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"Energize the shields!"
―General Ceel giving commands during the Battle of Naboo[3]

Tobler Ceel was an Otolla Gungan male who served as a general in the Gungan Grand Army. During the Invasion of Naboo by the Trade Federation in 32 BBY, the Gungans were driven from their capital city of Otoh Gunga, leading Ceel to begin planning reprisal attacks. Ultimately, the Gungans allied with Humans to retake Naboo, forming a plan in which the Gungan Grand Army marched toward the city of Theed as a diversion. Ceel led the army on the march alongside Bombad General Jar Jar Binks, and on the Great Grass Plains south of Theed, the Gungans met the Trade Federation Droid Army in battle.

General Ceel gave the orders to raise the deflector shields, which blocked the Trade Federation's artillery. However, the Trade Federation's battle droids were able to get through the force field, and Ceel ordered counterattacks to keep the shields safe. The Gungan also signaled the order for retreat from the overwhelming battle droids once the shields were destroyed but was taken prisoner along with the other Gungan commanding officers. The battle was unexpectedly won for the Gungans when the destruction of a Droid Control Ship shut down every battle droid on the plains, and Ceel later led a victory procession of Gungans in a celebration held in Theed.


The Invasion of Naboo[]

"Gungans no dyin' witout a fight. Wesa warriors. Wesa got a grand army."
―Jar Jar Binks[4]

After the Trade Federation attacked the Gungans, General Ceel began planning guerilla attacks in reprisal.

Tobler Ceel, an Otolla[2] Gungan male, was Commander-in-Chief of the Gungan Grand Army on the planet Naboo, in which he held the rank of general.[1] To keep the army's militiagungs in full form, Ceel established a training center in the Scrumma Jawbone, an arm of Lake Paonga. There, militiagungs could practice using projectile weapons, such as the arbalest, atlatl, and cesta.[5] In 32 BBY, Naboo was invaded by the Trade Federation, who, after occupying the Human Naboo capital city of Theed, turned their attention to pacifying the Gungans to prevent any reprisal attacks. The Trade Federation discovered the underwater Gungan capital city of Otoh Gunga and drove the inhabitants out, although many were able to escape in a mass evacuation and rally at their Sacred Place. The Gungan military leadership, including General Ceel and Captain Roos Tarpals, immediately began planning retaliatory attacks. Their plans involved strategic guerilla warfare raids on Trade Federation forces, where Gungans would perform hit-and-runs before disappearing into the swamps.[6]

Ceel's plans went unfulfilled when the Queen of Naboo, Padmé Amidala, formed an alliance with the Gungan leader, Boss Rugor Nass. The Gungans and Humans planned to retake their planet by amassing the Gungan Grand Army on a march toward Theed as a diversion while the Naboo infiltrated the capital.[6] Ceel knew that the Gungans would need to make use of their fambaa-mounted energy shields to withstand the Trade Federation's artillery. His plan was to force the Trade Federation B1-Series battle droids into close-quarters combat, where the Gungans stood a better chance of defeating them or could at least hold them off until Queen Amidala captured the Trade Federation Viceroy Nute Gunray.[7]

Riding to battle[]

"Wesa ready to do our-sa part."
―Boss Rugor Nass, speaking of the Gungan Grand Army[4]

General Ceel led the Gungan Grand Army in their march to battle against the Trade Federation.

Ceel rode at the front of the army as its leader along with the new Bombad General, Jar Jar Binks, who had been personally promoted by Nass. Ceel disapproved of Binks' promotion, giving him no practical responsibilities in the army other than to set an example by dying well.[1] Ceel had hoped to position the army atop Shaak Ridge south of Theed, using the high ground as a vantage point to decimate the Trade Federation machinery with energy catapults and snipers wielding atlatls and cestas. However, the Trade Federation anticipated the Gungans procession early and claimed the Ridge first, which was discovered by scouts under Ceel's command after the Gungan Grand Army arrived at the Great Grass Plains. The general was disappointed in the lack of strategic maneuverability, but he knew that the plains' proximity to the swamps would allow the Gungans to make a quick retreat if necessary.[6]

Riding a kaadu at the head of the army alongside his command unit, General Ceel[1] and Captain Tarpals[4] personally hand-signaled the troops to halt. Ceel[1] and Tarpals[4] ordered the activation of the shield generators, covering the whole army in a force field. On the orders of the OOM command battle droid OOM-9, the Trade Federation Armored Assault Tanks fired on the shield, but found it to be impregnable, causing the Gungans to cheer. In response, OOM-9 ordered the tanks to cease firing, and the Trade Federation began unloading B1-Series battle droids from their Multi-Troop Transports, which caused concern among Ceel and the other Gungan commanders.[1]

Victory from the jaws of defeat[]

"Disen very bombad."
"Me hope dis worken for da Queen."
―Jar Jar Binks and Tobler Ceel, while taken prisoner in the Battle of Naboo[1]

On the Great Grass Plains, Ceel ordered the raising of the Fambaa shield generators and prioritized their defense.

The battle droids were able to pass through the shields and begin firing on the Gungans,[1] which prompted Ceel to order his militiagungs to counterattack with atlatls, cestas,[6] and electropoles.[3] Multiple waves of battle droids were destroyed,[6] but as the fighting escalated, Ceel tightened his forces around the shield generators, aware of the danger the Trade Federation tanks would pose if they could strike the Gungan army. The fighting grew so intense that the general had to commit all of his reserve troops. Eventually, droidekas breached the force field and destroyed the shield generators, opening up the Gungans to tank fire. Ceel realized that the battle had been lost and signaled for the retreat to the swamps.[1]

A majority of the Gungans were not able to escape, including the general, who was taken prisoner on the battlefield and held near the other officers, including Binks. Ceel and Binks expressed concern about their situation, hoping that Amidala's plan had still been successful. The Gungans were unexpectedly saved when the young pilot Anakin Skywalker destroyed the Trade Federation's Droid Control Ship Vuutun Palaa. The loss of the ship quickly deactivated every battle droid on the Great Grass Plains.[1] The Gungans realized their seemingly impossible victory and cheered,[4] and Ceel and Binks would later lead the Gungans on kaadu in a celebration of Naboo's freedom in Theed.[1]

Personality and traits[]

―General Ceel's orders during the Battle of Naboo[3]

Tobler Ceel disapproved of Jar Jar Binks' (pictured) promotion to general.

Shortly after the Trade Federation's attacks on the Gungans, Ceel began planning retribution against the Trade Federation.[6] He grunted sourly after learning of Binks' promotion in the army and unwillingly accepted him into his officer's council, telling the notoriously clumsy Gungan to die well. In the Battle of Naboo, Ceel was worried when the Trade Federation began to unload its battle droids, and urged his troops to fight on as the fighting grew intense.[1] He was quick to realize when the Gungans were overrun but was still reluctant when he ordered a retreat.[6] he was forlorn when he was captured by the Trade Federation, worried about the outcome of Amidala's plan.[1] After the battle, he did not believe that it had been a stirring victory for the Gungans, while all of his people were still proud of their efforts.[6] Ceel had yellow eyes and purple and white skin.[2] In Gungan culture, Ceel's first name of Tobler meant "laughs easily" and his surname meant "vigilant sentry."[8]

Skills and abilities[]

"Shoota' them up real good!"
―General Tobler Ceel[src]

As a high-ranking[9] career officer in the Gungan Grand Army,[1] Tobler Ceel had a tactical mind, crafting multiple strategies during the Invasion of Naboo to protect his people.[6] In his capacity as a general, Ceel wielded command over the entire Gungan Grand Army, and was responsible for directing its movements during the Battle of Naboo.[1]


During the Battle of the Great Grass Plains, Ceel wore brown sleeveless armor with grey pants, along with brown gauntlets. In the battle,[10] and the celebration held at the end of the invasion, Ceel rode atop a kaadu.[1]

Behind the scenes[]

"Tobler Ceel has never been confirmed as appearing in The Phantom Menace. The lines from the published script attributed to Ceel are spoken by Captain Tarpals in the film."
―Leland Chee[src]

General Ceel's role in The Phantom Menace was taken by Captain Tarpals, and his likeness in Star Wars: Force Collection (pictured) was a repurposed image of Tarpals.

General Ceel was present in director George Lucas' drafts of the prequel trilogy film, Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace,[11] which premiered on May 19, 1999.[12] The character was not included in the film, with Holocron continuity database manager Leland Chee confirming his lines were spoken by Captain Tarpals instead.[13] In one altered scene taking place before the Battle of Naboo, a meeting of twenty Gungan generals, including Ceel, took place in a Gungan war room, where Ceel commits 300 battalions to the battle.[14]

Ceel first appeared in the novelization of The Phantom Menace by Terry Brooks,[1] released on April 21, 1999[15] and also appeared in the junior novelization by Patricia C. Wrede,[3] released on May 3, 1999.[16] Both novels include Ceel's role in the battle, and Tarpals is not present.[1][3] In Brooks' novel, Ceel is confused by the deactivation of the battle droids at the end of the Battle of Naboo and urges Binks to investigate by touching one,[1] which differs from the film version, in which Tarpals immediately recognizes that the control ship has been destroyed and pushes a nearby droid over, an action Binks repeats.[4]

Ceel's full name was first given in the 2000 Core Rulebook for Wizards of the Coast's Star Wars Roleplaying Game as an example of a Gungan name.[17] In the 2001 LucasArts video game Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds, Ceel's name could be randomly selected as a Gungan leader in the standard game mode.[6] The character was first visually depicted in the 2013 mobile game Star Wars: Force Collection,[10] which used an image of Tarpals taken from the 2005 reference book Star Wars Chronicles: The Prequels[18] to represent Ceel.[10]


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Notes and references[]

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace novelization
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Star Wars: Force Collection (Card: General Ceel (★))
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace junior novelization
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace
  5. The New Essential Guide to Weapons and Technology
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 6.8 6.9 Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds
  7. The Official Star Wars Fact File 47 (GUN5, Gungan Energy Shield)
  8. Galactic Campaign Guide
  9. The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. I, p. 113 ("Ceel, General Tobler")
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Star Wars: Force Collection (Card: General Ceel (★★★))
  11. Star Wars: Episode I Insider's Guide
  12. Star Wars Year By Year: A Visual History, New Edition
  13. StarWars.com Holocron continuity database questions on StarWars.com Message Boards. Posted by Leland Y Chee on August 30, 2007 at 2:06 PM. (content now obsolete; backup link) "Tobler Ceel has never been confirmed as appearing in The Phantom Menace. The lines from the published script attributed to Ceel are spoken by Captain Tarpals in the film."
  14. Databank title.png Gungan Grand Army in the Databank (content now obsolete; backup link)
  15. Amazon favicon.png Star Wars, Episode 1: The Phantom Menace Hardcover on Amazon.com (backup link)
  16. Amazon favicon.png The Phantom Menace (Star Wars Episode I) on Amazon.com (backup link)
  17. Star Wars Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook
  18. Star Wars Chronicles: The Prequels
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