- "He cared what happened to us. He was one of us, pretty much. Not just there because he couldn't cope with not being in the army anymore, or had to disappear. No, he was a good man."
Kal Skirata, born Falin Mattran—sometimes called Kal'buir (Mando'a for "Papa Kal") by the clone commandos that he trained—was a Human male Mandalorian instructor who trained clone commandos in the Grand Army of the Republic during the time of the Separatist Crisis. After being orphaned, he was adopted by Munin Skirata. As Skirata grew up, he became the husband of Ilippi Skirata, the biological father of Tor, Ijaat, and Ruusaan Skirata. He would also become the adopted buir of Omega Squad and the Null-class Advanced Recon Commandos, RC-1136 of Omega Squad, and Jedi Knight Etain Tur-Mukan, and ex-Jedi Knight Bardan Jusik. He was also the adopted grandfather of Venku Skirata.
Life as a Mandalorian
- "Ke nu'jurkadir sha Mando'ade…"
- ―Kal Skirata to Qibbu. Don't mess with Mandalorians
Falin Mattran was born on the planet of Kuat, the son of a Kuat Drive Yards engineer and his wife. When Mattran was around 6 years old, his family had moved to Surcaris because his father was contracted to do some engineering on the KDY warships that were stationed there. War had broken out on Surcaris shortly after the Mattran family had arrived on the planet, and Falin was orphaned when both of his parents were killed. The only thing he had salvaged from his father's body was a three-sided knife, and because he was alone after his parents died, he trained himself how to use it, eventually getting to the point where he could hit any target he threw the knife at.
After surviving for a year in the war-torn rubble of Surcaris on his own, Mattran was discovered by a Mandalorian named Munin Skirata, whom he had promptly attacked with his father's knife. Munin was amused by the attack rather than angry, and decided to adopt Mattran into his Mandalorian clan, renaming him Kal Skirata—"Kal" meaning "blade" in Mando'a—and took it upon himself to train young Kal.
Skirata later married a non-Mandalorian, Ilippi, with whom he had three children: Tor, Ijaat, and Ruusaan. However, she had trouble dealing with his long absences and refused to allow him to take their eight-year-old sons into battle with him, per Mandalorian tradition. Ilippi eventually left him, taking with her all three children. Early in his career as a mercenary, his ankle was shattered by a Verpine shatter gun due to his failure to follow an order. The injury would later become a grievance for most of his career, only being healed after his adopted clone sons forced him to undergo surgery.
When Jango Fett was recruiting the Cuy'val Dar, Kal was recruited due to fellow Cuy'val Dar Walon Vau's recommendation. He and Jango went back a long way, and had an up and down relationship. Kal was an aggressive Mandalorian traditionalist and was devoted to the welfare of his troops.
When Ilippi died, Kal's sons tried to find him, to let him know. However, because of the extreme secrecy surrounding the existence of the clone army, he could not contact them, and after they couldn't find him to come to their mother's funeral, they parentally divorced him. This was something that was considered a great disgrace among Mandalorians, but Kal felt that it was worth it, for the safety of the clones he had now become quite attached to.
- "I can train them."
- ―Kal Skirata the first time he sees the Nulls
Eight years before the Battle of Geonosis, Kal was brought to Kamino when he answered Jango Fett's call for trainers for the clones, joining the ranks of the Cuy'val Dar—literally "those who no longer exist" in the Mandalorian tongue. He was disgusted with the Kaminoans' arrogance and indifference toward the "reconditioning" (a euphemism that often meant killing) of clone children who didn't pass quality control standards.
Kal first met the Nulls when the Kaminoan technicians considered them failures that would be destroyed. Null-11 and Null-7 attempted to defend themselves and their brothers with Null-7 stealing the hold-out blaster Kal kept within his boot, and Null-11 aiming at Kaminoan Orun Wa. Though Kal cared little for the fate of the Kaminoan scientist, he talked Null-11 down for fear of repercussions toward the boy.
Kal became sympathetic to the clones, and took the Nulls under his wing, giving them names and training them personally, instilling the heritage and values of the Mandalorians in them. The Nulls, in return, were very fond of Kal, and would answer to or accept orders from him alone. He also formed alliances and contacts with many other Cuy'val Dar while there, forming a closer relationship with Walon Vau, Wad'e Tay'haai, Mij Gilamar, Rav Bralor, Dred Priest, and many other Mandalorians.
