Star Wars: Scum and Villainy: Case Files on the Galaxy's Most Notorious

Star Wars: Scum and Villainy: Case Files on the Galaxy's Most Notorious

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780760362051
Publisher: Epic Ink
Publication date: 10/23/2018
Pages: 128
Sales rank: 110,424
Product dimensions: 9.10(w) x 12.40(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

A lifelong Star Wars fan and recognized expert on the depth and history of the saga, Pablo Hidalgo started writing professionally on the subject in 1995, penning articles for the original Star Wars role-playing game from West End Games. In 2000, he became a full-time Star Wars authority at Lucasfilm, joining the company’s online team as a content developer for the official website. In 2010, he became a Brand Communications Manager for Lucasfilm, ensuring consistency in the expression of the brand across a variety of channels. When Lucasfilm returned to active film production on the Star Wars saga under the leadership of Kathleen Kennedy, Hidalgo moved into the Lucasfilm Story Group as a creative executive working on the development of Star Wars storytelling across all media, including feature films, animated television, video games, novels, comic books, and more. In addition to his numerous published Star Wars works, he has written books about G.I. Joe and Transformers. He lives in San Francisco.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

THE LAST DAYS OF THE REPUBLIC

A thousand years of peace breeds a complacency that draws crime like a magnet. That terse observation came from Tan Divo, my grandfather, who was a police inspector in the Federal District of Coruscant. He stated this during a deposition hearing that faulted his police procedures for allowing narcotics from the deeper levels of the city planet into the halls of the Senate. His voice was flat and his words to the point, cutting a jarring contrast to the the puffed-up outrage that color ed Senator Aks Moe's questioning.

Grandfather Divo had been a part of law enforcement in the capital since his start as a patrolman after graduating from the police academy. Throughout his career, he championed creating a network of information that would extend to the beat cops operating in the deeper levels of the planet. He knew that only through coordination could they stem the flow of illicit goods from the depths and cut the chain of demand stretching down from the upper levels. His proposals were thwarted at every turn by judges, lobbyists, and other politicians who, on a diagram marking the flow of credits, drew a line directly back to Senator Moe.

This was the state of law enforcement and politics on Coruscant during the twilight years of the Republic. Wistful recollections of this bygone era have a tendency to paint it brightly, and leave out the shadowing of corruption and hypocrisy. The wealthy and powerful repeatedly found ways to remain untouchable, high above the law, protected by money and influence. Petty thievery and street crime were constants, as always, but the real public menace was graft and corporate crime. The criminals with the biggest haul of innocent citizens' hard-earned credits were the barons of trade and industry who bought politicians like collectibles and caused them to work against the interests of their constituents.

Inspector Divo knew the currents he was fighting against to reach justice upstream. By picking at small cases, he hoped to build a larger one against the crime lords that ran free in the capital and the politicians who did business with them. In this time, the vaunted Jedi Knights claimed they were guardians of peace and justice, and indeed they did focus on larger issues of piracy as well as sovereignty and interplanetary disputes. But because their missions were appointed to them by the Senate or, in rare instances, the Supreme Chancellor, it was unlikely they would ever really investigate the problems at home. It seemed like law enforcement on Coruscant was on its own.

The Clone Wars, one might think, would help lower or at least flatten crime rates, as the galaxy focused on the larger questions of survival. Instead, war shortages created new needs, and new black markets to fill. The war also created new bedfellows. To wage war against the Separatists more effectively in the tangle of the Outer Rim Territories, the Republic entered into treaties with the Hutt cartels, effectively legitimizing their operations and opening a gateway for their wares to the Core worlds. Regarding this strategy, no one thought to ask the opinion of local law enforcement.

The war that ended the Republic and the Jedi Knights created a new era in crime. The Clone Wars displaced so many, impoverished billions, and made others wealthy. This imbalance of resources is a feast that crime, the most gluttonous of parasites, feeds upon. It would take decades to recover from the Republic's death, with a false promise of newfound security easing the public into thinking a brighter future lay ahead. Those who had worked the streets and watched the flow of money and illicit goods, as Tan Divo had, knew better.

