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Star Wars: Grand Admirals of the Galactic Empire
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As I have seen at least a couple of Star Wars-related geeklists pop up recently, I felt, given my avatar, it was only fitting that I contribute one of my own.

First, a bit of history for those unfamiliar with the Grand Admirals of Star Wars lore: At the height of the Empire's power, Palpatine saw fit to create a cadre of military officers who would be answerable directly to him, bypassing any local chain of command. Essentially, he wanted in the military what he had with the Grand Moffs politically. So, two years, prior to the Battle of Yavin, twelve lucky officers of the Imperial Navy were selected to be elevated to the newly-formed rank of Grand Admiral.

As a badge of office, the Grand Admirals were authorized to wear an immaculate white version of the standard Imperial Navy uniform. They could further broadcast their importance by attaching golden epaulettes to their shoulders. Their rank plates featured the same six blue, three red, and three yellow squares of the Grand Moffs in a slightly different configuration.


And, as a tie-in to more recent history (as Star Wars was a long time ago), a parallel to the German Wehrmacht of WW2 exists—unsurprising, as the Imperial uniforms were modeled on WW1 German uniforms. On July 19, 1940, Hitler elevated twelve of his general officers to the rank of Generalfeldmarschall—field marshal.

As a bit of background, I first became interested in the Grand Admirals upon reading Timothy Zahn's trilogy of Heir to the Empire, Dark Force Rising, and The Last Command. I found them to be excellent reads, and I continue to hold out the hope that they will eventually be made into movies.

Finally, my source for this information was Wookieepedia, the Star Wars wiki. For more information on the Grand Admirals, see http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Grand_admiral.

Now, without further ado, I present to you:

mb Grand Admirals of the Galactic Empire mb
 
A Who's Who of Palpatine's Highest-Ranking Navy Officers

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1. Video Game: Deus Ex: Invisible War [Average Rating:6.50 Overall Rank:1889]
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Martio Batch


Not a fan of Imperial court politics, Martio Batch kept a low profile and thus earned himself the nickname "the invisible admiral." Fittingly, after the destruction of the first Death Star, Emperor Palpatine tasked Batch with perfecting an undetectable cloaking device.

He succeeded, to a degree. The result of his research created a ship that could not be detected from outside its cloaking shield. But at the same time, the cloaked ship was rendered blind to the outside.

Abandoning this line of research, Batch began looking into cloaking technology like that used on Darth Maul's Scimitar. The research was discovered by the Rebellion, and they managed to destroy Batch's facility. Unwilling to face the Emperor after his failure, he fled. Eventually he was killed by his men, who went off to join one of the many factions that had formed after Palpatine's death.

Years later, Batch's first cloaking device would be used to great effect by Thrawn, another of the Grand Admirals, in his campaign against the New Republic.
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2. Board Game: The Meditation Game [Average Rating:5.00 Unranked]
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Nial Declann


Nial Declann was a Force-sensitive who came to the attention of Emperor Palpatine. Wishing to harness his potential, Palpatine had him trained in the ways of the Dark Side.

He showed tremendous aptitude for the Force power of battle meditation, which greatly enhanced the effectiveness of any nearby Imperial forces. Because of this ability, he was chosen to accompany Palpatine when he visited the second Death Star. There, during the ensuing Battle of Endor, he would use his battle meditation to assist in springing the Emperor's trap. He later died when the Death Star was destroyed.
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3. RPG: Last Man Standing [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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Octavian Grant


After the Imperial defeat at Endor, most of those Grand Admirals who had not been on the Death Star resorted to fighting amongst themselves and against other self-styled "warlords" vying for power in the vacuum left behind.

Grant, however, lay low, waiting for an opportunity to rise up himself. He watched as the New Republic accounted for each of the other Grand Admirals, seen as among the most dangerous of opponents. Finally, he came to the New Republic with an offer of defection. In exchange for immunity from war crimes charges, he would provide key Imperial military secrets.

