Rise of Skywalker’s Sith Assassin Is Older Than You Think
The assassin who is revealed to have murdered Rey’s parents in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker might be a peripheral character in that film, but the Sith hitman has become an established figure whose history spans most of the Skywalker saga. Since Ochi of Bestoon’s introduction into the Star Wars universe in 2019, his story during the years of Empire rule has been fleshed out. This is especially true of the comics, which have highlighted Ochi’s history and impact on the franchise’s overarching narrative.
It has been revealed in the novel Brotherhood that the Sith assassin had been working for Emperor Palpatine for decades before he met his end in the silent sands of Pasaana where Rey finds his skull, dating back to the Clone Wars. Ochi hunted Sith artifacts and Jedi for years, before receiving a new task from Darth Sidious once the Jedi were defeated to test Darth Vader’s faith in the dark side. This reveal suggests Ochi was far older than originally believed. Additionally, given Ochi’s involvement in searching for Rey on behalf of her resurrected grandfather Palpatine, it means that while the assassin was almost entirely absent from the Skywalker saga itself, he was a key figure in Star Wars canon.
How exactly Ochi came to work for the Sith has yet to be clarified, as is how he became such a proficient assassin. While born on Bestoon during the Republic era, his exact species and age are also unknown. However, Ochi’s lengthy career in the Siths’ service has led to one theory that he is of the same species as Maz Kanata, given both their similarities in appearance and long life span.
Ochi rose to be a member of the Assassin’s Guild and hunter of Sith arcana, a devotee of the dark side. He came into Palpatine’s direct employment around the time of the Clone Wars, where Ochi hunted down Jedi including Mace Windu’s apprentice Depa Billaba, though he was foiled in this assassination by Windu’s intervention. In Marvel’s Darth Vader comics, the Emperor tasks Ochi with hunting Darth Vader to test the strength of his dark side allegiance. After both one-ups the other, they come into an uneasy alliance. Vader confronts Sidious on the Sith Citadel on Exegol about his perceived betrayal but acquiesces to his Master after realizing even he cannot compete with such power.
Ochi then goes into Vader’s employment as the Empire begins to hunt down the Crimson Dawn crime syndicate. After encountering Qi’ra, Ochi begins playing both sides, switching allegiances depending on which way the pendulum of power in Star Wars’ underground swings. His relationship with Vader and the Empire deteriorates before the Sith Lord’s death in Return of the Jedi. Still, Ochi returns to Palpatine’s service during the New Republic era to murder Rey’s parents and attempt to murder Rey with the same dagger Rey discovers on his corpse in The Rise of Skywalker. Ochi would die on that planet attempting to flee Luke Skywalker, bringing his surprisingly long life to its conclusion.