- "She's gonna blow!"
- ―Grizz Frix
Grizz Frix was a Human male from Devaron who served as a pilot in the Alliance to Restore the Republic. He was raised in a prejudiced society, as Humans on Devaron were in a minority. Since a more tolerant society was impossible under Emperor Palpatine's rule, Frix found his escape through piloting. He also read A Call to Reason and the Declaration of Rebellion, and subsequently was inspired to join the Alliance to Restore the Republic. Impressing his recruiter, Frix was assigned to the MC80 Star Cruiser Independence, and was considered a favorite to join the elite Rogue Squadron before an accident at Gerrard V left him psychologically scarred and unfit for active service.
Frix was instead assigned to the Alliance Support Services, escorting refugee ships and fertilizer barges. He learned of the heroic exploits of other pilots through anecdotes and reputation, and his idealistic outlook gave way to that of a hardened cynic. However, with the advent of the Battle of Endor, the Alliance was in dire need of pilots. Frix was returned to active duty, and he participated in the attack against the Death Star II over Endor, piloting a T-65 X-wing starfighter. Frix lost his life during the engagement when he flew too close to the exploding shield generator of an Imperial Star Destroyer.
Joining the Rebellion
Grizz Frix was born on mountainous Devaron, in the outskirts of a poor town inhabited by both foreigners and Devaronian natives. Due to the fact that he was an alien amongst the majority of the Devaron populace, he was looked down upon and scorned by fellow citizens. The Devaronians held him in low regard due to his alien nature, and offworlders disliked the fact that he lived amongst what they perceived to be aliens. Frix clamored for a more tolerant and multicultural society, but that was nearly impossible while living under Emperor Palpatine's rule. His only escape from the prejudiced environment was the opportunity to pilot a dilapidated old airspeeder, which allowed him to soar high above his home and forget about his worries and his strife.
Desperate to break free of the Empire's restrictive hold, Frix was inspired by bootleg copies of former-Senator Mon Mothma's A Call to Reason pamphlet, as well as the Declaration of Rebellion. He decided to join the Alliance to Restore the Republic as a pilot, and suitably impressed a Sullustan recruiter with his skills. The Sullustan subsequently had him transferred to the MC80 Star Cruiser Independence. His enthusiasm and dedication served him well, and he was thought to be a favorite for selection in the elite Rogue Squadron if his skills improved at a constant rate.
Frix's career, however, took a turn for the worse during a training mission on Gerrard V. His T-65 X-wing starfighter collided with another starfighter, requiring him to undertake extensive bacta treatment. He fully healed, but the psychological scars of the ordeal could not be ignored, and although he protested, Alliance High Command decided that he was unfit to return to active fighter duty. Instead, he was assigned to Alliance Support Services, escorting refugee supply ships and fertilizer barges to Alliance-controlled planets. He could do nothing but listen to tales told of other pilots, involved in vicious dogfights and epic battles. Soon, Frix shed his idealistic demeanor and became a hardened cynic.
The Battle of Endor
With the Alliance Fleet massing in the Sullust system for their upcoming attack on the Death Star II, High Command decided that they needed every pilot they could get. As a result, Frix was returned to active duty. Despite his cynical new attitude, his enthusiasm for flight that he had experienced on Devaron returned, and he found himself reveling in the opportunity to return to an X-wing cockpit using the call sign Red Five, partnered with the astromech droid R2-T7. He participated in maneuvering exercises shortly before the battle, brushing up on his skills and passing on his knowledge to some of the newer recruits.
His nostalgia, however, was short-lived. When the Alliance fleet entered the Endor system, they found that the Death Star II's shield was still active, barring any attack on the superweapon. Even more alarming was the fact that a substantial Imperial fleet was blocking their exit vector, forcing an elongated and bloody battle. During the chaotic dogfighting, Frix participated in a daring attack on an Imperial Star Destroyer. Though the attack resulted in the destruction of one of the Star Destroyer's shield generators, Frix's X-wing was caught in the ensuing explosion, killing him.
Personality and traits
Due to the fact that he was raised in a prejudiced society, Grizz Frix believed from an early age that the Galactic Empire needed to be overthrown. He found solitude in the hours he spent flying his old airspeeder high above the mountains of Devaron. Up there, racial divides were nonexistent, allowing him a brief moment of escape. When he did get the opportunity to fight the Empire, his skills were apparent, and it was only a mishap that prevented him from joining Rogue Squadron, one of the Alliance's most elite corps. The accident on Gerrard V, as well as hearing second-hand tales of heroics, turned Frix into a bitter cynic. Nevertheless, the young idealist he had once been returned, if only briefly, when he was presented with the opportunity to fly in the Battle of Endor, where, as an elite pilot, his defining characteristics were bravery, skill and loyalty. Frix was focused on the goal of victory during the space battle, and did everything he could to complete his mission, deeply aware he was deciding the future of the galaxy.
Behind the scenes
- "I already knew that the character didn't have a happy ending, being killed over Endor, so my strong sense of cynicism (probably a side effect of being British!) wanted to explore a character where he had a wretched life and then had no happy ending—unlike most of the other characters in Star Wars."
- ―Paul Celer
Grizz Frix was played by Ronny Cush in Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, wherein the character first appeared as a pilot who perishes during the Battle of Endor. In 2005, Paul Celer, under the pseudonym of "Kast Morben," developed the back story of the character through the StarWars.com Hyperspace feature, "What's The Story?."
Celer, noting how George Lucas had often given his characters names that gave some indication of their character, such as Skywalker and Solo, decided to use a play on the word "grizzled," which formed the basis of his character. Celer was interested in the more ordinary people that inhabited the Star Wars universe, and was inspired by Angela Philips's short story Slaying Dragons, which was included in the Tales from the Empire anthology. Since it was shown in Return of the Jedi that Frix dies, Celer opted to make his character somewhat of a cynic, with a "wretched life and no happy ending," juxtaposing Frix with the more typical characters that inhabit the original Star Wars films. Celer also tied the character to two video games, Star Wars: Rogue Squadron and Star Wars: X-wing, through references to Gerrard V and the Independence respectively. The information about the Sullustan recruiter was added in by Lucas Online in the editing phase—Celer has suggested that the recruiter might be Nien or Aril Nunb. Celer also noted that the character had previously been identified as "Mak Case" in various circles, and he further suggested that this may be an alias for Frix while he was working on the fertilizer barges. Celer's entry was later re-printed, almost verbatim, in 2008's The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia.
- Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (First appearance)
- Star Wars Manga: Return of the Jedi
- Star Wars: The Vintage Collection
- Star Wars: The Complete Visual Dictionary
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- (First identified as Grizz Frix)