- "It's been a long road, sir. Long and hard and discouraging. For all of us, but mostly for you."
- ―Ardiff, to Gilad Pellaeon
Gilad Pellaeon, nicknamed Gil, was a dedicated Human male naval officer, serving for seven decades in the fleets of the Galactic Republic, Galactic Empire, Imperial Remnant, and Galactic Alliance, and rose to the position of Supreme Commander for the latter two governments. He began his career in the Republic's Judicial Forces, where he ascended the ranks and captained the assault ship Leveler during the Clone Wars. Pellaeon developed a strong attachment to the navy as an institution, and when the Republic became the Empire, he continued serving aboard the Star Destroyer Chimaera.
At the Battle of Endor, the Chimaera fell under Pellaeon's command, and he issued the retreat order. Captain Pellaeon remained one of the fleet's more prominent officers until the return of Grand Admiral Thrawn, who selected the Chimaera as his flagship and made Pellaeon his right-hand man. Pellaeon grew to respect and admire Thrawn throughout the Grand Admiral's campaign against the New Republic, but when Thrawn was assassinated at the Battle of Bilbringi, Pellaeon again was forced to call a retreat. After Thrawn's death and the failed return of Palpatine, the Empire crumbled around Pellaeon. He found himself serving as the second-in-command of the warlord Treuten Teradoc, but when Admiral Natasi Daala shared with him her vision of rebuilding the Empire and ending warlordism, he defected to her and played a key role in forming the Imperial Remnant.
Upon Daala's defeat at Yavin 4, she turned command of the Remnant over to Admiral Pellaeon, making him Supreme Commander of the Imperial Fleet. He rebuilt the fleet and fought a series of campaigns against the New Republic, but was frequently driven back as the Remnant's resources shriveled. In 19 ABY, he finally accepted that the only way for the Empire to survive was through a peace treaty, and forced the Council of Moffs to accept a truce with the New Republic. When the Imperial capital fell to the extragalactic Yuuzhan Vong invaders years later, Pellaeon played on the Imperial fleet's absolute loyalty to him to overcome the old-line Moffs' resistance and join the newly formed Galactic Alliance, leading a series of victories over the Yuuzhan Vong.
At the war's close, Pellaeon retired, but returned to serve as the supreme commander of the Galactic Alliance Defense Force when his predecessor Sien Sovv was killed. In that capacity, Pellaeon led the Galactic Alliance through the Swarm War and the early stages of the Second Galactic Civil War before once more retiring. He returned to service as the head of state of the Imperial Remnant, but died in 41 ABY at Fondor, assassinated by Tahiri Veila when he refused to support Darth Caedus's faction of the Galactic Alliance.
- 1 Biography
- 1.1 Early life and career
- 1.2 Clone Wars
- 1.3 Under the Empire
- 1.4 Thrawn's protégé
- 1.5 Imperial leader
- 1.6 Facing the Yuuzhan Vong
- 1.7 The Galactic Alliance
- 1.8 Legacy
- 2 Personality and traits
- 3 Behind the scenes
- 4 Appearances
- 5 Sources
- 6 Notes and references
Early life and career
- "Ah, for the days when a commanding officer could dump a useless minion out the airlock without having to worry about filling in forms…"
- ―Captain Pellaeon
Gilad Pellaeon was born in 51 BBY on Corellia, where he stayed long enough to develop memories of his homeworld. However, Pellaeon spent the majority of his formative years on Coruscant, the capital of the Galactic Republic. Pellaeon did not care for the ecumenopolis, however, and always enjoyed departing it, having never considered it his home. Pellaeon was eager to become an officer in the armed forces of the Republic, and to that end he sought to enter the prestigious Raithal Academy. Not yet being old enough to enter, Pellaeon persuaded a slicer to alter his records before he submitted his application to the Academy around 36 BBY, when he was fifteen years old. The Academy never discovered Pellaeon's deception, and he was accepted. Pellaeon performed respectably but without distinction at the Academy, sharing his class with Dren Jamer. Pellaeon ultimately graduated with honors in the top third of his class and entered the Judicial Forces as an ensign.
Upon his graduation, Pellaeon served in his first command assignment as an ensign aboard an escort craft for a convoy near Gavryn. When pirates attacked the convoy of transport vessels while it was entering Gavryn's orbit, Pellaeon evaded capture and disrupted the pirate ship's sensors by flying his vessel into the planet's magnetic pole. Pellaeon then attacked and destroyed the pirate craft when it moved to board the other ships in the convoy. Pellaeon earned a rapid series of promotions for his quick thinking in the incident at Gavryn and received commendations for fighting pirates, eventually participating in efforts to combat pirate activity throughout the galaxy.
As of 27 BBY, Pellaeon was placed high enough to hear rumors of the Outbound Flight Project, but not highly enough to know much about it. Pellaeon had an eye for women, and pursued a series of casual relationships and rendezvouses. Such relationships were considered unsuitable by his superiors, and kept him from promotion into the admiralty. As of 22 BBY, Pellaeon was in a relationship with Hallena Devis, a Republic Intelligence spy with whom Pellaeon was highly enamored. Each kept their relationship secret, and they spent time together whenever they could. Pellaeon kept a private yacht, and sometimes took her sailing on it.
- "We're not equipped for this at all, but I like a challenge. Good for morale when we pull it off."
- ―Gilad Pellaeon, to CT-7567
When the Confederacy of Independent Systems formed and the Clone Wars began, the Judicial Forces were folded into the reformed Republic Navy. Pellaeon, sporting the rank of captain, commanded the Acclamator-class assault ship Leveler. Though he wondered where the clone Grand Army of the Republic had come from, he enjoyed working with its professional men. Pellaeon disliked his aide, Lieutenant Meriones, who Pellaeon judged had only gained his commission due to connections. He was committed to his men, and did not care to draw too many distinctions between himself and them; instead he wished the crew to be united. To that effect, he declined luxuries such as a private chef.
Several months into the war, Leveler was refitted at Kemla Yard with advanced concussion missiles. To test its prototype systems, Pellaeon took Leveler on a three-day shakedown cruise in the Dantus sector. He was accompanied by clone officer Captain CT-7567, known as "Rex" and with whom Pellaeon was friendly. Pellaeon granted Rex permission to bring aboard several new 501st Legion troopers and Ahsoka Tano, Padawan of Rex's commanding officer General Anakin Skywalker, in order to acquaint them with the class. The captain conferred with his chief engineer, Lammin, about the refit, cataloging the new equipment's problems.
Pellaeon's first lieutenant, Rumahn, alerted him when a Separatist fleet entered a nearby sector. In short order, it emerged in the Fath system. As the only Republic force in the area, Pellaeon felt that he needed to investigate, and took the ship in to surveillance range, though it was not yet truly combat-ready. There he was approached by the freighter Wookiee Gunner. Aboard it, Master Djinn Altis, leader of a dissident Jedi sect, informed Pellaeon that he had received a distress transmission from a Republic Intelligence agent on JanFathal. Cautious, the captain had Republic Intelligence confirm the presence of an agent. When they did, Pellaeon agreed to a mission to extract her, using Rex's 501st troops as the only ground forces embarked, and transferring Altis and his students Geith Eris and Callista Masana aboard. It was only after he made the decision that Pellaeon learned that the agent was Hallena Devis. He was immediately worried for her, but also concerned that his personal feelings might get in the way, and so felt obliged to announce his possible conflict of interest.
The soldiers, Tano, and Altis's Jedi launched a commando raid to recover Devis which went relatively smoothly, with the exception of the death of clone trooper Vere. As they extracted, General Skywalker arrived in a V-19 Torrent starfighter and covered their escape. Before the shuttle could dock, Leveler was approached by a ship identified as the Discord, a Separatist light cruiser. Active sensors confirmed that it was actually the destroyer Reaper using a false transponder code. Pellaeon, knowing that the faster and more heavily armed ship represented a grave threat, decided he needed a new technique. Thinking that Republic encryption had been broken, Pellaeon ordered comm silence and had Leveler jump out of system, intending to jump back into the Fath system from a new direction and evade Reaper.
That plan failed when the Leveler emerged in a different area of space. Benb, the civilian contractor from the yards helping test the systems, diagnosed it as an error in the ship's central chronometer which was causing glitches in several different software programs. As it would take six hours to reboot the system, Pellaeon had his officer prepare manual calculations for a hyperspace jump back to JanFathal. As he waited, he was approached once more by Wookiee Gunner, with Altis's Jedi trainees aboard. Their leader, Ash Jarvee, made contact, reported the break of encryption to naval command, getting new codes issued. They also volunteered to use their Force abilities on the navicomputer, allowing them to safely jump back to JanFathal. They did so, and there found Skywalker and the extraction team attempting to escape once more after having turned back to JanFathal when Leveler disappeared. They arranged to dock their stolen CR-20 transport aboard Leveler as they were pursued by two Separatist ships. Pellaeon led his ship head-on against the two Separatist destroyers, eliminating the first one just in time to avoid ramming it, but took enough damage to prevent a quick jump to hyperspace. On her return to the ship, Masana used her Force abilities to enter the malfunctioning targeting computer for the concussion missiles and repair the problem. She launched the full complement of missiles, destroying much of the Separatist fleet and forcing the rest to retreat.
Pellaeon eagerly visited Devis, but she was distraught from the death of trooper Ince in the medbay, feeling guilty over the deaths of two troopers in the rescue attempt. Pellaeon spoke with her again later, and found her disillusioned with the Republic due to the oppressive nature of the JanFathal regime she had been tasked to support, and the likability of the revolutionaries who had aligned with the Separatists. She confided in him that she planned to leave Republic Intelligence in secret and put her life in order. She would let him know how to find her. Pellaeon was heartbroken at the loss of the woman he loved, but accepted that he could not change how she felt.
Approximately sixteen months into the Clone Wars, Pellaeon commanded a small fleet providing orbital support for Jedi General Ronhar Kim's invasion of Merson. The assault was a trap, however, devised by Supreme Chancellor Palpatine to remove the troublesome Kim. Intelligence estimates vastly underrated the enemy presence, and Pellaeon had all he could do to preserve his ship, keeping him from rendering any aid to Kim and his troops pinned on the ground. In fact, Pellaeon judged the situation a complete loss and ordered a withdrawal, deciding it better to save his ships from destruction than to attempt to save the troops and die in the process. Kim's Padawan, Tap-Nar-Pal, indignantly ordered Pellaeon to hold his position, but did not have the authority to give orders to Pellaeon, and the naval officer made sure he knew it. Kim agreed with Pellaeon's assessment, approved the withdrawal, and ordered Tap-Nar-Pal, who was piloting a starfighter, to leave with Pellaeon. The Padawan refused and died in battle; Pellaeon withdrew and lived to fight another day. In that same month, Pellaeon, now under Jedi General Mas Missur, was assigned to take the Leveler to Gaftikar to support a rebellion by the Marit population which would secure the world's mineral wealth for the Republic. Pellaeon's small task force engaged Separatist ships over the world before deploying its forces to support the Marits, sustaining minimal casualties.
Over the course of the war, Pellaeon developed a respect for the clone troopers and regarded them as fully Human, unlike many other fleet personnel. Pellaeon later recalled fighting unstable clones as part of the fleet; he may well have spent the last months of the war serving in the siege of Saleucami, in which a clone Morgukai army was destroyed.
Under the Empire
Early Imperial service
- "I remember those days well. In some ways, I'd prefer not to."
- ―Gilad Pellaeon, to Leia Organa Solo
When the Clone Wars came to an end and the Galactic Senate declared Palpatine Emperor and reformed the Republic as the Galactic Empire, Pellaeon continued serving in the new Imperial Navy. In short order, the Imperator-class Star Destroyer was introduced and Pellaeon was assigned to one, the Chimaera, as soon as it was built. He served as part of the command crew and was quickly made executive officer aboard the ship. During the years after the Empire's formation, the Chimaera sometimes undertook slaving raids to Kashyyyk on which Pellaeon served. During those years, Pellaeon had the opportunity to serve under such various and illustrious personages as Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin, Darth Vader, Admiral Firmus Piett, and Emperor Palpatine himself.
Pellaeon had had a relatively promising career under the Republic, with promotions after the Gavryn incident and command of a small task force in the Clone Wars. In the New Order, however, his career seemingly stalled. Pellaeon spent some twenty years aboard the Chimaera as second-in-command without advancing in the fleet. Pellaeon's career was hardly floundering, as Bail Prestor Organa was able to point Pellaeon out to his daughter as a promising officer when Pellaeon attended the Grand Alderaanian Gathering in 9 BBY, but Pellaeon simply never moved from his position aboard the Chimaera. Pellaeon would later look on these years under Palpatine's Empire without fondness, though there was little evidence of overt discontent; certainly not enough for Pellaeon to have defected. Pellaeon was above all loyal to the Fleet as an institution; his main quarrels with the government were in the form of Palpatine's right hand, Darth Vader, whose easy spending of the officers under his command generated some significant measure of resentment within Pellaeon and many other Fleet officers; many officers also did not care for Palpatine's Death Stars, regarding them as bloated, inefficient expenditures that threatened the Fleet's position. However, Pellaeon's loyalty to the Empire overall did not waver. Pellaeon was sufficiently dedicated to the Imperial Navy to live life as a bachelor, considering the Navy his family. Around this period, Pellaeon reconnected with Hallena Devis, resulting in the birth of Mynar Devis. He also may have fathered Vitor Reige with another woman, though Pellaeon never confirmed Reige's ancestry.
Pellaeon's dedication to the Fleet was most evident in his expectations of his subordinates. He demanded that their conduct, discipline, and efficiency be worthy of the honor and prestige of an officer's commission in the Imperial Navy. He would not tolerate sloppiness, inefficiency, or casual demeanor from the Chimaera's crew but instead instilled his own sense of professionalism and pride in the Fleet within them.
Poln and Corellia
- "Of course you've never lost everything."
"Not everything, no. But I've had my share of losses."
"What, promotions? The last dessert cube in the mess line?"
- ―Sorro and Gilad Pellaeon
In 0 ABY, still serving as second in command of the Chimaera under Captain Calo Drusan, Pellaeon was involved in Senior Captain Thrawn's plan to topple Nuso Esva, a warlord of the Unknown Regions. Thrawn believed Esva could pose a threat to the greater galaxy if he expanded his influence beyond the Unknown Regions, which is exactly what Esva planned to do at Poln Major, capital of the Candoras sector. Esva ordered the kidnapping of the wife and daughter of sector governor Bidor Ferrouz to manipulate him into providing aid to the Rebel Alliance, in order to draw the attention of the Emperor, who would then send an agent to execute Ferrouz. Esva also enlisted Rebel ambassador Vestin Axlon by playing on his desire for vengeance for the loss of his homeworld of Alderaan. Using Axlon to ensure Luke Skywalker would take the blame for the death of Ferrouz would make the Rebel presence serve as irresistible bait for the Imperial forces, and later, a distraction from the thrust of his plan.
Esva's greater goal, however, was to destroy or at least discredit Thrawn. In order to do this, he disguised himself as "Lord Odo" and came aboard the Chimaera with his assistant, Sorro. Though Pellaeon did not know at the time that it had been staged, he admired Odo's tactical ability in disposing of the raiders pursuing his Kazellis-class light freighter, Salaban's Hope at their rendezvous. On his own initiative, Pellaeon backtracked the order to ferry Lord Odo to a location in the Outer Rim where Grand Admiral Demetrius Zaarin was traveling aboard the Imperial-class Star Destroyer Predominant. Conversely, after Odo's arrival, Pellaeon reacted with mild shock when Captain Drusan went beyond his orders in an unsuccessful attempt to determine Odo's species through a pheromone analysis of the life support systems in Odo's quarters, but he eventually came around to share Drusan's curiosity about Odo's identity. Drusan and Pellaeon had the crew of the Chimaera keep tabs on Odo and Sorro, monitoring their movements and even their eating habits, and searching all the files they could access for references to Odo.
The Chimaera ferried Odo to several locations before heading to the Poln system. During the trip there, Pellaeon tried to engage Sorro in conversation but again failed to glean any useful information about him or Odo. He then assisted Odo in moving equipment, which he considered to be work fit for lesser officers but participated in so he could ply Odo for information. He learned little but was interested by Odo referencing the Song of Salaban, an Arkanian legend, in explaining how Sorro had lost everything he valued. This reference, combined with Odo's secretive nature, led Pellaeon to consider the possibility that Odo might be an Arkanian criminal. When he revealed this to Drusan, the captain claimed he had received a communique from Palpatine himself confirming that Odo was Arkanian and his orders did come from the Predominant, and Drusan commended Pellaeon for his persistence. Drusan further confided that Odo was sent to investigate Nuso Esva's incursion into the Candoras Sector.
The visit to the Poln system lasted only long enough to bolster the Empire's belief that the Rebels had subverted Governor Ferrouz, after which the Chimaera headed to the Unknown Regions. Captain Drusan believed the Chimaera was simply going to meet with Senior Captain Thrawn and the Admonitor to assault one of Nuso Esva's attack squadrons. During the hyperspace jump, Sorro conducted a sort of impromptu opera of mouse droids in the Chimaera's main engine control room. Lord Odo claimed that this was an effort to confuse any of Nuso Esva's Troukree soldiers who might be hidden aboard the Star Destroyer while he searched for their biomarkers with an Arakyd Mark Two seeker. Pellaeon allowed this to continue, but was sure to advise his subordinates in engineering to keep a close eye on their guests and to thoroughly examine the mouse droids when the "performance" was finished.
