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We fought and died by the thousands. The man whom we were cloned from, the closest thing I’ll ever have to a father, died in our first battle. There isn’t a day where I don’t ask myself why I survived to enjoy the things I have now.
—Spectre Kraen[src]

Spectre Kraen, originally Alpha-28 of the Grand Army of the Republic,[1] was one of the founding pillars of the Yanibar refuge.[2] He was legendary among both the Republic military’s elites and the Yanibar Guard for his exploits and his legacy carried on for years after his death.[3]

He began his life as a vat-grown soldier on Kamino, a genetic duplicate of the legendary Jango Fett. A less-restricted variant than standard clone troopers, Alpha-28 was an Advance Recon Commando, or ARC, an elite group. He and his brothers were personally trained by Jango Fett himself to become one-man-armies, capable of completing a wide variety of missions independently or with support.[1] The best of the best of the clones, it was widely said in Republic military officer circles that ARCs were the next best thing to a Jedi Knight.[4]

The first engagement where the ARCs saw use was the defense of Kamino, their homeworld and Spectre awoke from stasis to find the main metropolis, Tipoca City, being overrun by droids. Alpha-28 made his way alone along the city’s supports to reach landing platforms where additional droids were being unloaded. Dangling from the slippery struts in Kamino’s ever-stormy weather, Alpha-28fended off droid STAPs (Single Trooper Aerial Platforms) and planted explosives on the supports. Detonating them sent thousands of battle droids and heavy weapons into Kamino’s ocean, and Alpha-28 narrowly escaped death by taking a short plunge in Kamino’s aiwha-infested waters and swimming to climb hand-over-hand up another strut until he could rejoin the main battle, where he defended young clones for a grueling six hours.[4]

More deployments followed, and records are incomplete as to all of Alpha-28’s missions. Recovered records have shown that he was on at least thirty missions. He was present on Muunilist, serving as one of the famous “Muunilist 10” alongside ARC Captain Fordo. Battling street-to-street on the Muun homeworld, Spectre helped destroy Separatist gun emplacements that stood in the way of a Republic advance, even confronting the famed Separatist commander Durge.[4]

Following action on Muunilist, he was deployed to Hypori as part of a large group of ARCs to assist in the extraction of a group of Jedi who were under attack by General Grievous. Alpha-28 helped cover the withdrawal of the surviving Jedi, though overall damage to the droid forces there was small and Grievous was unharmed. For actions on Muunilist and Hypori, Spectre was promoted to captain.[4]

While on a mission on board the Star Destroyer Pride of Anaxes, the ship was ambushed and Alpha-28barely managed to get away on an escape pod for two weeks. After being recovered and returned to Coruscant, he was briefed by General Ram Venasee about a security leak that had led to the ship's destruction—a Republic ambassador named Rayees. Alpha-28 was assigned by the general to serve as part of the ambassador's security detail while on a diplomatic mission to Orin and then discreetly kill the ambassador while framing the locals for it. This would coerce the locals to join the Republic and eliminate the security leak. The ARC accepted the mission.[5]

Traveling to Orin, he started to probe and evaluate the security forces guarding the ambassador, but before he could get close enough to the ambassador, a group of mercenaries attacked. Joining up with a Republic Intelligence agent named Roxana Taskien, Alpha-28 fought his way through the mercenaries, even crossing a smoldering volcanic crater to eliminate a sniper. The ambassador was alive but shaken after the attack and planned to evacuate. Alpha-28 then returned to the sniper's nest, where he planned to shoot the ambassador and pin the blame on the mercenaries. However, he was stopped by Taskien, who informed him that it was Venasee who was the traitor. The general had actually been in contact with the mercenaries and had ordered them to attack the conference. Alpha-28 realized she was telling the truth, and instead of killing the ambassador, fired on the general's shuttle after Venasee went rogue, despite ostensibly coming to rescue the diplomatic delegation. He was able to shoot down the shuttle and was eventually cleared after a lengthy—if amiable—debriefing from Taskien and Republic Intelligence. It was during this episode that he earned the nom d'guerre "Spectre."[5]

His next major deployment was to Boz Pity, where he helped scout out the location of several Separatist air bases. He also found a lost Jedi Padawan, Selusda Kraen, after being ordered to do so by Jedi Master Plo Koon. Spectre and Selu spent several days together at a remote outpost and Selu showed Spectre a few basic Jedi exercises at the ARC’s request. Despite the disparity between them, they became good comrades, but the war beckoned and Selu departed. Shortly afterward, a group of Separatist gunships attacked the outpost and Spectre was severely wounded defending it. Selu returned in a Republic gunship and engaged the Separatist craft, defeating them, which saved Spectre’s life and the life of every other trooper at the outpost. Spectre was evacuated for medical treatment.[1]

