- "We're not out of this yet. Twice I've been shot down on Yavin Four. My luck's not so good when it comes to getting out of this system."
Qorl was a TIE Fighter pilot stationed on the first Death Star, who was shot down during the Battle of Yavin. Crashing on Yavin 4, he managed to repair his fighter and participated in a small skirmish the next day. He encountered Luke Skywalker above Yavin and tried to shoot him down, but Luke cut into his ship, forcing Qorl to crash. After the brief brawl with the Rebel on the surface, Qorl lost consciousness but was left alive.
He eked out an existence in the jungle, until encountering the Solo children and other Jedi trainees 23 years later. After successfully escaping the moon, he linked up with the Second Imperium splinter movement, training their pilots and leading an assault on the jungle moon.
Shot down a second time, Qorl returned to the jungle where he would live undisturbed until the Yuuzhan Vong War once again brought him into contact with a Solo, this time Anakin. Together they escaped the moon.
- "We must obliterate the Rebels at all costs. Rebels cause damage to the Empire. The Emperor's New Order will save the galaxy. The Rebels want to destroy that dream, and so we must eradicate the Rebels. They are a cancer to peace and stability."
Qorl was a TIE Fighter pilot serving in the Imperial forces assigned to the first Death Star, with the designation CE3K-1977. During the Battle of Yavin, Qorl flew with his squadron against the Rebel forces. According to the account Qorl gave to Jacen and Jaina Solo in 23 ABY, all TIE squadrons on the Death Star were launched during the battle. This statement is at odds with evidence presented by Wedge Antilles and others, indicating that only Darth Vader's elite escort unit Black Squadron saw action during the battle. Taking all the evidence into account, it seems most likely that Qorl was a pilot from Black Squadron.
One of the solar panels of Qorl's TIE Fighter was badly damaged by X-wing defensive fire, sending his fighter spinning out of control. Qorl found his fighter's orbit was decaying, sending the fighter spinning towards the fourth moon of Yavin. His controllers instructed him to make an emergency landing on Yavin and await rescue. Qorl managed a controlled crash that threw him from his fighter, left him with broken bones in his left arm.
Shortly after his crash-landing, Qorl witnessed the Death Star explode in the sky. It would be the last he would see of the Imperial forces for over twenty years.
Qorl, however managed to repair his fighter and the day after the Battle of Yavin he flew out of the jungle. There he saw a Rebel X-wing and attacked it. After the brief firefight both Qorl's TIE fighter and the X-wing were badly damaged after the X-wing pilot cut into Qorl's ship. Both ships soon crashed into the swamp, but their pilots survived. Qorl attacked the Rebel with a blaster, but was soon defeated in a brawl and lost his weapon. Not willing to surrender, Qorl pushed his enemy into a swamp and the fight continued there. Since Qorl was wearing his flight suit that allowed him to breath underwater, he soon gained the upper hand in a fight. But when the Rebel ripped out his air hose, Qorl started to drown in his own helmet and soon lost consciousness. However, the Rebel rescued him and left him alive. Little did Qorl know that the Rebel was Luke Skywalker, the man who destroyed the Death Star.
Despite his injuries, Qorl managed to survive in the moon's jungles, obeying his last orders to remain near the crash and await rescue.
- "Surrender is betrayal."
In 23 ABY, Qorl's downed TIE Fighter was discovered by the Jedi trainees Lowbacca, Tenel Ka, Jacen Solo and Jaina Solo. Jaina eagerly seized the opportunity to dabble in mechanics, and with her friends' help, she set out to repair the damaged starfighter and fit it with an old hyperdrive. The hyperdrive unit was originally not in working condition, a present from Han Solo off an old Imperial Delta-class shuttle being dismantled on Coruscant. The young Jedi had no idea that the TIE's pilot had survived, but when Qorl discovered the Solo twins working on his craft, he saw an opportunity to escape. He decided to bide his time and wait for them to complete the repairs while he kept an eye on their progress.
The repairs to the fighter were almost complete when Jacen, scavenging for wreckage in the jungle around the crash-site, stumbled upon the hollowed-out tree that had been Qorl's home for the past 20 years. The old pilot responded by kidnapping Jacen and Jaina at blaster-point, and trying to kill Lowbacca and Tenel Ka as they fled.
Qorl forced his prisoners to finish the repairs to his fighter, and in the meantime, he learned from them of the events of the last twenty-three years, including the downfall of the Empire at Endor and the fact that in the wake of the peace between the New Republic and the remnants of the Empire, there were still a few loyal holdouts left in the Deep Core.
When the repairs were complete, Qorl attempted to destroy the Great Temple, but he was unsuccessful because while the laser cannons were physically fine, Jaina hadn't hooked them up, but she did jury-rig the readouts so that the weapons systems looked normal. Completely defenseless, he managed to escape the weapons fire and break out from the tractor beam of the Millennium Falcon, earning Han's reluctant admiration for his piloting skills. Engaging the hyperdrive moments after leaving the atmosphere, he left the Yavin system for the Deep Core and found the Shadow Academy, run by the Dark Jedi Brakiss. Qorl gave his report, noting his encounter with the Solo twins. Brakiss extrapolated from this that Luke Skywalker was now training a new generation of Jedi, who could be more easily indoctrinated into following the dark side of the Force than the adults who he had trained with during his brief stay at the Jedi Praxeum.
