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"I am General Maximillian Veers. I will have results."
―Maximilian Veers[8]

Maximilian Veers was a human male who served as a general in the Galactic Empire's army. In that capacity, he fought in the Galactic Civil War, which pitted the Galactic Empire against the Rebel Alliance. Veers was famous for his leadership during the Imperial assault on the then Rebellion-occupied Hoth system, during which he led a squadron of AT-AT walkers past Rebel defenses and personally destroyed the shield generator powering Rebel base's deflector shield. His leadership in the battle was critical to the successful takeover of the Hoth planetary system, a key victory for the Galactic Empire. Veers himself was critically injured during the battle when a Rogue Squadron snowspeeder crashed into his AT-AT's cockpit, destroying the walker, but ultimately survived.

Biography[]

Early service[]

"If there's a proper navy someday, young Veers here will be in charge of it, mark my words."
―Pell Baylo, whose level of seriousness was unclear[5]

A human male, Maximilian Veers was born on the planet of Denon[1] around 44 BBY.[2] By the age of eleven at the oldest, he had come to serve as a naval cadet of the Galactic Republic under Captain Pell Baylo.[5] Later, Veers would serve as an army officer of the Galactic Empire, an authoritarian regime that governed most of the galaxy.[1] While a lieutenant, Veers collaborated with the criminal syndicate Crimson Dawn, meeting the public face of the syndicate, Dryden Vos, aboard Vos' personal yacht. Vos made note of the officer's intelligence.[9]

The skilled general[]

Several years later, Veers was involved in the Empire's struggle against the Rebel Alliance, which contested the rule of Emperor Palpatine.[6] Rising in the ranks through cunning and courage, Veers took part in over a dozen battles, including conflicts against the Zalorians on Zaloriis and the Culroonians on Culroon III.[10] Aside from being a brilliant army officer, Veers was also a husband and a father.[11]

Veers and Kosh

General Veers worked with Officer Kosh following the Battle of Yavin.

Veers was eventually assigned to the Death Star battle station, but was ultimately not on board during the Battle of Yavin, where it was destroyed by the Rebel Alliance. The destruction of the Death Star also helped accelerate his career due to the large amount of Imperial officers killed during the battle.[12]

Following the Battle of Yavin, Veers already served as a general. At that time, he was tasked with hunting down a governor who betrayed the Empire and locating the former senator Johhar Kessen. The Empire believed that Kessen would play a key role in finding the location of the Rebel Alliance's new headquarters, and for the duration of that mission, Veers was assisted by Captain Kosh, an officer stationed on Tatooine and in command of the 68th Legion.[13]

Weeds in a storm[]

"You're mistaken. They're not vermin. They're weeds. Alas, we are the storm. When the storm blows, weeds bend. When the storm passes, they're unharmed. If the Rebellion were a tree, it'd be different... Until then, they will continue to slip through our fingers"
―General Veers' assessment of the Rebellion, given to Ozzel and Vader[14]

Sometime later, Veers along with Admiral Kendal Ozzel, travel to the planet Mustafar to meet with Darth Vader, the Emperor's dark enforcer, at his castle. Veers stood along side Ozzel behind Vader as the Sith Lord looked out over the Mustafar landscape. After the admiral stated that the rebels were vermin and asked Vader on how they would eliminate them, Veers spoke up and informed Ozzel that he was mistaken. He stated that the rebels were not vermin but weeds and that the Empire was like a storm.[14]

Veers went on to explain that in a storm, weeds are able to bend and survive just as the Rebellion was capable of doing despite the Empire's constant attacks. The general went on to say that if the Rebels were more like a tree, sturdy and rooted in one place, then it would be different. Veers went on to comment that until the situation changed, the Rebels would continue to slip through their fingers. His comment caused Vader to then recall the same statement Princess Leia made to Grand Moff Tarkin. Vader stated that Veers made an interesting point and went on to explain their next course of action against the Rebels.[14]

Searching for the Rebel base[]

"General, prepare your troops for a surface attack."
―Darth Vader, preparing Veers for the Battle of Hoth — (audio) Listen (file info)[6]
Veers-hd

Veers speaks with Darth Vader.

