- "I am the last of our people. I broadcast this warning in the hope that it will reach somebody. Anybody. The Yuuzhan Vong are coming."
Arbeloa, also referred to as Arb, was a male member and sole survivor of the Cilare, a species of warriors whom the extra-galactic Yuuzhan Vong exterminated around 25 ABY at the start of the Yuuzhan Vong War. He was able to transmit a message warning others of the threat of the invaders before being taken captive. His transmission was intercepted by the crew of the Pythea, an exploratory ship that was traveling along the edge of the galaxy, to whom he relayed his story. However, the crew of the ship was killed during an encounter with Yuuzhan Vong vessels before they could warn Artorias, a peaceful planet located in the Outer Rim Territories that the Yuuzhan Vong later captured. Arbeloa went on to join forces with the Artorian princess, Kaye Galfridian, and other slaves in a revolt on the Tsam P'ah, the slaveship aboard which they were being help captive. He then accompanied the Galfridians aboard the former Yuuzhan Vong ship, now renamed the Heart of Artorias, in their quest to rescue the refugees from Artorias. During his travels on the Heart of Artorias, he participated in battles on Dibrook and Shramar.
- "We were warriors… we were brutal, we were ruthless. Our children were taught to fight from the moment they could stand."
Arbeloa was a male warrior who lived on Vonak, a primitive feudal world in isolation to the rest of the galaxy. His warlike people, the Cilare, valued martial skills from infancy, and their scientists disdained medicines in favor of war matériel. His people regularly hunted and subdued various fierce animal species. Consequently, they believed themselves to be strong and impregnable to any threat. They possessed primitive semi-industrial technology including tanks.
Early in the Yuuzhan Vong War, a potent invasion force from the extra-galactic Yuuzhan Vong species, who were attempting to conquer the galaxy, landed on the Cilare homeworld and waged war on the warrior species. Despite their valor and arsenal, the Cilare were easily wiped out by the onslaught of Fire Breathers. These deadly war beasts had flexible proboscises that spewed streams of gelatinous flame and pores that exhaled anti-laser aerosols. The Cilare were quickly exterminated as the Yuuzhan Vong pacified their homeworld.
Though he was the last of his species and near capture, Arbeloa was still able to transmit a signal into space—a warning to anyone who would listen. He urged recipients of the message to flee from the oncoming Yuuzhan Vong invasion force while they still could, as attempting to fight the species was futile. This message was eventually picked up by the two-person crew of the exploratory ship Pythea—the Chiss Panha and her Wookiee companion Sarkkin. The two spacers watched in horror as the warrior related the nature and culture of his species before warning them of the depredations of the Yuuzhan Vong.
Given that Panha's species, the Chiss, had fought the Yuuzhan Vong before, she understood the nature of their threat to the galaxy. Picking up the presence of a Yuuzhan Vong fleet close by in hyperspace, they powered up the Pythea and fled toward the nearest world, Artorias, in an attempt to warn the Artorians. The crew of the Pythea made contact with the planet Artorias, but they were intercepted and attacked by the Yuuzhan Vong fleet. Before their destruction, the crew of the Pythea passed Arbeloa's warning to Dulac, an inhabitant of Artorias. However, Dulac was a Yuuzhan Vong infiltrator and did not warn the populace. The Yuuzhan Vong captured Artorias shortly thereafter.
- "I promised this man your head. It's lucky you like pain. Because this is going to hurt."
- ―Kaye Galfridian, advertising Arbeloa's brutality to his victim, Commander Sha'kel
Arbeloa was taken captive aboard a Yuuzhan Vong slaveship, the Tsam P'ah, and was bound to a wall. There he met the Artorian princess, Kaye Galfridian, who had been captured by the Yuuzhan Vong alongside other Artorians, including her mother, Queen Nina Galfridian. Arbeloa observed the princess standing up to several Yuuzhan Vong warriors and volunteering to serve Commander Sha'kel.
Kaye pretended to be subservient to Sha'kel to learn more about her captors; Arbeloa caught onto her plan and concluded she was a formidable warrior herself. He pledged to the princess that if she freed him from his restraints, he would fight for her. He also vowed to take the commander's head.
After returning from being with the commander, Kaye revealed to Arbeloas that Sha'kel would be sending more of the ship's guards to Artorias and decided that the opportunity to revolt was nearing. Arbeloa responded that he had almost worked his way free from his restraints and observed how the Yuuzhan Vong opened the prisoners' cages with a device on their arms. Soon thereafter, Arbeloa grabbed Kaye in a headlock and yelled for the guards. When they arrived, he threatened to kill the princess if he was not let free. However, it was just a ruse to force the two Yuuzhan Vong warriors guarding the prisoners to enter the cage so they could be overwhelmed by the sheer number of captives.
After Kaye led a revolt and freed Arbeloa, he pledged his service to her. He broke off a piece of his cage and used it as a melee weapon to attack the guards, while Kaye released more prisoners to join the revolt. Arbeloa accompanied Kaye as she confronted Sha'kel. The Yuuzhan Vong commander was killed and beheaded, and Arbeloa later took the decapitated head of the Yuuzhan Vong commander to use as a hat. It was at this time that Kaye gave Arbeloa his nickname of "Arb."
- "This one is not like anything we've faced before."
- ―Arbeloa, upon seeing Commander Tsalok's brutality
Arbeloa was on board the Tsam P'ah, which had been rechristened as the Heart of Artorias, as it traveled through the galaxy in its quest to assist refugees from the Yuuzhan Vong invasion. During these travels, the Heart of Artorias encountered a Yuuzhan Vong attack on a space station in orbit of the inhospitable planet Dibrook, located in the Outer Rim Territories. After the Heart of Artorias assisted the defenders of the station in destroying the attacking Yuuzhan Vong ships, Arbeloa accompanied Kaye Galfridian and boarded the facility, which was loaded with survivors of recent Rim-world battles. They were confronted by Captain Ogden, a member of the New Republic military, and four soldiers. Ogden tried to commandeer their ship, but Arbeloa stated he wouldn't allow that and pinned the officer up against a wall. Later, Arbeloa attended a strategy meeting with Kaye, Captain Ogden, and Bylsma, the commander of the Dibrook station.
After receiving an enviro-suit from Dibrook station, Arbeloa accompanied Kaye to the surface of Dibrook with an invasion force comprised of New Republic soldiers and refugees in an attempt to rescue prisoners of the Yuuzhan Vong. When Ogden tried to usurp command from Kaye, Arbeloa was directed to take the captain somewhere and bind him tightly to keep him out of the way. Ogden was returned to the Heart of Artorias and tied to an outcrop in a corridor of the ship. As the invasion force approached the shaper research facility that held the captured sentients, Kaye ordered Arbeloa to give the order to halt. He deferred, thinking that she was afraid to give orders and lead her troops, but she pointed out that she had ordered him to announce the command due to the fact that he was larger than her and more likely to be seen.
The invasion force's rear guard was attacked by a group of thralls, sentients who had been enslaved via surge-coral implantation and forced to fight for the Yuuzhan Vong. Arbeloa helped subdue a Twi'lek thrall whom the invasion force had surrounded. Soon after, a group of Yuuzhan Vong led by a commander, Tsalok, engaged a recon force sent to scout ahead of Kaye's main forces. Arbeloa and his comrades witnessed the commander's cruelty when Tsalok tore the leader of the recon mission in half with his bare hands. A large group of thralls gathered in the valley below the invasion force, and Arbeloa stood by Kaye as she communicated with her mother, Queen Nina Galfridian, who was controlling the Heart of Artorias via a cognition throne aboard the ship. The queen convinced Kaye that there was nothing that could be done to save the converted sentients. Arbeloa explained to Kaye that they had to eliminate the thralls in order to rescue the prisoners who could be saved. When the attack began, Kaye ordered Arbeloa to clear a path through the army so they could reach the Yuuzhan Vong compound as quickly as possible. He grabbed a large, shoulder-mounted multi-barrel gun and used the heavy firepower to clear a path.
Upon reaching the Yuuzhan Vong shaper research facility, Arbeloa and Kaye were confronted by a group of shapers whom Tsalok had ordered to fight a holding action due to his suspicions that they were spying on him. Arbeloa and Kaye quickly killed them and entered the compound, where they found a group of prisoners being held in a large bubble. Before they could free them, gas started to pour into the container and caused the prisoners to mutate into thralls. Arbeloa was able to rip open one of the membranes and rescue a single child. They managed to escape before Nina Galfridian obliterated the Yuuzhan Vong compound with the weapons of the former Yuuzhan Vong slaveship. Shortly thereafter, Kaye faltered due to feeling the death of her father—Arbeloa went to her aid and helped her recover.
After the battle, Arbeloa put the rescued child in an enviro-suit and supervised the recovery operation with Kaye. They disagreed on whether they could have saved the prisoners from annihilation. She revealed to him that she had somehow felt her father die. Arbeloa sympathized with her, telling her how he felt when his father died. Kaye went to inform the queen of the results of the mission, while Arbeloa stayed behind to assist with the burial of the dead. He was present at the memorial service that was held later at the mass grave, and he boarded the Heart of Artorias before it departed for the planet Shramar to meet up with some refugees from Artorias.
- "We didn't have journalists on my planet, so I really don't understand how your mind works. But if you could take this blaster and shoot at the things that are about to tear us apart—while you talk to those cams—it would be appreciated."
