Kyle Katarn serves as a Jedi Master and member of the Jedi Council within Luke Skywalker’s New Jedi Order.
Kyle Katarn was the son of a farmer, Morgan Katarn, on Sulon, a moon of Sullust. As a young man, he joined the Imperial Academy on Carida, eventually becoming an officer and commander of a Stormtrooper squad. After his father was mysteriously murdered, Kyle went on a journey that led to the discovery that his father was killed by Imperial soldiers. He then joined the Rebel Alliance, taking part in Operation: Skyhook, the mission to steal the plans for the first Death Star. Later, Kyle would learn the ways of the Force, becoming a Jedi and eventually becoming a Jedi Master. He would join the Jedi Council of Luke Skywalker’s New Jedi Order.
Kyle Katarn was created for the video game Star Wars: Dark Forces, where he was voiced by Nick Jameson. He gained popularity more so with the game Star Wars: Jedi Knight – Dark Forces II, where he was portrayed by Jason Court in live action cut-scenes. This game also spawned the Dark Forces line of graphic novels, prequels and adaptations of Jedi Knight. Kyle reappeared years later in Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast and Jedi Academy, where he was voiced by Jeff Bennet. Kyle Katarn became a popular and important figure in the Star Wars Expanded Universe.
Imperial Soldier and Rebel Agent
Kyle Katarn was born on Sulon, one of the moons of Sullust. He went off world to attend the Imperial Academy on Carida. He led his squad of stormtroopers in a raid on a small Rebel base. During the mission, he experienced some visions, that he would later understand to be an example of the Force. He also met Jan Ors, a Rebel Agent. For reasons he did not understand, he allowed her and some of her people to leave the base unharmed.
He graduated the Academy with honors. But unfortunately, during the mission, his father Morgan Katarn was killed by Jerec, a Dark Jedi in search of the legendary Valley of the Jedi. He was led to believe that his father's death was the result of a Rebel raid on Sulon. He took time off before entering into active service, where he met Jan Ors once again. After a brief skirmish, Jan was able to show Kyle proof that the Imperials were responsible for the death of Kyle's father, not the Rebel Alliance.
Kyle defected from the Empire, working as a mercenary and an agent for the Rebels. Kyle was a crucial part of the operation to steal the plans to the first Death Star. He infiltrated the facility on Danuta and transmitted the information to Leia Organa aboard Tantive IV, playing a key role in the destruction of the Death Star and the eventual destruction of the Galactic Empire as a whole.
Valley of the Jedi
A year after the destruction of the second Death Star and the defeat of the Empire on Endor, Kyle Katarn was simply a freelance mercenary. He went on a quest to find his father's murderer, and was visited by the Force ghost of Qu Rahn, Jedi Master and friend to Kyle's father Morgan. He was told of the Valley of the Jedi, something that Morgan and Qu Rahn kept hidden - and something that Jerec, the killer of Morgan and Rahn, desperately wanted. Kyle retrieved Qu Rahn's lightsaber and proved that he was a natural duelist, proving capable of defeating the Dark Knight Yun without any formal training. Kyle discovered the location of the Valley on Ruusan, immediately going to stop Jerec.
When he arrived, he found Jan Ors held hostage by Jerec, who attempted to turn Kyle to the dark side. Kyle resisted, and Jerec lashed out, bringing down his own outpost and defeating Kyle. While Kyle was unconscious, Sariss - Jerec's apprentice - attempted to kill Kyle. But Yun stopped her, resulting in Yun's death. Kyle awakened, retrieving Yun's lightsaber and proceeded to duel Sariss. After a harsh fight, Kyle emerged the victor. Kyle continued deep into the Valley, rescuing Jan and going to face Jerec. But he wasn't able to stop Jerec from bathing in the Valley's power, approaching a power that - Kyle feared - may have rivaled the Emperor. Kyle, however, was able to defeat him by wrapping him in a barrier made up of the light side of the Force, cutting Jerec off from his power. Kyle was able to strike him down.
