- "You probably won't make it. I'd like to say I'm sorry, Spiker, but I never liked you anyway."
- ―Jix, after Spiker was badly injured in a swoop accident
Spiker was a Chiss mercenary and a member of Big Gizz's swoop gang, working for Jabba the Hutt on Tatooine. One of few Chiss to ever leave the Unknown Regions during the time of the Empire, none knew of his heritage, not even Spiker himself. Several years before the Battle of Yavin, he became an undercover agent in Jabba the Hutt's swoop gang, spying on the gang's leader, Big Gizz, for Jabba, while severely downplaying his intelligence. For his efforts, Spiker was rewarded with a suit of uniquely spiked armor from Jabba, from which he earned his nickname.
Spiker worked with Gizz for several years, and his deception was never discovered; together with the rest of the gang, he intimidated Jabba's clients and customers into repaying their debts, and earned a reputation for surviving extremely dangerous maneuvers. In 3 ABY, the gang took on a new member, Jix, who was in truth an agent of Lord Darth Vader. Jix attacked Gizz, and later lied to Spiker, claiming that Gizz had been killed in a collision. Jix left Spiker to die after his swoop bike exploded several days later in a chase for Boba Fett. Spiker survived, and was healed by members of the B'omarr Order; he was also reunited with Gizz, and the two hatched a plan to commandeer a secret ship of Jabba's in Glass Mountain. Their plan went awry when Gorga the Hutt also attempted to claim the ship, and they ultimately came away from the adventure with nothing, save for a straggling Lizling named Onoh. During their travels, the trio were attacked by a rogue Imperial dark trooper, though they managed to survive, barely. After that, Spiker and Gizz were believed to have disappeared.
- "There is another known Chiss living in the Outer Rim, though he does not know his own heritage."
- ―Tem Eliss
The being who eventually became known as "Spiker" was a male Chiss hailing from the Unknown Regions, though he knew nothing of his origins. Although no one knew exactly how, he ended up in the Outer Rim Territories some time after the rise of the Galactic Empire. He was one of extremely few Chiss who had ventured beyond Chiss Space in over a century.
Working for Jabba
- "Rip his head off, Spiker."
- ―Big Gizz orders Spiker to kill Whizzer
He eventually found himself in the employ of Jabba Desilijic Tiure, an influential Hutt crime lord on the planet Tatooine. Jabba paid a swoop gang, led by "Big Gizz," to run various errands for him, though he was not entirely trustful of Gizz and sought to infiltrate another, more loyal biker into the gang to ensure that Gizz was following his orders. Jabba's Chiss recruit had a lust for death-defying feats of bravery, so a position in Gizz's swoop gang suited him perfectly. Jabba had made for him a suit of spiked red armor, complete with a helmet that would obscure his identity, to protect him while he was using his swoop bike and to stop any attempts Gizz might make to kill the Chiss should he discover he was a spy for Jabba. The suit spawned the nickname "Spiker" because of its spikes, and the Chiss was known by his nickname for the rest of his life.
Spiker joined Gizz's troupe of bikers, acting as a fear monger and debt collector for Jabba; he demonstrated a keen grasp of tactics and strategy, and he eventually became Gizz's lieutenant. Everyone who met Spiker thought him dim-witted and slightly insane; he laughed manically at Gizz's jokes, often picked fights with spacers in Mos Eisley—Tatooine's capital city—who were far bigger than he was, and had a penchant for high-risk maneuvers, often coming out of them with grievous injuries. However, this was all an act drawn up by Jabba and Spiker to ensure that no one suspected his true motives, and while his outward persona was seen to worship Gizz, inwardly he hated the other biker. Spiker reported back to Jabba on all of the swoopers' activities, informing him when Gizz attempted to siphon off extra funds. Spiker was perceived as a bully by many of his subordinate bikers, such as Vol Hamame. Hamame eventually left the gang after a rift with other members to find work with a criminal named Phedroi. Several years before the Battle of Yavin, Spiker was running an errand on Coruscant.
Some time later, Spiker, Gizz, and several other bikers traveled to Mos Eisley to collect a sum of money owed to Jabba by Twi'lek smuggler Whizzer. They found and cornered Whizzer, though he did not have the money; he told them that he would pay off his debt in a week or so. Gizz was not satisfied, and ordered Spiker to kill Whizzer with his hands. Spiker knew that a crate alongside the Twi'lek was likely filled with spice, so rather than killing him, he suggested that Gizz allow Whizzer an extension on his debt in exchange for some of the drug, in an effort to goad Gizz into defying Jabba's orders. Whizzer agreed and gave the swoopers some of the spice, though they returned to collect his money several days later.
Later, around 0 ABY, Spiker, Gizz, and another biker named Twitch searched the old home of the late Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi for anything of value. The swoop gang was due to return to Jabba's Palace, but decided to visit Chalmun's Cantina in Mos Eisley first. En route, they were ambushed by a group of droids led by 12-4C-41, who wished to learn the location of Jabba's fortress. Spiker and the others were able to escape, and fearing that the droids planned to kill their Hutt employer, they fled toward Jabba's Palace to warn him. 12-4C-41 captured one of Spiker's fellow riders, though the swoop gang managed to send a message to Jabba's Palace of the incoming barge the droids were using to travel to the desert citadel. Jabba was pleased with his bikers for their warning, though they neglected to tell him they had discovered that the droids had not been after Jabba, but his torture-droid, EV-9D9.
Hunting Luke Skywalker
- "Get lost! He's ours!"
- ―Spiker, speaking about carbonite Solo to a group of bounty hunters, moments before his swoop exploded
In 3 ABY, while terrorizing the citizen's of Mos Eisley, Spiker was attacked by a Human on a swoop bike; he was sent sprawling to the ground, and he and Gizz furiously announced the Human's death. Before Gizz could pull the trigger of his blaster, Spiker's attacker identified himself as Jix. His defiant attitude impressed Gizz, who decided to take him to Jabba and induct him into the swoop gang. Spiker reluctantly agreed, though he was still angry at Jix for his attack. They arrived at Jabba's Palace and informed the Hutt of Jix's joining the group, though Jabba expended it little attention; news had come in of a death mark placed by Black Sun on a prominent Rebel named Luke Skywalker. Skywalker had been spotted near Obi-Wan Kenobi's hut on Tatooine, and Jabba sent his swoop gang to the area to attempt to kill him. Confident of their prospects against the Jedi Knight-in-training, they set off toward Skywalker's location.
They made inroads towards Kenobi's hut, and planned to sneak up on Skywalker and surround him. Their plans were ruined by Jix, who began firing earlier than Gizz ordered, giving Skywalker a warning and allowing him to find shelter. Using his lightsaber, Skywalker fought off several of the bikers, commandeering a swoop bike and using it to flee towards Beggar's Canyon. Spiker and his comrades were quick in pursuit, though Gizz and Jix were both incapacitated when their swoops collided by accident. Skywalker's quick maneuvering proved too much for many of Spiker's fellows, who crashed into rocks jutting out from the cliff face, though Spiker was able to evade any obstacles. Numerous other attempts of Skywalker's to throw Spiker off his bike failed; however, with most of his comrades downed, and with the arrival of Skywalker's ally, Dash Rendar, on another swoop bike, Spiker decided to give up their pursuit and called a retreat. Jix had managed to survive his crash and teamed up with Spiker before they visited Jabba to explain their failure; according to Jix, Gizz had been killed when his head was crushed by his swoop bike.
They told Jabba that Skywalker was simply lucky, and that the next time they went after him, they would be successful. The Hutt was suspicious of Jix, though; in response to one of Jabba's questions, the Human implied that he thought Spiker a coward for calling the retreat. Infuriated, Spiker prepared to attack the new recruit, but Jabba stepped in before things could escalate. Spiker was fortunate to escape Jabba's Palace with his life, though the Hutt soon recalled all of his bikers to his court: one of his trusted lieutenants had been found dead, and a secure communications relay had been broken into and used. Jabba trusted all of his other employees in the Palace, leaving one of the swoop gang as the likely culprit.
Jabba's interrogation was cut short when his majordomo, Bib Fortuna, appeared with the news that Boba Fett—a renowned bounty hunter who was delivering the carbonite-encased body of Han Solo to Jabba—had set his ship down near the palace. Jabba did not wish to pay Fett his asking price, and tasked Spiker and Jix with intercepting the Mandalorian bounty hunter en route to the palace and retrieve Solo's body, offering them five thousand credits for their efforts. A horde of other bounty hunters were on Tatooine attempting to steal Solo from Fett, though Spiker was able to push them aside as he approached Fett's speeder bike. However, one of the bounty hunters, Bossk, fired at him and Jix, shooting the Chiss in the stomach and destroying his swoop, leaving Spiker unconscious and badly wounded. Jix survived, and put Jabba's code book—which had been used to access his communications replay—on Spiker's body in order to evade suspicion.
The Jabba Tape
- "Listen, I overheard Jabba talking once. He got this ship, see, hidden up in a cave—his escape route in case he fell outta favor. It's armed to the teeth an' fully stocked. Take it over an' two smart geeks like you an' me could make our fortune out on the trade routes."
"Look on it as a fairer redistribution of wealth."
"Ya mean we'll rob from the rich and give to the poor—namely us! Haw! I like it!"
- ―Gizz and Spiker, discussing their plans for Spirit of Jabba
Although his wounds were life-threatening, Spiker made his way to the Citadel of B'omarr, where the B'omarr monks nursed him back to health. By the time Spiker was permitted to leave, Jabba had been killed at the Battle of the Great Pit of Carkoon, leaving him without a means to earn credits. To Spiker's immense surprise, Gizz arrived in his room the day he was planning to leave; Gizz told his companion that Jix had tried to kill him, and that the Human was a spy for Darth Vader. The B'omarr had found Gizz and replaced part of his broken skull with a metal plate; its only downside was that it intermittently picked up comlink and other signals from nearby. The two left the B'omarr Citadel, though Spiker was unsure exactly what they would do with no money and no one to employ them. Gizz had heard of an old storehouse of Jabba's in the nearby Glass Mountain, where Jabba supposedly stored a well-armed ship for escape purposes. They hatched a plan to steal the ship and become pirates in the local star systems.
When they reached Glass Mountain, they found they had been beaten to the punch by a group of thugs employed by Gorga Desilijic Aarrpo, Jabba's nephew. The bikers made short work of the thugs, however, and rescued a Lizling named Onoh, who had been posted by Jabba to safeguard Glass Mountain several years prior. Gorga's men had already opened the hangar and prepared the secret ship, Spirit of Jabba, for take off, leaving little additional work for the swoop bikers. Onoh initially objected to their boarding the ship, though his resistance subsided when they informed him that Jabba had been killed. Spiker and Gizz found the ship to be very well-stocked and fitted with numerous weapons that they hoped would help them carve out a piece of the Outer Rim for themselves. They also decided to take Onoh on as a member of their pirate crew.
One of Gorga's henchmen had survived and alerted the Hutt to the events, though Spiker was able to fly the ship into space and open up a good lead on Gorga's pursuing enforcers. However, an interactive security tape—the "Jabba Tape"—kicked in, immobilizing the ship until the security clearance code was submitted. The tape also began draining oxygen from the ship's bridge, and closed off all exits, estimating that they had approximately four minutes left to live. While all this was happening, one of Gorga's ships caught up with the would-be pirates. Gizz was able to pick up transmissions on his skull plate, telling them to surrender. The ship fired several shots at Spirit of Jabba, damaging it severely but also ripping apart a bulkhead and allowing Spiker, Gizz, and Onoh to escape the oxygen-deprived bridge.
With the artificial gravity disabled, Spiker and Gizz could do little but float aimlessly around the bridge, and were unable to reply to Gorga's ship's transmissions and warnings, because the Jabba Tape was blocking communications. Eventually, Onoh revealed that he knew the override code, and the bikers were able to deactivate the tape and announce their surrender to Gorga's ship. The other vessel escorted them down toward Mos Eisley, though when Gizz's skull plate picked up a transmission from Gorga announcing that Spiker and his companions would be killed when they reached the surface, they decided they would not be quite so cooperative. Gizz felt they would have a decent chance of evading the other ship if they could lighten their load, so Spiker and Onoh ventured into the cargo hold and began preparing much of the ship's provisions to be let loose onto Gorga below. They attempted to flee in Spirit of Jabba, but Gorga's ship was able to disable them, and they crashed-landed in the desert, kilometers from the nearest settlement.
The dark trooper incident
- "Aagh! This Imperial rustbucket just won't quit!"
"Don't waste your time, Gizz. That wreck is gonna blow sky high! Time to ride!"
- ―Gizz and Spiker
The group exited the ship, and with little other option, began their long trek back to civilization. They eventually found somewhere to acquire replacement swoops, though the times of old were no longer; they never hooked up with the rest of the gang, and Onoh was their only follower. Some time after Gorga's pursuit of them, the trio were sleeping close to the Mos Espa Grand Arena, when a loud noise woke both Spiker and Onoh. A group of Jawa sandcrawlers, seemingly out of control, arrived and almost ran over the bikers and their Lizling companion. Spiker quickly mounted his bike and managed to save Gizz from being crushed by the largest sandcrawler, though Gizz's bike was destroyed.
The bikers watched in awe as the three sandcrawlers continued to the edge of the Mos Espa Grand Arena and fell into, dropping over fifty meters. Determined to enact his revenge, Gizz led the others down to the largest sandcrawler, which was sitting on its side. They realized that the vehicle had a multitude of blaster burns covering it, which they suspected were of Imperial origin. Gizz found just one Jawa survivor, a male named Klepti B'ay, who repeatedly told them to flee while they could. Translating from Klepti's Jawaese, Onoh told Spiker and Gizz that his tribe had been attacked by a "droid of kind unseen." Surveying the area, Gizz found a deactivated IG-97 battle droid, and, believing it to be the droid Klepti spoke of, shot at it, believing he had destroyed the IG-series droid. However, the droid the Jawas were speaking of was in fact an Imperial dark trooper that had fought against Rebel forces. It had survived on board a Rebel ship that crash-landed on Tatooine almost 3 years earlier. The dark trooper emerged from the sandcrawler and launched itself at Spiker and Gizz.
Gizz, Onoh, and Klepti fled while Spiker started up his bike; their plan worked to perfection, with the dark trooper following the three beings on foot, while Spiker was able to get behind it and fire several blaster shots at the droid. The droid shrugged off the blaster shots, though, and began its pursuit of Spiker, who had little option but to try to flee. Unable to evade the dark trooper, Spiker hatched a plan to tangle it in fiber wire connected to part of the Grand Arena, and although he was able to tie up and momentarily disable the droid, it broke free and continued its chase. Gizz and the newly reactivated IG-97 droid began firing at the dark trooper, but their efforts were in vain; eventually, though, the dark trooper dropped its blaster, giving Spiker an opportunity to grab it. The Chiss biker reached the heavy blaster before his opponent, but the dark trooper took hold of his swoop bike and sent Spiker sprawling.
The bike landed on the dark trooper, though it once again shrugged off the damage and continued in its efforts to kill the bikers. Klepti and Onoh released a barrage of boulders from atop of one of the arena's stands, crushing the dark trooper, and in the explosion that followed, it was finally destroyed. The group—which Klepti, swearing a life debt to Spiker and Gizz, had joined—left, taking the ruined IG-97 droid with them, so they could use its blaster. Spiker's whereabouts after these events were unknown, and he was believed to have disappeared soon after them. A document written by Tem Eliss for the University of Sanbra reported that Spiker was a Chiss, and also speculated that he may have had a learning disability.
Personality and traits
- "You callin' me yellow? Rot your guts, Jix—!"
- ―Spiker reacts to a perceived insult from Jix
Spiker was a cunning being, with a keen grasp for tactics and strategy not possessed by the majority of his peers. Despite being quite intelligent, most believed Spiker was in fact quite dim—either due to his repeated collisions or some sort of learning disability—though this was exactly as he liked it. He purposely laughed at all of Gizz's jokes and made himself seem unintelligent so that his true motivations would not be discovered. He was also quick to anger; when Jix implied that he was a coward, he challenged the Human to a fight, though Jabba intervened.
Spiker was extremely brave, risking his life numerous times in his career. The Chiss had a penchant for performing extremely dangerous maneuvers with his swoop, which most other bikers would not have even considered. He had a particular taste for bashing his swoop bike against walls. He looked down on Gizz and the other criminals he was associated with, believing that they were all talk and no action. Despite initially despising Gizz, Spiker actually grew to like and respect him after Jabba's demise. During the dark trooper incident, rather than fleeing in his swoop, he saved Gizz, Klepti, and Onoh's lives. Spiker barely ever took off his trademark, spiked armor, and only Gizz and a select few others had ever seen his face.
Behind the scenes
Spiker was created as part of the Shadows of the Empire multimedia campaign. First mentioned in Steve Perry's Shadows of the Empire novel, he played a more significant role in John Wagner and Kilian Plunkett's comic adaptation. His backstory was expanded upon in the Shadows of the Empire Sourcebook, by Peter M. Schweighofer, and he also appeared in two tie-in comics, The Jabba Tape and "Sand Blasted", written by Wagner and Plunkett, respectively. He can also be briefly seen on Coruscant in a background panel of "First Impressions", which was also illustrated by Plunkett.
An article written by Juan Schwartz appearing in Star Wars Gamer 5, University of Sanbra Guide to Intelligent Life: The Chiss, established that Spiker was a Chiss; although his appearance in The Jabba Tape and Sand Blasted hinted at this, this is the only official confirmation of it. Initially, in Shadows of the Empire, part of Spiker's skin is visible through his eye holes, and is of a Human coloration. Spiker is also a playable character in Star Wars Missions 10: Showdown in Mos Eisley; in Missions, as well as in the Shadows of the Empire Sourcebook, his mask is illustrated differently to his comic appearances.
At Celebration VI, author Ryder Windham suggested to Leland Chee, keeper of the Holocron continuity database, that Spiker could be an adult Kung'urama'nuruodo, the Chiss Jedi who was the main character of Windham's Star Wars: The Clone Wars Secret Missions series. Chee personally supported the retcon.
- "First Impressions"—Star Wars Tales 15
- Star Wars: Tiny Death Star (Non-canonical appearance)
- Star Wars Missions 10: Showdown in Mos Eisley
- Shadows of the Empire novel (First mentioned)
- Shadows of the Empire audio book
- Shadows of the Empire junior novelization
- Shadows of the Empire comic (First appearance)
- The Mandalorian Armor (Mentioned only)
- The Jabba Tape
- "Sand Blasted"—Star Wars Tales 4
- The Secrets of Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire
- Shadows of the Empire Sourcebook
- The University of Sanbra Guide to Intelligent Life: The Chiss"—Star Wars Gamer 5 "
- Star Wars: Panel to Panel (Picture only)
- Star Wars: The Comics Companion
- Star Wars: Panel to Panel Volume 2: Expanding the Universe (Picture only)
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
Notes and references
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 The University of Sanbra Guide to Intelligent Life: The Chiss"—Star Wars Gamer 5 "
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 The Jabba Tape
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 Shadows of the Empire Sourcebook
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 "First Impressions"—Star Wars Tales 15
- ↑ The New Essential Guide to Alien Species
- ↑ The Mandalorian Armor
- ↑ Star Wars Missions 10: Showdown in Mos Eisley
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 Shadows of the Empire (comics)
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 "Sand Blasted"—Star Wars Tales 4
- ↑ FANgirl. Celebration VI: Secrets of the Chiss Jedi. FANgirl Blog. Retrieved on September 23, 2012.