|Chronological and political information|
- "And so the little one… also a great Jedi."
- ―Vodo-Siosk Baas
Vima Sunrider was a female Human Jedi Master active in the years following the Great Sith War. A native of the planet H'ratth, Sunrider was the daughter of Jedi Knight Andur Sunrider and his Force-sensitive wife, Nomi Sunrider—as a consequence, Vima was born with considerable Force potential. However, in 4,000 BBY, when Vima was still an infant, her father was killed by thugs on a delivery mission. Nomi and Vima Sunrider continued the trip without the slain Knight, delivering a shipment of Adegan crystals to venerable Tchuukthai Jedi Master Thon on the planet Ambria. Thon took the two on as his Jedi apprentices, and young Vima learned to control the Force in the ensuing years. During her training, Vima encountered many famous Jedi Masters, including the Krevaaki Vodo-Siosk Baas and the Draethos Odan-Urr, all of whom predicted that she would become a great Jedi Master. Vima Sunrider grew up in very unstable times, and she was frequently separated from her mother, who went on to become a prominent Jedi Knight, as she was forced to attend to business in a particularly violent period in galactic history. Vima was put in danger several times in her childhood—she was nearly kidnapped by a hostile war droid during a clash on Deneba, and was caught in the middle of battles on Ambria and Ossus, but ultimately emerged unscathed.
As Vima grew older, her mother took over her Jedi training, although she was too busy with her expanded role in the Jedi Order's leadership to attend to her daughter. As a result, Vima, who desperately wanted to be a full-fledged Jedi, became extremely frustrated with Nomi. Things came to a head in 3,986 BBY, when Vima ran away from a Jedi conclave on Exis Station, in order to find her own way to become a Jedi. Sunrider decided to seek out Ulic Qel-Droma, a once-famed Jedi Knight and lover of Nomi Sunrider who had been stripped of his connection to the Force after falling to the dark side and battling the Jedi during the Great Sith War about ten years before. She eventually found Qel-Droma on the remote planet Rhen Var, and convinced the initially-reluctant former Jedi to take her on as an apprentice. Sunrider proved herself to be an exceptionally dedicated student, and constructed her first lightsaber during her tutelage under Qel-Droma—the two grew to have an almost father-daughter relationship. However, Nomi Sunrider found out about her daughter's training with Qel-Droma, and worrying for Vima, tracked her down to Rhen Var. Also arriving on the world was the Cathar Jedi Sylvar, who lost her mate Crado during the Great Sith War and desired revenge against Qel-Droma. Although Vima helped facilitate a peaceful solution between all the Jedi involved, Qel-Droma was shot in the back by a spacer named Hoggon, who wanted to be a hero for killing who he saw as one of history's greatest war criminals. As Vima grieved, the mortally wounded Qel-Droma pronounced her to be a Jedi for the first time. Vima Sunrider went on to fulfill her potential by becoming a respected Jedi Master, and headed a long line of powerful women destined for greatness.
- ―An infant Vima Sunrider, seeing her father's Force ghost
Vima Sunrider, a Human female, was born shortly before 4,000 BBY to Jedi Knight Andur Sunrider and his wife Nomi Sunrider. Descended from a long line of Jedi, Vima was born on the planet H'ratth while her father was training in the Jedi way under Master Chamma. Vima's Force-sensitivity was quickly discovered—along with her Jedi father, Vima's mother Nomi also possessed as-yet-unrealized Force potential. Shortly after Vima's birth, her father was sent on a mission to deliver a package of Adegan crystals to the Tchuukthai Jedi Master Thon on the planet Ambria in the Stenness system. It was determined that Vima and Nomi Sunrider would accompany Andur on his journey, alongside the protocol droid A-3DO on their ship, the Lightside Explorer, and the group left for Ambria shortly afterward. The Sunrider clan made their way to the Stenness Hyperspace Terminal, a space station in the same system as their final destination, Ambria. However, their presence on the terminal caught the attention of Bogga the Hutt, a notorious crime lord who learned of the Sunriders' valuable cargo and sent several of his enforcers to take it for himself.
As Vima and her parents settled down to eat a meal, the family was accosted by several of Bogga's thugs. During the stuggle, Andur Sunrider was fatally bitten by a gorm-worm wielded by one of the enforcers, Gudb. Almost immediately after his death, however, Vima and her mother observed Andur's Force ghost appear—as they were Force-sensitive, Vima and her mother were the only ones who were able to see the Jedi Knight's spirit. Andur directed Nomi to take up his lightsaber and defend Vima from the attackers. After Nomi drove the enforcers off with a display of lightsaber skill, Andur's spirit reappeared to Vima and her mother and directed them to continue the voyage to Ambria. The remaining Sunriders eventually made it to Ambria in the Lightside Explorer, and Vima traveled the rest of the way to Master Thon's compound asleep in her mother's arms. The Sunriders were invited into Master Thon's home by his Vultan apprentice, Oss Wilum, although they did not initially recognize the large, beast-like Thon as the Jedi Master they had been seeking. Soon after they arrived at the compound they were attacked by Bogga and his thugs, who had come to Ambria in pursuit of the valuable crystals. It was there that Master Thon revealed himself, and he leapt into action and drove the gang away.
- «Bring your daughter. She too is my apprentice!»
- ―Master Thon to Nomi Sunrider[src]
The two Sunriders remained with Master Thon during the coming months, as the Tchuukthai had taken Nomi as his new apprentice. Vima's Force abilities grew over this span, as she learned to exert influence over the neek lizards that she often played with. On one occasion, Vima followed the neeks to Lake Natth, a body of water that had a significant dark side taint. Upon reaching the lake, Vima was approached by a fierce hssiss dragon, a creature that was mutated into its present form by the waters. Vima was frozen with fear by the hostile beast, but she was quickly saved by her mother, who warned Vima never to wander near Lake Natth again. Vima and Nomi soon had to bid Oss Wilum, who they had grown close to during their months on Ambria, goodbye, as the Vultan was called to support Jedi efforts during the Freedon Nadd Uprising on Onderon. After Wilum's departure, Master Thon decided to begin the Jedi training of not only Nomi Sunrider, but young Vima as well. At the Tchuukthai's behest, the Sunriders set out on a trip across Ambria on their new Jedi Master's back. The three traveled through the Ambrian landscape, including an excursion near Lake Natth, all while Master Thon engaged in a debate about the Force with Nomi. During this discussion, Master Thon activated a Jedi holocron, which projected the image of Neti Jedi Master Ood Bnar. Vima, unfamiliar with what she was seeing, was frightened by the holographic forms displayed by the holocron.
When they returned to Master Thon's compound, Vima and the others found it besieged by pirates sent by Bogga the Hutt to steal the Adegan crystal shipment. Helpless amidst the attack, Vima was shielded by her mother during the pirates' initial salvos. Nomi Sunrider entrusted Vima's protection to A-3DO, and left to join the fight. The combined efforts of Nomi and Thon decimated the invading force, and Vima made it through the skirmish unscathed. The three soon left Ambria, and traveled to the Great Jedi Library on Ossus to further the Sunriders' training in the Force. The group met with respected Krevaaki Jedi Master Vodo-Siosk Baas, who recognized young Vima as a future great Jedi. As Baas focused on training Nomi Sunrider, Vima passed the time by playing with the other children of Jedi staying on the world. However, Vima and her mother were only on Ossus for a short time before Nomi was chosen to fight alongside Jedi forces in the Freedon Nadd Uprising. While her mother journeyed to Onderon, Vima stayed behind on Ossus, taken care of by the Jedi Order. Nomi Sunrider and the Jedi were ultimately victorious on Onderon, repelling the Naddist cult members who tried to seize power there.
Growing up in turmoil
- "And this little one… someday she will be a Jedi Master, with many apprentices."
