- "My family helped found Makeb. Avesta Mining has led the Business Council for decades. I was practically Chief of State before the Cartel's takeover. It wasn't an easy decision, but if joining the Republic is the only way to reclaim my homeworld's freedom, so be it."
- ―Shalim Avesta
Shalim Avesta was a male Human businessman and political leader from Makeb. He served as Makeb's de facto Chief of State, by dint of his status as head of the Avesta Mining Corporation and the Makeb Business Council, when the planet was conquered by the Hutt Cartel in 3639 BBY.
Biography[edit | edit source]
The Avesta family were among the founders of Makeb during the Mandalorian Wars three centuries earlier, and helped establish the Business Council, which was headed by a member of the Avesta family for decades prior to the conquest. Shalim had headed mining negotiations with the Hutts for years prior to the takeover, and was blindsided when the Hutts bought the loyalty of the InterStellar Regulators, Makeb's mercenary defense force, and staged their coup.
While most of the family evacuated Makeb, Shalim remained to organize a resistance against the Hutts from his secluded plantation, while his brother Pollus actively led resistance troops in the field, and his niece Lemda, a geophysicist, helped to determine the source of the groundquakes that plagued Makeb. In desperation, Shalim requested assistance from Supreme Chancellor Leontyne Saresh of the Galactic Republic, pledging to formally bring Makeb into the Republic in exchange for the removal of the Hutt occupation forces. In response, Saresh sent the heroes of the Republic to answer Makeb's call, and coordinate with Shalim and his allies.
Shalim first sent the Republic strike team to find Lemda, who was being hunted by the Regulators. When his niece returned, she revealed that her research had discovered that the Hutt's deep-mining of the planet's core has rendered it unstable and threatens to destroy Makeb. However, she overheard the Regulators mentioning a "Project Failsafe", which she believed to be the Hutt's fallback plan to save Makeb. But the strike team later determined that Failsafe was in fact a massive ark being constructed by Toborro the Hutt so the Hutts could flee Makeb. Shalim saw the ark as an opportunity to save his people and sent the strike team to capture it.
Following the Ark's capture, Toborro the Hutt sent an army of Regulators to assault the Avesta Plantation. Shalim helped advise the Republic strike team against the Regulators, even making a brilliant tactical suggestion to retract the laser bridge at which a droid army was attempting to cross. Following the destruction of the Storm Carrier, taking with it the traitorous Vice-Commandant Grevin, Shalim was contacted by Toborro, who stubbornly refused to give up, sending his war droids to attack Tarlam, an attack the Republic managed to repel.
Later on, a Republic engineer named Gez Addar was brought to Makeb to examine the Ark, who determined that Toborro was telling the truth about the Ark requiring isotope-5 to lifeoff. In order to gain access to the fuel rods, the Republic forces turned to an unlikely ally - Dr. Juvard Illip Oggurobb, a well-respected Hutt scientist who had designed the Ark and a series of war droids running on isotope-5. Dr. Oggurobb offered his expertise on Toborro's technologies in exchange for passage off-world. Toborro had increased his mining operations to maximum, accelerating the destabilization of Makeb's core.
After the mining lasers were shut down, Shalim's camp was contacted by the Cartel leaders on Makeb, who had seen the extent of Toborro's insanity and were willing to defect to the Republic in exchange for passage on the Ark. Shalim refused to deal with the very Hutts who conquered his world, but the Republic agreed to bring them along, with some travel restrictions.
Following Toborro's defeat and the subsequent recovery of the isotope-5 fuel rod required for the Ark to lift off, Shalim boarded the Ark with the rest of his people. Once the Ark had made it to safety, Shalim met with Chancellor Saresh, who was less than happy that he had been less than upfront about Makeb's deterioration. The Republic strike team stood up for Shalim, reminding the Chancellor of the thousands of refugees onboard the Ark and made suggestions on how to address the issue. Shalim then parted ways with his allies, grateful for their assistance.