Star Wars spotlight: The Hackers, or Slicers of the Star Wars galaxy


Let’s take a closer look at the hackers, or slicers, of the Star Wars Universe!

From the seedy lower levels of Coruscant to the palaces of Naboo and the forgotten temples of Yavin IV, data changes hands quickly in the Star Wars galaxy. Those who have the skills to tap into these streams of data can quite literally change the world. Count Dooku and the Separatists did it to send propaganda to support their side on the Republic’s HoloNet.

Countless rogues, scoundrels, rebels and resistance operatives have done it in the fight against the Empire (or at least its various police forces). The tools used are as varied as the slicers themselves, and many have a preference for some pretty crazy future tech.

Zaluna Myder

Photo Credit: Lucasfilm

Fans of the current-canon novels or Star Wars: Rebels are likely to know about Zaluna, the slicer who claimed to know nothing about slicing in Star Wars: A New Dawn while all the time carving her way through Imperial code to assist Hera Syndulla and Kanan Jarrus in the earliest days of the Rebellion.

Zaluna’s favored form of slicing involved tapping directly into terminals using a datapad and sophisticated software. Using systems much like the data ports on droids, which have proven compatible with everything from starships to Death Star dungeons, her tools let her quickly access, skim data from and even alter records or code in Imperial databases.

Sabine Wren

Photo Credit: Lucasfilm

Perhaps second only to Boba Fett as everyone’s favorite Mandalorian, Sabine Wren demonstrated many skills necessary for a member of the fledgling Rebellion in Rebels. She was a master of the Mandalorian jetpack and WESTAR-35 blasters at a fairly young age, knew Imperial vessels inside and out, and she could even slice into key systems when the need arose.

Sabine took slicing wireless with the wrist-mounted computers in her Mandalorian gauntlets. With these advanced tools, she broke the code in mind-altering slave implants, freeing a Rodian mentally enslaved by the Empire for data crunching, and prepared the data spike that Chopper would use to hack the HoloNets in a similar fashion to how Dooku’s scientists once gained access. Sabine only used these skills for the good of her people and her family, making her an ethical slicer but still a criminal in the eyes of the Empire.

The Master Codebreaker and DJ

Photo Credit: Lucasfilm

Star Wars: The Last Jedi brought us a peek at slicers after the fall of the Empire and the rise of the First Order. The Master Codebreaker is a long-time associate of Maz Kanata, and apparently, a slicer who can do wonderful things with his hands. We didn’t inquire further, and fans only got a quick glimpse of him before Rose and Finn found their way into the cells of Canto Bight on a charge of illegal parking.

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It was in those cells they discovered a second codebreaker. A slicer who never gives his name but provides insight to his code of honor: “Live Free, Don’t Join.” DJ, as we’ve come to know him, isn’t exactly the posh and debonair codebreaker of Maz’s dreams.

He’s apparently still got the skills to hack into major Imperial vessels … and all the morals of Hondo Ohnaka.

The DJ: Most Wanted comic books shed a bit more light on the favored tools and techniques of the scoundrel. He’s a coder par excellence who makes his own slicing tools, including slicer viruses stored on metal keys in his possession and individual scramble keys for specific systems.

He’s rarely found at a computer of any kind, preferring to keep a set of the metal tools handy as they don’t appear to be anything special to the untrained eye. And yes, those letters on his helmet in the previews and toys do, in fact, say “Don’t Join”[sic] in Aurebesh.

It’s likely that many slicers in Star Wars make use of planned obsolescence to slice into systems where they don’t belong. We see this again and again throughout the stories.

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Finn even mentions the constant code and security changes on the best Imperial vessels, proving that someone in the Empire has been paying attention to the damage done by easily accessible terminal ports on vital installations. Still, no lock can stop a determined slicer, and these characters and tools are likely to continue to feature more and more in the stories to come.