Your mother was...she was fire, ad'ika. The first time I saw her, she was laying into some barve that had made the mistake of not condemning Death Watch hard enough. I think I knew right then—just listening to her speak, with such raw passion—that I was in love. I wanted her in my life, no matter how unlikely that seemed.
—Caul Itera, speaking to his daughter about her mother, Edeema
Edeema Deshra was a human female Mandalorian, born on Mandalore's moon, Concordia, in the year 77 BBY. The daughter of rural farmers, young Edeema spent her days in the Concordian countryside helping her family tend the fields, but spent her nights dreaming of distant Mandalore. After a trip to Keldabe, Mandalore's capital city, when she was twelve years old—the first time Edeema had ever set foot on the Mandalorian homeworld—Edeema knew that was where she wanted to live. Years later, after passing her verd'goten trials and becoming an adult, Edeema left the Deshra farm on Concordia behind, joining several members of her extended family in Keldabe. Teaming with a beloved cousin, she became a mercenary, selling her services across the Trans-Hydian borderlands in a career that earned them both no shortage of credits or stories with which to regale their family. Edeema's parents were proud of their daughter, and after purchasing a ship of her own, she was able to return and visit the old farmstead often.
In 49 BBY, while overseeing a job in the small town of Shoriya, Edeema met the New Mandalorian trader Caul Itera at a local tapcaf. Despite some initial reservations about getting involved with a New Mandalorian, Edeema and Caul soon fell in love, and the two had a brief but heated affair that resulted in the birth of a baby girl they named Ezgi. Due to the current state of Mandalore, fractured by civil war, as the violent radicals of Death Watch clashed with the True Mandalorian army, it was decided with great reluctance that Caul would take Ezgi to live with him in Sundari, the peaceful New Mandalorian capital, where the city's protective black dome would keep her safe from the growing conflict. Edeema knew it would be some time before she would see her daughter again, as the New Mandalorian government refused any member of the traditional warrior clans entry to their capital, but ultimately Ezgi's safety took priority.
As years passed, and the war between Death Watch and Mand'alor Jango Fett's supercommandos only ignited new conflict over the New Mandalorian faction's place in larger Mandalorian society, Edeema came to deeply regret her decision. Watching her daughter grow up over the holocomm was almost unbearable, and though Caul did his best with the girl, it was no secret that she lived as an outcast among the isolationist sect. Edeema made the most of whatever time she got with Ezgi, teaching her what she could—Concordian, dadita, the Dha Werda Verda—and offering her a sympathetic ear after a hard day. Over time, she began taking fewer far-flung jobs, determined to always be available if ever Ezgi should comm, a decision that meant she was close at hand on the day when her daughter commed to tell her Caul had died in a speeder accident.
Though they had never married, Edeema had loved Caul even after so many years apart, and was stricken by his sudden death. Worse, however, was the news that the New Mandalorian government planned to have Ezgi placed with another New Mandalorian family in Sundari, rather than see her returned to her mother. When all attempts to contact any of the government's many ministers went unanswered, Edeema rallied every member of Clan Deshra she could muster and marched on the docks of the domed city, making it clear in no uncertain terms that if the New Mandalorians refused to release Ezgi by day's end, it would mean war with the Deshra clan and its allies. So soon after the end of the Great Clan Wars, the latest crowned ruler of the New Mandalorians—the self-styled duchess, Satine Kryze—refused to see hostilities arise anew, and personally oversaw the delivery of both Ezgi and a casket baring Caul's remains to the docks of Sundari. Reunited with her daughter, peace was upheld, and the Deshra clan returned to Keldabe. The following day, Caul Itera was cremated on the banks of the Kelita River, and his spirit was committed to the manda by Edeema and their daughter.
Edeema was keen to make up for lost time with her daughter, and delighted in introducing Ezgi to the world outside Sundari, as well as her new, expansive clan. Ezgi, in turn, quickly took to Mandalorian life, and asked her mother to train her according to tradition. Though she was years behind other children her age, Edeema gladly agreed, and by the time Ezgi was sixteen-years-old, she had triumphantly emerged from her verd'goten as a legal Mandalorian adult. By then, mother and daughter had grown close, and despite Ezgi's decision that her mother's soldier-for-hire lifestyle wasn't for her, Edeema continued to support and guide her daughter as she sought to make her own future, just as her parents had done for her.
Behind the scenes
Edeema Deshra was created and developed by writer Ezgi Deshra, the main character and reader companion in her 2017 online tour piece, " ."as a key element in the backstory of
Deshra's first name, Edeema, is derived from the Mando'a word edeemir, meaning "to bite." The name is meant to be representative, both in-universe and out, of her forceful personality. Mesharad envisioned actress Tia Carrere—best known for her role as Sydney Fox in the television series Relic Hunter, and as the voice of Nani Pelekai in the Lilo and Stich Disney franchise—in the role of Edeema. To that end, the image of Deshra seen in this article was achieved through image editing, combining a photo of Carrere with a stock image of Jango Fett's armor from the StarWars.com Databank.
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