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Rukh

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RukhIB
Rukh
Biographical information
Homeworld

Honoghr[1]

Born

After 19 BBY;[2] Honoghr[3]

Died

9 ABY; aboard the Chimaera in the Bilbringi system[4]

Physical description
Species

Noghri[1]

Gender

Male[1]

Height

1.3 meters[5]

Hair color

None[3]

Eye color

Yellow[6]

Skin color

Dark gray[3]

Chronological and political information
Era(s)

New Republic era[1]

Affiliation
"For the treachery of the Empire against the Noghri people. We were betrayed. We have been avenged."
―Rukh, after stabbing Grand Admiral Thrawn[src]

Rukh was a male Noghri warrior who served as the personal bodyguard, and then later the assassin, of Grand Admiral Thrawn. Raised at a time when his homeworld Honoghr was ravaged by ecological disaster, Rukh was fiercely loyal to the Galactic Empire, which claimed to be working to restore the planet. After serving as one of the Emperor Palpatine's Noghri Death Commandos, Rukh was handpicked by Thrawn in 9 ABY to serve as his bodyguard, traveling the galaxy aboard Thrawn's flagship, the Imperial II-class Star Destroyer Chimaera.

A deadly and stealthy warrior, Rukh was often at Thrawn's side while the Grand Admiral waged his military campaign against the New Republic. He was present with Thrawn during several important missions, including the recruitment of the Dark Jedi Joruus C'baoth on the planet Wayland. Rukh accompanied Thrawn to Honoghr to interrogate the Noghri Khabarakh after his failure to capture Princess Leia Organa Solo, and Rukh unsuccessfully attempted to stop the Jedi Luke Skywalker from breaking the smuggler Talon Karrde out of imprisonment aboard the Chimaera.

Rukh soon learned Thrawn was not actually restoring Honoghr, but was secretly keeping it in a state of poor health so the Noghri would remain perpetually indebted and effectively enslaved to the Empire. Furious, he resolved to assassinate the Grand Admiral, but decided to wait for the right moment to strike. During the height of the Battle of Bilbringi, Rukh drove his assassin's knife though Thrawn's chest and killed him. Shortly thereafter, the Noghri was killed by a clone of Imperial Major Grodin Tierce. Rukh became revered for his role in the assassination, which led to division within the Empire and helped the Noghri escape their Imperial enslavement.

BiographyEdit

Early life and service to ThrawnEdit

"It is not my place to question. It is only my duty to obey."
―Rukh[src]
Ruhk-TTS
Rukh

A male Noghri born on the planet Honoghr, Rukh was a member of Clan Baikh'vair who came of age at a tumultuous time for his species. Before his birth,[2] Honoghr was ravaged by an ecological disaster that stemmed from a Lucrehulk-class core ship crashing on the planet's surface in 19 BBY during the Clone Wars.[2][3] Much of the world's flora, plains, and jungles had been destroyed, and the Noghri were forced to travel across the planet in a mass exodus, seeking a place where they could survive. By the time Rukh came of age, the Noghri had pledged their allegiance to the Galactic Empire in gratitude to the Sith Lord Darth Vader, who had brought his Imperial forces to Honoghr under the guise of working to restore the ecosystem. Rukh was among those Noghri who grew fiercely loyal to the Empire and served it as private assassins known as Noghri Death Commandos.[3][7] Rukh personally held such a strong sense of loyalty toward the Empire that he was willing to execute those who even spoke about the Imperials in a negative light.[3]

Rukh was trained from childhood as a hunter and warrior,[8] and during his youth developed a rivalry with Cakhmaim, a Noghri from Clan Eikh'mir.[3] In 3 ABY, Vader turned command of the Noghri over to Grand Admiral Thrawn, one of the highest ranking officials in the Empire.[9] When the Chiss Grand Admiral visited Honoghr in 9 ABY after returning from the Unknown Regions,[5] Rukh was one of his earliest recruits. Showing no sign of intimidation in the face of the Empire's far more advanced technology, Rukh impressed Thrawn so much that he made the Noghri his personal bodyguard.[3]

