"You delude yourself, Jedi! You are no match for one Imperial Knight, let alone two!"
"Now that's an interesting theory."
Antares Draco and Shado Vao[src]

Shado Vao was a male Rutian Twi'lek Jedi Master who was the apprentice of Kol Skywalker and a close friend to Kol's son, Cade Skywalker during the time of the Sith–Imperial War and the subsequent Second Imperial Civil War against Darth Krayt and the One Sith. Following Kol's death during the Massacre on Ossus, Vao took the last remaining ship and fled the planet with the surviving younglings and Cade's Master Wolf Sazen, but was forced to leave his best friend behind, who was thereafter presumed dead.

Vao spent several years in hiding, completing his training under Sazen, until the pair encountered Skywalker on Vendaxa. Sazen believed that Skywalker would be the one to unite the Jedi against Darth Krayt, though his former apprentice did not want to be a Jedi, and parted ways with Sazen and Vao. They eventually met again at the ruins of the Jedi Praxeum on Ossus, and Skywalker agreed to continue his training. However, Skywalker left after only just weeks, to face Krayt on Coruscant after he had kidnapped his friends. Vao, Sazen, Jedi Master K'Kruhk, and their Yuuzhan Vong allies were hiding in the Jedi Academy when the One Sith destroyed it, though they survived to take refuge at the Hidden Temple.

When Cade Skywalker decided to follow up on his plan of assassinating Darth Krayt, Shado decided to tag along. With the help of an ancient Jedi Knight named Celeste Morne, the team succeeded in killing Krayt, and the Twi'lek returned to the Jedi High Council with the news. Shado later accompanied K'Kruhk and a few other Jedi to peace talks between Roan Fel and the Jedi Order. However, they were attacked by the Sith, and Princess Marasiah Fel was captured. Nevertheless, Vao was promoted to the rank of Jedi Master following the mission. Vao assisted Imperial Knights Antares Draco and Ganner Krieg in recovering the Princess from Korriban, but Draco was captured in the process.

Shado was present when the reborn Krayt's forces launched an all-out assault on the Hidden Temple. Vao participated in the battle, but was forced to retreat with the arrival of specially-bred Sith troopers. Fleeing to Bastion, the allied Jedi-Imperial-Alliance fleet decided to attack a vulnerable Coruscant. Vao became a member of a small strike team to infiltrate the capital's planetary defense grid, ultimately succeeding in shutting it down. On their way to the Temple of the Sith, Wolf Sazen was killed in a duel with Darth Stryfe, and Shado promised to cover Cade as he found and confronted Darth Krayt.


Early life[]

"Cade! Wake up! The Sith are attacking the Temple!"
―Shado Vao, to Cade Skywalker during the Massacre at Ossus[src]

Shado Vao and Cade Skywalker fight Sith on Ossus.

When their parents' ship crash-landed on the planet Vendaxa, Shado and his twin sister, Astraal, were orphaned. Taken in by the Imperial Mission, Shado was later recruited by the Jedi and became known for his exceptional lightsaber skills, with a single blade or with a less traditional double-bladed lightsaber. Apprenticed to the revered Jedi Master and Jedi High Council member Kol Skywalker, Shado became a close friend with Kol's son, Cade, whom in turn was paired with another of Kol's Padawans, Master Wolf Sazen.[1] Due to the closeness of their Masters, the two were frequently in each other's presences, and the two were on Wayland the day the seeds of the Ossus Project there began to fail.[2]

At the end of the Sith–Imperial War, with the Galactic Alliance already defeated, the forces of the One Sith led an assault on the Jedi Praxeum at Ossus where Shado was training. As Masters Kol and Wolf fought off oncoming waves of stormtroopers and Sith Lords, Shado and Cade were charged with getting the Jedi younglings off-planet. However, Cade initially disobeyed his father's orders and, returned for Sazen, who had been mortally wounded by Darth Nihl. Onboard the ship, Cade, unable to accept his Master's death, tapped into the dark side of the Force to heal him. Then sensing his father's death, Cade, overcome with anger, left the shuttle one final time on the attached X-83 TwinTail starfighter to clear a path for the shuttle in an effort to allow its escape into hyperspace. When Cade was seemingly killed when his craft was shot down by a Predator-class fighter, Shado was forced to abandon his good friend to protect the children.[1]


"The Sith won't let us hide. Besides, I'm tired of hiding—of being hunted. I'd rather be the hunter."
―Shado Vao to Wolf Sazen, on why he is joining him[src]

Afterwards, Shado became Sazen's Padawan, completing the path to Knighthood he had begun under Kol Skywalker. Shado left Master Sazen after earning the rank of Jedi Knight. They were reunited after Wolf called a meeting of four remaining Jedi: himself, Shado, Ahn Rasi Tuum and a Human woman. The meeting was ambushed by the Sith, but only after Wolf informed the group that Cade was the galaxy's only hope. After the Sith assault on the convocation, Shado and Wolf were all that survived.[3]

Shado Vao and Wolf Sazen during an Ambush on Daluuj.

