Fools! When Major Rahz receives an order from Lord Vader…it gets executed!'"
- ―Stafuv Rahz
Stafuv Rahz served as a major in the Imperial Military during the Galactic Civil War. A Gektl male from Hoszh Iszhir who later betrayed his own people for power as an Imperial, Rahz maintained his planet's shield system, which was used to protect the world from greedy magnates hoping to tap the planet's valuable natural resources. Imbued with vaulting ambition, Rahz effectively sold the freedom of his species for his own gain when he offered Emperor Palpatine a way to bypass Hoszh Iszhir's planetary shield. Palpatine accepted, and while the Gektls of Hoszh Iszhir were enslaved and put to work as miners, Rahz served the Empire and, more directly, Lord Darth Vader.
Following a raid on Kar'a'katok, which resulted in the recruitment of Ampotem Za, future overlord of Mandalore, Rahz was ordered by Vader to kidnap the teacher Myoris Lin and her students on the planet Harix. Rahz did so, but one student, Berd, managed to escape his clutches. The escapee found asylum with the Alliance to Restore the Republic, and worked against Rahz to free his captive classmates and his mother, Lin. In the ensuing skirmish, Rahz's fleet was destroyed, but the Gektl attempted to save face by executing his prisoners. In attempting to utilize a sonic projector against the captives, Stafuv Rahz was killed, as the weapon had been sabotaged by Berd.
Born and raised on inhospitable Hoszh Iszhir, Stafuv Rahz worked to maintain the planet's defense shields, which were used to ward away any prospectors that might try and mine the planet's valuable guerrerite reserves. Rahz, caring naught for his fellow Gektls, traveled to Imperial Center hoping for an audience with Emperor Palpatine. He was granted one, and in his audience with the head of the Galactic Empire, he offered to supply Palpatine with the codes to bypass Hoszh Iszhir's shields in exchange for a commission in the Imperial Military and control over his native star system.
Palpatine agreed to the terms, as he was eager to extract and utilize the valuable natural resources of Hoszh Iszhir. He had a fleet of Star Destroyers bombard the planet and then enslaved the Gektls, putting them to work in the guerrerite mines. Rahz was assigned to Lord Darth Vader, Supreme Commander of the Imperial Navy, who despised the Gektl for his dishonest and traitorous ways and made no attempt to hide his opinion of Rahz. Some time after his appointment, Rahz was sent to Kar'a'katok to lead an attack on the long-secluded planet. Rahz's men subdued and captured Ampotem Za, one of the planet's native Shimholt. Za managed to escape captivity and return to Kar'a'katok, but was shunned by his fellow Shimholt, as the planet's government had barred off-world travel by the natives over four thousand years prior. Now an outcast, Za returned to Rahz's custody. The Gektl took Za before Palpatine, who installed the Shimholt as overlord of Mandalore.
Take the teacher alive! "
- ―Stafuv Rahz
In 1 ABY, Rahz was dispatched to Harix to kidnap a teacher, Myoris Lin, and her students. Lin was suspected of being sympathetic to the Alliance to Restore the Republic, and Vader hoped that by holding her and the children hostage, they could lure her Rebel contacts into a trap. Lin attempted to herd her students though an escape channel in a desperate attempt to flee Rahz's clutches, but the Gektl was able to capture them nonetheless. However, one student, Lin's son Berd, was able to escape and was rescued by Rebel Alliance member Luke Skywalker, who had been hoping to deliver a series of illegal pre-New Order micro-books.
Skywalker, departing Harix, destroyed a small fleet of ships Rahz sent after him, prompting the Gektl to request aid and rescue from Lord Vader. Returning to the Dark Lord's command ship, Rahz, along with his colleagues, was given the order to broadcast the news that the hostage students would be executed if the Rebels did not show themselves. Vader also made it clear that this was Rahz's last chance at being rescued, and any further requests for rescue from him would be his last for any place in the galaxy. Rahz was then ordered to organize and oversee the executions personally, and to have a fleet of his TIE Fighters lie in wait behind the Talhu Slotted Peaks of Harix in preparation for the rescue attempt Vader predicted.
For obstructing Empire justice…you will all di-i-i-i—"
- ―Stafuv Rahz's final words
As he had predicted, Vader was soon met with the sight of a thousand enemy ships approaching his base. As Rahz and the Imperials prepared their defenses, the Gektl's entire fleet of TIE Fighters was destroyed in an avalanche of rubble from Shaelo Cliff that had been caused by Skywalker and his ally Han Solo. Aghast at the loss of his fleet and the sudden communications jamming he and his men found themselves under, Rahz hoped to save face by executing his prisoners with the sonic projector he had been preparing. Before he could carry out the execution, he was attacked by Skywalker, who began grappling with the desperate Gektl.
The attacking "fleet" was actually nothing more than a group of Deep Space Target Practice Units that had been altered to resemble spacecraft, which the Rebels had used as a distraction against the Imperials while they attempted to save the captive children. The real fleet began to swoop over the Lins' school, unloading scores of smugglers who had been touched by young Berd's plight. Rahz, who was being held by his adversaries, shed his tail, skin, and clothes in desperation, fought his way out of captivity, and made his way towards the sonic projector. Before the Gektl could fire it at his enemies, however, Berd rephased the power of the weapon, inadvertently causing it to destroy Rahz instead.
Personality and traits
An ambitious Gektl, Stafuv Rahz had no qualms in harming others in the pursuit of his own gains. Bearing no patriotism for his native Hoszh Iszhir, the Gektl effectively gave up the freedom of his entire race in exchange for an Imperial uniform. This was likely born of the native Gektl instinct to survive—Hoszh Iszhir being such an inhospitable place, dominated by barren deserts, vicious predators, and poisonous clouds, its inhabitants would always do their utmost to stay alive. Rahz, however, went beyond his natural means in achieving this, although it earned him the ire of his superiors. Despite this, he was always eager to impress Lord Vader, and was constantly fearful of the Dark Lord.
Owing to his becoming part of the Empire's officers, Rahz wore a black Imperial uniform similar to those of the NCOs of the Stormtrooper Corps, albeit with shorts and lacking boots or gloves due to his Gektl origins.
Behind the scenes
Major Rahz first appeared in Russ Manning's comic strip Bring Me the Children, where he was featured as the primary antagonist alongside Darth Vader. The character of Rahz went unused in the Star Wars Expanded Universe for over twenty years, until Abel G. Peña and Rich Handley featured him in their online supplement Aliens in the Empire. The supplement also gave Rahz the first name "Stafuv," as a reference to the "Staff of Ra" artifact from Steven Spielberg's Raiders of the Lost Ark, a film that George Lucas both conceived and executive produced.
- Bring Me the Children (First appearance)
- "ComicScan: Coming Full Circle" – Star Wars Galaxy Collector 3
- Star Wars: The Comics Companion
- (First identified as Stafuv)
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- "Authors of the Expanded Universe: Russ Manning" – Star Wars Insider 140 (Picture only)
Notes and references
- Aliens in the Empire
- Bring Me the Children
- This is implied by the color of his uniform, which is colored black like NCOs within the Stormtrooper Corps, as well as his holding the rank of Major, which within the Imperial Military is used for the Imperial Army and the Stormtrooper Corps
- Raiders of the Lost Ark, 1981, Lucasfilm Ltd., Paramount Pictures