- "I have dreamed of you. A dark man who offers me incredible secrets, then destroys me. I am lost if I go with you."
- ―Gantoris, to Luke Skywalker
Gantoris was a Human male native to the planet of Eol Sha. He was a Force-sensitive and was believed by Luke Skywalker to be a descendant of Ta'ania, herself the daughter of a Jedi Knight who exiled herself to the isolated world. Gantoris used his fledgling abilities to protect the people of the volcanic planet, and was eventually made the leader of their forgotten colony.
In 11 ABY, Skywalker journeyed to Eol Sha as part of his search for Jedi offspring and other Force-sensitives. New Republic reports had indicated that the leader of Eol Sha could predict earthquakes, an ability Skywalker hoped was latent Force-sensitivity. Upon his arrival, he was brought before the planet's leader by one of the colonists, Warton. Gantoris mistrusted the black-robed Jedi Master, believing him to be a "Dark Man" who had plagued his nightmares for many years. He believed that the "Dark Man" would teach him unimaginable powers and then destroy him. Because of this premonition, Gantoris made Skywalker face tests of his powers to prove himself before accepting Skywalker was whom he claimed to be. He then became the first student Skywalker recruited to join his Jedi Praxeum on Yavin 4.
There, the ambitious trainee was frustrated by Skywalker's individualistic and unorthodox training methods. Gantoris was visited more frequently by the "Dark Man," who was in fact the spirit of the Sith Lord Exar Kun. He accepted training from Kun, who had entrapped his spirit within the Massassi temples on Yavin 4. Eventually, Gantoris fashioned his own lightsaber, responding to Kun's subtle guidance through the Force, yet he was unaware that Kun was actually attempting to turn Gantoris to the dark side. When Gantoris finally realized this and tried to reject Kun, the specter incinerated him, making him the first student to die at the Praxeum.
- "On our world we don't have many choices. My people must take what we can find."
Gantoris was born into the sole settlement of the isolated volcanic world Eol Sha. His affinity with the Force first became apparent when he survived an avalanche as a child: while his companions were crushed by falling rock mere feet from him, Gantoris instinctively shielded himself using the Force to survive the onslaught of rock. His latent Force-sensitivity benefited the colony in many ways, such as by accurately predicting earthquakes, eruptions, and avalanches. These warnings proved invaluable on the unstable planet, where ordinary activities such as food gathering were fraught with danger; whether it was hunting bugdillos with spears or gathering lichen from within dormant geysers, mortality frequently confronted the colonists. Gantoris' abilities, combined with his tough attitude and charismatic leadership, led to him becoming the leader of the surviving colonists; however, his Force-sensitivity also gave him repeated dreams of a "Dark Man"—someone who would promise him great power before ultimately destroying him.
In 9 ABY, Eol Sha was rediscovered by a New Republic sociologist, who briefly visited the planet. Within his report recommending the immediate evacuation of the planet, the sociologist mentioned the unusual abilities ascribed to Gantoris by his fellow colonists. Although his report was soon lost within the growing Republic bureaucracy, and his recommendation never formally acted on, it was later noticed by Jedi Master Luke Skywalker. Piecing this report together with information that a woman named Ta'ania, an illegitimate daughter of a Jedi Knight, was one of the original colonists around 89 BBY, Skywalker traveled to Eol Sha in 11 ABY. He was searching for Force-sensitive individuals to train at his new Jedi Praxeum on Yavin 4. At the time Skywalker landed on the planet, Gantoris and many of the colonists were attempting to rescue two children that had been caught in an avalanche; a driven man, Gantoris worked with a fervor that outstripped his companions. Skywalker was brought to Gantoris by the colonist Warton and the Jedi Master immediately began aiding the colonists' efforts by moving large heavy boulders with the Force. Eventually, the workers discovered the two children; one crushed to death by the rocks and the other heavily injured. In the heat of the moment, Gantoris reacted angrily to Skywalker's presence, associating his black robes and powerful abilities with the "Dark Man" who had haunted his sleep. His fellow colonists also reacted with suspicion at this stranger whose arrival had coincided with the death of one of their own. The Jedi Master tried to explain the purpose of his trip, and offered to prove his good intentions in whatever way Gantoris found appropriate. While the Eol Sha leader himself carried the broken body of the dead boy back to their village, he ordered Skywalker separated from the colonists and kept in a dilapidated storage module. In an attempt to keep the Jedi off-balance, Gantoris informed him the shelter had been the dead child's favorite play spot.
