- "I don't think a day has passed when I haven't looked over my shoulder, expecting Kharys to be there."
- ―Han Solo
Kharys was a female S'kytri from the planet Skye. She was Force-sensitive and met Anakin Skywalker during the Clone Wars. After saving her planet from destruction, Skywalker promised that he would train her to use the Force once the war had ended. Following the end of the Separatist threat and his subsequent transformation into Darth Vader, Skywalker kept his promise, returning to Skye and taking Kharys as his student, though not as a Jedi. He taught her to use a lightsaber as well as the ability to wield the dark side of the Force, and Kharys soon became a Dark Jedi and servant of the Galactic Empire.
Returning to her home planet as the Majestrix of Skye, Kharys became a violent dictator, oppressing her own people. She became known as the tyrant of Skye and the S'kytri hoped for a day when "The One" would come to free the world from Imperial rule and defeat her. A short time after the Battle of Yavin, the prophecy was fulfilled when Luke Skywalker, the son of Darth Vader, arrived to confront the Majestrix. Equipped with an anti-gravity belt, Skywalker engaged Kharys in an aerial duel above her fortress, eventually killing her and freeing Skye from her oppressive rule.
Kharys was hatched on the planet Skye two years before of the Invasion of Naboo. Like the majority of female S'kytri, Kharys's skin was a light shade of green. Although Skye had a history of almost constant war between its clans, by the time of Kharys's hatching, the Windborn, as the S'kytri referred to themselves, had adopted an attitude of sensibility and reason. With more discerning minds prevailing, the S'kytri had overturned the constant fighting and had birthed a world of relative peace. However, this advancement in their society made Skye a location ripe for conquest, and, during the Clone Wars, the planet was put under threat by Zeta Magnus, a genetic terrorist.
Kharys, who was thirteen years old at the time, was witness to three Jedi warriors, General Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, and Halagad Ventor, who rescued the world from destruction. To repay the Jedi, the clan's Patriarch, Klarymére, swore eternal friendship and loyalty to their rescuers. Although nearly all S'kytri were prejudiced against "walkers," the S'kytri's derogatory term for those without wings, Kharys became infatuated with Skywalker and his incredible talent in the Force, and Skywalker sensed the young S'kytri's own Force potential during an interaction with her. Although Skywalker tried to convince Kenobi to take Kharys with them, Kenobi and Ventor both agreed that she was much too old to take for training. However, before departing the world, Skywalker promised Kharys that he would find a way to have the young girl trained.
- "Much later, one of the pupils returned. He told us that Obi-Wan and the Jedi were destroyed—by his hand—then, he invoked our oath and made Skye an Imperial satrapy, to be ruled in his name by Kharys, to whom he gave a portion of his knowledge and powers. That man was Darth Vader."
Years later, following the end of the Clone Wars and the transformation of Skywalker into the Dark Lord of the Sith, Darth Vader, Skywalker returned to Skye to fulfill his promise. Garbed in a dark mask and armor and no longer going by his former name, the S'kytri were unsure which of the former Jedi he really was. However, when Vader arrived at Kharys's home to take her as his pupil, the young woman knew Skywalker had come to fulfill his promise.
Vader trained Kharys in the ways of the Force, including lightsaber combat. Under the Dark Lord, Kharys was schooled in the dangerous technique of summoning Smoke Demons, as well as the combat form of Vaapad. Kharys adapted the dangerous lightsaber form into a new style which incorporated S'kytri aerial dueling techniques. Known as Trispzest, the S'kytric word for heart palpitation, this aerial fighting style tried to execute sai cha or a decapitation of an opponent. With Vader as her master, Kharys became an accomplished Dark Jedi, succumbing to the dark side of the Force.
Following her training, Kharys and Vader returned to Skye where the Dark Lord invoked the S'kytri's oath to make the inhabitants serve the new Galactic Empire. Bestowed with the Imperial title of Majestrix, Kharys returned to her world alongside a battalion of stormtroopers and starships as the S'kytri's new leader replacing the Patriarch as the leader of the clans. The Imperials constructed an aerie-fortress high atop the summit of Canaitith Mountain where Kharys centralized her rule. Under Kharys's control, Skye became a restricted world forbidden to outsiders. Although the current Patriarch, Aragh, retained his title and some of its responsibilities, the governing power as well as all final say went to Kharys. Eventually all power of the clan elders was stripped away, leaving the S'kytri unable to band together against their new tyrant. Coupled with the oath that the S'kytri had pledged to Vader, the Windborn could do nothing to stop her. However, a prophecy concerning "The One" began to circulate among the S'kytri, prophesying the eventual arrival of an individual who would free the planet from Imperial control and defeat Kharys.
