- "We just got lucky! Been the story of my whole career as Akuria Two's Rebel leader!"
Odan was a male Human who served as a colonel with the Alliance to Restore the Republic. Based on the ice world of Akuria II around 0 ABY, Odan and his men utilized a powerful vehicle known as the War Sled to great effect, running successful hit-and-run attacks against the Imperials stationed on the planet. Odan even made friends with the native Akurians who had been badly abused under Imperial rule. The alliance with the natives made the Rebel threat on Akuria II quite formidable, and Odan's group even merited a visit from Rebel heroes Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa. However, the visit was marred by defeat, as the Imperials and their commander were able to capture the War Sled and imprison the majority of Odan's men. When Skywalker and Organa arrived on the world, they were greeted by Imperials who were posing as Rebels.
To stop the deception and to keep the two Rebels from spilling secrets to the Imperial impostors, Odan and the Akurians staged a rescue, but were only able to come away with the duo's two droids, C-3PO and R2-D2. With the droids' help, Odan was able to stage another, more successful, rescue, eventually securing the two Rebels away from their Imperial captors. Following the rescue, the group mounted an attack on the Imperials' Polar Base, liberating the planet from the Empire. The experience that Odan's group had built on the ice planet proved fruitful during the Rebellion's relocation to Hoth. At least one of Odan's men, Maren Kelsome, was transferred to Echo Base to serve the Alliance there.
- "The secret of our Rebel force's success against the Empire has been staying on the move!"
- ―The impostor Odan, clarifying why the true Odan's methods worked
Early in the Galactic Civil War, prior to the Battle of Yavin, Odan was in command of a rag-tag group of rebels fighting to liberate the planet Akuria II from the Empire. Although Odan's group was opposed to the Empire, they were not officially part of the Alliance to Restore the Republic, and their resistance group worked without support from the larger rebellion. The large Imperial garrison on the world forced the colonel and his men to resort to hit-and-run attacks. Odan's operations were run primarily from a large vehicle known as the War Sled. The massive sled could move rapidly across Akuria II's snowy plains, allowing Odan and his group to stay one step ahead of the Imperials. During their battles with the Imperials, Odan and his group made friends with the Akurians, the local populace of the planet, who went by their nickname of the Snow Demons, and recruited them to help combat the Imperial forces. Although the War Sled was Odan's main base of operations, he also made use of abandoned ice worm tunnels, and a hidden base occupied by the Snow Demons, to stay out of reach of the Imperials.
Following the Battle of Yavin, the War Sled was boarded by Imperials and their leader. Stormtroopers easily defeated Odan and his group, capturing most of his men and the War Sled with it. Odan was able to escape, but the battle had come at the worst possible time. The Rebel heroes Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa, delayed due to an unplanned detour to the Keeper's World, arrived to check in with Odan and his group, hoping to convince them to join the larger Rebellion. With the War Sled in their possession, the Imperial leader devised a plan to trick the Rebels into revealing the Rebellion's location by posing as Colonel Odan. Odan predicted that the Imperials would try deception, and so he sent several of the natives, the Snow Demons, to rescue the Rebels from the Imperial leader.
- "Those impersonators will learn all your friends know about the Alliance…then give 'em an Imperial execution!"
- ―Colonel Odan, speaking to R2-D2 and C-3PO
Unfortunately for the rebel soldiers, the leader of the rescue party, Fafnir, was unable to successfully rescue the group. Due to Fafnir's inability to speak Basic, Skywalker and Organa misinterpreted Fafnir and his fellows' intentions and so fought them off. However, Fafnir and his men were able to grasp the two droids, R2-D2 and C-3PO, before escaping from the Imperials that arrived to stop the rescue. The rescue group returned to the Snow Structure, the temporary headquarters of the Rebels, but were scolded by Odan for their failure. Artoo and Threepio eventually convinced Odan to undertake another rescue attempt, but Odan informed them that the only craft they possessed that could catch up with the War Sled, a Snow Flyer, had been disabled when its T-3 unit had taken one blaster bolt too many.
Artoo was able to take the destroyed droid's place, but after catching up with the War Sled, they found it on a suicide run for the geyser sea. Fafnir and Odan boarded the War Sled and found Skywalker tied up in the cockpit. The impostor Odan had been discovered, and in an effort to force Organa to talk, had threatened her companion's life. Odan was able to untie Skywalker, and the group escaped the doomed sled on power skis. However, after abandoning the craft, they were caught in a terrible snowstorm and were in danger of being blown into the geyser sea. To prevent this, Skywalker devised a plan to melt a hole in the ice as a haven to wait out the storm. Using Artoo's heat induction unit, the Rebels had soon melted a large hole in the ground. Coincidentally situated over a large ice worm burrow, the bottom of the hole collapsed into the tunnel, plummeting the group deep into the planet's crust. The fall left their power skis undamaged, and since they were now out of the snowstorm, they decided to use the vehicles to travel under the surface to catch up with the Imperials and the captive Organa.
Traveling through the tunnels, the group eventually stopped when Artoo detected the heat signatures from the Imperials' ships directly above them. The Imperial leader and his troops had decided to wait out the storm before returning to their headquarters, and Skywalker devised a plan to ambush the group from below. However, before they could begin the plan, a large ice worm appeared, bearing down on the group. Skywalker, Fafnir, and Odan began to fire wildly at the beast, but their efforts were unable to stop the worm. The group rushed to their power skis, but Odan pointed out that there was no chance of outrunning the beast as it was so close. Luckily for the Rebels, the ice and exhaust kicked up by the skis was able to divert the worm's path, saving the group from destruction. The worm burrowed a new tunnel towards the surface as it avoided the group entirely.