Serving a figure of such reverence to the Noghri was considered an incredibly prestigious honor for a clan warrior, and Rukh believed his service to Thrawn brought honor to both Clan Baikh'vair and himself personally.[3] The position gave Rukh one of the greatest in stature of all the Noghri serving in the Empire. Armed at all times with a holstered blaster on his belt and an assassin's knife concealed in the sleeve of his tunic,[3][10] Rukh left Honoghr and traveled with Thrawn aboard his flagship Imperial II-class Star Destroyer, the Chimaera.[10] Rukh was seldom far from his master's side, but usually stayed hidden among the shadows until summoned, moving so silently that he often startled other Imperials around him. He provided general protection and executed Thrawn's enemies upon command, often in a brutal and terrifying way so as to make an example of them for others.[10] He gained a high status in his service to Thrawn and became privy to sensitive and confidential information, which the Grand Admiral discussed freely in the Noghri's company.[3]

Recruiting Joruus C'baothEdit

"One of your people just shot at us. Observe the consequences."
―Thrawn, before ordering Rukh to open fire[src]

Rukh was present with Thrawn when the Grand Admiral took control of the Galactic Empire and waged his military campaign against the New Republic in 9 ABY. During that time, Captain Gilad Pellaeon, a high-ranking Imperial officer and Thrawn's right-hand man, developed a strong distaste for Rukh because of the Noghri's tendency to sneak up on him from the shadows.[1] Pellaeon even secretly harbored a hope of one day convincing Thrawn that Rukh's protection was unnecessary and having the Noghri subsequently killed.[6] Rukh was privy to some of Thrawn and Pellaeon's most secret and important discussions, including Thrawn's plan to recruit a Dark Jedi in order to use the being's battle meditation powers to coordinate Thrawn's attacks against the New Republic.[1]

Thrawn and Rukh on Wayland
Grand Admiral Thrawn and Rukh seeking out Joruus C'baoth on Wayland

Rukh accompanied Thrawn and Pellaeon to the planet Wayland, where the Grand Admiral sought the Guardian of Mount Tantiss, a secret storehouse once used by Emperor Palpatine. Expecting the Guardian to be a Dark Jedi, Thrawn and Pellaeon wore nutrient frames containing ysalamiri, lizard-like creatures with the ability to repel the Force. Rukh had no such ysalamir protection, but he accompanied Thrawn and provided protective cover with a blaster rifle.[11] Shortly after landing on Wayland, a hidden villager fired an arrow at Thrawn from a two-story building. Although the arrow bounced harmlessly off the body armor under his uniform, Thrawn ordered Rukh to set an example by destroying the building from which the shot had been fired. The Noghri opened fire on the structure, systematically targeting weak points in the foundation until, after twenty shots, it collapsed in on itself.[1]

Eventually, Thrawn and his company found Joruus C'baoth, the insane clone of the deceased Jedi Master Jorus C'baoth. After revealing he had killed the original Guardian of Mount Tantiss, C'baoth attempted to kill Thrawn, Pellaeon, and Rukh with a blast of Force lightning, but was surprised when the ysalamiri's protective bubble deflected the attack. C'baoth agreed to hear Thrawn's request, but one of C'baoth's guards suddenly fired his crossbow at the Grand Admiral's party. C'baoth stopped the arrow with the Force and explained that the guard owned the home which Rukh had earlier destroyed. Thrawn ordered Rukh to execute the guard, but C'baoth stopped the Noghri's blaster shot and insisted it was up to him, not Thrawn, to impose discipline upon the man.[1] Later, when Thrawn and Pellaeon met privately with C'baoth to discuss their offer to him, Rukh monitored the meeting from afar, crouched in a combat-ready position with his blaster rifle.[11]

