- "The Jedi prophecies predict a great conflict with the Dark side…"
- ―Shoaneb Culu, shortly before the Great Sith War
Shoaneb Culu was a female Miraluka who served as a Jedi Knight in the days of the Old Republic. She traveled from her homeworld of Alpheridies to seek out a Jedi who could train her in the ways of the Force, planning to return one day to her homeworld and establish a Jedi academy there. She wished to bring Jedi training to the already Force-sensitive Miraluka people, so that others of her kind would not have to travel from their homeworld to learn about the Force. Culu eventually found her way to the Jedi library world of Ossus where she trained under the Jedi Master Vodo-Siosk Baas—she would ultimately become a very knowledgeable student of the history of the Jedi Order. Following the completion of her training, she was selected to be one of the few Jedi who were sent as reinforcements to help Ulic Qel-Droma during the Freedon Nadd Uprising on Onderon.
The Naddist Revolt helped identify Culu as an aspiring and deserving Jedi. Shortly after its conclusion, she was one of a handful of Jedi who learned how to fly one of the local Beast Riders' war beasts. She later participated in a Jedi Convocation on Deneba, as well as fight against the Krath during the Great Sith War. Culu was an experienced and talented pilot, choosing to fly a S-100 Stinger-class starfighter in most conflicts; during the Great Sith War, she flew as Jedi Three against the Krath at Cinnagar. Later on in the war, Culu, along with fellow Jedi Qrrrl Toq and Dace Diath, was killed at Kemplex IX when Krath sorceress Aleema Keto used Sith powers to destroy a star in the Cron Drift.
- "Shoaneb is very dexterous… although she only sees in the Force."
- ―Vodo-Siosk Baas
Shoaneb Culu, a female Miraluka, hailed from the planet Alpheridies. Like all members of her species, she lacked vision yet possessed natural Force-sensitivity, and throughout her childhood, she grew comfortable with how Alpheridies's environment affected her natural Force awareness. Against the wishes of her parents, she left her homeworld at an early age to seek out members of the Jedi Order. Before she left, she vowed to one day return and establish a Jedi training center there, in an effort to train the naturally Force-sensitive Miraluka. Culu looked at the lengthy journey that lay before her; she reasoned that founding a Jedi school on Alpheridies would provide other Miraluka the opportunity to have Jedi readily available to teach them the ways of the Force. To that end, she decided that, once she had begun her training as a Jedi, she would explore all the knowledge and lore available to her, so as to be better prepared for the teaching role she wished to pursue.
However, Culu's travels became much more difficult than she had first anticipated. When she ventured outside of the comfortable boundaries of her homeworld, Culu experienced an exceptionally different feeling through the Force, given off by her new, and ever changing surroundings. The Force vibrations that she felt started to become increasingly difficult to endure, and at times she became unbalanced as she attempted to adjust to the new environments she found herself in. Eventually, Culu learned how to adjust to her new perceptions and managed to decrease the time it took her to reestablish her bearings from days, to hours, to seconds.
- "Master Vodo… I think I ruined this crystal. I'm sorry, Master Vodo. I cut it at the wrong angle."
- ―Shoaneb Culu, while trying to construct her lightsaber
Culu's journey took more than a year before she finally reached the place where she could feel the Force calling her—the Jedi library world of Ossus. Once on the planet, she found herself drawn to Master Vodo-Siosk Baas, who eventually agreed to take her on as his apprentice. Culu began her training immediately, and took an active interest in her studies of ancient Jedi lore. Due to her excitement about finally being able to train as a Jedi, and coupled with her naturally inquisitive nature, Culu found herself in the Great Jedi Library studying ancient lore for long hours. Oftentimes she could be found asking Baas and other Masters a great many deep, thought provoking questions. Culu's relentless line of questions troubled Master Baas, and he mistook her curiosity for a thirst for quick power. However, when Master Baas expressed his concerns to Culu, she told him of her desire to eventually return to Alpheridies and establish a Jedi training center there. She explained that it was not a lust for power, but a desire to help others; she hoped to learn all she could from the libraries and Jedi Masters, so that she could one day become a teacher herself. Hearing that, Master Baas was greatly relieved and dedicated many hours each day to Culu, helping her gain a deeper understanding of the Jedi Order, its history, and of the Force.
