Zekk was a street-smart, Force-sensitive Human male orphan from Ennth who befriended the Solo twins Jaina and Jacen. After a fall to the dark side of the Force in his teenage years, he trained to be a Jedi Knight. Zekk would later go on to participate in the offensives against the Yuuzhan Vong and Dark Nest. During the Dark Nest Crisis, he and Jaina became Joiners and formed a particularly strong mental connection with one another.
As of 40 ABY, Zekk and Jaina were un-Joined but still shared some thoughts. Soon after that they became partners, though Jaina's family thought they were romantically involved. During the Second Galactic Civil War he and Jaina participated in the Battle of Tralus as part of the Hardpoint Squadron. Soon after, he participated in the Blockade of Corellia under the leadership of Jacen and Jaina. Zekk later joined forces with Jaina and Jagged Fel to hunt down the rogue Dark Jedi Alema Rar. Zekk mysteriously vanished from the Force during the war's final battle. Jaina, who never felt him die, insisted he was still alive somewhere. He was considered missing in action, only to emerge months later alive, well, and romantically involved with the Hapan Security officer Taryn Zel.
Zekk spent the first nine years of his life on the planet Ennth, where his parents were colonists. When Ennth began to self-destruct, as it did every eight years, Zekk, a bright, promising child, was sent to one of the planet's crowded orbiting refugee stations for several months until Ennth was safe for habitation again. His parents, who intended to join him in orbit, stayed on the surface too long trying to retrieve the last of their possessions and were killed in a groundquake.
Zekk, not wanting to stay on Ennth any longer without a family, escaped the refugee station and stowed away on a supply ship. For a period of time Zekk jumped from one ship to another, seeking out a life for himself, until he met the old spacer Peckhum, who became his friend and took him in.
Life on Coruscant
Peckhum and Zekk shared a mid-level apartment on Coruscant that had been abandoned during the Galactic Civil War. Zekk had a degree of freedom that most children didn't have, since Peckhum was often away running supplies in his beat-up freighter, the Lightning Rod, or working as a caretaker for one of the many Orbital Solar Energy Transfer Satellites that surrounded Coruscant.
Zekk would often leave the apartment to explore Coruscant's undercity, where he discovered that he had something of a talent for finding things that were valuable. This talent was hit-or-miss, though. On one occasion Zekk climbed down forty-two stories of an abandoned turbolift shaft to find that what seemed to be a glittering object was actually a piece of foil wrapping stuck to some ooze.
Zekk would give the valuable scraps of metal, trinkets, and lost objects that he found to Peckhum, who knew how to sell them and whom to sell them to in order to put food on the table. However, the things that Zekk found were collected faster than Peckhum could sell them and as a result, they accumulated inside their apartment.
Zekk's knowledge of Coruscant's undercity and his talent for finding things caught the eye of Norys, the leader of a gang known as the Lost Ones. Though Norys derided Zekk as a "trash collector," he wanted Zekk to be his right-hand man so that he could access Zekk's vast knowledge of the streets of Coruscant's undercity. Zekk refused the offer because he didn't want to be the accessory of a bully like Norys. Norys didn't react well to the rejection, and while he decided that he wouldn't care if Zekk was maimed or killed, he still kept the invitation to join the Lost Ones open.
Meeting the Solo kids
Sometime around 18 ABY, Zekk met Jaina Solo and her brother Jacen. Though he was aware of—and somewhat resented—the fact that they were better off than himself, Zekk didn't allow that to keep him from becoming friends with the twins. Zekk and the twins, as well as their brother Anakin, had many adventures together. Eventually Jacen and Jaina left for Luke Skywalker's Jedi Praxeum on Yavin 4, leaving Zekk behind on Coruscant.
The Solo twins would later return to Coruscant with their friends Tenel Ka and Lowbacca for a month-long vacation. On the first day that they were there, they joined Zekk for yet another adventure into the undercity of Coruscant, where they discovered an abandoned Imperial shuttle and helped Zekk "acquire" a hawk-bat egg. After that, Zekk invited them to a midday meal of stormtrooper rations at his apartment. Jaina eventually suggested that in return, she and Jacen should invite him to a diplomatic dinner that would be held a couple of days later.
Zekk accepted the invitation and had Peckhum help him select some new clothes that would help him fit in at the banquet. Before Peckhum left once again to attend to his duties as the caretaker of an OSETS, Zekk promised the old man that he would find a central multitasking unit that would be needed to make the broken-down station more fit for Human habitation. A day later, Zekk made his way to the Imperial Palace to attend the banquet.
At the moment that he met C-3PO, the Solos' droid, Zekk's well-hidden resentment of the difference between his social status and that of his friends returned. The prissy droid stated that Zekk's "new" clothes were out of style and attempted to comb out the tangles in his long hair. The height of Zekk's embarrassment came at the banquet when Jaina pointed out to him that he had eaten a bouquet, which he had mistaken for a salad. Jaina's mother, Leia Organa Solo, not wishing for Zekk to be publicly embarrassed also had her family eat the bouquets.
After the diplomatic function was over, Zekk furiously left the Imperial Palace as quickly as possible. He was unaware at the time, however, that his gaffe had indirectly helped pave the way for a trade agreement and alliance between the New Republic and the world of Karnak Alpha, as the native ambassador, of a species that held children above all, had been impressed with Organa Solo's effort to make young Zekk more comfortable. On his way home, he came across Tamith Kai, who was looking for Dark Jedi recruits for the Shadow Academy. She scanned him with a Force detector, and, seeing that he had the potential to be a very strong Jedi, stunned and kidnapped him.
Induction into the Shadow Academy
- "You'll be scavenging for the rest of your years, selling trinkets to earn enough credits for your next meal. Do you really have any chance for power or glory or importance of your own? I'm offering you that chance, boy. Are you brave enough to take it?"
Later, Zekk awoke in a cell aboard the Shadow Academy. His first visitor would be Brakiss, the master of the Shadow Academy. He apologized to him for Tamith Kai's "enthusiasm" and promised that he would be quartered in better lodgings. Brakiss then informed Zekk that the talents that he had used to survive in Coruscant's undercity were no small thing, for they were an unconscious manifestation of Zekk's Force-sensitivity. And if the readings of Tamith Kai's Force detector were right, he was especially strong in the Force.
Brakiss then turned to the task of turning Zekk against his friends Jacen and Jaina. Among other things, Brakiss claimed that the twins knew of Zekk's power and consciously decided not to tell him about it. He also cast doubt upon Zekk's belief that his "friends" or anybody else would come seeking for him, given that he was merely a street youth.
Lastly, Brakiss made Zekk question his future. If he chose not to develop his powers, he would be allowed to leave the Shadow Academy and continue his existence as a trash collector and nothing more. Brakiss told Zekk that he would be giving up a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make something of himself. After this, Brakiss left Zekk alone with his thoughts and a number of delicious pastries. True to Brakiss' promise, Zekk was eventually assigned better accommodations and given a uniform that he found to be dark and dashing.
- "They're going to train him as a Jedi, a dark Jedi."
- ―Jacen Solo
The next day, Brakiss brought Zekk to his office and showed him the power that he could wield if he trained at the Shadow Academy. Impressed that he indeed could use the Force, Zekk decided to do so at once. His first assignment on behalf of the Shadow Academy would be recruiting members of the Lost Ones to fill the ranks of the Second Imperium. Zekk would be accompanied to the headquarters of the Lost Ones by Tamith Kai, Garowyn, and Vilas in order to ensure their cooperation, and possibly his as well.
As he recited his speech to a large group of unusually subdued members of the Lost Ones gang, Jacen and Tenel Ka stumbled upon the gathering. Despite Jacen's pleas to him to leave the Shadow Academy, Zekk refused to listen to him, not wanting to squander the opportunity to better himself. He looked on as Jacen and Tenel Ka were stunned and left unconscious on the floor. He left with the new recruits for the Shadow Academy.
Eventually, the Shadow Academy was forced to leave its hiding place near Coruscant, but Zekk managed to keep one last promise to an old friend. Defying his new teachers, he jettisoned a message pod that contained the central multitasking unit that he had promised to get for Peckhum. It also contained a message to his former friends. Zekk's hologram explained his reasons for choosing to train at the Shadow Academy.
After killing Tamith Kai's apprentice Vilas in a forced duel to the death to prove himself, Zekk earned the title "Darkest Knight", and thus Brakiss' right hand man.Zekk then was chosen to lead Tamith Kai and two other Nightsisters to Kashyyyk. There, he came face to face with the Solo twins, Tenel Ka, and Lowbacca. He faced off with Jaina, then warned her about the attack on the Jedi Praxeum. Because of his feelings for her, Zekk spared her life and fled.
End of the Shadow Academy
Zekk then led the assault on the Jedi Praxeum on Yavin 4. He proved that he was not completely a Dark Jedi when he refrained from killing Raynar Thul, instead humiliating him in front of other Dark Jedi that were with him so that they would not consider it worth the effort to kill Thull. Most of his Dark Jedi were killed, as was Tamith Kai, and in a last-ditch effort, he walked to the Great Temple, where he had a confrontation with former friend Jaina Solo. She tried her hardest to turn him back to the light, but Zekk refused her efforts, although he did refrain from killing her. After his duel with Jaina, he warned the students to stay away from the Temple, or everyone would die. Shortly thereafter, a bomb inside the Temple went off. Zekk was not as lost as it appeared, for he had saved everyone by keeping them away from the impending explosion. During the explosion, a shard of rock hit Zekk in the head, knocking him out. Jaina and the others cared for Zekk until he recovered from his injury.
- "I don't let a paycheck decide between right and wrong for me."
After recovering, Zekk was asked to stay at the Academy and train as a Jedi, but he refused, fearing he'd fall to the dark side again. Trying to decide what to do next, Zekk returned to Ennth, his homeworld, arriving during one of its destructive cycles. Zekk used the Lightning Rod, which Peckhum had given to him as a going-away present, to help evacuate as many colonists as possible, but soon realized that Ennth was no longer where he belonged. Having always been good at finding things, Zekk decided to learn how to become a bounty hunter, believing that his skills would enable him to become one of the best bounty hunters available.
Perhaps through the will of the Force, Zekk's bounties always seemed to be connected with the missing Bornan Thul. Because of this, Zekk crossed paths with a bounty hunter he thought to be Boba Fett, actually Ailyn Vel in disguise. He also took the opportunity to ask about proper business conduct while working bounties.He shared his information with Jacen, Jaina, Tenel Ka, Raynar Thul, and Lowbacca, and together they stopped the threat that was the Diversity Alliance. Zekk then realized that he had too much of a conscience to be a bounty hunter, and finally had enough faith in himself to be trained as a Jedi.
Following the Diversity Alliance conflict, Zekk would return to the academy to train as a true Jedi. His initial attempts proved difficult, so Luke Skywalker suggested he start using the Force in ways that felt familiar to him. Zekk would go on to participate in—and win—the Ord Mantell Blockade Runners Derby. There, the young Jedi and his friends would encounter Anja Gallandro and be pulled into the rise of a new Black Sun crime syndicate. Zekk, seeing anger untamed in Anja, sympathized with the girl and, along with Jacen, spent a great deal of time trying to help her, much to Jaina's dismay.
Zekk would finally go on to construct a new lightsaber with a flame-colored blade. He would later use it to help his friends defeat Black Sun and escape an underwater glacier on Mon Calamari. After this mission, he and the other young Jedi Knights were promoted to apprentice Jedi Knights in a ceremony at the Jedi Praxeum, and Zekk finally accepted the mantle of a Jedi.
The Yuuzhan Vong War
- "No. Vengeance leads to the dark side, I won't be a part of something like that."
During the opening months of the Yuuzhan Vong invasion, Zekk acted as a forward observer for the Jedi in monitoring the invasion path. He also assisted in several planetary evacuations and refugee relocations sponsored by SELCORE.
Two years into the conflict, Zekk was chosen as one of the members of the Myrkr strike team sent to destroy the voxyn queen. This reunited him with Jaina, whom he still had romantic feelings for, but Jaina revealed to him that she thought of him as a brother, not a potential lover. He flew under the callsign "Bounty Hunter."
During the mission, the team rescued two Dark Jedi, Welk and Lomi Plo, but Zekk was instantly wary of them given his past history with the Shadow Academy and his own experiences as a dark Jedi. His fears were proven right when the two stole the Tachyon Flier, a ship that was to be used to extract the strike team. Raynar Thul, injured and badly needing medical attention, was still aboard during the hijacking. With the mission in shambles, the remaining members made a risky attempt to recover Anakin's body. With Anakin's body in tow, Zekk and the others stole a Yuuzhan Vong frigate and forged their escape from the Yuuzhan Vong worldship, under heavy fire from their pursuers. With Raynar, Jacen Solo, and Anakin Solo dead or missing, Zekk watched as his best friend, Jaina Solo, started to turn to the dark side. Zekk feared that if he tried to bring her back, he would just fall with her, and he knew that he would never be able to kill her if she truly fell, so he gave her some distance.
Four years into the war, Zekk officially became a Jedi Knight in a ceremony on Mon Calamari. He then joined Jaina, Tesar Sebatyne, Lowbacca, Tahiri Veila, and Jacen in participating as starfighter pilots for the Galactic Alliance against the Yuuzhan Vong, with fleet action culminating above Ebaq 9.
Dark Nest Crisis
- "Our boyfriend means business."
- ―Zekk, to Jaina Solo about Jagged Fel
In 35 ABY, Zekk was one of the Jedi involved in the Chiss border dispute. He had abandoned his post to join other Myrkr survivors in the Unknown Regions, where they discovered Raynar was still alive and leading a colony of Killiks. Due to the amount of time spent around the Killiks, he eventually became a Joiner along with Jaina. The two shared an extremely close mental bond, resulting in the awkward situation of sharing not only thoughts but also feelings, as Zekk was forced to experience Jaina's romantic feelings for Jagged Fel, just as she was forced to experience Zekk's romantic feelings for her. Despite its awkwardness, the Joiner bond caused Zekk and Jaina to grow closer to one another.
The two Joiners, along with the Killiks and Tenel Ka's Hapan fleet, helped defend Qoribu from the Chiss. Zekk and Jaina then helped track down pirates that were smuggling black membrosia just before the Swarm War started. Their actions during the skirmish led them to be expelled from the Taat Nest.
A year later, Zekk and Jaina were assigned to investigate reports of stolen Tibanna gas on Bespin. Upon their arrival at BesGas Three, the two intercepted three Tibanna tappers using siphoning balloons to siphon gas and pursued them into the planet's high atmospheric zones. After the thieves were taken into custody, it was learned that the stolen Tibanna gas was being stolen by Joiners for use in the Killik military buildup. Zekk, Jacen, Jaina, Tesar, Tahiri, and Lowbacca were later tricked by Jacen into attacking a Chiss base, believing that they were the enemy.
When Luke Skywalker called all the Jedi to Ossus, Zekk and Jaina ignored the call, choosing to remain on Tenupe and help the Killiks win the battle there. They were forced to work with the Jedi traitor Alema Rar to destroy the Chiss' weapon against the Killiks, parasites. During the battle, Zekk led airborne squadrons of Qeeq and Aebea, providing aerial support to the ground forces of Jooj and Rekker, led by Jaina. Zekk and Jaina engaged Jag in a dogfight, but Jag ejected before he could be shot down. At the end of the Swarm War, Zekk and Jaina were rescued by the Millennium Falcon from the shelter they were holed up in on Tenupe. As the war came to its conclusion, both of them were recovering in the infirmary, and were quite worried about Jagged Fel's fate. Shortly afterwards, Jaina and Zekk decided to go through a reconditioning process under Jedi Master Cilghal.
Second Galactic Civil War
The War begins
Zekk and Jaina were later un-Joined, though not completely; in 40 ABY both still shared a close bond, and still shared some thoughts. Both—especially Jaina—denied their relationship as being anything more than one of friends and partners, but Jaina's family saw something more than a simple friendship. They both were part of the strike force sent to capture Prime Minister Aidel Saxan on Corellia with Kolir Hu'lya and Thann Mithric. Here they encountered a trap where Zekk suffered burns on his leg and back as a result from a explosion and was only saved due to the combined efforts of Kolir and Jaina. They later fought together at the Battle of Tralus commanding the Hardpoint Squadron.
Sometime after the Battle of Tralus, which initiated a new galactic war, Zekk and Jaina joined Rogue Squadron, with Jaina as its leader. Jacen Solo was commissioned as a Colonel to lead the Galactic Alliance Guard. During the Blockade of Corellia, Jacen became the new Rogue leader. This upset Zekk and Jaina. Zekk watched as Jacen aggressively handled the situation, and feared that Jacen had turned to the dark side.
Intrigue on Hapes
After Jaina's suspension, both Zekk and Jaina ceased operations for the military, instead serving the Jedi Order, which included a reconnaissance mission to the Kiris Asteroid Cluster, where they detected the Millennium Falcon's jump towards Hapes.
Shortly after their scouting missions, Zekk shared a revelation he had with Jaina: he and Jaina truly were better friends than they would ever be lovers, a fact Jaina had tried to convince him of for years. Ironically, this caused her to treat him with more respect and possibly even attraction. Later, Zekk and Jaina were assigned to investigate Ducha AlGray's estate, but it turned out to be a trap. The Ducha, however, had joined the Hapan insurrection and sent YVH 1 droids after them. Narrowly escaping, Zekk and Jaina were eventually rescued by Ben Skywalker, who had been sent by Jacen to rescue them. Upon arriving near Hapes with the valuable intelligence, Zekk, Jaina, Ben and another crewman fled in the escape pods as the skiff came under attack by insurrection forces.
Rescued by the Millennium Falcon, Zekk and the others boarded the ship under heavy fire from the Anakin Solo, by order of Jacen. As Han helped them aboard, Ben tried to arrest Han, but Zekk prevented him from doing so. Seeing the severe extent of the damage, Zekk helped patch the Falcon together, but as he was doing so, Ben again tried to take Han into custody and force him to surrender to the Galactic Alliance, even going so far as to pull his lightsaber on Jaina. Seeing this, Zekk came up behind Ben, restraining him, but Ben turned and slashed Zekk's side with his saber.
Zekk, severely injured, jettisoned in the Falcon's escape pods along with Jaina, Ben, and the other crewman; all were later rescued by Hapan vessels. On Hapes, Zekk was taken to the infirmary for surgery, but was expected to survive the injury.
The Hunt for Alema Rar
Zekk later teamed up with Jaina and Jagged Fel to hunt down Alema Rar. During the mission, Jagged admitted to both Zekk and Jaina that he was jealous of Zekk, and that it was this jealousy, and not any lack of skill on Zekk's part, that had led Jag to keep Zekk out of Jaina's Twin Suns Squadron during the Yuuzhan Vong War. Despite the marked rivalry between Zekk and Jag over the other's supposed interest in Jaina, Zekk and crew nearly nabbed Alema aboard the Errant Venture before she managed to escape on the Duracrud.
After her escape, Zekk, Jag and Jaina followed Alema to Ossus, where they found her abandoned vessel in the forest treetops. After an initial disagreement between Zekk and Jag over who would accompany Jaina to the academy to guard the younglings, Zekk agreed to stay behind and watch Alema's ship. Upon arriving, Jaina and Jag discovered that Major Salle Serpa had taken the Academy hostage on Jacen's orders, and Jaina warned Zekk to stay hidden in the forest. When Serpa stopped Jaina's offensive by holding one of the children, Vekki, at blasterpoint, Zekk emerged from the trees in a surprise attack, cutting off Serpa's arms and saving Jaina and the younglings.
After encountering Alema Rar's Force phantom aboard the Love Commander, Zekk, Jaina and Jag tracked her to Lumiya's asteroid habitat. While there, Zekk was injured by one of Alema's phantoms; soon after, he and Jaina were attacked by Ship, Alema's Sith Meditation Sphere. Zekk realized that he could talk to Ship using the dark side techniques he'd learned at the Shadow Academy, and chose to make the sacrifice of once again touching the dark side to save Jaina's life. Buying time for Jaina to escape, Zekk successfully convinced Ship to leave Alema Rar and the asteroid. However, with his defenses now compromised, Zekk was overcome by the dark side energy of the asteroid, making it impossible for him to escape. Jaina found Zekk, dazed and emotionally wounded, and managed to get him out of danger, leaving Jag behind on the asteroid, where he found and killed Alema Rar. Though still traumatized, Zekk began to recover when he was away from the dark side energy present on the asteroid.
