Brianna, also known as The Last Handmaiden or simply Handmaiden, was a female human-Echani hybrid fighter, and illegitimate daughter to the famous Echani General Yusanis and Jedi Master Arren Kae, who both fought in the Mandalorian Wars. She later served along with her five half-sisters as a handmaiden to Jedi Master Atris in the period following the Jedi Civil War. During her service to Atris at the Jedi Academy on Telos IV, Brianna met Meetra Surik, also known as the Jedi Exile, and was subsequently tasked with accompanying her on her mission to seek out the Jedi Masters who survived the First Jedi Purge. As Surik's companion, Brianna helped battle against numerous adversaries, including the resurgent Sith Triumvirate.
During the journey, Brianna trained Surik in Echani techniques and eventually received Jedi training from Surik in return, becoming one of the first new members of the Jedi Order after the Purge. In accepting such training, however, she broke her oath to Atris. The Jedi Master labeled her a traitor, resulting in a confrontation between Brianna, her sisters and her former master. According to the final predictions of Darth Traya, Brianna would become instrumental in the reconstruction of the Jedi Order and succeed Atris as Jedi historian.
- "I knew her mother. She was a Jedi Knight a master, named Arren Kae. Jedi are forbidden to have children, and when the crime finally came to light almost a decade later, Kae was exiled. She joined the Mandalorian Wars after the shame of her birth was revealed."
Kae later chose to join her former apprentice, Revan, to fight the Mandalorians, who were bent on conquering the Outer Rim. Yusanis joined them, despite the fact that he was responsible for the care of Brianna and his other five daughters. Yusanis and Kae became known as heroes of the conflict, but Kae eventually fell in battle, and Yusanis returned a broken man, abandoning battle to become a senator. He avoided speaking of Kae, leaving Brianna with no memories of her mother. Later, Yusanis's old ally Revan declared himself the new Dark Lord of the Sith and turned on the Jedi, starting the Jedi Civil War. He sought to weaken the Republic, and targeted the Republic worlds of Serroco, Corellia and Eshan for destabilization. Revan accomplished his goals by assassinating a senator from each world, and the death of an Echani senator caught Yusanis' attention. When Yusanis found evidence of the act, he challenged Revan to a duel, but was ultimately slain by the Dark Lord, leaving Brianna an orphan.
Sometime after Yusanis's death, Brianna and her five half-sisters entered the service of Jedi Master Atris, one of the few Masters who survived the Jedi Civil War. The Jedi Order had been greatly divided and weakened by the war, and further attacks by a resurgent Sith Triumvirate after the war's conclusion left very few Jedi remaining. Atris hoped to revive the Jedi Order after most of the other Jedi Masters had been killed during one of these attacks on Katarr, and established a secret academy on Telos IV, a planet that had been devastated by Sith forces during the Jedi Civil War. The sisters joined her in the academy and agreed to serve as her handmaidens, aiding Atris in gathering Jedi artifacts from around the galaxy. At one point during their service, Brianna and her half-sisters swore an oath to Atris that they would never study the teachings of the Jedi, nor receive any instruction from a Jedi; although Brianna was the only handmaiden who had any Force sensitivity due to her heritage. While Atris knew of Brianna's familial lineage, as well as her sensitivity, she never mentioned Brianna's potential, and the handmaiden remained ignorant of her innate abilities.
The offspring of Echani parents appeared to non-Echani to look identical to their parents, typically the one of the same sex. As such, Brianna resembled her Jedi mother and not Yusanis' original wife, which distinguished her from sisters as physical evidence of their father's affair. Her father's infidelity had brought shame on himself; and, after his death at the hands of Revan, that shame was thrust upon her as the Echani believed that betrayal and shame were passed down through bloodlines. Despite working hard to disprove this stigma that followed her all through her young life, Brianna was branded the "Last of the Handmaidens" by her sisters, meaning she was the least of them, in terms of worth and combat ability. As a result, Brianna felt she was unworthy of bearing any signs of individuality and renounced her name in favor of her title.
Meetra Surik's arrival
- "I will not warn you again. Drop your weapons, or we shall take them from you."
- ―Brianna to Meetra Surik upon the latter's arrival at the Academy.
The Jedi Academy was secluded in the isolated polar regions of Telos IV, and consequently, the academy remained unnoticed, even when the Republic began the Telosian Restoration Project in an effort to restore the ecosystem of the devastated planet. The project was headed by the Ithorian Chodo Habat and his herd, and a massive space station was built in orbit as a staging area for the project. When Atris later learned that the planet Peragus II, the main source of the station's fuel had been destroyed and that the Telos Security Force was holding suspects in the planet's destruction, who had recently arrived in the system, she ordered Brianna to investigate. Acting covertly, Brianna sneaked onto Citadel Station and stole the suspects' ship, the Ebon Hawk, as well as their droid, T3-M4, which was aboard as a result of the ship being impounded after arriving at Citadel Station shortly after the destruction of Peragus II. Brianna then brought the ship to the secret academy where Atris hoped to look into the events surrounding the destruction of the planet. Atris was unaware that the new owner of the ship was a former friend from the Jedi Order, Meetra Surik, also known as the Jedi Exile, another hero of the Mandalorian Wars who was exiled for her defiance of the Jedi Council and her decision to join Revan in the war. Surik was released from custody when it was discovered that Peragus II had been destroyed as a result of her escape from the Sith Lord Darth Sion, and she began a search for her stolen ship.
Surik, along with companions Kreia and Atton Rand, whom she had met on Peragus II, eventually located the starship with some help from a technician of the Restoration Project and entered the academy. Brianna, flanked by two of her sisters, confronted the group and demanded their surrender. Surik agreed so as to avoid a conflict, and Brianna escorted her to meet with Atris. Atris had been one of the masters who decided on Surik's punishment for her involvement in the Mandalorian Wars, and was not pleased to see her again. After a charged discussion over Surik's seeming unrepentant attitude towards her actions in defying the Council, she informed Atris of the Sith's involvement in the destruction of Peragus II, and offered her aid. Atris suggested she seek out the other surviving Jedi Masters and gather them at the ruined Enclave on Dantooine in order to form a plan of action, and sent Surik away. Brianna was startled to have seen her mistress become so volatile, strengthening her growing belief that the Jedi were not the passionless beings Atris had described them to be.
Before Surik departed Telos, Brianna was able to speak to her in private. Brianna was wary of Surik at first, but began to speak more freely when Surik managed to convince her that, contrary to Atris's opinion, she had not turned to the dark side during the Mandalorian Wars. Brianna confessed that she was the only one of her sisters who did not doubt Surik's battle prowess and was more receptive to Surik's opinion. Brianna also mentioned how she was often distracted by the Jedi teachings Atris had rescued and stored at the academy; and, as a result, was eager to learn about life as a Jedi. She asked about various details of a Jedi's life, including the issue of attachment. Brianna also informed Surik that she always trained to better herself, and they discussed the Echani view of expression of feelings through combat. As one final question, Brianna asked what it was like to feel the Force, and was satisfied by the answers both Surik and Kreia provided.
Travels with Meetra Surik
- "I want to fight with you side by side, for as long as there are enemies that threaten you. You are a leader your stance, your every action proves it."
- ―Brianna, to Meetra Surik
While Surik attempted to get to know Brianna, the Echani continued to not trust her, but through acts of kindness and charity during their journey, Brianna finally believed that Atris had been wrong in her judgments. Brianna occasionally clashed with Visas Marr, a former Sith assassin who was initially on a mission to capture Surik. Although Marr joined the crew after her defeat at Surik's hands, Brianna did not trust her due to Marr's ties to the Sith. After some convincing from Surik, Brianna learned to accept her presence, although she still kept a watchful eye on the Miraluka.
During their travels, Brianna agreed to teach Surik Echani fighting techniques. As they trained, Surik challenged Brianna's Echani tradition about sparring while wearing only undergarments; Brianna conceded that bulkier clothes would be more practical. She surprised Surik by then changing into a heavy set of gray robes, the style associated with a Jedi Master. When asked, she finally revealed that they were the last keepsake of her mother that she had never known. She opened up to Surik and revealed the story of her past, but she asked that it be kept secret from the rest of the crew, as she had come to trust Surik over everyone else. Unexpectedly, after their private discussion, Surik was approached by Kreia who revealed that she had known Arren Kae. Kreia speculated that because Kae had been strong in the Force, that the potential to become a Jedi also lay within her daughter. Kreia discouraged Surik from training her as a Jedi, however, because it would mean breaking her oath to Atris.
Surik decided to leave the choice to Brianna, and offered to train her to use the Force. By this point, Brianna greatly trusted Surik and realized that she had hoped to follow her mother's path her entire life. Consequently, she accepted the offer. Surik warned her she would be breaking her oath to Atris, but Brianna was committed, feeling that she would be betraying her heritage if she didn't accept the training. With Brianna's acceptance, Surik passed on her knowledge of the Force to Brianna, and trained her to become a Jedi Guardian. During this time, Kreia sent a message to Atris through the Force telling her of Brianna's choice to become a Jedi with a single word: "Betrayal." As a Jedi, Brianna continued to aid Surik, who eventually succeeded in gathering the Jedi Masters Vrook Lamar, Zez-Kai Ell and Kavar on Dantooine. Brianna returned to the Enclave on Dantooine with Surik, who set off to meet with the Masters alone. Unfortunately, when the Masters revealed their intentions to strip Surik of the Force due to the danger she posed by her particular ability to feed off the life energy of others, Kreia was forced to act and killed the Jedi Masters. Before incapacitating the Exile, Kreia revealed she had been manipulating Surik all along, and that her ultimate goal had been to utilize Surik's unique nature to destroy the Force itself.
Confronting the Sith
- "You are no longer one of us. You followed the Jedi, betrayed your oath."
- ―The Handmaiden Sisters to Brianna
Following the incident on Dantooine, Brianna, believing Surik to be dead, took Kreia directly to Atris, knowing that her mistress would execute any Sith. However, Atris's belief in the Jedi Council's decision during the Mandalorian Wars, as well as her belief in the Order itself, had been shaken after she observed Surik's conviction. In addition, she had been slowly corrupted by her collection of Sith holocrons, which she had gathered in hopes of using their teachings to fight the Sith. Instead, the influence of the artifacts proved too strong, and they slowly twisted Atris's thinking, causing her to fall to the dark side.
As a result, Atris's conversation with Kreia, who announced her true identity as Darth Traya, caused her to finally give in to the dark side. Simultaneously, the other handmaidens confronted Brianna. She learned that Atris had told her sisters that Brianna had fallen to the dark side and joined Surik against Atris's wishes. Brianna could not convince her sisters otherwise, and was forced to fight them. In doing so, she proved herself to have surpassed her sisters in ability, as she managed to defeat them all without killing them. Shortly thereafter, Atris arrived and attacked Brianna. Though Brianna was initially able to keep the corrupt Jedi Master at bay, she was eventually overwhelmed. Atris began torturing her handmaiden with Force lightning; but, before she could deliver the final blow, Surik arrived and defeated Atris in a duel. After the duel, Brianna pledged undying allegiance to Surik, renouncing her title of Last of the Handmaidens, and embracing her true name.
Before leaving Telos, Traya manipulated the Sith into attacking Citadel Station, forcing Surik to fight off an assault and help defend the station before she could follow Traya. Brianna aided Surik and the Telos Security Force in fending off the Sith assault on Citadel Station before joining Surik in pursuit of Traya. Surik had learned from Atris that Traya had gone to a secret academy on Malachor V, the site of the final battle of the Mandalorian Wars, and the site where Surik had previously lost her connection to the Force after killing countless combatants on both sides by activating the Mass Shadow Generator superweapon during the battle. On this occasion, the Sith Lord intended to use Malachor V a site where the Force still echoed from those killed by the Mass Shadow Generator to create a wound in the Force, which in turn would allow her to carry out her goal of destroying the Force itself. When the group arrived at Malachor V, however, the massive storms surrounding the planet damaged the Ebon Hawk, causing it to crash. In the crash, the members of the group were separated, and Brianna was unable to help Surik, who went on to duel and defeat Traya alone.
