- "You have shown our struggle to everyone, and for that, I thank you. You have created a legacy for our children, so that, even if we fail, they too shall know."
- ―Mon Mothma
Arhul Hextrophon was a Human male who became a prominent historian of the Alliance to Restore the Republic and New Republic. Hextrophon originally had a career teaching journalism, but joined the Rebel Alliance shortly after it was founded, following the capture of his family by Zygerrian slavers and subsequent rescue by the smugglers Han Solo and Chewbacca. He soon achieved the rank of major and took the position of Executive Secretary and Master Historian for the Alliance High Command, commanding the Alliance's History Section. His team, which included his former student and noted historian Voren Na'al, was responsible for several notable documents covering the Galactic Civil War, such as the Official History of the Rebellion, Volume One and the "Report on Growth, Organization, Equipment, Activities, and Objectives of the Rebellion." Following the Battle of Endor, Hextrophon continued to serve the New Republic until at least 10 ABY. In that year he was subject to an assassination attempt on Caprioril, though he survived the attack.
Biography[edit | edit source]
Early life[edit | edit source]
- "It is not the historian's place to pass judgment upon an individual; instead, he should simply describe the circumstances of his or her life and let the reader decide."
- ―Arhul Hextrophon
In the years before the Galactic Civil War, Arhul Hextrophon worked as an educator, teaching journalism to his students, and started a family at some point prior to 3 BBY. However, his life changed when he and his family were attacked and captured by Zygerrian slavers, and were imprisoned in the lightless hold of a slave ship. After several months they felt the ship rock from a series of explosions, the result of an attack by the smugglers Han Solo and Chewbacca. Uncertain what was happening, Hextrophon huddled together with his family, listening helplessly to the sounds of fighting in the corridor outside their cell. Solo's ship was broadcasting an Imperial transponder code and he soon persuaded the slavers that twenty stormtroopers were boarding to check their shipping licenses, causing them to abandon ship. When the fighting finally ceased, the door to the cargo hold opened and Solo entered, pointing a blaster at the terrified family. Upon seeing Hextrophon's family, Solo informed him that the slavers had abandoned ship, before turning to leave. The starving Hextrophon struggled to his feet and limped after the smuggler, following him to the ship's bridge, where Solo and Chewbacca were already adjusting various controls. Aware that Janodral Mizar, the planet from which the Millennium Falcon had launched, had a law leaving the proceeds of piracy or slavery to the victims, Solo and Chewbacca decided to leave both the ship and its cargo to the rescued slaves and soon departed aboard their own ship, leaving Hextrophon to fly the slave ship to safety. It was only several days later that Hextrophon discovered that the smugglers had left the hoarded Zygerrian treasure for his destitute family.
Joining the Rebellion[edit | edit source]
Hextrophon later joined the Alliance to Restore the Republic, becoming involved with the organization around the time of its creation in 2 BBY. Though he rose rapidly to the rank of major in the Alliance Military, the Alliance recognized the importance of preserving a record of their fight against the Galactic Empire, and Hextrophon was appointed to a non-combat role, commanding the Alliance's History Section as the Executive Secretary and Master Historian for the Alliance High Command. Hextrophon's position left him close to senior members of the Alliance, especially Chief of State Mon Mothma, to whom he became a close friend and confidant. When Bail Organa, ruler of Alderaan and one of the founders of the Alliance, realized that his homeworld would soon be forced into open revolt against the Empire, he asked for Hextrophon's help in tracking down the reclusive Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi, to seek his help against the Empire. Organa provided as much information as possible to assist Hextrophon in his search through old computer records for any signs of the Jedi's location.
