- "He still looks hacked at being in your debt, but he's got to abide by the way of the Wookiee—which is that saving the life of a foe wipes out the original grounds for the feud. Whether that fiery-tempered furball appreciates it or not your two families will be at peace."
- ―Han Solo, to Chewbacca, on Hronk
Hronk was a male Wookiee from the planet Kashyyyk. A member of the same clan as the albino Wookiee Tojjevvuk, who had been killed by a Wookiee named Chewbacca, Hronk was determined to uphold a blood feud declared against Chewbacca by Tojjevvuk's father, Tvrrdko. At one point, Hronk nearly defeated Chewbacca in combat, but their fight was broken up by Imperial forces, a new threat that prompted both combatants to escape from Kashyyyk. Tvrrdko eventually called off the blood feud, but Hronk was still determined to kill Chewbacca. Between 2 BBY and 0 BBY, Hronk was captured by the Empire on the planet Formos and was due to be transported to the Spice Mines of Kessel.
However, Chewbacca was also present on the planet at the time with his smuggling partner, the Human Han Solo. Chewbacca rescued Hronk from an Imperial prison ship against Hronk's will and brought him to his and Solo's ship, the Millennium Falcon. Although the Falcon was detained by the prison ship, Chewbacca and Solo managed to slip Hronk out under the nose of its commanding officer, Colonel Quirt, by disguising Hronk as Chewbacca. Once they were out of danger, Chewbacca, instead of fighting Hronk, flew him to the nearest safe port, from which Hronk could find passage to Kashyyyk. According to the way of the Wookiee, Hronk's life had been saved by Chewbacca, so he had to forgive his rival.
The blood feud
- "Back then, that prisoner of the stormtroopers and you were rivals…growing out of a long standing feud between families. A feud that finally erupted in a battle royal between you and this guy, Hronk… Only before it could be settled…with him sort've ahead on points…one of the Empire's work force impressment crews suddenly showed on the scene and proceeded to break things up!"
- ―Han Solo
Hronk was a male Wookiee, native of his species' homeworld of Kashyyyk, and a member of the same clan as the albino Wookiee Tojjevvuk. When Tojjevvuk and another Wookiee named Chewbacca fought over the right to marry the female Mallatobuck, Tojjevvuk was killed, and his father, Tvrrdko, swore a blood feud against Chewbacca. Thus Chewbacca became the target of assassination attempts by members of Tojjevvuk's clan, including Hronk. With the emergence of a new galactic government, the Galactic Empire, in 19 BBY, Kashyyyk was subjugated and occupied by Imperial forces, forcing Chewbacca to flee the planet. Between 19 BBY and 5 BBY, Chewbacca returned to Kashyyyk, and a battle erupted between him and Hronk. Hronk gained the upper hand, but their fight was interrupted by the appearance of an Imperial work force impressment crew. To avoid a year's service with an Imperial defoliation project, both Hronk and Chewbacca escaped from the planet.
In 5 BBY, Chewbacca came back to Kashyyyk and rescued a number of Wookiee children from Trandoshan slavers. His selfless actions prompted Tvrrdko to call off the blood feud several years later; however, Hronk refused to acknowledge the resolution of the conflict and remained intent on killing Chewbacca. At some point between 2 BBY and 0 BBY, Hronk was captured by the Empire on the planet Formos and was scheduled to be transported by an Imperial prison ship to the spice mines of the nearby planet Kessel. While he was being escorted through the streets of Formos by a squad of stormtroopers, Hronk passed near Chewbacca, who had become a smuggler and was present on Formos along with his Human partner, Han Solo, on a smuggling errand for Jabba the Hutt. As the Wookiee way dictated that the two rivals had to settle their dispute between themselves, Chewbacca attempted to attack the stormtroopers and rescue Hronk, forcing Solo to pacify his first mate with a shot in the back from a blaster set on stun. Hronk was then transported to the prison ship captained by Colonel Quirt, and the Imperials took a sample of Hronk's heart and respiratory patterns.
Rescued by the enemy
- "Quit grumbling, Hronk! Whatever your feud is with Chewbacca, you'll get a fighting chance…more than you'd find in the spice mines of Kessel! But you must have realized that yourself…or you wouldn't have cooperated at the last second. Even so…you're lucky. Lucky they did specific scans so Chewie was never detected—and lucky that to that Imperial idiot, all Wookiees really do look alike!"
