- "8t88, meet Jan. She's cranky sometimes. But very good looking. Not something you could relate to."
- ―Kyle Katarn
Jan Ors was a Human female Alderaanian intelligence operative who began her work as an agent for the terrorist organization Justice Action Network. As the undercover agent Jan Strange, she then shifted to helping the Alliance to Restore the Republic, becoming one of their trusted operatives.
Ors was instrumental in recruiting Kyle Katarn to the Alliance and together they worked on many missions for the Alliance and later the New Republic. The two would later become romantically involved. Ors continued her work for the New Republic by joining Alpha Blue, a secret intelligence organization, that she eventually took over from Hiram Drayson. There she worked for the Galactic Federation of Free Alliances against the Yuuzhan Vong.
Jan Ors' mother was a choreographer for Alderaan's premier ballet company, and her father was an aerospace engineer; Ors learned both of these arts. Her parents also were instrumental in Earnst Kamiel's establishing of the Justice Action Network, an anti-Imperial terrorist organization whose initials (JAN) were partly chosen to honor the Ors' daughter. However, Ors did not stay with the JAN, instead striking out on her own path.
Alias and espionage
She began her career by infiltrating Imperial Intelligence under the pseudonym Jan Strange. Once she was well placed in the Surveillance section of Intell, she contacted the Alliance Intelligence, providing them with invaluable counterintelligence and performing sabotage and covert extractions. She first encountered the Imperial cadet Kyle Katarn while working in Intell, though neither left an impression on the other at the time.
She maintained a very delicate balance of providing intelligence to the Alliance while simultaneously performing her duties as an Imperial Intelligence officer. Surveillance section came to value her ability to pinpoint the right subjects for observation, and often sent her to the Core Worlds where corruption was rampant. This "talent" was the result of Ors arranging to have targets planted by the Alliance, whom she would then observe, capture, and interrogate; they would then be set free, and she would fake a "termination during interrogation" to cover their escape.
Unfortunately for the Alliance, her cover required her to sometimes act against them, even sometimes going so far as to sacrifice clumsy and careless agents. Despite having never worn the uniform of the Alliance to Restore the Republic, her difficult assignment earned her a Captain's rank and a Nebula for Bravery in absentia, along with an almost legendary stature among other Rebels.
- "What would you do without me, Kyle?"
"I'd be a content old man."
- ―Jan Ors and Kyle Katarn
Ors did not remain in her Jan Strange guise for long, and was soon performing missions as part of the Rebel Alliance itself. In 1 BBY, she participated in a mission to steal prime-grade fuel slugs from Imperial forces in the jungles of Oulanne. In the course of the mission, her leg was injured, and it became infected. Her teammates fled with her to Pellezara station in the Duro system, where they hid her beneath the deckplates of their freighter while they all disembarked in search of medical supplies. Tarrin Datch, a seventeen-year old son of the owners of the station, found her while replacing the ship's gravity disks during routine restocking. In a delirium brought on by the strange alien infection, Ors told the boy her name and the cargo the ship was carrying.
When Imperial forces entered the Duro system, Datch, an accomplished pilot, took action to save the strikingly beautiful woman, undocking the ship, and proceeding to fly it in a manner more befitting a starfighter than a freighter, outmaneuvering the Gamma-class assault shuttle that was pursuing them. When he made it to open space, he hypered to an outer-system station that was equipped with a well-equipped medicenter, where he stabilized Ors. Unable to return to Pellezara station, and knowing the fuel slugs needed to be delivered to the Alliance, Ors disclosed the location of the Dantooine base to Datch, who took them both there. There, Datch joined the Rebellion and began training to become a fighter pilot, while Ors went on to other missions; one of them stationed her at a Rebel base on the asteroid AX-456.
It was not long before the Empire located the AX-456 base and invaded; coincidentally, Kyle Katarn was the cadet commander in charge of the mission. At one point, Ors and Katarn saw each other, and though neither remembered their brief past encounters, both felt a spark of distant recognition. Katarn spared the lives of the Rebel group she was in, which fled the asteroid.
It would not be their last encounter. During a mission aboard the Star of Empire, Ors again encountered Katarn, to whom she revealed that it was the Empire, not Rebels, who killed his father Morgan Katarn. She established a relationship with the already ambivalent Katarn, and when spies uncovered the presence of Rebels aboard the Star, he defected with Ors.
Jan Ors met with Mon Mothma and persuaded her to hire Kyle Katarn as a mercenary and commando, going so far as to lie in her reports to give credence to her faith in Katarn's trustworthiness. Ors provided briefings from Alliance Command to Katarn and served as pilot of their ship, the Moldy Crow, in their pivotal missions to capture the plans for the first Death Star on Danuta and later to thwart the Dark Trooper Project.
