- "Forget the old way."
- ―Count Vidian's infamous catchphrase
Count Denetrius Vidian, born Lemuel Tharsa, was a wealthy mogul of the thorilide mining industry and one of the Galactic Empire's most prominent efficiency experts. After threatening to expose corruption in the mining industry and catching a rare degenerative disease, Shilmer's syndrome, Tharsa recreated himself as Vidian, becoming a business consultant in the Galactic Empire and mentored Everi Chalis. During the Age of the Empire, Vidian was granted control of the mining colony of Gorse and its moon Cynda, key to the Empire's expansion of its fleet. Vidian attempted to destroy Cynda in an unusual scheme to undermine his business rival Lero Danthe while simultaneously exploiting the moon's thorilide reserves. However, he was opposed by a motley group of rebels including Hera Syndulla, Kanan Jarrus, and Skelly. At the climax of the Gorse conflict, he was killed by Skelly aboard the Forager.
- 1 Biography
- 2 Personality and traits
- 3 Skills and abilities
- 4 Appearances
- 5 Sources
- 6 Notes and references
The man who became Count Vidian was once a low-ranking safety inspector named Lemuel Tharsa who worked for the Interstellar Thorilide Guild. Due to his work as a safety inspector, Tharsa became acquainted with the thorilide trade and developed a distaste for the endemic corruption and bribery within the mining industry. While on a business trip to the Inner Rim world of Gorse, Tharsa fell ill with Shilmer's syndrome, a flesh–eating disease that he had contracted from the countless unsanitary factories he had visited. The disease devoured most of his body, reducing Tharsa to a sack of organs patched together by his surgeons.
For the next two years, Tharsa remained unable to communicate due to the loss of most of his body parts, until he managed to re-establish rudimentary contact with one of the caretaker droids. Tharsa was eventually rebuilt as a cyborg with metallic limbs, synthskin coating, artificial yellowish–red alien eyes (specifically chosen as they would look unsettling with a human face), and an artificial voice that had been carefully selected based on opinion research. Having gained a new lease on life, Tharsa adopted a new persona, "Count Denetrius Vidian." Concealing his past as a safety inspector, Vidian reinvented himself as a defense contractor who had become a whistleblower.
The rise of Count Vidian
Desiring vengeance against the corrupt mining firms that had almost destroyed his life, Vidian developed a reputation as a prominent corporate stalker while still living in the Gorse medcenter. After taking stakes in firms manufacturing comet-chaser harvesting vessels, Vidian bought a secret stake in Minerax Consulting about four years before the fall of the Galactic Republic. Using his former identity, Vidian became the company's chief researcher. Posing as Lemuel Tharsa, he produced reports that wiped out thorilide surface mining operations on Gorse and several other worlds; driving several mining companies bankrupt. One of those companies was Introsphere, which later became Moonglow Polychemical. This single act damaged the guild he had once worked for while benefiting the interests of the comet-chaser industry, which he mostly controlled. Most of the mining operations on those worlds were run by companies he had once inspected.
During the last years of the Galactic Republic, Count Vidian became a popular management guru whose management texts had become pop-culture hits despite his reluctance to appear on the business HoloNets. From a meagre bank account, he developed a fortune through electronic trading. Following the rise of the Galactic Empire, Vidian curried favor with the new regime and became a member of Emperor Palpatine's cabinet. Due to his management skills and charisma, Vidian was assigned the task of speeding up production on Imperial mining worlds. As a workaholic, Vidian developed a reputation among industrial circles for his ruthlessness and putting profits ahead of people. His activities eventually drew the attention of the rebel operative Hera Syndulla, who was part of a rebel network that opposed the Empire.
Visit to Gilvaanen
Under the orders of the Emperor, Count Vidian and Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin traveled to the Inner Rim planet Gilvaanen to investigate the unsatisfactory rate of stormtrooper armor production there. While traveling aboard the Imperial Star Destroyer Executrix, Vidian and Tarkin debated their philosophical differences. Vidian argued that economic competition was necessary while Tarkin saw this as a threat to building a strong Empire. Despite their differences, the Emperor ordered the two men to work together and investigate what was slowing down armor production on Gilvaanen. Not fully trusting Vidian, Tarkin ordered Commander Rae Sloane to investigate his background. She discovered that he had gotten the Gozanti freighter program launched on time and under budget.
Vidian and Tarkin visited Thetis Quelton's company Quelton Fabrication and found her testing a suit of Pikaati armor. Prior to his first meeting with Quelton, Vidian reviewed the facility and its workforce and issued seventeen recommendations for the military contractor to ensure maximum efficiency. These included converting the employee break room into a warehouse. Before Vidian could continue, Tarkin interjected and confronted Quelton about her factory's unsatisfactory rate or production. Quelton countered that the Ithorian workers at Cladtech were slowing down production by delaying the assembly of interior armor parts. At Quelton's request, Vidian and Tarkin agreed to settle the problem at Cladtech.
At Cladtech, Vidian and Tarkin met with the Ithorian owner Mawdo Larrth. Vidian rankled Tarkin by defending the striking workers' concerns. With the aid of stormtroopers and Imperial Security Bureau personnel, they summoned the Ithorian workers for a meeting. In private, Vidian objected to Tarkin investigating his background. When Tarkin queried why he was defending the striking workers, Vidian reassured him that he was only concerned with improving production efficiency and vowed to resolve the matter.
Later, the ISB disrupted an illegal meeting of the Cladtech supervisors. Tarkin wanted to execute the supervisors but Vidian convinced him to stop. Vidian then exposed Larrth as the ringleader behind the workers' strikes after reviewing recordings which indicated that he was colluding with Quelton to instigate the strikes. After interrogating Larrth, Vidian broke his neck with his metallic fists. Vidian then informed the other workers that they were not in trouble and gave them a second chance to meet their production targets. He warned that failure would be punished by death.
In private, Vidian convinced Tarkin to merge Cladtech and Quelton into one company. They then met Quelton at her mansion under the pretext of discussing the merger of the two factors. There, Tarkin confronted her for her role in delaying the production of stormtrooper armor. Vidian then entered uninvited and revealed that Quelton had been planting bottleneck spores into the filtration system inside the stormtrooper helmets, which were fatal to humans. Before stormtroopers could apprehend Quelton, the businesswoman committed suicide by activating the hydrogen cyanide inside her Pikaati helmet.
Following the death of Quelton, Count Vidian contacted the Emperor via hologram and advocated the "Imperialization" of Gilvaanen. Supporting Tarkin's assessment, he recommended bringing Gilvaanen's armor production under the Imperial Department of Military Research for security reasons. Vidian placed his aide Everi Chalis in charge of the restructuring. Vidian then proposed dealing with the inefficiencies in Star Destroyer resource production by visiting the mines and processors. Due to his service, Tarkin gave Count Vidian a Star Destroyer for his own personal use. At Vidian's recommendation, Tarkin assigned a green captain with "no attachment to past practices."
The Gorse conflict
Inspection on Cynda
When thorilide production in the Gorse system fell behind schedule, the Emperor dispatched Count Vidian to restore productivity. Due to the closure of mining operations on Gorse, all mining operations had shifted to the planet's moon Cynda; which until then had been a nature preserve and tourist destination. The thorilide processing took place at several refineries on Gorse, including one run by Moonglow Polychemical, the successor to Introsphere. For this mission, he traveled with Captain Rae Sloane on the Imperial Star Destroyer Ultimatum. Upon arriving, he countermanded Sloane's orders for the mining ships to make way for the Star Destroyer by ordering her crew to back away from the space traffic. Displeased with the slow pace of the mining convoy traveling between Gorse and Cynda, Vidian ordered the Ultimatum to destroy the freighter Cynda Dreaming in order to terrify the local population and to send a message that the Empire would not tolerate tardiness. Unknown to Vidian, the surveillance operator Hetto had informed Hera about Vidian's visit to Gorse, and she had witnessed the freighter's destruction.
Count Vidian's first stop was the thorilide mine on Cynda, where he was greeted by several mining company representatives, including Palfa, the Neimoidian director of the Cyndan Mining Guild. His first act was to declare Security Condition One, which resulted in the arrest of 46 potential agitators working in the Cyndan mines. His second act was to impose an age cap on the mining crew and dismiss elderly workers. When Palfa protested, the cyborg personally beat him to death in front of the miners and his stormtroopers. Retrenched workers were reassigned to more "suitable labor" on Gorse. To replace Palfa, Vidian ordered Sloane to inform Coruscant there was a job opening at the Cynda Mining Guild.
When one of the miners, Okadiah Garson, was confronted by Vidian, he expressed shock at the Count's appearance, and in return the Count threatened to flay him and grabbed Okadiah's neck. At that point, he was confronted by a young man named Kanan Jarrus, who pointed a blaster at him. Kanan remonstrated with Vidian and convinced him that Okadiah could mentor younger miners. Vidian, who had already killed someone and was on a tight schedule, was persuaded by Kanan's words to back down. Unbeknownst to Vidian, he was being tailed by Hera, who had managed to infiltrate the Cyndan mine.
While addressing a droidmaster and three aides in one of the mine's upper chambers, an underground explosion caused the floor beneath them to collapse into a sinkhole. The master and aides were trapped beneath the rubble, but Vidian managed to climb out due to his cyborg body. When the workers pleaded for help, Vidian coldly told them that help was on the way and reassured them that Cynda's crystal columns were supposed to prevent tremors. This explosion was the result of a bomb that had been set off by the dissident miner Skelly, a Clone Wars veteran who was opposed to mining Cynda. Skelly's research had found that the moon's internal structure was fragile. As a result, the Imperial authorities launched a manhunt for Skelly and stormtroopers were dispatched to Cynda.
After departing Cynda on the Imperial shuttle Truncheon, Vidian considered visiting Moonglow Polychemical on Gorse after learning about the company from Kanan. Vidian had originally intended to confer with the planetary managers by hologram. Shortly later, he was contacted by Baron Lero Danthe of Corulag, the wealthy scion of a droid manufacturing dynasty with close ties to the Emperor. A political rival of Vidian, Danthe had convinced the Emperor to increase the thorilide production rate by 50% more per week. Later, he met with Captain Sloane on the Ultimatum's landing deck and informed her that he would be commencing his tour of the refineries on Gorse. While annoyed by his change of plans, she complied when he promised to secure her a permanent position as Captain of the Ultimatum.
Shortly later, Skelly was apprehended by Kanan, who decided to hand him to Moonglow security after the dissident miner had endangered the lives of miners by planting a bomb in Cynda's Zone Forty-Two. Moonglow's chief operating officer Lal Grallik promptly contacted Count Vidian and informed him of Skelly's capture. In return, Vidian announced he was sending stormtroopers to arrest Skelly and that he would later visit Moonglow itself. In secret, he planned to dismantle the company due to his personal vendetta against its predecessor company, Introsphere. Before the Empire could take Skelly into custody, Hera hired the criminal gang the Sarlaccs to stage a theft outside the refinery's gate and helped him escape. Hera had considered recruiting him into the rebellion, but found Skelly too impulsive to manage and parted company with him.
Meanwhile, Vidian enacted a raft of policies to speed up productivity on Gorse. He designed and issued new traffic patterns for cargo ships traveling between Gorse and Cynda, modified the Cynda loader droids' subroutines and ordered a security review of Transcept Media Solutions' personnel. The security review led to the arrest of Hetto, a surveillance analyst in the company's surveillance division Myder's Mynocks, who had links to Hera. Prior to his scheduled visit, he also reorganised three guilds, merged several equipment suppliers into one company, and even shut down a medcenter and relocated its patients to an institution near the factories under the pretext of getting them back to work faster. His last order was intended to destroy all evidence that he had once been a patient named Lemuel Tharsa. Officially, Tharsa was still alive and listed as a mining consultant board the Ultimatum. While uneasy at the ruthlessness of some of Vidian's edicts, Captain Sloane and her officers nonetheless complied with his orders.
On the eve of his visit to Gorse, Vidian was contacted by Baron Danthe, who informed him that the comet–chaser fleet had exhausted a once plentiful supply of thorilide–bearing comets. In addition, Vidian was irked to learn from his aides that Danthe had been casting doubt on his production scheme to the Emperor. While Baron Danthe had offered to supply droids to speed up production, Vidian saw his rival's offer as an attempt to "colonize" an industry that he felt rightfully belonged to him. Angered by the news and Danthe's interference, Vidian trashed his stateroom in a fit of rage.
An unlikely opportunity
The following day, Count Vidian, accompanied by Captain Sloane and her men, traveled to the Moonglow Polychemical refinery on the Imperial shuttle Truncheon. While flying over the medcenter he had closed, he witnessed the planned demolition of the building. For the Moonglow tour, he was hosted by Lal Grallik and her husband Gord, the head of ground security at the refinery. Unbeknownst to Vidian, he was being tailed by Skelly, who had come to dissuade him from continuing mining operations on Cynda, and Hera, who was spying on Vidian.
While Vidian and his hosts were inspecting a heavy bulk loader vehicle, his advanced sensors picked up Skelly's presence and he challenged the intruder to come out of hiding. Skelly identified himself as a whistleblower and urged him to cease mining on Cynda since it was eroding the moon's vulnerable crystalline structure. However, Vidian was determined to let nothing stand in the way of Imperial progress and assaulted Skelly, beating him severely. A wounded Skelly managed to escape by fleeing on the conveyor belt, but left the holodisk containing his research behind. When Sloane arrived at the scene, he told her that the holodisk was inconsequential and that he planned to destroy it.
During a tour of the refinery's xenoboric acid bath, Vidian was contacted by Baron Danthe again. The Baron informed him that the Emperor had ordered a tripling of the thorilide production output. When Lal informed Vidian that the factory could not triple thorilide production within a week, Vidian pushed her into a trough of xenoboric acid, and then used a skimming pole to push her in further. Lal's murder was witnessed by the rebel operative Hera, who subsequently informed Lal's grieving husband Gord. Recalling his encounter with Skelly, Vidian decided not to destroy the holodisk, but use it to advance his plan to increase thorilide production by destroying Cynda. He promptly cut his trip short and decided to return to the Ultimatum.
Before Vidian could leave on the Truncheon, Skelly destroyed it with a bomb that killed several Imperial personnel. An enraged Gord attempted to confront Vidian, but was beaten up by the Count's stormtroopers. With his shuttle destroyed, Vidian commandeered a hoverbus to a nearby Imperial spaceport. However, he was tailed by Skelly, Hera, Kanan, and an enraged Gord. Before Vidian could board his second shuttle, Cudgel, Skelly threw a second bomb that destroyed the vessel. Vidian and his men survived and then confronted Hera, Kanan, Skelly, and Gord. While the rebels escaped on the hoverbus, Vidian battered Gord to death with his cybernetic fists.
When Captain Sloane arrived, Vidian ordered her to send several Imperial forces including two TIE fighters and Imperial Troop Transports after them. However, the rebels managed to destroy their Imperial pursuers and dumped their bus in a quarry before disappearing into the night. Meanwhile, Vidian departed on a third shuttle called Bastinade for the Ultimatum. Despite the rebels' escape, Vidian was mollified that his encounter with Skelly had provided him with an unexpected way to boost thorilide production in the Gorse system.
A desperate gambit
After returning to the Ultimatum, Count Vidian began discussing his plans to destroy Cynda with Captain Sloane and her science officer Lieutenant Kanna Deltic. Despite the potential tidal damage, groundquakes, and meteor storms that Cynda's destruction could wreak on Gorse, Vidian was unconcerned and claimed that the thorilide would survive the moon's destruction. The Count claimed that the moon's destruction would make it easier for his harvester vessels to extract the thorilide and that the refining could be done on these ships. He dismissed Deltic's assessment that the moon's destruction could cause the fragile thorilide crystals to disintegrate. Vidian stated he was willing to sacrifice countless lives on Gorse in order to increase thorilide production.
To test his theory that detonating Cynda would not destroy the thorilide crystals, he destroyed the mining encampment on the moon with a test blast, killing all the workers on shift at the time and destroying several mining ships. Based on these test results, Vidian claimed that Cynda's thorilide could be harvested for the next two thousand years. To cover up Vidian's scheme, the explosion was blamed on Moonglow Polychemical, which was subsequently nationalized by the Galactic Empire. In truth, Vidian had falsified the findings by publishing fake test results under his former identity, Lemuel Tharsa. In secret, Vidian's plan was to destroy Cynda and its thorilide reserves and frame his rival Baron Danthe. While Captain Sloane would also be implicated due to her supervisory role, Vidian reasoned that she was just collateral damage in his path to achieving victory. By discrediting Baron Danthe, Vidian planned to curry favor with the Emperor.
Following the test blast, Vidian ordered all mining cargo ships in the Gorse system to follow the Ultimatum to the Calcoraan system, where he operated a depot that served as his base of operations in the sector. Vidian's depot also stored large quantities of baradium-357, an incendiary substance used in explosives. Imperial HoloNews claimed that Vidian was leading a "heroic" effort to stabilize Cynda. Unknown to the Count, the rebels Hera, Kanan, and Skelly had managed to infiltrate the mining convoy in the cargo freighter Expedient. They were joined by the Sullustan Zaluna Myder, who had decided to aid the rebels after she was dismissed from her job at Transcept Media Solutions due to her friend Hetto being arrested for contacting the rebel Hera. Having discerned Vidian's plot, the rebels resolved to stop the Count from destroying Cynda. Vidian's activities also attracted the notice of Baron Danthe, who secretly contacted Captain Sloane and told her to contact him if she needed help.
After arriving at the Calcoraan Depot, Vidian took Captain Sloane on a tour of the depot's facilities. He had ordered his employees to reverse-engineer Baron Danthe's heatproof mining drones under the pretext of "maintenance." After showing Sloane the loading of the explosives, he departed on the pretext of needing to "file" a report with the Emperor. In his personal medcenter, Vidian crafted a falsified report that presented his Cynda project in a favorable light to the Emperor. Due to the advanced sensors built into his cyborg body, the Count soon detected the presence of two intruders: Hera and Kanan, who had infiltrated the facility. Using his mechanical body, Vidian was able to overpower the intruders quickly.
Trouble with rebels
Before he could kill Hera and Kanan, Vidian was rendered unconscious by a rogue Interrogator droid that had been hijacked by Zaluna and Skelly. Under Zaluna's control, the droid had injected Vidian with a cocktail of drugs mixed by Skelly, which put him to sleep. Zaluna and Skelly then joined Kanan and Hera in Vidian's medcenter. With Vidian unconscious, the rebels proceeded to download his brain into a computer terminal. While examining Vidian's memories, the rebels discovered that the original Cynda test results indicated that the test blast caused the thorilide crystals to disintegrate and that the Count had sent a falsified report to the Emperor claiming otherwise. The rebels quickly realized that Vidian was planning to use Cynda's destruction to discredit Baron Danthe and gain favor with the Emperor. In addition, they found that Vidian and Lemuel Tharsa were the same person.
To save Cynda and Gorse from Vidian's apocalyptic scheme, the rebels decided to get Captain Sloane to send the correct report to the Empire. Kanan lured Sloane into Vidian's executive chambers and then restrained her with a stasis field. Posing as an agent of the Emperor, the undercover Jedi Padawan and his rebel colleagues told Sloane to send the original report to the Emperor. Since Vidian controlled all communications at the depot, he told her to use the communications facilities aboard her Star Destroyer. Sloane reluctantly complied and the rebels escaped the Calcoraan Depot in the Expedient. Before leaving, the rebels also wiped Vidian's memories of the last hour to cover their tracks.
When Vidian awoke from his drug-induced sleep, Captain Sloane reported that they had been accosted by a group of rebels who had been led by a man claiming to be an agent of the Emperor. Sloane had not sent the original report to the Emperor due to her skepticism over Kanan's claim that he was a deep undercover agent. Vidian, in a hasty attempt to ensure Sloane's loyalty and commitment to his plan, unintentionally roused her suspicions after he promised to make her the youngest Admiral in the Imperial Navy, which prompted her to send the original report after all. After summoning security and locking down the depot, Vidian realized that the rebel intruders were trying to tamper with his planned destruction of Cynda. He ordered Captain Sloane to prepare her Star Destroyer Ultimatum, and several TIE fighters and Gozanti-class freighter carriers. Believing Cynda's destruction was imminent, he offered to make favors to Sloane and Captain Yale Karlsen.
Showdown above Cynda
Vidian traveled to Cynda in the Forager, a specialized mining vessel consisting of seven spheres that made it resemble a large segmented insect. He planned to commence harvesting the thorilide immediately after the moon's destruction. According to Vidian's plan, Captain Sloane would initiate the moon's detonation from her Star Destroyer Ultimatum. Meanwhile, the mining fleet began depositing their explosive cargo onto Cynda's surface. Before they could finish their work, Kanan pretended to be mentally affected by the coolant in his cargo of baradium-357, and began making threats across the intercom to confuse the mining cargo ships and provoke a response from Vidian.
Using the Expedient, Hera and Kanan began disrupting the uploading process by attacking the TIE fighters escorting the cargo ships. The rebels then headed towards the Forager, but found that the ship was protected by a powerful deflector shield. The rebels then decided to board Vidian's ship, because it had a communications antenna through which they could broadcast a warning to the people of Gorse. Vidian's Forager was approaching the moon when one of his cybernetic crew detected the rebel freighter Expedient breaching the rearward gap in the Forager's shield. Before the Forager's defensive turrets could hit the ship, the Expedient managed to land in the ship's rear landing bay.
With the Forager breached, Vidian ordered his stormtroopers to repel the intruders. The four rebels fought their way through the ship's factory compartments, which included many large vats of xenoboric acid. Despite the intruders, Vidian was determined to continue the countdown, and was still waiting for the mining ships to finish loading into the final injection site on Cynda. The rebel Zaluna managed to breach Vidian's command center, but was quickly cornered by Vidian, who knocked the Sullustan woman unconscious. Soon, Kanan caught up to Vidian and tried to shoot him. However, the count's metallic body deflected the blasts and he destroyed Kanan's blaster with his cybernetic hands.
While Vidian wrestled with Kanan, Zaluna attempted to shoot him with her pistol. However, Vidian managed to grab her pistol during the struggle and crush the power cell, which blew up, blinding Zaluna. Despite the damage to his synthskin facial coating, Vidian was still in peak capacity and challenged Kanan to a duel. Before they could fight, Hera stormed the command room with a hijacked hover-forklift and rammed the machine into Vidian. Due to his metallic body, Vidian survived the impact. Following a heated verbal exchange, a defiant Vidian told the rebels that Cynda's optimal detonation window was only four minutes away.
At that point, Vidian encountered a new, unexpected obstacle to his plans. Captain Sloane ordered the Ultimatum's technical crew to rescind the Detonation Control link to the Forager and gave orders for her stormtroopers aboard the Forager to arrest the Count. Unknown to Vidian, Sloane had received a response from the Emperor's people, who had issued her with orders to stop the destruction of Cynda at all costs. Sloane charged the Count with numerous crimes, including multiple violations of the Imperial legal code: falsification of testimony to the Emperor, profiteering without the Emperor's permission, breach of faith with the Emperor, and attempting to damage or destroy vital strategic assets. Undaunted by Sloane's threats, Vidian revealed that he had another trick up his sleeve: he was still able to remotely control the Detonation Control uplink from the Forager.
In response, Sloane ordered her stormtroopers to kill Vidian's cybernetic crew. A three-way battle soon ensued between Vidian, the rebels, and Sloane's stormtroopers. Using his enhanced cybernetic body, Vidian deflected a blaster shot from a stormtrooper and then crushed the culprit's head with his bare hands. Sloane ordered her gunnery crew to target the Forager's transmission tower; effectively destroying Vidian's plans to detonate Cynda. As a result, the cyborg Count fled the control room, heading for the ship's hangar. In the midst of the chaos, Kanan and Hera escaped with the wounded Zaluna on a life pod.
The bombardment of the Forager released a flood of xenoboric acid which swept through the ship's corridors and facilities. Vidian's cybernetic body was badly damaged by the acid. Still defiant, Vidian attempted to use the rebels' baradium hauler to travel to one of the drill sites on Cynda and detonate the explosives in order to meet the Emperor's thorilide quota. Before Vidian could complete his plan, he was accosted by Skelly, who was in bad shape after Vidian's earlier beating and falling from a ladder during the rebels' initial boarding of the Forager. Skelly detonated a bomb which killed the two of them and destroyed the Forager in a fiery explosion.
Count Vidian's death above Cynda ended his plot to destroy the moon and saved millions of lives on Gorse. To cover up his treason, Imperial HoloNews claimed that the efficiency expert had died from a relapse of Shilmer's syndrome. In Vidian's absence, his rival Baron Danthe was granted oversight of the Gorse system. One of Danthe's first acts was to shut down all mining operations on Cynda and restore the moon to its status as a tourist destination. Danthe also opened the sunward side of Gorse to mining, using his company's heat-resistant mining drones for that dangerous work. Due to the reestablishment of mining on Gorse, the planet's refineries were able to remain open.
In addition, Captain Sloane and Commander Nibiru Chamas also rose in the Imperial Navy hierarchy due to their efforts to expose Vidian's deception to the Imperial authorities. Meanwhile, Hera and Kanan established a rebel cell after hiding Zaluna on a safe world.
In 3 ABY, while attempting to repair the damaged shuttle Bastinade in the Hoth asteroid belt, Lieutenant Deltic quipped to then-Commodore Sloane that, although she did not believe in reincarnation, she believed the Lambda-class' computer was the reincarnation of Vidian because of the trouble it was causing them.
Personality and traits
As the safety inspector Lemuel Tharsa, Count Vidian felt himself to be useless and was frustrated by the rampant corruption that dominated the thorilide trade. Due to his work as a safety inspector in the mining industry, Vidian contracted a debilitating disease called Shilmer's syndrome, which destroyed most of his body functions and rendered him incommunicado for two years until he was able to establish rudimentary communications with a medical droid. The experience of being trapped in his own mind for years turned Vidian into an aggressive workaholic who disdained other sentient beings, particularly those who interfered with his plans. He did not believe in the Force, considering the tales of Jedi abilities that he had heard of mere superstition.
After being fused into a cybernetic body, Tharsa abandoned his former identity and recreated himself as an intimidating character known as Count Denetrius Vidian. His mechanical presence unnerved many around him, having intentionally crafted his prosthetic replacements and mechanical voice box in a calculating way that was designed to intimidate those around him. As a cyborg, Vidian hardly even thought of himself as a "person," an insecurity exacerbated by his mechanical augmentations, which some compared to Darth Vader and General Grievous.
Using his business acumen and insider skills, Vidian exacted revenge against the mining companies by publishing reports that discouraged surface thorilide mining in favor of space comet-chasing mining. As a workaholic, Vidian subscribed to the business mantra: "Keep moving, destroy barriers, see everything." After monopolizing the thorolide trade, Vidian established himself as a well-respected business guru. During the Age of the Empire, Vidian became the Emperor's favorite efficiency expert, tasked with increasing productivity on laggard worlds and systems. As the Emperor's efficiency expert, Vidian was known to squeeze the last drop of raw material out of all of his projects, often at the expense of his workers' lives.
Vidian initially believed that competition was necessary to ensure efficiency. After thwarting a plot to sabotage stormtrooper armor on Gilvaanen, Vidian reconsidered his views and supported Tarkin's recommendation of bringing the planet's armor industry under the Imperial Department of Military Research. Vidian also disagreed with Tarkin's endorsement of collective punishment and instead executed the ringleader of the Ithorian strikers. Vidian also gave the workers a second chance but warned that failure would be met by death. Vidian was also known to study his subjects before meeting them.
Despite his success as a well-respected business guru, Vidian was insecure and jealously guarded his business interests, including the Gorse system's thorilide mining industry. While Vidian strove to meet the Empire's unrealistic demands to double and subsequently triple Gorse's mining output, his personal ambitions to curry the Emperor's favor led him to reject help from perceived competitors like Baron Lero Danthe, whom he derided as a "snotty upstart." Vidian's mining activities on Gorse's moon Cynda put him into conflict with Skelly, a dissident miner and Clone Wars veteran who regarded mining as detrimental to Cynda's existence. Vidian's obsession with undermining Danthe and gaining the Emperor's favor led him to embark on a secret plot to destroy Cynda and its thorilide reserves. However, Vidian was defeated by the combined efforts of a group of rebels led by Hera Syndulla and the Imperial Captain Rae Sloane.
In addition, Vidian's obsession with increasing productivity and extracting all resources led him to take a dim view toward the lives of other sentient beings. Vidian had a volatile temperament and was known to fly into a rage when things did not go his way. He was also capable of cold-blooded murder. On two occasions, he brutally murdered the Cyndan Mining Guild's Director Palfa and Moonglow Polychemical's Chief Operations Officer Lal Grallik when they were unable to meet his goals and expectations. While serving as the Empire's efficiency expert in the Gorse system, he introduced several draconian measures including imprisoning dissident miners, sacking elderly miners, and closing down a medcenter. In his plot to destroy Cynda, Vidian had little regard for the adverse environmental effects that the moon's destruction would have on Gorse's people.
Skills and abilities
Through his cybernetic augmentations, Vidian had access to a wide berth of information based around his motto: "Keep moving, destroy barriers, see everything." With Vidian's formidable steel-coated body, he believed himself to have an "able body and thus an able mind." Vidian's electronic voice box on his throat could channel its output straight into comlink receivers near his "ears," private communication channels, giving himself total privacy in comlink and hologram conversations and thus "getting information directly, whenever possible." Through his cybernetic eye implants, Vidian was able to channel his vision directly into security cameras and computer systems, having data streamed directly into his retinas and "giving him the upper hand." His armor was woven with cortosis, which enabled him to be deflect blaster bolts and redirect the energy elsewhere. His lungs were also augmented to reject poisons.
Vidian was also a careful observer and took care to research all information that he knew about his subjects. This led him to ascertain that the Ithorian foreman Larrth was conspiring with Thetis Quelton to sabotage stormtrooper armor production.
- "Bottleneck"—The Rise of the Empire
- A New Dawn (First appearance)
- A New Dawn audiobook
- Battlefront: Twilight Company (Appears as a statue)
- Battlefront: Twilight Company audiobook (Appears as a statue)
- "Lord Vader Will See You Now"—From a Certain Point of View: The Empire Strikes Back (Mentioned only) (In flashback(s))
- "The Levers of Power"—The Rise of the Empire (Mentioned only)
- Aftermath (Mentioned only)
- Aftermath audiobook (Mentioned only)
- Aftermath: Life Debt (Mentioned only)
- Aftermath: Life Debt audiobook (Mentioned only)
- "The Making of A New Dawn"—Star Wars Insider 152
- Ultimate Star Wars
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 10 (Weapons & Uniforms: Imperial Dignitaries)
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 12 (Databank A-Z: Cosians–Dagobah)
- Star Wars Super Graphic: A Visual Guide to a Galaxy Far, Far Away (First pictured)
- Dawn of Rebellion
- Ultimate Star Wars, New Edition
Notes and references
- A New Dawn
- Star Wars Rebels: The Visual Guide establishes that the events of A New Dawn are set six years before the beginning of Star Wars Rebels, which Star Wars: Galactic Atlas dates to 5 BBY. Thus, basic math indicates that the novel is set in 11 BBY. In A New Dawn, during the infiltration of Calcoraan Depot, Kanan Jarrus, Hera Syndulla, Zaluna Myder and Skelly find holographic recordings from twenty years prior which allow them to identify Denetrius Vidian's former identity as Lemuel Tharsa, and basic math indicates the recordings date from the year 31 BBY. In the recordings, Vidian/Tharsa is described as appearing "just shy" of thirty years old, dating his birth to around 60 BBY.
- Star Wars Rebels: The Visual Guide states that Kanan Jarrus and Hera Syndulla met on Gorse, as depicted in the novel A New Dawn, six years prior to the events of Star Wars Rebels. Star Wars: Galactic Atlas states that Star Wars Rebels begins in the year 5 BBY, thereby dating the events of A New Dawn, including Denetrius Vidian's death, to 11 BBY.
- "Bottleneck"—The Rise of the Empire
- Star Wars: Galactic Atlas
- "Lord Vader Will See You Now"—From a Certain Point of View: The Empire Strikes Back