- "My goodness, stop blathering. I do not handle business like some other crime lords do. I think this can be settled quietly. I understand that the shipment was lost. Consider yourself on probation, and report for your next assignment. The value of the cargo will be deducted from your cut of this new shipment. This time."
- ―Lady Valarian, to an employee
Lady Valarian was a female Whiphid from Toola who became a crime boss and Jabba Desilijic Tiure's main competitor on Tatooine. Her parents were both gangsters on Toola, though when they were imprisoned for life she took up a criminal life of her own. She eventually traveled to Mos Eisley on Tatooine and purchased the Lucky Despot, an old cargo hauler that had been refitted as a hotel and cantina. She found stern opposition to her presence from Jabba the Hutt, but the two criminals eventually reached accords; privately, however, they still despised and sought to ruin each other.
In 0 BBY, Valarian arranged to wed famous Whiphid bounty hunter D'Wopp, and organized an elaborate ceremony and reception in the Lucky Despot. When D'Wopp accepted a bounty on Han Solo posted by Jabba during the wedding, Valarian attacked and killed him, starting a massive brawl. Stormtroopers eventually arrived to raid the hotel; Valarian's illegal gambling was discovered and her wedding, already a fiasco, was stopped. Valarian had D'Wopp shipped home in tiny pieces, though she was determined to continue her criminal operations and usurp Jabba. She had a former lover, J'Quille, among others, infiltrate Jabba's Palace and attempt to kill the Hutt, though in the end he was killed by Leia Organa during the Battle of the Great Pit of Carkoon. Valarian attempted to take control of Jabba's organization, and although she encountered many difficulties, the Whiphid eventually seized command of Tatooine's criminal affairs. She made a pact with the New Republic, and was still active during the Yuuzhan Vong War.
Biography[edit | edit source]
Early life[edit | edit source]
Valarian was born to two Whiphid gangsters on the ice planet Toola during the waning years of the Old Republic. She was considered to be very attractive for a member of her species, with a thick pelt of golden and white fur, with numerous red tints. Valarian was brought up to view crime as a way of life, and from a very young age she had an illustrious criminal record. When her parents were put behind bars for committing a grievous crime, Valarian fled Toola, struck out on her own, and began to establish a criminal empire of her own. A competent and wily businessbeing, her operation flourished and spread to several systems. Valarian, however, wanted more.
The Lucky Despot[edit | edit source]
In the early years of the Galactic Empire, Valarian, aged just over twenty standard years—young for a Whiphid— arrived on the Outer Rim Territories world of Tatooine, hoping to establish new business ventures. Styling herself "Lady" Valarian, she set her sights on a battered old cargo hauler that had previously been a hotel and casino named the Lucky Despot, located in Mos Eisley. Valarian hoped to use it as a base in which to operate her growing criminal empire. Although she knew that Tatooine already had one crime lord, Jabba Desilijic Tiure, Valarian decided to go ahead with her plans, and after a few well-placed bribes, obtained ownership of the vessel.
To Valarian's immense surprise and frustration, however, Jabba the Hutt did have qualms about her setting up shop on his planet. Valarian discovered that the ship had never actually been decommissioned, so she had to pay exorbitant taxes on the property and apply for permits and licenses needed to operate a passenger liner. Jabba also used his influence to bar the Whiphid from obtaining liquor and gambling licenses; though she did eventually manage to bribe officials into allowing her to sell alcohol, she never got a gambling license. Instead, she used holographic sabacc tables that were only activated at nighttime. Valarian did not care much for paperwork and formalities, so she decided to open her nightclub and casino despite Jabba's objections. The Hutt responded by ordering his underlings to attack the Lucky Despot and its patrons, and also attempted to derail Valarian's plans with legal wrangling. Eventually, however, the two criminals reached an agreement: Valarian would pay off Jabba to cease his attacks and would ensure that her operation remained too small to pose a serious threat to his. In return, the Hutt warned her in advance of any police raids to search for illegal gambling. Valarian was extremely careful not to tie herself to any criminal deeds, so that the authorities would have nothing against her.
While Jabba did uphold his agreement and forewarn Valarian of any planned raids, he continued to bar her from procuring a gambling license. The truce between the two was shaky at best, and they both continually plotted to eliminate the other, constantly testing each other's defenses. Despite this, Valarian was always cautious in her plans, fearing retribution from Jabba and his associates. Valarian did plan to overthrow Jabba eventually, but was content to bide her time and wait for a suitable opportunity; being second best did not perturb her, because she knew that she would eventually take Jabba's throne. Valarian pumped little additional funds into her hotel casino, and as a result it became quite shabby and run down in appearance, though it did have a reputation for excellent food. Most of Valarian's time was spent selling illicit goods, arms, slaves, and information, though she also invested much resources into learning what Jabba was up to at all times and in hassling him with her force of thugs. In response, Jabba tasked his chief of security, Ephant Mon, with ruining Valarian.
Because she was believed to be a fairer and more reasonable employer than Jabba, Valarian had no trouble finding thugs and mercenaries to work for her, and by the time of the establishment of the Alliance to Restore the Republic, she had many outposts dotted throughout Tatooine, as well as a palace in Mos Entha. In 2 BBY, when Jabba left Ephant Mon in charge of his operations while he attended to business on Nal Hutta, Valarian attempted to take advantage and began encroaching on the Hutt's territory. Jabba eventually returned and put a stop to it, however. Around the same time, Valarian recovered a former assassin droid of Jabba's, named E522, which had been smeared in meat and pitted against his pet rancor after it had insulted one of his clients. Hoping to spite Jabba, Valarian had the droid rebuilt from its scrap, and although it lacked its original weaponry, it performed well as a bodyguard and errand runner. Also to Jabba's consternation, she built a base in the Dragon's Spine asteroid field in the Tatoo system, where she kept a military presence. The Kubaz information broker Garindan sold his information to both Jabba and Valarian; the expert spy remained neutral by serving both equally—if he sold Valarian information on Jabba, he usually sold Jabba information on Valarian in exchange.
Disastrous wedding[edit | edit source]
- "My mate and I shall celebrate my glorious return. She is Whiphid. She will understand."
In 0 BBY, Valarian procured a mate from her homeworld, a renowned Whiphid hunter named D'Wopp. The two agreed to marry, and Valarian went about organizing a huge wedding in the Lucky Despot. The pair planned to spend their honeymoon hunting Krayt dragons, even though it meant crossing Jabba's territory. Valarian hired famed musician Max Rebo and his band—former players for Jabba the Hutt and Valarian's favorite musical group—to provide entertainment for the wedding. Days before the planned wedding, Kardue'sai'Malloc, a local Devaronian drunk, met with Valarian in her office to speak with her about her wedding music. A huge music enthusiast, Malloc hoped to trick Valarian into allowing him to see his favorite band, the Modal Nodes; he asked the Whiphid if she would let it be said that a band that Jabba fired played at her wedding, while the Hutt employed the best in the business. Furious at the thought of losing face to Jabba, Valarian sent E522 to the Hutt's desert citadel to offer the Modal Nodes three thousand credits to play at her wedding reception.
Figrin D'an, the lead musician in the band, agreed to Valarian's offer, and the Modal Nodes set up shop in the Lucky Despot a day before the wedding was planned to take place. Valarian's guests arrived the next day, including D'Wopp, who had never been to Mos Eisley previously. Among her guests were various criminals from throughout the galaxy, Whiphid relatives, and other, more unwelcome guests: a group of Jabba's henchmen. The wedding went as planned, and Valarian and D'Wopp tied the knot, before the reception began in the Star Chamber Café. The Modal Nodes proved immensely popular, and the two Whiphid lovers danced for a time, until Valarian left D'Wopp momentarily to conduct some business.
Valarian had been played by Kardue'sai'Malloc, however. The Devaronian had contacted Jabba and told him of Valarian's theft of his band, and provided the Hutt with details on his competitor's wedding arrangements. Furious, Jabba sent an agent of his to try and break up the wedding, while also neglecting to inform Valarian of an impending Imperial raid. While Valarian took a several minute break from the festivities to deal with business, a Duros under Jabba's employ approached D'Wopp and told him of the bounty Jabba had placed on Corellian smuggler Han Solo's head. D'Wopp, keen to prove his hunting prowess on his new planet of residence, decided to leave and search for Solo there and then; Valarian would understand, he told himself.
Valarian was incensed that D'Wopp would accept a bounty on such an important occasion. When she learned what had happened as D'Wopp was about to depart, she began flinging insults at him. The two clashed and a massive brawl ensued right in front of Figrin D'an's bandstand; spurred on by Jabba's various henchmen, dozens of guests became embroiled in the fight. In the middle of the brawl, a squad of Imperial stormtroopers arrived to search the hotel for any illegal gambling. Valarian's employees were unable to deactivate the holotables in time, and the Imperials discovered them. When many made a mad dash to escape, the stormtroopers began firing on Valarian's guests. During the brawl, Valarian killed D'Wopp, and she was eventually left without a husband, band, or any method of gambling.
Later, Valarian had D'Wopp's body ground into little pieces and shipped back to Toola. Some parts of his body never made it back, though only Valarian and her chef knew exactly what became of them. Valarian's hotel started to go downhill; the fish in the aquariums perished, and the place became less clean and more grubby as the Galactic Civil War progressed. Valarian lusted for revenge against Jabba.
Plotting against Jabba[edit | edit source]
- "The Hutt blocks me at every move. He wrecks my operations, sics the law hounds on me, steals my business, sucks me dry with payoffs."
- ―Valarian, to Ephant Mon
As the war between the Empire and the Rebel Alliance progressed, relations between Valarian and Jabba nosedived, and the two began continually assaulting each other's operations. Jabba had many of the Whiphid's depots and bases attacked, while Ephant Mon managed to hijack some of her secret financial records. Jabba also set a squad of hitmen after Valarian; she responded by having his prime enforcer in Mos Eisley, Arrud Barsoomu, killed. Later, Valarian realized that a former agent of hers, Una Githori, had turned traitor and was providing Jabba with secrets; the Whiphid had a spacer sent after Githori, who killed the turncoat informant.
Impressed with the spacer, Valarian hired the individual for several additional jobs; she had the spacer kill a Rodian spice dealer, Kavas Urdano, who was encroaching on her territory. Later, the spacer decimated a gang of Desert Banshees and killed their leader, Kilth Saanu, and killed a Chadra-Fan assassin named Duska Murgo. In response to many acts of Valarian's against him, Jabba ordered a hit squad to kill her, though Valarian's trusted spacer defeated them. For the spacer's actions, she awarded the individual an ornate dagger, but decided she no longer needed the spacer's services. The spacer later turned on Valarian, working for Jabba to hunt down hordes of her personnel throughout Tatooine.
At some point, Lady Valarian finally tried to have Jabba assassinated. To do so, she assembled a team of elite off-world specialists, namely the weaponsmith Arkahn Greystar, the slicer Iris Tanada Sinclair, the warlord Careem, the tactician Fnast Drexler, and the assassin Emanon. However, the Hutt crime lord discovered the plot and Jabba's henchmen killed Lady Valarian's team during an assault on the Valarian Strategic Command Bunker.
Although she decided she had no use for men after her wedding fiasco, Valarian acquired a new lover sometime prior to 4 ABY: J'Quille, another Whiphid hunter from Toola. Valarian never had any real affection for J'Quille, and only ever intended to use him as a pawn, but J'Quille loved her immensely. The two had a public "falling out," which was merely a ruse to get J'Quille inside Jabba's Palace. The plan worked, and J'Quille was able to infiltrate Jabba's den without arousing any suspicion, with the intention of finding a way to kill Jabba; he took with him one of Valarian's ornamental vibroblades, which was in truth a secret holographic communication device that allowed the two to converse. However, J'Quille was only able to use the communicator irregularly, for fear of being discovered. In the several months he was undercover, J'Quille did little to aid Valarian, aside from bribing one of Jabba's assistant cooks, Phlegmin, to add slow-acting poison to the Hutt's food.
J'Quille was not the only spy Valarian attempted to recruit; she also had at least one member of the B'omarr Order, a group of religious beings who had built Jabba's Palace seven hundred years prior, acting as an informant, as well as numerous droids and other beings. Valarian also made efforts to recruit Ephant Mon, Jabba's most trusted henchman, to her cause—she and the Chevin had much in common, and both enjoyed each other's company. Despite Valarian's lucrative offers, however, Mon continually refused. Around 3 ABY, Valarian acquired the spying services of Sy Snootles, a member of the Max Rebo Band who had been rehired to play in Jabba's Court, though Snootles eventually reported Valarian's offer to Jabba. One successful spy Valarian had in Jabba's Palace was a U2-C1-series housekeeping droid, which delivered covert messages for the Whiphid, using its vacuum arms to prevent eavesdropping.
During the same time period, an employee of Jabba's—Malakili, the beast keeper—approached Valarian in the Lucky Despot. Malakili had grown discontent with Jabba's treatment of him and the rancor, and offered Valarian insider knowledge on Jabba's dungeons and back passageways in exchange for passage off-world. The Whiphid was uninterested, though when Malakili mentioned that he was charged with looking after Jabba's rancor, she saw an opportunity to cause the Hutt great embarrassment. She agreed to Malakili's demand, and arranged for a transport to collect the Human and the rancor from Jabba's Palace. She had Malakili insert a micro camera into Jabba's throne room so she could see her competitor's reaction when his rancor disappeared. J'Quille was able to arrange the pickup and help Malakili set up the camera, one of his few endeavors while undercover in Jabba's Palace.
In 4 ABY, several months after his insertion into Jabba's Palace, J'Quille contacted Valarian to inform her of a problem in the palace. Someone had learned of his bribing Phlegmin and had begun to blackmail him; when Phlegmin was found dead, J'Quille became extremely worried and felt it prudent to contact Valarian. The female Whiphid was annoyed at her supposed former lover; communication was very risky, and she only wanted to hear about Jabba's death. She also had another male companion with her at the time. Valarian was about to inform J'Quille of her B'omarr monk spy, who she suspected may have killed Phlegmin, but their call was interrupted by a disturbance in Jabba's throne room, and J'Quille had to leave.
Things went awry soon thereafter. Just minutes before the beast's planned escape, the rancor was killed by Rebel Alliance hero Luke Skywalker; around the same time, J'Quille killed Valarian's B'omarr spy, erroneously believing him to have been the blackmailer. However, Skywalker and his allies were able to kill Jabba, destroying his sail barge and taking many of his trusted lieutenants to the grave with him.
Taking control[edit | edit source]
Valarian wasted no time in capitalizing on Jabba's death. She quickly began to take over many of his previous operations, and attempted to hire many of his older smugglers; she was not without competition, however, and lost many potential customers and smugglers to Talon Karrde, Big Bunji, and others. Most of those who drifted into Karrde's employ left Tatooine, while other former Jabba employees traveled to Hutt Space to work for the Desilijic Clan. After several years, Valarian was the only major crime lord remaining on Tatooine. She knew she had two options to lure criminals to choose her over other crime lords: she could keep them in fear as Jabba had, or become a far more benevolent employer. She opted for the latter route, awarding her smugglers with many rewards and arranging with the authorities to allow her employees to come and go as they pleased, buying their loyalty with currencies Jabba had never used.
Valarian proved extremely successful, and her influence reached far and wide. When the Rebel Alliance's successor, the New Republic, arrived on Tatooine hoping to establish their governance of the planet, Valarian made huge profit on water, power, land, and shipping rights, while also arranging tax-exempt status with the New Republic. The Whiphid also negotiated deals with them on her legal commerce; after several years, Valarian had become one of the richest individuals in the system. Part of her deal with the New Republic included that she be given a city council seat in Mos Entha, the new capital city, so that she would have a voice in the governing of Tatooine. Although most of the government was not happy with her presence, as long as she did not embarrass Mos Entha's mayor with any foiled criminal operations, she was allowed to keep her post. Valarian honored this agreement, and eventually became something of a celebrity on Tatooine, even though most knew of her illegal operations. Valarian relied on corruption and "looking the other way" to keep her criminal organization afloat, though scavenging what was left of Jabba's fortunes was another of her primary concerns: she had many of her thugs attempt to raid the treasures left in Jabba's dormant palace, though the B'omarr monks ensured they never returned from the palace.