In 3,997 BBY, a massive Jedi conclave was called on the planet Deneba to address the threat posed by a rising group of dark side magicians from the Empress Teta system known as the Krath. Vima Sunrider, still quite young, attended the convocation with her mother, who carried her to the gathering's location atop Mount Meru in her arms. However, the conclave soon descended into battle, as a massive force of Krath war droids and modified servant droids attacked the Jedi. Caught in the midst of the fighting, a terrified Vima was scooped up by an enemy droid, but she was saved and returned to her mother by Cathar Jedi Sylvar. The Krath force was repelled, and Vima ultimately made it through the battle unscathed. After the fighting ended, Ulic Qel-Droma—a Jedi who Nomi Sunrider had grown extremely close to over the past few years—decided to infiltrate the Krath and bring them down from within. Although still a child, Vima realized even then that her mother was in love with Qel-Droma, and accompanied Nomi and Qel-Droma on a trip to the Great Jedi Library during Qel-Droma's preparations for his mission. When Qel-Droma was ready to embark on his quest, Vima and her mother saw him off, and Vima embraced a sorrowful Nomi after Qel-Droma's departure. However, Nomi quickly grew worried about Qel-Droma, and left Vima in the care of Master Thon while she traveled to Empress Teta in an attempt to find and help him.
Nomi's attempt was unsuccessful, and Qel-Droma remained with the Krath. Vima subsequently was reunited with her mother, and the two remained on Ossus as Nomi continued her Jedi training. During this time, young Vima became close with venerable Draethos Jedi Master Odan-Urr, who doted on Vima and fed her bofa treats. Odan-Urr saw considerable potential in Vima, and predicted that she would become a great Jedi Master who would train many apprentices. The galaxy was soon thrown into turmoil—Ulic Qel-Droma returned from Empress Teta as a conquering Sith Lord alongside his Sith Master Exar Kun, and led a resurgent Sith Empire against the Republic. After a duel in the Galactic Senate which resulted in the death of Master Vodo-Siosk Baas, Vima Sunrider, her mother, and Sylvar traveled to Ambria to be with Master Thon. It was a joyous reunion for Vima, as she was once again with her Jedi teacher and friend. But almost immediately after their arrival, the Jedi were attacked by a pair of fallen Jedi—Oss Wilum and Sylvar's mate Crado, who employed native hssiss dragons bent to their will. Vima was shielded by her mother during the fighting, and made it out unscathed while the attackers were defeated.
After this incident, the group returned to Ossus, only to find the planet in dire straits. A Sith-caused supernova in the nearby Cron Cluster had created a shockwave that promised to destroy the Jedi world. A mad scramble ensued, as the Jedi on Ossus desperately tried to save whatever they could of the planet's ancient Jedi treasures in what few hours remained. Nomi Sunrider entrusted Vima to Master Thon, who swore that he would get her to safety, while she and the others joined the preservation efforts. While sitting on Thon's back, Vima's attention was drawn to battling ships in the skies above—among them were the vessels of Ulic Qel-Droma and his brother, Jedi Knight Cay Qel-Droma. Ulic had come to Ossus in a attempt to steal the Jedi treasures for Sith purposes, and after an aerial dogfight, Ulic killed his brother in a lightsaber duel. Vima, still on Thon's back, witnessed the climax of the duel and her furious mother cutting Ulic off from the Force. A stunned Qel-Droma, realizing his actions, agreed to help his former friends to defeat Exar Kun and end the war. Vima and her mother left Ossus with Ulic Qel-Droma in his ship, and traveled along with thousands of other Jedi to Kun's base on Yavin 4, only to witness the moon engulfed in flames. Knowing that nothing below could survive the conflagration, Vima and the others departed.
Escape from Exis Station
- "A real Jedi is resourceful. I'll just have to find my own trainer… maybe even Ulic himself! I'll just open my mind, my thoughts… let the Force take me where it wants me to go."
- ―Vima Sunrider
A decade after the end of the Great Sith War, Vima's mother, now a Jedi Master and respected leader of the Jedi Order, called a Jedi convocation on Exis Station, an ion mining facility in the Teedio system. Vima had grown into adolescence by this time, and resembled her mother more every day—in fact, she had begun official Jedi training under Nomi, although she believed that her mother did not spend enough time teaching her the Jedi way. Vima attended the Exis Station conclave along with her mother, and was overjoyed when she met Master Thon at the station. Still, Vima found herself intensely bored by the proceedings, and left the main chamber to observe the ion miners depart for work in a nearby hangar. On a whim, Vima decided to take control of one of the ion mining ships and join the convoy. Vima's inexperience with those craft nearly spelled her doom, as she became caught in a magnetic loop and her ship's instruments went dead. With her hull melting from the heat of the nearby sun, Vima escaped the craft in an escape pod. Although she was still in serious danger of her pod being drawn into the star, a nearby ship—flown by Twi'lek Jedi Tott Doneeta, who was late to the Jedi congregation—rescued her by attaching a cable to her hurtling life-pod and pulling her out of harm's way.
