- "Attention, Rebels! This is ISB officer Mar Barezz. I hold Imperial warrants charging you with treason. Give yourselves up now and the law of the Empire will go easy on you. Resist, and we will hunt you down like womprats."
- ―Mar Barezz
Mar Barezz was a Human male officer in the Investigations branch of the Imperial Security Bureau. An ardent supporter of Emperor Palpatine and the New Order, Barezz was charged with eliminating spies and traitors throughout the Galactic Empire, be they Rebel fugitives or members of the Empire's own military forces. During the Galactic Civil War, Barezz served as an Imperial Security Bureau advisor during the Raid on Picutorion in the Kwymar Suppressions, and later formed a rivalry with the Alliance Intelligence agent Tay Vanis, commonly known as "Tiree." The stories of the pair's continual clashes became well known in intelligence circles. Barezz attempted to stop the agent from recruiting new operatives for the Rebellion, and closed in on Vanis when his rival recruited four individuals—Raleigh Dawn, Sammie Staable, Raal Yorta, and Smileredon-Verdont—on the planet Ord Mantell. Chasing them to the abandoned lidium mine Mesa 291 on Bothawui, Barezz took a contingent of stormtroopers and attempted to capture the new Rebels to interrogate them and force them to reveal the location of the hidden Rebel base to where they were to be taken. During the mission, Raal Yorta threw a thermal detonator at Barezz and three stormtroopers. The resulting explosion allowed the Rebels to escape.
- "Do your sources indicate that they are thinking of defecting?"
"No, but we are certain that a trooper named Linds is a Rebel sympathizer. He has been in contact with each man. I do not know if we can take such a risk. Delay the starfighter support until the Rebels have killed Ganig and Stecker. Then send in the support needed to dispose of the Y-wings."
- ―Colonel Theol Drost and Mar Barezz
Mar Barezz was a Human male who served the Galactic Empire during the Galactic Civil War as an officer of the Imperial Security Bureau's Investigations branch. During the military campaign known as the Kwymar Suppressions, he was present aboard Commodore Bevven's ship during the Raid on Picutorion. As Bevven and High Colonel Theol Drost—serving as commanders of the navy and army detachments, respectively—watched the battle unfold, they debated whether or not to send in TIE/LN starfighter reinforcements to counter the threat of Alliance to Restore the Republic BTL Y-wing starfighters that were assaulting Tensiger's 6th regiment, whose armor battalion had penetrated the outer perimeter of an Alliance tracking station on the surface. As the commodore made his decision to send in the starfighters, Barezz politely interrupted and informed both Bevvan and Drost that the Imperial Security Bureau listed the two soldiers involved in the assault, Captain Ganig and Sergeant Stecker, as "sensitive." Both had become decorated heroes due to their actions at the Battle of Sagma, but the Imperial Security Bureau had come to notice that the pair displayed a casual observance toward discipline. Barezz was also sure that a trooper named Linds, a suspected Rebel sympathizer, had been in contact with both, and was concerned about the possibility of two Imperial war heroes defecting to the Alliance. Barezz was certain that the Commission for the Preservation of the New Order would decorate the two soldiers again if they survived Picutorion, and believed that the risk was too great despite there being no evidence that either man intended to defect. He counseled Bevven and Drost to delay the reinforcements until both Ganig and Stecker were dead, as slain heroes were as good as live ones for the purposes of Imperial propaganda. Both officers agreed, and Bevven delayed the TIE reinforcement by ten minutes.
Felinx and rodus
- "Bracket him! Gunners, force him into the tractor beam path! You're losing him!"
"May I remind you, Officer Barezz, that the ISB is a civilian body and is allowed on this bridge only as a courtesy."
"The Bureau shall remember that when it comes time to formally assess the loyalty of this crew, Captain. Stopping that spy will certainly help prove your allegiance to the Emperor."
- ―Mar Barezz and the captain of the Aggressor
Personally charged by Lord Darth Vader with rooting out Rebel spies and traitors, Barezz developed an obsession with stopping the Alliance Intelligence agent Tay Vanis, codenamed "Tiree." The story of the pair's constant struggles became a legend within the Investigation branch. Vanis was, amongst other duties, responsible for recruiting new operatives for the Rebellion. Barezz learned that Vanis was planning to escort a group of six new Rebels aboard a shuttle to a secret rendezvous. With the full support of the Imperial-class Star Destroyer Aggressor, Barezz reached the rendezvous first, destroying the shuttle and killing the six souls aboard. However, the Star Destroyer was unable to capture Vanis when he arrived in his T-65 X-wing starfighter, despite Barezz's attempts to motivate the crew of the Aggressor—an act which annoyed the Aggressor's captain, since the Imperial Security Bureau was a civilian organization without military oversight, and it was courtesy that their officers were allowed on the bridge of a starship. While the Aggressor's captain maintained that he believed his crew did everything they could to stop Vanis, Barezz implied that the loyalty of the Star Destroyer's personnel would be placed under a great deal of scrutiny when it came time to formally assess them.
