- "They said a billion men had their hearts broken when Wynssa Starflare wed."
- ―Soontir Fel
Syal Antilles Fel was a famous Human actress during the days of the Galactic Empire, drawing innumerable male admirers under the stage name Wynssa Starflare. She was connected to two of the most famous starfighter pilots of the day—Soontir Fel was her husband, while Wedge Antilles was her brother—and was the mother of Galactic Emperor Jagged Fel. Born Syal Antilles in 31 BBY, she ran away from home at age seventeen to pursue a career as an actress. As Wynssa Starflare, she found great success, becoming famous for her roles in Imperial holodramas. She began a romance with Imperial starfighter ace Soontir Fel, also a high-profile Imperial personality, and married him in 1 ABY. She gave birth to the first two of their six children, Davin and Chak, but when Fel was captured by the New Republic in late 4 ABY, Starflare disappeared with the children.
She was reunited with Fel, who had defected to the New Republic, and her brother Wedge, a noted New Republic pilot, in 5 ABY, but Fel was soon kidnapped and sent to Imperial Grand Admiral Thrawn. Thrawn convinced Fel to join his Empire of the Hand, battling the threats to galactic civilization found in the Unknown Regions. Starflare was brought to the Empire of the Hand, where she raised Davin, Chak, Jagged, Cherith, Wynssa, and Cem, and watched Davin, Chak, and Cherith perish in the harsh struggles of the Unknown Regions. After the Empire of the Hand was absorbed by the Chiss Ascendancy, Syal Antilles Fel suffered when her son Jagged was exiled from the Ascendancy, but he went on to become the Head of State and then Emperor of the revived Galactic Empire, birthing an Imperial dynasty.
- "We have been told the Emperor will be here tonight for your premiere!"
"Surely he is too important to notice a holodrama…"
- ―A reporter and Wynssa Starflare
Syal Antilles was born in 31 BBY to Corellians Jagged and Zena Antilles, who owned a fueling depot aboard the Gus Treta Inner-System Market Station, which orbited Corellia. In 21 BBY, she was joined by a brother, Wedge Antilles. Growing up in this rough, mechanical setting, she found that it was not the life for her; she dreamed of a more elegant lifestyle than even Corellia could provide. At age seventeen, she ran away from home to become an actress. Her departure from home left her parents heartbroken, especially Zena. They did not talk about her to her brother Wedge, who never got a chance to truly know her.
She took up residence on Coruscant and sought out work as an actress under the stage name Wynssa Starflare. Her striking good looks and natural head for business helped her achieve great heights of fame. A wildly popular sex symbol and one of the foremost actresses in the Galactic Empire, Starflare starred in Imperial holodramas—generally as a strong, attractive woman who sometimes found herself in distress—and had millions of male admirers. In one Imperial holodrama, she co-starred with wildly popular child actor Garik "Face" Loran. At some stage she also featured in the works Light the Sky on Fire and Hitchhiker and was nominated for the Orman acting award.
Starflare lived estranged from her family, avoiding contact with them. She grew to regret the way she had left and thought of mending her relationship with her family, but before she could, in 4 BBY, she heard that her parents' fuel depot had exploded. Stricken, she tried to discover the fate of her family, but could find no word of them and assumed them to be dead.
- "Don't resist—we can't know the future; just that we love one another."
"The future I want to know is the future with you. I will marry you, Soontir Fel."
"And I will love you always and in all ways, Syal Antilles."
- ―Soontir Fel and Wynssa Starflare
Soon after the Rebel Alliance's victory over the Empire at the Battle of Yavin, Starflare attended a ceremony on Coruscant honoring Major Soontir Fel, who had won a victory against heavy odds at Ord Biniir on the same day as the Battle of Yavin. The Empire propagandized the Second Battle of Ord Biniir in hope of offsetting coverage of the loss of the Death Star in the major defeat at Yavin. Taken by the newly-minted hero Fel, himself a Corellian, Starflare introduced herself to the Imperial pilot, whisking him away from a pair of senators who were attempting to regale him with old war stories. She offered Fel a tour of Coruscant. Fel was himself awed by the fact that the famous Wynssa Starflare was taking an interest in him, and happily accepted.
