Alex remembers very little about her birth parents. Memories of her life before the age of 6 (when she was adopted by Garos’ Imperial Governor Tork Winger) appear in dream-like sequences — she sees her mother’s face, remembers her last conversation with her father before he left her in the care of her mother’s parents.
To see Alex is to see Anii. Alex looks much like her mother did. Their faces are similar, slightly rounded, and Alex shares her mother’s dark hair and almond-shaped, brilliant blue eyes. Of course, it could be argued that Alex got her eyes from Matt. But Alex cannot remember her father’s face or name, yet somehow she knows that he is alive.
But, as her creator, I can tell you a bit about Matt and Anii Turhaya.
Matt Turhaya is a native of Corellia. He has one brother, Jamie, who owns a speeder repair shop in Mos Eisley [established in “Passages,” Star Wars Adventure Journal, vol. 1, no. 7.] “Turhaya” is an Old Corellian word which translates to ‘bright star’ in Basic — Patricia Jackson created that one just for me (and that’s a whole story unto itself! Thank you, Patty and Ol’val!).
Matt Turhaya and Anii Degarienne grew up together on Corellia — they were childhood sweethearts. When Matt decided he wanted a career in the Imperial Navy, Anii supported his decision despite the worried caution her father, Lexi, expressed.
Matt and Anii married at 18 and left Corellia for Carida where Matt attended the Imperial Naval Academy. About this same time, Anii’s parents moved to the world of Janara III [mentioned briefly in “Betrayal by Knight,” SWAJ vol. 1, no. 12].
Alex was born at the end of Matt’s first year at the Academy. Anii returned to her job in a weapons factory and Matt continued his studies. When Alex was 2 years old, the Turhayas vacationed with Anii’s parents on Alderaan. Anii’s mother was extremely nervous during their stay; finally, on the eve before their return to Carida, she blurted out her disdain for the Empire. Lexi tried to quiet his wife; they argued about keeping the truth and their own feelings hidden from Matt and Anii.
Lexi’s last words to Matt: “Open your eyes. They will not deceive you.”
Two years later, and six weeks prior to Matt’s graduation from the Academy, a tragic accident at the weapons factory took Anii’s life. Unbeknownst to everyone, the accident was sabotage. Though it took the lives of more than 40 people, Anii had been its target.
You see … Anii was strong in the Force. Her father — Lexi Degarienne (not his true last name) was a Jedi Knight. Vader’s Jedi extermination group had tracked Anii down.
Matt’s love for Alex kept him from sinking into the depths of despair. As much as he wanted to make a home for her, he knew that his life in the Navy would conflict with that dream. Matt completed his exams early and was given permission to take his 4 1/2 year old daughter to her grandparent’s home on Janara III.
One year later Matt realized that his in-laws were right about the Empire. During his time aboard the Star Destroyer Vengeance, he saw things that made him ill. He felt he could not serve an Empire that sought to destroy those who disagreed with it.
Matt deserted. He worked his way from port to port and 6 months later arrived on Janara III. But the city of Sreina, where he’d left Alex with his in-laws, was gone — destroyed by the Empire.
There was nothing left of the Degarienne’s home except a few pieces of recognizable plasteel, a broken vase, and a burnt holo of Matt’s wife and daughter.
Matt believed that Alex was dead.
See Matt’s story “Passages,” from SWAJ no. 8,
synopsis at: http://www.theforce.net/timetales/tt2-4/Sect2-4.shtml