- "He is here. We are being held hostage. They are watching us."
"Tenth level. Thousands of battle droids."
- ―Tion Medon, informing Obi-Wan Kenobi of General Grievous's presence on Utapau
Tion Medon was a Pau'an male who served as Master of Port Administration for Pau City on the planet Utapau. Holding the position for over two centuries prior to the Clone Wars between the Galactic Republic and the Confederacy of Independent Systems, Medon was loyal to the Republic in spite of Utapau's neutrality in that conflict. He became an unofficial leader with the arrival of General Grievous of the Separatists, who had his droids execute the other members of the governing Utapaun Committee. Medon served the Separatists while Utapau hosted the members of the Separatist Council, although he secretly supported a resistance movement.
In 19 BBY, the Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi arrived on Utapau, searching for Grievous. Medon met with him in Pau City and quietly informed the Jedi that Grievous was on Utapau, and also provided an overview of the Separatist Droid Army's presence. Kenobi instructed Medon to have his people take shelter and prepare any warriors for battle, and the administrator spread word of the Republic's imminent attack. Medon coordinated the resistance's collaboration with the Grand Army of the Republic, and together they were victorious against Grievous. However, the Republic forces occupied Utapau shortly afterward, and Medon was one of the first Utapauns arrested.
Early life and Separatist occupation
Tion Medon was a Pau'an male from the Outer Rim Territories planet Utapau. He was a direct descendant of Timon Medon, who was credited with uniting the scattered nation-states and cultures on Utapau. On account of his heritage, Medon served as Master of Port Administration for the capital Pau City more than two centuries, prior to 19 BBY, overseeing all major traffic passing through the planet. Medon maintained his ancestor's tradition of diplomatic compromise and was an influential voice in the planet's governing committee, although he was not the main planetary leader.
Utapau maintained neutrality during the Clone Wars between the Galactic Republic and the Confederacy of Independent Systems, and while outwardly sharing that stance, Medon was loyal to the Republic. In the course of the war, the forces of General Grievous, the Supreme Commander of the Separatist Droid Army, arrived on Utapau, to Medon's surprise. Seeing their approach, Medon ordered the outgunned Utapaun Security Forces Porax-38 starfighters into hiding among the depths of space, as well as Utapau's concealed hangars, sinkholes and caves, concealing the planet's true military capabilities. He watched in horror as Grievous's IG-100 MagnaGuards executed the other committee members, making Medon the de facto planetary leader. He led Utapau to surrender, while quietly supporting a resistance movement in Pau City's shadowy levels. The Separatists used Medon's word against his will during the occupation, and Lampay Fay served as his aide during that period.
- "Oh, administrator, just one more thing. If I catch even the scent of a Jedi… I'll make sure this hole you live in will be swallowed by a much larger one."
- ―General Grievous threatens Tion Medon
At one point during the Separatist occupation, Grievous returned to Pau City, clutching several Pau'an hostages and demanding Medon's service. The administrator greeted the general and complied with his demand to store equipment and host the members of the Separatist Council, including Nute Gunray, Po Nudo, Shu Mai, Passel Argente, San Hill, and Poggle the Lesser. Medon promised that his new guests would be taken care of, and Grievous insisted that Utapau would remain under Separatist occupation. The general reminded Medon that any offworld communication would inhibit Grievous's "protection," and instructed Medon to take care of the vessels that were soon to arrive. Medon complied, and before departing, Grievous grabbed Medon by the throat and threated to destroy the sinkhole containing Pau City if he caught wind of any Jedi involvement on Utapau.
In 19 BBY, Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi approached Utapau in pursuit of Grievous, who had become the new Separatist leader with the death of Count Dooku. Medon had been ordered to reveal Grievous's presence as part of a trap. Flanked by his aides Fay and Zyn Javeb and four other robed figures on a landing platform on the city's Civic Level, Medon approached Kenobi's fighter, and the Jedi was surprised at the speed of their meeting, suspecting that he had been expected. Sensing Medon's lack of malice and heightened level of fear through the Force, Kenobi approached the administrator, who introduced himself.
Battle of Utapau
- "Is he bringing additional warriors?"
"He didn't say."
- ―Lampay Fay and Tion Medon, after the latter's conversation with Obi-Wan Kenobi
Medon recognized Kenobi as a Jedi and questioned his purpose on Utapau, and in response to the rising anxiety he sensed in Medon, Kenobi to answer truthfully and told him that the war brought him there. Medon feigned ignorance and insisted that Utapau was a peaceful world, unless the Jedi brought violence with him. After Kenobi revealed that he intended to use Utapau as a staging ground to search for Grievous in nearby systems, Medon ordered three Utai mechanics to refuel Kenobi's fighter. He leaned sideways, creating the appearance of inspecting the underside of Kenobi's fighter, while blocking the view of the windows on the upper levels, from which an IG-100 MagnaGuard was observing Medon and Kenobi's conversation.
Medon stepped forward and whispered that Grievous was on Utapau and that his people were held hostage by the Separatists, with thousands of battle droids occupying the tenth level of the city. Kenobi instructed Medon to allow his people to take shelter and for their warriors to stand ready. The two bowed before Kenobi returned to his ship, instructing his astromech droid R4-G9 to fly his ship away and relay his attack plan to Commander Cody. As they left the landing platform, Fay asked Medon if the Jedi was bringing additional warriors, and the administrator responded that Kenobi had not revealed that information.
Medon met with a MagnaGuard on an observation deck, and the droid demanded to know the Jedi's name. The Pau'an replied that he had not shared that information, lying that Kenobi had only wanted fuel. Medon passed on Kenobi's message to the resistance, recalled the planet's hidden starfighters, and anxiously awaited a signal for the attack to begin. When the battle commenced, Medon placed the Utapaun military in the service of the two brigades of the Grand Army of the Republic, with Utai soldiers augmenting the Republic forces. Kenobi defeated Grievous in single combat, but the victory for Utapau's inhabitants was short-lived. On the orders of Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, secretly the Sith Lord Darth Sidious, the Republic's clone troopers turned on Kenobi and placed Utapau under martial law in the name of Palpatine's new Galactic Empire. Medon's reputation for resourcefulness meant that he was among the first Pau'ans to be imprisoned, along with other members of the Utapaun resistance.
Personality and traits
- "What was his name?"
"He didn't say."
- ―A MagnaGuard questions Tion Medon about Obi-Wan Kenobi's identity
Despite his imposing appearance, Medon had an aristocratic and gentle temperament and longed for peace. He was horrified to witness the deaths of the Utapau Committee members, and was in a state of constant fear under the Separatist occupation. Although he was agreeable to Grievous's demands, Medon supported the resistance movement against the Separatists, and coordinated their alliance with the Republic during the Battle of Utapau. When meeting him, Kenobi could sense Medon's fear rising into panic, suspecting that the Separatists would execute thousands of civilians if the administrator made a false move. Medon's shrewd attention to detail allowed him to provide accurate intelligence concerning the Separatist presence on Utapau. Like all Pau'ans, he preferred darkness to sunlight and consumed raw meat.
Medon spoke Galactic Basic Standard with an accent. His gray skin was caused by a lack of exposure to sunlight, and the skin around his black eyes was red. He stood tall at 2.06 meters (6 feet, 7 inches) and weighed 80 kilograms.
Skills and abilities
Medon's long arms had a wide reach, with which he could deliver a backhanded slap. His ingenuity was well known, which led to his arrest by occupying Republic soldiers after the Battle of Utapau.
During the Clone Wars, Medon wore red floor-length robes, a recent fashion trend, along with a wide belt that supported his bony frame. The front of his robes below his waste had a cascading design of angle metal strips, which had its origins in the Pau'an relocation to Utapau. Medon's robes had a wide lapel collar that extended up to the sides of his head, covering his ear-disks and his sleeves stretched down to his hands. He also carried the Port master's walking stick, which was fashioned from an exotic alloy, and could wield a HB-9 blaster rifle.
Behind the scenes
Development and casting
- "I'm also very happy that we're using Bruce Spence. He's been in absolutely everything you can think of made in Australia! He has the most fantastic face, you know it's impossibly long and thin and very, very gaunt. He kind of looks like an Utapauan before anything's been done to him actually, apart from the grooves that we added. So what I wanted to do was make sure that he came through that makeup, because I think he's got a fantastic face and absolutely is the perfect person for this role."
- ―Creature shop supervisor Dave Elsey, on Bruce Spence's casting as Tion Medon
Tion Medon was created for the prequel trilogy film Star Wars Episode III Revenge of the Sith, written and directed by George Lucas. The design of the Pau'an species, completed by artist Sang Jun Lee, was originally intended to be used for Mustafarians, but the species was moved to Utapau at Lucas's request. It was initially unclear to the film's crew whether Medon would be created using practical makeup or computer-generated effects, with part of the consideration towards computer-generation being given due to concerns about finding actors of an appropriate height and narrow frame. The Pau'ans were created using both methods, with the character of Tion Medon designed to utilize an actor wearing makeup.
Australian actor Bruce Spence's casting as Medon was first revealed in an article published on StarWars.com on June 18 2003, which only identified Spence as playing a helpful alien. By July 10, 2003, Spence had already participated in the creation of a lifecast with the film's creature department. Costume designer Trisha Biggar felt that Spence's height worked appropriately for the character, and creature shop supervisor Dave Elsey was elated to work with Spence, believing his gaunt features made him look uniquely Pau'an even without makeup.
Spence only given basic details about his role in the film but considered the opportunity fortunate. His casting gave him the distinction of appearing in the third entry of each major genre trilogy in production at the time, having appeared as the Mouth of Sauron in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King and as The Trainman in The Matrix Revolutions.
Design and filming
- "I know it sounds sort of convoluted but I thought of things like the wisdom of a gorilla. Often when you look into an old gorilla you see these black piercing eyes. And even though they might be huge animals that could crush you to death to pieces, there's wonderful tenderness and an accumulated wisdom or something in that that I know is primitive but there's something there. And I thought there was also an element of that in Medon's eyes."
- ―Bruce Spence
The lines in Medon's skin were added at Lucas's suggestion and were influenced by an African sculpture, and ritualistic tribal scarring, although artist Robert E. Barnes believed they were initially intended by Lucas to be colored lines like tattoos. Spence spent hours in makeup chairs and completed multiple makeup and costume tests, which he felt allowed him to develop the character as he explored the possible movements of the costume, includingmannerisms and twitches. Spence took Medon's design into account when portraying the character, feeling that the character's dark eyes reminded him of the wisdom and tenderness of a gorilla that might be present behind Medon's imposing appearance. Spence therefore only wore the upper prosthetic teeth in the film. The actor viewed Medon as a revered elder statesman, believing that he would have felt slightly superior to the still young Kenobi. He found help in exploring the character through collaborating with the makeup team and Lucas. At one point during a makeup test, Spence suggested removing the character's bottom row of prosthetic teeth, which he and Elsey agreed was an improved look for the character.
According to Biggar, Medon's costume mixed Aztec clothing design and 1920s aesthetics. Spence found the costume costume design helpful in defining the character's regal nature, leading to him presenting the character as though he carried a religious significance. Knowing Medon was an elderly character, Spence believed that his costume had been accumulated over a long period of time, evolving from past Utapaun administrators. Lucas explained to Spence that Medon spoke in sophisticated tones, leading the actor to portray him with an English accent instead of his natural Australian one.
The scene of Medon's meeting with Kenobi was filmed using multiple takes on August 20, 2003, at Stage 1 of Fox Studios, Sydney. Spence described feeling so comfortable with the makeup and costume by that point that he came to forget he was even wearing them. The other Pau'ans in the same scene only wore slip on masks, as they were not required to have the same level of precision as Medon. Lucas described himself as a fan of Medon's character, appreciating how the film's crew created him practically with makeup and costume design. Producer Rick McCallum praised the understanding of the character that Spence showed upon his arrival on set, and how his performance was able to imply the culture of the Utapaun people.
Appearances and continuity
- "I am Tion Medon, master of port administration for this place of peace. What business could bring a Jedi to our remote sanctuary?"
- ―Tion Medon's alternate dialogue from the Revenge of the Sith novelization
Tion Medon was first depicted and identified in a behind the scenes photograph included in the Prequel Update section of Star Wars Insider 77, a magazine released on July 22, 2004 to subscribers and on newstands on August 3 that year. The character's visage was also used to promote exclusive production photos from the film available online at Hyperspace: The Official Star Wars Fan Club, a subscription service. Medon made his first story appearance in Reversal of Fortune, a Hyperspace exclusive webstrip released from October, 2004, to June, 2005.
Prior to the film's premiere on May 19, 2005, Medon appeared in the second issue of the film's comic adaptation written by Miles Lane, illustrated by Douglas Wheatley, and published by Dark Horse Comics, on March 23, 2005, in which he meets Kenobi on the landing platform without his entourage present. Matthew Stover's novelization of Revenge of the Sith, published on April 2, 2005, contains an extended version of Medon and Kenobi's interaction with dialogue not included in the film. Medon introduces himself to Kenobi and reveals that he was ordered to inform Kenobi of Grievous's presence as part of a trap. In response, Kenobi orders R4-G9 to inform Jedi Command that he is about to attack Grievous. He then turns to Medon and instructs him to tell the Separatists that he only wanted to refuel and make contact with Republic Intelligence. Medon then asks for Kenobi's true intentions, and the Jedi adds that Utapau's warriors need to be ready for battle, as in the film. In the film's junior novelization, published on May 4, 2005, Kenobi does not initially reveal his intentions to Medon, but when the Pau'an enquires to his purposes, the Jedi explains that he is searching for the Droid Army, and the rest of the scene follows the film's dialogue from that point on.
Another Pau'an sharing Medon's surname, Telan Medon, appeared in the forty-ninth issue of the comic series Star Wars: Legacy, which was written by John Ostrander, penciled by Jan Duursema, and released in June 2010.
"Race for the Holocrons"
- "We do have some lovely pre-owned Imperial ships from the old days you might like. This baby belonged to General Grievous. Only drove it on weekends."
- ―Tion Medon, to Luke Skywalker and his companions
Medon, voiced by Trevor Devall, appears in "Race for the Holocrons," the fifth episode of the non-canonical LEGO short film series LEGO Star Wars: The Yoda Chronicles, which aired on June 15, 2014. Following the Battle of Yavin, Jedi Master Yoda and the Force ghost of Kenobi sent Luke Skywalker on a mission to retrieve holocrons to support his journey to become a Jedi. Led by the Force, Skywalker and his companions, Leia Organa, and the droids C-3PO and R2-D2, arrived on Utapau and met with Medon on a high level inside one of Utapau's sinkholes. When the Jedi hopeful enquired about the holocrons Medon initially misheard Skywalker, who repeated the name of the holocrons again, and Medon initially appeared to recognize the name before revealing that he had never heard of them.
Ignoring Skywalker's disappointment, Medon directed his attention to several second-hand pre-Imperial vehicles available for purchase, including a Star Courier, a V-wing starfighter, a vulture droid, a Jedi interceptor, an SS-54 assault ship, and a Tsmeu-6 personal wheel bike. Medon highlighted the wheel bike, stating that it had belonged to Grievous, who had only used it on weekends. Organa declined Medon's offer, and shortly afterward Skywalker kicked a rock in frustration, hitting a wild varactyl that attacked Skywalker and his companions, knocking Organa and the droids into the sinkhole.
Skywalker leapt in after them and used the Force to quickly assemble a bridge from falling debris, saving his friends while the varactyl continued plummetting. When the creature began climbing back up the sinkhole, Skywalker used the Force to launch his group back onto the level where Medon stood, now accompanied by a crowd of Utai. Medon and the crowd cheered at Skywalker's feat, but Organa quickly noticed that the varactyl still pursued them, and Skywalker asked Medon for a test drive of the V-wing starfighter while running towards it. Medon asked for Skywalker's driver's licence, but he responded that there was no time. Medon and the Utai watched as the varactyl climbed onto their level and leapt onto the starfighter, but Skywalker was able to knock it down into the sinkhole and fly offworld to search for the holocrons on the planet Tatooine.
- Reversal of Fortune (First appearance)
- Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith novelization
- Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith unabridged audiobook
- Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
- Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith junior novel
- Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith: The Movie Storybook
- Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith 2
- Obi-Wan's Foe