- "The Empire ordered us to move on. To reinforce loyal troops, fighting just south of us. We were not to leave any troops behind as guards for the prisoners—and certainly we were not to leave any of them living."
"They didn't tell you to execute the prisoners."
"They didn't have to. It took almost five minutes, Fett. We put them in a holding pen and started shooting at them. They screamed and screamed and screamed. We just kept shooting until the screaming had stopped. I was following orders."
- ―Kardue'sai'Malloc and Boba Fett
Kardue'sai'Malloc was a Devaronian army captain and devoted music aficionado with a massive collection of rare recordings. When his unit was deployed against a rebellion on Devaron, Malloc captured seven hundred rebel men, women, and children in the city of Montellian Serat and shelled the city. Interpreting his orders to move on without the prisoners as double-speak ordering their executions, he had all the prisoners rounded up and killed, earning him the nickname "The Butcher of Montellian Serat."
Malloc resigned from the military and fled his world's retribution, spending years following his favorite musical performers across the galaxy and avoiding bounty hunters seeking to collect the five-million-credit bounty placed on him. He eventually settled on Tatooine, where he lived under the alias "Labria" and made a living as an information broker. Regarded as the worst spy in Mos Eisley, he spent most of his time drunk in Chalmun's Spaceport Cantina. When Figrin D'an and the Modal Nodes, one of Malloc's favorite groups, arrived on Tatooine in 0 BBY, he masterminded an elaborate scheme to steal them from Jabba the Hutt's employ and force them into a contract playing at Chalmun's.
When a chance encounter with a Devaronian mercenary in 17 ABY caused him to be recognized, Malloc killed the mercenary and his companions and fled to Peppel, a remote world. He lived behind tight security, knowing that renowned bounty hunter Boba Fett was on his trail; Fett finally tracked Malloc down and captured him in 19 ABY. Malloc was returned to Devaron, where his family and several thousand Devaronians watched approvingly as he was cast into a pit of starving quarra and consumed alive.
Becoming the Butcher
- "Our orders came just after noon. The Rebels were believed to be moving north; I was to take my forces and intercept them. I was not to leave any of my forces behind as guards for the captured Rebels. The orders were no more specific than that…but they could not be misunderstood."
Kardue'sai'Malloc was born to the Kardue family of Devaron, the third member thereof to carry his name; he had the unusual characteristic of possessing both male and female sets of teeth, a genetic throwback. He had at least one brother growing up. The Kardues had a long and proud tradition of military service stretching back sixteen generations, one which Malloc decided to carry on. He joined the Devaronian Army, rising to the rank of captain. Military life agreed with Malloc, aside from the necessity of putting Devaronian troops under Imperial command when the Galactic Civil War reached Devaron.
Malloc was a fanatic lover of music and an avid collector of recordings. He built up a vast library of musical recordings by famed artists over the years. Many of his copies were rare and expensive; some were the sole existing recordings of a particular performance. Music was his great passion and what he considered to be his reason for living and could achieve transcendent experiences listening to beloved recordings. A great many of his recordings were of music suppressed and destroyed by the Empire as seditious. Malloc married, producing a daughter, Mika'sai'Malloc, though he was not close with his family.
When the Rebellion sprang up on Devaron, Malloc's unit was among those combating it under the direction of the Empire's forces. He commanded the siege of the ancient city of Montellian Serat, where a group of Rebels had fortified themselves. Malloc shelled the city overnight, at dawn offering a chance to surrender. The seven hundred beleaguered Rebels accepted, and Malloc placed them under guard in a holding pen he had erected. A group of Rebels was still fighting not far to the south, and Malloc feared a possible rescue attempt. On Imperial orders, he shelled Montellian Serat to rubble in order to make an example. At noon that same day he received orders from his Imperial commanders to intercept the second group of Rebels, which was moving north; he was not to leave guards behind for the captured Rebels. Malloc interpreted this as very clear double-speak ordering him to execute the prisoners, which he did, having his guards open fire. Within five minutes all seven hundred were dead and, leaving them unburied, Malloc proceeded to the next battle.
Malloc knew that this act had effectively ended his military career. Six months later, when the Rebels were finally eliminated entirely, he submitted his resignation. Reviled among his people as a war criminal, he knew he would be put on trial with his resignation; he also knew that his request to resign could make him guilty of treason against the Empire. With his choices equally bad, he was indifferent to the outcome; he simply had no desire to stay in the army. His resignation was accepted and he vanished before anyone could take action against him, leaving his family behind.
- "There are downsides to being safe, though. The closest Devish woman is on the other side of the Core. Just the thought makes my horns ache."
The Alliance to Restore the Republic placed a five million credit bounty on Malloc, who had acquired the epithet "The Butcher of Montellian Serat". This was a significant sum, enough to incite Boba Fett himself to pursue Malloc during the Galactic Civil War, though he was persuaded to seek other quarry. Malloc took his vast music collection with him when he left and used his flight to further his great passion, seeing various artists on tour. He considered there to be no more than six great living artists he had never seen live. He spent five years following Maxa Jandovar, a noted vandfillist and political opponent of the Empire, on her informal tour, but always missed her. Malloc was on Tatooine preparing to follow her to Morvogodine when he heard that she had been arrested and died in custody there.
Malloc stayed on Tatooine, where he lived under the alias of "Labria" to avoid bounty hunters. The term was an obscene one in Devaronese, meaning "cold food". He had not originally intended to stay there, but simply never left, eventually settling down for good in Mos Eisley; he did consider his distance from Devaron and relative anonymity as distinct advantages in staying safe. He became a regular patron of Chalmun's Spaceport Cantina despite his profound distaste for the musical entertainment offered and was regularly the first patron in the door on mornings. He regarded the bartender there, Wuher, as his best friend. He enjoyed Wuher's general distaste for the universe at large and considered him something of a kindred spirit; Wuher regarded "Labria" as a friend as well and was sometimes amused at Malloc's continual jokes. Malloc spent much of his time in the cantina drinking; the cantina claimed to supply his favorite alcohol, Merenzane Gold. Though the substance was not genuine Merenzane Gold, he drank it anyway.
Malloc kept an apartment near the cantina. Used to a cold environment on Devaron, it was heavily cooled. Malloc maintained a sanctuary in a secret room behind the refresher where he stored his massive music collection and to which he retreated after days at the cantina to enjoy musical bliss. He kept his finances, some five thousand credits, in a bank account under the reverse of his alias—"Airbal".
Malloc took up the trade of an information broker, spying and picking up tidbits of information, though he never bothered to verify his sources; he readily admitted that he was not much good at it, and his peers agreed. Local crimelord Jabba Desilijic Tiure referred to Malloc as his "least favorite spy" but occasionally took information from him. Malloc used his reputation as a perpetual drunkard to his advantage, frequently faking inebriation to gain information. Malloc was able to make some money through the occupation, frequently selling information about Jabba to Garindan, the preeminent spy in Mos Eisley. The information generally turned out useless; each blamed the other for mishandling the tips, but Malloc continued to be Garindan's primary source for reports about Jabba. At one point, he became involved in a scam in which he and Oxbel, one of only two other Devaronians on Tatooine, pretended to be brothers who had arrived on Tatooine for gambling purposes; the scam did not play out.
The Modal Nodes scam
- "Lab…if you put this kind of effort into anything else, you could be a wealthy being."
"My friend, this is all that I want."
- ―Wuher and Kardue'sai'Malloc
One day in 0 BBY, Malloc was approached by Garindan, who told Malloc that he wanted to sell him information. He quickly realized that it regarded music and readily paid the fifty credits the other spy demanded. When Garindan revealed his information, Malloc was ecstatic to learn that Figrin D'an and the Modal Nodes were on Tatooine, playing for Jabba the Hutt. Malloc regarded them as the greatest jizz band in the galaxy and was determined to see them. Returning to his apartment at the end of the day, he played Modal Nodes recordings in anticipation of seeing them perform.
The next day, Malloc went to see the Hutt. He offered Jabba the services of Obron Mettlo, a Moorin mercenary he had encountered the previous day. The crimelord agreed, and Malloc promised to bring Mettlo by for dinner and entertainment; Jabba told Malloc that he was not invited to the meeting. Morose at his inability to see the band, Malloc went back to Chalmun's Cantina and drank, dreading the thought of the Hutt, whose musical tastes he did not regard highly, feeding the band to his rancor. When he heard that Jabba loved the Modal Nodes, Malloc was even more despondent at the fact that they were playing regular engagements nearby and he had no way of seeing them. After five days of bitterness and heavy drinking, Malloc was beaten and robbed in an alleyway behind the cantina while inebriated. Wuher found him and carried him back to his apartment, where Malloc spent the whole night, depressed, in the cold shower.
Feeling horrible, Malloc did not leave his apartment for days, recovering. He was frightened to go outdoors, fearing that he would be preyed upon as a weakling if news got out of his mugging. When his arm had finally healed weeks later, he ventured out; his food supply was running low. Going to the cantina early as was his custom, he was greeted by Wuher as the first patron. His friend offered him a drink on the house, and Malloc was completely shocked to find that Wuher had presented him with a glass of genuine Merenzane Gold as a welcome-back gift. He savored the drink while he caught up on the news—Mettlo had picked a fight with some other guards and been killed, worrying Malloc that Jabba might seek retribution. When Garindan mentioned that Lady Valarian, the Hutt's local rival, was getting married, Malloc had an idea come to him.
He approached Wuher and asked if the bartender would like to have quality live entertainment cheap and explained his plan; Wuher agreed. Malloc approached Valarian and convinced her to hire the Modal Nodes for her wedding, playing on her desire to outdo Jabba. He sent a messenger droid to the Modal Nodes recruiting them, and on the morning of the wedding he tipped Jabba off to the fact that the band was working Valarian's wedding. He gave Wuher the invitation to the wedding that Valarian had provided him, and instructed him to bring the band back and offer them a contract when Jabba had the wedding broken up. The plan went off perfectly, with Malloc watching the wedding and tripping the stormtroopers who came after Wuher and the Modal Nodes during their escape. As part of their deal, Malloc received seven free drinks a day as long as they played; he extended the likelihood of their staying longer by winning the band's instruments in a game of sabacc with Figrin D'an, played using cards marked in the infrared spectrum, which Devaronians could see but Bith could not. Malloc was annoyed with the first day of music, which was interrupted by fights involving Obi-Wan Kenobi and Han Solo, but as the evening approached the Modal Nodes hit their stride, knowing they had a dedicated fan in the audience who actually appreciated their music. Malloc's plan had played out perfectly.
A short time afterwards, Malloc accompanied the Stennes Shifter Trinto Duaba to his favorite cantina during the night shift. However, an Imperial curfew had been enacted on the Tatoo system, and the cantina was closed. The night shift bartender, Ackmena, attempted to deny Malloc entry, but he did not accept her decision and pulled a blaster to force his way in. The bouncer Tork attempted to intervene, but Ackmena stopped him from throwing them out, wanting no more violence during her shift. Ackmena was eventually able to get Malloc and the other customers out of the cantina by singing the song Goodnight, But Not Goodbye, accompanied by the Modal Nodes.
Manipulating the situation
- "It is said in Mos Eisley that you cannot trust Labria as far as Long Snoot can throw him."
- ―Voren Na'al
Malloc was occasionally employed by Slag Flats, a small-time local crimelord. She was a friend of Adar Tallon, who was in hiding on the planet. When the search for Tallon reached Tatooine shortly after Malloc executed the Modal Nodes scam, Malloc came across a party of individuals seeking Tallon. He arranged a rendezvous later in which he led them from the Spaceport Hotel to Tower Ridge on his speeder bike. He directed them to an unused water silo where Flats would be and departed. Malloc was actually in the employ of Jodo Kast, a bounty hunter seeking Tallon, and the rival party was ambushed at the water silo.
Malloc learned that Kast had killed Flats, which he regretted. However, he remained on Kast's side and sent a note to the party, which had survived, asking them to meet with Arno, one of Tallon's friends, in the cantina. When they arrived, Kast's team of hunters was also present, and Malloc pointed out the targets and quickly got out of the way as the party was attacked, though he was wounded in the firefight. When the group returned from rescuing Tallon from Kast in the desert, Malloc tipped off Prefect Orun Depp and watched as they were attacked, though the group escaped Tatooine. Whether for this Imperial assistance or other offenses, Alliance Intelligence listed "Labria" as a target of opportunity.