Knowing that if ever they were in danger they should try to meet up on Vendaxa, Shado brought Wolf with him to the site of their parents' deaths. There, amongst the wreckage the Twi'lek Jedi was reunited with his sister. The reunion was cut short, however by the appearance of Darth Talon, who had apparently trailed Astraal and the Princess Marasiah Fel from Socorro.[4]

Astraal Vao, having prearranged a rendezvous with her brother Shado if ever they were in trouble, guided the crew of Mynock and Princess Fel to the crash site where Shado and Astraal's parents died. There, they came under attack from an acklay, and only the timely arrival of Shado and Wolf Sazen saved Astraal from being impaled upon the acklay's foreclaw. The immediate danger over, Princess Marasiah set about arranging safe passage with the two Jedi, revealing that she knew of Mynock crew's intention to turn her in for the bounty on her head. Not wanting to be recognized by his former Master, Cade stayed in the shadows and did not argue with the Princess. However, Jariah called him on his wanting to cut his losses, using his name as he did so which attracted the attention of the two Jedi. Turning to face the Jedi, Cade calmly stared down his former Master and admitted his name was Cade. If Wolf recognized his former pupil after their years apart, he gave no sign; instead choosing to turn to direct Princess Fel to where he and Shado had secreted their own ship. A sudden explosion signaled that ship's destruction, however and was quickly followed by an attack by Darth Talon, who used the dark side of the Force to provoke a number of native cannoks into attacking alongside her.[4]

Encounter on Vendaxa[]

"Your plan has a flaw…it assumes you can kill me."
―Shado Vao taunting Darth Talon[src]

Shado duels Darth Talon on Vendaxa.

Talon singled out Wolf Sazen and brought him down with Force lightning, intending to kill him, but Marasiah intervened, hoping for revenge for the death of her Master, Elke Vetter. Sia was no match for the Sith, however and Talon swatted her away with the Force. Wrapped in Force lightning, Wolf was still able to ask Cade to take the Princess to safety, but the captain of Mynock only stood by numbly, his mind flashing back through the years to a similar situation on Ossus.[4]

Snapping back to the present with an expletive, Cade unloaded both barrels of his Rawk chopped special at the Sith, and after a moment both Blue and Syn joined him, the former declaring they'd all gone insane, the latter saying it was a "good" insane. Darth Talon however, easily deflected their blasts and disarmed them with a wave of her hand then advanced upon them, her lightsaber at the ready.

With an angry cry, Cade used the Force to lift some nearby wreckage and hurled it and Talon into the nearby forest. Retrieving his blaster, Cade calmly directed the stunned onlookers to head for Mynock. However, they were soon to discover that Talon had sabotaged Mynock, forcing them to remain on Vendaxa until repairs could be made. Meanwhile, Darth Talon remained hidden in the shadows nearby.[4]

Shortly after, the two Imperial Knights Antares Draco and Ganner Krieg came to Vendaxa in order to save the princess. The two knights were immediately shot down by Sith fighters. The Imperial Knights jumped out of their burning ships and Darth Talon quickly greeted them. Darth Talon was quickly followed by a group of Sith that included Darth Nihl, who's mission was to kill all of the Imperial Knights and Jedi and take the princess. Shado Vao began to duel the skilled Darth Talon in a deadly duel to the death.[5] Shortly into the fight Shado activated the other end of his blue lightsaber, showing his impressive double-bladed saber and resuming the fight. They fought for a time, but Shado escaped, leaving Talon standing behind in anger. After they escaped the Sith, he and Master Sazen were offered a ride by Cade, but was told he was not sure if he would rejoin the order.[6]

On Ossus[]

"If he ever goes completely over to the dark side, I will end him."
―Shado Vao on Cade Skywalker[src]

Shado and Cade find artifacts on Ossus.