Upon the return of an as-yet-unknown thirteenth Grand Admiral (Thrawn), Grant was sorely tempted to come out of retirement to match wits with the new Imperial leader. He never got such an opportunity, and with the defeat of Thrawn, Octavian Grant was left as the last living Grand Admiral.
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4. Board Game: Galactic Emperor [Average Rating:6.70 Overall Rank:1075]
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Josef Grunger


When he received news that the Emperor had been killed, Josef Grunger seized control of the sector he was patrolling and declared himself to be the new Galactic Emperor.

He spent years building up his forces and eventually moved to make a strike at Imperial Center (a.k.a. Coruscant). While staging his fleet for the attack, he was himself attacked by fellow Grand Admiral Danetta Pitta. Facing imminent defeat, Grunger rammed his ship into Pitta's, killing both of them.
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5. Board Game: Fanatic Pack #1 [Average Rating:6.00 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.00 Unranked]
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Ishin-Il-Raz


Leader of what would become the Commission for the Preservation of the New Order (COMPNOR), Ishin-Il-Raz was fanatically devoted to the cause of Emperor Palpatine's Galactic Empire. Wishing to curry favor with the Emperor, he orchestrated several large-scale massacres, which only helped to cement a low public opinion of him.

After the death of the Emperor, for whose ideas COMPNOR stood, Il-Raz fell into depression and decided to kill himself, and all those with him, by plunging his star destroyer into a sun.
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6. RPG: Extreme Vengeance [Average Rating:5.50 Unranked]
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Afsheen Makati


One of the Grand Admirals chosen by Palpatine to accompany him to the second Death Star and witness the end of the Rebellion, Afsheen Makati managed to escape the Battle of Endor and returned to Imperial Center, where he swore allegiance to whoever controlled the capital of the Empire, eventually coming into the service of Ysanne Isard, director of Imperial Intelligence.

He had a deep hatred for the mysterious Prophets of the Dark Side, ever since he had a hostile encounter with their leader, Kadann. He managed to track down the Prophets and wiped out most of their number, gaining some measure of revenge. He died shortly afterward, having never killed Kadann. Some time after Makati's death, however, Kadann would meet his own end.
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7. Video Game: Xenophobe [Average Rating:5.76 Overall Rank:4823]
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Danetta Pitta


A fierce believer in human supremacy, though not quite human himself, Danetta Pitta exuded such an extreme zeal that he repulsed even some of the strongest xenophobes within the Empire.

After the Emperor's death, he took control of the Corellian sector, and when fellow Grand Admiral Josef Grunger moved into the sector while staging for an attack on Imperial Center, Pitta met him in battle. Pitta managed to bring Grunger to the brink of defeat, but in desperation, Grunger rammed his ship into Pitta's, resulting in the death of both Grand Admirals.
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8. Video Game: Sins of a Solar Empire [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:641]
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Peccati Syn


A deeply religious man, Peccati Syn was forced to abandon his beliefs when facing new persecution from Palpatine's New Order. He soon filled his spiritual void by joining the newly-formed Church of the Dark Side on Coruscant.

He would spend much of his time on Kashyyyk, where he studied under one of the prophetesses of the Church. Some time after the Imperial defeat at Endor, Admiral Ackbar led a New Republic assault on the Imperial forces at Kashyyyk. Syn fought against him but eventually died when his ship was destroyed.
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9. Board Game: Addiction [Average Rating:4.75 Unranked]
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Miltin Takel


Miltin Takel had a secret love of glitterstim, a drug that granted him a limited telepathic ability. He was one of the Grand Admirals chosen by the Emperor to witness the final defeat of the Rebellion at Endor. During the battle there, and in one of his glitterstim-high states, he sensed the distress that fellow Grand Admiral Nial Declann felt when the Emperor perished.

He managed to escape the station and flee the battle, eventually falling in with the Central Committee of Grand Moffs. In another glitterstim-induced high, he angered the committee and met his demise.
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10. Board Game: Cyborg [Average Rating:4.03 Unranked]
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Osvald Teshik


Osvald Teshik held authority over Imperial Center Oversector, arguably the most important part of Imperial space, as it included the capital world. After failing in a mission given to him by the Emperor, he was sent into a battle where the odds were heavily stacked against him. Managing to survive, he had to have several cybernetic implants installed after sustaining heavy injury. Because he was now more machine than man, he was shunned by many fellow officers.

