"The Empire needs quick and creative minds, Ensign. You're hereby promoted to lieutenant… and your first assignment is to find a way to break a covert shroud."
―Grand Admiral Thrawn promotes Rejlii Mithel[src]

Rejlii Mithel was a male Human weapons technician who served the Galactic Empire. He was the son of "Mauler" Mithel, an Imperial TIE pilot who fought and died in the Battle of Yavin. In 0 ABY, fresh out of training, Rejlii Mithel was assigned to the Imperial-class Star Destroyer Chimaera as a tractor beam operator. He was instrumental in saving the Chimaera from destruction at the hands of the alien warlord Nuso Esva, who had sabotaged the Star Destroyer during a battle above the planet Poln Major. Using his command of the tractor beam, Mithel successfully implemented a tactic developed on the spot by Senior Captain Thrawn to pull the Imperial warship off its collision course with a Golan I platform above Poln Major.

By 9 ABY, Ensign Mithel continued to serve aboard the Chimaera as a tractor beam operator, and in that year he was charged with capturing Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker as he fled the planet Poderis in a Class 720 freighter. However, as Mithel locked onto the freighter, the Jedi flew off in an X-wing starfighter that had been concealed within the larger vessel, using a covert shroud maneuver to evade capture. A successful counter to the maneuver had never been developed, but the Ensign attempted to ensnare the X-wing nonetheless before the tractor beam froze up and Skywalker escaped. Mithel reported his failure to Grand Admiral Thrawn, who noted the ingenuity of the operator's effort. Thrawn applauded Mithel for his quick thinking, promoting him to the rank of lieutenant and tasking him with developing an effective response to the covert shroud.


Early military serviceEdit

"Can you handle the rest of this?"
"Yes, sir. Unless Lord Odo—I mean unless Nuso Esva has left us more surprises, we should be all right."
―Commander Pellaeon and Mithel discuss the Chimaera's status[src]

Rejlii Mithel was a Human male who served in the armed forces of the Galactic Empire[1] as a weapons technician specialized in tractor beam operation.[3] His father, a TIE pilot[4] who perished in the Battle of Yavin,[5] kept a hologram of a young Rejlii on the control yoke of his TIE fighter.[6] By 0 ABY, the younger Mithel had completed his training and had been assigned to the Imperial-class Star Destroyer Chimaera as a tractor beam operator. In that year, the Chimaera was sabotaged by the alien warlord Nuso Esva during a battle in the Poln system and set on a collision course with a Golan I platform orbiting the planet Poln Major. With the Chimaera's captain dead, command of the warship fell to Commander Gilad Pellaeon, who was faced with the task of averting the impending collision with assistance from Senior Captain Thrawn, Esva's Imperial nemesis.[7]

Thrawn devised a plan to use the Chimaera's tractor beams and his transport, the light freighter Lost Reef, to knock the Star Destroyer off course. Given the Chimaera's situation, Mithel was the only tractor beam operator available, and it fell upon him to enact the strategy. Mithel succeeded in snaring the Lost Reef with the Star Destroyer's tractor beam, drawing in and releasing the smaller vessel in a repeated pattern. Due to the nature of the tractor beam, Mithel's execution of Thrawn's tactic enabled both the Star Destroyer and the freighter to move to their common center of mass, slowly shifting the Chimaera off its path. With the collision avoided, the warship was able to rejoin the Imperial forces in driving off Nuso Esva.[7]

The Thrawn campaignEdit

"Sir, I had just established a positive lock on the freighter when it broke up into a cluster of trac-reflective particles. The targeting system tried to lock on all of them at once and went into a loop snarl."
"And what did you do?"
"I—sir, I knew that if I waited for the particles to dissipate normally, the target starfighter would be out of range. So I tried to dissipate them myself by shifting the tractor beam into sheer-plane mode."
"It didn't work."
"No, sir. The target-lock system couldn't handle it. It froze up completely."
―Ensign Mithel explains his actions to Grand Admiral Thrawn[src]

Mithel explains his actions to Grand Admiral Thrawn.

Ensign Mithel continued to serve aboard the Chimaera as a tractor beam operator. In 9 ABY, Thrawn, now a Grand Admiral, launched a military campaign against the New Republic in the wake of the Empire's fragmentation five years prior, using the Chimaera as his flagship. As part of his campaign, Thrawn set a trap for New Republic hero and Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker on the planet Poderis, hoping to capture the Jedi. After evading the Imperial forces on the planet, Skywalker fled aboard a Class 720 freighter into space, where Thrawn and the Chimaera were awaiting him. It fell upon Ensign Mithel to ensure the Jedi was captured.[1]