Thrawn convinced C'baoth to leave Wayland and join his campaign by promising to deliver to him the Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker, as well as his sister Leia Organa Solo and her unborn twins, all of whom C'baoth hoped to convert into Dark Jedi disciples. Despite their alliance, Rukh did not trust C'baoth, who was openly hostile toward Thrawn and often chided the Grand Admiral for not delivering the Jedi to him more quickly. Rukh became especially anxious and watchful whenever C'baoth threatened Thrawn, and was always ready to attack the Dark Jedi if the need arose.[1] Nevertheless, C'baoth proved a valuable asset to Thrawn during the Battle of Bpfassh, when he first used his battle meditation powers to guide Thrawn's forces to victory over the New Republic fleet with great efficiency. Rukh watched C'baoth from the shadows of the Chimaera bridge during the battle, and although the Jedi acted in his usual disrespectful way toward Thrawn, he gave no reason for the Noghri to attack him.[12]

The Thrawn campaign progressesEdit

"Do you speak to your lord the Grand Admiral in such a tone?"
―Rukh, to Khabarakh[src]
Rukh2
Rukh aboard the Imperial II-class Star Destroyer Chimaera

Rukh continued to remain at Thrawn's side as the Grand Admiral escalated his military campaign, including when Thrawn attempted to capture Luke Skywalker while the Jedi traveled to the planet Jomark. As Rukh watched from the shadows, the Chimaera managed to capture Skywalker's X-wing starfighter in a tractor beam, only to see the Jedi escape after reverse-triggering his acceleration compensator and breaking free of the beam's lock. When the tractor beam operator Cris Pieterson refused to accept responsibility for the escape and tried to blame his commanding officer, Thrawn ordered Rukh to kill Pieterson for his insubordination. The Noghri immediately emerged from the shadows and decapitated Pieterson with his assassin's knife while the rest of the bridge crew looked on in horror.[12]

Later, Thrawn brought the Chimaera to the planet Myrkr, where the smuggler Talon Karrde had established his base of operations. The Grand Admiral asked for an audience with Karrde to discuss seeking the smuggler's help in procuring capital ships for Thrawn's campaign. Rukh accompanied Thrawn and his forces to Myrkr and remained at his side throughout the meeting with Karrde. Unbeknownst to Thrawn or Rukh, the New Republic Captain Han Solo and his ally Lando Calrissian were present at Karrde's base and watched them with a pair of electrobinoculars from a hidden location. It was the first time anyone associated with the New Republic had seen Thrawn in person, and Solo further recognized Rukh as belonging to the same species that had previously attempted to kidnap his wife, Leia Organa Solo, although Solo did not know the species' name.[1]

Shortly after leaving the planet, Thrawn and Pellaeon learned Karrde had found and imprisoned Skywalker shortly after the Jedi escaped from Thrawn's attempt to capture him. Rukh was present with Thrawn on the bridge of the Chimaera when the Grand Admiral launched an assault on Myrkr as retribution for Karrde's failure to turn Skywalker over to him. During this time, Thrawn announced the Noghri Death Commandos had repeatedly failed to capture Leia Organa Solo and that he was taking them off that assignment. Aware that the Noghri hated leaved a mission uncompleted, Pellaeon feared the Noghri Death Commandos and Rukh himself would be personally affronted by the decision. Nevertheless, Rukh showed no indication of dissatisfaction, even as Thrawn discussed the Noghri's failure in his presence. Later, Rukh accompanied Thrawn and Pellaeon to Honoghr, where the Grand Admiral planned to make a demonstration of power and remind the species of their obligations to the Empire.[8]

Honoghrthrone
Rukh stands beside Grand Admiral Thrawn as he is received by the Noghri on Honoghr.

