- "Aruk is a giant among Hutts!"
- ―Durga's opinion of his father
Aruk Besadii Aora, known to most as Aruk the Great, was a Hutt crime lord and the leader of the Besadii kajidic for over fifteen years before the Battle of Yavin. Around 100 BBY, he birthed a child, Durga, who had a large birthmark on one side of his face; Aruk's peers implored him to kill his child, feeling the birthmark made him impure and unworthy to be a Hutt. However, Aruk grew to love his child and kept Durga, training him to become his heir.
Around 15 BBY, Aruk and his brother Zavval concocted a scheme to lure disheartened sentients to the planet Ylesia, claiming that it was a religious pilgrimage—in fact, it was a slaving and spice-producing operation. The entire operation was extremely lucrative, allowing Besadii to overtake its traditional rivals, Desilijic, as the most successful of the Hutt clans. Desilijic's leaders, Jiliac and Jabba, eventually grew tired of being outshone by Aruk and had him killed via a slow-acting poison. A distraught Durga sought the help of Black Sun to learn the identities of his father's killers and avenged Aruk personally when he killed Jiliac. Durga was indebted to Black Sun for its help, though, and much of the criminal empire built by Aruk went over to Black Sun's leader, Xizor. Aruk's only offspring was eventually killed by the New Republic in 12 ABY after attempting to build his own superweapon, the Darksaber.
Biography[edit | edit source]
Leader of Besadii[edit | edit source]
- "Besadii needs you. You are our greatest leader, Father!"
- ―Durga, to Aruk
Born sometime between 1000 and 900 BBY, Aruk Besadii Aora was a Hutt, part of the Besadii clan and its criminal enterprises, known as the Besadii kajidic. One of the physically largest Hutts alive during his life, Aruk was a prominent member of his clan and the underworld, and he took orders from few Hutts. He and his sibling, Zavval, ran a lucrative criminal empire out of their homeworld, Nal Hutta. Around 112 BBY, Aruk turned female and gave birth to a single offspring, which he named Durga. Durga was born with a large birthmark over his right eye, which many of the Hutts considered to be hideous; they suggested that Aruk kill his child there and then, believing the birthmark would make Durga socially unacceptable and unintelligent. Aruk, however, was fond of the child and sensed that he would grow up to be a cunning and ruthless Hutt—the perfect heir to his criminal empire. He sternly warned all of those who wished Durga killed to be silent and began to raise his child himself, providing him with a good education and nurturing him to become his protégé. Durga responded well to this; he helped his father run his criminal enterprises, and the two grew close.
By the time of the Separatist Crisis, Aruk had become a high-ranking member of the Besadii clan—taking the title of "Aruk the Great"—and under his rule, Besadii proved far more financially successful than their main rival clan, Desilijic. During his time as leader, Aruk spurned many offers from Prince Xizor to ally Besadii with Black Sun, one of the largest criminal syndicates in the galaxy, though he made sure to do so as graciously as possible so as not to offend Xizor. Aruk also warned Durga about accepting any help from Black Sun. Around 32 BBY, Aruk placed a bounty on a Human male Kip Bunyea, after Bunyea expressed his hatred of the Hutts. Ten years later, Aruk's opposite number in Desilijic, Zorba Desilijic Tiure, was imprisoned for forty-five standard years on the backwater world of Kip. While the Hutt Ruling Council on Nal Hutta was thoroughly opposed to Zorba's imprisonment and pleaded for him to be extradited to face charges on his homeworld, Aruk took the opportunity to get back at Zorba, lambasting him on the Republic's HoloNet News channel. Zorba's vacant position as clan leader was taken by Jiliac Desilijic Tiron, who took Zorba's son, Jabba, as his second-in-command; Aruk would clash with the two many times.
In the same year, a freighter, the Moulee-rah Patogga, registered to Besadii, was captured by Judicial Department and Jedi forces and was discovered to have contained over one hundred metric tons of illegal ryll spice. Aruk publicly claimed that the vessel was not under Besadii control and had been sold to Desilijic almost thirty years prior, but without any sales records to back this up, such claims were ignored. Aruk believed that the sales records had been erased by Desilijic agents, and that Jiliac and Jabba were attempting to set him up.
Aruk had occasional dealings with the Republic and the Jedi, who often sent Jedi Master Agen Kolar to Nar Shaddaa; Aruk was not fond of Kolar, who was usually causing trouble for Aruk's customers and clients. In addition to his criminal enterprises, Aruk owned a legitimate cantina on Nar Shaddaa. Though he resided on Nal Hutta, he often attended to business in the cantina on Nar Shaddaa and was fiercely loyal to his regular customers. During the Clone Wars, Aruk and his entourage entered the cantina to find Agen Kolar fighting with a group of native thugs; furious that Kolar was yet again causing him trouble, Aruk ordered the Zabrak Jedi to leave immediately. When Kolar asked what would happen were he to refuse, Aruk told him that blood would flow, and the Republic would be faced with a major and unwanted diplomatic problem during the turbulent times of the Clone Wars. Convinced, Kolar left, accompanied by several of Aruk's henchmen.
Operations on Ylesia[edit | edit source]
- "Slavery is not part of our business. We leave most of that trade to the Besadii kajidic that operates out of Ylesia."
- ―Jabba Desilijic Tiure
Around 15 BBY, Aruk became the leader of the Besadii kajidic after the mysterious disappearance of his predecessor Arok the Hutt. Aruk and his brother Zavval thought of an elaborate—and extremely lucrative—scheme. They purchased the planet Ylesia in the Cha Raaba system, establishing a colony where slaves would process illegal spice; once the slaves had worked in the factories for more than one standard year, they would be shipped to Kessel and sold, though some humanoid females were sent to Imperial pleasure-houses. The spice would be sold to other benefactors, including Desilijic. Rather than buy slaves, Aruk and Zavval advertised Ylesia as a religious retreat, convincing "pilgrims" that they would not be persecuted on Ylesia. The two Hutts' only fear was that a slave uprising might occur once the "pilgrims" learned that they had been lured to Ylesia under false pretenses.
Aruk eventually coined the "Cult of The One and The All;" both Hutts knew of the ability possessed by the t'landa Til, the Hutts' aides and distant relatives, to project warm, happy emotions onto most humanoids as part of their courting a mate, and Aruk decided that it could be used to reward the workers for a hard day's work. Also, the workers would become addicted to the pleasure waves of the t'landa Til, and any desires to revolt or flee would subside. Pleased with what he considered a masterstroke, Aruk devised a false religion, writing simple doctrines and composing hymns and chants. A t'landa Til, Teroenza, was installed as "high priest," though because Aruk did not want what he perceived as a Hutt operation commanded by a non-Hutt, he had Zavval installed as the leader of the operations.
The Ylesia operation was a booming success: output was high, income even more so. By 10 BBY, the Besadii had increased the number of colonies to three, and hordes of slaves were transported on- and off-world each month. In that year, however, the operation received its first major setback. Han Solo, operating under the alias "Vykk Draygo"—a former pilot for the t'landa Til on Ylesia—had decided to flee Ylesia, taking with him another employee, Muuurgh, and two slaves, Bria Tharen and Mrrov. During Solo's flight, the main spice processing facility was destroyed, and Zavval was killed. Aruk had little sympathy for his brother; most of his worry went towards the huge financial loss incurred by the incidents that destroyed the spice refinery.
With little other option, Aruk appointed Kibbick as Zavval's successor—although Aruk believed Kibbick to be an incompetent fool, the Hutt was the only high-ranking Besadii available to take the position at the time. Aruk considered sending Durga to take over the Ylesia operations, but he knew the other Hutts would never approve; he decided to bide his time and wait for the proper time to give Durga his chance to prove his critics wrong. The operation on Ylesia recovered and grew, and over the space of five years, Aruk had the colonies expanded to number six, with a seventh on the horizon; production was higher than ever, and the t'landa Til traveled the Outer Rim Territories recruiting new "pilgrims." Aruk was one of the most powerful criminal kingpins in the galaxy, and also one of the most wealthy. He was not without his problems, however.
Cooling relations[edit | edit source]
- "Hutt brethren, we of the Besadii clan demand that Jiliac, as head of clan Desilijic, personally assure us that this terrible raid, this theft of valuable Besadii property, was not done by Desilijic! Otherwise, this means war between our kajidics!"
- ―Aruk speaks to his fellows at the Hutt Council Chamber
One of the oldest Hutts of his era, Aruk was in bad health by 5 BBY. Because of overeating, lack of exercise, a poor diet, and the use of a hookah pipe, he had become so corpulent that he was completely unable to move without the aid of his repulsorlift sled. Aruk's Hutt physician, Grodo, warned him frequently about his health, but the old Hutt ignored him; Aruk felt that he should be allowed to do as he pleased in the final century or so of his life. Aruk's health was not his only problem, however; Jabba and Jiliac, the leaders of Desilijic, had grown jealous of Besadii's success on Ylesia, and sought to disrupt it whenever possible. Since its conception, the colony on Ylesia had been plagued by pirate raids, which Aruk suspected were instigated by Desilijic—without proof, however, he could do nothing. In 5 BBY, Aruk hired a group of well-trained Drell pirates to assassinate Jabba in his yacht en route to Tatooine, but Jabba's pilot was able to outmaneuver and destroy them.
Aruk was also growing worried by the actions of Teroenza, the t'landa Til high priest of Ylesia. Kibbick allowed Teroenza free reign to administer the facility, never interfering as long as he was given his share of native nala tree frogs, a type of animal native to the Ylesian jungles that were served as food on the planet. As well as feeling that it was improper for a non-Hutt to be giving orders to a Hutt, Aruk realized that Teroenza was becoming presumptuous; the t'landa Til had placed a sizable bounty on Han Solo, with a "no disintegrations" bonus. Aruk saw this as a waste of funds, but Teroenza was adamant; ultimately, Aruk allowed the funds to be put towards the bounty, in the hopes that it would keep Teroenza satisfied and working well on Ylesia.
Jabba and Jiliac believed that Besadii was responsible for the Drell pirate attacks against them, and they sent emissaries to meet with Besadii representatives to arrange a meeting of all the clans and the Hutt Grand Council on Nal Hutta to discuss matters. Besadii went to special effort to hold up the negotiations, but when a group of well-armed and well-organized commandos—who Aruk believed were members of Desilijic—kidnapped over one hundred slaves from Ylesia, he permitted the negotiations to take place immediately. Accompanied by Durga, Kibbick, and Teroenza, Aruk traveled to the Hutt Council Chamber to meet with representatives from Desilijic, the Hutt Grand Council, and several other prominent clans.
At the convocation, Aruk told his fellows of the raid on Ylesia and demanded that Desilijic assure him they played no part in it. If they refused, he would declare open war between the two clans. Jiliac denied that Desilijic had any involvement in the attack and pledged that should this be proven false, he would pay Besadii one million credits. Impressed and surprised, Aruk agreed. Jiliac later accused Besadii of ordering the attack on Jabba on Tatooine, though Aruk denied it—unlike Jiliac, he was not telling the truth. The meeting descended into chaos, with accusations flying across the chamber, but eventually Aruk was able to use his considerable charisma to get the other clans on his side. When Jabba entered the negotiations, he claimed that Besadii's operations on Ylesia would harm the Hutt Empire; they were making such profits that the Empire would surely soon take notice and punish the Hutt race. Eventually, Desilijic and Besadii agreed to a truce between the two clans, proposed by Aruk, which forbade any violence for three standard months.
Poison[edit | edit source]
- "The substance is deadly in large quantities, Lord Durga. But in small quantities, it would not kill. Instead, it would concentrate in the brain tissues, causing the victim to experience a progressive deterioration of the thought processes. And the substance is also highly addictive. Once the victim grew accustomed to ingesting it in high enough doses, the abrupt withdrawal of the substance would cause the symptoms you described—wracking pain, convulsions, and death. And that, Lord Durga, is why your parent died. Not from the X-1 in his system…but from its abrupt withdrawal."
- ―Myk Bidlor
Several weeks after the truce was agreed, Aruk and Durga traveled to Ylesia to personally inspect operations there. They found that Kibbick knew far too little about the factories on Ylesia—he continually referred their questions onto Teroenza, and spent most of the time complaining about the lack of activities on Ylesia—though Aruk did not dismiss him, as Durga suggested. Instead, he berated Kibbick, complaining about many aspects of the Ylesia operation, and confronted Teroenza about his taking control of the operations. Aruk cancelled Teroenza's planned vacation on Nal Hutta, refusing to allow the t'landa Til to leave Ylesia until he had brought Kibbick up to speed on the operation. During his stay on Ylesia, Aruk took a liking to nala tree frogs, after a recommendation from Kibbick, and he arranged for Teroenza to send a shipment of live frogs to Nal Hutta periodically. Before long, Aruk had grown addicted to the frogs. Around the same time, Aruk discovered the identity of those who had kidnapped the hundred odd slaves weeks before hand—it had not been Desilijic, but in fact members of the Corellian Resistance, led by former "pilgrim" Bria Tharen. Furious, Aruk contacted Boba Fett, renowned Mandalorian bounty hunter, to rescind the bounty on Han Solo and place a larger one on Tharen; he did not inform Teroenza.
Teroenza, however, had already had enough of Aruk's perceived mistreatment of him. Jabba and Jiliac, too, believed that Aruk was too dangerous to be allowed to live and contacted the Ylesian high priest, offering him great rewards to find a way to kill Aruk. They all knew assassination or any form of armed attack on the old Hutt would leave too many links, but Jiliac had access to a type of poison that would affect even an extremely resilient Hutt such as Aruk. The substance, later designated X-1, affected the brain tissues of the victim, slowly wearing them down and damaging their thinking capabilities, until the victim eventually became addicted to them. Teroenza was able to poison Aruk's supply of nala tree frogs, and within weeks, Aruk had become addicted to the poison; should Teroenza stop sending poisoned frogs, Aruk's brain would seize up and he would die.
The poison had a slow and subtle effect on Aruk over the space of the next several months, slowly decimating his brain's outer cells. His thought process became slow and sluggish, and once-simple tasks, such as accounting, became extremely difficult; Aruk often passed them on to his son. He also grew drowsy and spent less time exercising and more time sleeping. Several weeks on, Aruk collapsed while dictating to his scribe, and his physician, Grodo, fetched Durga. Aruk had suffered a brain seizure—which Grodo believed was due to poor circulation, but was in actuality a product of the poison—but was able to recover without any lasting harm. Aruk's concerned physicians pleaded with him to take up a more healthy lifestyle, but he refused; when Durga expressed his own concern, however, Aruk agreed to exercise daily, cease smoking from his hookah, and give up all rich, unhealthy foods—bar his precious nala tree frogs. Durga agreed to exercise with his parent, making the prospect far more inviting for Aruk.
Aruk knew his days were numbered, though he was not overly fazed by it. He knew Durga would make an able leader, and that the operations Aruk had began on Ylesia would see Durga through his initial, turbulent years with ease. Durga, however, was extremely worried; the Empire's representative to the Y'Toub system, Moff Sarn Shild, had changed his previous policy of appeasing the Hutts and had pledged to attack Nal Hutta and destroy Nar Shaddaa, which was becoming a hindrance to the Empire. Besadii, Desilijic, and other clans sent envoys to attempt to persuade Shild to call off the attack, to no avail. Durga was worried that only Aruk would be able to see Besadii through these times, but Aruk knew that Besadii would not be harmed by the Empire's attacks—they provided the Empire with valuable slaves and were too valuable to destroy.
Days after the Battle of Nar Shaddaa, Aruk died. Teroenza had stopped sending poisoned nala tree frogs, instead sending pure, un-poisoned creatures, and the abrupt withdrawal killed the old Hutt. Aruk attempted to fight the attack and fought for four pain-filled hours alongside Durga, but eventually passed away. Distraught, Durga had his body frozen and transferred to Coruscant, where a team of the galaxy's best forensics experts—led by Myk Bidlor—examined his body to search for a cause of death.
Legacy[edit | edit source]
Durga was made leader of Besadii, though he was not without opposition. The clan split into two groups: pro-Durga and anti-Durga. The more experienced Zier the Hutt was his main opponent, though there were many others. Prince Xizor of Black Sun, desperate to reap the profits of Ylesia for himself, offered to assist Durga; despite Aruk's incessant warnings not to involve himself with Black Sun, Durga accepted, and his opposition subsided. Zier became his second-in-command. When Myk Bidlor reported that Aruk had been killed by ingesting poison, Durga killed many of his kitchen staff in interrogations. He knew Desilijic was responsible, though he found no way to prove it.
Eventually, Durga returned to Xizor for help; the Falleen prince provided him with Aruk's killer: Jiliac. Durga personally killed Jiliac; Jabba the Hutt took over Desilijic, and the operation on Ylesia was smashed by members of the Alliance to Restore the Republic. Indebted to Xizor, Durga became one of Black Sun's nine leaders—known as Vigos—turning his back on the Hutts. In 12 ABY, he set his sights on galactic domination, and had the Darksaber superweapon constructed; it was an utter failure, however, and Durga was killed when it was destroyed by the New Republic.
Personality and traits[edit | edit source]
- "Aruk is dangerous. I am more convinced of it than ever."
"Yes, he was quite impressive when he managed to rally the clans. He had…charisma. He can be very persuasive."
- ―Jiliac, and Jabba
Aruk was considered an old-fashioned Hutt; he had certain principles that he believed that other Hutts of a younger generation, such as Jabba, lacked. Jabba's fascination with scantily-clad humanoid females disgusted him, and although he did indulge himself with rich foods and state-of-the-art equipment, he looked down on other Hutts, who maintained large palaces filled with slaves to cater for their every whim. Aruk was of the opinion that Besadii had more honor than Desilijic, with their extravagant tastes and expensive palaces, and he believed that Besadii's willingness to endure privation would see them rise above Desilijic.
Aruk had a firm belief in the Hutt way of life and loved the guile and intrigue that was part of everyday life for a clan leader. He did eschew such methods as murder and blackmail when dealing with rival clans, and although it often stressed him when his rivals responded in kind, he would not have had it any other way. Aruk loved money, and one of his greatest pleasures in life—aside from eating and smoking his hookah—was accounting. He lived for profit and cared more about the financial loss than the loss of his brother after Han Solo's escape from Ylesia.
His belief in more traditional Hutt principles also led him to install his nephew Kibbick as the Hutt overseer of Ylesia following Zavval's death, feeling it "wasn't proper" for a non-Hutt to be running a major Besadii operation. He distrusted Teroenza for supplanting Kibbick's position and essentially running the spice factories, and repeatedly chastised him for growing above his station. This browbeating, combined with the reduction on the bounty on Han Solo and Kibbick's idiocy, were key factors in Teroenza's decision to aid Jiliac and Jabba in their assassination attempt.
Aruk was a great public speaker, and his eloquence and charisma was noted by even his staunchest enemies, such as Jabba and Jiliac. He was not above publicly lying or making wild accusations when he needed to, and never hesitated to get in a jibe against his opposite number in Desilijic when given the opportunity.
Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]
Aruk was created by A. C. Crispin for The Han Solo Trilogy, first appearing in The Hutt Gambit in 1997. He has since appeared in several other sources, such as Paul Ens and Pablo Hidalgo's HoloNet News articles, The New Essential Guide to Characters, and Republic 54: Double Blind, which also gave Aruk his first depiction, illustrated by Jan Duursema. The New Essential Guide to Characters also provided his full name, Aruk Besadii Aora.
Appearances[edit | edit source]
- Star Wars: Bounty Hunter (Mentioned only)
- Republic 54: Double Blind (First pictured)
- The Hutt Gambit (First appearance)
- Rebel Dawn (Mentioned only)
- The New Jedi Order: Agents of Chaos II: Jedi Eclipse (Mentioned only)
Sources[edit | edit source]
- The Essential Chronology
- Aurra Sing: Dawn of the Bounty Hunters
- The New Essential Guide to Characters (First identified as Besadii Aora)
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 124 (HUT3-4, Durga the Hutt)
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 138 (VOS2, Vos's Mission)
- The New Essential Chronology
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Essential Reader's Companion
- Lords of Nal Hutta