Operating from the bridge's starboard crew pit,[2] Mithel prepared to capture Skywalker's freighter in a tractor beam before the Jedi could escape the system. However, Skywalker had been prepared for such an occurrence. Using a covert shroud maneuver, he activated his ship's self-destruct sequence and flew off in an X-wing starfighter held in the vessel's modified cargo bay just as the tractor beam secured a lock on the freighter. When the ship exploded, the tractor beam was unable to compensate for the large amount of debris, prompting Mithel to improvise. The Ensign attempted to counteract Skywalker's maneuver by quickly adjusting the beam's setting in an effort to lock on to the X-wing, but the attempt failed as the tractor beam froze. Though the Chimaera opened fire on the X-wing, Skywalker was able to make the jump to hyperspace. Realizing his failure, Mithel expected to be executed for allowing Skywalker to escape. Nevertheless, the tractor beam operator calmly explained what had transpired when questioned by the Grand Admiral, noting that he had been unprepared to deal with a covert shroud maneuver.[1]

Rather than punish the Ensign, Thrawn applauded Mithel for his quick thinking and innovative, if unsuccessful, attempt to counter Skywalker's tactic, promoting Mithel to the rank of lieutenant and assigning him the task of finding an effective response to the covert shroud. Shocked by the turn of events, Mithel graciously accepted the assignment.[1] The new lieutenant proceeded to analyze the covert shroud maneuver and look for a way to thwart it, ultimately determining that the method he had employed[3] against Skywalker's use of the covert shroud[1] would have been successful had the control computer of his tractor beam been modified to handle the sensor signals produced by multiple trac-reflective particles. Mithel prepared a communique for the Grand Admiral in which he briefly detailed the covert shroud maneuver and included his findings; he also added a request asking that a skilled computer technician be assigned to reprogram a tractor beam's control computer to put the theory to the test. Mithel's transmission was later intercepted by the New Republic.[3]

Mithel's efforts would eventually bear fruit, providing the Empire with a standard means of countering a covert shroud. In 19 ABY, Lando Calrissian attempted to use the gambit to escape the Star Destroyer Relentless, and was flabbergasted when the shroud was quickly dissipated and the tractor lock on Calrissian's yacht, the Lady Luck, just as quickly re-established, leaving him with no choice except to surrender. The con artist Flim, in disguise as a resurrected Grand Admiral Thrawn, explained to Calrissian that the Empire had had more than enough time after Skywalker's escape from Poderis to develop a countermeasure for his escape tactic.[8]

Personality and traitsEdit

"Several methods have been suggested over the past few decades for counteracting the covert shroud gambit, none of which has ever been made practical. Yours was one of the more innovative attempts, particularly given how little time you had to come up with it. The fact that it failed does not in any way diminish that."
―Thrawn lauds Mithel's attempt at counteracting a covert shroud maneuver[src]
Rejlii Mithel signature

Rejlii Mithel's signature

Fair-skinned with black hair,[2] Rejlii Mithel was an energetic and courageous officer committed to serving the Empire, the kind of talented being whom Thrawn wanted to make up a renewed Empire.[3] During the battle in the Poln system in 0 ABY, Mithel was able to use his command of the tractor beam to successfully employ Thrawn's makeshift tactic, saving the Chimaera from destruction. He later reported on the Star Destroyer's status with an audacity that caught Pellaeon off-guard, as Mithel was merely a crewer, not a bridge officer.[7]

Years later, Mithel continued to serve as one of the Chimaera's tractor beam operators, and he was charged with capturing Jedi Luke Skywalker above Poderis in 9 ABY. He attempted to counter Skywalker's covert shroud maneuver by altering his tractor beam's mode, a quick-thinking improvisation that ultimately failed to capture the Jedi. Mithel feared he would be executed for the failure as another tractor beam operator had been a few months earlier for his failure to capture Skywalker. Nevertheless, Mithel calmly explained his actions to Grand Admiral Thrawn, who knew that an effective countermeasure to the covert shroud had never been developed. Impressed by the Ensign's effort[1] and potential,[3] the Grand Admiral rewarded the tractor beam operator with a promotion and a new assignment to put Mithel's creativity to use in developing a successful response to the covert shroud maneuver.[1] Ultimately, Mithel determined that his tactic would have been successful had his tractor beam's control computer been programmed to deal with trac-reflective particles.[3]

Behind the scenesEdit

Lieutenant Mithel was created by author Timothy Zahn for The Last Command, the 1993 conclusion to his Thrawn Trilogy.[1] The following year, Mithel was given both a first name and a visual depiction in The Last Command Sourcebook, which also contained some roleplaying statistics for use in Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game.[3] He also appeared, in a condensed version of his scene from the novel, in the first issue of The Last Command comic adaptation, released on November 26, 1997.[2] After the character went over a decade without another appearance, Timothy Zahn included Mithel as a minor character in his 2011 novel, Choices of One.[7]



Notes and referencesEdit

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