Kyle Katarn’s Claim to Fame as the man who stole the First Death Star Plans.
The beginnings of Kyle Katarn.
Kyle Katarn is a farmer’s son who only went to the Carida imperial Academy for the educational opportunities. He had no idea his father was head of a local Alliance Resistance cell. His life turned upside down when he was told the Alliance murdered his Father. It turned upside down again when he ran into Jan Ors for the second time after his Cadet leader graduation mission, where he went against a Rebel communication center. She proved that his beloved father was murdered by the Empire. And so a Rebel was born.
His first missions include stealing the first Death Star plans from Danuta. He then investigated a secret Imperial project, Dark Troopers, that started out wiping out a Rebel Base. He broke Crix Madine out of an Imperial Prison and even fought Boba Fett on Nar Shaddaa. He also met up with Rianna Saren, who stole an updated set of the Death Star plans.
While some on Wookieepedia see the physical difference between Kyle having a beard in the Soldier for the Empire book and the video game Dark Forces to be a conflict, I don’t. His escape from the Empire alongside Jan Ors had the side effect of a dead Imperial Governor, and even in Soldier for the Empire it’s revealed that news of his defection has spread among his graduating class. It makes sense that he would grow or even wear a fake beard when going straight into an Imperial base when news of his defection is on the holonet and so recent.
- Soldier for the Empire (Novella and audiodrama)
- Dark Forces (Lucasarts)
- Lethal Alliance (Lucasarts)
- Nar Shaddaa, where he fights Boba Fett, again appears in Jedi Knight, Jedi Academy, Han Solo Trilogy by Ann Crispin, Star Wars The Old Republic, and various prequel era Dark Horse Comics.
- Carida is the place Han Solo went to the Academy and was destroyed in Jedi Academy Trilogy by Kevin J. Anderson, and mentioned in detail in Han Solo Trilogy by Ann Crispin.
Kyle Katarn’s Destiny is the Force
After the death of the Empire, its revealed that while working for the Alliance he still considered himself an independent agent. He was trying to track down who, exactly was responsible for his Father’s death. This led to the revelation of the Spirit of the Jedi, Rahn. The Dark Jedi who killed Morgan Katarn is now seeking the location of the Valley of the Jedi, a place of great power. Morgan took the knowledge of its location to his death and now, a race is on to find the message he left for Kyle to find it. Kyle finds himself learning to be a Jedi on the fly as he pursues the map and finds the lightsaber his Father ’s friend Rahn left him. One at a time, or occasionally two at a time he took on Jerec’s dark Jedi crew and his Imperial troops, until it was Kyle against Jerec to save the Valley of Jedi and free the Jedi spirits trapped there.
- Rebel Agent (Novella and audiodrama)
- Jedi Knight (Novella and audiodrama)
- Dark Forces 2: Jedi Knight (Lucasarts)
- Jerec also makes an appearance in the Galaxy of Fears YA series : Spore.
- Ruusan and the Valley of the Jedi, as well as how the Valley gained its power, are shown in the Darth Bane series novels and Jedi VS Sith story arc by Dark Horse comics.
Kyle Katarn Discovers Dromund Kaas!
Katarn joined forces with Mara Jade for a time. During this he was led to Dromund Kaas where the intense Dark Side presence drew him to the Dark Side. Mara however, successfully found and drew him back to the light. This rattled his confidence though and led him to turn in his lightsaber over to Luke Skywalker.
- Jedi Knight 2 Mysteries of the Sith (Lucasarts Expansion)
- Dromund Kaas also appears in Legacy of the Force, Fate of the Jedi series and is a playable planet in Star Wars the Old Republic.
The Force Reclaims Kyle Katarn
The Force wasn’t through with Katarn. He and Jan Ors discovered the Empire using crystals and experimenting on creating Force sensitivity in their droids and people. Driven to pick up his lightaber again, Kyle would end up in showdown with a fallen Jedi, Dasaan, who had attended Luke Skywalker’s Jedi Academy.
Jedi Knight: Jedi Outcast (Lucasarts)
- Luke’s Jedi Academy on Yavin 4 was established in the Jedi Academy Trilogy by Kevin J. Anderson. It also is the location of much of the Young Jedi Knight and Junior Jedi Knight series.
- Katarn went on to train Jedi apprentices, including Jaden Korr and Rosh Penin.
- Jedi Academy (Lucasarts)
- Crosscurrent by Paul S. Kemp
- Riptide by Paul S. Kemp
Kyle Katarn in the New Jedi Order era.
Kyle went on to become the Jedi Battlemaster, fighting and surviving the Yuuzhan Vong war along with Jan Ors. He was on the Jedi Council during the crisis with Darth Caedus and fought him personally. He also was involved with the conflict with Daala during the Fate of the Jedi era.
- Star Wars Tales 21: Equals & Opposites
- Dark Nest Series
- Legacy of the Force Series
- Fate of the Jedi Series
Over the course of his stories, Kyle starts out as angry and cynical. The murder of his Father left a mark and his life as an agent of Rebellion pretty much is about revenge. He isn’t entirely trusted, partly as a former Imperial and partly because he’s so much a free agent they don’t trust him to put the rebellion’s needs before his own.
As he learns about being a Jedi he is still keeping much to himself, in spite of his close working relationship with Jan Ors, who continuously saves him from trouble by backing him up even without knowing what his is doing or where he is doing it. In spite of some mistakes, he finally succeeds in defeating Jerec in a way that doesn’t send him spiraling into the Dark Side.
Kyle is still a lone wolf though at this point. A Jedi Academy exists but he is apart from it, teaming up at most with Mara Jade. Overconfident and going alone against the likes of the Sith world Dromund Kaas, his fall causes him to doubt himself, even though he is redeemed.
At last though a mission comes up, once more with Jan Ors, that brings him full circle. Once more the Empire is in pursuit of a way to use the Force against the New Republic. Only this time Jan is the one who gets hurt. Kyle is furious at her loss and desperate to track down who his responsible, someone who clearly can use the Force. Once more he returns to the Valley of the Jedi, using a shortcut to regain the power he is out of practice using. Kyle’s fury now is bypassed on finding Jan might be alive. But in the end there still is a showdown. Confidence regained, Katarn now shows himself a Jedi.
Now Katarn is ready to move on and become a full member of the Jedi, helping train others in hope (not always successful) that they will not make his mistakes. He doesn’t much go for the formal approach but cares about his students. Eventually he is on the Jedi Council and a full Master of the Order.
It’s an impressive character arc given that the vast majority of it is in video games. His wit in them stands out an anyone playing his character can appreciate those moments he wise cracks. “Not another thing to fall from!” comes after many missions where sure enough, one may steer him over a cliff in spite of best efforts. “Your joking right?” is another of his signature lines.
One of the great virtues of Kyle Katarn as that as a game character he has so much personality and character growth, yet the player is invested in him and in his mission. We get the opportunity to steal the Death Star Plans, and the missions only gets more amazing from there, taking on the Empire, Boba Fett, becoming a Jedi Knight, fighting the Dark Side and on into becoming one of his students.