Zam Wesell – Who in the Galaxy is That? – by Pariah Burke

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Bounty hunter. Shapeshifter. Partner to Jango Fett. Friend to Boba Fett. Padme’s would-be assassin.

There’s an entire galaxy of characters and adventures beyond Luke, Leia, Han, Rey, Finn, Darth Vader, Boba Fett, and the other faces that dominate the Star Wars films. Who in the Galaxy is That? profiles individual characters from the Star Wars universe—from the films, book, comics, and games. From favorite supporting characters to interesting creatures lurking in the background, if you’ve ever asked “hey, who’s that?” Who in the Galaxy is That? strives to tell you.

Zam Wesell

Zam Wesell in her usual human disguise. Courtesy of LucasFilm/Disney.

One of the highlights of Episode II: Attack of the ClonesCanon is the multiple assassination attempts of Senator Padme Amidala on Coruscant, and the subsequent reveal of the would-be killer. The reveal of Zam Wesell rectifies the glaring absence of bounty hunters from the Prequels to that point. It also sets the stage to reveal the high-profile supporting role Jango Fett would come to play throughout the remainder of Episode II—from the moment he silences Wesell to his dramatic demise in the arena during the Battle of Geonosis.

Zam Wesell dies in her natural Clawdite form in Episode II: Attack of the Clones. Courtesy of LucasFilm/Disney.

The unaligned bad guys of Star Wars, ubiquitous throughout all Star Wars media since their unexpected popularity from barely 60 seconds of screen time in Episode V: The Empire Strikes BackCanon, bounty hunters are an integral, evil type central to Star Wars. Wesell’s brief but spectacular appearance, a high-speed chase across cluttered Coruscant skies leading to a grounded evasion and foiled strike against Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi and his Padawan Anakin Skywalker, bely Wessel’s nature and experience.

Zam Wesell. Courtesy of Dark Horse Entertainment.

As a Clawdite, Wesell possesses the ability to shapeshift into the form of any humanoid sentient. It’s a trick she employs many times throughout a long career of bounty hunting, even occasionally posing as the sentients she kills. It’s a career that often sees her partnering with Jango Fett—some in canon, some in the alternate reality of the Expanded Universe cum Legends.

Zam Wesell receives orders from Jango Fett. Courtesy of LucasFilm/Disney.

Between the Dark Horse Comics graphic novels Star Wars: Jango FettLegends (Non-Canon) and Star Wars: Zam WesellLegends (Non-Canon), and the young reader novels Jango Fett: Bounty HunterCanon, Boba Fett: The Fight to SurviveCanon, and The Life and Legend of Obi-Wan KenobiCanon a long association between the two bounty hunters is described.

Zam Wesell and Jango Fett. Courtesy of Dark Horse Entertainment.

The two first meet during a mutual hunt for smuggler Bendix Fust. Working independently, the two foil each other’s plans; Wesell even attempts to steal Fett’s ship. During their dispute, their fired upon a Firespray-class ship, which destroys Fett’s ship. They subsequently steal the Firespray-class ship, which Fett keeps and later rechristens to his iconic Slave I. The two hunters split the bounty on Fust and immediately partner on another job, sparking a friendship and working relationship that would see them through a dozen other jobs on as many worlds. Wesell even befriends Fett’s clone/son, Boba Fett, on Kamino.

Zam Wesell in her natural Clawdite form. Courtesy of LucasFilm/Disney.

Wesell rarely works without Fett—or does so beyond the view of a novel, comic book, or game chronicler—making her death at his hands in Attack of the Clones both startling and poignant.

The cover of Star Wars: Bounty Hunter. Courtesy of LucasArts/Disney.

Zam Wesell stars with Jango Fett in the video game Star Wars: Bounty HunterCanon, which describes in-canon missions accomplished by the pair in the days between Episode I: The Phantom MenaceCanon and their simultaneous screen debuts in Attack of the Clones. Wesell is also a playable character in LEGO Star Wars: The Complete SagaLegends (Non-Canon).

Zam Wesell publicity photo. Courtesy of LucasFilm/Disney.

What in the Galaxy are those Symbols?

Throughout Who in the Galaxy is That? profiles you may encounter one or more of the following symbols.

Here’s what they mean:

Canon
Sources and media cited as canon contain information that is officially part of the Star Wars film universe, which also includes non-film media such as books, comic books, games, and more. This means the information is officially part of the history of Star Wars that appears in the films. It came from, or may appear within or influence, the events of a Star Wars film.
Legends
Following Return of the Jedi, George Lucas stated that he would not make other Star Wars movies. He then opened Star Wars to other creators and media. Carefully overseen by Lucas’s company, Lucas Arts, hundreds of new Star Wars novels, comic books and graphic novels, video games, and television shows were created to expand the Star Wars universe and tell stories in all directions—from thousands of years before Luke Skywalker was born to thousands of years after, from filling in the histories of the greatest Star Wars legends to bringing life to every background alien in the Cantina scene. This was the Star Wars Expanded Universe, and it was all canon until new Star Wars films were once again possible. Disney and Lucas Arts then found themselves penned in by the massive amount of material from other creators and projects. They simply couldn’t make Episode VII and beyond because every moment in the lives of the major characters of Han, Luke, Leia, and others had already been chronicled in the Expanded Universe, and very little of that could easily be translated to feature films easily followed by, and appealing to, the many different types of Star Wars fans who loved the Original Trilogy. As a result, a large portion of the formerly-canon Expanded Universe stories were declared non-canon, unofficial in terms of the film continuity. The stories still exist and continue to expand, but now in an alternate reality called Star Wars Legends while other new stories are created alongside them within the universe of the films.
Fandom-Created
Though rare, you’ll see this symbol appear from time-to-time in Who in the Galaxy is That? Star Wars fans are many and varied, and they like to create their own movies, stories, comics, artwork, and more based in the Star Wars universe. Occasionally, a fan-created work is so good and becomes so popular that it gains super star status all on its own. When such rarities relate to the characters profiled in Who in the Galaxy is That?, they are identified by the Fandom-Created symbol.

Suggest a Character to Profile

Have you ever wondered, “who in the galaxy is that?” Tell us in the comments who you’ve wondered about in the Star Wars universe of films, books, comics, games, and even toys. If you know the character’s name, tell us, but if you don’t know a name, tell us where we can find the character that has piqued your curiosity. Something like “the third bounty hunter from the left in the Star Destroyer scene in Empire Strikes Back” works quite well in directing us to who you’re thinking about. Whomever you wonder about, we might just profile in Who in the Galaxy is That?

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