- "During my time on the Chimaera I often felt that you had more leadership potential than circumstances allowed you to develop. Perhaps we'll have the opportunity now to judge that evaluation."
"I'll do my best to prove you right, sir."
- ―Flim, posing as Grand Admiral Thrawn, and Captain Dorja in 19 ABY
Captain Dorja of the Imperial Navy was a career military officer who commanded the Imperial I-class Star Destroyer Relentless in the fleet of the Galactic Empire and later the Imperial Remnant. A Human male, Dorja embraced the tenets of Emperor Palpatine's New Order and took command of the Relentless prior to 4 ABY, during the Galactic Civil War between the Empire and the Rebel Alliance. He was known for a cautious command style that saw his ship suffer no casualties, and he held his Star Destroyer back from the main combat lines at 4 ABY's Battle of Endor, an engagement with the Rebels that saw the Emperor killed and the Empire splinter into warlordism. Over the next five years, as Imperial Space was greatly diminished by the Alliance's successor state, the New Republic, Dorja plotted to seize control of the fleet from Captain Gilad Pellaeon. His plans were foiled, however, when the tactically gifted Grand Admiral Thrawn returned from the Unknown Regions in 9 ABY and was given control of the Empire. Dorja and the Relentless were put in command of the navy's secondary force, and Dorja saw his exclusion from the Grand Admiral's primary armada as a personal slight against himself.
During Thrawn's campaign against the New Republic, the Relentless came across several high-profile enemy targets on the planet New Cov, and although they escaped from the Star Destroyer, Dorja captured the ship thief Niles Ferrier and presented him to Thrawn. Ferrier tracked down a number of dreadnaughts for the Grand Admiral that proved to be a turning point in the campaign, but Thrawn was later betrayed and killed by his bodyguard Rukh. His campaign came to an end, and by 19 ABY Dorja was serving the reorganized Imperial Remnant. When Pellaeon decided to sue for peace with the New Republic, his plans were sabotaged by a group of treasonous Imperials who included a con artist named Flim. Posing as a reborn Thrawn, Flim recruited Dorja to capture Pellaeon's courier before he could make any overtures to the New Republic. As Pellaeon waited in seclusion for peace talks that would not actually occur, Flim took to using the Relentless as his flagship while "Thrawn" expanded Imperial influence throughout the galaxy. When Dorja intercepted a covert New Republic strike at Imperial-held Yaga Minor, Pellaeon suddenly walked onto the ship's bridge and brought the ruse to an end. Peace accords were signed with the New Republic, and in the following years, Dorja's daughter Vana became a commander in the Imperial Navy.
A Human male by the name of Dorja was born on the planet Coruscant in or before the year 65 BBY to a wealthy family with a long tradition of military service to the Galactic Republic. His father, grandfather, and four more preceding generations had all been naval officers, with two of them having commanded a ship of the line and at least one having reached the rank of admiral. Dorja followed the family tradition and joined the Navy of the Galactic Empire at some point after the Republic transitioned into the Empire in 19 BBY. Around 2 BBY, Dorja had a daughter, Vana. Embracing the tenets of Galactic Emperor Palpatine's New Order, Dorja became the captain of the Imperial I-class Star Destroyer Relentless before the year 4 ABY. He became known for a cautious tendency to not engage an enemy in direct combat, and for no casualties being suffered under his command.
In 4 ABY, as the Galactic Civil War raged between the Empire and the Rebel Alliance, Emperor Palpatine drew the Rebels into a trap at the forest moon of Endor, where his massive Death Star II battlestation was under construction. Death Squadron, a task force of more than thirty Star Destroyers and support ships—the Relentless among them—was hidden behind the far side of Endor, and when the Alliance Fleet arrived in the system to destroy the incomplete Death Star, the trap was sprung. The Imperial fleet converged on the Rebels, who were contained in-system by interdictor cruisers. Dorja kept the Relentless removed from the Battle of Endor's main combat and thus suffered no casualties, but the Rebels won the day when a strike team blew up the shield generator on\ the moon's surface that was protecting the Death Star, in turn allowing Rebel fighters to enter the battlestation and completely destroy it.
The Emperor was dead, but the Imperial fleet continued to fight for nearly four hours. Imperial morale became extremely low, and after the destruction of Death Squadron's flagship, the Executor; the battlecruiser Pride of Tarlandia; and sixteen additional Star Destroyers; Captain Gilad Pellaeon of the Chimaera ordered a retreat to the planet Annaj. Dorja almost refused to follow Pellaeon, an officer junior to himself, but he agreed with Pellaeon's bleak assessment of the situation. After a two-day trip to Annaj, a council of war disintegrated when no clear chain of command could be established in the wake of Palpatine's death. Several officers deserted with their forces and declared themselves independent warlords.
- "Good day, Captain Dorja. You have the prisoner I asked for?"
"Right here, sir. His name's Niles Ferrier. We picked him and his crew up during the raid on New Cov."
"The raid from which Skywalker, Solo, and Calrissian escaped."
[wincing] "Yes, sir."
- ―Grand Admiral Thrawn and Captain Dorja
The Imperial throne was taken by Grand Vizier Sate Pestage, who chose to fortify strategic systems and fortress worlds, thereby putting the numerically and economically stronger Empire on the defensive. Pellaeon held the fleet together for the next five years, during which time Dorja conspired to wrest control from him. On several occasions, Dorja came close to taking action and seizing command of the Empire, but the rest of the fleet officers respected Pellaeon and believed that he was worth following. Nevertheless, Dorja was finally ready to make his move in 9 ABY, when Imperial Space had been reduced to a quarter of its former size by the Alliance's successor, the New Republic. However, his plans were halted by the return of Grand Admiral Thrawn, a highly gifted tactician, from the Unknown Regions. Thrawn was given control of the Empire by its remaining Moffs and by the Imperial Ruling Council. He was also put in charge of the military forces of two warlord fiefdoms: the Pentastar Alignment and the Ciutric Hegemony. The Grand Admiral left an adequate reserve of ships to defend the Moffs at the Imperial capital of Orinda, but he also took the twelve Star Destroyers remaining from the Battle of Endor. Thrawn formed a personal fleet from six of them and left the other six, including the Relentless, as a secondary force under Dorja's command.
Dorja saw the exclusion of the Relentless from Thrawn's primary armada as a personal slight against himself. He was also unhappy that a non-Human such as Thrawn was in command of the Empire, but he kept his head low and his opinion private, waiting for the opportunity to seize control. Thrawn spent six months reorganizing the fleet and performing strategic raids along the Imperial–New Republic border before stepping up his campaign. During the campaign, the Relentless was sent to the planet New Cov on a regular tax collection raid, but the Imperials discovered two noteworthy ships docked in the planet's capital city of Ilic: the Lady Luck, a yacht belonging to former New Republic General Lando Calrissian, and the personal X-wing fighter of the New Republic Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker. Several dropships containing stormtroopers and army troopers were sent to the surface to search for the high-profile enemies of the Empire, and when Skywalker, Calrissian, and Han Solo—a famous New Republic captain—escaped from the planet, Dorja pursued and dispatched TIE fighters. The sudden arrival of three dreadnaughts from hyperspace turned the tide of the battle, as the newcomers hit the Relentless with an ion cannon barrage before escaping along with the New Republic team.
On New Cov's surface, Dorja's troops arrested the ship thief Niles Ferrier for attempting to steal a load of biomolecules. Soon afterward, Thrawn contacted the Relentless and asked to speak to the prisoner, and Dorja brought the shackled Ferrier to a holocomm unit and called the Grand Admiral back. After making a point to remind Dorja that he had let Solo, Skywalker, and Calrissian escape, Thrawn instructed Ferrier to track down the dreadnaughts that had attacked the Relentless at New Cov. He then told Dorja to provide Ferrier with an unmarked freighter as a means of completing the task and ended the call. The dreadnaughts in fact belonged to the legendary Katana fleet, and when Ferrier uncovered the armada's location, Thrawn acquired 178 of the fabled warships. With his own fleet greatly bolstered, the Grand Admiral changed tactics and began to attack and reclaim territory from the New Republic.
