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Zsinj
Biographical information
Homeworld

Fondor[1]

Died

8 ABY (43:3:21)[2]

Physical description
Species

Human[1]

Gender

Male[1]

Height

1.68 meters[1]

Hair color

Brown (graying)[1]

Eye color

Brown[1]

Skin color

Light[1]

Chronological and political information
Era(s)
Affiliation

Galactic Empire[1]

"No, I never really would have asked you to kiss him."
Han Solo, to Chewbacca

Zsinj was an Imperial officer from Fondor who rose to the rank of Admiral and Grand Moff of the Quelii Oversector, after having received accolades from Emperor Palpatine for quarantining the Force-sensitive Nightsisters on the world of Dathomir. Establishing himself as an independent warlord after the Battle of Endor, Zsinj was recognized by many as the most powerful of the post-Imperial warlords. Zsinj commanded a formidable fleet, with support from a financial infrastructure unlike that of any other warlord, and at the height of his power he controlled a third of the known galaxy, rivaling both the New Republic and the Galactic Empire. After the defeat of Director of Imperial Intelligence Ysanne Isard, Zsinj became the target of a New Republic campaign against him, which was led by General Han Solo, who became a personal enemy of Zsinj's.

Zsinj's forces fought Solo's forces on several occasions, each taking turns laying traps for the other. In 7 ABY, Zsinj's personal command ship, the Executor-class Star Dreadnought Iron Fist, narrowly escaped destruction at the hands of Solo's fleet twice, the first time due to New Republic collaboration with Imperial admiral Teren Rogriss while the second engagement was precipitated by a double agent on Iron Fist, Gara Petothel. Zsinj faked the destruction of Iron Fist and escaped to his hidden base over Dathomir to plan his next move. However, his outpost was attacked by the Hapan war fleet. During the battle, Han Solo, who had won Dathomir in a gambling match and had journeyed to the world, flew his personal craft, the Millennium Falcon on a strafing run on Iron Fist. Firing concussion missiles at the bridge of Zsinj's flagship, Solo slew the warlord and brought about the collapse of his empire.

Contents

Biography

Rise to prominence

"What little of his Imperial career we know about indicates he is a man who embraces the idea that the ends do justify the means."
Leia Organa

Zsinj's early life was sufficiently obfuscated to prevent even the New Republic Intelligence Service from compiling any significant details prior to his military career. It was known that Zsinj entered the Imperial Academy upon reaching the minimum enrollment age. Though he did not really stand out among his classmates, he showed amazing technological insight and a great deal of promise as a tactician. Though his instructors tried to persuade him to consider a career in support services, Zsinj insisted that he was "destined to become a great warrior." Though his path to power was a rocky one, his words would prove prophetic.[3]

Upon graduating in the top third of his academy class, Zsinj was given command of the Victory I-class Star Destroyer Iron Fist. One of the oldest ships of her class, Iron Fist was nearly due to be decommissioned when she was reassigned to Zsinj. Ancient equipment was hardly an obstacle for Captain Zsinj, however, as he formulated innovative tactics to confound the enemies of the Empire. It was during this time that Zsinj would meet his future right-hand man, Melvar.[3]

Around the time of the Battle of Yavin, the Iron Fist was assigned to patrol the area in the Quelii sector around the planet Dathomir.[1] Dathomir was a backwater world, where the Imperial garrison was still equipped with broken-down A5 Juggernauts and even basic supply shipments were irregular,[4] but the Empire built a prison complex on the planet for political dissidents and intellectuals.[1] Emperor Palpatine eventually realized that the Dathomiri Nightsisters were too much of a threat to be allowed off-planet. To eliminate this threat, Zsinj attacked the prison from orbit, destroying every spaceworthy craft. Though this stranded all the Imperial personnel on the planet along with the Nightsisters, Palpatine applauded Zsinj's actions, promoted Zsinj to Admiral, and gave him command of the newest Executor-class Star Dreadnought, Brawl.[1] The Victory-class Star Destroyer was sent to the Unknown Regions under Thrawn,[5] and Zsinj renamed Brawl to Iron Fist in honor of the ship that carried him to glory.[3] With the new Iron Fist at his command, Zsinj became the heart of Imperial authority in what was now the Quelii Oversector,[3] with the rank of Grand Moff.[6]

From admiral to warlord

Zsinj could be an imposing figure when he wished.
"He is a survivor, and shows cunning at playing his enemies off against each other."
―Leia Organa

After the Imperial defeat at the Battle of Endor, the Empire began to fracture and core elements of Imperial power were brought under the control of the Imperial Ruling Council. Zsinj refused to recognize their authority and went rogue with the forces under his command, taking control of Quelii Sector from the Drackmarians, Instead of trying to seize more power and territory by force, Zsinj worked to solidify his power base. Zsinj sent emissaries to the Alliance of Free Planets and later the fledgling New Republic, causing them to initially leave him alone as they focused on nibbling at the Imperial forces based on Coruscant.[3]

In the earliest days after the death of the Emperor, many warlords found it difficult to maintain the respect of their subjects. With most true stormtroopers remaining loyal to the Imperial Ruling Council, some warlords chose to equip regular infantry with stormtrooper armor. Zsinj took a different route, choosing instead to form his own elite military force. The Raptors combined aspects of the stormtroopers and the Emperor's Royal Guard, and they were loyal only to Zsinj. Zsinj's industrial complex created or purchased unique equipment for the Raptors, like Incom Y-4 "Raptor" transports and TIE Raptors. The Raptors defended Zsinj's holdings, protected his allies, and terrified his enemies.[3]

Zsinj made overtures, both friendly and aggressive, to planets spread throughout the Galaxy. He also made efforts to recruit Imperial officers into his forces, focusing especially on those with an Intelligence background.[7] Some joined him, while others, like Sair Yonka,[8] remained loyal to Coruscant. Through subordinates like Zurel Darillian, Zsinj operated like a rebel force unto himself. Outside of his official borders, his cells controlled territories of varying size, from entire planets down to individual companies. Using a variety of aliases like "Cortle Steeze" and "Lord Houghten Ween," Zsinj built up a support network independent from his military force.[7] During this time, Zsinj built his Dathomir shipyards, started mining operations on Dathomir's fourth moon and initiated some of his many special projects.[3]

One of the first of his plots to bear fruit was Project Chubar. Zsinj took control of Binring Biomedical Product, a company based on the Corporate Sector world of Saffalore. There, ex-Imperial scientist Tuzin Gast and his subordinates used genetic and chemical therapy to increase the intellect of nonhuman species such as Gamorreans and Ewoks. Gast eventually chose to commit suicide in his lab with a small explosive device, and the most notable success of this project, an enhanced Gamorrean subject named Gamma-9104, was allowed to escape. Gamma-9104 later took the name Voort saBinring and went on to join the New Republic Defense Fleet. Despite this setback, Project Chubar continued on Saffalore and a secondary laboratory aboard Iron Fist.[9]

Viewing both his Imperial and New Republic opponents as inferior, Zsinj eventually felt secure enough in his power to challenge the New Republic directly.[3]

First strikes

"He knows I would pluck out his heart and fling it into the streets from the highest tower in the Palace."
Ysanne Isard

While Ysanne Isard controlled the Empire proper, Zsinj kept a respectful distance from her territory. But as the New Republic made inroads toward their conquest of Coruscant, Zsinj felt compelled to test them.[10]

After the New Republic took Borleias, Zsinj sent a small force to probe the Pyria system. A modified Dwarf Star-class freighter bearing a name that followed New Republic conventions, Vengeance Derra IV, arrived in orbit of Borleias and used a secret backdoor in the New Republic's identification system to fake a correct ID. Only Corran Horn's instinct allowed the New Republic forces to destroy the freighter's TIE fighters and TIE Bombers and drive the freighter out of the system. The New Republic sent Rogue Squadron on a retaliatory strike against Vengeance Derra IV in orbit of Mrisst. Rogue Squadron crippled Vengeance Derra IV, hurt another Zsinj-allied transport, and destroyed a squadron of TIE fighters.[10]

Zsinj was not the type to let this challenge go unanswered. The New Republic's reprisal set off a series of hit-and-fade strikes against the New Republic by Zsinj's forces. Zsinj seriously damaged the New Republic base on Noquivzor, believing he was hitting Rogue Squadron. This caused the New Republic to accelerate their timetable for taking Coruscant. During the subsequent Krytos virus crisis, Zsinj made efforts to steal bacta from the New Republic. Rogue Squadron and General Horton Salm's Defender Wing retook a shipment of bacta from a Zsinj-controlled space station orbiting Yag'Dhul.[11]

Zsinj then acted on intelligence provided to him by Isard to attack a bacta convoy in The Graveyard in the Alderaan system. Termagant, one of Zsinj's Strike-class cruisers, destroyed a fake Rogue Squadron that Kirtan Loor had planned to use to turn public sentiment against the New Republic. The real Rogue Squadron destroyed Termagant, but not before Zsinj prepared a HoloNet broadcast to Coruscant claiming that he had destroyed the convoy and Rogue Squadron for Humanitarian reasons. Zsinj claimed that the bacta was deliberately tainted by New Republic agents to "get rid of the xeno-trash" on Coruscant, and implored the population to support him. This HoloNet broadcast was aired worldwide, however his broadcast had the misfortune of being sent nearly 12 hours after an official report showing the survival of Rogue Squadron. Zsinj was made to appear foolish once again, but the attack caused the New Republic Provisional Council to make the difficult decision to commit forces to hunting Zsinj.[11]

After the fall of Coruscant

"He's as elusive as the Katana fleet."
―Admiral Ackbar

Isard's death and the fall of Coruscant caused many previously loyal Imperial officers and warships to flock to Zsinj's banner, including Admiral Apwar Trigit and his Imperial II-class Star Destroyer Implacable.[7] Zsinj also picked up many parts of Isard's Imperial Intelligence network, and implemented new special projects.[7] He absorbed the territory of many smaller warlords like Terrinald Screed, whom he executed.[12] Controlling his forces from Rancor Base on Dathomir, Zsinj became increasingly ambitious.[3]

But with Isard out of the way, the New Republic was able to commit a substantial force, under the command of Han Solo, to hunt Zsinj. Following his success in liberating Thyferra, Wedge Antilles and his unit was assigned to this force. Rogue Squadron was assigned to Mon Remonda, and Antilles formed a new X-wing unit, later known as Wraith Squadron, to counter Zsinj's tactics with their own innovative ideas.[13]

Zsinj allowed his subordinates a degree of freedom in their fight against the New Republic. Admiral Trigit ordered Gara Petothel to plant false intelligence in New Republic databanks that allowed a small force under his command to destroy Talon Squadron in the Gravan system. Then, unlike Ysanne Isard, he retrieved his agent rather than killing her. This action, and the attitude behind it, met with Zsinj's approval. Zsinj and Trigit also implemented Project Morrt, which allowed Trigit to locate and nearly destroy the New Republic forces on Folor. Only a creative decoy tactic by the Wraiths ("the only flight of 'Dinner Squadron'") allowed the New Republic to escape the base. An empion mine, placed in the Xobome system as part of this project, could have destroyed Wraith Squadron. Unfortunately for Zsinj, they were able to use another creative tactic to foil Trigit. They captured the modified corvette Night Caller, killing Captain Zurel Darillian in the process, and began the process of collecting intelligence on Zsinj and destroying Trigit.[7]

By impersonating Darillian, Garik "Face" Loran was able to fool both Trigit and Zsinj long enough to destroy Implacable in the Battle of Ession. The Wraiths discovered that the 181st Imperial Fighter Group under Soontir Fel was apparently serving Zsinj. They also collected a significant amounts of data about Zsinj's secret support network–much of which they attacked along the way. The fact that Zsinj was negotiating for the services of pirate forces gave the Wraiths a new avenue of opportunity in their fight against Zsinj.[7]

The Halmad lure

Zsinj's Raptors were a prominent symbol of his power.
"Is he in such dire need that he must rely on pirates? I don't think so. He's assembling a second navy, perhaps a disposable one."
Voort saBinring

Zsinj learned the identity of the squadron that had deceived him so effectively, and decided to target them specifically. An assassination attempt against the Wraiths on Coruscant itself gave the New Republic an idea of how deeply he had infiltrated their sphere of influence. Acting on recommendations from Wraith Squadron personnel, the New Republic Fleet allowed the squadron to set themselves up as a pirate band and harass the planet of Halmad for the purpose of attracting Zsinj's attention. The squadron was joined in this operation by Lara Notsil, who they believed to be an orphan from Aldivy. In fact, Notsil was really Gara Petothel, who initially joined the Wraiths for the purpose of aiding Zsinj and joining his faction.[13]

Zsinj did take notice of the actions of the Hawk-bat Independent Space Force, and after bringing Iron Fist into direct conflict with them over Halmad, he invited the "Hawk-bats" to meet him aboard his flagship. Zsinj put on quite a show for the Hawk-bats, intending to mislead them about his personality and the discipline of those under his command while he gained intelligence about the pirates. Zsinj's interest was piqued by analysis of the Hawk-bats' combat communications, which had been filtered by comm system modifications performed on their TIE Interceptors by Castin Donn. The intercepted signals led Zsinj to believe that an Ewok was flying with the Hawk-bats. During dinner with Zsinj, "General Kargin" of the Hawk-bats (Garik Loran), spun a tale about his "most ferocious pilot", Kettch. This story vexed Zsinj, as it caused him to doubt the security of Project Chubar.[13]

The meeting ended with Zsinj asking General Kargin to execute a captured infiltrator–Castin Donn. Donn had been captured while attempting to infiltrate restricted areas of Iron Fist–a mission which Commander Antilles had already disapproved. "Seku" (Dia Passik) agreed to execute the prisoner as a private commission for Zsinj. Being an expert in body language, Dia believed that Donn had already been killed and that Zsinj's people installed a pump in Donn's chest to simulate breathing as a test for the Hawk-bats, so she acted before any of her fellow pilots could do anything rash. After Donn's death, the Hawk-bats departed Iron Fist without incident, and Zsinj was left with little doubt about their veracity.[13] Soon afterward, Zsinj demanded an inquiry into the Saffalore facility, and initiated experiments on a real Ewok, Kolot, to determine the plausibility of Kettch's existence.[9]

At the same time, Myn Donos, the only surviving member of Talon Squadron, escorted Gara Petothel to a meeting in New Oldtown on Aldivy. Zsinj had received her request to join his forces, and dispatched one of his officers, Captain Todrin Rossik, to make contact with Petothel through the real Lara's brother, Tavin Notsil. Petothel, who had been having second thoughts about joining Zsinj, resisted Rossik's plan. Donos killed Tavin Notsil from his sniper position, and Petothel killed Rossik. Petothel and Donos returned to the Wraiths, and Zsinj was left confused about Petothel's intentions.[13]

Shortly thereafter, Zsinj embarked on one of his most audacious operations.[13]

The raid on Kuat

"You're joking. Kuat?"
Wes Janson

During the meeting with the Hawk-bats on Iron Fist, Zsinj provided the Wraiths with data on a large-scale attack on "an orbital refueling and trade station" for which he was contracting numerous private space forces. The information from Zsinj showed that the facility was defended by a large New Republic force, and implied that the facility orbited Coruscant, though the Wraiths were uncertain what could be in orbit over Coruscant that would merit the risk of a raid. However, the information about New Republic forces was a ruse on Zsinj's part, to guard against betrayal by his pirate allies. Analysis of the battle plan by Gara Petothel, the Wraiths' acting computer specialist, revealed the fact that the raid was not on a New Republic facility at all. The attack was against the space facilities of Kuat Drive Yards.[13]

Zsinj had learned that KDY, still allied with the Empire, was very close to commissioning a new Executor-class Star Dreadnought, Razor's Kiss. The Empire was about to gain a ship that could challenge Zsinj's own flagship. Zsinj badly wanted Razor's Kiss for himself. He found the weaknesses in the construction facility's security by helping a Colonel in the ship's complement to set up a smuggling operation. The plan for capturing Razor's Kiss was twofold: A boarding party would seize the ship's bridge while Zsinj's space forces, including the pirates, provided a distraction for Kuat's defense fleet.[13]

The plan worked flawlessly until the Wraiths threw a few hydrospanners into the works. Razor's Kiss left the Kuat system under Zsinj's command, and it looked as if he would win the day. Shalla Nelprin uploaded a program into the computers on Razor's Kiss which would transmit the vessel's coordinates to the waiting New Republic fleet, then she stole a senior officer's hyperdrive-equipped TIE interceptor and landed on the hull of Razor's Kiss. At the same time, Voort saBinring crash-landed his interceptor on Iron Fist. General Melvar paid the pirates, and Iron Fist went to rendezvous with Razor's Kiss. Zsinj had no idea that his prize was about to be lost.[13]

As soon as Razor's Kiss dropped out of hyperspace, she began broadcasting her location. Mon Remonda was waiting and Solo positioned his fleet to intercept. Zsinj was stunned, but he steeled himself for a fight and vowed "to rid the galaxy of the Rebels' most annoying cruiser… and the legacy of Han Solo."[13]

This was not to be, however, as the Wraiths' saboteurs made their moves. Shalla Nelprin destroyed the bridge deflector shields on Razor's Kiss, and the New Republic fleet pounded the undermanned and poorly-defended ship. Zsinj moved to protect his prize, and launched swarms of TIEs. Razor's Kiss lost her bridge during the fight. Trooper Gatterweld, an Imperial loyalist, decided it would be better for Zsinj to own the ship than to let it be destroyed and attempted to save the ship using the auxiliary bridge. It appeared as if Zsinj would once again turn defeat into victory, but then saBinring reactivated his crashed fighter and attacked Iron Fist's own shield generators. The battle for Razor's Kiss was over.[13]

Special projects

Zsinj's handlebar moustache contrasted with his uniform.
"He's finally decided to come in for a scrap."
―General Han Solo

The loss of Razor's Kiss disturbed Zsinj more than he expected. Solo had used Zsinj's own ambition against him, and turned his desire to protect his new possession into a means to hurt him severely. He resolved not to be as predictable, and began some of his most ambitious plots yet.[9]

  • Project Minefield, an offshoot of Project Chubar, brainwashed a significant number of nonhuman members of the New Republic government and fleet.[9]
  • Project Funeral involved the placement and activation of these operatives.[9]
  • Project Blunted Razor involved the collection of as much of the Razor's Kiss debris as possible and transporting it to Rancor Base.[9]

By executing carefully calculated Raptor raids, Zsinj led Solo into a trap. At the Battle of Levian Two, Zsinj brought in a fleet larger than Solo thought possible. Neither side took major losses, but Solo was forced to reevaluate his course of action. With Solo's approval, the supply officers of Wraith and Rogue Squadrons located a decoy to use as bait for Zsinj. Meanwhile, Wraith Squadron set out to infiltrate Binring Biomedical and investigate its connection to Zsinj, unaware it was a trap.[9]

After learning the truth about Voort saBinring and Kettch, Zsinj consolidated the Saffalore laboratory into the secondary lab on Iron Fist. He then called the heads of the Saffalore facility to Iron Fist. Novin Bress and Tuzin Gast's niece Edda Gast were brought before the warlord to report on possible lost specimens. Bress was forced to admit the possibility that specimens were unaccounted for in the aftermath of Tuzin Gast's suicide. Edda Gast remained calm during the meeting, and when Zsinj presented the doctors with a pair of pistols as if inviting them to commit suicide, Gast instead executed Bress. This caused Zsinj to declare her both blameless and not stupid, and he put her in charge of trapping the Wraiths.[9]

Plans within plans

"Stay, and accept the death you know you deserve!"
Tolokai to Mon Mothma

Zsinj sent Captain Radaf Netbers to assist Gast and Binring's own security forces in turning the Binring facility into a trap. Their plan seemed fairly airtight, and would have resulted in the incineration of most of Wraith Squadron. Unfortunately, further unorthodox tactics on the part of the Wraiths allowed them to kill Netbers and escape with Doctor Gast in their custody. Zsinj flew into a fit of rage, and practically destroyed his own office on Iron Fist. He knew Gast's loyalty was only to herself, and made plans to eliminate her. He also accelerated the Project Funeral timetable.[9]

Project Funeral was an ambitious endeavor. By rapidly brainwashing nonhumans and placing agents near them who would activate their programming with unique code phrases, Zsinj would accomplish two objectives: hurting the New Republic directly by assassinating key personnel and destroying New Republic assets, and hurting it more subtly by causing a schism between Humans and nonhumans. In a short time, Zsinj was able to sow chaos throughout the New Republic. Shortly before the Saffalore operation, Twi'lek Jart Eyan was activated to attack Admiral Ackbar. After Saffalore, and Zsinj's decision to proceed more rapidly, several more attacks occurred almost simultaneously. Tolokai, a Gotal aide of Mon Mothma, nearly killed the Chief of State. Two other Gotal soldiers attacked a barracks and a holotheater. Galey, a support staffer aboard Mon Remonda, activated the Twi'leks Tal'dira and Nuro Tualin just before the Battle of Jussafet Four, and then tried to kill Edda Gast.[9]

Fortunately for Solo, the Force was quite literally with him and his fleet. Tualin, a pilot in Polearm Squadron, fired on Mon Remonda with his A-wing, and would have successfully destroyed the bridge if Force-sensitive pilot Tyria Sarkin hadn't anticipated his action. Tal'dira, a pilot in Rogue Squadron, would have killed Wedge Antilles during if future Jedi Corran Horn hadn't felt his attack coming. Despite the actions of the brainwashed Twi'leks, Solo's fleet won the day at Jussafet. Zsinj's attack force was driven off, the Raptors on the ground were destroyed, a number of Raptor craft were captured, and the New Republic's effort to defend Jussafet Four, an Imperial world, drew the attention of Imperial Admiral Teren Rogriss.[9]

Rogriss requested an emissary from Solo's fleet, and Solo sent the hologenic Human Captain Loran to the Star Destroyer Agonizer. Rogriss and Loran recognized that despite their differences, they had a common enemy in Zsinj. They made an informal agreement to share intelligence, and Loran learned that the fighter unit that was apparently led by Baron Fel was not the real Imperial 181st. The real 181st was still loyal to the Empire, under Major Turr Phennir. When Loran returned to Mon Remonda, Solo accepted Rogriss' offer without even consulting Fleet Command. The tables were once again turning against Zsinj.[9]

Redirection and misdirection

The TIE Raptor was designed by Zsinj himself.
"I'm obliged to take you three temporarily off active duty."
Wedge Antilles, to the Twi'leks under his command

Project Funeral was working beautifully. Gotals and Twi'leks were suddenly under suspicion, and tension was mounting.[9]

But then Antilles convened the Wraiths and Rogues for "one of their insane speculation and planning sessions," during which they divined Zsinj's plans and proposed countermeasures. They forwarded their conclusions to General Airen Cracken, who dedicated resources to testing the plausibility of Antilles' report. The Wraiths' predictions came true, and New Republic Intelligence thwarted an attempt by Sullustan pilot Rostat Manr to crash the cruise liner Nebula Queen. Since they did so by using one of Manr's Sullustan subordinates, Nurm, as an intermediary, further Human-alien enmity was avoided. NRI also stopped a similar Bothan effort to cause a computer-induced explosion at a power plant. Project Funeral was effectively over.[9]

Zsinj had been leading Solo's fleet into traps, so Antilles decided to use even more unconventional methods to lure Zsinj. A mock-up of the Millennium Falcon, cleverly dubbed the "Millennium Falsehood", flew to Kidriff 5 to make it appear that Solo himself was fomenting rebellion. The ruse went according to plan, but a miscalculation on the part of Captain Loran caused Gara Petothel to flee the Wraiths. Petothel joined Zsinj on Iron Fist, but her loyalty was still to the Wraiths. She embarked on a plan to plant false intelligence and cripple Iron Fist.[9]

Based on their estimation of Petothel's character, Antilles and the Wraiths decided to continue the Millennium Falsehood plan. With Rogriss' task force operating on one side of Zsinj's space and Solo's fleet working the other, Zsinj's enemies nibbled at him like a pack of ranats. Within a week, Zsinj had lost millions of credits, eight percent of his income. Worlds rejected Zsinj's rule, like Vispil, where he lost the Carrack-class light cruiser Counterpunch to planetary defense forces.[9]

Zsinj was despondent. Even General Melvar was concerned; Zsinj was acting more pessimistic than he'd ever seen. Together, the Warlord and his General formulated a plan to stop Zsinj's ongoing losses and restore his sagging confidence.[9]

Turning the tide

"We kill General Han Solo and as many of his friends and aides as is Humanly possible."
"That will be the most enjoyable part of the operation."
―Zsinj and Melvar

Zsinj's plan for recovery was fairly simple. He wanted to retain control of Iron Fist and as much of his support network as possible, eliminate Han Solo, and retreat to Rancor Base to mend his fleet and formulate his next scheme for galactic domination.[9]

To this end, he followed the advice of the apparently-loyal Gara Petothel. She told him Solo was likely to be found on worlds with prior relations with Alderaan, starting with Comkin V. When Zsinj's forces engaged the Millennium Falsehood, Petothel made a clandestine transmission to the Wraiths telling them of her effort to mislead Zsinj. Petothel told them that she listed Vahaba as the next likely target in her briefing for Zsinj. Neither side took heavy losses at Comkin, because neither side brought in the bulk of their fleet. Zsinj's own long-established doctrine prevented him from fighting on a battleground chosen by the enemy, and Solo believed Zsinj was spooked. Solo decided to change the rules again.[9]

Before the Millennium Falsehood put in an appearance at Vahaba, Solo had Captain Loran contact their Imperial ally. After a bit of verbal sparring, Loran got Rogriss to agree to loan an Interdictor to Solo's fleet–the New Republic did own some, but they were all otherwise engaged. After Iron Fist crept into the Vahaba system, the Interdictor Stellar Web activated its gravity well projectors. Zsinj was trapped, until he could disable or destroy Stellar Web. Zsinj focused his fleet's efforts on facilitating Iron Fist's escape. When Stellar Web was forced to reverse her gravity generators by the impending collision of the crippled Victory-class Star Destroyer Serpent's Smile, Zsinj jumped away, believing himself safe.[9]

But Zsinj didn't count on sabotage. Tonin, Gara Petothel's R2 unit, had used an army of MSE-6 mouse droids to gain a limited amount of control over Iron Fist. Before leaving the Vahaba system, Tonin erased the Selaggis system from the Star Dreadnought's primary databank and subtly altered her course to take the ship there. Then Tonin ordered his diminutive droid soldiers to attack Iron Fist's hyperdrive. Petothel sent a HoloNet transmission to Mon Remonda and the slugging match began again.[9]

Zsinj knew it was time to implement his escape plan. He called in as much of his fleet as he could muster, along with any of his pirate allies that could join him in time. He also summoned Second Death for her intended purpose. Since the connection between Wraith Squadron and the Hawk-bat pirates was still a secret to him, Zsinj didn't realize that summoning the pirates was what confirmed Solo's decision to engage him.[9]

The Battle of Selaggis was not a long one. Zsinj managed to bring in his third battle group, and launched all of Iron Fist's fighters except the "181st" and the experimental units. Hiding in the belt of Selaggis VI, Zsinj used a tactic he invented on the original Iron Fist to attack Solo's fighter groups by blowing the asteroids into flak. Only by heeding Myn Donos' hard-earned danger sense were most of the New Republic fighters able to escape this ambush. Meanwhile, Gara Petothel escaped Iron Fist in her X-wing, with most of the Project Chubar subjects accompanying her in a Sentinel-class landing craft piloted by Kolot, the real Ewok pilot.[9]

Zsinj was getting depressed again. His enemies were anticipating him. And without his knowledge, his ship was transmitting his own tactical data to the enemy–more of Petothel's sabotage. Zsinj's mood brightened, however, when his chief engineer announced the restoration of hyperdrive capability. Zsinj sent "Baron Fel" and his squadron to cover Iron Fist's retreat.[9]

Retreat and recovery

Dathomir was the seat of Zsinj's power.
"Zsinj, I'm not a rich man. Not really an ambitious man. Maybe you should take that into account. It means that you can never cost me as much as I've cost you. Never."
―General Han Solo

The "181st" chose to engage Mon Remonda's fighters over the ruins of the colony on Selaggis VI's moon. The New Republic forces were obligated to try to protect anyone who might have survived when Zsinj attacked the colony five months earlier. Zsinj's fighters effectively distracted the fighters under Antilles' command, but Solo's main warships were still bearing down on Iron Fist. Zsinj made his move to escape.[9]

The decoy ship Second Death deployed its Nightcloak and made ready to cover Iron Fist's departure. Meanwhile, Voort saBinring cut Zsinj's diversionary fighter force in half by jamming their communications–every fighter in the mock 181st had a droid companion. Zsinj used rigged asteroids to slow the pursuing Mon Remonda, and deployed the experimental TIE Raptors. After pursuing "Baron Fel" to the surface of Selaggis' moon, Antilles learned that the leader of the false 181st was actually Tetran Cowall, impersonating Fel to distract Antilles–just another one of the warlord's many plots. Gara Petothel protected Antilles from a Raptor attack before making her own exit from the battle, which was coming to a close.[9]

Though retreating from a losing battle seriously hurt Zsinj's pride, Iron Fist moved into the concealment of Second Death's Nightcloak. They successfully jumped, and Second Death detonated–turning back into the debris that made up most of her bulk. To outside observers, it looked like Iron Fist destroyed herself with a faulty hyperdrive.[9]

But Iron Fist was intact, and she escaped to Zsinj-friendly space. Zsinj put in a hypercomm call to Han Solo from the cockpit of a Lambda-class shuttle, and the two commanders exchanged unpleasantries. Solo offered to let Zsinj kiss Chewbacca, causing Zsinj to unleash a colorful series of profanity in several languages for almost a full minute (including one in Rodese that mocked Solo's familial makeup), and the conversation ended. Solo believed he was victorious, while Zsinj returned to Iron Fist. The game was not quite over.[9]

The fall of Zsinj's Empire

Warlord Zsinj.
"Let me get this straight. You said 'Kiss my Wookiee!' to the most powerful warlord in the galaxy?"
Prince Isolder to Han Solo

Upon returning to Coruscant, Han Solo learned that the woman he loved was considering a political marriage to Isolder of the Hapes Consortium to strengthen the New Republic. Solo knew he had nothing to offer Princess Leia Organa to counter Isolder's incredible wealth, so he decided to win her a gift in a way only Han Solo could–a sabacc game with ridiculously high stakes. He won the planet Dathomir from the Drackmarian warlord Omogg. He offered the planet to Leia to replace New Alderaan, which Zsinj had previously attacked. Unfortunately for Solo, Omogg had deceived him–Dathomir was in the heart of Zsinj's space. In Solo's inimitable roguish fashion, he resigned his commission, kidnapped Leia, and took her to his planet.[2]

Zsinj's impending downfall was more due to Han Solo's legendary luck than any factor under the warlord's control.[2]

When Solo arrived at Dathomir, he immediately spotted Zsinj's shipyard–and the massive fleet assembled there spotted Solo. Solo's attempt to disguise the Falcon as one of Zsinj's Incom Y-4s didn't last long, but he managed to fire concussion missiles into an unshielded frigate. The Falcon rode the ruined frigate into Dathomir's atmosphere, but there was a surprise waiting on the surface: The Witches of Dathomir.[2]

The last Jedi Knight, Luke Skywalker, pursued Solo with Isolder's Battle Dragon, Song of War. They arrived at Dathomir only to watch the Falcon crashing. Isolder and Skywalker followed them in, but they were also captured by a Force Witch. Skywalker was soon reunited with Han and Leia, but in the skies above Dathomir, Zsinj's forces braced for an attack and, having learned of Solo's presence, General Melvar began to negotiate with the Nightsisters for custody of Solo.[2]

