- "I'm Commander Chak Fel, warrior of the Hand."
- ―Chak Fel, to Mara Jade Skywalker
Chak Fel was an elder son of Baron Soontir Fel and Syal Antilles Fel. Raised first on Corellia and then on Nirauan in the Unknown Regions, Fel followed his father into the Empire of the Hand's military, becoming a commander of a fleet-arm of Nssis-class clawcraft and gaining considerable battle experience against the various menaces of the Unknown Regions.
In 22 ABY, Fel was assigned to lead Unit Aurek-Seven of the 501st Legion in guarding Aristocra Chaf'orm'bintrano of the Chiss Ascendancy as the Aristocra attempted to lure the Vagaari into war. Fel accompanied the Aristocra, his Chiss guards, and the Jedi Luke and Mara Jade Skywalker aboard the Chaf Envoy to the ruins of Outbound Flight. There, Fel helped defeat the Vagaari, whose attack was more determined than Formbi had expected.
Fel helped participate in the strike against the Vagaari fleet after the crisis at the Outbound Flight wreckage was over, and when the Yuuzhan Vong War came, he stayed in the Unknown Regions to continue his battle against disorder there. By 35 ABY, he had died, almost certainly in battle.
From childhood to commandEdit
- "Actually, I'm in the fleet end of the Imperial military. My usual command is a fleet-arm of clawcraft. And my father is very proud of me."
- ―Chak Fel, to Luke and Mara Jade Skywalker
Chak Fel was the son of Baron Soontir Fel, a decorated Imperial starfighter pilot, and Syal Antilles Fel, an Imperial actress known by her stage name Wynssa Starflare. Fel and his older brother Davin were born on Coruscant but raised by their mother on their father's baronial estate on Corellia along with the rest of their father's relations.
When, late in 4 ABY, Fel's father went missing during the Battle of Brentaal IV, his mother fled with him and Davin. She feared the retribution of Director of Imperial Intelligence Ysanne Isard, who was no friend of Soontir Fel. They spent months in hiding before Syal was reunited with Soontir, who had defected to the New Republic after being captured. They continued to remain in hiding, however, and Fel's very existence was apparently kept secret, with not even Syal's brother, Wedge Antilles, seeming to know of the children's existence. Not long afterward, Isard succeeded in capturing Soontir, turning him over to Grand Admiral Mitth'raw'nuruodo, known by his core name Thrawn. Thrawn convinced Soontir that he needed his aid in pacifying the myriad threats of the Unknown Regions. Soontir became a general in the Empire of the Hand, which Thrawn had set up to bring stability to the Unknown Regions. A few months later, Syal and the children joined him, their disappearance engineered by Thrawn, on the Empire of the Hand's headquarters on Nirauan.
Fel was reared in the Unknown Regions, where he and Davin were joined by two younger brothers—Jagged and Cem, with Cem being hidden from all others outside the family as a shadow child to preserve the line—and two younger sisters—Cherith and Wynssa. When Thrawn returned to the known regions of space to take command of the Empire, the Empire of the Hand was left in the hands of Admiral Voss Parck, with Soontir a senior officer. The Empire of the Hand remained secret, battling against the various threats found in the Unknown Regions. It consisted not only of Thrawn's Imperial forces but of members of Thrawn's species who rejected the ban their society, the Chiss Ascendancy, imposed on preemptive strikes.
Fel was raised by his father among the Chiss and to Chiss standards, becoming a warrior dedicated to the protection of the galaxy, though he did not attend the Chiss academy that Davin and Jagged did, instead gaining his education through exclusively Imperial facilities. Fel entered the pilot corps of the Empire of the Hand's fleet, where he was promoted to the rank of commander by 22 ABY, leading a fleet-arm of Nssis-class clawcraft. He gained much combat experience and received numerous medals and distinctions in his years of combat operations, making his father proud. Fel worked with elements of the 501st Legion during his time with the Empire of the Hand, though not in combat; his skill and role was in the cockpit of a clawcraft. Fel's early career was not all happiness; by 19 ABY, his brother Davin had died in combat.
Investigating Outbound FlightEdit
Aboard the Chaf EnvoyEdit
- "You have to look at it from his point of view. First of all, we're supposed to be honored diplomatic guests, not volunteer firefighters."
"That's Formbi's point of view, not Drask's. At least the honored part is."
