A Galaxy of Possibilities: Discussing Character Writing, Diversity, Star Wars and Fandom – Week 15: Haranea Tarkin

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Haranea Tarkin, The New Republic
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The concept for Haranea came shortly after I created Anne. Originally they shared the same image claim – Majandra Delfino, because Haranea was the clone of Anne’s mother. Haranea was my first clone character – as I now have three of these. At first, Haranea didn’t know much about life, as she stayed with her maker on Bastion when not sent off on secret missions for the Empire. She was indeed created as an imperial weapon by one of their most genius doctors. She came to maturity within a few years and was enhanced, i.e. turned into a cyborg as to make her the most efficient and deadliest possible. She had all limbs and eyes cybernetic, along with internal upgrades, which notably influences her diet. This has always influenced how I write Haranea, because she doesn’t have a body sensitive like a biological one would be, at least in parts. Whenever she is wounded, the pain she can feel also depends on where she got harmed and how she can have greater resilience even if some of her cybernetic parts are damaged.

I knew that Haranea was Force sensitive when I created her, but I didn’t expect the whirlwind that happened in a long thread that was one of her earliest ones. During a mission, she accidentally met a man, one of Tarkin‘s descendants, who also happened to be on the run from the Empire. Despite feeding half truths and some lies about who they really were, the two of them got a rather immediate chemistry and for the first time, Haranea truly discovered what life and love could be. Yet, she promised him that she would fulfill his request and kill him herself before leaving for imperial space again. In the few days they shared, they got married and when she was about to keep her word, they were attacked, because someone mistook her for Anne. Heavily damaged, Haranea was retrieved by an imperial emergency team but wasn’t able to do as she had sworn to.

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Feeling like she had broken an oath, no matter how it wasn’t her fault, Haranea plotted her escape, and much alike to how Anne had deserted, Haranea also ran away in a bloodbath. She knew that the imperials would always be on her tail, that both her husband and her were high on their wanted list, but she was ready to pay whatever price. She reunited with him and they laid low for a few months, before getting into enough trouble that they sought shelter at the Jedi Enclave on Yavin VIII, despite how her husband didn’t want to. They stayed there for a while. Though they had both been accepted for training, Haranea never felt ready to truly begin hers, still feeling like a fraud given the horrible things she had done in her life. She was able to interact with a few Jedi, but she couldn’t bring herself to consider herself a real padawan.

The change of image claim for Haranea happened while she was at the Jedi temple. I had already switched Anne’s, but I hadn’t thought about giving up on Majandra Delfino for Haranea. Yet, the idea hit me while I was watching Once Upon A Time‘s third season. Rebecca Mader felt just right in my head to portray Haranea. So she remained a redhead, but my character went from having a cybernetic red eye and a blue one, to have both cybernetic eyes blue, so she could also blend in better while on the run.

When both her husband and her realized that they weren’t cut to be Jedi, they agreed on leaving for Republic territory, to try to find safety and purpose. Yet, the couple didn’t regret having spent time with the Jedi, for it had been part of their trajectory. Haranea also realized during these few months that – no matter how unlikely it was to happen in a biological way due to her upgraded body – she began to entertain the thought of becoming a mother at some point in the future, should her husband and her find stability and safety.

  • Do you ever write cyborg characters? How did they come to existence?
  • Do you have characters who live as fugitives but can’t seem to find a place to stick around despite several attempts?
  • Do you have characters with special/supernatural abilities who decide not to use their potential?

5 thoughts on “A Galaxy of Possibilities: Discussing Character Writing, Diversity, Star Wars and Fandom – Week 15: Haranea Tarkin

  1. hannahgivens

    I have one character who loses a hand and gets a cybernetic replacement… At first it’s a problem, because his society is paranoid about artificial intelligence and cyborgs, so there are a lot of regulations surrounding prosthetics, and he lost the hand in a battle against cyborgs. But he eventually gets comfortable with it and even gets one of his optic nerves modified to help him communicate with the cyborgs. (I also have a few characters in the cyborg culture, and for them it’s kind of a traditional thing).

