- "Attention rebel ship, this is Commander Vult Skerris of the Imperial Navy. You are harboring a traitor to the Empire, surrender immediately or be destroyed."
- ―Skerris hails the Ghost
Vult Skerris was a human male captain, and later commander, who served in the Imperial Navy of the Galactic Empire. During the Age of the Empire, Skerris was stationed at the elite Skystrike Academy, where he trained TIE pilot cadets as a flight instructor. As a pilot, he flew a TIE/IN interceptor with red markings, a symbol of his skills in flight. Skerris wore a standard TIE pilot jumpsuit with yellow stripes on the helmet and arms. He was killed during the attack on Lothal when General Hera Syndulla lured him into a trap which disabled his TIE/D Defender Elite's shields and let her shoot him down, sending him crashing into an Arquitens-class command cruiser, destroying its magazine, and in turn sending it crashing into the bridge tower of an Imperial I-class Star Destroyer.
Captain Vult Skerris was a TIE fighter pilot who flew a TIE interceptor during the Imperial Era. He was stationed at the elite Skystrike Academy on the planet Montross. Around 2 BBY, Skerris and two other TIE Interceptors took part in an attack on a rebel convoy heading to Teralov. Skerris and his fellow pilots wiped out the escort A-wings before strafing the rebel transport. The rebel captain pleaded for mercy and stressed that they were an unarmed transport. However, Skerris was unmoved and fired a final salvo, which hit the transport's command bridge.
Later, he took part in a simulated combat exercise at Skystrike. The exercise involved him and two cadets, Wedge Antilles and Ria Talla, flying in simulator pods. During the exercise, Skerris operated a simulated copy of the rebel freighter Ghost, which destroyed Antilles and Talla's simulated TIE fighters. Following the exercise, he took the opportunity to lecture Antilles and Talla on the merits of obeying orders. He personally addressed the two cadets and made sure that they understood his orders. Unbeknownst to Skerris and Instructor Goran, Talla was actually an undercover rebel agent named Sabine Wren–normally a crew member of the ship that had "killed" her, no less–who was on a mission to extract Antilles and two other defectors from the Academy.
When Wren, along with Antilles, Hobbie, and Rake Gahree, attempted to escape in their TIE fighters during a spaceflight exercise and board a waiting rebel CR90 corvette, Governor Arihnda Pryce activated the fighters' kill switches, detaching the solar collector panels and leaving them stranded in space. She then sent Skerris and two other TIE Interceptors to attack the rebels. Under Pryce's orders, Skerris fired on one of the cadets' TIE fighters, killing Gahree. The Imperial attack also damaged the rebel corvette, forcing the ship to jump into hyperspace.
After Wren, Antilles, and Klivian escaped the academy in a stolen TIE bomber, Skerris pursued the fugitives in his TIE Interceptor. During the pursuit, Skerris derided the cadets as young fools. While flying through Montross' atmosphere, Skerris managed to inflict damage on the TIE bomber. However, Wren and her friends were able to escape when her colleagues returned in their corvette. Taking off his flight helmet, Skerris could only watch as the rebels escaped into hyperspace with the defectors.
Hunting the rebellionEdit
At some point after this incident, Skerris was promoted to commander and was chosen by Grand Admiral Thrawn to fly an experimental TIE/D Defender into the Archeon pass with two TIE Interceptors in pursuit of a rebel convoy that was carrying the former Senator Mon Mothma, who was wanted by the Empire. Skerris' TIE Defender was equipped with a deflector shield and hyperdrive. After catching up with the Ghost and its Y-wing fighter escorts, Skerris issued an ultimatum that they surrender Mothma. The rebels refused and sent the Y-wings Gold Three and Gold Four to engage the Imperial fighters. Skerris quickly destroyed them.
Skerris then followed the Ghost, carrying Mothma, and its remaining escorts into the nebula, where he gained a lock on the starship. However, the Y-wing pilot Gold Five sacrificed herself to protect the ship by flying her Y-wing into his crosshairs. After that, the rebels diverted all power to their shields and flew close to a forming star. The TIE Interceptors were swiftly destroyed due to their lack of shielding, leaving only Skerris. The Ghost sustained heavy damage but managed to escape the nebula. Skerris broke off after the radiation damaged his fighter's deflector shields.
After recovering, Skerris pursued Ezra Bridger and Gold Leader Jon Vander's Y-wings. After again finding the Y-wings, he attacked Bridger's ship. However, he again failed to destroy it and was hit with an ion blast from Vander's starfighter. Bridger had used the Force to tell Vander when to shoot. Disabled, Skerris' TIE Defender spun out of control into the nebula. However, Vander warned that they had to leave since Skerris would return once he had regained control of his fighter.
Mission to BatuuEdit
Testing the TIE/D Defender EliteEdit
Having survived the events of the Archeon Nebula, Skerris was posted to Lothal, where the TIE Defenders were being produced. After some time had passed, a new variant of the fighter was produced, the TIE/D Defender Elite, which possessed superior speed, weapons and shielding to the original. Skerris was given the honour of test-flying this new ship, which he did, bringing the prototype Elite to a remote airfield in Lothal's wilderness. Here, he was met by Thrawn and Pryce, who were present to witness a flight demonstration performed by Skerris. As he was escorting them to the fighter, he was startled to spot the rebel Jedi Padawan Bridger battling some troopers, expressing disbelief at the presence of a Jedi. Skerris was further surprised when the prototype Elite lifted off and began to blast the surrounding area, having been hijacked by Wren, who had been attempting to steal the prototype's flight data recorder. The fighter picked up Bridger, then laid waste to the depot and destroyed most of the parked TIE fighters and Interceptors before strafing the landing strip where, Skerris, Thrawn and Pryce all stood. Though Skerris attempted to persuade Thrawn to seek cover, the Chiss calmly faced the oncoming fighter down with his blaster and watched it streak over his head, narrowly missing the command tower.
