Marnica Berlo was, during different times in her life, an anti-Republic terrorist, smuggler, Dark Jedi and later a Jedi Master within the New Jedi Order. She was raised by a group of mechanics who had found her as a child. At the age of four she was discovered by Jedi Knight Pablo-Jill who restored order to the lawless world of Ord Mantell. Found to be force-sensitive Berlo was taken to Coruscant to under go Jedi training at the famed Jedi Temple. But as the years continued she was no selected by a Master to continue her training and feeling the Jedi Service Corps didn't suit her she left the Order and returned to Ord Mantell. With the outbreak of the Clone Wars lawlessness returned to Ord Mantell and without Pablo-Jill to reinstate peace chaos and anarchy ensued.
It took the deaths of her adoptive parents to spark Marn into action by enlisting into a terrorist cell. As a terrorist she took to smuggling weapons, droids and intel to the Seps. On one of her runs her ship was ambushed and destroyed by a Republic cruiser. Having made it to the escape pod she drifted through the black void until she was rescued by a Seperatist cruiser, captained by Artel Darc. Once aboard Darc sensing Marn's potential as a Force-user offered her a chance at avenging her ship and crew.
Marnica took her saviors offer and was shuttled to a secret base owned and controlled exclusively by Count Dooku. Under the fallen Jedi's guidance she learned to tap into the Dark side of the Force, becoming one of Dooku's most prominent undercover force-wielding agents during the Clone Wars.
Marnica Berlo would go on to survive the Clone Wars, having been captured on her last assignment for Dooku and imprisoned in the Jedi Temple on Coruscant. In 19 BBY and the start of the Great Jedi Purge, she was approached by Palpatin now Emperor.
Sensing her potential he ordered her conversion to the New Order at the hands of the newly formed Imperial Inquisition.
Despite her years of training and her residents to their mental probes Marnica finally broke down and submitted to the Emperor's will.
Appearances in Fiction:
Personality and Traits:
As a young youth, Marnica was very impressionable and upon hearing of the heroic tales of the Jedi by Jedi Knight Pablo-Jill she dreamed of becoming one. During her time growing up among the Jedi she had no fear of the unknown, eagerly exploring places and the boundaries of what she could get away with. Marnica reveled in her escapades and was uninspirised to change, no matter how many scoldings she received.
She was also a quick learner and became a rising star within the Order, pride and arrogance set in. She grew cocky, self-appreciating, and grew disrespectful toward others.
Ultimately it was her own lack of self-discipline that led her to fail in finding a master and becoming a Jedi. Of course she did not see this at the time, instead she blamed those around her for her own mistakes, stating "everyone was holding her back at becoming a great Jedi." When offered to join the Jedi Service Corps as another alternative in doing some good she commented that "they weren't true Jedi" and such a position was beneath her.
Angry and semi trained in the use of the Force Marnica took her first few steps towards the Dark side of the Force when she enlisted into an anti-Republic terrorist cell on Ord Mantell. Her hate towards the Jedi grew and festered during her apprenticeship to Count Dooku, now secretly Darth Tyranius. She came to greatly admire her master and sought to emulate him. As a Dark Acolyte and an Imperial Inquisitor during the New Order Marnica performed her duties with cold, uncompromising professionalism.
Even though her careers required her to exuded a toughened exterior, Marnica was a warm individual who hated being deceived. Despite her own anger towards Jedi she routinely gave her opponent the chance to surrender.
Such a merciful act appeared during the Battle on Toydaria where Berlo offered Padawan Ahsoka a chance to leave when the Padawan came to the defense Jedi Master Shaak Ti who was Marnica's sole target.
She also held a great deal of affection and admiration for Dark Acolyte, Artel Darc, who was murdered by Jedi Master Shaak Ti. Marnica took the death of her lover in stride, instead of immediately gunning for the Jedi, she bidded her time until she ultimately struck on Toydaria in 19 BBY.
With her redemption came new characteristics. As a self appointed Jedi Marnica was still prideful but also naturally honest, head strong and compassionate. She also appeared mysterious to others by not directly involving herself with either the New Republic or Luke Skywalker's New Jedi Order immediately.
After the battle she began to affiliate with the Jedi Praxeum more and more until she was allowed to join becoming a Jedi in-name rather than title alone.
As a Jedi Master her training methods were brutal and to some disturbing. While training a Padawan she often would abandon them in mid-mission to watch from the shadows to gauge her student's progress. She often trained older student's in the ways of the Force, stated that age is meaningless to the Force and every force-sensitive no matter the age was worthy of training.
Marnica was known to reject the argument that the Jedi should be active peace keepers. Instead, she herself thought the Force was to be used to gain internal harmony, not project that harmony outward onto those who might reject it. To her, a Jedi should rectify injustice when they come upon it, but not actively seek it out.
His passions ran deep, deeper than any man I've ever known. He was cunning but also overconfident.
Not many records exist detailing the life of the Dark Jedi Artel Darc. But what records that do exist come from those who knew and loved him. He was gifted with a connection to the Force, strong enough to have been selected for training by Count Dooku. Trained with the use of a lightsaber and strong in the dark side of the Force Artel was passionate and had great belief in his own talents and skills. However this overconfidence proved to be his undoing at the hands of the Jedi Shaak Ti.
While their relationship was a short lived one, it was still a strong enough one for Marnica to swear revenge against the Togruta Jedi Master. Years later well into the rule of the New Order Marnica continued to love him, often vanishing upon the dates of their original meeting and untimely separation to mourn in silence.
Personally I'm happy he didn't take me as his Padawan. His looks would have given me nightmares.
—Berlo jokes about Pablo-Jill's appearance.
Marnica's time with the alien Pablo-Jill was brief but left a lasting impression. His facial features frightened her and she was silently glad he never took her as his Padawan. It was he who first found her on Ord Mantell and brought her to Coruscant for training.
Whenever I was feeling sad or lonely Master Yoda always made time for me.
Grand Master Yoda was the grandfatherly figure in Berlo's life. Testing her to mental and physical extremes one moment and showering her with warmth the next.
The injustice the Republic allows will no longer be upheld by the weak Senate. It is time for the Jedi Order to take their rightful place as the ruling force in the galaxy! No longer shall peace stay our hand, no longer shall our emotions be suppressed. Hate and anger shall lead the way, my Dark Acolytes shall be but the first to follow this path. All too soon shall the Jedi themselves see their error or fall low to our blade.
—Darth Tyranus inspiring his newest acolyte, Marnica Berlo
Dooku was Marnica's primary mentor and teacher in the ways of the Force during the Clone Wars. An accomplished philosopher, orator, politician and warrior with a solid base of experience as a practitioner of the Force for nearly eight decades Berlo was naturally overwhelmed by the man's mere presence.
She was a loyal and faithful servant of the Count's. Acting as his undercover agent within the Grand Army of the Republic during the opening months of the Clone Wars. After the destruction of the Malevolence by Jedi trickery she was forced to take a more active role within the Separatist Alliance.
With the defection and elimination of his former Apprentice, Asajj Ventress, Dooku sought a new Apprentice in Marnica. However he sensed her hesitation in fully embracing the dark side and instead recruited Savage Opress.
She was devastated upon sensing his death through the Force.
His skill with a blade is undeniable, but his lack of control over the dark side will be his end.
—Dark Acolyte Marnica Berlo, predicting the Weequay's death at the hands of Quinlan Vos.
When Berlo first met her future instructor she was adamant about perfecting her technique with a lightsaber and learning everything Bulq had to teach her. The Weequay happy to see her devotion encouraged her to let her emotions guide her. But as their relationship as master and student continued Marnica began to see the Weequay more as a rapid beast; running blindly into combat as his emotions controlled him. She saw herself or what she had been like during her time as a Youngling within the Jedi Order.
They began to disagree and engage in verbal jousts, sometimes becoming violent but in the end Berlo would apologize and the lessons would continue. Despite their bitter relationship as master and student Sora taught Marnica in Vaapad, emphasizing the need for the dark side if she ever wanted to truly master it.
When Sora Bulq was slain by a redeemed Quinlan Vos in 19 BBY she was asked by Dooku on why he failed. She replied "He would call on the dark side to overpower his opponents but his mounting emotions distracted him, clouding his mind which prevented him from executing the traitor Vos." This answer amused the Count but proved a truthful answer.
Despite their bitter relationship she mourned her fallen comrade, promising to avenge the Weequay if given the chance.
The Kiffar Quinlan Vos is exceptionally skilled with a lightsaber.
—Dark Acolyte Marnica Berlo, noting Vos' skill in lightsaber combat
Marnica's experience with the Kiffar Jedi Master, Quinlan Vos, was moot at best. At times she hated his sarcastic sense of humour but could also find it charming. She had a grudging respect towards his skill as a warrior and was even able to swallow her own pride and ask him to share his wisdom on Ataru.
Vos was aware of Berlo's membership to the Dark Acolyte organization despite Dooku's claims that she was only a spy.
After Vos struck down Sora Bulq and returned to the side of the Jedi Marnica's respect for him ―what little there was― evaporated, replaced by a burning despire to end his traitorous life.
The Sith Lord, Darth Sidious was Marnica's new master following the end of the Clone Wars and Rise of the Empire. Her previous mentor and teacher Count Dooku, one with whom she held great admiration and fealty too, Sidious was different. To put it plainly she feared Palpatine and fully embraced the dark side of the Force to ensure her own survival.
Powers and abilities
Marnica Berlo was said to have possessed a strong connection to the Force, enough so to be considered for training by both the Jedi Order and Count Dooku. During her intitial years as a Jedi Initiate she focused her energies into the studies of diplomacy and healing. After failing to attract the attention of a Jedi Master Marnica, unwilling to become anything less than a Jedi, left the Order and returned to Ord Mantell, eventually joining up with an anti-Republic terrorist cell made up of former Republic officers and ex-mercenaries.
Among the band of "freedom fighters" she developed leadership skills and traits for use on the battlefield as well as became familiar with battlefield strategies and tactics. After joining the Separatist movement and becoming one of Count Dooku's Dark Acolytes Marnica returned to her studies of the Force. Trained personally by the Count on and off for months she learned how to harness the dark side.
While in the presence of the Count she learned how to influence the minds of other sentients and bend animals to her will. Her level of skill in telekinesis was masterful, able to utilize various incarnations of TK such as Force push and its more powerful counterpart, Force wave.
She was highly skilled with the ability of Force choke, using it to kill groups of clone troopers simultaneously and to incapacitate Jedi Master Shaak Ti during their first and only duel.
Notably she was never known to harness the power of Sith Lightning. Whether this is due to her unfamiliarity with the ability or her own hesitance to fully embrace the dark side during the Clone Wars is unknown. It should be noted that even during her time in service to the Emperor she was never known to employee this ability. Despite having considerable knowledge and experience at this point in her life.
Marnica had the notable ability to multitask, and used the Force frequently even in the midst of lightsaber combat.
She was also talented in telepathy, able to communicate with others over immensely large distances.
As an undercover agent for Dooku and his Separatists Marnica learned to mask her presence, hiding her dark alignment and ability to use the Force from others. She could also locate her enemies based on their effects on the environment to varying degrees, She also had considerable working knowledge of espionage, counter-intelligence and was a master in the arts of disguise and infiltration.
Her ability to sense ripples created in the Force, was Marnica's most prominent abilities. So much so she felt the death of Count Dooku aboard the Invisible Hand in 19 BBY while locked in a Republic prison on Coruscant. She also heard the screams of millions when the first Death Star destroyed Alderaan and the death of Emperor Palpatine aboard the second Death Star in 4 ABY.
Marnica was also able to use the Force to calm and comfort a disturbed mind. This could even be an indication that she had sufficient potential to achieve the ability of battle meditation. As a dark force-user she could also twist the wills of commanded armies, making them feel a level of despair and fear so great they would sooner take their own lives than continue fighting. She employed this twisted version of battle meditation several times during the Clone Wars to support Separatist battle fleets. However, having never received training in it's use she was severally weakened, having pushed her body to near exhaustion.
Aside from her mastery of the Force, Marnica was well versed in several forms of lightsaber combat. She would go onto inherit a rich tradition of lightsaber training. Her style featured elements of many masters, making her oustandingly talented, even at a young age.
She was also trained in Vaapad by the Weequay Sora Bulq, though she never mastered it and would later abandon the form by the time she joined the New Jedi Order. During her brief informal apprenticeship to Quinlan Vos, a double agent working for the Jedi Order, he demonstrated and explained the fundamentals of Ataru.
By the end of the Clone Wars Marnica was an expert in blaster redirection, implying she was a practioner of Shien.
As a Dark Jedi and her later ascension to Jedi Master Marnica wielded a single bladed lightsaber, though her chosen blade color changed throughout her lifetime. The hilt design was unremarkable and had a relatively simple design.
I remember a time when I put adhesive on all the boots in the temple. The temple floors were sticky for weeks.
—Marnica recanting her past.
During the rise of the separatist cruiser crusher Malevolence, Berlo while undercover was responsible for supplying the location of the Kaliida Shoals Medical Center.
Following the destruction of the Separatist cruiser Malevolence, the Jedi initiated an investigation on how the Separatists had learned the location of the Kaliida Medical Center in the Naboo system.
Revenge and Capture
Inquisitor (19 BBY - 4 ABY)
They would hurt me for hours at a time, sometimes without breaks. Inquisitors they calmed themselves, but they never asked questions. They just continued to cause pain, day after day, hour after hour until I finally embraced the pain and started causing it myself.
—An entry in Jedi Master Marica Berlo's personal journal