- "It's not exactly common for you pilots to come asking for assignments, Farlander. Don't we work you hard enough?"
- ―S'man to Keyan Farlander
H. S'man was a commander in the Alliance to Restore the Republic who served as one of the chief mission planning officers on the Mon Calamari Star Cruiser Independence during the early stages of the Galactic Civil War. He was involved in planning many successful missions for the Alliance during this time, including the destruction of the Star Destroyer Invincible, ending the Imperial offensive known as Operation Strike Fear, and the search for the Death Star. His role often saw him working closely with members of Alliance High Command, including General Jan Dodonna and Admiral Gial Ackbar.
H. S'man joined the Alliance to Restore the Republic early in the Galactic Civil War. At nearly 2.1 meters in height and close to 135 kilograms, S'man was considered large for his species. Rumors which later circulated among Alliance personnel claimed that S'man's size had precluded him from becoming a starfighter pilot and that he had studied tactics and taken a role as a mission planner to remain involved with starfighter operations. Whatever his reason for becoming a mission planner, by 1 BBY S'man held the rank of commander and was one of the chief planning officers aboard the Mon Calamari Star Cruiser Independence. S'man worked closely with members of Alliance High Command in strategic planning, becoming particularly close to General Jan Dodonna and Admiral Gial Ackbar, and he was frequently involved in briefing the Independence's pilots prior to missions. He was credited with planning many of the Alliance's early successes.
Operation Strike Fear
- "All we can know for sure is that the Empire will respond with a warhead to scratch an itch."
Shortly after the Battle of Turkana, the Alliance received intelligence indicating that the Galactic Empire was planning a major offensive. In response, General Dodonna and his staff aimed to strengthen their own position and uncover the Empire's plans. S'man briefed the pilots aboard the Independence, informing them of the upcoming campaign's goals and the mission plan for its first operation, the recovery of the defecting CR90 corvette Bixby.
Captain Nogdra of the Bixby revealed that the Empire was using the Dellalt system as a staging point for Operation Strike Fear. S'man selected Lieutenant Keyan Farlander for a reconnaissance mission to the system. Before long, Alliance High Command decided the time had come to pursue General Dodonna's stated goal of seeking new allies. To this end, they planned to assist the Sullustans in their fight against the Empire, in the hopes of bringing them into the Alliance. The Rebels had learned that Sullustan prisoners were being transferred from Sullust to Coruscant and planned a raid to rescue them. In order to prevent the Imperials panicking and killing the prisoners, it was decided to send a single BTL Y-wing starfighter to disable the convoy craft, before a Lambda-class T-4a shuttle arrived to rescue the prisoners. S'man considered the plan too risky and initially opposed it, but he eventually called Captain Hamo Blastwell and Lieutenant Farlander to a private briefing on the mission. Impressed by Farlander's performances so far, S'man selected him for the mission and instructed Blastwell to oversee his preparations. The mission was a success and helped gain support for the Alliance on Sullust.
The alliance with the Sullustans soon paid off. Sullustan technicians worked with General Crix Madine to devise a plan to put an end to Operation Strike Fear by destroying the Empire's lead ship, the Imperial-class Star Destroyer Invincible. The plan called for the Rebels to steal an Imperial explosive device as it passed through a deep space transfer zone and to smuggle it aboard the Star Destroyer. Before beginning the operation, S'man led a meeting of senior Alliance Starfighter Corps pilots and support personnel, including the recently promoted Captain Farlander and Captain Blastwell of Red Squadron, Captain Ernek Marskan of Blue Squadron and General Dodonna's staff officer, Commander Lagrane, to plan the theft of the explosive. During the meeting, the group studied the transfer zone's defenses and planned suitable hyperspace jump points.
Search for the Death Star
- "Don't get too confident, men. This is a life-or-death struggle, and the Empire still has the upper hand."
Although the destruction of the Invincible brought an end to Operation Strike Fear, the Alliance soon got word that the Empire was developing a major new weapon. Following his escape from Stars' End prison, Rebel Captain Samuel Raider revealed that Wookiee slaves were being transported to a secret Imperial construction project. S'man briefed the pilots on an operation to rescue the Wookiees, which Raider would command.
The Alliance eventually discovered the nature of the Imperial weapon, a battlestation known as the Death Star. During the search for the superweapon, Lagrane recommended Farlander for a psychological evaluation after the pilot showed increasing signs of stress which culminated in his failure to report for a mission debriefing after the death of his wingmate, Breth Gart, who had been killed during the early stages of the battle of Kalla VII in 0 BBY. S'man was reading the medical droid's report in his office when Farlander arrived and requested to be sent on assignment. Though S'man initially refused the pilot's request and was prepared to ground him, Farlander used the Force to persuade the commander to let him fly on a raid against the EF76 Nebulon-B escort frigate Priam.
Personality and traits
- "We've had some success lately against the Empire forces, but that only means that we have to be more careful."
At nearly seven feet tall, S'man was a large individual. His size could be imposing and Keyan Farlander felt small in comparison and likened the experience to talking with a giant. However, S'man was widely respected by those he worked with. His tactical expertise and many successes brought him close to General Dodonna and Admiral Ackbar, and he could easily restore order during mission briefings with a raised hand. S'man was generally serious and had a cautious attitude. Following Rebel victories, he reminded the pilots aboard the Independence not to get too confident and that the Empire still had the advantage, and he was opposed to sending Farlander alone on what he considered a risky mission to assist the Sullustans.
Behind the scenes
S'man was created by Rusel DeMaria for the 1993 book X-Wing: The Official Strategy Guide, which presented the story of Keyan Farlander, the player character in the game Star Wars: X-Wing. In the book S'man is heavily involved in mission planning and briefs Farlander and the other pilots on several missions. In the game, however, mission briefings are given by Admiral Ackbar. S'man's first name is not stated in X-Wing: The Official Strategy Guide, but the original edition lists him as "Command H. S'man" in the glossary. The first initial is not included in the glossary in 1995's X-Wing Collector's CD-ROM: The Official Strategy Guide.
- X-Wing: The Official Strategy Guide (First mentioned)
- X-Wing Collector's CD-ROM: The Official Strategy Guide
Notes and references
- X-Wing: The Official Strategy Guide
- X-Wing: The Official Strategy Guide describes S'man as nearly seven feet tall and close to 300 pounds. His height and mass are given in this article using metric equivalents of these figures.
- X-Wing: The Official Strategy Guide begins after the X-wing starfighter entered service with the Alliance to Restore the Republic, which The Essential Guide to Warfare places in 1 BBY. X-Wing: The Official Strategy Guide establishes that the capture of Leia Organa occurs at the end of Star Wars: X-Wing's second tour of duty. Organa's capture takes place on 35:3:3 under the Great ReSynchronization dating system, placing it at the beginning of 0 BBY according to the following explanation. Events in X-Wing: The Official Strategy Guide before the end of the second tour of duty therefore take place in 1 BBY.
- Star Wars: X-Wing
- X-Wing: The Official Strategy Guide establishes that the events of Star Wars: X-Wing's third tour of duty take place between the capture of Leia Organa and the Battle of Yavin. Both of these events occur in 0 BBY according to The New Essential Chronology.
- X-Wing Collector's CD-ROM: The Official Strategy Guide