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Darth Krayt Week -- Part 3

Posted By Paul on July 24, 2007

This is the third-part of our week-long exploration of Darth Krayt, after Sunday's introduction and yesterday's look at his name and appearance. Today, the topic is what Star Wars: Legacy has told us about his past.

One thing to bear in mind is that Star Wars: Legacy leaps a long way forward up the timeline. Previously, the story of events after Return of the Jedi had developed in a broadly linear pattern, so that the current ?Legacy of the Force? novel series has reached thirty-six years after the Battle of Endor. The comics are set ninety-seven years later, and we know little yet about that intervening century.

Moreover, Lucasfilm and the Star Wars licensees are unlikely to want to define the backstory too heavily, because that would limit the options for future storylines

One thing we do know is that, for many decades before they seized power, the revived Sith Order gathered their strength on the planet Korriban, the ancient Sith capital. The chronological indicators in the comics suggests that they may have already been established there by the end of the Yuuzhan Vong war, and they should certainly be there during the events of the ongoing ?Legacy of the Force? novels?but more on this below....

Within the story, Darth Krayt has recounted his reaction to the Yuuzhan Vong invasion. He implies that he was already mature enough at the outset of the war to sit it out and gather strength, and in particular, he claims that he chose to avoid challenging the Jedi directly when they brought the war to an end. But all this is less conclusive than it seems, as we have only the character?s say-so, and in best Star Wars style, it may only be true ?from a certain point of view?. It certainly doesn?t indicate that he was already a Sith at that time.

Indeed, while Krayt is certainly undisputed leader of the Sith by the time of the comics, it is not clear if he played a direct role in the initial revival of the Order.

We do have one interesting piece of information on the role of Korriban in the revival of the Sith?if it?s reliable, which it might not be.

In The Sith Dynasties, an article by Abel Pe?a at StarWars.com, Darth Vader?s apprentice Lumiya is said to have based herself on Korriban in the years before the Yuuzhan Vong invasion; by the time that she appears as an antagonist in the opening ?Legacy of the Force? novels, after the war, she seems to have abandonned the former Sith capital.

It?s thus possible that Lumiya played a role in establishing the new Sith on Korriban and then left to pursue her plans?or, alternatively, that she was forced off the planet by hostile rivals. Given that she seems to regard Jacen Solo as the only hope for the Sith, the latter option is perhaps more likely. But all this depends on assuming that she had direct contact with Krayt?s Sith Order on Korriban in the first place.

We do know that Krayt has been infected by his parasitic symbiote for quite some time, forcing him to spend long stretches in suspended animation?it?s been suggested that this is even why he?s not made an appearance in ?Legacy of the Force?. This could also have extended his lifespan considerably, allowing him to be someone who was already adult in the days of the Galactic Empire, before the original movie trilogy.

Among his subordinates is Darth Nihl, a Nagai warlord who Krayt recruited in the Unknown Regions, the uncharted star systems beyond the frontier of civilized space—apparently at a time when his Sith following was still relatively small. We also know that he personally gave Darth Talon both her tattoos and her name, which may indicate his general attitude to the personnel of his Order; but on both counts, this may be specific to her status as his Hand?an unquestioning extension of his will?and it?s really no different from how Palpatine treated Darth Maul.

On the other hand, I?m wondering if Talon?s tattoos may echo the angular design of Yuuzhan Vong warriors elsewhere in Star Wars: Legacy, in contrast to the more curved and flowing designs borne by her own Sith trainer, Darth Ruyn.

Krayt has also said that he once had a chance to end the Skywalker lineage ? a chance that he chose not to take. It?s possible that this connects back to the possible Tatooine confrontation with Kenobi in the movie era; but alternatively, there may be a connection with the only other piece of information Krayt has divulged himself, namely his decision not to attack the Jedi directly after the Yuuzhan Vong invasion. And once again, the reliability of Krayt?s words isn?t entirely clear.

We also know that the structure of the Sith Order has been reformed, replacing the Rule of Two ? one Master, one Apprentice ? with a Rule of One, creating an entire army of Sith, committed above all else to the Order itself. Within this structure, Krayt appears to be the undisputed leader, but we don?t know for sure if he created the Order around his leadership, or if he somehow rose?or was even shaped?to fill a pre-existing role.

Lastly, the holocron avatars of ancient Sith Lords dismiss Darth Krayt as a ?heretic?, and more interestingly, as a ?pretender?, not a real Sith at all. This may be simply because he abolished the Rule of Two, but there may be more to it than that.

So, with all that in mind: who might Darth Krayt be? That's a question we'll turn to tomorrow. In the mean time, people are discussing the ideas raised here in the discussion thread on TheForce.Net's own message boards!

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