested citadel. Hierogryph, however, was safe, and while examining the Covenant financial records that Pulsipher had obtained, he discovered that Morne was an agent for the Covenant.
Once Carrick reentered the citadel, rakghouls ambushed him and brought him to Pulsipher's lab. The Mandalorian scientist restrained the Padawan and interrogated him regarding further secrets of the Talisman, which Pulsipher now utilized to control the rakghouls. Carrick attempted to convince Pulsipher of his ignorance, but that only drove Pulsipher to suspect that Carrick had other companions with him. Pulsipher then threatened to encase him in a Sith artifact known as Dreypa's Oubliette; Carrick would be put into infinite stasis, and no sensor would be able to penetrate the Oubliette to detect his existence. The scientist's interrogation was interrupted when the Talisman detached itself from the Mandalorian; the rakghouls, now lacking a controlling influence, turned on Pulsipher and killed him. At this point Morne and Hierogryph entered and found Carrick under attack from the Muur Talisman itself, due to the Talisman's affinity for Force-sensitive individuals.
Morne attempted to pry the Talisman away from Carrick but he protested, suggesting that he might be able to stop the plague from spreading if he controlled the relic. However, Morne, having an understanding of the nature of the artifact, rebuffed him and ordered the Talisman to come to her, informing it that she was a Jedi. The Muur Talisman released itself from Carrick and attacked Morne, binding itself to her neck and engulfing her in a cocoon of energy. Weak and shaken from the binding, Morne encountered the spirit of the Talisman's creator, Karness Muur, who informed her that he was her future and that she was his. When Morne managed to climb to her feet, she discovered that she now commanded the rakghouls.
Resisting the talismanEdit
- "I can feel the change inside me. Please, Zayne…end it now."
- ―Celeste Morne
Standing high above the icy plains of Jebble with Morne, Carrick was horrified to see her indifferently send the rakghouls out to further spread the plague and kill all the remaining Mandalorians. It quickly became obvious to Carrick that Morne had become corrupted by the Talisman and was using its power to manipulate the rakghouls to do her bidding. Morne used her rakghouls to locate Hierogryph as well as Carrick's lightsaber, and had both brought to them. An indignant Hierogryph revealed to Carrick that Morne was an agent for the Covenant and was under orders from Lucien Draay. As the duo questioned the nobility of her devotion to the Jedi cabal, Morne's anger grew until she was ready to strike them both down. However, Carrick was able to help Morne see the consequences of her actions; by expanding the growing rakghoul army she was assisting the Sith, the faction from which she and the Covenant had sworn to protect the galaxy. Morne managed to gain control over the Talisman and asked Carrick to strike her down before the Mandalorian transports arrived, for she could feel the change inside of her. Remembering that another solution to their problem existed, Carrick stated that while he would not kill her, he would help her.
Carrick and Hierogryph took Morne to Pulsipher's laboratory to have her temporarily sealed inside Dreypa's Oubliette, which would place her into stasis and contain the Muur Talisman's influence. Morne, through her connection to Muur, recognized that the Oubliette had been built by Dreypa for exactly this purpose and willingly entered the device. Handing Carrick a key, she asked him to take her to a Covenant location on the planet of Odryn where the organization stored and researched Sith relics. She hoped that the researchers and experts there might be able to help her. Before he sealed the Oubliette, Morne told Carrick that she believed that he had not killed the Padawans on Taris and asked him to tell Krynda Draay the true version of the Padawan Massacre in order to end the Covenant's corruption.
Securing Morne in the Oubliette had the intended effect of containing the Talisman's influence, and the rakghouls degenerated into mindless, rampaging beasts without anyone to guide their actions. Carrick and Hierogryph made their way to the highest point on the Citadel, expecting to be safe, but the rakghouls surrounded them. At the last moment, the Moomo Williwaw, carrying the duo's friends, rescued them. However, Carrick was not yet ready to leave, insisting that they return and retrieve Morne inside the Oubliette. Just then, Cassus Fett's fleet arrived in the system. At first, Carrick believed that the ships were about to land, but they instead fired nuclear warheads onto the planet, decimating the surface. Carrick was devastated at the loss of Morne, and feeling that the Covenant and their manipulations were to blame, he vowed to put a stop to them.
