- "I will not be undermined by creatures bred in some laboratory!"
- ―Pong Krell
Pong Krell, a Force-sensitive Besalisk male, was a Jedi Master during the last years of the Galactic Republic. During the Clone Wars, he held the rank of Jedi General in the Grand Army of the Republic. Although the clone troopers under his command sustained the highest casualty rates, Krell was recognized as a successful general due to his victories on the battlefield. In addition to his reputation as a general, Master Krell was well known for his spectacular abilities in lightsaber combat. The advantage of his four-armed physiology allowed him to use a unique form of Jar'Kai—wielding two double-bladed lightsabers at the same time. However, as the war carried on, Krell began to see visions of a new order rising to power in place of both the Republic and the Jedi Order. Driven by self-preservation, he secretly embraced the dark side of the Force and began undermining the Republic Military's war effort in hopes of gaining Count Dooku's attention, to ultimately become his apprentice preceding the fall of the Republic.
During the Battle of Umbara, Krell temporarily replaced Anakin Skywalker as the commanding officer of the 501st Legion. When his soldiers discovered their general's secret allegiance to Dooku, the clones mutinied against Krell's command and moved to arrest him for treason. Despite killing multiple troopers while attempting to escape, the fallen Jedi was captured and taken in imprisonment by his own men. Although his subordinate, Clone Captain CT-7567, was the one who decided to execute him, it was ultimately Krell's strongest supporter, trooper "Dogma," after questioning Krell as to why he was performing these actions, who stole a blaster from Fives' holster, and killed him for betraying the Republic.
Biography[edit | edit source]
Clone Wars[edit | edit source]
- "Time and rest are luxuries the Republic cannot afford!"
- ―Pong Krell
As the Jedi were called into service by the Galactic Republic, Krell joined the war as a General in the newly formed Grand Army of the Republic. Despite high casualties of clone troopers under his command, Krell achieved many victories.
As the war progressed, Krell became seduced by the dark side of the Force. He then received a premonition about the future; the Jedi were all but extinct, the Republic fell, and a New Order rose in its place. This caused Krell to betray both the Republic and Jedi Order. Outwardly, he maintained his Jedi facade, but secretly he had renounced the Jedi way. He acted as a double agent to sabotage the Republic's efforts. Krell sought to become the new apprentice of Sith Lord and Separatist leader Count Dooku and gain a position of power in the New Order.
Battle of Umbara[edit | edit source]
In 20 BBY, Krell, along with Jedi Generals Obi-Wan Kenobi, Saesee Tiin, and Anakin Skywalker were sent by the Jedi High Council to retake Umbara back from its Confederate-aligned Umbaran Militia. Krell then provided an air strike to Skywalker's forces. Krell then met up with Skywalker, and told that he was being recalled to Coruscant at the request of both Palpatine and the Jedi Council whilst Krell was given command of the 501st Legion.
Taking the airbase[edit | edit source]
- Pong Krell: "What is your plan?"
- CT-7567: "I've dispatched two men on a stealth incursion into the airbase. They've been ordered to co-opt starfighters and use them against the tanks."
- Krell: "You what?! You put this entire assault on your hope that two clones can do what your entire group could not?!"
- CT-7567: "Sir, the rocket launchers don't work on these tanks. It would be easier to slip by undetected while the rest of us keep the tanks occupied."
- Krell: "Captain, you will launch a full forward strike immediately, or you will be relieved of duty."
- ―Pong Krell and CT-7567[src]
Krell then led the 501st to the outskirts of the capital. Krell, against Captain Rex's concerns, decided to attack the city by going along the main road instead of flanking the capital. However, Rex and his troopers were forced to retreat away from the capital much to Krell's chagrin. Krell and his forces then held their ground against the militia and their Zenuas 33 Umbaran starfighters. Krell was then contacted by Kenobi, who told them that an airbase was re-supplying the capital. Krell and the 501st were tasked to take the airbase.
As the 501st approached the outskirts of the airbase, Krell sent Rex and the battalion through a ravine to take the airfield. Despite Rex's and his troopers' objections, they went into the ravine. However, they came under heavy attack by the Militia's impeding assault tanks and mobile heavy cannons. Krell refused to let Rex and the battalion retreat or to send them reinforcements. After the clones took the airbase, despite heavy casualties, Krell objected to allowing the clones use stolen enemy Umbaran ships to attack a Separatist supply ship. Instead, he ordered the troopers to march directly into range of enemy missile fire. Rather than face certain death by following orders, several troopers secretly used the stolen ships anyway and successfully destroyed the supply ships, supporting Obi Wan Kenobi's attack on the Umbaran capital. Krell still had the soldiers who disobeyed orders locked in the brig. He later ordered Jesse and Fives executed.
Krell's betrayal[edit | edit source]
The troopers refused to go through with the execution. Krell told the clones that enemy soldiers had stolen Republic weapons and armor and ordered them into battle. During the fight, the clones discovered that Krell had lied and had ordered the 212th and 501st, unbeknownst to both squadrons, to attack each other. Rex realized that Krell had intentionally orchestrated the deaths of countless clone troopers and organized the clones to arrest Krell.
Carnage of Krell[edit | edit source]
- "It's treason then."
- ―Pong Krell, preparing to fight his own clone troopers
The combined forces of the 212th and 501st entered the command center under the leadership of Captain Rex and trained their weapons on General Krell. Rex informed the traitor Jedi that he was being relieved of duty. Krell turned to face the captain and calmly remarked that this was treason. Rex drew his pistols and ordered Krell to surrender. Pong ignored the clone and advised Rex that he was committing an act of mutiny. Rex demanded to know the reasoning behind Krell's actions as his clone soldiers surrounded the general. Krell feigned ignorance, asking the captain what he was referring to. Rex told Krell that he was referring to Krell turning his own forces against one another. The general proceeded to mock the captain, acting surprised that a clone was capable of discerning his scheme. As the clones drew nearer, Krell used his four arms to create a Force repulse, knocking all of his assailants off their feet. Krell drew both of his lightsabers and expressed anger that the clones would dare attack a Jedi. The Jedi then began deflecting the incoming blaster fire while simultaneously cutting through the clones. He took a brief reprieve from his slaughter to tell Rex that he would not be undermined by creatures bred in a laboratory. Smashing through the window, Krell safely landed on the ground below the command tower where he was faced by even more clone soldiers. Krell proceeded to make quick work of the clones surrounding him, before making a break for the Umbaran wilderness. As more and more clones fired at him, Krell used a Force push to stun them all, allowing him to escape the airbase.
The clones, led by Rex, followed Krell into the forest where he was awaiting their arrival. The general began massacring isolated groups of soldiers who were searching for him, hoping to divide and conquer the clone forces. While slaughtering one group, Krell noticed Fives watching him from a distance. Krell made his way to the group and began taunting Rex from the shadows. He informed the captain that he should've listened to Fives from the beginning, as he had been using the clones all along. Krell then jumped down from the trees onto a batch of five clones, laughing as he revealed himself. Once again he began deflecting their blaster fire while killing the clones. Supremely confident, Krell put his weapons away and began fighting the clones barehanded, picking one clone up and breaking his back. Eventually, the clone trooper CT-5385 ("Tup") called out to the general, calling him ugly and daring him to come for him next. Krell, not noticing the trap being laid down for him, ran at the clone with murderous intent. As he lunged at the clone, a native vixus grabbed Krell with its tentacles. Although Krell was able to free himself from the creature, he was caught off guard and stunned by Tup. With the general unconscious, the clones were able to cuff Krell and take him into custody.
Execution[edit | edit source]
- "You're in a position of power now, how does it feel?"
"I said on your knees."
"It feels good, doesn't it? But I can sense your fear. You're shaking, aren't you? What are you waiting for? The Umbarans are getting closer."
"I have to do his."
"You can't do it, can you?"
- ―Krell goading Rex into executing him
After capturing him, the clones placed Krell in a holding cell in the airbase. When Rex, Tup, Jesse and Fives entered the cell block, Krell snarled at them in discontent. Rex approached Krell's cell and demanded to know the general's reasoning for killing his own soldiers. Krell told Rex he had simply done so because the clones were inferior and he wanted to prove it. Rex expressed anger that a Jedi like Krell would do such a thing. Krell corrected Rex, telling the clone captain that he was no longer naive enough to be a Jedi. He informed Rex and the gathered clones that he had foreseen the rise of a new power and the destruction of the Jedi Order. Krell boasted to the clones that he would rule as part of the governing body that would inevitably replace the Republic. Rex accused the general of serving the Separatist Alliance, only to be reassured by Krell that he served only himself. Pong went on to tell the clones that he would soon follow a new master, Count Dooku. Krell believed that once he escaped prison and pushed the Republic forces from Umbara, Tyranus would award him by making the general a Sith and his new apprentice.
Krell was interrupted by Dogma, the only clone who had remained loyal to him and had subsequently been imprisoned in the cell next to Krell. Dogma expressed his disappointment in the general, asking Krell how he could betray his loyalty and trust. Pong merely insulted Dogma, stating that he relied on blind loyalty like his to make his plans work. Rex told Krell that he would never escape and he would never rise to power. Krell noted that Rex would never learn, as he knew the Umbarans would soon retake the airbase and free him. Krell then began meditating and the clones proceeded to leave.
Sometime later, Rex, Jesse and Fives returned and released Dogma from his cell. Rex told Krell to turn around and step towards the wall as he drew his pistol, intending to execute the traitorous general. Krell complied with Rex's commands and Jesse opened the door to Krell's cell. Rex ordered Krell to get on his knees. Initially, Krell simply taunted the Captain until Rex reiterated the order, at which point the general laid down on his knees. The traitorous Jedi once again taunted Rex, asking the captain how power over him felt. Krell told Rex that he could sense his fear, wondering why the clone couldn't bring himself to kill him. Eventually, Rex lowered his weapon as he didn't have the resolve to execute his commanding officer. As Krell began to respond to Rex's weakness, he was shot in the back. Dogma had seized Fives' blaster and shot Krell dead. Dogma insisted he had to shoot Krell because, "he betrayed us." Afterwards, Dogma himself was taken into Republic custody for killing an officer, but as he was led away, Rex gave him a reassuring nod to let him know that he did the right thing.
Legacy[edit | edit source]
- "This is by far the greatest breach of trust the Jedi have seen since Count Dooku himself betrayed us. Even General Krell's deception did less damage. Vos isn't just a Jedi, he's a Jedi Master with unique skills. And he is a Jedi Master in wartime who has worked side by side with Dooku. This is going to have massive repercussions."
- ―Mace Windu comparing Quinlan Vos' fall to the dark side with Pong Krell's
In 19 BBY, the Jedi Barriss Offee secretly bombed the hangar of the Jedi Temple in protest of the war and the decline of the Jedi Order. While investigating the scene of the crime, Jedi Padawan Ahsoka Tano expressed her disbelief to her master Anakin Skywalker that any Jedi would go so far to protest the ongoing war. In response, Anakin reminded Ahsoka that some Jedi who initially protested the corruption in the Order later turned traitor, mentioning both Count Dooku and General Krell as examples.
Eventually, the Jedi became aware of Krell's deception. After Quinlan Vos' fall to the dark side of the Force while on a mission to assassinate Dooku, most of the Council supported the idea of executing Vos, with Mace Windu citing that Vos was a Jedi Master with unique skills and that even Krell's deception did less damage.
Personality and traits[edit | edit source]
Powers and abilities[edit | edit source]
Pong Krell was a powerful Force-user. His Besalisk anatomy allowed him to wield two double-bladed lightsabers at the same time. Krell's weapons were unique, as they could fold in the middle, making them easier to carry. He wielded his lightsabers with deadly precision, spinning them like buzz saws to have devastating effect, and he was capable of killing many clone troopers with ease. He could also deflect an innumerable amount of blaster bolts with ease.
Krell was also skilled in the Force, as shown when he used all four arms to Force push the clones trying to arrest him in all directions. Krell was also skilled in Force jump, as shown when he used it to dispatch two banshees, and later used the ability to escape the tower of the Umbaran airbase. Aside from mocking the clone troopers, he also used this mocking ability to confuse them by making his voice echo in every direction. He was also able to sense emotions through the Force, such as Captain Rex's fear and uncertainty. Krell also had the ability to foresee future events. This ability was paramount to his conversion to the dark side, for he prophesied the near destruction of the Jedi, the fall of the Republic, and the rise of an Empire.
Although he was undermined by his own overconfidence and the ingenuity of trooper Tup, Krell easily massacred scores of clones with a combination of deadly lightsaber techniques and powerful force skills. He was highly skilled in unarmed combat, which he displayed while fighting clones with his bare hands. Despite his size, Krell proved himself to be an agile fighter as well.
Appearances[edit | edit source]
- Star Wars: Galactic Defense
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Darkness on Umbara" (First appearance)
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "The General"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Plan of Dissent"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Carnage of Krell"
- "The Shadow of Umbara"—The Clone Wars: Stories of Light and Dark
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Sabotage" (Mentioned only)
- Dark Disciple (Mentioned only)
- Dark Disciple audiobook (Mentioned only)
Non-canon appearances[edit | edit source]
Sources[edit | edit source]
Notes and references[edit | edit source]
- Ultimate Star Wars
- Star Wars: Galactic Atlas dates the events of "Prisoners" and "Crisis on Naboo" to 20 BBY. As the episode "Carnage of Krell" takes place between these two episodes according to , Pong Krell's death must take place in that year.
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Carnage of Krell"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Darkness on Umbara"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "The General"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Plan of Dissent"
- Star Wars: Galactic Atlas
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "The Wrong Jedi"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Sabotage"
- Dark Disciple
- Star Wars: The Visual Encyclopedia