- "The Force always shows you the right path… but nothing says that the path will be easy."
- ―Corwin Shelvay
Corwin Shelvay was a male Human Jedi Knight in the time of Emperor Palpatine's Great Jedi Purge. The apprentice of Darrin Arkanian, Shelvay traveled the galaxy with his master until he was captured by the Empire on Coruscant. Arkanian rescued him at the cost of his own life, falling to the blade of Antinnis Tremayne. Shelvay sought revenge on Tremayne, grievously injuring him, but came perilously close to the dark side in the process.
After wandering the galaxy in search of a new purpose, Shelvay eventually joined the Rebel Alliance. In the following years, he recruited new members into its ranks and led special forces teams in attacks against the Empire. Shelvay eventually joined the New Jedi Order after the destruction of the Galactic Empire.
Corwin Shelvay was a college student attending university when he met a Sullustan tutor named "Dimitri Melamor". Unknown to Shelvay, Melamor was in fact Jedi Master Darrin Arkanian, who had survived Order 66. Arkanian had previously scoured the galaxy, attempting to unite the fragmented Jedi Order to form some sort of resistance against the Emperor. However, the fire of the Jedi was dying from the galaxy, and Arkanian felt a better course of action was to train an apprentice into Jedi Knighthood, and revealed his identity to Shelvay and took him on as his Padawan. Shortly thereafter, Arkanian helped Shelvay construct his lightsaber.
Arkanian was concerned over Shelvay's quick temper and insistence that they take their fight to the Empire. For this reason, Arkanian often told Shelvay to learn to control his emotions. Nonetheless, Arkanian was pleased with Shelvay's advancement in the ways of the Force and together the two roamed the Outer Rim, from Bespin to Kessel to Tatooine, searching for Jedi to join them so that they might rebuild the Jedi Order and bring down the Emperor. Throughout this time, Shelvay learned of the realities of the Empire and its rule. In time they came to Coruscant, but once they arrived, their identities were uncovered, and Imperial forces managed to capture Shelvay. Shelvay was subjected to Imperial interrogation techniques that left him scarred and malnourished, yet he refused to reveal the location of his master.
Meanwhile, High Inquisitor Tremayne—one of the Emperor's servants of the dark side—rounded up Shelvay's family in a brutal attempt to sway him. Shelvay's parents were executed, and his sister, Elena Shelvay, was taken captive by COMPNOR. Through her training under the Empire, she came to blame Corwin for her parents' deaths, brought about due to his illegal and rebellious actions. Elena was later released, and her main goal became to capture and kill her brother.
Eventually, Shelvay was turned over to Tremayne himself. For two weeks, Shelvay underwent torture by the High Inquisitor in an attempt to get Arkanian's location from him. Yet Shelvay was stronger than anyone might have suspected, including himself, and was able to survive the cruelty delivered by Tremayne. Shelvay managed to hold out long enough for his master to infiltrate Coruscant on a rescue mission. Once he reached his apprentice, Arkanian gave him credits and a new identity, and told him to run.
As the two fled toward their escape ship they found themselves cut off by Tremayne, and Arkanian faced off against the High Inquisitor in a fierce lightsaber battle. Tremayne quickly summoned reinforcements, who took Shelvay hostage. When Arkanian surrendered, Tremayne struck him down, severely injuring the Jedi. Breaking free of his captors, Shelvay was forced to jump in and save his master, taking up his lightsaber.
Shelvay attacked Tremayne with a ferocity that bordered on the dark side, and the two clashed blades. Shelvay's rage overpowered Tremayne, and he severed Tremayne's arm and badly damaged his face, gouging out his eye. Shelvay then took Arkanian and fled. Leaving Coruscant behind, Shelvay did his best to save his Master, but Arkanian's wounds were too severe. A few days after, Darrin Arkanian became one with the Force and left Shelvay without a Master. After his Master's death, Shelvay realized he had given into his anger in fighting Tremayne, which deeply bothered him. He was haunted by visions of himself at Tremayne's side, and these visions were enough to cause him to be very cautious in his use of his Force powers and always be conscious of the Jedi Code.
While receiving cybernetic replacements for the body parts he lost to his opponent, Tremayne swore vengeance upon Shelvay, relishing the thought of meeting him again. However, he decided not to actively hunt the Jedi, preferring to wait and increase his own mastery of the dark side.