Gantoris resolved to test Skywalker's abilities with two challenges, to see if the young Jedi could wield the powers to support his claim. First, Gantoris led him into a geyser tunnel, ostensibly to collect lichen. On the way to the geyser, Skywalker noticed that although Gantoris moved with poise and confidence, his feelings were uncertain, unsure of whether to trust the strange arrival. He tried to sway Gantoris with safety for his people, promising them a paradise world given the eventual doom of their current world—the moon of Eol Sha was being pulled towards the planet that would result in a collision within a few hundred years— but Gantoris was unconvinced. After luring Skywalker deep into the geyser the suspicious leader covertly exited the column, waiting to see if Skywalker could survive an imminent eruption. Sensing the rising heat and the pressure below, Skywalker tried to climb out, but eventually had to use a Force Jump to escape. For the second test, Gantoris made him cross a lava pit and confront the deadly fireworm within. Upon seeing the fireworm, Skywalker used his lightsaber to puncture a hole in the creature's metallic armor, and the lava seeped in, killing it from the inside out, and exploding it when the lava reached the fireworm's air bladders. Since Skywalker succeeded in passing both challenges, Gantoris agreed to follow him off Eol Sha, and Skywalker promised him the other inhabitants of the hostile world be relocated by the New Republic.
- "Success and failure will always be a part of your training."
"Not for me. I do not choose to fail."
- ―Luke Skywalker teaches Gantoris
Skywalker and Gantoris traveled to Bespin, to convince a gas prospector named Streen to join them. During the journey, Skywalker began to teach Gantoris about the Force, showing him how to reach out with his mind. Master Skywalker was surprised by the level of concentration Gantoris could muster, and also that Gantoris was able to detect a flow of emotion - memories of the first duel with his father, Darth Vader - from himself when they orbited Bespin. Gantoris began to show his level of dedication to his training, practicing to reach out through the Force, detecting Streen over a long distance while Skywalker was in a resting trance. There, to demonstrate to Streen the potential of the Force, Skywalker continued to teach Gantoris. Skywalker used telekinesis to move a metal structure in order to produce a gong-like sound, causing a rawwk to take flight. Gantoris proved himself a quick learner, being able to sense all the buildings around him through the Force and perform the exercise exactly on the third attempt, moving a different structure with telekinesis disturbing several more rawwks. The two new students went on to become friends at the Praxeum.
During his brief stay on Coruscant, Gantoris spent much time with Leia Organa Solo, as she was searching for a planet to re-home the colonists of Eol Sha. She felt uncomfortable around Gantoris, seeing a darkness in his eyes, thinking he was a man of power shown to be insignificant. Solo also was intrigued by him, watching his wonder at all the things on Coruscant she considered commonplace. When she showed Gantoris images of Dantooine, the planet selected for re-location, he considered it a paradise, assuming the pictures were representative.
At the Jedi Praxeum on Yavin 4, Gantoris quickly proved his talents as a student, although this served to heighten his view of self-worth. Gantoris had become accustomed to a certain level of prestige due to his former position, and was wont to complain when he was made to undertake menial tasks such as clearing much of the Massassi Temple that was to become the Praxeum itself. He would often explore the surroundings of the Praxeum with other students, sensing the power emanating from the Massassi temples on the forest moon. Alongside the other students, Gantoris developed abilities such as augmenting his own strength using the Force, but would still think of the people he left behind, asking Wedge Antilles on the status of the colonist's new home when he delivered supplies.
Gantoris quickly became a rival of the Corellian student Corran Horn, former Rogue Squadron pilot and CorSec officer. Both men were disciplined, rising earlier than other trainees to exercise and begin the day before their peers. Skywalker believed the mutual envy was generated because of the pair's similarities to each other, constantly pushing themselves for improvement, striving to be the best student. Skywalker believed Gantoris felt threatened by this other ambitious student, believing the man of equal determination and dedication was a true challenger to his own skills. Likewise, Horn envied Gantoris for his grasp of certain Force techniques, particularly telekinesis, an area in which Horn was weak. Gantoris' distaste for the Corellian manifested itself when Horn discovered one of his own strengths for using the Force, Alter Mind. Intending to raise a large boulder with telekinesis, Horn unintentionally implanted the image of the stone rising in the minds of all the students while doing nothing of the kind. Gantoris believed he was tricked, demanding the other student explain how he had made it appear that the rock had risen. Skywalker placated Gantoris, saying what the other student had done was to begin to discover his potential with the Force.
The "Dark Man" Gantoris had seen in his dreams had begun to talk to him, convincing him that Skywalker was withholding the true secrets of Jedi knowledge. Gantoris' impatience only heightened the temptation of the power the Dark Man claimed to teach. Skywalker's student eventually discovered the "Dark Man" was in fact Exar Kun, a long-dead fallen Jedi turned Sith Lord who had instigated the Great Sith War 4,000 years earlier. Desperate to learn more, he undertook this mysterious tutelage, learning first how to rid his tiredness from his body so he never had to sleep. Soon after this, when roaming the area surrounding the Praxeum while the other students slept, Gantoris began to understand techniques required in constructing a dual-phase lightsaber thanks to Kun's guidance. To construct the weapon, he used three corusca gems that he had found near one of the Massassi temples. The combination of these gems gave the blade a purple hue, and also possessed the ability to quickly increase its blade length to be three times that of a normal lightsaber.
