"The Force is like the water; it's ever flowing, ever changing. It's never even once the same as before. As are we." ~ Mala Dalia
Mala Dalia (46BBY - 59ABY) was a Pantoran Jedi who specialized in Aquatic Research and Development. While most of her long life remains a mystery, she was one of the more influential Jedi in the Clone Wars.
After her Jedi training was complete, she spent most of her time stationed at Mon Calamari where she led a development team in creating more efficient underwater gear for Clone Troopers and Jedi. She was known to fill her spare time with creating lightsabers that could work just as well below water as above.
Born and Forgotten
In 46BBY, the relationship between the Republic and its citizens on Pantora was under a lot of strain. Different areas around the moon were threatening succession. It was in one of these areas that a little girl named Mala was born. Her parents had no loyalty for the Republic and even less tolerance for how the Jedi Order policed the galaxy as benevolent crusaders. Late in the year when Mala was only a few months old, her parents’ worst fear came true. The little Pantoran wanted a toy that was sitting on the other side of the crib. Instead of crawling over to it, the child raised her hands and the toy lifted into the air and floated over to her.
Mala’s parents would not tolerate their child becoming a Jedi. At first, they wanted to leave Pantora and raise the child on a system that was not ruled by the Republic. However, they were outstanding scientists who were working for the Pantoran government and any sudden leave would raise notice to the Republic. So, with tears in their eyes, they gave up Mala for adoption. They found a Twi’lek couple on Ryloth that was willing to take the child. While the system was controlled by the Republic off and on, this couple lived in the Nightlands where few ever ventured. The Twi’lek male had a sibling who was a Jedi and had died in a training accident. So, the couple seemed perfect for handling a Force-sensitive child whom they wanted to live free of the Order.
A New Family
While the Twi’lek couple who took Mala in decided to keep her first name, they changed her last name to Dalia as a way of welcoming her into their family. They had been trying to have a child for several years with no success. So, they gave Mala as much attention and love as they could. They would not stop trying for a child, but Mala was welcomed as if she was their real first child. Her new adoptive father, Airoh Dalia was an engineer who specialized in building houses while her adoptive mother, Ivy Dalia, was a florist.Mala Dalia was a natural Force-wielder. Her reflexes and acrobatic abilities made for a very exciting childhood. When she was 3 years old, her parents had finally succeeded in having a child. Mala had a new little sister named Alaira. Mala was excited to have a sibling. Since there wasn’t a large community of children her age around their home, Mala was never bothered by the difference in species. She embraced Alaira as her sister and helped take care of Alaira to the best of her abilities.
Greatly to the family’s surprise, Alaira demonstrated her abilities as a Force-wielder when she was only a few weeks old. Mala was holding her sister when she tripped and dropped the baby. Instead of falling, little Alaira floated just above the ground for a moment before slowly lowering down to it. Maybe it was because of Mala being with Airoh and Ivy so much during the pregnancy, or maybe Airoh’s family history, or maybe just the will of the Force. Either way, Mala was ecstatic to have a Force-sensitive sister. At first, their parents were deeply concerned. They knew that Jedi could sense the presence of other Force wielders, but the concern quickly dissolved into happiness for Mala. Adopted and not, Mala and Alaira then shared a bond that went much deeper.
As Alaira grew from baby to toddler, Mala began discovering her talents and hobbies outside of the Force. Airoh Dalia had hoped that she would be an engineer someday, but she spent most of her time with Ivy. Mala was fascinated by the luminescent crystalline flora that surrounded their cave home. She had the curious and scientific mind of her original parents back on Pantora. She would always go off for hours at a time to look for new plant life and organisms. It was on one of those outings, that her life took a drastic turn from happiness into sadness.
In the distance, Mala heard a terrible crumbling and crashing sound in the direction of the cave that her family lived in. The sound echoed through the Nightlands of Ryloth riddled with the sounds of blaster fire. Mala began running home as fast as her six year old legs could take her. When she arrived at the entrance to the cave, there was nothing left but a pile of rocks and debris. She still held hope for her family, but she began to fear the worst when she found a small basket amidst the debris. It was the basket that little Alaira would go pick flowers with.
Mala made her way as fast as she could to the alternate entrance of her home. She began to understand in her heart though, that she was already too late. When she arrived, she found Ivy and Airoh. Their home had collapsed. They died holding each other’s hands. Mala searched and searched, but there was no sign of Alaira. She could not sense her sister’s presence at all. After hours of searching, Mala’s six year old body could not search anymore. She used what energy she had left to bury her parents properly.
Lost and Found
Mala was not old enough to be able to take care of herself yet. So, she followed the one course that she had left and headed for the Twilight. With Ryloth’s synchronous rotation, Twi’leks primarily lived in the band of twilight between the Brightlands and the Nightlands. It was there, that she knew she could find help. Sure enough, a Twi’lek man stopped her in the streets of the first city that she arrived in. A Pantoran girl starving and exhausted is difficult to not notice in Resdin.
She was taken to a care facility for orphans and runaways where she would be auctioned off to the highest bidder. The life of a slave was hardly what Mala wanted, but she had no other choice. To her good fortune, she was sold to a Quarren named Nar Syniphe who lived on Coruscant as an Artisan. He took pity on Mala when he heard of how she was found. He could tell right away that she was gifted for her age. So, he bought her as a fee to free her instead of a contract to enslave her. He would raise her as the daughter that he never had.
After two years living in the slums of Coruscant, Mala had become a very capable child. She demonstrated talents, knowledge, and emotional maturity that far surpassed that of an eight year old. It was this capable and tough nature that would save her life. One day when she was out buying supplies for Nar Syniphe, a criminal decided to take advantage of what seemed to be the easy prey of a child with money. The Gotal grabbed her and pulled her into an alley where he held a blaster to her head. Knowing how hard it was for Nar Syniphe to make a living as an Artisan and provide for both him and her, she was reluctant to hand over the credits. When she refused, the criminal made the mistake of striking her to the ground.
The Coruscant marketplace was completely oblivious to this crime in progress until suddenly a Gotal flew out of an alleyway and across the street crashing into a vendor’s stand. Needless to say, he was knocked unconscious. All attention in the marketplace turned to the small eight year old Pantoran girl who slowly walked out of the same alleyway. The police droids quickly appeared at the scene to apprehend the girl and her attacker. When Nar Syniphe learned of the incident, he rushed over to the local holding cells. Mala had been able to keep her secret until now. When he asked her how she threw the man, she confessed to being a Force wielder.
After an exhaustingly long series of questioning from the Jedi Council, Mala was chosen to be trained as a Jedi. Her adoptive parents had never spoken of the Jedi. They thought that it would be best for Mala and Alaira if they grew up thinking that they were alone in their abilities and that they were special. Mala quickly learned that she was indeed special, but also that she was one of thousands.
Accepting Mala to train as a Jedi was a difficult decision for the Council. They knew that Mala was unaware that her little sister Alaira Dalia survived the cave-in and was currently a Jedi youngling in the Temple. Attachment has been the unraveling of many Jedi in the Order's long history. So, they took advantage of Mala's ignorance and kept the knowledge of her sister's survival and whereabouts from her.
To avoid any unintentional contact between the two, Mala was given the academic path. She was too old for traditional training anyways and was therefore assigned to study under a Jedi named Abar Kinoff. He was a scientific researcher in the Jedi Temple. Under his watch and guidance, Mala would learn how to focus her abilities and become eligible for Jedi Padawan status. With her quick and skilled mind she quickly went through the training that Abar had started her with. The council ruled that she could not be a Padawan for another 2 years. So, for the latter half of that time, she studied findings and field reports along with Master Abar.
To keep her busy, Abar Kinoff commonly tasked Mala with entering scientific findings into the Jedi Archives. So, Mala spent a lot of her time reading the field reports. She read about worlds of ice and worlds of fire. Mala learned just how dynamic the universe is and about dozens of worlds without ever leaving the Archives. One Jedi Master who commonly sent in field reports was Jedi Master Niro Hetak, a Human who studied Paleoclimatology on the far side of Iceberg I. His reports were her favorite. They were extremely thorough and informative, but they also included an excessive amount of speculation. Mala found herself imagining right along with him how the moons of Mon Calamari were formed and what they were like once upon a time.
When her allotted time in the Jedi Temple expired, it was time for 10 year old Mala to begin her Padawan Training under a Jedi Master. With Master Kinoff's recommendation, the Council assigned her to Jedi Master Niro Hetak. At first, she was incredibly excited. She said her goodbyes and quickly left for Iceberg I. Upon arriving, she could not find any sign of Master Hetak. She searched and searched until she finally found a small laboratory (shack). There she found remnants of Niro's research along with a voice recorder. Listening to it, shelearned that his findings were leading him to Iceberg III. So, she got in her Jedi Starfighter and went to the 3rd moon of Mon Calamari.