Starflare showed Fel around Coruscant on what became the first of many dates. They fell increasingly in love, and Starflare was delighted when Fel informed her that his unit, the 181st Imperial Fighter Wing, had been downsized from a wing to a fighter group and transferred to Coruscant for its rebuilding as an elite group. At the same time, she learned that her brother Wedge Antilles had survived the explosion that killed their parents, and as the Galactic Civil War increased in intensity, was becoming increasingly prominent as an ace pilot in the Rebel Alliance. She worried that her secret connection to the Rebel hero would bring down her career and Fel's with her. She also feared that her boyfriend and brother would meet in combat and one would be forced to slay the other.
After almost a year of dating, Fel asked Starflare to marry him. She was distraught, as she had come to the conclusion that she could not marry Fel and thus jeopardize him with the connection to Wedge Antilles. After she finally confessed her background to him and explained her fears, Fel argued that they were unlikely to be tainted by her brother's actions, and that they were already a couple and thus subject to any repercussions. Starflare conceded that she could not allow her fear to deny her a chance at happiness, and accepted Fel's proposal. The starlet married the martial hero in a gala Imperial wedding ceremony that was covered by galactic media. Starflare arranged a two-week honeymoon on a resort world, which was paid for by Fusion Holodrama in the hope that she would read one of the company's scripts and agree to a starring role.
Family and fame
- "Are you and she happy?"
"Very much so, and very much in love."
- ―Wedge Antilles and Soontir Fel
Starflare and Fel lived a happy family life, and soon she gave birth to the couple's first child, a son named Davin. Davin was then joined by a brother, Chak. Starflare continued acting in major Imperial productions that received the attention of Galactic Emperor Palpatine himself, while Fel's star rose with the 181st. As a prominent pair of Imperial personalities, the couple were frequently used in Imperial propaganda. One day Fel was approached by Ysanne Isard, Director of Imperial Intelligence. Isard made a pass at him, which he rejected, then told him that it had been only a test of his loyalty to Palpatine. Fel reported the incident to his wife, as well as his belief that he had made an enemy of the powerful Isard. Fearing that Isard might eventually move against them and certain she would uncover the secret of Starflare's origins, Fel told Starflare to prepare a plan to flee and disappear beyond Isard's reach on his signal, but not to tell him what her plans were. He promised that he would find her should things go badly.
In 3 ABY, Starflare's husband played a key role in the destruction of a vital Rebel supply convoy at Derra IV. In the wake of the victory, Fel was promoted to colonel, given command of the 181st Imperial Fighter Group, and made a Baron of the Empire. As Baron Soontir Fel, he was granted an estate on Corellia, to which Starflare and the family moved. There, Starflare and her family lived with Fel's close-knit extended family. Among them were Fel's brother Todr and Todr's wife Ajai, who had a son, Fyric, near in age to Davin and Chak. Starflare got along well with the Fels, and trusted them with the secret of her brother's identity.
On the run
- "But how will you find me?"
"No power in the galaxy will keep us apart. Believe it. Know it."
- ―Wynssa Starflare and Soontir Fel
In 4 ABY, Palpatine was killed in the devastating Imperial loss at the Battle of Endor. Fel, already beginning to doubt the Empire, became increasingly uneasy as the Empire's organization unraveled. Nine months after the Battle of Endor, Isard sent Fel to defend Brentaal IV—which was being assaulted by a New Republic force that included Wedge Antilles's Rogue Squadron. Starflare contacted her husband by hologram, asking about facing her brother and wanting to know that he would be safe. Fel believed that Isard was setting him up for failure, but assured Starflare that he would rejoin her safely—though he resisted her entreaties to put aside the war and return to her. In the battle that followed, Fel personally flew against Antilles and was captured after his TIE Interceptor was disabled by an ion cannon. Fel considered his dissatisfaction with the Empire and defected to the New Republic on the condition that it help him find Starflare, whose identity he had revealed to Wedge Antilles and who he knew would go into hiding as they had agreed.
Once she heard of Fel's capture, Starflare immediately fled with the children. She escaped just ahead of an effort by Isard's agents to seize her. They instead put pressure on the Fel family, but Antilles had sent some of his pilots to find Starflare, and they helped the Fels foil the Imperial plot. Starflare soon learned that her husband had defected, and was deeply relieved that her husband and brother were now on the same side.
After several months, she was able to rejoin her husband. No longer acting, she adopted the married name Syal Antilles Fel. Her relation to Wedge Antilles remained a close secret even as they were reunited for the first time in nearly twenty years, and her profile remained low to avoid attacks from Isard. After no more than a few months with her husband, however, Fel disappeared from the New Republic, captured by the Empire.
In the Unknown Regions
- "My mother gave birth to five children. My older brother died fighting, as did a younger sister. Why are we out there? Why are we fighting? A threat to the New Republic like the Yuuzhan Vong has long been anticipated. You remember the devastation of the Yevethan Great Purge? There were things in the Unknown Regions that would have made it look insignificant, save we were there and stopped them."
- ―Jagged Fel, to a gathering of New Republic politicians
Fel had been captured by Ysanne Isard, but instead of killing him, she turned him over to Grand Admiral Mitth'raw'nuruodo, called Thrawn. Thrawn convinced Fel that it was necessary he battle the many threats to the galaxy found in the wild and dangerous Unknown Regions. Soontir Fel joined the Empire of the Hand, Thrawn's secret faction of the Empire founded to pacify, guard, and colonize the Unknown Regions. Word was passed to Syal Antilles Fel discreetly, and with Thrawn's help, she disappeared from the New Republic a few months after Fel's capture and covertly joined him.
The New Republic expended resources attempting to track down the Fel family, but despite some suspicions that Antilles Fel might have disappeared voluntarily, their secret remained secure. Wedge Antilles's interest in tracking down Soontir Fel, and thereby his sister, became known to the spies of Warlord Zsinj, however, and the warlord used it against him by creating an impostor 181st Imperial Fighter Group and hiring an actor to play the role of Fel as a decoy to draw Antilles into a trap—which Antilles defeated.
The family, meanwhile, took up residence at the Empire of the Hand's secret base, the Hand of Thrawn, on Nirauan. Though Thrawn left to battle the New Republic in the known galaxy, the Empire of the Hand outlived him, and Baron Soontir Fel became a general in command of the Empire of the Hand's starfighter corps and a key lieutenant to Thrawn's successor as the Empire of the Hand's leader, Admiral Voss Parck. In the forbidding Unknown Regions, surrounded by the grim and demanding militarism of the Chiss—Thrawn's people—the Fels raised a family, adding Jagged, named for Antilles Fel's father, in 7 ABY. Daughters Cherith and Wynssa, who was given Antilles Fel's stage name, followed. The other half of Antilles Fel's stage name was given to the family yacht, Starflare. For their son Cem, the Fels gave him a Chiss name and adopted the Chiss practice of the shadow child—a child raised in secret who could carry on the family name should the rest of the family be destroyed by political enemies.
Life in the Unknown Regions was harsh, and the impact of the Empire of the Hand's many battles could not be escaped. Fel lost an eye in battle, and Antilles Fel's children followed him into the Empire of the Hand's military. Davin, Chak, Jagged, and Cherith all entered military service, flying as fighter pilots in their teenage years. The demands of combat were unrelenting, and though by 25 ABY Syal Antilles Fel had the pride of having seen Chak rise to the rank of commander leading a fleet-arm of clawcraft fighters, and Jagged become a colonel commanding the three-squadron force Spike, she also had the grief of having outlived Davin and Cherith, who had both died in combat—Cherith as a teenager and Davin only twenty.
Invasion and upheaval
- "Before Coruscant, I was actually trying to talk Soontir into joining the fight against the Yuuzhan Vong. I wanted him to join the New Republic like Jag did, either with the rest of the Chiss or without them. But he didn't want to fight; he said that the New Republic could handle the Yuuzhan Vong, just as we were handling it on our side of the galaxy. Then you lost the capital and—I knew two things, then: that he would change his mind; and that you were going to lose."
- ―Syal Antilles Fel, to Saba Sebatyne
In 25 ABY, the Yuuzhan Vong, fierce beings from another galaxy, invaded the New Republic. Soontir Fel dispatched Jagged and his squadrons to the New Republic to aid in the battle and report back to him on the major new threat to the galaxy. Wedge Antilles—who had named his elder daughter after his missing sister—was at last able to meet his nephew and receive news of his sister. Antilles Fel encouraged her husband to support the war effort and fight in the New Republic himself, seeking to turn back the new enemy. Jagged returned, and Antilles Fel's mind changed abruptly when Coruscant fell to the Yuuzhan Vong. She came to the conclusion that the New Republic could not win against the ruthless invaders, and urged her husband to keep his forces safely in the Unknown Regions—but she also was certain that, with Coruscant's fall, Fel would feel compelled to enter the war. In 27 ABY, shortly after Coruscant's fall, Fel sent Jagged back to the New Republic to gather information preparatory to joining the war. The family learned in his periodic reports that Jagged, who remained in the New Republic longer than he was meant to, had begun dating Jaina Solo, daughter of Rebel heroes Han and Leia Solo.
Shortly thereafter, the Chiss Civil War broke out within the Chiss Ascendancy. A dispute over the use of Killik labor led to war between the Chiss houses. Soontir Fel and the Empire of the Hand intervened in the crisis and in the process joined the Chiss Ascendancy. Soontir Fel became the Assistant Syndic of the Chiss Expansionary Defense Force, and the family settled in an estate on Csilla, the Chiss capital.
In 28 ABY, an expedition from the Galactic Federation of Free Alliances, the New Republic's successor state, arrived on Csilla. Led by Jedi Master Luke Skywalker and including Mara Jade Skywalker, Jacen Solo, Saba Sebatyne, and Danni Quee, the group sought to discover the location of the legendary living planet Zonama Sekot, a mobile world that had wandered the Unknown Regions for decades, in the hope that it would provide the key to ending the war. The Chiss authorities denied them permission to travel through Chiss space, but allowed them use of the Expeditionary Library to search for information about Zonama Sekot. Antilles Fel feared that the group sought to bring the Chiss Ascendancy into the Galactic Alliance and thus plunge it and her family into the war that she saw as unwinnable. She traveled to the library with her daughter Wynssa and was startled when she came across the Barabel Sebatyne. The impetuous Wynssa eagerly questioned Sebatyne about the group's research, to her mother's embarrassment. When Antilles Fel displayed her suspicion of the Jedi group's motives, Wynssa forced her to admit her fears about the war. Sebatyne countered by arguing that, should the rest of the galaxy fall, the Chiss could not survive alone, reinforcing Antilles Fel's own grudging realization that her family could not avoid the war.
Wynssa volunteered to help the Jedi in their search for information, and Antilles Fel reluctantly agreed to let her stay in the library. When all the group except Jacen Solo decided to take a break and move their ship, the Jade Shadow, from the city of Ac'siel to a location nearer the library, Fel piloted them back to the ship in an ice barge, and Antilles Fel came with them. During the journey, the party came under attack by assailants in snow-fliers, who attempted to halt the barge. As the barge could not outrun or outfight the attackers, Luke Skywalker proposed that they stop and disembark after setting the barge's weapons systems to fire on a timer and provide a distraction. They did so, and the attackers—led by Ina'ganet'nuruodo, a representative of one the families Fel had helped destroy in the civil war—landed to face them. Ganet, as the Chiss was known, announced that her faction had kidnapped Wynssa and prepared to execute her captives, but the timed distraction allowed the group to get the better of their attackers. They took the would-be killers to Ac'siel as captives, while Solo saved Wynssa from her captor, Fel's traitorous subordinate Chief Navigator Peita Aabe.
The attack increased support among the Chiss for Fel and his advocacy for joining the war. After the Galactic Alliance defeated the Yuuzhan Vong in 29 ABY, Jagged was made liaison between the Expansionary Defense Force and the Galactic Alliance, remaining in the known galaxy away from his family. Jagged, Wynssa, and Cem were the only children remaining to Antilles Fel by 35 ABY; Chak had been killed in combat.
During the Swarm War between the Chiss and the Killik Colony, Jagged, who had broken up with Jaina Solo and returned to the Unknown Regions as a naval commander, guaranteed the parole of the Jedi Lowbacca, one of a number of Jedi Joiners who had taken the side of the Killiks, after Lowbacca was captured by the Chiss. The conditions of the parole required that the Fel family would be responsible for any damage caused by Lowbacca should he take up arms against the Ascendancy once more. When the Wookiee Jedi did, the Fel reputation and finances were ruined by their need to pay for the damages. Worse, Jagged was shot down over Tenupe at the war's conclusion in 36 ABY. Multiple Chiss rescue efforts were unable to recover him, and finally Soontir and Syal Fel paid for two private rescue attempts, the second of which was able to rescue him from the jungle world two years after he was first stranded. As the Fels could not meet the cost of the losses Lowbacca had caused, though, Jagged was exiled from the Chiss Ascendancy as punishment. He made it his mission to kill Alema Rar, a Dark Jedi who had helped lead the Killiks, and thereby redeem the Fel's family honor. By 41 ABY, he had succeeded, but Syal Antilles Fel still could not see her son; he remained forbidden from returning to the Ascendancy. In the same year, Jagged became the Head of State of the Imperial Remnant, after Luke Skywalker, resolving the Second Galactic Civil War, forced the Moff Council to appoint him as Grand Admiral Gilad Pellaeon's successor. Jagged eventually became the Emperor of a revived Empire, which Syal Antilles Fel's descendants ruled for three generations.
Personality and traits
- "I don't want to lose him. I can't take it anymore. I can't…"
- ―Syal Antilles Fel, to Saba Sebatyne, speaking of Soontir Fel
Though Syal Antilles loved her family, she did not want the kind of life that Gus Treta offered her. She ran away from home, seeking a more sophisticated lifestyle. She found it on Coruscant, becoming an acclaimed holostar. She lived estranged from her family, but regretted their distance and wanted to make amends with them. Before she could do so, however, she learned that her parents had died.
After Wedge Antilles emerged as a Rebel hero, Starflare had to live with the fear that her connection to her brother would be exposed and her career ruined. That fear was heightened by falling in love with Soontir Fel, a fellow Corellian and Imperial hero. She was terrified not only that a marriage to Fel would expose him to a potential downfall as well, but that, as an Imperial pilot, he might eventually battle her brother and one would kill the other. It took Fel's assurances that their love was greater than the fear of possible future consequences for her to agree to set aside her worries and marry Fel, with whom she was greatly in love.
Despite her role as a prominent Imperial figure, Wynssa Starflare was not a political ideologue. She was more concerned that her husband return safely to her than that the war be carried to the Rebellion and New Republic, and would have eagerly had her duty-bound husband abandon the war if they only could live safely. When Fel defected to the New Republic, she followed him, and was happy to have her husband and brother on the same side of the war. When Fel then joined the Empire of the Hand, she did so as well.
Living in the harsh Unknown Regions, with her husband and most of her children in the military and serving in combat, she worried deeply about their safety. Of her six children, she lost half of them to war by the time she was sixty-six. She initially wanted her husband to send his forces into the known galaxy to aid her brother and the New Republic in battling the Yuuzhan Vong invasion, but after the fall of Coruscant, she became convinced that the Yuuzhan Vong could not be defeated. Though she knew intellectually that withdrawing and remaining in the Unknown Regions would not save her family from the invaders, she could not overcome her fear of joining the war effort. She finally could take no more of warfare, and was unwilling to face the loss of yet more of her family. Saba Sebatyne and Danni Quee helped assure her that her family's only true chance at safety lay in fighting and defeating the Yuuzhan Vong, and she came to accept that she could not escape her husband and children's commitment to battling the threats to the galaxy.
Behind the scenes
Star Wars: X-Wing Rogue Squadron comic writer Michael A. Stackpole created the character Syal Antilles Fel in the 1997 In the Empire's Service arc of that comic. The character initially appeared unnamed, as Soontir Fel's wife. The final panel of that arc revealed that this wife was the sister of Wedge Antilles. The next issue, X-Wing Rogue Squadron 25, used flashbacks to tell Soontir Fel's life story, and it established the backstory of Syal Antilles and her stage name Wynssa Starflare. It was not until The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, released in 2008, that the character's married name was canonically established as Syal Antilles Fel.
Though Syal Antilles Fel was mentioned in further material concerned with Soontir Fel, Wedge Antilles, her son Jagged Fel, and her niece Syal Antilles, her only further narrative appearance was in the novel The New Jedi Order: Force Heretic II: Refugee, published in 2003. Of those stories that mention her, only Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor and Fate of the Jedi: Backlash have mentioned her outside the context of her relationship to those other characters, both making mention of holostar Wynssa Starflare.
- X-Wing Rogue Squadron 22 (First mentioned)
- X-Wing Rogue Squadron 23 (First appearance) (Appears in hologram)
- X-Wing Rogue Squadron 24 (Mentioned only)
- X-Wing Rogue Squadron 25 (In flashback(s))
- X-Wing Rogue Squadron 26
- X-Wing Rogue Squadron 28 (Mentioned only)
- X-Wing Rogue Squadron 29 (Indirect mention only)
- X-Wing Rogue Squadron 30 (Mentioned only)
- X-Wing Rogue Squadron 32 (Appears in hologram)
- Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor (Mentioned only)
- X-Wing: Iron Fist (Mentioned only)
- X-Wing: Solo Command (Mentioned only)
- I, Jedi (Mentioned only)
- X-Wing: Starfighters of Adumar (Mentioned only)
- Vision of the Future (Mentioned only)
- Vision of the Future unabridged audiobook (Mentioned only)
- Red Sky, Blue Flame"—Star Wars Gamer 7 (Mentioned only) "
- The New Jedi Order: Dark Tide II: Ruin (Mentioned only)
- The New Jedi Order: Dark Journey (Indirect mention only)
- The New Jedi Order: Enemy Lines I: Rebel Dream (Mentioned only)
- The New Jedi Order: Enemy Lines II: Rebel Stand (Mentioned only)
- The New Jedi Order: Force Heretic I: Remnant (Mentioned only)
- The New Jedi Order: Force Heretic II: Refugee
- The New Jedi Order: The Unifying Force (Mentioned only)
- Dark Nest I: The Joiner King (Indirect mention only)
- Dark Nest III: The Swarm War (Indirect mention only)
- Legacy of the Force: Tempest (Indirect mention only)
- Legacy of the Force: Exile (Indirect mention only)
- Legacy of the Force: Fury (Mentioned only)
- Fate of the Jedi: Backlash (as Wynssa Starflare) (Mentioned only)
- Fate of the Jedi: Backlash audiobook (as Wynssa Starflare) (Mentioned only)
- Fate of the Jedi: Conviction (Mentioned only)
- Fate of the Jedi: Conviction audiobook (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars Handbook 1: X-Wing Rogue Squadron
- "ComicScan: 20 Tales To Tantilize" – Star Wars Galaxy Collector 5 (Indirect mention only)
- A Guide to the Star Wars Universe, Third Edition, Revised and Expanded
- The New Essential Guide to Characters
- "Who's Who in Rogue Squadron" – Star Wars Insider 59
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 122 (WYN1-4, Wynssa Starflare)
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 140 (FEL1-2, Baron Soontir Fel)
- The New Essential Chronology
- Star Wars: The Comics Companion
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Essential Guide to Warfare
Notes and references
- X-Wing Rogue Squadron 25
- Star Wars Handbook 1: X-Wing Rogue Squadron
- Star Wars: X-Wing Rogue Squadron: Masquerade
- Star Wars: X-Wing Rogue Squadron: In the Empire's Service
- Vision of the Future
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 122 (WYN1-4, Wynssa Starflare)
- The New Jedi Order: Force Heretic II: Refugee
- Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor
- X-Wing: Solo Command
- X-Wing Rogue Squadron 30
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- Survivor's Quest
- Star Wars: X-Wing Rogue Squadron: Family Ties
- The New Essential Guide to Characters
- The New Jedi Order: Dark Tide II: Ruin
- X-Wing: Iron Fist
- Dark Nest I: The Joiner King
- The New Jedi Order: Enemy Lines I: Rebel Dream
- The New Jedi Order: Dark Journey
- The New Jedi Order: Force Heretic I: Remnant
- The New Jedi Order: The Unifying Force
- Dark Nest III: The Swarm War
- Legacy of the Force: Tempest
- Legacy of the Force: Fury
- Legacy of the Force: Invincible
- Star Wars: Legacy: Fight Another Day
- Fate of the Jedi: Backlash