Who’s Who in the Star War Universe – Luminara Unduli

She was a great Jedi Master; brave, compassionate, disciplined.
―Kanan Jarrus

Luminara Unduli was a Mirialan female Jedi Master during the final days of the Jedi Order. She also commanded the 41st Elite Corps of the Grand Army of the Republic.

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When it became apparent that a full-fledged military conflict between the Galactic Republic and the Confederacy of Independent Systems would occur, Obi-Wan Kenobi was captured by the Confederacy on Geonosis, and Unduli and her Padawan joined Master Mace Windu’s quickly launched rescue mission.

Housed within the packed arena were Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, and Senator Padmé Amidala, who were to be tried and executed by the Confederacy leaders assembled on the world. As over two hundred Jedi crept into the arena, they ignited their lightsabers in a challenge to Count Dooku, the leader of the Confederacy, who was personally overseeing the planned execution. A heated but short battle followed; over half of the assembled Jedi Knights fell in battle before Dooku called his forces to a halt. After the Jedi survivors rejected an offer of surrender in exchange for their lives, Dooku prepared to order their deaths and his forces prepared to shoot them down. Unduli raised her lightsaber, prepared to die fighting, but she and the others were saved by the arrival of Grand Master Yoda, accompanied by the newly-created Grand Army of the Republic and several gunships. When the gunships landed, Master Unduli boarded one alongside Masters Saesee Tiin and Shaak Ti and was airlifted to safety.

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This assassin, I’ve… I’ve never faced an adversary like her. I should have listened to your advice.
―Unduli to Ahsoka Tano, now knowing Asajj Ventress’ capabilities

Later on, Unduli traveled to Rodia to escort captured Viceroy Nute Gunray to Coruscant for trial. The Jedi Master was joined by Anakin Skywalker’s Padawan, Ahsoka Tano. Aboard the Venator-class Star Destroyer Tranquility, Unduli spearheaded the interrogations of the viceroy, whose denial of information cost Tano her patience. The Padawan threatened Gunray with her lightsaber, and though Unduli scolded the Padawan for using fear as a weapon, the viceroy agreed to “negotiate.” Before any information could be gleaned, the Tranquility was attacked by Asajj Ventress and a battle droid squad, who had arrived to rescue Gunray.

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After Unduli and Clone Commander CC-1004, nicknamed “Gree,” managed to destroy the army of super battle droids, the Jedi Master sensed that Tano was in danger and rushed to meet with her. Unduli arrived to assist the Padawan in confronting Ventress, who was cornered. However, while “surrendering,” Ventress activated thermal detonators that she had planted in the Star Destroyer’s reactor room, crippling the cruiser, and escaped to the ravaged engine room. Although Tano offered to help, noting her past run-ins with Ventress and stating that the assassin was “too powerful for any, one Jedi,” Unduli unwisely pursued the assassin on her own, leaving Tano to guard Gunray.

Finding and engaging Ventress in lightsaber combat, Unduli was hampered by a wound to the left eye early in the battle and was eventually trapped beneath several pipes the Dark Acolyte collapsed on her from the ceiling, though she put up a good fight nonetheless. As Ventress moved to deal the killing blow, the Jedi Master was saved by the timely arrival of Tano, who had decided to disobey her orders in the interest of helping Unduli. The Mirialan accepted the Padawan’s help for the continuing duel, but in the end, Ventress escaped with Senate Commando Captain Argyus, who had defected to the Separatists and freed Gunray from Republic custody. Unduli and Tano transmitted the signal of the Republic cruiser that the Separatists had used to escape the Tranquility to Jedi Master Kit Fisto, who tracked Gunray to the third moon of Vassek. Unduli apologized to Tano for not taking her advice before the Padawan departed to rendezvous with her own Master.

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Gentlemen, if you are quite finished, we have a battle to begin.
―Luminara Unduli to Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker 

Luminara later returned to Geonosis to help Masters Ki-Adi-Mundi and Obi-Wan Kenobi destroy Poggle the Lesser’s new droid foundry there. She attended the mission briefing before the invasion made planetfall and interceded in Kenobi and Skywalker’s casual sniping, reminding them that they had the battle to fight. Along with her Padawan, Barriss Offee, she joined Anakin Skywalker and Ahsoka Tano in the storming of the droid factory. While she and Skywalker acted as diversions, the two Padawans Offee and Tano made their way through the vast underground catacombs to destroy the factory. Unduli cut her way through dozens of battle droids alongside Skywalker, demonstrating her mastery of both her lightsaber and the Force, but was forced into a temporary retreat after the Separatists unveiled their new super tanks, whose ray shields and warhead launchers decimated the Republic ranks. Alongside Skywalker, Luminara placed explosives along the underside of the bridge the tanks were crossing and then watched as the detonation sent the tanks plummeting to their doom. She and Anakin then watched in horror as the factory exploded and collapsed with their Padawans inside; though Luminara was sadly accepting of Barriss’ fate, Anakin refused to allow them to die and his faith was rewarded by a faint signal from Ahsoka underneath a large pile of rubble. Ecstatic to see her Padawan alive, Luminara congratulated both on the success of their mission but also counseled Skywalker on being prepared for the time when he would have to let his apprentice go.

