This is Derdram Zarek, reporting in. They’ve escaped.
—Zarek, after Han Solo's escape from the Avenger
Derdram Zarek was a Human male from the planet Bastion. Zarek trained as a pilot on the planet Carida in the Academy of Carida. Zarek later left Carida to become a pirate. As a pirate, he worked in the Hutt Cartel crime syndicate. Having participated in many successful missions, Zarek became a regular employee of the Cartel.
On a mission to the planet Caamas, Zarek was betrayed by his colleague, a Talortai called Urai Fen, and was captured by the Galactic Empire. Derdram fabricated a story regarding his own capture, and the Empire accepted the fabrication due to his previous record of being a student on Carida. As Zarek did not wish to return to the Hutt Cartel, he joined the Empire.
Zarek became a member of Imperial Intelligence as well as a corporal in the Imperial Security Bureau. After he participated in a number of missions for the Empire, Zarek served aboard the first Death Star, an Imperial superweapon. Later becoming disenchanted with the Imperial system, Zarek offered to sabotage the Death Star for the Rebel Alliance, the sworn enemy of the Empire. Whilst sabotaging the Death Star, the Sith Lord Darth Vader discovered his attempts on a visit to the station. Zarek was arrested by the Empire for treason.
A business deal. That's what I want. Employment.
—Zarek to the Hutt Cartel
Derdram Zarek was a Human male born on the planet Bastion, then a Galactic Republic-controlled world that later fell under the control of the Galactic Empire. At the age of twenty one, Zarek traveled to the planet Carida to study at the Academy of Carida in order to gain the qualifications required to join the Imperial Starfleet. During his time at the academy, Zarek gained the skills necessary to pilot starfighter such as TIE Fighters, the standard fighter of the Imperial Navy.
In the academy, Zarek became the subject of racial abuse from other students born on Carida. Individuals from Bastion, located in the Outer Rim, were perceived as unintelligent by Zarek's fellow pupils. This caused Zarek to leave the academy after completing his course and being commissioned as an Imperial officer, and Derdram returned to Bastion. Disenchanted with the Imperial system due to his experiences at the academy, Derdram relocated Tatooine. On Tatooine, Derdram became involved with a large crime syndicate, the Hutt Cartel, and earned a position which made use of his starship-flying abilities.
Crisis on CaamasEdit
Think about the Hutt Cartel now, and surrender.
—Urai Fen, to Zarek
For a time, Zarek worked with a Talortai named Urai Fen. Fen was the bodyguard of Tyber Zann, leader of the Zann Consortium crime syndicate. In an attempt to establish better relations between the Hutt Cartel and the Zann Consortium, employees of both factions worked together. The two factions planned a raid of an Imperial supply convoy on the planet Caamas, led by Fen and Zarek.
The supply convoy was transporting a cargo that was more important to the Empire than Zarek knew. The cargo was for the construction of the DS-1 Orbital Battle Station, an Imperial superweapon codenamed the "Death Star." Fen, however, knew of the importance of the cargo and had orders to sacrifice Zarek to ensure the success of the mission if it were needed. The Empire's xenophobia meant that it was impossible to disguise Fen as an Imperial security guard, so it was left to Zarek to infiltrate the convoy before it left for another location. Dressed as an Imperial officer, Zarek managed to remove key items of the convoy and take them to the rendezvous point with Fen.
At the rendezvous point, Zarek handed over the cargo to Fen. Although the pair was collaborating on the mission, Fen felt that he would receive a better pay off if it seemed that the mission was harder than it had been. Having already informed the Empire of Zarek's attempted escape, he shot Zarek before leaving with the goods. In his haste, he had not ensured that Zarek was killed, and so Imperial forces found the wounded Zarek. Zarek claimed that he had been taken hostage by the Hutt Cartel following his departure from the academy. Due to Zarek's identification from the academy, and the fact that he had been a commissioned officer, the Empire accepted this fabrication.
I want to set this galaxy on a path to freedom.
—Zarek's words to the Rebel Alliance
Once he was fully healed, Zarek assumed that Fen had been instructed to murder him by the Hutt Cartel. As such, Zarek felt no obligation or desire to return to them, and instead believed that he could earn more money by working for the Empire. Zarek, therefore, applied for training in the Intelligence branch of the Empire, and his application was accepted. Zarek's first assignment was just prior to the Battle of Hoth, an Imperial assault on the hidden Rebel Alliance base on Hoth in 3 ABY. During the mission, Zarek infiltrated the Rebel Alliance, the principle opposition to the Empire. Whilst posing as a member of the Rebel Alliance, Zarek discovered the means of contacting the Alliance that he would later need.
For a time, Zarek served on board an Imperial ship, the Avenger, and witnessed the escape of the smuggler Han Solo and his allies aboard the Millennium Falcon following the Battle of Hoth. From there, Zarek began returning to missions for Imperial Intelligence once more. After a failed mission on the planet Felucia, in which a blunder by Zarek saw the Felucians drive the Empire off the planet, Zarek was demoted from his position with Imperial Intelligence and redirected to the Imperial Security Bureau. Zarek was punitively placed on service aboard the second Death Star, the Empire's attempt to rebuild their superweapon after the first was destroyed during the Battle of Yavin three years earlier. Zarek was put in command of logistics and coordination of construction teams, which was deemed to be a low position with no job satisfaction by other members of the Empire. Zarek accepted the position, though he began to plot against the Empire due to his outrage at being punished after one failure.
Having discovered a means of contacting the Rebel Alliance on his previous mission to Hoth, Zarek offered to sabotage the work on the Death Star to give the Alliance a strategic advantage in the Galactic Civil War. In return, Zarek demanded a hefty reward, a high position within the Rebel Alliance, and his own safety. The Alliance accepted, and Zarek began his plans. Redirecting construction teams to areas already constructed from inside the system was a common method Zarek used to hinder Imperial construction plans. However, when Darth Vader, a Sith Lord and important member of the Empire, visited the station in 4 ABY, he witnessed the sabotage attempts. Using the Force, Vader eventually discovered that Zarek was behind the sabotages and arrested him.
Personality and traitsEdit
He's good. If he weren't so arrogant he'd be great...
—A tutor at the Academy of Carida
Zarek was known by his colleagues for his outspoken demeanor and general will to initiate conversation. In addition, Zarek had a fascination for starships and weaponry. Prior to joining the Academy of Carida, Zarek considered becoming a member of the Imperial Senate and using his speaking prowess. He had a tendency to appear as arrogant to his peers due to his confidence in his own abilities. This was predominantly due to the support he received from various tutors at the Academy of Carida towards his opinion of his own abilities. Zarek was also known by those who served with him for his lack of a strong loyalty towards those he served.
Zarek took very little interest in political affairs after choosing to become a fighter pilot and took even less interest after he left the Academy. This was in contrast to his initial interest in politics, which defused after his choice to join the Academy of Carida. Zarek was also considered by a number of people who knew him to be devoid of morals due to his lack of overall loyalty and indifference to the violent methods employed by the Empire to keep control over its people. Zarek's main issue with the Empire was with its xenophobic ideals. Despite the fact that Zarek was xenophobic towards non-Humans, particularly after Fen's betrayal, Zarek felt that the various Human species were equal amongst one another.
Zarek's personality led many of his working colleagues to see him as manipulative and always having different motives to his plans than would be expected. This also led him to be seen as selfish by his peers.
Talents and abilitiesEdit
I'm good with ships. Always was.
—Zarek on his own abilities
Zarek's primary skill set was his abilities as a pilot. Particularly adept at handling a TIE Fighter, Zarek experienced the piloting of many ships over his career. In addition to this, Zarek's career as a criminal and his training as an Imperial officer led him to gain the skills necessary to operate firearms such as blasters.
Besides the skills he had been trained in, Zarek was considered by his peers to be a natural orator. His peers described him as being able to inspire them to follow him into dangerous situations. This made him a reasonably well-paid employee of the Hutt Cartel when compared to its other employees.
Behind the scenesEdit
Derdram Zarek was a character initially featured in the canon Star Wars film Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back. In The Empire Strikes Back, Zarek appeared simply under the name Derdram. Thomas Rattim, an editor on Star Wars Fanon, the Star Wars wiki of fan invention, expanded upon the character Derdram for an article on the wiki. This entailed giving the character a last name, as well as an expanded storyline that included the canon elements from The Empire Strikes Back.
The last name, Zarek, is a homage to Tom Zarek, a character from the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica television series. The characters of Tom Zarek and Derdram Zarek share a number of similar features, including the fact that they are both portrayed by actor Richard Hatch. In addition, elements of Derdram's personality are similar to those of Tom Zarek in Battlestar Galactica. In Battlestar Galactica, Tom Zarek experienced racial discrimination, just as the young Derdram Zarek did.