Culu excelled at the academic portion of her studies, surpassing her peers in understanding the Force and assimilating Jedi lore, but the level of her natural Force abilities eventually fell below that of the other apprentices. As a result, she continually fell behind in her Force technique. The next several months saw Culu become increasingly frustrated with her lack of progress—as time continued to pass, she began to fear that her dream of bringing Jedi teachings to her homeworld would not come to pass.
Master Baas recognized the troubles that his young apprentice was going through, and decided to spend time with Culu, showing her that she need not worry about the future, and that she should only trust in the Force. After several private sessions with Master Baas, Culu began to understand what he was telling her—that it was not her place to be concerned with things outside of her control, and that her expectations for her homeworld were hampering her training advancement. She began to see that what she planned may not be what the Force would produce, regardless of her actions. Following these sessions with Master Baas, Culu overcame her depression, and was able to continue her training with a different outlook on her future as a Jedi. Although she had developed a new attitude, Culu still experienced difficulty with her training in Jedi techniques, especially when it came to constructing her own lightsaber. Even though she still had problems, she did not allow herself to become anxious over them. Instead, she accepted the fact that she had not yet reached her full potential in these problem areas, and decided to dedicate more time toward her Force training.
Near the end of Culu's apprenticeship, fellow Jedi Ulic Qel-Droma sent a request to the both the Jedi assembled on Ossus and the Galactic Senate on the planet Coruscant for reinforcements while fighting in the Freedon Nadd Uprising. Culu, as with many other Jedi present on Ossus, volunteered for service on Onderon. Upon hearing Culu's request, Master Baas pulled her aside from the assembly and offered his counsel on her offer. Baas expressed that he did not feel Culu yet possessed enough confidence in her own abilities to be an effective member of the task force. Culu, however, did not become frustrated or agitated with her mentor's concerns—instead, she calmly replied that she understood his reluctance, and that he had been a good teacher, but she had learned to place her trust completely in the Force. Culu confessed that it was not for glory that she sought Onderon but that the Force was pulling her toward something important. Baas was surprised by the calmness that he felt in her, and realized that he had misjudged his student. Baas gave Culu his blessing, and the morning following the assembly, Culu joined her fellow Jedi Qrrrl Toq, Dace Diath, Kith Kark, and Nomi Sunrider on the task force headed to Onderon.
The Naddist Revolt
- "I understand your reluctance, Master, but I have placed my trust completely in the Force and I feel it calling me to this task."
- ―Shoaneb Culu, shortly before leaving for Onderon
Ulic Qel-Droma and his brother Cay, Tott Doneeta, Oss Wilum, and Jedi Master Arca Jeth had originally been on Onderon tracking down and fighting the dark side energies that subdued the planet for centuries. Not long after defeating Queen Amanoa and driving back the spirit of the Sith Lord Freedon Nadd, Master Jeth and the other Jedi were confronted by a new dark side power: a Sith cult known as the Naddists attacked the funeral procession of Amanoa and managed to steal the sarcophagi of both the fallen Queen and Freedon Nadd. Following that event, Master Jeth was captured by the Sith sorcerer King Ommin, and subjected to prolonged torture. Culu and the rest of the task force were thereafter dispatched to Onderon to aid Qel-Droma and his companions.
