- «I heard you're looking for Snoova. You've found him. I don't like people who ask questions about me.»
Snoova was a Wookiee bounty hunter and mercenary who was active during the Galactic Civil War. He was ostracized from Wookiee society and faced the death penalty on his homeworld, Kashyyyk, due to his violation of the Wookiee injunction against the use of his species' natural claws for anything other than climbing; rumors spoke of Snoova slashing at an opponent in a brawl over the affections of a female Wookiee paramour. Snoova escaped Kashyyyk as an outlaw and largely avoided other Wookiees. He turned to a life of bounty hunting—an unusual profession for a member of his species—and mercenary work. Because Wookiees were an enslaved species under the regime of the Galactic Empire, Snoova specifically pursued bounties posted by the galactic government; his successes gained him such renown that he was able to travel through the Empire with impunity, and his identification datawork was altered to name him as his own master.
Snoova's unique appearance added to his high profile: he had brown fur splotched with black, and he cut his head-hair into a flat-topped spacer's style. He also wore a monocle ocular enhancer over his right eye, a piece of equipment he had surgically rooted in his eye socket when he lost his right eye in pursuit of a target. Snoova preferred to work alone, but he occasionally teamed up with associates from Aurodium Sword and the Black Sun criminal organizations, as well as with fellow bounty hunters, such as the Ubese Boushh. Snoova's fame inspired the Human replica droid Guri to disguise another well-known Wookiee, the Rebel Alliance operative Chewbacca, as Snoova in an effort to smuggle him past customs in Imperial City, where Chewbacca was a wanted Rebel agent.
Snoova's explosive temper and violent tendencies earned him a reputation as dangerous among the galaxy's criminal underworld. Although the bounty hunter knew how to ingratiate himself with clients, he regularly treated his prey with rough-edged contempt. Snoova was capable of stealthily shadowing a target, but his preference for brute force over subtle means manifested in his favored weapons: a vibro-ax and a heavy blaster rifle. Snoova was equally comfortable shredding his opponents with his climbing claws.
- "Whether or not you remember my face for the rest of time does not concern me. For now suffice it to say that our purposes require you to be previously disposed, or 'out of the picture,' as you bounty hunters are so fond of saying. In another reality, let us say that your twin is paying a visit to Coruscant. For now, please enjoy what hospitality we are capable of offering an enraged Wookiee."
- ―Black Sun Vigo Lonay to an imprisoned Snoova
Snoova was a native of the planet Kashyyyk, homeworld of the Wookiee species to which he belonged. He escaped from the planet for unknown reasons; rumors suggested that he had gotten into a fight with a family member over the affections of a Wookiee female. The story held that in the altercation, Snoova attacked and maimed his rival with his climbing claws, a capital offense in Wookiee society, and earned himself the designation of "madclaw." Snoova was forced to flee to avoid the death mark placed on his head, and for the remainder of his life, he lived as an exile from Wookiee society.
Snoova took to mercenary stints as he made his way in the galaxy. He worked for a time as an indentured servant to a small-time crime boss named Asteria; as soon as his contract expired, though, Snoova moved on to bigger pursuits. The Wookiee eventually picked up bounty hunting, an unusual line of work for a Wookiee at the time. As the Galactic Civil War raged throughout the galaxy, Snoova's species was officially enslaved by the Galactic Empire; therefore, Snoova relegated himself to Imperial space and pursued bounties posted by the Empire. Such practices afforded him freedom of movement in spite of his species' enslavement—indeed, although he was technically a slave, his identification datawork showed him as his own master. At some point, Snoova lost an eye in pursuit of a bounty. He had it replaced with a monocle ocular enhancer eye patch that he had previously worn as a hunting aid. After the surgery, the device connected to cybernetics hidden in his right eye socket.
Although he preferred to operate alone, Snoova worked with various criminal organizations and partnered with fellow bounty hunters and mercenaries from time to time. He worked alongside the Ubese bounty hunter Boushh on at least one occasion. At another point, Snoova worked for or with Aurodium Sword Executive Security, a mercenary organization that provided security and paramilitary support to high-ranking clients. The Wookiee participated in a skirmish alongside the group's leader, a rogue ARC trooper known as Muzzle, as well as another Wookiee while defending a Sullustan executive from a squad of assassins. An image captured from the fight made its way to an Imperial intelligence agent, who filed a report on Aurodium Sword with the Empire. A few months after the Battle of Yavin, Commander Maximillian Seerdon of the Imperial Security Bureau included the report and image in his dossier on various underworld figures. Although pictured, Snoova was not named in the document.
At some point, Snoova worked as a mercenary for the Black Sun criminal syndicate. When the Empire posted the Emperor's Most Wanted, a list of high-stakes bounties on critical Rebel Alliance leaders, sometime after the Battle of Talus, Snoova was among the bounty hunters who went on the hunt for the named individuals. He captured a bounty from the list and delivered his quarry to a fellow bounty hunter, Bossk, at an Imperial outpost at Dee'ja Peak on the planet Naboo.
Meanwhile, witnesses spread rumors of the capture, and Rebel agents, posing as smugglers, arrived at Dee'ja Peak to search out Snoova and reclaim his Rebel bounty. The Wookiee's contacts warned him of the Rebel stalkers, so Snoova lay in wait and surprised the interlopers. Near the center of the outpost, their leader was pushed into an alley, where Snoova and several Black Sun thugs attacked. The Wookiee bounty hunter was wounded during the long and vicious firefight, and his Black Sun associates fled. Reluctantly, Snoova answered the Rebel's questions and put them on the trail of Bossk, who knew the prisoners' location.
By 3 ABY, Snoova was well-known, his fame such that he was the most famous Wookiee bounty hunter in the galaxy. That year, a Human Rebel Alliance leader, Princess Leia Organa, sought the aid of the Falleen Prince Xizor, head of Black Sun, in her efforts to rescue her fellow Rebel, Human smuggler Han Solo, who had fallen into the clutches of the Mandalorian bounty hunter Boba Fett. Organa also sought information on who was trying to assassinate her friend, the Human Jedi Luke Skywalker. Because Organa and her Wookiee companion, Chewbacca, were well-known members of the Rebel Alliance, they had to find a way to sneak past the Imperial customs agents waiting for them in Imperial City, the galactic capital on the planet Coruscant, where Black Sun's headquarters was located. Black Sun agreed to help them do so.
Meanwhile, Snoova unwittingly became part of Black Sun's Rebel deal. As he was leaving a meeting with Asteria in her townhouse, the Wookiee was ambushed by thugs with shock batons, stun pikes, and tranq slugs. The bounty hunter was unable to fight them off, and when he next awoke, found himself in a tiny cell, his arms chained above his head and his hands encased in mitts to prevent him from lashing out with his claws. Eventually, the Twi'lek Vigo Lonay informed the prisoner that he had been taken "out of the picture" for a time and locked up at a slave camp so that someone could impersonate the hunter on Coruscant. Despite Snoova's angry threats and attempts to break free, the Twi'lek told the Wookiee that he would receive substantial recompense for the arrangement. With Snoova hidden safely away, the Black Sun Human replica droid, Guri, disguised Leia Organa and Chewbacca as bounty hunters. Organa's disguise had belonged to the Ubese hunter Boushh, while Chewbacca's was modeled after Snoova's distinctive look. As part of his disguise, Chewbacca shaved the top of his head into a squared-off style and dyed black spots into his fur. Chewbacca also carried Snoova's preferred weapons: a vibro-ax and large blaster rifle.
Personality and traits
- «You don't know much about bounty hunters, do you? We're not chatty.»
By 3 ABY, Snoova was well known among the galactic fringe. Other bounty hunters were cautious around him, as he had a reputation as brutal and bloodthirsty due to his explosive temper and unbridled anger; even in his best moments, Snoova's sour demeanor manifested in irritable growling at even the most minor of nuisances. The Wookiee showed little concern for decorum or niceties, and he was not afraid to bully others to get what he wanted from them. Of the few practicing Wookiee bounty hunters during the Galactic Civil War, Snoova earned a reputation as the most vicious. Snoova rejected Wookiee society's interdiction against the use of climbing claws in combat; indeed, the Wookiee bounty hunter preferred his natural weapons in close combat as a means to maim his enemies, and he relented to blasters only when necessary. The proclivity earned him the designation of madclaw and made him an outcast in Wookiee society. For the most part, however, Snoova comported himself well with his clients; when such dealings annoyed him, the Wookiee took out his aggressions on his prey.
Snoova was somewhat paranoid and preferred to work alone. He disliked allegiances with other bounty hunters because he was never sure they would not betray him and claim the bounty on his head from the Wookiees of Kashyyyk. Likewise, Snoova steered clear of fellow Wookiees, as he knew that the death mark on his head meant they might subject him to Wookiee law—the death penalty—for his madclaw status. Nevertheless, Snoova allied with a fellow Wookiee while working for Aurodium Sword, and with other bounty hunters on occasion when he felt it expedient.
Snoova's brown coat featured distinctive black spots, including a mask-like patch of fur across his eyes. The pattern was unusual for a Wookiee; it earned Snoova the nickname "the furry bandit" from other bounty hunters—although no one used the soubriquet to his face—and made him instantly recognizable. Snoova enhanced his unique appearance by keeping his hair styled in a short spacer's cut characterized by a short flattop and ponytail. Snoova's breath smelled foul at least on occasion. The prefix Sno- in Snoova's name meant "curious," "fast," and "quick" in his native language, Shyriiwook; the suffix -ova meant "eye," "gazer," "seeker," and "seer."
Skills and abilities
- "I have been called far worse, hunter. And yes, your mitts are meant to keep you from inflicting unnecessary damage upon my staff and facilities."
- ―The Black Sun Vigo Lonay to a captive Snoova
Snoova was a skilled fighter, competent with the bowcasters typically preferred by his species but equally adept with a blaster; he had additional skill and training in the use of repeating blasters. Snoova was proficient in the use of melee weapons and blaster rifles, the latter class of weaponry he wielded with brute force and little concern for finesse. The Wookiee excelled most of all at hand-to-hand brawling, a pursuit to which he was able to apply his natural climbing claws to shred his opponents.
Streetwise and savvy, Snoova was able to navigate the galaxy's criminal underworld with ease. He was skilled at spotting hidden quarries and was also skilled in stealth himself. The Wookiee had a penchant for intimidation. He was trained to pilot starships and repulsorlift vehicles, and he had good endurance and the skill to cope with survival situations. Although Snoova was literate in Basic and able to comprehend the language, his physiology allowed him to speak only Shyriiwook, his native tongue.
Snoova's preferred weapons were a vibro-ax, heavy blaster pistol, blaster rifle, light repeating blaster, and grenade. He often wore an ammunition bandoleer. Other equipment the Wookiee carried included a medpac, satchel, binders, comlink, and datapad.
The Wookiee often made use of a removable device that featured a monocle ocular enhancer that afforded him low-light vision and enhanced visual acuity. After an accident cost the Wookiee his eye, Snoova made the rig a permanent feature when he had it installed as a cybernetic eye patch in his right eye socket. He often wore a pauldron over one shoulder. When Chewbacca impersonated the bounty hunter, he wore a short cape.
Behind the scenes
- "I was able to design the Snoova bounty hunter look for Chewbacca, which was a very cool opportunity."
- ―Mark Boudreaux
Snoova was created in conjunction with the Shadows of the Empire project, a collection of Star Wars releases—including a novel, comic book, video game, and toy line—that entered development in 1994. The project afforded the toy company Hasbro the ability to design the looks of several new Star Wars characters, including the Wookiee bounty hunter; both Mark Boudreaux and Mike Butkus have been attributed as the designers of the character. Snoova's look became the basis for an action figure of Chewbacca disguised as the Wookiee outlaw, part of the 1996 Shadows of the Empire toy line. It is an extensively retooled version of the first Power of the Force Chewbacca figure, which includes a shaved head, dyed fur, and armor. The figure also includes a blaster rifle, vibro-ax, and detachable cape.
