- "You do not need one thousand hours in the tactical simulators, or to survive on starvation rations during a sixteen-day mock siege. In fact, you need only pass a single, simple test... answer one single question—do you have the courage to die for your Empire?"
Gentis was a male Human General of the Galactic Republic during the Clone Wars and later the Galactic Empire. When he saw that Emperor Palpatine was needlessly wasting the lives of young Imperial officers, including all but one of his sons, he orchestrated a coup, seeking to gain control of the Empire in order to end such warmongering.
The Clone Wars and Order 66
- "Even now, I am not ashamed to admit that he was the reason I joined the Academy. Like everyone else, I had heard the stories of General Gentis, hero of the Clone Wars."
- ―Laurita Tohm
Gentis, a male Human, was a General during the Clone Wars, a battle between the Galactic Republic and the secessionist Confederacy of Independent Systems. During the war, which began in 22 BBY, Gentis led only seventy clone troopers against one of the Confederacy's most deadly units, the Burning Ember armored division, and defeated them. At another point during the war, the Confederacy triggered large volcanoes on the planet of Mirak Major, and Gentis successfully evacuated six billion people to safety. At the end of the war, when the Jedi Order was culled during their "plot to take over the Republic," Gentis felt so betrayed by their supposed disloyalty that he personally executed three Jedi Knights.
Prelude to a coup
- "The Imperial Crematorium. Each transport carries twenty dead Imperials. In the time that we have been here, nearly one hundred officers and troopers have been reduced to ash."
In late 19 BBY, a few weeks after the rise of the Galactic Empire, Gentis attended a military meeting on Imperial Center. While seeking to escape the droning of the various Moffs, he came upon the Imperial Crematorium, and watched hundreds of dead Imperials be incinerated every minute. Realizing that even though the war had ended, Emperor Palpatine's warmongering ways would never cease, and many more young men like his sons would be killed. Gentis quickly set about seeking a way to end the senseless killing, using his position as a war hero and respected headmaster to gain influence and recruits.
A few months later, the cadets of the graduating class of the Raithal Academy arrived on Coruscant. They were part of six different academies from around the galaxy who came to the capital in order to be part of the first graduating class of Imperial officers. Their training—like that of the Empire's clones and other military personnel—had been accelerated from the usual years to only a few months. Gentis presided over the ceremonies, and made a rousing speech focusing on loyalty to the Empire. Laurita Tohm, a young man who idolized Gentis, was the valedictorian of the Raithal Academy, and thus was given the rank of lieutenant by Gentis himself. Gentis asked Tohm, who had been disfigured in a Separatist attack, about how his conditions effected his success, and told him to keep up the good work.
Tohm was soon selected to be a part of Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin's fleet, but Gentis had other plans for the young officer. He ordered his son, Caul, and fellow Ensign Shens to keep Tohm "out of harm's way." Tohm's friends locked him inside a prototype TIE fighter, and for a time, he assumed it was a practical joke. In reality, this was the first small step in Gentis's coup, as he believed that the promising officer would draw too much attention due to his prominence and deformities.
Attack on Coruscant
- "Coruscant burned."
- ―Laurita Tohm, on the destruction wrought by the coup
Gentis's plan began the night of the graduation, as explosions rocked the cityscape for kilometers around, eliminating seventy-two Imperial targets within minutes. The officer's club, various Stormtrooper garrisons, the Comm Towers, and a supply depot were all destroyed. Imperial Plaza became ground zero in the battle that erupted, as "terrorist" forces—in truth, hundreds of the newly graduated cadets—swarmed through the city streets, fighting with the Empire's clone forces. The stormtroopers were losing the battle until Darth Vader appeared, rallying the troops and driving the enemy forces back. In the madness, Tohm had escaped from the prototype starfighter by engaging its ejector seat and landing in the midst of the battle. Tohm grabbed a blaster and joined Lord Vader in resisting the attack. Shens, one of the many students Gentis had enlisted, died in the battle at Tohm's hands.
Gentis met with Emperor Palpatine, under the pretense of presenting some of his best students as "future Moffs." When the explosions went off, Gentis released a powerful necrotic virus known as Aorth-6, hoping to personally assassinate the Emperor. Dozens of Imperials, including Royal Guardsmen, were killed by the aerosolized virus, which liquified them from the inside out. Though the Emperor was indeed infected with the virus, Gentis didn't count on the presence of Moff Trachta, and he and his men fled before being discovered by Vader and Tohm, who came to rescue Palpatine.
The Ghost Prison
Though Gentis didn't know the details of their escape, he was quickly made aware that while much of their coup had succeeded, both Vader and Palpatine had disappeared. Palpatine had used the dark side of the Force to keep the virus at bay while Vader, Tohm, and Trachta escorted him to secret hangar below the Imperial Palace, where they loaded him aboard a stealth transport. Gentis then unleashed a back-up plan as his engineers sent a command to every droid within five kilometers to kill any Imperial officer they saw. Aboard the Emperor's shuttle, Trachta was attacked by a 2-1B surgical droid, while Vader and Tohm were attacked by lightsaber-wielding Jedi training droids in the Jedi Temple, though both attacks failed. Using information gleaned from a holorecording, Vader and Tohm quickly evacuated Palpatine to a hidden Jedi prison in the Diab system known as The Prism.
- "If the Emperor remains in power, how long until you are loaded into the incinerators as well, General?"
Shortly, Gentis called a meeting of powerful Moffs and Naval officers. He maintained the pretense that the capital had suffered a terrorist attack, and that as ranking officer on the planet, he had assumed military command. He also placed a naval blockade around the world, as well as blacking out all communications—again, under the pretense of quelling the terrorist uprising. When questioned by Grand Moff Tarkin, Gentis claimed to have the Emperor in protective custody, though Palpatine may still die of his injuries. He then implied that Vader and Trachta may have had a hand in the attacks, as both had disappeared and not contacted anyone. Tarkin then told Gentis that as the only Grand Moff he would be assuming acting control of the Empire. Gentis looked to Caul with dismay as he told Tarkin they would be waiting for him.
Later, Gentis met with another Imperial general, trying to convince him to join their coup while Caul held a blaster rifle to the man's back. Gentis showed the general the Imperial Crematorium and explained that this was where he had decided to kill the Emperor and the losses Palpatine was inflicting on their young ranks. After the general agreed to join Gentis, the headmaster showed the general and Caul a hologram of the Death Star plans, proving to the general that it was more than just a rumor. Though he already had spies aboard the unfinished project, Gentis wanted Tarkin within his grasp so that he could gain further knowledge of the superweapon. He then planned on having Tarkin executed for his crimes, as 627 of Gentis's cadets alone had died while working for Tarkin. Gentis would then announce to the galaxy that Palpatine was dead, regardless of whether it was true. Gentis then told the general that he and his peers would declare Gentis the new emperor, so that there would be no more needless deaths.
- "Gentis rallied thousands of cadets and officers to his cause. For a brief moment, he controlled all of Coruscant's military and political might. He even had the moral conviction that what he was doing was right. But in the end, none of that mattered... Because he did not have the Emperor."
- ―Laurita Tohm's report on the Gentis Coup
Gentis amassed his cadets to greet Tarkin's shuttle, planning on finally cementing his hold on the Empire. As the shuttle landed within a docking bay, Gentis acknowledged to Caul that it was all for him and his fallen brothers. Tarkin disembarked along with his stormtroopers, but was immediately surrounded by the cadets. Gentis confronted Tarkin, wanting him taken alive for interrogation, and told him his reasons for the coup. Tarkin was unapologetic, not caring about the hundreds of innocent cadets who had died under his command. When Gentis told Tarkin that his own sons had been killed by the policies of the Emperor, he was told by Vader that he would see them again soon.
Gentis looked up in horror as Vader emerged from the shuttle alongside Tohm, Trachta, Shonn Volta and dozens of deadly ex-prisoners. After amassing a small fighting force from the Prism, Vader and Tohm had used Volta's hyperspace expertise to find Tarkin while he changed hyperspace lanes at the nexus of several trade routes and set a trap for Gentis. Though Gentis's forces outnumbered the attackers by eight to one, there was no accounting for the disparate skills Vader's group brought to the fight. Vader himself unleashed a violent Force wave while the prisoners slaughtered the cadets. Caul ordered Koh, a demolitions expert, to hit their attackers with grenades, but Volta, who was also a sniper, shot Koh before he could throw the armed explosives, which detonated in the midst of the cadets.
Caul retreated among the scattered and wounded cadets until he heard Tohm call out to him. Thinking that Tohm was still on their side, he was happy to see him, but Tohm cruelly shot him in the stomach, killing him. Gentis saw his son fall and ran to his side, horrified that he'd lost his final child. He cradled Caul's body in his arms, unable to believe that he was dead. He begged for him not to die, then promised to keep his son safe. Suddenly, he was wracked with Force lightning, attacked by the Emperor himself. As he screamed and clutched his son to his chest, his body was ravaged by Palpatine's dark side power, and he was left a charred husk.
In the aftermath, all of those involved with the coup were rounded up and executed, while Trachta was promoted to Grand Moff and Tohm was promoted to Admiral. Tohm's victory and reward would be short-lived, however, as Vader threw him from a balcony high above the cityscape, afraid that Tohm might rival his own might in the future.
- Darth Vader and the Ghost Prison 1 (First appearance)
- Darth Vader and the Ghost Prison 2 (Mentioned only)
- Darth Vader and the Ghost Prison 3
- Darth Vader and the Ghost Prison 4
- Darth Vader and the Ghost Prison 5
- Dark Times—Fire Carrier 1 (Mentioned only)
- Dark Times—A Spark Remains 1 (Mentioned only)