Traya, shortly before her death on Malachor V at the hands of Surik, looked into the future, and told her that Brianna would give up her ways of battle, play a vital role in rebuilding the Jedi Order. According to her, Brianna would follow her passion and take Atris's role as historian, teaching future Padawans about the Jedi who gave up the Force, and became better for it.
Centuries later, the New Jedi Order would also remember Brianna for her role in the Order's history. Brianna was credited as one of the Lost Jedi and an instrumental companion who aided Surik. Due to the uncertain records of the era, the New Jedi Order tentatively named her as one of the potential slayers of Sith Lord Darth Nihilus, alongside another possible candidate, Visas Marr.
Personality and traits
As the daughter of Yusanis and Arren Kae, Brianna bore the shame of her parents' forbidden affair, and as a result strove to prove her worth to her sisters and Atris. Her shame and position as the least worthy among her sisters led her to adopt a style of thinking in which she placed the greater good and her oaths to Atris before herself, forsaking her name and identity. It was not until she finally defeated her sisters in combat and confronted Atris that Brianna fully gained a sense of self-worth, finally embracing her name as a result, and casting aside the shame of her parentage. She believed combat to be one of the purest ways of expressing oneself, and that a person's fighting style accurately displayed what kind of person they were.
Brianna was steadfastly loyal to her superiors, and was completely devoted to Atris before Meetra Surik earned her trust. She was initially very slow to trust Surik due to the warnings Atris had given, but Surik's kindness, as well as Brianna's reading of her through combat caused her to eventually open up. When Surik saved her life, Brianna completely renounced her ties to Atris. Her trust did not extend to Surik's other companions, however, and she remained wary of both Kreia and Marr for the extent of their journey.
In addition, despite being criticized by her sisters for her passion, Brianna was typically very reserved and did not interact much with the crew, choosing to seclude herself in the cargo bay instead. Despite this, her irritation with her fellow crew members occasionally showed, typically with Rand and Marr. She expressed her passion through combat, and developed a yearning to feel the Force, eventually receiving Jedi training from the Exile. This curiosity stemmed from her having examined some of Atris's Jedi holocrons, and her interest in these artifacts may have led to her taking the position of Jedi historian as Kreia predicted.
Having lived a relatively sheltered life in the secret academy on Telos, Brianna displayed some naïveté towards the workings of the galaxy, a fact commented on by Atton Rand. She also failed to grasp jokes made by Surik and the bounty hunter Mira, as well as Rand's sarcasm. Brianna tended to view things in terms of black and white, and argued with Surik over some of her decisions, feeling that any act of questionable morality was unacceptable, a mindset she likely developed from following Atris' own strict beliefs.
Powers and abilities
- "She has always brought shame upon us. In terms of combat, she is the least among us. Her stance always had too much passion about it."
- ―Handmaiden Sister
Despite the title of the "Last of the Handmaidens" given to Brianna by her sisters, she was proficient in combat with Echani martial arts, and was able to successfully instruct Meetra Surik, showing extensive knowledge of the style. Brianna found her training to be helpful in maintaining her focus, and trained often while traveling with Surik, particularly when annoyed by Surik's other companions. In addition, Brianna was skilled in the use of Precognition, which allowed her to perceive her opponents' intentions an instant before they acted, giving her an edge in combat. She recognized Surik's potential with precognition and taught her to use the ability as well. Her combat prowess extended to numerous weapons including Force Pikes and blasters. Brianna also utilized a unique staff that possessed qualities similar to a saberstaff, and was given to her by her father. Along with her various weapons, Brianna could also fight effectively unarmed due to her proficiency in Echani.
As the daughter of a Jedi, Arren Kae, Brianna was Force-sensitive and eventually accepted Jedi training from Surik, becoming a Jedi Guardian. As a Jedi Guardian, Brianna focused on combat and learned the Lightsaber techniques and abilities of the Jedi, supplementing her skills with powers such as Force Leap. With Jedi training, her combat proficiency increased to the point where she surpassed even her sisters in skill and managed to defeat all of them together in combat. Brianna was even able to duel evenly against Jedi Master Atris for a while before being overwhelmed by Force Lightning. She also displayed significant endurance, and was able to stand after being battered by Force Lightning and seemed relatively steady despite the ordeal.