The war begins
- "Enlist me in the Grand Army of the Republic and give me back my lads."
- ―Kal Skirata to Jedi General Iri Camas
With the Battle of Geonosis, Kal's contract as a Cuy'val Dar was finally over. But when the battle was won and the Null ARCs were expected to be put into stasis, they resisted and took control of an entire barracks block. Skirata had to be called in under willing CSF arrest to help calm the Nulls, but he helped on the condition that he would be re-enlisted in the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) and there would be no punishment for the Nulls.
Mission on Coruscant
- "Yes, this is where it gets boring. And you know what? You won't be any less dead if you get it wrong. And I really hope Vau schooled you well in this, because I'll be pretty hacked off if you get trigger-happy and blow this op."
- ―Kal Skirata to RC-1138 about the mission
One year into the war, with several recent terrorist attacks on GAR facilities, Skirata assembled a secret black ops team consisting of himself, fellow Cuy'val Dar Walon Vau, clone commando squads Delta and Omega, Null ARCs Ordo and Mereel, and Jedi Generals Etain Tur-Mukan and Bardan Jusik. The team's objective was to locate and eliminate the Separatist terror cells operating on Coruscant.
For the mission, Ordo acquired a large cache of explosives from GAR facilities, and Skirata used some of his criminal contacts within the seedier areas of Coruscant to set himself up as a man looking to sell the explosives. Once contact had been made with the terror cell, the different teams were given different objectives. Omega and Delta Squads, along with Jusik and Tur-Mukan, tracked the members of the terror cell. Walon Vau served as interrogator for any prisoners taken. Once the exchange took place between Skirata and the terror cells, a strike was made to eliminate all members of the cell.
During the mission, Kal took a liking to Bardan and believed him fit to be his son. Afterward, he also convinced General Zey that clone trooper Corr (an injured ordnance disposal trooper who'd been swept up into the team during the investigation) be allowed to stay with him and train as a commando. It was also during this period that he learned of Etain's pregnancy with clone commando Darman and told her that he would raise the child so that it would grow up in the proper "Mandalorian" way. He also expressed disgust in Etain's decision not to tell Darman that she had conceived, thinking that she had merely "used" him, just like the Republic used its slave army.
The Hunt for Ko Sai
- "If it's the last thing I do, you'll have a full life span. Even if I have to beat that information out of Ko Sai a line at a time."
- ―Kal Skirata to Ordo
Not long after, Kal and Ordo were forced to rescue Walon Vau from Mygeeto after he fell into a crevasse after a bank heist at the Dressian Kiolsh Merchant Bank. When they recovered him aboard their ship, the goods from the heist were given to Kal by Vau, forcing Kal to change how he thought of Vau and forging a more comradely relationship between the two.
After the rescue, Kal formally adopted Ordo according to Mandalorian tradition. Though Kal had been angry at Etain for getting pregnant, he felt guilty afterward for bullying her. He tracked Ko Sai down and captured her with the help of Mereel after a firefight with a group of Mando'ade who were her bodyguards, something that made Kal believe Mando'ade should stop working for others and work for themselves. After learning of the order to euthanize Fi, Kal and Ordo left for Coruscant, leaving Etain on Mandalore at his home and made a call to Obrim for aid in retrieving Fi.
After the birth of Venku Skirata, Kal offered to let Etain stay on Mandalore with Venku if she left the Jedi Order, something she refused as she felt it would be betraying the other soldiers who served under her. Both he and Etain decided to pick the moment when they would tell Darman about Venku and rented a place for Laseema on Coruscant where he and Venku would stay. After retrieving Fi, Kal officially adopted all members of Omega Squad and the Nulls according to Mandalorian tradition, expanding the Clan Skirata.
Besany in trouble
- "I don't want to worry you, Kal, but I've started an armed siege at the medcenter. I've got my blaster, and Fi's okay for the time being, but if you've got any advice … I'd welcome it right now."
- ―Besany in a message to Kal Skirata
Skirata assigned two of his Null adopted sons, Mereel Skirata and Jaing Skirata as "fundraisers" for his research into stopping the clone rapid aging, to give his boys a natural life. Agent Besany Wennen had previously given Kal and the Nulls her access into the national Republic Treasury access codes, so they could research where new clones were coming from to get new cloning research material and to see where the war was going. Upon Jaing's data-mining worm virus being discovered, the Republic Treasury launched a full investigation. The Republic special investigators brought in were Mereel and Jaing, their involvement in the actions that caused the investigations, unbeknownst to the GAR. Jaing and Mereel's investigations revealed no results, and that they would have to check Army databases in addition to treasury databases to see how far this "mystery program" went. The Republic agreed to give the Nulls full access to all GAR records.
While the Null investigation found nothing, the droid investigation revealed questionable access made by one of Besany's co-workers, Jilka Zan Zentis, who was investigating a government shell company on Besany's request. Besany felt awful that her friend Jilka was imprisoned because of her. Later, a Gurlanin spy told Besany that Jilka was framed, and the actions made on Jilka's terminal were made obvious by the Gurlanins, so the GAR wouldn't see any of Besany or Skirata's sons' actions. Besany was upset her friend was going to prison in her place, but Ordo and Skirata didn't understand why. Skirata ordered Jilka to be broken out of jail, her prison transport hijacked by Ordo and Wad'e Tay'haai.
- "It's me…Kal Skirata."
"I…I didn't think you'd call back."
- ―Kal Skirata and his son Tor
Months later, Tor Skirata contacted, via comlink, his father to let him know that he had lost contact with Ruusaan and asked Kal to look for her. During the conversation, Tor said he was sorry for what he and Ijaat did to Kal.
To his surprise, Kal found out that Ruu was arrested for playing as part of the Separatists and was placed in a Republic Detention Center on Pols Anaxes. Kal sent Fi and Bardan Jusik, along with Spar and Sull with falsified records to escort Ruu out of the Pols Anaxes facility. Even though his biological sons had disowned him, and his daughter had not spoken to him for years, Skirata still protected his biological children, along with those he adopted.
Telling Omega and other plans
- "I—The Nulls, Vau, and me, we've been getting an escape route together, and a refuge for any man who wants to leave the GAR without a body bag. And we're getting close to finding out how to stop your accelerated aging. It's a whole new life, ad'ike, a long one like any other human's. Are you in? Will you come with me when I say it's time to run?"
- ―Kal Skirata to Omega Squad
Kal Skirata had made many plans and decisions; the first was that he would take his adopted sons, and as many clone troopers as decided to come, to desert the Grand Army of the Republic and live in his secret facility on Mandalore, while he had the best scientists in the galaxy use all the cloning data he could buy or steal (such as from Ko Sai) to create a cure for the rapid aging of the clone troopers. He told all his Null-Arc sons, but waited to tell Omega Squad because he feared the news would interfere with their concentration during missions. Kal had Mereel and Jaing raising money for the research materials, and through clever banking they amassed over a trillion credits.
The second thing he had to tell Omega was that he had told Etain that she was to keep secret that Kad was her son, and that Darman was the father. Kad/Venku was able to walk before Darman knew he was the father, and Darman's confusion as to how Kal could have hidden so much from him caused him to have a temporary mental break, punching Kal Skirata repeatedly, knocking out at least one tooth, and leaving Skirata's face broken and bloody, while Kal apologized for what he had done to Darman. Darman felt horrible for striking his father afterwards, and forgave Kal and Etain later, just hoping they also forgave him.
Battle of Coruscant
- "Okay, I admit it now. Palpatine's strategically and tactically brilliant. He's spread the GAR so thin that the Seps thought Coruscant was here for taking, and so they roll in—and bang, he unleashes his second force behind them. He gets them to come to him. Well, at least we know now what he was building that second clone army and all the ships for. Now all we have to do is to get out in one piece. Nice one, Chancellor, you slimeball."
- ―Kal Skirata, getting Palpatine's motives all wrong
As Count Dooku and General Grievous waged war on Coruscant, Skirata decided that that was the time to get Dr. Ovolot Qail Uthan, but not before being reunited with Ruu. She couldn't believe that after all this time, her father had never forgotten her. Skirata told her that after the battle, Ruu would have the choice to return to Drall or go with the clan.
