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Star Wars ABCs: D is for Doctor Aphra

Star Wars

Star Wars ABCs: D is for Doctor Aphra

Meet the galaxy’s best archeologist.

Star Wars ABCs is a fun 26-part series that partners Star Wars with your ABCs to introduce you to characters, droids, places, and creatures from every era of the franchise, including the newest venture into a galaxy far, far away — The High Republic.

D is for Doctor Aphra

Doctor Aphra

Disney – Marvel

Listen to the latest episode of our Star Wars podcast, Talkin' Tauntauns!

Doctor Chelli Lorna Aphra was a human female criminal archeologist who also wore that hats of slicer, smuggler, thief, professor, and mercenary for hire during the reign of the Galactic Empire. She is expected to have survived the fall of the Empire and rise of the New Republic, but this has yet to be officially confirmed in canon.

Aphra had medium length black hair that was almost always hidden beneath an aviator style hat, which had flight goggles attached to it. The good doctor also sported fingerless gloves, black boots, a red/brown vest, and a belt and blaster holster, which held a DL-44 heavy blaster pistol, the same weapon favored by Tobias Beckett, Hondo Ohnaka, and Han Solo. Perhaps one of her most unique features were her electro-tattoos on her right arm, which were noteworthy for their visual design and capability of carrying data.

In addition to being acknowledged as an expert in ancient history and locating lost civilizations, the rogue archeologist was also extremely well versed in droid and weapon technologies, as well as Jedi artifacts. To get from one adventure to the next Aphra relied on her starship the Ark Angel, a Bellicose-class heavy lifter that she heavily modified to include a variety of weapon systems, enhanced sensors, and a powerful hyperdrive. The ship was destroyed and renamed several times, with three versions of it known to have existed.

Accompanying Aphra on many of her missions and adventures were two droids: 0-0-0, aka Triple-Zero or Trip, and BT-1, or Bee Tee. Triple-Zero was a black protocol droid with red eyes who specialized in etiqueete, translation, and torture–which he delighted in performing. Bee Tee was a homicidal assassin droid created by the Empire’s Tarkin Initiative who possessed an array of combat capabilities and was eqipped with flame throwers, rocket launchers, blaster rifles, melee weapons, and rocket boosters.

Aphra had a very difficult childhood during which her father was almost always absent, and at a young age she witnessed her mother’s death at the hands of raiders. The trauma of these events gave her a number of mental issues which contributed to her being wildly unpredictable, selfish, obsessive, a compulsive liar, and more or less morally bankrupt. On the other side of the coin, she was also brilliant, extremely resourceful, driven, and had a streak of nobility from time-to-time.

Due to her delightful personality, the rogue archeologist possessed quite the swagger and roguish behavior. This led to a number of flings, as well as two serious relationships in which she claims to have been in love: one with Magna Tolvan; former Imperial Officer turned Rebel, and one with Sana Starros; a mercenary and scholar who later worked with the Rebel Alliance. Doctor Aphra is one of the few gay characters in Star Wars, and the first to have their own comic book series and audiobook.

Aphra’s first notable interaction with the top powers in the galaxy came when Darth Vader hired her to help him locate a number of items across the galaxy on missions that were kept secret from the Emperor. She eventually betrayed both Vader and the Empire and had a huge bounty placed on her head. This lead to her working with the Rebel Alliance, notably Han Solo, Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia. During this time she was sent to prison, escaped, fell in love with an Imperial Officer, survived an encounter with an ancient vampire-like creature alongside Luke Skywalker, captured General Hera Syndulla, and her own droids turned against her. Finally, in an act of desperation, she faked her own death to allow her to cut times with everyone that cared for her so that she could get back to doing what she did best, archeology and stealing.

You can follow Doctor Aphra on her adventures around the galaxy in her very own comic book.

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