Joseph Korso's character is voiced by Bill Pullman.
Early Life Edit
Born and raised on Earth before 3028 (AE 0) Korso served in the military, as a sergeant of Earth's Defence Force. As an adult, he was stationed on the Eisenhower Carrier in orbit around Earth at the time of the first Drej encounter at Gianni Military Science Outpost.
Meeting Sam Tucker Edit
(This information is derived from the prequel novels)
Already having a reputation as a formidable military officer, Korso was handpicked by Colonel Nik Gregory alongside Captain Ruth Kimball on an assignment to collect Professor Sam Tucker from Kronos Outpost in the Andali system. No specific date is given for this event, but it occurs before the birth of Cale Tucker in 3023. It can be assumed that it occurred somewhere between 3020 and 3022.
While at the Jelhadrian Fuelling Station, Korso's group were attacked by Drej drones, with Col. Gregory perishing in the crossfire. At first, the station's locals assumed the humans had started the fight, until one of the Drej shot first on one of the alien natives, illustrating the Drej's indiscriminate contempt of matter-based lifeforms. Korso and Kimball eliminated the Drej drones, while the dying Gregory told them of the importance of rescuing Professor Tucker from Kronos, as the fate of humankind depended on it. Another local alien informed Kimball and Korso that the Drej drones were part of a larger group that had departed for the Andali system. The duo then quickly departed for Kronos and rescued the professor.
Upon rescuing Sam Tucker, Korso and his team crashed into the Drej Mothership, and came across Commander Bencal of D'Amara. Korso at first believed the D'Amarans were in allegiance with the Drej and tried to shoot the Commander. Sam Tucker then intervened, and the Commander explained to Korso that he had stowed aboard the Mothership while his homeworld was destroyed by the Drej. Korso and the team entered the Drej's throne room, which inadvertantly distracts two of the royal Drej, only to be killed by Droheh, the third Drej Queen. With the Drej now disoriented by the loss of two royals, Korso and his team, along with Commander Bencal escape from the Mothership. Knowing that their intervention had merely favoured the Drej by now having them united under one Queen, Korso sends a message to the Earth Defence to prepare themselves, and tells Sam "we've got our work cut out for us".
After Earth Edit
The next four years were spent developing the Titan Project while the Drej reoriented themselves under the new regime. Korso was stationed in Pierce, Colorado as part of the security detachment assigned to the Titan Project. During his stationing in Pierce, he became closely acquainted with Sam Tucker, now father to Cale, and came to consider him a close friend.
In 3028, the Drej finally made their appearance to Earth, stronger than before with the new ruling under Droheh, and broke through the Earth Defence. With the Earth now helpless, and the human population preparing for evacuation, Korso escorted Sam Tucker to the Titan, dropping his son Cale and Vusstran scientist Tek to an evacuation spacecraft. Korso then narrowly escaped the Earth in his own craft as the planet was destroyed by the Drej Mothership.
Korso spent several years trying to track down Sam Tucker, who had disappeared into deep space aboard the Titan the same day. Finally concluding that Tucker was most likely dead, he gave up the search for the Professor, and instead turned his efforts toward trying to find Cale, Tucker’s son, whom he presumed still had the map to the location of the Titan, given to him by his father the day Earth was destroyed. With the remnants of the human race scattered across the Spiral Arm, and the Earth Defence military now obliterated, Korso got a job as a cargo carrier and bought himself a new cargo ship, the Valkyrie. He briefly stopped over on the New Marrakech drifter colony, and met a young lady named Akima Kunimoto to deliver a message to her guardian Mohammed, before quickly departing to cash in on the recent spore season on Solbrecht.
Scouring the galaxy for clues to Cale’s whereabouts, he enlisted Akima's help to pilot the ship, as well as a male Akrennian named Preed as first mate; Stith, a female Sogowan Mantrin as weapons’ specialist; and Gune, a male Grepoan as navigator, to comprise the crew of the Valkyrie on the mission to find Cale and locate the Titan. Eventually making contact with Tek, who had had taken custody of Cale after Sam disappeared, Korso found the two now living aboard space salvage station Tau-14.
Korso found Cale, now a jaded and cynical young man, in the middle of a fight between two brutish aliens on Tau-14. Helping Cale by subduing the aliens and introducing himself as a friend of Sam's, their greeting was cut short when a group Drej drones entered Tau-14's mess hall and began a shootout. Korso quickly managed to convince Cale's importance to finding the Titan, and escaped the salvage station with him in a small transport craft. However, after breaking out of the salvage station, the craft's windows began to crack. Korso took the craft's fire extinguisher and used it to propel the two towards the cargo hold of the Valkyrie as the craft's windows broke open.
Searching for the Titan Edit
Korso then led his new crew to find the Titan, stopping at Sesharrim, a distant planet in the Spiral Arm which was also a checkpoint on Cale's map. They were encountered by the Gaoul, a bat-like species who had previously allied with Sam Tucker during his development of the Titan Project. Due to the Gaoul's lack of communication skills, at first Korso assumed the bat-like species that greeted before them had killed off the Gaoul and was about to open fire on them. Akima intervened, suggesting maybe they were indeed the peoples they were looking for. After watching Cale's conversation with the Gaoul, he noticed a group of Drej stingers entering the atmosphere. Assisted by the Gaoul, Korso and his group tried to return to the ship, only to have Cale and Akima abducted along the way. Korso begged Stith not to fire upon the Drej stingers, as they contained their crewmates.
Korso tracked Akima's beacon to the trade ship Soros, where he, under the disguise an old slave owned by Preed, tried to break Akima free from the traders. However, his ruse is uncovered by a wise guard. The trio then knock out the guard and make their way to Akima's cell, to find she had broken free and taken out all of the prying traders herself. (in a deleted scene) After Stith blasts the forcefield lock to Akima's cell, Akima informs Korso that the Drej are still holding Cale, prompting Korso to immediately plan a rescue mission. Once Akima successfully blasts the generator controlling the forcefield locks to all the cells on the Soros, the slaves escape their cells, overpower their captors (including the guard Korso met earlier just as he's beginning to recover from the previous encounter), and begin wrecking the Soros from inside out, allowing Korso and the others to make a quick getaway. Back at the Valkyrie, Korso continued his search for Cale, only to find him returning to the ship in a hijacked Drej Stinger.
Korso then called Cale up to the command deck of the ship, and allowed him to take the Valkyrie for a short joyride across the gas rings of a neighbouring planet, after an encounter with a group of Wake Angels. Korso then began to reminisce of his friendship with Sam Tucker with Cale.
At some unmentioned point between Earth's destruction and the tracking down of Cale Tucker, Joseph Korso encountered the Drej and bargained with them the handing over of the Titan for financial gain. While there are no narratives to explain why he would betray the human race, it is possible that Korso was probably once captured by the Drej while looking for Sam Tucker and was freed on the guarantee he handed them the Titan. This may explain the conflicted interests of his character - from Korso's friendly approach to Cale and seemingly genuine interest in helping the human race, to his sudden betrayal, and willing repentance in the end. When he confided to Preed of his plan is also never explained.
While docked at New Bangkok, Korso contacted the Drej Queen berating her on the Drej's intervention on Sesharrim, as it wasn't part of the deal he'd struck with her. His conversation was overheard by Cale and Akima. Korso admits his true plan to Cale, believing that as a drifter in space it's better to take what you can than saving your own kind. After a brief fight, Korso and Preed then tried to kill Cale and Akima, who narrowly escape the Valkyrie. As the two escaped wounding Akima in the arm with his raygun.
Knowing of the Titan's hidden location from Cale's encounter with the Gaoul, Korso leaves New Bangkok for the Andali Nebula with the remainder of his crew. However, he is beaten by Cale and Akima in their makeshift craft Phoenix. He docks the Valkyrie with the Titan itself and goes inside with Preed, finding Cale and Akima. While threatening the two at gunpoint, he discovers that Preed has betrayed him, Cale and Akima for his own ends. A quick gunfight ensues, which ends up with Korso behind Preed. Korso then pounces on Preed from behind, and kills him by snapping his neck.
Korso approaches Cale asking him for his Titan ring, but Cale refuses. Tackling Cale, Korso inadvertently flips off the side of the Titan's control deck, dangling off the side of a broken maintenance scaffold. To his surprise, he finds Cale grabbing onto his arm trying to pull him back up. Conflicted between his two allegiances, Korso tells Cale that he wouldn't blame him if he let him go to die. However, Korso's hand slips from Cale's, and he falls, catching a piece of rope on the way down.
Remorseful of his betrayal, Korso climbs back up to the top deck of the Titan, following Cale. He sees Cale in his spacesuit en route to fix the Titan's broken circuit breaker, and catches him as he's pinned to a wall by a fallen Drej Stinger ship. Korso admits to Cale of his sudden repentance, and blasts Cale free from the pinned ship. He then follows Cale to the Titan's circuit breaker maintenance hatch, and insists for him to leave. After a brief argument, Cale agrees to Korso's request. After the Titan is shaken up by a blast from the Drej outside, Korso suddenly finds himself struck with in the side, blood seeping out of a leak in his spacesuit. Mortally wounded, Korso then stands on top of the malfunctioning circuit breaker, using himself as a conductor between the two switches. Sacrificing himself, Korso allows the circuit breaker to begin the Titan's terraforming process, while draining the energy composition of the Drej Mothership.
Personality and Skills Edit
Joseph Korso's character is one of the more complex in the Titan AE story, as his allegiance is skewed. Despite his initial friendship to Sam Tucker and loyalty to the cause of the Titan Project, he eventually turns to the Drej's side, probably for his own survival ends, before turning back before his death.
Korso is jovial yet assertive, though is shown to be aggressive and short-tempered at times. His military training has helped him sustain a leadership role. He is skilled at piloting spacecraft, fighting, and handling weapons. Korso also has a sense of swaggerish humour; though taken aback by Cale's sarcastic ingratitude after saving him from bullies Po and Firrikash Korso was not above untying the bullies and leaving Cale to continue fending them off himself.
Titan AE - Sam's Story
Titan AE - Akima's Story