- "Your problem is that you don't understand the power of hate."
- ―Kueller, to Brakiss
Kueller was a Force-sensitive Human male who was originally known as Dolph. At some point before 17 ABY, he was a student at Luke Skywalker's Jedi Praxeum on Yavin 4. Early in his training, Dolph's homeworld of Almania experienced a purge by the Je'har, the ruling government, who sought to crush all who resisted them, including Dolph's parents. The pain and anguish resulting from their deaths caused him to leave the academy and turn to the dark side of the Force. He changed his name to Kueller and began a resistance movement to wipe out the Je'har. With the power of the dark side at his command, he succeeded in his goal by utterly destroying the Je'har and their sympathizers and also attracted another one of Skywalker's failed students, Brakiss, as an apprentice. In the process, he wiped out the populace of one of Almania's moons, Pydyr.
However, even with the Je'har defeated, Kueller sought revenge against Skywalker and the New Republic for not aiding the people of Almania when they had come under attack. He placed Brakiss in charge of a droid manufacturing facility on Telti, and used it to produce a large number of explosive-rigged droids for sale to the New Republic, including many that were used in its fleet of X-wing starfighters. When Kueller activated some of his droids, a series of explosions ripped through the Senate Hall on Coruscant, injuring Chief of State Leia Organa Solo and sowing discord through the New Republic as part of his plan. In response, Skywalker pursued his former pupil to Almania, but Kueller sabotaged the Jedi Master's X-wing. After a crash landing, the injured Skywalker was easily captured, but managed to escape. Meanwhile, Organa Solo took a New Republic fleet with her under the command of General Wedge Antilles to confront Kueller. The Dark Jedi ordered his subordinates to engage the New Republic fleet while he dealt with Skywalker.
When Kueller caught up with Skywalker on the surface of Almania, he bested the weakened Jedi Master and threatened to kill his newly-arrived sister, Organa Solo. However, Han Solo and Mara Jade arrived soon thereafter, along with a ysalamir; the Force-repelling bubble effect of the ysalamir and the arrival of Skywalker's friends threatened Kueller's advantage. Outraged, he prepared to activate another round of detonator-equipped droids, but his bombs were deactivated by C-3PO and R2-D2 who were on Telti, and he was fatally shot by Leia Organa Solo, ending his plans for a new rebellion.
Early life and fall
- "He was just a child."
"No, Leia. He lost his childhood before he came to Yavin 4. He knew what he was doing, what he had become."
- ―Leia Organa Solo and Luke Skywalker, on Kueller
Kueller was born under the name Dolph on the planet of Almania and was discovered to be Force-sensitive. As such, he went to train to become a Jedi Knight under Jedi Master Luke Skywalker at his Jedi Praxeum on Yavin 4, and was considered one of the more talented students there. However, he had an element of inner darkness. After less than a year of training at the Jedi Academy, Dolph heard the news that his parents had been killed by the Je'har regime—the government on Almania at that time. When he left the Academy to go to Almania to confirm the news, he found their bodies impaled before the governmental palace, having been slain by the Je'har.
Horrified and enraged by the atrocities he had seen, Dolph fell to the dark side of the Force and grew bitter toward the New Republic, specifically its Chief of State, Leia Organa Solo, who did nothing to interfere with the Je'har due to legal restrictions, despite pleas to take action. Seeking out vengeance against the government that killed his parents, he used his powers to aid himself in bringing down the Je'har regime and gathered a faction of supporters, operating from the world of Fwatna. During this period he disguised himself with a Hendanyn death mask and took the name of Kueller: an infamous, long-dead Almanian general. The ranks of his forces quickly filled and he led them to victory, destroying the Je'har regime and killing all those who he branded as sympathizers of the old regime. Proclaiming himself the Master of Almania, he shifted his headquarters to the Great Dome of the Je'har and began planning his next move.
After many months, Kueller picked his next target: the New Republic, which he blamed for the deaths of his family and people at the hands of the Je'har. He also encountered another prodigal apprentice from Skywalker's academy, Brakiss, who had been an Imperial spy sent to infiltrate the Jedi Praxeum. However, Skywalker had made Brakiss confront the dark side within him and Brakiss had fled, emotionally torn. When Kueller found him, the Almanian leader helped repair Brakiss's damaged psyche and incorporated him into his plans.
- "Impatience is the downfall of most megalomaniacs, Femon."
- ―Kueller, to Femon
Kueller planned to bring down the New Republic by planting explosives in droids and critical components of computers manufactured under his orders. He accomplished this by sending Brakiss to manage a droid factory on Telti, where the specially rigged droids would be manufactured, and Brakiss was pleased with his assignment. Brakiss's role as supervisor would prevent anyone outside of the plot from discovering the bombs.
The droids were sold at bargain prices to specific buyers, and then Kueller could use the bombs as a scalpel to undermine the faith of a populace that had already suffered crisis after crisis under New Republic rule. He used the revenue generated by the sale of the droids to purchase all available Imperial surpluses, intending to take advantage of the fear a resurgent Empire would provoke and to further destabilize the Republic. To accomplish these goals, he employed smugglers such as Jarril to acquire his military surplus items and distribute some of the droids. His plan was successful, as a large number of the droids and computers ended up in the hands of the New Republic government and New Republic Defense Force. In particular, the New Republic's latest model of T-65 X-wing starfighter was equipped with a computer sold by Kueller at a bargain price and equipped with a detonator, designed to destroy a large percentage of the New Republic's starfighter pilots when activated. Furthermore, he also sold droids to the wealthy inhabitants of Almania's moon of Pydyr, and some were distributed to Almania's other moon of Auyemesh as well. This infiltration took place over the period of two years as the droids were sent to infiltrate the New Republic and the two moons of Almania. Eventually, he wiped out the entire populace of Pydyr by activating the droids, except for the seafah jewelers, as their skills at extracting seafah jewels were irreplaceable. Plundering the considerable wealth of Pydyr, Kueller gained a large reserve of credits and became Almania's undisputed ruler.
Kueller fed on each death he caused to gradually increase his power in the dark side, which would enable him to defeat the Skywalkers, and thus become a new Emperor, as he was not content with simply ruling the Almanian system. He also took pleasure in tormenting his subordinates, chiefly Brakiss and a woman named Femon, though he did allow Brakiss to return to Telti after his apprentice gave him the remote that controlled the detonation circuits of the sabotaged droids that had been distributed around the galaxy, particularly to the New Republic government.
He then decided it was time to directly attack the New Republic. The next phase of his plan was to detonate the rigged droids in the New Republic Senate, self-destructing them as its first session was being opened. This killed the representatives of several planets, forcing them to hold emergency elections. Several more former Imperial officials became representatives of their planets, giving the opposition to Chief of State Leia Organa Solo a simple majority in the Senate. When her husband, Han Solo, became suspected of involvement in the bombing, her response caused the Senate to begin calling for a Vote of No Confidence. Furthermore, Kueller planted evidence to help raise suspicions about Han Solo.
After Pydyr was declared largely purged of inhabitants and cleared of their remains thanks to his droids, Kueller went to visit the moon and was pleased with the precise destruction he had wrought, as well as the wealth he had now accumulated. He spent several days there, meeting with his spies and cataloging the matériel he had acquired, but during this time, Femon plotted against him. On his return to Almania, she declared him to be too bent on revenge and decided to kill him. Her betrayal surprised Kueller, but he was prepared for it nevertheless, executing Femon before she could activate any of her traps, including one that would suffocate everyone in the room while she was whisked down a passage. Kueller would later miss her intelligence, feeling that his subordinates were not her equal.
Kueller then set several traps to lure Luke Skywalker to Almania. He left one trail of smugglers intact, hoping to lure Han Solo or New Republic ally Lando Calrissian to Almania to use as bait for Skywalker; to that end, he hired Ana Blue. He also ordered Brakiss that, should Skywalker arrive on Telti, he was to either kill the Jedi or send him to Almania. Brakiss did eventually confront Skywalker on Telti and the Jedi Master was informed that Almania was where the source of the disturbances in the Force caused by the deaths of Pydyr's inhabitants had originated. Kueller received Brakiss's report that Skywalker was en route to Almania and congratulated his apprentice on a job well done, leaving him on Telti, as Brakiss wished.
- "I will not argue methods with you, President. You have heard my demands. Either you acquiesce, or in three days' time, I will kill your brother."
- ―Kueller, to Leia Organa Solo
Skywalker journeyed to Almania and decided to set down on Pydyr, but his X-wing contained a computer with a built-in detonator. During his landing, Skywalker accidentally set off the detonator and his ship exploded. Though he survived the crash, he was badly injured. After letting the Jedi wander through deserted Pydyr for some time, Kueller confronted him. To his surprise, Skywalker identified him as Dolph, but that did not deter Kueller. Each tried to convince the other to join with him, but the two men refused each other's offers, leading Kueller to draw his lightsaber and attack Skywalker. After a brief duel, Kueller overcame the injured Skywalker and had him imprisoned, hoping to use him as bait for Leia Organa Solo, Skywalker's sister.
Kueller further undermined Organa Solo by demanding that she let him become the ruler of the New Republic, or else her brother would be executed, showing her surveillance footage of a badly injured Skywalker. He also activated another round of sabotaged droids on Auyemesh, causing over a million deaths as a demonstration of his powers, which the Force-sensitive Organa Solo felt. Instead of giving into the Dark Jedi's demands and allowing the no-confidence petition to come to a vote, she resigned from the position of Chief of State. Mon Mothma, Organa Solo's predecessor, took over for her.
