"Our Emperor has called upon all of his loyal sectors to aid him in cutting off the trafficking in illegal weaponry. I am proud to say that I am responding to the Emperor's call in the most immediate and visceral terms. We all know that the source of much of the illegal gunrunning and drug trafficking emanates from Hutt space. To this end, I am calling on all citizens of our sector to support me as I shut down the Hutt scourge! It is my intention to wipe out the smuggling trade, and bring the Hutt crime lords to their knees! Um… figuratively speaking, of course. To reach this goal, I am authorized to utilize deadly force. The Hutts will learn that they cannot flout Imperial law with impunity. Law and order will prevail once more in our Territories!"
―Sarn Shild[2]

Sarn Shild was a Human male who served as the Moff of the Baxel sector and Hutt Space in the Outer Rim Territories prior to the Galactic Civil War. Shild made little attempt to enforce Imperial law in Hutt Space and often accepted "gifts" from powerful Hutts to ensure that he turned a blind eye toward the Hutt clans' illegal activities. That all changed, however, in 3 BBY, when Emperor Palpatine ordered the Moffs to put an end to the trade in illegal weaponry in response to growing unrest among the populations of many worlds. Shild ordered Admiral Winstel Greelanx, the commander of his fleet, to lead an assault on the Y'Toub system, home to the Hutt homeworld of Nal Hutta. Shild intended to make an example by destroying Nal Hutta's "Smuggler's Moon," Nar Shaddaa. The Hutt Grand Council made an unsuccessful attempt to bribe Shild to call off the attack and, when he refused, approached Greelanx instead. Greelanx had already received orders to make the attack fail as part of a plot to discredit Shild, and accepted the Hutts' offer. At the Battle of Nar Shaddaa, a smuggler fleet under Mako Spince and Han Solo forced Greelanx to retreat, and Shild was recalled to the Imperial capital world of Coruscant to explain his failure. The Moff committed suicide rather than face the Emperor's wrath.


"There's no reason that the Outer Rim Territories couldn't become another Corporate Sector, with no ties or allegiance to the Empire. If I had sufficient military might, I could lead the Outer Rim to independence and prosperity—it would be glorious!"
―Sarn Shild[2]

After the rise of the Galactic Empire in 19 BBY,[4] the Empire divided the areas of the Outer Rim Territories bordering Hutt Space into sectors and appointed Moffs to govern them. Sarn Shild was appointed as Moff of the Baxel sector and was also given responsibility for Hutt Space itself.[5] At his disposal was a discretionary fleet under the command of Admiral Winstel Greelanx. With the latest Imperial vessels serving in fleets closer to the Core Worlds, Shild's fleet was comprised of older ships[2] and tasked with maintaining control of pirates and smugglers operating in the sector.[6] Although Hutt Space was officially part of the Empire and subject to Imperial law, the Empire largely tolerated the innumerable illegal activities going on in Hutt Space. The Hutts remained firmly in control of their core space and retained considerable influence in the Rimward sectors by bribing most of the newly established Moffs.[5] In exchange for turning a blind eye to the Hutts' activities, Shild accepted a number of "political contributions" and "personal gifts" from powerful Hutt clans, which allowed him to live a life of luxury. Shild maintained several residences on different worlds, among them an opulent penthouse on the Imperial capital world of Coruscant. Shild's palatial headquarters on[2] the Baxel sector's capital planet Teth[5] was staffed by a number of organic and droid servants.[2]

Bria Tharen, Sarn Shild's "mistress"

In 3 BBY,[1] Shild took the young woman Bria Tharen as his apparent mistress. In truth, Shild had no interest in Human women and required Tharen purely as a show object to impress other Imperial officers. Tharen shared Shild's home, organizing his household staff and acting as a confidant for the Moff. However, unbeknown to Shild, Tharen was an undercover agent who was gathering intelligence for the Corellian resistance. Shortly after an uprising on Rampa II killed a number of Imperial troops before the Empire routed and captured the rebels, Shild traveled to Coruscant with Tharen to attend a conference on law and order. In response to the latest uprising, Emperor Palpatine ordered the Moffs to crack down on the trade in illegal weaponry in their sectors to further strengthen Imperial authority, authorizing them to use deadly force if necessary. In a formal press conference, Shild announced his intention to cut off the supply of illegal weapons and drugs from Hutt Space and called on all loyal subjects in his sector to support him.[2]

In an effort to dissuade Shild from taking action against them, the Hutts Jiliac Desilijic Tiron and Jabba Desilijic Tiure of the Desilijic clan recruited the smuggler Han Solo, a former lover of Tharen's, to deliver a message and a selection of gifts from the Hutt Grand Council to the Moff on Coruscant. Shild agreed to meet with Solo at his penthouse, but refused the bribe, making it clear that he was no longer able to cover for the Hutts. Although he was willing to spare the Hutt homeworld, Nal Hutta, in exchange for the Hutts' cooperation and the cessation of their criminal activities, Shild informed Solo that he intended to make an example of Nal Hutta's moon, Nar Shaddaa, which was known as the "Smuggler's Moon" due to the high levels of smuggler activity there. As Shild brought the meeting to a close, Tharen entered the room, leading to a brief reunion between her and Solo. Although Solo was devastated to see Tharen as Shild's "mistress," neither he nor Tharen revealed their former relationship to the Moff.[2]

