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"Old Man" Padgett was a male Human living on Aquilaris during the New Sith Wars. The Jedi Knight Kerra Holt knew him from her childhood and met Padgett again when she come back on the planet alongside Devil Squadron. He was only forty years old in 1032 BBY but was considered an old man because in that time period was rare for Humans to survive to that age. He was one of the few Aquilarians not to become addicted to Deluge spice, a narcotic that had been deliberately distributed throughout the Grumani sector by Grace Command as part of an effort to weaken the Sith warlords' war engines. Due to his age and sound state of mind he was also the de-facto leader of the Seacroppers' Guild. Despite his pessimistic outlook, he developed a working relationship with Kerra and Captain Jenn Devaad of Grace Command's Devil Squadron. During the Aquilaris campaign, he played an important role alongside fellow Aquilarian Joad Kreel in rescuing survivors of an artificial global flood unleashed by the Hutt crime lord Zodoh.

BiographyEdit

Sith RuleEdit

"You listen to old Padgett this time. I told you, the flood's got 'em."
―Padgett describing the effects of Deluge spice on his Seacropper crew[src]

Padgett was a native of Aquilaris who lived in Capital Cay, a major maritime port. He was a member of the Seacroppers' Guild who harvested algae and fleek eels on that planet's vast oceans. He was also a close family friend of Joad Kreel who looked up to him as his elder. He survived the Massacre of Aquilaris and the subsequent Sith occupations by various Sith Lords, with the latest being Lord Daiman's Daimanate. Daiman exploited the planet as a source of seafood to feed his military forces. The Sith occupation brought extreme poverty and starvation for many Aquilarians since the Sith recquisitioned much of the population's food resources. The Seacroppers were forced to hand over much of their catch to the Sith and left with meager rations. Many subsequently became addicted to the spice Deluge which was able to alleviate hunger pangs and depression at the expense of reducing them to a state of apathy and disorientation.[1]

Consequently, seacropping operations were severely hampered by the poor health of its manpower who were unable to meet their work quota. Many Seacroppers were also unwilling to work in the rain and the poor conditions of its submersible and eel traps contributed to non-existent productivity by 1032 BBY. This drug was illicitly distributed by the pro-Republic Grace Command for the purpose of undermining the Sith war effort. While many of his fellow Seacroppers including Joad succumbed to the drug, Padgett was among the few who refused to use the narcotic. As the oldest and most mentally-sound of the Seacroppers, Padgett had assumed de-facto leadership of that organization.[1]

Cold ReunionEdit

"You're insane, is more like it. A Jedi. Are you invading this time?"
―Padgett greeting Kerra[src]

In 1032 BBY, Joad Kreel sent a distress signal requesting more Deluge. This signal was intercepted by several different parties with their own vested interests in Aquilaris including Jedi Knight Kerra Holt, Hutt crimelord Zodoh, and Grace Command. As a Jedi Knight, Kerra wanted to evacuate several Aquilarian refugees back to the safety of Republic space. As an Aquilarian, she also wanted to liberate her homeworld from Sith rule.[1] Meanwhile, the Hutt Zodoh was seeking to expand his crime empire into the Grumani sector, traditionally a domain of the Sith. He intended to intimidate his Sith competitors by testing his Stormdrivers on Aquilaris, capital ships equipped with mechanized vaporators capable of creating artificial storms.[2] Finally, Grace Command wanted to distribute the addictive spice Deluge among populations in Sith-occupied worlds. Operation Deluge aimed to indirectly sabotage the Sith war effort without committing substantial Republic resources. Captain Jenn Devaad of Devil Squadron was dispatched to the planet under the guise of anti-Sith liberators providing relief assistance.[3]

During the Battle of Capital Cay, the Daimanate garrison was overwhelmed by Zodoh's forces. Kerra infiltrated the port aboard an empty food transport and killed the garrison commander before he could flee. She then headed to the Seacroppers' Guild building and announced her plans to evacuate the Seacroppers in the food transport while Daiman's forces were still preoccupied fighting Hutt forces. Padgett responded negatively, deriding the lone Kerra as insane for coming alone. Due to the drug-induced state of the Seacroppers, Kerra was unable to convince them to cooperate with her. Padgett then explained to the young Jedi Knight that the men had become addicted to the Deluge spice. He also outlined the poor state of the Seacropper's harvesting operations and submersibles which had resulted in malnutrition and poverty. Kerra also quickly learnt from Joad Kreel that the distress signal had in reality been a request for more Deluge spice.[1]

Kerra subsequently manage to destroy one of Zodoh's Stormdrivers with the assistance of Jenn's Devil Squadron which had just arrived from hyperspace. Zodoh ordered his strike force to withdraw from Aquilaris since his Stormdriver had gathered sufficient data on Aquilaris' atmosphere that was necessary for flooding the planet's surface. Besides his advance force, Zodoh had a larger fleet of Stormdrivers that he intended to use to create an artificial global flood.[2]

Padgett was present when Captain Jenn and her squadron landed in Capital Cay and announced their plans to distribute free food and medicine to the impoverished population. Over the following days, Grace Command routed the remaining Sith forces on the other islands and began a massive distribution of food and medical supplies at Capital Cay.[1] While Devil Squadron was publicly warmly received by the populace, they aroused some uproar when they evicted the Seacroppers from their barracks for their own accommodation needs. Later, Joad learnt about Grace Command's secret agenda while eavesdropping on their meeting.[2]

The DelugeEdit

"That Jedi lady's crazier than I am. I don't know where you expect to go...There ain't a hill on this planet that's more than a pimple
Shut up and help, Padgett. She's right. Something's about to...
"
―Padgett and a female Aquilarian debating Kerra's evacuation plans[src]

Having completed their food and medical drop, Grace Command departed Aquilaris for another offensive against Sith Lord Malakite. En route, they were intercepted and captured by Zodoh's fighter carrier in the Aquilaris system. Only Kerra escaped back to Aquilaris where she quickly learnt about Grace Command's conspiracy to inundate Sith territory with Deluge spice. Having learnt of Zodoh's plans of testing his Deluge superweapons on Aquilaris, she attempted to convince the Aquilarians to evacuate to higher ground. She faced a major logistical problem because most of the boats had been destroyed by the Sith and the few remaining airspeeders would be unable to operate in stormy conditions.[3]

When Kerra asked whether the Seacroppers and their submersibles could help, Padgett pointed out that his entire workforce had become haditually addicted to the spice. The remaining Seacroppers were sequestered in the barracks, unable to think and function properly. Kerra initially expressed surprised at the lack of change since Grace Command had supposedly distributed medical supplies to treat the ailment. When Kerra suggested evacuating the Aquilarian refugees to the underwater harvester stations, Padgett expressed his skepticism that would be able to render much help due to their poor condition. Undeterred, Kerra managed to persuade Padgett and the other civilians to evacuate the refugees prior to the arrival of Zodoh's Stormdrivers.[3]

Throughout the evacuation effort, an irate Padgett criticized Kerra's evacuation efforts since the low topography meant there was little high ground for the refugees to flee to. In the middle of the evacuation efforts, they were interrupted by the arrival of Captain Jenn who forced them at gunpoint to collect all the orange food containers with time locks. These contained Deluge spice which she had intended to give to Zodoh in return for the safe release of her squadron mates. However, she was interrupted by Kerra who overpowered her with her Force powers and revealed her cognizance of Grace Command's true intentions.[3]

Kerra attempted to persuade Jenn to assist her in evacuating the Aquilarians but she was more concerned with saving her crew. Jenn also expressed her bitterness towards civilians in outlying regions due to her captivity at the hands of Zodoh. Unable to resolve their differences, the two women parted with Jenn returning to Zodoh's flagship; leaving Kerra and the Aquilarian people behind.[3] Shortly later, Zodoh's fleet of Stormdrivers activated their weaponized vaporators which sucked large amounts of moisture across Aquilaris and used them to create artificial storms and floods. Within hours, much of Aquilaris was submerged in flood waters. During the deluge, Padgett assisted Kerra's evacuation efforts by piloting her Fire Lotus-class starfighter while she waded through the waters in a desperate effort to rescue as many civilians.[4]

Padgett in Deluge

Padgett assisting Kerra during the evacution of Aquilaris

Reclaiming AquilarisEdit

"...The older underwater harvesting facilities looks salvageable. It helps to have someone who knows his way around!
You callin' me old, kid?
"
―Joad joking with Padgett[src]

In the end, Kerra and Padgett managed to evacuate four other refugees onto the top of a wrecked building in Tarrah Hill, the highest point on Aquilaris. Meanwhile, the orbiting Stormdrivers shut down, ending the storm. Later, it was learnt that Jenn had escaped Zodoh's flagship and in the process set off an explosion that disrupted the coordination of the orbiting Stormdrivers. This brief window in the storm allowed Joad to surface his submersible and evacuate Kerra, Padgett and the other refugees to safety in the underwater harvester stations. The large presence of former and current Seacroppers was pivotal since their expertise was needed in opening and repairing the sea tunnels.[4]

By dawn, several hundres of Aquilarians had been safely evacuated in different shifts. Subsequently, Jenn managed to escape Zodoh's flagship Voracious in a twin-seater fighter and then locate Kerra and the submersible. The two women reconciled and Jenn revealed Zodoh's new plot to flood Darkknell, the heavily-populated capital of Daiman's principality. To save billions of civilians, the two women departed in their starfighter.[4] Meanwhile, Padgett and Joad took over the coordination of the evacuation efforts. They discovered the aging underwater harvesting facilities to be still salvageable and Padgett became in charge of managing these havens due to his maritime expertise. Gradually, the storms subsided and the floods receded, allowing the buildings and land to resurface. Having weaned himself of the Deluge drug, Joad gradually reverted back to sanity.[5]

Kerra and Jenn subsequently returned safely from the Battle of Darkknell, having defeated the Hutt lord Zodoh and foiled his bid for galactic domination. To avoid any future Sith attempts to reclaim Aquilaris, Kerra misled the Sith Lords with false intelligence that the planet was still completely submerged in water and thus strategically worthless. Meanwhile, Captain Jenn would sabotage Operation Deluge by misleading Grace Command into believing she had a contract for distributing Deluge spice to Aquilaris. However, en route she would dump the drug into space and then use the supply transport to ferry refugees back to Republic space. Aquilaris would subsequently become a major base for shuttling refugees out of Sith Space with Padgett and Joad playing a leading role.[5]

Personality and TraitsEdit

Padgett had a pessimistic and grumpy demeanor. However, he was one of the few civilians on Aquilaris who refused to subsist on the addictive spice known as Deluge. Thus, he was one of the few civilians encountered by Kerra who remained in sound mind. His mental soundness allowed him to resume the position of de-facto leadership over the Seacroppers' Guild. His experiences under the deprivations of Sith rule made him skeptical of everyone as shown by his dismissal of Kerra's rescue mission as insane and unrealistic. Due to his age, he was looked upon as a mentor by the younger Seacroppers.[1]

Despite his skepticism of Kerra, he was still willing to assist her in evacuation efforts prior to the Great Aquilaris Deluge. He and Joad Kreel would subsequently play an important role in evacuating thousands of Aquilarian refugees to the safety of harvester stations, saving countless lives on Aquilaris.[4]

Powers and AbilitiesEdit

As a senior Seacropper, Padgett was familiar with the workings of submersibles and underwater Harvester stations. His skills allowed him to lead operations to repair the Harvester stations in order to allow them to accommodate civilian refugees. Padgett also displayed enough mechanical aptitude to operate Kerra's Fire Lotus-class starfighter while she plucked refugees from the flood waters.[4]

Behind the scenesEdit

Padgett was first introduced as a support character to the protagonist Kerra Holt in the Deluge story arc of the Star Wars: Knight Errant comic series which debuted on August 2011. John Jackson Miller developed his story background while he was drawn by Iban Coello and Sergio Abad, and then colored by Michael Atiyeh. He appears in four of the five issues of the Deluge arc with the exception of Knight Errant: Deluge 2.

AppearancesEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

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