Serving the Rebel Alliance
After escaping Coruscant some time before 10 BBY, Shelvay returned to his family's home, only to find it empty, and did not learn of the death of his family and the capture of his sister until later. Shelvay took to wandering the Outer Rim, making sure never to stay in one place for too long and trying to find his purpose. As Shelvay was a fugitive from the Empire, the standard bounty for a Jedi, twenty-five thousand credits, was placed on his head.
He eventually met Devon Fuller, who introduced Shelvay to the Rebel Alliance, and Shelvay soon proved an invaluable recruiter and operative. Shelvay would in turn convince Fuller to believe in the Force; "the hard way," as Fuller described it. Shelvay went on to become a commander in the Alliance. At some point, Shelvay met with Dawn Arkanian, his former master's sister, and told her of how her brother had trained him, and the Jedi Master's ultimate fate. After telling her his story and consoling her, Shelvay believed he felt Darrin Arkanian's presence nearby.
During Shelvay's time with the Alliance, Tremayne tired of waiting to meet him again, and set about scouring the galaxy for him and his Rebel cohorts. Shelvay aided Kaiya Adrimetrum in her attack on the Imperial governor Quannith of Siluria III, though he did not reveal his allegiance at the time. After a successful operation in which the governor's mansion was destroyed—though Quannith's body was never found—Shelvay told her that he was both a Rebel and a Jedi. He promised to get Adrimetrum in contact with the Rebels and convinced her that it was in her best interest to take the fight offworld, and in doing so recruited Adrimetrum into the Alliance.
Once while working for the Rebel Alliance, Shelvay was attacked by a slaver using a snare rifle whom he had encountered before. Shelvay was prepared and cut himself free from the snare with a vibro-blade, then vaped the slaver. The encounter was observed by Yiggothal and was retold over the HoloNet.
Another story that was told amongst the Rebel engineers was about how Shelvay purified the air within a bottle and then determined, within one milligram, what was in it, using only the Force. At another time, in the Ansarra Rebel base, Shelvay used the Force to measure the control masses of a piece of equipment to within ten billionths of a gram, and from there determined that the unit was faulty. Though the technician he told this to was initially skeptical, Shelvay's reputation as a Force-user convinced him to check the unit again.
Some time later, Shelvay assembled a SpecForce mission, in which Force-sensitives Kyle Katarn, Shira Brie and Erling Tredway were sent to sabotage the superlaser of the second Death Star en route to D'rinba IV.
Personality and traits
As a young man, Corwin Shelvay was quick to anger, though well-intentioned. He was known to disobey his master at times. He did, however, have an unexpected strength; he was the only individual High Inquisitor Tremayne failed to break.
Shelvay was deeply affected by his interrogation and the events to follow, and that time in his life had a significant impact on his personality and attitude. Until meeting the Rebels, Shelvay felt adrift and devoid of purpose. His experience with the dark side made him ever mindful of the Force and the Jedi Code, and he would come to live his life as the embodiment of the ideal Jedi. Shelvay believed strongly in the Force, often telling others to trust in it. Though polite, Shelvay was regretful of not being able to complete his training with Arkanian, and rarely smiled.
Shelvay was much younger than he looked, having grayed prematurely. He typically wore gray pants, a gray tunic, and a black vest. He would sometimes wear a gray trench coat to conceal his identity. On some occasions, he wore a hat.
Powers and abilities
As a Jedi, Shelvay was capable of many feats with the Force. He was able to sense faulty machinery, as well as the Force-sensitivity of others. He drew strength from the Force, which he used both to resist torture under Tremayne, as well as in dueling the High Inquisitor. Shelvay was an adept lightsaber duelist, and taught this skill to others.
Behind the scenes
Shelvay's backstory, as presented in Galaxy Guide 9: Fragments from the Rim, suggests that the Empire was in power for some time before the Jedi Purge began, and was not immediately a threat to the Jedi. This has obviously been overridden by more recent sources.
- "Dark Vendetta" – Star Wars Galaxy Magazine 7
- (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars: The Interactive Video Board Game (Retcon)
- (First appearance)
- Galaxy Guide 9: Fragments from the Rim (First mentioned)
- The DarkStryder Campaign
- Classic Adventures: Volume Two (Indirect mention only)
- Gundark's Fantastic Technology: Personal Gear
- Star Wars Encyclopedia (Under Tremayne)
- The Force Unleashed Campaign Guide
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Essential Reader's Companion