- "I'm a cyborg now, more machine than man... and happy to cast my lot in with the machines! Leave me and my Droid World in peace!'"
Kligson was a Human cyborg who ruled over Kligson's Moon, a space station made out of starship parts and inhabited solely by droids. A veteran of the Clone Wars and a Captain in the Imperial Army, Kligson was marked for death by the Empire after refusing to lead an invasion of his homeworld, Sucharme. Kligson was rescued by the Grohl Liberation Front and received cybernetic enhancements that saved his life. Afterward, Kligson retreated entirely from contact with other organics, sequestering himself aboard his "Droid World" and only consorting with mechanicals.
Kligson became a spacer legend in the years to come, as word spread of a reclusive technician who could seemingly repair any droid. Kligson kept his moon out of the Galactic Civil War, only for the war to reach his doorstep in 3 ABY, when a group of Rebels asked Kligson to examine a damaged Imperial warbot. That prompted a group of Imperial-sympathizing droids to launch a coup attempt against Kligson, although the cyborg's faction prevailed in the ensuing civil war. Afterward, Kligson retreated even further from organic contact.
- "You're talking to Kligson, Rebel! And I suffered enough in the Clone Wars to make me hostile to my fellow organics forever!'"
- ―Kligson, to Luke Skywalker
A native of the Outer Rim planet Sucharme, the Human male known as Kligson grew up in an environment marked by war. As a young man, Kligson joined up with the Grohl Sector Defense Force, reaching the rank of Major and seeing action fighting pirates in the Grohl sector's Rimward regions and intervening in the civil war on Ostega. Later, in the years prior to the Battle of Naboo, native hostility to exploitative Trade Federation business practices on Sucharme led to a full-scale Federation invasion. Kligson became one of the leaders of the Sucharmese resistance, and after helping to drive the Trade Federation offworld, joined the Grohl Liberation Front and embarked on sabotage missions against Federation interests throughout his home sector.
At some point during the Clone Wars, Kligson came into contact with Mandalorian bounty hunter Jango Fett, who recruited the now-seasoned fighter to the Cuy'val Dar—a group of warriors enlisted to train ARC troopers and clone commandos on Kamino for the Grand Army of the Republic. However, itching to get back in the fight, Kligson soon enlisted in the Grand Army on his own, becoming one of the military force's few non-clone officers. After seeing action on Sluis Van and Praesitlyn and surviving until the end of the war, Kligson remained with his troops as the Grand Army became the Imperial Army, becoming a Captain in the New Order.
However, Kligson's career in Imperial service proved short. His new commanders soon sent Kligson back home to subjugate Sucharme in the Empire's name—a patriot, Kligson questioned his orders, and was immediately gunned down by his stormtroopers. Ironically, Kligson's life was saved by the very people he had been ordered to kill, when the Grohl Liberation Front launched a timely ambush and recovered their former brother-in-arms. The GLF placed Kligson's barely-living remains in a bacta tank and placed him in a cybernetic body made out of B2 super battle droid parts, preserving his life by turning him into a cyborg.
- "There's an electronics genius named Kligson who could help us. He lives all alone on a place called Droid World. But the man's a bit strange, downright weird if you ask me."
- ―A Rebel soldier to Luke Skywalker
The GLF had high hopes that Kligson could provide a spark to their struggle against the Empire, and at first he indicated that he was inclined to help. Ostensibly for the GLF's war effort, Kligson constructed a massive space station dubbed "Kligson's Moon" out of starship parts and capital ship engines. But gradually Kligson's behavior became more erratic and distant, and he began to shun the GLF's organic representatives and instead demand protocol droids be sent in their place. After a few months, Kligson fired up his moon's engines and blasted to hyperspace, leaving his home behind for good.
Kligson retreated from organic company completely in the years to come, and Kligson's Moon—often referred to simply as "Droid World"—became its own society populated only by droids and other machines. Kligson ran the droid civilization with the help of his chief lieutenant, Zee-Exthree, a rejected experimental Imperial battle droid Kligson reclaimed. Kligson's Moon became a popular legend among spacers, who told of a reclusive tinkerer who could seemingly do anything with machines. A few managed to track Kligson down and speak with him, including the droid researcher Simonelle, but outside of the droids he lived with he refused to consort with any unless they could bring him a new challenge in droid design. In Kligson's mechanical realm, visitors abided by two ironclad rules: no organic was allowed to set foot on his moon, and anything Kligson repaired, he kept.
