- "With the Executor under my command, I will be the ultimate power in the universe!"
- ―Kendal Ozzel, moments before his execution
Kendal Ozzel was a male Human born into a wealthy Caridan family. After studying at multiple Core World military institutes, Ozzel graduated as a Captain of the Line but was delegated to teaching positions because his superiors had doubts about his ability to serve as an effective field commander. Nonetheless, at the advent of the Clone Wars between the Galactic Republic and the Confederacy of Independent Systems, Ozzel was commissioned as a major in the Grand Army of the Republic by Supreme Chancellor Palpatine and went on to serve with the clone forces in multiple engagements. He continued to serve under Palpatine when the Republic was reorganized into the Galactic Empire.
Ozzel was eventually assigned as the captain of the Imperial-class Star Destroyer Reprisal, but he longed for a promotion to admiral. As commanding officer of the Reprisal, Ozzel oversaw campaigns against the Rebel Alliance in the Shelsha sector; on one such mission, Ozzel became involved in a plot to kill Emperor's Hand Mara Jade when he erroneously believed her arrival aboard the Star Destroyer was part of a high-level investigation into the desertion of a group of stormtroopers. Jade became suspicious of the captain, finding him to be either disloyal or dim-witted, and recommended that the Sith Lord Darth Vader keep an eye on him. Naval command ultimately agreed with the move, promoting Ozzel to Fleet Admiral and placing him in command of Vader's flagship, the Star Dreadnought Executor, believing that the man would not be foolish enough to butt heads with Vader.
His goals having come to fruition, Ozzel was charged with leading Vader's Death Squadron in the search for the headquarters of the Rebel Alliance. Some saw Ozzel as the Sith Lord's equal, but in actuality, he was nothing more than a figurehead—the true power rested in Vader's hands. Ozzel's personality more than often put him at odds with both Vader and his immediate subordinate Captain Firmus Piett, who both considered him inept. Thus, when a probe droid relayed data of a settlement on the supposedly-uninhabited planet Hoth, Ozzel disagreed with Vader's assertion that they had found the Rebel base. The Sith Lord overruled the admiral in favor of Piett's judgement and ordered the Executor and Death Squadron to the Hoth system. Ozzel attempted to surprise the Alliance by bringing the fleet out of hyperspace near Hoth rather than approach from the system's outskirts, but the tactical blunder only alerted the Alliance and bought them time to raise their base's energy shield and evacuate the world. Having tired of Ozzel's incompetence, Vader telekinetically executed the admiral.
- 1 Biography
- 2 Personality and traits
- 3 Behind the scenes
- 4 Appearances
- 5 Sources
- 6 Notes and references
- 7 External links
Kendal Ozzel was a male Human born on the planet Carida into the wealthy Ozzel family, a Caridan bloodline brought into wealth by the trading mastermind Mann Ozzel ages before Kendal's lifetime. The Ozzel surname was synonymous with proud naval heritage and was counted among the Generationals, and like most families with such prestige, the Ozzels had an estate in the Sirpar Hills on the planet Anaxes. Later in life, Ozzel employed his bloodline as a tool used to rise through the social, political, and military ranks of the Galactic Empire.
As the second-born son, Ozzel was unable to inherit his family's business or land; instead, he attended multiple Core World institutes—including the finest naval academy on Coruscant, the galactic capital—that catered to the more privileged members of galactic society. After graduating from the Coruscant naval academy, Ozzel became a Captain of the Line, which would ordinarily entitle him to the command of a line of battle or a Star Destroyer. His superiors did not see him fit to serve as a field commander, and, for a while, Ozzel taught at the Academy of Carida. He served in the Republic Navy during the time of the Old Republic, and he was a supporter of then-Supreme Chancellor Palpatine's rise to power.
The Clone Wars
- "I saved your life and acted in the interest of the Republic, General. Need I remind you that I was awarded this commission by Supreme Chancellor Palpatine himself?"