    I’ve always liked the idea of people with supernatural powers who decide not to use them, but I usually don’t end up going that route. There’s also a trope of the person getting the supernatural power being the one who doesn’t want it, so a lot of times I end up writing people who are destined for blah-blah-blah and actually are totally on board with it and take their training seriously. So it’s kind of an inside-out version of that. 🙂

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    1. Natacha Guyot Post author

      Thank you for your comment! I find it interesting how your character’s cybernetic replacement was problematic at first because of the culture he lived in. The setting always has an influence on how the characters evolve for sure.

      I agree that going for people with supernatural powers who are on board with it can be great. Most of my Force users are, though I had a few who eventually turned away from it, not just Haranea. 🙂

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  2. Chris Mac

    Well, first time replier here but we are familiar with eachother’s work, ;).

    Cybernetics have always been an interest of mine in roleplaying, whether near or distant future types. The use of Cybernetics is usually to enhance a particular part of you, but in the case I am going to share, which Satkia has had interaction with is my Dark Jedi Rel’Avauld Andross.

    Rel, whose species I have never given, though know he is a purple skinned, red haired, green eyed attractive male (plus pheromones), had the worst childhood of any character I have ever thought up. A birth defect created from genetically altering Rel in his mother’s womb caused his mother to be near instantly eaten alive by a organic eating virus, Rel’Avauld’s father, Se’Verrod only beigg to quickly save his son by putting him in stasis.

    Development on a fully livable area was made for the babe, with an artificial air substitute was made for the growing child. This was to be his ‘prison’ for all his life. The boy was given anything he desired, being the now Prince to the World’s tyrannical Emperor, but the only true thing he desired was his freedom.

    Having nothing but time on his hands he began learning everything he could on a solution to his imprisonment, becominng a technological prodigy. The only way possible at that time was to make some sort of suit for himself to be able traverse in. The development of his first enhancing exoframe was stolen by his father, and used as a battle armour. His made Rel’Avauld furious, thinking his father was deliberately going to lengths to keep him imprisoned.

    He planned his escape, making a second suit out of what he had left, and used it to escape, but the suit was not well enough insulated, and the moment he left his prison, he learned why he was to stay there for ever. The virus began eating away at him from within the suit but at a slower rate, and given his calculations he made while screaming in pain, he knew he only had enough time to collect what he needed for a propper suit for himself.

    Back on the safety of his biohome, Rel’Avauld was horrified to see the damage that had been done to him in the little time he spent gathering parts. He had lost almost all of hia left leg and arm as well as a portion of his lower abdomen and face.

    Time was no longer on his side as he built replacement body parts for the ones he lost, as well as making calculations for what he was going to have to replace by the time his proper suit was made. If you want to know what dedication is, then look at Rel’Avauld, a man who was being eaten alive constantly and still was able to continue and end up saving his own life.

    Unfortunately the process of placing himself into the fully operational suit would come at a heavy cost. Removing the prosthetics and having his body placed into the suit, he began replacing vital organs with mechanical cybernetic replacements, to lower the risk of the virus causing catastrophic damage in the long run. At the beginning, and getting into his first finished suit, Rel’Avauld had lost forty-five percent of his body, replacing them with cybernetic replacements, and at the moment, he has approximately lost eighty-seven percent of his organic material, with upgrades and repairs having to be done.

    It wasn’t until his breakthrough in biomechanical technology research done on Rannon, that he was able to develop a mist that would allow his organic material to stay preserved while doing upgrades and repairs in his lab.

    Now, Rel’Avauld can be seen outside of his armor, but he looks more like a mechanical skeleton in a dark robe wearing a mask, with only a part of his skull, some of his chest, and a few organic bits spread out to be used to access the Force easier, covered safely and preserved.

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    1. Natacha Guyot Post author

      Thank you for stopping by! I’m happy to read more about your characters! And I think that the first of yours I might have really interacted with was Rel. You do a great job with all of them, both in how their storyline impacts them and how the actual backgrounds. Thank you very much for sharing that much and that reminds me that we should write more together! 🙂

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  3. Pingback: A Galaxy of Possibilities: Discussing Character Writing, Diversity, Star Wars and Fandom – Week 26: Syrenia Renkl | Natacha Guyot

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