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|“||I was the greatest Dark Lord of the Sith. I am Exar Kun.||„|
|~ Exar Kun announcing himself after his resurrection.|
Exar Kun is an antagonist in Star Wars: Jedi Search, and the main antagonist of The Jedi Academy Trilogy. He was a Jedi Knight who fell to the Dark Side of the Force and became one of the most infamous Dark Lords of the Sith.
Seduction to Darkness
Exar Kun was a promising Force-sensitive who was put under the mentorship of the Jedi Master, Vodo-Sios Baas, and was trained on Dantooine along with Crado and Sylyar. Kun was driven by incredible ambition to become a great Jedi and frequently dueled with his fellow students to hone his skills. This led to him deciding to study Sith history and knowledge on his own. It was through these studies that Kun learned of Freedon Nadd, a Jedi turned Sith Lord. However, his master caught him with the holocron containing this knowledge and reprimanded him. Baas eventually had Kun face Crado and Sylvar in lightsaber duels and he easily defeated the former. As Kun started fighting the latter, he began taunting her about her heritage, but this earned him a clawed slash across the face.
Kun angrily attacked her, almost killing her, but Baas intervened and stopped his Padawan, before taking him on himself. Kun was knocked away with one strike by Baas, but used the Force to snatch another lightsaber that was a short ways away. With this advantage, Kun managed to overwhelm Baas in a furious assault, even destroying his master’s Force imbued staff. Kun soon left to find his own way, now interested in the power of the Dark Side, and headed to Onderon to obtain Freedon Nadd’s knowledge.
Upon arrival, Kun pretended to be a Jedi archaeologist seeking to study the Sith Lord and met with the Jedi who were having Nadd’s starship renovated into a new outpost. Kun asked to study several Sith artifacts that had been found, but was refused and instead questioned about his interest in the dark side. Kun simply set out to find the knowledge he sought on his own, discovering a pair of preachers, Nebo and Rask in the city of Iziz, who criticized the Jedi. He convinced them to take him to the tomb of Freedon Nadd, which was on the Onderonian moon of Dxun. At first, Kun couldn’t get into the tomb as it was made of a metal his lightsaber couldn’t cut through. However, he suddenly felt empowered by a strange force and it allowed him to easily break inside.
Kun steeled himself and headed inside, finding Nadd’s corpse, from which emerged the spirit of the Sith Lord himself. Nadd commanded the fallen Jedi to move his corpse, allowing him to find a pair of scrolls written by Naga Sadow, Nadd’s master. The Sith Lord told Kun that the scrolls would allow him to locate the “last home of the Sith” and he would appear to him again when he found it. As Kun exited the tomb, he was attacked by Nebo and Rask, wanting the scrolls he’d found. Kun furiously cut them down, showing brief distress at how ruthlessly he’d killed them, but soon his attention was focused on his discovery. Kun translated the scrolls and discovered that the last home Nadd had spoken of was the planet, Korriban.
Becoming a Sith and Crowning as Dark Lord
Kun journeyed to Korriban and found himself in the ancient Valley of the Dark Lords, containing tombs of various Sith Lords. Kun was drawn to a temple by Nadd’s voice, but was put off by the huge amount of Dark Side energy present. However a rockslide blocked his way back and Kun proceeded onwards with Nadd’s spirit to guide him. He discovered large crystals, containing the spirits of slain Jedi masters. Nadd suddenly unleashed the energies within the temple, bringing it down on Kun, who barely survived though with his bones shattered to pieces.
Nadd told the Jedi his only means of survival was to give in to the dark side and Kun agreed. After some severe pain, Kun’s body was healed and he felt stronger than ever. Nadd’s spirit drew him to the resting place of Sith sarcophagi and Kun was surprised to find he could read the Sith language written on them. Kun stated he was still a Jedi but Nadd had several tuk’ata beasts attack him and the fallen Jedi found he could no longer use the light side of the Force. With his lightsaber taken by Nadd, Kun called on the dark side and his rage, getting his saber back and killing the tuk’ata. The ancient Sith lord spirits appeared, declaring their approval of Kun’s power, though he kept denying he’d given in to the Dark Side.
