For other uses, see Ganner (disambiguation).
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"He was born to be a legend."
―Vergere, to Jacen Solo[4]

Ganner Rhysode was a Jedi Knight of the New Jedi Order. He harbored a deep wish to be a hero, and was consequently brash, self-confident, and flamboyant. A supporter of the Jedi Kyp Durron's faction of the Order, he supported aggressive action against the Yuuzhan Vong species when they invaded the galaxy. Early in the invasion, he worked with the Jedi Corran Horn, whom he disliked, and on their mission to the planet Garqi received a prominent facial wound. Rhysode blamed his overconfidence for his injury, and left the scar of the wound as a reminder to be more humble.

With his changed attitude, Rhysode continued battling on the front lines of the Yuuzhan Vong War, serving as the decoy leader of the ill-fated Myrkr strike team in 27 ABY. One year later, Rhysode tracked down the Jedi Jacen Solo, who had gone missing on the mission to Myrkr and was feared dead. He was seized by Solo's Yuuzhan Vong captors and taken back to the planet Coruscant for a sacrifice. Instead, he finally came to peace with his desire to be a hero, channeling his showmanlike instincts into a self-sacrificing delaying action, becoming one with the Force while holding off hundreds of Yuuzhan Vong Warriors himself at the entrance to the Well of the World Brain while Solo sabotaged the World Brain and escaped back to the New Republic. According to a vision experienced by Solo's tutor Vergere, Rhysode's last stand led him to become a legend among the Yuuzhan Vong warrior caste as well as the Shamed Ones and their Jeedai heresy, in which he became an epic, invincible figure known as the Ganner. In 44 ABY, Grand Master Luke Skywalker saw Rhysode's spirit in the Lake of Apparitions in the realm of the Force beyond shadows.


Early years[]

"What about Ganner?"
"He's from Teyr—he wouldn't know odds from groats. He's good in a fight, though, and smart when he thinks before acting. And handsome, too, as you've probably noticed."
"Well, it's hard not to."
"His preening all the time kind of makes it obvious."
―Jaina Solo and Corran Horn[1]

Ganner Rhysode was a native of Teyr, born Force-sensitive.[1] He liked attempting to impress his playmates as a child, but received only scorn in return. His parents counseled him to be less proud of himself, but he did not listen.[4] He was eventually recruited to attend the Jedi Praxeum on Yavin 4, where he developed his talents as a Jedi, developing a special skill for telekinesis and building his own yellow lightsaber.[7][8][5] Rhysode was considered among the more promising emergent Jedi and likely reached the rank of Jedi Knight by 20 ABY, as he and friend Wurth Skidder were left in charge of the Praxeum while headmasters Kam and Tionne Solusar attended Jedi Master Luke Skywalker's wedding to Mara Jade.[7][8]

Rhysode found himself attracted to Jedi Master Kyp Durron's faction of Jedi, who believed in aggressively taking the battle to threats to peace in the galaxy, using the Force as a tool to fight injustice. This philosophy appealed to Rhysode, who had great confidence in himself and his own power. He took to wearing flashy black-and-blue robes and taking special care of his appearance, cultivating his natural good looks.[8] He saw himself as one of the foremost of a new generation of Jedi Knights who would deliver justice without being held back in their use of the Force, considering himself superior to the older generation.[5][1]

The emergence of the extragalactic Yuuzhan Vong in 25 ABY, invaders who used biologically-based technology, clung fiercely to their warlike religion, and did not register in the Force, provided an opportunity for Rhysode and Durron's other supporters to press for harsh action against the invaders.[8] Rhysode, still a young Jedi Knight, was present at the conclave Skywalker called on Yavin 4 to deal with the issue of the Yuuzhan Vong after their first attack had been repulsed. He stood among Durron's faction as Skywalker discussed the threat and spoke of his desire to create an organized response.[5]

Mission to Bimmiel[]

"Ganner, I still hear you breathing back there. Go! Now, go! Get them aboard and get the ship out of here. You're the only one who can save them, and I'm the only one who can buy you the time you need to do it. Go!"
―Corran Horn, to Ganner Rhysode[5]

After the meeting, Skywalker assigned Rhysode to travel to Bimmiel, an uninhabited world in the Yuuzhan Vong invasion corridor, and look into the case of a University of Agamar xenoarchaeological team which had lost contact with their superiors.[5] He was to be paired with Corran Horn, which greatly displeased Rhysode—the other Knight was one of the strongest opponents of Durron's faction and Rhysode had little respect for him, seeing him as weak-willed.[5][8] Rhysode met with Horn in a courtyard outside, where he told Horn that he rejected the senior Knight's authority on the mission and would do what he thought was necessary. Horn reproached him for putting his philosophy above the mission, and the conversation broke up when Rhysode found himself swarmed by garnants, set upon him by Horn's son Valin as the boy had left earlier.[5]

A quick shower cleaned Rhysode of the garnants and allowed him to set off for Bimmiel with Horn in the freighter Dalliance. Arriving in orbit, they found the group's communication satellite damaged and inoperable, but Rhysode could find no sign of the Yuuzhan Vong. They landed in an open, cool desert predominated by fiercely blowing sand, though Rhysode shielded himself from the airborne dust with a Force barrier. The pair trudged to the camp, but on arriving there found it abandoned. They moved on toward a rocky outcropping where they thought the team might have taken refuge, but before they reached it were attacked by the native slashrats, which burrowed through the sand to leap out and strike. They fled faster to the rocks, killing the slashrats as they attacked.[5]

Upon reaching the rocks, they were greeted by the rather hostile students and their professor, Anki Pace. Pace explained that Jedi-related items had recently been stolen from numerous sites and she suspected the Jedi of being after her find. Rhysode was indignant at the implication that Jedi would steal, and with Horn he was able to convince the university team that they were there to make sure they were safe. Though Pace did not trust Rhysode to see their find, she displayed it to Horn, who recognized the body they had recovered as the fifty-year-old remains of a Yuuzhan Vong. The Jedi remained with the team, trapped there by the sand gales. At night, they alternated watches at the mouth of the cave the students were staying in, keeping an eye out for slashrats. While there, Rhysode struck up a relationship with Trista Orlanis, one of the graduate students.[5]

After the week of storms had died down, Rhysode and Horn went on a scouting mission, as Horn was convinced the Yuuzhan Vong were on the planet, possibly to recover the remains of the advance scout whose corpse had been found. They managed to find a Yuuzhan Vong camp, in which they could sense individuals who seemed to be dying. They sneaked along the perimeter of the camp until one of the slaves attempted an escape. Rhysode watched as a pair of Yuuzhan Vong beat the slave and prepared to come to the rescue, but Horn used his talent for projecting thoughts to cripple Rhysode with the smell of the stink produced by dead slashrats, making him sick. When the two warriors killed the slave, Horn and Rhysode retreated. Rhysode was furious that they had watched a man die, but Horn was convinced that any rescue attempt would only get the Jedi killed by what was possibly a greater number of Yuuzhan Vong and possibly lead the enemy back to the students. Rhysode remained unconvinced and resentful.[5]

The next day, the students had the results of the analysis they had performed on the beetles Horn had brought back from the Yuuzhan Vong site. They found that one of them was creating synthetic stink, keeping the slashrats away from the camp. Another was producing carbon dioxide, altering the atmosphere. Horn wanted the students to introduce a virus that would make the beetles at the camp produce slashrat killscent, causing a feeding frenzy. Pace disapproved, insisting they were only academics and would not become involved in fighting. Rhysode backed them, suggesting he and Horn eliminate the Yuuzhan Vong themselves, in combat. While discussing it, the two Jedi realized two people were missing from the campsite, and Orlanis explained that two students had left to maintain a piece of equipment outside the camp. When Pace attempted to contact them, they could not be reached, and the Jedi immediately began a search for them.[5]

At the meteorological station they had left to repair, Horn and Rhysode found signs of a struggle and additional tracks leading back toward the Yuuzhan Vong camp. They then maintained a watch on the camp for several days, watching as the aliens searched for what were most likely the remains the archaeologists had found. They also found that the two warriors they had seen did seem to be the only ones present aside from the slaves, who were all dying and diminishing in the Force. Rhysode felt vindicated by this discovery, showing that his desire to attack the two Yuuzhan Vong initially would have saved everyone trouble, and continually reminded Horn of it. In short order, they formed a plan in which Rhysode and Horn would free the students while Orlanis piloted the Dalliance to extract them and lace the camp with the virus and a large amount of synthetic killscent.[5]

Horn and Rhysode, on Bimmiel.

When they were ready, they had one of the students distract the two warriors with a remote probe, drawing them away from the camp. Rhysode and Horn rushed in, finding the pair inside the largest grashal hut strapped to the torturous Embrace of Pain. When Horn realized that the Embrace kept them in a constant level of pain, he noted that the slightest mistake in freeing them could result in the Embrace inflicting enough compensatory pain to kill them. Instead, Horn used his ability to project feelings to instill the two with a sense of pain, relaxing the Embrace without actually hurting them. To do so, Horn had Rhysode singe his arm with his lightsaber, giving Horn the sense of pain to project. It worked, allowing them to cut cleanly through the restraints, but before they could leave the two Yuuzhan Vong returned at the same time Orlanis dumped the killscent. Horn, his arm damaged, offered to stay behind while Rhysode cut an exit through the back and used telekinesis to float the students out. He did so, but instead of leaving, he had Orlanis shoot the top off the grashal while he levitated Horn out and safely escaped with the entire team. Horn had been wounded and was suffering from the venom of an amphistaff bite, and only putting him in the Dalliance's bacta tank saved his life.[5]

Insertion on Garqi[]

"A half-dozen commandos against a planet full of Yuuzhan Vong?"
"They're Noghri, Ganner. Besides, I figured to tap you as one of my civilian observers. Figured you had to be the equal of another dozen Noghri, right?"
―Ganner Rhysode and Corran Horn[1]

Some time after they returned, Skywalker called another conclave. Rhysode appeared as one of Durron's major supporters and argued in support of strikes against Yuuzhan Vong-held worlds. Skywalker explained that political decisions had forbidden the Jedi from undertaking government-sanctioned operations in the invasion corridor. Horn, however, had been reactivated as a retired officer and part of the military reserve, and had been assigned to infiltrate Garqi with six Noghri commandos and two civilian observers to scout the conquered world and make contact with resistance movements. Horn picked Rhysode and Jacen Solo as his two civilians.[1]

