- "I apologize for the rather abrupt manner you were brought aboard. At first, I believed you to be corsairs from the western canyons. Examination of your unique machines proved this to be an incorrect assumption."
- ―Horzao Darr, to New Republic pilots from the CR90 corvette FarStar
Horzao Darr was a Human male from the isolated planet of Exocron within the Kathol Outback, a largely unexplored section of the galaxy in the Outer Rim Territories. An officer in the Exocron Airfleet, he was a skilled and respected sky-sailor, and commanded the flagship, the sky-dreadnaught Maxion. In 8 ABY, Captain Darr made first contact with representatives of the New Republic when the CR90 corvette FarStar accidentally discovered the planet while searching for the rogue Imperial warlord, Moff Kentor Sarne. The ruling caste of Darr's homeworld, the Devisors, decreed that the New Republic representatives could never leave Exocron in order to maintain the safety and security of the planet. Disgusted at this turn of events, Darr rescued the stranded crew members and allied with the planet's insurgents to free the commander of the FarStar, Captain Kaiya Adrimetrum. This act of defiance would lead to the ending of the Devisors' rule, freeing the planet from their technocracy.
Darr continued to serve in the military, and by 19 ABY had been promoted to the rank of Supreme Admiral. He was commander of the Exocron Combined Air-Space Fleet, the successor to the Exocron Airfleet he had served in several years previously, during the attack on Exocron by the Rodian Rei'Kas and his pirate fleet. The assault on the planet was repulsed with the assistance of the Aing-Tii, a race of mysterious Force-wielding aliens from the Kathol Rift.
Horzao Darr was a Human male born and raised on the planet Exocron, a world hidden in a protostar gas cloud in the Kathol Outback of the Outer Rim Territories. Isolated from the galaxy and denied space travel by the ruling caste, the technocratic Devisors, Exocron developed airships for military and economic purposes. At the age of twelve, Darr stowed away aboard a sky transport; he was discovered, and began his career as a sky-sailor indentured to the captain of the vessel to pay for his passage. He learned the skills necessary to be an effective member of the crew, and continued to serve aboard the private vessel for several years until he enrolled in Exocron's Airfleet Academy. Darr graduated from the academy with honors, an officer's commission in the Exocron Airfleet, and command of the air-cutter Loristar.
During Exocron's internal conflicts, when rebellious factions challenged the Devisors and the ruling council for control of the planet, Darr commanded the Loristar on a mission to deliver relief supplies to beleaguered council forces, fighting his way through the enemy to reach them. As a result of his actions, he was given command of the flagship of the Airfleet, the sky-dreadnaught Maxion. Darr's new position pulled him into a world of politics and controversy, and several military insiders desired to promote him to the rank of Supreme Admiral and give him command of the Airfleet. They wanted Darr in a position to take power from the council. However, Darr steadfastly resisted all efforts to promote him off the Maxion, preferring to remain in the clouds than in a dank council office.
Despite being a loyal officer in the Airfleet, Captain Darr harbored doubts about the Devisors, and felt that they had denied the people of Exocron their birthright. Darr knew that the Devisors concealed the secrets of space travel from the general populace, and felt that they abused their authority by manipulating the ruling council and maintaining absolute power over the planet. This state of affairs had led to rebellion against their rule, ranging from a quiet underground insurgency to full-blown open aggression in the form of Corsairs operating out of the planet's western canyons. Darr kept his feelings hidden, but did know of several people who were involved in the insurgency, such as his friend Eida Sharden. However, he disagreed with some of the more radical views of the insurgents, and kept them at arm's length.
Arrival of the FarStar
- "This world is called Exocron. You are welcome here, as are others of your kind."
- ―Horzao Darr, to New Republic pilots
In 8 ABY, Darr and the Maxion intercepted several strange aircraft in Exocron's airspace. Initially believing them to be rebellious Corsairs from the western canyons, he ordered them to stand down and land on the Maxion, or they would be destroyed. The craft, X-wing starfighters from the New Republic CR90 corvette FarStar, complied with Darr's order and put down on the flight deck of the Maxion. Darr met with the pilots, learning that they were offworlders and that they were searching for a probe droid that they had dispatched to survey the planet as part of their mission to track down the rogue Imperial warlord, Moff Kentor Sarne. After greeting them formally, Darr apologized for his earlier abrupt manner. He informed his guests that their probe droid had been recovered by a cruiser of the Exocron Airfleet, the Desaclates, and that he had been ordered to take them to the planetary capital, Caballa City. Eager to meet with more offworlders, Darr allowed one of the X-wing pilots to return to the FarStar to inform their superiors of what had occurred, and to invite a delegation down to the Maxion. From there, the Maxion would transport them to the capital to meet with the Devisors and the ruling council.
