- "One of the original members of the twelve Grand Admirals of the Imperial Fleet, member of the High Council, and personal favorite to the Empire. Overall a very unpleasant man."
Nial Declann was a Human male Force-sensitive who fought for the Galactic Republic during the Clone Wars. He later served the Galactic Empire both as one of its twelve Grand Admirals and as a Dark Side Adept. Declann's impressive, Force-enhanced skills as a TIE pilot brought him to the attention of Emperor Palpatine's agents. He was subsequently taken to the Sith world of Dromund Kaas, where he was educated in the ways of the dark side by the Prophets of the Dark Side. When his training was complete, he was allowed to return to service in the Imperial Navy.
Declann, in time, was appointed to the newly created rank of Grand Admiral in 2 BBY. He built a reputation for himself, due to both his aptitude for battle meditation, and his severe mood swings. After a stint on Naboo assigning tasks to a spacer, Declann was stationed aboard the second Death Star, which was undergoing construction over Endor in 4 ABY. He served in the Battle of Endor, in which the Alliance to Restore the Republic launched a desperate attack against the superweapon—using his battle meditation, Declann was able to coordinate the Imperial forces. However, during the battle, Declann sensed the death of the Emperor, who was also present on the station, through the Force. Shortly afterward, the station was destroyed by the Alliance, killing Declann in the process.
Nial Declann, a Force-sensitive Human male, participated in the Clone Wars, fighting for the Galactic Republic. He served aboard a Republic assault ship during the conflict, and went on to serve the Galactic Empire following the Declaration of a New Order. Enlisted in the Imperial Navy as a TIE pilot, Declann's uncanny skills garnered the attention of Emperor Palpatine's agents. They approached Declann and suggested that he not let his aptitude with the Force go to waste, purely because the Jedi Order was now extinct. The suggestions, posited to Declann in the form of rhetorical questions, troubled him, but he agreed to be trained in the ways of the dark side of the Force. At some point, he had a son, who was inducted into the Stormtrooper Corps and given the designation 17786.
Declann's training took place on the ancient Sith world of Dromund Kaas, where he became a Dark Side Adept under the tutelage of the Prophets of the Dark Side. Once his education was complete, he had to go through a graduation exercise, in which Declann used the Force to kill a captured member of the Alliance to Restore the Republic. Declann succeeded, and Palpatine allowed him to return to his fleet. During a New Year's celebration in 2 BBY, Declann—along with eleven other officers—was promoted to the newly created rank of Grand Admiral by Palpatine himself. During the elaborate ceremony, Palpatine decreed that there could only be twelve Grand Admirals in existence at any given time.
Sometime following 0 ABY, Declann was stationed at the Theed Royal Palace on Naboo. There, he assigned a series of tasks to a spacer, whom he initially sent to Kessel to destroy thirty Alliance starfighters. When the spacer returned, the Grand Admiral dispatched the spacer to Kessel yet again, this time to destroy a CR90 corvette in the service of the Alliance. The spacer succeeded in completing the task.
Three years later, Declann—along with fellow Grand Admirals Afsheen Makati, Miltin Takel, and Osvald Teshik—was stationed aboard the incomplete second Death Star superweapon over Endor. Shortly after Palpatine arrived to inspect the station, the Rebel Alliance launched an attack against the installment. During the ensuing battle, Declann used battle meditation to coordinate the Imperial fleet in their defense of the station. As the battle wore on, however, Declann felt Palpatine's death at the hands of his apprentice, Darth Vader, through the Force. Abandoning the battle meditation, he rushed to the throne room in response. While he was in transit, however, the station was destroyed by Alliance General Lando Calrissian, resulting in the death of all beings aboard, including Declann.
Personality and traits
Declann was well-known for his mood swings and could alternatively be morose and threatening. He was troubled when confronted with the question of why the Jedi Order had failed to locate him. The Grand Admiral was later convinced by Palpatine's agents that his talent for the Force should not go squandered just because he had been overlooked at such an early age.
Powers and abilities
As much as his mood swings, Declann's ability to use the Force to meld units under his command into a superior fighting force earned him fame. His aptitude for the Force also benefited his piloting skills, which in turn led him to be trained on Dromund Kaas. Once his training was complete, he possessed the ability to kill a man with the power of the Force. He was also able to use the skill of battle meditation even for a major force, as he demonstrated at the Battle of Endor.
Behind the scenes
The character of Nial Declann was created by authors Daniel Wallace and Abel G. Peña for the article Who's Who: Imperial Grand Admirals, which was published in the April 2003 issue of Star Wars Insider. Declann was the only original Grand Admiral in the article—the other twelve had all been named in previous sources. The character was a favorite of Wallace, who enjoyed the idea of a Force-sensitive Grand Admiral, and he supposed that the character would have been adept at lightsaber combat.
Declann made his first appearance in the MMORPG Star Wars Galaxies. However, in the game, he is shown to be wearing a standard Imperial officer's uniform, rather than the white uniform of a Grand Admiral. Declann is positioned in the Throne room, replacing the Naboo royal throne that had been located there prior to his NPC being added. His appearance is also considerably different—he is shown to have lighter skin than that of the original Joe Corroney illustration in Who's Who. The character was later referenced in 2005's The New Essential Chronology, which was co-authored by Wallace, as well as Ryder Windham's 2007 reference book, Jedi vs. Sith: The Essential Guide to the Force.
Originally, Who's Who: Imperial Grand Admirals was intended for publication in the now-defunct Star Wars Gamer magazine, under the title Dirty Dozen: The Imperial Grand Admirals. In the original manuscript, there is considerably more information about Grand Admirals themselves, accompanied by roleplaying game statistics. Among other things, the original article identified Declann's homeworld as Raithal, and his personal Star Destroyer as the Recondite. It also went into greater detail about his appearance—while all the other Grand Admirals drawn by Corroney for Who's Who wear the standard white uniform of their rank, Declann is also depicted wearing a black cape.
Hailing from Raithal, Declann dreamed of attending his home planet's famed naval academy as a youth, in spite of the lack of career opportunities available for young officers. Due to the lack of a standing military within the Republic, Declann was reluctant to join the Judicial Forces or a planetary militia. Nevertheless, Declann graduated from the Raithal Academy with honors, and shortly afterward served aboard a Republic corvette during the Clone Wars. Due to his aptitude for battle meditation, he was once able to bring a Void Demons freighter to a halt, opening it to a broadside from his frigate. Later, during his training on Dromund Kaas, Declann felt uncomfortable amongst his more treacherous peers, such as Jerec and Kadann. He was allowed to return to his fleet only after killing the captured Rebel Quarsh Panaka. After his promotion to Grand Admiral, Declann was still haunted by the dual nature of his training, and so he offset his stark white uniform with a black cape and gloves. His fleet excelled above all others, and he was able to achieve victory with a minimal loss of life on both sides.
- "Who's Who: Imperial Grand Admirals" – Star Wars Insider 66 (First mentioned)
- The New Essential Chronology
- Jedi vs. Sith: The Essential Guide to the Force
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- Star Wars: The Official Starships & Vehicles Collection 67
- The Essential Guide to Warfare
Notes and references
- "Who's Who: Imperial Grand Admirals" – Star Wars Insider 66
- Jedi vs. Sith: The Essential Guide to the Force
- Star Wars Galaxies: Jump to Lightspeed
- Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi
- The throne itself, and two side chairs, had been removed and Declann and two trooopers added in their place. This was when all the furniture had been removed from the palace.
- Dirty Dozen: The Imperial Grand Admirals