Gorse Bendak was a Human male former miner-turned Mandalorian Neo-Crusader who fought in the last years of the Mandalorian Wars. Rising to the rank of a Field Marshal, Bendak had a great success among the nomadic warrior clans. After the war, he became a bounty hunter until a fortune posted on his head left him unable to work in the trade. Without a job, Bendak turned to his friend and employer Ajuur the Hutt, who convinced him to wear his armor once more and enter the dueling rings of Taris under the alias Bendak Starkiller. Refusing to leave an opponent alive, Bendak retired from the ring after the Sith outlawed death matches. During the Jedi Civil War, he remained on Taris, watching matches in the cantina and hoping for the day he could return to the arena for another death match with a worthy opponent.
Bendak was born into a family of miners, a tradition that went back generations that he decided to follow. In the year that the Mandalorians invaded the Republic, Bendak was stationed on the mining colony of Vanquo. Working in the mines on the dayside when the invaders attacked, he began working on a defense for when they would reach the mines. And sure enough, that defense held the Mandalorians back for two weeks, killing a dozen Mandalorian warriors. Seeing his fighting spirit and abilities, he was offered to join the Mandalorians. Bendak reluctantly agreed, as the only other alternative was slavery.
A quick learner in the art of combat and weapon handling, Bendak rose to the rank of Field Marshal in only two years and received the golden armor of the Neo-Crusaders. However, his soldiering career ended when the forces under the command of Revan defeated the Mandalorian forces in the last battle of the Mandalorian Wars.
In need of work, Bendak became a skilled bounty hunter, offering his skills to the highest bidder. Bendak found himself with a huge bounty on his head soon after, as he accidentally killed a nobleman's daughter, and was forced to retire the trade and turn to his employer Ajuur the Hutt on Taris. The Hutt encouraged Bendak to become a duelist, using his old armor and adding a stage name to his own: Starkiller. Despite the fact that Mandalorians were hated on the world, Bendak Starkiller became a popular gladiator in the dueling ring—killing many unfortunate opponents. Eventually however, death matches were outlawed and Bendak lost interest, deciding to retire from the rings. He still hoped for a day when a worthy opponent would arrive for one last duel, so he would wander into the cantina to watch the duels.
That day eventually came, when the duelist known as the "Mysterious Stranger" became the new champion of Taris. An impressed Bendak came out of his retirement, wanting to duel him in an illegal death match. Revan, however, refused.
Behind the scenes
Bendak's canonical fate is unknown: assuming that the player picks the light side choice for this scenario, Bendak is not killed by Revan, as dueling with him gives dark side points for breaking the law, despite how vicious a killer Bendak is. If, however, the player picks the dark side choice for the scenario, Revan has the possibility to duel and kill Bendak. In this case, Revan obtains dark side points, the largest purse of credits from the duel, and Bendak's blaster—a modified Mandalorian blaster pistol that is the strongest standard blaster in the game—is given to Revan by Ajuur after his death and defeat. Under the argument that Revan risked his life, the player could convince Ajuur to boost the reward from 700 to 900 credits if the Persuade level is high enough. If the persuasion fails, the player could opt to threaten the Hutt for the reward instead, but this will gain more dark side points.
The biographical details given for Bendak Starkiller above, though documented in the Knights of the Old Republic Campaign Guide, contradict information from Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, in which Tarisian death matches are said to have been outlawed for "nearly ten years" and Bendak is considered by the other duelists to be an old pro past his prime. As the game is set in 3956 BBY, this would have meant that Bendak had been a duelist on Taris in the years leading up to 3966 BBY, rather than as a miner on Vanquo before it was attacked by Mandalorians two years later.
Zax, the Hutt responsible for running the bounty office at Javyar's Cantina, explains that Bendak acquired the government contract on his head after continuing to kill at illegal underground circuits for some time after the ban on death matches. The campaign guide instead attributes his bounty on having accidentally murdered a nobleman's daughter.
Moreover, though the Sith enforced the ban during the game, it was not suggested that it had been they who introduced it, as their conquest and subsequent quarantine of Taris was heavily implied—though not outright stated—to have taken place following the destruction of the Endar Spire. John Jackson Miller stated that this tension would be explained in 2009, although that did not happen.
- Knights of the Old Republic: Prima's Official Strategy Guide
- Knights of the Old Republic Campaign Guide (First identified as Gorse Bendak)