- "Take Hirken, for example. There was a man with a case of paranoia. He thought everyone was out to get him. He wasn't worth it. Sure, maybe a few other rival execs were out to make him look stupid to get a leg up on him, but he did a good enough job of looking stupid by himself."
- ―Han Solo
Mirkovig Hirken was a Human male who served as the warden and administrator of the highly secretive Corporate Sector prison known as Stars' End. Hirken grew up in an old, prestigious family on Alsakan, and after an upper-crust upbringing, he utilized his family connections to earn a high-paying job in the Corporate Sector Authority. There, Hirken steadily rose through the ranks to become Viceprex of Corporate Security, and by 2 BBY, he took over an experimental prison project that would become Stars' End, where inmates were held in suspended animation.
Hirken threw himself entirely into Stars' End, filling it with a handpicked list of criminals, undesirables and personal enemies. However, the prisoners' disappearances led to investigations from family members and loved ones—before long, a group that included infamous Corellian smuggler Han Solo had uncovered the location and purpose of Stars' End. Solo led an infiltration of the prison that turned into a full-fledged prison break, in the process causing a massive power plant explosion that blasted Stars' End clear into space. Hirken desperately tried to bargain with Solo for help escaping the doomed prison, only to be shot and killed by his scorned wife, Neera.
- "Dear Madam, this is with regard to the current specifications for the stars' End plant. Despite a few minor cost overruns, I am, as ever, highly confident about the construction. Your office has a standing invitation to come for a tour. Rumors of systems failures are just that—rumors started by disloyal members of my own staff. They have since been appropriately punished."
- ―Mirkovig Hirken, in a message to Lady Chawkroft
The youngest of nine children, Mirkovig Hirken was born into one of the oldest families of the Core World of Alsakan, descended from some of the original settlers of the world on the Kuat Explorer in the years before the Old Republic. As a young boy, Hirken's parents urged him to pick a goal for his life, and pushed him to become a leader in whatever he chose: Hirken was drawn to the life of a businessman, inspired by his ancestor Arlo Hirken, partner of legendary adventurer and merchant Rin Assid. As such, Hirken began an advanced preparatory program in economics, as part of a refined education that included expensive private tutors and finishing schools. Hirken ultimately graduated at the top of his class, and his family utilized its extensive connections to secure him a well-paying job with the Corporate Sector Authority.
Hirken quickly rose through the ranks to become Viceprex of Corporate Security, and soon added to his high-class profile a noble wife: Hirken married Neera Opatajji, daughter of the Duke of Opatajji. Life treated Hirken well, but it suddenly changed when his staff brought to him a feasibility study they had conducted on a prototype prison facility. Hirken immediately saw the concept as potentially his ticket to fame and glory and took over the project, which was dubbed Stars' End. The prison, which was to be a highly secret, highly secure facility where inmates were kept in suspended animation in stasis booths, began construction on the desolate, remote asteroid Mytus VII, and the Hirkens transferred there to directly oversee the process. The project was developed in concert with the Imperial Correctional Facilities Ministry, and Hirken also regularly reported to the Imperial Minister of Corrections, Lady Chawkroft. Although Hirken was thrilled by the opportunity to take charge of Stars' End, it further drove a wedge between him and his shallow and unhappy wife, who was pleased of his success but was overcome by boredom and isolation.
One of Hirken's direct duties was to compile the list of criminals, dissidents and troublemakers who would be sent to Stars' End. Given absolute freedom to choose whomever he wanted, Hirken made no distinction between those who had already committed a crime and who simply might; he also used it to avenge several personal grudges. Hirken took to his new position with aplomb, appointing himself warden and hurriedly accelerating the prison's construction schedule. The process was plagued by systems failures, although Hirken expressed his confidence in Stars' End in messages to Lady Chawkroft and punished those who leaked information of the construction's pitfalls. Ultimately, he opened the facility with only the detention tower having been completed, and with work only having barely begun on the rest of the prison.
Hirken and his wife moved into Stars' End itself, after ordering a residence to be constructed at the top of the detention tower. Hirken was accompanied to the opening of Stars' End by a new bodyguard, Uul-Rha-Shan, a Tiss'shar gunfighter who had become well-known around the Corporate Sector for saving a wealthy business executive's life from a terrorist attack on Etti IV. On the job, Hirken took a significant personal interest in all that went on at the station, constantly carrying with him a master control device that allowed him full access to all of Stars' End's systems. Meanwhile, in his free time, Hirken indulged in his hobby of fighting gladiator droids; his pride and joy was a top-of-the-line Mark X Executioner model, which he kept in a private amphitheater at the prison.
The downfall of Stars' EndEdit
- "I want to strike a bargain. However you're planning on getting away, I want you to take me with you. And the others with me, of course."
"You got it. Throw your guns down here and come down one at a time, hands on your—
"Be serious, Solo! We can keep you occupied here so that you won't be able to get out yourself! And Stars' End is at the top of its arc; we've seen that much through the dome. It'll be too late soon for any of us. What do you say to that?"
- ―Mirkovig Hirken attempts to bargan with Han Solo
Over the ensuing months, thousands of people across the Corporate Sector who found themselves on Hirken's list vanished into Stars' End, a number that included troublemakers and revolutionaries from all walks of life. However, those disappearances did not go unnoticed: before long, an academic named Rekkon had organized a resistance group of citizens searching for their missing loved ones. After a number of twists and turns, and Rekkon's death at the hands of an Authority double agent, their hunt eventually led them to Stars' End, which still remained a tightly guarded secret. The remaining members of Rekkon's group—Corellian smuggler Han Solo, two Trianii named Atuarre and Pakka, and a pair of droids, Blue Max and Bollux—managed to lie their way into the prison by posing as a group of entertainers, with Atuarre personally passing Hirken's muster as the troupe's leader. Hirken was specifically interested in the small droid Bollux, which he planned to pit against his Mark X Executioner in the fighting arena.
The whole performance was, of course, a diversion: while Atuarre and Pakka entertained the crowd with their dancing and acrobatics, Solo and Blue Max snooped through Stars' End, looking for any sign of the prisoners. After a time, Hirken realized that something was afoot, and that the Trianii were simply stalling. However, he didn't conceive at the time that it was all just a cover for a jailbreak, thinking instead that the Trianii were hoping to escape without having to deliver on the droid battle Hirken craved. The impatient Viceprex ordered Atuarre to bring Bollux, which he recognized was no fighting droid, to the arena and eagerly commenced a fight with his Executioner—he even outfitted Bollux with a blast shield just to make it a slightly more fair scrap. But while the diminutive Bollux had no chance in a straight-up fight, the challenger shocked Hirken and the onlookers by maneuvering its way into the Executioner's cooling circuits and causing them to overload, destroying Hirken's prize droid.
Infuriated, Hirken demanded that Solo, the droid's handler and the troupe's "trick shooter," to pay him recompense by dueling Uul-Rha-Shan. That rash order backfired tremendously for Hirken: the gunfight didn't last long before Solo opened fire on the ancillary circuitry for Hirken's command unit, ultimately leading to a catastrophic power plant explosion that blasted Stars' End clear off the surface of Mytus VII. Hirken attempted to rally the Security Police personnel at his command in the chaos that ensued, and together with his wife and several others made his way to the lower levels of the station, hoping for a rescue through one of Stars' End's airlocks. They quickly reealized that the situation was untenable, as Stars' End had reached its apogee from Mytus VII and would soon come crashing down. A desperate attempt to bargain with Solo was interrupted when Hirken was informed that an Authority assault craft had docked at the lower levels to provide him reinforcements and serve as a way off the station: all of a sudden, the tables had seemingly turned.
All the while, Solo and his companions worked to free Stars' End's prisoners, many of whom had emerged from stasis on their own thanks to the power failure. Although they planned to rush Hirken and simply fight their way to an escape vessel, they realized that almost all the personnel aboard the Authority assault craft had left to rescue Hirken, leaving it ripe for them to capture. With his only way off the doomed station gone, Hirken and his forces mounted one last counterattack, which left Uul-Rha-Shan and many others dead. Hirken abandoned his wife and remaining troops to desperately plead for Solo to take him with him—his pleas were interrupted when his furious wife blasted a hole in his back with a blaster pistol.
Personality and traitsEdit
- "Automated fighting is combat at its purest, don't you agree? No living creature, no matter how savage, is free of the taint of self-preservation. But automata, ah! They are without regard for themselves, existing only to follow orders and destroy."
- ―Mirkovig Hirken
A member of a proud and ancient family, Mirkovig Hirken was, from the moment of his birth, constantly reminded that he was a better than the common rabble. Hirken was spoiled, pampered, and told that his family name meant that he was extraordinary, with a powerful destiny. That upbringing turned him into a pompous, elitist social climber, driven by the ambition to fulfill the greatness that was his birthright. He saw that opportunity in Stars' End, in which he had a deep, personal investment . To him, it was his ticket to fame, wealth and power. As such, he was extremely impatient regarding the facility's construction, rushing the process and ultimately opening the prison months before it was fully ready. He could also carry a grudge: he used his carte blanche to imprison whomever he wanted to settle several old scores, and he was extremely proud of the diverse group of troublemakers he gathered at Stars' End.
Hirken was a born schmoozer, and was adept at affecting a charming manner that served him well networking in the boardroom. However, Hirken's marriage to his wife Neera was a loveless one, arranged for reasons of social status. Although Neera was pleased with his achievements, she was frequently bored and unsatisfied, and carried on affairs with several of her husband's officers. She was particularly put off by Hirken's favorite hobby: collecting and fighting gladiator droids, with which he became fascinated after witnessing a bout during a party celebrating one of his promotions. Hirken's interest in the sport was bordered on the philosophical, as he was gripped by the unceasing destruction that droids could wreak upon one another, without care of self-preservation. Hirken's cool, fatherly veneer evaporated quickly when events went against his plan, including when his Mark X Executioner was surprisingly defeated by Bollux.
Behind the scenesEdit
Mirkovig Hirken first appeared in Han Solo at Stars' End, a novel written by Brian Daley and released in 1979. and was illustrated by Alfredo Alcala in the story's comic adaptation. Hirken was additionally pictured by Mike Vilardi in 1993's Han Solo and the Corporate Sector Sourcebook, which provided extensive information on his origins and backstory, and by Chris Trevas in 2009's The Essential Atlas. Hirken's manner of death differs slightly between the novel and comic adaptations of Han Solo at Stars' End: while the novel depicts Hirken's being shot in the back by his wife Neera, the comic shows him dying in a similar fashion, but at the hands of Uul-Rha-Shan.
- A Guide to the Star Wars Universe
- Han Solo and the Corporate Sector Sourcebook
- A Guide to the Star Wars Universe, Second Edition, Revised and Expanded
- Galaxy Guide 12: Aliens — Enemies and Allies
- Heroes & Rogues
- The Essential Guide to Droids
- Star Wars Encyclopedia
- "ComicScan: Coming Full Circle"—Star Wars Galaxy Collector 3
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 56 (EXE3, Mark X Executioner Droid)
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. II, p. 43 ("Hirken, Viceprex Mirkovig")
- The Essential Atlas
- The Essential Reader's Companion