- "I've been through a war. I was able to provide more... practical... programming than Zee-Exthree... but at such a price, my friends... and such a terrible waste.'"
One such event happened in 3 ABY, when Rebel Commander Luke Skywalker got his hands on a damaged Imperial warbot which frustrated him in his efforts to reconstruct a full schematic. Skywalker sought out Kligson upon a recommendation from a Rebel soldier who had heard of the "Droid World," and intrigued by the challenge of reconstructing the warbot, Kligson consented to allow Skywalker's personal droids, C-3PO and R2-D2, to come aboard his moon and record Kligson's work on the Imperial machine. Although Kligson had cause to detest the Imperials, the cyborg had kept his society as far from the Galactic Civil War as possible, and wanted nothing to do with the conflict between the Rebels and the Empire. By this time, however, Zee-Exthree had assembled a faction of droids that supported the Empire, and sought to use the warbot to depose Kligson and take over his moon in the Emperor's name.
Kligson had begun to suspect Zee-Exthree's treachery, and had taken the precaution of commissioning a replica droid to act in his name. By the time Skywalker arrived at his station, he had realized that he needed something dramatic to draw Zee-Exthree out. Kligson felt that the presence of two Rebel droids could be exactly what he needed, and his intuition proved correct. Zee-Exthree and his faction launched an attempt to depose Kligson and take the moon in the Empire's name, and destroyed Kligson's replica in the process. However, Kligson still had the upper hand. Kligson had the faction of droids that still remained loyal to him repair Skywalker's Imperial warbot and unleash it against Zee-Exthree and his army. Kligson proved victorious in the power struggle, and afterward fired up his station's engines and retreated deeper into space ahead of Imperial pursuit.
After leaving Skywalker's droids behind, Kligson and his Droid World once again became a spacer legend, with only occasional rumors surfacing in the years to come. During the Yuuzhan Vong War over two decades after Kligson's encounter with Skywalker, Kligson's Moon came under attack from the Yuuzhan Vong-allied anti-technology paramilitary group known as the Red Knights of Life. However, Kligson's realm was saved by intervention from the Iron Knights, a band of Shard Jedi Knights encased within droid bodies.
Personality and traits
- "But I have two rules in my world. First, that no human set foot on my planet. And second, anything I repair I keep."
- ―Kligson to Luke Skywalker
A dyed-in-the-wool warrior from his early years, Kligson's betrayal at the hands of his Imperial masters prompted a radical personality shift that distanced him from all other organic life. Physically imposing with holo idol good looks, Kligson was, above all else, a Sucharmese patriot, stirred to defend his homeworld after feeling deep disgust at the sight of Trade Federation battle droids on his native soil. And although he was an enthusiastic supporter of the New Order and the Galactic Empire he served, Kligson's loyalties lay with his homeworld, and he was marked for death after questioning orders that would have had him leading an Imperial invasion of Sucharme.
Disenchanted by his traumatic experiences across a lifetime of war, Kligson vowed to never interact with organics again, finding solace in his new mechanical brethren—however, with great convincing, he would deign to speak with other organics with cybernetic limbs, or ones who could give him a new challenge in droid design. Renowned as a master mechanic, Kligson's aptitude with droids soon became spacer legend. Droids became Kligson's life during his years on "Droid World," and he was especially fascinated by mechanicals that consented to living under organic masters. Although the Empire had nearly killed him, Kligson refused to take sides in the Galactic Civil War, renouncing the "taint of war" that he believed both sides of the war spread to more logical machines. His resolve only deepened after the civil war aboard Kligson's Moon, pushing him further away from organic life. In his cyborg form, Kligson required neither food nor water, and his augmentations included blasters built into his hands.
Behind the scenes
Kligson first appeared in Star Wars (1977) 47, written by Archie Goodwin and released in 1981. In the comic, Kligson was illustrated by Carmine Infantino—he was also pictured by Dick Foes in the book-and-record The Further Adventures: Droid World, which portrayed his cybernetic enhancements slightly differently. Kligson's backstory was finally provided in 2014, when Jason Fry devoted a section of the Star Wars: The Essential Guide to Warfare Author's Cut to his story.
- Cynabar's Fantastic Technology: Droids
- The New Essential Guide to Droids
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia