- "But tell me, Malinza, what would happen if we did lose this war? What would you do if the Yuuzhan Vong turned up on your doorstep and we weren't there to help you, like we did with the Ssi-ruuk?"
"We'd fight them, of course. And yes, we would probably all die in the process. But it would be our decision, not one made by some faceless bureaucrat on the other side of the galaxy."
- ―Jaina Solo and Malinza Thanas
Malinza Thanas was a Human female born on Bakura to Gaeriel Captison and Pter Thanas, who were respectively the planet's Prime Minister and Defense Fleet Commander. Her father passed away from Knowt's Disease when she was three years old, and her mother was killed during the Corellian Crisis two years later. Thanas was adopted by a well-placed Bakuran family and was sponsored and frequently visited by Jedi Master Luke Skywalker, who had drawn her mother into the Corellian insurrection and felt responsible for the young Thanas. She became very fond of Skywalker, but harbored a deep hatred for the New Republic, the galactic government that he had acted on behalf of. As she grew up, she developed a strong belief in the Cosmic Balance religion, and at the age of fifteen, she formed a resistance movement known as Freedom and began peacefully protesting Bakura's role in the Galactic Alliance, the New Republic's successor state. Thanas lobbied for Bakuran independence but took a firm stand against Freedom's members use of violence to get their voices heard due to her fear of backlash from the Cosmic Balance. She was nevertheless arrested on charges of disturbing the peace and conspiracy, and was brought to a prison in Salis D'aar, Bakura's capital city.
Several members of Skywalker's family came to Bakura at the time of Thanas's arrest, and when his niece Jaina Solo visited her in prison, Bakuran authorities engineered her escape in order to follow the two of them to Freedom's headquarters. As security officials closed in on them, Thanas and her closest friends fled and appealed to Bakura's Deputy Prime Minister Blaine Harris, who had been covertly funding their organization, for help. However, he planned to kill Thanas and to use her status as a martyr to unite Bakura behind him as he seized power within the government. Harris brought Thanas, Solo, and Vyram, another member of Freedom, to a stadium where Bakura's new allies, the P'w'eck Emancipation Movement, were performing a Consecration Ceremony to signal the beginning of the partnership. The ceremony was in fact a ruse organized to allow the expansionist Ssi-ruuvi Imperium, who had enslaved the P'w'eck, to attempt to invade Bakura, and Thanas and her friends fled from the invaders into tunnels beneath the stadium after they escaped from Harris's clutches. Several Ssi-ruuk warriors followed them, but were subdued by P'w'eck who began to actually revolt. The mutiny curtailed the invasion, and Thanas and Vyram were subsequently hired by the Bakuran government to trace a trail of credits that had been laundered offworld. The investigation was an effort to both expose senatorial corruption and to demonstrate the good intentions of Freedom to a skeptical public.
Losing her parents
- "I barely remember her. I recall her leaving, and my aunt trying to explain what had happened when she didn't come back, but I was only four years old and I never really understood. I just knew who had taken her from us. The New Republic dragged her into a war she wasn't part of, and she gave her life to save others. She did a very good thing, and I suffered because of it. I guess the universe found its balance, as it always does. It's just that in this instance I was on the receiving end, that's all."
- ―Malinza Thanas, on the loss of her mother
Malinza Thanas was a Human female born on Bakura in 13 ABY to Gaeriel Captison, the planet's Prime Minister; and Pter Thanas, the commander of the Bakuran Defense Fleet. When Thanas was three years old, her father contracted Knowt's Disease, and Captison neglected her re-election campaign in order to care for him. Her party was defeated in an election, and Pter Thanas passed away from his illness two days later. Captison then retired from politics to spend more time with her daughter. In 18 ABY, mother and daughter were visited by Captison's old friend Luke Skywalker, a Jedi Master of the New Republic. Skywalker approached Captison and requested the use of four of the Bakuran Defense Fleet's capital ships to break through an interdiction field in the Corellian sector, and was able to secure the warships from Bakura's government after two days of negotiations. Despite having retired, Captison was appointed to the ships as a representative of the Bakuran Senate, and invited Skywalker to her home on the morning of her departure so that he could meet Thanas. Thanas was sad to see her mother go, but asked Skywalker to promise to take care of her. The Jedi agreed, and Captison left her daughter in the care of two friends, Madame Boble and Lady Corwell, as well as Thanas's extended family.
Captison was drawn into the Corellian conflict, and was killed during its climactic battle between the New Republic and the power-hungry Sacorrian Triad. Thanas's family attempted to explain to her why her mother was not going to return to Bakura. Although the infant girl did not fully comprehend the situation, she did begin to resent the New Republic, an ire that lasted for at least another ten years. A woman named Laera, who came from a well-placed family, adopted young Thanas and raised her. Skywalker felt very responsible for and protective of Thanas and pledged to keep her safe, visiting her frequently on Bakura and helping sponsor her education. He once showed her a hologram of his niece and nephew, Jaina and Jacen Solo. After he wed a woman named Mara Jade, he began to bring his new wife with him on visits. Thanas became very fond of Skywalker and began to refer to him as "Uncle Luke"; she considered him and Laera to be the only family she had left. As she grew up, she developed a firm belief in the Cosmic Balance, a religion that claimed that all forces of good in the universe produced counterbalancing forces of evil. She also became a musical prodigy and earned a place in the Bakuran National Symphony. Her family's house was prepared to be given to her when she was deemed old enough to take it.
- "No sooner had we won our freedom than we held out our wrists to be shackled again. We offered ourselves up to the New Republic like pets begging for a scrap of affection. And that's all we got, too: scraps."
- ―Thanas expresses her distaste of the New Republic to Jaina Solo
By the year 28 ABY, the New Republic had reorganized itself into a Galactic Federation of Free Alliances in order to better resist the Yuuzhan Vong, an extra-galactic species of religious zealots bent on conquering the galaxy. Bakura remained untouched by the invaders and fell out of contact with the Galactic Alliance amidst the chaos of the war. While the rest of the galaxy fought the Yuuzhan Vong, Thanas organized an anti-New Republic resistance movement on Bakura called Freedom. Sixteen people strong, Freedom protested what they saw as Bakura's constant kowtowing to the New Republic; they believed that the planet needed to remain independent from the new Galactic Alliance and govern itself. Thanas refused to allow members of Freedom to use violent means to get their voices heard, and chose instead to capitalize on her late parents' reputations through the organization of public protests in Bakura's capital, Salis D'aar. The group was covertly funded by Bakura's Deputy Prime Minister Blaine Harris, who, although he believed in their cause, secretly wanted to seize power within the government.
When the Bakuran Senate was approached by the P'w'eck Emancipation Movement and was offered an alliance against the Ssi-ruuvi Imperium, Freedom supported the idea. With the P'w'eck as their slaves, the Ssi-ruuk of the Imperium had unsuccessfully attempted to invade Bakura twenty-four years prior. The P'w'eck had since organized an emancipation movement to attempt to win their liberty, and Freedom saw them as a viable alternative to the Galactic Alliance in helping defend Bakura from a potential Yuuzhan Vong attack. However, many Bakuran citizens who opposed the P'w'eck alliance joined Freedom and began to violently protest in the streets of Salis D'aar. Public opinion of Freedom plummeted, and Thanas and her closest friends opted to proceed more quietly toward their goals as they sliced into government files and uncovered evidence of senatorial corruption. Their hope was to blackmail Bakura's senate into governing honestly. Thanas and her friends began to trace a financial deal that sent millions of credits offworld through several intermediaries shortly after the P'w'ecks' arrival on Bakura, but an alarm was tripped during their investigation, and Thanas was arrested on charges of disturbing the peace and conspiracy. Many within the government also suspected that she was responsible for the kidnapping of Bakura's Prime Minister, Molierre Cundertol, who had disappeared shortly after he had personally invited the P'w'eck's Keeramak leader to Bakura to consecrate the planet.
The day that Thanas was taken into custody, several representatives of the Galactic Alliance arrived at Bakura after they received a tip from a member of the information-gathering Ryn Network that something bad was soon going to happen on the planet. Among them were Luke Skywalker's sister Leia Organa Solo, brother-in-law Han Solo, and niece Jaina Solo. When the group was tipped off by the Ryn Goure Conor that Thanas had information they would need to solve their mystery, Jaina ventured to the Salis D'aar Penitentiary and was permitted to visit the prisoner in Cell Twelve-Seventeen. Despite Solo's ties to the Galactic Alliance, Thanas found that she easily trusted Skywalker's niece and told her about Freedom's goals and recent history, although she left out any mention of Harris's involvement. Solo revealed that Cundertol had resurfaced, had claimed to have escaped from his kidnappers, and was skeptical that Thanas was in league with them. When the young Jedi Knight rose to leave, she and Thanas discovered that the prison was devoid of guards. Thanas suspected that one of her friends had sliced into the facility's systems to help her escape, and eagerly followed Solo into the slums of the city.
Maze of deception
- "Within the hour, this planet will be a consecrated part of the P'w'eck Emancipation Movement. And you, dear Malinza, will be a martyr to your cause. Doesn't that fill you with pride?"
- ―Blaine Harris
The two young women leapt across deserted rooftops until Solo sensed danger and shielded Thanas with her body. When several voices from a nearby tree addressed the Jedi, Thanas identified them as her comrades Vyram, Jjorg, Salkeli, and Zel, and assured them that Solo was a friend. The five members of Freedom led Solo to the Stack, a building that served as their headquarters, and began to posit theories on who had broken Thanas out of prison. While Vyram showed Solo the mysterious financial deal they had been tracking, he detected some electronic interference and discovered a homing beacon that had been stitched into Thanas's pants. The Stack's perimeter alarm was tripped as Bakuran security officials moved in on their location, and Solo fled with the beacon, bringing Salkeli along to navigate the city for her. Thanas and the others escaped in another direction, but were pursued by security officials who shot and killed Zel.
Thanas, Vyram, and Jjorg made their way to Harris's private chambers, hoping that the Deputy Prime Minister could help to clear them of criminal charges. Harris had plans of his own, however, and had employed the equally duplicitous Salkeli to capture Solo and bring her to his chambers. He hoped to prevent the Galactic Alliance from interfering with his plans to kill Thanas and turn her into a martyr that would unite the Bakuran people behind him. As Salkeli moved to secure stun cuffs around the wrists of all of Harris's guests, Thanas kneed him in the groin, which prompted Harris to shoot Jjorg dead. Thanas and Vyram were then fitted with binders, although Solo kept hers from locking by using a mind trick on Salkeli. Harris and Salkeli then led their prisoners to the stadium where the Keeramak's Consecration Ceremony was underway.
Harris ushered his prisoners into one of the stadium's equipment lockers, sealed the door, and coerced Solo into pressing a remote detonator by holding Thanas at blasterpoint. The bomb's timed detonation would kill Cundertol, much of the senate, and Solo's parents; Harris intended to himself murder both Solo and Thanas. He planned to claim that Solo had attempted to derail the treaty between Bakura and the P'w'eck, and that Thanas had sacrificed herself to foil the Jedi Knight. As he prepared to use Solo's lightsaber to inflict realistic-looking wounds on Thanas, Solo loosed her binders, retrieved her lightsaber with the Force, and bludgeoned Harris unconscious with it. Thanas sprang into action as well and pinned Salkeli to the floor, twisting one of his arms behind his back. Solo freed Thanas and Vyram of their binders, but the trio discovered that a stray laser blast from Harris had melted the remote detonator. Solo seized Salkeli's comlink and instructed her ally Tahiri Veila to attempt to disarm the bomb, but the detonation occurred and knocked everyone in the locker to the floor.
After the explosion, Goure Conor broke into the equipment locker. Thanas rushed out to expose Harris's plot to the public, only to discover that the consecration ceremony had been a ruse to allow the Ssi-ruuk, disguised as P'w'eck, to launch a full-scale invasion of Bakura. She rejoined Vyram in the locker, and the two brought their prisoners into an underground tunnel where the Solos and Conor were leading survivors of the invasion's initial attack away from the stadium. Cundertol was not far behind, having survived the bomb's detonation. He began to interrogate Harris about escape routes, and fired a blaster shot into his subordinate's head when the Deputy Prime Minister claimed that their only choice was to hide in equipment lockers. Cundertol then turned his blaster on Thanas, and began to whistle in the Ssi-ruuvi language. The Keeramak and a group of Ssi-ruuk warriors approached, and called on the ring of survivors to surrender and accept their forthcoming entechment—the draining of their life-energy to power Ssi-ruuvi machinery. Cundertol had betrayed his own people after having been promised immortality by the invaders.
The Keeramak ordered his P'w'eck slaves to attack the prisoners, but was shot dead by the paddle beamer of the P'w'eck Lwothin, who led his brethren in an actual revolt against their masters. Jaina Solo and her lightsaber aided them in the ensuing firefight, and although the P'w'eck were victorious, Cundertol escaped. Concurrent P'w'eck mutinies aboard Ssi-ruuvi cruisers in Bakuran space brought a swift end to the invasion, and the P'w'eck Emancipation Movement formally allied with Bakura. The kidnapping charges leveled against Thanas were overturned, and the government hired her and Vyram to finish tracing the missing credits they had earlier discovered in a demonstration of Freedom's good intentions. The credits had in fact been laundered offworld by Cundertol in order to have a Human replica droid of himself built, and the Prime Minister had voluntarily undergone the Ssi-ruuvi entechment process in order to have his soul transferred into the droid's body. Jaina Solo was later able to track the missing credits to Onadax, where the droid had been built at the headquarters of Onadax Droid Technologies.
Personality and traits
- "I don't want to be against anyone, really, because that makes them against me. The Balance kicks back just as hard as we lash out. And trust me, I have no desire to get kicked again."
- ―Malinza Thanas
At the age of four, Malinza Thanas was a spritely infant who enjoyed bouncing down stairwells and singing songs to herself. She loved her mother deeply and did not want her to leave for the Corellian sector. When Captison died, Thanas did not fully understand why her mother would not return to Bakura. As she grew up, she retained very few memories of either of her parents. Although Luke Skywalker blamed himself for Captison's death, Thanas did not, and harbored no resentment toward the Jedi Master. She did begin to despise the New Republic, however; she blamed them for Captison's passing and hated them for dragging Bakura into their struggles. It similarly vexed her that Bakura acquiesced so readily to their requests. To Thanas, the New Republic was a cruel mistress that held Bakura in chains and dragged it into wars and galactic affairs with no regard for the well-being of its people.
As a teenager, Thanas organized Freedom, a resistance movement, and began to actively protest against the New Republic and lobby for Bakura's independence. Her belief in the necessity of independence and autonomy extended to Freedom's principles as well; the organization made every effort to remain out of debt to others due to the members' belief that independence was a necessary element of objectivity. Thanas hoped to objectively evaluate the honesty of Bakura's senators, and felt that blackmailing them was in the best interests of the Bakuran public. She supported the idea of an alliance with the P'w'eck, and was very adamant that violence not be on Freedom's agenda, as she did not want Bakura's former regime to be replaced with one that she saw as equally bad. She and her friends thought of Freedom as Bakura's conscience, keeping things in balance.
Thanas's belief in the Balance dictated many of her actions. The Cosmic Balance claimed that any great force for good needed a counterbalancing evil force to exist, and that good works for some unintentionally led to evil results for others. As such, Thanas was reluctant to take a stance against others out of fear of backlash from the Balance, and she did not force violent citizens to disassociate themselves from Freedom. She did not encourage them to stay, however. Thanas accepted that the Balance had been behind her mother's death, but was nevertheless unhappy about having been on the receiving end of its actions. She was also initially hesitant to aid Jaina Solo out of fear of the Balance's backlash.
Thanas was very determined in her efforts to resist the New Republic, and impressed Solo with her ability to rise to a cause despite having lost both of her parents so early in her life. She resisted the attempts of Bakuran police to arrest her, and was only brought down by the combined efforts of four officers and two security droids. She was an able leader of Freedom, remaining calm and directing the actions of its members while their headquarters were being approached by Bakuran police. Solo saw a maturity in her face that was at odds with her young age, and found her gaze piercing. However, Solo also suspected that Thanas fought because she had nothing left to lose, and, although Thanas was proud of her resistance efforts, Solo observed that some of her fire had gone out. As she wearily sat in a prison cell, Thanas resigned herself to the idea that she would not receive a fair trial, and took some small comfort in the idea that any wrong done to her would ensure that some good came to somebody somewhere in the future. Despite her resignation, she was eager to escape from her cell when she found the coast clear.
