- "Well, technically, this ship isn't a Star Destroyer."
"Thank the Force for small favors."
"It's more of a Super Star Destroyer."
- ―Cryle Cavv and Sienn Sconn
The Guardian was an Executor-class Star Dreadnought. Originally under the command of Admiral Gaen Drommel of the Galactic Empire, it was stationed near Coruscant when news of the Battle of Endor arrived. Drommel took the Guardian to the region of space surrounding his homeworld of Oplovis, where he became a warlord. After a series of attacks on New Republic worlds and bases, the tide turned for Drommel, and the Guardian was badly damaged at the Battle of Tantive V in 5 ABY. Drommel fled into hyperspace, but due to the damage sustained on the vessel's hyperdrive, the Guardian emerged in the Fardon system rather than its intended destination. Its hyperdrive inoperable, it went into orbit around the planet Soullex, where it would stay for over a decade as Drommel conducted repairs.
Around 16 ABY, the New Republic learned that the Guardian was receiving parts through its Lambda-class shuttles. Two ship thieves, Cryle Cavv and Sienn Sconn, were sent to track the shuttles back to their origin and capture the Guardian. After freeing a number of New Republic prisoners, Cavv and Sconn were able to reprogram the vessel's nearly-repaired hyperdrive to leap into the middle of a New Republic fleet when Drommel tested it. Drommel refused to surrender, but his officer Colonel Niovi shot him and took command of the vessel, surrendering it to the New Republic.
The New Republic assigned the Guardian to the Third Fleet, under the command of Admiral Gial Ackbar. From the Guardian, Ackbar led the New Republic's fleets in a series of skirmishes against the Empire, including the Second Battle of Champala and the Battle of Anx Minor, which drove the Empire under Gilad Pellaeon back to a scant few sectors. In the Yuuzhan Vong War, the Guardian served as protection for Chief of State Cal Omas, before being deployed to Traest Kre'fey's Fleet Group One at Kashyyyk. After the formation of a new government, the Galactic Alliance, the Guardian was redeployed to Mon Calamari to protect the Alliance headquarters. It later fought against the Yuuzhan Vong in the Battle of Mon Calamari.
The Guardian was one of the 19-kilometer Executor-class Star Dreadnoughts. Holding over 280,000 normally, this number declined in the decade it sat over Soullex, down to 250,000—including the nearly 40,000 soldiers aboard. The vessel was equipped with a number of prefabricated garrison bases, which its commander, Gaen Drommel, used to subjugate the Fardon system after the Guardian's escape from New Republic forces at the Battle of Tantive V. It was normally armed with 250 each of turbolaser, heavy turbolaser, and concussion missile emplacements, as well as 40 tractor beam installations; however, after Tantive V, these numbers were greatly reduced, in some cases over half of the emplacements having been taken out of commission. The hyperdrives, too, normally classing 2.0 with a class 10 backup, were rendered inoperative until their repair by Drommel's forces. The ship held a complement of a number of Lambda-class T-4a shuttles, which Drommel used in the Guardian's downtime as the main mode of transportation to gather materials for the vessel's repair.
The Guardian possessed a cavernous command deck, near which the admiral's quarters were located. It had an enormous admiral's lounge, which under New Republic ownership was elegantly furnished and decorated with flowers. The vessel had a detention block as well, to hold its prisoners; under Drommel's command, many of these were New Republic personnel who had inadvertently found the Guardian. Interrogation rooms were available for the questioning of these individuals. The ship's hyperdrive was accessible from the engineering room; coordinates could be input directly through there, bypassing the navigation computer.
Under Drommel's commandEdit
Following its completion, the Guardian was placed under the command of Admiral Gaen Drommel of the Galactic Empire as a reward for Drommel's destruction of Rebel bases on Aargonar 3, Randa, and the Valsedian asteroid belt.At the time of the Battle of Endor, the Guardian was stationed near Coruscant. The battle saw the death of Emperor Palpatine and the defeat of the Imperial fleet at Endor; when Drommel learned of this, he fled Coruscant in the Guardian for the region of space around his homeworld Oplovis, where he intended to use his fleet to set up a personal empire of his own. Under Drommel's command, the Guardian and three Imperial-class Star Destroyers set out shortly after Endor on a campaign of terror against the safeworlds and bases of the New Republic, with devastating effect on the fledgling government.
Drommel's campaign soon came to an end, though. The New Republic had been studying the weaknesses of Imperial Star Destroyers, and when they engaged Drommel's fleet at the Battle of Tantive V in 5 ABY, they were able to use this to their greatest advantage. Two of Drommel's Star Destroyers were destroyed, the third was taken, and with the Republic targeting the weapon and shield systems of the Guardian and crippling the hyperdrive, the vessel was heavily damaged and forced to retreat. The Super Star Destroyer was able to make the leap to hyperspace, but it did not arrive at its intended destination, instead emerging into the Fardon system of the Outer Rim. With its hyperdrive inactive, the crippled vessel stationed itself above the planet Soullex, where it was barely able to maintain orbit. Drommel subjugated the system, deploying three prefabricated garrison bases to the world below.
Drommel set to work repairing the Guardian, dispatching Lambda-class shuttles to Imperial-controlled worlds for assistance. Drommel planned to conduct his repairs as quickly as possible, but with the remnants of the Empire falling to the New Republic, Imperial worlds were unable to spare any aid for him. Drommel intended to use the Guardian as the centerpiece of a campaign to destroy the New Republic, and he therefore kept his search for parts and assistance as quiet as possible. Around 7 ABY, Drommel began receiving the necessary parts to repair the vessel's hyperdrive, but the ship would remain where it was for over a decade. In the course of that time, a number of New Republic personnel unknowingly hyperjumped into the Fardon system, only to be detained by the Guardian. New Republic Intelligence operative Shandria L'hnnar led an assault team to find and locate the vessel, but they too were captured.
- "The Guardian is still out there, somewhere, battered and broken. Just waiting for us."
- ―Airen Cracken
New Republic probe droids eventually began running into Drommel's Lambda shuttles as they retrieved parts. Further investigation revealed that the vessels were part of the Guardian's complement. In 16 ABY Cryle Cavv, a ship thief in the employ of the New Republic, learned from his contacts of a meeting taking place on the planet Vohai between black marketeer Burgo Teage and an Imperial Lambda shuttle, regarding the sale of hyperdrive parts. General Airen Cracken of New Republic Intelligence realized that taking the Guardian would be a major coup for the Republic, and he and Cavv recruited Cavv's nephew Sienn Sconn, another ship thief. Cavv and Sconn were able to disrupt the meeting on Vohai, seize the shuttle, and follow its navigation computer back to its origin point at Soullex.
While docking with the Guardian, Cavv and Sconn disabled the shuttle's comm unit to prevent having to speak to the vessel's comm operators and giving the ruse away. Upon docking, they ambushed a pair of stormtroopers and donned the soldiers' armor as a disguise. They were also able to capture a protocol droid, CT-EX, and reprogram it to their purposes. Drommel, meanwhile, was alerted to the ship's communications problem and, suspicious, had the shuttle examined. When the search team found the stunned stormtroopers, Drommel put out an alert for the impostors. He ordered repairs on the hyperdrive sped up, intending to leave the system and return to Imperial space in the next 36 hours.
Cavv and Sconn, however, were already on their way to the Super Star Destroyer's Detention Block 220, where the New Republic prisoners were kept. All guards but one had been sent out to find the intruders, and the remaining guard was quickly disabled. The thieves freed the prisoners, including Shandria L'hnnar, then recruited them into their plan. Cavv and Sconn set off for the engineering room, intending to manually set the hyperdrive to jump into New Republic-friendly space, and signaling CT-EX as their fallback plan. They arrived as Drommel was receiving the go-ahead to jump within the next ten minutes. Their tampering, however, triggered an alarm, and Drommel returned with a phalanx of soldiers to take them into custody. His interrogation proved fruitless; at the same time, however, CT-EX was reprogramming the hyperdrive's coordinates. Drommel sent the thieves back to the detention cells in preparation for the test of the hyperdrive, but they were intercepted by L'hnnar and the other prisoners.
Drommel ordered the ship to jump. The Guardian made the leap successfully, into the middle of a New Republic fleet led by the cruiser Equity. Equity's captain, Volahn, ordered the Guardian to surrender. Drommel refused, and the entire New Republic infiltration party—Cavv, Sconn, and the prisoners—forced its way onto the command deck, drawing their weapons on the deck staff and being drawn on in turn. Cavv spoke to the crew, telling them that peacefully handing over the vessel would help their case with the New Republic. Drommel had had enough and ordered the crew to open fire, but Sconn persuaded them to back down and lower their weapons. In a rage, Drommel drew a blaster on Cavv, but the admiral's subordinate, Colonel Gastos Niovi, stopped Drommel, strangling him to death. As acting commander, Niovi surrendered the Guardian to the New Republic.
In New Republic serviceEdit
With the Guardian in its possession, the New Republic set about refitting the vessel. A year after its capture, the New Republic added the ship to its Third Fleet. Admiral Gial Ackbar took command of the vessel, and under his leadership the Third and Fifth Fleets engaged Imperial Admiral Gilad Pellaeon in a number of major battles, most notable among them the Second Battle of Champala and the Battle of Anx Minor. At Anx Minor, Ackbar emerged victorious at the last minute after concentrating fire on the engines of the experimental EX-F, which exploded and took out the surrounding Imperial Star Destroyers. Under Ackbar, the Guardian, and the fleets' onslaught, Pellaeon was forced to retreat and lost significant territory.
The Guardian remained in New Republic custody into the Yuuzhan Vong War. In the weeks prior to the Battle of Ebaq 9 in 28 ABY, which would prove to be a major victory against the invading Yuuzhan Vong, New Republic Chief of State Cal Omas went into isolation aboard the Guardian, which remained safely cruising between the stars for the duration of the battle. Upon the Republic's victory, the Guardian joined Admiral Traest Kre'fey's Fleet Group One at Kashyyyk. There, Omas and Jedi Master Luke Skywalker met in the vessel's admiral's lounge to discuss the formation of a new government, the Galactic Federation of Free Alliances.
When the Galactic Alliance established itself on the planet Mon Calamari, the Guardian was recalled to join the planet's home fleet. In 29 ABY, word came of a massive Yuuzhan Vong assault being planned on Mon Calamari. The Alliance used the opportunity to deploy half its fleets for the retaking of Coruscant, which had fallen two years before, while keeping the other half to defend Mon Calamari; Guardian was among the latter half, and took up station at Mon Calamari Extreme, a position in the far reaches of the Calamari system. When the Yuuzhan Vong vessels arrived and began sending out their waves of starfighters, the Alliance countered with its own starfighter attack to clear firing lanes between the enemy capital ships and their own. As lanes opened up, the starfighters evacuated those areas, and the Guardian and companion vessel Harbinger moved forward to fire salvos into the heart of the Yuuzhan Vong fleet. As they moved further into the system, the Yuuzhan Vong diverted their dovin basal shielding towards the front of the fleet's advance. The Alliance sent Star Destroyers in to flank them, forcing them to relocate the shields and allow Guardian, Harbinger, and the Mon Calamari Star Defender Viscount to continue their barrage from the front. Alliance bombers then moved against the Yuuzhan Vong fleet, and the enemy vessels shifted their dovin basals to protect themselves, freeing Guardian to wipe out waves of yorik-et starfighters instead. The Yuuzhan Vong soon pulled a flotilla away from their fleet to bolster against the concurrent Galactic Alliance attacks elsewhere, but even with the two opposing armadas on more equal parity, the Alliance continued to fall back toward Mon Calamari. On the verge of being forced to retreat, the Alliance was reprieved by the arrival of the planet Zonama Sekot in the Coruscant system, which convinced Yuuzhan Vong Warmaster Nas Choka to call off the attack on Mon Calamari and divert his resources to Coruscant.
Commanders and crewEdit
Admiral Gaen DrommelEdit
Gaen Drommel was a charismatic commander of the Guardian and leader of his men. Feared and respected, he commanded the loyalty of his soldiers. Having learned the use of fear as a motivator from Wilhuff Tarkin, Drommel was harsh with those who disobeyed his orders or displeased him with their work, executing them on the spot. He took a disliking to those who were not thorough and made assumptions, and the men under his command made sure to have all the information before telling him anything they assumed. Drommel's strict methods earned him great obedience from his soldiers; they would always double-check their work with him watching, and if he needed a task done quicker than expected, his men would work extra-hard and without breaks until it was complete. The admiral was alert to goings-on aboard his ship, personally supervising important repairs and aware of the deeds of intruders and saboteurs who could threaten his work.
