If I had a brother, I’d go to the end of the galaxy for him. Selu saved my life and showed me kindness when I was desperate. I owe him one—and that means I’m going to go find him.
Milya Tayrce Kraen was born in 36 BBY on Leritor into a middle-class family. Her mother and father had both worked in a small starship refitting factory, until Milya was born, at which point her mother stayed at home. However, the company that her father worked for tried to extort money from the Thrysus Sun Guard on a contract, a group of mercenaries who were known for their devotion to the ways of the Echani and for their deadly effectiveness.
Angered by the insolence of the company and taking advantage of the Republic's paralysis in light of the Trade Federation invasion of Naboo, the Sun Guard sent a raiding force to Leritor in 32 BBY to punish those who would try and extort credits from them. The raiders were efficient, destroying the company and even attacking the residential quarters of some of the workers. The Tayrce's apartment was one of those that was attacked, and Milya saw both of her parents struck down and killed by the Sun Guard. With their dying gasps, their parents begged the Sun Guard to take Milya in rather than killing their three-year-old daughter. The raiders acceded to the request, and took the girl back to Thrysus to raise her as one of their own.
The pair of Sun Guard who adopted her, though, treated the girl as one of their own, and Milya grew to love them in time. She was ridiculed and scorned for her lack of true-blooded Echani heritage, and often had to defend herself from attacks by the other girls near her age. Her youth was difficult and solitary, filled with harsh training in the ways of Echani martial arts and other skills that mercenaries would need. Milya's specialty was in disappearing. Even with her distinctive auburn hair-many of the other girls her age had platinum blonde hair passed down through generations of Echani lineage-she could and often did evade people searching for her. It was necessary for her to survive. She soon learned all three levels of Echani martial arts, becoming proficient to the point where she was one of the instructors for younger children—a job many of the other Sun Guards disdained. For that, she was grateful for the job; it kept her away from her tormentors. Her adopted parents, Darin and Fini Valaskeois, loved her and treated her well, especially her adopted mother. However, when she was 17, her parents were slain in an honor duel over an impending action; Darin and Fini had disagreed over the course of action that another family wished to take. Milya found herself sold into slavery by her parents' killers, but she was not about to submit quietly. She broke free and killed everyone on the slaver ship, and then returned to Thyrsus, where she avenged her parents, and then reclaimed what possessions were left for her, including a high-quality vibroblade. Alone and friendless again, she fled Thyrsus.
Striking out on her own, she made her way from spaceport to spaceport, nursing her dwindling supply of credits. Thievery helped augment her money, but she hoped to find more permanent employ. While on New Holstice, she recognized the Hawk-bat, a light freighter owned by a Bothan shipmaster named R'hask Sei'lar whom in her months of spaceport-hopping she'd learned had a good reputation. Hoping to find work as one of his crew, she boarded the ship, only to find that a gang of ship-thieves was also onboard, intent on stealing the vessel. Armed with her prized vibroblade, she prepared to attack them, when suddenly she was surprised by a man who grabbed her from behind. They briefly tussled, but the fight ended in a stalemate when he held a vibroblade to her throat while she had a smaller blade pressed against his ribs. Realizing that neither of them were ship thieves, they released each other. The man introduced himself as Micor Kraen, a member of the crew, and Milya agreed to work with him to eliminate the danger of the thieves.
Bursting into a corridor where the thieves were gathered, the two quickly eliminated them. However, Milya was fired upon in the process, forcing Micor to reveal himself as a Jedi Knight in order to save her. In turn, she saw a shadowy Defel preparing to attack him, and shoved him out of the way, taking the poisoned dart that had been aimed for him. Selu quickly dealt with the Defel and drew the poison out of her arm, saving her life once more. In gratitude, she kissed him, much to his surprise. However, he was still unwilling to trust her completely, especially since he'd revealed himself as a Jedi during a time when Jedi were hunted down and killed by the Empire.
However, he agreed to let her stay on the ship, at least until he and his companions got offworld. As it turned out, R'hask Sei'lar had been slain by the Empire, and Micor—actually an alias for Selusda Kraen—had been trying to get the Hawk-bat's first mate, Jorgesoll Knrr and a Jedi Master named Quinlan Vos off the planet. In order to distract the Empire, Micor and Vos led an assault on a group of parked Imperial ships, seizing a shuttle and two starfighters. Milya took the shuttle into orbit, with Vos and Selu flanking her in their fighters, while Jorge quietly slipped offworld in the Hawk-bat. Entering orbit, they damaged and escaped from an Imperial Carrack-class cruiser and successfully reached the outskirts of the system. Milya proposed taking her shuttle and parting ways with the others, but Selu, having had a change of heart from his original suspicion, offered to let her stay on the Hawk-bat, at least temporarily.
The Hawk-bat then journeyed to Nar Shaddaa, where Vos left the ship with an acquaintance of his named Vilmarh Grahrk in order to pursue news of his wife and child. From there, Selu took the ship back to his homeworld of Commenor, where Milya learned of the danger his entire family was facing. The Mistryl Shadow Guard, a group of female mercenaries, had been after Sarth Kraen, Selu's brother, for some time, intent on kidnapping in order to use his scientific knowledge for their war effort. By the time the Hawk-bat returned to Commenor, the Mistryl were threatening to execute a friend of Sarth's who had been taken hostage, Annita Daowot. To save her, Selu disguised himself as Sarth and went in his brother's place.
By this time, Milya had figured out Selu's true identity and she persuaded Jorge, Sarth, and Cassi-the cargomaster for the Hawk-bat, along with Spectre, a former ARC trooper who'd been working as a bodyguard for the Kraens, to take the Hawk-bat and try to rescue Selu. Their quest took them to Emberlene, the homeworld of the Mistryl, where Milya unsuccessfully attempted to bluff the Mistryl into letting them land. Several Mistryl ships pursued the Hawk-bat, but were drawn off by the arrival of a large group of unknown ships arriving in orbit. In the ensuing chaos, the Hawk-bat was able to land at the facility where Selu was. Bursting in to where he was, Milya, Spectre, and Sarth found Selu at the losing end of a duel with the Dark Jedi Asajj Ventress. However, several destroyer droids under Sarth's command evened the odds, and the three were able to rescue Selu and escape the planet shortly before a fission bomb which Selu had inadvertently brought to Emberlene, exploded, causing devastation to the planet that was only exacerbated by the attacking fleet.
Once they were safely away, Milya and the others helped persuade a wounded Selu to not bow to despair, to keep living in spite of the guilt he felt for having slain so many. He listened to them and recovered. After they returned to Commenor, the rest of the crew, including Milya, voted him as the new captain, since Jorge did not want the position. Selu agreed to the job and they set off, bound for the Outer Rim. Milya had finally found a place where she was accepted by those around her.
Over the next two years, Milya continued to serve on the Hawk-bat as it conducted various cargo runs, both legitimate and illegal. During her time onboard the ship, she had a running competition with Spectre, another member of the crew and a former ARC trooper who'd been trained by Mandalorian training sergeants, over who could win the most sparring matches.
During a cargo run ferrying industrial explosives hidden in a cargo of napthalene gel and foodstuffs, the Hawk-bat was attacked by a Victory-class Star Destroyer, the Corrupter, after being boarded. An Imperial Inquisitor started to interrogate Selu, beating him savagely, but Selu had Cassi trigger a pair of explosive-laden escape pods when the Inquisitor threatened Milya. They then escaped on the Hawk-bat. Selu outflew the Star Destroyer long enough to make a blind jump into hyperspace, and several hours later, the Hawk-bat emerged deep in Wild Space near a remote inhospitable planetessimal. Milya attempted to treat his wounds, which Selu reluctantly allowed. Selu set the ship down there to effect repairs, although Milya insisted he rest rather than assist them.
The crew discovered a strange glowing emanating from a fissure in the ground and Milya roused Selu to help them investigate, which he sensed was related to a disturbance in the Force he had been sensing. Cassi and Sarth fell in and Selu jumped after them, rescuing them both. The full crew of the Hawk-bat descended into the rocks of the airless crevice to help get the three of them out. Selu sensed the Force was strong in the fissure, but having rejected his Jedi heritage was intent on leaving. However, dislodged boulders nearly proved disastrous for the crew, as they just barely managed to tuck into a previously-hidden side passage. Now cut off from the Hawk-bat, they were forced to head down the tunnel. The crew followed the subterranean passages, which led them to a sizable tower constructed on the floor of a previously concealed crater. As they approached, the spirits of eleven Jedi appeared and bade them enter the tower. Milya was at first apprehensive, but the spirits explained that destiny had brought the five of them there to fulfill a prophecy.
The Jedi spirits told them that the prophecy had spoken of five who would unite Force-users, and that they had been waiting for them for years. Milya was initially skeptical, but soon realized that the prophecy was most likely true. Selu was adamant in his refusal, but saw a vision of a possible future from one of the spirits that had Milya and many others dying. In particular, the spirit revealed that Milya had an untreated tumor, which she admitted to Selu when he confronted her about it. Realizing that they were Imperial outlaws and would be unable to return to civilized space to carry on legitimate cargo operations, the crew, including Selu, agreed to take up the mission that the spirits presented them. The spirits showed them how to unlock Force potential that had been stored inside of an ancient artifact, and told Milya that she would take up a role as a seer. Selu admitted his attraction to Milya and she reciprocated.
The next several months were spent on that remote planetesimal, training in the ways of the Force, learning from both the other spirits and Selu. However, after Selu learned from Revan that he would have to risk everything he cared about to stop the Empire, he broke off his relationship with Milya without explaining the reason to her. In response, she began to gravitate more towards Spectre, who was also attracted to her. On her twentieth birthday, an occasion of particular import to the Echani and known as Dsalka Fenni Echanos, Milya and Spectre had just finished a training session when he gave her a diamond to power the lightsabers they would soon be making. Selu had also left her a gift, having deposited a durindfire gem and a note on her pillow earlier, leaving her confused as to his intentions.
As their powers developed, Milya's tumor was healed by Cassi, who had a talent for healing. Milya also helped Cassi cope with the psychological burden of having taken lives on the Corrupter for the first time. Eventually, the five were called to construct lightsabers of their own and depart their Force-empowered refuge. For her part, Milya constructed a double-bladed weapon with a silvery-white blade, which suited her study of the third lightsaber form, the defensive style of Soresu. Not long after the five created their Jedi weapons, they were warned of an approaching Imperial scout ship. The Jedi spirits told them that their time to depart had come, and that they were to journey to other places in the galaxy to unite other groups of Force exiles: the Matukai, the Zeison Sha, and the Jal Shey. Boarding the Hawk-bat, they quickly seized the Imperial ship, the Observant, and pinioned its crew. Selu interrogated its captain and learned that they were on a mission to find and report locations that contained Force-sensitives. Realizing that time was short, and the Empire was onto them, they split up. Milya journeyed to seek out the Matukai in an old Delta-7 starfighter that was on board the Observant. Using the ship's databases and Milya's senses, they were able to ascertain that the Matukai were on the swampy shadowport of Darlyn Boda.
Landing there, she tried to search for hints of the Matukai presence. While wandering through the back alleyways, she was accosted by a group of thugs. However, a Matukai Adept named Jahlel Almani came to her aid, and Milya and Jahlel swiftly defeated the thugs. Jahlel took her back to the Matukai enclave, where she was granted an audience with the Matukai leader, a sizable Talortai named Bolfwé Grysloth. When she spoke to him, Milya gave him the warning about Imperial pursuit and suggested that the Matukai join with the other Force exiles to seek out a common refuge. Grysloth was interested in her offer, but insisted that she stay and learn the ways of the Matukai for some time while he contemplated what she had to say. Milya agreed and was paired with Jahlel's training group. However, after she'd been there a couple weeks, she had a premonition of impending doom. She confronted Grysloth over the matter, but he refused to listen, so she challenged him to a duel. Facing off against him with the traditional Matukai weapon, the wan-shen, Milya fought hard but was no match for him. As she lay defeated on the floor, Jahlel and then Hasla intervened, but were also defeated. From her prone position, Milya explained that, just as the duelists stood no chance against Grysloth individually, the separate groups of Force exiles would have no chance against the Empire. Upon hearing that, Grysloth relented, allowing her to gain medical treatment and agreeing to evacuate the Matukai.
It was not a moment too soon. Imperial troops from the Corrupter had already arrived under the command of Inquisitor Ajaur. The warship disgorged troops, which advanced on the Matukai enclave. The outnumbered and outgunned Matukai tried to fend them off, but to no avail. The arrival of Ajaur only hastened their defeat, as the Inquisitor personally slew Grysloth with a single slash. Horrified by the Talortai's killing, Milya briefly locked blades with Ajaur, but was no match for him. Instead, she retreated just the Observant, piloted by Selu Kraen and Spectre, arrived to assist her and evacuate the remaining Matukai. She, Jahlel, and Hasla made a run for the ship, when an explosion knocked her over. She tried to get up, but several Imperial stormtroopers were firing at her. Seeing a blaster bolt headed straight for her, Jahlel jumped in the way and was killed. Selu pulled her and the others out of there, and they attempted to flee.
The Observant was shot down, forcing Selu, Milya, and the rest of the Matukai escapees to flee through the sewers to a house owned by the paramour of one of the Matukai. They took shelter there for the night, with Milya seeking out Selu for support. The next day, they were contacted by the paramour, who was in league with a group of insurgents who were also on Darlyn Boda and threatened by the Imperial presence. Selu and the man's employer had some history, and a deal was worked out where the Force-users would flee via the spaceport and provide cover for the insurgents while they escaped in their ship.
Striking the spaceport, the Force-users were able to take a gunship provided for them by the insurgents, while Selu took off in the fighter Milya had flown to Darlyn Boda. They distracted the Imperial fighters, allowing the insurgents to take off, but Selu's fighter was damaged. Seeing the insurgents' warship being boarded, Selu decided to land on that ship and use it as a means to get into space. Unwilling to let Selu fight the Imperial boarders without help, Milya and Spectre brought their newly-appropriated gunship into the insurgents' hangar as well.
They fought through the Imperial troops, but reinforcements arrived and besieged Spectre, Milya, and the Matukai. When Milya fell wounded, Selu raced back to intervene, cutting down the Imperials. Spectre took Milya to the infirmary, where an Imperial doctor helped treat her injuries, while Selu secured the ship. An Imperial clone trooper tried to bring in a wounded Imperial Intelligence officer whom Spectre had once been involved with, Roxana Taskien. Spectre at first subdued them, but was forced to surrender when the doctor took Milya hostage. Milya knocked the doctor away and Spectre fought a brutal duel with the clone trooper, a former superior of his. The Imperial agent tried to kill Spectre despite his entreaties, but Milya intervened, knocking her weapon away. Spectre nevertheless refused to kill Taskien, which caused Milya to realize their relationship was just him trying to substitute her for Taskien.
Once Selu secured the ship, they were able to flee to hyperspace. Milya's wounds were treated and she recovered. Spectre stayed by her bedside as much as possible, but she soon informed him of her change of heart. They met up with Sarth and Cassi, and Milya reluctantly allowed the Imperial doctor Jana Rothery to treat her, though only with Cassi supervising. Cassi was able to persuade Milya that Rothery's efforts were not malicious, and persuaded Rothery to join the Force exiles rather than the Empire through her compassion.
As the insurgents had now joined their cause, Selu, Milya, and the others were able to appropriate their ship, the Griffin, arriving at Yanibar, where Selu quickly used the ship's weapons to destroy an Imperial base. With the base destroyed, the native Zeison Sha welcomed them with open arms, allowing the establishment of a new refuge for the Force exiles. However, the Hawk-bat crew did not stay there long; instead, they returned to Commenor, where they were expected for the wedding of Annita Daowot and Jorgesoll Knrr.
