Edge of the Empire
Pash Velari stands a modest 1.7 meters. He has an athletic build and a mop of Tatooine-colored hair. His skin seems permanently stained to the color of sand by a thousand open-shielded ground flights, making his broad smile cut a pearly slice across his face.
Pash’s eyes possess what pilots call “the parsec stare.” His mind is literally in the clouds and his easy smile actually hides the truth that he’s probably only half-aware of his earthly surroundings.
Pash has a tendency to unconsciously shift his body in tiny, subtle movements while standing still, leaning into banks and g-forces that are playing out in his imagination. His feet may be grounded, but his attention is on the state of the atmosphere – and the fastest way to break it.
When he’s on the ground, Pash enjoys going with the flow. He rarely takes an adversarial stance in social settings, has little advice to give, and seldom asks anything of others. He can’t really fight, has never read anything beyond flight instructions and cargo manifests, and looks at galactic politics the way a womp rat might look at a hyper drive.
But when he’s behind a flight stick, whether in a screaming podracer or a zero-g dogfight, Pash becomes all raw nerves and grit. Suddenly his perception is sharp, his decisions are swift and his intentions are clear – to win… or burn trying.
Pash Velari was the ninth son of Kalin Velari, a second-rate junk-dealer in Mos Espa on Tatooine. Kalin “hired out” his many children as provisos to trade contracts, so Pash grew up failing at a wide variety of trades. It wasn’t until his late teens that Pash found his calling as a pilot after being offered mentorship by Larso Cursa, an engine specialist and podracing team owner.
Pash raced alongside Cursa’s son Chase, Pash’s best friend. The duo found ways to secretly assist each other mid-race; one often sacrificing his position to advance the other’s. In nearly two decades of racing, Pash won three times at the prestigious Boonta Eve Classic, the largest annual podrace in the galaxy.
Pash’s racing career ended when one of Chase’s maneuvers went wrong. Chase misread Pash’s signal and slingshotted himself to the right instead of the left, which put Chase immediately in the path of an approaching rock formation and stuck Pash with the moniker “Right-Turn Velari.”
Pash blamed himself for the accident, as did Larso Cursa. After the crash, Cursa loudly decried the boys’ attempted maneuver, thus exposing his racers as cheaters. Cheating is common in podracing, but still technically illegal. The race officials took advantage of this technicality, promising swift justice and jail time. Cursa came to his wits and quickly shoved Pash onto Cursa’s own makeshift shuttle. Cursa stayed behind to face his grief and punishment alone.
To this day, Pash carries the weight of Chase’s death and hopes to find a way to pay the debt he owes to his mentor.
Since his escape from Mos Espa, Pash has made his living as a pilot-for-hire who doesn’t ask questions of his clientele. After all, it’s the crew, not the cargo that makes the flight worthwhile.