As the commander of his ship, Drommel was a would-be warlord, intending to use the Guardian first to carve out his own territory from the remains of the Empire, and later as the central piece of an attempt to eliminate the New Republic. However, his refusal to surrender and willingness to fight to the end cost him his life, when he was killed by Colonel Niovi for not capitulating to the New Republic forces holding him and the ship's command deck crew at gunpoint. Upon Drommel's death, Niovi assumed acting command of the Guardian, enough to surrender it to New Republic forces.
Admiral Gial AckbarEdit
Under the command of Gial Ackbar, who had led the fleets of the Rebel Alliance and its successor the New Republic for most of the Galactic Civil War, the Guardian saw great victory for the New Republic. A distinguished strategist, Ackbar oversaw the Guardian's campaign against Gilad Pellaeon of the Imperial Remnant. Along with the Third and Fifth Fleets, the Guardian under Ackbar fought at Champala, defeated the experimental EX-F at Anx Minor, and drove Pellaeon into retreat and the Remnant back to eight sectors in the Outer Rim, ultimately leading the Empire to sue for peace.
Behind the scenesEdit
The Guardian initially appeared as a sidebar in Louis J. Prosperi's roleplaying game sourcebook Wanted by Cracken, as part of Gaen Drommel's character profile. As the book was set in 7 ABY, its information on the Guardian ends with the vessel in orbit over Soullex. The sourcebook provides a number of scenarios for the players to find the Guardian, including tracking a Lambda-class shuttle back to Soullex, replacing its crew and boarding the Guardian, finding the Super Star Destroyer while scouting the Fardon system, and making an emergency leap from a battle that ends up at Soullex. Two for One, a short story by Paul Danner from Star Wars Adventure Journal 15, would later use several of these ideas in telling the story of how the New Republic captured the Guardian. From then on the Guardian would make several appearances in novels and Essential Guides under New Republic custody.
In Wanted by Cracken, Guardian is listed as an 8,000 meter Super-class Star Destroyer. Since then, that class has been retconned, in sources such as the Databank's Super Star Destroyer entry and Starship Battles, to be the 19,000 meter Executor-class Star Dreadnought. The original image of the Guardian in Wanted by Cracken, however, shows it much closer to the 19 kilometer length—approximately eleven to twelve times longer than the Imperial Star Destroyers in the picture—than the 8 kilometer size listed in the statistics. The Guardian was definitively stated to be 19,000 meters in the Star Wars Blog article, The Imperial Warlords: Despoilers of an Empire.
- "Two for One"—Star Wars Adventure Journal 15 (First appearance)
- The New Jedi Order: Destiny's Way
- The New Jedi Order: The Unifying Force
- Wanted by Cracken (First mentioned)
- "Recon & Report: The Journey to Coruscant"—Star Wars Adventure Journal 2
- "ISB Intercepts"—Star Wars Adventure Journal 15
- The Essential Chronology
- The New Essential Guide to Characters
- The New Essential Chronology
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Essential Atlas
- The Essential Guide to Warfare
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 Wanted by Cracken
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 While Wanted by Cracken describes the vessel as an 8,000 meter Super-class Star Destroyer, the class has since been retconned, in sources such as the Databank's Super Star Destroyer entry, to the 19,000 meter Executor-class Star Dreadnought.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 The New Essential Chronology
- ↑ 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 4.13 4.14 4.15 4.16 4.17 4.18 4.19 4.20 4.21 4.22 4.23 4.24 "Two for One"—Star Wars Adventure Journal 15
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 The New Essential Guide to Characters
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 The New Jedi Order: The Unifying Force
- ↑ The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. II, p. 22 ("Harrod")
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 The New Jedi Order: Destiny's Way
- ↑ 10.0 10.1
- ↑ The Essential Guide to Warfare, pg. 212