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"Melshi, Pao, Baze, Chirrut, you'll take the main squad. Move east and get wide of the ship. Find a position between here and the tower. Once you get to the best spot, light the place up. Make ten men feel like a hundred."
―Cassian Andor to Melshi and other members of Rogue One[src]

Ruescott Melshi was a male human soldier who served as a sergeant in the Alliance to Restore the Republic Special Forces during the early years of Rebellion against the Galactic Empire. A close friend of Captain Cassian Andor, Melshi was a veteran soldier and a respected commander, who led his troops by personal example. In 0 BBY, after the Alliance learned about the existence of the Death Star superweapon, Melshi led a Rebel extraction team during the rescue of Jyn Erso—the daughter of renowned Imperial scientist Galen Erso—from the labor camp on the planet Wobani. When the woman was successfully liberated, the Alliance employed her to make contact with her father.

As a result of the mission, the Alliance learned about a supposed crucial weakness deliberately left in the Death Star's design by the elder Erso as an act of sabotage. However, in order to pinpoint its precise location, the Alliance required a copy of the Death Star's schematics, which were being stored on the planet Scarif, but the Alliance High Command was split in their decision to send troops to Scarif, and the mission was not approved. In response, Andor asked Melshi to accompany him and Jyn Erso on an unsanctioned mission to Scarif. Melshi accepted the offer and helped put together a ragtag group of volunteers dubbed "Rogue One", who embarked to Scarif.

During the subsequent battle on the planet, Melshi was assigned as the commander of Rebel troops on the surface of the planet by Andor, who placed complete trust in Melshi's abilities. Melshi's task on Scarif was to provide distraction for Andor while he and Erso extracted the plans from the vault inside the Imperial security complex. Melshi succeeded in the task, although he and the rest of Rogue One perished in the process.

BiographyEdit

Early Alliance serviceEdit

Ruescott Melshi was a Human male member of the Alliance to Restore the Republic during the early days of rebellion against the Galactic Empire. An experienced soldier and infiltrator, Melshi served as a sergeant in Alliance Special Forces'[5] Pathfinders branch.[3] During his time with the Rebels, Melshi became a good friend of Captain Cassian Andor, a member of Alliance Intelligence.[5] As an infiltrator, Melshi often had to perform dirty work in the name of the Rebellion.[2] At one point, Melshi served together with Lieutenant Caluan Ematt on Gaulus. During his time with the Rebellion, Melshi also made additions to a Rebel field manual, writing a section on various Imperial stormtrooper variants, describing the distinctive features of each of those branches.[6] By 0 BBY,[1] Melshi was a member of[2] the Massassi Group, the largest Rebel cell operating from the Great Temple on the fourth moon of the planet Yavin.[2]

Rescue of Jyn ErsoEdit

"You want to get out of here?"
―Ruescott Melshi to Jyn Erso[src]

In 0 BBY,[1] Andor received intelligence that the Galactic Empire was building a superweapon with enough firepower to destroy a planet. The Alliance, in an attempt to locate the weapon's leading engineer Galen Erso, decided to locate his daughter Jyn. The Rebels uncovered recent arrest files on Erso, which indicated that she was being held[7] inside Imperial Detention Center & Labor Camp LEG-817[8] on the planet Wobani under the alias "Liana Hallik."[7]

Extraction Team Bravo member

Melshi greets a handcuffed Erso.

