- "Tell me something. Are all missions this hard?"
"No," Soara said. "Some are harder."
- ―Padawan Darra Thel-Tanis and Master Soara Antana.
Darra Thel-Tanis, also known as Darra Haariden, was a female Human Jedi Padawan of Master Soara Antana in the waning years of the Republic Classic era. In 27 BBY, she and her master joined fellow Jedi Masters Obi-Wan Kenobi with his Padawan Anakin Skywalker (who was her same age), Siri Tachi with Ferus Olin, and Ry-Gaul with Tru Veld on a mission to the planet Radnor, where some deadly toxins were accidentally released into the atmosphere, resulting in a bioplague. The Jedi were briefed and tasked by the Jedi Council to aid the evacuation of the surviving Radnorans from the Twin Cities Tacto and Aubendo.
A Human female, Thel-Tanis was taken to the Jedi Temple on the planet Coruscant due to her being Force-sensitive. There, she was to be trained to become a Jedi Knight. Around 27 BBY, she was taken as an apprentice by the Jedi Master Soara Antana, who was famous for her skill with a lightsaber.
With her Master, Darra accompanied Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi on missions to worlds such as Radnor (her first mission) and Haariden. On the mission to Haariden, Thel-Tanis was badly injured, after being shot in the thigh with a blaster. During her recovery she developed a friendship with Skywalker. At some point before 24 BBY, Thel-Tanis was sent together with Skywalker on a mission to Norah, where she was wounded again.
She also served on a escorting mission to Nuralee in 24 BBY. The next year, Thel-Tanis and her Master once again accompanied Skywalker and Kenobi, as well as two other Jedi pairs (Siri Tachi with Ferus Olin and Ry-Gaul with Tru Veld) to Korriban to stop Granta Omega and Jenna Zan Arbor. During this mission, influenced by the dark side energies of the planet, the apprentices started to argue rather than work as a team. The situation was aggravated when Tru Veld asked Ferus Olin to fix his lightsaber, which Anakin Skywalker had worked on before they left the Temple. Unfortunately, not being aware of Anakin's repairs to Tru's lightsaber, Ferus' repairs led the lightsaber to drain power faster. This made the confrontation with Granta Omega deadly. Ferus saw that Tru's lightsaber was shorting out and quickly switched lightsabers with him, but Granta Omega sneaked around behind him. Seeing that Ferus was in trouble, Darra Thel-Tanis jumped toward them, determined to save her friend, and Granta Omega shot her in the chest with his KYD-21 blaster pistol, killing her.
Soara Antana unwound Darra's Padawan braid as she cried. Her death deeply saddened her fellow Padawans. Olin blamed himself for her death and left the Jedi Order after this mission due to guilt, but not before becoming more amicable with fellow Padawan Tru Veld.
Personality and traits
Darra Thel-Tanis was described as a slender girl with lively, rust-colored eyes and ginger hair. While she impressed others as being kind and polite, she was also very cheerful, of quick and sarcastic wit, and "crackled" with a positive energy that could almost be felt when she was near. She furthermore possessed "a cool grace" that Anakin Skywalker admired, and she was especially skilled at not favoring one hand over the other, when Jedi were required, as per their lightsaber training, to switch their Jedi weapons from the right hand to the left.
Darra's lightsaber fighting style―graceful, fluid, in constant motion, perfectly planned and executed, seemingly effortless―was testament to her superb training by Jedi Master Soara Antana. Darra's concentration and combat discipline were unparalleled. She also developed her talent for communications, such as the ability to "jam" varied and complex signals—a sensitive gift at which she became an expert.
Behind the scenes
- "Darra, you and I have to make contact with the Masters while Anakin and Tru steal the ship. We have to get the droids to follow us to an ambush." He looked at Anakin and Tru. "Does that sound okay to you?"
It was the first time Ferus had asked his opinion. Anakin nodded. "Sounds like a good plan."
"We have an agreement," Darra muttered. "Remind me to declare this an annual holiday once we get back to the Temple."
- ―Darra Thel-Tanis enthuses with the newly discovered spirit of concensus and agreement between fellow Padawans Ferus Olin and Anakin Skywalker.
Darra Thel-Tanis was created by the author Jude Watson and first appeared in her young readers novel, Jedi Quest: The Way of the Apprentice. She remained a major character in the series and was killed in the final installment, Jedi Quest: The Final Showdown.
Darra's alternate surname 'Haariden' appears to be a writing error, perhaps slipping through in final edits from earlier working drafts, as the name appears only once in the Jedi Quest novels (whereas 'Thel-Tanis' appears repeatedly), but also in conjunction with a mention in the very next sentences of the character being wounded on a mission―the same mission in which her friend Anakin Skywalker says was the last time that he'd seen Darra for any significant duration of time before working with her on Coruscant to foil a joint heist-assassination attempt by Omega and Zan Arbor. As a surname for Darra, the name is given no in-story explanation or rationale. The fact that readers last engaged with Thel-Tanis on a mission with Skywalker to the planet also called 'Haariden', where she was also wounded (a key incident involving Skywalker that proved an important character-development point in that earlier story) also points to the surname 'Haariden' being an early designation in Jude Watson's development of the wide story-arc that became her eleven-book Jedi Quest series. In the three sentences that appear together in Jedi Quest: The False Peace―which mention Darra's alternate surname, her wound, and her mission―the planet where that mission with Anakin took place is named 'Norah,' perhaps also an early discarded name, for, as with the alternate surname, it nowhere thereafter appears as a planet-name in the corpus of Star Wars Legends. It appears that Watson simply renamed Darra 'Thel-Tanis', swapping her original surname 'Haariden' with the planet where she was ultimately wounded on her mission with Skywalker―with later book drafts simply escaping the name changes.
- Jedi Quest: The Way of the Apprentice (First appearance)
- Jedi Quest: The Master of Disguise
- Jedi Quest: The Changing of the Guard (Mentioned only)
- Jedi Quest: The False Peace
- Jedi Quest: The Final Showdown
- The Last of the Jedi: The Desperate Mission (Mentioned only)
- The Last of the Jedi: Underworld (Mentioned only)
- The Last of the Jedi: Reckoning (Mentioned only)
- Rebel Force: Renegade (Mentioned only)
Notes and references
- ↑ The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 The Essential Reader's Companion
- ↑ 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 Jedi Quest: The Way of the Apprentice
- ↑ The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. II, p. 4 ("Haariden, Darra") - the entry is merely a re-direct to "Thel-Tanis, Darra"
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Jedi Quest: The Master of Disguise
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 Jedi Quest: The False Peace
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Jedi Quest: The Final Showdown