- "Chewbacca and Salporin have been friends since childhood, and have not seen each other in many years. Their greeting must not be interrupted."
Salporin was a Wookiee warrior, the mate of Gorrlyn and close friend of Chewbacca. Born on the planet Kashyyyk, he and Chewbacca undertook many childhood adventures together, becoming close friends. Soon after Chewbacca departed his homeworld, Salporin's skills with the ryyk blade took him to the Wookiee city of Kachirho, where he served as a hunter and a craftsman. He met his future wife Gorrlyn in Kachirho; they later married and were planning to begin a family together when the Clone Wars came to Kashyyyk. Their plans were shattered, though they volunteered to protect their homeworld from the Confederacy, helping to defeat the Separatist droid army on the planet's expansive beaches. In the aftermath of the victory, however, the Jedi were all but wiped out, and the Galactic Empire was formed. One of the Empire's first acts was to enslave the Wookiee species; Salporin was among them, and was an Imperial captive for many years.
Eventually, Salporin was rescued by members of the Rebel Alliance, and helped liberate Kashyyyk from Imperial rule. When Kashyyyk was free, he relocated to the capitol city of Rwookrrorro and returned to life as a citizen. Several years later, he agreed to house and help protect a friend of Chewbacca's, Princess Leia Organa Solo, from Imperial assassination attempts during her stay on Kashyyyk. He was ultimately killed during a raid by Noghri assassins and a Wookiee memorial was held in his honor.
Salporin, whose name meant "storm sage" in Shyriiwook, was a native of the planet Kashyyyk, and a member of the Wookiee species. From a young age, he displayed considerable skills with a weapon, and became a master at utilizing the traditional weapon of the Wookiees, the curved ryyk blade. He was also adept at utilizing two blades simultaneously, making him a formidable warrior. From an early age, Salporin was very close to Chewbacca, another Wookiee close to him in years. He and Chewbacca became best friends, and went on many adventures together on their homeworld.
In advance of their coming-of-age Hrrtayyk ceremony, the two traveled to the dreaded Shadow Forest on Kashyyyk, armed with only a ryyk blade that Salporin had stolen from his elder brother. The Shadow Forest was out of bounds for two so young, though Salporin and his companion managed to keep their expedition a secret from their elders. The reasoning behind the trip was to prepare them for what was unknown to them shortly before becoming full-fledged adults, though in truth they simply frightened themselves. When they eventually reached the darkness of the Shadow Forest, their previous courage and bravado quickly faded, and they became skittish and scared. It took but a simple trap-spinner to frighten them enough to flee; they ran back to their homes, the memories of what they had experienced haunting them. The horrors of the Shadow Forest plagued them until they did finally become adults.
- «With his late friend Salporin, Chewbacca left the nursery ring to venture down along the Rryatt Trail to the Well of the Dead, in the heart of the Shadow Forest. Armed only with a ryyyk blade, he braved mock shyrr, jaddyyk moss, needlebug, trap-spinnerr, and shadow-keeperr to harvest strands from the heart of the flesh-eating syren, thus earning the right to wearr a baldric, carry a weapon, and confirm the name he chose to be known by.»
Some time later, the two friends decided to journey to the Shadow Forest once again; they had matured both physically and mentally, and were far more prepared. Each armed with a ryyk blade, the two Wookiees used the Rryatt Trail to reach the Well of the Dead, located in the very heart of the Shadow Forest. Here, they fought off many of Kashyyyk's most vicious predators, including the mock shyr, jaddyyk moss, needlebugs, trap-spinners and the shadow-keeper. They managed to bring strands taken from the carnivorous syren plant back home, earning themselves the formal right to be armed, to wear a baldric and to confirm the names they had selected for themselves. The pair's exploits continued, and they built a reputation as two of the foremost Wookiee warriors of their generation.
Salporin's martial abilities eventually allowed for him to move away from his homeland. The Wookiee warrior took up residence in the coastal city of Kachirho on the Wawaatt Archipelago, while Chewbacca left Kashyyyk to venture offworld. Although he missed his childhood friend dearly, Salporin did not accompany Chewbacca, preferring to stay behind and work as both a hunter and a craftsman. During his time of Kachirho, he met and subsequently fell in love with a Wookiee female named Gorrlyn. The two had great plans for the future, and wished to begin a family together.
Clone Wars and captivity
When the Clone Wars broke out across the galaxy, Salporin's plans of settling down with Gorrlyn were shattered. In 19 BBY, near the close of the war, he and his mate were among the hundreds of Wookiees who volunteered to help defend Kachirho from the Confederacy of Independent Systems, which was attacking Kashyyyk in order to get a hold of secret Wookiee hyperspace routes. Aided by Jedi Masters Yoda, Quinlan Vos, and Luminara Unduli, and under the command of Merumeru, Salporin and his fellow Wookiees set up a defensive perimeter on one of the archipelago's large beaches. Salporin participated in the Battle of Kashyyyk, assisting the Wookiees in repelling the droid forces of the CIS.
Although they had been victorious, the war marked a beginning of a time of hardship for the Wookiee people. The Supreme Chancellor of the Galactic Republic, Palpatine, had initiated Order 66, which ordered the Republic's clone troopers to fire on their Jedi generals. Master Yoda managed to survive, and with the aid of Wookiees was transported offworld, while Quinlan Vos managed to escape by himself. Luminara Unduli, however, was gunned down on the beach, and few Jedi across the galaxy survived. The first Galactic Empire, headed by Palpatine, was formed, and one of the first acts of the new Empire was to seize control of Kashyyyk. Thousands of Wookiees were taken captive, among them Salporin. When Chewbacca visited his homeworld in 2 BBY, Salporin was still in captivity, to Chewbacca's immense sadness.
After many years in captivity, Salporin was presented with an opportunity to escape. He discovered that a team of Rebel Alliance commandos had secretly set up camp on the lower levels of the Kashyyyk jungle, unbeknownst to the Empire. Salporin escaped from the Imperial slavers, literally breaking his chains and making contact with the Alliance members. Salporin's knowledge of the Kashyyyk forest, as well as of the Imperial slave camps, proved useful to the Rebels, and he agreed to help them fight off the Empire. Through his efforts, as well as those of other Wookiees put in similar situations, the Alliance was able to liberate Kashyyyk from Imperial control. After his role in the war was completed, Salporin returned to the life of a citizen.
Salporin did not return to Kachirho, instead setting up a home in the city of Rwookrrorro. He lived a simple life for many years, though when his old friend Chewbacca asked for his help in 9 ABY, he gladly agreed. Chewbacca's longtime friend and co-pilot, Han Solo, had married Princess Leia Organa Solo, and she was expecting twins. Organa Solo was heavily involved in the formation of the New Republic, and had been targeted for kidnapping by vicious Noghri warriors sent by the remnants of the Empire. Seeking a safe haven during Grand Admiral Thrawn's campaign against the New Republic, Organa Solo accompanied Chewbacca to Kashyyyk on the Lady Luck, where they were met by Salporin and another Wookiee named Ralrracheen. Salporin had arranged for Chewbacca and Organa Solo to stay in his house, where they would be able to hide from Thrawn's assassins.
Salporin greeted Chewbacca warmly, though he made no attempt to communicate with Organa Solo. After their reunion, Salporin and Chewbacca escorted Organa Solo to Salporin's home. Before they had even reached the house, Organa Solo caught sight of one of the Noghri aliens who had attacked her previously, causing quite a commotion among the Wookiees nearby. Salporin and Ralrracheen searched the building where Organa Solo thought she had spotted the creature, though they could find no sign of it. Although Ralrracheen expressed his interest in continuing the search for the kidnapper on the lower levels of the city, Chewbacca overrode him; Organa Solo's safety was the most important matter at hand.
While Salporin and Ralrracheen, among others, kept watch over Organa Solo, the Wookiees of Rwookrrorro continued the search for the elusive alien the Alderaanian had seen, with little result. After several days the urgency of the search wore down, and some of the Wookiees became skeptical that the being actually existed. Eventually, only a handful of Wookiees continued the search, while Salporin, Chewbacca and Ralrracheen were left with the task of protecting Organa Solo alone. They knew that this was the Empire's plan, to patiently wait for the Wookiees' vigilance to whittle away; it was not possible for them to keep acting against an enemy they could not see. Although the others gave up, Salporin and his friends stayed by Organa Solo's side.
