- "We made a deal. The New Republic can use my ship, but no one's flying it but me."
- ―Taryn Clancy
Taryn Clancy was a Human female courier captain operating during the Galactic Civil War. Born in 16 BBY to Kal Clancy, captain of the starship Lassen, Taryn often tried to join his crew, once even resorting to stowing away, and he finally let her join as his copilot when she was sixteen. However, this led to a deterioration of their relationship. Later, she joined the Core Courier Service.
On her ship, the Messenger, Clancy regularly flew a delivery route between Coruscant and the planet Coriallis. On one such mission shortly after Grand Admiral Thrawn's campaign against the New Republic in 9 ABY, she and her first mate, Del Sato, were stranded on Coruscant during its bombardment by a newly resurgent Galactic Empire. As captain of one of several grounded civilian vessels, Clancy was brought to New Republic General Garm Bel Iblis, who had been tasked with coordinating the government's evacuation of Coruscant. Under Bel Iblis' orders, Clancy helped Colonel Jak Bremen, Director of Security for the New Republic Inner Council, to sneak past the Imperial fleet blockading the planet and bring important information to the New Republic fleet. During the eventful escape, Clancy not only had to contend with Imperial checkpoints and a homing beacon planted in her cargo hold, but the surly personality of Bremen himself.
Taryn Clancy was the daughter of Kal Clancy, a freighter pilot. From a young age, she dreamed of commanding her own ship, and constantly begged her father to let her accompany him on cargo runs. On one occasion, she stowed away in the cargo hold of Kal's ship, the Lassen, only to be discovered by a load lifter and returned home in shame.
In 0 ABY, Kal allowed Taryn, then 16, to accompany him on his trips. Despite the challenges inherent in serving aboard her father's ship, Taryn's determination eventually won her the formal position of copilot. All the while, however, her relationship with her father worsened. When she failed to live up to his expectations, he was disappointed, and made little effort to conceal his feelings. This had a profound effect on his daughter, and for years afterward she couldn't avoid judging herself the same way he had judged her.
In 5 ABY, Clancy endured an especially harsh critique by her demanding father; stung, she entered a Core Courier Service office she'd come across and in short order passed two exams and a flight test. She was hired then and there, but her successful career thereafter still seemed insufficient to earn her father's esteem. Unbeknownst to Taryn, Kal was proud of her, although he didn't consider mail delivery challenging enough to truly help her grow into the full potential he believed she had.
Eventually, her superiors at Core Courier Service promoted her to the rank of captain, giving her a ship—the Ghtroc 720 Messenger. Del Sato, a courier with thirty years' experience, signed on as her copilot, satisfied with taking her orders despite never having attained a command of his own.
The flight from Coruscant
- "What's up?"
"Us, I hope."
- ―Del Sato and Taryn Clancy
In 9 ABY, during her fourth run as the Messenger's captain, Clancy traveled to Coruscant to deliver datacards to the New Republic's Imperial Palace. As she was concluding the dropoff, alarm klaxons sounded, indicating an attack on the planet was underway. Immediately recognizing the danger of being stranded beneath the planetary shield—or worse, grounded in the midst of a battle—Clancy rushed back to the Messenger, where Sato had already prepped the vessel for takeoff. Her request to depart was denied, however, and soon after, she noticed distant turbolaser fire high in the sky, indicating a battle was underway.
That night, Clancy impatiently strode into the palace to demand answers from someone official. Once inside, she encountered Colonel Jak Bremen, who unexpectedly led her to General Garm Bel Iblis, a man Clancy knew by reputation but whose physical appearance was only vaguely familiar to her. Bel Iblis explained that the Empire had gained the upper hand in the battle, and that the New Republic was pulling out to minimize civilian casualties. He went on to commandeer her vessel for the purpose of sneaking a datacard past the Imperial fleet blockading the planet; this datacard carried intelligence on the battle and coordinates for the New Republic government's rendezvous.
Clancy reacted forcefully when Bremen, who had been assigned to accompany them, remarked that he should pilot the vessel during the escape. She insisted on flying her own ship, and managed to get past the fleet in orbit over Coruscant and safely into hyperspace—though TIE fighters knocked out their shields just before the jump. En route to Coriallis, the Messenger was pulled from hyperspace by the Imperial Interdictor cruiser Requital. Commander Voldt led the Imperial inspection team, questioning Clancy on her destination. Clancy informed Voldt that they were headed for Coriallis and that they had come from Coruscant. However, she lied that the Messenger had never landed on the galactic capital, claiming to have arrived in the system in the middle of the Imperial assault and promptly leaving to avoid being caught up in a combat zone. Voldt insisted on inspecting the cargo hold, and almost caught Clancy in the lie when he inquired as to where the mail bound for Coruscant was. Clancy struggled for an explanation; the Coruscant mail had obviously been offloaded. Sato interrupted and eased Voldt's suspicions, saying that he moved the Coruscant mail to one side and had brought the crates bound for Coriallis to the front for ease of delivery. Sato and Bremen had altered a batch of mail already aboard to have Coruscant addresses on them to provide a credible cover story. Voldt searched the Coruscant mail crates, then ordered his troops to search the rest of the boxes to confirm that they contained mail. After checking the Messenger's permits, Voldt permitted them to leave.
Over the course of the following week, they reached Coriallis and proceeded to make several short hyperspace jumps programmed by Bremen—most of which took them to destinations Clancy couldn't identify. During the journey, Bremen demonstrated a pronounced lack of confidence in Clancy and Sato, believing Bel Iblis ought to have removed the Messenger's crew entirely; in response, Clancy—and especially Sato—came to resent Bremen's haughty and secretive attitude.
Finding the fleet
- "Captain Clancy, it's no secret I don't think you or Del Sato should have been allowed on this mission. You're civilians, and more of a hindrance than a help. You can't be expected to make the kind of split-second decisions needed to keep us out of trouble."
- ―Jak Bremen to Taryn Clancy
Once the ship had reached the supposed rendezvous—in an area Clancy assumed to be the Borderlands separating Imperial-controlled and New Republic-controlled space—it drifted in space for hours waiting for the New Republic fleet. Instead, smuggler and New Republic ally Mara Jade arrived in a Skipray blastboat with new coordinates for Bremen, who appeared suspicious of her motives and timing.
Moments later, an Imperial Carrack-class cruiser dropped out of hyperspace nearby. Clancy prepared to use the new coordinates delivered by Jade to escape, but Bremen objected, claiming Jade could have set a trap for them. When Jade retaliated against the TIE fighters launched by the cruiser, Clancy decided Bremen was mistaken and made the hyperspace jump. Roughly an hour later, the Messenger reverted from hyperspace near the New Republic fleet, and was hailed by Arboga, the captain of the Mon Calamari Star Cruiser Hope. As the Messenger approached the cruiser to drop off Bremen and the datacard, Clancy was approached by Bremen, who had found a homing beacon planted in one of the mail crates in the hold by Voldt. The Carrack-class cruiser appeared moments later, following the beacon's signal, and opened fire on the Messenger while it was still far away from the fleet and vulnerable.
As the ship's shields began to fail, Clancy surprised Bremen by engaging a backup shield generator she had brought online after they'd cleared Coruscant. The backup generator bought them enough time to get within the New Republic fleet's turbolaser range, where the Imperial cruiser was quickly destroyed by both capital ship fire and proton torpedoes from X-wing fighters. Colonel Bremen, impressed at their performance during the ordeal, invited Clancy and Sato to join the New Republic. Sato declined, citing his impending retirement, but Clancy replied that she had to complete her deliveries, and that she'd consider his offer.
Personality and traits
- "We're always looking for good pilots, and if you've got a mind for a career change, the New Republic could use someone like you."
- ―Jak Bremen to Taryn Clancy
Clancy earned recognition and praise from her superiors at Core Courier Service for her abilities and commitment. A skilled pilot and astrogator, Clancy could also repair her own ship at a professional level of expertise. She knew tricks in shield modification that enabled her to give the Messenger a backup shield system using a bare minimum of parts, a feat that impressed even the stolid Bremen.
Clancy's father had a profound—and not entirely positive—influence on her. While he taught her most of what she knew, including the important tricks involved in cobbling together her backup shield generator, he frequently made patronizing remarks or sighed in response to perceived failures on her part. Despite her best efforts to shut out such feelings, she was haunted throughout her life by a persistent fear of what he would think of her response to various circumstances. In particular, she worried that she stayed with the safe, comfortable mail delivery job due to a lack of courage. Following her adventure on behalf of the New Republic, however, she seemed newly unconcerned with what Kal might think.
Behind the scenes
Taryn Clancy is the protagonist of the short story "Retreat from Coruscant," which was originally published in Star Wars Adventure Journal 7 and later reprinted in Tales from the Empire and on Hyperspace. The story is told from her perspective in the third person. Clancy was created by Laurie Burns and illustrated by Mike Vilardi. "Retreat from Coruscant" is the only source in which the character appears.