- "Be thankful, scum… that this 'scruff-ball' limited his telepathic assault, or you would have been reduced to the very lumps of unsentient proto-plasmic slime that you resemble!"
- ―Ssssk! informs a pair of stormtroopers of the "kindness" he had shown them
Ssssk! was a male telepathic member of a feline species who served as an adjutant of the Galactic Empire. In 4 ABY, Ssssk! was stationed on the planet Seoul 5 under Imperial Captain Drezzel, where he telepathically monitored a pair of Imperial-funded scientists researching there. When the scientists discovered that a type of crystal found on the planet had once been used as a power source, Ssssk! learned of the discovery by reading their minds and reported it to his superiors. The scientists were imprisoned, and the crystals were tested for use in weapons development.
When the smuggler Han Solo arrived on Seoul, Ssssk! was sent to find him, and the pair ended up facing off in a subterranean room. Ssssk! attempted to telepathically assault Solo, but the smuggler used a key crystal to defeat the feline. However, Solo accidentally activated all of the crystals using the key crystal, resulting in a blinding flash that the smuggler and scientists used to escape, followed by a large explosion that destroyed the city the crystal was located in and the Imperial forces stationed there.
- "Yessss, Ssssk! has him now, captain! He's a slimy treasure hunting pirate, and he's hiding…hiding…behind that statue!"
- ―Ssssk! leads the other Imperials to Solo
The male telepath Ssssk! lived during the reign of the Galactic Empire, a power he had come to serve as an adjutant by the year 4 ABY. The feline served under a Human captain named Drezzel and accompanied him and his Imperial troops to the lost planet Seoul 5 in order to protect a pair of scientists whom the Empire was funding to carry out research on the world. The two scientists, Doctor Ualp Xathan and his assistant, Fem Nu-Ar, had provided the Empire with charts they had found showing the route to the Seoul system in return for funding. On the planet, they began researching an abandoned city built there by the Seoularians, an extinct native species. As the scientists worked, Ssssk! used his telepathic skills to keep tabs on them by reading their minds. After they translated the ancient Seoulian texts, the pair discovered that a series of crystals had once been used to power the entire city, which Ssssk! then reported to his superiors before the scientists could reveal it. Xathan and Nu-Ar were then confined and tied up and the crystals taken for weapons development.
In 4 ABY, the Corellian smuggler Han Solo landed on Seoul 5 after acquiring the coordinates of the planet while gambling with an old Imperial scout, who also gave him one of the crystals from the planet. The Imperials on the planet detected Solo's landing, and once Drezzel was informed, he ordered Ssssk! and Squad Three, a group of stormtroopers, to report to him immediately. As the telepath approached the IF-120 landing craft where Drezzel was stationed, he overheard a pair of stormtroopers insulting him and telepathically assaulted them, causing them great amounts of pain and leaving the pair writhing on the floor. Drezzel ordered Ssssk! and the squad to accompany him in tracking down the unauthorized visitor, after which they made their way into the city, with Ssssk! mentally probing the area. He eventually found Solo, who was hiding behind a statue of a deity named Onrai, and directed the troops to his location, where they started to shoot at him. The troopers' blasterfire distracted Ssssk!, however, causing him to lose concentration and preventing him from probing Solo, allowing the smuggler to escape down a trapdoor activated using the statue.
Ssssk! and Drezzel then made their way down to the room that the trapdoor led to, with Drezzel ordering the stormtroopers who had already reached Solo to stop firing, as he did not want them to damage the Seoularian crystals that were located in the room. Instead, Ssssk! telepathically attacked Solo, who had found the imprisoned scientists in the room; however, Solo boosted his own mental powers using the crystal he had with him, which the scientists had identified as the key crystal. With his increased capability, Solo was able to defend himself from the feline's attack and caused the telepath to collapse. The smuggler was also drained by the attack and accidentally locked the key crystal into a pedestal in the chamber while stumbling to support himself. The placement of the crystal caused the other crystals to activate and the chamber to flood with light, allowing Solo and the scientists to escape to the Millennium Falcon, Solo's starship, and flee. As they flew away, a huge explosion erupted from the crystal control room, destroying the city along with much of the surrounding area.
Personality and traits
- "I dunno, do you think he can really read minds like they say?"
"I hope that the overgrown scruff-ball can't, or he might…"
- ―Two stormtroopers discuss Ssssk! before he telepathically assaults them
Ssssk! was a member of a feline species and possessed brown fur and yellow eyes. He was also capable of telepathy, with the power to cause sentient beings to collapse writhing in pain, which he claimed was only the result of a limited attack. Ssssk! claimed to have the power to reduce Humans to non-sentience if he wished to and could also mentally probe for hidden foes. The feline was unpopular with the Imperial stormtroopers with whom he served, who viewed him as Drezzel's pet and called him names based on his feline species. When serving Drezzel, Ssssk! wore a purple robe.
Behind the scenes
Ssssk! first appeared as a villain in Star Wars 84, part of the run of Star Wars comic books produced by Marvel Comics. The issue was released in 1984 and was written by Roy Richardson, illustrated by David Mazzucchelli, and colored by Tom Palmer. The issue does not identify Ssssk!'s species or make clear if he is killed in the explosion following Han Solo's escape.
- Star Wars 84 (First appearance)