- "This year, our Padawan [sic] will enjoy the opportunity to care for a class pet, this voorpak from Naboo. Students will make sure the voorpak's soft fur stays clean and feed the voorpak its diet of live insects."
- ―Jedi academy welcome back handout
Voorpee was a male voorpak, on loan from the Naboo Zoo to the Jedi academy on the planet Coruscant approximately 200 years before the Battle of Yavin. The voorpak was introduced to the school by the zoo as a means of teaching students responsibility in caring for a pet, as well as learning about the biology and habits of the species. Students at the academy were encouraged to care for Voorpee at the academy's care center, feeding him a preferred diet of live insects and keeping his soft fur clean. Voorpee quickly proved popular with most of the academy's students, but suffered at the hands of two school bullies who tortured the creature by taking him for unauthorized "walks" and stuffing him in a school locker. Despite the abuse he suffered, he was allowed to return to the next school year, but was used as part of a prank that resulted in hundreds of clones of him being set loose at a school talent show.
- "Class Pet 'Voorpee' Delights and Teaches"
- ―Headline in The Padawan Observer, Vol. MXIII #1
Voorpee was a male voorpak, a small, fuzzy creature native to the Mid Rim planet Naboo. Approximately 200 years before the Battle of Yavin, he was temporarily on loan from the Naboo Zoo to the Jedi academy on Coruscant, the Galactic Republic's capital planet, as a class pet, arriving from the zoo with the other students at the beginning of the school year. Located within the Jedi Temple, the Jedi Order's headquarters, a number of Padawans trained here under Jedi Master Yoda and various other Jedi, including Mr. Garfield and Principal Mar. Gaiana, a female Human student in attendance at the academy, was excited about caring for Voorpee, as she had once visited Naboo and saw a number of voorpaks. Voorpee delighted the students at the academy, who enjoyed taking care of him, and an article was written about him in the school newspaper, The Padawan Observer. The article described the class pet program, started by Gaiana, which offered the opportunity to study Voorpee's behavior and mannerisms, while also learning about the diets and natural habitats of voorpaks. Gaiana was often assisted in caring for the voorpak by Roan Novachez, a second-year student with something of a crush on her. Novachez became fond of the voorpak despite being scared of the insects which made up its diet.
Victim of bullyingEdit
Cronah and Cyrus, two Zabrak bullies in the same class as Gaiana and Novachez, saw Voorpee merely as an opportunity for amusement. These two had often bullied other students at the academy, and extended their bullying to this defenseless animal. In the first semester of the school year, following a field trip to the snow-covered Outer Rim planet Hoth, they poked at him with a pencil, causing him to hiss and puff out his fur, and threatened to hide him in someone's locker. In the second semester, Novachez, who had fallen out with his regular group of friends, joined the two Zabraks while they took Voorpee for a "walk," placing him on a leash and yanking him around, despite it being against class rules to take him out of the care center. While Novachez did not actively bully the creature, he did nothing to stop it. Gaiana and Pasha, a Human male that had also been one of Novachez's friends, chastised them for having Voorpee out, but to no effect.
Soon afterward, The Padawan Observer, Vol. MXIII #8, reported that Voorpee had gone missing. Novachez was suspected, but per his own journal, he was not the culprit. He suggested that Gaiana might have done it, given how much she liked Voorpee. Despite his anger and dismay, Novachez became disillusioned with the two bullies, whom he suspected did not really care about his feelings. With Voorpee having been missing for around a week, he decided to try to rescue the voorpak. Using a Force power he sensed a disturbance in Cronah's locker and discovered that the two bullies had made good on their threat, stuffing Voorpee in the locker. Fortunately, he knew Cronah's combination and was able to rescue the hungry voorpak, but Gaiana discovered him with the creature and blamed him for what had happened. Novachez, not wanting to argue with her, went to tell Master Yoda what had happened, taking the blame for the theft himself. Yoda made him write a letter of apology to the Naboo Zoo, though he felt that Yoda may have realized that there was someone else involved. Despite this, both Cronah and Cyrus suspected Novachez of reporting them. At the end of the semester, Yoda placed both Cronah and Cyrus on academic suspension for the first semester of the next year because of the theft of Voorpee—Novachez suspected that Yoda may have used the Force to figure out what had happened.
Return to schoolEdit
The following school year, Voorpee was again loaned out to the Jedi academy after the class visited the Naboo Zoo for a field trip. Gaiana was still fond of the creature and when Cronah saw her carrying him in one of the school's hallways, he teased her about her "new pet," which was actually a reference to Novachez, who was walking with her at the time. Lilly, a new student who was also with Gaiana and Roan, was not impressed by this teasing and asked Cyrus why his friend was so mean. Novachez continued spending time with the voorpak and felt that it was warming up to him and that it didn't have anything to do with the extra treats he had been feeding him. A bit later that year, Novachez was caring for Voorpee when he found that each time he left the voorpak in his cage, one of his friends would run up to him to inform him that it had escaped and they had seen it elsewhere in the school. He was given a lecture regarding keeping a better eye on Voorpee by his personal Jedi Master, Mr. Garfield, who was not willing to listen to his explanation.
It later transpired that the voorpaks Novachez had seen throughout the school were in fact not all Voorpee at all. They were, in fact, actually clones of Voorpee. This became clear when he and Gaiana attempted to perform a talent act with Voorpee during the school's talent show. Though they had worked hard training the voorpak and expected a smooth act, he would not respond to any of their commands such as "jump" or "roll over" and then, to their great embarrassment, leaped onto Gaiana and urinated on her head. As Novachez apologized to Gaiana, he spotted a second voorpak interfering with Cyrus's hula hoop act. The auditorium was soon overrun with clones and Cyrus's arm was broken during the melee. Gaiana later took the clones with her to the Naboo Zoo during her spring break, though they were not able to accept them all. She gave all but one of the remaining to a Voorpak Rescue Organization, keeping the last as her personal pet. It was later revealed that Cronah and Ronald Rinzler, a fellow student who styled himself as a politician, were responsible for the pranks, part of their continued effort to humiliate Novachez.
Personality and traitsEdit
- "He really likes you! It's like he wants to live in your pocket…"
"Yeah, heh heh!"
- ―Gaiana observing Voorpee behaving affectionately towards Roan Novachez
Voorpee had a coat of soft orange and white fur. He did not actually answer to the name Voorpee, but was responsive to cute noises. He was known to puff up and hiss when angry, but otherwise was largely passive and became somewhat worn down and weary following his abuse at the hands Cronah and Cyrus. He possessed some intelligence and was able to learn tricks, and also cared for those who took care of him and gave him treats. His favorite food was live insects.
Behind the scenesEdit
Voorpee first appeared in Jedi Academy: Return of the Padawan, which was released in 2014 by author and artist Jeffrey Brown, and was again featured in Jedi Academy: The Phantom Bully, a 2015 title. The titles feature a non-canon look on student life at a Jedi academy, borrowing heavily on elements found in the mythos of Star Wars Legends, but often presenting a humorous take on events. Voorpee and his clones are the only pets featured within the series and are among other pet voorpaks within the Star Wars franchise, such as Dotty, Sanani and Taezii. The character was inspired in part by author Jeffrey Brown's experience with class pets in school that ate insects and, like Roan Novachez, he has something of an insect phobia. Despite the bullying suffered by Voorpee, Brown confirmed in an interview that one or more school pets would be featured in the third book in the series, Jedi Academy: The Phantom Bully. The school pet in question turned out to be Voorpee himself, who made a return appearance to the school.
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 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 Jedi Academy: Return of the Padawan
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Yoda's age is given as 700 years old in Star Wars: Jedi Academy. According to Jedi vs. Sith: The Essential Guide to the Force, Yoda was born in 896 BBY, thus placing the series in approximately 196 BBY.
- ↑ The Essential Atlas
- ↑ The Official Star Wars Fact File 106 (NAB46, Naboo - Animals)
- ↑ Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace novelization
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 Star Wars: Jedi Academy
- ↑ Star Wars: Complete Locations
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 Jedi Academy: The Phantom Bully
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 Interview with Jeffrey Brown
- ↑ Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided