- "She was all guts and sex appeal."
- ―Rik Duel
Dani was a female Zeltron adventurer and a master thief from the planet of Zeltros. She was a member of the Rik Duel gang alongside Rik Duel and Chihdo, and the trio became well known as con artists and smugglers. After encountering the Rebel Alliance on several occasions, and becoming infatuated with Rebel hero Luke Skywalker, Dani eventually joined the Alliance following the Battle of Endor and their reformation into the Alliance of Free Planets. Under the Alliance, Dani received special training from Skywalker, eventually becoming a soldier in the Alliance Military. Around the same time, Dani fell in love with the Iskalonian Kiro, and the two began a devoted relationship.
Continuing her work with the Alliance, Dani was caught up in the Nagai–Tof War, and on a mission to the planet Kinooine, alongside Kiro and Skywalker, she was one of the first Alliance agents to encounter the Nagai and their ally, the Dark Lady Lumiya. After Kiro was presumed killed in action on Kinooine, Dani became filled with the desire for revenge, hoping to cause as much pain to the Nagai as they had caused her. However, she was forced to lay aside her personal feelings when the Nagai joined the Alliance to combat the larger Tof threat. Following the end of the war, Dani returned to Zeltros and tried to drown her misery in the joyful atmosphere of her homeworld.
- "Well, I'm going to find someplace to hide. I don't want any Imperial officer finding me here. I have the death sentence in six star systems."
One of the most well-known Zeltrons in the New Republic, Dani did not start off so well known. At some point, Dani made friends with Rik Duel and joined his gang. With her new employer, she left her homeworld of Zeltros, joining Duel's crew aboard his ship, the Moonshadow. Dani spent a number of years working with the smuggler, and his Rodian partner, Chihdo; she became familiar with the smuggling and con artist trade, using her knowledge to help Duel in his schemes. Dani became an accomplished lock-picker during this time, helping the gang rob plenty of beings. The gang eventually built a reputation and were familiar with Han Solo some time prior to his involvement with the Rebel Alliance.
Although Duel and his gang were able to pull off elaborate cons on plenty of beings, the operations were not without their perils, and, under his command, Dani accumulated a death sentence in six systems. Duel had a stubborn demeanor during these unsuccessful plots, and despite Dani's coaxing, he had a tendency to stick with them until they blew up in his face. The tendency for these plans to go awry may have played a factor in how much Duel compensated his Zeltron employee, since he had never seen fit to pay Dani during her entire tenure under his command. However, even with his lack of consistent paydays, Dani still maintained a consistent loyalty to her commander, staying with the gang even during their darkest times.
The Stenos operation
- "Rik, Chihdo and I operated on Stenos for a long time…everyone there has wings…if you don't want to be a total pariah among people who know how to fly, you pick up a lot of aerodynamic expertise very quickly."
Shortly after the Battle of Yavin, Duel, Dani, and Chihdo were operating on the Outer Rim Territories world of Stenos, where they were hired by Quorl Matrin, the planet's Imperial Governor. Matrin, a former senator and avid collector of esoteric artifacts, had spent years searching for the famed statue of Vol, an idol representing the god of the native Stenaxes. The statue had been buried during an earthquake years earlier, causing the winged Stenaxes to stop flying in disgrace. Duel and his gang promised to deliver the idol to Matrin in return for payment and began to search the ancient temples, looting the areas for valuables in the process.
During this operation, the gang inadvertently stumbled upon the Rebel heroes, Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa, and Han Solo, who had arrived on the world to check in with a Rebel base that had lost contact with the Alliance. Duel was able to deceive the Rebels into believing that they were working for the Rebellion as well, claiming that the trio was under the command of Colonel Pejanes Kindar, the very person the Rebels were trying to contact. Using Kindar's name to gain the Rebels' trust, Duel convinced the group that they needed to help find the missing idol in order to appease the native Stenaxes. Solo was suspicious of his old "friend," but agreed to help find the statue. Dani was immediately attracted to Skywalker, who met her overt attentions with embarrassment.
After moving the Millennium Falcon to the temple that had formerly housed Kindar's team, the group began to slowly clear away the surrounding rubble. Dani used the time to continue her obvious flirtation towards Skywalker, going out of her way to be near the young Rebel hero. After moving a substantial amount of the ruins, the team uncovered a series of carvings that, when translated by the protocol droid C-3PO, pointed to the location of the missing idol. Using the astromech droid R2-D2 to pinpoint the exact spot, the Rebels began to dig once again, eventually discovering the tiny statue. However, with the prize found, Duel and his gang revealed the double cross, stealing the artifact for themselves. Before leaving the Rebels to be captured by the local Imperials, Dani told Skywalker to look her up if he was able to escape, giving him a farewell kiss.
As the gang made their way back to the Moonshadow, Duel began to reconsider handing over the idol, reckoning that there was bound to be other collectors who would pay them far better than Matrin. However, the Imperial governor was not so easily swindled and had anticipated the betrayal, cutting off the gang at their ship. After securing the statue from the Duel, Matrin prepared to execute the two-timing smuggler for his attempted treachery. Unfortunately for the Imperials, before Matrin could eliminate Duel, he was distracted by the arrival of the Stenaxes, who were inexplicably flying through the air. The taboo against flight had been lifted with the discovery of Vol, and the natives had arrived to secure the holy idol.
Taking charge of the situation, Duel pointed out the governor for profaning the Stenaxes' god, helping the gang to escape in the confusion. Matrin and his stormtroopers were killed by the violent creatures, although the Imperial governor's body was too badly mauled to be properly identified.
Return of the Rebels
- "I've been so lonely since you left…alone here, with all those Stenaxes, and aliens…"
"And Rik…practically alone…"
- ―Dani and Rik encounter Luke Skywalker
Even having just barely escaped certain death, Duel, Dani, and Chihdo remained on Stenos, familiarizing themselves with the area. Dani even learned how to operate primitive flight equipment in order to function on a world that was accustomed to species with wings. Years later, around 3 ABY, Skywalker and the Wookiee Chewbacca returned to Stenos with Lando Calrissian, searching for the bounty hunters Bossk and IG-88C, who had been seen on the planet. One of the bounty hunters had been rumored to be working with Boba Fett during Solo's capture, and the Rebels hoped to convince the hunter to tell them where Fett had taken Solo. However, in their search for the two bounty hunters, Calrissian was recognized by his own nemesis, Barpotomous Drebble, who promised ten thousand credits for his capture. During their escape from the mob, Skywalker ducked into a back alley and came face to face with Duel and Dani. After Skywalker fought off Dani's amorous advances once again, Duel explained to the young Jedi how they had escaped the Stenaxes and then secured his help in finding Chihdo, who had recently gone missing. Dani and Duel began to lead Skywalker to where they believed Chihdo to be located, but inadvertently became separated when Skywalker was called away by Calrissian, reporting he had found Solo.
Even without Skywalker, Dani and Duel were still able to locate Chihdo, who had been frozen in carbonite by Bossk, IG-88C, and several other bounty hunters, who had set up their own carbon-freezing chamber. The bounty hunters had frozen Chihdo as a ruse to lure Skywalker and Calrissian into their headquarters, hoping to claim the bounties on the two Rebels. The deception worked perfectly, but when the bounty hunters began to close in, Dani and Duel leapt to the rescue, surprising the hunters with a hail of blaster fire. However, before the group could escape with Chihdo, IG-88C used a high-powered signal to summon reinforcements, which quickly turned the tide against the would-be rescuers. Although Duel and Skywalker were able to escape out of a back door, Dani and Calrissian were overwhelmed and disarmed, becoming the bounty hunters' prisoners.
Prisoners of the bounty hunters
- "At least I'm not facing it alone…I have you here…a man—a big, strong man…to take care of me and protect me."
"Really? I'm glad you feel that way…that is…I'm glad you know you can rely on me… to be of some comfort to you…"
- ―Dani speaks with Lando Calrissian
With blasters trained on them, Dani and Calrissian were led away by the bounty hunters to their carbon freezing chamber. Dani was visibly distraught at the possibility and could not help but hang onto Calrissian for support. Calrissian was not disinclined to comfort the distressed Zeltron, and he assured her that he would be able to bribe their guards into releasing them. However, it was just at that moment that Calrissian was confronted by Drebble once again, the man that was paying for Calrissian to be frozen and delivered to his planet, and he assured the two prisoners that he would not allow Calrissian to bribe the guard. With seemingly no alternative, Dani grabbed onto the guard, begging him to let them live, promising him anything in return. When the guard pushed Dani away, not wanting to be affected by her Zeltron pheromones, she responded with a flying kick, rendering him unconscious.
Before Calrissian could get his hand the guard's weapon, Drebble's men began to fire on the pair, forcing them to run into the nearest building. Dodging the guards, Dani and Calrissian tried to take shelter in the nearest open room, but were surprised to find themselves in the very place they were trying to avoid. Drebble's men had ferried the two directly into the bounty hunters' carbon freezing chamber, where Bossk and IG-88C awaited. Pleased with their own genius, the hunters grabbed Dani, preparing to use her to test the effectiveness of the freezing chamber. However, before Dani could be forced into the chamber, she was unexpectedly rescued by Skywalker and Duel, who had tracked the pair to their location. The bounty hunters were able to temporarily regain the upper hand and surround the group, but before anything further could be accomplished, they were assaulted by a barrage of spears. A group of Stenax, who had been coerced into service by Chewbacca, began to mow through the bounty hunters with unbridled ferocity. Chewbacca himself was able to incapacitate Bossk and IG-88C, foiling their plans.
With the search for Solo on Stenos having turned out to be a waste, the Rebels prepared to leave Stenos, leaving Duel to ponder how to duplicate Chewbacca's feat of commanding the usually uncooperative Stenax. However, as the Rebels lifted off in the Falcon, Dani stowed aboard, having grown tired of Duel's harebrained schemes, and eager to pursue a relationship with Skywalker.
Expedition to Lahsbane
- "I hear you talking about your rank and throwing your title around…but I've never seen you do anything to justify having them! Why don't you prove your worth to this precious Rebellion of yours?"
- ―Dani, to Leia Organa
Joining the crew of the Millennium Falcon, Dani accompanied the Rebels for a time, eventually following them to the planet Lahsbane. The Rebels were on the trail of Yom Argo, an Alliance spy who had been working to stir up Rebel sentiments in the sector. Argo had been shot down by Imperials, eventually crash-landing on Lahsbane. Although Argo was killed in the crash, his ship contained datatapes that explained his progress in the area. Not wishing to let the tapes fall into the wrong hands, the Alliance sent Skywalker, Organa, Calrissian, and Chewbacca, who were closest to Lahsbane, to recover the tapes.
After arriving on the planet, the Rebels questioned by the native Lahsbees, learning that the tapes they were seeking had been brought to the Forbidden City as a tribute to a fallen Lahsbee who had been working with Argo and had also died in the crash. Although eager to track down the tapes, the Forbidden City was separated from their location by a vast gorge, and the Falcon was experiencing technical difficulties, as the strong pollen in the air had clogged its intake valves, stranding the Rebels temporarily without the benefit of flight. To make matters worse, a contingent of Imperial stormtroopers had also arrived to track down the tapes. Dani was oblivious to the mission as she continued to struggle to win Skywalker's affection, but after the arrival of the Imperials, she found herself left by the wayside, as Calrissian, Chewbacca, and Skywalker scrambled to camouflage the Falcon.
Alone with Organa, the two began to insult one another, with Organa accusing Dani of being a two-bit criminal and Dani implicating Organa as a worthless pampered diplomat. In order to prove each other wrong, the two women agreed to work together to rescue the tapes themselves. Waiting for the cover of nightfall, Dani and Organa secured two hot air balloons from the natives, since R2-D2 was still working to unclog the Falcon's intake valves. With Dani's expertise around primitive flight equipment, the two were about to lift off when they heard the approach of the Imperial detachment. Leaving Organa to hold the balloons, Dani was able to distract the Imperial commander with an exotic dance, keeping the Imperials from discovering Organa. After the group had passed by, Dani raced back to her, only to find that a strong wind had overtaken the balloon, pushing it into the gorge and taking Organa with it. To keep her from flying away without her, Dani took a running leap off of the cliff face and landed directly on top of the balloon. Although the two women were stuck hanging precariously on opposite sides of the balloon, the wind was pushing them towards their destination, and they were able to reach the city unharmed.
Arriving in the city, Dani and Organa were surprised to find how large it truly was, as the diminutive Lahsbees they had encountered seemed much too small to inhabit the huge structures. Unknown to the two women, the city was actually the home of the Huhks, the mature form of the Lahsbees, who were incredibly hostile towards others. Dani and Organa began to search the city for the tapes, breaking their way into the first locked door they encountered, courtesy of Dani's lock picking skills. The room contained a huge wealth of treasure, including Argo's missing tapes. As Organa entered the room to grab the tapes, Dani used the distraction to pocket several handfuls of the treasure. With their prize secured, the two women turned to leave but were confronted by a group of Huhks. Weaponless, Dani and Organa fled for their lives, eventually meeting a dead end. Backed into a corner as the Huhks slowly approached, they were only saved by the timely intervention of Skywalker, who used his blaster to incapacitate the monsters.
With the tapes in hand, the Rebels made their way back to the Falcon, but as the group pondered how they would escape without attracting the notice of the Imperials, Dani silently slipped away with her stolen treasure. Commandeering the Imperial scouting vessel, Dani left Lahsbee on a course back to Rik Duel and Chihdo, hoping that they would appreciate her presence more than the unresponsive Skywalker had.
Back with the Rik Duel gang
- "Have you missed me? You must have! I've missed you…I'm so sorry I left you without any warning! I love you."
- ―Dani and Luke Skywalker
Although Dani had intended to meet up with Duel, she got sidetracked on the way, arriving at Kabray Station with the Zeltros delegation during a diplomatic conference of worlds. While there, she witnessed the accidental maturation of a Lahsbee into a rampaging Huhk. The situation was defused when Leia Organa, posing as the Chanteuse of the Stars, lulled the beast into docility. After this event, Dani rejoined Duel and Chihdo, who had been unfrozen from the carbonite without any adverse affects, and resumed her criminal activities. Duel was pleased with the treasure that Dani had stolen, and he forgave her for abandoning him on Stenos. Looking to minimize the risk of their operations, Duel led the gang in salvaging loot from worlds that had been devastated by the Empire. Even following the Battle of Endor, this looting continued on different worlds. However, even with a job with such a high profit margin, Dani could not forget about Skywalker, continuing to pine for his presence. During a salvaging operation on the planet Iskalon, Dani encountered Skywalker again, practically attacking him in her excitement. However, the Jedi was disgusted with the gang's looting, as he was on a diplomatic mission, along with Plif, trying to encourage the Iskalonians to attend the First Conference of Free Peoples. As Skywalker tried to discourage the gang from looting the city of Pavillion, a Chiaki arose from the depths to feed. Unknown to the group, the School had lured the Chiaki to the surface, hoping to drive away the outsiders. Skywalker was able to drive the beast away, but the School was determined to drive away the intruders, and attacked.
To the surprise of Dani and the rest of the gang, who were unaware of the changes he had gone through following the Battle of Endor, Skywalker drove back the attackers, using his skill with a lightsaber to protect the smugglers. Although Skywalker tried to defuse the situation peacefully, it was only through the intervention of Kiro, the appointed "Defender of Iskalon," that the fight was ended. Recognizing Skywalker, and knowing him to be a friend of the Iskalonians, the young warrior told his group to stand down. Duel and his gang watched tentatively as Skywalker spoke with the Iskalonians and their leader, Mone, encouraging them to send a diplomat back to the Alliance. However, Mone refused, requesting that they leave the planet at once. Skywalker ordered Duel and his gang to leave immediately, and the group prepared to leave Iskalon and the School in peace. Before Skywalker could depart in his X-wing, he was stopped by Kiro, who wanted to see the outside world. Skywalker agreed to take Kiro with him, and ordered Duel to take Kiro on the Moonshadow, as the Jedi's starfighter only had room for he and Plif.
The Shawken scare
- Rik Duel: "Luke…kid…buddy. You know you can trust me. Word of a Corellian. I wouldn't even think of…"
- Plif: "Luke, do you wish me to tell you what he's really thinking?"
- Luke Skywalker: "You don't have to, Plif. I don't have to be a telepath to read his mind, or Chihdo's."
- Dani: "Or mine, I hope. You know there's only one little operation I'd like to set up while we're here. It involves you and me and we could—"
- ―Luke Skywalker, Rik Duel, Plif, and Dani, on Shawken
After departing Iskalon, Duel and his gang informally joined the Alliance, following Skywalker to his next diplomatic stop on the planet Shawken. After landing, the group met up with Santor, a representative of the planet who invited the party back to his home in the nearby city. Dani wished to accompany Skywalker, but Duel wanted no part in the boring diplomatic talks that were to ensue. Santor pointed out the nearby Shawkenese catacombs and told the gang that they were welcome to explore the area while the rest of the group accompanied Santor back to his house. Eager to check the ruins for possible valuables, Duel agreed and the gang left to explore.
After arriving at the ruins, Dani began to flirt with the guard standing watch, making him uncomfortable, and causing him to leave the group unwatched. This was fine with Duel, who was glad to be free of the guard's presence in their search for loot. After moving even deeper into the ruins, the gang came upon an underground tomb that was covered in elaborate carvings. As Duel and Chihdo attempted to break off some of the panels on the walls, they were stopped by Kiro, who had arrived to make sure they would not cause any damage. Irritated at the Iskalonian's strict sense of honor, Chihdo fired his blaster at the young warrior. Appalled at the Rodian's lack of morals, Kiro grabbed Chihdo and slammed him up against the wall. The action had unintended consequences, as Chihdo's body inadvertently triggered a hidden lever, sealing the party inside the elaborate tomb. Stunned at the turn of events, the group received another surprise when a loud ticking began to resound throughout the catacombs, signaling the activation of the Shawken Device, a long dormant superweapon.