While Valarian put great effort into ensuring she did not become what Jabba had, increasing pressure meant she was unable to stay as disassociated from her criminal deeds as she would have wished while she cracked down on her own people. Jabba's relatives were showing an increased interest in returning to Tatooine, and many of Valarian's employees who had previously worked for Jabba turned against her—several assassination attempts, many coming from within the ranks of her own organization, narrowly failed. Living in fear, the Whiphid had her palace in Mos Entha converted into a heavily fortified near-fortress. Valarian realized that she was living as Jabba had done in his final days: constantly fending off attacks, uncovering plots, and pitting conspirators against each other. Valarian was growing old, and wished to be less involved in her criminal affairs; she also knew that should she be killed before ensuring she had an able successor, her entire organization would be taken over by the Hutts and things would return to the way they had been under Jabba. Thus, she searched for a protégé to groom as her heir.
Later life[edit | edit source]
Valarian found the protégé she had been looking for in Shiri'ani, a young Twi'lek female who had been left homeless after Jabba's death. Shiri'ani had been hired by Jabba's majordomo, Bib Fortuna, to serve as a dancer in the Hutt's palace, but Jabba had been killed and Fortuna had went missing before she arrived; Shiri'ani was able to escape and lived on the streets of Mos Eisley for a time. Believing that the Twi'lek might know of Jabba's hidden treasure vaults—which was not the case—Valarian hired Shiri'ani as a dancer in the Lucky Despot. Shiri'ani quickly demonstrated her keen grasp of business, and before long she had been elevated to barmaid and later to assistant manager by an impressed Valarian.
Valarian took special interest in her Twi'lek assistant, and began training her to take over the Whiphid's operations when the time came for Valarian to retire. By the time Shiri'ani reached adulthood, Valarian had taught her the tools of the trade: manipulation, negotiation, and the ability to keep others eating out of her hands. After a time, Valarian decided that her protégé should establish a cantina of her own; Shiri'ani purchased a run down bulk freighter—practically a duplicate of the Lucky Despot—in Mos Entha and converted it into a casino and hotel, just as Valarian had done over a decade beforehand. Named the Lucky Star, it was an immediate success as both a hotel and as Shiri'ani's headquarters for her various illegal ventures. But while Valarian trusted Shiri'ani and hoped she would become her heir, the Twi'lek had begun to plot against her. Shiri'ani's associate, Firith Olan—actually Bib Fortuna occupying Olan's body—managed to turn her against Valarian, and the Twi'lek began plotting how she would usurp the Whiphid.
Around the same time, a Hutt named Herogga rose to prominence in Mos Entha, and emerged as a serious rival to Valarian's criminal empire. Herogga was extremely secretive, so much so that even his most trusted lieutenants never saw him in the flesh. His operations were quite successful, and he and Valarian—with Shiri'ani at her side—became embroiled in an underground war, each side determined to wipe out the other. With the outbreak of the Yuuzhan Vong War in 25 ABY and the ruination of the Hutt homeworld, Nal Hutta, three years later, many Hutts fled to Tatooine to take up residence on the desert planet. Valarian was left with more competition than ever before, though she hoped to make a profit out of the Yuuzhan Vong invasion.
Personality and traits[edit | edit source]
Valarian liked to be seen as a fair and approachable employer, and she purposely treated her employees with great respect, giving them reason to stay working with and loyal to her. Her ethos was the opposite of her rival, Jabba's; he ruled through fear and oppression, while she ruled through esteem. Thwim, one of Valarian's security guards, viewed her as a great employer and a warm creature overall. She was extremely ambitious, resourceful, and persistent; while many would have packed up and left Tatooine in her place after Jabba's opposition to her presence, she carried on, eventually making a life for herself.
However, Valarian was also very aggressive and vengeful, and never let any acts against her go unpunished. When D'Wopp angered her at their wedding, she attacked him, ultimately killing him for one insignificant act. After that, she had no need for men, though she was not averse to seducing and using them when necessary. Valarian's ultimate desire was money, and she cared little for how exactly she got her hands on it. She was also known to be cautious in her initial dealings with Jabba, fearing retribution. Valarian was considered very beautiful on her homeworld, and she put great pride into her appearance. She was known to wear jewellery on her tusks, which she often painted in different colors. She also tinted her mane various shades and had it curled constantly, and used strong smelling perfumes.
Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]
The character of Valarian was created by Martin Wixted and Bill Smith, as part of the Galaxy Guide 7: Mos Eisley sourcebook for Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game. Some backstory was provided in the book, though Valarian mainly served as a character to be used by gamemasters. She went unused until Kathy Tyers featured her in a short story named We Don't Do Weddings: The Band's Tale, which was collected in the Tales from the Mos Eisley Cantina anthology. We Don't Do Weddings was one of the first of the short stories in Tales from the Mos Eisley Cantina to be written, so Daniel Keys Moran based his own contribution, Empire Blues: The Devaronian's Tale, which also featured Valarian, around Tyers's story. Valarian has since been mentioned in several other sources, including several short stories compiled in Tales from Jabba's Palace, the short story Spare Parts, Rebel Dawn, and The New Essential Guide to Characters. Secrets of Tatooine, a sourcebook for the Star Wars Roleplaying Game, provides much information on Valarian's later life after Jabba's death.
Although Valarian is described as having fur with golden and white color in The Essential Guide to Characters, Valarian's card in the Topps' Star Wars Finest set shows Valarian with blue fur. However, the chrome covered version of the card has a gold tint to it.
Appearances[edit | edit source]
- Rebel Dawn (Mentioned only)
- We Don't Do Weddings: The Band's Tale (First appearance)
- We Don't Do Weddings: The Band's Tale audio drama
- Empire Blues: The Devaronian's Tale
- Play It Again, Figrin D'an: The Tale of Muftak and Kabe (Mentioned only)
- "Spare Parts"—Star Wars Adventure Journal 11 (Mentioned only)
- Swap Meet: The Jawa's Tale (Mentioned only)
- Nightlily: The Lovers' Tale audio drama (Mentioned only)
- A Boy and His Monster: The Rancor Keeper's Tale
- Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided
- (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars Galaxies Trading Card Game – Squadrons Over Corellia (Festival of Love promotional scenario)
- (Mentioned only)
- And the Band Played On: The Band's Tale (Mentioned only)
- That's Entertainment: The Tale of Salacious Crumb (Mentioned only)
- Of the Day's Annoyances: Bib Fortuna's Tale (Mentioned only)
- Sleight of Hand: The Tale of Mara Jade (Mentioned only)
- Out of the Closet: The Assassin's Tale (Mentioned only)
- The Great God Quay: The Tale of Barada and the Weequays (Mentioned only)
- Let Us Prey: The Whiphid's Tale (Appears in hologram)
- A Free Quarren in the Palace: Tessek's Tale (Mentioned only)
- Old Friends: Ephant Mon's Tale
- Epilogue: Whatever Became Of...? (Mentioned only)
- Tatooine Ghost (Mentioned only)
- Young Jedi Knights: Trouble on Cloud City (Mentioned only)
- The New Jedi Order: Agents of Chaos I: Hero's Trial (Mentioned only)
Sources[edit | edit source]
Notes and references[edit | edit source]
- The Essential Guide to Characters
- Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided
- Old Friends: Ephant Mon's Tale
- Galaxy Guide 7: Mos Eisley
- Secrets of Tatooine
- Ultimate Alien Anthology
- We Don't Do Weddings: The Band's Tale
- The New Essential Guide to Alien Species
- Star Wars Encyclopedia
- Tatooine Ghost
- Star Wars Galaxies
- Rebel Dawn
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 11 (GAR2, Garindan)
- We Don't Do Weddings: The Band's Tale audio drama
- Empire Blues: The Devaronian's Tale
- Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided—Quest: "Jabba's Palace : Jabba The Hutt" on Tatooine
- Let Us Prey: The Whiphid's Tale
- And the Band Played On: The Band's Tale
- The Essential Guide to Droids, 42.
- A Boy and His Monster: The Rancor Keeper's Tale
- The New Jedi Order: Agents of Chaos I: Hero's Trial
- Daniel Keys Moran's blog
- Star Wars Finest card #54.