Shortly after, Barezz received information from the bounty hunter Skorr that another bounty hunter named Sammie Staable was planning to join the Alliance on Ord Mantell. While Barezz traveled to the planet, Skorr led a team of bounty hunters—including Zuckuss, 4-LOM, and Furlag—to capture his prey in a docking bay, along with Staable's companions, the gambler Raal Yorta and the Squib Smileredon-Verdont. Upon arrival, Skorr found Raleigh Dawn, a bounty he had been attempting to collect earlier, present in the docking bay. Dawn subsequently boarded Yorta's ship, and the four fled the planet. When Barezz arrived at the docking bay aboard a Chariot LAV, Skorr presented him with a witness: a freighter captain whom Dawn had originally chartered to take her off-planet before she had fled with Yorta, Staable, and Smileredon-Verdont. Taking his prisoner to an Imperial-controlled tower, Barezz interrogated the captain using an IT-O Interrogator and found out that he had been hired to take Dawn to a rendezvous whose coordinates had been loaded onto a datapad that she had accidentally left aboard his ship. While the captain protested his innocence in the matter, as he was unaware that Dawn was a wanted fugitive and Rebel, Barezz doubted his claims and ordered the man's death shortly thereafter.
- "Rebel scum, I grow weary of this hunt. There is no point in continuing this game. Surrender now and face your destiny."
- ―Mar Barezz addresses the Rebels in Mesa 291 over the public address system
Contacted by Lord Vader, Barezz relayed his belief that Vanis was gathering more Rebels and that Dawn was one of his recruits, along with Staable. Vader gave the officer full authority to use whatever forces he needed to capture Vanis. Using the coordinates from Dawn's datapad, Barezz ordered the Aggressor to Bothawui, where he found his quarry aboard a relay station in orbit. Barezz ordered the Aggressor to target Yorta's ship, which was docked at the station, destroying it with the Star Destroyer's turbolasers. Utilizing a Lambda-class T-4a shuttle with twelve stormtroopers, Barezz intended to board the relay station and take the Rebels captive, but the four fugitives used an escape pod to reach the surface before heading onward to an abandoned lidium mine, Mesa 291. Barezz ordered the shuttle to pursue—calling for the Aggressor to deploy TIE fighter cover in case of Rebel intervention—and landed on top of the mining facility. Deploying stormtroopers throughout the facility, Barezz ordered them to capture the Rebels rather than kill them, as he wanted to interrogate them and find the location of the hidden Rebel base that Vanis planned to take them to. Locating the foreman's office, Barezz used the comm system to order the Rebels to surrender, which they did not.
The new Rebels fought through the facility until they reached the main shaft, a huge cylindrical chamber with a plasma fire burning below and multiple openings along the walls, but no walkways to cross over. The Rebels, at opening 7A on level seven, had to reach the opposite side of the shaft and descend to opening 6B on level six to continue to the hangar where their escape craft waited, a fact which was unknown to Barezz, who believed they were attempting to hide deeper in the facility. They planned to use R2-D0, Vanis' astromech droid who he had left in the facility to guide his recruits to their escape craft, to bridge the gap using his in-built thrusters with a rope attached that Smileredon-Verdont—who was riding on the droid—would tie off at the other end, allowing the Rebels to reach their destination.
Barezz, accompanied by three stormtroopers, entered the shaft at opening 8B on level eight, placing him above and opposite the Rebels. The officer ordered his soldiers to open fire; their initial shots hit R2-D0 in mid-air, shorting him out and stalling his progress. R2-D0 became a dead weight, forcing Staable to hold onto the rope to prevent the droid and Squib from falling into the plasma fire below. While Yorta tied off the rope to assist Staable, and Dawn laid down cover fire, Smileredon-Verdont tinkered with the droid, bringing his systems back online and rocketing him toward opening 6B. With the line now going taut, Staable was pulled out of the opening and was left dangling over the flaming pit. Yorta, utilizing his skills as a former smashball player, threw a thermal detonator up to the level where Barezz and his men were. As one of the stormtroopers caught the device, Barezz started running to escape the impending detonation. The resulting explosion gave the Rebels the time they needed to escape, meet with Vanis, and get off-planet.
Barezz's reports on Vanis were detailed enough to allow fellow Imperial Security Bureau officer Ref Mawber, who was also a friend of Barezz's, to recognize the Rebel when he landed on the planet Questal. Mawber informed the local Moff, Bandor, and Vanis was subsequently captured when he attempted to break into the Moff's palace.
Personality and traits
- "What is your point, Barezz?"
"My point, colonel, is that for propaganda purposes, dead heroes are nearly as good live ones.[sic] And dead heroes cannot defect to the Rebellion."
- ―High Colonel Theol Drost and Officer Mar Barezz
Mar Barezz was a loyal adherent of the New Order, with a grim, heartless voice. A fervent supporter of Emperor Palpatine, he believed that the Empire stood for order and that the Rebellion fomented chaos. Barezz also held the opinion that the Rebellion was doomed to failure. He was adept at rooting out potential spies and traitors within both the ranks of the Empire itself and the wider galaxy and had no compunctions about suggesting Imperial soldiers be allowed to die simply because the risk of them defecting was high, even without evidence that they intended to. Association with an individual with known Rebel sympathies was enough. His struggle to capture Alliance agent Tay Vanis became well known, and Barezz often reminded military officers that Lord Darth Vader had personally charged him with capturing traitors and spies. Officially a civilian with no military rank, Barezz often inserted himself into military affairs, such as at Picutorion, and during the attempted capture of Tay Vanis, where he admonished the crew of the Star Destroyer Aggressor for failing to ensnare the spy's X-wing. He was not above insinuating that the loyalty of the Star Destroyer's crew was suspect when they failed to complete the objective he had assigned, and considered that his opinion regarding the performance of the crew carried great weight.
Barezz had little regard for bounty hunters, but was surprised when Skorr remained on the scene despite failing to capture the suspected Rebels on Ord Mantell. When the bounty hunter delivered a witness to Barezz, the officer ruthlessly interrogated and eventually killed the prisoner after gleaning all available information from him. He promised that Skorr would be well compensated if the information that the prisoner had given up turned out to be valuable. Despite being a civilian, Barezz was a competent leader, ordering a surgical strike against Raal Yorta's ship rather than outright destroying the relay station that the Rebels were aboard, as he intended to capture them in an effort to locate the hidden Rebel base they were heading for. He personally led the mission to capture the Rebels at Mesa 291.
Skills and abilities
Barezz was qualified to wear light, medium, or heavy armor. He was trained to use a computer, and was skilled in the art of information gathering, interrogation, and intimidation tactics. Barezz could sense when someone was hiding their true motivations from him, and was knowledgeable about the New Order, including its protocols and policies.
Barezz wore a standard Imperial Security Bureau uniform and sometimes donned a fur-collared cloak. He carried a blaster pistol, and was trained in its use, along with blaster rifles and heavy weapons. He also carried a vibrodagger, and was proficient in its application, as well as a comlink, code cylinder, and datapad.
Behind the scenes
- "How the heck did Barezz survive this? Well, he might have. I'll leave that to everyone else to decide, but I've always been of the idea that he died on Mesa 291, and other events in his life mentioned in the Imperial Sourcebook actually occurred before the events of Rebel Breakout. But there's enough vagueness in either direction, I think, that I'll let individual timeliners play with it."
- ―Pablo Hidalgo, in his endnotes for Rookies: No Turning Back
Mar Barezz first appeared as the main antagonist in "Rebel Breakout," the first adventure scenario published in the first edition of Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game by West End Games in 1987. He was subsequently mentioned in 1989's Imperial Sourcebook in the entry for the Imperial Security Bureau, and appeared in the short narrative story "Picutorion Viewed From the Top." Barezz's entries remained when the book was reprinted in 1994, updated for the Second Edition rules of the roleplaying game. In 1990, Barezz was briefly mentioned in The Game Chambers of Questal, an adventure book for the roleplaying game that was reprinted in 1998 as part of Classic Adventures: Volume Five. 2001's Rebellion Era Sourcebook by Wizards of the Coast featured game statistics for Barezz. In 2006, Barezz was the main antagonist of two webstrips published on StarWars.com, written and illustrated by Pablo Hidalgo—Rookies: Rendezvous and Rookies: No Turning Back. The latter strip was an adaptation of the events of the adventure "Rebel Breakout." Barezz received an entry in 2008's The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia.
Barezz's inclusion in the Rookies webstrips were accompanied by endnotes by Hidalgo. In one, he noted that he based Barezz's uniform off a seldom-used design from the Death Star Technical Companion, and that he later wears a fur-lined cloak similar to that worn by Admiral Amise Griff in the Star Wars comic strips by Archie Goodwin and Al Williamson. In "Rebel Breakout," Barezz's fate is not dealt with, and it is implied he survived the encounter with the Rebels in the main shaft to chase them to their escape craft. However, Hidalgo had always been of the opinion that Barezz perished in Mesa 291, and mentions of the officer in the Imperial Sourcebook occurred earlier in his career. This is supported by Jason Fry's establishment that the Battle of Picutorion was part of the history of the bounty hunter Beilert Valance, a character who first appeared in Star Wars (1977) 16, which was set after the Battle of Yavin, indicating that Picutorion occurred pre–0 BBY. Also, the first edition of The Roleplaying Game implies that "Rebel Breakout" is set after Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, as the book makes numerous references to Luke Skywalker being an active Alliance operative. Hidalgo scripted No Turning Back to include Barezz being in the vicinity of a thermal detonator explosion, hinting at his fate. However, in his endnotes, Hidalgo stated that Barezz may have survived the explosion. Because of the ambiguity involved, this article does not categorically state whether or not Barezz died in the encounter.
- Rookies: Rendezvous
- Rookies: No Turning Back
- (First appearance)
- The Game Chambers of Questal (Mentioned only)
- (Mentioned only)
- Imperial Sourcebook
- Imperial Sourcebook, Second Edition
- Rebellion Era Sourcebook
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia