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Darth Krayt Week -- Part 4

Posted By Paul on July 25, 2007

Thus far in Darth Krayt Week, we?ve introduced the question of his origins, and looked at the character?s name and appearance, and at what we know about his backstory. So now, it?s time to ask: who might Darth Krayt be?

Well, first things first: he?s (almost certainly) a powerful Force-user, a skilled warrior with the lightsaber, capable of single-handedly dispatching an entire group of enemy knights in a few savage moments.

He?s probably NOT Luke Skywalker?s nephew Jacen Solo. Although Jacen has become a Sith Lord in the ?Legacy of the Force? novels, he?s taken the name Darth Caedus, not Darth Krayt, and he seems unaware of the existence of Krayt?s rival Order on Korriban. This could, however, be just a continuity slip-up....

Krayt is also unlikely to be Ben Skywalker, Luke?s son: the teenage Ben is currently a major protagonist in the ?Legacy of the Force? novels, and it?s unlikely that Lucasfilm will be defining his future so dramatically at this stage in a totally separate storyline?quite apart from how it would limit his usefulness as a protagonist subsequent storylines.

Beyond that, it?s pretty much fair game, but some names tend to come out of the hat more often than others... and one, perhaps, more than any other: A?Sharad Hett

A?Sharad Hett is a Jedi Knight from Tatooine, raised among the Tusken Raiders, who originally appeared in earlier Star Wars comics, set against the backdrop of the Prequel movies and the Clone Wars.

His first appearance was as a young man facing his krayt dragon rite-of-passage in the Outlander story arc. Moreover, his distinctive facial tattoos bear something of a resemblance to Krayt?s. And he?s known to have survived the Jedi Purge, going into hiding with his people on Tatooine. This might, of course, bring him into contact with Obi-Wan Kenobi, providing the context for the upcoming issue 16 of Legacy, and giving him a chance to end the Skywalker bloodline by killing the infant Luke.

Also, although originally created by Tim Truman, much of Hett?s later character-development?including his tattoos?was the work of the Ostrander/Duursema team who?re now in charge on Legacy.

By the time of Star Wars: Legacy, A?Sharad Hett would be more than 180 years old; but with time spent in stasis, and possibly Force-based or Yuuzhan Vong life-extension techniques, that?s not an insurmountable problem....

The Verdict: A?Sharad Hett seems to be a very good fit for what?s known about Darth Krayt. Only two questions seem unanswered: could this noble Jedi Knight really have been transformed into a Dark Lord of the Sith; and how would he have become entangled with the Yuuzhan Vong?

However, there?s also one further point to consider. It seems that a key priority for Star Wars: Legacy has been making the story accessible to new readers. References to the ?wider world? of novels and comics abound, but they?re largely presented in ways that don?t require any real prior knowledge, so new readers either won?t notice them at all, or won?t need to recognze them as anything more than details of the setting. In this context, would the dramatic reveation about the iconic villain of this series really be that he was once a supporting character with a complicated backstory in an older comic series?

That said, I think it?s fair to say that if the new Sith Lord is revealled as A?Sharad Hett, it will surprise very few people, although it may disappoint a few. Other alternatives with more direct impact are possible: but if this is who Darth Krayt once was, the untold story of his transformation is still likely to be gripping.

A'Sharad Hett seems, by general agreement among the fans, the most likely candidate to be Darth Krayt—but that certainly doesn?t mean that the fans are right.

Tomorrow?s update will move on to consider a character at the opposite end of the spectrum: one who seems to be a great fit for Darth Krayt, but who even supporters agree, almost certainly isn?t going to be revealed as the "living Lord of the Sith" in Star Wars: Legacy....

Meanwhile, you can catch up with the ongoing discussion on Krayt?s identity in this thread on TF.N?s message-boards.

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