- "…a Jedi who never was—a soldier who gave his life for freedom—and a father who believed in his son."
- ―Luke Skywalker
- "I am not now, nor have I ever been, a Jedi Knight."
- ―Morgan Katarn
During childhood, Morgan often used his Force power to entertain his younger sister. He became reluctant to use the Force, however, when a Force Push led to the accidental death of a bully. Always afraid of a mistake or crossing the boundaries of abuse, he used it only occasionally.
He was an agro-mech craftsman and a self-taught roboticist; he constructed his home droid WeeGee. As a farmer, a faulty BT-16 perimeter droid killed his wife Patricia and raised their son Kyle Katarn alone. He fashioned for him robotic toy soldiers, who marched on the workshop floor (frequently tripping over) and saluted when they saw Kyle.
- "How's that son of yours? Still living the high life at the Imperial Military Academy?…Learning to be a good little stormtrooper."
"He's getting an education, Skorg, that's all you need to know."
"Eh, so you say."
- ―Skorg Jameson and Morgan Katarn discussing Kyle
In the early days of that resistance, Morgan didn't wish to participate in an anti-Imperial demonstration in Baron's Hed, and his peers accused him for cowardice. When the Empire responded with the massacre of three colonist families, Morgan had to help them; funded by Rebel sympathizers, he hid 347 colonists in the hold of an old space station, then hired the smuggling ship Cyclops to relocate them to a safe location. The smuggler, Jerg, brought them to an abandoned planet, Ruusan, outside of the Empire's knowledge, where smugglers hid contraband. Morgan landed for exploration, where he discovered the ruins of the city Olmondo and made contact with the planet's native inhabitants, whom he named "Bouncers", who recognised him as a Force user. Morgan also learned the location of the mythical Valley of the Jedi, situated at an ancient battle site on the planet, a source of almost unlimited power, and heard the voices of spirits of those who were buried there.
Back home, Morgan befriended the Jedi Qu Rahn, and told him of his discovery, and the spirits that required a Jedi Knight to deliver them. Rahn didn't want to possess that dangerous knowledge, so Morgan Katarn put a complex map of Ruusan on the roof of his home believing that nobody would notice its existence. Morgan also was entrusted with the lightsaber of his Jedi friend, which he placed within a hidden compartment in the family's homemade droid, WeeGee. Along with this, Morgan created a holorecording for his son Kyle that only the droid could decode. It told Kyle of his Jedi potential and of the importance of protecting the location of the Valley of the Jedi, as well as entrusting Rahn's Lightsaber to him.
Jerec was interested in whatever information Katarn possessed, and ordered the Ghost Battalion to capture him alive. Led by Lieutenant Brazack and disguised as Rebels, the Battalion launched a raid on Sulon. A Corellian light feighter killed the Danga family and burned the Katarn homestead, but Morgan avoided capture as he was absent and watched everything from afar, also receiving a warning message from WeeGee on his beeper. He noticed that the raiders looked like Rebels but some details betrayed that they weren't; he secretly recorded the attack with his electrobinoculars before the soldiers left, which he presented shortly later in a Rebel meeting. Katarn mostly worried about WeeGee, and about the map that Rahn had entrusted him.
In the meeting of the Rebel representatives, more attacks were reported; Skorg Jameson considered they were an attempt to attack the G-Tap, to force the population of Sulon to depend on the SoroSuub Corporation, buy a fusion plant and, by extension, pay taxes to the Empire; he advised to openly strike back. Morgan warned that perhaps the reasons of the assaults was a bait to lure them into open warfare and thus destroy all Rebel presence on the moon. Jameson's rhetoric prevailed, and after hours of discussion, it was decided to put all their forces to openly fight for the precious G-Tap.
As Morgan was one of the leaders with the least military expertise, he was relegated to an easily defended passageway at the G-Tap tavern, and was assigned to command 26 teenagers and seniors. In preparation for the assault, he met there Candice Ondi and her droid A-Cee, and lied that he was optimistic for the outcome.
During the defense, he fought next to the veteran Crowley, the only member with real combat experience. The rebels successfully destroyed an AT-ST before he noticed the arrival of the same assault ship that attacked his farm; he ordered everyone into the passageway, and the missile team, Trol and Jen to destroy it with SLM, but they were killed before stopping the ship from landing.
Katarn's team tried to keep of the Imperial commandoes exiting the ship. His team was ever diminishing and they fell back, while Katarn himself was wounded, but found time to hide and feed A-Cee with information and footage; he ordered the droid to find its way to the Rebel command, covering his retreat to the Barons Hed spaceport, before Morgan was discovered by Imperials and stunned.
The fight lasted four hours, and only 37 survived. Morgan along with others who could still stand were lined up in front of the G-Tap, inspected by Noda. Morgan along with other leaders were arrested for interrogation and the rest were executed.
He was brought aboard the Vengeance and injected with some drug that awoke him and made his senses alert to the extreme, in order to experience all pain from torture. He was brought in front of Jerec himself. After some defiant comments, and an attempt to spit Jerec's face, Jerec saw that he would not cooperate, and beheaded him with a vibroblade. His last thoughts were his wife, and the man that his son would become.
Morgan's head was then placed on a spike outside the walls of Barons Hed, a sight that was recorded by A-Cee. Meanwhile in the Academy, Kyle was informed that his father was killed by Rebels, causing him to despise the Rebellion. Only when Jan Ors revealed the truth, thanks to A-Cee's footage, and Kyle learned that his father was a Rebel killed by the Empire, he followed in his footsteps and deserted the Empire.
What Jerec did not know at this time was the map to the Valley of the Jedi within the roof of his homestead. He later found the map after forcing the information from the mind of Qu Rhan.
Morgan appeared as a Force ghost—speaking to Luke Skywalker about the Valley of the Jedi. Years later, he appeared again to his son Kyle when the latter, grieving for the death of Jan Ors, returned to the Valley of the Jedi to regain his Force powers.
Behind the scenes
Morgan Katarn was portrayed by Jacob Witkin for the live-action sequences of Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II and all other appearances of Morgan are based on Witkin's likeness. Morgan Katarn was voiced by David Chase in Dark Forces: Soldier for the Empire audio drama and Dark Forces: Rebel Agent audio drama. Jacob Witkin would later reprise his role as Morgan Katarn in Star Wars: Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast.
There appears to be some conflict between the sources as regards the death of Morgan Katarn. In Dark Forces: Soldier for the Empire Jerec beheads him with a vibroblade, yet in the Soldier for the Empire audio dramatization Jerec beheads him with his lightsaber. Still another source, Dark Forces II: Jedi Knight Maw tells Kyle that Jerec gave Morgan a sweet slow death. Of course, it is possible that Maw just says it to goad Kyle into getting into touch with the dark side, or that Morgan was tortured prior to his decapitation.
In Star Wars: Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast, Morgan Katarn's multiplayer skin is used in campaign mode as a single, generic Jedi in the Yavin IV level.
- Dark Forces: Soldier for the Empire (First appearance)
- Dark Forces: Soldier for the Empire audio drama
- Dark Forces: Rebel Agent
- Dark Forces: Rebel Agent audio drama
- Dark Forces: Jedi Knight (Statue)
- Dark Forces: Jedi Knight audio drama (Statue)
- Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II (Appears in hologram) (First identified as Morgan Katarn)
- Star Wars: Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast (Appears as a ghost or spirit)
- Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy (Appears in the NPC list)
- Dark Forces Manual: Coded Transmissions (First mentioned)
- "Game Room: Darth Vader's Plenty Game"—Star Wars Galaxy Magazine 11 (Indirect mention only)
- "Game Room: Game Knights"—Star Wars Galaxy Magazine 13
- Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II: The Official Strategy Guide
- The New Essential Guide to Characters
- Power of the Jedi Sourcebook
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 59 (German Edition - DUN4 Jerec)
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 124 (KAT1-4 Kyle Katarn)
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 140 (KAT5-6 Kyle Katarn)
- The New Essential Guide to Droids
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- Star Wars: The Official Starships & Vehicles Collection 30
- The Essential Reader's Companion