|Rebel Agent/Jedi Master
|Lightsaber, Bryar Pistol
|Rebel Alliance, Jedi Order
|Dark Forces I, Dark Forces II,
Kyle Katarn is the main character in the Jedi Knight series, who appeared for the first time in Dark Forces video game in 1995. Since then he was the protagonist in most games, except for Jedi Academy, where he still plays a prominent role in the plot, guiding the young Jedi, Jaden Korr in his quest to defeat the Disciples of Ragnos.
Kyle Katarn is a man who has seen all sides of the Force. He has served in the special operations division of the Imperial Army, as a Rebel Alliance agent, and also as a Jedi Knight. Born on Sulon, the moon of Sullust, Kyle came from farmer stock and had a close-knit family. But while training at the Imperial Academy, he was dealt a crushing blow: an Imperial notification tricked him into believing his parents were killed in a Rebel ambush.
Vowing for revenge against the Alliance, Katarn joined the special ops division of the Imperial Army; however, he soon learned the true face of the Empire and his hatred grew for its underhanded ways. Katarn ended his Imperial service when he elected to help Jan Ors escape from their clutches.
Freed from his Imperial post, Katarn turned into a mercenary-for-hire. Along with Ors he vowed to help the Alliance fight against the Empire.
His cause took on a greater importance when he learned of the true fate of his father, who was killed by a Dark Jedi named Jerec. This revelation led Kyle on a journey to the hidden Valley of the Jedi, where he learned of his powerful Jedi destiny. Kyle grappled with the rigid duality of the Force and nearly fell to its dark side.
Born on the planet of Sulon, Kyle Katarn grew on a family farm of his father Morgan until he decided to apply for the Imperial Academy on Karida. While studying there, his family is killed in an incident between the Empire and the Rebellion. The official version was that the Rebels killed Morgan and escaped, the reason why Kyle despised the freedom fighters so much in the beginning. He later became a stormtrooper until the truth about his father's death and the Imperial propaganda was revealed to him by Jan Ors, a Rebel agent.
As years pass Kyle becomes an amateurish Jedi adventurer, still pertaining the traits of a professional soldier and Rebel agent. These qualities make him a formidable opponent to those, who seek bringing darkness upon the Galaxy and a strong ally to those, who struggle against the very many evil forces from the Outer Rim to the Core worlds.
Kyle is reintroduced to the series with the release of Jedi Outcast, when he and Jan Ors receive a message from Mon Mothma to investigate strange Remnant activities on Kejim. This mission brings them into uncovering a plot against the Jedi and the New Republic, set by the fallen Jedi Desann and Galak Fyyar, as well as their minions. Kyle has to travel from the slums of Nar Shaddaa to the ancient Massassii temples on Yavin 4 to regain his strength and stop the Empire.
Some time later Kyle is still serving the Jedi Academy on Yavin 4, taking two students - Jaden Korr and Rosh Penin. The trio and other Jedi face a new menace - members of the Sith Cult, found by Tavion Axmis, who tries to avenge her previous fall and resurrect Marka Ragnos, a Sith Lord from Korriban, who died almost 5 thousand years ago.
In other stories
Kyle Katarn's backstory and early years are described in several materials, including books and complete atlases. Audio drama also tells more of his origins and role in the Galaxy. He spent his early years on Sulon until he went to the Imperial Academy on Karida. While there, he is informed that his family was killed during a raid by the Rebel Alliance. He becomes a stormtrooper eager to fight for the Empire – until he meets Jan Ors, a Rebel agent, who tells him the truth about his family's death and Imperial propaganda.
In Dark Forces Kyle appears as an ordinary man, serving as an operative for the Rebel Alliance. Together with Jan Ors he conducts a number of missions, the first being to Danuta - recovering the plans to Imperial secret weapon, the Death Star. The second mission is to uncover the new superweapon, created by Clone Wars veteran Rom Mohc - the Dark Trooper. After successfully dealing with the general and his deadly machines, Kyle continues to aid the Alliance in their struggle for freedom. Years later Kyle investigates the death of his father with the help of 8T88, as seen in Dark Forces II: Jedi Knight. While this informant droid tells Katarn the name of his father's murderer - Jerec, he is eager to leave the agent in the hands of thugs on Nar Shaddaa.
Kyle chases the droid only to learn, that Jerec, being a Dark Jedi is looking for a map to the ancient Valley of the Jedi. The villain is accompanied by a team of Dark Acolytes, who engage Katarn in lightsaber duel after the young man discovers his Force potential and gets a saber of his own from a family droid WeeGee on Sulon. Seeing the threat of the Empire discovering the old valley, Kyle begins his own journey on stopping the Dark Jedi from Galactic domination.
A few years later Kyle still refuses to enter the Jedi Academy of Luke Skywalker, instead joining another person with doubts about the Force - Mara Jade, with whom they train in the Force, while assisting the New Republic forces on Altyr V (as shown in Mysteries of the Sith). They are interrupted by a sudden Imperial attack, which eventually separates them in their journeys: Kyle travels to a remote location, hidden by the Empire, while Mara helps the New Republic negotiate with Ka'Pa the Hutt and later in some other missions.
The story of Kyle Katarn and his operation to Danuta were re-imagined in a later game - Star Wars Lethal Alliance, where he shares the mission with a Twi'Lek female mercenary Rianna Saren. She helps him steal the other part of the Death Star plans from the Empire.
As the old Canon was discontinued with the acquisition of Star Wars by Disney, many characters and stories were cancelled. Nonetheless Kyle Katarn re-appeared even after 2015, even though as part of a card game. In 2021 the character also saw a return with the introduction of a playable Katarn in a mobile game – Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes.
Kyle Katarn appeared in multiple unofficial modifications both for Jedi Outcast and Jedi Academy. This resulted in creation of several reskins and even new models of the popular character, including Kyle as a Rebel agent from Dark Forces (made for the mod with the same name for JO and JA), as well as Kyle in Jedi robes.
In a few mods Kyle is seen as a protagonist Jedi operative, while in others he is a background character. In one of such projects he is even killed, and a funeral scene is shown with other characters morning his demise.
After the defeat of Jerec, Kyle decided to stay away from Jedi ways, even though he was the follower of the Light Side. During these early years he would be joined by Mara Jade, with whom he trained in the ways of the Force. In some ways, she was considered as his student, even though she was considered a Dark adept of the Empire in previous years.
After the events with Desann and his followers, Kyle agreed to join the Jedi Academy on Yavin 4 and even took two students to be trained as Jedi - Jaden Korr and Rosh Penin. After the two passed the tests, they were sent to different missions, sometimes accompanied by Kyle. With the rise of Sith Cult of Marka Ragnos, Katarn risked of losing both of his students, but in the end both Rosh and Jaden managed to survive the conflict and even helped defeating the cult's leader Tavion Axmis.
The first lightsaber Kyle received was the one with green blade, hidden in the secret "pocket" of WeeGee, Katarn's family droid on Sulon. It was given to Kyle after he listened a holomessage from his father, and as a memory item of his friend Jedi Qu Rahn. The saber was destroyed however by a Dark Jedi Boc during the destruction of Sulon Star cargo ship moments before the duel with another Dark Acolyte - Sariss - began. It happened so, that one of the Dark followers - Yun believed that Kyle deserved a fair fight and sacrificed himself to spare young Jedi's life. In the upcoming duel Kyle used Yun's yellow saber to defeat Sariss.
Kyle would use the saber years later, when he trained in the ways of the Force together with Mara Jade. By the end of his journey to Dromund Kaas, Kyle decided to give up the Force and any Jedi affiliations and continue the career of a mercenary for the Republic.
The conflict, caused by fallen Jedi Desann, made Kyle return to the ways of the Jedi and reclaim his lightsaber (again with blue blade) from the Temple of Jedi Academy on Yavin 4.
Despite being a Jedi, Kyle Katarn would still carry his favorite bryar pistol, which he often used against the Empire and mercenaries as Rebel agent. He would still have it with him much later, and even used it at some point during one of the missions with his student Jaden Korr
Kyle Katarn rarely piloted a ship on his own, but at some point he conducted his missions on a Moldy Crow, a Corellian HWK-290 light freighter. Usually it was his counterpart Jan Ors, who would drop him at the location and later pick up after completing the mission. At one point she was captured by the Dark Jedi, led by the Inquisitor Jerec on Ruusan, and Kyle was thrown into the Sulon Star cargo cruiser. When this vessel was falling down into the cliffs, Kyle had only a few minutes in order to escape via the Moldy Crow.
The ship was badly damaged during landing and was later replaced by Raven's Claw, which was used in multiple missions during the Desann crisis and when the Disciples of Ragnos started their sinister activities.
Kyle Katarn has become an iconic character in Star Wars, admired by many fans in various JK communities. Aside from video games, he appeared multiple times in many books, novels and comics. An action figure of Katarn was also released twice.
Behind the scenes
Kyle Katarn was developed by LucasArts for their 1995 first-person shooter, Dark Forces. Early in the development of Dark Forces, the game designers considered having Luke Skywalker be the central character, and follow the events of Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope. Realizing the story and gameplay limitations of that direction, the developers instead came up with Kyle and wholly unique mission. In the game, Kyle was voiced by actor Nick Jameson.
For Dark Forces II: Jedi Knight, Kyle was realized in full motion video during cinematic cutscenes that progressed the story, featuring actor Jason Court.
Kyle Katarn as Rebel agent in Dark Forces
Jason Court as Kyle Katarn in Dark Forces II
Kyle in Dark Forces II
Kyle Katarn and Jan Ors in comics
Kyle Katarn and Rianna Saren confer in Lethal Alliance
Kyle Katarn Concept Art for DF1
Katarn - Rebel Agent as he appears in Dark Forces mod
Kyle model for MOTS mod