- "It is my job to live with honor, to defend the Republic, to protect her people, to look after my ship and my weapon and my Padawan. My death, is somebody else's responsibility."
- ―Jai Maruk to Whie Malreaux
Jai Maruk was a Human male from the planet Druckenwell. He served as a Jedi Master for the Jedi Order during the Clone Wars, the conflict between the Galactic Republic and the Confederacy of Independent Systems. Sometime around 20 BBY, Maruk was patrolling the Outer Rim when he noticed a curious pattern of small transports that kept appearing on unusual coordinates. He followed one into its rendezvous on the planet Vjun, and was captured by the Separatist-aligned Dark Jedi Asajj Ventress after a short duel. Maruk was brought to Count Dooku, the Head of State of the Confederacy, who promptly released him in order to deliver a message to Grand Master Yoda.
During his time recuperating in the Jedi Temple, the annual Apprentice Tournament was held and Maruk was among the many spectators. He made a comment to Yoda about one of the apprentices, Tallisibeth Enwandung-Esterhazy, regarding her weak connection to the the Force as a liability for a Jedi Knight, and that it would be better for her to be sent to the Agricultural Corps. Yoda made a wager with him that if Enwandung-Esterhazy finished in the lower half of the tournament, she would be sent to the Agricultural Corps, but if she came out on top, Maruk would take her on as his Padawan. Enwandung-Esterhazy eventually emerged as the tournament champion and Maruk grudgingly accepted her as his Padawan.
Weeks later, Maruk and Enwandung-Esterhazy accompanied Yoda on a classified mission to Vjun, along with Master Maks Leem and her Padawan Whie Malreaux. On their way to Vjun, their group stopped at Phindar Spaceport and were ambushed by Ventress and a platoon of assassin droids. Maruk and Leem destroyed six of the assassin droids before Ventress engaged the injured Maruk in another lightsaber duel. During the fight, Maruk realized her skills were simply better than his, and almost fell to the dark side of the Force trying to defeat her. It was only the silent plea of his dying colleague Leem that snapped Maruk back to his senses. Ventress eventually dealt a mortal blow to Maruk with her lightsaber, and he died a short while later in the arms of Enwandung-Esterhazy.
- "Dark or light is not a feeling, but a choice."
- ―Jai Maruk to Whie Malreaux.
Jai Maruk was a Human male native from the planet Druckenwell. He was taken to the Jedi Temple on Coruscant at some point in his early years for Jedi training, and earned the nickname "the Hawk-bat" for his penchant of winning staring contests against other Jedi Apprentices. Maruk had attained the rank of Jedi Master by the time the Clone Wars broke out between the Galactic Republic and the Confederacy of Independent Systems.
In 19 BBY,' Maruk served as a Jedi General in the Grand Army of the Republic. While leading clone troopers as they ran reconnaissance in the Outer Rim, he noticed small drab transports that kept traveling in from unusual coordinates. Deciding to investigate further, he tracked one of the transports to its rendezvous on the planet Vjun. Despite carefully making landfall, he was still discovered by the Separatist-aligned Dark Jedi Asajj Ventress, who engaged him in a lightsaber duel..
Maruk made the mistake of underestimating Ventress, and the latter overpowered him with her relentless attacks. His lightsaber disarmed, Ventress took Maruk as her prisoner and transported him to Château Malreaux, where Count Dooku, leader of the Confederacy, was residing. In spite of protests from Ventress, who wanted to kill Maruk and add him to her growing tally of slain Jedi, Dooku allowed him to go free in order to deliver a private message to Grand Master Yoda. Maruk flew back to Coruscant and into the Jedi Temple, calling all available members of the High Council to deliver Dooku's message.
Accepting a Padawan
- "She doesn't have any business fighting. Left hand badly burned and bandaged, limping on her right side—another lightsaber burn, probably. What did you think of the way she competed this morning? Not quite in keeping with the Jedi ideals, I would say."
"Which ideals mean you?"
"Too much trickery."
- ―Jai Maruk to Yoda
Weeks later, Maruk was among the audience of the annual Apprentice Tournament held in the temple. After the first half of the competition was completed, Maruk received a tip from Master Ilena Xan, the tournament's host, that the second part would be held in the refectory as a surprise. Maruk made his way to the dining room and was called by Yoda to join his and Master Maks Leem's table. Discussing the tournament between themselves, Maruk expressed his negative feelings on one certain participant: Apprentice Tallisibeth Enwandung-Esterhazy.
He felt that she would be a liability due to her weak connection to the Force, as well as her penchant of using too much trickery, which he felt wasn't in keeping with the ideals of the Jedi. Maruk concluded that the best path for her would be to the Agricultural Corps, where she could do a lot of good for many years, as opposed to being dead in mere months in the battle field.
To Maruk's surprise, Yoda made a bet with him; Enwandung-Esterhazy would be sent to the Agricultural Corps if she finished in the lower half of the tournament. If she came in second, third, or fourth, she'd remain as an apprentice, and if she won the tournament, Maruk would take her as his Padawan learner. Maruk reluctantly accepted the wager and after Enwandung-Esterhazy defeated all other competition, Maruk was forced to keep his word and took her as his Padawan.
Mission to Vjun
- "To be Jai Maruk's Padawan are you, and come with him on a mission beyond Coruscant."
- ―Yoda to Tallisibeth Enwandung-Esterhazy.
Shortly after the tournament, Yoda selected Maruk, Enwandung-Esterhazy, Leem, and her Padawan, the Vjun native Whie Malreaux, to accompany him on a secret mission to Vjun in order to bring Count Dooku back to the Jedi fold. Their trip started in the Chancellor Palpatine Spaceport, where, while undercover, they boarded the starship Reasonable Doubt to travel to the Outer Rim. During the journey, Maruk found himself starting to like Enwandung-Esterhazy despite his strict reservations in forming attachments. In a private conversation with Malreaux, Maruk expressed his admiration of Enwandung-Esterhazy's commitment to living with honor despite her limitations, including not succumbing to the temptation of cheating her way through life.
On the second leg of their journey, their group arrived at Phindar Spaceport, the gateway to the Outer Rim, when they were ambushed by Ventress and a platoon of assassin droids. A group of six droids attacked Maruk and Leem by deploying Hard-sound guns, which momentarily incapacitated the two Jedi Masters. Leem managed to battle through the pain in her head and destroy one of the two sonic projectors, which allowed Maruk to concentrate and demolish one of the droids bearing the second hard-sound gun. Surrounded by the mayhem caused by the fleeing civilians, Maruk gleefully fought with a rage dangerously close to the dark side and destroyed two more droids, with Leem dispatching the remainder.
Battered and injured, Maruk then faced off against Ventress in a rematch of their previous duel. Despite mentally preparing for this fight, having selected the best opening stances and attacks to use, Maruk realized that she simply was his better in lightsaber dueling. He switched tactics and used the Force to throw a piece of a broken droid behind her back, only for her to sense this and evade the projectile easily, hitting him hard in his right leg instead. As his hatred of her slowly fueled his attacks, Maruk fell into a black fury half blinded with hate as he drove her back with his flurry.
Ventress, toying with him, continued to seduce him into the dark side of the Force. Leem, too incapacitated from her own injuries to assist Maruk against Ventress, pleaded with him not to fall to the dark side. Maruk realized how close he actually came to losing himself and made the decision to die as a Jedi. He was smiling the moment Ventress eventually dealt a fatal slash to his chest. When his Padawan Enwandung-Esterhazy finally reached his side, she begged him not to leave her and, with his last breath before dying, Maruk promised that he never would, and would be with her in spirit.
Personality and traits
- "My own temper is not well regulated. It might be described as angry and resentful. I am too quick to condemn and too slow to forgive. I have struck men in anger."
- ―Jai Maruk describing himself.
Jai Maruk was fair-skinned with brown hair and bearded by the time of the Clone Wars. His appearance was typical enough of a Druckenwellian that a spaceport security guard was able to correctly guess his homeworld. After his first duel with Asajj Ventress on Vjun, he suffered a lightsaber burn on his cheek that left him a white scar that ran from his jaw to ear.
Maruk was a gaunt and fierce Jedi who rarely smiled. He thought of himself as a private man and someone who hated being in a crowd at the best of times. He acknowledged his flaws of having a temper, his quick condemnation, and his slow forgiveness toward others. He believed in being honorable and was put off by Tallisibeth Enwandung-Esterhazy's excessive use of trickery during the Apprentice Tournament.
Maruk was strong-willed, even as a seven year old child in the Temple. He won staring contests against other apprentices by simply refusing to close his eyes, even though they burned and ran with tears, and outlasting his opponent who couldn't take the pain. Because of his fierce, wild stare, he earned the nickname "the Hawk-bat". In his teenage years, he developed an attraction toward fellow Jedi apprentice Politrix and remembered her fondly after her death two months after the Battle of Geonosis.
Although having attained the rank of Jedi Master, he felt that he was not ready to take his own Padawan, feeling that he was more of a doer than a teacher. He dedicated his entire life to the principles of justice, truth, and knowledge. Maruk was a firm believer of the light side, stating plainly that he would have no problem killing a Jedi who fell to the dark side. However, Maruk almost succumbed to the dark's power while battling Ventress for the second time; his desperation and hatred bubbled as he realized he was going to die at her hands. When he successfully resisted the pull and stayed within the light, it meant everything for Maruk, and he died smiling.
Powers and abilities
- "A Jedi who has turned to the dark side is not a common criminal, Whie. His gifts and abilities give him a great power for evil."
- ―Jai Maruk to Whie Malreaux
Trained as a Jedi since his youth at the Jedi Temple on Coruscant, Jai Maruk was fully capable of utilizing the Force in many ways, particularly Telekinesis and Force jumping. He was also proficient at lightsaber combat, able to win against formidable assassin droids despite being injured.
Behind the scenes
Jai Maruk first appeared in Yoda: Dark Rendezvous, a novel written by Sean Stewart and published in 2004. Maruk was first visually depicted in Star Wars: Battle for the Republic, a mobile game released in 2005. He is among the available heroes featured in the game that add combat modifiers to units, which can be used for attacking and defending.
Maruk has conflicting versions of his capture by Asajj Ventress. In The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, it states that he was on patrol near the planet Vjun when his forces were intercepted by Ventress and brought to the planet. In the novel Yoda: Dark Rendezvous, he was actually patrolling in the Outer Rim and snuck into Vjun alone before Ventress defeated him in a duel and captured him.
Another contradiction appears in The Essential Reader's Companion, which establishes that Maruk escaped capture from Ventress and delivered a message from Count Dooku to Grand Master Yoda. However, in the novel Ventress delivered Maruk as a prisoner to Dooku, who promptly released him in order to deliver his message to Yoda.
- Yoda: Dark Rendezvous (First appearance, simultaneous with Yoda: Dark Rendezvous audiobook)
- Yoda: Dark Rendezvous audiobook
- Star Wars: Battle for the Republic (First pictured)