Jarah Tanako is the main protagonist in The Greatest Show in the Galaxy. She was born in 2221, and at the beginning of the story in January 2248, she is a 27-year-old, convicted criminal and former trader. She is described as being short, slight of build and having short, brown hair and an attractive face.
The nature of her former ten-year career as a trader is as-yet unknown, although she is described as being honest, and trading fair but hard. Her crime appears to have been the result of her becoming acquainted with Baden Valon, who managed to evade capture and is now on the run. Jarah has exchanged part of her sentence for the position of caretaker of a vast, disused entertainment facility due to reopen after refurbishment, in 2250, as the intended site for The Greatest Show in the Galaxy.
As the story opens, Jarah is a passenger aboard a Cygus class transport vessel piloted by Weldon Morgan, arriving at the entertainment facility, on the planet Ienus. She is accompanied by a Si, a communication drone.
Early on, it is revealed to Weldon that Jarah is to be retired 365 days from their arrival on Ienus.