As the Rebel intruders made efforts to escape the planet, Zsinj deployed the Orbital Nightcloak to cow the planet's inhabitants into submission, an action which is commonly considered the beginning of the Battle of Dathomir. Zsinj directly contacted Gethzerion, the leader of the Nightsisters, to demand the transfer of Solo. The Nightsister captured Solo, and Melvar took two shuttles to the surface to claim him–an armed one for himself and Solo, and an unarmed one for the Nightsisters to depart the planet. In a display of treachery Zsinj did not foresee, Gethzerion killed Melvar and stole the armed shuttle. Unfortunately for the Nightsisters' plans, Luke Skywalker drew more deeply on the Force than he ever had before in order to fight them. He staged an attack to free Solo, and then pursued the Nightsisters' shuttle into the Dathomir sky. With new-found confidence, Luke used his Force-enhanced skills to help Zsinj's forces destroy the Nightsisters, and then he attacked the Nightcloak.[2]

Zsinj deployed hundreds of starfighters to stop the Falcon, but he couldn't keep Skywalker from shutting down his planet-killing satellites. When Luke realized that Iron Fist was within range, Solo reclaimed the helm of the Falcon. Slipping beneath Iron Fist's shields, Solo put in a priority communication directly to Zsinj. The last words Zsinj ever heard were Solo's: "Look up at your viewscreen, you vermin. Kiss my Wookiee!"[2]

With his last two concussion missiles, Solo obliterated the bridge of the mighty Star Dreadnought. The scourge of Zsinj was erased from the galaxy.[2]

Aftermath

Portrait of a conqueror.
"Not only is the New Republic in dire need of support from the outside, but the bulk of Zsinj's forces are still out there."
―Captain Baden Lathe, NRI

With Zsinj gone, the Hapan fleet moved into Dathomir space and destroyed the shipyard, capturing or destroying many of the late warlord's ships. The planet was free from Zsinj, the Nightsisters were destroyed, and Solo transferred legal ownership of Dathomir to the witches–the world was theirs again, as Yoda had foretold. The grateful world of Dathomir quickly joined the New Republic. Shortly thereafter, Leia married Han Solo. Isolder took a Dathomir native, Teneniel Djo, as his wife,[2] but due to internal Hapan politics the Consortium committed only to a very limited alliance with the New Republic.[14]

Though his reign lasted a mere four years, Zsinj's death had widespread repercussions. The greatest single threat to the New Republic was eliminated, but Zsinj's death also left the Empire free to return their focus to the New Republic. Even worse, Zsinj's forces remained active, but lacked direction. Much of his fleet was claimed by a number of independent warlords, most notably Treuten Teradoc,[14] who waited until Zsinj's demise to declare himself "High Admiral of the Mid Rim."[15]

In the fighting that followed, the New Republic lost a significant portion of their military forces. Crynyd, Rebel Dream, and other Star Destroyers were either destroyed or recaptured by the Empire. The New Republic took Kuat, but the yards were heavily damaged and rife with Imperial partisans. Further, the New Republic lost the core KDY design team when they leapt to the Deep Core with the half-completed Eclipse. Eventually, Rogriss and the Imperial forces began to back down from fighting the New Republic, and Teradoc and other warlords retreated into their pocket empires.[14]

Within a year from Zsinj's defeat, the galactic situation was more stable, with the New Republic in control of three-quarters of the known galaxy. The stage was set for the next great conflict.[14]

Personality and traits

Appearance and personality

Zsinj was almost comical in his manner and appearance. Eventually, he took on the white uniform of a Grand Admiral, which lent an element of incongruity to his appearance when combined with his corpulence and his handlebar moustache.[13] In truth, Zsinj believed that misdirection was the greatest weapon at his command. Some considered him rough and piratical, others saw him as a psychopath, a few thought he was a buffoon. Zsinj didn't want anyone to have an accurate picture of his personality,[1] and much about him remains unknown.[3]

Technical abilities

"It's quite a marvelous toy."
―Zsinj, referring to the Orbital Nightcloak

Zsinj was an extremely proficient technician, so much so that his instructors at the Imperial Academy tried to guide him toward a career in support services. New Republic Intelligence believed he had received technical training in his youth, but like many details of his early life this was never confirmed. Zsinj had a fair degree of skill with general computer use, astrogation, and starship and starfighter engineering. His Raptors were outfitted with advanced vehicles and armor,[3] and Zsinj personally designed their TIE/rpt starfighters.[15]

Business acumen

"I will not give you my word that you will not be harmed. Not that I don't have a word to give; I simply don't think you would believe it. But this you can trust: Zsinj is a businessman, and it just makes good business sense for us to join forces."
―Zsinj, to the Hawk-bats

Zsinj was able to maintain a vast business empire throughout New Republic and Imperial territory in addition to his own. Until Wraith Squadron assumed the mission of one of Zsinj's underlings, the New Republic was totally unaware of this.[7]

He was able to use the protection of his military forces as an incentive for planetary governors to provide him with secret assets, as he did on worlds like Viamarr 4, and his secret business empire supported his publicly known military forces.[7]

Martial skills

"Do you want your office restored, or will you be wanting to redecorate?"
General Melvar

Zsinj was an expert tactician. He invented a number of combat maneuvers which would later be taught in various military academies, such as the use of asteroids as a natural flak screen.[9]

He also had excellent organizational and management skills, as shown in his creation of an entirely new military force, the Raptors, and his ability to maintain a fleet composed of several disparate ex-Imperial elements.[3]

In personal combat, he was proficient with various blasters and vibro-weapons.[3] He almost always carried a blaster pistol, which he once used to obliterate his own office furnishings during a tantrum.[9]

Languages

"Do you know he really is a genius? He can curse fluently in nearly sixty languages. Now I have heard some obscenities in my time, but this man has a special talent."
―General Han Solo to Prince Isolder

Zsinj spoke several non-Basic languages, including Huttese, Mon Calamarian,[16] and Rodese.[9] Han Solo recorded Zsinj's final communication to Mon Remonda in order to have it translated by a 3PO unit.[9] He apparently determined that Zsinj used nearly sixty different languages during his minute-long tirade.[2]

Behind the scenes

Character development

Harcourt Fenton Mudd, in live-action and animated depictions—apparently a visual inspiration for Zsinj.

Warlord Zsinj was originally created as the antagonist for Han Solo in The Courtship of Princess Leia, but his character was not very elaborately described. His background and his empire were described in more detail in the West End Games sourcebook Cracken's Threat Dossier, which detailed the technology and supporting characters of three major story arcs. Zsinj's entry made him seem like a devious opponent, but said little about his "true" personality.

Readers really got to know Zsinj in the X-wing book series, where he served as a background threat in the first four books and the primary antagonist of the three Wraith Squadron books. Aaron Allston turned Zsinj into a more elaborate character, who used deception and theatrics to prevent his enemies from knowing him too well. The Wraith Squadron books provided the foundation for Zsinj's entry in The New Essential Guide to Characters. The Official Star Wars Fact File suggests that Zsinj was actually delusional, but his depiction in the Wraith Squadron novels suggests that, while eccentric, he was far from insane.

Curiously, the illustrator of The Essential Chronology, Bill Hughes, drew a portrait of Zsinj which bore a resemblance to Harcourt Fenton Mudd, a spacefaring con artist from the original Star Trek series portrayed by Roger C. Carmel. The illustration of Zsinj in The New Essential Guide to Characters was apparently based on that drawing.

Zsinj's rank and uniform

Zsinj is specifically described in the novels in which he appears as wearing a Grand Admiral's outfit, but prior to the publication of The Essential Atlas, none of the four available images unambiguously depicted him in the white uniform of that rank, nor was he seen wearing the epaulets, which one would expect a man like Zsinj to enjoy wearing.

Four depictions of Zsinj's rank prior to The Essential Atlas.

The earliest illustration, in Cracken's Threat Dossier, shows Zsinj wearing a dark uniform, with the 2-by-3 rank plaque, which is usually typical of a Captain or Commander, but here, unusually, worn with no code cylinders. The same rank insignia is shown in The Essential Chronology, though here the shade of his uniform tunic is not so clearly defined. The two more recent sources, The New Essential Guide to Characters and The New Essential Chronology, unambiguously depict a green uniform, with a rank plaque not seen before, similar to some worn by Moffs or Grand Moffs, but again without code cylinders. It is likely that all these illustrations depict him in his Imperial days, before becoming a rogue Warlord and assuming the Grand Admiral's uniform, and for what it's worth, the Rebellion Era Sourcebook attributes him at least one cylinder as a Warlord after Endor.

Zsinj's rank before rejecting the authority of the regime on Coruscant was another curiosity. He is identified as an Admiral in Cracken's Threat Dossier, while Wraith Squadron calls him "a onetime Imperial admiral"; but in an often-overlooked line of dialogue in Courtship of Princess Leia, Han Solo makes a reference to "Zsinj or some other Grand Moff". Given Solo's tendency for fast talking, this did not constitute absolute proof that Zsinj held this rank. It was known, however, that he commanded the Quelii Sector Fleet, and no separate Grand Moff of the oversector is known.

These details were finally resolved with the publication of The Essential Atlas, which provided confirmation of Zsinj's position as Grand Moff of the Quelii Oversector, and depicted him in a uniform that combined details of all the prior visual and text depictions: A white Grand Admiral uniform complete with epaulets, the unique rank plaque depicted in The New Essential Guide to Characters and The New Essential Chronology, and code cylinders, which are not normally depicted on Grand Admirals.

Zsinj's government

Zsinj's holdings are known by a variety of names, but "Zsinj's empire" is the most consistent term.[3][14][17][18][19]

Appearances

  • X-wing: Rogue Squadron (Mentioned only)
  • X-wing: Wedge's Gamble (Mentioned only)
  • X-wing: The Krytos Trap (Mentioned only)
  • X-wing: The Bacta War (Mentioned only)
  • X-wing: Wraith Squadron
  • X-wing: Iron Fist
  • X-wing: Solo Command
  • Crossroads (Mentioned only)
  • The Courtship of Princess Leia (First appearance)
  • Tatooine Ghost (Mentioned only)
  • X-wing: Isard's Revenge (Mentioned only)
  • Dark Apprentice (Mentioned only)
  • X-wing: Starfighters of Adumar (Mentioned only)
  • Enemy Lines I: Rebel Dream (Mentioned only)
  • Force Heretic I: Remnant (Mentioned only)
  • Dark Nest I: The Joiner King (Mentioned only)

Sources

Notes and references

External links


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

Star Wars Fanon

Up to date as of February 04, 2010

The Star Wars wiki of fan invention.

Zsinj was the leader of the Zsinj Dominion.


This article uses material from the "Zsinj" article on the Star Wars Fanon wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.







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