Organa Solo took off for Almania to find her brother along with a small fleet led by General Wedge Antilles. When they arrived at Almania, Kueller was in his command center and ready for them with three Victory-class Star Destroyers crewed entirely by droids. He activated more sabotaged droids, hoping to cripple the New Republic fleet, but some of the droids had been stolen by smugglers and those detonated elsewhere. Also, the New Republic had already detected the sabotage and had simply deactivated many of their droids and X-wing fighters. Placing the fleet under the command of his subordinate, Yanne, Kueller ordered him not to fail. Sensing that Yanne was losing enthusiasm for his cause, Kueller gave the man a verbal and physical warning of the consequences of disloyalty. After Yanne was dismissed to conduct the battle, Kueller had another subordinate, Gant, brought to him, thinking he might need to train another personal assistant to replace Yanne. However, despite the efforts of Kueller's fleet, Organa Solo managed to slip past them and their fighters and made it to the surface of Almania, which pleased Kueller, who anticipated destroying both Skywalkers at once. When informed of the arrival of the Millennium Falcon and Wild Karrde—belonging to Han Solo and smuggling kingpin Talon Karrde, respectively—he ordered Yanne to destroy them, but his subordinate explained that he needed to finish off the New Republic fleet first, an explanation Kueller accepted.
Kueller's fleet was initially successful, inflicting heavy losses on the New Republic task force. However, by observing the actions of Kueller's fleet closely, General Antilles realized the true nature of the crew of the Star Destroyers and their fighters. He ordered his gunners to fire on the other ships in the Republic convoy. This caused the droids in Kueller's fleet to believe that the ships of the Republic fleet were actually on their side. The Star Destroyers went into a flanking position to protect their "allies." They were then crippled by precise turbolaser fire from the Republic fleet.
Back on Almania, Skywalker escaped from Kueller's underground prison with the aid of a thernbee, a creature that was supposed to kill him but whom Skywalker had befriended, and made his way back to the surface of a Pydyr city. Having arrived to save her brother, Organa Solo found Skywalker, and both made their way to her ship. Skywalker was still weak and Organa Solo accidentally left him behind when she rushed ahead to open the ship. In those moments when they were apart, Kueller emerged from his hidden command center, found the Jedi Master, and forced a lightsaber duel between them. Organa Solo came back to find both locked in combat. As they dueled, Skywalker abruptly decided to give up, realizing that Kueller was feeding off both the deaths that were occurring across the galaxy from his most recent activation of detonator equipped droids, which had actually been shipped to the Smuggler's Run, and Skywalker's own anger. As Kueller raised his lightsaber to strike Skywalker down, he lost his connection to the Force. He tried to use his anger to tap back into the Force, but doing so was useless, since a thernbee that had swallowed an ysalamir nutrient frame had wandered into the general vicinity. The ysalamir, which generated a Force-empty bubble, had been brought by a New Republic rescue party made up of Han Solo, Chewbacca, and Mara Jade, who had followed the smugglers' information to Almania. Kueller had one last trick up his sleeve, though, and he used a remote to send the signal to self-destruct his remaining droids. However, Kueller's last act of malice was thwarted thanks to the efforts of R2-D2, C-3PO, and a young mechanic named Cole Fardreamer, who had gone to Telti and disabled the detonators. As Kueller had attempted to activate his remaining bombs, Organa Solo shot him twice, and at least one blast hit him in the head, killing him. She removed the death mask from his lifeless body, revealing Dolph's boyish face.
The damage inflicted on the Grand Convocation Chamber of the Senate Hall by Kueller's bombs resulted in the structure being completely replaced, a work that was finished in 19 ABY. However, Kueller's bombs, though they destroyed the Senate Hall, did little damage to the actual structure of the building, allowing the Grand Convocation Chamber to be constructed on top of the original structure. Also, three years after his death, a vision of Kueller, among with other dark side figures such as Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine, would appear to Mara Jade in a nightmare she experienced shortly before her wedding to Luke Skywalker. Kueller's apprentice, Brakiss, later went on to become the leader of the Shadow Academy and led the Second Imperium in a brief conflict with the New Jedi Order, but he was ultimately defeated. Kueller's henchman, Yanne, would later go on to take over the Almanian government, and the planet later developed industrial connections with Tendrando Arms by 40 ABY.
Personality and traits
- "I kill Skywalker, first, because it is my destiny. And secondly because I cannot rule this galaxy as long as he is alive. That is the lesson of history. I must be the strength in the Force. I must be the sole king of the Force. To do that, I must defeat the Jedi. I must defeat Skywalker."
