Cebann Veekan was a Hamadryas actor who, after 4 ABY, performed in a stage production based on Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker's exploits and adventures. Originally a holo-performer who worked with in the Imperial Entertainers' Guild, circumstances within the organization made it more difficult for non-Humans to find acting work. As a Hamadryas, Veekan was forced to find other avenues of employment, and began acting in several non-Guild productions. Eventually, he found himself on the arid desert world of Tatooine, in the Outer Rim Territories.
Depressed, Veekan spent most of his time in Chalmun's Cantina, situated in Mos Eisley. One of the bartenders, Ackmena, would often entertain her patrons with singing and performance, prompting Veekan to join her and start an acting troupe. They performed constantly at the cantina, and Chalmun himself allowed it as long as the performances made money. The troupe, however, did not truly achieve success until 4 ABY, when they adapted the life story so far of Tatooinian Luke Skywalker to the stage. The play attracted substantial crowds, forcing the troupe to leave the cantina and move onto larger venues. Veekan continued to play the lead role until he grew too old, when he began instructing others who would succeed him in the part.
Cebann Veekan started his career as an actor as a mid-tier holo-performer, working within the Imperial Entertainers Guild. He landed roles in low grade horror stories and comedies, and was able to make a living. However, when the Guild began instituting excessive "loyalty purges," it became more and more difficult for non-Humans like the Hamadryas Veekan to get work in the industry. He was forced to look for work outside the Guild, and began working in several independent productions, performing in plays. He soon realized that his audiences were not so much interested in what he was doing, as they were in their alcoholic beverages.
Chalmun's Cantina and success
Veekan eventually found himself on Tatooine, an arid, desert world located in the Outer Rim Territories. The planet's live performance industry was not promising, and there were no buildings in Mos Eisley that even came close to being a theater. Depressed, Veekan spent much of his time in Chalmun's Cantina, drinking away his troubles. There, he met the Human bartender Ackmena, who was known to augment her service with various types of performance, including singing. Shortly after the Battle of Yavin, Veekan was present in the cantina when a meeting between patron Krelman and Ackmena was broadcast to other systems, including the Kashyyyk system. On the cantina's wallscreen, an Imperial officer announced a curfew on the Tatoo system, forcing all citizens to return home. When Ackmena tried get her patrons to depart, Veekan joined in the mass protest, and in doing so received a free round on the house. He departed shortly thereafter, but returned in due course. Veekan believed that Ackmena's skills in the trade were much like his own, and so decided to create his own troupe in conjunction with the bartender.
The Wookiee proprietor of the cantina, Chalmun, allowed Veekan and Ackmena to perform for his customers as long as it made a profit. At first, however, the troupe struggled to reach success, although in time their situation improved gradually. Their luck changed after the Battle of Endor in 4 ABY, when the troupe created a play based on stories from the adventures of Luke Skywalker. Skywalker, who originally hailed from Tatooine, was now a legend, particularly amongst citizens of his homeworld. His actions while fighting for the Rebel Alliance were as well, prompting Veekan and Ackmena to capitalize upon it with their new play.
The Skywalker play earned the troupe both acclaim and attention. Veekan, in the lead role, became a local hero himself, and was performing the part in front of progressively larger audiences. Fellow cantina patron Myhr Rho, a Cathar, was inspired by Veekan and Ackmena's play, and decided to start the "Skywalker Tour" as a direct result. In time, the popularity of the play grew to a point in which Chalmun's Cantina, capacity wise, was no longer suitable, and the troupe moved to a larger venue. Veekan continued to play the part for many years, until he became too old and was forced to hand it over to someone younger. When he retired, he began instructing his successors in the role, and helped out with the production behind the scenes.
Personality and traits
When faced with the prospect of unemployment, Veekan would become sorrowful, and turned to drinking dens for consolation. He exploited venues and events to the full, turning the life of one of Tatooine's more famous heroes into profits for both himself and Chalmun. In the role, Veekan was revered by the local populace, though to a lesser degree than Skywalker himself. He was also found to be inspiring by some, who used their experiences in watching Veekan's play to sometimes alter their lifestyles completely.
Behind the scenes
The character of Cebann Veekan first appeared as an unnamed character in The Star Wars Holiday Special, which was directed by David Acomba and Steve Binder. The character was initially known as "Baboon Man" on set. Baboon Man's makeup, which was designed by Rick Baker, took some two and a half hours to apply. Unlike many of the actors underneath flexible masks, the actor portraying Baboon Man, as well as the man portraying Myhr Rho (then known as "Lion Man") particularly suffered under the heat from the lighting on the lengthy 24-hour shoot of the cantina sequence.
The character also appears sporadically and randomly in the non-canon game Star Wars: Yoda Stories. Later, Veekan was named and given a story by Tommy Mac, writing as "DJ Maul: Got Feet?," through the StarWars.com Hyperspace feature, "What's The Story?" The character's species name was contributed by Completely Unofficial Star Wars Encyclopedia creator Bob Vitas, who was writing as "Bubba1227." Mac thought that the character looked somewhat like actor Kevin Bacon, and so decided to base Veekan's name on Bacon's. Mac's entry was also changed multiple times in the editing process, though Mac himself had no problems with the alterations. In the Databank entry, however, the name "Veekan" is misspelled as "Becann" two times, as a typographical error. In the same round of "What's the Story?" entries, Benjamin Christopher Norton Dawe's entry for Myhr Rho also featured Cebann Veekan, but this was added by the StarWars.com editors, and not Dawe himself.
- The Star Wars Holiday Special (First appearance)
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- (First identified as Cebann Veekan)