The five Jedi traveled to Onderon and made their way to the walled city of Iziz, the last reported location of Qel-Droma and his team of Jedi. However, when Culu and the others arrived at the city, they sensed through the Force that Qel-Droma was no longer in Iziz, but rather somewhere nearby. They realized that he was held up in the Beast-Lord Oron Kira's fortress not far from the city. Rushing to Qel-Droma's aid, Culu and the other Jedi charged the more numerous ranks of Dark Side Adepts, using the Force to project a shield around themselves, utilizing Force battle-techniques perfected by Jedi over many centuries. During the fight to reach Qel-Droma, Culu demonstrated a natural affinity with her lightsaber, often fighting separate from the other Jedi. Culu and her Jedi comrades finally reached Qel-Droma, and together, the combined Jedi force stormed Ommin's stronghold and managed to free the imprisoned Arca Jeth as well.
Following King Ommin's defeat by the Jedi, the remains of Freedon Nadd, Ommin, and Amanoa were interred in a tomb on the jungle moon of Dxun, where it was hoped that Nadd's dark side taint would eventually fade. Culu was among the Jedi present on Dxun during the interring ceremony.
The Krath conflict
- "No! Such an attempt will end in disaster… for you… and for all of us!"
- ―Culu, to Ulic Qel-Droma, during the Conclave on Deneba
Following the events of the Naddist Revolt, the Jedi Knight Culu and the other surviving Jedi who fought in the uprising were afforded a short vacation, and were taught to fly drexls: famed beast mounts of Oron Kira and the Beast Riders. Before long, Master Jeth informed Culu and the other gathered Jedi on Onderon about a coup that was recently staged in the Empress Teta system. Tott Doneeta also spoke of Aleema and Satal Keto, Tetan royals who were also recently on Onderon. Culu deduced these two cousins must have learned Sith magic from King Ommin and carried Sith teachings across the galaxy. That turn of events caused Master Jeth much concern, and he therefore ordered Culu, Dace Diath, Qrrrl Toq, and Oss Wilum to Ossus to report to the Jedi assembly what had transpired on Onderon. He also advised them to warn the Republic of the impending danger presented by the rise of the Ketos' Krath cult.
The information provided by Culu and her fellow Jedi allowed the Republic to organize a joint Republic-Jedi fleet and set out for the Empress Teta System—more specifically to Koros Major. Culu flew as a pilot in the combined fleet, which arrived in the system just in time to lend aid to the last remaining holdouts which were fighting against the Krath. However, Satal and Aleema Keto used their Sith magic, conjuring illusions and causing the Krath forces to employ suicide tactics against the attacking Republic fleet. The Republic-Jedi fleet was severely defeated and forced to retreat to Republic space. Culu was among the few Jedi pilots to survive the attack on Koros Major.
The severity of the Krath coup, combined with their victory at Koros Major and subsequent incursions into Republic space, worried the Jedi leaders. As a result, a conclave was called on the planet of Deneba. The Conclave on Deneba was held on Mount Meru and saw thousands of Jedi Masters and Knights arrive to take part in the discussions—among the many Jedi Knights present was Shoaneb Culu. During the assembly Ulic Qel-Droma presented a plan in which he would volunteer to infiltrate the Krath, and destroy the cult from within. However, Culu was one of many Jedi to openly speak out against Qel-Droma's plan. While the assembly was debating the proposed strategy, they were suddenly attacked by the Krath and an army of their war droids. Culu fought beside her fellow Jedi, and they were able to repel the attack, though Master Jeth was killed during the fighting. Qel-Droma was devastated by Jeth's death, and used it as justification for implementing his infiltration plan.
Qel-Droma's plan was successful, and he quickly rose through Krath ranks while unwittingly walking the path of the dark side. After several months of no contact with Qel-Droma, the Jedi sent Nomi Sunrider to search for him. After an unsuccessful attempt by Sunrider to bring Qel-Droma back to Ossus, the Jedi felt it was time to extract Qel-Droma from the Krath, forcefully or otherwise. The Jedi planned an all-out assault against the Krath forces on Cinnagar, involving a fleet of warships and a strike team of Jedi. Attached to the Republic fleet was a squadron of Jedi starfighters, consisting of Oss Wilum and Dace Diath flying the new Star Saber XC-01 starfighters, and Culu flying her personal S-100 Stinger-class starfighter. During the attack, Culu's call sign was Jedi Three, while Wilum and Diath were Jedi One and Jedi Two, respectively. For the most part, the attack went according to plan, and Culu demonstrated her flying abilities by destroying several anti-aircraft emplacements. However, when the Jedi strike team confronted Qel-Droma, he turned them away, instead choosing to stay with Keto and the Krath.
The First Sith War
- "This war of the Sith is spread by military might and evil use of the Force…"
- ―Shoaneb Culu, during the Great Sith War
The events that transpired on Cinnagar forced Culu and the other Jedi to retreat to Ossus and decide upon what their next course of action would be. Afterward, Master Baas and a number of other Jedi, including Culu, arrived on the Republic's capital world of Coruscant to convene the Senate and advise them of the troubles ahead. While Culu and the other Jedi were on Coruscant, Qel-Droma, who by that time had become a Sith Lord, led the Krath in a massive attack against the Republic capital. Culu, along with Dace Diath and others, defended the city-world against the invading armies. The Krath were eventually repelled by the Republic and Jedi forces, and forced to retreat away from the planet. Due to the treachery of Aleema Keto, Qel-Droma was left by himself to fight the combined might of several Jedi, including Sunrider and Master Baas—both of whom used a Force-blocking technique which had been taught by Master Odan-Urr. Culu combined her Force powers with the other Jedi present and helped to temporarily imprison Qel-Droma in the light side of the Force.
Even though the Jedi managed to temporarily capture Qel-Droma, he was soon rescued from captivity by his Sith Master, Exar Kun, and Mandalore the Indomitable. In the process, Culu's former Master Vodo-Siosk Baas was killed. Once Qel-Droma was back in command of the Krath forces, he was informed by Mandalore that it was Keto who been betrayed and abandoned him on Coruscant. Qel-Droma considered what Mandalore told him, and found it to be true, sensing it through the Force. His revenge was quick and decisive—Qel-Droma organized an attack fleet to head for Kemplex IX, and placed Keto in command. Qel-Droma knew that Keto's attack on the Republic outpost would result in a deadly supernova, though he led her to believe that she would be perfectly safe. When word of an attack on Kemplex IX reached Jedi ears, Culu, Dace Diath, and Qrrrl Toq volunteered to lead a Jedi force in response to the distress signals.
Battle of Kemplex IX
- "If you could see what I see in the Force… terrible ripples, a wrenching! It can't be! No Jedi can do this!"
- ―Shoaneb, immediately before her death
The Great Sith War had begun to take its toll on the Jedi ranks, and many Jedi were gathered on Ossus in response to the various attacks on Jedi Masters by agents of Exar Kun. During the gathering in the year 3996 BBY, the Jedi Knight Tott Doneeta announced that the Republic jump station at Kemplex IX was under attack by a mysterious Sith ship. The gathered Jedi expressed their concern over that, and Master Thon explained his beliefs that the enemy attack on Kemplex IX was actually a feint, reasoning that everything the Sith wanted was right there on Ossus.
Upon arriving at Kemplex IX, Culu, Toq, and Diath found the ancient Sith ship, which was under the command of the sorceress Keto, orbiting the Republic jump station. Culu followed her fellow Jedi on an attack run of the Sith ship, but she suddenly sensed a great disturbance in the Force. What she felt was the immense Force energies of the Sith ship as Keto began to focus its power. Little did Culu and the other Jedi realize that Keto had activated the ancient weapons on the Sith ship to rip the core from the center of one of the stars in the Cron Cluster. The resulting supernova overcame Culu's and the other Jedi's starfighters, killing the three Jedi instantly.
Personality and traits
- "This is Jedi Three—I'm on the Zero-Nine gun, Oss."
