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  • Writer's pictureAaron Fonseca

Star Wars: The Kaminoans Didn't Just Make Clones for the Republic

Used to promote the ride of the same name in Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, Star Wars: Flight of the Falcon: The Pirate’s Price is the penultimate installment of the series from the Lucasfilm Publishing group. In the novel, Hondo Ohnaka tells Bazine Netal, a bounty hunter working for the First Order, that he has the Millennium Falcon. However, he insists upon regaling her with three tales of his encounters with the ship before he sells it to her. His tales include Mahjo Reeloo, a young Clone who's working against her creator, and her existence reveals more information about Kaminoan scientists.

Hondo is not necessarily the most reliable narrator for the stories. For instance, presumably, to fend off questions about Mahjo's appearance, Hondo states, "What did she look like? Like any human. She was about so tall. With hair." While this basic description implies that Hondo doesn't really pay attention to human appearances, the true reason for his reluctance to describe Mahjo becomes apparent later: he's planning to con Bazine out of the money for finding the Falcon and needs Mahjo to help with his trickery.

Regardless of Hondo's agenda, the main throughline of the story is probably accurate. At first, Hondo views Mahjo as a damsel in distress, but he quickly learns that she has specialized training in fighting and can defend herself. She hires Han Solo and Chewbacca to transport her to one of Dandu's moons, and Hondo joins in on the mission after he unsuccessfully tries to steal the Falcon. In Hondo's recounting of the tale, Mahjo labels herself a "scoundrel," and she tries to fit that persona initially. She tricks Hondo, Han Solo and Chewbacca into helping her with the promise of a payout of Novian rubies only to later reveals that they were a ruse. Her real mission is to make sure that her former employer, rogue Kaminoan scientist Kolac Pru, doesn't replicate and sell thornsuckle plants, a deadly, nearly extinct species that can be particularly lethal in biological warfare. Fortunately, despite her deception, Hondo, Han and Chewbacca all agree to help after they learn about the truly deadly consequences of the thornsuckle.

The mission is personal to Mahjo because she's one of two Clones that were created to help Kolac Pru with his research, something she is reluctant to share with Hondo. The fact that she is a Clone makes her rebellion against Kolac Pru even more impressive, especially since she's working against years of training and conditioning to protect the galaxy. The nature of her birth becomes apparent when the group confronts Kolac Pru and meets her fellow clone. While the two could just be twins, Han immediately points out that Mahjo and the other woman, who Hondo labels "Evil Mahjo," are both clones. While Mahjo fights off her counterpart, Hondo implies that she died along with Kolac Pru when she destroyed the thornsuckle plant.

Of course, Hondo is lying about Mahjo's death, and in the present timeline of the novel, she poses as Bazine's mystery contact and gets the Falcon and a sizable payout to split with Hondo. Throughout the end of the novel and in the subsequent issue of Star Wars Adventures, Hondo and Mahjo's bond is apparent, and they reference many of the events that he describes in his tales. These present day scenes show that most of the information Hondo presented was probably true, even if he embellished some facts.

This means that Mahjo is actually a Clone, and her existence opens up new questions about the Kaminoans before and after the Empire's rise. In most cases, the Kaminoan government created Clones for a particular buyer, usually from a government. However, through the character of Mahjo Reeloo, Anders reveals that some Kaminoans created Clones for their own purposes and that they were using other sources for DNA. The novel also hints that rogue Kaminoan scientists may have continued their practices even after the cloning facilities were decommissioned. Hondo's tale takes place slightly after Solo: A Star Wars Story, and most Kaminoan Clones come of age at about ten years old. Hondo describes Mahjo as a "young woman," but her true age is never revealed. While she could've been created right around the end of the Clone Wars, her age is unknown, meaning there's a chance she was created afterward.

So, while Hondo's tales may just seem like fun romps to close out the Flight of the Falcon series, Mahjo's story is relevant to the larger franchise, especially Star Wars: The Bad Batch. The series deals with the fallout from the Empire's rise, which includes the effects on the Clones outside of Clone Force 99. Because of The Bad Batch's secondary focus on Kamino, as the series continues, fans may get more backstory on these other Clones as the Kaminoans desperately try to retain their relevance in the galaxy.

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