Carnor Jax is the main antagonist of the Crimson Empire comic series from the Star Wars Legends continuity. He was a member of the Emperor's Royal Guard and rose to become an Imperial Sovereign Protector, one of the most elite warriors in the galaxy. He eventually became involved in the ways of the Sith and became an aspiring Sith Lord and joined up with Lumiya and held the title of Dark Lord of the Sith alongside her.
Jax's father was a Thyrsian Sun Guard, killed by Emperor Palpatine after he failed to obtain the original Sith holocron made by King Adas. Jax came to serve the Galactic Empire, originally serving under Agent Blackhole as one of his “Blackhole stormtroopers.” He quickly shone as one of the best of his squad, until he was finally recruited for training as a Royal Guard. Jax (with 43 other recruits, went to Yinchorr) where he was subjected to harsh training. This included mastering the Echani fighting style and learning how to wield force pikes and vibroblades.
In the Royal Guard training arena, the Squall, Jax first met Kir Kanos, who would become his regular sparring partner. Jax would best Kanos in most of their matches, lording his superiority over his opponent. While the two were both considered highly skilled in their class, another recruit, Burr Danid, also stood out for his perfected fighting skills. At one point, Emperor Palpatine came for a surprise visit and Jax and Kanos watched as Darth Vader asked the most skilled recruit to meet him in the Squall. Danid faced Vader in the arena and as the Emperor watched, the Sith Lord commanded him to attack with everything he had. Despite Danid’s perfect technique, Jax clearly saw that Vader was toying with him and when the Sith lord killed Danid, Jax was unmoved while Kanos was shocked.
Jax understood the lesson being taught and from then on, trained to become top of his class. As the class began to decrease in number, those remaining were put in pairs so as to learn to rely on their partner for help. The training then became much more intense so the pairs would have to rely on one another. Jax’s partner was Alum Frost, living and training with him for an entire year, but he didn’t respect Frost, believing it was his own efforts that allowed them to make it through their training.
Despite the fact that the two couldn’t work together well, Jax and Frost were able to become some of the last recruits. At the end of the year, the two, along with Kanos and Lemmet Tauk, were brought to their master, Myn Kyneugh. He told them they had one test left, which would be held before the Emperor. In groups of two, the recruits were brought before the Emperor to fight and Jax and Frost faced off first. Given vibroblades and ordered to fight to the finish, Jax easily killed his opponent and completed his training. He then watched as Kanos and Tauk fought with Kanos emerging victorious, before he was disciplined by Vader for feeling remorse for killing Tauk. Thus Jax and Kanos were promoted to Royal Guards.
Not much is known of Jax’s time as a Royal Guard, though it would seem he was a reknowned bodyguard for the Emperor. However he was not loyal to Palpatine and was simply waiting for his own chance to take power. After the destruction of the second Death Star and death of the Emperor, Jax and the rest of the surviving Royal Guard reported to acting emperor, Sate Pestage, and later Imperial Intelligence Director, Ysanne Isard.
After Dark Lady Lumiya asked for a unit of Royal Guards, Jax and his unit were sent to her. She saw Jax had latent Force abilities and trained him as her apprentice, with the Royal Guard developing particular skill in telekinesis and the ability to foresee events. Later, Jax and Lumiya tracked down the Prophets of the Dark Side and killed them. Jax also began meeting major players in Imperial politics, such as Sarcev Quest, a Dark Jedi and member of the Imperial Ruling Council. Quest believed Jax could serve as a leader in the ways he couldn’t and they joined forces to take over the Empire. Quest used his political position to give Jax a large military task force led by a pair of Star Destroyers.
During his time commanding this force, Jax preferred to surround himself with officers, as opposed to most leaders, and assigned lieutenant Geff Blim to serve directly under him. Jax also met the strange Nom Anor and later told Lumiya about him. After Palpatine returned and took back control of the Empire, Jax became his Royal Guard once again. However, he was extremely loyal to himself and his allies and knew that eventually, he would have to confront Palpatine. So as to take the Emperor’s throne for themselves, Quest had Jax named the Imperial Sovereign Protector, where he became the center of the conspiracy.
Jax had General Redd Wessel leader of the military force he’d been granted, gain the support of a number of high-ranking members of the military, influential loyalists, and alien leaders. Every measure was taken to keep Jax’s plans secret: meetings with potential allies were kept as secure as possible and anyone who disagreed with Jax or seemed like they would reveal his plans was quickly slain. With only a few close calls, Jax bribed Palpatine’s doctor into sabotaging the Emperor’s cloned bodies then had himself wiped from the Royal Guard database, as well as any further missions. The sabotage aged and deformed Palpatine's last body, forcing the Emperor to seek out another body.
