- "Attention, all officers and crews of the Coruscant Imperial Third Fleet. This is Admiral Kelsan. In the face of overwhelming enemy strength, I order you to lower your shields and surrender…"
- ―Peto Kelsan
Peto Kelsan was a Human male officer in the Imperial Navy who pledged his loyalty to Darth Krayt when Emperor Roan Fel was ousted from the throne by the Sith Lord in 130 ABY. Holding the rank of admiral, Kelsan was placed in command of the Coruscant Third Fleet. By the year 137 ABY, Kelsan and his command were stationed at Ralltiir, a Core World significant for its status as one of the great financial centers of the galaxy. That year, Ralltiir came under attack; elements of the Galactic Alliance Remnant—the previous galactic government, toppled by the Sith and Roan Fel while they had been allies—engaged Kelsan's command. The Galactic Alliance forces, led by Admiral Gar Stazi, were shortly thereafter reinforced by the Bastion Second Fleet, commanded by Edouard Fenel of Fel's Empire.
Against the enemies' overwhelming numbers, Kelsan reluctantly surrendered the Coruscant Third Fleet to Fenel. When Captain Vaclen Tor of the frigate Steadfast refused to comply and reminded Kelsan of his duty to prevent the fleet from falling into the hands of the enemy, the Admiral was placed in a moral quandary. Kelsan ultimately decided to honor his duty; ignoring Fenel's subsequent order to open fire upon the Steadfast, he directed his crews to initiate the fleet's self-destruct and flee in escape pods to Ralltiir. To Kelsan's surprise, Gar Stazi then ordered his forces to protect the Third Fleet as it was evacuated, in order to prevent Fenel from opening fire on the defenseless escape pods. Once the crews were clear, Kelsan thanked Stazi before initiating the self-destruct mechanisms on the warships. The Admiral, remaining aboard his flagship Avenger, died as the warship exploded over Ralltiir.
Rise to admiralEdit
- "Admiral Kelsan…Peto. Been a long time. Made you admiral, did they?"
- ―Edouard Fenel
A Human male, Peto Kelsan was a member of Emperor Roan Fel's Empire and held a rank in the Imperial Navy. He was acquainted with Admiral Edouard Fenel. In 127 ABY, Roan Fel and his Sith allies, led by Darth Krayt, initiated a war against the reigning government, the Galactic Federation of Free Alliances. Upon the conclusion of the war in 130 ABY, which saw the Galactic Alliance toppled, Darth Krayt and his Sith Order turned on Emperor Fel and attacked him. Fel fled the galactic capital of Coruscant, leaving Darth Krayt to take over the planet. In the resulting fallout, the Imperial Navy split among the two camps. Peto Kelsan pledged his loyalty to Darth Krayt, and Kelsan was placed in command of the Coruscant Third Fleet, holding the rank of admiral.
Kelsan commanded the fleet from the bridge of the Avenger, a Pellaeon-class Star Destroyer, itself captained by the Nikto Furske. By 137 ABY, Kelsan and his command had been assigned to protect Ralltiir, a strategically important Core World and one of the great financial centers of the galaxy. As the fleet provided Ralltiir with a strong defense, it seemed unlikely to the Imperials that the planet would be attacked, as neither Roan Fel nor the Galactic Alliance Remnant were deemed to have sufficient warships.
During the same year, however, the fleet of Galactic Alliance Remnant Chief of State Gar Stazi emerged out of hyperspace directly in front of Kelsan's fleet and engaged it at close quarters. The Coruscant Third Fleet was swamped by Stazi's forces, which targeted the engines and defensive systems of Kelsan's warships in order to disable and capture them. As Kelsan's fleet powered up their shields and returned fire, the Admiral called for a report from Captain Furske, who reported that the Avenger's engines had sustained damage prior to the raising of the Star Destroyer's shields. Aware that his forces had an advantage in firepower, Kelsan remained confused by Stazi's abrupt attack. The two fleets continued to trade salvoes until the reason behind Stazi's bold attack became clear—an Imperial fleet aligned with Emperor Roan Fel emerged from hyperspace and pressed the attack alongside Stazi's forces.
Death over RalltiirEdit
- "You did not go with your crews, Admiral Kelsan."
"No. My place is on my ship. I'm sure you understand. I'm not certain why you're doing this, admiral…I don't think I would have done the same. But I thank you."
