- "Jem, your whole tribe is strong in the Force. I will ask the chiefs to hear me out. You will be a Jedi."
- ―Luke Skywalker
Jem Ysanna was a female Human Jedi trainee. A member of the Ysanna tribe from the planet Ossus, Jem was the descendant of Jedi who had survived the destruction of Ossus by the Cron Supernova. As such, Jem was Force-sensitive and used her powers as a shamaness of her tribe, led by her father, Chief Okko. In 10 ABY, Jem was encountered by the Jedi, Luke Skywalker and Kam Solusar, who had come to Ossus to search for Jedi artifacts to help in their fight against the Galactic Empire. Upon sensing Skywalker's power in the Force, Jem and her brother Rayf Ysanna asked to train with Skywalker to become Jedi Knights. After agreeing to train the siblings, Skywalker took Jem and Rayf for training and departed Ossus in his ship, Jedi Explorer.
Alongside her brother, Jem received instruction in lightsaber combat and telekinesis on her path to becoming a Jedi. During her training, Jem fell in love with Skywalker and the two began a relationship. As Jem and Skywalker began to entertain the idea of a future together, their thoughts were interrupted by an attack by the Galactic Empire. During the fighting, Jem was wounded by a blaster bolt from Tedryn-Sha, a member of Emperor Palpatine's Dark Side Elite. Although she was immediately avenged by Leia Organa Solo, Jem had sustained fatal injuries. The Jedi healer, Vima-Da-Boda, attempted to save her, but Jem succumbed to her injuries after bidding her final farewell to her brother. Upon her death, Jem became one with the Force, her body dissipating into nothingness.
Ysanna tribe memberEdit
- "Not quite Jedi. They need a teacher. We'll take them with us!"
- ―Luke Skywalker
Jem Ysanna was born on the planet Ossus in 13 BBY. Jem and her brother, Rayf Ysanna, were the offspring of Okko, a Chief of the Ysanna tribe on Ossus. Okko was the most powerful magician in the history of the Ysanna, which had been formed from the descendants of Jedi who were unable to escape the destruction of the world by the Cron Supernova. As children, Jem and Rayf would explore the tunnels on their world, learning as much as they could about Ossus.
In 10 ABY, Jem was a shamaness, and as a child of "The Great Okko", Jem and her brother Rayf were scheduled to undergo an initiation ritual in front of their fellow tribe members. As part of the ritual of ascent, Jem and Rayf were tied to the base of an ancient tree, to imbue them with Ysanna magic, believing that the tree was a source of power. Before the ritual could be completed, it was interrupted by the Jedi, Luke Skywalker and Kam Solusar. Skywalker and Solusar had come to Ossus in their ship, the Jedi Explorer to seek out other Jedi. While exploring the world in a T-77 Experimental Airspeeder, the two Jedi noticed the ritual, and Skywalker sensed great Force power in both Jem and Rayf. Eager to take the pair as Jedi students, Skywalker ignited his lightsaber, intending to sever the ropes that secured them to the base of the tree. Jem and Rayf, only fluent in the native Ysanna language and unable to understand Skywalker's intent, were terrified of the Jedi warrior, believing that he intended to kill them. When Skywalker instead cut them loose, they fled in terror back to their Ysanna tribe members who had gathered to witness the ritual.
With the ritual disrupted, Okko ordered his people to attack the two interlopers. As Jem climbed on the back of her father's riding beast, the Ysanna fired on Skywalker and Solusar. However, their attacks were easily repelled, forcing Okko to deal with the intruders personally. Jem and her fellow Ysanna attempted to add their untrained Force powers to Okko as he tried to attack with The Force, but Okko was no match for Skywalker's powers. However, after having his powers easily blocked, Okko came to the realization that Skywalker was a spiritual descendant of the Ysanna ancestors. The great chief embraced Skywalker and declared to the rest of the tribe that Skywalker was a Jedi, the heroes of the Ysanna legends. Unfortunately for Skywalker and the Ysanna, the celebration was swiftly interrupted by the arrival of an Imperial Hunter ship, Scourge One. Through the Force, the Ysanna instinctively knew that this ship contained enemies, and as Imperial stormtroopers filed out of the ship, the Ysanna prepared for battle.
- "Tao di Jedi…I am a Jedi…you are my teacher."
- ―Jem speaks to Luke Skywalker for the first time.
With Skywalker leading them, the Ysanna engaged the Imperials. From the back of her father's riding beast, Jem fired a concussion bow at the invaders, driving the stormtroopers back. As the Ysanna concentrated their fire on the Imperials, Skywalker and Solusar attacked with their lightsabers. After twenty minutes of intense fighting, the Imperial force was wiped out. However, the Imperial commanders, Executor Sedriss QL and Vill Goir exited Scourge One to continue the attack. Sedriss and Goir, both members of Emperor Palpatine's Dark Side Elite, were skilled users of the dark side of the Force and they met the Jedi in lightsaber combat. However, the Jedi proved more powerful, killing Goir and disarming Sedriss. Sedriss, the only remaining Imperial, refused to surrender and took Jem hostage. Holding her by the throat, Sedriss backed up against the very same tree that Jem had previously been tied to.