Kyle would build a new lightsaber. Because he feared going to the dark side, he gave it to Luke Skywalker for safe keeping before returning to his life as a mercenary with Jan Ors.
Kyle and Jan worked side by side as freelance mercenaries for 7 years after the incident in the Valley of the Jedi, eventually developing a romantic relationship. Mon Mothma contacted the duo in order to carry out a mission for the New Republic that she believed involved a plot to involving the Valley of the Jedi, because Kyle and Jan were the only living people who knew the Valley's location and therefore a good choice for the mission.
They attacked a small Imperial Remnant outpost on the planet Kejim, uncovering a research facility that experimented on crystals capable of containing the Force. They discovered a mining facility on Artus Prime that was mining the crystals for the Empire. Kyle and Jan heavily damaged the facility and released the slaved miners. However, during the mission they were attacked by two Dark Jedi - Desann and his apprentice, Tavion, holding Jan captive. Kyle tried to fight Desann, but it had been a long time since Kyle used the Force, and he was quickly overwhelmed by Desann. Desann ordered that Tavion kill Jan, and Kyle could do nothing but hear her scream from inside the shuttle. Desann tossed Kyle aside and flew away, leaving Kyle in his rage.
In an act of brash anger, Kyle immediately went to the Valley of the Jedi, where he was visited by his father, who tried to stop Kyle from drawing on the Valley's power. But it was in vain; while the spirits of the Valley were free, there remained a powerful nexus of Force energy, which Kyle drew on in order to quickly restore his power. Unbeknownst to him, however, Desann planned all of this. Hew knew Kyle would go to the Valley, and followed him there.
Kyle went to Yavin IV in order to get his lightsaber back from Luke Skywalker. Luke allowed him, but not before having him pass some brief trials in order to make sure he was capable. He was a bit too capable, making Luke skeptical, and causing Kyle to reveal what he had done. Luke warned him of such behavior. He also told Kyle that Desann used to be a student at his Academy Kyle gave Luke the coordinates for the Valley, asking him to check on the Valley for him while he himself went in search of Jan's killers.
Kyle followed Desann's underworld contacts, eventually running into Lando Calrissian on Nar Shaddaa and rescuing him from Reelo Baruk, one of Desann's contacts. The two escaped on Lando's ship, the Lady Luck, and traveled to Cloud City - which was suffering from an Imperial Remnant occupation. While there, he ran into a Reborn - a Dark Jedi trained by Desann and unnaturally empowered by the Force using the energy from the Valley of the Jedi. Kyle defeated the Reborn and helped rescue the Bespin Security Force, which quickly restored order.
Before she could escape, Kyle Katarn confronted Tavion, Desann's apprentice, and the one who personally struck Jan Ors down. He fought and defeated her, his rage consuming him as he threatened to kill Tavion while using Force choke. Because of her fear, she revealed to Kyle that Jan was indeed alive, and that Desann only wanted to fool Kyle so they could follow him to the Valley. She also told Kyle that Jan was aboard the Doombringer, a ship belonging to Galak Fyyar - lead scientist on Desann's Reborn project. Kyle tossed her aside, controlling his anger and telling her to leave.
Kyle took Tavion's ship to the Cairn Installation within an Asteroid belt, which is where the Doombringer was being built. He discovered that they were smuggling a metal known as Cortosis, which is a lightsaber-resistant metal that can also temporarily deactivate a lightsaber. Kyle ran into Luke Skywalker in the facility, who had also followed the trail. The two were ambushed by a new type of soldier called Shadowtroopers - Reborns who are enhanced by a crystal imbued with the Force that has been placed at the heart of the trooper's chestplate, their entire suit of armor made out of Cortosis. Luke and Kyle fought the Shadowtroopers and emerged victorious.
As Kyle made his way to the Doombringer, Luke confronted Desann. They two briefly fought before Desann escaped. Luke returned to Yavin while Kyle continued into the Doombringer. He discovered that the Doombringer was en-route to Yavin IV for an all out assault on the Jedi Academy. They called in Rogue Squadron to attack the Doombringer when it emerged from Hyperspace. However, they found that the shields were too strong. The Doombringer rained down transport pods onto the surface of Yavin IV. Rogue Squadron attempted to destroy as many pods as they could, but many slipped through.
Kyle brought down the shields just as he was confronted by Galak Fyyar, who wore an experimental suit of armor with a shield. Kyle killed Fyyar as Rogue Squadron took their opportunity and attacked, taking down their artificial gravity systems in the process. Kyle found Jan and the two managed to get away in an escape pod, following Desann and his people. After crash landing, the two lovers embraced briefly before Kyle made his way through the swamps of Yavin IV to the Jedi Academy. He fought many Reborns and Remnant forces alongside his fellow Jedi and New Republic soldiers. He went down into the very catacombs and fought Desann. He tried to turn Desann back to the light, showing how much Kyle had truly changed during his mission. Desann refused, forcing Kyle to strike him down after a fight.
Kyle, Jan, and Luke met in the Academy once the fight was over. Luke congratulated Kyle, offering to take his lightsaber back into safe keeping, assuming Kyle was going to return to his life as a mercenary. Instead, Kyle decided to keep it, staying a Jedi. He and Jan went on a brief vacation to the beaches of Spira.
Jedi Master and teacher
Kyle Katarn found a place at the Jedi Academy, becoming a teacher and earning the rank of Jedi Master - despite his distaste for being called "master" or "Master Katarn," preferring his students to call him simply "Kyle."
In 14 ABY (two years after the fight with Desann), Kyle took on two students: Jaden Korr and Rosh Penin - Jaden Korr being a rather unique case due to the fact that he managed to create his own lightsaber without any formal training. During their travel to the Jedi Academy, their shuttle malfunctioned, forcing it down in the jungles and causing at least two of the students - Jaden and Rosh - to hike it on foot to the Academy. They encountered some Imperial Remnant Stormtroopers and a Dark Jedi, who Jaden - in a stunning display of ability - dispatched without much difficulty. He discovered two Dark Jedi using a strange rod and drawing energy from a nearby temple. He was discovered and knocked unconscious, awakening to the sight of Kyle Katarn and a few other Jedi, including Luke Skywalker.
Kyle was given both students to train, taking them into the ruins and having them run some trials. During the trials, in an act of competition, Rosh sent a Jedi Training droid after Jaden to slow him down, which Jaden defeated. Kyle chastised Rosh, saying that - had the droid been set at a high level, like Luke - it could have killed Jaden.
Kyle sent both on small missions around the Galaxy. Jaden, however, was sent on more difficulty missions than Rosh due to his abilities, and those missions had strong ties to finding out what the Remnant was doing on Yavin IV. It would be discovered that the Dark Jedi on Yavin were siphoning dark side Force energy from the temples, working for a group known as the Disciples of Ragnos - made up of Reborn left over from Desann's plot and Imperial Remnant soldiers. While looking into the group's interest in Hoth, Jaden encountered Alora, a Dark Jedi with the Disciples. He defeated her, but was incapable of preventing her escape. On another mission, Rosh was captured by the Disciples of Ragnos. It was discovered that the Disciples of Ragnos have a quest to bring back the long-dead ancient Sith Lord, Marka Ragnos.