My grandfather reached out to other worlds to understand how they operated and avoided the pitfalls of such darkening times. He researched racketeering cases and incidents pointing toward larger criminal conspiracies, looking for solutions, and this chapter includes some of his exploration in addition to the direct cases he was involved in. The discovery of his case files, thought lost in the chaos of the Clone Wars, has been a gift to historians not only studying law enforcement, but also tracing the players and the influence they wielded within the criminal underworld. And, if I may, added important chapters in the history of my family.

FILE / 7953.441.3

GRADUATION FEDERAL DISTRICT POLICE ACADEMY CLASS OF '953.4

Tanivos Exantor Divo was born on Level 3215 of Coruscant — far from the sunlit surface of the capital, but still above the most dangerous levels. In his native Gavas-Eclat neighborhood, urban blight seeped between the lower-class apartments and the reduced-capacity industrial areas. With this blight came parasitic criminals that targeted the hardworking denizens of Gavas-Eclat, shaking them down for what little they had.

This was the backdrop of Divo's childhood. He helplessly watched as his father was forced to part with hard-earned credits to pay thugs who fed off his fear. It hardened Divo, instilling him with a rigid sense of justice and fairness. Applying himself in his academic study, he earned a scholarship to the Federal District Police Academy at age sixteen.

He graduated valedictorian at FedPoAcad, speaking before that session's roster of 4,500 newly minted deputies, with stirring words, excerpted here.

"We've taken a look at the world around us — Coruscant, whose very name means glittering — and found it wanting. On a world of luxury, we don't have the luxury to marvel at the heights, or be distracted by the views. We peer into the shadows, so our neighbors don't have to be afraid walking through them to get home. We are deflectors — often invisible, always reliable — warding them from dangers they need never worry about. We look in the shadows not because we see the worst in people — but because we want the best to be safe."

FILE / 7951.121.1

ARREST OF SUSPECT Z. ONGLO

Coruscant is a world of tiers, socially and geographically. Concentric layers of urban overgrowth cover its entire surface, with one age's skyscrapers becoming the thick foundational pillars of the next age's stratum. For millennia it has grown this way, each numbered layer adding a ring like the layers of an ancient tree.

On the lowest levels, the under-world dangers rise. Species tribalism runs deep on Coruscant. Clusters of immigrant cultures carve out territories of homes and businesses, resisting the benefits that come from more fully integrating with the myriad species found on the capital world. The lower-level police wear all-enveloping uniforms that obscure any defining traits that may identify an officer as belonging to a specific species. The uniform, however, also limits officers' ability to make connections — connections that "face officers" with clear visages are able to forge on the upper levels. That is the price of working the depths.

On this night on Level 1671 — 3,456 levels from the surface — Zodu Onglo, a Utapaun male, twenty-three standard years of age, was apprehended for aggravated assault after a botched attempt to sell a cache of stolen weapons. Further inspection by Lt. Divo uncovered a connection to the Wandering Star criminal syndicate based out of Level 1313.

FILE / 7942.113.2

CORUSCANT LEVEL 3321 SPICE DEN SURVEILLANCE

A breakdown of cross-divisional cooperation along jurisdictional lines helped spread the scourge of spice addiction in Coruscant's undercity. The distant planet Kessel is a protectorate of the Pykes, untouched by the Republic. The Pykes, likewise, are an independent people based out of unincorporated Oba Diah. A long tradition of medical export treaties allowed for the transport of medicinal spice along legal channels, but the Pykes were profiting from less-documented spice transit. The illegal transporting resulted in a potent and deadly strain of refined spice spreading to the lower levels of the capital.

Pyke culture is forever tainted by this trade, with neighbors judging Pyke newcomers simply by what they've heard about the spice trade of their homeworld. Divo wrote:

I take no pleasure in casing a Pyke domicile, or barging into the back room of a Pyke restaurant or kitchen just because of who lives or works there. It is a rotten situation where these people have to bear the brunt of suspicion because someone far from them is getting rich from looking the other way.

Tach Drud ran a spice den out of a curio shop on Level 3321. The capture and interrogation of a spice-addled holo-star led law enforcement to Drud's shop in exchange for keeping the star's name out of the headlines. From Divo's notes:

Spice: the great equalizer. This undercover probe holo shows a senatorial lobbyist who pulls in a steep salary and a cargo hauler living just above squalor, united in their spiced-out stupor.

