- "Don't give up on me, Han, please. I'm trying."
- ―Billal Batross to Han Solo
Billal Batross was a male Human scoundrel who operated during the early years of the Galactic Civil War. He was raised on the Trader's Luck, a decommissioned troop ship owned by Garris Shrike, and was one of the many orphans whom Shrike used in confidence tricks and thefts. In 1 BBY, Batross used his position inside the Aleena crime lord Sollima's gambling network to steal money from his accounts. Sollima's accounting droid discovered this, and Batross covered his tracks by secretly selling the droid to representatives of the Galactic Empire, who planned to use the information inside the droid's data core to gain control over Sollima's casino world, the Hollow Moon. However, Batross still owed the crime lord a debt, so in order to repay his dues, Batross agreed to recover Sollima's droid. Batross's old friend, Han Solo, joined Batross on the mission, as Solo also owed Sollima money he could not return.
Together, Solo and Batross infiltrated the Imperial garrison on Moog Mot VI and retrieved the droid, but in order to keep his thefts from the crime lord secret, Batross destroyed the droid with a blaster shot. Shortly afterward, both were captured by Imperial forces and were informed that if they double-crossed Sollima, Captain Taavin would release them. Having no other choice but to agree, the accomplices returned the remains of the droid to the crime lord. Since Sollima needed the droid back intact, the Aleena ordered his bodyguards to shoot the scoundrels, but Batross managed to detonate a bomb hidden inside the droid's head. In the ensuing chaos, Solo used the security key provided by Taavin to override the Hollow Moon's defense system, allowing the Imperial Fleet safe passage in. Together, Batross and Solo left the Hollow Moon on Solo's personal ship, the Millennium Falcon. After their successful escape, Batross believed that he would become the third member of the team formed by Solo and his Wookiee companion, Chewbacca. Solo, however, was tired of Batross getting him into trouble, and left him on Arbra, the planet of Hoojibs.
- "You two used to pick pockets for that small-timer Shrike."
- ―Sollima to Han Solo
Billal Batross was a male Human who was raised by the criminal Garris Shrike on the decommissioned Liberator-class troopship Trader's Luck, in orbit over Corellia. The troop ship served as a home to multiple orphans, whom Shrike picked off the streets of Corellia to use in multiple confidence tricks and thefts. Shrike demanded total obedience from the young thieves under his control, and was quick to resort to vicious beatings whenever they failed to perform up to his expectations. During his childhood, Batross formed a friendship with another one of Shrike's wards, Han Solo.
In 10 BBY, Solo managed to break free from Shrike's crime ring and escape. Later that year, Solo was accepted into the Imperial Academy of Carida, and his new position became known to Batross and other members of Shrike's organization. Shrike followed Solo to the galactic capital, seeking revenge for the latter's betrayal, but he himself was killed by a bounty hunter. Without its leader, the Trader's Luck crime circle fell apart, and Batross was free to make his way through the galaxy. Solo did not forget his old friend; as a cadet in the Imperial Academy of Carida, he offered to help Batross get accepted into the Academy as well. Batross, however, never showed up.
Eventually, Batross became a scoundrel, and looking for a way to get easy money, he performed various illegal and semi-legal assignments for criminal figures across the galaxy. He claimed to run a con against a Hutt near Nar Shaddaa that brought him a small fortune. All the wealth, however, was later snatched away from him.
Mission for SollimaEdit
- "I've got this all figured out, my friend."
- ―Billal Batross to Han Solo
In 1 BBY, Batross worked for the Aleena crime lord Sollima, using his position inside the crime lord's gambling network to skim money from Aleena's accounts. Sollima's accounting droid discovered this, and Batross was forced to cover his tracks by secretly selling the droid to representatives of the Galactic Empire. The Imperials were planning to use the information inside the droid's data core against Sollima, in order to gain control over his casino world, the Hollow Moon. According to the crime lord, the Imperials employed this method because they did not want to start a large-scale conflict with the Hutt sector, where the gambling station was located.
However, despite the money he had pilfered from the crime lord, Batross still owed Sollima a debt that he could not repay. In a desperate move to cover his debt, Batross asked Sollima to allow him to retrieve the droid—which the crime lord believed to be stolen by the Empire—and bring it back to the Aleena. Around this time, Batross's old partner, Han Solo, was caught by Sollima on the Outer Rim world of Simbarc with a debt that he also could not return. Seeing a chance to get his old friend out of trouble, Batross proposed to the crime lord that Solo repay his debt by joining Batross on the mission to retrieve the droid. Sollima agreed, and brought Batross inside the room where Solo and his Wookiee companion, Chewbacca, were being tortured by the crime lord's thugs. After the Aleena explained the deal to Solo, the smuggler recognized his old comrade and declined Sollima's proposal, refusing to team up with Batross because he expected trouble from him based on their previous joint operations. However, after the Aleena revealed that he intended to take Chewbacca hostage, Solo had no choice but to join Batross on Sollima's mission.
Sollima provided the companions with a bogus landing code to the Imperial banking world of Moog Mot VI, where the droid was being kept. The two departed on the mission, using Solo's starship—a modified YT-1300 light freighter called the Millennium Falcon—as a transport, while Chewbacca was taken by Sollima to the Hollow Moon and put in the gladiatorial arena. En route to Moog Mot VI, the two scoundrels had a conversation, during which Batross repeatedly blamed his unenviable position on his bad luck. Solo responded by stating that Batross should stop blaming other people for his own problems and instead start taking responsibility for his own life. Batross enthusiastically agreed with his friend, explaining that he was actually sharing his companion's point of view. Upon arriving at their destination, Solo transmitted the landing code received from Sollima, which allowed the Millennium Falcon to bypass the Imperial Fleet guarding the planet. In order to get inside the laboratory where the droid was being kept, Batross had prepared Imperial uniforms to wear as disguise. Solo, however, noted that the suits' quality was poor, as he had more experience with the Imperial uniform during his time in the Academy. The rank insignia were painted on instead of being present in the form of badges.
After landing, Solo and Batross infiltrated the planetary Imperial garrison. Inside the garrison, Batross proposed to Solo that they raid the Empire's acquisitions and processing center on their way out for easy money. Solo, however, was concentrated on their mission, and refused to even listen to the proposal. After finding the laboratory where the droid was being kept, Solo incapacitated the sole technician present there, and ordered Batross to take the droid and leave as soon as possible. Batross, however, had other plans, and shot the droid's data core with his blaster pistol to cover the evidence of his theft from Sollima. Since the crime lord's direct orders were to bring the droid back intact, Solo became angry with his unwitting companion, fearing that the violation of that order might put his friend Chewbacca's life in jeopardy. Batross assured Solo that they could always blame the shot on some Imperial stormtroopers, and claimed to have the situation under his control—right before the alarm alerted the guards to the presence of intruders inside the garrison. The companions quickly grabbed the remains of the droid and tried to escape to the Millennium Falcon, but encountered a squad of stormtroopers on their way out. Solo tried to go another way, but Batross choose to surrender immediately. While the two were being led to the interrogation room, Solo demanded that Batross not reveal any information, regardless of the torture.
Mission for the Galactic EmpireEdit
- "Captain Taavin here is really persuasive."
- ―Billal Batross to Han Solo
Though Solo resisted the torture, Batross cracked as soon as he was strapped in, revealing all information about Sollima and their mission. Captain Taavin of the Empire then ordered Solo's torture to be stopped, and gave the prisoners a choice: stand trial for sabotage and treason against the Empire, or double-cross Sollima and help the Empire establish control on the Hollow Moon. He revealed to them that the Imperial authorities had already persuaded the Hutts to turn the moon over to the Empire, and all that was left to do was to get someone inside the gambling network to disable its defense system, which would made establishment of Imperial control significantly easier. Taavin explained that Batross and Solo would complete their mission and return the remains of the droid to Sollima, then use the security key provided to them to override the gambling network's security code. As the only alternative for the accomplices was going to prison, the captive pair had no choice but to agree.
On their way back to the Hollow Moon, Batross proposed to his companion that they visit some of the gambling world's casinos first for easy money. Solo angrily responded that Batross's earlier willingness to change was faked. Billal reacted by admitting that he always envied his old friend's success, believing that Solo earned it by caring only about himself. A quick fight between the two friends ensued; Batross lost and accepted his mistakes, asking Solo not to give up on him. Upon arriving at the Hollow Moon, the two reached Sollima's office and presented to him the droid's data core, which had been modified by Imperial engineers to appear intact. The Aleena crime lord was displeased with the violation of his orders, and ordered the controller of the Hollow Moon gladiatorial arena to kill Chewbacca. However, by that time, the Wookiee had started a revolt amongst the arena's other slaves and was out of Sollima's reach. Displeased with the news, the Aleena ordered his bodyguards to shoot both scoundrels. Batross pretended to betray his partner, revealing that Solo was working for the Empire. While Sollima was distracted, Batross activated a bomb hidden inside the droid's head and threw it at two of the gangster's bodyguards, both of whom were killed in the explosion. The Humans and the Aleena survived the explosion without major injuries, and in the ensuing chaos, Solo used Taavin's security key to disable the gambling network's defense system, allowing the Imperial Fleet safe passage in.
Escape from the Hollow MoonEdit
- "I saved your life, Solo! I thought we had a life debt kind of thing on!"
- ―Billal Batross to Han Solo
Solo then contacted Captain Taavin—who was overseeing the operation from the bridge of his Star Destroyer—via comlink. The smuggler asked for extra time to be given so that he and his companions could leave the moon, but the request was declined. Realizing that the invasion of his world was unpreventable, Sollima offered Batross a large sum of money to kill Solo. Batross, however, refused, stating that he and Solo were partners. Solo then threatened Sollima with a blaster, seeking to learn Chewbacca's whereabouts, which the Aleena provided. Together, Batross and Solo managed to make their way to the Millennium Falcon, and after picking up the Wookiee, Solo piloted the freighter away from the Hollow Moon. Once it reached the moon's orbit, Solo decided to fly the starship right past Taavin's Star Destroyer. Feeling that the scoundrels had served their purpose, Taavin resolved to let the ship go, allowing the Millennium Falcon with Batross, Solo and Chewbacca aboard to escape the system.
Once the freighter was a safe distance away from the Imperial Fleet, Batross expressed sheer joy about the fact that he and the others had ended up alive and safe. In his overconfidence, he believed that he would become the third member of Solo and Chewbacca's team, and even suggested a couple of possible future joint cons to them. Solo and the Wookiee, however, had other plans. Tired of Batross's importunity and the fact that he constantly got them into trouble, the two left him on the planet of Arbra amongst its native lagomorphs, despite Batross's active protests.
Personality and traitsEdit
- "It's my rotten luck, Han—it always is. Just when I get my hands on the good life, something snatches it away. I swear sometimes the universe is out to get me."
- ―Billal Batross to Han Solo
Earning money for a living as a gambler, a con artist, and occasionally a thief, Batross had far less success in these occupations when compared to his old friend Solo. He constantly lost whatever small fortune he could get, and lacked the skill Solo possessed in those areas. Batross was also much less resistant to torture and even simple threats. He could be very annoying to those around him, expressing his envies and blaming all types of problems he had in life on his bad luck and other beings. He was foolhardy enough to steal from a powerful crime lord, and when faced with a higher authority, he did not hesitate to double-cross his previous employer. When Solo met Batross several years after the two parted ways, the smuggler's first reaction after remembering Batross's negative traits was to avoid having to work with him, though Solo was later forced to cooperate with him anyway. One of the first things Batross did aboard Han Solo's starship, the Millennium Falcon, was impudently eat some of Chewbacca's meat, which according to Solo, could make the Wookiee very angry. Batross even had enough effrontery to offer Solo meat from his own cold unit.
While performing dangerous assignments for individuals such as the crime lord Sollima and the Imperial officer Taavin, Batross was unable to fully focus on completing his mission, and instead looked for ways to make easy money. When presented with an opportunity to cover the tracks of his thefts, Batross did not hesitate to destroy Sollima's droid, without understanding that the act might ultimately cost Chewbacca his life. When Solo asked Batross not to reveal any information about their mission under torture, Batross proudly ensured his companion that he would not crack, although that was exactly what he did as soon as he was strapped in. In his defense, he later stated that he was allergic to pain.
Though Batross originally only admitted that he admired the achievements Solo made in his life, he later told Solo that he envied him and hated "living in his shadow." Solo however, remained calm enough to explain Batross's weak points to him, even admitting that Batross used to be a better pilot that he himself. However, Solo added that Batross threw his accomplishments away to get rich quick, and had nothing left to show for it. The speech had an effect on Batross; he finally came to realize some of his mistakes, and asked his old friend not to give up on him.
Batross later pretended to betray Solo to Sollima, but it was eventually revealed that it was part of their intentions all along. He also showed that friendship was more important to him than credits when he declined Sollima's proposal to kill Solo in exchange for a large sum of money. Observing Solo doing unorthodox and dangerous piloting during the escape from the Hollow Moon, Batross displayed nervousness and almost panicked. After the Millennium Falcon escaped the Khorya system, Batross overconfidently believed that Solo and Chewbacca would allow him to join their team, but the pair refused to deal with him any longer. To his great discontent, Batross was left on Arbra amongst the Hoojibs.
Behind the scenesEdit
The character of Billal Batross was created by Jeremy Barlow and appeared in Han Solo and the Hollow Moon of Khorya, the first volume of Star Wars Adventures, a series of digest-sized comic graphic novellas published by Dark Horse Comics. Batross's appearance in the volume was penciled by Rick Lacy and colored by Michael Atiyeh. Barlow has tied some elements of Batross's biography into the pre-existing continuity by establishing his childhood as a young thief operating under Garris Shrike, a character from The Paradise Snare novel by A. C. Crispin, and by finishing the story with Batross being stuck on Arbra, the planet of Hoojibs, who played a significant part in the Marvel Star Wars series of comics.
- Star Wars Adventures: Han Solo and the Hollow Moon of Khorya (First appearance)
- Scoundrels (Mentioned only)
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 Star Wars Adventures: Han Solo and the Hollow Moon of Khorya
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 The Paradise Snare
- ↑ Rebel Dawn
- ↑ Even though the opening page of the comic establishes the date of those events as 2 BBY, Leland Chee had moved the story one year later in the timeline, as explained by Randy Stradley on the Dark Horse Comics message boards.
- ↑ Star Wars 55: Plif!