Real Name: Governor Beltane
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Variously Governor and "Governor-in-Exile", Beltane led the planet of Balmorra through the tumultuous times around and after the Galactic Civil War. During the decade or so starting just prior to Episode IV, he saw his planet fall under the Empire, rise under the Rebellion, return to Imperial control after the appearance of the clone Palpatine, and return to freedom after the final defeat of Palpatine.
He saw his planet develop both the AT-ST walkers for the Empire, and their post-Return of the Jedi successors, the SD-9s. These successors were much more anthropomorphic in design than the old AT-STs. In addition to a two-legged, human appearance, the SD-9s had several other technical advantages over the "baby walkers" first seen in Return of the Jedi. They had greater firepower and shielding than an AT-ST (and probably even the four-legged AT-AT). More importantly, perhaps, they were semi-autonomous robots, not requiring a manned crew of any kind.
Beltane, however, famously used his planet's economic subjugation against the Empire. He oversaw the development of the SD-10, a Rebel/New Republic answer to the SD-9. Visually similar to the SD-9s, they had many design modifications over the Imperial SD-9s. Perhaps most importantly, they were constructed from a kind of "living metal", which could heal itself if damaged.
Beltane also ordered the development of the first Balmorran-designed robotic warrior, the vaguely spider-like X-1 Viper Automadon. This multi-legged ground assault weapon, aside from enjoying the benefits of a design history that stretched back as far as the Battle of Jabiim in the Clone Wars, had the ability to absorb and repurpose enemy fire. When attacked by the weapons of AT-ATs, AT-STs, SD-9s--and virtually any type of pulse beam weapon--got a power-up to its own offensive weapons. In sum, Beltane was responsible for creating a weapon that grew stronger the more it was fired upon.
The X-1 was an entirely secret project that allowed him an effective bargaining chip with Imperials and Rebels alike. He happily, if tortuously, used it to bargain for his planet's ultimate freedom.
As with all post-Return of the Jedi characters created before the release of Revenge of the Sith, Beltane's canonicity could be disputed.
First Appearance: Star Wars: Dark Empire II (1994) #1
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Star Wars: Dark Empire II (1994)
#1 Star Wars: Dark Empire Trilogy (2010)
- 'Operation Shadow Hand'
- 'Star Wars: Dark Empire Trilogy'
Galactic Republic (New)
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