- ―Chak Fel and Mara Jade Skywalker
In 22 ABY, Parck received a message from Aristocra Chaf'orm'bintrano of the Chiss Ascendancy requesting that Parck relay a message to the Jedi inviting them to participate in a voyage to the newly discovered ruins of the Old Republic's Outbound Flight Project, destroyed by Thrawn before the Clone Wars. Parck sent the message to Luke and Mara Jade Skywalker. Parck also sent Fel and Unit Aurek-Seven—Su-mil, known by the warrior name Grappler; Watchman; Shadow; and Cloud—of the 501st Legion as his representatives and as guards for Chaf'orm'bintrano. He told them that the task would be dangerous and the Chiss would need protection, but did not reveal to Fel the nature of the danger. He also sent with them a complete copy of the operational manual for Outbound Flight, which he had found in Thrawn's records.
When Fel arrived at the meeting point of Crustai and boarded the expedition ship, the Chaf Envoy, he was greeted by Aristocra Chaf'orm'bintrano, who went by the core name Formbi. He saw little of Formbi afterwards, and General Prard'ras'kleoni, or Drask, commander of the Chaf Envoy's military complement, was distinctly unhappy with their presence aboard his ship. Fel found that the New Republic had sent a representative as well, Ambassador Dean Jinzler. Fel and the four stormtroopers serving as his bodyguard spent much of their time aboard their ship, docked within the Chaf Envoy, wishing to remain out of the way. Eventually, a refugee ship arrived. Its passengers informed the Chiss that they were Geroons, victims of the Vagaari who wished to travel to Outbound Flight's crash site and pay tribute to the men and women who had saved them from Vagaari enslavement, to which Formbi agreed. The Vagaari had been marauders through the Unknown Regions earlier, but were defeated at the battle at which Outbound Flight was destroyed.
Shortly after the Skywalkers arrived, Fel heard the sound of a lightsaber being activated and took Aurek Squad to investigate. He found Mara Jade Skywalker hanging from a ceiling pillar in the entrance chamber, examining a cable which had swung loose and nearly struck her husband when they were arriving earlier. Fel greeted her, and when he requested that they compare notes about the mission, she took him back to the cabin she shared with her husband, being suspicious of spies. They spoke briefly, with Fel lying that he had been sent by Parck to guard them, an idea that did not appeal to the fiercely independent Jade Skywalker.
Fel returned to his quarters and changed into his dress uniform for the diplomatic dinner with the rest of the guests that night. While heading there, he encountered Jinzler in the hallway and spoke briefly about the operational manual he had, asking if Jinzler had any similar records against which he could compare his; Jinzler did not. During dinner, there was an explosion and fire near Fel's ship. The fire-suppression system malfunctioned, and as the stormtroopers were nearest and had their own air supplies, they went in to put it out. They reported to Fel that the fire was dangerously near the fuel supply, and that they had found what they thought was a conduit for extinguisher foam. Fel recruited the Jedi to use their lightsabers to scratch the conduit with a lightsaber just enough to see what liquid was actually inside—they did not want to accidentally unleash a flood of flammable liquid. They did so, found that it was indeed a fire-suppression foam conduit, and successfully put out the fire.
Afterwards, he spoke again with the Skywalkers. They discussed whether the explosion could have been sabotage, but could find no motive for it. Fel offered to let them see the operational manual to try to look for answers as to what aboard Outbound Flight could be valuable, but upon reaching his ship Fel found that the datacards had been stolen, with the fire as a likely distraction. Due to several people having been nearby when Fel discussed the datacards with Jinzler, they were unable to narrow down the suspects in the theft.
Fel spent the next several days mostly aboard his shuttle, though when the Chaf Envoy arrived at Brask Oto Command Station, he, the Skywalkers, Jinzler, and the Geroons were all called together. Formbi informed them that they would now be entering an exceptionally dangerous star cluster known as the Redoubt and asked them all to confirm that they wished to proceed. All did. During the trip into the Redoubt, the Chaf Envoy dropped out of hyperspace, having developed engine problems. Fel, suspecting more sabotage serving as a distraction, dispatched Unit Aurek-Seven to secure various places that would be possible targets for the mysterious intriguer onboard. The stormtrooper Su-mil found Jinzler skulking near the shield generator, but the man claimed that he had in fact been pursuing an intruder himself. Su-mil did find that a repeater had been placed in the ship's navigational lines; however, he was not able to ascertain who had done so.
Exploring the ruinsEdit
- "Would it help to tell you we come in peace, and in the hope of helping you and your people?"
"Not really, no."
