Beginning as a colonel commanding Grand Army of the Republic forces on the more remote fronts of the Clone Wars, Wessel was appointed by Palpatine under the Sector Governance Decree, which authorized the creation of regional governors to administer entire sectors. Wessel's early rise to the administration of Immalia sector hints at a history of unquestioned loyalty to Palpatine, since such appointments were made only on behalf of those who had proven their loyalty, and as moffs were intended from the start to be answerable only to the Emperor, it was crucial that they be beings who could be depended on without reserve. Shortly after the conclusion of the Clone Wars, Moff Wessel, acting at the request of Sate Pestage, submitted a report outlining the "highlights" of Order 66 to Emperor Palpatine.
It is not known exactly what happened, but evidently Moff Wessel's fortunes turned for the worse. In 3 ABY, at the height of the Galactic Civil War, he had been relegated to the governorship of Yinchorr, a dead-end position in a useless star system. Wessel decided that he could advance his career again by capturing Princess Leia Organa, and kidnapped the leaders of the Yinchorri Elders Council, offering to trade their lives back to the Yinchorri in exchange for Organa. With no choice, the Yinchorri agreed that their beloved elders were worth the life of one Human. They set a trap for Leia, but Wessel double-crossed the Yinchorri, angering them sufficiently to overthrow him and his regime. However, their insurrection was swiftly crushed by the Empire, ending with the killing of the Council and destruction of Tol-Kachorn.
Behind the scenes
Governor Wessel was created in 1983 for the Marvel comics issue The Alderaan Factor by writer Randy Stradley, currently in charge of the Star Wars comic lines for Dark Horse Comics. Like so many Imperial characters written in those days, he had no first name, and indeed it was not seen as relevant at the time. However, Daniel Wallace, included the name as a sort of easter egg in his HoloNet News article for Star Wars Insider 84. In his blog, he wrote: "'Meet Your Regional Governors' has profiles on Denn Wessex (an old WEG character from the gaming module Starfall) and Marcellin Wessel, who is intended to be the old man in charge of Yinchorr in the Marvel comic The Last Gift From Alderaan (one of the rare instances when Wallace may have been in error, as it was actually The Alderaan Factor). General Redd Wessel, who appears in Star Wars: Crimson Empire, would presumably be his son."
- "Republic HoloNet News Special Inaugural Edition 16:5:241"—Star Wars Insider 84 (First identified as Marcellin)
- Star Wars (1977) 86 (First appearance)
- "Order 66: Destroy All Jedi"—Star Wars Insider 87
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Essential Guide to Warfare