- ―Han Solo
Shortly afterward, while docked in the planet's spaceport, the prison ship holding Hronk was infiltrated by Chewbacca, who opened its detention hold, releasing all prisoners and starting a riot. With the Imperials preoccupied with fighting the prisoners, Chewbacca went for Hronk. The latter, however, refused to be rescued by his enemy, forcing Chewbacca to stun him. Chewbacca carried the unconscious Hronk to his and Solo's ship, the Millennium Falcon, arriving just as Solo had finished loading a shipment of spice from their contact, a non-Human named N'Mrith. Chewbacca then hid Hronk in one of the Falcon's secret smuggling compartments before quickly lifting off from the planet. However, Solo and Chewbacca had been sold out to Quirt by N'Mrith, who told the Colonel about their cargo of spice; an Imperial battle cruiser was waiting for them in orbit. While the cruiser kept the Falcon's sensors busy, Quirt's prison ship gained on the smuggler ship and activated a tractor beam to tow the Falcon into its hangar.
As they were pulled aboard, Chewbacca quickly came up with a plan to hide their new passenger, who had just come to his senses. He had Hronk cover the white streak in his fur with grease so that he looked indistinguishable from Chewbacca to Quirt and his men, who could not tell Wookiees apart. Unwilling to be recaptured, Hronk cooperated, while Chewbacca himself hid in a secret compartment. When the Falcon was brought aboard the Imperial ship, Hronk impersonated Chewbacca, exiting the Falcon and standing beside Solo as the Imperials scanned the ship for spice. They did not find any contraband aboard, as Chewbacca, unbeknownst to Solo, had dumped their cargo when they had lifted off from Formos.
Seeing that Solo's copilot was a Wookiee, Quirt suspected that Solo might also be transporting the missing Wookiee prisoner. Quirt's men scanned the Falcon for Hronk's presence using his specific heart and respiratory patterns. Once again, the scanners did not detect anything, as Hronk was standing beside Quirt, outside of their range. Quirt then had no option but to let Solo go. The Human offered to take Chewbacca and Hronk to some place where they could settle their feud in battle, but Chewbacca thought otherwise and instead asked Solo to take them to the nearest safe port, from which Hronk could find a transport to Kashyyyk; Solo did so. By breaking him out of the prison ship, Chewbacca had saved Hronk's life and, by Wookiee customs, wiped out the original grounds for the feud. Although he still felt uneasy at being indebted for his rescue to his former rival, Hronk left the two smugglers in peace and forgave Chewbacca.
Personality and traits
- "What now, first mate…? Should I pick some nice little out of the way spot where you and Hronk can settle the feud? After tumbling to N'Mirth's backstabbing…you've earned the chance to wallop this grouch!"
- ―Han Solo, to Chewbacca
Hronk was a large and powerfully built Wookiee with blue eyes. Aside from a white streak amidst his otherwise brown hair, Hronk looked very similar to Chewbacca, which allowed him to trick Quirt by impersonating his rival. Even after the blood feud was called off by Tvvrdko, Hronk still clung to the old ways and wanted to fight and kill Chewbacca. When Chewbacca came to rescue him from the prison ship, Hronk refused to go with him, prompting Chewbacca to stun him. However, when they were captured by Quirt, Hronk did not want to be sent to Kessel and agreed to play along with Chewbacca's plan. After his rescue, Hronk forgave Chewbacca, although he felt irritable at now being in his former enemy's debt. Overall, Solo found Hronk fiery-tempered and grouchy.
Behind the scenes
Hronk first appeared in the short comic strip Way of the Wookiee!, the first part of a three-part story published in Star Wars Weekly 94 on December 12, 1979. He appeared in the final two installments of the story, Chewbacca Fights Alone! and Switch!, published in Star Wars Weekly 95 and Star Wars Weekly 96. The entire three-part story, written by Archie Goodwin and illustrated by Carmine Infantino and Pablo Marcos, was later reprinted under the collective title Way of the Wookiee in Marvel Illustrated Books' Star Wars in November 1981. In 2002, Hronk was mentioned in The New Essential Guide to Characters, written by Daniel Wallace, which established him as a member of the same clan as the Wookiee Tojjevvuk from the 2000 Star Wars: Chewbacca comic series, tying Hronk's animosity toward Chewbacca to the blood feud featured in that series.
Notes and references
- Way of the Wookiee!
- The New Essential Guide to Characters
- Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader
- The narrative in Way of the Wookiee! implies that the fight between Chewbacca and Hronk occurred after the Imperial occupation of Kashyyyk but before Chewbacca met his future smuggling partner Solo, events which happened in 19 BBY and 5 BBY, respectively, according to The New Essential Chronology
- The events of Way of the Wookiee! are alluded to in the novel Rebel Dawn during Han Solo's last Kessel Run, which The New Essential Chronology dates to 0 BBY. The New Essential Chronology also dates Solo's acquisition of the Millennium Falcon, which is featured in the comic strip, to 2 BBY. Way of the Wookiee is therefore set between those two dates.