"The smuggler offered what he said was a free sample: the information that there are three Imperial Star Destroyers within a month of completion out there. Colonel Derlin said Wing Commander Harleys is drawing up a plan to confirm that."
―Winter, to Princess Leia Organa Solo[3]

Diblen Harleys was a Human male from the planet Coruscant. The son of an Imperial bureaucrat, Harleys grew up believing that the Galactic Empire stood for order and justice, so he wanted to join the Imperial Survey Corps. Following the death of his mother around his fifteenth birthday, his father revealed the true nature of the Empire to him, explaining that a career in the Imperial Survey Corps would result only in the discovery of worlds that the Empire could exploit. Angry at being lied to all his life, Harleys joined the Alliance to Restore the Republic, serving in the capacity of a starfighter pilot and tactician. Harleys's tactics later proved effective during the Battle of Endor in 4 ABY, when he assisted in the Alliance victory over the Empire. By 9 ABY, during the Thrawn Crisis—a military campaign against the New Republic led by the Chiss Grand Admiral Thrawn—Harleys was a Wing Commander and spent much of his time out of the cockpit planning missions. The Wing Commander was later involved in a scheme headed by Princess Leia Organa Solo and New Republic Intelligence agent Winter to search for Delta Source—a highly effective Imperial spy within the New Republic's highest echelons.


Early life[]

Diblen Harleys's homeworld of Coruscant

"It is better to stay quiet and protect yourself than die as a dissident."
―Diblen Harleys' father, to his son[1]

Diblen Harleys, a Human male, was born on the galactic capital of Coruscant[1] around 19 BBY,[2] during the days of Emperor Palpatine's rise to power.[1] His father was an Imperial bureaucrat,[4] and Harleys was brought up to believe that the Galactic Empire stood for justice and order; he was insulated from any reports of atrocities committed by Imperial forces or authorities. In his youth, Harleys planned to join the Imperial Survey Corps and to explore both Wild Space and the Unknown Regions.[1]

When Harleys was fifteen, his mother died. Shortly thereafter, his father told Harleys what life in the Imperial Survey Corps was really like: he would spend his career searching out primitive worlds for the Empire to ruthlessly exploit. His father advised him to remain quiet rather than be seen as a dissident; however, Harleys was outraged at being lied to for many years. He believed that he had been "brainwashed" to believe in the Empire and what it stood for. Aware of the truth of the Empire for the first time, Harleys joined the fledgling Alliance to Restore the Republic.[1]

Alliance/New Republic service[]

Harleys served the Alliance with distinction as a starfighter pilot, and later, a starfighter tactician. At the Battle of Endor[1] in 4 ABY,[5] Harleys was part of the planning staff,[4] where his tactical skill helped the Alliance win a crucial victory. Following the engagement, Harleys was steadily promoted within the rank structure of the New Republic, the political entity that succeeded the Alliance to Restore the Republic.[1] Following the liberation of Coruscant in 6 ABY, the New Republic relocated its headquarters to the galactic capital, taking over the former Imperial Palace as the base of operations for the government.[6] Harleys was among the personnel assigned to Coruscant,[1] and shortly before the Thrawn Crisis in 9 ABY, he was promoted to the rank of Wing Commander.[4] In that capacity, he enjoyed easy working relationships with Colonel Bren Derlin of the Coruscant Defense Force and Supreme Commander Admiral Gial Ackbar.[1]

During the Thrawn Crisis—a military campaign against the New Republic led by the Chiss Grand Admiral Thrawn—the New Republic's war effort was being hampered by the presence of Delta Source, an exotic recording device installed in the Grand Corridor of the Imperial Palace on the order of Emperor Palpatine so that he could spy on the members of the Imperial Senate. In an effort to locate Delta Source—believing, at the time, that it was a spy within either the New Republic's government or military hierarchies—Princess Leia Organa Solo and New Republic Intelligence agent Winter began reciting scripted conversations in the Grand Corridor. It was their hope that Zakarisz Ghent, a slicer in the employ of the smuggler Talon Karrde, would be able to use the conversations to determine Delta Source's identity by working out who had heard the dialogue, then correlating it with outgoing Delta Source transmissions for which Ghent had managed to break the encryption by using sophisticated computer programs and decrypting software. One such conversation indicated that Harleys was being placed in charge of drawing up a plan to confirm that three Imperial-class Star Destroyers under construction at the shipyards of Ord Trasi were within one month of completion.[3]

Personality and traits[]

Standing 1.6 meters tall, Diblen Harleys possessed blond hair and blue eyes. Growing up, Harleys held a deep belief that the Empire was fundamentally right, and stood for order and justice in the galaxy due to his father's position as an Imperial bureaucrat. Shortly after his fifteenth birthday, Harleys learned the truth about the Empire when his father described what life would be like if he followed his goals and joined the Imperial Survey Corps. Angry at having been lied to for years, Harleys felt that he had been "brainwashed" to believe in the Empire. That feeling galvanized him to join the Rebel Alliance.[1]

Harleys was a popular commander, well liked by the troops serving under him due to his sense of humor—which was considered to be outrageous—and his dedication to protecting those under his command. He could, however, be intimidating when the need arose, or persuasive if the situation demanded it. Although Harleys wore a standard New Republic flight suit while on duty, he chose to augment it with a single blue gemstone earring, and a pair of glareshades.[1]

Despite having a love of flying, Harleys often found that his duties kept him from the cockpit more often than he would have liked. In addition, he was a relatively young officer to hold a high rank, and as such he was often treated as an inexperienced subordinate by his peers, despite working closely with both Colonel Derlin and Admiral Ackbar.[1]

Harleys was trained in unarmed combat and how to use a blaster, and he carried a blaster pistol along with a comlink. As a pilot, he was trained to fly both starfighters and space transports, and navigate them safely through hyperspace. He could also repair starfighters. In addition to flight training, Harleys was capable of driving ground and repulsorlift vehicles. In his role as a tactician and Wing Commander, Harleys understood the inner workings of the New Republic's bureaucracy, and he had knowledge about planetary systems. A skilled commander, Harleys was capable of leading starfighter groups and Coruscant-based personnel, and he was well versed in starfighter tactics.[1]

Behind the scenes[]

Diblen Harleys was first mentioned in The Last Command by Timothy Zahn, which was published in 1993. Referred to only as "Wing Commander Harleys," he nonetheless received an entry in the The Last Command Sourcebook by West End Games in 1994, a book that gave him a first name and a biography. This information was subsequently reprinted in The Thrawn Trilogy Sourcebook.

In The Last Command, Wing Commander Harleys is referenced in relation to a plan to determine whether or not Imperial-class Star Destroyers under construction at Ord Trasi are nearing completion. However, this mention comes during the scene where Leia Organa Solo and Winter are playing out scripted conversations in an effort to reveal who or what Delta Source is. Because of this, it is unclear whether or not Harleys was involved in such a mission, or if it was false information. However, The Last Command Sourcebook does confirm that Star Destroyers were being built at Ord Trasi.



Notes and references[]

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