Star Wars Lore - The Life of Kao Cen Darach (Legends)
Kao Cen Darach was one of the galaxy’s most skilled duellists, so much so that he became the Battlemaster of the Jedi Order prior to the Great Galactic War. However, during the conflict’s initiation, Darach selflessly sacrificed himself to preserve both the Galactic Republic and the life of his apprentice, Satele Shan…
As an exceptionally capable warrior whose proficiency in lightsaber combat was second to none among his contemporaries, Kao Cen Darach quickly rose through the ranks of the Jedi Order to become not only a Jedi Master, but also the organisation’s Battlemaster. However, his staunch opposition to all forms of the dark side of the Force upset many of the Jedi Order’s higher-ups. Darach’s belief system did little to deter Satele Shan, though, who hoped to learn of the Zabrak’s philosophy through an apprenticeship. As a result, Darach trained Shan in lightsaber combat and guided her through the Jedi trials to become a Jedi Knight.
Fun Fact: Before training Satele Shan, Darach convinced Shol Bestros to join the Jedi Order, realising his incredible potential. With his guidance, Bestros became a Jedi Master and eventually a member of the Jedi Council.
In 3681 BBY, Darach and his Padawan left Coruscant to serve on the security space station which orbited Korriban, the ancestral homeworld of the apparently extinct Sith. They were tasked with intercepting Nico Okarr, a smuggler who was attempting to purchase stolen Sith artifacts from the infamous grave robber Farel Wickes. Alongside Republic Army Corporal Jace Malcom, Darach and Shan apprehended the smuggler and impounded his freighter, the Redshifter. However, as they escorted Okarr, Satele sensed a disturbance in the Force. The source of her unease soon revealed itself, though, as the resurgent Sith Empire emerged from centuries of absence to take back their homeworld. Darach sought to immediately warn the Republic of the attack. Unfortunately, none of the station’s shuttles would be able to outrun the Sith fighters. But there was one ship aboard that could. The Battlemaster, his apprentice, Malcolm, and Okarr quickly made their way to the station’s hangar, where the Redshifter lay in wait.
After fighting off waves of Sith troopers, the group eventually reached the landing bay. However, they were confronted by Sith Lord Vindican and his apprentice, Malgus. Okarr and Malcolm prepared the Redshifter for departure, while the Jedi duelled the Sith. Darach, unsurprisingly, held his own during the encounter, all while maintaining a calm demeanour. Unfortunately, his Padawan did not fare as well. In fact, she would have perished if her Master hadn’t intervened. Nearing the duel’s conclusion, Darach ordered Shan to flee and warn the Republic. Satele reluctantly complied, leaving him to face both Sith alone, though she did throw him her double-bladed lightsaber. Darach’s decision to stay behind was more of a sacrifice than anything else. As skilled in lightsaber combat as he was, he simply could not defeat a Sith Master and his apprentice. Even though the Battlemaster managed to mortally wound Vindican, he was unable to repel Malgus’ rage-filled final attack. His death was felt through the Force by Shan, as she raced to warn the Republic of the Sith’s return.
Darach’s sacrifice enabled the Republic to quickly prepare a defence strategy to repel the resurgent Sith Empire. Furthermore, Shan went on to fight against the Sith forces in numerous conflicts, and even became the Grand Master of the Jedi Order in later life. Satele, as a result, felt she owed a great debt to her late Master – a debt she made an effort to repay for the rest of her life…
Now it’s time for this week’s question: Do you believe Kao Cen Darach to be an underrated character? Let me know in the comments below.