Among Hextrophon's early work for the Alliance, he contributed the section on "The Problem of Droid Abuse" to the recruitment pamphlet "A Call to Reason." In the article, Hextrophon argued that droids were intelligent, arguably sentient individuals who should be afforded certain inalienable rights. Alongside this work, he also served as a speechwriter for Mon Mothma, reworking her draft texts before delivery. One such speech was "A Call to Reason," the final draft of which Hextrophon gave to Mon Mothma's droid D6-L5 shortly before the Chief of State departed for Agamar in the months prior to the Battle of Yavin. Mon Mothma later delivered the speech, along with the pamphlet of the same name, to members of the Agamar Resistance in an attempt to persuade them to join the Alliance. Among those recruited after hearing Mon Mothma's speech was Keyan Farlander, who went on to become an ace pilot in the Alliance Starfighter Corps. During Farlander's early career, Hextrophon had one of his historians assemble a file on the young pilot, which he suggested Mon Mothma use to inspire new recruits.
During this time, Hextrophon had a chance meeting with one of his former journalism students, Voren Na'al. Na'al had become a reporter with the Galaxy News Service, but had become disillusioned with the Empire after he, along with several other journalists, had been arrested on Corsin while the Empire replaced the planet's government with pro-Imperials. Hextrophon convinced Na'al that the best way to end the Empire's oppression was to join the Rebellion and Na'al soon became his former teacher's most trusted assistant in the historian corps.
Hextrophon was at the main Rebel base on Yavin 4 immediately after the Alliance's victory over the Empire's Death Star battlestation at the Battle of Yavin. Following the battle, Hextrophon and Na'al participated in a ceremony to award the Medal of Bravery to three of the victorious Rebel fighters: Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Chewbacca. During the ceremony, Hextrophon presented Solo's medal to General Jan Dodonna before it was awarded to Solo by Princess Leia Organa of Alderaan.
Documenting the war[edit | edit source]
- "This report shows the evil that has grown from the rotted corpse of the Old Republic, and that, we have already seen, cannot be exaggerated."
- ―Arhul Hextrophon
The Rebel Alliance believed in the value of each of its members and decided to keep a detailed record of the Rebellion which focused on the contributions of individuals. Hextrophon began compiling the massively detailed Official History of the Rebellion, Volume One following the Battle of Yavin. His detailed diary of life at the highest levels of the Rebellion formed an important part of Official History of the Rebellion, but Hextrophon also included information from a variety of other sources, including Alliance Intelligence reports, intercepted Imperial transmissions, and interviews with notable figures in the Alliance, including the "Heroes of Yavin:" Skywalker, Solo, Chewbacca, and Organa. Having little understanding of the Force, Hextrophon challenged Skywalker to a mock lightsaber duel in the hopes of gaining a greater understanding—the blindfolded Skywalker easily defeated him. The massive project required Hextrophon to seek the assistance of his team in researching certain topics. Though the Rebel computer had detailed information on the Battle of Yavin itself, Hextrophon suspected that his notes on the events leading up to the battle were incomplete and passed them on to Na'al with the specific task of detailing the events surrounding the Millennium Falcon's journey from Tatooine to Yavin 4. Na'al posed as a journalist for the Imperial News Bureau while he retraced the journey and sent his findings to Hextrophon for inclusion in Official History of the Rebellion.
While he conducted his extensive and lengthy research for Official History of the Rebellion, Hextrophon discovered information suggesting a possible location of the Jedi Master Yoda in classified data files at the University of Charmath. The historian traveled to Dagobah in the Dagobah system and searched the planet's swamps for any signs of the Jedi. He eventually found Yoda, but the impish Jedi kept up the appearance of being a simple-minded and senile hermit for several days before finally admitting the truth. Yoda indicated his surprise that Hextrophon had found him, as he believed all records that could lead to him had been destroyed. Concerned that knowledge of his existence and location threatened the galaxy, Yoda planned to wipe Hextrophon's brain of all knowledge of his presence. However, when the historian protested in terror at losing his memories, Yoda reconsidered, observing that it was not the Jedi way to cause hurt and pain in others. The Jedi Master, relieved to once again be able to speak freely after being isolated for so long, spent several days conversing with the historian. When Hextrophon left Dagobah, he returned to Charmath and wiped the very records that had allowed him to locate the Jedi Master. Hextrophon ultimately decided against erasing his personal notes of his time on Dagobah but kept his vow to not discuss the encounter with others.
