Novel References


Heir to the Empire


Pellaeon himself, taking command when the Chimaera's former captain was killed, had done what he could to hold things together; but despite his best efforts they had never regained the initiative against the Rebels. Instead, they had been steadily pushed back...until they were here.
Here, in what had once been the backwater of the Empire, with barely a quarter of its former systems under nominal Imperial control. Here, aboard a Star Destroyer manned almost entirely by painstakingly trained but badly inexperienced young people, many of them conscripted from their home worlds by force or threat of force.

Chimaera was one of the twenty or so destroyers present at the Battle of Endor.

Pellaeon reflects on the decadent state of his remnant naval forces, and the declining status of his section of the Empire.

...[Grand Admiral Thrawn] had spent so much of his career out in the Unknown Regions, working to bring those still-barbaric sections of the galaxy under Imperial control. His brilliant successes had won him the title of Warlord and the right to wear the white uniform of Grand Admiral — the only nonhuman ever granted that honor by the Emperor.


"No, I'm not a dream," Ben assured him, answering Luke's unspoken thought. "But the distances separating us have become too great for me to appear to you in any other way. Now, even this last path is being closed to me."
"At any rate," he added quietly, "the decision is not mine to make. I have lingered too long already, and can no longer postpone my journey from this life to what lies beyond."


The wary look was back in her eyes. "I've only been with the group for six months, you know."
"Five and a half, actually," he corrected her. "But time has never been as important to the universe as ability and results ... and your ability and results have been quite impressive."

Talon Karrde offers Mara Jade a promotion. Jade has been with Karrde's organisation for five and a half months. (Note that a "month" in galactic standard time is 35 days long; a year consists of ten months plus 18 extra festival days.)


"...You can't just pull them off their branches, not without killing them. An ysalamir in this stage is sessile — its claws have elongated to the point where they've essentially grown directly into the core of the branch it inhabits."

creature: ysalamiri, harmless arboreal animal which is sessile as an adult.


"The Emperor supposedly made a clean sweep of [the Jedi] in the early days of the New Order. Unless," [Talon Karrde] added as another thought occurred to him, "they've perhaps found Darth Vader."
"Vader died on the Death Star," Mara said. "Along with the Emperor."
"That's the story, certainly—"
"He died there," Mara cut him off, her voice suddenly sharp.
"Of course," Karrde nodded.

Mara Jade exposes her vehement sensitivity regarding the circumstances of the Emperor's death, particularly Vader's contribution. However, it is later revealled that she does not know the precise circumstances of Vader's betrayl: she is ignorant of Vader's relationship to Luke Skywalker; she doesn't know that Vader killed Palpatine unaided.


It took the Chimaera nearly five days at its Point Four cruising speed to cover the three hundred fifty light-years between Myrkr and Wayland.

Implies that the cruising speed for a star destroyer in this region of space is about 2.9 light years per hour. This is substantially lower than velocities typical of hyperdrive travel in more civilised parts of the galaxy. (The speed of hyperspace travel is determined by the safety of the route and quality of data used for the jump calculations; frequently-travelled routes are faster.)


"These creatures you see on our backs are called ysalamiri. They're sessile tree-dwelling creatures from a distant, third-rate planet, and they have an interesting and possibly unique ability — they push back the Force."
C'baoth frowned. "What do you mean, push it back?"
"They push its presence out away from themselves," Thrawn explained. "Much the same way a bubble is created by air pushing outward against water. A single ysalamir can occasionally create a bubble as large as ten meters across; a whole group of them reinforcing one another can create much larger ones."


