- "He became a mercenary, boasting openly that he would never make the mistakes he had once made. That he now understood the nature of the cosmos, and would always be one step ahead of those who would seek to bring him down, capture him, or in any way thwart him."
- ―Luminara Unduli
Arwen Cohl was a Mirialan mercenary from the planet Mirial. He became a hero among his people after leading them to victory in a conflict against a nearby planet, but was betrayed by leaders on his own side. He was imprisoned for many years, and when he escaped, he emerged a greatly hardened man. After gaining revenge on those who had betrayed him, Cohl became a pirate and gained a band of followers, including his lover Rella and the Rodian, Boiny. In 33 BBY, he took a job from the terrorist organization known as the Nebula Front. He successfully infiltrated a Trade Federation freighter, stole a cache of valuable aurodium ingots, and escaped.
Though Cohl planned to retire with Rella after this, he found himself unable to walk away from the mercenary life, and accepted another mission from the Nebula Front. On the orders of Havac, the organization's leader, he began recruiting skilled assassins for a planned strike at Supreme Chancellor Finis Valorum during the Eriadu Trade Summit. Havac wished to use the assassins as death fodder to distract the Jedi present on Eriadu while Havac launched his own plan. Fiercely loyal to his men, Cohl refused to participate in such an action, resulting in a firefight between him and Havac that left Rella dead and Cohl and Boiny wounded. Cohl swore revenge on Havac, and during the Trade Summit, the two engaged in a skirmish. Both died in the fight.
- "He was a freedom fighter, a hero to our people during a war fought with a neighboring world."
- ―Luminara Unduli
Arwen Cohl was a male Mirialan born decades before the Invasion of Naboo on the planet Mirial. He became a freedom fighter in a war between Mirial and a neighboring world. Though Mirial eventually won, and Cohl was considered a hero by many of his people following the victory, the leaders of his side declared him to be a traitor. To solidify their power and prevent Cohl from riding a wave of popular support into a high-ranking political office, these individuals had Cohl imprisoned for many years. Already hardened by the war, he grew even more callous. When he escaped, he killed those who had incarcerated him, and swore that he was finished with his homeworld.
Cohl became a mercenary and a pirate, determined not to make the same mistakes that had landed him in prison. He pledged to look out only for himself, and always stay ahead of his foes. Flying the starship known as the Hawk-Bat, Cohl gained a reputation for being both ruthless and highly skilled. He amassed several followers, including the Rodian Boiny—who was very loyal to him—and the Human female Rella, who became his lover. Though Cohl initially only worked for those whose cause he supported, he eventually became a common killer-for-hire. In spite of this, he was highly loyal to his men.
In the employ of the Nebula Front
- "The Revenue is history. But you have my word I'll spare your life if you do as you're told."
- ―Arwen Cohl, to Daultay Dofine
In 33 BBY, Captain Cohl and his gang were hired by the Nebula Front terrorist organization to attack the Revenue, a Trade Federation Lucrehulk-class freighter collecting cargo above Dorvalla. Cohl and his twelve men hid in a cargo pod of their own that contained a shuttle. Their faux pod was then placed with the other pods the freighter was scheduled to pick up. Shortly after the Revenue finished loading the pods into its cargo bay, Cohl and his gang activated the controls, opening the cargo pod. Noticing a disturbance, several B1-Series battle droids guarding the cargo surrounded the pod. In the ensuing firefight, all of the droids were destroyed, while none of Cohl's men were killed. Meanwhile, a Nebula Front fleet jumped out of hyperspace and attacked the Revenue. The attacking starfighters were led by the Hawk-Bat, with several members of the Nebula Front flying the ship. As Cohl had built up a reputation as a fearsome foe, the Trade Federation was frightened by the Hawk-Bat's presence. Stunned, the freighter's commander, Daultay Dofine, sent out a distress call.
With the battle raging in space, Cohl's gang made their way to the ship's bridge. Once there, they quickly defeated the guards, and then rounded up the bridge crew. Cohl informed Dofine that they were taking the Revenue's cargo, aurodium ingots. When Dofine replied that his ship was carrying no such cargo, Cohl threatened him, informing the Neimoidian that Boiny was affixing a thermal detonator to the ship's fuel-driver-control system, which would cause it to explode in 60 minutes. A sufficiently-cowed Dofine agreed to show Cohl where the ingots were kept. After the Trade Federation ship Acquisitor arrived in response to Dofine's distress call, Cohl was forced to hurry his operation.
Dofine led them to the ingots, which Cohl's team then took to the cargo bay where their pod waited. Cohl ordered Boiny to slice into the central computer and have it release all cargo pods, preventing the Acquisitor from locating Cohl's pod. After suggesting that Dofine climb into a pod of his own if he wanted to survive, Cohl boarded his pod, which was then released into space along with many others. As they maneuvered through the storm of pods in space, Boiny noticed that another pod was shadowing them. Rella took evasive action, but the other pod continued to follow them. It was then that Boiny realized that a thermal detonator was attached to their pod.
Cohl had Boiny activate the controls, causing the pod to split open and reveal the shuttle concealed in it that Cohl's men were flying. Believing that they were safe, Cohl was shocked to see the other pod split open, releasing a red Lancet fighter hidden inside. Quickly recognizing that the ship was flying the colors of Coruscant—the capital of the Galactic Republic—Cohl also conjectured, due to the deft flying of the opposing vessel, that they were possibly being tailed by Jedi. Desperate to escape, Cohl ordered that they fly the shuttle back into the blast radius of the Revenue. When the ship exploded moments later, the Lancet lost them, and the shuttle set down on a large piece of the vessel that had more or less survived the explosion intact.
Realizing that the wreckage was outside Dorvalla's gravity, Cohl decided to wait four days to buy time and ensure that no other ships were watching them. As the debris' orbit began to falter, Cohl ordered that the shuttle take off and head for their base on Dorvalla, ignoring protests that their base was almost certainly being watched by the authorities. As they entered the atmosphere and approached their base, the team was queried by security, who ordered them to identify themselves. On Cohl's orders, Rella crashed the shuttle in the forest near the base, faking their deaths. Despite the risk, Cohl felt that such an action was necessary to shake their pursuers.
Only Cohl, Rella, and Boiny walked away from the crash, and although they were wounded, they were the only three of the original twelve to have survived the mission. Taking the audorium, they traversed the forest to a pre-arranged rendezvous point where the Hawk-Bat was supposed to be waiting for them, and it was not long before Cohl's ship arrived to extricate them from the planet.
Later, above the planet Asmeru, Cohl and his gang met with Havac, the leader of the Nebula Front. He handed over the ingots, receiving a sizable sum of credits in exchange. Before Havac departed, Rella and Cohl discussed their future plans with him, revealing that they intended to retire and work as moisture farmers. Havac offered Cohl one final job, stating that it would pay big, but the Mirialan declined.
One final mission
- "It's not the credits that brought me back. It's the life. How does someone like me retire? What do I know about farming? This is what I know. This is how I am."
- ―Arwen Cohl
A short time later, Cohl returned to meet with Havac above Asmeru. Despite the fact that Rella was tired of working as a mercenary and wanted a peaceful retirement, Cohl was not ready to give up working as a soldier for hire. Thus, he came alone, informing Havac that he simply could not walk away from mercenary life and was ready for another assignment. Havac explained Cohl's next mission to him—the assassination of Supreme Chancellor Finis Valorum at the Eriadu Trade Summit, an upcoming meeting involving, among others, the Trade Federation and the Supreme Chancellor. Though Cohl believed that the fallout from such a move would be huge, he accepted the mission when Havac promised that the backlash would fall on the Nebula Front.
As Havac felt that the Hawk-Bat was too well-known, he gave Cohl another starship to use for this mission. Shortly after the meeting, Cohl began assembling a team of trackers and assassins who were largely apolitical. The mercenary visited several planets, including Belsavis, Malastare, Clak'dor, and Yetoom. On the planet Karfeddion, Cohl and his loyal second-in-command Boiny met with a mercenary named Lope, who proved himself in a bar room brawl. After recruiting Lope, Cohl was surprised to be greeted by Rella, who had grown concerned for him, and had tracked him to Karfeddion. When Cohl informed her of his mission, she urged him to back out. However, the Mirialan refused, stating that he felt he had to see the mission through to its end. Exasperated but not wishing to leave Cohl, Rella agreed to go with him.
Soon, Cohl had gathered all the men he needed for the operation, and headed for Eriadu as directed. Once their ship entered the planet's atmosphere, they were boarded by several customs officials. Rella and Boiny subdued them, while the rest of the team hid in cargo tubes. The team loaded the cargo tubes on the custom officials' ship, and thanks to several Nebula Front members who had infiltrated the planetary security, they were able to gain clearance to land in a warehouse. Once on Eriadu, the team emerged from the tubes, and were greeted by several Nebula Front mercenaries, Havac included.
Havac led Cohl, Rella and Boiny to a private room in the warehouse, where he began berating the Captain. Cohl had, he claimed, been careless, allowing the Jedi to follow his trail, and the men Cohl had recruited would now have to be used as a diversion in order to salvage the mission. When Cohl responded that he had not gathered the men for them simply to be killed, and turned to leave, Havac drew Rella's blaster and threatened Cohl, stating that he was expendable; in the fight against the Trade Federation, sacrifices had to be made. Abruptly, a skirmish broke out. The brief firefight ended with Rella dead, and Cohl and Boiny wounded. With this, Havac left, intending to meet with Cohl's recruits and give them their mission.
- "Some of us were born to be betrayed. I can't make it up to you, Rella. But I can try with everything I've got left to avenge you."
- ―Arwen Cohl
Boiny proved resilient, and discovered several bacta patches in a medpac near the door. These allowed him and Cohl to stay conscious, and stave off the pain. Upon realizing that Rella was dead, Cohl was distraught, but managed to put aside his grief after a moment. The two discussed their options, with Cohl stating that Havac had left them to be found by the Jedi. The mercenary also swore revenge on Havac, promising to avenge Rella. Now determined to find Havac, the two began exploring the warehouse. It was not long before they discovered a room containing a holoprojector and a restraining bolt. The holoprojector revealed schematics of the Seswenna Hall, where the Trade Summit was to be held. Cohl realized that Havac had intended for security officials to find the holoprojector, giving him an idea as to what the mercenary had planned.
Cohl and Boiny made their way to Seswenna Hall, where they hid among a group of Stark Hyperspace War veterans awaiting admission to the Summit. Heavily wounded, the two fit in well with the veterans, many of whom bore battle scars. Once they entered the building, the duo crept off into the upper levels, where they could look down on the delegates seated many floors below. Cohl noticed that one of the thirteen droids with the Trade Federation representatives was missing a restraining bolt, leading him to suspect that it was being remotely controlled by Havac. Cohl and Boiny simultaneously remembered that Havac had been a holodocumentarian prior to joining the Nebula Front, and headed for the media booth in the Hall's upper levels.
As the two made their way upwards, they encountered two Jedi—Qui-Gon Jinn, who had long been tracking Cohl, and his Padawan, Obi-Wan Kenobi. Jinn revealed that he and Kenobi had been the ones following them at Dorvalla, and that now, he sought Cohl's help to capture Havac, who the Jedi had learned about through way of an informant. Boiny and Cohl revealed Havac's plan to use a droid to assassinate the Chancellor, and Kenobi went to warn the other Jedi stationed near the Chancellor while Jinn followed the mercenaries to the media booth. Jinn was able to subdue Havac's guards and disarm him. Panicked, Havac revealed that he did not have the remote—the team's sniper, located on one of the walkways nearby, had it. Leaving Cohl to guard Havac, Jinn and Boiny rushed off to find the shooter.
The two were unable to prevent the sniper from firing a shot, although he did not hit Valorum. When Cohl mocked Havac's plan, Havac responded that he had never been after Valorum. Stunned, Cohl glanced down at the floor, and realized that the Trade Federation Directorate had been the Nebula Front's target the entire time, and that Havac's holocam was the remote. Though Cohl tried to grab it, he was unable to prevent Havac from using it to activate the droid, which then turned on the Directorate and executed its members. In the brief skirmish between Cohl and Havac, Havac managed to wrestle the blaster away from the Mirialan and fatally wound him. With what strength remained in him, Cohl tore the blaster away from Havac and fired a shot, killing the reactionary before dying himself.
Unbeknownst to Cohl—and the rest of the galaxy—the entire Summit had been manipulated by the Sith Lord Darth Sidious. Havac had been acting on his orders to have the Trade Federation Directorate killed; he too had simply been a pawn of the Sith Lord.
Personality and traits
- "He was said never to have betrayed a friend or an ally."
- ―Luminara Unduli
Arwen Cohl fought selflessly for his homeworld in the Mirialan War. His people considered him a hero for the sacrifices he made in leading his side to victory. However, the war hardened him, and after being betrayed by those that he had fought for, he grew even more apathetic. Cohl swore not to care for others, and left his homeworld to become a mercenary. Though he initially worked only for those whose cause he felt was noble, soon he became a pirate who would work for almost anyone. The Mirialan Jedi Luminara Unduli lamented the fact that history would remember Cohl as a criminal and not a hero.
Despite his promise to look out only for himself, Cohl never completely abandoned his values. He fell in love with the Human woman Rella, and remained loyal to his crew, especially Boiny. Cohl was unwilling to allow Havac to sacrifice men he had hired for the Eriadu mission, stating that they had not signed up simply to die. When Havac brushed off his concern, Cohl attempted to leave, sparking a fight that resulted in Rella's death. Cohl's crew reciprocated his loyalty, and were completely obedient to their captain. Boiny in particular held great respect for Cohl, and the two got along very well. Cohl and Rella were lovers, and he was grief-stricken when she died. He swore revenge on Havac, promising to do all he could to get payback on him.
Though Cohl was very loyal to his crew, he also knew that they were aware of the risks involved in the missions they participated in. As such, he considered completing a mission of tantamount importance, and was willing to leave crewmembers behind if waiting for them threatened the mission. However, he was only comfortable with doing this if they had been informed of the potential dangers involved in the mission, and thus, was not willing to allow Havac to use the assassins he had hired as decoys, stating that they had not signed up to have their lives thrown away.
Cohl held a reputation as a fearsome fighter who rarely failed. He was known throughout the Outer Rim, and the mere sight of the Hawk-Bat was enough to greatly intimidate many of his targets. After being assured that the Nebula Front would take the blame for the assassination of Supreme Chancellor Valorum, Cohl had no qualms about helping plan the mission. The Mirialan disliked the Trade Federation, and was willing to destroy a Trade Federation freighter. He also stated that he would shoot an unarmed Neimoidian without a second thought. Despite this, and his reputation as a pirate, he was considered by many to be an idealist. Unlike many mercenaries, Cohl had limits, and was very loyal to those who worked for him. Still, Cohl had no loyalties beyond those to his people, and held no interest in the outcome of the taxation debates between the Trade Federation and the Republic.
Behind the scenes
- Cloak of Deception (First appearance)
- Darth Plagueis (Indirect mention only)
- Darth Plagueis audiobook (Indirect mention only)
- The New Essential Guide to Characters
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 13 (NAB9, The Naboo Blockade)
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 47 (UND1, Luminara Unduli)
- The New Essential Chronology
- "Order 66: Destroy All Jedi" – Star Wars Insider 87
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Essential Reader's Companion