|Chronological and political information|
Zak and his older sister, Tash Arranda, were born on Alderaan. Zak was known as a risktaker, due to his love of going "vert" on his skimboard. Zak and his sister were on a field trip off-planet when the Death Star destroyed Alderaan. Both children were later adopted by their Shi'ido uncle, anthropologist Mammon Hoole, who was only related to them because his brother married the Arrandas' Aunt Beryl. They accompanied Hoole on his adventures as he studied the sapient races of the galaxy.
One of their early adventures led them to the planet D'vouran, inhabited by the Enzeen, where Zak, Tash, Hoole and the droid D-V9 ran into a Hutt named Smada, who seemed to know Hoole and wanted to make use of his shape-shifting abilities. As Smada ordered his Gank killers to vaporize the Arrandas, he was stopped by the intervention of the Heroes of Yavin. The children were Force-sensitive, and briefly encountered Jedi Master Yoda shortly before the Battle of Hoth. However, they were upset to find out his uncle had once worked for their worst enemy.