FILE / 7941.521.33

PORTRAIT OF LOM PYKE, SEIZED EVIDENCE

Found in the possession of Senator Yudrish Sedran of Chalacta, this portrait of Pyke capo Lom Pyke was said to be a cultural exchange gift from Oba Diah. However, Sedran was under investigation for claims that he was receiving bribes from the Pykes in exchange for turning a blind eye as they spread their operations beyond Pyke space as well as for granting limited diplomatic ambassadorial status, which gave Pyke delegates access to the Senate. Sedran's offices and apartments were sealed and their contents examined thoroughly for evidence of criminal activity. While his elite legal team was ultimately able to clear the senator of charges, this portrait proved to be a helpful piece of evidence. Tan Divo writes:

As clean as his books were, our esteemed senator couldn't wipe the grime of Pyke affiliation off everything in his office. Our forensic droids analyzed the Pyke paintings, and found grains of Kessel spice in the canvases velvet pile. Because spice has an organic core, each load of spice is unique and its markers serve as a fingerprint or a retina pattern that is traceable. The "signature" on the spice on Lom's portrait helped our sniffer droids and hound teams track down contraband at the 1313 docks

FILE/7944.169.1

POLICE FORCE RECRUITMENT POSTER

During the Chancellery of Finis Valorum, a HoloNet News exposé revealed a streak of corruption in the highest levels of Republic politics due to senatorial ties to the Pyke Syndicate. Driven by spice profits, the criminal organization experienced explosive growth. Their newfound riches let them purchase favors from the capital, allowing them to muscle into territory that would otherwise be beyond their reach. This move created a threat of all-out gang war in the depths of Coruscant. Despite Valorum's best efforts to hush this unrest while his administration tried to find a peaceful end to it, whisperings about a surge of lower-level violence wafted all the way to the surface.

Desperate to assure a skeptical public, Valorum tasked local politicians with spreading a message of law and order. The results were round-the-chrono holographic public service announcements and posters that cast a spotlight on the effective and efficient police departments on the city planet. The hope was that this would spur an increase in cadet enlistment. Though the results were negligible in the final analysis, these advertisements stayed in circulation for years, and are a cultural artifact of their time.

FILE / 7957.910.3

SENATE DISTRICT LAW ENFORCEMENT RECRUITMENT POSTER

Shortly after the outbreak of the Clone Wars, imagery intended to recruit citizens into law enforcement changed in tenor and message from one of community service to one of military might. The rampant rise of a new military/industrial complex shaped nearly all government communications during the war. The clone trooper, though not specifically a law enforcement unit, became the face of Republic strength. This image, designed specifically to instill a sense of security and confidence in the Senate District following a calamitous bomb-ing, showcased the latest in military hardware.

Hovering behind the Phase II-armored clone trooper is a Santhe/Rothana LAAT/ le gunship. Originally intended as a sleeker, low-cost alternative to the heavier battlefield LAAT/i model, this "police gunship" was pressed into civilian service on Coruscant and other Core World sector capitals. It had far more firepower than was normally assigned to law enforcement, but a skittish population living in fear of Separatist violence accepted the increase in armament hovering over their city streets in the name of security.

FILE / 7947. 923.1

ZIRO THE HUTT'S NIGHTCLUB MENU AND SURVEILLANCE

Ziro Desilijic Tiure was an outlier when it came to the Hutts' commerce ventures. Uncharacteristic of his species and culture, he established a business venue on Coruscant, far from Hutt Space. It was impolitic to accuse him of malfeasance while lacking evidence — such stereotyping was dangerous in so culturally mixed a world as the capital. Alas, it came as no surprise that Ziro the Hutt brought with him clientele that often skirted, and in some cases flouted, the law.

Before the Republic ever entered into a treaty with the Hutts, there were senators who had dealings with the Hutt kajidics — the clan-based businesses whose operations permeated the Outer Rim. Through front companies and other blinds, the Hutts lined the reelection coffers of politicians who treated their operations favorably. In a word, Ziro was connected. And the place to make these connections was his nightclub, which clung to a wall of the Aradonti Ravine southwest of the Federal District.

On a handful of occasions, Divo's agents entered the nightclub, undercover, with concealed holocams. While this footage did not capture any illegal activity per se, it did make clear the powerful political clientele that frequented the club, and thus gave Divo some more leads to follow.

FILE / 7955.314.3

COMPILED SURVEILLANCE OF COCO TOWN EATERY DEX'S DINER

Located not far from the Federal District — and the Aradonti Ravine — was the Collective Commerce District, known colloquially as CoCo Town. It was far enough from Federal bustle, but close enough to be reachable by a short speeder jaunt during an extended lunch hour. Its location was also not far from Ziro's nightclub. Surveillance of the nightclub revealed a pattern: partners first acquainted at the posh nightclub would soon find themselves enjoying a no-frills meal at the twenty-four-hour eatery Dex's Diner. Divo wasn't one to credit coincidence, and began surveilling the diner. From his notes:

Dex is a good being. A checkered past, no doubt, but he's made amends and is making a clean living. It's no fault of his own that his open and welcoming nature attracts clientele of all stripes to his diner. Our investigations show no connection on his part to the deals cut at his tables. Though he wasn't overly cooperative with us because he didn't want his place tarred by a reputation for intruding into private affairs. I can respect that. We kept our distance, but we did keep an eye on the place.

FILE / 7955.811.4

DANNL FAYTONNI OUTLANDER SECURITY IMAGERY AND WARRANT

Divo kept a growing folder of incident reports involving a low-level con man named Dannl Faytonni, known to prowl the entertainment establishments of the Uscru District, particularly levels in the 4000s to mid-3000s range. Though Faytonni's greatest transgression was the impersonation of an officer of the Republic Judiciary, which triggered the issuing of a warrant for his arrest. Ultimately, it was not deemed a priority assignment as greater emphasis was placed on homeworld security in the wake of the Clone Wars. Nonetheless, Divo kept a remote eye on Faytonni, and encouraged the beat cops of the Uscru to do likewise. The ever -adaptive Faytonni found his niche while under such surveillance, offering up usable leads and fragmented information on larger quarry to the law in exchange for being able to continue his racket relatively unmolested.

With reservation, Divo allowed such leeway — as indicated by this holo of Faytonni selling spiced death sticks on the sly to a patron of the fashionable outlander nightclub. Divo notes:

I hate having to compromise in this way, but it's hard to argue that Faytonni is worth the fuel cells required to send a speeder down to fetch him, and he has a talent for washing his hands of crimes. But he'll mess up. They always do. And when he does, I'll be there.

FILE / 7956.103.1

BOBA FETT INTAKE HOLO

Among Tan Divo's files was a portfolio that tracked the early ascent of Boba Fett, long before Fett became the notorious bounty hunter of the Imperial era. Fett's criminal record began at the dawn of the Clone Wars, where he was identified as an accomplice in the attempted murder of Mace Windu, as well as in the bombing of the Star Destroyer Endurance over Vanqor. During processing, barristers argued that Fett was a subadult coerced by the true mastermind behind the plot — known criminal Aurra Sing. Some even argued that as a clone, he ceded his right to due process as he was property of the Galactic Republic, a by-product of the clone army agreement.

From Divo's notes:

This case keeps me up at night. This war is turning children into soldiers, but we can ignore that thanks to Kaminoans' age acceleration. But this is what an unaltered clone looks like, and can he really help who he is if he was molded to be this? I'm not alone in thinking this. A recommendation from General Windu suggested leniency and rehabilitation as opposed to corporal punishment, a request that ultimately fell on deaf ears in the Judiciary, who cited zero tolerance to attacks against military assets in this time of war.

(Continues…)


Excerpted from "Scum and Villainy"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Lucasfilm.
Excerpted by permission of The Quarto Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

PART I,
THE LAST DAYS OF THE REPUBLIC, 8,
FROM THE FILES OF TAN DIVO, 10,
PART II,
THE TIME OF THE EMPIRE, 52,
FROM THE FILES OF ANDRESSO DIVO, 54,
PART III,
THE CHALLENGES OF THE NEW REPUBLIC, 102,
FROM THE FILES OF EXANTOR DIVO, 104,
AFTERWORD, 127,

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