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Kal Nkai, later known as Hem Dazon, was a salt-addicted male Arcona. As a result, his eyes became yellow,[1] he was ill-tempered, and his addiction caused him to develop tremors in his hands.[3] He spent most of his time in Chalmun's Spaceport Cantina on Tatooine where he spent all of his credits on salt and juri juice. He was present in the cantina when Luke Skywalker first met Han Solo, and he was sitting with Bom Vimdin, Pons Limbic, Arleil Schous, and Braconnor Bakiska.[4]


Kal Nkai was born on the Inner Rim desert planet Cona in 16 BBY. His family raised him on their homestead where they hunted for the underground gastric pods used by Cona's plant life to synthesize water. Their homestead was located near a family nest which was within twenty kilometers of a Grand Nest. During Kal Nkai's early life, a long and violent war broke out between his Grand Nest and an adjacent one over the scarcest resource on the planet, water. Kal Nkai's father, Kal Mpon, firmly believed that fighting was a futile effort that wasted time the Arcona could be spending fighting their common enemy, dehydration.[2]

As the strain of war increased their hive's thirst and made their water pod hunting grounds less safe, Kal Mpon decided it was time to abandon their homestead and head for lands they could settle peacefully. To leave their homeland, Kal Nkai's family had to trek through a stretch of dense jungle wilderness. Since Kal Nkai was only a child when they left, he couldn't find water on his own because he had yet to learn the difference between helpless and harmful plant life. As the family patriarch, Kal Mpon accepted the sole responsibility of locating water and testing plants for defense mechanisms for his family. Despite his vast experience, Kal Mpon was wholly unprepared for the new life forms he encountered in the wilderness. When he attempted to extract water from a seemingly defenseless plant, he unknowingly activated a defense mechanism that emitted an odorless paralyzing gas. Kal Nkai would find his fathers body next to the plant a week later.[2]

With no water and and no experience in extracting it from the hostile plant life, Kal and his mother grew desperate. Having heard of off-worlder prospecting settlements on Cona, Kal and his mother ventured to the nearest one and offered their services to them in exchange for water. The prospectors agreed to hire Kal full-time as a package runner. It didn't take long for Kal to realize the packages he was delivering were full of salt, a highly illegal substance on Cona that had an addictive hallucinogenic effect on Arconas when ingested. While Kal knew the harsh legal consequences for salt smuggling, he felt he had a responsibility to support his mother and decided to play ignorant. Over time, the salt residue on the packages seeped into his skin and eroded his resistance to trying it. Kal eventually gave in and became hooked. Being in such close contact to the source, he used more and more. He continuously denied having an addiction and believed that so long as his salt consumption didn't interfere with his work or income, he was fine.[2]

Noticing Kal's addiction, the prospectors teased him with stories of their homeworld covered in oceans made up of the two most sought after substances on Cona, salt and water. Kal Nkai's mind raced and he decided he wanted to leave Cona. When it came time for the prospectors to return to their world with their ore to stock up on more water, Kal briefly fabricated the benefits of his leaving to his mother and wished her farewell. He then accompanied the prospectors on their flight across the galaxy. The trip was full of trade stops and layovers, one of which being the Mos Eisley Spaceport on Tatooine. It was during this stop that Kal learned of his mother's passing. Grief and helplessness drove him from the ship and into the cantina where he mourned for nearly four days straight. The ship's crew tried to pull him back to the ship so they could make their next stop, but Kal wouldn't budge because he wasn't ready to move on and was absolutely unwilling to return to Cona.[2]

The prospectors left without Kal, stranding him with only two weeks of provisions. When he eventually ran out, he was forced to take up moisture farming. Kal was naturally suited for this trade because his heat sensors and multi-band vision allowed him to locate subsurface stores and water pockets much easier than other farmers who had to probe and survey for them. He could have made a fortune off moisture farming, but Kal wasn't looking to succeed, only to survive. He used his money earned working as a moisture farmer[2] and desert scout[1] to pay for his minimum needs while what little extra he had left went to molded salt licks and juri juice from the cantina. At some point before or during his arrival on Tatooine, Kal Nkai changed his name to Hem Dazon. Hem's golden-colored eyes, caused by his salt addiction, led many cantina regulars to nickname him "Goldeye". Hem Dazon spent most of his free time sharing his misery with the other denizens of the cantina day and night.[5] When Luke Skywalker and Ben Kenobi entered Chalmun's Cantina shortly before the Battle of Yavin, a 16-year-old[2] Hem Dazon was seated with Bom Vimdin, Pons Limbic, Arleil Schous, and Braconnor Bakiska.[4]

Behind the scenes[]

Hem Dazon was played by uncredited makeup artist Laine Liska in Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope.[6] The Arcona present in The Star Wars Holiday Special was not immediately identified as Dazon until the Star Wars Blog article, The Star Wars Holiday Special Cantina: Who's Who, which stated that Dazon was also present in the special. In 1994, a screen saver from Star Wars Screen Entertainment identified this character as "Kal Nkai", and included many more details about the character's background. Though later sources retconned a number of other characters' differing names in Screen Entertainment as aliases, no source has done so for Dazon. Biographical details of a number of characters in the screen saver were contradicted by later material.


Hem Dazon's appearance in the Holiday Special.

The character received the most votes in a poll given in Star Wars Insider 48 asking fans who, among about two dozen obscure Cantina and Jabba's Palace characters, they would like to see made into an action figure. (According to Star Wars Insider 50, Hem Dazon beat out Tessek 224 votes to 205.) Both these characters were later made into action figures by Hasbro, Tessek in Power of the Jedi, and Hem in The Saga Collection.

Star Wars Screen Entertainment biography[]

According to the software's screen saver, Kal Nkai was an Arcona born in 16 BBY on Cona, where his people fought a war with a neighboring Grand Nest forcing his family to abandon their homestead. His father, Kal Mpon, believed fighting each other was futile, and they should focus on the hunt for scarce water on the planet. In the wilderness his father tested out an unknown plant and was killed by its odorless paralytic gas. To support his mother, Nkai began delivering packages of salt -- an illegal narcotic on Cona -- for a settlement of offworlder prospectors. He eventually became addicted to salt, and was convinced by deceitful prospectors to travel to their salt water-covered homeworld. During a stop on Tatooine, news of his mother's death drove him to the Cantina, where his ship's crew abandoned him. Nkai remained on Tatooine and became a moisture farmer. Patrons of the Cantina gave him the nickname "Goldeye."



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