Know your Lore: Atris

Atris was a female Jedi Master and Jedi historian who sat on the Jedi High Council during both the Mandalorian Wars and Jedi Civil War. She viewed the Jedi Order as a symbol of light, justice, and perfection. All this changed, however, when the Jedi Exile defied the council and participated in the Mandalorian Wars alongside Revan and Malak. Having one whom she cared about defy everything she believed in shook Atris to her very core.

During the First Jedi Purge, Atris arranged a Jedi conclave on Katarr in the hope of drawing out the Sith. The plan failed, and many Jedi died. She went into seclusion, surrounding herself with those who could not feel the Force. Influenced by Sith holocrons she had been collecting, Atris gradually fell to the dark side. She was eventually confronted by the Jedi Exile, and after a heated lightsaber duel, Atris was defeated. The Exile spared her life, and started her down the path to redemption.

By the time of the Mandalorian Wars, Atris had achieved the rank of Jedi Master and become a member of the Jedi High Council. When the war erupted, the Galactic Republic came to the Jedi for aid. However, Atris resisted the call to protect the inhabitants of the Outer Rim Territories, instead staunchly defending the council’s decision to meditate and reflect before taking action.

Many Jedi did not understand how the council could sit idly while innocents died, and the order was split when two Jedi Knights, Revan and Malak, chose to leave the order and go to war. Many followed them, including a Jedi who would later come to be known as the Jedi Exile. Atris had held strong feelings for the Exile, viewing her as something of a hero. When she left the order to join the war, rejecting everything that Atris believed in, Atris felt personally betrayed.

Atris, sitting on the Jedi High Council in 3,963 BBY.

After the wars ended, only one of the Jedi who had followed Revan to war returned to face the council: the Jedi Exile. She stood before them as an echo in the Force, having cut herself off from it after the final battle at Malachor V. The Exile was so defiant, so certain of the rightness of her actions that she caused Atris to doubt herself. Atris wanted to punish the Exile for this, and became convinced that the Exile had fallen to the dark side along with all of the others who had followed Revan. She felt that exile was a lenient punishment for the Jedi Exile’s betrayal, and believed that the Exile would only join Revan again if she was free. The other masters warned her to be mindful of her feelings, but Atris insisted that the Exile ought to have died at Malachor V.

Atris kept the Exile’s lightsaber after the trial, carrying it with her always. Even many years later, she insisted that the council was right to be cautious. But deep down, she continued to question the actions of the council, the Exile, and herself.

First Jedi Purge
After the Jedi Civil War, the Jedi order’s numbers continued to diminish. Atris rallied a secret Jedi convocation on Katarr, a colony world of the Miraluka, where the threat could be assessed and the future of the order discussed. The conclave was not truly secret, however, as Atris herself had leaked information in hopes of drawing out the Sith so they could be fought. Unfortunately, she greatly underestimated their strength. The Sith did arrive, in the form of Darth Nihilus, who proved to be too powerful for the Jedi. Through the Force, he devoured all life on the planet, including the Jedi and Miraluka (with the single exception of Visas Marr). Atris, having not attended the conclave, survived, along with a handful of other masters who went into hiding.

Atris took refuge under a polar ice cap on the planet Telos IV, where she began to build a secret Jedi academy in an old irrigation system. Here she hid most of the Jedi’s most valuable artifacts and resources, including many Sith holocrons.

She sought to remedy what she saw as a fundamental flaw of the Jedi Order: the lack of any mechanism to prevent Jedi from falling to the dark side, and repeatedly wreaking havoc on the galaxy. To that end, she trained a group of half-sisters, specially equipped and trained to resist Force powers and if necessary, use their Echani combat skills to subdue wayward Jedi. Atris planned to eventually rebuild the Jedi Order, but she (like Ulic Qel-Droma) greatly overestimated her own ability to resist the dark side, becoming corrupted by delving into the forbidden knowledge of her collection of Sith holocrons.

Reunion with the Jedi Exile
In 3,951 BBY, the Jedi Exile and her companions landed on Telos IV, having narrowly escaped the destruction of the Peragus Mining Facility at Peragus II. Upon hearing that the Telos Security Force held the Exile and her party under house arrest for their suspected involvement in the explosion of the mining facility, Atris desired to uncover the cause of the explosion, knowing that the consequences of its loss would be tremendous. Therefore, she sent one of her handmaidens, by the name of Brianna, to steal their ship, the Ebon Hawk, as well as T3-M4 who, fortunately for her, was on board. The ship and droid were dissected for information, though little of value was actually found.

The Exile, meanwhile, upon discovering the loss of her ship, managed to trace the Ebon Hawk to the polar plateau where Atris’s academy was hidden. Once she found her way inside, Atris had the Exile’s companions placed in Force cages while the handmaidens brought the Exile before her to be questioned. Not long before this, Atris had discovered the Exile’s identity, and was surprised at the revelation—she had not believed she would ever see her again.

At first she hoped that the Exile had returned to admit that the council had been right and to face up to her crimes, but that was not the case. The Exile’s presence stirred unpleasant feelings which Atris had all but forgotten, and hoped lost. These feelings showed themselves when she accused the Exile of walking the dark path, when Atris’s words were the ones that sounded bitter and resentful. In fact, she was so angry about what the Exile did that she refused to believe the Exile meant to help others in the Mandalorian Wars, and simply went off for the adventure and the excitment of battle.

Deep down, however, Atris knew that the Exile spoke truly, both of the Mandalorian Wars and of her encounter with the Sith at Peragus. She reluctantly accepted the Exile’s offer of help in defeating them, and instructed her to gather other Jedi on Dantooine so that action could be taken and a council could be had.

After departing Telos IV, the Exile discovered that T3-M4 had downloaded Atris’s archives. It seemed that Atris had kept a holo record of the Exile’s trial, as well as a list of the remaining Jedi Masters—despite her claim that she was the “last of the Jedi.” As T3 had been able to slice into the historian’s files and copy them, locating the Jedi Masters for Atris’s proposed meeting proved easier.

As Atris privately sought desperately to understand the Exile’s motives, which was part of the reason for her keeping of the holocrons, she clung even more desperately to her perfect view of the Jedi. However, in light of the Exile’s choices, she knew that either she or the Council was wrong. Though she placed the Exile in the wrong, it only made her more unsettled, as, inwardly, she respected the Exile’s choice. It built up a pressure that finally exploded when Kreia coerced Atris into ceasing her self-denials and accepting her new dark persona.

Kreia realized that Atris was walking down the path to the dark side, and, knowing this, she informed her former student, Darth Nihilus, of the Jedi academy on Telos. Darth Nihilus subsequently attacked Telos, believing that he could feed on the Force-users there. Kreia concluded that since he would find only Atris on the planet, he would destroy her and then die of starvation. Kreia was especially proud of this plan because it would eliminate two major threats to the galaxy in one stroke. However, things did not go as planned.

When the Exile returned, following Kreia, Atris clashed with the Exile in a lightsaber duel, and was defeated. The Exile, however, spared her life. This action was something Atris believed the Exile would never have done. However, it eventually led her down the path to redemption.

Personality and traits
Atris was extremely dedicated to the Jedi Order, and believed in their righteousness to the point of arrogance and fanaticism. She was impatient with dissenters, took accusations against the Jedi very personally, and refused to believe the Order was wrong about anything. When many Jedi left the order to follow Revan to war, Atris was eager to write them all off as traitors and Sith, even the Jedi Exile after she returned to face the council.

During the First Jedi Purge, Atris became reclusive, and obsessed with preserving what she could of the Jedi legacy, including the Sith relics which would ultimately lead her down the path to the dark side. She was bitter and untrusting, surrounding herself with Echani warriors trained to resist the Force. Though she claimed to be building a Jedi Academy, she made no efforts to bring Force-sensitives to train. In fact, despite knowing the locations of the remaining Jedi Masters, she made no attempt to contact them, and none of them knew that she was still alive.

Atris wore an all-white variation of the traditional robes of a Jedi historian.

Powers and abilities
As a Jedi Master, Atris was a powerful Force user, and was proficient in lightsaber combat. She was particularly talented with the Force Breach and Droid Disable powers. After her fall to the dark side, she proved to be proficient in dark side Force powers as well, including Force Choke, Force Drain, Force Horror, Force lightning, and Force Plague.