Taking on Caedus
Zekk remained at the Jedi base on Shedu Maad, recovering from his brush with the dark side, eventually gathering strength enough to spar with Jaina. Zekk was present for the arrival of Ben Skywalker and Tenel Ka Djo, accompanied by the Queen Mother's cousins, Trista Zel and her identical twin Taryn, who immediately took a liking to the "handsome" Zekk.
During the pre-launch preparations for the Jedi attack on the Anakin Solo, Zekk was oblivious to the thoughts of Jaina as she reflected on their relationship, which had grown more distant while she had been with the Mandalorians. During the actual battle, Jaina and Zekk drew the Anakin Solo's fire long enough for the Hapan fleet to arrive. With their ships heavily damaged, Zekk disappeared during their last and most dangerous pass on the Anakin Solo. He was no longer present in the Force, but Jaina had not felt him die. After the death of Caedus, Jaina ordered a search to begin for Zekk. He reappeared six months later, romantically involved with Taryn Zel and refusing to speak about where he had been, leading Han and Leia Solo to speculate he had gone on a secret mission for Tenel Ka.
Back in action
Zekk reemerged from his absence during a period of turmoil for the Order: the Galactic Alliance citizens were becoming increasingly hostile to the Jedi, Chief of State Natasi Daala was determined to bring the Order under control, and Luke had been exiled. Zekk came back to lend his aid, and was also romantically involved with Taryn Zel.
Personality and traits
Having grown up as an orphan, Zekk became very independent. As such, he constantly had only his own skills to rely on, scavenging what he could and finding his way first around the galaxy, then through the lower levels of Coruscant, unaware he was being aided by his affinity with the Force. This talent allowed him to find valuable items others could not and even meet people such as the Solo twins that would change his destiny. Zekk was a loyal friend and had an unusual sense of humor; he was the only one who laughed at Jacen Solo's jokes. In spite of this, he was bitter over growing up without parents and living without the luxuries that were afforded to his friends.
Seduced by the promises of a better life, Zekk became a pupil at the Shadow Academy where he was a keen learner. He became the best apprentice of the academy after he beat his rival Vilas. After being redeemed, he sought his own way in life and became a bounty hunter, though he ultimately turned away from that way of life after realizing how amoral that way of life was. When he became a Jedi he was absolutely against acts of revenge and would attempt to point out the flaws of such actions to his friends.
Behind the scenes
With the release of Legacy of the Force: Betrayal, Zekk's age was called into question. Previous sources all state that he is about two years older than Jaina, but Betrayal states he is a few years younger. This has been stated by Betrayal author Aaron Allston to be a continuity error, and that the older age is correct.
- "The Dark Side" – Star Wars Galaxy Magazine 8
- "The Deadly Dozen" – Star Wars Galaxy Magazine 8
- Star Wars: Boba Fett
- The Dark Side Sourcebook
- "Who's Who in the New Jedi Order" – Star Wars Insider 57
- The New Jedi Order Sourcebook
- The New Essential Guide to Characters
- Power of the Jedi Sourcebook
- The New Essential Chronology
- Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- Fate of the Jedi: Dramatis Personae
- The Essential Reader's Companion
Notes and references
- Young Jedi Knights: The Lost Ones
- Dark Nest I: The Joiner King
- Legacy of the Force: Betrayal
- Young Jedi Knights: Shards of Alderaan
- Junior Jedi Knights: Anakin's Quest
- Young Jedi Knights: Lightsabers
- Young Jedi Knights: Darkest Knight
- Young Jedi Knights: Jedi Under Siege
- Young Jedi Knights: The Emperor's Plague
- Young Jedi Knights: Crisis at Crystal Reef
- The New Jedi Order: Star by Star
- The New Jedi Order: Dark Journey
- The New Jedi Order: Enemy Lines II: Rebel Stand
- The New Jedi Order: Destiny's Way
- The New Jedi Order: The Unifying Force
- Dark Nest II: The Unseen Queen
- Dark Nest III: The Swarm War
- Legacy of the Force: Bloodlines
- Legacy of the Force: Tempest
- Legacy of the Force: Exile
- Legacy of the Force: Inferno
- Legacy of the Force: Fury
- Legacy of the Force: Invincible
- Fate of the Jedi: Backlash
- Young Jedi Knights: Delusions of Grandeur
- Young Jedi Knights: Jedi Bounty