He accompanied the Emperor to the Second Death Star to witness the Battle of Endor. After the tide of the battle had turned, he retreated to his star destroyer and, as the rest of the Imperial fleet fled, he fought a doomed holding action and was captured by the Rebel forces. Put on trial by the New Republic, Teshik was later executed.
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11. Board Game: To Court the King [Average Rating:6.48 Overall Rank:1041]
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Rufaan Tigellinus


A man who revelled in the politics of the Emperor's court, in near polar opposition to Martio Batch, Rufaan Tigellinus was one of the most-widely publicized Grand Admirals. He eventually earned himself a political appointment as Grand Moff of Imperial Center Oversector.

After the Emperor's death at Endor, Tigellinus eventually came into an alliance with the Central Committee of Grand Moffs, along with his fellow Grand Admiral, Miltin Takel. Hoping to have an excuse to do away with Tigellinus, one of the other Grand Moffs offered him a deameaning position. Though he was prepared to accept it, his friend and mentor Moff Vilim Disra advised against it, and he refused. Thus Tigellinus was ostensibly executed for disloyalty, and Disra absorbed the Grand Admiral's resources.
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12. RPG Item: Traitor [Average Rating:8.00 Unranked]
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Demetrius Zaarin


Head of the Empire's R&D in starfighters, Demetrius Zaarin was responsible for many advanced TIE designs, including Darth Vader's TIE fighter. Some time after the Battle of Yavin, however, he grew disillusioned with the Emperor's leadership and plotted a coup to take control of the Empire himself.

Carrying out the coup, he somehow managed to capture Palpatine above Imperial Center. His escape was narrowly stopped by the timely arrival of loyalist Imperial forces under Darth Vader and an alien admiral named Thrawn.

After retreating, he resorted to harassing the Imperial fighter production plants in the Omar system.

"Omar system?"

"Omar's not a system. He's a man."

"No, look right here. It says 'Omar system.'"

"Well I'll be damned. Omar's a system."



He later died after being defeated by Thrawn.
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13. RPG Item: Alien Invasion [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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Mitth'raw'nuruodo (Thrawn)


In the void left by Demetrius Zaarin's perfidy, Palpatine secretly made Thrawn a thirteenth Grand Admiral to replace Zaarin. Ostensibly to keep him out of Imperial politics, he was sent on a seemingly unimportant mission in the Outer Rim territories. In reality, his mission was an important one, wherein he pacified the region and secured key alliances. While the Battle of Endor was happening, Thrawn was still on this mission.

Five years after the Emperor's death at Endor, Thrawn returned to a splintering Empire. He offered a new hope for the Imperial forces, which, after Endor, had seen almost exclusively defeat after defeat. As one of Palpatine's most trusted officers, Thrawn knew of a secret warehouse where many cloning cylinders were kept, along with Grand Admiral Martio Batch's first prototype cloaking devices. Using these newly acquired weapons, and with his brilliant strategies and tactics, gleaned from an intense study of his adversaries' art forms, Thrawn nearly brought the New Republic to its knees.

If not for a series of events involving Leia Organa Solo, Thrawn would most likely have succeeded. For at the height of a major battle against the New Republic, Thrawn was betrayed by one of his bodyguards and the Empire was again defeated.
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14. Board Game: The New Era [Average Rating:7.75 Overall Rank:418] [Average Rating:7.75 Unranked]
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Gilad Pellaeon


Gilad Pellaeon had a far-ranging career. At the Battle of Endor, he was captain of the star destroyer Chimaera, which, after the super star destroyer Executor, was the designated command ship. Upon the destruction of the Executor and the Death Star, and the death of the admiral on board, Pellaeon ordered a withdrawal in the face of defeat.

It was to Pellaeon and the Chimaera that Grand Admiral Thrawn chose to return. Thrawn made the Chimaera his flagship, and as a result, Pellaeon was at center stage during the campaign against the New Republic. He was again forced to order a retreat when Thrawn died.

Eventually he came to become the supreme commander of what remained of the Imperial forces. In this capacity, he brokered a deal with the New Republic that resulted in a peace treaty. He eventually rose to the rank of Grand Admiral, the last man to hold that title in the Galactic Empire.
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