Skywalker took all the apprentices into an underground hot spring, testing them in their abilities to channel energies through the Force. Knowing there would be surges of heat, Skywalker attempted to teach his students to use the Force to allow the heat to pass them unharmed. When it was clear Dorsk 81 would not shield himself in time, Gantoris showed his leadership qualities by swimming to him, protecting both himself and the Khommite student. When the heat subsided, Gantoris encouraged Dorsk 81, agreeing with his view that next time he would be stronger. After this ordeal, he revealed to Master Skywalker that he now knew he was not the "Dark Man" that had haunted his dreams.
The next morning Gantoris revealed his constructed lightsaber, challenging Master Skywalker to a duel, threatening to strike him down if he did not defend himself. Many times during the fight he attacked out of anger, forcing Skywalker to constantly defend. The Jedi Master refused to go on the offensive, fearing it would aggravate the student even more. Gantoris' rage meant he was perilously close to the dark side—only when he was momentarily distracted by a runyip charging through the undergrowth was Skywalker able to telekinetically pull the lightsaber from Gantoris's hand, ending the duel. To the astonishment of the other students, Skywalker returned the lightsaber to his student, telling him to be wary of the anger that had gripped him during the duel, before returning to the temple.
The night after his duel with Skywalker, Gantoris knew he would be visited by the "Dark Man" again. He no longer trusted Exar Kun, but believed he could at least face the Sith Lord without help from the other Jedi trainees or Skywalker. Gantoris attempted to remain peaceful during Kun's goading, but the specter showed him the colonists he had led on Eol Sha as they were slaughtered by the Imperial forces under the command of Admiral Natasi Daala. However, Gantoris could not maintain his composure upon witnessing an AT-AT blasting his old friend, Warton. He leaped at the shadow of Kun, futilely slashing with his lightsaber but striking nothing but the wall. Laughing, Kun incinerated Gantoris from the inside out, killing the student. When the other Jedi students went to Gantoris's room the next morning, they discovered the charred remains of his body, and his lightsaber on the floor. This made him the first of Skywalker's academy students to die and deeply shook the Jedi Master's confidence in his teaching abilities.
As the strongest apprentice at the Praxeum, Gantoris's death shook Skywalker's confidence in his skills to teach the Jedi trainees he had gathered together. Gantoris's fall to the dark side, despite his evident skill with the Force, also unnerved many of the students. Gantoris's death served as an example of the power of the dark side, its seduction, and eventual destruction of oneself, but the students also used him as motivation to overcome the dark side and work together.
Following his death, Gantoris was buried in a grove on Yavin 4, and the site was marked by a gray plinth. His lightsaber was used by several students at the Praxeum who did not possess lightsabers of their own—Kirana Ti wielded it when the students stood against Exar Kun's spirit and Kyp Durron was given it during a redemption test by Skywalker. Durron had to go into Kun's temple with the lightsaber—he passed the test by refusing to use it to strike down Kun's shadow that appeared before him. The shadow then changed into Durron's brother, Zeth Durron, showing he had passed. Corran Horn was motivated by the rivalry the pair had shared to create his own dual-phase lightsaber, to prove his skill was as good as Gantoris'.
Personality and traitsEdit
- "I want your anger, Gantoris."
- ―Exar Kun, to Gantoris
Having become a respected leader, Gantoris was a headstrong and confident man, even to the point of arrogance. He had gotten used to his position of leadership, and was not used to succumbing to the opinions and decisions of others. His rapid development at the Praxeum would only enforce his self-importance, where he outstripped his peers in terms of progression. His high ambition meant Gantoris always strove to improve his skills, as his life on Eol Sha had meant he had to rely mostly on his own abilities. This ambition led him to challenge Luke Skywalker in a lightsaber duel, in which he was defeated. Corran Horn believed Gantoris had a 'healthy ego', a trait he recognized in himself. But Horn also considered Gantoris a man who would give himself any advantage over a rival, when Streen revealed Gantoris had been trained by Skywalker on Bespin before performing exercises at the Praxeum.
He had trouble in grasping the possibility that others could possess power he did not, as was demonstrated when Corran Horn created the illusion of the rising rock over all the members of the Praxeum. Gantoris's outburst demanding him to explain his powers of mind manipulation showed he felt he was fooled by Horn, and was loath to be deceived or outclassed in any way. It was this trait that led him to follow the mysterious lessons of Exar Kun to build his lightsaber, and to challenge the strongest person at the Praxeum - Skywalker himself. Gantoris was familiar with ways of manipulating the mind, as he sought to unnerve Luke Skywalker by detaining him in the playspot of a dead child shortly after their initial meeting.
