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- "They beat the house, Verm. This time we pay."
- ―Ludlo Lebauer
Ludlo Lebauer was a Jenet casino owner on Pavo Prime with a brusque demeanor, a flair for the ostentatious, and an appreciation for fine art, beautiful women, and luxurious living. From a wealthy clan that owned both casinos and an underground criminal syndicate known as the Invisible Shell, Lebauer rose through the ranks but could never shake the dominance of his uncle and wanted bacta counterfeiter, Lorimar Lebauer.
As the Shell and Ludlo Lebauer secretly competed to obtain battlefield salvage rights from the New Republic, the nephew tipped off Thyferran authorities and had his uncle arrested. Ludlo Lebauer was dutifully appointed head of the Shell's board, but the other members refused to grant him more than nominal control. Meanwhile, the organization became enmeshed in a scheme by which they traded priceless works of art for Imperial intelligence. Lebauer wanted to cut out the middlebeings, a trio of Squibs, but they refused to out their contacts. He froze one of them in carbonite to teach them a lesson.
The Squibs would prove his undoing, however. When Lebauer invited Leia Organa Solo and Han Solo to Pavo Prime to make an offer for some Alderaanian boasa statues he had obtained, the Jenet expected to come out of the deal with a salvage contract. Instead, he found himself the patsy in the Squibs' scheme to free their frozen comrade. When the Solos revealed that they knew of his treachery toward his uncle, Lebauer was forced to give up not only boasas but also his favorite Squib work of carbonite "art", which he had dubbed the Second Mistake.
- "I checked. They didn't have much, only what's available from public sources: Lebauer's the administrator of the Pearl Island Casino and a well-respected member of the Pavo Prime Visitor's Board. The NRI report didn't say anything about the Invisible Shell."
- ―Leia Organa Solo
Ludlo Lebauer was born into a clan of Jenets who had their paws in a number of casinos on Pavo Prime. He grew up in the shadow of his uncle, Lorimar Lebauer, head of the Invisible Shell, a ruthless criminal organization made up of members of his clan.
Ludlo Lebauer maintained his own business interests, gaining ownership of the Pearl Island Casino on Pavo Prime, for instance. He carefully built up a positive reputation on the world, publicly administering the casino and joining the Pavo Prime Visitor's Board as a cover for his shadier operations. The casino became his base of operations.
- "The way we heard it, Ludlo is the one who told the Thyferrans where to find his uncle."
Shortly after the Battle of Endor, the Invisible Shell opened negotiations with the nascent New Republic for an exclusive salvage contract to New Republic battle sites. Meanwhile, Ludlo Lebauer secretly opened negotiations of his own. Nevertheless, the new government did not bite.
Lorimar Lebauer was a notorious bacta counterfeiter wanted for causing the deaths of thousands with his faulty wares. Ludlo Lebauer quietly tipped off the Thyferran police, who caught up to his uncle and arrested him. In the absence of its founder, the Invisible Shell fell to its board for direction with Ludlo Lebauer its head. Nevertheless, the board never granted their leader's nephew any real control over its affairs.
- "Please don't break Lebauer's casino until he gives me the boasas."
- ―Leia Organa Solo to Han Solo
Ludlo Lebauer refused to give up. He hatched a plot to pressure Leia Organa Solo into facilitating the salvage contract he sought. He entered the Shell into an arrangement by which they provided rare artwork to a trio of Squibs named Emala, Grees, and Sligh. In return, the Squibs gave the Shell Imperial secrets. The Shell then sold those secrets to New Republic Intelligence (NRI), and the Squibs supplied the art to an Imperial collector. In the process, the organization made money and improved its reputation with the galactic government. Eventually, Lebauer tried to cut the Squibs out of the arrangement by roughing them up to reveal their source. They refused (in reality, they had many sources), and Lebauer decided he had to teach them a lesson. He froze Grees in carbonite. It was like a work of art. Lebauer named it the Second Mistake.
He purchased 10 Alderaanian boasa statues from Threkim Horm, the president of the Alderaanian Council. The price was high—Horm was in debt from one end of Pavo Prime to the other— but the statues, which just happened to have been offworld at the time of Alderaan's destruction by the Death Star, were a perfect lure to Organa Solo, who wished to preserve them for posterity. With this information leaked to the NRI, Organa Solo arranged a meeting at the Pearl Island Casino. Lebauer's good standing with the NRI kept them from revealing his more shady affairs to Organa Solo.
Organa Solo came with her husband, Han Solo, the Wookiee Chewbacca, and her droid C-3PO. She tried to claim that the statues were the cultural heritage of the Alderaanian people and returning them to them would be smart publicity for the casino. Lebauer countered that the Pearl was exclusive and had no need for publicity.
Then Organa Solo shocked the Jenet: she asked to buy the Second Mistake. Seeing no harm in showing them his favorite piece of art, he took them to its hiding place, where their reactions told him they had had no idea that it was the Squib Grees in carbonite. At any rate, he refused to sell, and the Solos left. He had not expected that, but no worries. He knew they would be back for the boasas. Unfortunately, members of the Invisible Shell made a counteroffer over his head: the statues for the salvage rights the organization had been seeking. Again, the New Republic representatives refused.
Lebauer retired to a luxury lounge with his bodyguards and assistants. They were interrupted later by the Solos, their Wookiee, and, strangely, the two Squib associates of the carbonite-frozen Grees, who fought their way past Lebauer's bodyguards. Something had evidently changed, as the Solos made a new offer. They revealed that they had learned about the Invisible Shell. Then they unilaterally stated that the salvage contract was off the table; they had no desire to see New Republic scrap refurbished and sold to the Empire. Instead, they would trade the statues and the Second Mistake for their putting pressure on the Thyferrans to release Lorimar Lebauer from prison. The Squib Emala even sweetened the deal with a credit chip worth 10,000 credits, while her associate Sligh made a clumsy threat: Ludlo Lebauer probably had no desire to see his uncle released, since he had supposedly helped put him away.
Lebauer knew he could not let his uncle free, but he pretended to agree to the offer. When Organa Solo said she would have to return to Coruscant to leverage the Thyferrans, Lebauer knew he could not let that happen. He made a show of giving the artworks to the Solos, even ordering the boasas boxed up for transport to the Millennium Falcon. However, he then led the "guests" into an ambush by some blaster rifle-wielding Jenet underlings. The Squibs offered 5 million credits for the Second Mistake and their lives, but Lebauer thought even that was too risky—his clan might learn of his treachery if they found the statues around somewhere. Better to melt them down and kill everyone.
Then things turned sour. The Solos revealed that Organa Solo had been wearing a comlink, and that her droid had recorded Lebauer's orders to kill them. Their droid would release the recording should they be executed. Desperate, Lebauer decided to kill the offworlders himself; he was dead either way, so he might as well take them out while he had the chance. Organa made one final offer: she would keep the recording private, would make no efforts to free Lorimar Lebauer. In return, Ludlo Lebauer would hand over the boasas and the Second Mistake. Lebauer agreed.
In the end, Lebauer had the last laugh. The Squibs had apparently convinced the Solos that the Invisible Shell knew the control codes for the Empire's MS-19. Lebauer revealed that that particular piece of intel was completely false, as the Imperials had been passing along false information for a month after catching on to the Squibs' scheme. Meanwhile, the Squibs slipped away before anyone could confront them. Lebauer could only warn the Solos to never trust a Squib.
Personality and traitsEdit
- "Ludlo Lebauer is a rough character. If you want to get those boasas from him, you need every advantage you can get. You need to know the situation."
With a bulky build and a taste for the ostentatious, Ludlo Lebauer was a Jenet who made an impression. His large, pink body was covered in thin, white fur. His red eyes stayed perpetually sabacc-faced, offering no hint of what he had in mind—a cold sweat was a better indicator of when he was in distress. Lebauer wore clothes designed to be noticed. When he met Leia Organa Solo in 8 ABY, he wore a gaudy tunic-doublet outfit made of noron and a pinky ring bejeweled with a giant Corusca gem. Under his doublet he stashed a large blaster.
Lebauer's brusque and harsh demeanor belied his connoisseurship of unique and valuable art. The Jenet collected such pieces and displayed them in his casino to increase the air of elitism enjoyed by its patrons. Like other Jenets, Lebauer had an eidetic memory. Nevertheless, he professed ignorance of the galaxy beyond Pavo Prime, wondering, for example, if Coruscant had trees. Perhaps Lebauer's greatest strength was his natural skill at enduring downturns and saving his own skin. When pressed, he denied the existence of the Invisible Shell and his own furtive dealings, insisting on the legitimacy of his operations.
The job of a casino boss came with certain trappings. For one, a swarm of bellhops, clerks, dealers, and pit bosses of various species surrounded him. Even more of his coterie were fellow Jenets, the males accoutered to match their boss's style and the females in provocative attire. A fair number of these were actually personal bodyguards working incognito so as not to draw undue attention. One of these was a Jenet named Verm. Perhaps his most important "employee" was a culkuda that he kept in the casino's power plant to dispose of any uncooperative "clients". Lebauer spent much of his time lounging in the Pearl's luxurious lounges and suites, isolated from the clients who frequented the casino.
Behind the scenesEdit
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 "The Trouble with Squibs", Hyperspace, p. 4.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "The Trouble with Squibs", Hyperspace, p. 5.
- ↑ The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. II, p. 110.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 "The Trouble with Squibs", Hyperspace, p. 7.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. II, p. 247.
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 "The Trouble with Squibs", Hyperspace, p. 8.
- ↑ The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol II, p. 111.
- ↑ "The Trouble with Squibs", Hyperspace, p. 3.
- ↑ "The Trouble with Squibs", Hyperspace, p. 1.
- ↑ "The Trouble with Squibs", Hyperspace, p. 2.
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 "The Trouble with Squibs", Hyperspace, p. 6.
- ↑ "The Trouble with Squibs", Hyperspace, pp. 8–9.
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 "The Trouble with Squibs", Hyperspace, p. 9.
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 "The Trouble with Squibs", Hyperspace, p. 10.
- ↑ 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 "The Trouble with Squibs", Hyperspace, p. 11.
- ↑ 16.0 16.1 "The Trouble with Squibs", Hyperspace, p. 12.