- "I'm tired of people looking out for me all the time. I want to start looking out for other people, and that starts now."
- ―Deena Shan
Deena Shan was a young Human female who, looking for adventure and a better life for herself, left her homeworld of Etti IV and became a private in the Alliance to Restore the Republic shortly after the Battle of Yavin. Initially working as a supply officer on the Kalla's Stanchion, she found herself accompanying Han Solo, Leia Organa, and Chewbacca after an Imperial attack; and fighting alongside the famous Rebels solidified her decision to join the Alliance.
She later posed as an Imperial lieutenant on a mission to the Imperial base of Kalist VI, where she and Imperial captain Kale Roshuir quickly developed a mutual attraction. Despite her feelings for him, Shan led Roshuir's forces into a trap where many of them were killed, allowing the Rebels to free the captive Jorin Sol and escape with a group of Jabiimi slaves and vital fuel for the Alliance Fleet, but forever making an enemy of her lover.
Confused by her feelings for Roshuir and determined to prove her worth to the Rebels, Shan later accompanied Luke Skywalker on a mission to rescue his old friend Janek Sunber. Despite again encountering Kale Roshuir, who attempted to stop them, Shan and Skywalker were able to rescue Sunber and return to the Rebel Fleet, though their unsanctioned mission resulted in them both being disciplined.
The two soon worked together once more in a mission to infiltrate Bannistar Station. Though the mission went awry, with most of the Rebels either killed or captured by Imperial forces, Shan was able to evade capture and destroy a Star Destroyer as well as a significant portion of the station. After her comrades managed to escape, the group fled the station and Shan returned to the Alliance Fleet as a hero.
Into the Rebellion
The Human female Deena Shan was born around 19 BBY and raised on Etti IV in the Corporate Sector during the early years of the New Order. Her father had always dreamed of leaving his homeworld, but Shan's birth forced him to marry young and he always blamed her for making him abandon his plans, as well as being frustrated that she was not a boy. As a result, her relationship with her father was difficult at times and, no matter how hard she tried to earn his respect, he considered her to be a screw-up and "always in the wrong place at the wrong time." Faced with a choice of either being a stay-at-home wife or overseeing the automated assembly line at a speeder factory, Shan soon became uninspired by her future prospects as a citizen of Etti IV. In 0 ABY, aged nineteen, Shan heard news of the Rebel Alliance's victory over the Galactic Empire at the Battle of Yavin and decided to join the Alliance Military, seeing it as an opportunity for adventure and a better life. Even when she decided to leave Etti IV, her father expected her to fail and insisted she'd be back. Nevertheless, Shan was able to make contact with the Rebel Alliance and, after enlisting as a private, she was assigned to supplies and requisitions on the Kalla's Stanchion.
After three months with the Alliance, the tough, unglamorous lifestyle was beginning to make Shan regret her decision. However, that would change when the Millennium Falcon arrived at the Kalla's Stanchion and Shan was assigned to take an inventory of the ship's fuel and ammunition. Having heard stories of the "Heroes of Yavin," Shan was eager to meet the famous Han Solo and quickly became attracted to the Corellian captain and jealous of the attention he showed Princess Leia Organa. As Solo led Shan onto the Millennium Falcon, the Kalla's Stanchion detected an Imperial presence nearby and all ships were ordered to scramble to random destinations to avoid capture. Fearing that the Kalla's Stanchion was too large a target and would place the young women in danger, Solo and Chewbacca insisted that Organa and Shan accompany them to safety on the Millennium Falcon, leaving the Kalla's Stanchion and jumping into hyperspace.
Exiting hyperspace near an uncharted planet, the Millennium Falcon soon picked up a distress signal from the planet's surface and Solo piloted the ship down to investigate. After landing, Solo and Chewbacca went to locate the source of the distress signal, though Solo insisted that Shan and Organa remain in the safety of the ship. While the two former smugglers were gone, Shan and Organa exchanged stories of what led them to join the Alliance. Hearing Organa's reasons for joining the Rebellion made Shan's own reasons seem selfish and she shook off her infatuation with the captain as she came to understand the true relationship between him and the princess. The conversation was interrupted by the sound of blaster shots—Solo and Chewbacca had located a wrecked ship which was the cause of the distress signal and, on their way back, come under attack from a large creature. Although scared, Shan took a weapon and followed Organa into the forest. Shan and Organa were able to free Solo and Chewbacca from the creature's grasp and, together, the group managed to kill it and left in the Millennium Falcon.
Mission to Kalist VI
- "You must have felt very clever, warning me so openly—knowing that your warning would be ignored."
"No…I wanted to warn you! I had no choice…I had to follow orders. I never imagined I'd meet someone…"
- ―Kale Roshuir confronts Deena Shan after she led him into a trap
Over the coming months, Shan became a lieutenant and, eight months after the Battle of Yavin, she volunteered to accompany the Infiltration of Kalist VI to rescue the captive Rebel mathematician Jorin Sol and acquire fuel for the fleeing Alliance Fleet. The Rebels captured the Imperial freighter Nuna's Twins bound for the Imperial base on Kalist VI and, after arriving, claimed that their escort had been destroyed en route. A staged attack by Red Squadron was designed to convince the Imperial forces of their story. After Red Squadron withdrew from the area, the Nuna's Twins was granted permission to land.
Shan, disguised as an Imperial science officer assigned to study the fuel consumption of various Imperial bases, accompanied Captain Harran and Luke Skywalker into the base to meet with General Noils while R2-D2 began to drain fuel from the Imperial pumps and Rebel soldiers, posing as stormtroopers, attempted to locate Sol. The Rebels planned to leak information about the Rebel base at Thila, informing the Imperials that it was where they'd first encountered their attackers. While the Imperial troops left to investigate and fell into a trap, the Rebels would be free to conduct Sol's rescue. Shan offered to assist Captain Kale Roshuir in pinpointing the probable location of the Rebel base, explaining that her training had involved a geographic survey of the Thila system.
Shan and Roshuir were instantly attracted to each other and, while working together, this quickly developed into a strong relationship, resulting in Shan spending the night in his quarters. In the morning, as Roshuir prepared to lead the attack on the Rebel base, Shan realized that she had placed him in danger and tried to persuade him not to go. Dismissing her concerns, he left for battle and promised to return to her as soon as he could.
After leaving Roshuir's quarters, Shan encountered Skywalker, who had become concerned when she had failed to return the previous night. After watching the departing Imperial troop shuttles they prepared to return to the Nuna's Twins but were stopped by Janek Sunber, an old friend of Skywalker's from Tatooine and now a lieutenant in the Imperial Army. While the old friends caught up, Shan returned to the ship and the news that a number of Jabiimi slaves were being held at the base. Harran agreed with his troops that they must attempt to rescue the slaves, although doing so would complicate their mission.
Meanwhile, Roshuir's men had reached Thila and, when many of them were killed by the concealed explosives, Roshuir realized that Shan had set him up. Furious, he took his remaining men and returned to Kalist VI as quickly as possible. Sol's imminent transfer to Coruscant forced the Rebels into action but Skywalker and the Rebel troops soon became cut off from the Nuna's Twins and would have to find an alternate way to get Sol and the slaves to safety. Shan and Harran prepared to leave in the Nuna's Twins with their valuable cargo of fuel but Shan was confronted by a furious Roshuir. Feeling betrayed and blaming her for the deaths of his men, Roshuir attacked Shan but was surprised and knocked unconscious by Harran. The two Rebels fled in the Nuna's Twins followed shortly by the others in a stolen Acclamator-class assault ship.
- "It's the story of my life. I finally meet the man of my dreams and who does he turn out to be? An Imperial officer. And how do I endear myself to my Captain Roshuir? Lure his men into a trap where they're all killed and lead him to swear eternal vengeance upon me. Oh yeah, I really know how to treat a guy."
- ―Deena Shan
Despite her attachment, Shan was a key part of the Alliance's victory at Kalist VI. However, following the battle, Shan was frequently despondent, torn by her feelings for Captain Roshuir and her loyalty to the Rebellion that had led her to betray him. Drunk and depressed, Shan offered herself to Luke Skywalker, who was struggling with his own confused emotions after learning of Janek Sunber's involvement with the Empire. When Skywalker turned her down, Shan became even more convinced that her father was right: she couldn't do anything right and the Rebellion would be better off without her. Skywalker, in an attempt to make her feel useful, asked her to go and watch over the recovering Jorin Sol who could have vital information for the Alliance.
Unbeknownst to the Alliance however, Jorin Sol had been brainwashed by the two Imperial Intelligence agents. Shan arrived on the medical deck to find the room dark and the remains of a medical droid. As she went to activate the alarm she was attacked by the brainwashed Jorin Sol, who had broken free of his bacta tank. Sol attempted to strangle her but, as his own personality won the struggle against his Imperial programming, he let her go.
Luke Skywalker soon received a transmission from Janek Sunber announcing his intention to defect to the Rebellion. Organa feared that it might be an Imperial trap and refused to let Skywalker go to his friend, but Skywalker decided to go anyway. Shan anticipated Skywalker's actions and, determined to prove her worth, she convinced him to let her accompany him. Their vessel emerged from hyperspace into an Imperial junkyard containing derelict ships dating back as far as the Clone Wars. Locating the only source of power, a small administration center, Skywalker and Shan boarded the station where Skywalker searched for Sunber while Shan covered the shuttle and watched for signs of an Imperial trap. Soon an Imperial shuttle docked and stormtroopers boarded the station. Shan was surprised to see that they were led by her still-angry former lover, Kale Roshuir.
When Skywalker returned with Sunber, who had apparently been tortured and restrained when Skywalker found him, the two Rebels fought off the Imperials and were able to escape and return to Rebel One with the rescued Imperial. Their return to the fleet was not a warm one. Sunber was placed under the custody of security, and Shan and Skywalker were reprimanded heavily and debriefed before being allowed to return to duty. This entire chain of events, however, had been nothing but an Imperial plot that brought a large Imperial fleet to their location, along with Darth Vader. Though the Rebels were able to escape the subsequent battle, their fleet suffered heavy losses.
- "Skywalker brought you along because he believed you were capable of doing what needed to be done—it's time you proved it."
- ―Basso to Deena Shan
Shan survived the attack by the Imperial fleet and remained aboard Rebel One as the ship fled through hyperspace. However, her feelings of self-doubt soon returned and, convinced that it was only a matter of time until she made a mistake that got somebody killed, she decided to leave the Alliance. Luke Skywalker was attempting to persuade her to stay when the ship suffered hyperdrive failure and reverted to normal space prematurely. The two rushed to the bridge to discover that the ship had emerged at Bannistar Station, the Imperial refueling station and supply hub. The Rebels had sought a way to attack the facility for months but had been unable to find a way to sneak up on it. With the ship now in place and temporarily hidden among the other traffic, the Rebels realized that they had a unique opportunity to deal a blow to the Empire's hold on the region.
It was Tungo Li who devised a plan to eliminate the station by placing thermal detonators on selected fuel tanks. The resulting detonation would destroy the station but those on the mission were unlikely to survive. Leia Organa agreed with the plan and would lead a volunteer team to the station while Rebel One was scuttled after the rest of the crew evacuated and fled to safety. Despite her earlier desire to leave the Alliance and return to a normal life, Shan made the difficult decision to volunteer for the mission, even though it would likely lead to certain death. The volunteer commandos were to split into three groups. While Basso's team took out the communications array and attempted to find a way to escape, Organa and Able would destroy the fuel dump, leaving Shan to join Skywalker's team in disabling the coolant and fire-retardant systems. As Shan and the others made their way to the planet below, Tungo Li and a skeleton crew remained aboard Rebel One to destroy it, taking out as many nearby Imperial ships as possible. The destruction of Rebel One served as the signal to the commandos to begin their mission and Shan found herself once more in enemy territory.
Led by Skywalker, Shan made her way inside the station. Initially, the group saw no signs of stormtroopers, but Shan soon heard fire from outside and realized that Organa's team was under attack, moments before her own team walked into an Imperial ambush. The Imperial commander, Arno D'Vox, had become aware of the Rebels' arrival and planned a trap for Skywalker and Organa, hoping to use their capture to earn a transfer. The stormtroopers, under instructions only to capture Skywalker alive, quickly killed two of his team. Skywalker used his lightsaber to hold their attackers off while Shan attempted to open a nearby door. However, after she succeeded, Skywalker destroyed the door's controls behind her, telling her to complete the mission while he drew the Imperials' fire. Like Organa, Skywalker was captured soon after.
Though Shan was uncertain that she could complete the mission alone, she was able to keep going and soon reached the cooling substation control room. Finding only a single engineer, Shan stunned the Imperial before disabling the fire retardant systems. Though her part of the mission was complete, Shan knew that she had to rescue her comrades before attempting to escape. To this end, she used the station's mainframe databases to find where they were being held. Her search also revealed that the Empire was preparing a major attack on Ansion in retaliation for the Battle of Yavin. After making her discovery, Shan was contacted by Basso, who had been able to survive the ambush which eliminated his team and secure a shuttle. Though Basso was unable to assist in Shan's rescue attempt, he arranged to meet her at the top of the station after she freed the others. However, before Shan was able to set out, she was confronted by Captain Red Rishyk and a squad of stormtroopers.
Rishyk was quickly able to overpower Shan and decided to torture her before killing her. However, when Shan spat in his face, the Imperial responded in anger, throwing her across the room and through a glass screen. As he stood over her and taunted the Rebel, Shan grabbed a shard of the shattered glass and used it to stab the Imperial in the leg. With Rishyk distracted by his wound, Shan grabbed a detonator from her satchel and threw it into the group of stormtroopers, using the resulting explosion to cover her escape.
Escape from Bannistar
- "How are you feeling?"
"Oh, you know…like I've been run over by a Star Destroyer."
- ―Luke Skywalker and Deena Shan
Shan returned to her mission, making her way towards the top of the station while stormtroopers began searching the base. Running on adrenaline and fear, Shan eventually found herself on the system of walkways connecting the fuel tanks, high above the refueling Imperial-class Star Destroyer Certainty. Her path soon led to a dead-end where Rishyk caught up to her. As the Imperial threatened to throw her over the edge of the platform, Shan realized that there was no way to escape. Having lost all but one of her detonators in the earlier confrontation, Shan decided to use her last one in an attempt to destroy the nearby fuel tank. Though she knew this would kill her, she hoped that it would provide a distraction which Basso could use to rescue the others.
Realizing what Shan was about to do, Rishyk moved quickly to tackle her, knocking the detonator from her hand. The explosive fell from the platform and landed in the fuel line feeding the Star Destroyer. The unexpected turn of events distracted Rishyk long enough for Shan to get away and, as he gave chase, he tripped and fell from the platform, grabbing a precarious hold on the edge with his hand. Seeing his plight, Shan stopped and attempted to help him back to the platform. When the Imperial instead attempted to pull her from it, she kicked him in the face, causing him to fall to his death. However, Shan realized that she no longer had time to flee the platform before the imminent explosion. Instead, she wrapped herself in one of the platform's tubes and hoped to survive the blast. When the Star Destroyer exploded moments later, the walkway fell away beneath her, but the tube held and Shan found herself hanging from what remained of the platform.
The explosion took out an entire section of the station and, as Shan had hoped, the resulting chaos provided a distraction which allowed her comrades to escape and rendezvous with Basso. After launching in a stolen Lambda-class shuttle, the Rebels made a pass of the station to search for Shan, eventually finding her still hanging from the wrecked platform and pulling her to safety. Though the search had given the Imperials time to launch TIE fighters to intercept the Rebels, the timely arrival of Dagger Squadron's B-wings provided an escort through the Imperial fighters and the Rebels safely escaped to hyperspace.
After returning to the Alliance Fleet, Shan was taken to recover from her injuries in the medical deck of the Mon Calamari Star Cruiser Home One. However, she made sure to inform them of the impending attack on Ansion and the Rebels soon began planning to warn their allies there. While she recovered, Shan was visited by Skywalker, who thanked her for saving him and the others, and informed her of the fame that her actions had brought her among her comrades. When asked about whether she still planned to leave, Shan informed the young Jedi that she had decided to stay.
The "Imperial Weapon"
- "You ever get the feeling that we're just, like, bodyguards for those guys? I mean, why doesn't anyone ask us what we should do?"
"Because we're either too young and frivolous—or we're too old to be doing this anymore…I'm going to check out that ridge."
"Okay—I'll just stay here and be 'frivolous.'"
- ―Deena Shan and Able
After fully recovering from her injuries, Shan continued to serve as a Rebel commando. On one mission, she was part of a team, under the command of Skywalker, dispatched to a desolate moon following reports of an abandoned Imperial weapon. Shan was suspicious and wondered why the Empire would abandon an apparently powerful weapon, concerns which were shared by Skywalker. Despite their concerns, the Rebel team landed on the moon and began their search. They soon came across the wreckage of several crashed Imperial shuttles, but found no bodies or sign of survivors. The Rebels began to search the area around the crash site, with Shan joining Able in searching away from the main group. When Able noticed some rubble falling from a nearby ridge, he moved to investigate but, upon reaching the top of the ridge, was attacked and overpowered by a swarm of rakghouls as they moved towards the Rebels from the other side. With no way to help her comrade, Shan fell back to the other Rebels as the group opened fire on the new threat.
As she fired on the creatures, one leaped towards her, knocking her off her feet before it was killed by Skywalker's lightsaber. Outnumbered, the Rebels retreated to the Millennium Falcon. Skywalker and Organa, however, were dragged away by the rakghouls before reaching the safety of the ship. Fearing for his friends, Solo wanted to go back outside and rescue them, but Basso stopped him and Shan suggested that the only way to save them was to take off and use the Falcon's weapons to eliminate the rakghouls.
Solo reluctantly took the Falcon away from the surface, only to come under attack from Imperial TIE fighters. However, the former smuggler's piloting skill allowed him to evade them and return to the planet just in time to pick up Skywalker and Organa as they escaped from the rakghouls. When Shan and the others safely brought them aboard, the group returned to the Alliance Fleet.
Personality and traits
- "Yeah, yeah. I get it—I can't even throw myself at the nearest manically depressed man with any success."
- ―Deena Shan after being rejected by Luke Skywalker
Having joined the Alliance at a young age—she was in her late teens when she enlisted—Shan displayed a somewhat naïve attitude. She saw the Rebellion as an opportunity for adventure and a better life for herself, rather than a necessary fight for freedom from the rule of the Galactic Empire. Her first adventure caused her to quickly grow up and re-assess her ideas, forcing her to face her fear in order to help rescue Solo and Chewbacca. Upon hearing the story of Princess Leia and seeing how brave she and the other "Heroes of Yavin" were, Shan came to realize that the heart of the Rebellion was about making a better life for everybody, not just herself.
Shan was considered attractive and was friendly, sometimes quite flirtatious with men such as Han Solo and later Luke Skywalker. She quickly developed feelings for Kale Roshuir and the need to follow her orders and betray him hurt her deeply. Shan struggled with her loyalty to the Alliance and her desire to be with him until, upon encountering him again, his promise to feed her "battered, bleeding body to a malnourished Sarlacc" provided her with what she would later describe as "closure." Even so, she continued to blame her relationship for having jeopardized the mission.
Although Shan stopped letting her father dictate her life when she left Etti IV, her feelings of inadequacy that started with his belief that she was a failure eventually led her to question her usefulness to the Rebellion. She attempted to overcome this by accompanying Skywalker on Janek Sunber's rescue, demonstrating her ability to keep calm in a fight and to risk her life for others, the same qualities that she had earlier admired in Organa. Yet Shan still felt that she didn't measure up to those around her and it was this that led to her decision to leave the Alliance. Circumstances, however, prevented her from seeing this through and she volunteered for the Bannistar mission despite the poor odds of survival. Shan hoped that, by staying close to Skywalker, she would be able to rediscover her inner courage and, though the sacrifice of Tungo Li made her question if she would be able to do the same, when the time came she was prepared to sacrifice her life in the hopes of saving her friends.
Behind the scenes
Deena Shan was created by Welles Hartley for the Star Wars: Empire comic series and first appeared in Empire 22, published on July 14, 2004. The character returned in the story arc The Wrong Side of the War and later became a regular in the Star Wars: Rebellion comic series, appearing in the My Brother, My Enemy and Small Victories story arcs by Rob Williams and Jeremy Barlow respectively. Her most recent appearance was in Rebellion 16, as part of the Star Wars: Vector crossover series.
- Empire 22 (First appearance)
- Empire 36
- Empire 37
- Empire 38
- Empire 39
- Empire 40
- Rebellion 2
- Rebellion 3
- Rebellion 4
- Rebellion 11
- Rebellion 12
- Rebellion 13
- Rebellion 14
- Rebellion 15
- Rebellion 16
- Star Wars: The Comics Companion
- "Drawn By The Force"—Star Wars Insider 92 (Picture only)
- Star Wars: Panel to Panel Volume 2: Expanding the Universe
- Legacy of the Force
- "Blaster"—Star Wars Insider 105
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- Rebellion Era Campaign Guide
- "Blaster"—Star Wars Insider 130
Notes and references
- Empire 22
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. III, p. 144 ("Shan, Deena") states that Shan was nineteen years old upon joining the Rebel Alliance shortly after the Battle of Yavin, which The New Essential Chronology places at the end of 0 BBY.
- Rebellion 11
- Rebellion 2
- Rebellion 13
- Empire 36
- Empire 37
- Empire 38
- Empire 39
- Empire 40
- Rebellion 3
- Rebellion 4
- Rebellion 5
- Rebellion 12
- Rebellion 14
- Rebellion 15
- Rebellion 16
- Rebellion Era Campaign Guide