Kun continued to do as Nadd ordered and headed to Yavin 4, which had been visited by Naga Sadow and his followers centuries before. Upon arriving, Kun heard Nadd’s voice again, but shrugged him off, only to be attacked by the mutated descendants of Sadow’s followers, twisted by his Dark Side magic, known as the Massassi. Unable to use his light side abilities, Kun hesitated and was captured by the mutants. The priest of their temple, Zythmnr, emerged and realized how powerful Kun was, having him brought to the Temple of Fire to serve as a sacrifice. The Massassi summoned a huge Sith wyrm, which attacked Kun and Nadd once again told the fallen Jedi to use his dark side powers to save himself.
Kun decided it was finally time to give up on the Jedi and unleashed his powers, claiming the Sith amulet the Massassi had used to summon the wyrm. With its power, Kun channeled a huge amount of energy that annihilated the wyrm and many of the Massassi. Those left pledged themselves to the fallen Jedi and Nadd appeared, wanting Kun to work on Sith alchemy so that Nadd could once again have a physical body. However, Kun was done obeying the Sith Lord and used the amulet’s power to destroy his spirit.
He undid the curse Naga Sadow had placed on the moon and took command of the Massassi. Kun put them to work building temples like those of the ancient Sith to draw in dark side energy. He also imprisoned the souls of the Massassi’s children within a Golden Globe and drew energy from the souls trapped inside. Kun had the Massassi build him a private temple and kept studying the secrets of Yavin 4. He eventually returned to the temple where he’d slain the Sith wyrm, thinking it was there to guard something. Kun discovered a hangar where Naga Sadow’s fragship, the Corsair, had been hidden, as well as Sadow’s alchemy lab. Within, he found a treasure trove of knowledge and lore, such as how to empower and modify living creatures. Kun eagerly attempted the ritual in the Sith Temple of Fire, using Zythmnr as his subject. He succeeded, granting the priest enhanced strength and bone structure and razor sharp claws, before empowering Zythmnr with dark side energies and Kun’s own DNA.
Zythmnr adapted to his transformations and Kun repeated the process on other Massassi, while also creating several vicious animal species. Kun eventually decided to head back out into the galaxy, now that he finally had a ship. He was determined to wipe out Freedon Nadd’s other students, the Keto family, and went to the planet of Empress Teta. As his search led him to the Iron Citadel of the Krath magicians, Kun’s Sith amulet glowed and he realized the Ketos had the matching amulet. Kun approached as a Jedi attack was coming to the end and appeared as Ulic Qel-Droma reunited with Aleema Keto.
He engaged Keto and easily defeated her, before taking on Qel-Droma, but neither one could beat the other. However, the energies from the two Sith amulets united to give a message from the ancient Sith Empire spoken by Marka Ragnos, who told them to stop fighting.
Ragnos declared Kun to be the new Dark Lord of the Sith and that Qel-Droma would be his new apprentice, burning marks into their foreheads. The two united, declaring that they would conquer the galaxy together.
Terrorizing the Galaxy
Kun and Qel-Droma worked to gather a power base and to do so, Kun utilized the Dark Reaper, an ancient Sith artifact he’d found on Yavin 4 that could drain Force energy to focus into destructive attacks when used with the Force Harvester. Kun began working to bring down the Jedi, though he was secretly undermined by a sentimental Qel-Droma. Kun did however go to Ossus and renewed the Jedi ways there without revealing himself to be a Sith. He criticized the current Jedi order, encouraging the apprentices on Ossus to join him and leave their masters and even revealed to them that he’d been the one to destroy Freedon Nadd’s ghost. By demonstrating his power, Kun won the apprentices over, but overheard a Jedi master named Odan-Urr mentioning a Sith holocron he’d discovered. Kun sought to have the holocron and when he went to claim it, the holocron sensed his power, flying into the Dark Lord’s grasp.
Odan-Urr attacked him, but Kun easily struck him down, before being joined by a group of Jedi Knights. The Dark Lord said that Odan-Urr had died of natural causes after giving Kun the holocron willingly and declaring that he was a Jedi master. Soon enough, the Sith Lord had a large group of Jedi and Qel-Droma had gained the allegiance of the Mandalorians. Kun ordered his apprentice to continue building their forces, but Qel-Droma and the Mandalore were set on attacking Coruscant right away. Kun was annoyed, but knew he couldn’t stop his apprentice and let him go, but said that if Qel-Droma was defeated, he’d continue his plans without him. Kun brought his new Jedi allies back to Yavin 4, but one of them, Oss Willum, began to sense the dark side and started to realize something was off. After the Massassi attacked him for trying to leave, Kun stopped them and claimed that while Yavin 4 was corrupted by the dark side, he wanted to purify it with them.