Dark Trooper campaign
By that time she became one of the few people Katarn trusted, and also one of the few people he could count on to help him get out of sticky situations; Katarn requested to Mon Mothma that Ors accompany him for the campaign.
Ors, providing the intelligence for Katarn and guiding him during his missions, traced Moff Rebus based on an Imperial Repeater Rifle found by Katarn while investigating the massacre on Talay. She later found out that phrik that Katarn found on Fest originated from the Gromas Mines. Ors flew Katarn to Gromas 16 where he managed to destroy the facility.
After a brief delay, having to drop Katarn to Orinackra in order to free Crix Madine from the prison, Ors was informed that the Dark Trooper project was financed by smugglers and an unidentified kingpin who was no other than Jabba the Hutt. Ors suggested to Katarn that he should put a tracking device on a smuggler ship on Cal-Seti, which led them to Anteevy. There Katarn destroyed the robotics facility.
Ors investigated flights to and from Gromas 16 and Anteevy and found that they were all led to Nar Shaddaa. Ors thought that there would be found some Imperial Navigational devices or charts that the smugglers hired by the Empire used, which would help Katarn and her find the location of the Arc Hammer.
During their adventures while on Nar Shaddaa, Katarn found a nava card but the Crow was captured and both were brought onto the Star Jewel. Ors was held as a bargaining chip against the Alliance by Jabba, until she was again rescued by Katarn, who had to go through many extremes to save her, including defeating a Kell dragon with his bare hands.
Once free, Jan Ors realized that only the Imperial Security Operations building in Imperial City hosted a reader that could interpret the nava card Katarn obtained. Jan Ors approached with the Moldy Crow in a plaza where she left Katarn. While Katarn managed to reach the ISO building Jan Ors was spotted and attacked by TIE Fighters. A distress call reached Katarn's comlink on his way back and ran to see what happened. Ors was gone when Katarn returned to the place he was landed, instead finding Boba Fett waiting for him. After both Katarn and Ors were finished with their, encounters, Ors approached Katarn and the two left Coruscant.
Jan Ors, based on the output of the nava card, understood that only Executor knew the Arc Hammer's location at each given time since it was making leaps to hyperspace to keep its status secret. The only way to reach the factory was via the Executor which was supplied from Ergo. Ors's final part on the campaign was to leave Katarn on Ergo, and from that point, Katarn single-handedly finished his mission, boarding Executor, the Arc Hammer and putting an end to the Dark Trooper threat.
- "Whenever I need to find you you're always in some kind of trouble."
- ―Jan Ors to Kyle Katarn
Ors and Katarn's relationship continued to deepen, but Ors feared allowing Katarn to get too close. This changed as she accompanied Katarn on their quest for the Valley of the Jedi on Ruusan, where she was captured by the Dark Jedi Jerec. Jerec asked Katarn (who came very close to the dark side of the Force) to execute her. He refused, defeating Jerec and sealing the Valley. Ors and Katarn then declared their love for one another. She later continued to turn down Katarn's proposals of marriage, however, not wanting to get married simply because of the fear that each day could be their last.
On Mon Mothma's recommendation, Ors joined Admiral Hiram Drayson's secret Alpha Blue organization. There, she helped expose the Yevethans and kept tabs on the Order of the Canted Circle, the Azurite Society of Lords, and Grand Admiral Octavian Grant, who was allegedly retired on Rathalay. She also accompanied Katarn, who had returned to his mercenary ways after slipping to the dark side on Dromund Kaas, on a number of off-the-record missions against the Imperial Remnant in their new ship, the Raven's Claw.
While following up a lead on the Reborn, a deadly Dark Jedi force of the Empire Reborn faction, Ors was captured by a failed student of Luke Skywalker's Jedi Praxeum, Desann, and his apprentice Tavion Axmis. They pretended to kill her, and Katarn heard the lightsaber sound without being able to help her. Grieved by her apparent loss, he returned to the Valley of the Jedi to regain his Jedi powers, allowing Desann to find the Valley's location and use its powers to fuel the Reborn. It was only much later that Axmis confessed to Katarn that they only feigned Ors' execution, and the couple was ultimately reunited before Desann met his doom.
Yuuzhan Vong War and beyond
- "Success usually requires precise timing. He knows what he's doing. And he's not my husband, Lieutenant Pallin."
- ―Ors discusses timing with Lt. Pallin
Eventually, Admiral Drayson retired, and Ors took over Alpha Blue just before the Yuuzhan Vong War. In the desperate circumstances the invasion engendered, Ors looked back to her terrorist roots and, with the help of the Chiss, Lurrian genetic engineers, and others, concocted the genocidal bioagent Alpha Red. Fortunately, the invasion was halted before Alpha Red had to be put to widespread use.