They arrived shortly before the wedding, but soon learned that Annita and Jorge had fallen under Imperial suspicion. On the day of the wedding, Milya was in the chapel as one of the guests, as was the rest of the crew, but the Empire crashed the wedding. For her part, Milya fended off blasterfire and cut down stormtroopers while Selu dueled a newly arrived Ajaur and the wedding party fled. However, Imperial reinforcements soon arrived, and while the four Force-users, along with a Zeison Sha warrior named Daara, had slain many, they were outnumbered. Milya ended up fighting Ajaur, but an Imperial bombing run caused considerable damage to the building, separating the combatants. Selu was prepared to sacrifice himself to keep the rubble from falling on Milya and Spectre until they could flee. Ajaur attempted to kill him while he was defenseless, but Milya threw her knife, taking down the Inquisitor. She rushed over to embrace the wounded Selu and he confessed his love for her. They prepared to flee to the Hawk-bat, which Sarth had brought over for their escape, but Ajaur arose and attempted to stab her. Selu used telekinesis to stop Ajaur from inflicting a fatal wound, but just as his strength was failing, Spectre gunned down the Inquisitor.
Staunching her minor wound as best as he could, Selu held her and they shared a kiss. Sarth took out the bomber and they quickly boarded the Hawk-bat and escaped. They then returned to Yanibar, their new home. One of their first deeds as they settled in was to celebrate the double wedding of Sarth Kraen and Cassi Trealus and that of Annita and Jorge. For their part, Selu and Milya both fully admitted their attraction to one another and began taking their relationship to a deeper level. For their first date, Selu took her to a local dive named Selch's Seafood, which unfortunately did not live up to either of their expectations. After abandoning all attempts to eat their meals, they went elsewhere for Ithorian fruit ice cream and a walk along the beach, followed by an unplanned speeder bike race.
A year and a half after the formation of the Yanibar refuge, Milya accompanied Selu and Spectre to the Outer Rim world of Ord Cestus, where Milya had seen visions of Jedi survivors. Though they arrived on the planet without incident, their mission was complicated when a local woman began following them. They questioned her discreetly, but not before the woman, Sheeka Tull, who had worked with the Jedi during the Clone Wars, identified them as Jedi. They decided to return to their mission, heading for the outskirts of the city of ChikatLik. Exploring a cave strong in the Force, they found nearly twenty Jedi, most of them younglings, led by two Jedi Masters, Djinn Altis and Plett. The Jedi agreed to accompany Selu, Spectre, and Milya to Yanibar, and not a moment too soon, as Imperial troops, led by Darth Vader, arrived on Ord Cestus. As the Empire began locking down the spaceport, Milya was assigned to watch over some of the youngest Jedi trainees while Tull, who had been recruited to their cause by Spectre, picked them up in her ship, the Spindragon. They were retrieved by Tull, who took them into orbit to rendezvous with the Hawk-bat. However, both of the other Jedi Masters perished delaying Imperial forces, which saddened Selu. Still, they were able to escape back to Yanibar having saved eighteen Jedi and trainees.
Over the years, as the Yanibar colony continued to grow and began flourishing, Selu and Milya grew closer and closer, even though they had more than their share of fights and failed dates. On one occasion, Selu had planned to watch a holodrama outside with Milya, only to have it ruined by a freak thunderstorm. She was present when the Yanibar Guard Fleet commissioned its first real warship, the Ataru-class gunship Serra Keto, and having the ship bear that name seemed to indicate some form of release. However, not all of her life was consumed by her relationship with Selu. Milya had been named the director of Yanibar Guard Intelligence and she poured a lot of time and effort into providing accurate intelligence and training agents for the dangerous, undercover work that was sometimes called for. She helped provide intelligence and planning when a group of pirates landed on Yanibar, helping to coordinate the airstrike that destroyed their ships. Milya was present for the funeral of the first combat casualty of the Yanibar Guard, Sergeant Pec Deplisk.
A year later, Milya, Selu, Sarth, and Cassi journeyed to Bakura to visit Cassi's parents. While they were there, Selu took Milya to a Bakuran nature preserve and, once they were alone, proposed to her. She blissfully agreed, and the two were married several months later in a festive ceremony on Yanibar, in 11 BBY. For their honeymoon, Jorge and Annita, who now lived on Bespin, had arranged luxurious accommodations for them in a hotel on Bespin's Cloud City. En route, Milya had planned a romantic "evening" aboard the Hawk-bat for her and Selu, but, tired from all the wedding details, had fallen asleep. Selu let her sleep until they reached Bespin, and the two gladly settled into their hotel, enjoying its restaurant and the splendid view from the balcony. That evening, Milya planned on making up for her falling asleep on the Hawk-bat. As she undressed, she turned in the mirror to find the Dark Jedi Asajj Ventress waiting for her. Fortunately, Selu intervened in time to save Ventress from cutting her down. The two quickly geared up for a prolonged fight against the Dark Jedi and were not disappointed. Ventress had been hunting Selu ever since the destruction of Emberlene, and she battled Selu and Milya across Cloud City, from the balcony of their hotel to a Tibanna gas-carrying cargo skimmer, to a Tibanna refinery. In the refinery, Selu and Milya ultimately defeated their adversary once and for all, slaying Ventress. Then, before law enforcement could arrive, they were picked up by Jorge and Annita. After answering a few questions from the law, who believed their cover story, they were given another suite by the hotel and finally had a chance to enjoy their honeymoon.
The next year, Milya debriefed the senior operatives after a mission to Herstell V to stop a treacherous money launderer who had turned on Yanibar. Learning that Spectre had attempted to rescue Imperial agent Taskien again, Milya revealed that her YGI agent there had actually sabotaged Taskien's ship. Spectre was regretful about the loss of his former flame, but Milya was able to persuade him that Taskien's death was the price of being loyal to Yanibar.
In 9 BBY, Milya learned that she was pregnant, and she gave birth the next year to a daughter, Rhiannon Kraen. Selu and Milya loved their daughter dearly, even though Rhiannon had no Force-sensitivity. However, when Rhiannon was two, she became ill during an epidemic on Yanibar, and due to the lack of proper medical treatment, lost her eyesight, though she recovered. Selu and Milya resolved that such a thing would never happen again and appealed to the Yanibar Council to allow sales of ylannock, a memory-altering drug found naturally in fungus native to Yanibar. The Council agreed and a new influx of credits began pouring into Yanibar's coffers, allowing Selu and Milya to construct a much nicer home than the small house they'd been living in, circa 5 BBY.
In 0 BBY, Selu, Milya, Spectre, and Sarth accompanied Cresh Squad, an elite group of the Yanibar Guard on a mission to infiltrate a Star Destroyer, the Impenetrable, in an attempt to steal a computer core. They decided to sneak aboard, with Milya posing as a journalist. After luring out an Imperial shuttle and subduing its crew, Selu disguised himself as an Imperial officer while the others used active camouflage systems to conceal themselves. Although they were able to sneak aboard and reach the computer center, they were discovered. While they were fending off the stormtroopers, the Empire destroyed Alderaan, and the ripple in the Force caused by millions of deaths practically knocked Selu, Milya, Spectre, and Sarth out. Fortunately, the squad of elites was able to get them out of there, and they escaped via escape pods after setting off several diversions to distract the Empire. They were picked up by the gunship Serra Keto, which then returned them to Yanibar, having obtained the core.
A few years later, Milya orchestrated the theft of the B-wing starfighter plans from the Rebel Alliance, inserting YGI agent Hasla Almani undercover to retrieve them and gain experience on the starfighter. At the same time, in 3 ABY, Milya planned a trip to Eriadu with her daughter, Rhiannon, to see the Pan-Galactic Symphony. However, visions of a Force-sensitive alien being used by the Empire and Darth Vader to hunt down the Yanibar refuge haunted both her and Selu. In response, she postponed her trip with Rhiannon and accompanied Selu on a search to find the alien before Vader did.
Their journey took them to the library world of Obroa-skai, where Milya posed as a Kuati noblewoman while Selu pretended to be her telbun. While on Obroa-skai, they encountered and quickly subdued Emperor's Hand Mara Jade, who had originally been tracking the elusive Jedi Master Quinlan Vos. Selu and Milya made contact with Vos, who aided them on their search by telling them that the alien they were looking for was a Noghri. With data on the Noghri and their homeworld, Honoghr, Selu and Milya left, though they made sure Mara Jade was injected with a memory-altering ylannock concoction.
Selu and Milya arrived over Honoghr shortly thereafter, with the Hawk-bat disguised as an Imperial ship. With Milya's Force senses, they quickly located the Noghri they were looking for, an exile named Morgedh clan Kel'nerh. Though the Noghri warrior was recalcitrant in his loyalty to the Empire at first, Selu and Milya were able to convince him of the Empire's wrongs and persuaded him to accompany them back to Yanibar where he could learn to develop his natural Force-sensitivity.
Upon their return, Milya kept her word and journeyed to Eriadu with Rhiannon. They were both disguised as traveling Rimdwellers, but despite Milya's fears, they had no difficulty reaching the planet and seeing the symphony. Rhiannon loved the experience, which brought a smile to her mother's face. Afterward, though, they ran into the eccentric holodrama director, Taelros Bac. Milya was immediately leery of him, but somehow, he managed to finagle Rhiannon into serving as a last-minute replacement for an opera of his that was going to be performed on Coruscant. Unable to escape due to the insistence of Bac's Imperial liaison, Colonel Hagrek, Milya managed to consult Selu, who reluctantly agreed to allowing Rhiannon to perform. With that agreed, Rhiannon and Milya traveled to Coruscant.
After a grueling rehearsal schedule, Rhiannon was finally able to perform at the Coruscant Opera House. The girl sang marvelously, to both her delight and the delight of the audience, which included a proud Milya. However, the performance was abruptly interrupted by the appearance of the Nightsister Silri, a member of the Zann Consortium, who crashed into the building to provide a diversion while Tyber Zann and Urai Fen, the leaders of the Zann Consortium escaped from a high-risk heist. Milya didn't know why the Nightsister had appeared; she just knew that she was threatening her daughter. She jumped into the fray with the lightsaber she'd smuggled onto Coruscant. Rhiannon was whisked to safety while Milya's saberstaff clashed against Silri's lightwhip. The duel, fought onstage to musical accompaniment, ended in a draw, though Milya was received numerous injuries from glassine shards. Limping offstage, she was reunited with Rhiannon by an understanding Taelros Bac, who provided crude medical treatment and then arranged for the two to be taken offworld by a friend of his, ex-senator and Rebel sympathizer Pooja Naberrie.
Pooja took them to Chandrila, where YGI had a safehouse. Parting ways with the ex-senator after lacing her drink with ylannock, Milya took Rhiannon to the safehouse, where her wounds were treated and the YGI agents arranged transportation for the two back to Yanibar. They arrived to find a concerned Selu waiting for them, but there was also ominous news. Sarth and Cassi, who had ventured out in search of a missing professor named Nasdra Magrody, had vanished after rescuing Magrody's family on Mandalore. Milya was also kept busy by a plan instigated by the Yanibar Guard to lure Tyber Zann into a trap at Kuat. The plan worked, but Zann survived and one of his agents infiltrated the Yanibar Orbital Command Center. The agent briefly kidnapped Rhiannon, but though Selu and Milya subdued her, the Zannist managed to leak valuable information regarding Yanibar's location to Zann.
By this time, Milya, Selu, and Spectre reckoned that an invasion fleet was soon to follow, and that Zann had probably captured Sarth and Cassi. For her part, Milya returned to Yanibar to rest and heal somewhat, though she returned to duty when Zann's fleet arrived. She helped coordinate the defense even as Zann's fleet was repulsed and Zannist ground troops landed on Yanibar instead. However, the arrival of another fleet, this time of Sith soldiers under Silri, interrupted her. The Noghri trainee, Morgedh clan Kel'nerh, alerted her to the fact that the Nightsister was headed for her house, where Rhiannon was. Milya arrived just as Silri defeated Morgedh and the two dueled once more. It was a prolonged, brutal affair that left both women bloodied, but Milya was able to defeat Silri with the aid of Morgedh.
Meanwhile, the Battle of Yanibar was won by the Yanibar Guard on both ground and in space, but at a heavy price. Though Sarth and Cassi were rescued from Zann's imprisonment, the effort claimed the lives of both Spectre and his step-son Nate. Milya later broke that news to Sarth and Cassi as they recovered in a medcenter. The loss was hard for all of them to bear.
For the next year, Milya worked to reinforce the YGI network with more agents and intelligence tools to prevent another invasion. She also tried to spend time with Rhiannon, to calm any fears that might have arisen from her brushes with death. While Taelros Bac attempted to set Rhiannon on a path to galactic stardom with her voice, Milya encouraged the girl to consider if that was what she really wanted. Rhiannon ultimately chose to stay on Yanibar and her quiet support of her mother was encouraging.
In 5 ABY, the Kraens and Knrrs journeyed to R'alla for a much-needed vacation. They were able to relax at a comfortable beach house—until a dead, tortured alien washed up in the middle of the storm. A fake patrol confirmed their fears that something suspicious was occurring on R'alla. Tracing his path, Selu, Milya, Jorge, and Annita soon located an Imperial lab, while Sarth, Cassi, and Nate's widow, Ana Vondar Kraen, enlisted the aid of a Corporate Sector Authority official named Fiolla of Lorrd. Together, and with some unexpected aid from Akleyn, Bryndar, and Spectre's daughter Jasika, they were able to clear the Imperial lab, where experiments had been performed on a group of Wroonians. The younger Kraens and Knrrs were endangered by a group of stormtroopers, but Sarth, Cassi, and Selu were able to save them. Upon seeing the enslavement of the aliens, Milya was filled with anger; mistreatment in her youth had left with a deep-seated antipathy towards slavers. Along with Ana, Jorge, and Annita, Milya took out the rest of the lab's Imperial staff, freeing the Wroonians. She also helped arrange for their evacuation on a Yanibar Guard frigate. Once the lab's personnel were defeated and the Wroonians freed, the ersatz vacationers returned to their beach house and prepared to leave. While the Wroonians were evacuated back to Yanibar, their intervention meant that Fiolla had cut their vacation short. Before they left, though, the true legacy of the older Kraens and Knrrs was revealed to the younger generation for the first time.
Milya was increasingly occupied with her work from 6 ABY through 13 ABY as the galaxy plunged through the tumult of the Bacta War, Thrawn's campaign, the Daala campaign, and other major conflicts between the nascent New Republic and the Empire. The re-emergence of Emperor Palpatine left her gravely concerned not only of what other Imperial secrets lay waiting to be discovered, but also of the potential implications of an order-wide fall of the New Jedi Order. Her distraction with work, combined with the coming of age of her daughter Rhiannon, and the need to help train her son Ryion meant that Milya did not immediately realize how lonely and isolated Rhiannon was, as most of her peers were working and/or married while she remained at home.
The first Milya learned that Rhiannon had been taking long speeder drives accompanied by her droid caretaker J7-A0 was when her daughter was trapped outside when a violent thunderstorm arose. Selu, Morgedh, and a team of Yanibar Guard commandos retrieved her from the home of a kindly Outsider farmer, Kavlis Burke, who had found the stranded Rhiannon and provided her shelter. Rhiannon began taking trips to the town of Draskar, which served as a hub where visitors from the refuge could meet and trade with the Outsiders. Rhiannon's purpose was to meet with Kavlis, which she did. Milya found out about it from YGI and asked Rhiannon not to meet with him, saying that Kavlis's father had once been involved in a violent altercation with her and Selu years earlier. Rhiannon was visibly upset and left the room, leaving Selu and Milya to worry about the possibility of Rhiannon being attracted to Kavlis. Milya later talked to Rhiannon and apologized for impugning Kavlis's character; while in return, Rhiannon agreed not to go to Draskar to visit Kavlis.
However, this was far from the end of the incident, as Rhiannon's friend Jasika exploited a loophole to arrange for Rhiannon to meet Kavlis outside of Draskar, which they did numerous times over the next several months. The next Milya heard of it was when Rhiannon revealed the nature of her relationship to Kavlis, and her desire to take him to the Yanibar refuge's annual Harvest Ball. Milya had known that Rhiannon was attracted to someone, but didn't know who at the time. Kavlis had asked her to obtain her parents' permission first, and Selu and Milya, though conflicted, eventually gave their permission.
Seeing Rhiannon and Kavlis together at the ball confirmed Milya's fears: that her daughter was in love with Kavlis. Milya and Selu asked Sarth and Cassi to weigh in on the matter also, but before they could interview Kavlis, J7-A0 intervened and revealed the full story to them. Realizing that their daughter was happiest with Kavlis, Selu and Milya agreed to their marriage, provided Kavlis took a year to prepare his farm and his livelihood to support a wife. He did so and returned thirteen months later to Rhiannon.
According to the laws of the Yanibar refuge, Rhiannon's memory had to be altered before she could permanently leave the refuge on non-official business. Milya tried to argue for an exception to the law for Rhiannon, but was denied. Knowing that her daughter would no longer have the same relationship she once had with her parents deeply saddened Milya, but her grief was softened by seeing her excitement over marrying Kavlis. As a failsafe, Selu, Sarth, and Milya devised a device that would restore Rhiannon's altered memories if need be and gave it to her, telling her not to use it until needed. Rhiannon Kraen and Kavlis Burke were wed in 18 ABY, and Milya was both happy and grieved for her daughter, who left the refuge to begin a new life with Kavlis.
Milya threw her life into training her son Ryion as one of the Force-using Elite Guardians over the next few years and also helped train a Force-sensitive Wroonian girl named Ariada Cerulaen who had been saved on R'alla. The culmination of their training occurred in 22 ABY when Ryion, Ariada, and the other members of their team, Zeyn Kraen and Qedai Sherum, went to Coruscant as athletes to compete in the reinstated Galactic Games. Milya, Sarth, Selu, and Cassi accompanied them incognito. While there, Selu and Milya undertook several intelligence-gathering missions, planting viruses and backdoor gateways in New Republic computers along with surveying the New Jedi Order.
During his final event, Ryion ended up thwarting an assassination attempt on Leia Organa Solo, the New Republic's chief of state, but was injured in the process. Selu and Milya made their way to the infirmary where he was being treated and unsuccessfully arguing to leave before security locked down the premises. They were surprised as anyone when Leia Organa Solo and her entourage appeared to thank him. Selu was able to negotiate the Yanibar party's immediate departure from Coruscant, as well as a non-interference agreement from a grateful Organa Solo, and they returned home, though Ryion lost two fingers in his intervention.
Unbeknownst to Rhiannon, in 27 ABY, several local men passed on slanderous words to their children about Rhiannon, and her sons heard about it. Selu and Milya also found out, but they allowed Kavlis a chance to handle the matter, which he did while Milya surreptitiously observed. After Kavlis confronted and defeated the men in a barfight, Milya revealed herself and told him that she approved of his handling of the situation. Pointing out that his boys had barely recognized her, Kavlis invited Milya over and asked if she and Selu would like to visit more often, which they agreed to.
Milya continued to serve as Director of Yanibar Guard Intelligence into the Yuuzhan Vong War. In the height of that conflict, YGI learned of a group of captured New Republic Jedi. A pair of ships were sent to locate them and report their whereabouts to the New Republic, but were unable to follow them into the heavily-mined Yuuzhan Vong space. Selu and Milya reported this mission to the fiercely isolationist Ruling Council, who were pleased to hear that they hadn't been entangled in the imbroglio. Selu and Milya later met their returning son Ryion and the rest of his team, who had just taken down a Yuuzhan Vong cell on Socorro.
The younger Elite Guardians were understandably frustrated at the pace at which the Yuuzhan Vong were rampaging across the galaxy, and Selu and Milya tried to calm them down and warn them of the perils of more aggressive intervention. To help them recover from the stress of war, the pair ordered the team to take some leave from missions. After some time to recover, Selu and Milya sent them to Naboo to deal with a nascent Dark Jedi. For their part, Selu and Milya were concerned about Ryion's team's aggressive and stressed tendencies, and disapproved of how Ryion and Ariada had grown too close without cementing their relationship in the permanence of marriage.
Ryion's team slew the Dark Jedi and brought back his artifacts and findings, which included several ancient secrets. Ariada offered to help look into them, but her desire for vengeance against the Yuuzhan Vong led Selu to deny her request. Ariada disregarded that order and broke into a secure facility to steal the information. Ryion alerted his parents to her disappearance, and Selu sent Morgedh to track down Ariada, as he felt Milya and Ryion were too emotionally close to Ariada to handle her. Morgedh subdued Ariada after a brief fight and she was imprisoned for numerous offenses. The altercation also ended Ryion's relationship with Ariada, and he stayed with his parents to help recover from the turmoil of the break-up and Ariada's sudden descent into darkness.
Not long afterward, Selu and Milya received a distress call from Ord Pardron, where Cassi was administrating a refugee camp as head of her relief organization, Open Hands. The camp had been attacked by the Yuuzhan Vong, and Selu and Milya departed as quickly as possible with a naval task force to rescue her. They were able to defeat the Yuuzhan Vong ship that attacked the camp and recover Cassi, who had been saved in part due to the help of a mysterious Force-user, a Shaper of Kro Var, named Mithunir, who had been seeing visions of Cassi and how she could help him find a legendary planet called Atlaradis. Unfortunately, while they were gone, Ariada escaped her prison and fled Yanibar.
Out of gratitude and needing a break from Open Hands after all the lives that had been lost on Ord Pardron, Cassi considered joining Mithunir to search for Atlaradis. Mostly to protect her sister-in-law as well as support her in her time of grief, Milya volunteered to accompany her. Also joining the expedition were Jorge and Annita, who brought Sarth's ship, the Silent Surprise for use on the voyage.
Their first stop was Socorro, where they found a clue in the desert while investigating the mysterious min-min lights. The lights led to a series of underground chambers that each held a Force-imbued crystal that revealed part of a map when touched. Mithunir, Cassi, and Milya made their way through the hazardous tunnels until they had collected all the clues and could be retrieved by Jorge and Annita. The clues led them to the remote Jebuan system, where a single hyperroute led out of the system to a world deep in the Unknown Regions.
Upon reversion from hyperspace, they found a large space station orbiting a planet, the only way through an extensive asteroid field. They received signals to dock and did so, with Mithunir suggesting that the station was crewed by caretakers that the ancient legends had spoken of. They found the station inhabited by Rakatans, who had built the station after the light-sided faction of their people had been driven into exile 38,000 years ago. While they were learning about the station and Atlaradis from the Rakatans, a small party of Yuuzhan Vong that had been following them attacked. In the ensuing struggle, Mithunir was fatally wounded by Yiu Shac, who had been pursuing them. Though Cassi was also injured, she and Milya managed to defeat Yiu Shac and her war party. However, the struggle left Milya, Mithunir, Jorge, and Annita badly wounded, and Cassi spent as much time and effort as she physically could trying to heal them. Despite her best efforts, Mithunir perished on the veritable doorstep of the world he had sought for so many years after eliciting a promise from Cassi to bring both her people and his to the paradise world. Cassi agreed and made sure to visit the surface of Atlaradis before she left, receiving a vision of Mithunir while she was on the Force-strong planet. Milya and Cassi also saw a vision of Spectre on Atlaradis, and he warned them that the planet was not always easily accessible and the hyperroute leading to the planet would soon close the next ten years. With Jorge and Annita in no condition to travel, Cassi was prepared to stay behind with them, but Jorge told her to go, that the Rakatans would take care of them, but that she would be needed on Yanibar to tell them about Atlaradis. Cassi tearfully acquiesced to his wishes and she and Milya returned to Yanibar.
In their absence, the planet had been attacked by a group of Dark Jedi and Yuuzhan Vong who had been led there by Ariada, who had been forced to divulge Yanibar's location. The Yuuzhan Vong planted a gravity-manipulating dovin basal on Yanibar to alter the orbit of one of its moons, Yorbinal. Though the dovin basal was destroyed before Yorbinal's orbit became terminal, the damage was enough to wreak havoc on Yanibar's already tenacious climate. Facing planetary devastation within a decade, Cassi suggested that they instead evacuate to Atlaradis when the hyperroute opened again. Realizing that the entire planet faced devastation, not just the refuge, Milya used a secret comlink to call her daughter Rhiannon and instructed her to use the pendant Selu had given her to recover her memory. Over the next ten years, Milya split her energies between trying to help with evacuation efforts, closing up loose ends in YGI's array of assets given that Yanibar would no longer need them once they left for Atlaradis, and hunting Ariada, who remained at large.
In 38 ABY, Ariada Cerulaen resurfaced and began a campaign of galactic terror. In response, Selu, Milya, Cassi, Morgedh, Ryion, Zeyn, and Qedai left Yanibar against the wishes of the Council to stop her. The Council wanted all of Yanibar's resources focused on the evacuation effort, which had encountered numerous difficulties. However, Selu, Milya, and the others felt that Ariada was their responsibility. Boarding the Hawk-bat, they set out to stop her, while Ryion, Zeyn, and Qedai journeyed to Belsavis to halt an attack by Ariada on a pair of Jedi investigating the planet's recent difficulties, which had also been caused by Ariada.
Milya and the others arrived on Coruscant incognito after learning that Ariada had launched a biological attack there. While they investigated, Selu went to the Jedi Temple alone to warn the New Jedi Order of the danger. That night, he did not return, and while Cassi was sleeping, a group of Yanibar Guard commandos that had been ordered after them stormed the hotel room where Milya, Cassi, and Morgedh were staying and took them prisoner. The commandos had been sent by the Council, who wanted them apprehended and Yanibar's secrecy preserved. They were held in a run-down warehouse, separated from each other. Eventually, Selu followed their captors with help from the Jedi and launched a raid to free them, not knowing who their captors were. He was also captured, but was able to communicate to the Council about the danger Ariada posed, as well as reassert his authority. Taking command, he was able to bring the Yanibar Guard assets in the Coruscant system in on the pursuit.
When word reached them that the Yanibar Guard soldiers guarding the Hawk-bat had gone missing, Selu, Milya, and Morgedh, along with a group of commandos, went to investigate. They found Ariada waiting for them there along with several young female assassins. She slew the missing soldiers in front of them and then dropped a group of menacing advanced combat droids down on them. While Selu and Milya were momentarily stunned by the droids, Morgedh sprang into action, holding off the droids until Selu and Milya could recover. Selu used his telekinetic skills to crush the droids once he was able to fight again. They then returned to the Jedi Temple, where Kyle Katarn and Tyria Sarkin Tainer joined their group while the Skywalkers and Solos followed a trail to the Drexel system, though it turned out to be a trap.
Based on information obtained from Cassi and the Galactic Alliance, they were able to conclude that Ariada had two types of targets: defensive targets that she hit to protect herself from potential threats, and impact targets designed to sow fear and chaos. The Force exiles, along with the Yanibar Guard commandos and a few Jedi, headed to the Yanibar Guard ship in orbit, the cruiser Daara'sherum. Selu wanted to send Cassi and Qedai back to Yanibar to protect it while he and the others searched for Ariada, but they were first delayed by an urgent mission to Belsavis, where Ryion and the Jedi Knight Jaina Solo had been shot down.
Milya accompanied the shuttle down to the icy surface of Belsavis, where they found Ryion and the Jedi alive, but Solo was badly injured. Fleeing from an attack by Ariada's fighters which Morgedh helped hold off by conjuring illusions of Yanibar Guard starfighters to scare them off, they returned to the Daara'sherum, which was then attacked by Ariada's cloaked cruiser, the Knightfall. Only the arrival of a Galactic Alliance task force saved them. They effected repairs while most of the Elite Guardians were dispatched to various locations to head off Ariada's attacks, with varying success. Milya and Tyria were sent to Almania, home of Tendrando Arms, a defense company with close ties to the Jedi.
En route, Milya helped recover Tyria's memory: the Jedi had trained on Yanibar years before joining the Jedi Order, but her memory of the event had been erased in line with Yanibar's edicts. When they arrived on Almania, Milya contacted Lando Calrissian, the head of Tendrando Arms, and used him as bait to lure out Ariada's assassin. Milya intercepted the assassin and the two fought a brutal rooftop battle before Milya seized the upper hand, throwing her adversary off. The assassin landed unconscious and badly injured, while Milya had also been wounded. Calrissian's private security entourage took them to a secluded retreat where the assassin was kept confined and Milya's wounds were treated. The hospitality was courtesy of a grateful Calrissian. Eventually, Tyria joined them, irked that she had been left out of the action by Milya. Tyria attempted to interrogate the assassin while Milya recovered, but was unsuccessful.
As the assassin had cut off long-range communications from Almania, it was up to Milya to make something happen. She made little progress until communications were restored and Tyria was able to discover that the assassin, who went by the moniker "Emerald," was actually named Novera and she was from Hapes. Milya revealed to Novera that all of Ariada's training and surgical alterations had been designed to use her, to deceive her. Thanks to her own background, Milya could relate, and eventually the young woman broke down and angrily renounced Ariada, furious at the betrayal.
However, when Milya was able to talk to Selu again, she learned that much had happened in her absence. Ariada had captured Shara, Jaina, and Ryion, defeating Master Kel'nerh, as well as struck at Yanibar, killing the entire Council and badly injuring Sarth. Moreover, little did Selu, Milya, Jaina or Ryion know that Ariada had captured Jaina and Ryion so she could obtain their DNA for use in creating a child, which she implanted inside Jaina. All Milya knew was that Ariada, the woman she had once trained and considered like another daughter, had to be stopped. She returned to the Daara'sherum with Novera and Tyria.
During this time, Selu and Milya were contacted by Cassi, who was now the head of the Council. She let them talk to Rhiannon, who had come to visit. Rhiannon informed them that the Outsiders community had decided not to go to Atlaradis. Knowing that their daughter was torn over which community she belonged to, Selu was initially frustrated and discouraged that this choice had been forced on her, but encouraged her to follow her heart. Milya did not take the news as easily, throwing her effort into obtaining more information from their prisoner, whose name was Novera.
Working with Novera and the Jedi, Selu and Milya devised a plan to bring the Hawk-bat up to Ariada's ship, board it, rescue the prisoners, and sabotage both the engines and the weapons of mass destruction that Ariada had planted on both Coruscant and Bespin. Novera asked Milya to come along on the mission, and though Selu initially disagreed, he later reluctantly allowed Novera to accompany the mission after talking with her and learning the extent of Ariada's deception to the young woman. The Force exiles followed Ariada to where she was hiding the Knightfall over Mustafar. They boarded her ship using the Hawk-bat and thanks to Selu's Force camouflage, Ariada did not realize the danger until they had disabled her ship and come aboard.
Ariada confronted Selu, Milya, Qedai, Akleyn, and Novera at Ryion's cell. Novera seemingly betrayed the Force exiles, but after disarming Selu and the others, she slipped a grenade to Ryion and then turned on Ariada, killing both of the Force-blocking ysalamiri in Ryion's cell. In the ensuing fray, Ariada slashed out at Novera, severely wounding her, but the two assassins with her were incapacitated, and she barely escaped. Ryion was freed and went on to free Jaina and Shara, resulting in the death of several more assassins and Ariada's Dark Jedi advisor. Another assassins and a group of combat droids managed to wound Tyria, leaving Kyle to bring her back to an improvised triage center operated by Akleyn. That setback had kept the Jedi from reaching the bridge or Ariada's inner sanctum, meaning that Ariada's bombs were still active. Selu and Milya decided to pursue Ariada and deal with the weapons from a different route.
