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Koth Melan
Biographical information

3 ABY, Kothlis[1]

Physical description




Hair color


Eye color


Chronological and political information
"War, like politics, sometimes makes for strange bedfellows. One uses the tools one has."
―Koth Melan

Koth Melan was a member of the Bothan Spynet during the Galactic Civil War. Since the Galactic Empire had executed his father in 17 BBY for supposed treason, Melan was sympathetic to the Alliance to Restore the Republic and sought to help them in order to regain his honor. In 3 ABY, his agents caught wind of a new Imperial military project that could pose a threat to the Alliance. He attempted to contact Leia Organa, but his message was instead intercepted by Luke Skywalker and Dash Rendar.

This proved to be a stroke of luck for Melan, since data pertinent to the project would be passing through the Both system on the Mobquet medium transport Suprosa. He enlisted Commander Skywalker to train the Bothan pilots of Blue Squadron, and then, aboard Dash Rendar's ship, the Outrider, participated in the First Battle of Bothawui. With the data retrieved, Melan directed Skywalker and Rendar to Kothlis, where a team of Bothan slicers could decipher the data. While Melan's team were working on the retrieval, the Kothlis safehouse was attacked by Barabel bounty hunters, and in the ensuing gunfight, Melan was shot and killed. Agent Borsk Fey'lya was able to escape with the data, however, and it was eventually discovered to be the plans for the Death Star II.





Koth Melan: "Twenty years ago the Empire executed my father for espionage."
Dash Rendar: "That's one of the risks of this business, isn't it?"
Koth Melan: "Yes, and one I take. But all Bothans are not spies, M. Rendar. My father was a teacher. He was guilty of nothing save trying to educate his students about the Empire."
—Koth Melan and Dash Rendar
Koth Melan.

In 17 BBY, Koth Melan's father, a teacher, was executed by the Galactic Empire for not complying with their propaganda curriculum. As such, Melan would have no honor until the Empire was defeated. Though he was a member of Clan Alya, he could not use the "y'lya" honorific until he had completed his goal. As such, upon joining the Bothan Spynet, his activities were decisively anti-Empire.[1]

Observing the Alliance

"There are agents of the Empire here on Corellia. We must be careful. In fact, there is one watching us."
―Koth Melan

With the advent of the Galactic Civil War, Melan began to take a keen interest in the Alliance to Restore the Republic's movements. When Rebel pilot Ace Azzameen, with the help of his family, stealthily planted a listening device at Comm Center, Melan was highly impressed and took a great deal of interest in the pilot. He even sent him an e-mail, applauding his abilities, labeling them "Bothan," and awarded him the Bothan Friendship Award, as well as a Bothan Spynet Honorary Membership.[4]

Shortly after commending Azzameen's abilities, Melan met with a smuggler named Dash Rendar at a desolate, secluded location on Corellia. He handed Rendar a datapad with information vital for the Alliance, but then noticed that the smuggler was trailed by an agent of the Imperial Security Bureau, who launched an attack. During the battle, the Bothan was wounded and ordered Rendar to run with the information. The Corellian stopped for a moment, but then made his escape, leaving Melan to surrender to the Imperial. In a few hours, he was transported to Captain Jeffren Brek in the city of Bela Vistal.[5] The datapad, however, found its way into the hands of Alliance member Luke Skywalker.[6]

Investigating Imperial projects

"From what little else we've learned of it, this project does not bode well for the Alliance."
―Koth Melan
Melan, spying on the Imperial communications.

Eventually escaping capture, Melan learned that his spies had bribed a high-ranking Imperial officer for information. He revealed that a major Imperial military project was under way and that Galactic Emperor Palpatine was diverting copious amounts of funds, materials, and personnel into the new enterprise. This new enterprise, apparently, would prove deadly to the Alliance. Melan dispatched a slicer droid to Imperial Center to learn the nature of the project, but the plan failed. Melan realized that there was no way they would be able to use slicers to obtain the data, and that they would have to physically retrieve it somehow.[1]

His operatives determined that one of the computers containing data relevant to the project was being transferred from Imperial Center to Bothawui. The Empire planned to use the Mobquet medium transport Suprosa to make the transfer, disguising it as a fertilizer barge. By utilizing a low-key craft instead of a massive convoy, Melan believed that they hoped to avoid Alliance attention. Realizing that the Suprosa's arrival in the Both system would be the opportune moment to strike, Melan journeyed to the Intergalactic Trade Mission on Bothawui with his droid, R0-4.[1]

Koth Melan's message droid is intercepted by Luke Skywalker and Dash Rendar.

From there, he contacted Leia Organa of the Alliance, believing her to be on Tatooine. However, while his message droid was in transit, he learned that Organa was in fact on Rodia, and that Luke Skywalker and Dash Rendar were the likely ones to receive the message. Sure enough, Skywalker and his bodyguard arrived on Bothawui, demanding answers from Melan. The Bothan explained the situation to the two Humans and found that Skywalker's presence would be a stroke of luck. Melan had enlisted the Bothan BTL-S3 Y-wing starfighter pilots of Blue Squadron to help capture the Suprosa, but they were inexperienced and would benefit from the experience of a veteran. Skywalker agreed, and after several days training, the group prepared to meet the Suprosa in the Both system.[1]