When Mos Eisley authorities picked up smuggling kingpin Big Bunji, with whom Malloc had previously done some business, on minor charges, Malloc saw an opportunity to seize Bunji's cargo of valuable espionage matrices for spy droids. He tried to engage a group of spacers to steal the cargo for him, but was interrupted by the arrival of Bunji's agents Voushon, Wrex, and Rait. They dragged him outside, but Malloc insisted he had not been the one to tip off the police about Bunji, and they let him go.
The spacers ended up working for Voushon, agreeing to break Bunji out of the Mos Eisley Police Station in exchange for a cut of the hidden cargo. Malloc collaborated with Garindan to track down the matrices, trailing the spacers and, when they noticed him, distracting them with an offer to join forces long enough for Garindan's agents to plant a comlink on one of the group. They rejected his offer, and Garindan disrupted their efforts to rescue Bunji, receiving a payoff from the new prefect, Eugene Talmont. The Empire failed to prevent Bunji's escape, however, and the spacers gained their profit while Malloc's plans were foiled.
- "By the Cold. I can't believe I got caught by a nerf herder like you."
- ―Kardue'sai'Malloc, to Boba Fett
Malloc entertained some ambitions of selling his skills to the Empire once more as an Imperial agent, though never seriously acted on them. With the Empire's decline after the Battle of Endor in 4 ABY, however, that opportunity was closed, as was his major income source—Jabba was killed around the same time, rendering his supply of information about the Hutt unneeded. He remained quietly on Tatooine. Eventually, in 17 ABY, four mercenaries entered the cantina, one of the two Devaronians among them recognized him as Malloc, and they attempted to take the bounty on his head. By now old but still deadly, Malloc killed them and left the planet.
Malloc made his way to Peppel, a remote world where he set up an extensive security system around his simple hut, which did not even have indoor plumbing. He lived off Merenzane Gold and animals he hunted himself; his music collection was buried in a case in the yard. Having heard that legendary bounty hunter Boba Fett was after him, he lived far more carefully than he had on Tatooine, hiding behind the intense security and carrying an assault rife even to go to the pit toilet he had dug outside. He lived this way for two years, remaining wary.
In 19 ABY, Fett tracked Malloc to Peppel, where he observed him and prepared an ambush. When Malloc left the hut in the evening to relieve himself, Fett shot him in the shoulder with an arrow—one of the few weapons he could get past Malloc's sensors. As Malloc fell, Fett hamstrung him and forced him to surrender. Malloc was bound and taken into the hut, where he refused to cooperate with Fett and pushed the bounty hunter to kill him. As the bounty was for live capture only, Fett refused. Malloc attempted to barter his music collection for his life; when that failed he made Fett promise to dig it up and sell it to a contact he would provide, the director of the Coruscant University School of Music. He also demanded that Fett bring six bottles of his stock of Merenzane Gold along.
Malloc was kept in a cell aboard the Slave IV for the trip to Devaron; he finished the first five bottles early on. His shoulder wound healed, but his leg became infected and could not be treated. Meanwhile, Malloc spent the entire trip dreading what awaited him—execution by quarra. He would be thrown to a pit of the starving hunting beasts, which would eat him alive. Due to Devaronian resiliency, he would be awake and aware through most of it. When they were finally ready to arrive, Fett restrained Malloc and gave him the final bottle of alcohol. When they arrived, he was identified by his daughter as Kardue'sai'Malloc; neither displayed any emotion toward the other.
Malloc was turned over to the Devaronian authorities. Utterly terrified but enjoying one last view of the world he missed for so many decades, he was taken before a massive crowd of ten thousand Devaronians at Judgment Field in the ruins of Montellian Serat, accompanied by his daughter and brother. His wife, refusing to have anything to do with him, did not attend. As he was thrown to the quarra, he enjoyed the scenery and made an effort to arch his neck back so the quarra would tear out his throat and let him die quickly. In the pit, he struggled briefly before dying.
He was survived by his music, which Fett did distribute to his contact. The School of Music on Coruscant disseminated Malloc's collection into the larger galaxy. Music long suppressed by the Empire, preserved only by Malloc, was published to be enjoyed by the galaxy.