After his recovery, he was dispatched to the Outer Rim world of Tellanroaeg to aid in repulsing a Separatist attack there. He spotted airstrikes on a sizable Separatist column but was again injured in the attempt. However, he was successful, as the entire Separatist formation was destroyed. After being patched up again, he was placed on lighter duty: training a local militia to help defend the planet. Spectre pushed his troops hard, but they served him well in action, fighting valiantly against the advancing droid ranks.[1]

On a return from a patrol with his militia, Spectre was surprised to find that several clone troopers had just killed a Jedi Knight. Demanding an explanation, he was informed that Order 66, a contingency order requiring the immediate execution of all Jedi Knights, had been implemented. Spectre questioned his superior, CC-3433 “Trip”, about the matter and drew close in insubordination before Trip confirmed that the order was authentic. Still somewhat shocked but knowing he would have had to follow the order if it was given, Spectre nevertheless returned to the fallen Jedi and gave her a respectful warrior’s burial, much to Trip’s annoyance.[1]

As punishment, Trip sent Spectre on an aerial reconnaissance of the Separatist positions, but Spectre found all the droids de-activated. Taking his gunship to the main Separatist base, Spectre found that scenario repeated there as well-the droid armies were completely inert. Clearing the base of the few Neimoidians and Geonosians, he contacted Trip with his report, and the commander told him that the same story had been repeated across the galaxy; the war was over with all the droids deactivated.[1]

Returning to the Republic base, Spectre raced to the scene when the Republic headquarters building exploded. Rushing into the burning building, he rescued several people, including Trip, regardless of his own personal safety. He was decorated for this, but the black mark of insubordination that Trip had logged would prevent him from advancing further in the military.[1]

Moreover, Spectre was tired of war. Shortly after the Republic was transformed into the Empire, he retired from the Grand Army, teaming up with another ARC retiree, Alpha-21 “Twone”. The two swiftly found employment as private security guards for Durashield Securities, based out of Commenor, via a very informal hiring process. Their new employer, a Twi’lek named Bwilor, took Twone and Spectre to a nearby residence, as Durashield Securities had been hired to protect the family there from kidnapping.[6]

As it turned out, the family was the Kraens, and Spectre was reunited with Selusda Kraen, though the meeting was a little tense, as both suspected the other of treachery. Selusda had narrowly escaped the Empire’s purge of the Jedi and he suspected Spectre of being an Imperial agent. Things were cleared up, though, and Selu, who had been injured by an earlier attack on his family by Mistryl Shadow Guards, entrusted their safety to Spectre.[6]

Spectre, along with the other Durashield guards and local law enforcement, did their best, moving the Kraen family to a remote safehouse deep in the rural areas of Commenor and maintaining a 24-hour-watch over them. Not two weeks after they arrived at the safe house, the Mistryl located them and launched an attack. Spectre and his comrades beat off the attack, but Spectre was heart-stricken when Twone died as a result of injuries suffered in the attack. His witty partner had been one of the last links he had to his former life and that had been taken away from him now. Resolutely, he continued in his duties despite being wounded himself, but the situation was soon resolved by the return of Selu Kraen.[6]

Meanwhile, the last remaining Mistryl had captured a local law enforcement officer and threatened to kill her unless Sarth Kraen turned himself over. Instead, Selu went in Sarth’s place and obtained the location of the officer, Annita Daowot. Spectre was among the people who accompanied the rescue party and personally saved Daowot before she could drown, disarming several booby traps left for any rescuers. When Selu was taken to the Mistryl homeworld of Emberlene, Spectre agreed to accompany Selu’s brother Sarth and the rest of the crew of the Hawk-bat to Emberlene in a risky rescue attempt.[6]

Against all odds, they were able to land on Emberlene as the planet came under mercenary attack and Spectre helped cover the freighter Hawk-bat as it landed on the planet. Making their way into the Mistryl fortress where Selu was, Spectre accompanied the others in rescuing Selu from the onslaught of a renegade Dark Jedi. They left shortly before the Mistryl world was devastated by a nuclear weapon and Spectre was invited to join the crew of the Hawk-bat by her new captain, Selusda Kraen.[6] He agreed and spent more than a year as a smuggler on the ship.[2]

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. Spectre then assisted Milya, another member of the crew, and Sarth in making repairs.[2]

The crew discovered a strange glowing emanating from a fissure in the ground and Milya roused Selu to help them investigate, which he perceived was related to a disturbance in the Force he had detected. 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, including that of the ancient Jedi Revan, and bade them enter the tower. Spectre was at first apprehensive, but the spirits explained that destiny had brought the five of them there to fulfill a prophecy.[2]

When Selu, who had initially rejected the prophecy, ultimately came around and agreed to undertake the mission given to them, he talked with Spectre to hear the ex-ARC's opinion. Spectre explained that since the rest of the crew had accepted the calling, he would too out of solidarity. 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 Spectre that he would fill the role of a warrior. Spectre thus obtained the ability to touch the Force and began training under Selu and the Jedi spirits. he also began harboring a nascent attraction to Milya, but out of respect for Selu, who was also in love with her, did not make his feelings known.[2]

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, to the point where they even shared a kiss. 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.[2]

Eventually, the five were called to construct lightsabers of their own and depart their Force-empowered refuge. Spectre built a golden-bladed lightsaber. 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. Selu and Spectre took the Imperial scout ship to the remote world of Yanibar to seek out the Zeison Sha, whose planet had been occupied by the Empire. Unfortunately for them, the Zeison Sha had long borne an ancient grudge against the Jedi.[2]

Selu and Spectre went to the remote planet of Yanibar, where the fiercely independent Zeison Sha lived, but there was tension between the two as they both were attracted to Milya. Landing on the planet, they soon met the Zeison Sha who received them with due skepticism. While they were able to help the Zeison Sha against the Empire and apologized on behalf of the Jedi Order, the fiercely independent Zeison Sha were unmoved.[2]

After they returned to their ship, the Imperial crew of the Observant escaped and attempted to overpower Selu and Spectre, who had come to blows over the subject of Milya. Spectre was badly injured after intentionally taking a blaster bolt meant to Selu, though Selu managed to subdue them. That quickly put an end to their argument and they agreed to let Milya decide. Selu then learned of a pending Imperial aerial attack on the Zeison Sha and took to the skies in the scout ship to shoot down the bombers, earning the gratitude of the Zeison Sha. In response, they agreed to join and even host the refuge, provided it was on Yanibar and that Selu would defend it. He agreed, but shortly thereafter had a premonition that Milya was in danger. Promising to return, he and Spectre left, accompanied by a young Zeison Sha warrior named Daara.[2]

Arriving at Milya’s location on Darlyn Boda, they swooped down in the midst of an Imperial attack on the people Milya had been trying to persuade, the Matukai. Selu and Spectre set the ship down and rescued as Milya and as many Matukai as they could, but many had already fallen and Selu was revealed to an Imperial Inquisitor, Ajaur.[2]

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.[2]

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.[2]

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. His former superior, Trip, tried to bring in a wounded Imperial Intelligence officer, his old flame 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 Trip, which was intensely personal due to their history during the Clone Wars. Taskien recovered and 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.[2]

Once Selu secured the ship, named the Griffin, 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, who had successfully persuaded the Jal Shey to join their cause. Spectre made another attempt to sway Taskien, but she was utterly implacable in rejecting him and promising to hunt them down. Spectre still harbored some affection for her, but ultimately she and the rest of the Imperial prisoners were left on a remote world while the Griffin headed for Yanibar.[2]

At Yanibar, 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.[2]

They arrived shortly before the wedding, but soon learned that Annita and Jorge had fallen under Imperial suspicion. On the day of the wedding, Spectre was in the chapel as one of the guests, as was the rest of the crew, but the Empire crashed the wedding. Selu challenged the Imperial arresting party, but soon found himself dueling Ajaur, who had arrived through a window. In the mean time, Spectre and Milya battled Imperial troops while the wedding party fled. However, Imperial reinforcements soon arrived, and while the four Force-users, along with 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 and knocking Spectre to the ground. 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. Sarth took out the bomber and they quickly boarded the Hawk-bat and escaped.[2]

Selu and his companions returned to Yanibar, where Jorge and Annita and Sarth and Cassi were married in a dual ceremony. Selu and Milya also began a relationship at this time, and Spectre recognized and respected they belonged together—he still had not fully gotten over Taskien, but he hoped to still remain friends with Milya even as he began building a defense force for the new refuge. She also confessed that she had still been chasing Selu even when involved with Spectre, and the two agreed to remain on amicable terms.[2]

Still, even with his new administrative role, which required him to draw up a completely new plan to organize, train, and equip a militia, Spectre sometimes went on missions personally. In 14 BBY, Spectre accompanied Selu and Milya to Ord Cestus in search of a group of Jedi fugitives. While there, he met a local woman named Sheeka Tull who had once been in love with another ARC, Alpha-98. Sheeka helped them evacuate the Jedi once Selu, Milya, and Spectre located them. Spectre and Sheeka found themselves quickly attracted to each other and Spectre even saved her life from a group of Imperials. He subsequently invited her to return to Yanibar with her family and she agreed.[7]

Following a mission in 12 BBY to bring the paramilitary group Freedom’s Sons into the fold of the Yanibar refuge, Spectre realized how seriously he felt about Sheeka Tull. When he informed Selu of this, his friend offered him the surname Kraen, saying that he had been part of the family of the years. Spectre accepted the name gratefully, becoming part of the Kraen family.[4] He was present at the wedding between Selu and Milya[8] and asked for Sheeka Tull’s hand in marriage shortly afterward.[4] Spectre also eulogized the first combat casualty of the Yanibar Guard, Sergeant Pec Deplisk, who fell defending Yanibar from pirates.[9]

In 11 BBY, the secrecy of the Yanibar refuge was threatened when a money launderer named Janstren Brell that had been working with them realized their connections to Ardo Romierr's old network and threatened to turn them in for an Imperial bounty. Spectre, a YGI agent named Xlora, and Cresh Squad were sent to Herstell V to confront and, if necessary, eliminate Brell. When negotiations failed, Spectre and Cresh Squad were able to raid Brell's apartment and distract his henchmen long enough for Xlora stole his incriminating evidence. Xlora also implicated one of Brell's employees, a club singer who Spectre recognized as his old flame Roxana Taskien. He covertly followed her and rescued her from Brell's thugs when they tried to attack her, but did not reveal his identity. Instead, he provided her a means to get offworld. What he didn't realize was that Xlora had made the same identification and sabotaged Taskien's getaway ship, so the Imperial Intelligence agent would be stranded in deep space. Spectre only learned of this from Milya after he returned to Yanibar, and though he was initially distraught, he realized that Taskien was an enemy, and her death was the price of his loyalty.[10]

Along with marrying Tull came the challenge of helping raise her children. Though her three older children, Tarl, Tonoté, and Mithail, were already mostly grown, Spectre was able to connect with Sheeka's son by another ARC, a boy named Nate. Nate was the most accepting of Spectre and wanted to follow in his footsteps,[4] joining the Yanibar Guard eventually. Spectre also had a child with Sheeka, a daughter named Jasika. Spectre continued to serve in the Yanibar Guard, holding the role of the leader of the Yanibar Guard Army for many years.[11] He was Selu's right-hand-man when it came to defense policy even as the Yanibar Guard shifted its emphasis to a space-based defense. It was in this role that Spectre authorized covert operations for select units of the Yanibar Guard.[4]

In 0 BBY, Spectre undertook a frontline commando mission, something that become a rarity for him. Along with Milya, Selu, Sarth, and the elite commandos of Cresh Squad, he infiltrated an Imperial Star Destroyer in a brazen attempt to steal its computer core. Spectre and the other Yanibar Guard infiltrators were able to breach security and reach the core, but the disturbance in the Force caused by the destruction of Alderaan rendered him and the other Force-sensitives more or less incapacitated. The other commandos held off the Imperial security forces. Eventually, Spectre, Sarth, Milya, and Selu were able to recover somewhat. Combined with the Cresh Squad commandos, they seized the core and exfiltrated the Star Destroyer in an escape pod cloaked by the Force.[12]

Three years later, Spectre was present when an Imperial warship interfered with a Yanibar Guard salvage effort in the Drexel system. Flying with Selu inside the Hawk-bat, Spectre helped launch a surprise assault on the Imperial warship, followed by a swift boarding action that compelled the Imperial ship to surrender. However, he had also noticed a diminished capability to use the Force in combat during this time. On board the Imperial warship, he noticed the same lack of connection to its power and grew concerned, even though he and Selu were ultimately successful. Another factor of concern for Spectre was his accelerated aging—though he was less than thirty chronologically, he had the body of a sixty-year-old. They returned to Yanibar shortly thereafter, where Spectre and Sheeka enjoyed dinner at Selu and Milya Kraen's house.[11]

Later, while training with the other former members of the Hawk-bat crew, Spectre found that he had no problems accessing the Force, which puzzled him. The suggestion was made that he consult the spirits of Revan and the others, but Spectre was reluctant to do so, fearing that they would tell him his connection to the Force was irrevocably diminished. Spectre's problem also caused Sarth and Cassi to venture out in search of a former professor of Sarth's, a genius named Nasdra Magrody who had done some research into Force-sensitivity.[11]

Shortly thereafter, while Selu, Sarth, Milya, and Cassi were away, Spectre was tapped to go on a covert mission to Nar Shaddaa to meet with crime lord Tyber Zann. The Yanibar Ruling Council had approved limited business deals with Zann and his consortium, and though Spectre was against the idea, he was sent to conduct the negotiations. Meeting in a seedy dive, Spectre was able to work out a contract for arms with Zann, but the depravity he saw while there, including the mistreatment of numerous slaves, filled him with anger.[11]

By the time he returned to Yanibar, Spectre had already decided to sabotage the Zann Consortium's operations on Nar Shaddaa, though he waited for Selu and Milya to return before fully implementing anything. He also told them of Sarth's lack of oversight on the export process. Spectre eventually did journey to Revan's tower, where he learned that his difficulty in using the Force was caused by his proximity to other clones of Jango Fett, which created a mental resonance that interfered with his abilities. However, he refused to linger at Revan's tower, feeling that he was needed more on Yanibar. In fact, Spectre was heavily involved with Selu in planning Operation Triangle, a plan to lure the Zann Consortium into a battle with both the Rebels and Imperials at Kuat.[11]

Spectre was present when Milya and Rhiannon, Selu's daughter, returned from an extended vacation that had gone awry, and was also present when Cresh Squad returned from a lengthy sabotage campaign on Nar Shaddaa. Around the same time, Sarth and Cassi's ship arrived back on Yanibar, but without Sarth and Cassi. Selu, Spectre, and Milya knew that their last known location was on Mandalore, but otherwise, they were unsure of their fate aside from suspicions of Zann Consortium involvement, as there was a significant Zannist presence on Mandalore.[11]

However, unbeknownst to them, a Zannist spy had infiltrated the Yanibar Orbital Defense Command and passed along revealing information to Tyber Zann. Knowing their position was compromised, Spectre and the other Yanibar Guard staff began preparing for invasion. At this time, Spectre met the young Force-sensitive Noghri Selu and Milya had recruited, Morgedh clan Kel'nerh. The two were able to relate to each other due to their past histories with the Empire, and Spectre charged Morgedh with helping defend the colony.[11]

Eventually, the Zannists arrived. Spectre helped coordinate the defense of Yanibar, harassing Zann's ground troops once they landed. However, even as the ground campaign wound into a stalemate, Spectre was astonished to see a swarm of Sith soldiers under the Nightsister Silri land inside the Yanibar colony. Selu sought to buy time by negotiating with their leaders, and Milya was occupied defending Rhiannon, leaving Spectre in charge on the ground. Around this time, the Yanibar Guard received a coded message from Sarth and Cassi informing them that the two were being held captive on Zann's flagship in orbit over Yanibar. Spectre then took Cresh Squad, including his step-son, Nate, and flew the Hawk-bat up in a desperate boarding action. A Force illusion that Spectre generated concealed the ship, allowing them to board successfully. While most of Cresh Squad went to sabotage the reactor, Spectre, Nate, and another Cresh Squad commando, Jabri C'esta, went to rescue Sarth and Cassi. They were successful in doing so, but were ambushed by Tyber Zann and his Talortai henchman, Urai Fen. Spectre single-handedly defeated Fen, and Zann was badly injured, but their escape was ruined when Zann hurled a final detonator at them. Spectre and Nate took the force of the blow and, as the warship was rigged to explode, were unable to escape. Badly wounded, Spectre ordered Jabri to get Sarth and Cassi out of there before the ship blew up. She did so and Spectre and Nate spent their final moments together before the ship detonated, claiming their lives. The Yanibar Guard was ultimately victorious over the Zannists, but the victory came with a heavy price. Spectre's death left Sheeka Tull Kraen widowed for the second time and left Jasika without a father.[11] He was mourned by all of the Yanibar colony and given a place in the Hall of Remembrance for his valor.[4]

Years later, in 28 ABY, an apparition of Spectre appeared to Milya and Cassi Kraen on the hidden planet Atlaradis when they visited a powerful Force nexus known as the Oracle. They were able to speak with him and felt joy at hearing from him again. He also warned them that their time on Atlaradis was short due to the temporary nature of the hyperroute leading there, cutting their visit short.[13]


Behind the scenes

Origins

The character of Spectre did not originate in the role-playing games; this was due to the fact that those adventures occurred before the release of Attack of the Clones and subsequent canonical literature detailing the roles and exploits of clone commandos and ARC troopers. Instead, the character was conceived in the first draft of the saga, and remained through the second and third versions, though he underwent several name and designation changes in the process. Ultimately, the author felt that his other names for the character were not menacing or martial enough, and so he selected the name "Spectre", after the callsign of the player’s character in Mechwarrior 4: Mercenaries.

In the first and second drafts, Spectre was slated to save Selusda Kraen from Imperial pursuit after having befriended him on Boz Pity. This idea was revamped in the third and fourth drafts of Force Exile I: Fugitive, as the author felt it was unrealistic for an ARC trooper to abandon his allegiance to the Empire over a short friendship. Instead, the reunion between Selu and Spectre was put off until the sequel, Force Exile II: Smuggler. Another change that occurred in the third and fourth drafts was the expansion of Spectre's role in the story—in particular, the several scenes on Tellanroaeg were not originally planned in the second draft, but the author wished to shift the focus of the story away from solely depicting Selu Kraen by broadening Spectre's role. A scene where Selu single-handedly defeated a Separatist airbase was also dropped from the novel, and the concept was given to Spectre instead, as the author felt it was more befitting of his skills and wanted to show more of Spectre in action.

When writing Spectre, the author was influenced by canonical character Alpha-98. Atarumaster88 sought to portray Spectre as being fully a clone soldier dedicated to the Grand Army of the Republic, but also Human, with a mind of his own. As an ARC trooper, Spectre was deliberately written to be more independent-minded than other clone troopers. Another idea that stuck with him was the concept of providing Spectre a role outside the army and seeing how he handled and survived, though this plotline was not fully realized until Force Exile II.

Role and development

As the second central character of Fugitive, Spectre's main purpose was to show another side of the Clone Wars and the rise of the Empire. Whereas the protagonist of the story, Selusda Kraen, viewed everything from a Jedi's perspective, the author also wanted to explore the viewpoint of one of the many soldiers who fought and died for the Republic during the Clone Wars. In particular, the author heavily centered Spectre around concepts of valor, honor, and loyalty over self, values traditionally associated with a military culture. Fugitive saw Spectre land a sizable role, one filled with a number of physical and emotional trials, in order to show his perspective.

However, in doing so, Atarumaster88 also introduced two concepts with Spectre that he later regretted adding: the incorrect burial of the Aruzan Jedi, as Jedi were traditionally cremated, and Spectre's use of the Mando'a language, which although seen by the character as nothing more than a sort of secret code among the clone army rather than a culture, was later seen as unnecessary and even unrealistic. These concepts were downplayed in sequels.

The defiance Spectre shows his superiors towards the end of Fugitive in questioning the veracity of Order 66's activation, as well as providing a burial for the fallen Jedi, was not intended to serve as an apologetic piece for the clone soldiers' execution of the order. Had Spectre directly received and confirmed the order himself, he would have slain any Jedi nearby, including Selusda Kraen. At that point, his ultimate loyalty was to the Grand Army of the Republic and while his honor would have protested the idea of gunning down one's commander without warning, he would have followed orders, thinking pragmatically that overall casualties would be reduced by taking the Jedi by surprise; they were too dangerous to live. The courtesy that Spectre showed to the fallen Jedi by providing them with burial rites was one that the character would also have extended to a Separatist adversary who had also fought well—to Spectre, the act was done in respect of the other's skill as a warrior, no matter their allegiance. These unconventional ideas were placed into the story to set the stage for Spectre's realization that he no longer wished to serve in the army and to show his expanding humanity, but other acts, such as his saving Trip from the bombed building, were used to demonstrate his continued loyalty to the Grand Army.

Writing Spectre's later scenes in Fugitive was somewhat difficult for the author, largely due to the fact that the character was often alone and in dangerous situations, making it difficult to flesh out meaningful relationships. To that end, the author utilized more internalization with Spectre in order to show the character's thoughts, to compensating for the relative lack of dialogue.

Force Exile II: Smuggler saw an immediate shift in character for Spectre as it opened with his decision to leave the army, a decision that was intended to prepare for Spectre's reunion with Selu Kraen. However, in this book, the author did not want to repeat numerous scenes where Spectre was largely alone, so he added a supporting character, Alpha-21 "Twone", in order to provide more dialogue options for Spectre. Smuggler witnessed Spectre's transition to civilian life and his confrontation with Selu, a confrontation that Spectre entered bearing no ill will for Selu. His life in the army over, he no longer had a compulsion to execute enemies of the Empire. With this understanding, Selu and Spectre were able to see each other as comrades, if not friends just yet. This transition away from the mandates of the Empire was one of several steps that the author had planned for the character on his road to weaning Spectre off the army and into the life of an individual in the greater galaxy. To provide structure to the transition, the author drew up a "change ladder" that had key incremental steps for Spectre to undergo in order to transform him from a soldier in the army to a member of the Force exiles.

At one point, the author considered establishing a romantic relationship between Annita Daowot and Spectre, but decided against it. Another concept that was considered for the story and dropped was one of Spectre grieving over Twone's death. It was removed because it would have affected the pacing of the novel and because the author felt Spectre was too private of a person to outwardly show grief. Though Selu Kraen might have been able to sense it, at that stage in the book, they were keeping each other somewhat at arm's length. The next step on the transition was Spectre's decision to join the crew of the Hawk-bat, which was accomplished at the end of Smuggler.

The third Force Exile novel, 'Force Exile III: Liberator, saw the author quickly establish tension between Spectre and Milya Tayrce. He built this rivalry based on disagreements seen in the video game Knights of the Old Republic between Mandalorian and Echani war philosophies and tactics, as Milya had been raised by a culture based on many of the Echani ways and Spectre had been trained by Mandalorian sergeants. However, it also underscored the love-hate relationship between them that quickly blossomed into a love triangle involving Selu. Though the triangle was not originally in the outline of the story, the author felt that it gave Spectre more human characteristics and left it in.

The next step in Spectre's transition, though, was his experience in Revan's tower, where he received a modicum of Force-sensitivity and a new perspective into the life of a Jedi. That experience was written with a great amount of Christian imagery and symbolism. Spectre’s doubting is comparable to the doubting of the apostle Thomas in John 20:29, though he, like the other crew members, ultimately came to accept the calling and Force power that were offered to them. The author does not intend Spectre to become a full-fledged Jedi, nor was he designed to achieve the powers, abilities, or understanding of the Force that a Jedi Knight would possess. Instead, his newfound talents, much like those of Sarth and Cassi, were intended to give him a rudimentary understanding of the Force and allow him to safely and somewhat proficiently use a lightsaber. The insight he gained from the Force and extensive training with Milya were also essential to helping him grow in his relationship with her, exploring the nascent attraction he felt for her. Ultimately, though, the author chose to let Spectre's honor and loyalty triumph over his attraction for Milya and gave the character a willingness to sacrifice himself for others.

Atarumaster88 also felt that Spectre's conquering of his own desires, while a very noble deed, one that demonstrated some of the Jedi training he had absorbed, was not as climatic of an obstacle as the character needed. To that end, he placed a personal antagonist in Spectre's former commander, Trip, from Force Exile I: Fugitive in order to complete another step of Spectre's transition: that of turning his back fully on his former life. Spectre was able to confront and defeat Trip, as well as slay several other clone soldiers, and his motivation for doing so was shown to be the devotion he had for his new friends, whereas most of the clones were blood brothers and comrades, but not true friends. With that significant leap made, Spectre was given only a small role in the final battle of the book on Commenor, though he was responsible for actually slaying Inquisitor Ajaur, as the author did not want to establish a pattern of Selu slaying numerous Dark Jedi. He did, however, establish Spectre as a key character in the Yanibar Guard.

At the end of Force Exile III: Liberator, there was one last part of Spectre's transition that was unfinished, and that was fully exploring a relationship with a woman. This final step was accomplished in the short story Crossroads, where Spectre met and became involved with canonical character Sheeka Tull. Though the author felt that their relationship progressed rather quickly, he also wrote Sheeka as an emotionally needy character, one who would gladly and rapidly attach herself to Spectre, given her past relationships with Jango Fett and Alpha-98. The author saw no reason for Spectre to not reciprocate her feelings.

The Force Exile III: Liberator rewrite changed part of Spectre's backstory, adding a prior relationship with Imperial Intelligence Roxana Taskien that made him less naive relationally. It also provided motivation for him to chase and ultimately be rejected by Milya—Taskien was intentionally written as a mirror character to Milya. Additionally, the author adjusted Spectre's motivation to accept the prophecy to be more out of camaraderie with the crew. Spectre's relationship with Milya was also made more intentionally clear during the phase where Selu had rejected her.

Following the Liberator rewrite was an aftermath story, The Price of Loyalty that provided more resolution for Spectre's relationship with Roxana Taskien. Taskien's fate was left ambiguous for a potential follow-on work, but Spectre's initial willingness to intervene on her behalf was eventually resolved by the end of the story to fully sever his old allegiances.

Subsequent short stories in the Yanibar Tales have seen Spectre's character utilize the same personality iteration post-Crossroads, though they did reveal that he was eventually married to Sheeka Tull. Spectre continued to exist largely in this third iteration of his personality for the short story Hard Code where he played a peripheral role.

By Force Exile IV: Guardian, a new element had been introduced into Spectre's personality, though, and that was his role as a father. Spectre's responsibilities now included caring for his wife, stepson and especially his daughter Jasika. While the primary conflict for Spectre in Guardian was supposed to be his seemingly weakening connection to the Force, Atarumaster88 found that emphasizing his familial ties and the duality of his personality as both a family man and a formidable warrior was more aligned with the overall theme of the book. As such, after the first segment, Spectre's weakness in the Force was not given as much of a priority, whereas his interactions with Jasika and Sheeka were highlighted more. However, Spectre served as the motivation for Sarth and Cassi to embark on their central quest in Guardian. He also interacted briefly with new character Morgedh clan Kel'nerh and were able to identify with each other due to their common warrior heritage and prior service to the Empire.

Spectre also played the role of ultimately rescuing Sarth and Cassi from Tyber Zann while sacrificing himself. His death was planned fairly early in the writing process for Guardian, though it wasn't present in initial drafts of the Force Exile Saga. Atarumaster88 felt that Spectre's death was necessary to the plot for multiple reasons. In-universe, the character was aging and many possible storylines had already been explored with him. Out of universe, the author felt that a heroic self-sacrifice would immortalize Spectre and help deal with issues of overlapping character roles that were starting to arise in Guardian. Significant character development of other major characters also resulted from Spectre's sacrifice. While Atarumaster88 found that writing Spectre's death was not easy, he also felt that the character would have preferred to die in a heroic manner rather than withering from a premature old age. Spectre's death represented the first major protagonist death in the Force Exile Series since Force Exile II: Smuggler.

Atarumaster88 chose to bring Spectre back for a brief appearance in ghostly form in the next novel of the series, Force Exile V: Warrior, both as an homage to the character and to help Atlaradis seem even better of a destination. In line with the heroic nature of his death, Atarumaster88 portrayed Spectre's existence in the afterlife as a peaceful one where he was reunited with other departed family members, so as to not invalidate his sacrifice. Spectre also appeared in the epilogue scene of the final novel of the series, Force Exile VI: Prodigal, as Atarumaster88 wanted to bring the five principle characters of Force Exile (Selu, Milya, Spectre, Sarth, and Cassi) back together one last time to finish the series.

As one of his final works, Atarumaster88 chose to write a prequel novella that would serve as an origin story for Spectre (and in fact give him that name) as well as introduce his history with Taskien. In this story, The Cauldron, Spectre was written as much less open-minded and rigid, mission-focused. If some of Spectre's skillset after the events of Force Exile II: Smuggler was inspired by characters like Jason Bourne, in The Cauldron, he's more rigidly-focused, like Jason Bourne's background as a government assassin. Spectre's mindset was changed by interactions with Taskien and the empathy she had for him, but while Atarumaster88 wanted to show a transformation, he also wanted to avoid being too abrupt in his shift in thinking.

Portrayal

Spectre was portrayed wearing full ARC commando armor by an image of canonical character Alpha-77 "Fordo" for the cover of Force Exile I: Fugitive. He has not been pictured since. In choosing the image, the author simply picked an image of an ARC trooper for use for the character. However, when the Force Exile I: Fugitive cover was redone, Atarumaster88 replaced Spectre's image with one of a fan-made ARC trooper costume, providing a more lifelike appearance.

Appearances

References

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