A hero. A brother. Adventurer and peacebringer, determined to save the galaxy from darkness. A fall to the dark side. Redemption brought by a new generation. This is the story of Ulic Qel-Droma – this is the story of a Jedi.
Recently I did a video about Knights of the Old Republic (watch HERE) and how it’s cultural impact has overshadowed some of the great stories told in the Tales of the Jedi comics. Well I’d like to address that balance – not by tearing down what I hate (because I don’t – KotOR is a great game!!) but by saving what I love. SPOILERS AHEAD
Ulic’s journey began 4000 years before the battle of Yavin when he was apprenticed to Master Arca Jeth of Arkania. In a different time many Jedi set up their own training centers around the galaxy and, along with his brother Cay and friend Tott Doneeta, Ulic was trained as a Jedi. When his training was complete his master assigned his three students to be the Watchmen of the Onderon system, which had recently joined the Republic.
They arrive to find a world in conflict. The mighty beast riders clash against the fortified city of Iziz. Ulic arrives in time to fight a raid on the capital but too late to stop the princess Galia being kidnapped. Ulic followed his instincts and realised the kidnap was a ruse. Galia was in love with the prince of the beast riders and sought to unite the two factions through marriage. He attempted to bring the couple back into the city but war broke out through the Queen who was possessed by the Dark Side. Master Arca returned to end the conflict, praising Ulic for his skill in battle but chiding him for not sensing the presence of the Dark Side.
Not long after Ulic returned to Onderon when a new war broke out. It was discovered that the spirit of Freedon Nadd, a Sith who was once king of that world was influending events on the planet. When Master Arca was captured Ulic wisely sought the help of the Republic and the Jedi who sent a task force including new Jedi Nomi Sunrider, who Ulic fell in love with. The Jedi ended the war and banished Nadd’s spirit for good.
Before long a new threat emerged – a dark site cult called the Krath who waged war on the Jedi, killing Ulic’s master. Determined to avenge his master Ulic infiltrated the cult, against the wishes of the Jedi. Over time he fell to the dark side and was later declared a Lord of the Sith along with Exar Kun, another fallen Jedi. They conquered the Mandalorians and waged war on the Republic with Ulic falling so far as to kill his own brother in rage.
After this act the Jedi brought their might against him and his forces. Nomi used her great power to sever his connection to the Force. Without the influence of the dark side Ulic was filled with remorse and aided the Jedi in overthrowing Exar Kun’s forces on Yavin 4. He planned to live the rest of his days in exile on Rhen Var but he was sought out by Vima Sunrider, the daughter of his former love, who asked him to teach her the ways of the Jedi. Though he was tragically killed shortly after, he died in peace at last.
I love Ulic’s story. I think particularly the setting of frontier worlds and a fledgling republic is what makes it great. The idea that Jedi Masters train their apprentices on their own worlds and Jedi act as watchmen for different system rather than operating from a centralized temple really appeals to me.
I also like the idea of a time where force users remained hidden or others set themselves up as Kings or Warlords. I hope that when we do get into the Old Republic in movies we see a wilder story with threats like Sith Kings or cults like the Krath. I also think Ulic’s story – his belief that he could live in the dark without succumbing to it – would make a good basis for the story of an ancient Jedi.