Despite these foibles, Gantoris's hardened experience meant he knew the importance of solidarity, teamwork, and aiding others. He would lead by example, challenging himself time and again to improve, encouraging others at the Praxeum to do the same. He upheld concepts such as honor above personal disputes, as he showed when he refused to attack an unarmed Horn during combat training in the Praxeum. Despite his strength over the other students, Gantoris was respected by many of his peers, with both Streen and Dorsk 81 counting him as a friend at the Praxeum.
Powers and abilitiesEdit
- "My first true failure as a teacher was Gantoris. He built his lightsaber in only a few intense days, following instructions given to him by the spirit of Exar Kun. Gantoris thought he was ready, and my mistake was not seeing what he was up to."
- ―Luke Skywalker
Gantoris had used his ability to sense his surroundings with the Force most of his life; as a result he was skilled at feeling the area around him and noticing any changes, particularly surges of emotions or environmental instabilities that could prove dangerous. With little training, he could sense emotions of those around him, sense incoming presences and use simple telekinesis. At the Praxeum, he was able to lift seemingly impossible loads by using the Force to aid his muscles, alongside Streen.
Having to draw on the Force for most of his life in order to survive the harsh world of Eol Sha meant that he rapidly learned the techniques he was taught at the Praxeum. He was the most promising student there, showing strength for the generating of a protection bubble. He used this to protect both himself and fellow trainee Dorsk 81 from a surge of heat when the students relaxed in a natural hot spring. Gantoris was highly adept at telekinesis, being able to cause several small stones to fly around his head, and showed he was a skilled fighter during the sparring sessions ran by Kam Solusar and Corran Horn. Under instruction from Exar Kun, Gantoris was able to overcome tiredness by drawing strength from the Force. This meant he never needed to sleep, and took to wandering around the areas surrounding the Praxeum. It was then he learned the method of constructing his lightsaber. His lightsaber blade was constructed using three focusing crystals, which allowed him to extend the length to that of a spear. He also wielded a lightsaber with a skill that exceeded that which he had received training.
Behind the scenesEdit
Gantoris was created by Kevin J. Anderson and first appeared in The Jedi Academy Trilogy opening novel Jedi Search. He is the first student Luke Skywalker recruits for the Jedi Praxeum, and as the most promising student he represents the success of the new line of Jedi. Gantoris did not fall to the dark side, though he came very close, he was killed for refusing to turn by Exar Kun. He is also used in the novel to introduce the character of Exar Kun, a key antagonist, in the second Jedi Academy novel, Dark Apprentice. However, only Gantoris's entry in the Star Wars Encyclopedia specifies that Gantoris indeed is aware that the Dark Man is Kun.
Gantoris's lightsaber is described in Dark Apprentice to be purple-white with rainbow colors running along its length. No other works involving lightsabers reference these shimmering colors, with Gantoris's lightsaber itself referred to as purple, amethyst or purple-white in other works, including I, Jedi, The Jedi Academy Sourcebook, and The New Essential Chronology.
- I, Jedi
- Jedi Search (First appearance)
- "Firestorm"—Star Wars Adventure Journal 15
- Dark Apprentice
- Champions of the Force (Mentioned only)
- Children of the Jedi (Mentioned only)
- Darksaber (Mentioned only)
- Young Jedi Knights: Lightsabers (Mentioned only)
- The New Jedi Order: Dark Tide I: Onslaught (Mentioned only)
- The Jedi Academy Sourcebook
- "The Dark Side"—Star Wars Galaxy Magazine 8
- Star Wars Encyclopedia
- "ComicScan: 20 Tales To Tantilize"—Star Wars Galaxy Collector 5
- "Use the Force: A Novel Trivia Quiz"—Star Wars Galaxy Collector 5
- A Guide to the Star Wars Universe, Third Edition, Revised and Expanded
- The Dark Side Sourcebook
- The New Essential Chronology
- Jedi vs. Sith: The Essential Guide to the Force
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 The Jedi Academy Sourcebook
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 Dark Apprentice
- ↑ 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 3.13 Jedi Search
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 Jedi vs Sith: The Essential Guide to the Force
- ↑ "Firestorm"—Star Wars Adventure Journal 15
- ↑ 6.00 6.01 6.02 6.03 6.04 6.05 6.06 6.07 6.08 6.09 6.10 I, Jedi
- ↑ The Essential Guide to Characters
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 Star Wars Encyclopedia
- ↑ Young Jedi Knights: Lightsabers
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 Champions of the Force