With his former master's final demise on Onderon, Jax’s plans had gone better that he would ever expected. However, Palpatine’s traitorous and manipulative doctor found himself captured by the Rebels and told them that Jax had gotten him to betray the Emperor. A Royal Guard was secretly watching the interrogation and brought the news of Jax’s betrayal back to the other mourning Royal Guards. Jax quickly sent a huge force of stormtroopers to kill his former comrades and though the Royal Guards killed hundreds of their attackers, they were finally overwhelmed. However, Kir Kanos escaped, much to Jax's anger, prompting him to put a huge bounty on his rival’s head and sent out a massive force to hunt him down, due to the threat Kanos posed to his new rule.
Jax's allies meanwhile took over the Imperial Ruling Council with the former Royal Guard as Sith Lord and new Emperor. Jax, now clad in a modified Royal Guard uniform given to the master of the Yinchorri training facility, prepared to restore the Empire and destroy the newly formed Republic. As Emperor, Jax ruled from a villa on Orb Cantrell and oversaw the Imperial Ruling Council, which for the first time had representatives for a number of non-Human races. Jax’s Crimson Empire quickly spread across several worlds and system.
Going After Kanos
However, Jax focused on getting rid of Kanos, before taking over the galaxy. He tracked his rival to the planet Zaddia, Kanos’ last known location, but this turned out to be a trap and large number of stormtroopers were killed by an explosion. Jax proceeded to recruit the remaining Blackhole stormtroopers and gave them special training to deal with Kanos. He then received a report of four Imperial officers and a squad of stormtroopers being killed by one man single-handedly on Phaeda.
Jax immediately went to investigate, but the local militia had failed to prevent Kanos from escaping. However, the former Royal Guard learned that his rival had been staying with a group of Rebels commanded by Mirith Sinn and had her captured. Jax had her tortured, finally breaking her with his own Force-based torture and finding out that Kanos had gone to Yinchorr. He immediately headed there and upon arriving, General Wessel saw Kanos' ship in orbit and prepared to bring it aboard the Star Destroyer they were on. However, Jax sensed the ship was another trap and took his Blackhole stormtroopers and Blim aboard a shuttle. As it left, Kanos’ ship exploded, destroying the Star Destroyer.
Jax landed on Yinchorr and ordered Blim to conceal himself so he could kill Kanos if he seemed like he was going to win. He then led his Blackhole stormtroopers to the Yinchorri training facility and sent them in after Kanos. But Jax sensed his men being killed and went in to fight his rival himself, tracking him to the Squall where they’d always fought during their training. Jax’s Force powers gave him the advantage, but Kanos’ aggression and determination allowed him to match his opponent. At first, neither was able to win and Jax signaled Blim to shoot Kanos, but found his right-hand dead, killed by Rebels, Sish Sadeet and Mirith Sinn.
The two wanted to capture Jax and use him to finally end the war, prompting the former Royal Guard to try to use Kanos’ attachment to Sinn to win. Jax used the Force to snatch Sadeet’s blaster and tried to shoot Sinn, but Kanos didn’t hesitate. He knocked the blaster out of Jax’s hand and stabbed him in the chest. As he died, Jax said that Kanos’ friends wanted him alive, but his rival coldly said that the Rebels weren’t his friends. He removed Jax’s helmet, saying he was not fit to wear it, and left his body in the Squall.
Carnor Jax is ambitious and thinks very highly of himself, constantly seeking to be the best. However he still realizes that he needs powerful allies to attain his goals and is skilled at realizing when something may be a threat. Jax is usually cold and calculating, but he has a fierce temper and no patience for failure, though this anger may have come from his training in the Dark Side, since it wasn’t seen during his time training as a Royal Guard.
Jax is a very deadly warrior thanks to his Royal Guard training, which has given him great martial skill, wielding a double bladed vibrosword. Thanks to his training from Lumiya, Jax is skilled at using the Force, having great prowess in telekinesis and possessing some telepathic powers.
- In the audio drama of ‘’Crimson Empire’’, Jax was portrayed by Robert Downing Davis.
- Originally, ‘’Crimson Empire’’ was written with the idea of all the Royal Guards being clones and Jax being shown unmasked, resembling Kir Kanos, was supposed to tie into this idea. However since it was established that he had a father, it seems this idea has been gotten rid of, unless Jax was meant to be the prime clone, similar to Jango Fett.