Hurst Romodi was a male Human who served as a colonel in the Grand Army of the Galactic Republic and later a general in the Galactic Empire's Imperial Army. Born on the planet Matacorn, he served with distinction in Lambda sector's Planetary Security Forces before becoming one of the Galactic Republic's first non-clone commanders during the Clone Wars.
After the defeat of the Confederacy of Independent Systems and the rise of the Galactic Empire, Romodi was appointed a general in the Imperial Army. He led Imperial ground forces against Separatist holdouts in the Ciutric Offensive of 19 BBY and the Western Reaches Operation of 17 BBY, winning several major victories and becoming a celebrated figure in the Core Worlds. During the latter campaign, Romodi's forces were ambushed by Iska pirates at Bryndar; Romodi won the day, but was left blind and deeply scarred. Romodi left military service to become the senator of the Lambda sector. However, he suffered recurring nightmares and an inability to concentrate as a result of his injuries, and retired after a single term in office.
Romodi was offered the opportunity to continue working as adjutant to Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin and served under Tarkin as Battle Station Operations chief aboard the Death Star battlestation at the time of its destruction by the Rebel Alliance in 0 BBY.
Service to the Republic
The male Human Hurst Romodi was born on the planet Matacorn in the Lambda sector of the Mid Rim during the final decades of the Galactic Republic. The Lambda sector had a long history of conflict involving the Aqualish species and, during Romodi's lifetime, the sector was embroiled in a war between Ando—the Aqualish homeworld—and the Andoan Free Colonies. Serving in the sector's Planetary Security Forces, Romodi made a name for himself fighting Aqualish rebels around this time. In 23 BBY the sector was further divided, with Ando among those worlds seceding from the Republic during the Separatist Crisis. Romodi, however, remained loyal to the Republic and, after the Clone Wars broke out between the Galactic Republic and the Confederacy of Independent Systems later that year, Romodi joined the Grand Army of the Republic. One of the first non-clones to command clone troopers in the Clone Wars, Romodi rose to the rank of colonel and was decorated for his role in battles at Peldon Minor, Tulatharri Junction and Mygeeto.
In 19 BBY, following the conclusion of the Clone Wars and the subsequent reorganization of the Republic into the Galactic Empire, Romodi was commissioned as a general in the Imperial Army. With the Confederacy of Independent Systems defeated, Separatist forces from Muunilinst and Mygeeto fled to the Ciutric sector and the surrounding region of the Outer Rim Territories, where they joined forces with pirates and Thalassian slavers. As part of a series of offensives aimed at bringing order to the far reaches of the Empire, Imperial forces launched a campaign to eliminate the Separatist holdouts, for which Romodi was assigned to Crimson Dagger Command, based out of Axxila, and given command of the ground forces. The Ciutric Offensive saw Romodi work closely with Imperial Navy Admiral Terrinald Screed, defeating Separatist forces in the Kanz, Tragan, Ciutric, Nijune, Sprizen, and Quelii sectors. Following a major victory at the battle of Vinsoth, Romodi and Screed pursued the Separatists to Binquaros. There Romodi remained to lay siege to the Muun leadership while Screed followed the enemy fleet to Bimmiel. While Screed was away, however, pirates driven from the Salin Corridor by Imperial forces joined forces with mercenaries from Serenno and broke Romodi's siege, allowing the remaining Separatists to flee to the Unknown Regions. After Screed returned from his victory at Bimmiel, he and Romodi once more gave chase. Acting on intelligence from a pirate captain, the Imperials finally caught and defeated the Separatists at Vardoss. News of the victories at Vinsoth and Vardoss reached the Core Worlds and Romodi was praised as an example of the New Order's success upon his return to the capital world of Imperial Center at the conclusion of the campaign.
For two years Romodi remained out of the field as the Empire grew and expanded. In 17 BBY, Emperor Palpatine charged Moff Wilhuff Tarkin with pacifying the Western Reaches, where the remnants of Confederate General Grievous's forces were hiding out among the pirate and slaver groups. Tarkin requested considerable military resources, among them Romodi, who was appointed as commander of army operations. The Western Reaches Operation saw the Empire gain full control of dozens of worlds across eight sectors and received widespread media coverage throughout the Empire. HoloNet footage of Romodi in the battle of Kelrodo-Ai—where Separatist holdouts had taken shelter in the Citadel of Axes, protected from the Imperial Navy by a planetary shield—and the victory at Ord Vaug made him famous for his unique leadership style, directing his battles from the open hatch of a Floating Fortress assault vehicle. After years of exposure to artillery shell explosions, Romodi had his eardrums replaced with cybernetic implants to avoid the possibility of hearing loss.
