- "Take Desann for example. He was born on a planet unused to the wonders of the Force, where his seemingly magical abilities caused him to be feared and shunned by those around him."
- ―Luke Skywalker on Desann's past
Desann hailed from a world where the Force was a strange, unfamiliar thing. Thus, he was shunned by his own people and lived a life of loneliness and despair, until a trader found him and took him to Luke Skywalker's Jedi Praxeum on Yavin 4.
Desann then became a Jedi apprentice of Skywalker's, but soon began bullying his comrades. He eventually killed Havet Storm, one of his fellow Jedi, for standing up to his bullying ways and claimed that he was "too weak to be a Jedi." This turned him to the dark side of the Force, and he fled the Academy, before the other Jedi could counsel him.
Desann forged an alliance with Admiral Galak Fyyar of the Imperial splinter group known as the Empire Reborn, and Fyyar took him to his secret master, the former Procurator of Justice, Lord Hethrir. Hethrir overcame his xenophobia to make Desann his second in command, and tasked Desann with training several of Hethrir's Empire Youths: Force-sensitive individuals who had shown devotion to the Empire Reborn and had been "purified" by the extradimensional being known as Waru. Desann took one of the Youths, Tavion Axmis, as his apprentice.
In addition to training those with talent, Desann experimented with imbuing Force-weak Human Empire Youths (chosen by Hethrir for reasons of racial dogma rather than pragmatism) with dark side powers, using Artusian crystals and Sith alchemical secrets. To fulfill this twisted scheme, his forces captured Artus Prime, where the crystals were mined. New Republic agents Kyle Katarn and Jan Ors were sent by Mon Mothma to investigate, and Jan Ors was captured. Desann decided to use her to his advantage: he had long searched for the Valley of the Jedi, for the Valley's power would be of considerable help in his plan to connect his servants with the dark side of the Force. But only Katarn and Jan Ors knew of the Valley's location. When Kyle attempted to rescue his partner Desann intervened and easily beat Kyle by using only the Force and Katarn found himself on the receiving end of a Force Grip. Desann then ordered Tavion to kill her. Unbeknownst to Katarn, this was but a ruse to anger him and have him go to the Valley, and Jan Ors was retained aboard the Remnant flagship, the Doomgiver.
Thinking that his partner was dead, Kyle thirsted for revenge and in consequence traveled to the Valley of the Jedi, to regain his connection to the Force; but Desann was tracking him. The Dark Jedi brought his band of Empire Youth students with him to absorb the Valley's power, forming an army of dark warriors called the Reborn. He also took with him a small portion of his stormtroopers, and they became shadowtroopers, Force-sensitive soldiers armed with lightsabers and encased in cortosis armor enhanced by Artusian crystals.
After receiving the Valley's coordinates from Katarn, Luke Skywalker went to investigate the site. With the help of Rogue Squadron, the New Republic chased Desann's forces away from the Valley. Desann fled to the Cairn Installation in the Lenico Belt, where the Doomgiver docked. Katarn and Skywalker then infiltrated the installation, when Kyle broke into Doomgiver's bridge, Desann launched a surprise attack against Skywalker. Luke dueled his former student in the docking bay, but was Force Pushed to a vulnerable position and trapped by a pile of rubble unleashed by Desann's saber throw. Luke was uninjured, but Desann managed to board the Doomgiver and launch the ship to his ultimate target.
Desann then attacked the Jedi Academy on Yavin 4. Despite Rogue Squadron's interference, Desann safely landed with most of his forces, and the army advanced on the Academy from three different directions. Desann and a small group of his minions fought into the heart of the Academy, leaving his subordinates to deal with New Republic troops and Jedi, the Dark Jedi Master entered the tunnels under the Great Temple, seeking the Force nexus underground. Kyle Katarn followed closely, and Desann employed various traps and illusions to evade the Jedi.
Eventually Desann successfully absorbed the power in the Force nexus before being confronted by Katarn. Declaring a new future for the galaxy, Desann was surprised to find out that Katarn helped destroy the Doomgiver and most of the forces aboard, including Galak Fyyar. When Katarn revealed that even the elite shadowtroopers fell victim to the Academy's true Jedi, Desann realized he had underestimated Kyle. Desann tried to convert Katarn to his cause, but instead received a counter offer: Kyle invited Desann back to the Jedi. Enraged, Desann engaged Katarn in a duel, only to discover that his adversary's skill and power had grown beyond his own abilities. The duel ended when Katarn struck down the Dark Jedi, looking with sadness at his lifeless body.
Powers and abilities
- "Thanks to you, the weakling Jedi who scorned me will soon be erased from history, replaced by a new race of warriors; strong warriors, warriors who know that the Force is not a shield to protect the useless… but is, in reality, a weapon… to empower the worthy!"
- ―Desann to Kyle Katarn
Desann typically fought with a variation of the Strong style when engaged in lightsaber combat, taking advantage of the naturally superior strength and reach conferred by his formidable Chistori size. After turning to the dark side, he would employ Dun Möch, seeking to undermine his enemies with taunts as well as deceptive ploys.
In addition to his formidable abilities as a saber duelist, he was tremendously skilled in Force Grip, the Jedi Mind trick, Force Illusion, and Force lightning, as well as at telekinetically hurling his lightsaber. One major combat advantage the Dark Jedi had was the size of his lightsaber itself. Its size was meant to fit the physical height and size of Desann, but its length and beam width made it a very difficult blade to block due to its incredible reach.
Behind the scenes
Desann was voiced by Mark Klastorin.
There are several ways to kill Desann in Jedi Outcast's finale. One is to defeat him in dueling (a combination of Force speed and Fast style works well, as does Strong style while Force Pushing him onto the ground, but he may deflect the push, while saying, "You dare to push me!?".). The second is to provoke him into lunging at you by throwing Force lightning at him while standing right next to a pillar. Then, while he jumps towards you, saber throw at a pillar once and jump away. Once you are out of the area where debris begins to fall, Desann will try to follow you but get crushed by the falling debris. This will require precise timing. Third, you can hit him with a Portable Missile System, but he might push it away. The fourth way to kill him is with the Flechette Launcher. He may be able to deflect some of the flechettes, but invariably some will hurt him; repeat as necessary to defeat him, without drawing your blade. You can try keeping your distance most of the time, and attack Desann using Force Speed when he throws his saber at you, leaving himself defenseless. Another method of victory, though one that requires using a cheat code to gain maxed out Force stats, is to mind control Desann into standing in front of a pillar and using saber throw to bring it down on top of himself. This can be done from the player's starting position in the battle room and doesn't require ever crossing blades with Desann.
In the final battle of Jedi Outcast, the player can manually activate the Force nexus in the temple underground. A beam charges up from time to time in the nexus. If the player steps into the beam, Katarn becomes invulnerable for a short period of time, gaining the upper hand against Desann. However, if Desann, controlled by the computer AI, steps into the beam, he also gains invulnerability for a short while.
In Jedi Outcast, when Desann dueled with Luke Skywalker in Cairn Installation, their fighting moves before landing on the main floor are randomized, thus the player could watch a unique fighting scene for each loading. This sometimes results in one duelist being struck down prematurely, even though the cutscene continues as usual.
In Jedi Outcast, Jan Ors revealed that hours after her capture, Desann changed the interrogation topic from the location of the Valley to the layout of the Jedi Academy. However, as a former student of the Academy, Desann should know the layout far better than a New Republic intelligence operative. An explanation for this could be that Desann may have wanted to make sure of some things, to see if anything was different, or he could have forgotten about certain things/parts of the Academy.
In the sequel to Jedi Outcast, Jedi Academy, players can choose to play as Desann in the game's multiplayer mode. In the PC version of both games, players can also spawn him (and afterwards fight him) in the game's single player mode using the cheat: npc spawn desann.
It should be noted, that in Jedi Academy, Desann doesn't talk at all, because his voice files don't exist in Jedi Academy's files. He is also shorter in Jedi Academy. In the multiplayer mode, he takes the voice of a cultist.
During the first (and impossible to win) fight with Desann in Jedi Outcast, he uses the Force noticeably faster than he does later, often simultaneously. His Force powers are also stronger, most noticeably Push, Pull, and Grip. His Force Push and Pull are capable of throwing the player outside the level with the right positioning. He is also immune to Force lightning and cannot be Force Gripped, he pushes the player away every time. At this point in the game Desann has infinite health; it is impossible to kill him, no matter how skilled the player is, in order to prevent the story from ending early.
- Star Wars: Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast (First appearance)
- Star Wars: Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast demo (Mentioned only)
- Attack on Endor—Scenario Booklet (Mission 5: Temple Intruders) (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy (Mentioned only)
- Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast"—Star Wars Gamer 9 (First mentioned) "
- Star Wars: Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast: Official Perfect Guide
- Geonosis and the Outer Rim Worlds
- The New Essential Chronology
- "Virtual Sith" – Star Wars Insider 88
- Jedi vs. Sith: The Essential Guide to the Force
- Threats of the Galaxy
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- Jedi Academy Training Manual