- "I'm no Jedi; I'm just a guy with a lightsaber and a few questions."
- ―Kyle Katarn
Kyle Katarn was a famous Force-sensitive Human male Rebel operative from Sulon and later a Jedi of the New Jedi Order. He was a former Imperial officer who defected to the Rebellion. Often paired with fellow Rebel agent and smuggler Jan Ors, he performed many covert missions for the Rebel Alliance and later the New Republic, including the sabotage of the Dark Trooper Project.
Katarn was later informed of his Force-sensitivity, and taught himself to become a Jedi while in search of the Valley of the Jedi. During this journey, he confronted the dark side within both himself and in the form of the Dark Jedi Jerec and his minions. After defeating them, Katarn went on to become a Jedi Master, teaching at the Jedi Praxeum. He participated in the offensives against the Yuuzhan Vong and became a part of the Jedi High Council in the New Jedi Order.
- 1 Biography
- 1.1 Early life
- 1.2 New Republic
- 1.3 The New Jedi Order
- 2 Personality and traits
- 3 Powers and abilities
- 4 Equipment
- 5 Behind the scenes
- 6 Appearances
- 7 Sources
- 8 Notes and references
- 9 External links
- "…it is precisely his experience in Imperial service that has turned him solidly against the Empire, and will, I believe, eventually convince him of the necessity of the Alliance."
- ―Jan Ors, to Mon Mothma
Kyle was the son of Morgan and Patricia Katarn, farmers from the Sullust colony moon of Sulon. Growing up on the farm, Katarn had found a brother of sorts in his father's custom-made labor droid, WeeGee. As a result, Katarn became one of the few Humans in the galaxy fluent in the electronic language of droidspeak.
After learning about his mother's death at the claw of a malfunctioning BT-16 perimeter security droid, Katarn enrolled at the Imperial Academy on Carida. Living out on the rim, he had few other opportunities to obtain an education. During his four-year training his roommate was Odom Meck, and he had to cope with the annoying nobleman Nathan Donar III.
During a raid on a Rebel asteroid base, Katarn began to suspect his Force potential, a trait passed to him by his father, when he experienced several premonitions that saved the lives of many of his strike team members. While on the mission, Katarn also met Jan Ors, an agent working for the Rebellion. Katarn and Ors were on opposite sides of the war, but they experienced a strange connection that led Katarn to spare her life as well as the lives of many of the station's inhabitants.
Following this last mission, which was his Omega Exercise, Katarn was hospitalised back into the Training Base, where he also achieved a heroic status. He exited the hospital only hours before his graduation, during which he would achieve his commission and hoped to make his father proud; unbeknownst to him, Morgan was a supporter of the Rebel Alliance and had been executed by Inquisitor Jerec. Questioning his own performance and strange feelings during his last mission, he shared his concerns to Odom, who had tackled with religion. His connection to Morgan, and his own Force sensitivity, attracted the interest of Jerec, who visited the Academy for the ceremony.
Soon after the ceremony, and his meeting with Jerec, Katarn learned that his father had been killed in a suspected Rebel raid on his homeworld of Sulon. Katarn, recalling the lives he spared on the asteroid base, became extremely hateful towards the Rebellion, believing them to be murderers.
- "Katarn was once an impressive Imperial officer, but he was weak and gave up on the struggle for our New Order."
- ―General Rom Mohc
Putting aside his grief for the time, Katarn took a pleasure cruise on the Star of Empire, his last bit of freedom before officially becoming an officer in the Imperial navy. It was while on this ship that he met Lando Calrissian, and ran into Jan Ors for the second time. After a brief chase and a brawl with some of Ors's fellow agents, Katarn's attention was grabbed when Ors dropped the name Sulon. Ors showed Katarn footage from the battle there that had been obtained by a reporter and her loyal droid. She explained to him that it was in fact the Imperials who had staged the attack. They had painted Rebel insignias on their ships to make it seem as if the Rebels had been the aggressors. Their use of standard Imperial tactics, which Katarn had studied extensively at the Imperial Academy, gave them away.
After seeing the footage for himself, Katarn became distrustful towards the Empire and defected, becoming a neutral mercenary. He left the Star of Empire with Ors and her fellow agents aboard their ship after a brief scuffle with some Imperials and a bounty hunter that worked for them. During this incident, the droid with the recordings of the battle on Sulon was captured and self-destructed, allowing Katarn and the others to make a clean escape. Ors took Katarn back to her base and introduced him to Mon Mothma, the leader of the Alliance, and he became a Rebel spy. Soon after his recruitment into the Alliance, Katarn was responsible for introducing the Twi'lek Rianna Saren to the organization. He first tasked her with infiltrating a Black Sun warehouse on Coruscant to discover how they were involved with the Empire. After Saren successfully completed this mission, Katarn revealed to her that he was a Rebel agent and introduced her to Leia Organa.
Katarn's first mission for the Alliance was the infiltration of an Imperial facility on Danuta to retrieve the plans for the first Death Star as a part of Operation Skyhook. While viewing the briefing information, he recognized his friend from the Academy, Meck Odom, as one of the officers in charge of guarding the plans. Katarn met with Odom secretly, and he gave Katarn information that assisted him in completing his mission. He also deactivated the perimeter, allowing Katarn entry into the base. The partial plans stolen by Katarn were eventually combined with those captured at Toprawa, on the Death Star itself, and by Rianna Saren and Zeeo after their battle against Imperial slave master Zarien Kheev on Danuta, to create a complete outline of the station.
Fighting the dark troopers
- "A new stormtrooper that can take out a Rebel base that quickly? I shoulda' kept working for the Empire."
- ―Kyle Katarn, to Mon Mothma
Soon after the Battle of Yavin, Mon Mothma asked Katarn to investigate the destruction of Tak Base resulting from the attack on Tak Base. Katarn accepted, and, upon request, took on Jan Ors as his mission officer. Katarn's investigation revealed the Imperial Dark Trooper project, led by Clone Wars veteran General Rom Mohc. Several clues led Katarn to Anoat, where he captured Moff Rebus, an infamous Imperial weapons engineer. After raiding a testing facility for phrik on the planet Fest, Katarn was led to the Gromas system, where the mineral was being mined and the first stage of the Dark Trooper was manufactured. After destroying the facility, Katarn had to rescue Crix Madine from an Imperial detention center on Orinackra and traveled to the Ramsees Hed docking port on Cal-Seti. There, he was able to track a smuggling ship that was making runs to the frozen planet of Anteevy, where the second stage of Dark Trooper construction was being completed. Katarn destroyed the facility on Anteevy and was led to Nar Shaddaa, where he located a nav card describing the activities of all the smugglers involved in the Dark Trooper project. Upon leaving the planet, though, Katarn and Ors were briefly captured by Jabba the Hutt.
After defeating several kell dragons barehanded, Katarn was able to regain the card, rescue Ors, and escape Jabba's space cruiser. Katarn and Ors infiltrated the ISO building on Coruscant, where he was able to decode the nav card. He also fought and defeated Boba Fett. Using the new information from the card, Katarn and Ors tracked one of the smuggler ships to the Refueling Station Ergo. Katarn hijacked this ship and used it to sneak onto the Executor, which was the only ship with the information regarding the location of the Arc Hammer which was where the third and final stage of the Dark Trooper was being manufactured. Once on board, he stowed away on a cargo transport en route to the Arc Hammer. After an intense shootout against a Phase III Dark Trooper clad General Mohc, Katarn proceeded to blow up the Arc Hammer and escape, destroying the Dark Trooper Project for good. In gratitude for his bravery, Mon Mothma awarded him the Star of Alderaan.
Katarn was also a member of a SpecForce group assembled by the ex-Jedi Knight Corwin Shelvay, in which he teamed up with Force-sensitives Shira Brie and Erling Tredway to sabotage the superlaser of the second Death Star en route to D'rinba IV.
Katarn continued working with Ors for the New Republic, cooperating with Bey, Dash Rendar and Guri on an insertion mission to the Tof fortress world Saijo, and nearly razing Kwenn Space Station while apprehending the Ketton spy Derrida with the help of a pint-sized lagomorph. Katarn took a more permanent role with the New Republic and served with Lieutenant Judder Page's Katarn Commandos, executing missions on various worlds like Kashyyyk, Boudolayz and Garos IV.
Valley of the Jedi
- "This has got to be bad for my health."
- ―Kyle Katarn
One year after the Battle of Endor, Katarn was visited by the spirit of the Jedi Qu Rahn, a Jedi Purge survivor that perished recently at the hands of an Imperial inquisitor, who told Katarn of the Jedi heritage of his father: Morgan had discovered the Valley of the Jedi on the planet Ruusan, where the spirits of many Jedi and Sith lay trapped after a cataclysmic battle over a thousand years earlier. This site was a nexus of power from which Force-sensitives could draw great energies of the Force. The locals on Ruusan prophesied that a "knight shall come, a battle will be fought, and the prisoners go free." Morgan could have been that knight, but chose instead to keep the knowledge of the valley safe, telling only the Jedi Rahn of its existence.
Katarn located a recording from his father on the family droid WeeGee in his old farmhouse on Sulon as well as the lightsaber of the late Rahn, setting him on the path to become a Jedi. He embarked on a journey to locate the Valley of the Jedi and protect it from a faction of Dark Jedi led by Jerec, who coveted the valley's energy for his own dark ends. Katarn's father, believed to have been killed in the battle of Sulon, had actually died at the hands of Jerec after refusing to reveal the location of the Valley of the Jedi. However, Morgan had etched a map to the valley into the ceiling tiles in the Katarns' house that was later discovered by Jerec. Katarn arrived after the map had been removed. He Infiltrated Jerec's tower in the city of Barons Hed, and located the droid 8t88, who had created a digitized version of the map. Katarn was intercepted by Yun, one of Jerec's dark pupils. Katarn defeated Yun, but he could not kill a disarmed opponent and allowed him to leave; Katarn was soon attacked and had to escape without either version of the map. He tracked 8t88's shuttle to a fuel station outside Baron's Hed, and he stowed away aboard a frigate headed for Ruusan. While on board, Katarn encountered and defeated two more of Jerec's pupils, the symbiotic "twins" Gorc and Pic, who had recently destroyed 8t88 to dispose of any witnesses to the Valley's location. After defeating Gorc and Pic, Katarn took the droid's severed head and managed to escape the vast ship.
After arriving on Ruusan, Katarn infiltrated Jerec's outpost and defeated the Dark Jedi Maw, killing him in a violent rage as Maw told Katarn that it was he who had placed Morgan's head on a pike for all to see. Jerec confronted Katarn, revealing a captured and bound Jan Ors, offering Katarn a place at his side if he would strike her down. Katarn refused, staying true to his father. Disappointed but not surprised, Jerec blasted Katarn with dark side energy, damaging parts of the outpost and trapping Katarn inside. Katarn made his way through the tumbling vessel and attempted to flee in his ship, the Moldy Crow, but one of the wings smashed against the rock wall, damaging the vessel beyond repair. Upon hitting the planet's surface, Katarn was rendered unconscious. Two of the remaining Dark Jedi, Sariss and her apprentice Yun, pulled the unconscious Jedi from the wreckage. Boc, another Dark Jedi, destroyed Katarn's lightsaber tauntingly in front of him before leaving to assist Jerec. Sariss was about to kill Katarn when Yun, out of sympathy for Katarn, who had previously spared his life and feeling guilty for executing so many people, blocked her blow with his lightsaber. Sariss' blade was deflected and struck Yun, mortally wounding him. As Katarn regained consciousness, he heard the young man's final words, stating that as a Jedi, Kyle deserved a battle.
After Katarn defeated Sariss, he rushed to the Valley of the Jedi and rescued Ors. Disguising himself as one of the statues that littered the Valley, Boc revealed himself and attacked Katarn. Boc wielded two lightsabers but was no match for the Jedi Knight's dueling skills. Giving way to the dark side of the Force, Katarn struck Boc with an ancient dark side technique known as spear of midnight black. Immediately, Katarn feared he was lost to the darkness, and tried to remember how many steps it took to follow the dark path forever. It was then that Katarn realized he was truly a Jedi; it doesn't matter how far down you follow the dark path once you have returned from it.
After killing Boc, Katarn had defeated all of Jerec's Dark Jedi. Katarn then descended into the Valley Core to face the Dark Master himself. The two dueled, and though the Dark Jedi Jerec had already begun drawing power from the Valley of the Jedi and used its power to heal himself, Katarn was able to defeat him with a light-side technique that disrupted Jerec's connection to the Force. Disarmed, Jerec tried to turn Katarn to the dark side by reminding him of his father's murder, urging Katarn to strike him down and claim the Valley's dark power for himself. Katarn, not wishing to feed his hatred, showed Jerec mercy and tossed the Dark Jedi his lightsaber. Jerec would not accept Katarn's mercy and once again attacked him. Katarn's counterstrike killed Jerec, and he fulfilled the prophecy by freeing the souls of the countless Jedi trapped by Lord Skere Kaan for over a thousand years. Afterwards, Katarn carved statues of Rahn and his father, and thanked the spirit of his father.
Fall to the dark side
- "Master Kyle Katarn succumbed to it. He was brought back to the light side of the Force only by his pupil."
- ―Luke Skywalker
At the height of the Imperial Civil War, Palpatine arranged for the capture of the former Imperial assassin Mara Jade, who had left the service of the Empire and cut herself off from the Emperor's telepathic commands after killing a clone of Luke Skywalker in 9 ABY. After Jade was intercepted on a mission to Senex sector, Lord Cronal had her imprisoned, but she was eventually rescued by New Republic forces under the command of Kyle Katarn. Mara later sought out Katarn and persuaded him to train her in the ways of the Force, taking up the rare bond of reciprocal apprenticeship, a facet of the Concordance of Fealty little practiced since the Cleansing of the Nine Houses. During this period, the pair moved to Altyr V to support a New Republic base there. While sabotaging an Imperial assault, Katarn discovered a lead to the Sith ruins on Dromund Kaas, a long dead world. Katarn investigated the ruins, but came under the influence of the dark side of the Force. His former pupil Mara Jade went to him and dueled him. Seeing that combat was futile, she lowered her guard and opened herself to Katarn's killing blow. Just as Katarn's blade was about to touch Jade's neck, he stopped in remorse for his actions, turning back to the light side.
Skywalker made a second offer to train Katarn when he founded the Jedi Praxeum on Yavin 4, and Katarn accepted, believing it would help him tame his dark side, during which he put Yun's lightsaber away and built his own blue saber as part of his training. Katarn, once again a Jedi Knight, developed a friendship with fellow Jedi trainee Corran Horn, but when two students of the Academy fell to the dark side, Katarn's fear of succumbing multiplied. Katarn gave up the Force, entrusting his lightsaber to Skywalker, and returned to his mercenary ways as Jan Ors' partner. During the next year, Katarn was noted several times by NRI investigators for his overzealous attitude in eliminating Imperial Remnant soldiers. After a mission on Tatooine, he had only left one Imperial survivor for questioning who was so distressed from his ordeal that he could barely relate what little information he had while under interrogation. All that the interrogation staff could get him to say was that his orders had come from Kejim.
Katarn was sent to the world of Kejim to act on this information and en route, fragments of Remnant communication intercepted by the New Republic were relayed to Katarn and Ors, which further affirmed the Republic's suspicions that something was going on. Katarn was at first hesitant to go; the transmission had made mention of the Valley of the Jedi. There was indeed a Remnant base on the planet where, upon a detailed inspection of the base, Katarn found strange crystals which, when analyzed, were found to be very similar to ones used in a Jedi's lightsaber. Their mission would have ended there, as Katarn didn't want to get involved with anything that involved the Force, but Ors accepted the job on his behalf—having been offered twice their usual fee by Mon Mothma.
The Empire Reborn
It was soon revealed that the Empire Reborn movement under Admiral Galak Fyyar was using the planet to experiment with these crystals and the Force, particularly in infusing non-Force-sensitives with Force potential. Although Katarn successfully infiltrated and shut down the outpost, Ors was later captured and apparently killed by the Dark Jedi Desann and his student Tavion Axmis.
Angered by his partner's "death," Katarn regained his Force powers by using the power of the Valley of the Jedi, once again treading dangerously close to the dark side. He went to the Jedi academy to retrieve the lightsaber he had left with Skywalker, where he then learned that Desann was a fallen student of Skywalker's. Skywalker and Katarn then set out across the galaxy to bring Desann to justice. While Skywalker secretly went to the Valley of the Jedi to look for Desann, Katarn tracked Desann's shuttle to Reelo Baruk on Nar Shaddaa. While on Nar Shaddaa, he encountered Lando Calrissian. With his help, Katarn escaped Nar Shaddaa and killed Baruk in the process. Still, Katarn became haunted with the memories of hearing Desann's order to Axmis to "murder" Ors and her screams. These only served to make him desire revenge even more. He eventually got the chance to exact his revenge at Bespin, where he encountered Desann's apprentice, Tavion. She informed Katarn of his blunder in revealing the location of the Valley to herself and her master, and was defeated by Katarn in lightsaber combat. Katarn used Force grip to lift Axmis over a Cloud City platform and held her there. She confessed to everything, revealing that Ors was still alive. Katarn spared Axmis's life and tossed her aside. Axmis ran away, only to plot her revenge on Katarn for sparing her.
Kyle then took a hauler to the Cairn Installation, where the Doomgiver, the ship on which Ors was being held captive, was docked. Katarn ran into Skywalker again, and learned of the purpose behind the crystals he had discovered on Kejim, and of Desann's troops being in the Valley of the Jedi. Katarn infiltrated the Doomgiver as it launched into hyperspace and successfully found Ors and released her. Ors informed Katarn of Desann's fascination with the Academy on Yavin IV. Katarn realized where the Doomgiver was headed and with Ors's help, he was able to shut down the Doomgiver's shield generator, allowing Rogue Squadron to destroy the vessel. At the same time, Katarn was able to prevent the mad scientist, Galak Fyyar, from assuming the throne as "Emperor Galak Fyyar the first."