- ―Chak Fel and Jorad Pressor
Once they arrived, they found the six Dreadnaughts of Outbound Flight crashed, with most of them buried under a layer of scree. Fel, in his dress uniform, was present with the other dignitaries for a ceremony upon entering the first Dreadnaught, the only one accessible to the surface. While Formbi recited apologies for the Chiss role in the destruction of the project, Skywalker sensed survivors aboard one of the buried Dreadnaughts. They prepared a rescue party, and soon Fel, Unit Aurek-Seven, the Jedi, Jinzler, four Geroons, Formbi and his aide Feesa, Drask, and three Chiss guards began to make their way into Outbound Flight. Fel and one of his men were in the middle of the group with the other three troopers behind, boxing the Geroons in between them. Their progress though the damaged ship was slow, but eventually they found the fleet tactical room, where Fel made a distraction by attempting to access the ship's records while the Jedi investigated what seemed to be an individual ahead. Drask, however, noticed and slipped away to follow them. They were captured by the suspicious survivors, making noise that the rest investigated.
Fel and his stormtroopers brought up the rear as the others led. They were met by a young girl named Evlyn, who promised to lead them to the survivors. Instead, she led them into a trap. Fel's party was cut off from all the others in a disguised turbolift car and plummeted briefly before it came to rest. A voice identifying itself as Jorad Pressor, Guardian of the People, informed him that the turbolift car was balanced between powerful opposing repulsors, with their circuitry embedded in the walls of the car. Any attempt to cut their way out would destroy some of circuity and disable at least one of the repulsors, sending them crashing into one end of the tube or the other at fatal velocity. Pressor further informed them to wait until he came to a decision regarding their fates. With their comlinks jammed, Fel immediately began covering the monitor in the car while the stormtroopers scanned the pattern of circuits around it. They came up with a plan to access the control wires and slowly ease down the power on the repulsors. Putting it into practice, they headed toward the central supply core, not wishing to follow Jinzler's car, which they had heard descending, directly to the next Dreadnaught. In the supply core, they came across the Skywalkers and Drask, who had also managed to escape their own turbolift trap. Drask browbeat him for leaving Formbi without his protection, but Fel could not help being separated from the Aristocra.
The Skywalkers split off to investigate the command Dreadnaught, buried deepest, while Fel and his stormtroopers made their way to Dreadnaught-Six, there to investigate it quickly and move to Dreadnaught-Five from an unexpected angle to provide aid to the others, now aboard Dreadnaught Five, if needed. After arguing with the impatient Drask, Fel led the group to investigate an occupied area of the Dreadnaught. Fel and Drask led the way in to what they found was a nursery for the children of the Outbound Flight survivors. The stormtroopers came under fire, causing the group to retreat. Fel wanted to move on to Dreadnaught-Five, but Drask insisted on investigating what the residents were protecting, as they had been away from the nursery. Fel consented and the stormtroopers stunned the Peacekeepers who had fired on them. They then continued moving, finding a prison set up on the same Dreadnaught. Fel spoke to the two women caring for the children inside, who informed him that the children had been locked up due to being suspected of Force-sensitivity; for unknown reasons, the Outbound Flight survivors had a deep fear and hatred of Jedi. Fel was angered by the imprisonment of the children, but had more pressing matters to attend to and moved on at Drask's urging.
- "Then let us show the Vagaari what it means to wage war on the Chiss Ascendancy and the Empire of the Hand."
- ―Prard'ras'kleoni, to Chak Fel
During their trip, the comlink jamming went down, with Jinzler immediately reporting that the Geroons were in fact Vagaari and that they were under attack by the Vagaari's wolvkil attack beasts in the conference room they had been sharing with the survivor leadership. The Vagaari themselves were spreading line creepers throughout Outbound Flight to shut down the power and kill the inhabitants. Fel spoke with the Skywalkers, with both rushing to come to the diplomatic party's aid. Drask attempted to contact the Chaf Envoy, but it did not answer. The Vagaari craft had been packed with warriors in suspended animation who now emerged to make their way down into Dreadnaught-Five to reinforce the others.
While waiting for the turbolift to arrive to take them to Dreadnaught-Five, the stormtroopers detected that the car was too heavy. Fel prepared to ambush the presumably Vagaari occupants as they arrived. The Vagaari came out firing, and Fel was attacked behind his cover by a wolvkil. It was able to shrug off his blaster shots, leaping on him and biting his right arm. After a struggle with the beast, Shadow arrived just in time to prevent the wolvkil tearing out Fel's throat and, with the help of the other stormtroopers, kill it. That group of Vagaari defeated, Fel had his arm tended to before he made the decision to turn command of the stormtroopers over to General Drask, a career ground officer; Fel realized he could not command the stormtroopers as effectively as Drask could, and would not let pride stand in the way of having the most efficient leadership. Drask graciously made it a joint command.
Upon arriving aboard Dreadnaught-Five, Drask and Fel planned a surprise attack on the Vagaari guarding the aft turbolift, the one they would need to return to the surface. He, Drask, Cloud, and Su-mil planned to attack the Vagaari, driving them back into the turbolift where Watchman and Shadow could ambush them within the shaft. Before attacking, Fel fired a Vagaari blaster a few times, drawing a group of Vagaari away from the main guard to, they thought, aid some of their compatriots. That group was quickly cut down, reducing the number of troops they would have to attack. Fel used his knowledge of the Dreadnaught's layout to find an overlooked corridor they could use to ambush the guards.
The stormtroopers led the attack from the narrow corridor, and when the return fire became too intense, they sealed the door and prepared to retreat. Turning to leave, at the back of the formation, Fel found a line of Vagaari sneaking up on them. Fel immediately began attacking, but the situation looked grim. Both stormtroopers were injured, with their armor wearing down under sustained fire, and Fel and Drask were unarmored. They were able to fight their way to an access into the turbolift anteroom, where there would be more Vagaari but the Imperials would not be so hemmed in. A concussion grenade allowed them time to get through safely, but the Vagaari were beginning to recover before they could make their way to cover. A turbolift car arrived, which they entered, but they found the controls locked down. Despairing of his life, Fel was surprised when Watchman and Cloud burst through the ceiling and eliminated the Vagaari threatening them; he had forgotten about them in the heat of battle.
They met up with the Jedi shortly after that, with the Dreadnaught now clear of Vagaari. The Vagaari blew apart the pylon connecting Dreadnaught-Four, which they had first entered, to the other Dreadnaughts and blasted off, leaving Fel and the others stranded. While they recovered, it came out that Formbi had known that the "Geroons" were Vagaari. He had deliberately sent his message to Parck with enough signal leakage for the Vagaari, who had been gathering their strength recently, to hear it. He accepted them aboard the Chaf Envoy in hopes of having them make the first strike against the Chiss and in so doing allow the Chiss Ascendancy to go to war with them. He had expected them to attempt to steal the ship and flee, not knowing they had brought such numbers stored in their transport. Soon enough, they were contacted by the crew of the Chaf Envoy, who had been left undisturbed, waiting for an attack on the command center while the Vagaari simply left. Fel and the stormtroopers were transferred to Dreadnaught-Six to recover from their wounds while the Skywalkers piloted a Delta-12 Skysprite which had been stored aboard the ship in pursuit of the Vagaari, hoping to warn the Ascendancy before the Vagaari escaped.
The Skywalkers were successful in retaking the Dreadnaught from the Vagaari, and were even able to find the location of the Vagaari fleet, giving it to the Chiss. They returned to the crash site with Chiss forces who evacuated both the diplomatic party and the Outbound Flight residents, who, unwilling to return to the New Republic, accepted Fel's offer of a place in the Empire of the Hand. Fel and his troopers did not stay to oversee the evacuation, however, instead heading off with Drask to take part in the strike against the Vagaari fleet. They successfully attacked the fleet, using the element of surprise to destroy it.
War and deathEdit
- "Chak, Davin, and Cherith are all dead."
"I'm sorry to hear that. I liked Chak very much."
- ―Chaf'orm'bintrano and Luke Skywalker
Due to the injuries sustained to his forearm in his mauling by the wolvkil, Fel was no longer able to pilot a clawcraft, and had to give up command of his unit. That did not prevent his continued service in the Empire of the Hand's navy, however. In 23 ABY, Fel was joined in the Empire of the Hand's service by Jagged, who took command of his own squadron and within two years led three squadrons as a colonel. However, he also suffered the loss of Cherith, who was killed in combat by 25 ABY.
When the Yuuzhan Vong War broke out in 25 ABY, Jagged was sent to the New Republic as Soontir's representative and to provide aid. The Empire of the Hand continued to be pressed itself by the myriad threats of the Unknown Regions, and eventually it ceased existing, with the Fels transferring into the Chiss Ascendancy. Amidst this turmoil, Fel died, very likely before the end of the Yuuzhan Vong War, when a Vagaari ambush of his forces led to Fel's sustaining severe shrapnel injuries from a turbolift explosion which later led to his death. He had certainly died by 35 ABY, when Chaf'orm'bintrano informed Luke and Mara Jade Skywalker of Fel's death during a diplomatic visit to the Galactic Alliance.
