Melan originally served in the Republic Navy and attained the rank commander. However, in 4067 BBY, she resigned from the navy and was assigned to become the captain of the Starveil, a civilian exploration vessel. Under her command, the starship traveled to the Luire system, as part of the Starveil Project. Officially, the project was meant to be one of exploration, but in fact, the Starveil was searching for an experimental Republic naval vessel that had gone missing. The Starveil began to scan the Luire system, but when it approached the planet Nyriaan, the starship's crew discovered that the ship's sensors could not penetrate the planet's atmopshere. Melan decided to land the Starveil on Nyriaan and communicated her intention to the Republic. However, the Starveil crash-landed on Nyriaan, leaving the surviving crew stranded there. Melan was one of the survivors, and she and her crew became the planet's first colonists.