- "You can't breed soldiers with flash-learning and simulation. They must come face to face with death itself."
- ―Walon Vau
Walon Vau was a Human male who became a Mandalorian. Born on Irmenu as heir to the title of Count of Gesl, he was exiled from his homeworld after a love affair with the princess of a neighboring province fell afoul of the Imperius priesthood. He joined the Mandalorians soon afterwards, and became one of the mercenaries recruited by Jango Fett to join the ranks of the Cuy'val Dar and train the Clone Army. He was known for his black-colored armor.
Walon Vau was born into the aristocracy of the isolated, feudal ocean planet of Irmenu. Vau's father, the Count of Gesl, was a domineering parent and a religious fanatic. As a youth Vau was beaten mercilessly by his father, but not all of the emotional feeling was removed. When Vau was a young man he attempted to join the Imperial Irmenu Navy, where his father was an admiral, but was told by his father that he was not good enough to join. Vau then fell in love with the princess of a neighboring province, but a marriage was refused by both his father and hers. The couple's star-crossed rebellion fell afoul of the Imperius priesthood, which imprisoned her in a convent and temporarily exiled Vau from Irmenu.
Vau trained the commandos in Delta Squad, and gave RC-1262 his nickname, Scorch, after an ordnance accident that left them both without eyebrows for a time. He also once had his arm broken in combat training by RC-1138, otherwise known as "Boss". Walon was extremely violent, once siccing his pet strill, Lord Mirdalan, on a young Ordo. Also on Kamino, he allowed Mird to hunt which resulted in the death of a "menial" and "genetically inferior" Kaminoan, causing Vau to feel much the same way about the Kaminoans as Skirata.
- "You have to know the limits of your physical and mental endurance, so you can recognize them and pass beyond them. This is why I will push you beyond any suffering you can imagine. You will not give up and die like lesser men; you will not crack up like lesser men; you will not lose heart in the direst circumstances like lesser men. And you will be the last men standing when the weaklings have opted to do the easy thing and die."
- ―Sergeant Walon Vau, addressing junior clone trainees on Kamino
Like Kal Skirata, he believed that the clones he trained should be brought up to be Mandalorian warriors. However, he took a different approach than Kal Skirata. Rather than treating the clones as though they were his own sons, he taught the Mando way through strict discipline--often verging on brutal violence, possibly due to his own upbringing. To teach his clones to be tough, he would often set them to fight one another, for melee or even live-fire exercises. He, however, gave them a choice: fight each other or fight him. Only one clone named Atin chose Vau. At the end of the fight, Atin was put into a bacta tank for a month. Vau believed his men had to know true pain to be able to learn how to withstand it. His intention was to have soldiers who could overcome whatever obstacle, including interrogation.
For their training, Vau took it upon himself, refusing to pass on the dirty work of training to others to protect his own conscience. He asserted that it was for the clones' own good rather than due to sadistic tendencies that he trained them so brutally.
Skirata and Vau would often disagree about training techniques--following Vau's brutal spar with Atin, Skirata nearly killed Vau despite not knowing who Atin was. Skirata gave Vau the broken nose he would sport for the rest of his life. However, despite appearances to the contrary, Vau did care for the clones he trained. When RC-1207/Sev was declared MIA on Kashyyyk, Vau would dedicate himself to finding the lost commando.
Vau's technique was shown to be effective. A year after the Clone Wars began only three of the commandos he trained were lost, as opposed to fourteen of Skirata's. He blamed the high casualty rate on the Galactic Republic, and specifically the Jedi for using commandos like infantry in the First Battle of Geonosis.
Upon completing his contract as a member of the Cuy'val Dar, Vau returned to civilian life. A year after Geonosis, he was recruited by Kal Skirata in his plan to destroy the Confederacy of Independent Systems terrorist cells operating on Coruscant. He was called back due to the connections that he had with Skirata as well as his interrogation skills. This mission put him back in close proximity to Atin. Despite Atin's vow to kill Vau, he continued to work alongside Vau for the sake of the mission.
Towards the end of the mission, Vau worked with Jedi Knight Etain Tur-Mukan to neutralize the terrorist leader, Perrive. Vau demonstrated his sniper skills by killing Perrive with a single shot, and then had Lord Mirdalan retrieve the body with the datapad that they needed to collect. Along with Mird, the two returned to the greater battle and were responsible for the neutralizing of a fleeing terrorist.
After the mission's success, Atin set out to take his revenge. He attacked Vau and the two fought until Atin was poised for a killing blow. Before he could kill Vau, however, the two men were separated by Jedi General Bardan Jusik. The matter between Vau and Atin seemed to resolve, though on strained terms.
A few months after the successful mission to Coruscant, Vau joined Delta Squad on Mygeeto where he had Delta aid him in breaking into the Dressian Kiolsh Merchant Bank. There, Vau stole his "rightful" family inheritance from the Vau family vault. To obscure who might have done it, he stole from several other boxes, acquiring more than fifty-three million credits worth in stolen goods. During their escape, Vau fell into a crevasse and nearly froze to death. He was eventually rescued by Skirata and Ordo in Aay'han. Everything he acquired--save for his own family inheritance--was given to Skirata to aid in his search for a way to slow down the clone's accelerated aging.
Vau later joined Skirata and Ordo on Mandalore during the time that Darman's son Venku Skirata was born to Etain. During this time, Vau and Null-10 would come to an agreement that when Vau died, Jaing would take Mird. Vau had expressed his wish to leave Mird with someone who would take care of the strill and it was Jaing who offered.
After Etain returned with Delta and Omega Squad after a stalemate on Haurgab, Zey asked Vau to keep an eye on Skirata who was suspected of treason. Later on, Vau privately told Skirata about Zey's being onto him and assured Skirata that he would never reveal anything.
During the following months, Vau was instrumental in helping Kal Skirata liberate adopted members of Clan Skirata from the Republic army. He helped Ordo free Jilka Zan Zentis, Besany Wennen's best friend, from prison after Gurlanin spies had framed her to throw suspicion off of Besany.
After the Battle of Coruscant, and Order 66, Vau joined Skirata in his escape and defection mission, taking many clones that had joined Clan Skirata to Kyrimorut on Mandalore. There, Vau continued to aid Skirata in his work to stop the clone's accelerated aging.
Rise of the Empire
- "I hate it when you get moral."
- ―Vau to Kal Skirata on Coruscant
Vau had attempted to find Sev on Kashyyyk, but was unsuccessful; which bothered Vau greatly. After his failed rescue mission, Vau returned to Kyrimorut to live with the rest of Clan Skirata. He became irritated with Skirata when the man allowed Jedi to use the same escape route that had been established for clones defecting from the Empire. While he accepted that the Kaminoan Jedi could be useful in aiding the search for an answer to the aging process, Vau was not accepting of Scout and Arligan Zey who had also been collected. During their argument, emotions escalated and resulted in Vau punching Skirata who did not fight back.
Personality and traits
Vau was described as being tall and cadaverous as well as athletic. He was typically seen dressed in black armor unless otherwise was called for. He was always seen with his pet strill, Lord Mirdalan, whom he affectionately called "Mird."
Vau was rarely shown to be openly emotional. While he would show some sympathy, he did not allow this to affect his training of the clone commandos. Though he never directly stated that he loved the clones he trained, he showed signs that he did care for them.
Generally, Vau cared little for those around him. He was shown to have a patrician's charm around those who he worked with, but generally kept conversations brief. He was shown to be comfortable and speak easily with Skirata--indicating that the two had a mutual trust.
He left little to no impression in the Force much to the surprise of Jedi Etain Tur-Mukan and Arligan Zey. He was able to also fool Jedi mind scans by careful wording and strict, almost unnatural, control over his emotional state. This kind of control would often be seen in his behavior, only broken by episodes of caring and attention that he gave to Mird.
- Star Wars: Republic Commando (First mentioned)
- Republic Commando: Hard Contact (Mentioned only)
- Omega Squad: Targets (Mentioned only)
- Republic Commando: Triple Zero (First appearance)
- Republic Commando: True Colors
- Order 66: A Republic Commando Novel
- Imperial Commando: 501st
- Legacy of the Force: Sacrifice (Indirect mention only)
- "Guide to the Grand Army of the Republic"—Star Wars Insider 84
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Clone Wars Campaign Guide
- The Essential Reader's Companion