After securing the help of the individuals onboard the Moomo Williwaw, and deciding that physical proof of the Covenant's activities was needed, the group traveled to Odryn. With one of their companions, the Arkanian Offshoot Jarael, posing as Morne, and using the key Morne had given Carrick, they gained access to the Covenant storehouse. Their deception was discovered by Jedi Master Feln, and after contacting Lucien Draay, the two WatchCircle members did not believe that Morne would betray the Covenant; they concluded that Carrick had killed Morne and stolen her key.
Meeting Darth VaderEdit
- "How long? How long were we…was I…inside?"
- ―Celeste Morne
Celeste Morne was not dead, however, but still in stasis inside the impregnable Oubliette where she remained for almost four thousand years. The Oubliette was first discovered by ice miners on Jebble, and passed through many hands until it came into the possession of the crew of the smuggling vessel Uhumele in 19 BBY. The captain, Schurk-Heren, originally planned to sell the Oubliette to the crime boss Haka Hai on the planet Mimban. After being double-crossed and tortured by the crime boss, the crew fled and made a second attempt to sell the Oubliette, this time to historian Fane Peturri. Peturri had informed the Sith Lord Darth Vader of the deal, however, not anticipating that he would wrest control of the oubliette before the transaction could be completed.
Without hesitation, Vader opened the Oubliette and Morne awoke. She was disoriented and confused, but realized that with the Muur Talisman still attached to her neck, the presence of its creator was still within her. Upon questioning Peturri, Morne learned that the Sith, not the Mandalorians, had overthrown the Republic and now ruled the galaxy. In her rage, she engaged in a duel with Vader, who, like Muur, tempted her with the potential of the dark side. Eventually Vader disarmed Morne and offered her the chance to become his Sith apprentice. Muur's spirit instead encouraged that Morne forfeit her life so that the talisman could possess Vader. Rather than let Vader acquire the talisman and potentially endanger the galaxy, Morne chose what she believed to be the lesser of two evils and transformed Fane Peturri, all of the stormtroopers, and the only Human member of the captive crew of the Uhumele, Crys Taanzer, into rakghouls. The remainder of the Uhumele's crew managed to escape. Finding himself overwhelmed by Morne and the mutant warriors, Vader retreated to his shuttle in defeat.
Morne now lay stranded on the moon with only the mutant rakghouls and the enraged Karness Muur, who once again had his plans dashed, as her company. Although she realized that there was likely no escape from her condition, she felt content that Muur was also a prisoner until the possible day when she would encounter another being.
Galactic Civil WarEdit
- "I wonder…do you still live, Celeste? And if so, after all this time alone…what shade of madness has overtaken you?"
- ―Darth Vader
Nearly twenty years later, Darth Vader's thoughts drifted back to Celeste Morne, wondering if she was even still alive. If she had survived, Vader hoped to use her as a weapon against the Rebellion, with whom his Galactic Empire was currently engaged in civil war. A convoy was sent to investigate Morne's last known location. She reached out with the Force and transformed the pilots and stormtroopers into rakghouls before they could even land, which caused their ships to crash. When Vader received notification that the convoys were lost, he ordered a former Rebel spy currently in Imperial custody, Wyl Tarson, to send a message through the Rebellion's spy network. After receiving the message concerning a secret Imperial weapon abandoned on a moon, Rebel agents Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia Organa led a team to investigate. Upon landing, the rakghouls under Morne's control attacked the Rebels and dragged Skywalker and Organa to the ancient ruin where Morne stood ready to strike.
Morne and Karness Muur recognized Skywalker's and Organa's Force-sensitive heritage, leading Muur to realize that an opportunity to escape and unleash his power on the galaxy had come. The past twenty years of seclusion on the dark moon, along with the taint of the Muur Talisman and the whispers of Karness Muur, had driven Celeste Morne insane. She had forgotten much of her past life and Muur fostered in her a hatred of Vader and the Jedi, whom she thus believed had abandoned her. Therefore, since she believed that Luke was a Jedi, she proceeded to attack him.
