- "The Force doesn't feel the need to announce its actions. It just acts."
- ―Elzar Mann describes his philosophy about the Force
Elzar Mann was a human male Jedi Master during the time of the High Republic. A controversial Jedi due to his unorthodox manner of using the Force, Mann remained a Jedi Knight late into his time with the Order in spite of his ability to rediscover abilities that had been forgotten. He served along with other Jedi, including his close friend Avar Kriss, and members of the Republic Defense Coalition during the response to the Great Disaster, a hyperspace-related cataclysm which sent the remnants of ships torn apart in the hyperlanes hurtling towards inhabited systems. Following their actions during the evacuation of the Hetzal system, Mann was chosen by Kriss to assist her after she was instructed to find the source of the Great Disaster and, as a result of their mission, he was finally promoted to Jedi Master.
Biography[edit | edit source]
A Jedi on the frontier[edit | edit source]
Born during the time of the High Republic, Elzar Mann was inducted into the Jedi Order at an early age and brought to the Jedi Temple on Coruscant to be trained in the ways of the Force. During his time as a youngling and later as a Padawan, he befriended fellow apprentices Avar Kriss and Stellan Gios; the three Jedi would remain friends for decades after their training ended. Mann and Kriss's friendship was particularly strong and, during their time as Padawans, they shared an intimate relationship, a relationship which led them to develop a bond that allowed them to know what the other was feeling without having to use speech. In addition to being trained at the Temple, Jedi apprentices of the time were sent to serve in Jedi outposts on the frontier, beyond the reach of the Galactic Republic, the Jedi having become instrumental in assisting exploration and settlement in the area.
Once his training ended, Mann ascended to the rank of Jedi Knight, at which point he and Kriss ended their relationship and agreed that, as Jedi, they should be no more than friends. However, whil both Gios and Kriss eventually climbed further and became Jedi Masters, Mann remained a Knight despite his fervent desire to ascend to Mastery. He had become somewhat of a controversial Jedi due to his experiments with the Force and, although such experimentation had allowed him to rediscover lost Force techniques, his manner made him few friends. He was considered unreliable and difficult to work with, even among his fellow Jedi.
The Great Disaster[edit | edit source]
In 232 BBY, Mann was part of a Jedi contingent assigned to the dedication ceremony of Starlight Beacon, a large station built as part of Chancellor Lina Soh's Great Works and designed to facilitate travel in the Outer Rim in areas still undiscovered by Republic explorers. When the Legacy Run, a Byne Guild freighter transporting cargo and settlers to the Outer Rim along a well-established hyperlane, was torn from hyperspace, its debris started emerging in realspace and threatening star systems around the Outer Rim in what would be remembered as the Great Disaster. Most of the Legacy Run emerged in the Hetzal system, an agricultural supplier with a main planet, Hetzal Prime, two inhabited moons named the Fruited and the Rooted, and forty billion inhabitants. Minister Zeffren Ecka, the system's leader, sent out a distress signal for assistance in the system-wide evacuation he had ordered. His message was picked up by the Jedi and Republic presence on Starlight Beacon, who immediately set out for Hetzal to assist.
The Jedi contingent, aboard their Vector starfighters, set about helping in any way they could, linked by Master Avar Kriss's ability to connect them through the Force. True to his nature, Mann piloted his Vector alone and headed to help on a pharm where the newly-discovered bacta drug was being produced.
When Kriss sensed that a fragment of the Legacy Run containing liquid tibanna gas canisters was heading towards the largest of Hetzal's three suns, a combination which would lead to the star doubling in size and causing the resulting solar radiation to destroy all lifeforms in the system, she called out to all the Jedi present in the rescue effort to use the Force and move the fragment away from the sun, a difficult feat even for so many Jedi. Standing alone on a promontory overlooking the bacta pharm, Mann joined Kriss's call and used his power combined to those of his fellow Jedi to move the fragment out of its inertia, drawing on the Force and sharing the strength he drew from it with the other Jedi present on Hetzal. The strain of moving the tibanna was such that some Jedi died from exhaustion, such as Jedi Knight Rah Barocci, and others fainted from the effort, like Master Te'Ami. At one point, the Jedi lost the tibanna until Master Estala Maru found it again. At this stage, other Jedi from around the galaxy, even as far as Coruscant and as removed from galactic events as Master Yoda, had sensed what was occurring in the Hetzal system and joined the effort. Eventually, Mann's, Kriss's and the other Jedi's effort succeeded and they were able to move the tibanna out of the sun's path, saving the Hetzal system from complete annihilation.
