- "Try anything and he'll rip your head off."
- ―Elscol Loro
Groznik was a Wookiee who played key roles in Rogue Squadron operations on Cilpar and Mrlsst. Enslaved by the Galactic Empire prior to the Battle of Endor, he swore a life debt to Throm Loro after the freedom fighter liberated him and saved his life. The two developed a very close bond, and Groznik traveled with him to Cilpar in an attempt to free the world from Imperial rule. When Loro died at the Battle of the Cliffs, Groznik became distraught, but transferred his life debt to Throm's wife, Elscol, and continued his work with the Cilpari Resistance.
With the help of Commander Wedge Antilles and his fellow Rogue pilots, Elscol Loro and Groznik led the resistance movement to success against Moff Boren Tascl in 4 ABY. After Loro joined Rogue Squadron, Groznik accompanied her to Mrlsst to negotiate for Rebel Alliance control of the Phantom Project, a supposed cloaking device for starships.
On that planet, Groznik and Loro encountered what appeared to be the Force ghost of Throm Loro, which was in fact a Mrlssi Laser Phantom controlled by weapon designer Rorax Falken. Falken used the phantom Loro to take control of Groznik and pit him against Rogue Squadron. When stormtroopers killed Falken and the phantom Loro disappeared, the pain of once again losing his master pushed Groznik to ferociously attack the Imperials, allowing the Rogues to escape. Groznik sacrificed himself when he prevented Imperial officer Loka Hask from escaping Falken's Lab before it was destroyed by the gravitic polarization beam, a superweapon designed by Falken. Both Hask and Groznik were killed in the weapon's destruction.
Early life and life debt to Throm LoroEdit
- "When Throm's group struck the base, Groznik went crazy…started killing every stormtrooper in sight."
- ―Elscol Loro
Groznik, whose name meant "furious jester" in Shyriiwook, was born on Kashyyyk, where he spent much of his early life swinging through the trees of the planet's lush forests and playing stick and ball games with his fellow Wookiees. Like many others of his species, however, he was captured and enslaved shortly after the rise of the Galactic Empire. His Imperial captors forced Groznik to load and unload heavy machinery and artillery onto supply shuttles at a military base on the moon of Endor, where he was kept in chains and under the constant watchful eye of armed stormtroopers.
Some time prior to the Battle of Endor, the base was attacked and liberated by a group of freedom fighters who, though affiliated with the Rebel Alliance, received little Alliance assistance. Groznik seized upon the opportunity to punish his captors and started attacking wildly, smashing Imperials to death with his fists, shackles, and whatever machinery he could get his hands on. He was nearly shot from behind by a stormtrooper and Imperial officer, but one of the fighters, Throm Loro, gunned them down at the last minute and saved the Wookiee's life.
Groznik was immediately grateful to his savior, embracing Loro in a powerful hug and pledging a life debt to him. The two became fast friends and, due to the Wookiee's fierce loyalty, were inseparable. When Loro returned to his homeworld Cilpar with plans to liberate it from Imperial rule under Moff Boren Tascl and Governor Norquest, Groznik went with him and helped orchestrate his resistance efforts.
Groznik helped Loro form the Cilpari Resistance, and Loro trusted his Wookiee companion with sensitive information others were not privy to, including the identity of Winter, the Rebel agent who helped Loro coordinate his resistance forces. Thanks in part to Groznik's help, the Cilpari Resistance proved disruptive to the planet's Imperial forces. Tascl, who possessed superior firepower, responded with powerful and overwhelming military strikes.
The death of Throm LoroEdit
- "They finally got him at the Battle of the Cliffs. Groznik was devastated. No opportunity to repay the debt."
- ―Elscol Loro
The resistance suffered a major defeat in 4 ABY at the Battle of the Cliffs, a skirmish in the planet's mountainous region. The battle began as a fight against stormtroopers, but the Imperials were soon reinforced by two Lambda-class T-4a shuttles, and the Cilpari Resistance had no ships or artillery with which to resist them. As Groznik and Loro fought side by side, Loro was shot in the back and killed by one of the shuttles.
Furious, Groznik hurled a boulder at the craft as it passed, ripping the left wing apart and destroying the ship that had killed his master. The action turned the tide of the battle and allowed much of the resistance to escape, but Groznik wasn't even left with enough time for the traditional Wookiee period of mourning. Even destroying those who killed Loro provided him with no sense of closure, and Groznik was left suffering feelings of guilt and remorse, which would haunt him the rest of his life.
Long before his death, Loro told Groznik about his wife, Elscol Loro, and although the Wookiee had never met her, her connection to his old master was enough that the life debt transferred to Elscol. From that point on, he refused to ever leave her side and, as she continued to lead her late husband's resistance movement, Groznik fought alongside her. The Wookiee also assisted the movement in other ways, such as helping transport and maintain heavy weaponry and escorting vehicles through the planet's forests by swinging from tree to tree and using his sense of smell to detect traps.
Despite his strong sense of devotion to Elscol Loro, Groznik never felt as close to her as he had been to Throm, nor did he ever trust her completely like he did his deceased friend. Groznik never revealed to her secrets Loro shared with him, including the identity or whereabouts of Winter. Elscol respected Groznik's wishes and made no efforts to persuade Groznik to provide any privileged information.
Groznik and Loro nevertheless cared deeply for each other and particularly bonded through their mutual sense of loss and despair over Throm. The two would occasionally seclude themselves from others to mourn together, weeping as they looked at holograms of Throm and shared memories of him. During these sessions, Groznik became particularly protective of Loro and agitated whenever anyone tried to disturb them.
The liberation of CilparEdit
- "He can move faster and sense more outside the carrier. If somebody's set a trap, Groznik will take them out."
- ―Elscol Loro
About one month after the Battle of Endor, Rebel Commander Wedge Antilles and members of his elite Rogue Squadron came to Cilpar on what began as a routine mission to escort a food convoy bound for Mrlsst, another planet in the Colonies Region. Groznik crept up on the Rogues, allowing Elscol Loro to disarm and capture them. Eventually, Antilles convinced Loro, Groznik, and the other resistance fighters that they were on the same side and agreed to help them eliminate the Imperial presence on Cilpar.
Groznik quickly demonstrated his strength and usefulness to the Rogues when he helped defend them from an ambush by stormtroopers and an AT-ST piloted by Boren Tascl himself. Antilles agreed to allow Groznik to coordinate the defense for the makeshift Rogue Squadron base west of Kiidan, the Cilpar capital city. Groznik kept the base safe with the help of Dllr Nep, the Sullustan Rogue pilot who used his strong sense of hearing in conjunction with Groznik's strong sense of smell. During their long nights protecting the base together, Groznik and Nep became friends.
Weeks later, after Tascl's forces captured Winter and veteran Rogue pilot Wes Janson, Antilles planned an assault against the Moff's palace at Kiidan. During the battle, Loro discovered that Vance Rego, a long-time member of the Cilpari Resistance, was a double-agent who had betrayed the resistance and Rebel forces to Tascl. Believing Groznik to have been killed by TIE Fighter attacks, Rego attempted to kill Loro by hurling her from a moving speeder truck.
Groznik, however, evaded the TIE attacks and leaped onto the speeding vehicle. He attacked Rego and hurled the traitor away, then swung Loro to safety on a nearby vine. Presuming Rego to be dead, Loro and Groznik joined the assault on the Imperial palace, where the Wookiee personally found and attacked Tascl. Bent on avenging Throm Loro's death, Groznik was about to snap the Moff's neck when he was stopped by Elscol, who insisted Tascl should stand trial.
Rogue Squadron and MrlsstEdit
- "The hard part was listening to the Wookiee. He jumped out of his fur seeing Elscol join you in that attack."
- ―Wes Janson
Following the success of the Cilpari Resistance movement, Elscol Loro accepted an invitation by Antilles to join Rogue Squadron. Satisfied that Throm's legacy had been fulfilled through the liberation of the planet, Groznik insisted upon following Elscol and the Rogues to Mrlsst about one month later. The squadron was dispatched to the planet to negotiate with the Mrlssi for control of the Phantom Project, an apparent cloaking device for space vehicles that required very little energy to operate.
Whenever Loro participated in Rogue missions, Groznik was tasked mainly with guarding Wes Janson, who broke his leg on Mrlsst and was confined to a power chair. Other than this task, Groznik had no official capacity with Rogue Squadron and instead continued to watch over Loro; Janson affectionately complained that when Groznik watched him, the Wookiee spent more time worrying about Loro than guarding him.
During a visit with Janson at the Mrlssi Central Academic Hospital, Imperial stormtroopers attempted to arrest Groznik, along with Rogue Squadron pilots Loro, Janson, Dllr Nep, Tycho Celchu, Plourr Ilo, and Derek Klivian—and local allies Mirax Terrik and Koyi Komad—under false charges that Celchu stole the Phantom Project datacards. Groznik was instrumental in helping the group escape, tossing stormtroopers through transparisteel windows and charging through dozens of enemies in order to create an escape path. Komad led the group into hiding in the planet's underground controlled by the humanoid alien Nasta.
Phantom Throm Loro and Groznik's deathEdit
- "Are you dead, beast? Are you finally done?!"
- ―Loka Hask
Loro and Groznik stayed behind while the other Rogues pursued a lead they believed could lead to recovering the stolen datacards. Shortly after the Rogues left, the duo were confronted by what appeared to be the Force ghost of Throm Loro. Groznik was entranced and delighted at the thought that his old master had returned, and in his happiness, he failed to question whether the apparition might be a fake, even though Throm Loro had never been a Jedi. When Throm ordered Groznik to knock Elscol out, he did so without question or hesitation.
In fact, the Throm Loro image was a Mrlssi Laser Phantom, a sophisticated hologram developed by Professor Rorax Falken. Falken, a renowned physicist, had developed the plans for the fake Phantom Project as a way to swindle credits from the Galactic Empire and Rebel Alliance. At the phantom Throm's orders, Groznik flew a ship to Falken's Lab, which had been built into one of the many asteroids in a field orbiting Mrlsst.
Although Falken held Nep and Terrik hostage and spoke frankly about his deceptions in front of Groznik, the Wookiee was so desperate to continue believing Throm was alive that he blindly served both Falken and the phantom. When Loka Hask and his Imperial stormtroopers raided the lab in search of the datacards, Groznik fought them alongside the Throm image. The Wookiee reveled in the chance to fight alongside and once again protect his master.
His happy delusions were short-lived, however, ending when Falken was gunned down, causing all his Mrlssi Laser Phantoms to disappear. Groznik watched in horror as Throm Loro disappeared before his eyes, and the feelings that he once again failed to save the life of his master caused Groznik to lose control of himself. The Wookiee attacked the stormtroopers with his hands, taking on dozens at a time and beating them to death as his Rogue friends escaped the lab in Mirax Terrik's Pulsar Skate.
Only after all the stormtroopers were dead did Groznik himself collapse, falling on a pile of dead Imperial soldiers. Hask, falsely believing the Wookiee to be dead, explored the lab and discovered the gravitic polarization beam, a molecular weapon that disrupted matter on an atomic level. The weapon, developed in secret by Falken, was capable of destroying an entire planet.
However, Antilles and the other Rogue activated the superweapon via remote in order to destroy the lab and the weapon itself, to prevent it from falling into Imperial hands. Hask attempted to flee to his shuttle, where he planned to jump into hyperspace, but the revived Groznik grabbed his ankle and successfully blocked his escape. The gravitic polarization beam fired and created a hyperspace wormhole, destroying Groznik, Hask, his Interdictor Star Destroyer Dominator and Falken's Lab along with it.
- "Groznik's just a jump away."
- ―Elscol Loro
Groznik's death weighed heavily on Elscol Loro, who was still in mourning for the recent loss of her husband. The Mrlssti considered Groznik a hero of the Rebellion and erected a memorial statue of the Wookiee on the Mrlsst Trade and Science Academy campus. Although never attaining the fame or status of the Wookiee Chewbacca, Groznik became well known for his association with the famed Rogue Squadron and his actions at Mrlsst. This was demonstrated by Han Solo; as he mourned the death of Chewbacca, more than two decades after Groznik's death, Solo recalled to himself the stories of Groznik and his devotion to Throm and Elscol Loro.
Personality and traitsEdit
- "He brought that fighter down with a stick!"
- ―Wedge Antilles
Groznik had light-brown fur with a dark-brown streak stretching down the center of his face, from the top of his head to his chin. He often wore green, gray, or brown shoulder straps with pouches and utility pockets. Although he frequently carried and was proficient with a blaster rifle, Groznik preferred hand-to-hand combat due to his enormous strength. He often proved himself capable of extraordinary feats in battle, including instances in which he destroyed a TIE Fighter by smashing it with part of a tree, and a Lambda-class T-4a shuttle by throwing a boulder at it.
Due to his Kashyyyk upbringing, Groznik was able to swing and leap from trees and other large distances at great ease, even with enough speed to keep up with landspeeders, and felt far less comfortable when confined to the small area of slower-moving vehicles. Groznik was a proficient pilot and mechanic, and he could move stealthily in outdoor settings. He also possessed a strong sense of smell that made him an excellent scout and guard.
Groznik had a fiery temper due in part to the tragedies that so defined his early life. His kidnapping, captivity, and cruel treatment at the hands of Imperials made Groznik prone to snapping when pushed too hard. In particular, the death of Throm Loro had a profound negative effect on Groznik from which he never fully recovered, instilling in him a sadness that would never fade and making him become closed off and distant from most other beings, even occasionally Elscol Loro.
Like many Wookiees, Groznik had a strong sense of loyalty and took the concept of the life debt very seriously. His loyalty to Throm was unmatched, and he never stopped blaming himself for his master's death. His sense of loss was so strong that he easily allowed himself to believe Rorax Falken's Mrlssi Laser Phantom vision of Throm Loro was the resurrected spirit of his master, even in the face of strong evidence to the contrary.
Behind the scenesEdit
- "I hated it the second I saw it because it was a retread of the Han Solo/Chewie story. I HATE retreading like that."
- ―Michael A. Stackpole, about Groznik
Groznik was created by Mike Baron and appears in The Rebel Opposition and The Phantom Affair, the first two story-arcs of the Star Wars: X-Wing Rogue Squadron comic series. He was drawn by Allen Nunis, Andy Mushynsky, and David Nestelle in The Rebel Opposition and Edvin Biukovic, Gary Erskine, John Nadeau, and Jordi Ensign in The Phantom Affair. The renderings of Groznik vary slightly between the two comics; in The Rebel Opposition, Groznik is a lighter shade of brown, lacks the dark brown streak down his face, and has thicker and longer hair than in The Phantom Affair.
In a posting to the alt.fan.wedge newsgroup, Michael A. Stackpole stated he did not create Groznik during the course of writing the plot of The Rebel Opposition. Instead, Mike Baron—the scripter of The Rebel Opposition—created the character on his own initiative. Stackpole took exception to what he viewed as "a retread of the Han Solo/Chewie story" and said he "hated it the second [he] saw it." When Stackpole plotted out The Phantom Affair, he included the death of Groznik in the story outline. Although Stackpole feared that Lucasfilm would prevent scripter Darko Macan from killing the Wookiee, they nevertheless allowed it.
In the first issue of The Rebel Opposition, Elscol Loro stated that Throm had freed Groznik from captivity during a raid on "an Imp base on Endor". The description of Groznik's backstory in Handbook 1: X-Wing Rogue Squadron also indicated that Endor was the location of the Imperial supply base where he had been enslaved. However, these references to Endor were omitted from the collected versions of these issues in Omnibus: X-Wing Rogue Squadron Volume 1.
- Star Wars: X-Wing Rogue Squadron: The Rebel Opposition (First appearance)
- Star Wars: X-Wing Rogue Squadron: The Phantom Affair
- Star Wars: X-Wing Rogue Squadron: Battleground: Tatooine (Mentioned only)
- The New Jedi Order: Agents of Chaos I: Hero's Trial (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars Encyclopedia
- Handbook 1: X-Wing Rogue Squadron
- A Guide to the Star Wars Universe, Third Edition
- "Who's Who in Rogue Squadron"—Star Wars Insider 59
- Star Wars: The Comics Companion
- Star Wars Roleplaying Game Saga Edition Core Rulebook
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
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 1.22 1.23 1.24 Star Wars: X-Wing Rogue Squadron: The Rebel Opposition
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 Star Wars: X-Wing Rogue Squadron: The Phantom Affair
- ↑ Galactic Campaign Guide
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Handbook 1: X-Wing Rogue Squadron
- ↑ Star Wars: X-Wing Rogue Squadron: Battleground: Tatooine
- ↑ The New Jedi Order: Agents of Chaos I: Hero's Trial
- ↑ Response to "Random spewings…" on alt.fan.wedge newsgroup (Posted 3/5/98 3:00 AM by Michael A. Stackpole)
- ↑ Response to "Random spewings…" on alt.fan.wedge newsgroup (Posted 3/3/98 3:00 AM by Michael A. Stackpole)
- ↑ X-Wing Rogue Squadron 1: The Rebel Opposition, Part 1