- "I thought we had something."
"'We had something?' You killed my brother!"
- ―Zayne Carrick and Shel Jelavan
Shel Jelavan was a Human female who lived in the Middle City of Taris prior to the Mandalorian Wars. She, along with her brothers Shad and Shay, was orphaned when her parents died in an accident. The family suffered a further loss when Shad, who had been training as a Jedi, was killed in the Padawan Massacre of Taris. The murders were blamed on Jelavan's friend, the former Padawan Zayne Carrick, and she became determined to see him pay for his crimes.
After the Mandalorian invasion of Taris, Jelavan joined the Taris Resistance and finally got her chance for vengeance when Jedi Master Raana Tey informed her that the fugitive Carrick was returning to Taris. Jelavan and Tey saw their opportunity to kill Carrick when he joined them on a mission to infiltrate the Jedi Tower in an attempt to assassinate the Mandalorian Neo-Crusader Cassus Fett. Jelavan intended to kill Carrick with her brother's lightsaber, but upon learning that it was Tey and the other members of the Jedi Covenant who killed her brother, stabbed the Jedi Master with the weapon, saving Carrick's life. Jelavan left Taris soon after, to take Constable Noana Sowrs's children safely to Alderaan. When she heard that Carrick was in trouble on the Mandalorian world of Jebble, she joined several of his friends in a mission to rescue him, and agreed to help him clear his name.
Carrick's quest for vindication led him and his friends to Coruscant and a final showdown with the Covenant. With his name cleared, Carrick departed but Jelavan decided to remain on Coruscant, working with Senator Haydel Goravvus to help refugees throughout the Republic. In this role she assisted Carrick during his fight with The Crucible slaver organization.
Shel Jelavan was a native of the Outer Rim world of Taris in the years following the Great Sith War, living in the Middle City area of the ecumenopolis with her brothers, Shad and Shay, and their parents. At some point in her youth, the elder of her brothers, Shad, was taken in for Jedi training at the Taris Academy and went on to become the most promising Padawan in his class. During this time, Jelavan caught the attention of her brother's fellow Padawan and close friend, Zayne Carrick, who developed an emotional attachment to her. Jelavan was also attracted to Carrick, but, knowing that there could be no future to their relationship if he successfully became a Jedi Knight, she did not act on her feelings, and the two became merely friends.
In 3966 BBY, Jelavan suffered a personal tragedy when her parents were killed in an accident in the Middle City, leaving her and her two brothers orphaned. Despite the family's loss, Shad continued to excel at his studies, and by 3964 BBY had completed the Jedi Trials and was set to be knighted at a private ceremony in the Jedi Tower. Since the Padawans' families were not permitted to attend the ceremony, the Jedi Masters invited them to a banquet earlier in the day, and Shel attended the meal along with her brothers. She was present in the banquet hall when Carrick came crashing through the window during a failed attempt to capture the Snivvian criminal Marn Hierogryph, and was concerned that the incident might have affected Carrick's chances of knighthood.
The rest of the event passed without incident, and Shad escorted his siblings home before returning for the knighting ceremony. Later that evening, Jelavan learned that her brother, along with three other Padawans, had been killed during the ceremony. News of the Padawan Massacre of Taris spread quickly, with major news channels reporting that the authorities had named Carrick as the perpetrator, and both of the surviving Jelavans were interviewed about their brother's death. The day after the Padawan Massacre, the Jedi Masters removed their formers students' lightsaber crystals from their weapons and had them sent to the families. Jelavan had her brother's crystal turned into a necklace, which she would later wear to remember him. Carrick, meanwhile, initially evaded capture by both the Taris Academy's Jedi Masters and the Taris Civil Authority, escaping the planet before eventually turning himself in to the bounty hunter Valius Ying. Jelavan and her younger brother were present in the crowd of onlookers in Patrol Plaza as Carrick was returned to Taris to face justice.
