- "You have excellent insight into the hearts of others."
Jorj Car'das was a Human male from Corellia who lived during the time of the Galactic Republic, the Galactic Empire, and the New Republic. Early in his life, Car'das joined the crew of the smuggling ship Bargain Hunter, working mainly as a bootlegger for the Hutts. In 27 BBY, Car'das, Dubrak Qennto, and Maris Ferasi became the captives of Commander Thrawn of the Chiss Expansionary Defense Force. Thrawn wished to learn the language of the Republic from the smugglers; they stayed in his base on Crustai for several weeks, teaching him Basic and learning the Chiss language, Cheunh. Car'das assisted Thrawn in defeating the alien Vagaari, before being allowed to return to the Republic.
Car'das eventually parted ways with his companions after being given an offer by Sith agent Kinman Doriana to start a smuggling organization that would double as an intelligence operation for Darth Sidious. Car'das's organization flourished, and he built up a huge repository of information. However, he was kidnapped by a Dark Jedi after the Clone Wars, and although he was rescued by Jedi Master Yoda, Car'das left the encounter a changed man. He became extremely ruthless during the time of the Empire, though his health began to deteriorate; Yoda healed him with the Force initially, though the second time Car'das visited Yoda's planet of residence, Dagobah, the Jedi Master refused to heal him, sending him to the Aing-Tii monks instead. Car'das ultimately spent over a dozen years studying with the Aing-Tii, learning of their views on the Force. He later settled down on the planet Exocron, though in 19 ABY he was approached by smuggler Talon Karrde, who was seeking an intact copy of the Caamas Document in the hopes of ending the crisis. Car'das did not possess a copy, but he was privy to top secret information about Moff Vilim Disra's plot to impersonate Thrawn, which Karrde used to help end the crisis.
- "We're Corellian traders, from one of the systems in the Galactic Republic."
- ―Car'das, speaking to Thrawn
Born and raised on Corellia during the waning days of the Galactic Republic, Jorj Car'das lived an unremarkable early life. He was well educated, though he rarely traveled and had a limited knowledge of other parts of the galaxy and their native species. By 27 BBY, just a few years after leaving school, Car'das was a navigator aboard the Bargain Hunter, a smuggling ship rented by Captain Dubrak Qennto. The Bargain Hunter had just three crew members—Car'das, Qennto, and Maris Ferasi—though they made a reasonably lucrative trade smuggling firegems and other illicit materials to Hutt gangsters in the Outer Rim Territories.
- "You can just call me Car'das. In our culture, the first name is reserved for use by friends."
"You don't consider me a friend?"
"Do you consider me one?"
- ―Car'das and Thrawn
In 27 BBY, the Bargain Hunter was on a smuggling run transporting firegems hidden within stolen furs to Drixo the Hutt. Drixo's rival, Progga, had learned of the operation and launched an attack on the Bargain Hunter on the fringes of the Outer Rim. As navigator, Car'das was forced to make an emergency hyperspace jump, and the ship ended up deep in the Unknown Regions. Qennto was furious at the Corellian for jumping blind, but Ferasi defended Car'das, knowing that he had had no choice. However, they were followed by Progga, who believed that Qennto had a secret treasure hold. Just as the Hutt prepared to shoot them, an unknown group of alien ships—three fighter-size craft and a larger cruiser—arrived, deploying a group of Conner nets that disabled the two ships. The Bargain Hunter was left floating adrift in space for several minutes. When Progga's ship fired on the mysterious vessels, they attacked, destroying the Hutt's ship with ease and instilling some trepidation in Car'das and his companions.
Qennto and Ferasi departed the bridge to check the extent of the damage caused by the Conner nets, leaving Car'das alone on the bridge, ready to reply to any communications sent by the attackers. They made no attempt to communicate, however, and Qennto and Ferasi were able to restore the majority of the freighter's systems while the attackers searched Progga's vessel. Eventually, one of the smaller alien ships beckoned for the Bargain Hunter to follow them towards the largest ship, where they docked. Upon exiting their ship, they were escorted by a pair of blue-skinned Humanoids to a being named Mitth'raw'nuruodo, who told them to call him by his core name—Thrawn. After finding a language in which both parties were proficient—Sy Bisti, a local trade language—Thrawn identified himself as the leader of a frontier picket force of the Chiss Ascendancy's Expansionary Fleet. He expressed a particular interest in Car'das, inquiring as to who they were and what their purpose was. Car'das answered mostly truthfully, omitting any mention of the firegems, though Thrawn was suspicious that they were scouts for an invasion attempt and requested to examine their cargo. Qennto, Ferasi, and Car'das were taken to their temporary living quarters while Thrawn's soldiers searched the Bargain Hunter.
After being held in their quarters for a time, the smugglers were questioned by Thrawn, who asked about the invasion force he believed would follow them. He asked that Car'das alone answer his questions, much to Qennto's annoyance, as he was the captain. Car'das felt that it would not be wise to lie to the Chiss commander, and so he answered him truthfully, telling him about the illegal firegems they were smuggling. In addition, he revealed that they were Corellian traders, although Thrawn did not know of Corellia. Car'das also managed to convince Thrawn that there was no invasion fleet and that the Republic was unaware of the Chiss. Qennto was extremely irritated by Car'das's honesty, not understanding why the smuggler had revealed so much. Car'das protested that Thrawn seemed to know the details already and that he had an aura of one who should not be lied to.