In the Unknown Regions, Chimaera dropped out of hyperspace at Teptixii directly into a battle where Admonitor and an Imperial task force were engaging some of Esva's ships, including eight Firekilns, and five Firekilns together could match the firepower of an Imperial-class Star Destroyer. Lord Odo advised Drusan to enter the engagement, and Esva's forces retreated, after which Lord Odo tried to persuade the Admonitor's Captain Voss Parck to join the Chimaera at Poln. Parck's counterargument was cut short by an emergency signal advising all nearby Imperial forces of the assassination of Governor Ferrouz, which required the Admonitor's task force to join the Chimaera. Esva's/"Odo's" plan was coming to a head. Lord Odo inquired as to the whereabouts of his target, Thrawn, and Parck advised him that Thrawn would likely join them at Poln. Unbeknownst to Esva, Thrawn was observing this meeting as part of his own parallel plan.
Chimaera, Admonitor, and the task force arrived together at Poln, and Pellaeon was relieved they had survived the potential dangers of hyperspace travel in the Unknown Regions. Pellaeon realized that he admired the courage of Thrawn and the officers under his command who faced unknown peril with every jump in the largely uncharted Unknown Regions. During the jump, Thrawn was shadowing the Chimaera in a Mon Calamari DeepWater-class light freighter, but Odo had advised Captain Drusan that the freighter was likely one of Nuso Esva's agents, possibly Esva himself. After the jump, Lord Odo was nowhere to be found and failed to answer his comlink. Drusan assigned Pellaeon to find him as the commander had spent more time with Lord Odo than most aboard, and Pellaeon resolved to make Odo answer for leaving his captain hanging.
As Pellaeon was searching the ship, Chimaera came under attack from within. Explosions went off in the engine control centers, the ship was flooded with vertigon gas, and the turbolifts were locked down—except, mysteriously, for the one Pellaeon used to return to the bridge. Pellaeon came under blaster fire, making it clear to him that the ship had been sabotaged. Pellaeon encountered Captain Drusan, who had been mortally wounded by a blaster shot. Drusan confessed to Pellaeon that he knew "Lord Odo's" credentials were fake, but Odo had promised a crushing victory over the Rebellion. Drusan then died, another victim of Esva's manipulation. Pellaeon keyed his comlink to the emergency channel and was greeted by Senior Captain Thrawn, who revealed that Lord Odo was actually Nuso Esva.
Thrawn ordered Pellaeon to keep Esva from leaving the Chimaera, but Pellaeon had no time to locate a weapon. Under Thrawn's instruction, Pellaeon was able to sneak up on the figure he believed to be Esva and inject him with an empty hypospray, causing an air embolism. Upon unmasking his target, however, he discovered it was actually Sorro. As he lay dying, Sorro asked if he had redeemed his family, and Pellaeon suddenly understood the man's plight. Esva had taken control of Sorro much like Ferrouz, and forced him to participate in Esva's deadly scheme. Pellaeon mercifully told Sorro that his family would be freed, and he died smiling. As Pellaeon reported this latest deception to Thrawn, Esva cut into the communication channel to mock the Imperials. Esva revealed to Thrawn and Pellaeon that the earlier "opera" of mouse droids was meant to distract the crew while a group of Mark Two seekers followed him to his target areas of the ship. The Chimaera was locked on a collision course with the Golan I station defending Poln Major. No other Imperial forces would be available to prevent the collision—as Esva had planned, they all went to Poln Minor to attack the Rebels, and Esva then jumped his forces in to pin them there. Thrawn, as the ranking officer, would have to decide whether the Chimaera destroyed the Golan platform, or vice versa.
Aboard the Lost Reef, the small freighter aboard which he had shadowed the Chimaera, Senior Captain Thrawn implemented a plan to thwart the latest part of Nuso Esva's scheme. Thrawn instructed Pellaeon to use the Star Destroyer's tractor beam to lock on to the Lost Reef to provide a sufficient gravitational nudge to pull the Chimaera away from its locked course. Pellaeon enlisted the only tractor beam operator available, a young but level-headed crewman named Mithel, and the maneuver worked. Mithel boldly told Pellaeon that the Chimaera would be fine, and Pellaeon admired the junior crewman's courage. The Chimaera then detected Esva's hidden starfighter forces rising from Poln Minor and set about releasing the Star Destroyer's locked weaponry to manual control to intercept them, but it turned out not to be necessary. Han Solo, on behalf of the Alliance forces, had infiltrated the Golan platform and knew where the fighters were based. With his falsified authority, he ordered the platform to attack the fighter base, and dealt another blow to Esva's plan. Esva was forced to bring in more of his own ships.
In fact, Esva brought in so many ships that it seemed the Empire was hopelessly outnumbered in the Poln system. But Pellaeon noticed that the open communication channel between Senior Captain Thrawn and Warlord Nuso Esva was being relayed and boosted into the Unknown Regions. This, finally, was the heart of Thrawn's plan. Thrawn taunted Esva into revealing his intentions to dominate, rather than ally, with several species of the Unknown Regions. Esva's plan to discredit Thrawn had been neatly reversed, and Esva was instead discredited before his potential allies. Once this was done, Thrawn sent a coded signal that Pellaeon did not recognize—a coded signal to the Lord Darth Vader to bring in Death Squadron. Thrawn had enlisted Vader's aid by promising him the Rebel leadership, turning another part of Esva's plan against him. Upon the Dark Lord's arrival, Thrawn handed him command of the Admonitor and Pellaeon did likewise for the Chimaera. By the end of the battle, Esva's Eastern Fleet was shattered. A third of his military power was lost, and the truth behind his diplomatic lies was revealed to his allies in the Unknown Regions. Governor Ferrouz's family was freed, and Ferrouz was spared the fate of a traitor. Thrawn did not directly hand the Rebel command to Darth Vader, but through a listing of supplies provided to them by Esva's agents, he gave Vader the knowledge that they would be based on a cold, inhospitable world. Years later, Thrawn would remember the assistance of one Commander Gilad Pellaeon. Some time after the Poln incident, Pellaeon was assigned full command of the Chimaera, and under his command it became a model of Imperial efficiency.
In 1 ABY, the Chimaera had a stopover at Corellia for unknown reasons. He spent time on the ground in Coronet City, where he had a local agent recommended by Sergeant Hume Tarl carry out some minor tasks for him. Pellaeon entrusted the agent with a datadisc containing orders from Vader, which the agent delivered to Lieutenant Errad Brytok, a junior officer aboard the Chimaera. Pellaeon also made use of the agent to arrest Helfin Hundi, an information broker selling Imperial secrets, and to assassinate the leader of an industrial espionage ring before recommending a future in Imperial Intelligence to the agent. During that time, Admiral Ozzel had Pellaeon look into a requisition from Captain Lorth Needa for replacement probe droids. Precisely why Pellaeon was assigned these administrative duties is unclear.
In 3 ABY, the Chimaera was present at a firing range over Carida when Ace Azzameen's freighter Otana briefly jumped into the system and Chimaera deployed TIEs to pursue it. Notably, the Chimaera was with Inexorable, Death's Head, Stormhawk, and Nemesis, all of which would remain serving as a concerted task force six years later, suggesting all were assigned to operate together.
Disaster at Endor
- "The Emperor was not directing the battle. Not in any way. I was there, Admiral—I know."
"Yes, Captain, you were there. 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 strength and resolve and efficiency. You were as dependent on that presence as if you were all borg-implanted into a combat computer."
"That's not true. It can't be. We fought on after his death."
"Yes. You fought on. Like cadets."
- ―Gilad Pellaeon and Thrawn
In 4 ABY, Pellaeon was present at the Battle of Endor. Intended to be the trap that would destroy the rebellious Alliance to Restore the Republic, the battle was anything but successful. The Alliance Fleet proved surprisingly difficult to defeat, and after the Rebels destroyed Death Squadron's communications ship, the battlecruiser Pride of Tarlandia, Pellaeon's commanding officer, Admiral Horst Strage, became second-in-command of the battle fleet and Chimaera the designated command ship in the absence of Executor. However, Strage was killed after an ion cannon strike overloaded his neural shunt, throwing the Imperial chain of command into chaos. In the confusion, the Alliance succeeded in destroying the flagship Executor.
Pellaeon watched, sickened, as the massive Star Dreadnought plunged into the Death Star, taking thousands of the Fleet's most promising officers with it. When the Death Star itself was destroyed and Palpatine killed, the fleet was thrown into chaos. With the loss of Grand Admiral Nial Declann's battle meditation, a massive communications disruption due to the fact that communications had been routed through the Death Star's communications node, and the general confusion of battle, the Imperial fleet's performance became disorganized and sloppy. The Rebel fleet began making significant inroads, and even the return of Grand Admiral Osvald Teshik could not hold back the Rebels. With the battle desperate and chaotic, Pellaeon decided that the situation was untenable. In the chaos, the rest of the fleet may not even have known that Pellaeon's commander was killed; with the Chimaera as the designated command ship, Pellaeon was the one to relay the order to retreat to Annaj, the nearest sector capital, a two-day journey that left Pellaeon agonizing over whether he'd made the right decision. Teshik, meanwhile, held out in a doomed rearguard action.
At Annaj, the fleet regrouped. Dissension quickly emerged among the surviving commanders, however. Pellaeon urged a return to Endor, hoping to smash the battle-damaged Rebel fleet before news could emerge of the Emperor's death. Admiral Blitzer Harrsk, however, informed Pellaeon that with the battle over his tactical command was nullified, and command instead fell to Admiral Adye Prittick. Prittick dithered for so long over what decision to make that Harrsk chose to break with the fleet, taking a significant portion of Death Squadron's ships into the Deep Core until a clear chain of command could be established (he later set himself up as the warlord of Zero Command). Further defections to the Elrood sector followed. Prittick judged the remaining force insufficient for a counterattack and withdrew the fleet to Yag'Dhul to guard against an attack into the Core Worlds.
Pellaeon served the rump of the Empire for years, even as more and more warlords broke away, first under Grand Vizier Sate Pestage and then his successor as caretaker of the throne, Director of Imperial Intelligence Ysanne Isard. When the Central Committee of Grand Moffs attempted to break away and claim Trioculus as the legitimate Emperor, Pellaeon refused to support the further fracturing of the Empire. Pellaeon was popular among the fleet and had an excellent reputation, but Isard refused to promote him to admiral for unknown reasons. Nonetheless, Pellaeon remained an important part of the Imperial fleet and played a leadership role, especially after Isard lost Coruscant and fled to Thyferra. Pellaeon did not see himself as a contender for leadership, but merely as a steward and caretaker of the Imperial Fleet and cooperated with other high-ranking officers to preserve it as best they could. He shepherded the remaining Imperial forces as their territory continued to shrink, hating the number of retreats he was forced to order. The phenomenon of warlordism nibbled away the Empire's strength on one side as the New Republic continued to grow on the other. Eventually, the Empire was pushed back to only one-quarter of its former territory.
Additionally, as the Empire lost ground, its sources of crewmen dried up. Instead of Academy graduates, Pellaeon had to make do with recruits trained on the job, and was even forced to order conscription raids to press men into service. Pellaeon was disgusted by such conditions, and the resultant decline in discipline and efficiency among his men. He made sure they were excellently trained, but they remained inexperienced and lacked a full, proper Academy education. Pellaeon was not optimistic as to the future of the Empire. Instead, he felt that all he had fought for was slipping from existence and that the Empire, despite having strength left to fight, was on the brink of extinction.
A new hope
- "I was overjoyed when he returned and I finally found a commander I could follow with a genuine hope of victory, rather than an endless string of defeats."
- ―Gilad Pellaeon, speaking of Thrawn
In 8 ABY, four years after the defeat at Endor, Thrawn finished his Unknown Regions campaign against Warlord Nuso Esva and turned his attention back to the known Empire. Thrawn's second in command, Voss Parck, was concerned that Thrawn would not find many allies in the disintegrating Empire, but Thrawn assured him there was at least one: Gilad Pellaeon. As the acting commanding officer of the Chimaera during Nuso Esva's only incursion into Imperial space, Pellaeon had impressed Thrawn with his competence, and Thrawn knew that after the death of Captain Calo Drusan, Pellaeon had turned the Chimaera into one of the finest commands in the Imperial Navy. Thrawn arranged for his Noghri bodyguards to accompany him on his return, and signaled the Chimaera for a rendezvous.
Pellaeon was shocked and somewhat frightened to find a message incoming on the Chimaera's holopod unit—the one reserved for private messages from Palpatine or his closest subordinates. It had not seen use since his death, but now a message from the Unknown Regions was incoming, complete with the proper command codes. Nervous and expecting to see the Emperor risen from death, Pellaeon knelt to receive the message and instead found the image of an alien who identified himself as Grand Admiral Thrawn. The Grand Admirals had all been thought wiped out, but here was one, claiming to have returned from the Unknown Regions. The transmission included a set of coordinates at which Pellaeon should meet Thrawn. Pellaeon was stunned and overjoyed; hope for the Empire had returned.
Pellaeon eagerly proceeded to the rendezvous point, on the edge of the Unknown Regions. Thrawn's shuttle emerged from the mysterious territory and docked with the Chimaera, upon which Pellaeon first met Thrawn. In short order, Thrawn had command of the Imperial military and began to prepare it for a grand new offensive. Adding greatly to Pellaeon's prestige, Thrawn chose the Chimaera for his flagship, making Pellaeon his effective second-in-command. Pellaeon coordinated and oversaw all Thrawn's operations, save only his most personal and tightly held ones; even so, Thrawn never shared more information than was absolutely necessary. After the initial rush of enthusiasm, Pellaeon had a hard time getting used to the idea of an alien officer; whether because of speciesism or the simple novelty of such a thing under the Empire is unclear. Pellaeon was also unused to Thrawn's command methods; he had never before had a superior so willing to accept criticism and eager to hear different ideas from his own. Pellaeon initially could clash with Thrawn, as when the two had a lengthy and heated argument over Thrawn's use of difficult-to-coordinate and highly unconventional hyperspace microjumps as part of a battle plan. As Pellaeon gained more experience with Thrawn, however, he developed a strong respect for him and a firm belief in his tactical genius, appreciating the direction Thrawn was taking the military and revitalizing his confidence in the possibility of victory. Indeed, before the campaign had even commenced, Pellaeon was convinced that Thrawn could well be the greatest tactician and strategist the Empire had ever seen.
Thrawn reorganized the Imperial Fleet and began a series of training and small raids to season it in combat without significant risk. In short order, the Chimaera was known as among the most efficient starships in the Imperial Fleet. One mission Pellaeon undertook was to Tatooine; Thrawn wished to purchase the moss-painting Killik Twilight, which had recently emerged and was up for auction in Mos Espa. When a mystery freighter attempting to make a landing—actually the Millennium Falcon—acted suspiciously upon seeing the Chimaera, Thrawn had his fighters divert to intercept it. Thrawn's strategies very nearly captured the freighter, but Han Solo and Chewbacca were simply too experienced and daring to be taken in, and the freighter escaped Imperial pursuit. Pellaeon's subordinate, Commander Quenton, went to the surface to retrieve the painting, but a chase across the planet ensued, with the Solos going after the painting as well. Thrawn himself went to the ground, disguised as a stormtrooper officer, and was finally able to secure the painting.
By 9 ABY, Thrawn's offensive was nearly ready to launch. He undertook his first major strike, an information raid on Obroa-skai. The actual raid was performed by scout ships which returned to Chimaera, and Pellaeon went to Thrawn's private chamber to inform him in person. It was only then that he discovered what precisely Thrawn had converted the former entertainment suite to and what he did in there: the chamber was full of art, including holographic representations of famous pieces. Thrawn studied it to gain psychological insight into his enemies. Thrawn barely had time to engage Pellaeon on the topic of art before an alert was sounded: a New Republic task force had followed the scout ships back to the Chimaera. Pellaeon heard the report of four Assault Frigates arrayed against them and, deciding the odds were against the Star Destroyer and its inexperienced crew, ordered a jump to hyperspace, which Thrawn belayed. Pellaeon watched in confusion as Thrawn deployed sentry ships, watched the response, withdrew them, and then ordered the Chimaera into a vulnerable position and deployed the TIEs in a Marg Sabl closure maneuver. The simple tactic allowed the Chimaera to utterly defeat the opposing force; Thrawn had found through the fleet's first response that it was commanded by Elomin and then exploited their psychological weaknesses by using a disorganized attack pattern. Pellaeon could only marvel at the Grand Admiral's thought processes.