Some time later, Jelavan was sent some money, which she assumed had come from the Jedi Order. With the growing threat posed by the Mandalorian Neo-Crusaders, Jelavan used the money to pay for the family she and her brother had been staying with to take Shay to Ord Mantell so he could live in safety with their grandparents. Although there was enough money for Jelavan to accompany her brother, she decided to use the rest of the money to put a bounty on Carrick's head, after the former Padawan had once again escaped custody and fled Taris. However, before she was able to set up the bounty, the Mandalorians invaded Taris.
- "He's coming here."
"How can you tell?"
"I knew he would. I see him every time I close my eyes. It's why I took this assignment. Will you be ready? Can you do the thing you say you want to do?"
"I—I will. I have to. I see him every time I close my eyes, too."
- ―Raana Tey and Shel Jelavan discuss Carrick's return to Taris
Stuck on her homeworld, Jelavan joined the fledgling Taris Resistance led by Senator Haydel Goravvus. However, she was haunted by Zayne's supposed crime against her brother. Carrick eventually returned to Taris to link up with Marn Hierogryph, who had become friends with the fugitive Padawan since helping him during his first escape and was now fighting the Mandalorians. When the Jedi Covenant learned of his return, Jelavan was approached by Jedi Master Raana Tey, who persuaded her that this gave her the opportunity to kill Carrick and avenge her brother's death. Jelavan agreed, and soon got her chance when Carrick arrived at the Resistance base with the Hidden Beks swoop gang to negotiate an alliance with the Resistance. Seeing the renegade Padawan, Jelavan charged towards him and fired at him with her blaster pistol. Carrick was saved when the case he was carrying took the brunt of the shot, but he was still knocked to the ground unconscious by the attack. As an emotional Jelavan stepped over the body of the man she believed had killed her brother, Tey emerged from the watching crowd and told her to finish him off.
However, Zayne's bounty was already "claimed" by the Ithorian bounty hunter Del Moomo, who attempted to stop Jelavan. Seeing Moomo, Tey moved to attack him due to the Moomo Brothers' earlier failure to capture Carrick for her on Telerath. The confrontation distracted Jelavan, and she was then disarmed by Hierogryph. While the Hidden Beks and the Resistance initially raised their weapons, Senator Goravvus ordered them to back down when the Hidden Beks produced Constable Noana Sowrs's children, who had been missing until Carrick had located them. Convinced that Carrick was not an immediate threat and that the Resistance needed all the help they could get, the senator agreed to let the Hidden Beks join his cause. Jelavan and Tey both argued that they wanted justice for the Padawan Massacre, but relented after Goravvus insisted that defeating the Mandalorians was their top priority.
During Carrick's stay at the Resistance base, Jelavan did her best to avoid him. When Carrick finally confronted her, he asked where her brother was and told her that he had sent her the money, though she refused to believe him. Carrick was disconsolate to learn that she had attempted to put a bounty on him, given their history, but Jelavan became enraged at his assumption that they could ever have a relationship after the death of her brother. Despite Carrick's, as well as Hierogryph's, protests of innocence, Jelavan was still unconvinced that her former friend was not responsible for Shad's death. The entrance of Raana Tey into their conversation did not improve matters, as she only continued to place blame on Carrick by making claims that he had fallen to the dark side of the Force. Frustrated at both parties, Shel left the room, wishing she had never met any of them.
Mission to the Jedi Tower
- "You were trying to become a Jedi. I might not have seen you again. What future—"
"Oh, come on. We both knew I'd flunk out. It was thinking about you that made that not seem so horrible. Thinking about—after…"
"That's very touching. I was your consolation prize. How flattering."
"That's not what I meant. I wasn't trying—"
"What, to fail? To be stuck with a simple life with boring old Shel? No, you were doing everything you could to become a knight and avoid that!"
- ―Shel Jelavan and Zayne Carrick
The Resistance soon learned that the Mandalorian Field Marshal Cassus Fett was present in the Jedi Tower to review the Mandalorian operations, and they planned to destroy the Tower in order to kill him. However, Goravvus feared using up munitions if Fett was not there, and a reconnaissance mission was planned for the same day as the assault to make certain. Carrick volunteered for the mission due to his familiarity with the Jedi Tower, but Constable Sowrs still did not trust him, so Jelavan volunteered as well. Goravvus was concerned for the young woman's safety, but Jelavan was one of the few present who had previously visited the Tower, and explained that she had some bad memories to put to rest there. Seeing their opportunity, Raana Tey agreed to accompany them on the mission, under the guise of wanting to protect Jelavan from both the Mandalorians and Carrick. Goravvus agreed and the group was also charged with opening the Tower's ventilation shaft to allow Hidden Beks leader Gadon Thek's assault team to enter.
After the plan was finalized, Tey pulled Jelavan aside and explained that she had foreseen that she may not live to kill Carrick. If she failed, she asked Jelavan to promise to finish the job and kill the former Padawan. Though Carrick would be on his guard, Tey instructed Jelavan to locate her brother's lightsaber, which was stored in the Tower, and to reinsert his lightsaber crystal before using it against Carrick. The Jedi Master promised that Jelavan would have justice one way or another.
The Togruta Tey was too conspicuous to enter the Tower from the Mandalorian-controlled Upper City, so she proceeded to the foundations and entered through the ventilation shaft. Though Jelavan would have preferred to accompany the Jedi Master, she was unable to negotiate the vertical shaft and was instead forced to join Carrick. Once infiltrating the Tower, they would open the vent and rendezvous with Tey before proceeding. Carrick was to enter the Tower disguised as a Mandalorian, with Jelavan posing as a saboteur being taken in for questioning. The trip to the Jedi Tower took them through Patrol Plaza, and when Jelavan brought up Carrick's last trip through to the Tower, the two began to argue. Carrick told her his version of events on the night of Shad's death, blaming the Jedi Masters for the Padawan Massacre in a misguided attempt to stop their apprentices from joining the Sith. The commotion attracted the attention of a group of Mandalorian soldiers who approached them to investigate. Upon being confronted by the Mandalorians, Jelavan acted quickly, kissing Carrick and causing the group to mistake them for lovers and move on. Though she still did not trust Carrick, Jelavan put her personal feelings aside, and the two entered the Tower.
Once she and Carrick infiltrated the Tower, they made their way to the storage floor, where Carrick cycled the vent locks to allow Tey to enter. Jelavan used the distraction to locate her brother's lightsaber and install the crystal. However, before she could use it against him, he started to tell her about his friendship with her brother, which ultimately caused him to break down crying. Seeing how much Carrick missed Shad, Jelavan's doubts about his guilt grew, and she could not bring herself to kill him. Not willing to wait for Tey, Carrick went on alone while Jelavan stayed to wait for the Jedi Master. When Tey arrived and saw the lightsaber, she was furious that Jelavan had not taken the chance to kill Carrick. Deciding to take matters into her own hands, Tey ran off to find him, telling Jelavan to wait. Jelavan, however, decided to follow the Jedi Master. She caught up with them just in time to hear Tey, standing with her lightsaber drawn over a defenseless Carrick, confess to her part in the murder of Shad and the other Padawans. Realizing that Carrick was telling the truth, Jelavan saved him by stabbing Tey through the back with her brother's lightsaber. The two had a tearful reconciliation before being rescued from the Tower by the arrival of Thek and Hierogryph on a swoop. Though the group attempted to save Tey, the Jedi Master was killed when the temple exploded.
Cassus Fett was not killed in the explosion, having already left the Jedi Tower before the Resistance attack. Furthermore, the Mandalorians had used the attack to launch a major strike at the Resistance base. Despite the failure of the mission, Jelavan had come to accept that Carrick did not kill her brother, and could begin to move past her loss.
