- "Sometimes I think of that ship as one massive red warning light."
- ―Mara Jade Skywalker
The Errant Venture was an Imperial II-class Star Destroyer captured by the smuggler Booster Terrik. Originally commissioned into the Imperial Navy as the Virulence, under Terrik's ownership she became something of a mobile shadowport, and was for many decades the only privately owned Imperial I- or Imperial II-class Star Destroyer in the known galaxy, distinguished by her unusual red coloring.
- "Order Virulence to deploy its fighters! Now nothing stands between us and total victory!"
- ―Captain Joak Drysso
Little information is available about the early operational history of the Virulence, except that she was launched after the Battle of Yavin, and by the time of the Battle of Endor in 4 ABY, she was under the command of Captain Joak Drysso, a man known primarily as a loyal supporter of the New Order. The name itself meant "venomous hostility" or "shortness of temper."
When Drysso saw the Executor crashing into the Death Star II, however, he realized the battle had been lost, and ordered his Star Destroyer to retreat. He subsequently allied himself with Director of Imperial Intelligence Ysanne Isard, because he believed that she had the best right to the vacant throne, and also the best ability to strike back against the New Republic.
Drysso supported Isard's decision to withdraw from Coruscant, and he was one of three Star Destroyer captains who openly joined her when she seized power on Thyferra. He was named captain of Isard's Super Star Destroyer, Lusankya, and his female first officer, Lakwii Varrscha, who already held the rank of captain, took charge of the Virulence, becoming one of the few female commanders in Imperial service. Under her methodical but uninspired leadership the ship participated in a number of engagements against Rogue Squadron during the Bacta War.
When Wedge Antilles and Booster Terrik allowed the Imperials to discover their hidden base at Yag'Dhul, Isard sent the Lusankya and the Virulence to attack them. Upon arrival, they found the Rogues had already evacuated and left the area, but they were faced by Booster Terrik aboard Yag'Dhul Station. Lusankya found itself locked in place by dozens of tractor beams, and more than three hundred proton torpedo launchers locked onto the Super Star Destroyer, more than enough to destroy her.
Captain Varrscha quickly moved Virulence in front of Lusankya, freeing the command ship from the tractor beams' grip and enabling Drysso to rush back to Thyferra with the Super Star Destroyer. In fact, there were no missile launchers aboard the space station, just stripped-down targeting sensors, but Terrik, aided by the unexpected arrival of a New Republic starfighter force under the command of Pash Cracken, brazened it out, and convinced Captain Varrscha to surrender the undamaged Virulence without a fight. Terrik immediately took command, loading up the captured ship with his people and Cracken's fighters.
By the time Terrik and Cracken arrived at Thyferra, the battle was well under way. Against Lusankya's massive firepower, Rogue Squadron had organized an alliance including Imperial defector Sair Yonka and his Star Destroyer Freedom, the Valiant, a salvaged Cruiser from the ruins of Alderaan and a force of armed freighters loaded to the brim with the missiles and torpedoes which had supposedly been at Yag'Dhul Station. Captain Drysso could not believe his good luck when he saw Virulence emerge from hyperspace, but he was in for a very unpleasant surprise when his former ship launched A-wing fighters into the battle, and opened up on Lusankya with her weaponry.
Terrik's arrival helped turn the tide of the engagement conclusively against the Lusankya, and the battle was soon finished, with the Super Star Destroyer surrendered to the New Republic, and Isard apparently killed in the act of escaping.
- "The Provisional Council will have a piece of my hide for this, but, yes. The Virulence is yours. Please change the name."
- ―General Airen Cracken
Following the battle, Booster decided that he enjoyed being in charge of a Star Destroyer, and he wanted to keep the Virulence. Not wishing to leave such a powerful ship in the hands of a smuggler, General Airen Cracken of the New Republic Intelligence Service tried to convince him to give up the ship.
Terrik was defiant, but a compromise was brokered by his future son-in-law Corran Horn and Talon Karrde. Airen Cracken's main concern was to leave a starship with enough firepower to slag a planet in "private" hands, so Corran Horn first tried to have Booster accept Sair Yonka's Freedom instead of the Virulence. Terrik refused, arguing that he would never be able to get the Freedom repaired at any of the existing shipyards, and arrogantly stated that either the New Republic paid an immense sum of cash immediately or he flew the Destroyer away. Cracken countered by stating that the Virulence crew were now prisoners of war, and that while Booster had a claim on the ship, he couldn't fly it anywhere without a crew. Talon Karrde then defused the situation by proposing the following deal, which was accepted by both parts: Terrik was allowed to keep the Star Destroyer, but she was to be stripped of most of her armament, down to the legal maximum for the largest of civilian starships. To sweeten the deal, the decommissioned weapons were sold to the New Republic, which netted her new captain eighteen million credits. Karrde acted as middle man and netted 7 million for himself.
Booster renamed the Star Destroyer as the Errant Venture, and turned the ship into a shadowport and a mobile bazaar of sorts, clearing out entire sections of the interior to create space for entrepreneurs to set up shop. Locations on the ship included The Mines, Black Level, Blue Level, Trader's Alley, Diamond Level, Docking Bay 15, and Docking Slot 1127. Some of the crew wore gaudy versions of the Imperial officer's uniform in Corellian green-and-gold.
In 11 ABY, Booster's daughter Mirax Terrik Horn was kidnapped, and the Venture assisted Corran in his hunt for her, and almost came to battle with Leonia Tavira's Star Destroyer, Invidious. Eventually, the Star Destroyer became a second home for Corran, Mirax, and ultimately their children Valin and Jysella.
However, Booster found himself running the Star Destroyer at significantly less than optimal levels. She rarely carried even a skeleton crew, although this still meant that several thousand trained personnel had to be found—during the Yuuzhan Vong War, her standard complement was said to be 4,780. By 19 ABY, although the ship remained basically operational and spaceworthy, literally half of her systems were non-functional or malfunctioning, and Booster eventually hired two hundred Verpine technicians to give her a thorough overhaul in the Nosken system—a process that took more than two months.
At this point, General Garm Bel Iblis coopted the Venture for a mission deep inside the Galactic Empire, a raid on the Ubiqtorate base at Yaga Minor. The New Republic needed a large capital ship that could pass for an Imperial vessel, but the Defense Force's own refitted Star Destroyers were too well-known, too high-profile. The Errant Venture, on the other hand, was the perfect ship: she often disappeared when Booster needed her to, and she had never had an extensive refit since her Imperial service.
For the upcoming mission, however, she was given a thorough overhaul by the New Republic, restoring her to full military functionality. But Terrik laid down important conditions: he wanted to keep the Errant Venture's reconditioned equipment left intact after the mission was over, and he wanted the New Republic to repaint her "something besides Star Destroyer White," removing the mock battle damage she had been given for the raid. For a time, his desire to paint the vessel was thwarted by the lack of sufficient quantities of paint in any color besides "Star Destroyer White."
Errant Venture survived the subsequent battle—in fact, she ended up cooperating with Admiral Pellaeon's Chimaera and the raid turned into the moment when peace with the Imperial Remnant became possible. Subsequently, Terrik had the ship repainted in bright red—although he would have been furious to know that most of the paint came from Talon Karrde, who had sold it to the New Republic in the first place.
Over the next few years, Terrik's red Star Destroyer continued on her unusual journeys—in 22 ABY, Talon Karrde used her to intercept Luke and Mara Jade Skywalker and warn them of a communiqué from the Chiss, and during the early stages of the Yuuzhan Vong War, Terrik used her to run guns to the Hutts.
In the second year of the war, however, the Star Destroyer became the new home of the Jedi Praxeum after the Yuuzhan Vong attacked Yavin 4, essentially becoming a modern day Chu'unthor. In 26 ABY, Ben Skywalker was born aboard the ship, and after the Battle of Coruscant, she joined the Jedi and New Republic forces at Borleias under the command of Wedge Antilles.
She was the largest single ship in a smuggler fleet that was part of the wider New Republic fleet at the tide-turning Battle of Ebaq 9, and during the Battle of Yuuzhan'tar, she helped the Jedi and the Hapan Royal Navy defend Zonama Sekot from the fleet Supreme Overlord Shimrra and Warmaster Nas Choka dispatched to attack the living world.
During the Second Galactic Civil War, Leia Organa Solo and Han Solo both fled Corellia with Lando Calrissian to the Errant Venture in Lando's ship, the Love Commander. Joining them was Iella Wessiri Antilles, Mirax Terrik Horn, and Myri Antilles in the Pulsar Skate, along with Wedge Antilles and Corran Horn in their own personal X-Wings. After landing in the Flag Hangar, Leia suggested that they park the Errant Venture near Corellia so that they might be able to gather information from the Alliance members of the Corellian blockade about a possible puppet master pulling the strings behind the war. Eventually, with Luke Skywalker's mentioning to Jacen Solo of how bad of an idea it was to park the Errant Venture near the blockade, Errant Venture was given permission to go to the Corellian Blockade to entertain the crews and gather intelligence. When the fleet was under attack, Corran Horn, Luke Skywalker, Mara Skywalker, and Wedge Antilles protected the Errant Venture until all of its military ships were launched, thus allowing it to escape to Coruscant.
Jaina Solo, Jag Fel, and Zekk all went to the Errant Venture on their mission to track down Alema Rar after a program they planted noticed that all the holocams were being "wiped" by a Force-sensitive, possibly Alema, who turned out to be the one doing the wiping.
Alema tried to kill Han, Leia, Luke and Mara on the Errant Venture but was chased away by Zekk, Corran, Leia, Jaina, and Jagged Fel.
Later in the Second Galactic Civil War, the Errant Venture was used as a jumping-off point for one of the missions to capture or kill Jacen Solo.
Armament in private hands
- "What secret weapon?"
- ―Booster Terrik
Under New Republic law, a privately owned heavy-duty civilian transport ship was legally allowed to carry ten heavy turbolaser batteries, ten ion cannon batteries, and two tractor beam projectors—although, of course, this weapons-to-tonnage ratio remained purely hypothetical until Booster Terrik took control of the Errant Venture, since the Mark II Star Destroyer dwarfed even the largest civilian luxury cruisers and bulk haulers. As part of the deal allowing Booster to keep the Star Destroyer, the Venture was stripped of the majority of its armament, leaving it with the maximal weaponry allowed (or "A token array of guns!" as Booster often complained).
Demilitarization was General Cracken's primary condition for allowing Terrik to keep his Star Destroyer, and after eight years of continuous operation, her minimal armament appeared to have been reduced even further, with just three of her turbolasers functioning. Nawara Ven told Talon Karrde that two had been cannibalized for parts, three had been sold to buy replacement components for the hyperdrive, and two were simply not working.
However, there were some indications that the Errant Venture was more heavily armed than she appeared—or was legally allowed to be. In his memoirs of events in 11 ABY, Corran Horn seemed to let slip that his father-in-law's ship was still more powerful than two Victory-class Star Destroyers combined, and on Karrde's visit in 19 ABY, although sensor readings showed only three turbolaser turrets as armed, they also showed all the Star Destroyer's weapons tracking towards the Wild Karrde—difficult for a ship on which most of them were supposed to have been physically removed.
Nor did the records of the refit before the Yaga Minor raid mention the Errant Venture being rearmed: her systems were simply described as being repaired and overhauled. In short, even if they were not always fully operational, it seems that Terrik had quickly replaced the weapons that he had been forced to remove, and after Yaga Minor, he clearly expected to keep her that way.
Early in the Yuuzhan Vong War, however, official figures suggest that the ship was once again carrying only her legal armament, and it is possible that the New Republic had forced him to strip her of her extra weaponry. Even if they had, however, Terrik had augmented her firepower with some sort of superweapon, capable of taking out a Yuuzhan Vong destroyer analog with a single shot. This was rumored to be a ship-killing superlaser similar to Durga's Darksaber, the plans for which Booster had acquired from the Hutts. Although it took several minutes to charge the weapon to full capacity, and its power was limited to destroying warships, it was said to be able to destroy any spaceship in its path for a light-year. It was also the first ship to be equipped with a gravitic amplitude modulator after the Fall of Coruscant.
At Borleias, Errant Venture was also rearmed with heavy weapons stripped from the Lusankya, but although the Yuuzhan Vong, like the New Republic, were led to believe that she had previously been only lightly armed, she may have already been at or near her full combat firepower, simply receiving new, and perhaps super-heavy, turbolasers from the Super Star Destroyer. Whatever the truth of the matter, Errant Venture remained fully armed and operational until the Liberation of Coruscant.
Sometime prior to the Second Galactic Civil War, Errant Venture was once again stripped of most of its weapons.
Behind the scenes
- X-Wing: The Bacta War (First appearance)
- X-Wing: Isard's Revenge
- I, Jedi
- Specter of the Past
- Vision of the Future
- Star Wars: Union
- Survivor's Quest
- The New Jedi Order: Edge of Victory I: Conquest
- Emissary of the Void (Mentioned only)
- The New Jedi Order: Edge of Victory II: Rebirth
- The New Jedi Order: Star by Star
- The New Jedi Order: Enemy Lines I: Rebel Dream
- The New Jedi Order: Enemy Lines II: Rebel Stand
- The New Jedi Order: Destiny's Way
- The New Jedi Order: The Final Prophecy (Mentioned only)
- The New Jedi Order: The Unifying Force
- Legacy of the Force: Exile
- Legacy of the Force: Fury
- Fate of the Jedi: Outcast (Mentioned only)
- Fate of the Jedi: Vortex
- Fate of the Jedi: Conviction
- X-Wing: Mercy Kill (Mentioned only)
- The New Jedi Order Sourcebook
- The New Essential Guide to Characters
- Star Wars PocketModel TCG: Scum and Villainy
- Scum and Villainy
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- Star Wars: The Official Starships & Vehicles Collection 14