The Sith Lord took out the Sith holocron and shattered it into crystals that entered the Jedi present, corrupting them into Sith. Crado was the only one who was not affected, but he stayed on Kun’s side anyway. Kun sent out his corrupted followers to kill the Jedi Masters, going to finish off his former master, Vodo-Siosk Baas, personally.
But before they could head out, Mandalore the Indomitable returned to inform Kun that Qel-Droma had been beaten and was now on trial for war crimes. Kun went with the Mandalore to launch a rescue mission and attacked the Senate Hall on Coruscant with the Sith Lord using his dark side powers to immobilize the civilians. Kun released his apprentice, before using his powers to make the Supreme Chancellor Sidrona declare the Republic an outdated and weak system destined for failure. Kun’s powers killed Sidrona but the Sith Lord came face to face with his old master, Baas.
He tried to sway the Jedi to their side, but Baas refused and the two duelled with Kun agreeing to become his old master’s student again if he was beaten. Kun found that Baas was able to match him, but caught the Jedi off guard by revealing he’d modified his lightsaber to give it a second blade. The Sith Lord killed Baas, who swore that they would face each other again and Kun would fall. Kun let the other Jedi present survive, one of whom was Sylvar, his former classmate, and left the Senate hall with Qel-Droma. Kun went back to Yavin 4 and was informed by the Mandalore that Aleema Keto had betrayed them, which caused Qel-Droma’s capture.
Meanwhile, Kun’s followers, despite some failures, killed several Jedi Masters, though one, Oss Wilum, was captured and his cohort, Crado, returned to report this. Kun pretended to be forgiving and sent Crado and Aleema to attack the Kemplex IX jump station. However, the Sith Lord just wanted to rid himself of the two and his real goal was to rob the Great Jedi Library of Ossus. Aleema followed Kun’s plan, which involved using the Corsair to rip out the core of a star from the Cron Cluster to destroy their Jedi pursuers. But the removal of the core started a reaction with in the star cluster and an energy pulse was released that destroyed the Corsair and Aleema and Crado along with it. Kun felt a disturbance in the Force that confirmed his plan had worked and as the supernova resulted in a panicked evacuation of Ossus, he and Qel-Droma descended on the planet. Kun entered the library with his Massassi while Qel-Droma got caught up in battling his brother, Cay. As the Sith Lord moved through the temple, he encountered Qod Bnar, a Jedi Master of a sentient plant species called the Neti, guarding a vault of various artifacts.
Kun battled Bnar and completely outmatched him, but the Jedi used the abilities of Neti to root himself on the vault and keep Kun from accessing it. The Sith Lord was annoyed, but was satisfied with the various other artifacts his Massassi had found. Kun took his leave, but left Qel-Droma behind and his apprentice ended up killing Cay, much to his regret. His connection to the Force was taken away and in repentance, he led the Jedi to Yavin 4 to stop Kun.
Defeat and Transformation into a Spirit
With Kun’s Mandalorian allies defeated at Onderon and a massive army of Jedi approaching, the Sith Lord found himself backed into a corner. Searching through texts he had stolen from the Jedi Library and knowing he would be slain, Kun discovered a means of separating his spirit from his body.
Knowing this was risky and might not end up how he hoped, Kun ordered a Massassi warrior named Kaldrath to await his enemies and hold them off, while he gathered all the others within his temple. As the Massassi sacrificed themselves for their master, the ritual took effect and Kun’s body was destroyed as huge amounts of energy were released, burning down Yavin 4’s forests. Qel-Droma and the Jedi ceased their attack, deciding Kun was gone, but unbeknownst to them, Kun had indeed become a spirit. However, he was not as free to cause havoc as he’d hoped, his spirit was trapped inside the ritual chamber and he was left to desperately await a chance at freedom. The only living person that Kun would sense during that time came two years later when Qel-Droma, who’d become a wanderer seeking a way to regain his connection to the Force, returned to Yavin 4. Kun tried to reach out to Qel-Droma, but he did not hear his former master and he left the Sith Lord trapped.
Return and Conflict with the new Jedi
Kun remained trapped in a state of restless sleep, only awakened and able to manifest himself rarely. When the Rebel Alliance used his temples as a base, Kun was vaguely aware of them, but remained inactive. But eventually, a group of archaeologists excavated the chambers beneath Kun’s temple and his spirit possessed them.