Escape from Taris
The Mandalorians' surprise attack struck a heavy blow to the Resistance. Before the group retreated to the rakghoul infested Undercity, Constable Sowrs paid Del Moomo to fly her children safely to her husband in the Galactic Republic aboard his ship, the Moomo Williwaw. The ship had room for only one more passenger and, since Senator Goravvus wouldn't leave and Sowrs would not leave him, she asked Jelavan to go instead.
Though he remained on Taris, Carrick contacted his friends, the Arkanian Jarael, the Mandalorian Rohlan Dyre, the Jedi Alek and the Trandoshan Slyssk, to ask them to help Jelavan locate the children's father. After rendezvousing with the group, and Moomo's brother Dob, Jelavan and the others took the children safely to Alderaan. There, they received word from Carrick. Since Jelavan left Taris, Carrick and Hierogryph had traveled to Jebble with Jedi Covenant agent Celeste Morne, in pursuit of the ancient Sith artifact, the Muur Talisman, which had fallen into Mandalorian hands. On Jebble, the power of the Talisman had become clear when it started to transform the Mandalorians into mindless rakghouls which could be controlled by its owner, and the creatures soon threatened to overrun the planet. The Moomo Williwaw headed quickly to Jebble, arriving just in time to rescue Carrick and Hierogryph from a group of Rakghouls. The group escaped moments before Cassus Fett's forces arrived and bombarded the planet to prevent the plague from spreading. Morne, however, was believed to be killed in the bombardment.
Distraught at the further loss of life around him, Carrick resolved to take down the Jedi Covenant and clear his name. To this end he planned to locate Lady Krynda Draay, mother of his former master Lucien Draay, and leader of the Jedi Covenant. When Carrick asked for Alek's help, Jelavan offered her services too, along with the rest of the crew.
Clearing Carrick's name
While Carrick led some of the group to a Covenant facility on Odryn, Jelavan and Alek contacted Jedi Council members Vrook Lamar and Vandar Tokare with news of the recent events on Jebble and arranged to meet them in a cantina on Coruscant. Their journey was hampered by an arrest order for Alek, due to his involvement in the Mandalorian Wars, forcing him to travel under the alias Captain Malak. However, the two were able to reach Coruscant safely and proceeded to the cantina to wait for the Jedi Masters. Though they were skeptical, the two Jedi Masters eventually arrived for the meeting and allowed Jelavan and Alek to make their case.
The two explained that Carrick would soon be coming to Coruscant with proof—a collection of Sith artifacts collected by the Covenant on Odryn. Tokare remained open-minded about the allegations, but Lamar feared that they could tear the Jedi Order apart. Nevertheless, after Jelavan and Alek received a signal from Carrick, both Jedi agreed to meet with the fugitive. The group left the cantina and headed to their rendezvous with Carrick only to discover that he and Hierogryph had been captured by Covenant member Xamar. However, instead of taking the captives to the Covenant, Xamar agreed to testify before the Jedi Council. With the help of Xamar and the Jedi, Carrick confronted the Covenant leaders. In the ensuing confrontation, the Covenant were defeated and Carrick's name was cleared, though he chose not to rejoin the Jedi Order.
The Rogue Moon Project
- "You don't mess around, do you Zayne? You just find all the public enemies and bring them home for dinner…"
- ―Shel Jelavan
Learning that Senator Goravvus had escaped Taris and was now on Coruscant, Jelavan decided to remain on the capital world and assist the senator. Both she and Carrick were concerned that, with everybody's attention focused on the Mandalorian Wars, nobody was looking out for the rights and well being of individuals within the Republic. After negotiations with Republic officials, Carrick purchased a garage on Coruscant and the two set about bringing together the families of the Taris Padawans, establishing the Rogue Moon Project to help refugees of the war, wrongly accused fugitives and any other sentients in need of assistance. Before long, Carrick departed Coruscant to join up with Hierogryph on Metellos, leaving Jelavan and the others—Gharn's father, Kamlin's sister and Oojoh's grandfather—to run the Rogue Moon Project while he worked as a field agent.
