- "Duck's not meant for flying… at least, not for too long."
- ―Neeamesh Dym
The Dusty Duck was a light freighter designed and utilized by Neeamesh Dym, a Pa'lowick smuggler residing on Nar Shaddaa during the Republic Classic era. The craft was notoriously unreliable, would often sputter to a halt in space, and made involuntary and abrupt descents to many barren worlds. The smuggler was assisted in his piloting by his daughter, Aneesa Dym. When the elder Dym was murdered by a client, Aneesa became the sole owner of the craft. She took the Dusty Duck on a pan-galactic hunt for her father's killer.
Eventually, her quarry was killed by Rango Tel, an aspiring but inexperienced bounty hunter from Sernpidal. As a sign of gratitude, she gave Tel her ship and offered him her services as a pilot. He agreed, and together they set off on a search for Tel's next target, Kam Nale. Nale proved elusive, but the pair eventually tracked him to Mos Espa, Tatooine. While Dym had a set of DUM-series pit droids maintain the ship, Tel hunted his quarry and was killed in the process. The Pa'lowick, not knowing her friend's fate, was murdered on the same day by Darth Maul, a Sith Lord who had been hunting Queen Amidala of Naboo, and had thought that the Dusty Duck was the monarch's transport. The ship would remain parked outside Mos Espa for the rest of its days.
The Dusty Duck was not a very reliable craft, and would often come to a halt in the dead of space. It was also notoriously rough in landing, and was large for a ship of its class. The sand-colored craft rested upon three large legs when landed.
The Dusty Duck was a custom made light freighter designed by a Pa'lowick smuggler by the name of Neeamesh Dym, who resided on Nar Shaddaa, the Smuggler's Moon. The ship constantly failed Dym, who named her for both her unreliability and for a waterfowl from the Chommell sector planet of Naboo. In piloting his ship, Dym was assisted by his daughter, Aneesa.
Aneesa became the sole owner of the ship when a disgruntled customer stabbed her father in the back. She used the Dusty Duck to search for the being that had orphaned her, taking the craft across the galaxy to many remote and obscure worlds. On Sernpidal, the armored bounty hunter Rango Tel killed the elder Dym's murderer in a cantina brawl, and the young Pa'lowick offered the hunter her gratitude, her admiration, and her services as a pilot. She gave Tel the Dusty Duck, in addition to the bounty she had placed on the head of her father's murderer.
The inexperienced Tel chose to take a bounty on the head of crime family heir Kam Nale, and, along with Dym, searched relentlessly for his quarry in the Dusty Duck. Nale, who used a variety of aliases and fronts, was difficult to track, but the duo eventually located him on Tatooine. Dym landed the Dusty Duck just outside Mos Espa, and she set her newly purchased DUM-series pit droid about repairing the craft while Tel ventured into the city in his search for Nale.
The Sith Lord Darth Maul, who was on Tatooine hunting for the fugitive Queen Padmé Amidala of Naboo, had sent his DRK-1 Dark Eye probe droids across the deserts, hoping to pinpoint the location of his quarry. One of them had spotted Qui-Gon Jinn, a Jedi Knight defending Amidala, and a newly freed slave boy, Anakin Skywalker, departing Mos Espa and heading in the general direction of the Dusty Duck. Before Maul could determine that the dilapidated freighter was not Jinn's destination, the Jedi destroyed the probe droid. Assuming that Jinn had continued on his course to the Dusty Duck, Maul boarded the craft, demanding that Dym reveal the location of his target. The Pa'lowick had no idea as to what the Sith Lord was talking about, and as a result, Maul murdered her. The same day, Kam Nale gunned down Rango Tel in a Mos Espa alleyway, leaving the Dusty Duck without a pilot or an owner.
With no one to countermand their orders, the pit droids simply continued their work on the freighter. They were able to rebuild the ship to perfection, but over the years the Dusty Duck became the subject of local ghost stories and fables. It would never fly again.
Behind the scenes
- "When I saw that the first entry was dubbed "Dusty Duck", I looked to my wife and said, "Oh, they used my name for the ship". Imagine my shock when I realized that the judges had, in fact, used my entire entry!"
- ―Greg Mitchell
The ship eventually dubbed "Dusty Duck" was first shown in a scene deleted from George Lucas' Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace. The craft was later elaborated on by Greg Mitchell (writing as "Hedec Ga") through the StarWars.com Hyperspace feature, "What's The Story?." Instead of choosing a more official, numbered name for the ship, Mitchell chose to model the moniker on the recurring theme of Star Wars craft being named after avians, such as the Millennium Falcon, the Moldy Crow, or the Ebon Hawk. In addition to this, Mitchell paid homage to the running gag of ducks featuring in Star Wars material.
Mitchell also tied the ship's story into the pre-existing one of Rango Tel, which had been established by Aaron Sinner early in the "What's The Story?" run. In doing that, Mitchell hoped to help create a "mythos within a mythos" of "What's the Story?" entries, much like some of the other participating authors. Originally, the entry had featured Darth Maul hunting for Anakin Skywalker, the Chosen One of Jedi prophecy, but the text was changed during editing. In the final version, Maul is hunting for the Jedi instead. Mitchell, as a horror writer, liked the idea of adding an urban legend to the Star Wars saga, prompting him to make the Dusty Duck the subject of a ghost story within the fictional universe. In the fan magazine Star Wars Outsider, Mitchell further fleshed out the story of the ship and the Dym family in the short story entitled The Smuggler's Daughter. The Databank entry would rank at number seventy-one in The 100 Greatest Things About Star Wars... Ever!, a list of the most popular articles in the online database, published in Star Wars Insider 100.
- Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace (First appearance) (Appears in deleted scene(s))
- The Wrath of Darth Maul (Mentioned only)
- "The 100 Greatest Things About Star Wars... Ever!" – Star Wars Insider 100
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- Star Wars: The Official Starships & Vehicles Collection 26
- (First identified as the Dusty Duck)
Notes and references
- Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace deleted scene