Personality and traitsEdit
- "Sorry. I'm just… I messed up. I hate when I mess up."
- ―Chak Fel, to Luke Skywalker
Chak Fel was an open, honest, and straightforward individual. Though Fel was raised by his father among the Chiss and to Chiss standards, he lacked the rigid, intense, Chiss-like discipline and grimness of his brother Jagged, possibly because he did not attend the Chiss academy both Jagged and Davin did but apparently was educated entirely within the Empire of the Hand's system.
He took great pride in the Empire of the Hand's accomplishments and his own achievements within it. The fact that his father was proud of him greatly pleased him. He deeply hated failing or letting others down, though he was willing to admit when he had done so. He was also willing to admit inexperience or lack of skill, as when he turned command of Unit Aurek-Seven over to Drask.
Fel was not willing to put those under his command in situations he would not put himself in; even while fighting aboard Outbound Flight without armor, he refused to let the armored stormtroopers handle all the combat, though this decision was also influenced by a desire not to appear cowardly to Drask.
Fel was well-versed in military matters, knowing much about both Empire of the Hand and Chiss Ascendancy military practices and equipment. He had significant combat piloting experience; however, he had little experience in ground combat and, while familiar with the fundamentals of tactics, was not highly skilled. He was familiar with Chiss Ascendancy diplomatic and cultural matters as well. He was not, however, well-versed in matters of espionage or investigation; he was generally trusting and did not anticipate elaborately deceptive stratagems off the battlefield.
Behind the scenesEdit
The character of Chak Fel was created by author Timothy Zahn for the novel Survivor's Quest as the son of Soontir Fel, a character for whom Zahn held great affection. Fel has only been directly mentioned by name in one other story, Dark Nest I: The Joiner King.
Chak Fel's appearance in Survivor's Quest, however, created continuity issues. The New Jedi Order: Dark Tide II: Ruin, published in 2000, and The New Jedi Order: Dark Journey, published in 2002, established five Fel siblings—Jagged, his older deceased brother Davin, his younger deceased sister Cherith, and two other unnamed children. The New Jedi Order: Force Heretic II: Refugee, published in 2003, filled in the missing two as Cem and Wynssa. All five children had been named when Chak Fel appeared in Survivor's Quest in 2004. As Davin was the only Fel child of similar age to Chak, Lucas Licensing editor Sue Rostoni initially suggested that Chak was in fact Davin, with Chak being a nickname. This explanation was ultimately not integrated into canon, with Dark Nest I: The Joiner King establishing that Cem had been a shadow child known to none outside the family; all references to five Fel children were therefore misinformation and included Chak, Davin, Jagged, Cherith, and Wynssa.
The Official Star Wars Fact File 122 established Soontir Fel as having multiple children before his defection; given the established chain of ages, these could only be Chak and Davin. While that issue of The Official Star Wars Fact File was riddled with errors regarding the Fel family, this piece of information does not actually conflict with any canon and so has been incorporated into this article. Therefore, Chak Fel must have existed during Soontir Fel's time in the New Republic, but no mention of him was ever made, while Soontir constantly fretted about his wife, and no one in the New Republic displayed any knowledge of any Fel children, only of Syal, suggesting very strongly that Chak's existence was kept secret at this time.
- Survivor's Quest (First appearance)
- The New Jedi Order: Dark Tide II: Ruin (First mentioned) (Indirect mention only)
- Dark Nest I: The Joiner King (Mentioned only)
- The New Essential Guide to Characters
- The New Essential Chronology
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 122
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 140
- An Interview With Timothy Zahn
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- Star Wars Galaxy Series 6 (Card: Shea Standefer sketch cards)
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 The Official Star Wars Fact File 122
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 The New Jedi Order: Dark Journey
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Dark Nest I: The Joiner King
- ↑ 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 4.13 4.14 4.15 4.16 4.17 4.18 4.19 4.20 4.21 4.22 4.23 4.24 4.25 Survivor's Quest
- ↑ The New Essential Chronology
- ↑ The New Essential Guide to Characters
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 X-Wing: Iron Fist
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Vision of the Future
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 9.6 The New Jedi Order: Dark Tide II: Ruin
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 10.2 Red Sky, Blue Flame
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 The New Jedi Order: Force Heretic II: Refugee
- ↑ The New Jedi Order: The Unifying Force
- ↑ An Interview With Timothy Zahn
- ↑ Sue Rostoni on the StarWars.com Message Boards
- ↑ X-Wing Rogue Squadron 25: The Making of Baron Fel