- Rich Hardy
Obscure heroes and villains of the galaxy: Halagad Ventor
We all know about Obi-Wan’s apprentice, Anakin Skywalker, but most do not realize that Kenobi actually had another young Jedi under his wing. His name is Halagad “Hal” Ventor and his story has been lost to time. Once a Jedi fighting in the Clone Wars, Hal would survive Order 66 and soon fall to the clutches of the Dark Side.
Born on Alderaan in 47 BBY, Halagad Ventor would fail to be found by the Jedi Jorus C’baoth, whose duty was to find force sensitives on the planet. Because of this, Hal was forced to live a life of politics and served under Bail Prestor Organa. The political landscape was not only a mess on a galactic scale (with the Yinchorri Uprising and the Trade Federation’s rise to power) but on Alderaan too with a feud between House Antilles and House Organa. Finally though, in 32 BBY the feud would cease and Bail Organa would become Senator of Alderaan. Later in the year, the Organas would host a celebration at the Okonomo Retreat in which Hal was invited to, however tragedy struck when an assassin used a biological weapon and killed many at the event. After that night, which became known as the Okonomo Tragedy, Halagad would begin wanting to learn the ways of the force. During this time he would also begin a relationship with Bail’s younger sister Tia.
The two would secretly have a child, but unable to handle the responsibilities of being a father at such a young age Hal left to train in the ways of a Jedi. Hal fled for the planet Almas, where an experimental Jedi Academy was located. Ventor would learn more about the force while there, and would even go onto face the Wyrd Cultists. Eventually though, he would seek out better training and leave for Coruscant in 27 BBY. There he met with several Jedi including Ashka-Boda, Master Jerec, and Djinn Altis who all would refuse to teach him. Frustrated, he would return to Alderaan and meet with his old friend Senator Organa, who would use his connections with the Jedi Everen Ettane to let him start his training. Ettane would agree and start training Ventor in the formal Jedi ways, even though they would argue about many things.
Later that year the Outbound Flight Project would launch and fail, and the two Jedi were dispatched alongside the Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi and his padawan Anakin Skywalker to investigate. While doing so the two Padawans would meet and become good friends. A few years later in 23 BBY after the start of the Separatist Crisis, the Virgillian Civil War would break out. Ettene, Ventor, alongside Jedi Ludwin Katarkus and Danyawarra would be sent to help stop the conflict. While arriving their ship would be attacked and all were presumed dead. Three weeks later Senator Organa and Ashka Boda would set out on a rescue mission. Ventor would be the only survivor and Boda would take the Padawan back to Coruscant. When they returned, Boda knew Hal would need a new master and convinced Obi-Wan Kenobi to take on Ventor as another Padawan alongside Skywalker.
Not very long after, the Clone Wars would start. After the First Battle of Geonosis, Anakin Skywalker would need to build a new Lightsaber, that's when he and Hal would perform the Concordance of Fealty, a ceremony bonding the two Jedi, allowing each other to share each other’s Lightsabers as if the two Jedi were one. Not too long into the war after the Battles of Muunilinst and Dantooine, Hal and Anakin would fight alongside in the Battle of Skye with their master Obi-Wan. On Skye (locally known as Marat V) a Separatist Dark Side warrior by the name of Zeta Magnus would have recently begun his terrible reign. During the battle, the Jedi would join forces with a force-sensitive S’kytri woman named Kharys, to break into Magnus’ citadel. Once there, the three Jedi were captured and cloned in Magnus’ Spartii Cloning Tanks, leading to a battle with the mad clones. Once the Jedi had won, Zeta proceeded to escape only to be stopped and killed by Hal, who suspecting Magnus might have been involved in the Okonomo Tragedy, gave into his rage and fed into the Dark Side. Shortly after the battle was over, Hal, who had let the Dark Side seep into him, got into a heated argument with Anakin and the two lashed out at each other, engaging in a brief duel. Kenobi stopped them both but Hal’s relationship with the two other Jedi were finished.
Ventor would eventually be knighted during the war and returned to continue learning at the Almas Jedi Academy. In 19 BBY Order 66 would be initiated, and Halagad Ventor along with other Jedi at the academy would survive the initial onslaught and go into hiding. Hal and his old ally Ashka Boda would create a network to keep contact with their fellow academy survivors, however the plan went to ruin though when Inquisitor Valin Draco working with Imperial Intelligence caught Ventor and brought him to be interrogated by Vader aboard the Exactor. Ventor, unable to resist Vader’s torture, gave into the Dark Side and told Vader the loaction of the Almas Academy survivors. Vader then let Ventor go, knowing he was now tainted with the Dark Side, and the fallen Jedi would eventually seek refuge within the Dark Nexus of the planet Trinta.
Halagad would remain on Trinta for many years and it wasn’t until almost a year after the Battle of Yavin that he would be seen again. Above the planet a gang of pirates started a skirmish with a group of Rebels and they all crash-landed on the surface. Ventor, now withered and decrepit due to the Dark Side, would attack the offworlders. After surviving his attacks the Rebels convinced Hal that there was still hope and that despite betraying the Almas Jedi to Vader, he was still a hero. Hal listened and then repented the Dark Side, stepping back into the light. With his soul at peace he passed away, becoming a force-ghost and fading away.
Hal is a very interesting character due to how his story was told. Originally Halagad Ventor was just a character introduced in the West End Games Star Wars Roleplaying Game adventure supplement Domain of Evil where he was found on Trinta and said to be a former student under Obi-Wan Kenobi. Years later authors like Abel G. Pena would expand his story and connect him to Star Wars Annual #2 of the original Marvel Star Wars run. In the issue, which came out before The Empire Strikes Back and the revelation that Vader was actually Anakin Skywalker, Luke visits the planet Skye where the locals tell him that during the Clone Wars, Kenobi visited with his two apprentices (Originally meant by the authors to be Anakin and Vader). If you can find it, I really recommend reading Skyewalkers: A Clone Wars Story by Abel G. Pena. It's a great, action-packed short story that heavily features Hal and the Battle of Skye.
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