They went on to Ossus, where after Cade asked his former master Sazen to finish his training, Vao served as his training partner. During a practice lightsaber duel, they both fell into a hidden room filled with valuable Jedi artifacts, where they were set upon by two Yuuzhan Vong, Liaan Lah and Choka Skell.[7] However, Master Shaper Nei Rin ceased the attack and explained to the Jedi everything of her survival and how she gave Kol Skywalker's body a Jedi funeral. Then Shado watched with Sazen, K'Kruhk, and Rin as Cade left on a mission to rescue Hosk Trey'lis. Shado stated to K'Kruhk that he could sense that every time Cade used his power to revive the dead, he touched the dark side, and that he would be the one to kill Cade if he fell to the dark side.[8]

While in the ruins of the Jedi Praxeum on Ossus, Shado along with K'Kruhk and Wolf Sazen had a vision of Cade turning to the dark side. He began wondering if he could get his chance of what he said days earlier.[9] After a squad of Stormtroopers found them, he used a mind trick on them to forget they saw the Jedi. However, Darth Stryfe ordered the destruction of the Academy.

A Knight of the Old Republic[]

"Why are you here, Jedi?"
"I was meditating. Muur… the Talisman… tempted me. Called to me."
Celeste Morne and Shado Vao[src]

Shado Vao envisions himself as the thrall of the Muur Talisman.

Shado, alongside Wolf, Nei Rin and her Vong Warriors all survived the destruction of the Academy thanks to Master K'Kruhk, though the latter was gravely injured in the process. K'Kruhk revealed to his fellow Jedi the location of the Hidden Temple and was taken there to be properly healed. Shado remained in the Hidden Temple and welcomed Cade when the latter appeared there alongside his crew and former Jedi Nat Skywalker. Shado introduced Cade to Master T'ra Saa, a legendary survivor of the Clone Wars and the Great Jedi Purge.

After hearing of Cade's plan to assassinate Krayt, Shado grew worried that Cade may be a Sith himself, but when Cade left to assassinate Krayt, Shado went with him. The Mynock went to Had Abbadon to draw Krayt's attention. However, an interdictor field from a drifting Star Destroyer came into view. The crew investigated the ship, only to be attacked by strange creatures that were once called rakghouls. Cade and Azlyn were bit or scratched and some woman separated them from the others. Shado did his best to get through the door but had no success until it opened from the outside, revealing that the woman, Celeste Morne, a Jedi Master of the Old Jedi Order, had decided to join Cade's cause.

After the attack on Had Abbadon, Shado had a vision while meditating about him, slaying Celeste from the Oubliette she was freed from and the Muur Talisman possessing him. He talked with Morne, informing her that should Cade turn, he promised to take him down. But Morne warned him that he might fall and that Karness Muur may draw on something dark in him.

Krayt later took the bait, and traveled to Had Abbadon with several other Sith Lords. With the trap sprung, Shado leaped out with the Imperial Knights while Morne set the rakghouls on Krayt. Shado dueled Darth Maladi, who complimented him both on concealing himself from her and the trap, saying it was worthy of a Sith.

Shado Vao duels Sith Lady Darth Maladi

Shado was able to hold his own against the rakghouls when Muur turned them against them. The battle ended when Morne force-pushed a weakened Krayt off a cliff. Shado later witnessed Cade effortlessly resist the Muur Talisman's influence and his destruction of the Sith Artifact.

Cade tried to use his healing powers to save a mortally wounded Azlyn Rae, but she was hurt beyond his abilities to heal. Shado advised Cade to let his old love go, but he refused to do so. Blue suggested getting her to Cade's aunt Droo, and Cade agreed. As they were leaving, Krieg and Draco approached them. Cade refused to allow them to come since they tried to secure the Talisman for Fel. When Krieg drew his lightsaber to try to prevent them from taking Azlyn, Shado force-pushed him and Draco away, saying that Azlyn was a Jedi before she joined the Imperial Knights, and was therefore staying with them. They departed before the Knights could interfere further.

Ambush on Agamar[]

"Then—the Force be with you, Wolf."
―Shado Vao to Wolf Sazen[src]

Shado and the rest of the Mynock crew traveled to Kiffex, where they were forced down by an electrical storm. Cade handed Azlyn over to Droo and Nat Skywalker. When the storm let up, Shado took his fighter back to the Hidden Temple, with a message to the Council that Krayt was dead.

Shado fights Sith on Agamar.

Later, he encountered Wolf Sazen on the new landing docks, donning non-Jedi apparel and a new prosthetic arm. Shado asked his former Master on what was going on, and Sazen replied he was now less-noticeable. Vao questioned him as to where he was going, as the Council had requested him to accompany the envoy to peace talks between Roan Fel and the Jedi Order. The Zabrak replied that he had a vision that was calling him elsewhere, and Vao correctly surmised it to be about Cade. Shado wished his friend luck and watched Sazen depart in his fighter.