Investigating the Disaster[edit | edit source]
- "I assure you, Senator, this man is never just staring at anything. Let me introduce you to Elzar Mann, a Jedi Knight of my long acquaintance. He was present here in the system during the disaster. He was instrumental in helping the Jedi prevent the Tibanna fragment from impacting the sun. Without his strength, Hetzal would no longer exist."
- ―Avar Kriss introduces Elzar Mann to Senator Izzet Noor
Although the Hetzal system had been saved by the Jedi and the Republic Defense Coalition, the Great Disaster had not quite ended. Most of the Legacy Run's superstructure had broken apart and made for the agricultural system, but not all of it; fragments of the ship had continued travelling along the hyperlanes until they emerged in other systems. Twenty million people were killed when one such fragment emerged from hyperspace in the Ab Dalis system and struck a city on the planet. Several more Emergences threatened systems and ships throughout the outlying systems and, in response, Supreme Chancellor Lina Soh ordered the closure of all the hyperlanes of the Outer Rim to limit the damage. Meanwhile, the Jedi Council assigned Avar Kriss to conduct an investigation into the origins of the Great Disaster as well as locating and preventing future Emergences, a task for which she selected Mann as her partner. Although she did not say it and he did not acknowledge it, Mann suspected that part of Kriss's reasoning for choosing him to help the investigation, besides his affinity for deduction and detecting falsehoods, was to show the Council that he was ready to ascend to the rank of Jedi Master, a position he had always hoped to achieve as it would allow him to pursue his own studies into the Force with little to no interference from the rest of the Order.
Mann and Kriss were present in the Hetzal system aboard the Third Horizon, an Emissary-class cruiser of the RDF peacekeeping fleet, as the broken pieces of the Legacy Run's wreckage were being gathered to ascertain how much of the ship was still unaccounted for. By this time, eighteen Emergences had occured around the Outer Rim, the latest near Dantooine. This had led Chancellor Soh to extend the hyperspace closure another fifty parsecs. The two Jedi met with Keven Tarr, a young slicer from the Hetzalian Ministry of Technology whose efforts on Hetzal during the Disaster had been noted. Also present were Secretary of Transportation Jeffo Lorillia and Senator Izzet Noor, the designated spokesperson between the Republic and most of the Outer Rim systems. When Tarr told them that they had only recovered a vague outline of the Legacy Run, Senator Noor, who already opposed Soh's decision to close down hyperspace, despaired that the situation would continue for a long time. Kriss tried to reassure him that the investigation had only just begun, but her words had little effect as Noor revealed that he had received reports of hoarding on several worlds affected by the closure of the shipping lanes. He angrily beratd the Jedi for being present in Hetzal instead of trying to find who had caused the Great Disaster.
When Mann asked him if he believed that someone was responsible for the disaster rather than it merely being an accident, the senator turned his anger on him, demanding to know why he was even present since he had not been present at the inital meeting convened by the Chancellor. Kriss defended Mann's selection as her partner, underlining his crucial efforts in helping the Jedi avert further losses on Hetzal, which did little to calm the senator. Mann, who believed it was important to remind people that they remained people before anything else (and no matter how important they believed themselves to be), silenced Noor by placing his hand over his mouth, an action which also seemed to stun the rest of the assembly. The Jedi toyed with the idea of using the mind touch, a Force technique he much preferred to call 'the mind trick', but he dismissed it, knowing that Kriss would not have approved and that she would face the consequences for him causing a diplomatic incident. Kriss defended Mann's selection as, while she was good at detecting problems, he was good at finding solutions.
