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Got A Bad feeling

I have a bad feeling about this…

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"We will always struggle. But that is the test. It's the choice to keep fighting that makes us who we are."
―Cere Junda to Cal Kestis[6]

Cere Junda was a Force-sensitive human female Jedi Master who mentored Padawan Cal Kestis in the ways of the Force during the rise of the Galactic Empire. At one time she was trained as the Padawan of Jedi Master Eno Cordova, before graduating to the rank of Jedi Knight and taking Trilla Suduri as her own apprentice.

In the aftermath of Order 66, Junda and Suduri were both eventually captured and severely tortured by the Empire, leading Suduri to fall to the Dark side of the Force as part of the Inquisitorius. Junda escaped from the Empire but was devastated by feelings of guilt and fear, leading her to ultimately sever her connection to the Force. She later met Greez Dritus and joined the crew of his ship the Mantis, and during their travels across the galaxy, she was forced to reconcile with her past mistakes and reconnect with the Force. Determined to overthrow the regime that all but annihilated her fellow Jedi, Junda dedicated herself to the secret restoration of the Jedi Order.

In the end, Junda distanced herself from the Mantis crew, forming a Jedi cache on the holy moon of Jedha and becoming a member of the Hidden Path, a network that smuggled Force-sensitives away from the Empire.

Junda also reencountered her old master, Eno Cordova, and worked together to preserve the Jedi Archives. After being visited again by Cal Kestis, the Empire was tipped off by Bode Akuna about the cache's presence on Jedha. Junda died fighting off Darth Vader during the subsequent assault on the archive.

Biography[]

Age of the Republic[]

EnoCordova-JFO

Junda was the Padawan of Master Eno Cordova (pictured).

Discovered by a Jedi seeker as an infant, Cere Junda was trained in the Jedi arts at the Jedi Temple on Coruscant. At the Temple, Junda learned basic computer protocol which included searching the galaxy for Force-sensitives. Like many other younglings, Junda was taken to Ilum to construct her lightsaber. Master Yoda was present to guide the younglings during her trip there, though he left them after they entered the Jedi Temple. Though she was accustomed to being left to complete tasks, she still found the ordeal challenging. Junda was a Padawan to Jedi Master Eno Cordova during the reign of the Galactic Republic.[6]

Peacekeeping on Nameel[]

"If you’ll just wait patiently we’ll get your explanation…of why you attacked a group of peaceful monks"
―Cere Junda to Vurrsk[3]

In 41 BBY[7], Junda and Cordova travelled to the planet Nameel where they attempted to settle a feud between a gang of Trandoshans and a group of Dupei monks. As the verbal sparring continued, Junda was easily provoked by the situation, using the Force to push the two sides away from each other during the heated confrontation. After Cordova intervened and called her impulsive, Junda told her master she was simply de-escalating the conflict. Before Cordova left to record the account of the Dupei monks, and potentially discover more about their culture, she retorted back to him that they were on a peacekeeping mission and not a quest to attain a deeper knowledge of the monks.[3]

Left with the Trandoshans, Junda instructed them to be patient before their opportunity to explain their part in the argument, but Trandoshan warlord Vurrsk was displeased at someone younger than him handing out orders and her intervention was seen as unwelcome. When Junda attempted to quell an argument between Vurrsk and a member of his gang who challenged his authority, the whole gang temporarily united against her and a skirmish broke out.[3]

CereJundaNameel

Junda atop a pile of incapacitated Trandoshans on Nameel.

She commented that the Trandoshans had slowed in their old age and her youth would be an advantage. Junda subdued the tribe before Cordova emerged from his interview with the monks and revealed that they had confessed to having stolen credits from the Trandoshans who were trying to purchase weapons from them. Junda became apologetic to the gang and self-conscious about having jumped to conclusions too soon.[3]

Later on Coruscant, she attempted to explain her actions to the Jedi High Council, telling them that whilst she was too quick to judgment, she acted in self-defense as per her training. Yoda posited that being provoked into battle went hand-in-hand with speaking out of turn, an idea Cordova agreed with though he ultimately defended his padawan. Junda feared she would be asked to leave the Order, however, Mace Windu told her the Council took a more measured approach to decisions and concluded that the situation was rather complicated. Junda and Cordova were then provided with their next assignment, overseeing the exploration of a recently discovered temple on Ontotho. Yoda quipped that he hoped Junda would refrain from hitting anyone on the mission, but Junda nonetheless saw the assignment as a punishment.[3]

Trouble on Ontotho[]

"Next time you capture a Jedi, don’t leave their lightsaber anywhere they can see it."
―Cere Junda[8]

Three days later, Junda and Cordova arrived on Ontotho where they were met by Dylanto Daa, the founder of Daa Corporation who had entered into an agreement with the Ontothon government to explore the temple. Junda took in the planet around her and marveled at the falling pink snow until Daa informed her it was the result of tambic gas freezing in the atmosphere. After he stated that it became highly poisonous if consumed in high quantities, Junda spat out the snow that had landed on her tongue.[3]

As they made their way to the temple, Junda questioned the need for a heavy-armored vehicle to transport them to their destination. Daa explained the temple was in the Fylar region, which had not agreed to join the Republic as the government itself had. En route through the Forests of Fylar, the transport was ambushed. Junda raced outside to confront the attackers but became overwhelmed at sensing everything around her clearly through the Force - except for the assailants. Cordova instructed her to trust her natural talents before she ran off into the forest, where she found a corpse and heard voices around her. Returning to explain what she had found to her master, Junda was incapacitated by a mysterious assailant following the destruction of the transport.[3]

CereFylarFight

Junda escapes her prison cell and confronts members of the Fylar Freedom Fighters.

Junda awoke in a cell watched by the droid En-Threelo, and immediately used the Force to pull her lightsaber to her and destroy the cell door where she was met by members of the Fylar Freedom Fighters. Angered, she destroyed the blaster belonging to Moroo - who told her they did not want trouble - and threatened to throw a table at them with the Force. She was interrupted by Neralli and was informed that her cell door was always unlocked and she had been placed in there for her protection against those who attacked her. Neralli then introduced her to Fylar and told Junda that they were a peaceful people who believed the Republic offered them nothing of value. Junda became intrigued by a group of children who could commune with animals and Neralli confirmed that they were Force-sensitive. After Junda commented she could not reach Cordova through the Force, En-Threelo informed her that he had died in the explosion. Neralli quickly added that they were not responsible for the attack on her transport.[8]

Neralli took Junda to the temple in the Forest of Fylar and stated her belief that history should remain buried, regardless of what Daa or the government believed. She then revealed that some of Junda’s assailants wore the mark of Daa on their clothes. Shocked, Junda decided to head to Ontotho City to contact the Jedi Council and inform them of the revelation.[8]

Joined by En-Threelo in Ontotho City, Junda used the Force to create a distraction that enabled her to sneak into the parliament building where she overheard government officials confirming their full support to Daa Corporations' pursuit of the temple and fight against the Fylar. She dropped into the chambers and accused Daa of being behind the attack on her transport, showing the cloth bearing Daa’s mark provided by Neralli. Daa waved off the accusations and security forces were summoned to arrest Junda to prevent her from contacting the Republic. Junda destroyed many of the security droids with her lightsaber and fled the building. She informed En-Threelo to return to Fylar to warn them of the imminent attack while she stayed behind to buy time. Despite suffering a blaster bolt wound to the leg, she eventually overcame the forces and returned to Fylar, telling the freedom fighters they would need her help in the battle ahead.[8]

Standing with Fylar Freedom Fighters[]

"I am a Jedi, like my master Eno Cordova, whom your people killed. Now, please leave the independent nation of Fylar."
―Cere Junda to Daa security forces[9]

When the Ontothan security forces marched upon the temple, Junda was sat outside of the entrance. She warned them to leave the independent nation of Fylar before revealing herself to be a Jedi and summoning the freedom fighters as the fighting began. She demanded that the enemy droids be destroyed but no harm should come to the humans. Together, Junda and the Fylari drove Daa’s forces back and were able to salvage valuable scrap in the process. Following the skirmish, Junda attempted to reassure the freedom fighters that the Republic would not fight back against them if she was able to contact them and describe what was happening, but the freedom fighters remained skeptical. When the Daa Corporation forces subsequently ambushed them, having tracked their whereabouts using the stolen scrap, the freedom fighters agreed to unify and strike back.[9]

CereMorooNeralliFight

Junda fights Ontotho forces alongside Neralli and Moroo.

Junda later confronted Daa in his quarters, where he questioned whether she truly was a Jedi given her aggressive actions on the planet. She destroyed his security droids in response before Cordova returned to intervene. Shocked, Junda enquired how he was still alive. Daa told her he had demanded his men take the injured Cordova to a bacta tank to heal and protect him, though Junda argued that he was being kept to prevent him from contacting the Council. However, Cordova told her he had already spoken with them and had vowed to bring the Fylari terrorists to justice. Junda then informed her troubled master that she was fighting alongside them. A two-day ceasefire was brokered by Cordova on the Ontotho-Fylar border to stop the fighting and to secretly allow Junda and Cordova the opportunity to see what was inside the temple that was seemingly the root of the planet’s unrest.[9]

The Temple of Ontotho[]

"Freedom for Fylar!"
―Cere Junda[10]

Junda was instructed to wait outside to keep watch after Cordova questioned her belief that the Fydari’s interest in the temple was purely for historical reasons. She eventually headed into the temple to aid Cordova and came up against Daa security forces who intended to kill her master. When she engaged them, a Tomb Guardian attacked and began slaughtering the forces. One of the security troops communicated to comrades that the Jedi had been responsible for killing the troops before Junda was saved by Cordova.[10]

Cordova told Junda to guard the temple exterior from the full force of Daa’s soldiers, and Junda was incredulous that she was being forced to fight whilst Cordova remained inside to study the temple further. She asked her master what good the truths of ancient civilizations were to the natives who were dying on the planet.[10]

CereHoldsOffForces

Junda holds off security forces on Ontotho.

Junda confronted Daa and his forces outside the temple and demanded they leave per the agreed truce, but Daa refused and opened fire. Neralli told Junda that if she could get inside the temple, she knew of a way to defeat the might of Daa’s forces. Junda agreed and held the assault off long enough for Neralli to access the temple.[10]

After demanding the freedom fighters fall back to safety, Junda headed to the command center to confront Daa once more and offered him a deal. She requested that he pull his fighters out of Fylar once and for all, and in exchange she would provide him with access to the Jedi Library on Coruscant and convince Neralli to grant him access to the temple. Daa agreed and began to explain how he devised a plan to stoke the fires of war between the Ontothans and Fylar before he was killed by a blast from Neralli. Junda pleaded with Neralli to stop fighting as Daa had called off the attack, but Neralli fired on her instead. As the Fylari attack intensified, Republic forces arrived to aid, led by Mace Windu, Luminara Unduli, Maslo-Skaff and Odu. Junda explained that she convinced Daa to cease fighting but the Fylari had continued with their assault. She was tasked, along with Odu, with finding Cordova and extracting him from the temple whilst the remaining Jedi and Republic forces pushed back against the Fylari.[11]

CereCordovaTrapped

Junda, Cordova, and Odu trapped in an energy sphere in the Temple of Ontotho.

Inside the temple, Junda found the stricken body of Cordova, who had earlier been stunned by Neralli. Before they could leave, they were trapped inside an energy sphere by Neralli and En-Threelo. The droid dropped a gas grenade into the sphere, and the Jedi quickly manipulated the Tomb Guardians into destroying the sphere and freeing them after Junda compared their situation to her holochess tactics. A blast from a Republic cruiser then pierced the temple, causing a chain reaction that began the collapse of the temple. Junda, Cordova, and Odu were able to escape, however, Odu perished in the resulting explosion. Junda and Cordova saved Neralli and her troops from death by using the Force to prevent debris from the temple from crushing them. As they boarded their Republic transport and left the planet, Junda noted that Neralli did not board her transport and believed she had failed her and the natives. Cordova told her that they saved who they could and, whilst it was never enough, it would have to do.[11]

Padawan to Jedi Knight[]

"You are now a Knight of the Jedi Order"
―Mace Windu to Cere Junda[11]

Days after returning to Coruscant, Junda was summoned in front of the Jedi Council following the completion of the Ontotho mission. After Yoda asked whether she thought the mission had been a success, she replied that she had no excuses for the events and that no matter what they had done, they would have made things worse. Windu informed her that the mission was not seen as a victory, but that some of the Fylari had agreed to help form a joint government with the Ontotho. He also told her that he had spoken with Cordova, the Daa security forces, and many of the Fylari she saved who commended her actions and informed her that the Council were particularly interested in her ability to commune with the Force-sensitive children of the planet.[11]

Cere Junda being knighted

Junda was knighted by Mace Windu.

When she asked Windu what the mission meant for her, the Jedi Master instructed her to kneel and proceeded with the Knighting Ceremony, officially proclaiming her a Jedi Knight. Junda later met with Cordova in the Jedi Library where he told her that he was proud of her and that they were now equals in the eyes of the Order. He stated that he would spend the rest of his time learning and exploring and that she had many great adventures ahead of her that he would chronicle for the future generations of Jedi.[11]

Junda served the Order as a Jedi seeker, and eventually took Trilla Suduri as her Padawan.[6]

Capture by the Empire[]

"Trilla. No. No. NO!"
―Cere Junda, upon seeing her former apprentice as an Inquisitor[6]
CereOrder66

Junda's regretful decision of leaving Trilla at the start of Order 66.

During the Clone Wars, after Order 66 was implemented and the Jedi were declared traitors, Junda and Suduri's clone troopers turned against them, but they were able to take several Jedi younglings and go into hiding.[6] At some point during this time, Junda witnessed the Jedi Archives on Coruscant burning.[12] Junda was eventually captured as she attempted to lure the Empire away from Suduri and the others. Subjected to torture at the Fortress Inquisitorius on the moon Nur, Junda initially held firm under the harsh questioning, even when the Dark Lord of the Sith Darth Vader became personally involved. Ultimately, though, Junda broke and gave up Suduri to the Empire, leading her to fall to the dark side of the Force under similar torture and become an Inquisitor, taking up the name of the "Second Sister."[6]

After Suduri's transformation, she was brought into the Interrogation Chamber to mock and taunt Junda and her failed protection efforts. As she looked upon her fallen apprentice, Junda became overwhelmed with anger and regret, and tapped into the dark side in her rage, killing everyone in the room, except Suduri herself, and all that she came across during her escape. During her breakout, Junda managed to steal several Imperial code clearances.[6]

Over the years, Junda decided to suppress her connection to the Force, having felt the power of the dark side and overcome with fear of falling completely into it, as well as becoming burdened by guilt over Suduri's fate.[6]

Signing a Pilot[]

GreezDritus-JFO

Greez Dritus, the Latero pilot helping Junda travel throughout the galaxy.

At some point after she escaped from the Empire, Junda contracted the services of Greez Dritus, the Latero captain of the Stinger Mantis, as she began her efforts to restore the Jedi Order. She hired the Latero specifically because he was cheap, had no qualms about breaking the law and she also had a hunch that he would not betray her. She had her doubts about him when she initially went on board the ship as, prior to hiring him, Dritus had told her the Mantis was the best luxury cruiser in that part of the galaxy, though she quickly warmed to the ship.[6]

After a short while together, the pair were involved in a scuffle with a group of smugglers in the Slag Pit cantina on Nar Shaddaa and bonded over a flask of lum in an alleyway. Junda would later tell him that was the best night she had had in years and Dritus recognized this as the point when their dynamic began to change for the better.[6]

Junda would regularly monitor Imperial communications in the hope of procuring information on potential surviving Jedi. The pair traveled to the planet Todola following a lead that a Jedi was hiding on the planet and felt confident that their mission would be a quick success. When they arrived on the planet, they discovered that it was the site of a secret off-record Imperial walker production outpost. At the risk of being fired upon, Junda apologized to the Imperials below, stating that they were lost due to their ship's sensors being down and because her co-pilot was sick. As they were not on the Empire's scope at that point, the ruse worked and they were able to get away.[6]

The pair were mistaken for smugglers by the Empire at one point and only escaped after Dritus told them they were delivering a shipment of Kaadu Ribs and proceeded to list eighteen different ways to prepare the meat. The Imperials were so confused they let them go, but only after paying the Latero for his list of recipes.[6]

Junda attempted to pay off Dritus' gambling debts to the Haxion Brood, a bounty hunter group that the Latero had fallen foul of. Despite selling the group the kyber crystal from her lightsaber, the Brood was not satisfied that the debt had been covered.[6]

Rebuilding the Order[]

Another Jedi[]

"I believe that rebuilding the Order is the best chance we have against the Empire. What do you believe?"
―Cere Junda to Cal Kestis[6]

After years of living in seclusion, in 14 BBY, Junda and Dritus were still monitoring Imperial channels for word on any remaining Jedi. They traveled to the Mid Rim planet of Bracca after they discovered that Inquisitors were heading to the planet as they was believed a Jedi had been identified. Upon reaching the planet, they found former Jedi Padawan Cal Kestis on the run from Imperial forces. As he was escaping atop the roof of a high-speed transport train, Junda called to him, telling him to keep moving and that they were there to help him. Whilst they followed Kestis' route, the Ninth Sister was in hot pursuit of the Mantis in her TIE/rp Reaper attack lander.[6]

CereAidsCal

Cere Junda attempts to help Cal Kestis to board the Stinger Mantis over Bracca

When Kestis was in a position to reach the Mantis, Junda lowered the ramp and instructed him to jump aboard. As he attempted his jump, he was sent plummeting to the scrapyard below following a blast from an incoming ship that caused him to lose his grip. Upon his landing, he came face to face with the Second Sister who quickly overwhelmed him in a duel. Before the Inquisitor could defeat Kestis, the Mantis arrived and opened fire on the Inquisitor. The distraction allowed Kestis to board the Mantis safely, and as the ship began to lift off, Junda fired her blaster multiple times at the Second Sister, who deflected her bolts back at her and nearly made her way aboard the ship.[6]

Following his narrow escape, Kestis was on edge as Junda and Dritus introduced themselves to him. She knew that the many years Kestis spent alone trying to survive would make it near-impossible for him to trust anyone, but Junda attempted to calm his nerves and ensured him that he was safe aboard the Mantis. She explained that she was attempting to rebuild the Jedi Order and instructed Dritus to pilot the ship to the planet Bogano.[6]

Whilst they traveled to Bogano, Kestis found Junda's hallikset and, using psychometry, began to play a song Junda had written previously. She explained to him how she was once a Jedi, and that she knew his master Jaro Tapal, calling him a true guardian of the Republic. Before arriving at the planet, she reassured him that he was not alone anymore.[6]

The search begins[]

CereCalBoganoVault

Cere Junda and Cal Kestis looking at the Bogano Vault

Cordova had told Junda about Bogano many times without ever taking her there and she mused that she was the only other person who knew of the planet's location. When they arrived on the planet, Junda told Kestis to find and enter the Bogano Vault which she believed contained information that would be paramount in rebuilding the Order. She also informed him that there was someone on the planet that he should meet and that she would remain on the Mantis whilst he ventured out. Once he returned, she told him she would share more details of her plan.[6]

Kestis eventually returned with a BD unit droid named BD-1 and the knowledge that the Vault was a temple built by an ancient civilization known as the Zeffo. He also discovered that a Jedi named Eno Cordova had previously placed a holocron in the archive that contained the location of every known force-sensitive child in the galaxy and that only someone who followed Cordova's path would have the knowledge and trust required to retrieve the artifact.[6]

CalKestis opens CereJundas holocron JFO

Cal opens Cere Junda's holocron

Junda informed Kestis that Cordova was her old Master and retrieved her holocron as an example to show Dritus. Cordova instructed whoever was searching for the holocron to seek out the hidden tombs of the Three Sages and to begin their journey on Zeffo. Junda, realizing that the holocron could be the key to rebuilding the Jedi Order, took it upon herself to mentor the former Padawan and complete his training. She informed Kestis that she had an experience as a Jedi that changed her perspective so she cut herself off from the Force. However, she still believed that rebuilding the Order was the best chance they had against the Empire. Kestis didn't believe he had a choice in how to proceed with his direction but Junda countered stating that as long as he was alive then he would always have a choice.[6]

Whilst traveling to Zeffo, Junda asked Dritus if he had seen her missing datapad. Dritus shook off any responsibility, instead believing there to be a stowaway aboard the ship that he was not aware of. Whilst Kestis was exploring Bogano, he rescued a bogling from the planet and smuggled her aboard - unbeknownst to the ship's captain.[6]

Unknown history[]

Junda remained aboard the Mantis whilst Kestis explored the windy planet and followed Cordova's lead. The planet was subject to heavy Imperial presence and the Mantis was eventually discovered by an All Terrain Scout Transport. Junda radioed to Kestis urging him to return to the ship as their weapons were down and they were vulnerable. Cal was able to destroy the walker before informing the crew that following his discovery of the tomb of a Zeffo sage, their next destination would be Kashyyyk. The Zeffo had journeyed there long before and Cordova had a Wookiee friend named Tarfful who would be able to assist them. Junda noted that Kestis was becoming more confident in his abilities and provided him with a short recap of why she cut herself off from the Force, including how her padawan, Trilla, was captured and that she herself was tortured resulting in her feeling that she was not the same as she once was.[6]

Whilst the ship was on course for Kashyyyk, Junda scolded Dritus for his lack of compassion towards droids after the Latero questioned why people had them around, and compared their greasy, oily scent to that of Dritus'.[6]

Aiding Kashyyyk[]

The crew immediately saw the strength of the Imperial occupation as they reached the planet. Before arriving, Junda had rigged the ships transponder to transmit Imperial signals and confirmed something was happening on the planet that was keeping the Empire's attention away from them. As the Mantis entered the planet's atmosphere, they saw the devastation the Empire had inflicted on the planet. When Junda informed the crew that All Terrain Armored Transports were attacking the freedom fighters on the surface, Kestis hijacked a walker and helped to take an Imperial landing pad.[6]

CereCalGreezSaw

Junda and the Mantis crew met Saw Gerrera on Kashyyyk

On the platform, they met Saw Gerrera who was attempting to fight back against the Imperials on the planet and liberate the enslaved Wookiees. As the Mantis was not built for close combat, Junda stayed with the ship and monitored for any Imperial transmissions and distress calls. She believed that Kestis following Gerrera was a risk as she had heard rumors in cantinas about his Partisans and the bounties that had been put out on the group.[6]

After Kestis successfully liberated the imprisoned Wookiees and Gerrera's guerilla fighters, Junda intercepted Imperial communications that confirmed Project Auger, a mining operation ordered by Emperor Palpatine, had been reactivated and that the Empire were searching for a second Zeffo tomb. As they traveled back to Zeffo, Junda chastised Dritus regarding his gambling habits after he complained he was missing out on a high-stakes game. She warned him that, if he continued as he was, the Haxion Brood would eventually find him.[6]

Secrets revealed[]

Junda remained aboard the Mantis as Kestis set out to locate the second tomb. Before he left for his mission, Junda told him that a journey like the one he was undertaking would challenge him in ways he had not been before but that she and Dritus had his back. Though he eventually succeeded in his mission, as he neared the Tomb of Miktrull, he encountered the Second Sister once more, who revealed herself to be Trilla Suduri and Junda’s former padawan. Before Kestis could confront Junda on the revelation, he was captured by the Haxion Brood and forced to fight in the Haxion Fight Pit on Ordo Eris. He was eventually saved when the Mantis extracted him from the Brood’s headquarter.[6]

Back aboard the ship, Kestis told the awaiting Junda and Dritus that the Empire had gained knowledge of Cordova’s holocron. He then turned on Junda with the news that he came face-to-face with her former padawan and that she accused her former Master of betraying her to the Empire. Before the pair could argue further, a transmission was received from Mari Kosan, Gerrera’s lieutenant, telling the crew they had located Tarfull and that he had agreed to meet Kestis back on Kashyyyk. With this information, Junda and Kestis vowed to follow up on their confrontation at a later time.[6]

Kashyyyk confrontation[]

"Cal, when I was captured by the Empire, I resisted. I swore to myself that I would die before I would talk. But then this...Dark shadow came."
―Cere Junda to Cal Kestis[6]

Junda stayed on the Mantis as Kestis met with Tarfful and scaled the Origin Tree. Whilst there he obtained further clues from Cordova on accessing the Bogano Vault that pointed to Dathomir and the Tomb of Kujet in order to acquire a Zeffo Astrium.[6]

As the crew ate, Junda described to Kestis how following her capture and torture by the Empire, she resisted and swore to herself she would die before she talked, even after Darth Vader’s intervention - but eventually broke and gave them Suduri. She knew she could not change the past but that there was still a chance they could save the children on the holocron. Kestis, still angry at Junda for withholding the truth initially, told her that they would get the holocron.[6]

Nightmares from the past[]

As the crew traveled to the planet, Junda described the Nightsisters of Dathomir and their powers to a nervous Dritus. The Latero would later tell Kestis that Junda believed in him before he set off on his mission.[6]

Whilst searching for the tomb, Kestis encountered Nightsister Merrin, who had been manipulated by the former Jedi Taron Malicos to believe that the Jedi were her enemy. Following a harrowing flashback received in the Tomb of Kujet, a traumatised Kestis returned to the ship and Junda revealed to him why she decided to cut herself off from the Force. She explained that after she was shown what Suduri had become on Nur, she lost all control and tapped into the dark side of the Force. She became a wreck as, for years, she could not forgive or hide from herself despite attempting to suppress her rage and all she wanted to do was die. It was learning of the holocron that gave her a spark of hope that there could be a future. She forced Kestis to get to his feet, telling him she could not change what she did no more than he could change what happened to his master but that he had to make the choice to move on - starting by rebuilding his lightsaber.[6]

Hope kickstarted[]

The crew traveled to Ilum, a planet where Jedi younglings - including Junda and Kestis - were taken to find their kyber crystals in a tradition known as the Gathering.[6]

Sw jfo cere gave cal her old lightsaber by spartan22294 desntud-414w-2x

Junda gave Kestis her lightsaber to help build himself a new one

She told Kestis he would be tested, but not just on Ilum. She explained that every Jedi faced the dark side and that it was very easy to fail, but they would always struggle as that was the test and it was the choice to keep fighting that made them who they were. She handed Kestis her lightsaber to protect him as he ventured into the snow.[6]

Junda remained aboard the Mantis as Kestis undertook his task. Junda sliced through Imperial encryption and scrambled their transmissions in an effort to hold off the growing Imperial presence on the planet as Kestis made his way back to the ship. She told him that Ilum was their planet and that he should not let the Empire forget that. He eventually returned with a restored lightsaber and a new sense of purpose. He opened up to Junda and Dritus, stating that the hopes of the Jedi Order rested on the shoulders of a gambler, a fallen Jedi, and a failed padawan, describing them collectively as a bunch of screw-ups. With the crew growing closer, they returned to Dathomir to allow Kestis to confront his past head-on.[6]

An unexpected addition[]

Merrin

Merrin joined Junda and the Mantis crew in their crusade against the Empire

As Dritus panicked over what dangers awaited them back on Dathomir, Junda offered that maybe the Haxion Brood would be waiting for him on the planet, telling the Latero that if he was not such a good pilot, she would have handed him over to the group herself given the troubles he had caused.[6]

Cal returned to the Mantis following the completion of his mission with the Astrium in his possession meaning they could now return to the Bogano Vault. To the surprise of the crew, he also returned with Merrin. She had decided to join the wider fight after many lonely years spent on her homeworld. Junda welcomed her aboard the ship, though she informed the Nightsister that she would need to earn the trust of the crew. During their journey to Bogano, Junda and Merrin discussed music and the magick that was required to perform certain Nightsister songs.[6]

Before they arrived on Bogano, Junda took the time to tell Dritus that they would not have gotten as far as they had without him, thanking him for his efforts.[6]

Losing the holocron[]

"By the right of the Council, by the will of the Force. Cal Kestis. Rise, Jedi Knight."
―Cere Junda to Cal Kestis[6]

Before Kestis headed to the Vault, Junda reminded him that he had been through a lot to get to this point and that the Vault itself was still an unknown quantity. She warned him that Cordova put danger into his test to protect his secrets. When Kestis joked that she was actually worried about him, she replied saying she did not want to train all of the younglings on the holocron alone. Junda told him that this test might be unlike anything he and BD-1 had faced before so they must take care of each other. She remarked how far he had come since their first visit to the planet, and after Kestis said he would like to train the younglings his way, she told him that was not possible as both people had to be willing to learn. She confirmed she was ready for whatever came next, but that she would not be in the Vault with him. Kestis told her that she would be with him, just in a different way. She told Kestis that she was glad they found him and wished him luck instructing him to think before he reacted as she suspected Cordova left behind a test that not just anybody would solve.[6]

In the Vault, Kestis received a Force vision that foresaw him becoming an Inquisitor and the younglings being slain or captured. Having acquired the holocron, he promptly lost it following a duel with the Second Sister. Returning to the ship, Kestis apologized to Junda for his arrogance in not understanding what she and Suduri had gone through. Junda, now sitting to steady herself, accepted responsibility for the path that Suduri was on and believed that whatever her former padawan did next was the cost of all her mistakes. Kestis took the opportunity to pass Junda's wisdom back to her saying that their mistakes were in the past, what was happening was all of their responsibility and it was what they did next that was important. Junda agreed with him and knew that Suduri would take the holocron to Fortress Inquisitorius. Junda informed the crew that this was the establishment she escaped from after she was captured and tortured following Order 66, though she never thought she would be going back there. Kestis told her she would not be alone in going back as she would be with a friend. Junda disagreed with him, instead informing Kestis that she would be going with a Jedi.[6]

CereKnightsCal

Cere Junda knights Cal Kestis

Finally reconnecting with the Force, Junda used the Force to pull Trilla's lightsaber to her and instructed Kestis to kneel. When he did, she ignited the saber and declared Kestis a Jedi Knight by the right of the council and by the will of the Force. She ended by telling him that he was now ready, to which he replied that she was too.[6]

As the Mantis left the planet, she spoke with BD-1 about his time on Bogano with Cordova, saying her old master must have left immediately after the droid was activated. She asked if BD-1 remembered the last thing Cordova said to him and sounded surprised when Cordova's final words to whoever found the droid, his last log, were played.[6]

Trouble in the fortress[]

Behind enemy lines[]

As the Mantis approached Nur, Merrin performed a cloaking ritual that allowed the ship to bypass the Imperial presence orbiting the moon. Junda told Kestis that once they were inside she would engage their defense level and sabotage their sensors so the Mantis would be able to extract them, and his task was to retrieve the holocron. Kestis asked whether it would be best for them to stick together, but Junda rebuffed him saying that she still felt the pull to the dark as the lives of every child on the list were at stake. She told him whatever happened in the Fortress and whatever he saw, he was not to worry about her, his only objective was to get the holocron and get out. They both entered their individual escape pods and launched into the vast oceans of Nur.[6]

Upon entering the base in separate locations, Junda contacted Kestis to inform him that she had located the holocron and sent the coordinates to BD-1. After Kestis had cleared the Defensive Perimeter, he contacted Junda for further instructions as the Empire had sealed him in. She told him to look for a control room as she had a plan. After Kestis restored the Control Room power, Junda disabled the shields on the outer sections of the Fortress and informed him to flood the base and swim to the central keep where they could rendezvous. After Kestis had defeated waves of troopers in the Prison Block, Junda told him she was near his position but was sealed behind a blast door.[6]

CerePurgeTroopersNur

Cere Junda battling Purge Troopers

When Kestis activated a nearby console to allow her to proceed, he watched on as Junda expertly took out three Purge Troopers with Suduri's lightsaber and her blaster. While he was impressed with her ability, she reminded him they had a job to do but admitted that it felt good to tear the Fortress apart. She remarked that the prison was where captured Jedi were taken previously and she only wished there was someone left to save. When Kestis apologized that she had to return to the facility, she told him she too was sorry but that they did not have a choice. They agreed that they had to keep moving though there had been no sign of Suduri at that point. Junda told him the holocron was being kept in the Interrogation Chamber in the Fortress Citadel, the most secure place in the entire facility, and that she had opened the path for him to get there. Whilst Kestis headed to the chamber, Junda diverted reinforcements before heading to the chamber herself.[6]

Confronting the past[]
"I know the darkness that is eating you up inside and every day we choose to either feed it or fight it."
―Cere Junda to Trilla Suduri[6]
CereTrillaReconcile

Cere Junda confronts her former padawan

Kestis dueled the Second Sister upon entering the Interrogation Chamber and eventually overcame her, claiming the holocron in the process. With Suduri injured, Junda entered the chamber and told Kestis that she needed to talk with Suduri at that moment. She told her ex-padawan that her struggle was over, and though Suduri snarled that nothing was ever truly over, Junda calmly told her that the fight was over. She told Suduri that she knew of the darkness that was eating away at her and how every day they chose to either feed it or fight it. Still, Suduri told her former master that it was too late for her to turn back. Unperturbed, Junda replied that it was not too late. She admitted to Suduri that she knew the choices that she made took all of her Padawan's away, and that she had ultimately failed her.[6]

She took the opportunity to apologize to Suduri, who replied that she had carried so much hate for her former master. Before she could continue, Suduri was held in place by the Force as Darth Vader approached from behind. Junda told Kestis that this was not good and they both ignited their sabers as the Sith Lord approached the Second Sister. Vader coldly told Suduri that she had failed him before striking her down in one blow with his lightsaber. In her last moments, Suduri implored Junda to avenge the the Jedi. Enraged, Junda demanded Kestis flee the scene as she charged towards Vader. However, her attack was interrupted when the Sith Lord nonchalantly threw her aside with the Force and she tumbled over the edge of the platform into the fiery void below, though she was able to save herself.[6]

Kestis escaped Vader and was escaped to the Tower Transit Passage to contact the Mantis for extraction. Unbeknownst to him, Vader was waiting for him, and the two engaged in a duel with Vader quickly disarming Kestis and using his lightsaber against him. Before he could finish Kestis, Junda arrived and launched Suduri's lightsaber towards Vader, who parried the move. She told Vder that she would not let him take the children, but he overpowered her with ease and knocked her back. He could feel the hatred within Junda and announced that she would have made an excellent Inquisitor. At that moment, Junda called upon the dark side to temporarily incapacitate Vader, bringing him to one knee with the power of the Force despite the protestations of Kestis.[6]

Vader was able to slowly break through and stalked towards the two Jedi. When Kestis told Junda she still had a choice, she relinquished her control over the dark side and instinctively created a Force barrier to prevent Vader from striking her down. Again, the Sith Lord began to break her defenses, but before he could finish his adversary, Kestis smashed one of the corridor windows which allowed the ocean waters to flood in. Whilst Vader was preoccupied with holding back the water, Kestis took Junda, rendered unconscious due to the sheer exertion she had committed and began to swim to the surface. As he had given Junda his breather, Kestis did not make it far before succumbing to a lack of oxygen. However, Merrin was able to locate them and bring them to safety before the ocean could take them.[6]

Looking Ahead[]

MantisCrewStaresTheHolocron-FallenOrder

The Mantis crew surveys the retrieved holocron.

Both were taken aboard the Mantis to rest and recover. Junda was waiting in the main area of the ship when Kestis awoke and rushed in. The two greeted each other with quiet respect, and Junda informed Dritus that this was the end of her charter and that his contract had been fulfilled. She thanked him for his service but the Latero made the decision to stick around and continue to pilot the crew wherever they needed to go. Merrin asked what they would do now they had the holocron, and Junda told her they would use it to rebuild the Jedi Order. She knew the lives of every child on the list would be forever changed, but Kestis told the crew that the destinies of the children should be trusted to the Force. After a nod from Junda, Kestis destroyed the holocron with a stroke of his saber, ensuring the Empire could never obtain the information.[6]

A New Mission Begins[]

Infiltrating a Haxion Brood base[]

Following the events on Nur, Junda remained committed to preserving and restoring the Jedi Order, and the crew became closer as a result of continuing their crusade against the Empire. They continued to perform missions in the few years after the destruction of the holocron, though not all were successful as a handful of leads had led to dead ends which affected the overall morale of the crew. Junda's main role during these missions was to scope and work out the technology of the locations.[12]

The Haxion Brood continued to track the crew and at some point between 12 BBY and 11 BBY, they gained information about a Haxion Brood base in the Outer Rim which they decided to infiltrate and destroy. As the crew began their infiltration, Kestis noted that Junda appeared so normal during missions despite his belief that she was possibly the most powerful Force-user in the galaxy. He also noticed that their years on the run had taken their toll on his master as the bags under her eyes were several shades darker than they had previously appeared. Before departing to complete their tasks, Junda reminded the crew that the Brood continued to launch devastating attacks against local systems from the base, and they would only get bolder if allowed to continue. She told them all to get in and out in one piece before exclaiming it was time to blow the base to hell.[12]

Haxion Brood symbol

The Haxion Brood continued to pursue the Mantis crew.

Junda positioned herself over a chasm wall, keeping an eye on the mechanisms that kept the base running. She could have any turbolift running or any door open in an instant, and when Merrin requested the central heat distribution be hacked into, Junda executed her wish allowing the Nightsister to deal with a Brood hunter that had discovered her.[12]

During the infiltration, when Merrin and Kestis encountered a large number of stormtroopers in the base, Junda remained stoic and instructed them to stick to the plan of planting explosive charges and head back to the Mantis. She knew it was an opportunity to potentially gather intel from the troopers, but decided against it. Before Kestis and Merrin could continue, they were noticed by the troopers and a mass skirmish ensued. Over the comms, Junda shouted that whilst she knew they were having a good time, they needed to drop the charges and head back to the ship immediately.[12]

Junda was not on board when the Mantis began to take off. The crew had faith that Junda would return and were relieved when they saw her running towards the ship, though she was tailed by a small army of stormtroopers which Kestis and Merrin fought off. As Junda leaped for Kestis' arms to reach the landing ramp, Merrin helped pull Kestis and Junda up, however, their leader unexpectedly reached down to pull up a Keshiri stormtrooper whom Merrin had encountered earlier in the base.[12]

Junda headed to the co-pilot seat to assist Dritus who immediately began to navigate a course off the planet and into the atmosphere which proved troublesome. Junda then confronted the Keshiri and pointed Kestis' lightsaber towards her throat, demanding the newcomer convince them she was not there to sabotage the crew. Junda had heard her tell Merrin she was a deserter but knew the crew could not risk having a liability on board. Merrin, in a gesture of good faith, used her magick to create a barrier between the weapon and the Keshiri stating that the new arrival should have the chance to talk, and Kestis also exclaimed confusion as to why Junda was threatening the Keshiri having been the one to pull her aboard. Junda incredulously replied with surprise that Kestis was not doing the same as they may have let an Imperial agent in stormtrooper gear onto their wanted ship, and cited the safety of her crew as paramount. Kestis reminded her that all of the crew had been in similar situations previously, and Junda agreed to let the trooper stay but would dump her at the first sign of funny business.[12]

The Keshiri quickly introduced herself as Chellwinark Frethylrin, or "Fret," saying that she was an analyst and nothing more and provided the crew with a plan to escape. After the plan was successfully performed and the ship jumped to hyperspace, Junda asked Fret what other inside knowledge she had that they might be able to use against the Empire.[12]

Fret provided details of a mission that she felt was well-suited for the team. Junda and the rest of the crew discussed whether or not to hear out the proposal, and disagreements took place over the risks, their long-term plans, and whether they should keep chipping away at the Empire. Eventually, Junda intervened to calm the situation and stated that there was a middle ground. She felt the crew had a responsibility to the galaxy, but she would prefer to not die in the process. She had spent a lot of time meditating on the best way to move forward and to preserve what was left of the Jedi and their teachings but knew there were no easy answers. She was also aware that the crew needed a new mission and to ignore a potentially big lead could be a mistake, thus she instructed the crew they would be taking the mission.[12]

Heading to Hosnian Prime[]

The job Fret had described began on the Core Worlds planet of Hosnian Prime. Junda and the crew headed to a supra-atmo skytower in Chikua City to meet with Fret's acquaintance, an Omwati named Qeris Lar. Junda had heard of the Omwati as he had previously funded a successful operation years before that had saved a system from Imperial gutting.[12]

Hos

Junda and the Mantis crew began their mission on Hosnian Prime.

The plan that Lar and Fret created involved stealing the one datacard that held schematics for a cloaking device called the Shroud from an Imperial garrison on the planet Murkhana. Lar assured the crew that, in his hands, the schematics would be used with good intentions, with Fret adding that its inventor had been killed by the Empire. As the crew absorbed the information, including the unwelcome news that Inquisitors were also heading to Murkhana to retrieve it, Junda started to think whether fighting the Empire was the task she needed anymore. She knew she was getting older and had begun to think about what might happen after she was gone. She mused on what she would be leaving behind for Kestis, Merrin, and for the galaxy when she was no longer around. However, she believed that the Shroud could potentially be a huge asset if it were in the right hands.[12]

Junda had previously heard of Murkhana following her fascination with the Circlet of Saresh, a powerful crown that resided in the Jedi Temple before it was taken following Order 66. She had followed a lead regarding the item shortly before they infiltrated the Brood base to a black-market art dealer on Wells, who told her that it was being held by its current owner on Murkhana. She saw the Circlet as a link to the Jedi of the past and believed it could be the first piece in her very own archives that she envisaged becoming the coals on which the Empire would burn.[12]

The crew returned to the Mantis, where Junda told them this was a chance to do something meaningful for the cause. Though Dritus had doubts, the remaining crew decided to accept the job. As they prepared for the mission, Kestis asked Junda whether the love they all felt for each other contradicted the Jedi Order's rule of no attachments. She could not answer his question, instead telling him that she was unable to simply not care, and that she did not know if the galaxy was worth saving if there were not people in it that she cared about saving it for. She figured the answer probably painted her as a poor master.[12]

Trouble on Murkhana[]

When the Mantis arrived on Murkhana, the crew began their mission briefing and outlined the plan which was the same as ever - the first night would be reconnaissance, and the next day would be the enactment of the plan. Junda and Merrin completed their reconnaissance ahead of the operation, and en route back to the Mantis, Junda enquired about Fret and Merrin's burgeoning relationship, remarking that Merrin’s fire had returned since the Keshiri entered the fray. She said if there was something about Fret that made Merrin happy, then she too was happy. She told the Nightsister that the Force united them all, but she had come to see that some people were tied together more tightly by the galaxy than others.[12]

Before returning to the Mantis, Junda headed to a downed All Terrain Tactical Enforcer where, after forcing her way inside, she met a Sugi and traded a small mandolin for the Circlet of Saresh. She promised Merrin she would explain her actions at a later time, but told her the crown belonged to the Jedi. Kestis was not pleased that Junda had carried out a secret mission of her own and was even less enthused when Junda informed him she saw the Circlet as a symbol rather than a weapon. She told him there had been those who came before and there would be those who would come again and maybe that would be her. Kestis noted that Junda seemed so deep in her thoughts that he was concerned that he could not follow her where she was going, whether through words or the Force.[12]

As the mission later unfolded, Junda reported through the comms that Fret had used that day's new security codes to gain access to the garrison for Kestis and Merrin. An angry Kestis confronted the Keshiri, but she explained her motives stating that she had not deserted so she could utilise the information she knew against the Empire. Junda ordered the mission to continue despite the new information and instructed Dritus to track the Keshiri’s movements.[12]

To ensure the crew could find the plans with less attention solely on them, Junda created a riot by remotely unlocking all of the prison cells and directed her crew to their destination. When they arrived, they were shocked to find a Nikto in the cell where the Shroud plans should have been. The Nikto was identified as Irei, Fret’s ex-girlfriend whom the Keshiri thought long dead but was being kept alive by the Empire. In the confusion that followed, Fret and Irei escaped into the riot as the Fifth Brother arrived and began searching for Kestis. Unbeknownst to Dritus, Junda left the ship to provide support to the rest of her crew and to aid Kestis in his fight with the Inquisitor. Dritus later headed into the fray in search of Junda.[12]

Junda arrived to help Kestis just before the Fifth Brother could execute him, telling the Inquisitor that a master is never far from her padawan. She wrestled the Artemesian away from Kestis and sensed a connection to the energy around and through him which showed her his openings and weaknesses. Deciding to use his own hubris to her advantage, Junda reached into the Force and held the Fifth Brother in stasis, feeling his panic as she did. She was aware that with one movement of her hand, she could choke him to death but fought back against her darker instincts. Instead, she fought the Inquisitor with his own stance as Kestis rejoined the fight. With the Fifth Brother getting desperate as the battle was slipping away from him, Junda told him it was not too late to come back to the light. Enraged, the Fifth Brother broke free of Junda's coercion and slammed Kestis into the ceiling, leaving him unconscious.[12]

FifthBrother-Obi-Wan-Standee

Junda dueled the Fifth Brother (pictured).

Junda reached deep into the Force, and through the sheer will of empathy for Kestis, the Fifth Brother, and for the Sith who she believed misused and misunderstood the Force, unmade the Inquisitor's lightsaber until it was nothing more than several pieces laying on the floor. She used the Force to hold the Fifth Brother in place while trying again to convince him to turn back to the light. Dritus arrived and pleaded with her to help him get the injured Kestis back to the Mantis, but Junda pressed on, wanting to gain some recompense for not helping Suduri years prior. She eventually listened to Dritus' pleas, but seeing her momentarily distracted, the Inquisitor slammed her against the far wall and summoned her lightsaber. Before the Fifth Brother could kill the helpless Kestis, Dritus maneuvered between them which resulted in the loss of one of his arms.[12]

Junda recovered and was able to summon all of the metal in the room and wrapped the material around the Fifth Brother, trapping him long enough for the crew to escape. As Junda and Kestis carried Dritus back to the ship, she instructed Fret to assume piloting duties. Junda felt incredible guilt that her lack of decisive action resulted in Dritus’ injury. At that moment, Junda knew she was tired of the fight. Skirmishes with the Empire would never have the lasting impact that she wanted to make on the galaxy and she did not know if she was the right person to lead the Mantis crew anymore. She understood then that she wanted to build a legacy and a foundation on which the next generation of fighters could grow. The crew then took time apart on the ship to recover from the operation mentally and physically. After Dritus later blamed Fret for the outcome of the mission, Fret turned the blame on Junda, stating her actions were to blame for Dritus' injuries. Merrin quickly stood up for Junda and the crew began to argue about their motivations for being there. Junda decided for everyone to spend forty-eight hours away from each other to rest and for Dritus to receive medical help.[12]

Regrouping on Zimara[]

Upon arriving in a village on Zimara, everybody on board went their separate ways. Junda went to the local library to research any lost information on the Jedi she could find. She eventually sought out Kestis in the room he was staying in to get themselves back on track or the rest of the crew would not be able to. She told him they could not continue to disagree like they had on the Mantis saying it would jeopardize their mission. When Kestis wryly enquired what the actual mission was, Junda told him it was to guarantee that the wisdom of the Jedi lived on and to establish a legacy, something that might help the people who take up the fight after them. She said that there had to be a permanent haven out there for people like them, and Irei, and told him she was worried about his single-minded obsession with taking down the Empire, conceding they had barely made a dent in the Imperial machine. They discussed Fret, Irei, and Suduri before Kestis told her about a lesson Jaro Tapal gave him which ended with the need to take things piece by piece. The pair agreed that was the action they needed to follow in their predicament and to always be open with each other.[12]

When the time came to return to the Mantis, Dritus did not arrive at the agreed time and Junda and Fret readied the ship in case he did not return. Junda was filled with guilt thinking she had driven Dritus away, however, the Latero eventually arrived later than planned. Junda, Kestis, and Merrin all rushed to embrace him, and Junda noted that whilst he looked hurt, and older even, he looked good.[12]

With the crew back together, they formulated a plan regarding the Shroud and how they would deal with Lar, who they predicted would kill Fret upon their return. As part of their planned ruse, Kestis and Irei created a fake Shroud prototype rigged with an explosive charge which they planned to present to Lar back on Hosnian Prime.[12]

Success on Hosnian Prime[]

Junda and Dritus kept the Mantis in low orbit over Hosnian Prime monitoring events with Lar through specially-crafted cams as Kestis, BD-1, Merrin, Fret, and Irei met with the Omwati. Irei presented the fake prototype to Lar, however, he demanded they leave the prototype and plans with him, before he fired a small but powerful blaster at Fret's armored chest, knocking her out. Junda and Dritus were engaging Haxion Brood ships that Lar had ordered when Kestis manipulated the Omwati into describing how he had purchased most of the galaxy's mirkanite mines with the intent of selling the rare mineral to the Empire to mass produce the Shroud. Lar’s unwitting confession was recorded by Junda and Dritus aboard the ship as they squabbled over who was responsible for the loss of Dritus' arm.[12]

The Fifth Brother then arrived, having previously placed a hidden tracker on Irei. The Inquisitor immediately impaled the Omwati with his lightsaber and dueled again with Kestis. Irei tweaked the faux Shroud to produce a more damaging explosion as Merrin faced off against the Fifth Brother. Kestis used the Force to launch the explosive at the Inquisitor which triggered a devastating explosion that left Merrin unconscious. Junda and Dritus arrived shortly after and Junda immediately went to check on the Nightsister, instructing everyone to give Merrin the space she needed. Upon returning to consciousness, Merrin confirmed that the Inquisitor had fled through a window.[12]

Following the tribulations they had all faced, Fret and Irei decided to go into hiding together. Junda worked on making sure the pair's communications were untraceable and could monitor Imperial channels. She saw them as two more seeds that would grow the revolution in the fight against the Empire. The Mantis returned to Zimara and the crew briefly discussed what their overall goal was. Junda told them it was about getting up every day, choosing to survive, and surrounding themselves with people who were going to help achieve that. Before leaving, Fret and Irei gifted Junda a new blaster. The crew knew they would never see the pair again but took solace in the knowledge that they had all survived.[12]

Continuing the fight[]

Between 11 BBY[13] and 9 BBY,[1] the crew attempted to infiltate an Imperial labour camp on Mazah. After the completion of the mission, Junda remarked to Kestis that he had become reckless[2] ever since Dritus' injury[12], and told him that whilst it was good to acknowledge fear, he should not let it determine his path. She implored him to focus in the moment, choose his direction and act with certainty, and trust that whatever the odds, he would pull through. She finished by telling Kestis to trust himself and to trust in the Force.[2]

A Hidden Network[]

At some point after the events on Murkhana[12] and prior to 9 BBY, the Mantis crew went their separate ways. Whilst Kestis was determined to continue his crusade against the Empire, Merrin departed to explore the galaxy, and Dritus headed to the planet of Koboh to open Pyloon's Saloon with a loan of credits from Junda. However, Junda made the decision to begin rebuilding the Jedi Order on Jedha.[2]

She began working in the holy city of NiJedha alongside the Narkis Anchorites, a group local to the planet. They set out to preserve whatever they could find of the Jedi tradition until one too many close calls with the Empire convinced Junda and the Anchorites to relocate to the abandoned monastery located in the Narkis Highlands region of the Narkis Desert which eventually became the Archive. The base took a few years to build, but once Junda understood her calling, she knew she had to do it. The underground compound was expanded to over ten times its original size, maintaining some of the old mountain tunnels within. The natural terrain encasing the Archive provided protection from desert storms and Imperial scanners.[2]

JedhaArchive-JediSurvivor

The Archive on Jedha

Her Archive was operated with the help of many Anchorites, including Brother Armias and Sister Taske, who also helped Junda connect with the Hidden Path, a network of safe houses that protected those persecuted by the Empire. Through their connection with the Path, Junda unexpectedly reunited with Cordova, who joined Junda in maintaining the Archive. Junda described seeing Cordova again as terrifying as she had assumed he died at some point following the Purge. When he walked into the Archive alive and well, she felt like a padawan again and carried shame that his desire to see the Order rebuilt had not been accomplished. She did not know how he would react to his holocron being destroyed, however, Cordova reacted like she believed a master should - with questions, trust, and understanding. Junda said it was a blessing being able to spend time with Cordova again, though she was bemused that the Anchorites fawned over him.[2]

Following her involvement with the Hidden Path,[2] Junda's name was seen scrawled in a safehouse on the[14] planet[15] Mapuzo, along with other members of the network, such as Quinlan Vos.[14]

Family Reunited[]

At some point prior to the mission on Coruscant, Merrin visited the Archive after her conflicts with the Empire led to her eventually assisting the Hidden Path and reuniting with Junda.[2]

In 9 BBY, Kestis, BD-1, and Dritus, along with Kestis' mercenary friend Bode Akuna, sought out Junda for her expertise in locating Jedi temples as well as information on the High Republic Jedi Dagan Gera and the hidden planet of Tanalorr. The Mantis crew were reunited in the Archive after years spent apart from each other. Junda confirmed to the crew that the fight against the Empire was never her goal, but restoring the Jedi Order was, and acknowledged that she had hurt Kestis by leaving.[2]

MantisCrewReunitedJedha

The Mantis crew reunited in The Archive on Jedha

The information held within the archives relating to Gera was minimal, and no substantial information on the planet of Tanalorr was available. Cordova discovered that Gera had a refuge on Koboh and frequently visited a laboratory on Koboh's Shattered Moon. Before leaving to begin his mission, Kestis asked Junda if she would join them in their adventure. Junda told Kestis that while she supported his search for information relating to Tanalorr, she would be staying on Jedha where she was needed. Cordova also decided to stay at the Archive to continue their work.[2]

Researching Tanalorr[]

When Kestis and the crew returned to the Archive, they brought two mysterious devices with them. Cordova took possession of them to analyze whilst Kestis and Merrin headed to the Path's safehouse in the Pilgrim's Sanctuary to extract Brother Armias, who was in possession of the Path's contact codes, from an incoming Imperial raid. The pair ultimately retrieved the codes but Armias was killed during the rescue. Junda was upset at the loss but recognized it was not the first life lost in their struggle, and it would not be the last. Junda believed Armias' service lived on through their determination to keep moving forward.[2]

Cordova's analysis of the devices concluded that the objects were compasses that could be used to safely navigate the Koboh Abyss which enshrouded Tanalorr. While the two provided to Cordova were destroyed beyond repair, the crew set out to find the one intact compass that remained whilst Junda and Cordova again remained on Jedha. Eventually, Kestis and Akuna were able to retrieve the final compass, killing Gera in the process. However, it received damage during their final duel with the fallen Jedi, and it was bought to the Archive with the aim of Cordova repairing it.[2]

Whilst Cordova set to fixing the compass, Junda and the crew held a bonfire outside of the base and drank tea together, taking the time to enjoy each other's company. She told the crew that she believed Tanalorr could be a haven for those persecuted by the Empire and said she would join them on the hidden planet. She saw the opportunity as a way of facing the future together and a new path for them all. She told Kestis that Jaro Tapal would have been proud of the Jedi that he had become, with Kestis replying that he had a good teacher in Junda. She admitted her relationship with the Force was a test and that the dark side was not yet in her past, but in those moments, she thought of Kestis and Suduri and remembered she had the choice to do better, which gave her strength. The crew then shared a toast to the Hidden Path for finding a new home on Tanalorr along with the Anchorites.[2]

Betrayal and battle[]

The following morning, Cordova announced to the crew that he had successfully repaired the compass. Their delight was short-lived as Junda received an alert that Imperial forces were incoming from all sides and that their location had somehow been compromised. Kestis told her to evacuate before they turned to see Akuna - revealed as a former Jedi now working with the Imperial Security Bureau to protect his daughter - with his blaster trained on Cordova. He apologized for what he was about to do before shooting and killing Cordova at point-blank range. Akuna then attempted to shoot Junda, who created a Force barrier to prevent the bolts from hitting her. She then told the confused Kestis that Cordova was dead and beyond saving, and instructed him to find Akuna who had escaped on a speeder bike with the compass.[2]

Meanwhile, Junda began the evacuation of the Archive. She was forced into combat in the Arid Flats outside of the base as the Imperial attack increased. Alongside the Anchorites, she fought off several waves of stormtrooper battalions and used the Force to bring down one of the troop transports. She then joined Merrin after discovering the Imperials were attacking the main gate.[2]

CereArchiveAttack

Cere Junda joins the battle during the raid on The Archive

The pair took a shortcut through the base and learned the Archive security defenses had been breached. Upon leaving the base, Junda, Merrin, and the Anchorites faced further waves of stormtroopers, KX-series security droids and Purge Troopers as they headed to the main gate where two AT-AT walkers were attempting to breach the entrance. To destroy the walkers, Junda used the base's exterior defenses, using the Force to push large spherical explosives down the sloped hill and onto the advancing machines.[2]

Junda and Merrin then reentered the base to secure the hangar and to salvage the Path contact codes. They defeated further troopers en route to the hangar where Junda instructed Dritus to remain in the Mantis until they had secured the area. The Imperials breached the hangar forcing Junda, Merrin, and the Anchorites to defeat several waves of stormtroopers, Purge Troopers, and rocket troopers as well as a number of All Terrain Scout Transports. Junda eventually used the Force to cave the ceiling in and block the Empire's advance.[2]

With the hangar secured, Dritus exited the Mantis with four blasters raised and thanked Junda for the assist. When she enquired whether he had heard from Kestis, the Latero assured her he had probably turned off his comlink, however, he had been knocked unconscious during a fight with Akuna. Junda told the crew they needed to escape to the rendezvous point before the main Imperial forces arrived, but that she needed to retrieve the Path contact codes first. She instructed Merrin to stay and protect the Mantis and told Dritus to keep the engines warm. He told her she had this and to hurry back.[2]

Matching Vader and Death[]

"You have grown stronger"
"No. I've only let go of my fear"
"We shall see."
―Darth Vader and Cere Junda[2]

Along with BD-1, Junda returned to the now-burning Archive to extract the contact codes. She placed them within BD-1 and, sensing something approaching, instructed the droid to head back to the Mantis immediately. Bracing for combat, Junda turned to the opposite entrance and watched as Darth Vader entered. Watching him approach, Junda told him it had been a while and that she hoped he had drowned after they blew a hole in the Fortress Inquisitorious on Nur. He replied that it was delusional of her to believe her actions had had any impact. He told her that the Fortress still stood, the Inquisitorious continued its work, and that he had come for her. Junda activated a control and the platform on which they stood lowered to create a battle arena. She told Vader that she had been waiting for him, before engaging the Sith Lord in a brutal duel. Vader began using a one-handed stance as the pair sized each other up. He Force pushed Junda away and commented how convenient it was that they were dueling surrounded by the burning remnants of the Jedi Order. After launching fiery debris at Junda, the two continued their duel. Whilst Vader was considerably stronger physically, Junda used her speed and know-how to maneuver around the Sith Lord.[2]

Survivor-CereVaderduel

Junda and Vader dueling in the Archive

Whilst their sabers were locked, Vader moved to a two-handed stance and remarked that Junda had grown stronger, to which she replied that she had only let go of her fear since their last duel. Vader then began a powerful assault, pushing Junda back against the Archive units. She was able to roll past the Sith and used the Force to pull the burning shelves down upon Vader. Thinking she had defeated her nemesis, Junda took a moment to catch her breath and examine the debris.[2]

However, a weakened Vader emerged from the pile with his suit and cape partially on fire and a renewed sense of rage. As the battle continued, the fighting became more frenetic. Vader held Junda's lightsaber in position but she broke free and swiped his away before he could land a killing blow. Encouraged, Junda went on the offensive and managed to break Vader's defense and Force pushed him aggressively into an Archive unit. Sensing victory, Junda went for the killing blow and leaped toward Vader with all her might. However, Vader was one step ahead, and, moving Junda's lightsaber just enough to avoid spearing him, impaled Junda with his saber, mortally wounding her. Vader staggered away in victory and left Junda to eventually succumb to her injury.[2]

CereJundaDeath

Cere Junda's body was discovered by Cal Kestis

Later, Kestis returned to the Archive and found his old master's corpse surrounded by the ashes of her Archive. He held her in his arms and witnessed her last stand through the Force. He also heard her last words, “Cal” and “Trilla”, before crying uncontrollably at the loss of his mentor.[2]

Junda's body, along with Cordova's, was wrapped by Kestis and taken to the hangar awaiting the arrival of the Mantis, which had helped evacuate many Anchorites from the base. When the ship landed and Merrin, Dritus, and BD-1 alighted, they were immediately hit by grief as they laid eyes on their fallen friends. Dritus tearfully headed towards his friend Junda's corpse, unable to speak, and the surviving crew knelt beside the bodies in silent, but supportive sorrow.[2]

Legacy[]

Through the Force[]

"Cal. Guide her through the darkness."
―Cere Junda to Cal Kestis[2]

Following her passing, the Mantis crew was struck by grief. Dritus and Merrin fondly remembered the good times they shared, though Kestis sought revenge against those who had been involved in her death. When the Mantis later navigated the Koboh Abyss, the arrays that carved a tunnel through the nebula began to malfunction. Kestis heard Junda’s voice through the Force providing instruction on how to exit the Abyss and find Tanalorr safely. On Junda’s word, the ship blindly jumped to hyperspace and was able to escape and reach the hidden planet. Kestis and Merrin subsequently dueled and defeated Akuna on the planet and took his daughter, Kata Akuna, under their guidance.[2]

CereCalTanalorr

Cere Junda communes with Cal Kestis through the Force on Tanalorr.

Following the crew finding Tanalorr and the death of Akuna, a funeral and cremation service was held on the planet. Junda, Cordova, and Akuna were placed upon individual pyres with Merrin using her magick to light each one. The crew, now including Kata, paid their respect individually. Eventually, only Kestis remained, having stayed by the pyres throughout the night. He addressed Junda, acknowledging that she taught him what it truly meant to be a Jedi, but worried that he did not know how to handle what would come next. He heard Junda's voice telling him to guide Kata through the darkness. Satisfied, he left the graves behind — along with Junda's lightsaber — in order to begin helping to prepare Tanalorr to host the Hidden Path.[2]

Personality and traits[]

CereJuda-JFO

Cere Junda in 14 BBY

During her days as Cordova's Padawan, Junda was often impulsive and rash, described by Cordova to be especially more so when it comes to judgments on her character and as such, tended to escalate situations when provoked.[3] Despite her impulsive tendencies, Junda proved herself a proactive and able Jedi.[11] As she grew older, Junda became more wise, stern, a caring mentor figure, and proved to be an unconventional Jedi.[16] Having a fondness for art, she spent time in the Jedi Archives during her younger years looking through different art pieces and as a Jedi seeker, enjoying encountering arts and architecture from different cultures. She was intrigued by the mysteries of the galaxy, even if her Master did not always share his knowledge with her, though together they explored many planets, tombs and temples that were related to the Zeffo. Junda had also begun playing the hallikset during her time as a Padawan which she found soothing. She believed that music could be used to heal, even those who were in the darkest places and planned to teach Kestis how to play when they had completed their overall mission.[6]

During her lifetime, Junda experienced a moment of weakness while being interrogated by Darth Vader and tortured in an interrogation chair when she revealed the location of her hidden apprentice and younglings, leading to their capture and the induction of one of them into the Inquisitorious. After she witnessed the cost of her mistake, used the dark side of the Force to escape imprisonment. Her guilt for her betrayal was insurmountable, and she developed suicidal thoughts, eventually choosing to cut herself off from the Force for a time. She later admitted that the very idea of her using the Force after that was considered dangerous. After her former apprentice stole Cordova's holocron and she understood the stakes in the Emperor having a list of Force-sensitive children, she was able to repair her connection to the Force upon Cal's reminder of a lesson she imparted onto him.[6]

As an unconventional Jedi, she grew to have reservations about the traditions associated with the Jedi Order and thought it to be flawed and held back by dogmatic tradition[16]; she once revealed she found it strange for the creation of lightsabers to be a bonding activity among Jedi despite their role as peacekeepers. She also recognized that despite Jedi being trained to disregard accolades, successful leaders like Taron Malicos still grew accustomed to fame and glory.[6] Over time she had gained a preference for a blaster[6] and preferred to wear different clothing later in her life compared to Jedi robes.[16] Despite this, she willingly led a quest to restore the Jedi Order with the intent of building a better future rather than restoring the past[16] and wished to end the tyranny of the Galactic Empire. She was also an opponent to High Human culture, disapproving of the notions that droids and non-humanoids were inferior to humans.[6]

Despite not presenting herself as a Jedi following the Purge, she still carried much of the wisdom that was passed down to her. She believed that people should remember the mistakes of the past and change things going forward to make sure they never happened again, and the adaptation was important - whether that was a course of action or a idea, people had to be ready to change. She would encourage Kestis to put his trust in the Force and allow it to sharpen his instincts.[6]

Skills and abilities[]

Lightsaber abilities[]

"With each clash of their weapons, Cere hit again and again, matching his style almost exactly, knowing that it would disconcert him and keep him off balance to see his own technique mimicked back at him, and more effectively."
―Cere Junda, during her duel with Fifth Brother[12]

Cere was a extraordinarily skilled lightsaber duelist whose skills improved over the course of her life, demonstrating the ability to redirect blaster with her lightsaber and during her later years, proved to be considerable enough to combat Purge Troopers with ease.[6] Believing herself to be among the most able of surviving Jedi during the Imperial Era[12], her abilities were advanced enough to outmatch and intimidate Inquisitors such as the Fifth Brother[12] and engage in battle with the Sith Lord, Darth Vader, in a grueling duel and nearly prevailed.[2] Cere exhibited an aggressive combat style characterized by brute strength and was similar to the style employed by Fifth Brother performed but in a effective manner.[12] Alternatively, she was also capable of an unorthodox lightsaber-blaster hybrid style, combining her abilities with a lightsaber and a blaster with her agility to gain an advantage.[6]

Force power[]

"Yes. Strong with the dark side. I feel it inside of her."
―Darth Vader about Junda's true power[6]

Junda possessed tremendous power and potential within the Force, with her connection to the dark side of the Force apt enough for Darth Vader to consider her a prime candidate for an Inquisitor.[6] Her abilities matched or surpassed Fifth Brother[2], whom specialized in using force abilities. Towards the end of her life as a Jedi Master, her force abilities also made her a match for Darth Vader enough to contend with him.[2]

She was skilled in telekinetic abilities such as Force push, Force pull, and could use Force Dash in offensive situations.[2] These telekinetic abilities were advanced enough to stop a Double-bladed spinning lightsaber to a halt and break down each part of the lightsaber to disassemble it in battle as well as use Force Stasis powerful enough to halt Inquisitors.[12] unda could also create a Force barrier similar in appearance and potency to a ray shield, a barrier that was capable of stopping Darth Vader's lightsaber briefly. For a time, this would leave her unconsious[6] though she later improved, able to perform so without being incapacitated from the effort.[2] With the dark side of the Force, she proved capable of inflicting mass destruction and killing a multitude of people when giving in to despair, fear and rage by involuntarily releasing a shockwave that broke her free from her interrogation chair, killing all but her fallen Padawan. Though it was not enough to stop him, Junda was notably capable of slowing the incredibly powerful Vader down with the power of the dark side for a few seconds, something the Sith Lord was impressed by.[6]

Other skills[]

Cere was a skilled slicer, having taught her skills to her former Padawan, Trilla, and was also a capable marksmen.[6]

Equipment[]

Cere Junda lightsaber hilt

Cere Junda's lightsaber on her funeral pyre

During the time of the Galactic Republic, Junda possessed Jedi robes and a lightsaber with a green blade, both of which she abandoned the use of during the first years of the Empire[3] in favor of a DL-18 blaster pistol. During this time, she also acquired from Kestis her former apprentice Trilla's Inquisitor lightsaber, which she made use of in conjunction with her pistol during her incursion on Nur with Kestis. During the five years separated from Cal, Junda created a new lightsaber with a blue blade.[2] She possessed a seven-string hallikset that Kestis once found and used psychometry to play.[6]

Behind the scenes[]

Cere Junda is a character created for the Star Wars video game Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, released on November 15, 2019. She is portrayed by Debra Wilson.[17] In the initial design phase for the character, Junda had a cane and physical scars. The production team originally planned on giving her a debilitating physical wound that came as a result of the Imperial torture but ultimately decided on following the story arc of a crisis of faith in herself and the Force.[18]

Appearances[]

Sources[]

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Notes and references[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 StarWars Star Wars Jedi: Survivor on StarWars.com (backup link) dates Star Wars Jedi: Survivor to five years after the events of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, which in turn take place in 14 BBY per Star Wars: Timelines. As such, Jedi: Survivor must occur in 9 BBY.
  2. 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 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 2.21 2.22 2.23 2.24 2.25 2.26 2.27 2.28 2.29 2.30 2.31 2.32 2.33 2.34 2.35 Star Wars Jedi: Survivor
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 Jedi Fallen Order - Dark Temple 1
  4. 4.0 4.1 StarWars-DatabankII Cere in the Databank (backup link)
  5. Star Wars Jedi Pocket Expert
  6. 6.00 6.01 6.02 6.03 6.04 6.05 6.06 6.07 6.08 6.09 6.10 6.11 6.12 6.13 6.14 6.15 6.16 6.17 6.18 6.19 6.20 6.21 6.22 6.23 6.24 6.25 6.26 6.27 6.28 6.29 6.30 6.31 6.32 6.33 6.34 6.35 6.36 6.37 6.38 6.39 6.40 6.41 6.42 6.43 6.44 6.45 6.46 6.47 6.48 6.49 6.50 6.51 6.52 6.53 6.54 6.55 6.56 6.57 6.58 6.59 6.60 6.61 6.62 6.63 6.64 6.65 6.66 6.67 6.68 6.69 6.70 Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
  7. Star Wars: Timelines
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Jedi: Fallen Order - Dark Temple 2
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Jedi: Fallen Order - Dark Temple 3
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 Jedi: Fallen Order - Dark Temple 4
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 Jedi: Fallen Order - Dark Temple 5
  12. 12.00 12.01 12.02 12.03 12.04 12.05 12.06 12.07 12.08 12.09 12.10 12.11 12.12 12.13 12.14 12.15 12.16 12.17 12.18 12.19 12.20 12.21 12.22 12.23 12.24 12.25 12.26 12.27 12.28 12.29 12.30 12.31 12.32 Jedi: Battle Scars
  13. Jedi: Battle Scars dates itself to a few years after the events of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order which take place in 14 BBY per Star Wars: Timelines. Therefore, the events of Jedi: Battle Scars must take place in 12 BBY at the earliest. Additionally, the novel dates itself within the years before Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, the events of which take place in 9 BBY per the reasoning here. Within Jedi: Survivor, it is also noted the Stinger Mantis crew has been broken up for "years." As the crew are together in Jedi: Battle Scars, the latest it can take place is 11 BBY. Therefore, the events of Jedi: Battle Scars occur between 12 and 11 BBY.
  14. 14.0 14.1 StarWars Obi-Wan Kenobi Part III Episode Guide on StarWars.com (backup link)
  15. Obi-Wan Kenobi new series logo Obi-Wan Kenobi — "Part III"
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 The Art of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
  17. SWYTlogo The Galaxy-Wide Premiere of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order Live Panel at SWCC 2019 on the official Star Wars YouTube channel (backup link)
  18. The Art of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
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