- "I'm not sharing my glory."
- ―Sander Delvardus
Sander Delvardus was a Human male admiral in the Galactic Empire who became an independent warlord after the Battle of Endor. A member of the prestigious Tarkin family by marriage, he was a known womanizer, and had fallen for a refugee aid worker, Seledra-Zin. During a argument, Delvardus allegedly struck Seledra-Zin with a dynamic hammer, rendering her comatose. Feeling both guilty and filled with grief, Delvardus was obsessed with finding a cure for his love's condition, and was driven by the goal of restoring his mistress to health.
Originally serving under Grand Moff Ardus Kaine as part of his Oversector Outer forces, Delvardus broke away from the Empire after the death of Emperor Palpatine at Endor, and formed the Eriadu Authority, an Imperial splinter faction. Inventing the title of "Superior General", Delvardus succeeded in claiming parts of the Rimma Trade Route and Hydian Way before being forced to retreat to the Deep Core, where he joined forces with Palpatine, who had returned in a clone body. After the final death of Palpatine in 11 ABY, Delvardus again set out on his own and continued to build up his forces, which included the Super Star Destroyer Night Hammer.
In 12 ABY, Delvardus traveled to a conference at Tsoss Beacon with twelve other Imperial warlords. There, Admiral Natasi Daala proposed that the warlords ally to defeat the New Republic. However, they refused to unify, as they were hesitant to share their resources with the other warlords. Delvardus, for his part, saw the rest of the warlords as his rivals and did not want to share the glory that he felt awaited him when he defeated the New Republic, although he agreed that the warlords should be united under his banner. Daala responded to their decision by executing all of them, Delvardus included, with nerve-gas.
Early life and Imperial service
Sander Delvardus was a Human male who, at a young age, wedded an heiress of the Eriadu-based Tarkin family. He also joined the Galactic Empire's armed forces, serving in the Imperial Navy. Despite his marriage, Delvardus gained a reputation as a womanizer, with lovers spread across many spaceports. Attaining command of the Star Destroyer Brilliant, the newly-promoted naval captain lobbied for the position of naval overseer for the Rimma Trade Route. Delvardus had fallen in love with a refugee aid worker on Clak'dor VII named Seledra-Zin, and wanted to stage the fleet under his control from the planet just to be close to her. His request was granted, and Delvardus came under the command of Grand Moff Ardus Kaine as part of Oversector Outer's military forces.
Delvardus's relationship with his mistress was not smooth, however; they argued frequently, and during one altercation, Delvardus allegedly struck her with a dynamic hammer. The resultant injury sent Seledra-Zin into a coma. Guilt-ridden and grief-stricken, Delvardus—who had since been elevated to the rank of Admiral—arranged for a suspended-animation casket for her to be installed in his personal quarters aboard the Brilliant. The quest to restore Seledra-Zin to health consumed Delvardus, and it became the overriding obsession of his life.
- "We've researched the amount of funding Delvardus funneled into his operations, and I am not impressed with what I saw at his fortress. I hope he hasn't been squandering the Empire's resources."
"I assure you, Admiral, he has not. I think even you will be impressed."
- ―Admiral Natasi Daala and Colonel Ivan Cronus
After the death of Emperor Palpatine at the Battle of Endor in 4 ABY, Admiral Delvardus refused to follow Kaine as he formed the Pentastar Alignment, his break-away government. Instead, Delvardus became one of the first Imperial warlords, forming the Eriadu Authority, a splinter faction of the Empire, by seizing planets on or close to both the Rimma Trade Route and the Hydian Way. On the planet Vondarc, Delvardus acquired a large force of All Terrain Armored Transports and other walkers, which prompted him to invent the title of "Superior General." The conceit did not endear him to the army officers serving under him, including General Maximilian Veers. Delvardus spent the next few years capturing planets where new medical technologies were available, desperately searching for something that could revive Seledra-Zin.
Delvardus developed a rivalry with the competing warlord Moff Utoxx Prentioch, whose territory lay close to Delvardus's domain. However, it was not long before he lost the approval of the ruling families on Eriadu. After his attempts to find a cure for Seledra-Zin had proved fruitless, Delvardus started to strike Coreward, and secured the Rimma Trade Route as far as the planet Yag'Dhul. Whereas the Eriadu families were content for Delvardus to defend the Eriadu system, his Coreward expansion was a step too far for them, an objective that also lost him support of the Imperial ace pilot Shea Hublin. However, Delvardus' ambitions were counteracted by the New Republic, a fledging galactic government that opposed the Empire, and under the command of Admiral Firmus Nantz, the New Republic First Fleet struck at Abraxas. The move was a show of force with the intent of bottling both Delvardus and his rival, Prentioch, up in their own fiefdoms. The tactic succeeded, and Delvardus guarded his borders until the First drove the Superior General's forces from the planet Glova, which constrained the warlord's influence by preventing him from linking up with Imperial units in the Elrood sector and the Minos Cluster. Nantz pressed on, and Delvardus had a run-in with New Republic Forces at the planet Moorja, which resulted in the destruction of Delvardus' Praetor II-class Star Battlecruiser Thalassa at the hands of a fleet of EF76 Nebulon-B escort frigates supported by BTL Y-wing bombers, although he himself managed to survive.
In 5 ABY, Delvardus's forces were defeated at Yag'Dhul by Nantz's forces. While Nantz was pushing Coreward, Delvardus attempted to take advantage of the situation by assaulting the planet Sullust in an attempt to retake the world. He was defeated by Sullustan New Republic captain Sien Sovv, despite receiving aid from a reluctant Shea Hublin. Reinforcements sent by Nantz along the Rimma Trade Route staged a series of attacks on Delvardus's border holdings at Sanrafsix, Kabal, Clak'dor, and Sluis Van. Delvardus lost all the engagements, and the defeats prompted him to abandon his holdings around Eriadu and retreat to the Deep Core. Establishing his new capital on Kampe, a small, abandoned desert world far from its system's sun, Delvardus engaged the other warlords in a war of attrition. There, he began construction of an Executor-class Star Dreadnought named the Night Hammer, though construction of the Super Star Destroyer cost a great deal.
Delvardus eventually allied himself with the reborn Emperor Palpatine, who had used the Force technique of essence transfer to return in a clone body. In exchange for Delvardus's allegiance, Palpatine promised him the resources to revive his comatose love. In 10 ABY, when Palpatine launched Operation Shadow Hand, his strategy to regain control of the galaxy, Delvardus attacked the Core planet Metellos, where a New Republic fleet was stationed. The New Republic vessels were destroyed, and Delvardus then unleashed an orbital bombardment on the planet, killing over five billion people. After the final defeat of Palpatine in 11 ABY, Delvardus once more struck out on his own. On Kampe, Delvardus built up his forces and continued construction on the Night Hammer, with Colonel Ivan Cronus as his second-in-command. The construction of the Night Hammer cost Delvardus nearly every credit he had, but he was convinced that possession of the vessel would be the only way to bring the other warlords into line under him. He had a special sterile medical chamber built into the ship's bow to sustain his comatose love. It was even rumored that the ship's name was an oblique reference to the event that led to Seledra-Zin's condition.
Death and legacy
- "I cannot leave the Empire in the hands of fools like you."
- ―Natasi Daala, to Delvardus and the other Imperial warlords
In 12 ABY, Delvardus was one of thirteen Deep Core Imperial warlords summoned by Admiral Natasi Daala to Tsoss Beacon for a conference. Daala proposed that they ally themselves together, creating a mighty force that could bring down the New Republic. However, the warlords, Delvardus included, were not receptive to the idea. Delvardus shared a similar ideal for the warlords, but felt they had to be united under his banner. He remarked that he would not share his glory and felt that it was merely an attempt by Daala to seize power for herself. When Delvardus rose to leave, Daala triggered a switch, locking the doors in the conference room. She then informed them that the doors would remain locked for three hours, during which time she hoped the warlords would come to an agreement.
However, the thirteen warlords failed to come to a deal, refusing to let their rivals share any of their war matériel and the triumph that they felt awaited them. Angered, Daala released nerve-gas into the room. As the doors remained locked, and she and her ally, Gilad Pellaeon, were the only ones with breath masks, the warlords had no way to escape certain death. Struggling to stay conscious, Delvardus assembled a crude yet deadly knife from several of the medals that he wore. He attempted to stab Daala but collapsed and died before he could reach her.
With the warlords dead, Daala became the Supreme Commander of the United Warlord Fleets. She traveled to Delvardus's fortress, with several stormtroopers carrying his dead body on a frame. Informing Cronus that he would have one hour to decide if he wished to ally with Daala or be destroyed, Daala left both Delvardus's body and a holocube containing a recording of the meeting at Tsoss Beacon outside his fortress. Cowed by Daala's show of force, Cronus agreed to join with her, presenting the Night Hammer to her command. Daala used the vessel as her flagship, rechristening it "Knight Hammer." During the ship's destruction at Yavin 4, where Daala attempted to destroy the newly formed Jedi Praxeum, Seledra-Zin was killed, having never been removed from the medical chamber in which she slept.
Personality and traits
- "I've heard enough. This is just a poorly disguised power grab."
- ―Sander Delvardus, to Natasi Daala
Sander Delvardus was a tall, light-skinned skeletal-looking man, with brown hair and white eyebrows. He possessed a square jaw with a deep cleft. During his Imperial career, Delvardus gained a reputation as an officer with a female in every port, despite the fact that he was married into the prestigious Tarkin family. His true love was not his wife, however, but his mistress, Seledra-Zin.
Delvardus was a man of mercurial temperaments, once striking his mistress in a rage with a dynamic hammer, only to become overcome with remorse after the incident rendered her comatose and obsessed with finding a way to revive her. It was said that he would have given up his entire warlord holdings in exchange. His obsession led him to conquer planets where advanced medical technology was located, as well as reaffirming his loyalty to the reborn Emperor who promised to help her in exchange for Delvardus's service.
The warlord had a penchant for display. His construction of the Night Hammer was born out of the belief that only a grandiose symbol and devastating weapon would bring the other warlords to their knees. He also affected numerous medals on his uniform, and claimed self-aggrandizing titles like "Superior General".
Delvardus was determined not to ally himself with any of the other Imperial warlords following the Battle of Endor. He did not want to divide any of his resources with them and felt that none of them deserved to share the glory that awaited him when he triumphed over the New Republic. Delvardus was very confident in himself and his ability to defeat the New Republic, despite being outmanned and outgunned. Daala believed that Delvardus, like all the other warlords, was a fool for his extreme self-confidence and staunch refusal to ally with the other warlords for the good of the Empire. Delvardus in turn believed that Daala's attempt to unify the warlords was nothing more than a thinly veiled power grab. However, Delvardus did agree that the warlords should unite, albeit under his command. When Daala poisoned the warlords, Delvardus's last act was forming a knife out of his medals and insignia, planning to stab Daala so that he could have revenge on her for unleashing the deadly toxin.
Behind the scenes
Sander Delvardus was created for Kevin J. Anderson's novel Darksaber, wherein he served as a minor character. Later reference books, such as Coruscant and the Core Worlds and The Essential Atlas, provided further information on him, including a first name, which was revealed by The Essential Atlas. On December 17, 2013, Delvardus received an entry in the second installment of The Imperial Warlords: Despoilers of an Empire article series written by Abel G. Peña and Daniel Wallace.
- Darksaber (First appearance)
- Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Essential Chronology
- A Guide to the Star Wars Universe, Third Edition, Revised and Expanded
- The New Essential Guide to Characters (Indirect mention only)
- Coruscant and the Core Worlds
- The New Essential Chronology
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Essential Atlas (First identified as Sander)
- The Essential Guide to Warfare
- The Essential Reader's Companion (First pictured)
- (Picture only)
- (Picture only)