- "Dewlanna was different. We looked out for each other, yeah. But she was the only one, Bria. The only one who gave a vrelt's ass if I lived or died. Knowing that made me a… pragmatist, I guess."
- ―Han Solo, to Bria Tharen
Dewlannamapia, also known by the shortened name Dewlanna, was a female Wookiee who, at an old age, followed her mate Isshaddik in his exile from their homeworld of Kashyyyk. The two joined the crew of Trader's Luck, a starship captained by a Human named Garris Shrike and crewed with children who worked for him as thieves. Even after her mate was killed during a smuggling run, Dewlannamapia remained aboard Trader's Luck, working as a cook. During her days aboard the ship, she met a nine-year-old Corellian boy called Han. Dewlannamapia deeply cared for Han and essentially became a surrogate mother for him. She was responsible for discovering Han's last name, Solo, which Shrike had kept secret. Dewlannamapia oversaw Solo's education, and at one point she even saved him when he nearly died from Corellian Tanamen Fever.
In 10 BBY, hoping to flee from the violent and abusive Shrike, Solo planned an escape from Trader's Luck. When he came to the galley to say goodbye to Dewlannamapia, the two were found by Shrike. A brawl ensued, and Dewlannamapia sacrificed her life to protect Solo from a blaster shot fired by Shrike. The young Corellian successfully escaped from Trader's Luck and became a pilot in the Imperial Navy. Believing that he was forever indebted to Dewlannamapia, Solo later saved a Wookiee named Chewbacca from being killed by the Imperial Commander Pter Nyklas. Solo was expelled from the Navy, and he and Chewbacca became smuggling partners. Dewlannamapia was also survived by several cubs; one of them, Utchakkaloch, met Solo at one point and accepted the Corellian as his adoptive brother.
Raising the Human cub
- "Your mother was kinder to me than my own."
- ―Han Solo, to Utchakkaloch
Dewlannamapia—"Dewlanna" for short—was a female Wookiee born around 610 BBY. She was the mate of Isshaddik and the mother of several cubs, among them Utchakkaloch. Around 20 BBY, Isshaddik was exiled from the family's homeworld of Kashyyyk for a crime he had committed; Dewlannamapia followed her mate into exile, leaving behind her home and her grown cubs. The two of them joined the ragtag criminal crew of the starship Trader's Luck, captained by a Human named Garris Shrike. Only a year later, however, Isshaddik was killed during a smuggling run to the planet Nar Hekka in Hutt Space. Shrike, who was rather fond of Dewlannamapia's cooking, offered her a chance to stay aboard Trader's Luck. Although Dewlannamapia was free to return to Kashyyyk, she chose to accept the proposition and thus became the ship's cook. Aboard the craft, Dewlannamapia stayed in personal quarters near the galley. She befriended a nine-year-old Corellian boy named Han, one of the many children Shrike employed as thieves and pickpockets.
Dewlannamapia taught Han to speak and understand the Wookiee language of Shyriiwook. However, it was difficult for Han to reproduce the growls of which Shyriiwook consisted, so he preferred to speak Galactic Basic Standard. As Dewlannamapia understood Basic as well as her own language, the communication between her and Han was fluent. Shrike did not provide his children with education beyond that which was needed in their criminal activities, such as reading and simple math; however, Han's natural desire to defy Shrike led him to pursue further schooling clandestinely. When Dewlannamapia became aware of this, she encouraged Han to study. The young Corellian had a tendency to learn only subjects that he enjoyed and considered useful, like mathematics, and to largely ignore subjects he did not like, particularly history. Dewlannamapia made certain to monitor Han's curriculum, forcing him to learn disciplines that he otherwise would have skipped, and the boy eventually began to like history once he realized that some historical battles were as interesting as the ones he had read about in adventure books. Dewlannamapia also taught Han to prepare meals, and he became a fair cook himself. She kept in contact with her son Utchakkaloch, telling him anecdotes about the young Han who loved her wastril bread, and who craved to become a pilot.
One day, an unconscious Han was brought aboard Trader's Luck, having fallen sick with high fever after a mission he had performed for Shrike on the planet Corellia, during which Han had stolen some valuable jewelry. Dewlannamapia tended to the boy, and, fearing for his life, insisted that Shrike take him to a medical droid on Corellia. Shrike was unwilling to spend money on Han's treatment, believing that the boy would recuperate soon. Deciding to take the matter into her own hands, Dewlannamapia commandeered a shuttle and took Han to a medical droid. Upon examining the Human, the droid concluded that Han had a severe case of Corellian Tanamen Fever, and that he could have died had Dewlannamapia not brought him to Corellia. The droid prescribed a course of bacta immersion therapy, for which Dewlannamapia paid from her own savings. After Han spent some time in a bacta tank and got better, the two returned to Trader's Luck. Shrike was furious at Dewlannamapia for disobeying his orders, but the Wookiee stood her ground and insisted that she had done the right thing. Shrike eventually calmed down when he realized that one of the pieces of jewelry that Han had stolen the night he had fallen ill was a set with a genuine Krayt dragon pearl that was worth a fortune. Still, Shrike never repaid Dewlannamapia for Han's medical bills.