- ―Shoaneb Culu, during the attack on Cinnagar
Shoaneb Culu had brown hair and fair skin, and was a curious person by nature. As a Jedi, she had a natural interest in learning all possible knowledge from the Jedi Masters. During her training on Ossus under Master Vodo-Siosk Baas, her constant questions and inquisitive nature were mistaken for a thirst for quick power. However, once she explained her natural questioning nature, and also confided her hopes of one day becoming a Jedi teacher on her homeworld, Master Baas realized that he had been wrong in his assumption. He then dedicated much of his free time in helping her find a deeper understanding of the history of the Jedi and Force.
When Culu found that her progression in her studies was slow compared to her peers, she grew increasingly frustrated and eventually depressed, as she felt that her dream of bringing a Jedi academy to her homeworld would not come to pass. Baas helped her realize that she should not be concerned over things outside of her control, and she overcame her depression and grew less anxious over her weaknesses. She grew to trust the Force completely, and later believed that Ulic Qel-Droma's infiltration mission of the Krath would end in disaster.
Powers and abilities
Like all Miraluka, Culu's natural Force sight helped her see using the Force despite a lack of eyes. Even though she initially had a troublesome time in progressing her Force techniques and with constructing her lightsaber, Culu decided to focus on her problem areas, and eventually became a formidable duelist and Force user. During the Naddist Revolt on Onderon, Culu demonstrated her skills with a lightsaber when she was one of only five Jedi fighting against a vastly numerically superior enemy. During the battle, Culu was often seen fighting separate from the other Jedi. During the Great Sith War, Culu again demonstrated her skill with a lightsaber and Force proficiency while defending Coruscant from a Krath attack. After the Krath were forced to retreat, she combined her Force powers with her Jedi comrades to capture the rogue Jedi Ulic Qel-Droma.
Culu was also a skilled pilot, often choosing to fly her personal S-100 Stinger-class starfighter into combat. She was one of the Jedi who participated in the combined Republic-Jedi attack on Koros Major—and subsequently, was one of the few Jedi pilots to survive the battle. She again flew as part of a Jedi task force during the failed rescue attempt of Ulic Qel-Droma from the Krath palace on Cinnagar. During that battle, she flew as Jedi Three and was responsible for destroying several dangerous anti-aircraft emplacements. She was also credited with having shot down several enemy fighters. Following the events of the Naddist Revolt, Culu, along with several other Jedi who had fought in the uprising, were taught by the Beast Riders of Onderon to fly their war beasts.
Behind the scenes
Shoaneb Culu was created by Tom Veitch and first appeared in the comic book mini-series Tales of the Jedi: The Freedon Nadd Uprising, published in 1994. She went on to appear in several subsequent Tales of the Jedi mini-series. Culu makes no appearance in either the Tales of the Jedi or Dark Lords of the Sith audio dramas, respectively, despite playing significant roles in the comic versions of both story arcs.
In the Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic Handbook there is a Jedi academy which is called the Culu Memorial Center. According to the story, it was built sometime after the Great Sith War. However, it has not been officially stated that it was indeed named after Shoaneb Culu.
- Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi — The Freedon Nadd Uprising (First appearance)
- Tales of the Jedi – Dark Lords of the Sith 1
- Tales of the Jedi – Dark Lords of the Sith 3
- Tales of the Jedi – Dark Lords of the Sith 6
- Tales of the Jedi – The Sith War 2
- Tales of the Jedi – The Sith War 4
- Tales of the Jedi – The Sith War 5 (Mentioned only)
- "Straight from the Horse's Mouth: A Guide to the Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi Universe, Part 2"—Star Wars Insider 27
- "Straight from the Horse's Mouth: A Guide to the Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi Universe, Part 3"—Star Wars Insider 28
- Tales of the Jedi Companion
- Power of the Jedi Sourcebook
- The Official Star Wars Fact Files
- Star Wars Encyclopedia
- Ultimate Alien Anthology
- Star Wars: The Comics Companion
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic Handbook (Possible indirect mention)
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- Jedi Academy Training Manual