Hanc Thorben was a Human male officer who served in the Rebel Alliance holding the rank of Captain. Stationed at Haven Base on the planet Arbra, he also served as a pilot for the flight group known as Rogue Squadron. He flew a T-65 X-wing starfighter and served under the command of Luke Skywalker.
- "Just because it's a suicide mission doesn't mean we have to step into the noose willingly."
- ―Hanc commenting on the upcoming Teezl mission
Captain Thorben supervised the refit of four black market Imperial TIE Fighters that would be used to infiltrate an Imperial armada led by Admiral Mils Giel. As part of the mission codenamed Operation Earplug, the Alliance planned to destroy the strange entity called the Teezl, which the armada was transporting. The Teezl acted as a natural hyperspace communications amplifier, which would have given the Empire instantaneous communications throughout the galaxy. The Alliance tech specialists under Thorben's supervision added shields, a hyperdrive, a navicomputer, enhanced laser cannons, and an ejector seat to the four TIEs, dubbed Flying Bantha Squadron. In Thorben's report on the refit, he accepted the possibility that the pilots sent on this mission—himself included—may not survive. A raid against an Imperial outpost at the planet Spindrift served as a field test for the new TIEs. Thorben and other pilots, including Luke Skywalker and Shira Brie, decimated the outpost's weapons systems forcing the meager Imperial garrison to surrender. Thorben was then able to retrieve the command codes that would allow the pilots into Giels' armada.
Immediately after that mission, Thorben was part of an excursion that followed Shira Brie to the planet Shalyvane. Shira told the other members of her squad that Shalyvane was her home world and that a tribe of alien nomads known as the Em'liy had been conducting raids on the village of Chinshassa. The pilots disembarked from their fighters and engaged the Em'liy at the Circle of Kavaan. With the help of the astromech droid, R2-D2, the pilots of Rogue Squadron succeeded in driving the opposing forces away.
Finally ready to initiate the mission to destroy the Teezl, pilots Skywalker, Thorben, Brie, and Alph flew the stolen TIEs into the heart of Giel's armada and opened fire on the assembled ships, confusing the pilots and starship gunners. Thorben's fighter was severely damaged in the chaos and he barely limped away into hyperspace. As he escaped, Skywalker made the final successful run to destroy the ship carrying the Teezl. Once Thorben returned to base, he reviewed the images from his flight recorder and made the shocking discovery that Skywalker had accidentally fired on Brie's fighter and killed her. Thorben reported it to Princess Leia, and later somberly played the recording for Skywalker, who was devastated. Skywalker was later exonerated when it was discovered Brie was an Imperial spy, and he had sensed her evil intentions through the Force.
Some time later, Thorben discovered a dangerous secret about the abandoned Rebel base on Golrath. Lieutenant Gemmer Sojan had taken a stone from Golrath as a souvenir, and was complaining of losing sleep because of flashes of light it gave off. Thorben brought the stone to an Alliance scientist for analysis. He learned that the planet's stones somehow recorded nearby images. The Empire now controlled Golrath and the Rebels worried that they could learn Alliance secrets if they found out about the stones' strange properties. Skywalker and Thorben led a squadron of fighters to the planet and distracted Imperial fighters while the base was infiltrated and destroyed.
Personality and traitsEdit
Behind the scenesEdit
The character of Captain Thorben was created by David Michelinie and Walt Simonson. Thorben was one of only a few recurring Rebels besides the film characters that appeared in the Marvel Comics series. Thorben's first name, "Hanc", was established in the Arbra: Sanctuary In the Storm roleplaying game article from Wizards.com, more than twenty years after his last appearance in the Marvel series. Shira Brie's entry in The New Essential Guide to Characters explicitly confirms that Thorben was a member of Rogue Squadron.
- Star Wars 60: Shira's Story (First appearance)
- Star Wars 61: Screams in the Void
- Star Wars 65: Golrath Never Forgets
- The New Essential Guide to Characters (under "Shira Brie") (Indirect mention only)
- (First identified as "Hanc" Thorben)