Vima was returned safely to Exis Station and the convocation continued as scheduled. Still, she was frustrated by her mother's reluctance to continue her Jedi teaching, and determined that she would find her own trainer—her first choice was Ulic Qel-Droma himself. Sunrider realized that she wanted to learn under him during the Jedi conclave, where she heard a tirade against Qel-Droma by the Cathar Jedi Sylvar. At the time, Qel-Droma, who had escaped prosecution for his actions during the Great Sith War, was wandering the galaxy, his location unknown. Feeling that something in the Force compelled her to seek Qel-Droma out, Sunrider stowed away a ship docked in the Exis Station hangar, trusting the Force to take her where she needed to go. She was soon discovered by the ship's pilot, a spacer named Hoggon. By chance, Hoggon had recently flown Qel-Droma to the icy planet Rhen Var, and Sunrider promised to pay him handsomely if he took her to the reclusive former Jedi. Hoggon took the offer, and dropped her off at Rhen Var, directing her to a frozen fortress that Qel-Droma was holed up in. Although Sunrider was determined to find and learn from Qel-Droma, Hoggon worried for her safety in the harsh Rhen Var landscape, and gave her a transmitter that she could use to contact him.
Meeting her teacher
- "Nomi doesn't know you're here, does she?"
"My mother doesn't notice whether I'm there or not. She doesn't know how badly I want to be a Jedi."
"Do you realize the cost of being a Jedi? I have watched my Master slain, murdered my own brother, betrayed your mother… all of this, only to become blinded to the Force. I no longer enjoy my memories, Vima. I have wandered too far, seen too much… I have the blood of enough children on my hands… why would you want anything I can teach you?"
"Because you're… Ulic."
- ―Ulic Qel-Droma and Vima Sunrider
Sunrider braved the frozen tundra of Rhen Var and managed to make her way to Qel-Droma's fortress. However, she became lost within the vast structure, and at one point a stone walkway crumbled beneath her weight. Sunrider made it out unharmed, and spied a shadow resembling a man. Sunrider took this form to be Qel-Droma, and ran to it as fast as she could. It was indeed Qel-Droma—however, the former Jedi mistook the younger Sunrider for her mother, and began to walk away, beginning to think that he was going mad. Sunrider chased after him, introduced herself, and revealed her desire to learn the Jedi way from him. Qel-Droma abhorred the idea, as he couldn't even feel the Force, and forced the tearful Sunrider out of the fortress. In the midst of a heavy snowstorm, Sunrider found that her transmitter was not working, and she was stranded. Fortunately, Qel-Droma returned for her, and brought her to shelter in a pile of wreckage. During the blizzard, Sunrider and Qel-Droma engaged in a conversation about whether she truly wanted to learn from him—despite his disbelief that anyone would want to be his apprentice, and his attempts to talk Sunrider out of it, Qel-Droma agreed to take her as his Jedi learner. Sunrider subsequently sent her mother, still on Exis Station, a message assuring her that she was safe and telling her that Qel-Droma was going to continue her Jedi training.
Sunrider proved herself to be an extremely dedicated student, and Qel-Droma an able teacher. Sunrider had brought along the Adegan crystals that had once belonged to her late father, and when Qel-Droma believed the time to be right, Sunrider built her first lightsaber using the crystals. Sunrider promptly embarked on a series of training duels with Qel-Droma, who still retained his skills with a lightsaber even without the Force to guide him. In relatively short order, Sunrider became adept with the weapon. After gaining proficiency with the lightsaber, she put her newfound abilities on display in front of Qel-Droma—it was then that he told Sunrider that he could no longer continue to train her in the Jedi way. Sunrider protested, but Qel-Droma insisted on behalf of his lack of a connection to the Force, comparing his situation to a blinded painter. In response, Sunrider suggested that he become like a sculptor, to use his talent to feel his way where he could no longer see. Qel-Droma took her idea literally, and decided to start a sculpture project with Sunrider. The two worked together to build a large scaffold near an ice-covered mountain and began their respective pieces, using their lightsabers as carving tools. Sunrider chose to make her sculpture an image of her father—although she only remembered Andur Sunrider through her mother's holocrons, she was able to make a perfect likeness of him. Sunrider was overjoyed when she finished her work.
- "Vima, remember… possibilities… take this, Jedi…"
- ―Ulic Qel-Droma and Vima Sunrider, in Qel-Droma's last moments
As her training continued, Sunrider and Qel-Droma grew closer and closer—Sunrider so comfortable with her teacher that she even ribbed him about his participation in the Great Sith War. Still, this happier time would not last much longer, as Nomi Sunrider learned their location from Hoggon and traveled to Rhen Var to retrieve her daughter. Although Vima vehemently espoused the merits of her tutelage under Qel-Droma to her mother, using her newly-constructed lightsaber as evidence in his favor, Qel-Droma left the final decision up to Nomi. Although she was initially reluctant, Nomi granted her daughter the chance to prove that her training with Qel-Droma was a good thing. Vima chose to show her mother the sculptures that she and Qel-Droma had created, although they had already begun to melt. The image of her late husband stirred emotion in Nomi Sunrider, and the mother and daughter embraced. This tearful moment was quickly interrupted, however. Vima and her mother sensed a struggle between Qel-Droma and a presence that they recognized to be Sylvar. Vima rushed to the source of the trouble as fast as she could, and found the two fully engaged in a lightsaber duel. As Sylvar, who blamed Qel-Droma for the death of her mate Crado in the Great Sith War and had not gotten over the past, furiously attacked Qel-Droma, Vima's teacher shut off his lightsaber and refused to fight the out-of-control Cathar. In response, Sylvar realized the error of her ways, and she too ceased her assault. Suddenly, a blaster bolt ripped through Qel-Droma's chest.
The shot was fired by Hoggon, who had brought Sylvar to Rhen Var and wanted to become a hero by killing what he saw as one of the galaxy's worst villains. Although Hoggon was quickly dealt with, Qel-Droma was mortally wounded. Sunrider rushed to Qel-Droma's side, and as her Master lay dying, he gave her his necklace as a token of thanks for helping him find inner peace. With his last breath, Qel-Droma called Sunrider "Jedi" for the first time. Qel-Droma passed into the Netherworld of the Force, his mortal body disappearing. Grieving for the loss of her teacher and friend, Sunrider took Qel-Droma's robe and cast it into the wind. Vima Sunrider went on to become one of the greatest Jedi of her age, fulfilling Qel-Droma's hopes for her. At one point, Sunrider taught Meetra Surik, who went on to become exiled from the Jedi Order and played a pivotal role in the Dark Wars several decades after Sunrider's ascension to Jedi Knighthood. In 3,980 BBY, fourteen years after the death of her Master, Sunrider recorded an account of her tutelage under Ulic Qel-Droma onto the Great Holocron. This anecdote was included in Jedi Master Tionne Solusar's tome on the Force published in 40 ABY.
Vima Sunrider took on a legendary stature after her eventual death. Sunrider gave birth to at least one child, and her line became characterized by powerful women destined for greatness. Her great-great-great-granddaughter, Vima-Da-Boda, who lived thousands of years after Sunrider's time, became a respected Jedi in her own right.
Personality and traits
- "You're as stubborn as your mother."