Over the coming months, the group fed intelligence gained by Jelavan through her work with the senator to Carrick. On one occasion, this information led Carrick to the luxury yacht Chancellor Fillorean and a confrontation with the serial killer known as the Corellian Strangler. Carrick, in turn, provided them with the proceeds of his adventures, allowing the garage on Coruscant to be converted into a headquarters for the organization. During this time, Jelavan also arranged for a specialist to fuse the lightsaber crystals of the Taris Padawans together for use in a new lightsaber for Carrick. As a memorial to those who died, the names of Shad and the other Padawans were etched on the hilt.
Jelavan later provided Carrick with reports of missing travelers, which led him to Jervo's World and into conflict with the slave-trading organization known as The Crucible. Learning that Jarael had once been kidnapped by the organization and forced to work for them, Carrick resolved to bring down the Crucible and initiated a plan to let himself be captured by the organization and lead his allies to their location. However, when the Crucible discovered and deactivated Carrick's tracking device, Carrick's droid, T1-LB, put Jarael into contact with Jelavan. Jelavan was able to provide intelligence indicating that the Crucible were present on Volgax, where Jarael managed to locate Carrick. However, the Crucible had already departed.
Jarael later traveled to Osadia with the Zeltron Antos Wyrick, her former mentor who had been posing as Rohlan Dyre. When Carrick realized Wyrick's deception and that the Zeltron was actually the Mandalorian war criminal Demagol, he and Hierogryph rescued the real Dyre, who was to stand trial for Demagol's crimes, from Republic custody in the hopes of recruiting him to help rescue Jarael. Jelavan was attending a Senatorial dinner party when she was contacted by Slyssk and taken to meet Carrick and the others at Rogue Moon Project Command. Since neither Carrick or Dyre knew how to find Osadia, Carrick hoped to extract the location from the slaver Dace Golliard, who had previous dealings with Demagol.
With Golliard in hiding with the rest of the Crucible, Carrick needed to find a way to draw him out. Jelavan was able to discover a connection between Golliard and Republic Admiral Saul Karath, whose father had been among those who died when Golliard, then a Republic officer himself, abandoned the Foerost Shipyards during the Great Sith War. Jelavan provided Carrick with information on fleet positions and used the senator's contacts to set up a call between Dyre and Cassus Fett. Fett also hoped to see Demagol pay for his actions and agreed to help Carrick by feinting an attack on an asteroid mining facility near the Ithor system. An anonymous tip to the Ministry of Defense ensured that Karath's forces were waiting for the Mandalorians' arrival, while Fett ensured that an unscrambled signal announcing their intentions was intercepted by Golliard. Taking the bait, Golliard headed to the mining facility in the hopes of capturing slaves during the battle, only to be captured himself by Karath. As Carrick had hoped, the captive slaver soon revealed the location of Osadia, and he was able to rescue Jarael from Demagol's control.
Personality and traits
- "Shad was my best friend—and your brother. How could you believe I would do something like that? My parents didn't believe it. Why did you?"
"I—I don't know. My parents had just died, everything had changed—and then Shad. I didn't know what to believe about anything any more."
- ―Zayne Carrick and Shel Jelavan
Jelavan's relationship with Carrick was rocky at best. Although each wanted to pursue a relationship, Jelavan was concerned that there would be no future for them together if Carrick became a Jedi Knight. For his part, Carrick was certain that he would fail, leaving him free to be with her, and his fellow Padawans even joked that his apparent ineptitude was just a ruse to stay on Taris with her. However, Jelavan saw him as trying everything he could to become a Jedi and avoid spending his life with her, and came to think of herself as little more than a consolation prize.