Captain Kaiya Adrimetrum, commanding officer of the FarStar, accepted Darr's offer and accompanied a delegation down to the Airfleet vessel. During the journey to Caballa City, Darr held a formal banquet aboard the Maxion for Adrimetrum and her delegation. During the meal, Darr received word that the cruiser Desaclates was under attack from the Corsairs. Since the cruiser was carrying the FarStar's probe droid, he requested the assistance of Adrimetrum's starfighters since he realized that they were more advanced and considerably faster than the Skylark skyfighters stationed on board his vessel. Adrimetrum agreed to his request as a gesture of good will, and Darr ordered the Maxion to make full speed for the Desaclates. Arriving to find that the X-wings had succeeded in driving off the Corsairs, Darr personally commended them for their actions.
Defying the Devisors
- "By frightening the council, Gevtes will once again deny our heritage. The Devisors have always had the knowledge of space travel and other advanced technology. If the Devisors should ever lose control of this knowledge, they will lose control of the council."
- ―Horzao Darr
Arriving in Caballa City, Darr escorted Adrimetrum to meet with the ruling council at the Ministry of Technology. In a closed meeting, Darr learned from the Master Devisor, Pagda Gevtes, that the Devisors planned to keep the crew of the vessel on the planet for the rest of their lives, and to impound their starship for study. They proclaimed it was to maintain the safety and isolation of Exocron. Darr saw it for what it was; a way for the Devisors to retain their hold on power, and to increase their power base through controlling more advanced technology than was available to any potential enemies. The Devisors ordered a powerful tractor beam located in Caballa City to be locked onto the FarStar, and slowly began to draw it down from orbit. They also decreed that Adrimetrum would be imprisoned for questioning. Disagreeing with the decision, especially in light of the fact that Adrimetrum had assisted in the defense of the Desaclates, Darr finally listened to his inner feelings regarding the Devisors and resolved to do something to help Adrimetrum and the FarStar crew.
As Adrimetrum was led away from the council, she exchanged glances with Darr. Before the council guards could lead away the rest of the FarStar delegation, Darr ordered his own troops to secure them, and remove them from the chambers. Although the council guards were surprised, they did not question Darr's authority to do so, and allowed him to leave with the New Republic representatives. Darr took the FarStar delegation to the home of his friend, Eida Sharden, on the outskirts of Caballa City. Sharden introduced her guests to other members of the insurgency, who represented the political, financial and intellectual elite of the planet, and they agreed to assist in the rescue of Adrimetrum. In return for their assistance, Sharden wanted data on spaceflight and navigational computers to allow the people of Exocron to re-attain their birthright. A provisional agreement was settled on, although Adrimetrum would have to authorize the release of information.
Rescuing Captain Adrimetrum
With the help of Sharden and the insurgency, Darr formulated a two-pronged assault. One assault would focus on the tractor beam generator that was locked onto the FarStar; the insurgents knew of the location of the generator, and it would take the proton torpedoes of the FarStar's captured X-wings to destroy it. A second assault would invade the Ministry of Technology and free Adrimetrum. Darr would be vital to the implementation of both plans. Contacting the Maxion, Darr ordered the vessel to a rendezvous point near Sharden's home. He introduced the members of the FarStar crew who would attempt to rescue Adrimetrum from the Ministry to the Master Sergeant of the Maxion's cloud-jumper regiment, an elite unit that specialized in using repulsorlift personal jump packs to strike at the enemy. The Maxion would be used as an insertion platform to allow a strike force to infiltrate the Ministry utilizing the jump packs.
Darr, however, would not accompany the Maxion during the insertion mission. Using his authority, he delivered the New Republic pilots to the military hangar where their starfighters were being kept. Claiming to be there to inspect the fighters with the New Republic pilots to assist him, Darr passed through the troops guarding the hangar. His ruse was not suspected until a Devisor arrived at the hangar with several apprentices to study the starfighters. A firefight ensued, but the New Republic pilots prevailed and got their starfighters airborne. Both assaults succeeded, and troops from the Maxion arrived at the Ministry of Technology in time to arrest Master Devisor Gevtes, who had personally attempted to stop the FarStar crew from rescuing Adrimetrium by using a personal walker against them. Following the downfall of the Devisors, Darr was personally thanked by Adrimetrum for his trust and help.
Commander of the Exocron Combined Air-Space Fleet
- "Supreme Admiral Darr says we all in good position. Also says Airfleet ships ready if pirates get past."
By 19 ABY, Darr had risen to the rank of Supreme Admiral, having finally accepted the post that many wanted him to ascend to earlier in his career. He was in overall command of the Exocron Combined Air-Space Fleet, the successor to the Airfleet. When the Rodian pirate and slaver Rei'Kas—who coveted the planet's wealth and resources—threatened the planet with his fleet, Darr delegated command of the space forces to Admiral Trey David, while he readied the Airfleet ships in case Rei'Kas's forces broke through the perimeter. Darr was in contact with the former smuggler Jorj Car'das, who had retired to the planet after spending over a dozen years in the company of the Aing-Tii, a mysterious sentient species with a understanding of the Force. Car'das had studied the Aing'Tii's philosophy and their control over the Force, and the aliens had agreed to protect him should he ever need it. Darr arranged for the orbiting fleet to pull back before engaging the enemy, subsequently drawing Rei'Kas's forces in closer to the planet. The Aing-Tii honored their agreement with Car'das, using their unique stardrives to appear behind the pirates, surprising and destroying them.
Personality and traits
Horzao Darr was a competent and able military commander who rose to command rank on ability, rather than through favors, and was versed in combat tactics regarding the deployment of air vehicles. An honorable and loyal man, Darr upheld his oath to the Airfleet, even if it meant supporting a regime that he personally felt was denying the people of Exocron their birthright. He resisted attempts to promote him to a flag rank for several years, preferring to remain as an airship commander. Darr was not without his doubts, though, and held reservations about the Devisors. He also knew of several insurgents, but did not reveal their identities, instead distancing himself from them since he deemed their views "too radical." It took the harsh decision of the Devisors concerning the crew of the FarStar to finally make him turn on the Devisors and support the insurgents. Captain Kaiya Adrimetrum had risked members of her crew to help defend the Desaclates, and Darr felt that she and her people had been treated unfairly. Darr was also a practical man, as he realized that the best chance to bring down the Devisors lay with the FarStar and its superior technology. Darr wore sideburns that reached his jawline, and appeared to many to be born to wear a uniform.
Skills and abilities
Trained in personal defense, Horzao Darr was experienced in melee combat and in the use of slugthrower weapons and their maintenance and repair. He also had training with missile weapons, and first aid. Darr could operate hover and repulsorlift vehicles, and was able to perform repairs on the latter. He was proficient in the use of the communications and security systems in use on Exocron, and had a wide knowledge of the bureaucracy and culture of his homeworld. He was also knowledgeable about the Exocron system, despite never having left the planet by 8 ABY.
Horzao Darr dressed in the ornate uniform of the Exocron Airfleet that befitted his rank, which included a high collar, shoulder boards, and a sash. He always carried a slugthrower pistol, ceremonial sword and comlink while on duty.
Behind the scenes
Horzao Darr first appeared in the roleplaying adventure The Masters of Exocron, which was a part of the The Kathol Outback supplement published on January 15, 1996. The Kathol Outback was part of The DarkStryder Campaign, a multi-book adventure published by West End Games. The Masters of Exocron was written by Tony Russo and illustrated by Storn Cook. Horzao Darr's only other appearance within Star Wars literature were several references to the character in Timothy Zahn's novel Vision of the Future. Zahn had collaborated on parts of The DarkStryder Campaign, contributing the story The Saga Begins to the first book of the series.
- "The Masters of Exocron"—The Kathol Outback (Reprinted and collected in The DarkStryder Campaign, Deluxe) (First appearance)
- Vision of the Future (Mentioned only)
- Vision of the Future unabridged audiobook (Mentioned only)
Notes and references
- "The Masters of Exocron"—The Kathol Outback
- Vision of the Future
- The events of "The Masters of Exocron" in the The Kathol Outback take place four years after the Battle of Endor. The Battle of Endor is stated to be in 4 ABY in The Essential Chronology, giving a date of 8 ABY.
- The events of Vision of the Future are dated to 19 ABY according to The Essential Reader's Companion
- The Kathol Outback
- The DarkStryder Campaign