Know your lore: Mission Vao

Mission Vao (pronounced /’mɪʃɪn ‘veo/) was a female Rutian Twi’lek who lived as a street urchin on the ecumenopolis of Taris during the Mandalorian Wars and the first half of the Jedi Civil War. She preferred speaking Galactic Basic Standard rather than her people’s native language and was the closest friend of the Wookiee Zaalbar.

She joined the crew of the Ebon Hawk following her encounter with Revan and the destruction of Taris, and was awarded the Cross of Glory in 3,956 BBY, at the age of 14, for her part in locating the Star Forge and the triumph of the Galactic Republic over the Sith Empire at the Battle of Rakata Prime. She parted ways with Revan after the defeat of Darth Malak.

Mission grew up as an orphan, having never known her parents, with just her elder brother Griff to look after her. Griff was a scam artist, a gambler, and a drinker, always borrowing credits for his schemes of easy riches which regularly failed, leaving him in debt and on the run. Mission was only five years old when they escaped to Taris, smuggling themselves inside a packing crate in a star freighter’s cargo hold, barely having enough supplies to make the trip.

On Taris, Griff and Mission had to live in the Lower City due to the alien ban that restricted access to the Upper City. Around 3,963 BBY, her brother Griff was a member of one of the Lower City’s swoop gangs known as the Hidden Beks. People were still reeling from the consequences of the murders of the four Jedi Padawans that were to help rim-worlds such as Taris mantain law and order, when the Mandalorians invaded. Zayne Carrick, who had been framed for the murders, came back to Taris to try to help the resistance against the invading Mandalorians, and found the Hidden Beks’ secret hideout.

Mission introduced herself to Zayne after he was through talking to Marn Hierogryph, and developed a crush on him, despite her brother’s warning to stay away from the accused murderer. She then told him that she “knew a secret” and brought Zayne to see her brother’s pet, which she thought was what Griff was feeding in secret. While they were spying on him, Gryph found them and inadvertently gave away their position to Griff. Meanwhile, Brejik attempted to kill Zayne with a vibroblade. Zayne was struggling to disarm Brejik when Mission bit his leg, causing Brejik to drop the blade. When he did, Griff came up behind her and pulled her away from the fight. Brejik then pulled out a blaster pistol, telling Zayne that he would tell everybody that he was killed “trying to escape”.

Del Moomo then appeared from behind and pinned Brejik to a wall before he was able to kill Zayne. Mission, Zayne, and Gryph then discovered that the “pet” was not a pet at all; inside the container where Griff dropped the food were the missing children of Constable Noana Sowrs. After they got the two children out of there, they brought them back to the Hidden Beks’ leader, Gadon Thek. Mission then helped feed the two children. While Gadon was enraged at Griff and Brejik for kidnapping the children, it gave the Hidden Beks an opportunity to open up negotiations with the “True” Resistance, and then eventually join them.

Griff and Mission were regulars of the Lower City cantina when Griff met Lena, a Twi’lek dancing girl, and started dating her. Lena, however, used to date Tarisian nobles, and Griff could never give her the kind of lifestyle she was used to. Eventually, he had to leave Taris, escaping his debts once again, this time together with Lena, and he left his twelve-year-old sister behind. He told Mission that Lena didn’t want his little sister tagging along, but promised he would return as soon as they earned enough credits, and that then they would all live like royalty. Believing she made her brother forget about her, Mission hated Lena, and thought of her as a “busty, credit-grubbing cantina rat.” She had no doubt their relationship wouldn’t last long.

Encounter with Zaalbar
After her brother Griff deserted her on Taris, Mission got by on her own, until one day she made friends with Zaalbar, a Wookiee outcast from Kashyyyk. Zaalbar was being hassled by members of the Black Vulkars, a major Lower City swoop gang, when he attracted her attention. The sight of thugs picking on a lone Wookiee overwhelmed by a strange environment made her lose her temper, and she charged at them. She was smacked down by one of the Vulkars, but then the Wookiee got angry and yanked him a meter up off the ground, scaring the others away.

Despite such unusual circumstances of their meeting—or perhaps because of them—Mission and Zaalbar would stick together ever since, looking out for each other in their own way. She nicknamed Zaalbar “Big Z”. For two years they got by in the Lower City, never hearing anything from or about Griff, and often seeking adventure in dangerous spots like the sewers of the Undercity, where Gadon used to tell her not to go. Mission never asked Zaalbar too much about his past, because he didn’t like to talk about it, and she accepted that, dismissing the matter with the conclusion that he was the strong, silent type. The Wookiee would still talk a bit about his homeworld, about the big Wroshyr trees, and how he had “seen paradise destroyed by the greed of outsiders,” which though Mission didn’t understand at first, referred to Czerka Corporation and their slaving operations on Kashyyyk.

Entanglement with Revan
In 3,956 BBY, near the end of the Jedi Civil War, decorated war hero and legendary soldier Carth Onasi was stranded on Taris with an amnesiac Revan following the attack on the Endar Spire, a Republic warship under the command of the Jedi Bastila Shan. The entire war effort against the Sith relied on her skill with Battle Meditation, making her the Republic’s only hope, so as soon as possible Carth and Revan made for the Undercity, where her escape pod had crashed. They passed by Javyar’s Cantina where they found an unusual pair—a Wookiee, and a fourteen-year-old Twi’lek girl who preferred speaking Galactic Basic Standard rather than her people’s native language. Revan watched as Zaalbar scared away some Black Vulkars picking on Mission.

Mission Vao stalking Gamorreans in the Taris Undercity.

Seeing that Revan was a newcomer in the Lower City, Mission provided him with information about the city, the swoop gangs, local Exchange boss Davik Kang, and the bounty hunter Calo Nord, who had just walked out of the cantina leaving a few corpses behind. She also spoke of the Hidden Beks as a more honest and reliable gang than the Black Vulkars, which were now led by Brejik, and she mentioned that Davik had recently acquired a new ship for his smuggling operations, the Ebon Hawk, which he supposedly kept in his estate. Mission and Zaalbar then left the cantina to seek more adventures in the Undercity.

At the Hidden Bek Base, the leader of the gang Gadon Thek made a deal with Revan, agreeing to provide sponsorship in the Tarisian Season Opener in exchange for the retrieval of a prototype accelerator that was stolen from him by the Vulkars. Revan was to break into the Vulkar base, where the swoop upgrade was being kept, and Gadon suggested that Mission could be able to get him in the back way. He then gave Revan authorization papers needed to get past the Sith guard at the elevator to the Undercity in exchange for the Sith uniforms he had used before as a disguise, and promised to let Revan use the accelerator to win the race and get Bastila back, who was being offered as a prize by Brejik, in his game to take over the Lower City. Once off the gates of the Outcast village of the Undercity, Revan ran into a very distressed Mission. She explained that her friend Zaalbar had been caught by Gamorrean slavers in the sewers and agreed to show Revan a secret entrance into the Vulkar Base if he helped her free the captive Wookiee.

Revan saved Zaalbar from the slavers, and as customary to his people, the Wookiee swore a life debt to him. Mission was not about to part ways with the only family she had since her brother left, so she too joined Revan. They followed him aboard the Ebon Hawk, which Revan stole from Davik, just in time to escape the destruction of Taris. Although Mission was shocked to see her homeworld destroyed before her eyes, she told Revan she would find a way to deal with it, and that whatever help she could offer him against Darth Malak and the Sith she would. Because of her age, Mission was often looked down upon by Revan’s other companions. Carth Onasi was particularly disgusted at first about a fourteen-year-old living by herself in a dangerous area and occasionally the two found themselves at odds in a father-daughter fashion.

Travels on the Ebon Hawk
After the destruction of Taris, Mission accompanied Revan and his companions aboard the Ebon Hawk and assisted Revan in his journey to destroy the Star Forge.

During these travels with Revan, Mission encountered Lena, who explained what had happened after she and Griff left Taris. She had dumped Griff, leaving him on Tatooine, where he was working for Czerka Corporation. She also said that she had actually wanted Mission to come with them, and even offered to pay for her ticket, but Griff told Lena that Mission wouldn’t leave Taris. In reality, Griff had lied to them both and even though Mission wouldn’t believe Lena at first, she realized that she had been misguidedly idolizing her brother.

Mission still questioned the validity of Lena’s statements and when Revan took the Ebon Hawk for a landing on Tatooine in search of the Star Map, they found Griff had been taken prisoner by Tusken Raiders. In the enclave where he was being kept, a conversation ensued that allowed Mission to realize the truth in Lena’s words. Even after his liberation, Griff didn’t give up his half-baked business projects—his latest one, in which he tried to use tach glands collected by Revan to brew Tarisian ale, also failed, and he also got himself into trouble with the Exchange.

Mission was angry with Griff, especially after witnessing him continue his get-rich-quick schemes. Eventually she realized, though nobody was perfect, her brother was a little less perfect than most for he never learned from his own mistakes; therefore instead of fruitlessly trying to “improve” her brother, she learned to accept him as he was. Mission was happy that her brother was alive, but now she didn’t feel as though she owed him anything anymore.

After escaping the Leviathan, Revan revealed his former identity to the crew. Though shaken, Mission found that he was now a completely different person, and therefore stood by him. She followed Revan to the end of his quest, even to the monstrous Star Forge. She was present at the celebration of the Star Forge’s destruction and the Republic’s victory over the Sith, where Revan’s companions were proclaimed as saviors of the Republic and were each awarded the Cross of Glory. When Revan departed for the Unknown Regions, Mission did not accompany him.

Personality and traits
Despite her harsh upbringing and abandonment, Mission was a sunny and optimistic girl. She believed the best of people most of the time, and was the first to rally to Revan’s defense after he was revealed as the former Dark Lord of the Sith in the skirmish aboard the Leviathan, as she had been convinced by Revan’s actions over the course of their mission that he was a true friend. She was initially at a loss for words, much like the rest of the crew of the Ebon Hawk, but seeing how he didn’t remember anything about being the Dark lord she concluded that it didn’t really matter anymore, much to the chagrin of the paranoid and distrustful Carth.

As a child, Mission was very curious, spying on her brother and often playing with the personal effects of Gadon’s bodyguard Zaerdra, who would get mad at her elder brother for not keeping Mission away from her stuff. One trait she shared with her brother Griff was smooth talking, and she was known to be forward with boys she considered attractive, such as Zayne Carrick.

She had a strong sense of fairness, as evidenced by her anger with Wookiee Chieftain Chuundar and Czerka and their treatment of the Wookiees, and by her loyalty to the Hidden Beks after Brejik’s betrayal. She was easily influenced, however, and not only by Revan. She would let Kandon Ark twist her mind and seed animosity between her and Gadon, and there was little that Revan could not talk her into. She was also courageous and impulsive, charging three Vulkars by herself to try and save Zaalbar, or mouthing off at – and trying to bite – armed Sith troopers. Her chief annoyance, however, was when people dismissed her on the basis of age. This earned her several arguments with Carth and Bastila, the latter using the Force to trip her when Mission retorted to a crack about her age. She also constantly teased Zaalbar like a bratty little sister, suggesting he take a bath, brush his teeth, dye his hair, or even wear a suit.

Talents and abilities
After Mission joined Revan’s fellowship, she had the chance to apply her knowledge and skills to different ends from what she was used to in the streets of Taris. Her fine sleight of hand gained Revan entrance to the Black Vulkar Base from the sewers of the Undercity, for which she had picked the codes off the pocket of a Black Vulkar.

She was a good slicer and was proficient with Stealth field generators. When the Leviathan captured the Ebon Hawk, and Revan had to choose a member of the crew for a rescue mission, she volunteered her skills with security systems, claiming she could slice her way out of any security cell. She could speak Basic and understand Shyriiwook, Rodese, and possibly other languages she may have grown accustomed to during her time on the Coruscant of the Outer Rim. She could also play Pazaak.

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