After landing on Honoghr, Thrawn was notified that a spacecraft belonging to the Noghri Death Commando Khabarakh had nearly been late in returning a recognition signal. This unusual occurrence sparked Thrawn's suspicions, particularly since he recognized Khabarakh as the sole survivor of Noghri Death Commando Team 22 that had unsuccessfully attempted to capture Leia Organa Solo on Kashyyyk. Rukh accompanied the Grand Admiral as he interrogated Khabarakh at his home village, the Kihm'bar area of the Clean Lands. Rukh closely observed Khabarakh during this time and noticed subtle body language in his hands and face that made him appear unsettled. When Thrawn and Rukh left Honoghr shortly after the interrogation, Thrawn asked Rukh for his input, and he told the Grand Admiral of his suspicions. This offended Ir'khaim, the Dynast of Clan Khim'bar, who was also in their presence. When Ir'khaim spoke up in defense of Clan Khim'bar member Khabarakh, Rukh insulted the clan by mocking their failure to capture Organa Solo, and the two Noghri seemed on the verge of fighting each other before Thrawn calmed them both down.[8]

When Thrawn later learned Wookiee hairs were found aboard Khabarakh's transport, he concluded the Noghri must have been imprisoned after his failed mission on Kashyyyk and may have been compromised. Rukh accompanied Thrawn and his forces as they returned to Khabarakh's village to arrest him. When Khabarakh spoke defiantly to Thrawn, Rukh responded harshly and demanded the Noghri show respect to the Grand Admiral. As Khabarakh and his Khim'bar clan maitrakh continued to defy Thrawn and maintain their innocence, Thrawn ordered a turbolaser attack on the hills surrounding the village as a demonstration of power and punishment for their insubordination. Rukh watched as this demonstration occurred, but voiced no opposition or discomfort with the attack against his home planet. Thrawn ordered Rukh to bring Khabarakh to the center of Nystao, the ruling city of Honoghr, for three days of public shaming before his Imperial imprisonment began. Rukh chained Khabarakh's arms and legs to posts at the center of the town and left him there for all passersby to see.[8]

Rukh was also present with Thrawn when, on two separate occasions, he interrogated Talon Karrde's second-in-command Mara Jade aboard the Chimaera shortly after she was captured at the Abregado-rae manufacturing planet. When she was first brought to the Grand Admiral, Jade took immediate notice of Rukh, recognizing the threat he presented. Jade promised she could convince Karrde to trade the Katana fleet, a long-missing capital starfleet from the Clone Wars, to the Grand Admiral in exchange for their freedom. Thrawn agreed and released her, promising her eight days to arrange the trade. Instead, however, he arranged for Jade to be followed, which ultimately led to Karrde's arrest. Later, during a second meeting with Thrawn, a furious Jade lunged at Thrawn, but Rukh hurled her to the ground and wrapped his forearm around her neck, choking her to the point of near-unconsciousness.[8] As she struggled, Jade attempted to Force choke the Grand Admiral, who threatened to have Rukh hurt her if she did not release him. Unable to maintain the Force connection as Rukh choked her, Jade conceded defeat and released Thrawn. She was then set free without any further incident.[13]

Later, Jade secretly infiltrated the Chimaera with Luke Skywalker to rescue the imprisoned Karrde. Upon learning that Karrde had escaped from his detention cell, Thrawn correctly deduced that Skywalker was among the party rescuing the smuggler. The Grand Admiral ordered Rukh to collect all the ysalamari from the Star Destroyer's engineering and systems control bays and bring them to the hangar, with the hopes of preventing the Jedi from escaping. Since there were not enough ysalamari to cover the whole area, Thrawn asked Rukh to use his hunter's instincts to determine the best spots to strategically place them. Rukh immediately followed the Grand Admiral's orders, but Skywalker, Jade and Karrde nevertheless escaped with the starship Millennium Falcon, which Thrawn had previously captured orbiting the moon of Endor and placed in one of the Chimaera's deep storage hangars.[8]

Assassinating Thrawn and deathEdit

"Tell the dynasts that things will be set right. The Grand Admiral has a great deal to answer for. A great deal indeed."
―Rukh[src]

Rukh was sent to debrief a Noghri Death Commando team in one of the Chimaera's hangar bays, one of his regular duties. Due to Thrawn's practice of limiting contact between Noghri teams and Imperial troops, the deck was almost completely deserted as Rukh entered the team's shuttle. There he met Akh'laht, a Noghri from Clan Khim'bar, and immediately sensed something was wrong based on the disturbed and angry mannerisms among the Noghri team. Akh'laht informed Rukh that Thrawn had deceived the Noghri people. Rukh's initial response was one of shock and fury toward Akh'laht, as he had never before heard a fellow Noghri warrior show such disrespect for the lord of a Noghri Overclan. However, Rukh recognized that Akh'laht must have some reason for the remarks and agreed to hear him out, but warned Akh'laht could be killed if the explanation was not satisfactory. Akh'laht explained that Leia Organa Solo was the mal'ary'ush, a Honoghran word for "daughter of the savior", a reference to Darth Vader. He related that Organa Solo secretly visited Honoghr and proved that the Empire's Decon III droids, which were believed to be cleaning the planet's ecosystem, were actually ensuring the world remained poisoned by planting a deadly kholm-grass that killed the remaining plant life. This led to the realization that Thrawn and his Imperial forces were intentionally keeping the Noghri in a state of perpetual service and virtual slavery.[3]

Realizing that Thrawn had deceived his entire people, Rukh's previous sense of devotion toward Thrawn was replaced with one of rage toward the Grand Admiral. He believed Thrawn had to be killed for his deception, but also recognized that he had to operate carefully, as he was in the best position to exact revenge for his species. Rukh told Akh'laht he would continue to pose as Thrawn's faithful bodyguard and wait for the right opportunity. He planned to strike the moment Thrawn learned the Noghri no longer served him, as he felt the appropriate time to punish the Grand Admiral's deception was the moment Thrawn realized he himself had been deceived. Both Rukh and Akh'laht recognized this would likely be a suicide mission, and Akh'laht respectfully saluted Rukh for his sacrifice. Rukh was then filled with anger toward Thrawn and his fellow Imperials.[3]

As Thrawn moved forward with his campaign, Rukh continued to serve him without showing any signs of his anger or plans to betray him. At one point, Thrawn had the smuggler Niles Ferrier brought to the Chimaera after Ferrier bribed Imperial Lieutenant Reynol Kosk to attack the first meetings of Talon Karrde's Smugglers' Alliance. Thrawn intimidated Ferrier by threatening to kill the smuggler and summoning Rukh, who drew his assassin's knife. Ultimately, Thrawn opted to give Ferrier a second chance. Likewise, Rukh was present when Thrawn summoned the Imperial General Theol Drost to chastise him for a failure. Drost was in command of the shipyards at the Bilbringi system when the smugglers Mazzic and Ellor launched a raid there that led to the destruction of a nearly-completed Imperial Star Destroyer under construction. Rukh stood by Thrawn's side during the meeting and Pellaeon believed the Noghri would be ordered to execute Drost for his failure to stop the raid. Instead, Thrawn concluded the raid would inspire Drost to worker harder to prove his loyalty to the Empire, and decided to give the general a second chance. Rukh was also present when Thrawn and Pellaeon learned of the death of General Freja Covell after Joruus C'baoth attempted unsuccessfully to take full control of Covell's mind with the Force.[6]

Rukh incapacitating Gilad Pellaeon
Rukh attacks and incapacitates Captain Gilad Pellaeon after stabbing Grand Admiral Thrawn.

Later, Rukh was on the Chimaera's bridge during the Battle of Bilbringi, one of the most crucial conflicts of Thrawn's military campaign. New Republic forces intended to capture a crystal gravfield trap from the Empire, and Thrawn correctly deduced they would seek the one stored at the Bilbringi Shipyards. Thrawn arranged for much of his fleet to lie in wait for the New Republic, then trapped their forces in the system using the Immobilizer 418 cruisers Constrainer and Sentinel, which prevented the New Republic from retreating into hyperspace. As the battle raged, Pellaeon read aloud a report detailing an attack at Mount Tantiss which involved Wayland natives, New Republic agents and a group of Noghri warriors. With this public revelation that the Noghri were fighting back against the Empire, Rukh saw his chance to strike. He immediately plunged his assassin's knife through the back of Thrawn's command chair, impaling the Grand Admiral through the chest. Just as quickly, Rukh then leapt forward and slashed his hand against Pellaeon's throat, paralyzing the captain. After declaring the Noghri had been avenged, Rukh fled from the Chimaera's bridge. Once Pellaeon recovered, he sounded an emergency alarm and tended to Thrawn, who in his dying breaths voiced his respect for the artistic way that Rukh assassinated him.[6] Meanwhile, Rukh fled to the Chimaera's hangar bays and tried to reach a shuttlecraft to escape. However, a clone of Major Grodin Tierce had established a stormtrooper unit in the hangar bay, where he falsely believed an attack against Thrawn would most likely originate. Tierce's unit intercepted and killed Rukh.[4][14]

LegacyEdit

"But...it was so artistically done."
―Thrawn's last words[src]

Rukh became revered as a legend among the Noghri for his role in the assassination of Grand Admiral Thrawn.[3][5] To kill a widely despised foe was considered a great honor among the Noghri, and Thrawn was considered an enemy of the entire Noghri people once the Imperial betrayal of the species became known. Additionally, the Noghri considered it honorable to sacrifice oneself for the greater good of the species, especially with an act within the enemy's own stronghold, so the circumstances of Rukh's death aboard the Chimaera furthered the esteem with which the Noghri held Rukh. One of the few who did not come to respect Rukh was his childhood rival Cakhmaim, who despised the Empire for their betrayal but felt Rukh was not worthy of the acclamation granted him after his death.[3]

Rukh's killing of Thrawn not only brought an end to the Thrawn campaign, but also had a tremendous impact on the Empire and, indeed, the entire Galactic Civil War. Once the Grand Admiral was slain, Pellaeon knew he could not lead Thrawn's forces to victory at the Battle of Bilbringi and was forced to call a retreat, resulting in a New Republic victory.[6][14] Commander Wedge Antilles, who flew with Rogue Squadron in the battle, later reflected the New Republic would never have won at Bilbringi without Rukh's intervention.[15] Although Thrawn had captured a great deal of new territory and almost doubled the size of the Imperial forces, the Empire quickly descended back into chaos without his leadership.[14][16] Just as it had been following the death of Emperor Palpatine, the various Imperial factions began to splinter and revert to warlordism, allowing the New Republic to begin reclaiming its lost territory and waging new victories against the Empire.[14] In addition, Rukh's assassination of Thrawn helped free the Noghri from their oppression and enslavement by the Empire. Once the threat of the Grand Admiral was eliminated, the species was able to turn their efforts toward the restoration of Honoghr or, for many Noghri, the relocation to a new home on New Nystao, the capital city of Wayland.[17]

Personality and traitsEdit

"My lord, we bring news from Honoghr. The Grand Admiral deceives us."
"Explain yourself, and quickly, for your life depends on your answer."
―Akh'laht and Rukh[src]