Struggling against Sedriss, Jem attempted to use the Force to drive the darksider away, but Sedriss was easily able to block her attacks. Realizing that Skywalker planned to train Jem as a Jedi, Sedriss claimed that he would take her back to Emperor Palpatine to turn her to the dark side. Surrounded by the Ysanna, Sedriss demanded that he be allowed to return to his ship or he would annihilate Jem using the dark side of the Force. However, unknown to Sedriss, the tree that the Ysanna had intended to use for their ritual was in fact an ancient Jedi Master. Ood Bnar, a member of the Neti species, had survived the destruction of Ossus over 4 millennia ago by transforming into his tree-like state. Bnar, awoken by the Force powers being used near his form, struck out at Sedriss, grabbing him with his roots. As the ancient Jedi prepared to sacrifice himself to destroy Sedriss, Jem tried desperately to escape. With Sedriss holding her back, Jem was in danger of being caught in Bnar's energy attack, but Skywalker risked his life to grab the young woman out of the Executor's grasp.
As Ood Bnar and Sedriss were annihilated in a beam of light, Jem and Skywalker were thrown clear of the blast, Skywalker using the Force to shield them from harm. As they fell, Jem landed on Skywalker and their eyes met. As the two stared into each other's eyes, Skywalker suddenly began to understand the Ysanna language through the power of the Force. No longer divided by the language barrier, Jem told Skywalker that she wished to be his student. The Ysanna and the Jedi then surveyed the damage, discovering that Bnar had been perched above a cache of ancient Jedi lightsabers. Bnar's death had also birthed a descendant which Jem pointed out to the group. To celebrate their victory, Rayf, Jem, Skywalker, and Solusar each pulled an ancient lightsaber from the vault Bnar had been protecting. Despite the age of the weapons, the lightsabers still worked, and the Jedi touched the tips of the ignited weapons to commemorate the moment.
- "Okko, my sister and I want to go with Luke Skywalker. We will become Jedi Knights."
"It is the Force that leads us to this decision."
- ―Rayf and Jem Ysanna
Before leaving Ossus, Skywalker decided to explore the world for further Jedi artifacts that could help him in training new Jedi. Jem and Rayf helped in this quest by leading Skywalker to the Great Jedi Library. After entering, Skywalker and Jem looked through ancient Jedi manuscripts, discovering teachings of Jedi battle meditation. As Skywalker read from the ancient tomes, Jem asked Skywalker to train her in the Force, voicing her desire to become a Jedi. Skywalker promised to train her, and the group returned to the Ysanna settlement. Although Skywalker wished to take all of the Ysanna with him for training as Jedi, Chief Okko refused. Jem's father was content to be simply Ysanna, uninterested in any further teachings. Although Okko had denied Skywalker, Jem and Rayf voiced their intent to follow the Jedi Master off Ossus and become Jedi. Okko was disturbed with his children's choice, believing that it would mean the end of the Ysanna. However, the other Ysanna chieftains accepted Jem and Rayf's choice, although they claimed that the Ysanna gods were displeased by their decision.
As the Ysanna watched them depart, Jem and Rayf boarded the Jedi Explorer and the group departed for the Republic's Pinnacle Base. As the Jedi traveled through hyperspace, Skywalker began their training in lightsaber technique. Using a remote, Skywalker taught Jem and Rayf the basics of deflecting blaster attacks. Although Rayf was a natural with the weapon, when it was Jem's turn to face the remote, she was not as talented, and the remote stung her with its attacks. Frustrated with her ineptitude and angered by the attacks of the remote, Jem used her anger to fuel her abilities, lashing out at the training device, cutting it in two. Jem apologized to Skywalker for destroying his remote and followed him to the galley to mend the wounds that she had sustained. As Skywalker tended to her injury, Jem acknowledged a closeness with her teacher, greater than that between a master and apprentice. Skywalker acknowledged the connection, and the two kissed, beginning a romantic connection.
After arriving above Da Soocha V, the Jedi Explorer sensed an incoming ship, in reality a missile from the Galaxy Gun, a superweapon under the command Emperor Palpatine. As Jem and Rayf watched, Skywalker and Solusar attempted to fire on the missile but were unable to bring it down. The Jedi were left to watch as the missile collided with the world and started a chain reaction with its particle disintegrator warhead, obliterating the moon. Believing that the New Republic command was present on the moon and had been completely wiped out, Skywalker piloted his ship to the secret world of New Alderaan. As Skywalker gave the bad news of Pinnacle Moon's destruction, Jem and Rayf met two Jedi that had recently come out of hiding to help the New Republic in its fight against the Empire. Empatajayos Brand and Vima-Da-Boda greeted Jem and Rayf and began to help in their training. With Brand's help, Jem and Rayf were able to increase their telekinetic skills, lifting a heavy stone with their minds.
- Rayf Ysanna: "Mth son makao! Don't die, Jem! Don't die!"
- Jem Ysanna: "Glio…svbas…Rayf…"
- Rayf Ysanna: "Glio svbas, Jem…"
- ―Jem Ysanna dies on New Alderaan[src]
As their training progressed, Jem and Rayf were included in the planning of the next step against the Empire. Believing that the New Republic had been completely wiped out in the Galaxy Gun attack on the Pinnacle Moon, the group on New Alderaan decided to send out a transmission to any New Republic remnants to join them on the hidden planet. However, Skywalker's friend, Han Solo, concerned that sending a transmission from the world would signal the Empire to their location, decided to leave New Alderaan in his ship, Millennium Falcon, to send the transmission. Sending the transmission from his ship after leaving New Alderaan would keep the Empire from pinpointing the world's location. After agreeing to the plan, Jem and Skywalker made their way to a secluded area to be alone. Discussing the future, Skywalker told Jem that she was very special to him, which Jem reciprocated, kissing her Jedi teacher. However, their romantic discussion kept them unaware of a secret attack by the Empire. As Jem and Skywalker returned from their secluded spot, they failed to notice I-7 Howlrunners heading for their base.
As Jem and Skywalker returned to their separate quarters to sleep, the Dark Side Elite released Scarab Mark VI assassin droids onto the base. The droids attacked as Skywalker slept, awaking him from sleep and causing him to cry out. Alerted by Skywalker's screams, Jem and Skywalker's sister, Leia Organa Solo raced to his aid. Upon entering Skywalker's room, they encountered two of the Dark Side Elite, Tedryn-Sha and Krdys Mordi. Although Mordi scoffed at the Jedi women as inferior opponents, Jem quickly corrected him, cutting the darksider in half with her lightsaber. Now outnumbered, Tedryn-Sha was forced to back away from the attackers, pulling a blaster pistol from his holster. As Jem charged the man, Tedryn-Sha fired a shot into her belly, fatally wounding her. Organa Solo avenged Jem shortly afterwards, cutting Tedryn-Sha down with her lightsaber. With the darksiders defeated, Organa Solo cradled Jem's dying body, calling out for help. Vima-Da-Boda took Jem and laid her beside Skywalker as she attempted to heal the two through the Force. Although Vima was able to purge the poison delivered from the assassin droids from Skywalker, Jem's wounds were too great. Rayf was able to be at his sister's side at her passing, and although he pleaded with her not to die, she succumbed to her injuries and dissipated into the Force, her spirit leaving to join those of other fallen Jedi.
- "The Jedi have been struggling with the dark side for aeons…so many have died. And now we have lost another…I wish I could have saved her, Rayf."
"Don't blame yourself. You've done great things, Luke…the Jedi are rising again, thanks to you."
- ―Luke Skywalker and Rayf Ysanna discuss Jem's death
After becoming one with the Force, the only thing that remained of Jem was her well-worn hides and Ysanna tribal clothes. Skywalker was greatly saddened by Jem's passing and attempted to apologize for her death to her brother. However, Rayf did not blame his sister's death on the Jedi Master.
Back on Ossus, Jem's father, Chief Okko was able to sense her death through the use of a Jedi meditation chamber, and he began to regret letting his children leave with the Jedi. As Rayf continued to fight alongside Skywalker and Solusar, he invoked his sister's name, especially during the attack on Vjun which defeated the Dark Side Elite, the group that was responsible for Jem's death. Rayf was later killed in the Battle of Onderon by Darth Sidious himself, after mentioning the death of his sister to the Emperor.
After the deaths of both Jem and Rayf during Skywalker's attempt to revive the Jedi Order, Skywalker was hesitant to train further Ysanna in the ways of the Force. However, the Ysanna did not hold a grudge against Skywalker and threw their full support behind Skywalker's future efforts at training Jedi. When the New Jedi Order relocated to Ossus, the Ysanna gladly welcomed the building of a Jedi Academy on Ossus.
Personality and traitsEdit
- Luke Skywalker: "Han's lucky…he's got a family. I've been fighting the Empire half my life…I've had no time for ordinary…friendships."
- Jem Ysanna: "Han and Leia are Rebels too…that didn't stop them from finding each other."
- Luke Skywalker: "That's…true. I have to admit…you're very special to me, Jem."
- ―Jem Ysanna talks with Luke Skywalker[src]
During the time of the Galactic Civil War, Jem was an athletic woman and respected warrior within the Ysanna tribe. She had long dark hair and striking, exotic features. During her travels with Luke Skywalker, she learned how to speak Basic, but her speech often lapsed into her native language during times of stress. After meeting Skywalker, Jem aided him in his search for lost Jedi knowledge and began to feel a strong connection to him. She had short temper, not unlike her mentor, which was acknowledged during her failure in lightsaber training. Her anger caused her to lash out and destroy Skywalker's remote, concerning her master over how quickly she had turned to anger when getting frustrated.
During their travels, Jem fell in love with Skywalker, kissing him aboard the Jedi Explorer on their departure from Ossus. Skywalker returned her affection and even entertained thoughts of a future with her before her death. Skywalker was devastated upon Jem's passing, and he would not find love again until almost two years later.
Powers and abilitiesEdit
- "How do you know that? I never told you about my past…did Solusar say anything?"
"It is the Force. It reaches out and shows me things about people."
- ―Luke Skywalker and Jem Ysanna
As a member of the Ysanna tribe, Jem was a descendant of Jedi individuals, and she inherited Force-sensitivity from their bloodline. As noted by Luke Skywalker, Jem was strong in the Force and after minimal training, she was able to levitate large boulders alongside her brother and sense the emotions of those around her. Despite her teacher never telling her his background, Jem was able to determine things about him through the Force.
Unlike her brother, Jem was not a naturally skilled with a lightsaber, and in her first training session, she was stung several times by the training remote. This lack of skill would result in her death at the hands of Tedryn-Sha, as she was unable to dodge or block a shot from his blaster. Before her death, Jem was proficient in the use of a concussion bow and able to guide her shots through the Force. Although Jem could not initially understand Galactic Basic Standard, only fluent in the Ysanna language, she was able to pick up understanding of the foreign tongue through the Force, and was eventually able to speak it herself.
Behind the scenesEdit
Jem Ysanna was created by Tom Veitch and illustrated by Cam Kennedy for use in the graphic novel, Dark Empire II. She first appeared in the third issue, World of the Ancient Sith, and was killed in the final issue, Hand of Darkness. In the audio drama version of Dark Empire II, Jem Ysanna was voiced by Glynnis Campbell. Following her death, Jem was mentioned briefly in the follow up comic series, Empire's End and its audio adaptation. Jem was mentioned in several reference guides relating to her appearance in Dark Empire II in the following years, but none of these guides expanded her story beyond what was seen in the original comic.
The Dark Empire II audio adaptation has some minor inconsistencies with the comic on which it was based. Most of these inconsistencies involve Jem's lines in the comic being given to other characters, and vice versa. For example, when the Jedi discover Ood Bnar's descendant, instead of Jem discovering the small Neti, it is Kam Solusar that makes the discovery. Although the comic shows Jem speaking the Ysanna language and unable to understand Skywalker initially, the audio adaptation shows her speaking Basic immediately. The adaptation omits the Ysanna language entirely, avoiding this plot point from the comic. Additionally, the audio adaptation only focuses on Jem leaving Ossus, omitting mention of her brother Rayf. As a result, Jem speaks her dying words to Leia and immediately dies after being shot by Tedryn-Sha.
- Dark Empire II 3: World of the Ancient Sith (First appearance)
- Dark Empire II 4: Battle on Byss
- Dark Empire II 5: The Galaxy Weapon
- Dark Empire II 6: Hand of Darkness
- Dark Empire II audio drama
- Empire's End 1: Triumph of the Empire (Mentioned only)
- Empire's End 2: Rage of the Emperor (Mentioned only)
- Empire's End audio drama (Mentioned only)
- The Essential Guide to Characters
- The Essential Guide to Planets and Moons (Picture only)
- "ComicScan: Luke-ing For Love In All The Wrong Places"—Star Wars Galaxy Collector 7
- Handbook 3: Dark Empire
- Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 134 (LIB4, Libraries) (Picture only)
- The New Essential Chronology
- Star Wars: The Comics Companion
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- Jedi vs. Sith: The Essential Guide to the Force
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12
- ↑ 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 Dark Empire II 3: World of the Ancient Sith
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 3.9 Dark Empire II 6: Hand of Darkness
- ↑ The Essential Guide to Characters, p. 141
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 Jedi vs. Sith: The Essential Guide to the Force, p. 190
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Empire's End 1: Triumph of the Empire
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Dark Empire II audiobook
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 Dark Empire II 4: Battle on Byss
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 Dark Empire II 5: The Galaxy Weapon
- ↑ Empire's End 2: Rage of the Emperor
- ↑ "ComicScan: Luke-ing For Love In All The Wrong Places"—Star Wars Galaxy Collector 7