A romantic spark existed between Thanas and Vyram that was noticed by Solo on more than one occasion. The two kept their relationship strictly professional in public, however. Thanas was also close with several more of her friends, and was deeply hurt by the deaths of Zel and Jjorg. Although she believed that her allies one day could turn into her enemies the next, the betrayals of Salkeli and Blaine Harris similarly cut her deep. She fought to keep control of her emotions after she discovered their treachery, but broke down after Jjorg's death, openly crying and blaming Solo for not having prevented it. In the ensuing moments, her eyes betrayed her hatred of Salkeli and her fear of death threats issued by Harris.
Thanas was thin and very agile, able to leap across rooftops and swing hand-over-hand across power lines. She often proceeded through such dangerous situations without hesitation. Her black hair was complemented by different-colored eyes—Thanas sported a green left iris and a gray right, although they were both brown in her infancy.
Behind the scenes
- "Given plot and time constraints, simply tying off the loose end—and 'explaining' why none of the preceding authors chose to introduce her as a real character—was all I could manage. I would have liked to have done better."
- ―Kathy Tyers, on her decision to not include Malinza Thanas in Balance Point
Malinza Thanas was created by author Roger MacBride Allen for the novel Assault at Selonia, the second installment of 1995's Corellian Trilogy. She briefly appeared in the book, and was mentioned as being orphaned following the death of her mother in the trilogy's conclusion, Showdown at Centerpoint. Her fate was left unaddressed until James Luceno mentioned her in his 2000 novel The New Jedi Order: Agents of Chaos II: Jedi Eclipse, stating that Luke Skywalker had sponsored her and often visited her on Bakura. Kathy Tyers reaffirmed that information in the novel The New Jedi Order: Balance Point, which was released and took place shortly after Jedi Eclipse. Tyers, who had herself created Thanas's parents and home planet, considered giving Thanas a minor role in the book, but felt that it would have distracted from the main plotline. She also did not want to place the character in danger, and felt creatively stifled by previous authors' non-use of the character, which left her with very little to draw from. Tyers thus resigned herself to addressing Thanas's fate by mentioning her status as Skywalker's sponsor child.
Jedi Eclipse and Balance Point were both entries in The New Jedi Order book series, and nearly three years later, another volume in the series gave Thanas a starring role. She was featured heavily in Sean Williams' and Shane Dix's The New Jedi Order: Force Heretic II: Refugee, which saw one of its three major storylines take place on Bakura. Refugee developed Thanas's character and personality as a teenager, fleshing her out considerably from what had previously been established. In a minor error, the book noted that her eye color was the same as her mother's, although the 1993 novel The Truce at Bakura stated that Gaeriel Captison's right iris was green and her left grey, the opposite of Thanas's.
In addition to her roles and mentions in novels, Thanas has been discussed in several sourcebooks, including 1997's Cracken's Threat Dossier and 2002's The New Essential Guide to Characters. She received her own entry in 2008's The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia.
- Assault at Selonia (First appearance)
- Showdown at Centerpoint (Mentioned only)
- The New Jedi Order: Agents of Chaos II: Jedi Eclipse (Mentioned only)
- The New Jedi Order: Balance Point (Mentioned only)
- The New Jedi Order: Force Heretic II: Refugee
- Cracken's Threat Dossier
- Star Wars Encyclopedia (under Thanas, Commander Pter)
- A Guide to the Star Wars Universe, Third Edition, Revised and Expanded (under Thanas, Commander Pter)
- The New Essential Guide to Characters (under Gaeriel Captison)
- "The New Jedi Order in 100 Easy Lessons" – Star Wars Insider 74
- The New Essential Chronology
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
Notes and references
- Assault at Selonia
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. III, p. 235 ("Thanas, Malinza")
- The New Jedi Order: Force Heretic II: Refugee
- The New Essential Guide to Characters (under "Gaeriel Captison")
- Showdown at Centerpoint
- The New Jedi Order: Balance Point
- The New Jedi Order: Agents of Chaos II: Jedi Eclipse
- Cracken's Threat Dossier
- "Or Die Trying" – Star Wars Insider 75
- The Truce at Bakura