As the Doomgiver exploded, Katarn and Ors escaped to Yavin IV. After separating, with a kiss, to assist the Jedi Academy, Katarn fought through the jungles of Yavin IV against the legions of new Shadowtroopers and Reborn. Katarn eventually made it into the Academy itself in time to fend off an invading force of stormtroopers. He descended further into the academy gallantly fighting off dozens of reborn and Shadowtroopers, while rescuing many Jedi in the process. Katarn continued into the bowels of the ruins, where he faced off with Desann. Both Desann and Katarn attempted to persuade the other to change sides, but Desann soon attacked Katarn out of frustration. Katarn defeated the Dark Jedi, ending his plan for domination. Skywalker thanked Katarn for his assistance and offered him a place at the Academy. Katarn declined, at least for the moment. Katarn joined the Academy later, after he and Ors spent time together on the beaches of Spira.
Shortly thereafter the Academy was attacked by a Nightsister and her band of outlaws who were seeking ancient Sith artifacts owned by the Academy. Despite the fact that the Nightsisters took advantage of the Academy's weakened state, Katarn and a group of others managed to push them back and kept them from retrieving the artifacts.
Sometime later, Katarn and Ors were sent to investigate Remnant activity on Alzoc III. Katarn infiltrated the base by hiding in a shipping crate and proceeded with his mission. Meanwhile, Ors was discovered by a squad of stormtroopers in one of the hangars, and was taken hostage at blasterpoint. Katarn managed to rescue her, but not before killing two Reborn, who had survived Desann's defeat. Together, Katarn and Ors escaped on the Raven's Claw.
The New Jedi Order
- "Master Katarn, it's an honor to be serving under you."
"First off, just call me Kyle – titles make my skin crawl. Secondly, you're not 'serving under me'. I'm gonna teach you, and you're gonna learn. That's it."
- ―Rosh Penin's first encounter with Katarn
After Desann's defeat, Katarn was promoted to Jedi Master and continued in the ways of the Force as an instructor at Skywalker's Academy. Katarn took on two students, Jaden Korr and Rosh Penin to train in the ways of the Jedi. Both students were talented, progressing quickly under Katarn's tutelage. When a new threat, a Dark Jedi cult known as the Disciples of Ragnos, began threatening the galaxy, Katarn and his apprentices investigated numerous worlds on the trail of the Disciples. Their investigations spanned the galaxy, from Deep Core worlds such as Byss to Outer Rim Territories worlds such as Vjun. Katarn submitted numerous datacard reports to the Jedi on their success, including Tauntaun Feathers A1 from Hoth.
The Jedi Order discovered that the leader of the Cult was none other than Tavion Axmis, the former apprentice of Desann. Katarn's investigations revealed she had acquired the Scepter of Ragnos from Commenor and planned to use it to resurrect the ancient Sith Lord Marka Ragnos. While Katarn was away, his apprentice Penin was kidnapped and eventually succumbed to the dark side, joining the Disciples of Ragnos.
Katarn's other student, Jaden, joined with Katarn to investigate the planet of Vjun, the site of Darth Vader's castle. There the two were forced to split up when Katarn's perch dropped out from beneath him and fell down several floors. Korr, reaching the top of the building alone, faced off against the fallen Penin. Korr pleaded with his fallen friend to return to the light side, which was unsuccessful. Killing the Reborn Twins, Vil and Dasariah Kothos, Korr overcame Penin and closed in on him. Katarn then rejoined him at the top of the tower. Suddenly, Tavion Axmis emerged from behind a pillar and stated her role as the leader of the cult. Subduing Korr and Katarn with Force lightning, she stated that Katarn should have killed her when he had the chance. Using the Force to pull Jaden's saber from his grasp, she used it to bring down the roof, and she escaped with Penin. Korr's actions on Vjun and Katarn's recommendation saw to Skywalker promoting Jaden to Jedi Knight.
Katarn later received a transmission from Penin pleading for help. Given his own experience of redemption at the hands of Mara Jade, Katarn determined to answer the call. Requesting Korr to join him, the pair set out once more, this time to Taspir III. Once again separated, Korr went on ahead and confronted Penin. Urged on by Alora, he considered killing Penin as retribution. In the facilities below, Katarn sensed his precarious position and telepathically urged Jaden to spare Penin's life. Following his master's wishes, Jaden spared Penin's life and fought Alora, who severed Penin's left arm. Jaden killed Alora just as Katarn arrived. Katarn ordered Jaden to aid the Jedi on Korriban, as he rushed Penin off to a medical facility.
Katarn went on to become the Academy's foremost Jedi Battlemaster, educating many other Knights, and fighting in the Third Battle of Yavin where he stopped and killed a rampaging former Emperor's Hand by the name of Jeng Droga.
Yuuzhan Vong War
During the Yuuzhan Vong War, Katarn helped develop strategies against the invaders and freed the Human captives of the Imperial Remnant world Ord Sedra. Near the end of the war, the living planet Zonama Sekot agreed to help the Galactic Alliance, and Katarn was one of several Jedi Knights bonded to seed-partners and provided with Sekotan starships in the final battle.
After the end of the invasion, Katarn heard a rumor that the Sith still existed. Due to his personal experience on Dromund Kaas, Katarn investigated, following clues from Ord Sedra in the Clacis sector first to Yaga Minor, and then halfway across the galaxy to the Cloak of the Sith, near Roon. Katarn went missing there. Jan Ors and Jaden Korr set out to locate him.
Mara Jade Skywalker, Jaden Korr and a group of Alpha Blue specialists led by Jan Ors tracked Katarn to Roon and freed him from Daye Azur-Jamin, who had been missing since early in the Yuuzhan Vong war, and had subsequently turned to the dark side. Azur-Jamin was eventually redeemed, revealing the presence of a Force-sensitive Yuuzhan Vong. Katarn returned safely, and took an active role in Jedi affairs, being appointed to the Masters' council.
During the Yuuzhan Vong War, Katarn proposed marriage to Jan Ors on many separate occasions. She rejected his proposals on the basis of not wanting to get married because every day might be their last.
Jedi Council Member
Five years after the war with the Yuuzhan Vong, Katarn had become a respected Master not afraid to voice his opinion. During the Dark Nest Crisis, along with Han, Leia and Kyp, Katarn traveled to the moon of Kr where the Killik Dark Nest Gorog dwelt, coordinating the conflict. Katarn joined the fighting on the ground while the Solos helped Luke and Mara Skywalker. As the Killik crisis continued to expand, Katarn later led a Stealth-X squadron of Jedi Knights against the Dark Nest. At some point during his service to the New Jedi Order, he wrote the Spy Primer, a guide for espionage agents. Jae Juun and Tarfang were known to have read it as part of their training.
