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Kem Monnon[]

"We opened up Echo Base in record time."
―Kem Monnon, after successfully constructing Echo Base[1]

Major Kem Monnon was the chief of the Rebel Alliance Corps of Engineers, which was responsible for establishing Echo Base on the arctic world of Hoth. The Corps, led by Monnon, constructed the base over the remains of the Mon Calamari pirate Salmakk's former base. They expanded upon the pirate's base, working with preexisting ice caves to expedite the process.

Biography[]

Tramp freighters and finding an Alliance base[]

"Tactically insignificant, [Hoth is] unnoticed by the Imperial Navy. A perfect hiding place for a Rebel base."
―Kem Monnon, on Hoth being a viable base for the Alliance[1]

Kem Monnon, Alliance Corps of Engineers chief

A Human male, Kem Monnon spent years on tramp freighters. He joined the Alliance to Restore the Republic[1] by 1 ABY. By that year,[2] Monnon was a major, and led the Alliance Corps of Engineers.[3] When the Alliance High Command was searching for a headquarters[1]—their previous headquarters, the Great Temple on the moon Yavin 4, had been previously destroyed by the Galactic Empire in 0.5 ABY[4]—Monnon offered his own suggestions, particularly emphasizing the ice planet Hoth, after he had learned direct and anecdotal information from his time on the tramp freighters.[1]

Hoth was ultimately where the Alliance decided to construct a base, with Monnon, as chief of the Alliance Corps of Engineers, reporting to General Carlist Rieekan and being responsible for establishing the Echo Base headquarters on the planet[1] in 1 ABY.[2] Initially, the engineers sent a reconnaissance and survey team in a low-orbital mapping expedition to scout for possible locations. Through a series of ice caverns being discovered, Monnon knew he had discovered a location for the Alliance headquarters. Subsequent mapping was done, before construction would commence.[1] Included among the discovered caves were the remains of facilities once used by the Mon Calamari pirate Salmakk,[5] as well as caverns used by smugglers.[3]

Constructing Echo Base[]

"We opened up Echo base in record time."
―Monnon discussing the overall time it took for Echo Base's construction[1]

The first part of Monnon's work involved expanding the ice caves. Upon arriving on the planet, some of his engineers tried the meat of Hoth's tauntaun species, ultimately finding the meat not good. For the foreseeable future, Monnon and his group would only be eating pre-packaged rations. The engineers used excavator machinery and laser cutters to blast grottoes and install connections between chambers, while power conduits and communications tubes ran along the walls.[1] Other equipment used included mechanical drills and vibrospades,[6] along with heavy materials such as gravitonic lifters and massdroids to excavate and expand the ice and snow within the caves.[5]

Large chambers became equipment rooms and hangar bays, with machinery including the base's shield generator were located outside under thick layers of insulation. Monnon and the engineers needed to maintain Echo Base at freezing temperatures. Insulating plastic coated the walls and allowed for rooms to be heated at comfortable temperatures. Monnon also made sure that all the Alliance Corps of Engineers knew Rieekan's history—that the general's homeworld of Alderaan was destroyed by the Empire's DS-1 Orbital Battle Station—and would not tolerate any of them complaining about Rieekan being unreasonable or paranoid about being discovered or attacked. The base was ultimately built with quarters and accommodations for several thousand people, including the Alliance government.[1]

Life in Hoth[]

"The ice planet seemed a terrible option, a horrendously difficult place to establish living quarters... but it was also a place where the Empire would never suspect us."
―Monnon about his choice and the living conditions on Hoth[1]

Although life was not easy for Monnon and the engineers on Hoth, individuals found ways to enjoy themselves. As meteor impacts created circular craters on the planet's surface, off-duty engineers would go ice-skating on the frozen lakes that formed atop those craters. They had also domesticated tauntauns, with the creatures proving invaluable for certain activities, for reasons such as the engineers being unable to fix their machinery's cold weather malfunctions.[1] As the Alliance's T-47 airspeeders were difficult to adopt on the planet, Corporal Corman Quien, who was charged with capturing, taming, and training native creatures as mounts, was assigned to work for Monnon, herding the tauntauns. Another Alliance officer, Major Bren Derlin, worked with Monnon's engineers as a supervisor.[7]

The tauntauns were also used as a form of entertainment for new Alliance scouts. Certain new members would put together "tauntaun rodeos" in Hoth's snowfields, performing stunt activities while riding the creatures. Monnon's distaste for the tauntauns was such that he once gave an engineer a week of outside perimeter inspections as punishment for the latter saying a co-worker smelled like a tauntaun as an insult.[1]

Exploring Hoth[]

"The stark, hostile landscape of Hoth may seem terrifying to many life-forms, but the frozen scenery has its own sort of beauty."
―Monnon, about the planet that he would proceed to explore[1]

The Alliance Corps of Engineers was considered done after Echo Base was open for habitation and the primary routine was established. However, Monnon spoke to Rieekan, with the latter giving the former permission to continue exploring Hoth and to compile a report for further strategic use by the Alliance. At one point, Monnon and others reporting to him were outside around sunset after a severe windstorm, with Monnon noticing the rainbows reflecting on the landscape from the ice crystals that were whipped into the air. On another day, Monnon and others were exploring flatlands north of the base, where they saw the landforms caused by steam spraying out of underground springs near deep volcanic sources. While exploring Hoth's southern hemisphere, Monnon and his group found a huge canyon that stretched nearly a thousand kilometers.[1]

Monnon heard of Hoth's predatory wampa species before joining the Alliance, and when he and his group were away from Echo Base and sleeping in small thermal shelters, they could recognize the sounds of wampas crying out in the night. One night in their shelter, Monnon shared a story he had heard, where a group of failed Imperial stormtrooper cadets had set up a poaching operation where they guided big-game hunters to hunt and kill wampas, with the fourth expedition resulting in the wampas killing all but two hunters, with the surviving ones killing each other instead of facing torture by the wampas. With the wampas' cries heard throughout that night as well, Monnon and the others were edgy, and were glad to eventually return to Echo Base.[1]

Finishing Echo Base[]

"Despite our full spectrum of defenses, we maintain our vigilance, waiting, always waiting, for the Empire to find us again."
―Monnon, after Echo Base was completed[1]

Monnon and the Corps of Engineers assisted in modifying T-47 airspeeders to function at peak performance for Hoth's worst cold weather. While the modifications took time, long range scouts flew in a wide radius around Echo Base after the airspeeders functioned ideally. Echo Stations were established around Hoth to monitor meteor activity and to watch for any Imperial discovery.[1]

In addition to the deflector shield and the physical defenses, 1,000 of the Alliance's Special Forces soldiers protected Echo Base in preparation for any Imperial attack.[1] When Echo Base was finished, it had taken eighteen months to carve the base, and two more to fit the caverns with electronics, weapons and life support.[6] Monnon would proceed to publish a report on Hoth, including Echo Base's construction, at some point after the base was constructed and before the Battle of Hoth[1] less than one year later.[8]

Personality and traits[]

"It's not pretty, but it works."
―Kem Monnon's frequent quote about the in-progress Echo Base[6]

Kem Monnon did not like surprises, and so his survey teams probed deeper into the ice caves than what ultimately became Echo Base's foundation, for the sake of completeness. He was not disappointed, from the tauntauns' appearance, that their meat was not considered a food source for himself and the engineers. Monnon's distaste for tauntauns was such that he punished a subordinate for insulting a coworker with tauntaun comparisons. He did not consider the initial Echo Base design during the cave expansion phase pretty, but considered it as working.[1] In that aspect, Monnon and his crew would frequently remark "it's not pretty, but it works."[6]

After a few days of finishing his initial assignment, Monnon was fidgeting with boredom, and found sitting around on alert immensely tiresome. He found Hoth's frozen scenery to have its own sense of beauty, and found the cleanness of the planet refreshing after much of his previous Alliance service was in smelly spice freighters or run-down, out-of-the-way bases. While Monnon doubted the authenticity of the wampa poaching story he had told the others he was in the shelter with, they were too afraid of the wampas' audible cries to speculate on the story, and were relieved to be back to Echo Base with even the most tedious defense maintenance chores after that night.[1]

Monnon deeply respected General Rieekan, and understood the latter's insistence on always maintaining full defensive posture. He would not accept any of his subordinates having issues with the general, and made sure all of them knew Rieekan's history. Monnon had blond hair and fair skin.[1]

Skills and abilities[]

Monnon was a capable engineer and respected leader.[6] He had uncanny resourcefulness, and an ability to motivate his crews despite Hoth's miserable living conditions. Under Monnon's leadership, Echo Base was opened up in record time. He also had enough knowledge on the planet Hoth and its species to write a detailed report.[1]

Equipment[]

Kem Monnon wore a uniform similar to the Bespin Wing Guard's Storm IV Twin-Pod cloud car pilots. The uniform included a comlink within a pouch.[1]

Behind the scenes[]

In 1995, Kevin J. Anderson created the Kem Monnon character for the reference book The Illustrated Star Wars Universe.[1] The artwork used to represent Monnon was reused from Nilo Rodis-Jamero's concept art of the Bespin cloud car pilots from 1980's original trilogy film Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back.[9]

Sources[]

Notes and references[]

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"[[{{{2}}}|{{{2}}}]]"—[[Star Wars Adventures Magazine {{{1}}}|Star Wars Adventures Magazine {{{1}}}]]

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To be used when citing articles from Star Wars Adventures Magazine.

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Notes and references[]

Note: Fixed the scroll box formatting by putting the reflist inside the scroll box template. Fixed the reference error by adding a closing </ref> at the end too. Feel free to reach out if you need any help! I recommend creating an account so it's easier to communicate using talk pages. OOM 224 12:35, 19 May 2022 (UTC)

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