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"With my name, Uncle. My commanders were afraid of putting me in the line of fire, for fear that I'd be killed…and that you'd blame them."
―Jesmin Ackbar, to her uncle, on what brought her to Wraith Squadron[src]

Jesmin Ackbar was a female Mon Calamari and the niece of the famed Admiral Gial Ackbar who chose to embark on a career as a pilot for the New Republic; however, prior to her placement in Wraith Squadron, Jesmin rarely saw combat from the cockpit of a starfighter. Throughout her early career, she was often marginalized by her superior officers in Starfighter Command because she was a direct blood-relation to the Admiral of the Fleet, and no squadron commander wanted to be held responsible for her death. This caused Jesmin to feel that her training had been a waste of resources; though she would meet her death not long after joining the Wraiths, Jesmin nonetheless proved her uncle's as well as her commander's faith in her abilities.

Biography[edit | edit source]

Early life[edit | edit source]

"Your record is spotless, exemplary."
"My record shows I am a complete failure, Uncle."
―Ackbar and Jesmin[src]

Jesmin was born on Dac to a sibling of the famous Admiral Gial Ackbar. She eventually made the choice to follow in her uncle's footsteps and joined the New Republic Defense Force. At some point in 6 ABY, Jesmin questioned her uncle why it was a good idea to allow former Imperial officers to defect to the Rebel Alliance/New Republic, with her uncle responding that one of the founders of the Rebel Alliance, and ultimately the New Republic, Juno Eclipse, was a former Imperial officer. This correspondence was later included in volume 8 of Ackbar: Wartime Correspondence.[2] Jesmin graduated from her initial pilot training at the top of her class and went on to further training as a communications expert, again achieving top grades. However, once she was assigned to a line unit within Starfighter Command, her commanders would not let her participate in anything more dangerous than routine scouting missions that had little chance of seeing combat; even worse, she was often given desk assignments out of fear of getting the Admiral's niece killed. Despondent over her situation, Jesmin began to look for opportunities to prove that she was not a waste of the many credits spent in her training; in desperation, she put in for a transfer to Wraith Squadron.[1]

Wraith Squadron service[edit | edit source]

"Wraith Leader, this is Two. I have transmissions on an Imperial channel…"
―Jesmin Ackbar, prior to the Battle of Folor[src]

Jesmin Ackbar with the Wraith Squadron.

When Commander Wedge Antilles began putting together a roster of pilot candidates for his pilot-commando unit, he wanted pilots who had track records of being chronic screw-ups, insubordinates, and generally those who would otherwise be considered to have ill-fated careers but who desperately wanted another chance to prove themselves. Although Jesmin was neither a bad pilot nor a troublemaker, and indeed had exemplary marks during her own training, she was brought in to serve as the squadron's communications specialist. During the unit's initial training, she was backhanded by another candidate, a Quarren named Triogor Sllus; due to a previous incident on his record, he was washed out of the squadron two days later.[1]

The unit's first action came at the defense and evacuation of Folor Base after it was discovered by Project Morrt, a program of parasite tracking droids developed by Warlord Zsinj. Jesmin played a crucial role in the preparation for the battle when she picked up incoming Imperial comm traffic. After careful examination of the transmissions and some creative slicing executed by Eurrsk "Grinder" Thri'ag under orders from Kell Tainer, the signals indicated the approach of the Imperial-class Star Destroyer Implacable. Jesmin shot down two fighters during the Battle of Folor but her X-Wing was badly damaged in the process; she was ordered to fall back to the squadron's departure point to avoid drawing any more enemy fire.

After the battle and subsequent capture of an enemy vessel in the Xobome system, Jesmin and her uncle were finally able to visit. During the conversation that followed, the topic of Jesmin's place in the squadron came up. Ackbar, who had been surprised to see her name on the roster, asked his niece about it; Jesmin told him why, and asked that he not place blame on Wedge should she be killed in combat while serving with the Wraiths. Ackbar simply asked her if she was happy, and when Jesmin replied in the affirmative, he agreed to "hold him blameless." Ackbar expressed faith in Jesmin's ability and Wedge's training methods, advising her to trust the commander's teachings.[1]

Now stationed aboard the captured modified CR90 corvette Night Caller, Wraith Squadron soon found itself pitted against Warlord Zsinj as they began the task of systematically bringing down the financial empire that funded his war machine. Jesmin, as the squadron's communications specialist, aided Grinder in setting up and supervising a complicated holoprogram that would disguise Garik "Face" Loran as the corvette's former master, Captain Zurel Darillian. This became necessary once it was discovered that the former captain had had secret dealings with many of Zsinj's contacts. Per Commander Antilles' plan, the vessel continued on its formerly appointed rounds; this deception not only allowed the Wraiths to further uncover information about Zsinj's dealings, but also allowed them to fool the warlord and Admiral Apwar Trigit when they communicated with Night Caller. On one of the Wraiths' first commando raids on the world of Xartun, Jesmin and her sophisticated comm gear enabled them to enter the targeted transparisteel refining and manufacturing facility without setting off alarms. However, unanticipated complications would arise when a trio of Viper probe droids appeared. Once the droids were dispatched, Jesmin alerted the other Wraiths to approaching troops, again opening the facility's hangar door just enough to allow for good cover.[1]

Death in combat[edit | edit source]

"Level off, Two. Right now."
"Can't… reach… stick…"
―Kell Tainer and Jesmin Ackbar, moments before the latter's death[src]

During an assault on the pirate gang based aboard the Blood Nest, who had encamped their crippled transport on one of the moons of M2398-3, Jesmin's X-wing was hit by a ground-based pulse cannon that had been mounted on tank treads. Her snubfighter suffered serious damage, including a failed inertial compensator and, despite the best efforts of fellow pilot Kell Tainer to save her fighter by using his own craft to redirect its course away from a series of hills, it was shattered on the surface of the moon. However, prior to being shot down, Jesmin scored three kills against the varied collection of Uglies which had been assembled by the pirates; those three kills brought her total number of aerial kills to five, officially marking her as an ace of the New Republic. The loss of her inertial compensator caused Jesmin to black out due to excessive G-forces; she was unable therefore to recover her fighter or eject before it impacted, killing her. Tainer, though his attempts to save the Mon Cal pilot proved futile, would be awarded the Kalidor Crescent for his conspicuous bravery. In the immediate aftermath, Wedge composed a letter to send to her uncle and a short funeral ceremony was held aboard Night Caller.[1]

Later, when the campaign against the Implacable had concluded after the warship was destroyed and Admiral Trigit had been killed, the Wraiths would reorganize and receive new pilots. In the wake of Jesmin's death, Hohass "Runt" Ekwesh would volunteer to become the unit's new communications specialist, using field experience to make up for his lack of formal training.[3]

Legacy[edit | edit source]

"When I read what you tried to do for her… well, it is cruel to learn one you love has died so far away from the heart of her clan, but at least I knew she was in the midst of good friends. Friends close enough to try such a thing."
"She was, sir."
―Admiral Ackbar thanks Kell Tainer for his efforts to save Jesmin's life.[src]

Years after her death, Wraiths Kell and Tyria Sarkin Tainer, named their daughter after the fallen Mon Calamari Wraith.[4]

Personality and traits[edit | edit source]

"Jesmin, how long have you been recording?"
"Since we came on station, Demolition Boy Sir."
―Kell Tainer and Jesmin, prior to the mission on Xartun[src]

Like most Mon Calamari, Jesmin was peaceful by nature, yet she was also intensely loyal and dedicated to her cause and comrades-in-arms. She was a skillful pilot who scored high marks during her training, and was also highly adept at communications, both in protocols, the use of technology, and even basic to intermediate cryptanalysis. She was able to use these skills to pick up Imperial traffic and alert her fellows to the impending threat of the Implacable prior to the battle at Folor Base; these skills also came in handy when plotting and executing commando raids, such as the mission to Xartun.[1]

It therefore came as a surprise to both her uncle and her future commanding officer when Jesmin applied for and was accepted into Wraith Squadron, a unit which was intended to be made up of misfits and those facing the ends of their careers but who still wanted to prove themselves; it was this innate sense of loyalty, of not wanting to be a burden and a waste to her cause that drove her. Jesmin was also known to possess a light-hearted sense of humor; she would frequently find amusement in the mannerisms and joking of her comrades within the squadron, as well as indulging in good-natured banter herself. Her time in the squadron and subsequent death had a profound effect on her fellow pilots as well as her commanding officer at the time, Wedge Antilles.[1]

Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]

The character of Jesmin Ackbar was created by author Aaron Allston for the novel X-Wing: Wraith Squadron. In X-Wing: Iron Fist, also written by Allston, she is mistakenly referred to as Jasmin Ackbar.

According to Allston, Ton Phanan was originally scheduled to die when Jesmin did, in his first novel. However, he felt that Phanan still had something to contribute to the overall story before he died, which he ultimately did on Halmad in X-Wing: Iron Fist, his second novel. Allston decided to use the character of Ton Phanan to help build the story of another Wraith, that of Garik Loran. He knew that he could not use the character of Jesmin to further Loran's character, and therefore decided to kill off Jesmin instead of Ton.[5]

In the latest installment of the X-Wing novel series, X-Wing: Mercy Kill, written by Allston, Jesmin is honored by name in the character of Jesmin Tainer, the daughter of Wraith Squadron members Kell and Tyria Sarkin Tainer.

Appearances[edit | edit source]

Sources[edit | edit source]

Notes and references[edit | edit source]

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