After a short exchange of blows, Morne overwhelmed Skywalker, at which point she scoffed at the idea he was a Jedi and demanded that he reveal his loyalties. However, both Organa and the Rebel soldier Able attacked Morne in order to rescue Skywalker, whom they perceived to be in danger. Morne caved into her rage at the loss of the glimmer of hope she believed arrived with the Rebels. Instead of a savior, Morne thought fate had instead sent her assassins, and she transformed Able into a rakghoul, while Skywalker and Organa remained unaffected due to their Force-sensitivity. Upon closer examination of the two through Morne, Karness Muur saw that his suspicions were confirmed; Skywalker and Organa possessed great power in the Force with which he could use to rule the galaxy. The Muur Talisman then released itself from Morne and attempted to first attach itself to Skywalker and then Organa when she stepped in front of him.
After centuries of union with the Sith Lord and his artifact—the nature of the bond with the talisman endowing her with long life—Morne was finally free, but she realized that there would be no end to her suffering. She would continue to be left alone on the desert moon in darkness until she died. In coming to terms with her tragedy, Morne decided that she no longer wanted to be a victim. As Skywalker struggled to help Organa remove the Talisman before it became firmly attached, Morne seized the Sith artifact and reattached it to herself. She acknowledged that she was one with Karness Muur, but she would imprison him as much as he did her. As she headed off to the abandoned Rebel B-wing starfighter to finally leave the moon, Skywalker stopped her, as he wished to learn more about the Jedi and the Force in order to accomplish his own legacy. Morne only warned him about the darkness in his past and future before she shoved him aside. Before Morne left the system, she attacked the Imperial Star Destroyer that lay in wait for the Rebels, transforming the crew into rakghouls and sending the ship crashing down to the moon. She then departed to see the galaxy she had been removed from for almost four thousand years.
- "I do not make friends but…you have made yourself an ally. I am joining your mission. Together we will kill this Dark Lord of the Sith—Darth Krayt."
- ―Morne joins Cade Skywalker's cause
Before long, Morne realized that her yearning for exploration came from Muur's desire to escape her body. In 127 ABY, she fled deep into space where her ship was captured by the Pellaeon-class Star Destroyer Iron Sun. Assuming that the Iron Sun served the same Empire as Darth Vader, Morne created a new army of rakghouls from Iron Sun's crew, and flew the Destroyer to the perilously unstable hyperlanes of the Deep Core. Morne had no one other than Muur's spirit to keep her company, and he obliged his host with temptations of the dark side. He also promised her that another would come whom he could possess, and he would no longer have a need for Morne.
Ten years later, ex-Jedi-turned-bounty hunter Cade Skywalker had a vision of Morne while meditating on the Force. His ship, the Mynock, was interdicted and brought aboard the Iron Sun while en route to a mission against the current Sith-dominated Empire. Skywalker and his crew, which consisted of pirates Jariah Syn, Deliah Blue; the Imperial Knights Azlyn Rae, Antares Draco, Ganner Krieg; and Twi'lek Jedi Shado Vao, entered the Star Destroyer, where they were set upon by several of Morne's rakghouls. After a brief skirmish in which Skywalker and Rae were bitten and infected with the Rakghoul Plague, Morne separated the team by imprisoning Skywalker and Rae, believing that the two bite victims would soon transform into rakghouls that she would have to kill. The Jedi Master also recognized Cade as the descendant of Luke Skywalker, whom she had encountered decades ago. When she told Skywalker that he was infected with a disease, he shocked her by using the Force to heal himself and Rae of the plague. Both Morne and the spirit within her were intrigued with Skywalker's ability and of his use of the dark side while doing so. She decided then to aid Skywalker in his quest to overthrow Darth Krayt, the reigning Dark Lord of the Sith and Galactic Emperor.
- "E Chu Ta! What're you thinking, Morne?! He'll go to Krayt!"
"Exactly. He'll report to his Sith Lord what he has seen—and then Lord Krayt will come to us."
- ―Cade Skywalker and Celeste Morne
Morne joined Skywalker when he attacked the Imperial garrison on the Deep Core world of Had Abbadon in order to lure Emperor Krayt away from Coruscant. The Imperial Knights had provided intelligence but failed to advise Morne and Skywalker that Sith Lord Darth Reave was on Had Abbadon. Morne exercised the Talisman's power to transform Reave's stormtroopers into rakghouls, who then attacked the Sith Lord. He suffered several bites before he fled the scene unhindered, which angered Skywalker. Morne, however, planned for Reave to escape, confident that he would report Skywalker's presence on Had Abbadon to Darth Krayt.
When Morne slept, the Muur Talisman reached out to the Jedi Shado Vao, feeding him visions of himself murdering Morne and taking the talisman for himself. She awoke to find Vao in her quarters, whom she questioned as to his reasons for allying himself with Skywalker. The Twi'lek responded that he vowed to kill Skywalker should he turn fully to the dark side. Morne believed the talisman was a considerable temptation for Vao and sent him away. Skywalker came to her shortly thereafter, threatening to send Morne and the talisman into the galaxy's central black hole if Muur's spirit did not stop antagonizing his crew.
By this time, the presence of Muur's spirit began to weigh more heavily on Celeste Morne, but she continued to hold him imprisoned within, while she also remained his prisoner. Allowing Muur to momentarily take control of her, Morne contacted Darth Krayt directly on Coruscant. She approached him as Muur, one Sith Lord to another, and offered Krayt Cade Skywalker, whom Muur appeared to hold captive. Through Morne, Muur also offered to heal Krayt of his Yuuzhan Vong biot infestation through the Force, but only if he came to Had Abbadon alone—if not, Muur threatened to kill both him and Skywalker. Krayt partially obliged—he did come to Had Abbadon, but not alone. With his lieutenant Darth Wyyrlok remaining in orbit, Krayt landed planetside with Darths Maladi, Stryfe, and Talon, unsure of what to expect from their host. Morne confronted the Dark Lord about his blatant defiance of the terms of their agreement, though regarded his wisdom for doing so. As Muur demonstrated through Morne his Force healing abilities for Darth Krayt, Skywalker, who was seemingly bound and incapacitated, recalled his lightsaber to his grasp, and the trap was sprung. Morne immediately reasserted control of herself and attacked Krayt, while the remainder of Skywalker's team engaged Krayt's One Sith.
- "I have never met anyone quite like you, Cade Skywalker. You walk so close to the dark side, and yet…You do not desire, even in some small way, the temptation of power that the Muur Talisman can give you. You know exactly what must be done. Without anger. Without fear."
"Yeah, I know the song. We take what we are given. We do what we must."
"You…Zayne…He did send someone after all. He sent you."
- ―Celeste Morne and Cade Skywalker
Meanwhile, the Imperial Knights argued amongst themselves, torn between their duty to eliminate Darth Krayt and the desire to claim the talisman that Morne wore for their leader, exiled Emperor Roan Fel. When Morne sensed the intentions of Antares Draco, Muur's spirit resurfaced and denounced the Knight's belief that his Emperor was strong enough to control the talisman. Muur then incapacitated Draco before claiming to have been in control of Morne's flesh all along. Through Morne, he planned to turn them all into rakghouls, kill her, and take Darth Krayt's body as his own. Now in full control of Morne's body, Muur unleashed his rakghouls upon Jedi, Sith, and Imperial alike, while he dueled Darth Krayt in the guise of Morne. However, the spirit of the Jedi Master fought for control of her own body, realizing that Muur only sought to inhabit Krayt and would allow her to perish in the process. Morne once again dominated her body and fought the Dark Lord, who had abandoned his lightsabers in exchange for Sith lightning, the strength of which was increased significantly with assistance from Darth Maladi. She held both at bay while fighting off the suggestions of the Sith that resided within her. Azlyn Rae noticed the struggle and seized an opportunity to cut Darth Krayt down by stabbing him through the back. In Krayt's temporary moment of distraction, Morne released a devastating Force storm that engulfed Krayt, Rae, and Maladi. Krayt was sent hurtling over a cliff to his apparent death.
The Dark Lord of the Sith was defeated, and Morne again exerted control of her flesh. She had grown weary of her burden and believed that she was slowly losing the struggle to contain Muur's spirit within her. Morne also regarded Skywalker as a unique being; one who strode dangerously close to the dark side of the Force, yet remained unfazed by its temptations and desired none of its power. She then asked Skywalker to release her from Muur's influence and kill her, remembering Zayne Carrick's millennia-old promise that someone would be sent to free her and believing that it had finally come to pass—that someone being Cade Skywalker. He ran her through with his lightsaber, and Morne's body disintegrated into dust.
Personality and traitsEdit
- "We are one, Karness Muur. As you once imprisoned me, I now imprison you."
- ―Celeste Morne
The devastation of Morne's early life during the Old Sith Wars fostered in her a hatred of the Sith that led her to join the Jedi in order to dedicate her life to guarding against the return of the Sith. However, believing that the Jedi Order had relaxed their vigilance, Morne was convinced that the Covenant was correct in its mission to eliminate the agents of the dark side through whatever means were necessary. Even after learning of the corruption of the Covenant from Carrick, and throughout the millennia bound to the Muur Talisman, her hatred of the Sith and devotion to eradicating their existence never faded.
As a Shadow, Morne served as a sleeper agent for the Covenant, going about her daily life while waiting for the next assignment, many of which led to the nastier places in the galaxy and served to shape her rough personality. Morne had little patience once on a mission, as her energies were focused on completing the assignment given to her. During her search for the Muur Talisman, she expressed her irritation with Carrick and Hierogryph's bickering—by regularly insulting them—from the moment that she met them in the Tarisian Undercity, on their flight aboard the Mar'eyce, and in the Ice Citadel on Jebble. Even after four millennia, Morne spoke her mind, bluntly telling an indignant Cade Skywalker that his plan to draw Lord Krayt into an ambush was flawed and that it had been necessary for her to improve upon it.
Morne had a sense of justice, in addition to respect and compassion for life, and she did not kill a being unless it was necessary. In the Undercity of Taris, she was unable to kill a Rakghoul Plague–infected Constable Sowrs until the woman had transformed into the beast. Moreover, she found herself unable to follow orders and kill Zayne Carrick once she began to doubt that he was responsible for the Padawan murders on Taris after she witnessed Carrick go out of his way to protect Cassus Fett's Mandalorian fleet from the Rakghoul Plague. Upon meeting Skywalker and Azlyn Rae after they had been exposed to the plague, Morne stayed with them during the illness' progression, telling the two that she would give them a quick and merciful death. Nevertheless, Morne also had a pragmatic and calculating approach to life, realizing that certain situations and actions were unavoidable. After assuming command of the Iron Sun and transforming the crew into rakghouls, Morne allowed the creatures to cannibalize each other for nourishment once the supplies of food had run out.
The strength of her iron will, and her devotion to protecting the galaxy from the Sith, compelled Morne to sacrifice herself for the greater good. In Pulsipher's laboratory on Jebble, she had drawn the Muur Talisman away from Carrick in order to save him, for Morne sensed that she, not Carrick, was strong enough to withstand whatever the Talisman held. Furthermore, after realizing that she was a threat—by virtue of being bonded with the Talisman—Morne allowed herself to be sealed in Dreypa's Oubliette, even while knowing that it would be a torture chamber for her. Nearly four thousand years later, after being awakened by Darth Vader, she risked losing control over herself by tapping into the power of the Talisman in order to prevent Vader from claiming it for his own. Twenty years later, Morne's duel with Vader's son, Luke Skywalker, resulted in the Muur Talisman leaving her, giving her freedom from Karness Muur. Nevertheless, she realized that she was the only one who was capable of imprisoning the spirit of Muur. When asked by Cade Skywalker a century later why she had not simply buried the Sith artifact somewhere, Morne replied that she could not take the chance that someone weaker than herself would find it and set loose an army of rakghouls upon the galaxy. Morne also explained that she had found methods of imprisoning the spirit of Muur within herself and had gone into self-exile for the protection of all.
While Morne did not make friends, she did become allies with people who made an impression on her, giving them her trust. Zayne Carrick had made an impression on her while they were on Jebble, and before she was sealed in the oubliette, Morne asked him to transport her to the Covenant's secret storehouse for Sith artifacts on Odryn, where she hoped that researchers would be able to help her. She trusted him to somehow find a way to help her affliction and gave him her key to the storehouse. Upon her awakening by Lord Vader, and learning the fate of the galaxy, Morne was despondent, believing that Carrick had failed her. Not until the death of Lord Krayt on Had Abbadon did she finally understand that Zayne had not failed her in that he had sent Cade Skywalker to help her. Morne judged Skywalker strong enough to withstand Karness Muur, and trusting him to destroy the Muur Talisman, she allowed Skywalker to kill her and end her imprisonment.