Tarr, who had successfully mapped the trajectory of several of the Legacy Run's fragments during the Great Disaster, suggested that he could replicate his achievement but on a much larger scale: a virtual map of the trajectory of every unaccounted piece which had broken away from the freighter and where it was heading. The model would allow the Republic to identify which systems would be threatened by Emergences. However, the procedure would require thousands of navidroids to power the projection, more than Tarr had available. While Tarr and Secretary Lorellia worked on finding sufficient droids to power the model, Kriss believed that she and Mann should investigate another possible danger: whether the Great Disaster had been caused by a problem in hyperspace itself. Noor advised them to meet with members of the San Tekka clan, a family of galactic explorers who had grown rich prospecting uncharted areas of the galaxy and mapping hyperspace routes. Mann and Kriss left for Naboo to meet with the heads of the family, Marlowe and Vellis.
By the time Mann and Kriss reached Naboo, another Emergence had occured in the Ringlite system and Chancellor Soh had widened the hyperspace blockade to prevent further disasters. It had therefore become more pressing to find a solution to the crisis. In the Naboo Lake Country, Mann and Kriss visited the San Tekka estate and, as they waited for their hosts who were conducting some urgent business, they observed an island close by. Mann told Kriss that it was called Varykino and that it was used as a retreat for artists, such as a poet called Omar Berenko. While sampling the San Tekkas' attar of spinsilk, he mused that Varykino would make a good spot for them to retire in quiet contemplation once they had grown too old for the Order to use them, imagining himself learning how to catch fish with the Force.
Personality and traits[edit | edit source]
- ―Avar Kriss and Elzar Mann, through their Force-bond, about one of Mann's Force experiments.
Elzar Mann was considered an unorthodox and somewhat controversial Jedi, even by those closest to him. His close friend Avar Kriss described him as a 'tinkerer', who enjoyed experimenting with the Force and disliked using it the same way twice. However, this trait made him somewhat unreliable and, more often than not, he worked alone, apart from the other Jedi. His love of exploration and experimentation, coupled with his unwillingness to explain what he was planning to focus on action rather than endless theorizing and explanation, made it difficult to work with him and contributed to his continued status as a Jedi Knight while his close friends Avar Kriss and Stellan Gios had both ascended to the rank of Master. His explorations and experiments have nevertheless allowed the Jedi Order to rediscover lost abilities with the Force. More than anything, Mann saw himself as a problem solver, a task he was good at and which he enjoyed, as he was constantly figuring out ways to apply the Force to a specific problem, both the simple and the complex. This characteristic also made him reluctant to ask for help, even from the Jedi Masters or even his close friends.
In much the same way as Kriss saw the Force as a song, Mann viewed it as an endless, bottomless sea which was impossible to be used up, not matter for what purpose or however many times it was called upon. He therefore used the Force for what was sometimes dissmissed as 'frivolous' reasons, actions which were frowned upon by other Jedi. However, true to his nature, Mann never explained his reasons or his actions, prefering to ask for forgiveness rather than permission.
Nevertheless, despite his idiosyncraties, Mann was deeply committed to the Jedi Order and its purpose. When the Jedi combined their abilities during the Great Disaster to move a cargo of Tibanna gas away from an approaching sun, Mann joined the collective action of his fellow Jedi and helped them move the gas onto a new path. He was also held in high regard by his two closest friends in the Order. Avar Kriss described the success of the relationship as being rooted in her agreement never to ask him any questions about what he was doing or why. The two shared a deep connection, deep enough to have developped into a Force-bond by which they could communicate non-verbally.
Mann also had a sense of humour, another reason Kriss enjoyed his company. During their time on Naboo, he joked about attempting to catch fish with the Force if he ever retired to a place like the Lake Country.
Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]
Elzar Mann was first mentioned in an online preview for the reference book Star Wars: The Lightsaber Collection. The High Republic: Light of the Jedi author Charles Soule confirmed in a Tweet that the human male Jedi on the cover of the novel was in fact Mann.
Appearances[edit | edit source]
- The High Republic: Into the Dark
- The High Republic: Into the Dark audiobook
- The High Republic: Light of the Jedi (First appearance, simultaneous with The High Republic: Light of the Jedi audiobook)
- The High Republic: Light of the Jedi audiobook (First appearance, simultaneous with The High Republic: Light of the Jedi)
- The High Republic: The Rising Storm
Sources[edit | edit source]
- Star Wars: The Lightsaber Collection (First mentioned)