Shortly thereafter, Darth Vader launched Project Swarm, under which thousands of Viper probe droids were dispatched across the galaxy in an effort to discover the location of the new Rebel base. Incensed by the lack of quick progress, Vader ended up executing the project's supervisor, Major Yaltza. As a result, General Veers was put in charge of the operation aboard the Executor, the flagship of Vader's own flotilla, Death Squadron. When Professor Ud pointed out that the Rebels had used at least one ancient site in the past, Veers assembled a team of archaeological consultants that notably included the rogue scholar Chelli Aphra. The first lead they investigated was a deathshrine of the Central Isopter buried in the Kartovian Formation, on Ash Moon 1. Veers himself took part in the ensuing expedition. Although the ground crew did not find anything resembling a military base there, Professor Ud was killed after activating a structural trigger, and Aphra's father Korin was found lurking on the premises and arrested.[8]

Eventually, one of the Viper droids detected signs of an occupied settlement on the sixth planet of Hoth, a system located in the Anoat sector of the galactic Outer Rim. On the Executor, Veers joined the panel of officers who reviewed the droid's data, along with Vader, Ozzel and his subordinate, Captain Firmus Piett. While Vader immediately identified the data as proof of the Rebellion, Ozzel was more skeptical. Vader ultimately ordered the fleet to investigate the Hoth system, and Veers began to prepare for the assault.[6]

Victor of Hoth[]

"Yes, Lord Vader. I've reached the main power generator. The shield will be down in moments. You may start your landing."
―Veers, to Vader[6]
Armored Veers full

General Veers fought among his men at Hoth, in full armor.

Ozzel's approved lightspeed course, intended to surprise the Rebellion, brought the Imperial fleet out of lightspeed close to the system. As a result, Rebel forces on the planet's surface had time to prepare a defense plan and organize an evacuation. Due to a localized energy shield protecting the base and power generator, orbital bombardment of the base was considered to be an ineffective attack strategy. After informing Vader of such information, Veers was ordered to lead a ground assault on the power generator and disable the energy shield. Vader then executed Ozzel and promoted Piett to Admiral.[6]

Veers, who had always kept a low profile in front of Vader,[3] had been offered a chance to correct Ozzel's mistake. His squadron of Imperial AT-AT walkers were deployed beyond the border of the energy shield, allowing a ground approach to be made. Veers led the squadron into the Echo Base mountain valley, facing heavy Rebel ground fire as he approached the shield generators. The general led his troops from the front, in the cockpit of the lead walker, as the Rebels prepared to evacuate their headquarters. A group of snowspeeders led by Rebel Commander Luke Skywalker tried to delay Veers' force, destroying two walkers. As Rebel ground forces retreated, Veers ordered his walker to fire on the shield generator, destroying it. The generator's destruction marked the end of the Rebel defense, allowing Vader and his men to land on Hoth and break into the base, and demonstrating Veers' effectiveness as a military commander.[6]

During the battle, Blizzard 1 was decapitated when a snowspeeder flown by Derek Klivian crashed into it.[15] The action injured Veers to the point of nearing death, but his unyielding devotion to carrying out Vader's will allowed him to stay conscious and ultimately survive long enough for Imperial medics to assist him.[16] Veers later infiltrated Echo Base with his snowtroopers.[1] After the battle, Veers was transported to a medical center near Cardia to undergo treatment for his injuries.[17]

Personality and traits[]

"Target. Maximum fire power."
―Veers, ordering the destruction of Echo Base's shield generator[6]
Veers targets

Veers sights his target during the Battle of Hoth.

Maximilian Veers was a powerfully built man with brown hair and eyes. Weighing 82 kilogram and standing 1.93 meters,[4] he was ten centimeters taller than the average stormtroopers, the Empire's white-armored shock troops.[18]

Veers was a brilliant tactician,[15] and a cool and efficient officer.[3] He did not hesitate to put himself in harm's way on the front line, wearing Imperial officer battle armor.[6] Cunning and capable, he was also devoted to his family. Because of those qualities, he was viewed as a model Imperial officer.[11] An effective and decorated officer, Veers enjoyed the respect of his peers thanks to an impressive record of ground combat,[4] and due to Veers' calm demeanor during battle he earned respect from Darth Vader himself.[15]

Veers always seemed very sure of himself when talking to Vader[6] and had learned to tread lightly around the Sith Lord, fearing both the mysterious power he wielded and his volatile temperament.[3] For example, when Veers went to see Vader in his quarters, he was not bold enough to interrupt the meditating Sith, but stood quietly at attention until he spoke.[6] To Veers, serving Vader was an absolute commitment that he was unwilling to fail, believing that his truest duty was to succeed in following the Sith Lord's orders.[16]