Thrawn requested that the smugglers stay with him for a time, telling them that they would be provided with the means to compensate Drixo for their late delivery of the firegems. The Chiss commander wished to learn more about the Republic—and the Jedi Order, as he had not heard of the Jedi before—as well as the Republic language, Basic. Car'das was initially apprehensive, knowing that Qennto would never agree to it, though Thrawn offered to pay them handsomely for their tuition. Eventually, Car'das agreed, though only on the condition that Thrawn teach him Cheunh, the language of the Chiss, in return. Thrawn's ship, the Springhawk, took three days to reach his base on Crustai—they began their language lessons en route. Ferasi took a liking to Thrawn, so she joined in the lessons, though Qennto wished to have no part in it. By the time they reached Crustai, Car'das had made decent progress at basic Cheunh, though Thrawn showed an aptitude for learning Basic, surpassing Car'das and Ferasi's progress with his language.
They eventually arrived in Crustai's star system, though before they could dock at the asteroid base, Thrawn's crew reported hostile vessels in the vicinity of the base. They entered hyperspace, exiting several minutes later at the scene of a small skirmish between several starships. Thrawn informed them that the attackers were Vagaari, a merciless species of slavers whom he wished to wipe out. The Springhawk destroyed the smaller enemy ships with ease, though Thrawn decided to board the largest of the Vagaari vessels. Thrawn apologized to his guests for taking them into combat, telling them that he could not pass up the opportunity for a strike at the Vagaari, before leaving them on the bridge while he joined the boarding party. After the Vagaari had been neutralized, Thrawn invited Car'das, Ferasi, and Qennto to join him on the alien ship, showing them around. Walking through the ship filled with dead Vagaari made Car'das feel uneasy, though he eventually overcame this. Thrawn eventually showed them a room filled with treasure plundered by the Vagaari; he promised Qennto that the three smugglers would be allowed to keep some of it after he had examined the ship further.
- "The Vagaari have made no move against the Chiss Ascendancy. We therefore have no reason to hunt them."
"But you know their name."
"As I said, I know their reputation. They've been moving through this region of space, preying mostly on the weak and technologically primitive."
- ―Thrawn and Qennto
They eventually arrived at Thrawn's underground base on Crustai, where Thrawn had a visitor waiting for him—Aristocra Chaf'orm'bintrano, who had matters to discuss with Thrawn. Thrawn permitted the Humans to attend the official welcoming ceremony, though Thrawn's visitors were displeased by the Humans' presence, dismissing them. Car'das and his companions were each escorted to comfortable living quarters, where they spent several hours waiting for Thrawn's visitors to leave. Eventually, Thrawn summoned Car'das to his quarters and apologized for the rudeness displayed by the visiting Chiss. Thrawn discussed with Car'das the concept of preemptive strikes, which were strictly forbidden in Chiss military doctrine. Thrawn saw the Vagaari as a great threat, though because they had never encroached on Chiss territory, his superiors would not allow him to attack them. Thrawn decided that learning the origins and value of the Vagaari's treasure might help sway the Chiss Ruling Families on the matter, and Car'das, Qennto, and Ferasi began examining the hoard. For several weeks, Qennto spent much of his time cataloging and appraising the treasure for Thrawn, while Car'das and Ferasi continued with their linguistics lessons. Thrawn kept Ferasi and Qennto under constant surveillance, though Car'das was allowed unhindered freedom of movement around the Crustai base at all times.
Thrawn had yet more visitors some time later: Admiral Ar'alani and his own brother, Mitth'ras'safis (or Thrass), who both wished to further examine the Vagaari ship. Thrawn had Car'das and Ferasi accompany him onto the vessel with his superiors. There, he showed the admiral around the ship, pointing out the technical aspects of it. However, trouble arose when the group entered the treasure room, where Qennto was looking over the plundered Vagaari wealth; Thrawn was forced to reveal the agreement he had made with the smugglers to his fellow Chiss, which he had not intended to do. Ar'alani was not happy when she learned of the agreement and insisted that she be allowed to take an inventory. Thrawn agreed and then told the admiral that he had "administrative matters" to attend to, taking Car'das and Ferasi with him as he left the ship.
Once away from Ar'alani, Thrawn revealed that there was another Vagaari fleet engaged in a battle not far away. Car'das realized that Thrawn had played the admiral, manipulating her to allow him to leave so he could head to the battle without attracting attention. Thrawn boarded the Springhawk along with Ferasi and Car'das, and the ship jumped into hyperspace.