After joining the cause of the Second Imperium, Qorl's injured left arm was removed and he was fitted with a bulky droid arm from the shoulder down. He liked the new arm since it gave him more strength. He later embarked on his first mission for the Second Imperium, piloting the assault shuttle that was the key to the success of the raid on GemDiver Station.
Qorl had profound misgivings about the fact that Brakiss and his assistant instructor Tamith Kai used lethal means to determine which trainees were worth training. However, from his point of view, he was just a pilot and no one listened to him. Serving his Empire was what he viewed to be right. However, these doubts led him to help the Solo twins and Lowbacca escape from the Shadow Academy. In the end, he reasoned that the new students were far more trouble than they were worth. If Brakiss and Tamith Kai knew of his role in the escape of the young Jedi, they did not let it be known.
During the short period of time during which the Shadow Academy was conducting operations in the Coruscant system Qorl would be put in command of a raid on the New Republic bulk cruiser Adamant. Save for the minimal casualties that were inflicted upon the stormtrooper squad that Qorl had commanded, the operation was flawless.
During the raid, Qorl would grapple with Admiral Gial Ackbar, whom he knocked unconscious thanks to his prosthetic arm. Though he was victorious, Qorl could not stomach the idea of killing unconscious enemies, so he had the bridge crew of the Adamant put into an escape pod. The Adamant would jump into hyperspace and then later dock with the Shadow Academy, where the weapons and equipment would be unloaded and used to build the Second Imperium's fleet.
Qorl's tenure with the Second Imperium ended dramatically when, during a battle over Yavin 4, he was once again shot down to the moon below. During the battle, he opened his eyes to see the ramshackle state that the Second Imperium's stolen and incomplete ships were, pitiful shadows of the beloved Empire that he had proudly served in his youth; this was by far not the Empire he had hoped to return to. From the moon he witnessed the Shadow Academy blow up behind him. Once again presumed dead by the Second Imperium and his damaged droid arm practically useless, he made a few moments for self-reflection. To his surprise, he now realized that he had actually liked his years of simple, solitary existence, and was now content to live out the rest of his life in solitary quiet. The Solo twins and Luke Skywalker found out about the harmless hermit's whereabouts. Nevertheless, they let him live peacefully in the forests of Yavin. From time to time, the pilot Peckhum would provide Qorl with the most necessary supplies, though in 24 ABY Qorl thanked Peckhum for his services and asked him not to come back.
The Yuuzhan Vong War
- "You won't give Qorl any trouble."
- ―Qorl to Remis Vehn
And yet, it seemed that Qorl's path was inexorably intertwined with those of the Solo children. In 26 ABY, in the midst of the Yuuzhan Vong War, the Peace Brigade learned of the location of Skywalker's Jedi Praxeum and (desiring to collect on the galaxy-wide bounty on Jedi called for by Tsavong Lah) attacked the Jedi training site. After the initial attack by the Peace Brigadiers, Anakin Solo managed to escape the training grounds in a stolen freighter along with Valin Horn, Sannah, and the hostage Brigadier pilot Remis Vehn. The freighter, however, crashed deeper into the jungle, and Anakin began to lead a salvage mission to repair the ship so they could flee the planet.
The next morning Anakin was jarred awake by a bedraggled old man who introduced himself to the youngest Solo as Qorl. Anakin instantly recognized the old Imperial pilot from stories his elder siblings had told him. Anakin took to Qorl immediately and put him in charge of watching Vehn, as well as coordinating the repair of the freighter, while Anakin set out to rescue Tahiri Veila from her captivity by the Yuuzhan Vong on the moon. Qorl and Remis quickly became friends.
After Anakin had rescued Tahiri, the two were evacuated from the Shapers' base by Qorl in the repaired Peace Brigade frigate. Though the flight away from Yavin was perilous, the group managed to flee from the grasp of the Yuuzhan Vong forces on the moon.
Behind the scenes
Qorl was created by Kevin J. Anderson and Rebecca Moesta. It has been later retconned in The Official Star Wars Fact File that he was the Imperial pilot who had appeared much earlier in The Day after the Death Star!.
- The Day after the Death Star! (First appearance) (Retcon)
- Young Jedi Knights: Heirs of the Force (First identified as Qorl)
- Young Jedi Knights: Shadow Academy
- Young Jedi Knights: The Lost Ones
- Young Jedi Knights: Lightsabers
- Young Jedi Knights: Darkest Knight
- Young Jedi Knights: Jedi Under Siege
- Young Jedi Knights: Shards of Alderaan (Mentioned only)
- The New Jedi Order: Edge of Victory I: Conquest
- Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Essential Chronology
- The New Jedi Order Sourcebook
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 16 (SKY8, Luke Skywalker)
- The New Essential Chronology
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia