"There are places in the galaxy that are grand and important. Where actions and decisions create fate and write history. The majority of us…we never see those places. Our names will not be remembered in the days to come. But we still have our stories."
―Darca Nyl[src]

Darca Nyl was a Human male mercenary who, after falling in love with a woman named Teril, retired and settled in the Outer Rim Territories. His wife died in childbirth, and Nyl devoted his life to raising his son Neas. However, Neas was killed one day in 32 BBY by the Dark Jedi Lycan, who escaped from a Jedi starfighter that crashed on Nyl's farm. Nyl was given a lightsaber from the Jedi who died in the crash while taking Lycan to the planet Coruscant for trial. Nyl buried his son and swore vengeance on Lycan. He burned his home and everything he had, beginning his hunt two days later.

Nyl pursued the Dark Jedi for months across several worlds. On each, he was mistaken for a Jedi and drawn into the problems of locals, which he resolved. Finally, on Molavar, he confronted Lycan, drawing the Dark Jedi into a trap he had set. Nyl killed Lycan and was ready to die himself in the cave-in he caused, but, driven by visions of his dead family, he escaped. Inspired by the good he had done over the course of his quest for revenge, he decided to become a traveling do-gooder, aiding those who could not help themselves.

Over time, Nyl joined the Alliance to Restore the Republic and helped to train its spies. After training accidents that resulted in death, Nyl was dismissed from the Rebellion and fell into a sullen, solitary existence. He was roused from it by the arrival of Rebel spy Wyl Tarson, who recruited him for a mission to Ahakista in 0 ABY. While Nyl was able to determine that Tarson was not actually working for the Rebellion, he was rejuvenated by the ability to battle the Galactic Empire. However, the mission went sour, and after escaping a lightsaber duel with Sardoth and Darth Vader, Nyl vowed vengeance on Tarson, who he was certain had betrayed the mission.

Biography[edit | edit source]

Mercenary[edit | edit source]

"I was a mercenary once, a soldier-for-hire. I wasn't interested in whose side I was fighting for. I just went wherever the money took me."
―Darca Nyl, to Lycan[src]

Nyl, as a mercenary

As a young man, the Human Darca Nyl joined a mercenary corps in the Outer Rim Territories. He served for many years, jumping from cause to cause to support the highest bidder and, after many engagements, he had accumulated both respect as a seasoned veteran and a collection of battle wounds; scars coated his face and back. With his hard-earned experience, Nyl did not experience battle stress and was notoriously calm before missions.[1]

At some point during his mercenary career, Nyl joined a crew which served the purpose of an air battalion. His men were equipped with jetpacks and dropped from transport vessels in the heat of battle to harass and disable enemy ships. Nyl had made friends with several men in his group, including D'Lew and Garrett, who respected him for his nerves of steel and fearlessness in battle.[1]

Life as a mercenary was dangerous work, and on one disastrous mission Nyl's dropship was struck by enemy fire in the midst of a massive air battle. Nyl and Garrett were the only survivors. They abandoned the dying vessel and scoured the battlefield in hopes of joining up with another battalion. However, a stray laser bolt struck Garrett's jetpack and sent him plummeting. Diving desperately and ignoring Garrett's requests to leave him, Nyl was able to grab Garrett meters from the ground.[1]

The pointless deaths of the men that he had grown to like disillusioned him with the mercenary life. It was at that time, on a visit to a backwater cantina, that Nyl met a woman named Teril and was immediately smitten. Teril strengthened Nyl's doubts, and he decided to leave his old life behind.[1]

Hope and tragedy[edit | edit source]

"And then one night I met Teril…and everything changed. She saved me. I quit. I was determined to leave the bloodshed behind. We built a home together…a family…we were happy. During the birth, there were…complications. She didn't survive. And I was left to raise our son, Neas, all alone. He was all I had left. A good boy. A friend."
―Darca Nyl, to Lycan[src]

Choosing a simpler style of life, Nyl and Teril married and relocated to the abandoned frontier. Buying a patch of land, the two began to build a new blissful life as farmers. After deciding to start a family, the couple were overjoyed when Teril became pregnant. However, the perfect life they had envisioned was not to be. Complications in the birth claimed Teril's life, though the infant boy, Neas, survived. The devastated Nyl buried his wife in a grove near their house and tried to hide his despair for the good of his son. He turned the house into a shrine, covered in holograms of Teril and Neas. Nyl continued to maintain his farm and taught his son to do the same, building a friendship with the boy as he matured into a young man. The two continued in that fashion until, one day around 32 BBY, a starship crashed unexpectedly near their land.[1]

Nyl cradles the body of his son.

