- "Mistakes are valuable lessons often learned too late."
At Trace Martez's repair shop, Trace notices Ahsoka Tano's skills with repairing starships and asked what academy she went to on the "topside." Ahsoka claims she came from the Skywalker Academy, which Trace is unaware of. Trace tells Ahsoka that there aren't any academies in the Coruscant Underworld and that even if there were, she couldn't afford it. Trace explains that she and her sister Rafa Martez inherited the hangar from their parents when they split. Rafa also won her shop in a gamble so that she could use it as a front for her schemes.
Trace tells Ahsoka that she got her starship Silver Angel doing odd jobs, mech work and built the ship by hand with Rafa's help. Ahsoka is impressed but Trace tells her that she will have to wait until the ship's hyperdrive is ready to compliment her. Ahsoka thinks that it is an unusual name but respects Trace's decision. Trace quips that Ahsoka's speeder bike's name is "Trash." Trace thinks that Ahsoka is not safe on her own due to her crash-landing into her hanger recently. Ahsoka agrees and says that things could not get worse for her than they already are. She agrees to stay longer as long as Rafa doesn't mind.
When Rafa asks if she has any skills, Ahsoka replies that she only has "useful ones." Rafa tells Trace and Ahsoka that she is in a difficult predicament because she hired a starship and crew for a job. Rafa's plan was to do a job, make some money and get back. However, the pilot backed out and took his ship with him. Trace is upset that her sister did not consult her first. Rafa replies that is why she needs her help. Trace agrees to help but only as a backup.
Ahsoka asks about the job and Rafa replies that she will tell her once they are underway. Trace is reluctant to get involved in one of her Rafa's schemes, but complies with her sister's request. The Martez sisters agree to let Ahsoka come along, but Rafa is suspicious of Ahsoka's motives. She asks if Ahsoka is seeking her mech-bay or ship. Tano replies that she does not have an angle apart from keeping them both out of trouble. Rafa retorts that Ahsoka might be the trouble that Trace needs to stay away from.
The rookie pilot
Ahsoka joins the Martez sisters in the cockpit of the Silver Angel. Rafa doesn't like Trace's choice of name for the ship. The sisters fly the Silver Angel out of Trace's garage into Coruscant's crowded airspace. They fly out of the Underworld into the skies of Coruscant. Trace enters a military lane despite Ahsoka's warning.
They are soon hailed by an orbiting Venator-class Star Destroyer. Trace wants to answer it but Ahsoka advises against it, warning the sisters not to do anything suspicious. Trace answers the comlink anyways and is hailed by Wullf Yularen, who asks what she is doing in military airspace. He threatens to confiscate her starpilot license, which Trace doesn't have. Rafa takes over and claims that she is teaching her younger sister how to fly. Ahsoka switches off the comlink and tells Trace to get into the transport lane and fly.
Aboard the bridge of the Star Destroyer, Jedi General Anakin Skywalker asks who was on that transport. Yularen reports that it was some rookie pilots on their first maneuvers. He says that he was about to send a detachment to arrest them. Anakin closes his eyes and senses Ahsoka's presence through the Force. He decides not to send a detachment to arrest the crew, allowing Ahsoka and her companions to leave.
Once in space, Ahsoka asks Rafa where they are going. Rafa remarks that Tano doesn't like surprises and whispers into Trace's ear. Trace asks Rafa how she managed that before taking the Silver Angel into hyperspace. While traveling through hyperspace, the ship begins shaking. Trace finds her first hyperspace journey exciting, having only flown speeders and maintenance vehicles. Rafa tells Ahsoka this is why she hired a different pilot due to Trace's lack of starship flying experience. When Trace asks what she was chatting to Ahsoka about, she pretends to compliment Trace's flying abilities. When Ahsoka remarks that she is a bad pilot, Trace recalls that she forgot to turn off the brakes.