- "Where's Salporin?"
- «He did not survive the attack.»
- —Leia Organa Solo learns of Salporin's fate from Ralrracheen[src]
Almost a week after Leia Organa Solo first arrived on Kashyyyk, the Noghri struck. They first set fire to a nearby house as a diversion and then attacked the Wookiee's house stealthily. Using stunners, which were far less noisy than conventional blasters, three Noghri attacked Salporin and the others stationed outside his home, while a fourth attempted to kidnap Organa Solo. The stun weapons they were using, however, proved too weak to seriously harm a Wookiee, and Ralrracheen and Chewbacca suffered only superficial injuries. Salporin, however, was killed by the Noghri.
Though they were deeply saddened, Chewbacca and Ralrracheen did not mourn their fallen comrade immediately; they still had to get Organa Solo to safety. They managed to fight off the other Noghri, before Organa Solo made an alliance with the aliens' leader. Now that they were safe from Thrawn's assassins, the Wookiees began mourning Salporin's death. The whole village attended a memorial service in his honor, which lasted for several hours.
Personality and traits
- "Your husband, Salporin, gave his life protecting Leia from Noghri assassins."
- ―Han Solo, to Salporin's widow, Gorrlyn
Salporin was a brave being, and ventured into the darkness of the Kashyyyk jungle where many others would not have. In his youth, he was full of courage and bravado, and along with Chewbacca sought to impress his elders. Initially, this bravery faded in the face of adversity, though after he had matured, Salporin was capable of facing many of Kashyyyk's nightmarish creatures without fear. He was also willing to play his part in war, and volunteered on more than one occasion to fight on behalf of his homeworld. During the Clone Wars, he aided in the defense of Kashyyyk, and later, after being freed by the Rebels, stayed with them to help his fellow Wookiees rather than return to the luxury of his home. Later, he volunteered to help someone he had never met before—Princess Leia Organa Solo—out of loyalty to his friend Chewbacca. He died helping others.
Throughout his life, Salporin made many connections and friendships to others, which he maintained until his untimely death in 9 ABY. His love for Gorrlyn kept him from leaving his homeworld and possibly seeking a better life, and the two fought alongside each other during the Battle of Kashyyyk. Salporin and his friend Chewbacca each trusted each other endlessly, and their faith in the other's abilities meant they could work together with ease. The two also spent much time testing each other physically, hoping to make each other tougher and stronger. Salporin was also very popular among the other Wookiees of his homeland, and was a close friend of Ralrracheen.
Behind the scenes
Salporin was created by Star Wars author Timothy Zahn for his 1991 novel Heir to the Empire. Later, the official StarWars.com Databank retconned Salporin to be one of the Wookiees seen fighting in Revenge of the Sith. Portrayed by David Stiff in a Wookiee suit, his movements were used as a model for several digitally created Wookiees featured in the movie.
- Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith (Retcon)
- Rebel Dawn (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: Tiny Death Star (Non-canonical appearance)
- Heir to the Empire / comic (First appearance)
- Tyrant's Test (Mentioned only)
- The New Jedi Order: Agents of Chaos I: Hero's Trial (Mentioned only)
- Heir to the Empire Sourcebook
- A Guide to the Star Wars Universe, Second Edition, Revised and Expanded
- The Essential Guide to Characters
- The Essential Guide to Weapons and Technology
- Star Wars Encyclopedia
- Star Wars Episode VII: Rise of the New Republic"—InQuest Gamer 50 "
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 18 (CHE2, Chewbacca)
- The New Essential Guide to Characters
- Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith Scrapbook (Picture only)
- Dressing a Galaxy: The Costumes of Star Wars
- Star Wars: The Comics Companion
- Star Wars Roleplaying Game Saga Edition Core Rulebook
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Clone Wars Campaign Guide
- Star Wars: The Official Starships & Vehicles Collection 30 (Picture only)
- Galaxy of Intrigue
- "Blood Feud!" – Star Wars Insider 124 (Picture only)
- "Rogues Gallery: Wookiee Warriors!" – Star Wars Insider 141
- (Picture only)