Second Galactic Civil War
Four years after the Killik crisis, Katarn remained on the council. As the tensions grew between Corellia and the Galactic Alliance, Luke Skywalker's nephew Jacen Solo, under the sway of the dark side, began interning, torturing and executing Corellians under his new role as a Colonel in the Galactic Alliance Guard. Katarn voiced his concerns along with fellow Council-member Cilghal to Skywalker that Solo was a dangerous force in his new capacity. As the conflict progressed, eventually developing into the Second Galactic Civil War, Katarn also suggested that Leia Organa Solo be exiled due to her actions which appeared contrary to the wishes of the government he continued to serve. However, Katarn was only acting as a voice of moderation, and came to realize that the Jedi sometimes had to act beyond the government.
Katarn's fears of Solo were justified as the wayward Jedi Knight amassed a wealth of allies and political power. Eventually, Solo modified the laws governing the Galactic Alliance and deposed Chief of State Cal Omas in a coup d'etat. Following the mysterious death of Mara Jade Skywalker, his former apprentice, Katarn attended the funeral of his close friend. When Solo, who was, unknown to Katarn, now Darth Caedus, arrived at the funeral, Katarn, along with Kyp Durron and Kenth Hamner, told the co-Chief of State that he was unwelcome to stand with the Jedi Masters, and that his place was either with the Knights, or the visiting dignitaries; however, a grieving Grand Master Skywalker overruled them. Yet Solo now moved against the Jedi and the ideals of the Galactic Alliance Katarn served; the Galactic Alliance Guard held the students hostage at the Jedi Academy on Ossus. During the Battle of Kuat, Skywalker confronted Jacen over his actions before pulling the Jedi Order out of the Galactic Alliance. In retaliation, the Galactic Alliance Guard soldiers on Ossus killed several Jedi Knights, mutilating Tionne Solusar and leaving her husband Kam for dead.
Confrontation with a Sith Lord
- "Watch out for lightsabers."
"Watch out for durasteel rails."
- ―Jagged Fel and Kyle Katarn, on the Millennium Falcon
Katarn joined the other Jedi Masters on Endor, where they discussed their next actions against Jacen. Although Master Durron was in charge of the formulated mission to capture or kill, Katarn was selected by Skywalker as the team leader, and given a secondary objective to which only he was privy; a tracking device was to be placed upon Solo during their engagement with the powerful fallen Jedi and secret Dark Lord of the Sith. The team which accompanied Katarn included three Jedi Knights; Corran Horn's son Valin, the Falleen Thann Mithric and the Bothan Kolir Hu'lya, as well as the young Seha Dorvald, a former spy of Colonel Solo's. Katarn and his team infiltrated Coruscant's undercity and eventually assaulted Solo outside the Senate Building.
Solo was a formidable opponent, even for Katarn's skills, and the Jedi Master had to protect the weaker members of the team as he dueled the former Jedi Knight and now young Sith Lord. As Caedus claimed, Katarn was unaware of what he was fighting against, and the Sith's brutality during the duel saw the Jedi Master hard-pressed to win the advantage, though the mission itself was only a diversion to place the tracking device upon Solo. Forced to defend Hu'lya from Solo's attacks, Katarn sent his saber spinning at Jacen, only to have it deflected and return to his hand. When his opponent gestured towards him, Katarn prepared himself for a contest of telekinesis, though he was caught off-guard by Solo's tactic; the Sith Lord grasped a passing GAG speeder with the Force and sent it cannonading into the Jedi Master's back. Katarn was catapulted forward and impaled on Solo's blade. The Sith Lord pulled his lightsaber free and turned to finish off the rest of the team, unaware that the tracking device had been attached to his cloak by Dorvald, and that Katarn was still alive. Although a grief-consumed Mithric was slain by Solo, Horn and Dorvald dragged Katarn to safety while Hu'lya made good her escape. Unfortunately for the severely wounded Master, Solo's blade had punctured his lung, and Katarn's lowered immune system was unable to prevent the incursion of an infectious plague that the Commenori, opposed to the Galactic Alliance, had unleashed on Coruscant. However, against all odds, Kyle Katarn survived both the serious wound and the diseases he picked up in the undercity sewers. On his return to Endor he was healed by Cilghal, with yet another successful mission to his name. Katarn later regained enough of his strength to accompany the Jedi on their mission to the Corellian system, where they rescued the abducted Hapan Chume'da Allana from Caedus' clutches.
During the final battle with Darth Caedus and his forces in the Mist, Master Katarn was one of the many Jedi who took part in the assault. He, along with Sebatyne, Horn, Kyp, and Grand Master Skywalker, helped subdue the remaining Moffs after the death of Caedus.
Crisis with the Galactic Alliance
- "Get this thing off me."
"I'm driving here, and that's Get this thing off me, please, Master Katarn.'"
- ―Jaina Solo and Katarn in pursuit of Valin Horn
In 43.5 ABY, Katarn aided Jaina Solo in her attempt to capture the rogue Valin Horn, who had been struck with a mysterious psychosis. Horn, who was also being followed by Master Skywalker, his son Ben, and Han and Leia Solo, news-crews, and bounty hunters, was eventually incapacitated by the Grand Master.
When Master Skywalker was exiled, Katarn was present for the Grand Master and his son's farewell. Later, when Valin Horn was taken into GA custody, Katarn voiced his concern to Jaina Solo and two other Jedi Knights.
During a Council meeting, Katarn appeared concerned for Jysella Horn, daughter of his friend Corran Horn, after she went mad. When it was revealed what Jaina Solo and the Darkmeld team had done, Katarn was glad that Seff Hellin was now in the hands of the Jedi Order, but voiced concern over the fact that neither he nor the High Council had been informed by Cilghal, Tekli, or Jaina Solo.
In later events, Kyle Katarn used the term "Grand Master" when referring to Kenth Hamner. However, it was in terms of sarcasm to the recent events concerning what to do with the rash of Jedi Knights who were going insane, as noted by Han Solo. He insisted that the Jedi support Tahiri Veila during her trial, which was agreed upon by masters Sebatyne and Cilghal.
