That’s me. Visionary director, award-winning producer, expert holograph signer, and uh, currently worried about his future job prospects.
—Taelros Bac on himself
Taelros Bac was a man of many talents and many infamous exploits throughout his life, many of which proved to hinder his ambitions and dreams. His life began in 37 BBY when Taelros was born in Aldera, the capital city of Alderaan, much like generations of his family before him, though the details of his family’s history are mostly unknown. Not much is known about the accomplishments of the Bac family, but rumors and intrigue seem to abound in most of the stories told about them.
From a very young age, Taelros had an active imagination, always thinking up new stories and trying to gain accolades and awards. He won some awards and failed to gain others throughout his early career, but he always pressed on. He came to be fascinated by the Great Schism of thousands of years earlier, when a Sith Lady briefly controlled the galaxy under the rule of a Sith Empire some decades after the Jedi Civil War. Many historical details of the war had been lost to the ages, which made it all the more fascinating to the adolescent young Taelros. He wanted to fill in the blanks for himself, and so he began formulating ideas for an epic story about the war. For years, however, nothing came of them aside from a contest in his schooling where his story beat out a persistent rival to win the best student story in a writing contest. As Taelros's rival was a man who bitterly detested him, the young Bac felt vindicated, but after having won his award, he abandoned the idea of being a writer.
Instead, Taelros decided to put his ideas off to the side and began pursuing a political career. He studied Intragalactic Relations at the University of Alderaan before moving onto the Emperor Palpatine School of Law at the University of Coruscant. Coruscant was much different than Alderaan, so he was immediately taken aback by the sheer size and scope of the city planet. It took him awhile to get used to it, but he eventually did. He came to feel at home on Coruscant, though part of him would always fondly yearn for the days when he lived on Alderaan.
After graduating from law school in 12 BBY, Taelros returned to his homeworld to serve as an intern in the offices of Bail Prestor Organa, Alderaan’s representative in the Imperial Senate. He began thinking very highly of himself, unknowingly letting his newfound political career go to his head and cause him to think more of himself than he should have. Nevertheless, it rarely impacted his work, save for the few occasions when other interns and aides would dare question his commitment to working for Senator Organa. He would often dream of completing his epic saga, one he felt was the likes of which the galaxy had never seen, but he continued to work in his political career, thinking that he was more fit for politics than writing.
Taelros worked for Organa for a number of years, but, in 5 BBY, he was offered a full-time paying position as aide to Pooja Naberrie, the recently appointed Senator of Naboo and niece of the famed Naboo queen and senator Padmé Amidala. Taelros knew that this was the perfect opportunity for him to chart an even greater political career, potentially even becoming a representative himself, so he accepted the offer and moved to Naboo where he began work immediately.
When he first began working for Senator Naberrie, Taelros had very little interaction with the young and inexperienced politician. Nevertheless, he found himself attracted to her, and he felt a connection to her every time they were together. Unknown to him at the time was that she felt the same attraction, though neither of them acted on it, believing that such a relationship would be inappropriate. Taelros eventually found out about the senator’s feelings, however, when he was unexpectedly offered a promotion in her staff, which he believed was based on their attraction to one another as opposed to his actually meeting the qualifications. Not wanting to find himself in a conflict of interest, Taelros declined the offer and resigned from her staff, hoping that he would be able to return to work in the Alderaan governmental offices.
Before Taelros could be rehired on Alderaan, however, he had a change of heart. Now unemployed, he believed that this would be the perfect opportunity to begin work on his epic saga, which he came to call the Chronicles of the Great Schism. The story, which was to be told over seven holodramas, was lacking a mythic touch, however, so he returned to the University of Coruscant to attend classes on classical ancient mythology where he hoped to gain an insight into it. Despite attending the classes, however, he was initially having trouble coming up with the ideas for the saga. That is, until, he started looking at his own surroundings. People he knew, professors he spoke with, passersby on the streets, they all inspired him. Many random people provided the basis for his characters, and so many things they said ended up becoming elements of his story. Taelros’ great saga was finally coming together, despite the fact that he had almost no credits to his name and his script was finished in rough form in 4 BBY after at least five rewrites. The funds he had accumulated from his political career had quickly diminished, leaving him working part-time at a diner in order to pay his mounting bills.
He had an additional problem: no one wanted to produce the holos. He pitched his idea to every major holodrama studio in the region, but no one believed he was capable of producing the saga because of his lack of experience in the profession and his seemingly flighty nature. As creatively brilliant as he was, Taelros tended to be long-winded, but also had difficulty articulating his ideas so that others could understand him. Refusing to be dismayed, Taelros chose to become an independent holomaker instead, but he still needed a donation to help him produce the first piece. Therefore, he took his plea to the only person he believed would give him such a donation: Senator Naberrie. It took him weeks to muster the courage (and the credits) to call her, but he did eventually do so.
The senator was, initially, very reluctant to donate her own money for a project of such scale and scope that seemed to have no chance at succeeding, but Taelros was able to convince her anyway. She donated the money and Taelros immediately began working on putting together his team for producing the story, even though no one who worked with him believed it would be even remotely successful. Once they began production, however, some of the crew members believed to think differently. Senator Naberrie visited the production at one point and was impressed by what she had seen, but she’d specifically come to see Taelros.
One night after production had ended for the day, the two ended up stopping by the senator's hotel room and Taelros spent the night with her. The next morning, a hotel guest saw Taelros exiting the senator’s room, and immediately spun a web of rumors after reporting to the press that the senator who donated money to Taelros was also his lover. This set off a firestorm in the press about a potential senatorial sex scandal, with many in the media suggesting that Naberrie had given Taelros only because of their relationship, despite this being untrue. Naberrie's approval ratings on Naboo took a hit and she was forced to make a number of public appearances to address the issue despite there being many other issues that she needed to tackle in the Senate. The suggestion was made that Naberrie's scandal was in large part overblown by the Imperial media as an attempt to punish her for her occasionally vehement stances against the actions of Palpatine.
The sex scandal lasted for months, and it plagued Taelros throughout filming. He loved attention and relished it as much as he could, but he wasn’t able to deal with so much negative press. One particularly adamant reporter even called into question Bac's commitment to the arts due to his distraction with the scandal, provoking an angry response from the director. Instead of focusing on the scandal, however, he focused on producing the best holodrama he could. It was here that he developed the mentality that the show must go on, no matter what problems occurred during any given production. During this time, Taelros and Naberrie broke off their relationship and agreed to remain close friends, not wanting to find themselves in any scandalous situations in the future. Naberrie had just barely escaped it with her political career intact.
Finally, one year after production began, Chronicles of the Great Schism: The Legend of the Mystical Sith Medallion premiered in 2 BBY. Contrary to all expectations from virtually anyone who knew of its production, it received rave reviews. Taelros, however, was criticized by some reviewers who felt that some scenes were too risqué, believing that they did nothing more than add needless sexual content. Nevertheless, he refused to tone such content down in the resulting sequels, which he paid for with his own money that he gained from the film after paying Naberrie back for her donation, and in some instances the risqué content only increased.
This approach worked for him for the first two holodramas and as the Galactic Civil War escalated, a war-weary public turned to his holodramas in order to escape the realities of war. The second holodrama, Chronicles of the Great Schism: The Healing Crystal, premiered in 1 BBY and was quite popular. Flushed with success, Taelros quickly drafted Chronicles of the Great Schism: Rift of the Bendu in just three weeks and began producing it, returning most of his cast.
It was at that point that things began to turn for him. The Imperial Security Bureau took a look at his script and decided it portrayed an organization similar to the Jedi in too positive of a light. Overnight, all his big-name actors mysteriously withdrew from the project. Bac hastily rewrote the script yet again to in order to satisfy the censors, but the damage was done. His production company rushed the holodrama and a flustered Bac was physically ill through most of production due to illness. The resulting product was an utter failure with the public, with one particularly noted Coruscant critic blasting the holodrama for its wooden dialogue, reliance on unrealistic special effects, and lack of convincing characterization.
One failed holodrama immediately cost Taelros immensely. He lost millions of credits and his production company refused to sign him for a sequel. His newly-made show-business friends abandoned him also. Despairing, he ended up in a seedy bar, intending to drink the night away. After being thrown out, he stumbled along, grousing drunkenly about the unfairness of the Empire. It was this point that a chance meeting happened. His old flame Pooja Naberrie, now a former senator, was heading back to her residence after an incognito meeting with Rebel Alliance meeting. She recognized Bac and took him back to his place to recover from his drunken stupor before he was arrested for treason. Pitying him and still having money of her own, she left a holocomm code and a credchit for 50,000 credits to start his next holodrama, along with a note saying "I believe in you." As they hadn't talked in years, Bac was quite surprised when he awoke the next morning. In fact, he dunked his head into his aquarium to make sure he wasn't dreaming.
He wasn't, and immediately began writing his sequel, The Frozen Princess. Once again an independent holomaker, he now switched to the holopera format, feeling that it was more suited for his epic legends. This time, there were no complications, and he was able to film his holoperas with success, leading to a revitalization of his professional career. Hiring an expert team of editors also assisted him and critics raved about The Frozen Princess. However, he completely forgot about what Naberrie had done for him.
It wasn't until he was working on his sixth work that Bac had a chance to repay her, while he was filming on Metellos in 2 ABY. A group of Rebel sympathizers were trying to send a priority message to the Empire, but were being suspected by the ISB. No big fan of the ISB himself, Bac caught wind of it and helped the Rebels escape by claiming they were members of his crew. This allowed them to slip offworld, but not before one of the Rebels revealed herself to be Pooja Naberrie. She thanked him and then disappeared again.
Bac's professional career continued to grow and for his seventh and final work, he was invited to perform it live at the Galaxies Opera House on Coruscant in front of the Grand Vizier of the Empire, Sate Pestage. This was to be his largest and most grandiose work. He even arranged the renowned Pan-Galactic Symphony to perform for his holopera. However, midway through production, a young Corellian starlet named Shanine caught wind of the significance of the holopera and demanded more money. Knowing that further payouts to the other actors would ensure if he acceded, Bac refused. Having spent almost of his funds on the production, he was living in a surprisingly small flat and had literally no money for that sort of expense. In response, the starlet withdrew from the production, leaving him in trouble. His Imperial liaison officer, Colonel Hagrek, immediately grew impatient and demanded that Bac fix the problem immediately.
Thankfully for Bac, a solution presented itself while he was on Eriadu for a performance of the Pan-Galactic Symphony in order to conclude negotiations with them and promote his production. While walking outside after the performance, he overheard a beautiful voice, which he soon found belonged to young Rim-dweller named Rhiannon Kraen. Bac immediately made an appearance, asking the girl and her mother to be part of the show. With the help of Colonel Hagrek, he got his way and Rhiannon and her mother, Milya, accompanied him to Coruscant. The show was saved with just a few weeks until performance and rehearsals continued as planned albeit with some minor costuming disagreements.
When the holopera premiered in 4 ABY, Bac was ecstatic. Previews had given it incredible accolades and he couldn't have asked for a higher-profile audience. However, midway through the performance while Rhiannon was onstage singing, the performance was interrupted by an intruder, a Dark Jedi named Silri. Fearing that the Dark Jedi was after her daughter, Milya revealed herself as a Jedi and fought Silri onstage to protect Rhiannon. However, the show and its music continued, as a lightsaber battle was supposed to happen at that point anyway, so no-one in the crew or audience panicked. Milya fended off the Dark Jedi while Bac directed one of his stagehands to bring Rhiannon offstage and to his office. A concerned and injured Milya soon made her way there also.
There, Bac treated the minor injuries that both suffered as best as he could, but he knew they had to get away after that display. The ISB wouldn't take long to realize what had happened and he had no desire to be interrogated. Instead, he called the one person he knew he could trust with such a matter: Pooja Naberrie. He reminded her about Metellos and so she reluctantly agreed to come. His plan to get Milya and Rhiannon offworld would not have worked except that the Second Death Star was destroyed at that point, sowing mass chaos on Coruscant. Pooja, Milya, and Rhiannon were able to slip offworld in the confusion. For his part, Bac's work was heralded as a masterpiece of theatrical art and he profited immensely off it.
Having completed his saga, he left Coruscant and began working on a dramatic retelling of the events of the Galactic Civil War in holopera form. Due to Imperial displeasure with such a plan, he was forced to work on it offworld away from the Empire. The premiere of Son of Destiny finally occurred on a liberated Coruscant in 6 ABY and was well-received, though Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa described as an account of "pure fiction" and recommended more historically accurate docudramas instead. He later attempted to contact Rhiannon again to see if, as a teenager, she would be willing to play his version of Leia Organa, but the girl had mysteriously disappeared. That did not stop him from constructing another six-story epic cycle to tell his story, though, which earned him millions of credits.
Behind the scenes
The character of Taelros Bac was conceived by Atarumaster88 for Force Exile IV: Guardian. When drafting the novel, Atarumaster88 had intended to include a brilliant but absent-minded director for the Rhiannon Kraen story-arc. After thinking about, he decided to make the character a reference to the family name of "Bac", a fictional family created for the Alternative Star Wars Saga by Brandon Rhea. While writing Guardian, Atarumaster88 loosely based the Chronicles of the Great Schism series on the ASWS, including elements from the Second and Third Jedi Bendu Schisms. The characterization of Taelros Bac was largely derived from a combination of caricatures of Rhea and select ASWS characters, as well as George Lucas in George Lucas In Love. The first name of "Taelros" was in fact chosen by Rhea and Atarumaster88 received permission and approval from Rhea to use the surname Bac for the character.
Fittingly, most of the backstory for Taelros Bac was written by Rhea via the "What's the (back)story?" feature. Rhea included numerous references to the existing characterization sources that Atarumaster88 had used, and relatively little editing was done to the backstory. Bac's relationship with Naberrie was originally not in Guardian at all and was conceived by Atarumaster88 as a means to get Milya and Rhiannon offworld. The actual nature of their relationship, whether simply pedantic or something more was left unresolved as something to expound upon in the backstory, which Rhea did. Rhea also included numerous references to the ASWS and George Lucas In Love, as well as certain additional caricatures. Atarumaster88 did add additional backstory, including details on Bac's first holodrama and his switch to the holopera format in addition to covering the events of Guardian. Atarumaster88 also included some references to the actual career of George Lucas, such as the name of Bac's company, "Bac Holo and Magic", a reference to both Lucasfilm and Industrial Light and Magic.