- ―Major Ozzel, defending his actions on Khorm to Plo Koon
In 22 BBY, the Clone Wars broke out between the Republic and the breakaway Confederacy of Independent Systems, and a clone army was established to beat back the droid forces of the Separatists. Ozzel's friendship with the Chancellor earned him a commission as a major in the new army, commanding the clone troopers of the 44th Special Operations Division, a unit often assigned to destroy enemy targets. Ozzel was willing to sacrifice the clones under his command, including the unit known as the "Devil Dogs," whom he saw as expendable and easily replaceable.
As the war progressed, the Galactic Senate dispatched Ozzel and his command to the icy planet Khorm to secure the rare ore agrocite, which provided starfighters with exceptional power. Joined by Admiral Wieler's group of Venator-class Star Destroyers and three Jedi Masters—Plo Koon, Kit Fisto, and Tauht—Ozzel and the Devil Dogs discovered that the native Khormai warlord, Unger Gout, had allied with the Separatists. A Republic assault force, comprised of AT-TEs and AT-RTs walkers, landed on the planet and proceeded toward the agrocite processing plant. En route, Separatist J-1 semi-autonomous proton cannons opened fire on the Republic forces; Ozzel ordered his troops to disembark from the walkers, a tactical maneuver that not only exposed the clones to enemy fire but prompted the three Jedi to draw some of the fire away from the beleaguered soldiers. As the Jedi moved into the battle droid-filled trenches, Ozzel ordered his AT-TEs to open fire on the droids, endangering the Jedi but wiping out the enemy defenders. The Republic forces succeeded in capturing the processing plant as Gout retreated; although he complained about the temperature, Ozzel was quick to note his part in the victory.
Despite this small success, the Republic was still faced with the task of capturing the heavily-fortified agrocite mines. Fisto advised finding an alternative to a direct assault on the mines, but Ozzel stressed that such a move, while costly, was their only option—while clones would die, more could always be produced to replace the losses. When Koon began to criticize the major for his overly-aggressive tactics and his disregard for the clones, Ozzel stated that he was merely acting in the interest of the Republic and mentioned how the Chancellor had awarded him a commission as major. Koon scolded Ozzel, putting him in his place before leaving with Fisto and a squad of clone commandos to attack the mines.
Ozzel's leadership was tested when Separatist Dark Acolyte Asajj Ventress led Armored Assault Tanks in an assault on the processing plant. Initially tasked with holding the Republic lines, he was forced to assume command when Ventress killed Master Tauht in a lightsaber duel. The major boarded an AT-TE and ordered a counterattack, pushing forward into a snow-covered canyon where they were ambushed by multiple DSD1 dwarf spider droids. Faced with the possibility of being killed in action, Ozzel surrendered himself and his clones to the Separatists. Gout and Ventress attempted to interrogate their prisoners, but Ozzel, invoking the Convention of Civilized Systems, refused to reveal any information—until an impatient Ventress decapitated one of the clone troopers. Frightened at the thought of death, Ozzel gradually betrayed the remaining Jedi's mission to destroy a weather-control station on a nearby mountain which was preventing any Republic reinforcements from landing. Ventress was prepared to kill the major, but Gout intervened, suggesting that the prisoners be kept alive for use as slaves—or food for slaves—in accordance with Khormai beliefs regarding prisoners. As the clones busied themselves with finding a way out of their cell, Ozzel attempted to justify his revealing of the Jedi's plans. The major and the soldiers succeeded in breaking out, hijacking an AAT and cutting down B1-Series battle droids and BX-series droid commandos as they made their escape from the facility.
Upon reuniting with the remnants of the attack force, Ozzel resumed command, believing the Jedi to be dead as a result of his betrayal. The major ordered that the transports rendezvous with Wieler's fleet for resupplying in preparation for a renewed counterattack, but the ships were frozen in place. Lacking any heavy support, Ozzel's forces were trapped when the Confederacy launched its own attack, and the major again prepared to surrender to save his own life. Commander Wolffe moved to shield Ozzel, ordering his troops to provide defensive fire as they fell back to the transports. The Jedi—still alive, no thanks to the major—succeeded in destroying the weather-control station in the nick of time, allowing LAAT/i gunships and V-19 Torrent starfighters to provide much-needed support to the beleaguered soldiers on the ground. With Ventress forced to retreat, Ozzel once again took the credit for the victory.