Skills and abilities[]

"He's very clever, that one. And smart enough not to join the Imperial navy. Ground troops are always easier to manage, and you can do that from relative safety if you want. He's more hands–on, I think, but still. He'll be promoted soon, I'm sure of it."
―Dryden Vos, on Veers[9]

The crime lord Dryden Vos regarded Veers as clever.[9] The dismissive Pell Baylo once made a remark that Veers had a bright future ahead of him in the field of space combat command should a true Galactic Republic Navy arise,[5] with it unclear if what Baylo said was a sarcastic remark or a serious observation of Veers's possible career.[19] Instead of being part of the Imperial Navy, Veers would ultimately decide to enter the Imperial Army, where Vos knew officers had an easier time managing affairs. Even then, Veers showed himself to be a more hands on officer than typical army commanders.[9] He also held a degree of authority on the Executor despite his position as general.[8]

Equipment[]

On the battlefield, Veers wore a grey-green chest armor over his duty uniform and a matching open face helmet with an ample rear skirt and a black chin strap. He was willing to command his operations from the frontline, serving as the vehicle commander of AT-AT Blizzard 1 during the Battle of Hoth.[6]

Behind the scenes[]

Portrayal[]

"This man is a general. You don't get to be a general if you're a wimp."
―Actor Julian Glover, to George Lucas[20]
Watts

Robert Watts as "General Veers."

General Veers first appeared in the 1980 movie Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back, the second installment in the original trilogy of Star Wars, in which he was played by the English actor Julian Glover.[6] Robert Watts, an associate producer on The Empire Strikes Back, invited Glover in, as the two were next-door neighbors at the time.[20] Glover worked on the movie for five days, which he later described as "five days of complete and total bewilderment."[21]

Despite having a relatively small part in the movie, Glover discussed Veers' relationship to Vader with Star Wars creator George Lucas. In Glover's opinion, Veers should not be sycophantic toward Vader, since a proper general would not lack confidence. Lucas approved the actor's vision of the character, allowing Veers to stand up to Vader a little.[20]

The armored breastplate worn by Veers in The Empire Strikes Back was the same design seen on the snowtroopers and the bounty hunter Dengar.[22]

There was potential for Veers to appear in the next movie, Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi. In an early draft of the film's script, Veers was slated to return as the Commander of Endor's Garrison, personally leading the battle on the moon.[23] Robert Watts, co-producer of the movie, contacted Julian Glover to offer him the bit, but the actor was working on something else at the time and could not do it.[24]

In Return of the Jedi, Robert Watts played AT-ST pilot Lieutenant Blanaid. Before this pilot was identified, Watts once said that his character was General Veers. However, that identification was refuted on the official StarWars.com website, on the grounds that Veers' demotion to a simple pilot was unlikely.[25]

The reference book Ultimate Star Wars and its newer edition confirm that Veers infiltrated Echo Base with snowtroopers,[1] while the magazine Star Wars Helmet Collection 57 claimed that he died when his AT-AT was destroyed when Klivian crashed his speeder into it.[26] The short story "The Truest Duty" from the anthology From a Certain Point of View: The Empire Strikes Back later revealed that Veers was on the verge of death immediately after Klivian's speeder crashed into his AT-AT, but that he had survived.[16]

Alternate fate[]

In the script of The Empire Strikes Back, Veers died when the Rebel snowspeeder pilot Derek Klivian flew his damaged vessel directly into the cockpit of the general's walker. That scene, however, never made it into the final cut of the film,[25] although it did appear in the novelization, written by Donald F. Glut.[27]

Veers' background and fate were expanded upon in a number of reference books and comic books, although those stories are part of the Star Wars Legends, formerly known as the Expanded Universe.

On October 2, 2017, during an interview with Ed Dolista for the Episode 256 of IndyCast, Julian Glover was asked by Dolista his opinion about Veers' fate. Glover stated that he thinks Veers may have survived since his apparent death happened offstage (although he is aware of Veers' fate in Glut's novelization) and that he could well be brought back if Lucasfilm wants.[28]

Further appearances[]

A young Veers appears in the 2024 novel The Living Force, where he appears as a student under Instructor Pell Baylo,[5] at the suggestion of author John Jackson Miller. Editor Tom Hoeler was surprised by the idea but loved the way Miller worked in the cameo.[29] Additionally, Baylo makes the remark in the novel "If there's a proper navy someday, young Veers here will be in charge of it, mark my words."[5] Canonically, however, Veers is someone who rises to power in the Imperial Army instead of the naval forces.[6] When asked if the line was Baylo making an honest observation about Veers's future or instead him making a sarcastic insult that Veers would not go far in the navy, Miller said it was up for fans to decide, yet did note one option was more likely than the other.[19]

Non-canon material[]

Maximilian Veers appears as the main antagonist in the 2015 LEGO animated television series LEGO Star Wars: Droid Tales. He is the overreaching antagonist in the first three episodes, and the main antagonist in the last two episodes. Following the Battle of Endor, General Veers and his remnant group of stormtroopers attempted to restart the droid foundries on Geonosis in order to restore the Galactic Empire. His plot involved tricking Lando Calrissian and his partner R2-D2 into gathering old droids and reusing their parts to build battle droids.[30] Veers' scheme was defeated by the combined efforts of R2-D2, Lando, C-3PO, Chewbacca, Nien Nunb, and Admiral Ackbar.[31]

Appearances[]

Non-canon appearances[]

Sources[]

Notes and references[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Ultimate Star Wars
  2. 2.0 2.1 In The Living Force, Veers is described as "a sandy-haired human of eleven at most." Since SWInsider "Launchpad" — Star Wars Insider 224 dates the events of The Living Force to a year prior to Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace, which equates to 33 BBY per Star Wars: Timelines, Veers' birth date can be approximated to 44 BBY at the earliest.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 StarWars General Veers in the Encyclopedia (content now obsolete; backup link)
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Star Wars: The Force Awakens: Head-to-Head
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 The Living Force
  6. 6.00 6.01 6.02 6.03 6.04 6.05 6.06 6.07 6.08 6.09 6.10 6.11 6.12 6.13 6.14 6.15 6.16 6.17 6.18 Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back
  7. Star Wars: The Rise and Fall of the Galactic Empire
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Doctor Aphra (2016) 37
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 Crimson Climb
  10. The Empire Strikes Back: So You Want to Be a Jedi?
  11. 11.0 11.1 Star Wars Character Encyclopedia: Updated and Expanded
  12. SW Force Collection Star Wars: Force Collection (Card: General Veers (★★★))
  13. Star Wars: Commander
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 "Shu-Torun Lives" — Star Wars (2015) 50
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 Star Wars: On the Front Lines
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 "The Truest Duty" — From a Certain Point of View: The Empire Strikes Back
  17. Star Wars: The Rise and Fall of the Galactic Empire
  18. StarWars Stormtroopers in the Encyclopedia (content now obsolete; backup link)
  19. 19.0 19.1 TwitterLogo John Jackson Miller (@jjmfaraway) on Twitter: "That's for the reader to decide, but context certainly makes one option more likely. (In response to: "I have a question about Veer's cameo, if you have a moment. In the book, Baylo remarks "If there's a proper navy someday, young Veers here will be in charge of it, mark my words". Was this him observing Veer's skill or a sarcastic remark to insult Veers." and "we know Veers rises to power in the army instead of the navy. Given Baylo's character, it could be in line for him to insult his cadet as unfit for this specific field, or be in line with him actually observing skill")" (screenshot)
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 SWInsider "In Their Own Words: Making The Empire Strikes Back" — Star Wars Insider 119
  21. SWInsider "The Empire's Finest: Who's Who in the Imperial Military" — Star Wars Insider 96
  22. StarWars "Friends and Enemies" Trivia Gallery on StarWars.com (backup link) (Slide 3 caption)
  23. The Making of Return of the Jedi
  24. Star Wars Insider 190
  25. 25.0 25.1 Databank title Veers, General Maximilian in the Databank (content now obsolete; backup link)
  26. Helmet Collection logo small Star Wars Helmet Collection 57 (Helmets: Wedge Antilles)
  27. Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back novelization
  28. c_id=17107724&expiration=1507675868&hwt=d0c3ff8be71d74ccaf207806e8b502f4 IndyCast: Episode 256 at IndyCast
  29. TwitterLogo Tom Hoeler (@DarthInternous) on Twitter: "You might be asking...but how?! I had the same thought when John first made the suggestion. And then I saw it. Perfection. Utter perfection." (screenshot)
  30. DroidTalesLogo-Dplus LEGO Star Wars: Droid Tales — "Flight of the Falcon"
  31. DroidTalesLogo-Dplus LEGO Star Wars: Droid Tales — "Gambit on Geonosis"
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