During the course of writing Official History of the Rebellion, research conducted by Hextrophon and his staff uncovered some interesting information on the Empire. He compiled information from intercepted communiques, technical readouts, holochips, and datacards into a report which he submitted to Mon Mothma. The report revealed much about the tactics and inner working of the Empire, though Hextrophon cautioned the Chief of State that they had no way to verify the information, and that it was possible that the Empire was attempting to deceive them. Among the Imperial units detailed in the report was the 112th Repulsorlift Armor Regiment, commonly known as the Hell's Hammers. Following the Battle of Turak IV, in which the Hell's Hammers were ultimately defeated by the Rebel Hitak Harriers after inflicting major losses on the Alliance forces, Na'al submitted a report to Hextrophon detailing the events of the battle as reconstructed from Imperial files and the account of Hitak Harrier survivor Commander Torv Keist.
Around this time, Hextrophon's team was also commissioned by Mon Mothma to compile a detailed report on the Rebel Alliance itself, covering subjects such as its history, structure, vehicles, support services, recruitment, and training. Though Hextrophon's researchers had tight time constraints and found it difficult to contact primary sources directly due to security restrictions, they spent thousands of hours studying reports from Alliance personnel, and the finished "Report on Growth, Organization, Equipment, Activities, and Objectives of the Rebellion" was 168,000 data screen units long, taking over 700 hours to read at an average of fifteen seconds per screen. Hextrophon was happy with the quality of the finished report, as was Mothma, and he had Na'al prepare a condensed version for use as a briefing manual for new Rebel officers. In 2 ABY, Hextrophon's team expanded with the addition of Lieutenant Tura Raftican, a former HoloNet News investigative reporter whose skills and reputation allowed her to uncover information that otherwise might prove elusive.
Hextrophon was very happy with Na'al's early work and, following the Rebel evacuation of Echo Base during the Battle of Hoth, he asked his assistant to write a report on the events surrounding the battle, continuing his previous work on the "Heroes of Yavin." Na'al included a brief section on Dagobah after learning that Luke Skywalker had visited the planet—Hextrophon appended his own notes on Yoda to the section, along with his interpretation of R2-D2's experiences there, though the section was never published. He later commissioned Na'al to write a report on the events leading up to the destruction of the second Death Star at the Battle of Endor, and another on the events surrounding Han Solo and the Star-Hoppers of Aduba-3.
Serving the New Republic[edit | edit source]
- "Give my best to Arhul and tell him to keep off the leg. Not everyone in History Section gets an assassination attempt."
- ―Rivoche Tarkin, from a message sent to Voren Na'al
After Emperor Palpatine's death at Endor, Hextrophon continued to chronicle the history of the Alliance as it became the New Republic. Shortly after the founding of the New Republic, the new government established the Defense Research and Planetary Assistance Center. With the approval of Luke Skywalker, Hextrophon suggested that Dagobah be selected as the research installation's location due to the planet's reputation for being haunted. The facility was constructed at the peak of Dagobah's Mount Dagger, which was renamed Mount Yoda in honor of the Jedi Master at Hextrophon's suggestion.
At some time before 9 ABY, Hextrophon wrote a report on the mercenary group known as the Ailon Nova Guard. In 10 ABY, shortly before the Empire recaptured the galactic capital of Coruscant from the New Republic, Hextrophon was the target of an Imperial assassination attempt on the planet Caprioril. Though he survived the attack, he was severely injured in one of his legs, and was treated in hospital before being taken to Chandrila to recuperate in Mon Mothma's old dacha by Lake Sah'ot. Hextrophon used his extensive downtime to sort out the reports about the new Imperial offensive as they came in from New Republic operatives, including Na'al, who was on Coruscant as the Imperial forces turned on each other. Many of Hextrophon's staff doubted the initial reports and Hextrophon contacted Na'al to request recordings to be sent to confirm the information. While on Chandrila, Hextrophon also liaised with Captain Flin to discuss a memorial fund and gave a guest lecture at the Brionelle Memorial Military Academy, discussing Imperial superweapons and the Tarkin Doctrine after the Empire's use of World Devastators during their attack on Mon Calamari.