Later, Kyle traveled with Jaden to investigate the group's next target: Vjun, home to Bast Castle, Darth Vader's famed fortress. Jaden and Kyle ended up getting separated, forcing Jaden to delve deeper into the castle. He eventually stumbled on three Dark Jedi draining the power from Vader's old meditation chamber. One of the Dark Jedi turned around, revealing himself to be Rosh Penin, Kyle's former student. Rosh attempted to lure Jaden to the dark side, but he resisted, resulting in a fight between Jaden, Rosh, and the Kothos twins. He defeated the trio, leaving Rosh begging for his life. Suddenly, Rosh's new master revealed herself: Tavion Axmis wielding the Scepter of Ragnos, Desann's former apprentice. Kyle came in time to stop Tavion from killing Jaden. The two exchanged words, where Tavion was angered that Kyle shamed her by allowing her to live. She brought down the ceiling, destroying Jaden's lightsaber. Jaden was saved by Kyle Katarn, who was able to hold up the falling debris in time for Jaden to use Kyle's lightsaber to cut through the floor.
Kyle and Jaden returned to the Academy, where Jaden was given the rank of Jedi Knight. Jaden created a new lightsaber and continued on his quest to defeat the Disciples of Ragnos. They learned that the Disciples were ready to complete their plans to resurrect the Sith Lord. However, they had enough time to go to Taspir III to find Rosh, who had sent off a distress message to them. Jaden and Kyle split up to search the facility. Jaden found him first, becoming enraged when he saw that Rosh was completely okay and in no danger. He considered killing Rosh, constantly tempted by the Dark Jedi Alora to do so and join her. Kyle, however, sensed what was happening and contacted Jaden telepathically to sooth his rage. Jaden resisted, turning Rosh back to the light. Jaden fought Alora, but Rosh was injured severely when Alora cut off his arm during the fight.
Jaden struck Alora down just as Kyle came, carrying Rosh away for medical attention while Jaden went to join the fight on Korriban to stop Tavion. He fought her, defeating her once, but was unable to stop her from bringing back the spirit of Marka Ragnos, who possessed Tavion's body. Jaden, however, proved himself very capable when he struck her down, defeating Marka Ragnos himself and destroying the Scepter.
Rosh was treated for his injuries, the medics equipping him with a prosthetic. Jaden was congratulated and Rosh was redeemed.
Second Galactic Civil War
Luke Skywalker's nephew, Jacen Solo, turned to the dark side and took control of the Galactic Alliance, sending the Jedi into exile and calling himself Darth Caedus. Kyle was among the many Jedi in hiding on Endor and was sent to ambush Darth Caedus outside of the Senate building on Coruscant. With him was Thann Mithric, Kolir Hu'lya, Seha Dorvald, and Valin Horn. Their objective was to kill or capture Caedus, or failing that put a tracking device on him.
Despite their combined abilities, Caedus proved to be far superior. Thann was killed during the fight and Katarn himself was almost killed by a stab to the chest. They were unable to defeat him, but they succeeded in planting the device. The remaining Jedi narrowly escaped.
Major Story Arcs
The Jedi Knight trilogy of graphic novels – adaptations of a game of the same name – is the most important material for the character, defining his origin and defining moments. The books are: Soldier for the Empire, Rebel Agent, and Jedi Knight. The first serves as a prequel, whereas the last two are adaptations of the Jedi Knight game. In the Star Wars universe, both the game and graphic novels are canon.
Kyle would later appear in Star Wars: Tales #21 in the short story Equals and Opposites, showing Kyle’s experience during the Yuuzhan Vong War as a Jedi Master.
Powers and Abilities
Kyle Katarn is a natural duelist. Despite his lack of any actual training, he was able to fight and defeat each of the Seven Dark Jedi, including the Dark Jedi Master Jerec and his apprentice Sariss. He still never received much training after he gave up being a Jedi. When he regained his lightsaber many years later, he was able to get back to fighting other Dark Jedi, including Desann and his own apprentice Tavion. As a Jedi Master, Kyle was renowned for his lightsaber skills.
Kyle's telekinesis abilities are rather considerable. As a Jedi Master, he reacted fast enough to dive next to Jaden Korr and grab a lot of heavy debris from Bast Castle, keeping it in mid air long enough for Jaden to cut a hole in the floor to escape.