With the bridge destroyed by collateral damage and engines sabotaged by Yanibar Guard commandos, the ship began plummeting towards Mustafar's fiery surface. Ariada raced back to her private sanctum to trigger the bombs and then escape with her DNA samples, to create another child. Selu and Milya followed her and attempted to talk her into surrendering. Ariada defiantly rejected them and armed the bombs. She then used the Force-focusing powers of the Ilnash crystals in her sanctum to strike from stealth. In response, Selu and Milya started destroying the crystals. Ariada struck back, hurling lightsabers from stealth and tried to use her Sith sorcery to weaken both Elite Guardians. She was able to destroy Milya's saberstaff and briefly dueled Selu, only breaking off to use more Sith sorcery, but though she grazed Selu with her lightsaber, he returned the favor and Milya hurled a vibroblade that slashed across her left arm. With Selu weakened, Ariada hoped to finish him off, but Milya rose and intervened. She destroyed one of Ariada's blades, but Ariada used telekinesis to clip Milya's ankle with another short-bladed lightsaber. As Selu recovered to attack once more, Ariada disappeared, but enough of the Ilnash crystals had been destroyed and she was leaving a small blood trail. Milya tracked her and fired with her pistol, hitting Ariada twice. Selu reacted instantly when she re-appeared, hurling her telekinetically into one of the sharp-edged crystals, which impaled her other leg. She used the Force to drain their life, but inadvertently triggered a mine Milya had planted, sending her to the deck, badly injured. With her last breaths, Ariada refused to help them disarm her bombs, leaving them to figure out how to do so on their own. However, she did maliciously warn them that the same process which would self-destruct the bombs would also set off a fourth charge in the inner sanctum, making the disarmament a suicide mission.
Selu and Milya were undeterred. They ordered the rest of their party to escape the doomed ship and managed to override Ariada's security systems. Just as they were about to disarm the bombs and possibly escape, Ariada rose one last time, hurling Force lightning at them. However, Selu countered with his own Electric Judgment technique and the resulting shockwave sent Ariada flying out of the sanctum to plummet down a deep shaft, where she died. Her last malicious actions were successful in preventing Selu and Milya from escaping. They perished when they disarmed the bombs and Ariada's dark ship, the Knightfall, plunged down to crash into Mustafar.
They were memorialized at a ceremony on the Yanibar Guard flagship over Yanibar, which was attended not only by Cassi and the rest of the Kraen family, but also by Jedi and Galactic Alliance dignitaries with whom Selu had reconciled. Following the ceremony, the Yanibar refuge prepared to leave for Atlaradis. Rhiannon and her family opted to go with the rest of the Outsiders to a different world. As for Sarth, Cassi, Ryion, and the rest of the Force exiles, they departed for Atlaradis.
Behind the scenes
Milya Tayrce Kraen was originally conceived to provide a strong female lead character for the Force Exile Series. She was intended to represent the archetypal female warrior, and in the first draft of the story, was a Matukai warrior. Her name was derived from the name of a player character used by Atarumaster88 for a female Jedi Exile in KotOR II.
The character later evolved into having an Echani heritage, as the author wanted to create tension between Milya and Spectre due to their different fighting techniques and philosophies of war—Spectre had been trained by Mandalorian sergeants, and the Mandalorians had once been rivals of the Echani. In the second and third draft outlines of the Force Exile Series, the author vacillated between exploring relationships between either Milya and Spectre or Milya and Selu. The first draft had her eventually becoming the wife of Selu, but the author did not like how that relationship had developed and rewrote it. The indecision over relationships for the character would later be expressed in-universe by those three characters in Force Exile III: Liberator.
Milya's relationship with Selu was ultimately a product of Atarumaster88's judgment into the minds of the characters. He felt that Milya and Selu had more in common with each other than Spectre and Milya did—the sudden, violent destruction of their home environment at a young age being a particularly key similarity. Also, the author was not sure that Spectre was ready for a steady relationship at that time.
When writing Milya, the author took some inspiration from the character of Mara Jade Skywalker, but did not wish to create a clone of Jade, nor utilize a stock character. The sequence with Milya sharpening her vibroblade in Force Exile II: Smuggler is an homage to a similar scene with Mara Jade in Enemy Lines II: Rebel Stand. Another influence was the runaway shinobi Kasumi from Dead or Alive, a young female martial artist who flees her village and who is portrayed as having a noble and gentle spirit.
Role and development
Milya Tayrce Kraen first debuted in the second Force Exile novel, Force Exile II: Smuggler as a mysterious Echani mercenary with a shady past. Furthermore, Atarumaster88 also wanted to plant seeds of a bond and attraction between Milya and Selusda Kraen without confirming if Milya's feelings were sincere; he intentionally left open the possibility that she was using Selu to get what she wanted. To that end, she was deliberately underplayed and given only a relatively small role in the story. She was characterized as a private, cynical individual, but one with a moral center and caring undercurrent.
One aspect of Milya's character that was explored in Smuggler was her ability to persuade people, even those she was relatively unfamiliar with. She was able to persuade Selu to allow her to stay on the Hawk-bat, convince Sarth, Spectre, Jorge, and Cassi to journey to Emberlene on a foolhardy rescue mission, and helped talk Selu into keeping the will to live at the end of the story. Her interactions with Selu were some of her more important interactions, as the author wanted to establish that she was special to Selu from the outset.
Another key component to Milya was the tough attitude she showed most people. The author based that on the idea of a character that shows a hardened exterior but has emotional vulnerabilities underneath. In Milya, Atarumaster88 instilled a desire to belong, to be accepted, which incited the character to stay with the crew of the Hawk-bat, at least temporarily. However, her distrusting nature that, of all of them, the only other crewmember she would open up to was Selu, due to his saving her life on New Holstice and even then, only in private.
Milya was characterized similarly to her appearances in Smuggler for the opening scenes of Force Exile III: Liberator. However, just as with the rest of the crewmembers, Milya experienced significant character changes as a result of her experiences with the Jedi spirits on Revan's tower. Most specifically, she becomes more trusting and understanding towards the other crew, particularly Spectre. The months she spends in training, coupled with her new Force-sensitivity, give her an appreciation of the people surrounding her. However, she is still more than capable of being hard-edged when has to be, having no qualms about slicing off an Imperial prisoner's digit to obtain information.
As befitting the role of a seer, Milya also transitioned to being somewhat more mystical, being given the power of foresight, among others. Her clairvoyance did not give her the ability to sense her near-death on Darlyn Boda or the tension between Spectre and Selu, who were both attracted to her. The love triangle between the three was largely played out without Milya's knowledge, however, as the author felt that the pacing of the novel would be disrupted by involving her overly in its progression. Furthermore, the author believed that Milya herself would be too conflicted and afraid of hurting either of them to give a straight answer; her presence would only have complicated matters further.
Another role for Milya in Liberator was as the source for Selusda Kraen's inner conflict over what to do with his newfound powers acquired at Revan's tower. His choices were either to use his power to protect her and the other Force exiles, or lead the fight against the Empire. The scene in the climax where Ajaur nearly kills Milya, only to have Selu revive her, was inspired by near death sequences of The Matrix Reloaded and The Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, where similar events happen between Neo and Trinity and Reed Richards and Sue Storm. That Jessica Alba plays both Sue Storm and Milya is an irony not lost on the author, despite that the scene was planned before Alba was cast as the role of Milya. Further inspiration for the scene came from Artemis Fowl: The Lost Colony, where the female lead is also stabbed in the heart and survives. Ultimately, Selu chose his relationship with Milya. From his point of view, she was the one thing that stood between taking the fight to the Empire. He loved her too much to lose her, and so sacrificed a possible destiny as leader of an insurgency in order to be with Milya. As it turned out, she did reciprocate his feelings.
The rewrite of Liberator altered the dynamics of the love triangle between Selu, Milya, and Spectre, as well as reduced the mystical qualities of her new gift. It also added a plot twist where Milya's tumor was motivation for Selu to accept Revan's prophecy and mission, rather than his love for Milya. The plot element was inspired by one of the author's friends who had a minor tumor removed while the rewrite was in progress. Milya was also written to be less needy emotionally, as Atarumaster88 had disliked how the relationship dynamics had played out in the first draft. Ultimately, the inclusion of Roxana Taskien provided sufficient justification for Milya to reject Spectre. Taskien was specifically concepted and included as a foil for Milya, serving as her opposite in many respects. Additional interactions between Milya and Cassi were also added to help broaden the various interactions between the Hawk-bat crew.
