- "You are marked, up-worlder—even my dim old eyes can see the mantle of destiny that cloaks you. Perhaps old Rukil knows you better than you know yourself."
- ―Rukil, to Revan
Rukil was a Human male who lived in an Outcast village, located in the Undercity of the planet Taris, from around the year 4056 BBY up until the time of the Jedi Civil War. By this time, he had lived a large portion of his life in the village as an Outcast. Rukil was condemned to live forever in the bedrock levels of the ecumenopolis with his father and grandfather sometime around 4056 BBY because of their part in a rebellion against the wealthy nobles that ruled Taris. There, Rukil's father and grandfather began searching for the Promised Land, a rumored paradise underneath the Undercity with droids to care for all of their needs. After both his father and grandfather disappeared, Rukil continued the quest of searching for the fabled paradise so that he could lead his fellow Outcasts to a better life. As the years went by, however, fewer of the Outcasts believed his tales of the Promised Land. By the time the village was being led by a male Human named Gendar around the year 3956 BBY, Rukil's apprentice, Malya, was the only one who truly believed him. She continued his field work because he was too old to do it himself. By this date, Rukil was over a hundred years old and was referred to by the younger Outcasts as "Rukil Wrinkle-Skin."
Around this time, Malya went missing while searching for the Promised Land. After she had been missing for some time, Rukil asked the amnesiac former Sith Lord Revan for help in finding his lost apprentice during Revan's search for the Jedi Bastila Shan. Revan and Shan eventually located Malya's corpse and brought back her journal, which had recorded her findings, to Rukil. After deciding that Revan was trustworthy, Rukil told him of the history of the Outcasts as well as his search for the Promised Land. Rukil then requested that Revan search for the journals of his father and grandfather and bring them back to him. Revan did as Rukil asked, and Rukil was able to discover the location of the Promised Land. Rukil showed the evidence to Gendar, who finally believed Rukil and set out to prepare the Outcasts for the long journey. After telling Gendar the information, Rukil gave Revan his thanks and a final farewell before the Outcasts departed for the Promised Land.
Eventually, the Outcasts reached the Promised Land, but soon after they arrived, Taris was bombarded by the Sith Empire, who were attempting to kill Bastila Shan before she could escape. Rukil and the Outcasts survived, but the bombardment destroyed all of the buildings and generators on Taris leaving them without equipment. However, Rukil was glad that the Promised Ones, which the Outcasts had named themselves after reaching the Promised Land, survived even though they needed to start over. During his time in the Promised Land, Rukil served his people as the first keeper of memories and made holorecordings of speaking of the Promised Ones' efforts. Some time later, Rukil died and a woman named Baral replaced Rukil as the keeper of memories.
- "I am old—I have lived a hundred years in the Undercity, cast down into the darkness. I know the legends and history of our people—and now you must learn it, too."
- ―Rukil, explaining the history of the Outcasts to Revan
Rukil was a Human male, born before the year 4056 BBY, who lived on the ecumenopolis world of Taris. Around that year, early in his life, a rise in pollution poisoned the oceans of Taris, causing the planet's only source of food to be greatly damaged. As a result, a famine swept the planet and the rich nobles kept all of the food for themselves, leaving the poor people to die of starvation. These poor people, including Rukil's father and grandfather, rebelled against the nobles and plunged the planet into a civil war. However, the rebellion was routed by the nobles, killing millions of people, while the surviving rebels were taken as prisoners. Due to the fact that the prisons on Taris could not hold them all, the nobles sent the remaining rebels to the Undercity at the bottom of the planet's cities. Rukil and his entire family were among those sent down to the depths of Taris, becoming the first of many Outcasts to be condemned to the Tarisian Undercity.
After being exiled, both Rukil's father and grandfather dedicated their lives to seeking out clues to finding the fabled paradise called the Promised Land and recording them in their journals. The Promised Land was said to be a self-maintained colony beneath the Undercity, with droids that took care of everything that the inhabitants needed. Sometime after their exile to the Undercity, Rukil's father and grandfather went missing and died in search of clues for the location of the Promised Land, leaving their journals lost in the depths of the Undercity. Like his forbears, Rukil also sought out the near-mythical paradise, gathering clues as to where the Promised Land was located. Rukil's hope was to find the paradise to bring his people comfort and free them from their bleak existence in the Undercity. However, as the years went by, fewer and fewer people believed Rukil's stories about the Promised Land.
- "Rukil's the oldest man in the village. The kids call him Rukil Wrinkle-Skin, but he's a kind man. He used to tell me the greatest stories when I was a little girl."