In times of peace, the New Republic continued to expand into regions bordering the Corporate Sector and Na'al decided to compile a report covering all the working information available on the area. Aware that Han Solo, now a retired New Republic general, had spent considerable time in the Corporate Sector, Hextrophon suggested that Na'al interview him on the subject. In preparation for an interview with Solo, Na'al compiled a report on his early career in the Imperial Navy from records captured by New Republic Intelligence, which he later sent to Hextrophon. Hextrophon, meanwhile, was free to continue his pursuit of history by conducting his own study of Xim-era holo-iconography. Hextrophon's study, Iconography in the Age of Xim, concluded that the "sole-surviving" floating fortress from Xim's empire, on display at Boonta, displayed evidence of more recent Nikto manufacture to an Expansionist Era architectural style. Hextrophon's conclusion led to the Hutts preventing any further academic studies of the station.
Despite Hextrophon's disapproval, studio heads on Adarlon, seeking to create an "inspirational" holodisc, considered making a musical of Hextrophon's study. They eventually decided against the project, which Na'al happily reported to his friend, along with his wife's suggestion that Solo's life may make a more fitting subject.
Personality and traits[edit | edit source]
- "The Empire's campaign of prejudice and hate shows no favoritism. All are equally to be reviled, ridiculed, enslaved and murdered."
- ―Arhul Hextrophon, from "The Problem of Droid Abuse"
Though he spent much of his life in the military, Hextrophon's skills were as an academic. Before joining the Alliance, he had worked as a journalism teacher and developed the commitment and attention to detail that served him well while compiling reports for the Rebellion. When Yoda threatened to remove his memories, Hextrophon considered it to be one of the worst possible fates to befall a historian. He believed that his team could make a difference in the Galactic Civil War, despite their non-combat status, and made sure that any reports they produced were as accurate as possible—if information could not be verified, it was included only with a warning about its possible inaccuracy. His contribution to the Alliance was highlighted by the Empire's attempt to kill him on Caprioril.
Hextrophon was a close friend of Mon Mothma and one of the Chief of State's few confidants. She was not alone in placing her trust in him; Yoda, too, trusted Hextrophon to keep the secret of where he was hiding from the Empire. Hextrophon was true to his word and never revealed the Jedi Master's location. Hextrophon was capable of piloting a starship and could understand the Wookiee language, Shyriiwook, as well as being able to loosely interpret the language of astromech droids. He believed in the dignity of all self-aware creatures, including droids, a topic he discussed in "The Problem of Droid Abuse." When he interviewed the droids C-3PO and R2-D2 during the course of writing Official History of the Rebellion, Volume One, he was impressed by how complete their personalities were and even enjoyed the experience of talking with them.
Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]
Arhul Hextrophon was created by Bill Slavicsek and Curtis Smith for the The Star Wars Sourcebook in 1987. The book is written from an in-universe point of view and the biographies of several major Star Wars characters are said to be taken from Hextrophon's Official History of the Rebellion, Volume One. The technique was used to provide an editorial voice to the book's narrator, allowing the authors to introduce bias to the text, along with the potential for incorrect information, both important for providing gamemasters with the freedom to adapt the material. Hextrophon was mentioned in several other West End Games sourcebooks, including the The Rebel Alliance Sourcebook and the Imperial Sourcebook, both of which were presented as reports by his department and included Hextrophon's notes to Mon Mothma. Other sources in the Galaxy Guide series took the form of reports sent by Na'al to Hextrophon during the course of compiling Official History of the Rebellion, Volume One. Pablo Hidalgo used the same technique for his Star Wars Gamer 4 article "The Starhoppers of Aduba-3," which takes the form of a report sent by Na'al to Hextrophon.
