• Mattie Stu

Pao's Backstory – Star Wars: Rogue One Lore

The expansion of the Galactic Empire and their resource-hungry military effected the populace of many far-flung worlds, including the amphibious Drabatans of Pipada. To no surprise, this angered many of the native species, but none more so than the thirty-one-year-old Paodok'Draba'Takat, or Pao for short. In fact, so strong was his hatred of the fascist government that he departed his pursuit of engineering to join the Rebel Alliance. However, it was due to his extensive knowledge of structural dynamics that Pao knew exactly where to place charges so to topple Imperial structures. Moreover, the amphibian was a perfect fit for underwater espionage.

The Drabatan was truly unlike any of his fellow SpecForce commandos. For example, he was most often heard muttering oaths and curses in his native tongue, which were superseded by his full-throat war cry of “Sa'kalla!” Pao did have a solid understanding of Basic, though he found it difficult to shape his gaping maw to effortlessly pronounce even the simplest of words. Drabatese, on the other hand, was an incredibly complex language that strung together discrete syllables into cumbersome words, all of which encompassed multilayered ideas. Context, tense and other pieces of grammatical information were determined by volume. So, when circumstances dictated more hushed tones, the Drabatans switched to a secondary form of communication; by passing air through a vocal pouch, the species could produce a softer, croaking sound which varied in pitch. Drabatese love songs, as a result, required no translation due to their haunting beauty. Thankfully, Pao's squadmates allowed him to communicate in his native tongue, since he hardly ever relayed mission-specific instructions. With that being said, his large lungs and strong diaphragm muscles both contributed to Pao's booming voice. These attributes also allowed the Drabatan to hold his breath for large durations of time, making him a seemingly perfect fit for the Battle of Scarif. Unfortunately, as a freshwater amphibiod, Pao did not find the saltwater surroundings of the Imperial stronghold very comforting. This, combined with the overwhelmingly harsh odds of success, did not halt his drive to destroy the Empire's forces, however. Such ferocity and drive fueled the Drabatan right until the very end.

Taking a closer look at his equipment and clothing, Pao donned water-shedding fatigues, replacement galven barrels, folded reed armour from his marshy homeworld, a transmitter antenna with mounted glowrod in armoured sheath, and a tibanna-jacked blaster rifle. Speaking of which, the black-market-acquired weapon came equipped with an external tibanna gas chamber that amped up its destructive output. However, such a powerful modification burned through galven barrels with ease, and thus required constant upkeep.

Now it's time for this week's question: aside from members of the Rogue One team itself, who is your favourite rebel soldier? Let us know in the comments below.

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