"What a perilous chain of events. We're lost in a game of chance to a new master who turns out to be a smuggler. Then we're tossed overboard with the stolen goods, whilst he gets himself arrested."
―C-3PO, about Zevel Hortine[2]

Zevel Hortine was a notorious Corellian male glitterstim smuggler who operated in the years surrounding the formation of the Galactic Empire. Hortine briefly owned the droids C-3PO and R2-D2 after winning them in a game of Liar's Cut. When he was arrested by law enforcement in orbit of Ingo, Hortine ejected his cargo to the planet below, including the droids, who had been in the cargo bay at the time.

After finding the orphaned child Kaj Nedmak stowed away aboard his freighter, Hortine allowed him to remain aboard and trained him to become a smuggler. When Hortine retired several years later, he left his ship to Nedmak.


The Corellian male Zevel Hortine was already operating as a smuggler[1] in the years before the rise the Galactic Empire. Around that time,[3] Kaj Nedmak, a nine-year-old orphan from the planet Drall in the Corellian sector, stowed away aboard Hortine's freighter. Taking a liking to the child, Hortine allowed him to remain aboard. Over the following years, Hortine instructed Nedmak in the ways of smuggling and gambling.[1]

A trail of Hortine's jettisoned cargo falls toward Ingo.

By 15 BBY,[4] Hortine had earned some notoriety[5] as a cutthroat glitterstim smuggler.[6] Hortine won the droids C-3PO and R2-D2 in a game of Liar's Cut from the owner of a refueling station, the Bimm businesswoman Sindee.[7] A few days after acquiring the droids, Hortine's ship was intercepted by law enforcement vessels[8] in orbit of Ingo, a planet in the Bortele Cluster of the Mid Rim.[5] Hoping to avoid prosecution, Hortine jettisoned his cargo of contraband[7] and stolen goods[2] and attempted to flee,[8] only to be arrested by the authorities. Located in the cargo bay at the time, C-3PO and R2-D2 were ejected along with the cargo and fell to the surface of the planet below, landing in the Vaj Desert where they were rescued by the local speeder racers Jord Dusat and Thall Joben.[7]

When Nedmak was seventeen, Hortine decided he was too old to continue working as a smuggler and retired, leaving his ship to his younger partner. Thirteen years later, Nedmak found a young woman named Celia Durasha stowed away in the cargo hold of his YT-2400 light freighter Tryan Kajme. As Hortine had done for him, Nedmak allowed Durasha to stay aboard and work off her passage.[1]

Personality and traits[]

Hortine took in Kaj Nedmak as a child.

Zevel Hortine was a cutthroat smuggler, willing to carry contraband goods such as glitterstim,[6] a potent spice classified as an illegal recreational drug.[9] Despite his notorious reputation,[5] Hortine demonstrated compassion for the orphaned Kaj Nedmak, allowing him to remain and training him as a smuggler after discovering the boy aboard his ship. Such was his opinion of Nedmak, that Hortine left his ship to the younger smuggler when he retired.[1]

When Hortine's profession brought him into conflict with the authorities, he was willing to dump his cargo rather than face charges. Hortine was fond of gambling games such as Liar's Cut,[7] a pastime he introduced to Nedmak during their time working together.[1]

Behind the scenes[]

Zevel Hortine was created by Charlene Newcomb and Rich Handley for the short story "Crimson Bounty," published August of 1997 in the fourteenth issue of the Star Wars Adventure Journal.[1] In the June 2004 170th issue of the Polyhedron magazine, the article "Star Wars Droids: The Adventures of R2-D2 and C-3PO" by Handley and Abel G. Peña identified Hortine as the previously unidentified smuggler[5] who was first mentioned as the former owner of C-3PO and R2-D2 at the start of "The White Witch,"[2] the first episode of the animated series Star Wars: Droids: The Adventures of R2-D2 and C-3PO, written by Peter Sauder and first broadcast on September 7, 1985.[10]



Notes and references[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 SWAJsmall.jpg "Crimson Bounty" – Star Wars Adventure Journal 14
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 DroidsLogoMini.jpg Star Wars: Droids—"The White Witch"
  3. The Essential Reader's Companion places the events of "Crimson Bounty" in 2 ABY. Kaj Nedmak's profile in "Crimson Bounty" states that he had been working with Celia Durasha for at least a year by the time of the story, having previously worked alone for thirteen years since Hortine retired. Nedmak was seventeen years old when Hortine retired and had been with the older smuggler since he was nine. Therefore, that the two had begun working together by around 20 BBY, placing their first meeting in the years before the Galactic Empire was formed, which occurred in 19 BBY according to The New Essential Chronology.
  4. PolyhedronLogo.png "Star Wars Droids: The Adventures of R2-D2 and C-3PO"—Polyhedron 170 states that Star Wars: Droids is set fifteen years before Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, which corresponds to 15 BBY according to The New Essential Chronology.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 PolyhedronLogo.png "Star Wars Droids: The Adventures of R2-D2 and C-3PO"—Polyhedron 170
  6. 6.0 6.1 The New Essential Guide to Characters
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 StarWars.com The Droids Re-Animated, Part 1 on StarWars.com (article) (backup link)
  8. 8.0 8.1 C-3PO: Tales of the Golden Droid
  9. The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. I, p. 345 ("glitterstim")
  10. SWInsider.png "A Star Wars CELibration" – Star Wars Insider 27
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