Seeing the smoke rising from the crashed starship, Nyl ordered his son inside. Grabbing a shovel and a blaster for protection, he made his way to the flaming wreckage. There, Nyl found a wounded man lying in the cockpit. Desperately he informed Nyl that he was a Jedi Knight who was transporting a dangerous Dark Jedi named Lycan to trial on the galactic capital planet Coruscant. Giving Nyl his lightsaber, he urged the farmer to subdue Lycan before it was too late. Realizing that Lycan was probably headed for his home, Nyl ignited the lightsaber and began a mad sprint back to his house but was horrified to discover that Lycan had made it there before him. Neas lay dead in the middle of the house.[1]

Quest for revenge[edit | edit source]

"You know how to make an impression, I'll give you that. You were here, how long? A couple of minutes? Now one of my best men won't ever play the fanfar again."
"He didn't strike me as a lover of the arts."
"Well, I guess now we'll never know."
"He was holding a gun to a young boy's head."
"But do you think to ask why he's holding the gun to the boy's head? No, you just assume that an adult holding a gun to a child's head is wrong. Prejudice…"
―Samuel and Darca Nyl[src]

Nyl had nothing left but his sorrow and anger. Determined to take revenge, he buried his son, packed up all he needed, and burned down his house and the rest of his possessions, symbols of a life that no longer existed. He purchased a ship in town and began his pursuit of Lycan.[1]

Nyl arrives in the colony

Nyl's quest to find Lycan led him to an inhospitable, lightly colonized planet in the Outer Rim rich with ore. Shortly after leaving his ship, he witnessed a boy fleeing a pair of thugs and being caught by them. He drew his lightsaber to defend the boy, demanding they let him go. He crippled one enforcer when they would not release him and was taken to Samuel, the owner of the planet's mining facility and the thugs' employer. Samuel mistook the lightsaber-wielding Nyl for a Jedi and revealed that the boy he had protected was accused of conspiring in the kidnapping of Samuel's daughter Leddar. The boy, however, maintained he had merely been playing with her at the time and ran because he was afraid of what Samuel would do.[1]

Samuel asked for Nyl to provide security while he turned Leddar's ransom over to her kidnapper. Nyl agreed, but only if Samuel told him where Lycan had gone. The mine owner claimed that Lycan had already left the planet a week earlier on the supply ship that had brought him there, but he would not reveal the destination until Nyl helped him get his daughter back. The pair had to wear massive protective suits to survive in the sand-scoured wastes outside the colony. When they reached the rendezvous, they were ambushed by Royce, the kidnapper. Nyl set his large mechanical suit on autopilot while he sneaked to where Royce was firing missiles at the pair. Drawing his lightsaber, he attempted to capture the kidnapper, but Royce armed a grenade that fell out of his hand, threatening Leddar, but Royce disarmed it when Nyl subdued him.[1]

Samuel entered and began firing on Royce, causing Nyl to force Samuel to disarm as well. Royce angrily claimed that he had helped Samuel find the ore on the world, and had been cheated out of his claim by Samuel. He wished no harm to Leddar, but only to force Samuel to repay him. Samuel urged him to finish off Royce, but disgusted with the depth of their feud and Samuel's callous attitude towards his daughter, seeming to value his revenge more, he rebuked both of them and urged them to concentrate on what mattered in life rather than on hatred. Tossing his blaster onto the ground, he told them to fight if that was what was so important to them. Samuel repented, leaving with Nyl and Leddar, but Royce attempted to kill Samuel with the blaster, which was broken. Shamed by his failure, he ran off into the wilderness to escape.[1]

The route to Molavar[edit | edit source]

"I really wish people would stop trying to kill me."
―Darca Nyl, to Jaren[src]

Samuel lived up to his end of the bargain, telling Nyl that the supply ship had gone on to Molavar. Nyl bought passage on a cargo ship to Molavar, but during the flight he was attacked by the crew in an attempt to rob him as they did all their passengers. Nyl fought them off, incapacitating them. However, the freighter lost control during the battle and Nyl had to do all he could to guide it to a crash landing on a nearby planet. Escaping the burning wreck, Nyl considered leaving the thieves to die, but after the episode with Leddar, Nyl had begun feeling that he had to live up to the lightsaber he carried, and adopted the Jedi persona. He risked his life to pull the crew to safety before the ship exploded.[1]

Nyl sees the face of his son in the fire.