- ―Shaleena, talking to Revan about Rukil
Eventually, Rukil became too old to undertake his own field research, so his apprentice, Malya, a young female Outcast, did his research for him, recording any clues she found in her own journal. As Rukil grew older, the younglings in his village began to refer to him as "Rukil Wrinkle-Skin," and nearly everyone ceased to believe in the Promised Land save for his apprentice. He told stories of the Promised Land to the village children, but many of them laughed at him and did not believe in his tales. However, one Outcast named Shaleena would use the stories to make her stay in the Undercity seem less dark, even though she did not fully believe in them.
By 3956 BBY, the village was led by a Human male named Gendar, who viewed Rukil as a nice old man clinging to an illusion. Another important figure in the community at the time was Igear—a shopkeeper who hoarded anything of value he could get his hands on—who was afraid of Rukil's search for the Promised Land. Igear thought that there was some truth in Rukil's stories and feared their discovery would make Igear lose his importance in the village. Despite the adverse conditions he lived in, Rukil had managed to survive for a hundred years in the Taris Undercity and was the oldest member of the Outcast village. His age caused him to confine most of his movements to a hut in the south side of the village, but he was still able to keep busy by helping other members of the community have a better life.
By this year, Malya had been missing for some time, having disappeared while outside of the village along with her journal. Rukil was worried about the fate of his apprentice and looked for someone to help locate her. It was during this time that the Undercity began to see an upsurge in activity from so-called "up-worlders"—those from the Lower City, Middle City and the Upper City—subsequent to the Sith Empire's attack on the Republic cruiser Endar Spire above the planet during the Jedi Civil War. The increase in activity was caused by the crash-landing of several Republic escape pods from the Endar Spire, with the increase in "up-worlders" being various factions trying to find the escape pods and the people they contained.
The arrival of Revan
- "Please, up-worlder—will you help an old man? Will you seek out my apprentice in the Undercity? Her name is Malya. I must know of her fate, whatever it may be. I must know what she… found."
- ―Rukil, asking Revan to find his apprentice
After the Sith attack on the Endar Spire, the amnesiac former Sith Lord Revan and the Republic officer Carth Onasi crashed in an escape pod into the Upper City of Taris. After a few days, they began searching for the Commander of the Endar Spire, the Jedi Bastila Shan. The trek took Revan and Onasi to the Undercity where they searched for the Republic escape pods, and while they were there, they encountered Shaleena, who mentioned Rukil and his stories about the Promised Land. After meeting Shaleena, Revan sought out Rukil and talked to him at his hut. Rukil wondered whether Revan had come to aid him, or to bring him false hope and lead him away from the true path like others had done before. The statements Rukil made confused Revan, and Rukil did not trust Revan enough to explain to him the whole story about his search for the Promised Land. However, Rukil informed Revan about his missing apprentice and presented Revan with a quest to find Malya, bring back the tale of her fate, and report to him what she had found. After rescuing Shan from the Black Vulkars, Revan and Shan located the corpse of Malya in the Undercity, and near her body, he found her journal.
After finding that Malya was dead and discovering her journal, Revan and Shan returned to Rukil with it. Rukil was saddened by the news of his apprentice's death, but he also had hope due to the information contained in the journal. Rukil now trusted Revan enough to tell him his plans for Promised Land, explaining the history of the Outcasts from their rebellion against the rich nobles to their present condition. He also informed Revan about his father's, grandfather's, and lastly his lifelong search for the Promised Land, as well as the fact that his apprentice's journal did not include all the information he needed on the location of the Promised Land. After returning the journal of his apprentice to Revan for safekeeping, Rukil requested that Revan begin to search for the journals of his father and grandfather, an assignment which Revan accepted.
While Rukil was hopeful upon seeing the journal of his dead apprentice, when Igear heard about it, he approached Revan, offering Revan a reward if he would bring the journals to him, so that he could destroy them. However, Revan refused to give the journals to Igear. When Revan later found the journals of Rukil's father and grandfather in the Undercity sewers, he brought them to Rukil, who was hesitant at first to even look at them. Rukil finally looked at the journals and pieced together all of the information contained within them, at last discovering the location of the fabled Promised Land. He greatly thanked Revan for his help, and rushed off to give Gendar the news of his discovery.
Gendar was skeptical at first, but when Rukil showed him the evidence he had found in the journal, Gendar believed the elderly man. The journey that Rukil had discovered to the Promised Land would take many weeks and was also a very dangerous one—involving traveling through areas of the Undercity infested with the twisted mutants known as Rakghouls. However, due to the aid of Revan, the Outcasts had the been provided the Rakghoul serum, which treated and prevented infection from the plague that the creatures carried. Despite the danger that they faced, the Outcasts decided that they had enough supplies to leave that night. After his brief discussion with Rukil, Gendar left to prepare the villagers for the journey, leaving Rukil to talk with Revan. Revan offered to come with Rukil, but Rukil refused his help, as once one entered the Promised Land, they could never leave. Rukil told Revan that he sensed that Revan's destiny was still before him, and after giving one last goodbye to Revan, Rukil left for the Promised Land with the other Outcasts.