The relationships between Selusda Kraen and Milya Tayrce vs. Sarth Kraen and Cassi Trealus are intentionally contrasted. In the case of Sarth and Cassi, it was Sarth who first attracted to Cassi and initiated the relationship, whereas Milya was the first to voice her attraction to Selu. It is implied that Sarth and Cassi had their first kiss on Commenor in Force Exile II after a few months of dating, starting in Force Exile I. Though their relationship had been developing, it became more serious at that point. In contrast, Milya kisses Selu within ten minutes of meeting him. Even the physical characteristics of Milya and Cassi are different- Cassi is short, blond, pale, and blue-eyed, while Milya is taller, darker, and has dark auburn hair. The author would describe Sarth and Cassi’s relationship as more of a courtship, while Selu and Milya have a more fast-paced, informal relationship. This is caused by their respectively much rougher backgrounds, as neither Selu nor Milya had stable families growing up. Whereas Cassi appears externally weaker than Milya—and Milya is certainly more physically capable, Cassi possesses an internal, emotional strength not necessarily found in Milya. In a moment of weakness, Milya is prone to acts that are out of character for her, things that Cassi would ever not contemplate. For example, Milya sought solace via intimacy with Selu after the Imperial attack on the Matukai, advances which he rejected since he knew how fragile she was emotionally at that point.
At the end of Liberator, Selu and Milya began openly seeing each other. She appeared in a supporting role in the short story Crossroads on an offworld mission with Selu and Spectre. Later, the next Yanibar Tale, Hand in Hand showed her marriage to Selusda Kraen, approximately four years after they began their relationship. Those four years gave both Selu and Milya time to mature and develop a deeper understanding of each other, though their relationship was frought with difficulties. While most of their relationship leading up to their marriage was not shown directly, Atarumaster88 used flashbacks to depict key moments in their relationship and engagement as part of the first half of Hand in Hand. As Milya grew older and more attuned to Selu, she became more confident, both in herself and in him, but also more attached to him. The character, now an adult, also became a parent in 8 BBY, with the birth of her daughter, Rhiannon. The presence of a child serves to rapidly increase Milya's maturity and curb more of her independence while adding to her protectiveness. At the same time, she also has to balance her personal life with her role as the Director of Yanibar Intelligence. It was in this form, as the utterly professional YGI director that Milya appeared as in a later Yanibar Tale, Hard Code, albeit in a supporting role.
In Force Exile IV: Guardian, Atarumaster88 sought to emphasize the maternal bond between Milya Kraen and her daughter, Rhiannon. Though her professional obligations still played an important role in the story, Milya's character was most often seen interacting with Rhiannon. Their relationship was pivotal to her development as a character and Milya's willingness to go to great lengths for Rhiannon was highlighted. Milya also helped bring the Noghri Morgedh clan Kel'nerh onto Yanibar, and her Force visions were instrumental in doing so. She also had a chance to utilize several different roles, including personas introduced when she was undercover, allowing her to express emotions rarely seen in Milya, such as flirtatious or timid. Atarumaster88 found her dialogue with Taelros Bac particularly interesting and provided more page time for it than originally planned. She later appeared in the short story Deception on R'alla in practically the same characterization.
Milya had smaller roles in the later Yanibar Tales, with only brief appearances as a conflicted mother in Through Her Eyes, while Champion of Yanibar saw her concern for her son conflicted with her role as Director of Intelligence. As she aged, Atarumaster88 wanted her concern for her children juxtaposed against her normally-rational mind, though the character was not used often.
For Force Exile V: Warrior, Atarumaster88 chose to place Milya on the expedition to Atlaradis to serve as a foil for Cassi's open-minded curiosity. Milya was the rational, skeptical, cautious member of the party, and also the one who could make hard decisions, such as leaving Jorge and Annita behind on Atlaradis. Atarumaster88 considered having Milya receive the visions of Atlaradis and Yanibar's demise, befitting her role as a seer, but opted to have Cassi fill that role instead, while Milya served as her protector and companion. Instead, her gifts were expanded in her ability to project herself across space as a Force phantom. In the interregnum between Warrior and Prodigal, Atarumaster88 figured that Milya would work to expand her foresight, as it had failed to protect her homeworld and failed to predict Ariada's fall.
In Force Exile VI: Prodigal, Milya accompanied the expedition to stop Ariada. One key detail that wasn't explained in the novel was that it was Milya's foresight that led Ryion, Qedai, Zeyn, and Jutka to protect Jaina and Zekk over Belsavis. Her role was initially minimal, as Atarumaster88 had planned her primary story arc to be her confrontation with Emerald/Novera on Almania. Atarumaster88 also enjoyed writing the exchanges between Milya and Lando Calrissian.
With respect to Novera, Atarumaster88 crafted the assassin's character to be similar to what Milya might have become if she had been enlisted at a young age, a devoted, fierce combatant. Their similarities allowed Milya both to understand Novera and get through to her, as well as cut through the lies and justifications she had received from Ariada. While the two certainly fought physically, Atarumaster88 wanted the conflict to also be a battle for truth and not simply a physical fight, so much of their conflict was written as dialogue rather than simply combat.
In terms of his relationship with his daughter Rhiannon, Selu was more measured and less protective in his responses. His rational perspective at times clashed with Milya's motherly sensibilities, and Selu had more closure in letting her go, even if it meant they would be forever sundered. Milya clung to Rhiannon and the realization that she would be permanently separated from her daughter was one area which Atarumaster88 felt he did not explore enough, as it must have been devastating to Milya's heart.
Atarumaster88 had long wrestled with the ending of the series, but knew that Selu had to perish due to the biblical parallels in the series. The story arc of the Force exiles also generally has strong references to the biblical exodus, where Selu has facets of Moses, Spectre has certain commonalities with Aaron, while Sarth, Milya, Ryion, and Cassi all contain certain symbolism from Miriam, Joshua, Tzipporah, and Caleb. The journey from the galaxy into exile on Yanibar parallels the departure of Israel and his family to Egypt, with the time spent on Yanibar representative of the many years the nation of Israel spent in the desert. The culmination of both stories was the passing of the previous generation of the leadership and the entry of the people into a new and better land. Even so, he struggled with actually killing Selu and Milya. However, at one point, Atarumaster88 considered having Ariada be defeated without major casualty, only to have a clone of Ariada re-emerge on the Hawk-bat either en route to or once they arrived at Atlaradis and force a self-sacrificing move by the Hawk-bat crew. Even in the first drafts of the Force Exile Series, Selu and Milya's death was always written as a self-sacrificing move to save the lives of others to stop a group of Dark Jedi.
Milya Tayrce was originally intended to be portrayed by an image of canonical character Aubrie Wyn. The author even had a picture of Wyn in the first draft of the Force Exile Saga. However, after having a cover made for Force Exile I: Fugitive, the author realized that using a depiction of Wyn, who had only appeared in comic books, would seem out of place amidst the other images which were used in the Force Exile covers, which were largely live-action portraits. Although Wyn was replaced as the depiction of choice for Milya, Atarumaster88 inserted a reference to her in Force Exile I: Fugitive as an homage to the character.
Instead, Atarumaster88 began searching for an image that resembled his concept of Tayrce. While perusing the internet, he came across images from the television series Dark Angel which contained a character, Max Guevara, who somewhat resembled his concept of Tayrce. Performing a search on IMDB, he found several pictures of Guevara, portrayed by Jessica Alba that were suitable for Tayrce, despite her hair being several shades darker than that of Wyn.
- Force Exile II: Smuggler
- Force Exile III: Liberator
- Hand in Hand
- The Price of Loyalty
- Hard Code
- Force Exile IV: Guardian
- Deception on R'alla
- Through Her Eyes
- Champion of Yanibar
- Force Exile V: Warrior
- Force Exile VI: Prodigal