Rukh cared passionately about Noghri culture and customs. This is why he served the Empire with such fierce loyalty when he believed they were allies of the Noghri, and why he despised them with such fervor upon learning they were actually secretly enslaving the species. He valued the honor of his people more than his own life, and so was willing to sacrifice himself to assassinate Thrawn once the Grand Admiral's duplicity was revealed. Rukh's sense of honor was strong, and he initially believed his service to Thrawn brought honor to himself personally, to the Noghri, and to Clan Baikh'vair.[3] Despite this loyalty to his people, however, Rukh showed no signs of anger or resentment when, during his service to Thrawn, the Grand Admiral spoke of the Noghri's failures to capture Princess Leia Organa Solo, nor when Thrawn ordered a turbolaser razing on Honoghr as a demonstration of the Empire's control over the species.[8]

Rukh sneaking up on Gilad Pellaeon
Rukh often sneaked up on Captain Gilad Pellaeon, who developed a strong hatred for the Noghri.

Before learning of their betrayal, Rukh was unquestionably loyal to the Empire and to Thrawn, and before him to Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader.[1] He had less respect for other Imperial officers, however, particularly Gilad Pellaeon, who Rukh took enjoyment out of sneaking up on and startling whenever the captain sought an audience with Thrawn.[6] Although Rukh followed all of Thrawn's orders without hesitation, he disagreed with some of the Grand Admiral's attitudes and practices. For instance, he did not appreciate some of Thrawn's policies of division, like when he limited contact between the Noghri warriors and Imperial troopers by clearing the decks when the Noghri were present, so the Noghri would not kill any Imperials over a poorly-timed action or comment. Nevertheless, Rukh never voiced any of these qualms, and assured himself it was his duty to obey without question.[3]

Rukh was very shrewd and observant. During Thrawn's meeting with Khabarakh, Rukh could sense from the Noghri's body language that Khabarakh was frightened and hiding something.[8] Likewise, when Akh'laht approached him to reveal Thrawn's betrayal of the Noghri, Rukh could immediately sense something was amiss. Although passionate about his duties for the Empire, Rukh was also able to stay pragmatic and logical: when Akh'laht first spoke against Thrawn, Rukh's first instincts were anger toward the Noghri, but he recognized Akh'laht would not make such allegations without proof and agreed to hear him out.[3] Thrawn recognized and respected Rukh's intelligence, and treated him not only as a bodyguard but also sought his advice and input. This was illustrated when Thrawn asked Rukh's impression of Khabarakh after their meeting, and when the Grand Admiral trusted Rukh to determine where to best place the ysalamari in the Chimaera's hangar bay during Talon Karrde's escape attempt.[8]

Talents and abilitiesEdit

"I have important information for the Grand Admiral. I don't have time for these little games of yours."
"They are not games. Stalking skills must be practiced, or lost."
―Rukh and Gilad Pellaeon, about Rukh's sneaking around[src]
Thrawn summoning Rukh
Rukh often hid in the shadows until Grand Admiral Thrawn summoned him.

As Thrawn's bodyguard, Rukh was almost always at his master's side, but he generally stayed hidden among the shadows. Like many Noghri, Rukh moved so swiftly and quietly that few could detect his movements unless he made himself known.[10] When attacking, Rukh was so fast others could barely see him move. When he killed Cris Pieterson, for example, it took others around him a few moments to realize what had occurred, and Pieterson himself did not even have time to scream.[1] Rukh tended to lurk in the shadows as other Imperial officers approached Thrawn, then stealthily approach them from behind and startle them. As a result, many Imperials felt fearful or uncomfortable around Rukh, while others like Captain Pellaeon outright despised him.[6]

Rukh was skilled at the art of killing in a number of ways, whether with a blaster, knife or his own claws or teeth.[10] He was especially talented at hand-to-hand combat. When Mara Jade attempted to attack Thrawn aboard the Chimaera, Rukh quickly incapacitated her by leaping between the two and throwing his arm around Jade's neck and shoulder, then spinning her into a chokehold. The Noghri was also very physically strong, as demonstrated by Jade's inability to escape his firm grip despite attempts to resist him.[8] Rukh possessed a strong sense of discipline and an ability to follow orders and await commands. For instance, even when Jade was using a Force choke against Thrawn, Rukh did not move to stop her until he was ordered to do so by the Grand Admiral.[8] Like many Noghri raised in the service of the Empire, Rukh could speak both Basic and Honoghran.[8]