One thing that had always bothered Han was the fact that he did not know his last name. He had been orphaned at an early age and brought to Trader's Luck by Shrike, who had never spoken of Han's parents. When Han told his worries to Dewlannamapia, she decided to help him out once again. In order to spend more time with Shrike, she learned how to play sabacc and often participated in games against her boss. When Han was eleven, the elderly Wookiee's strategy finally paid off. One night, while she and Shrike were playing sabacc, the man grew very drunk and started bragging about the dragon pearl that Han had acquired for him and that Shrike had sold for a large sum. With a slip of his tongue, Shrike revealed that the boy's last name was "Solo." When Dewlannamapia tried to find out more about Han's parents or other relatives, Shrike became suspicious and did not tell her anything else. The Wookiee then made her way to Han's small cubicle and informed the boy of her discovery. Han was filled with joy and proudly called himself "Han Solo" from that point on.
The next time Trader's Luck stopped at Corellia, Solo visited the local public archives to research his last name. He discovered that the Solo lineage was both famous and infamous; a man named Berethron e Solo had been the last King of Corellia and had introduced democracy to his planet three centuries ago, while more recently, a Dalla Solo had emerged as a ruthless pirate, murderer, and kidnapper better known as "Dalla the Black." Solo also uncovered evidence of living members of the Solo family, including a reclusive widow named Tiion Sal-Solo and her only son, Thrackan Sal-Solo. Wondering whether he was truly related to them, Solo consulted Dewlannamapia regarding his curiosity, and she encouraged him to seek out Tiion and Thrackan, hoping that they would adopt him and protect him from Shrike. Solo eventually escaped from Trader's Luck and tracked down the Sal-Solos on Corellia. He lived in their mansion for six weeks and learned that Tiion was, in fact, his aunt, which made Thrackan his cousin. However, Thrackan turned out to be a violent and sadistic bully who sold Solo out to Shrike. Shrike brought the boy back aboard Trader's Luck and violently beat him for daring to escape.
The ultimate sacrifice
- "You want me… to go… to live. And to be… happy. Okay! I'll go. I still have time to get aboard that robot ship before it takes off. I promise. I'll go now. And I swear I'll always remember you, Dewlanna."
- ―Han Solo's last words to Dewlannamapia
Solo tried to escape from Shrike several more times, but each attempt ended with the boy being severely beaten. After one debacle in 12 BBY—when Solo, feeling cocky after winning the gladiatorial Jubilar-Free-For-All, attempted to take on Shrike—he was left with thoroughly split lips, and Dewlannamapia had to feed him mush for a week until they healed. In 10 BBY, the nineteen-year-old Solo decided to undertake another escape attempt. Having obtained a blaster, Solo made his way to Trader's Luck's galley to say goodbye to Dewlannamapia. He informed her that he was planning to stow away aboard the Ylesian Dream, an automated droid freighter that was docked to Trader's Luck and was due to depart soon. He would then make his way to the planet Ylesia, a religious colony near Hutt Space that offered pilgrims sanctuary from the outside universe. The Ylesian priests were also looking for a pilot, and Solo hoped to take the job, having already spent all his money to send them a message and tell the priests that he would be coming for a job interview. Solo also told the Wookiee that he would send for her once he had settled on Ylesia.
Upon hearing that Solo did not have any money left, Dewlannamapia offered all her savings to the Corellian. The latter initially protested but eventually accepted the money, assuring the Wookiee that he would return the debt. At that moment, Shrike entered the galley, accompanied by two more crew members, his brother Larrad and the Elomin Brafid. Shrike accused Solo of betrayal and threatened him with another beating and Devaronian blood-poisoning. Trying to protect Solo, Dewlannamapia stood between him and Shrike, although Solo unsuccessfully tried to convince her not to intervene. A fight broke out, during which Brafid was shot by Solo, and Larrad was incapacitated by Dewlannamapia, who broke his arm. Shrike then aimed his blaster at Solo, ordering Dewlannamapia to cease fighting lest he kill him. The Wookiee complied, and Solo dropped his own weapon and surrendered.
However, Shrike said that he was condemning Solo to death and prepared to kill him. In the last moment, Dewlannamapia shoved Solo aside and leaped at Shrike, catching the blaster bolt right in the chest. Angered, Solo tackled Shrike; the latter fell and his head impacted on the deck, knocking him out. When Solo rushed to Dewlannamapia's side, she told him to escape from the ship as fast as possible, but the Corellian wished to remain with her to comfort her until she died. Telling him that he would make her sacrifice meaningless if he refused to go, Dewlannamapia wished Solo a good and happy life, telling him that she would be fine after death, as she would become one with the Force. Leaving the Wookiee on the galley floor, Solo rushed to the docking bay, where he boarded the Ylesian Dream. Dewlannamapia died, but her sacrifice allowed Solo to escape from Trader's Luck.
- "I'm perfectly capable of lookin' after myself, and don't you forget it. Just 'cause I saved your furry butt from being vaporized doesn't mean you owe me a thing. I tol' you before—I owed a Wookiee, long ago. Owed her my life, coupla times over. So I saved you, 'cause I owed her."
- ―A drunken Han Solo, to Chewbacca
Having come to regard Dewlannamapia as the mother he never had, Solo missed the Wookiee deeply, and the memories of her death brought emotional pain to him for long afterward. He often imagined Dewlannamapia alive, and those images were so real that he at times could almost hear her voice. Solo swore to himself that he would repay Dewlannamapia by helping her people at any opportunity. After a series of adventures, Solo made his way to the galactic capital of Coruscant to apply for the Academy of Carida in hopes of becoming a pilot in the Imperial Navy. Shrike, who had survived the brawl aboard Trader's Luck, tracked him there but was killed by a bounty hunter, whom Solo in turn killed. Utchakkaloch also became aware of his mother's death, although he did not know of the exact circumstances surrounding it.
After successfully graduating from the Academy, Solo was given the rank of lieutenant. His service with the Galactic Empire was relatively short, however. Around 5 BBY, Solo saved a Wookiee slave named Chewbacca—Dewlannamapia's distant relative—from being killed by Commander Nyklas on Coruscant. Solo helped the Wookiee escape slavery, was discharged from the Navy, and became a smuggler. Chewbacca also swore a life debt to Solo and refused to leave his side, much to the Corellian's dismay, as he wanted to be left alone and felt that he had saved the Wookiee only to repay Dewlannamapia. He soon changed his mind and came to consider Chewbacca his best friend. In 2 BBY, Solo attended the wedding of Chewbacca and his mate Mallatobuck on Kashyyyk. It was there that he met Utchakkaloch, who wanted to know how his mother had died. Solo told him that his mother had died a hero while protecting him from Shrike and that she had been avenged when Shrike had been killed. Utchakkaloch was glad to hear this, and he accepted Solo as his "adoptive brother," since they had been raised by the same "mother."
As of 25 ABY, Solo still felt that Dewlannamapia's loving upbringing, among other deeds and sacrifices that his Wookiee friends had made for him over the years, made Solo indebted to the Wookiees rather than the other way around. He expressed this belief when he tried to discourage Chewbacca's son Lumpawaroo and nephew Lowbacca from taking on Chewbacca's life debt in the wake of the latter's death. In his interviews to the New Republic's—and later, the Galactic Alliance's—Historical Council, Solo remembered Dewlannamapia as the only bright spot in his early life.
Personality and traits
- "I…I feel the same way, Dewlanna. You're the closest thing to a mother I'll ever have."
- ―Han Solo, to a dying Dewlannamapia
Almost six hundred years of age at the time of her death, Dewlannamapia was considered old even by Wookiee standards. She had blue eyes. Her fur was initially tan in color, but it began graying with age. She was devoted to her mate Isshaddik, willingly following him into exile—although she was not required to do so—and never speaking of his crime. After joining the crew of Trader's Luck, Dewlannamapia developed a bond with the young Han Solo. She became the closest thing that the Corellian had to a mother or, due to her old age, a grandmother. She often ruffled up his hair so that he looked attractively "scruffy," with his hair standing up like a Wookiee's, despite Solo's protests. Dewlannamapia deeply worried for Solo's health and well-being, ensuring that he had the best possible education and paying for his treatment when he was struck with Corellian Tanamen Fever.
Dewlannamapia went to great lengths to help the young Corellian. She learned how to play sabacc with the sole purpose of spending more time with Garris Shrike and learning Han's last name, and she gave the boy all of her savings when he approached her to say goodbye. Shortly after this, she willingly took a blaster shot intended for Solo so that he could continue to live and be happy. Overall, Solo considered her to be a hero who had sacrificed her life to save his. In his adult life, he remembered both Dewlannamapia's love and wisdom, recalling old Wookiee proverbs she used to tell him, such as, "Joy unmixed with sorrow is suspect" and "To have a good memory is to be both blessed and cursed…" Unlike the majority of Trader's Luck's occupants, Dewlannamapia was not afraid of Shrike, openly arguing with him, defying him, and violating his orders on several occasions. Dewlannamapia was usually calm and lovable, but she fell into a battle rage when trying to protect Solo during his successful escape attempt. She fought fiercely, grabbing Larrad Shrike by the wrist, spinning and snapping him like a whip, and ultimately breaking his arm.
Dewlannamapia was a believer in the Force, which, due to the intricacies of Shyriiwook, Solo mistranslated as "life-power." She believed in it steadfastly and was certain that she would become a spirit in the afterlife, safe with the Force. Although Dewlannamapia was unable to speak Basic, she easily understood it. She was also a capable pilot, competently handling the controls of the shuttle she took to deliver Solo to a medical droid on Corellia. Dewlannamapia was a very good cook, and she was given a place aboard Trader's Luck mainly because Shrike liked her cooking, although not to the point that he considered her indispensable. Dewlannamapia often baked Solo's favorite wastril bread and prepared nerf sausages. When translated from Shyriiwook to Basic, Dewlannamapia's name had several parts. "Dew" meant "fierce, stern, stout"; "lanna" meant "cry, growl" or "roar"; and "mapia" stood for "rain, season," or "storm."
Behind the scenes
Dewlannamapia first appeared in the 1997 novel The Paradise Snare, the first volume of The Han Solo Trilogy written by Ann Crispin. Although the Wookiee was killed in the same story, she was mentioned in both the second and third installments of the trilogy, The Hutt Gambit and Rebel Dawn, as well as in several other novels and reference books. Nevertheless, The Paradise Snare remains her only appearance. Although Dewlannamapia first appeared in The Paradise Snare, the character's origins can be traced back to George Lucas's 1974 rough draft of what would eventually become Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope. According to the version of the rough draft available on the web site of the Jedi Bendu, a group of fans who collect copies of early drafts of Star Wars movie scripts, "Dewanna" was a huge male "Wookee" who lived on the Wookee planet of Yavin. He and several other Wookees were captured by several Yourellian trappers but were rescued by R2-D2 and Annikin Starkiller, who had arrived on Yavin while escaping from the Sith. During the fight, Starkiller was knocked unconscious and Dewanna carried him to the Wookee camp to meet the father of Chewbacca, Auzituck, the chief of the Kaapauku tribe.
A Dewlannamapia appears in James Luceno's 2003 novel The New Jedi Order: The Unifying Force, the final installment in The New Jedi Order series, attending the dedication of a memorial portrait to the late Chewbacca on Kashyyyk. However, as the novel is set thirty-nine years after Dewlannamapia's death, the Wookiee in The Unifying Force must be another individual.
- The Paradise Snare (First appearance)
- The Hutt Gambit (Mentioned only)
- Rebel Dawn (Mentioned only)
- Tatooine Ghost (Mentioned only)
- Young Jedi Knights: The Emperor's Plague (Mentioned only)
- The New Jedi Order: Agents of Chaos I: Hero's Trial (Mentioned only)
- "The Women Of Star Wars" – Star Wars Galaxy Magazine 12
- The Essential Chronology
- A Guide to the Star Wars Universe, Third Edition, Revised and Expanded
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 17 (SOL1, Han Solo)
- The New Essential Guide to Characters
- The New Essential Chronology
- Star Wars: The Official Starships & Vehicles Collection 1
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- "Han Solo: The Early Years" – Star Wars Insider 106
Notes and references
- The Paradise Snare
- Dewlannamapia is said to be approximately 600 years old in The Paradise Snare, which takes place around 10 BBY, according to The Essential Reader's Companion
- The Essential Reader's Companion places the events of The Paradise Snare, which features Dewlannamapia's death, around 10 BBY
- The New Jedi Order: Agents of Chaos I: Hero's Trial
- The Paradise Snare places Isshaddik's exile ten years before the events of the novel, which is approximately dated to 10 BBY by The Essential Reader's Companion.
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. I, p. 187 ("Dewlannamapia")
- Rebel Dawn
- The incident is dated two years prior to the main events of The Paradise Snare, approximately dated to 10 BBY by The Essential Reader's Companion.
- The Hutt Gambit
- The event is referenced in The Hutt Gambit, which is approximately dated to 5 BBY by The Essential Reader's Companion
- The event is depicted in Rebel Dawn, which is approximately dated to 2 BBY by The Essential Reader's Companion
- The Essential Chronology
- The New Essential Chronology
- Tatooine Ghost
- Young Jedi Knights: The Emperor's Plague
- Galactic Campaign Guide
- The New Jedi Order: The Unifying Force