Once there, it did not take long to find Master Niro Hetak. Apparently, as thorough as his field reports were, he was also fairly obsessive and reluctant to keep the Jedi Order informed as to where he was at all times. He was a man driven by the thrill of discovery and felt that "checking in" with the Jedi Order was one of the best ways to spoil the fun. He had not asked for a Padawan and was not thrilled to meet Mala. Without either of them knowing, the Jedi Order had assigned Mala to Hetak as a last effort to get him to resume a more Jedi-like lifestyle.
Mala's fascination in his research was her salvation with him, but even with accepting her as a Padawan, he still refused most assignments and did not train Mala. To him, she was a lab assistant. Together, they studied the ice cores for several years on the moons of Mon Calamari. It did not take long for Mala to miss her usual seat in the Jedi Archives and the warm temperatures of anywhere else in the galaxy. During most of the nights as Master Hetak would sleep, Mala would stare longingly at Mon Calamari and its warm climate. She understood that the research being done on the moons was important, but she was hardly experiencing the training that she expected.
Jedi Master Genome Mantaglider
Time continued to thunder forward and Mala became a Jedi Knight. Free of Master Hetak’s supervision, she was free to set out on her own. Without a second thought, she headed to Mon Calamari to be stationed there as a researcher. There was already a Jedi there, Master Genome Mantaglider, who was a very active peacekeeper between the Mon Calamari and the Quarren. So, the Jedi Council sent Mala to work with him.
Master Mantaglider was heavily reluctant to work with Mala. He learned very quickly that she was practically useless to him. She had virtually no combat experience or even training for that matter. He was a Mon Calamari with a head for war tactics and battle strategy. There was simply no use for him in the accompaniment of an academic like Mala. So, he simply kept her at a distance and only dragged her along on assignments when the Council ordered him to.
She proved to be useful very quickly though. Within just a few days, she made improvements and modifications to most of his gear. Her biggest success was the aquatic lightsaber. Normally, lightsabers could only work for a limited time underwater before shortening out. This was because of the extreme heat of the blade. It would boil surrounding water and cause any water that got into the hilt to spread havoc on the different compartments around the crystal. Mala saw this problem affect Genome's effectiveness as a peacekeeper and immediately went to work. She developed a coolant sub-crystal that would be installed in the hilt between the lightsaber crystal and the emitter. This crystal acted as a buffer for the raw energy. It encased the blade with an immediate, thin shield that would keep surrounding water cool and the hilt from shorting out.
With this new modification, Genome learned to appreciate Mala's approach. Rather than change the strategy, she changed the hardware in a tough situation. So, he decided to take her under his wing as a student in combat training. With Genome's 'fight first and talk later' approach, Mala gained a lot of experience very quickly.
Even though Master Mantaglider kept Mala fairly busy, he also respected that she was a scientist first and foremost. So, he gave her plenty of time and space to work with a small group of local scientists. During her long hours with this group, she always felt like an outsider. Even though she was the head of the aquatic research and development program, she was surrounded by aquatic races and her entire life was separated from her by a thin bubble of glass. It wasn't too long before she began to plan in her mind how to fix this issue.
Her directive was to advance weaponry and other practical applications. This in mind, she knew that the Jedi Council would never approve of genetic research and experimentation. So, when the lights went out each night, Mala began her own secret project. At first, it was a lot of reading and studying. Aside from looking more tired than usual, Mala was able to hide her late night research from everyone including her close friend, Master Mantaglider. However, in 26BBY, she was unable to hide it any longer.
Every calculation had been double checked and all of the preparations were made. One night, she found the courage to experiment on herself. She injected herself with a mutagen that would enable her to breath underwater. Like Master Hetak, she cared more about the pursuit of science than most anything else. Fortunately for her, she was naturally brilliant and the mutagen worked. She developed a small set of gills behind her ears over the next few weeks, but the transformation was not so pleasant.
Two days into the transformation, Genome noticed Mala struggling to breath in her scuba suit. When he took a closer look, he could see her ears were moving back and forth very slightly. He knew right away that gills were forming. Thanks only to his strong friendship with Mala, he did not report her to the Council. Besides, he could see that she was already paying the price for her impulsive decision. So, Genome looked after Mala as she went through the toughest parts of the changes.
