Note: There are no The Force Awakens spoilers in this article…that I know of.
See that character above? The female one. The one sprawled out on that big guy’s lap. That’s Bazine Netal. Say hi. But be nice. If she doesn’t like you, she might just rip out your trachea.
She preferred her work like she preferred her clothes: tidy, no nonsense, a good fit, and ready to burn if she had to run.
Bazine appeared in the above photo as part of a Vanity Fair photo spread for The Force Awakens that featured a motley crew of aliens, mercenaries, and other unsavory characters. She was just one of many unfamiliar (but intriguing) faces, and she’s since become one of two to get a name.
And now she’s the first to get a bit of backstory. Out today is the ebook-only short story “The Perfect Weapon” by Delilah S. Dawson.
Set shortly before the events of The Force Awakens, “The Perfect Weapon” opens in an oddly familiar place. We may be on an unfamiliar planet (Chaaktil), but we’re inside a seedy cantina that feels right at home. Bazine Netal is a take-no-prisoners, tough-as-they-come bounty hunter. She’s a master of disguise and cares about no one but herself. But suddenly, she’s thrust into a job for an unknown employer and forced to take on an inexperienced sidekick for reasons beyond her control.
Saying more about the plot would really enter spoiler territory – but only because the story is so short. But I will say that monster flying insects are involved.
Friendly tip, though? That’s not black lipstick she’s wearing. You really don’t want to kiss her.
“People who kiss me,” she purred, all breathy, “end up on the floor. Some for a few hours, some for a few days. Some never recover.”
“The Perfect Weapon” clocks in at about 57 pages, and for $1.99, you really can’t go wrong. Bazine is definitely reminiscent of Asajj Ventress, so if that’s your cup of tea, you’ll find a lot to like here.
This story also makes it clear that even though Disney and Lucasfilm wiped away more than 30 years of Expanded Universe stories, they’re still planning to delve into the histories and backstories of even the most background of characters. This short story feels like a natural extension of the stories from the Tales books (e.g., Tales from the Mos Eisley Cantina, Tales of the Bounty Hunters), which were also preoccupied with the backgrounds of characters that enjoyed mere seconds of screen time.
Granted, I have no idea what role Bazine will play in The Force Awakens (if any), and I have no idea how this story will tie into the events of the film, but she first appeared as a face in a crowd in a magazine spread, so I’m betting that she’s not too integral to the story.
“The Perfect Weapon,” though, is a lot of fun. Bazine is a dangerous character who’s fun to follow, and for a couple bucks and about an hour or two of your time? You simply can’t go wrong. Did I mention the monster flying insects?