At the battle site, Car'das was shocked to see hundreds of Vagaari vessels, a far cry from the handful he was expecting. He suggested to Thrawn that the ship retreat, although the commander explained that he had a plan for the battle. Ferasi, as usual, was confident in Thrawn's abilities. Thrawn pointed out to the duo that the helpless ships being attacked by the Vagaari were not jumping to hyperspace. The commander deduced that the Vagaari were using an interdiction field, a form of technology that neither the Chiss nor the Republic had managed to successfully create; it generated a gravitic mass of its own, barring all ships within its range from entering hyperspace. Realizing that such technology would allow him a huge advantage in battle—against the Vagaari and others—Thrawn had a team of Chiss covertly commandeer the ship, hoping that the Vagaari were too busy attacking the hapless world to notice. However, several of the Vagaari warships spotted the Springhawk on the edge of the system and moved closer to investigate.
As Thrawn prepared to attack the approaching Vagaari forces, the group noticed that the alien ships were covered in "bubbles"—cells that held prisoners to prevent attackers from firing on innocent victims. Thrawn remained calm and ordered the gunners to fire, telling the two that the Vagaari would eventually kill the prisoners anyway. Though Car'das accepted this explanation, Ferasi was shaken and angered by Thrawn's decision. During the battle, the Springhawk was hit by turbolaser fire, shaking the bridge and injuring Thrawn. The two smugglers were closest to the commander, and with quick thinking Ferasi was able to cover Thrawn's wound, enabling him to survive until Chiss medics reached him. Thrawn thanked the duo for their aid and told them that he hoped this incident would provoke the Chiss Ascendancy into attacking the Vagaari. His efforts to steal the interdiction field had been successful, and although Thrawn revealed this to Car'das, he kept it secret from the Chiss.
When the ship returned to the asteroid base, they were met by an irate Qennto, who informed his fellow smugglers that Admiral Ar'alani had confiscated the treasure. Car'das and Ferasi attempted to calm him, but to little avail, until they decided to talk to Thrawn. Qennto was confined to quarters, so only Car'das and Ferasi went. They arrived at Thrawn's room at the same time as his brother, Thrass, who wanted to speak to Thrawn about the commander's unorthodox behavior. He considered some of Thrawn's methods contrary to Chiss belief, such as his boldness and his treatment of the smugglers—as friends, not as prisoners. Thrass felt this would ultimately do him more harm than good.
The two siblings eventually put their philosophical agreements aside, and despite staunch protests by Qennto, Car'das gave Thrawn and Thrass a tour of the Bargain Hunter, which utilized much technology unknown to the Chiss. Car'das's dialog was mostly in Cheunh, so he had to provide a translation to Qennto, who had accompanied them to ensure the Chiss didn't damage his beloved ship. Qennto overheard a mention of Thrawn's private chats with Ferasi and, suspecting that his lover had fallen for the alien, took his fellow smugglers aside to confront them about it. They were eventually able to dissuade Qennto, though the captain maintained that Thrawn should not be trusted. Eventually, Thrass and Ar'alani departed, though the smugglers were told that they would have to wait some time—possibly months—until the Chiss bureaucracy decided they were allowed to keep some of the profit.
- "What does this have to do with us?"
"The fact that Outbound Flight is a danger to both the Republic and your own people."
- ―Thrawn and Stratis
Thrawn woke Car'das in the middle of the night some time later to inform him of yet another encroachment by unknown enemies on his territory. The Chiss did not believe it was the Vagaari, for the ship design was entirely different, but suspected that it might be an attack from another force. Car'das accompanied Thrawn—without Ferasi or Qennto—along with a sizable force of a dozen CEDF vessels, including the Springhawk, to the system where the unknown ships had been first spotted. When they arrived, Car'das was able to identify the ships as belonging to the Trade Federation, a commerce guild run mostly by Neimoidians.
Car'das was unable to identify the ships' purpose, although Thrawn doubted it would bode well for the Chiss. He contacted the lead ship, a Lucrehulk-class battleship called the Darkvenge, and held a short discussion with a "Commander Stratis," who insisted that his mission was confidential. However, when the Neimoidian commander Kav cut off communications and launched droid starfighters, Thrawn prepared for battle.
Though the Chiss forces was just three small cruisers and nine fighters, Thrawn won the battle without losing a man, a testament to his command abilities. Thrawn was able to cut off the droid starfighters from their commands, leaving the Trade Federation cruisers helpless. He was also able to destroy several Hardcell-class interstellar transports as well, stunning the enemy forces. When the lone remaining ship, the Darkvenge, attempted to flee to hyperspace, it was thwarted due to Thrawn's gravity projector. Helpless, the Darkvenge surrendered. Car'das was amazed by this display and awed by Thrawn's skills.
Thrawn and Car'das then boarded the Darkvenge, where they were greeted by Stratis and Kav on the bridge. Though Kav threatened the two with a destroyer droid, Thrawn remained calm, staring down Kav until he ordered the droid to deactivate itself. Thrawn demanded he be told of the enemy fleet's intention, even claiming Car'das was a spy he had taken prisoner. Stratis agreed to tell Thrawn of his purpose and began explaining about the Outbound Flight Project, a mission to explore space beyond the galaxy. The ship contained thousands of passengers and several Jedi, and the Trade Federation task force had been sent to destroy it; he said that the Jedi would enslave the Chiss people and implied that Thrawn should himself destroy it. After hearing this, Thrawn announced that the ship would be confiscated and left, deep in thought.