Behind the scenesEdit

Rukh was created by author Timothy Zahn for his Thrawn Trilogy series of novels, and first appeared in Heir to the Empire (1991),[1] then Dark Force Rising (1992)[8] and finally The Last Command (1993).[6] Rukh has not appeared in any novels since, and it was later revealed in Zahn's 1997 novel Specter of the Past that Rukh was killed shortly after the events of The Last Command.[4] Rukh was also featured in the comic book adaptations of Heir to the Empire,[18] Dark Force Rising,[19] and The Last Command.[20] Rukh was first illustrated in the Heir to the Empire comics by artists Olivier Vatine and Fred Blanchard. He was drawn by Terry Dodson and Kevin Nowlan in Dark Force Rising, and by Edvin Biukovic and Eric Shanower in The Last Command. Rukh was later illustrated again in The Thrawn Trilogy Sourcebook, a role-playing game guide.[3]

Rukh is mentioned in the novel X-Wing: Isard's Revenge, but his name is misspelled "Ruhk".[21] Rukh was briefly mentioned in an early draft of "Who's Who: Imperial Grand Admirals", an article for Star Wars Insider written by Daniel Wallace and Abel G. Peña. The article was originally set to be published in an issue of Star Wars Gamer under the title Dirty Dozen: The Imperial Grand Admirals. When Gamer was cancelled, however, the article was instead condensed and published in Star Wars Insider 66, and as a result the reference to Rukh was cut from the final draft.[22]

The earlier draft established Rukh as the Noghri who assassinated Betl Oxtroe,[22] an Imperial admiral first referenced in Michael Allen Horne's Dark Empire Sourcebook, which entertained the possibility of a Noghri being behind Oxtroe's death. When Oxtroe attempted to jump-start negotiations for peace between the Empire and the New Republic three years after the Battle of Endor,[23] Thrawn sent Rukh to assassinate her as a favor to Director of Imperial Intelligence Ysanne Isard, who had previously aided Thrawn by capturing for him the defector Imperial fighter pilot Soontir Fel.[22]

AppearancesEdit

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SourcesEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. 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 1.13 1.14 Heir to the Empire
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 The Thrawn Trilogy sourcebook notes Rukh was born after the Imperial oppression of Honoghr began. That source also notes that the oppression began when Darth Vader visited the planet shortly after the Clone Wars ended. This means Rukh was born some time after the conclusion of the Clone Wars in 19 BBY.
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 3.18 3.19 3.20 The Thrawn Trilogy Sourcebook
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Specter of the Past
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Databank title Rukh in the Databank (content now obsolete; backup link on Archive.org)
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 The Last Command
  7. Star Wars Encyclopedia
  8. 8.00 8.01 8.02 8.03 8.04 8.05 8.06 8.07 8.08 8.09 8.10 8.11 8.12 Dark Force Rising
  9. Side Trip
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 Heir to the Empire Sourcebook
  11. 11.0 11.1 Heir to the Empire 2
  12. 12.0 12.1 Heir to the Empire 3
  13. Dark Force Rising 4
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 The New Essential Chronology
  15. The Final Prophecy
  16. Databank title Grand Admiral Thrawn in the Databank (content now obsolete; backup link on Archive.org)
  17. Databank title Noghri in the Databank (content now obsolete; backup link on Archive.org)
  18. Heir to the Empire comic adaptation
  19. Dark Force Rising comic adaptation
  20. The Last Command comic adaptation
  21. X-Wing: Isard's Revenge
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 Based on a Microsoft Word document of the original Dirty Dozen: The Imperial Grand Admirals article slated to appear in Star Wars Gamer.
  23. Dark Empire Sourcebook
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