- "Laborer 429, why have you disengaged the conveyor?"
- ―Brom Titus
Melch, designated "Laborer 429," was a male Ugnaught slave laborer who worked on Reklam Station, an Imperial-controlled salvage yard located in the atmosphere of the planet Yarma, which recycled old Y-wing starfighters. Melch aided members of Phoenix Squadron, as well as pirate Hondo Ohnaka, in capturing some of the Y-wings, which were to be used by the rebellion. In return, Melch and several other Ugnaught workers were allowed to escape the station with Ohnaka aboard a stolen Sentinel-class landing craft.
Later, Melch and the other Ugnaught workers took part in an unsuccessful mission to steal cargo from an Imperial cargo transport. However, the cargo ship drifted into the stormy upper atmosphere of the planet Wynkahthu. Melch's fellow Ugnaught crew were killed boarding it but Melch survived. Melch was bitter than Hondo had abandoned them but reconciled with Hondo when the latter offered to give him a 2 percent stake in the treasure. Melch survived the dangerous second attempt to retrieve cargo from the Imperial ship. He later rejoined Hondo and his business partner Azmorigan on their travels.
Escaping Reklam StationEdit
Melch was a male Ugnaught who lived during the Age of the Empire. Around 2 BBY, Melch was a slave laborer who worked on Reklam Station on the planet Yarma. Reklam Station was commanded by Commander Brom Titus, a former Admiral who had been relieved of his position for losing an experimental Imperial Interdictor. There, he was given the call number "Laborer 429" and was part of an Ugnaught work gang tasked with dismantling decommissioned Old Republic Y-wing starfighters. Melch was an acquaintance of Terba, an Ugnaught who attempted to escape Reklam Station but was imprisoned on the planet Naraka.
Prior to his death, Terba informed the Weequay pirate Hondo Ohnaka about the Imperial dismantling operations at Reklam Station. Melch and his fellow laborers were working at the orbital dismantling space station when Hondo and the Spectres infiltrated the station. Hondo, who could speak Ugnaught, managed to convince Melch and his fellow laborers to help the rebels in return for their liberation. Melch agreed to shut down the furnace conveyor belt. When Commander Titus inquired what was going on, Melch claimed that the conveyor belt had malfunctioned. Titus then threatened to execute the Ugnaught if he did not repair it.
Melch and the Ugnaughts then helped the rebels to refuel the Y-wings. Before they could leave, the rebels were spotted by Commander Titus who activated the magnetic locks. Melch and several Ugnaughts then followed Hondo into the command tower in order to free the starfighters. There, Hondo and his Ugnaughts spotted an Imperial Sentinel-class landing craft and offered to guard it. While the Spectres dealt with Titus and his dismantler droids and stormtroopers, Melch, his Ugnaught comrades and Hondo escaped aboard the landing craft and headed into space. The Spectres managed to escape on the Y-wings and with the help of their Phoenix Squadron allies.
Mission to WynkahthuEdit
Later, Melch and his fellow Ugnaught crew took part in a mission to raid an Imperial cargo ship under the leadership of Hondo and his new business partner Azmorigan, a crime lord. Working together, Hondo and Azmorigan disabled the cargo ship with ion mines. However, the ship drifted into the planet Wynkahthu and was trapped in an atmospheric storm. Melch and his fellow Ugnaught crew then tried to board the ship. However, his comrades were lost due to the dangerous atmospheric conditions and only Melch survived. Hondo then abandoned him and fled offworld.
Melch was bitter that Hondo had left him to die and hid within the Imperial cargo ship, whose power plant had been knocked out. Later, Hondo and Azmorigan returned with Ezra Bridger and Garazeb Orrelios, two members of the Spectres. Upon seeing Hondo, Melch attacked his boss and punched him several times before being restrained by Ezra. Ezra quickly recognized him as one of Hondo's Ugnaught crew he had encountered at Reklam Station. At Zeb's insistence, Hondo told Zeb and Ezra that he had made an earlier attempt to raid the Imperial ship and had abandoned his Ugnaught crew. Hondo managed to win back Melch's loyalty by offering him a two percent share of the treasure.
After the Spectres reached the cargo bay and reactivated the ship's power, Melch helped Hondo to carry some pieces of crates containing treasure. The Spectres insisted on loading their cargo of proton bombs first in return for helping Hondo and Azmorigan. When the rebels and their confederates came under attack from Imperial sentry droids, Melch hid inside Hondo's treasure box. He realized that Hondo only cared for himself despite his rhetoric about regarded his crew as his "sweet, fragrant family." This allowed him to survive the destruction of the Imperial cargo ship, which crashed into a vortex.
Once aboard the Spectres' ship Ghost, Melch surprised Hondo and Azmorigan by revealing that he had hidden himself inside the chest. While Hondo was disappointed, he remarked that friendship was the treasure he had discovered that day. Hondo then hugged Melch but the Ugnaught punched him, indicating that he did not believe the Weequay pirate's words. Despite his mistrust of Hondo, he accompanied his captain and Azmorigan back aboard their ship.
Personality and traitsEdit
As an Ugnaught, Melch spoke Ugnaught, and had a diminutive physique and porcine features. He also had a large red tattoo on the left side of his face. As an enslaved laborer, Melch had little love for the Empire and was willing to help Hondo and his rebel allies steal Y-wing starfighters in return for his freedom. Melch squealed when he talked. He was infuriated when Hondo abandoned him and his crew and left them to die. However, he easily forgave his master when Hondo offered him a two percent share of the treasure.
Despite Hondo's rhetoric about loving his crew like his family, Melch did not believe Hondo. On one occasion, he smuggled himself inside a cargo chest to preempt Hondo leaving him behind. On another occasion, he punched Hondo in the chest when the Weequay pirate boasted about valuing friendship. At times, Melch was prepared to use violence to display his anger and disagreement with Hondo.
Behind the scenesEdit
Melch was first created for the third season of the Disney XD television series Star Wars Rebels. He was voiced by Dee Bradley Baker, who voiced the Clone trooper characters in the Rebels series and its predecessor The Clone Wars television series. He first appeared in the television movie Star Wars Rebels: Steps Into Shadow, which premiered at Celebration Europe on July 16, 2016. Baker reprised his role in "The Wynkahthu Job", which premiered on November 26, 2016.