Following her parents' death, Shad's murder, and Carrick's implication in it, Jelavan was left confused and angry. She did not know whether to believe Carrick was guilty, but as she became increasingly haunted by his apparent betrayal, she became determined to see him pay for his crimes, even going so far as to attempt to place a bounty on him. By the time she was approached by Raana Tey, Jelavan was ready to kill Carrick herself. However, after she was reunited with Carrick, her doubts about his guilt began to grow, particularly after seeing his grief over Shad's death, and she was finally convinced of his innocence upon hearing Tey's confession. Though the two went on to work together on the Rogue Moon Project, they did not resume their relationship and Jelavan confided in Malak that she wondered if Carrick and Jarael were involved with each other.
Jelavan was concerned that the Mandalorian Wars drew attention away from the suffering of individuals, such as the refugees of Taris and the wrongly accused Carrick. It was her desire to help others that led to her joining Carrick in establishing the Rogue Moon Project. During her time with the Taris Resistance, Jelavan learned how to build an organization and this skill served her well as she organized the relatives of the Taris Padawans into an effective group.
Behind the scenes
- "Apart from the 'meet cute' that's her first appearance, we don't really know Shel—or the nature of her previous relationship with Zayne. I think she had something like one line before #22. So we got to establish it from an interesting perspective—after that relationship has deteriorated to the point that she's literally ready to murder him."
- ―John Jackson Miller on Jelavan's return in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic: Knights of Suffering
Shel Jelavan was created by John Jackson Miller for the Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic comic series. She first appeared in Knights of the Old Republic 1, published on January 25, 2006, and made one more brief appearance in part six of the Commencement story arc. She later reappeared as a more central character in the Knights of Suffering story arc.
Jelavan's walk through Patrol Plaza as Carrick's prisoner in Knights of Suffering, Part 3 was intended to mirror Carrick's own journey back to the Jedi Tower in Commencement, Part 6. Miller has stated that he considered expanding the scene to more closely follow the previous one, but realized that this was secondary to the story.
Following Knights of Suffering, Knights of the Old Republic began a new story arc. Though Miller was aware that what became of Jelavan was of interest to fans, he was also conscious of the need for a fresh story in Vector, Part 1 and Jelavan was excluded from the issue. However, the issue did refer to a woman taking Constable Sowrs's children to safety and this was later identified as Jelavan when the character returned in Knights of the Old Republic 28.
Jelavan next appeared, in voice only, in Knights of the Old Republic 46, when she is contacted by Jarael after Carrick is captured by the Crucible. Miller originally considered making the Destroyer arc last for three issues, but with the decision to end Knights of the Old Republic's run with issue 50, he reduced it to two issues to allow four issues for the final arc. This resulted in cuts to some planned scenes, including conversations between Jarael, Jelavan, and Malak, which Miller felt diluted the impact of Carrick's story.
- Knights of the Old Republic 1 (First appearance)
- Knights of the Old Republic 2 (Mentioned only)
- Knights of the Old Republic 6
- Knights of the Old Republic 22
- Knights of the Old Republic 23
- Knights of the Old Republic 24
- Knights of the Old Republic 25 (Indirect mention only)
- Knights of the Old Republic 28
- Knights of the Old Republic 29 (Mentioned only)
- Knights of the Old Republic 31
- Knights of the Old Republic 42 (Mentioned only)
- Knights of the Old Republic 46 (Voice only)
- Knights of the Old Republic 48
- Knights of the Old Republic 49 (Mentioned only)
Notes and references
- Knights of the Old Republic 1
- Knights of the Old Republic 22
- Knights of the Old Republic 23
- Knights of the Old Republic 46
- Knights of the Old Republic 48
- Knights of the Old Republic 6
- The Taris Holofeed: Prime Edition
- Knights of the Old Republic 24
- Knights of the Old Republic 2
- Knights of the Old Republic 25
- Knights of the Old Republic 28
- Knights of the Old Republic 31
- Knights of the Old Republic 32
- Knights of the Old Republic 35
- Knights of the Old Republic 38
- Knights of the Old Republic 41
- Knights of the Old Republic 42
- Knights of the Old Republic 45
- Knights of the Old Republic 47
- Knights of the Old Republic 49
- Knights of the Old Republic 50