- "General, prepare your troops for a surface attack."
- ―Darth Vader, preparing Veers for the Battle of Hoth
Maximilian Veers was a male Human Major General of the Galactic Empire's Imperial Army, famous for his leadership at the assault on Hoth in 3 ABY and other battles. He also was the father of Zevulon Veers. He died on a suicide mission in 10 ABY.
Early life and career
Maximilian Veers was the son of a middle-class working family on the ecumenopolis planet of Denon in the Core Worlds. He joined the Imperial Academy and, while there, decided to train towards a career in the Assault Armor Division, where he might operate the mechanical behemoths that were the All Terrain Armored Transports. He believed the massive vehicles introduced during the Clone Wars best embodied his own personality as well as that of the Galactic Empire. He took up his training with rigorous determination, showing a surprising intellect and initiative after emerging from several "suicide missions" by surpassing his mission assignments. Veers graduated at the top of his class,[source?] and, his superiors finding him both skillful and dangerous, was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant upon graduation and an assignment as commander of an AT-AT. As a test of his abilities, he was soon shipped to a barbaric and backwater Outer Rim Territories world called Culroon III.
The Culroon III campaign was designed to either make or break Veers. If he failed, he was likely to perish. He quickly learned that the Empire did not tolerate incompetence and failure. During the attempt to pacify the natives of Culroon III, General Irrv had ordered for Lieutenant Veers to remain confined to the base while he and an Imperial party went to negotiate a peace with the Culroon natives. Veers had warned that it was a trap and that Irrv should bring armored support to deter any would-be ambushers. General Irrv did not listen and paid the price with his life when he was executed for incompetence after the Culroon natives deceived and killed most of his party. If it had not been for Lieutenant Veers's quick thinking and disregard of a direct order, the Imperial party would have been utterly slaughtered.[source?] For his bravery and brilliance in saving the Culroon mission's stormtrooper detail, Veers was promoted to major.
Major Veers married and had a son named Zevulon. When Zevulon was only a young boy, Veers lost his wife to a rare disease during a family vacation. Devastated by the death of his wife, Veers buried his grief in his military career. This began to affect his relationship with his son, who he advised to honor his mother by joining the Sub-Adult Group, a youth paramilitary organization of the Empire.
Veers's devotion to the army seemed to pay off, as he was granted the rank of colonel and the command of an Imperial garrison on Corellia. Veers was also widely recognized as an authority on the AT-AT, and often returned to Carida to guest-lecture at AT-AT training courses and demonstrate prototypes of new AT-AT models. During one of these demonstrations, shortly before 0 ABY, Veers came to the attention of Darth Vader when he defeated a Rebel invasion force.
At this point, however, Veers's career seemed to stagnate. Veers lacked the aristocratic connections needed to move up in rank, and questions had arisen regarding his methods of career advancement. Worse, during one of the training courses on Carida, a promising Cadet named Davin Felth lowered his walker to its knees in order to prevent the opposing force from exploiting the weakness its long legs presented. The weakness threatened Veers's career, as it was so closely tied to the success of the walkers. Veers buried the incident by reassigning Felth to the infantry.
Galactic Civil War
- "Colonel, you are too important to the Empire to languish in a prison camp."
- ―Darth Vader, freeing Veers on Zaloriis
Veers had been selected for a position on the first Death Star, as a ground commander, and as an academic instructor. With Felth out of the way, this seemed the perfect opportunity to achieve an elite position. The assignment turned out to be another dead end, as Veers had only just arrived in-system at the Battle of Yavin. A Rebel X-wing fighter spotted his shuttle and forced a crash landing on the jungle moon of Yavin 4. For some time, Colonel Veers survived on emergency rations and local wildlife before he contacted an assault force led by Major Brenn Tantor, which was able to rescue him.
Having had his new position blown out from under him, Colonel Veers returned to his garrison on Corellia. There he helped CorSec Inspectors Hal and Corran Horn put an end to the criminal Black Sun lieutenant, Zekka Thyne, by storming his fortress on the notion that Thyne was harboring Rebel insurgents. Impressed by Veers's performance in removing Black Sun's presence near Coronet City, Grand Admiral Thrawn recommended the brilliant ground commander to Darth Vader.
As it turned out, the destruction of the Death Star aided Veers's career in the long run. The deaths of so many high-ranking officers aboard the station had left a power vacuum that Veers stepped into following the raid on Thyne's stronghold.
Veers was able to continue work in secret on the new AT-AT prototype on Zaloriis, which he described as "the walker". Unexpectedly, the Zalorians declared independence from the Empire and abducted him. He was later rescued by Darth Vader. Together, Vader and Veers completed work on the prototype and used it to crush the Zalorian rebellion, destroying Zaloriis City in the process.
Impressed, Vader accepted Thrawn's recommendation and promoted Veers to Major General[source?] over the heads of several high colonels, placing him in command of Death Squadron's ground troops. Despite the questions that had surfaced concerning his career advancement, not a single high colonel questioned Veers' unorthodox promotion to Vader's fleet, and these issues quickly faded. Veers recruited only the best pilots to serve in his Thundering Herd AT-AT squadron. In 2 ABY, he personally recruited several pilots from the Raithal Academy. Often, he would pilot an extra armored and more powerful walker.
His new appointment was the pinnacle of success for someone in Veers's position, and he wasted no time proving himself. Just weeks after the promotion, Veers had his forces pared down by ten percent, yet efficiency had risen by 50 percent. His timing was impeccable, for in 3 ABY an Arakyd Viper probe droid from Death Squadron had discovered the Alliance High Command's secret Echo Base on the planet Hoth.
Veers's most notable success occurred at the Battle of Hoth when he was given the chance to correct a mistake caused by the incompetent Admiral Ozzel. General Veers lived up to both his reputation and Lord Vader's expectations by quickly deploying his armored regiment, designated Blizzard Force, into the Echo Base mountain valley and personally destroying the shield generator protecting the Rebel base. Shortly after the destruction of the shield generator, Rebel snowspeeder pilot Derek "Hobbie" Klivian flew his damaged vessel directly into the cockpit of Veers's Blizzard One walker.
Both men miraculously survived the incident but came out badly injured. General Veers attempted to flee the bridge of his walker, but was not swift enough and a falling support beam crushed his leg bones into pieces so small that reconstruction and bacta could not restore them. Veers, like many in the galaxy, held a dislike for cybernetics and refused to have his legs replaced with prosthetics. Because of this, Veers would be confined to a hoverchair for the rest of his life.
Although the Battle of Hoth was a great victory for him, bringing him fame and glory, it was overshadowed by a report from his son's COMPNOR SAGroup commander. The commander reported that Zevulon Veers had gone missing during a SAGroup mission dealing with Rebel spies. However, the honored General suspected that his son had defected to the Rebellion and disowned him. The betrayal of his son brought shame and dishonor to the Veers name despite the General's victory at Hoth. He would suffer from the ignominy his son brought forth for the rest of his life.
After the death of Emperor Palpatine at the Battle of Endor, General Veers served under command of Admiral Sander Delvardus. Delvardus soon became one of the first Imperial Warlords and created the Imperial splinter faction known as the Eriadu Authority. This was criticized by General Veers and other Imperial officers serving under him.
In the following years he would move from one Imperial commander to the next in search of a new command, eventually serving as a template for Grand Admiral Thrawn's clones.
Most of the time he was shunned away or rejected downright because of his relationship with Lord Vader. Most post-Endor officers despised anyone who had served and survived Darth Vader and wanted nothing to do with those people. For six years, Veers wandered the galaxy watching as everything he believed in and fought for crumbled around him. Eventually, he became disappointed and distraught with the path the Empire was following, but his sense of loyalty and honor had kept him from defecting or going AWOL.
When the message recalling the remaining Imperial forces to the Deep Core arrived, Veers, like many other officers searching for a new hope, answered it and reported to the Imperial Fleet orbiting Byss. Six months after Thrawn's defeat at the Battle of Bilbringi, Veers would participate in the Battle of Calamari and Balmorra.
It was during the Battle of Balmorra that Veers suffered the worst fate that could be given to an established officer of the Empire. Hated for the fact that he served and survived Lord Vader, Veers was severely demoted to the rank of captain and sent on a suicide mission by Executor Sedriss QL. Maximilian Veers, one of the Empire's greatest ground tacticians and heroes, perished on that fateful suicide mission.
Personality and traits
- "They call that a defense?"
- ―Veers during battle
Veers was a ruthless and aggressive officer who enjoyed wreaking havoc with the destructive Imperial ground forces, but was also an honorable frontline commander who was not opposed to putting himself in harm's way. These traits earned him the respect of Grand Admiral Thrawn for his courage under fire.
Behind the scenes
Maximilian Veers was portrayed by Julian Glover in The Empire Strikes Back. George Lucas would later cast Glover as the villainous Walter Donovan in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, reuniting him with Harrison Ford (although Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade was the first film in which Glover and Ford appeared together onscreen, having shared no scenes in The Empire Strikes Back). Veers was voiced by Gordon Gould in the audio drama version of The Empire Strikes Back. Guy Siner provided the voice of Veers in Force Commander. His voice in the 2005 video game Star Wars: Battlefront II was provided by Jamie Glover, Julian's son.
In the novel adaptation of the screenplay of The Empire Strikes Back, General Veers was killed shortly after the destruction of the shield generator during the Battle of Hoth. The snowspeeder pilot Derek Klivian suffered severe damage to his craft and sped it into a suicide attack on Veers's walker. The resulting explosion destroyed the "head" of the walker, killing Veers and his crew. This scene was actually filmed for The Empire Strikes Back but was ultimately cut.
Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds, a video game released in 2001, portrays Veers as a colonel at the beginning of the Battle of Zaloriis and being promoted to general afterward. "Congratulations, General Veers," Vader tells him. This may be inconsistent with other sources. However, a stormtrooper calls him "General" before this promotion, when Veers arrives to take the prototype AT-AT. Also, when the player selects Veers, he sometimes responds by saying "General Veers, my Lord?" The game's strategy guide incorrectly states he led the Imperial Marines at the Battle of Hoth.
Veers also appeared in a skit for the non-canon special Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode II, where he tells the AT-ATs to start their attack on Echo Base, only to be completely dumbfounded when two of the AT-ATs jumped out of line to participate in a race that greatly resembled a freeway race by teenagers, resulting in one of the AT-ATs being totaled. When Vader asks for the results of the mission, Veers was in such a state of shock that he wasn't able to give any, causing him to instead cover Vader's hologram with a plastic coffee cup.
General Veers briefly appeared in the 2006 video game Lego Star Wars 2: The Original Trilogy and the 2007 video game LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga at the beginning of the "Escape from Echo Base" and "Hoth Battle" levels (The Empire Strikes Back).
- Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds
- Star Wars: Battlefront II
- Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds: Clone Campaigns
- Star Wars: Empire at War
- Star Wars: Force Commander
- When the Desert Wind Turns: The Stormtrooper's Tale
- Deadly Reunion
- Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided
- Side Trip
- "Galaxywide NewsNets"—Star Wars Adventure Journal 14
- Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back radio drama
- Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back
- Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back junior novel
- Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back novel (First appearance)
- Star Wars (1977) 39 (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars (1977) 40
- The Empire Strikes Back Storybook
- Dark Empire II 1
- Dark Empire II audio drama
- LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga (Appears in cutscene(s))
- LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy (Appears in cutscene(s))
- Star Wars: Rebellion
- Star Wars Infinities: The Empire Strikes Back
- LEGO Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Out
Notes and references
- Star Wars Character Encyclopedia
- Dark Empire II 1
- The New Essential Guide to Characters
- Star Wars: Head-to-Head Tag Teams
- Galaxy Guide 3: The Empire Strikes Back
- Republic 55
- Dark Empire Sourcebook
- Star Wars: Empire at War
- Star Wars: Force Commander
- Side Trip
- Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds
- Star Wars: Empire at War: Prima Official Game Guide