Thrawn took the Chimaera to capture the planet Ukio while other Star Destroyer captains of the fleet, including Dorja, were sent to make feints at various other targets in order to draw away the New Republic Defense Fleet. Dorja spoke to Thrawn and Pellaeon via hologram while en route to his target and was given the command to strike. Not long after the successful operation, when the Chimaera was at the Bilbringi Shipyards, Pellaeon contacted Dorja and requested a 500-man caretaker crew for the following six hours. The request came after the insane Dark Jedi Joruus C'baoth—whom Thrawn had recruited to aid with his campaign—used the Force to take control of the minds of everyone on the Chimaera's bridge in a display of power to the Grand Admiral, and left the men limp and exhausted. Thrawn was later betrayed and killed by his bodyguard Rukh during a battle at Bilbringi, and his campaign was brought to an end.
The Empire's last gasp
- "And if I may, sir, I'd like to echo Captain Nalgol's sentiments. I'm honored to once again serve under your direct command."
"I'm pleased to once again lead you, Captain."
- ―Dorja and the man he believed to be Thrawn, in 19 ABY
Following Thrawn's death, a group of Moffs and Fleet Commanders took control of the Empire. An Imperial Civil War soon broke out, however, and although the feuding factions were united into a Dark Empire by a reborn Palpatine, the Emperor's final death saw the fleet once more splinter into warlordism. In 11 ABY, the last vestiges of the Empire ceased to exist, but in 12 ABY Pellaeon unified various warlord fleets into the Imperial Remnant. In 19 ABY, Dorja was serving the Remnant—led by Admiral Pellaeon, its Supreme Commander—from the bridge of the Relentless. The Star Destroyer fell within the Braxant Sector Fleet, which was under the direct command of Moff Vilim Disra, but it was also one of the primary ships that Pellaeon used to patrol Imperial Space. Dorja's stances toward both Pellaeon and Thrawn had changed radically in the intervening decade—by 19 ABY, he trusted Pellaeon's word and judgment and considered it an honor to have served under Thrawn.
With the Remnant having been pushed back to just eight backwater sectors in the Outer Rim, Pellaeon realized that the war was lost< and decided to sue for peace with the New Republic. Although he convinced the Remnant's ruling Council of Moffs to support his plan, the Sinister Triumvirate of Moff Disra, former Emperor's Royal Guard Grodin Tierce, and the con artist Flim—the latter of whom was posing as a reborn Grand Admiral Thrawn—set into motion a plot to thwart Pellaeon's plans and seize control of the Remnant. Disra summoned Dorja and three other Star Destroyer captains to his palace on the Remnant's capital world, Bastion, and in his office, he gave them each a datapad full of instructions. Captain Trazzen of the Obliterator and Captain Argona of the Ironhand felt that removing four Star Destroyers from the sector fleet for any length of time was a poor tactical move, while both Dorja and Captain Nalgol of the Tyrannic questioned Disra's authority to send them to Morishim and Bothawui—planets outside of his sector.
Disra indicated that he would thus choose other captains to take part in a "history-making military campaign," but Flim, dressed as Thrawn, walked into the office and stated that he had chosen the four present captains for a reason. The four stunned captains quickly recovered themselves and stood at attention, and the man they believed to be Thrawn told them that for the time being, he could not answer any questions about how he had survived. The captains pledged themselves to his leadership and agreed to keep his survival a secret. Dorja asked no questions about the courier that he had been assigned to intercept at Morishim, and he told the Grand Admiral how pleased he was to again serve under his command. Although Disra feared that Dorja would see through the façade, Major Tierce believed the ruse would only work if they could fool someone who had served directly under Thrawn in the past. After the captains departed, Dorja vouched for Thrawn's military genius to a still-skeptical Nalgol.
When the CR90 corvette of Colonel Meizh Vermel, Pellaeon's peace messenger to the New Republic, arrived at Morishim, the Relentless dropped out of hyperspace right behind it and began to fire on its target. Vermel's attempts to transmit an offer of parley to New Republic General Garm Bel Iblis were jammed by Dorja. Lando Calrissian and the New Republic's Rogue Squadron were in-system at the time, however, and managed to dilute the jamming enough to receive a garbled, nonsensical recording of Vermel's message. The corvette was then brought aboard the Relentless via tractor beam, and the Star Destroyer jumped to lightspeed to return to Bastion. Dorja contacted Flim, who reprimanded him for allowing even a fragment of Vermel's recording to reach New Republic ears. He then interrogated the corvette's crew, who had no inkling of what Vermel and Pellaeon were up to. Vermel was eventually taken to a holding cell at the Remnant's Rimcee Station.
When the Triumvirate was ready to reveal "Thrawn" to the New Republic, Dorja took Flim and Tierce in the Relentless to an area of deep space and used an interdictor cruiser to intercept the Lady Luck from hyperspace. The Triumvirate had caught wind that Calrissian was giving New Republic Senator Porolo Miatamia a ride from Cilpar to Coruscant, and the two were brought aboard the Relentless to speak with the Grand Admiral. The New Republic was dealing with a major internal crisis following the discovery of a partial copy of the Caamas Document, a datacard which revealed that several Bothans were responsible for the long-ago destruction of Caamas, and Flim told his guests that he was willing to personally sit down with the Bothan clan leaders and discern specifically whom was responsible. His offer caused major political infighting in the New Republic Senate, serving the Triumvirate's aim to bring about the collapse of the New Republic from within.
A ruse revealed
- Pellaeon: "Captain Dorja, call a medical team to the bridge. Then order all Imperial forces to cease fire immediately."
- Dorja: "Yes, sir. However…"
- Flim: "What he's trying to find words to say, Admiral, is that they'll expect any such order to come from Grand Admiral Thrawn. If you'll permit me?"
- Pellaeon: "Go ahead."
- Flim: "This is Grand Admiral Thrawn. All units, cease fire; repeat, cease fire. General Bel Iblis, please call on your forces to do likewise, then stand by for a transmission from Admiral Pellaeon."
- ―The end of the Galactic Civil War[src]
While Pellaeon waited for Bel Iblis in the Pesitiin system, with the Chimaera blind and out of contact with the rest of the galaxy, the Triumvirate took to using the Relentless as their flagship. Dorja ferried them to the planet Kroctar, deep in New Republic territory, where the Kroctari Lord Superior Bosmihi contacted the Relentless's bridge and asked "Thrawn" for readmission into the Remnant. A Kroctari delegation arrived aboard the Star Destroyer, and under Flim's orders, Dorja personally met them and escorted them to a conference room. The ship's next stop was the planet Ruuria, where Dorja met with the Ruurian ambassador Amisus, who was also interested in switching sides. After the ambassador's shuttle left the Relentless, eight Marauder-class corvettes jumped into the system and attacked. From the secondary command room, Flim instructed Dorja to launch six Preybird-class starfighters to intercept, and Disra quickly realized that the attackers were Diamalan, enemies of the Ruurians. Flim took credit for the discovery and had the Relentless execute a Tron Boral maneuver, followed by the Preybirds doing a full-closure Marg Sabl sweep—the pair of maneuvers had been used to great effect by the real Thrawn in a previous battle with the Diamala, and as such, the corvettes fled without any shots having been fired. Dorja informed the Ruurians that an attack on their world had been averted, and then took the Relentless back to Bastion. The Unified Ruurian Colonies later pledged themselves to the Remnant.
While on the Imperial capital, the Triumvirate learned that General Bel Iblis was planning a strike at the Imperial Ubiqtorate station at the world of Yaga Minor, in search of a full copy of the Caamas Document that he hoped would save the New Republic from descending into civil war. Dorja took them there in the Relentless so that they could provide a demonstration of "Thrawn's" tactical genius to the Mistryl Shadow Guards, a group of mercenaries whom they hoped would ally with the Remnant. At the Ubiqtorate station, Dorja contacted Thrawn in the secondary command room and notified him that the Tyrannic was approaching the base. Since the Tyrannic was actually away on another mission, the Triumvirate knew that it was Bel Iblis's Star Destroyer with false transponder codes; Dorja accordingly told the base's General Hestiv to allow the warship to pass the station's outer perimeter before putting all defenses at readiness for battle. On Flim's order, Dorja also placed the Relentless between the station and the incoming Destroyer. The false Tyrannic was caught in a number of the station's tractor beams and began firing on them, and Bel Iblis's task force, hanging back from the station, emerged from hiding and began to attack. During the battle, the information broker Talon Karrde arrived in his starship, the Wild Karrde, with what he claimed was the ultimate bargaining chip, and Rogue Squadron escorted him through the battle lines toward the Relentless.
The Triumvirate and the Shadow Guards made their way to the bridge, where everyone present was shocked when Pellaeon arrived shortly afterward. Karrde had uncovered a datacard revealing the Triumvirate's ruse and had brought the information to Pellaeon, and, on the Relentless's bridge, the Supreme Commander brought the lie to an end. Dorja protested that Nalgol had performed a positive DNA test from one of Thrawn's skin samples, but Pellaeon countered that records could be altered. Tierce tried to appeal to Dorja, claiming that Pellaeon was jealous that Thrawn had spurned him in favor of Dorja, but Pellaeon revealed the final card up his sleeve: Tierce was a clone of the original Grodin Tierce and existed as a failed genetic experiment of Thrawn's. Karrde's associate Shada D'ukal killed the furious Tierce before he could attack Pellaeon, and the Supreme Commander told Dorja to call a medical team to the bridge. Pellaeon also told him to order all Imperial forces to cease their fire against the New Republic, but Dorja pointed out that they would expect the order to come from Thrawn. Pellaeon agreed, and Flim, in fact glad that the ruse was finally over, also obliged.
With their plans having fallen to dust, Flim and Disra were escorted off the bridge by a security team. The Mistryl Shadow Guards also disappeared back into the galaxy. Concurrently with the battle at Yaga Minor, Luke Skywalker found a full copy of the Caamas Document on the planet Nirauan, which averted a civil war. Fifteen days later, Pellaeon signed peace accords with the New Republic's President Gavrisom, and the Galactic Civil War was finally brought to an end. By 28 ABY, Dorja's daughter, Vana, had become a commander in the Imperial Navy.
Personality and traits
- "Admiral, I've always trusted your word and your judgment. But in this case…"
- ―Dorja, to Admiral Pellaeon, while torn between trusting the admiral or the man he believes to be Thrawn
Dorja embraced the thrill of command, the call of space, and the tenets of the New Order when he joined the Imperial Navy. Doing so also ensured that he followed his family's long tradition of military service. As the captain of the Relentless, he became known for a cautious command style and a reluctance to engage an enemy in direct combat; his tactics came under fire from others, but he dismissed their criticisms, albeit nervously. On paper, his prudence was not misplaced; the Relentless suffered no casualties under his command up to and including the Battle of Endor, although he was removed from that engagement's main battle lines. Dorja was loathe to follow the orders of a junior officer when Captain Pellaeon ordered a retreat from Endor, but he agreed that the battle was hopeless. For the next five years, Dorja plotted to seize control of the Imperial fleet from Pellaeon.