- "She and her people…hunted us. Twenty men and women—Correllians [sic] all, as tough and dangerous a crew as ever raised ship together."
- ―Han Solo
At some point following the Battle of Ylesia, during Kharys's rule over the planet, a group of Corellian smugglers infiltrated the restricted world hoping to make some quick and easy earnings. However, the twenty men and women, including Han Solo and Katya M'Buele, were captured by Kharys and her forces. In sadistic fashion, Kharys released the prisoners onto the plains of Skye and then led a strike team of her own people in systematically hunting down each one of them. Only Solo and M'Buele were able to escape the slaughter. Kharys was satisfied with how the hunt had played out but did not forget the two after they had fled offworld. Solo and M'Buele would also not forget the tyrant of Skye, with Solo claiming that he was constantly looking over his shoulder expecting Kharys to be there.
Around a year later, following the Battle of Yavin, Kharys was attending the Great Fair on the nearby planet of Tirahnn with an escort of Catuman warriors. While perusing the bazaar, Kharys spotted the Rebel heroes Leia Organa and Luke Skywalker among the shoppers. Recognizing them as friends of Han Solo, the Majestrix concocted a plan to get the two to lead her to the smuggler. Moving through the dense crowd, Kharys deliberately collided with Organa, dropping her money pouch in the process. As Skywalker tried to return the purse, Kharys accused the pair of thievery, ordering her Catuman warriors to kill the two Humans.
Kharys's escorts were all eventually killed by the Rebels, but Kharys's ploy paid off. Organa and Skywalker led the Majestrix directly to Solo, who put the Rebels in contact with Katya M'Buele. Later that night, after tracking the group back to the Millennium Falcon, Kharys summoned a Smoke Demon, ordering it to attack the two Corellians. Unfortunately for Kharys, Solo was away for the night, and the creature was only able to locate M'Buele. Although the Smoke Demon succeeded in eliminating the smuggler, it did not go unnoticed, and the beast was killed by Skywalker.
The arrival of "The One"
- "The Force is strong in him. It reminds me of—by the great wind, the prophecy! Can he be the one?!"
After discovering M'Buele's death, and realizing that Kharys was right behind him, Solo decided to stop running and confront the Majestrix on her own planet. However, instead of being surprised by the smuggler, Kharys fully predicted Solo's next move, and an entire squadron of TIE fighters was waiting for the Millennium Falcon at Skye. Kharys's forces were able to bring down the freighter, but not before Skywalker and Organa escaped in one of the Falcon's lifepods.
While Organa and Skywalker escaped to the planet's surface, the Millennium Falcon was taken intact to the Majestrix's fortress keep. After removing Solo and Chewbacca from their ship, Kharys restrained both captives with heavy chains, even going so far as to put a force field around the enraged Wookiee. With the prisoners at her mercy, Kharys began to torture Solo with an interrogation droid to discover the whereabouts of his companions. The Majestrix had discovered that Vader desired the two Rebel heroes, but most of all she desired to know if the rumors surrounding Skywalker being "The One" were true. However, while Kharys was preoccupied with the interrogation, Skywalker and Organa, equipped with anti-gravity belts and disguised as S'kytri, infiltrated the fortress, cutting down Kharys's stormtroopers with a hail of blaster fire.
- "You could be the finest warrior in creation—on the ground—but now you are in my element!"
Breaking into the interrogation room, Organa confronted the Majestrix in an attempt to free Solo. Although shocked to see someone entering her interrogation room, Kharys's Catuman warriors quickly moved in to subdue the princess. However, in the struggle that followed, the Catuman warriors were killed and both Chewbacca and Han Solo were freed. Meanwhile, Kharys escaped the scene to confront Skywalker who was fighting outside, using his anti-grav belt to soar over his opposition and elude their attacks. Witnessing the stormtroopers falling to the assault of one man, Kharys used several throwing stars to disarm Skywalker of his blaster.
Before moving to repel the young man, the Dark Jedi observed Aragh and the clan leaders watching the battlefield from the air, confirming that the S'kytri believed Skywalker to be "The One." Although distressed over the possibility of the Rebel being the one destined to destroy her, Kharys leapt into battle, and the two began to duel in midair. Trading blows, the duelists seemed evenly matched until Kharys began to use the Force to dull Skywalker's senses, freezing him in place. Shrieking an ancient battle cry, Kharys dived towards her prey, ready to make the killing stroke. However, at the last possible moment, Skywalker came out of his frozen state and parried the blow, killing the Majestrix in the process. Kharys's lifeless body plummeted to the ground below, signaling the confirmation of the S'kytri prophecy.
- "I am Maw…prepare to die!"
Following Kharys's death, the winged clans descended on the remaining Imperials and destroyed them. With the prophecy fulfilled, all power on the planet was returned to the Supreme Council of the Highland Clans, and Aragh was reinstated as Patriarch. The Windborn swore that if any Imperials returned to seek revenge, they would be met with resistance.
The aerial lightsaber form developed by Kharys was eventually mastered by the Rishii Zulirian Swordmistress Nazish. The only other known person to learn Trispzest was the Boltrunian Maw, who learned the combat style after being bisected by the Jedi Qu Rahn and left him using a repulsorlift carriage to fly through the air. However, Maw was eventually killed by Kyle Katarn, leaving the future of Trispzest in doubt.
Personality and traits
- "Taller than you, real slim, beautiful. Her body and wings were green, she was bald, too, except for a silver crest..."
- ―Luke Skywalker to Katya M'Buele
Although Kharys was somewhat of a romantic during the Clone Wars, falling for an inferior "walker" after being trained by Darth Vader, she became warped into a sadistic creature. She relished causing people pain and had no trouble turning against her own people and enslaving them. Kharys usually ordered her subordinates to kill rather than capture, but when holding a prisoner, she was not above using torture to get information from them. Kharys also enjoyed playing games with her enemies, at one point hunting several prisoners across the surface of Skye and systematically executing them.
Kharys was fairly impatient with her subordinates, cursing those that she believed incompetent. While witnessing her stormtroopers inability to subdue the Rebels, the Majestrix became infuriated, jumping to the forefront of her troops. Kharys also proved somewhat overconfident, believing herself infallible. This overconfidence eventually led to her death in her fatal duel with Luke Skywalker.
Power and abilities
- "There are a myriad of ways to die, Solo. Some would make my "Smoke Demon" seem quite pleasant by comparison."
After training with Vader, Kharys proved incredibly talented at executing difficult Force techniques. The most dangerous of these was the summoning of life-draining Smoke Demons using the ancient Sith power Dwomutsiqsa, which were nearly invincible, including invulnerability to blaster bolts. The Majestrix was also proficient with the lightsaber, even developing her own technique of aerial lightsaber combat known as Trispzest, which adapted the techniques from Form VII lightsaber combat Juyo with traditional S'kytri aerial dueling techniques. Kharys was also fairly adept at using throwing stars, which she utilized in her duel with Luke Skywalker.
Behind the scenes
Kharys was created by Chris Claremont for use in the Marvel Comics, Star Wars Annual (1977) 1. After being killed in the same comic, Kharys went unreferenced until Joseph Bongiorno and Rich Handley's The University of Sanbra Guide to Intelligent Life: The Marvel Series, which, besides mentioning Kharys, expanded information on the S'kytri race. Abel G. Peña was the next to mention Kharys in The Dark Forces Saga, explaining that Kharys had developed the aerial lightsaber combat of Trispzest. Peña and Handley referenced Kharys again during their 2007 article, Aliens in the Empire. This article expanded the history of Kharys's early life but mentioned that Kharys could summon Force Demons rather than Smoke Demons as seen in the comic. This mention is treated as an error for the purpose of this article. Kharys was also purported to appear in another Peña article, Vader's Legacy, which would detail her relationship with the Dark Lord, before the article was canceled by Lucasfilm Ltd.
- "ComicScan: Taken by Force"—Star Wars Galaxy Magazine 8
- "ComicScan: Where Leia Lets Loose"—Star Wars Galaxy Magazine 12 (Indirect mention only)
- The University of Sanbra Guide to Intelligent Life: The Marvel Series"—Star Wars Gamer 1 "
- Ultimate Alien Anthology
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Jedi Path: A Manual for Students of the Force (Indirect mention only)
- "Launch Pad"—Star Wars Insider 122
- "Authors of the Expanded Universe: Chris Claremont"—Star Wars Insider 146
Notes and references
- Star Wars Annual (1977) 1
- Aliens in the Empire states that Kharys was thirteen years old when Anakin Skywalker visited her world during the Clone Wars. The New Essential Chronology places the Battle of Skye in the year 21 BBY.
- Aliens in the Empire
- The University of Sanbra Guide to Intelligent Life: The Marvel Series"—Star Wars Gamer 1 "
- Dark Forces: Jedi Knight
- Book of Sith: Secrets from the Dark Side