Having verified that information, General Davits Draven approved the formation of Extraction Team Bravo, a rapid-response team of marines led by Sergeant Melshi[7] and consisting of two other Rebel troopers and K-2SO, a reprogrammed Imperial KX-series security droid.[2] The extraction team used a U-wing designated Bravo One to reach Wobani[4] timing their arrival to coincide with the moment when Erso was being transported on a worker's convoy.[7] The team overtook one of the Empire's HCVw A9 turbo tanks that held the captive Jyn Erso. Melshi and his men took out two stormtrooper guards, after which the sergeant unlocked Erso's stuncuffs, informing her that she was being rescued. However, when another prisoner asked Melshi to unbind him, Jyn took advantage of the distraction, punching Melshi in the face and grabbing a nearby shovel. Erso knocked out Melshi and his companions with the shovel, before rushing from the tank, only to be intercepted by K-2SO outside.[2]

With Erso taken into custody,[7] Melshi and the extraction team returned to Bravo One and left the planet. However, the team experienced a technical malfunction with the U-wing's navigational computer, rendering them unable to make the jump to hyperspace and forcing them to take refuge inside a nearby asteroid field. The situation necessitated K-2SO to call for assistance from the Alliance Fleet. The Alliance responded by sending Red Flight, a group of four T-65B X-wing starfighters, to assist Melshi's team and provide escort for them until the Rebel CR90 corvette Vigilant arrived to pick up the team. However, as soon as the Vigilant arrived in the system, an Imperial I-class Star Destroyer emerged from hyperspace, destroying the corvetter and catching Bravo One in a tractor beam. While Red Flight fought off the Star Destroyer's complement of TIE fighters, K-2SO was able to repair their craft's navigational computer. Red Flight then destroyed the Star Destroyer's targeting array, momentarily disabling the tractor beam and allowing Melshi's team to make the jump to hyperspace.[4]

Safely arriving on Yavin 4, Melshi escorted Erso to a meeting the Alliance command, keeping her in binders and warning her not to try to escape again.[9] Melshi also made sure to inform lieutenant Voren Na'al, that despite her young age, Erso should not be taken lightly, telling the lieutenant about Erso's ability to overpower seasoned Alliance veterans during her escape attempt on Wobani.[7] The Alliance recruited Erso on a mission to locate her father, and she discovered that the superweapon bore the name "Death Star". According to Galen, he had secretly sabotaged the project, placing a crucial weakness in the station's design which could be taken advantage of in order to destroy the superweapon. However, in order to precisely locate that weakness, the Alliance required access to the technical readouts of the Death Star. A complete copy of the plans was being kept in a vault in the Imperial security complex on the planet Scarif. Jyn attempted to persuade the Alliance High command to assemble a strike team to retrieve the plans, but the Command vetoed the mission.[2]

However, before the official decision had even been announced, Andor had started assembling a volunteer force to accompany Erso to Scarif.[9] Melshi was approached by his friend, and was asked by Andor to form an infiltration team, which he gladly accepted. Melshi hastily began assembling a team among the SpecForce commandos, making it clear that the mission was voluntary and those who joined were disobeying orders. Melshi was grateful when more than a dozen of commandos volunteered for the mission—including the Drabatan warrior Paodok'Draba'Takat and a higher-ranking officer, Lieutenant Taidu Sefla[5] as well as some non-SpecForce soldiers, such as Colonel Stordan Tonc. Melshi and his recruits joined a team consisting of Andor, Erso, K-2SO, defected Imperial pilot Bodhi Rook and the Guardians of the Whills Chirrut Îmwe and Baze Malbus, to form a squad of over two dozen men.[9] Within a stolen Imperial cargo ship, SW-0608, the team—taking on the callsign Rogue One—took off and flew to Scarif.[2]

Battle of ScarifEdit

"Melshi, talk to me."
"Ready. Ready. Standing by"
"Light it up.
"
―Cassian Andor and Sergeant Melshi on Scarif[src]

An important Imperial location, Scarif was being protected by a planetary shield, with the Shield Gate space station providing the sole means of entry. Since Rogue One were in possession of the stolen shuttle's Imperial access codes, they successfully passed through the Shield Gate. As the shuttle approached Landing Pad 9, Andor and Erso instructed the members of Rogue One in their plan. Melshi, Pao, Îmwe and Malbus would go with the main Rebel team, which was supposed to provide a distraction and draw out as many Imperial forces from the Imperial complex as possible, allowing Andor, Erso and K-2SO to sneak inside the data vault and steal the plans.[2]

Melshi standing by

Melshi reports to Andor on Scarif.

