Corwin Shelvay was a Human Jedi Knight right at the time the Emperor Palpatine began the Jedi Purge, hunting down the Jedi Knights and exterminating them from the galaxy. Corwin was the apprentice of the Sullustan Jedi, Darrin Arkanian. Arkanian had previously been scourging the galaxy, attempting to unite the fragmented Jedi Order to form some sort of resistance against the Emperor. However, the Jedi's fire was dying from the galaxy and Darrin felt things would go better to train an apprentice to become a Jedi Knight.
That apprentice was Corwin Shelvay. However, Darrin was concerned over Corwin's quick temperedness and insistence that they take the fight to the Empire. As was such, Arkanian often told Shelvay to learn to control his emotions. Nonetheless, Darrin was pleased with Corwin's advancement in the ways of the Force and together, the two roamed the Outer Rim, searching for Jedi to join them so that they might rebuild the Jedi Order and bring down the Emperor. Soon however, the Jedi became wanted by the Empire and Imperial forces managed to capture Corwin. Corwin was subjected to Imperial interrogation techniques, but did not reveal the location of his master.
Eventually, Corwin was turned over to High Inquisitor Tremayne, one of the Emperor's Dark Side minions. For two weeks, Corwin underwent torture by the High Inquisitor in an attempt to get Darrin Arkanian's location from him. But Corwin was stronger than anyone might have suspected, including himself, and was able to survive the cruelty delivered by Tremayne. Corwin was able to hold out long enough for his master to infiltrate Coruscant on a rescue mission. However, as they were fleeing, Arkanian faced off with Tremayne in a fierce lightsaber battle. However, during the battle, Darrin was severely injured and Corwin was forced to jump in and save his master.