- "Whatever comes, let's bear it with honor! We die, if need be, for the sake of the Rebellion!"
- ―Sami to Han Solo and Luke Skywalker
The Cantrosians were sapient felinoids indigenous to Cantros 7. Scratches from their paws would result in Cantrosian-scratch fever. During the Galactic Civil War, the Cantrosians were staunch supporters of the Rebel Alliance, which led to an internecine conflict when a rogue operative tried to play factions against each other by insinuating Imperial sympathies among certain Cantrosian groups.
Biology and appearance
- "Hey, Whiskers! Step over here and repeat that part about the lies!"
- ―Han Solo to Durne
Cantrosians were a species of feline humanoids. They possessed triangular ears, sharp teeth, small noses and whiskers, and were covered in fur. This fur could vary in color, from gold to blue to white. Their eyes also differed in color from individual to individual, with green and orange being two such hues. The species had two genders: male and female; females of the species possessed hair on their heads, which could be shot through with streaks. Some male Cantrosians also had hair, though some others did not. Their claws, which featured on all five fingers of their paws, could inflict Cantrosian-scratch fever. Cantrosians also wore clothing such as jumpsuits and boots.
Society and culture
- "I say we put them to the torture! They'll answer our questions readily, if the persuasion is right!"
- ―A Cantrosian Rebel discussing the possibility of torturing captives
Cantrosians were a reasonably advanced species, possessing the ability to create fire, pilot starships such as the T-65 X-wing starfighter, and handle blasters. They also had an understanding of political ideology, with many—if not all—Cantrosians swearing staunch loyalty to the Rebel Alliance. Their homeworld of Cantros 7 had a capital. Some Cantrosians were not against torture if they deemed it necessary.
A people divided
- "What's the good of overthrowing tyrants…if we become tyrants ourselves in doing it? Don't you see? How we do things is just as important as what we do."
- ―Niru, speaking to her faction
In 4 ABY, the Cantrosian male Durne was hired by Nagai Commander Knife—who was himself working to destabilize the Saijo sector on behalf of the Sith Lady Lumiya—to sow discord among his people by framing some Cantrosians as sympathizers of the Galactic Empire, and thus dividing the Rebels into factions. Durne completed the task, which led to each side fleeing Cantros 7, and finding bases in other regions. Durne joined one of the factions and pretended to befriend Minka and Sami, two of its members. Minka and several others were dispatched on a spy mission to a base in the Cantros system, where another faction had fled.
After collecting information, the spies flew to nearby Saijo to inform their allies of their findings, but three Cantrosian-piloted Y-wing starfighters from the other faction pursued them, killing several pilots on Minka's team. Minka managed to survive, but her fighter was badly damaged, and crashed on Saijo. Rebellion figureheads Luke, Leia, and Han happened to be on that planet, and used the cannons on the Millennium Falcon to neutralize the Y-wings. Once Minka recovered, the heroes of the Rebellion took her to Saijo, where she introduced them to the other Cantrosians of her faction. Minka and Sami decided to fight back but Durne, keen to maintain his charade, fabricated a cover story and snuck over to the enemy base.
Mending the rift
As the assemblage traveled in the Millennium Falcon to the opposing faction's planet, they were fired upon by more rival Y-wings, and the Falcon was forced into a landing at a gully on the asteroid. Sami, Solo and Skywalker were taken captive by the Cantrosians there, while Minka and Organa managed to escape. At the base, Sami and his companions were threatened with torture, but the faction's leader Niru demurred, stating that torture was the way of the Empire, which revealed her faction's true loyalties. Making a prompt appearance, Durne inflamed the situation by encouraging Niru to torture their captives. An enraged Sami, along with Solo, called Durne out on his treachery and assured Niru that they, too, were Rebels.
Minka and Organa arrived and disarmed Durne, which sparked a firefight when the faction mistook the two for possible Imperials. Niru refused to fire and attempted to calm the situation but Durne, assuming that if Niru died from an 'unidentified source' he would be back in control, tried to take her by surprise. Skywalker activated his lightsaber and deflected Durne's fire, disabling him. Witnessing this, the assembled Cantrosians realized the truth of the deception. While Solo explained the misunderstanding, Durne attempted to escape, but Niru was able to capture him. With tensions defused, the Cantrosians decided to return to Cantros 7 and live in harmony there. They took Durne with them, with an eye to discovering the truth through honorable interrogation.
Cantrosians in the galaxy
At least two Cantrosians were present on Coruscant in 19 BBY; Sullustan Den Dhur nearly collided with them in a crowd, and was grateful to avoid such an encounter due to the risk of Cantrosian-scratch fever if he annoyed them. One elderly female Cantrosian resided on Malastare as of 1 BBY, where she cooked pashi noodles at a street stall; Imperial pilot and eventual Rebel Juno Eclipse was one of her customers.
Behind the scenes
The Cantrosian species first appeared in the 1984 Marvel Comics issue Star Wars (1977) 93, drawn by Sal Buscema and colored by Petra Scotese. The species was named in Michael Reaves' 2008 novel Coruscant Nights II: Street of Shadows.
- Coruscant Nights II: Street of Shadows (First identified as Cantrosian)
- The Force Unleashed II novel (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II audiobook (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars (1977) 93 (First appearance)