In addition to her work with intelligence, Ors still performed some field missions during the war. On one such occasion on Ord Sedra, Ors and Katarn teamed up with a local Imperial stormtrooper unit under the command of Lieutenant Pallin. A force of Yuuzhan Vong warriors and Peace Brigadiers had captured an entire village and taken them as slaves. While being transported, Katarn infiltrated them, while Ors and Pallin orchestrated an ambush of the patrol. The ambush was successful and resulted in the freeing of the slaves and the capture of the enemy forces which were left under the guard of the Imperial troops. They proved unable to contain them, however, and in her rush to aid them, Ors was captured by the Yuuzhan Vong. Only the timely arrival of Katarn saved her life. After that, Katarn asked her to marry him, but she refused.
Following the end of the invasion, Katarn disappeared while investigating rumors of Sith activity. Ors, along with Katarn's former apprentice Jaden Korr, used every free moment to track him down. Eventually, she teamed up with Jedi Master Mara Jade Skywalker in forming an elite team of Alpha Blue agents and Jedi Knights to find him. The trail led to the Cloak of the Sith, where the cyborg Jedi Daye Azur-Jamin held Katarn captive. Katarn was freed and Azur-Jamin, redeemed from the dark side of the Force, revealed the existence of a Force-strong female Yuuzhan Vong.
Personality and traits
Jan Ors was a brave woman. Even from a young age she would not let the Empire intimidate her into submission. As an Intelligence officer she was thorough, and had a plan every step of the way for her double agent operations.
When she worked with Katarn, Ors' detailed oriented nature and ability to gather intelligence greatly aided Katarn on his missions, although they came into conflict on occasion due to Katarn's more chaotic, straightforward approach. Despite their differences, they maintained a friendly and playful relationship, and Ors was quick to crack a joke or sarcastic remark at Katarn's expense.
She was extremely dedicated to both the Rebellion and the New Republic being one of their first members and continuing to serve for over thirty years. She was also very loyal to her friends willing to face extreme danger in order to help Katarn on his personal mission.
Behind the scenes
In Star Wars: Dark Forces, Jan Ors is voiced by Julie Eccles, who also plays Ru Murleen in Star Wars: Rebel Assault II. She appears only in stills. In Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II, she is played by model Angela Harry, whose likeness has been used in subsequent portrayals of Ors. In Star Wars: Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast, she is voiced by Vanessa Marshall. In the Dark Forces audio dramatizations she is portrayed by actress and comedian Mo Collins, best known for her work on MADtv.
Jan Ors was created as a supporting character for the game Star Wars: Dark Forces, and reappeared in its sequels, excluding Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy (beyond a brief mention). Jedi Knight comes with an alternate ending where Kyle Katarn fell to the dark side and, when prompted by Jerec, killed Ors. The light side ending has been deemed by Lucasfilm Ltd. to be the canonical ending, and is reflected in later products.
Jan Ors is also a playable character in the multi-player modes of all of the games in the Jedi Knight series. It is interesting to note that the unused female Jedi model in Jedi Outcast is just a jacketless Ors with a lightsaber and Force powers. Though it does not appear in the main game, it is accessible using the cheat "npc spawn jedif". In addition, Jan, like almost every non-Force user in the Jedi Knight series, can utilize the lightsaber as a primary melee weapon if she is called to a multiplayer game as CPU-controlled bot.
- Dark Forces: Soldier for the Empire / audio
- Star Wars: Dark Forces (First appearance)
- Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided
- Dark Forces: Rebel Agent / audio
- Dark Forces: Jedi Knight / audio
- Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II
- N.R.I. Reports (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast
- Star Wars: Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast demo
- Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy (Mentioned only)
- "Equals & Opposites"—Star Wars Tales 21
Notes and references
- Cracken's Rebel Operatives gives Jan Strange's age as 24; the dossiers therein are intended to be set shortly after the Battle of Yavin, but the fact that Ors' lists her under her Jan Strange alias, despite her having left her Jan Strange guise and revealed her true identity to the Alliance no later than 1 BBY, indicates that hers was set no later than that point.
- Dark Forces: Soldier for the Empire audio drama
- Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- Dark Forces: Soldier for the Empire
- Cracken's Rebel Operatives
- Galaxy Guide 3: The Empire Strikes Back
- The Essential Guide to Warfare
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia establishes it was a cybernetic replacement. It is not present in the image of her in Cracken's Rebel Operatives, but is visible in an image of her in Dark Forces: Soldier for the Empire set during the Danuta mission.
- Star Wars: Dark Forces
- Dark Forces: Jedi Knight
- "Equals & Opposites"
- "Who's Who: Imperial Grand Admirals"
- Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Mysteries of the Sith
- Star Wars: Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast
- The New Jedi Order: The Unifying Force
- She was already highly decorated by the time of Yavin (0 BBY) and continued to serve past the Yuuzhan Vong war (29 BBY)