- "Now you're just being insulting."
"Which angers you, because you're approximately still among the living. The dead don't take offense, Charsae Saal."
- ―Chara and Luke Skywalker
Charsae Saal was a male Kel Dor and Baran Do Sage who was born during the Republic Classic era and was a young child when the Jedi Order was purged. He was trained as a Baran Do Sage by Master of the Order Koro Ziil and later became the Order's senior combat instructor. In 43.5 ABY, former Jedi Grand Master Luke Skywalker—recently exiled for failing to prevent Sith Lord Darth Caedus's fall to the dark side—and his son, Jedi Knight Ben Skywalker, arrived on Dorin to seek out Ziil. For one day, Saal briefly trained Ben in combat techniques, but on that day Saal decided to join the Hidden Ones, a secret sect of the Baran Do tasked with preserving their knowledge. The next day, Saal held his dying ceremony, a rite for sages before joining the Hidden Ones, where they pretended to give themselves over to the Force and die. However, Luke was not fooled by Saal's "death," and he and Ben searched the site of the ceremony. The Skywalkers discovered a secret underground chamber, where they found Saal alive and well, and accompanied him to the Hidden Ones' secret headquarters, the Caverns of the Hidden One.
Upon their arrival in the caverns, Saal took the name of "Chara" and gave the Skywalkers a tour of the caverns, revealing to them that in order to protect the secrecy of the Hidden Ones, they would never be allowed to leave. He later dueled with the skilled fighter Ithia and defeated her easily—something he had difficulty doing before Ithia had joined the Hidden Ones. Soon after, Luke, in order to prove his theory that the Hidden Ones were growing weaker in the Force, suggested that Ben duel Chara. Ben emerged the victor, despite Chara being his superior. Ziil, who had become the leader of the Hidden Ones, then confronted Luke in a battle of Force powers, in which Luke prevailed. The Hidden Ones then rebelled and returned to the Baran Do on the surface.
- "I was just a small child when it happened. The day the Jedi disappeared from the galaxy."
- ―Charsae Saal
Charsae Saal was a Force-sensitive Kel Dor from the planet Dorin who was born sometime prior to the Great Jedi Purge in 19 BBY and was very young when the Purge occurred. Saal was trained by Master of the Order Koro Ziil as a sage of the Baran Do, a Force organization based on his homeworld. Saal was one of the few sages to receive combat training, and was thus one of the best. Around 23 ABY, Ziil swore him to secrecy and told him about the Hidden Ones, a secret sect of the Baran Do dedicated to preserving their knowledge; should the Baran Do ever be exterminated, the organization could someday be restored. Their leader was known as the Hidden One, who was, at that time, Tokra Hazz. Ziil decided to tell him, because he knew that one day Saal would want to join the Hidden Ones.
Saal frequently dueled with fellow sage Ithia, who was one of the Baran Do's best combatants. At some point in time, Saal took the female Kel Dor Tistura Paan as his apprentice, although she would later become the apprentice of Mistress of the Order Tila Mong. He also composed his memoirs and some instructional manuals at some point.
Joining the Hidden Ones
- "I apologize for the intrusion. Master Charsae Saal, you look very good for one who is recently deceased."
- ―Luke Skywalker, after finding Saal alive and well after his farewell ceremony
In 43.5 ABY, Jedi Grand Master Luke Skywalker was exiled from the galactic capital of Coruscant and the New Jedi Order for failing to prevent Jedi Knight Jacen Solo's turn to the dark side of the Force and transformation into the Sith Lord Darth Caedus. He and his son, Ben Skywalker, traveled to Dorin to search for Ziil in the hopes of finding out more about what might have caused Solo's fall to the dark side. Tistura Paan met with the Skywalkers at the Baran Do temple. As a tradition between rival martial schools, Paan, a student of the Baran Do Mistress of the Order, and Ben, a student of the Jedi Grand Master, were required to duel in order for the Skywalkers to be granted access to the temple. Ben dueled Paan and defeated her. Mong subsequently informed the Skywalkers that Zill had "accepted death," and the Skywalkers decided to stay to learn what they could anyway.
Saal, who by that time had become the senior combat instructor at the temple, trained Ben in combat the day after the Skywalkers arrived. It was on that day, however, that Saal decided that it was time for him to leave his current life behind and join the Hidden Ones. Before doing so, he gave Paan a datacard with his recently completed instruction manuals and memoirs. Luke, Ben, and many of the Baran Do Sages attended Saal's dying ceremony, in which Saal pretended to give himself over to the Force as a burst of flames enveloped him, set off by a small spark of lightning from Mong. Instead of dying, however, a trapdoor was triggered, and Saal hid his presence in the Force as he disappeared. However, Luke was not fooled by Saal's apparent death; after the ceremony, the Skywalkers searched the area around Saal's pyre. They discovered a door that could easily be triggered by the Force, underneath which they found what seemed to be a storage chamber. Saal and Mong were there, along with two other sages, and all of them were alive and well.
The Skywalkers inferred that Ziil had, in fact, not died either and expressed their desire to go with Saal to wherever it was that he would go next. The Baran Do agreed to allow the Skywalkers to accompany Saal to the home of the Hidden Ones. Once they arrived at the caverns, Saal took on the name of "Chara," refusing to be addressed by his old name. He toured the caverns with the Skywalkers and told them that once they had come to the caverns, they could never leave, in order to protect the sect's secrecy. Chara also revealed to the Skywalkers that Ziil was now the Hidden Ones' leader, known simply as "the Hidden One."
Return to the sages
- "I am this boy's superior in fighting skill. I am strong in the Force. But he won. He won through the will to win. Through conviction, through strength of purpose. I lost because I lack these things."
- ―Chara, after being defeated in a duel with Ben Skywalker
A few days later, Chara faced fellow Hidden One Ithia—who was formerly considered the best combatant of the Baran Do Sages—in a friendly duel. Although she had always been superior to him in combat, he defeated her. That supported Luke's growing belief that, in accepting their deaths—turning their backs on the life, energy, and vitality that was the Force—the Hidden Ones had all but turned their backs on the Force, and were growing weaker every passing day, losing their will to fight and survive.
Luke later called the Hidden Ones to Ziil's throne chamber for a naming ceremony, the rite in which new members of the Hidden Ones took on new names. To Ziil's great dismay, rather than choosing his own new name, Luke expressed his desire to rename many of them, beginning with Chara. Chara refused to go by his old name, and Luke eventually proposed a duel between Chara and Ben in order to prove his theory that, in accepting death, the Hidden Ones were losing their strength in the Force. He promised that if Ben lost, he would agree to drop the subject for the rest of his life in the caverns.
As he hoped to ensure that the Skywalkers would never leave, Ziil saw that as too good an opportunity to pass up and allowed the duel to commence. Chara struck first, injuring Ben's ankle and pushing the advantage, but Ben kept the will to win and never gave up. He landed a couple of blows on Chara and at last finished the Kel Dor off with a blow to the chin from his palm. Though Chara was by far Ben's superior in skill, he lost to the young Jedi in the duel. Chara and the Hidden Ones at last began to believe Luke. Ziil, however, still would not listen and attacked the exiled Grand Master with white Force lightning. A duel of Force powers ensued, from which Luke emerged the victor, leaving Ziil collapsed on the ground. Chara was one of the first to check on Ziil's condition, and he assisted Ithia in rolling Ziil over so that he could try to sit up. Even in defeat, Ziil still attempted to control the sect, but many of the Hidden Ones turned against him; even Chara began to realize Ziil was wrong. Ben used the Force to trigger a set of explosives and cut off the only known exit from the caverns, then proceeded to inform the Hidden Ones of the many lies which Ziil had told them. Eventually, another member of the Hidden Ones, Burra, revealed a secret turbolift chamber from the caverns back to the surface of Dorin, and they returned to the surface and life.
Personality and traits
- "No, Master. He may be right."
- ―Chara, on Luke's theory, after losing his duel with Ben
Charsae Saal was a good teacher who was well-liked by his students. Leading up to his dying ceremony, many of his Baran Do students and fellow Masters were deeply upset that he was leaving. Saal was loyal to his mentor, Koro Ziil, and stood up for what he believed to be right. When the Skywalkers began questioning the wisdom of the Hidden Ones' purpose the moment that they arrived in the caverns, Saal defended the Hidden Ones and Ziil without question. Still, he was able to see the truth, and, after his defeat at the hands of Ben, Saal realized that he and Ziil had been wrong. Even so, Saal showed concern for the leader of the Hidden Ones, helping tend to him as he lay collapsed on the ground following his fight with Luke.
Powers and abilities
- "I am out of practice, Charsae—Chara."
"I think so. In the old days, you would have had at least two of those matches."
- ―Ithia and Chara, after Chara defeats her in a set of three matches
Saal was known to be strong in the Force and was one of the leading Masters of the Baran Do Sages. However, he was most revered for his skills in combat. Fighting skills were somewhat of a rarity for the Baran Do, as the Order did not require every sage to train in combat techniques. Saal was considered second in combat only to Ithia, and he became the senior combat instructor of the Baran Do temple in Dor'shan. In the few days he spent with the Hidden Ones, he became resigned to the fact that he was dead to the outside world, and that weakened his powers greatly. Though Saal was able to defeat Ithia, who had always been the superior fighter before she joined the Hidden Ones, he lost in a duel to Ben Skywalker, whom he had taught at the temple mere days prior.
Behind the scenes
- Fate of the Jedi: Outcast (First appearance, simultaneous with Fate of the Jedi: Outcast audiobook)
- Fate of the Jedi: Outcast audiobook