- ―Gar Stazi and Peto Kelsan
The combined enemy fleets outnumbered Kelsan's command, and the Avenger suffered damage to its shields under the renewed assault. Kelsan was soon contacted directly by his Imperial opponent, Admiral Edouard Fenel. Fenel acknowledged Kelsan's ascendancy to the rank of admiral before requesting a cease-fire so that he could address the Coruscant Third Fleet. Beaten, Kelsan acquiesced and ordered Fenel to be patched through to his command. Fenel issued an ultimatum for Kelsan's command to surrender within ten minutes or face total destruction. The Imperial Admiral also used Fel's authority to order Kelsan's crews to eliminate their commanding officers if they refused to surrender.
The Admiral regretfully announced to his fleet that they were to comply with Fenel's directives. To the surprise of both Kelsan and Fenel, however, one officer of the Coruscant Third Fleet—Captain Vaclen Tor of the Ardent-class fast frigate Steadfast—dissented. Over a general frequency, Tor announced that Kelsan's orders were unacceptable, stating that the Coruscant Third Fleet owed its loyalty to Emperor Krayt. The Captain personally addressed Kelsan, reminding him that it was their duty—and a matter of honor—to prevent the warships of the Third Fleet from falling into the hands of the enemy.
Irate, Fenel first ordered Tor's crew to kill him and, when that failed, ordered his entire fleet to open fire on the Steadfast. Already conflicted, Kelsan refused to fire upon on a vessel of his own command when Fenel ordered him to do so. As Fel's admiral repeated his order, Kelsan made his choice; addressing his command for the last time, he instructed the crews of the Third Fleet to disregard his previous order to surrender and to initiate the self-destruct mechanisms on their warships, before evacuating in escape pods and fleeing to Ralltiir. The Admiral decided to remain upon Avenger to cover the evacuation and go down with his ship. Disaster loomed for Kelsan's forces, however, as Fenel broadcast a subsequent order to open fire on the Third Fleet's escape pods. To Kelsan's surprise, Fenel was defied by Gar Stazi, who positioned his warships to protect the Third Fleet, refusing to fire on the defenseless crews.
Once Stazi's forces had taken up position and prevented Fenel's fleet from attacking, Stazi made personal contact with Kelsan and informed him that it was safe to begin the evacuation. The crews of the Third Fleet abandoned their vessels in droves; once all were clear, Kelsan informed the Duros admiral that he was initiating the fleet's self-destruct. At a query from Stazi as to why he had not entered an escape pod himself, Kelsan replied that his place was aboard Avenger. The Admiral thanked his opponent as the Third Fleet warships began to detonate, and the Imperial Admiral perished as Avenger was destroyed.
Personality and traitsEdit
- "Admiral Kelsan, I gave an order for all Imperial ships to open fire on the Steadfast. That includes your ships!"
"We can't! The Steadfast is one of our own…!"
"It is not a request, Kelsan! Do it!"
"No. All ships of the Third Coruscant Fleet. This is Admiral Kelsan. Disregard my previous order. You will set the self-destruct devices on your ships and then take the lifepods to Ralltiir—Avenger will cover."
- ―Admirals Edouard Fenel and Peto Kelsan
Peto Kelsan was a pragmatic man. During the Battle of Ralltiir, the Admiral recognized that there were hidden reasons behind Stazi's bold attack on his fleet. When faced with an enemy by whom he was outgunned and outnumbered, Kelsan chose to surrender his command rather than fight a battle that he could not win, and also revealed to Stazi that he imagined that he would not make the decision to defend an enemy as they fled a battle. When tested, however, the Admiral abandoned his pragmatism and chose to stand by codes of honor and duty; he refused to fire upon a warship of his own fleet and placed himself and his flagship in harm's way to protect his crews. Rather than join in the retreat, Kelsan followed a naval tradition of remaining on his vessel as it self-destructed.
Behind the scenesEdit
Admiral Peto Kelsan was introduced in the 36th issue of Star Wars: Legacy, Renegade, published by Dark Horse Comics. Created by series writer John Ostrander for the issue, the character of Peto Kelsan was drawn by established Legacy penciler Omar Francia. Kelsan was colored by Brad Anderson, who had worked on every comic in the series. Not including the rank of Grand Admiral, Kelsan was the third admiral in Darth Krayt's Imperial Navy to be portrayed, the others being Sha Dun and Dru Valan.
- Legacy 36: Renegade (First appearance)