It was during the operation at Bryndar that Romodi, fighting alongside Admiral Bannidge Holt, was ambushed by Iska pirates in the guise of local officials. Holt was killed and Romodi was badly wounded by shrapnel from a detonating fragmentation grenade. Left blind and with severe injuries to his face, arms and chest, Romodi was placed in a bacta tank, but refused to leave the battlefield and continued to direct the last of the battle until the enemy had been routed with his subordinates describing events to him. Doctors were able to save Romodi's life but he was left badly scarred, with wounds so deep that neither reconstructive surgery nor nano-surgery could return his face to its undamaged self. Cybernetic eyes were installed to replace his ruined, natural ones, causing many in his company to be deeply unnerved by the unblinking nature of the implants.
Serving the Lambda sector
After suffering grievous injuries in the field, Romodi retired from active duty and instead became the senator for the Lambda sector, working on Imperial Center as part of the Imperial Senate. During his time in the Senate Building, Romodi was a strong proponent for military spending and one of Emperor Palpatine's fiercest advocates. Despite his strong will and vocal support for the Empire, Romodi's colleagues and aides soon came to realize that the decorated general had indeed suffered more than physical wounds during his service to the Empire. Plagued by horrific night terrors and complaining of having difficulty focusing on his senatorial duties, Romodi was forced to retire after serving only a single term.
Following Romodi's withdrawal from the Senate, Grand Moff Tarkin offered him a position as his adjutant. In 0 BBY, the Empire completed work on the Death Star, a battlestation armed with a superlaser capable of destroying a planet, which Tarkin intended to use to instill fear in the population and end the growing Rebellion. With the Death Star under Tarkin's command, Romodi was appointed as the space station's Battle Station Operations chief, despite his state of declining lucidness. Shortly after the Death Star became operational, Rebel spies stole the battlestation's schematics. While attempting to retrieve them, the Dark Lord of the Sith Darth Vader oversaw the capture of Leia Organa, a senator and member of the Rebel Alliance, who was taken aboard the Death Star for questioning.
Romodi was one of several senior officers present at a subsequent meeting in the Death Star's conference room, during which Tarkin announced the dissolution of the Senate and Vader assured the assembled officers that the stolen plans would soon be back in Imperial hands. Despite Vader's assurances, some of Romodi's fellow officers, among them General Cassio Tagge, were concerned that the Rebels may discover a weakness in the Death Star. Romodi, however, was confident that Vader would successfully recover the missing plans and that the Rebels posed no threat to the Death Star. Romodi's faith ultimately proved misplaced; when the Death Star confronted Rebel forces over their main base on Yavin 4, Rebel starfighters led a successful attack on the battlestation, resulting in its destruction and the loss of every life on board.
Personality and traits
Romodi was a capable military leader who distinguished himself in service to Lambda sector's Planetary Security Forces and the Galactic Republic before being appointed a general in the Imperial Army. Romodi's actions led to him being decorated and hailed as a hero in the early Imperial era; such was the level of Romodi's fame in the Core Worlds that many Imperial citizens could remember where they were when they learned that Romodi had been injured at Bryndar. The army and navy were not always known to cooperate smoothly, but Romodi developed a mutual respect with Admiral Terrinald Screed during the Ciutric Offensive. Romodi described Screed's forces as "guardians above the blue sky" while Screed came to trust Romodi's instinct for when a situation required the precision of Imperial Army forces. Romodi was fearless on the battlefield, known for leading his forces into battle from the open top hatch of his Floating Fortress. When warned that this would lead to loss of hearing, Romodi opted to have his eardrums replaced with cybernetics rather than change his command style. Even when gravely wounded on Bryndar, Romodi refused to leave the battlefield until the enemy were defeated.