Kun made them into the Cult of Exar Kun and they returned to the Corellian University on Talus to find more recruits. However, a group of spacers were eventually sent to break the cult up and despite Kun’s efforts, his spirit form made him easily defeated. The Sith Lord eventually reached out to a Force-sensitive named Gantoris and appeared in his dreams. Gantoris was eventually recruited into Luke Skywalker’s new Jedi Order and Luke would choose Yavin 4 as the location to train his students. Eventually, Gantoris and another student, Streen, came across Kun’s temple and realized there was a great deal of power within. As Gantoris continued his studies, Kun kept speaking to him in his dreams and lured him to the dark side. He began to appear to others and even entered Luke’s dreams, appearing as Darth Vader to try and convince him to follow the ways of the Sith. Kun sought to turn the Jedi in training to the dark side as he had his Sith followers in the past. He was eventually able to make Gantoris give in to his anger by showing him a vision of the Imperial forces slaughtering his people.
Gantoris attacked him, but Kun easily destroyed him and he was forced to find a new target. Eventually, he chose Kyp Durron, an extremely talented student of the Force, but also full of hate and resentment for the imperial destroying his family and imprisoning him in the spice mines of Kessel. Durron was also frustrated at Luke’s slower lessons and thus, it was easy for Kun to convince Durron to learn from him. The Sith Lord finally brought his student to his temple, teaching Durron the power he would need to crush the Empire. Durron started to turn on Luke, believing he was weak and wasn't dedicated to trying to end the Empire. Durron eventually left Yavin 4 to search for relics of Darth Vader, before returning and declaring himself to be a Sith Lord.
Luke tried to bring his student back to the light, but Kun appeared and helped his pupil strike the Jedi down, put him in a comatose state. Durron took command of the Sun Crusher weapon and began attacking planets with it while Kun began manipulating another Jedi student named Streen, who suffered from powerful innate Force empathy, allowing the Sith Lord to whisper dark thoughts to him. Kun’s other target was Corran Horn, trying to make him kill Skywalker, but his attempts failed and eventually, the former pilot found his way to the Sith Lord's temple. After being mocked by Horn, Kun blasted him out of the temple and broke his arm. The Sith Lord eventually came face to face with Luke's spirit, stating he would destroy the Jedi's body and leave him as nothing but a spirit. Kun tried to control Streen and make him murder Luke, but one of the other apprentices managed to stop him. Kun then tried to send battle hydras to do the job but Luke's spirit helped Jacen Solo cut the creatures down. Kun tried again to make Streen murder Luke, but suddenly found all of Luke's students gathered to stop him.
Kun tried to strike at their nerves with their insecurities, but he couldn't break their resolve. As the students combined their powers, Luke and Baas' spirits appeared and Kun's former master declared that he was beaten as he'd predicted millennia before. With their energies fully combined, Streen and Kirana Ti drove their lightsabers into Kun's body, banishing his spirit forever.
Exar Kun's most notable trait is his extreme confidence in his abilities and his extreme desire to reach new heights of power. He has no patience for slow methods, believing he understands his capabilities better than anyone. This lead to Kun pursuing the secrets of the dark side and while at first his growing rage and usage of dark side powers bothered him, Kun now eagerly immerses himself in the Dark Side. He wants all the power and influence he can and is extremely talented at manipulation and deceit to bring others to his side.
Kun hates the Jedi Order and the Republic, seeing both as weak and ineffectual and he will go to any lengths in order to bring about the defeat of both. However, Kun does still have some respect for his old Jedi Master and tried to convince Baas to join his order. In addition, Kun’s time sealed as a spirit has made him highly unstable, but no less dangerous and power hungry.
Kun is extremely powerful in the ways of the Force and a master lightsaber duelist. He wields a double-bladed lightsaber and he takes complete advantage of this unique weapon, using various tactics to make his opponent leave openings. Kun has also studied a huge amount of ancient knowledge in Sith magic and alchemy. He can unleash huge amounts of dark side energies and create various species of dark side predators. Kun can also use his Force powers to easily control the minds of others and utilize various other dark side abilities, though he lost some of them after he became a spirit. In his spirit form, he has the ability to warp and manipulate the minds of others, even possessing them.
- While Darth Maul is probably the most well known wielder of the double-bladed lightsaber, Exar Kun is chronologically the first to be seen using one.