With reinforcements now available, the Republic forces regrouped in preparation for a final strike on the agrocite mine. As the Jedi performed a reconnaissance of the facility, Ozzel led an aerial attack on the mine, commanding from a LAAT/i gunship. The assortment of V-19 Torrents, BTL-B Y-wings, gunships, and two Acclamator-class assault ships made short work of the Separatist defenses, but Gout surprised the Republic with his agrocite-powered cannons, which destroyed the two assault ships in quick succession. In the resulting retreat, Ozzel was knocked unconscious. Despite the setback, Wolffe led the survivors in a successful ground assault on the mines as Fisto destroyed the cannons and killed Gout while Koon forced Ventress to retreat. At the Republic command post following the victory, Ozzel was congratulated by Palpatine via hologram as the surviving clones looked on. The Supreme Chancellor applauded Ozzel's courageous leadership during the battle and promoted him to the rank of captain.
- "You really think she maneuvered herself aboard this ship and into the computer without already knowing what she was looking for?"
"She maneuvered herself aboard? Including setting up a pirate attack on an Imperial-chartered freighter?"
"Special Imperial agents don't bother with anything as trivial as pirates. And the Emperor's Hand certainly doesn't. If she happened to foil a pirate attack, it was purely incidental to her main mission."
- ―Ozzel and Somoril discuss Mara Jade's presence aboard the Reprisal
Ozzel continued to serve in the military following the Republic's reorganization into the Galactic Empire. In 5 BBY, Ozzel was the presiding officer at the court-martial for Imperial cadet Han Solo, who had saved the Wookiee Chewbacca from slavery. At the trial, the young Corellian took a fairly low view of Ozzel's intelligence. For a short time, Ozzel served as an instructor at the Naval Academy on Coruscant, where he taught naval history and languages until the destruction of the Empire's first Death Star battlestation during the Battle of Yavin. Around this time, Ozzel was also involved in codifying the tactics of the Imperial Navy, and he recorded his thoughts on the subject in a treatise he titled Innovations in Imperial Naval Tactics, which identified the three principles of "Surprise", "Pursue", and "Overwhelm" as being at the heart of naval tactics. Han Solo would later regard Ozzel's "innovations" as being comically simplistic, but Ozzel's treatise was later included in the official field guide for officers in the Imperial Military, Imperial Handbook: A Commander's Guide.
In 0 ABY, Ozzel was serving as captain of the Imperial I-class Star Destroyer Reprisal, the largest capital ship in the Shelsha sector. At the planet Teardrop, the site of a covert Rebel Alliance listening post, he initiated a blockade to prevent any Rebels from fleeing the world. Han Solo—now a smuggler affiliated with the Alliance—attempted to flee the world with Rebel passengers in his freighter, the Millennium Falcon, but his ship fell under attack by pirates. Solo requested aid from the Star Destroyer, and Ozzel had his gunners fire upon and destroy the attackers. Solo claimed that his ship, using the alias "Argos," had carried a Briston-based medical relief team responding to a groundquake on Teardrop's Por'ste Island. Ozzel, believing Solo's cover story, ordered the ship back to Briston, but the freighter left the system with its cargo of Rebels. Ozzel later oversaw the massacre of "Rebel sympathizers" on the planet, where Imperial troops killed all the civilians in a town, aliens first. This massacre, ordered by Imperial Security Bureau Major Drelfin, was blamed on Rebel agitators present in the town, who had in fact already fled the world aboard the Falcon. Six days later, the Reprisal was assigned a full Imperial Security Bureau tactical unit under the command of Colonel Vak Somoril, to further prosecute the suppression of resistance in the sector.
Stormtrooper Daric LaRone later confronted Drelfin about the killing of civilians on Teardrop, and, after a brief struggle that resulted in the major's death, LaRone fled the Reprisal with a group of fellow stormtroopers who had witnessed the killing. Emperor's Hand Mara Jade had been investigating a group of pirates known as the BloodScars in the Shelsha sector in connection to six stolen paintings found in Moff Glovstoak's possession, and when she arrived aboard the Reprisal, Ozzel and Colonel Somoril mistakenly believed that her arrival was part of a high-level investigation into the incident regarding the rogue stormtroopers. To cover up the incident, they conspired in an unsanctioned scheme to kill her after discovering that she had accessed the ship's personnel files, bridge log, and flight log. Ozzel was certain that an Emperor's Hand wouldn't be sent on a trivial mission to eliminate pirates, and he believed that her main mission was to investigate the stormtroopers who deserted. Ozzel realized the repercussions of killing such an Imperial agent would be great, but Somoril managed to convince the captain to head for the Gepparin system to attack the pirate base where Jade had gone after departing the destroyer. The colonel's reasoning was that Imperial agents, even an Emperor's Hand, could easily end up somewhere during a military strike and be killed. Ozzel only agreed because he didn't want the desertion of the stormtroopers to get in the way of his ultimate goal of achieving the rank of admiral. The plan failed, when Ozzel chose to follow the Millennium Falcon, piloted by Solo's copilot, Chewbacca, rather than complete the attack on the pirate base. Ozzel had the Reprisal jump to the Alderaan system in an effort to pursue the freighter, but he was unsuccessful in intercepting them. Jade was ultimately unable to prove Ozzel's complicity, but she suggested that Darth Vader, apprentice to the Emperor, keep a close eye on the captain.
- "What would you like me to do?"
"I'm not really sure. Keep an eye on Ozzel, I suppose. I don't know if the man's disloyal, easily manipulated, or just plain stupid. But I think he bears watching."
- ―Darth Vader and Mara Jade
Promoted to Fleet Admiral as a result of Mara Jade's suggestion, Ozzel had unexpectedly achieved his goal. He was assigned as the commanding officer of the Executor-class Star Dreadnought Executor, the flagship of Darth Vader. Strong ties to Imperial High Command allowed Ozzel to take command of Vader's Death Squadron, but many believed that this was merely a political move; Ozzel's promotion had coincided with the death of Admiral Amise Griff and the loss of a cadre of able officers aboard the Death Star. In fact, naval hierarchy had given Ozzel his command because they believed he wasn't stupid enough to quarrel with Vader, who was the squadron's true commander. When Ozzel was first made admiral, many officers saw him as Vader's equal, but speculation abounded as to the exact nature by which Ozzel achieved his prestigious command position. Many believed older ties between Imperial military command and Ozzel's bloodline were chiefly responsible for his sudden and inexplicable rise, or that he was merely acting as a figurehead of command in Vader's fleet to appease the high-ranking members of the general staff. Indeed, Ozzel was primarily Vader's puppet, wielding little power in comparison to the Sith Lord. Captain Firmus Piett, a fleet officer who had previously served under Admiral Griff, became Ozzel's senior subordinate aboard the Executor.
Early into Ozzel's command of the Executor, he was assigned to patrol the Black Widow Nebula in search for a corvette commanded by the renegade Imperial Captain Sodarra. While there, the Millennium Falcon was captured by the Executor, and Ozzel interrogated its captain, Han Solo, on the bridge of the Super Star Destroyer about his presence in the nebula. At one point, Solo alluded to the corvette, and Ozzel decided to let the Falcon escape, hoping that Solo would lead the Empire to Sodarra and his fellow deserters.
Hunt for the Rebel headquarters
- "I think we've got something, sir. The report is only a fragment from a probe droid in the Hoth system, but it's the best lead we've had."
"We have thousands of probe droids searching the galaxy. I want proof, not leads!"
- ―Firmus Piett and Kendal Ozzel
Ozzel was placed in command of hunting down the headquarters of the Alliance High Command using whatever devices he deemed necessary. As their hunt for the Rebel base continued, Ozzel and Captain Piett came to despise one another. Ozzel was alternately impetuous and languorous: in the case of the former, he took a personal approach to his mission, preferring to follow up on substantial leads himself. This often meant diverting the fleet on less-than-productive forays, which soon earned the ire of Vader, who grew tired of these indulgences. In the case of the latter, he dismissed reports of uncharted settlements on a whim and ridiculed his subordinates' ideas and findings to protect his position. A staunch professional, Piett regarded Ozzel as too incompetent to be trusted with the task of destroying the Rebellion, and began thinking about how to engineer the Admiral's downfall. Meanwhile, an exasperated Darth Vader relegated Ozzel to the position of figurehead that he effectively occupied, serving merely as a go-between for issuing Vader's orders to the Executor's rank and file. On one occasion, Ozzel personally escorted Lieutenant Janek Sunber to Vader's meditation chamber, where the lieutenant was received by the Sith Lord.
Shortly thereafter, Ozzel and Vader led the Executor and Death Squadron into a battle against the Rebel fleet at Tingel Deepspace Besh a few months after the Battle of Yavin. As the Rebels' escape algorithm had been uncovered by the Empire, Imperial forces were waiting at the next prearranged Rebel rendezvous point should the fleet attempt an escape. Unaware that the Alliance had learned of this breach, Ozzel believed that the battle would bring about the end of the Rebellion. The engagement decimated the Rebel fleet, but the Alliance forces scattered in several different directions rather than use the compromised algorithm, depriving Vader of a definitive victory. Following the battle, Ozzel reported that sensors had detected an escape pod from the Alliance flagship, Rebel One.
In 2 ABY, Ozzel was present at the commissioning ceremony for the Executor at the Imperial Transfer Post near the planet Kuat, joining the Emperor, Darth Vader, and an array of naval personnel including Grand Admiral Rufaan Tigellinus and Admirals Thrawn, Tandres, and Tavares. It was at this time that the Super Star Destroyer, which had been in service for some time and just completed its shakedown cruise, officially joined with Death Squadron. Ozzel transferred his flag to the Executor as well, even though he had commanded the warship since 0.5 ABY. After this, about a month before New Year's Fete Week in 38:F1, Vader departed from Imperial City on Coruscant to officially begin his oversight of Ozzel and Death Squadron.
As the year progressed, Ozzel and his command were tasked with rooting out and destroying any elements of the Rebel Alliance in the Outer Rim. In their surveillance of remote star systems, it was reported by the Independent Traders' Infonet that Star Destroyers under Ozzel's command apprehended a number of spacers in the systems and briefly detained them for questioning as the admiral searched for any potential leads regarding Rebel activity in the area. Death Squadron adopted a hostile approach to both the Rebellion and its suspected sympathizers—as reported by the Nal Hutta Kal'tamok, it was believed that the destruction of the Syvris shadowport was carried out by Star Destroyers under Ozzel's command, having mistaken the shadowport for a Rebel facility.
During his tenure as admiral, Ozzel assigned command of the Star Destroyer Avenger to Captain Lorth Needa, who became one of Ozzel's closest advisors. The admiral placed a great deal of trust in Needa, tasking the captain with taking the Avenger to check on various leads in the search for the Rebel command base. Furthermore, Ozzel assigned the Avenger to the prestigious point position of Death Squadron. Vader and the Emperor came to distrust the admiral and his closest associates, Needa included. Should one of them make even the most minor of mistakes, Vader would execute the individual as a consequence for failing.
By 3 ABY, Death Squadron had scoured a large area of space in its search for the Rebel headquarters, to no avail. In an effort to speed up the process, Ozzel authorized the deployment of Arakyd Viper probe droids, dispersing them throughout the galaxy with the hope that one would stumble upon the main Alliance base. The admiral requested that additional vessels be assigned to Death Squadron to complement those warships already under his command, but because of the rising amount of support for the Rebellion in the galaxy, no ships were available to fulfill Ozzel's appeal. The probe droids uncovered large numbers of uncharted settlements, including smugglers' nests, which forced Death Squadron to respond to dozens of false alarms that Vader quickly became tired of.
- "Lord Vader, the fleet has moved out of lightspeed, and we're preparing to—"
"You have failed me for the last time, Admiral."
- ―Ozzel reports to Vader, mere moments before his execution
Death Squadron's search for the Rebel headquarters ended when a probe droid launched from the Star Destroyer Stalker discovered signs of occupancy on the otherwise-uninhabited planet of Hoth, in the system of the same name. The droid transmitted its findings, which included the presence of a power generator on the world, back to the Executor, where it was reviewed by Captain Piett. Piett, having grown tired of Ozzel blaming his own mistakes on his subordinates, had been scheming to discredit the admiral and replace him as Commander of Death Squadron. As such, the captain decided to bypass his commanding officer completely with news of the discovery. Believing that Ozzel would ignore the intelligence, Piett waited until Darth Vader was on the bridge to tell the Admiral, hoping that such a move would expedite Ozzel's removal from command.
When Piett did inform the admiral of the data from Hoth, Ozzel responded as the captain had predicted—he disregarded the findings as another lead lacking any validity. He believed that the droid had stumbled upon a settlement of smugglers, and not the long-sought-after Rebel base. Vader overheard and disagreed with the admiral's interpretation of the facts. With certainty, the Dark Lord announced that Hoth was housing the Alliance headquarters. Ozzel, still not convinced, asked Piett to consult the intelligence evaluation computers on the matter; the computers reported that the data index on a Rebel presence on Hoth was low, and Ozzel insolently tried to convince Vader that the finding might simply be a smuggler base. The Force told Vader all he needed to know—the Rebels were on the planet, and Luke Skywalker, for whom he had long searched, was with them. The Dark Lord ordered Death Squadron into hyperspace, the sixth world of the Hoth system their destination.
Ozzel took some liberties with Vader's command. Believing that a sudden appearance of an Imperial fleet would catch the Alliance off-guard, he brought Death Squadron out of lightspeed in close proximity to Hoth, rather than emerge in the outskirts of the system. This surprise allowed the Rebels at Echo Base to raise an energy shield strong enough to withstand any orbital bombardment initiated by the orbiting Star Destroyers. General Maximilian Veers brought word of the ramifications of Ozzel's decision to Vader, who viewed the admiral as inept for executing such a maneuver. Realizing that Death Squadron would now have to waste its resources in fighting a costly ground battle rather than simply destroying the base from orbit as a result of Ozzel's actions, Vader contacted the admiral from his meditation chamber aboard the Executor. Via a viewscreen, Ozzel announced that the fleet had arrived in the Hoth system, but his report was cut short when Vader began to Force Choke the admiral as punishment for his blunder. Deciding that the man had made his final mistake, and that simply punishing him would be pointless, the Dark Lord executed Ozzel and immediately promoted Piett to fill the vacancy Ozzel's death had created.
As a result of Ozzel's fatal decision, Death Squadron was forced to wage a ground battle against the Rebel defenders of Echo Base, one that ultimately proved successful despite minor Imperial casualties. Skywalker and his allies successfully fled from the Imperial forces, depriving Vader of a complete victory on Hoth. Following the engagement, the admiral's remains were transported back to his homeworld of Carida, where he was honored at a ceremony. Imperial propaganda compiled by Imperial advisor Alec Pradeux on the Battle of Hoth greatly altered the circumstances of Ozzel's death, removing Vader's involvement in this "official" account. Pradeux instead claimed that the admiral had been killed when Rebel forces bombarded the Executor with a planetary energy emplacement.
Later that year, before his own execution by High Inquisitor Antinnis Tremayne, Captain Jovan Vharing of the Star Destroyer Interrogator recalled Ozzel as one of many naval personnel who had been executed for failure by their superiors. A few months after the Battle of Endor, a copy of the Imperial Handbook was captured by the Rebel Alliance and delivered to the Alliance High Command by Skywalker. The copy included Ozzel's Innovations in Imperial Naval Tactics. Solo, when reading through the innovations, noted that they were so poorly thought out that he simply could not make fun of it due to being far too easy to do so. In 7 ABY, the smuggler Starter claimed to have been unsuccessfully interrogated by Ozzel aboard the Executor. When recounting his tale, which few believed, Starter claimed that Ozzel went through five interrogation droids before reporting to Vader of his failure.
Personality and traits
- "The Rebels are alerted to our presence. Admiral Ozzel came out of lightspeed too close to the system."
"He felt surprise was wiser…"
"He is as clumsy as he is stupid."
- ―Vader expresses his displeasure with Ozzel to General Veers
A by-the-books officer, Kendal Ozzel was generally viewed unfavorably, considered inept by many Imperials and others. There was a vast array of uncharitable opinions on the officer; BloodScar mercenary Caaldra saw Ozzel as predictable, while Emperor's Hand Mara Jade was unable to tell if he was treacherous, easily manipulated, or simply dim-witted. His superiors at the Coruscant naval academy were loath to give him a position of command. When on the verge of defeat on the battlefield, Ozzel opted to surrender rather than risk death in continued combat. If he were to be interrogated, Ozzel preferred to betray his allies to the enemy rather than risk execution, attempting to justify his betrayal to himself later on. His subordinate and successor, Firmus Piett, found Ozzel to be mercurial and considered him too incompetent for his command. These traits made many wonder how he achieved his rank of admiral. Han Solo, who already had very low opinions of Ozzel, also admitted when reading his Innovations in Imperial Naval Tactics that his "innovations" were so bad that he was unwilling to mock him precisely because it would have been too easy to do so. Darth Vader shared this opinion of him throughout Ozzel's time as admiral, especially when he brought Death Squadron out of hyperspace too close to Hoth, a move with which the admiral had hoped would surprise the Alliance. Because of his actions, the Alliance was able to detect the fleet of approaching Star Destroyers, activate Echo Base's shield, and evacuate the majority of the base.
Ozzel was also noted as being argumentative, bullish, and lacking common sense—additional traits which often caused further problems. He never knew when to be quiet, and he always insisted on having a say in major decisions. He was a disciplinarian, and every detail had to be perfect. His tactical thinking was outdated, and his presence aboard the Executor was in part to satisfy the Navy's senior commanders and show a small amount of respect with regards to the chain-of-command, even though Vader held de facto command of Death Squadron. He was known to ridicule the ideas and findings of his subordinates to protect his own position. Ozzel let off-duty stormtroopers roam around without their armor on while serving aboard the Reprisal, which went against regulations. He did not like their presence on the ship, so he reached this unofficial agreement with the stormtrooper commanders, rather than having the troops confined to the barracks. He was also biased against women and non-Humans and intimidated lesser bureaucrats to increase his standing in the Navy.
Despite these flaws, Ozzel was a self-confident and ambitious man, often using his family name to further himself in Imperial society and politics. He was considered the ideal naval politician, and as far as he was concerned, he always won his arguments. He viewed the elimination of Rebels as the fastest path to success within the Imperial Navy, and he hoped that his attempt to destroy the Rebels would eventually grant him the rank of admiral. His ambition was such that, moments before his death, he implied a desire to take over the Empire using the Executor. Whenever he failed he would cast the blame onto his subordinates, which sparked an enmity between him and his subordinate and eventual replacement, Firmus Piett. Ozzel was willing to go to extreme measures to cover his mistakes, such as when he reluctantly agreed to kill Emperor's Hand Mara Jade to silence potential information on the desertion of stormtroopers from the Reprisal. He was confident, and he felt relaxed while in the presence of Vader, whom he came to resent over time.
Behind the scenes
Portrayal and origins
Kendal Ozzel first appeared in The Empire Strikes Back novelization and The Empire Strikes Back Storybook, both released on April 12, 1980. In Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back, Ozzel was played by Michael Sheard, who also portrayed Adolf Hitler in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade—the third installment of George Lucas's other successful trilogy—among other films. In the audio drama version of The Empire Strikes Back, Ozzel was voiced by Peter Michael Goetz. The admiral went without a first name until The Official Star Wars Fact File 4 supplied the forename "Kendal," which was used with Sheard's blessing. The name later made its way to the official Star Wars website's Databank.
Ozzel's role varies from adaptation to adaptation of The Empire Strikes Back. In both the official novelization and The Empire Strikes Back Storybook, Ozzel's dialogue is altered slightly. Divergent dialogue can also be found in the radio adaptation. In the Classic Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back book, Ozzel appears once, in an altered version of the scene in which the probe droid's findings are analyzed. In this version, Ozzel goes unnamed, and his lines differ from his dialogue in the film. In both Star Wars 39 and Star Wars 40, artist Al Williamson incorrectly switches Ozzel's and Piett's roles. Additionally, for Star Wars 40, Williamson and Carlos Garzon used reference photography of Lorth Needa's death for Ozzel's own death, so the two panels in which the scene is displayed greatly differ from the movie.
Issues involving Ozzel's rank at certain periods of time have existed. At the end of The Clone Wars 9, Palpatine promotes Ozzel to the rank of admiral for his part in the Battle of Khorm. Randy Stradley has stated that though this is true to the original script, Leland Chee left him a note informing him that the rank should be changed from admiral to captain, to coincide with Ozzel's rank of captain in the novel Allegiance. Though the error was not fixed in time for the comic's release, the In Service of the Republic trade paperback has Ozzel promoted to captain.
Similarly, there have been several inconsistencies between the various sources describing Ozzel's path to becoming Vader's senior subordinate in Death Squadron. Going by in-universe chronology, the next source of confusion after In Service of the Republic is The Hutt Gambit, which establishes Ozzel as an admiral at the time of Han Solo's trial in 5 BBY. The 2007 article The Empire's Finest: Who's Who in the Imperial Military, from Star Wars Insider 96, implies that Ozzel served aboard the Executor under Amise Griff's command, "[seizing] captaincy of Darth Vader's Super Star Destroyer Executor" before "[taking] over as admiral of Vader's Death Squadron following the death of Admiral Griff." Ozzel later appears as an admiral aboard the Executor under Vader's command in the canonical path of Scoundrel's Luck, which apparently takes place while Vader is still in a healing trance in his TIE Advanced x1 after the Battle of Yavin. In a NewsNet article in Star Wars Adventure Journal 12, it is mentioned that Ozzel was in command of Death Squadron before the Executor was commissioned and planned to transfer his flag to the new warship when it entered active service with Death Squadron. These are seemingly contradicted by Allegiance, which establishes Ozzel as the captain of the Star Destroyer Reprisal (and not an admiral tasked with leading Death Squadron in any way) while the Executor is active and under the command of Admiral Bentro. To further add to the confusion, an unidentified Executor admiral bearing a remarkable similarity to Ozzel appears in a minor role in the Classic Star Wars comics Revenge of the Jedi and Doom Mission, both of which take place before Ozzel's reassignment to the Executor.
In Star Wars Adventure Journal 14, it is said that, following Ozzel's death, his remains were returned to his homeworld, where he was honored at the Corulag Academy. This would imply that Ozzel was born on Corulag, the location of the aforementioned academy. However, Ozzel's Databank entry has established Carida as his homeworld. This article assumes that the Adventure Journal is in error.
Though Ozzel dies in The Empire Strikes Back film and most of its literary adaptation, he survives Vader's wrath in the non-canonical children book Vader's Little Princess. In the book, during the scene in which Vader was to choke Ozzel for his failure at Hoth, the young Leia appears, leading Vader to change his mind and decides to not choke Ozzel in Leia's presence, at least with her around.
- LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy (Appears in cutscene(s))
- LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga (Appears in cutscene(s))
- Vader's Little Princess