One of Melan's operatives obtained the Suprosa's flight plan from a Black Sun contact; a fact that failed to bother the Bothan.[1] Admiral Yamarus of the Liberty was contacted by either Skywalker or Melan, due to the fact that Blue Squadron had one vacant position. Yamarus, deciding that the operation was of the utmost importance, dispatched Ace Azzameen, the pilot previously lauded by Melan, to fill the vacancy.[4]

First Battle of Bothawui

With Melan aboard Dash Rendar's Outrider, Skywalker led Blue Squadron to one of Bothawui's moons to await the arrival of the Suprosa. Sure enough, it arrived, claiming to be hauling fertilizer. Skywalker, Rendar, and Blue Squadron engaged the craft, attempting to slow its flight, but it unveiled concealed weapons, and the battle was suddenly met. Twelve Bothans perished in the ensuing First Battle of Bothawui, greatly dampening the morale of Melan and the Rebels, but the ship was successfully disabled. Rendar boarded it first, clearing the Imperial presence, before Melan and a group of his operatives retrieved the computer.[4][1][7]

Skywalker rendezvoused with them aboard the Outrider, and Melan explained that he would be unable to access the data. Fortunately, he had a team of elite hackers in a safehouse on nearby Kothlis, who would be able to retrieve the costly information.[1] The group set out, once again, but on the way to Kothlis, they were pulled out of hyperspace by the Immobilizer 418 cruiser Claw. Its escort craft, the Hunter, deployed fighters to intercept, but Skywalker and Rendar were able to fend them off long enough to allow the remainder of Blue Squadron to destroy the Claw.[4]

Admiral Yamarus had brought the Liberty to Kothlis, in order to defend from any possible Imperial retaliation. Rendar brought Melan and the computer to the space station Kothlis II, before departing for Rodia. Skywalker then rendezvoused with Melan at the Kothlis safe house. The safe house, cleverly disguised as a dilapidated office building, was home to a wide variety of Spynet employees, all highly skilled and more than qualified to access the Suprosa computer.[1]


"G-G-Go! Leave me, get out! Idiot! L-L-Leave! Luke, thanks. I—"
―Koth Melan's dying words
Melan dies on Kothlis.

Just as Melan's agents cracked the Imperial codes protecting the computer, a team of Barabel bounty hunters burst into the facility, blasters flashing. With technicians being cut down all about him, Melan joined the battle, fending off the attackers with his long blaster and fighting alongside Skywalker, a Jedi in training. Believing that the attackers were after the computer, he urged Skywalker to retreat further into the complex.[1]

Agent Borsk Fey'lya was able to retrieve the computer,[4] and Melan hurriedly covered his retreat. He emptied his blaster clip into the enemies and ordered Skywalker to leave immediately, but before the Jedi could, Melan was struck by blaster fire. Skywalker, instead of leaving, stayed with the dying Bothan until he finally expired, while the bounty hunters surrounded the Jedi and captured him.[1]


"Many Bothans died to bring us this information."
Mon Mothma

Fey'lya was eventually able to get the computer to the Alliance, though an unfortunate series of events almost led to it falling back into Imperial hands. The data revealed itself to be plans to the Death Star II, a weapon of total destruction that would spell doom for the Alliance if left unfettered. Though Melan never knew it, it was Palpatine's intent that he retrieve the plans, as the Galactic Emperor planned to lure the Alliance into a trap over Endor, the location of the Death Star II's construction.[1] Melan's funeral was held on Bothawui, but only a limited number of Alliance pilots were permitted to attend, due to high levels of Imperial activity in the sector.[4]

Personality and traits

Melan defends his agents from Barabel attack.

Melan was a very proud Bothan and had the utmost faith in the abilities of his Spynet. He liked to keep abreast of the movements of important political figures, usually knowing where any one of them was at any given time. Though he lacked technical expertise, he made sure to employ a broad range of sentients, so the Spynet would rarely have to seek outside help. When they did, however, Melan had no qualms with dealing with such shady organizations as Black Sun, as long as it was all in the pursuit of defeating the Empire.[1]

Melan had a strict adherence to the Bothan culture, subjecting himself to the harsh laws of honor. He suffered the consequences of his father's death by styling his name in a fashion foreign to Bothans. Though he stood to gain considerably more by remaining a neutral party in the Galactic Civil War, he hoped his siding with the Alliance would help him in the pursuit of honor. As he died defending Agent Fey'lya and other Spynet employees, it is likely that in death, Melan regained significant standing with his people.[1]

Behind the scenes

"Melan, do you think you'll be able to access the program?"
"No, it'll be encrypted and protected by a self-destruct device. Our best team is on Kothlis, a colony not too far from here. We'll transport it there, and see what we've got."
"Are we apt to run into any more Imperials along the way?"
"Who can say? It is possible…"
Bob Bergen as Luke Skywalker and Denny Delk as Koth Melan — (audio)Listen (file info)

Koth Melan first appeared in the Shadows of the Empire multimedia project, wherein he is a supporting character. He would later appear in Lawrence Holland's Star Wars: X-wing Alliance, which crosses over with the events from Shadows of the Empire. In X-wing Alliance, he is voiced by Denny Delk, though Delk was simply credited as "Bothan Officer". The Special Edition Limited pack of the Star Wars Customizable Card Game provided an image of a generic Bothan Spy, which was later retroactively made to portray Melan in The Official Star Wars Fact File 61.



Notes and references

External links

This article uses material from the "Koth Melan" article on the Starwars wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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