This article covers the Canon version of this subject.  Click here for Wookieepedia's article on the Legends version of this subject. 

"Though as a species they rarely venture outside their caves, one Elom did make a name for himself offworld. Tanus Spijek was a spy for the Rebel Alliance during the Galactic Civil War."
―Spijek is mentioned in an artist's journal[2]

Tanus Spijek was an Elom male spy for the Alliance to Restore the Republic hired to carry messages between the planet Alderaan and the moon Yavin 4 during the Galactic Civil War. In the year 4 ABY, Spijek was on the planet Tatooine where he spent time in the palace of the crime lord Jabba Desilijic Tiure and witnessed Luke Skywalker arrive to speak with the crime lord, and witnessed the Jedi killing Jabba's pet rancor Pateesa. The Elom was amongst those who then accompanied the Hutt to the Great Pit of Carkoon on the sail barge Khetanna to witness the execution of Skywalker and several of his friends. The Jedi managed to free himself and with the help of his allies killed the Hutt and destroyed the barge.


Rebel spy[]

The Elom male[2] Tanus Spijek was a spy-for-hire[6] from the planet Elom[1] who was hired by the Alliance to Restore the Republic to act as a spy and messenger[5] for them during the Galactic Civil War against the Galactic Empire.[2] He ferried messages between Alderaan,[5] a Core Worlds planet that was home to founding member of the Alliance Bail Organa—and the Alliance base[5] on the moon[6] Yavin 4,[5] In the year 0 BBY, the Empire destroyed Alderaan and soon after in 0 ABY the Alliance was forced to evacuated Yavin 4 following the Battle of Yavin.[7]

Under new employment[]

"You know who I am. Boba Fett. You know what that means. All of you want to live. Who doesn't? But I promise. Fight me… some of you die. Maybe most of you. And you'd be dying… for him. Doesn't seem fair, does it?"
―Boba Fett convinces Ephant Mon and others not to risk their lives for Bib Fortuna[8]

Ree-Yees confronted Fett at the palace, but ultimately backed down.

Spijek then began working as an extortionist for the Hutt crime lord Jabba Desilijic Tiure, but interacted with few others while at the Hutt's palace on the desert planet Tatooine.[3] In 3 ABY,[9] the bounty hunter Boba Fett intended to deliver the smuggler Han Solo to the palace after Solo was frozen in carbonite so that he could collect the bounty that Jabba had set on the smuggler's head. However, Solo was stolen by the Crimson Dawn crime syndicate before Fett made it to Tatooine, causing Jabba to put a bounty on Fett instead. Fett then arrived at the palace to confront the Hutt but was greeted instead by the Hutt's majordomo, Bib Fortuna.[8]

Fortuna informed Fett that Jabba was not on Tatooine as he had left to attend an auction for Solo being held by the Crimson Dawn. The majordomo then suggested Fett leave as Spijek and other employees of the Hutt appeared behind him, many with their weapons aimed at Fett. Instead of leaving, Fett reminded the crowd of his dangerous reputation and questioned if it was really fair that they might died fighting him only for the sake of Fortuna. Silently, the crowd lowered their weapons, and Fett passed Spijek as the bounty hunter entered the palace with Fortuna in order to see the invitation.[8]

Music and celebration[]

Tanus Spijek (center) raised a glass to the death of Oola.

In 4 ABY,[7] Spijek sat in one of the booths of Jabba's throne room during a[4] nightime[10] performance of the song[4] "Jedi Rocks" by the Max Rebo Band.[11] He was seated in front of[4] the Whiphid J'Quille[12] in order to watch and witnessed Jabba demand that the band repeat the song. The second performance however, ended with the Twi'lek dancer Oola being dropped through a trapdoor into a pit below the throne room and devoured by Jabba's pet rancor, Pateesa. As other courtiers rushed forward to watch, Spijek stayed in his booth, but raised a glass as she was eaten while others present cheered.[4]

Immediately after the performance, Princess Leia Organa disguised as the bounty hunter Boushh made a commotion while entering the throne room with the Wookiee Chewbacca, causing Spijek to recoil in fear as she stood in front of him to face Jabba. Organa—whose plan was in fact to try and rescue Solo from Jabba—haggled with the Hutt over the bounty price for bringing him the Wookiee, activating a thermal detonator in order to scare the Hutt into increasing his offer. Spijek and many others present in the room to cowered in fear at the explosive, but much to their relief of Organa deactivated the grenade once Jabba compromised with her on the amount. Organa was caught later that night attempting to free Solo from carbonite and imprisoned by Jabba.[4]

The downfall of Jabba[]

Tanus Spijek (left) watched Luke Skywalker sentenced to death.

The court celebrated Organa's capture late into the night,[13] and in the morning Spijek was resting on the floor up against a wall alongside many other court in the throne room. He was awoken when the Jedi Master Luke Skywalker arrived demanding audience with Jabba. The Jedi sought to persuade Jabba to release Solo, Organa and Chewbacca. Spijek stood to watch the two speak, and witnessed Skywalker threaten the Hutt[4] with a DL-18 blaster pistol[11] taken from the guard[4] Nizuc Bek[14] before being dropped into the rancor pit below the throne room.[4]

After Jabba's pet rancor[4] Pateesa[15] ate the Gamorrean[4] Jubnuk,[16] who had fallen in with Skywalker, was killed by the Jedi, much to the horror of the Hutt and his court. Spijek and the crowd then watched as Skywalker and his friend Han Solo were dragged before Jabba and sentenced to death through being eaten by the sarlacc at the Great Pit of Carkoon. The Elom then boarded the Hutt's sail barge[4] Khetanna[11] in order to travel to the pit and witness the executions. While traveling across the Dune Sea on the barge, Spijek spoke with[4] the Ugnaught Yoxgit.[12] Once above the pit, Skywalker managed to free himself and board the barge[4] from the Bantha-II cargo skiff[11] he had been transported on. Skywalker's ally Princess Leia Organa then killed Jabba by strangling him to death and together Skywalker and his allies destroyed the sail barge and escaped Tatooine.[4]

Spijek was mentioned in an artist's journal, which was restored, expanded, and displayed at the Graf Archive[2] at some point after 34 ABY.[17] The journal noted how the spy had made a name for himself in the galaxy, which was unusual for his species as they rarely left their caves.[2]

Personality and traits[]

Unlike most other Eloms, Tanus Spijek had no sympathy for the rebellion,[3] despite working for them,[5] and was a vile opportunist.[3] The extortionist had black eyes, calloused gray and pink skin, and a thick oily pelt that was mottled gray, brown and white.[3]

Behind the scenes[]

A maquette of Tanus Spijek

Tanus Spijek was portrayed by mime artist Graeme Hattrick[18] in the 1983 original trilogy film, Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi.[4] The character was known as "The Mole" during production and its mask was based on a maquette that depicted Spijek with lighter gray fur.[19] The character was not named in the film,[4] but was first identified in the current canon in the mobile card game Star Wars: Force Collection,[5] which initially launched in 2013. Although the launch of Force Collection predates[20] the Star Wars canon reset of 2014,[21] Lucasfilm Story Group member Leland Chee confirmed that the game was kept updated to fit with canon.[22]

The name originated from a card in the Jabba's Palace Limited set of the Star Wars Legends Customizable Card Game released by Decipher, Inc.[23] in 1998.[24] According to a Star Wars CCG fan site, the name was an anagram of Justin Pakes, an employee of Decipher at the time.[25]



Notes and references[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Star Wars: Geektionary: The Galaxy from A - Z (French version only)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Star Wars: Alien Archive
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 Star Wars: The Complete Visual Dictionary, New Edition
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 4.13 4.14 4.15 4.16 Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 Star Wars: Force Collection (Card: Tanus Spijek (★))
  6. 6.0 6.1 Star Wars: Geektionary: The Galaxy from A - Z
  7. 7.0 7.1 Star Wars: Galactic Atlas
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 War of the Bounty Hunters 1
  9. Star Wars: Galactic Atlas
  10. AltayaCite.svg "Boba Fett and Other Bounty Hunters and Criminals" – Star Wars Encyclopedia
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 Ultimate Star Wars, New Edition
  12. 12.0 12.1 Star Wars Character Encyclopedia: Updated and Expanded
  13. Return of the Jedi: Beware the Power of the Dark Side!
  14. ToppsDigitalLogo.png Star Wars: Card Trader (Card: Sy Snootles & Nizuc Bek - Base Series 4)
  15. Aftermath: Life Debt
  16. Star Wars: Complete Locations
  17. Star Wars: Alien Archive establishes that the restored in-universe journal discusses Poe Dameron's mutiny against Amilyn Holdo, which is depicted in Star Wars: Episode VIII The Last Jedi. The Star Wars Book places the events of The Last Jedi in the same year as the events of Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens, which Star Wars: Galactic Atlas dates to 34 ABY, meaning the document must have been published after that year.
  18. Home, Gerald: ROTJ History: Gerald Home's Creature Info. (2014-12-19). forum.rebelscum.com. Rebelscum.com. Archived from the original on June 18, 2022.
  19. Star Wars: Chronicles
  20. StarWars.com Announcing Star Wars: Force Collection on StarWars.com (backup link)
  21. StarWars.com The Legendary Star Wars Expanded Universe Turns a New Page on StarWars.com (backup link)
  22. TwitterLogo.svg Leland Chee (@holocronkeeper) on Twitter: "I'm not gonna go through the trouble of changing them and I don't have any reason to believe currently that anyone would. […] On the off-chance that we DID have a current need to change any of these, we would have for Force Collection." (backup link)Leland Chee of the Lucasfilm Story Group has confirmed that in-universe information from Star Wars: Force Collection conforms with Star Wars canon.
  23. Swccglogolg.png Star Wars Customizable Card GameJabba's Palace Limited (Card: Tanus Spijek) (backup link)
  24. GalaxyCollector.png "It's All In The Cards" – Star Wars Galaxy Collector 3
  25. Anagramed Decipherians (2005-08-15). Corellian Engineering Corporation. ReoCities. Archived from the original on April 6, 2016.
In other languages