Carrying out their plan, Skirata, Vau, Bardan, Fi, and Ordo retrieved Dr. Uthan from the madhouse in Valorum Center, while the other inmates were evacuating. But before they could leave, Bardan went to collect another passenger: Arla Fett, the long-lost sister of Jango. Skirata was impressed by this discovery.
- "Palpatine never did anything temporary in his life, Fenn. I know. He's just spent thirteen years—at least—building a galactic war and two armies purely to get rid of the Jedi."
- ―Kal Skirata to Fenn Shysa in the aftermath of Order 66
Skirata was still on Coruscant when Supreme Chancellor Palpatine had issued Order 66, the order that tells all clones to turn and eliminate their Jedi officers. It was at that time when Vau had revealed that the Grand Army of the Republic was all planned by Jango Fett to destroy the Jedi Order. He would later learn that Palpatine was a Sith Lord called Darth Sidious.
Skirata and Omega went to search for Etain, who was trying to pass herself off as an innocent bystander, as she made her way to be extracted from Coruscant by Skirata. However, as a couple of Jedi were exposed, the 501st Legion, now under command of Darth Vader, opened fire on them at the Shinarcan Bridge Extension.
During the battle, Etain instinctively tried to stop one of the Jedi from killing a clone trooper by shielding him from a lightsaber strike with her own body. Skirata, along with Omega, witnessed the scene and was angered by her death, so he turned on the Jedi and helped to kill a number of them. Niner broke his spine in the battle and all of the Jedi were either killed or forced to flee. Darman stayed behind to look after Niner and waited for a medic to show up.
Captain Obrim was forced to set his blaster for stun after Skirata refused to leave Coruscant immediately, saying that he wouldn't leave without his family. While Skirata was out cold, Ordo carried him to safety with the rest of the clan, including Ruu, Jilka and Dr. Uthan, and headed out to Mandalore.
After the battle, almost all of Clan Skirata left Coruscant to move to Kal's secret hide-out Kyrimorut on Mandalore, with the exception of Niner, and Darman. Shortly before Etain's Funeral, Skirata adopted Etain as his daughter, deciding that daughter-in-law wasn't good enough for all she had done for him and his sons.
Shortly after Order 66, Skirata proceeded to operate out of Kyrimorut with his extended family. Three weeks after Order 66, he agreed to have Nyreen Vollen transport the Jedi Tallisibeth Enwandung-Esterhazy, nicknamed "Scout," and Kina Ha to his home, wanting Kina Ha's genetic information, though Ny wasn't aware of this at the time. During his conversation with Mij Gilamar on the subject, Kal admitted to himself that he liked Ny so much that it scared him, determined to find a cure to the rapid aging gene the clones were engineered to have. Mereel agreed to be civil to Kina Ha, which was amazing as she was a Kaminoan.
He also affirmed that he would enforce the house rules even though he wanted a pair of Kaminoan gloves like Jaing's, made out of Ko Sai's skin. Jaing replied by telling him to get his own Kaminoan, as he needed the matching belt next. When she arrived with the Jedi, Kal became a 14-year-old boy again wishing he was taller. Upon seeing how much Scout looked like Etain, Kal had to blink back tears. Mereel helped him back inside, telling him not to compare Scout to Etain.
At dinner that night, Scout remarked about being weak in the Force, making Kal automatically defend Etain, who was also weak in the Force. It was clear during this dinner that he was still on needles around Jedi, and Ny wondered to herself how to get him to give the Jedi a chance. When Vau returned from failing to find Sev on Kashyyyk, they held a meeting of what to do next.
Mij suggested they make an antigen to FG36, Ovolot Qail Uthan's virus intended to kill clones with Jango Fett's genetic structure but never completed; instead of it targeting clones, it targeted any sentient being. Jaing then told them that the fortune they "came across" from the Republic's people accrued 200 million credits a week, without compound interest.
In all, it came to a minimum of 15 billion credits a year. When Kal worried that the Empire would notice the fortune in a single account, Jaing replied that he split it up in thousands of accounts across the galaxy, and invested them in hundreds of companies. When Mereel was asked if he trusted Gaib and TK-0 of Gaib & TK-0 Inc. enough to get a secure untraceable link to Niner, he responded that he did, as they only wanted credits like everyone else.
