- "Give me a good ship, a good blaster, and an endless sea of stars to sail through; life doesn’t get much better than that."
- — Tav Garvin
Tav Garvin (14 BBY), part explorer, part rogue, and all Corellian, is a free spirit that enjoys nothing more than roaming the space lanes looking for his next thrill. With his trusty droid and friend, Quex, to keep him in check, Tav is willing to take on just about any challenge.
He takes great pride in his piloting skills and won’t hesitate to boast his abilities as a pilot. Indeed, Tav’s natural talent makes him a pilot to be respected and feared; able to get most starships to perform maneuvers their designers never dreamed possible. He is also quite intelligent, possessing the keen intellect of a scientist when it comes to identifying and cataloguing new specimens. His skill with a blaster is formidable enough to make him a real challenge in a firefight.
Although Tav has discovered that he is Force-sensitive, he adamantly refuses to learn how to develop that power. While he admits it would be useful to have access to Jedi abilities, he feels that the self-control required to attain them is more trouble than it’s worth, especially if he loses control and falls to the Dark Side. To be safe, Tav makes a conscious effort to stay away from anything having to do with the Force if he can help it.
Tav tries to stay on the right side of the law, finding that being on the run is detrimental to his carefree lifestyle, however he isn’t above doing some light smuggling if credits are low. His preferred method of making money is through scouting and exploration. He highly enjoys blazing new trails through hyperspace and finding new planets no space traveler has ever set foot on before.
Over the years, Tav has found himself challenged by hostile aliens, Dark Jedi, criminal organizations, and even the Empire itself. Although he doesn’t always come out on top during these many encounters, he somehow manages to at least make it through alive. Despite the danger, the many close calls that he has endured haven’t dampened his enthusiasm for adventure any.
Tav likes to dress casual and tends to follow the trends favored by most Corellian spacers. However, he is never seen without his trademark piece of attire: a blue piece of cloth emblazoned with the stylized image of a Corellian Sand Panther on the front that he wears as a headband.
His blaster is always close to his side and, although he stays away from the Jedi, Tav keeps a lightsaber that was given to him hidden in an inside pocket of his vest. His skill with the lightsaber isn’t even enough to deflect blaster bolts, but Tav has never been one to ignore a useful piece of technology. With the lightsaber’s renowned ability to cut through most anything, Tav keeps it with him to use as a last resort.
Tav’s early life growing up on Corellia was mostly uneventful. Like a lot of Corellians, Tav was enamored with the stars and all the myriad life it contained. He loved the stories that were told of the legendary of Corellian spacer heroes. Eager to follow in their footsteps, he learned to fire a blaster and pilot a starship as soon as he was old enough.
His father, Gerred Garvin, was a well-known engineer for Industrial Automation and even built a non-standard R2 unit designated QX-1, or Quex, to become the family droid. Although Quex was initially created to help out around the house, the little droid was soon modified to keep watch over a young Tav who was always getting into trouble.
One fateful day Tav’s family received word that pirates destroyed the company transport his father had been on. Tav took it as the sign that it was time for him to leave Corellia and strike out on his own. After the mourning period was over, Tav booked passage for himself and Quex on an outbound freighter and began his life out among the stars.
After leaving Corellia, Tav ended up spending much of his time on Nar Shaddaa in the Corellian sector. There he built up a reputation as an excellent scout and someone willing to take large risks if the job was right. He would also have an encounter with the Jedi, Tulsar Leidias, and help him chase the being known as Sivter off of Nar Shaddaa.
He would also nearly lose his life after defaulting on a contract with the ruthless criminal: Xan Dizon. The job had required Tav to transport a "mystery cargo," but Tav would later discover that the cargo was slaves. Unwilling to be any part of slavery, Tav refused to bring them onboard his ship and returned Xan's investment with interest. However, Xan didn't seem happy until after he destroyed Tav's first ship, a beat-up YT-1210 Light Freighter known as the Lucky Break, nearly killing him and Quex in the process.
Tav’s big break came when a Hutt named Dorval hired Tav to lead an expedition into uncharted Wild Space. Dorval supplied the ship, a YT-2000 dubbed the Tasty Snack, and a crew to fill out the roster. At the start of the journey, the Snack grazed a gravity shadow and was forced to leave hyperspace for repairs. Tav landed the ship on a nearby planet which he would later find out was called Durden by the natives.
Unfortunately, Tav and the crew of the Snack soon found themselves in the middle of a war between the Sages and the monstrous Venix. Although Tav was eventually able to make it off of Durden, not all of the Snack’s crew were so lucky. Tav also took with him the last two surviving Sages, Relic and Nasha, before they could be wiped out with the rest of their race by the Venix.
By the time Tav managed to make it back to the known galaxy, he and the surviving crew made a vow to report the trip as a failure even though they had found a planet. The reason was simple: the Venix were too dangerous to be allowed to have access to space travel. After hiding the two Sages, the crew convinced Dorval that the job had been a wash. The crew then went their separate ways, although the two Sages elected to stay with Tav and Quex.
The Tasty Snack was pretty beat-up after the ordeal and Tav was able to negotiate a good deal to take the YT-2000 off of Dorval’s hands. He and Quex then spent every free credit they had to fix the freighter and make it a ship worthy of any Corellian spacer. Once the Snack was modded out to Tav’s satisfaction, he renamed the ship the Starlight Sled and went freelance after paying off his debt to Dorval.
Always one with an ever-present sense of curiosity, Tav decided to visit Tulsar’s home on Juoi to see what it was like. There he became acquainted with several of Tulsar’s friends and the decision was eventually made that Juoi would be an excellent place for the Sages to start rebuilding their race. He dropped off Relic and Nasha and then said his goodbyes before departing once more for open space.
Unknown to the people of Juoi, Tav would have an unfortunate run-in with Sivter shortly after leaving. It would be months later, during a JSI investigation of an abandoned space station on the edges of Hutt Space that Tav’s body would be found frozen in stasis. Neither Tav or Quex (who had been deactivated) could tell the team what Sivter had wanted from them.
Their answer would not be long in coming. Tulsar arrived on Juoi after Tav’s discovery, and soon after Sivter attacked the planet. In the end, Tav had been used like a piece from a dejarik game to lure Tulsar to Juoi so Sivter could destroy them both in some sadistic plot. As much as he wanted to help his friend, Tav made the tough decision to depart Juoi with Quex rather than get mixed up in the Jedi matters any further. Fortunately Tulsar was able to defeat Sivter without Tav’s help and didn’t bare a grudge against Tav, knowing the Corellian’s stance on being involved with the Force.
Although Tav has always tried to avoid having anything to do with the Force, the mystical energy of the universe would not afford him that luxury. Some time after his stay on Juoi, Tav was contacted by a mysterious man wrapped in bandages that called himself Kaerzan with two startling pieces of information.
According to Kaerzan, Tav was Force-sensitive and, even more startling, his father Gerred, was still alive. The pirates who were said to have killed him had only faked his death. Kaerzan then gave Tav a lightsaber with the advice that it was his destiny to learn the ways of the Force.
To make Tav’s life even more complicated, the planet he was staying on was attacked by the Cult of Shadow, who were searching for him. Much to Tav’s dismay, they killed Kaerzan before he could divulge any further information to Tav about his father. After a series of encounters in which Tav adamantly rejected the cult’s offers to teach him the ways of the Force, Tav was able to drive them from the planet, even managing to kill the leader with his blaster through a clever strategy.
With no leads, and Kaerzan dead, Tav returned to Corellia hoping to find some clues as to what his father had been up to in the days before he died. Unfortunately it was another dead end and he ended up getting involved in the Battle of Corellia. Despite an offer to join the Smuggler’s Alliance following the battle, Tav turned them down and left Corellia dejected, returning to Nar Shaddaa.
On Nar Shaddaa, Tav soon got a job to charter the assassin, Nashka, to the Rodian's corvette. He would find out on the way there that Nashka was being hunted by Xan Dizon. Knowing that he was in hot water with Xan again just for ferrying Nashka, Tav volunteered his services to help the assassin bring Xan down once and for all...