Wednesday Weird: The Wizard

The Wizard is the Wednesday Weird Nuadha challenges us with this time around.
I’ve played lots of sorcerers and wizards in my time. So how to do it with a twist?

Imagine a SF setting a la Firefly or Babylon 5…a group of adventurers on a space ship, visiting worlds, some high tech, some lower tech, fun in sight.
They land on one particular backwater world. Tales from the small spaceport report that there is a kindly wizard who lives in the mountains.
This should be enough to peak the curiosity of our heroes. They search and finally find the rather primitive abode of this man who dresses so funny. The thing is, when they meet him, he seems capable of unusual feats. Is he really a wizard? Just how does he do it?
The kicker is, though, that the wizard is dying, and during their meeting picks one of the adventurers to be his “apprentice”. He gives her his outfit and staff, and quietly expires despite the best efforts to heal him on the part of the players.
His secret?
Apparently embedded in the staff is a piece of alien technology that manipulates Probability (a la the Nancy Kress novels). This is what he has been using to do his magic. But where did he get it? And is there more, or the actual aliens, to be found? Thus equipped, the players can, after meeting this wizard, start off on a story path to untold wonders.
What more could a wizard ask in the wake of his passing?