Gandr Spanjaf was the father of Merei Spanjaf and the husband of Jessa Spanjaf. He and his wife worked as data-security specialists and were contracted by several ministries of the Galactic Empire. Several years before the Battle of Yavin, Gandr and his family moved to the planet Lothal to help the local Imperial ministries boost the security of their data networks. He and Jessa were unaware of their daughter Merei's illegal activities; which included hacking the Transportation Ministry's data network, working as a courier for the criminal Gray Syndicate; and consorting with known rebels and rebel sympathizers including the Spectres cell, her former classmates Zare Leonis and Beck Ollet, and the fugitive Holshef. Merei was helping her boyfriend Zare to find his sister Dhara Leonis, who had been abducted for a secret Imperial program known as Project Harvester.

After Merei hacked into the Transportation Ministry's data network, his wife Jessa was part of the anti-intrusion team that was assigned to investigate that data breach. Merei spent much of that year trying to stay ahead of the Imperial investigators by altering her school photo while working as a courier for the Gray Syndicate at the same time. Concerned about his daughter's well-being and failing grades at school, Gandr provided his daughter with a powerful locator in case she encountered trouble. This locator proved useful when Merei staged her own kidnapping which led to a deadly Imperial raid on Ake's Tavern, the Gray Syndicate's headquarters. As a result, Gandr and Jessa came to believe that the Gray Syndicate were the culprits behind the Transportation Ministry's data breach and that they had kidnapped Merei to stop the Imperial investigation.

Gandr and Jessa were later forced to flee Lothal with their daughter Merei after the Empire launched a crackdown on all sedition and crime following the Spectres' hijacking of the Imperial Communications Center at Jalath. While his wife Jessa was furious with Merei for "ruining" their lives, Gandr express pride in his daughter's achievements. After fleeing to the planet Garel with the help of Old Jho and the Spectres, Gandr used his data security skills to craft new identifies for his own family and the Leonises.

Biography[edit | edit source]

Moving to Lothal[edit | edit source]

"When the Empire came to Lothal they were so concerned about putting systems in place fast that they didn't do a great job. So now we've got teams tightening up security one ministry at a time. But it's slow going. For instance, we only sweep the networks for rogue programs and other breaches every other weekend, because the sweeps slow down network traffic so badly. But listen to me—you ask me about an intrusion and I go running off like a scalded nerf talking about sweep schedules."
―Gandr describing his and his wife's work as data-security specialists[src]

Gandr Spanjaf was a native of the Core Worlds planet of Corulag. He was the husband of Jessa Spanjaf and the father of Merei Spanjaf. Gandr and Jessa were data-security specialists who worked as contractors for several Imperial government ministries. They used their intrusion skills to track down would-be saboteurs and thieves, who were subsequently arrested by Imperial stormtroopers. Several years before the Battle of Yavin, Gandr and his family migrated to the the backwater Outer Rim world of Lothal to take advantage of new Imperial developmental opportunities there. The local Imperial ministries needed data-security specialists to secure their data networks, which were constantly plagued by rogue programs and data breaches. Gandr and his family settled in an apartment in Lothal's Capital City.[1]

Gandr's daughter Merei spent her first year on Lothal at the Junior Academy of Applied Sciences in Capital City. She played in the school's grav-ball team and became a friend of Zare Leonis and Beck Ollet, two rebel sympathizers who were critical of the Empire's policies towards Lothal. After Zare's sister Dhara, a cadet at the Academy for Young Imperials, disappeared, Merei agreed to help Zare to find his sister.[3] The following year, Merei enrolled at the Vocational School for Institutional Security in order to follow her parents in their career of information security. Unknown to both Gandr and Jessa, Merei intended to used her computer slicing skills to find Dhara.[1]

A Daughter's double life[edit | edit source]

"Back to the basics, Mer Bear. It's the basic security principle of something in the head and something in the hand. To access a sensitive file, you need regular access code and the code displayed on the decoder, which changes every few seconds."
―Gandr explaining how a decoder works[src]

After returning home from work one evening, Gandr came across his daughter browsing her datapad in the kitchen. Unknown to him, his daughter was browsing the Imperial customs database for information about Dhara. When asked by Gandr, Merei claimed that she was browsing the database as part of her intrusions counter-measures class. Accepting his daughter's explanation, Gandr expressed relief that it would be bad for family business if she got caught snooping an Imperial Security Bureau data vault. Merei then pretended that she was investigating a data breach into the Imperial customs database as part of her homework assignment. Despite having low-level access, the intruders had managed to upgrade it into a deeper access.[1]

When Merei feigned bemusement, Gandr explained that the Imperial authorities had been so focused on putting systems in place when they first came to Lothal that they had neglected to secure their systems. As a result, the Imperial data network on Lothal was plagued by rogue programs and other data breaches. Gandr and his colleagues were forced to perform security sweeps every weekend since these sweeps slowed down the data network. In addition, Gandr revealed that the most effective intrusions were committed by people who had obtained network access by physically entering government officers, ministries, and buildings. While helping his daughter's "homework assignment," Gandr inadvertently furnished Merei with crucial information that helped her to plan her infiltration of the Imperial Transportation Ministry's headquarters on Lothal.[1]

Using three snooper programs she had obtained from the Gray Syndicate, Merei managed to infiltrate the Transportation Ministry and gain access to the Imperial database on Lothal. To further her efforts, she had also created a fake ISB account. However, she was still unable to access Dhara's files since she lacked a security clearance. While Gandr and Jessa were discussing Lothal politics at dinnertime, Merei took the opportunity to ask about using a ZX-5 access disk, a high-powered Imperial military decoder. Gandr explained that these decoders were used by Imperial officials to decrypt classified government files. Using this information, Merei put into a motion a plan to obtain an Imperial ZX-5 disk with the help of Zare Leonis. During the conversation, Jessa revealed that she had been assigned to investigate a data breach at the Transportation Ministry; which had been caused by Merei.[1]

With the connivance of Zare and an undercover rebel cadet named Dev Morgan, Merei managed to obtain a stolen ZX-5 decoder from Morgan's rebel associates. She used the decoder to decrypt a classified Imperial file which revealed that Dhara had been forcibly inducted into a secret program known as Project Harvester, which was based on the planet Arkanis. Several days later, Gandr was present during a dinner conversation when his wife Jessa discussed recent developments in her investigation into the Transportation Ministry data breach. While two of the snooper programs had managed to delete themselves, the third had failed to delete itself due to a faulty chronometer. As a result, Jessa was able to freeze and preserve the code of a third snooper. While Gandr was impressed with his wife's computing skills, Merei was fearful that the Empire would eventually come after her.[1]

Hiding in Plain Sight[edit | edit source]

"We're worried is all, Mer Bear. Your grades are down, and that's not like you. We just want to know what's wrong."
―Gandr noticing a change in Merei's behavior[src]

Due to Merei's illegal extracurricular activities, her school grades began to decline. Knowing that it was not typical behavior for his daughter, Gandr asked his daughter if anything was wrong. Merei responded that she was finding her new school work difficult and that she had been getting help from her classmates at the anti-intrusion club. When Jessa questioned Merei whether she was fraternizing with boys, Merei acknowledged that she did have a relationship with Zare but she only communicated with him three times a week for fifteen minutes at a time. In response to Merei's defensiveness, Gandr assured that her parents were only there to help; prompting Merei to tell her parents to let her work things out.[4]

When Merei asked Jessa about the progress of her investigation, Jessa was initially reluctant to share this information until Gandr frowned at her. He and Jessa accepted Merei's explanation that she was interested in Jessa's investigation because she wanted to follow her parents' career path as data security specialists. Jessa revealed that her team of investigators were trying to match the captured snooper to work done by known criminal offenders. While they had not yet been able to identify the intruder, Jessa revealed that an eyewitness had encountered an individual posing as a Phelarion School student selling raffle tickets. However, the description of the person did not match any known Phelarion student. Unknown to both parents, Merei was the intruder who had impersonated the Phelarion student in order to gain access to the Transportation Ministry building.[4]

One morning, Gandr chanced upon Merei as she was about to depart for a courier run for her crime boss Laxo. Merei managed to allay Gandr's suspicions by claiming that she was meeting with her classmates at the anti-intrusion club to go over some classwork. Before she left, Gandr gave his daughter a locator so that he and Jessa could find Merei if she encountered any trouble. He explained that this device was military-grade and could penetrate anything short of a few metric tons of lad or an Imperial data center's jamming field. Merei made a solemn promise to her father to use the locator if she ever needed it.[4]

Later, Gandr was present during a breakfast conversation between Merei and Jessa. In an attempt to mislead Jessa's investigation team, Merei got her classmate Jix Hekyl to switch her V-SIS photo with that of Hestia Tarleton, a student at the Young Ladies' Seminary of Lothal Settlers. This ploy had succeeded in confusing the Transportation Ministry witnesses who were unable to identify the real Merei. In response, Jessa's investigation team was forced to compare the Transportation Ministry data breach's intrusion pattern with data from accounts registered with several Lothalian repeater services. This was a long-winded process that would involve seeking a warrant from the courts.[4]

The "Kidnapping"[edit | edit source]

"It's all right, Mer Bear. It's all right. He's [Yahenna Laxo] dead, and you're safe."
―Gandr comforting his daughter following her fake "kidnapping"[src]

Following the end of Lothal's winter break, Gandr was present during a dinner table conversation when Jessa revealed that she had managed to narrow down the Transportation Ministry's intrusion pattern to three repeater services, including Bakiska's. When Jessa expressed satisfaction that her investigation was nearing its end, Gandr commented that it was going to be "game over" for the intruder. This development distressed Merei who departed from the dining room under the pretext of having to tackle homework. Unknown to both her parents, Merei then contacted Jix and made arrangements to enter Bakiska's data warehouse and delete Merei's account data with a pulse-mag under the pretext of doing Laxo's "business". However, their plan fell apart when the Bakiska's staff warehouse evicted them from the premises.[4]

In desperation, Merei staged her own kidnapping and dispatched a fake ransom demand to her parents' channels. This message purporting to come from the Gray Syndicate demanded that Jessa cease her investigation into the Transportation Ministry data breach if she and her husband wanted their daughter returned unharmed. Gandr and Jessa received Merei's message and contacted the Imperial authorities, who sent stormtroopers to raid Ake's Tavern. Due to the locator that Gandr had gifted Merei, the authorities were able to pinpoint his daughter's exact location. During the raid, the Imperials killed all of the criminals and rescued Merei, whom they thought was a hostage. Unknown to everyone, Merei took the opportunity to use her pulse-mag to delete all of the Gray Syndicate's data in the hopes of frustrating the Imperial investigation.[4]

Following Merei's "kidnapping", Gandr comforted his daughter after she woke up screaming. He mistook her grief for post-trauma and bundled her in his arms in an effort to console her. Gandr was unaware that Merei was experiencing guilt for her role in causing the deaths of Laxo and his associates, who were not responsible for the Transportation Ministry data breach. Later that morning, Gandr praised his daughter for helping his wife Jessa to close her investigation into the Transportation Ministry beach. He explained that Merei's kidnapping had saved Jessa having to lock down and search three repeater services. Shortly later, Merei received a call on her datapad from her boyfriend Zare, who informed her that he had received a mid-year transfer to the Imperial Academy on Arkanis.[4]

Fleeing the Empire[edit | edit source]

"Wow. That's some impressive slicing, Mer Bear. Thumb drives, huh? Did the snooper use a—"
"Gandr! I hardly think that's the most important thing we have to discuss right now."
"Right. Right. Of course. Mer Bear, this is really disappointing..."
―Gandr and Jessa reacting to discovering Merei's double life[src]

Following the destruction of the Gray Syndicate, Gandr's daughter Merei was caught up in another scheme to get the fugitive poet Holshef offworld. Holshef was a poet and artist who had drawn the ire of the Empire and had struck a friendship with Merei. During a dinnertime conversation, Gandr and Jessa were talking about issues at work when Merei raised a question about the Empire's recent efforts to tighten up offworld travel on Lothal. Gandr then jokingly asked his daughter whether she was planning a family vacation. Merei responded that she and her classmates at V-SIS had been talking about the Empire's new security measures. His wife Jessa then added that the Empire was tightening security by prohibiting wildcat launches into space and introducing stringent ID checks at Lothalian spaceports. This information led Merei to realize that she could not get her friend Holshef offworld through a spaceport.[5]

The next week, the Lothal rebel cell known as the Spectres seized control of the Imperial Communications Center at Jalath and made a broadcast. In response, the Empire destroyed the tower which disrupted all offworld communications on Lothal. As a result, data had to be couriered by R4 courier droids and uploaded to transmitters on orbiting communications ships. When Gandr suggested that the Empire would not have cut them off unless Lothal was in real danger, Jessa responded that the Empire had overreacted and created hardship for both government agencies and data-security experts on Lothal.[5]

After Merei's classmate Jix Hekyl was arrested by the Imperial authorities, Merei realized that it was only a matter of time before the Empire arrested her over her involvement in Transportation Ministry data breach. She contacted her mother Jessa and told her parents to meet her at the bar in Old Jho's Pit Stop, which lay beyond the Easthills. The Ithorian tavern keeper Old Jho had connections to the Spectres and had made arrangements to smuggle Merei, her family, and Holshef offworld. Upon arriving there, Gandr and Jessa learned about the full extent of Merei's involvement in the Transportation Ministry data breach and her attempts to evade Imperial injustice. While his wife Jessa reacted with anger towards Merei for "ruining" their lives, Gandr was impressed with his daughter's efforts to hack into the Imperial database.[5]

After viewing several highly classified documents which exposed several Imperial atrocities on Lothal, Gandr and Jessa realized that their suspicions about the Empire were right and agreed to escape with their daughter offworld. Gandr also transferred his family's credits to places where the Empire would have trouble freezing them. Gandr and his family stayed the night at Old Jho's Pit Shop while they waited to depart on Old Jho's freighter for the Garel system. Old Jho had already made arrangements to meet the Spectres in the Garel system, who would then take them into hiding on the planet Garel. Gandr initially disproved of Merei and Jessa's plan to return to Capital City and rescue Leonis' parents but consented after Old Jho agreed to pick up his family in his freighter.[5]

Gandr and his family later traveled with the Leonises and their nanny droid Auntie Nags to Garel, where they planned to go into hiding. Later, they were joined by Zare and his sister Dhara, who had been rescued by Merei, Jessa, and the Spectres. Once in hiding, Gandr created new identities for both his family and the Leonises.[5]

Personality and traits[edit | edit source]

"I want you to do me a favour. Take this [a locator]."
"A locator? I've got one built into my datapad."
"This is so we can find you if you're in trouble."
―Gandr demonstrating his love and concern for his daughter Merei's well-being[src]

Gandr was a Human male with black shaggy hair, that was beginning to turn gray. Gandr was a skilled data-security specialist who could figure out the architecture of a data network one sector away. However, he had a penchant for not noticing something right in front of his face. Unlike his wife Jessa, Gandr was not inquisitive and did not have a habit of probing into his daughter Merei's activities. As a data-security specialist, Gandr was well-placed enough to outfit his daughter with a powerful military-grade locator, that proved pivotal in allowing the Imperial authorities to "rescue" her following a fake kidnappping. Gandr was also known to be a regular consumer of fizzy Moogan teas, which he drank several times a day.[1]

Appearances[edit | edit source]

Notes and references[edit | edit source]

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