The character's first mention in a non-West End Games source was in Rusel DeMaria's 1993 novella The Farlander Papers, which accompanied the LucasArts video game Star Wars: X-Wing. Like other sources around this time, Hextrophon's only mention is in a message sent by him to Mon Mothma. DeMaria later wrote X-Wing: The Official Strategy Guide, which presented a brief overview of the Rebel Alliance in the form of a pamphlet entitled "A Call to Reason". When writing the Hyperspace-exclusive article Droids, Technology and the Force: A Clash of Phenomena, Abel G. Peña attributed the pamphlet's section on "The Problem of Droid Abuse" to Hextrophon. The character's belief that droids were more than simple machines had been previously established in The Star Wars Sourcebook.
In the "Rogues Gallery" feature in Star Wars Insider 133 (2012), Leland Chee, keeper of the Holocron continuity database, identified one of the characters seen during the closing medal ceremony of Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope (1977) as Hextrophon, providing the first visual depiction of the character and confirming his species as Human. Hextrophon was portrayed in A New Hope by actor Nick Joseph.
Hextrophon's encounter with Yoda was first covered in The Star Wars Sourcebook, which is set between Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope and Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back. The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, released in late 2008, places the meeting after the Battle of Hoth, setting it after The Empire Strikes Back. However, since other sources, including the Databank on StarWars.com, also place it prior to The Empire Strikes Back, this article assumes the original dating to be correct.
Author Joseph Bongiorno wrote a novella entitled Supernatural Encounters: The Trial and Transformation of Arhul Hextrophon that featured various supernatural characters from the Expanded Universe. Intended to be released online on Star Wars Hyperspace, it was ultimately never published in an official source although Bongiorno later released the novella online on the Star Wars Expanded Universe Timeline.
Appearances[edit | edit source]
- The Farlander Papers (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope (First appearance) (Retcon)
- The Star Wars Storybook (Retcon)
- Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope PhotoComic (Retcon)
- Star Wars Manga: A New Hope 4 (Retcon)
- Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope book-and-record (Retcon)
- Classic Star Wars: A New Hope (Random House) (Picture only) (Retcon)
- Empire 15: Darklighter, Part 4 (Retcon)
- (Mentioned only)
- Heir to the Empire (Indirect mention only)
- (First appearance before retcon)
- (Mentioned only)
- Supernatural Encounters: The Trial and Transformation of Arhul Hextrophon (Canceled novella)
Sources[edit | edit source]
Notes and references[edit | edit source]
- "Rogues Gallery"—Star Wars Insider 133
- The Star Wars Sourcebook
- Dark Empire Sourcebook
- Galaxy Guide 5: Return of the Jedi
- A profile of Han Solo in the Star Wars Sourcebook is said to be written by Hextrophon in the weeks following the Battle of Yavin and three years after his rescue from the Zygerrian slavers. Since The New Essential Chronology places the Battle of Yavin at the end of 0 BBY, the Zygerrian incident occurred in 3 BBY.
- Heir to the Empire
- The Essential Guide to Warfare
- Galaxy Guide 1: A New Hope
- The Rebel Alliance Sourcebook
- X-Wing: The Official Strategy Guide
- The Farlander Papers
- Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope
- Imperial Sourcebook
- Alliance Intelligence Reports
- Galaxy Guide 3: The Empire Strikes Back
- The Starhoppers of Aduba-3"—Star Wars Gamer 4 "
- Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. II, p. 38 ("Hextrophon, Arhul")
- "Special Military Unit Intelligence Update"—Star Wars Adventure Journal 15
- Han Solo and the Corporate Sector Sourcebook
- Nick Joseph. Nick Joseph - Actor. Archived from the original on July 9, 2018. Retrieved on December 30, 2013.
- Joseph Bongiorno. Supernatural Encounters: The Trial and Transformation of Arhul Hextrophon. Star Wars Expanded Universe Timeline. Archived from the original on January 27, 2019. Retrieved on January 28, 2019.