They prepared for the mission aboard Admiral Traest Kre'fey's Ralroost, and when the time came for their insertion launched from Ralroost aboard Lost Hope. However, while the New Republic forces engaged the Yuuzhan Vong forces over Garqi, the Lost Hope suffered an engine explosion, plunging it into the atmosphere an allowing the concealed shuttle Best Chance within it to escape as planned without the Yuuzhan Vong realizing they had survived, though Rhysode had to use the Force to set off two damaged charges helping separate the Best Chance from its shell. They landed safely and spent a week scouting and making their way across the land before they met with a member of the local resistance. Rhysode feared that the message sent with the list of meeting places was a trap, so Horn reconnoitered the first meeting place and found nothing amiss. At the second meeting place, they revealed themselves and made contact with the local resistance movement, going back with them to one of their safehouses.[1]

The next day, the locals led them to see where the Yuuzhan Vong were creating a slave army through implanting surge coral growths which provided armor and allowed the Yuuzhan Vong to exercise control over the slaves. Horn determined that they needed to obtain some of the slaves to understand what the Vong were doing, but did not want them to know that their security had been compromised. To that end, he proposed they capture some of the slaves in the confusion of the war games the Yuuzhan Vong regularly ran to test their slave army.[1]

They waited in utility tunnels underneath the streets, surveilling the war games, and when they were ready emerged onto the street. Rhysode was immediately engaged by a Yuuzhan Vong warrior. Rhysode got the best of the first exchange, but was thereafter wounded in the thigh and knocked onto the ground. In his rush towards Rhysode, however, the warrior fell into the hole from which Rhysode had emerged, allowing the Jedi to kill him. The commandos and resistance fighters were able to drive the Yuuzhan Vong back, allowing them to escape with a few captives, but the arrival of heavier forces caused them to pull back. A few Noghri and locals headed for the shuttle with the prisoners while the rest of the group drew off the pursuit, heading to the Pesktda Xenobotanical Garden. Rhysode went ahead, securing the Ithorian section of the gardens while Horn and Solo provided a rearguard. While they took up positions, the Yuuzhan Vong arrived and ordered them to surrender. Instead, Rhysode challenged their leader. The standoff erupted into violence, in which Rhysode charged the enemy commander. He rushed past when his opponent dodged, allowing the commander to slash him across the face with his amphistaff. Solo protected him as he went down, but the battle was soon over when the warriors' vonduun crab armor proved allergic to the pollen of the bafforr trees in the garden, killing the armor and crushing the warriors as it swelled.[1]

Horn had the garden burned, preserving the valuable knowledge, and they made their way back to the Best Chance in time for its liftoff. Solo offered Rhysode a dose of sedative for his pain, but Rhysode refused. Chagrined as a result of his overconfidence, he had one of the Noghri use a Nilar field cauterizer to close the wound painfully, leaving a massive scar on the right side of his face and a painful memory to remind him never to underestimate his enemies again and remain humble. Only then did he accept the sedative.[1]

A new course[]

"Before I got this scratch, it was easy to believe in my own invincibility. I was arrogant enough to think of myself as perfect. That's a trap Kyp, Wurth, Octa, and others in his cabal are falling into. They think that because they've not been hurt, they can't be hurt. That's not an illusion I harbor anymore."
―Ganner Rhysode, to Jaina Solo[1]

They were extracted safely by Kre'fey's force, aided by an Imperial Remnant force under Gilad Pellaeon. All of them then headed to Ithor to protect the native bafforrs. Skywalker summoned many Jedi to help defend the world, and among them were Durron's contingent. When Rhysode expressed to them his views about underestimating the Yuuzhan Vong to them, he was rebuffed as defeatist. Rhysode was present at the reception for the New Republic and Remnant politicians who arrived to inspect the defenses, where he chatted with Jaina Solo. In order to set foot on the surface of Ithor, which the Ithorians regarded as sacred and forbidden, the Jedi were required to undergo a blessing ceremony. Each Jedi had to publicly reject some aspect of himself which was keeping him from full communion with nature, something he wished pruned from himself. Rhysode rejected pride.[1]

For about a month, the herdships over Ithor were evacuated. The Yuuzhan Vong arrived in the system, but moved toward Ithor only slowly. When they finally made their attack, Rhysode was part of the team on Ithor's surface. He, Horn, and Solo stormed the Yuuzhan Vong command center once the enemy commander, Shedao Shai, had left it, contacting him by Yuuzhan Vong villip and offering him a truce. At the end of that truce, Horn and Shai would duel; if Horn won, Shai would withdraw from Ithor. If Shai won, the bones from Bimmiel, those of his grandfather, would be returned to him. Shai accepted, ending the battle for a week.[1]

When the battle came, Horn killed Shai, but Shai's traitorous lieutenant refused to honor the bargain, unleashing a bioweapon against Ithor which completely scoured it of life. Horn was vilified in the press as having destroyed Ithor through a foolish bargain, which outraged Rhysode. Horn resigned from the Jedi Order, taking the blame on himself in order to save the Jedi from condemnation. Rhysode was uneasy with such a solution, but Horn charged him to support Skywalker against Durron's faction, an order Rhysode accepted, splitting him from his long association with the more radical Jedi.[1]