Upon hearing that Darth Vader was Sidious's apprentice, Kal wished that the Jedi and Sith would go to a faraway planet and fight to the death, then leave the galaxy in peace. It was during this meeting that Mereel told them that the 501st Legion, of which Niner and Darman were a part, were tasked with hunting down Jedi and deserters like them; no one was surprised by this, but they sped up the plans to get Niner and Darman home to their family. Prudii Skirata and Kom'rk Skirata volunteered for the mission, choosing the direct approach over stealth. Mij, Vau, and Skirata also decided that they would eliminate Dred Priest if they ran into him again.
Kal later met with Mandalore Fenn Shysa, who still wanted him to train the resistance fighters for the inevitable fight against the Empire. The Empire began to buy Mandalorian iron at high prices, in order to prevent Mandalore from mounting a proper assault against them when they invaded. Shysa was not surprised when Kal told him Palpatine was a Sith Lord; as long as they continued buying the iron, he was unconcerned.
Shysa attempted to get Kal's blessing on putting Jusik out to stud to help bolster their numbers, which lead Kal to outright refuse. Kal told him that the Nulls would keep him supplied with intelligence on the Empire in exchange for leaving Jusik alone and turning a blind eye to their actions. After a friendly game of bolo ball with Vau, Mij, and the boys (during which the 'old guard' scored the first and only goal before halftime), Ny had Kal try cookies she made specially for him; they were so good the remind him of his mother for the first time in years, bringing tears to his eyes. At this time, Ny and Kal openly admitted they feel something for each other.
Kal stayed home for the mission to rescue Niner and Darman, worrying about his boys the entire time. He also understood how his former wife Ilippi felt, waiting for him to come home from war. While he waited to hear from Ordo every hour on the hour, the Empire unleashed Uthan's virus on her homeworld of Gibad, which refused to join the Empire following the Clone Wars. He made the final decision to have Uthan create an antigen to FG36 and spread it around Mandalore, vaccinating the planet and its inhabitants; this would also vaccinate the Imperial Garrison.
Kal was against Uthan's plan to release the virus on Coruscant, as Niner and Darman were still there, along with the Nulls. With Mij's help he got her to begin work on the antigen, with Scout as their lab aide. When Ordo and the others returned home without Niner and Darman some time later, Kal acknowledged that Ordo hadn't failed like Ordo believed, saying that he could never disappoint him. He also talked to Ny about marrying him one day, and she wasn't against it. Kal's heart was broken when Jaing finishes analyzing the chip given to them by Jaller Obrim, which listed Ny as a Jedi sympathizer and ally against her knowledge.
When Ny confronted him about helping other Jedi, Kal responded that if he had to choose between helping the Jedi and helping a clone, he'd choose the clone every time; they also began to search out Jedi Master Djinn Altis during this time, to have him tale the Jedi in. When Jusik returned with Maze and Arligan Zey, who was supposed to be dead, Kal was deeply hurt that Jusik didn't comm him first. He was also angry with Maze for helping the Jedi survive Order 66; when Maze began criticizing Kal, Ordo moved to strike him. Zey and Jusik both broke up the fight using the Force, casting more doubt on Jusik's allegiance. They also found Plett's Well is located in the Plawal Rift during this time, narrowing the search for Altis.
When Jusik found Altis, Kal struggled with how to get them to forget the location of the base, deciding to have Jusik mindwipe them if it was possible. He felt extremely guilty when Jusik told him that the Altisian Jedi invited Etain to join them, knowing if she had she would still be alive. When the antigen for FG36 is shown to work, Kal received Shysa's approval to spread it around Mandalore and has his boys do so; he was also shocked when he found that Cov was dating his daughter Ruusaan.
In 40 ABY, Taun We told Boba Fett that Skirata found and killed Ko Sai and used her data to stop the aging process of all of his clone sons. One of these clones, Jaing Skirata, would later go on to tell Boba Fett that his father, Kal, had died.
It also appears that Kal had cared for Venku.
Personality and traits
- "You can fight ice-cold or you can fight red-hot. Kal fights hot. It's his weakness."
- ―Walon Vau
Skirata felt that it was his absolute duty to let the clones of Jango Fett know their Mandalorian legacy; Boba Fett viewed him as a fanatic. When Skirata found out that Etain Tur-Mukan was pregnant with Venku, he was more than willing to take the baby from his mother and even hunt her down, to achieve his goal. He had no qualms about torturing prisoners, and Fett considered him one of the dirtiest fighters.