Powers and abilitiesEdit
- "Blasted Neo-Crusader armor! Forget finesse—this is going to have to be hack-and-slash."
- ―Celeste Morne to Zayne Carrick as the Mandalorians turn into rakghouls
As a Shadow, Celeste Morne was trained to live her life as a sleeper agent for the Covenant, living her daily life until summoned for a mission. She was secretive and unorthodox, taking pains to avoid dressing as a Jedi, and she rarely used her lightsaber in public. In order to fulfill her duty and follow the Covenant's mandate in using all means necessary to bring about a successful conclusion to an assignment, Morne was skilled in using many forms of subterfuge, both with the Force and without. Fluent in the Bocce language, Morne also developed an ability to move quietly in many types of environments, such as the Undercity on Taris, and the ice fields of Jebble. Calling upon her Force powers, Morne was proficient in persuading or confusing her enemies and opponents into following her commands; these actions could include performing a specific action, as she did with Pulsipher aboard the Mar'eyce, or clouding an individual's perception so as to be able to move about undetected, a form of Force cloak referred to as Force Haze. Likewise, Morne could communicate with individuals through the Force.
During combat, Morne was skilled in using a lightsaber, often using the Force to gain a small height advantage over her enemies and to augment the strength of her blows. Furthermore, she was talented with the use of telekinesis, using the Force power to hurl enemies and objects away from her. Morne also had the ability to use the Force as protection from an opponent's attacks. After bonding with the Muur Talisman, Morne gained the ability to employ Sith magic in transforming certain species into rakghouls and directing the mutants according to her will. Moreover, she drew upon the Talisman's dark side power in combat, unleashing raw energy at her enemies.
Behind the scenesEdit
The character Celeste Morne was created to be the central figure of Star Wars: Vector, a yearlong event storyline that crossed over between four of the Star Wars comic book lines published by Dark Horse Comics: Knights of the Old Republic, Dark Times, Rebellion, and Legacy. John Ostrander, the writer for the Legacy series, explained that Morne was created early on in the conception of the story arc for it was recognized that in order to unify the crossover, a single character that the readers could identify with was needed. Furthermore, it was felt that a single character would eliminate the need for elaborate explanations as to the fate of the Muur Talisman; the Talisman could have created a new vessel during each of the eras, but then the story would have had to explain their disappearance as well as the Talisman's. The developers had also decided that with a new character they would have the opportunity to explore the protagonist's personality and ultimately decide the manner in which the character would exit the Star Wars universe.
Morne made her first appearance in a scene in which she is fighting a group of rakghouls in Knights of the Old Republic 25: Vector, Part 1, drawn by artist Scott Hepburn. Jan Duursema, a fan-favorite artist from the Legacy series, was the first to recommend bringing the rakghouls into the story, as well as being heavily involved in designing Morne's physical appearance. Duursema disclosed that the goal was for Morne to have a "tough" look, in addition to having a "Sleeping Beauty" aspect.
John Jackson Miller, writer for the Knights of the Old Republic series and one of the architects of Vector, was the individual responsible for originating the idea that Morne would be a secret agent of the Jedi Covenant as means to explain why a prominent character was not recognized in the history of the Star Wars universe. As the writer tasked with introducing Morne into the story arc, Miller built a number of threads into the story concerning her potential future developments, however, he had already decided early on as to how Morne would be making her exit from the Old Republic era. One such "red herring," led the reader toward the possibility that Morne was the Jedi Exile, the heroine of the video game Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords. Another means of misdirection was presented on the cover of Knights of the Old Republic 29: Exalted, Part 1; the artwork depicted Jarael disguised as Morne, leading the reader to believe that Morne had not left the Old Republic era, contrary to the earlier storyline.
Beyond having been confirmed as a Covenant Shadow, there has not been a definitive Jedi rank established for Celeste Morne. In the Knights of the Old Republic Campaign Guide, she is listed as a Jedi Knight, while in Rebellion and Legacy Morne is referred to as Master.
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic Handbook
- Knights of the Old Republic Campaign Guide
- "Blaster"—Star Wars Insider 105
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- "Blaster"—Star Wars Insider 107
- "Blaster"—Star Wars Insider 130
- Book of Sith: Secrets from the Dark Side
- Star Wars: The Old Republic Encyclopedia