All right, Star Wars Librarian, let’s not overanalyze this question. It’s tempting, I know. Villainy gets to be one of my favorite subjects, so I sit here and think, “Who’s really villainous? Who’s really evil? Who do I love who is really evil?” I must rein myself in, or never answer the question, and settle frankly on what the creator of the challenge meant by villain — antagonist — and what Star Wars fans and creators alike consider when they think of villain — empire. So even though I do not consider this man villainous, I love him and am satisfied to make him my answer.
I love the Empire. I love a man in uniform, and I love Imperial uniforms. General Maximilian Veers is first seen in Empire Strikes Back as the leader of the Imperial forces. He is present on Vader’s command ship, and leads the AT-ATs in the ground assault on Hoth. In many respects, he is quite safe from Vader throughout the film because he is not in control of any situation on board the flagship. A good soldier, he follows orders and tells his superior what he wants to hear — but nevertheless he sounds tense during the Hoth battle because he knows Vader has a sharp temper and is easily displeased even with good news.
I have no idea why General Veers is the one who reports to Vader about the fleet coming out of hyperspace. However, you can tell he dislikes and disagrees with Ozzel, and is not much perturbed at his demise.
Veers, portrayed by the handsome Julian Glover (he of the velvet voice), is a very expressive character, and you can tell he is a good military leader. He has a great backstory as well; he rose quickly in the ranks as a young officer, fell in love with a beautiful woman, and had a son (Zevulon) with her before her unexpected death. Devastated by the loss, and not having access to a convent offering the services of flighty would-be nuns for governesses to fall in love with and repair the wounds of broken hearted military men, Veers sent his son to a military school and thrust himself into Imperial service with a vengeance. He invented the AT-AT, as a matter of fact — although I experience disgust with the would-be chronicler who tries to claim he subversively murdered another soldier who pointed out the weakness with the legs — Veers would not commit an honorless murder like that! Get with the program!
Anyway, tragically, his son turned to the rebellion, never appreciated, knew, or loved his father, and pretty much set out to destroy everything he believed in because he felt rebellious. So many people involved in the Rebel Alliance have so much more convoluted or mistrustworthy motives! It just goes to show you that things are not often wholly black or white in a conflict. Yes, okay, Death Star, WMD are evil and a bad idea, but I mean in general, the Empire was just an organization of law more efficient than the Republic had been or could be, and what the Rebellion should’ve focused on was getting a more appropriate leader on the throne. But I guess they all believe the myth that “absolute power corrupts absolutely,” which is just nonsense.
I was talking of Veers. Well, he’s a great man. I think I have no reason to find conflict with the comic that kills him off six years after ROTJ. He was involved with Thrawn’s alliance, but gets killed in the rising of the Emperor Reborn. A tragic figure, but my favorite Imperial of all time.
(I could not with conscience choose Boba Fett for a “villain” because he just . . . it doesn’t work. I love Boba Fett, too, but he’s just too lawful neutral to even begin to fit in this category.)