Following this, Unduli went in search of Poggle the Lesser, who had retreated into the catacombs of an ancient temple. While she and a trooper searched the temple, a sandstorm prohibited reinforcements from reaching their positions. While communicating with Masters Kenobi and Mundi via hologram, Unduli’s clone trooper was killed by the undead hordes of the mysterious Hive Queen Karina the Great and Unduli cut the communication whilst turning to face her attackers. Having been knocked unconscious and captured, the Jedi Master was taken before Karina. Jedi Kenobi and Skywalker came to her rescue; they were not far off when Luminara regained consciousness and wrestled her way out of the zombies’ reach, only to find her usually crippling moves had no effect on the undead warriors. Realizing what they were up against, she contacted Kenobi to warn him not to come after her but was cut off as the zombies overwhelmed her. The Jedi disregarded her warnings and continued their search until they came upon Karina’s abode, where they found Luminara in an energy trap for her to be infested with brain worms. Luminara, much to her chagrin, nearly found herself infected due to Kenobi’s eagerness to see how the process worked but resigned herself under the hope that it was all part of the plan. With Kenobi and Commander Cody delaying the zombies and the Queen, Skywalker freed Unduli and the two captured Poggle. Cody and his troops shot down the cave support, burying the Queen and taking Poggle prisoner.

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Yes, I’m afraid Master Luminara died with the Republic, but her bones continue to serve the Empire, luring the last Jedi to their ends.
―The Grand Inquisitor

By the end of the war, Unduli served alongside Yoda, Republic forces, and Wookiee warriors during a battle on the Wookiee homeworld of Kashyyyk. During the battle, Supreme Chancellor Sheev Palpatine issued Order 66, a command ordering all clone troopers to kill their Jedi commanders. Unduli evaded the fate that many of her fellow Jedi had, though for years it was believed she had been shot down by her troops on Kashyyyk. In actuality, Unduli had been taken into custody by the Empire. The Jedi Order was destroyed, and Palpatine declared himself Emperor and transformed the Republic into the Galactic Empire. After a short time in the prison known as the Spire on Stygeon Prime, she was executed in her cell in the presence of the Grand Inquisitor, who then held her remains for future purposes of the Empire.

After her death, rumors began to spread that Unduli had survived the Clone Wars and was still alive, with those rumors existing as late as fourteen years after the war ended. In reality, the Empire used Unduli’s remains to lure Jedi survivors into traps so they could be killed, corrupting the Mirialan Master’s memory. One such trap was laid by the Inquisitor fourteen years after the war, with Unduli’s remains still held in the Spire. In an attempt to trick Jedi survivor Kanan Jarrus and the rebel crew of the Ghost into a trap, former Imperial Senator Gall Trayvis, a secret operative of the Empire, ‘hacked’ a HoloNet News transmission to proclaim that Unduli was being held in the Stygeon system. Jarrus and the crew determined that they would mount a rescue mission to save Unduli. Jarrus, who remembered Unduli as a compassionate and capable Jedi, especially wanted to find her as he believed she would be a better teacher for his apprentice, Ezra Bridger than he had been.

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The rebels infiltrated the Spire, with Jarrus and Bridger leading the search for the Jedi Master. They found the cell she appeared to be held in, where they saw a physical manifestation of her. Jarrus could sense her presence, but something about it felt wrong. Her physical manifestation (in reality a hologram) soon disappeared into a case on the wall, which contained Unduli’s desiccating remains. It was at that moment that the Inquisitor revealed himself and attempted to kill the two Jedi, but the rebels were able to escape. The experience nonetheless helped teach Jarrus that he could train Bridger himself. Having survived the Inquisitor’s trap, Jarrus resolved to spread the word that Luminara was dead and news of her imprisonment was being used as bait for exiled Jedi. During Jarrus’s vision during his second visit to Lothal’s Jedi Temple, a vision of Unduli’s lightsaber was present in the Jedi Temple’s dojo.

 

May the force be with you all!

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