Guest of the majordomo
Exiting hyperspace, they arrive above the stormy atmosphere of Kessel. When Ahsoka notices their destination, Rafa replies that she is taking them to fame and glory. While Rafa has heard legends of Kessel, Ahsoka points out that the planet is legendary for its corruption. She asks what they are doing there, and Rafa replies that they are picking up "medicine."
They fly over the forested southern hemisphere of Kessel, which Trace finds beautiful. Rafa tries to reassure Ahsoka that they have nothing to worry about. They land at the hangar of a beautiful castle in the middle of the forest where they are greeted by a red Twi'lek who is flanked by several guards. The Twi'lek introduces himself as Kinash Lock, King Yaruba's majordomo. He tells Rafa that the King has prepared a banquet to thank her for her services.
Inside the palace, Ahsoka, Rafa, and Trace are attended to by several servants. When Trace asks when the King is coming, Kinash claims that Yaruba leaves matters like this to him. He adds that if she shows herself to be dependable, they might get the opportunity to meet the King. Rafa says that they won't disappoint while Trace claims that they have one of the fastest ships. When Ahsoka asks what kind of medicine they are transporting, Kinash explains that their job is deliver three containers of unrefined spice. He promises that if they are successful, they will be given a full delivery and contract to transport for the King on a continual basis.
Rafa and Trace are eager to be working for a King but Ahsoka is skeptical, opining that not everything made out of spice is good. One of the servants drops a tray. Rafa is uncomfortable and the majordomo claims that their spice is refined into medicine. He claims that the Yaruba family has always been a promoter of health and happiness across the stars. Kinash leads Rafa to load spice into the ship.
Later, Ahsoka tells Rafa and Trace that running spice is dangerous because the transport ships get attacked often. Rafa claims that the pirates only target the bigger Kessel transport ships and that the King hired them because their ship does not meet the usual profile. Ahsoka suspects that is more to the King's business deal. Rafa remarks that Ahsoka knows a lot more about Kessel than a mechanic usually would. Ahsoka replies that she has only heard the stories. Rafa quips about Trace's flying abilities.
Ahsoka tries to warn Trace that running spice is no simple transport business. Trace still believes that her older sister looks out for her. When Ahsoka asks Trace how many times Rafa has run a job like this, Trace says that this is the first time. Ahsoka asks Trace to consider the danger that Rafa is putting them in but Rafa counters that there is a first time for everything. They climb aboard the Silver Angel, which takes off from the Kessel palace.
They fly over the forested southern hemisphere into the northern hemisphere, which has been designated as a mining zone. Due to the extensive mining, the northern hemisphere is barren and treeless. Ahsoka is familiar with this side of Kessel. Rafa responds that spice mining has made the people of Kessel wealthy and that there is always a price to be paid. Trace flies the ship to a platform. As they approach the mine, Trace thinks that there are thousands of droids below but Ahsoka points out that those are people.
Below, numerous human and Twi'lek workers labor in the mining pit. After landing, Rafa remarks that she thinks that those are workers but Ahsoka counters that they are slaves. Rafa says that the Republic would shut the place down but Ahsoka is pessimistic that the Republic would. Upon landing, they are greeted by a Zygerrian overseer, who tells them that the shipment is ready to depart. Several bulky labor droids load the bins aboard the Silver Angel.
After Trace sends Ahsoka away to make sure that the droids secure the bins, Rafa confides that she does not trust Ahsoka. Trace responds that Rafa has never liked any of her friends. Rafa responds that she is not family. Trace says she will keep an eye on her. Rafa tells Trace that she got them a job and that the rest is up to her. They depart with the spice aboard the Silver Angel and jump into hyperspace.
A fraught delivery run
While traveling through hyperspace, Rafa and Trace reveal that they plan to transport the spice to the Pyke Syndicate crime lord Marg Krim on Oba Diah. Ahsoka recognizes that Marg Krim is a crime lord. Rafa asks how Ahsoka knows so much about the Pykes. Ahsoka warns Rafa that she can't make a deal with them. Rafa counters that she already did and asks Ahsoka how she knows so much. Tano responds that she pays attention to the world around herself including the fact that they are gangsters, opining that they are much worse than Pintu Son-El. Ahsoka warns them that they will take her ship and life.
Rafa counters that they needed all the money they could get. Ahsoka says this is bad. Trace asks Rafa about the trouble she has gotten them into. Ahsoka tries to defuse the argument by suggesting that they deliver to somewhere it can be used for medicine. Rafa responds that she and Trace took the job because they are owing a lot of people on Coruscant money. Trace is upset that she might lose her ship. Ahsoka points out that Rafa is the only one owing the money and not Trace. Rafa argues that they can't pay off debts with her morality.
Ahsoka tries to convince Rafa to take the spice somewhere else but Rafa is determined to finish the job. Trace reiterates that nobody is taking her ship and ditches the spice into hyperspace to the shock and horror of Ahsoka and Rafa. Trace responds that neither of them gets their way and that she gets to keep her ship. Rafa and Ahsoka agree that Trace has made a terrible choice.
Ahsoka says that the spice gave them options while Rafa tells Trace that she has sabotaged their deal to deliver spice to a galactic crime syndicate. Trace replies that she thought that delivering spice to galactic gangsters was a bad thing. Ahsoka counters that you have to pay them somehow and that they now owe the Pykes. Trace asks how turning the spice into medicine is going to solve anything. Ahsoka replies that was more of an ethical debate but that she had not figured out how to solve the Pyke problem yet.
Rafa proposes selling off the Silver Angel to make up for the 30,000 credits worth of spice that Trace had dumped into space. Ahsoka tells them to calm down and says that they will find out how to deal with the problem. As they approach Oba Diah, Ahsoka asks if they can go over their plan again. Rafa thinks that it won't work because it is a bad plan. Ahsoka thinks that her plan, which she hasn't revealed, is the best one available. Rafa is skeptical of their chances of success but Tano counters that she knows some tricks that they don't know about. Ahsoka doesn't want to share it yet.
The Silver Angel flies through the rocky landscape of Oba Diah and lands above a landing platform. They are greeted by several armed Pykes who surround them. Marg Krim asks if they had any trouble transporting the spice from Kessel. Rafa claims that they had no trouble. Krim warns that if anything had happened, it would have been very unfortunate them. He tasks one of his lieutenants with paying them. Before Rafa can take the briefcase, he insists on looking at the cargo.
When Rafa expresses apprehension, Krim counters that he doesn't trust anyone who isn't a Pyke. Ahsoka raises her hand and uses a Jedi mind trick to convince Krim to pay them the credits and let them go on their way. Rafa is pleased with Ahsoka but Krim's majordomo Fife is suspicious and convinces his boss to let him check the shipment.
While unloading the cargo, Rafa sends Ahsoka to power up the hyperdrive. Fife demands the code to unlock the bins. Rafa claims that she transmitted it to Fife already. However, Fife shoots it open and discovers that the crates are empty. Meanwhile, Rafa closes the docking ramp. When Fife demands to know where is the spice, she claims that Kessel must have double-crossed them. Fife orders patrol ships to intercept the Silver Angel and his men to engage the tractor beams.
Trace powers up the Silver Angel as several Pyke patrol ships converge on it. They try to escape, but are trapped by the tractor beam. Realizing that they are trapped, Rafa tells Ahsoka that she is blaming everything on her but Trace counters that there is plenty of blame to go around the three of them.
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Notes and references
- The events of "Deal No Deal" take place following Ahsoka Tano's departure from the Jedi Order and, according to the subsequent Star Wars: The Clone Wars episode "Old Friends Not Forgotten," prior to the Battle of Coruscant. As the aforementioned events are all dated to 19 BBY by Star Wars: Galactic Atlas, "Deal No Deal" must also be set in the same year.
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Deal No Deal"