- "Never underestimate an Imperial TIE pilot. Ever. We're an elite corps for a reason."
- — Fen Palka
Fen Palka (20 BBY) is an Imperial starfighter pilot who has survived one tragic event after another. Time and again he has put his life on the line to fight for a cause he believes in. More than once this has conflicted with his duties, but Fen remains fiercely loyal to the Empire and will fight to his last breath to preserve it.
Due to the events that led to the destruction of the Bloodlust, Fen’s body was badly burned. Despite bacta therapy, his body remains covered with a web of nearly invisible scars. In addition, many parts of his body had to be replaced with prosthetics, including both of his legs below the knee and his left arm. These prosthetics are state-of-the-art and can barely be distinguished from his real body aside from their lack of scars. Fen also has yet to see any of his hair grow back.
Despite his fearsome appearance, Fen wears his uniform with pride and doesn’t try to hide his face, having long grown accustomed to the reactions of those who have never seen him. His hazel eyes carry with them a little bitterness but also a deep intelligence.
He has had his prosthetic arm secretly modified to hide his lightsaber.
Fen has a solid grasp of the basics, but has yet to learn any advanced techniques. Despite this, he has shown an aptitude for Precognition and Force Strength.
Fen's ability with a lightsaber is rudimentary. He hasn't been able to receive much instruction in the forms and so is mostly self-taught. The style he has developed on his own is very similar to Djem So.
A standard blaster that is given to most Imperials in the navy, Fen is an above average shot with the Model 44 due in part to his connection with the Force.
- Singlebladed Lightsaber
Built by Fen during his accelerated training under Tulsar Leidias, the lightsaber uses the standard Mephite variety of Adegan crystal.
Growing up on Commenor, Fen didn’t have any real views on galactic politics. He would have been content to simply live the life of an ordinary civilian and let galactic policy straighten itself out. However, that all changed one night when he came home to find that his house had been blown up and his family killed. He was later to find out that the cause was from a bomb originating from a Rebel terrorist cell.
His father had been a staunch supporter of the newly formed Galactic Empire and fairly high-ranked among the government of Commenor. The terrorists, it seemed, had been trying to make a point by killing such a prominent member of Commenor. All it succeeded in doing was convincing Fen that the Empire represented the best hope of preventing anarchy throughout the galaxy. He signed up the very next day.
The Bloodlust Defection
After his graduation, Fen was assigned to a generic TIE Fighter wing on the Nebulon-B Frigate, Bloodlust, under the command of Captain Roth Kedrin. He served faithfully for a few years, earning the rank of lieutenant.
Soon after that, however, things took a turn for the worse and Fen’s life would be changed forever. Kedrin turned out to be a Rebel sympathizer and attempted to defect the Bloodlust over to their side. Fen did his best to keep the ship stationary until reinforcements could arrive, but he constantly ran up against the security measures of the Bloodlust’s security chief, Mabry Holt. When Fen finally managed to sabotage the engines of the Bloodlust, Kedrin decided to destroy the ship and escape. Holt stayed behind to see that Fen wouldn’t be able to stop the self-destruct and, in a strangely civil conversation between the two over the ship’s intercom, Holt said his last words to Fen.
Fen managed to survive being blown up with the Bloodlust thanks to a strange twist of luck and a timely rescue by the Dark Star. His body was burned and badly mangled, but through sheer force of will, Fen kept himself alive. He took two things with him from that encounter, a fervent desire for revenge against Kedrin and remorse for Holt’s noble sacrifice. Kedrin had only been thinking of himself and Holt had simply been following orders.
After his body was restored to working order, Fen discovered that he had been declared a hero for his actions on the Bloodlust. He also learned with some shock that he was no longer fit to fly a TIE Fighter and was instead being given command of a Carrack Cruiser called the Swift and promoted to captain. Fen did his best to be a model Imperial officer, learning from not only his commanding officer, Dolomar Daktren, but also from the second-in-command of the Swift, Kliven Klix.
Trouble on Sulon
It wasn't long after Fen received his command that he learned that Holt had a family on Sulon, a wife and a son; Serena and Damrii respectively. Getting permission from Daktren for a temporary leave of absence for him and the crew, he jumped the Swift to Sulon to find Holt’s family and apologize in person for Mabry Holt’s death. Predictably it didn’t go so well and he found himself as the target of scorn for both Serena and Damrii.
He was about to leave until he learned that Imperial-sanctioned assassins were also on Sulon to kill the families of the traitors aboard the Bloodlust, Holt’s family was next in line. Feeling as though he owed Mabry Holt a debt of honor, Fen took it upon himself to rescue Serena and Damrii from the assassins, eventually killing the entire squad.
He then went a step further by taking Holt’s family with him away from Sulon to keep them safe from other potential assassins. Before he could get too far, the Swift was ambushed by Warlord Falsor. Despite an inspired battle by the crew of the Swift, the Carrack Cruiser was outgunned and disabled. Fortunately Daktren and his task force were nearby and managed to arrive in time mop up what was left of the warlord’s forces, capturing the VSD War Cry in the process.
After talking with Daktren about the situation, the two captains were able to come up with a plan to get the Holt family to safety. Using the destruction of the war-torn Swift as cover, Serena and Damrii took a shuttle and jumped to the Outer Rim, never to be seen again. Despite what could be considered traitorous actions on Fen’s part, Daktren recognized the unique situation for what it was and dropped the whole matter on the condition that the incident was never spoken of again. The War Cry was renamed the Paledor and put under Fen’s command.
A few months after the events on Sulon, Fen found that he would have to go behind Daktren’s back yet again. Ever since surviving the destruction of the Bloodlust, Fen became aware of his connection with the Force. Yet, no matter how hard he tried to use it, he always ended up failing to achieve anything. At best, he only managed to hone his danger sense, he couldn’t manage to do anything consciously. Finally, he grew so fed up with his inability to use the Force that he actively started seeking someone or something that could teach him. His quest brought him and the Paledor to the small colony of Juoi.
The natives were initially distrustful of him because of past run-ins with the Empire, but Fen managed to earn their trust by having the Paledor perform a rescue mission. This same mission brought him to the attention of a powerful Dark Jedi named Sivter. It also convinced Juoi’s resident Jedi, Tulsar Leidias, to try teaching him.
Under Tulsar’s expert guidance, Fen was finally able to break through the mental block that had been keeping him from using the Force. They managed a few weeks of almost nonstop training before Sivter appeared. Despite a valiant effort, Fen was no match for Sivter’s machinations or his power and eventually succumbed to the Dark Side. Sivter was eventually defeated thanks to another student of Tulsar’s and a group of mysterious aliens known as Sages, but the damage to Fen was already done.
Disgusted by his own actions, Fen left Juoi with hardly a word of goodbye. The Paledor rejoined Daktren’s taskforce soon after. Due to some modifications to his artificial left arm to hide his lightsaber and some clever half-truths, only Daktren and a select few others of his taskforce knew of Fen's new abilities.
Soon after returning from Juoi, Daktren’s taskforce became involved in a massive battle against New Republic forces. Heavy casualties resulted for the entire taskforce and the Paledor ended up being destroyed. Fen and the surviving crew were transferred to the Dark Star and, under Fen’s request, he was made commander of Midnight Squadron. Now that he had the Force to guide him, Fen found that he was able to fly the response-heavy TIE models again.
As the leader of Midnight Squadron, Fen continued to distinguish himself in battle as he applied his new powers in the Force to the experience he had gained along the way. The TIE Defender squadron reached new levels of excellence under his leadership and became even more of a force to be reckoned with.
His powers in the Force also proved valuable in other ways such as when he was able to locate the traitorous ISS agent, Kolt Malare, even though Malare had managed to successfully hide from all scanners. This, in turn, proved to be invaluable as it led Daktren to uncover, and then break up, a secret society within the Empire than had been planning to sell the government out to the Xen'Chi.
As the Xen’Chi War really heated up, Fen found himself becoming part of the Rogue Fleet as the Dark Star and the 77th Task Force were pushed to the front lines. Despite the fortunes of the war going badly for the Empire, Fen was not intimidated by the thought of fighting the Xen’Chi, to him it was a simple matter of giving his all to defend the Empire.
That attitude changed a bit after Daktren announced that someone would be transferring over to take overall command of the Dark Star’s starfighter division, a brash hotshot named Vasax Loraq. Loraq’s self-promoting ways quickly caused some friction between him and Fen, however it was also readily evident that Loraq’s boasting was backed up by truly amazing piloting skills.
Quite despite himself, Fen found himself starting to like Loraq as the Rogue Fleet penetrated ever deeper into Xen’Chi territory. It wasn’t a friendship per say, but there was a grudging respect from Fen after it became clear that Loraq was truly passionate about improving the performances of the Dark Star’s pilots without sacrificing their lives to do it.
By the time the Dark Star was reassigned again, Fen had come to understand why Daktren had seen fit to transfer over Loraq.
Uniting the Galaxy