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"There goes another one."
―Lieutenant Hija, to Gunnery Captain Bolvan[src]

Hija was a Human male lieutenant of the Imperial Navy during the early stages of the Galactic Civil War. He served as the chief gunnery officer aboard the Imperial Star Destroyer Devastator, under the command of Lord Darth Vader. In 7 BBY, Vader commanded Hija to conduct an orbital bombardment of the planet Falleen in order to stop an Imperial-produced bacterial plague from spreading out of control. Later, in 0 BBY, Hija participated in the Devastator's capture of the Rebel CR90 corvette Tantive IV, during which he spotted an escape pod fleeing from the impounded Rebel vessel. However, Gunnery Captain Bolvan ordered Hija not to fire on the pod because the Devastator's gunnery sensors detected no lifeforms aboard.

Biography[edit | edit source]

"Prepare for an orbital bombardment of Falleen—centering on the research facility, and everything within 40 kilometers."
―Darth Vader, to Lieutenant Hija[src]

Gunnery Captain Bolvan instructs Hija not to fire on the escape pod.

The Human male Hija was a member of the Galactic Empire's navy during the Imperial Period.[1] By 7 BBY,[2][3] he was serving under Captain Bolvan as a lieutenant[4] aboard the Imperial I-class Star Destroyer[5] Devastator, commanded by the Dark Lord Darth Vader.[4]

Hija was the chief gunnery officer[6][7] aboard the Devastator when the Star Destroyer arrived at the planet Falleen in 7 BBY as a part of Vader's exploration tour visiting Imperial weapon development projects.[8] After hearing Bolvan's report on an accident in a biological research facility and the following spread of a flesh-eating bacterium across Falleen's surface, Vader ordered an orbital bombardment of the surface to halt any further spread of the leaking bioweapon.[4] Hija was responsible for firing the devastating turbolaser bombardment from the Devastator that destroyed the weapons facility[7] and everything within forty kilometers[4] to cover up the mishap.[7] Among the 200,000 Falleen casualties in the ensuing destruction was the family of Prince Xizor, who later led the Black Sun criminal organization.[2]

In 0 BBY,[9] during the Galactic Civil War,[1] Hija was still serving as the chief gunnery officer of the Devastator, under the direct command of the now–Gunnery Captain Bolvan.[7] After Rebel agents transmitted the stolen plans of the first Death Star, a new Imperial superweapon, to the Rebel CR90 corvette Tantive IV, Senator Leia Organa's consular ship, the Devastator pursued and captured the Rebel vessel over the planet Tatooine. Several escape pods were jettisoned from the Tantive IV during the battle. Hija spotted the pod that, unbeknownst to the Imperials, contained the Rebel droids C-3PO and R2-D2, the latter of whom carried the stolen Death Star plans in his memory banks.[1] However, since the Devastator's gunnery sensors detected no lifeforms within the escape pod, Bolvan ordered Hija to hold his fire in order to conserve power, allowing the droids to escape.[10]

Personality and traits[edit | edit source]

When Darth Vader ordered Hija to conduct the orbital bombardment of Falleen that would kill thousands, the lieutenant did not hesitate and carried out his duties at once.[4] Later, when Bolvan instructed him to refrain from firing on the Tantive IV's fleeing escape pod, Hija followed the command of his superior unhesitatingly.[1] Hija chose to wear the prominent sideburns that were popular among Imperial officers around the time of the Battle of Yavin.[11]

Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]

The Hija character first appeared in the December 1976 novelization of Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope,[10] ghostwritten by Alan Dean Foster.[12] Although he was not credited, actor John Forgeham claimed to have played the character in the 1977 film, according to the fan Web site Star Wars Autographs Online.[13] However, Forgeham would later on acknowledge he had in fact played Bolvan, with actor John Wreford acknowledging the role of Hija.[14][15]

The A New Hope novel refers to Hija as "one of" the chief gunnery officers under Bolvan's command aboard the Devastator.[10] However, later sources, including the Star Wars Encyclopedia, Star Wars: Behind the Magic, and The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, state that Hija was "the" Devastator's chief gunnery officer.[5][6][7] In the revised fourth draft script of A New Hope, as presented in Star Wars: Behind the Magic, Hija is identified as "Chief Pilot," despite managing the Star Destroyer's weapons.[5]

Appearances[edit | edit source]

Non-canon appearances[edit | edit source]

Sources[edit | edit source]

Notes and references[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope
  2. 2.0 2.1 Shadows of the Empire Sourcebook, p. 32
  3. Shadows of the Empire Sourcebook reveals that the bombardment of Falleen was ten years before the events of Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire, which occurred in 3 ABY, according to The New Essential Chronology.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 WEG icon2.jpg "The Lesser Evil"—Shadows of the Empire Sourcebook, p. 33
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Star Wars: Behind the Magic
  6. 6.0 6.1 Star Wars Encyclopedia ("Hija, Lieutenant")
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. II, p. 42 ("Hija, Lieutenant")
  8. The Official Star Wars Fact File 69 (XIZ2, Prince Xizor)
  9. The New Essential Chronology
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope novelization, ch. 1
  11. The Jedi Academy Sourcebook, p. 61
  12. Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope novelization, Special Edition foreword by George Lucas
  13. Star Wars Autographs Online. Archived from the original on March 5, 2016.
  14. Autograph Classic Trilogy (2012-07-25). JMY'S PLANET DAGOBAH. Archived from the original on November 15, 2017. "John Forgham (sic): Captain Bolvan (ANH); Imperial Gunner (ANH)"
  15. Autograph Classic Trilogy (2012-07-25). JMY'S PLANET DAGOBAH. Archived from the original on November 15, 2017. "John Wreford : Lt.Hija (ANH)"
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