Karen Wood is the former commander of the Imladris and the current officer-in-charge of Wayfarer station. She is the commanding officer of Aurora Force Fleet Command.
Karen Wood is one of those officers that could be called a “generational,” born on Commenor approximately eighteen years before the Battle of Yavin to an officer in Commenor’s defense fleet, Andrew Wood, and a systems engineer for the Fondor Yards, Samantha Tarleson. She grew up on Commenor, largely unaffected by the war until after the Battle of Derra IV. Her family, though sympathetic to the Rebel cause, was uninvolved in the conflict until the Commenorian ship of the line that Karen was serving aboard came into conflict with a damaged Imperial vessel whose captain sought to seize the undamaged Commenorian craft. Karen, then a young lieutenant, and her captain deftly outmaneuvered the Imperial captain at the cost of prices on their heads and Imperial warrents for their arrest.
Now in her 40s, Karen Wood does not look much different than she did when she was in her early 30s; her hair is still dark with little gray, though there are more lines around her eyes these days. She is a tall woman, standing 5’9″, of lean build. She is quite physically fit and runs every day.
After her unfortunate encounter with a vindictive Imperial captain, Karen’s choices became limited. Within six months, she made good her quiet escape from Commenor with the blessings of her commanders and family, joining the still-reeling Rebellion. She was assigned as a navigator to one of the new ships provided by the Mon Calamari to the Rebellion and mastered the unfamiliar systems easily. Perhaps fortunately for her, this mastery led her to become a chief training officer for new recruits transitioning from Imperial systems to the Mon Cal systems. She served as a ship’s navigator for several warships, seeing combat at Endor and Bakura, as well as other, less famous engagements.
Two years after Endor, Karen was serving as XO and nightside watch commander aboard a light cruiser patrolling the trade lanes frequented by New Republic shipping. Her ship, the Immersea, stumbled onto an Imperial attack against a convoy carrying trade goods and escorting a ship boardcasting a diplomatic IFF. Under her direction, the Immersea ran off the Imperial force. As a result, then-Lieutenant Commander Wood won a promotion to the rank of Commander and was reassigned to a newly vacant post–the captaincy of the MC-80 Imladris, at the time operating in the Minos Cluster. It was a post she would hold for some fifteen years.
As the commanding officer of the Imladris, Karen Wood rose to the rank of admiral, though the road that led her there was hardly an easy one. Her ship often played the decoy for the Aurora Force, especially early on, and rarely came out of conflict unscathed, despite the best efforts of captain and crew. As time wore on, the situation improved markedly; however, the Imladris was always secondary to the fleet flagship, the ISD-II Dashan, commanded by James Henderson. Karen, however, was recognized for her talents and was the longtime XO of the AFFC before her eventual promotion to the CO’s chair upon the retirement of General Garan-Dur from active service to the New Republic. Her seat of command eventually shifted to Wayfarer station after an accident aboard the Imladrismade it clear that if she was to command the ships of the line of the Kartuiin Sector, she’d best do it from a more stationary platform.
Karen married fellow officer and ship’s captain Jeff Sparks after the fall of Coruscant.