- "The hate you teach will be used against you and your kind, Kruhl! You cannot kill everyone who will defy you!"
"Of course we can. Hate is a Sith weapon."
- ―Rikkar-Du and Darth Kruhl
Darth Kruhl was a male Sith Lord and assassin in the One Sith Order, being one of many to serve under Dark Lord of the Sith Darth Krayt during his reign as Galactic Emperor. He was also the direct subordinate of Darth Maladi, acting as one of her operatives in the Sith Intelligence and Assassination department of Krayt's Empire.
In 137 ABY, Kruhl was sent to the world of Munto Codru, with instructions to capture the planet for Krayt's Sith Empire. He attempted to peacefully negotiate an agreement with the appointed spokesman of the planet's native Codru-Ji species, Rikkar-Du. However, Rikkar-Du was uninterested in Imperial domination, and attempted to unite the clans of Munto Codru in rebellion against Kruhl's plan to subjugate them. When Kruhl learned of Rikkar-Du's plot, he returned to the planet and confronted the Codru-Ji spokesperson. The two engaged in combat, which resulted in Darth Kruhl slaying both Rikkar-Du and his son, and then garnering the cooperation of another clan leader in Rikkar-Du's place.
Kruhl was later dispatched by Darth Maladi to the stronghold of the deposed Emperor Roan Fel on the world of Bastion, where he was tasked with assassinating him, to rid Darth Krayt of any further opposition to his rule. Kruhl infiltrated Fel's sanctuary where he attempted to take the exiled Emperor by surprise; however, Fel had been expecting one of Krayt's assassins, and the two engaged in a lightsaber duel. Kruhl was killed when Fel withdrew his concealed blaster pistol and shot the Sith Lord in the stomach. After Kruhl's death, Fel returned his lightsaber to Coruscant, to show the usurper Krayt that his assassination attempt had failed.
Occupation of Munto Codru
- "Rikkar-Du, you have a great position among the Codru-Ji. You are a clan chief, and your wife is the daughter of another clan chief. How would you like to command all the clans? The Empire wishes to build a base here to command this sector of the Outer Rim."
- ―Darth Kruhl, offering to take Munto Codru peacefully
Darth Kruhl was a Lord of Darth Krayt's One Sith Order who served as an agent of the Intelligence and Assassination branch of the Sith Empire. As a direct subordinate of Intelligence director Darth Maladi, Darth Kruhl was present for her interrogation of the Jedi healer Hosk Trey'lis, from whom Maladi demanded any and all information regarding bounty hunter Cade Skywalker. Moff Nyna Calixte was also present and, upon orders from Maladi to pursue Skywalker, was escorted from her laboratory by Kruhl.
Not long afterward, Maladi's acolyte was sent to Munto Codru to gain a foothold in the Outer Rim Territories for the Sith. Kruhl's mission was to obtain the support of the native Codru-Ji, so that Krayt's forces could establish an Imperial stronghold on their planet. He traveled to Munto Codru on board the Star Destroyer Dauntless, and arrived planetside to speak with the natives. The Codru-Ji regularly involved themselves in ritual political conspiracies, and Kruhl sought to play on their customs by offering control of all the Codru-Ji clans to one man, a prominent clan leader named Rikkar-Du. However, Kruhl's offer was rejected by Rikkar-Du, who showed no interest in being dominated by the Sith and instead urged his people to unite against Krayt's Empire.
Knowing that Kruhl would return expecting an answer, Rikkar-Du planned to confront the Sith Lord, and ambush him in the Codru-Ji temple with two hidden security droids. Lord Kruhl was aware of Rikkar-Du's treachery, and destroyed the droids as he revealed himself to the clan leader. After a brief exchange, Kruhl rescinded his original offer, and Rikkar-Du drew four knives in an attempt to kill the Sith Lord. Kruhl ignited his lightsaber and attacked Rikkar-Du, severing one of his four hands while explaining that resisting the Empire was futile. When Rikkar-Du's son Jassar arrived in the temple and attacked Kruhl in defense of his father, he was slain by Kruhl, as an example to Rikkar-Du that insolence would not be tolerated. Kruhl then killed Rikkar-Du as punishment for his defiance. Unbeknownst to the dead clan leader, Kruhl had secretly been intriguing against him with another clan leader, Kassek-Ka, to have Rikkar-Du's wife eliminated as well. Kassek-Ka relented to the terms that Rikkar-Du had refused, and Darth Kruhl warned him to be wary of making the same mistake as his predecessor, lest the same fate befall Kassek-Ka as well. With his mission complete, Kruhl returned to the orbiting Dauntless.
Mission to Bastion
- "Kassek-Ka will persuade the other clans of the wisdom of our offer. Now, what is the reason for governor Dorn's presence?"
"Former governor Dorn is here to assist you in your next assignment, Darth Kruhl—Roan Fel."
- ―Darth Kruhl, receiving orders from Darth Maladi
After ensuring the loyalty of Kassek-Ka, Kruhl was approached by another operative of Lady Maladi—Munto Codru's former governor, the Human Vikar Dorn. With Dorn's assistance, Kruhl was ordered by Maladi to infiltrate the Imperial fortress-world of Bastion, which Roan Fel's exiled Empire had fortified as their current base of operations. Kruhl was tasked with assassinating Fel himself, in an attempt to end the exiled Emperor's protracted resistance movement. Unbeknownst to Kruhl, Darth Maladi expected for his mission to be a failure, as she intended to eliminate Fel through further infiltration of his own ranks. Kruhl, in Maladi's eyes, was nothing more than a decoy. Arriving in Bastion's orbit on board the Dauntless, Dorn distracted the exiled Imperials with a feigned defection of himself and the ship's crew. Meanwhile, Darth Kruhl exited the Star Destroyer, and made his way on the planet in search of the exiled Emperor Fel's sanctuary.
Kruhl located his quarry meditating in a garden, and prepared to cut the exiled Emperor down from his blindside. However, Fel had been expecting the arrival of one of Krayt's assassins, and told Kruhl this as he broke his meditation. Rather than summon his Imperial Knights to deal with Kruhl, Fel, who was a fully trained Knight himself, personally engaged the Sith Lord in combat. The two men dueled each other, with neither man being able to best his opponent. Kruhl was surprised to find that his weapon shorted out when he struck Fel on the forearm; the exiled Emperor was protected by pure cortosis gauntlets, forged from metal that caused lightsabers to immediately deactivate upon contact. Not to be hindered, Kruhl instead unleashed a barrage of Force lightning against Fel, which he managed to absorb with his lightsaber. Kruhl hurled debris at Fel through the Force before engaging him in hand-to-hand combat. He had exchanged several blows with Fel when the exiled Emperor drew his holdout blaster, and shot Kruhl in the stomach, killing the assassin instantly. Before his death, Fel told Kruhl that even if he succeeded in killing him, he would not get off Bastion. Fel retrieved the fallen Sith's weapon and returned it to governor Dorn, while he also ordered the execution of Dauntless' entire crew. Fel sent Dorn with the lightsaber back to Krayt as a symbol of Darth Kruhl's failed assassination attempt. The governor delivered the lightsaber to Darth Maladi, who in turn killed Dorn for both his and Kruhl's failure to eliminate Fel.
Personality and traits
- "Life…death…the one is the same as the other."
- ―Darth Kruhl
Darth Kruhl wore short-sleeved robes, and had a strip of hair down the middle of his head, with either side shaved. Like most members of the Order, the visible areas of his body were decorated with Sith tattoos of a red and black design. He adhered to the One Sith's doctrine, which taught unquestioning loyalty to the Dark Lord of the Sith above all else. Kruhl cared not for his personal safety or for his life; his purpose was to serve the will of Darth Krayt.
Kruhl was brutal and ruthless, and was regarded with contempt by his enemies for being so. This was evidenced when he murdered Rikkar-Du's son in front of him, and then slew Rikkar-Du himself, after the clan leader still refused to yield to the Sith. Kruhl was also known to conspire against his enemies, as he did with Kassek-Ka to eliminate Rikkar-Du's wife as a potential dissident to Imperial occupation of Munto Codru. He was brash and arrogant, and believed himself to be a better combatant than Roan Fel, who was a seasoned warrior in his own right. Despite his talents, however, he was considered expendable by Darth Maladi, who expressed to Darth Krayt her expectation that Lord Kruhl would not complete his mission.
Powers and abilities
- "A Sith has many ways to kill."
- ―Darth Kruhl
Lord Kruhl fought with a single red-bladed lightsaber. Different from the coral-like hilts carried by most of his One Sith brethren, Kruhl's saber hilt was smooth, straight, and metallic. The hilt was also adorned with black markings that were similar to those of his tattoo patterns. He was a skilled duelist who fought with an aggressive two-handed style in combat, though he was also able to wield his lightsaber single handedly in an equally aggressive style. Kruhl was also capable in hand-to-hand, close-contact fighting, often employing physical techniques in tandem with his blade work. He was proficient with Force lightning and telekinesis, another set of abilities shared among members of Darth Krayt's One Sith.
Kruhl was well-trained in the arts of assassination, being able to infiltrate enemy territory undetected in order to strike down his targets. He was unable, however, to hide his Force presence from Fel, who sensed Kruhl and prepared for his arrival. Though his skill with a lightsaber was at least on par with that of a fully-trained Imperial Knight such as Fel, he was unable to defeat the Emperor in combat, who first bested Kruhl with cortosis gauntlets, and then with a holdout blaster, the latter of which Fel used to kill the Sith Lord.
Behind the scenes
Darth Kruhl was first mentioned in Lucasfilm official Leland Chee's blog, and was unconnected to any source at the time. The blog stated that Kruhl's name is based on the word "cruel." Kruhl's first appearance, albeit unnamed, was in Legacy 9: Trust Issues, Part 1, written by John Ostrander. He was fully featured, and identified, however, four issues later in Legacy 13: Ready to Die, also written by Ostrander, and Jan Duursema. According to Duursema, Kruhl was created specifically with the purpose of dying. He is also briefly mentioned (and pictured) as a member of the One Sith in 2008's The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, written by authors Stephen J. Sansweet, Pablo Hidalgo, Bob Vitas, Daniel Wallace, Mary Franklin, Josh Kushins, and Chris Cassidy.
- Legacy 9: Trust Issues, Part 1 (First appearance)
- Legacy 13: Ready to Die (First identified as Darth Kruhl)
- (First mentioned)
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia