- "Remember that opportunity on Agamar Ive been pressing you about? I didn't want to make you choose like this, but this is your last chance, because my term of employment starts now."
- ―Dren Melne
Dren Melne was a Human male from Naboo. As a young man he left his homeworld, becoming a mercenary. He later returned and joined the Naboo Royal Space Fighter Corps, becoming the lover of his commanding officer, Essara Till before betraying Space Fighter Corps in an unsuccessful attempt to disable and capture N-1 starfighters and was killed by his own employers to silence his connections.
- "We told him there was no coming home when he left. We told him that when he returned wearing that hideous black flight suit and carrying a blaster! Can you believe that he brought that weapon into our house? Not a hunting rifle, but a pistol! A weapon of war!"
- ―Dren's father
Dren Melne was born on the planet Naboo in a small isolated mountain village at 66 BBY. His family which included a younger brother, during Ars Veruna's reign as King of Naboo held a very hostile opinion of the Galaxy, believing that weapons cause wars, and blamed Veruna's off-world dealings for the influence on Dren's life as he wanted to leave Naboo and explore the Galaxy, as he was enamoured at the romantic ideas of spacers. When he was a young man, despite warnings from his family he left his village and moved into Theed becoming a volunteer in the Royal Naboo Security Forces before utilimately leaving Naboo and became a mercenary and fighter pilot. He would return several years later, after feeling home sick, to find his family maintained their contempt for his actions when he visited them in a black flight suit while carrying a blaster pistol instead of a Hunting rifle and they outcasted him.
Around 31 BBY he would meet Essara Till, a woman who had also left Naboo to become a mercenary pilot and returned to Naboo. Because of their background they would develop a friendship that would evolve into romantic feelings for each other. However, this romantic relationship wasn't enough for Dren to quell his anger at his family and by 33 BBY he was secretly hired by Governor Challep of Agamar to help steal several N-1 starfighters for their technology to bolster his planetary defences. He received about one hundred thousand credits from his account on Ord Mantell which he transferred to his home in Selton.
Betrayal and deathEdit
- "Their blood is on both of our hands Esarra. Believe me, you've made a huge mistake today."
- ―Dren Melne
He attempted to convince Essara Till to join him in helping develop the fighter contingency on Agamar but she wasn't interested, preferring to stay on Naboo and help train new pilots. During their argument a Class One Emergency was called by Senator Sio Bibble. Station TFP-9 was under attack by unknown forces which consisted of Z-95 Mark II Headhunters and a Hornet-class carrier.
Dren and Till would pilot Bravo's Eight and Seven in N-1 starfighters, while Echo Flight, which was piloted by twelve greener pilots, one of which was Rhys Dallows on Echo Five would pilot N-X Police Cruisers. During the battle the Police Cruisers and Till would dispatch the Z-95s with minimal damage to Echo flight. But as Till and Echo One and Two would set up an attack run on the carrier another carrier and Z-95s armed with concussion missiles arrived and engaged Echo flight while the first one would drop droid starfighters to engage Till. It was then that Dren would reveal his true colors by betraying his squadron attacking Echo Flight while being pursued by Till. He disclosed what the Agamari governor wanted the Naboo technology for and this attack was supposed to be a demonstration to its abilities, the extra forces arrival weren't just a sign of the Governor's approval, they were here to imply that only an idiot would continue the fight against such odds.
After Echo Flight was battered and lost several fighters, Till ordered a surrender, but decided to engage the first carrier instead of powering down her systems. She was holding out well against the cruiser, despite her shields being drained and with the aid of Rhys Dallows in Echo Five, who decided to disobey the order, teamed up with her and destroyed the carrier, while Echo Six was engaging Dren Melne to distract him. By the time the two decided to engage Melne together he shot down Echo Six killing the pilot Harlaan, removing any chance of redemption to Till. As they pursued and closed in on Dren, who was racing to the other Carrier, Captain Sorran of the Velumina declared that he had failed in his promise to deliver the goods and launched multiple missiles, one of each to both Rhys and Esarra, and the rest to Dren, despite his protests and offering his own ship which the captain argued that the two could disable him before he escapes and even if he did jump, his fighter could be traced. Till only managed to shoot down four missiles before one struck her fighter, crippling it, while at least eight missiles struck Melne's fighter and he was killed by his own employees.
- "I guess I'm lucky to have such supportive friends and family. It wasn't the same for Dren. Our world turned against him. His family reviled him. While I dreamt of a quiet life in the mountains, all he could see was fear and hatred."
- ―Essara Till
Dren Melne's death gave Rhys Dallows first hand experience in understanding betrayal and it was one of the reasons Essara Till wanted to leave her mercenary career behind and return home. Sio Bibble and Ric Olié joined Rhys Dallows and Essara Till into discussing investigations regarding the incident but ultimately lead to dead ends. Essara Till, who felt responsible for the battle, would write the letters to the families of the seven pilots who died at that skirmish. She also visited Melne's family inquirying about his betrayal, which was met with hostility as they vented their anger at her and his parents watched with pride as their younger son chased Till onto the streets, she soon believed that Melne's family was the core reason for his betrayal. Rhys Dallows would then replace Dren as her wingman.
Personality and traitsEdit
- "I realized some time ago that there's no place for me on Naboo. You know how they say you can never go home again? I believe that now."
- ―Dren Melne
Despite Dren Melne being raised in a family that detested violence and off-world influences in favour of traditions, his desire to explore the Galaxy because of the romantic stories of space overode his family's wishes. His return, being met with hostility from his family in particular, caused him to develop a cold feeling for Naboo wanting to get some distance from his home world. His decision to help the Agamar Governor steal N-1 technology for their planet meant that he was willing to expand his own fortune at the expense of Naboo's future. He felt that real soldiers shouldn't get involved in a peace loving planet such as Naboo.
Although he held close romantic feelings for Essara Till, and wanted her to join him at Agamar, he was not afraid to threaten and toy with the lives of Echo Flights pilots to pressure her into surrendering the battle and was not afraid to kill those who were fighting back.
He was also horrified that his own contractors would be willing to kill him to terminate his contract and to cover their tracks rather then cover his retreat, despite the argument he made of bringing his own fighter with them.
Behind the scenesEdit
Dren Melne was created by Steve Miller for the short story The Starfighter Trap which is found in Star Wars Gamer 1. The story only gives small glimps of his background and the story ends with his death. There were more details on his appearance and backstory in Wizards.com which has been removed on the official website and is avaliable on Internet archives.