- ―Ulic Qel-Droma to Vima Sunrider
In her youth, Vima Sunrider was impish and fun-loving, and enjoyed playing with animals— she also loved dolls and other toys, favoring a stuffed animal shaped like an Ewok. However, she was easily frightened, as she became frozen by fear after encountering a hssiss dragon on Ambria, and became similarly terrified after seeing the image of Jedi Master Ood Bnar in a holocron. During her time as an apprentice, Sunrider formed a deep bond with Jedi Master Thon that would persist for years. She also grew close to Master Odan-Urr, who doted on her. Although she loved her mother greatly, Vima became frustrated with her as she grew older, since Nomi Sunrider was too busy to fully commit to training her in the Jedi way. Vima was extremely unimpressed with her mother's duties as a Jedi leader, as she felt that Nomi talked too much instead of acting. Vima found herself enamored with the idea of working for a practical goal, which led her to take a life-threatening risk by flying on a dangerous mining expedition near Exis Station. Desperately wanting to be a Jedi, Sunrider became interested in the prospect of having Ulic Qel-Droma teach her—although she had known Qel-Droma as a young child, she found it difficult to associate the Qel-Droma she knew with the mass-murdering Sith Lord he became. Although she heard terrible things about Qel-Droma, especially from Sylvar, Sunrider did not believe that Qel-Droma could have been as bad as she was told, and settled on him as her teacher when she finally decided to take her training into her own hands.
Sunrider could be very crafty and resourceful, which she showed when she stowed away on Hoggon's ship and found her way to the elusive Ulic Qel-Droma. During this experience, she also showed an intense determination to finish her goal, no matter what— she was, as Qel-Droma put it, "as stubborn as her mother." However, when she finally met Qel-Droma, she was bitterly disappointed in his initial refusal to train her, and in the man himself. Her admiration for him prevented her from giving up, and she was able to push him to accept her as his student. During her tutelage under Qel-Droma, Sunrider proved herself to be an extremely dedicated and eager to learn Padawan. She also showed herself to be very persuasive, as she was able to talk a reluctant Qel-Droma into continuing her training when he felt unworthy of teaching her. She and Qel-Droma grew extremely close during this period, and she eventually came to love him as a father. Although she didn't remember her own father, Andur Sunrider, only ever seeing his face through his mother's holocrons, she nevertheless held a reverence for him. Sunrider became very devoted to Qel-Droma as her teacher, leading to her being extremely defensive of his character when confronted by her mother on the matter. It was because of their close relationship that she was overcome by grief upon her master's death, and remembered him fondly for years afterward.
Powers and abilities
- "The Force had already been awakened in my daughter. I shouldn't have been surprised. She was the daughter of one…well…two Jedi."
- ―Nomi Sunrider
As the child of two Jedi, Vima Sunrider was strong in the Force. Even as an infant, she was able to see her father's spirit through the Force, and mere months later she had learned to use the Force to control animals. Through Ulic Qel-Droma's training and her own hard work, Sunrider was able to realize her potential in the Force. Naturally quick and agile, she also became skilled with a lightsaber. During her tutelage under Qel-Droma, Sunrider showed herself to be a talented sculptor, creating a perfect likeness of her late father Andur in the side of a mountain. Sunrider was an able pilot, able to fly an ion mining ship without having ever been in one before.
Behind the scenes
- "Vima was supposed to be Bastila in K1 (seriously), but there are legal issues with using the name "Sunrider" so we were not allowed to use it in K2."
- ―Chris Avellone, the Lead Designer of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords
Although her first mention came in the Dark Empire Sourcebook Vima Sunrider first appeared in The Saga of Nomi Sunrider, the second story arc of the Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi comic book series, written by Tom Veitch and released in 1993 and 1994. An infant during these stories, she also appeared as a young child in the subsequent Tales of the Jedi arcs The Freedon Nadd Uprising, Dark Lords of the Sith, and The Sith War. In a departure from these portrayals, she was later depicted as an adolescent in the final Tales of the Jedi arc, Redemption. During her appearances in the Tales of the Jedi comics, Sunrider was drawn by several different artists—Janine Johnston, David Roach, Christian Gossett, and Dario Carrasco, Jr. Sunrider also appeared in the Tales of the Jedi audio adaptation, where she was voiced by Kim Brown. Additional information on Sunrider has come in a multitude of sources, including mentions in the Tales of the Jedi Companion and Jedi vs. Sith: The Essential Guide to the Force, along with entries in the Star Wars Encyclopedia and its successor, The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia.
Vima Sunrider was originally planned to be one of the main characters in the videogame Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic instead of Bastila Shan; the name Bastila Shan then belonged to the Cathar Jedi, one of the player's party members. The use of Vima in the game had to be abandoned, apparently due to trademark issues over the name "Sunrider." When the developers made Bastila a Human taking Vima's place in the plot, the Cathar character was renamed Juhani.