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"This… war is not over, my Padawan. Hold the line. Wait for the Jedi Council's signal. Remember… Trust only… In the Force."
―Jaro Tapal's last words, spoken to Cal Kestis[src]

Jaro Tapal, a Force-sensitive Lasat male, was a Jedi Master who, during the Clone Wars, served the Galactic Republic with distinction as a Jedi General in the Grand Army of the Republic. Adhering to a firm and disciplined doctrine, Tapal mentored his Padawan, Cal Kestis, in the ways of the Force. In the aftermath of the Bracca Invasion, Tapal and his apprentice were betrayed by their clone troopers of the 13th Battalion during Order 66. Although he was mortally wounded while attempting to escape to Bracca, Tapal managed to get Kestis to safety. Before dying, he urged Kestis to hold the line, await the Jedi High Council's signal, and to trust only in the Force.

Tapal's death haunted his former Padawan for years. Kestis, who kept Jaro Tapal's lightsaber, vowed to honor his Master's teaching and sacrifice as he set out to restore the Jedi Order during the reign of the Galactic Empire.

Biography[edit | edit source]

Clone Wars[edit | edit source]

"They are coming. I will seal the blast doors but if any cross your path, do not hesitate. Go. And may the Force be with you."
―Jaro Tapal, to Cal Kestis[src]

Jaro Tapal died protecting his Padawan, Cal Kestis, during Order 66.

During the final years of the Galactic Republic, Jedi Master Jaro Tapal served in the Grand Army of the Republic—holding the military rank of Jedi General—as commanding officer of the 13th Battalion. In addition to his military responsibilities, Tapal found time to continue the training of his Padawan, Cal Kestis, while away from the Jedi Temple on Coruscant. Tapal and Kestis served together in the Clone Wars until[2] 19 BBY[1] when, in the aftermath of the Bracca Invasion, Order 66 was communicated to the clone troopers by the Sith Lord Darth Sidious, who declared that all Jedi were enemies of the state. However, Tapal sensed the impending betrayal and was able to kill the clone commander by his side, protecting both himself and his apprentice. Realizing the other clones had turned against them as well, Tapal decided to evacuate his Venator-class Star Destroyer with Kestis.[2]

They made their way to the escape pods, with Tapal killing multiple clone troopers along the way and sabotaging the Star Destroyer's reactor, but the remaining soldiers managed to overwhelm and mortally wound the general. Nevertheless, Tapal was able to save his apprentice's life before they escaped. In Tapal's last moments, he informed Kestis that he had sabotaged the reactor to cover their escape before he passed his damaged lightsaber to Kestis, believing he would need it as the war was far from over. With his dying breath, Tapal told Kestis to wait for a signal from the Jedi High Council, unaware that it was nearly defunct, and to trust only in the Force.[2]

Legacy[edit | edit source]

"Master. I will never forget. The loss has become a part of me. I will honor your teaching. And your sacrifice."
"Remember. Persistence reveals the path."
―Cal Kestis and an apparition of Jaro Tapal[src]

Tapal's legacy survived in Kestis, who sought to revive the Jedi Order.

Tapal was remembered years after his death. Though traumatized by the horrifying experience of Order 66 and haunted by the memory of his slain Master, Kestis regarded Tapal as a hero. The former Jedi Cere Junda, whom Tapal had known before Order 66, also held him in high regard, praising him as a true guardian of the Galactic Republic.[2]

By 14 BBY,[3] both the Jedi Order and the Republic that Tapal served had fallen, replaced by the rule of the Sith through the Galactic Empire. Although Kestis kept his deceased Master's lightsaber, he hid his true identity in order to avoid becoming another victim of the Great Jedi Purge. With the help of Cere Junda, who became a new Master to Kestis, the Padawan was able to move on from his self-imposed exile on Bracca, embarking on a secret mission to restore the Jedi Order.[2]

Over the course of Kestis' journey, memories of his time as Tapal's pupil began to resurface, helping Kestis to remember various techniques as he re-awakened his connection to the Force. During his mission on Dathomir, an apparition of Tapal appeared to Kestis, calling the former Padawan a weak and failed apprentice. But after forging a new lightsaber on Ilum, Kestis confronted his fears in the form of his dead Master, and finally managed to put the tragedy of his past behind him. Yet he also vowed to never forget Jaro Tapal, whose teachings Kestis would honor as he moved forward to find his own destiny.[2]

Personality and traits[edit | edit source]

"He was a true guardian of the Republic."
"He was a hero."
―Cere Junda and Cal Kestis, remembering Jaro Tapal[src]

Adhering to a firm and disciplined philosophy, General Tapal served with distinction in the Clone Wars.

Jaro Tapal was an imposing Lasat male with gray hair, green eyes, and purple skin. Having served as a member of the Jedi Order, Tapal adhered to a firm and disciplined doctrine, the tenets of which he imparted to his apprentice Cal Kestis through their training sessions together. He participated in the Clone Wars as a general and defender of the Republic, noting that while the Jedi did not seek aggression, they would stand against it. He also trusted in the will of the Force; with his dying breath, he told Kestis to trust the Force also.[2]

Among his troops, Tapal was not known for his patience. Shortly before Order 66, the clones that Kestis passed on his way to the training area advised the Padawan to not keep his Master waiting for long. During their sessions together, Tapal was not displeased by Kestis' mistakes, even when Kestis himself began to feel discouraged. Instead, he taught his apprentice to embrace his failure and learn from it, and to not be weighed down by ego or pretense. Persistence was a trait that Tapal valued, and as such, he encouraged Kestis to keep persisting until he achieved success in his trials. Although Tapal was demanding with Kestis in his training, him was concerned for the safety of his apprentice, so much so that even though wounded, he continued to resist as much as he could against the clones when they betrayed them and tried to kill them. As a Jedi, he believed it was important to let go of what one feared to lose in order to rise above their fear.[2]

Powers and abilities[edit | edit source]

"The Force is there to shield us. The obstacles in your path define the path. What stands in the way becomes the way."
―Jaro Tapal, to Cal Kestis[src]

Tapal was a powerful Jedi Master skilled in the use of telekinesis.

As a Force-sensitive, Jaro Tapal was skilled in the use of various Force powers, particularly telekinesis. During the execution of Order 66, Tapal relied heavily on his telekinetic abilities, using the Force to levitate and incapacitate multiple clone troopers at the same time. Even when wounded by several blaster shots to the torso, he was still able to call on the power of the Force, lifting three clones and slamming them into the ceiling. His connection to that mysterious energy field allowed him to sense a great disturbance in the Force, enabling Tapal to kill the clone commander that attempted to shoot the Jedi Master from behind.[2]

As a Lasat, Tapal was also physically strong and durable, managing to subdue several of his former troops with simple kicks or headbutts and was not killed immediately after being struck by an albeit-fatal barrage of blaster shots, notably shrugging off the first of these wounds like it was nothing.[2]

In addition, he was well trained in the art of lightsaber combat, particularly the use of a double-bladed lightsaber. He used his lightsaber with deadly purpose while defending himself and his apprentice, and succeeded in killing numerous troopers on his own before a group of clones managed to overwhelm him with blaster fire.[2]

Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]

Jaro Tapal was introduced in the 2019 video game Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. He is played by Travis Willingham.[2]

Appearances[edit | edit source]

Sources[edit | edit source]

Notes and references[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order shows that Jaro Tapal died during Order 66, which is dated to 19 BBY by Star Wars: Galactic Atlas.
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 2.21 Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
  3. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order takes place five years after the Jedi Purge, which is dated to 19 BBY by Star Wars: Galactic Atlas. Therefore, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, in which the Mantis crew appears, is set in 14 BBY.
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