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"I suggest a new strategy, Artoo. Let the Wookiee win."
C-3PO to R2-D2 when an advantageous move of R2's prompts Han Solo to explain that Wookiees sometimes pull out people's arms when they lose[1]

Dejarik, also known as holochess,[3] was a popular two-player game in which teams of holographic creatures battled each other on a holochess table. A variant of the more ancient Shah-tezh, dejarik was commonly played on starships and in homes throughout the galaxy from well before the time of the Clone Wars and long through the reign of the Galactic Empire.


At the beginning of the game, both players arranged four pieces each, with pieces on the second, third, fourth, and fifth spaces of their respective half-boards.[4] There existed a version where there were not eight, but ten pieces on the board, however.[5]

There existed a number of pieces from which the players could choose their four monsters, all of which were full-color holographic projections of creatures both real and mythological from across the galaxy.[6] Available pieces included the Ghhhk, Grimtaash the Molator, the Houjix, the Kintan strider, the K'lor'slug, the Mantellian Savrip, the Monnok, the Ng'ok,[7] the Bulbous, the Scrimp,[8] and the karkath.[2]

Non-holographic versions of dejarik, using physical pieces[9] and a set of dice[10], also existed.[9]

Pieces' ratings and special abilities[]

"He made a fair move. Screaming about it won't help."
―C-3PO scolding Chewbacca on his poor sportsmanship[1]

Each holomonster had specific Attack, Health, Range, and Movement ratings. A piece's Attack (ATK) rating represented the damage it could deal when attacking; its Health (HP) rating represented the amount of damage it could sustain before being removed from the board; its Range (RNG) rating indicated how far away it could attack; finally, its Movement rating (MOV) represented the number of spaces it could cover in one single move. Some creatures also had "special abilities."[4]

The player with initiative made the first move. During each turn, a player could activate a piece to do one of three things: move and attack, only attack, or move and use a "special ability."[4]


A piece could be moved across the board up to the full amount of spaces indicated by its movement rating, to any space adjacent to its own (either around the orbit or along the ray, but not diagonally, or into a space occupied by another piece). A piece could not move into a space, then immediately retreat back into the space it just left.[4]


Once a player had positioned one of their pieces in range adjacent (on an orbit or ray, not diagonally) to an opposing piece, they could declare an attack on that piece. Range 1 pieces were immediately adjacent, while greater Range pieces were farther apart.[4]

When attacking, the attacking player took the attack rating of his piece and dealt that many Health damage to the defending piece. When a defending piece lost all its Health points, it was defeated and thus removed from the board.[4]

End of the game[]

Players continued alternating activations and attacking pieces until there remained a single piece on the board; the player who controlled said piece won the game.[4]


Invented long before the Clone Wars,[6] dejarik was in fact, like chess and Moebius, a variant of the even more ancient game of Shah-tezh.[11] The same person who created dejarik also created the game saigok, which Kaasha Bateen regarded as a more "badass" version of dejarik.[2]

In 20 BBY,[12] the planet Abafar hosted the Abafar Junior Dejarik Club in the city of Pons Ora. Advertisements for the club strictly prohibited Wookiees from participating,[13] because members of that species were notorious for becoming rather upset upon losing.[6]

During the Galactic Civil War, on Jedha, Saw Gerrera's Partisans played dejarik in a hand-carved physical version.[9]

Behind the scenes[]

Dejarik was portrayed in the first Star Wars film and The Force Awakens with stop-motion animation directed by Phil Tippett. New digitally printed models of the dejarik figures were created for The Force Awakens by scanning the originals.[14]

Although Lucasfilm developed gameplay rules for dejarik, they never were publicly released.[15]


Non-canon appearances[]


Notes and references[]

External links[]