- "My critics have often scoffed that I cannot see the galaxy for the systems, for I tend to get bogged down on individual personalities. I believe the smallest pieces are as important as the whole they make, which is why I approach history—even current history—from the individuals who help create it."
- ―Voren Na'al
Voren Na'al was a prominent Human male historian in the service of the Alliance to Restore the Republic and its various successor governments. He began his career as a reporter for the Galactic News Service. His experiences and imprisonment during the Imperial overthrow of the government of Corsin drove him into the arms of the Alliance. There, after a stint as a spy, he became a historian under Master Historian Arhul Hextrophon, tasked with compiling the histories of the Heroes of Yavin. Na'al traveled to Tatooine and Galvoni III to acquire information and context on the events preceding the battle, and conducted interviews with the participants, submitting the information in a report to Hextrophon. Subsequent reports included an attempt to discover the truth behind Han Solo and Chewbacca's adventures on Aduba-3, a 168,000-DSU report on the Rebel Alliance for Mon Mothma, an account of the events surrounding the Battle of Hoth and the tribulations of the Heroes of Yavin afterward, a piece on the Battle of Turak IV, and a report on the Battle of Endor.
With the dawn of the New Republic, Na'al's historical works led him to continued advancement. He became the Director of New Republic Council Research and Assistant Historian to the Republic, and he created reports on Grand Admiral Thrawn's and the resurrected Palpatine's campaigns, as well as of Han Solo's experiences in the Corporate Sector years before. He also compiled the Oral History of the New Republic, and later edited and annotated "Ten Years After: Notes on the Mature Organizational and Administrative Structure of the New Republic," an article by the Chief Historian of the Kellmer Institute.
Na'al retired as Head of New Republic Council Research, becoming a history professor and marrying former deep-cover spy Rivoche Tarkin, with whom he had several children. After the Yuuzhan Vong War, he became archivist emeritus of the Historical Council of the Galactic Federation of Free Alliances, in which capacity he supervised the release of the second edition of an important historical chronicle.
- "That's very interesting, but what does it really mean?"
- ―Voren Na'al
Voren Na'al was the son of a Human family devastated by the Clone Wars. Na'al lost grandparents, aunts, and uncles in that conflict that he never had the opportunity to meet. As a result, he carried some prejudice regarding the idea of cloning into adulthood. Even as a boy, he was interested in the causes of galactic events. History and journalism became hobbies of his, nurtured by his journalism teacher, Arhul Hextrophon.
His hobbies soon blossomed into a fledgling career, as Na'al became a stringer for the Galactic News Service. On the planet Corsin in the Greater Plooriod Cluster, Na'al was first exposed to the depredations of the Galactic Empire. Na'al was fortunate to get an assignment covering the prestigious swoop races there. While covering the opening matches, a platoon of stormtroopers burst into the press area and placed everyone under arrest. Na'al was kept in a detention cell for three weeks, visited only occasionally by an interrogation droid that asked no questions. No reasons were ever given for his incarceration, but later, Na'al discovered that the Galactic Empire had deposed the government of the world and replaced it with one dedicated to the New Order, dispensing with civil rights and placing the entire population under a police state. The imprisonment of the journalists had been a method of keeping them silent.
Na'al was disturbed by this event, and realized he had two options: quit reporting and ignore the growing tyranny of the Empire, or go all-out and show the galaxy what the Empire was becoming. Before he had the opportunity to pursue the more reckless path, he had a chance encounter with his old teacher, Arhul Hextrophon. Hextrophon had been with the Alliance to Restore the Republic since its inception, and convinced Na'al that the young reporter could make a difference in the Galactic Civil War by joining the Rebellion.
Historian for the RebellionEdit
- "It has long been a maxim of my profession that those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it."
- ―Voren Na'al
Na'al was initially made a spy, but was soon placed in the Historian Corp, a special Rebel squad under Major Hextrophon, the Alliance's Master Historian. While still freshly recruited, Na'al made the acquaintance of a Rebel-sympathizing Imperial cadet named Biggs Darklighter. When Darklighter discovered that Rivoche Tarkin, the niece of Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin, was quite willing to spy for the Alliance, he put her in contact with Na'al. Rivoche's precarious position as a deep-cover spy meant that Na'al was one of the few Rebels who knew of her existence, and also one of the most vocal advocates for extracting her before the Empire realized her role.
Within a few years of joining the Rebellion, Na'al had earned the rank of Lieutenant. He and Hextrophon were at Massassi Outpost on Yavin 4 following the Alliance's victory over the Empire's Death Star battlestation at the Battle of Yavin. After the battle, they participated in the ceremony awarding the Medal of Bravery to Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Chewbacca. Na'al was responsible for bearing one of the medals, which General Jan Dodonna handed to Princess Leia Organa of Alderaan, who awarded it to Skywalker.
Hextrophon assigned Na'al to write an account of the Battle of Yavin and the events surrounding it, for inclusion into the Official History of the Rebellion, Volume One. Starting from the Rebel base at Thila, Na'al took a circuitous route via Yuga 2 and the Kuari Princess to Tatooine to begin his research, under the guise of being a reporter for the Imperial News Bureau. On Tatooine, he encountered the Squib trader Macemillian-winduarté and his business partner, the Jawa Aguilae, trying to peddle two droids, which Na'al succumbed to purchasing. By chance, these droids happened to be R5-D4 and an EG-6 power droid, both of which had been present when Jawas had captured and subsequently sold the droids R2-D2 and C-3PO to Skywalker's family. After thoroughly cleaning the two droids and interviewing them for all relevant information, he gave the power droid to a needy moisture farmer, and sold R5-D4 to Tour Aryon's assistant administrator, where the droid spied for the Alliance. While in Mos Eisley, he sought out Chalmun's Spaceport Cantina, and interviewed several of the patrons therein.
He then traveled to the Imperial bureaucratic hub of Galvoni III, where he sliced into restricted computer files at the Imperial Records Office to acquire an overview of the first Death Star and its crew, only narrowly escaping capture. Upon his return to Thila, Na'al conducted interviews with the Heroes of Yavin themselves, including an interview with Luke Skywalker conducted from the gunner's seat of Skywalker's airspeeder during a patrol of the planet. All the information he acquired on his journey was compiled in a report to Hextrophon.
At some point following the Battle of Yavin, individuals on Tatooine were accused of being Na'al and his companions, and subsequently wanted for questioning by the planet's Imperial authorities. Imperial Prefect Eugene Talmont was investigating a datatape left by Na'al on a prior journey to Tatooine, and hoped to interrogate the suspects so he would not have to spend time decoding the tapes. Encouraged to bribe Imperial government agent Beeyon Nace for information at Chalmun's Cantina, the suspects learned that the Prefect placed a 1000 bounty on Na'al. Learning Talmont kept the tapes within the planet's Regional Government Offices, the suspects subsequently broke into the building in order to tamper with them. The tapes were decoded, and Talmont found their apparent contents—a result of the individuals' tampering—to be completely worthless, and the suspects were let go in what was considered a case of mistaken identity.
Impressed with his work, Hextrophon tasked Na'al with generating an executive summary of a 168,000-DSU report on the growth, organization, equipment, activities and objectives of the Alliance for Mon Mothma. Na'al completed the summary in 3 ABY.
Na'al was relocated from the base on Thila to Echo Base on Hoth. General Carlist Rieekan, realizing his job as a historian was largely a passive one, put him to work, first on courier duty delivering messages between ranking personnel while the station's communication equipment was still being adapted to the cold, and later in other noncombatant capacities.
He was present in the command center when Bervin, a Rebel maintaining watch from one of the base's many perimeter posts, sent in a brief, panicked comlink call. He accompanied Major Bren Derlin to Bervin's post, only to find the sentry gone, with a blood trail leading through a caved-in wall into the Hoth night. Further attacks on sentries occurred, followed by the actual assault: a pack of Wampas bursting through the snowy walls of the base, driven into berserk rages by the high-pitched acoustic signaling of the base's astromech droids. The beasts outside Echo Base were driven off by the determination and weaponry of the Rebel forces, while the ones that had made it into the base were rounded up with recordings of the droids, stunned to incapacitation, and penned in non-vital areas.
Na'al was again in the command center when General Solo brought in the remains of the self-destructed Viper probe droid. As a noncombatant, Na'al was supposed to evacuate aboard the Rebel transport Quantum Storm, the first transport off the icy world. Instead, he remained behind, assisting the evacuation efforts of the other transports and gathering holo-recordings of the Battle of Hoth from the trenches, though before long he discarded his holorecorder and datapad for the comfort of a blaster rifle. In the course of the battle, he broke his ankle in a cave-in, but successfully made it to the Thon's Orchard, one of the final transports to escape. He waited patiently at the rendezvous point for the Heroes of Yavin, who eventually arrived, allowing him to continue his research and write a detailed account of their travails. For his part in the Battle of Hoth, he was awarded the Mantooine medal of bravery, and his recordings helped Rebel tacticians analyze the battle.
Several years after the Battle of Turak IV, Na'al was tasked with researching the events of the battle. Na'al interviewed Commander Torv Keist, a survivor of the Hitak Harriers, the Rebel unit that participated in the battle. Na'al also infiltrated the Halowan trans-system data storage library by posing as an agent of the Fakir sector's moff, in order to gather information on the forces of General Maltaz, including the two battalions of the Hell's Hammers that were involved in the attack on Turak IV.
Following the difficult battles of 3 and 4 ABY, Na'al wrote detailed accounts of the Battle of Hoth and the Battle of Endor, which joined his record of Yavin. He brought news of the death of Emperor Palpatine to Tatooine during the celebration that followed Diew Rejeff's return to Mos Eisley.
- "I'm a little too old to be hopping around the Outer Rim like an overzealous kid."
- ―Voren Na'al
After the events at Endor, Na'al was tasked with presenting the report to the Provisional Council of the Alliance of Free Planets regarding the Invasion of Bakura. Na'al's report, the conclusions of which advocated suppressing information about the Ssi-ruuk to the galaxy at large and committing a task force to negotiate with the Ssi-ruuvi Imperium from a position of strength, was provocative, leading to a challenge by Councilor Borsk Fey'lya that Na'al rebuffed.
Following the believed death of Boba Fett and the Alliance's confiscation of his starship, Slave I, Na'al was in a position to influence what happened to the vessel. Lando Calrissian attempted to persuade Na'al that the ship should be rented to carnivals. Na'al was nearly convinced by Calrissian's idea, but Admiral Ackbar vetoed the plan.
When Moff Abran Balfour was deposed by the Laramus Base Irregulars mercenary organization, Na'al was dispatched to Parmic sector to examine the Moff's stronghold and any Imperial records stored there. While sifting through those files, he accidentally triggered a defense mechanism which opened a trapdoor, dropping him into the midst of Balfour's menagerie and leading the timid historian to loudly scream in a manner humorous to the Irregulars. According to General Airen Cracken, this made Na'al "uniquely qualified to discuss nonsentient life forms," a joke which Na'al did not find very funny.
Prior to the Liberation of Coruscant, Na'al interviewed Wedge Antilles regarding the life of Baron Soontir Fel for the historian's Oral History of the New Republic. This work also contained an interview with General Lando Calrissian regarding his victory over Norulac pirates at the Battle of Taanab.
Voren Na'al was eventually promoted to the positions of Director of New Republic Council Research and Assistant Historian to the Republic. He compiled reports on the campaigns of Grand Admiral Thrawn against the New Republic as well of those of the cloned Palpatine. He also began growing close to former New Republic Intelligence Service agent Rivoche Tarkin, who provided him with firsthand accounts of the devastation of Coruscant in her new profession as journalist. Shortly after the Battle of Mon Calamari, Na'al interviewed Han Solo on New Ralltiir regarding his exploits in the Corporate Sector, hoping to gather information useful to New Republic forces expanding into that region. He prepared for this interview by compiling a report on Solo's Imperial Navy career from records captured by New Republic Intelligence at the Ompersan data vault; he later sent this information to Hextrophon. At some point following the final defeat of Palpatine, Na'al interviewed retired Governor-General Nahdonnis Praji of Kaikielius, during which Praji recounted his only encounter with the reborn Emperor.
In 17 ABY, Academician Na'al, in cooperation with New Republic Intelligence, edited and annotated "Ten Years After: Notes on the Mature Organizational and Administrative Structure of the New Republic," an article by Donn Gulek, Chief Historian of the Kellmer Institute. This article, which detailed the structure of the New Republic after its most recent internal reorganization, was included in a New Republic Intelligence dossier on the Black Fleet Crisis.
Na'al eventually retired as Head of New Republic Council Research, becoming a history professor. He and Rivoche Tarkin were married, and had several children together. Their son Gideon, named after Rivoche's father, later co-authored Star Maps and Scripts: The Rakata Connection with Dr. Corellia Antilles. Nearly ten years after the destruction of Mount Tantiss, he enlisted the help of one of his students, the Devaronian Pollo Tipn, in investigating for Mon Mothma some unusual reports emanating from the Kathol sector, reports connected to Grand Admiral Thrawn.
Following the Yuuzhan Vong War, Na'al became the archivist emeritus of the Historical Council of the Galactic Federation of Free Alliances. He oversaw the release of the second edition of an important historical chronicle, around the time of the events of the Killik conflict. This record included a comprehensive discussion of the Jedi and Sith conflict. For Tionne Solusar's 40 ABY guide to the Force, Na'al provided information on a Jedi who arrived on Dathomir in 30 BBY, identifying him as Quinlan Vos and indicating he stopped a Nightsister named Zalem from using the ancient Infinity Gate to devastate Coruscant. However, Na'al acknowledged that this information was drawn from a single unreliable source, the 28 BBY memoir of Ros Lai, an alleged former Nightsister.
Personality and traitsEdit
- "I found myself surrounded by a bewildering array of animals—hissing, purring, growling, thrashing, flying—that seemed to cover every evolutionary possibility. According to the report filed by the Laramus Regulars, they could 'hear Na'al's screams in vacuum.'
"According to General Cracken, this made me 'uniquely qualified to discuss nonsentient lifeforms.'
"I will never understand military humor."
- ―Voren Na'al, recalling his mission to Spice Terminus
Voren Na'al was an unimposing youth when he first volunteered for the Alliance, though his years recording the exploits of the heroes of the galaxy, and his adventures in documenting them, had made him a wiser and more experienced man late in life. Na'al kept a personal journal in which he kept private notes about the subjects whom he interviewed in the course of his research. During both phases of his life, however, he held great enthusiasm for the personalities he reported on; this occasionally led to a nearly unprofessional zeal in his writings, a trait which he was self-conscious of and for which he sometimes felt the need to apologize. His critics also found his writing to be overly focused on individual personalities. Nonetheless, his work was quoted by author Dr. Milanda Vorgan in her seminal work The Written Word: A Brief Introduction to the Writing Systems of Galactic Basic.
Later in life, Na'al settled into his role as a family man, and turned down offers to explore abroad; it took a personal and persuasive request by Mon Mothma to convince him to go to the Kathol sector. His advancing age, and concern for the request of his wife that he not go alone, convinced him to take Pollo Tipn along as help.
Behind the scenesEdit
- "Voren Na'al-- the EU chroniclist's [sic] dream in that he allows a source file author the freedom to blame mistakes on shoddy journalism…"
- ―Pablo Hidalgo
Voren Na'al originated as the in-universe "author" of several Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game sourcebooks published by West End Games (WEG), beginning with Galaxy Guide 1: A New Hope in 1989. He was created by author and designer Grant S. Boucher to provide an in-universe perspective on the subjects WEG covered in its works, and to leave room for uncertainty in these accounts, providing a gamemaster with a handy justification to ignore some facts in a sourcebook for his own campaign. The character's name is an anagram of the characters Aedon, Oren, and Ty Vaal from one of the author's unpublished manuscripts, while the illustrations of the character (young) are directly based on photos of the author that were provided to WEG. After WEG's bankruptcy, Na'al saw relatively little use. Pablo Hidalgo's 2001 article "The Starhoppers of Aduba-3," from Star Wars Gamer 4, used Na'al to introduce uncertainty to its retelling of the Marvel Comics storyline begun in "Star Wars 8: Eight for Aduba-3"; by having Na'al express disbelief at the accounts he was hearing, it also implied that the outlandish camp of the original story was the actual truth. He re-appeared as author of the introduction to The New Essential Chronology in 2005; author Daniel Wallace noted that "he seemed like the kind of guy who would get involved in a project like this." He was subsequently mentioned in several articles for Hyperspace, as well as in Jedi vs. Sith: The Essential Guide to the Force and The Essential Guide to Warfare.
In 2012, the "Rogues Gallery" feature in Star Wars Insider 133 identified the two extras who bear the medals to General Dodonna as Na'al and Hextrophon, retroactively establishing that film as their first appearance. The actor playing Na'al was Derek Lyons, who also portrayed one of the Rebel Honor Guard members depicted earlier in the same scene.
The first edition of Galaxy Guide 1: A New Hope ends with Na'al formulating the beginning to a story he would tell based on his research. This beginning is the opening crawl for Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope. The opening crawl is excised from the end of Galaxy Guide 1: A New Hope, Second Edition. In 1996, Na'al broke the fourth wall more directly, dispensing roleplaying advice about the galaxy, gamemaster characters, aliens, creatures, and planets directly to the players in Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game, Second Edition, Revised and Expanded.
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 Galaxy Guide 1: A New Hope
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game, Second Edition, Revised and Expanded
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 The Thrawn Trilogy Sourcebook
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 The New Essential Chronology
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 Galaxy Guide 5: Return of the Jedi
- ↑ The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- ↑ Cracken's Rebel Operatives
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 "Rogues Gallery"—Star Wars Insider 133
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope
- ↑ The Official Star Wars Fact File 60 (AST11-12, R5-D4 Astromech Droid)
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 The Movie Trilogy Sourcebook
- ↑ The Starhoppers of Aduba-3
- ↑ The Rebel Alliance Sourcebook
- ↑ 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 Galaxy Guide 3: The Empire Strikes Back
- ↑ 16.0 16.1 Return of the Jedi. . Na'al notes that the battle "broke the back of the Allied resistance in Parmel sector for years" after it occurred, eighteen months after the Battle of Yavin; but Arhul Hextrophon is still listed as part of Alliance High Command, indicating the New Republic had not yet formed. This suggests a timeline placement for Na'al's report shortly before
- ↑ Mos Eisley Adventure Set
- ↑ The Truce at Bakura Sourcebook
- ↑ 19.0 19.1 19.2 Dark Empire Sourcebook
- ↑ 20.0 20.1 The Essential Guide to Warfare
- ↑ Han Solo and the Corporate Sector Sourcebook
- ↑ 22.0 22.1
- ↑ Cracken's Threat Dossier. On Earth, "academician" can be either an honorary title denoting a full member of an academy, or a functional title denoting a full member of the National Academy of Sciences in countries where the Academy is influential. Whether Na'al held the title merely as an honorific, or as a functional title for a new position he was holding, is unknown.
- ↑ Cracken's Threat Dossier
- ↑ 25.0 25.1 25.2
- ↑ Jedi vs. Sith: The Essential Guide to the Force
- ↑ The Last Command Sourcebook, p. 92.
- ↑ 29.0 29.1 Dark Force Rising Sourcebook
- ↑ 30.0 30.1
- ↑ As seen in this image, Grant S. Boucher confirmed via email inquiry that this edit made to the Voren Na'al entry really was from him, thus verifying the information presented therein.
- ↑ 32.0 32.1 The New Essential Chronology: Talkback thread at Daniel Wallace's Geekosity
- ↑ Lyons, Derek. VOREN NA'AL AKA THE MEDAL BEARER. DEREK LYONS OFFICIAL SITE. Archived from the original on March 17, 2019. Retrieved on March 17, 2020.