- "Baljos, can't you fine-tune that sensor of yours to detect intelligent, unattached ladies between the ages of twenty and forty?"
"If I could, do you think I'd still be working as a scientist?"
- ―Garik Loran and Baljos Arnjak
Baljos Arnjak was a member of Wraith Squadron during the Yuuzhan Vong War. Skilled in biology, he was stationed at the Borleias garrison after the New Republic seized the planet following the fall of Coruscant to the Yuuzhan Vong. He then participated in the defense of Borleias against Yuuzhan Vong efforts to recapture the world but was later assigned to accompany an intelligence-gathering mission to Coruscant, along with several Jedi.
While on Coruscant, Arnjak made a number of scientific studies of the Vongforming done to the world and also made contact with Coruscanti survivors. When the New Republic team prepared to leave the world, Arnjak adamantly refused to leave, saying that his role in the war was to continue to study Coruscant and organize resistance efforts among the survivors in preparation for an eventual New Republic reclamation of the planet. Years later, when the newly re-organized Galactic Federation of Free Alliances came to retake the world, Arnjak was there to meet their troops with groups of partisans and resistance fighters.
Arnjak was a member of the New Republic Intelligence Service unit Wraith Squadron during the Yuuzhan Vong War, serving as the unit's biological expert with expertise in Yuuzhan Vong technology. Before the fall of Coruscant, Arnjak helped develop a number of tools that allowed the Wraiths to operate behind Yuuzhan Vong lines, including ooglith masquer creatures that, when worn, made the Wraiths appear as Yuuzhan Vong.
After Coruscant was lost to the invaders in 27 ABY, Arnjak and the other Wraiths made their way to the New Republic garrison on Borleias, which had been captured by the Yuuzhan Vong prior to the invasion of Coruscant, but was retaken by New Republic forces shortly after Coruscant's loss. The garrison was under siege from Yuuzhan Vong, who had no desire to lose the world. However, not long after they arrived, he, Wraith Leader Garik Loran, and fellow Wraiths Elassar Targon, Bhindi Drayson, and Kell Tainer were assigned to accompany several Jedi and scientist Danni Quee on an infiltration mission to occupied Coruscant. Part of the purpose of their mission was for the Wraiths to set up resistance cells on the fallen world, while the Jedi were accompanying them to investigate a source of dark side evil that they had sensed. For the mission, Arnjak supplied the team with disguises, tizowyrms to translate spoken Yuuzhan Vong, and small surveillance droids disguised as fungi.
Mission to Coruscant
- "That's 'Science Boy' to you."
- ―Baljos Arnjak, to Danni Quee
The Wraith members, Quee, and the three Jedi—Luke Skywalker, Mara Jade Skywalker, and Tahiri Veila—were inserted onto Coruscant's surface via orbital drop from the freighter Record Time using insertion pods camouflaged as debris and coralskipper husks. Landing on the planet, they found that the Yuuzhan Vong had already begun Vongforming the world to alter its ecosystem, in addition to pillaging much of the cityscape.
The group explored the planet for some time, and Arnjak and Quee made scientific observations of Coruscant's altered biosphere. When the group encountered a group of Yuuzhan Vong warriors, Arnjak and the others were able to pass themselves off as Yuuzhan Vong, but the other party of warriors challenged their right to be there anyway. A fight broke out, and Arnjak assisted the Jedi in luring most of the Yuuzhan Vong onto a narrow bridge, killing some of them, before demolitions expert Kell Tainer destroyed the bridge and the remaining Yuuzhan Vong with a bomb, keeping their presence on Coruscant a secret while they continued to explore.
When the infiltration team discovered a hidden facility in the myriad of ruined buildings they explored, Arnjak and Quee analyzed the room and found that, unlike most of Coruscant's atmosphere, the room contained a higher percentage of oxygen lacking the levels of world-shaping toxins and carbon dioxide that had been introduced into Coruscant's atmosphere by the Yuuzhan Vong. This allowed the party to breathe more easily, and they decided to investigate further. Skywalker discovered the reason for the cleaner air—a devourer tank filled with an organism that actively purified the air—but believed something was underneath it. After using the Force to keep the organism in the tank from attacking him, he was able to open up a secret laboratory, which Arnjak and the others then proceeded to enter, after Mara Jade Skywalker got them through the defensive system with an Imperial-era password.
Inside the room, Arnjak discovered signs of violence—in particular, the Wraith located a decayed Human female corpse, slain by a lightsaber. He also found an oversized Imperial suspended animation chamber, which he surmised held some sort of test subject before it escaped and slew the woman. However, the laboratory was deserted and still had functional power systems, as well as being isolated and defensible, so it became their new hideout. In the meantime, they decided to try and learn more about both Coruscant's condition and the nature of the facility in order to determine their next move.
The break in movement allowed Arnjak and Quee to organize their readings and summarize their findings: Coruscant's orbit had been altered, bringing it closer to its sun and causing an increase in temperature. Also, the Vongforming plants that the Yuuzhan Vong had introduced were dying off, though Arnjak was unable to rationalize why. However, the scientists concluded that Coruscant's environment had been significantly and permanently altered by the Yuuzhan Vong occupation. As such, they recommended to Luke Skywalker that any contact with survivors on Coruscant be focused on helping the natives survive and evade the Yuuzhan Vong. Skywalker was initially reluctant to agree with that assessment, but eventually recognized its veracity and agreed, even though it meant admitting that the New Republic would not retake Coruscant for years.
- "Where's Baljos?"
- ―Garik Loran and Bhindi Drayson
For some time after that, Arnjak and Quee continued to take their scientific measurements of the planet, operating from the hidden laboratory. However, along with Bhindi Drayson, Arnjak was also able to determine the nature of the test subject that had originally been held in the laboratory. As it turned out, the subject was a Force-sensitive Human named Irek Ismaren, who had been subjected to numerous biological and cybernetic alterations to turn him into a powerful Dark Jedi. However, a disturbance, which Arnjak surmised to be a groundquake caused by the Yuuzhan Vong invasion, caused Ismaren to emerge from his suspended animation chamber prematurely. As such, the Dark Jedi was little more than a killing machine, according to Arnjak and Drayson, as the higher levels of thought and memory had yet to be restored to him—he had killed his own mother, the female corpse they had found. Skywalker and the other Jedi, after receiving this report, began a prolonged mission to hunt down Ismaren, who now styled himself Lord Nyax. While pursuing the deranged Dark Jedi, two of the Wraiths found a serviceable transport sporting a hyperdrive, and Skywalker ordered an end to the infiltration mission—once Nyax was defeated, they would leave Coruscant. However, although the original plan had called for Drayson to remain on Coruscant to organize survivor cells, Loran had decided against implementing that part of the mission. Instead, Arnjak insisted that he remain behind to continue his studies. Somewhat reluctantly, Loran agreed.
While on Coruscant, Arnjak collected information from his camouflaged surveillance droids and furnished the New Republic, which was later reorganized into the Galactic Federation of Free Alliances, with intelligence for almost two years. While there, he reported the return of the heretic Shamed One cult leader Yu'shaa, who had been the leader of an uprising against the reigning Yuuzhan Vong castes. Arnjak was able to make communication with some of these Shamed Ones, teaching them some Galactic Basic and fostering a friendship with them in preparation for an eventual Galactic Alliance invasion of the world. Arnjak also coordinated the resistance on Coruscant and maintained contact with Loran to keep him apprised of happenings on the occupied world.
When the Galactic Alliance did invade, Arnjak was there to meet the landing forces and was reunited with his Wraith Squadron companions Tainer and Loran. He then helped lead the combined Shamed One and Galactic Alliance forces on a push to attack Supreme Overlord Shimrra's citadel, which was ultimately taken. As a result of the invasion of Coruscant, Shimrra was slain and the Yuuzhan Vong fleet in orbit sustained heavy losses before surrendering, marking an end to a conflict described as the most destructive since the Galactic Civil War.
Personality and traits
- "Tell me you have some information."
"I have some information. There, that was painless, wasn't it? You can all go now."
- ―Luke Skywalker and Baljos Arnjak
Arnjak, like many of the other Wraiths, was a jokester who enjoyed engaging in verbal word games with others around him, a trait experienced many times by the Jedi who accompanied the Wraiths on the mission to Coruscant. However, he was also dedicated to his mission, working long hours to take readings and conduct tests in unpleasant conditions. He later proved equally determined to carry on his work, to the point of voluntarily remaining behind on a Yuuzhan Vong-held world for two years. Despite his experience in the military, though, Arnjak was not completely inured to the horrors of war, and some of the sights he saw on Coruscant were enough to subdue his normally light manner.
Arnjak spoke Galactic Basic with a clipped Coruscanti accent, or at least an accent that Luke Skywalker attributed to either natives of Coruscant or those who aspired to living on that world.
Skills and abilities
Baljos Arnjak was a skilled biologist, considered to be second only to Danni Quee in expertise on Yuuzhan Vong biots. He personally developed ooglith masquers and fake vonduun crab armor that allowed the Coruscant infiltration team to operate under the guise of Yuuzhan Vong warriors for some time. He was also considered an expert on greater Yuuzhan Vong society, which served him well during his time on Coruscant.
Behind the scenes
Baljós Árnyak is the Hungarian translation of "The Phantom Menace." Arnjak first appeared in the Enemy Lines duology, penned by Aaron Allston for The New Jedi Order book series as a member of Wraith Squadron, a unit also invented by Allston in an earlier novel. Arnjak later appeared in the last book of the New Jedi Order series, The New Jedi Order: The Unifying Force, by James Luceno.
- The New Jedi Order: Enemy Lines I: Rebel Dream (First appearance)
- The New Jedi Order: Enemy Lines II: Rebel Stand
- The New Jedi Order: The Unifying Force
- X-Wing: Mercy Kill (Mentioned only)
- X-Wing: Mercy Kill audiobook (Mentioned only)