Shado would later accompany Masters K'Kruhk, Rasi Tuum and Hira to the peace talks and, after both camps agreed to an alliance, he helped fight off the Sith warriors that had been sent to capture Fel and his daughter. As Sith fighters approached the shuttle, the Jedi and the Imperial Knights successfully got the Emperor aboard, but Marasiah, Azlyn, and Rasi Tuum were too slow. The fighters fired on their position, and the three were knocked unconscious. With the Emperor's safety the primary concern, Draco ordered the shuttle to evacuate, leaving the Princess, an Imperial Knight, and a Jedi on the planet.

The captured princess[]

"We are purportedly allies, Master Antares, but, please, do not assume for a moment that I will let you harm a fellow Jedi."
―Shado Vao to Antares Draco[src]

When the Azlyn and Rasi Tuum awoke, Marasiah had already been taken by the Sith. Looking for a way off Agamar, the two ambushed and killed the Sith Yuln and Bokar three days later, who were looking for any survivors remaining from the battle. After finding the deceased pair's ship, Rae expressed her distress over failing her duty to protect Princess Fel. Tuum insisted that it was the Force's will that she was captured, but eventually agreed to help Rae with her attempt to save her. They attempted to infiltrate the Sith–Imperial fleet above Agamar aboard the Sith attack ship, and tried to board the Pellaeon-class Star Destroyer War Hammer. However, the War Hammer's docking codes had been changed, and Tuum and Rae were assaulted by other Sith attack ships. They managed to escape and headed for Bastion to inform Emperor Fel and the Imperial Knights of the Princess' location. After arriving, Tuum and Rae transmitted the proper clearance codes to Fel's forces, which enabled them to bypass the mines in Bastion's orbit. They landed on a docking pad with Draco, Krieg, Master armorer Hogrum Chalk, and Vao waiting for them. Vao helped Rasi Tuum disembark the ship. Shortly afterwards, Draco verbally berated Azlyn for not successfully protecting the Princess. Rasi Tuum attempted to calm him down, but was Force-pushed across the landing platform by Draco. Vao then warned the Imperial Knight that he would not allow him to attack a fellow Jedi, and that attacking one's allies was not the best idea.[10]

The argument was ended when the Emperor summoned them to his quarters, however. Fel was worried because his daughter knew all of the Empire's codes, and gave Draco three hours to form a plan to rescue her.[10]

Vao and Krieg fight Sith on Korriban.

Krieg sensed Draco's agony over Marasiah's capture, and followed his friend to his quarters to speak with him and advise him to master his anger. Conversely, Draco planned to use his anger to rescue the princess. Dressing as a member of the One Sith, he harnessed his anger to complete the disguise and went to Korriban with Krieg and Vao posing as his captives. On Korriban, Draco bullied a Neimoidian Sith into allowing them access to the Sith Inquisition chambers.[10] Therein, they found the princess in chains and exhausted from torture, and seized the lightsabers of several Sith guards via telekinesis. The trio quickly disposed of the guards and brought Marasiah back to their ship; she joined in the slaughter of more Sith en route. When a path to the ship was cleared, Draco opted to remain onworld and buy his allies time to escape with the princess. Marasiah protested, but Krieg dragged her to the ship as Draco was rushed by a new group of Sith guards. Krieg manned the vessel's guns as Vao piloted it away from Korriban, when, to everyone present's horror, they felt Draco's defeat in the Force on their way into orbit.[11]

After their return to Bastion, the Emperor hosted a remembrance ceremony to honor both Draco and the Imperial Knights who had fallen on Agamar. Krieg, along with Vao and a large group of Imperial Knights, attended the ceremony.[12]


"They invade our home. Let them take what is given, Master Sazen."
―Shado Vao to Wolf Sazen[src]

Wolf and Shado fight in defense of the Hidden Temple.

Vao was present in the Hidden Temple when news of the imminent Sith attack was revealed from a recovered Antares Draco. Shado was present during the Council meeting that followed, and did not speak out against letting the Sith come.[13] During the battle, Vao fought along Cade, Sazen, Nat Skywalker, Drok, Sayar Dun'La, and the Imperial Knights in defending T'ra Saa, who, rooted in the ground, was performing battle meditation. The group was able to hold off numerous Sith, but the arrival of Krayt's specially-bred Sith troopers proved troublesome. The remaining forces decided to cut their loses, and Shado, Wolf, and the Imperial Knights evacuated. All others who stayed behind except Cade would perish shortly afterwards. As they died, however, the two Jedi Masters were able to draw upon the energy of Taivas and create a massive beam of light that shot into space, creating an opening for Vao and everyone else to escape.[14]

Following their disastrous defeat on Taivas, the Jedi, Imperial, and Alliance forces fled to Bastion. There it was decided to launch an attack on the now vulnerable Coruscant in hope of killing Darth Krayt. It was decided that a small strike team infiltrate the capital and disable the planet's orbital defenses. Vao accompanied Cade, Sazen, Rasi Tuum, Morrigan Corde, and the Imperial Knights to Coruscant's defense systems, and successfully disabled the computers there as the Allied fleet emerged from hyperspace. The group then decided to head for the Temple of the Sith, utilizing the underground hidden passageways still existing from when it was the New Jedi Temple.[15]

Much to Shado's dismay, however, the secret tunnels were not so secret. The group was confronted by Darth Talon, Darth Stryfe, and numerous other Sith. As Cade engaged Talon, Vao, Tuum, and the Imperial Knights engaged the Sith minions. Wolf Sazen engaged Stryfe, and following a short duel, the two slew each other. Cade screamed in fury at the loss of his former master and friend, but Shado reminded him there was nothing he could do. Cade, agreeing, sprinted off to find Krayt while Vao and his other remaining friends held off the Sith.[15]

Shado was dueling a Sith trooper went it went berserk, signalling Cade Skywalker's defeat of Darth Krayt. Shado struck his blade through its abdomen and went on to survive the battle. Following its conclusion, Shado did not attend the Funeral of Roan Fel, instead meeting with Morrigan Corde, expressing uncertainty regarding Krayt's end, especially as Krayt had survived his last confirmed death. Corde reassured him it was finished, as Cade was flying Krayt's corpse into Coruscant Prime. Shado then asked about Cade, to which his mother had no response. Cade did intend on incinerating himself as well, but was ultimately rescued by the Force ghost of Luke Skywalker, Deliah Blue, Jariah Syn, and R2-D2.[16]

Personality and traits[]

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"Visions are not always truth, Master. You taught me that sometimes they merely represent our greatest fears."
―Shado Vao[src]

Shado Vao was calm, cool, and meditative, while at the same time very self-assured and confident. Often showing concern about his friends, Shado was very concerned about the well-being of his best friend, Cade Skywalker, and was constantly worried that Cade would fall to the dark side. He also shared a deep bond with his master, Wolf Sazen, and respected his judgment, though he also had no hesitation of voicing his own opinion to the senior Jedi Master.

Shado was very sure in his skills as a warrior, often brushing off taunts by his opponents and appearing to enjoy conflict. When in battle he was always calm and collected and never lost his head or turned to anger.

Powers and abilities[]

A Jedi Master, Shado Vao was highly skilled in the ways of the Force. The Twi'lek could utilize a number of Force powers, including telekinesis, Force sense, and mind trick.

Shado Vao was highly skilled in lightsaber combat, known for his skill in both a single blade or with a less traditional double-bladed lightsaber. His exceptional skill was proven numerous times, surviving many battles with the Sith, including the Massacre at Ossus, Ambush on Daluuj, Battle on Had Abbadon, mission to Agamar, Mission to Korriban, and the Attack on the Hidden Temple. Vao was also selected to be a member of the elite strike team to disable Coruscant's planetary defenses prior to the Battle of Coruscant. In addition to the Sith minions, Shado was able to hold his own against several notable duelists, including Darth Talon on Vendaxa and Darth Maladi on Had Abbadon. Vao was hardly intimidated when threatened by an Imperial Knight, and even found it mildly humorous that they considered themselves more highly skilled in combat.

Vao was described as a capable pilot by Antares Draco, exemplified when he successfully navigated the shuttle fleeing Ossus away from the Sith fleet.[11]


Shado's lightsaber

Shado Vao carried a blue-bladed lightsaber with a hilt that resembled a regular lightsaber, if only slightly longer. By all outward appearances, there were no indications that a second blade could be ignited, turning the weapon into a dual-bladed lightsaber. Shado often did not ignite this second blade right away when engaging an enemy, either due to his prowess with a single blade, or for the element of surprise. Due to the notable length difference of the lightsaber hilt when both blades were active, it is possible that Shado's lightsaber hilt extended when using the second blade.

Behind the scenes[]

Shado's surname has led some fans to assume he (and his sister) were in some way related to Mission Vao and her brother Griff; the two families are, however, unrelated.[17]


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Notes and references[]