- "It's a simple, low-threat freighter. A modified Mon Cal DeepWater class [sic]. Decent armor, decent shields, nothing special."
- ―Imperial Captain Calo Drusan
The Lost Reef was a DeepWater-class light freighter produced by Mon Calamari Shipyards for the use of Mon Calamari Commercial Expeditionary Service. During its rule, the Galactic Empire dissolved that organization, and the Lost Reef was sold in auction. It was purchased by a Yarkora antiquities dealer, Saell-Terae, who used the ship to map the Unknown Regions. After an extended stay in the Unknown Regions Saell-Terae abandoned the Lost Reef and the ship was discovered empty and adrift near the Elrood sector, carrying three valuable statues in a hidden compartment as well as a dataplaque with astrogation charts for a part of the Unknown Regions. Around that time, the Lost Reef was coveted by its owner Saell-Terae, as well as by the Chiss Imperial officer Thrawn—he was interested in the three statues that the freighter carried, as their design would provide valuable information on his enemies.
At some point before 0.8 ABY, the Lost Reef had fallen into Thrawn's hands. In turn, he presented the ship as a gift to his longtime friend, smuggler Jorj Car'das. When the alien warlord Nuso Esva threatened the Poln system—located at the border between the Unknown Regions and the Empire—Thrawn enlisted Car'das' help. The Lost Reef was essential in turning the tide of the battle of the Poln system, when Thrawn used it to prevent a collision between the Imperial Star Destroyer Chimaera and the Golan station guarding Poln Major.
- "You really think this is going to work?"
"The theory is perfectly sound. The only question is whether or not the Lost Reef will be able to handle the strain."
"Don't worry about that. The Mon Cals build their ships to last, and I put in a lot of modifications after you gave her to me. She'll hold together."
- ―Jorj Car'das and Thrawn, during the battle of the Poln system
The Lost Reef was one of the 10,000 DeepWater-class light freighters that Mon Calamari Shipyards built for use by the Mon Calamari Commercial Expeditionary Service before the Galactic Empire dissolved the organization. As was typical with Mon Calamari starship designs, the Lost Reef had unique features, which differentiated it in small, mostly cosmetic ways from every other ship in its class. However, it shared one unusual feature with other ships of the same type: it could be used both in space and underwater with relatively small changes required for the hull and shields. Other features that the Lost Reef shared with its sister ships included a modest cargo room—it could only carry eighty-five metric tons in its two holds—length of forty-five meters, and a reliable set of engines, which Saell-Terae, a Yarkora antiquities dealer, later upgraded.
Like its exterior, the interior setting of the Lost Reef was similar to other DeepWater-class ships, consisting of a cockpit in front, two cargo bays on the sides, crew lounge and state rooms in the middle, and an engineering compartment at the rear. The ship was stocked with two months' worth of consumables. The Lost Reef carried three different landing systems: the standard landing gear and the landing claw—which was used when docking with asteroids or other ships, with the extendable boarding tube connected to the airlock—were accompanied by puncture-proof pontoons designed for sea level landings. One of these pontoons held a hidden compartment which Saell-Terae used to hide three statues that he acquired in the Unknown Regions.
Saell-Terae made multiple modifications to the ship while it was in his possession. He replaced the life support system, which had been designed for Mon Calamari, with one more suitable for use by non-amphibious species. He upgraded the engines as well, which increased the ship's maneuverability and speed, giving it the maximum speed of 1,050 kilometers per hour in atmospheric conditions. The hyperdrive was also upgraded from standard x2 to x1, and the backup system from x15 to x10. The basic weapon systems found in DeepWater-class ships were also replaced and improved, with the Lost Reef being equipped with a quad laser cannon turret, instead of the usual dual laser turret, and four hidden torpedo launchers, designed to be used underwater. These weapons—along with military-grade shielding and an improved targeting computer that Saell-Terae installed—were illegal on civilian ships according to Imperial restrictions.
The later owner of the ship, a Human smuggler named Jorj Car'das—who had received the ship from his friend Thrawn, who was a senior captain in the Imperial Navy, at some point before 0.8 ABY—added further modifications to the craft.
- "Strictly speaking, a tractor beam doesn't pull in its target, but instead pulls the target and the generator toward their common center of mass. Since the Chimaera vastly outmasses nearly everything you've ever drawn in, it's never before been an issue for you."
"The question now, of course, is whether the Lost Reef and I can provide you enough of a nudge to pull you off Nuso Esva's predetermined path."
- ―Thrawn, explaining his plan to save Chimaera to Commander Pellaeon
Mon Calamari Shipyards manufactured the Lost Reef along with around 10,000 other DeepWater-class light freighters for the Mon Calamari Commercial Expeditionary Service. When the Galactic Empire dissolved the Commercial Expeditionary Service, the Lost Reef and its sister ships were put to auction and sold to individual owners. The Lost Reef was purchased for 76,000 credits by a Yarkora named Saell-Terae who, like many others of his species, claimed to be an antiques dealer. Saell-Terae used his ship to explore the Unknown Regions; his negotiations at the edges of space, however, did not appear to be profitable.
During his travels in the Unknown Regions, Saell-Terae acquired three warrior statues, made by a military commander who—despite his species' primitive spacefaring culture—was at war with Thrawn, a Chiss Imperial officer who had been sent to work in the Unknown Regions. Having found out that Saell-Terae possessed these wooden statues, covered with precious gems and valuable metals, Thrawn sent his agents to find the Yarkora and retrieve them, as their design could help the Chiss learn more about his opponent. Pursued by Thrawn's agents, Saell-Terae was forced to abandon his ship near the Elrood sector after deleting his navcomputer records. When the ship was discovered drifting, however, a dataplaque—which held detailed charts of parts of the Unknown Regions—was hidden in a secret compartment located in the Lost Reef's airlock. The three warrior statues were also still concealed in the pontoon, carefully protected with cargo netting and packing foam.
When the Lost Reef was discovered drifting, Saell-Terae wanted to reclaim his ship, and he was even prepared to kill whoever possessed it. At the same time, Thrawn's agents were also still seeking to deliver the Lost Reef and the warrior statues to their master. Eventually the ship fell into the hands of Thrawn, who gave it to his Human friend Jorj Car'das, the head of a large smuggling and information brokering organization. About eight months after the Battle of Yavin, when Car'das's health had started to deteriorate, Thrawn requested his help in stopping alien warlord Nuso Esva. Together Car'das and Thrawn traveled to the Forest Moon of Endor, where Thrawn arranged a meeting with Emperor Palpatine on board the Lost Reef. Thrawn gave the Emperor his suggestions on improving the defenses set around the construction site of the second Death Star, a new moon-sized battlestation that the Empire was building. He also made a request for six more Star Destroyers to help him address the threat that Esva's fleet posed, but the Emperor turned him down, advising the Chiss to speak with his Sith apprentice, Darth Vader, instead.
After meeting with Vader, Car'das and Thrawn used the Lost Reef to follow the Imperial Star Destroyer Chimaera, which Esva had infiltrated under a false identity, to the Unknown Regions. Soon an emergency call from Poln Major, the capital planet of the Candoras sector, reached them and ordered all Imperial vessels to defend the system against a Rebel threat. In the Poln system they found that Chimaera, which Esva had crippled, was on a collision course with the Golan station orbiting Poln Major. Car'das and Thrawn used the Lost Reef and Chimaera's remaining tractor beam systems to steer the seriously damaged ship away from the space station and ruined Esva's battle plan, which had rested on Thrawn being forced to sacrifice either the warship or the Golan station. When Esva had brought in the rest of his troops, Thrawn also invited his reinforcements to the scene: Darth Vader and his private task force known as the Death Squadron, a group consisting of the Super Star Destroyer Executor and six Star Destroyers: the Accuser, the Adjudicator, the Avenger, the Devastator, the Stalker, and the Tyrant. As Thrawn was still on board the Lost Reef, he transferred command of his task force to Vader for the rest of the battle.
One third of Esva's entire fleet was lost in battle, and after conversing with Vader, Thrawn was eager to head back out to the Unknown Regions and use the advantage he had gained. Before leaving, Thrawn suggested that Car'das should travel to the planet Wroona and rescue the people whom Esva was holding hostage there. Esva was using the people on Wroona to blackmail a Human named Sorro, forcing him to act as his pilot. Despite being seriously ill and knowing his only hope for a cure laid in the outlying Kathol sector, Car'das made plans to visit Wroona and see if he and the Lost Reef could be of help.
Owners and operatorsEdit
- "My hope is that Sorro's family may still be alive and can be freed."
"There's no one else who can do the job. The Lost Reef has the weaponry, and I'm sure you have the necessary contacts to locate them. The question is whether you have the will."
- ―Thrawn, persuading Car'das to help the distressed people of Wroona
The first individual owner of the Lost Reef was a Yarkora called Saell-Terae. Before he bought the ship from an auction, it was owned by Mon Calamari Commercial Expeditionary Service, a company that the Galactic Empire closed down. Like other Yarkora—a species encountered only in small numbers, the members of which often claimed to have specialized in antiques and little-known religions—Saell-Terae kept his ultimate mission quiet, using the Lost Reef to travel the little-studied starlanes of the Unknown Regions with minimal gain for himself.
After Saell-Terae lost his ship, it fell into the hands of Senior Captain Thrawn, who gave it to his friend Jorj Car'das. The smuggler leader was in possession of the Lost Reef long enough to make multiple modifications to the ship, before he joined Thrawn's effort to crush Nuso Esva. When saying goodbyes to Thrawn after the battle of the Poln system, Car'das planned to first travel to Wroona and attempt to rescue Esva's hostages, before he would continue toward the Kathol sector, where he hoped he could improve his failing health.
Behind the scenesEdit
The Lost Reef was first described in the West End Games's Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game sourcebook Stock Ships, where it appeared as an example ship for the DeepWater-class light freighter. The ship later appeared in Timothy Zahn's novel Choices of One, where it is used by Jorj Car'das. These two sources create a minor inconsistency concerning Thrawn's rank in the Imperial military: Stock Ships grants him the title of admiral, while he is only a senior captain during the events of Choices of One. This article assumes that the events of Stock Ships take place before those described in Choices of One.
- Choices of One (First appearance)