Personality and traits
- "My people believe that to kill something, you must cherish it and love it as it dies. There is no barrier between you and the thing you are killing, and you die as you kill. Music is the only thing I know that feels the same way. The music surrounds me until I cease to exist. I die as I kill. It's what I live for. I'm glad my fathers are dead."
Malloc had a tremendous love for music; he considered it his reason for living and found release in listening to recordings from his collection. His other major release was in drink, which he consumed copiously while in exile. He enjoyed military life as well, and though he had no great for love for the Empire he was content to serve it.
Though Malloc was not proud of his role in the Battle of Montellian Serat and it pushed him to resign from the military, he took the action of executing the prisoners on his own initiative, not on direct orders. He was consumed by self-pity, both due to guilt over the deaths he had caused and his own loss of a stable life on Devaron. He remembered Devaron fondly and missed its scenery, its way of life, and its women. When he was finally confronted with death, he attempted to justify himself to both himself and Fett, but was plainly suffering from guilt.
Malloc did not have much respect for other sentients, especially Humans. He did not even care much for his family. Wuher was his one real friend on Tatooine. He did not enjoy killing for its own sake, however, and when his actions caused Slag Flats to come to her death, he felt bad about it. Malloc did believe in the concept of Grace, however, requiring him to display such virtues as patience and restraint.
Malloc was not especially ambitious; he was content to simply follow musicians before he settled on Tatooine, and when he arrived he made a career as an informant but did so without checking his sources or putting much effort into obtaining information. The one thing that could provoke significant effort on his part was music and obtaining it; otherwise he was content to drink, listen to music, and live simply.
Behind the scenes
Kardue'sai'Malloc originally appeared as an extra among the cantina aliens in Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope. Known by the on-set nicknames "Louie" and "the Devil," Malloc was filmed during the additional photography for the cut-away shots establishing the various denizens of the cantina. The mask worn to play the character was created by Rick Baker. A Devaronian who was confirmed to be Malloc in the Star Wars Blog article The Star Wars Holiday Special Cantina: Who's Who also appeared briefly in a cantina scene from The Star Wars Holiday Special.
Despite the on-set nicknames, no name was given to the character until Galaxy Guide 1: A New Hope was published in 1989, at which point he was identified as the largely harmless drunk Labria. With the publication of Empire Blues: The Devaronian's Tale in Tales from the Mos Eisley Cantina in 1995, Labria was identified as the alias of Kardue'sai'Malloc, a dangerous war criminal. Empire Blues also retconned Labria's relationship with Oxbel, established in Galaxy Guide 7: Mos Eisley, as being misinformation from an elaborate scam. Malloc's fate was ultimately given in The Last One Standing: The Tale of Boba Fett in Tales of the Bounty Hunters; the story was by Daniel Keys Moran, the author of Empire Blues.
- A Hunter's Fate: Greedo's Tale webstrip
- "Smuggler's Blues"—Star Wars Tales 14
- When the Desert Wind Turns: The Stormtrooper's Tale
- Death Star (Indirect mention only)
- Nightlily: The Lovers' Tale audio drama
- Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope (First appearance)
- Journey to Mos Eisley
- Empire Blues: The Devaronian's Tale (First identified as Kardue'sai'Malloc)
- Nightlily: The Lovers' Tale
- Be Still My Heart: The Bartender's Tale
- Trade Wins: The Ranat's Tale
- Tatooine Manhunt
- Galaxy of Fear: The Hunger (Mentioned only)
- The Star Wars Holiday Special
- One Last Night in the Mos Eisley Cantina: The Tale of the Wolfman and the Lamproid
- The Last One Standing: The Tale of Boba Fett
- Star Wars: Chewbacca (In flashback(s))
Notes and references
- Empire Blues: The Devaronian's Tale
- The Last One Standing: The Tale of Boba Fett
- Galaxy Guide 1: A New Hope
- Star Wars: Head-to-Head Tag Teams
- Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope
- The Essential Guide to Alien Species
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 138
- Galaxy of Fear: The Hunger
- Galaxy Guide 7: Mos Eisley
- The Star Wars Holiday Special
- Tatooine Manhunt
- Jedi Knights Trading Card Game – Premiere (Card: Labria • Slippery Informant) (backup link)
- The Essential Guide to Characters