Belo Tusus was the ruler of Orto in the late stages of the Clone Wars. Originally the neutral Ortolan government's Financial Minister, Tusus aligned himself with the Confederacy of Independent Systems, which was embroiled in the Clone Wars against the Galactic Republic at the time. Tusus conspired to overthrow the government, and did so, installing himself at the head of his new government and pushing Orto into the pan-galactic conflict. Consolidating his power in the capital city, Tusus ruled from a palace, and locked down his planet's spaceports as Orto underwent Confederate occupation. His populace could do little but cower as battle droids swept through the capital.
Tusus's reign was soon disrupted in 19 BBY by a series of sabotages and attacks. He grew paranoid as the undermining of his government's movements continued, and he began to suspect his own staff, and his Confederate allies. He soon lost trust in the Confederacy, as Jedi Knight Nem Bees, working undercover to investigate Tusus, had collaborated in secret with Tusus's own Twi'lek servant to sabotage the new government. The Jedi Knight subsequently managed to call in the forces of the Galactic Republic, and move against Tusus's rule. Betrayed and fearing for his own life, Tusus chose to flee Orto, forcing Bees and the Republic to fight a protracted campaign in the last days of the Clone Wars.
Belo Tusus was the Financial Minister of Orto during the Clone Wars. Although the Ortolan government had remained neutral throughout the war, Tusus favored the Confederacy of Independent Systems, rather than the Galactic Republic. As a wave of secession from the Republic swept through the outer regions of the Rimma Trade Route, Tusus conspired to launch a coup d'etat against the current Ortolan government, seize control of Orto, and align his world with the Confederacy of Independent Systems. The presence of the conspiracy was ascertained by Republic Intelligence, but the fact that Tusus was the dissident element remained a secret.
Soon enough, Tusus launched his bid for power, publicly announcing his support of the Confederacy, before overthrowing the current government and installing himself as the planetary leader. He had all of Orto's spaceports locked down, as his allies from the Confederacy arrived. The new arrivals moved into the capital city, their battle droids marching down the streets, and Tusus was assigned Confederate Neimoidian attachés. The new ruler of Orto then began cementing his control of the planet, working to settle in his government as he reigned from the capital's palace.
By 19 BBY, Tusus's rule soon met resistance, in the form of unexplained acts of sabotage, of which there were several. Seemingly for no reason, battle droid detachments refused to deploy, and the guidance systems of shuttles had been clandestinely severed. As the effective strikes against his government continued, Tusus grew more and more paranoid, suspecting both his own staff of duplicity and his Confederate attachés. In actual fact, the traitor to Tusus's rule was his own Twi'lek servant, who had been leaking information to the Ortolan Jedi Knight Nem Bees. Bees had in fact been operating on Orto prior to Tusus's coup, dispatched by the Republic to investigate the Financial Minister's movements. Bees had been able to avoid detection by Tusus's government by masquerading as the trader Ydde, who had in fact died some years prior.
In addition to betraying sensitive details of Tusus's government to Bees, the usurper's servant also provided the Jedi Knight with contact to a HoloNet transceiver. This allowed the undercover Ortolan to contact the Republic and call in a force of clone troopers, while he infiltrated the palace and knocked down a vital shield generator. Tusus did not trust the Confederacy to provide him with protection, and as he feared for his life, he fled Orto. The Republic forces, led by Bees, were forced to wage a protracted campaign against Tusus's entrenched Confederate forces, during which the Jedi Knight was killed by his own men.
Personality and traits
When plotting to overthrow the Ortolan government and install himself as the planet's new leader, Tusus was able to operate in such a way that the Republic was unaware that he was the culprit, although they were aware of a plot. He also managed to keep his allegiance to the Confederacy quiet until his later public announcement. Tusus chose to force his neutral planet into pan-galactic war on the side of the Confederacy, and allowed troops to descend on his world, frightening his populace. Once in power, Tusus moved quickly, solidifying his rule and securing the planet. However, he soon grew overly paranoid, suspecting his own government and the Confederacy itself of betrayal. His paranoia blinded him to the true traitor—his Twi'lek servant. When his position of power was threatened by Republican invasion, Tusus chose to abandon his world, as he had no trust in his Confederate allies and felt that his own life was in mortal peril.
Behind the scenes
- "Belo Tusus, financial minister of Orto, and his Twi'lek servant (edited from the original "slave", interestingly); an odd combination, to be sure, but not one unheard of. For any who read Republic #79, we see a rich Ortolan and his Twi'lek slave/servant in a marketplace on Toola. The Ortolan proceeds to get his money stolen by a Jedi, an act which the Twi'lek sees, finds amusing, and says nothing about. That's my man Belo, although the reference to Toola was cut."
- ―Kyle Jewhurst
The character of Belo Tusus was created by Kyle Jewhurst through the defunct StarWars.com Hyperspace feature, "What's The Story?." Tusus is mentioned in Jewhurst's Databank entry for the character of Nem Bees, who appeared briefly in the episode "Chapter 22" of the television series Star Wars: Clone Wars. Jewhurst used the name of another Ortolan, Max Rebo, as the basis for Bees's and Tusus's names—simple syllables, two maximum. According to Jewhurst, the name "Belo Tusus" took approximately thirty seconds of fiddling around with letters to come up with.
The character of Tusus himself was in fact meant to be a rich Ortolan seen briefly in Star Wars: Republic 79: Into the Unknown, Part 1. The character is shown on Toola in a crowded marketplace, and is accompanied by a Twi'lek servant. A Jedi Master, Kai Hudorra, who is in hiding, steals the Ortolan's purse—the servant notices this, and is amused. The Ortolan, noticing that he has been robbed, strikes the Twi'lek for not alerting him to the robbery. In Jewhurst's original entry, a reference was made in which Tusus flees to Toola, although this was cut out by Lucas Online staff before the Databank entry was published. Additionally, despite the fact that Jewhurst intended for Tusus to be an Ortolan, he is not explicitly identified as such in the final Databank entry.
- (First mentioned)