The Star Wars universe is, at a glance, completely populated by daring Jedi Knights, scheming Sith Lords, nefarious bounty hunters, and other extraordinary figures living the most exciting lives we can imagine. We all know Luke Skywalker started as a farm kid and Rey scraped by as a scavenger, but that’s not what we remember about them at their journeys’ end. And we certainly never stop to wonder who did their taxes.
There was a whole movie about a taxation dispute vis-à-vis free trade, and yet we never once see a single financial professional in the Star Wars films. Or…do we? (We do.)
Behind every Tatooine daimyo plotting in the underworld, there is at least one deft accountant plotting his deductions and burying illicit income. We can all dream of saving the galaxy, but to those who don’t make it, well, there are other employment opportunities. Here are some of the dullest occupations in the galaxy, far from the excitement and glamor of being a Rebel pilot or an Imperial stormtrooper or an internet blogger.
Tessek the Accountant
As a child, I was the proud owner of a Tessek action figure. “Squid Head” did not have much to do in Return of the Jedi, so my Tessek would sort of just play the role of a generic criminal adversary to the good guys. He had a lot of badass adventures clutched in my fist, battling the Jedi as the fate of the galaxy hung in the balance. Now that I have read a little more about his exploits in actual Star Wars storytelling, though, I know the only thing he’s ever balanced is a checkbook.
In “A Free Quarren in the Palace,” a short story penned by the late Dave Wolverton for the 1995 short story collection Tales from Jabba’s Palace, we explore the depths of Tessek’s calculating (hey, literally) mind as he plots to assassinate Jabba. Did he have ambitions of ruling the Hutt’s felonious empire himself? Not exactly. Caught up among Jabba’s extralegal enterprises were several legitimate businesses. Tessek’s intention was to sell off the criminal ventures to Jabba’s rival, while keeping only the lawful assets for himself. I now understand why The Book of Tessek has not been picked up by Disney+ (as of this writing).
After Jabba’s death, this plan would be foiled when he was forced to join the B’Omarr Monks, where I choose to assume he lived out his days advising the order on how to keep its tax-exempt religious status in a changing galaxy.
Hermione Bagwa, Waitress
There are duller places to work in customer service than the Coco Town neighborhood of Coruscant. (I am a freelance internet writer – trust me on that.) And yet to the workaday folks who keep the food moving and the diner jukebox grooving, a job is a job. Sure enough, as the galaxy-changing search for Kamino arrives on the doorstep of Dex’s Diner in the form of Obi-Wan Kenobi himself seeking answers in Attack of the Clones, the indifferent head waitress Hermione Bagwa just polishes a glass with her uncharacteristically earthly dress.
Everyone remembers Dexter Jettster, the four-armed proprietor of this galactic greasy spoon, hiking up his pants and regaling Kenobi with tales of cloners beyond the stars. And who can forget Flo, his WA-7 waitress droid wheeling about the diner and shouting orders into the kitchen? According to a 2003 issue of The Official Star Wars Fact File, Hermione would sure like to. Flo was known to run over her toes, jealous that a living being with so little food service experience could be head waitress at the establishment. The roleplaying supplement Coruscant and the Core Worlds tells us that years after Dex’s retirement, the diner had come into Hermione’s possession. Flo’s whereabouts are unknown.
Clegg Holdfast, Sports Blogger
I think we all agree that blogging is literally the most important job on the planet and that many bloggers, especially Star Wars humor bloggers, should be compensated significantly more and be exalted to a place of high societal status hitherto afforded only to monarchs and gods. That said, not all bloggers are created equal, and many are downright insufferable. With his racing medals pinned to his chest, we can take a guess as to which of these categories suits Clegg Holdfast, correspondent for Podracing Quarterly.
In a scene cut from the theatrical release of The Phantom Menace (but restored to home releases), Sebulba destroys Clegg’s Podracer during the second lap of the race, incinerating his hopes of victory as well as most of his dignity. But Clegg the keyboard jockey finishes off his self-respect himself when, after his recovery from injuries sustained in the crash, he uses contacts in the media to alter the published records of the Boonta Eve Classic, falsifying a finishing time for himself. At least he had enough humility to only give himself seventh place.
Garn Stewer, Head of Maintenance
Imagine life at Rebel Alliance headquarters. There is not a soul among us who has not envisioned themselves racing across the hangar deck, bounding into a X-wing starfighter, and taking to the stars to fight for freedom. But there is at least one among us who tempered his expectations and decided he was content to just perform routine maintenance on those X-wings for bigger dreamers, and his name is Garn Stewer, seen hustling around the base in the first act of Rogue One.
Much like residents of the state of New Jersey, Rebel pilots simply do not have time to fuel up their own ships. Those astromech droids don’t load themselves up, either, because George Lucas did not decide they could fly until he went back to make the prequels. This is where the Rebel ground crew, under the leadership of no less a mechanic than chief technician Stewer himself, come in, living in the shadows of both Rebel heroes and massive egg-shaped helmets alike. Although their jobs seem menial on the surface, the Rebellion would be grounded without their labor, and their proximity to galaxy-changing events has to be exciting on some level. Perhaps the stories his father recounted to him are why Garn Stewer Jr., son of the hero of both this paragraph and the Rebellion, is glimpsed in the background of The Rise of Skywalker as an A-wing pilot.
I think we can all learn something from this. No matter our profession and no matter our lot in life, we all have a shot at renown and greatness, whether it be through ourselves or through working for a better life for our children. All it takes is tenacity, character, and the good fortune to be featured in a Star Wars Visual Guide or roleplaying supplement.