Rhysode wielding a lightsaber

Some time later, Rhysode was one of twenty Jedi Skywalker called to a summit on Coruscant. Skywalker announced that a Yuuzhan Vong priestess had defected to the New Republic, along with her familiar. The two sought an audience with the Jedi, one Skywalker was inclined to grant, but only with himself and his wife. Rhysode and the other Jedi argued that if it were a trap, the Skywalkers should be the last ones risked. It was decided that all the Jedi would meet corporately with the defectors. That meeting ultimately never took place, as the priestess, Elan, was shown to be an assassin and the familiar, Vergere, fled before they reached Coruscant.[9]

When Talon Karrde came to the Jedi Praxeum with information he had gotten by analyzing the spice shipments of the Hutts, who had allied with the Yuuzhan Vong, Rhysode was present. The cessation of spice shipments to Bothawui, Corellia, and Tynna suggested that the Hutts had been warned that these worlds were Yuuzhan Vong targets. Karrde wanted a handful of Jedi to go with him to a meeting he had set up with one of the Hutts' spice brokers, and when Durron volunteered, Rhysode offered to go along as well, counterbalancing Durron. They met with the seller, but the head of the operation they contacted, Crev Bombaasa, knew they were actually fishing for information. Bombaasa confirmed that the Hutts had been given a list of systems to avoid, suggesting he was quietly supporting the New Republic.[6]

After the meeting, Rhysode continued with Durron, flying a Y-wing in the Kyp's Dozen squadron Durron led, bolstering the defenses at Bothawui. Karrde summoned them to a rendezvous on the Kothlis II orbital station, where he told them he had learned from Bombaasa that Wurth Skidder, who had gone missing, was a captive aboard a Yuuzhan Vong ship bound for a rendezvous at Kalarba. They quickly made their way there and lay in wait for the ship, Crèche. When Crèche arrived, they ambushed it. It fled into hyperspace before they could cripple it, but the Dozen were able to confirm it was headed to Fondor.[6]

They pursued it there, harassing it until they were able to board. When they encountered Yuuzhan Vong warriors, Rhysode and Durron fought alongside each other while the other pilots provided long-range support. They found several prisoners in the main chamber, but were informed that Skidder was being held a deck below. There they found him, but the Jedi told Rhysode and Durron that he was dying. He ordered them, before they left with the captives, to find the commander, Chine-kal, and the Hutt aboard, Randa Besadii Diori. They rescued the Hutt, who aided them in finding Chine-kal in the chamber housing the ship's yammosk battle coordinator. Rhysode killed the yammosk and they withdrew as the ship, linked to the yammosk, died.[6]

Strike at the voxyn[]

"The leader has to be someone they won't be too worried about—and someone they'll believe could be duped by a traitor. Someone like me."
―Ganner Rhysode, to Luke Skywalker[10]

Ganner Rhysode

When the Yuuzhan Vong began unleashing the Jedi-hunting voxyn creatures in 27 ABY, Rhysode was enlisted by Jedi Master Cilghal to help study them. He retraced the route of the Sweet Surprise, a collaborationist ship which had been carrying voxyn to Coruscant. He was among those summoned by Cilghal when she learned that the voxyn were apparently coming from Myrkr, where they were cloned from a queen. The Jedi needed to deal with this vicious threat, but Myrkr was too far behind well-fortified enemy lines for a military strike. Anakin Solo suggested a group of the younger Jedi Knights allow themselves to be turned over to the Yuuzhan Vong, who would carry them behind enemy lines, at which point they could break free and strike at Myrkr. Master Skywalker suggested he lead the team instead, by Rhysode agreed with some of the others that the Yuuzhan Vong would never take Skywalker's capture for granted. Instead, he volunteered to lead the team. It was eventually decided to go forward with the plan as Solo outlined it, using younger Jedi.[10]

Rhysode, all three Solo children, Zekk, Tenel Ka Djo, Raynar Thul, Alema Rar, Jovan Drark, Eryl Besa, Tesar Sebatyne, Krasov Hara, Bela Hara, Lowbacca, Tahiri Veila, Tekli, Ulaha Kore, and two YVH battle droids formed the Myrkr strike team. Anakin Solo was the team leader, though Rhysode, as the oldest of the Jedi, served as the decoy leader, who the Yuuzhan Vong would believe was in charge. That idea was Rhysode's own contribution to the planning. Lando Calrissian, posing as a Yuuzhan Vong collaborator, turned them over to the Yuuzhan Vong in a prearranged raid on the Lady Luck, where the Jedi were present. Rhysode was knocked unconscious during the capture and, as the presumed leader, was held separately from all the other Jedi on the Exquisite Death. The YVH droids, meanwhile, had all their lightsabers and were attached to the hull of the Yuuzhan Vong ship. When they finally crossed the frontier and the YVH droids broke the others out, the rest of the team secured the ship, ending with the bridge. There, the commander, Duman Yaght, held the unconscious Rhysode hostage. Yaght was killed and Rhysode freed.[10]

When they came out of hyperspace over Myrkr and found the worldship Baanu Rass orbiting it, the site of the voxyn cloning operation. However, Anakin Solo sensed Jedi aboard it, eliminating their initial plan of destroying the cloning facility with a fired missile. When they were ambushed by a cruiser, the Yuuzhan Vong having realized they had taken control of the Exquisite Death, Rhysode fired the baradium missile at the cruiser, destroying it, and the team then made a covert landing on the surface while the injured Kore piloted the Exquisite Death away as a decoy. Both she and one of the YVH droids were lost in the process.[10]

They made their way toward the worldship's spaceport, and from there into a warren filled with ysalamiri where the Force-sensitives Solo had sensed was being held. Rhysode covered the exit while others freed the prisoners—who turned out to be Dark Jedi, Lomi Plo and Welk. While he guarded the exit to the spaceport with Jacen Solo, Rhysode saw Nom Anor, the best-known Yuuzhan Vong spy, and Vergere arrive, and was surprised to feel that Vergere was Force-sensitive. With them were over one hundred warriors, removing the possibility of escape via the spaceport. Instead, they withdrew through the training warren, where the Yuuzhan Vong handlers trained the voxyn to hunt Jedi; Plo and Welk could guide them through it. The warren was dangerous, with voxyn loose, and Rhysode had to help kill four early in their passage. Upon finding that the Yuuzhan Vong were pursuing, the strike team organized an ambush, with Rhysode lying in wait underwater. They inflicted heavy losses on the Yuuzhan Vong, eliminating the entire group.[10]

They continued on through the training warren, spending over a day before they drew near the cloning lab. However, when they were within a kilometer of it, they saw pursuit close behind them and, with several team members injured, decided to withdraw. They tried multiple ways of approaching the facility, but all were heavily guarded, and the team was subject to near-constant harassment by voxyn. They attempted to enter the warren in which the feral voxyn lived through the city in which the Yuuzhan Vong's slaves were housed, but were ambushed in it. Rhysode helped hold the passage into the warrens, but Besa and Drark were killed in the battle and Anakin Solo badly wounded. The group was losing the cohesion that had been brought to it by the mind-sharing battle meld, giving in to despair or anger.[10]

They fought through the warren, with the Yuuzhan Vong at their heels. They eventually had to stop, and Rhysode helped make a stand while the healer, Tekli, tended to Anakin's wounds. Once Solo was stabilized, they withdrew again, losing Bela Hara in the process. They cut into the heart of the voxyn warren, where many of the feral beasts laired. There, they hoped to buy time for Solo to recuperate, but they came under attack by a great many voxyn in which Krasov Hara perished, and had to continue moving. They made it through the warren undetected by the Yuuzhan Vong, and upon leaving it found themselves in a room in which several non-Yuuzhan Vong vehicles were stored for use in training the voxyn. While Lowbacca refurbished the transport Tachyon Flier for their escape, Rhysode and the others scouted ahead, finding the cloning grashal. Plo and Welk, however, stole the Tachyon Flier and fled with Thul aboard. With their escape cut off, Solo decided to make their attack anyway. Rhysode attacked with the others, but they were pinned down and the voxyn queen escaped. Anakin Solo, dying, gave himself over to the Force, eliminating a store of voxyn tissue and clearing the way for the others before he died.[10]

They withdrew and had Sebatyne try to track the queen while they holed up. Anakin Solo had left Jacen in command, but when Lowbacca commed in to report that he had found Anakin's body, Jaina Solo, Zekk, Veila, and Rar split off to recover it. Rhysode and the others tracked down the queen, but were interrupted by the arrival of Anor and Vergere. Jaina Solo drew off Anor and the frigate he arrived in with an aerial attack in a captured shuttle, leaving Vergere—who offered to guide them to the escaping voxyn queen. Rhysode mistrusted her and kept her covered with his blaster as they tracked the creature. Finally, Solo went after the queen near Jaina's crashed ship, killing it as the others captured the frigate Ksstarr, the crew of which had been turned out to advance on the crashed ship. Jacen was captured, and Rhysode had to flee with the survivors of the team, outgunned by Yuuzhan Vong reinforcements.[10]

On the defensive[]

"Line them up, Jaina, and I'll take them out."
―Ganner Rhysode, to Jaina Solo[11]

During the escape, Solo turned over her gunnery station to Rhysode as she took the helm, and Rhysode helped clear a way for their escape toward Coruscant. There, however, they found the world conquered by a massive Yuuzhan Vong fleet. They fled once more, now to Hapes. Upon arriving, they launched Tenel Ka Djo, princess of the Hapes Consortium, in the ship's escape pod to land and establish that the Yuuzhan Vong ship was friendly while they tried to avoid being destroyed by Hapan attackers. Rhysode had to fire on a set of fighters attacking the escape pod, and though he tried to only disable them, he destroyed one.[11]

They were able to pull in the wreckage and salvage the comm unit, letting them establish contact with the Hapan authorities and receive permission to put down. However, tracking the escape pod, they noticed that it was traveling away from Hapes and pursued, finding that it had been taken in by pirates. While pursuing it, Rhysode and all the others felt what seemed to be Jacen Solo's death through the Force. They rescued Djo, but in the boarding process the Ksstarr, which Solo had renamed the Trickster, was fused to the pirate ship. They had to land both the connected ships, a difficult task; they ultimately had to separate before landing, and both performed the risky maneuver successfully, landing safely.[11]

