It’s not always unfortunate when Darth Vader has to bring a garrison in!
Archive for empire
I’m an Imperial girl, I am. Not ashamed of it, either. The Empire was a fitting replacement for a diseased and outmoded galactic republic. A government in charge of billions of non-homogenous races cannot function taking into account the opinion of every one of a countless number of minorities. A weak and chiefly ceremonial chancellor clearly could not shoulder the responsibility of a million planets. Are you really going to fault the imperial system for the one single tiny insignificant little detail that its leader was evil? There was nothing wrong with the system. The Republic couldn’t even enforce its own antislavery laws. I’ve probably said it before but it’s a truth I’ll repeat forever: I guarantee you that the vast majority of galactic residents didn’t notice a change in their day-to-day lives with the Empire in control. And probably for every group of people who did feel oppressed or noticed a change for the worse (i.e. all those senators who started the rebellion in response to sudden unemployment), there was almost certainly a group of people who felt their lives changed for the better. And by that I mean people who were oppressed by the Trade Federation and Banking Clans and people who were slaves. Yes, some high-up imperials (such as Palpatine) and gangsters (such as Hutts) continued to own slaves, but it almost certainly ceased being as common a thing.
Anyway, all that to say that I didn’t want to start every post in this challenge by saying “last year when I talked about this” — but I wanted to be able to reiterate I love Maximilian Veers and also to emphasize that I have loads of favorite Imps because frankly I just love the Empire. I’m a devoted loyalist. I don’t deny that there were evil imperials, like Tarkin and Palpatine. There were less-than-honorable rebels, too, you know. All that to say I’m still trying to decide who to regale you with this week! We all know I have a special weakness for the military officers. I love an Imperial uniform. And the navy is my jam. So I see I’m presenting you with . . .
Yes, his first name is Firmus, and I would be lying if I could tell you I didn’t think he and Captain Needa were the same person the first 12 times I watched ESB. They just look very similar. In fact, I considered making Needa my favorite member of the Empire — because there is a man who demonstrates every admirable trait of the Empire, sacrificing himself in order to save his crew when the unthinkable occurs. I’ve often thought it was half suicide of him to insist on apologizing for something that wasn’t his fault, in person, to Vader, but it doesn’t seem outside the realm of possibility that Vader would have had the Avenger destroyed if Needa had not presented himself as a target. Therefore, I admire him greatly. However, Piett has the larger role.
Apart from having a last name very similar to Piatt, as in the historical family homes that I worked in as a guide for a few years, Piett is awesome for other reasons. He was the longest-surviving admiral under Vader’s command, and pretty much the only imperial officer to appear in both ESB and ROTJ.
Piett was born on Axxila and began his naval career early, first in an anti-pirate militia in his home sector. His humble backwater background made progress difficult, and he was cautious about the rapid promotions granted him by the fact that Vader liked to kill those under his command. Being a member of the elite squad assigned to Vader was a dubious honor at best, and becoming admiral in this unorthodox way was not exactly something to be proud of.
He managed to survive Vader’s wrath, demonstrating intelligence in battle, shrewd cunning, and extreme diplomacy necessary to navigate Vader’s moods. Although convinced his death was at hand when the Millennium Falcon escaped them yet again, Piett escaped and never let himself get too at ease with his position — a mistake Ozzel had made.
Generally, I find Firmus Piett capable, intelligent, and all that top quality admiral stuff. I imagine that he and Veers had a close relationship, and that they would knock back some drinks together when they got some time off. The Executor was his baby, not Vader’s, and half the sadness of seeing a ship that gorgeous go down is knowing that he died with her. It’s so wasteful! If they hadn’t been that close to the Death Star, they would have survived. It was just losing control and getting pulled into the gravity well that did it. Oh, I can’t talk about this; it still chokes me up.
Piett was played by Kenneth Colley, a distinguished British actor born in 1937. In conclusion, while this site is not highly accurate, it brought a smile to my face, so enjoy the Piett Dossier, why don’t you? It includes every line of dialogue spoken by Piett in both films.
Okay, let’s take this a slightly different direction. You think props and Star Wars and of course you think lightsabers. But what I want to talk about is my favorite thing in the entire franchise:
Look, it is an object, and it is way more my favorite than lightsabers are. I mean, just look at it, all the grandeur of the Empire summed up in one sleek ship. An almost unique ship, in fact, as there were not a lot of other Super Star Destroyers made, and this one cost the Empire 1,143,350,000. Manufactured by the Kuat Driveyards, one of my favorite places ever, the ship was 19,000 meters long, or about ten miles. To give that a little local perspective, if the ship were landed in Champaign County, Ohio, the ship would reach from the town center of Urbana to West Liberty on the county line.
So it’s a really grand ship is what I’m saying. You can’t deny that it’s really beautiful. At four times the size of an Imperial-class destroyer, the Executor could in fact dock an entire Star Destroyer if necessary. It had many times the armaments as well: 5,000+ turbolaser batteries and ion cannons, 250 heavy concussion missile batteries, and 40 tractor beam projectors. It carried 144 TIE fighters; 200 combat and support ships; 3 prefabricated garrison bases; several hundred armored walkers, speeder bikes, and ground vehicles; and 50,000 heavy concussion missiles. It could run with a skeleton crew of 50,000, but its usual compliment was more like 279,000, 1500 gunners, and 10,000 droids. It could carry 250,000 metric tons of cargo, and supplies for six years.
Now, there is some confusion over the name of this spectacular ship. In fact I was pretty confused myself for a long time. It’s often thought that Executor is pronounced “ex-ih-cute-r,” as in someone who cuts off people’s heads for a living; in fact an early toy of the ship said this was so and it was in fact considered too dark. However, after I realized that a person who cuts off heads for a living is in fact an executioner, the actual name of the ship made much more sense: “ex-yeh-cute-r.” That is, the guy who gets things done for the Emperor. Much more sensible.
And I know it wouldn’t have counted as “saddest moment” anyway when that question came up, but I’m always so heartbroken when the Executor goes down. And Ackbar is so self-satisfied with the whole thing. Ugh.
Anyway, in conclusion on this post that took me way too long and I’m sorry about that, I love this ship and am not a bit sorry for being upset when it goes down or for considering it an object/prop. And now I shall give you my favorite shot of the command station behind the bridge of the crown jewel of the Imperial Fleet.
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.)
Like most people who own Moleskine journals, I love them! I don’t love the price tag, but they are awesome little things, to be sure. So when I saw that Moleskine was coming out with a line of Star Wars related journals, I was super excited! Star Wars, journals, and Moleskine? Good deal! With the announcement, they released this cute little video, which I think you will agree is pretty cute.
There are two different journals, and, I might add, they are limited edition, so if you’re going to get me one, you’d better get a move on it! One features the opening crawl in “bronze,” and the other is silver with the memorable jump to hyperspace on it. There is Star Wars artwork inside, too–pictures of the Death Star and X-wings. They also come with a concept poster in the inside pocket. Anyway, I think these things are awesome. They are available large or pocket sized, lined or unlined, here: Star Wars. Origami in hyperspace. – Moleskine ® English.
by Michael Reaves and Steve Perry.
I was actually pretty disappointed by this book. Steve Perry has been in my good graces for a long time–he’s produced some really good Star Wars stuff in the past (Shadows of the Empire, anyone?), and Michael Reaves has been steadily winning me over with his Lorn Pavan stories. So when I got through this book and all it was was a dull walkthrough of the Death Star’s construction manual.
Some bits that I did like were scenes from the film done from the opposite point of view, but still, even these were just cop-outs that emphasized how unenthusiastic the writers were about the project. Catchphrases, clichés, and generalizations made up the majority of this book, coupled with excessive technological description that most Star Wars fans read SW books to avoid. When it descended into going over ANH for me, I wrote it off in sheer boredom–how many novelizations does the first movie need? Regular people should have been cool to read about. And yet.
Anyway, it’s a harmless canonical book; just don’t be surprised when it turns into explication of what you already know, and don’t expect really fun or exciting, fresh characters like in Perry and Reaves’ other works. Check it out on Amazon.com.
I have been wondering about the Imperial Academy lately. Is there a reference book that outlines what was offered at the Academy, the different branches of the Imperial Military, and the corresponding ranks and duties therein? — Michelle
Unfortunately, information about the Imperial Academy is rare and not very in depth. None of the references which I own discuss it at all. The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia is supposed to have entries on the Imperial Academy, however; unfortunately its cost of $78 with the Amazon discount discourages me from buying it.
According to the Wookieepedia, there are various branches of the Academy, the one I am familiar with being at Carida. Corulag Academy, Coruscanti Pilot Institute, Prefsbelt Fleet Camp, Raithal Academy, and Vensenor Flight Academy being the others. One of their sources establishing these as locations, however, is The Imperial Sourcebook, a roleplaying game guide, and I myself have always taken RPG data with a grain of salt where canonicty is concerned.
More easily acceptable books, these being actual novels, describe the Academy at Carida, or at least discuss it in some level of detail. The Dark Forces trilogy, particularly Soldier for the Empire, include some of Dean Williams’ gorgeous paintings of the Academy. Dark Apprentice and Champions of the Force by Kevin J. Anderson also touch on Carida, right before it is destroyed, but be warned that both books are dripping with bias. Han Solo, expelled from one academy, thinks about his experiences in A. C. Crispin’s The Hutt Gambit, but in flashbacks only. Michael A. Stackpole’s Isard’s Revenge also goes to the Academy, but I have not read that one yet and can’t say in what capacity.
The Darklighter comics offer some information, but this depends on how canonical you want to make graphic novels. My answer is “not at all, for the most part,” so that’s that. The Academy trained Stormtroopers on a variety of planets, as well as training for officers, probably much like any Earth military training program. Flight schools for TIE pilots took place on Destroyers and were supplementary to academy education.
So the short answer is, no, there is really very little information to be had on the procedures for training Stormtroopers and Imperial officers. And it’s just possible that with the amount of prejudice held against the Empire, the little that can be found is not necessarily accurate, using the Emperor’s personal evil to paint with a broad brush all the adherents to the system.
If you’d like to drop $80 and send me that Encyclopedia, though, I would so be all over finding out more for you ;)