Trapped inside the small tomb, the group struggled to free themselves. Chihdo attempted to tun the lever back the other way, but it snapped off in his hand. Duel attempted to pry up the door with Kiro's knife, but the knife was unable to get under the doorway. As the gang began to lose control of their emotions, certain that they would end up dying in the room, Kiro was the lone voice of reason, assuring the gang that Skywalker would come to rescue them. Kiro personally comforted the distraught Dani, causing the Zeltron to latch on to his confidence. True to Kiro's word, Skywalker found the group, and, using Plif to remove the energy behind the sealed doorways, the gang was freed. No longer afraid of dying, Dani immediately forgot Kiro, and to the Iskalonian's annoyance, stated that she had knew all along that her beloved would save her.
However, the rescue brought with it bad news. The Shawken Device, if not deactivated, was set to destroy the planet and supposedly set off a chain reaction that would bring an end to the universe. The room that the gang had been trapped in was actually the entrance to the center of the device, and Kiro and Skywalker immediately set off to shut it down. As the two departed, Dani wished Skywalker luck, and perhaps betraying her budding feelings for Kiro, wished him luck as well. After the two had departed, the group could do nothing but wait, unaware of what was happening below. Suddenly, the ticking stopped and new sounds began to be heard beneath their feet. Skywalker, carrying Kiro over his shoulder, came up out of the device, explaining that Kiro had destroyed the weapon and saved them all. Lying the comatose Iskalonian on the ground, the group began to grieve over their savior's body until Plif was able to recognize fledgling life signs within Kiro's body. Kiro was barely alive, and the group rushed him back to the surface to save him.
Joining the Alliance
- "It's gonna be just like old times again, Leia! You and me and a planet full of lonely, gullible men!"
Placing Kiro in an enclosed water chamber to simulate the atmosphere he needed to breathe, the group raced towards the Alliance base on the forest moon of Endor. After arriving, Kiro was shuttled off of the Moonshadow and rushed to the medical center to be treated. With Kiro taken care of, Dani greeted Leia Organa with enthusiasm, even as she was contemplating the wisdom of bringing Duel and his gang to the Alliance base. Although they were not warmly received, Dani, Duel, and Chihdo decided to stay with the Alliance, even after Kiro had fully recovered. The gang spent their days playing cards with the Alliance soldiers, routinely taking their money off of them. Unfortunately for the gang, their leader's habit of constantly winning eventually got them into trouble, as one soldier, Crin, sour over the money he had lost, drew his weapon on the gang, even shooting Chihdo in the chest. With tensions escalated, Dani jumped the Rebel soldier and attempted to pin his weapon to the ground. The fight was stopped only when Skywalker intervened, knocking the blaster out of Crin's hand.
Perhaps due to Skywalker standing up for them, Dani and the rest of the gang joined the Alliance formally. When Skywalker began training a new group of recruits, Dani and her two associates were among them. Under their new commander, the trio began to train as soldiers for the Alliance. Alongside Kiro, Barney, and Dracos, the group received training in general conditioning, marksmanship, fighting skills, and even meditation. Due to the emphasis on meditation, the recruits speculated that Skywalker would eventually begin to train them in the use of the Force, to become the next Jedi Knights. However, due to Skywalker's fears that he would create the next Darth Vader, their commander refused, even when they questioned him about it directly.
Even with Skywalker's refusal, Dani remained on Endor with the Alliance of Free Planets, making friends with her fellow allies, including the Lahsbees. However, she was ordered by Admiral Gial Ackbar to stop associating with them, for fear that she would stimulate them into their mature form of Huhks. Dani was present during the honor duel between the Ewok Tippet and another Lahsbee, who had been manipulated into fighting by the Hiromi Hirog. Although Ackbar had warned Dani not to aid in the Lahsbee's maturation, the honor duel ended up doing just that: frightening Tippet's Lahsbee opponent into his mature form. The Huhk was not subdued immediately. However, the Huhk's vulnerability to blaster weapons meant that it could be easily stunned.
Following this event, Dani began a relationship with Kiro. Although some would speculate that she had become attracted to Kiro due to his possession of blond hair and sensitivity to the Force, the same as Luke Skywalker, their relationship blossomed into one of strong commitment, and the two fell deeply in love.
Mission to Kinooine
- "Kiro…did you hear something?"
While Dani and Kiro continued their relationship, they were called into duty by their commander, Luke Skywalker. A short time earlier, Skywalker had sent out a scouting party of twenty individuals to the planet Kinooine to investigate the sudden and mysterious detection of life on the barren surface. However, after arriving, the team had stopped making transmissions back to base. Taking Kiro and Dani along in a small shuttle, Skywalker left Endor to make sure that the scouting party was fine. After arriving on the world, the trio set up a base camp near the water. As Skywalker began to break out the equipment, Kiro and Dani walked along the shoreline, wishing to be alone for a while. Although Skywalker warned them not to go too far from the base camp, the two were soon far out of sight of the ship. This proved to be their undoing, as Dani and Kiro happened upon a mysterious woman wielding an unfamiliar weapon. Without warning, the woman began to attack the pair, cutting open Kiro's rebreather suit and slashing Dani across the back. Leaving Kiro for dead, the woman took Dani back to her base as a prisoner. Kiro was able to make his way back to Skywalker, barely alive, pleading with the Jedi to save his beloved.
Although Skywalker confronted the mysterious woman, Lumiya, he was defeated in combat and imprisoned in the same place that Dani was being held. During her imprisonment, Dani was tended to by Faron, a survivor of the missing scouting party and the only one to avoid execution. Lumiya's aide, the Nagai Den Siva, became incredibly interested in Dani while she was imprisoned, wishing to know how four Zeltron males had been able to defeat a Nagai task force in the Skirmish on Kabray. With Lumiya's blessing, Siva ordered Faron to take the Zeltron back to his quarters for study. In order to study the make up of the Zeltron species, Siva subjected Dani to the tortures of the analysis grid, a device designed to detect the physiology of species, though at great pain to the subject. In watching Dani's defiant response to the painful analysis, Siva began to develop feelings for the Zeltron, intrigued by her strong personality. However, as Faron watched the cruel torture, he was overwhelmed with feelings of guilt. Sliding a knife out of Siva's belt, the former Rebel charged Siva but was cut down halfway, as Siva sensed the double cross and threw a knife through his chest.
- "Her. She's mine now."
"Dani belongs to herself—and to me, if she wishes it. Leave her alone!"
- ―Den Siva and Kiro
With Dani in a state of deep shock after her torture, Siva moved her back to a cell where she curled up in the fetal position, frightened and alone. She was forced to listen to Siva's explanation that he found her incredibly alluring, and that she had changed his ideas on true beauty. Leaving the Zeltron with a flower that he had picked for her, Siva left Dani to wallow in despair. However, moments later, the door of her cell sprung open once again. It was Kiro, who had finally come to rescue her. Overjoyed, Dani threw herself into her lover's arms, collapsing upon him in exhaustion. Kiro promised his love that he would never allow her to be hurt again, and he carried the weakened woman out of her cell.
As Skywalker infiltrated the Nagai base to find what information he could on this new threat, Kiro and Dani made their way back to the ship. However, they were cut off by Den Siva, holding the flower that he had given to Dani. Siva claimed that Dani was his now and attacked the Iskalonian, instigating a fierce knife battle. As Dani watched fearfully, Siva was able to smash Kiro's helmet, depriving him of the water he needed to breathe. Before Siva could get the upper hand, Kiro tackled the Nagai, propelling them both into the waters below. The two combatants began to fight furiously underwater, but Siva overpowered the Iskalonian, cutting him open and causing his blood to rise to the surface. As Dani began to mourn the loss of her love, Skywalker arrived to console her, claiming that the young warrior could have survived. After searching the surrounding area, they were unable to find Kiro's body, and Skywalker was unable to convince Dani that Kiro had somehow survived.
- "She loved him, Lando…really loved him. And now she's hurting so much not even her closest friends can reach her."
- ―Luke Skywalker
Back at the Alliance base, Dani became increasingly distant from her friends, even Duel and Chihdo, completely devastated by Kiro's death. However, for the rest of the Alliance, there was no time to console Dani, as the mission to Kinooine has signaled the beginning of the Nagai–Tof War.
Although she had been fully unreachable, Dani eventually began to open up. However, her playful friendliness had been replaced entirely by a lust for revenge. She had only one desire, to exterminate Den Siva and his entire race. To give Dani some rest and relaxation, Han Solo decided to transport Dani back to her homeworld of Zeltros. However, even the sight of her home planet could not bring a smile to Dani's face, and she claimed the only reason she had agreed to return was so that she could convince her people to enter the war and help obliterate the Nagai.
Unfortunately for Dani and the Rebels who had come with her, their arrival coincided with an attack force of Nagai led by Siva, in preparation for an assault on the planet. Siva had become obsessed with Dani and spent much of his time staring at holograms of her. He was incredibly interested in recapturing Dani for himself. As Siva prepared his forces, Dani and the rest of the Rebels attended a party on Zeltros being held in their honor. However, even in the middle of the festivities, Dani remained miserable, continuing to rant about how all the Nagai deserved a quick death, only because torture was not the Zeltron way. To keep Dani from making a further scene, Leia Organa took the Zeltron aside to try and console her. However, away from the party, they were confronted by Siva, who was delighted to see Dani again. Dani was furious at Siva and told Organa to run for help so that she could take care of her torturer one-on-one. However, Dani's attack proved fruitless, and with one quick blow, Siva knocked her unconscious. As Organa tried to flee and warn the Alliance of the Nagai attack, one of Siva's men appeared and stunned her.
As Siva's force began to subdue the rest of the people at the party, Dani and Organa were tied up and kept subdued. However, in a quick turn of events, the Nagai's old enemy, the Tof, had also arrived on Zeltros, and they took Siva captive. An unidentified Supreme, the leader of the Tof forces, recognized how much Siva cared for Dani and through threatening the Zeltron's life, was able to get Siva to betray his own people. While Siva left to lead his own people into an ambush, a group of Hoojibs began to harass the Tof guarding Dani and Organa. With the Tof distracted, Dani and Organa tried to escape but were noticed by the Tof. Before the Tof could recapture the two women, Skywalker arrived with a group of Hiromi and suddenly attacked, defeating the Tof and freeing them both.
Although Dani was content to let Siva betray his own people, hoping that the Tof would kill him, Organa was able to convince the Zeltron to help them save Siva, if only to help rescue his prisoners, which included Solo and the rest of the Rebels. However, when Organa, Plif, and Dani caught up with the Siva, the Zeltron could not hide her lust for revenge, and she leveled her blaster at the Nagai, preparing to kill him. Plif and Organa were able to talk Dani out of the action, reasoning with her that it would blow their element of surprise and put the Rebel captives at risk. Waiting for the right moment, Dani and Organa opened fire on the Tof, freeing their friends, and triggering a revolt that quickly eliminated the Tof threat.
In the aftermath of the battle, a wounded Nagai, Captain Harmon Sho, in an effort to avenge his fallen men, trained his blaster on Dani, hoping to claim a final victory for the Nagai. However, before he could fire, he was shot in the back by Siva, who had once again gone out of his way to preserve Dani's life. Siva, recognizing that the Tof were now the greater threat, opened up negotiations with the Alliance. The talks eventually led to a partnership between the Nagai and the Alliance of Free Planets.
End of the War
- "I think…we are not so different, after all."
"And I say we are. And I cheer the differences."
- ―Den Siva and Dani, during the Battle of Saijo
With the Nagai now unified with the Alliance, Dani was forced to set aside her hatred for the Nagai. She was even forced to work alongside her torturer, Den Siva, something that disgusted her incredibly. However, the Alliance soon pushed the Tof forces back to their forward base on Saijo, threatening to end the war. The two sides engaged in brutal trench warfare, as the Alliance slowly pushed the Tof back. During the fighting, Dani and Siva acted as scouts, gathering information on the Tof movements. Although Dani was disturbed by Siva's presence, she began to hang around him more and more, even to the point where the Alliance believed that the two were in love with each other. However, Dani denied the allegation, claiming that the only reason she hung around him was because he could understand her. She was a fun-loving Zeltron who had turned brutal, while he was a cold-hearted Nagai who had come to appreciate the pleasures of the world. As they were both hybrids of their true natures, Dani could understand Siva, but she did not enjoy his company. However, Siva was still infatuated with Dani and continued to pursue her, despite her rejection.
As the Alliance continued to battle the Tof, Skywalker devised a plan to infiltrate the Tof headquarters, and he formed a task force consisting of Dani, Solo, Organa, Siva, and Knife, a Nagai commander. While the Nagai disguised themselves as Tof prisoners, Organa and Dani donned Tof dresses, and the group was able to infiltrate the throne room of the Tof leader, Sereno. However, their attack was routed by Lumiya, who had come to see Sereno in order to negotiate a truce. As a shoot out ensued in the throne room, Lumiya briefly gained the upper hand before being incapacitated by Bey, an Alliance agent who had been working undercover. With Sereno captured, and Lumiya defeated, the war was finally at an end. Dani continued to work for the fledgling New Republic for some time after the conflict, and on one occasion, she was dispatched with a New Republic peacekeeping force to Asteph'skaff to mediate minor labor disputes in the region and ensure that the sitiuation did not escalate.
Learning the truth
Although the war with the Nagai had ended, Dani still harbored resentment towards all that had happened to her. She returned to Zeltros, and set about roaming the cantinas and dance halls of the planet, trying to dull her pain with spice wine and gambling. She took on various jobs, including occasionally hiring herself out as an assassin. In this capacity, Dani avoided her former friends, keeping anyone from learning her exact whereabouts, even Duel and Chihdo. However, at some point following the formation of the New Republic, Skywalker hired a group of heroes to track down Dani and deliver her a message.
Kiro, Dani's lover, had not died on Kinooine. Although incredibly wounded, he was able to eventually escape and make his way back to his homeworld. However, while there, he realized how much his own people needed him, as they were under attack by the Nagai. Kiro, with the help of Skywalker and Calrissian, had driven the Nagai off his home planet, but he had asked that Skywalker not reveal his survival to Dani, knowing that the protection of his homeworld was greater than his own desires. However, Skywalker had chosen to break that promise, seeing how despondent Dani had become.
Personality and traits
- "No one told me Zeltrons can fight!"
"There's only one thing we do better!"
- ―Crin and Dani fight on Endor
Dani was a fiery individual, dedicated to whatever cause she was serving. While serving under Rik Duel, she took to the tasks she game him with fervor, even though the smuggler always neglected to pay her. Dani was also intensely loyal, staying with Duel even when he constantly put her life at risk, and also continuing to fight with the Alliance even after they joined with the Nagai. However, Dani had an intense fear of dying alone, and for all the toughness she showed as a warrior, she was known to break down into tears when even considering the possibility. During her time with the Alliance of Free Planets, she was generally gregarious and openly playful with other members of the Alliance. This mindset allowed her to form a loving relationship with Kiro, another member of the Alliance of Free Planets.
However, her loving and caring attitude was shattered during the Nagai-Tof War. After undergoing extensive torture by the Nagai Den Siva, Dani's carefree demeanor was stripped away, and she would continue to have nightmares of the event even after being rescued. When Den Siva apparently killed her lover, Kiro, in the waters of Kinooine, Dani was pushed over the edge, resigning herself to total despair. She became unreachable by even her closest friends, and her easygoing attitude was replaced with a cold-hearted desire for revenge. Dani was consumed with hatred for her Nagai enemies, and openly wished for them all to be painfully exterminated. When the Nagai eventually joined with the Alliance of Free Planets, Dani continued to harbor hatred for them, only tolerating them for the sake of the war effort. When the war ended, she became gripped by hopelessness and returned to Zeltros, trying to dull the pain with the pleasures of her planet.
Behind the scenes
Dani was created by Mary Jo Duffy for use in Marvel Star Wars' Star Wars (1977) 70 as an antagonist to the Heroes of Yavin. The comic also introduced Rik Duel and Chihdo, two other characters that would become staples of the Marvel Star Wars plot line until its end. The story also served as a flashback sequence in order to involve Han Solo in the story, as in the timeline of the comics, Solo had been frozen in carbonite during the events of Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back. This comic also ended in Dani's assumed death, as the group Dani was in was attacked by Stenaxes at the end of the comic. However, Dani survived to appear in the next three comics, acting as an ally to the heroes. During this arc, Dani was constantly pursuing Luke Skywalker, but it was primarily an unreturned love.
Following this, Dani disappeared for several issues, including the events of Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi. When she resurfaced in Star Wars (1977) 82, she was back with Rik Duel and Chihdo. The comic, besides having Dani and her gang join Skywalker on his adventures, reintroduced Kiro, who would become Dani's love interest until the end of the Marvel run. Dani would have several more appearances in the Marvel comics, which also served to develop the romance between Kiro and Dani. However, when Kiro was apparently killed in Star Wars (1977) 97, the character went into a deep state of depression. This disturbed state was left unresolved at the end of the Marvel run, and by Dani's last appearance in Star Wars (1977) 107, she had yet to discover Kiro's survival that was revealed in Star Wars (1977) 102.
Initially, Dani's creator, Mary Jo Duffy, had intended for the character to sacrifice herself to defeat the Nagai threat, but the series was abruptly canceled before Duffy could finish her plans. In fact, the final issue of the Marvel series was already in production when Duffy received word that it would be the last issue. As a result, she was forced to try to finish the storyline with the comic already a third of the way completed. Thus, Duffy's plans for Dani, and her desire to wrap up the Kiro/Dani relationship, never came to fruition.
Further expansion of Dani's story eventually occurred in Wizards of the Coast's online article, Zeltros: Pleasure Planet. Written by Cory J. Herndon, the article served to explain that Dani had returned to her home planet in despair over Kiro's death, but that Skywalker had sent a group to track her down and tell her about Kiro's survival. The group, consisting of players in Wizards of the Coast's roleplaying game, made the story open-ended, and whether Dani was contacted was up to the players.
- "ComicScan: Luke-ing For Love In All The Wrong Places" – Star Wars Galaxy Collector 7
- The University of Sanbra Guide to Intelligent Life: The Marvel Series"—Star Wars Gamer 1 "
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 134 (GAR17, Garments and Couture)
- "Comic Marvels" – Star Wars Insider 91
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- "Red Five" – Star Wars Insider 151 (Picture only)