Kueller was, for most of his adult life, aligned with the dark side of the Force. Luke Skywalker described him as deeply hurting and having known great pain, but Kueller ascribed much of his own strength to the anger he had developed over the years. He had a deep hatred for the Je'har and the New Republic, the former for slaying his countrymen and parents and the latter for doing nothing to oppose the Je'har, though it had the power to do so. He was also ambitious, desiring to completely rule the galaxy. However, despite his ambition, he knew the value of patience, waiting until what he deemed was the proper moment to unleash his plan for a galactic rebellion instead of accelerating his plans, as his henchwoman, Femon, desired. As such, he made sure to thoroughly check each stage of the preparations himself, as he distrusted many of his subordinates. He also was aware of his own weaknesses, knowing he could not face powerful Jedi such as Skywalker face-to-face without an edge.
In his dealings with subordinates, Kueller brooked no arguments and was known to execute and threaten those who failed or disobeyed him. He felt some comradeship with Femon, but her later insubordination led him to choke her to death with the Force. Kueller felt that only those who understood the power of the Force could truly control the galaxy, and he used his own Force power to influence and manipulate others. He killed countless beings across the galaxy in his bid for power, ending the lives of at least a million in one instance as a demonstration of his abilities to Leia Organa Solo. His apprentice, Brakiss, believed that Kueller never forgave anyone who crossed him. Kueller was also known to don a white Hendanyn death mask, complete with black accents and set with tiny jewels in the corners of the eye slits, and a suit of armor, which he wore when appearing to most of his subordinates or adversaries, such as during his encounters with Luke Skywalker and his ultimatum to Chief of State Leia Organa Solo. This gave him a foreboding appearance that he used to awe and impress people and also served to disguise his identity.
Powers and abilities
- "I am stronger than you will ever be, President. I am more powerful than you can dream."
- ―Kueller, to Leia Organa Solo
When he was a student at the Jedi Praxeum, Kueller was considered extremely powerful, but left before his training could fully develop his abilities. As a Dark Jedi, Kueller wielded a blue lightsaber and was able to defeat Luke Skywalker in a duel, though his opponent had been badly injured in a starfighter crash. He also knew the power of telekinesis and could choke people with the Force. When Leia Organa Solo fired upon him with a blaster, he easily deflected her fire and threatened to use the Force to make the weapon explode in her hand. Kueller was able to grow stronger and more powerful by absorbing the fear and anger of others, as well as the dark side disturbances caused by the deaths of countless individuals across the galaxy. Kueller also had knowledge of Force healing and battlemind, in addition to familiarity with computer systems and demolitions, and he was literate. Finally, he was skilled at manipulating others, from his apprentice Brakiss to high-ranking New Republic officials, playing on their weaknesses.
Behind the scenes
Kueller first appeared in Kristine Kathryn Rusch's novel, The New Rebellion, as the primary antagonist. He later appeared in several reference works, but aside from mentions and being briefly pictured in a dream in Star Wars: Union, never made any further appearances in Star Wars stories. The Essential Guide to Planets and Moons includes an illustration of Kueller with an unnamed human; this was later identified as Kueller without his armor in The Official Star Wars Fact File 93. Kueller's hair is described as silvery in the Star Wars Encyclopedia, whereas The New Essential Guide to Characters states that it is brown.
- The New Rebellion (First appearance)
- Specter of the Past (Mentioned only)
- Specter of the Past unabridged audiobook (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: Union (Dream)
- Fate of the Jedi: Vortex (Mentioned only)
- Fate of the Jedi: Vortex audiobook (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Essential Guide to Planets and Moons
- Star Wars: Behind the Magic
- "Use the Force: A Novel Trivia Quiz"—Star Wars Galaxy Collector 5
- The Essential Chronology
- A Guide to the Star Wars Universe, Third Edition, Revised and Expanded
- The Essential Guide to Alien Species
- The Dark Side Sourcebook
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 9 (CHE11, Chewbacca)
- The New Essential Guide to Characters
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 75 (German Edition - BRA3, Brakiss)
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 93 (ALM1-4, The Almania Crisis)
- The New Essential Chronology
- Evil Never Dies: The Sith Dynasties
- Jedi vs. Sith: The Essential Guide to the Force
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- Jedi Academy Training Manual
- "Launch Pad"—Star Wars Insider 129 (Picture only)
- The Essential Reader's Companion
Notes and references
- The New Essential Guide to Characters
- The New Rebellion
- Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Dark Side Sourcebook
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 93
- Specter of the Past
- The New Jedi Order: Traitor
- Star Wars: Union
- The Essential Chronology
- Legacy of the Force: Exile
- This article assumes that The New Essential Guide to Characters, which was published later, is the correct canon source.