On Hapes, Rhysode attended Anakin Solo's funeral. When Han and Leia Organa Solo, who were on Hapes, left in the Millennium Falcon for the Jedi base at Eclipse, Rhysode went with them.[11] They eventually decided to travel to Borleias, where General Wedge Antilles was leading the world's defense with the Skywalkers. The Millennium Falcon traveled with the Super Star Destroyer Lusankya, which was transferring there, but on reaching Borleias were pulled out of hyperspace inside a Yuuzhan Vong fleet attacking the planet. Rhysode manned the lower quad laser turret, protecting the Falcon from myriad coralskippers. Once they landed on Borleias, Skywalker put the Jedi to work on various missions.[12] He was away on a mission to a space station some time after his arrival when he felt the release of the well of Force energy under the former Jedi Temple on Coruscant, and was so overwhelmed that he twitched the control and slammed into the station while in the process of docking.[13]

Last stand[]

"There are thousands of warriors out here. You are only one man!"
"I am only one Jedi."
"You're insane!"
"No. I am Ganner. This threshold is mine. I claim it for my own. Bring on your thousands, one at a time or all in a rush. I don't give a damn. None shall pass."
―Nom Anor and Ganner Rhysode[4]

Rhysode makes his final stand in the Well of the World Brain.

Later that year, Rhysode heard a rumor from a navigator he had met on his native Teyr that Jacen Solo was still alive on Coruscant. He shared it with Jaina Solo, who considered it nonsense and warned him not to raise false hopes. Rhysode held off on pursuing it for some time, but felt that it was important to ascertain the truth, however, and eventually immersed himself in following the rumor, backtracking it through multiple complicated links until he arrived, weeks later, aboard a refugee ship over Bothawui. He waited outside the cabin he had been told was that of the person who had actually seen Solo, preparing himself, before he asked to enter. He was told to leave, and had a presentiment that continuing would doom him. He refused to leave, however, and entered the room. Its occupant warned him to leave, and when Rhysode reached out to influence him with the Force, he found himself leaving down the corridor, the victim of a powerful mind trick. He sneaked back, convinced the man was a Jedi in league with the Yuuzhan Vong and that the four men attending him were disguised Yuuzhan Vong. He attacked, disabling the four and leveling his lightsaber at the Jedi. The man warned, however, that if he left with Rhysode his Yuuzhan Vong controllers would destroy the refugee ship. He removed an ooglith masquer, revealing that he was in fact Jacen Solo, and rendered the stunned Rhysode unconscious.[4]

Rhysode, convinced that Solo had been turned, was conveyed back to Coruscant with Solo. He was held in a state of semi-consciousness, in which he was able to hear Solo, Anor, and Vergere discuss sacrificing him. Rhysode attempted to make Force contact with Solo, but received only a sense of reassurance from him. When he was finally fully awakened by Solo, the other man began a speech in praise of the Yuuzhan Vong gods, exhorting Rhysode to embrace the honor of being sacrificed. However, Solo quickly went to work putting the monitoring creatures to sleep, and then immediately began making sure he was healthy. Rhysode realized that Solo had been somehow deeply changed by his captivity, but was not a traitor; he had attempted to warn Rhysode away through the oppressive feeling of dread before Rhysode entered the trap, which was meant for Jaina Solo, so that the Yuuzhan Vong would have their sacred twin sacrifice. Rhysode was to be led to the Well of the World Brain—the former Senate Rotunda—for a practice of the sacrifice. What Solo actually wanted was access to the World Brain, which controlled the terraforming of Coruscant. Rhysode was unsure he could trust Solo, but the other man insisted that, while Rhysode was guaranteed to die, his death inside the Well of the World Brain could be meaningful, and urged him to trust him, passing him Anakin Solo's lightsaber, which Vergere had kept. Rhysode was awed by the honor of having the blade entrusted to him, and as Yuuzhan Vong came to investigate why their monitoring devices were malfunctioning, Rhysode decided to put his faith in Solo.[4]

Confused and terrified, Rhysode was led to the site of the sacrifice. He collapsed before entering the Well, nearly committing suicide with the lightsaber as he began hating himself for his own weakness, his combined desire and failure to be a hero, his inability to go through with the sacrifice. Solo had to pick him up with the Force, making him walk by telekinesis. As soon as they were inside the former Rotunda, Solo closed the doors, leaving the pair of Jedi alone. They proceeded to the Well, where Solo offered Rhysode an escape route through the secret tunnels used by the senators. Rhysode refused to leave Solo behind, arguing until the Yuuzhan Vong blew the door open. In a flash of insight, Rhysode understood Solo's claims about being true to himself, of choosing and acting. He chose to make use of his lifelong dream of being a hero to play the role of hero one last time, holding back the Yuuzhan Vong to give Solo time with the World Brain.[4]