After debriefing the pilots who had made the raid against Obroa-skai, Thrawn revealed to Pellaeon that the raid had given him the second piece for his master plan. The first was Myrkr, a world for which he had the Chimaera set course. The second was the location of Wayland—but Thrawn did not yet reveal what Wayland would provide him. When Chimaera arrived over Myrkr, Pellaeon sent down two shuttles to collect ysalamiri, unusual creatures capable of repelling the Force. He was, however, contacted by smuggler chieftain Talon Karrde, who had a base in the forest. Karrde volunteered his cooperation in removing the ysalamiri from their trees and demonstrated his rather extensive knowledge of the Empire—including Thrawn's return. Pellaeon, deeply suspicious, warily accepted Karrde's aid.
With the ysalamiri collected, the Chimaera made for Wayland. Thrawn explained that Wayland had been Palpatine's private storehouse, untouched since his death. He had, however, left behind a guardian, whom Thrawn expected to be a Dark Jedi. Pellaeon, Thrawn, and Thrawn's Noghri bodyguard Rukh descended to the surface wearing portable frames on which the sessile ysalamiri dwelt. In the city, they met only an old man, who promised to take them to the Guardian. He led them to a mausoleum, explained that the Guardian was dead, and attempted to kill them with Force lightning. The ysalamiri dissipated the attack, saving Pellaeon's life. Thrawn played to the man's vanity and was able to recruit him for his own purposes. Joruus C'baoth, the insane clone of Jedi Master Jorus C'baoth and Guardian of Mount Tantiss, was now one more factor in Thrawn's plan to defeat the New Republic. In Mount Tantiss, Pellaeon, Thrawn, and C'baoth found the two final keys to Thrawn's plan: cloaking technology, and Spaarti cloning cylinders.
Pellaeon was shocked and disturbed to find why Thrawn wanted C'baoth, however: he wished C'baoth to use the Force to coordinate fleet actions, much as he suspected Palpatine had done. Pellaeon resisted Thrawn's argument that the defeat at Endor had happened as a result of Palpatine's death and the loss of his battle coordination, and disliked even more the idea that the Fleet had been under Palpatine's mental influence throughout his reign. When they returned to the Chimaera, Pellaeon went to speak with Thrawn, and warned him that he considered C'baoth unstable and dangerous to deal with. Thrawn was convinced that he could control the man. Pellaeon began to think that Thrawn's supreme confidence might be overconfidence. Nonetheless, the Chimaera's bridge remained properly protected with ysalamiri.
The campaign begins
- "Never forget, Captain, that our goal is no longer merely the pitiful rear-guard harassment of the past five years. With Mount Tantiss and our late Emperor's collection of Spaarti Cylinders in our hands, the initiative is once again ours. Very soon now we'll begin the process of taking planets back from the Rebellion; and for that we'll need an army every bit as well trained as the officers and crew of the Fleet."
- ―Thrawn to Gilad Pellaeon
Thrawn had promised to C'baoth that he would provide Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa Solo to him to train, but Pellaeon was forced to report to him the failure of the Noghri strike team at Bimmisaari that was to have captured the pair. The bad news was ameliorated with a good report from the engineers left on Wayland: eighty percent of the Spaarti cylinders were working or could be easily repaired. Thrawn would soon have a clone army. Pellaeon received orders to prepare for the upcoming strike at the Sluis Van shipyards, but Thrawn was keeping all operational information extremely close to himself, and not even Pellaeon was allowed to see the whole picture. When C'baoth, present at the meeting, clashed with Thrawn over the promise to deliver the Jedi, Pellaeon was the one who proposed a compromise. Rather than C'baoth's demand that the Sluis Van operation not be undertaken until he could go and draw Skywalker to himself, he suggested that Imperial Intelligence find a world where C'baoth could conceivably have remained hidden throughout the Great Jedi Purge and begin seeding rumors of C'baoth's survival and reemergence. While that process began, C'baoth could aid in the battle's preparations. Both parties accepted Pellaeon's plan as favorable.
That preparation came swiftly in the form of a multi-system strike carefully coordinated by C'baoth. While Chimaera and her task force struck Bpfassh, C'baoth mentally relayed orders with instantaneous effect to two other groups attacking at the same time. It was then that Pellaeon realized the test was of C'baoth's skills and willingness to take orders. Becoming unnerved by the superb performance of the task force, Pellaeon called up previous statistics and compared them to the Chimaera's present performance. The crew was currently achieving a forty percent increase over its previous performance. Pellaeon could no longer deny the theory he had been so unwilling to believe. The operation was only to be a hit-and-fade; Pellaeon led the task force back into hyperspace after dealing significant damage to Bpfassh's defenses.
Pellaeon observed the Judicator's raid on Nkllon from a distance while C'baoth guided the ship's crew. The raid went well, netting over fifty mole miners for the Sluis Van attack, but during the battle C'baoth made mental contact with Skywalker and became convinced Skywalker would go to Jomark to follow up on the rumors. Thrawn ordered Pellaeon to arrange C'baoth's transport to Jomark—and to then be ready to backtrack and ambush Skywalker along the route to Jomark. Pellaeon pointed out to Thrawn that killing Skywalker, as Thrawn was considering, could backfire and cause C'baoth to end his cooperation and leave for Wayland, where he could wreak havoc on the cloning operation. Thrawn agreed with Pellaeon's assessment and modified his plans as a result. The ambush itself failed, however, when Skywalker reverse-triggered his acceleration compensator in a risky maneuver that caused the tractor beams to lose lock. To add insult to injury, they instead attached to a pair of proton torpedoes Skywalker had launched and drew them in, destroying the projector. When the tractor beam operator did not take responsibility for the escape and demonstrated an inability to think creatively, Pellaeon watched in surprise as Thrawn had Rukh execute him. Thrawn knew that Skywalker's hyperdrive would soon fail as a result of the maneuver, however, and had Pellaeon contact the local smugglers, including Karrde, and offer them a reward to pick Skywalker up while the Fleet was busy elsewhere. In addition, Thrawn's Mount Tantiss clones would require ships on which to serve. To that end, Pellaeon also was assigned the duty of contacting various smuggling and ship-thieving rings and putting out news of a reward for any stolen warships that could be funneled into Imperial hands.
In time, all was ready for the attack on Sluis Van. A freighter was inserted into the shipyards, busy with understaffed New Republic warships being used as cargo transports. Inside the freighter, in a cloaked bay, were several TIE fighters and the stolen mole miners. It gained entrance to the shipyards and then suddenly exploded, releasing the fighters and miners. At that instant, Pellaeon led Thrawn's task force into the system. As Pellaeon engaged the outer defenses, which put up stiff resistance, the mole miners burned their way into the bridges of the cargo-ferrying warships and deployed troopers to capture them. The plan went off without a flaw until Wedge Antilles, Skywalker, Solo, and Lando Calrissian observed a mole miner in action and were able to puzzle out Thrawn's plan. Calrissian had owned the facility the mole miners were stolen from, and used his override codes to start the mole miners' drilling equipment up once more, burning through the bridge's control systems and preventing Thrawn from taking control of the craft. Thrawn would not get the new warships he had wanted for his clones to staff; the Battle of Sluis Van, supposed to be the first victory which would set up the rest of the campaign, was instead a defeat. Pellaeon carried out Thrawn's order to withdraw.
During the preparation for the battle, however, Thrawn and Pellaeon had found that Karrde had recovered Skywalker and kept him imprisoned, but not turned him over; eventually, he kept him from being taken in by the Imperials. After Sluis Van, the Chimaera went to Myrkr to deal with Karrde. The ground assault found the base deserted and bereft of usable evidence. Thrawn had predicted that Karrde would be watching from the cover of a distant asteroid, however, and only the Force-assisted precognition of his second-in-command, Mara Jade, allowed Karrde to escape before Thrawn's interdictor jumped into the system and powered up its gravity well projectors. Thrawn was decidedly unhappy with the outcome.
Resurrecting the Dark Force
- "I have the feeling, Admiral, that our final offensive against the Rebellion may be ready to launch a bit ahead of schedule."
- ―Gilad Pellaeon to Thrawn, upon hearing of the discovery of the Katana fleet
Pellaeon himself was later furious when C'baoth disobeyed a direct order when Force-coordinating an engagement at Taanab. He had never liked having the willful and unstable Dark Jedi in a position of power, and his refusal of an order was one more sign to Pellaeon that the man was a loose cannon and should not be counted on. Thrawn explained to him that C'baoth's coordination abilities were vital to the war effort and he could be kept under control with ysalamiri; if military discipline must be bent to keep him involved in the war effort, it would be. Pellaeon did not like it and thought the whole affair could backfire catastrophically, but could not persuade Thrawn of it.
Pellaeon proceeded to Honoghr, the Noghri homeworld, with Thrawn, who wished to make a show of power and remind the Noghri of their obligations. Too many Noghri teams had failed in capturing Organa Solo. Pellaeon found the process of standing beside Thrawn as the Noghri clan leaders made their ritual obeisances highly boring. The display was broken up when Lieutenant Tschel handed Pellaeon a report on an unusual occurrence: a Noghri commando's ship had nearly been late in returning the recognition signal. Upon examination, further irregularities were uncovered. Thrawn noticed the minor commotion and, upon receiving the report, decided to pay a visit to the commando, Khabarakh, in his hometown. Pellaeon started a technical team on a survey of Khabarakh's ship, then joined Thrawn in the clan dukha where the Grand Admiral interrogated the commando. There were no obvious flaws in his story and the group departed, but Thrawn was convinced the Noghri had lied.
When another, more detailed sweep of the ship produced results, Pellaeon brought them to Thrawn. He was, as ever, subject to Rukh's stalking practice in the antechamber of Thrawn's suite: with the lights off, Rukh would sneak behind Pellaeon and suddenly speak from just over his shoulder, appearing as from thin air. No matter how prepared Pellaeon was for it, it always spooked him, and he always rebuked Rukh for it and insisted he discontinue the practice. With that over, Pellaeon briefly discussed other matters with Thrawn before notifying him that Wookiee hairs had been found aboard Khabarakh's transport. Furious and convinced that the Wookiees had caught and interrogated Khabarakh on his failed mission to Kashyyyk, Thrawn insisted on making a show of power to remind the Noghri where their loyalties lay. Thrawn arrested Khabarakh against the protestations of the local maitrakh, who was forced into submission by a display of orbital bombardment from Pellaeon's gunners.
When Thrawn received a report from a captured Mara Jade, he shared it with Pellaeon: Karrde knew the location of the long-lost Katana fleet, two hundred slave-rigged Dreadnaughts. Pellaeon had had youthful ambitions of finding it himself when it vanished into hyperspace early in his Republic career; now the prospect of finding the half-legendary ships could swing the narrow balance of the war. She promised to bring the location, but Thrawn had the Chimaera follow her to Karrde, and began efforts to search for others who might know the location so as to expedite the process. Karrde was captured, but Jade returned with Skywalker to spring him from the Chimaera's brig. Pellaeon and Thrawn were unable to prevent their escape.
Thrawn was, however, not discomfited. He was confident that he had the location of an associate of Karrde who had knowledge of the location as well. The Chimaera proceeded to Pantolomin, where Hoffner was captured and brought before the Imperials. He gave up the fleet's location easily enough, and Pellaeon was soon coordinating the recovery and staffing of most of the Dreadnaughts. Some were still left when Karrde led the New Republic there, however. The Chimaera prepared to aid the Judicator, present at the Katana site, but C'baoth suddenly arrived on a Lancer-class frigate, the crew of which he had under his mental control. The Dark Jedi demanded to talk and would not be dissuaded. Pellaeon was forced to send Peremptory to the fleet battle while Thrawn dealt with the increasingly dangerous C'baoth, who declared himself in command of the Empire and insisted on taking control of the Mount Tantiss cloning project. Meanwhile, the battle was lost, but there were only a handful of Dreadnaughts remaining to the New Republic. The Empire had won the round.
Pressing the advantage
- "History is on the move, Captain. Those who cannot keep up will be left behind, to watch from a distance. And those who stand in our way will not watch at all."
- ―Thrawn to Gilad Pellaeon
With the Katana Dreadnaughts and Mount Tantiss's clone forces, Thrawn was ready to begin striking against the New Republic in earnest. One month after the battle for the Katana fleet, the attack began with an elaborate series of feints meant to draw forces from the New Republic base at Ord Pardron to the defense of various worlds under coordinated attack, then to hit Pardron itself, drawing the New Republic's full attention. Meanwhile, the Chimaera struck at the true target: Ukio, a major agricultural world. Pellaeon went to Thrawn's suite to inform C'baoth that the assault was about to begin; C'baoth used the opportunity of finding Pellaeon outside the ysalamiri bubble to mind trick him into ordering the secret creation of a special clone at Mount Tantiss, and then to forget such a thing had even taken place. Pellaeon could hardly believe it as he said things he did not at all believe, but C'baoth's mind-twisting influence was too great for him to resist. Pellaeon stood by C'baoth as the Dark Jedi coordinated the strike. The Chimaera fired upon Ukio's planetary shield; cloaked dreadnaughts had been guided beneath the shield by freighters, and now they fired in sync with the Chimaera, controlled and coordinated by C'baoth, and the beams appeared to pass through the shields. Terrified of this apparent new superweapon, the Ukians capitulated. Thrawn had Pellaeon coordinate the occupation.
C'baoth was growing increasingly dangerous. He could be focused and calm at one moment, and toweringly furious at the next. Pellaeon considered it only a matter of time before he killed someone. C'baoth came to Pellaeon and Thrawn and demanded an assault on Coruscant to seize Organa Solo; when his impractical order was refused, he threatened to kill Thrawn. Thrawn merely pointed out that he had a different plan in mind: an Intelligence team raid on the Imperial Palace to capture her. Mollified, the Dark Jedi left, but Pellaeon once more expressed his concerns over C'baoth to Thrawn. The Grand Admiral was convinced that C'baoth could still be manipulated and controlled for as long as they would need his services. They then discussed the false trail Thrawn was creating to convince the New Republic he was shipping his clone armies through various planets. Skywalker was the one following the leads, and the Chimaera nearly captured him over Poderis, but he escaped their tractor beams with a covert shroud gambit. It immediately sprang to Pellaeon's mind that the last time Skywalker had done so, the tractor beam operator had died. Thrawn spoke with the operator, Ensign Rejlii Mithel, and discovered that he had made an inventive, if ultimately unsuccessful, attempt to counteract the covert shroud gambit. Instead of killing him, Thrawn promoted Mithel for his quick thinking and ordered him to begin developing new strategies to counter the covert shroud. It was then that Pellaeon, remembering the way Vader had treated his subordinates, fully realized that Thrawn's Empire was a very different institution.
When some of Karrde's smuggler allies, recently stirred up against the Empire, destroyed a nearly-completed Star Destroyer in the Bilbringi shipyards, the Chimaera arrived to assess the situation. Pellaeon was surprised that Thrawn allowed the commander of the shipyards to keep his position, but even more surprised when C'baoth barged onto the bridge. Furious that Thrawn's Intelligence team had failed, C'baoth demanded an attack on Coruscant. Thrawn responded that he already had a raid planned against Coruscant. When entering the minds of the workers on the asteroids Thrawn indicated were to be used in the plan, C'baoth came to the wrong conclusion, convinced that Thrawn would use them to destroy Coruscant. The Dark Jedi then took mental command of the Chimaera's entire crew, save Thrawn and Pellaeon, who were inside an ysalamir bubble. C'baoth intended to take the ship to Coruscant and begin an attack, but when Thrawn pointed out how woefully unprepared C'baoth was for such a battle, the Dark Jedi relented.
The attack was ready to go forward, and Pellaeon was worried about the Dark Jedi's ability to take over the ship and disrupt the attack in pursuit of Organa Solo, when C'baoth strode onto the bridge. He demanded that Pellaeon prepare him a ship to travel to Wayland. Thrawn arrived on the bridge shortly and agreed to C'baoth's request. With that out of the way, the task force jumped to Coruscant. There, they set up an interdiction field and took out Coruscant's communications, then weathered the New Republic counterattack until General Garm Bel Iblis, who had recently returned to the galactic stage after leaving the Rebel Alliance and hiding away from the galaxy, took command of the defense and withdrew his forces to the cover of Coruscant's ground-based weaponry. That left the Chimaera free to perform its real purpose in the strike. The Star Destroyers deployed twenty-two cloaked asteroids and performed dry firings simulating the launch of nearly three hundred asteroids overall, then withdrew. Without the ability to know where the asteroids were, Coruscant was forced to maintain its shields at all times lest an asteroid slip though, effectively blockading itself. Pellaeon and Thrawn then proceeded to the Kanchen sector and secured it for the Empire.
In order to detect the asteroids in orbit over Coruscant, the New Republic would need a crystal gravfield trap array. They did not have any, but the Empire had three: one of which was at Tangrene, another at Bilbringi. The New Republic began making a very subtle buildup around Tangrene, but Thrawn decided that it was a very convincing decoy and that the actual attack would be at Bilbringi. After C'baoth arrived at Wayland, however, Pellaeon received shocking word from the garrison. General Freja Covell, whom Thrawn had sent along with C'baoth, was dead and C'baoth had taken over the garrison and issued odd orders. Pellaeon's mistrust of the Dark Jedi had been proven correct. Thrawn ordered the garrison commander to isolate C'baoth, refuse to permit those soldiers C'baoth had sent off on his orders back into the mountain, and attempt to secure it. However, they could take no direct action; it was time for the defense of Bilbringi—and the ambush of the New Republic fleet which did not expect the presence of Thrawn and his massive fleet.
- "The Empire is doomed. There is little more that need be said."
- ―Gilad Pellaeon, in his personal journal
Thrawn's Interdictors pulled the New Republic fleet out of hyperspace earlier than planned and began to engage it. His bowl-shaped formation enveloped the New Republic's cone and began a stiff exchange. Pellaeon was pleasantly surprised: he had worried constantly that Thrawn was gambling wrong in predicting that the Tangrene buildup was entirely false. Now Thrawn was proven right. A portion of the New Republic force broke off and began a run against the shipyards, forcing Imperial forces to their defense. Pellaeon and Thrawn were disheartened, but hardly defeated. A high-priority message from Wayland came in, and Pellaeon began to read it aloud: a New Republic force was attacking the facility—and it included Noghri. That was as far as he got, as Rukh suddenly lashed out and struck Pellaeon across the throat, stunning him and dropping him to the floor. Khabarakh had not been merely been captured by Wookiees. He had met Organa Solo and recognized her as the heir to Vader—the hero whom they revered for his "aid" to them. Khabarakh had brought Organa Solo to Honoghr, where she revealed that the Empire had kept the Noghri in perpetual debt and servitude to them by continuing to poison their world under the guise of cleaning it of damage. Rukh had finally learned the truth, and with the Noghri's aid to the New Republic thus revealed, he took action. Pellaeon strained to hit the emergency alarm, then turned to find Rukh's knife protruding from Thrawn's chest. Thrawn looked into Pellaeon's eye, smiled, and said his last words: "But it was so artistically done." As Pellaeon watched, his commander died. Pellaeon quickly assessed the situation: the New Republic breakthrough to the shipyards and the badly weakened position of the fleet had turned the odds against the Imperials. Thrawn could have been able to win the battle, he thought, but he was not Thrawn. Pellaeon ordered a retreat.
The fleet retreated to the border of the Unknown Regions, where Pellaeon took stock of the situation. Pellaeon could have been a kingmaker; he had been popular before Thrawn's return and his position as Thrawn's right hand had only increased his prestige. He could have attempted to seize control of the military himself or delivered Thrawn's battle fleet to any of the stronger warlords for reward. Pellaeon, despondent over Thrawn's death and what seemed to be the end of the last hope for a unified Empire, initially planned to go down fighting in a heroic last stand on the edge of the Unknown Regions. He had no desire to rule or to support warlordism, and wanted to show his devotion to Thrawn with a final battle in the shadow of the Unknown Regions. However, as the Imperial Ruling Council reestablished its control over the Empire, Pellaeon returned to it and looked for orders from the Empire's leadership; if there was central leadership in the Empire, he would follow it. The Imperial forces gathered in an immediate counterattack against Coruscant, hoping to take the New Republic off-guard. Coruscant was taken, but the Imperial unity dissolved into a civil war. Suddenly, a new force swept into the chaos: Palpatine. Reborn in a clone body, Palpatine once more took control of the Empire and unified it, even bringing in most of the warlords. Pellaeon swore loyalty to the emperor. Pellaeon served in Operation Shadow Hand, taking back territory for the Empire. However, in the recapture of Duro, the Chimaera came under heavy assault. Most of the senior officers were killed, and Pellaeon was forced to abandon the ship he had served on for so many years.
Palpatine was eventually defeated, and the Empire passed into the hands of Carnor Jax, then Xandel Carivus. With Carivus's death, the Empire splintered, its leadership in chaos. To protect his crew amid the infighting in the aftermath of Palpatine's final death, Pellaeon joined the warlord Treuten Teradoc's Crimson Command, based in the Deep Core. Pellaeon hated warlordism and did so only reluctantly, but there was no longer a significant Empire for him to serve, and Teradoc had the largest fleet remaining. Pellaeon hoped that things would remain stable and secure in Teradoc's fleet until some sort of leadership emerged to unify the Empire's scraps. It never did. Teradoc promoted Pellaeon to Vice Admiral and gave him command of his fleet of seventy-three red-hulled Victory-class Star Destroyers, which Pellaeon led from the 13X. Teradoc was less interested in attacking the New Republic than in feuding with his fellow warlords, especially Harrsk. Pellaeon found himself raiding his former fellow Imperials more often than he did the New Republic.
Rebuilding the Empire
- "Empire can be different. Provided we shoot all the lunatics who enjoy the idea."
- ―Gilad Pellaeon
In 12 ABY, Admiral Natasi Daala, who had emerged from the Maw a year before, began an effort to reunify the squabbling warlords and turn their attention to destroying the New Republic rather than each other. While she happened to be appealing to Harrsk, Pellaeon executed a raid on Harrsk's forces, destroying his flagship Shockwave. In retaliation, Harrsk forced Daala to lead an assault on Teradoc's base. Pellaeon led his Star Destroyers out against the attack, but before the two forces engaged, Daala fired on Harrsk's craft, disabling it. She then issued an open communication condemning the infighting and began a self-destruct process that would destroy her ship and take Harrsk with her, claiming she no longer wished to serve in such an Empire. Pellaeon surrounded Harrsk's forces but did not attack. He admired Daala's desire to take the fight to the New Republic and her purity of intention. Pellaeon opened a channel himself and ordered a cease-fire. Teradoc rebuked him over the comm, but Pellaeon was now confident in his choice. He took a shuttle to Daala's Firestorm, where Harrsk was finally convinced to order a cease-fire as well. Daala took the Firestorm, accompanied by two of Pellaeon's Star Destroyers, to a secluded area to negotiate away from Teradoc and Harrsk. Daala explained that she wished to reunify the elements of the Empire, but had no ultimate desire for command of it. Pellaeon suggested that Daala call a conclave of warlords and, if nothing else, work out a truce and agree on a common attack strategy against the New Republic. Daala agreed and left it to Pellaeon to make the arrangements. Before he returned, however, she gave him a breath mask and told him he would know when to use it.
Pellaeon invited the thirteen strongest warlords to remote Tsoss Beacon, where Daala had prepared a room for the meeting. Many were recalcitrant; Pellaeon had to use all the credibility he and Daala had to convince them to attend. Pellaeon had to hope Daala's appeal would be effective. He arrived ahead of the warlords, who were only permitted to attend if they dismissed their fleets and bodyguards and came alone. Pellaeon stood at Daala's side as she convened the meeting. In short order, "Superior General" Delvardus attempted to walk out, and Daala activated a time-locked door. No one would leave for three hours. In that time, she ordered them to select a leader from among their number for the new alliance. Instead, there were three hours of feuding and arguing. Pellaeon's faith in the process slowly sapped away. Finally, when Harrsk physically assaulted Teradoc, Pellaeon pulled Harrsk off his former leader and threw him on the table. Daala had had enough. She proclaimed the warlords to be incorrigible, and released a nerve gas into the air. Pellaeon grabbed for his breath mask and watched as the thirteen most powerful warlords of the Deep Core died.
Pellaeon and Daala began the process of taking command of the disparate warlords' forces. They traveled from one base to another, consolidating their fleets and armies. Some resisted and had to be destroyed, but most of the warlords' subordinates willingly entered the new union. At Delvardus's base, Pellaeon and Daala brought his body back to his second-in-command, a Colonel Cronus, and delivered with it an ultimatum: join their new Empire or be punished as rebels. Cronus joined, and took Pellaeon and Daala to see Delvardus's secret advantage: a stealth-armored Super Star Destroyer known as the Night Hammer. Daala's fleet was suddenly much more powerful.
Daala and Pellaeon oversaw the rebuilding and rearming of Imperial forces. They revitalized production and boosted morale in their subordinates. Daala also actively recruited those groups who had been marginalized by the Empire: females and nonhumans. She had been marginalized herself in the past and would have none of it; Pellaeon had served alongside Thrawn and seen what nonhumans could bring to the Empire. Besides the Night Hammer, they amassed forty-five Imperial-class Star Destroyers and one hundred twelve Victory-class Star Destroyers. Cronus was given command of the fleet of Victories, while the larger Star Destroyers fell to Pellaeon, and Daala took the Night Hammer as her flagship.
Daala was eager to begin dealing damage and hated administrative details, but Pellaeon oversaw the rebuilding and urged Daala to have patience. Rushing into battle or neglecting the details of management would undo all the progress they had made. Daala brushed his concerns off, stating she was not interested in running the Empire but intended to pass control to Pellaeon or someone else once victory was won. Pellaeon was shocked; he did not consider himself as any sort of candidate for rule. Daala sought Pellaeon's advice in formulating their attack plan; she recognized that she had done poorly in the minor campaign she had waged upon departing the Maw, and wanted Pellaeon's experience and honest opinions. Daala was looking for a target which would provide a significant and morale-boosting victory, yet be unlikely to seriously damage their forces. Pellaeon suggested the same world Daala had in mind: Yavin 4, the site of the Jedi Praxeum. Pellaeon further suggested that Cronus take his ships and strike a variety of minor targets, sowing panic and tying up assets in the New Republic. Daala agreed.
In preparation, the two held a rally for the forces involved in which Pellaeon laid out the attack plan and stirred up the spirits of the troops, then introduced Daala to the crowd. A started outburst from one of the crowd, however, revealed two Jedi spies in the audience. The pair escaped, alerting the New Republic. In response, Daala moved up the timetable, launching the attack immediately. Pellaeon proceeded to the system with seventeen Star Destroyers, commanding from the bridge of the Firestorm. Daala would follow in the renamed Knight Hammer to mop up and strike a greater psychological blow. Pellaeon deployed a jamming net as he eagerly contemplated striking the first blow of a major Imperial campaign that would have a chance of making a serious difference. He ordered a landing force to be deployed, which the unarmed Jedi combated with the Force. Pellaeon was suddenly shocked, however, to find himself thrown across the bridge as his Star Destroyers were blasted out of the system. The Jedi trainees, working together, had used a massive thrust of the Force to knock Pellaeon's ships away from the jungle moon. None of the crew were quite sure what had happened, and it took time to recover and to bring the ships under control. The hyperdrive had been damaged as well. Pellaeon ordered his ships to proceed toward Yavin 4 on sublight power. Meanwhile, Knight Hammer reached the battle, supplemented by some of Cronus's Victories. Cronus himself was killed and the 13X destroyed by New Republic reinforcements, and Pellaeon only reestablished communications with Daala shortly before the Knight Hammer was fatally crippled. The battle was lost, and Pellaeon, sickened by the utter defeat of what had seemed to be a spectacular campaign, waited at the edge of the system, recovering what escape pods came his way. The last one was a command pod, and he found Daala inside. Upon climbing out, she immediately resigned and turned command over to him. While she departed, she maintained contact with Pellaeon, and let him know that if needed, he could recall her to service with the transmission of a drumbeat signal based on the Darakaer legend, which she enjoyed.
Ruler of the Imperial Remnant
- "Vice Admiral Pellaeon. In light of this disaster, I—I hereby resign my rank…and hand over command of all Imperial forces to you. I will be happy to follow your orders and assist with rebuilding the Empire in any way possible, but I feel that I am no longer capable of commanding so many worthy soldiers. They cannot be asked to lay their lives on the line, to swear allegiance to someone who has been beaten so many times."
"But Admiral, I can't accept this. We need you to rebuild—"
"Nonsense, Vice Admiral. You must be strong. Follow your own convictions. We need an opportunity to recover from such a debacle. We need your strength. You are in command of the Empire now, Pellaeon."
- ―Natasi Daala and Gilad Pellaeon
Pellaeon, now an admiral, had not wished for power, but was up to the task of wielding it. With the Deep Core warlord forces unified, Pellaeon decided the barren, remote, and encircled area held little future for the Empire. After making overtures to the Moffs, warlords, and fortress worlds of the remaining Imperial presence in the New Territories, he moved his fleets into the Outer and Mid Rims. There he offered the Imperial remnants his protection so long as they united behind his so-called "true Empire." One of those territories he absorbed was the Pentastar Alignment, which controlled the Super Star Destroyer Reaper; Pellaeon had found his new flagship. Pellaeon traveled to Deep 3, a secret shipyard based in the Deep Core. It was owned by deceased warlord Blizter Harrsk. Pellaeon found a cache of mines, robotic TIE fighters, weapons, and perhaps the most prized weapons, two Star Dreadnoughts named Megador and Dominion. With his fleet bolstered and a new, more vital power base, Pellaeon took the offensive, building a strong Imperial state in the Mid and Outer Rim, plus isolated territories across the galaxy. The Moffs of the Imperial sectors formed the Council of Moffs, a deliberative body which retained most decision-making authority in the new government. Thanks to the support of Baron Ragez D'Asta, the Moffs unanimously recognized Pellaeon as the Supreme Commander of the Imperial Fleet. Pellaeon retained command of the military and was party to the Moffs' decision-making process. He was technically subordinate to them, but his legal control over the military and personal popularity among the military and citizens gave him significant leverage over the Council of Moffs. Pellaeon also abolished slavery and took significant steps against anti-alien bias in the new regime; he wished to remove some of the Palpatinist excesses of the old Empire. The new state came to be known as the Imperial Remnant.
After six months of consolidation and preparation, Pellaeon felt secure in launching his first major offensive. Pellaeon's fleet massed near Agamar awaiting his arrival. When all was in order, he struck and captured the New Republic world Orinda. The New Republic was slow to respond, and Pellaeon followed up by taking six more systems as forward bases. General Wedge Antilles of the New Republic led the counterattack from the Super Star Destroyer Lusankya. In a month of battles, Antilles forced Pellaeon back to Orinda. There, the two fleets clashed, Antilles aboard the Lusankya and Pellaeon aboard Reaper. Pellaeon was able to destroy the fleet carrier Endurance, robbing Antilles of most of his starfighters. Antilles was forced to retreat; Pellaeon had won a major victory for the fledgling Imperial Remnant. He held on to Orinda, and the New Republic settled for fortifying its holdings along the border.
By 13 ABY, Baron D'Asta arranged a conference with Admiral Pellaeon on Orinda with the hope of convincing the latter to arrange a truce with the dominant New Republic. However, after falling ill, D'Asta sent his daughter to the meeting as his proxy. Feena D'Asta announced D'Asta's full backing of an Imperial treaty, swearing that he would rejoin the Imperial ranks and intercede any potential rebellious Moffs who refused to adhere to the treaty's terms. He accepted and dispatched her and Zam Basdor to negotiate with Mirith Sinn of the New Republic, but the meeting was disrupted by stormtroopers of a dissident Imperial faction, the Restored Empire, who succeeded in killing D'Asta. Shocked by the death of Feena D'Asta and suspecting a New Republic betrayal, Pellaeon ordered the Imperial Navy to attack the Republic in retaliation, leaving the Imperial capital Orinda insufficiently defended. The ancient but massive Restored Empire fleet was able to destroy the small defense fleet and attack the planet. Ennix Devian, commander of the invading force, personally led a ground team to capture Pellaeon and convince him to swear allegiance to their cause. Basdor, who had been leaking information to Devian, was revealed to be a traitor. His suspicions about Basdor confirmed, Pellaeon executed him before being seized by Restored Empire stormtroopers. Pellaeon refused Devians offer to join him, knowing that Baron D'Asta's fleet was in the process of decimating the fleet of the Restored Empire. When Baron D'Asta arrived on the Orinda with Kir Kanos, Mirith Sinn and his daughter's clone, a firefight erupted between the two Imperial factions. Pellaeon escaped to safety in the ensuing commotion.
When the planet Adumar was rediscovered, it sent out invitations to both the Empire and New Republic to court its allegiance. A potentially powerful source of munitions, Adumar adored pilots, and Pellaeon sent as its delegation Turr Phennir and three other pilots from the 181st Imperial Fighter Group while Admiral Teren Rogriss ferried them there in the Agonizer. The planet was too important to fall into New Republic hands, and Rogriss was under orders to bombard the world if it chose to join the New Republic. Rogriss was deeply unhappy with his orders, and Antilles—the lead New Republic delegate—was able to contact Rogriss and convince him to defect. The world fell into New Republic hands. Pellaeon angrily took the Reaper to Adumar and bombarded the recalcitrant world. The offensive became bogged down, however, tying up some of Pellaeon's resources. The revelation during that campaign that Senator and Minister of State Q-Varx of the New Republic was a traitor, however, robbed Pellaeon of an extremely highly-placed spy. When the New Republic began pushing into the Antemeridian sector—a new addition to the Imperial Remnant ruled by Moff Tol Getelles—it was able to roll over Getelles and into Pellaeon's territory. Pellaeon had to rush from Adumar and fight back a New Republic thrust which could have penetrated deep into his territory. He was ultimately successful, but lost the Reaper in the final clash at Celanon.
Pellaeon lost momentum, and the New Republic slowly nibbled away Imperial territory. Bright spots remained, as in the acquisition of four advanced Star Destroyers and the experimental weapons testbed EX-F in the aftermath of the Black Fleet Crisis, and the recapture of the Chimaera in the Battle of Gravlex Med, in which Pellaeon faced Gial Ackbar himself. In 17 ABY, believing an invasion imminent, the Moff Council elected to strike first, contacting Daala and her small fiefdom in the Deep Core to coordinate an assault. Pellaeon strongly counseled against the plan, seeing no chance of success, but obeyed the directives of the unyielding Moffs. Attempting to capitalize on the confusion of the Almanian Uprising, Pellaeon and Daala made their attacks in its immediate aftermath. Pellaeon launched successful surprise attacks on Adumar, Taris, and Champala, but the New Republic hit back hard, sending the Third Fleet—including the Super Star Destroyer Guardian—and Fifth Fleet against him. Pellaeon lost the Second Battle of Champala as well as engagements at Ketaris and Tangrene, facing the united forces of Ackbar and Bel Iblis; the latter had easily dispatched Daala's abortive strike. The conclusive battle was at Anx Minor, where Pellaeon again faced off against Ackbar. This time, Ackbar came away with a surprise victory, destroying the EX-F. The antimatter the experimental ship carried took six Star Destroyers with it in the explosion. That battle ended the hostilities, but the Remnant had been reduced to a mere eight backwater sectors along the edge of the Unknown Regions in the course of the campaign.
- "If we're destroyed—if we all die—the concepts and ideals of the New Order die with us. But if we surrender, we can keep those ideals alive. Then, if and when the New Republic self-destructs, we'll be positioned to rise again. Maybe then the galaxy will finally be ready to accept us."
- ―Gilad Pellaeon to Hestiv
In 19 ABY, Pellaeon took the Chimaera to the Imperial border with the Unknown Regions to test the new Computerized Combat Predictor. The system was intended to pick up on combat patterns and then allow a starship to predict an enemy assault; Pellaeon hoped to use it in conjunction with a cloaking field to allow a cloaked ship to make accurate attacks and so overcome the double-blind effect of the cloak. A formation of eight Preybird fighters made two runs against the Star Destroyer before Pellaeon had the Chimaera's Captain Ardiff bring up the cloaking field and turn fire control over to the Predictor. The Chimaera fired five hundred shots before the cloaking field was powered down, but its blasts only achieved the simulated destruction of one of the fighters. The Predictor was, as Pellaeon had feared, not good enough. Pellaeon's frustration with the state of the Empire bubbled into words, and he admitted what he was feeling: the Remnant had lost the war. Ardiff insisted that they still had a chance, but Pellaeon pointed out the Empire's lack of serious military manufacturing infrastructure. Its position, he felt, was no longer tenable. Pellaeon ordered Ardiff to send a transmission summoning the Moff Council to meet on Bastion—now located in the Sartinaynian system—and discuss terms of surrender to the New Republic.
The Moffs gathered at Bastion, where Pellaeon outlined his argument for a peace treaty to them. The reaction was poor; the Moffs were unwilling to give up on the Empire or believe it could be beat. Pellaeon insisted that the reality did not match their bluster. Several, disgusted, moved to leave, but were ordered to sit down and hear him out by Moff Vilim Disra of Braxant sector, home of Bastion. Disra was the strongest of the Moffs, and the most virulently against the New Republic. Pellaeon again argued that a negotiated peace was the only way to ultimately hold out against the militarily and economically superior New Republic; with a peace now, they might lose some systems, but would likely gain the right to govern those New Republic member worlds who preferred to live under the Remnant. Pellaeon was far from enthusiastic about the prospect, but he considered it the best of many bad options. After more than an hour of debate, the Council of Moffs ultimately agreed that a peace was in their best interests, before the New Republic turned its attention to eliminating the last few Imperial sectors. Pellaeon planned to send an envoy to General Garm Bel Iblis to discuss peace; Pellaeon respected Bel Iblis, an old military man and well-known tactician, and preferred to surrender to him over any other official. But before preparing the peace mission, Pellaeon went to confront Disra in his office after the meeting. He wished to know where Disra was getting the Preybirds with which he had been supplying the Remnant. Disra refused to divulge his source, stating only that a private investment group had bought up the production line. Pellaeon pushed, and Disra finally agreed to transmit a list of the investors later, but the Supreme Commander remained convinced that Disra's connection to the source was less than honest.
Pellaeon sent his trusted aide, Colonel Meizh Vermel, to Morishim in a Corellian corvette. Bel Iblis was currently at the world. Unknown to Pellaeon, however, Disra had plans of his own. Disra had found a con man, Flim, who was able to assume an uncanny likeness to Thrawn. With Major Grodin Tierce providing the tactical genius for this triumvirate, Disra planned to seize power under the guise of Thrawn's return and carry the war to the New Republic. Disra sent Captain Dorja, to whom he had presented the impostor Thrawn, to Morishim under orders to capture Vermel's corvette. Dorja jammed Vermel's transmissions and captured the corvette before the New Republic could scramble against it, before disappearing into hyperspace. Instead of an offer of peace, the New Republic received only a cryptic, fragmentary message.
Meanwhile, Pellaeon was unaware that Vermel had been captured. He was on Muunilinst, the financial capital of the Remnant, attempting to persuade its senior military officials to support the peace negotiations. He also used the opportunity to trace Disra's financial ties. He allowed the banker Lord Graemon, one of Disra's financiers, to enter the room and noticed General Jaron Kyte's brief reaction. Pellaeon had one more link to pursue, and when High General Sutt Ramic decided to support Pellaeon's treaty, Pellaeon knew the others would fall in line. The supreme commander continued his brief tour of the Empire, presenting the truce to the top levels of the military and digging into Disra's connections, putting Imperial Intelligence on the task of rooting out those connected to Graemon. During his tour, the idea came to Pellaeon that a copy of the Caamas Document could be powerful leverage in his negotiations; the discovery of an incomplete copy which implicated Bothans in the destruction of Caamas was currently the source of widespread controversy and dissension in the New Republic. Pellaeon resolved to search for a copy when his tour reached the Ubiqtorate base at Yaga Minor.
At Yaga Minor, Pellaeon met with the local commander, High General Hestiv, an old friend. Pellaeon again made the case for a settlement, and Hestiv accepted. Pellaeon also had Hestiv run a list of names that he had been able to associate with Disra through the system. Through a casual comment on Hestiv's part, Pellaeon also learned that Tierce—Disra's aide—had been to Yaga Minor recently. Pellaeon suspected that Tierce had altered records in the Special Files section—Palpatine's top-secret records, which not even Pellaeon could access. Pellaeon and Hestiv decided they would have to find someone who could slice into the records as Tierce had. Yaga Minor was Pellaeon's final stop, and it was time to head to Pesitiin, where he hoped to rendezvous with Bel Iblis. It had been three weeks since Vermel had left, and without any word, Pellaeon had to assume his aide had been captured. What Pellaeon could not be sure of was whether or not Vermel had managed to deliver the message. He resolved to take the Chimaera to Pesitiin regardless and find out.
At Pesitiin, Pellaeon found the rendezvous deserted. Not long after arriving, however, a small task force entered the system. The ships, marked with Corellian Defense Force insignia, attacked at the Battle of Pesitiin. Pellaeon did not believe the Corellian Bel Iblis to be as dishonorable as to ambush an opponent requesting a truce; to verify his identity, Pellaeon used a modified A-wing Slash against the attackers, striking with proton torpedoes from behind a decoy of Preybirds. The attack was completely successful, destroying the attacking Kaloth Battlecruiser and forcing the rest to retreat. Pellaeon knew then that it had not been Bel Iblis commanding the group; Bel Iblis had invented the A-wing Slash and would not have been fooled by it. Instead, the signs clearly pointed to some faction wishing to persuade Pellaeon that Bel Iblis had attacked and so disrupt the peace proceedings. Pellaeon determined to stay and wait for Bel Iblis. He sent a sensor-stealthed assault shuttle along the attackers' outbound vector. Within thirty hours, all damage the Chimaera had sustained was repaired, and the shuttle had found no trace of the attackers. Pellaeon had ordered a communications blackout; any transmissions would have to be routed through a relay, and that would give away their position and possibly attract more attention. Such a situation was not indefinitely sustainable; Pellaeon decided he could wait only two weeks for Bel Iblis before he would return.
Lieutenant Mavron, tracking the attack force, was able to check HoloNet transmissions. One, very shortly after the attack, was directed back to Bastion. Further, it was relayed from Bastion to the Kroctar system. Mavron did some checking, and found that at that time, Grand Admiral Thrawn had supposedly been present to accept a Kroctari petition to rejoin the Empire. Pellaeon was shocked to hear of Thrawn's return. Ardiff was inclined to dismiss it as a hoax, and Pellaeon very nearly was as well, but could not get over the possibility that it was real—and that Thrawn had bypassed Pellaeon entirely in making his return. Nevertheless, Pellaeon still hoped, though he did not truly believe, that Thrawn had returned. He would not, however, give up his mission of peace to rush back, nor would he lift the communications blackout to request details, as his authority to make peace could be revoked. Pellaeon would give peace every chance before departing to Bastion to get his answers and sort out Disra.
The Bastion Accords
- "I'll get right to the point, Councilor. The war that began twenty-odd years ago is effectively over…and the Empire has lost."
"I agree. Is this opinion shared by others in the Empire?"
"I'm sure the average Imperial citizen has recognized that truth for quite some time. It's merely been the leadership who have clung to the hope that the inevitable could somehow be prevented."
"And does that leadership now agree with the two of us and the average Imperial citizen?"
"Yes. Reluctantly, but yes. I've been authorized by the eight remaining Moffs to open peace negotiations with the New Republic."
- ―Gilad Pellaeon and Leia Organa Solo
Meanwhile, New Republic Crypt Chief Zakarisz Ghent was able to reconstruct the mostly-jammed record of Vermel's transmission. With Bel Iblis out of contact preparing for a raid on the Yaga Minor Ubiqtorate base in the hope of recovering a copy of the Caamas Document, Ghent recruited Caamasi Trustant Elegos A'Kla and rushed off to Organa Solo, who had taken a leave of absence from the presidency. They presented her with the message, and Organa Solo decided to undertake the negotiations. With A'Kla, Ghent, and her two Noghri bodyguards, Organa Solo set off for Pesitiin in the Millennium Falcon. Pellaeon was dining with Ardiff and Colonel Bas—the commander of the Chimaera's starfighters and a man Pellaeon appreciated for his honestly and direct manner—and preparing to leave Pesitiin immediately after dinner when Tschel contacted him from the bridge. Organa Solo had arrived to negotiate.
Pellaeon greeted her party as they debarked the Falcon, but was quickly set aback when Ghent mentioned having reconstructed Vermel's message. Pellaeon was furious when he heard that Vermel had been captured by a traitorous Imperial element, but kept his anger under control. Pellaeon moved to start the negotiations, but the Noghri, highly suspicious of the Empire, insisted the talks take place aboard the Falcon. Pellaeon went over the terms, requesting guarantees of territorial integrity, free movement and trade, nonaggression, and the right of systems to determine under which government they wished to live. He further offered a copy of the Caamas Document if the treaty was ratified. However, to get the copy, he admitted that he would need a highly skilled slicer to travel to Yaga Minor and attempt to retrieve the record from the Special Files section. Fortunately, Ghent was available. Pellaeon arranged for Ghent, considered among the best slicers in the galaxy, to be inserted to Yaga Minor under the supervision of Hestiv. The supreme commander also received confirmation of Thrawn's return during the meeting. Pellaeon sent Ghent off, Organa Solo departed to Coruscant to present Pellaeon's terms, and Pellaeon himself departed for Bastion to confront Disra.
Pellaeon returned to Bastion, where he confronted Disra with the evidence of the Moff's shady dealings, Commander Dreyf—the Intelligence officer Pellaeon had had perform the probe—beside him. Tierce arrived with a summons to the palace security room. Disra excused himself while Tierce remained. Pellaeon grilled the major about his visit to Yaga Minor, but Tierce innocently maintained that he had not visited. When Disra returned, Tierce departed, but in barely a minute Disra was called away again by something that Pellaeon could see had him terrified. Pellaeon took the opportunity of being left alone to have Dreyf pick the locks on Disra's desk drawers. The Intelligence officer found several high-security datadisks in a secret drawer and was able to confirm that all the incriminating information was within. Among the lists of transactions were several other orders, including one for the capture and detention of Vermel. Pellaeon took the datadisks and left immediately to free Vermel before Disra could order his termination. Disra would know the information had been taken, but Pellaeon was confident Disra could be dealt with later.
Pellaeon was extremely glad to free his trusted aide from imprisonment at Rimcee Station. With Vermel, he returned to Bastion to confront Disra, but the Moff had left. Pellaeon tracked Disra—with Thrawn—to Yaga Minor. He was preparing to follow when a strange alien ship entered Bastion space and hailed him personally. Aboard it was Talon Karrde, with datacards which provided the truth of Disra's scheming. Aboard Karrde's ship, Pellaeon and Karrde sneaked aboard the Relentless at Yaga Minor under the cover of the information raid the New Republic had launched and made their way to the bridge. There, Pellaeon exposed Disra's hoax, as well as the fact that Tierce was not Tierce at all, but a clone of the original Tierce with added flash-training attempting to recreate Thrawn's genius. Enraged, Tierce attempted to attack Pellaeon, but the clone was intercepted and killed by Shada D'ukal, a Mistryl Shadow Guard in Karrde's employ. With his authority reestablished, Pellaeon ordered the cessation of hostilities and had Bel Iblis, leading the raid, do likewise. Disra and Flim were taken into custody, and Pellaeon went aboard Bel Iblis's ship to negotiate with him, but on the way over Karrde proposed a new idea: the renowned information broker would set himself up as a middleman, an information-sharing agency between the New Republic and Imperial Remnant. With an independent party providing and verifying information, it would be easier for each partner to trust the other. Just over two weeks later, Pellaeon and New Republic President Ponc Gavrisom signed the Pellaeon–Gavrisom Treaty, also known as the Bastion Accords, aboard the Chimaera in a public ceremony.
At the same time, Skywalker and Jade had been on a mission into the Unknown Regions, where they discovered the existence of the Empire of the Hand, a vast Imperialist territory Thrawn had carved out during his time there. Commanded by Admiral Voss Parck, it had remained secret. The rumored return of Thrawn drew it into contact with the rest of the galaxy as Parck contemplated returning it to the Empire, but their initial overtures were directed at Jade, whom Parck thought would make an excellent middleman. Skywalker and Jade prevented them from turning the Empire of the Hand over to the Remnant before returning with a copy of the Caamas Document, defusing that flashpoint. With "Thrawn" revealed to be Flim, Parck decided to continue stewardship of the Empire of the Hand, but he did open channels of communication with Pellaeon. Pellaeon allowed knowledge of the Empire of the Hand to reach only the very top levels of his government, though he himself did not know the true extent of the Empire of the Hand's territory.
Pellaeon also used the years of peace to solidify his position. Pellaeon remained technically inferior to the Moffs, but by 25 ABY he effectively controlled the Council of Moffs via his influence over the military and by making sure that checks and balances hobbled the ability of the Moffs to make serious trouble for him. Pellaeon was in the position of being able to issue orders to the Moffs as well as take them, and was relatively free from political pressure. In another favorable move, Disra had been replaced with Ephin Sarreti, a young Moff and former military officer who had grown up under Pellaeon's regime and was loyal to Pellaeon and his ideals. Pellaeon also did not neglect to keep an eye on the New Republic. Despite having information-sharing agencies, Pellaeon made sure to seed Imperial spies throughout neighboring worlds, important information-gathering sites, and the halls of power of the New Republic. Pellaeon also gained the services of a Force-sensitive, Miat Temm, as a trusted civilian aide.
Facing the Yuuzhan Vong
A new enemy
- "Understand this: If the Yuuzhan Vong can defeat the New Republic, we cannot stand against them. I suggest you use the time I will win us in fighting against them to make our worlds as secure as you can. If I fail, if you are made to play with your soldiers, I hope I do not live to see the results."
- ―Gilad Pellaeon to the Council of Moffs
In 25 ABY, Pellaeon's intelligence assets in neighboring space began offering unsettling reports. His agent at the ExGal-4 extragalactic astronomic observation post went silent and the facility was assumed destroyed; Dubrillion fell to a mysterious threat. The Remnant had a difficult time putting together the pieces, and the New Republic did not release any significant information, but Pellaeon knew that some serious threat had arisen. Several months after the abnormalities began, Organa Solo—no longer chief of state but merely an envoy—arrived at Bastion to request Remnant aid against the new foe. She explained that the Yuuzhan Vong, an extragalactic species using biological technology, had begun an invasion of the galaxy. Organa Solo presented the information the New Republic had gathered on the Yuuzhan Vong, and Pellaeon promised to aid the New Republic if he could.
There was significant political pressure against Pellaeon not to do so, however, as hard-line elements expected the offer to be a trap designed to lure the Remnant's fleet out and crush it. Even some among Pellaeon's staff, such as Colonel Harrak and Major Pressin, felt that to be the situation. Pellaeon, however, decided that the threat was worth confronting and that the Remnant could do nothing less than aid the New Republic; if it fell, so would the Imperial Remnant. Pellaeon mobilized the reserve forces and activated the Remnant's covert assets. He called a meeting of the Moff Council and told them what he planned to do. Several objected, but Pellaeon told them he would not summon their personal bodyguard units to the front and allowed them access to reservist forces for their security. Pellaeon made it clear that he expected them to improve the security of their sectors while he was at the front, and he would not tolerate lack of support for the endeavor.
During the mobilization, Pellaeon received unexpected aid: the Empire of the Hand had intercepted the mobilization orders and General Baron Soontir Fel sent Force Spike, an elite wing of Nssis-class "Clawcraft" fighters under his son, Colonel Jagged Fel, to aid Pellaeon. When Pellaeon's intelligence assets informed him of a seemingly rebuffed raid on Garqi, Pellaeon took the Chimaera, Red Harvest, and Force Spike to investigate. When Admiral Traest Kre'fey's task force returned to extract the commando team under Colonel Corran Horn that it had inserted during the first raid, it came under heavy fire and was nearly forced to retreat. Pellaeon jumped his force in to aid the beleaguered New Republic forces, and his unexpected aid saved the operation.
On Garqi, Horn had learned that Yuuzhan Vong vonduun crab armor was allergic to the pollen of the Bafforr tree, a significant weakness. Kre'fey took his task force to Ithor, homeworld of the Bafforr, and Pellaeon followed. The Imperial Supreme Commander came aboard Kre'fey's flagship, the Ralroost, for a conference with Kre'fey, Jedi Master Skywalker, and Horn. The New Republic was sending forces to defend Ithor, and Pellaeon wished to participate in its defense as well; he saw it as a key point in the war. However, he knew that the Moffs would not approve of his spending Imperial forces to defend a New Republic world, and the New Republic's political leadership would soon be arriving to micromanage Ithor's defense as well. Kre'fey insisted that, while the defense would be presented to the politicians as jointly planned, Pellaeon would be in command of the battle. Pellaeon agreed, and placed Kre'fey second in the chain of command, with Skywalker third. They agreed to attempt to draw up a battle plan which would satisfy the politicians without restraining their effectiveness any more than necessary. When the politicians finally arrived, a reception was held on the Ithorian herdship Tafanda Bay. Pellaeon did not care for political ceremony, but was glad to greet Kre'fey, Skywalker, General Wedge Antilles, and Colonel Gavin Darklighter of Rogue Squadron. These were men he had once fought against, but Pellaeon admired their courage, military ability, and practical outlook, and was now proud to consider them allies.
Pellaeon was able to secure four Imperial-class Star Destroyers and eight Victory-class ships, giving him a formidable force to join Kre'fey's. They planned to stop as much of the Yuuzhan Vong force as possible in orbit, but had ground troops deployed to stop any landings. Additionally, Pellaeon ordered the construction of a ground facility, appearing to be a base, guarded only by droids. The technology-hating Vong would rush the facility to destroy the droids. Once it was full of Vong, the base would self-destruct. Meanwhile, Jedi teams would engage the Yuuzhan Vong aboard Tafanda Bay, which had been outfitted with various traps. During all the preparations, Pellaeon had Ithor's citizens evacuated. It would be impossible to get all the civilians free before the attack, however, and Horn came up with an idea to gain a truce period. Horn had the bones of some of Yuuzhan Vong commander Shedao Shai's relatives who had served as advance scouts, recovered in an archaeological dig. Shai was highly offended and wished the bones returned; Horn proposed to offer Shai a duel. There would be a truce period leading up the duel in which more civilians could be evacuated, and if Horn won the duel, Shai would leave Ithor alone. If Shai won, he would regain his relatives' remains. If Shai did not agree, Horn would destroy the bones. Pellaeon did not approve of the principle of junior officers dueling and striking unorthodox bargains with enemy commanders, but conceded that it was a desperate situation. During the initial battle, Horn would find a way to contact Shai and offer him the duel. Borsk Fey'lya, the New Republic's chief of state, demanded that command be turned over to Kre'fey, but Pellaeon let Fey'lya know that if he were replaced, an Imperial directive would compel him to return with his forces to Imperial space. Fey'lya backed down.
Almost immediately after Fey'lya's demand, the Yuuzhan Vong began their attack. Pellaeon's Chimaera sat at the tip of an inverted cone, where it opened fire with a capital-ship modification of the splinter shot technique developed by the New Republic's fighter pilots. Pellaeon's turbolasers rapidly fired low-power shots, busying the dovin basal singularity generators which shielded the Yuuzhan Vong ships, and then released full-power shots when they saw an opening. Shai had anticipated the strategy, however, and was able to counter it by using less-powerful singularities to catch the splinter shots. Kre'fey came up with the idea of boosting the power of the splinter shots to throw the Vong off-balance and conveyed it to Pellaeon. The strategy worked, damaging Shai's fleet and forcing it to withdraw. Meanwhile, on the surface, Shai received Horn's offer of a duel and agreed to a one-week truce before the combat. Horn won the duel, but Shai's lieutenant, Deign Lian, did not honor the truce, instead launching a deadly plague into Ithor's atmosphere, utterly destroying all life on the planet. When Lian moved to withdraw his fleet, stationed on the other side of the planet, Pellaeon put into motion a strategy he and Kre'fey had devised. An Interdictor jumped into the system, forcing Lian to devote more of his dovin basals' energy to pulling away from Ithor. Meanwhile, the Interdictor fed targeting data for the flagship to the New Republic fleet, which launched proton torpedoes from the other side of the planet and utterly destroyed the massive flagship, killing Lian. Some small measure of retribution had been achieved.
On the sidelines
- "This is not the last you shall see of me, my friends. Right now, my people are afraid of helping you. There will come a time when they are more afraid of not helping you. I will return then. I just hope it won't be too late."
- ―Gilad Pellaeon to Traest Kre'fey and Wedge Antilles
In response to the loss, the Moffs forced Pellaeon to return to the Remnant. Unrest over the Yuuzhan Vong threat demanded that the fleet remain at home to guard the Imperial Remnant. Pellaeon was sorry to leave combat against the Vong, and regretted losing the strong working relationship he had developed with Kre'fey, whom he had grown to admire. Pellaeon promised that he would return as soon as the political situation would allow him to, and he and Kre'fey made sure to continue sharing information. Pellaeon worried, however, that the war would already be lost by that point. Pellaeon was still able to organize the occasional cooperative venture near Imperial territory, as when Pellaeon sent Vice Admiral Ark Poinard and the Erinnic to aid in the successful defense of nearby trade center Ord Mantell, and also participated in other holding actions against the Yuuzhan Vong. The Remnant's main focus, however, was on fortifying its own position. Pellaeon attempted to do his best to train the Remnant's military and prepare it for the Yuuzhan Vong threat. He continued to share information with the New Republic as well, providing records concerning Outbound Flight when requested. Pellaeon also attempted to contact the Empire of the Hand, but no response was forthcoming from the Hand of Thrawn on Nirauan.
Pellaeon continued to maintain agents in New Republic space, gathering information on the Yuuzhan Vong and the New Republic's response to them. As the Yuuzhan Vong pushed ever deeper into Republic territory, Pellaeon sent Commander Vana Dorja to Coruscant under the cover of negotiating for the purchase of a shipment of agricultural droid brains. She was there when Coruscant fell to a massive Yuuzhan Vong attack force. Chief of State Fey'lya was killed and the New Republic was driven into disarray. When it finally began reorganizing on Mon Calamari, Dorja resurfaced and hitched a ride with Han and Leia Solo, who were dispatched on a diplomatic mission to attempt to recruit the Remnant's aid.
The Solos docked with a Super Star Destroyer in orbit over Bastion, then transferred to the surface in a luxurious shuttle meant to impress. Meanwhile, Pellaeon debriefed Dorja. Pellaeon, by then a Grand Admiral, received the Solos at Imperial Headquarters and took them to his garden. Pellaeon had, at some point, taken up gardening and found it a relaxing and instructive hobby. Before beginning talks, he relayed a message for them from New Republic command; their son, Jacen Solo, had just returned from Vong captivity after having been thought dead, and let them send a message for him. Pellaeon showed them his garden and briefly discussed his philosophy of gardening, which he used as a metaphor for Imperial doctrine.
The topic quickly turned to what the New Republic actually wanted, and Organa Solo explained that they wished the Remnant to share its maps of secret Deep Core hyperspace routes. Pellaeon knew the Moff Council would not approve, and played the role of tough negotiator, requesting information in exchange. At some point, likely around the fall of Coruscant, information-sharing had broken down between the two parties. Organa Solo gladly turned over all the information the New Republic had discovered about the Yuuzhan Vong, including the recently-deciphered secret to Yuuzhan Vong communications. Now with something to show the Moffs, Pellaeon quickly agreed. He and the Solos chatted over dinner, and once it was done Organa Solo offered the Remnant an alliance. Pellaeon knew the Moffs would not approve, especially with the New Republic currently looking especially incompetent after the Coruscant debacle. Pellaeon looked for concessions, suggesting that giving the Remnant the rights to any unpopulated worlds it reconquered would push the Moffs onto their side. Organa Solo did not have the authority to agree to such an arrangement, but promised to make the offer to the New Republic. The Solos invited Pellaeon to dinner aboard the Falcon the next night, and there they exchanged information and toasted each other's government. Pellaeon sent the Falcon off with a new comm antenna, replacing one which had been damaged.
The Deep Core routes turned out to be key to the Battle of Ebaq 9, a massive victory over the Yuuzhan Vong orchestrated by Ackbar himself. Yuuzhan Vong Warmaster Tsavong Lah was killed in the battle and momentum shifted to the newly formed Galactic Federation of Free Alliances, a stronger reorganization of the New Republic under newly elected Chief of State Cal Omas. With fresh victories under their belt, Omas and his top advisers decided to reach out to the Remnant once more. Luke and Mara Jade Skywalker, Jacen Solo, and Saba Sebatyne assembled a Jedi diplomatic team that would visit the Remnant and the Chiss Ascendancy while attempting to seek out the living planet Zonama Sekot.
- "Our numbers have dwindled in futile attempts to reclaim something that was taken from us long ago. The galaxy isn't ours by right; we have lost it. The sooner we accept that, the sooner we can begin to understand what role exists for us now. And if that new role is to be part of the Galactic Alliance, then so be it. It has to be better than extinction. I for one am sick of fighting a war we can never win—and against the wrong enemy, what's more."
- ―Gilad Pellaeon to Kurlen Flennic
Before the dignitaries could arrive, however, the Imperial Remnant came under Yuuzhan Vong attack. Imperial spies had believed the Yuuzhan Vong fleet was heading for Nirauan, but Bastion itself was their target. Pellaeon held his own, until thousands of hull-eating grutchins swarmed the Imperial fleet. The Chimaera was the only ship to respond adequately to the threat. Pellaeon was forced to evacuate the Imperial capital, the civilians heading for Muunilinst, as the Chimaera took a severe beating. Muunilinst itself came under attack, however, and had to evacuate as well. Skywalker's party arrived in the middle of the battle, and were able to point out the Yuuzhan Vong ship holding the battle-coordinating yammosk. Skywalker offered Pellaeon an alliance once more, and Pellaeon reluctantly accepted; he did not like the appearance of having to accept aid to save himself. He told the Skywalkers to proceed to Yaga Minor, where his fleet would be retreating, and seek out Captain Arien Yage, one of his more loyal officers.
Pellaeon himself continued to fight at Bastion, losing the Superior, until a coralskipper rammed the Chimaera's bridge, throwing Pellaeon against a control console and mangling his lower torso. An officer pulled him out and placed him on a shuttle evacuating crewers from the dying Superior. A full squadron of TIE pilots gave their lives to allow the shuttle to escape Bastion. The seventy-nine-year-old Grand Admiral was shuttled to Yaga Minor, in a coma and expected to die. Pellaeon drifted in and out of consciousness, ordering the pilot, his possible son Vitor Reige, to find the Jedi and thank them for their aid. Reige docked with Yage's ship, the Widowmaker, and Pellaeon was transferred to a bacta tank, though his heart stopped before he could be inserted, and he had to be resuscitated. He floated in a bacta tank, attempting to reorganize his memories as his thoughts drifted and his body was wracked by incredible pain. Pellaeon nearly surrendered to death, but the Jedi healer Skywalker had brought along, Tekli, was able to reach him and convince Pellaeon to cling to life as she worked through the Force to heal him. Pellaeon would rather have died than lived while his ship and crew went down, but Tekli assured him that the Chimaera had survived the battle. Pellaeon did not respond well enough to the bacta, however, and Tekli had to pull him out of the tank and manually operate on his more severe wounds before re-immersing him. The Supreme Commander of the Imperial Fleet would survive.
It was not known outside the Widowmaker that Pellaeon had survived, however, and Moff Kurlen Flennic of Yaga Minor had already begun consolidating power. Jacen Solo attempted to reason with Flennic and convince him to accept Galactic Alliance aid against the Yuuzhan Vong, but was not making much progress. Pellaeon had his bacta tank equipped with a comma unit and called Flennic from there, revealing his survival and ordering Flennic to cooperate with Solo's plan for dealing with the Yuuzhan Vong. The fleet would withdraw from Yaga Minor and proceed to Borosk, a heavily fortified world on the edge of Imperial space; the Vong would not rest until they destroyed the Imperial Fleet, and the spies they had among the fleet would bring an attack down on strategically vital Yaga Minor if the fleet remained there. Pellaeon had had enough of the Moffs' isolationism. He would be issuing the orders from then on, and the Remnant would ally itself with the Galactic Alliance against the Yuuzhan Vong. Flennic submitted.
The fleet proceeded to Borosk to make its last stand against the Yuuzhan Vong; Pellaeon was not yet well enough to leave his bacta tank, and so he adopted a mask which displayed video feeds for him, as well as having audio relays. Nine Star Destroyers formed the core of his fleet, divided into four battle groups. As Pellaeon's TIEs began harrying the enemy, Solo was able to round up and expose the traitors in the fleet, ensuring that their plans would remain secure. Pellaeon began a retreat beneath Borosk's mine shell, attempting to lure the Yuuzhan Vong into range of the planet's ground-based weaponry. As he did so, Sebatyne came up with a plan to free the Imperial prisoners from the slave ship lurking the rear of the Vong fleet. She would take the Jedi's ship, Jade Shadow, to be captured and fight to take control of the ship from the inside. Pellaeon gave the operation his blessing and provided the Braxant Brave, an old Dreadnaught which had been rigged for suicide missions, in which they could hide the Jade Shadow. The Jedi mission succeeded, freeing the captives as Pellaeon held off the Yuuzhan Vong fleet.
Pellaeon's ships were taking much heavier losses than he would have liked, however. Finally, his technicians were able to get a gravitic amplitude modulator set up as a yammosk jammer, disrupting the Yuuzhan Vong's command and control signal. The Imperials were also able to identify the ship carrying the yammosk, and killed it. The Yuuzhan Vong fleet was behaving chaotically without its battle coordinator, and Pellaeon's fleet was making significant inroads when a second yammosk took over. Pellaeon dispatched the Defiant to jam and destroy it as it had the first. The enemy commander, B'shith Vorrik, opened a channel and began threatening the Empire as he withdrew. Pellaeon decried Vorrik's threats as empty and taunted the Yuuzhan Vong, knowing the effect it would have on morale. Pellaeon knew that the Yuuzhan Vong did not have the forces to commit to a long-term struggle; they had expected to make a lightning strike in retaliation for the Empire's role in the Battle of Ebaq 9 and take the Remnant out of the war quickly. No longer able to do so, they would have to withdraw their assets, which were needed to fight the Galactic Alliance. Most of Vorrik's fleet retreated entirely, while one third attempted to strike Yaga Minor on their way out; Pellaeon dispatched a portion of his fleet to follow them and aid in Yaga Minor's defense.
The attack on Yaga Minor was quickly driven off, and Pellaeon called a meeting of the Moffs and his senior officers one day later. Pellaeon was healed enough to leave the bacta tank and don his most impressive uniform, but he still had a limp which would likely be permanent. Pellaeon announced to those assembled that the only way the Empire would survive would be by taking the offensive against the Yuuzhan Vong and not waiting for another strike against them. He further ordered that the Imperial Remnant accept membership within the Galactic Alliance. It was time, he said, to face reality and join the larger galaxy. Moffs such as Flennic and Freyborn were outraged, but Pellaeon played his trump card: if the Moffs would not agree, he would take the fleet and leave. Flennic accused Pellaeon of treason and drew a blaster on him. The Grand Admiral waved back his stormtroopers, and faced Flennic down, attempting to reach him with reason. Flennic fired, however, and only Mara Jade Skywalker's Force powers saved Pellaeon. Pellaeon himself did not flinch. Jade Skywalker was finally able to reason with Flennic, and Pellaeon offered to forget what Flennic had just done if the Moff would agree to the proposal. Flennic submitted, but Pellaeon made it clear he would tolerate no more antics whatsoever from the hard-line Moff.
The Empire strikes back
- "You may win the occasional battle against us, Vorrik, but the Empire will always strike back. That I promise you."
- ―Gilad Pellaeon, to B'shith Vorrik
Pellaeon's scouts soon found Vorrik's rearguard, just Coreward of the Remnant. As he prepared to attack it, he sent off Skywalker's contingent, who were continuing onward into the Unknown Regions. Pellaeon had given them much information that could help them search for Zonama Sekot, and also sent along Yage and the Widowmaker as a goodwill escort. Pellaeon was sad to see Skywalker, whom he respected and had a certain camaraderie with, leave. Pellaeon had also developed a respect for the young Solo, and considered him a budding leader. Pellaeon wished them well on their mission as he prepared his own. With his flag now moved to the Right to Rule, Pellaeon set off after Vorrik. Pellaeon forced Vorrik's forces onto the run, damaging them at each turn and driving them farther from the Remnant while attempting to contain the amount of damage Vorrik could cause.
Vorrik eventually made his way to the Galactic Alliance's comm relay station at Generis and destroyed it before Pellaeon was able to intervene. Vorrik was able to slip Pellaeon's pursuit and attack the relay station at Esfandia. Pellaeon was contacted by the Ryn Network, however, and they pointed him to Esfandia and promised to provide reinforcements if needed. Pellaeon took their advice and proceeded to Esfandia after Vorrik, and was mildly surprised to find the Millennium Falcon there, with Han and Leia Solo leading the defense, but they quickly put themselves—and the frigate Pride of Selonia and Twin Suns Squadron, which had accompanied them—under his command. Pellaeon placed his two Star Destroyers between Vorrik's fleet and Esfandia, while the Galactic Alliance forces assaulted the yammosk ship they had detected. The Imperials could tell there was another yammosk active in the northern flank of the enemy fleet, and Pellaeon assigned Jagged Fel and two other Twin Suns pilots to reinforce that flank and prepare to attack the yammosk when its location was pinpointed. Fel was able to burrow his fighter inside a Yuuzhan Vong gunship and use it to ram the cruiser and corvette most likely to be carrying the yammosk; Pellaeon fully exploited the vulnerability. The northern flank would no longer be a significant threat.
Vorrik still had the numerically superior force, but drew off to geosynchronous orbit on the other side of the planet after Fel's successful tactic. There was now a standoff, with neither side able to enter the atmosphere without the other detecting it and preventing the move. Pellaeon hailed Vorrik and taunted the commander, ensuring he would be too angry to properly strategize. Pellaeon also got the side benefit of being highly amused by his verbal abuse of the Yuuzhan Vong commander. The Millennium Falcon had been able to enter the atmosphere earlier during the battle and located the mobile Esfandia base, but could not take action due to a force of Yuuzhan Vong ships searching for them which had also infiltrated during the battle. The Solos were able to get a signal out to Pellaeon, however, informing him of the situation.
Jedi Knight Tahiri Veila hatched a plan to insert a strike force on the surface, which Pellaeon approved. Veila's group was able to decoy the Yuuzhan Vong into thinking they had found the base, and Vorrik dispatched a force to bomb it. Pellaeon responded by assaulting Vorrik's force from above, making sure the defense seemed convincing, before the dummy site exploded. Vorrik had been too enraged to simply leave with his objective complete, however; he wanted to destroy Pellaeon. Seeing this, Pellaeon called in the Ryn reinforcements, which pressed the attack. Vorrik knew he was beaten and self-destructed his flagship, but Pellaeon saw the tactic coming and ordered all ships to route full power to their shields. Vorrik's final gesture did no damage; the battle was won.
With Vorrik's fleet defeated, Pellaeon continued cooperating with Galactic Alliance strikes. Galactic Alliance Supreme Commander Sien Sovv devised a plan to strike Bilbringi, which Pellaeon could reach without having to cross Yuuzhan Vong space. Admiral Kre'fey and General Antilles would rendezvous with him to recapture the system; Antilles would jump in first, assess the situation, and call in Pellaeon and Kre'fey after informing them of the disposition of the enemy forces. However, the Yuuzhan Vong deployed a new bioengineered organism at that time, which was able to bring down the galactic communications network. Antilles was not able to call Pellaeon in. Pellaeon had reached his own jump-off point, however, and set up Interdictor pickets along the major routes to his position, giving him an alert if he were to be ambushed—but with the HoloNet down, the Interdictors were forced to rely on couriers. Mynar Devis, whom Pellaeon knew to be his son but did not publicly acknowledge, was the captain of the Wrack, one of the picket Interdictors. The Solos were sent to reestablish communications using the Falcon as a courier; upon running into the Wrack, they decided to check Antilles's situation first. Devis and a flight of pilots accompanied them in TIE Defenders. Antilles's battle group was able to escape the heavy Yuuzhan Vong presence, and rendezvoused with Pellaeon's fleet. Pellaeon met with Antilles and the Solos, and inquired as to Devis; he had not returned to duty. Han Solo informed him that Devis had died helping destroy the Yuuzhan Vong interdictor that had been holding the fleet in-system, flying alongside his childhood idol, Solo. Pellaeon quietly accepted the news and departed, but was deeply cut by the sense that he had betrayed his son by not acknowledging him publicly.
Pellaeon was integrated into the Galactic Alliance's high command, quickly becoming one of the new government's senior officers. As the war drew on, he took Right to Rule to Mon Calamari, where he participated in planning sessions for the end stage of the war. The Yuuzhan Vong were massing for an assault on the Galactic Alliance's capital, and Sovv planned to hold that attack off while striking Coruscant and retaking it. When the Vong did strike, Pellaeon served in the defense of Mon Calamari, holding the enemy fleet at Mon Eron, the fifth planet in the system. They were badly outnumbered until half the fleet departed for an unknown destination; even when that segment left, the odds remained poor. Pellaeon took Right to Rule into the thick of the fighting, but the rest of the fleet suddenly left the system as well, baffling Galactic Alliance command. It was only later that they learned that Skywalker had been successful in his quest to draw Zonama Sekot into the war, and the living world had jumped through hyperspace into the Coruscant system, causing the Yuuzhan Vong to recall their fleet.
The high command reconvened, and decided to strike at Coruscant. Generals Antilles, Tycho Celchu, and Keyan Farlander retook Corulag to act as a staging area, while Pellaeon was handed command of the Galactic Alliance Fourth Fleet and sent to Coruscant via the Martial Cross hyperlane. The fleet, a mix of Galactic Alliance and Imperial vessels, entered the system, pounded its way into position over Coruscant, and began inserting ground troops. Galactic Alliance officers had hesitated to trust Pellaeon earlier; now he was entrusted with retaking the galactic capital. Pellaeon's fleet stood firm over Coruscant, severely weakening the planetary defenses and supporting the ground troops, as the Yuuzhan Vong fleet assaulted it. Antilles and Kre'fey were able to draw off much fleet strength as well, giving Pellaeon better odds. On the surface, however, Skywalker killed the Yuuzhan Vong Supreme Overlord Shimrra Jamaane and Jacen Solo killed Onimi, the power behind the throne. Warmaster Nas Choka surrendered. The war was effectively over.
Pellaeon landed and toured the reoccupied capital district with several senior officers. Returning to Coruscant made Pellaeon realize how much he missed the galactic Core, and even Coruscant, which he had been so eager to leave. He was left in a contemplative mood, reflecting on his career. He had to board Ralroost to be present for the massive ceremony in which Choka formally surrendered and the Yuuzhan Vong were handed into the guardianship of Zonama Sekot. Pellaeon then invited Han and Leia Solo to his quarters aboard the Right to Rule, where he returned Killik Twilight to the Solos, more than twenty years after Thrawn had first taken possession of it. Leia Organa Solo had always loved the painting, and Pellaeon had decided to turn it over to her in thanks for all the Solos had done for him. Pellaeon returned to Bastion the next day, where he planned to experiment with allowing some disorder to enter his garden. Eventually, however, Pellaeon stepped down from government and military service, though not before he had the Chimaera, damaged in the Battle of Bastion, quietly transferred to the irregular force maintained by his old friend Daala.
The Galactic Alliance
Return to service
- "May the Force be with you, Admiral."
"Once upon a time, I was certain I'd never hear those words directed toward me."
- ―Luke Skywalker and Gilad Pellaeon
In 36 ABY, Supreme Commander Sovv was killed in a vehicle collision as the Dark Nest Crisis was escalating. At the Galactic Alliance's request, Pellaeon came out of retirement to fill the position until a successor was named. The Chiss Ascendancy, a loose ally of the Galactic Alliance, was embroiled in a war against the insectoid, hive-minded Killiks, an expansionist race with the ability to subsume others into their group consciousness. The Jedi sought a peaceful resolution which would protect both sides, but the Chiss wished to exterminate the Killiks and the Galactic Alliance, under Omas, supported the Chiss. The Chiss were suspicious of the Galactic Alliance's neutrality, especially after the Killiks captured the Fifth Fleet's flagship, Admiral Ackbar, while assaulting the Galactic Alliance's blockade of the Utegetu Nebula. In an attempt to convince the Chiss of the Galactic Alliance's trustworthiness, Pellaeon inserted spies to track Killik movements, and wished to present as much intelligence as possible to the Chiss. The Solos were also infiltrating the Killiks, and they discovered that the Killik hives were preparing to support a series of uprisings within the Galactic Alliance.
The Solos brought that information back to the Galactic Alliance, and Pellaeon quickly began coordinating efforts to counter the coup attempts, all of which took place among insectoid species. Pellaeon himself took the Super Star Destroyer Megador to the asteroid known as Nickel One to put down a coup attempt against the Verpine Hive Mother, but the Skywalkers and Jacen Solo had arrived ahead of him and already neutralized the threat. Pellaeon was not entirely surprised, as reports had shown that the Jedi had been ahead of the Galactic Alliance at all the worlds except Thyferra, where Corran Horn's Jedi team was prevented from giving its aid. That was the only revolution not put down; however, Thyferra's conquest meant that the Killiks had control of the galaxy's bacta supply. Pellaeon devoted himself to analysis and planning for the situation. He also attempted to counter Omas's growing resentment of the Jedi, whom he felt were undermining his administration; Pellaeon had great faith in Skywalker and the Jedi. He was able to convince Omas to support a Jedi strike on Thyferra, as a conventional battle would likely do too much damage to the bacta supply. Skywalker, however, suggested that the coup was only a diversion to keep the Jedi from focusing on Killik preparations in the Utegetu Nebula. This fit with Pellaeon's analysis of the situation, and when Skywalker outlined his battle plan, Pellaeon endorsed it, as did Omas.
The Jedi headed to Sarm in their StealthX fighters, where the Killik fleet was massing. Skywalker planned to surround the Gorog nest ship, the headquarters of Lomi Plo, the Dark Jedi leading the Killiks, and infiltrate it when Pellaeon brought his fleet in. Skywalker found the Killiks already preparing to break the blockade. Skywalker signaled Cilghal, on the Megador, through the Force to have Pellaeon jump his fleet in immediately. Skywalker dueled Plo, injuring her, but she escaped to Tenupe. The Swarm War was not yet won. Pellaeon took his fleet to Tenupe, but Skywalker approached him just before the battle was joined. He was able to prevail upon Pellaeon to leave the Chiss fleet to deal with the Killiks and concentrate on retaking the Admiral Ackbar and capturing or killing Plo and Raynar Thul, without whom the Killik Colony would fall apart. Pellaeon did not want to risk what would certainly have been a smashing military victory, and also did not want to leave his allies unsupported, but Skywalker convinced Pellaeon that only by removing the Killik leadership and letting the Chiss face the consequences of their pressing the war could Chiss speciecide of the Killiks be averted. Pellaeon supported Skywalker's mission to infiltrate the Ackbar, where the Jedi Grand Master captured Thul and killed Plo; the Killik fleet was subsequently destroyed. Pellaeon was present for the conference with Chiss Aristocra Chaf'orm'bintrano, and on behalf of the Galactic Alliance, he agreed to come to the Ascendancy's aid in the event of another Killik attack in exchange for the Ascendancy agreeing to abide by Galactic Alliance terms of peace with the Killiks.
A fratricidal war
- "The young go through wars and think that the experience is enough to teach them to fear such conflicts. And then, years later, their children go to war, and suddenly the parents learn what fear really means."
- ―Gilad Pellaeon to Luke Skywalker
Pellaeon continued serving as supreme commander for four more years. In 40 ABY, rumblings began of a Corellian secessionist movement as Corellia defied the Galactic Alliance's requirements of it. Even more disturbing, Pellaeon's office gained intelligence suggesting that the Corellian government or factions inside had been constructing an assault fleet in secret for the past ten years, and it was near completion. Pellaeon put intelligence assets on the fleet's track, attempting to find its secret base. Still more disturbing was that the Corellian government was also near to reactivating the Centerpoint Station superweapon. Pellaeon was convinced that allowing them to do so would lead to rebellion and chaos, and approved a plan drawn up by one of his chief advisers, Admiral Cha Niathal, to have the Jedi sabotage the weapon. Jacen Solo and his young apprentice, Ben Skywalker, took on that assignment. Meanwhile, elements of the Second Fleet would enter the system in a show of force while Jedi strike teams attempted to seize Five World Prime Minister Aidel Saxan and Corellian Chief of State Thrackan Sal-Solo and force negotiations. The kidnap missions failed due to what was clearly foreknowledge on the part of the Corellians, while the Second Fleet was drawn into battle and Admiral Matric Klauskin, secretly under the influence of the Sith Lady Lumiya, retreated from the engagement and occupied Tralus, aggravating the situation badly. The mission to disable Centerpoint, however, was successful.
Saxan remained interested in a political solution, and to that end she offered to meet with representatives of the Galactic Alliance on neutral ground and work toward a compromise. Pellaeon was assigned to be the lead Galactic Alliance negotiator at the summit, which would be held at Toryaz Station over Kuat. Security preparations were intense, with the Galactic Alliance, Corellia, and the Jedi coordinating the security procedures. The negotiations began with a ball, which Pellaeon attended, speaking with various dignitaries informally. When that concluded, he and the top negotiators moved to a secure conference room. Pellaeon was simple and direct, desiring an informal and conciliatory tone. He and Saxan discussed the situation for four hours before deciding to break for the night. On the advice of General Tycho Celchu, his head of security, Pellaeon had a body double sleep in his suite while he occupied a neighboring one. The precaution proved wise, as a team of assassins struck during the night, killing Saxan and Pellaeon's double. Pellaeon and Celchu were the only survivors in their section. Pellaeon regretted that a man had died for him, but quickly turned to the matter of sorting out the attackers' identities and motivations. He placed the Jedi in charge of the investigation but insisted that Celchu and Antilles, who had joined the Corellian side, also be involved. Pellaeon himself served as the center of operations, compiling the data the investigators found while playing sabacc against Han Solo, who provided security for him. The investigation continued until the regularly scheduled call from Coruscant came through requesting Pellaeon's report. Pellaeon went to receive it, knowing that the investigation would now be put in the hands of Galactic Alliance agents.
The investigation eventually determined that Sal-Solo might have been behind the attempt, but there was not enough evidence to act on. Pellaeon sent Admiral Tarla Limpan to take over from Klauskin, who had suffered a mental breakdown, but the Corellians were able to drive the Galactic Alliance off Tralus, weakening their position and strengthening Corellian morale. When Queen Mother Tenel Ka of the Hapes Consortium gave her full support to the Galactic Alliance, Pellaeon made the decision to share the Galactic Alliance's prototype long-range turbolaser technology with her. In response to the escalation of the situation and increasing unrest among the Corellian expatriates on Coruscant, Omas authorized the creation of the Galactic Alliance Guard and placed it under Jacen Solo, who was given the rank of colonel. Omas knew Pellaeon opposed the creation of the secret police unit, which Solo would use to round up Corellians on the planet. Pellaeon felt the powers were too broad and open to abuse, and did not want the militarily inexperienced Solo heading it. With its creation, he resigned early in the morning the next day. Niathal succeeded him as supreme commander.
Now in his nineties, Pellaeon returned to his estate on Bastion and took an active hand in the ongoing efforts to restore the world to the strength it had enjoyed before the Yuuzhan Vong War. He remained a popular and influential figure, and the Moff Council frequently refused to make decisions without his input. Though he disliked the Galactic Alliance's direction, he frequently spoke in support of maintaining ties with the galactic government and against those parties within the Imperial Remnant that supported an alliance with the Confederation which had emerged around the Corellian independence movement.
Pellaeon eventually reclaimed his position as head of state for the Remnant, with Vitor Reige, who resembled Devis and whom Pellaeon strongly suspected of being his son, as his chief aide. Pellaeon considered having Reige's paternity tested, but always decided not to, as Reige was intensely loyal. Pellaeon knew it would not change his high opinion of the man if he did turn out to be his son, and did not want to be disappointed if Reige was not. Pellaeon continued moving to keep the Remnant out of the war, regarding the Confederation as rabble and coming to despise Jacen Solo, who had become co-chief-of-state along with Niathal, as a petty dictator.
Death at Fondor
- "Pellaeon to Fleet. Fleet, this is Admiral Pellaeon. I order you to place your vessels at the complete disposal of Admiral Niathal, and take down Jacen Solo, for the honor of the Empire—"
- ―Gilad Pellaeon
As the war escalated in 41 ABY, Pellaeon received a note from Solo requesting the Imperial Remnant's aid in exchange for concessions. Pellaeon crumpled it and had it returned to the messenger. Before that week's regular conference of the Moff Council, the retired Sarreti informed Pellaeon that the Moffs had been approached with an offer of Borleias and Bilbringi for the Empire's cooperation in subduing the Confederation world of Fondor. While Pellaeon had his allies among the Moffs, specifically the more military-minded such as Lecersen, several, led by Grand Moff Quille, opposed him and longed to expand the Remnant. While they were not positioned to unseat him, they were sure to push for involvement in the war. When Quille began to bring up the issue, Pellaeon revealed that he knew of the offer and advised against becoming entangled in the war. After the meeting, Pellaeon received the news from his vast array of informal contacts that Solo had used the Force to choke a lieutenant to death on the bridge of his ship, leaving him yet more concerned about Solo's mental state.
Solo sent an envoy to Pellaeon to make the offer formally and persuade him to accept. Pellaeon granted an audience to the young woman, Tahiri Veila—the Jedi who had fought under him at the Battle of Esfandia. Pellaeon, having lost faith in the Galactic Alliance's ability to bring about peace, decided that the Remnant would be best served by allying with Solo and coming out on the winning side, the better to influence the galaxy and bring peace after the war's close. He put the proposal to the Moffs, who eagerly agreed. Pellaeon, however, still did not trust Solo, and so used the signal that he knew would summon Daala.
Daala arrived while Pellaeon was inspecting his new flagship, the Bloodfin, a member of the new smaller, more maneuverable Turbulent-class of Star Destroyer. Pellaeon, who had a fondness for smaller ships, was very impressed by the modern design. He spoke with Niathal by comm, each expressing the concern that Solo was unscrupulous and had not thought through the Fondor attack properly. After that, he welcomed Daala, caught up on her life since he had last seen her, and gave her a tour of the ship. She had a small irregular fleet which Pellaeon had her position near Fondor to act as support in case something should go wrong during the battle. Pellaeon presented her publicly as a reactivated adviser, making no allusion to her fleet, which he wanted as a secret backup.
Pellaeon departed for Fondor shortly, with several of the Moffs, who hoped to acquire Fondor itself, present aboard Bloodfin. He kept a comm line secretly open to Daala at all times. He, Niathal, and Solo held a conference aboard Bloodfin. Realizing that they lacked the force to occupy Fondor, Pellaeon and Niathal suggested they offer Fondor favorable economic terms to rejoin the Galactic Alliance, to which Solo agreed; they were offered a period to surrender, which they did not, and then the Galactic Alliance occupied the orbital shipyards, softening up the planet. Solo left Veila aboard the ship supposedly as his liaison, though Pellaeon realized she was to be his spy and agent.
Pellaeon held the Remnant forces back, screening against the possible reappearance of Fondor's fleet, which they believed to be outside the system waiting to strike. Solo, meanwhile, led a portion of the Fourth Fleet against the orbital yards. However, it soon became clear that the fleet had been hidden within the shipyards, and it departed, trapping Solo's forces between itself and the planet's defenses while half of the Fondorian fleet engaged Niathal's portion of the Third, requiring Pellaeon's intervention to keep them from being overwhelmed. Solo was able to use the Force to convince the Fondorians to open their shields, allowing him to bombard their shield generators and Oridin, the capital city. Niathal again offered the Fondorian president, Shas Vadde, the chance to surrender, which he accepted. Solo, however, insisted on pressing the battle and making an example of Fondor. Niathal relieved him of command and insisted he stand down. Pellaeon insisted that the Imperial ships respect the cease-fire and take advantage of the lull in the fighting to salvage ships and provide medical aid, forcing Quille to back down in his contention that the Remnant should take advantage of the confusion to conquer Fondor. When Solo resumed fire, Pellaeon supported Niathal in her decision to attack him and protect the Fondorians, ordering his ships to attack any vessel firing on a Fondorian ship.
Pellaeon retired to his day cabin to speak with Daala, but was followed in by Veila. She begged him to aid Solo, but he refused. She drew a blaster on him, but still he protested that he would not support Solo's tactics. Pellaeon realized she would shoot him if he did not give in, but refused to bow to pressure; instead, he realized he had the opportunity to choose how he would die. He ordered the fleet to engage Solo over the comlink, forcing Veila to shoot him. Quille heard the noise and stopped by the door. As Pellaeon lay dying, he saw Quille and his Moffs allowing him to die and planning to take power. He spoke Quille's name into the comlink he kept open to Daala and drummed the Darakaer signal before he died.
- "I'm too old to want glory. At my age, you worry more about what might be said about you after you're dead. I'd like to be recalled as an admiral who left the galaxy a little tidier and quieter than he found it."
- ―Gilad Pellaeon to Cha Niathal
The Moffs, however, were able to convince the rest of the fleet to join Solo, though they were trapped on the bridge when the Bloodfin's crew, led by Reige, mutinied. Daala brought her forces into the system, attacking Solo and forcing him to withdraw while Mandalorian commandos, hired by Daala and under the command of Boba Fett, boarded the Bloodfin. They killed the Moffs aboard, took control of the ship, and recovered Pellaeon's body, which Daala took back to Corellia for burial with Reige's approval. Though Solo still had command of the Galactic Alliance and the Imperial Remnant remained loyal to him, Niathal formed a government-in-exile at Fondor. In short order, the Jedi defeated Solo, making peace and forcing the Moffs to replace Pellaeon with Jagged Fel. Pellaeon's recall of Daala allowed her to gain the stature necessary to become the next Galactic Alliance Chief of State. Pellaeon remained popular in both the Galactic Alliance and the Empire, remembered fondly as a strong and principled leader. In 43 ABY, Tahiri Veila was arrested by the Galactic Alliance and tried for murdering Pellaeon. The jury was appalled after seeing a recording of Pellaeon's death, leading to Veila's conviction and death sentence, though she was able to escape from prison.
Pellaeon stayed a popular significant figure within the Empire, and his successor Fel maintained a strong admiration for the old admiral. Fel's flagship Star Destroyer was named the Gilad Pellaeon in honor of his predecessor. The Imperial Remnant eventually reformed itself as the New Galactic Empire, placing Fel on the Imperial throne. Pellaeon continued to be remembered fondly in the new regime, and the powerful new Pellaeon-class Star Destroyer, the new Empire's replacement for the Imperial-class, was named for him. Pellaeon's love of gardening was also preserved in the Pellaeon Gardens, where Emperor Roan Fel would later meditate.
Personality and traits
- "It isn't the killing, you know. It's the beauty of battles that I love—the choreography and the challenge of executing everything just right—and the challenge of matching your wits against a capable opponent. I guess I carry a little more Thrawn with me than I'd like to believe."
- ―Gilad Pellaeon to Luke Skywalker
Gilad Pellaeon was a military man at heart, dedicated to the fleet as an institution. He spent nearly his entire adulthood in naval service, from entering the academy at age fifteen to his death at ninety-two years old, minus only six or fewer years in retirement. Pellaeon regarded the fleet as the closest thing he had to family, his son Mynar Devis being unacknowledged. He spent far more time in space than he did on the ground, and considered no world home, and ultimately no ship as his home either—though Chimaera came closest. He dedicated his life to the military, internalizing its values of discipline, order, efficiency, and obedience to authority, and respected the military as a prestigious and honorable institution. Pellaeon was a meticulous and efficient commander and expected the very best of his subordinates, and his ships were exceptionally efficient. Despite his discipline, however, he had a fondness for the female sex which resulted in his being something of a womanizer, though he never settled down with any one woman. This caused some friction with the promotions board as a young man, but Pellaeon felt no need to conform to their standards. He was perfectly happy as a captain commanding a warship.
Pellaeon's primary loyalty being to the fleet, he had little difficulty in making the switch to serving the Galactic Empire. Pellaeon believed strongly in the ability of the Empire, and especially its military, to bring order and stability where the Rebel Alliance and New Republic could not. He willingly fought against the New Republic until he was convinced that the Empire could only survive through peace. Over time, as Pellaeon adjusted to the new situation, he came to see the New Republic as a government with which the Imperial Remnant should not only be at peace, but allied. With it as the galactic government, Pellaeon felt it necessary to aid the New Republic against the Yuuzhan Vong. Pellaeon began to despair of the New Republic's ability to bring stability as it crumbled in the face of the invasion, but when the Galactic Alliance emerged, Pellaeon firmly saw it as the best hope for stability in the galaxy and gave it his full support. This faith crumbled by the time Jacen Solo took control of the Galactic Alliance, with Pellaeon considering it a disordered, power-hungry mess. He despised Solo, who had no military experience and seemed to wish to rule as a despot; it was this opposition which finally caused his death.
Pellaeon's Imperial Remnant was much reformed, compared to Palpatine's Empire. Slavery was outlawed, and anti-alien sentiment was discouraged; the Remnant became a state the New Republic had few troubles dealing with, and a respected member of the Galactic Alliance; its ethical reforms were credited largely to Pellaeon. Pellaeon also did not care for unaccountable secret police and extreme repression, resigning when the Galactic Alliance created its own secret police unit. Throughout the course of his career, however, Pellaeon had served an Empire many found reprehensible, and participated in the taking of Wookiee slaves. He could have defected but did not, instead choosing to continue to serve such a government. Also, while aliens who worked alongside him, such as Kre'fey, sincerely felt that Pellaeon was not anti-alien, many of the highest members of Pellaeon's government were, and Pellaeon was willing to turn a blind eye to such sentiments, facing the political reality that they were widespread among Imperial officers. Pellaeon did not enjoy the idea of an empire, and desired no emperor, but accepted that the orderly nature of the Remnant was the best way to bring peace to the galaxy. While Pellaeon was admired by many in the New Republic and Galactic Alliance for his "progressive" stances, others felt that, by knowingly and loyally serving the Empire at its worst, Pellaeon could not redeem himself, especially among some of the older moffs.
Pellaeon himself demonstrated a strong respect for his counterparts on the other side, especially as the Galactic Civil War ended. Committed and dutiful military men such as Garm Bel Iblis, Wedge Antilles, Traest Kre'fey, and Gavin Darklighter earned Pellaeon's respect even before he joined their side. Pellaeon also demonstrated a strong respect for the Jedi, Luke Skywalker in particular. Pellaeon had served alongside Jedi during the Clone Wars, perhaps giving him some measure of respect for the Jedi Order. Any support had been tempered by the Galactic Civil War, as Pellaeon had little compunction with Thrawn's actions against Skywalker and other Jedi. After the peace, however, even before Luke Skywalker helped save his life over Bastion, Pellaeon showed an uncommon regard for Skywalker, both as a religious figure and a former general. Once Pellaeon joined the Galactic Alliance, he openly supported the Jedi and counted Skywalker as a friend, even when Omas was feeling resentful of the Order. He made it clear that he trusted Skywalker's judgment more than almost anyone else's. Pellaeon also built a strong working relationship with Leia Organa Solo, who was consistently the New Republic's choice to conduct negotiations with him. Pellaeon also came to respect her husband, even if he could not quite bring himself to endorse Han Solo's rather undisciplined methods, the two had very clashing personalities. Pellaeon had a history of unusual regard for the clone troopers as well; he regarded them as fully Human and no less worthy of life than "regular" troops.
As a young man, Pellaeon had loved war games, delighting in the exercise of strategy and the testing of new techniques. Over the years, however, Pellaeon lost that excitement as the grueling realities of war ground him down. Pellaeon was still able to take some delight in the devising of tactics and their implementation, in testing himself against an enemy, but it was not an aspect of his personality which he was particularly proud of, and consideration of the potential human cost of battle easily cooled his excitement. Pellaeon wanted nothing more than for war to end and to be able to turn all leadership over to builders like Ephin Sarreti. Pellaeon had seen four galactic conflicts over the years, and had no desire to see any more. As he grew older, he desired simply to leave the galaxy a more orderly place when he died, lacking grand ambitions of empire.
Behind the scenes
- "Pellaeon, by the way, was named after Pelleas, an idealistic young knight in the King Arthur mythos."
- ―Timothy Zahn
Gilad Pellaeon was created for the Thrawn Trilogy by author Timothy Zahn, who named him after Pelleas, a knight from the King Arthur legends. He served as Grand Admiral Thrawn's right-hand man throughout the trilogy and provided the main Imperial point of view. Pellaeon returned in Kevin J. Anderson's Darksaber as the second-in-command of Admiral Daala before being promoted to leader of the Imperial Remnant, the capacity in which he appeared throughout Star Wars: The Hand of Thrawn Duology and The New Jedi Order series, after which he appeared in the Dark Nest Trilogy and the Star Wars: Legacy of the Force series as supreme commander of the Galactic Alliance before ending his life as the Imperial commander in Legacy of the Force: Revelation. Zahn was the only author to have written appearances for Pellaeon twice, for The Thrawn Trilogy and The Hand of Thrawn Duology, until Karen Traviss wrote Pellaeon in both Legacy of the Force: Revelation and The Clone Wars: No Prisoners. Anderson, Michael A. Stackpole, Walter Jon Williams, Sean Williams and Shane Dix, Greg Keyes, James Luceno, Troy Denning, and Aaron Allston each wrote Pellaeon for only one novel or trilogy, and John Ostrander wrote Pellaeon for one issue of a comic.
Pellaeon has been depicted various ways over time. The art inside the sourcebooks produced by West End Games—Heir to the Empire Sourcebook, Dark Force Rising Sourcebook, The Last Command Sourcebook, and The Thrawn Trilogy Sourcebook—showed Pellaeon as a thin, elderly man with a bushy mustache. The Essential Guide to Characters featured a similar take on Pellaeon, perhaps looking slightly younger. The comic adaptation of The Thrawn Trilogy, however, took a different tack, showing a clean-shaven and somewhat younger-looking and stouter Pellaeon. Pellaeon's Star Wars Customizable Card Game card and The New Jedi Order Sourcebook both featured illustrations seemingly based on the clean-shaven, harsher Pellaeon of the comics. Almost all other illustrations, however, correspond with the Essential Guide to Characters depiction. One exception was Pellaeon's appearance in Star Wars Galaxies, in which Pellaeon did not closely resemble any prior depiction. This rendition of Pellaeon also had black hair and mustache, in contrast to Pellaeon's appearance in Republic 64, where his hair is blond. Since his depiction in Galaxies was affected by the limitations of the game's character generation engine, this article assumes blond to be the correct canonical hair color.
The Essential Guide to Characters listed Pellaeon's homeworld as Coruscant, whereas The Thrawn Trilogy Sourcebook had identified Pellaeon as being Corellian. This was reconciled in The New Jedi Order: Force Heretic I: Remnant, which indicated he had been born on Corellia but spent his youth on Coruscant. The Thrawn Trilogy Sourcebook also established Pellaeon as being in his seventies during the events of the Thrawn Trilogy, but current canon places him at sixty years old in that year.
Pellaeon's rank has also been a matter of canonical confusion. Pellaeon was, after his assumption of the position of Supreme Commander of the Imperial Fleet, consistently referred to as "Admiral" or "Fleet Admiral" by all characters and the text until The New Jedi Order Sourcebook, which referred to Pellaeon once as a Grand Admiral; Pellaeon had been described at the corresponding point in the chronology, The New Jedi Order: Dark Tide II: Ruin, as wearing a Grand Admiral's white uniform but was never referred to by the rank. In The New Jedi Order: Destiny's Way, set some three years later in-universe, Pellaeon is referred to consistently as a Grand Admiral, and that trend was continued throughout the subsequent literature. The role-playing adventure Nightsaber, however, refers to Pellaeon as a Grand Admiral as early as the Battle of Orinda. While no source explicitly prevents Pellaeon from holding the rank of Grand Admiral since 12 ABY, this would seem to be an anachronism considering that Pellaeon is consistently not referred to by the rank for another fifteen years in-universe. No canonical answer has yet been provided as to when Pellaeon actually assumed the rank, leaving it unclear if the use in Nightsaber should be considered an anachronistic mistake.
In Heir to the Empire, Pellaeon recalled battling an unstable clone army; this was written at a time before most details about the Clone Wars had been established and it was assumed that the clone army had been the enemy. When Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones established that the clone army had been on the Republic's side, this rendered Pellaeon's recollection anachronistic. However, in the comic arc Star Wars: Republic: Siege of Saleucami, Republic forces battled a clone army grown by the Separatists; Pellaeon's inclusion in the task force there seems to present the best explanation of Pellaeon's memories.
In Revelation, Pellaeon's is given as ninety-two years old as of 41 ABY, putting his birth year at 51 BBY. This birth date conflicts with an earlier statement by Leland Chee that he was born around 57 BBY; however, as this was a rough birth date, this age has apparently been retconned to the more precise 52 BBY date.
There is some question over whether Pellaeon appeared in Crimson Empire II: Council of Blood. A man corresponding to Pellaeon's appearance appears in that story as the commander of Xandel Carivus's troops. He is, however, referred to as both "admiral" and "general" and has the incorrect eye color. His role would also seem to be inconsistent with Pellaeon's known role at that point in time. When asked if it was supposed to be Pellaeon, author Randy Stradley answered that it was for the reader to decide, leaving the character's identification as Pellaeon in question. The Essential Atlas, in confirming that Pellaeon defected to Teradoc before Carivus's rise to power, eliminated the possibility that the character is Pellaeon.