Katarn later went on to express his opinion about Natasi Daala threatening the Jedi with a Mandalorian siege. When the siege happened, led by Belok Rhal, Katarn pointed out that the Mandalorians were blocking every exit, secret and public, in and out of the Temple. He expressed concern for the populace of Coruscant, fearing they might get hurt if they tried to protest the siege. Hamner agreed, but didn't know how to work around this without stalling for time. Apprentice Kani Asari volunteered to go out and negotiate with Rhal. When Rhal murdered Kani in public, Katarn, Sebatyne, Corran, and Durron refused to let Hamner retrieve the body, that it wasn't safe for him to be out there with a deranged Mandalorian in charge of the siege.
Soon after these events, Master Katarn was among the Masters present when Han Solo proved to Chief of State Daala that the Jedi who were being driven mad had recovered, causing her to order the siege of the Jedi Temple lifted. However, she refused to release Valin and Jysella Horn back into the hands of the Jedi.
Later, during a meeting of the Council, tempers were flaring with both Daala's refusal to release the Horn Jedi and Kenth Hamner's lack of leadership during the situation. Octa Ramis insisted that they take military action and free the Horn's, by force if need be. Hamner refused. Katarn then spoke, saying that unless they wished to take this kind of abuse from Daala, they would have no choice but to take military action. During the course of the meeting both Han Solo and Leia Organa Solo interrupted the heated meeting to show the masters the revolution on Blaudu Sextus. When it showed that Mandalorians were in charge of putting down the revolt, Saba Sebatyne grew enraged and insisted that the Jedi do something. When none of the Masters know anything of the situation on Sextus, Katarn asked her several questions about the relationship of the Octusi, who were responsible for the revolt, and their owners. When things did not appear so black and white Katarn grew more interested in who was behind the revolt, rather than what the Jedi were going to do about it, and went so far as to suspect the newest member of the Council Barratk'l had something to do with it. The suspicion was soon wiped away when she not only insisted she had nothing to do with it, but Hamner backed her up. The meeting proceeded, with the Jedi asking Saba who among the Jedi should go and handle the situation of Sextus. When Katarn suggested Tesar Sebatyne and another Barabel Jedi, Saba grew angry at him that he would suggest those two, and refused to tell where they were currently, insisting that they had not gotten into anything that would cast the Jedi into bad light. The meeting ended shortly after when the masters stormed out; it was revealed that Kenth was not going to let the StealthX squadron launch.
When the Masters were gathered to welcome back the Jedi who had been transported to the Transitory Mists, the events on Sextus were sparking slave revolts all over the galaxy and most Masters, including Katarn, felt that this was the will of the Force. When Kenth refused to allow anymore Jedi to be spared to help the fledgling revolts, Han Solo insisted that Kenth tell them about the deal with Nek Bwua'tu. When Katarn pressed about the deal, Kenth revealed that Bwua'tu had promised no military action would be taken against the Jedi as long as they didn't launch their Stealth X's from the Temple. This enraged the Council and caused Saba to call for a vote of No Confidence in the temporary Grand Master. Katarn was among those who called for his resignation.
During the preparation for the launch, he was to lead a squadron of StealthXs, along with Kyp Durron, Octa Ramis, and Barratk'l to assist Luke and Ben Skywalker against the Lost Tribe of Sith's war fleet. When Kenth Hamner intercepted them and refused to let them leave, Saba Sebatyne told them to go to their launch stations. Kyle tried to implore his old friend Hamner to be reasonable and told him that he should not have tried to shoulder the weight of the entire Order on his back, which was why the Jedi had a Council. Hamner refused to listen, which resulted in a brutal duel in which Sebatyne killed Hamner and reluctantly accepted his position as Grand Master until Skywalker's return. Katarn and the others were able to leave, then took part in the rescue of the Skywalkers above Almania's moon Pydyr.
Later, Master Katarn led a StealthX squadron against the Sith Armada in an ambush set up by Grand Master Luke Skywalker during Operation Shieldfall. The end of that battle led to the Sith Forces retreating with Abeloth and Ship. Having no clue where Abeloth and her forces retreated too, Master Katarn was one of the groups charged with scouring the galaxy for any location that they may be hiding in. When these results turned up nothing, Katarn returned to Coruscant to both welcome back the returning Grand Master Skywalker and to take part in further strategies against the Lost Tribe.
When the Jedi left Coruscant for good, Master Katarn was one of the Jedi present on Upekzar to confront Abeloth. It turned out to be a trap however, and many Jedi were killed when the dark energy from that place exploded, also causing a Volcano to erupt. Most of the Jedi escaped.
It is unknown what role, if any, Master Katarn played during the Jedi's assault on the Lost Tribe on Coruscant. He was among those present in Senator Wuul's office during the Council meeting to discuss further military action against the Lost Tribe and their new master, Abeloth. He expressed concern about Abeloth's origins, and was the only Master present to take Wynn Dorvan seriously when he said he killed Abeloth. When Tekli and Lowbacca informed the Council about the origins of Abeloth, Katarn gave several theories about what her endgame would be, and how Ben Skywalker figured into those plans. The Council meeting ended shortly after that when it was discovered that Ben had been captured by Abeloth and was fleeing Coruscant.
After Abeloth's death, Katarn was one of the masters present to welcome Luke back after the Grand Master awoke from his coma. When Luke told the masters his plan to move the Jedi off Coruscant completely, Katarn was one of the first to agree to Luke's way of thinking.
Personality and traits
- "They always lock the door. You'd think they'd have learned by now. Doesn't look like there's a key – that would be too easy. The console to unlock the door is probably hidden in some room twelve floors up or something… how does that make sense?"
- ―Katarn to Jaden Korr during the mission to Vjun
On the one hand, Katarn appeared very self-confident and possessed an almost cynical dry sense of humor. On the other hand, he often doubted himself and always gave every choice a good deal of thought. He was an independent and free-thinking person, but at the same time his primary concern was always the safety and well-being of those he cared for. An ever-present factor appeared to be fear—fear of dying, fear of doing the wrong thing.
Katarn's blend of personalities made him a promising cadet leader while at the Imperial academy. Sergeant Major Hong especially appreciated the young cadet's skills, admiring Katarn's rational approach to his assignments and his humility when asking the superior officer for advice.
During his Omega Exercise, Katarn showed that his heart was softer than most other Imperials. He could not bring himself to order the execution of the Rebels his men had captured, instead choosing to let them go. Katarn later used his cynical sense of humor, reason, and concern for others to inspire his team when the mission went south. This enabled them to pull together and complete the mission.
When Katarn learned the truth about his father Morgan's death, his personality underwent a dramatic change. He became bitter and developed a stronger hatred for the Empire. He accepted missions from the Alliance that were directed at the Empire to get the opportunity to personally kill Imperial agents and thwart their plans. He was no longer afraid of dying, but his fear of doing the wrong thing remained. While throwing himself into one death-defying situation after another, Katarn was always careful not to harm innocents and cared greatly for the safety of his partner Jan Ors. Ors considered Katarn reckless and saw his dare-devil attitude as a result of Katarn constantly wanting to impress others. During his years as a Rebel agent, Katarn was a lone wolf, who preferred to work on his own. Teamwork was, according to Ors, not one of his strengths.
Although a powerful warrior, Katarn as a Jedi seemed to keep a low profile, being reluctant to embrace the Force itself. He repeatedly denied the ways of the Force, at one time going so far as to completely sever his own connection to it. The core of this reluctance was his fear of the dark side and distrust of his own motivation to use powers. He knew that deep inside, he was driven by a lust for revenge and hatred against those that killed his father. He knew all too well that hatred was an emotion fed by the dark side. He did call upon the dark side of the Force twice in the scramble for the Valley of the Jedi, as he had killed Maw in anger and used a dark side technique to defeat Boc. It was after the Dromund Kaas incident that he severed the bonds with the Force completely. His motivation for reconnecting with the Force was ultimately also motivated by revenge, as he sought to avenge Ors, whom he thought had been killed. But even in his darkest hours there would always be some light inside him. More often than not, he would spare the lives of even his worst enemies. When he learned that Ors was not dead, Katarn changed. His hatred was replaced with hope, and his lust for revenge was replaced with compassion.
Eventually, he came to accept his destiny as a Jedi Knight, arguing that no Force power is inherently dark or light, but that it fully depends on how and for what one uses it. Rather than being ashamed of his brushes with the dark side, he would openly share his experiences with his apprentices so that they would not make the same mistakes as he did. When Rosh Penin finally managed to reject the temptations of the dark side and returned to the ways of the Jedi and Jaden Korr managed to steer clear of the dark path altogether and emerged the hero of the crisis of the Disciples of Ragnos, Katarn finally realized that he was a worthy and powerful Jedi and a great teacher. His confidence increased—and it was clear that whatever hesitancy he may have once had was long since gone. During his time as a member of the Jedi High Council he kept a low profile still, most of the time listening and gathering facts, instead of getting caught up in the passions of his fellow Masters. However it was noted that whenever he did speak, his comments were usually like a punch to the gut, in terms of how on point and honest they were.
Katarn never liked to wear traditional Jedi robes, instead choosing to wear the clothes he wore in his mercenary days. He still wore them even at formal gatherings, like Mara Jade's funeral. He didn't like to be referred to with titles like "Master Katarn", as titles made him uncomfortable, and preferred to be on a first name basis with his apprentices. In this way, he reflected the idea that he still felt a connection to the common people of the galaxy, and showing humility by preferring not to stand out.
He was noted by Luke Skywalker to probably be the most politically astute of all the Masters on the Council.
Powers and abilities
- "Remember: abilities are not inherently good or evil, it's how you use them."
- ―Kyle Katarn
Katarn was adept at using a variety of weapons. His training at the Imperial Academy gave him great skill in using Imperial weapons. This training, along with a natural intuition, allowed him to effectively use every weapon he came across in his travels.
Despite being almost completely self-trained, Katarn became one of the New Jedi Order's most respected Jedi Masters. With relatively little lightsaber combat training, Katarn defeated seven trained Dark Jedi; Yun, Gorc, Pic, Maw, Sariss, Boc, and then Jerec himself—an amazing accomplishment for the neophyte he was at the time. However, it should be noted that Katarn did learn many techniques from the spirits of Qu Rahn and the ancient Jedi Tal in the Valley of the Jedi, such as the Flowing Water cut and the Falling Leaf attack. Katarn was a master of the fifth form of lightsaber combat Djem So. Likewise, he held other forms such as Shii-Cho and Ataru. On the odd occasion, he would develop a reverse Shien grip. He proved to be ambidextrous, wielding a weapon in his right hand as well as his left. When he became Battlemaster, his study of lightsaber combat led him to mix elements of several forms into his own personal style.
Despite knowing the dangers of the dark side, Katarn utilized the dark powers of Force grip and Force lightning even as a Jedi Master. In spite of this, he was equally strong in light-side Force powers, such as Force absorb and Force protection, which he demonstrated during his mission with Jaden.
During the events led by Desann, Katarn showed mastery of the Force by relearning powers of both the light and dark side of the Force in a relatively short amount of time. However, it should be noted that Katarn revisited the Valley of the Jedi to quickly restore his connection to the Force, which increased his raw Force potential as a side-effect. Katarn showed a strong will, resisting the many taunts and mind tricks Desann used on him in the Yavin temple.
During the events of the Disciples of Ragnos Crisis, Katarn had already become one of the strongest swordsmen in the New Jedi Order and successfully trained Jaden Korr, arguably the most famous hero during those events. An extraordinary swordsman, Katarn became the New Jedi Order's foremost Battlemaster. His general mastery of the Force was incredible and surpassed all but the strongest Jedi Masters. Even Darth Caedus acknowledged Katarn's abilities, something he rarely did.
Kyle Katarn's preferred weapon was a Bryar pistol that had been given to him by his father. He continued to carry and use it even after becoming a Jedi and obtaining a lightsaber. Katarn briefly used packered mortar gun, rail detonator gun, concussion rifle, heavy repeater, E-11 blaster rifle, DXR-6 disruptor rifle, FC-1 flechette launcher, PLX-2M portable missile launcher, and Destructive Electromagnetic Pulse 2 ion carbine. He also used sequencer charges, thermal detonators, and laser trip mines. During his career, Katarn used a personal energy shield.
Katarn in his mercenary days frequently wore body armor underneath his trademark coat. He was also one of the few non-Mandalorians to own a set Mandalorian Armor, which he recovered when he was captured by Jabba.
Throughout his life, Kyle Katarn wielded at least three lightsabers. His first had a green blade, and originally belonged to Jedi Master Qu Rahn. While journeying to the Valley of the Jedi, this first lightsaber was destroyed by the Dark Jedi, Boc; however, one of the Dark Jedi, Yun, turned from the Dark Side and blocked a death blow to Katarn from Sariss. Yun was killed, and Katarn took Yun's yellow-bladed lightsaber for the rest of his journey through the Valley of the Jedi. This may have been the same blade he later used while training Mara Jade, though at that time it appeared to have a more orange hue. Following the events on Dromund Kaas, Katarn attended the Jedi Praxeum, where he constructed a new blue-bladed lightsaber, which had a longer hilt than most others.
The blue-bladed lightsaber was Kyle's first official lightsaber, as his previous two belonged to other individuals.
The Moldy Crow, an HWK-290 light freighter, was the first ship acquired by Kyle Katarn after joining the Rebel Alliance. He first used it during his Mission to Danuta. He took an immediate liking to the ship due to its name, as it reflected his feelings on his own status in the galaxy. In later missions, the Crow was piloted by Katarn's partner Jan Ors. It was eventually destroyed during his mission to the Valley of the Jedi.
After the destruction of the Moldy Crow, Kyle Katarn and his partner Jan Ors continued their career with the Raven's Claw. Ors piloted the ship for Katarn, ensuring that he could be inserted and extracted safely for his missions.
Behind the scenes
Originally, the protagonist of Star Wars: Dark Forces was to be Luke Skywalker, and the game's story was to follow the events of Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope. However the developers of Dark Forces realized that this decision would add constraints to the storyline and gameplay, so the character of Kyle Katarn was created instead. Kyle Katarn was voiced by Nick Jameson in Dark Forces. Actor Jason Court portrayed the character in the full-motion video sequences of Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II. For the close-ups of Katarn's hands and feet, actor and VFX artist C. Andrew Nelson doubled for Court. The in-game model was based on Court's appearance. Likewise, in Mysteries of Sith, Jedi Outcast, and Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy, Katarn is exclusively a polygonal model, without full motion video scenes, made to look like a slightly older Court. In these appearances, he is voiced by Rino Romano (in Mysteries of the Sith) and Jeff Bennett (in Jedi Outcast and Jedi Academy). In Star Wars: Empire at War he is voiced by Brian Bascle and for the audio dramatizations of the Dark Forces novellas, he is portrayed by Randal Berger. Jeff Bennett's voice acting in Jedi Outcast and Jedi Academy makes him the only person to have voiced Katarn more than once.
Most recent portrayals of Katarn are based on Jason Court's appearance. This includes depictions of Katarn during his early career in the Rebellion, such as the original Kyle Katarn action figure, the Dark Forces: Soldier for the Empire novella, and the Empire at War and Lethal Alliance video games. Katarn is shown in these media to be aged and bearded, despite his different appearance in the original Star Wars: Dark Forces video game.
- "Why do I need you, Jerec, when I can take all the power of the Valley myself?"
- ―Kyle Katarn (non-canon)
Katarn's story has alternative outcomes in some of the games in which he appears. Although the above mentioned story is canonical, the player has the option to follow the alternative dark side path in Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II.
In this version, Katarn killed Jan Ors when prompted and became the rival of Jerec. Yun, not particularly touched as Katarn proved to be just another fallen Jedi, fought him alone after Katarn escaped the falling cargo ship. In this version Katarn is able to land the Moldy Crow safely. He corrected his previous mistake and killed Yun in a second lightsaber duel. After he defeated Jerec in the Valley of the Jedi, Katarn absorbed its power and took his position on Coruscant as Emperor of the galaxy, with Sariss at his side. He ordered her to destroy a small Rebel uprising on Danuta, which was ironically the location of his first major mission for the Rebel Alliance. Then, he took out the holo of his father saying, "I want you to remember, while you're at the academy, how very proud I am of you," the same holo he had been reflecting on when his mission against Jerec first began. He then dropped it on the floor and crushed it with his boot, removing all his connections to the past and the light.
The same option is available to Jaden Korr in Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy. In this version, Korr turned to the dark side by killing Penin instead of staying in the light by forgiving him. Korr later dueled Katarn, overpowering his master with the Scepter of Ragnos he had stolen from Tavion, and escaped. Reflecting on the incident with Luke Skywalker, Katarn questioned whether or not he himself should be a Jedi, taking a leave of absence to apprehend Korr.
The alternative ending of Jedi Academy, although not canonical, also gives some insight into Katarn's psyche in a case of failure and disappointment. Failure empowers his existing disappointment; he seems guilty for having lost two apprentices (Penin is dead, and Korr becomes a Dark Jedi), and confesses to Skywalker that he is unsure if he should be a Jedi Master at all. However, as a final desperate act, he moved to personally find Korr and correct his failure.
Although created only for the needs of a video game, Katarn became surprisingly popular, having the most appearances of all of the Inaugural Class Jedi Masters. One reason is that the computer games he appears in became quite successful and widely referenced. This success has been further developed by comparisons to martial artist and action star Chuck Norris, which have prompted Star Wars-themed variations of the popular Chuck Norris facts.
According to the Dark Forces review in PC Gamer, Katarn was intended to be a "blank" game character, more or less like Jaden Korr, Jedi Exile, Keyan Farlander, Rookie One, Revan and many other game protagonists; he would have a customizable name, a mysterious unmentioned past and an unseen face, in order to help players identify themselves with the protagonist. It seems that this concept was abandoned since his face, name and background history are told in the manual and the narrative of the final product. However the games still demand to enter a player name in order to save their progress.
Kyle Katarn appears as one of the hero character units in Empire at War and is one of few Expanded Universe characters in the game. His special abilities are "thermal detonator" and "sprint." He has no Force powers since the game takes place before his discovery of his connection to the Force.
Katarn was originally slated to die in the novel The New Jedi Order: Star by Star, but the scene was removed at the last minute at the request of LucasArts, ostensibly for reasons related to Jedi Academy despite that game's earlier placement on the timeline. The removal of this scene allowed Katarn to finally make his comic book debut in "Equals & Opposites"—almost three years after the release of The New Jedi Order: Star by Star in the United States.