|“||So... we're gonna split the bounty 50/50, right?||„|
|~ Zam Wessel, to Jango Fett|
Zam Wessel is a minor antagonist in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones. A bounty hunter and part-time assassin, she is a partner of Jango Fett, having worked with him since the events of Star Wars: Bounty Hunter. Recently, she has been hired to help Jango assassinate Senator Padme Amidala on behalf of Count Dooku and the Separatists. However, her two unsuccessful attempts on Padme's life results in her being captured by Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker - ultimately forcing Jango to kill her before she can confess.
She was played by Leeanna Walsman.
A Clawdite shapeshifter, Zam Wessel was born on the distant planet Zolan in the Mid-Rim. Having been created in a botched attempt to engineer genetic resistance to the harmful radiation emitted by Zolan's sun, the Clawdites were persecuted by their Zolander forebears, usually kept segregated to ghettos and prevented from intermingling with the general population. As such, Zam was raised in an atmosphere of constant oppression in a society that was either on the brink of civil war - or already embroiled in it.
At an early age, Zam joined the ancient warrior order of the Mabari while disguised as an ordinary Zolander and gained proficiency in their unique style of martial arts. Unfortunately, Zam grew increasingly attached to notions of individual achievement and profit, a notion that more traditionalist Mabari disapproved of. Furthermore, the Order also held that those who refused to reveal their true faces were sinners, and when Zam's true nature as a Clawdite became known, the Mabari cast her out as a heretic.
Fleeing Zoland in the shape of a human businesswoman, she eventually found refuge on the commercial ecumenopolis of Denon, where she found gainful employment in corporate security, achieving the rank of sergeant. However, she also expanded her skills and contacts, intending to pursue a career as a professional bounty hunter. After some time on the planet, she met another Clawdite and decided to start a family, eventually giving birth to a daughter - who she named Sone. However, family life didn't agree with Zam, and she soon left Denon in pursuit of greater profits: through careful use of her shapeshifting abilities, she was able to make a name for herself as highly effective bounty hunter, and made enough money to send large sums of it back to Zoland in support of Clawdite emancipation groups.
In one relatively early mission, she set her sights on Bendix Fust, a drug smuggler incarcerated on the asteroid prison of Oovo IV; having provided Republic Security with substantial evidence on the crime syndicate he worked for in exchange for a reduced sentence, Fust was wanted alive by his ex-employer Sebolto, who was willing to pay 50000 credits in exchange for the opportunity to make an example of the smuggler. Priding herself on her mastery of stealth and disguise, Zam concealed herself aboard one of the cargo freighters that regularly visited the prison, and crept inside as soon as it landed. Sneaking through the complex, she arrived at Fust's cell, knocked her target unconscious with a gas grenade, and swiftly departed - but not before triggering a riot among the inmates to cover her escape.
However, Jango Fett was hunting for Fust as well, having arrived via his own ship and infiltrated the prison at roughly the same time as Zam - arriving at the cellblock just in time to see the rival hunter escape with Fust in tow. After fighting his way through most of the prison, Jango caught up with Zam again while she was attempting to escape aboard his ship, Jaster's Legacy, and a tense standoff ensued; unfortunately for both parties, one of the prison's Firespray patrol ships obliterated Jaster's Legacy in an aerial attack, leaving the two bounty hunters stranded. Realizing that they had no choice but to work together if they ever wanted to escape Oovo IV alive, Zam and Jango agreed to a tentative partnership: while Zam kept Fust under guard, Jango sabotaged the prison's reactor and stole one of the Firespray ships for himself.
Once aboard the ship (eventually named Slave I), the two hunters expanded their partnership: once it became clear that Jango was actually hunting for Komari Vosa, the infamous leader of the Bando Gora cult, Zam was able to talk her way into helping out in exchange for a cut of the profits, going so far as to use herself as bait when Jango began hunting Sebolto as one of Vosa's criminal allies - even saving Jango's life over the course of a confrontation between him and his old enemy, Montross. However, during a search for Vosa's ally on Tatooine, Zam was captured by Gardulla the Hutt and forced to betray Jango in exchange for her life; she even went on alert the guards to Jango's presence when the bounty hunter attempted to rescue her, an act that almost got him fed to Gardulla's pet Krayt Dragon. Disgusted, he abandoned her at Gardulla's palace.
However, in spite of this seemingly insurmountable loss of trust, Zam came to Jango's rescue once again: following him to the moon of Bogden where the Bando Gora made their home, she arrived just in time to save him from torture at the hands of Komari Vosa. Though her attempt at shooting Vosa only ended with Zam getting wounded by one of her own deflected baster bolts, she was able to free Jango from his manacles with one final shot. Eventually, Jango was able to defeat the deranged former Jedi in single combat, earning the promised bounty of five million credits from Count Dooku - along with a highly-profitable contract with the Separatists. The following morning, Jango carried Zam back to Slave I for medical attention; though Zam continued to pester him about splitting the bounty 50/50, Jango teasingly chided her not to push her luck.
Over the course of the next ten years, the two hunters continued their tenuous friendship, sometimes working together for mutual profit, sometimes competing for valuable bounties. In one amusing case, Zam was hired by Vigo Antonin to assassinate Dreddon the Hutt - only to discover that Dreddon had hired Jango to kill Vigo, and with both hunters being successful, neither of them could be paid for their efforts. In another incident, the two teamed up to retrieve an ancient artifact - then later were forced to stop the religious fanatic who'd hired them from destroying Coruscant with the same artifact. At times, the two hunters became close, Zam even befriending Jango's son, Boba Fett. However the two assassins never let their feelings for each other get in the way of their jobs.
In 22 BBY, Jango was hired by Count Douku to kill Senator Padmé Amidala in order to avoid anyone tracing the job back to him, he sub-contracted the job to Zam, offering her the highest paying job she ever taken on. Unfortunately, though Zam was successful in planting a bomb on the senator's ship, Padmé was secretly traveling in one of the starfighter escorts: when the bomb finally detonated on the landing platform, only the crew and the senator's body double were killed. Deciding that they'd have to try a more subtle approach, Jango provided Zam with a pair of highly-poisonous insects, warning her that there could be no more mistakes this time. However, though Zam's probe droid was successful in delivering the payload into the senator's quarters, Obi-Wan and Anakin were able to detect and kill the deadly insects before they reached Padmé; furthermore, Obi-Wan was able to grab onto the droid and ride it back to Zam - and while she was able to destroy the droid with a sniper rifle and send him plunging towards the ground, Anakin was able to rescue him and continue pursuing Zam through Coruscant.
Unfortunately for Zam, evading Jedi proved more difficult than initially suspected, and ended with Anakin unexpectedly landing on her speeder - forcing her to crash in the entertainment district. Though she was able to lose them in the crowds at the Outlander Club, her attempt at shooting Obi-Wan in the back only ended with the Jedi slicing her hand off, before dragging her outside to question her. However, Jango had been watching the incident from afar: as soon as it looked as though his partner was going to confess to who had hired her, the bounty hunter shot her in the neck with a saber dart. Fatally poisoned, Zam had barely enough time to mutter a few surprised last words before succumbing to the toxin's effects, reverting to her true form as she died.