Spotlight of the Week //
Twi'leks are tall, thin humanoids with skin pigment that spans a rainbow of colors. Their most distinctive feature is a pair of shapely prehensile tentacles that grow from the base of their skulls. Few things are as graceful as a female Twi'lek in motion. This beautiful image has forever doomed generations of young Twi'leks into servitude, as the wealthy and corrupt have taken to brandishing Twi'leks as badges of prestige. In the waning years of the Republic, the Twi'lek homeworld of Ryloth was represented in the Galactic Senate by the corpulent blue-skinned politician Orn Free Taa. Even a politician of high office was not above flaunting a pair of lovely Twi'lek aides as a sign of influence and wealth.
Those attempting to do business with Jabba the Hutt first needed to maneuver past his pasty-faced major-domo, the Twi'lek Bib Fortuna. The darkly robed attendant often hovered near Jabba's ear, offering advice and feeding information. Fortuna followed the rules of protocol in the Hutt's court (such as they were), and spoke only in Huttese, though he understood other tongues. Fortuna's affiliation with Jabba stretched over decades.
Ryloth is the principal planet in the Ryloth system located in the Outer Rim near Tatooine. It is home to the Twi'leks, a humanoid species with two large, fleshy head-tails growing from their skulls. The Twi'leks call these prehensile appendages lekku and can communicate through subtle lekku gestures, although they also speak Twi'leki. During the Clone Wars, scheming Separatist warlords blockaded and invaded Ryloth, hoping to steal its riches.
The captain and heart of the Ghost crew, Hera Syndulla was a gifted pilot and leader. While Hera was a strong commander -- and especially adept at dogfighting with TIE fighters -- she was also warm and nurturing. The Twi’lek could bring out the best in her team, which consisted of very different personalities, making them believe in themselves, each other, and their struggle against the Empire.
With its sleek arrowhead shape, streamlined cockpit and massive twin engines, the A-wing starfighter suggests raw speed even when parked within Alliance hangar bays. Faster than even the TIE interceptor, the A-wing is well suited for lightning strikes. It sports a pair of pivoting laser cannons on each wingtip. The starfighters of Green Squadron, which flew in the Battle of Endor, were made up of A-wing starfighters.
The marriage of repulsorlift technology and heavy armor has resulted in formidable floating tanks known as AATs. These assault tanks form the frontline of Trade Federation armored infantry divisions, as well as Separatist forces during the Clone Wars. A crew of battle droids drives the battle tank and operates the array of laser and projectile weaponry carried by the vehicle.
With an athletic build, an exotic beauty, and blue skin, Aayla Secura stood out among the many faces of the Jedi ranks. A cunning warrior and Jedi Knight during the rise of the Clone Wars, Aayla fought alongside Clone Commander Bly on many exotic battlefields. Having mastered the emotional detachment necessary in the Jedi Order, she always tried to pass on what she had learned to others.
A remote world in the Outer Rim Territories, Abafar is scarcely populated. It is dominated by vast stretches of featureless desert under oppressive orange skies. The strange regolith that covers the surface twists light in such a way as to obscure shadows and leave no tracks. Particulates in the atmosphere cause the sunlight to diffuse into a uniform orange glow, so it is nearly impossible to tell direction or time of day. The huge stretches of featureless expanse are known as The Void. Pons Ora is one of the few settlements on Abafar, and it is the site of a Rhydonium mining installation operated by the Separatists during the Clone Wars.
A surprisingly agile fury of sharp claws and pointed fangs, the vicious acklay was one of the three arena creatures unleashed in the Geonosian execution arena, dispatched to kill Anakin Skywalker, Padme Amidala, and Obi-Wan Kenobi. The Geonosian picadors steered the acklay toward Obi-Wan, who was able to outmaneuver the beast. A clumsy yet powerful strike from one of its claws sheered the chains that bound Kenobi. The beast continued to pursue the Jedi Knight, rending large holes in the hard-packed sand with its vicious stabs. It even shrugged off a pike attack, chomping through the offending polearm with bestial rage.
Jedi Master Adi Gallia was a member of the Order's High Council during the Clone Wars. She and the other members of that ruling body would convene in a temple high above the Coruscant landscape, deciding important matters of the Jedi. Stern and focused, she would remark upon the more outrageous tactics carried out by Anakin Skywalker or Obi-Wan Kenobi in the course of the war, but would rarely condemn their effective actions. Though not as brash as Anakin, Adi Gallia was known to be an aggressive warrior who had no problem bringing the fight to the enemy.
A veteran commander, Ackbar led the defense of his oceanic home world, Mon Cala, during the Clone Wars, and the Rebel cruiser assault of the Battle of Endor during the war against the Empire. A Mon Calamari, Ackbar and his people manned the distinctive warships supplied to the Rebellion by that aquatic culture. Beyond the qualifications of his great skills and sterling character, Ackbar was a symbol to the rest of the galaxy that the Alliance is fighting for everyone, no matter what their background or origin. The Empire, in contrast, routinely subjugated non-humans.
With a stern face, steely glare and unmistakable command presence, Admiral Coburn served at the side of General Plo Koon during the Clone Wars. The taciturn fleet officer measured his words precisely, offering clear commands in a clipped accent. Coburn's rigid military discipline served him well in executing some of the more daring missions under Jedi leadership. He commanded a four-cruiser task force into the thick of a Separatist fleet cordon over Lola Sayu to facilitate the rescue of a strike team that invaded the Citadel installation. Coburn also led a Jedi light cruiser in extracting prisoners from the Zygerrian slave processing facility on Kadavo, steering the vessel dangerously close to the facility.
A by-the-manuals Republic officer, Admiral Kilian runs a tight ship. Nonetheless, a saboteur was able to slip into the clone cadet ranks during a training tour over Vanqor, and cripple the Jedi cruiser Endurance. Kilian, following naval tradition, refused to abandon ship. He became a hostage of notorious bounty hunters seeking revenge against the Jedi Order.
Admiral Motti was a young, ambitious Imperial officer who extolled the Death Star as the ultimate power in the universe, and burned to use the battle station against the Rebellion and any who dared to challenge Imperial power. An ally of Grand Moff Tarkin's, Motti loved technology above all else, particularly when it was used to create devastating superweapons. He died when the Death Star was destroyed.
Admiral Ozzel commanded the Super Star Destroyer Executor, Darth Vader's mighty flagship and the linchpin of the squadron searching the galaxy for the Alliance's secret base. Ozzel led the initial attack on Hoth, but his choice of tactics infuriated Vader, leading to a sudden and permanent demotion.
An ambitious Imperial officer, Piett rose through the ranks to captain and was assigned to the Super Star Destroyer Executor, Darth Vader's flagship. There, he chafed at having to serve under the foolish, vainglorious Admiral Ozzel. When Vader strangled Ozzel, Piett was granted a battlefield promotion to admiral -- and given a grisly warning of the penalty for failure. Miraculously, he survived his time as Vader's underling, but died when a Rebel starfighter destroyed the Executor's command bridge.