Due to his complete trust in Melshi's skills, Andor assigned him as the overall commander of the Pathfinders, instead of the highest ranking officer, Lieutenant Sefla.[3] After the shuttle landed, an Imperial inspection team boarded it, but the Rebels, hidden inside a cargo compartment, overpowered them. Andor and Erso disguised themselves with the uniforms taken from the Imperials and left the ship.[2] Leaving five men[9] aboard the shuttle with Rook, Melshi took the rest of the Rebel troops and snuck away through the shuttle's bottom hatch,[2] using cover provided by blasts of coolant spewed from the shuttle's purge vents per Imperial standard landing procedures.[3]

As instructed by Andor, Melshi led his troops into the jungles of Scarif eastward from the shuttle,[2] until they reached a small hillock near Imperial barracks.[9] Destributing explosives among his team, Melshi had his troops set explosives on the various landing pads outside of the complex, while Îmwe and Malbus dispatched any stormtroopers who posed danger to the infiltrators.[2] After planting the charges, the team reassembled at Melshi's position at the barracks,[9] taking cover and preparing to ambush Imperial forces. When Andor, Erso, and K-2SO got inside the Imperial complex, Andor contacted Melshi, giving him a go-ahead to blow the explosives. Melshi triggered the bombs, and the explosions on multiple landing pads drew led the Empire to believe that they were being attacked by multiple groups of Rebels at once; Rook added to the confusion with false reports of Rebel activity via radio. Responding to the supposed attacks, the Imperial garrison rushed from the barracks, right into the path of Rogue One's fire.[2]

Due to the surprising nature of Melshi's attack, the battle at the barracks initially went into the Rebels' favor. However, as Imperial reinforcements started to arrive in greater numbers, Rogue One began taking heavy casualties. Melshi's troops attempted to hold their ground at the hillock, but the stormtroopers took a spearhead formation in an attempt to break their defense. In the heat of the battle, Melshi spotted a brief opportunity to break the Imperial formation. The Sergeant ordered his forces into attack, and Rogue One destroyed a number of Imperials with a well-aimed shot from a missile launcher. However, Rogue One failed in that last ditch attempt and had to retreat to the jungle,[9] as the Empire threw all of its forces, including AT-ACT walkers and TIE strikers at the Rebels.[2]

Meanwhile, the Rebel Alliance fleet arrived at Scarif to assist Rogue One and was able to reinforce Melshi's squad on the surface with a number of U-wings carrying Rebel troopers, while X-wings from Blue Squadron provided air support. The Empire quickly responded by closing the Shield Gate, effectively trapping the Rebel forces on the surface and preventing them from contacting the Rebel fleet. Melshi[2] and a dozen survivors[9] from the battle at the barracks emerged from the jungle onto the beach of Scarif, where they witnessed the arrival of Rebel reinfocements, who successfully destroyed several AT-ACTs. In the midst of the continuing battle with Imperial forces, Melshi was contacted by Tonc, one of the troopers left behind at the shuttle with Rook. Tonc and Rook informed Melshi that he needed to locate something called a "master switch" in order to link up the Imperial complex's massive Citadel Tower with Rook's shuttle. Doing so would allow Rook to contact the Rebel fleet in space and instruct them to create an opening in the planetary shield, which would allow Andor and Erso to transmit the Death Star plans.[2] Rook instructed Melshi that the master switch was located inside a bunker complex within the outer perimeter of the Citadel tower.[9]