Other sources have contributed to Snoova's backstory; the Shadows of the Empire Sourcebook, published in 1996 by West End Games, provides the earliest graphical depiction and biographical expansion of the character, and "Underworld: A Galaxy of Scum and Villainy" and Scum and Villainy contribute more information. None of these sources provides a coherent chronology for Snoova's life; this article presents all known biographical details, although the order of events may not reflect the true sequence of events in the Wookiee's biography. Similarly, sources disagree as to the nature of Snoova's ocular enhancer. The Shadows of the Empire Sourcebook claims the eyepiece is a mere tool used by Snoova, but Scum and Villainy labels it a cybernetic replacement for a lost eye. The biography above assumes that both sources are correct, albeit for different periods in Snoova's life.
The Reflections II: Expanding the Galaxy expansion to the Star Wars Customizable Card Game, published by Decipher, Inc., in 2001, includes Snoova as a character; the Wookiee's preference for melee weapons allows him to gain access to his vibro-ax for free and to gain extra bounty hunting abilities when thus armed. The Light Side scenario of Galactic Hunters expansion to the Star Wars Galaxies Trading Card Game, published in 2009, features Snoova as a villain the player characters must defeat to reclaim a captured Rebel leader; the biography above assumes the characters defeat Snoova and accomplish this goal. The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, published in 2008, presents an image of Chewbacca in his Snoova disguise—taken from the cover of 1996's Shadows of the Empire 4—as an image of Snoova himself. Snoova is available to players of Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds, a video game published by LucasArts in 2001, via the game's scenario editor. In that game as well as in 2007's Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron and 2009's Star Wars Battlefront: Elite Squadron, players can create a "Wookiee bounty hunter" unit that features Snoova's trademark hairstyle and ocular enhancer.
- Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds (Customization options only)
- Star Wars Galaxies Trading Card Game – Galactic Hunters (Light Side scenario campaign)
- Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars Battlefront: Elite Squadron (Indirect mention only)
- (First appearance)
- Shadows of the Empire novel (First mentioned) (Chewbacca in disguise)
- Shadows of the Empire 4 (Mentioned only) (Chewbacca in disguise)
Notes and references
- Shadows of the Empire Sourcebook, p. 66.
- Shadows of the Empire Sourcebook, p. 65.
- Star Wars Galaxies Trading Card Game – Galactic Hunters (Card: Snoova's Heavy Blaster Rifle).
- Scum and Villainy, p. 112.
- "Underworld: A Galaxy of Scum and Villainy"—Star Wars Insider 89, p. 39.
- Star Wars Galaxies Trading Card Game – Galactic Hunters (Light Side scenario campaign).
- A Guide to the Star Wars Universe, Third Edition, Revised and Expanded, p. 493.
- "Underworld: A Galaxy of Scum and Villainy"—Star Wars Insider 89, p. 34.
- Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire, Chapter 22.
- Star Wars Galaxies Trading Card Game – Galactic Hunters (Card: Snoova).
- Shadows of the Empire 4.
- , p. 67
- The Secrets of Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire, p. 240.
- Star Wars Galaxies Trading Card Game – The Price of Victory (Card: One-Two Pummel).
- Shadows of the Empire Sourcebook, pp. 65–66.
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. III, p. 171 ("Snoova").
- Callsigns: Names of Kashyyyk"—Star Wars Gamer 10, p. 111. "
- Star Wars: The Action Figure Archive, p. 26.
- Star Wars Customizable Card Game – Reflections II: Expanding the Galaxy (Card: Snoova).
- Aurra Sing: Dawn of the Bounty Hunters, pp. 36–37.
- "A Long Time Ago, In a Toy Aisle Not So Far Away...."—Star Wars Insider 120, p. 34.
- Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds
- Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron
- Star Wars Battlefront: Elite Squadron