- "You just had a showdown with an Ice Worm, boy, don't you even want a breather?"
The new pathway taken by the Ice Worm led the beast directly toward the Imperials on the surface. Erupting out of the ground, the worm destroyed the Imperials' Strato-Hopper and scattered their forces. Only the Imperial leader and Organa were able to escape the Ice Worm's wrath in a spare Snow Flyer. By the time the Rebels had climbed out of the Ice Worm's tunnel, the Imperial craft was well on its way back to the Imperials' Polar Base. Luckily for the Rebels, before perishing, the stormtroopers were able to kill the Ice Worm, removing both threats.
Surveying the wreckage, Odan and Skywalker witnessed the retreat of the Imperial Snow Flyer and jumped on their power skis to continue pursuit. However, the Imperial commander fired on the two Rebels, barely missing them, and forcing Odan to break off pursuit. Luckily for Odan, Skywalker was undeterred by the attack and was able to catch up to the Snow Flyer, rescuing Organa and taking the Imperial captive. The Rebels were out of danger for the moment, but the Imperial leader had already transmitted a message to the Polar Base to tell them that he was bringing in a captive. The Imperial informed the Rebels that if he did not arrive, every TIE fighter at the base would come to destroy them.
- "The Imperials have hunted 'em like animals for years. They've been itchin' to strike back. A break in these defenses is all they needed, Skywalker."
Forced to come up with a plan on the fly, Odan and the rest of the Rebels boarded the Snow Flyer with the Imperial commander as their hostage. Approaching the Imperial base, Skywalker forced the commander to transmit the codes to the base, opening the energy gates. The Rebels then parked the vehicle in the middle of the gate and allowed Artoo to reverse the combustion feed lines into the Flyer. The action caused the craft to explode, keeping the gate from closing. On that signal, Fafnir and all the Snow Demons rushed the base to take the attack to the Imperials.
Odan went to lead the Snow Demons alongside Fafnir, while Skywalker and Organa commandeered TIE fighters to take out the laser emplacements of the base. At the same time, the Imperial commander was able to escape and take command of the Imperials inside the base. Although the commander ordered his forces to shoot down the two rogue TIEs, Skywalker's flying skills allowed him to easily outmaneuver the blaster cannons. Skywalker's TIE eventually destroyed the cannon emplacement that contained the Imperial commander, killing him and turning the tide of the battle. With the Imperial base destroyed, Odan and his men officially joined with the Alliance, turning Akuria II over to the Rebellion.
- "You came here to bring me an' my rebels into your Alliance, Princess…after today, nothin' could keep us out!"
"And perhaps by tomorrow, it won't be just fortresses falling, Colonel—but the Empire itself!"
- ―Odan and Leia Organa
Following the victory on Akuria II, Odan promoted a young Rebel named Maren Kelsome from private to corporal for adequate service in helping to remove the Imperial presence. When the call for troops trained in arctic survival to protect the new Alliance base on Hoth reached Odan, at least one of Odan's men, Kelsome, answered the call, transferring to the new Echo Base.
Personality and traits
- "Them springs ain't the only thing that's hot here, bronze britches—I'm fit to spout steam myself!"
Colonel Odan was a temperamental man, expecting the best of the men under his command. He was often quick to anger, and was known to resign himself to despair in desperate situations. In fact, he even equated his success to simple blind luck at times. However, Odan proved himself to be incredibly persistent, fighting in the most hostile conditions, constantly evading capture and death. He ended up being the only Human to escape the sneak attack on the Rebels' War Sled. Unlike many Humans during the reign of the Galactic Empire, he was not xenophobic, and he generally respected and valued the Snow Demons that fought under him. The Snow Demon Fafnir became Odan's right-hand being during the final overthrow of the Empire from Akuria II. Although prone to excitable outbursts, Odan was not a tough commander, nor a strict disciplinarian. When Maren Kelsome transferred to Echo Base, he found the mainstream Rebellion to be much different than the loosely assembled band that was loyal to Odan. The formal chain of command and protocol that characterized the highest Rebel leaders was left forgotten with Odan's rag-tag group.
Odan was a burly man, well equipped to deal with the harsh conditions of Akuria II. Sporting a large, thick beard, Odan gave the impression of a man prepared for cold weather. Odan was also equipped with an eye patch over his left eye, giving his face a more fearsome demeanor. Alongside a yellow bandana that he wore around his head, Odan fit the part of a formidable Rebel commander.
Behind the scenes
Colonel Odan was created by Archie Goodwin for use in the comic, The Kingdom of Ice, in which he played a supporting role behind the main characters of Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa. The story, published before the release of Episode V The Empire Strikes Back, was set on an ice planet, predating the ice world of Hoth that appeared in the film. After this, Odan had a small reference in West End Games's second edition of the sourcebook Galaxy Guide 3: The Empire Strikes Back, which tied Odan to a Rebel soldier that died at the Battle of Hoth. This connection was likely made due to the fact that the planet on which Odan resided bore a striking similarity to Hoth.
- The Snow Demons! (Indirect mention only)
- Treachery! (First appearance)
- Death Trap!
- Snow Fury!
- The Ice Worm Cometh!