- "Maybe Thanas thinks he's being a nice guy, offering to let us into that defense web. But if we split our forces, we've got half tied up for some Imperial desk jockey and only half on alert where they ought to be."
- ―Han Solo
Pter Thanas was a male Coruscanti Human Imperial Navy commander who defected to the Rebel Alliance after the Bakura Incident during the Galactic Civil War. Thanas was noted as a diplomatic officer of the Imperial Starfleet, known for his ability to rule successfully without using fear as a motivator. Early in his career, he led an Imperial task force against the Crimson Nova pirates on F'Dann IX.
During a tour of duty on icy Alzoc III, he became popular among the native Talz laborers for his progressive policies. By increasing their food budgets, he was able to increase the mine's work output and also win the hearts and minds of the Talz. When a less sympathetic Imperial colonel arrived and reduced their rations to previous levels, this provoked an uprising among the laborers. For refusing to crush the uprising, Thanas was reassigned to the newly occupied planet of Bakura in 1 BBY.
There, he became the commander of the local Imperial naval defense and answered only to the Governor Nereus. In 4 ABY, Bakura was invaded by the saurian Ssi-ruuvi Imperium which quickly wiped out half the garrison and blockaded Bakura. Shortly after the Battle of Endor, a Rebel Alliance fleet arrived to relieve the Imperials after receiving a request for help.
Following the Bakura Truce between the Alliance and the Empire, Thanas cooperated with the Alliance and developed an intimate relationship with Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker. However, with the defeat of the Ssi-ruuk, Nereus ordered Thanas to turn on the Alliance fleet. In the ensuing chaos, Thanas' flagship the Dominant destroyed several Rebel ships. In response, Han Solo nearly attempted to dislodge the Dominant from the Imperial formation by ramming the cruiser with his starship the Millennium Falcon.
However, Skywalker's communications with Thanas via the Force helped convince him to change sides. As a gesture, Thanas opened fire on the Ssi-ruuvi cruiser Shriwirr and sent a medical team to treat the mortally wounded Dev Sibwarra. With the death of Nereus and the surrender of the Imperial garrison under favorable terms, an awed Thanas defected to his former enemies.
In 12 ABY, he married the Bakuran Prime Minister Gaeriel Captison. Shortly thereafter Captison gave birth to a daughter, Malinza. Three years later, Thanas was diagnosed with the debilitating Knowt's Disease. Thanas suffered through the slow killing illness, and finally passed away in 16 ABY at the age of 64 after Captison's unsuccessful reelection campaign.
- "What kind of traitor handed over Imperial property and gave Imperial personnel the chance to jump ship? The kind of traitor who still owed Talz slave miners a debt he could never repay. Perhaps the Alliance would be more lenient than that colonel had been back at Alzoc III"
- ―Pter Thanas' own thoughts and reflections
The Human male Pter Thanas was born and raised on the galactic capital of Coruscant prior to joining the Imperial Navy. His military career was attached to the Carrack-class cruiser Dominant. Early in his career, Thanas led an Imperial task force formed around the Dominant against the Crimson Nova pirates. While the pirates put up heavy resistance against the Imperial forces, Thanas was able to defeat their fleet and destroy their base on F'Dann IX.
Thanas was the commanding officer of a mining operation on Alzoc III when he determined that the enslaved indigenous Talz workers performed at high rates of output when provided greater food rations. By rearranging his budget, Thanas was able to provide more food to the Talz and triple the mining outputs. The Talz repaid his kindness when they saved Thanas from falling down a mineshaft.
When an Imperial colonel arrived six months later to replace Thanas, he immediately returned the Talz's food rations to their previous levels. A Talz leader protested the change, and the colonel ordered Thanas to destroy the Talz village as a demonstration of Imperial will. Thanas refused the order and was summarily reassigned to the newly Imperial-controlled Outer Rim world of Bakura in 1 ABY.
At Bakura, Thanas served as the commanding military officer of the Bakuran garrison and the Dominant became the flagship of the defense force. As a relatively strategically unimportant planet, the military garrison at Bakura was equipped with downscaled warships. He oversaw the operations of the minor planetary defenses and was second only to Wilek Nereus, Bakura's Imperial Governor. While Thanas chaffed under the thumb of the Empire, his diligence as an officer may have saved Bakura.
A Common Enemy
- "…Alliance battle group, we would be grateful for assistance. I am coding a status report twenty cycles below this frequency."
While the Battle of Endor was taking place in 4 ABY, the saurian Ssi-Ruuvi Imperium invaded the Bakura system, annihilating half of the tiny Imperial-Bakuran defense force and seizing most of the outer system outposts. These saurians hailed from the distant reaches of Unknown Regions and were scouting Imperial space. They brought a sizable fleet with them, including at least one Ssi-ruuvi assault carrier, as well as large numbers of battle droids. An outpost in the sixth planet of the Bakuran system was utterly destroyed and a command signal for Ssi-ruuk droids established in its vicinity. The Ssi-ruuvi fleet then blockaded the space around Bakura.
With half of the Imperial fleet destroyed, Thanas quickly ordered a withdrawal of the remaining vessels to Bakura. This decision saved many lives as it allowed the meager Imperial forces to recuperate and hold off against the advancing Ssi-ruuvi fleet. Recovery crew had reported that the Ssi-ruuk had left no survivors or bodies for inexplicable reasons. Later, it was learned that these unfortunate prisoners had been captured by the reptilian Ssi-ruuk and subjected to entechment. The Bakurans also received a transmission from Sibwarra that told them of the fate they soon experience—that of entechment—and although Sibwarra described it as an eternal release, the Bakurans knew that was a lie.
In response to heavy casualties, his superior Nereus sent an antique Message Droid to the forest moon of Endor after failing to contact Imperial Center and the Death Star II, to contact his Imperial superiors and ask for assistance to fend off the invasion force. Endor was the nearest world with a sizable Imperial presence to Bakura as the site of the Second Death Star.
Around the time Bakura was being invaded, Rebel Alliance forces had launched an attack on the Imperial presence as part of a plot to destroy both the second Death Star and the visiting Emperor Palpatine. During the ensuing Battle of Endor, the Alliance succeeded in these goals and scattered much of the Imperial fleet, though they sustained heavy casualties of their own. The following day, the message droid arrived in the Forest Moon of Endor and was retrieved by Alliance forces who proceeded to discover its contents.
Decoding the message drone's coded message, Alliance technicians and slicers learned of Bakura's plight and the potential threat of the Ssi-ruuk to the Galaxy. By conquering Bakura, the Ssi-ruuk hoped to establish a beachhead for an invasion of the known galaxy especially the populated Core Worlds. Despite their animosity towards the Imperials, the Alliance leadership decided to intervene, reasoning that they could get a new planet into their fold, gain access to Bakura's repulsorlift technology, and halt a potential hostile threat. Among their number was the Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker who was urged to attend to Bakura by the ghostly specter of his late Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi.
An Alliance task force was quickly scrambled under the command of Luke Skywalker and the Virgillian Captain Tessa Manchisco. Arriving in the Bakura system, Luke Skywalker made contact with the Imperial Commander Thanas, stating that the Alliance had received Nereus' distress transmission and had come to propose a temporary truce with the local Imperial garrison in order to fight the Ssi-ruuk. Due to their heavy losses, Thanas gratefully accepted the Alliance's offer, and the task force moved to microjump in-system to assist the beleaguered Imperials.
As a confirmation of the agreement, the prototype Battle Analysis Computer's status board on the Flurry turned the Imperial formations from "hostile" red to "friendly" yellow-gold. By this phase, 80% of the Imperial firepower was concentrated on the Thanas' command ship Dominant.One of the first joint military actions between the Alliance and Imperial forces was the deployment of Alliance ships including the Flurry into the gap between the Ssi-ruuvi's three main cruisers to counter the enemy advance at the request of Thanas.
A Tense Truce
- "Commander Skywalker, I wonder if you wouldn't favor me with a demonstration of that lightsaber. I've heard about them."
"I think not. I don't want to alarm your troopers."
- ―Thanas and Skywalker
With the Ssi-ruuk temporarily dispersed, Leia Organa contacted the planetary government and was able to arrange a meeting between the Rebel Alliance delegation and Governor Wilek Nereus, as well as the Bakuran Senate. An Alliance delegation consisting of the Heroes of Yavin arrived at Salis D'aar and attended a special session at the Bakuran Senate. There, the Alliance party then iterated that they were there to help Bakura and offered an official truce, which Nereus said would be discussed.
Later, Thanas arranged a meeting with his Alliance counterpart Commander Skywalker at the local Imperial military base that afternoon. There, the two men discussed their tactical battle plans and intelligence. Displaying his fascination with the extinct Jedi Order which had been wiped out during the Great Jedi Purge, Thanas compelled a demonstration of Skywalker's skill with a lightsaber by ordering his stormtroopers to open fire on Skywalker after the Jedi had refused an initial request for showing his swordplay. Following that incident, Thanas reflected on his earlier stint on Alzoc III and his relationship with the local Talz.
That evening, an official truce between Alliance and Imperial representatives was formally signed at a dinner hosted by the Bakuran Prime Minister, Yeorg Captison. Midway through the dinner, Nereus received a transmission from Imperial Admiral Prittick informing him of the veracity of the Rebels' claims of Imperial defeat at Endor. Faced with the prospect of no Imperial aid to stave off a full Ssi-ruuk attack, Nereus agreed to an official truce.
However, unbeknown to even Thanas and other Imperial officers, his superior Nereus made a secret deal with the Ssi-ruuk to handover the Force-strong Skywalker in exchange for a full withdrawal. Fascinated with the powers of the Jedi, the Ssi-ruuk planned to bind Skywalker to a modified entechment rig and force him to drain the life energies of millions of sentients from light years away. Secretly, Nereus planned to double-cross the aliens by infecting them with olabrian trichoid larvae.
With their goals achieved by kidnapping Skywalker at a prearranged location at the planetary spaceport, the Ssi-ruuk rescinded their secret deal with Nereus and launched a full scale attack on Bakura, targeting the orbital space station. In response, the joined Imperial and Alliance fleets under the command of Thanas and his Alliance counterpart Manchisco launched a devastating counter-offensive against the Ssi-ruuvi fleet. They were aided in their efforts to defeat the enemy by Skywalker and the former Human slave Dev Sibwarra.
When all seemed lost, Sibwarra—awed by the Jedi's heroism and freed from mental bonds by Skywalker's ministrations with the Force on his mind—threw off the shackles of Ssi-ruuvi indoctrination and rebelled against his masters. He freed Skywalker from his bonds and the pair fought their way across the stun trap-littered corridors of the battle cruiser. Fearful of dying on an unconsecrated world, the fleet's commander Admiral Ivpikkis and the surviving crew escaped the vessel in life-pods and were recovered by the other warships.
- "Done. Take me to the Alliance and deal with me as you will."
- ―Pter Thanas negotiating with Skywalker
As the Ssi-ruuk withdrew, Thanas received orders from Nereus to turn on the Alliance. The Dominant opened fire upon and destroyed the Alliance flagship Flurry with its turbolaser batteries, along with several Rebel starfighters. The remaining Alliance ships were trapped in a bottleneck between Bakura and the Imperial fleet. Concurrent with these events, Nereus had the Prime Minister Captison, Senator Eppie Belden and Alliance representative Princess Leia arrested on charges of treason. Nereus also attempted to coerce Capitson's daughter Gaeriel into cooperating with him.
This attempted coup d'etat provoked much public outrage among the public and rioting broke out in Salis D'aar. However, Solo had rescued Leia and broken out onboard their transport the Millennium Falcon to join the fight in space. Using the Millennium Falcon, Solo intended ram a small Imperial vessel into the main generator of the Carrack-class light cruiser. This sacrifice would allow the Alliance fleet to flee into space while destroying the Falcon and all aboard.
However, Luke Skywalker had used the Force to persuade the Dominant's captain Thanas to come on their side by sending feelings of peace and serenity. Admiring the heroism of his former foes and seeing the underlining flaws in his superior Nereus, Thanas ordered his ship to break formation and open fire on the Shriwirr as a gesture of cooperation with the Alliance. Dev Sibwarra was mortally wounded during the bombardment of the Shriwirr. Sensing the presence of the Olabrian trichoid larvae in his body, Skywalker used the Force to eliminate the parasites.
Luke then contacted Thanas to request a boarding crew to rescue him and the mortally wounded Sibwarra. As a good will gesture, the Imperial commander agreed to come in person. Thanas also agreed to surrender himself and the Dominant to the Alliance authorities in exchange that his men be sent to a neutral pickup point and allowed to return home, and that Sibwarra be put on trial. Solo also added that the boarding crew be unarmed over the intercom. When the local Imperial Security Bureau operative among the bridge crew tried to intervene, Thanas quickly stunned the man. Thanas dispatched a two-man evacuation pod and placed Captain Jamer in de-facto command of the vessel.
Meanwhile on the ground, Nereus was captured by members of the Bakuran resistance under the elderly 123-year old Eppie Belden. Wilek's personal Stormtrooper bodyguards were incapacitated by a painful electronic alarm system ringing through their helmets. Much to Nereus' surprise, she was fully recovered, leading the resistance effort and already cognizant of her husband's death. Outnumbered, Nereus surrendered to Belden and her resistance fighters.
Later, Nereus was killed when he attempted to shoot Skywalker with a blaster rifle. Unfortunately for him, the Jedi merely deflected the laser blast with his lightsaber back at Nereus, killing him. With the conflict over, Thanas negotiated surrender terms with Luke Skywalker and confirmed the official surrender and withdrawal of all Imperial forces on Bakura. As a gesture of good will, the Imperials would be allowed to transit at a neutral pick-up-point for a return to Imperial space or their homeworlds.
