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Son of a Federation Councillor, Kran Belar and a botanist, Tel Varia.
Belar served for many years at the capital of the UFP but after several disagreements with Federation policy regarding the handling of the Cardassian occupation of Bajor, the alliance with the Klingon Empire, and the entrance of several worlds into the Federation, he resigned his title and returned home. While on Andor, Belar began to discover the less political aspects of life, settled down, and married a young botanist named Tel Varia and had two children.
Mal greatly underachieved his freshman and sophomore years at the Academy and was at one point in danger of failing out. He spent way too much time playing ice hockey and did not focus on his studies. It was not until his junior year that Mal began to concentrate on his studies. He began to love piloting starships as well as smaller vessels. This love of flight reinvigorated an old interest in learning and his grades soon showed this. Avatar continued to play hockey leading Star Fleet Academy to its first FCAA championship in 80 years.