The Promised Land
- "At last we have a place to escape the oppressive city and the laws that keep us beneath it."
- ―Rukil upon reaching the Promised Land
Some time later, Rukil and the rest of the Outcasts reached the Promised Land, and the group named themselves the Promised Ones. Rukil became their first keeper of memories and was tasked with keeping a record of the group. Upon reaching the Promised Land, Rukil made a holorecording telling how the Outcasts had been aided and about their successful journey to a place where they could be free from the people who had exiled them. In the middle of making the recording, the Sith Empire began bombarding the planet in an attempt to kill Bastila Shan. While the upper levels of Taris were completely destroyed, Rukil and the Promised Ones survived because of the Promised Land's sheltered location. The outcasts survived, but they were placed in a situation where all of the buildings and power generators of Taris were destroyed leaving them with even less technology than they had before. Many of the Rakghouls also survived the bombardment, but they ate the dead instead of attacking the Promised Ones. Rukil made a recording where he told what had happened and the danger the Promised Ones were in. Despite the difficult situation, he was glad that the group had survived and foresaw the group's process of starting over. Some time later, Rukil died and was replaced as the keeper of memories by a woman named Baral.
- "We mourn today for Rukil, who brought us out of the Undercity and into the Promised Land."
- ―Baral speaking of Rukil
After his death, Rukil was mourned by the Promised Ones who were faced with living in a world where they were alone without advanced technology. The Promised Ones faced many difficulties as they struggled to survive in the Undercity over the generations. They ran out of Rakghoul serum, experienced radiation poisoning and suffered hunger. The group continued to have a keeper of memories who recorded the group's difficulties and named themselves as successors to Rukil. Eventually, the Promised Ones died out, leaving the planet abandoned for some time.
By the year 3643 BBY, the Republic had come to Taris in an attempt to make the planet hospitable for life again. A researcher named Hacken Berge and his assistant, Ashwyn Tejera, came to Taris in order to learn about the fate of the Outcasts due to a mention of the Outcasts in Revan's journals.
At some point after arriving on Taris, Berge hired an individual affiliated with the Republic to search for any information on what happened to the Outcasts, while he was in the Republic Waypoint Station Morne. The individual's search led to the discovery of the recordings of Rukil, Baral, and other keepers in an area known as Transport Station 5. The individual then brought the discovery to Tejera in Olaris, the center for the Republic's rebuilding efforts on Taris. Therefore, the records of Rukil and the Promised Ones were recovered and brought to the knowledge of the outside galaxy.
Personality and traits
- "The oldest man in the village. He is a kind soul, but I am afraid he is growing weary of this world. He dreams of escaping, of finding a better world."
- ―Gendar, the village leader, talking about Rukil
Rukil had brown eyes and fair skin. At one point, he was viewed by many of the Outcasts as a man of wisdom, until many stopped believing in his tales of the Promised Land. In 3956 BBY, Rukil was a very old member of the Outcast Village, in spite of the harsh conditions of the desolate place. He was over a century old at this date and was balding with gray hair on the sides of his head. Like his ancestors, he cared deeply for his village, a trait which manifested itself in his obsessive search for the Promised Land, and his helping of the other Outcasts in order for them to have better lives. Rukil was more of an adventurer in his younger days, searching throughout the Undercity sewers as well as other parts of the Undercity, looking for clues pertaining to the location of the Promised Land.
However, as he reached old age, Rukil became known as an eccentric, continuing to tell tales of the Promised Land to the young people of the village, particularly Shaleena, who spoke of him fondly despite not quite believing his stories. His eyesight also became extremely weak with his advanced age. By the time of the destruction of the Endar Spire, Rukil had become quite cryptic in his mannerisms, and stayed in the south side of the village because moving around too much was hard on his bones. He talked to himself at times and was viewed by the many of the Outcasts as a kind old man. For most of his life, he placed his hope and energy into finding the location of the Promised Land.
When Rukil encountered Revan, he could see a "mantle of destiny" surrounding him, and later said that he could sense that Revan's destiny was yet to come.
At the time of the Outcasts arrival in the Promised Land, Rukil was pleased to finally be free of the people that had exiled him to the Undercity. He rejoiced in completing his goal of taking his people to the Promised Land. After the bombardment, Rukil was sorry that the Outcasts had not arrived sooner, since they could have brought in more supplies before the colony was damaged. Despite the hardships he knew his people would face, Rukil still was glad that the Promised Ones had survived. During his time living in the Promised Land, Rukil had access to a holorecording device, which he was able to operate. After his death, Rukil was mourned by the Promised Ones, the same group of people who had disbelieved his stories of the Promised Land before.
Behind the scenes
Rukil first appeared in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, a 2003 video game produced by BioWare. In the game, he appeared as a member of the Outcast village who gives a quest to find the missing journals about the Promised Land. For completing this quest by bringing the journals back to Rukil the player receives light side points. In the game, Rukil states that he has the ability to sense the future destiny of others, which is a trait of those who are Force-sensitive. Malya's entry in The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia states that a group of Jedi Knights located her body and returned it to Rukil. This article was written with the assumption that the group of Jedi Knights was referring to Revan and Bastila Shan, which would place the recovery of Malya's body after the rescue of Shan from the Black Vulkars.
Rukil is also featured in the quest "Chasing History" in BioWare's 2011 MMORPG Star Wars: The Old Republic. The quest is available to Republic players and is given by Hacken Berge in Waypoint Station Morne. Berge hires the player to research what happened to the Outcasts, which leads the player to find two holographic recordings left by Rukil. The quest also includes recordings mentioning Rukil's death and the impending destruction of the Outcasts due to Rakghouls, radiation poisoning, and starvation. The player is rewarded with 400 credits and an item when they take the information they found to Berge's assistant, Ashwyn Tejera, in the Olaris reclamation base. The player may decide to refuse the quest, but this article assumes full game completion.
There is one point where the stories in Knights of the Old Republic and The Old Republic conflict. In the Knights of the Old Republic Rukil and Gendar say that the journey to the Promised Land would take many weeks; however, in The Old Republic it is said that the Rakghoul serum was developed a few hours before the Sith bombardment. Since the Outcasts are confirmed to have the serum in The Old Republic, Revan must have given the group the serum at some point before they left. However, since Rukil was making a recording at the time of the Sith Bombardment at the location of the Promised Land, the timelines in the two games conflict. Malya's entry in The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia mistakenly places her death and the subsequent search for her body during the Great Sith War instead of the Jedi Civil War.
- "False prophet! Deceiver! You have betrayed me! You have sold the hopes of the entire village to the selfish and damnable Igear! All I have worked for is destroyed! All the hopes and dreams of my father and grandfather before him turned to dust! Begone, up-worlder—I have only curses to speak at you!"
- ―Rukil if the player gives the journals to Igear
While the storyline included above is one option that the player may choose, an alternate to the story presented above happens if the player chooses to sell the journals to the Outcast merchant, Igear, instead of turning them over to Rukil. If the player did this, Igear destroys the texts out of greed, hoping to ensure that the Promised Land is never found so that the other villagers will continue to depend on him and his store. By giving Igear the journals, the player receives 100 credits, or 200 if the player can persuade Igear to pay more. However, as a result of this act, Rukil is outraged and curses Revan before running off, and the player is given dark side points.
Before speaking with Rukil, the player can collect all of the journals, letting the player give Rukil the journals more quickly, or the player can meet up with additional non-player character party members and have different characters with them when they speak to Rukil. The player can also take the quest and then leave it uncompleted, leaving Rukil and the villagers stuck living in the village. Also, it is not necessary for Revan to do anything with Rukil at all, since going over and talking with him is the player's choice. However, in Star Wars: The Old Republic, it is confirmed that Revan aides the Outcasts in their quest for the Promised Land and provides them with the Rakghoul serum, making all of the alternate choices non-canon.
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (First appearance)
- Star Wars: The Old Republic (Appears in hologram)
Notes and references
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
- In Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic, Rukil states that he has lived a century in the Undercity, and the Outcast named Shaleena says that Rukil is more than one hundred years of age. The New Essential Chronology places the events of the game in 3956 BBY, so Rukil must have been born before 4056 BBY.
- Star Wars: The Old Republic—Mission: "Chasing History" on Taris (Republic) is a quest in Star Wars: The Old Republic, which takes place roughly ten to twelve years after the Treaty of Coruscant according to The Old Republic's lead writer, Daniel Erickson. Since the Treaty of Coruscant was signed in 3653 BBY according to The Old Republic: Deceived, this places the events of the game at approximately 3643 BBY to 3641 BBY. Since Rukil has been dead for some time before the quest begins, Rukil died at some point before 3643 BBY.
- Star Wars: The Old Republic—Mission: "Chasing History" on Taris (Republic)
- The New Essential Chronology places the events of Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic in 3956 BBY, and Rukil says his exile to the Undercity happened a century before.
- The New Essential Chronology places the events of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic in 3956 BBY.
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. II, p. 282 ("Malya") states that a group of Jedi Knights recovered Malya's body. The only way for multiple Jedi to find Malya's body in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is for Bastila Shan to be rescued from the Black Vulkars and to be present with Revan, who was a Jedi both in the past and later in the game.
- Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back
- Star Wars: The Old Republic—Mission: "Pirate Medicine" on Taris (Republic)
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. II, p. 292 ("Malya")