Thrawn had Car'das study readouts and blueprints of the Trade Federation vessel so that he could get an impression of the ship's capabilities. Although the Human complied, he was troubled and annoyed by Thrawn's accusation. However, when Car'das and Thrawn next spoke, the Chiss informed him that he did not suspect him of being a spy and had merely accused him to gain more information from Stratis. Thrawn had another reason for the accusation: if the other Chiss thought that Thrawn believed the Humans to be spies, it would give him a plausible reason for keeping them in Chiss space. Thrawn told Car'das that his own brother, Thrass, had been providing Ar'alani with reports of Thrawn's activities on Crustai and that the admiral was growing more and more suspicious of him. Thrawn eventually left, though Car'das was still unsure of the Commander's true thoughts and motivations. Car'das knew that he, Ferasi, and Qennto had overstayed their welcome and that they would have to find a way to leave as soon as they could.
Thrawn revealed to Car'das that Kav and Stratis wanted him to destroy Outbound Flight. When Car'das informed Ferasi and Qennto of this revelation, Qennto was indifferent and began discussing ways they could leave the Chiss with their cut of the Vagaari treasure. Car'das eventually went to speak with Thrawn, although he encountered Thrass. Thrass took Car'das to Admiral Ar'alani, who began questioning him about the latest incident involving the Trade Federation vessels. Ar'alani then ordered Car'das to lead them to the battle site, which he reluctantly agreed to, perceiving that he had no other choice.
While Car'das and Ar'alani were traveling to the battle site, Thrawn had met Stratis aboard the bridge of the Darkvenge, seeking answers. He knew that Stratis was not the man's real name and also suspected that he had another reason for the destruction of Outbound Flight besides the death of the Jedi. Stratis informed Thrawn of his real identity: Kinman Doriana, assistant to Supreme Chancellor Palpatine and secretly an agent of Darth Sidious, Dark Lord of the Sith. Though even Doriana was unaware of it, Sidious was in fact Palpatine, and he was working to achieve complete control of the galaxy. Doriana also told Thrawn why he sought to destroy Outbound Flight—a mysterious group of beings he called Far-Outsiders lurked near the edge of the galaxy. Doriana claimed they posed a great threat to the galaxy and that they could not be allowed to capture Outbound Flight. After telling him this, Doriana introduced Thrawn to his master, Sidious, through use of a holoprojector, in an attempt to stress the urgency to the Chiss commander. Sidious spoke to Thrawn, with both questioning each other. Thrawn ultimately agreed to destroy Outbound Flight, although he requested the use of six droid starfighters, something Doriana begrudgingly agreed to.
Back at the battle site, Ar'alani was examining the wreckage with Thrass and Car'das, who was relieved to discover that the Darkvenge was not there. Ar'alani discussed the possibility of trying Thrawn for his unprovoked attacks. Car'das was worried for his friend, although he also remembered that he had reason to worry about himself and the other smugglers. As such, he broached the question of when he—and Qennto and Ferasi—would be allowed to claim their treasure and leave. The two Chiss told Car'das it would depend on Thrawn and whether or not he would be tried. Car'das, knowing it would likely take months, relented on that issue. However, he was surprised at Thrass's willingness to condemn his own brother and began questioning him about it. Thrass and Ar'alani defended the Chiss policies, forcing Car'das to drop the issue.
Car'das then traveled back to the Chiss base, where he would spend the next few days. Qennto and Ferasi were growing desperate to leave, and Car'das too was tired of the situation. One afternoon, opportunity presented itself for Car'das to escape. After Thrawn accused him of being a traitor in front of Ar'alani, the admiral confined him to quarters. Around this time, Thrawn approached Car'das and asked him to steal a shuttle and incite the Vagaari into attacking; Thrawn had a plan that would take out both the Vagaari and Outbound Flight in one stroke. Feeling it was his and his friends' only option if they wished for Thrawn to allow them to return to the Republic, Car'das begrudgingly agreed. He stole a shuttle and piloted it to the site of a Vagaari battle, where he found the Vagaari fleet. Car'das surrendered to the aliens and was taken prisoner aboard one of their massive motherships.
The elimination of the Vagaari and Outbound Flight
- "Stratis very much wants me to destroy Outbound Flight for him."
- ―Thrawn, explaining the Trade Federation task force's intention to Car'das
Once on the Vagaari ship, Car'das was searched and placed in a cell, where he waited for several hours. Eventually, a Vagaari guard arrived to bring him somewhere—an interrogation room, Car'das assumed. He was thus surprised when the guard led him to a throne room, where a large Vagaari sat on a throne. Car'das attempted to speak to the Miskara (their leader) in Minnisiat, but was punched by a guard, who ordered him not to speak unless told to. After a tense moment, the overlord began to question Car'das. Car'das informed him of the smugglers' situation with the Chiss, claiming they were prisoners. Car'das told the Miskara that he had the coordinates to the secret Chiss base and would give them to the Vagaari if they wished to strike back at the Chiss, allowing Car'das and his friends to flee on the Bargain Hunter. However, the Miskara rejected the deal, seeing it as foolish as the Vagaari would gain nothing except a chance for revenge.
Seemingly out of options, Car'das was surprised when several Vagaari brought in a group of deactivated B1-Series battle droids and droidekas. Like the Chiss, the Vagaari had no experience with droids, so Car'das explained to the Miskara what they were. He showed the overlord how to command the droids, programming them so they would only answer to the Vagaari ruler. To test the droids, the Vagaari brought in several of their Geroon slaves, whom the droids swiftly executed. Hoping to gain more of these mechanical servants, the Miskara decided to attack the Chiss base. However, Car'das was to be imprisoned in the ship's forward prisoner bubble, where he could very easily be killed in battle.
Back on the Darkvenge, Thrawn was waiting for Outbound Flight, which appeared suddenly when he used the gravity projector to pull it out of hyperspace. Thrawn spoke to the Jedi in charge, Jorus C'baoth, and agreed to come to Outbound Flight to speak with C'baoth. Thrawn warned C'baoth of a group of unknown invaders occupying parts of the Unknown Regions and insisted he turn the ship around. Stubbornly, C'baoth refused, ordering Thrawn to move out of the way. When Thrawn replied that he could not, C'baoth ended the conversation with a threat, claiming the Jedi aboard would destroy Thrawn's forces. Thrawn headed back to the command vessel, where he prepared for battle.
The entire Vagaari fleet set a course for Thrawn's base on Crustai, though they were pulled out of hyperspace early by Thrawn's stolen interdiction field; the Chiss commander had used it to gather all his enemies together. The Vagaari, furious at what they believed was betrayal, questioned Car'das angrily, though when they noticed the Outbound Flight—which contained hordes of battle droids—their fury subsided. As the Jedi and civilians aboard the Outbound Flight were not fluent in the trade language Car'das used to communicate with his captors, the Human was forced to act as a translator between the Vagaari and Outbound Flight, relaying the aliens' message for Outbound Flight to either surrender or be destroyed. The Jedi did not respond, and eventually the Miskara decided the time for discussion was over: the Vagaari would plunder their droids immediately. However, before they could put their plan into action, the aliens were all affected by Jedi Force powers, confusing their minds and leaving them unable to speak aside from nonsensical babbling.
Car'das firmly believed he would die in the ship, and either Thrawn or those from the Republic would attack the helpless Vagaari fleet. It didn't take the firepower of either force to kill off the aliens, though; Thrawn had secretly reconfigured the battle droids to fire on them. Most of the Vagaari on the bridge were gunned down, leaving them in even further disarray, completely defenseless against Thrawn's wave after wave of Trade Federation starfighters. Car'das's life was saved, as the Chiss had programmed the vessels not to shoot the prison bubbles. The starfighters had the Vagaari almost entirely defeated when they suddenly changed course and attacked Outbound Flight, severely damaging it.
Three hours after the battle had ended, the Chiss boarded Car'das's ship and rescued him. Car'das was horrified at the brutality of the attack on the Outbound Flight, though Thrawn and Stratis explained that it was necessary: Jorus C'baoth had been using the Force to strangle Thrawn aboard the Springhawk. It was believed that all aboard the Republic ship had perished. Car'das and Thrawn went to speak with Ar'alani, who had been in cahoots with Thrawn all along; though she could not actively participate in the commander's plan, she had turned a blind eye so that the Vagaari could be brought to justice.
After this deception was revealed, Car'das spoke with Thrass, who was angry with his brother. Car'das defended his friend's actions, although Thrass was reluctant to listen. Thrass informed Car'das that Formbi intended to arrest Thrawn. Though not willing to forgive him, Thrass was worried about Thrawn, so he joined Car'das in searching for him on Outbound Flight along with the admiral. When they found him, the two notified Thrawn that Formbi was on his way. Thrawn's biggest concern, however, was not himself, but the fate of Outbound Flight. He knew Formbi would claim it for himself, giving the Fifth Family considerable prestige. Thrawn agreed to go onboard the Aristocra's ship after being ordered to do so by Ar'alani—herself under orders from Formbi. Car'das and Thrass stayed onboard, although Car'das was ready to leave upon learning of Thrass's intent to destroy the vessel.
The Chiss and the smuggler encountered the lone surviving Jedi, Lorana Jinzler, who told them that people had survived, therefore making it impossible to destroy Outbound Flight, as they knew the Chiss could not kill innocent beings. After considering all options, Thrass and Jinzler decided to fly the ship into the Redoubt, a stellar cluster in which they hoped to hide. Car'das evacuated before they began, flying back to Formbi's ship. On the bridge of the Chaf Exalted, Formbi was interrupted from the questioning of Thrawn when Outbound Flight suddenly vanished, gone into hyperspace. Formbi was furious, although he was unable to do anything. In the Redoubt, Thrass and Jinzler found that the survivors were in the area of the ship opposite them, and it was necessary to crash-land the ship on their own section, an act that would kill them. However, the two realized it was necessary, as they felt they could not let the remaining 57 die, so the two sacrificed themselves to save the others. Shortly after this, Thrawn informed Car'das that Doriana had offered the Human a job as head of an intelligence network for Darth Sidious, while fronting as a smuggler. Car'das accepted and said goodbye to Ferasi and Qennto.
- "In his own way, he was even more ruthless than Jabba the Hutt."
- ―Talon Karrde
By the outbreak of the Clone Wars, several years after he had accepted Doriana's offer, Car'das had acquired a reputation as an up-and-coming smuggler. Although his organization was small compared to what the Hutts had, it grew steadily: for instance, he took control of Booster Terrik's operation when Terrik was sent to prison on Kessel by Hal Horn. When the galaxy became embroiled in the conflict between the Republic and the Confederacy of Independent Systems in 22 BBY, hordes of smugglers used the galaxy's suffering to their advantage in the hopes of making large sums of money; Car'das was among them, and he and his organization lucratively smuggled both contraband and necessities to war-torn worlds.
Sometime after the end of the Clone Wars, Car'das was smuggling in the Bpfassh system when he was inadvertently caught in the middle of a large battle between a group of rogue Bpfasshi Dark Jedi and the combined forces of the rest of the Sluis sector. While Car'das's ship was on the surface of one of the planets in the system, one of the Dark Jedi arrived and commandeered the vessel with Car'das and his four other crew members, demanding that they grant him passage out of the system. The Dark Jedi—who Car'das suspected was insane—went into a furious frenzy, torturing and later killing all aboard the ship except for Car'das, whom he left mostly alone. Car'das was, for one of the first times in his life, genuinely frightened, and he thought of plan after plan for escape as they dodged enemy ships and escaped the system, each more futile than the last. Eventually, the Dark Jedi had Car'das set down on Dagobah—a remote swamp world.
The Bpfasshi expected them to be alone on the planet, though they were not; Yoda, exiled Grand Master of the Jedi Order, was waiting for them, and for over a day Yoda and the Dark Jedi engaged in a frenzied battle that horrified Car'das. Eventually, Yoda was able to defeat the Dark Jedi, though Car'das was left badly injured by his experiences with the darksider. Yoda took it upon himself to nurse the Human back to health with the Force, until Car'das was eventually able to repair his ship and leave the planet.
However, Car'das was changed by the encounter. He perceived that a tiny amount of Yoda's power had transferred to him during the healing process; not enough to allow him to physically use the Force, but enough that he was able to out-think his opponents. Car'das was able to guess his competitors' strategies and plans and stop them; he eventually realized that there was no limit to what he could do and began absorbing his competitors one by one. Car'das's organization boomed, and he became a wealthy man. However, his personality had also been changed by his encounter with Yoda, and he became a ruthless, merciless man, not unlike Jabba Desilijic Tiure. It was during this time that Car'das also began amassing a huge library of datacards, storing enough information to rival the galaxy's greatest libraries. By that time, Car'das' organization rivaled even that of the Hutts.
- "As I sat there panting on a rock, swamp water seeping into my boots, he told me in exquisitely painful detail just how badly I'd squandered the gift of life he'd given back to me a quarter century earlier. How my utterly selfish pursuit of personal power and aggrandizement had left me empty of spirit and vacant of purpose. By the time he finished, I knew I could never go back. That I could never, ever face any of you again."
- ―Car'das, recalling his reunion with Yoda
Then, one day around 0 BBY, Car'das boarded into his private yacht and disappeared. His health finally started to fail, and the new life he had been given by Yoda evaporated. Car'das traveled to Dagobah to demand that Yoda put everything right. Yoda simply took his blaster and the beckon call from his ship and flung them into the swamp, then berated Car'das for wasting the gift he had been given on his selfish ambitions. He also told Car'das that he wouldn't help him any further, since he had to conserve his time and energy for training Luke Skywalker, who he expected to arrive on Dagobah very shortly. Car'das realized his actions had been abominable, and he was consumed with shame.
- "But why me? You have the Emperor's ear. Why not a Royal Guard, or some brilliant junior fleet officer? Why not Vader himself? If you could stand his company."
"Because you're the only one I trust."
- ―Car'das and Thrawn, in orbit over Poln Major
He knew he couldn't return to his group, so he fled. Yoda had indicated he might receive help from the Aing-Tii monks, an alien species who had mastered the Force in ways unknown to either the Jedi or the Sith. Before heading for the Aing-Tii's known territory, in the Kathol sector, Car'das received a call for assistance from his old acquaintance, Thrawn, now a Senior Captain with the Imperial Navy. Thrawn needed to temporarily leave behind the majority of his forces in the Unknown Regions and travel quickly to Poln Major in Candoras sector, knowing that Nuso Esva, his longtime adversary, was planning an attack there. Though he agreed, feeling it was perhaps his last chance to do something worthwhile, Car'das nevertheless was both confused and somewhat resentful of Thrawn's choice. After all, he complained to Thrawn, why call on him when Thrawn could pilot a starship equally well himself, and could call on any number of persons within the Empire for aid? Thrawn's answer surprised him: that of all the beings in the galaxy, Car'das was the only one left whom Thrawn believed he could trust.
