Potalla was a human female who served as an officer of the Galactic Empire in the years prior to the Battle of Yavin. As an assessor, she was tasked with the responsibility to evaluate other Imperial officers and reported directly to Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin.
In 4 BBY,[source?] word of recent failures involving rebel insurgents at the Imperial Complex on Lothal reached the Empire's upper echelons on Coruscant. Consequently, Potalla and her aide Dunum were sent to evaluate Commandant Cumberlayne Aresko and Taskmaster Myles Grint, who supervised the Academy for Young Imperials and the Complex as a whole. Despite their best efforts to impress her, Potalla concluded that Aresko and Grint had become complacent in their duties and suggested Tarkin intervene.
Potalla also assessed the Imperial cadet Zare Leonis. Some suspected Leonis of treasonous activities, and although Potalla subjected Leonis to a somewhat strong interrogation, she revealed to him afterwards that she had never seriously suspected him of being a traitor, but rather simply wished to know if he actually lived up to the glowing reports he had received. She called him a fine future officer and wished him well on his impending transfer to the Arkanis Academy.