Five Amazing Jedi That We May Never See Again
Oh, Disney. Why did you have to deprive us of all of these great characters? One of the great tragedies about Disney’s shunting of the EU to one side is that it got rid of some of the best characters in Star Wars, especially Jedi. Whereas the films end with Rey being the last Jedi, in the old timeline, Luke rebuilt them into a powerful force for good in the Galaxy. Some of the best characters post-Endor joined the New Jedi Order, and now we may never see them again!
In honor of May the Fourth, we’re taking a look at five amazing Jedi that Disney forgot about. Full disclosure, this will only count those who became Jedi following Episode VI. In addition, we’ll be excluding members of the Skywalker Family. We’ve got to give others a chance to shine.
Meet the Chuck Norris of Star Wars and the foil to Luke Skywalker, Kyle Katarn. Formerly an Imperial Stormtrooper, Kyle defected to the Rebellion after learning they had killed his Father. As a rebel, Kyle became one of the Alliance’s best operatives. However, it wasn’t until after Endor that he learned that, like his Dad, he had a strong connection to the Force. This set him down the path towards becoming a Jedi.
Kyle Katarn’s journey to being a Jedi was far from easy. On more than one occasion, he skirted very close to going to the Dark Side, even forsaking the Force at one point out of fear of falling. However, when push came to shove, Kyle ultimately learned to embrace his role as a Jedi, becoming every bit the badass as fellow Rebel hero Luke Skywalker.
Not convinced? Before he learned of his Force sensitivity, Kyle single-handedly brought an end to a top-secret Imperial program that was creating next-gen battle droids. Not long after learning of his connection to the Force, he battled seven Dark Jedi in rapid succession, one of whom was a former Jedi Master from the old order souped up on a nexus of raw force energy. Later, he would do the exact same thing to another Dark Jedi who sought to create an army of soldiers artificially connected to the Force. Is it any wonder why Luke named him Battlemaster of the New Jedi Order?
Continuing our coverage, we have the apprentice of the previous entry, Jaden Korr. Jaden’s career as a Jedi started in a most unorthodox manner, even when compared to the likes of other Jedi. As a teenager, Jaden found himself in a Force-induced trance where he proceeded to create his own lightsaber. Such a feat by an untrained Force user was thought to be impossible until Jaden did so. Not one to pass up such a promising student, Jaden was quickly enrolled in Luke Skywalker’s burgeoning New Jedi Order, where he would come to be Padawan to Kyle Katarn.
Jaden’s career as a Jedi would get another head-start, this time due to a Dark Side cult that worshipped a long dead Sith Lord. In an effort to stop this cult from using Dark Side energy to resurrect the ancient Sith Lord, Jaden and the Jedi would travel across the Galaxy to stop their mad plans. All of this culminated with Jaden fighting and besting the cult leader on the Sith homeworld, then doing so again when she was possessed by the spirit of the very Dark Lord she sought to revive. That feat was more than enough for Luke to promote to full Jedi Knight.
Jaden’s tale may not be as storied as a whole when compared to other Jedi, but his feats should not go unrecognized. The fact that he built his own lightsaber without any training, then proceeded to fight a Sith cult and their ghostly master, all in a short time is an amazing feat. Over the following decades, Jaden would continue to perform astonishing feats that more than earned him a spot amongst the best the New Jedi had to offer.
This man is what you would get if you fused Luke Skywalker, Wedge Antilles, and Han Solo into a single character. Born on Corellia to a member of the local police force, Corran would go on to follow in his father’s footsteps and become an officer of the law. Following the Battle of Endor, though, he realized that what was left of the Empire would likely kill him, so he escaped and went into hiding for a year. When he re-emerged, he joined the New Republic and got a spot in the legendary Rogue Squadron just as they were gearing up for to liberate the capital of Coruscant. Too bad he got shot down during the liberation.
Corran’s story didn’t end there, though. Captured by the Imperials left on Coruscant, Corran escaped, due in part to his Force sensitivity. While he would decline Luke’s initial offer in favor of remaining in Rogue Squadron, Corran would eventually take the fellow Rebel hero up on it. Corran became one of Luke’s initial class of twelve, and would quickly rise to play a prominent role in the New Jedi Order. His experience in the military and law enforcement served him well as a Jedi over the decades, even leading him to be named to the Jedi Council by 44 ABY.
Corran Horn is one of the best and most fleshed out characters to come out of the old Expanded Universe. From his lead role in the X-Wing novels to his continued prominence up to the old EU’s end, Corran proved very popular with writers. Considering how he had the Force like Luke, came from Corellia like Han and Wedge, and could fly on par with all three of them, though, that’s not much of a surprise.
This is a man who came very close to becoming his generation’s Darth Vader. At a young age, his parents were arrested by the Empire, his older brother being conscripted into their ranks while he and his parents were sent to Kessel to serve hard labor. Kyp would’ve been stuck there forever had it not been for the arrival of Han Solo and Chewbacca. Managing to befriend the two heroes of the New Republic, the youth would help them escape Kessel before joining Luke’s Jedi Order.
However, the trauma of Kyp’s past could not be so easily forgotten, nor could Kyp forgive the Empire for what it did to his family. This made him easy prey for the spirit of an ancient Sith Lord. Under the thrall of the Dark Side, Kyp went on a rampage, destroying an entire system under Imperial control and killing billions in the process (including his brother.) By the time his fellow students defeated the Sith spirit, Kyp was forever scarred by his actions. Despite everything, though, Luke and the New Republic chose to spare him. As a result, he would dedicate the rest of his life to atoning for his actions.
Kyp Durron could basically be considered an earlier version of Kylo Ren, only cooler. Both were strong enough in the Force that they could rival the likes of Luke and Anakin Skywalker, and both were consumed by dark pasts. The difference is that Kyp got to live to make up for what he did, while Ben Solo would die not long afterwards. Ultimately, Kyp’s another example at the power of redemption, which is a core theme in Star Wars as a whole.
I doubt that few people in Star Wars have had it as rough as Tahiri Veila. Born on Tatooine and orphaned at a young age, Tahiri was adopted by a tribe of Tusken Raiders. Eventually, fellow Tatooine native and Jedi Luke Skywalker recruited her into the New Jedi Order. As a trainee, she had the distinction of becoming best friends with Anakin Solo, youngest of the three Solo children and Grandson of Anakin Skywalker. The two went on many adventures and the future looked bright.
Then came the trauma conga line.
First came the horrors of the Yuuzhan Vong War against extra-galactic invaders. As if being captured and experimented on by the Vong wasn’t bad enough, the war took the life of young Anakin. Right as their relationship was going from “just bffs” to something more romantic. Tahiri never fully recovered from these dual traumas, which led to her having a brief stint as a Sith Apprentice before returning to the light.
The story of Tahiri Veila is not an inherently happy one, but it’s what made her stand as out as a Jedi. By the end of the Expanded Universe, Tahiri could be seen as an example of what trauma can do to a good person. Moreover, her struggle with the Dark Side and what she did can be seen as an example of how hard it can be to recover from said trauma. Thankfully, with the support of the Jedi and the Solos (who practically considered her their daughter), Tahiri was able to begin the road to recovery. She deserves it.