Rhysode strode to the entrance, where he challenged the Yuuzhan Vong dramatically, one man against thousands of warriors. They began by taking him on in single combat, honorable challenges. When Rhysode defeated all comers, the Yuuzhan Vong began to move against him in larger and larger groups, but Rhysode immersed himself completely in the Force, defeating all those who came against him and building a heap of dead. He took numerous minor wounds in the process, receiving venomous amphistaff bites, but his state of complete oneness with the Force allowed him to continue fighting. Barely conscious of what he was doing, but finally reconciled to his desire to act the hero, he tore the doors off the building and ripped the statues of the Core Founders from their pedestals, employing them in a massive telekinetic storm around him. Finally, when all his opponents were killed, a tank beast was brought against him with infantry support. In response, he brought down much of the senate dome on himself and the tank beast, killing it and himself.[4]

Legacy of legend[]

"Let me tell you of a vision I have had. An image of the far future. It came to me through the Force some time ago, but only now have I come to understand it. In that vision, I saw a new figure in the mythology of the Yuuzhan Vong. Not a god, not a demon, but an invincible giant called 'the Ganner.' […] They will come to believe that the Ganner, the Jedi Giant, is the Guardian who stands before the Gate to the Lands of the Dead. It is the Ganner—and his forever-blazing blade of light—who stands eternal guard to prevent the shades of the dead from passing back through the Gate, to trouble the living. The curious part of the vision—as if it could be any more curious than it is already—is the words engraved on the stone of the Gate, in an arc above the great head of the Ganner: they're in Basic. […] In deep-carved block letters, it reads: NONE SHALL PASS."
―Vergere, to Jacen Solo[4]

Rhysode's last stand allowed Solo to commune with the World Brain, causing it to initiate minor problems with the worldshaping that would irritate the Yuuzhan Vong. It also bought Solo the time to escape, with Vergere, through the route Solo had suggested Rhysode use.[4] Solo ultimately proved crucial to ending the war, killing the power behind the Yuuzhan Vong throne, Onimi, and persuading the World Brain to keep Coruscant intact rather than destroy it when the Galactic Alliance invaded.[14]

Rhysode's display was witnessed by many Yuuzhan Vong, and according to a vision by Vergere, he would over time become a figure of Yuuzhan Vong myth, an invincible Jedi giant called the Ganner who guarded the gate to the land of the dead, keeping the dead from leaving to harm the living.[4] Rhysode did soon enter into the Yuuzhan Vong mythology as the Ganner, becoming revered in the Jeedai heresy, a worship of the Jedi as liberators popular among the Shamed Ones, an outcast caste of Yuuzhan Vong.[15] Even the warrior caste held Rhysode in tremendous respect due to his martial prowess and boldness.[14]

It was not only among the Yuuzhan Vong that Rhysode's memory was honored. Solo brought back news of Rhysode's manner of death, and it was concluded that Rhysode had perhaps the highest kill count of the entire war in that engagement.[14][16] When the surviving Jedi from the Myrkr mission were knighted, Rhysode and those who had died on the mission itself were memorialized as fallen warriors.[15] The Jedi named the conference room in the new Jedi Temple on Ossus the Rhysode Room in his honor, and Wedge Antilles named an impromptu squadron "Ganner Squadron" due to its assignment to fight a holding action.[17][16] In 44 ABY, Grand Master Luke Skywalker glimpsed Rhysode in the Lake of Apparitions while seeking his deceased wife Mara Jade Skywalker, but did not stop to talk with him.[18]

Personality and traits[]

"You don't understand, Jacen, the Yuuzhan Vong didn't fool me. I fooled myself. Throughout this mission, since I first heard of the Yuuzhan Vong even, I wanted to prove that I was better than they were. I was furious that I did not get to engage a Vong on Bimmiel. The first one I killed this afternoon, I tricked into stepping into that hole. I knew he was a fool, and he died because of his stupidity. And somehow, I started thinking that I was a genius compared to the rest of them. It wasn't a stretch for me to think I was brilliant compared to the Yuuzhan Vong. I've been thinking that for a long time compared to other Jedi. […] So, yes, I'll have a scar, and it will be good. The old Ganner, he had a perfect face over a perfectly arrogant attitude. Not so anymore. Every time I look in a mirror I'll be reminded that he died on Garqi, and I'm here in his place."
―Ganner Rhysode, to Jacen Solo[1]

Ganner Rhysode, wielding Anakin Solo's lightsaber.

Rhysode was extremely confident in his own power, especially his skill with telekinesis, and in his combat prowess. Also contributing to his self-confidence was the fact that he was tall, muscular, and considered good-looking by the opposite sex. He was very aware of this and took pains to maintain a striking appearance in order to show an impressive face for the Jedi Order, though it also fed his own ego.[5][1][19] He longed to be a hero, a swashbuckling Jedi, and eventually became consumed by the desire to be thought a hero. He had desired to impress others since his childhood, though this was met with the mockery of his playground companions, fueling that desire yet more.[4] He saw himself as part of a new generation of more powerful, less-inhibited Jedi who would deliver justice, in line with Kyp Durron's faction early in the Yuuzhan Vong War, looking down on the older Jedi as weak and inexperienced.[5][1] He was eager to take the war to the Yuuzhan Vong and drive them out of the galaxy.[5] Despite Rhysode's abrasively superior manner, he did set others at ease with his strong aura of competence.[8] Rhysode was flirtatious, but frequently used his flirting as a defensive mechanism to conceal deeper thoughts.[11]