Seeing an opportunity to test the fighter's combat prowess, Thrawn ordered Skerris to deploy three TIE Interceptors in pursuit. Inside the tower, Skerris joined Thrawn and Pryce in observing the stolen Elite's progress. After two of the Interceptors were quickly destroyed, Skerris surmised it to be the work of Captain Hera Syndulla. Thrawn dismissed this, since if Syndulla had been at the controls, all three fighters would have been eliminated quicker, instead guessing correctly that Bridger was the pilot. After the third Interceptor was shot down, Thrawn became convinced that Bridger's modest skills meant that the Elite would be a rousing success. After the prototype's homing beacon was shut off in record time, leading Thrawn to deduce that Wren was the other rebel onboard, he then had Pryce activate the ship's kill switch, causing it to crash.
Dogfight above LothalEdit
Some time afterward, the Rebels launched a long-awaited attack on Lothal, seeking to destroy the Imperial Armory Complex in Capital City. Though severely outnumbered by the Imperial blockade, the rebel fighters (led by Syndulla, recently promoted to General) put up a good fight and destroyed many TIE fighters. On Thrawn's orders, Skerris joined the fight himself in his personal TIE Defender Elite, shooting down Phoenix Four and Phoenix Five in rapid succession before turning his attention towards Syndulla's T-65B X-wing starfighter. Unable to evade him, Syndulla formulated a plan and made straight for Thrawn's flagship, the Chimaera. Seeing that Skerris was in the line of fire, Thrawn ordered him to break off pursuit, but Skerris refused, citing that he almost had Syndulla in his sights.
Mildly annoyed, Thrawn nonetheless ordered his gunners to open fire and, sure enough, Skerris was hit as well. Though the Elite's shields were able to withstand the barrage, they were disabled as a result, leaving his ship just as vulnerable as Syndulla's. She then fired on the Chimaera's scanning array, damaging it and sending up a cloud of smoke, before closing her S-foils and flying through the narrow gap. Due to the Elite's larger profile, Skerris flew around the structure, and realized too late that he had played right into the Twi'lek's hands as she fired on his now unprotected ship, blowing off two of its wings. Helpless, Skerris could only scream as his disabled fighter spun out of control and crashed into an Arquitens-class command cruiser, killing him instantly. The disabled cruiser then in turn crashed into a nearby Star Destroyer, shearing off its bridge superstructure and giving the remaining Rebels an opening to the planet's surface.
Personality and traitsEdit
Vult Skerris was a skilled TIE fighter pilot who held the rank of captain, and later commander, during the Imperial Era. Befitting his elite status, Skerris wore yellow stripes on his helmet and uniform. He also flew a TIE Interceptor with red markings. The TIE Defender Elite he was later given to pilot had gold markings, matching his uniform. Skerris was a ruthless pilot who was willing to shoot down unarmed opponents, including rebels and defectors like Gahree. He despised the rebellion and regarded the defecting cadets as "young fools." Skerris was visibly disappointed when Wren and the defectors managed to escape into space. He was confident in his abilities as a pilot, but this cost him dearly in his final battle against the rebels. Disobeying Thrawn's orders to cease his pursuit of Syndulla, Skerris subsequently lost his craft's shields and then his life when he was lured into her trap.
Due to his status as an Imperial fighter ace, Skerris was tasked with pursuing the rogue Senator Mothma and her rebel allies through the Archeon Nebula by Thrawn. For this mission, Skerris flew an experimental TIE Defender which was equipped with deflector shields and powerful turbolaser cannons. Skerris managed to shoot down three rebel Y-wings, but his ship sustained damaged from the intense radiation of the nebula. Despite his skills as a pilot, Skerris' starfighter was disabled by Vander, with Bridger's assistance, and spun out of control.
Skerris' overconfidence in his piloting skills let him to disregard Grand Admiral Thrawn's orders to disengage General Syndulla's X-wing. In his valiant attempt to take out the high-ranking rebel leader, Skerris was led into a trap by the ace pilot. This trap cost not only cost him his life but also crippled a nearby Star Destroyer. Skerris' pride and folly gave the surviving members of the Rebel strike team an opening to Lothal through the Imperial blockade.
Behind the scenesEdit
In Timothy Zahn's 2018 canon novel Thrawn: Alliances, Skerris was incorrectly referred to as a lieutenant despite being referred as a captain several times. Furthermore, in the Rebels episodes "Secret Cargo" and "Flight of the Defender", which take place before and after Zahn's novel, Skerris was referred as a commander.
- Star Wars Rebels – "The Antilles Extraction" (First appearance)
- "Sons of the Sky"—Star Wars Rebels Magazine
- Star Wars Rebels – "Secret Cargo"
- Thrawn: Alliances
- Star Wars Rebels – "Flight of the Defender"
- Star Wars Rebels – "Rebel Assault"
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Star Wars Rebels – "Rebel Assault"
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 3.9 Star Wars Rebels – "The Antilles Extraction"
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 Thrawn: Alliances
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Star Wars Rebels – "Secret Cargo"
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 Star Wars Rebels – "Flight of the Defender"