- "Terrific. So whether it's a smuggler base or the survival camp from a shipwreck it still comes under UA protocols."
- ―Colonel Barris paid lip service to the Unknown Alien protocols
Mosh Barris was an individual who served as a colonel, and later major in the Imperial Army. He was the senior troop commander aboard the Venator-class Star Destroyer Strikefast. During the Imperial Era, Barris investigated an uncharted planet where an alien settlement was spotted, in accordance with the Empire's Unknown Alien protocols. However, upon reaching the planet, Imperial forces were attacked relentlessly by an unknown alien assailant, and many of Barris' men were killed. Barris was forced to evacuate his forces and also removed the settlement in order to study it back at the Strikefast.
When Captain Parck, commander of the Star Destroyer, discovered their return, he outed the alien, who had been hiding on the troop carrier. The alien was arrested, and revealed himself as the Chiss Thrawn. Thrawn was taken to Coruscant, and presented as a gift for Emperor Sheev Palpatine, due to his strategic importance. However, prior to this, Barris was demoted to Major, due to his unsatisfactory performance while under fire during the encounter with Thrawn.
A perilous explorationEdit
- "I was reminding the colonel that there are a lot of birds flying around. Small ground animals, too—I nearly twisted my ankle stepping on one a minute ago. If we fine-mesh the screen too far, we'll have alarms triggering all night."
"Fine—forget the fine-meshing. Just get those lights—"
- ―Major Wyan and Colonel Barris under attack from Thrawn
During the Imperial Era, Colonel Mosh Barris was stationed aboard the Venator-class Star Destroyer Strikefast, which was commanded by Captain Voss Parck. While escorting several Imperial cadets back to the Myomar Academy in the Expansion Region, they were sidetracked by pursuing smugglers. During the pursuit, they stumbled upon an uncharted planet where an alien hut had been discovered. In accordance with the Unknown Alien protocols, the Imperials were tasked with exploring the site and making contact with any undiscovered alien life. Colonel Barris led a landing party to the site and discovered a hunt in the center of the forest clearing, surrounded by eight rectangular boxes with two distinct sets of markings in an unknown language.
Since Barris and his team could not decipher the script, the Imperial cadet Eli Vanto was brought down from the Strikefast to investigate. The multilingual Vanto quickly ascertained that the script on the boxes was written in Sy Bisti, a trade language used on the planet Lysatra in Wild Space. However, Vanto was unable to decipher the second set of script. Barris then complained about having to survey the site in accordance with the Unknown Alien protocols, which he dismissively regarded as a relic of the Old Republic. Despite his personal feelings, Barris followed Captain Parck's orders to set up camp while a tech analysis team was sent down.
Shortly later, Colonel Barris was contacted by Major Wyan, who had found the crash site of an Imperial V-wing starfighter. With Captain Parck's permission, Barris and an Imperial Navy trooper went to the crash site and returned with the fallen pilot's flight suit, which had been stuffed with grass, leaves, and pyussh berries. Barris informed Captain Parck that they found no sign of the pilot. Barris also informed Parck and Vanto that he had set up a troop perimeter around the settlement and dispatched another platoon of troopers from the Strikefast.
After Parck ordered Barris and his troops to locate the pilot's body, Barris stated that they might have to wait till morning. When Parck asked if his soldiers were afraid of the dark, Barris replied that he and his men had found that the V-wing pilot's blaster, spare power packs, and concussion grenades were missing. Parck then decided to cease any search operations until morning to avoid friendly fire incidents. Barris and his troops were instructed to stay in camp until daybreak. Barris then remarked that he hoped that whoever took the grenades would blow themselves to pieces before attacking them. Before leaving, Captain Parck instructed Cadet Vanto to stay with Barris' team to study the settlement.
The mysterious attackerEdit
- "I know. Enough is enough. There are eighteen stormtroopers beating the bushes out there—send some navy troopers to recall them. We're pulling out."
- ―Colonel Barris was startled by Thrawn's attacks on the Imperial exploratory party
By dusk, Barris's troops had finished creating their perimeter. The tech team also set up an examination table protected by a transparent weather canopy so that they could study the grass and leaves taken from the flight suit. Shorty later, Major Wyan and his search party returned empty-handed. While examining the flight suit, Barris found the pyussh berries and speculated that they were used in some kind of religious ritual. At that point, Barris and his troops were startled by two explosions along the perimeter line. The second explosion slammed flat against Barris' face and caused the grasses and leaves on the examination table to burn. Barris' troops visited the source of the explosions and reported that the unknown attacker had fled.
Barris also contacted Captain Parck and got him to dispatch some V-wings for a grid search. He then ordered Major Wyan to take a squad to set up some floodlights at the perimeter and then fine-mesh the hemisphere sensor screen. Wyan responded that the perimeter was full of birds and small ground animals and warned that fine-meshing the screen too far would trigger the alarms. Barris accepted Wyan's explanation and ordered him to set up the floodlights. Before they could do that, a second V-wing crashed nearby. Barris and his men found the fallen pilot but discovered that his blaster, power packs, and concussion grenades had been taken.
Startled by the attacks, Colonel Barris consulted with Captain Parck by comm at midnight and obtained permission to examine the first flight suit. At that point, they discovered that the helmet's comlink was missing. Wyan however found that the second pilot's comlink was not missing. Wyan speculated that the attacker were tampering with their circuit. In response, Colonel Barris contacted the Strikefast to request that the circuit be shut down. Shortly later, Vanto, who had been analyzing the recent attacks, informed Barris that he had found a couple of coins between the inner and outer shells of one of the crates that dated back to before the Clone Wars. After debating the motives of the mysterious attacker with Wyan and Vanto, Barris instructed Vanto to keep studying the crates.
By dawn, Barris' landing party had lost five Navy troopers, who were guarding the sentry perimeter. Three of them had been killed by the mysterious enemy using concussion grenades while two others had been killed in friendly fire incidents. Barris requested two squads of stormtroopers from the Strikefast, who arrived at dawn. While the stormtroopers were search the perimeter, Colonel Barris found that the mysterious attacker was jamming their comlink channels. Spooked by the repeated attacks, Barris announced that the Imperial landing party would be pulling out. When Wyan reminded him about the Unknown Alien protocols, Barris responded that they could bring the settlement and crates back aboard the Strikefast.
While the Imperial Navy troopers and technicians began removing the settlement and crates, Barris waited for the anticipated attack, which did not occur much to his bafflement. When the stormtroopers returned, Barris noticed that one of them was missing. Barris ordered the technicians and Navy troopers to evacuate with the settlement and crates aboard their transport while the stormtroopers boarded their own troop carrier. However, one of the stormtroopers was standing rigid outside the hatchway. Before Barris and his men could respond, the trooper exploded. The Imperials discovered that the armor was empty. Shortly later, three stormtroopers emerged from the clearing with the body of their fallen comrade.
- "Then why didn't you come out? Why did you harass and kill my men?"
"It was necessary—"
- ―Colonel Barris questioning Thrawn
Upon landing in the Strikefast's hangar bay, Colonel Barris was confronted by Captain Parck, who was displeased that he left the site without permission. Barris responded that he was commander of the site and was only doing what he deemed best. Before Barris could order his technicians to erect the site, Captain Parck ordered Barris and Vanto to accompany him to the hangar bay control tower. Realizing that the intruder had accompanied the landing party, Parck then darkened the hangar bay's lights to ferret them out. After two hours, Barris and the others witnessed a humanoid figure emerging from the transport and attempt to stow aboard one of the park Zeta-class shuttles. Imperial troops then apprehended the prisoner and brought him before Parck, Barris, and Vanto. The attacker was a blue-skinned Chiss warrior who introduced himself as Mitth'raw'nuruodo (or "Thrawn" in short form).
While Parck and Vanto questioned Thrawn, an enraged Barris interjected and demanded to know why he had harassed and killed his men. When Thrawn responded that it was necessary in Sy Bisti, Barris insisted that the alien respond in Galactic Basic. Thrawn then claimed that he had been exiled to the planet by his own people and that he hoped to return home. When questioned further by Vanto, Thrawn added that he had been purportedly exiled since he and his people's leaders disagreed about preemptive strikes. Thrawn then confirmed that he had discovered the body of the first V-wing pilot and filled it with grass and berries.
Barris and the others listened as Thrawn recounted how he had attacked the Imperial camp by sending small animals strapped with blaster power packs to the perimeter. Thrawn also admitted attacking the Imperial sentries by using a sling to fling berries at them and downing the second V-wing fighter with a monofilament line. As Thrawn elaborated how he had used the stolen Imperial communications equipment to attack the landing party, Barris expressed anger that Thrawn had killed a man so that he could steal his comlink.
When Barris asked if Thrawn had attacked his men for the fun of it, Thrawn expressed regret but explained that he wanted to draw stormtroopers out. Thrawn admitted infiltrating the camp in stormtrooper armor and jamming the Imperial comlinks in order to board the transport and hide within the second power generator casing. Barris was present when Thrawn elaborated his interest in seeking an alliance with the Empire. Following the interrogation of Thrawn, Barris was demoted to Major since he had disobeyed Captain Parck's orders to remain on the uncharted world under further notice.
Audience with the EmperorEdit
When Captain Parck brought Thrawn before Emperor Palpatine at the Imperial Palace on Coruscant, Major Barris accompanied Parck, Thrawn, Eli along with three navy troopers and stormtroopers who had been deployed on the uncharted world. Barris and the others were present when Thrawn offered his services to the Emperor as his adviser on the Unknown Regions. The Emperor was impressed enough by Thrawn's offer to assign him a place at the prestigious Royal Imperial Academy. Per Thrawn's request, the Emperor agreed to transfer Eli Vanto to the Royal Imperial Academy to serve as Thrawn's translator. Following the meeting, Barris and the others went back to their duties. Over the years, Thrawn and Vanto would become friends and rise through the ranks of the Imperial Navy with the former being promoted to Grand Admiral after ending the Batonn sector insurgency.
Personality and traitsEdit
- "Hard to imagine a standard for a language so obscure that even the droids don't bother with it."
- ―Colonel Barris displaying his ignorance of Sy Bisti's usefulness
Mosh Barris was a male human Imperial Army officer who held the rank of Colonel. Barris was ignorant of foreign languages and regarded Sy Bisti as an obscure tongue that even droids could not be bothered with. He was unaware that Sy Bisti was a well-defined and useful language that was spoken in the obscure Wild Space region. Like many Imperial officers, Barris regarded the Unknown Alien protocols as an inconvenient relic of the Old Republic that interfered with the Imperial Military's business. His grudging lip service to the UA protocols led him to abandon his post on the uncharted world and bring the settlement back to the Strikefast.
Colonel Barris was rattled by Thrawn's attack on his Imperial landing party, which claimed the lives of five navy troopers and two stormtroopers. Barris appeared to only understand Galactic Basic and demanded that Thrawn speak the language during the interrogation. Unlike Captain Parck, Barris was not impressed by Thrawn's resourceful military tactics. Barris proved to be an ineffective commander since he was unable to cope with irregular warfare and disobeyed Captain Parck's orders to remain on the uncharted world. As a result, he was demoted to Major.
Behind the scenesEdit
Mosh Barris first appeared in Timothy Zahn's short story "Mist Encounter", which was published in Star Wars Adventure Journal 7 in August 1995. "Mist Encounter" explored Thrawn's first contact with members of the Galactic Empire in the Star Wars Legends continuity. Barris subsequently appeared in Zahn's 2017 novel Thrawn, a rebooted Canonical origins story of the titular character which incorporated elements of the "Mist Encounter" story. Barris' lines are told through the point of view of Eli Vanto, the novel's deuteragonist.
- Thrawn (First appearance)