A complex man, Skirata disliked many of the things that the Kaminoans did to the clones, and was deeply disturbed by the treatment of his "boys." He smuggled in treats and other restricted things for the clones, and wanted them to embrace their Mandalorian heritage. He hated living on the water world of Kamino, as it made his shattered ankle play up. The Kaminoans also unnerved him, and irritated him with questions about how he felt being "defective." Kal had only ever felt sorry for one Kaminoan, a female who had given birth to a child with green eyes. Because the Kaminoan caste system was based around the eye colors of gray, blue and yellow, the child had been labeled a threat to the Kaminoans' ordered society, and had been exterminated shortly after birth. He also had serious differences with Walon Vau (differences which bordered on outright hatred), as he felt Vau was sadistic toward the clone troopers (a source of contention was when Vau sicced his pet strill, Lord Mirdalan, on a young Ordo). Despite these differences, Vau and Skirata were constant business partners and even friends later on.
Skirata had some issues with the Jedi Generals. He especially hated Jedi Master Quinlan Vos for openly distrusting the clones. He also hated the fact that Ki-Adi-Mundi had a polygamous marriage, while his daughter-in-law Etain would at best be demoted to the Agricultural Corps if evidence of her relationship with Darman surfaced.
A surprising aspect of his nature, given his line of work, was his emotionalism. He felt constant guilt for the condition of the clones as slave soldiers, and hated the Jedi Order and the Republic for betraying their principles of freedom and democracy when it was convenient for them. Despite that, he remained with the Republic until Order 66 so that he could look after the welfare of the Nulls and his commandos. Also, ironic for a mercenary, Kal Skirata was easily seasick, and felt queasy at the sight of painful wounds and copious amounts of blood. Juxtaposing his hatred of the Jedi was his ability to uncompromisingly, unconditionally love those close to him, such as the Nulls, his commando soldiers, Bardan Jusik, and anybody else in Clan Skirata. Skirata, despite his short stature—it was said that he had to stand on a box to head-butt Walon Vau—was a lethal fighter, and Jango Fett considered him "one of the dirtiest fighters."
- "We Mando boys like to show we've been in action. Anyway, this is top-grade beskar—full density, two percent ciridium, no fancy lamination or carbon-alloy."
"Does all that mean it's heavy?"
"Yeah. Very heavy. Heavy is best."
"Explains why you're so short then."
- ―Kal Skirata and Nyreen Vollen
Kal Skirata's sand-gold-colored Mandalorian armor was a top-grade version made of Mandalorian iron. He always wore his gauntlets, even when not wearing the rest of his armor. One of his gauntlets carried a comlink. He also carried his father's three-sided knife on his gauntlet. Kal was very fond of Verpine weapons and often carried a Verpine shatter gun. He also used a custom Verpine sniper rifle and a WESTAR-34 blaster pistol. Kal often carried a length of sharpened durasteel chain with him to use as a garrote.
Despite his dislike for the weapon, during the skirmish on the Shinarcan Bridge Extension, Kal used (borrowed) Bardan Jusik's lightsaber to kill at least two Jedi in revenge for the death of Etain Tur-Mukan.
Behind the scenes
Kal Skirata was supposed to have a toy, but the toymakers Hasbro couldn't get a head that met the aesthetic designs that author Karen Traviss envisioned for her character, so the toy head was changed and the figure became Mij Gilamar, which was later added to the Republic Commando books.
Kal, when pronounced like "kɑːl" (like the "a" in start of "father"), means a knife or sword in Korean.
- Republic Commando: Hard Contact (First mentioned)
- Omega Squad: Targets (First appearance)
- Republic Commando: Triple Zero
- "Odds" – Star Wars Insider 87
- Republic Commando: True Colors
- Order 66: A Republic Commando Novel
- Imperial Commando: 501st
- Legacy of the Force: Bloodlines (Mentioned only)
- Legacy of the Force: Sacrifice (Mentioned only)
- "Guide to the Grand Army of the Republic" – Star Wars Insider 84
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Essential Guide to Warfare (Misspelled as "Kai Skirata")
- The Essential Reader's Companion