Although his carefully laid plans were foiled by the return of Thrawn, Dorja was disgusted that a non-Human was controlling the Empire and continued to plot to wrest power. By replacing Thrawn, Dorja believed that he could reinstate an undiluted, glorious New Order, something he felt the Emperor would have wanted. Dorja was offended when Thrawn left the Relentless out of his primary armada, but the captain kept his opinions to himself, knowing that the Grand Admiral was unforgiving toward insubordination. He was uncomfortable and openly winced when Thrawn took care to remind him that he had let Han Solo, Lando Calrissian, and Luke Skywalker escape from New Cov.
Toward the end of the Thrawn campaign, Dorja was eager to go into battle during the Grand Admiral's capture of Ukio, cupping his right fist in his left in an ancient Mirshaf victory gesture as he acknowledged an order from Thrawn. Ten years after Thrawn's death, Dorja's attitude toward him had shifted considerably—he considered it an honor to have served under the Grand Admiral, and he espoused the quality of Thrawn's character and of his military genius to a skeptical Captain Nalgol. When Dorja believed that Thrawn had returned, he followed the Grand Admiral's orders unquestioningly, even if they puzzled him. He had complete faith in Thrawn and was thus calm when the Relentless came under attack, and he visibly beamed when Flim, posing as Thrawn, complimented his leadership ability.
Dorja's attitude toward Pellaeon had also turned around by 19 ABY, at which time he trusted the Supreme Commander's judgment and his word. When Pellaeon accused "Thrawn" of being a con artist in disguise, Dorja was torn between whom to believe. Dorja was less respectful toward Moff Disra, in whose sector fleet he served, questioning his authority to conduct operations outside of the Braxant sector and treating such orders as requests rather than commands. When Disra, on the bridge of the Relentless, was shocked that the Kroctari wanted to join the Imperial Remnant, Dorja gave the Moff a tightly satisfied smile. Dorja had light skin, brown eyes, and gray hair, and he stood 1.8 meters tall.
Behind the scenes
Captain Dorja was created by author Timothy Zahn as a minor character in the 1992 novel Dark Force Rising, the second book in what would later be known as The Thrawn Trilogy. In 1993, he appeared in the trilogy's conclusion, The Last Command, and his character was fleshed out in Bill Slavicsek's Dark Force Rising Sourcebook. Dorja was later used in a larger role in Zahn's 1997 and 1998 books, Specter of the Past and Vision of the Future, two novels that make up The Hand of Thrawn Duology. He has since been mentioned in several Star Wars reference works, and visual depictions of Dorja have appeared in the 1998 video game Star Wars: Rebellion and in the comic book adaptations of Dark Force Rising and The Last Command. The official strategy guide of Rebellion tells the game's players that Dorja "makes a nearly perfect admiral, and you can trust him with difficult battles."
Although the Dark Force Rising Sourcebook establishes that Dorja hates and plots to seize power from both Grand Admiral Thrawn and Captain Pellaeon, The Hand of Thrawn Duology presents him as extremely loyal to both of them. As ten years separate the events of the duology from those of the Thrawn Trilogy, this article treats the discrepancy as Dorja having changed his attitude in the intervening time period.
- Star Wars: Rebellion
- Dark Force Rising (First appearance) (Appears in hologram)
- Dark Force Rising audiobook (Appears in hologram)
- Dark Force Rising 3 (Appears in hologram) (First pictured)
- The Last Command (Appears in hologram)
- The Last Command audiobook (Appears in hologram)
- The Last Command 1 (Appears in hologram)
- Specter of the Past
- Specter of the Past unabridged audiobook
- Vision of the Future
- Vision of the Future unabridged audiobook
- The New Jedi Order: Destiny's Way (Mentioned only)
- Dark Force Rising Sourcebook
- A Guide to the Star Wars Universe, Second Edition, Revised and Expanded
- The Truce at Bakura Sourcebook
- The Thrawn Trilogy Sourcebook
- "Communiqués"—Star Wars Galaxy Magazine 6
- Star Wars: Rebellion: Prima's Official Strategy Guide
- Star Wars Encyclopedia
- A Guide to the Star Wars Universe, Third Edition, Revised and Expanded
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Essential Guide to Warfare