The planet's citizenry would be allowed to choose whether to rejoin the Empire or the Alliance of Free Planets and to conduct their own affairs free from foreign intervention. Prime Minister Captison's government was reinstated and the planet reverted to the status quo bellum before the Imperial invasion. Awed by the gallantry of the Heroes of Yavin, Pter Thanas would defect to the Alliance. As the last of his troops left, Thanas quite literally cut himself free from the Empire, removing his rank insignia with a knife and accepted a commission as commanding officer of Dominant in the Alliance.
Gaeriel Captison's election as Prime Minister heralded the creation of a Bakuran Defense Force to ward off a reemergence of the Ssi-ruuvi threat. Thanas was a natural choice to aid in the development of a force of new defensive warships and updates to Bakura's system defenses. As they worked together restoring Bakura, a relationship developed and the two married in 12 ABY. Shortly thereafter Captison gave birth to a daughter, Malinza.
Three years later, Thanas was diagnosed with the debilitating Knowt's Disease. Thanas suffered through the slow killing illness, and finally passed away in 16 ABY at the age of 64 after Captison's unsuccessful reelection campaign. With the death of Captison at the Battle of Centerpoint Station, orphaned Malinza was adopted by a wealthy Bakuran lady Aunt Laera and watched over by Luke Skywalker, who had sworn to Captison to aid the child in the absence of her father.
Personality and traits
- "...If I surrendered the Dominant, would you guarantee that you will release my crew members, who conducted the battle under my orders?"
- ―Thanas, discussing peace terms with Skywalker
Unlike many other Imperial officers during the Imperial and New Republic eras, Thanas was known among his subordinates for his ability to command successfully without using fear as a motivator. His prowess in military tactics won him the command of the cruiser Dominant while his training enabled him to react appropriately against various opponents ranging from pirates to the more potent Ssi-ruuvi threat. A noted diplomatic officer in the Imperial Navy, he was able to interact without apprehension and bias with many non-Imperial personnel including Bakuran and Rebel Alliance officials.
Additionally, Thanas did not subscribe to the prevalent Human High Culture so prevalent in the Imperial bureaucracy and viewed aliens as equals. This was evident in his humane and rather progressive approach to motivating his Talz slave-laborers during his tour of duty on Alzoc III. However, this brought him into conflict with other Imperial officials, particularly the colonel who had him transferred to Bakura.
Still, he shared the same revulsion that many Imperials, Bakurans and Rebels felt towards the saurian Ssi-ruuk. This was due to the saurians' practice of mechanically draining the life energies of their captives into a conduit during the process of entechment. Thus, Thanas viewed their brainwashed human protege Dev Sibwarra as a collaborator with the enemy and sought to have him tried and punished by a human jury, unaware of the trauma that Sibwarra endured during his indoctrination.
Thanas also displayed a profound fascination for the Jedi Order which had been wiped out during Palpatine's Great Jedi Purge. This was evident in him compelling Luke Skywalker to display his lightsaber skills during a visit by the latter to his office. Later, when Skywalker used his blade to deflect a blaster shot from Nereus, Thanas noted the magnificence and beauty of the lightsaber's strokes.
His strong morals and conscience prompted him to surrender his cruiser and to defect to his enemies the Alliance after noting the underlining flaws in his superior Nereus. This marked a turning point in the Bakura Incident as it saved both the Alliance and Imperial forces from further losses.
Behind the scenes
Pter Thanas first appeared as a point-of-view character in Kathy Tyers's 1994 novel The Truce at Bakura, marking his debut into the Expanded Universe media franchise. His post-Imperial life including his marriage to Gaeriel Captison and his death were further developed in the 1995 novel Assault at Selonia, the second book in Roger MacBride Allen's Corellian Trilogy. Later, he was referenced and first illustrated in the 1995 The Essential Guide to Characters by Andy Mangels and Michael Butkus respectively.
Further information on the character was published in West End Games' The Truce at Bakura Sourcebook in 1996. He also received an entry in 1998's Star Wars Encyclopedia, by Stephen J. Sansweet. In April 2000, Kevin J. Anderson and Daniel Wallace referenced Thanas in their The Essential Chronology and its revised edition The New Essential Chronology, which was published in October 2005.
- Star Wars: Rebellion
- The Truce at Bakura (First appearance)
- Assault at Selonia (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 (Mentioned only)
- "Rebel Rumblings"—Star Wars Insider 25
- The Essential Guide to Characters
- The Truce at Bakura Sourcebook
- Cracken's Threat Dossier
- Star Wars: Rebellion: Prima's Official Strategy Guide
- Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Essential Guide to Planets and Moons
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 106 (CAR2, Carrack Cruiser)
- The New Essential Chronology
- The New Essential Guide to Characters
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Essential Reader's Companion