- ―Arbeloa, talking to Cianba during the battle on Shramar
Upon landing on Shramar, an Outer Rim planet controlled by the Imperial Remnant, Arbeloa disembarked with Kaye from the Heart of Artorias and faced the large force of stormtroopers who were sent to ensure that there would be no problems. When a young girl broke through the line of stormtroopers and rushed toward Arbeloa and Kaye, she was shot. Arbeloa retrieved her body and discovered she was still alive. He whispered to the girl to play dead so he could safely bring her aboard the Heart of Artorias. He was present when the girl revealed the truth about what was happening on the planet: the refugees were being forced into slavery to produce food that was being shipped off-world.
When the New Republic forces arrived, Arbeloa escorted Bylsma to the control room of the Heart of Artorias, but Kaye asked Arbeloa to stay outside. Shortly thereafter, the Yuuzhan Vong arrived and attacked the planet. Yuuzhan Vong forces managed to break through the blockade around the planet and landed troops on the surface. Arbeloa was sent with Kaye to marshal the defenses so that the 500,000 refugees on Shramar could be safely evacuated. During the fierce battle, a strafing run by Yuuzhan Vong ships destroyed an Imperial AT-ST walker. Arbeloa saved the journalist Cianba—who was reporting on the battle—by knocking her into a ditch, which prevented her from being smashed by the wreckage of the walker. When all the refugees were aboard the Heart of Artorias, Arbeloa signaled for a full retreat. After the Heart of Artorias retreated from Shramar with the New Republic fleet, Arbeloa stood behind Queen Galfridian as she addressed the people who had survived the battle. The queen vowed to fight the Yuuzhan Vong and promised to show them how. She then revealed herself as being a member of the Yuuzhan Vong by removing her masquer. The warrior gaped in surprise but stood quietly behind her as the queen announced the formation of the Outer Rim Alliance, a group dedicated to defend the Outer Rim and take the fight to the Yuuzhan Vong.
Personality and traits
- "Sometimes kindness seems cruel."
- ―Arbeloa reflects on having to kill Yuuzhan Vong thralls
Arbeloa was a fierce and deadly warrior, able to to defeat multiple Yuuzhan Vong armed only with a club. He was also very proficient with modern weapons such as blasters. He was extremely loyal, pledging to serve Kaye Galfridian after she freed him from his captivity by the Yuuzhan Vong and standing by Queen Nina Galfridian even after she revealed herself to be a Yuuzhan Vong. He was ruthless in battle and was willing to decapitate an enemy and take the head as a trophy. He could be merciful when needed, saving innocent life at great risk to his own, but was pragmatic when realizing that there could be nothing more done to prevent casualties. Arbeloa was very attached to his father and mourned him greatly when he died.
- "You know, Arb, some people couldn't get away with wearing the skull of a former captor… but you make it work."
- ―Kaye Galfridian, commenting to Arbeloa about his new hat
Arbeloa often wore a fur tunic from his homeworld and the skull of Commander Sha'kel as a hat. During the revolt on the Heart of Artorias, he wielded a club made out of material that made up the interior of the ship. While on Dibrook, he employed various blasters, including a shoulder-mounted, multi-barreled blaster that he used to clear a path to the Yuuzhan Vong compound that he was attacking.
Behind the scenes
On February 7, 2009, the official Star Wars website announced that Dark Horse Comics would be releasing a new comic series titled Star Wars: Invasion, revolving around the events of the Yuuzhan Vong War, which itself had been the focus of Del Rey's nineteen-book New Jedi Order series. The comic was released in July of the same year, with two eight-page previews released online in the months of May and June, respectively, as a prelude.
Arbeloa was created by the series' writer Tom Taylor and was introduced in the first of these installments, Invasion 0, Part 1, which was was released on May 8. His name was revealed in Invasion 4. The character was featured in all three story arcs of the series, in which he was drawn by artist Colin Wilson and colored by Wes Dzioba.
- Invasion 0, Part 1 (First appearance) (Appears in hologram)
- Invasion 2
- Invasion 3
- Invasion 4 (First identified as Arbeloa)
- Invasion 5
- Invasion: Rescues 1
- Invasion: Rescues 2
- Invasion: Rescues 3
- Invasion: Rescues 4
- Invasion: Rescues 6
- Star Wars: Invasion: Revelations
Notes and references
- Invasion 0, Part 1
- Invasion 4
- Invasion: Revelations 5
- The New Jedi Order Sourcebook
- Invasion 0, Part 2
- Invasion 2
- Invasion 3
- Invasion 5
- Invasion: Rescues 1
- Invasion: Rescues 3
- Invasion: Rescues 2
- Invasion: Rescues 6
- Invasion: Rescues 4
- Invasion: Rescues 5
- Invasion: Revelations 1
- Invasion: Revelations 2
- Invasion: Revelations 3
- Invasion: Revelations 4
- Star Wars: Invasion 0