When Thrawn successfully chased Esva out of Candoras sector, he had to immediately rejoin his forces in the Unknown Regions to continue the pursuit. As a last favor, he asked that Car'das put off his journey to Kathol sector just long enough to visit Wroona, where Thrawn believed Esva's forces were holding hostages, including the family of Esva's doomed pilot, Sorro. Thrawn pointed out that Car'das, was the only one of his associates with both the equipment and the underworld contacts necessary to free them. Car'das, recognizing the call to a worthy endeavor, agreed to go.
After completing his service for Thrawn, Car'das made his way to the planet Exocron in the farthest reaches of the Kathol sector in Wild Space. The Aing-Tii were able to heal Car'das with ease, though they wished for him to stay with them to learn about their philosophies of the Force. Car'das agreed, and although he was given permission to return to the wider galaxy after a time, he decided to stay with the Aing-Tii for almost a dozen years. Although he was not Force-sensitive, Car'das was able to manipulate the Force after his time with the Aing-Tii; he could make an object instantly transport itself from one location to another. He learned much about the aliens, keeping notes and journals. In return for healing and teaching him, the Aing-Tii used him to help them collect artifacts scattered throughout the sector they believed belonged to their gods.
Eventually, Car'das left the Aing-Tii and took up permanent residence on planet Exocron, where he built a secret home in the side of a mountain. Here, he gathered all his information sources and created a personal library with secrets even the New Republic knew nothing of. Car'das's errands were taken care of by his loyal assistant, Entoo Needaan E-elz, while all housework and maintenance was performed by droids. He also remained in contact with the Aing-Tii, who were happy to come to his aid whenever Exocron fell under attack by slavers.
Car'das's organization continued to thrive for several months, but the lieutenants began to discuss the need for a true leader. Rather than put it to a vote, Talon Karrde—one of Car'das's most trusted subordinates—simply took control of the organization. The other leaders weren't happy, but the new operation flourished for the next twenty years. Karrde, however, was ever fearful of Car'das and was constantly prepared for his return. Karrde believed that Car'das would seek vengeance for Karrde's taking over of the organization and thwarted several attempts at his life by other members of the group, who claimed they had been sent by Car'das.
Eventually, after the death of Grand Admiral Thrawn, Karrde sent Lando Calrissian and Mara Jade to search for Car'das, a search that took seven years and ended up successfully pinpointing Car'das' location on Exocron. The lone clue was a beckon call Luke Skywalker had recovered on Dagobah. With Car'das within arm's reach, however, Karrde decided to give up the chase, unsure of what Car'das's reaction would be. The old Corellian was actually eagerly awaiting Karrde's arrival; he wanted to congratulate him on how well the organization had progressed under his leadership.
Reunion with Karrde
Later, Lando thought that Car'das held information that could help the New Republic defuse the Caamas Document Crisis, a situation where Bothans had been revealed as the guilty parties in the destruction of Caamas years earlier. Tensions where high, with many groups demanding the Bothans be punished. However, despite Lando's hopes, Karrde refused to bring Car'das into it. As the crisis unfolded, Karrde finally realized that he had to confront Car'das; if not to confront his own fears, then to recover a copy of the Caamas Document. Car'das played an elaborate ruse on him, first appearing as a withered old man bed-ridden on the planet Exocron. Karrde was surprised at the other man's advanced age.
However, Car'das had been planning this for some time—ever since he learned of Calrissian and Jade's search. Car'das used Karrde's desire to locate him as a way to draw the crimelord Rei'Kas to Exocron and near the Kathol Rift. Car'das and Admiral Trey David of Exocron's Navy knew Exocron couldn't stand against Rei'Kas's fleet, but they also knew that the Aing-Tii monks wanted to eliminate Rei'Kas. By allowing Karrde to get to Exocron, Car'das and David also gave Exocron's location to Rei'Kas. However, Rei'Kas' fleet was destroyed by the Aing-Tii monks when it tried to attack Exocron. This maneuvering was nearly transparent to Karrde, who realized that Car'das was more than a frail old man. He returned to Exocron and confronted Car'das again, who was no longer an aged man but a healthy man nowhere near death. He also revealed the true size of his fortress, with its immense library of datacards.
Car'das allowed Karrde and his bodyguard Shada D'ukal to spend the night at his fortress. That night, D'ukal slipped from her room and headed to Car'das' massive library, hoping to find a record that would identify the faction that had destroyed her people's homeworld, Emberlene. Instead, she encountered Car'das, who informed her that her world had been destroyed by a mercenary force, hired by the other peoples of the sector, who had been victimized by Emberlene's war of conquest - about which Shada and the rest of the Mistryl had deliberately never been told. Car'das offered her a choice between two data cards: one that would identify the destroyers of her world, or another that could end the Caamas Document Crisis and prevent civil war within the entire New Republic. She chose the latter, conscious that by doing so she was giving up her last chance to be reinstated within the Mistryl, from which she had been expelled. Pleased with her choice, Car'das promised her that she would find her place in the galaxy.
Though Car'das was unable to locate a copy of the Caamas Document, he was able to dig up a wealth of information on Grodin Tierce, Moff Vilim Disra, and the conman Flim, the members of the Sinister Triumvirate who were leading the Empire in its last-ditch effort to defeat the New Republic. Karrde and D'ukal brought this information back to Admiral Gilad Pellaeon, after saying their goodbyes to Car'das. The information he gave them, along with information possessed by Pellaeon, helped end the crisis and pave the way for the peace treaty that ended the decades-long Galactic Civil War.
Fulfilling a promise
Car'das vanished from the galactic scene for several years, before Dean Jinzler, the brother of Lorana Jinzler and a mechanic acting as a New Republic diplomat, revealed that he had received word of Voss Parck's mission to locate the remains of the Outbound Flight Project from Car'das himself in 22 ABY. Car'das then made sure Jinzler arrived, going so far as to trail Jinzler and help repair his ship in the Flacharia system. Jinzler told Luke Skywalker that Car'das was only trying to fulfill a promise he'd made years ago, the promise to Lorana Jinzler that he find her brother. Car'das then accompanied Jinzler aboard the Chaf Envoy when Aristocra Formbi greeted them, speaking to Car'das in private. Following this incident, Car'das vanished from the galactic scene.
In 43 ABY, the Jedi Luke and Ben Skywalker searched for the Aing-Tii, hoping to learn Force techniques such as Flow-walking from them. They eventually made their way to the Aing-Tii homeworld, where they stayed in an old cabin that Car'das had lived in when he had stayed with the Aing-Tii, and read journals he had written about the mysterious alien species. They also discovered that Car'das had helped the Aing-Tii create a translation device by allowing the monks to use his voice for the machine's Basic.
Personality and traits
- "Car'das is a vengeful man; but like Bombaasa, he likes to consider himself cultured."
- ―Talon Karrde
Jorj Car'das was, for most of his life, a kind man. Unlike his partner Qennto, he was not ruthless during the early part of his smuggling career. Car'das disliked excessive violence and was saddened by the destruction of Outbound Flight. He also hated slavery and found the Vagaari and their beliefs disgusting, especially their use of living shields. However, he was not quite as moral as his smuggling partner Maris Ferasi.
When Car'das received his gifts from Yoda, he changed, however, growing to become a cutthroat competitor. He was determined to get what he wanted, while forgetting his earlier beliefs. Yoda was sickened by this, and so stripped Car'das of his talents. Car'das realized the error of his ways then and once again changed, this time becoming the kind man he had once been.
Behind the scenes
Jorj Car'das was created for Star Wars: The Hand of Thrawn Duology, where he was revealed to be the creator of Talon Karrde's criminal empire. His backstory was later expounded on in the novel Outbound Flight. He also appeared in the Choices of One helping Thrawn. The Essential Reader's Companion incorrectly states that Car'das was in possession of a copy of the Caamas Document.
The illustration of Jorj Car'das on the cover of the Japanese edition of Outbound Flight was drawn by artist Tsuyoshi Nagano. Japanese editor Junzo Takagi thought the character was probably named after George Lucas and asked Nagano to use him as the model. Initially, Nagano completed a rough draft modeled after Lucas in his twenties, which was approved by Lucasfilm. However, the colored illustration looked too much like Lucas, and he was asked to redraw it. The Lucasfilm staff also immediately contacted Timothy Zahn and asked him what Car'das looked like. Zahn's response was generally as follows: "Late teens or very early twenties. He has dark, Mediterranean-like skin (not pitch black), slightly Asian eyes, dark hair, and a beard that he is trying to grow out in the hope that one day it will grow into a full beard." Nagano completed the cover based on these instructions.
- Outbound Flight
- Scoundrels (Mentioned only)
- Scoundrels audiobook (Mentioned only)
- Choices of One
- Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided (Mentioned only)
- I, Jedi (Mentioned only)
- Specter of the Past (First mentioned)
- Specter of the Past unabridged audiobook (Mentioned only)
- Vision of the Future (First appearance)
- Vision of the Future unabridged audiobook
- Survivor's Quest (Mentioned only)
- The New Jedi Order: Agents of Chaos II: Jedi Eclipse (Mentioned only)
- Fate of the Jedi: Omen (Appears in hologram)
- Fate of the Jedi: Omen audiobook (Appears in hologram)
- "ComicScan: 'Til Death Do They Part" – Star Wars Galaxy Collector 8
- A Guide to the Star Wars Universe, Third Edition, Revised and Expanded
- "Underworld: A Galaxy of Scum and Villainy" – Star Wars Insider 89
- The New Essential Guide to Characters
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 86 (YOD18-19, Yoda)
- The Force Unleashed Campaign Guide
- Scum and Villainy
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- Jedi Academy Training Manual
- The Essential Reader's Companion