"The Rebels did indeed fight better, but not because of any special abilities or training. They fought better than the Fleet because the Emperor was dead."
[Thrawn] turned to Pellaeon. "You were there, Captain — you must have noticed it. The sudden loss of coordination between crew members and ships; the loss of efficiency and discipline. The loss, in short, of that elusive quality we call fighting spirit."
"There was some confusion, yes," Pellaeon said stiffly. He was starting to see where Thrawn was going with this, and he didn't like it a bit. "But nothing that can't be explained by the normal stresses of battle."
One blue-black eyebrow went up, just slightly. "Really? The loss of the Executor — the sudden, last-minute TIE fighter incompetence that brought about the destruction of the Death Star itself — the loss of six other Star Destroyers in engagements that none of them should have had trouble with? All of that nothing but normal battle stress?"
"The Emperor was not directing the battle," Pellaeon snapped with a fire that startled him. "Not in any way. I was there, Admiral — I know."
"Yes, Captain, you were there," Thrawn said, his voice abruptly hard. "And it's time you gave up your blindfold and faced the truth, no matter how bitter you find it. You had no real fighting spirit of your own anymore — none of you in the Imperial Fleet did. It was the Emperor's will that drove you; the Emperor's mind that provided you with the strength and resolve and efficiency. You were as dependent on that presence as if you were all borg-implanted into a combat computer."

Thrawn attributes the collapse of the Imperial forces at Endor to the loss of some kind of subliminal support provided by the Emperor's presence. Perhaps this is akin to the Jedi Battle Meditation power known in some of the Tales of the Jedi comics?

Six star destroyers were lost, out of a total number which can be estimated at 22 (by inspection of the film).

"Jorus C'baoth is dead," Thrawn said. "He was one of the six Jedi Masters aboard the Old Republic's Outbound Flight project. I don't know if you were highly enough placed back then to have known about it."
"I heard rumors," Pellaeon frowned, thinking back. "Some sort of grand effort to extend the Old Republic's authority outside the galaxy, as I recall, launched just before the Clone Wars broke out. I never heard anything more about it."
"That's because there wasn't anything more to be heard," Thrawn said evenly. "It was intercepted by a task force outside Old Republic space and destroyed."
Pellaeon stared at him, a shiver running up his back. "How do you know?"
Thrawn raised his eyebrows. "Because I Was the force's commander. Even at that early date the Emperor recognized that the Jedi had to be exterminated. Six Jedi Masters aboard the same ship was too good an opportunity to pass up."
Pellaeon licked his lips. "But then...?"
"Who is it we've brought aboard the Chimaera?" Thrawn finished the question for him. "I should have thought that obvious. Joruus C'baoth — note the telltale mispronunciation of the name Jorus — is a clone."
Pellaeon stared at him. "A clone?"
"Certainly," Thrawn said. "Created from a tissue sample, probably sometime just before the real C'baoth's death."
"Early in the war, in other words," Pellaeon said, swallowing hard. The early clones — or at least those the fleet had faced — had been highly unstable, both mentally and emotionally. Sometimes spectacularly so...


"... As far as I can tell, nearly all the Jedi of the Old Republic carried lightsabers, even those who were primarily healers or teachers."


"...the cloaking shield schematics seem complete, but that to actually build one will take some time. It'll also be highly expensive, at least for a ship the size of the Chimaera."

Grand Admiral Thrawn's acquisition of the technology of cloaking devices. Implies that it is possible to cloak a vessel as large (and small) as the common mile-long star destroyer.


"You served too long under Lord Vader, Captain," [Thrawn] said. "I have no qualms about accepting a useful idea merely because it wasn't my own."


Off on the Chimaera's starboard flank, the Star Destroyer Inexorable was moving toward their base, ...

Star destroyer joining Chimaera, Stormhawk, Judicator and one unidentified destroyer in the attack on Bfassh.


[Imperial Star Destroyer Judicator]

Star destroyer joining Chimaera, Stormhawk, Inexorable and one unidentified destroyer in the attack on Bfassh. Later assaulted Lando Calrissian's mining operation in the Athega system.


[Imperial Star Destroyer Nemesis]

Star Destroyer in a group attacking a New Republic target in a hit-and-fade operation synchronised with the Bfassh attack. Coordinated remotely by Joruus C'baoth.


[Imperial Star Destroyer Stormhawk]

Star destroyer joining Chimaera, Inexorable, Judicator and one unidentified destroyer in the attack on Bfassh.


"A hit-and-fade attack — and with Star Destroyers, yet. Not something you see every day."
"I heard about something like that happening over at the Draukyze system a couple of months back," the copilot, a bulky man named Lachton, offered. "Same kind of hit-and-fade, except that there was only one Star Destroyer on that one."

location: Draukyze, a New Reoublic system subjected to Imperial attack sometime between four and five years after the Battle of Endor.


..."the Bpfasshi don't like Jedi."
Han's lip twisted. "The story is that some of their Jedi went bad during the Clone Wars and really mangled things before they were stopped. Or so Mon Mothma says."
"She's right," Leia nodded. "We were still getting echoes of the whole fiasco in the Imperial Senate when I was serving there. It wasn't just Bpfassh, either — some of those Dark Jedi escaped and made trouble all throughout the Sluis sector. One of them even got as far as Dagobah before he was caught."
Luke felt a jolt run through him. Dagobah? "When was that?" he asked as casually as possible.
"Thirty, thirty-five years ago," Leia said, her forehead creased slightly as she studied his face. "Why?"
Luke shook his head. Yoda had never mentioned a Dark Jedi ever being on Dagobah. "No reason," he murmured.

location: Bfassh, a double planet; point of origin of an outbreak of Dark Jedi during the Clone Wars.

location: Dagobah is witin Sluis sector.

"...why did they bother pounding on Bpfassh in the first place."
"You got it," Wedge nodded again. "It's not like they didn't have any better targets to choose from. You've got the Sluis-Van shipyards about thirty light-years, for starters — a hundred ships there at any given time, not to mention the docking facilities themselves."

Bfassh and Sluis Van are separated by only thirty light years. This is a very close separation for inhabited worlds, considering the fact that the galaxy contains only about twelve million inhabited worlds, and it is an unexceptional spiral galaxy. Systems closer to either of these worlds are likely to be dead systems.


"It's a fake," Han told him. "I can't believe it — these guys actually dug up another working YT-1300 freighter somewhere."

The Corellian Engineering Corporation's YT-1300 appears to be a rare vessel; at least rare enough that its acquisition is a noteworthy feat. They seemed to be more common several years before the Battle of Yavin. At least they were common enough for the young Han Solo to be familiar with the model in The Hutt Gambit.

Alternatively, it could be a case of oselesence if the YT-1300 is a discontinued model, but this would require that starships wear out in only a few years. After all, this is a society where droids last for hundreds of years and devices older than a human lifetime can still be considered modern.


"Those shieldships aren't just for show, you know...the sunlight out there is strong enough to fry every sensor we have in a few seconds and take the Falcon's hull off a couple of minutes later."

Han tells Leia what would happen if his ship was directly exposed to the radiation and light from Athega near Nkllon.


The Star Destroyer itself didn't worry him....if Lando's descriptions of the sunlight's intensity were right, the big ship itself was probably helpless by now, its sensors and maybe a fair amount of its armament vaporized right off its hull
But the TIE fighters protected in its hangers weren't so handicapped...and as soon as the ship reached Nkllon's shadow, those fighters would be free to launch.

Judicator supposedly has to wait until it reaches Nkllon's shadow before launching its assault craft.


On his scope, he could see that the Star Destroyer had left Nkllon's shadow again, driving hard toward a point far enough out of the gravity well for a lightspeed jump.

In confimration that the Judicator really does have cause for concern about the emissions from Athega.


Luke took a deep breath, glanced at the X-wing's chrono. In and among all of that, he had lost over half an hour.

Upper limit on the time taken for the Judicator to finish its work, leave the shadow and jump out of the system.


"Captain Pellaeon, how long will it take to repair the damage to the Judicator?"
"Several days at the least, Admiral," Pellaeon told him. "Depending on the damage, it could take as long as three, or four weeks."

Pellaeon reports on the extent of damage to the Judicator resulting from its attack on Nkllon and exposure to Athega's radiation. Considering the power of a star destroyer's shields and weapons demonstrated in the films, comparable to nuclear explosions, the emissions of Athega must be truly unusual. This cannot be an ordinary main-sequence star, no matter how close Nkllon is to the Athega's surface. Is it some kind of pulsar, or a more violent and exotic stellar remnant?


In the distance now, Luke could see what it was that had yanked the X-wing out of hyperspace: the third ship was an Interdictor Cruiser, the Empire's favorite tool for keeping opponents from jumping to lightspeed. Obviously, they'd been lying in wait for the freighter; it was just his bad luck that he'd run across the Interdictor's projected mass shadow and been kicked out of hyperspace along with it.


...the Interdictor was changing position, swinging around to try to bring its huge gravity field projectors more fully to bear on the escaping X-wing. Luke watched as the cone-shaped field area angled across the scope.

The interdiction field has a volume of effect which is not merely a spheroidal range around the vessel. It is more like the cone of a searchlight beam, and there are limitations on the speed with which it can be swung to a new facing.


[Talon Karrde's] blue eyes flicked up and down Luke. "You're not really what I expected, somehow. Though I suppose that's not all that surprising — the vast majority of Jedi lore has been so twisted by myth and ignorance that to get a clear picture is almost impossible."


"Ysalamiri?" Luke followed his gesture...and for the first time noticed the slender, gray-brown creature hanging onto the tree limb directly over Karrde's head. "What is it?"
"The reason you're staying where we put you," Karrde said. "They seem to have the unusual ability to push back the Force — to create bubbles, so to speak, where the Force simply doesn't exist."
"I've never heard of them," Luke said, wondering if there was any truth at all to the story. Certainly neither Yoda nor Ben had ever mentioned the possibility of such a thing.
"Not very many have," Karrde agreed. "And in the past, most of those who did had a vested interest in keeping it that way. The Jedi of the Old Republic avoided the planet, for obvious reasons..."


[Mara Jade's] eyes filled with a distant pain. "I was his hand, Skywalker," she said, her voice remembering. "That's how I was known to his inner court: as the Emperor's Hand. I served him all over the galaxy, doing jobs the Imperial Fleet and stormtroopers couldn't handle. That was my one great talent, you see — I could hear his call from anywhere in the Empire, and report back to him the same way. I exposed traitors for him, brought down his enemies, helped him keep the kind of control over the mindless bureaucracies that he needed. I had prestige, and power, and respect."

Bitterly nostalgic, Mara Jade outlines her former status in the Imperial Court.


"They didn't know me — none of them did. Not as the Emperor's Hand, anyway. I was a shadow, working outside normal lines of command and protocol. There were no records kept of my activities. Those few I was formally introduced to thought of me as court-hanging froth, a minor bit of mobile decoration kept around the palace to amuse the Emperor."

Mara Jade explains why she is left powerless by the Emperor's passing.


Pellaeon nodded at the ship. "I don't like sending them into enemy territory without any communications."
"We don't have much choice in the matter," Thrawn reminded him dryly. "That's how a cloaking shield works — nothing gets out, nothing gets in." He cocked an eyebrow. "Assuming, of course, that it works at all," he added pointedly.

A cloaking device acts as a double-blind, preventing the user from perceiving the outside universe.


Luke stared at him. "Grand Admiral?" he asked carefully.
Han's lip twisted. "Yeah. That's who seems to be running the show now for the Empire."
A cold chill ran up Luke's back. "I thought we'd accounted for all the Grand Admirals."
"Me too. We must have missed one."

There have existed several Grand Admirals of the Imperial Navy. Apart from Thrawn, all of them have been defeated, defected or retired before the fifth year after the Battle of Endor.


It was an impressive task force, one worthy of the old: five Imperial Star Destroyers, twelve Strike-class cruisers, twenty-two of the old Carrack-class light cruisers, and thirty full squadrons of TIE fighters standing ready in their hangar bays.

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