From Coruscant, Shild and Tharen traveled to the gambling planetoid Velga Prime before returning to Teth. Shild summoned Greelanx to his office and ordered him to recall the fleet to Teth to begin preparations for an attack on the Y'Toub system. Shild wanted to avoid completely debilitating the Hutts and had been instructed by Palpatine to spare the Besadii clan, a supplier of slaves to the Empire. He therefore ordered Greelanx to blockade the Hutt worlds of Nal Hutta and Nar Hekka until the Hutts agreed to full customs inspections and a permanent Imperial military presence. However, the Moff was not content to simply put an end to smuggling operations out of Nar Shaddaa and ordered Greelanx to carry out a Base Delta Zero against the moon, leveling the surface and completely destroying all life.[2]

About one week later, Shild and Tharen joined a small group of high-ranking officials gathered to watch the departure of Greelanx's fleet for the Y'Toub system, during which the Moff confided to Tharen that his actions were not motivated purely by carrying out the Emperor's wishes. Once the Hutts were brought firmly under his control, Shild intended to use their wealth to augment his own military forces; with the Emperor's attention focused elsewhere, Shild saw the opportunity to grow his own power in the Outer Rim and entertained the thought of seceding from the Empire.[2]

Unbeknown to Shild, however, less than a day after he ordered Greelanx to gather the fleet, the admiral had received a private message from the Moff's superiors on Coruscant instructing him to ensure that the mission was a failure. Having failed in their attempt to bribe Shild, the Hutts approached Greelanx and he agreed to sell them his battle plan, seeing the opportunity to engineer his own defeat. Armed with Greelanx's plans, a group of smugglers led by Solo and Mako Spince assembled a fleet to defend Nar Shaddaa. The Battle of Nar Shaddaa resulted in the loss of several vessels in Shild's fleet before Greelanx ordered a withdrawal.[2]

Greelanx was found dead soon after the battle, and Shild was summoned back to Coruscant to face a board of inquiry about the failed attack.[2] Rather than face the wrath of the Emperor, Shild elected to take his own life in his home on Teth.[2][3] Shild's suicide became major news, and the Moff's memorial service was broadcast throughout the Empire. Tharen later suspected that the whole situation had been engineered by Palpatine to discredit Shild and eliminate a potential rival. Shild was succeeded as Moff of the Braxel sector by Moff Yref Orgege.[3]

Personality and traits[]

"Shild changed, Han. It was scary. Between one month and the next, he became a different man. Suddenly he was plotting to take over Hutt space, and started talking about overthrowing the Emperor."
―Bria Tharen[3]

Sarn Shild was a tall, thin Human male with pale skin, oiled black hair and a thin, pointy mustache, who wore a black krayt dragon pearl in one earlobe.[2] Shild was a popular politician[3] and a capable public speaker, but he was also arrogant,[2] ambitious and corrupt.[3] During his time as Moff of Hutt Space, Shild protected the Hutts from close Imperial scrutiny in exchange for numerous bribes from powerful Hutts, which allowed him to live a life of luxury. Shild's sexual tastes did not extend to Human women, a fact which he attempted to keep hidden from others by recruiting Bria Tharen to pose as his mistress. Shild always treated Tharen well, and the Moff would frequently confide in her. However, Shild's pridefulness would not allow him to listen to her opinion. After Emperor Palpatine ordered Shild to end the supply of illegal weapons and drugs coming from Hutt Space,[2] Tharen noticed a change in his personality.[3] Shild began openly speaking about his intentions to use the Hutts' wealth to bolster his own power and his desire to break the Outer Rim Territories away from the Empire and even overthrow the Emperor. After the defeat of his fleet at the Battle of Nar Shaddaa, Shild realized that the attack had been a mistake, and could not remember why he had ordered it, as if he had been possessed.[2] Tharen later theorized that the Emperor, seeing Shild's ambition and popularity as a threat, had used the Force to manipulate Shild into bringing about his own downfall.[3] When faced with death at the Emperor's hands for his failure, Shild opted to take his own life.[2]

Behind the scenes[]

Sarn Shild was created by author A. C. Crispin for the 1997 novel The Hutt Gambit, the second in a trilogy of novels about Han Solo. Shild died during the events of The Hutt Gambit[2] but is mentioned in the third book in the series, Rebel Dawn (1998), as well as in James Luceno's 2000 novel The New Jedi Order: Agents of Chaos II: Jedi Eclipse.[3][7] Shild also received entries in A Guide to the Star Wars Universe, Third Edition, Revised and Expanded (2000) and The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia (2008).[8][9] Although Rebel Dawn confirms that Shild committed suicide, The Hutt Gambit leaves it ambiguous whether Shild took his life with a blaster bolt or by ingesting poison.[2][3]



Notes and references[]

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