After two days of journeying across the seemingly uninhabited planet, Nyl finally stumbled upon a woman named Jaren being chased by a man on a speeder bike. Impulsively acting to protect the woman, he cut the speeder bike in two with his lightsaber, but let the pilot escape despite Jaren's objections. Jaren told him she was a negotiator from a village sent to mediate with an enemy village, and had come under attack on her diplomatic mission. With her was her brother, Ament, a hulking but slow man serving as her bodyguard. While camping for the night, Jaren told him that the planet had telepathic qualities and that individuals could see images in the flames of their campfire. Nyl tried it, seeing an image of Neas. Upset, he stalked away from the campsite.[1]

The next day, as they traveled, Ament told Nyl that the two were alike, broken inside and guilty. When Nyl asked what Ament was guilty of, the other man left. When night came and he had not returned, Nyl left to look for him. Instead, he found and was attacked by a large beast. He killed it, but heard Jaren screaming from the camp. He rushed back and found Ament beating another of the creatures to death with a stone. Shocked at Ament's unbridled fury and inability to stop attacking the creature even after it was clearly dead, Nyl connected it with Ament's assumption of guilt when Nyl saw a face in the fire. After Jaren fell asleep, he made Ament look into the fire, and found a sea of faces looking back. Ament was a killer.[1]

The next day, Nyl found the searchers from the village who had been pursuing them and turned Jaren and Ament over. Though simpleminded and usually peaceful, Ament was actually a mass murderer, prone to bouts of uncontrollable rage, and Jaren had helped him escape from prison. The villagers took them prisoner, and Nyl was able to get passage to Molavar.[1]

Tracking Lycan[edit | edit source]

"You came back."
"You see? Perhaps you're not beyond saving, after all."
"Perhaps. Perhaps not. We'll find out."
―Ensa and Darca Nyl[src]

On Molavar at last, Nyl learned that Lycan had killed several people in a local casino and stolen a ship. Joining a convoy led by a Molavaran named Tooth, he finally found the abandoned ship in the middle of the Molavaran desert four days later. Spotting Lycan's tracks in the dust, Nyl began to pursue Lycan once more, though he knew he did not have enough food and supplies to last for the time it would take to catch up to him in the harsh wilderness.[1]

Darca Nyl aiding Byrom

After three days of tracking Lycan through the desert, Nyl came upon the heavily mined homestead of an elderly couple named Byrom and Ensa. A former mercenary himself, Byrom took him in, and told him that Lycan had attacked and nearly killed Ensa at their farm before heading for the mountains. It was for that reason they had set up the mines. When Byrom went outside to deal with a gang of Molavarans led by Sleeth demanding protection money, Nyl intervened, challenging Sleeth and demanding the return of the money. When Sleeth's men opened fire, Nyl was able to deflect it while Byrom triggered the mines, killing all but Sleeth, who angrily fled. Byrom, however, rounded on Nyl, telling him that Sleeth was merely an enforcer for his mother, Magon, who had a much larger criminal enterprise that would retaliate by killing both the farmers. Profoundly chastened, Nyl apologized for rushing into the situation. He wished to help them defend their home, but knew that if he waited, Lycan would escape his reach. Conflicted, he decided to push on after Lycan, a decision Byron and Ensa accepted.[1]

The next morning, Nyl left immediately. However, as he traveled, he could not overcome his guilt at leaving the two farmers. His desire to do good overwhelming his thirst for vengeance, he tracked down Tooth's caravan instead, convincing the large band to defend the pair in exchange for the right to start a farm on the outskirts of their land. When Magon arrived with her forces, Tooth's people turned them away. Nyl, however, was another week behind Lycan.[1]

Showdown[edit | edit source]

"Something happened to me the day Neas died…the day I picked up that lightsaber. Was it the Force? No, I have never felt such a thing. When my journey began, I wanted only bloodshed, but along the way, when people saw me, they assumed I was a Jedi. And they needed my help. And…I gave it. I gave myself. It was right. It felt good. It was the only good thing I'd felt in so long. And now, Teril and Neas, my darlings, to my surprise, in what should be my final, dark moments, I see my path before me. There are places in the galaxy that are grand and important. The majority of us, we never see those places. But we have our own stories…and sometimes, even when they seem blackened and burnt…when they appear to hold no light, hope, or chance of redemption, when there appears to be no possible outcome but an ending, they continue. Lycan said to me, 'Men are not driven by altruism.' I'll prove him wrong."
―Darca Nyl[src]

Luckily for Nyl, Lycan did not seem to have a final destination and was walking around in circles through the Molavaran mountains. After days of tracking Lycan, Nyl caught up with him and was able to line up a long-distance pistol shot at Lycan. He realized that would be unlikely to defeat the Dark Jedi, and instead hatched a plan in which he seeded an underground cave with mines, Nyl laid a trap. He was prepared to lead Lycan into the cave and sacrifice his own life to destroy the powerful killer.[1]

The final showdown

The plan did not go as expected. When the Dark Jedi found him napping, Nyl ran, but Lycan used the Force to easily shatter two of Nyl's ribs. Sprinting back to the cave, Nyl was hotly pursued by Lycan. Aided by the Force, Lycan quickly caught up with Nyl and battered him with rocks thrown through the Force. Lycan used the Force to grab Nyl's lightsaber, but Nyl told Lycan what he suspected: that the head injury Lycan sustained in the crash had given him amnesia. He did not know who he was or what he was doing.[1]

At Lycan's order, Nyl revealed what he knew of Lycan's past and why he pursued him. Glad to have his identity back, Lycan prepared to execute the wounded Darca Nyl. It was at that moment that Nyl activated the mines. He was prepared to die in the crumbling cave, but a vision of his wife and son in the chaos urged him to live. As a large stone fell from the ceiling and crushed Lycan, Nyl realized that his life could have meaning beyond revenge.[1] With his last ounce of strength, Nyl rushed from the swiftly collapsing cave, taking one of Lycan's lightsabers with him.[1][2]

Rebellion[edit | edit source]

"Nice place. Who lives here? Only reptiles like this kind of weather."
"Someone dangerous. And we'll need dangerous before this is done. He used to train the Rebellion's spies here. For a while, at least."
"What happened?"
"People died."
―Laynara and Wyl Tarson[src]

Nyl as an older man

In his travels, he had found the satisfaction that came from helping the less-fortunate. He had found something to live for. To honor his dead family, Darca Nyl decided to start a life of aiding the helpless, and returned to Byrom and Ensa's farm a rejuvenated man before setting out on a career of do-gooding.[1]

Around a decade after Nyl's killing of Lycan, the Clone Wars broke out, during which Nyl maintained a low profile.[3] They were followed three years later by the formation of the Galactic Empire from the Galactic Republic. Nyl eventually decided to oppose the autocratic government, joining the Rebel Alliance. Living in an Action series freighter on a remote, rainy jungle world, Nyl put his considerable skills as a mercenary to use training spies for the Rebellion. Rumors leaked out that he had killed a Dark Jedi, and he was known as a formidable individual.[2]

During that time, he made the acquaintance of Wyl Tarson, a Rebel spy and possibly one of Nyl's trainees. Nyl came to greatly distrust Tarson, considering him a double-crosser. Eventually, some of Nyl's students were killed during training, and the Alliance declined to continue its use of Nyl's services. Abandoned, he remained living in the freighter all alone, carving a vast array of statues of Teril and Neas to occupy his lonely hermitage.[2]

Return to action[edit | edit source]

"I don't care, Tarson. You know that? I don't care that you're obviously not doing this for the Rebellion. I don't care that you've lied to all of us this entire time. I want to thank you. To be involved again…it feels good."
―Darca Nyl, to Wyl Tarson[src]

In 0 ABY, Nyl's home was entered by Tarson, Laynara, and Baco Par. Nyl, by now a grizzled old veteran, attacked the intruders, but was stopped when Laynara turned on the light and threatened to destroy his racks of carvings if he did not hear them out. Recognizing Tarson in the light, Nyl gave him a chance to speak. Tarson told him that he had been assigned to a mission on Ahakista, and asked the old commando to aid him and the other team members. Nyl declined, completely mistrusting Tarson. After Laynara appealed to his love for Teril and his desire to do something with his life, however, he agreed to come along. However, he remained deeply suspicious of Tarson, and made a point to tell him that he would be watching the younger man for any signs of betrayal.[2]

As their ship approached Ahakista, they were surprised to find a large Imperial fleet in orbit. Only at the last minute was Tarson able to broadcast the signal that cleared the group to land safely. They put down at the Daystar Casino, where they were greeted by Sardoth, the owner. Sardoth explained that there was great local unrest on the world, which the Empire was attempting to suppress. After setting in, Nyl was summoned to speak with Sardoth in his office. The casino proprietor showed Nyl a vast collection of lightsabers. He had noticed that Nyl carried Lycan's lightsaber and wished to inquire if he was a Jedi; Nyl replied that he was not, and declined Sardoth's offer to buy his lightsaber.[2]

The next day, Sardoth escorted the group to a meeting with the Ahakistan resistance and a suborned Imperial Intelligence officer, Captain Rasha Bex. Sardoth revealed their full mission: they were to strike at the Hub, an Imperial Navy computer center. Sardoth could lead them through an underground tunnel network to an entrance to the Hub, but they required the aid of the resistance, led by Dunlan, to breach the energy field guarding that entrance. He would not give it, but Tarson came up with an alternate plan, relying on Bex to disable the energy field. They immediately began to implement it.[2]

Nyl, Tarson, Par, Laynara, and Sardoth entered the tunnel system, with Tarson and Nyl dealing with the stormtrooper sentries. While the others went ahead, Nyl confessed to Tarson that he knew the other was not working for the Rebellion—Tarson was, in fact, working for the crime lord Raze. While he was glad to be involved in the fight against the Empire again, he would remain watchful of Tarson. When Tarson was attacked by one of the creatures that lived in the tunnels, Nyl rushed to save him, though Laynara shot the beast first.[2]

Nyl duels Sardoth

When the group reached the entrance, they found the energy field still active. While the others waited for Bex to bring it down, Nyl decided to scout and see if there might be another way around. Sardoth followed him into the tunnels, away from the others, and confronted him, revealing that he had once been Lycan's apprentice and was a Dark Jedi himself. He attacked, and the two engaged in a lightsaber duel, with Nyl taking a wound to the shoulder. However, sensing Sardoth's use of the Force, Darth Vader himself appeared in the tunnels, determined to cut down the other Force-user. While he concentrated on Sardoth, Nyl was able to land a glancing blow to Vader's helmet. Vader Force-pushed him away, and Nyl watched the Dark Lord of the Sith kill Sardoth before he fled into the tunnels. He escaped into a pipe system and, seeing Par dead, decided that Tarson had indeed betrayed the group, and vowed vengeance.[2]

Personality and traits[edit | edit source]

"You remind me of him a long time ago. Angry. Guilty. Struggling with yourself. You carry it so long, it turns you into whatever you're chasing. You can let it all go, Darca. He did, eventually."
"I wish…I wish you were right."
―Ensa and Darca Nyl[src]

Darca Nyl with drawn lightsaber

Darca Nyl had brown hair, green eyes, and fair skin. Nyl was a talented mercenary with a longstanding career. In combat, he was known for his nerves of steel and cared little for his own safety. However, Nyl was known for looking out for his friends and companions and went to great lengths to make sure that he maintained a net of safety around them. He had difficulty dealing with loss and the death of a large group of squadmates eventually led him to leave his life of continual fighting.[1]

He was unable to maintain a life of peace, however. First the death of his wife, and then his son, poisoned his pastoral content. When Nyl's son Neas, the only loved one he had left, was killed by the Dark Jedi Lycan, it threw him into a fit of rage, and he devoted his life to seeking revenge. Although he was driven by vengeance and an intense hatred of Lycan, Nyl did have tender moments on his quest and showed that he valued the respected the concepts of family, justice, and loyalty. He also refused to kill unless absolutely necessary.[1]

Without his family, Nyl felt that his only purpose left in life was killing Lycan. After that, he was ready to die and face punishment for the wrong he had done as a mercenary. After finally defeating Lycan, however, Nyl realized that his life was worth living even without his family or the drive to avenge them. He found a new purpose in helping those who could not help themselves. Though he could not undo his own suffering, he could prevent others from suffering in the same way. In taking up a lightsaber, he had fallen into the role of a Jedi, and he decided to live up to that image.[1]

Nyl joined the Rebellion as an expression of his ideals, but after training accidents, the Rebellion rejected him. Stung, Nyl withdrew into a life of solitude and bitterness, kept company only by his carvings of his lost family. It took an appeal to Teril's love of him to get him to join the mission to Ahakista, but when he did he felt rejuvenated by his involvement in fighting the Empire once more, standing up for his ideals.[2]

Throughout his pursuit of Lycan, Nyl exhibited a tendency to make impulsive snap-judgments of situations and rush in, often making the situation worse. In his dealings with Samuel's men, Jaren, and Magon's bandits, Nyl intervened on behalf of those he perceived to be threatened, but his lack of familiarity with the circumstances meant that he often acted against the interests of those he later decided to help.[1]

He was skilled with both a blaster rifle and pistol, and he could also wield a lightsaber with little difficulty. Despite not being Force-sensitive, Nyl became skilled enough to deflect blaster shots, demonstrating extraordinarily quick reflexes.[1]

Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]

Darca Nyl was created by writer Rob Williams and artist Brandon Badeaux and debuted in the Star Wars Tales story "Nomad".[1] Nyl subsequently reappeared in Star Wars: Rebellion: The Ahakista Gambit, also written by Williams but illustrated by Michel Lacombe.[2] Nyl was mistakenly identified as a fallen Jedi in Ament's Databank entry.[4]

Appearances[edit | edit source]

Sources[edit | edit source]

Notes and references[edit | edit source]

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