When her gills were fully grown and working, Mala looked at all of her friends and coworkers for the first time without anything between them. She felt more free and more herself than ever before.
In 24BBY, Mala had been enjoying her free-feeling life for a couple years. After a long holoprojector transmission, Genome approached her with some difficult news. The Jedi Council was very pleased with her progress on Mon Calamari. Her technological advancements were aiding Jedi and the Galactic Republic all across the galaxy. However, in light of her success, the Council had given her a new task. She was directed to return to Coruscant and teach Younglings and to lead the Research and Development Division in the Jedi Temple. The Jedi whom she had studied under, Master Abar Kinoff, had fallen on the frigid world of Alzoc III. The Jedi Council could think of no one better to take his place than his brightest student, Mala.
Normally, this would be a wonderful opportunity for her, but Genome and Mala knew that she could never stay at the Temple. If the Council had discovered her gills, they would expel her from the Jedi Order despite the success of the mutagen that she developed. So, Mala had to make a very difficult decision. After what seemed like forever and a day of meditation, she arrived on only one course of action. Mala Dalia announced to the Jedi Order via holoprojection that she rejected their orders on the grounds of her own path. She told them that she felt the need to go on sabbatical to determine where her place was in the galaxy. The Jedi Council respected this decision.
When a Jedi leaves the Jedi Order to go on a 'soul searching' mission, the usual result is that Jedi dropping off of the radar for a while. Knowing that Mala would have to lie low, she knew that she could not stay on Mon Calamari. So, she chose to follow the same path that she told the Order she would take. As a fully trained Jedi Master, Mala was finally ready to head back to Ryloth. She traveled at all times under a hooded cloak to avoid any suspicion about her ear-gills. When she arrived at what once was her home, she finally tried for the first time to commune with her family. She fell into deep meditation and searched the Force for the essence of her long lost parents and little sister.
Hours went by and she struggled to connect with Airoh or Ivy. Her sister, Alaira, was a different story. Mala was focused so deeply into her meditation that she was truly searching through the Netherworld of the Force. While she had difficulty connecting with her adoptive parents, she could feel her sister's presence as if her mind was sharing feelings with Alaira. Confusion set in very quickly when Alaira's feelings were not at all feeling like the Alaira that she knew. First conflict, the presence that she was connecting with felt like the presence of a young adult, not a three year old.
After struggling with the intensity of this connection, Mala assumed that she was trying too hard and that she should meditate later when her mind was more one with the Force. However, she quickly felt alarmed when she broke off her connection with the Netherworld of the Force. The faint connection to her parents was gone, but the presence that so strongly attached to her was still growing stronger. She remained still and tried to calm her mind, but her feelings of alarm were soon justified by the sounds of footsteps.
She stood up, threw her cloak to the ground, ignited her lightsaber and turned in the direction of the sounds. She called out into the Nightlands demanding the stranger to show himself. There was no reply. The footsteps sounded closer and closer. Mala began to faintly hear the humming of a lightsaber. She called out again as a warning that she was a Jedi and that she would defend herself as necessary. In the absence of a reply aside from ever-louder footsteps, she demanded to the stranger to leave. Only then, did she hear a voice.
A voice spoke soft and firm from behind some boulders demanding for Mala to identify herself. Mala was surprised at the sound of the voice. She expected to hear the voice of some thug who may have stolen a lightsaber, but instead she heard the voice of a female young adult. Mala assumed that there may just be a misunderstanding, but remained cautious and waited for the stranger to make the next move.
After a moment of silent tension, a white Twi’lek emerged from the shadows. Mala was shocked to see the unbelievable. Without even a hint of doubt, this stranger was her younger sister, Alaira, if only she had survived the cave-in. Mala asked with nervousness and yet excitement who she was. When the stranger identified herself as Alaira Dalia, Mala was ecstatic to see her little sister alive and well. She rushed over to embrace Alaira, but Alaira resisted her and denied knowing who she was.
Mala explained as much as she could about Airoh and Ivy, but Alaira seemed to have no memory of her life before being in the Jedi Order. Mala severely wanted to embrace her sister and feel the joy of knowing that she was alive, but the reunion was bittersweet. Alaira admitted the possibility that what Mala was saying was true, but did not accept what sounded like fiction. Alaira did not believe that the Jedi Order would have kept them separated all of these years. Mala began feeling rage building up inside her. Just seeing Alaira alive meant that the Jedi Order had been lying to her for her entire time there.
Alaira left confused and a bit rattled after requesting to never see Mala again. She believed that, if what Mala was saying was true, that the Jedi Council must have had very good reasons to keep them apart all of those years. Mala was heartbroken at this. Her loyalty to the Jedi Order told her to respect Alaira’s request while her love for her sister, the only surviving member of her family, spoke directly against such loyalty.
When Alaira was gone, Mala felt such a battle occurring within her soul that she could not possibly choose any course of action. So, she tried to meditate again. After hours that felt like years, she decided that she could not deny that her sister was alive. So, she used being on sabbatical from the Jedi Order to shadow Alaira as a distant guardian.
The Clone Wars
Shadowing Alaira was a short-lived life when the eruption of the Clone Wars threw the galaxy into chaos. The Jedi Order was tasked with leading the newly appointed Grand Army of the Republic and called all Jedi who were able back in to Coruscant for reassignment, including Mala. While she wanted to stay where she was and watch over her sister as a silent protector, she understood the weight of the situation and left for Coruscant.
Mala was given the rank of General and tasked to command a legion of Clone Troopers. While she was ready for the responsibility, she was reluctant to take it. Mala was terrified that her troops would discover her ear-gills and that word would get back to the Jedi Order. To her relief, Jedi Generals and Commanders were issued customized armor. Most Jedi simply war the forearm and gloves, but Mala opted to wear a majority of the armor (most specifically a helmet). She took the modified Clone helmet and tried it on, but did not enjoy the feeling of
having her head encased just like it was early on at Mon Calamari. So, she customized it further to cover only the top of her head and eyes… and ears.
With the need to lead an army in battle, Mala called upon all that she knew which was all that Master Genome taught her. With all of her battle strategies based on aquatic strategies, her legion of Clone Troopers quickly earned the name "Sharks." When the name stuck, the Clones took the name to heart and adopted a mentality in battle similar to 'sharks on the hunt.' Clones that entered the legion without already having a name instead of a number also typically chose names that fit the persona. The most notable clone in the legion was its commander and General Dalia's 1st in command, Commander Mako.
The Sharks quickly earned a reputation of being the first into battle and the last out. Every time they found droids to sink their teeth into, they were ready for the long haul. Needless to say with General Mala Dalia's combat experience and strategy, the Sharks were frequently tasked to aquatic worlds or other hot spots that involved underwater combat. They aided the Gungans in fighting off CIS invasion forces on several occasions.
Notable Clone War Battles that General Mala Dalia led The Sharks in:
- Space Battle over Saleucami
- 2nd Battle of Geonosis
- Battle of Iceberg III
- Space Battle with the Malevolence near Naboo
The Sharks fought with no hesitation and no thoughts of surrender or retreat. While most of the invasion fleet was destroyed, all of Mala's fleet had suffered catastrophic damage. She managed to get into an escape pod before The Iridescence was destroyed, but barely. Her last sight was the Republic attack cruiser fighting valiantly against General Grievous' flagship with Commander Mako at the bridge buying time for her escape. The blast from the ship's destruction knocked her escape pod around leaving her unconscious.
Her next sight was an approaching Pelta class Republic frigate taking her pod onboard. The ship was 1 of 3 on an urgent humanitarian mission from Toydaria to Ryloth. Jedi General Mala Dalia had hoped that her pod was one of many, but the Clones onboard reported that she was the only found survivor. Due to the sensitive nature of the mission, the ship had to maintain communication silence and Mala was unable to contact the Jedi Temple to let them know that she was alive.
When the ships approached Ryloth, they encountered incredible Separatist resistance. A blockade was forming around the planet and Jedi General Ima-Gun Di's forces were nearly wiped out. The ship that Mala was on received heavy anti-air fire as soon as they were nearing the drop zone for medical supplies. The ship was going down and Mala had only one choice. She got back into her escape pod from The Iridescence and was dropped with the medical supplies to the planet.
Before her pod crashed into the ground, Mala used the Force to slow the pod's descent enough to make a rough landing. The pod was beyond repair, but she was more or less unharmed. She emerged from it to the sense of Master Di slipping away into the Netherworld of the Force. She had hoped to reach him and contact the Republic to let the Jedi Council know that she was alive. With the area overrun with Separatist droids, there was no hope for establishing communication via the Republic outpost.
Not sure where to go from the pod, Mala quieted her mind to listen to the will of the Force. The last thing that she was expecting to sense was the presence of two more Force wielders. It didn't take more than a second for Mala to realize that one of them was her little sister, Alaira Dalia. Even though she needed to get back to Coruscant and debrief the Jedi Council, she used her status as M.I.A. to take some time and find Alaira.
Mala searched for her sister for several days. The Republic was attacking the Separatist blockade over Ryloth by the time Mala found her. When she found Alaira, she also found the other Force Wielder, a man who she seemed to be deeply in love with. Mala didn't recognize the man, but she knew that he was very powerful in the ways of the Force. So, she kept her distance even more so than when she shadowed Alaira before the Clone Wars. The last thing that she wanted to do was get into a fight with the man that Alaira loved.
Alaira and her companion were settling in a small village that was recently invaded by the Separatists. All of the Twi'leks were driven from their homes which left Alaira and Avarice with a lot of solitude and privacy. Mala was pleased to see her sister alive and happy. She had been reported M.I.A. and presumed dead 2 years ago when she was ordered to investigate a sighting of a Sith, Avarice Knightfall. On closer look, Mala was astonished to realize that the man that Alaira appeared to love was the Sith. Furthermore, Alaira appeared to be pregnant.
Mala was stunned at such a realization. Knowing that Alaira was a Jedi, she knew that Alaira must have left the Jedi Order for the same man that she was ordered to search for and arrest. After watching over them for a little while, she began to realize that Avarice was not a Sith, but more of a Grey Rogue Jedi. After getting over some shock, she began to feel happy for her sister. She decided to stay in the outskirts of the village and wait out the battles. She would contact the Republic when they had retaken the planet.
On the final day of the Battle of Ryloth, Jedi Generals Mace Windu and Obi-Wan Kenobi were closing in on the capital, Lessu. Mala could sense a victory growing near. So, she headed towards her sister to see her, from a distance, one last time before heading back to the Republic. Just as soon as Mala was in sight of the building that Alaira and Avarice were staying in, Separatist Hyena Bombers raced overhead with Jedi Starfighters right behind them in pursuit. The bombers dropped several explosives over the city and a few crashed into buildings after being shot down. Mala raced for cover in a doorway and used the Force to keep debris and shrapnel from hitting her.
The percussive impact of the explosions left her dazed and confused. When she finally got her bearings, she quickly rushed over to Alaira's home, but she was too late. Through the dust and dirt-filled air, she could see Avarice holding Alaira's body and sobbing. Everything she saw told her that her sister had been killed, but she could still sense a presence from Alaira, but it wasn't the same. Mala had such a strong connection to her sister that she assumed that she was sensing Alaira's spirit entering the Netherworld of the Force.
When Avarice left, Mala approached to say goodbye to her fallen little sister. She grew more puzzled as she approached. She sensed something strange about Alaira. Mala sensed a presence and it got stronger as she drew closer. In a panicked moment of realization, Mala rushed over to her little sister and placed her hands on Alaira's stomach. The baby that she was carrying was still alive! Mala was not a medic, but she was a scientist. Using what knowledge she had, she delivered the premature child. It was a girl.
The young infant looked human, but had the pale white skin and sapphire blue eyes of her mother. Avarice was long gone and Mala could sense no one else around. The only chance that the child had at survival was with Mala. So, she took the child into her arms and, in that moment, left the Jedi Order, the Clone Wars, and the Republic behind. As she walked towards the nearest populated town, Mala named the child Isis Knightfall.
Rise of the Empire
When Mala left the Jedi Order, she was confident that the Republic would win the Clone War. To her surprise, An Emperor rose to power under the heavy shroud of the Dark side. She and baby Isis both felt the traumatic tremor in the Force when Order 66 was issued. She began to wonder if, given the circumstances, would Commander Mako have turned on her? A frightening thought, she chose to focus on a very real danger. A Sith had taken over the galaxy and his will was being enforced by the very soldiers who defended the Republic.
Turbulent times lied ahead and she realized that moving from place to place was no longer the safest course. So, she headed for a planet that she was sure the Empire would not reach: Zonama Sekot, the “Rogue Planet.” A living planet that travelled independent from any measurable orbit, it was thought to be impossible to find after it left its original orbit (intentionally) in 29 BBY.
For the first time since Order 66, the mass-genocide of the Jedi came to be of positive use. The Force was still out of balance, but it was far calmer and its will was far more pronounced. In a small freighter that Mala purchased with the remains of her savings, she took little Isis aboard and headed for empty space. There, she connected with the Force and reached across the galaxy. Her mind connected with trillions of individuals on so many worlds. After nearly a full day of constant meditation, she finally detected the presence of Sekot, the living intelligence of the planet, Zonama. Sekot was reluctant to allow Mala any information, but once learning that Mala was simply in search of a sanctuary, Sekot allowed Mala the knowledge of its location beyond the Outer Rim.
In order to find Zonama Sekot, Mala had to reach out through so many minds that she unintentionally connected with a mind that could connect back, the Emperor. Alerted to not only the presence of Mala, but her location and her accompanying Force-sensitive child, Emperor Palpatine immediately sent the nearest fleet to apprehend the Jedi fugitive. He not only wanted to eradicate the remaining Jedi, but he also knew that she had discovered the location of the lost planet. Her capture was of severe importance and it was that importance that made the Imperial Fleet relentless in the pursuit.
They caught up to Mala’s ship at an orbital fueling station and immediately opened fire on it. The explosion damaged Mala’s ship extensively and she was helpless in falling into Imperial custody. Stormtroopers boarded her ship and pulled Isis away from her. She was then handcuffed and taken to a holding cell aboard the Imperial Star Destroyer. To her advantage, the Imperial officers were not informed that she was a Force wielder. When she recovered her strength, she broke free of her cell and made a daring escape. After finding Isis, she fled to the nearest hangar bay and commandeered an Imperial shuttle. With a full tank of fuel and her captors ignorant to the knowledge of her destination, she jumped into hyperspace to Zonama Sekot.
The Lost Planet
Zonama Sekot was a wondrous place. Sparsely populated, Mala and Isis were able to find a home in complete solitude underneath the impenetrable silvery clouds of the Southern hemisphere. The tropical jungles provided all that they needed for food and supplies. Out there at the edge of the galaxy, the world passed by. The Rebel Alliance was formed and the Empire was threatened, but Zonama Sekot was free of the troubles of the galaxy and Mala and Isis lived in peace.
Isis Knightfall grew up in the tranquil environment under the teachings of her aunt, Mala Dalia. Like her parents, she was strong in the ways of the Force. Mala took on the difficult task of raising her while also training her. While Mala enjoyed the solitude that Zonama Sekot offered, Isis grew to despise it. Arriving when she was only an infant, Mala was the only other person that she ever knew and she craved to meet new people.
As she developed into her late teenage years, she began her rebellious stage of development. This was far more dangerous than normal for Isis because to rebel from her guardian she was also rebelling from her Jedi mentor. As she grew, she became more and more stubborn and obsessed over her father. Isis accused Mala of stealing her away from the galaxy to a place where her father would never find her. She also wanted to find her father and make him pay for abandoning her in the first place. She figured, if Mala could sense her inside Alaira’s body, he should have too.
Isis slipped very close to the Darkside of the Force, but Mala was able to reason with her enough to keep her ever so slightly in the Light. In 1 ABY, Isis was 22 years old. She felt that she had completely outgrown her aunt and mentor and that it was time to leave Zonama Sekot. While she was single-minded in hunting down her father, Avarice Knightfall, if he was still alive, she was still grateful for all that Mala had done for her. So, together, they left the lost planet and re-entered the known galaxy.
Finding A New Path
As soon as she was able, Isis set out on her own in search of her father. Growing out of her rebellious stage, she was closer to Mala than ever. However, they both knew that the will of the Force had different paths for both of them. So, with tears and smiles, they went their separate ways. Mala had the whole galaxy ahead of her and wasn’t sure where to go for the first time since she met Isis back in 21 BBY.
It did not take long for her to learn of the Alliance to Restore the Republic (Rebel Alliance) and its war against the Galactic Empire. Mala felt that she had been out of the action for long enough. With the knowledge and skills of a Jedi Master and the toughness of a single mother, she chose to join the Alliance and see if she could help return the rule of the Republic and help bring balance to the Force. The only problem was, she had to find the Rebels first.
Staying under the ‘Imperial radar’ and making a living was no easy task in this age of the galaxy, but she managed to make ends meet as a messenger and smuggler. While she was surrounding herself with a mess of undesirables, she was also drawing herself ever-closer to Rebel Operatives. Her search ended up being quite futile when a notable Rebel ended up finding her instead. A Mon Calamari by the name of Gial Ackbar was travelling from world to world making small ‘hit and run’ missions and gathering a raggedy band of recruits for the Alliance Navy.
When Ackbar entered a local cantina on Correllia, with a few Rebel troops at his side, he unintentionally walked into a cantina that was hosting an Imperial recruitment meeting. While he was heavily outgunned, Ackbar and his men lit up their blasters anyways and tried to fight their way out. Surrounded on all sides, they had moments left before capture and/or execution. When hope was diminishing, an unassuming cantina customer ignited a teal lightsaber and demolished her way through the Imperial recruits. Mala knew that she had found the Rebels at last and had just earned her stripes for saving them, but she had no idea that she just saved the acclaimed “Father of the Alliance Navy.”Gial Ackbar was very impressed with her abilities and grateful for her impeccable timing in saving him and his men. After a short conversation, he welcomed her into the Alliance and granted her the rank of Captain. Learning that Dac (Mon Calamari planet) was no longer under Imperial control and was currently manufacturing ships for the Alliance, Mala went straight there. She missed her aquatic home and craved the sensation of being free under the water and breathing it in.
Once there, she met some of the Mon Cala who were in charge of the Alliance ship constructions. It turned out that Mala was remembered in Mon Calamari history and held status as friend and ally to the Mon Calamari people. Stationed in Mon Calamari for the time being, the Mon Cala agreed to make her the captain of their next Nebulan-B Frigate and name it the Mantaglider after her old friend who fell during Order 66.
Years To Come
History tells of Captain Dalia and her admirable service in the Alliance to Restore the Republic. She commanded the Mantaglider as her own strength to persevere and as her hope for peace. The Mantaglider was involved in several key battles under her command and that of Admiral Ackbar’s including the Battle of Endor where she witnessed the fall of the Emperor who destroyed the life that she once knew so long ago.
The Mantaglider was decommissioned in 16 ABY as one of the longest lasting ships to have been in the Alliance Navy and as one of the few to not be destroyed. Mala retired from the life of battle and conflicts both galactic and interpersonal during the same year.
Her life then continued outside of history. She lived out her remaining years peacefully on Mon Calamari. Mala Dalia lived until she reached the age of 100 years at which point she passed peacefully into the Netherworld of the Force to reunite with her adoptive parents, Airoh and Ivy Dalia along with her sister, Alaira.
Personality and TraitsMala is a very level-headed individual. Always seeking compromise and negotiation over conflict, she manages to stay neutral in most conflicts that arise around her. Her aversion to conflict aside, Mala is also very assertive and will act swiftly and harshly when she is drawn into a battle. Her battle tactics embody the "one hit - one kill" method. Unlike her sister who enjoys the thrill of the battle, Mala acts with all of her energy to end each battle as quickly as possible.
Some people have a mind that just seems to be wired for certain arenas such as war, diplomacy, strategy, etc.. Mala's mind is wired for academia. She is incredibly intelligent and can overcome nearly any challenge that science can present her with. Because of this, she is very organized and methodical. All of her actions are thought through thoroughly before execution and she is very adept at archiving and catalogging new information.
Powers and Abilities
Since Mala's combat training came rather late in life for a Jedi, her development was more intellectual. Because of this, her natural talents were the Jedi Mind Trick and Force Rage. She could manipulate even what other Jedi would consider 'strong minds' without too much effort. Even though she was able to use it so easily, Mala rarely used the Jedi Mind Trick because she thought it was unethical. Force Rage was her only talent that came in handy during combat. As a Pantoran under water, she was not able to move around as quickly and easily as her opponents and needed to learn quick-strike methods to win. Using Force Rage, she quickly could disable, or dismantle most foes.
Since her hobby was to create new lightsabers, Mala mastered many different forms of lightsaber dueling. Her preference was to use a single lightsaber because it offered the largest range of movement, but she would carry multiple lightsabers with her so that she could adapt to any situation.
Behind the Scenes
While the relationship between Mala and Alaira is very strained in the story, the sisters who portray them in CWA actually get along quite well in real life and enjoy playing co-operative games with each other.