- "Someone well trained in lightsaber combat can defeat an opponent who is stronger in the Force."
- ―Kas'im's view on lightsaber dueling
Kas'im was a male Twi'lek and Dark Lord of the Sith who lived during the New Sith Wars. Bought from slavery by the Sith Lord Na'daz, Kas'im became his chosen apprentice before he could walk, and spent the following years training in the Sith arts. His master taught him in the ways of all seven forms of lightsaber combat, and eventually, Kas'im killed his master in a duel.
Shortly after Lord Kaan founded the Brotherhood of Darkness, he invited Kas'im to join with him, outlining his plan for victory against the Jedi Order. Kas'im agreed, and for much of the war he served as the Sith Blademaster on Korriban, teaching the Brotherhood's students the art of lightsaber combat. When the Human apprentice Bane lost in a practice duel to Sirak, a Zabrak apprentice, Bane appealed to the Blademaster to train him privately in combat so that he could become skilled enough to beat Sirak and take his revenge. However, the Headmaster of the Academy, Qordis, had ordered the other Masters at the school to cease Bane's preferential treatment when Bane began to pull away from the dark side after killing of the student Fohargh in an earlier duel. Knowing that Bane had considerable potential in the dark side, Kas'im chose to defy the orders of Qordis and taught Bane in secret.
However, Bane eventually left the Academy and the Brotherhood after a conflict with Qordis. Kas'im traveled to Ruusan with many of his students, after a summoning from the Brotherhood's de facto leader, Kaan. Kaan had called them all to participate in what he believed would be the final battle against the forces of the Jedi Order and their Army of Light, led by the Jedi Master Lord Hoth. The guerrilla tactics Hoth employed irritated the Brotherhood's forces—Kas'im particularly. No longer believing the Blademaster could control his bloodlust so close to battle, Kaan sent Kas'im to try and sway Bane back to the Brotherhood, or kill him. The Blademaster then traveled to Lehon under Kaan's instruction, where he found the former student Bane. After an intense confrontation in which Bane bluntly refused to rejoin the Brotherhood, the pair fought a vicious duel that resulted in the death of Kas'im.
- "As a young child I would watch for hours as my Master performed his drills. My earliest memories are of dancing ruby lights moving through the sequences of battle."
- ―Kas'im, on his childhood
Kas'im was born into slavery on Nal Hutta. At a very young age he was separated from his parents when he was purchased from the auction blocks by another Twi'lek named Na'daz. Na'daz was a Sith Lord and had felt the presence of the Force within Kas'im, even though the child was so young he could barely walk. Master Na'daz took him to Ryloth, where the Twi'lek child became his apprentice, and began his training. Kas'im never saw his parents again, and held no memories of them in his later life.
Na'daz was a highly skilled lightsaber duelist, a trait he imbued in Kas'im, teaching him to wield the double-bladed lightsaber. Eventually, Kas'im became stronger in the dark side than his master, and also more skilled in lightsaber combat. When he had learned all he could from Na'daz, Kas'im engaged him in a duel, killing him and taking his curved-hilt lightsaber as a prize.
The Brotherhood of DarknessEdit
- "Kaan wants us to focus all our resources on our true enemy instead of one another. That is why we are all equals in the Brotherhood of Darkness."
- ―Kas'im explains the nature of the Brotherhood
When Lord Kaan founded his Brotherhood of Darkness, he appealed to the surviving Dark Lords to join him, including Kas'im. The Twi'lek embraced Kaan's vision for the Sith, believing his promise of equality as Dark Lords would quell the in-fighting that had repeatedly dwindled the numbers of their order through the course of history. Kas'im's training under Na'daz had made him a firm believer in strength of arms, and he felt that with the Brotherhood's new approach they would crush the Jedi through superior numbers. He then joined the many Sith that followed Kaan's leadership. Because of Kas'im's unmatched dueling skill, Kaan appointed him Blademaster in the Sith Academy on Korriban, the training center for all the apprentices deemed strong enough in the Force to become Dark Lords.
The Twi'lek undertook the task of training every apprentice with the lightsaber, instructing them in sequences from all seven forms of lightsaber combat. The Blademaster would analyze their basic style, and assign each student a key form from which to learn the techniques. The students were each given training sabers to practice their lightsaber techniques. The blades were covered in millions of barbs made from the spines of the pelko bug, a deadly venomous insect native to Korriban. Each of these barbs could cut through cloth and secreted venom when they struck an opponent, resulting in burns, blistering and paralysis for the victim. When struck, a student would feel extreme pain and the limb affected by the poison would be useless, simulating the loss of that limb from a lightsaber strike. These practice blades allowed the apprentices to challenge each other in non-fatal combat, while Kas'im would observe the duelists. When one apprentice was defeated, Kas'im would point out places for improvement for both victor and vanquished, and inform the observing students of noteworthy points to learn from the duel. Ever cautious of the way he had defeated his own master, Kas'im trained all the students in the use of one-bladed lightsabers, save Sirak, who used a double-bladed variant of the training saber. Sirak was the Academy's strongest student. He was rumored to have been the apprentice of Qordis, the Headmaster of the Academy, for nearly twenty years, long before the Brotherhood began, although this was never proved, and why he utilized a double-bladed saber while all others did not was as much of a mystery to the students. Nonetheless, Kas'im continued to train Sirak in the double-bladed saber. The Blademaster was satisfied he could defeat any of the students by switching to a style they would have been unfamiliar to—such as the variant of Form IV that utilized a lightsaber in each hand—should his trainees turn on him at any point in the future. He was relentless in his teaching, training in the students to fight in all weathers, often in heavy rain.
When the apprentice Bane arrived at the academy, Kas'im immediately recognized his strength in the Force. Kopecz, the Dark Lord who had first sensed Bane's potential, told the Blademaster to watch Bane closely, and offer him any assistance he required. Although Kas'im realized this was because Kopecz knew any progress Bane made would reflect well on him as Bane's discoverer, he watched Bane with interest as he quickly improved his skill, before witnessing him challenge the Makurth apprentice, Fohargh. Bane was constantly kept on the defensive from Fohargh's use of Makashi strikes, while he employed Dun Möch to humiliate Bane further. Bane became enraged and thrust out with the Force, repelling his opponent mid-leap. He then proceeded to throttle the Makurth with the Force, until he died. Kas'im, fascinated with Bane's performance, made note of how he overcame his enemy.
Bane's private tutelageEdit
- "Why are you doing this?"
"I want to destroy Sirak. I want to crush him like an insect beneath the heel of my boot."
"We will begin tomorrow."
- ―Bane explains his plea for lessons to Kas'im
Feeling that Bane had reached a new height for his powers, Kas'im was disappointed when Bane began to regress, seemingly terrified of the power he had unleashed. He consulted Qordis, who told him to abandon Bane's tutelage for more worthy students. Kas'im knew it was really Qordis' disregard for Kopecz that prompted his decision, but the Blademaster thought that Bane had lost his strength and will to fight. Bane, sensing this lack of favor, challenged Sirak in a bid to regain his standing. The Zabrak used a swift offensive, alternating the form he used or blending several lightsaber styles at once, toying with his outmatched opponent before breaking several of Bane's bones, hurling him across the dueling ring with the Force, and knocking him unconscious. Bane's rapid and abrupt defeat only confirmed Qordis' views to Kas'im.
When he recovered from the numerous injuries Sirak had inflicted, Bane sought out the Blademaster, and pleaded for Kas'im to resume his training. The Twi'lek was highly skeptical of Bane's intentions, but used the excuse of Qordis' orders to initially refuse the plea. Bane appealed to his pride, saying that Kaan would know it was Kas'im, not the other Sith Masters, who would receive credit for Bane's abilities since the other masters had abandoned him as a lost cause. He expressed his unwavering desire for revenge against Sirak, and eventually, Kas'im agreed. The Blademaster trained Bane in secret, dueling each other, practicing new forms, techniques and sequences. Bane learned every move of the double-bladed saber, focusing on memorizing every parry and thrust. Eventually, Bane challenged Sirak, in which he outclassed the Zabrak, humiliating him. However, Kas'im called Bane to a stop before he delivered the killing blow, knowing the Brotherhood would need a fighter as skilled as Sirak in the war. As a testament to Bane's skill and a gesture of his pride in the apprentice, Kas'im later bestowed Na'daz's lightsaber upon the apprentice.
When Qordis manipulated Bane into leaving the Academy, Kas'im was infuriated, feeling the Academy needed a powerful apprentice for the other students to aspire to. The Headmaster told Kas'im that Bane had gone to Korriban's Valley of the Dark Lords to seek the knowledge of the ancient Sith. Despite Qordis' dismissal of the apprentice, Kas'im was sure Bane would survive. While Kas'im's student was in the wilderness of Korriban, Kaan contacted Qordis, telling him to bring all apprentices to Ruusan. There they were to participate in what he hoped would be the final battle of the New Sith Wars, overwhelming the last remnants of the Army of Light—a militant force of thousands of Jedi from across the galaxy. Led by Jedi Lord Hoth, the Army of Light had been established by the Jedi Order in response to the growing threat of the Kaan's Sith Brotherhood. When Bane returned, he was lured into the Academy's library by Githany, a former Jedi who had secretly trained Bane to use the Force when the masters abandoned him, and attacked by Sirak. Though bent on revenge, the Zabrak was no match for Bane, who killed him. He then accused Qordis of sending Sirak as an assassin before publicly rebuking the Dark Lord. Declaring himself Darth Bane—Kaan had abolished the title to emphasize equality in the Brotherhood—Bane stole Qordis' ship, the Valcyn, leaving the Academy and the Brotherhood, despite Kas'im's attempt to convince him to meet with Kaan and see what the Blademaster believed was the truth of the Brotherhood founder's words.
All the apprentices were deemed Dark Lords—no longer students but equals in the Brotherhood of Darkness—and despite Bane's departure, Kas'im traveled with them to Ruusan. He quickly became infuriated by the "hit and run" tactics the Jedi commander Lord Hoth had adopted, hiding in the forests of the planet. While far from the war, Kas'im had been content to train the apprentices. But on the very front of the war, his warrior nature and hunter's instincts began to dominate Kas'im's drives—training and sparring with the other Sith did not satisfy his need to be in real life-or-death combat. Kaan began to fear that the agitation Kas'im was feeling could spread, causing a rebellion within the Sith and the Brotherhood would dissolve through the in-fighting that would ensue. Githany, Bane's former secret teacher alongside Kas'im, had a premonition through the Force that Bane would return and eradicate the Brotherhood. When she informed Kaan of this, the Brotherhood's leader decided to clear two of his problems by sending the Blademaster to Lehon, charged with convincing Bane to return or removing him as a threat to the Brotherhood.
The final duelEdit
- "You're better than you were when we last fought."
"So are you."
- ―Kas'im compliments Bane's skills during their final duel
Kas'im flew to Lehon in a Sith Buzzard, where he picked up the homing beacon of the Valcyn and landed alongside it. He found the trail through the forest left by the rancor Bane had controlled with the Force to take him to a Rakatan Temple where Bane had discovered the holocron of Darth Revan. Following the trail, Kas'im sensed the rancor's approach, and engaged it in battle, slicing and cutting gashes in the rancor's flesh until it eventually succumbed to the numerous wounds and collapsed before dying. Pleased that his fighting skills remained sharp, Kas'im proceeded to the Temple. There, the Blademaster found his former student, and issued Bane an ultimatum—to join Kaan in defeating the Jedi or be killed. By this point Bane held no respect for Kaan or the Brotherhood, believing his own Rule of Two—a new philosophy stating that there should only ever be two Sith, one master and one apprentice—would restore the Sith to glory through secrecy, cunning, and betrayal. Bane listened to Kas'im describing the "Old Ways" of the Sith having failed and a new doctrine being needed—the Human was tempted into trying to sway his former teacher into becoming his new apprentice, but when Kas'im announced the Brotherhood was the new philosophy, he knew the Blademaster would not join him.
Kas'im initiated a duel, hoping to beat him with a fast offensive. Bane, however, defended himself and counter-attacked, forcing his former teacher back into the Temple of the Ancients and into a dead end. Kas'im leapt into a side chamber to avoid the dead end, but there was no escape from the room itself. When Bane paused in the doorway to savor his victory, Kas'im disconnected his double-bladed lightsaber into two single sabers, and utilized Ataru against his unsuspecting opponent. Unable to defend against the unfamiliar style, Bane was forced back to the Temple entrance. At that moment, Bane thrust out with a huge shockwave of dark side energy to obliterate Kas'im, but the Blademaster shielded himself with the Force. Nevertheless, the power Bane unleashed shook the entire Temple, smashing the archway surrounding Kas'im and crushing him beneath the stone.
- "I had learned all I could from Master Na'daz. As strong as he was in the dark side, I was stronger. As skilled as he was with the lightsaber, I became better."
"But why kill him?"
"A test. To see if I was as strong as I believed."
- ―Kas'im teaches Bane about the traditions of the old Sith
Kas'im had trained Darth Bane, the apprentice who would eradicate the Brotherhood of Darkness and remodel the Sith under the Rule of Two. Kas'im's most poignant legacy was this apprentice, whom he had taught to be a formidable duelist. Kas'im also left a lasting impression on Bane when he revealed he killed his own master once he could learn no more from him. Bane embraced this for his New Order, feeling it represented the transition of power from a strong being to an even stronger one. It was stated that Bane would have attempted to sway Kas'im into becoming the first apprentice in the New Order, had he not sided with Lord Kaan.
Personality and traitsEdit
- "Try? You've lost your will to fight. This lesson is over. Return when you are ready to embrace the dark side instead of pulling away from it."
- ―Kas'im criticizes the failing apprentice, Bane
Kas'im had spent his life training as a duelist and warrior. As such, he possessed a hunter's instincts. He greatly anticipated battle, becoming eager at the prospect of joining the war on Ruusan, and growing agitated when the enemy would not stand and fight, as Kaan saw when Hoth employed guerrilla tactics. His willingness to fight was felt by Kaan to be unquenchable unless facing real opponents—practice sparring with others did little to slake his bloodlust, such was his desire to feel real challenges to his skill.
Despite these instincts, Kas'im was highly disciplined and knew his place in the Brotherhood, being satisfied to train new apprentices for most of the New Sith Wars. He believed in Kaan and his Brotherhood of Darkness, feeling its strength of arms would defeat the Jedi Order. He was convinced in the "united" structure of the Brotherhood, but recognized the necessity of leaders within the Academy, saying it "avoided complications" if the other masters on Korriban deferred to Qordis, who in turn responded to Kaan.
Kas'im had a certain streak of pride; the apprentice Bane would appeal to this when seeking to be trained privately. He had no time for the weak or broken, a trait highlighted by his Sith and warrior nature. He was cunning and wary in his tutelage of lightsaber combat; he trained most students to wield single blades, and occasionally double blades like the one he usually utilized, but always kept various techniques known only to himself, such as his mastery of the dual-wielding variant of Form IV.
Powers and abilitiesEdit
- "So the double-bladed weapon gives you more options?"
"No, but you think it does, so the effect is the same."
- ―Kas'im explains to Bane the advantage of the double-bladed lightsaber
Kas'im's strongest skill was his swordsmanship with the lightsaber. It was this trait that earned him the position of Blademaster at the Korriban Academy. He preferred the double-bladed lightsaber not out of versatility, which he himself stated the weapon lacked, but because of the unfamiliar nature it possessed against an opponent. In addition to these skills, Kas'im was a lethal practitioner of the dual-blade variant of Form IV, a skill he kept secret and discouraged his students from delving into.
After years of study, Kas'im mastered all seven forms of lightsaber combat. He then honed his skills for decades, perfecting every move and sequence. Kas'im's proficiency with the lightsaber was such that he was considered amongst the Sith to be the greatest swordsman in the galaxy, and possibly the greatest ever to have lived. His lightsaber was a unique construction like all lightsabers, but had a certain distinction—it could be disconnected in the center, changing a formal double-bladed lightsaber into a pair of single blades for Jar'Kai.
As well as being a skilled duelist, Kas'im was strong in the Force and could use various Force powers. He was able to shield himself using the Force, a technique he taught all his students to protect them from being disarmed by telekinesis. Kas'im could also use telekinesis himself, employing it to execute jumps while dueling.
Behind the scenesEdit
- Darth Bane: Path of Destruction (First appearance)
- "Q&A"—Star Wars Insider 92
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- Book of Sith: Secrets from the Dark Side