I must admit, I’ve never seen Cathar in any of the Star Wars movies. Of course, Star Wars hasn’t been the first franchise to capitalize on “cat people.”
My first exposure to the term cat people came from the 1980’s film starring Nastasia Kinski, Cat People. It was about the panther equivalent of werewolves.
Then, of course, came a cult classic for 80s nostalgia, Thundercats. Lion-O would be the perfect Cathar. It’s no wonder that Star Wars has decided to have its own cat people.
Bottomline on Cathar
The Cathar were basically cat people in outer space within the Star Wars universe. They had a tribal, warrior-centric culture.
- Place of origin: Cathan
- Kind: Near-Humans
- Race: Cathar (feline designation) with 2 subspecies: Jukani and Myr Rho
- Language: Catharese
- Skin-Color: Gold or yellow-brown with dark stripes
- Hair-Color: Red
- Average Height: Males 1.8 meters, Females 1.6 meters
- Average Lifespan: 90 years
Cathar Anatomy & Biology
Cathar were lion-like. Their bodies were covered with fur, and many had manes the way a lion would. Like lions, they had retractable claws for killing and fighting. Their two subspecies were distinctively less catlike than “Cathar Classic.”
Cathar History & Culture
The homeworld of the Cathar species was Cathar, a planet covered with savannas and highlands. They preferred a hunter-gatherer existence and lived in apartments carved out of gigantic trees.
They even had entire cities within the treetops and had the sagas of their greatest heroes carved into the trunks of their cities. They were organized into clans, with each clan being led by an Elder.
Unfortunately, the Cathar people were nearly exterminated by the Mandalorians after losing the Battle of Cathar. Those not killed, were either enslaved or forced to escape to other planets, such as Ord Mantell and Taris.
Later, when Mandalore suffered its own devastation after the Mandalorian Wars, the Cathar had a chance to return and repopulate their homeworld.
During the Great Galactic War, the majority of Cathar fought on the side of the Republic. Later, during the Galactic War, Cathar support for the Republic began to decline. After the Malgus betrayal, many Cathar joined and willingly fought for the Sith Empire.
After the end of the Galactic Civil War and the dawn of the High Republic Era, the Cathar continued to play a role in the galaxy’s conflict. The Cathar Tasia was active within the Tempest of the Nihil pirate syndicate. The Cathar female Dhina was an ensign on the Star Destroyer Deliverance under the command of General Hera Syndulla.
The Blood Hunt was a religious ritual that was considered a rite of passage by the Cathar. Cathar go on a sojourn in small numbers and fight large numbers of Kiltink, giant insectoid pests.
Cathar relationships were also quite serious. Like many great cats, when Cathar mated, they mated for life.
When Cathar had the quality of being Force-sensitve, they often chose to join the Jedi. Many Cathar became famous Jedi in many wars: the Great Sith War, the Second Imperial War, and the Galactic Civil War.
Crado was a Cathar Jedi knight who trained with Jedi Master Vodo-Siosk Baas. Under Baas, Crado had two Jedi classmates: his Cathar mate Sylvar and Exar Kun, who would eventually become the Dark Lord of the Sith.
During sparring, Crado was constantly defeated by Exar Kun. This filled the Cathar warrior with admiration, and he aspired to be more like Kun.
When Kun obtained a Sith Holocron, Crado and several young Jedi journeyed to Yavin IV to gain dark knowledge from Kun. There, Crado and all of Kun’s Jedi disciples were effectively converted to the dark side.
Crado and others were sent on a mission to assassinate a Jedi Master. Crado not only accepted the mission but continued it even after knowing that it would lead to the death of his mate, Sylvar. Crado and the others were defeated, however, and Sylvar survived.
Crado was humiliated by his defeat and begged Kun for another chance. The Dark Lord of the Sith not only gave Crado another chance but also sent the Cathar on his most important mission ever.
When the Great Sith War broke out of the shadows, Crado was given command of a Sith fleet and their flagship, the Corsair. His job was to lead the Republic fleet into a trap.
The trap worked, and Crado’s forces were able to use a Sith weapon to create a supernova, destroying the Republic Fleet, along with many Jedi and the library world of Ossus.
What Crado did not anticipate, however, is that Kun intended to sacrifice the Cathar Fallen Jedi all along. The supernova was of such magnitude that the Corsair could not escape its shockwave, and Crado, all aboard, and his Sith fleet were disintegrated in the year 3996 BBY, during the Great Sith War.
Sylvar was a Cathar Padawan for Jedi Master Vodo-Siosk Baas, just as Crado and Kun were. She was also Crado’s mate.
When Crado proposed marriage, she refused, saying that she would have to remain within the Jedi Order. She did, however, agree to bear his offspring. Sadly, however, that was not to be due to Crado’s fall to the dark side and eventual death.
Unlike Crado, Sylvar never succumbed to the dark side of the Force. Far from being impressed with Exar Kun, she dueled with the Dark Lord of the Sith on multiple occasions and slew many of his Massassi minions. She also dueled with Kun’s Sith Apprentice, Ulic Qel-Droma, and showed the Sith Lord mercy.
This female Cathar Jedi fought in many battles of the Great Sith War and was instrumental in evacuating the library world of Ossus before its destruction at the hands of her former mate, Crado.
As was customary for the greatest heroes of the Cathar, Sylvar’s story was added to the sacred tree trunks of their homeworld along with the story of Crado. Despite being a Fallen Jedi, Crado’s fighting skills were renowned on Cathar, so his legacy still had respect among his warrior people.
Even though the couple could not live happily ever after in life, their fates could join in the trees. That is the Cather way.
Juhani was born on Cathar close to 4000 BBY. Later, during the Mandalorian Wars, Jahani and her family were forced to evacuate to Taris. After the deaths of her parents, Juhani was sold into slavery to serve a crime syndicate.
Juhani was later rescued from slavery by the Jedi Revan. Inspired by the ideals of the Jedi, Juhani eventually became a Jedi herself. Later, she helped Revan destroy a powerful weapon, the Starforge.
Tasia was a red-furred, female Cathar and a Nihil. The Nihil was an organization of space pirates.
Tasia served aboard the Tempest and was eventually captured. She lived out the rest of her life on the prison ship, The Restitution.
Dhina was a female Cathar during the early years of the New Republic. She served as an officer aboard the Deliverance under General Hera Syndulla. She fought at the Battle of Chadawa and the Battle of Jaku.
When the Battle of Jaku ended badly for the Republic, Dhina helped evacuate the Deliverance at the cost of her own life. Hera survived, however, and the Republic eventually emerged victorious, driving the final nail in the Empire’s coffin.
The Tuum Brothers: Rasi, Ahn, Zho
Rasi, Ahn, and Zho were all brothers from the same litter of Cathar. They all became Jedi as well and were very active about 130 years after the Battle of Yavin, during the Sith-Imperial War and the Second Imperial Civil War. They also all survived an attack on the Jedi Academy by the Sith in ABY 130.
Of the three Tuum brothers, Ahn did not come to a good end. He was killed by a Sith’s spear in 137 ABY while trying to find the bounty hunter Cade Skywalker. Zho was more fortunate, but not much is known of him.
Rasi, however, achieved great fame within Star Wars Legends during the time of the descendants of Luke Skywalker. As a Jedi Master, Rasi had Azlyn Rae as his Padawan.
As a human female, Rae was part of the inspiration for the Rae of the Disney films we now know as Star Wars Canon. Rasi, Rae, and Cade Skywalker managed to save the New Jedi Order from the Sith and bring about the demise of the most powerful Sith Lord of their era, Darth Krayt.
Question: Do the Cathar have Tiger-like Specimens?
Answer: No. The Cathar are exclusively lion-like. The tiger-like specimens come from the Togrorian species, which would include notables like Jedi Knight Jak’Zin.
Question: If Jedi were Supposed to be Celibate, how did Crado and Sylvar become Mates?
Answer: The Jedi, while on the light side of the Force, were never a perfect organization. Many of the wiser Jedi Masters probably knew that the celibacy rule was a stupid rule and chose to look the other way. Jedi Master Vodo-Siosk Baas was such a master.
Of course, in Anakin’s case, this did not work out so well.
Question: Was Crado a Fallen Jedi or a Sith Apprentice to Exar Kun?
Answer: Crado was merely a Fallen Jedi and never a Sith Apprentice or a Sith Lord. According to the Rule of Two, a Sith Master can only take one Sith Apprentice and the Sith Apprentice becomes a Sith Lord.
Exar Kun’s Sith Apprentice, however, was the Fallen Jedi Ulic Qel-Droma. Apparently, Kun never had much respect for Crado, despite or perhaps due to the Cathar’s idolization of the Sith Lord.
Question: Do the Cathar have their Own Force-tradition Like the Kel Dor and the Miraluka?
Answer: No. Based on what has been revealed so far, the Cathar are no more Force-sensitive than anybody else.
Question: What ever Happened to Zho, the other Surviving Tuum Brother?
Answer: Last time we checked, he was seen traversing the galaxy in attempt to recover any surviving Jedi from the Sith-Imperial War and the Second Imperial Civil War.
The Cathar were the lion-people of the Star Wars universe. They had claws and fangs and lived in trees, yet they were still capable of manipulating lightsabers and blaster pistols. So far, so good.
Outside of comic-book fantasy creatures, what more can they provide?
Lions tend to be symbols of courage and power.
There was something so tragic about seeing Crado, with his noble lion’s mane, fall to the dark side. I thought I was looking at Evil Aslan. (The Lion, The With, and the Wardrobe.)
Lions are also a symbol of pride. In fact, a group of lions is referred to as “a pride of lions.” Warrior cultures have always been celebrated for their courage, but IRL (in real life) their pride has often caused them to commit atrocities in the name of conquest and glory.
The Cathar, with their lion’s heads, are convenient symbols for the warrior spirit and its potential for good or evil. When a lion chooses the latter, the result can be a “CAT-astrophe”.
Maybe you think it’s merely a pun, but it’s actually a triple pun.
The word “catastrophe” literally translates as “bad star.” If you have a supernova that engulfs two fleets of starships, several Jedi, and at least one inhabited planet, you have a really, really bad star. The supernova was caused by a cat who was being a really, really bad kitty.
Anyone who has had a pet cat can relate to the Crado character.
A bad star is a bad omen. The Sith had many dark days planned for the galaxy.