The injuries that Romodi suffered during the Western Reaches Operation left him with cybernetic eyes and scars that made him feared by many during his later career as an Imperial senator. However, Romodi had suffered more than physical injuries; he increasingly struggled to concentrate and suffered from recurring nightmares, ultimately leading to his departure from the Senate. By the time he served aboard the Death Star under Grand Moff Tarkin, Romodi was only lucid intermittently, leading others to question why Tarkin tolerated his presence and the Grand Moff to remind them of Romodi's loyalty and sacrifices to the Empire. Romodi's belief in the Death Star's invulnerability put him at odds with some of his senior officers, among them General Cassio Tagge. Romodi had light skin and brown hair which had heavily receded by 0 BBY.
Behind the scenes
- "Dangerous to your starfleet, General Tagge, but not to this battle station. I happen to think Lord Vader knows what he's doing. The rebellion will continue only as long as those cowards have a sanctuary, a place where their pilots can relax and their machines can be repaired."
- ―Romodi's line in the Star Wars Episode IV novelization
Romodi first appeared in the novelization of George Lucas's 1977 movie Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope. Romodi's only appearance is in the scene set in the Death Star conference room, in which he delivers a single line during an argument with General Cassio Tagge. In the movie, Tagge is arguing with Admiral Conan Antonio Motti, who delivers a variation on Romodi's line. In such situations, Lucasfilm consider the films to be the more canon source. In 2007, Lucasfilm's Leland Chee stated that Romodi was a senator; this was later repeated in Romodi's entry in 2008's The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia. Romodi was given a complete backstory in the 2012 release of The Essential Guide to Warfare by Jason Fry and Paul R. Urquhart. The Essential Guide to Warfare revealed Romodi's first name of Hurst and detailed his military and senatorial career, culminating in his role aboard the Death Star. Jason Fry later confirmed that Romodi is the "bald guy" during the Death Star conference room scene from the A New Hope film. According to the fan website Aveleyman, Romodi was portrayed by Ian Selby, an actor listed as one of the Imperial officers in Ann Skinner's continuity notes for the scene.
- Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope novel (First appearance)
- Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope (Retcon)
- Star Wars Manga: A New Hope 1 (Retcon)
- (Picture only) (Retcon)
- Star Wars: Behind the Magic
- Star Wars: The Visual Dictionary (Picture only) (Retcon)
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 3 (VAD2, Darth Vader) (Picture only) (Retcon)
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 7 (DEA2, Deploying the Death Star) (Picture only) (Retcon)
- Star Wars Customizable Card Game – Reflections III (Card: A Useless Gesture) (backup link) (Picture only) (Retcon)
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 31 (TAR3-4, Grand Moff Tarkin) (Picture only) (Retcon)
- "May The Facts Be With You: Part One"—Star Wars Insider 93
- "Set Piece: Death Star Conference Room"—Star Wars Insider 96 (Picture only) (Retcon)
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Essential Guide to Warfare (First identified as Hurst)
- "The Art of Warfare"—Star Wars Insider 133 (Picture only)
- Death Star Owner's Technical Manual
- "The Death Star Coup"—Star Wars Insider Special Edition 2014
- The Official Star Wars Fact File Part 34 (0 ABY 16, Destruction of Alderaan)
- Star Wars in 100 Scenes (Picture only)
- The Official Star Wars Fact File Part 36 (DEA5, Death Star) (Picture only)
- The Official Star Wars Fact File Part 50 (VAD14, Darth Vader) (Picture only)
Notes and references
- The Essential Guide to Warfare
- Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope
- Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope novel
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. I, p. 30 ("Ando")
- The Essential Atlas places the Battle of Yavin, the zero point in the Galactic Standard Calendar per The New Essential Chronology, in 35:3 under the Great ReSynchronization dating system. The Essential Atlas also places the Battle of Selaggis on 43:2:28 and the Battle of Dathomir on 43:3:21. The Essential Guide to Warfare and The Essential Atlas both place the Battle of Dathomir in the year 8 ABY of the Galactic Standard Calendar. The Essential Guide to Warfare also places the Battle of Selaggis in 7 ABY, confirming the placement of the division between each Galactic Standard Calendar year as the third month in the Great ReSynchronization year. Thus, there is a two-month gap between the two dating systems, with the first two months of a GrS year being the last two of the preceding Galactic Standard Calendar year, and there is a total difference of 35 years and 2 months between the two systems.
- The New Essential Chronology
- "The Guns of Kelrodo-Ai"—Star Wars Insider 132
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. II, p. 108 ("Romodi, Senator")