The mission to Garqi, however, radically changed Rhysode's outlook. He realized that he had been overestimating himself and underestimating his opponents, and worked hard to reduce his pride. He also revised his opinion of the older Jedi upward, accepting they were wiser than he had given them credit for being. His scar provided a constant reminder to maintain humility. Where he had once looked down on Corran Horn, he began to respect the Jedi as a friend capable of showing him wisdom.[1] He did continue to struggle with his ego, however much he tried to be humble.[19] He began mistrusting Durron's faction and its motives, though he was able to continue working with Durron.[6]

Rhysode eventually decided to change his appearance in 27 ABY, finally putting aside his flashy clothes and growing a scruffy beard in a conscious effort to reduce his vanity, an issue with which he still struggled. In his final sacrifice at the Well of the World Brain, Rhysode came to terms with his desire to be a hero, and instead of denying it, embraced it and used it to make an epic last stand in which he was able to become one with the Force.[4]

Powers and abilities[]

"Okay, Ganner, here's the new plan. You're the telekinesis champ here, so you float the students to the rear of this shell, carve yourself an exit with your lightsaber, and get them out."
―Corran Horn, to Ganner Rhysode[5]

Rhysode had a special talent for telekinesis and a casual approach to use of the Force, causing him to frequently display his mastery of it.[8][5] He was also skilled in the use of mind tricks, and had some proficiency in using the Force to make himself less noticeable.[8] He was capable of using the Force to create a barrier and manipulating that barrier with great finesse, going so far as to create a body-hugging Force bubble around himself to keep the blowing sand off him on Bimmiel.[5] His danger sense, however, was weak.[10] When he marched out to give his life for Jacen Solo, he entered a state of Oneness by defying Jedi convention and totally submiting to his rage and bloodlust to slay enough Yuuzhan Vong to allow Jacen time to flee. He also was able to tear down great structures to slow the Yuuzhan Vong down before he succumbed to the terrible wounds his foes had dealt him.[4]

Behind the scenes[]

The character of Ganner Rhysode was created by author Michael A. Stackpole. He first appeared in Stackpole's novel The New Jedi Order: Dark Tide I: Onslaught in early 2000, but his name was mentioned briefly in the first issue of the comic Star Wars: Union, also written by Stackpole, in late 1999.[5][7] Rhysode continued to appear as a supporting character throughout the New Jedi Order series of novels until he was killed in the events of The New Jedi Order: Traitor, by Matthew Stover.[6][10][4]

Despite the fact that Rhysode's scar was established in The New Jedi Order: Dark Tide II: Ruin to run down the left side of his face, all four images depicting Rhysode with his scar have shown it on the right side of his face. Rhysode's hair color is also depicted at odds with the text. While the novels clearly and consistently refer to it as a jet black, only two of the five existing images of Rhysode show him with black hair. Two of them show him with light brown hair, and one black-and-white image shows his hair as light.[1][8][19][4][20][21]

Rhysode's death scene has proven immensely popular among readers due to its epic nature, landing on Star Wars Insider's list of the 20 Most Memorable Moments of the Expanded Universe and topping fan polls of the greatest moments in the Expanded Universe.[20][22]


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Notes and references[]

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 The New Jedi Order: Dark Tide II: Ruin
  2. According to The New Jedi Order: Dark Tide I: Onslaught, Ganner Rhysode was younger than Corran Horn. Since Horn was born in 18 BBY according to a post by Leland Chee on StarWars.com, Rhysode was born after 18 BBY.
  3. The Essential Reader's Companion
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 4.13 4.14 4.15 4.16 The New Jedi Order: Traitor
  5. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 5.11 5.12 5.13 5.14 5.15 5.16 5.17 5.18 5.19 5.20 5.21 5.22 5.23 5.24 5.25 The New Jedi Order: Dark Tide I: Onslaught
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 The New Jedi Order: Agents of Chaos II: Jedi Eclipse
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Union 1
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 8.7 8.8 The New Jedi Order Sourcebook
  9. The New Jedi Order: Agents of Chaos I: Hero's Trial
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 10.6 10.7 10.8 10.9 The New Jedi Order: Star by Star
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 The New Jedi Order: Dark Journey
  12. The New Jedi Order: Enemy Lines I: Rebel Dream
  13. The New Jedi Order: Enemy Lines II: Rebel Stand
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 The New Jedi Order: The Unifying Force
  15. 15.0 15.1 The New Jedi Order: Destiny's Way
  16. 16.0 16.1 Legacy of the Force: Exile
  17. Dark Nest I: The Joiner King
  18. Fate of the Jedi: Apocalypse
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 SWInsider.png "Who's Who in the New Jedi Order" – Star Wars Insider 57
  20. 20.0 20.1 SWInsider.png "20 Most Memorable Moments of the Expanded Universe" – Star Wars Insider 83
  21. The Essential Atlas
  22. 30 Years of Expanding the Universe, A Jedi Council event: The Top 100 EU Moments RESULTS! on the Jedi Council Forums (Literature board; accessed February 10, 2013) (backup link)