MelshiDead

Melshi's death

Following Rook's instructions, Melshi led the leftovers of Rogue One group—partially reinforced by arriving Rebel troops—to the Citadel Tower. While the team was approaching the bunker complex, elite Imperial Death troopers joined the fight, killing Rebel soldiers one by one. As he was trying to help a wounded Rebel to safety, Melshi himself was grazed by enemy blasterfire and was forced to take cover at the door of the bunker complex. The only ones who made it to the bunker alongside Melshi were Îmwe, Malbus and Lieutenant Sefla. Melshi was contacted by Rook, who informed him that Andor and Erso had successfully retrieved the Death Star plans; now the Rebels desperately needed to flip the master switch, which Melshi spotted located at a workstation[2] ten meters away from the bunker, directly in the line of fire of stormtroopers.[9] Sefla attempted to make a run for it, but was immediately gunned down by the death troopers.[2]

A few moments later, Melshi succumbed to his injury and died as well.[9] Îmwe, however, was able to activate the master switch, before he and Malbus met their end at the hands of stormtroopers. With the link between the Citadel Tower and Rogue One's shuttle established, Rook was able to contact the Rebel fleet, telling them about his plan, before being killed. The Alliance Fleet successfully destroyed the shield gate, allowing Andor and Erso to beam the Death Star plans to the Rebels in orbit of Scarif. Meanwhile, the Death Star arrived at the site of the battle, destroying the Imperial research facility and killing any remaining Rebel forces still on the surface of the planet.[2] The Battle of Scarif was the first major battle of what came to be known as the Galactic Civil War, and the successful extraction of the Death Star plans by Melshi's team allowed the Rebel Alliance to destroy the battlestation shortly afterward during the Battle of Yavin.[10] Lieutenant Ematt felt sorry for Melshi's passing, believing that the sergeant had met his end too early. Decades later, when Ematt—now a General in the Resistance against the First Order—obtained a copy of Melshi's article on stormtroopers, he fondly remembered the fallen sergeant.[6]

Personality and traitsEdit

"Keep walking."
"You're still mad, aren't you?"
"About what?"
"Being hit with a shovel."
"
[grunting noises]'"
―Melshi and Jyn Erso, after the extraction from Wobani[src]
Ruescott-Melshi-SWCT

Sergeant Melshi in full combat gear

Ruescott Melshi was a tall man[8] with brown eyes and black hair—which he kept almost completely shaven—and a stubble of facial hair.[2] An experienced SpecForce soldier,[5] Melshi was a combative and practical commander. He never shied away from improvisation when presented with a difficult mission.[11] Melshi led his soldiers by example[3] and never asked of his troops to do something he was unwilling to do himself.[12] When assembling his team to go Scarif, Melshi made sure to choose only volunteers, thoroughly explaining all dangers and repercussions of the upcoming mission.[5] Due to such attitude, the troops under his command were ready to follow Melshi's orders unconditionally.[3] He cared for his fellow soldiers, trying to get a wounded Rebel to safety while being shot at by enemy troops. Like most of the Rogue One volunteers, Melshi was a soldier who had done some dirty work for the Rebellion in his time.[2] As an infiltrator and a member of Pathfinders,[5] Melshi was expert at wilderness fighting while camouflaged, whiched worked to his advantage in the jungles of Scarif.[3]

Melshi displayed an affinity for combat tactics, realizing that since the Empire heavily outnumbered them on Scarif, their only choice was to attack in such a way as to appear more powerful than they were.[5] During the battle at the barracks, Melshi also saw an opening for a counterattack. When the Guardians of the Whills refused to take explosives and instead chose to pick off patrolling stormtroopers, Melshi was unamused with their approach to the mission.[9] Seeing Rebel forces arriving to assist Rogue One on Scarif, Melshi was grateful for the help, but he also quickly realized that their arrival meant that the Empire would close the planetary shield. When Rook tried to explain Melshi the importance of the master switch, the latter was fairly confused. A soldier first and foremost, Melshi had little knowledge of communications technology.[12]

Melshi was close friends with Andor, readily accepting his request to accompany him to Scarif, unafraid of the consequences of disobeying direct orders of Alliance command.[5] Andor, in turn, placed his complete trust in Melshi, assigning him as the overall commander of the Pathfinders, even though he was not the highest ranking officer present on the mission.[3] After being hit with a shovel by Erso on Wobani, Melshi held a grudge against her.[9] Recognizing her ability to disable trained Alliance soldiers, he kept her in binders all the way to Yavin 4. Upon arrival to the Rebel base, he made sure to warn fellow Rebels of the danger that she presented.[7] He was acquainted with the Iakaru cover fire specialist Bistan, finding him crazy but trusting in his ability to cover even the most dangerous of landings. Bistan participated in the Battle of Scarif, flying in one of the U-wings that reinforced Rogue One, and was killed when his U-wing was shot down.[3]

EquipmentEdit

"One per pad. Pick your spot. We wanna draw them out. I'll call the timing. Go!"
―Sergeant Melshi, while distributing explosives among members of Rogue One[src]

As a SpecForce soldier, Melshi carried a variety of specialized equipment. During the extraction of Jyn Erso on Wobani, he was almost covered in gear.[9] During the Battle of Scarif, Melshi was armed with an A-300 blaster rifle with a collapsed barrel and carried a long-range communications booster. A headset comlink repeater and earpiece were attached to his headgear, and he also carried[3] a comlink and a pair of quadnoculars.[9] Melshi was responsible for handling the demolition work on Scarif, distributing the explosives and being the one to pull the trigger.[2]

Behind the scenesEdit

Duncan Pow

Ruescott Melshi was portrayed by Duncan Pow.

"Will we see Melshi again?"
"It's not the question I have the answer to. Who knows? Who knows?
"
―Duncan Pow, in an interview[src]

Ruescott Melshi first appeared in the Star Wars anthology film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, in which he was portrayed by actor Duncan Pow. He was first revealed in the second trailer for the film on October 13, 2016.[13] In the film, the character was addressed only by his last name, the first name "Ruescott," was established in the film's novelization, as well as the books Star Wars: Rogue One: Secret Mission and Star Wars: Rogue One: The Ultimate Visual Guide, all released simultaneously with the film. Melshi would go on to appear in the two comic book adaptations, Marvel Comics' Star Wars: Rogue One Adaptation and Star Wars: Rogue One Graphic Novel Adaptation. A card featuring Melshi was also released in the online collectinle card application Star Wars: Card Trader

The actor Duncan Pow, described the experience of playing Sergeant Melshi and being a part of the Star Wars universe, as a "dream come true." He praised the overall filming experience as an amazing chance to live his childhood dreams. In regards to the shooting of the Scarif scenes, which were shot on the Maldives, Pow remembered the hot climate. Pow has been following the portrayal of Melshi in other media adaptations of "Rogue One," and is aware of the first name of his character.[14]

The adult and the junior novelizations of Rogue One give conflicting information with regards to the circuimstances of Melshi's death. In the adult novel, Melshi succumbs to the blastershot wound he has received earlier and dies at the bunker doors. In the junior novel, more than four people reach the bunker doors. After Sefla unsuccessfully tries to reach the master switch, Melshi, seeing as there are no more volunteers to do so, makes his own attempt to run for it, rather than ordering one of his own men to do so. He makes it slightly farther than Sefla before he is gunned down by the enemy. Since his death in the film occurs off-screen, it is impossible to determine which variation of his death is canonical.

Another contradiction is presented in the book Star Wars: Rogue One: Ultimate Sticker Encyclopedia, which does not mention Melshi at any point. Instead, the book states that Lieutenant Sefla commanded the Rebel troops on the ground during the Battle of Scarif. However, other sources, such as Star Wars: Rogue One: The Ultimate Visual Guide, have established that Melshi was the commander of ground forces, despite being outranked by Sefla.

AppearancesEdit

SourcesEdit

Notes and referencesEdit