- "You're not in much of a position to object, are you, Solo?"
"Not in my ship. Not slaves. Never."
"You just think again, pilot. If you give me any trouble, you'll end up locked in a necklace yourself."
- ―Zlarb and Han Solo
Zlarb was a Human male who helped lead a large-scale slavery ring in the Corporate Sector during the Imperial Period. Originally a small-time organ trafficker, Zlarb entered into a slaving partnership with a Corporate Sector Authority agent named Magg in 6 BBY, with Zlarb serving as the point man on the actual slaving runs themselves. After four prosperous years in business together, Zlarb and Magg decided to get out of the slaving game in 2 BBY, but not before making one last run to the planet Lur. However, their hired pilots, Han Solo and Chewbacca, were morally opposed to slavery, and Zlarb's attempt to force him to transport a load of slaves went horribly awry. Solo, Chewbacca and his droids managed to overcome Zlarb and his slavers—in the chaos, one of Zlarb's Lurrian captives shot him in the chest, leaving him to die on the floor of the Millennium Falcon's cargo hold.
Biography[edit | edit source]
- "They told me you were a hard case, Solo. I see they were wrong. Those little beauties back there are worth four, five, maybe even six thousand apiece on the Invisible Market. They're natural-born experts at genetic manipulation, and in great demand, my friend. Not everyone is happy with the rigid restrictions that were imposed after the Clone Wars. It seems these creatures like their own world too much, though, and wouldn't sign out on contract labor for anything. So my associates and I rounded up a bunch. A few of them are sick or wounded, but we'll deliver at least fifty of them. I'll make enough off this run to keep me happy and lazy for a long time."
- ―Zlarb, to Han Solo
Zlarb's career in the criminal world started out at a relatively low station: as hired muscle for Ploovo Two-For-One, a crime lord based out of the Corporate Sector. It didn't take long for Ploovo to recognize that Zlarb had a type of business sense not usually seen in common thugs, and Zlarb soon found himself promoted to being one of the boss' bodyguards. However, Zlarb was turned off by Ploovo's lack of ambition, and ultimately went into business on his own, leading a small-time organ-trafficking operation. That scheme got him on the radar of the Corporate Sector Authority's Security Police, and in 6 BBY, an Espo agent named Magg hunted Zlarb down and arrested him. But while organ trafficking was a crime that could lead to the death penalty, Magg surprised Zlarb by being more interested in talking business: the Espo wanted enter a partnership in a slaving operation, as the two both agreed it carried with it the highest opportunities for profit. As a show of good faith, Magg even offered not to take a cut until they had reached a high enough profit level, convincing Zlarb to accept his deal.
Although they might have seemed unlikely business partners, Zlarb and Magg had four profitable years together. Zlarb did most of the dirty work, while Magg provided invaluable technical and logistical assistance, as well as using his contacts within the Security Police to make sure the heat stayed off their backs. A trained Malkite poisoner, Zlarb used those skills to take out those who could prove to be obstacles, including once facilitating the poisoning of the Mor of Ammuud's House Glayyd—with whom Zlarb and Magg cleared most of their ships—when he threatened to leak information about their business dealings to the Corporate Sector Authority. By 2 BBY, however, the Galactic Empire had started to pay more attention to slavery, convincing Zlarb that it might be time to get out of the game. By that point, Zlarb and Magg had garnered sizable fortunes from their scheme, but Magg wanted to go on one final run to secure their retirement. They settled on a run to the icy planet Lur, where Zlarb and a crew of several other slavers would seize a number of native Lurrian captives and catch a lift offworld— although the slaving ring operated off of a retrofitted Dimel assault ship called the Eye of Shiblizar, the slavers used hired pilots, many of whom had no idea they'd be transporting slaves until they arrived, to carry their merchandise. From there, Zlarb and Magg would sell the Lurians on the Invisible Market, where they could fetch up to a few thousand credits apiece due to their natural ability as genetic coders.
On this occasion, however, the pilots Zlarb hired proved to be a bit too much to handle. Zlarb and his crew had little trouble taking a large number of Lurian captives, whom they had in chains by the time their hired ride—Corellian smuggler Han Solo and his Wookiee companion Chewbacca, who were promised 10,000 credits for their help—arrived on the freighter Millennium Falcon. Wielding a small palmgun, Zlarb surprised the two pilots and commandeered their ship, threatening them with death if they didn't stay out of the way and take him and his men where they needed to go once the captives had been loaded into the hold. Zlarb and his crew quickly moved to secure the ship and restrain Solo's droids, but made one mistake: they didn't account for Blue Max, a small computer probe hiding in the chest cavity of Solo's labor droid Bollux, which had been fitted with a restraining bolt by Zlarb's man Wadda. Linking itself into Bollux's motor systems, Blue Max managed to drive Bollux over to the Falcon's fire suppression systems, causing them to fire off randomly and throwing the ship into chaos. Zlarb was quickly set upon by Chewbacca, who knocked him unconscious before him and Solo went to free his cargo. The slaver revived in time to find Solo releasing the Lurrian captives, but his attempt at an ambush was snuffed out when one of the Lurrians killed him with a disruptor shot to the chest.
Zlarb's body was disposed of by his surviving men, whom Solo handed over to the Lurrians to do with as they saw fit. The incident fueled Solo and Chewbacca to go on a personal quest to obtain the 10,000 credits he felt he was owed, and a data plaque found on Zlarb's corpse pointed him towards Bonadan, where he had planned to meet with Magg after the run. Their crusade resulted in the slaving ring's final dissolution, and Magg's imprisonment by the Corporate Sector Authority.
Personality and traits[edit | edit source]
- "Just play along and both of you will come through this alive."
- ―Zlarb, to Han Solo
A tall, broadly built man with a threatening and intense aura, Zlarb was attracted to crime because, to him, it beat living an honest life—answering to a boss or working a back-breaking job was nothing compared to the money and freedom an outlaw's life afforded him. And a life of crime suited him well: he was a cold-blooded and cocksure killer with a sharp wit, a strong business sense and a driving ambition that led him to quickly make a name for himself in the criminal world. His partnership with the shrewd and duplicitous Magg thus proved to be a fruitful one, and while he sometimes resented having to do the dirty work, he recognized just how valuable the Security Police agent's contributions were to his organization's success. However, over time Zlarb grew cocky and assured in his continued prosperity, and badly underestimated Han Solo and Chewbacca during his final run to Lur.
Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]
Zlarb first appeared in Han Solo's Revenge, a novel written by Brian Daley and released in 1979. He was later pictured for the first time by Mike Vilardi in 1993's Han Solo and the Corporate Sector Sourcebook.
Appearances[edit | edit source]
- Han Solo's Revenge (First appearance)
- Rebel Dawn (Mentioned only)
- The New Jedi Order: Agents of Chaos I: Hero's Trial (Mentioned only)
Sources[edit | edit source]
- A Guide to the Star Wars Universe
- Han Solo and the Corporate Sector Sourcebook
- A Guide to the Star Wars Universe, Second Edition, Revised and Expanded
- The Essential Guide to Weapons and Technology
- Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 24 (ESP4, Espionage Droids)
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. III, p. 372 ("Zlarb")